I did make it it to London! Don’t worry everyone! You really think I would have gone to the UK for 6 months and not make it to London??? I want more time, I didn’t get to see everything I wanted to, and my phone died so I have no pictures, because of course of I don’t. So this post is fairly short. In London when switching trains I met someone from Reston! How weird! It’s a small world after all is playing in the background. As my birthday present, Edward and I went to see Les Mis, on West End and it was beyond amazing. Words cant explain how amazing it was. It was well worth the wait, to finally see it live. In case anyone doesn’t know, I’ve been obsessed with it since the movie came out in 2012, so it was nice to see it!
Chirk was my last Welsh castle, and I have to say I’m loving the alliteration. On our way back from Cardiff, we passed Chirk, which rung a bell in Edward, and he looked up if there was national trust property and there was, and that property was a castle. So us weirdos sharing a love for old castles, and being bored of the area we were in took a day trip to Chirk. Which was only around an hour and half away, maybe 2 hours.
It also had these beautiful gardens which we walked around for a bit. The English really do know their gardens.
On the way back to the train I saw this.
Bah bah black sheep.
Castle Count: 16
Cathedral Count: 15
I couldn’t exactly be in Wales for 6 months and not go to the capital! Leanna and I went to Cardiff, with two other friends of Mine tagging along; Edward, and Abbie.
The first day there we walked around, went to a cute little tea shop we found, and went to the Castle (yes another castle and it’s not the last.)
Just some queens in front of our castle.
Leanna and I got into a bit of trouble and had to be put in time out. But after there was time out, there was tea.
We went to bed fairly early, because we had to wake up early for a busy next day! We all (except Edward) being the dorks that we are decided to go to the Dr. Who museum. It was amazing.
We had a chance to “fly” the Tardis, and then there was a museum filled with props from the set. Took on the Daleks too.
Unfortunately I was sick, and had no voice, so I wasn’t feeling very good. So that night after dinner, we went out for few drinks, Edward and I went back to the Airbnb, and Leanna and Abbie stayed out and partied for a bit.
Castle Count: 15
Cathedral Count: 15
Another day another Castle right?
For Leanna’s last adventure we did a day trip to another Castle. Caernarfon is traditionally where the prince of Wales is investitured(? I’m sure that’s the right word.) However it has a complicated history, and for hundreds of years the Prince of Wales was not investitured, in 1911 who would be Edward VIII had his ceremony there, and in 1969, Prince Charles had his ceremony there (notice the gap.)
The steps to climb were horrible but the view was worth it. In case anyone didn’t know, I hate heights.
Castle Count: 14
Cathedral Count: 15
Leanna my roommate from back in the states came for 10 days! How wonderful!!!!! While she was here I turned 21 (finally!), we went to Conwy (for the third time, so I’ll save the pictures from that you can just look at all my other Conwy pictures), Cardiff, Llandudno, and provided her with the ultimate North Wales (except Cardiff), adventure.
Lets talk Llandudno.
Llandudno, was about an hour bus ride, and well worth the trip. It’s a cute little seaside town, that offers a different type of charm than Conwy. Lewis Carroll famously took trips with Alice to here, so a majority of the town has Alice and wonderland themes.
We spent a majority of our time on the pier. Which went on forever!
However it probably took us a while to get to the end, because there were arcades that we kept popping into for fun.
(It’s really no surprise that Mollie and I got into mischief.)
The weather was beautiful and comfortable, with a nice breeze, and actually some sun. Leanna was lucky with the weather she got. At the end of the pier was a little cafe where we sat for some refreshments. It’s also where we found out that seagulls like tea too!
We ended our day, walking on this rocky beach, and venturing into a cave, which none of us were dressed for.
After my mom left, I all of a sudden had nothing to do, and no one to do nothing with. So I called up my lovely Mollie, and asked if I could spend a few days with her in Liverpool, and while we didn’t so much, and it was mostly rest and relaxation, here are some pictures from when we finally ventured out.
This bookstore had a kitty it made me very happy.
Do I really travel somewhere unless I travel to a castle? The answer is no, and in Ireland of course I made it to a castle! While in Dublin we stayed in this lovely airbnb which was in Malahide, which was a near a ‘haunted’ castle. I saw no ghosts.
We decided to take a hop on hop off bus the next day, because it was Good Friday so a lot of places weren’t open.
However we did make it to Dublin castle.
Look at all the umbrellas! But no rain! Silly Dublin.
Finally we ended the tour the last day where we made it to the Guinness factory for a cheeky pint.
Needless to say by the end of this trip (coming right on the heels of Italy) I was quite tired, and wanted a nap. There were two Cathedrals we saw in Dublin but alas because it was Good Friday we didn’t go in to look around, which brings the count to a tie!
Castle Count: 13
Cathedral Count: 14
I really have to say, the Italians have a beautiful appreciation for balconies. All of Italy were balconies, that just added to the beauty of the landscape. Venice was no exception, and it was mt favorite. If I had to choose one place to get back to, it would be Venice, with out a doubt, I would go to Venice again in a
Mollie and I were finally able to find clothing that we both liked! There was a store that said 10 euro everything so we just had to go in to check it out! Mollie got herself a dress, and I got myself a pretty little skirt.
Pictures don’t do Venice justice. It stole my heart.
We decided to splurge a bit and go on a gondola our first night there. It was perfect. It was chiller than the rest of Italy, but it makes sense because its always chillier on the water. It does smell like dead sea food in some areas, but for the most part the canal smell wasn’t bad. There were water taxis to take you around, because cars are banned, and buses only go into the right before the city, where you take a modern bridge (but it doesn’t stand out that much), over to the islands.
Venice is made up of something like 100 islands that are all connected by bridges.
Our gondola driver(?), was very nice, and give us some history during our ride. Mollie was terrified of the rocky boat, and the entire time was clutching on to me.
The next day we made it to Piazza di Sant Marco, where the Saint Mark Basilica is. It was free to enter the main part ( a nice change from everything that charges for breathing), and it was beautiful. Probably one of the most if not the most beautiful basilica I saw.
Perhaps the most pleasent little surprise I came across in all the churches when a simple modest church, that held the remains of St. Lucy! Once again there are no pictures for respectful reasons but it was a nice surprise! However I also went to this church Basilica di Santa Maria Gloriosa dei Frari , but Mollie stayed outside time.
After wandering some finding a place for Gelato and a pizzeria for lunch it became time to settle down for dinner. We knew a few things. We wanted calamari, and we wanted to eat by the water. We saw a place the other night on our gondola ride, so we decided to go on a hunt and find it. We did… but we also found another place that looked better so we decided to try it. So I sat down with my glass of wine, and Mollie with her rum and coke, and we agreed that we should splurge on the Calamari….
Well we thought that Calamari was battered… and this wasn’t. Mollie tried it I didn’t. That concluded our adventures in Italy! The next day bright and early we caught a train to the airport and jetted off to the UK! Venice my love I will be back.
Cathedral Count: 11
Castle Count: 12
Since the Vatican is technically it’s own country it gets its own post. Plus I feel like if I do the post of Rome would have been way too long, and I like to keep these semi short and sweet. Just outside the walls of the Vatican are tons of people trying to sell you things, however Mollie and I started to get worried when we saw the line that would take a minimum of 2 hours to get through.
We ran into this guy who worked for a tourist company and and told us that for 35 euro we can have a guided tour, and skip the never ending line, so we took the opportunity. As Mollie said I was a bit of a teachers pet during the tour, and every time he would ask something about Catholicism or Catholic history I would answer. I got excited actually knowing something in a country that I constantly felt lost!
Everything was beautiful and intricate, and the ceilings were 2D designs made to look like 3D which in itself blew my mind. I wish I could have spent more time taking things in, the tour itself took over 4 hours… if you ever go to the Vatican I recommend setting aside a good part of your day so you don’t feel rushed.
This is an Armenian saint, that brought Christianity to Armenia, we were told to take a picture of it if we know anyone Armenian and I know quite a few so this is for all of you!
In the Sistine chapel we weren’t allowed to talk, although there was a lot of talking.For some reason I though the Sistine chapel was more of a dome, than a box. We weren’t allowed to take obvious pictures as our tour guide said, so we would turn our cameras to selfie to take a picture of the ceiling, which lets be real is the only thing anyone really wants a picture of anyways.
We exited through St. Peters basilica, which is where St. Peter himself is buried. There were also remains of another saint, that freaked out Mollie. Out of respect I didn’t take pictures of it. The basilica although grand was built to be inviting and built not to make you feel small, and I think it worked. You didn’t realize how massive it was until you were up close to certain things, and until how long it took to walk around it. The only thing that disappointed me was I wanted to sit and pray in quiet for a bit, but I couldn’t because there were too many people walking around, and talking. So I said a few prayers to myself while walking around and taking it all in instead.
I took a picture of the Swiss Guard because I thought they were funny.
Castle Count: 12
Cathedral count: 10
I’m guilty of a lot of things. I’m guilty of traveling, and spending too much money. Most of all I’m guilty of neglecting this blog! After my Easter break travels, I went right into exam mode, and when exams ended my lovely friend Leanna came, and after decompressing for a few days I’m back!
Rewinding over a month ago, my mom came for a week and we went to Ireland. This post is on the northern part. We spent time in a lovely airbnb, however we didn’t spend much time in Belfast, we did spend plenty of time along the coast. We originally signed up for a castle tour, but it was busy, so we got put on a Game of Thrones tour instead. I’m not complaining.
We went around and saw sights in Northern Ireland where Game of Thrones was filmed, and some other cool places.
Such as this obscure little place where there was a few seconds filmed, but it’s in Ireland so hey!
This cave was also used for filming but seeing as it’s a cave and dark I couldn’t take that many pictures.
The coast was one of the most breath taking places I have ever seen.
Everything looks like it belongs on a post card.
Additionally we made it to giants causeway which is one of the wonders of Ireland, as all the rocks are massive, and block shaped.
We went to this rope bridge called ‘Carrick a rede’ rope bridge which was closed due to the wind, and kinda grateful because it looked like it would be hell to cross.
Would I have really gone to Ireland unless I saw a rainbow?? Don’t think so!
So this next place is called Dark hedges, and it was bright outside so the name is ironic. However it was hauntingly beautiful.
That was the end of our trip! It may not seem like much but trust me it was about 12 hours and well worth it. The next day we made a quick trip to a botanical garden (I should have made a count for those but it doesn’t have alteration so I don’t like it), before we headed to Dublin.
Castle and Cathedral count remain the same… for now!