Singapore – The Gorgeous Green City – Where the happiest people in Asia live!

trees keep the whole place healthy and balanced

Singapore – The Gorgeous Green City – Where the happiest people in Asia live!Singapore - Raffles fountain

I’ve always wanted to visit Singapore to see the iconic locations for myself.

Singapore - Raffles

It’s a total joy, everywhere you look is greenery alongside stunning modern architecture.



Continue reading “Singapore – The Gorgeous Green City – Where the happiest people in Asia live!”

My Favourite Five Fiction Books to Take Travelling

…whilst pushing your travel boundaries, push your literary ones too!

If you’ve ever been travelling you probably know that one way to survive long flights, bus trips or delays is to carry a good book.

These are just a few of my favourites, after all I love books and often read one a day if I’m on a beach day!

1. The Motorcycle Diaries – Che Guevara

One of my favourite books, short, easy to read and essential reading before any trip to South America or Cuba.

My Goodreads review

2. The Martian Chronicles – Ray Bradbury

 

This will make you question how you judge a people and a place, so whilst pushing your travel boundaries, push your literary ones too.

My Goodreads review
Continue reading “My Favourite Five Fiction Books to Take Travelling”

Vietnam – Through My Eyes

The cities are bright, busy and packed with energy

The countryside is wild and awe inspiring

Vietnam – Through My Eyes

Vietnam is a beautiful, breath taking country

The cities are bright, busy and packed with energy

The countryside is wild and awe inspiring

Taste the best coffee in the world

Go and see stunning dynamic Vietnam for yourself

It has some of the most iconic views in the world

If you enjoyed this post, sign up on my blog and I’ll send my posts to your email so you’ll not miss out.

You may also like:

https://www.christieadamswriter.com/vietnam-the-train/

https://www.christieadamswriter.com/vietnam-mekong-delta/

My Resources

(A few of the services I use to bring this free content to you. I earn a small commission on some, others I just love anyway so wanted to share with you. You’re supporting my work, enabling me to continue writing and keep this website and content free to you, thank you!)

I hope I’ve inspired you to travel, tweet me from your next coffee stop!

Doha, Qatar – Through My Eyes

Next time you have a stop over, make it a few days and explore this jewel in the Middle East.

Doha, Qatar – Through My Eyes

It’s a city packed with surprise architecture…

Here are just a few of my favourite images of this beautiful, bustling, breath-taking city.

Doha, Qatar is a joy and a real hidden treasure and it hosts one of my favourite museums.

The souq ranks as one of the best in the world.

Next time you have a stop over, make it a few days and make the most of this jewel in the Middle East.

I hope I’ve inspired you to travel, tweet me from your next coffee stop!

If you enjoyed these images, sign up on my blog and I’ll send my posts direct to your email inbox.

You may also like:

https://www.christieadamswriter.com/volterra-italy-history-handbags-high-tuscan-hills/

https://www.christieadamswriter.com/step-out-of-your-comfort-zone-go-backpacking/

My Resources

(A few of the services I use to bring this free content to you. I earn a small commission on some, others I just love anyway so wanted to share with you. You’re supporting my work, enabling me to continue writing and keep this website and content free to you, thank you!)

Paphos, Cyprus – How a Turtle Helped Me Remember Why I Travel to New Places!

Maybe, just maybe, it’ll make them think twice about throwing that plastic bottle in the ocean.

Paphos, Cyprus – How a turtle helped me remember why I travel to new places!

One of my travel mantras has been that the world is so huge with so many places to visit that I wouldn’t go to the same place twice. This trip broke that rule, I’d been to Paphos in Cyprus many years before and loved it’s history, culture and gorgeous castle on the harbour.

So when looking for a family holiday destination accessible from both Greece, where we were concluding a tour of the Peloponnese, and England from where my family would be flying in to join us, Cyprus was an obvious choice.

We were enjoying an evening on the promenade, and had just finished eating a fairly ordinary meal which hadn’t left me reeling in delight when I spotted a few people rushing to the harbourside.

A crowd was building along the waterfront. The dark sea alongside the busy pedestrianised promenade obviously held something exciting for the tourists but I had no idea what. I’d been waiting for the bill to arrive but couldn’t resist the pull of the crowd. OK, so I’m nosey, I admit it.

I had an inkling what it could be, the area’s known for turtles and I hadn’t seen one yet, I secretly hoped this evening could end on a high note.

 

After making sure the bill was in hand I couldn’t wait any longer to join the hyperactive crowd peering into the dark. Now here was where mobile phones came into their own, someone lit the area with their mobile torch and to everyone’s giddy joy there she was. Swimming just below the surface was the most gorgeous, apparently happy and healthy turtle.

Wow!

I’ve been lucky to get quite up close and personal with turtles in Australia, but only in a rescue centre

Turtle at Reef HQ, Australia
Turtle at Reef HQ, Australia

I’d also seen one swimming off the coast there but to see one so close up in the wild was a real joy. I love the sea and all it holds and feel passionately that we should do much more to protect it. I was thrilled so many tourists could encounter this beautiful peaceful creature first hand.

Maybe, just maybe, it’ll make them think twice about throwing that plastic bottle in the ocean.

As people slowly moved away, their murky phone photos shooting up into social media as they went, a local guy approached and asked if I knew the story. A little bit wary of this enthusiastic local holding my arm I admitted I didn’t so he told me all about the turtle’s tale. Now all this could be a myth or a load of rubbish but here we go.

Continue reading “Paphos, Cyprus – How a Turtle Helped Me Remember Why I Travel to New Places!”

Volterra, Italy – History and Handbags High in the Tuscan Hills

Painters, artists and writers have been drawn to this part of the world across the years.

Volterra, Italy – History and Handbags High in the Tuscan Hills

Want to download this post to your phone and read it later, or even whilst you’re in Volterra? Why not go to GPSmycity app and download it now!

Click Here!

I was lucky enough to spend a week working in Tuscany. I know, sorry, stressful but someone had to do it, I’m such a martyr for my cause eh? On an afternoon off I was driven to this joy of a ancient mountain town, Volterra.

I’d seen it from a distance across the valley from the work location. High in the clouds first thing in the morning, safely nestling above the expanse of green valleys and hillsides later in the day.

I’m glad I wasn’t driving the roads are winding with huge drops to certain death on one side, although as a passenger I’m not sure which took my breath away most, the vertiginous drops or the STUNNING panoramic views beauty of nature all around! So if you do drive you may miss out on the numerous opportunities to look past the trees and extreme drops to the famous Tuscan views.

Volterra Tuscany view from the town over hills
Breathtaking!

Painters, artists and writers have been drawn to this part of the world across the years. It is a calm, light, green, panoramic countryside and it’s very easy to understand why so many found it inspirational.

‘I am a product of my native land, Tuscany, Italy’ – Andrea Bocelli

We arrived in Volterra and parked in a municipal underground car park. Ignoring this very concrete 1970’s spiral of a carpark as anything other than a convenience, we got walking shoes on, credit cards and cameras at the ready and started the wonderful stroll. Starting with a view over red tiled roofs and out to the far fields rampant with greenery and various farmed crops.

This gem of a town hidden high in the Tuscan hills is worth the drive. Don’t miss the panoramic views near the car park on the main road into the town. The heavy red tiled roofs sit solid and reassuring as you look out over the valley, on the edge of town, although the brickwork is quite wonky in places. No doubt after years of carrying the burden of the deeply ridged terracotta tiles. It all adds to the sense of place, rooted strongly to this mountain top in this country of earthquakes and tremors.

The Romans built an impressive theatre here, wow they must have been fit to hike up those hills! No straight Roman road would climb this high. Surprisingly they still trekked all the way up here, despite the lack of straight roads to ascend the hills,  and built amongst other things a huge theatre.

‘Roman Theatre of Volterra’

Spend a few of your euros to see the historic sites, you can get a multi saver although as time was limited I just chose to spend time at the ‘Roman Theatre of Volterra’. As I wandered around paved pathways and stared awestruck as mosaic floors and marble columns, still standing all these years on, I knew I was walking in the footsteps of Roman poets and actors in leather sandals alongside Roman goddesses in long white robes and gold headdresses.

They had the right idea building here, truly near to their gods in the clouds, although I can imagine them moving elsewhere in winter. This place is HIGH!

Continue reading “Volterra, Italy – History and Handbags High in the Tuscan Hills”

How a Day Alone in Pisa can Change Your Life (Even if you Don’t Drive a Ferrari)

I realised people travel to recover, to discover, to lose themselves, to find themselves, to work, to go back to basics, to move forwards to a new life.

How a Day Alone in Pisa can Change Your Life (Even if you Don’t Drive a Ferrari)

I was sitting outside an Italian cafe sipping a coffee, eating a slice of heavy indulgent cheese cake and watching Ferraris drive by. The scene couldn’t have been more stereotypically Italian and more importantly I’d finally, in my mid 50s, become an independent traveller.

Pisa coffee and cheesecake

As a youngster we went camping each weekend, my parents had a caravan and I slept in the awning. You wouldn’t believe how much noise a tent zip makes when everyone else is asleep. There was always a closed Tupperware cup of milk waiting for me, with a digestive biscuit on the lid.

On rainy days the sound of pattering on the caravan roof accompanied the shouts of ‘rummy’ as we played cards as a family. It wasn’t until my very late teens that my parents finally had enough money to take the family overseas. My memories of camping in Bordeaux in France and the giant pinecones we collected are still cemented by the dish of similar pinecones in my home. I enjoyed it as I was able to spend time alone wandering on pine needles watching giant ants climb over obstacles I put in their way. Children don’t need expensive trips, but I wished for trips overseas like my school peers. It would be 40+ years until I got over my travel envy.



In my 20s, I went, just once, with a friend on the compulsory 18-30 holiday.

Those naive days of alcohol and sunburn. It was a total financial rip off, a taste of independence all the same. In hindsight I imagine my parents were having a few sleep-ness nights back home. I remember the escapades but it certainly wasn’t something I wished to repeat.

My 30s were the amazing years I watched my daughter grow.

I couldn’t afford many trips. I was lucky enough to be given some camping gear by a colleague, so I always tried to fit in a week or two camping near my parent’s Devon home.

Continue reading “How a Day Alone in Pisa can Change Your Life (Even if you Don’t Drive a Ferrari)”

What exactly is a GPS-guided travel article?

As a special LIMITED TIME INTRODUCTORY OFFER my popular travel article about Doha, Qatar is going to be available on GPSmyCity FREE OF CHARGE for a full week.

What exactly is a GPS-guided travel article?

You know what it’s like, you did all your travel research, read loads of travel articles about your chosen destination, then you arrive.

As you walk around you get the feeling you’re missing out, that you’ve forgotten something. You get on the flight home and realise you missed an awesome trip or unique sight seeing opportunity.

GPSmycity_citywalks

How good would it have been if you’d only had access to the great blog post you’d read, right there and then? OK, so you may have added it to your browser bookmarks but you’d prefer not to use up expensive overseas data charges to download it and anyway the wifi was hit and miss or a bit too dodgy to trust.



Oh well, guess that not being able to find that great museum or gallery is just something you accept as a traveller. Or not!

Next trip you can use a GPS-guided travel article.

What exactly is a GPS-guided travel article?

It’s a travel article written by a fellow traveller with GPS coordinates embedded within it AND it includes a map of the route taken in the article.

You can find thousands of these articles (from over 750 worldwide cities) at GPSmyCity. Once you download the app to your phone, you don’t even need an internet connection to view or use the guide and integrated map.



How cool is that! You’ll be able to take the same walk and not miss out on the reason you wanted to go there in the first place.

GPSmycity_screen

That’s going to be expensive isn’t it?

No, you can download the written content at your convenience, from GPSmyCity FREE OF CHARGE so that you can read it at your leisure later, without needing wi-fi.

Is that it?

No, if you do decide you want the full GPS-guided article, you just pay a small fee to upgrade ($1.99). Less than the price of a coffee to make sure you don’t miss out, that’s got to worth it, right?

It’s your own experienced personal travel guide, in your pocket.

Why am I telling you this?

As a special LIMITED TIME INTRODUCTORY OFFER my popular travel article about Doha, Qatar is going to be available on GPSmyCity FREE OF CHARGE for a full week.

JUST CLICK THE FOLLOWING LINK:

5 Things to Do in Doha, Qatar

 

You can download it FOR FREE from the directory from Monday (5th June 2017) until the following Sunday (11th June 2017)

GPS-guided travel articles can be accessed in two different ways:

  1. Click on a link below for the article you are interested in (if you haven’t already downloaded the free GPSmyCity app, you will see a prompt to do so). After downloading the app, you will be directed to the article, where you can choose UPGRADE to get the GPS-guided version.
  2. From the GPSmyCity app, you can browse by city to see which articles are available.

What exactly is a GPS-guided travel article-



Vietnam – The Hanoi to Hue Overnight Train – Not for the squeamish but an unmissable experience

British Rail would be twitching and litigating against such apparent recklessness

Hanoi train station

The station in Hanoi is quite bare compared to Europe’s sign-written, commercial railways. Stark grey concrete and not a word of English or at least none that we could see. No shops or the niceties of vending machines or cafes.

The trains are utilitarian and reminiscent of a film noire.

 

It’d make a great cold war film set. In comparison to the madness of colour, sound and constant frenzied friendliness that is Hanoi it just made me feel cool, cold almost and quite vulnerable.

Vietnam's bustling red lanterns and fast motorbikes

It was quite an odd feeling on a hot and humid day. 

This was when we were sure that going on a G Adventures accompanied group trip was worth the money. The vast open station with platforms lined with long anonymous aged trains was quite daunting. You know in an exciting way.

Officials in Vietnam like a good uniform preferably with braids and metallic trimmings demanding respect.

I didn’t get to grips with who was the police, security or rail staff throughout the whole trip. We meekly followed our impressively uniformed train guard and Cambodian travel guide across train tracks, YES, we walked across the train tracks.

Continue reading “Vietnam – The Hanoi to Hue Overnight Train – Not for the squeamish but an unmissable experience”

Why You Should Go On A Bike Ride In Hoi An, Vietnam

My untrained eye didn’t deceive me on that one as the seat dug into places it really shouldn’t, or at least not without due invitation!

Why You Should Go On A Bike Ride In Hoi An, Vietnam

What better way to immerse myself in the culture of Vietnam than to cycle. While somewhere in town a tailor was creating my beautiful hand made clothes, I decided to pass the time seeing a bit of the ‘real’ Vietnam.

Now let me admit I can ride a bike in the tradition of ‘you never forget’ however I have still to master the art of jumping up kerbs and no hands trick cycling a la BMX style. This basic skill of mine is enough to enable me to get from A – B but not in any artistic, or too speedy, fashion.

You can therefore imagine my trepidation / terror…

…when the cycle man arrived with a bunch of bikes with varying degrees of rust and dents, in my amateur opinion very aged brake cables and decidedly uncomfortable looking seats. My untrained eye didn’t deceive me on that one as the seat dug into places it really shouldn’t, or at least not without due invitation!

 

Well I had decided to try everything I could

I would embrace all new learning experiences with a smile so I got in position and set off. Wobble wasn’t the word to quite cover the way the cycle heaved quite violently at every bump, and let’s put it this way Vietnam is not known for its smooth pot-hole free highways.

Cycle_ride_in_Vietnam_with_local_cow

We took our life in our hands…

to cross a major junction, remember I can’t do hands free so…mirror ( what mirror), signal (WHAT NO HANDS) manoeuvre (don’t go too fast they will hit you!) took on a threat level as significant to me as a two year old walking across the UK M1 motorway. OK I admit it I was scared. It lasted approximately one minute until I reached the other side and then the absolutely stunning beautiful although rather bumpy raised grass pathways between the rice fields.

Continue reading “Why You Should Go On A Bike Ride In Hoi An, Vietnam”