Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Counting Down...

Guys, I leave for Ireland in just over 5 weeks. 37 days to be exact. Wow. That seems so near, yet I'm sure the fact that I'm headed to Europe and actually going to an Archaeological Field School won't really feel real until I am on the plane and jetting across the ocean toward Dublin.

The crazy parts are these:

First, I still haven't made a single reservation for my time in Ireland, Wales, England, or Scotland. This means that the planned itinerary is somewhat up in the air at the moment, but I'd like to have at least some of those dates pinned down before heading over the Atlantic.. My semester ends in two days, though, so I will soon have more of time to work with my dad (who is accompanying me to Ireland and Wales) and mom (to England and Scotland) to make some of those calls.

Second, I'm super excited for the Medeltidsveckan, or the Medieval Week on Gotland! This is a week-long medieval fair that happens every August in the town of Visby on the Swedish island of Gotland. This just happens to be the same island where my archaeological field school is located. It also happens to occur just as my field school ends. Thus, I'll have a day or two to explore the fair at my leisure before ferrying back to Stockholm so I can fly homeward on August 12. I've heard that this fair is a big deal in Northern Europe, and since I have often been a little disappointed with the STL Renaissance Fair and its proliferations of anachronisms, overly-fantasized history, and the apparent confusion of "Renaissance" with "Medieval," I really look forward to experiencing a well done and huge (it covers the whole town of Visby), true medieval fair.

And so, if you have any suggestions or questions for my trip, such as where I should or shouldn't go in Sweden or the British Isles, or just general travel tips, post them in the comments! I am planning mostly based on people's personal experiences as well as the advice in my guide books, but I want to know your ideas and experiences, too!

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