11.3.11

Dublin and London


Guinness Tour, Dublin, Ireland

I've been off a-traveling.

First, I just have to say, traveling for fun is, well, fun. I always suspected I would miss traveling all the time for work but I don't miss it at all. So long as I get a bit of sight seeing here and there, it is enough to keep my travel bug under control.

So first stop was Dublin for a weekend to meet up with three other American friends, two of which are expats in Europe as well. It was a perfect group to travel with as we were all of the same mind when it came to sight seeing (some, but not too much), napping, food (perfectly alternating deep-friend Irish pub food and top notch frou-frou fancy) and a finely attuned sense of just the right moment for a lazy afternoon coffee break with gossip and chatter. On Sunday afternoon the rest of the gang moved on to Belfast so I had a few hours before my flight to take the city bus tour. Don't knock it, I have become a fan of them in recent years. They are perfect when you want to get a quick overview of the city and some of the more famous and infamous stories. I left Dublin with two thoughts - what a fun city it would be to live in if I were in my mid-twenties and how much I would like to give Ireland a longer visit sometime in the not too distant future.

Last weekend I headed off to London with the Saffa. We were looking forward to playing cheesy tourist in his home town of the last 12 years but on Friday afternoon I started feeling the beginnings of a sore swollen throat and the telltale aches and pains and fever that meant more than likely I was going to be spending the next days with a lovely head cold.

The Saffa, as per his laid back personality took the whole thing in stride, carted me off to the 'chemist' as they say there and got me a cold survival kit to try to at least help relieve the symptoms. We took it easy and stayed in Friday night and then, feeling a little bit better, we bundled up and took the Old Bus Tour around the city. The weather was in our favor with some warming and sun breaking through the early day clouds.

One of the highlights was something he had to drag me to see, the National Gallery. It's not that I don't like art. But my tolerance for any museum is about 30-90 minutes. Unless there are lots of dinosaur bones, mummies, live animals, freaky insects and spiders, aquariums and weird science exhibits. This was relatively low risk as the museum was free (although we made a donation as kindly suggested) so no big investment to trap us there. Once inside, I have to admit I was drawn into the different styles, use of color and just pure talent that these artists had and time passed quickly as we lingered here and there through the centuries.

On Sunday, I took a turn for the worse but I found a lovely little spot for breakfast and we spent a couple hours there enjoying people watching and the fantastic food. Afterwards we did a bit of DVD and book shopping, a little more sight seeing and then it was off the airport for the return home.

We agreed we need a do-over another time when I am feeling better, and maybe when the weather is a little warmer, but it was still a nice weekend and I especially appreciated the TLC and the understanding when we had to bag most of our original plan. Just sweet.


Caravan, Islington

Posted from Munich

1 comment:

Expat Traveler said...

Sounds like the type of cold I got around 3 wks ago. Lovely photos and I don't think your trip was totally ruined.

Glad you got to do some fun travels. :)