The first time I ever traveled to Europe I was in my early twenties, with little responsibility and a zest for life. After years of wanting to see the world It was finally that time to start my journey. Ireland would be first on the list. It was everything I had imagined it would be and more. Rolling green hills, random castles scattered amongst rocky terrained landscapes that dated back centuries.
For over a week we traveled to Dublin, Waterford, Kinsale, up through the Ring of Kerry and The Lakes of Killarney. Within that time I was mesmerized by the culture, history and landscapes of the countryside. Being the history buff that I am I was truly in my element! Ireland was a perfect country to get my feet wet!
After this trip I was hooked, and my love affair with Europe began. The next year being newly married we went to Greece. We started out in Rhodes which to me I must admit I was in a bit of culture shock. We stayed near the oldest area of Rhodes. So from our hotel we could walk into the city and explore the amazing food, culture and fabulous jewelry stores. Everywhere I looked there was silver and gold practically being thrown into my face begging me to buy it! Oh wait maybe that was the pushy Greek men everywhere I turned begging me to buy it at rock bottom prices! 😉
Aside from that Greece was beyond lovely. In fact I would even go as far to say that when we arrived in Santorini the only thing that came to mind was this is Heaven on Earth. The vibrant colored rooftops, winding footpaths that led to restaurants, small museums, and archeological digs. It was absolutely the most majestic and spiritual place I had ever been to. All of this overlooked a volcanic crater that dated back four million years ago. 3600 years ago at the height of the Minoan civilization Thera erupted. Since then it is active but not nearly as volatile. We had the chance to hike up the volcano which was beyond cool and even swam in the hot springs. Ending in Althens I was thoroughly blown away with the greek culture and way of life.
A year later post 911 we traveled to France and Switzerland. I have never really liked flying much but my anxiety levels were more heightened after 911. Once the wheels hit the ground we were off and running. Paris was first on the journey and of course it did not disappoint. Strolling through the city eating croissants, visiting museums, enjoying the food and just soaking up the Parisian culture. Honestly I could have just sat at a cafe and just people watched all day! From Paris we rented a car and drove to Reims, and Champagne. The highlight being the Moet Chandon winery. It was there I learned what a riddling rack was and sipped some of the finest champagne in one of the oldest cellars in the world.
After we traveled to Strasbourg and then ended up Basel Switzerland for three days. I had always wanted to see Switzerland because I had friends who live there and had told us we had a place to stay in if we wanted it. Much to my dismay I don’t have any pictures from Basel because on our way back through France I left my camera in a store. Those were the days of only film rolls and nothing was digital! But the memories I have are of beautiful back streets of Basel with good friends showing us their city through their eyes, Smiles, hugs, but most of all laughter and friendship.
This summer after more than ten years I will travel again to Switzerland and explore new places like Zurich, Geneva, Interlaken and course the beloved city of Basel where I will see and stay with my good friends. After Switzerland I am excited to travel to Versailles and explore it ! Who knows maybe I will even throw on my ball gown and prance around Marie Antoinette’s gardens and ballroom ! Ok..so maybe that’s just a dream but it sounds fun in theory right? Of course I can’t go to France without checking out a couple flea markets right? I am hoping to find some amazing antiques to bring home to my own collection as well as put in the shop here online and at Thoreauly Antiques.
I will be sure to post a lot of pictures of the trip in July but until then I am busy preparing for my upcoming show in Brimfield in two weeks!
As always happy hunting!