I spent the past two weeks hosting a friend from Texas and had the chance to show her a slice of my European life as we made our way through London, Paris, Italy, and Ireland. This is going to be more of a diary entry, and my follow up blog post will be more about the logistics behind planning a multi-country trip…
Lil’ T arrived jet-lagged and achy and being the good friend I am, I only let her have enough time to drop her bags before we made our way out for the day. Our five days in London consisted of boat bars, hobbit pubs, a visit to Kensington Palace, museums, afternoon tea at the Ritz, tours of St. Paul’s Cathedral and Westminster Abbey, and more! I love London for its endless opportunities and activities. You’ll never run out of things to do in this amazing city. Lil’ T had never been to Europe before, and I think London was the perfect place for our travels to start as it’s a city built for tourists. The tube is efficient, the city is English-speaking, and there’s something for everyone!
The next few days of travels took us to Paris! We took the Eurostar straight to Paris just in time for dinner. Our Parisian flat was in the 5th arrondissement, just on the other side of the Seine from Notre Dame. We loved that we got to hear the church bells on the hour from our huge courtyard windows! It was also really nice to be so close to the Latin Quarter, full of character and cheap eats and shops. In addition to spending a day at Versailles, we also toured the Eiffel Tower, walked through Montmartre and up into Sacré-Cœur, saw the Arc de Triomphe, ate way too many macarons from Ladurée, and explored the Louvre.
We left a sleepy Paris on an early morning flight to Rome and arrived bright and early into the Eternal City. By this point, lil’ T had been trekking for over a week and was beginning to get fatigued, so our first day in Roma was relaxed. We took a casual stroll between the Coliseum and the Trevi Fountain, stopping for gelato twice as one must do in this amazing country. We spent our second and third days in Sorrento which was absolutely incredible and combined my two great loves: good food and a beautiful beach! I’ve got to go back. I couldn’t get enough! On our final day in Italy, I met up with my Roman friend I know from London, Flavia. Flavi took me to a picturesque secluded lake in the hills surrounding Rome and, again, I felt renewed and blessed to be in such a place I never imagined myself visiting!
Visiting Ireland is basically like visiting my Gran considering it’s home to my Irish Fam. Dublin is home to some of my bestest friends in the whole world, and I love getting a chance to see ’em when I can. Mags and I took Lil’ T to Galway, where we got lunch and took a stroll around the quaint town. Dublin and Galway have entirely different vibes, so I’m glad Lil’ T got to experience both! We met up with Mags’ hubby, Ógie, in Galway, and then all went to the Cliffs of Moher, which was extra special because Maggie hadn’t ever been. The next day, we did the touristy things in Dublin with Lil T- Áine and I went took her to get an Irish breakfast at one of my favorite cafes, we went to the Dead Museum, the National Gallery, and walked through Temple Bar. Our final day, we slept in, lounged like locals, and then met my friends for drinks before taking the last flight of the evening back to London.
Twas a long exhausting trip, but I loved getting to revisit some of my favorite cities in Europe! I had submitted my masters dissertation the morning before we left for Paris and it was surreal to just be able to completely enjoy myself without having to worry about university. Deciding to apply to grad school in London seems like a decision I made agesss ago… and yet here we are, my year abroad practically over! It’s been a crazy crazy ride and I absolutely cannot wait to see where these next few years will take me. Bring it awn, life.