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Seduced by Seville

By on Jun 11, 2014 in Europe, Travel | 3 comments

Like the iconic flamenco dancers of this city, Seville is a tantalising temptress made up to perfection. Deep red lipstick, hair tumbling in artful waves, dress swishing beguilingly, she is a flawless beauty. Every street sign here is made and displayed with care and artistry; the buildings are tiled with Moorish designs, much like Portuguese Azulejos. Church exteriors seem to be made up of paintings pinched from the Museo de Bellas Artes. The deep Andalusian sky provides the perfect backdrop for the elegantly-painted buildings – russet and ochre, white and blue, dusky pink. I was worried that Seville was one of those places I had spent too long dreaming about, and that it wouldn’t match up in reality. But in the five minutes it took for me to walk from the bus station to the cathedral, timed serendipitously with the first rays of dawn bathing La Giralda in a pale golden light, Seville...

Thoughts on Barcelona

By on Jan 28, 2014 in Europe, Travel | 0 comments

The Charms and Quirks of Budapest

By on Feb 25, 2013 in Travel | 6 comments

It was a less than serene start to our first morning in Budapest. We’d overslept, owing to blackout curtains and a non-functioning alarm, and had therefore jumped out of bed, into some clothes and out onto the streets of the city before being fully awake. We were on the hunt for a hot, caffeinated beverage, but the city seemed strangely shut down and deserted. It was after 9 on a Monday morning – most capitals would be buzzing. Finally, we found a cafe open for business – after walking for 15 minutes. Soon, we were revitalised and ready to face the day – and slowly, Budapest began to rouse for the day. That first quirk of Budapest was quickly followed by its first charm: the glorious Basilica San Esteban, or St. Stephen’s Basilica. Named in honour of Hungary’s first King and patron saint, it is impressive enough on the outside, with its classical...

New Year Travel Plans, Pirate-Style

By on Dec 28, 2011 in Uncategorized | 7 comments

As we bring in the New Year, I will be more than ready to set sail once more on voyages across the seas, so perhaps it is quite apt that I will be dressed as a pirate, a costume I have to get sorted this week! However, I will be land-bound for much of this year as I train to be a teacher, so I’m going to have to plan my travel pretty carefully indeed. Now, planning ahead is not exactly my strong suit, so this is going to be a bit of a challenge. So I’m starting early, whittling down my wishlist to a few realistic destinations and thinking about short trips close to home that will nevertheless provide some unforgettable experiences. 1. Whale Watching, Scotland I have long wanted to explore the rugged Northern coast of Scotland and its even more northerly isles and I am desperate to make 2012 the year I finally get out on a boat to try and spot some whales. I have never seen...

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