Monday, March 11, 2013

Vacationing on the Water, Part III: Le Mont-Saint-Michel

If you find yourself in the northwest region of France, take the time to get to Le Mont-Saint-Michel.  Located in Normandy, it is one of France's most loved sites.  During high tide, Le Mont-Saint-Michel is an island; during low tide, you can walk from the mainland to the city's walls.

It is not the most convenient place to visit.  When I went in 2010, I took a train from Nantes to Rennes and then a bus from Rennes to Le Mont-Saint-Michel.  The route is scenic, however:

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Vacationing on the Water, Part II: The Greek Islands

Anyone who has talked to me in the past few years has heard me rave about the Greek islands.  Eric and I have visited together three times since 2010.  Greece continues to be one of my favorite places to return to time and time again.  Here are some details on a few of the islands and some suggestions of what to check out while you're there.


Crete has been ruled by the Minoans, the Venetians and the Ottoman Empire at different times in centuries past.  After gaining its independence at the turn of the twentieth century, Crete became a part of Greece about ten years later.  While it reflects the Mediterranean culture of Greece, it also has its own distinctive mix of influences.  

The pink flowers everywhere were one of my favorite sights

Monday, March 4, 2013

Vacationing on the Water, Part I: The Gili Islands

It is cold in Chicago.  It has been cold the entire time I've been here.  Every night, I curl up on my couch under my Red Sox fleece blanket and imagine being somewhere warm.  To indulge my fantasy, let me recommend some of the best tropical/seaside locations I've visited in the past few years.  Maybe you can escape to one of them soon.

Longboats on the beach
The Gili Islands, Indonesia

My favorite part of these three islands near Bali is that there are no cars or motorbikes.  People get around on bicycles or horse-drawn carts.  Though there is the risk of getting trampled by a pony, I loved not having motorbikes sneak up behind me.  Maybe because of this, the water seemed extra blue and the beaches extra clean.  Gili Trawangan, the largest of the three islands, is still small enough that you can walk around the entire coastline in an afternoon.  The main road is lined with hotels, guest houses, restaurants and snorkeling companies.  Eric and I spent six nights on Gili Trawangan, and I could have happily spent another few days.