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. Each month I’ve been doing a round-up of where my #Take12Trips trip of the month has taken me, but now I’m going to widen these out into more of a general update into my recent travels – home and abroad – as well as what’s been happening on the blog and a preview of what’s coming up next. July was a month for celebrations, with a blog birthday and an actual birthday, celebrated in Strasbourg with fireworks, Champagne and light shows – though admittedly more for their National Day than in my honour but it still counts! So what else happened On the Luce in July?
July on the road
After June’s travels were all about the sea, in July I got back on dry land and switched methods of transport from a ship to a train for a rail adventure across Europe, from Paris to Vienna. The trains throughout were smart, clean and totally punctual, this is definitely the way to travel in Europe – we just whizzed across borders without ever having to show our passports. After a couple of days exploring the pretty canalside city of Strasbourg we headed up into the Alps on some of the most scenic train journeys in the world. I’ve always loved the mountains in winter but visiting the ski resort of St Anton in summer gave a whole new perspective on them, with an unbelievable range of shades of green. Our final stop was Vienna, a storybook place where every other building seems to be a palace. The city was sweltering in 36 degree heat, but a combination of shady museums and ice cream stops kept us going.
The month’s travels ended up closer to home with a camping trip to the Titley Jazz Festival in pretty North Herefordshire. Now I’ll be the first to admit that a tent isn’t my usual accommodation of choice, and it’s been a good few years since I spent a night under canvas. So I made sure to pack the essentials (airbed, wet wipes, wine) as we headed deep into the Welsh Borders’ countryside, where a farmer’s field is transformed into a mini-festival for the weekend. And how was the camping? Well I did get woken up about 5am when it got light and the tent was a sauna about an hour later. But it was lovely to spend some time outdoors in the sunshine, barbecuing and drinking Pimms with the family – and listening to some great musicians.
July on the blog
Over the last month I’ve been sharing stories from my trip to Bergen in Norway, as well as my thoughts on my first cruise and our stops in Venice, Dubrovnik and Greece. I also celebrated my three years of blogging with a look back at my last year On the Luce. Coming up next month are posts on Turkey and my rail trip destinations. I’ll also be starting a new series of question and answer posts – where you can pick my brains and I can pass on some of my top travel tips. The first subject is ‘accommodation’, so if you have any questions you’d like answered, whether general or destination-specific, then let me know.
This month I’ve also been working on this nifty US road trip map thanks to flight company Round the World Experts. It takes my southwest USA posts and puts them on an interactive map, so you can navigate around then click on a pinned destination to find out more. Click on the image below to try it out.
What’s coming up in August?
I seem to have spent a lots of time on trains and planes over the last few months, so I’m slowing things down and staying a bit closer to home in August. Hopefully we’ll get some sunshine so I can showcase some of the beautiful places around Herefordshire and Gloucestershire – many of which I still haven’t gotten around to visiting myself yet despite living here for the last three years! Among the plans so far are a return visit to my old home of Oxford, a trip to the codebreakers’ museum at Bletchley Park, and indulging my map-geek side with a visit to the Mappa Mundi in Hereford. Where is August taking you?