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.
I love panoramic views. Whenever I make plans to visit a city, I research the most popular places with a good view. Whether it’s from a hill or a tall building, I love having a bird’s eye view of a city. There’s something mesmerising about searching for the most iconic buildings of the city and taking your time to watch the traffic.
If anyone were to ask me about the best part of my recent trip to London, I wouldn’t hesitate before replying ‘muse’. The 11th of April, the day I went to their concert at the O2 arena was my absolute favourite day. The venue was amazing, the queue was actually quite fun and the concert was even better than it was in Amsterdam.
When my boss decided to treat me and my colleagues to a 3-day city break to Porto, I didn’t know what to expect from Portugal’s second largest city. Oddly, the country wasn’t ranking very high on my travel ‘wish list’, so I didn’t really know much about it when I received the invitation. Upon doing some research, Porto looked very promising to me. The historic city centre, the gorgeous views dominated by the Douro river and of course the Port wineries; what’s not to love?
Even before I ever went there, I have always been in love with London. When I finally set foot in the British capital, I was delighted to discover it was every bit as great as I could have hoped for. Despite the fact that my first trip was ill-planned, and far too short, London felt like home away from home, and I have been eager to return ever since. Now, four and a half years later, I find myself making plans to do just that.
The crowd goes mental as the last ethereal sounds of the Drones choir track die down, whilst twelve large balls of light slowly descend from their hiding place just under the roof, towards the stage in the centre of the arena. This series of Muse concerts is not called the Drones Tour for nothing. At the sound of the first chord from Matt Bellamy’s guitar, the entire venue is literally trembling with the earth-shaking energy from the crowd on the floor.
Anyone who knows me, knows I love music. At home, I often listen to music whilst I am working. During a road trip, my favourite music keeps the long days in the car interesting. The best way to enjoy your favourite music however, is attending a concert. In last year’s rant about writer’s block, I hinted at incredible concerts I had attended, but until now, I did not realise that I had not actually published that story yet. Better late than never?
Two and a half years ago, I travelled to the city of Prague for a short city break. Unlike on previous trips, I had not planned ahead much further than booking flights and a hotel. I wanted to make the rest up as I went along. In a way, despite the shortness of it, this trip shaped the traveller in me. It made me realise that my possibilities in solo travel go far beyond road trips in my own car. This trip made me see the traveller I want to be in the future. This planet is a big place, and I yearn to discover as much of it as I possibly can.
After my unfortunate trip to Wallonia this summer, one would expect me to be hesitant about returning to Belgium in the near future. Yet when my grandmother expressed an interest in visiting the North Sea coast for our short holiday in November, I found myself agreeing immediately. After comparing some hotels and cities, my eye fell on a seaside hotel in Blankenberge.
A feeling of melancholy washes over me as I drive through the city. Even though I am taking the exact same route through Rotterdam that I have been taking for years, today is different from the countless other times I drove here.