Budapest Hungary

During May 2017 we decided to book a four day break to Budapest in Hungary. We had never visited the Hungary before so it was new to us. What a surprise! It is so beautiful! We filled our four days, there was so much more to do!

For some reason I had assumed the weather would be cold but how wrong was I? The climate was on a par with the South of France or Croatia! In May the weather was beautiful very Mediterranean!

When in Budapest be prepared to get your walking shoes on. There is so much to see and do. We booked accommodation on the edge of the Jewish quarter, this was a good spot it was quite central to everything on our to do list. The Grand Budapest Apartments had everything we needed and it was clean and quirky with the open balconies of all the apartments overlooking a centre courtyard.

Whilst there we visited both Buda and Pest and loved them both. 

We climbed Gellert Hill and carried on walking up the long pathway until we arrived at The Liberty Statue /  Freedom Statue. It is huge and its purpose is to commemorate those who sacrificed their lives for the independence, freedom and the prosperity of Hungary. 

The scenery from both Gellert Hill and The Liberty Statue is amazing, you can take wonderful photographs from these vantage points. 

We also took a trip on the Budapest Castle Hill Funicular. This is located not too far from the entry path to Gellert Hill.

The Funicular will take you from river level up to the Buda Castle above, once again there are amazing views from here.

Upon walking across the chain bridge we then took a walk along the riverbank passing the grand Parliament building where we paid homage to The Shoes on the Danube. Such a sad part of their history and it brought tears to my eyes, it is important never to forget the past and I felt proud to take a few moments to pray to those who perished. The shoes are located on the east bank of the Danube River and stands as a monument to the thousands executed along the riverbank in 1945.

There are boat trips on the Danube that are worth doing as you gain a different perspective of Budapest from the water. 

There are some quaint and quirky bars where you can stop for refreshments. One of our favourites was a little outbuilding on the side of the road where a man plays a guitar daily. They got to know us well when we were there! They had reasonably priced food and it was delicious. 

When in Budapest you have to go to at least one of their many spas. The main spa on Margaret Island and park was closed due to a refurbishment when we visited, but the grounds are fabulous so if you have a few hours free go there for a walk. 

We found another spa “Lukacs spa” with little problem and we thoroughly enjoyed, although due to the language barrier we had a bit of a run around with regards to not having swim caps! It took us about an hour to be adequately kitted out before we were allowed in!!! I am sure it was the case of being “lost in translation!”

 There is so much to do and see in Budapest and we will return as there was so much we didn’t get around to doing as we ran out of time. 

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Wroxham on the Norfolk Broads England 

I recently visited the Norfolk Broads in England.  It is a beautiful part of the world. I thoroughly enjoyed walking around little rural villages such as Wroxham and travelling on board a boat. That is a must when visiting the Norfolk Broads!

Accomodation I found to be expensive especially during school holidays. So much so I booked with Airbnb further away in Norwich which was still expensive but a little more reasonable.

The boat trips in Wroxham can be fully booked but I didn’t find it too bad. For a family of 2 adults 2 children and one infant we paid slightly over £25. Not bad really And the trip took 2 hours. So good value I thought.

The Broads are beautiful and very scenic. It was my fourth time visiting and I never get tired of the scenery.

There are plenty of places to eat: little cafes, restaurants or chip shop take aways. It’s lovely to find a spot by the waterways with a drink and watch the boats go by…..very relaxing.

Ireland!

I absolutely love Ireland. My ancestors were from Ireland and I always feel like I have come home even though I am from Wales. We have had many long weekend trips to Ireland, usually around Christmas. I find the people so friendly and the country is absolutely beautiful.Ireland 14 dec 2014 (68)

I love Dublin but prefer the countryside especially the Wicklow mountains. We have spent many times driving up the old military road, through Sally Gap and visiting places such as Glendalough with its monastic site. Then driving toward the coast following the map from Dun Laoire to Greystones

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Powerscourt Gardens near Enniskerry is beautiful and the grounds are absolutely stunning. If you are ever nearby please visit as it is worthy to be included in your itinerary.

Some of the Irish countryside views are the most beautiful I have ever seen. I am sure It will not be long before I return to the land of my ancestors, until then I have fond memories.

Gorges Du Verdon Alpes-De-Haute-Provence

So many times I have visited this region of the South of France, too many return visits and I never tire of the beautiful views. The canyons are considered to be one of Europe’s most beautiful. The surrounding roads and forever winding with beautiful vistas of the canyons and its waters. There are small peddle boats and Canadian canoes available for hire on the lake.

The area is very popular with locals and tourists and it is a must see. If you are in nearby Nice then make the effort and take the drive up to the Gorges, you will not be disappointed.

Croatia – Hrvatska

We started our road trip from Wales in the U.K to Croatia (Hrvatska). It turned out to be one of those holidays where you think it is all going to go wrong! Luckily though it was fantastic and Croatia is certainly a Country I will visit again.

 


The journey was long in the car, then ferry then car again. We planned to camp in the camping resort Lanterna the entire holiday but unfortunately the lovely campsite was spoilt by large groups of various nationalities who were very very noisy at night. Partying into the next day is not my thing, especially when I like to sleep at night and take in the sights by day. Well after a few nights of no sleep ENOUGH WAS ENOUGH! My husband was marvelous, after a particularly rough night trying to settle a 2 year old with all the noise around us, he decided to find us alternative accommodation….I was completely oblivious of course and basically slept the day away! When I woke he told me we were packing up and going to a rented apartment (Yey!)
Bonus the apartment in Mareda (near Novigrad) had a washing machine, so I was happy! The apartment was amongst residents and a very short walk to a rocky beach.

 

The rest of our trip was amazing, once we had the right base to stay the rest just fell into place.
We travelled the coast from Mareda, Novigrad, Porec and my favourite Rovinj which has Italian architecture (due to its history) and then travelled all the way to Pula with its amphitheatre, reminiscent of Rome!

 


We found Croatia to be very reasonably priced but later we visited the very expensive Koper in Slovenia and Venice Italy within the same trip. I am yet to blog those. If you ever get the chance to visit Croatia, it is a must, the people are friendly and helpful and the country is so beautiful.

08/2009

 

 

 

Fnideq (Castillejos) Tétouan Morocco

Two years ago we embarked on our annual family holiday but with a difference. We had always wanted to visit Morocco but not the more conventional places to visit, more off track and not where regular tourists go. Result was a fabulous life experience and one our family will always cherish.

We visited Fnideq which is town in northern Morocco, on the Mediterranean coast of M’diq-Fnideq Prefecture, situated 31 kilometres north of the city of Tétouan. The town of Fnideq is also known under the Spanish name of Castillejos.

We entered the Country via Gibraltar a British Overseas Territory and headland then onto Ceuta, Spain’s autonomous city located on the north coast of Africa. After a short taxi ride to the nearby border crossing. We chose to enter Morocco by foot, a daunting prospect but we did it none the less. Car journeys are fraught with very long delays and many problems. After filling out the necessary entry / exit forms for the country we were processed without too much delay or problem. We seemed to be hurried through on the basis of our nationality.

 

The market place was full of hustle and bustle with all the locals going about their business, the sights and smells were amazing. There were many cafe’s available where you could stop for a break from the heat and have a little shade. The traditional drink is Moroccan mint tea (good for digestion) but there were many other not so traditional drinks available. Some people spoke French, which was handy for us but not all – so language was a barrier but not too much of a problem.  We found the people very friendly. I blended in nicely due to my complexion and dark hair! My husband and two children stood out with their blonde locks! My son kept having his head rubbed (for luck I think?) but he didn’t seem to mind, however he got a little dizzy from it after a while!!! We seemed to be the highlight of conversation for some. Even though the trip was daunting with two children I am so very glad we experienced the real Morocco and not a tourist hot spot. 08/2015

 

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Cabo Roig & Surrounding area in the Costa Blanca Spain

A holiday that me and my family have thoroughly enjoyed for at least three years in a row in the past, as we had such a fabulous time! The area hosts some fabulous beaches: Cabo Roig Playa Flamenca and the very beautiful and unspoilt Playa Cala Capitan.

There are varied eateries with entertainment and a fantastic Stone Grill restaurant which was our particular favourite. There are many other fabulous restaurants and one we kept returning to with resident Spanish Flamenco dancers if you are looking for some traditional flavour!

We like to wander around not just remain in a particular area, so we took many trips to Torrevieja, they host a night time funfair which is great for children and there are many stalls with traditional gifts (and tat!). My favourite places to visit are most definitely Tarbarca Island which is an isle close to the town of Santa Pola, there are regular boat rides to the Island from Santa Pola, but be aware unless you want to spend an awful lot of money on food then take a picnic! Another favourite is Guadalest! It is just so beautiful, after walking up the winding hill top where there are quaint shops and houses, the view you have from the top is perfect. I would never tire of this view it has to be one of my favourites.

If you prefer little hidden gems, go to Alcalali located in the Vall de Pop in the Jalon Valley. It is a small village with some lovely accommodation. We stayed in Casa Almar a beautiful bed and breakfast. The village has some very reasonably priced eateries prices aimed at residents and not the tourists.

08/2012/2013/2014