Ice skating at Somerset House London

Getting Festive in London

I will admit that up until now I have been a bit of a Scrooge.

Don’t get me wrong, I absolutely love Christmas, and not having a proper Christmas last year as we were travelling around India, means I’m looking forward to it a whole lot more than usual this year.  But seeing Christmas gifts starting to be sold in shops, hearing Christmas songs on the radio, walking past houses twinkling with lights, and being asked about my plans for Christmas in October and November, well that is just way too far in advance for my liking.

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The rooftops of Venice Italy

Weekly Photo Challenge: Angular

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again – Venice is one of the most photogenic cities I’ve ever visited. Every narrow cobbled alley you explore, every canal you wander past, every colourful little building; everywhere you turn there is another beautiful sight to stumble across.

Even the rooftops are just as colourful as the buildings, which is why I loved the view from the top of San Marco Campanile.

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Malteser chocolate cake

Weekly Photo Challenge: Achievement

Anyone who knows me at all will know that I love food.  All food, any food, I love it all.  But when it comes to making food…well that’s a whole other thing entirely.

I was never taught to cook or bake when I was younger so now that I’m all grown up I just don’t do it, which may explain why I eat out so much.

But for my mum’s last birthday I wanted to do something special for her.  She is the biggest chocoholic I know – she’s actually intolerant to chocolate but still eats it anyway – because what crazy fool would give up chocolate?!

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The Cotswolds: A Photo Essay

After a lovely couple of days in Bath and Cheddar Gorge, the last stop on our mini road trip was the Cotswolds where we planned on seeing some of England’s greenest countryside and stopping off at several of its small villages before heading back home.  As is typical in England, it rained pretty much the whole time, but this didn’t make the area any less beautiful.  In fact, I took so many photos that I just had to share all the prettiness of the Cotswolds with you.

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View of Rio from Sugarloaf Mountain

Weekly Photo Challenge: Descent

It may have been a cloudy day in Rio de Janeiro, but standing at the top of Sugarloaf Mountain looking down at the city’s iconic landscape, the view was still jaw dropping.

We spent a while wandering around, pointing out all the sights we could see from the beaches of Copacabana and Ipanema with their long stretches of white sand, to the tightly packed favelas with their bright and colourful buildings.  I was so disappointed that we couldn’t see Christ the Redeemer through all the foggy clouds and this is just one of the many reasons why I want to make a trip back to this amazing city.

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Rainbow at Victoria Falls Zambia

Weekly Photo Challenge: Refraction

I could hear the roar of the water before I saw it; all 500 million litres that pour over the edge of Victoria Falls every minute. The wet mist that sprays off the falls can be seen more than 20km away and we were all soaked through before we had even caught a glimpse of ‘The Smoke that Thunders’.

It might not be the tallest or widest waterfall in the world, but with it’s thundering noise, wild setting in the middle of Africa, its awesome power and magnitude, and when a refraction of the light causes a colourful rainbow to arch across the gorge, Victoria Falls is without doubt one of the most jaw-dropping.

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Sunrise at River Ganes Varanasi India

Weekly Photo Challenge: Dreamy

Varanasi, with all its colour, noise and chaos, isn’t usually the sort of place that springs to mind when you think of the word “dreamy”.  But on the dark misty morning that we set out in our little boat to watch the sunrise over one of the world’s holiest rivers, it was just that.

In the pitch black of early morning, our friendly guide told us all about the River Ganges and how thousands of people come to take a dip in its sacred waters every day.  We then received a lit candle in a bed of flowers which we sent down the river with our wishes.

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Plaza in Lima Peru

Weekly Photo Challenge: Nighttime

Plaza de Armas (or Plaza Mayor as some call it) is one of the prettiest city squares I’ve come across and is one of the main sights in Peru’s capital city of Lima.

Although it’s a fair distance from the more modern district of Miraflores, I loved this historic centre where big beautiful buildings including palaces, cathedrals, City Hall and Government buildings make up the square’s walls.

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Dead Woman's Pass Inca Trail

Weekly Photo Challenge: Endurance

Hiking Peru’s famous Inca Trail is without a doubt the toughest adventure I’ve ever been on.  Four tiring days of waking up before sunrise, climbing mountain peaks in the blaring sunshine and at high altitude, all the while having my lovely new “friend” Altitude Sickness along for the ride, made for an exhausting but incredible journey.

For me, someone who very rarely (okay pretty much never) exercises and has never done more than a day’s hiking in her life, the trail was a huge accomplishment.  The only way I got through it was with sheer determination and endurance, and the encouragement of my husband.

And I’m so glad I did, as what an adventure it was!

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