Friday, 28 March 2014

Reinvented destinations around the world

Back in January I was asked to join a panel of judges for a travel writing competition, with the theme of reinvention. Did you try your had at travel writing?

The entries have now been judged and the results are out, and I'm very proud to admit that I contributed to choosing the winner.

Wednesday, 26 March 2014

Nordic food for thought, in Copenhagen

I have to confess to wondering what else Copenhagen is famous for, other than being the home to Hans Christian Andersen and Carlsberg.

During a few days touring the city I was surprised to find that Nordic cuisine has become far superior to the bland foods that I have had elsewhere in the region.


Saturday, 22 March 2014

Nexus 7 case review

As you may know, I am the proud owner of a Nexus 7 tablet.  Over the last 18 months or so, it has been all over the world with me. 

I have it on me everywhere I go, so of course it sits at the top of my list of "13 things I dont travel without". It holds travel books, keeps all the information I come across on the web, assists with navigation, helps me when geocaching and most importantly, of course, I use it to write my blog posts.

I recently acquired a new 2013 Nexus 7, as a gift. My original device is still very much in use, but the new one has a camera, a better graphics chip and is faster, as well as being thinner.

Thursday, 20 March 2014

Use Marmite and Crocs to avoid the same conversations when you travel

Whenever you arrive somewhere new, travellers ask the same  questions: Where are you from? Where are you going? Where have you been? How long are you travelling for?

After a while it seems like these are the only questions that people ask, almost as if they are on autopilot.

It's tiring, and I get bored of having the same conversations; almost running out of enthusiasm. So I started to make a conscious effort to create conversations that were more meaningful.

Sunday, 16 March 2014

How to enjoy cheese: with a tasting session at Reypenaer, Amsterdam

When I'm travelling longer term, particularly away from Europe, I often start to crave things that are difficult to get hold of where I am, like fresh salad, decent chocolate or, most of all... cheese!

Spending a few days in Amsterdam had me craving cheese even more than normal; every time we wandered past one of the many dutch food or cheese shops in the city centre.

Fortunately, tasting opportunities were numerous, with many shops offering sample pieces of the distinctive yellow wheels, piled up on their shelves.

Wednesday, 12 March 2014

Probably, the cosiest city in Scandinavia: Copenhagen

I've never been to Denmark before, but after 3 days in the capital, Copenhagen, last week, I will be going there again as soon as I can to get my "hygge" fix.

Hard to explain and even harder to pronounce, the Danish word hygge (sounds a bit like “hooglie”) roughly translates to coziness. However, there is far more to the translation, as there is to Copenhagen.

Saturday, 8 March 2014

My recommendations for maps whilst travelling (and geocaching)

Updated: May 2016

Whether I'm travelling from A to B back home in the UK, on a road trip, away for a long weekend, on holiday or taking time enjoying longer term travel, one thing I can't be without, other than my trusty tablet (these days) of course, is a map.

I have walked many trails in the Lake District using a traditional OS (Ordnance Survey) map, complimented by a compass and heavy rain, so am not adverse to old school tools.

However, these days, there are numerous map Apps for phones and tablets.

Tuesday, 4 March 2014

Pancake day (Pannenkoeken dag) in Amsterdam

"Do you celebrate Pancake day in the Netherlands?", I asked the waitress at breakfast this morning. She didn't seem to know immediately, that it was indeed Pannenkoeken dag (Dutch for Pancake day). But I guess working in "The Pancake Bakery" makes every day Pancake day in Amsterdam!

Also referred to as Shrove Tuesday (mainly in English-speaking countries), Mardi Gras, and Fat Tuesday, Pancake day is the day preceding Ash Wednesday, the first day of Lent.

And where better to spend pancake day than in Amsterdam?

Saturday, 1 March 2014

What to pack: for a short break to Europe

On Monday I am off for a short break to Amsterdam and Copenhagen, and of course I haven't started thinking about packing yet; although I know I should at least make sure everything I want to take is clean.

Short breaks to Europe mean a change of baggage for me. Reluctantly I have to rethink the practicalities of my hand bag as well, so that it is suitable for all my needs, including geocaching, whilst being stylish enough to be taken seriously.