Exploring & Escapades

bits & pieces of my travels

Tag: Europe

Dublin

One day in Dublin, better than no days in Dublin for sure.

Ireland is so close to England that it’s often very easy to find insanely cheap flights back and forth between the islands – sometimes within the same day. That was how I found myself at the Cliffs of Moher on a random mid-week afternoon last year and also how I found myself wandering the streets of Temple Bar  last Wednesday. The flight cost $16, which for anyone keeping track, is less than half of what it would cost me to go to London from Cambridge for the day.

Of course, one should spend more time in Dublin if he/she can, but if  not, it is actually possible to accomplish quite a lot in ten hours. After we landed just after 11:00 am, we took a bus into town, visited Trinity College Library and the Book of Kells, walked around Temple Bar district, had a delicious lunch as a hipster cafe across the river, and managed to squeeze in even more wandering past the castle and famous cathedrals before the sunset. Then, it was on to the Guinness Storehouse, because “when in Rome/Dublin.” I admit, I was initially turned off by the idea of giving my money to something that was so obviously a tourist trap, but actually Guinness ended up being my favorite part of the day. Beer can make anything great. The panoramic views of the city at dusk also helped.

By 10:30 pm that evening, we were back on the ground at London Stansted, exhausted, but happy to have made the trip. A wonderful Wednesday adventure, something I would definitely do again. 

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Mirabell Palace


Mirabell Palace and Gardens, of Sound of Music Do-Re-Me fame. It was much smaller than I expected (some sources told us to spend hours here – we had walked through in maybe 20 minutes), but every bit as intricate and regal as imagined. I was excited to stand at the garden gates and under the tunnel for pictures; my mom loves the Sound of Music movie, and I knew she would appreciate the visuals.

If I had more time to spend in Salzburg, I would have loved to do an entire Sound of Music tour throughout the city. For this quick trip, Mirabell Palace was a perfect (very quick) fix. 

 

Salzburg

Three hours in Salzburg, birthplace of Mozart and delicious mozartkugel. Not too much time, but enough to wander the streets, the cemetery, the palaces, the squares. All charming, colorful, and a bit wet on this particular Sunday afternoon. 

It was a three hour drive to the city from where we were staying in Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Germany, and we didn’t need to be at the airport in Nuremberg until evening, so we decided to make the (albeit short) trip. I’m very glad that we did.

It’s a beautiful, quaint city. 

 

Partnachklamm

 

Garmisch-Partenkirchen, our homebase in Bavaria. The type of place you think you know from photos, only to struggle to grasp the reality of it all when you’re actually there. 

We spent the late afternoon hiking the gorge just before sunset. It felt almost Amazonian at times, surrounded by the cliffs and engulfed by the mist, the roar of the water. The ice-blue of the water. 

The colors are all real. 

Lermoos

Lermoos, the cutest little Austrian ski village, nestled in the Alps, just south of the border with Germany. We found ourselves here by accident after our morning hike, when the original place we had scouted for lunch in a different town was closed. We drove in search of another place until we ended up here, and then we walked  in search of food until we found a sidewalk pub serving traditional Tirolese cuisine. So for me, that meant potatoes. Lots of delicious potatoes. 

The town was quiet for us, as it was the off-season for skiing, but I imagine it must be quite lively in the deep winter. Lively and cozy. Covered in snow. 

Austrian Alps

Autumn in Austria, just a short drive from where we were staying in Bavarian Germany. We began our day here, in the Alps, at Ehrenberg Castle and highline179, the world’s longest Tibet-style footbridge, which is also where I learned that I physically shake and lose my ability to breathe properly when suspended over nothingness on a swaying suspension bridge. But I did it!

It was worth it for the beautiful views. Every direction. Snowcovered mountaintops, sprawling valleys, a rainbow of foliage. A beautiful day for a late morning hike. 

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