• Europe

    What You Need To Know About Tubingen, Germany

    Located around a 40-minute drive southwest of Stuttgart is the small little town of Tubingen. History With a medieval castle atop one of the many hills of Tubingen that dates back to 1078. The founding of Eberhard Karls University in 1477, making it one of Central Europe’s oldest, Tubingen has a wealth of history. In fact, the settlement of Tubingen dates back to the 6th and 7th century. Schloss Luckily during the Second World War, Tubingen was left relatively unscathed and many of the medieval buildings still remain intact. If you willing to take the small hike up a hill to Hohentubingen Castle (Schloss), the reward is spectacular views of…

  • Europe

    When I didn’t have a Spiritual Experience at the Vatican

    For Easter 2012, all the women on my Mum’s side of the family (11 of us in total) went to visit Rome and the Vatican as part of our Grandmother’s 70th Birthday celebrations. Ranging from 75 to 16, all of us were raised Roman Catholics, and we arrived in Rome on the morning on Palm Sunday. Although I am not a practising Catholic, unlike the majority of my family, I was really excited to see the Vatican. I don’t quite know what I expected when I walked into St Peter’s Square, but some sort of religious revelation. The seat of the Holy See and home of the Roman Catholic religion,…

  • Europe

    Saklikent Gorge

    Hidden is the Taurus Mountains on the south coast of Turkey a canyon of 300m high and 18km long is carved. Melted water from the snow caps on the mountain tops gush down the steep slopes, dissecting the terrain. The water is thick with limestone from the mountains and ice cold. One of the most massive gorges in the world is found near the tourist destinations of Fethiye and Olu Deniz. During the summer months when the tide is low, you can walk deep into the gorge. The whole day is magical, the sides of the canyon towering over while you wade in the water. What to take with you:…

  • Europe

    Top 7 Things To Do In Budapest

    Budapest is a city of contrast. From the gently sloping hills of ancient Buda to the flat terrain of Pest. With a history of Celtic, Roman and Ottoman occupation, and pivotal during both of the World Wars, Budapest has something for everyone. Here are the top 7 things to do when you visit Budapest 1. Take In The Architecture Of The Parliament Building The outstanding Gothic building on the banks of the Danube is one of the largest buildings in Hungary. Still, a fully functional parliamentary office, stunning from virtually every angle, forming part of the UNESCO site as a central element in the Danube panorama. Tickets are available daily to…

  • Europe

    Healing Waters – Budapest’s Thermal Baths

    Budapest sits on a complex network of almost 125 thermal springs, and this thermal-water reserve is one of the largest in the world, especially for a capital city. Budapest is therefore rich in world-class healing baths and ‘taking the waters’ has been a part of everyday life. There can be few places in the world where water is as lavishly celebrated. The healing powers of the hot springs were first discovered in 100 AD, when Romans settled at Aquincum, which is now part of Budapest. Then it was the Turks, who occupied Hungary during the 16th century, who built the baths and developed the spa culture. The water contains calcium, magnesium, hydrocarbonate, alkalis, chloride, sulfate and fluoride. Some of…

  • Europe

    Ruins to Rebirth – Budapest’s Ruin Pubs

    In the quiet heart of the old Jewish Quarter of Budapest, there is an unexpected emerging bar scene. From the abandoned homes and businesses, has grown an eclectic nightlife. The Jewish Quarter is the smallest in Budapest, yet it currently has the highest population density. The Jewish district is full with the historical remains of the Jewish community that once thrived there. There are three synagogues in the area, with the Dohány Synagogue being the largest and, indeed, the second largest in the entire world. Sadly, the tragic effects of the Holocaust ravaged the area and stripped it of its population and identity. Luckily, the Jewish culture is not only something of the past. The district is experiencing…

  • Europe

    Brainstorming Budapest

    Before travelling, it is always recommended to do your research so that you are prepared for your destination. Whether that is confirming which country you are going to, the currency they use or the language. For this trip, this is unfortunately things that have required investigation before we travel today! When you travel, remember that a foreign country is not designed to make you comfortable. It is designed to make its own people comfortable Budapest is voted as one of the world’s most beautiful cities worldwide. From a quick google search, it is easy to see why. The architecture, spanning neoclassical to art nouveau, Castles and Parliament buildings, with the…

  • Europe

    I’ll Meet You in Paris

    Paris is just 300 miles away from London, and with fantastic transport links with the Eurostar, EuroTunnel and Channel Crossing Ferry, I have visited the French Capital on a number of occasions. Here are the best things to do and see in Paris Arc de Triomphe The icon Arc de Triomphe is found at the end of the Champes-Elysees and is a monument to the fallen during the French Revolutionary and Napoleonic Wars. It is found in the centre of a roundabout with 12 avenues radiating from the centre. This means this junction a little bit scary as it is very busy with cars, best to use one of the…

  • Europe

    Shark Diving in Gansbaai

    The brisk salt air of the South Atlantic Ocean nips as it fills the lungs, in contrast with the gentle swaying of the small diving boat. 20 minutes out at sea from Gansbaai, an 8 man diving cage attached to the side of the vessel, is ominously lowered. ‘Remember, do not put your hands outside of the cage‘ shouts our guide over the sudden flurry of activity of squeezing into wetsuits. Seeing the immense shadow materialise next to the boat, the additional warning was unnecessary. The small town of Gansbaai in South Africa, 100km south-west of Cape Town, is famed for its Shark Diving Tourism, as the entrance to Shark…

  • Europe

    Christmas Markets in Esslingen

    Esslingen am Neckar is a small medieval town close by to Stuttgart. Last year I was lucky enough to be visiting Esslingen for a workshop and had a chance to visit a traditional Christmas Market. However, the Christmas Market in Esslingen is unique. With more than 200 booths, the Esslingen Market is one of the largest in the region and had so much history given that there has been a settlement at Esslingen since about 1000BC. For almost four weeks at the Medieval Market, merchants in historical garments offer their goods for sale just as they did hundreds of years ago. Craftsmen like pewterers, felt-makers, tinder-makers, blacksmiths, rope-makers, basket-makers, broom-makers or…

  • Europe

    Xanthos-Letoon, Turkey

    The two nearby ruins of Xanthos and Letoon nearby Fethiye in Turkey, are listed as UNESCO sites due to the significance in the understanding of the Lycian people. These ruins are close by to the hotel resort that I frequently visit in Turkey, and I have driven past them many times, not realising their cultural significance. We decided to visit the ruins and understand more about the history of the local area. Turkey has a very long history, and the Lycian language started dying out by 546BC! As you can see from the images, these sites have a unique intact architectural example of the ancient Lycian Civilisation, and many texts were…

  • Europe

    Surprises in Milan

    This July I bought my husband a surprise holiday, not only did he not know where we were going but neither did I! We used the prior Expedia service ‘Surprise Trips’ where one of the grand wizards at Expedia found me a holiday based on my budget, airport and number of nights and people. We were told to get to Gatwick for 7am on the day we flew out, only finding out on the way to the airport our destination. Milan! All I knew about Milan was it was famous for fashion, Ferrari’s and football! I never would have thought about Milan as a destination for a city break, would…

  • Europe

    Chocolate, Canals and Cobbles in Bruges

    Last year for my 30th birthday, my husband bought me a weekend away in Bruges. Pretty much all I knew about Bruges before we travelled there was it’s famous for chocolate and its gothic architecture (from the infamous film ‘In Bruges’). We travelled by Eurostar from Ebbsfleet in Kent for a two-night break. We got the Eurostar to Brussels and with a fifteen-minute change over we were on the train to Bruges. I love travelling by train in Europe as it’s so different from my regular British rail commute to London. Walking from the train station to our hotel, which was about 15-20 minutes, we passed through lots of cobbled…