It’s been 10 years this November since Mr Fletche and I said “I Do”. It was a gloriously sunny but cold day which bled into a gloriously foggy evening which hampered our evening guests somewhat trying to find our country hotel location in zero visibility conditions. We always try and celebrate our anniversary with a trip somewhere, but where to visit at the end of November? Here’s where we’ve spent our nine previous wedding anniversaries – and our plans for Number 10!
Left in charge of plans, Mr Fletche did good, booking a hotel and theatre tickets in London. One thing he forgot to book was the lovely weather of the year before. It rained constantly from the moment we arrived to the moment we left. Which inadvertently led to what Mr Fletche would proclaim as one of his happiest moments ever, walking along the Thames on a rainy Sunday morning, under an umbrella, looking for an open pub. Also unexpectedly romantic was the hotel carpet picnic, hurriedly purchased from a closing Tesco Express when we realised we were about to miss our last tube and still hadn’t eaten…
We find ourselves in Edinburgh, excited to experience the Christmas markets, whisky and sightseeing. Luckily we manage to fit this in on day one, in a light snowfall, because we wake up to a blizzard on day 2 – our actual anniversary. We celebrate two years of marriage by digging out the car and travelling down the M6, stopping at every possible opportunity to clear the windscreen and wing mirrors of a snow pileup.
Now this is more like it. Bruges is impossibly romantic, with it’s canals and beautiful old buildings and waffles and beer and chocolate. The weather is much kinder to us this year, although it’s so cold we can see our breath as we breathe. The Christmas markets are in full swing and twinkling lights festoon the trees. On our anniversary, we splurge on a twilight horse and carriage ride around Minnewaterpark and the aptly named Lovers Lake. And the beauty of Belgium in November? You can buy EVERYONE chocolate as a Christmas present.
By Year 4, we’re heading further east, and to colder climes. Yes, it’s Krakow, via an “up before the birds” flight from Bristol. If we’ve had the wet one and the snowy one, this is the foggy anniversary, so much so our flight is diverted to Katowice. It’s a more sobering break, with lots of opportunities to reflect on the atrocities that took place in Poland last century, and none more so than on our trip to Auschwitz-Birkenau. If it seems an odd place to celebrate our anniversary, it makes us appreciate the lives and freedom that we take for granted now. And that’s a good reason to toast four years of marriage with vodka, vodka and a little more vodka.
It’s a little closer to home for this year’s celebrations – seeing as we’ve not long returned from our New England road trip, and I am still “between jobs”. I spent a week at University of Bath over the summer on an Open University residential course as part of my degree, and spent a wonderful afternoon off being a lady what lunches in the city itself with some of my fellow
drinkers students. So Mr Fletche and I return later in the year to soak up the festive atmosphere as Christmas markets surround the Abbey and we explore the beautiful Georgian architecture of the Royal Crescent. Facebook posts and photos are very patchy from this trip, and mainly involve me checking in to various hostelries around the city “to warm up”
Who fancies the seaside in November? And the Welsh seaside at that? We stayed in the picturesque Pembrokeshire town of Tenby, in a hotel overlooking the bay with spectacular views and with a lovely terrace which would be wonderful to bask on with a nice chilled glass of wine in the summer. Alas, it is not summer, but the weather stays remarkably kind for us as we explore the coastline of this south-western point of Wales. No doubt if we revisited now there would be hiking involved along (at least some of) the 186 mile Pembrokeshire Coast Path. Although I’d probably still get my miles and kilometres mixed up.
Remember the rain from our first wedding anniversary? Well, it’s back. With bells on. We have a musty smelling B&B room just outside the city gates of York so we’re forced out into the city in search of pubs. Of which – luckily – there are many. Despite the weather, we do manage to cram in a ghost tour, a walk along the city walls, a visit to the Railway Museum where we geek out over trains, York Minster and the Jorvik Viking Centre
We’ve had enough of the UK weather so in November 2016 we head off to Porto. Where it proceeds to drizzle on Day One. By our actual wedding anniversary though, it’s warm enough for us to head for the beach at Foz do Douro and have a celebratory beer overlooking the Atlantic Ocean. Porto hadn’t really been on my radar before this trip but we soon fell in love with this quirky city, with its undulating hills, beautifully tiled churches and port wine cellars.
Porto was lovely last year but we were too early for the Christmas markets so we decided to go somewhere a little more festive this year. Vienna was high on the wishlist, and we found a gem of an AirBnB in the Old Town. If you want Christmas markets, then Vienna goes all out, and we were able to celebrate our anniversary by sampling every schnapps, punsch and mulled beverage going. We pound the city streets looking at the beautiful architecture, eat schnitzel aplenty, visit a bonafide imperial residence, take a ride on a giant ferris wheel – and visit the opera! Now what can top that for a wonderful wedding anniversary trip?
We always vowed to do something spectacular for our 10th wedding anniversary, but we never planned on moving house in the same year. So while we’re still planning to take a big holiday to celebrate – most likely to Costa Rica – we haven’t actually booked anything yet whilst we wait for the sale of our house to go through. But believe me, a chunk of that money is earmarked for that trip! So our anniversary trip this year may not actually happen on our anniversary, but rest assured we’ll still do something special to celebrate. Even if it’s Costa Coffee instead of Costa Rica…
2019 Update – of course we did make it to Costa Rica to celebrate our 10th wedding anniversary! There are lots of blogs available about our trip if you pop “Costa Rica” into the search bar. But where are we off to for our 11th?