In the 1st century BC, present-day Uzbekistan stood on the important overland trade route that linked China with the Mediterranean.
This article will be my last until September so will be longer than usual. The whole of the Ionian has enjoyed a long period of settled weather throughout the whole of June, with higher temperatures than usual at this time of year.
“Pale hands I loved beside the Shalimar, Where are you now? Who lies beneath your spell?…”
There is nothing so fickle as a sailing boat. I have learnt in over 45 years of sailing that everything takes longer than you expect; there is either not enough wind, too much wind, or the wind is in the wrong direction; rather like a game of cards, one is rarely dealt a good hand.
Right, where was I ? Oh yes, the Ring of Kerry. I now know why all the tourists go there, it is totally breathtaking, we were lucky that it was a fine day, a bit cloudy and chilly but it didn't rain.
Because of the health problems I had last year, I am unable to fly so whilst planning what we were going to do this year, we both came to the same solution simultaneously.......Ireland.
This is the beach at my hotel, the Kombo Beach.
It’s stupid o’clock when we have to check in at Gatwick, but the upside is we’ll arrive in the afternoon and have time to explore the hotel and beach before darkness descends.
I’m not known for winning anything (except for a book by one of my favourite authors, Barbara Erskine 2 years ago), so it was with stunned disbelief that I started to read an email sent from Silversurfers- the other online magazine for over 50s! – last October.
If you grew up in the UK, then the chances are that your parents would have taken you away on a family caravan holiday at least once during your childhood.
We’ve not been on holiday for years. Okay, we’ve had the odd long weekend in London; a few days in Wales; and a quick trip to Spain to visit old friends and check out Granada.
On the second day we walk to Trogir; a walk along a busy road but with interesting sights to see; the buildings, the wild flowers, the gardens, the houses.
All the world appears to mill around Gatwick. The stress is obvious, the security a necessity, the patience of everyone varied, the wait tedious.
IT WAS DOOMED FROM THE OUTSET. What was doomed I can hear you ask?
So......our first Christmas with our first grandson........one word for it......absolutely amazing!!!!! well ok two words....
Coach holidays are great - especially when you're on a budget, or want to go somewhere without all the hassle of driving, hanging about at airports, etc. So join me on this 2-part video trip to Torquay, where we spent 4 nights in early 2015 with Daish's Holidays for just £109 each.
If a psychic claimed spirits would haunt you unless you never stopped building a house, most people would dismiss it. Sarah Winchester embarked on a building project that lasted until her death in 1922.
A few years back I went on a Caribbean cruise, and one of the places I visited was Antigua. I used to dive with snorkel and aqualung in the UK, and have snorkelled in Malta, Spain, and the Bahamas, and a visit to Stingray City was a must.
Forget diamonds, there’s only one thing a middle-aged woman needs for a solo trip round Cornwall and Devon – and that’s a reliable Satnav. If you’ve ever tried to drive and read a map while a dizzying bend, or terrifying roundabout, loom up ahead, I’m sure you’ll be nodding wisely at this point. One of the benefits of getting older is recognising that stress just ain’t worth it.
I do realise that others people's holidays can be terribly boring but I promise this was a bit different.
The view of the coast of Croatia as we approached Dubrovnic was breathtaking. The last time I had been there , the approach was from the road high above the town so the view from the sea was totally different.
Yes, we followed our guides all around Tuscany and then the Adriatic. It was certainly a holiday to remember. My husband had never been on a cruise and as my experience of cruising left me many happy memories, I thought we could create even more.
The dragon and her winged sister were chatting on the phone last week and decided it would be nice to get together; they haven’t seeneach other for all of a month. She came down here last time, so it was the fire breather’s turn to go up there; up there, being Glasgow.
On my 50th birthday - almost ten years ago now - I was in a helicopter over the Grand Canyon, on a holiday that took me to Los Angeles, Las Vegas, San Francisco and all points in between.
Cambodia, another South East Asian country remembered for all the wrong reasons.
I was not sure what to expect of Vietnam, would they be anti west? Was there still animosity over the war? I needn't have worried, the welcome was warm and genuine.
Our first stop was in Laos, Luang Prabang to be exact (Luang meaning ancient and former capital and Prabang is the name of the golden Buddha that was left in the temple when the capital relocated).
On average I take one long haul return flight a month...in economy. Over the years I have learned several key things to make the experience more pleasant, more business class rather than walk-on-cargo. As I am a novelist, it goes without saying that I will have at least one paperback with me and at least a dozen novels on my iPad for the journey. I normally have noise cancelling headphones especially when I need to work.
We spent a week in Beadnell in Northumberland...our 3rd visit there.
Adventures In New Zealand - A Dream Come True! -Taking In Queenstown Extreme Sports HQ Part 3, Updated
The adventure continues.....
Adventures In New Zealand - A Dream Come True! Taking In Christchurch, Picton, Whale Watching And Robin Hood Bay. Part 2-Updated
Monday 18th November – Christchurch
The adventure continues.....
Adventures In New Zealand - A Dream Come True! Taking In Gisborne, Tutira And Herbertville. Part 1-Updated
My first experience of flying business class did not disappoint. I was fed and watered every air mile of the way and being able to stretch out and sleep was worth every penny I made Simon spend on my ticket!! We are now just over a week into our 'grand adventure'. It has been absolutely fantastic to date. A few minor hiccups along the way but great nonetheless.
We spent a good deal of time up on the observation deck or on the bridge, watching out for wildlife.When anyone spotted a swimming seal, or a dolphin or a humpback whale blowing in the distance, the shout went out on the tannoy to ensure we all got the chance to rush out on deck with our binoculars and cameras.
Next day was the most important day of the whole expedition for the Shackleton descendants. In the morning we were zodiaced to Stromness on the northern side of South Georgia, where we hiked up to the famous waterfall where Shackleton and his two companions clambered down on a rope after a gruelling 36 hour scramble across the icy mountain range from one side of the island to the other.
I've wanted to visit Antarctica for years. I'm not sure why, except perhaps that it's the very end of the earth. And it looks so beautiful. I yearn to see magnificent icebergs and miles of pristine white snow. Of course I'd also love to see penguins, dolphins, seals and whales in their natural habitat.
Nudging the Arabian Sea and the Gulf of Oman, this country — stub your toe and you'll strike oil— juxtaposing old and new, with its varied landscape of ravine, desert, mountain, ocean and wadi, advanced in just 44 years from isolation to modern state.
Back in October I finally went with my husband to Israel. Niall was there as a gap-year Kibbutz volunteer in 1985 and it's a place I've always wanted to visit but it just never seemed to be the right time to make the trip together.
Last but not at all least, was driving along part of the iconic Route 66.......where yes, we did get our kicks!!!
Next box to be ticked was Mesa Verde. To be honest tho' we hadn't heard of it.....it was only when visiting one of the Welcome Centers that it was mentioned.
Our USA Road Trip - 4500 Miles Taking In The Grand Canyon, Durango, Colorado, Route 66 And Much Much! More! Part 1
I have been friends with Janice for about 30 years!!! We met at Hampton Park Playgroup. My eldest is now 35 .......the youngest 32......and Janice's two boys are of a similar age. From the playgroup our friendship carried on to Hampton Dene Primary School.....through to Bishops School. We then lost touch (as you do) as the boys went on to Sixth Form/Tech college and varying universities.
Last week I said I would write about Corsica and Palma de Mallorca.
We continued on our journey aboard the M/V Sovereign of Pullmantur Cruise Company, and went ashore at Ajaccio, the capital of Corsica, and the island's largest city.
I am back from my Mediterranean cruise and thought this week and next week I'd tell you about some of the highlights. We embarked at Valencia, Spain, which is about an hour from my home, but the journey took us about two hours by the time we stopped at various pick up points along the way.
It's billed as the place to see when you visit Paphos and during our one-week stay there, my wife and I decided to give it a go.
So there we were in the P & O waiting room in Southampton. I had dreamt about going on a cruise since I was a little girl.
The first introductory 'Whistle Stop Tour' of Italy's most famous cities almost scrambled my brains.
Holidaying in Talsarnau - One Of North Wales Hidden Beauty Spots - Beaches, Mountains, Walks and Much More. Day 7
Saturday September 27th
This was to our last full day in North Wales. The rain was lashing down. The sheep and cattle in the fields near to our cottage looked bedraggled and sad. Did they know we were soon to be leaving?
Holidaying in Talsarnau - One Of North Wales Hidden Beauty Spots - Beaches, Mountains, Walks and Much More. Day 6
Friday September 26th
We were up bright and early as today was the day we were treating ourselves big time! The rain had stopped but it was very misty and murky. We drove to Porthmadog to catch a train on the The Welsh Highland Railway.http://www.festrail.co.uk/ The train was called Welsh Pony. We had booked into a First Class carriage!
Holidaying in Talsarnau - One Of North Wales Hidden Beauty Spots - Beaches, Mountains, Walks and Much More. Day 5
Thursday September 25th
Poor weather greeted us this morning. Raining and windy and couldn't see very much out of our kitchen window due to mist. So we
caught the train to Barmouth. A pleasant forty minute journey passing through countryside and coastal scenery. Because the weather was not photo inducing, I didn't take any from the train windows!
Holidaying in Talsarnau - One Of North Wales Hidden Beauty Spots - Beaches, Mountains, Walks and Much More. Day 4
WEDNESDAY Sept 24th
Today we drove to Snowdonia. The weather was dry, but there was sign of the sun when we left. Another very scenic route along mountain roads.
Holidaying in Talsarnau - One Of North Wales Hidden Beauty Spots - Beaches, Mountains, Walks and Much More. Day 3
Tuesday September 23rd
Today was to be a long drive around The Lleyn Peninsula. We were up early, the weather was not looking promising, dark clouds and the sun was not planning on showing its' face.
Holidaying in Talsarnau - One Of North Wales Hidden Beauty Spots - Beaches, Mountains, Walks and Much More. Day 2
MONDAY Sept 22nd
Today was an exciting one, for Derek and I were going to meet fellow Opaschatters, Dorothy Roberts and her husband Ken!
Holidaying in Talsarnau - One Of North Wales Hidden Beauty Spots - Beaches, Mountains, Walks and Much More. Day 1
September 21st 2014. A four hour drive, no motorways, just winding A roads, villages, small towns, sheep, lots and lots of sheep.
If houses had fingertips the famous hanging houses (Las Casas Colgados) at Cuenca would be they. The houses are the only buildings left standing of the type which would have been common in the city many years ago. built above the Huecar river gorge.
On January 14th 2010, one week shy of my 60th birthday, I crawled out of bed at five in the morning, to be ready for work at seven. Drinking the first cuppa while checking the news on the web, I felt a pain in my chest. Not surprising. I was a heavy smoker. Then it spread to my left arm, and I made the connection immediately.
When I mentioned a holiday in Romania, I faced incredulity and dark mutterings of "has she lost it?" A friend and I toured during the second half of July, our choice influenced by its hot and sunny location. We wanted to see as much as possible so, before departure, we pre- hired a car and driver cum guide. This was inexpensive and a boon.
We arrived in Japan at 9am 19th March. This was about 9th or 10th visit to Japan and the 4th visiting at this time of year. Our daughter lives in Japan with her Japanese husband Nobu and our 2 granddaughters. They have had their own English school for 14 years. It is a favourite time of year as the cherry blossom season starts and is celebrated throughout Japan. The weather is still a bit cold but beginning to get warmer during the day but remains cold at night. They live a couple of hours north east of Tokyo & the area is somewhat like Hereford, rural with many farms around.
My daughter and her friend both have 30th birthdays this year and they wanted to celebrate with a nice holiday. They chose a 7 day Mediterranean cruise followed by a 7 day all inclusive stay in a Majorcan hotel. Because of their visual impairments (Suzanne has only light perception and Louise has partial sight), they asked me if I would like to join them to be their guide.
When we continued our journey, Dum told me about the EU, the union of countries that had come together for trade and other reasons and more about the Euro, the money system many of them shared. When we went from France to Belgium and then to Holland we didn't have to stop at the borders, but when we crossed into Switzerland, we were stopped at Customs there. We all got our passports ready but the lady said she didn't want to see those-she just wanted some money. We were able to pay in Euros but the change was in Swiss francs-another new coin for me to see.
Firstly we just went into Wales, along the St David's coast. We stayed on a tiny camp-site, really just a field with a tap. The Tweedles told me this visit was just to check that we all got along together before we tried going further afield. Although there was very little to do other than look at the scenery, including watching a live camera on a nearby island showing the seal colony; we did all seem quite happy together, so when we went home we planned a longer trip.
Each year for the last nine,we have been lucky enough to get away for some winter sunshine in January. This year we went to Fuerteventura- a small windy Island in the Canaries. The landscape is not that attractive as consists mainly of volcanic rock, the sea is wild and perfect for surfing- not that we did! Although the temperature was between 18- 20 degrees,it felt less because of the wind but one thing was for sure we would not have been wandering around in tee shirts and shorts had we been at home in the UK!
A tribute to our motorhome:
Hello. My name is Bertha, and I am nearly 14 years old. I don't have parents, but have lived with carers since I was very young. My most outstanding features are my large eyes, which sometimes shine so much I've heard people call me "Bright Eyes". I rather like that.
When you think of the USA, which locations immediately spring to mind? New York City, Florida, California, Las Vegas? Yes, I think of all those, too! What about Minnesota? When my daughter told me she was moving there, my first reaction was – where the hell is Minnesota?