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Gallivanting in Europe

posted May 6, 2013, 6:50 AM by Grace Bridges   [ updated Oct 16, 2013, 12:40 AM ]
When I lived in Germany, I got to make several brief trips to other places around Europe. These included:

France (Paris, staying in a quaint old family-run hotel at the foot of Montmartre)
Spain (Guardamar del Segura, Costa Blanca, with friends)
Austria (Salzburg, to see the castle, also once Innsbruck and once not sure of exact location; remote mountain)
Switzerland (Zurich, Geneva, Winterthur and another remote mountain location)
Czech Republic (only just over the border, for work - I think we ate lunch in Rozvadov)
Tunisia (Hammam Sousse, with a friend for a week in February to escape the northern winter)
England (London, visiting dear friends in Wembley and getting to play the tourist)
Scotland (With my mother, Edinburgh, Perth, Glasgow, Isle of Bute, and a glimpse of Stranraer as we left it)
Ireland (Bangor/Belfast, Dublin, Balbriggan, Doolin, Antrim, Downpatrick, Newtownards and Strangford Lough - Ahem. There'll be a whole other post for this lot!)

Here's a couple of my favourite photos from those trips. Bear with me - for much of this time I was using a first-generation cellphone camera! 

On the outskirts of Geneva, looking across the border into France - yes, that's a giant cliff. Geneva is on a bit of Switzerland that sticks into France, so it's possible to use city transport to cross from one French border to the other in about an hour. Which we did. Fun! There was a cable car to go up the cliff, but it happened to be closed that day, so instead we found a nice French restaurant out here in the middle of nowhere and had a meal of several courses for a very good price.

The terrace at Hotel El Menchia in Hammam-Sousse, Tunisia. We breakfasted here each day, then set off to explore the local area - markets and bakeries, and nearby towns by bus or open trolley. Sousse itself has a marvellous souk that pours itself, walled, down a hillside above the modern city, and in the other direction we found a yacht marina with everything a tourist might want.

Walking about the Isle of Bute, we got alternately rained on and dried by the sun. This is a view from the Rothesay golf course above the town, looking east at the mainland and the Firth of Clyde.