Holiday destinations: Jersey, UK

I recently visited Jersey-the largest of the Channel Islands.

The island of Jersey is absolutely stunning. It was my second visit to Jersey and I loved it even more than before.

It is a great place for a short break and if you are flying from London you can get there in around 40minutes. From the airport, you can either take a taxi or a bus that will take you to St Helier in 30 minutes.

There are a few must see places on the island:

Elizabeth Castle – Jersey

The castle is located 20 minutes’ walk from the Jersey city center. We took the Castle Ferry to get to the castle from across the bay as the tide was high and came back to Jersey by foot when the tide was low. Elizabeth Castle is a beautiful castle and the perfect place to spend an afternoon. You can climb the battlement and visit various exhibitions whilst in there.

Mont Orgueil Castle

The Mount Orgueil Castle overlooks the harbor of Gorey. The interesting fact to know is that the castle is depicted on the 2010 issue Jersey 50-pound note. Castle provides lots of attractions to its visitors and most importantly once you reach the top you can admire some stunning views of the coast. During the sunny days you can even see the French coast from the top of the castle.

Jersey War Tunnels

The Jersey War Tunnels Museum was established on the grounds of the German Underground Hospital. Nowadays, the attraction is definitely worth seeing for anyone who is interested in the history. By walking the various rooms all visitors will get a good understanding of what the Channel Islanders had to endure during the German occupation-their challenges and worries. It took us around 2 hours to see all the exhibits but it was unquestionably worth it.

Durrell Wildlife Park

Durrell Wildlife Park was established a while ago in 1959 by naturalist Gerald Durrell (1925–1995). It is around 20 minutes’ drive from St Helier so it is easily accessible by anyone staying on the Island. It is a relatively small wildlife park but you can see several mammals, birds, amphibians and reptiles. Most importantly for me, you can see that the animals that are based in there are happy. Looking at the gentle gorilla family and meerkat sanitarium, I was glad to see that they had a lot of space to run freely-not like in some Zoos where animals are kept in the cramped cages / enclosures.

I hope you enjoyed reading this review.

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Paulina

Holiday destinations: Corfu, Greece

I recently stopped at Corfu Island for a day. Corfu is the second largest of the Ionian Islands Greek island in the Ionian Sea.

It is also among the most beautiful and popular islands of the country. Due to its strong historical connection with Europe, Corfu was among the first Greek islands to open to tourism.

Located on the north western side of the country, Corfu island has a cosmopolitan feeling combined with a special traditional character. We had a traditional Greek meal cooked for us by a ‘Greek mama’ in a restaurant that felt like a kitchen of your relatives. Portions were really generous and the attitude of the staff was lovely-they were all extremely friendly and smiley.

There are a lot of lovely beaches around the island and if you like discovering new places then you should definitely go for a walking trip around the city as there are some lovely ruins and castles worth seeing there. We decided to climb on top of the hill at midday which was quite challenging as it was extremely hot but as a results we were able to admire the island from its highest points.

My advice would be to do all the sightseeing during the late afternoon hours.

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I hope you enjoyed reading this short review.

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Pauline

Holiday destinations: Paris, France

Last weekend we went for our mini-moon to the most romantic city in the world – Paris. It is a capital city of France and it has a population of 12 million (2014) which covers 18 percent of the residents of France. In 2015 Paris received 22.2 million visitors, making it one of the world’s top tourist destinations.

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Travel:

We travelled to Paris by Eurostar as it is the easiest way to travel to Paris from London. It takes under 2.5 hours and trains depart from King’s Cross Station in central London every hour. Prices vary from £29 for a standard single ticket booked in advance to £249 for a business premiere ticket including an access to the Executive Lounge and some complementary drinks and a meal on-board. Our meal was disappointing both during our morning and evening journeys and on our way back the service was extremely slow so I am not sure if it was worth paying £1000 for 2 return tickets…

Attractions:

The Central area of Paris along the Seine River is classified as a UNESCO Heritage Site, and includes many notable monuments. In addition, Paris is the home of many important museums and cultural institutions. There are many places worth seeing however if you are in Paris for a limited time (we were there for 3 days) then you should definitely visit:

  • The Eiffel Tower – an iron lattice tower on the Champ de Mars that was named after the engineer Gustave Eiffel, whose company designed and built the tower.

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  • The Louvre – the most visited and the largest art museum in the world.
  • Arc de Triomphe – is one of the most famous monuments in Paris. It stands in the centre of the Place Charles de Gaulle, at the western end of the Champs-Élysées.
  • Notre Dame Cathedral – is a medieval Catholic cathedral on the Île de la Cité built in the 12th century.
  • Pont Alexandre III Bridge – is a deck arch bridge that spans the Seine in Paris. It connects the Champs-Élysées quarter with those of the Invalides and Eiffel Tower.
  • Basilica du Sacre-Coeur de Montmartre – is a Roman Catholic church and minor basilica, dedicated to the Sacred Heart of Jesus that opened in 1914.

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Furthermore, I would definitely recommend that you either take a walk down the river or alternatively you can take one of many mini-cruises especially if the weather is nice. We were extremely lucky with the weather and we decided to have a romantic walk around the River Seine on our way from The Eiffel Tower back to our hotel which was located just a minute walk from the Arc de Triomphe. In addition, if you love live-shows and cabaret then you should definitely visit Moulin Rouge but be prepared-tickets for a show and dinner are quite expensive and start at 190 Euros per person.

Hope you enjoyed reading this review.

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Pauline

Holiday destinations: Venice, Italy

This week I would like to tell you about one of the most romantic destinations in the world-Venice. I love Italy and it is definitely one of the cities you need to visit at least once in your lifetime.

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Venice is located in northeastern Italy and is sited on a group of 117 small islands that are separated by canals and linked by bridges. Venice is known for its beautiful setting, architecture and artwork. Both the lagoon and a part of the city are listed as a World Heritage Site.

I’ve been to Venice 3 times. My latest visit to Venice was in June and summer brings some of the most daunting crowds… nevertheless there’s a reason why they come: you are never more than a bridge and an alley away from beautiful palaces, squares and monuments.

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Venice has a very lively neighborhood full of restaurants, wine bars and famous Italian gelaterias. I adore Italian food so I am always looking forward to trying some local food. Main squares (especially St. Marco Square) are quite pricey and you might end up paying 4-5 times more than in the other parts of Venice so I would always advice to check the menu and prices if you are on a tight budget. You need to be also aware of the ‘coperto’ charge-it is basically a fee for sitting down in the restaurants. We ended up paying 30 Euros for a bottle of water and a beer as we weren’t made aware of this fee…

Unquestionably, it is a great destination for a short break but you should go there for a minimum of 3 nights to see all the famous sites.

Time to start thinking, who would you take with you?

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Pauline

Holiday destinations: Trieste, Italy

Another week, another holiday destination review.

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This week, I would like to tell you about Trieste in Italy. I recently traveled there and even though the weather wasn’t great I enjoyed a walk around this pretty Italian town. It is a lovely destination for a day-trip

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Trieste is a city and seaport in northeastern Italy. It is in one of the richest regions of Italy, and has been a great centre for shipping, through its port, shipbuilding and financial services. It is situated towards the end of a narrow strip of Italian territory lying between the Adriatic Sea and Slovenia and the city is physically isolated from the rest of the Italian peninsula. In addition, Croatian border is located closely (further 30 kilometers south).

We started our trip by visiting the tourist information office in Piazza dell’Unità d’Italia, where we equipped ourselves with some informative leaflets and maps. The whole tour around the main city attractions took us under 2 hours.

The main attractions we saw during our short walking tour were:

  • Piazza dell’Unità d’Italia -a large and elegant outdoors space opposite the waterfront, with some impressive buildings.
  • Castello di San Giusto – it is located on the hill so it is a great place to enjoy some nice views from a memorial garden outside the walls.
  • Roman theatre.
  • Castello Miramare – one of Trieste’s most vaunted sights, the a nineteenth-century castle.

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Pauline

Holiday destinations: Rome, Italy

Rome is the capital of Italy and of the Lazio region. It is the country’s largest and most populated and fourth-largest city in the European Union by population within city limits. The city is located in the central-western portion of the Italian Peninsula.

Rome’s history spans for more than two and a half thousand years so it doesn’t matter how long you are planning to stay here-you should be prepared to step into the world’s biggest open air museum. I would personally advice you o travel for a minimum 4-5 days so you can see all the famous areas and monuments. It was my third visit to Rome and with each trip I enjoy it more.

Last time, I travelled there for my fiancé’s birthday and firstly we decided to follow the typical tourist paths and then we became brave enough to go off the usual tracks and discover the hidden germs of the city. The places and monuments that you definitely need to visit whilst in here are:

  • The Vatican City-an independent country geographically located within the city boundaries of Rome, the only existing example of a country within a city: for this reason Rome has been often defined as capital of two states.
  • The Trevi Fountain.
  • St Peter’s Square.
  • Spanish Steps.
  • Colosseum.

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Rome is one of world’s most picturesque capitals and if you’ve never been here then you should definitely visit.

Hope you enjoyed reading this post!

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Pauline

Holiday destinations: Split, Croatia

This week I would like to tell you about Split.

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It is the second-largest city in Croatia, one of the oldest cities in the area and the largest city of the region of Dalmatia.

Split has an exceptional location. It is placed in between the coastal mountains and the turquoise waters of the Adriatic. It can be described as a lively city and as soon you step inside Diocletian’s Palace and you’ll see many restaurants and shops thriving amid the atmospheric old walls where Split life has been going on for thousands of years.

I love sightseeing and together with my fiancée we decided to climb the Bell Tower of St. Domnius. Honestly speaking, it was one of the scariest experiences ever as the stairs felt really unstable and wobbly… We were brave (or foolish) though and reached the top of the stairs to admire some stunning views from the top of the tower but I would never dare to do it again for safety reasons. Whoever is responsible for the maintenance work on these stairs needs to do a better job as I seriously feared for my live half-way through to the top!

After this frightening experience we needed to grab a drink and sat down in one of many local bars located in the Old Town. Subsequently, we continued our sightseeing around the walls of Diocletian’s Palace and admired this beautiful city whilst learning about its vibrant history.

I would definitely advise you all to go and visit Split if you ever travel to Croatia but then again probably climbing the stairs of the Bell Tower is not the best idea unless they are replaced.

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Pauline

Holiday destinations: Dubrovnik, Croatia

I visited Dubrovnik recently and it was simply breath-taking.

Dubrovnik is one of the best known Croatian cities on the Adriatic Sea. It is one of the most prominent tourist destinations in the Mediterranean, referred to often as ‘the pearl of the Adriatic’. It was also recently featured in the popular ‘Game of Thrones’ series so it’s a must-see for any fan who wishes to discover the settings of this fantasy series.

As I was there with my fiancée only for a day, we decided to take one of the guided walking tours on top of the walls. In spite of the heat, humidity and heavy crowds, this was undeniably one of the most spectacular walks in the cities we’ve ever seen. Our guide was very knowledgeable and it was very interesting to listen to the tales she told us about the city.

We loved it and would love to visit the city again. Next time we will definitely stay for longer to see all the beautiful sides.

I hope you enjoyed reading this review.

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Pauline

 


					

Holiday destinations:Barcelona, Spain

A few months ago, I joined my parents for a few days break to Barcelona.

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There are lots of places to visit and things to do while in Barcelona but in my opinion these are the top 3 attractions you definitely need to see:

1. Basilica of the Sagrada Familia

The Basílica i Temple Expiatori de la Sagrada Família is a large Roman Catholic church in Barcelona, designed by Spanish architect Antoni Gaudí. It is absolutely stunning and if you ever visit Barcelona then you should definitely put it on your list of places worth seeing.

2. Park Guell

Located in the city of Barcelona, the Park Guell is one of the most beautiful icons of the city. It’s a work of Antoni Gaudi located in the upper part of Barcelona, which has wonderful views of the city. You can enjoy a fantastic green walk surrounded by a modernist works.

3. Museu Nacional d’Art de Catalunya

The Museu Nacional d’Art de Catalunya is the national museum of the arts located in Barcelona. It is one of the largest museums in Spain, housed in a huge Palau Nacional dating back to 1929. The museum is situated on Montjuïc hill and leading down to the famous Placa Espanya. If you are into art then this museum is especially notable for its outstanding collection of church paintings, and some Catalan art and design from the late 19th and early 20th centuries.

 

Food:

We went to many local restaurants and bars but to be honest I wasn’t ‘wowed’ by any of them so I am afraid that I won’t be able to recommend any places in particular. Although, the food we had in Barcelona was average, I would definitely recommend you go to any local cuisine i.e. some tapas or paella accompanied by the Sangria.

Hotel:

We stayed in the city centre in the Barri Gothic area in NH hotel. Hotel was very conveniently located-just 5 minutes’ walk from the tube station. It had a nice, artistic décor and very friendly staff. We arrived around 9p.m. and were greeted by extremely friendly receptionist who checked us in quickly and made us feel welcome. When we arrived in our rooms-they were really spacious and had a clean, modern décor. I would definitely consider staying there again the future.

Overall experience:

Once again, I really enjoyed my stay in Barcelona with my parents. It is still one of my favorite cities in Europe and I will definitely visit again soon.

Holiday destinations: Argostoli town Kafalonia, Greece

I recently visited Argostoli with my fiancée. As we were there only for a day we decided to take a prearranged coach tour to see the most sought after attractions on this Island.

Argistoli is a town on a Greek island of Kafalonia. Our coach left the port of Argostoli and drove around stunning coastline to reach the Robola winery. When we arrived at the winery we had a guided tour around it and listened about the process of elaboration of Robola wines from the grapes to the bottle. In addition, our guide described the history of the area and took us around the different rooms where the wine is produced. Our experience ended with some wine tasting. Honestly, their sweet dessert wine was to die for and even though I am not much of a drinker I had a couple of glasses. The interesting fact that we learnt during the tour was that Robola winery donates all unsold wine from the previous year to the residents of the island for their August bank holidays celebrations. Would like to check it our someday!

After our visit to the Robola, we took a short coach journey to our next stop – Fragata village and the Monastery of St. Gerasimos. This part of the island is a destination for pilgrims especially during festival celebrations when it can attract hundreds, even thousands, of pilgrims. The Monastery of St. Gerasimos (patron saint of Kefalonia) is built on the side of the older church which wasn’t suitable to host thousands of worshipers thus a larger monastery was constructed next to it. It is a definitely a go to place if you are Christian and happen to visit this Island.

Once, we completed our spiritual experience, we took a trip to the Melissani lake in the village of Karavomilos. It was my favourite part of our trip to the Island. Melissani lake is known to be one of the most beautiful underground lakes in the world. After a short walk through a tunnel we reached the lake and climbed aboard a wooden boat. We were sailing slowly around the lake for around five minutes and admired the surrounding caves. The sun was getting into the caves from one of the sides which gave rise to changes in shades of water. We were admiring thousands of shades of blue. It was truly magnificent.

Following on from our trip to the lake, we took a tour around the island where we were able to appreciate all it has to offer.

To conclude, I think that anyone who is considering visiting Kafalonia should go there at least for 2-3 days as 1 day is definitely not enough to discover its full potential. I would love to return here in the future.

I hope that you enjoyed reading my review!

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