Tuesday, January 24, 2012

My Travel ABC's

I saw Mandi's ABC travel list and was immediately inspired! So here's a little ABC on my travels!

Age you went on your first international trip.
From early on in life I talked about going to Paris.  I can remember being 7 or 8 and saving my allowance for my Paris trip.  I didn't actually leave the country (unless you count Canada but back then you didn't need a passport so I'm not counting it) until I was 20 when I visited my college roommate in London (she was doing a study abroad program).  I didn't make it to Paris until after I graduated from college.

Best (foreign) beer you’ve had and where.
I'm not a huge beer drinker but I have to say Kolsch in Cologne and most recently the fruity beers I had in Belgium are probably my favorite.  Oh, but wait!  I'm forgetting my all-time favorite!  And I've only found this in the UK - cider with black currant (I think it's called a snake bite).  Delicious!  Funny about this drink?  When one of my co-workers ordered it for me, they had to qualify it was for a girl.  Cider is like beer, right? 

Me & Diane enjoying our cider with black currant in London

Cuisine (favorite).
I'm sure this comes as quite a shock, but Italian!!  If I were ever to write a travel book it would be filled with pizzerias (and gelato and cappuccinos!).

Destinations, favorite, least favorite and why.
I have lots of favorites, but probably my number one favorite is London.  I'm definitely an Anglophile and have been most of my life.  Plus as soon as I get to London I feel like I'm home.  Least favorite?  A few years ago it would have been Venice, hands down.  I went for the first time in the middle of summer and it was so hot and super smelly.  But then a few years ago I went back (in the winter) and it was much better but still not in my top ten.

Event you experienced abroad that made you say “wow”.
I had a hard time with this one...  Although I would probably say the view from the airplane on my first trip into London.  Looking down as the plane came in for a landing I knew I had found my second home.

Favorite mode of transportation.
I love the metro.  While I was living in London I got so used to being able to take the Tube pretty much anywhere I needed.  Add in another brief stint in Bonn and using their metro.  A close second would be trains.  I really do enjoy a good train ride.

Greatest feeling while traveling.
Getting to learn about a new place and experiencing new things.

Hottest place you’ve traveled to.
So this probably isn't the hottest place I traveled to but it is the one that stands out.  My first time to Italy was in the middle of July and being from the Pacific Northwest I had never really experienced heat and humidity until then.  It stuck out because when I got home from this trip I was moving to Houston (where it was hot and humid) and I just kept thinking how am I ever going to survive living in weather like this.

Incredible service you’ve experienced and where.
Jana & I have experienced a couple of great waiters (one in London, one in Vienna, and one in Zagreb) and I think my favorite was the one in Vienna who gave us Hotel Sacher pens (we were eating in the hotel cafe).

Journey that took the longest.
I think one of my trips home from Bonn I had to transfer a couple of times and I think a plane was delayed.  It just seemed to take forever before I finally got home.

Keepsake from your travels.
I love postcards!!! I send most of them out, but I usually keep one or two.  My other keepsake would be magnets.

Let-down sight, why and where.
El Greco's house in Toledo, Spain - it might not have been a let down, but I wouldn't know since we never found it!!  We searched and searched but to no avail.

Moment where you fell in love with travel.
I'd probably have to go back to the plane landing in London on my first ever trip.  Although hearing my parents talk about their official honeymoon (they bicycled around Europe for two months) probably instilled a love of travel in me from very early on.

Nicest hotel you’ve stayed in.
I don't know - it was probably a work hotel but I'm not remembering any that stand out so maybe the hotel in Budapest (it was brand new and gorgeous!).

Obsession—what are you obsessed with taking pictures of while traveling?
I love taking pictures!!  This might be a tie between food (especially cappuccinos) and doors.
Mmm, cappuccino
Santorini, Greece
Passport stamps, how many and from where?
From my latest passport, I have 32 stamps (UK, Ireland, Germany, Croatia, Greece, Mexico, Austria, and Italy and a few others that I can't read what the stamp says).

Quirkiest attraction you’ve visited and where.
I'm totally copying Mandi on this one but the catacombs in Paris.  Similarly the crypt of the Cappuccin monks in Rome.  Lots of bones, some just stacked, some artfully arranged.

Recommended sight, event or experience.
I don't know if I can narrow this down - Tower of London is probably one of my favorite places to visit as is the Eiffel Tower.

Splurge; something you have no problem forking over money for while traveling.
So I'm going to copy Mandi again on this one and say food.  You have to eat, and why not enjoy it! :)

Touristy thing you’ve done.
You name it, I've done it! :)  Disneyland Paris, maybe?  Or the Eiffel Tower?  The Colosseum?  Taking pictures of everything and anything?  Oh, I've got loads of examples.

Sleeping Beauty's Castle - Disneyland, Paris
Unforgettable travel memory.
The ruined Moorish Castle in Sintra, Portugal.  We climbed all over the ruins and just had a grand old time.

Moorish Castle Ruins
Visas, how many and for where?
I don't think I've had any visas - but I have had 2 work permits - one for when I was in London and one for when I was in Bonn, Germany.

Wine, best glass of wine while traveling and where?
I think when my colleagues took me to a winery near Bonn.  I don't remember the name of it.

eXcellent view and from where?
The London Eye - looking out over Parliament.  It's just like the Peter Pan ride!  Only for real! :)  Cabo da Roca in Portugal - the most western part of Europe - looking out and seeing nothing but ocean for miles and miles.  Oh, and how could I forget?  The view from our own private terrace at our hotel in Lisbon.  The view was nice, but having our breakfast every morning and enjoying the view was fantastic!!

View from the London Eye
Cabo da Roca

Lisbon, Portugal
Years spent traveling?
Since that fateful trip to London way back in 1997, I don't think I've stopped traveling!  

Zealous sports fans and where? Hm, this would have to be a toss up between the Germans and the Brits.  Both are pretty zealous.


M said...

You are definitely always on the go -- keeps me inspired to keep traveling too!

Fruit Fly said...

Your cuisine choice is perfect!

Have you been to Boston? If so, any tips or must-see suggestions for me?