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Position:Senior Travel Specialist
Address:987 Ferry Road Ferrymead VillageChristchurch
I have just returned from spending 2 weeks travelling through Italy. Being my second trip to this beautiful country it was fantastic to get the opportunity to visit some different area's I hadn't yet had the chance to see.
We spent a fantastic few days in Rome and DEFINITELY recommend the skip the line passes for the Vatican and Colosseum. The Sistine Chapel was absolutely incredible and absolutely blew me away!
We then went to the Cinque Terre, where we walked between 3 of the 5 villages which was absolutely spectacular! We loved the laid back feel of the old townships here!
lastly we finished in Positano in the Amalfi coast, the drive from Naples to the Amalfi Coast is absolutely jaw dropping and Positano itself is stunning. There is the opportunity to do day trips out to the Isle of Capri and a hop on hop off bus that runs between all the neighbouring villages.
The food and wine in Italy is out of this world and I can't wait to go back!
I spent 3 weeks in Turkey, based around my desire to attend the ANZAC celebrations and I decided to take the opportunity to see more of the country and culture and I am so glad I did! Turkey is an exceptionally diverse country, which is crystallised by the fact that Istanbul spans two continents.
The highlights of this trip for me was my week in Istanbul staying in the old city; waking to the call to prayer at sunrise, going to the hustle and bustle of the Grand Bazaar, seeing the sights such as the Aya Sophia, Blue Mosque, Topkapi Palace and Galata Tower or finding a funky rooftop bar to unwind and recap the day.
Spending the night in ANZAC cove in Gallipoli is an experience that is difficult to put into words, seeing such beautiful landscapes that hold such harrowing history is just totally amazing and mindblowing at the same time.
I then stayed in the resort town of Kusadasi where we found a great Irish bar(!?) and did a day trip to the breath-taking white terraces of Pamukkale; Mud-baths in Koycegiz; Beautiful beaches in Fethiye and a day cruise of the 12 islands; staying in treehouses in Olympos and finishing my trip in Cappaoccia which is known for its beautiful "fairy Chimneys" that span the landscape.
A fleeting visit to Turkey's 'main hubs' doesn't do it justice, I would recommend at least a couple of week stay to truly get a feel for this vibrant and beautiful country, full of culture and interesting, entertaining people!
For my first big trip to the other side of the world in my early 20's a good friend and I decided to do a Contiki. We wanted to meet other like-minded people and see the most we could in a limited period of time which this tour definitely provided. We were on the go from the first minute and didn't stop until the last day when we were dropped back off in London full of incredible memories and experiences that I wouldn't trade for anything!
Starting in London we departed via the white cliffs of dover to make the ferry crossing to Paris, it didn't take us long to get to know some of our bus buddies and become fast friends! By the end of our first day we'd made it the first of 8 countries on the list and seen the Eiffel Tower and lights of Paris by night.
This tour hit all the 'hot spots' of Western Europe, the highlights being;
-Sitting on the grass near the foot of the Eiffel Tower eating a picnic that my travel buddy and I fortuitously had in our handbags, after a full on day of taking in all the sights of Paris.
-Staying in a beautiful chateau in the Beaujolais wine region.
-Drinking (very overpriced) cocktails in the Monte Carlo Casino.
-Taking the cliché pic's with the leaning tower of Pisa.
-Dashing round the sights of Florence in torrential rain, getting horrifically lost and deciding to find a pub to reside in until we could face going out again (eventually finding our way and seeing sights we'd set out to see).
-The ruins in Rome, especially the Colosseum and the Trevi Fountain.
-St Peter's Basilica in Vatican City.
-Going by gondola through the canal's of Venice with wine in hand.
-Having (a few) steins of beer and pork knuckle in a traditional beer hall in Munich, as well as visiting the nearby Dachau Concentration Camp - my first experience visiting a concentration camp which interesting but also harrowing.
-Taking some time to chill out by the vineyards in the Rhine Valley before finishing in Amsterdam.
-Amsterdam is predominantly known for its 'red light district' which is definitely a 'must see' during a stay there, but I also loved visiting Anne Frank's House and cruising on canal bikes and pushbikes to take in the city.
I arrived back in London at the end of this tour well and truly exhausted but exhilarated as well. Being a young first timer to Europe who wanted to squeeze in as much as possible this was an incredible fun filled way to see it!