Best of the Best

The Adventure in Akureyri

The Adventure in Akureyri

During this contract, I was able to do and see some truly incredible things.  Since coming home, I’ve frequently been asked about my favorite places, and I’ve had trouble answering!  There were so many wonderful places, but I liked different ports for different things.  Looking back through my photos, I tried to break down some of the highlights of the past few months.  This is what I came up with…  The Best of the Adventure.

Best Hike

Pulpit Rock

Pulpit Rock

Best Beaches

Paradise

Paradise

Photo doesn't do it justice!

Photo doesn’t do it justice!

Just look at that water

Just look at that water

Best tours

Tuk tuk tour

Tuk tuk tour

Camels at the base

Camels at the base

Magic at the top

Magic at the top

Best Place for Beer

  • Beer Wall in Bruges
    • I made a special category for Bruges, because I had such a great day there!  The beer is fantastic, but the whole city is worth visiting!
Beer Wall

Beer Wall

Favorite Landmarks

Amazing to see

Amazing to see

I could visit every day!

I could visit every day!

Best Museum

  • The Guggenheim Bilbao
    • The architect, Frank Gehry, also designed the Guggenheim Museum that will soon be built in Abu Dhabi.  There was an interesting article in the New York Times about the new museum.
Beautiful Gehry building

Beautiful Gehry building

Favorite City

Las Ramblas

Las Ramblas

Favorite Country

Sunset in Reykjavik

Sunset in Reykjavik

Northern Lights.  Photo by: Daffodaleia Williams

Northern Lights. Photo by: Daffodaleia Williams

I knew the quality of the places I was visiting was pretty astounding, but I just recently added up the quantity!  I’ve now been to 39 countries.  I can’t wait to add more to the list in the New Year!

Casey’s Travel Map

Casey has been to: Antigua and Barbuda, Aruba, Australia, Bahamas, Barbados, Belgium, Canada, China, Curacao, Denmark, Fiji, France, Gibraltar, Hong Kong, Iceland, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Netherlands Antilles, New Caledonia, New Zealand, Norway, Portugal, Puerto Rico, Romania, Russia, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, Singapore, Sint Maarten, South Korea, Spain, Taiwan, Thailand, U.S. Virgin Islands, United Kingdom, United States, Vatican, Vietnam.

Get your own travel map from Matador Network.

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Spectacular Stonehenge

Front view

Front view

On our last turnaround day in Southampton, I joined a group of friends for a drive out to Stonehenge. We rented three cars, met early in the morning, and hit the road! My driver was a New Yorker. We lived through the drive, but there were a few scary moments while he was getting used to driving on the other side of the road! About an hour after we left, Stonehenge was in view. It took another 30 minutes to get through the traffic to the parking lot and visitor center.

Tada!

Tada!

We only had about an hour until we needed to head back towards the ship. The mastermind behind the outing pre-booked our tickets, so we were able to get in the line for the shuttle right away. Luckily, a shuttle arrived almost immediately, so we were able to quickly get to the site.

Back view

Back view

There was a short walk from the shuttle stop to the rocks. The sight was amazing. The rocks are huge! It is baffling to think how the original builders were able to lift the stones to the top. It is also a mystery where they found the rocks. It is in the middle of a field. If you turn your back to the monument, there are cows!

Facing away

Facing away

We had to run back to the cars, and had just enough time to grab a bite to eat at McDonald’s before getting back on the ship. It was a rushed day, but was totally worth the effort! I’ve now seen two of the Seven Wonders of the World. I wonder which one is next!

Stonehenge

Stonehenge

A Foggy Day in London Town

Our flight to the UK landed around 10:30am, so we were able to drop our bags at the hotel, clean up a bit, and go into London for the day! Although I was pretty sleep deprived, I headed out there with two of the other dancers as soon as possible.

Hello, London!

Hello, London!

We caught the tube at the airport and came out right in front of Big Ben!   The clock tower is much larger than I’d realized from pictures. The whole building is beautiful!

Big Ben

Big Ben

Next, we walked across the bridge to look at the London Eye. We chose to keep exploring, rather than waiting in line to ride the Eye. We did, however, wait in line at a nearby café. Coffee was very necessary to fight the jet lag!

London Eye

London Eye

We then walked back across the bridge to stop at Westminster Abbey. The architectural details are really impressive! I found myself quoting the London episode from “Friends” while we were wandering around. Ex: “What did you think of the Abbey, Chandler? Best abbey I’ve ever seen!”

IMG_2890

After asking for some directions, we walked along St. James Park to Buckingham Palace. Unfortunately, we missed the Changing of the Guards, but it was still nice to see a few of them marching around.

Buckingham Palace

Buckingham Palace

From there, we walked to Trafalgar Square and then to Piccadilly Circus. We walked through a massive tourist shop before moving on.

Piccadilly

Piccadilly

Next, we went to Covent Garden. We stopped in Pineapple Studios to look around. It reminded me very much of the old Broadway Dance Center studio. Classes of all styles were packed! The audition notice board also had a sign up for a Royal audition.

Lots of flags!

Lots of flags!

Soon after leaving, we walked into a vocal director from the company. He was in town for the audition. I never expected to see a familiar face on the street in London!  Our final stop was for some fish and chips. I have a feeling I’ll be eating that regularly this contract!

Guards at Buckingham Palace

Guards at Buckingham Palace

The ride home seemed longer than the trip out, since we were quite tired. We squeezed onto a free bus to the hotel from the airport tube station. As soon as I got to my room, I started organizing my things for a 5:15am departure!

In front of the palace

In front of the palace

The bus ride to the ship was easy, and the sign on procedures went pretty smoothly. I’ve now been on board for 4 days, and am settling in well. I’ve made some new friends and seen a few old ones.

Take me back to London!

Take me back to London!

Rehearsals have been intense, but good. Our install choreographer is very nice, so everyone is in pretty high spirits.  We open our first show the day after tomorrow. Wish me luck!