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When the plans to go on this great adventure had finally taken shape, one of the many things I needed to ponder on was the issue of footwear. I immediately thought of buying another pair of comfortable walking shoes. Who cares if I had two or three trusty pairs just waiting to be taken out for a walk again? Bcause of my work, I only ever wear steel-capped boots and on weekends, I’m usually in my thongs. That’s flip-flops, people!

They’re called thongs in Australia. Thong, tho-thong-thong-thong…

Let’s be honest, here. Part of the excitement of packing for a vacation is buying stuff to bring. Lots of photos would surely be taken and I wanted to be seen wearing something new. Vanity, thy name is Giselle. And you would think, surely it would be easier to plan a traveling wardrobe around conventional colours like black or tan, right? I’m pretty sure my adolescent and mid-20s self would not be caught dead wearing outfits that didn’t match. I can even remember my high school yearbook write-up saying something along the lines of, “Giselle…matches the color of her shirt with her hanky…with her barrettes and socks…”

Now that I’m in my *gasp* mid-30s, I’m not so concerned about that anymore. But I didn’t want go out looking like I didn’t even bother fixing myself, either. That would’ve shown a lack of respect for the people I was with and a lack of self-respect as well. I’d like to think that at my age, it’s really all about owning the look. It’s the same analogy with the red lipstick you’ll often see me wearing in our travel photos. As Frankie said, it’s in a woman’s 30s that she can wear red lipstick. Wear it when you’re younger and you look like a loose woman. Wear it when you’re older and you look like a has-been trying to hold on to her withering youth. I’ve only got five more years of red hot lips so I better make the most of it!

But back to the shoes…

When my mum visited me last Christmas, I had already laid eyes upon this magnificent pair of Ecco shoes, the Vibration II. It was love at first sight! But I held back and played it cool. I wanted to make sure it was the one. I visited those shoes every chance I got that the salespersons already knew me. The feelings grew stronger and some time in April, I bought them, three months after I first saw them at that Ecco Store in Sydney. When at last they were in my possession, I said to Ruby (yes, I named her), “Oh what places we shall see!”

And indeed, what places we have seen! Of course, I wasn’t always wearing my wonderful red shoes but I’ve tried my best to take a photo of Ruby at every stop along our six-week adventure. I wasn’t very successful, but here be some snaps from our epic journey.

At the steps of a Methodist Church in East Devon. My wide angle lens made my legs look slender.

Stepping onto the stage of Minack Theatre, Cornwall.

Breathtaking view of Kynance Cove. This was taken after lunch at Kynance Cafe.

Pretty tiles inside the Round Church in Cambridge.

Waiting for the train to take me to Victoria Train Station from Cambridge Train Station.

After Cornwall and Cambridge, I was off to Paris. Ruby at the Eurostar departure lounge at St. Pancras International.

Let sleeping dogs lie. My first day in Sibiu, hanging out at Haller Cafe in Piata Mare, having coffee.

On a train somewhere along the Transylvanian rail network en route to Budapest, Hungary from Sibiu, Romania.

Out and about in Dresden, Germany. This has got to be one of my favourite places. Efficient public transport, clean, and with a lot of friendly locals!

If Annie Lennox wore red shoes…
Taken at the City Chambers of Edinburgh.