I’ve been a very lucky girl this Christmas present-wise. I’ve been gifted some lovely things and today I thought I’d make use of my very first monthly Spotlight blog post to shine some light on one of my favourite Chrimbo presents I received this year.
Each month on the blog, I want to (pun intended) shine a spotlight on something I’ve been loving. Whether that be fashion related, a beauty product or even a place I’ve visited, Spotlight acts as my space to be able to rave about it to me lil heart’s content.
And so today, I want to introduce ya’ll to the BEST coffee table book I’ve ever laid my eyes on.
Back in 2006, the New York Times featured articles on ’36 Hours’ in different locations across America. Since then, ’36 Hours’ has grown in popularity and the long-awaited first edition of ’36 Hours: Europe’ was released in 2012. Now on its 2nd edition, I received this for Christmas, having caught the wanderlust bug for as long as I can remember. I love hopping on a plane and getting abroad whenever I get the chance (albeit not much, sadly being a cash-strapped student) but this is the perfect travel guide to fulfil my dreams.
The premise of the book is to provide you with a literal itinerary of all the possible things you could get up to on a weekend away in 130 destinations in Europe. A weekend getaway is achievable and the itineraries are tightly scheduled to ensure you get an exotic flavour of the place you’re visiting.
For me, flicking through the book is a complete joy. You find out hidden gems about each destination and if you’ve got a weekend trip in the pipeline, it can give you inspiration as to where to head to when you arrive. Complete with bookmarks, you’re able to mark off those places that you’re lusting over visiting. And although the term ‘coffee table book’ doesn’t do the guide justice, the photos inside are absolutely beautiful and could definitely take pride of place on your coffee table.
So with that, I thought I’d discuss the top 5 destinations I’m ready to tick off hopefully over the next year or so:
I recently had a night away in London back in September with me boyfriend. Having been a handful of times before over the years whilst growing up, this was my first time really taking in the sights and realising the beauty and lure of our capital city. The city that never sleeps contains a palpable excitement unlike anywhere else in the UK- there is always something going on. Being a girl born in the countryside, the hustle and bustle of London wholly entices me.
I’m very lucky to be able to revisit London in just a week’s time, with the boyfriend again, as we have booked another getaway to the capital. Keep your eyes peeled on the blog for many more posts to come about this laaavely place. I definitely have the London bug, and I literally could see myself in a few years hopefully working and possibly living in the city.
The only time I have visited Paris has been as a toddler, solely for the purpose of living it up in Disneyland. I have never ventured further than the theme park’s gates and if I had, I truly wouldn’t have appreciated it anyway, being merely 4 at the time. And that is precisely why I am craving to get me a trip to Paris lined up.
I am borderline obsessed with everything Parisian. The romance of the city enchants me and I absolutely cannot wait to be able to see the Eiffel Tower in all its glory in front of my very own eyes, and not on a computer screen.
JUST LOOK AT IT.
Whether it’s cycling around Vondelpark, cruisin’ along the canal on a boat trip or wandering through the Van Gogh museum, I want and practically need to visit such an iconic, picturesque, postcard place.
And on a serious note, Amsterdam really is an eye-opening place to visit. Home to the Anne Frank House, where Anne and her family hid for more than 2 years during World War II, Prinsengracht 263 has now been converted into a museum, with a sobering exhibition about the persecution of Jews during the war. For myself, I remember Anne Frank’s diary was one of the first books I personally decided to check out of a library to read when I was around 11 years old. Since then, I’ve read it twice more and I find the sheer strength of Anne and her family heroic and something everyone should be educated about.
There seems to very much be a running theme emerging for my chosen city breaks, what with the romantic feel of the cities and the river or canal running through it, but honestly, I need to visit Venice.
A city built on water, every twist and turn of Venice’s alleys brings you to yet another secret wonder. Imagine floating down the river on a gondola. If that hasn’t persuaded you to book a trip to Venice, then I do not know what will.
Think quintessential Greece. Whitewashed, worn buildings with blue shutters, facing the glistening, shimmering Mediterranean sea. Traditional homes laced with fuchsia bright flowers, stark against the white painted walls, but just as bright as the cloudless blue sky above. Secret pathways that lead you to hidden lanes; a beautiful maze that ends with a coastline of perfectly transparent waters.
Having visited Crete this last summer for the second time, I am in love with Greece. A summer holiday in Greece epitomises everything I could possibly want from a holiday: relaxation, exploring and 110% baking sunshine. I love warm weather, it puts me in the best of moods and Greece is such a beautiful country.
Which means that naturally Mykonos is high-up on my bucket list of places to visit in Europe asap.
What’s your travel plans for 2017? Where would you absolutely love to visit? Let me know below in the comments and we can together indulge in our wanderlust fancies. Wahoo!