Not To Be Trusted With Knives

The Internet’s leading authority on radicalized geese

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Nice and Monaco

So it’s taken me way longer than I expected to write this series of blog postings about my trip to Europe1, so I’m going to wrap it up with one big long posting about my time in Nice. I don’t have nearly as much to say about Nice (where my goal was to do a whole lot of nothing) as I did about England and Ireland (where I did all the things). It does represent 6 days though, so the blog posting is long, but don’t worry because there are lots of pictures. Then I can get back to my normal blogging2.

When I booked my trip, I knew that my first two weeks would involve a lot of getting up early and running around looking at all the things, so I decided that my last week of holidays should be dedicated to rest and relaxation. A week of sitting on the beach in Nice, reading books for fun (as opposed to books about economics and organizational behaviour) seemed like it was in order.

The cheapest flight I could get to Nice from Dublin was via Zurich on Swiss air, but I didn’t mind stopping over because then I could technically say I went to one more country on the trip! Plus I got a stamp from Zurich in my passport, and who doesn’t love stamps in their passports? Plus they give you Swiss chocolate on the plane, so it really was win-win:

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While in Zurich airport, I was surprised at how much advertising there was for smoking. They had kiosks for cigarettes in the airport:

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Apparently putting carcinogens into your body is considered “creativity” if you work for Camel.

And a few cigarette company-sponsored smoking lounges:

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I’ve gotten so used to smoking being banned pretty much everywhere I go that these things seem quite unusual to me!

Upon arriving in Nice, I checked into my hotel – a super tiny room, but it had a comfy bed and a free bottle of wine:

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Then I headed straight to check out the beach. To get to the beach from my hotel, I had to go through Place Masséna, a town square with this big fountain3:

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and these statues of kneeling men on top of poles:

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The beaches in Nice stretch along the Mediterranean below a long boardwalk called the Promenade des Anglais ((Apparently the English started the tourism in Nice – hence the name.)) and since it was getting to be evening when I arrived, I just strolled along the promenade and sort of got the lay of the land:

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After having spent two weeks with my mom and aunts – and 11 days of that with a tour group of 23, I found being on my own, well, lonely. Of course, this was exacerbated by the fact that I don’t speak French4 and it was a little depressing for an extrovert such as myself to realize that the only people I talked to for days on end were either financially compensated for talking to me5 or were creepy old men who knew almost no English other than how to ask me to go to their house6. However, once I realized that it was loneliness I was feeling7, I decided that I should just concentrate on the “relaxing” nature of this part of my trip, as opposed to the lonely nature of it, and I felt much better8.

On the whole, I ended up spending much more time wandering around Nice than I did sitting on the beach, which surprised me. It wasn’t so much that I didn’t like the beach – despite it being rocky instead of sandy9, it was actually quite comfortable:

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My problem with going to the beach was that the beaches were very crowded with lots of tourists and I’d been warned that there are tonnes of pick pockets. Since I was traveling alone, I didn’t have a buddy to watch my stuff while I went swimming – which was what everyone else on the beach was doing. That meant that I could either bring my kobo e-reader and do some reading on the beach, or I could not bring it and go swimming instead – but not both. I thought about risking it and just leaving my kobo in my bag while I swam, but then I realized that (a) I had no books to read other than what  was on my kobo and if it got stolen, I wouldn’t be able to read all the stuff that I was really enjoying reading and (b) I wouldn’t really get to enjoy swimming because I’d be paranoid about trying to watch my stuff while I swam!

So some days I swam and other days I read on the beach, but every day I did a lot of wandering, because it turned out that there were many cool things to see in Nice. I never ran out of interesting little alleyways with interesting little shops to look at. There were also lots of cool little markets, like the Cours Saleya Market du Fleurs – a flower market most days, but an antique market on Mondays:

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And the Parc Chateau, which is a park that you access by either climbing 500+ steps up or taking the claustrophobic and terrifying old Ascenseur du Chateau (i.e., the elevator).

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Once up in the Parc, you got to see fantastic views of Nice10:

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And could cool off by this kickass waterfall:

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I went up there several times to wander around and find nice shady places to read.

I found that I was kind of sick of eating, having done so much of it in Ireland that I ended up eating just twice a day – I’d have some yogurt, fruit, cheese, and a cappuccino at my hotel11 in the morning and then I’d go out for a dinner at night12.

One great thing about dining in France is that it really is cheaper to have a glass of wine (€3) than to buy a glass of pop or mineral water (€4)13:

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Overall, other than the baguettes, which they serve with just about everything, I didn’t find the food to be that great. Perhaps I just had bad luck in choosing restaurants, but I went somewhere different every day and the only one that I think was better than just OK was Le Quebec:

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And yes, I totally  went there just because it was called “Le Quebec”. I had a pizza made in a wood oven and it was to die for!

After dinner, I would stroll down to the Promenade to read and then watch the sun set and the moon rise:

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Then I would wander back through the Place Masséna, where the statues of men on poles would be changing colour and there were all sorts of extremely talented buskers to watch.

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On my last full day in Nice, I mixed things up with a trip to Monaco. I’d booked it before I left and was originally supposed to go on my second last day, but something came up with the tour company14 and it got bumped to the last full day of my trip. By this point, I was really looking forward to having some company and I was not disappointed. The tour guide was very friendly and knowledgeable and my tour group consisted of three couples – a couple from Belgium on a trip for their 50th wedding anniversary, a couple from Brooklyn on their honeymoon, and a couple from Washington, DC. Everyone was super friendly and were constantly looking out for me to make sure I didn’t get lost, since I was traveling on my own15. I also thought it was pretty cool to have the contrast of the newlyweds with the couple on their 50th anniversary trip, who had been on a trip to Monaco for their honeymoon!

On the way to Monaco, we stopped in Eze, a little medieval village in the mountains:

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It was kind of neat to see these ancient stone structures in this little mountain village with people going about their business of running shops and art studios and restaurants.

Before leaving Eze, we checked out Fragonard’s cosmetic factory:

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Eze is a perfume company, but their perfume factory is in Grasse – the factory we visited made cosmetics and soaps using the perfumes made in their Grasse factory. They do everything in their factory by hand – from making the soaps and cosmetics to filling the jars of moisturizers to folding the boxes that the jars go into, right down to hand painting the beaks on the duck-shaped bars of soap! While we were having our tour, one of my tourmates noted how relaxed everyone there was – even though they were at work! Nobody looked harried or rushed the way we do at our jobs in North America. “Back home,” one of my American tourmates said, “We’d call this “inefficient” and install a bunch of machines to do everything and then stress everyone out by insisting they make more and more product.” It really made us all want to quit our jobs and move to France.

The tour itself, like the ones I did in Ireland, was very informative. I’m not even big on perfumes, but I did find the stuff we learned there fascinating16. Such things include:

  • It takes 10 years of training to become a perfume master – 5 years of university chemistry and 5 years to train your nose to recognized 3,000 different scents! They only take 10 new students per year to learn this trade and anyone working in the profession cannot smoke, drink alcohol, or eat spicy foods, because all of those affect your sense of smell.17
  • The most expensive scent to make is rose. It takes ~3 tonnes of roses to make 1 L of pure perfume.
  • There are four types of fragrances that you can make and they are defined by the ratio of the essence of the scent to alcohol. Perfume is the most concentrated (about 50-50 ratio of the scent to alcohol), followed by eau de perfum, eau de toilette, and cologne. Perfume is so concentrated that you only need a few drops and the smell will last all day.

Then it was on to Monaco! Naturally, we checked out Monte Carlo, where the casino is located:

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Since we were there in the morning, we couldn’t go in as it doesn’t open until 2 pm. That didn’t bother me, because I kind of hate casinos18.

I did, however, enjoy checking out the fancy cars parked outside the casino, like this one:

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And this one19:

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And this Smart car:

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Wait, what? Seriously, someone had a Smart car parked at the casino, along with all the Ferraris, Bentleys, Rolls Royces, and Lamborghinis. And it had Monaco plates!

We drove the streets of Monaco where the Formula One Grand Prix is raced:

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Look how fast we went through the tunnel – which I have been informed is one of the most recognizable features in all of car racing:

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And, of course, we checked out Monaco-Ville, where the royal family lives. As I’d found with Buckingham, the palace in Monaco was nothing to write home about:

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Not surprisingly, the cathedral was much more impressive:

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The cathedral was full of tourists, but also full of people praying. As with the cemeteries in Ireland, I think it must be odd to be in a place to worship and having all these people taking photos and yammering away20. That being said, I was full-on tourist and took photos, including this one of Princess Grace’s grave marker, which is floor of the cathedral where she is buried along with many other members of the royal family21:

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Some facts about Monaco:

  • At only 2 km2, Monaco is the second smallest country in the world22.
  • The House of Grimaldi is the oldest reining dynasty in the world, and it started with Francesco Grimaldi, who dressed up as a monk and basically just knocked on the door of the castle and was let in, since he was dressed as a monk. Then he drew his sword and took over the place and the House of Grimaldi has been running the place ever since. That was in 1297. To this day, the coat of arms of the House of Grimaldi includes monks with swords!
  • The current monarch in Monaco, Prince Albert II, has at least two illegitimate children, but there are contracts stating that though Albert provides for them financially, they will not have the right to rule Monaco after he dies. He was married to  Charlene Wittstock in July 2011 and the country is eagerly awaiting a legitimate child who can inherit the throne. Without one, Albert’s sister Princess Caroline is next in line.

After returning from Monaco, I resumed my usual schedule of afternoon wandering through the streets of Nice, had another OK dinner, and enjoyed my last sunset on the Promenade.

The next day I flew back to Heathrow via Geneva airport. Geneva airport is made up entirely of ads for banks and watches, so you really know that you are in Switzerland:

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While in Geneva, I got another passport stamp, and then I got another Heathrow stamp when I arrived there, at which point I realized that I hadn’t gotten a passport stamp when I arrived in Nice. Boo-urns! Guess this just means I’ll have to go back to France another time!

 

  1. Because apparently when you aren’t on vacation you have life to deal with and can’t spend all your time indulging pastimes like photo editing and blogging. []
  2. Read: ranting and showing you pictures of my frogs. []
  3. You wouldn’t believe how many people were taking photos of themselves where they were making it look like they were grabbing that guy’s cock. []
  4. Though I was impressed with myself that I could understand most of the words on a given menu without having to look at the English translations. Apparently though my French is rudimentary, it mostly consists of food-related vocabulary. Also, I learned that you can get by just fine in Nice knowing only “Bonjour,” “Bonsoir,” Merci”, “Excusez,” and “Je ne parle pas français”. []
  5. Think: hotel clerk, waiter, cashiers in shops. []
  6. I kind of felt like I was Bruce Willis in The Sixth Sense and creepy old French, Italian and Spanish men were Haley Joel Osment. []
  7. I’m not used to feeling lonely, because at home I’m surrounded by lots of good friends, workmates and classmates and am constantly in contact with my family. []
  8. It also helped that I FaceTimed my sister a couple of times while I was in France. []
  9. Interesting fact: The reason the beaches are rocky instead of sandy is that the decline into the Mediterranean is quite steep – you only need to take a few steps out into the water before you can no longer touch the bottom, unlike beaches that I’m used to where you can walk out very far before it gets deep – and if they had sand on the beach it would just wash away down the slope into the sea. Even the rocks have to be replaced regularly, but much less often than sand would. []
  10. As you can see, the region really does earn its name, Côte d’Azur, which means coast of blue. []
  11. The continental breakfast was included with my room. Sadly, their pastries were not very good, which surprised me, since I was in France! []
  12. Although I might have a mid-afternoon cappuccino or a piece of fruit from a market. And one day I had a gelato, though honestly, I get better gelato in Vancouver. []
  13. Thankfully, they give you an entire wine bottle full of ice cold tap water with every meal, or I would surely have died of dehydration in the 30+ degree weather. On a related note, I think I should serve my tap water out of a wine bottle from now on, because I swear it tasted better that way. []
  14. I’m guessing not enough people booked for that day. []
  15. Now I know how the one single person on my tour of Ireland felt with everyone on the tour watching out for him! []
  16. There I go *learning* things on my vacation again! []
  17. In related news, any profession for which you can’t drink or eat spicy foods is not one you’ll ever catch me doing! []
  18. I personally don’t get any thrill whatsoever from gambling as I know that either it’s a game of chance (like roulette), in which case the odds are against me, or a game of skill (like poker), of which I have none so the odds are against me. And when it comes to something like slot machines, I know they are actually designed using a sophisticated understanding of human psychology to convince your brain that you are oh-so-close to winning so that you will gamble away even more money, and I don’t like people using my brain against me. I find even going into casinos depressing, because the people there either can afford to throw away money on nothing (which makes me jealous-depressed) or they can’t afford to but are doing it anyway (which makes me depressed-depressed). []
  19. 1000 points to whoever can positively identify what kind of car that is. Because I have no idea. []
  20. They even had ushers who would shush the crowd every so often, and the place would go silent… and then people would start whispering and it would get louder and louder until “sssshhhh!!!” again. And repeat. []
  21. Only Grace’s and Rainer’s graves had flowers on them though. []
  22. With the Vatican being the smallest. []

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2,580

I have *finally* finished uploading all my holiday photos to Flickr and that’s how many photos I took – 2,580. Well, I took a few more than that, but some were blurry or contained only the face of the random person who walked right in front of my camera as I tried to take a photo of something else, so I deleted those. So 2,580 useable photos. When you combine that with the 1,638 photos that my aunt took – well, that’s a lot of photos.

I don’t imagine you actually want to scroll through thousands of photos though, so I’m posting a few of my favourite ones here. And then I’ll write some blog postings about some of the stuff we did, and I’m sure I’ll put some of the photos in there too. And then I’ll stop flooding your social media streams with stuff about my holidays!

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T-shirt in a store window in London.

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I still don’t know what this is an ad for.

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Shadow of the London Eye on the Thames, taken from the London Eye.

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My mom, leaning out the window and calling “Romeo, Romeo, wherefore art thou Romeo?”

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A British racing pigeon. Look closely, you can see the bands on his legs!

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Me and the Tardis.

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Eyeballs in a garden at Blarney Castle.

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My Mom, Aunt Eileen, and Aunt Lynn, at the top of Blarney Castle. They are ready to kiss the stone!

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Oscar Wilde statue in Dublin. His shoes are real leather and are polished every day.

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No trip would be complete without a picture of me in front of a sign, doing what the sign says not to do. Don’t sit on the steps. Pfft!

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Aunt Lynn, Mom, and me!

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Fearless whiskey tasters at the Old Jameson Distillery in Dublin.

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Me, my mom, and Aunt Lynn at the Dunbrody famine ship.

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Aunt Eileen, captain of the Dunbrody!

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I’d make an excellent Queens guardsperson.

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This really does not need a caption.

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My mom’s favourite jeweller in London.

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Giant blue rooster outside the National Gallery in London.

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My mom and I on the tour bus in Ireland.

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Grave of W.B. Yeats.

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Baaaa!

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Nice, France.

 

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Ireland.

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Ireland.

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Me feeding a lamb in Ireland.

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Aunt Eileen and a sheep in Ireland.

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Me, my mom, and Aunt Lynn at the Cliffs of Moher.

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Aunt Eileen and me in Ireland.

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My mom worked for the Royal Bank of Canada for 45 years. Her she is at the Royal Bank of Ireland.

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Nice, France.

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Nice, France.

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Moonlight on the water in Nice, France.

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The Wild Rover Returns

And so my first every trip off the continent has come to an end. I have many blog postings1 about my various adventures that I will post over the next week or so – tales of castles and churches and cemeteries and more castles and more churches and pirates2. I have much newfound knowledge about my motherlands3, and new jewels and artwork to show you.

I am also pleased to report that, as planned, I knocked not just one, not just two, but THREE items off my 101 list:

55. leave the continent
12. re-read Momo
13. re-read Johnathan Livingstone Seagull

Moreover, within a space of 24 hours4 I set foot in 4 different countries! That’s the same number of countries that I’d been to in my ENTIRE LIFE prior to this trip5! I also looked at Italy while I was in Monaco, but since I was there on a tour, I couldn’t just pop over. If I’d been driving myself, I totally would have, just to say I’d been.

As a teaser, here’s the Reader’s Digest version:

  • Aug 2 to 5: 4 days in London, England, galavanting with my mom, my Aunt Eileen, and my Aunt Lynn. Highlights include: the London Eye, cruising the Thames, Westminster Abbey, Buckingham Palace6, Houses of Parliament, museums galore, Harrod’s.
  • Aug 6: Arrived in Ireland! Stayed in our first castle hotel: Dunboyne Castle. Met the rest of our tour group.
  • Aug 7-8: Stayed in our second castle hotel: Kilronan Castle. Visited the town of Kells (where the famous Book of Kells is from), the Holy Well & Mass Rock at Tobernalt, saw W.B. Yeats’ grave, Donegal Bay, Glenar Waterfall, Parkes’ Castle, Trim Castle, and took a boat ride on the Rose of Innisfree
  • Aug 9-10: Stayed in our first non-castle hotel of the Ireland portion of our trip7: Connemara Coast Hotel. Learned about making textiles at Foxford Woollen Mills, how to shear a sheep at Rathburn Farm8 ,9 (not to mention having some delicious tea and scones10 ), and how to make marble at the Connemara Marble Factory11. Stopped for lunch at a Tim Horton’s in a gas station12. Saw Kylemore Abbey, Galway Cathedral and dipped my feet into Galway Bay. For our last night at Connemara we had a private show by a harpist who also plays at the Cliff of Moher.
  • Aug 11-12: Stayed at the Malton Hotel in Killarney. The absolute highlight was the stunning Cliffs of Moher, but other cool stuff included a ride on the Shannon Ferry, a jaunting car13 ride through Killarney Park, St. Mary’s Cathedral, Kerry Bog Village, and some fantastic lamb stew at the Thatched Cottage Restaurant. Also, we stopped to shop at Moriarty’s and inadvertently left my Aunt Lynn behind! Once we realized what had happened, we turned the bus around and picked her up – though she was flirting with a bus driver from another tour group when we got there – I don’t think she actually wanted us to come back! Another awesome part of the Killarney days was that the hotel we stayed in was right in town (others had been further out), so we could go out to pubs at night and listen to all the live music.
  • Aug 13: Stayed in the Faithlegg Hotel (at a golf course). Blarney! Spoiler alert: I kissed the Blarney Stone14! So did my mom and both my aunts. It’s pretty freaking high up and you have to hang over an edge15 and arch backwards to do it. Also of note in Blarney, I bought a painting from a local artist. Actually, wait, no – my Aunt Eileen bought me a painting from a local artist, because she kept insisting on buying me stuff for my birthday. lol! Also went through Cork’s English Market, and had Murphy’s Irish Stout at the the Marine Bar
  • Aug 14-15: Clontarf Castle, Dublin. We learned how to make crystal at the Waterford Crystal Factory, and more about how to weave at Avoca Woollen Mills, visited the Dunbrody Famine Ship, had some fish & chips at Leo Burdock’s Fish & Chips and listened to more live music and watched Irish dancing at the Arlington Hotel. Learned how to make whiskey at the Jameson Distillery, where I became a certified Irish whiskey taster16. Visited the Garden of Remembrance & the Glasnevin Cemetery17, a super cool statute of Oscar Wilde18, some museums19 and had dinner at Abbey Tavern where there was, again, music and dancing.
  • Aug 16: still at Clontarf Caste. Due to a screw up by the travel agent, we were booked to fly out of Dublin the day after the tour ended, instead of the day of, so we stayed on an extra night at Clontarf and explored more of Dublin on our own. Checked out Trinity College, Dublin Castle, the General Post Office20 and a bunch of statues.
  • Aug 17: Traveled to Nice! Had a stopover in Zurich, Switzerland, meaning by the end of this day I’d set foot in 4 of the 5 countries planned for this trip. Checked into my hotel – the Hotel Boreal – grateful to be staying in a single hotel for more than 2 nights in a row! Headed to the beach for an evning stroll.
  • Aug 18-20: A series of days of strolling through the town checking out all the interesting streets and shops and whatnot, and going to the beach. Actually did more of the former and less of the latter than I thought I would21. Ended every night on the Promenade des Anglais  to watch the sun set.
  • Aug 21: Half day trip to the village of Eze and to Monaco! Absolutely gorgeous! Learned how to make perfume at Fragonard, saw Grace Kelly’s grave, and followed the race circuit for the Formula One world championship held in May every year in Monaco.. Plus, I went with a little tour group – 7 of us in all – and it was really nice to be around such friendly people22. I’d been getting a little lonely only talking to either salespeople or creepy men who were trying to pick me up, so it was nice to have some people to hang out with. Ended the day, as always, watching the sunset on the Promenade des Anglais
  • Aug 22-23. Returned to London, via Geneva. Then home to Vancouver. Happy to see my frogs!

Hmmm… that wasn’t very condensed, was it? And I didn’t do it from memory – I kept a travel journal throughout my trip, because I knew I wouldn’t remember all the details without a little help. As I flipped through my journal to write this posting, I got excited all over again by the things that I did and the fun memories I have now. I was especially lucky to travel with my mom and my aunts. We had so much fun together – one of the other people in our tour group told us at the end of the trip that “You are what a family should be like.” And I couldn’t agree more!

So, as I mentioned, there will be more blog postings on some of the most exciting things that I saw/did/learned/ate/bought on my trip. Complete with photos – as I took about one zillion of them23. But I have to admit, even just writing thing post has me wanderlusting already! I wonder where my next trip should be?

  1. Where by “have” I mean “mostly in my brain still, but with a few bits and pieces jotted in my notebook.” []
  2. OK, just people dressed as pirates. []
  3. OK, more about one of my motherlands (Ireland) than about my other motherland (England). Because I went on a guided tour of Ireland, while the England portion of my trip consisted of only 4 days and no guide. []
  4. Between 2 pm on Aug 21 and 2 pm on Aug 22. []
  5. I realize that for people from Europe, where there as so many tiny countries all packed close together, being in 4 different countries within 24 hours might not seem like a big deal, but when you come from a country where it takes a week to drive across your country, it’s pretty cool! []
  6. Spoiler alert: the palace is not all that exciting to look at. []
  7. Though it was still lovely! []
  8. Which will come in useful since I learned all about weaving at Foxford []
  9. Also, I got to feed a lamb! []
  10. I bought a copy of the recipe for the scones, because I’ve been trying to find a good recipe for scones for ages, as all the recipes I’ve tried so far turned about mediocre at best. Expect a scone baking blog posting in the not too distant future. []
  11. OK, so I guess you don’t “make” marble, you mine it and then make things with it. But I learned about that anyway. []
  12. Did I mention that everyone in our tour group was from Canada? []
  13. Read: horse & carriage []
  14. Don’t you see how my gab giftedness has become even more gifted already? []
  15. There’s safety bars beneath, so it’s not *that* scary. []
  16. The tour guide there totally wanted me. []
  17. Which was really freaking cool. I couldn’t believe a cemetery could be that cool! []
  18. Did I ever mention how much I love Oscar Wilde? []
  19. Spoiler alert: They were underwhelming. []
  20. Important in Irish history, but not all that exciting to look at, really. []
  21. My feet are *killing* me from all the walking! []
  22. There was an older couple from Belgium, and two couples around my age: one couple from NYC and one couple from Washington, DC. []
  23. Don’t worry, I won’t make you sit through all the photos. I’ll pick out the prettiest ones to share here. []

By

You Should Be Jealous of Me

It seems like only yesterday that this trip to Europe was just a twinkle in my eye and now it’s the day before I leave! In fact, by this time tomorrow, I will be transferring from the Vancouver to Toronto leg of my journey onto the plane that will take me to London!

Despite the fact that I have a stopover in Toronto and my traveling companions – a.k.a., my mom and two of my aunts – are coming from Toronto, we aren’t actually on the same flight and are, in fact, going to different airports in London. I’ll arrive at Heathrow about an hour after they arrive at Gatwick. Our plan is to meet up at our hotel in Earl’s Court and then set about to our galavanting. We have 4 days for adventuring in London and then we fly out to Dublin for an 11-day tour.

These are all the places we shall go in the Emerald Isle.

In Ireland, from what I hear, we will see some extraordinarily beautiful sights, experience some outstanding hospitality, and probably gain 20 lbs from the hearty Irish breakfasts. I plan to kiss the Blarney Stone1 – though one of my epidemiologist colleagues suggested that I should bring some sanitizer to put on the stone first to kill the germs: “People are kissing that thing ALL DAY!!” I will also get to sleep in a castle2 and hit up the Jameson distillery AND the Guinness brewery3. And a whole bunch of other stuff, which I will report back to you on in greater detail than I’m sure you even care to hear4.

From Ireland I head to Nice, via Switzerland, where I intend to do a whole lot of nothing. Where “nothing” consists mainly of sitting on the beach, drinking wine, wandering around town, and doing whatever I feel like.  I have booked a short excursion to Monaco on of the days that I’m there,  and I’ve only just recently clued in that a couple that I know is currently living in France, a few hours from Nice, so I might take a trip out to see them if I can figure out how to get there despite my complete inability to speak French and dreadful sense of direction.

Most importantly, I will spend the next three weeks completely forgetting about work and school and any other such responsibilities. The only evaluations I’ll be conducting will be evaluations of beaches in the south of France. The only research I will be doing will be a comparative analysis of French wines and an ethnographic study in Irish pubs. I figure that it will be easy enough to pretend that I am just independently wealthy and travel around for a living. I mean, money will be going into my back account despite the fact that I won’t be doing any work, right?

The other day I was searching for a particular blog posting of mine when I came upon this one, a promise I was making to my passport to take it on exciting trips. It took me more than two years to finally make good on the promise, but I can finally say that I’ll be getting my passport stamped!

I may do some blogging while I’m away, depending on wifi access and whether I have any time or if I end up adventuring during all my waking hours. If I don’t do it while I’m gone, I’ll be sure to keep good notes and take lots of pictures so that I can blog stuff when I get back. I’ll probably be more likely to tweet, so if you are interested in that, you can follow my tweets: @Beth77.

And now, I’m off to pack!

Update: I forgot to mention that there are four viscous attack frogs who will be in my apartment while I’m gone, so don’t get any bright ideas, thieves. Also, there’s a frog sitter to contend with. Just sayin’.

  1. Because you know that I really need the gift of the gab! []
  2. Just like my frogs! []
  3. The fact that I am not that big on neither whiskey nor Guinness does nothing to dampen my excitement over these two things. []
  4. Because you are jealous. []