Sunday, 29 July 2018

Olé España. My Spain Round Trip.

Freshly picked lemons in mallorca

To me, no other country has summer holidays written all over it than Spain. Having grown up in Germany, summer trips to Spain were annually kind of mandatory. Spain and summer belong together such as the refreshing ice in ice tea and sand on the beach – but there’s so much more to the country than just beaches, Ballerman and the certainty that every day will be filled with sun and heat.

Last year, I planned a different summer holiday than the usual one – a round trip to explore more of Spain’s culture, learn about its versatile nature and of course there was time for a little break on the beach with ice cream. 

Travel Round 1: Mallorca - Island of Diversity

Away from the partying and retiring Germans in Palma, Mallorca positively surprised me with its diversity. Wherever you go, you can tell the island is wealthy and invests a lot in tourism. The streets are neat and modern, the villages still sleepy and untouched though very well connected with the infrastructure, there are hiking paths for you to get lost along the coast or simply the fact, that wherever you go in Mallorca may it be to the lush vegetation in the mountains or the crystal clear coves at the coast, you’ll always find an excellent restaurant serving local cuisine and fine dining experience.

I can highly recommend the beautiful Boutique Hotel & Restaurant Cas Xorc which is located right at the top of a mountain in between overgrown greenery and gardens. Built in typical historic Mallorcan style, the hotel is a popular wedding venue and I can totally see why. It was completely hidden away and there wasn't even a sign on the road. 

At some point, there was a dusty little sideway, very narrow and hard to navigate around and difficult to manoeuvre by car. After a 20minute fine-tuning and inch by inch work up the winding path with the car, I made it. Olive trees and lush greenery awaited, lemon trees and rose gardens filled the air with a heavenly scent. In the shadows of olive trees, I enjoyed lovely views over the area and a light summer lunch. This is definitely an insider tip and was the highlight of my trip.

Monday, 2 July 2018

A Day Trip To The Mayfield Lavender Farm


I'm tired of London.

There, I said it.

The hectic and changing lifestyle, the never-ending hustle & bustle as well as the masses of people were all a tiny bit too much for me lately.  All I've been craving for is a bit of space to myself for some much needed “Me time” but places for seeking solitude and getting an inch to breath is hard to find in a mega city such as London – not quite! They do exist if you’re willing to invest a bit of time and are up for an adventure to visit these places.

Having read a couple of blog posts about the amazing day trips to the surrounding countryside to escape the city, I felt inspired and ventured out by myself. So one sunny afternoon it was that I decided to take my camera and a good book on an adventure trip to the outskirts of London, namely the Mayfield Lavender Farm in Banstead/Surrey.

How to get to the Lavender Fields From London?

From my home in City Airport, I took first the DLR to Canning Town, then changed into the Jubilee Line to Canada Water and then took the Overground to Croydon. Once I’ve arrived at the station, I walked 10 minutes to the bus stop, waited nearly 20 minutes for the 166 bus and was then on a 50-minute ride to the Fields….told you this is a bit of a long journey so definitely bring your book! 

Especially the change in Croydon was time-consuming because the bus stops aren’t very well signposted and the one I needed was in a side street approximately 500 metres away from the Overground station….and well…Croydon is not necessarily my preferred area in London.

Anyway, the bus journey itself was actually pretty nice as the route goes straight out of Croydon via Purley Hills into the countryside. The further you got away from the urban space leaving the London bubble behind,  the prettier the houses and tranquil the neighbourhoods became – and then you’ve found yourself driving down this wonderful leafy alley – a typical English country lane with wild vegetation on both sides and the beauty of purple lavender peeking through its lush greenery every so often.
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