I arrived in London and got off at Westminster station so I could cross the bridge and take in the spectacular view of the Houses of Parliament and the London Eye.
The Trafalgar trip started a few days later and began with a tour of the city, but as I’ve been to London several times, I decided to explore on my own. I met up with the rest of the group in the afternoon and we headed to the RAF museum in Hendon. We got to see the Vulcan, but my favourite hangars were those with Battle of Britain and First World War aircraft. I wonder how the really old planes made from wood and fabric were ever airworthy!
My highlight the following day was stopping off at the Portsmouth D-Day Overlord museum before hopping aboard our ferry to Caen. What a fascinating place. They have some good examples of tanks and guns used in WWII, however I loved seeing the Overlord Embroidery. It’s 41 feet longer than the Bayeux Tapestry and depicts the events of D-Day. I can’t imagine the time it took to sew.
Would the aroma of steaming paella be enough to lure you to the other side of the world? A recent study in Australia has revealed that culinary experiences are high on people’s agenda when it comes to holiday destination decision-making.
Almost every country in the world has a national dish or food it’s renowned for. Take Italy and its pizzas and pastas, France with its cheeses and wines, and Britain’s fish and chips. So it makes sense that getting a taste of a destination through its cuisine is a slice of the overall experience.
Enjoy tapas in Spain
The period between mid-November and 5th December is a very exciting time for children in the Netherlands. Bishop St Nicolas and his indispensable helpers – who all go by the name of Black Peter – journey from Spain to Holland by steamboat.
They bring with them bags of presents, chocolate and sweets, which they give to each and every child. Provided they’ve been good, of course. If the Saint finds out that a child has been naughty, he or she is taken back to Spain in one of the empty present bags!
Image courtesy of FaceMePLS under Creative Commons licence.
Independent travellers Chloe and Richard thought guided holidays were all about ticking off the sights. That was until they hit the road with Trafalgar.
Chloe and Richard in Arles, France
The pair decided to abandon their guidebooks in favour of experts in every destination (our Travel Directors), to show them a different side to France and Ireland. We caught up with them after their journey to find out their thoughts.
Firstly, I’d like to say tapadh leibh (it means “thank you” in Scots Gaelic) to Alethea, my daughter, for choosing a trip to Scotland and for being an awesome travel partner! She embraced haggis, visited a ‘goth’ club in Glasgow, and was always keen to explore with me.
Our Travel Director, Tom Lang, was fantastic! He was witty, funny, informative, experienced, and patient. I really liked the way he took us to places that were off the well-worn tourist path: the funeral bridge in Carrbridge, the Prayer Rock, Wee Peter’s statue, Leault Working Dogs to shear sheep, and to Fergus & Gregor Wood’s home – a working hill farm on the banks of a Loch – for our farewell dinner.
Jim the coach driver, Alethea, Lois and Tom the Travel Director
Lively Venice is a place worth visiting any time, but it truly comes to life once a year during Carnival. It’s an event that attracts thousands of people from all over the world, who flock to this Italian city to get a taste of the ‘Real Venice’.
Gondolas in Venice, Italy
Carnival usually takes place early in the year and lasts for a few weeks. It ends on Fatty Tuesday, just before Lent starts, which means that in 2014 the Carnival will run from February 14 to March 4.
The Carnival dates back far into Venetian history, some say as early as the 1100s. But apparently during the sixteenth century the celebrations were at their most abundant and spectacular, and they have set the tone for the Carnival as it is today.
Whenever we travel the world, we meet new people and experience cultures that change our lives and broaden our minds. And the real beauty is that wherever we go, no one single journey will ever be the same – because everyone travels differently.
Our guided holidays come in all shapes and sizes. Here’s a selection of our Europe itineraries for 2014 to show you that however you like to see the world, there’s a Trafalgar trip for you.
Our Discovery trips are fully-guided holidays that cover more of a continent. On our Delights of London and Paris trip, you’ll get an insider’s perspective on some of the world’s most recognised icons, including Big Ben, the Houses of Parliament, Buckingham Palace, the Champs-Élysées and the Arc de Triomphe. We’ll also take you to visit historic sites like Shakespeare’s Stratford-upon-Avon, Louis XIV’s Palace of Versailles, and the vast monoliths at Stonehenge.