March 15, 2009

Travel Excitement!

I am very excited as we have started meeting with our travel agent to officially plan our trip to Ireland and England later this year! I wouldn't call myself a well travelled person at all - it is really only in the past few years that I have started to explore the world in a way other than through books - but I am definitely hooked!

I am also excited about this trip because: 1) It will be the first overseas trip we have been on that I will NOT be combining with work or a conference and 2) We get to stay for 3 nights in Paris! Now I know that 3 nights is really not all that long to spend in that city but in our original plans we were only going to have the time to spend a day there - so hence the excitement over the 3 nights.

I would love to hear from you on what you think we should not miss when we are in Paris - and also London and Ireland for that matter! I would also love to hear any reading recommendations for the places we are going to visit - I always love to have done some reading on the place I am visiting before I arrive.


Unknown said...

I think planning the holiday is almost as good as going on it! It's all so exciting!
I live really close to London, so am a bit of an expert on it! I've also had a great time in Paris and Ireland.
I'll leave you to do some research first, as that is the fun bit, but if you have any questions, just drop me an email and I'll try to be as helpful as possible.

Mari said...

You are going to have such a great time. I haven't been to Paris so I can't help you there but I have been to London and Ireland and this summer I will be going to Bath and then up to Scotland. Woot! Yay for travel. Anyway Ireland- go to Dingle and drive around the peninsula. Western side of Ireland is absolutely beautiful. If you go to N. Ireland go to Portrush and Bushmills. London is great. So many things to see and do. Just walking around all the famous sites was enough for me.

Have a great time planning!

Marg said...

I would be totally excited as well! I would love to go back to Paris and London, and to visit Ireland for the first time!

Jealous, jealous, jealous.

claire said...

I've never been to any of those places but I feel your excitement! I'd just finished reading Away by Jane Urquhart, a big part of which is set in Ireland, but that was 19th century, lol, so it might not help so much. :D

megan said...

Ohhh I am so jealous!!

My must-sees in Paris are the Ile St Louis (so beautiful, especially in the evenings) the Marais and the Latin Quarter.

I drove around Ireland over Christmas a couple of years ago (from Dublin to Galway and along the coast, and then north to Belfast) and it was so beautiful. Just get on to the back roads (not that that's difficult to do in Ireland!!). It's stunning scenery, and the people are so friendly (if you can understand a word they're saying!!).

If you've not already read it, A Moveable Feast by Hemingway is my favourite Paris book - the first paragraph is just beautiful. And for Ireland, The Riders!

megan said...

how many exclamation marks can I put in the one comment?!?!?!



Karen said...

Hi Farmlanebooks - I agree with you about the planning stage - I am loving it! I am so jealous of you living so close to London - I have only been there once so far but I loved it.

Hi Mari - Your trip sounds fabulous - Bath is my most favourite place in the worls - I'm hoping to get there again when we are in England this year. Thanks for all of the great Ireland tips.

Hi Marg - I'm jealous that you have already been to Paris!!

Hi Claire - thanks for the book tip, I'm really looking for books set in those countries in any time period so I will definitely check this one out.

Hi Megan - thank you so much for all of your wonderful tips - I knew you would have lots! I'm sure you can see that I am also a big fan of the exclamation mark!! You can never have enough!!

Nadia said...

Sounds so exciting to be planning your trip. How great! You are going to have so much fun exploring these cities. I have never been to Paris, but I have been to London and Ireland. London is brilliant - it is just teeming with energy and excitement. There is so much to do there. The museums, shops, restaurants, landmarks, etc. And Ireland is just beautiful. There is just so much green everywhere and well its just lovely. Have fun planning your trip. How exciting!!

Karen said...

Hi Nadia - it is very exciting! I have been to London once before but we were only able to spend one day there so I am really looking forward to being able to explore properly.

Tara said...

This sounds like a wonderful trip! We went to France for our honeymoon and visited London a bit later. We are big fans of Rick Steve's travel books- do you have those there? We love to sight see and eat good food.

Karen said...

Hi Tara - no, I haven't heard of those books before - I usually rely on the Lonely Planet guides but I will look these up. Thanks!

nutmeg said...

I went to London for 12 days in January 2008 and loved it. Have you heard about Persephone Books? They print beautiful, previously out of print books. They have two shops in London and I visited the one near Great Ormond Street hospital for a couple of hours - it was lovely. Their website is

It sounds like a wonderful trip ... already!

Karen said...

Hi Nutmeg - thanks for the bookshop tip - another thing I love to do when I am in another country! I have heard Danielle over at A Work In Progress talk about these books before.

Laura said...

How exciting! I don't have any travel tips or ideas as I have never been to Europe, but I'm sure no matter what you do, you will have a fun time!

Karen said...

Hi Laura - I am sure we will have a great time!

the_young_dude said...

Hey! I just discovered your blog.
Here are a few places you should go to in Paris
-Le Zinc : 73 rue de la Roquette, metro Bastille. Best cheese and cold cuts plates - they feature organic and local products.

-Instead (or in addition..)of going to the obvious sightseeing spot, walk up the rue de Menilmontant.. when you get on the top of the hill, you'll get an unusual view of Paris.

- go the Cité Internationale parc. It's the only park in Paris that doesn't close at 10pm during summertime. You can picnic there for hours, and meet new people. It's a pretty place.

- take the bus 68 : it beats any tour you'll pay for, and you'll avoid the crowds of tourists. This bus goes straight through the Louvre, the bridges over the Seine... lovely.

- go to the Quartier Latin, and check the movies at the Filmothèque (rue Champollion). They play oldies, rarities.. when the movie is over, you can have coffee at the Reflet, a coffee shop on the other side of the street. For decadent cheap french food, order the "patate".

hope that helps! You can email me if you need more tips for Paris.

megan said...

Was just thinking about your trip this morning, and couldn't remember whether I'd recommended London looks like I didn't!

You should definitely try and do some of these while you're in London. They're the original London walking tour company, and their schedule is jam packed.

I did three while I was in London - a Westminster walk on our first day in the city, the Jack the Ripper walk (which wasn't that great if you're already well versed in the story) and Dickens' London, and loved them. When I go back, I want to do loads could spend days just doing walks!

The guides are fantastic, and it's a great way to get to see a London you might not otherwise realise you're seeing.