23 June, 2017

Friday's Lightbulb: Mérida, Mexico

I decided to feature Mérida because it's the American Capital of Culture in 2017, and while there are a series of large scale events taking place throughout the year, I didn't know too much about it, so decided to do some research! While it's not one of those undiscovered places, it's certainly not a tourist trap, so if you want to escape the crowds in places like Cancun, then this might be a part of Mexico you'll love.


Mérida is the cultural capital of the Yucatán Peninsula, and ranks among the safest places in Mexico. The town is steeped in colonial history, and is a great place to start an adventure around the rest of the state. As well as taking in plenty of culture, the bonus is that the cost of food and hotels are very reasonable too. 


Once you've had your fill of culture, then a day trip to the caves of the Yucatán is not to be missed. This peninsula is made of porous limestone, so there are no rivers or lakes above ground...instead they're underground! These were sacred places for the Mayas, and are hugely impressive. 


When the sun goes down in Merida, head to Plaza Grande - a beautiful tree-shaded square where you'll find folk dancing and music performances.
 Top tip: Another great day trip to take from Mérida is to the ruins at Chichén Itzá

16 June, 2017

Visiting St Peter's Basilica

One of the highlights of a trip to Rome is the view from the top of St Peter's Basilica. Now if any of you are going to skip reading further because you suffer from vertigo, then don't.....I do too! You do have to be reasonably fit to do this - there are 551 steps to get to the top, although my top tip is to take the elevator to roof level, which saves you 320 steps!


When you come out of the elevator you're inside the dome, designed by Michelangelo, looking down on the basilica - and this was the one bit where my vertigo did kick in a bit! The climb to the top is done by narrow sloping stairs, and if you are claustrophobic then this could be the difficult bit for you. The stairs are so narrow that you end up leaning to the right over the dome as you near the very top! Stick in there though, because this is your reward at the end......


It's a real iconic view, but nothing beats seeing it for yourself. One thing to note - there is a strict dress code - no shorts, no skirts and no bare shoulders - dress appropriately and enjoy the view. Once the whole experience is over - reward yourself with a cold drink at one of the many cafes on the backstreets nearby - you'll have earned it! 

09 June, 2017

Travel Photo Friday: Positive vibes

While my photos usually feature a fabulous scene that I've captured on my travels, today's photo is a little message that suits me down to the ground. I'm a very positive person, who tries to see the good in everyone, and when I saw this sign in a shop window, I knew I had to feature it on here!


So whatever your plans are for the weekend, try to be optimistic and see the glass as half full!