About me · Travel

A Year in Review: A Brummie Abroad

In August 2015, “A Brummie Home and Abroad” was born. I decided to move my old travel blogs from Travelpod onto WordPress, where I could also blog about other things I wanted to chat about that may not always be travel-related. I also realised around this time how many exciting things were going on around my home city and my passion and truthful observations about Birmingham could feed into my writing. Plus when travel abroad isn’t possible due to finances, work and real life, it would give Mr Fletche and I an excuse to get out and about and act as tourists in our own backyard. I set up a Facebook page, changed my Twitter account to reflect my new persona and waited for the fans to start flocking in… Truthfully, my family are my greatest readers and fans but I have a small stream of followers, and each like, comment, share or contribution from those who do or don’t know me personally gives me a small sense of satisfaction. So let’s look back on 2015 – and forward to 2016!

A Brummie Abroad: At some point over this festive period I will get my 2014 and 2015 trips updated onto the blog! In the meantime, they can be found over at Travelpod here

Brussels: Our first jaunt abroad this year was back to Belgium for a combined Easter/Mr Fletche birthday weekend jaunt. I didn’t think I’d be a Brussels fan, with images of politicians, grey buildings and ridiculous EU rules around every corner. However, what we found was a fun city, with beautiful architecture, grand squares and amazing bars. A couple of hours on the Eurostar from London and you’re in the midst of this great capital, which is just a train ride away from some of the prettiest towns in Belgium, including Ghent and Bruges.

Grand Place, Brussels
Grand Place, Brussels
Jardin du Mont des Arts, Brussels
Jardin du Mont des Arts, Brussels

Italy: Not content with one or two destinations, we squeezed five locations into our 11 day trip. It was our first time using the train to get around Europe for more than just a daytrip, and we’d definitely do it again as the Italian rail system was so easy and efficient (apart from the Cinque Terre rail strike, which forced us to hike from Monterosso to Vernazza, and subsequently ended up as one of our favourite days). Highlights were Venice and Cinque Terre, the biggest surprise was Milan, and my least favourite was Florence (possibly too exhausted to really appreciate the city by the time we arrived 6 days in to our whistle-stop tour). The weather was beautiful, the food was amazing, and the vino rosso flowed very nicely!

Milan Cathedral, Milan, Italy
Milan Cathedral
Verona
Verona
Grand Canal as the sun is setting
Grand Canal Venice, courtesy of CPF Photography
Ponte Vecchio, Florence, Italy
Ponte Vecchio, Florence, courtesy of CPF Photography
Manarola, Cinque Terre, Italy
Manarola, Cinque Terre, courtesy of CPF Photography

Porto Santo: When we planned a week’s relaxing all-inclusive holiday in the sun, I hadn’t even heard of Porto Santo. But this tiny little Portuguese island off the coast of Madeira was lovely, with its spectacular coastline, beautiful beach, mountainous landscape and quirky little villages. The weather wasn’t entirely kind to us, but it gave us the opportunity to get out of our hotel and discover the island. We even got to celebrate the re-enactment of Christopher Columbus’s arrival on the island, a festival into which the people of Porto Santo throw themselves into wholeheartedly!

Porto Santo, Portugal
Porto Santo beach, courtesy of CPF Photography

 

What’s been your travel highlight of 2015?

Tomorrow: A Year in Review: A Brummie At Home

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6 thoughts on “A Year in Review: A Brummie Abroad

  1. Oops hit post instead of back! What I was trying to say is we’ve done those same Italian locations. Love all of it!! But you’re right about Florence. I didn’t love it as much as everywhere else. When we went, there was some kind of strike in Florence! I think the Italians like to strike!

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