27 September, 2013

Bowled over by Sweden's capital city

 Before I visited Stockholm, I wasn't sure what to expect. I knew it the capital of Sweden; I knew it was spread across fourteen islands in the south-east of the country - but that was about it. When I got there, I was stunned by its beauty and the whole vibe of the place.

The fact that this beautiful city is built on islands, means there are lots of beautiful bridges connecting them all - in fact there are 57 bridges! Another thing that strikes you as a visitor is how clean the city is, despite the streets bustling with people in the summer months. I've never seen so many people just sitting around enjoying some food and a glass or two of wine!

Speaking of food, there's one thing you must try when in Stockholm - the traditional Swedish dish of meatballs, and brown cream sauce. They are served with lingonberries (similar in taste to cranberries), which compliment the dish beautifully. 

Top tip: Make sure you spend time wandering the streets of Gamla Stan (the Old Town) - there are picturesque streets; great shops and restaurants, and this is where the city seems to come alive!

20 September, 2013

Travel Photo Friday: Cows and captions!

Of all the travel photos I have featured on my blog, I have to say that this is the first one that I think should actually be the subject of a caption competition! I saw these cows on a lovely walk in Cheshire one Sunday afternoon - is it just me, or does the one on the right look like it's deep in conversation with the other one? 

This isn't an actual competition, but if you feel like leaving a comment just for fun, then please feel free! If you have a travel photo you'd like to contribute to my blog, please get in touch via my contact page.

13 September, 2013

Taking to the water in the Lakes

The Lake District is one of the most beautiful places in England, and one of my favourite places in the area is Coniston Water. At five miles long, with a maximum depth of 184 feet, it is the third largest of the lakes. It is also where Donald Campbell attempted to break the World Water Speed Record in 1966/67.

It provided an important fish source for the monks of Furness Abbey, who owned the lake in the 13th and 14th centuries, and since then it has been used to transport slate and ore from the mines in the valley above Coniston Village.

There are breathtaking views to be had around here - especially when you're on the water itself. There are various ways to do just that - an elegant Victorian Steam Yacht Gondola sails between March and November. You can also hire your own boat, whether it be a motor boat, canoe, or sailing boat. My own personal favourite way to experience the Lake is in a rowing boat. 

My top tip - if you're a lady, make sure you have a competent rower with you - nothing sexist whatsoever here....it just means you can sit back, relax and enjoy the scenery without the hard work! For more information on boat hire, click to visit the Coniston Boating Centre website.

06 September, 2013

Travel Photo Friday: Windmills of my mind

Today's photo was taken in Vila do Bispo, in the Western Algarve. I was wandering around the town, and came across the stunning restored windmill - which I'm sure you'll agree looks amazing against the deep blue sky. The town itself has a very interesting claim to fame. 

In 1543 a man from the village called Ferñao Mendes Pinto was one of the first European to land in Japan. In 1992, a new square was built on the outskirts of the town to celebrate its twinning with the island he visited - and that is how 'Praça de Tanegashima' came to be!

If you have a photo that has a story behind it, or just a cool travel photo you're willing to donate, then get in touch - details of how to do that are on the contact page of my blog. Thanks!