Gracefully Global (Peggy)

Gracefully Global (Peggy)

@gracefully_global

📍Location independent, international educator, arts marketer & 🇮🇹 Italy travel expert. Join me & 📸 my camera here & on my blog, one city at a time.✈️
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Gracefully Global (Peggy)

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Our arrival in Mykonos, The Island of the Winds, was dramatic as could be, and I just loved it. Nothing like a little spark of drama to liven life up once in a while, right? ;) We arrived in Mykonos by a ferry that we took from Athens bright and early. As the ferry approached the island under the bright early afternoon sun we were all told to gather our things and go downstairs, and we found ourselves below deck in the parking area for the cars onboard. They wanted us to disembark from here, which made for a very dramatic disembarkment as the boat maneuvered into the dock with all of us waiting inside without windows and then loudly opened itself up, the sunlight flooding in and all of us catching our first glimpse of the arid landscape and signature white-washed buildings at the same time. This was the start of an eventful few days on this gorgeous Greek island.

15 Hours ago
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My time in Athens has wound to a close and we are off to a birthday party in Mykonos.  I know, I have not a thing to complain about.  But I am still sad to leave this beautiful city.  One thing is for sure: I'll be back soon. :)

3 Days ago
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Gracefully Global (Peggy)

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I often travel solo, not because I necessarily prefer it, but because I'd rather travel alone than stay put because I don't have a travel companion.  I'm so grateful for my adventures, and I have made a lot of friends along the way that I probably wouldn't have met if I had been traveling with someone.  But I rarely have photos of myself, partly because I'm just not used to them, and partly because I don't have a buddy along to take them.  It was so nice breaking up my normal solo travel routine being in Greece with @jerpatter, @jocardz, and @cscott86. And now I actually have photos of myself here!! :))

4 Days ago
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Gracefully Global (Peggy)

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A typical Sunday night in Athens. Restaurants and cafes are open later than any city I've ever been in. Lots of soft chatter to overhear from people sitting on patios enjoying a smoke. Look down and you join the world of the numerous kitties, and look up and peek into the beautiful balconies and awnings made of gorgeous ironwork. Trees soften the urban landscape, and a bit of trash is littered here and there. The powerful street lights filter the night yellow for the long hours of darkness when people are up and out and active. You can feel the typical stone design beneath your feet as you walk and explore. I spent many evenings like this, exploring, and always felt very safe. I stayed in the Gazi neighborhood, known for its restaurants and nightlife. It was the perfect neighborhood for me - an easy walk to Acropolis, and so many non-touristy streets to explore nearby. I can't recommend my hotel enough, which is called The House. I paid full price to stay there, and I would gladly go back and stay there and pay full price again. The owner told me a tourist told him before he opened it that they would have picked Gazi to stay in if there were any hotels, as this tourist thought it was the perfect neighborhood for a traveler to stay. So that's what he did. I felt like an Athenian for the week I was here. :)

6 Days ago
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Some of you social media friends might know by now that theatre was my first love in the world of art. Photography has become my creative outlet over the years, but theatre is where I found myself. Being in Athens is so exciting for a theatre person. I felt like I was where it all began. While the amazing Theatre of Dionysus isn't presently in good enough shape to host performances, the nearby Odeon of Herodes Atticus theatre is in plenty good shape for audiences. In fact, the first plans I made after arriving in Athens were to buy my ticket to see a show here. This photo I took at intermission. I was in awe of the buzz running through the audience. The setting was incredible, and we all knew it. The house was packed. This is what makes theatre so special, the tangible energy that is unique to that moment in time yet is intrinsically tied to the performance. I was so grateful to be here and experience this, as fleeting as it may have been. I'll never forget it.

8 Days ago
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Gracefully Global (Peggy)

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Gazing at the city of Athens from our rocky perch on top of Acropolis, it is hard to not let our minds wander to thousands of years earlier. What did this place look and feel like then? What were the lives like of the people that lived here? And then you notice a cat that has an even better view than you do. And you realized that this cat calls this huge, ancient, stone building home. Cats and dogs are found in Greece in the most unlikely places, and admittedly, this wasn't the strangest I witnessed. But seeing this little guy lounging in the ruins and dwarfed by their incredible scale as if he were relaxing in a windowsill, waiting for his humans to get home that will never come, was random, yet just as much a part of the experience of being in Greece as anything else.

10 Days ago
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Gracefully Global (Peggy)

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Traveling, blogging, and keeping up with social media at the same time is not easy...right or...am I the only one who struggles with this?  I wish there were more hours in the day!  Somehow, though, I always have a few extra seconds to stop and take pictures of street art, ah! ;b

11 Days ago
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Gracefully Global (Peggy)

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I love arriving in a city without a big to-do list. Instead, I read a lot from different sources like bloggers, Frommers, and the New York Times to get the lay of the land and prioritize my time a bit.  Knowing a local is really the best, and luckily in Athens, I had a wonderful colleague that offered me that extra bit of advice that I needed.  Debbie @dkoutroumanos, a Greek-American, told me her favorite side-trip from Athens is paying a visit to the Temple of Poseidon at sunset.  I had no idea what I was getting into, but me and my buddies totally trusted her.  And it TOTALLY paid off.  My friends often say that sunset here was one of the best moments of their trip to Greece.

16 Days ago
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So many dogs and cats to see and meet in Athens. This little guy was the faithful guardian of his mom’s shop. As I snapped away my friends tried to meet him, but he was less than impressed by us, ha!

18 Days ago
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At the end of Ermou street (referenced in the previous post) is the beautiful Syntagma Square, and just past the square is the Hellenic (Greek) Parliament.  I loved walking through the square and seeing all the families and couples enjoying the area, which included a huge fountain and giant steps you walk up on your way to the Old Royal Palace where the Greek Parliament is housed.  There was something about the area that really reminded me of Millennium Park in Chicago, a place I love because it is in the heart of the city and has so much to offer recreationally, and doesn't cost anything.  After such an exciting walk to the Parliament, it was a real treat to continue my evening of discovery by arriving in time for the changing of the guard.  The young, great looking guards seemed so dedicated.  There was an older guard that checked up on them and controlled the crowds and posed for photos, while the younger guards weren't allowed to move outside of the motions that were a part of their job.  The people watching here is fantastic.

19 Days ago
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I'm enjoying a stroll down Ermou this evening, a perfect activity for spending a beautiful Saturday night in Athens.  I love the people watching, the street art spotting, and the historical ruins.  There seems to be a bit of everything wherever you go in Athens.  Oh, and the views, which are perhaps my favorite part.  I love the many sloping streets which provide wonderful photographing opportunities, and views galore.

21 Days ago
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Gracefully Global (Peggy)

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This is such a typical view of Athens, so I wanted to share it with you.  I took the photo from my hotel, The House, in the Gazi neighborhood (more on that later - I loved this hotel). These streets feel very urban and suburban to me all at the same time, and I can't quite put my finger on why.  The bouganville next to the street art, the cats running beside the cars parked bumper to bumper.  There's a very special quality about Athens, perhaps its energy, that gives this huge city a comfortable, relaxed feeling, despite its size and population.

22 Days ago
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Views like these in Greece seem to be the rule, not the exception, which make it feel like a fantasy land sometimes.  I'm from San Diego and beach scenes were part of my childhood, so I admittedly have high standards.  But this was undeniably impressive.  Stunning.  So grateful for our time in this beautiful place...

23 Days ago
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I stumbled upon Areopagus Hill at sunset on my first day in Athens, which almost couldn't be a better perch by which to appreciate the gorgeous sunsets that Athens has to offer.  So when @cscott86, @jocardz, and @jerpatter arrived, we naturally had to pay another sunset visit here.  And thanks to them I actually have proof that I was here. :)) One of my favorite qualities about Athens is being able to enjoy Acropolis from so many angles...it always seems to be telling us a story from so high above...

25 Days ago
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There's nothing really fancy about this photo, but I wanted to share it with you because I think it offers a good sense of Athens. Athens is a huge city with lots of hills, but I don't feel the pressure and the congestion walking around here like I do in many major cities. I love that there are so many incredible ruins, where the connection to the past is always within reach. Not to mention that this city is really the home of rooftop bars. Finding a beautiful place to sit and eat and drink and enjoy a view that is so special that you can't even put a price tag on it is so easy here. I really love this city.

28 Days ago
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Gracefully Global (Peggy)

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I love solo travel, but these new adventures I'll be sharing with you are with a group of friends very near and dear to my heart. Like brothers to me, we are usually at least a country apart, so spending this time with them in Greece lifted my spirits more than I could have imagined. Here are Chris @cscott86 and Jer @jerpatter, taking in the beautiful Greek sunset...

29 Days ago
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I'm in transit and I love it! There's something about places of mass transportation that make them ideal for shooting. People-watching, lots of long perspective and angles. Not sure, but I take so many photos of train stations and airports and rarely get a chance to post them! I imagine I'm not the only one...;)

32 Days ago
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You won't want to miss the music: A friendly suggestion to *turn your sound up*! :) The link to the full version of the video is in my bio. As many of you know, I spent a lot of time in Ireland this year, and fell in love with it. The place, but mostly the people. So I'm sad that this is my last post about Ireland for a while, and since many of you have followed my posts where I related how much I love the music in Ireland over these few months, I thought that sharing the music with you would be a great way for us to close this series. I picked out my favorite videos and sound clips of all the adventures that have been had, and edited them together here. Please excuse the quality - everything was recorded with my (old) phone. I hope you enjoy it, and thanks so much for all of your support following along over these months... @dingledistillery @dinglepeninsulatourism @liambolando @ireland_insta @ireland_travel @irelandaily @igersireland @topirelandphoto @loves_ireland @tourismireland @backpackireland @ig_ireland_ @wanderireland @wildatlanticway @lovindublin @weekendcelebrity @visitdublin @visitbelfast @sligotourism @kinsale.ie @kenmare.ie @galwaytourism

33 Days ago
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This I saw during a walk in Dublin and it made me smile so I wanted to share it with you. :) I often photograph street art and graffiti that has an interesting message (although I don't often share it) because I so enjoy the street art that is artistically or intellectually curious.  My mother, a retired newspaper photographer, tells the story of a time I photographed a graffitied wall in London that she ignored.  When she later saw the photo, she was able to understand why I took it and she tells people she was proud of my eye; that I was able to see something more in what she had overlooked.  I started paying attention to it when I was living in Bologna, where you can find some incredible street art.

37 Days ago
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Just walking home to my @airbnb along the River Liffey.  There's always something beautiful that catches my eye.

39 Days ago
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My favorite way to learn about new places is through their art.  I stopped in the Gallery of Photography in Temple Bar and got to talking with the gallery manager.  I shared my love of museums with him and he recommended that I check out the Portrait of a Century exhibit at The National Museum of Ireland.  By happy coincidence, this museum was very close to where I was staying, so I couldn't give into my weary traveler excuses and skip it.  The exhibit features portraits of people that photographer Kim Haughton felt are representative of important aspects of Irish culture.  I learned so much about Irish history, politics, artists, industry, you name it. But my favorite part is I got to meet two of the subjects and talk to them about their experiences being photographed.  So super cool.  I almost felt like a local, for a second. :)

41 Days ago
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For me, Trinity College has always felt like a treasure trove of architectural and historical delights.  But it is a college campus, after all, and not so easy to find your way around.  I arrived on campus just after the last tour of the day departed, even though I had called ahead and was assured over the phone of a tour schedule that turned out to be incorrect.  Oh, well.  It was a blessing in disguise.  I saved some money and poked around on my own.  While the Samuel Beckett Theatre will always be my favorite place there, my favorite new find was the School of Natural Sciences, pictured here.  The architecture mixed with the unexpected lobby displays (like dinosaur bones!) were so much fun, especially since I was the only one there!

43 Days ago
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My visit to The Long Room in the Old Library at Trinity College was everything I hoped it would be.  Yes, it is crowded with visitors.  But the room is so striking that it sucks you into its ambience and takes you back several hundred years, despite the fact that you are dodging tourists at every turn.  Every inch of this place is photogenic, so it is pretty impossible to take a bad photo.  I've seen many photos of the room as a whole and of close-ups of the books and spiral staircases.  So I decided to share this photo with you instead, a shot of one of the rows of busts of philosophers.  So much fun to play "find your favourite philosopher" here.  I found Shakespeare, and I was a happy camper.  I wish there were some women represented here, but it is special nonetheless.

44 Days ago
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The moment I took this photo, I knew I had had a little connection with the city, and it made me smile.  I was grateful that many small factors had aligned to help me get a photo that really represented this moment as I felt it.  The biggest of those factors being luck, of course, and a close second was my intuition.  But I smiled mostly out of enjoying this moment of getting to know the city of Dublin through my camera, one of my favorite things in life to do. :)

45 Days ago
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There seem to be lots of changes happening in the neighborhood around Smithfield Plaza, but there is still a distinct neighborhood feel here.  Great people watching and an interesting underlying spirit to be enjoyed.  I could spend ages just wandering the streets and taking photos.

47 Days ago
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I made it to Dublin! This is my second time solo traveling in Dublin, and I wouldn't have it any other way. I've never been in a city (or a country for that matter) where I end up with a new friend by the end of the night, pretty much no matter what I do. This time I'm staying right off of Smithfield Plaza, and I'm really falling in love with this neighborhood. Lots of young people mixed with locals, art, fun places to eat, and one of the best bars to hear trad music in the city (Cobblestone Pub). The bar pictured here isn't that bar. I took this photo because I share a last name with the namesake of the bar. It is nice seeing a bit of yourself reflected in the culture around you. And bars here are serious culture.

49 Days ago
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My good friend from Bologna had gone to college in Galway, and had been telling me I had to pay a visit to the Galway Cathedral, a place where he had many fond memories. For some reason or another, I had put off the visit to the last minute, and found myself scrambling to get there before my train to Dublin left. ⠀ ⠀ I'm so glad that I made it. With all of my travels in Italy, I've been in a lot of churches, but this is a special one. The scale is quite dramatic, and there is something unique about the layout that I can't quite put into words. But my favorite thing about the church was the beautiful colored light spilling into the pews and corridors.

51 Days ago
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I was strolling along this stream without much of an agenda shooting the pretty architecture and enjoying the gorgeous swans, despite the gray weather, when I ran into this boy. I still can't quite understand what he was doing or thinking while his family patiently waited behind him. But I imagine he was watching this duck sitting on the edge of the water. Maybe he was worried about the duck? He looked so sad. My heart went out to him.

53 Days ago
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This view was the first that caught my eye in Galway. Just around the street from the train station, the light was catching the building at the end perfectly when I encountered it, so much so that I stopped to photograph it, despite my need to put down my bags and rummage through my purse for my camera. But this is not the photo I took that afternoon on the way from the station. This photo was a few days later, on my way to Loam restaurant. I was late for my reservation, but I loved the sky and the streetlights and the neon sign. So I had to stop, again. I like both day and night versions of this scene, but it is so interesting how different they are. I'm glad I stopped, both times. :)

54 Days ago
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One of my favorite things to do when I visit Ireland is indulge in afternoon tea. I'm a tea lover as it is, but I'll never turn down an excuse to sit in an elegant restaurant or bakery and indulge in mini-sandwiches and sweets while I drink my tea. I heard that afternoon tea was "invented" by a queen who often got hungry in the afternoon and would ask her staff for treats with her tea. I don't know if that's true, but I like to think about being a queen for a bit as I enjoy my afternoon tea. ;)

55 Days ago
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I was enjoying a pint in the heart of Galway and a reunion with an old friend of mine who I know from Bologna, and this man stood across the street with his dog for a long time. He was such an emblematic Irishman, I couldn't pass up the opportunity to snap a photo from across the way.

57 Days ago
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The beauty and the challenge of traveling are the moments that come along when you least expect them. They create the highs and the lows that aren't usually so saturated in our everyday life, where we have more tools and experience to predict what's coming next. This scene that I encountered walking back to my hotel in Belfast was striking to me, with the lights reflecting off of the wet pavement after an evening storm. And then a car drove through the frame of my photo at just the instant that I pressed the shutter. I assumed that the photo would be a throw-away, but when I reviewed it, I loved the reflection on the hood of the vehicle, forgetting when I first saw the photograph, what had happened. What I imagined, at first, was a bit of bad timing, ended up making my photo. You never know what's going to happen next... :)

60 Days ago
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"Strength and wisdom are not opposing values." - Bill Clinton | The most surprising characteristic of life in Belfast I encountered is life within and around these peace walls, which separate the Catholic and Protestant neighborhoods, and have been present since the late 1960s for the purpose of preventing violence. Their existence wasn't the surprising part. Instead, the idea that many of the residents really want these walls is what surprised me. In my limited understanding of world history, walls have often felt like methods of control implemented by governments, and it had never occurred to me that they could also be something that is actually wanted by a good part of the general public. These walls have gates that close at various times throughout the evening, blocking major roads. I'm not up to date on these details, but there are talks of the walls coming down in the next five years or so. This photo I took of Bill Clinton's quote on this part of the wall, where it is customary to write and design messages. I had seen Bill Clinton in Northern Ireland for the funeral of Martin McGuinness. His relationship with Northern Ireland is fascinating to me, as it feels like a very personal relationship on both sides, connected to deep-rooted wants and hopes and identities. I was thankful to have found a little piece of home here on this wall. But it also added to the intrigue of the history here and our part in it as Irish Americans.

61 Days ago