On this day, five years ago, Ireland was wrecked with the Hurricane Ophelia and while we had severe downpour and flooding just recently (two days ago), I remember the hot summer wrapped in layers of woollen clothes and our journey through Europe.
From Ireland to Croatia by car and back
We started our journey on the 1st of June from Cork’s ferry port in Ringaskiddy. Brittany Ferries have the “Armorique” (that is faster than Stena line) with comfortable cabins. The journey oversees was interesting enough and I did take a few photos, not spending my time entirely inside the cabin sleeping (overnight ferry). Coming to the other side, to Roscoff, it still felt very much like on the islands, the architecture and general feel. Like you know you are in France (driving on the other side, btw.) but not different enough from what you left behind 15 hours ago.
First destination was a quick stop in Auxerre, which we loved so much that we decided to stay over night, on our way back. After this we drove to Chamonix, Mt. Blanc. Long drive across beautiful France. Interesting little villages doted the landscape among huge agricultural fields. Cows are very white in France lol, not like mainly black or black and white, Angus or Holstein Fresian in Ireland. It’s hot in France, and with a lot of sunshine, dear cows are better protected to be white with pigmented skin, than black.
Chamonix, well, surrounded with high peaks, stunning views everywhere, a sight we will never forget. Amazing little hotel Plan B, (worth to visit again). Our ascent to the highest point of Mont Blanc, Aiguille du Midi (still having trouble to pronounce that).
Let the pictures talk.
After France, we passed Mt. Blanc tunnel (Tunnel du Mont Blanc) and entered Italy. Btw, we had one other loooong tunnel experience on our way back through Slovenian-Austrian alps, Karawanks (long and boring queues at the end of the summer).
Italy, driving first through the Aosta region, we were excited as we love the Italian TV series – Rocco Schiavone. We remembered all the funny scenes where he would ruin his very city like shoes in the wet and snowy region of Aosta, stubbornly refusing to stop wearing them in an effort to maintain at least one of his Rome habits.
Next stop was Venice. We slept in a hotel in the Mestre district, with easy to reach Venice with public transport (five stops with the bus). It was still under the pandemic measures, so face masks on, and it was a hot and humid day (30C). We were never people obsessed with Venice (never actually wanted to visit). It was on our way and it would be foolish not to visit. It is busy, noisy, hot and some kind of haze constantly hangs over the water. Architecture is amazing (but don’t get me wrong, it is amazing on so many places in Italy). Everyone was asking me if it smelled, no, there was no bad smell.
We had one great experience there, eating Venetian style liver in a small restaurant tucked among the channel and tiny street.
After Italy it is almost a jump to Croatia, through Slovenia and there we are. It already felt like home. We were so close even though it took us another 6-7 hours to get there. We stayed in Zadar, as that is our second home now. The year 2022 summer was hotter then usual. After a long, long time, we were there in full season. Here are some pics.
In Croatia we didn’t just stay in Zadar all of the time, and there is definitely no sufficient space on this tiny blog post to show all of my photos taken during summer, but I chose a “cross section” rather then “the best off”.
We were in Novigrad and in Dubrovnik as well.
**** for more photographs from this summer, check my page on Fine Art America****
Our journey back was through Austria and Germany, then France. We visited Krimml in Austrian Tirol, another place where we hope to come back to. Beautiful hotel Panorama with stunning views (AGAIN)
Stopped to say hi to our friends in Stuttgart and hopped over to Strasbourg. Le Petite France in Strasbourg is amazing. I was pleasantly surprised with the cleanliness in Strasbourg and the contrast between modern, business like part of the city and old quarter with preserved little houses with wooden beams.
click here Strasbourg
The rest of our journey back was travelling the same route we came. With one stop overnight in Auxerre.
I will need to write another post with some of the magical moments from this trip, let’s say this is just an overview.
I do invite you to check my photographs on Instagram as well