The truth about Cinque Terre

During my recent road trip through Italy, I visited the famous coastal towns of Cinque Terre. I instantly fell in love with them. There is an abundance of information out there on visiting this area, but I feel like a lot of what I’ve read is incorrect or outdated. The trip was quite a bit different than I’d imagined it to be. Despite the multitude of blogs that have already been written on this topic, I felt like the internet could do with an honest and updated post about visiting Cinque Terre.

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Life on the road

‘Turn left here.’
I take a look at the road Dom’s pointing at.
‘Are you sure?’ I ask him. The road doesn’t look very inviting, but he’s sure it’s the correct one, so I turn left. We’ve been on the road for nearly 16 hours and all I want is to find a place to sleep as soon as possible. My car is protesting quite heavily and nearly stalls a few times as it fights to climb the incredibly steep and narrow road, at the end of which is the most picturesque agriturismo I have ever seen.

Earlier in the day we’ve taken a detour over the St Gotthard pass to avoid the long traffic jam at the tunnel. At the top of the pass we discussed our plans for the day and decided that if we wanted to make it to the Italian coast on the first day of our trip, we’d have to find a hotel instead of a campsite. So here we are. Unfortunately the challenging trip up the mountain road has been in vain. The agriturismo is fully booked.

After an equally challenging trip back down, we try another hotel, which turns out to be so busy I can’t even park the car. Dom attempts to ring another hotel, but after saying “Pronto?” four or five times, they hang up on us. A quick check online doesn’t leave us with many options, so we decide to revert to our initial plan. Let’s just find a campsite before the sun sets. Thankfully, the first one we try has plenty of free spots. It’s a small campsite right next to the motorway, but it’s 9 o’clock and we’re losing the light, so it’ll do for now.

A non-skier’s guide to the Austrian Alps

Winter is not exactly my favourite season. I don’t particularly like the cold and in the Netherlands, snow is mostly just a danger to traffic, rather than something to enjoy. However, if you get the opportunity to visit one of Austria’s ski resorts, don’t turn it down just because you don’t ski. Although I’ve seen these mountains plenty of times during summer, they’re arguably at their most impressive after receiving a fresh layer of snow in the middle of winter. Here’s how to make the most of your time in Austria as a non-skier.

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It’s no New Year’s resolution

I don’t do New Year’s resolutions. The entire concept of making a list of vague promises you have no intention to keep has always felt ridiculous to me. The intention behind them is admirable; people seek to break their monotone routines and make real changes to their lives. This feeling is very relatable, but I still don’t think New Year’s resolutions are a good idea, when there’s a much better alternative.

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The best 5 books I read in 2016

One of my favourite ways to spend a cold winter evening is curled up on the sofa with a cup of tea and a good book. I also spend plenty of time reading when I’m on the road. I always carry a book with me when I travel and nearly always buy an English book at the airport. I spend most of my time on planes and trains with my nose in a book. I really enjoy finding a nice spot to read outside when the weather is nice. During my last trip to London, I enjoyed a relaxing morning in a quiet and chilly Hyde Park, reading the book I’d bought on the ferry a few days earlier. As I mentioned in my previous post, I’ve read more than 30 books this year, which has got to be a personal record. I figured since I can’t possibly be the only traveller who enjoys reading, I’d share which books I enjoyed most this year.

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My year in review: 2016

Winter has arrived in the northern hemisphere. With less than eight hours of daylight, today was the shortest day of the year and the start of the astronomical winter. I thought this would be the perfect moment to reflect on the past year. At the same time, as the days will once again start to lengthen, the time has come to look forward to what 2017 will bring.

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The Greatest Driving Road In The World

The last remnants of fog clung to the mountainside as I exited the forest. The sudden change in landscape was a breath-taking sight to behold in the morning light. After a dozen more hairpin turns, I found a safe spot to park the car. I took my time to admire the view. A local, on his way to the valley, passed me in an old Fiat Panda, as I got out of my car. The first thing I noticed was the temperature. Patches of slowly melting snow lay comically on the side of the road, in between countless yellow and purple wildflowers.

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Review: Saal Digital photo book

This time of the year, when friends, relatives and colleagues go on holiday, I tend to get struck by nostalgia and develop a feeling of homesickness for all the places I’ve travelled to. The main reason for this is that I don’t usually go on holiday during the summer, and I haven’t planned my next trip yet. An easy way to make sure these feelings don’t turn into a bad case of the travel blues, is to keep myself busy with things involving my most recent trip, like writing a blog post or making a photo book. So when Saal Digital offered a free photo book in exchange for an honest review, I immediately signed up. The book arrived on Wednesday and I can honestly say I’m impressed and I’m not even saying that because I got a free book.

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