Page 2 of Mert Travel Blog Posts

Europe » Spain » Catalonia » Begur November 19th 2012

And so to Empuriabrava -another beachside experience – a resort town built for the tourists, Floridian in style and aspect. Built 40 years ago on the alluvial flats of the Muga river the canals slice through the land choc-a-bloc with luxury yachts. Millions of Euros locked up in hulls which could possibly staunch the financial wounds of Spain! Built cycleways make easy, flat riding through the town up over a bridge and along dusty roads past apple tree orchards towards the old town of Castello d'Empurias. A ghost town on Sunday – we cycled the narrow streets and alleyways stopping to look at the gothic church built like a cathedral with a massive double granite font and at a local football match until half time was called. At breakfast on our pitch Graeme noticed some ant ... read more
Setting sun
Early morning Sa Riera
Illa Roja

Europe » France » Aquitaine » Limeuil October 24th 2012

Drifting down the Dordogne, the banks giving hints of Autumn colour. A yellowing green here, an orange tree there, flaming red bushes or cascading Boston ivy on the buildings as you pass under the bridge at Le Buisson. Limeuil had been a great find. Calm and peaceful overlooking the incredible medieval buildings piled up the hill we sited the Bongo along the river bank. The town itself was a bit disappointing, quiet beyond belief with doors and shutters barred. A few tourists wandered around looking for entertainment but mostly – there was none. A small cafe at the base of the cobbled street leading up to the gardens served basic takeaway food and endeavoured to serve the passing trade for coffee and cake on a terrace taking in the two arched bridges over the confluence of ... read more
Paddling away
Perfect site

Europe » France » Lower Normandy » Avranches October 19th 2012

So that was France and Spain then? Well all we had time for in our four week journey fitted in between saying goodbye to a daughter and hello to in-laws. We have been travelling not blogging. Surprisingly wifi in France was not ubiquitous. We struggled to get contact with the outside world. Graeme thought it was great. I, of course was not so happy. No travel blogs! So after our return and a quick trip to Morocco squeezed in I find some time to bring the travel tales up to date. Our first camping site was parked outside an elementary school in Dannes after following signs to three camping sites all of which were closed. Not only closed but shut and barred.. We realised we were late, not only timewise but for the end of the ... read more
Perusing menus
School camping!

Europe » United Kingdom » England » Cumbria October 11th 2012

Beautiful, wet and cold. The last of the Great British Summer. At least Graeme has stopped asking, ‘Is this Summer?’ Oh wait, I wrote that too soon. Sitting in the café at the bottom of the Aira Force waterfall Graeme spotted a film showing some of the most exquisite lakeside scenery in the sun. ‘Oh well, of course that’s in summer,’ he said laughing, ‘oh wait it is summer!’ The bank holiday weekend had ended the summer as it began. Wet and windy. Actually as the whole summer has been. Records keep being broken. The wettest summer since records began. Ullswater is high, trees swim at the edge, streams and puddles flood the lakeside roads. We hop on a bus, the expense makes us gasp. 5.40 for a 10 minute return ride. What a way to ... read more
Storms above Aera Force
From the pub at Dockray
The waterfall

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

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