Aside from Rome I haven’t been anywhere exotic recently. The closest thing I’ve had to a holiday since the last is going to London for a few trips for various reasons – mainly for meetings. I like London even though it has a similar price problem to Rome, but the travel there is still a nightmare to use.
The tubes are great for getting around quickly but are usually very uncomfortable to use. I don’t know how people use it for long journeys every day in rush hour –it’s not something I’d like to do. They run on time and very regularly but aside from the Jubilee line the whole system seems very dated (although not as bad as somewhere like New York). Even so, the rush hour traffic is worse so I definitely understand why people prefer to use public transport. It seems if you want to get anywhere you have to accept that it’s going to take you a few hours even if it’s a relatively short trip.
I made the mistake of going up to London on the train during rush hour and that’s not an experience I want to repeat. The problem is that my stop is one of the last on the way to Waterloo so the train has already completely filled up by the time it gets to me. From now on I’m definitely going to try to schedule appointments for the middle of the day so I can avoid the worst of the traffic.
I recently got back from visiting Rome and I have to say that it’s an amazing city. It’s never really appealed to me in the past – I’m not one of those people who’s interested in Roman history – but some of the sites are very interesting to go and visit. There’s the obvious ones like the Colosseum and Pantheon, but some of the smaller things that you just see walking around are also fun to learn about.
It’s not a perfect city though, and the main problem is the price of everything. I’m sure that the price you get in cafes and restaurants varies depending on whether you’re seen as a resident or a tourist, but the prices are huge. I think I paid about 5 Euros for a coke in one cafe, and most prices are similar. This means that even if you find a great deal on a flight and hotel booking you still need to take into account the cost of food etc while you’re there.
Luckily a lot of the sites are free, although you’ll need to pay for the big ones like the Colosseum. One other tip – if you see a sign for a “3D” recreation of the major sites of Rome then don’t pay for it! It’s expensive and also makes most people feel sick – even though it’s very short and doesn’t actually tell you anything that anyone with a passing knowledge of Rome wouldn’t know already.
I’ve been searching holiday websites to try and find a good place to go abroad this year, but I’m having real trouble getting a good location. The problem isn’t that I can’t find anywhere that looks attractive – there are a huge number of beach locations around the world that look great – but I can’t seem to find one that has everything I want. Here’s a list of my requirements for a holiday, if anyone has any suggestions I’d be really grateful.
Near to a real beach. I hate going on holiday only to find a tiny beach or an artificial one. I’m looking for a large beach where people can spread out – not a tiny one with all the visitors crammed in.
- There has to be a few landmarks around. I enjoy spending time relaxing by the beach or pool but I can’t do it for a whole two weeks without having some other things to do.
- The hotel needs to provide sports facilities – tennis courts, water sports, etc
- If the beach is close to a major city this is a bonus as it means there will be plenty of trips to take.
- The flight can’t be much longer than three hours.
There are a few places I’m thinking of. Spain has a few big cities on beaches, but I’ve been there several times before. Italy is always an attractive option for a beach holiday too. I’ll let you all know where I end up going and what it was like.