Recently we were privileged to be invited to a wedding in the Midlands, England. In my mind this conjures up visions of vast expanses of land and rich estates – a kind of Pride and Prejudice meets Downton Abbey – small towns, cute country lanes, rolling hills, hearty food and wide varieties of dialects. My husband and I opted to add a few days of unplanned driving – the aim was to wander aimlessly, traverse the hills, take in whatever sights we happened across, and eat and drink till we burst. Goal achieved! As I mentioned from my last visit to England, my opinion of the country has changed somewhat from being a boring (normal food, English-speaking) destination, into a familiar one that reminds me nostalgically of home.
With the longest day of the year just around the corner, what better place to spend a long weekend, we thought, than right up north in Helsinki!
We flew into surprisingly warm weather, and it stayed that way almost the entire time, save for a small sun shower one afternoon – 25 degrees in Helsinki is almost unheard of in June! I was very happy to note upon arrival that our hotel (Hotel Cumulus) had decent curtains that blocked out a fair amount of the night-daylight. Though if you tend to be light-sensitive, I would recommend taking an eye mask anyway. The hotel was perfectly located, only a 5-10 minute walk to Market Square, right near a big supermarket and across the road from a daily market. The subway station was also right there, along with the bus stop to the airport.
When you take a holiday, things are pretty simple – you pack what you need for the time you’re going, ask someone to check your mail, try to stuff your pillow in at the end, and head off. I never really appreciated how easy a weekend, or even few weeks away were, until I went travelling for multiple months.
So here’s 10 things you don’t think of that might pop up at some point during a long travel trip, that you don’t have to worry about for a quick getaway.
Ljubljana is a place I’ve always wanted to visit (and always wanted to be able to spell correctly), and since it’s only a couple of hours drive from where I now live in Austria, it’s surprising that it’s taken me over three years to get there.
My brother, his wife and their 9-month-old recently visited me in Austria, and kudos to them for undertaking such an adventure with a young baby! After spending a week at home (which, let’s be honest, is more than enough for my small town), we all headed off on a road trip through Slovenia and Italy.
Travelling with a baby presents its own challenges, so now add to that the fact that we also had a cripple on board (that’s me and my bulging discs), which made life even more interesting.
Group tours – love em or hate em – they definitely have their positive and negative attributes. I personally love group tours for exploring countries less travelled or conquering a lot of distance in a short time period. But I understand they’re not for everyone. Still, regardless of what side of the fence you sit on, some surprising things can happen when you’re actually in the moment – so if you’re thinking about embarking on group travel, take care to beware the following things: Continue reading
Never would I have thought that long, tedious Russian train rides would lead me into a lifelong obsession…