France (Le Havre & Paris)

A bit late in the travel series from earlier this summer, this post is from our last stop on the trip, which was France.

Le Havre

Places visited

  • The ship docked at the port early in the morning and it was a very pretty sunrise.
  • We only drove through Le Havre on the way to Paris but it was an interesting city. There’s a combination of both new and old architecture since not much of the city was left after WWII.

Paris

Places visited and what I did

  • We drove up into the city to the Place Charles de Gaulle where the Arc de Triomphe is. The Place Charles de Gaulle is a junction of 12 streets and the traffic was crazy. I’m happy we were on a big bus.
  • The bus continued down the Champs Élysée to Place de la Concorde, which was very beautiful. It is home to an Egyptian obelisk and intricate fountains. It was also where many executions took place. The Hôtel de Crillon and the French Naval Ministry are behind the fountain and obelisk.
  • Drove by the Paris Opera and the Louvre (it’s so much bigger than I thought! Also, we were there shortly after Beyonce was recording there).
  • After a drive around the city, the tour stopped at the Seine (right under the Effiel Tower) to get off on a boat down the river for lunch.
  • The boat was almost full glass. We were served a foie gras terrine for the first course. The second course was chicken thighs (coq au vin, maybe?) and for dessert, there was a creme brulee type of thing but I had fruit salad because of allergies. There was the option of many courses of wine, but I had sparkling water. There was live music which felt very much like what one should be doing in France.
  • From the river, I saw the Musée d’Orsay, Hôtel national des Invalides, Notre Dame and many other beautiful buildings and bridges. Everything in Paris is beautiful.
  • After the river cruise, we were able to walk around under the Eiffel tower for a bit. There are a little carousel and cafe there. The bus took us back to Le Havre and we boarded the ship for the last time before heading home.

Tips

  • It was very hot that day in France! Apparently, it isn’t usually, but keep in mind it does get warm.
  • I would definitely spend one more day in Paris. Three days at most. It would be interesting to just walk around the city and explore that way, plus go to the museums (or just the Louvre) but otherwise, I’m not sure what else one would do there.

Photojournal

Next up on the series of posts from this trip will be deep thoughts on the trip/what I’ve learnt from travelling this summer.

P.S. It’s Peri

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Ireland (Cobh, Cork, Blarney, Dublin, & Antrim Coast)

After travelling through England, we headed off to explore Ireland for 3 days.

Cobh, Cork & Blarney

The cruise ship docked in the town of Cobh, we then took a bus through the city of Cork to Blarney on day 1 of Ireland.

Places visited and what I did

  • We drove through Cork (I took some photos from the bus) and into the countryside to get to the village of Blarney.
  • Once in Blarney, we walked around the Woolen Mills, which is filled with lots of super soft sweaters and things made from the wool of the local sheep. Also, a lot of cute sheep stuffed animals.
  • We walked a little bit over to Blarney Castle where the famous Blarney Stone is. I did not kiss the stone because 1) it was an hour and a half wait in line and the bus left before that and 2) it seems kind of terrifying to almost hang off the edge of a castle to kiss a stone. Instead, I walked through the gardens around the castle and I also went into the castle’s dungeon. Much less scary than a stone?

Tips

  • You have to pay to get close enough to even see Blarney Castle. All around the castle is a park with beautiful gardens so you could spend awhile walking through the gardens if you’re not going into the castle. There is also a little cafe in the park.

Photojournal

Patrick Street from the bus while driving through Cork
Also in Cork
A church where a truck photobombed in Cork
Blarney Castle from many angles and a photo from being in the dungeon 
Blarney Castle and the gardens 
Geodes?? or just fancy rocks in the gardens at Blarney

Dublin

Places visited and what I did

  • In Dublin, we took another hop on hop off tour like in London. I think this might be my favourite way to see around a city since you have the freedom to get off wherever you want as well as have a bus tour where they tell you lots of history.
  • Dublin was one of my favourite places because it reminded me of where I live a bit and where I lived in Kentucky. Plus all of the people were very friendly and kind. It was also quite beautiful and we were lucky to have great weather that day.
  • We saw St. Patrick’s Cathedral, Wellington Monument, St Ann’s Church, Christ Church Cathedral, Spire of Dublin, and of course we had to visit Guinness (I did not drink any) and Trinity College. I did not know much about Dublin’s history before but it is a history-rich city and I think there would definitely still be more to see.

Tips

  • I would definitely take a hop on hop off bus tour through Dublin. It allows you to be able to see lots of the city and its famous points.

Photojournal

The Spire of Dublin
General Post Office 
A fancy bridge made to resemble a harp I believe. 
Trinity College which was very pretty. And another candid photo of strangers
Dublin is famous for its multicoloured doors
From top left to bottom right, me outside of Guinness, Ha’penny Bridge, Dr Steevens’s Hospital and Jeanie Johnston a replica of Irish emigration vessels

Antrim Coast

The ship docked in Belfast and we took a bus ride to Glenariff park.

Places visited and what I did

  • The bus tour took us along the Antrim Coast. The ocean was extremely blue, the coast is black and white because it is made up of basalt stone and limestone. It looked almost fake the colours were all very intense.
  • We stopped at the little village of Carnlough, walked around the harbour and admired the ocean. If it is clear enough, you can see Scotland’s coast.
  • The bus tour continued into Glenariff Park in the middle of the Glens of Antrim. It was very beautiful. There is a tea shop in the park where we stopped for tea and scones (I did not have the scones because of possible allergy contamination).
  • It was a very lush drive back to the ship. All of Ireland is so green. And filled with sheep.

Photojournal

Driving through the glens and all the sheep 
The harbour in Carnlough 
Sheep on the coast and Scotland very far off in the distance to the left
Black beaches 
At the tea shop in Glenariff park. Everything looked almost fake. 

Next up on the trip is Scotland!

P.S. It’s Peri

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