CARLINGFORD: I don’t think I’ll ever get tired of watching the sun rise over Carlingford Loch. In this photo you can just make out the oyster beds partially submerged in the foreground. The village is famous (in Ireland) for its oysters, and one of my favorite meals entails a dozen of those local pearly mollusks on ice and a creamy pint of Guinness at PJ O’Hare’s. If the rain is lashing down sideways in typical Irish fashion and there’s a peat fire blazing, more’s the better.
NETHERLANDS: Amsterdam is one of those cities – like St. Petersburg and Paris – that is so strikingly beautiful in design and composition that you can spend minute after hour after day just wandering the streets and soaking it up like a sponge. Plus, there’s the light. What is it about the Flemish light? Could it be that the humidity from the surrounding seas causes the light to diffuse and bathe everything in its beatific glow? Whatever it is, it’s breathtaking to behold.