A perfect November weekend in Venice

“It is the city of mirrors, the city of mirages, at once solid and liquid, at once air and stone.” Erica Jon

If you’ve read my blog before, you’ll know that we like to visit our favourite European cities in the quieter times of the year, during school term time and often during the colder months.  If you are able to travel during these times – and you don’t mind some winter weather – you will discover a very different side to these beautiful and historical cities.   In my first post about Venice, here, I talked about how it is perfectly possible to wander the canals and bridges without encountering crowds (and sometimes find yourself completely alone at night!).  You just need to know the best times to travel and where to stay.

This month, my partner chose his Birthday weekend to visit Venice again (we needed an excuse to go back as we were having withdrawal symptoms 😆).  This trip was all about relaxing, taking strolls around the city, and dining in fantastic restaurants.  Of course with some Opera thrown in!

Read on to discover some more of my recommendations for this spectacular city..

Continue reading “A perfect November weekend in Venice”

Politics & paella; A sunny Autumn weekend in beautiful Barcelona

It’s a cold, dark day in Amsterdam… the Christmas lights have been put up on our street, the clocks have gone back, the rain is lashing against the windows as I write.  Hard to imagine that three days ago I was bathed in the warm Autumn sunshine of Barcelona, strolling down the Passeig de Gracia, popping into shops and stopping for delicious tapas!

There’s always something going on in Barcelona, and of course, you can’t look at the news without hearing about the Catalonia “crisis”, and the current political turmoil in this beautiful city.  On Sunday, the streets were full of pro-Spanish unity supporters, draped in flags, peacefully (at least to my eyes) having their say.  We walked among them, quietly observing, acutely aware that an important and decisive part of this country’s history was unfolding around us, whatever happens next.

All in all, it was an interesting time to be visiting one of my favourite cities!  I recommend October as a great time to visit – the weather is still glorious, but the city is a lot less crowded.  The daytime temperature is in the early 20’s (c) – a lot more comfortable than it can be in the height of summer, with cooler evenings.

Read on to discover my hotel and dining highlights and recommendations from this trip…  

Continue reading “Politics & paella; A sunny Autumn weekend in beautiful Barcelona”