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Europe Bound

In just 27 short days, I will be embarking on my first ever trip to Europe. My first trip to another continent, in fact1!

Europe by night

My itinerary includes:

  • a few days in London
  • an 11-day tour of Ireland
  • a week in Nice (with a half day side trip to Monoco)

When you count the fact that I’ll be flying from Dublin to Nice via Zurich, and then from Nice back to London for my return flight home via Geneva, I’ll be hitting a grand total of 5 countries on this trip, which more than *doubles* the number of countries I’ll have been to in my life2.

I’m particularly excited about going to Ireland, as every person that I’ve told that I’m going to Ireland has gone on at length about how amazing it is, about how they wish they were going there too, what with it being so amazing and all. The London & Ireland parts of the trip will be with my mom and two of her sisters, and I think it will be pretty cool to see our family roots together. I’m particularly interested in going to the grave of Blessed Edmund Ignatius Rice, an ancestor of ours who is one step away from being a Catholic saint and whose grave is in Waterford. Also looking forward to: the Guinness factory and sleeping in castles.

After all the running around touristing that I’ll be doing in England and Ireland, I’m planning to do a whole lot of nothing while I’m in the south of France. Well, nothing other than sitting on the beach reading books, eating baguettes and drinking wine. Not necessarily in that order.

So, to all of you who have been to any of these places before3 – any advice? Things you think I should see or do? Stuff I should pack? Recommendations for a good pair of shoes that is both fashionable AND comfortable for walking all day long?

Also, in case you are thinking of robbing my place while I’m away, I will have a friend frog sitting, so you are out of luck!

Image Credit: Posted by Ubefoto on Flickr.

  1. I’m a little embarrassed to admit that I’ve never been outside of North America before. You’d think that someone of my advanced years would have managed to do that by now, but apparently I decided to do all of the school rather than doing any of the traveling. []
  2. For the record, so far I’ve been to Canada, the US, Mexico, and the Dominican Republic. []
  3. read: everyone on Earth except for me. []

3 Responses to Europe Bound

  1. Yay!

    London: a boat ride along the Thames, from right by Big Ben / Houses of Parliament to Greenwich, is my top pick. The Observatory and other museums in Greenwich are worth a visit too. After that I’d say the British Museum is my only other must-see – I could spend several days there!

    The Natural History and Science Museums are right next to each other and absolutely brilliant; ditto the National Gallery and National Portrait Gallery, in Trafalgar Square. All national museums are free. We also loved the Hunterian Museum at the Royal College of Surgeons – a hidden gem! (Blogged, along with some other geeky attractions, here). If parliament is sitting you can also go and watch from one of the galleries – free and super interesting for politics geeks! Oh, and the London Eye is fab, but a wee bit expensive and the line-ups can be brutal.

    The city’s parks are all great, especially Kew Gardens if you have the time. And the pubs. And strolling along the South Bank, via the Globe Theatre, Tate Modern etc.

    You can get last-minute show tickets quite cheaply, but I forget where, and there’s much more choice if you book ahead.

    Not worth the hype and/or the money, IMO: Tower of London, Buckingham Palace, St. Paul’s (Shockingly expensive! Go to Westminster Abbey instead!), etc etc.

    I only spent one day in Nice. Top thing to do: make ten million jokes about how “this is nice”. The beach is stony rather than sandy, but there may be better options out of town – we didn’t explore that far. There’s a nice walk up to a viewpoint overlooking the city, and some fantastic restaurants. You’re also close to the Italian border, if you fancy a day trip or preferably an overnight trip by train to Genoa (good, close) or Pisa (absolutely amazing, but further away).

    We only spend half a day in Monte Carlo – as poor backpacking students, it was too expensive to stay there, so we moved on and stayed in Genoa instead. We got thrown off the steps of the casino for being too scruffy (I knew they wouldn’t let us in, but I did hope that they’d let me at least look through the door!), walked part of the Grand Prix track, and hung out eating delicious pastries at the marina, looking at all the floating money.

    I haven’t been to Ireland, to my shame (I’m half Irish), but anyone who’s been to Dublin says the Book of Kells is an absolutely-must-see.

    Have fun!

  2. Stacy says:

    I am soooooooo jealous. I have never been to any of those places, but if you ever go to Russia I can give you a TON of tips. Enjoy yourself and I can’t wait to see all your photos.

  3. Pingback: You are brave. You can fly. You are going to Ireland. | Sunglasses Always Fit

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