24 Hours in Breathtaking Niagara Falls

No matter how many times you have been to Niagara Falls, it still takes your breath away. As we walked towards the falls, I caught a glimpse of the falls and gasped at its majesty – then I realised that I was looking at the smaller falls – let alone the bigger falls upstream!

horseshoe-falls

I could stand there for hours and watch the thunderous power of the water and the beautiful rainbows that form in the mist. Continue reading

Visiting the Wineries of the Finger Lakes

I had read that Ithaca, New York was a nice place to stop off en route to Niagara Falls. We started the day in Seneca Lake and drove down along the lake heading for Ithaca. As it turned out, I didn’t take to Ithaca but the drive down there was lovely.

cider-houseWe were in winery country, so passed so many cider houses, cheese farms, wineries, etc. We stopped into a lovely winery and sampled their wine which was really different and cool experience. Apparently this region is the same longitude as the Champagne region in France so the grapes are similar. Continue reading

Sampling Ben and Jerry’s in Vermont

I am a big fan of Ben and Jerry’s – mainly for the plebeian reason that it is delicious ice cream. I should probably be impressed by their commitment to community and environmental projects, but mainly, it’s that Phish Food that reels me in. We decided to stop by their factory in Vermont USA to see where it was founded, and get a sample ūüôā

ben-and-jerrys

We watched a short video about the history of Ben and Jerry’s, including why their ice cream is special, and the projects they have supported through the decades. When we visited they were campaigning for fair voting rights for everyone. It is also worth mentioning that they have been taken over by Unilever, so they are no longer the romanticised one-man-band operation, but more in depth research would be needed to see if this has changed the essence of B & J or not.. Continue reading

A Brit Speaking French in Montreal

After our last disastrous holiday, I wanted something relatively safe, easy, and relaxing. We decided that a good old road trip would be just what the doctor ordered – we love road tripping in the US, and we loved Vancouver so we decided to explore more of Canada on the “near” coast and also fit in a¬†return trip to Niagara Falls, which I loved last time.

inside-notre-dame

This was my first trip to Quebec – ie. french-speaking Canada. It was fascinating and the french influence was palpable in the architecture and food. Continue reading

My Top 5… Rural Idylls

Spending time in the countryside can be rejuvenating and an escape from the rat race. Here are my top 5 rural places to unwind and enjoy the natural beauty….

Number 1: Switzerland

Switzerland has rolling valleys of the greenest of grass, grazed by doe-eyed cows with bells round their necks, in front of snow-capped mountains. Continue reading

My Top 5… Cities

I am a sucker for a vibrant city, ideally one with culture, and some form of water – be it the sea, a lake, a river or canals. Here are my top 5….

Number 1: Barcelona

Barcelona has everything ‚Äď the wide tree-lined boulevards, the tiny quaint Gothic streets to get lost in, the lovely sandy beaches, complete with volley-ball courts and surfers, the harbour with yachts and palm trees.¬†Barcelona is famous for the architect Gaudi. His work is beautiful and versatile, ranging from the huge gothic cathedral the Sagrada Familia to the lovely¬†Park Guell. Continue reading

Robbed in Morrocco

The holiday can be broken down into 2 chapters – before the mugging and after the mugging. As you will have read about in my previous blog, we had had a good day and were walking back to the hotel along a well-lit well-populated road just after 11pm.

minaret

We were on the edge of the pavement, just about to cross a road directly behind our hotel, when a motorbike came past with two men on it. The man on the back ripped my handbag off me. I was wearing it diagonally across my body. Continue reading

Pros, Cons, and Scams in Marrakesh, Morocco

I really wanted to like Morocco, and I thought I would. But it is difficult to write this in a balanced way as sadly my experience was tainted – I was robbed which really traumatised me. It is difficult to separate the two in my mind, but this blog is about my experience of Marrakesh before our holiday went wrong. Next week I’ll write about the robbery and aftermath.

main-square-day

Let me start by writing about the positives about Marrakesh

I was amazed at how we can get a medium-haul flight from the UK (it’s not much further than some parts of Europe) and reach such an exotic, different destination. Continue reading

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