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Europe

To date I have traveled to Ireland   England   Greece   France   Belgium   Malta   Netherlands   Slovenia   Spain   Bosnia and Herzegovina   Croatia

Barcelona | SuitcaseandHeels.com

I want to ‘Go with Oh’ to Barcelona

Yo quiero ‘Go with Oh’ a Barcelona! Barcelona has been on my travel radar for awhile now. Architecture, food, wine, beaches, art and gorgeous Spanish men – what more could a girl want from a vacation? Add in beaches and shopping and it’s like the city was tailor made for me.

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Folklor Lindo | SuitcaseandHeels.com

Photo of the Week: Lindo, the Dubrovnik Folklore Ensemble

Over the last 40 years, more than 3000 people have taken part in Linđo, the folklore ensemble based in Dubrovnik, Croatia. On my last night in town I attended a show at an outdoor theatre, where I got to see traditional dances and hear folk songs from various parts of the country. It was a real treat. The singers were a delight to the ear and the costumes were gorgeous to look at.

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Ston | SuitcaseandHeels.com

Ston, Croatia: Salt & Walls

Ston, Croatia is a small Medieval town who’s history goes back to the 14th century. Today it is know for its walls, salt pans and oysters. I was unable to really experience any of these and what I did see of the town left me feeling a bit down. Have you been to Ston? Am I being too hard on it?

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Dubrovnik Parrot | SuitcaseandHeels.com

Photo of the Week: Dubrovnik Parrot

I heard these birds before I ever saw them. Sounds echos in a city of stone. I came across this scene while walking down the Stradun one day. You could pay some money and have your picture taken holding a brightly coloured bird – a busking scheme I’d seen before in a few places. I love how one of the parrots is stealing a treat while the man is distracted.

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Mimoza | SuitcaseandHeels.com

Restaurant Mimoza – Dubrovnik, Croatia

Food in Dubrovnik was disappointing. Nothing bad per se, but just rather mediocre. Maybe I was eating at the wrong restaurants. Maybe it’s all just geared towards the never ending stream of cruise ship passengers who prefer familiar foods. Restaurant Mimoza was like port in a storm of blandness. Reasonable prices and good, tasty simple food in a pleasant atmosphere. Get yourself out of Old Town and its crowds and check out Restaurant Mimoza next time you’re in Dubrovnik.

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The Old Bridge in Mostar | SuitcaseandHeels.com

Mostar: A City Divided

It wasn’t the gorgeous, reconstructed bridge that first caught my attention as my bus rolled into Mostar, Bosnia and Herzegovina. It was the battle scarred buildings that looked like the fighting had only ended yesterday instead of nearly 20 years ago. Although Stari Most has been put back together like Humpty Dumpty never could and spans the Neretva again, the city itself is still divided.

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Buza I

Cold Drinks with the Most Beautiful View

Want to experience the best hidden-in-plain-view hidden gem in Dubrovnik? You’ll need to play hide and seek with a couple of holes in the city walls. The search will be worth it though when you’re perched on the cliffs, sipping your cold beer watching ships sail by as the sun sets on the Adriatic Sea. Just watch your step.

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Buza I - one of Dubrovnik's cliff bars

Photo of the Week: Buža I

Perched on the rocks, clinging to the southern ramparts of Dubrovnik’s city walls, Buža I is a not-so-hidden, yet hard to find gem. If you can find the entrance that pierces the city walls you’ll be greeted with unobstructed stunning views in shades of Mediterranean blue. Just limit yourself to a drink or two because there are no bathrooms and few railings.

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Listowel Arms Hotel

Staying at the Listowel Arms Hotel in Listowel, Ireland

It was only by chance that I stayed at the Listowel Arms Hotel at all. The fog in Dingle had canceled my plans to drive around the peninsula so my dad and I decided to push on towards Galway that afternoon and stop when it got close to dark. That lucky town was Listowel, Co. Kerry – “the Literary Capital of Ireland”. I noticed a plaque outside noting that the hotel was associated with Daniel O’Connell, The Liberator, and also with C.S. Parnell. If it was good enough for them, it’s certainly good enough for us.They had a twin room free for a rather princely sum of 60 euro each but where else were we going to go in the dark? This was the only game in town. The price did include wifi, full Irish breakfast and parking until 9am, so there was that. When I got to the room I noticed that, while the room had two twin beds, they…

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Mullingar - SuitcaseandHeels.com

A Really Good Sandwich in Mullingar

Sometimes it’s the simple, unplanned things that leave an impression, like the lunch my father and I had in Mullingar, Ireland. It wasn’t a planned stop. We had no list of things to see or places to eat or have a pint. We were simply on our way from Galway to Belfast and in need of food and Mullingar was in the right place at the right time.

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Blarney Castle

Photo of the Week: Blarney Castle, Ireland

Blarney Castle and its famous stone weren’t originally part of my plan when I took my dad to Ireland. However, once we realized how close it was to Cork we thought “What the hell, even if it’s cheesy let’s check it out.” I’m glad we did. We arrived early in the morning and almost had the place to ourselves. Climbing the very narrow spiral staircase was a little nerve-wracking and our moment with the stone was a blur, but we spent lots of time exploring the other rooms and castle grounds. Even if you think the folklore surrounding this castle is a load of blarney, I’d still recommend making a visit if you’re near Cork.

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Kytelers Inn

Drinking with Witches and Heretics

Kyteler’s Inn is a truly medieval pub In St. John’s we like to think we have some old stuff. Founded in 1497, we’re the oldest city in North America.  We’ve got nothing on Europe, however. Our oldest pub is only 35 years old for Pete’s sake! Something’s just not right there. I love old buildings steeped with history and imagining all the things those walls have seen. They make me feel connected to the past and all the people who’ve stood on that same spot. So when I was planning my trip to Ireland and learned about a 687 year old pub I knew I had to visit. Kyteler’s Inn was established in 1324 in Kilkenny,  Ireland’s medieval city. You just know that a pub that old is going to have a colourful, dark past and this one doesn’t disappoint. Dame Alice Kyteler was born in Kilkenny to a Hiberno-Norman family….

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Irish National Road

How Not to Drive Around Ireland

Ireland can be fun and enjoyable if you like narrow winding roads, averaging 60km/hr and remembering to flip all your left/right instincts. Oh my God, the roads. I think I know why the Irish drink. A pint was just what I needed to soothe my nerves after a day’s drive. These are some tips I’ve picked up for how to not drive around Ireland.

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