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Yep, it’s true! London keeps getting better and better each time I visit! Now, I can total 4 trips to London and each one is as enjoyable as ever.
Graffiti, lush baked donuts, and some awesome shops put a warm smile on my face as I wandered through the artsy, chill streets of Shoreditch before visiting the Tate Britain Museum. Admittedly, too many museums can become quite boring, but since it had been a while, the Tate Britain hit the spot. There are few things I find more enjoyable and soothing than lingering through a quiet museum with bright white walls, natural lighting, and fascinating artwork. I can also check off the oh so not touristy double decker bus tour! Taking selfies as the bus drove through London? No shame! I had to release my inner Amanda Bynes from What A Girl Wants somehow!
Nearly 8 years later, I made it back to Rome! The warm, warm weather and sunshine was such a lovely change from the damp, chilly Welsh and Irish weather. Since I was only 11 during my last visit, this one was more enjoyable I would say. I feel that I was able to appreciate things a lot more such as the architecture, wine, pizza, history, and, did I mention wine?
When in Rome, do as the Romans do!
Ocean water as clear as crystal? Lemons the size of my head? Delicious pizza, gelato, pasta, and drinks? Italians speaking their beautiful, harmonious language? That’s all I needed and more for the Amalfi Coast to steal my heart. Sure, it could have been a little warmer and sunnier, but overall I can’t complain!
Since I did this portion of my trip through a student company called Bus2Alps, for a change, I got to truly relax and explore without worrying about maps, things to do, transportation, accommodation, etc. We based out of the bustling town of Sorrento and went to breathtaking Capri, picturesque Positano, and the famous, historic Pompeii. Each day was something different and continually kept me engaged.
We definitely started the trip the right way, with an hour long boat tour around Capri. We even made a pit stop at Denzel Washington’s house! Just kidding… I wish. But, we really did see his perfectly white mansion sitting on the edge of Capri, overlooking the Tunnel of Love rock. Which, might I add, we got to go under! Capri is also where the Kennedy’s vacationed and where the ads for my favorite perfume, Dolce & Gabbana Light Blue were shot. I felt so fancy being where so many celebrities go! Oh, and that rickety single person chairlift in the picture above? Yep, that took me to Anacapri, the highest point on the island. The fog on half of the island looked so ominous before it cleared to show the blue water below. Luckily, I waved to the little boy statue on the rock, so according to legend, sounds like I’ll be returning to Capri one day!
Next stop, Positano! If you ever google Amalfi Coast, this is usually the picture that comes up. The colorful houses and shops overlook the water and black sand (pebble) beaches where I enjoyed an Italian Spritz and a delicious panini. The rain and clouds didn’t stop me from getting sunburnt however, so next time I know to put a lot more sunscreen on!
Our last stop to Pompeii was pretty cool as well. The ancient ruins of the town that was buried over 2000 years ago from the ash of Mount Vesuvius was quite interesting. I got to see a cast of a few humans who were almost instantly suffocated and killed from the ashes. I also learned that Pompeii had it’s very own red light district which was quite funny… those ancient people are crazy! To top it all off, an Italian version on Bradley Cooper fixed me a delicious quattro formaggi pizza and smiled at me when he caught me staring in awe *sigh*. However, my friend definitely wins since he basically kissed her and got a picture with her. My heart melted in the process. It was beautiful! Looks like I’ll have to come back there too…
When I first think of Ireland, I honestly picture various scenes from P.S. I Love You with green rolling hills, white, fluffy sheep, bright blue lakes, and Gerard Butler singing me Irish love ballads. When I was in Dublin, I learned this was not the case and sadly accepted the fact that my sweet Gerard would not be there. However, this second trip to Ireland was even better than all the Gerard Butlers in the whole world. Now I can see why my sweet Grammy told me I needed to come home with a nice, Catholic gentleman from Ireland to marry.
After a quick night in Cork, we made our way to the vibrant, little town of Killarney. We walked through the city stopping to try on all the “wooly jumpas” and listen to the street performers play their leetle Irish flutes. Like some real ballers, we took a horse drawn carriage, or “jaunting cart,” through the Killarney National Park. When we made our way around the lakes, the view was absolutely breathtaking. I’m thinking of becoming a professional postcard maker after capturing all of these beautiful places complete with punny phrases and butt jokes and no one can stop me. St. Patrick’s wasn’t enough in Dublin, so this time we got real wild and went to Easter Sunday Mass in Killarney. I couldn’t understand a word the cute little gaelic priest said, but I knew it was good.
After taking multiple flights while abroad, I have learned that I will never take Ryanair again. It’s dirt cheap, but the ridiculous fees, hour-long waiting lines, rude staff members, delayed flights, and terrifying landings are not worth it. Excuse my French, but this “Ryan” character must be a real doodoo head.
These are real with slight exaggeration:
- Oh your bag doesn’t weigh 1 pound, that’s too bad that’s going to be a $50 charge
- Oh you want to check in at a reasonable time, well we only have 1 person working so please head to the back of the line wrapped around the building
- Oh you want your flight to be on time, no can do ma’am
- Oh you want to pick your own seat, sorry no we have to sit you next to creeps for “weight distribution”
- Oh you want to board the plane, just 2 more hours while we have a couple fags
- Oh you want to put your personal luggage under your seat, nope not in this house
- Oh you want to stick your “free” magazine somewhere, I’m sorry you are just going to have hold it we don’t like seat back pockets
- Oh you want leg room, nooooo Mr. Superman no here
- Oh you want a glass of water, that’s $4
- Oh you want to enjoy your flight in peace, how about buying some lottery tickets that we are waving in your face
- Oh you want a smooth landing, but we prefer to smash down so we can play music and clap at the end
I’m just waiting for the next Ryanair email with new regulations like:
- Oh you want a seat belt, you were supposed to bring your own
- Oh you want to use the restroom, that will be $1 for #1 and $2 for #2 please
- Oh you want a headrest, no not unless you book it beforehand, pay the fee, and get insurance on it
- Oh you want an oxygen mask and life vest, $20 each thank you
I’m going to feel like a princess while watching my personal TV sippin’ on my free ginger ale on my US Air flight back to the states.
Definitely something to note with the cheaper airlines in Europe. Yes, cheap is awesome, cheap is nice. Cheap comes with a lot of hidden stipulations. [TY]
While waiting for a train today (Sat.) back to Swansea from Pembroke, two young women, college-age, entered the railway station’s enclosed waiting area. Saddled with heavy backpacks, they obviously were on the road. They tossed their packs against the wall of the waiting area. I noticed one pack lay against an apt slogan — “Just go anywhere & never look forward” — scratched into the enamel. I wanted to photograph it, but worried that they would think I was weird if I just started snapping away. Finally, though, I politely asked if I could take a picture and one of them said yes and went back to reading her newspaper. “Just go anywhere & never look forward” — the second of the two injunctions sort of catches you … “Huh? I thought you’re supposed to never look BACK!” But actually, it kind of makes sense…just step up, explore, and let yourself continue moving instead of taking too much time to “look forward,” i.e., to plan to assiduously or worry. [David Weber]
While the UNCW study-abroad students took off for the continent, I stayed on this side of the Channel. Started out in Cork, where the river is fine for rowing. In the Killarney area, hiked in the rocky, green, fresh countryside. Ireland of course is not all about pubs and music … but both are a big deal, and I enjoyed these musicians in Connolly’s Pub in Kinvara. After a coupe of weeks in Ireland, made it back to the UK, passing through Chester (with its elaborate Victorian clock) and York (and its enduring minster, or, cathedral). [David Weber]
Hey all! So I’m a bit trapped inside today (why do doors lock people inside?) so I figured now would be good to take the time to put together a list of favourite locations in each of the places that I’ve visited along with what other people have enjoyed in each of the places that they’ve visited. This one will be my list (Tiffany) and I will compile a list for everybody later on, including everything from the confines of Swansea to Wales to the UK and beyond to mainland Europe (or wherever else people travel!)
That’s all for now! Will update as I go along. [TY]
Back in London for a few days. This time, I cruised eastward on the Thames to Greenwich. Among other things there, I saw a collection of ship figureheads … I want one for my screen porch! Walked back to center of town from Canary Wharf. Many buildings — like this whatever-it-is — caught my eye before I ended up at Tower Bridge at dusk. On the 9th, attended “The Varsity,” the rugby grudge match btwn. Swansea and Cardiff Unis. Swansea fans like this were enthusiastic, but ultimately somewhat tamer or quieter than what we’d find at an Alabama-Auburn or Ohio St.-Michigan U.S. American football game. At “The Varsity,” though, even the ushers got into the upbeat spirit of the evening. [David Weber]
This is a little video my lovely friend Becca and I put together from our trip to Dublin. It’s set to a song by Imagine Dragons that we both really love and had in our heads all throughout the trip. Just a fun little something if you wanted to see some ‘live-action’ footage! [ty]