Europe 2018

AKA who is ready to see my awkward selfie-taking skills in action again?

I did not think I’d be having another amazing European adventure this summer. If anything, a hasty last-ditch attempt to revisit things I hadn’t seen in a few years and to see monuments that were covered up the last time when I was there in 2017 and 2015.

But, I’m incredibly lucky, and I get to have another ‘trip of a lifetime.’ I’m so excited and thankful for this opportunity. I have a lot of work to do to get this trip off the ground, but it should be an amazing one…the best one yet, perhaps!?

This trip will allow me to do all that I wanted to do with revisits and monument viewing, but I will also get to see the major collections of ancient art that I have not yet seen. Below I’ve listed my destination list, and the main attraction for my visit.

Destinations
  1. Copenhagen, Denmark: Ny Carlsburg Glypotek
  2. Berlin, Germany: Museumsinsel (though the Pergamon museum is closed, they’re supposed to have a temporary exhibition of some stuff from it open by 2018. Supposedly)
  3. Mainz, Germany: Arches!
  4. Munich, Germany: The Munich Glyptothek
  5. Verona, Italy: Arch!
  6. Rome, Italy: (revisit) Much arches! Such arts! Very yes!
  7. Benevento, Italy: (revisit, but was scaffolded!) Arch!
  8. Athens, Greece: ALL THE THINGS.
  9. Susa, Italy: (revisit) The Arch of Augustus
  10. Nice, France (and technically, La Turbie): The Trophée des Alpes, a monument from the 1st century BCE
  11. Saintes, France: Arch!
  12. London, England: British Museum!
  13. Paris, France: Louvre (many, many times Revisit)
  14. Besançon, France: (revisit) Arch!
  15. Reims, France: (revisit, but was scaffolded) Arch!

From the Archive: Packing Light

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Packed bags for 4 months in France

I am not, nor have I ever been, very good at packing light. I like choices and there’s nothing worse than getting to your chosen destination and feeling completely annoyed with your clothing options. The above picture is from way back when right before I did my semester-long study abroad in France. The duffel on top is the size of what I would consider a normal size duffel bag, the bottom is a super large rolly duffel. This lasted me for the four months I was in France from late summer to early winter. I purchased another duffel in France that became “my carry on” on my way back home because of all of the stuff I had acquired while there (mainly books! quelle surprise!). My bags were also SUPER overweight on the way home but the delightful attendant for Air France let them go without a charge when I spoke French to her and responded that I had been there for months and was sad to go home. SPEAKING FRENCH is always a good idea on Air France…they give you extra wine.

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Flash forward to Summer 2015, ten years later, when I was on my way to Italy for six weeks. The same two large and “normal” duffel bags made their appearance again (there was a little more room inside and seriously, guys…LL Bean stuff is made to LAST) and here we have a 9lb cat in the shot for size comparison. In those bags, I think I had an entire American pharmacy and SO many clothes all for one season. I only checked the big duffel so I had to run from Gate 25 of Terminal D to Gate 4 of Terminal C (basically the entire length of two terminals) with that stupid bag. I literally thought I was going to die. Luckily for this trip, I was staying in one place. There wasn’t a lot of moving around to be done.

This trip will be OH so different though. Hauling around this ungainly, heavy large duffel for six weeks is a TERRIBLE idea, one that stressed me out a lot. Even my less ungainly large spinner suitcase would be too heavy for the heaving up and down train stairs continually that would need to be done for me to get where I am going. I knew I needed to make a change. I think I decided a couple of months ago that this trip would be done with nothing more than a carry-on sized suitcase, a backpack, and a purse. And that scares the hell out of me.

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This is my suitcase for the Eurotrip 2016 on the right in both pics with my large duffel and large spinner cases on the left. 

It’s just so small compared to what I’ve traveled with before! And it needs to last me for six weeks. I’ve got some great tips from one of my BFFs Ashley,  who is currently doing her own Eurotrip with similar baggage constraints, on how to get this done and be sane.  I tried to isolate exactly what freaks me out about travelling light.

I don’t like the idea of needing something and not having it. I understand that all of the countries I am visiting this trip are developed and have resources, but I just flashback to my 2004 trip to France when my camera broke (this was pre cell phones) and I couldn’t find a disposable. And then to my 2005 trip to France when I got the WORST blisters on the back of my heels and the French bandaids sucked and there was no neosporin or comparable substance to be found (my mom mailed me some bandaids, neosporin, and tennis shoes). And then to my 2015 trip to Italy when my eyeballs decided that they were allergic to the city of Rome and my eyedrops were insufficient to handle whatever crazy junk was happening and EVERY TIME I tried to go to a pharmacy, it was closed.

I need to get over it though. I will be fine. For every one thing I brought and used and was glad to have, there were probably 5 things I did not use, and then 3 things I wished I had that I had not packed, but did just fine without. After making the decision to pack light, I could feel my stress about moving around so much dissipate, somewhat.

Another thing that freaked me out was access to laundry. I LOVE clean clothes. My favorite (yes I have a favorite) chore of the week is to do laundry on Sunday. I love having all of my clothes clean and ready to go and the idea of maybe having to re-wear clothing that was to my (perhaps slightly OCD) way of thinking was dirty, made me cranky. But thanks to friend Katie’s suggestion, I found what I think will be a great solution. Woollite has sink packs…complete with a sink stopper, and travel-sized clothesline that doesn’t require clothespins. None of my airBnB’s have a washer, so this seems to be a perfect solution.

I’m going to do a test pack in a week or so just so I feel prepared and can adjust my expectations if I need to (likely). Does anyone have any travel tips for packing light while gone for an extended amount of time?

From the Archive: Destination Spotlight, LONDON

If you’ve known me for any length of time, there’s a chance you’ve figured out this fact about me: I. Am. An. Anglophile. I’ve been obsessed with things British since I was a wee girl. I used to be able to sing a ditty with all of the names of the kings and queens of England, in order. (I can only just list them now).

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Image Credit, Elizabeth II at 90, Vanity Fair, Annie Leibovitz

Jane Austen. Harry Potter. The Beatles. Alan Rickman. Emma Thompson. THE QUEEN. ((…and Queen (ha!)) Tea. Midsomer Murders. The Spice Girls (very important to 12 year old me).  Castles. Shakespeare. Scones. Procedural mysteries. HYACINTH BUCKET. Dame Judy. Dame Maggie. Dame Julie. Ab Fab. Black Adder. MARY BERRY AND THE GBBO.

THE LIST GOES ON.

I’ve considered it to be a personal failing that I’ve yet to set foot on English soil. But on October 5, 2016 (Happy birthday, Daddy!) I will arrive in London. This is the part of my trip that is exclusively for fun– I have no legitimate reason to be there other than I want to be.

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Nereid Monument, British Museum 

HOWEVER, most of what I will be doing when I’m there is still closely related to what I’m into. I will be visiting museums (The British Museum, The Soane Museum, and the V&A are on the top of the list, the Tate and the Portrait Gallery are maybes). I want to go to Harrods and buy tea. Go to Kew Gardens. Westminister Abbey. St. Paul’s Cathedral.  The tower of London to see the Crown Jewels. And if there is an event where the Queen will be seen in public, you can bet your ass I’ll be one of the ninnies in the crowd. If I have time, and I’m starting to think it’s doubtful that I will, I may go to Bath.

I also want to just walk around and be there. Buy books. Drink Tea. Eat meat pies and puddings and bakewell tarts. Take a stupid picture in King’s Cross at Platfrom 9 ¾. Try very hard not to imitate the accents (I’m an accent chameleon unfortunately). Of all of the places I am going this fall (and MAN are there many), this may be the place I’m looking forward to the most.

Have you been to London? What are your must sees?

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Originally posted by isolatedhysteria

This is third in a series of blog posts that I will be doing to talk about where I am going during this trip, why I am going there, and what I’m expecting to see.

Paris * Besançon

From the Archive: When Plans Go Awry

I am only able to plan my trip in fits and bursts. I’m afraid if I go too fast, I’ll get careless and make a costly error. I feel like I made one of those errors today, but perhaps it was a case of reading and receiving old information, or the info I’m looking at now was recently updated.

My trip to Croatia is probably one of the most unique opportunities I’ve ever had. I’ve been planning, loosely, for this trip since February or March. All of the internet and print resources informed me that the best way to get to Pula, Croatia is by ferry, which runs April through the end of October.

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Pula is on the tip of Croatia’s peninsula, and ferry IS the most direct route. But apparently, in 2016, as opposed to previous years (I think), the ferries are ending at the end of September. I will arrive in this area in early/mid October..Previously, I thought it to be plenty of time to hitch a ferry from Venice across the Adriatic..enjoying a great view and experience all the while. But alas. ‘Twas not to be. All of the ferry schedules I can find confirm…no ferries after September.

After taking a step back for a few minutes, minutes that were filled with incredibly intense panic, I realized that all was not lost. I shall simply take a train from Venice to Trieste, and bus from Trieste to Pula. A bit longer perhaps, but MUCH cheaper, and instead of seeing the sea, I’ll see the countryside.  I’ll see plenty of the sea in Venice, Pula, Rimini, Ravenna, Fano, and Ancona.

I confess myself disappointed, but it is not the end of the world. Hopefully this is the only travel related snafu (knock on ALL the wood); with so many legs of the journey, I feel like some mixups are to be expected.

I think I’m done planning for the day!

This blog was originally posted here

From the Archive: Plane Tickets Booked!

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I get a little nervous every time I schedule international travel – It always feels like I am doing something HUGE, which I guess I am. So no big surprise to someone who is pretty regularly an anxious individual, it stresses me out.

BUT! It’s done. I will be in Europe from the last week in September to the first week in November. I conveniently arranged my travel times to fall around the dregs of the 2016 election season, and when I arrive back in the U.S.A. there should be a new president elect. I did this entirely on purpose because I’m already ridiculously stressed out about it (see the above note about being an anxious individual).

This trip departs from my other previous international travel in a couple of ways. Previously, I’ve pretty much just been responsible for booking the ticket and showing up. This time, I’m responsible for my housing, travel, and all of the nitty gritty for 100% of the trip. Also, previously, I’ve spent a significant amount of time in ONE country, and to be fair, seen a good portion of that country.

Collectively, I’ve spent several months in France and a couple in Italy. When putting together my original proposal for this trip, I realized that I would be returning to the only two countries in Europe that I have been to for another lengthy stay.  However, I will be ADDING two countries to my list of visited countries; one that I have loved from afar since the tender age of like…seven (England), and the other one I never really expected to go to, but I’m REALLY excited for it (Croatia). I also get to spend time in the south of France, where I’ve never been, and northern Italy (the farthest north I’ve been is Florence).

In short, this trip should feel HUGE….it’s such a great opportunity, on top of the OTHER great opportunities I’ve already had…and I’m that great blend of nervous and excited for it.

This blog was originally posted here

From the Archive: Research Trip 2.0

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This blog is a little dusty; it’s been a year since I started it! ..but it’s time to dust it off, and take it for a spin in preparation for my next research trip in Fall of 2016! I originally started this blog as a way to document my 2015 trip to Italy, but I figure I can take it a step further and use it to document my travels, mainly research related, in the process of completing my PhD. (Hopefully, there will be no scaffolding surprises this trip! See above!)

This fall, I’ll be traveling to Italy, France, and Croatia. I am debating tacking a long weekend to England on somewhere, because honestly, it’s a huge personal failure for me as an Anglophile to never have gone. Plus, I’ll already be over there so why not?

So this post is a metaphorical dusting off of an old blog in preparation of new adventures!