We did it again..traveled in 2022! We managed through flight delays and covid challenges. The US rule requiring a negative Covid test was dropped the second week we were in Ireland. That suspension has pros and cons connected to it. We continued mask wearing in enclosed spaces.
We had a fine week in Dingle, Ireland with good weather, good views, and good hikes. The music was back that we had missed in 2021, although we were treated last year to a beautiful garden concert by a concertina master musician. But this year we went to the music rather than the music coming to us! The Greenmount House gave us a lovely "home away from home". Their hospitality and standard are unmatched!
And, at last, after two straight years of having to cancel because of covid, we got to the beautiful Atlantic shore of Antrim, North Ireland! We all met up in Belfast enjoying a couple of free days to roam this historical city. Among places of interest were the Titanic Museum (that fateful ship was built here by shipbuilders, Harland & Wolfe); an informative city walk, and an intriguing Black Taxi Tour of sites of "the troubles", its landmarks and murals. Then we headed 2 hrs. north to the North Coast of County Antrim. We hiked this beautiful coast most every day seeing castle ruins, old salmon fisheries, Giant's Causeway, and the Carrick-A-Rede rope bridge. This bridge spanning a 30 meter deep chasm was first erected over 250 yrs ago to connect salmon fishermen to their fishery on the small Island of Carrick a Rede. How could we not return to Antrim in 2023?
Our final trip of 2022, was a return to St. Davids, Wales on the Pembrokeshire Coast of the Irish Sea. A charming village, St Davids is the UK's smallest city, and called a city because of its centerpiece-St Davids Cathedral. In medieval Christendom two pilgrimages to St. Davids equaled one pilgrimage to Rome. St Davids is surrounded by spectacular coastal scenery which we enjoy every day of our week there!
Our plans for 2023: the last week of April will find us in Portugal and then in June we will return to Dingle, Ireland and to Antrim, No Ireland. We last had Portugal on the itinerary in 2019 but due to many requests, we are adding it back onto the itinerary. We will have 3 days exploring Lisbon, Europe's second oldest capital and then take a train 1.5 hrs southeast to Evora for our walking days in the Alentejo region. Evora, declared a UNESCO World Heritage site in 1986, is a charming walled city with architectural signatures remaining of Moors, Jews, Romans and Christian eras. Our hikes take us through olive groves, cork forests, vineyards and by burial tombs and markers dating to Neolithic period.
If you like the idea of walking in places of spectacular beauty and ancient history, where the only sounds could be birdsong, your footfall on the trail, ocean waves lapping on the shore, or maybe even am impromptu street serenade, then I would love to have you join me in 2023.