holiday

(Untitled thoughts of one who is flying away)

It’s 368 days since I landed back in the UK after a 6 week excursion to Australia’s East Coast.

I said then that my goal would be to return within 12months – I never expected to come close to completing the feat however.

I’ve had such a great time back in Milton Keynes though, creating a lot of fantastic memories along the way. I’ve made new friends and re-connected with old ones. More importantly I’ve spent a lot of time with my family.

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Callum’s 2016 Adventures: Edinbrugh, Scotland

I always feel that when I come to Edinburgh,
in many ways I am coming home – Alan Rickman

I’m not really sure that I can call a trip up to Edinburgh an ‘adventure’, purely on the basis that I have been there so many times when visiting my family. The thing is though, with each visit, I experience something new about the city. It’s always the same and yet… different.

My long weekend trip back in June followed the same trend.

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Callum’s 2015 Adventures: Interrailing pt. 9 Zagreb, Croatia

‘Don’t take life seriously, you will never get out of it alive!’ – Anonymous

Day 20: Zagreb 04.09.15

Plan of Action:

  • Explore Upper Town
  • Visit the useum of Broken Relationships
  • Wander down to Zagreb Main Square

Zagreb is a city that I didn’t see enough of. It’s a shame really, because it has gathered an unfair reputation of being one of the more boring Croatian cities for a traveller to visit. I would dispute this. In fact, if I was to go back for a leisurely few days I can imagine it being a city that I could easily count amongst my favourites.

Looking back on it, there are two things about my time in Zagreb that stand out for me. The first is that we did everything in the wrong order, the second is that I regret not taking more pictures.

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Callum’s 2015 Adventures: Interrailing pt.8 Budapest, Hungary

‘If you come from Paris to Budapest you think you are in Moscow
but if you go from Moscow to Budapest you think you are in Paris’
– Gyorgy Ligeti

Authors Note: This post is going to be slightly different from the ones before, because my experience in Budapest was one that left me feeling a mixture of emotions. In part this was down to the extreme heat and the location of our accommodation, but also because I found myself in Budapest at the height of the 2015 Refugee Crisis where the international train stations were closed. I know how the BBC reported it, but what I saw differed. All of which will be touched on below.

Day 16 – Day 17: Bratislava – Budapest 31.08.15 – 01.09.15

Plan of Action N/A

A mid-morning train from Bratislava brought us into Budapest early afternoon. Having heard so many great stores and having been told about so many places to go, I was eagerly anticipating what Budapest had in store. Unfortunately, for a multitude of reasons, I found myself feeling more deflated than I did after Vienna. During the time we were there it was a complete disaster, it’s only looking back on the visit that I feel any sort of fondness for the city.

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Callum’s 2015 Adventures: Interrailing pt.6 Vienna, Austria

“Vienna is a handsome, lively city,
and pleases me exceedingly”
– Frederic Chopin

Day 14: Austria 29.08.15

Plan of Action:

  • Explore Vienna
  • Visit the Hofburg Palace
  • Visit St. Stephens Cathedral

Vienna. Mighty Vienna. A place whose beauty is renowned throughout Europe. After a lovely time in Prague, I was really looking forward to being spoilt by what Vienna had to offer and, during the day at least, I was not let down.

We arrived in the midst of a heatwave and, what do heatwaves mean? Mosquitoes. Mosquitoes everywhere. It wasn’t long before I found myself covered in bites from head to toe. Honestly, I felt like I was an all-you-can-eat-buffet.

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Callum’s 2015 Adventures: Interrailing pt. 5 Prague, Czech Republic

‘In Rome the statues, in Paris the paintings, and in Prague
the buildings suggest that pleasure can be an education’
– Caleb Crain

Day 11: Prague 26.08.15

Plan of Action:

  • Find our hostel
  • Bungy Jump
  • Visit Prague’s Cathedral

06:40 wake-up calls are not fun. Especially when they come after an awkward sleep on a night train. Still, despite our tiredness, we found our way tot he hostel with ease as there was a tram directly from the station. The place we were staying was a beautiful hostel called The Czech Inn that was everything you would want from somewhere and more. Plus, the prices were unbelievable!

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Callum’s 2015 Adventures: Interrailing pt. 4 Krakow, Poland

‘Krakow, the city of Kings’ – Pam Jenoff

Day 8: Warsaw – Krakow 23.08.15

Plan of Action:

  • Travel from Warsaw to Krakow
  • Find the hostel
  • Explore the area surrounding our hostel

Without doubt, the strangest thing about travelling is starting the day in one place and finishing it in another. It doesn’t matter whether or not it is a different city or a different country, it is a strange experience.

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Callum’s 2015 Adventures: Interrailing pt.3 Warsaw, Poland

‘Cultivation, old civilization, beauty, history!
Surprising turnings of streets, shapes of venerable cottages, lovely aged eaves, unexpected and gossamer turrets, steeples, the gloss, the antiquity! Gardens.
Whoever speaks of Paris has never seen Warsaw’
– Agnes Ozick

Day 6: Warsaw 21.08.15

Plan of Action

  • Make travel reservations to Krakow
  • Visit the “Tomb of the Unknown Soldier”

After what felt like a very busy start to my trip around Europe, Warsaw was included to represent a little break from the busier tourist destinations.

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Callum’s 2015 Adventures: Portes Du Soleil, France Pt.2

For part 1 of my Portes Du Soleil adventure please click here

Day 3: Morzine – Avoriaz 16.01.2015

The Route
Morzine -> Avoriaz ->  Les Brouchaux –> Pointe des Mosettes –> Les Crosets –> Croix du Culet -> Lechereuse -> Les Crosets -> Pointe des Mosettes -> Les Brouchaux -> Pointe des Mosettes -> Pointe de Voriaz -> Avoiraz -> Les Prodains (via Prodains Express) -> Morzine (via coach)
Total Time up Mountain c. 2.5-3hrs

Feeling fresh as a daisy after the previous nights activities – although a little creaky – we followed the same routine as the previous morning; breakfast, a short walk to get our gear and up the Super-Morzine. There hadn’t been any snow over night and the lack of snow was causing a few issues on the slopes, but the real issue was the weather. Diabolical.

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Callum’s 2015 Adventures: Portes Du Soleil, France pt.1

Author’s Note

I’m not really sure how you’d talk about a days skiing because, in reality, all you’re really doing is going up and down a snow covered mountain over and over again with two long things attached to your feet. Still, it’s something I love and enjoy very much so I will give it a go.

The easiest way  for me to describe how skiing feels is for you, the reader, to imagine an activity in which you feel at home. Something that seems like second nature. With skiing, no matter how many people you go with, once you set off down the mountain you’re on your own. It’s just you and the piste. And it’s beautiful. When talking about skiing I have always told those interested that I have never felt more at home than I do on the snow, attacking a nice run down the mountain and this most recent trip to France just reinforced that concept for me. It relaxes me, calms me. Everything seems to slow down and I have all the time in the world. Even the feeling of performing on-stage pales in comparison! I mean, they both give me that rush of adrenaline, but the fresh air, the bite of the cold and the feelings of peace and calm that wash over me definitely tip the scales in skiing’s favour. It’s special. Unique. Something I am sure I will never tire of.

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