Category: World

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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A Peak At The Island of Pulau Ubin, Singapore

After making some enquiries as to what I could do on a layover in Singapore, a work colleague suggested a trip to Pulau Ubin. He gave me some basic information and the seed was sown. I was up bright and early ready for my adventure. Not wanting to waste time, I took a taxi to the ferry terminal. There was a short wait before we boarded a bumboat that took us across the busy shipping channel to the island. Once off the boat it was a short walk along the jetty to hire a bicycle; my preferred choice on...

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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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Summer Wildflowers of Bangadilly, Australia

Fringe Lily, Thysanotus tuberosus  Here in Australia it’s early summer and already the scorching hot, dry days are setting in. I escape the heat for a walk in nearby Bangadilly National Park, where closer inspection of the ground cover reveals an array of wildflowers.   Many are small, intricate forms less than a centimetre in diameter. I wonder how they can survive the heat, sheltered only by the sparse shade of shrubs and native trees.  I feel privileged to live right across the road from such beautiful hidden treasures, and happily souvenir a collection of photos, so I can enlarge them, research their names and observe their beauty in greater detail when I return home.  It makes...

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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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