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Take 12 Trips… July On the Luce

July travels 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.

Across Europe by rail

Scenic trains and historic cities – across Europe by rail

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.

Titley Jazz Festival

A gorgeous setting and hanging out with the family

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.

On the Luce southwest USA blog posts

My interactive southwest USA road trip map

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?

24 Comments Post a comment
  1. Wow, you have so many plans for August! I’m going to Taiwan for a week, but that’s it. Work is just tooo busy right now to even contemplate time off (plus I hardly have any left thanks to having to go England twice this year due to my grandpa’s illness/funeral).

    I’ve been to St. Anton in summer… we were practically the only people there! It was very pretty though. Also, I was in Strasbourg not long after you and I’m pretty sure I took a picture of that exact same building with the red flowers out the front.

    August 8, 2014
    • I think that’s probably the most picturesque building in Strasbourg, I’ve seen so many photos of it! Taiwan sounds fantastic, I’ve heard really great things about it – mine sound busy but they’re all day trips within an hour or so of home so easy enough to fit into a day out (got to save up a bit now after my recent travels!).

      August 8, 2014
  2. Awesome, Lucy. The first picture looks like it was taken on the Bernina Express! Impressing! Sadly I missed out on Dubrovnik this year (trip got cancelled!) I never get tired of trains 🙂 Looking forward to the posts on Turkey!

    August 8, 2014
    • Thanks Suze, it was along the Glacier Express route (though we did it on the local train as it was a lot cheaper, but weirdly ended up attached to the actual Glacier Express!) – such fantastic scenery. Hope you do get to make it out to Dubrovnik sometime, I just had a quick trip this time but would love to get back and see some more of Croatia.

      August 8, 2014
  3. Awesome update,Lucy! SOOOO looking forward to your new August posts!!! HAPPY TRAILS!!! ❤

    August 8, 2014
    • Thanks so much! Hope you have a great month to come too.

      August 8, 2014
    • Thank you so much, Lucy! HAPPY NEW YEAR!!! Check out my latest blog, we just came back from a truly Magical tiny place in Brazil, called Pipa….Hope you Like! xoxo

      January 5, 2015
  4. Wow, it looks like you had a great month! I’m excited to see where August leads you as well as you stay closer to home. Also, I was in Oxford last month and absolutely loved it! Not a bad place to call your “old home.” Enjoy!

    August 8, 2014
    • Thanks so much – there are some lovely places around where I live and I’ve been so bad at visiting places near home so look forward to seeing what I can discover!

      August 9, 2014
  5. No matter where I go England always has a place in my heart, and Oxford, with those spires and cobbled streets, is my favourite city. Looking forward to seeing some pictures.

    August 8, 2014
    • Oxford is a great city – I lived there for about two years and it was so nice to have those college buildings as the backdrop of my walk to work! I only live a couple of hours away now and hardly ever go back so it’ll be lovely to revisit some old favourite places.

      August 9, 2014
  6. FunFlyingFour #

    I have only been to Oxford once and loved it! Hopefully we will head back one day! August we are off to Hong Kong and Macau, eek! Look forward to reading about your August adventures!

    August 9, 2014
    • Hong Kong and Macau sounds great! I only visited Hong Kong for a few days on a stopover but it was such a vibrant and fascinating city – hope you have a fantastic trip.

      August 9, 2014
  7. Wow! I am feeling super inspired by the #Take12trips challenge! I was really fortunate and able to travel to Mexico, the U.S. and British Virgin Islands, and Mammoth Lakes and Yosemite in July, so I am making a dent! I love your photos, especially the one of the train through the mountains. I came to the same realization about local travel counting as a “trip.” I mean, often as travelers we spend time thinking of where to travel next, and don’t really spend time traveling in our home regions or cities. Two friends visited me from France, and I was able to take them around the city. I ended up experiencing and learning things about my own city that I had never known over the 4 years I have lived here. I really enjoy following your blog, and can’t wait for the next post! Happy travels!


    August 9, 2014
    • The #Take12Trips challenge has been great to remind me that even if I’m not going abroad then I can still travel and find something new and exciting to see – like you say having friends to stay is such a good way to get you to be a tourist near home. Sounds like you’ve had a great July travels too!

      August 9, 2014
  8. What an epic year of travel and I’m happy to have shared one of those trips with you, hope August brings some sunshine for your month at home 🙂

    August 9, 2014
    • Thanks Suzanne, fingers crossed! Look forward to reading where your travels take you next too.

      August 9, 2014
  9. This is awesome! I started setting a goal to visiting at least one new place each year to start. This year I’ve been to two new places, plus one semi-new place. It’s great to expand your travels and I love hearing about yours!

    August 9, 2014
    • Thanks so much! That’s a great target to have – I’m trying to visit 50 countries before I turn 40 and have 11 to go (though no 40 is coming up later this year) and 4 years so I have quite a bit still to do!

      August 9, 2014
  10. That sounds like a fun challenge. Maybe it will be my New Year’s resolution for 2015!

    August 10, 2014
    • Excellent! Yes it’s been a good way of making sure I go out and see new things even when I’m not travelling anywhere.

      August 11, 2014
  11. Wow! You’ ve done enormously well and I so enjoy reading your blog as it’s so inspiring! Living near Oxford is pretty neat. Nice one!
    I like the idea of 1 month, 1 travel internal or external. When I moved to London, oh so many years ago, I used to do similar as taking Eurolines was so cheap LOL!

    Now, I’m trying to make a name for myself as the go-to-British-Berlin lifestyle expert girl LOL! For August, I’m in Thailand, Indonesia, & Qatar!
    Happy Travels. 🙂

    August 13, 2014
    • Thanks so much! I’ve really enjoyed doing the Take 12 Trips challenge, especially in the months when I’m not travelling abroad as it reminds me to explore places near to home too. Sounds like you have some great travels coming up in August, a busy month!

      August 14, 2014
    • Thanks Lucy. I’m pretty excited!

      August 14, 2014

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