Reykjavik, London and Enniscorthy, oh my!

I’m back from a fabulous two-and-a-half-week vacation in Iceland, England and Ireland. It was amazing so I've decided to do something a little different this week by sharing a travel blog of our adventures!

While I didn't do any of my own art during this trip, art in its many forms was front and center throughout. Art was well represented through plays, museums, beautiful special exhibits, gorgeous scenery and delicious food!

REYKAJVIK

Although it was cold and rainy while we were there, even in the middle of their summer, we enjoyed a walking tour of the city and several longer tours during our very short stay. Waterfalls, a glacier, a black sandy beach and incredible caves are only a small sample of the beautiful scenery.

Here are a few pictures that give you a sense of the beauty and volcanic nature of the environment.

We were only In Reykjavik long enough for one dinner but my husband found an incredible restaurant called Nostra that was delicious. 

We didn't make it to the Blue Lagoon which is apparently a very popular attraction. I guess that means we will have to go back to Iceland again sometime!

LONDON

After Reykajvik, we spent a full week in London and the weather was A-MAZ-ING! It was actually hot, in the mid-80s, with clear, blue skies.

We love Shakespeare and went to see four plays at The Globe Theater. The Globe is wonderful because you can buy “groundling” tickets and stand right at the edge of the stage just like theater goers did in Shakespeare’s day. We saw Hamlet, As You Like It, Two Noble Kinsmen and The Winter’s Tale.

Hamlet was wonderful, in part because Hamlet was played with great dexterity by Michelle Terry who is also the new artistic director. We had never seen Two Noble Kinsmen before so that was also a real treat. My husband's goal of seeing Shakespeare's entire cannon is now one step closer!

We visited both the Tate Modern, which had a special Picasso exhibit, and the Tate Britain, which had a fabulous special exhibit called Monet and Architecture. The Monet exhibit was a very interesting take on his work through the lens of the buildings in his paintings. 

It was beautifully curated with separate rooms at the end highlighting his Rouen Cathedral series, the Waterloo Bridge & House of Parliament series and finally his San Giorgio Maggiore and The Grand Canal, Venice series. 

Here are pictures of London at sunset and Shakespeare's Globe Theater.

We were lucky to be in London for Christo’s installation of The London Mastaba, which consists of 7500 horizontally stacked barrels floating in Serpentine Lake in Hyde Park. My son and I walked all the way around the lake in order to get views of it from every possible angle.

I took a short video although it doesn’t really do the structure or the surroundings justice. But look at that blue, cloudless sky!

There is, of course, delicious food in London. These are three of our favorite places:

St. John which specializes in pork

Monmouth Kitchen which offers a delightful mix of Italian and Peruvian small plates, and

Frog by Adam Handling which is a bit pretentious but serves both delicious food and wonderful wine parings.

DUBLIN, ENNISCORTHY, WEXFORD, AND KILKENNY

After London, we gathered for a week with fourteen members of our family in a beautiful reconstructed mini-castle outside of Enniscorthy in south eastern Ireland.

The castle is about two hours outside of Dublin so we all gathered in Dublin first. We spent a lovely day exploring Dublin before driving out to the countryside.

The mini-castle was amazing and the owners own and operate a working dairy farm right next door. They have only remodeled half of the original structure which you can see in these pictures. The weather was also perfect with blue skies alternating with white puffy clouds. We did not get a drop of rain!

This area of Ireland is beautiful, pastoral and devoid of tourists. Most tourists go to the western part of Ireland to visit Galway and the Cliffs of Moher in County Clare.  Few people visit the eastern part of the island even though it offers beautiful rolling hills, charming small towns and great food.

We alternated between cooking in and eating out. There were many great choices in nearby towns including Wexford and Kilkenny. We had a wonderful meal at La Cote, which has a Michelin star, and features fresh seafood. And my son’s favorite place was Green Acres where he had a spectacular Irish brisket.

As I mentioned at the outset, I didn’t do any art while we were away. I had packed my small watercolor set and I also had my iPad Pro and Apple Pencil with me. However, our days and nights were full of scenic adventures, family time, great museums and delicious meals.

All of the "culture" we experienced throughout the trip was rejuvenating. And it's wonderful to take a short break periodically to rest and recharge our creative batteries.

I'm excited to be home and to jump back into my creative practice.

Remember, It’s Never Too Late To Create.

Xo,

Anne

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