12.07.2015 - 02.08.2015 60 °F
Our days are coming to an end in Dublin.
We stayed in Shankill for two weeks in a charming apartment, at a very nice location, through airbnb. We only briefly met the owner/host who happens to be a writer and poet!
One day we visited the Irish Film Institute to see a couple of movies, 'Amy' which was an interesting and tragic look at the life of Amy Winehouse. The second was 'Magician: The astonishing life and work of Orson Welles', which was so interesting I felt it could have been longer.
Now we are staying in Booterstown (closer to the city center) for our last week, in a private room, in an older house, also booked through airbnb. Our host here is very nice and she has a couple of other guests staying here as well. My preference is a private bathroom, but this one is shared. If I think of it as an old time 'boarding house' it feels more nostalgic and like an adventure. (In George's case, a tent in the woods would be more fun and adventurous) Although we haven't met the other people staying here, we hang out in our little room and use the good wifi, read, rest, eat 'take-away' food, and I even do yoga in the little available floor space.
Down the road we tried this quaint (breakfast and lunch) restaurant, Peacock Green. As you can see, it's a lovely Victorian interior! We have gone for breakfast three days in a row.
After four months abroad, I am ready to return to the U.S. and road-trip back to California with stops to explore some cities of interest, and visit friends along the way. However; I thought I would tackle the question we are most asked, "What are your favorite places?"
It's a hard question and I don't really have a short answer. Of course I liked some places better than others, but overall we have had good experiences everywhere and have seen and learned so much!
Edinburgh Scotland was beautiful. We have spent a lot of time in Dublin which we think is a great city, even in this cold and rainy summer.
I enjoyed our stay with friend Martina in Dortmund where we went on a nice group hike with her friends, and attended a little dinner party at Tammy's apartment, over a raclette grill (with lots of wine flowing) which was a fun experience.
We both enjoyed Lisbon and Faro, Portugal very much.
Seville was nice, but we enjoyed Valencia more, with the fun tour we took, and going to see the Holy Grail.
We loved our time in Albisola Marina, Italy and Cadaquez Spain, staying close to the Mediterranean beaches (and finding lots of sea-glass).
It was also fun to meet up with my cousins Betsy & David in Barcelona, and Martin & Jamie in Dublin, and to run into friends Joan & Philip our first time in Dublin back in April!
I can also tell you that the cities we stayed in that we'd never heard of, or just arrived on short notice seem to come to my mind first for their unexpected adventures and discoveries. For example, Warrington England where I had my haircut by Fabienne, exploring Padua, Italy where I happened to find the specific earrings my friend Heather was looking for, and Wroclaw, Poland which Gosia recommended was where we enjoyed the most beautiful botanical garden.
The Mediterranean cruise was another highlight for sure. It gave us the chance to visit Greece and Turkey and places in Italy we hadn't been to before, like Pompeii. I'd have to say the whole trip was a great experience and it's still hard to believe we had the opportunity to stay in Europe and the UK for four months! If you cornered me and asked if I would want to go back to any of the places we visited, my answer would be.......I'd like to see more of Austria, I would go back to Spain and Portugal, and I'd go on another cruise. This could be subject to change, but that's my best answer at this time.
p.s. I got totally hooked on the cereal Müsli [ˈmyːsliː]) is a breakfast dish based on raw rolled oats and other ingredients including grains, fresh or dried fruits, seeds and nuts, and may be mixed with cow's milk, soy milk, almond milk, yogurt or fruit juice. Developed around 1900 by Swiss physician Maximilian Bircher-Benner for patients in his hospital, muesli is available in a packaged dry form, ready made, or freshly made. -wikipedia