I am just beginning my third trip to Europe in the last 11 months. If you haven't noticed I have been very bad about posting travel blogs, even though I have a ton of useful and interesting information I could share, The hold up was working on my photos, I took too many and it took too long to select and edit the ones I wanted to keep. The task is finally done. I have created galleries (posted in the Photo Galleries page) consisting of my favorite pictures from Croatia, Slovenia, Montenegro, Austria, Germany, and the Italian Dolomites. I will create blogs, with a few more photos included, of my previous trips when I get back from 32 day journey in Ireland.
Since I arrived in Ireland yesterday, this would be a good time to start blogging about the Emerald Isle. I wanted to visit Ireland to experience the music and pub scene along with photographing the beautiful scenery. Being my third trip to Europe I have learned a few things. My luggage was lost going to and coming back (United Airlines did recover my luggage a few days later both times) from my first trip last summer, so lesson number one was to pack light. I hand wash what I bring every few days, and I don't bring much as it all fits easily in a backpack. Lesson two was to make sure I booked a flight with plenty of time between connections since airlines lately have been horrible about being on time. Lesson two did little good as Delta changed my departure flight, giving me a little over an hour to change flights in Atlanta. The international gates are never close to the domestic gates! Fortunately, my flight from Albuquerque left on time and the Atlanta airport tram system got me to the international gate just in time for boarding.
I arrived in Dublin 8:30 in the morning, going through customs consisted of going to a booth where a guy checked my passport and asked my purpose for the trip, that was it. No lines, no waiting, out of the plane and out of the airport in less than 20 minutes. Found the bus terminal right away, purchased my ticket to Donegal online, and four hours later arrived at my destination. My hotel was less than 50 feet from the bus stop. One of many things I love about traveling in Europe is that a car is really not needed. Most cities are very walkable. There are typically many small boutique hotels near the city centers. and they are not expensive considering the locations. In Donegal I stayed at the Reveller, which was a combination pub and hotel. Ireland is one of the more expensive countries in Europe, yet my spacious room in a great location only cost $440 for four nights. The picture below is the view from my window.
I have to warn you the toughest part of long-distance traveling is the time change and overnight flights. The flight, from Atlanta to Dublin, shorter than most European flights, was only 7 hours, but it started at 8:30 in the evening. I cannot sleep on a plane, which makes for a long time without any sleep. It is recommended that you stay up and avoid an afternoon nap. I was able to stay up the entire next day on my first two trips to Europe, but after having a couple pints of Guiness while waiting for my room to get ready and then having pasta at the La Bella Donna for dinner, I ended up crashing 7:30 in the evening. I did enjoy my two beers while making some friends at the pub. Ireland is known for the friendly locals.
Hoping for a good night sleep I wake up at 3:30 in the morning. My body thinks it is still Albuquerque time. Waking up the first few nights very early happened on my first two trips as well, eventually our bodies adjust. Even with no sleep I never felt really tired, I think the excitement of the trip pumps out some extra adrenalin. After a good breakfast at the Blueberry Tea Room my first full day was spent checking out Donegal. Below is a couple of photos of the town, a picture of the local castle, and a few pictures of a walking path along the river that runs through town.
One more photo below of Donegal Abby ruins.
To end my first full day in Donegal I had to listen to some traditional Irish music at the Reel Inn.
It is hard to believe I will be finally going on my bucket list trip to Europe. This is a trip I started to book the summer of 2019 with the intent on traveling the summer of 2020. Thanks to Covid this trip has been canceled and rebooked numerous times, to the point when I was starting to think this was more of a fantasy vacation. But the Covid news hasn't been all bad as I tested positive about two weeks ago. Even though I did not exactly feel like tap dancing on tables when I got sick, I was pretty happy to catch Covid when I did because now, I have super immunity. The other day I could finally taste food again and I have recovered enough strength to feel my normal tired old self!
Tomorrow, I head for Zagreb, Croatia. Be prepared to be barraged with photos from Croatia, Slovenia, Montenegro, Austria and the Dolomite region of Italy, My trip was originally planned for a little less than three weeks, but after several cancelations, plenty of time to watch YouTube travel videos due to lockdowns (discovering more places to visit), and extra time to save money I have managed to stretch this into a six week trip. Hopefully you will not get bored viewing the many photos I will post.
Slowly but surely this website may come to life. My intent is to do more than just share photos. For now showing photos will have to do. My next step will be to provide some content about the photos and where they were taken. Click the link below for a slideshow of one of my favorite places to visit - Hawaii.
My last post was September of 2018. I promised I would not overdo it with posts, clearly I have kept that promise! I admit one reason I have not done anything with this website is because I am my worse critic. If my photos are not gallery worthy then I feel they are not worth sharing. After spending the last month organizing and redoing many of my pictures I have come to the conclusion I am wasting my time if I can't share them with anyone. Today I am going to post a couple of shots I took 10 years ago when my wife when we stayed in Sedona a few nights. I am starting with these shots because I discovered these pictures in a portable hard drive I have not touched in years.
I have been retired a few years and kept wanting to organize my photos but could never get started, probably because I felt it was an overwhelming project. I was having a tough time figuring out how to categorize my pictures. If you go to my Photo Galleries page you will see the categories I came up with, the photos above are in the Mountains and Valleys category - click the button to go to the gallery.
As my author mini bio states I love to travel, I love photography, and I love to write. This website allows me to do all three with a purpose. My objective is to provide content that may brighten up your day a bit while at the very least provide some interesting and/or useful information. Many of my blog posts will be about trips I have been on years ago, so narrative may be limited and slightly inaccurate due to a sketchy memory. Many blogs will be a series of posts about one trip or one destination I have visited many times, such as my trips to Hawaii and Colorado. The slide show below will give you a hint about the places I will write about in future posts.
I will most likely include articles about photography, such as how to shoot sports or how to figure out what camera to buy. I subscribe to the "how the spirit moves me" philosophy of writing which means I will cover a variety of topics related to creation, which could include many forms of art and music. In order to keep this website interesting and entertaining I will try and keep my blogs short (this will be a challenge for me) and I will post no more than one post per week with a minimum goal of posting at least once a month. I will use social media to inform many of new posts. Since many do not use social media or do not use it often, I am in the process of creating an email list. If you have the slightest interest in my future blogs I encourage you to go to the contact page and subscribe to my emails. I promise you will not be barraged with emails, it is simply an effective way of informing you when there is a new post.
I confess for me creating this website is a great excuse to share the many photos I have taken over the years. I am going to try very hard to keep my sharing from being boring by providing some useful narrative. Your feedback will be greatly appreciated!