Travel Tuesdays 12: Victoria Falls

For this week’s Travel Tuesday’s post, we travel back in time to April 2011, when I spent 2 weeks in Zambia and Zimbabwe to see the Victoria Falls. The name of the waterfalls in the local language is Mosi-oa-Tunya, which means “Smoke that thunders.” We visited just after the rainy season, so the water level was quite high. The waterfalls really lived up to their name -the thunderous roar could be heard from quite far away and there was so much spray! It was best to wear a waterproof jacket to try to stay a little dry.

We did some other amazing things on that trip, like going on a walking Safari, riding an elephant…

and going on a microlight plane, to see the falls from the air. That was so much fun!

It really was one of those “holidays of a lifetime!”

Travel Tuesdays 11: Erfurt and Clermont-Ferrand

For today’s Travel Tuesdays post, we’re travelling many years back in time to my first experience of living abroad! When I was a university student, studying languages, I was required to spend a year abroad to practice those languages… 

So I lived in a beautiful town called Erfurt in Germany for six months, where I taught English in a high school. (It was a great job -I only taught for 12 or 14 hours a week, so had a lot of free time!) I lived in the school attic, so had a very easy commute to work!

Erfurt had lots of pretty, old, medieval buildings, which I would enjoy wandering around.

Then I went to Clermont-Ferrand in France for the other half of the year, where I “studied” French at the university there. Basically, on my university exchange programme, I was only required to go to a very minimal amount of lessons/lectures, so had a lot of time to relax and have fun! My favourite thing to do there was to walk up one of the hills surrounding the town to admire the view. Yes, the church really was that black -it was made from black volcanic stone. 

Please note that I borrowed these photos from Google, as I didn’t have a digital camera back then. Hope you enjoyed my reminiscing about the good old days!

Travel Tuesdays 10: Ukraine 

As I think I’ve mentioned in a previous post, I travelled to Ukraine in summer 2007 with my dad and sister, where we stayed in a tiny tiny village with family. We had a wonderful time experiencing village life, being force-fed (Ukrainians love to eat!) and even had a chance to visit Kiev. 
One day, we were swimming in the village lake, when a man walked past with his horse. He said “oh, we are related, you must come to my house to eat!” And he insisted that we followed him home for a feast. A great example of Ukrainian hospitality!

Ukrainians seem to believe that vodka will cure anything… here is one of our aunts trying to put vodka on my sister’s mosquito bites to stop the itching.

And I absolutely loved the village shop -visiting there really felt like stepping back in time…

This is my relatives’ house -it was so pretty! 

Travel Tuesdays 9: Brasov

I seem to go on quite a lot of little trips to Brasov… It’s not so far away from Bucharest and a it’s great place to go for a change of scenery!

Here are some photos from my trip there this weekend.

View of the old town

View of the mountain

View from the top of the mountain

The weather was good -sunny and a warm 8 degrees C, so we were able to sit outside enjoying the sunshine! We had blue skies and beautiful views of the town and surrounding mountains. It was a thoroughly lovely weekend!

Travel Tuesdays 8: Tanzania 

I lived in Tanzania from 2009 to 2011, where I taught at a lovely school in Arusha.

My school!

During my years there I went on a lot of safaris…

Visited the beautiful island of Zanzibar a lot…

And had fun wandering around my town, looking at the interesting sights…

A wedding parade

Kids from the nearby village

Some houses near my school

While life in Tanzania definitely had it’s ups and downs, I have such happy memories from my years there!

Travel Tuesdays 7: China

So, Tuesday seems to have crept up on me again…

For today’s post, I’ll talk about China. I lived in China for two years (from 2014-2016) and had a few chances to travel to various places within my province (Henan) as well as further afield. 

I lived in Zhengzhou, which was one of the ancient capitals of China. Despite feeling like the city was too big, crowded and dirty, there were lovely places to be found, where you could find some culture and pretend to step back in time for a while.

Near Zhengzhou are the cities of Luoyang, Kaifeng and the Shaolin temple – the birthplace of Kung fu! All are very much worth a visit, where you can get a taste of ancient China (and meet some interesting monks, in the case of the Shaolin temple.) 

The scenery in Henan province is also quite impressive. I really enjoyed taking some trips to the mountains, for a bit of fresh air -although it’s difficult to find peace and tranquility in such a highly populated area of China!

Further afield, I found Beijing to be a great place to visit. Of course, the highlight for me by far was the Great Wall, where you can merrily wander along and delight in the surrounding scenery for miles around.

The Terracotta Warriors in Xian are not to be missed! It’s so interesting looking at how different each warrior is, thinking about how long it would have taken to make all of these little people and what a surprise it would have been for the farmer that came across them after they’d been buried deep underground for hundreds of years!

Another favourite place of mine is Hong Kong. I found the city to be vibrant, fun and full of character! 

The last place I want to write about in this post is Hainan, a small island in the very south of China. It’s nicknamed the “Hawaii of China” because of its year-round warm temperatures and lovely beaches. I went there during the winter and really enjoyed the chance to sunbathe on the beach while it was so freezing in the north! However, I’m sure the real Hawaii is slightly cleaner than Hainan…

Travel Tuesdays 4: America and Canada 

For today’s trip down travel memory lane, I decided to go to my two week trip to Canada and the USA in June 2013. 

My friend and I squeezed a lot into that trip, and had a wonderful time!

We started off by flying to Toronto and heading straight over to Niagara Falls. I loved it there! 

Then we got a train to New York -that took a long long time! (Around 12 hours, I think… although I can’t quite remember now!) It was wonderful visiting the Big Apple and seeing all of the famous sights, so now, whenever I watch movies set in New York I can say, “I’ve been there!”

After a few days in New York, we got a train to Washington DC. This train only took three or four hours -as opposed to our previous one.. Again, much fun was had looking around more famous sights.

Our next stop was LA. We travelled there by plane -America is a big place, it took a whole 5 hours to fly there!

In LA we enjoyed some time at the beach and looking around Hollywood, before getting a bus to Las Vegas! 

Las Vegas was great fun, we didn’t do any gambling…  but did have fun walking along the Strip, watching various shows and displays. We also took the chance to visit the Grand Canyon, as it’s quite near to Vegas. What stunning scenery!

Our hotel in Las Vegas looked like a fairytale castle…

So, as you can see, we squeezed quite a lot into two weeks! But what a wonderful two weeks we had! I’d quite like to go to America again someday, to revisit some places and see a few more… 

Travel Tuesdays 3: Cape Town

For this Travel Tuesdays post, I decided to take a trip down memory lane to my holiday in Cape Town, South Africa in May 2014. I went for a friend’s wedding and stayed with some lovely friends, so I definitely have fond memories of the place -even though May isn’t the best time weather-wise (it rained quite a bit.)

I did some fun touristy things, like going wine tasting in some of the beautiful vineyards…

Visiting Cape Point, where the Atlantic and Indian Oceans meet…

Going up Table Mountain in a rotating cable car -there’s a wonderful view up there!

And hanging out at the V & A Waterfront, where you get a nice postcard image of Table Mountain.

All in all, I’d definitely recommend a trip to Cape Town! 😀 It’s a beautiful place and the people are friendly.