Staying with the Zulu in South Africa

We are staying at Ecabazini, a cultural Zulu homestead in Kwazulu Natal, South Africa. Last year we’d been travelling from Cape Town to Johannesburg and this time I wanted to delve deeper into the Zulu culture, even if that means cleaning the floor with cow dung… “It doesn’t smell that bad“, I hear myself saying while spreading cow dung across the rondavel floor. Trevor looks at me in disgust: “I know you like to immerse yourself on your travels, honey, Continue Reading

A “Troubled” tour of Belfast

Belfast and The Troubles: they go hand in hand. Even more than 20 years after the Good Friday Agreement, the city’s past is still very much present behind the scenes and a lot of visitors are keen to understand what this dark period in history was about.But how do you go about learning about the Troubles in an ethical and unbiased way and what’s the best way to go on a Troubles tour of Belfast? First things first: what exactly are the Troubles? Entire books have been written Continue Reading

3 days in Rio: tips, must sees and local things to do

Aaah, Rio de Janeiro! A name and place that leaves nobody indifferent! I planned on spending just a few days here, I ended up staying a week! A lot has been said or written about Brazil’s most (in)famous city. But how exactly do you “tackle” Rio? By all means, read on and find out the best tips to spend 3 days in Rio! The best travel tips for Rio de Janeiro 1. Is Rio safe? Rio de Janeiro:  a name that evokes “beach, sun and sex”.  To some… To others Continue Reading

A visit to the LegenDerry city

Derry, Londonderry, the Maiden City, the Walled City, Stroke City, LegenDerry: there are a lot of different names for the 2nd biggest city in Northern Ireland!Whatever you call it, if you come to Northern Ireland you owe it to yourself to pay a visit. Wonder why? By all means, read on! The history of Derry/Londonderry To fully appreciate a visit to Derry you need to understand a little bit about its troubled history. Thousands of pages have been written about the subject, but don’t Continue Reading

The Panorama Route of South Africa in 10 breathtaking stops

“There! That’s where I want to go!” I said, while trying to come up with an itinerary for our second trip to South Africa.  The picture of the Blyde River Canyon had been stuck in my head since last year, when we took our first trip to South Africa, a roadtrip from Cape Town to Johannesburg. Turned out it was a bit out of our way then, but this year, it was definitely on the agenda! After all, the Panorama Route, which included the Blyde River Canyon, has been nicknamed South Continue Reading

Maboneng: the trendiest neighbourhood of Johannesburg

Let’s face it, Johannesburg doesn’t have a brilliant reputation when it comes to safety.  Stories of crime, poverty, theft and murder are the main reasons visitors travel straight from OR Tambo Airport to safer and more secure places.  And yes, you definitely have to keep your wits about you, but if you want a complete picture of South Africa, you simply can’t bypass Johannesburg! I stayed 5 days in Jozi, paid the obligatory visit to the Apartheid museum, went on a cycling tour of Continue Reading

Walking the Riviera dei Fiori

I’m mopping up the last puddle of olive oil with a chunk of flavoursome focaccia bread. It’s become a habit over the last few days and I seriously start to wonder how many carbs is “too many”… But who would be able to resist? A warm autumn sun, stunning views and good company: this and the tempting Italian food are the perfect ingredients for a Ligurian holiday!   I’ve been invited to participate in a study called Timon Lepidus to find out if the Ligurian coast is ready for a Continue Reading

The sleepy hinterland of the Italian Riviera

I’ve been three times to Liguria. I never really planned to, but sometimes life has different plans for you… On my first occasion I visited the Cinque Terre, unanimously considered the highlight of the area. Fair enough I guess, five villages clinging on precariously to the cliffs with the blue waters of the Ligurian Sea below: there’s worse when it comes to scenery. But to be 100% honest, it was all a bit too touristy and I discovered much more about Liguria and its hilltop villages Continue Reading

Mljet: don’t miss out on Croatia’s greenest island!

Sure I’d heard of Korcula and Hvar, even Brac sounded somewhat vaguely familiar. But when a colleague suggested I should visit the Croatian island of Mljet, I shrugged and had to admit I’d never heard of it… “One third of the island consists of National Park, there’s ample opportunity for hiking & enjoying the outdoors and above all it’s quiet and away from the crowds”, said Ken. That was all the convincing I needed! So on a sunny Thursday morning, around 10am, we found Continue Reading

Walking the West Highland way in 7 days

I came to Scotland for the very first time in 1998. It was my first backpacking trip and my rucksack was way too heavy for the frêle 22-year-old I was back then. Sitting on a train towards Fort William, I spotted more experienced travellers making their way into the fierce looking highlands on foot. It looked like the apogee of freedom! 20 years later, I finally followed into their footsteps! With a much lighter backpack this time, I walked from the outskirts of Glasgow to Fort William, 96 mile Continue Reading