Monday, May 9, 2016

Where I’ve Been in Europe and Where I Want to Go #BEDM

Today’s Blog Every Day in May topic is Europe, as today is Europe Day. So I thought I’d share some of the places I’ve been and some of the places I’d like to go to one day. This isn’t so much where to go in these places (some were so long ago I wouldn’t know what would be still there) but just sharing some of my experiences.

London, England

I love London. I was born there, lived there for a few of my first years before moving to Ireland. Since 2001, I’ve been to London 19 times! At least, from what I can remember and count. I wasn’t there in 2003, 2007 and 2008 but in 2014 I managed to rack up 4 seperate visits! I’ve shared some of my trips here in posts 2011 London Trip Part 1 and Part 2, BT Art Box 2012, 2014 Day Trip to London, Darkness Into Light 2014, St. Patrick’s Day 2014. Over the years I’ve seen a lot: typical tourist attractions (London Tower, Big Ben, London Eye, Covent Garden, Camden Markets, Leicester Square ), musicals (The Lion King, Chicago, Billy Elliot twice), museums and galleries (Natural History Museum, Science Museum, V&A, British Museum, London Transport Museum, Museum of Brands and Packaging, British Film Museum, Greenwich Royal Observatory, Maritime Museum, Saatchi Galley, Tate Modern), various parks, restuarants, shopping centres, pubs and bars. I’ve stayed with friends, family and in hotels. I’ve gone to so many of my relatives celebrations and parties. Some of my favourite experiences were Harry Potter studios in Watford, ice skating at Natural History museum with family, Winter Wonderland in Hyde Park (2011 and 2014), Jack the Ripper walking tour, afternoon tea in Oxo Tower with my boyfriend for my 24th birthday, speed boat tour of Thames, a masquerade screening of Labyrinth at Prince Charles Cinema and a tour of the closed Underground Station Aldwych/Strand. I’ve seen so much (sometimes going certain places more than once), but it’s barely even scratching the surface of what London has to offer. There’s so much more I want to see!


British Film Museum (2013); Me at Abbey Road (2005); Aldwych Underground Tour (2013), Me at Harry Potter Studio Tour (2012); Big Ben and Houses of Parliament from London Eye (2013)


Prague, Czech Republic

I’ve had the pleasure to go Prague twice. Once in 2004 on school tour and once in 2008 with two of my university housemates. The first time was February and it was snowing. The second time was Easter and it was so warm and sunny. It was lovely to see those two sides of Prague! When over with the school, we stayed in a hotel that served horrible dinners (we used to hoarde items from the breakfast buffet in our mini fridges to eat later after dinner). Prague has a such a fantastic vibe, it’s so accessible by foot. One of the highlights was a free walking tour, it was a local student who was running it to practice their English. Another highlight was making my first snow angel! I would love to go back again some day.


Making my snow angel (2004); Prague (2008); Me at John Lennon Wall (2008)



I went to Spain in the summer of 2005, with a friend and her family. We stayed in Lloret de Mar, a town on the Costa Brava. What sticks out most in my memory of that holiday is sudoku, the extreme heat and not being able to sleep, the pebbly beach, the very laid back vibe and buying this swishy red dress. One of the days we went to Barcelona. My friend and I went exploring on our own while her family went and did their own thing. All I really remember is walking along the Los Ramblas. I have no photos of this trip, except one done in a photobooth with my friend. There might be more around but I don’t think I have any. I feel like I didn’t properly explore Spain and looking back I really should have visited my sister when she was doing work placement there. I must go back!


Rome, Italy

After finishing school in 2006, I went on holiday with a group of friends. We went to London, then Rome and finished in Paris. In one way it was like interrailing but we flew everywhere instead (it was the age of really cheap Ryanair flights, the 4 flights was about 160 Euro if my memory is right!). While staying in Italy, we stayed in a camp site outside the city who had a shuttle bus to the train station. While we did do some tourist attractions (Colosseum, Pantheon, Vatican City, Roman Forum, Trevi Fountain), the main things that stick out in my head is all the cats at the Roman Forum, my boyfriend and friend having a bet to see who could haggle the best, drinking absinthe, the electricity going off in the chalet while I was mid shower and my boyfriend and I getting dressed in the morning only to turn around see what we matched (same colour t-shirt, shorts and shoes). It made us look like we’d planned it á la Posh and Becks!


Trying to look cool in my boyfriend’s shorts; the view of St. Peter’s Square and Rome from top of St. Peter’s Basilica; trying to be cool sitting outside a cafe


Paris, France

When we left Rome (and after I threw up in the airport in Rome because it was filthy disgusting), we landed in Paris. We stayed in a not so great hotel (half of us got bedbugs), tried to speak French to the locals to get shut down by them responding in English, went to the Eiffel Tower at night time, went to the Louvre, had a man serenade me by singing a song about the Mona Lisa at me as I walked up the Champs-Elysees to the Arc de Triomphe, walked around Montmarte, went to Le Chat Noir, went to a market and spent a day in Disneyland! And because it was the beginning of September most schools had gone back so Disneyland was quietish. As with Rome, there’s so much more we didn’t see so I’d like to go back again and get a better impression of the place.

Me in front of Palace in Disneyland

The happiest place on earth


Europe Wanderlust List

There’s so many places I still want to visit in in Europe (if I hadn’t gone to London so much over the years I probably would have seen more of Europe). I would love to go to The Netherlands, which I especially want to do after seeing CherrySue’s snaps and Stone Travel’s blog recap of their journey. Germany is another place, Berlin just seems to cool and I want to see Bavaria. And for a long time I’ve loved Scandinavia, when I 11 and was on summer holidays, I gave myself a summer project to find out more about the countries in Scandinavia (I think it was from reading Pippi Longstocking books!). So I would be more than happy to go to one or all of those countries! And there are so many other places in Europe as well, I would only love to do some interrailing!


Of course, all this talk of places in Europe and there’s is so much more I’ve seen. Manchester, Liverpool, Belfast, Oxford as well as many places in Ireland. I did a post 2 years ago talking about where I’ve been in Ireland and then I did a post in November for Blog Every Day in November showing some of my favourite photos I’ve taken of Ireland. I’d love to hear where you’ve been in Europe!

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