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A snapshot of Sultanahmet: One day in Istanbul

Istanbul is up there with places like New York, Paris and London as one of the world’s great cities. Places where each different neighbourhood is almost a separate city in its own right, and where you could spend a few months and still only scratch the surface. But what if you only have one day? Read more

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In pictures: Amongst the ruins at Ephesus

On the western coast of Turkey, Ephesus has some of the Mediterranean’s best-preserved, grandest ruins. As a major port for trade routes to Asia it grew from a coastal town in the 10th century BC to the second largest city in the world. Read more

Tips for rail-tripping around Europe on a budget

I’ve always loved to travel by train, and an InterRail adventure travelling from one corner or Europe to another has been on my travel wishlist for years. Unfortunately I never seemed to manage to find a couple of months to spare to actually make it happen. But rather than putting it off forever, I decided to start a bit smaller, picking a shorter route to give me a taster this summer. Read more

Reviewed: Valluga Hotel, St Anton

With four of us travelling together on our European rail trip this summer, it made sense to rent an apartment instead of booking two hotel rooms when we were in a city for a few days. But as we only had a couple of nights in St Anton – and one was my mum’s birthday – we decided to splash out on a bit of luxury in the lovely Valluga Hotel. Read more

Summer days in St Anton, Austria

Every winter, the town of St Anton am Arlberg in Austria’s Tyrolean Alps becomes a mecca for skiers and snowboarders. Rated as one of Europe’s top resorts, winter sports fans come from around the world to take advantage of its fantastic pistes and the serious après-ski partying after hours. Read more

Swiss scenic trains – and the DIY alternatives

I was originally ready to post this last week, but then the news came that a landslip had caused the Glacier Express to derail into a ravine. Luckily nobody was too seriously hurt on board and I hope it won’t put people off travelling by train in Switzerland, as the country is home to some of the most scenic rail journeys in the world (and normally has a great safety record!). Read more

My top five destinations to return to

If you had to choose five past destinations to go back to, which would they be? Although I’m always looking forward to the next place I would like to visit – and have a travel wish-list which only ever seems to get longer and longer – there are a few previous destinations that really captured my heart. Read more

Exploring Strasbourg: Canals and cathedrals

I’ve been to France more times than I can count – everything from childhood holidays to Normandy to ski trips to the Alps and house-sitting in Paris. What I love about the country (as well as the cheese and wine) is that it is so diverse and there’s always something new to see. Read more

Take 12 Trips… July On the Luce

As part of my mission to ‘Take 12 Trips’ in 2014, I’m taking at least one trip each month – which can be anything from a local day out to an international trip. So far this year I’ve been all the way from the North of England to the souks of Morocco, from the heart of UK politics in London to a culinary exploration of Sicily, and then across the Mediterranean on my first cruise. Read more

In pictures: Santorini in blue and white

Santorini is the classic Greek island – its blue and white shades featuring on magazine covers across the world. But would it be as impressive in person? Docking in the port, we dodged the cable car queue and the donkey handlers and climbed up the 650 steps to the town of Fira. Read more

Ancient Olympia: Let the Games begin

Celebrity athletes, elaborate construction projects, political infighting – when you think about it the Olympic Games haven’t changed all that much since they first started in Ancient Greece. All the way from Olympia 776 BC to London 2012, the Olympics have always been about so much more than just sport. Read more

My third year On the Luce

It’s that time of year again – when I dig out the Champagne glasses and crack open the bubbly (any excuse) to celebrate both me and this blog reaching another birthday. The last three years On the Luce have seen 244 blog posts, 1451 photos, 19 countries covered and 7636 comments – phew! Read more

Myths and mountains: Climbing Bergen’s Fløibanen funicular railway

Looking out over a place from high above is always one of my favourite things to do in a new destination, but after a day wandering the cobbled streets of the Norwegian city of Bergen, my feet were staging a protest at the thought of climbing a mountain. Read more

In pictures: Bryggen, the old heart of Bergen

Along the waterfront in the Norwegian city of Bergen is one of its most historic and beautiful areas – Bryggen. A row of colourfully painted shopfronts face the wharf, but down the narrow alleyways in between you’ll find a jumble of overhanging balconies and walkways. Read more

Clueless about cruising? First-time cruise questions answered

Before going on my first cruise with Celebrity Cruises earlier this month, it’s fair to say I was a complete cruise novice. Pretty much the only knowledge I had of cruising came from repeat viewings of Titanic and The Poseidon Adventure (so I was paying particular attention when it came to the evacuation drill). Read more