Dresden has long been on my list of cities to visit. It was heavily bombed by the Allies towards the end of World War 2. Prior to the second world war, Dresden had a long history as the capital of the highly influential and sophisticated Kings of Saxony. Its nickname during their reign was “The Jewel Box” because of its beautiful and opulent baroque and rococo architecture. It was during the reign of the Saxon kings in the late 1700 that Dresden became a European center for science, innovation, and courtly opulence. Everything from porcelain dinnerware and decorations to scientific equipment, clocks, etc. were produced in Dresden.
Matt and I flew from Kiev to Berlin on November 2. It was nice to be back in familiar surroundings. We have visited Berlin before and wanted to include this fantastic city on our tour of Europe. Matt’s sister-in-law has family in Berlin that we met a few years ago at a wedding reception in the Alps. We hit it off immediately and have been promising to visit ever since, and were able to on this visit.
From Reykjavik, Matt and I flew to Manchester, England. We found that flying into Manchester was far less expensive than London because of airport taxes. When we purchased our ticket, we decided that we would rent a car and travel around England for a couple of weeks before heading to London to visit family. We decided to visit Yorkshire located in the north east of England.
Matt and I have been interested in visiting Iceland for several years. Maybe it was my being tired of the heat and humidity, but my interest turned into a desire to change to some place cooler and less sticky. It could also have been an urge to see something very different from Mexico. Whatever it was, Iceland sounded perfect to me.
When Matt and I got married, we chose to set up a honeymoon fund rather than a traditional gift registry. The fund was divided into excursions that we wanted to take on our trip around the world. One of those was a dream stay at Goldeneye Resort in Oracabessa, Jamaica. The resort is on the grounds of Ian Fleming’s house on Oracabessa Bay. Chris Blackwell, founder of Island Records (Bob Marley, U2, etc) purchased the property and turned it into a beautiful resort. We decided to book a visit to Jamaica in time to celebrate Matt’s birthday. Being fans of James Bond, we were excited to see what GoldenEye had to offer. After a stay in Florida to visit family and downsize a bit, we flew to Jamaica.
Matt and I have both been to New Orleans, but never together and never for pleasure. When I found out that my dear friend and fellow photographer, Joshua Smith, had recently purchased a guest house in the Marigny District of the city, I just knew that we had to stop there.
Oaxaca has been on the top of my places to visit list for a long time. While in Guanajuato, we learned that the second biggest festival in Oaxaca was going to be taking place towards the end of July. So we arranged our schedule to arrive just before the start of the Guelaguetza.
Several people suggested that we visit the pre-Columbian city of Teotihuacan, which is about an hour outside of Mexico City. So we decided to add that to our itinerary and stop there for a night on our way to Oaxaca.
There is a small town between Guanajuato and San Miguel de Allende that is famous for two things. First, and arguably most importantly, it is where Father Miguel Hidalgo called for a revolution against the Spanish during a church sermon in 1810. The town was then called Dolores, but was renamed in honor of Father Hidalgo, to Dolores Hidalgo, who became one of the heroes of the Mexican revolution.
Secondly, the town is known for ice cream. They have very good ice cream of all flavors, including some “exotic” flavors, such as shrimp and octopus, mole, avocado, and elote (corn).
Ever have one of those experiences where you learn about a place and then when you tell people that you are going there, they say “oh yea, it’s great, we loved our visit”? Then you you feel like the last ones in the world to know. That was Guanajauto for us.
We were flipping through a guide book, plotting out our route to Mexico City when we came across a few photos of Guanajuato. The original plan was to drive from Tequila to San Miguel de Allende, but after we read a bit about Guanajauto, we decided to stop for a week. It was a gamble that paid off.