Travel Tuesday – A Trip to Bolsover Castle

Happy Tuesday everyone and how’s your day going so far? For today’s Travel Tuesday post with Bonnie et al I’m rewinding time by a few weeks and popping up north to reminisce about a recent afternoon jaunt to the beautiful Bolsover Castle. It was during our weekend in the Peak District and my sisters, Mum and I found ourselves with a spare few hours so we thought we’d make the most of Mum’s English Heritage membership as Bolsover Castle was so close by. I’m so glad we decided to do this on the spur of the moment as it was such a great building to explore. the castle sits perched on a hill overlooking it’s surroundings and we saw it from the motorway and all exclaimed at how amazing the building looked. It was only later as we pulled up to the castle that we realised it was Bolsover Castle that we’d seen from afar, so I think we definitely got a sense of what invaders and guests back in the 1600s would have felt!

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What’s interesting about this castle compared to the usual historical sites I visit (mainly National Trust) is that it’s just the shell of the property. But I think there’s something magical about this. The English Heritage haven’t spent masses doing it up and putting in the relevant furniture they’ve just restored it so that you can wander around and get a sense of the building and the opulence that would have existed thanks to the beautiful ceilings or ornate fireplaces. This is preferable I think to some of the National Trust places which can feel a bit stuffy and out-of-bounds. What’s wonderful about Bolsover is that you can wander through it and touch everything and properly see the rooms and amazing proportions. I can imagine children would love visiting the castle as they could run around the rooms playing princess or knights and dragons, there’s something fairytale like about not being constrained and just wandering and imagining what those empty rooms have seen.

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There was a variety of work going on when we were there but that didn’t matter for us, you still got to appreciate the wonderful buildings that make up Bolsover Castle, from the Little Castle to the Riding School. I think my favourite part (apart from wandering the beautiful buildings) was looking out at the wonderful views of Scarsdale with the castle ruins behind me. Absolutely beautiful.

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Pacific Island of dreams – Travel Tuesday

Greetings my fellow travel loving chums and how are you this lovely Tuesday? My fingers are crossed that you’re in fine form. As for me? I’m not too bad, thanks for asking! I’m catching up with a uni friend this evening so I’m really hopeful that it’ll be a lovely day full of yummy food and A LOT of nattering! As it’s Tuesday it’s time for a look back at my travel journals (yes I do own a couple) to have a reminisce over one of my past travelling adventures as part of the Travel Tuesday link up with Bonnie over at A Compass Rose. So after you read this here blog post make sure you pop on over to Bonnie’s blog to see all the other lovely posts.

So where are we headed to today I hear you ask? Well this morning we’re off over to the wonderful Pacific Ocean and the beautiful country of Fiji, which I was lucky enough to visit back in 2007 as part of my post University travels. I’m so pleased that half way through our five month trip we managed to squeeze in this week of calm in a small corner of paradise. Not only was it absolutely stunning it was also just what we needed – a week of rest and relaxation before we hit the madness of the U S of A.

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The beautiful blue sky and glossy green vegetation of Fiji

Whilst in Fiji we split our time equally between Nadi – one of the main towns – and the beautiful Coral Coast, which is on the south of the island. This was just perfect for us as it meant we got to see two sides of this lovely country. With Nadi we got to experience a Fijian ‘city’ and  we made the most of being in the town with walks to the markets and to buy the locally made knick knacks as well as being able to watch traditional Fijian dances and spending the day on the beautiful South Sea Island for snorkeling, massages and relaxation. The island  of South Sea was no more than 50m in diameter and it was one of the most relaxing places I’ve ever been lucky enough to experience. Everywhere you looked there was just water and more water, with one or two small land masses in the far distance.

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The gorgeous beach at South Sea Island

My favourite part about our week-long Fijian trip was the Coral Coast and the beautiful Mango Bay Resort, it really was paradise. Our ‘room’ was a three person safari ‘tent’ that was 20 meters from the beautiful beach with a stunning view towards the never-ending ocean. Whilst at the resort we learnt about the culture by making baskets, coconut sweets, jewelry and experiencing the wonders of Kava, went snorkeling, kayaking, watched traditional Fijian ceremonies, sun bathed, sun bathed and sun bathed some more and even got to experience an outdoor film night with cocktails galore. It really was absolutely wondrous and I can’t remember ever being so relaxed. It was simply amazing and one day I will go back to do it all again. Fiji is simply just stunning and absolutely out-of-this-world in it’s mind boggling beauty. Do you think I’m exaggerating with all the superlatives I’m using in this post? Then just check out some of my favourite photos from that week.

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Shadows and a calm pacific ocean

 

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The restaurant and pool at Mango Bay Resort

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One of my all-time favourite pictures. Beautiful.

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One boat in a vast sea

What about you, what country have you been the most relaxed in, and what are your most stunningly beautiful pictures of? I’d love for you to leave links for me to have a gander – I love travelling from my desk at work or whilst sat on the bus! Have a lovely Tuesday each and everyone of you. xx

A Compass Rose

Wise Words #1 – Ralph Waldo Emerson

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Greetings chumlets, how are you all today? I wanted to share this lovely image (humble aren’t I!) that I created using the wondrous site that is PicMonkey. Can I just say this site is totally revolutionising my life right now. I’m having such fun using it! Check out my first image over on the latest ‘Smiley Happy Things’ post, as you can tell I was inspired by a school chalkboard! Anyway whilst playing around I created the above image using one of my photos from a recent Portugal trip. I’m quite proud of it to be honest!

Anyway back to the actual sentiment behind the above image. I stumbled across this Ralph Waldo Emerson quote last weekend and it really made sense to me and captured exactly what I’ve been trying to channel recently. I like the idea of putting the past behind you at the end of the day and just focusing on the positives before starting the new day with optimism and enthusiasm. After all optimism and a positive outlook never killed anyone and looking on the bright side of things can’t hurt anyone. This quote also reminds me a little of the sentiments in The Silver Linings Playbook, which is about there always being a positive side to things, no matter how small. So really I just wanted to share this image with you as a reminder that we should take each day as it comes, face it with enthusiasm, give our all and then at the end of the day put the bad bits behind us and learn not to dwell on things.

Phew, that’s a lot of waffle for one day, especially for a Friday! Go forth and enjoy your last day of this work week and have an epic two-day weekend, huzzah!

New books, playing at tourist and fun with friends

I’ve had the best few days, thanks to some wicked touristy fun, which I’ll share another day, and lots of fun with friends. I think I could definitely get used to just working a three day week you know. It would be lovely to then go off gallivanting around the UK having fun and seeing the sights – what fun!! So anyway what have I been up to?

  • Well first off I’m very excited that I’ve finally rediscovered my reading gene and as such I’ve had to choose some new books this week. After much deliberation I went with the very first Vampire Academy. My reasoning: it’s lighter for my commute. Yes really.
  • My brand new Clothbound Penguin Classics arrived this week. The new books in my collection are: Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, Gulliver’s Travels, Tess of the D’Urbervilles, Sense and Sensibility and Treasure Island. Don’t they look beautiful on my newly arranged shelves?
  • I had another fish finger sandwich and West Wing night with friends last week and it was aces. Although it saddens me that the series is so very close to ending again. The only positive: I can’t remember what’s still to happen!!
  • I realised this week that sometimes it’s worth leaving the office for a full hour, even if it might seem like you’re too busy it’s definitely good to have a proper catch up with a friends. Let’s be honest however long you spend at your desk, there’s still loads to do. so you might as well make the most of your lunch when you can.
  • Two fun-filled days of being a tour guide around London, including stops at The Tower of London, St. Paul’s (don’t judge me for not going all the way to the top, I’m a scaredy cat), The Tate Modern and Harrods. It was seriously fun to be a tourist in my own city as there’s so much stuff I always mean to see and never quite get round too.
  • A trip to see Charlie and the Chocolate Factory Musical in the West End. I won’t spoil it for anyone who is going, I’ll just say this: it’s epic, everything you imagine and so so much more. The children and the scenes where they get chased by squirrels, shrunk, sucked up, etc are absolutely wonderful.
  • I spent a lovely weekend playing tourist in Bath. Again I had an absolute ball. The city is wonderful, the Baths are so interesting and beautiful and our hotel was a haven in the middle of the Wiltshire countryside.
  • I learnt that my Aussie cousins think it’s normal to have cold ice cream and hot custard together as a pudding. I was actually appalled, it looked so wrong.

Oxford, trips to Bill’s and goodbyes

This past week has been brilliant, I’ve loved every second! It’s been loads of fun and very busy, hence why I’ve had to resort (again) to a list!

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