Lake Bled – Slovenia

I was grateful for the suggestion from another seasoned traveller to take the train from Ljubljana out to Lake Bled. In the heat of summer the picturesque lake is turned into an outdoorsy playground, grass slopes, swimming, boat rides, bike riding, swan spotting and just snoozing lakeside in the sun. A very enjoyable day trip!

Death Valley – California

‘Let’s just keep driving till we get to our accommodation’ I said, eyeing the barren wasteland that extended all around… we sure as hell didn’t want to break down or get stranded out here!

We arrived at Stovepipe wells in Death Valley, which is a really unique place to spend the night. Thankfully they had a pool. And a store. But alas, no restaurant. TV Snacks for dinner. Though from memory we didn’t have a TV?

Still, seeing the sun set or rise over the vast lifeless valley is still pretty incredible.

Sihanoukville – Cambodia

Sihanoukville is a beach side town on the Gulf of Thailand, Cambodia. You can spend your days sitting in a papasan on the sand, while locals bring you cocktails, pancakes, freshly cooked seafood and Asian meals.

Children and adults swarm around trying to sell you books, scarves, bracelets, fruit, crab, massages, manicures and fireworks…. an unusual way to relax!

Rose Valley – Cappadocia, Turkey

There are memorable days while travelling. The day I hiked through Rose Valley, in the Cappadocia region of Central Turkey was one of them.

In summary:

I awoke at 4am in a cave hotel. By 5am I was in a hot air balloon rising over the valley of rock formations. By 8am I was back at the hotel having breakfast, then by 9am onto a day tour. 10am walking the Rose Valley, through fields, over rocks, between crevices, in caves. Lunchtime climbing a rocky hill full of abandoned cave dwellings and houses. 1pm buying evil eye jewellery. By 2pm descending 9 levels underground in an underground city. 4pm hanging with hashish smoking French Canadians Boys . 5pm riding a motorbike across the valley to see the sun set (with said French Canadians). 6pm crashing said motorbike and injuring leg. 7pm on overnight bus to Istanbul, nursing swollen and bruised injured leg where I meet another solo traveller that I randomly met again and partied with in Berlin 3 months later.

Those are the days you live for. Ahh travel. Double Ahh for solo travel…

Eiffel Tower – Paris, France

The first glimpse from the bus, still a few kilometres out of Paris, was like seeing Santa Claus in the flesh. Excitement isn’t even the word. I’d spent 26 years on the planet, with probably about 20 of them yearning for Paris. The Louvre, Arc De Triomphe, The tower.

I blame a project in year 4, where I painstakingly created red white and blue headings and borders with mini flags and croissants. Cutting pictures of famous sites out of travel brochures.

Then I was there, for a mere 2 days, then gone, vowing to return to my beloved Paris. In 2007, I did. Still swooning when I saw the tower for a second time.