#1 Day Trip from Barcelona: Montserrat & Penedes

During our recent visit to Barcelona we did a day trip to Montserrat, 50km west of Barcelona, and the Penedes wine region, approximately 80km to the south west, and we thoroughly enjoyed it. Our small group of ten travellers and one tour guide left Barcelona at eight thirty in the morning and arrived at Montserrat, the medieval monastery and eponymous mountain, pretty much straight inland from Barcelona, less than an hour later, even though our van was travelling only slowly. The “saw mountain” (that’s what Montserrat means in Catalan) looks beautiful with hundreds of little peaks, as if it was made from plasticine by some crazy giant who had forgotten to take his medicine. The mountain is 1,230m high (compared with 1,345m of Ben Nevis, the highest mountain in Britain). Santa Maria de Montserrat, a medieval Benedictine abbey, (the very vast majority of which was destroyed on various occasions over […]

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Ten Things Off The Bucket List (Ninety More To Do)

(1) Extreme Jet Boat Ride, Shotover Creek, Queenstown, New Zealand (2) Bungee Jumping, near Lake Como, Italy (3) Walking along the Great Wall of China (4) Hot Air Balloon ride, Valley of the Kings, Egypt (5) Scuba Diving, Great Barrier Reef, Queensland, Australia (6) Snorkelling alongside Sharks, Loloata Island, Papua New Guinea (7) Hiking in the Dolomites, Italy (8) Off-road Quad-Biking in the Wadi Rum Desert, Jordan (9) High-Powered Jet-Ski Ride, Maldives (10) Rock Climbing, Berchtesgaden, Germany

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Atlas Mountains Day Trip Marrakech

On our first full day in Marrakech (main post here) we did a day trip to the Atlas Mountains with a personal driver (and SUV) that was recommended to us by our riad. After one hour and forty minutes we made a quick fifteen minute stop at an argan oil store where you could watch mostly old local ladies produce expensive liquid used for food, medical, and cosmetic purposes right in front of you. Another 20 minutes later we arrived at the first of two main stops: the pretty Ourika waterfalls. The riad had suggested that no local guide was necessary at the two locations where we were stopping. They were absolutely right. The waterfalls did not carry much water during this time of year, but the narrow valley and the mountains around it are amazing.   You climb steep mountain paths along a little river, once or twice on […]

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Cotswolds – Our Favourite London Weekend Trip Destination

We can’t remember when we’ve been to the Cotswolds for the first time. At the time of writing we have both been living in London for more than ten years and intend to stay for good, it’s now our chosen home town, but it took us at least 3 years or so before we discovered the very best local weekend trip destination just an hour and a half away from London Paddington by train (hop off at Moreton-in-Marsh) and a similar amount of time by car.           The Cotswolds are usually considered to stretch from Stratford-upon-Avon in the north-east to Bath in the south-west about 145km away from Stratford, covering a strip of land about 45 to 90km wide (roughly between Cheltenham/Gloucester and Oxford) belonging to six English counties: mainly Oxfordshire and Gloucestershire, as well as parts of Wiltshire, Somerset, Worcestershire and Warwickshire. The highest point of the hilly […]

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Our #1 Destination in the UK: Scotland

In July 2013 we took the best decision so far when it comes to holidaying in the UK, we went to the Scottish Highlands, our #1 destination in the UK. We took a flight to Glasgow, where a rental car was waiting for us. From there, we drove up to Fort William, next to Ben Nevis, the UK’s highest mountain at 1,345m. We stayed at the local Travelodge, which was cheap and clean, but without air condition, which wasn’t ideal during one of the hottest summers this patch of land had seen with temperatures regularly peaking at around 30 or 31 degrees.      Everyone in London among our friends, who had been to Scotland in summer before, had warned us about the mosquitos, so we came prepared with tons of insect repellent (Avon skin care spray works great in our experience, even though it was never intended to repel any […]

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