During the recent Christmas holiday period I spent 7 weeks travelling around Europe with my family. It was so beautiful seeing the magical Christmas markets and with the smells of spices and ginger bread throughout the air.
We started our holiday by flying into Berlin and then by train to Prague, Vienna, Salzburg and Munich. We then picked up a car and drove the Romantic Road from Munich through the small, medieval towns of the Bavarian Alps before stopping in Strasburg and heading off to Paris for a week to squeeze in some last minute shopping on the Champs Elysees. There were so many Christmas markets to explore and all were beautiful but my favourite places would have to be the magical Prague, Salzburg and Rothenberg . It was like I was in a dream or in a Christmas card! Another absolute highlight of this area was spending a night at the base of Neuschwanstein Castle and seeing it lit up at night and in the morning.
We flew from Paris to the North of England on Christmas eve and spent four nights with my English relatives around the beautiful Lake District area. We spent Christmas Day in a little medieval restaurant near where Beatrix Potter lived. We then drove to Edinburgh to spend five nights experiencing the New Year Hogmanay celebrations and street party. We also took a day trip to the Scottish highlands and Loch Ness. My kids were disappointed they didn’t get to see the Nessy monster on the Loch! In the new year we flew to Ireland and drove around for 10 days, experiencing all the sights of Galway, Cliff of Mohar, Ring of Kerry, Kilkenny and Dublin. I also managed to climb the slippery castle stairs in the wet and cold and kiss the Blarney Stone!
There were so many Christmas markets to explore and all were beautiful but my favourite places would have to be the magical Prague, Salzburg and Rothenberg.
After Ireland we finished off our holiday by spending 6 nights in Istanbul, Turkey, somewhere I really enjoyed. On the first day I couldn’t believe that it started snowing, so I spent the whole day shopping at the colourful Grand Bazaar. We also spent a day visiting Gallipoli on a private tour. This was a real highlight to be there in the 100th year. After 7 weeks of travelling around I had a much needed Turkish massage in a beautiful 500 year old domed Turkish Bath, which was directly opposite the Hagia Sophia and Blue Mosque., a perfect way to end a great trip.