Most people who arrive at Girona airport seem to head straight in the opposite direction for its bigger and better known sister Barcelona, but they’re missing out on a gem of a city that’s perfect for a short break. Clearly the Costa Brava Tourism board, who were sponsoring the TBEX conference that I attended, had the same thought in mind in bringing a flight of travel bloggers here and keeping them as long as possible to discover all corners of the region from the Pyrenees to the beautiful coastline. Personally I really enjoy the less discovered cities of Europe like Girona, where you get a local and authentic flavour, rather than the tourist hot-spots where you have to compete with the crowds to see the top attractions. ]]>
You can sit for hours on end just enjoying the views from the window – but with the Orient Express trains, train travel takes on a different twist.Their luxury trains are far from the normal trains people take; you’ve got entertainment, glamorous bar cars, 5-star cuisine served in the dining cars, an observation deck and more – for us it was one of the most luxurious journeys we’ve ever made.
On the plus side, the bus travels through some of the most amazing landscapes of the country, and stops in several places so you can get off, take short walks in the forests and enjoy the scenery.The trip is cheap so it’s definitely doable for budget travelers.
It was the end of the summer as we drove down to Devon, stopping at Okehampton station for lunch in the station buffet that could have been a film set for that post-war classic, Brief Encounter. The station has been restored to its full 1950s glory, with old fashioned locomotives to take you on a day trip on the Dartmoor Railway that runs at weekends to Meldon, where you can walk on the viaduct or up onto the moor. It’s a lovely place to stop for lunch and you can sit at a table on the platform among the hanging baskets and piles of leather suitcases, recalling Celia Johnson’s very British clipped tones, as you tuck into your home-made Victoria Sponge with a pot of tea.
|heatheronhertravels’ Devon – Dartmoor photoset|
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Today, I am excited to announce a new aspect to this website – trip planning services. It’s going to be really awesome and a great way to help you further reach your travel dreams! When I started traveling, there were no big travel blogs, online guides, and few forums. Online travel wasn’t like it is today. I remember doing a lot of planning by myself, reading guidebooks, looking for any information I could find on the Internet, and visiting the occasional STA store to get some information. Now, it’s a lot easier to research your trip online with the advent of resources like blogs, online guides, apps, and YouTube videos. But I know from all the e-mails I receive that these sources are not always enough. Even after you feel you’ve learned everything, there is a still a sense of unease that can exist. There’s still an uncertainty over planning the right route, or if you picked the right hostel, or got the cheapest flight. All that information can be overwhelming. Where do you exactly start? And that’s where my new travel planning service comes in. I’m here to assist in creating a personalized travel plan for you. Consider me your own travel concierge. I will sit down with you (virtually via Skype), help plan your journey, suggest accommodations, activities, and itineraries. I’m going to walk you through everything and ease your fears. I’m going to make you ready for the road! There can be a lot of fear in travel. Talking that first step isn’t as easy for everyone. It’s easy to get lost in the sea of information you find online. I want to take the information I provide to it’s next step. I want to personally walk you through the entire process so you feel more comfortable about traveling. I am offering three ways to make that happen:P.S. – You’ll be able to upgrade to a different package anytime you want!
There is a famous saying that goes “There is Antwerp – and the rest of Belgium is just a parking lot”.But jokes aside, we could see why they liked it so much – Antwerp, also nicknamed “T Staad” (The city, another arrogant nickname), has the best of both worlds, the best of old and new. It’s a vibrant city which is always looking for the latest trends and newest ideas, but their history and traditions will always stay close to the peoples’ hearts. Antwerp is not as beautiful as Bruges or Ghent where the Old Towns look the same as they did several hundred years ago, but Antwerp has an interesting mixture of everything, with new and modern buildings standing next to old and traditional ones.
He explains that because Antwerp was occupied and suppressed for such a long time, people found their liberty in other ways, like design and art, something which has stayed with them.In between the fashion shops and high-end bakeries that Rick shows us, we find out more about the people of Antwerp and their history, from their struggles to their fortunes, legends and heroes.
After all, one of the most memorable experiences are always the people you meet. In Belgium, we had met so many wonderful and charismatic people, and Isabelle, her boyfriend and their friend were no different.It was really fun and interesting to get a different angle of Antwerp from the one you get through guides and what you read, and getting to know the people on a different level – we definitely suggest you try the concept next time you visit Belgium. (note: Special thanks to VisitFlanders for providing our trip to Belgium – our opinions are, as always, our own)
As my open-air double-decker tour bus turned the corner our guide pointed out Circuito Mágico del Agua, the Magic Water Circuit in Lima’s Parque de la Reserva. Named the largest fountain complex in the world by the Guinness Book of World Records, the water park features 13 fountains, including one that shoots more than 260 feet into the air. I’d only caught a glimpse of the park’s water features, but I’d seen enough to know I wanted a closer look. A week later, back in Lima after a visit to Cuzco and Machu Picchu, I partnered up with my girlfriend Karina, who lives in Lima, and we headed for a night of frolicking in the fountains. From the Magic Fountain, we made our way past the Fountain of Life and the Fountain of Traditions, pausing to admire the unique design of each before ducking through the long Tunnel of Surprises, made up of cardinal red water arches. On the other side we paused for nearly half an hour at the Labyrinth of Daydreams, a circular fountain with alternating wet and dry concentric circles. The challenge was to make it to the center without getting wet, but since there was no way to know when thewater spouts in the “wet” circles would go off, everyone got soaked. All the fountains were spectacular, but the best of show was the Fuente de la Fantasía – Fantasy Fountain – onto which a laser light show is projected three times each evening. Ballroom dancers, geometric shapes, and exploding fireworks materialized on the dancing waters, which were in turn syncopated to music.
The park is open every Wednesday through Sunday and on holidays from 3 p.m. to 10:30 p.m. and the laser light shows are at 7:15, 8:15, and 9:30 p.m. each night. Enjoy an afternoon picnic lunch on the lawn, romp in the interactive fountains in your swimsuit, and stay around for the illuminated displays after dark, all for only $1.50 per person (4 Peruvian Soles). It’s the best bargain in town.
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We had never seen so many churches in such a small place, you couldn’t walk 50 meters on the street without seeing a church. But despite having well over 65 [...]
Vilnius, Lithuania – Europe #33 [VIDEO] - As We Travel - Travel Videos & Travel Blog]]>
We had never seen so many churches in such a small place, you couldn’t walk 50 meters on the street without seeing a church. But despite having well over 65 churches to choose from, all the people seemed to gather at one specific church – the smallest one inside a gate… If you looked up above the Gate of Dawn you would actually see the chapel itself – there are no windows, just a small fence, and in the middle of the small room is a golden image of The Virgin Mary. To read more about our time in Vilnius, make sure you check out:
If you ever visit Riga, don’t miss out on trying this so called “bread drink” made from fermented black bread called Kvass! When it comes to food, Riga topped all [...]
Riga, Latvia – Europe #32 [VIDEO] - As We Travel - Travel Videos & Travel Blog]]>
If you ever visit Riga, don’t miss out on trying this so called “bread drink” made from fermented black bread called Kvass! When it comes to food, Riga topped all the other Baltic countries in quality – it was cheap, there was an abundance, and it was really good. But when it comes to attractions and beauty, I have to be honest and say that Riga wasn’t as fortunate as its neighboring capitals Vilnius or Tallinn. To read more about our time in Riga, make sure you check out: