vickygoestravelling

my journey to health and well being via exotic destinations


Leave a comment

Budapest in 33,000 steps

budapestblog-34

Castle by night with Szechenyi chain bridge in foreground, built by a Scot

Our son Tommy has bought us a weekend break in Budapest as a 60thbirthday present. He has chosen the hotel, devised an itinerary and booked a Michelin star restaurant for the Saturday night. Continue reading


2 Comments

A weekend at the Maritávora wine estate in Douro

 

Douro2-4

Looking over into Spain, the other side of the Douro river

With hardly time to breathe we are off again, this time to Portugal. At the UWS Gala dinner I successfully bid for a weekend in the Douro Valley on one of the region’s oldest wine estates. As it is a holiday weekend in Switzerland we decide to go a day early and spend a night in Porto. Continue reading


5 Comments

Growing your own veg the Sarah Raven way

500x550-crop-080108.jpg

I don’t think my garden will look like this…

It was a rare warm spring day when I arrived at Sarah Raven’s Perch Hill Farm this week for a master-class in veg growing. The Sussex countryside was bucolic – gambolling lambs, forsythia bursting, hedgerows popping…and Sarah’s farm was beginning to sprout too. Continue reading


1 Comment

New year, new ski season

IMG_20180106_181522_038

I never tire of this view of the majestic Dents du Midi – now covered in masses of snow

 

We have always spent Christmas and New year in Champery since my mother died in 2009. There seemed no need to remain in England after that; and even less so after Louise died in 2011. The three of us come here and try and avoid the madness that overtakes even rational people at Christmas time. The only presents I give are to Ross and Tommy; friends may receive small tokens from our travels, Christmas biscuits from the Basel market or home-made chutneys, if I’ve made any! Continue reading


4 Comments

Costa Rica – Pura Vida

Blue-grey Tanager

Blue-grey tanagers

We leave lovely Ometepe by the ferry, and arrive at the border after an hour or so. Here we say goodbye to Bayardo, our driver for the past 10 days, and lug our bags through the Nicaragua border formalities – all smiles – and into Costa Rica – all grumps. It’s blazing hot and there is no sign of the rental car, which Diego has nobly volunteered to drive (great job Diego!). We mooch around in the scant shade looking in wonderment at the massive pantechnicons which ply the Transamerica Highway from north to south. Their line to cross the border is at least 1-2 kms long. Awful. Continue reading


Leave a comment

Nine days in Nicaragua 2: Léon and Granada (birthday blog!)

LeonGranada-68

View from Le Merced bell tower over Granada

The drive from El Jaguar to Léon, Nicaragua’s capital (founded in  1524) until Managua took over, takes us through fields of maize, legumes (the famous red beans for the staple dish of pinto gallo – or rice and peas) and the usual motley array of horses (sometimes with dashing gauchos astride), cows, dogs and pigs. Round here where it is poor, they are all a bit thin, ribs sticking out, apart from the pigs who root around contentedly. Sometimes the animals are tethered, but mostly not. The houses are as poor as ever, with the occasional school, and people going about their daily business. Religion plays a huge part in daily life – and the bigger churches are full of effigies of saints and, of course, the Virgin Mary. Continue reading