Back in 2019, Mr T embarked on his first ever cycle touring adventure. A three-day tour from Cambridge to Norfolk. And since he enjoyed it, he vowed this wouldn’t have been the last time he’d do a cycle tour. Two years on and he finally got to do it all again. Not quite as long this time, instead he would cycle the Avenue Verte in one day. Or at least the English part of it, from London to the coast, not crossing over to France (as if that was an option at the moment… sadly not).
Last weekend, we went down to the Isle of Wight for a long weekend. And you know what? This was the first time, we had been anywhere since our short trip up North, back in September. And it was actually the first time our puppy Frank spent a night away from home.
It has been well over two years since we had last been down to the island. And as some of you might remember, it didn’t quite go to plan for me. My weekend on the Isle of Wight was cut a little short, thanks to getting stuck in Paris for an extra day (something Mr T frequently keeps reminding me of).
Did you know that Budapest has no less than nine thermal baths and a staggering 123 thermal springs? When planning our mother-daughter-weekend in Budapest, visiting one of those thermal baths was top of our itinerary. And with so much choice, we decided on a visit to the Szechenyi Baths. But is this the best thermal bath in Budapest? Or should we have gone to one of the others? Well, let me tell you all about our afternoon at the Szechenyi Baths and you can decide for yourself.
When it comes to mother-daughter-weekends, our usual time slot for years was the August bank holiday weekend (ok, with the exception of visiting the Vienna Christmas markets obviously, not many of those around in August). But when it came to planning our Budapest weekend, we also decided we’d rather not go in August. As visiting a thermal bath in Budapest (or anywhere really) in the height of summer didn’t sound much fun. Much more appealing when it is cold outside (maybe even with a little snow on the ground?). Therefore, we settled for a weekend in November instead.
2020 is finally coming to an end, just a few more hours to go. Is it just me, or did it feel like 2020 went on for about three years at least? I mean, can you even remember what happened back in January?
Usually, I would use these last few hours of the year to reflect on my travels of the last 12 months, total up the number of flights I’ve taken, the countries I’ve visited. And generally dwell in travel memories and highlights of the year.
Have you ever visited the Beamish Living Museum of the North? No? Have you even heard of it? OK, I’ll be absolutely honest with you. Neither had I, until I started putting together the itinerary for our trip up North. It is a museum (this much you can gather from the name I guess), but what is so special about it? And is the Beamish Museum worth a visit (I pretend) I hear you say? Glad you asked. Let me tell you all about our visit to the Beamish Living Museum of the North and whether we thought the Beamish Museum was worth the visit or not.
In the current situation, travel options are a tad limited. So, when thinking about destinations for our late summer holiday, it was clear that it would be within the UK. No way would I risk having to quarantine for a fortnight. It was just the question of where to go. One favourite was Cornwall, as we originally planned to go there in July, then had to cancel for family reasons. Alternatively, maybe another trip to the Isle of Wight? After all, it’s been a year and a half again, since we last went (and as some of you might remember, thanks to me getting stuck in Paris, that weekend was a little shorter than planned). But in the end, we decided to head up north and stay in Sunderland for four nights. We’ve never actually been there, but for sure there’d be plenty of things to do in Tyne and Wear?
Up until March, heading into London was a normal thing to do. After all, I might not live there anymore, but I still work in London. Whether it was my daily commute into the office, meeting up with friends, shopping or simply exploring town, London was only ever a 45-minute train ride away. Occasionally a little longer, if train services were disrupted. But never ever could I imagine not being able to actually get to London for weeks on end. But then, it happened. The whole world came to a brief stop, the UK (and many other countries) went into lockdown. Although we are now gradually getting back to some form of normality, the new normal feels a million miles away from the old normal.
And the same goes for trips to London.
I guess I am not alone in saying it’s been months since I last travelled. But, with lock down restrictions gradually relaxing in the UK and around Europe, I am slowly easing back into the idea of travelling.
To be honest, I haven’t quite decided yet how comfortable I am with the idea of flying again. So, when the time came last week to finally go over to Germany again, we opted for a car journey instead.
Obviously, we’ve taken ferries to mainland Europe numerous times over the years. And therefore, know exactly what to usually expect. But how different would the ferry from Dover to Dunkirk be during Covid? Well, let me share with you my experience with the DFDS ferry, to give you an idea of what to expect (just to be clear, this is not a sponsored post. We paid for our ticket and I did not receive any incentive to write about my experience).
Tell me, am I the only one with a serious case of wanderlust at the moment? As we all sit at home and dream of travelling, how about I take you on a little photo tour? To one of my favourite places in the world. No, not New York for once… and no other major city either. Instead, how would you feel about nature, beaches and waves? Sounds good? Come with me to the Côte Sauvage in Quiberon / Brittany.
This has become my little annual tradition. As the year comes to a close, I like to sit down, take stock and review the past twelve months. What were my most cherished memories? Did I visit any new and exciting places? What have I experienced throughout the year?