Tough Mudder Ireland, was the perfect start of a fun, but much too short, vacation of the UK. Equipped with my overflowing backpack, city maps and a friend from the states, we set out with one goal in mind. To do and see as much as possible. Looking back at our whirlwind of pictures, we clearly achieved just that.
If you haven’t noticed, I like a rush of adrenaline, and doing all things that may fall into that category. However, I a full time volunteer, so I have to cut certain luxuries out of my traveling budget. Unbeknownst to me until the last day, the theme of our trip was “Why take a taxi, when you can wander around and get lost for free?!” I may have worn out my travel companion with my constant wandering in clueless directions. But what better way is there to see a new city? As long as you avoid the shady back alleyways. Don’t worry Mom, that only happened once or twice ;).
Standing on the edge of the 702 foot tall Cliffs of Moher, and staring straight down into the Atlantic Ocean, was our first shot of adrenaline. The cliffs are one of Ireland’s top tourist attractions and were absolutely beautiful.
Another tourist must, while in the UK, is to drink as much Guinness as possible. Known for the black and gold creamy mixture, I had never tried it in the states. Slowly turning into a dark beer lover, I wasn’t sure what my taste buds would think. Unfortunately for my waistline, I loved it! I refused, and still do, to look at the calorie count in a pint of Guinness. After a long day of walking and sightseeing, how could I refuse a tall glass of frothy delicious beer?! And why would I want to?
Walking through a new city, soaking in the culture and sights, slowly but surely, fills my adrenaline and happiness bubble. I LOVE it. As long as you catch me after my morning cup of coffee, another unwritten rule of traveling with me, you will undoubtedly see a smile pasted on my face as I take it all in.
Sampling the food and cuisine of any city, may not be considered adventurous, but it is one of my favorite parts of traveling. We did our best to only eat food that would be proud to be paired with our delicious pints of Guinness.
Walking an average of more than 8 miles each day, we strode through the beautiful fall leaves in each city.
One of my favorite places we visited, was Snowdonia National Park in Wales. It took us three buses, to arrive at our hostel, which was secluded to say the least. Without wifi, cellphone reception or an ATM, it was a nice break from the crowds of tourists. One of the most beautiful parks I have ever been to, the pictures I have don’t do it justice. It is also home to the highest mountain Wales, standing at 3,560 feet above sea level. What better way to keep the adrenaline going, than to climb my first mountain?
Located not far from Mount Snowdon, is the longest zip line in Europe. Which also claims to be the fastest in the world, promising speeds at excess of 100 mph.
From the Tough Mudder to zip lining, and everything in between, we had an amazing vacation. Filled with more than our fair share of excitement, returning to the quiet of my Albanian city, may not be the worst thing. However, I am slowly learning, that adrenaline bubble just can’t be ignored. I can only sit for so long, until I begin to go stir crazy for a new adventure.