I guess – in honour of recent V-day, not that we celebrate or anything, it’s just that I really did want a new blender and my birthday is just so far away… here’s to hoping that The Husband reads this post and sees just how much I want a new one… especially since someone broke my trusty handheld blender… but I don’t want to name any names.
This is the list in no particular order – oh, and please do enjoy the way I’ve blurred the images. I was playing around with the program and this effect is called “bloom” and I find it very pretty.
1. Paris, France
Cliché but true. This wouldn’t be a complete list without Paris, the city of light.
Above: Glass dome of the Lafayette Shopping Centre.
2. A Shanghai water village, such as Zhujiajiao, Tongli or Zhouzhuang
I would argue that these little villages built along the river have more charm than Paris and Venice put together but it may be because it truly feels like you’re stepping back in time without the crush of hundreds of tourists and souvenir stores every step you take.
3. Venice, Italy
Narrow pathways that lead to bridges over the canals, little boutiques and art galleries, riding a gondola… just make sure The Husband knows how much a private gondola costs so he doesn’t spend the rest of the trip complaining about how much he had to spend and therefore ruining the romance of it.
4. Kyoto, Japan
On our last night I spotted a geisha, yes I did. I was caught off guard and my hand wasn’t quick enough snapping pics, the end result quite out of focus… but the perfect end to our time in this city where every stop seems like a photo opportunity.
Above: The Golden Pavilion.
5. Phuket, Thailand
Water at the perfect temperature all year round and that dreamy bluish-green colour that doesn’t need any photo enhancing at all. Take a boat to one of the islands. Just make sure to have a bag in case you need to vomit after the rocky boat ride. The contents of my stomach didn’t sit too well and as soon as we landed on the soft silky sands, out went my food, thank you Husband dear for helping me clean up
6. Bavaria, Germany
Leave Munich for the Romantic Road, Alps, forests, lakes, little towns and villages and castles. Ludwig II’s Neuschwanstein stands out most due to its size and fairytale exterior but it’s his smaller Linderhof Palace which The Husband and I agree, is our favourite castle.
Above: The famous castle.
Above: The “lesser” and more “manageable” castle as we lovingly refer to it; the Linderhof Palace, ‘back and front yard views.’ No photographs were allowed inside, but that’s okay, look how beautiful the outside views are.
Everything is “irie” or good or right it seems, when on vacation here. Time slows down and even if it’s raining you can still enjoy the beach. Climb Dunn’s waterfalls for a different take on a waterfall to see the cascading beauty of the water at different levels. Wish I had photos of that experience, but was scared the camera would get ruined.
8. Istanbul, Turkey
The best of both worlds, one foot in Europe and one in Asia… the skyline from the Bosphorus is dotted with minarets and the Hagia Sophia and Blue Mosque look stunning almost mirroring each other in the early morning, day, sunset and lit up at night – so basically, all the time.
9. Santorini, Greece
This is where our balcony view was unlike no other. Eating fresh baklava outside watching the sun disappear into the water below… I don’t know which baklava was better, Istanbul’s or Santorini’s, but having the view all to ourselves it seemed, was unreal.
10. Seville, Spain
The problem with Spain is that so many of the country’s cities’ fit the romantic aspect perfectly. Barcelona and Madrid come to mind first of course but Granada’s Alhambra is stunning and Cordoba’s red and white striped forest of arches are mesmerizing. I fell in love with Seville’s Moorish-style Alcazar and can still remember the gardens.
“There may be something there that wasn’t there before” - Beauty and the Beast.