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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Somwhere in Spain

Cider bottle sculpture

Cider bottle sculpture

I had never been to Gijon, so I asked my Spanish friend to take my family and me somewhere fun. We went to an old bar known for cider. They pour the cider from high up so it gets air and tell you to drink it quickly. It was an interesting experience, but not to my taste. I am normally a fan of cider, but this tasted somewhat bitter and harsh.

Pouring cider

Pouring cider

My friend ordered us local specialties to eat. We had pulpo that was so tender it melted in your mouth. My favorite dish was called fabada. It was a stew with white beans and chunks of bacon and sausage. I’ve never been so satisfied by a stew!

Pulpo

Pulpo

After eating, we broke off from the group and took a walk. We watched some surfers riding the waves on the beach before continuing on. We came to a large, pretty park before heading back to the ship.

Beach

Beach

View from the park

View from the park

The following day was the ship’s first time porting in Bilbao. I had no idea what to expect, but was surprised by how cosmopolitan the city was. Chic women and men in suits roamed the streets, and the shopping looked fantastic.

Docks in Gijon

Docks in Gijon

We went straight to the Guggenheim Museum. I’ve been to the Guggenheim in New York, but wasn’t aware that there were others. In front of the museum was a giant puppy covered with flowers. The building was almost more impressive than the art inside! The architect, Gehri, designed the museum with intersecting curved and slanted walls. Audio tours, included with the ticket price, explained the inspiration behind the design, and also mentioned the challenges of constructing the waving walls of stone.

Outside the Guggenheim

Outside the Guggenheim

My favorite gallery was full of copper structures by Frank Stella. My favorite museum back home, the Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth, has a piece by Stella out front. Seeing more of his work was fun, and reminded me of home.

After quickly exploring some of the other galleries, we hit the road in search of food. We ended up at a small café for tapas and wine. I left the city wishing we ported there again!