September 3, 2014

The grand finale of summer 2014!

I love art, traveling, writing and running. The last two weeks of summer granted me the opportunity to fill my days with all of these things.

For some reason I've had a tough time collecting my thoughts to write this blog since arriving home a few days ago. I've decided to let the photos speak for the experiences we had and the places we saw.

I will say this, I ran 200km during the two weeks we were traveling...covering a lot of ground in each of the places we spent time in. This may sound crazy to some but I hope that it inspires others to really explore places on foot in the future - whether that be where they live now or somewhere new they travel to.

We walked for hours and hours each day, enjoyed exceptional food, great company, and paused often to appreciate the finer things in life. Travel is what you make it. We avoided many touristy areas of most cities and sought out the local areas to eat and explore whenever we could.

The trip was made possible by Michael's parents. For one week, 18 of us spent our days traveling around the Mediterranean. It was a once in a lifetime trip to do together. I am so grateful to have been included.

On the flight home I finished Cheryl Strayed's Wild and the final passage feels fitting to share here...

“It was all unknown to me then, as I sat on that white bench on the day I finished my hike. Everything except the fact that I didn't have to know. That is was enough to trust that what I'd done was true. To understand its meaning without yet being able to say precisely what it was, like all those lines from The Dream of a Common Language that had run through my nights and days. To believe that I didn't need to reach with my bare hands anymore. To know that seeing the fish beneath the surface of the water was enough. That it was everything. It was my life - like all lives, mysterious and irrevocable and sacred. So very close, so very present, so very belonging to me.
How wild it was, to let it be.”

And so my friends, here it is...the grand finale of summer 2014!

The route.
A quick stop at the Louvre during our run through Paris, France.
Love locks in Paris, France.
Katie and Fra post drinks and dinner in Paris, France. Riding in style. Two smart cats.
Eiffel Tower stop during our 17km run around Paris, France.
Centre Pompidou in Paris, France.
A lovely and inspiring walk through Centre Pompidou in Paris, France.
Hotel Emile in Paris, France. A great neighbourhood and a lovely place to stay.
Yes, I do run...off the train in Irun, Spain.
The lovely San Sebastian, Spain.
The beach in San Sebastian, Spain.
Tapas galore in San Sebastian, Spain.
Pintxos in San Sebastian, Spain. Go just for the food.
View from the apartment we rented in San Sebastian, Spain through Friendly Rentals.
Street art in Bilbao, Spain.
The Museo Guggenheim Bilbao, Spain. Go just for the building.
Seen in Museo Guggenheim Bilbao, Spain.
During a walk around Barcelona, Spain.
Hotel Banys Orientals in Barcelona, Spain. A great little hotel in the Gothic Quarter.
The beach in Barcelona, Spain. A fabulous place to run!
A quiet street in Barcelona, Spain.
Park Güell in Barcelona, Spain. Find a place to sit and marvel at the colours, space and design.
Gaudi's work is pretty amazing.
Street art in Barcelona, Spain.
Tapas with an old friend in Barcelona, Spain.
Gaudi, pink, mosaic...enough said.
Street art in Barcelona, Spain.
Street art in Barcelona, Spain.
Solo mission to Parc Guell in Barcelona, Spain.
Amalfi Coast, Italy. Every traveler should get there.
Rave running the Amalfi Coast, Italy.
A hike to remember.
Positano, Italy...absolutely stunning.
A little boat in Sorrento, Italy.
Street art in Rome, Italy.
Michael's fabulous parents at the Colosseum in Rome, Italy.
Light inside the Pantheon in Rome, Italy.
Inside the Uffizi Gallery Museum in Florence, Italy. One of the finest places in all the world.
The Birth of Venus by Sandro Botticelli. Spectacular!
Street art in Florence, Italy.
Street art in Florence, Italy.
A theme of our two weeks in Europe - running with ice cream cones to catch a ferry, bus or train.
Street art in Florence, Italy.
Spotted on a long run in Cannes, France.
Something I stumbled across during my long run in Cap d'Antibes in the French Riviera. 
The streets of Cannes, France.
Deia, Majorca, Spain...a village made of dreams.
Flowers in Deia, Majorca, Spain.
We all need a little more quiet in our lives.
Spotted in Deia, Majorca, Spain. I love these.
Go for a long walk. Deia is waiting for you to arrive.
One of the many fruit stands we frequented.
A spot to rest our feet and grab a bite in Deia, Majorca, Spain.
May we all travel far and wide.
View from our balcony for seven Mediterranean mornings.