4

A Rigan Excursion

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Last but by no means least of my adventures of 2015, was the Latvian capital of Riga. We hopped on a plane for a wee jaunt at the beginning of November. When people say, ‘It’s absolutely Baltic out there’, I can either concur or disagree, being able to compare the weather first hand to Latvia and a previous trip to Estonia!

We stayed on the outskirts, which made the day visits into the Old Town more favourable, seeing as we had to cross the old bridge each time. After wondering past a cat cafe every day, where the felines are smothered in love by coffee guzzling visitors, we made it to the Old Town, which is full of medieval fairy tale buildings built on cobbled streets, where Art takes a centre stage. The cafes and bars are plentiful, so you can take a coffee and beer break round each turning. We took a liking to a Cuban (Havana Rum, yum) bar, with cheap cocktails everyday where we started our evening celebrations.

One area that was supposedly ‘up and coming’ was nestled deeply in an old Soviet housing estate. We searched high and low for a brewery, and must’ve walked past the entrance at least three times. When we did finally find our location, it was surrounded by delapitated buildings, with a couple of wooden benches parked outside for smoky bottoms. The beer was fine, but experimental should we say, so too many pints of this Baltic nectar would leave you drunk as a skunk. Never a bad thing.

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The view from our hostel ‘Two Wheels’, which focuses on catering for bikers

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A focus on Art in the centre square

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As well as graffitti…

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A different take on the architecture in the ‘Art Noveau’ district…

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Irony at the Soviet blocks…

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Watching your washing!

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We found the brewery!

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Inside the brewery….

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Two heads are better than one…

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A cobbled beaut…

0

Cornish Lullabies

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There’s something about the British yearning for the seaside. Whether it’s our island roots anticipating the rolling waves or merely the need for ice cream and windbreakers, we’re explicably drawn to the coast. And there’s no heart out there that doesn’t enjoy a UK seaside break.

After a trawl of a journey during which we were saving our palettes for cream teas, we made it to The Lizard. It’s surrounded by fields of sheep and moors, and when you finally reach the village, you find yourself thinking, ‘is this really it’. One good thing is when you’re roaming coastal walks on cliffs so dramatic, they’re reminiscent of a giants meanderings, with plenty of caves around to hunt in and explore. Even the flora is huge; it must be the sea breeze and rain, as these plants grow to three times the size as inland. You’ll find hidden away beaches in the morning, that get washed away come evening time, being slaves to the tide.

We stayed on the beautiful campsite,’Henry’s’. You get your own secluded pitch, and we were lucky – right in the corner of the field. Camping is good for the soul, but mocks the back. Our air bed popped on the first evening, leaving us to kip on the floor for the rest of the hols. So be it.

The Lizard was our base whilst exploring during the day, but we’d always return with open arms. Our ritual became quite set in stone; pasty for breakfast from ‘Ann’s’, day trip somewhere, then return to one of the two pubs/cafes/chippy for tea, then a couple of drinks around the camp fire. Bliss.

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The Minnack Theatre that’s built into the rocks…

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The quaint village of Mousehall…

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We found our cream tea 🙂

Part of the campsite at Henry’s…

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Well done Ruby – you made it! 🙂

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A cove found next to The Lizard…

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Cornish Rattler and sun burnt times 🙂

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Our home for the week… 🙂

 

 

0

Icelandic Bandits

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The Next stop was Reykjavik. We hired a car in an attempt to drive full circle round the island, but only made it a quarter of the way. At times, the left hand drive would play havoc, and I’d leave the freeway on the wrong side. It didn’t matter, seeing as the roads were barely occupied. We traveled through a tunnel that was 5770 metres long and 165 metres deep, called the Hvalfjörður tunnel. As we drove past the unsuspecting sea creatures, we accepted we wouldn’t see the whole of Iceland, this time. Sauntering past lava fields, moss and volcanoes made me realise how small I really was.

The Northern Lights didn’t shine for us in all their glory, as March time brings dismal weather, gale force winds, hale and snow. Battling with the elements came as a shock, but much welcomed the hot springs. I may have to head back there during a brighter season. Secret Solstace is firmly placed on my list.

Have a few pics 🙂

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Gulfoss, the magnificent waterfall

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Geysers bubbling hot…

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Steady as she blows, asymmetrically…

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A record shop wall in Reykjavik…

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One of the only beers available…in ‘Light’ or ‘Dark’ 😉

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Viking Stone…

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So long, beautiful scenery!

 

2

Bopping Around Budapest

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So, I’ve been hibernating from WordPress for a while. (A while being a year and a half). And it’s a shame really, as it occurred to me that this exact day a year ago, I was on a Sleazy Jet plane returning to the UK from Budapest. There’s also been a few other places that I’ve roamed to, and while the writing will most definitely continue in future posts, in the meantime, you can have a gander at some pictures. Enjoy 🙂

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The white stoned walls of The Fishermans Palace…

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Graffiti was plentiful around the city…

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Striking a pose…but don’t lose your scarf

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Drew found a knight in shining (yet slightly battered) armor

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A lion guarding his town over the bridge…

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The last sunset we saw… 🙂

 

0

Cornish Coastin’

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This weekend, I took myself on a wee road trip down to the most Southern end of Britain, The Lizard in Cornwall. That was my starting point, then I went slightly North to pick up the Atlantic Coast Road. With the sun shining, I slipped off into towns down the country lanes – some with grass growing in the middle, how rustic. Boscastle was a beaut, and deserves a mention, seeing as they were were riddled with flood waters a few years back. The harbour is flourishing once again. Padstow was gearing up for the Mayday celebrations, and Bude was classically beautiful, as always. Newquay was amazing – just outside of it in one of the huge bays, were about 100 surfers in the water, catching their daily ride.

The thing I love most about Cornwall, bar the cream teas, is the countryside, with all the ferns along the moors and huge cliff sides. When you stand on the edge and watch the waves crashing with the wind in your face, it makes you realise how small you really are. 

Lizard Point, where it all started…

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Portreath

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Padstow’s May Pole 🙂 

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Near Watergate Bay…

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🙂 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2El9_Q6MPog

2

Sculptures In The Sand.

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Last week, a friend and I decided to take a jaunt to the seaside. Bearing in mind, the last beach I inhabited was on the picturesque island of Koh Phanghan, Thailand, I had to choose my first glimpse of British sand carefully…So I did. I drove through the county of Somerset to reach….Weston Super Mare. Yes, yes, I know, it’s supposedly a bit scabby, but do you know what? It is what it is, which is why I decided to go. No frills, no pretending what it isn’t and I knew exactly what to expect. Donkeys, sticks of rock (scrumpy flavoured I’ll have you know), a stubborn sun, cackling clouds, all surrounded by a deep fried doughnut smell. Oh, and a hearty pub lunch and a Somerset cider to wash it all down. But as it happened, I got all I expected and more, as a ‘Sand Sculpting Festival’ is happening there, right now, so go and check it out if you can. The sculptures are fantastic and the detail is so intricate. You’ve got Gulliver, Aslan, Alice at The Mad Hatters Tea Party and Paddington.  It seems that Weston Super Mare is the place to be for the fairy tale folk. What added to the brilliance of the day, is that we turned up and had no idea this little festival was taking place. Imagine our shock when we saw from a distance the 15 metre castle top poking the horizon. Smiles all round. 

Willy Wonka’s not sharing his sweets so generously…

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Oooooh….

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This dragon gets angry and blows steam from its nose!!

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And I got to pretend that I was Deanerys from Queen of Thrones… 😉 

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Ah, munching Donks…

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ello, what you got ‘ere?’ (Donkey speaking in a West country accent, obvs) 😉 

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Lovely…

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Was going to go with this: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CD-E-LDc384

but figured it was too obvious….so went for this:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uZ9NDRYguoA 🙂