All posts filed under: Travel

How to Eat Well in Dublin and Belfast

We have all experienced addiction at some point in our lives. If you’re reading this and you haven’t, I’m sorry but you’re not human. A few years ago I was completely and utterly infatuated. The lucky recipient of my affections? If you know me you might have guessed…  Salmon. But only the raw kind. Oh yes, it just HAD to be raw. And as much as I still adore salmon sashimi, my affections have now turned to another satisfying sea creature… the Oyster. So you can imagine the first thing that went though my head when I booked to go to Dublin and Belfast? No, it wasn’t the fact that I’d finally get to explore Temple Bar, or that I might even see Cillian Murphy roaming the streets (although of course I will forever live in hope of that). No, it was that I would get to eat my bodyweight in delicious oysters. And that I did.  But eating oysters wasn’t the only item on the to do list. Pippa and I were there for …

Festival Review – Electric Castle, Romania

“What are you going to write about?” asked Alex. I thought about it for a second and when I responded, he looked surprised. “I don’t know, because it hasn’t happened yet”, I smiled as I melted into my seat. Lucy and I had just stopped the wrong bus in its tracks and bundled ourselves on, not so elegantly pulling our suitcase and bumping into poor unsuspecting passengers on the way to a couple of empty seats at the back. The boiling hot bus, which seemed to have rolled straight out of the 70’s, was full of subdued festival goers on the way to one of Romania’s biggest festivals, Electric Castle. And Alex? He was my new Romanian friend from Romania’s non-official second capital, Cluj-Napoca. It was the truth. I could have guessed and said that I was going to interview a few bands, or that I was there to review specific bands, but no. I was there to review the experience – and if my previous festival experiences are anything to go by, I knew …

Bridget Jones does Snowbombing

“I feel like Bridget Jones does skiing”, I mutter to my friend as we near the top of the gondola escalator, skis ever so elegantly slipping out of my grip and ski boots digging into my shin causing me to walk like John Wayne in his worst form. She turns around, giggles, and promptly agrees with me. “Let’s do this”, she said. And as those three empowering words escaped her mouth, I knew that the next few days were going to be unforgettable. You may be wondering how I ended up at a banging dance music festival, with skiing as an additional activity no less, three weeks before the London Marathon. Well, let me tell you. I’m a weak ‘yes’ person who will not turn a fun opportunity down. And when I received the text asking if I was up for a week of two of my favourite things combined, music and skiing, I just had to say yes. Five days of hungover skiing and five epic Jäeger Bomb fuelled nights of debauchery. What could …

Dancing in Transylvania: Electric Castle Festival, 12th-16th July

It has taken me four years to realise that to have fun; the real kind, not the ‘how can I make myself look like I’m having fun when really I’m just an anxiety attack waiting to happen’ kind of fun, I need to do two things. Number 1 – Just Say No. The FOMO is real, people. But it doesn’t need to be. It took a 40 year old journalist I met recently to tell me that getting over FOMO was one of the best things he had ever done. “It takes time, but it will come”, he said to me as we departed a ski lift on the top of a mountain in Mayrhofen. We were at Snowbombing festival and he was there to cover the festival for an online music magazine. He was having fun, not drinking, skiing loads every day, and most importantly left the festival with an average of 40 hours’ sleep during the week. I, on the other hand, drank my body weight in Jägermeister and beer, danced until 5am …

Head Over Hills Luxury Retreat: stunning views and a £50,000 bed – Knysna, ZA

What Head Over Hills is a 5* luxury retreat situated along the Garden Route of South Africa. Experience Despite spending 8 weeks working at a state hospital in Cape Town, it would be a lie to say that the last few months have been in any way stressful. Joe and I are absolutely in love with South Africa and have enjoyed treating ourselves to all of the delights that this incredibly beautiful country has to offer. These treats are largely focused around the themes of eating and drinking, relaxing and having a great time. So with these aims in mind, we decided to spend our final two weeks in South Africa travelling along the Garden Route with various stops along the way. The Garden Route is essentially the N2 highway which starts in Cape Town, in the Western Cape, and meanders 800km along the coast to Port Elizabeth in the Eastern Cape. However, this is no motorway as we know it. Along its course the road travels past some of the most beautiful beaches in the …

The Killing Fields, Choeung Ek, Phnom Penh

“How could I not have known this before now?” I whispered to Euan as we listened to tranquil birdsong and slowly paced the beautiful land that was once used for mass killings and graves. We were at Choeung Ek, the largest site of a group that is collectively known as ‘The Killing Fields’, 15km outside of Cambodia’s largest city, Phnom Penh. I had just listened to the opening sequence on the audio aid that all visitors are given upon entering the site. “Almost three million people were killed in between 1975 – 1979 by Pol Pot and his Khymer Rouge soldiers under his communist regime.” Three million poor innocent people were dragged to sites like this all over Cambodia and killed mercilessly, for nothing more than living in cities and owning possessions that were seen by Pol Pot as dirty. That’s one quarter of the whole population. How does that make you feel? Pol Pot had a vision for Cambodia to be completely self-sufficient. So he set about to achieve this by arresting the well …

Learning to Scuba Dive at Davy Jones’ Locker, Koh Tao

It’s the afternoon of 24th February and I’m sat on the porch of my hut, which is overlooking the DMT’s (Dive Master Trainees) gallivanting around in the Davy Jones’ Locker resort pool, tanks and masks on, blowing air bubbles to the surface. Despite a growing envy, I sit here dreaming of life underwater and reflecting on the steps I took to becoming a certified Open Water Diver. Although I knew I wanted to conquer my fear of the sea on this trip, I hadn’t realised that it would be in Thailand in the first week of a fifteen week tour of South East Asia, Sri Lanka and India. Having asked an STA Travel agent in Bangkok to recommend beach activities for us to do for the last 9 days before we depart for Cambodia, he recommended this with all his heart. After much deliberation, we decided to jump right in at the deep end and book there and then. Two days later we were boarding the air-conditioned overnight bus to Koh Tao, a trip that …