I’ve had my Europe travel photos up for some time, but haven’t had time to post them.
That was in Killarney National Park, Ireland. I rode around Gap of Dunloe, which was great! For my other Ireland photos, see this Ireland slideshow. More photos are under the fold, but if you just want to see the lovely photos as a high resolution slideshow, see the Albania/Kosovo slideshow and the Germany slideshow. I dumped some photos on the bottom of the page (Click to read the rest of this entry).
(If you remember, I was an Irish citizen and actually hoped to move to Europe in 2001 or 2002, but that never worked out). I never had the chance to visit Ireland until this year. I plan to go again though.
It was funny. Apparently Nagle was a popular name in Ireland
I visited Roscommon, where my grandfather lived and also Dublin, which was really cheap (surprisingly). I could have stayed in Dublin a lot longer than I did.
The other highlight of the trip was visiting Albania and Kosovo. It was more wonderful than I imagined it.
Albania was wonderful. Even the food was wonderful. The people were great, and by pure unbelievable luck I ran into an Albanian family I knew well and feared I had lost track of. The daughter had found my photo on the Internet, and now I have her email. Yes, the Internet is great. Here is a photo of Bashkim and his new grandchild. Here is two generations, each helping the other.
I visited Vlore and met many of my old students at the University of Vlore, including several I did not expect to see. I was overjoyed to see all of them, and I have some lovely photos of all them (plus their emails). Many were now teachers; they were all married and had children. All were intellectuals and happy; I wish I could have stayed longer. Unfortunately,because of the political situation I ended up leaving Albanian early, and it made me very sad not to say goodbye. Vlore was beautiful coastal town, but it was not the best time of year to appreciate it.
Later I ran into my former director at Peace Corps, Diana. We were estatic to see one another. Apparently when she reapplied for the job at Peace Corps (they had to shut down in 1997), the person interviewing her had apparently come across the flickr photo I had taken of her. Also, in Tirana, I noticed that they had a new private university:
One of the nicest surprises was a 3 day trip to Stuttgart, Germany to visit a former student of mine Oleg (and his Germany wife). Oleg took me on several excellent tours of German castles, including the majestic Neushwanstein Castle.
I enjoyed all the places and wish I could have stayed longer. I had a tremendous time riding my bike around Ireland. If I had to do it all over again, I’d do more biking and less driving (even in the rain). Ireland, had a lot (I mean a LOT) of rain!