and a few fun shots:
if you’re lucky enough to get to say ‘when in rome’ and actually be in rome, you’re lucky enough
i swear the amount of times my mind has been blown while traveling europe is ridiculous. i’ve come to realize that the places that steal my heart are the smaller, less industrial cities. cities like seville and especially cities like venice.
i had so much fun shopping in venice. i scored some serious souvenir loot. i left venice with a goregous mask, three murano glass wine stoppers, a few pieces of murano glass candy, post cards, two gorgeous coasters, and a shot glass. now it’s not all for me, but the lucky few who are getting souvenirs are just going to have to wait and see.
while in venice, lauren and i took our time and really enjoyed the city. we spent tuesday and wednesday walking around, taking in the scenery, and of course eating like it was going out of style. my favorite afternoon was spent eating gelato, city next to the canal, and soaking in some rays.
and thank the sweet lord for lauren. she is honestly my personal tour guide. she loves (i think she loves… either that or she knows she’ll do a better job than me) reading maps and planning. thank you laurenquest.
the few days spent in venice were extraordinary for a lack of better words. my eyes saw a million beautiful sights. my mouth tasted gorgeous food. my ears heard accordion music and the lovely italian language. and my heart was filled with that feeling only attainable through travel.
and then thursday morning we were off to rome. lauren and i waited outside of the train station on the steps of the river enjoying our last minutes in venice. it was my first train ride too. so many firsts in such a short amount of time.
if you’re lucky enough to spend time in venice, you’re lucky enough
the luck of the irish did not join us to scotland. rachel, lauren, and i were suppose to go to scotland on thursday, feb 3. well aer lingus is going through a wee bit of turmoil right now and they canceled our 2pm flight thursday afternoon bumping us to a 4pm flight. but, dublin’s wind and rain said no, and we were left in dublin for the night. but we managed to have a pretty fun time in the airport regardless of our delays.
however, major props to aer lingus. they took amazing care of us. we got a free night at a hotel in dublin and 22 euros each to spend at the hotel restaurant.
we did finally make it into edinburgh, scotland on friday around 3pm. however, the rain and wind were still outrageous. since being in europe, i am certain that was the worst rain i’ve experienced. we manuvered our way to our hostel, high street hostel, to find out that since we didn’t show on thursday night, we could only stay for one night. this now meant saturday night we would need to find new accomodations. the woman working was less than friendly so i was fine with not staying there for the second night.
luckily saturday was much much nicer. it was still chilly out, but it didn’t rain. we woke up relatively early, 9ish, and left our first hostel in search of a new one. we were in such awe of the town and buildings that we spent at least an hour wandering and taking photos.
we eventually found a great hostel, budget backpackers. i would absolutely recommend staying here if you ever find yourself in edinburgh. the staff was friendly and everything smelled and looked a thousand times cleaner than at our first hostel.
for the remainder of the day we pretty much tottered around the city. edinburgh is absolutely amazing and very compact. i believe we walked around nearly the entire city center. we also took a bus tour which was great. the bus took us to places and sites we wouldn’t have known about. i highly recommend taking bus tours regardless of what city you are in. i’ve taken them in london, dublin, even the san diego zoo and now edinburgh and they are always one of my favorite parts of exploring.
the night life was much different in edinburgh. we tried out a few scottish bars but they were mostly filled with an older crowd. i have to admit that we ended up spending the majority of both nights in an irish pub– we just can’t escape the magic that is ireland.
all in all, i had a great time on the trip. we ran into many annoyances but managed to laugh them all off. and sunday we returned absolutely exhausted but so happy to be back in our lil town galway.
if you’re lucky enough to stay in edinburgh, you’re lucky enough
now where did i leave off? oh yes, the group and i were headed up to the cliffs of moher. now i am certain that i told you before, but if you haven’t already added visit the cliffs of moher to your bucket list, please take a moment to pencil them in.
i wish i could bring you all to the cliffs. because even though a picture is worth a thousand words, the cliffs of moher deserve at least a billion words.
i have said it a million and one times, but i feel so lucky. in the middle of january, we had the absolute perfect weather. not only were the skies clear, but the sun was shining and the water was glistening. here are a few photos to show you exactly how lucky we were this saturday. i went to the cliffs of moher with my family and best friend didi in june of 2008 and the weather was terrible. we couldn’t see past the fog. yet here we were, in JANUARY, with a beautiful day.
in fact, it was so sunny that we had a really hard time posing for photos. i could barely keep my eyes open because the sun was shining so brightly. our tour guide, paul, told us that it rains 280 days out of the year at the cliffs. so i’m elated to have the picture below.
not many people can get such an embarrassing photo since not many people visit the cliffs when the sun is out. our journey continued over a few more stops, but i think i’ll leave you with the cliffs. they were the absolute highlight of my day and deserve their own post.
if you’re lucky enough to visit the cliffs of moher, you’re lucky enough
yesterday i saw more beauty than one person should ever be portioned. together our big api group of 40 students went and saw several sites in east co. clare. looking over cliffs edges, touching ancient stone, and ducking through old caves made me happier than i can describe.
now, i don’t think that photos can even begin to do these sites justice, but just for you i’m going to try. and as i had to wait on the bus in suspense between visits, i’m going to break up my day of excursions as well throughout a few posts.
we met our bus driver at 10am on saturday morning. we were all bright eyed and so excited to see a bit more of ireland on an especially sunny day. our first stop was quick. we stopped at dunguaire, a 16th century castle.
i was absolutely itching with excitement to see the cliffs of moher. but i was pleasantly distracted with the beauty of this castle and its surrounding green, green scenery. after taking a bundle of photos, we all piled back on the bus and headed towards the cliffs.
on the way there, paul pulled over and told us to appreciate a few smaller cliffs with no boundaries, no tourist information. just us and the cliffs. and i am so glad he did.
and once again, we hopped back on the bus and headed to the cliffs of moher. even looking at the photos, i swear i lose my breath a bit. the day was beautiful. and if i could have it my way, i’d take a pillow and a blanket and live out at the cliffs. but, i think you’re just going to have to wait to see these photos. i promise, it’ll be worth it.
if you’re lucky enough to visit east co. clare, ireland, you’re lucky enough