Monday, 29 July 2013

Welcome to the amoreTravel Blog


Welcome to the blog post for amoreTravel, I will be writing some short articles on here about the travelling I am doing or have done over the last 20 years. In that time I have driven over 400,000 miles flown around the world a few times, stopped in several countries, seen some amazing places, met very interesting people and had some really good times which I hope to share with you.

Some friends who are also travellers and writers are also creating the site which provides more detailed reviews of hotels, places to visit, things to do, lots of other travel information and by subscribing you will be entered into a free monthly Prize draw......When you have a moment please do go and visit.

amoretravel, holidays, city breaks, cruises, hotels

Thursday, 25 July 2013

Vancouver Firework Party - One hell of a bang

Sunset over English Bay, Vancouver, Fireworks

Vancouver Celebration of Light -
I will admit to loving fireworks and when by co-incidence was in Vancouver, Canada on one of the night's of the 'Celebration of Light' I had to go. In fact it would have been hard to miss it, as it is the biggest annual event held in Vancouver and the largest offshore firework competition in the world.

For the last 23 years during the last week of July, three teams compete for the title of Champion of the Celebration of Light, it is watched by an incredible 400,000 people each evening, sitting along the shore of English Bay in Vancouver and the party atmosphere is wonderful.

As locals and regular visitors know you need to pick your favourite site and arrive early as it does get incredibly busy and the Police and Stewards who do an amazing job have many of the streets closed.

There are many superb vantage points from Stanley Park, English Bay Beach, Sunset Beach and around to Hadden Park - we picked up some drinks and picnic food and headed off to Sunset Beach, and found an amazing viewpoint so we could watch the sunset.

Vancouver Celebration of Light, English Bay Sunset -

As more and more people arrived, the atmosphere got livelier and friendlier. The music from the bands and radio hosts ensured the evening was really hotting up. The Canadian people around us were incredibly friendly, offering to share their food and drinks and volunteers wandered through the crowds offering free ice cream and drinks. - This is one amazing Party and that was before the 'main event ' even started.

Tuesday, 23 July 2013

Paris on Wheels in a Day

My teenage daughter and I were staying near Disneyland Paris for a few days holiday and after experiencing the excitement of the theme park including Space Mountain and the amazing car stunts at Walt Disney Studios she asked if we could visit Paris as she had never been.

We only had one full day available and what follows is our whistle-stop tour of Paris, this involved a lot of walking, or wheeling in my case and therefore not everyone is going to want or be able to achieve all of this.

The morning started early as we caught the 7:20am RER A Train at Marne La Vallée–Chessy train station, only 100m from the entrance to Disneyland Paris, for the 50 minute journey to Charles de Gaulle Etoile (at Arc de Triomphe) which is one of only a few in central Paris which has a lift from the platform to the outside - this becomes very relevant at the end of the article.

Paris Arc de Triomphe, amoretravel Paris city breaks
We emerged only steps away from Arc de Triomphe in glorious sunshine with the morning traffic racing around the large roundabout, taking one of a dozen exits, we eventually found a subway which allowed my daughter to cross safely but which is not accessible to wheelchairs. Wheelchair users need to be dropped off by a taxi in the centre of the roundabout and then there is a lift which takes you to the second level but not the top as there are about 45 steps to the viewing area. The Arc de Triomphe, built to commemorate the dead of many French Wars and Victories is an impressive structure and from the top there are dramatic views of Paris.

Once we were back together we headed off to walk/wheel down Avenue des Champs-Élysées, past the designer shops, the upmarket car showrooms, elegant pavement cafes and the red-carpeted entrances to luxury hotels such as the Champs Elysees Plaza Hotel.
For some people watching, stop for a short while at one of the many Cafés, Laduree at 75 Avenue des Champs-Élysées for pastries and coffee is a good but not inexpensive choice.

Parisian Cafés are indeed the social and culinary life of the French, observe the animated conversations, as luscious butter-rich croissants are consumed or later in the day indulge in delicious meals.

Paris Place de la Concorde
Feeling restored, early starts are not my favourite, we continued to weave down Champs-Élysées passing the Grand Palais and Petit Palais on our right and arriving at Place de la Concorde an impressive 20 acre square, albeit again set within a large traffic roundabout. At the peak of the French Revolution, Louis XVI and Marie-Antoinette along with more than a 1,000 followers were executed here. In 1795 in the spirit of reconciliation it was given its current name and in 1833 the central obelisk, 75 ft. high was erected, covered in hieroglyphics it is from a 3,500 year-old Luxor temple. There are also two fountains and eight statues, the Place de la Concorde looks most impressive at night when the whole area is lit up.

Sunday, 21 July 2013

Small World - Big Coincidences

Ever since I sat on the edge of the Grand Canyon to watch the sunrise and again in the evening to watch the dramatic colours at sunset I have appreciated how individually we are so very small in comparison with the vast world around us - but then again sometimes something happens to make me think maybe the world is not so big after all.

One of those events occurred this week when my wife and I were away for a few days in the English Lake District, near Windermere. For visitors to the UK this is one of most beautiful areas of England, with wonderful lake views, surrounding Mountain peaks (although they are very small compared to The Alps, Rockies or Sierra Nevadas) and a poetry captured by  Wordsworth.

We sat just outside of Bowness on Friday evening watching the sunset over Lake WIndermere with the Langdale Pikes in the distance, it was so tranquil and serene - we enjoyed sharing the moment with visitors from Japan, France and Australia.

amoreTravel, lake windermere, holidays, hotels