If you are planning a quiet tropical getaway, the Island Garden City of Samal in the Southern Philippines is a great destination for sun, sea, sand, diving and island hopping. Easily accessible from Davao City, the island offers holiday makers a relaxing break in a tranquil setting away from the hustle and bustle of city life. Whether for a longer break or a nice relaxing day out, the island has you covered.
When I think of decadent chocolates, beers, top restaurants, vintage markets and medieval buildings, Belgium tops my list as a-must visit. This is my fourth time to explore Brussels and I never get tired of the attractions this cosmopolitan city has to offer. Two years ago when I was there in September, it was the yearly Car-Free Sunday where motorists are encouraged to give up their cars for a day. Car traffic not being allowed in the Brussels Region from 9:30 am till 7:00 pm. It’s almost surreal how good the feeling is walking along the empty streets. Numerous activities take place during the day like push bike riding, flea markets and street parties, it’s so much fun!
Belfast to Dublin: (continuation from previous blog)
Driving on M5 from The Giant’s Causeway to Belfast was pretty straight forward, we managed to return our rented car to Belfast International Airport on the dot. From the airport we caught a cab to Glengall St to catch the Dublin Coach M1-Express departing at 5:30 PM. Traffic was very heavy around the city centre but thankfully we got there with just enough time to go for a quick comfort break, our bus was waiting and ready to go bang on time!
We got up early hoping to hit the road to beat the morning traffic. The Premier Inn provides an array of breakfast options, full and continental for £8.99 and you can eat as much as you like at the self-service buffet. Just in the nick of time, we managed to have brekkie and checked out before the free parking time slot expired.
We flew from Manchester catching a morning flight on Flybe Airlines to Belfast, flight time was around a half hour onboard a Dash 8 Turboprop. Since it’s a smaller aircraft, carry-on luggage must adhere to the correct weight and size required for stowing overhead. Crew at the desk will check your bag, if it doesn’t fit the gauge, it will be placed in the hold. Ours were fine weight wise, but were a touch too bulky thanks to rolled up jackets to be accepted on board. We were not the only ones, it really is a squeeze so bear this in mind when packing or book the extra baggage required. Thankfully we didn’t pay any extra charges. It was a pleasant flight with a lovely skirting over Lough Neagh and the Irish countryside surrounding it.
Hamad International Airport (HIA) is a combination of sleek architecture and world-class facilities, a destination in itself! It’s a huge and ultramodern airport with gleaming surfaces and spotless amenities, it’s 11:00 PM and it feels like an early evening rush in a big shopping mall. Arriving and departing passengers flock to the multitude of shops for last minute gifts and necessities, restaurants and bars full of people waiting for flight announcements or passing layover time. With less than two hours to spare, my first priority was to get to the business lounge area via the duty free shop and continue to experience what Qatar Airways has to offer.
I am pretty much back in the swing of things after two months of galavanting about in the Philippines, Europe and Qatar. I can’t say that living out of a suitcase was easy, it seemed to become heavier each pack despite all the stuff I lost! That’s part of the rich tapestry of travel I suppose, some great highs and a few lows but plenty of fun along the way. If you’re planning a trip for an extended time like I did, carefully plan your entire trip taking into account layover times, local facilities and connections, if necessary have a Plan B as a contingency.
Christmas holidays maybe over but summer is just hitting its peak. Baby it’s scorching hot outside! Yes, most parts of Australia have been bracing for heatwaves over the last few days and the best place to cool down is definitely by the pool or beach. If you still have some holiday break left, check out the unsurpassed beauty of Tea Gardens and Hawks Nest of New South Wales about a 2 – 1/2 hour drive North of Sydney.
The 4 night Moreton Island ‘Sea Breaks by P&O’ in winter is a great way to chase the blazing sun over this beautiful island located just off the coast of southeastern Queensland. Plenty of time to relax in pure bliss with out the hassles of flying or driving.
Beach and nature lovers, do yourselves a favor and plan a trip to El Nido, Palawan, Philippines, pronto!
Another leisurely coastal walk in Melbourne is the Brighton Beach to St Kilda, an under 2 hour walk covering approximately 7 km from Brighton Beach train station. We caught the train from Flinders St. Station taking the Sandringham line with a travel time of around 30 minutes.
A day trip to Bruges or Brugge in Dutch is really not enough to cover what this Unesco World Heritage City offers, shame that I had only one day free when I visited this enchanting Capital city of West Flanders in the Flemish Region of Belgium. There’s so much to do and see this part of Belgium and I guarantee you, this charming medieval city will capture your heart.