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Archive for the ‘London Interlude’ Category

Hottest destinations in 2012 included London, of course, but many far-from-home destinations also made it to the top 10. Despite the recession and economic downturn, Brits continue to travel the world and relentlessly explore its far end corners.

Belize – a destination of choice in Central America and the best spot to witness the ‘end of the world’ scheduled on 21 Dec 2012 (21/12/2012)

New-Zealand – ‘to follow in the Hobbit steps’. Personally I’d love to see the place where one of my favourite ‘horror’ movies was shot… Black Sheep – a ‘chef d’oeuvre’ of piss-taking and self-derision.

Portugal – Porto, colourful and vibrant, gateway to the Duro Valley with spectacular landscapes and amazing wines. We loved the cheap, cheap, surprisingly good, wines served in small restaurants.

New-York City – Loved it 10 years ago and can’t wait to go back.

Curaçao, Caribbean – Gorgeous Caribbean Island, celebrating its first year of independence since the dissolution of the Netherlands Antilles

Oman – While neighbouring oil-rich countries are erecting skyscrapers, Oman is adding an opera house and planting desert gardens amid the capital’s white stone buildings.

Finland – Helsinki is an amazing city with lovely bonkers people and a great tradition – early morning smoked sauna followed with breakfast made of home-made smoked salmon and potato salad – hmmm….!

Tanzania – with the opening of exclusive safari reserves, Tanzania is bound to catch-up with neighbour Kenya very soon

Prague – beautiful with character, Prague is a really pretty city with a compact city centre which makes walking explorations totally feasible

Cuba – new restaurants and bed-and-breakfasts, some in gorgeous colonial villas, have sprung up over the past year as the government has allowed more private enterprise

Although I not only travel a lot for work but also for leisure, I have realised that there are big chunks of the planet that I don’t know and would love to go to, one day. For example:

Chilean Patagonia – horse-riding in spectacular landscape

Vietnam – Halong Bay, in November 2010, the Unesco World Heritage site was provisionally named one of the world’s “new seven wonders of nature” based on a global poll conducted by a Swiss foundation — just as Vietnam Airlines announced the first-ever nonstop flights between London and Vietnam!

Jordan – to see Petra (and gallop away in the sunset)

Myanmar – to boycott or not to boycott… Even though pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi has been freed, there is no doubt the country is still under the yoke of an authoritarian regime

Places closer to home include Berlin, St-Petersburg but also Cornwall, the Scottish Highlands and the Lochs. You don’t need to go far to discover new places and new people… Nowadays, and thanks to lowcosts and modern technologies, travelling has become easier and more accessible than ever, it is an education in itself which broadens the minds and enlightens our everyday life.

And I’ll leave the last word to those two – they say it better than me…

The world is a book and those who do not travel read only one page.

St. Augustine

Don’t tell me how educated you are, tell me how much you travelled.

Prophet Mohammed

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granny power

As you can see, I’m back. I hadn’t left really but I had no inspiration whatsoever. Nothing really funny or witty or even interesting happened those last three weeks or so. I was very busy at work, under a lot of pressure also, which, after thought was put on me by myself… {sigh}

I’m also back from a week holidays in south-west France. I had an absolute fantastic time!!

Women Power!!!

But I love you too Tonton 🙂

Anyway, this, just to say I’m back, and planning to post more in the coming weeks and months!

Take care.

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Sun

My dear friends, let me tell you something sensible today:

The Sun, thou shalt avoid.

Indeed it’s bad. I know what I’m talking about. Cursed by a fair skin I am no stranger to sunburnts. I got my fair share, I don’t think any part of my body has been spared during those last 25 (almost 26) years.

I know very well everything of its dangers but still I burn.

Last weekend however I’ve touched the bottom (if bottom there is) of the stupidity. From now, my relationship with the Sun will never be the same ever again. Last Sunday we went to Brighton – lovely town, and decided to sat on some deckchairs we found on the beach. Not for long, just for 10-15min because we were tired (we got up at 6am this morning). Hardly suprising, we fell asleep.

Yep.

Asleep.

How more stupid can that be?!?

As a result my dear friends, I woke up BURNT! I mean burnt, burnt, burnt. The face (of course), the arms, the neck, the legs burnt, the toes (ouch!) burnt.

I’m not talking about the pain here. It hurts. A lot.

I’m talking side effects. The very, pretty, original, striking, attention-grabbing side effects.

  • The glasses effect. In my case even more striking because I was wearing mask-like designer glasses. I now have (and must live with) a big white mark around my eyes and accross my face while the rest of my face is red, red, red. My boss when she saw me on Wednesday literally burst into laughing… It is that bad.
  • The scabbing (yuk) effect. My nose tip and my chin are so burnt that a brownish scab is actually forming…
  • The pealing effect. And I’m pealing! I’m disseminating my DNA in the whole of London. It’s terrible, it’s terrible, I not only look like a leper but it’s gross!!

To those who say I deserved it, well yeah ok. I did. To the others, thanks for your support in those troubled times.

PS: One of my colleagues actually proposed to cut me a balaclava in a Nusa Soup paper bag so, I quote: “You can hide yourself and look innocuous in the Tube back home..

{sigh…}

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95-la-grande-muraille

I‘m back from China. After spending the last three days basically sleeping I went back to work this morning.

Tough.

Those last two weeks have been hectic: I moved flat, I got sick, I went to China, and now I’m back and it’s already the 20th April… Can’t be. Soon will be summer and then winter again!

I will tell you all about the trip to China later. Now I’m off playing the Sims 🙂

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LAAX

Tomorrow i’m off to Switzerland until Tuesday evening. We are to expect fresh snow and good weather, and accommodation in a 5-star hotel.

It is hard to remember that I will be working about 16 hours a day for the next 4 days- “Have fun!” said my boss. Hmm.. tough one. She probably means enjoy the skiing. That I will do!! No obligation to chat and make conversation to anyone while sliding down the slopes. I am dreading meal time though. I hope nobody will have any crazy requests.

It actually started already, one person asked if there were any way to watch Chelsea v Liverpool on Sunday afternoon – unbelievable! Well I don’t think it is possible, so problem solved! 🙂

Ok, well, have to pack now… Chusss!

“Shoop, shoop, shoop…”

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falera2

Quite obviously and understandably I came back from Dublin quite exhausted. I unpacked only to re-pack for another place, I was going east this time: Switzerland.

Week-end 2: Switzerland

This trip being a business trip there had been a lot less drinking and partying. Still a lot of eating of course, never forget the essential.

And before starting the story I prefer telling you right now: I might use a couple of stereotypes here and there. And sorry about that, but YES, there are some truth in all the stereotypes I came accross.

In Switzerland, when people speak English they have the same accent as the one they have when they speak French.

In Switzerland, even the ATM are slow!

In Zurich I didn’t see much of the city because when we arrived it was dark and when we left it was snowing. There was a lake – a big lake.

In Swiss trains they make each announcement in: 1 – German, 2 – French, 3 – English in this order. I noticed they don’t have an Italian translator.

In Graubunden, the region I was in, they speak a weird language called Romansh which sounds a little bit like a mixed of French and Italian with a strong Savoy accent, which could also sound like Catalan. No need to say it was quite exotic. And Romansh is the fourth official language of Sitzerland.

One day I got all excited when I realised I could understand a local speaking Romansh in his phone only to find out that he was just speaking Italian…

In the ski resort I was visiting – that’s the “business” part of the trip, there was snow, a lot of snow and ice everywhere. I kept slipping.

In Switzerland i didn’t have the right shoes to walk in an ice environment.

In Switzerland I fell a first time while visiting a construction site – nobody saw me but a dozen of builders and they ignored me.

In Switzerland I had to hold my boss’ arm everytime we were leaving the hotel.

In Switzerland I managed to fall no more than twice. The first time a pile of snow protected me, the second time I had a big travel bag and it hurt. A lot!

The bruises I got in Switzerland can still be seen on my knees and arm.

In Switzerland I liked it.

🙂

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from-gradins

Ok so I haven’t written for a while now, apart from yesterday’s post which has actually been standing ready to publish in my drafts folder for 3 weeks. Sorry about that, I have been really busy. And it’s not a lie. Problem is, you see, I only blog during the week-end when I write two three posts in a go, and I’ve been away for the last three week-ends.

Three week-ends away, three weeks without blogging: all makes sense now, doesn’t it?

Week-end 1: Dublin

That was officially my Graduation party and unofficially a week-end partying with my friends.

Great week-end. I forgot how bright this city is – when the sun shines! It was really amazing, freezing cold too.

In Dublin people are nice.

In Dublin I spent 4 days with my friends and that’s when I realised how much I had missed them: T and AM I’m talking about you.

In Dublin AM’s parents were there and they treated me like I was an other of their daughters, which in Italian is the equivalent of: feeding me! 🙂

In Dublin I went to the pub, just the two of us: T and I, we had burgers and Guiness surrounded by a very drunk office party and it was one of the best meal I had in ages.

In Dublin I did some shopping and it was as expensive as ever (what credit crunch?!)

Eventually, in Dublin airport I waited more than 2 hours before boarding my plane to London because the anti-ice systems weren’t working.

Some of the best piece of life happened in Dublin and go back in time I just need to pay £40 and hop into a plane. Isn’t life wonderful sometimes?

🙂

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