As a four-decade Certified Travel Agent, international airline employee, researcher, writer, teacher, and photographer, travel, whether for pleasure or business purposes, has always been a significant and an integral part of my life. Some 400 trips to every portion of the globe, by means of road, rail, sea, and air, entailed destinations both mundane and exotic. This article focuses on those in Europe.
Ireland, the emerald green isle, was also visited on a number of occasions, and its attractions included Trinity College, St. Patrick’s Cathedral, and Phoenix Park in Dublin. A Glens of Antrim itinerary included Belfast; Ballycastle, Dunluce Castle; the Old Bushmills Distillery; the Carrick-a-Rede rope bridge; and the Giant’s Causeway, which was comprised of volcanic hexagonal basalt columns, all in Northern Ireland.
Morning tea in the Marine Hotel in Ballycastle included scones, butter, jam, whipped cream, and pots of the tea itself, and lunch in the Royal Court Hotel featured fresh fruit; a topside of beef, gravy, horseradish, a pastry cup, roasted potatoes, boiled potatoes, carrots, and cabbage; strawberry and kiwi pavlova with whipped cream and strawberry sauce; coffee; and chocolate mints.
Great Britain accounted for numerous, multiple-mode trips to its three England, Scotland, and Wales divisions and several of the British Isles.
Sightseeing in London encompassed all of its very symbols, including the Parliament, Big Ben, Westminster Abbey, the Tower of London, the Jewel House, St. Paul’s Cathedral, Number Ten Downing Street (the official residence of the English Prime Minister). Buckingham Palace, the changing of the Guard, a cruise on the River Thames, the National Maritime Museum in Greenwich, the Cutty Sark, the Royal Naval College, and the Greenwich Observatory, where Greenwich Mean Time was determined.
A stay at the Hansel and Gretel Hotel in London, whose fairytale served as its decoration theme with gingerbread and witches’ brooms in the dining room, included a daily English breakfast of eggs, bacon, and racks of toast.
Southampton was a frequent pre- and post-cruise and -crossing port of embarkation and disembarkation.
Scotland coverage included Glasgow, Greenock, South Queensferry, and Edinburgh, the latter with visits to its New Town, the Old Town, the 12th century medieval Edinburgh Castle, and the Royal Mile.
The prehistoric archaeological site of Skara Brae, dating from 3,000 BC, he Skaill House, the Ring of Brogar, Scapa Flow, and Kirkwall were all explored in the Orkney Islands north of Scotland.
A narrow-gauge rail journey threaded its way through Snowdonia National Park in Wales.
Travel to Guernsey, one of the Channel Islands, accounted for sightseeing to St. Peter Port, Sausmarez Manor, and an island drive that took in St. Martin’s Parish, St. Pierre du Bois, Rocquaine Bay, St. Saviors Parish, Reservoir, Little Chapel, and St. Andrew Parish.
Numerous trips were made to the four Scandinavian countries of Denmark, Finland, Norway, and Sweden in Continental Europe.
Denmark, the first of them, saw both walking and motor coach tours of Copenhagen’s significant sights, including the Radhuspladsen or City Hall; Nyhaven or New Haven, a canal lined with colorful 18th-century houses and enjoyed on a boat cruise; Christiansborg Palace, Rosenborg Castle, Amalienborg Palace, the famed Little Mermaid, the Ny Carlsberg Glyypotek art museum, the pedestrian-only Stroget shopping street, the Round Tower, and Tivoli Gardens.
A ferry created distance from Copenhagen to the island of Funen, its city of Odense serving as the gateway to the Hans Christian Andersen House, the Hans Christian Andersen Museum, the Manor House, a Danish Country Church, a Danish Farm, and the Oak Forest Castle.
Copenhagen hotel-included breakfasts always featured wienerbrod, or Danish pastries, and a smorgasbord fat the central railroad station entailed more than 60 dishes, from appetizers to dessert.