Archive for the ‘Travel’ Category

Graduation Trip: Iceland, Oxford, and Bletchley   1 comment

To cap off the summer of graduations, I set off to Oxford for the DPhil degree ceremony, making a quick stop in Iceland along the way, and catching the Summer Eights bumps race while I was there. My parents met me in Oxford for graduation after a side trip to Paris. And after graduation, all three of us set off to explore some of the famous spots in Italy. The trip was a fantastic way to enjoy the last bit of freedom before residency starts: I got to catch up with old friends, have a few adventures in Europe, and spend quality time with my parents.

OURCs Dinner

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Posted 5 Jun 2016 by John McManigle in Adventure, Travel

Home, via Iceland   1 comment

Having completed all requirements of the DPhil degree, it is time to come back to the States and start my last year of medical school. To squeeze in one last adventure, I booked an IcelandAir #stopover on the way home. Sabine was able to join for three days in a Nordic paradise. We were able to fit in quite a few activities thanks to the incredibly efficient Iceland tourism industry. On our first full day, we traveled to the relaxing Blue Lagoon, a geothermal spa set on a lava field in the Reykjanes Peninsula. The second day was for adventure, with a small airplane flight from Reykjavik airport to Rif airport on the Snæfellsjökull peninsula and back. The mountain and glacier views were stunning.

Iceland Flight

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Posted 6 May 2015 by John McManigle in Adventure, Flying, Travel

Adventures in Portugal: Lisbon   Leave a comment

The last stop on our Portugese adventure was Lisbon, the capital of Portugal and one of the oldest cities in the world — pre-dating Rome by centuries.


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Posted 7 Jan 2015 by John McManigle in Adventure, Travel

Adventures in Portugal: Porto   1 comment

Fresh from our Sintra travels, Sabine and I set off for Porto, a city dating back to the Roman Empire and now famed for port wine and beautiful bridges.

Port Caves Excursion

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Posted 4 Jan 2015 by John McManigle in Adventure, Travel

Adventures in Portugal: Sintra   1 comment

After a December of intense (and often frantic) thesis-writing, Sabine and I snuck off to Portugal to welcome the New Year. We had a chance to explore Sintra, Porto, and Lisbon over our journey. Because of the outrageous number of pictures, each city will be covered in a separate blog post.

We set off on December 27, flying from Heathrow to Lisbon before grabbing the train to the historic town of Sintra. Sintra is full of history, from the medieval Moorish Castle to several nineteenth- and early twentieth-century palaces.


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Posted 31 Dec 2014 by John McManigle in Adventure, Travel

Weston-occasional-Mare   Leave a comment

In order to escape life for a while, Sabine and I ran off to Weston-super-Mare, a seaside town in Somerset. The town is across the Bristol Channel from Cardiff, and the tidal range in the channel is so wide that for most of the day, over a mile of mud flats are exposed. Twice a day at high tide, the sea appears.

We stayed at a beautiful bed-and-breakfast and spent our time in Weston relaxing and exploring the shore. We stumbled across a literary sand sculpture festival, the SeaQuarium (“oceans of fun for everyone!”), the Helicopter Museum, an air festival featuring the RAF Red Arrows, and plenty of strolls and relaxation on the seaside and in Weston Woods.

It was a fantastic trip, and we returned to Oxford refreshed.


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Posted 23 Jun 2014 by John McManigle in Adventure, Travel

London, Edinburgh, and Oxford   Leave a comment

When Lisa decided to take a quick holiday to the UK, we set about planning an itinerary to squeeze in as many of the sights as we could. After watching the Henley Boat Races, we set off to London. On Monday, we made it to a few of the tourist sites, including St. Paul’s Cathedral, Big Ben, the Tower of London and Tower Bridge, and the Embankment walk. Tuesday, we enjoyed a run through Hyde Park and the Buckingham Palace gardens before searching out a couple of museums. We visited the Hunterian Museum of the Royal College of Surgeons. This gem began as John Hunter‘s collection of anatomical and zoological specimens, and now showcases a wealth of information on the development of surgical technique from crude beginnings to its modern form. Our next stop was the Museum of London, which chronicles the city from before the Roman Londinium through its role as imperial capital and on to its global place today. After an evening show on the West End, we boarded the Caledonian Sleeper Train to Edinburgh.

This was my first trip to Scotland since I was a toddler. The visit, though short, was sweet. We toured the very imposing Edinburgh Castle and visited the National Museum of Scotland. On Thursday, we took a bus tour of the city and then wandered around the Scottish Parliament building and the Royal Mile. Finally, we got back on the train to Oxford (via London). Back in the City of Dreaming Spires, Lisa tried her (surprisingly adept) hand at punting before heading back to Philadelphia.

Edinburgh April 2014
London April 2014   Edinburgh April 2014   Oxford April 2014  

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Posted 5 Apr 2014 by John McManigle in Adventure, Travel

Home and Key West for the Holidays   Leave a comment

After living across the Atlantic for a couple of years, I’ve really enjoyed being a bit closer to home in 2013. And at no time of year is this more special than during the holidays, when my brother and sister came home from Durham. It was fantastic to have the family together sharing stories about our respective years’ adventures.

After Christmas, I set out to the Florida Keys on a New Year’s trip with some scuba divers from Penn State and the University of Maryland. I had attended this annual trip regularly before moving overseas, and after a few years absent, it was great to be back. We had a chance to dive The Eagle wreck off Key Largo, enjoyed New Years festivities on Duval Street in Key West, and generally enjoyed a bit of the break from the mid-Atlantic winter. On the way back north, Lisa and I visited Robert is Here, a combination fruit stand and petting farm, and then stopped in North Carolina where she interviewed at UNC and I finished my instrument flight rating.


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Posted 1 Jan 2014 by John McManigle in Travel

Chicago Weekend   1 comment

On Friday, I took Step 2 CK, an 8-hour multiple choice exam that is part of the US medical licensing process. Lisa, with whom I had shared many a practice question session, took her test on Wednesday and was interviewing for an internship in Chicago on Friday, so we decided to celebrate by spending the weekend in the Windy City.

We started Saturday by wandering the downtown area. We made it to Millennium Park and saw The Bean, which has been my favorite sculpture since I first encountered it almost ten years ago. After getting our fill of the leguminous wonder, we went for a run along the Lakefront Trail. Saturday night, we had a fantastic dinner at 312 Chicago and then walked over to the Oriental Theatre to see the touring production of Wicked. The show was very impressive; an extremely strong cast really put their hearts into the performance.

On Sunday, we wandered some more, revisited The Bean, and had brunch at Wildberry before Lisa flew off for her next interview in St. Louis. I set out for the Ravenswood neighborhood where I saw Nick, one of my best friends from high school, and met his wife Amanda. We spent the evening playing board games and talking about old and new times over Kyrgyz food.


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Posted 4 Nov 2013 by John McManigle in Travel

Oxford Visit   Leave a comment

Almost midway through my DPhil stint in Maryland, I took a short visit to Oxford to check in with my collaborators there, discuss progress to the thesis, and retrieve some data. Of course, the trip also allowed a bit of time for a few adventures. I caught a bit of Summer Eights (and dinner!), the Communist Bop, saw Wicked with Erin, did a bit of punting and croquet, properly celebrated Susan and Matt’s engagement, and said hello and goodbye to quite a few friends.


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Posted 3 Jun 2013 by John McManigle in Travel