It's been two years since I visited the country my heart chose as its second home. So, when Gov.uk's travel traffic lights status turned to green for go on 7th May 2021, I couldn't wait to book my flight. 72 hours before my flight, I was paying a not inconsiderable amount of money, after having my pre-travel COVID-19 test done... just about at the same time Gov.uk announced they were changing the Portuguese travel traffic lights back to amber from 8th June 2021 - I was due to fly on 5th.
Travel Undaunted? Well, the last time I did it was this time last year - (February 2020). One year ago today, I was in Amsterdam, smooching with my holiday love, Ted, in Dam Square. As the others took in Body Worlds and the Van Gough Museum, I sauntered through the streets of Amsterdam at my own pace, taking in its sights and sounds. Dam Square, home to the Royal Palace, where I fell in love with Ted. We both have the same hair, which I think is rather sweet, but I am philosophical. Holiday romances never last.
Keeping my itchy feet happy during these eternal Lockdown Days is an ongoing problem. I've tried binge watching twenty years worth of travel videos, with my feet propped up on a stool, so they can relive those heady sun soaked, beach filled days, but they are not happy. In fact, one of them is particularly grumpy this morning, and is refusing to get out of bed.
I never thought I would feel the love for lemon sherbet popcorn, but stranger things have happened when you are stranded at an airport.
Whilst on safari, I lost weight fairly quickly and it wasn't just to do with the heat. After enjoying a sundowner watching impala gambol happily in the bush, we would return to camp to find them on the dinner menu, which was just too hard to swallow. The only time I have ever been offered a gin and tonic for breakfast at 5.00a.m. was on safari and it was the only time I have ever refused one, sensibly realising I was getting enough quinine in my anti-malarial tablets.
As Katie Melua told us, there are 9 million bicycles in Beijing, so I'm surprised to learn there are only 881,000 in Amsterdam. They are everywhere. 58% of the population cycle to work on upright bikes, and there's not a scrap of lycra to be seen. The Dutch have mastered the art of sedate cycling while holding an umbrella above their heads, a necessity during the monsoon-like rainstorms the city often gets.
Once you've been bitten by the travel bug, there is no antidote. Wanderlust will course through your veins for the rest of your life. Travel, for me, has always been an addiction. I can never get enough of it, despite having been forced to slow down a bit recently. An irritating combination of having a... Continue Reading →
After overnighting in Glasgow and putting the FlyMAYbe disappointment behind me, we took the high road to Kintyre by car at 08.00hrs. Half an hour out of Glasgow, flashes of the bonnie banks of Loch Lomond, start appearing from behind the trees and from there you are transported into another world as the road weaves its way through idyllic un-spoilt countryside.
I am realistic when it comes to travelling. No trip goes without a hitch. Trains, boats and planes rarely run to schedule, they are susceptible to the weather, and they go techie at the slightest provocation. Getting on and off the rock I have chosen to make my home, is often fraught with problems. Fog is... Continue Reading →
On our final day in Liverpool, we crammed it all in. The Liverpool Museum, a ferry across the Mersey, duck and Cantonese noodles and prawn toast for a very late lunch, followed by my long-awaited mind-blowing experience.
I have been back at home for four days after a whirlwind weekend in Liverpool. Since returning home I have been walking around in a psychedelic haze. Nothing to do with mind-altering drugs but the buzz I left Liverpool with, which is slow to wear off. Knocking things off your Bucket List is a pleasurable experience and,... Continue Reading →
I've done a fair amount of travelling in my time, although a fair amount is never enough when it comes to travel. I've experienced long and short-haul delays. I've been grounded when aircraft have gone techie. I've been subjected to impossible fellow travellers and have taken it all in my stride. It's just part and... Continue Reading →
I'm biased when it comes to The Algarve. It is my personal, European haven, the place I would like to spend more time. It's not just a passing phase, I've been in love with the place for twenty-six years... and who can blame me? I have waxed lyrical about it since I was blown away on my first visit.
The city has a feel-good factor about it. It is a place where buzzy cosmopolitan ambiance blends perfectly with its historic richness, with the River Stour meandering its way under the High Street on it's way to the North Sea at Pegwell Bay.
The Lake District National Park with its rich, multi-layered geological history dates back half a billion years and offers stunning panoramic vistas for miles around.
With a heavy heart, I heaved my backpack over my shoulders. “I love you,” I said hoarsely, taking one last look at her normally loving limpid pool eyes, which glowered disbelievingly back at me, daggers drawn and feeling like the biggest shit of all time, I slipped out the front door. Mental note to self...... Continue Reading →