Some of my favourite places Part 1
I have been to so many places that it would be impossible to feature them all in a short newsletter!! So here are my first three.
My very first trip abroad on my own was to Athens back when I was 19. It was sooo hot!! But I loved it. I went to the Acropolis, Plaka, the museum, and watched with awe at the changing of the guard in Syndagma Square. Those of you who have seen it will know what I mean. It was a bit scary to see the security guards at the airport with machine guns, but other than that I felt safe in the city, and loved the atmosphere there. Very busy, cars honking their horns constantly, yet you can find tranquil places in the parks.
I have been to Athens a few times since, and on the Athenian riviera – Marathon and Rafina where I took the ferry to Andros - and some of the Greek Islands, but there are still loads to see. My favourite Greek island has to be Rhodes, but I have also been to – Andros, Poros, Hydra, Spetse, Crete, Zante, Santorini, and Symi. I am a confirmed grecophile. So what is it I love so much about Greece?? I don’t know. Their laidback lifestyle perhaps? The good food? The language ( I did learn Greek many years ago, but can no longer remember much apart from basic greetings ). With the weather, the food, the ambiance and the people, whenever a client asks ‘where should I go in Greece?’ I say… pick an island. What’s not to like.??
A few years ago now, I was lucky enough to go on a trip to Cuba with one of my suppliers. They used to do this a lot many years ago,not so much now. I loved Havana, and truth be told I would have been quite happy to stay there for the whole trip, but the deal was we spent 2 nights in Havana and then a few nights in Varadero. I’m not really a beachy person, I prefer to see the sights and the architecture of a place, which is why I was fascinated by Cuba. I would love to go back and do a tour of the whole island, as well as a few more nights in Havana. We stayed at the Nacional one of Havana’s oldest hotels frequented by many Hollywood stars in the good old days before the communists took over and travel from the USA was banned. Imagine sitting in the bar with a marguerita while music played in the background. So much history within those walls.
One of Japan’s airlines were doing special agents rates on their flights so my niece and I decided we would like to visit the country. We stayed in Tokyo, and didn’t find it as expensive as we were led to believe, as we had allowed far more than we needed and came home with spare cash!! Tokyo is fascinating – the modern and the old side by side, you can turn into a street and find old style houses, and then turn into another and find modern high rises. There are beautiful tranquil parks where you wouldn’t know you were in the centre of a major city. The metro is fast and efficient, and not that expensive – we got a daily ticket which allowed us to travel on most of the metro system for
the equivalent of about £5. Of course we were never travelling around on it at peak times so it was never very crowded. Each area of Tokyo is like a little town within a city, but my favourite places were the Zoo (we were on our way to see Mount Fuji but took a little detour to the zoo and got no further), Disneyland Tokyo (not the crowds you get at Disneyworld and the Japanese are very polite!!) and the temples. We went to Kamakura where there is a huge Buddha – so big you can go inside. I found the Japanese people very friendly and polite and wished I had learned a bit of the language before I went. In Tokyo the shops were open until 10pm so we could leave our hotel about 10am, go and do our sightseeing and still have time after dinner to shop!!! There are restaurant from all over the world, so we had a good choice, but at lunch time we just ate where everyone else was – it was good and reasonably priced.
I have travelled quite a lot on my own and never felt threatened or unsafe. I would recommend it to anyone. You just have to be sensible.
I have included a few of my photos here for you. If you fancy travelling to any of these destinations just give me a call