28 May 2014

Shlomi | A Sanctuary Overlooking Lebanese Mountains

Shlomi | A Sanctuary Overlooking Lebanese Mountains

My 100th post!!! How fitting that I finally get to post pictures from my trip around Israel on my 100th. I have been a little overwhelmed with pictures from trips I have taken but not yet posted about. Looking through them and trying to decide what to post first has caused me to steer clear from them, instead I opted for what seemed easier; London. I hope you enjoyed posts covering some of my favorite spots in London. This is a first of a series of posts showcasing some of the places I visited in Israel.

26 May 2014

Liebster Award!!

Well, how'bout that! I have just been nominated for the Liebster award. I am super honored and chuffed that fellow bloggers have taken a shine to my corner of travel tales in and around London as well as my worldly trips. I am grateful to bloggers Dave Cole and Brianna Simmons for nominating me. I am slightly behind schedule with this post as Dave nominated me a week ago and I just received another nomination from Brianna in the inbox this morning. This is me getting my act together and properly acknowledging the honor. Thank you to the both of you.

23 May 2014

A Walk In The Park | Secrets in Regents Park

A Walk In The Park | Secrets in Regents Park

As part of my series to the 'A walk in the park' posts, its not everyday you can  have a picnic with your very own live music entertainment on tap without paying a ridiculous sum of money. Well, two weekends ago I was just that lucky. Myself, my partner in crime aka Mr Awesome and a few friends gathered in Regents Park to chase the sun out of the shadows in the beautifully colourful park. One of the largest green areas in the heart of good old London town. Its home to an Open Air Theatre, London Zoo, cafes and restaurants scattered around the green to quench your thirst should you need to refresh after taking on the 410 acres of lush greenery, gardens, lake with boating area and romance themed fountain sculptures.

17 May 2014

Sunset Walks on Portsea Island

Sunset Walks on Portsea Island - Portsmouth

This is the third installment of posts on my recent visit to Portsmouth. I used to, and still do love walks just before the sun sets. I particularly love walking between 5-7 as you catch the sun in its most glorious and glowing state. The warm tones just give a sense of warmth about them and everything has a sun-kissed yellow tone from the sun's reflection.

13 May 2014

Portsea Island

Spinnaker  tower, a 170-meter landmark tower PORTSMOUTH

In my last post I shared shots taken while exploring the Spitbank Fort, a man made Island off the coast of Portsea Island. Before heading out to the fort I took sometime to visit some of the old hangouts when I lived in Portsmouth. Noted for being UK's only island city as its mostly on Portsea Island. Home to more than two hundred thousand people, its easy to forget that its an island but it's separated from mainland via a small channel know as Portsbridge Creek.

Portsmouth is also home to the Spinnaker  tower, a 170-meter landmark tower with a similar design to Burj Al Arab. If you follow my Instagram you would have seen me sky walking a good 100 meter plus high up, on see-through glass!  You if you have a fear for heights then it might not be your thing as a few people were too scared to even be near the glass while on the viewing deck. A waste of the £8 entry if you ask me. If that's not enough of an adventure for you, then you can try out the abseiling on the tower, held during summer months. You have to sign up early though as the places fill fast. It appears I am not the only one who gets off on climbing things. I will have to wait until next year for that challenge.

8 May 2014

Spitbank Fort | Secrets of The Solent

Spitbank Fort | Secrets of The Solent

The shores of Southsea on Portsea Island can be somewhat chemeleonic. Being part of the UK it does not escape from the ever changing weather, its the transporting views on a beautiful coastline that stretches of for miles that I immediately fell in love with back in 2003. I guess you can say it was love at first sight. The following year I moved to Portsmouth on Portsea Island, Southern coast of England. On long summer days I could easily spend the day out on the seafront watching sailboats play catch with the wind, ferries transporting islanders to Calais in France or watch cruise liners pass through with passengers hoping for a short break from cabin fever. The beauty that comes with living so close to the sea side and a break from the concrete jungle of London life is what inspired the move to Portsmouth.

My visit back to Portsmouth this time was for a Sunday lunch date on the Spitbank Fort. Not many people know about this place. On the coastline of Portsea Island lies the secrets of The Solent. I got to spend the day exploring one of the secrets. Spitbank Fort is one of four forts that was originally constructed to defend the British from Napoleon's army in the 18th century. Days of fighting have long gone and these abandoned forts have now been renovated, with one turned into a museum, one is solely owned, with the other two turned into luxury hotels. One of which is the Spitbank Fort and the other twice as big, opening its doors this Autumn.

One can only get to the forts by boat, so transportation was from the Royal Clarence Marina on Gosport. Floating passed the beautiful Spinnaker tower and sailors no doubt testing out their boats in readiness for Cowes week this coming summer. With a tricky entry onto the fort due to rough seas, on arrival we were met with glasses of wine and canapes. Then a tour of the fort with a little historical detail of the living conditions of the soldiers that guarded the seas from within the fort. You cannot help but admire the old generation for building such a fantastic structure in the sea, with the little the technology they had compared to what we can achieve today, and it still stands today. There is so much history within the walls. Touring the fort and watching ferries and speed boats sail passed we had worked up an appetite, so it was time to retreat to the dining room for lunch served with a side of Spit water! An interesting name for sure, but I assure you its not literal. There is a spring running 401 feet beneath the fort so you can quench your thirst with Spitbank(shortened to Spit) water, freshly bottled on site too. With conversations effortlessly flowing with other guests at the table and dessert beautifully caressing each and every taste bud you could be forgiven for your mind drifting off into a dreamy state filled with all things sweet and nice.

The fort was beautifully transformed from a neglected sea fort, to one that has a luxurious coziness to it with a mix of a nautical theme and some original furniture items for its hay day. A relaxing lounge, recreation room, outdoor heated pool with stunning sea views, a fire pit to cozy up to and a bar to toast the night away you would wish never to leave the fort. After much needed Sunday rest and relaxation on the fort it was time to head home and leave the overnight guest to enjoy enjoy their humble aboard.

The secret is now out of the bag. If you have not head of the forts on The Solent then you need get your fingers busy on Google so you can get you and your special someone over to Spitbank Fort stat! You will thank me for it. In the meantime some pictures from my exploration of the fort...

3 May 2014

Post Cards From Desenzano | Why You Need To Visit Italy's Post Card Cute Towns On Lake Garda

Desenzano |  Post Cards From Lake Garda

In my last post; 48 hours in Milan,  I mentioned that I wasn't too impressed with Milan. Beautiful spots with friendly locals and yet it just didn't impress me. You might have visited Milan are now asking yourself if I am totally blind to all that beautiful architecture, the great food at that lovely little restaurant that you are dying to keep secret but will tell me anyway(leave the name and location in the comments below). Anyway, as I was saying, in my defence I started with Desenzano before heading to Milan. Perhaps I will do Milan first then Desenazno on my next venture to the Lombardy region of Italy. It was a bit like heading back into London's hustle and bustle after a relaxing holiday.