Destinations in Europe

Ambleside

church across green
Ambleside was a pleasant introduction to the Lake District, with good bus connections and walks available without taking a bus.

Amorgos

Aegiali
Amorgos is quiet enough to be relaxing yet has enough to see and do for a few days. We enjoyed our three days and could have spent a couple more hiking and spending time at the beach. Just driving the island is scenic. Watch out for goats!

Athens

Athens street with ruins
We focused our day-and-a-half in Athens on the Acropolis and nearby historical sights.

Barcelona

Modernista houses
It is worth coming to Barcelona for the Sagrada Familia alone. Don’t miss it! And there’s a whole lot more to see here. We can see why it’s over-touristed. So glad we came, and at a time of year when it seemed not so crowded.

Bath

Bath near the river
To me Bath is about two things: the roman baths, and Jane Austen. Check. We also made a side trip to Glastonbury.

Caernarfon

town walls
We went to Caernarfon for the castle and easier access to Snowdon. The town itself is pleasant.

Carlisle

old tower in Carlisle at dusk
We stayed in Carlisle just to catch the Settle-Carlisle train but we enjoyed the castle and cathedral while we were there. A rail strike added an unplanned day here but also meant we didn't have to go out in the rain.

Chipping Campden

Chipping Camden garden
We picked this Cotswold village for the thatched roof cottages and were not disappointed. Wonderful thatching and gardens.

Cinque Terre

coastline with kayaks
I chose Monterosso to stay in because it had better train connections, the best beaches, and it was more flat, which I thought we would appreciate. (We did.)

Conwy

Conwy Castle
Conwy is a compact little town with a castle looming over it and a good selection of restaurants. It was a relaxing and interesting start to our trip.

Córdoba

illuminated Mezquita
The Mezquita is breathtaking and that alone is worth a trip to Córdoba. Now that we’ve been there I would suggest doing Córdoba as a day trip from Seville. The Mezquita, the alcázar, and the Roman bridge are all near each other and it’s only 45 minutes by train.

Crete

Venetian lighthouse in Chania
Chania is a beautiful city with an underrated beach, and I would love to come back. There's so much of Crete to take in.

Edinburgh

Highland train tracks
Edinburgh is big, beautiful city. We were barely able to scratch the surface in the two days we had there.

Florence

statue against elaborate ceiling
I loved Florence the first time I was here in 1983 and enjoyed it this second time too. So much art. So many people!

Folegandros

bougainvillea
The Chora of Folegandros is charming and leafy, in contrast to the ruggedness of the island. The walking trails were better sign-posted than we expected. We didn't get to experience the beaches since it was cooler (low 70s) and very windy. It was quiet and serene.

Fort William

unknown statue
Fort William was an excellent base for us for exploring the surrounding area. It's not charming in itself but has all the essentials.

Granada

Isabel and Columbus statue
The Alhambra is stunning and we enjoyed Granada. It felt more approachable. I don’t know if that’s because it’s a little smaller city or because we’d been here for a while and feel more comfortable.

Istanbul

Blue Mosque at night
We enjoyed what little we saw of Istanbul and would like to come back when we have more time.

Keswick

our B&B room
We loved Keswick, a good traveler's base for the Lake District that also manages to feel like a real town.

Lake Como

architectural detail
Bellagio was more relaxed and not as expensive as I feared. We enjoyed our four nights there, though I think we would have liked Varenna also.

Lecce

old building in Lecce
I planned Lecce as a stop where we'd have some time to just wander and hang out; slow the pace a bit. It worked nicely for that.

Lindos

view from beach to village and acropolis
Lindos was a nice way to get through jet lag. An acropolis to climb to and a beach for relaxing. More people than I expected in the village after dark - I thought there would be more day trippers - but not mobbed. Should have made dinner reservations though.

Llandudno

Llandudno beach scene
Llandudno is just how I pictured a classic Victorian seaside resort in Great Britain. The beach promenade was great for walking.

London

St Paul's Cathedral
It's London. My favorite place on earth. History. Theatre. Food. Shopping. Lots of day trip opportunities. Just go, and spend as long as you can.

London

Globe Theatre
London is my favorite place on earth, plain and simple. This trip we did some of the things that I would do when I lived here.

Madrid

Prado
Our must-dos in Madrid were the art museums, the Palacio Real, and the El Rastro flea market. It’s also conveniently located for day trips. We made two, to Toledo and Segovia.

Matera

Matera at dusk
There was much more to Matera than we expected. We could easily have spent another day or two in this area.

Milos

sunset from Plaka
After the open spaces and small crowds of Amorgos Milos felt disturbingly urban at first. But we got into the rhythm after a couple of days. The villages of Plaka, Triovasolas, and Trypiti blend together making navigation challenging. I never did know exactly where I was while in town!

Naxos

Naxos Kastro
Naxos has everything we want in a Greek island: Nice beaches, an atmospheric old town, old buildings, the odd ruin, and great food. And good ferry connections.

Oxford

Oxford stained glass
Having visited Cambridge years ago on a day trip from London, I also wanted to visit Oxford, and stay the night in college if possible.