Dear planning shy travellers,
Cologne in Germany is the perfect destination for a long weekend city break.
(Nb: I write Cologne, Germany to ensure that the whole London/Tower Bridge confusion doesn’t happen – years and years ago an American millionaire thought he’d bought the beautiful Tower Bridge, but actually bought the rather more plain London Bridge and transported every stone all the way to the desert in the US…)
I simultaneously adore and loathe surprises. WowTrip wanted to send a group of us travel
addicts bloggers to a surprise holiday destination, and I was curious to see how I as a type-A organiser would cope with it.
Disclaimer: We were invited guests of WowTrip but my images and words are all very much my own.
It couldn’t have been easier – we selected a date we could all do, sent over our passport & contact details and let the time run away in anticipation. It was like Christmas, but with the delicious excitement of wanderlust shimmied in. (To book WowTrip have a fabulously easy procedure; decide how much you want to spend, when you want to go, discard the destinations you’ve already been – the first is free, then £5 each for crossing off more destinations – and then wait with excitement for your surprise trip!)
This month for the travel linkup we’re talking all things take-aways; souvenirs, lessons, that sort of metaphysical meandering. But, I’m going to go a little more literal. Travel Takeaways.
As in actual foods, usually found in cartons, that have been spoilt by visiting their country of origin or somewhere that really surprised us. It’s the gourmet equivalent of meeting your heroes, and once you start travelling you’ll always look back on amazing food that you probably can’t quite recreate genuinely enough.
Bran Castle. AKA the home of Dracula (or is it?), the origin of every Vampire movie, novel, book and a national monument and landmark in Romania. When Mr Kiwi and I were scouring the internet for unique holiday destinations, we jokingly mentioned going to Romania to visit Dracula’s Castle – but it turns out that both of us were quite interested, and within an evening we had shaped a holiday around it.
We spent the first couple of days based in Bucharest – we stayed in the lovely and very central Bucharest Grand Hotel, we explored the city centre of the Romanian capital and on the way north to stay for 48 hours in Brasov, we stopped in the beautiful Peles Castle before we reached our intended destination – the home of Dracula.
There aren’t many hotels that have pulled me away from exploring a town, but the four-star La Villa K Hotel and Spa managed that with aplomb. The night before I flew home from my city break in Basel, I spent an evening in the Alsace town of Saint Louis, 2 meals into my 3 country/3 meal sojourn.
Disclaimer: My trip was supported by the Alsace tourism board (thank you!) but all relaxation enjoyment is very much all my own!
Slipping straight off the tram that darts between Basel, Switzerland and Saint-Louis, France (the number 3) I strolled through the Saint-Louis street fair, one my way to La Villa K Hotel & Spa.