Tuesday, 23 October 2012

Vacation Happiness or Headache?

This is today's topic for Blogfest 2012 and the thought of vacations (or holidays as we Brits call them) conjures up a million different memories for me.

I've had many different vacations during my life. The first one I remember anything about was going to London when I was about eight for the Festival of Britain Exhibition, which was Britain's vision of the future after the dark days of World War II. I remember being so thrilled to see all the 'sights' of London for the first time. London has never ceased to mean something special to me, even though in the 90's I was there 10 or more times each year for meetings at Girl Guide HQ.  The most memorable occasion has to be the year I was invited to a garden party at Buckingham Palace (along with about 6,000 other people!)

I could tell you about many other cities I've visited - all over Europe and in Canada and the USA too, all with their own special memories - and too numerous to mention.

Maybe the worst trip I ever went on was to Italy one Easter - and it snowed! Totally freak snowstorm at that time of year! We were staying at a spa town in the hills between Rome and Naples. It was a coach tour - but they couldn't move the coaches because of all the snow, and we were stuck in the hotel - which wasn't geared up to providing lunches or evening meals for us. Instead, we had to venture out to find something to eat - and, being Easter and a religious holiday, there was only one shop and one pizza place in the town that were open! We'd gone expecting warm weather, so had shorts and summer dresses with us. I had to live in my only pair of pants for 3 days until the snow cleared and the temperatures rose again! And I wished I taken half a dozen sweaters and not just one!

My best ever trip was to Egypt two years ago. We did a week's cruise on the Nile between Luxor and Aswan, and I visited places I'd never thought I would ever see - the ancient temples in Luxor, and on the other side of the Nile, the amazing Valley of the Kings with all the underground tombs of the Pharaohs. At Aswan, we got up at 2.30am to catch the first flight to Abu Simbel to see the sun rise over Lake Nasser and cast its golden rays over the huge statues at the entrances to the temples there - an unforgettable experience.

I can't end this 'vacation' blog without mentioning Ireland where I've had some wonderful visits. I love the country, the scenery, the history, the people - so I'll conclude with this photo of the sun going down on Galway Bay!


  1. I do envy you that trip to Egypt, Paula - even though I've travelled to many other beautiful places! My husband went some years ago (through his travel business) but I didn't get to go with him.

  2. Ireland is my ultimate vacation destination!! If I ever go anywhere outside the USA I want it to be Ireland!

  3. Rosemary - I loved Egypt and at time could hardly believe I was there and seeing the things I'd always wanted to see. Standing in Tutankhamen's tomb was probably the most thrilling moment, but seeing the sun rise at Abu Simbel comes a vlose second!

    Jenn - I've been to Ireland about 10 times during the last 5 years, and love every part of it!

  4. I envy you your visits to London, I would love to go there!! And lucky you at Buckingham Palace.


  5. Kathy - London is a fantastic city, so much to see and do! And the Buck Pal. garden party was quite an experience - and wonderful for 'people-watching' :-)

    Claudia - Egypt was on my list for many years, and I'm so glad I finally got there, just 3 months before the revolution broke out and threw the country into chaos.

  6. Adrienne (adpacaus)1 November 2012 at 21:35

    So what are garden parties at Buck Palace like?

  7. Buck House garden parties? A wonderful opportunity to people-watch, Adrienne - whilst eating one's cucumber sandwiches and drinking tea from china cups, of course!