Marseille

Make way for… hens hens hens! 🐔

For my gal pal Liv’s hen-do (‘bachelorette party’ for Yankees), we flew down to the Marseille for a quick 36-hour visit. Around 30 of those hours were spent drinking rosé, signing karaoke, dancing, and sleeping. But here’s what I managed to see of Marseille in the little time we had there.

Marseille is France’s biggest port city. This 2000-year old city has had a bit of a bad reputation it’s trying to overcome. Over the last few years, it has reinvested itself as a gritty, stylish getaway for sunseekers on a budget. Marseille’s renaissance has produced some excellent restaurants, bars and even coffee shops. Continue reading

Barcelona

To celebrate our friend Alex’s 30th birthday, half-a-plane-load of us went to Barcelona.

Ok, it was more like a dozen of us, but that’s still a testament to 1) Alex’s popularity and 2) Barcelona’s popularity. This seaside city is full of great architecture, beautiful views, and endless tapas bars, making it a world-class destination for merry-making.

But Barcelona doesn’t need any endorsements. In fact, the residents of Barcelona probably want people like me to stop raving about how amazing their city is. Barcelona is attempting to tamp down its tourist arrivals. Approximately 32 million visitors came to Barcelona last year, which is home to a mere 1.6 million. Continue reading

Bordeaux

Visiting Bordeaux during the off-peak season might sound controversial. After all, what does one do in the world’s wine capital if not drink wine and visit vineyards? Turns out, there’s plenty to do, see, eat and drink at any time of the year in this vibrant French city.

For starters, half the city is Unesco-listed. That makes it the world’s largest urban World Heritage Site. From stunning buildings to instagrammable cobblestone streets, Bordeaux is a sight for sore eyes. It’s charming, historic and romantic. We even stayed in a former castle right in the middle of the city centre.

Bordeaux Bordeaux Bordeaux BordeauxThen there’s obviously the wine. But more recently, a new wave of chefs is putting Bordeaux on France’s culinary map. For a city its size, Bordeaux’s gastronomic offering is impressive. Continue reading

Chicago

Last minute trips end up being some of the best ones. Which is big of me to admit because trip-planning is half the fun for me. Notes, spreadsheets, Google Docs – I go the whole nine yards prepping for a trip.

But, this trip to Chicago was as sudden as it was fun.

michigan avenue chicago ChicagoTurns out that I am heading back to London after all (ignore everything I said in my last blog post). So, my best friend and I decided to use my last weekend in North America to visit our girlfriend in Chicago. We filled up the gas tank, drove across the border and followed the I-94 all the way to Chi-Town.

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Istanbul

For our annual getaway, Cat and I headed to the Far East for a weekend. The far East of the West, that is.

Istanbul is a perfect city break. It’s far enough from the comfort zone, but close enough to warrant an extended weekend trip. After all, who doesn’t like popping over to Asia for the weekend? Or for a couple of hours, as was the case with us since we were staying on the European side of the Bosphorus.

IstanbulI’d been to Turkey before, but never to the former capital of the Ottomans and Romans. The relevance of this city across histories of empires is what initially attracted me to Istanbul. But this sprawling metropolis is as cool as it is historical. Continue reading

Prague

Prague was the first European city I ever visited on my own. One summer, many years ago – when I was 18 – I did a travel writing course in Prague. It’s safe to say that I wouldn’t be a hobbyist travel blogger without that trip. But then again, Prague will turn anyone into a travel blogger.

Prague PragueWhen my friend Shanelle told me that she’ll be visiting Prague on as a part of her annual European adventures, I decided to crash her trip. And Rema decided to crash ours.

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