Tenerife: A week in Puerto de la Cruz

Teide cloaked in snow, from our hotel

We’re no strangers to the Canaries. They’re the default, value-for-money option when it comes to escaping the drab, damp days of winter in London. We’d plumped this time for Tenerife rather than Gran Canaria, and the northern resort town of Puerto de la Cruz. It was my first time on the island, Graham’s second. The […]

Japan: A day of temples in Kyoto   

The gardens at Sanjusangen-do

Our last full day in Kyoto. And that meant we had to visit all those temples we’d promised ourselves when we were planning our holiday but had never got around to. And that would be despite my bad back. A bad back that had given me another restless night. But at least it wasn’t quite […]

Japan: Kyoto with a bad back

Another view of Shimbashi

What a way to spend a birthday.  I woke in our Kyoto hotel with dreadful back pain, aching legs and dodgy guts. Poor Graham – his big day and I was going to be no fun at all. However, I somehow managed to get to breakfast, ate lightly and swallowed ibuprofen. Outside it looked gloomy and […]

Italy: A weekend in Bologna

That terracotta cityscape

Bologna, the capital of Italy’s Emilia-Romagna region, is home to the oldest university in the Western world, incredible food and a wonderful cityscape of terracotta-roofed buildings. But there are other features of the city that don’t feature so prominently in the guidebooks, not least the amount of graffiti. Perhaps it’s something to do with Bologna’s history […]

A walk on Bergen’s mountains

Some of the stunning views from the mountain

Bergen’s unpredictable weather delivered snow on our second full day in town. Admittedly there was just a dusting around our hotel, but the mountains that encircle the harbour were covered with the stuff. So we decided to visit them after another hearty breakfast, Graham suffering from a heavy cold and me with a headache. I […]