Page 2 of Mert Travel Blog Posts

Europe » United Kingdom » Wales » Conwy August 22nd 2012

That’s what I remember about Wales. Grey slate, grey houses, grey landscape and grey rain. Taking into account our recent experience in Cornwall and Graeme’s derisive comments about Summer in the UK I wasn’t about to have any other expectations. It’s good to be proved wrong sometimes. The Welsh flags were fluttering proudly on the castle’s towers as we walked across the bridge to Conwy. Having some insider knowledge (I was born in Old Colwyn after all) parking away from the throng in Llandudno junction we eyed the scudding clouds. Warm and windy, no rain forecast. An amazing few days break in the weather saw us here in North Wales for my cousin’s wedding. Being a jammy devil he had had a word, I’m sure and we had the first sunny day since Spring. He commanded ... read more
Enjoying the sun
Conwy Castle
Not much grey here!

Europe » Greece » Crete » Chania August 19th 2012

Eagle-eyed readers will notice that there was an unannounced jump from Crete to Wales. Apologies for that, but decided to bring you up to the moment with the Olympic football etc. So here we are back in Crete. In spirit you understand, not in person! 'Agapemo,' he said, grinning slyly at me as he presented me with a glass of home-made raki. It was the last thing I really wanted before sleeping but Mikalis, the Hotel Dimitri owner, had heard us coming in and made it perfectly clear we were to join family and friends out on the terrazza in the soft warmth of the evening. In between teaching me a few Greek words he explained by the way of broken English, German and mime that he had to go into Xania three times weekly for ... read more
Heike's produce
The Water's Edge
Mihalis restaurant

Europe » United Kingdom » Wales » Cardiff August 12th 2012

Cardiff is all about Doctor Who. The current filming at Roath Lock Studios, the spin-off Torchwood , the rift, well, everything really. And now it is home to The Doctor Who Experience at Porth Teigr. I sighed with anticipation when I found out. Graeme seemed to think that we were only going to Cardiff to see the bronze medal Olympic playoff between the Korean and Japanese football teams. Truth be known, they wouldn't have been my choice of teams to view anyway, but hey ho, they're young teams and probably full of pizzazz. But all that was going to be after a cycle around the Bay, fortuitously passing the Doctor Who Experience. Cardiff Camping Ground at Pontcanna Fields wasn't the most scenic of camping sites but adjacent to the glorious Bute Park bordering Cardiff Castle just ... read more
Penarth Pier
Korea v Japan
Lunch stop in Penarth

Europe » Greece » Crete » Kolymbari August 6th 2012

Jumping on a bus to Kolymbari the next morning we aim to escape the afternoon insanity on the beach at Agia Marina. We pass the built up area relatively quickly and are soon bowling along passing dry fields and scattered houses and villas. George, from the caravan bar on the pebbly beach, advised us that if you didn't like the big resort hotel further back in the little town the best option from admittedly very scant choices was Hotel Dimitra at the back of the harbour. It was hot, very hot and the cool, dark panelled hotel was just what we needed. Eresmia, had not heard us come in and we knocked on the kitchen door where she was busy arranging some salt to dry. We found a common language in German and soon secured a ... read more
Kolymbari scene
Cretan patriarch
Octopi drying in the sun

Europe » Greece » Crete » Agia Marina August 2nd 2012

Like delectable smoked salmon bwtween two slices of stale bread Hotel Thodorou sits right in the middle of the hectic resort strip West of Xania. For those of you who have been following our progress you probably last remember the phone call in the rain in Cornwall which precipitated this journey. It hadn't augered well. Incessant heavy rain had caused immense flooding in our neck of the woods in West Dorset and our journey to London was fraught with flood signs and redirections. Our arrival at Masslink Guest House on the infamous Massetts Road in Horley was less than propitious. We were greeted with a maniacal landlady, a cross between Basil Fawlty and one of Bill Bryson's landladies in Notes from a Small Island, ranting and raving about the Bongo and how we should have let ... read more
The migratory flock
Sunbeds et al
That soft pink light

Europe » United Kingdom » England » Cornwall July 23rd 2012

Truro and beyond It was time for a dry house. A wee cottage beautifully decorated and cutesy, quaintsy beyond belief for those who don't know about little English cottages. Tiny stairwells, low doorways and uneven floors. My ex-sister-in-law had offered to give us some respite from the rain and we were soon cosy inside with a fire going at the end of June. Incredible but there it is. The rain lifted enough for us to take a crazily happy Labrador for a walk up the small grass-studded lane through a field where cows took rather too much of an interest in our perambulations. I have always blithely stepped through fields of cows, not paying too much attention to them, but a recent article in The Guardian about some poor fellow who had nearly been crushed to ... read more
Cutesy, quaintsy
Cathedral ceiling
Between showers

Europe » United Kingdom » England » Cornwall July 7th 2012

Well, only two of us, but Ayr Holiday Park charge enough for a large family! Musn't grumble too much as it was a perfect position looking down on St Ives beach and Porthmeor beach. We were nearly blown away, not by the view but by the mighty winds which set the tents flapping in a roundelay as they gusted down the hill. Rocking in the top of the Bongo I braced myself as the rains and wind continued. Do you see a theme developing here? 'Is this Summer yet?' If I heard that one more time I would scream, well not really just feel slightly guilty about my promise of beautiful surfing beaches and white sand in Cornwall. Just like Australia, I said. Foolish, I know. But I do remember the most glorious of days on ... read more
St Ives harbour
The Bongo in situ
Tate St Ives

Europe » United Kingdom » England » Cornwall July 7th 2012

Jokes about the weather grew stale as we set off in rain...again. Those who are aware of Graeme's handyman proclivities will not be surprised that there was a miraculous shortening of another burst hose after the elevation of the Bongo's water temperature made an unwanted stop in an old people's home in St Austell necessary. To fix the Bongo, you understand, not to find a new place of repose! I stood there with an umbrella making occasional unhelpful remarks until the hands were greasy and the water jugs were empty. Temperature back to normal, well the car's anyway, off we headed. Time to whip out the National Trust card again. St Michael's Mount home to the St Aubyn family since the year dot. (1647 actually) Windswept, we strode across the causeway still clad in our wet ... read more
Cork replica
Struggling with the devil
Mizzley Porthcurno

Europe » United Kingdom » England » Cornwall July 5th 2012

For those familiar with the suburbs of Newcastle, NSW they will immediately spot the interloper amongst these. So, yes, we are in Cornwall. Wild camping on the wilds of Dartmoor had been my first night's goal but the lack of easily accessible tracks which didn't lead to some isolated farmhouse was making this dream look next to impossible. This coupled with a cutting wind (this is mid-Summer?) made us shrug our shoulders and follow a brown camping sign. We dismissed the first site at the back of The Plume of Feathers in the middle of a village and pressed on. As we drove away the large, grey, forbidding building which Graeme had mistakenly thought was some kind of factory suddenly morphed into the famous Dartmoor prison – the centrepiece of the village. Prison land everywhere. What ... read more
Cotehele great hall
Down the dell
Tall ships in Charlestown

Europe » United Kingdom » England » Dorset June 18th 2012

Venturing East along the Jurassic Coast we travelled on the X53 bus from Bridport making our destination Weymouth although we found out that we could stay on all the way to Poole. Heading West we could have decided to visit Lyme Regis or even Exeter but Weymouth it was. Sat on the top of the bus, I mused. Happiness is a compilation of small pleasures, little delights and tiny surprises. Often the larger things in life can overshadow the nuances of everyday life. I definitely worship the God of Small Things! (Thank you Arundhati Roy). Hugging the coastline the bus squeezes its way down small roads, dodging parked cars and oncoming traffic for all the world like Harry Potter's night bus. I swear I was thinner at the end of the journey after all that breathing ... read more
Dumb doggy
Cheeky squirrel
The old harbour

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