This month on Bootsnall we’re celebrating all things European and providing all the inspiration you need to include the Continent in your summer travel plans. It’s a great place to start your long term trip. With so many distinct cultures and languages packed into a relatively small geographical area, you’ll feel like you’ve adventured far and wide in even a shorter holiday.
So, what did you miss this week?
I have another secret: there are more than seven secrets, but you’ll have to go there to discover your own. What’s not to love about the South of France, the food, the wine, the culture, the weather, it’s a little slice of heaven. If you haven’t been there yet, what are you waiting for?
“Herbes de Provence that were growing in the sun just a few hours before they hit your plate. Honey, sugar, oil, and butter infused with lavender. Joël Durand’s incredible chocolate alphabet in Saint-Rémy-de-Provence.
And the wine. Oh, the wine! Bordeaux might be the big name – but Languedoc is a world-class wine-producing region, and the wine industry’s best kept secret. Stop into any vineyard you happen to pass on the dusty country roads, and sample the fruits of these independent vintners’ labors – you won’t be sorry. Pick up a bottle after you hit your local morning farmer’s market, and voila – lunch is served!”
Ireland might be tiny, but it packs a punch. Dublin is where you’re likely to land on an international flight, but you shouldn’t limit yourself to the one city. Get out and explore. Rent a car. Take a bus. Heck, walk if you want, but be sure you explore the off the beaten track corners of the Emerald Isle.
“Just off Ireland’s west coast you’ll find the Aran Islands, three tranquil islands in the Atlantic: Inishmore, Inisheer, and Inishmaan. The islands are only accessible by ferry, which you can catch from Doolin in the summer and from Galway year-round. You can make the islands a day trip from either location or, and many locals recommend this option, stay for a night (or more) in one of the cozy bed and breakfasts.”
Do you enjoy flying? I don’t, particularly. I’m working on that. In fact there are a number of reasons to enjoy a good flight and Holly Smale has 8 good ones. If you’re in the 40% who experience anxiety when you fly, then this should be a comforting fact:
“Few of us panic getting into a car, but they are actually 19 times more dangerous than planes: your chances of being involved in a plane crash are one in seven million. To give that a little perspective, if you boarded a flight every single day it would take 26,000 years to get into trouble, and a fully loaded Boeing 727 would have to crash every single day of the year to equal the current level of car fatalities.”
Confession: I can’t get enough of the castles of Europe. I could walk their stone halls every day for a year and not tire of the experience. My mind runs away with the history carved into the stone and the romance of the dramas that have played out within the walls. If only the spiral staircases could speak…
“The largest castle in the world is also one of the most beautiful in Central-Eastern Europe. Prague Castle started its life in the 9th century with a church. Centuries later a Romanesque palace was erected here and in the 14th century the royal palace was rebuilt in Gothic style. After a big fire which destroyed much of the castle in the 16th century, it has been renovated and some buildings in renaissance style appeared.”