Tag Archives: Travel

A Trip To Greenwich

The Queens House, Greenwich

A few weeks’ ago I spent a few night in Greenwich with my Brother as part of his belated birthday gift. We had such a good time I thought I’d share a few snaps.

If you ask me, the most important thing about Greenwich is that it’s the original site of the Royal Observatory, and that’s precisely what formed the basis of our trip – my brother and I are a little space obsessive so the idea of spending a day exploring the home of British space study was too delicious to pass up. We paid due homage to the meridian line too, of course, but whiled away several hours getting to know the Summer night skies in the Planetarium (it’s well worth a trip). We just missed the new exhibition for Astronomy Photographer of the Year but  I did pick up a planisphere which I’m very happy about. Cross your fingers for clear skies, guys!

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Since we wanted to see so many shows, it worked out cheaper for us to sign up as members of the Royal  Museums of Greenwich. That also gave us access to the Cutty Sark, the Queen’s House and the Maritime Museum for 12 months. On this trip we only got to check out the Royal Observatory and the Cutty Sark but that’s great as it just means we can go back to Greenwich in the future to see the other museums and enjoy the planetarium some more…

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The Cutty Sark was pretty cool too, but is about as interesting as you can expect a tea clipper to be for a coffee drinker. What was more interesting is the little area around the Cutty Sark which had a little food market and other bits and bobs plus beneath the ship in the café area was a collection of the coolest/strangest Ship Mascots I’ve ever seen. Apparently it’s the biggest collection in the world…

I really like this Armless King. “Tis but a flesh wound”

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I must admit I was charmed by Greenwich – it doesn’t have the same heavy bustle as London but it has that quaint, cultured atmosphere that always leaves you feeling like you’ve had a really refreshing weekend away.

Have you visited? Do you have any recommendations for our next trip there?

Kitty

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Catalonian Calm | A Stay in Montseny National Park – Masia El Buxaus

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Last week we enjoyed our first real planned-on-purpose foreign hiking trip. Our recent stay at Montseny Massif in Catalonia was so beautiful and relaxing that I couldn’t resist sharing a little writeup of our accommodation and area – of all the places I’ve visited, I’d 100% advocate that anyone/everyone makes an effort to visit here. It’s cheap, it’s close by (approx. 2 hour flight from Manchester) and it’s so tranquil.

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We stayed in Montseny national park, which is near to Barcelona and Girona. 30 minutes winding drive up a dirt road from the nearest town (Arbucies) we crept across the dusty, beautiful threshold of Masia El Buxaus, a 18th century traditional Spanish house with sweeping, breath-taking mountain views. The first few words either of us uttered were “wow” and “wooow” – you could see Girona and even Lloret del Mar  over the hills. Being at around 900m elevation meant the views were spectacular at any time of day, too – the sunrise creeping over the peaks draping the lazy landscape with golden light. The twilight sneaking in, hiding the sparse farm houses, waking up their twinkling window lights. The crisp midday, with the sun beaming down and illuminating everything. The deep night, where the full moon smiled its silvery grin on the treetops, making you wonder whether that was a wild boar or just a bush rustling in the breeze.

  It’s the sort of place where it was impossible not to relax – no traffic noise (like…at all), the most disturbing noise was our own breathing (and the occasional bark of the resident dogs… but for a dog lover, that’s no biggy!)

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The guest house we stayed in was absolutely perfect, very traditional, with ceiling beams, old wood and that *feel* of quaint oldness. The bed was easily the comfiest I’ve ever slept in (except for my own, but that’s a black magic we all know about). The hosts, Noemi and Jaume were the friendliest and most welcoming I’ve had the pleasure of meeting for a long time – and such good cooks! We were served foraged mushroom risotto, veal, pork fillet and all manner of delights during our short stay. Jaume even took the time to set up the telly so we could watch England play – which was great as since we were the only residents there for the weekend, we had the entire centuries-old lounge area to ourselves.

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They were also really great about directing us around the area – lending out maps whilst we toured the local area. Over our 2 days we took long, picturesque walks, following tracks (like… wild pig tracks, and deer tracks) and enjoying some very interesting wildlife (wild snakes, anyone?).

For walkers, there are several long, gorgeous routes up and down the peaks, and they aren’t too strenuous  – and for beginners, there are plenty of trails you can complete in an hour or two which won’t break too much of a sweat but are still very rewarding.

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For those of you who aren’t into walks, but are seeking solitude and sanctuary, Masia El Buxaus is just that. With a room chock full of games and (Spanish) books, and comfy seats by the log burner for evenings, and a beautiful pool with staggering views for the daytime, there is plenty of R&R to be had too. If you’re a party animal, or like to tootle off to the local bar when tranquillity becomes tedious, this place is not for you – but as someone who has a tendency to get a little stir crazy, a few days unwinding here was just what the doctor ordered.

Find your own stay in Montseny Massif here.

Kitty

 

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Travel Wishlist | Hiking Spots

Travel and dreaming of travel is a big part of my life – imagining where I might go is as fulfilling for me as actually going. I know I’m not the only one who gorges on wanderlust, so hopefully you can appreciate this post.

Here are some places I’m aching to visit – near and far in distance and time.

Have you been to these glorious spots? Tell me everything!

Baden Baden.jpgBaden Baden, South-West Germany.
The plan? Spend a day or two wandering wide-eyed around the beautiful Bavarian streets. Hitch a train to the Black Forest and hike a few days between campsites, eating the local things, practicing my (very bad) German.

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Everest Basecamp, Nepal.
The plan? Head to Kathmandu via Kolkata (Hi India, see you soon!) Board the impossibly tiny plane for the nail-biting flight to Lukla, throw on our boots and find out whether we can conquer the Himalayas. Ethically. See here.

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Snowdonia National Park, North Wales.
The Plan? Have some delicious Welsh food, hit the trails of Snowdon, walk all weekend and then move on to Ben Nevis. Not on the same day…

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Lough Hyne, County Cork, Ireland.
The plan? More hiking, but also this is one of the nearest places you can observe Bioluminescence, so naturally I have to go and see it. It doesn’t hurt that Cork is one of the loveliest places I’ve ever visited.

I’m conscious these are very hike-related travel wishes – thats just what I’m lovin’ at the moment.
Been to any of these places? Share some tips!!

Kitty

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