All posts tagged: highlights

Instagrammable Guide to Stockholm

Instagrammable Guide to Stockholm

There are places that you’ve never given much thought – sitting idly somewhere on the periphery of your mind, their existence acknowledged but never really explored further. Then, suddenly, they leave a mark so profound you can’t quite shake it off. That’s how my adventure with Stockholm began. I’ve always been fascinated with Scandinavia, but somehow that sentiment never quite extended to Stockholm. I’ve visited it over ten years ago on a rather dreadful January day, the hood of my puffa jacket sliding down my face as I tried navigating the streets, the snow melting on the pavements and slowly turning into grey mush. I neither liked it or disliked it but, having booked a flight to visit my family in Västerås in August this year, I decided to give Stockholm another try. It might’ve been that late summer feel that made all the difference – the warm light gently diffused by the clouds, illuminating the colourful buildings and sparkling in the water. Or perhaps it was me that was different. Either way, on the …


How to Save on Travel Money and Foreign Exchange Rates with Compare Holiday Money

I landed at Haneda Airport in Tokyo, the sound of hurried footsteps and excited conversations buzzing around my head like an insistent bee. Armed with two suitcases – one filled with gifts for my friend and the other carrying the usual travel stuff, I was meant to be on the train now, heading towards Shibuya. Instead, I was panic-calling my bank (a pleasure which, as I later found out, set me back nearly £40). My card got blocked just minutes earlier and with no cash on me, I was stranded in one of the world’s most expensive cities with no means of leaving the airport! My innate optimism clearly didn’t factor in technical difficulties. As the automatic voice on the other end of the phone kept re-assuring me that my call was important, I really wished I’d sorted out my holiday money in advance. The main reason I didn’t (except for never being one to plan ahead), was because it seemed like a hassle, and with exchange rate deals varying from store to store, taking …

Pena Palace Sintra, Portugal

Cascais and Surroundings: Portugal’s Modern-Day Fairytale

I bit into Pasteis de Cruz Alta, a dangerously delicious egg and almond pastry named after the highest point of the Sintra Mountains, and looked around in contentment. It was my second day in Portugal with Visit Cascais, and we were starting it off at Casa Piriquita – an unassuming, 19th C bakery perched alongside a steep street in downtown Sintra. Practically unchanged since the 1800s and decorated with azulejos, Piriquita’s been ran by the same family for five generations and remains one the town’s most popular breakfast spots. I later discovered that this mix of tradition and modernity is somewhat typical for the area — it’s as if Portugal found the way to seamlessly blend the past with its present-day identity. Take Pena Palace for example, only a short drive away from Sintra. Built on the remains of a former monastery, its colours bringing to mind the cheerful streets of Burano and Cape Town rather than your typical castle, Pena blends Manueline and Moorish traditions into a modern day fairytale. Visible from every part of the …