While I might be a massive fan of Michael Palin's epic travels, and while I do aspire to
follow him in many of his footsteps, up until now I've only ever been abroad three times.
The first time was in 2000, when I was lucky enough to accompany a work colleague for a month in Nepal.
The second time was for a holiday with some friends, last year, to the gorgeous
Greek island of Zante - or Zakynthos, as it is sometimes also known.
The third time - from which I am still recovering at the time of writing - was
during June 2005, when I visited the largest of the Greek islands - Crete.
Again, I had gone with three friends for what was essentially a typical 'lads holiday.'
Yet, as soon as we got to where we were to stay, all four of us realised that it wasn't
going to be quite the holiday we had had in mind.
You could say that the travel agent who enthusiastically helped us book our holiday here
in the UK had misinformed us to a large extent.
The 'big city' of Rethymno was a 90 minute walk (along the main road) from our
apartments, and not the pleasant 10-minute stroll as she had promised.
If we wanted to get into the city we would have to endure the rigmarole of catching
taxis to and fro, without the fun luxury of staggering 'back home' after our nights
out on our own half-broken backs.
Lucky for us, we soon discovered that we didn't need drunken nights out to enjoy ourselves.
The family-run apartments - Camari Gardens, nestling at the foot of Gerani village - proved to be perfect accommodation. Complete with a couple of well-located pools and a fabulous bar and restaurant area that was situated at the very heart of the apartment blocks, and which served some truly wonderful meals.
Sun-worshippers can't complain at Crete's favourable weather, so time spent sunbathing
is a common pastime for many holiday-makers who visit.
Still, if you've made the effort to travel some 2000 miles around the world, it's
rude not to get out and about to see the place, meet the locals and immerse yourself
in the prevailing culture.
We soon got into the habit of having a fried breakfast each at the apartments every morning,
before heading up the hill and into the beautifully sprawling village of Gerani, which
was blessed with between six and ten traditional Greek tavernas.
The laid-back Greek lifestyle (along with the warm weather) necessitates that, if
you have a job there, you work for three or four hours in the morning (say, from
eight am until mid-day), before 'retiring' during the warmest part of the day.
Places to Visit - Greetings From Amsterdam Part One By Steve Rudd
As the blazing red sunset slowly but surely cast Hull into shadow, the P&O ferry was ready,
and so were the passengers.
I'd never travelled by ferry across to the Netherlands, and thus was naturally overwhelmed
by the sheer scale of the ferry and the wealth of entertainment on board, what with
two cinemas, a kids play area, a restaurant and casino
Places to Visit - On The Pennine Way Part Two By Steve Rudd
After surviving the nightmare of Kinder Scout's mountainous bulk and getting back on track,
the next 'hill' of worth en-route along the Pennine Way is called Bleaklow.
Just like its predecessor, it could quite potentially be the death of you if
you're not careful in negotiating the peaty wastes as you go up and over and
onwards towards the tiny hamlet of
Places to Visit - On The Pennine Way Part One By Steve Rudd
Why on earth would anyone want to go walking on their week off work? That's the question that most people would routinely ask anybody who would do exactly that, as though walking - and long distance walking in particular - is something simply not to be indulged in.
I always argue that there is very little more
Places to Visit - Down South By Steve Rudd
Brighton has always been one hell of a popular place, but until one freezing cold
day in February of this year I had never before spent anytime whatsoever there
in my twenty-four years in this forever-overwhelming world.
I thought it was high time I paid the place a visit, and seeing as though
I was down in London anyway - and a return National Express coach ticket
Places to Visit - Up North By Steve Rudd
So, you look forward all week - at work - to your one or two days off... right? And what do you do on such days off? Housework, no doubt. Do you ever think you should do something more worthwhile with your sacred time off? Like travel, for instance.
County Durham isn't that far a trip from East Yorkshire, and if
Places to Visit - To Hampstead Heath and Beyond ... By Steve Rudd
So, you live in London and wish to escape the hustle and bustle of the inner city scene.
Where can you turn to? Why, the plethora of beautiful parks of course - and there are few
places nicer than Hampstead Heath, in North London, for some quality peace and quiet.
Places to Visit - On the Moors By Steve Rudd
So much for me confiding to people that I thought we were collectively out of the woods
and that Spring was just around the corner.
Clearly I spoke too soon and paid for such a misdemeanour yesterday
(13th February 2005) when I ventured up onto the
Places to Visit - Dinostar - THIS IS HISTORY By Daniel Laney
In the last two months Hull has welcomed a new addition to its ever growing tourist trade.
Dinostar, which opened on Easter Sunday of this year, should hopefully
be welcomed with open arms by families and budding historians alike and with it
being a quick
Places to Visit - Our Samhain Visit to Avebury by Janie Spencer
Before we start on our journey, let me give you a bit of background on Avebury.
It is a beautiful stone circle, so big that you can in fact fit a village inside it, as you can see from this overhead map!
As well as being a tourist spot, it is both a home and a gathering
Places to Visit - Burton Constable Hall.
Burton Constable Hall has collected several ghosts and stories from its 450 year history, the most frequently seen ghost being that of Nurse Dowdall, a much loved nanny to the children of the household during the 19th century.
Places to Visit - A day by the beach - Bridlington Harbour.
This Sunday I was spoilt for choice - either to visit a Buddhist centre in "Kilham"
or attend a strawberries and cream party. Opted to go and find Zen so duly arrived
with my offspring (Katie and Oliver) at my friend's house (Cilla) punctually (for
a change) at 11.30.
Places to Visit - This is Hull
The East Yorkshire city of Kingston Upon Hull has it's fair share of bad press. That's OK, the people who live here know why so many come and stay!
Visit the City and sample the eclectic mix of entertainment on offer, from the
laid-back coffee shops and cosmopolitan bars of the Avenues
Places to Visit - Pickering Park Rocks
Pickering Park rocks for the youth of Hull.
Sunday afternoon, 6th July 2003 saw the first FREE open air Rock Concerts for the youth of Hull, from noon until 7pm.
Bands featured included the Supatones, Crowroad, DumpValve, Freaks Union, The Favours, The Sonnet,
Zap the Flak, S.P.A.F.F.FRead more...
Places to Visit - Beverley Minster By Mo
Founded in the eighth century by John, Bishop of York - later St. John of Beverley - Beverley Minster has been
described as 'the finest gothic church in Europe'.
The present church, built in the 13th and 14th century, is a perfect blending of three