Wine in the Cinque Terre

Becoming a Wino in Italy

The one and only time I’ve ever been a fan of wine was when I was in my early 20s, when it was too teenager-like to still be drinking Archers and lemonade or WKD, but wine gave you that more sophisticated grown up feeling.  But no matter how hard I tried (and I did try really hard) I never particularly enjoyed drinking wine so I very quickly reverted back to the sweet and fruity spirits and cocktails that I’ve always loved.

On the odd occasions when I do drink wine now, I end up embarrassingly tipsy after just one glass which kind of defeats the point of a grown up drink out with friends and rapidly turns into a drunken night reminiscent of my late teens.  The next morning is not kind to me either, leaving me with a horrid headache and the promise that I will never ever drink wine again.

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Travel World map cake

My Travelicious Birthday

The lead up to my birthday is usually full of excitement and fun, but this year I’ve not been feeling particularly happy about turning another year older.  (This is the part where I’m usually told off because “I’ve had a great life and done so much already”.  Yes, but there is still soooooo much more that I want to do!)

But Mr Ayla and my friends and family refused to let me mope around and so this weekend has been full of surprise celebrations for my birthday today.

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Sunset over Brooklyn Bridge New York

Weekly Photo Challenge: Twinkle

Although we weren’t in New York around Christmas time, Central Park and the rest of the city was covered in snow, and with the bright lights and ecstatic atmosphere you can only find in somewhere like New York City, the whole place had a very magical feel to it.

The bitter weather didn’t stop us from going out and seeing all the sights though.  One of our favourite moments was walking along the Manhattan Bridge just as the sun started to go down, and seeing this stunning view of the sunset twinkling over the water, giving the Brooklyn Bridge and the heart of the city a warm winter glow.

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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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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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