Day 1. A winter break in Budapest

Love Travelling

We had stayed overnight at the Holiday Inn Express in Harlow Town, a twenty minute rail journey from London Stansted airport. The complimentary breakfast was quite good and the hotel convenient for taking the Stansted Express to the airport.

Untitled Our room at the Holiday Inn Express, Harlow Town

The airport’s railway station was just a short walk from the terminal and as we were not needing to check in luggage, we headed straight through to security.  This took longer than usual as there seemed to be a large backlog of tubs with prohibited items waiting to be examined, holding up the flow for new passengers belongings to pass through the scanner.

Untitled The Windmill Pub at Stansted Airport

After eventually making it through security we popped into the J.D. Wetherspoon Windmill pub for some mugs of frothy coffee before our flight.  The pub is on two levels and we managed to…

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Christmas in Brisbane

Travelling with Lyn

Our annual visit in to Brisbane city at Christmas time has become a very fine tradition.

Once again we took the bus in to Southbank and then rode the city cat down the Brisbane River towards the mouth. We alighted at Teneriffe where we stopped at one of the many popular cafes for dinner.

Once it was dark, we were back on to the city cat and we travelled back up the river to enjoy the city lights and the Christmas lights on the many bridges. My favourite is always the iconic Story Bridge however this year, it was one colour only, Red. I guess if you are to choose a single colour for Christmas, red is a pretty good choice.

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We left the city cat at North Quay and walked through the city taking in all the magic of the Christmas lights displays, till we finally arrived at King…

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Top day trips from Brasov

HaiHui Story

Reading time: 2 min.

December 2018, Brașov – Romania

It’s 8 AM on a frozen Friday morning. We’re on holiday and tomorrow is the 1st of December, the national day of Romania. Still under the blanket, one eye closed and half dreaming, I can already picture a cosy day spent in bed, watching movies, with coffee aroma spreading all over the kitchen.

But wait…that lazy weekend will have to wait. We’re going castle hunting in Transylvania!

Since picturesque Brașov is strategically placed on the edge of Transylvania region, it is the perfect base camp for a short getaway from Bucharest.

Get ready to save lots of pinpoints on the map. Here are the top day trips you can start from Brașov, Romania!

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Cheia, Prahova County

Not that I spent my childhood and all my summer holidays here and i might be subjective, but Cheia is a beautiful place…

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Day 4. A final day exploring Vilnius

Love Travelling

It was our final day in Vilnius but we had plenty of time to explore more of the Lithuanian capital as our flight home wasn’t until late in the evening. We’d managed to arrange a late check-out until 4.00 p.m. which was helpful and after a leisurely breakfast we wandered along the road to the Museum of Energy and Technology arriving soon after it opened at 10.00 a.m. This museum is also included in the Vilnius City Card and as we had not started using our 72 hour card until late morning on the first day, it was still valid (normal admission is €3 (£2.60).

Untitled THe Lithuanian Museum of Energy and Technology

The museum is housed in the former Vilnius power plant which dates back to 1903 and is the largest technical museum in Lithuania. Many of the original features are still in place and we were able to view…

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Ernest Hemingway’s Blood and Money

Learn Fun Facts

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In 1918, shortly before the culmination of the First World War, writer Ernest Hemingway was wounded by an Austrian mortar which exploded near him at Fossalta di Piave. He was a Red Cross ambulance driver at the time.

Around thirty years later, Hemingway revisited the same spot during his trip to Venice. Initially, he wanted to defecate at the spot as a form of symbolism. However, he reconsidered and instead, he used a stick to dig a hole and buried a 1,000 lira note there. He said that with this action, he had contributed both blood and money to the Italian soil.

Note that the protagonist in Hemingway’s 1950 novel Across the River and into the Trees, carried out a similar deed, the key difference was that the money he contributed was a 10,000 lira note.

Reference

Owen, Richard (2017). Hemingway in Italy.

See Also:

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Day 3. A fun visit to the Vilnius Museum of Illusions and dinner at Senoji Trobeli

Love Travelling

We started the day with a visit to the Museum of Illusions on the edge of the old town. The museum is open daily from 9.00 a.m.- 9.00 p.m. with adult entrance tickets €10 (£8.73) and free for accompanied children under the age of 7. Please note that this museum is not included in the Vilnius City Card.

Untitled Museum of Illusions, Vilnius

After leaving our coats in the cloakroom we were greeted by two very enthusiastic members of staff called Mark and Emily who introduced us to the museum which has different types of Illusions spread over two floors. We were totally captivated by all of the illusions and spent lots of time trying to work out what each of them did. The staff were very helpful, giving us an opportunity to try and figure things out for ourselves before coming over and demonstrating the illusion for us.

Untitled Watering can…

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Day 2. A visit from Vilnius to Trakai, Lithuania

Love Travelling

The rain clouds of the previous day had cleared resulting in a dull but fine morning. We enjoyed a lie in and a leisurely breakfast as we had planned a visit to Trakai for mid-morning.

Untitled Trakai Castle

Trakai was the former capital of ancient Lithuania and its 14th century castle was the summer home of the Lithuanian Grand Dukes. It’s located 28 km (17 mikes) west of Vilnius and our original plan had been to go there by public transport at approximately €4 (£3.50) each return. However, on checking the timetables we noticed that trains, although inexpensive were very infrequent and we would have needed to return by bus. Both the railway and bus station in Trakai are at least a 20 minute walk from the old town and castle and so we decided to save time and take the Trakai tour minibus instead. This departs from Cathedral Square at…

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Christmas in the City

Stylish Heath

Have you noticed the closer Christmas and New Year’s approach, time becomes an extremely relative concept? People are rushing around frenetically attempting to accomplish a myriad of task as the clock ticks off the hours…. then you wake up and Santa’s arrived.

{The city illuminated with holiday lights and instead of sparkles there was plenty of rain}

{Window shopping in Soho is a preferred treat, and viewing the winter wonderland at The Standard was so much fun}

I want be in the spirit of the season, but when one is consumed, used up, expended, well there is only one thing left to do…… no not the cocktails …well not yet that’s later, but a change of pace was in order to give new perspective.

A trip to NYC for the weekend was the perfect panacea with window shopping, museum exhibits and a few avant-gard restaurants for delicious foods.

Celebrate stylishly

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A convent carved in rock

Salt of Portugal

Composit Capuchos

The most poignant monument in Sintra is not a palace or a castle. It is the Convent of the Capuchos, also known as the Convent of the Holly Cross. Founded in 1560, it is a place where monks lived a life of frugality and contemplation.

Long before architects designed buildings in harmony with their surroundings, this convent was built to blend into the landscape of the Sintra mountain. Made primarily out of rock, its interior is lined with cork to offer some protection against the cold and dampness of Winter.

In 1581, when Portugal was under Spanish domination, king Philip of Spain and Portugal visited the Sintra convent and declared: “In all my kingdoms there are two places that I highly prize, the Monastery of Escorial for being so rich and the Convent of the Holly Cross for being so poor.”

We wonder how the monks experienced the passage of…

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The queen’s cake

Salt of Portugal

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In 1875, the owner of Confeitaria Nacional, a pastry store in downtown Lisbon, brought from France the recipe for “gateaux des rois,” the king’s cake. Decorated with crystallized fruit, the cake quickly became a staple of Portugal’s holiday season.

In recent years, an alternative to the king’s cake has gained prominence. Aptly called the queen’s cake (“bolo rainha”), it replaces the garish crystalized fruits with walnuts, hazelnuts, and almonds. The dough is the same as that of the king’s cake, its lightness born from the alchemy produced by yeast combined with flour, eggs, sugar, and port wine.

We don’t want to press you to take sides. But still, we’re curious: which royal sweet is more likely to seduce your taste buds, the king or the queen’s ’s cake?

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They’re back and ready for you! Anguilla, Puerto Rico, St Barths + St Martin…

Today we’re thrilled to highlight some of the Caribbean’s most awaited re-openings of 2018 and 2019.

Rebuilt, redesigned and ready for you to visit…keep scrolling to see why now is the PERFECT time to book a trip to one of these stunning island locales!

ANGUILLA – ÀNI, A COLLECTION OF PRIVATE RESORTS

Ani -1Ani - 2ID’s Insight: Traveling with a large group of family or friends? Perched high on the cliffs overlooking Little Bay Beach, is Àni Villas Anguilla, a 10-suite private resort featuring two villas. Each villa boasts its own infinity pool, large Jacuzzi, lounge areas and striking ocean views. Have a world-class chef prepare a customized gourmet meal, or indulge in a daily spa treatment performed by a skilled massage therapist, complimentary!

ANGUILLA – BELMOND CAP JULUCA

Cap Juluca - 1Cap Juluca - 2ID’s Insight: Distinguished for its characteristic architecture, this island gem on Anguilla sits on Maundays Bay, the most pristine exclusive cove boasting vibrant…

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