These photos are from our stroll along the Thames back in February of 2016 (we were in London for my sister-in-law’s wedding). It was a cold, but nice night–I was happy to finally have my wife with me on a trip abroad. Sadly, it would turn out to be our last bit of fun before I became deathly ill for the rest of the trip, followed by my wife a couple of days later. We had been planning to take a train to Bath the following day but instead I spent it in the hotel room, with my poor wife wandering the city looking for medicine. Then at the end of the trip, she had it worse than me to the point where we had to stay an extra night just so she would be well enough to fly home. Good times. Anyway, I got some cool photos out of the experience…
These photos are from my second visit to Leeds Castle (I had taken a tour of the castle back in the summer of 2014). This time, I was there for a Valentine’s Day wedding. Unfortunately, I had caught a terrible flu in London and was barely able to function, so I took far fewer photos on this visit, but I did manage to get a few outside and several inside, including pics of our awesome room. We spent the night in the castle, which was really cool, though I didn’t get to savor much of it as I ended up sleeping through most of my stay there . . . still, I’ll always be able to say that I slept in an English castle. 🙂
Back in February of 2016, my wife Jen and I traveled to London for her sister’s wedding. Unfortunately, I fell deathly ill on the second night, forcing us to cancel a planned excursion to Bath. I had already visited Bath in 2014, but I wanted to take Jen there (since a trip to the Scottish Highlands was out of the question in the middle of February). Instead, I slept in our hotel bed on the third day while she walked around Picadilly Circus looking for medicine.
By the end of our trip Jen had caught the bug and was too sick to fly, so we had to extend our stay by a day at a hotel not far from Victoria Station. I was still recovering myself but felt well enough to do a little walking while Jen slept in the hotel.
The hotel was literally a stone’s throw from Buckingham Palace, so I walked around there, through St. James Park, and back along The Mall. I also visited nearby Westminster Cathedral and the Horse Guards Parade area. These photos are from that walk.
At long, long last, I’m sharing the final chapter of my 2014 Eurotrip, nearly three years after the previous installment. I suppose that I delayed this entry for so long because of how disappointing the day was. I had originally planned an extensive recounting of the problems encountered on this tour (which I alluded to earlier in this series), but in the end I decided it’s not worth it, especially since the company did give me a partial refund, so I’m just going to briefly summarize the events of the day.
July 13, 2014: We got a late start when we departed Amsterdam for Bruges because we had to wait roughly 30 minutes on the bus for our guide to arrive with the group from the hostel. When we finally reached Bruges, the bus driver drove around for another 20 minutes not knowing where to park. He eventually figured it out but then got into an argument with the guide about how much time we would spend there, which the bus driver apparently won. So by the time we finally departed the bus, we had already lost about an hour.
Then, after hustling to the center of the city, we were informed that we had to meet back at the bus in just over two hours. I was stunned. Two hours? What was the point of even stopping here? That was barely enough time to grab a bite to eat and run around to snap a few photos. I certainly didn’t have time to wait in line and climb to the top of the famous bell tower. To make matters worse, it was raining pretty heavily, so I decided to eat first in the hope that the rain would clear. For the most part it continued to rain, though it did finally clear during the last half-hour of my visit, so I hustled around to fit in as many rainless photos as I could.
Bruges had been the entire reason I booked this particular tour, so to barely spend any time there was a massive disappointment. Needless to say, I (and many others on the tour) felt a bit ripped off. On top of that, it was my last day in Europe before flying home the following morning, so an otherwise fantastic trip ended on a sour note, but that’s the way it goes sometimes. Such is travel.
Oh well, I guess I’ll have to make a special trip to Belgium in the future so I can take my time and really experience this lovely city. In the meantime, here are a few of the photos I managed to take during my short visit. Click on any photo to open a gallery.
This photo is from my second Eurotrip in 2009 (and second time accompanying my uncle’s German class as a chaperone). Since this was also my second visit to Nymphenburg Palace in Munich, Germany, I decided on this occasion to spend more time walking around the front of the palace so I could capture photos like this, with the palace reflecting on a pond full of swans.
This is from my very first Eurotrip back in 2007, a photo of Lake Mondsee in Austria, originally shot in color on my old pocket cam and converted to black and white. Keen observers will note that a heavily photoshopped version of this photo appears on the cover of my novel.