I did do my research before traveling to Ireland for Christmas and Paris for New Years, but the holiday closings put a bit of dapper on my plans. In Ireland I completely gave up and just walked the city- great finds where everywhere.
In Paris, I bought a museum pass and with my friend walked the city for hours playing tourist. My last stop before trekking on home was Bayeux, France to visit the beaches of D-Day, but sadly I did no research and showed up dead in the middle of Off-season, ha!
The entire trip went well, I enjoyed more than I could have ever expected to experience and cannot wait to venture back to Ireland and complete all that I did not accomplish. Instead of a long- over done blog I'm just going to provide small feedback in the categories of The Good, The Bad, and The Over It . . .
- The Irish are friendly, welcoming, good-natured generous folk who have left a lasting impression upon me.
- The food is damn good, get a burger. Enjoy the portions and say hello to a traditional, solid breakfast for me please.
- The tourism is not overwhelming in Ireland. Seriously, in the museums, attractions or popular sites the lines were not ridiculous and the pace was very relaxed.
- The Irish love their arts so there are plenty of shows of all types to take-in when visiting. I was able to catch a Friday night show of Wicked, a book a fell in love with ages ago and a soundtrack I've been singing since freshman year of college.
- Dublin is a tourist location and therefor everything is priced accordingly. Budget well, so you don't go broke.
The Over It:
- The weather in Dublin can be wearing on the spirit- rainy, but no umbrellas allowed because of the wind. Or it can be a triumph that you didn't let it get you down, your choice.
- Plenty of attractions, museums, and historical sites to see. One of my favorite surprise visits was the Military Museum, I saw knight armor in person for the first time in my life. Thanks for that Paris.
- The D'Orly, this was not on anyone's must see list, but I'm telling you to put it on yours. Words can not describe how easy this is compared to the Louvre, but yet still as intense in the level of art provided.
- Obviously, you are going to find some good shops at all different prices. I bought a purse that I was positive would require the loss of a leg, but it didn't and now I have a Modern Mary Poppins bag for life.
- Hidden gems around every corner, seriously. While walking down one street I turned and discovered these impressive doors that opened to amazing landscaping and architecture.
- Finding a travel companion who is on the same page as you works great. AND I found one in a old friend from when I was attending Spanish classes in Seville- Jaime! We had a blast, sight seeing or not sight seeing. Going to museums or shopping, thank goodness for this lady or Paris would have definitely been a bust.
- Every step you take there is a tourist. This is a city that thrives on Tourism and if you are looking to hang with the locals don't go here- they know you're not local and what nothing to do with your stinky tourist self.
- The metro is no joke. Once you get it, you still have much to learn.
- You better book it or research heavily ahead a time. Beginners luck is nice, but honestly cover charges exist, the streets twist and turn and if it's popular event you could easily miss out. Do your research, remember this is a popular travel city that offers much, but you can easily miss out if you don't plan.
The Over It:
- At many Information or Help desk I encounter folks who did not speak English or Spanish- that's two of the top spoken languages in the entire world. Unacceptable at a place were you are suppose to be helping people who are most likely from a different country.
- The Lines, even with a fast pass I waited in line at least an hour ( no longer than two thank goodness), but the poor folks buying tickets at that moment passed at least 4-5 ( The Louvre) in line. Get the fast pass or be prepared to only move inches over along time period.
|Paris City Lights|
All Good:This is in Normandy and better known as the beaches of D-Day. As I did not plan and thank goodness because after Paris relaxation was just what the doctor ordered. Interestingly enough Bayeux, I was informed, did not suffer any damage during the wars and the historical buildings and houses are still standing; which, made for very whimsical cottage town scenery.
The food was great, I believed in eating dessert and a full meal along with a drink known in the area as Cider Brandy, Calvados. The Brandy is sold in many stores. Should you go during season you'll catch many stores and cheese and wine cafes open, along with all tourist locations; such as, The Modern Museum and The Tapestry Museum.
|These Bayeux Streets|
And Home Sweet Jaen Again!
Whoosh, that was a lot! Maybe from here on I'll just go read in park. Actually, my goal for this semester is to see some more of Spain.
Even though I came to live in Jaen and not just exist until I could travel, there are places I'm planning on visiting, but please known getting to know all the wonderful people I've met here is my main goal.
I would love to hear all about your Holiday Breaks or even Holiday travel experiences, I hope each and everyone enjoyed those you love and took some time to relax. If you have any further questions about these places feel free to ask!