Thursday, April 3, 2008

Wandering Shephard, Not Quite Desperado

I like to imagine that certain points in life can be described simply with a soundtrack. I'm not quite certain what song would describe my time over here in England, but I'm sure if I think hard enough I'll come up with something. For the next month, however I'm going to be living to the beat of "Wandering Shepherd" by Dan Fogelberg. I'll be heading all over Ireland and Scotland and Italy and seeing a bit of France and Greece in the next 5 weeks starting tonight. I'll be that "traveling pilgrim" that will rest for several nights in airports and on the beach with a bottle of wine and some cheese. I'll be that "wandering shepherd" and I'll keep wandering until the flight home on May 7th when "Desperado" by The Eagles will take over. Then it'll be all about "drawing the queen of hearts" and enjoying the "fine things that have been laid upon my table," and not always wishing for "the ones I can't get." That being said, let's put down the needle and let the music begin. (Yeah, I said needle; records just sound better!)

Tonight I fly from London to Dublin where I'll spend the night in the airport before spending the day drinking Guinness in the Factory and learning how Jameson Irish Whiskey is made. I'll spend the night in Dublin and in the morning head north to Belfast to walk around town and try to get a feel for what it's like to be in a place where fighting has been going on for YEARS over independence and religious motives. After sleeping in Belfast on Saturday night, I'll spend Sunday in the footsteps of giants at the Giant's Causeway and possibly visiting the Bushmills distillery before heading back to Dublin for the night. Waking up early Monday, we'll start the tour throughout the whole of the Republic of Ireland for 5 days. Sleeping in the Dublin airport that Friday will ensure that I'll catch my early flight to Glasgow next Saturday. I'll spend the day in Glasgow, possibly looking up some old family lore and legend before going to Edinburgh to get a dram and head to bed for the night. Sunday in Edinburgh (probably one of my favorite cities thus far on my travels) will consist of Liturgy at St. Nicholas, the Edinburgh Castle and perching on Arthur's Seat to watch the sunset. Monday, I'll leave on another adventure tour from Edinburgh westward to circumnavigate all but the northeast of Scotland, even stopping for a day on the Isle of Skye. Once we hit Edinburgh on Friday though, I'll be ready for some warmth. Good thing it's next on the schedule.

On Saturday, April 19th, I'll fly from Edinburgh to Nimes in France where I'll catch my train through Avignon and the Provence region into Nice where I'll get to spend a day on the beach and a day searching the French Riveria before flying from Milan to Athens on the 22nd. Catching a train to Thessaloniki will take me to my hotel, the Queen Olga , where I'll be staying for two nights before ol' JWey comes to town VERY late on Thursday the 24th. We'll be staying in that hotel for the next three nights whilst we explore Thessaloniki and spend PASCHA IN GREECE! Plenty of church, then plenty of celebration and "Christos Anesti! Alethos Anesti!" and plenty of lamb and wine later, we'll go to Athens for a day on Sunday and Monday. Monday night will be spent on a ferry to Bari where we will either rent a car to drive through Italy or catch a train to Rome. Either way, Rome, Pisa, Florence and a couple of days in the Cinque Terre region will round out the warm-weather travels before we fly to Paris on May 4th for two days. After wandering around looking over burgeoning artists shoulders at their new masterpieces while eating croissants and nursing a bottle of wine for two days we'll fly to Oxford to get my things that I'll be leaving here, having one last pint in the Eagle and Child and heading to the airport in London to come home. The the good times will be over!! Ok, not really, cause then life will truly have to start, once I get back... :) This is going to be fun... Cheers!


Joeliver said...

"You're the shepherd."

Anonymous said...


Caleb said...

I knew you'd say that, Joel. That's all I could think about writing that.

Luke Beecham said...'re going to Cinque Terre - I am infinitely jealous, as is my wife. Rab and I did not make it there in our travels and it's the first place Janna and I would like to go when we go back. I am also infinitely glad that you and JWey are going! HAVE FUN!!!