No Money, No Friends in Macau Casinos

It is often said that Macau is the Las Vegas of the East. We have been to Las Vegas not one, not two, but three times, and we really love it! So we decided to complete the pilgrimage so visit Macau.  In fact, Macau has overtaken Las Vegas many times over in being the world leader in terms of revenue. So really, is Macau the Las Vegas of the East, or is Las Vegas the Macau of the West? Ooh controversial! (My view: LV came first so will always be the OG!)

First impressions of Macau was quite overwhelming – I had expected it to feel like Vegas, but it didn’t feel anything like it. Strangely it reminded me of Panama due to the thick jungle around, low lying cloud, and stifling heat.  It was also poorer than I had expected in terms of the housing of the local population, in contrast to the opulence and excess of the casino hotels. Like nearby Hong Kong, Macau is its own Special Administrative Region of China. And Macau is the only place in China where gambling is legal, and coaches bring tourists from the nearby Chinese border straight to the casinos. Continue reading

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How to Travel if you are Scared of Flying

I have taken more flights than I care to count, and flown to six of the seven continents on the planet. I have even flown in a tiny Cessna with four seats in it, and flown a glider. So it comes as a surprise to many that I am PETRIFIED of flying!

I think it all started the year that MH370 disappeared, and then the other Malaysian Airlines flight was shot down over Ukraine, and then the plane crashed in the alps. Continue reading

Cooling off in Collioure

Collioure was a strange one. I had planned it as an off-the-beaten-track retreat on the coast before we flew home. Little did I know that half of the UK had had the same thought. Apparently Collioure is firmly ON the beaten track!

There is no doubt that Collioure is very pretty, with colourfully painted houses and a plethora of restaurants serving tourists. Continue reading

Carcassonne; Medieval Relic or Disneyland?

Carcassonne has been “on my list” for a while. It looks terribly romantic; a walled fortress and castle complete with turrets, archways etc. I had heard that it is also terribly touristy but that didn’t put me off.

We arrived at night and were thrilled to see the battlements all lit-up.  Continue reading

Is it a bike? Is it a train? …. No it’s a Rail Bike!

We were looking into booking a holiday in South Korea (until politics put paid to those plans!) and when researching we saw a rail bike – we both liked the idea of it. Cycling along on rails is a novel way of sightseeing. So when I noticed a Rail Bike on the map near to Millau and Roquefort, we were there like a shot! My BF was especially excited 🙂

The rail bike (velo rail du Larzac) place has lovely views over the surrounding countryside. There are 3 routes you can choose. Continue reading

Up close and personal with the Millau Viaduct

Millau was also somewhere that I have always wanted to go. The famous Millau viaduct is inspiring and beautiful, but also annoyingly far from everywhere I have ever been! So we made the determined trip there to finally see this wonder.

Having trekked all the way there, we also made the effort to see the bridge from all angles. We approached from the west and travelled underneath the bridge, seeing it at close quarters. Continue reading

Visiting the Cheese Caves at Roquefort

Roquefort cheese is amazing to me. The blue veins, the perfect blend of creamy and salty. Ummm.   I have eaten it since I was a toddler – by which i mean that our french family friend gave me some when I was a toddler and i enjoyed it, much to his amusement. It was not a staple of my toddler diet.

I explained to my BF that I really wanted to go and when he saw my eyes light up, he agreed that we had to go. He had a similar reaction to Disneyworld, which we went to for him… so this is my Disneyland! Continue reading

Touring the Noilly Prat Vermouth distillery in Marseillan

From our base in Cap D’Agde it was an easy drive to the small picturesque town of Marseillan, home to the Maison Noilly Prat.  Noilly Prat is a Vermouth sold all over the world, and I can confirm it is very tasty!

We arrived for the daily English tour in the afternoon and were taken into the barrel house where the giant vats of grapes are kept. These barrels are so big that an adult person used to go inside to clean them (they don’t do that any more due to health and safety as the fumes are probably extremely strong!). I hasten to add that Noilly Prat dates back to 1813 so things were different then! Continue reading

Being Prudes not Nudes in Cap D’Agde

We went to Cap D’Agde for some down-time at the start of the holiday – and we got what we needed; clear seas, several marinas with still water so clear you could watch the fish darting about, and some nice food!

After an easy drive from Perpignan airport and some amusement at the sat nav calling it “Cap De A-G-D-E” (spelling out the letters instead of pronouncing it as a word!) we arrived in Cap D’Agde. It was early evening and were pleased to find a warm climate, quiet marina, and some quiet cafes and restaurants waiting for us. Continue reading