Prague has a dizzying collection of sights. Residential streets are colour palettes of greens and oranges and yellows, pavements are intricate mosaics of grey and white… when even the mundane is breathtaking, it becomes quite an overwhelming task to take in as much of Prague’s famed beauty as you possibly can within a short city break stay.
One of my resolutions for 2019 was to visit more European cities so I am thrilled to have begun doing just that in the first quarter of the year. Let’s be honest, I am late to the Prague party – quite literally given how popular the city has become as a celebratory destination.
But who cares! Old cities have always appealed to me and there are so many on my list to still visit. For their unimaginable beauty, the architecture that shapes them and has done for centuries. My old architecture lectures from university come flooding back whenever I am surrounded by classical buildings; the old soul in me enjoys these the most.
And of course, the opportunity to eat something new and exciting is a big draw of anywhere I go to… But you knew that already!
I am forever grateful that one of the most incredible cities not only in the country but the entire world is but a thirty minute train ride from my home.
It’s not exactly my usual ‘brand’, is it? You’ll usually find me adventuring somewhere more rustic or low key. Nevertheless I’ve found myself in Marbella more than once; among big crowds and loud outfits to celebrate friends who are getting married.
We arrived to find The Rose & Crown conveniently perched right on the market square. Entering the pub there was a busy atmosphere of locals and visitors alike relaxing away their Saturday with a few drinks and nibbles. I spotted nibbles for furry friends before realising there were numerous dogs dotted about the place, much to Q’s delight!
As we strolled past Warwick Castle and stopped to poke our heads through the iron gates and peer up at the flags above the turrets, I turned to Q and said: “Did you come here with your school when you were little?” to which he answered “Of course”.
And of course the answer was of course; who didn’t come here as a kid?! It didn’t take long to realise that whilst yes, we had both been to Warwick but at the same time we hadn’t really been here. We both had no recollection of what the town looked like and I spent the first half of our stay convinced that I came here on a night out many years ago, only to realise it was in fact Windsor that I had been.
Basically, I’m calling this my first time in Warwick. My first real time in Warwick.
With palm trees and blue seas it can be quite easy to view St Lucia as a destination for doing nothing other than plonking yourself under the sun and baking all day. The resorts are of course all geared up for doing just that and I’ve spent many an hour happily gorging on Vitamin D.
But tropical climates don’t just mean beautiful blue skies and the reason that St Lucia is such an incredibly lush island is that it rains… rather a lot. One minute you can be falling asleep on your sun lounger with the hot sun in your eyes and the next minute you’re rudely awakened by big, warm raindrops splashing down on you! The showers are usually short and sharp, and the weather in general is like a chameleon. Always changing moods.
This was my fourth trip to the island and having spent over two months there in total, along with the local knowledge of my in-laws who have lived there for a decade, I like to think that I know St Lucia pretty well by now.
Aaaah St Lucia…
This was my first ever Winter holiday, and I soon learned that they’re not at all like the Summer kind. First off, they are met with very different reactions to a trip in say July or August. No one reading this needs reminding that January and February are miserable months and that everyone unites in feeling a little glum and a lot fed up of the darkness and cold that at this point, starts to feel like it will never, ever go away.
In September 2016 Q and I realised a long-time dream and spent two unforgettable weeks in Vancouver. I have had a lifetime love for Canada despite, until this visit, having never been there, nor having any family ties with the country. Weird huh? I think it all began with watching The Raccoons as a child. I grew up being drawn to large lakes, giant trees and even bigger mountains. In my adulthood nothing has changed and I find myself (living in the flattest part of the UK, ugh!) constantly craving dramatic landscapes.
We flew out to Vancouver with crossed fingers that the city and surroundings would live up to our expectations and (spoiler alert) it ended up doing so in every way possible…. but you knew that from the title. Here’s why: