50 famous quotes on travelling

50 famous quotes on travelling

 

“To travel is to live” Hans Christian Andersen

‘Never go on trips with anyone you do not love.’ Ernest Hemingway

‘A ship in harbour is safe, but that is not what ships are built for.’ John A. Shedd

‘A good traveller has no fixed plans, and is not intent on arriving.’ Lao Tzu

‘People don’t take trips… trips take people.’ John Steinbeck

‘Our happiest moments as tourists always seem to come when we stumble upon one thing while in pursuit of something else.’ Lawrence Block

 ‘Once a year, go somewhere you have never been before.’ Dalai Lama

‘Paris is always a good idea.’ Audrey Hepburn

‘Our battered suitcases were piled on the sidewalk again; we had longer ways to go. But no matter, the road is life.’ Jack Kerouac

‘Not until we are lost do we begin to find ourselves.’ Henry David Thoreau

‘Like all great travellers, I have seen more than I remember, and remember more than I have seen.’ Benjamin Disraeli

‘Don’t tell me how educated you are, tell me how much you have travelled.’ Mohammed

‘A man travels the world over in search of what he needs and returns home to find it.’ George Moore

‘All that is gold does not glitter; just as not all those who wander are lost.’ JRR Tolkien

‘Travel is the only thing you can buy that makes you richer.’ author unknown

‘I never travel without my diary. One should always have something sensational to read in the train.’ Oscar Wilde

‘If you reject the food, ignore the customs, fear the religion and avoid the people, you might better stay home.’ James Michener

‘It is better to travel well than to arrive.’ Buddha

‘Travel makes a wise man better, and a fool worse.’ Thomas Fuller

‘I dislike feeling at home when I am abroad.’ George Bernard Shaw

‘All journeys have secret destinations of which the traveller is unaware.’ Martin Buber

‘Journeys end in lovers meeting.’ William Shakespeare

‘Great things are done when men and mountains meet.’ William Blake

‘If you wish to travel far and fast, travel light. Take off all your envies, jealousies, unforgiveness, selfishness and fears.’ Cesare Paves

‘He who is outside his door has the hardest part of his journey behind him.’ Dutch Proverb

‘The whole object of travel is not to set foot on foreign land; it is at last to set foot on one’s own country as a foreign land.’ Gilbert K. Chesterton

‘Do not follow where the path may lead. Go instead where there is no path and leave a trail.’ Ralph Waldo Emerson

‘This blessed plot, this earth, this realm, this England.’ William Shakespeare

‘There are no foreign lands. It is the traveller only who is foreign.’ Robert Louis Stevenson

‘He who does not travel does not know the value of men.‘ Moorish proverb

‘Curiosity is the one thing invincible in nature.’ Freya Stark

‘Great things are done when men and mountains meet.’ William Blake

‘The most effective way to do it, is to do it.’ Amelia Earhart

‘No one realises how beautiful it is to travel until he comes home and rests his head on his old, familiar pillow.’ Lin Yutang

‘For my part, I travel not to go anywhere, but to go. I travel for travel’s sake. The great affair is to move.’ Robert Louis Stevenson

‘One’s destination is never a place, but a new way of seeing things.’ Henry Miller

‘A traveller without observation is a bird without wings.’ Saadi Shirazi

‘A journey is best measured in friends, rather than miles.’ Tim Cahill

‘As a woman I have no country. As a woman I want no country. As a woman, my country is the whole world.’ Virginia Woolf

‘The Earth is what we all have in common.’ Wendell Berry

‘To travel is to discover that everyone is wrong about other countries.’ Aldous Huxley

‘Travel is glamorous only in retrospect.’ Paul Theroux

‘The first condition of understanding a foreign country is to smell it.’ Rudyard Kipling

‘No, no! The adventures first, explanations take such a dreadful time.’ Lewis Carroll

‘It is good to have an end to journey toward, but it is the journey that matters in the end.’ Ursula K. Le Guin

‘Every man who possibly can should force himself to a holiday of a full month in a year, whether he feels like taking it or not.’ William James

‘A journey is like marriage. The certain way to be wrong is to think you control it.’ John Steinbeck

‘We hit the sunny beaches where we occupy ourselves keeping the sun off our skin, the saltwater off our bodies, and the sand out of our belongings.’ Erma Bombeck

‘Focus on the journey, not the destination. Joy is found not in finishing an activity but in doing it.’ Greg Anderson

‘Adventures do occur, but not punctually.’ E.M. Forster

‘Vacation: a period of travel and relaxation when you take twice the clothes and half the money you need.’ Author unknown

Which ones do you like the most? – mine is indicated in bold.

I’ve made a boo-boo!

I’ve made a boo-boo!

 

So, last week we booked our holiday to Sri Lanka. Originally we had planned to go to Thailand for Ian’s birthday in December, Christmas and New Years Eve but in light of the recent terror attacks in Bangkok we decided to put it on hold as neither of us wished to get blown up on holiday. It seems as though the situation in Thailand is quite unstable at the moment and nobody really seems to knows who the terrorists are actually targeting (or indeed who they even are).

We thought that Sri Lanka would be a good choice not only because of it’s relatively stable political situation but as it’s located in the Indian Ocean the beaches were beautiful and reasonably unspoilt. Also, Sri Lanka has a number of national parks, Buddhist temples, rainforests and an abundance of coral reefs, rare wildlife, safari’s and perfect conditions for water sports and whale and dolphin spotting. Not all destinations in the world offer this much beauty and diversity so it was with much excitement and anticipation that we began planning our holidays there.

Even though Sri Lanka is a small country it still manages to pack quite a lot into it so it was really hard to choose where on the island to go. We had decided that it was very important to us to be on one of the best beaches – one where the sea had perfect swimming and scuba diving conditions, where it wasn’t too rocky and where the sand was soft and bleached white. Eventually we found such a place on the north east side of the island in Nilaveli. The boutique hotel looked amazing and it was located on one of the best and most secluded parts of the beach though it was quite a way away from the only airport on the island Columbo (a 5 hour drive). Nontheless I was willing to make the trip in order to stay there, so we booked a 16 night break there and began researching what we’d do once we got there.

Unfortunately, it didn’t take too long for me to find out that there was a potential nightmare on the horizon..

The north east of Sri Lanka (in contrast to the south of the island) are in there monsoon season in December through to February and it was more then likely that it would be raining everyday there aswell as being very windy and downright miserable. There was no way that we could stomach the idea of escaping England which is mostly always raining and cold to go to a country with rain and flash floods. No Chance.

But our booking once we checked it said in no uncertain terms that they did not allow any cancellations, amendments or refunds.

We had been done up like a kipper. 

The level to my anger with myself mainly (for I did not check the monsoon schedule in Sri Lanka before I’d booked), and the frustration that there was absolutely nothing we could do about it now was intense. I felt as though I could scream. I really could not believe something as basic as weather (which was the main reason that we escape London so frequently) had not  been researched properly before we’d booked and I started having visions of us sitting in our fineries at an elaborate meal put on for us by the hotel in Sri Lanka on New Years Eve with dark skies, the wind howling and torrential rain pouring down our faces. I was so disturbed by these images that I had nightmares that night.

Alas, I refused to be beat.

Though it was made abundantly clear by Expedia (who we booked the holiday through), that there would be absolutely no cancellations or amendments to the booking I knew that I just had to try and persuade them to reconsider.  I considered all of the excuses that I might come up with to plead my case but I decided that my first port of call would be the hotel in Sri Lanka. I figured I’d call them directly and confirm the weather conditions for that part of the island, for if the many articles I’d read online was to be believed it would be raining for the majority of the time we were there. The receptionist confirmed my worst fears without hesitation. Apparently in India (there closest neighbours), and Sri Lanka too I am sure the monsoon season was a thing to be celebrated. Due to the stifling tropical heat of the rest of the year and the suffering of animals and crops because of the draught the monsoon was welcomed with open arms. This was not a concept I was familiar with as I was constantly trying to escape wind and rain in England. Constantly. I did not like wind and rain and I most certainly did not take kindly to cold wind and rain and what was the point of going on a beach holiday when it was raining?

Well when I explained our situation to the hotel they were surprisingly good about it. They understood why I didn’t want to go on holiday to a monsoon destination and they told me they were happy for us to cancel as we were giving them so much advance notice. They told me that if Expedia had any issues with cancelling it they could give them a call and they would confirm this. I was elated. When I called Expedia they spoke directly with the hotel and then cancelled our booking. We didn’t incur any charges. But we had made a package booking and our flights to Sri Lanka did have a penalty of £150 pp. This was insignificant in comparison to the amount of money we would have thrown down the drain had we have been forced to go through with the monsoon holiday from hell as undoubtedly we would have been unable to stay on that side of the island so we’d have to pay for another hotel and transportation to take us there. The cancellation was a flat fee so we could essentially cancel it at any time so we decided to look and see if we could find suitable accommodation on another part of the island using the money we had been refunded by Expedia or if not then paying the £300 cancellation fee and cancelling the whole thing. It soon became clear that the flights were the majority of the budget particularly since we’d upgraded to direct flights. We just couldn’t find any suitable accommodation at this price range.

So we gave up. And decided to go back to Thailand!

Watch this space. And if we do indeed get blown up, blame it on the Sri Lankan monsoon!

 

 

 

Do the Cannes can

Do the Cannes can

 

So, I just got back from a long weekend in Cannes. It was in part an additional birthday present from Ian to me. As you will remember I spent my actual birthday in Croatia in the beautiful spa resort Falkensteiner which was for me one of my most memorable. Coupled with family in the form of my sister, one of my closest friends and my boyfriend Ian, and in the presence of abundant luxury, sunshine and serenity my day was pretty close to perfection.

Falkensteiner has unobstructed views of the sea and because of it’s position it also gets some of the most beautiful sunsets I’ve ever seen.

Their spa, which is part of the German designed hotels flagship Iadera is huge, with 2 large infinity pools, a collection of sauna’s, steam rooms, relaxation rooms, water beds and a hammam and is decorated with a heavily Arabic influenced theme in their “black spa” (an area decorated in black tiles with lanterns and a moody, exotic, sensual feel where you can opt out of wearing clothes or just wear a pashmina – no clothes allowed), or the more conservative “white” spa with swimming pools, sauna’s and steam rooms where it is swim-wear only.

I was intrigued by the concept of a black spa so I stayed in their the whole time I was there, and also because it was so vast and arranged like a maze so I kept on getting lost which was a first. I’ve never got lost in a spa before! Usually the spa’s I go to are very small and you struggle to find anywhere to get some privacy ( I was especially worried about this aspect of it since I knew I could stumble upon some naked strangers!), but this spa was so big that there didn’t seem to be much chance of that. And thankfully I didn’t see another soul.

In particular I liked their “Earth Sauna” which was a sauna that had been built into the side of a hill and had a large pane of glass going across the front and side where you could look out at the landscape beyond. The sauna could have easily fit about 30 people in it it was so big but luckily for us it was just the two of us. The view of the sunsetting over the mountains was particularly special.

In one of their relaxation rooms they had large square beds that were suspended from the ceiling by wire ropes and these beds would sway gently back and forward so it felt as though you were being rocked gently to sleep. It was extremely relaxing lying on those beds!

Aided with his camera phone Ian took a few pictures of the sunset at the spa which though beautiful was even more breathtaking in real life. Please believe, these pictures do not do the place justice:

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Cannes was a different kind of luxury – less natural, more moneyed. I think unless you’re a part of the millionaire and billionaire world you won’t get much enjoyment from being in Cannes because it is extortionately expensive and a lot of it is overhyped too. Being in other expensive places such as Las Vegas and Ibiza I could at least say that mostly you got what you paid for, but  in Cannes there seemed to be a lot more style over substance and it didn’t seem as though the standards were as high as I would expect for the kind of money they were asking for. Take for instance their beach clubs.

We just wanted somewhere with a bit of luxury, space and privacy where we could sunbathe and relax for a few hours instead of being at the cattle market that was Cannes beach where everyone and his dog (yes, you heard me, I said dog as dogs were also swimming in the sea with people!) was present. But it took us trying 5 different beach clubs before we were able to even get in to one. Either they were full up (but didn’t look so), or were reserving the beds exclusively for there hotel guests. What stupidity and utter pomposity. Also, they wanted at least 35 euro’s for the pleasure. At least. We finally found one that was available and Ian was able to barter the bed attendant down from 48 euro’s (what?!) to 35 euro’s for a bed, still overpriced if you ask me.

This one was supposedly one of their more luxurious beds as they were situated on a raised platform built going out to sea so you had the benefit of a sea breeze (it was uncomfortably hot), however when we were taken to said beds we found that we had been rammed up against the next sunbather til almost a point of indecency AND this woman happened to be a chain smoker.

Surely they weren’t expecting people to pay for this? – They were. We looked over and saw that everyone on the platform, who were sweating profusely from the intense heat of the sun was in exactly the same position as us: Hemmed in. Now to their credit the beds were very comfortable BUT we had the same view as everyone else: Of an overcrowded and not particularly clean beach with dogs swimming in the sea and too many children for my liking. One child even had an open wound that he was parading in and out of the sea with. Revolting. Though there was undoubtedly less people on this part of the beach, it wasn’t exactly private as people were able to walk up and down it quite freely and ever present were the people selling things you didn’t want nor need. Also, the drinks service was pretty poor. It served it’s purpose: as a place for us to relax for a few hours and cool off in the sea, but for 35 euros I think I would rather buy a bed and find somewhere else to go particularly when we went to pay the bill and found that they were going to try and charge us 24 euro’s for the pleasure of using their towel!  I don’t think so.

Unfortunately, I fear Cannes is the kind of place that has been hailed as a second home for the rich and famous because it caters to them very specifically but what is disappointing is the fact that they charge a premium for things that are average at best and think that the location has them deserving. Well, I’m sorry to say that no, it does not.

I enjoyed my birthday dinner at Seasens restaurant in the 5 star hotel Five Sea’s where I had a wonderfully fresh and delicious black cod whilst fireworks display went off to dramatic affect in front of us. I didn’t know what they were celebrating with the fireworks but it was a nice thing to experience upon my birthday celebration and it lastest almost the entirety of our meal.

On the other hand though, the apartment that we stayed in that Ian got through Airbnb was amazing. It was a loft apartment in the centre of Rue d’Antibes, so to gain access to it we had to climb a very steep staircase to get to it but boy was it worth it.

A modern all white apartment decorated to a very high standard with handle-less doors and cupboards and the latest appliances throughout, large starlight windows bringing in lots of light and creating space, with wooden beams, luxurious woollen rugs, exposed brick walls and a beautiful roll top bath centrepiece in the bedroom. The apartment had cleverly designed feature walls showcasing ornaments and floral arrangements that complimented the earthy colour scheme of white, brown, green and cream and carefully thought out lighting displays. Comfortably sleeping up to 4, it was in my opinion more suited to couples rather then a family, if only for the ridiculously long and tiresome journey to the top of the building via the staircase and the expensive furniture and art that was within it.

Unfortunately when we arrived at the apartment we found that the wifi wasn’t working but we didn’t plan to  spend much time in the apartment anyway. We were too busy spending money in Cannes extortionately priced restaurants and beach clubs! But yes, it was a nice experience, if only to get a taste of the rich and famous lifestyle but I definitely would not wish to live amongst it, it’s a little too fake and insubstantial to me. But also, it’s not a good idea to go away in high season, we never usually do and this short holiday reminded me why: It’s too hot, too overcrowded, overpriced and full of children!

 

 

 

 

 

My pre-birthday song

My pre-birthday song

 

I’m off to Croatia tomorrow (yay!), and it’s my birthday next week Tuesday (double yay!).

I’ll be spending it at this gorgeous spa in Croatia: Falkensteiner Hotel & Spa Iadera:

arch boris podrecca matteo thun   hodel iadera zadar

falkensteiner spa 1

falkensteiner spa 3

falkensteiner spa 2

Gorgeous isn’t it? – I can’t wait!

I’m going to be having their signature Cleopatra Heavenly White Hamam Treatment which incorporates a milk bath, a relaxing massage and a full body scrub using a silk glove. The whole treatment is almost 2 hours long so it’s very intensive. Afterwards we will probably eat at one of their on site restaurants which all look wonderful.

Now onto the real reason I’m going to Croatia: Suncebeat 6, 2015!

The lineup of house dj’s this year is IMMENSE and it is looking like it’s going to be stupendously good with live performances from the likes of Roy Ayers and The Brand New Heavies and these amazing dj’s that are flying from all over the world to perform:

Kerri Chandler. Louie Vega. Miguel Migs. Osunlade. Soul Dynamic. Tony Humphries. Dimitri from Paris. Sandy Rivera. Motor City Drum Ensemble. Dj Spen. Rich Medina. Reverend P. Rainer Truby. Lefto. Lay-far. Dj Jeff Afrozilla Andrew Ashong.

A truly unbelievable lineup, goodness gracious me.

music-notes

And on that note here’s a beautiful song by Eric Lau and Rahel entitled “Guide You” that will be this years birthday song. Enjoy!

I no doubt will update you on my travels upon my sunny dispositioned return!

     
Good Times on the Norwegian Epic

Good Times on the Norwegian Epic

Ahoy There!

I know it’s been a few weeks since I returned from my cruise with my family around the med but since we’ve been back it’s been pretty nonstop with work, family, and friend commitments alas here I am come to update you on the goings on’s.

The holiday consisted of  my Mum, 3 brothers, sister, boyfriend and my brothers girlfriend and though we all get on really well I was a little concerned as to whether that would continue to be the case when we were stuck on a boat together for 7 days.

For the first 3 days we stayed in an apartment in Rome that I found on Airbnb (LOVE Airbnb). It was located in a quiet residential area in a private gated apartment block. I chose it for it’s relatively close proximity to the centre of Rome (just a short bus ride away), it’s size (was spacious and slept 8 people), and it’s elegant and stylish décor. All 8 bedrooms had a ensuites that matched the colour scheme of the rooms. The floors were all marble and the apartment had some very beautiful and original features and a spacious balcony where we could all relax after an evening out and about. Perfect.

Rome

After a long day walking around Rome looking at the neverending architectural gems that Rome has in abundance such as the Sistine Chapel and St Peter’s Basilica, it was a much welcome respite from the noise and chaos. I was in awe of the stunning architecture in Rome but I must say (and I’m very disappointed to say), that I wasn’t in awe of the people. At all. We had some very unpleasant and frankly racist experiences from the Romans that left us all shocked and upset. Being a black family I figured that perhaps we might get the odd look (which you kind of get used to after a while) no matter where you go in Europe even in England where we were all born, but I didn’t expect to be made to feel so unwelcome by the Italians.

Despite the fact that we were clearly there as tourists visiting from England to spend money in their country and immerse ourselves in their culture and food they didn’t seem to care. In their eyes because we were black we didn’t deserve any hospitability, decency or friendliness and they were extremely rude and aggressive towards us. This went on for the entire time that we were in Rome and it was very uncomfortable. It was particularly upsetting as I was travelling with my 2 little brothers (who are in their early twenties), and I didn’t wish to expose them to this kind of hatred.

But on the other hand the experience we had with the owner of the apartment we stayed at was quite the opposite. She was a beautiful, warm, kind, wonderful woman and she made us feel very welcome indeed. She exuded warmth and goodness as such she made the experience very pleasant for us all. As I believe good experiences are worth sharing I would invite you to stay with Beatrice if you are looking for somewhere lovely to stay in Rome with a warm and hospitable host.

You can see the apartment here: https://www.airbnb.co.uk/rooms/2414713

After Rome we hired a mini van to take us (and our many items of luggage!), to the port of Cittavecchia where we were due to pick up the ship that would be carrying us onto Florence, Cannes, Majorca, Barcelona, Naples and back to Rome. Although I hadn’t personally sailed with the Norwegian Epic myself before I was very excited for my family as I knew that they were going to absolutely love it. Cruising holidays offer so much more in terms of variety and excitement and if you choose your ship wisely you can find cruises that cater to your specific holiday requirements no matter what your interests or age is. As our travelling party ranged in age from 23 to 59 I wanted to find a ship with lots of personality.

And personality we found.

Unbeknownst to me at the time of booking, The Norwegian Epic is infact the 5th largest cruise ship in the world (after the Royal Caribbean’s Allure, Oasis, Quantum and Anthem of the Seas), carrying over 4,000 passengers and almost 2,000 crew. It boasts the largest spa at sea and a one of a kind ice bar serving up vodka drinks inside a bar made completely from ice. It also has a water park, 2 theatres, 6 bowling alleys and is the only cruise line to have cabins for solo travellers (or people who want there own rooms like my mum, sister and 2 brothers) just to mention a few. When we caught sight of the ship in port it really was a sight to behold. When Ian and I went on the Celebrity Equinox last year which in it’s own right was a very big ship, we felt that it was huge, but this ship was much bigger then that! Golly Gosh.

Needless to say my family just could not believe all of the facilities on offer (and most of them were free!)

My little brother was so amazed with the fact that there was a pretty substantial video arcade onboard that he spent the first couple of days holed up in there dosing himself up with games. My older brother was very impressed with the gym which was vast and had every type of exercise equipment imaginable with 360 degree views of the ocean and beyond. It was surprisingly peaceful and dare I say relaxing? working out in that gym. I was starting to understand why my brother began waking up at 7:00 am in the morning to use it.

As for my sister, Mum and I, we were most intrigued with the spa, which was very stylish with some of the most breathtaking views on the ship. My brother, my boyfriend and my older brothers girlfriend was looking forward to sampling the fine culinary treats in the various restaurants on the ship and we were very pleased to find that the standard of the food in the complimentary restaurants was pretty good, in particular the breakfast where they served the most amazing waffles I’d ever had with caramel and banana sauce and whipped cream. Divine!

The ship had so much to offer in the way of entertainment that I was quite concerned about how I would manage to get off! – All I wanted to do was stay on and party!

And talking of parties, the NCL Epic even had a nightclub on board. And the nightclub on the Epic really was EPIC. I simply could not believe that such a sound system had been installed on board a ship. When we were in the nightclub it was almost impossible to tell that we were anywhere but the West End. Wonderful stuff.

Our first stop was Florence, well, they advertised it as Florence but the port was actually in Livorno  (we soon found out that Florence was infact an hour and a half away which I thought was very cheeky of them). In the end after all of the walking up and down the overcrowded and overheated streets of Rome I couldn’t bare the thought of getting yet more modes of transport to get to the centre of Florence and I wasn’t particularly interested in seeing the leaning tower of Pisa so Ian and I had a stroll around the town of Livorno on our own before making our way back to the ship to take advantage of the fact that almost everyone had gotten off. We sunbathed, had a well deserved afternoon nap, ate Mr Whippy’s and went on the 3 water slides (twice). Fun was had! When my family returned from there trip to Livorno they reported that they’d had a wonderful time and was really glad they went. I was really pleased we hadn’t gone, but I was happy that they’d enjoyed themselves so much.

Florence/Pisa

The next stop on our adventure was Cannes (and by this time I had decided that I was beginning to get into this cruising lark). Cannes was what I imagined it to be and more. Pretty. CLEAN (so very clean!), Glamorous. Abundant (shops, restaurants, galleries). And interesting.

Exploring Cannes like it needed to be explored just wasn’t possible in a mere few hours but we browsed the shops, looked on in awe at the mega yachts in the harbour (the Cannes film festival was on when we were there),  had lunch at a wonderful little bistro and picked up a few gifts for friends and family. I loved Cannes. I kind of knew that I would but being there just confirmed it for me. I would most definitely be returning for a long weekend away.

Since being back my boyfriend has found a beautiful apartment in Cannes (on Air bnb naturally), and he is taking me there to celebrate my birthday in August. YAY!

Cannes

We had less time in our next destination which was fine by me as it was the least interesting place on our itinerary to me: Palma Marjorca. I’m not a big fan of the Brit infested Spanish Islands (not including Ibiza which I love). My very first trip abroad was to Tenerife (not my choice), and it was exactly what I had imagined if not worse. You couldn’t move for Brits Abroad, and we all know what they are like: Classless. Loud. Drunk and Leary. Not the kind of environment that I wished to be around. Only badly executed food was on offer and everything looked cheap and nasty. Of course I knew Majorca wouldn’t be anywhere near as tacky but it still wasn’t somewhere I wished to spend much of my time however I did want to try out one of there beaches there as I’d heard that they were very nice.

As soon as we got off the boat at the port in Majorca we enquired about the bicycles that we’d heard you could hire to cycle around the town on. Unfortunately they had all been taken so we resigned ourselves to jumping in a taxi to the nearest beach instead. The beach was reasonably long and was packed full of locals and Europeans. And it looked very inviting. We changed into our swimwear, got some drinks and began the enjoyable process of soaking up the searing sun.

It soon got very hot indeed so Ian and decided that we were going to brave it and go for a swim (we hadn’t bought any towels with us). I prompted Ian to go in first to do a temperature test as I wasn’t sure that I would be able to bare going into sub zero temperatures. He went in and even he had to admit that it was colder then he had ever known. BUT he went on, once you get used to it it is very refreshing. It took him a long while to convince me that it was worth it, and when I dipped my toe in I felt cold such as I’d never known. EVER. It was magnificently, tremendously, stupendously, UNBELIEVABLY cold.  I really was not sure that I could go any further as my entire foot was now NUMB with the intense pain of the cold. So intense was it that it took me a good 10 minutes just to disperse the feeling of numb. And that was just my foot!

When I immersed my whole body I could have gone into shock such was the pain, but after the pain came exhilaration. The water was crystal clear, super clean and the waves were gentle. It was glorious. Not a stone, nor a slither of seaweed was in residence and I was enjoying myself so much I never wanted to get out but all good things come to an end and soon enough it was time to give up this good thing to experience another good thing: A delicious meal back on the ship.

Palma Majorca

Barcelona was another place on my list that I was excited about visiting as I had yet to go there and it had always sounded very intriguing. When we arrived I was immediately struck by how well the city centre had been layed out. It didn’t feel overcrowded at all though I could clearly see that there was a large number of tourists milling about there. The market stalls in the centre of la ramblas were selling lovely handmade crafts, plus there were street performers and lots of lovely looking restaurants and shops. Barcelona was in stark contrast to Rome, as we were treated very well by everyone we met, there was absolutely no hostility or hatred directed at us. It seemed like it was a very vibrant and multicultural, cosmopolitan city and it had a wonderful atmosphere that I took to immediately.

I found some beautiful handmade fans on one of the stalls and bought 3 – 2 for myself and one for my friend Diana with a matching notepad. I fell in love with the amazing architecture there, in particular the Gothic Quarter, where we visited the phenomenal Gothic Cathedral. When it was time to go home I was most upset – there was some much left to explore!

I enjoyed the short time we spent there so much that I told my family it was one of the nicest cities I’d ever visited and they were equally impressed with it.

Unfortunately we never had the chance to eat there but I will be going back to Barcelona in 2 weeks time with a friend (lucky me!) so I will definitely be taking full advantage of the nightclubs, beaches and restaurants and I can’t wait!

 Barcelona

The following day was our one and only “Day at Sea” which meant that it was a day of travelling. The ship wouldn’t be anchoring at all that day.

This was a welcome respite for me as I was very keen to wake up a little later, use the gym, sample the spa, sunbathe on desk and go on the water slides again. Because we were spending most of our time exploring the ports we weren’t able to take full advantage of the shops facilities and I was knackered with all of the walking. I really enjoyed our day at sea and got into my relaxation process with gusto.

The last stop on our adventure was Naples. I wasn’t very interested in Naples when I saw it on the itinerary but the nearby Amalfi Coast and Capri DID pique my interest however they were both quite a distance from Naples so in the end we just decided to leave our trip to the Amalfi coast and Capri to a later date.  We just wanted to have a walk around the town. My sister had disembarked at Naples as she was due to attend a wedding there the following day so it was just the 7 of us now.

Naples was similar to Rome I thought – the architecture was similar, the roads were just as busy with lots of crazy Italian drivers that didn’t seem to adhere to road rules, but Naples was much less glamorous then Rome, less impressive, and quite a bit rundown if I’m perfectly honest. It also had a pretty heavy police presence. Another thing that we were realising was that if you wanted to shop then you needed to do it early – like before 14:00 as most of the shops both in Italy and Spain closed for a siesta between 14:00 and 16:00. I was finding this siesta lark quite annoying as I was used to being able to shop whenever I so chose (within reason) and it seemed that everytime we would turn up somewhere to do some shopping all of the shops were starting to close. It happened to us in Rome, in Florence, Barcelona and now Naples. V annoying.

Aside from the fact that the city itself wasn’t very inspiring and the shops were beginning to close, I still managed to get myself a pair of sandals and 2 bikini’s so in the end it became a very successful shopping trip 🙂

Naples

On the day of our permanent disembarkation of the Norwegian Epic it was very sad indeed as none of us wanted to leave. If I had my way I would stay on the ship for at least another fortnight, alas it wasn’t to be, we had come to the end of our holiday. At breakfast we even spoke about the possibility of us hiding somewhere on the ship undetected. Desperate times.

My holiday cruising around the med with my family was a wonderful, precious experience I doubt ‘ll ever forget. So much love and laughter was had it reminded me in the most sweet way of just how much I LIKE my family not to mention love them. Wonderous times.

Mummy Spoiling Ahoy!

Mummy Spoiling Ahoy!

Happy Friday Bloggee’s and Bloggette’s!

I hope that you’re all gearing up for some serious Mummy spoiling this Sunday?!

I’m planning on taking my Mum to a cultural exhibition on at the Oxo Tower in Southbank about Jamaican History (which sounds like it’s going to be great!), then we’re going onto Westfield for a look around the shops as my Mum wants to buy some clothes for our family cruise holiday in May. It’s so close now that I can almost touch it. So exciting! 🙂

Then we’re having dinner and finally, I’m taking her to a comedy and entertainment show in the evening. Phew! It’s going to be a very funpacked day.

My brothers and sister are coming too so it’s going to be a real family affair this Mothers Day. I always love spending time with my family and there’s nothing quite like (or more rewarding), then spoiling your Mum.

On another note, could there be a better looking Mother?! (see below)

This is an effortless, natural, superior beauty that is impossible to buy. Salute!

Jada and Mum (below)

Jada and Mum

 

So what have you got planned for Mothering Sunday? Dinner? A bit of Pampering? A Show?

Let me know!

Until we meet again,

 

Tori

“I’m going to Miami – Buenvenidos a Miami”

“I’m going to Miami – Buenvenidos a Miami”

Yes! I’m going to Miami!

Just a few more days to go before I’m staying here:

SLS Miami

sls-south-beach-1 SLS Miami sls south beach Eating here:

The Betsey, South Beach

The Betsey Drinking here:

The Setai

setai the setai grill Shopping here:

Adventura Mall

adventura mall

Base USA

base Dancing here:

Liv

liv

AND Sunbathing here:

Miami Beach (Oh What Joy)

Miami Beaches 2 Miami Beaches

The last time I was in Miami was about 6 years ago. Actually tell a lie, I was there last year but it was only for 2 days during the stopover for our Caribbean cruise so it doesn’t really count. In some respects Miami, and in particular South Beach reminds me a little bit of Playa D’en Bossa in Ibiza (which I love!), only better (Europeans do it better don’t you know;). The Philippe Starck and Lenny Kravitz (would you believe?) designed SLS hotel, where we’re going to be staying in Miami, even reminds me of a boutique version of the unique Ushuaia hotel in Ibiza, which hosts the best parties I have ever frequented. Like, ever! The music on the beach, the fun loving beach party vibe, the sun, the sea, the house culture, the shopping, the glamorous girls in skimpy bikini’s and fake boobage and the veiny and extremely shiny, gym obsessed men are all what makes Miami Miami. But despite this, I’m sure that a lot has changed since I last holidayed there and I’m really looking forward to checking it all out. And maybe the next time I go I’ll stay at the beautiful, elegant Betsey (which is most definitely in my sights). I will keep you informed!

Hasta La Proxima Vez  (Until Next Time!)