Each year my company gives staff members a sum of money to undertake a Team Event. Since I started working there, our team has been a bit lax in organising something exciting. But this year we were adamant – we would do something awesome. So we got in early and we threw in some extra cash of our own and we… went to Italy for the weekend. Because why? Because we can.
I last visited Bratislava in 2007. It was high summer, stinking hot and my friend and I, backpacking at the time, arrived rather reluctantly. Not that it was Bratislava’s fault. Bratislava is a beautiful town – was then – is still. The problem is that Bratislava was tainted with a string of uneasy events that occurred prior to us arriving. And it was too soon after the shortcomings of Budapest (also not Budapest’s fault). So my friend and I found ourselves unenthusiastic, and we only stayed two nights, skipping the third in favour of Vienna.
Damn I love aeroplane food.
I always have.
Admittedly, the taste isn’t always the best and the offering isn’t always what I’d choose. But somehow, just the fact that I’m going to have a small tray of goods delivered, each in their own separate compartments, direct to my chair, is too good to be true. Not only that, usually there’s a choice of two different mains, and there’s drinks, often alcoholic, to go with it. Now, I know I’ve paid through the nose for the flight, but somehow it still feels like free food and drink, and it gets me every time!
Returning after a holiday always leads to a multitude of questions: How was it? What did you do? And you answer: Yeah, it was awesome! We did heaps of cool stuff! But where do you go after that? How do you pick out just a few notables that that particular person might be interested in hearing about?
Well, I just spend a month in Australia. And it was awesome! And we did heaps of cool stuff! And if you really want to know more, keep reading!
In mid-September my parents’ long awaited trip to Europe finally swung around. After an organised bus trip through Germany and Austria they wound up on our doorstep to stay for two weeks.
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.