Due to some "real life" happenings and mix-ups I took vacation at a time I did not want, canceled it, took shorter time off anyway and ended up very frustrated. Then there was a week arranged in January, where I wanted to go on a painting trip to Grado, which I ended up canceling.
What to do with that cherished week? Cancle it also? And then there were the Instagram Photos of a trip to London a friend and her daughter took. It's been 25 years since I last was in London. Without a lot of thought I went online, booked a flight, looked for a hotel which fit my not existing budget but still fullfilled a minimum of expectations (near an underground station, free WiFi and reasonably good booking.com descriptions) and after canceling two bookings I finally found one near Earls Court.
Definitely the right place to arrive!
Over the next week I walked 134 km through London,
Old and new side by side.
and world known sights.
the mathematicians bridge.
Inside the quad of Queens' College
a small part of the Cotswald's
The last two days I spent in London again:
(need something crazy in your life - do this:)
And then I discovered and fell in love with:
One of my last impressions before returning to Heathrow and home was this reflection of the sky. I think it very well sums up my experience.
Mariazell is a famous pilgrimage destination in Austria. I only vaguely remembered being there once as a kid. As we were already in Lunz am See, we decided to go on to Mariazell and drive home via the south.
The Basilika sits high above the town. It is home of a revered statue of Mother Mary, the Magna Mater Austriae.
Of course that brings with it the usual parafrenalia of pilgrimage:
Which, if you keep a close focus, still has some historical charm.
As do some of the lovely renovated older buildings in town, overrun on a sunny afternoon by bikers of every kind (the ones using just their legs and the ones using heavy machinery), groups arriving for specialy read masses and also people out for a lovely afternoon trip as we were.
Icecoffe - the perfect end to a lovely day trip.
After the second weekend excursion I have to admit it is definitely worth it to fight ones inner critic and weaker self and get going. There is so much to discover and enjoy in our lovely country within just a couple of hours driving distance. Already looking forward to next weekends adventure, which will be of a more artistical kind.