Castles and Lakes in Trakai, Lithuania

Our trip to Vilnius wouldn’t be complete without a trip to Trakai to see the beautiful red castle on the lake. We arrived and hiked up the road into Trakai. We soon realised it was HOT so stopped at a small supermarket for sunscreen and chilled drinks, before decamping to a boardwalk at the edge of a large serene lake to lie down and enjoy the beautiful day.

trakai-castle-2

After our lengthy rest and watching some ducks fighting on the lake, we followed the shaded path around the lake to the castle. Continue reading

Summertime Cycling around Vilnius, Lithuania

We decided to take a cheap flight to Vilnius, Lithuania for my birthday. We had enjoyed a short break to Kaunas, Lithuania previously, so we definitely had unfinished business there! Namely, to eat more food and to explore in the sun (last time it was mid-winter!)

Sports pitches

The standout thing for us was definitely the bikes and leisure facilities! Vilnius has got it together when it comes to cycling and healthy lifestyles. There is a free (well, almost free: 2.90 Euros for 3 days) bike scheme similar to the “Boris Bikes” scheme in London. Continue reading

Enchanted Husky Sledding, Finland

After rolling our snowmobile, one of the most pressing questions I asked the doctor was “Can I still go on my husky ride?”.  I’m such a tourist.  Luckily the answer was yes!

Huskies

On the day, we arrived on foot to a winter wonderland – picture perfect woodland under a blanket of snow (just like the rest of Finland!). We paid up and had a talk on how to operate the sled. On the downhill you have to brake, and on the uphill stretches you have to run to help the dogs.  Continue reading

Trapped Under a Snowmobile, Finland

Snowmobiling is a practical method of travel for locals in Nordic Countries. We wanted to try it, and found out that the options were either (1) rent your own, or (2) go on a guided tour. The price difference wasn’t that big so we chose the latter for safety reasons – I would be nervous to drive a snowmobile over a frozen lake without a guide, as how do you really know it’s safe? Plus if anything happened, it would be good to have a guide with us. As it happened, this is one of the best decisions we have ever made!

Frozen trees

The morning dawned bright and sunny. We were breathalysed before we were allowed to hire a snowmobile. We also had a demonstration on how it worked, and a safety talk. We were told that if we rolled the machine over, Continue reading

Welcome to Finland!

“Why Finland?” is a question we have been asked a lot. “Do you have family there?” is the popular follow-up question. No we don’t – we just thought it would be different. We’ve been to the Alps before on several occasions. And it is beautiful. But why not try something new?! So to Finland we went! 🙂

Sunset, Ruka

Ruka (pronounced Roo-ka) is a small ski village ; the largest in Finland. Continue reading

Don’t Smile while Snorkelling : lessons learnt in Fuertaventura

We visited Fuertaventura for a complete break from the world… and that is what we got. It was like stepping from the cold English winter straight into summer; a bubble containing only swimming, sunshine, and good food.

Beach 1

This was actually my first ever package holiday! I found it difficult to relinquish control but it worked out OK and it was cheaper than booking the separate parts ourselves. We stayed in a resort type hotel, so we were joined by English, French, and German tourists, all chasing the sunshine! Continue reading

My Problem with Public Toilets in the USA

This is a very niche blog, but I have a problem with toilets in the USA, and there are some unsaid things which I need to explore.

Don’t get me wrong, public toilets in the USA are usually clean and freely available, which is of utmost importance. In fact I would take US toilets over the toilets in many other countries any day, BUT I have a few bug-bears that massively annoy me every time! Continue reading

Crazy Barman + Free Tequila + Vegas = One Big Night

Vegas baby! This time we had a pool in our hotel so we made the most of that. We’ve never had a “pool holiday” where we spend time lounging, and suddenly that seemed very attractive! So we attended our first Pool Party in Vegas, which sounds very glamorous but basically seems to comprise standing in a swimming pool listening to dance music while lifeguards shout at people to get out of the pool with their drinks. We stayed a while but preferred the quieter pools!

Belagio Fountains and Paris

My BF also sought out a “Flowrider” machine at Planet Hollywood. This was slightly weird as it was on the 6th floor and there were no signs. But my BF will always manage to sniff out an opportunity to spend his money on “awesome” things, so we found it. Continue reading

Can’t help falling in love with Big Elvis in Las Vegas

After a week in the wilds of Wyoming we were psyched to get back to civilisation – and what better place to do that than Las Vegas! It was a total sensory overload with signs, lights, cars, people, street performers, everywhere.

Our fave stretch of The Strip is the middle section, between the junction of MGM/New York New York, up to the junction of Ceasars/Flamingo. Continue reading

A Wildlife Stake out in Yellowstone

Yellowstone is the first national park in the world. It got national park status in 1872, in case anyone is wondering. Yes that’s right, I paid attention!!  But it’s probably thanks to that that wildlife is so abundant – no hunters!

Bison 1

When I saw my first Bison up close it was a special moment. Part fear – is he going to smash up my car? But mostly awe – he was a majestic creature and had a really muscular body and a surprisingly woolly face! Continue reading