5 years ago, the thought of visiting a quiet village in a region where brown people are a rarity wasn't something that I'd have wanted to do. But, as I get older, the moments away from packed beaches and big cities are actually quite nice.
I've wrote a post on Brittany (which you can read here), and a detailed post on Ploumanac'h, the most beautiful village in the region (which you can read here). I've tried to take the best of both articles and cover my favourite things in this article. I haven't included Mont Saint-Michel (because technically it's in Normandy) but you can read about it in my detailed Brittany article linked to above. Here are 5 things I loved about Brittany.
The pandemic has allowed me to explore places closer to home. It's easy to forget that I live in a city that ranks the second most popular in the world for international visitors and so I've spent this spring and summer walking around and exploring new parts of the city.
From my travels around the world, I've realised that London is a relatively 'green' city and that's largely thanks to the eight Royal Parks of London, as well as some of the non-royal ones (a Royal Park is one originally owned by the monarchy and is now preserved as an open access public park). In this article I review each park in order of size, from smallest to largest - with a ranking of my favourites at the end.
It's one of the greenest capital cities I've ever visited, with incredible food, friendly people and a lot to see and do during the day and at night. If you can get past the traffic, you have a city with a lot going for it.
I've tried to whittle down the list to the five things I loved most about Nairobi which isn't an easy thing to do. To read my in-depth review of Nairobi, follow this link, otherwise, read on for the five things I loved about Nairobi.
It's the end of another year, and just as I have done before, it's time for another end of year review looking back at all the trips I've taken over the past 12 months.
You can read my end of year review for 2018 here.
You can read my end of year review for 2017 here.
You can read my end of year review for 2016 here.
I took the least amount of time outside the country since starting this blog in 2015. I began the year with a short trip to Lisbon for a friends' stag do. My next trip was a return to Paris after 2 years (and I ended up going twice this year). My longest trip of the year took me to Seoul, and then a personal highlight when I finally managed to go to Hong Kong, a city I've wanted to see for years. I had another stag do in a random place as I crossed the Irish Sea to Belfast, before a short trip to Brussels (and that second visit to Paris) ended my year.
As always, you can click any of the blue links to read in depth reviews of each location.
It's frequently called the capital city of Europe due to the presence of many EU institutions, Brussels is a city that punches above its weight. After all, it's a medium sized city in one of Europe's smaller nations.
I spent a few days in Brussels thanks to a work trip and I have mixed feelings. Rampant homelessness, a lack of greenery and some drab looking buildings are balanced by good food, and a central plaza that ranks among the best I have seen. You can read my details notes from Brussels here, but read on for the 5 things I loved Brussels.
The High-Rise City
Chicago might be the birthplace of the skyscraper, but New York City is undoubtedly its home. A combination of inventions, and a Great Fire, gave the skyscraper the impetus to become the building that dominates most major city skylines around the world, and for New York, skyscraper fever began in 1890 when the World Building overtook Trinity Church, a building that had been the city's tallest for over a century.
Since then, New York has seen three different skyscraper booms: 1890 - 1930, 1960-1972 and finally the current boom that began with One World Trade Center. Most of these 200+ skyscrapers are located either in the financial district or Midtown. As mentioned in previous articles, New York hasn't (at least until very recently), taken building preservation very seriously so very few of the earliest skyscrapers exist. In fact, some skyscrapers stood for a matter of years, only to be replaced by taller buildings in their very spot.
I'm sure everyone has their favourite skyscraper in NYC, here is a list of my top 10.
Segregation, provocative marches and murals, relative deprivation and not a lot of brown people. You'd think I would have hated my time in Belfast, but I didn't. It's probably the most interesting city in the UK - and yes that includes London. Not for the landmarks it has, or the things you can do - but to study and understand the effects of two groups of people who live in close proximity but who couldn't be more different in their world views. You can read my in depth review of Belfast here, but below are the 5 things I loved about Belfast.
Up until K-pop crossed the mainstream and spawned a whole youth culture in the west, I'm not sure Seoul was at the top of many people's lists. A long way from home, and surrounded by famous cities like Hong Kong, Tokyo, Shanghai, Beijing and Hanoi - Seoul was an afterthought. However, it's recently become the 9th most visited city in the world. I decided to spend a week and find out for myself just what makes Seoul so interesting. You can read by detailed review here, but here's 5 things I loved about Seoul.
Once upon a time, Hong Kong was nothing more than a small fishing village, a colonial outpost of the British Empire. You wouldn't think that seeing it today. A thriving financial centre, Hong Kong is one of the global cities. It's loud, chaotic, smelly, cramped - and I absolutely loved it. It was tough getting this list down to just 5 I loved about Hong Kong, so you can read my full review of Hong Kong here, but I've given it a go.
Lisbon has been a city I've wanted to visit for a long time and I finally got the chance as part of a stag do for one of my oldest friends. The city has an incredible history, and was at one point the seat of the most powerful empires in the world, but more recently the city has fallen on tougher economic times. Swallowed up my an earthquake in the 18th century, and outcompeted by other nations since the Industrial Revolution, Lisbon has weathered the storm and remains an important European city - the most western capital in Europe. You can read about my trip in more detail here, but here are 5 things I loved about Lisbon.
British Sikh, born in the Midlands, based in London, travelling the world seeing new cultures.