Activities - See

Megeve Ski

Finally after years of wanting to go Megeve, we finally did it this year! It has always been on my hit list after reading so much about this charming and chic ski town in France, close to the Montblanc. This place is definitely laden with old money and best described as discreet luxe as compared to the other 'moneyed' ski resorts like Courchevel, famed for its more opulent lifestyle attracting the Russians. This quaint farming village was first discovered by the Baroness Naomie de Rothschild in the 20s who wanted to create a French version of St Moritz. It started with a remodelling of the Hotel du Mont d’Arbois, which she bought. She hired a young architect - Henri-Jacques Le Meme to develop a new style of...

Hakuba Ski

Hakuba, in Nagano, most well-known for being the first ski resort in Japan to host the Winter Olympic Games in 1998. A lot of friends ask me, why Hakuba as compared to Niseko - a popular ski destination for many tourists from SE Asia and China? I have summarised in a few points below: It's at the heart of the beautiful scenic Japanese Alps, which means the alpine views that one gets here is not just of one mountain but many, which you notice very well when you are on the slopes and even when driving to the different slopes and town areas. In Niseko as one skis down the slopes, you tend to just see one Mount Yotei. Close proximity to Tokyo. I am not...

30 Hours in Shirakawa and Takayama

My 2016 was completed with a fun winter trip to the region of Shirakawa and Takayama in the Hida region of the Gifu Prefecture for some sightseeing and a ryokan stay, followed by a ski trip to Hakuba with Y and R. Given how full flights were to Tokyo when we booked this trip sometime in August, we decided to be creative and flew to Nagoya instead and drive up towards Takayama for our 1st stop, renting our car at the always reliable Nissan Rent a Car at the Nagoya Airport (Chubu Centrair International Airport). We only had a night's stay in Takayama before leaving for Hakuba the next day, but Y and I managed to jam pack our 30 hours in the Shirakawa and Takayama...

Reykjavik and Blue Lagoon

Beautiful sunset just before we land in Reykavik. Our first entry into Iceland was via Reykjavik, which is the most natural first stop, before our adventure in Iceland began. We were here for 3 nights but effectively we probably only had one proper full day to really explore the eats and shops, as we also did our day trip to Akureyri from here too! So here's a list of my feedback on where to shop and to eat mainly, with also a preview of Blue Lagoon, another day trip we took to soak our aching bodies after all that travelling. Central town of Reykjavik for shopping and eats. SHOP The good thing about Reykjavik is you could pretty much cover the whole shopping area on foot....

South Iceland – best attractions

The south coast of Iceland is also reputed to have many star attractions from waterfalls to the most amazing glaciers and we spent 2 days here exploring some of them with our guide Petur driving us around. Definitely not enough time for sure given the short daylight that we had, but we made the most of it by setting out early each day. Here's my list of the must sees when you are in this part of Iceland. Seljalandsfoss Waterfall After having witnessed the most amazing and majestic Godafoss earlier in Akureyri, it's hard to find anything that can beat that. However, I think in this area Seljalandsfoss is still worth seeing, as it's perched falling off a cliff, and the fun part is walking...

Akureyri Iceland – Amazing sights from Game of Thrones

Our exciting Nordic trip ends off in Iceland, and after arriving in Reyjavik (promise I will touch on this city in a later post), we started our 'mystical' journey through Iceland starting with a full day visit to Northern Iceland in Akureyri. It sounds almost silly to say this, but I am not shy to admit that we are probably one of the many few that come to do this day tour in Akureyri, visit the Game of Thrones filming locations, but haven't watched this TV show at all. Still dark, a glimpse of Akureyri lights as we arrive in the early morning. Our guide Gisli, picked us up from the airport in Akureyri where our day trip started, how exciting! With his moustache, facial...

Lyngen Lodge in Norway

After covering Stockholm in 3 nights, Y and I made our way to another new city - Tromso with gal pals AL and GS in a bid to hopefully catch some Aurora - Northern Lights! We were also sucked into all that talk that it will be harder to see the Aurora in the Northern Hemisphere from 2017 onwards, so we decided to go see it before it's too late. In planning our Nordic Trip, Y and I decided to try out Exsus Travel, a London-based bespoke travel agency. Given we only had around 10 days for Iceland and a second place for viewing Northern Lights,  we had some discussions with many friends that had seen them, and it seemed that Abisko, Sweden and Tromso, Norway had...

Milan weekend escape to Lake Garda

From a tiny Lake Iseo, we ventured next to a giant Lake Garda on our weekend escape near Milan. Lake Garda is the largest lake of Italy and sits halfway between Brescia and Verona, which of course made it the perfect location to explore after we had driven to Brescia earlier on. So many of Y's friends that have been here, have told us it's beautiful, amazing, and I was really hoping to see that same beautiful charm that I had seen in Lake Como back in 2013. Lake Garda is clearly a lot larger, with many different towns - from roman ruins in Sirmione to a dead poet's home in Gardone Riveria, to a bustling town and pebbly beaches in Bardolino. Plus Italy's popular ski resort...

Milan weekend escape to Brescia

After Florence and Pisa, Y and I continued our wonderful springtime travels to Milan, where we met R at the Milan Centrale to do a nice 4 day weekend escape to Brescia region and the Lakes. After picking up our car from EuropCar, we made our way to the Brescia region, where our plan was to stay 2 nights in the spa retreat L'Alberetta, check out some of the nearby sights around such as Brescia town, Lake Iseo and of course not forgetting some amazing restaurants like Da Vittoria and Miramonti L'Altro. The exterior of the italian villa - Hotel L'Albereta STAY  Hotel L'Albereta Via Vittorio Emanuele, 23, 25030 Erbusco BS, Italy, Tel: +39 030 776 0550, Classic Room cost Euro 443,71 for 2 nights, taxes included This well known spa...

Visit to the amazing Leaning Tower of Pisa

My first visit to Florence in April would not be complete without a visit to Pisa given its close proximity (only an hour's ride via the Trenitalia from Firenze Santa Maria Novella station in Florence to Pisa Centrale - see here to book). It was just Y and myself for this last day in Florence before we were to meet R to continue the rest of our journey to the Lakes and Milan later. The friendly and always helpful concierge at Gallery Hotel Art, helped us to arrange the train tickets (22 euros each) as well as book a local guide for 2 hours, which we figured might be useful especially trying to orchestrate some interesting photos in front of this famous building. Our tour by a...
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