Category: Europe

Paris – People, Places and Spaces

Spring is in the air, the sight of the daffodils and the sound of birdsong puts a bounce back in your step after the long, cold winter months.  A lovely short break is in most peoples thoughts. Paris is in mine. My first trip to Paris with my beau was in early September.  Quite some time back, when I was in my late twenties. He had studied french and planned the trip as a lovely surprise.    We stayed very near the Champs Elysees.  The hotel reception and our room was on the small side, which is pretty standard in...

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Ireland – The Wild Atlantic Way, Into the West

Connemara, County Galway situated on the edge of Europe, the place where I spent my childhood, worked, lived and emigrated from, due to the lack of work.  Steeped in memories for me, happy and sad, yet always rewarding from a travel and photography point of view. Since relocating back home from overseas, Connemara is the place my husband and I go and spend time out in nature cycling the long and winding roads, a place to relax and unwind.  It is also the place I explore extensively with my brother taking photographs and boy does it reward us no matter the season or the weather. My grandfather and his family worked the bogs in Connemara for many generations; the hand cut turf was the main source of fuel for heating homes. His old...

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Walking in Aigüestortes i Estany de Sant Maurici National Park

In the far north western corner of Catalunya lies its best kept secret; Aigüestortes i Estany de Sant Maurici National Park. It is a land of enchanted mountains, sparkling glacial lakes, and some of the best walking routes in Spain. The park takes its name from the network of nearly 200 mountain lakes and waterfalls scattered throughout, and it is these water features which help make the park so beautiful. Aigüestortes translates from Catalan as twisted waters and Lake Sant Maurici dominates the eastern end of the park and is enjoyed by most day trippers. However, those willing to...

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36 Hours in Amsterdam

The capital of the Netherlands is Amsterdam, and it is a pristine and picturesque city. The city is not only known for it’s artistic heritage, but also its 17th century colorful gabled homes and beautiful canals. We visited in the winter right after Christmas, on our way home from a fun New Year’s trip.  Amsterdam is of the most friendly cities in Europe, and you can walk everywhere. The primary language is Dutch, which is somewhat similar to German, but not always. There are three official languages in the Netherlands: Dutch, German, and French. In Old English Dutch, Amsterdam simply meant “people or nation.” ...

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Sweden – Stockholm, A Family City Break

When you stay in Stockholm there are a lot of great choices. Our first time we stayed at The Grand Hotel. A lovely place that overlooks one of the many waterways. Whether you stay there or not – it’s has a great bar with the perfect view of old Stockholm. It over looks the water, but beware it also has courtyard rooms, which are uninspiring, luckily the only time we spent in the room was to sleep and shower. The bellmen are ready and willing to help, and to point you to great sights and great restaurants. But we hope to help you with a little of...

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Hiking in the Aragonese Pyrenees

The sunny side of the Pyrenees is without a doubt in Spain, and the most dramatic, rugged and wild section of the Spanish Pyrenees is in Aragón. A stunning national park, majestic canyons, abundant wildlife, and some jaw dropping walks are all part of the package which should make a trip to the Argonese Pyrenees high on any walker’s to do list. Aragón is neatly placed in-between Navarre and Catalunya in the north east of Spain. A few hours drive from Bilbao, or Toulouse or Pau on the French side. Or if you are lucky, you can fly directly...

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Honeymooning in Tuscany

Villa Il Poggiale is the honeymoon destination of dreams – a stunning Renaissance villa set in Chianti Classico – the heart of Tuscany’s wine region. We spent four sun-soaked nights at the villa, unwinding after our wedding next to a pool that overlooked the rolling Tuscan hills, lounging about in our upgraded room admiring the crazily-high ceilings and eating the most ridiculously amazing four-course meals every night. Each one started with an all-you-could-eat (which was a lot…) selection of local produce – from meats and cheese, to olives, salads and pastries, all prepared by the chef – Anna –...

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A Magical Christmas in Strasbourg

Strasbourg is home to one of the oldest and most famous Christmas Markets in the whole of Europe. From late November until the end of December, the city is transformed – and it now attracts around two million visitors each year!   This is a place where children’s eyes shine – a place where fairy tales could quite easily come to life…   In fact, lots of fairy tale characters grace the buildings here! Strasbourg considers itself ‘The Capital of Christmas’ – and on arrival at the futuristic train station, there are posters and billboards promoting ‘Strasbourg Capital de...

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