This is the next instalment of my Special Moments, Magic Memories series for the 2022 A to Z Blog Challenge.
Today is an overseas-only excursion because there are WOWs galore to be had.
Visiting Barcelona inevitably means seeing works by Gaudi. To be honest I tended to think he must have been high as a kite given some of his designs. Well, his designs may be eccentric but they sure are eye-catching. We dutifully wound our way to view the Sagrada Familia, Gaudi and Barcelona’s iconic basilica, entered the door…and WOW! We were blown away by the magic that Signor Gaudi had imagined and begun creating before his death. You are bathed in coloured light as you walk through the door and it mesmerises every moment you’re inside. Your eyes dance before this light show and you discover the beautiful elements of the architecture. It is truly an experience to behold! When you drag yourself outside there are so many tiny whimsical touches on the walls and doors.
Isn’t it sad when you have to eat your words? Well, not too sad when you have an experience like this one.
Monet’s garden had long been on our bucket list but not usually compatible with our off-season travel. Finally in 2014 we were able to make a day trip from Paris to see Giverny, and wasn’t it amazing.?! Not a jaw-dropping, stop-in-your-tracks wow moment, more like an escape to a wonderland of warm hugs. The colours and varieties of flowers, featured before his photogenic home, the easily recognised lake with its Japanese bridge, waterlilies, and drooping willows. Sigh! Bliss in a garden and gardens are among our favourite places wherever they are.
On my very first trip to Ireland in 1989 with family members, we made our first stop outside Dublin at the monastery site of Glendalough. It was a chilly late November morning, so I suppose having frost on the ground and the trees wasn’t such a surprise, but as we walked on site to behold the ancient monuments and the awe-inspiring round tower our breath was literally taken away, and not just by the cold. I’ve taken other family there on subsequent trips, but the silence and magic of that first visit hasn’t quite been recaptured.
In 1992, we had achieved our goal of reaching our long service leave entitlement. We planned our biggest trip to date travelling via the USA to the UK and Europe and back via the US. Our goal was to see New England’s famed Autumn/Fall colours in November. In a reverse Wow, family events conspired to ensure we missed the peak: one daughter with a badly damaged elbow thanks to falling off a bull (work-related), one with a severe tropical illness, and the fur-child on valium from licking herself fur-less. Youngest daughter was okay but we threatened to pack her in cotton wool so she couldn’t get in on the act!
Luckily, things went to plan after that and so en route home we found ourselves at Grand Canyon about a week from Christmas. We were supposed to go on a sunrise tour the first morning but we hadnt allowed for the time zone change from the east coast. Oops. Next morning, we up and ready to go in our hire car. it was amusing when we tried to pour water from the water bottle in the car over the windscreen. Shame it was frozen though 😉 When we finally arrived at the canyon edge we stood in absolute awe to see its grandeur. What an astounding sight it is to see! Even better, being off-season, there were hardly any vehicles there. The sheer scale is sobering as well as awe-inspiring. it was so pretty with different features looking like cupcakes iced with snow. Definitely an experience of our lifetime!
Do you have stand-out WOW memories at home or abroad?