It has been almost a week since I have been back to “real life” in Dublin. Ashley is home safe and sound in Vancouver and, as I like to reflect, I have decided to summarize our trip 🙂 How do you summarize an amazing five week trip? Well, I have decided that you can’t really but I am going to try!
When I decided to move abroad for a year, Ashley was the first (and only one) of my friends to say she would come visit and travel with me. I was beyond excited because I knew we would have a good time. Once I had finished traveling last September, Ashley booked her flight and we started planning our five week trip. Then, somehow time flew by so fast and March was here! We were both apprehensive about traveling together for so long as we had vacationed together before but never for that long but before we knew it March 10th arrived and we were meeting in London!
London, I love and it holds a special place in my heart. I see it like New York, another city I love a ton (or should I say the city I love the most in the world), it is filled with cultures, with unique neighborhoods and endless sights to see and explore. I spent 10 days there in Fall 2010 and was so excited to be back. We saw many of the same sights I saw before but also a lot of new things. Favorite parts of the city? Hyde Park + Camden Markets.
Dublin was next which was short and sweet. It was lovely showing someone around the city I having been calling my home.
Before we knew it, Italy was calling our names and we arrived in Venice. The first time I visited Venice I did not care for it much: it was too hot, too busy, too much! But this time, it was cooler, it was less busy and I enjoyed getting lost in the streets. Cinque Terre was next, a place I had dreamed about going for a long time and it lived up to every expectation. It was beautiful and charming and quaint. Everything you think little Italian sea-side towns should be. Florence came after and, Florence, I did not love much. I enjoyed the student atmosphere and the cool restaurants but I am not a big fan of art and museums so I felt a little lost! Next came Siena and Tuscany which I adored. I could spend days basking in the Tuscan Sun and hope to return one day! Rome was our last Italian city and I was surprised by the lack of connection I felt for it. I thought I would love Rome but it was too touristy for me. The people (we encountered) were rude and everywhere we went there were tons of people. The sights were spectacular but that’s about all I really enjoyed. Then, when we had had way too much Italian food (which neither of u really liked) we headed for Greece!
Greece, you were mostly good to us. We had a rough start in Athens but as our time went on, I began to adore the country. Ios was first and it was dead quiet. Too quiet. But we found an amazing restaurant and gracious people who helped us re-plan our time in Greece. We rented a car and had fun seeing the tiny island. The weather was not warm (as we had expected it to be) but it was still nice to be by the beach. Syros, an unexpected find was next. We loved Syros. A LOT. The twisty hills, the gorgeous blue water, the endless cafes. Syros were great. Our next surprise island was Naxos which was also lovely. A bit smaller, but filled with beaches and some good food. Our final Greece destination was Santorini, a place I had been yearning to visit for ages. Santorini was everything I hoped it would be and was, to me, the most beautiful of all the islands. I loved it to pieces and cannot wait to return.
Our last stop was in London, the place where it all began. It was our shortest stop but it was the perfect way to cap off our trip. We re-visted our favorite place and ate lots of yummy food, oh, and celebrated turning 24.
Now it has been a week and our trip is really over. BUT you know what is next? Ashley and I have to start planning our next adventure. That adventure won’t happen until 2012 but it is exciting to even think about 🙂