If you’ve got a thing about flowers, color, beauty, history, and/or sweet smelling air, Keukenhof Gardens in the Netherlands, not far from Amsterdam, is the place for you. It’s gorgeous. So gorgeous, in fact, that no-one has ever taken a bad photograph there. Well, not of the flowers anyway.
Author Archives | Philippa Burne
So, the flame has been extinguished and London 2012 is over. Two fabulous competitions: the Olympics and the Paralympics were enjoyed by millions. The athletes amazed the world and London was given a burst of new energy. But just because it’s over doesn’t mean you won’t still enjoy a lasting Olympic legacy in London. That was one of the main aims of the organizers – to leave the city with more than just memories.
Croatia is blessed with one of the most beautiful coastlines in the world. There are 1,185 islands dotted in the crystal clear blue sea, from tiny pale rocky outcrops to larger islands of villages, pine forests and beaches. It’s those beaches I love the most, and finding a gorgeous little cove with an old monastery perched on the cliffs above, or with a bay full of fishing boats, or waters teeming with colorful fish.
After a lifetime of imaginings and seeing other people’s travel photos, of growing up reading books about children’s sailing adventures there and poets writing there, after receiving Christmas cards from cousins living there, I finally made my first trip to the Lake District of Northwest England, and it did not disappoint.
On a rainy weekend in London during August (the rumour was it was summer but clearly the sun has missed that memo), I headed downriver to Greenwich to where east meets west at 0 degrees of longitude, the Greenwich Meridian. Perhaps I was hoping the weather would be better on the other side. It wasn’t.
The Moulin Rouge – just the name conjures up a wonderful image of Paris at its most elegant, scandalous and entertaining. These days it is a magnet for travellers to Paris just as it was a magnet for the rich and cultured of the city when it first opened during the Belle Epoque in 1889.
To me, Split, Croatia had always been a ferry terminal, a place to catch a boat over to one of the gorgeous Croatian islands: Hvar, BraÄ, Vis. But this year I decided to stay for a week, to actually slow down and stop, look around so that when people said: Have you been to Split? I could honestly say yes.
The short story is that I came for a week and I stayed for three.
Try this with your friends: say the name of a city they’ve been to and most likely they’ll come up with a one-word, sensory delight that sums the place up for them. For example, Lisbon – ‘oh, the fish; Munich – ‘ah, the beer’; Paris – ‘ooh, the croissants’. Well here are a few of [...]
Several years ago by chance I saw a TV documentary about the Vasari Corridor in Florence. I’d never heard of it before, though I’d been to Florence. In fact, I’d walked right under it, in the portico between the road and the River Arno. But I suppose that was the whole idea – the corridor was built to be an escape passage for the Medici when they were the Grand Dukes of Florence, and a little nervous of a civil uprising. Although, given that they evicted people from their homes and moved shopkeepers’ businesses from the Ponte Vecchio, it was hardly very hidden. These days it is probably more of a secret because access remains just as restricted now as then.
It’s the laugh that’s heard all around the world: the Eurovision Song Contest. I’m in my happy place. Although I have to say, this year was a little disappointing. It was the battle of the boy bands – Europe, are you starting to take this seriously? We need to talk. Where does the head office of Eurovision hide itself? I suspect the Netherlands. After all, they invented Big Brother.