I live in London and I’m going on a city break to Brussels this month.
I got thinking about this after two police officers outside Buckingham Palace in London were injured by a man with a large knife on the same night (August 25) that soldiers on patrol in Brussels were attacked, also by a knifeman.
Both incidents are being treated as suspected acts of terrorism.
These events follow horrific incidents in recent months and years throughout Europe, in places that feel very close to home. London, Brussels, Manchester, Barcelona, Paris, Nice, Stockholm and Berlin have all been targeted.
But we can’t let the terrorists change our way of lives; that’s what they want. We must keep doing what we want to do in our home cities and go on holidays, supporting our fellow Europeans and their cultures and economies.
As a long-time Mozart fan who studied music at university, I’ve always wanted to visit Vienna and experience the city historically known as the European capital of music. Equipped with one friend, with the destination of another’s lovely, book-filled apartment, I set off for a long weekend in this beautiful city.
First off, if you’re used to London as I am, Vienna is so quiet. The only places I experienced that had the hustle and bustle of London were a couple of key tourist streets. But this made a nice change of pace and gave us the opportunity to admire the oft-beautiful architecture and feel extremely safe on the roads despite the novelty of the trams (which were way too exciting).
One busy landmark was Schönbrunn Palace, a spectacular imperial residence built in the 1740s-50s. You don’t even need to go inside if you don’t want to because the huge gardens and the magnificent view over the city from the Gloriette are well worth a trip themselves. And that’s before you even get to the fun mazes…
Since our last holiday was to Cornwall two years ago and since then we’ve moved several times and started different new jobs, it definitely seemed like it was time for me and Frazer to go on holiday this month and Paris was somewhere we settled on very quickly. I’d been there a couple of times before and loved it whereas he had only been on a whirlwind day trip and wasn’t convinced by it so I made it my mission to make him love the city of love.
And it worked! Once we got past the grey, graffiti-plagued streets around Gare du Nord and into the centre, he was soon won over. On our first afternoon, we immediately ate crepes at the Place du Concorde before crossing the river and wandering along to the Musee D’Orsay where we whiled away the next couple of hours. We both loved Van Gogh’s La nuit etoilee the most, but there were lots of amazing surrealist and impressionist paintings there. It was also very cool just to see the old railway station building and the view through the clock face.
As one of my most viewed posts so far in a short space of time, my Isle of Wight Summer Bucket List: Top Ten clearly struck a chord with many; therefore, I have returned from my mission to tell you about what I got up to from the list! Here’s part two – part one is here.
5. Robin Hill
Unfortunately, this is the big thing on the list I majorly failed at doing this summer! I’m very disappointed in myself, but I just kept overlooking it. There’s no point writing anything else, so I’ll just refer you back to what I wrote about it in July here.
4. The Needles
The chairlift down to the beach is as fun as ever (it feels much more perilous than it is!), although it’s worth making sure you go on a nice clear day to make the most of the view, which is absolutely fantastic.
As one of my most viewed posts so far in a short space of time, my Isle of Wight Summer Bucket List: Top Ten clearly struck a chord with many; therefore, I have returned from my mission to tell you about what I got up to from the list! Here’s part one.
10. Blackgang Chine
I’ll come straight out with it: this place is definitely better as a family. However, there’s nothing to stop anyone having a fun-filled day!
I went back for the first time in years this August with a group of friends, of whom all but one had been before, years ago, since we’d all grown up on the Island (Frazer got dragged into it as he was visiting at the wrong time and so ended up spending the whole day in disbelief at our nostalgic excitement over this slightly shabby, strange theme park).