Life in Europe: September 2015

My monthly wrap-ups are for me to share personal tidbits — the little things that make up my life abroad; stories and photos which may not otherwise see the light of blogging day. See previous months here.

September had me bouncing around Western Europe like a coked-up airplane bunny, jumping back and forth between Schengen borders and collecting passport stamps like candy. All I can say is: thank goodness for budget airlines.

Glacier lagoon, Iceland by Expat Edna

Iceland: I started out the month in a teeny tiny tent in the middle of Iceland, continuing the camping adventures from August. While I still do not enjoy camping, if there’s anyplace that makes it worth it, it’s crazy gorgeous Iceland.

Reykjavik, Iceland by Expat Edna

After completing our drive around the whole island, we stayed an extra couple of days in Reykjavik — it was nice to decompress by revisiting some of my favorite bars in town, meeting up with Kiki, and finally sleeping in a proper bed.

Covent Garden balloons by Expat Edna

London: From there we returned to London and stayed in the city two more weeks, with a Venice trip sandwiched into the weekend.

Once more I mostly spent that time seeing friends, stuffing my face in Shoreditch, drinking pints with the best of them, and yelling at TV screens during rugby games.

London from the Eye by Expat Edna

And after three years of coming to London I finally went up the London Eye — which is currently kitted out in the flags of each country playing in the Rugby World Cup!

After spending much of the summer in London, it was hard to leave my faux-expat life there — I’ve got a taste and now I want the real deal. One day.

Family time in Venice by Expat Edna

Venice: Even though this trip to Venice was pretty spontaneous, it wasn’t surprising — at this point Venice feels like a second home after Paris, so I can rarely say no to a visit. And there were so many highlights from just three days in town!

What I love most about Venice is spending time with our Venetian friend, Enrico — he always makes sure we are fed the best cheese and hams and spritzes in all of Italy!

This particular weekend his relatives were in town, so we were able to go out on the family boats for a blast through the laguna and smaller canals. Totally beats a gondola ride.

Venice Film Festival by Expat Edna

We also caught the last weekend of the Venice Film Festival. No Clooney sightings, but we did catch a screening of the movie Go With Me (spoiler alert: the plot was pretty flat and anticlimactic).

But especially notable was being able to catch up with an old friend; we’d had a falling out five years ago, and only recently reconnected. So all in all, a pretty good guys’ trip to Venice — even if one of us did fall into a canal….

Hacker tent, Oktoberfest 2015 by Expat Edna

Munich: As I wrote recently, there’s more to Oktoberfest than beer — which is why we decided to stay in Munich for a whole week this time around (cheers to Alex for hosting us for a few days!). A big group of friends came down from Paris for the weekend, and we did the whole circus — including meeting at 6:30 am to get into the Hacker tent on a Saturday. Yeesh.

I even met up with an old classmate from high school whom I hadn’t seen in over nine years, and honestly didn’t think I would ever see again. The joys of beer festivals!

At the end of a week, though, I was more than ready to get outta dodge. Turns out 4-5 days is my max for this shindig.

Cork, Ireland by Expat Edna

Cork: Ah, Ireland. I’ve been back here and there, but it’s been six years since I was last in Cork. We spent a couple nights here with the family of a good friend — the same family who hosted me six years ago. I tell ya, nothing beats an Irish mam’s homecooked breakfast.

After stocking up on chocolate from O’Conaill’s we made our way southwest, where we’ll be living in this house for the whole of October. Color me exhausted: it feels good to be able to unpack my bags and kick my feet up by the fire for a while.

How was your September? Any fun travel plans coming up?

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Comments

  1. What a month you have had! So glad we got to meet up while you were in Iceland :)

  2. Mmm kicking up feet by the fire sounds like the perfect October plan to me – especially after the crazy month you just had!

    • It totally is! I even learned how to make the fire myself so I’m pretty much ready for anything now.

  3. Such a whirlwind month! But sounds like you had tons of fun. And awww, London, I’m going there next month and am already super excited.

    • Funny enough, this was actually one of my calmer months of late ;) I’m jealous already, I love London and you’re going to have so much fun!

  4. As with previous years, my September was dominated by the Toronto International Film Festival. I love that my city attracts global attention, and there are a few hundred movies to choose from. This year, I attended 17 films – very exhausting and expensive, but also rewarding.

    I am about to travel again, now in October. I’m flying off to Tokyo a couple of days from now, to spend two weeks in Japan. It’s my first time to that country, and I’m really looking forward to it.

    I always enjoy reading about your travels and adventures. Please keep it up.

    • Thank you David! And 17?! Wow, I could barely make it through one (then again, it wasn’t very good…). Enjoy Japan! I absolutely love visiting that country.

  5. I’m knackered just reading everything. Wow. You have some energy, girl. (And FYI – I don’t like camping either)

  6. After reading that, I’m like “Where does she live?!” That is how you should do a month in Europe…go all over! Oh Iceland. How beautiful is that place? I can’t wait to go back to spend more time there. Maybe I could hack out camping too if it was that spectacular!

    Thanks for writing about the “more than beer” and Oktoberfest. We should definitely go next year!

    Cheers to your next month!

    • I don’t live anywhere! Except maybe out of my suitcase :) Glad you enjoyed the Oktoberfest post, I hope you get to check it out sometime!

  7. Looks like a lovely time! Those pictures look like a fairy tale. Thanks for sharing :)

  8. Such a dreamy month! Seriously, I am drooling over your current living accommodations.
    I would really love to get to know London better… hopefully that will happen a little bit later this year (fingers crossed). Was the London Eye worth it? :)

    • Thanks Cynthia! The London Eye was worth it with a discount (15GBP per ticket), though I think once was enough. I got my discount from being signed up to the Rugby World Cup newsletter, maybe see if you can find discount codes or wait for some sort of deal to come up?