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.
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.
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.
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.
After starting online school courses, I found out that made me eligible for automatic entrance scholarships at schools. These are awarded upon admission when your average grade is 85% or higher. Usually, they are one time awards that will be taken off of tuition pricing. At the school I applied for, they range from $1,000 to $2,000 plus money off if you do a semester abroad. These awards are great because you don’t have to do anything extra to apply for them.
Thankfully, my grades were high enough to qualify for one of these entrance scholarships! I still haven’t found any others to apply to but that’s not going to stop me in future years.
Coming up soon will be a post on how I am trying to get through university debt free!
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?
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.
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.
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.
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.
If you’ve noticed I’ve been a little M.I.A on the blog this is the explanation why. I’ve been in Colorado and it’s time for the second (read the first travel-ish post here!) travel post here! I’m still a newbie for writing travel so eventually, it’ll find its grove.
I haven’t been on a plane in 9 years and was a little too freaked out by the fact that I was flying (and it wasn’t a pleasant flight in general then) to actually appreciate how cool airports and flying are. Airports early in the morning are especially cool because it’s very quiet and people are sleeping on benches and reality feels altered. And with flying, YOU ARE IN THE SKY!! That’s crazy.
Food eaten, places visited and what I did
Between the 9 days (I think?) of travel, I have been to Toronto, Denver and Boulder. Also between the 9-ish days, food was eaten, things were done or not done at all I did lay on the floor staring at the ceiling for a bit. So I will condense it all down into points to avoid this post going on forever.
Stayed in an Airbnb. Benefits of this are that we had a kitchen, (didn’t have to eat out every meal), felt more local and had a backyard which seemed to be a lure to wild animals and a random poodle.
Went up Flagstaff Mountain. The mountains are just *there* and they’re beautiful. It makes you feel very small when something so big exists. Travelling up the mountain was slightly terrifying because heights, but spectacular to see the views from so high up.
Walked down Pearl Street Mall, ate at Locale, Next Door and had coffee at The Cup. I didn’t take pictures of any of the food somehow. But I took pictures of basically everything else. Pearl Street Mall had many performers and always had lots of people wandering through.
Everything is organic, everyone rides bikes (legitimately bikes EVERYWHERE), the city is super pedestrian friendly. This was good so one doesn’t require a car while staying there. It’s stereotypically hippie and healthy and it’s kind of funny. This might be why National Geographic called Boulder the Happiest City in the USA.
I was able to meet another one of my online friends on this trip which was exciting and another accomplishment! It’s one of my goals to visit as many of my friends as possible.
The weather was super dry compared to Canada. Which was nice but also not. Not nice because felt a bit like a dried up raisin and nice because it didn’t feel so hot out since there was pretty much no humidity.
Ran on trails through the mountains which was super peaceful and meditative.
Also enjoyed Amercian things like Dunkin Donuts (I hadn’t had a doughnut in 5 years), Cheez-its, Target and discount shopping. I impulse bought dresses at H&M. If you’ve read my Summer Clothes Haul you know I like H&M but the one in the US is even cheaper and has more selection.
All photos and videos were shot with my iPhone 6 S. Photos were edited in VSCO.
First vlog (ish) video!
Should I make more Youtube videos? Would you like to see vlogs of future travels and other things?