Laura Simpson

LJ

Laura Simpson

I'm Laura and this is my travelblog.

I caught the travel bug in Australia in 2000 and I think I have found a cure - a 14 week round the world trip!


That trip was several years ago now and it did nothing to rid me of my desire to travel. Some might say it made it worse!

This blog means you can read all about that trip and the many more that followed.

Enjoy...



Europe » Spain » Andalusia October 10th 2011

Today was the day to explore the Alpajurra region properly. Orgiva is the the “gateway” to the High Alpujarras. We visited the most famous 3 villages – Capileira, Bubion and Pampaneira. The drive up was spectacular, lots of twisting, hairpin bends and gorges. We drove to the furthest away one first – Capileria and worked our way back. We had our lunch in Pampaneira. It was our first 'menu del dia' (menu of the day)of the trip. All restaurants have to offer a menu del dia and they are usually a really good deal as you get 3 courses, bread and quite often a drink too. They can be as cheap as €9! Emily was very popular in the villages, the Spanish seem to love children. All the waiters love making silly noises at her and ... read more
A praying mantis that we found whilst walking
On the path
The high villages of Capileira & Bubion

Europe » Spain » Andalusia » Orgiva October 9th 2011

After a mosquito disrupted night we decided to head into Orgiva to explore it properly. Last night there seemed to be a lot of mossies in our room and I woke up in the middle of the night to find the light on and Tim looking angry! Apparently they kept buzzing in his ear! He managed to squash quite a few with a newspaper but there were still a couple in there somewhere which kept buzzing in our ears every time we were drifting off to sleep. Tonight we will ensure that no more get in. When we looked at the bedroom walls this morning we could see the corpses of squashed mozzies on the ceilings and walls so we clearly not the only people to have had this problem. We decided to drive to the ... read more
In Orgivia
View over Orgivia
Lunch on the terrace

Europe » Spain » Andalusia » Orgiva October 8th 2011

After a long and somewhat eventful trip we have made it to Spain! It was all going well until we got to security. Obviously we have more luggage than you can imagine – only the kitchen sink is missing. In our defence most of it is Emily's, she has one big case and me and Tim have to share the other one. We loaded our mountains of bags and coats onto the belt and went through as normal. No beeping so we went to pick our stuff up. At this point we were asked to wait whilst our pushchair and car seat were swabbed – all perfectly normal for items that can't be scanned. A few minutes later they said they'd need to re-do it as they'd had an unusual result. As we'd got the pushchair ... read more
Our apartment for the week
On one of our 3 terraces!
View from the terrace

Europe » France » Languedoc-Roussillon » Vers-Pont-du-Gard September 24th 2010

Last full day today. We decided that we would head out of Provence and into the neighbouring region of Languedoc-Roussillon so we could visit Pont du Gard. Pont du Gard is a very impressive aqueduct bridge that was built by the Romans. It is made up of 3 rows of arches which span the river Gard. It is part of the 50km aqueduct that ran from Uzes to Nimes. Apparently the Romans were using so much water that they needed to have huge amounts of it brought in. We went to the museum on site and as a result I am well up on Roman's and their plumbing. They had running water in their houses and huge bath houses. They were using more water per capita than we are now! The aqueduct is a very impressive ... read more
Close up of the bridge
Snails!
Just to prove we were there!


Another day, another ruin up a hill - we will be super fit at the end of all this. The weather has been good every day so far and today was properly hot! After a windy (as in winding road not blowing wind) drive through the mountains we arrived in Les Baux de Provence, one of the most beautiful villages in France, according to the signs on the way in. Parking was an issue as it is very popular, given it was actually reasonably quiet we can only imagine the horror of trying to get a spot in August. We walked up to the castle that sits on top of the hill, the village really is pretty, like a Disney interpretation of a medieval village but real! We walked past lots of nice looking shops selling ... read more
In the stocks!
Dante's idea of hell!
Views from the castle

Europe » France » Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur » Avignon September 22nd 2010

Headed north today for the next round of sight seeing. We started in Avignon. Thankfully getting there and getting parked was nowhere near as traumatic as we feared it might be. Everything we had read said that driving in Avignon was a complete nightmare. We decided to make use of one of several free car parks on the outskirts of the historical city. Apart from a slightly confusing bit when we were trying to get onto a bridge it was ok. At this point TomTom went a bit crazy and kept saying “bear right, turn right” when we actually needed to turn left. As you can imagine Tim was very calm at this point and never swore at TomTom! As we headed into the city (there is free shuttle bus but it really isn't that far ... read more
Cool artwork
In the main square
"Sur le pont d'Avignon"

Europe » France » Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur » Gordes September 21st 2010

After another trip to the boulangerie for some croissants and a baguette we headed out for the day with our first stop being Gordes. Gordes is a typical Provençal hilltop village in a region known as The Luberon. This area is very pretty, full of lavender fields and was made famous by the book “A Year in Provence” - and it seemed that the whole of France, most of Japan and half of America had also decided it would make a nice place to start the day too! We hadn't researched properly and had decided on market day for our visit. Now markets are nice to look around, and this one was very pretty with soaps, olives and lavender aplenty (plus some of those annoying carved frogs that chirp and are beloved of market traders the ... read more
Cheese in the market
Roussillion
Square in Roussillion

Europe » France » Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur » Camargue September 20th 2010

Went to the Camargue today in search of flamingos! The Camarague is a large area of marshland to the south of where we are staying. It is very unlike the rest of Provence as it is so open and flat. It stretches all the way to the sea and as well as being a haven for bird life it is also full of mosquitoes. For some reason I read the bit in the book about mosquitoes and decided to ignore it rather than thinking “I must pack the DEET”. Needless to say this was a foolish mistake! We headed to the Parc Ornithologique du Pont du Gau which is an area of the Camargue which has been set up with birdwatching in mind. There is a 7km loop path and lots of hides and signs (but ... read more
Lots of flamingos
More flamingos
An egret

Europe » France » Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur » Graveson September 19th 2010

Bonjour! We are in Provence in France on yet another holiday. We thought we would make the most of things and go whilst we still can! We are currently renting an apartment in a little village called Graveson, about 20km south of Avignon. We arrived here yesterday afternoon after flying to Marseilles airport (cheap Ryanair flights as per usual) where we collected our hire car (a Peugot 207 - not as good as last year's diesel Fiesta in Tim's opinion). TomTom got us most of the way here without any problems. Obviously it failed to locate where we were actually staying as it didn't know which roads were one way or no entry. After a minor amount of swearing from Tim we found it. Our apartment, apartment Cezanne, is very nice. It is a one bedroom ... read more
Tim has got his jar of cornichon so he is happy!
On the daily baguette run
Basking in the sun

Europe » United Kingdom » England » Northumberland » Seahouses May 28th 2010

The heat wave is definitely over! It was 27c on Saturday and is a chilly 7c today! It also looked like it was about to rain at any second. We decided to chance the weather and drove to Alnwick today, about 25 minutes from where we are staying. It is famous for it's castle and gardens and the fact that some of the first Harry Potter film was filmed there (although only about 10 seconds from what we could gather, not that it seems to stop them do a roaring trade on it). It is expensive to go in and they are also part of this scam whereby doing a gift aid donation costs you extra money - it is because they aren't actually a charity. Anyway, enough of the ranting! We started in the gardens ... read more
On the toy digger
Lots of tulips
Alnwick Castle




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