30 April, 2013

The long and winding road: Travel Lightbulb changes

When I started my blogging journey, I didn't know where it would take me. It's an experience I'm thoroughly enjoying, and the feedback I've had from everyone who has taken time to visit Travel Lightbulb is fantastic. My other day job is taking up more and more of my time, and while I don't want to stop writing my blog, I also don't want the quality of places, and writing to diminish. so I've taken the decision to post once a week.

The posts will go live every Friday, and I'll be chopping and changing between my top travel tips on restaurants, bars and hotels; my travel ramblings, and the Travel Photo Friday feature that so many of you seem to enjoy. So don't fear, you can still contribute your photos to the blog, and I'll still be featuring the cool places that I'd recommend you take a look at on your travels. Thanks in advance for your continued support - and happy travelling!

26 April, 2013

Feeling a bit sheepish: Travel Photo Friday

Today's photo was taken on a trip to the Lake District - I was driving past these sheep who seemed to be enjoying their lunch! I stopped the car, and beeped the horn, and some of them turned around to see who was making all the noise! I love how the sheep, who are sprayed by their owners, mirror the colours of the landscape! 

If you have an amusing travel photo, and would be willing to donate it to Travel Lightbulb  - please send it to the email address on my contacts page, with a sentence or two about where it was taken. Many thanks in advance!

23 April, 2013

An out of this world food experience: Fäviken Magasinet

If you are a food lover, and have always wanted to do "foodie" trip, then read on - I've found something quite unique. Fäviken Magasinet is not simply somewhere to stay - they call it a restaurant with accommodation. If you're a fussy eater, give it a miss but if you're up for a totally different food experience, then this is for you.

It is located in the North of Sweden, and is not easy to get to (it's 80km from Östersund airport, which has daily flights from Stockholm) but those who have been say it's well worth the effort. The dining experience is based on using produce from the region, and from the farm on which the restaurant is situated. 

Chef Magnus Nilsson is one of the hottest names in the food and restaurant world. It's hard to sum up what you should expect, but think pre-dinner gin and locally fermented rhubarb juice followed by around 20 different dishes (some tiny appetisers) such as clams; diced cow's heart; moss chips, and  homemade liqueurs. Not for the faint hearted!

The 12-seater restaurant has made it onto the '50 best restaurants in the world' list, and is becoming legendary among those who travel the world looking for new food experiences. The scenery is stunning in this area, and considering the estate spans almost ten thousand hectares, you can do some seriously exploring here! If you want to know more about Fäviken Magasinet, click here to go to the official website.

19 April, 2013

Sundowners: Travel Photo Friday

I took today's travel photo on the West coast of Barbados. There is a real tradition on the island of everyone getting together at around 6pm when the sun starts to set, and drinking cocktails - otherwise known as sundowners! The lovely thing is that it's not just those visiting Barbados who do this - despite seeing amazing sunsets almost every day of their lives - the locals all join in too, and it's just great fun. Rum punch ahoy! 

If you have a photo you'd like to share, get in touch and send your photo and a line about where it was taken to the email address on my contact page. Thanks, and I hope you today's photo transported you to somewhere warm and sunny if you're not already in that sort of a place!

16 April, 2013

A funky boutique hotel in Portland

Today's blog post features a very funky boutique hotel in Portland, Oregon which I believe is most suited for those looking for a fun and youthful atmosphere. The Jupiter Hotel is a renovated motor-inn-turned-boutique hotel just minutes away from Downtown Portland - perfect if you're visiting the Pearly District or Rose Garden Arena.

Photo courtesy of Mosca Photo
It has 80 modern minimalist rooms, which all have flat screen tv's, painted wall murals, and I-pod speakers. A nice touch is the complimentary coffee and free wifi in all rooms. 

There is a great bar and club on site, but if that's not your thing, you'll be pleased to hear they provide ear plugs if the noise gets to much when you do decide to go to bed. Please note you can request a "chill side" room if you want peace and quiet. 

It's a great central location for wandering around Portland, and is only ten minutes walk to the Rose Garden Arena, and about a mile from the train station. It's gained a reputation for being a hip spot, and is perfect whether you want to stay on the party side of the hotel, or chill out. If you're keen to know more, visit the official website here.

12 April, 2013

Travel Photo Friday: Monkeying around

Today's photo features a creature you may not have heard of before - the green monkey. They're found in Barbados, and originally came from West Africa around 350 years ago. There have been around 75 generations of these cheeky little chaps since they arrived on the island, and the species now have different characteristics than those in West Africa - they've probably just adjusted to island life! In case you're wondering where the name comes from, in certain light, their fur has a green appearance.

Although the green monkey's are mainly found in parts of the island which have more vegetation and less development, the shot above was taken on Sandy Lane golf course on the West Coast - I hope they paid their green fees! If you'd like to contribute a photo, then please get in touch via the email address on my contact page. It can be a beautiful travel shot, or even just a little a cheeky one like today's image!

09 April, 2013

Stylish Slovakia

I've read quite a lot about Slovakia in recent months - probably because 2013 marks two decades on from the nation's separation from its Czech neighbour. It has since joined the European Union, and many consider it the perfect country for short ski breaks.

Now there is a bit of an image overhaul happening in the country, with tourist authorities trying to temp people into the small Slovak villages, or to take a cruise on the Danube. Bratislava, the capital city, is still the place that interests me, and with fewer than half a million residents, it's small enough to have a relaxed old-town charm, and some consider it to be Europe's most relaxed city.

Marrol's Boutique Hotel is a very stylish small hotel with 51 superbly equipped rooms which may be the perfect place to stay if you're looking for style on a trip to Slovakia. The rooms are beautiful, the bathrooms are great, and the minibar is free of charge!

The hotel is very well situated near the river, and within easy walking distance of the old town on a quiet side street. If you fancy a closer look at the hotel, the official website can be found here.

05 April, 2013

Travel Photo Friday: Anticipation

After my post on Tuesday about having the holiday blues, today's photo is all about anticipation. It was taken as I was flying into Barbados on my recent trip there. I'm not sure if you agree, but I love the window seat, and am always ready with my camera to try and snap the first sight of the place I'm travelling to. With it being an island, it's trickier to catch Barbados, but this was the first sight of the coastline, with a pretty sky above! 

If you have a photo you'd like to share, please get in touch via the contact details on my contact page - I'd love to see your travel shots! 

02 April, 2013

Caribbean blues...

Yes folks, I'm back from the Caribbean and I've got the blues! I remember Enya sang a beautiful song called Caribbean blue - it was a happy tune, but I'm feeling a little glum to be back in this rubbish UK weather! My trip was absolutely amazing, and I visited some fantastic old haunts, and found some new gems which I'll be sharing with you all over the coming months.

The way I'm feeling got me thinking about how much we all dream about going on holiday, and March is the peak month for dreaming about sunnier climes - nice to know I'm not alone in doing this! A study by a well known travel website found that the average Brit spends 13 minutes a day during March dreaming about sunnier climes - that's more than any other month of the year. It's probably because winter is coming to an end, and we start to think about escaping the harsh British winter. 

Now that we're in April and the weather is still terrible, something tells me the stats this month will be similar! As we are now in the month of April, surely this means things can only get better from here on in - here's hoping! Where do you dream of going this year? Email me on the address on my contact page, or feel free to leave your comments below!