Glen Coe, SCOTLAND

Glen Coe is one of the most scenic drives in the world. Between the main highway and the turn off for Glen Etive, there’s a stretch of road which snakes through the Three Sisters of Glen Coe. The drive is sublime. There’s ample opportunity to pull over and take photos, so take your wide angle lens and spend a moment basking in the natural splendour that rises up before you.

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Tiny sheep, white cottage, mountainside.

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Disclaimer: This review was also posted by me on TripAdvisor. This blog has no affiliation with TripAdvisor. I just share my experiences to spread the love to fellow travelers.

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Sydney Folk Festival

When I first heard that there was to be a Folk Festival in Sydney, I was over the moon. People travel hours to experience this music, this atmosphere. For the first time, we’re lucky to have it all on our doorstep, right in the heart of Sydney. 

This urban festival is run over several venues, all within walking distance of Town Hall station. Might I add, the timetabling is great too; there’s time between sets for you to get to the next performance on time. It works like a buffet of music, as well as poetry and dance if you’re interested. I collected my wristband from the City Tattersalls Club and was given a program from the hospitable volunteers. Pick a band you like, the bios are all there too, see what time they’re on, and head over. It’s all happening at once. A smorgasbord of folk legends. 

The Sydney Folk Festival was created under the artistic direction of Warren Fahey AM. In his statement about the festival, Fahey notes how Australian ‘folk music’ has become an umbrella term for music that tells a distinctly Australian story. From our Aboriginal roots to our colonial history and all the way to our contemporary multicultural times, we are connected by storylines.

I was certainly able to see this celebration of story and culture from my time at the Sydney Folk Festival. I first saw A Woman’s Song; a group of women with incredible talent, singing songs inspired by fierce females through Australian history. These women come from all over New South Wales and took us back to colonial times, then through times of political and environmental activism. The audience was so engaged, listening to every word. I then saw Sirocco, Australia’s pioneer world music band from 1980. I don’t think I’ve seen so many world instruments together on one stage, let alone in such fantastic harmony! Afterwards, I saw The Last Aurochs, a group that perform traditional melodies from Ireland, Scotland, Spain, Portugal and France. Their tunes were sweet and evocative as they reimagined tradition with bagpipes and accordions. 

I think Warren Fahey’s vision is true. I think this Folk Festival celebrates a community built around shared stories, showcasing parts of history that get overlooked. It’s an urban festival that is borderless, examining who we are and where we’ve come from to the sound of a bluegrass band, or a jazz band, or a Celtic folk group, or a Chinese erhu group…

Event reviewed through What’s On Sydney

Isle of Gelato, Galle, SRI LANKA

Galle, a quaint little seaside town with an air of charm that comes with such a complicated history, has warm nights and a beautiful breeze that comes right off the sea and passes through leaving salty kisses. You need a gelato to top off your perfect night. There are heaps of vendors around. We chanced upon the Isle of Gelato here and were happy with the competitive prices. Try the nut flavours, they ‘taste just the same’. The chocolate is rich and anywhere that does a vanilla well can do anything well, right?

 

 

Disclaimer: This review was also posted by me on TripAdvisor. This blog has no affiliation with TripAdvisor. I just share my experiences to spread the love to fellow travelers.

The Olde Ship Inn, Seahouses, ENGLAND

This pub is a must-see in Seahouses. Right on the harbour, this place has a wall to wall to ceiling collection of maritime oddities that pay homage to salty seafaring traditions.

The gin list is vast and the nips are cheap. They have a quiet rooftop beer garden that looks out across the North Sea and is perfect for a sundowner.

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Sunset at Seahouses.

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Disclaimer: This review was also posted by me on TripAdvisor. This blog has no affiliation with TripAdvisor. I just share my experiences to spread the love to fellow travelers.

Tate Modern Museum of Contemporary Art, London, England

The Tate Modern is an iconic fixture on the banks of the Thames in Central London. It’s hard to miss as you walk the Millennium Bridge from St Paul’s Cathedral to the South Bank. It’s convenient location sits near other cultural giants like Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre as well, so it’s worth adding to your itinerary of sightseeing London.

The museum itself is huge, with wide open spaces, galleries of contemporary art and workshop areas. There are famous names, and locals too. We killed an hour or so in the Tate Modern and thoroughly enjoyed discussing the more conceptual pieces on display.https://www.instagram.com/p/B0BpnIKBqCZ/?igshid=1uvmhu0birwdh

Disclaimer: This review was also posted by me on TripAdvisor. This blog has no affiliation with TripAdvisor. I just share my experiences to spread the love to fellow travelers.

Brick Lane Beigel Bake, Shoreditch, ENGLAND

We trekked out of central London to the eclectic off beat area of Shoreditch in search of the original bagel. We were not disappointed. For 30p you can get a soft, warm, plain bagel that’s worth writing home about. For 60p you can get a rainbow one, perfect for the dreamers whimsy.

I ordered their signature hot salt beef with gherkins and mustard. My goodness, this was the best bagel I’ve ever had. The salt beef was served generously, perfectly tender and falling apart. The gherkin was lightly pickled and the bagel was so, so soft. I’d go back for seconds if I wasn’t full! I’d go back to try the salmon and cream cheese. Keep in mind: cash only!

 

Disclaimer: This review was also posted by me on TripAdvisor. This blog has no affiliation with TripAdvisor. I just share my experiences to spread the love to fellow travelers.

Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre, London, England

Shakespeare’s Globe is a cultural icon on the banks of the Thames. Through summer, the theatre holds matinee and evening performances of all Shakespearean texts, from the famously renowned to the lesser known ones. You should absolutely book tickets in advance as the Globe often sells out performances. Groundings are £5 and they seem to let groundlings in at any time through the 2.5hr performances.

Visitors, understandably, can’t wander through the Globe when there’s a performance on, however the venue is still worth visiting.

Disclaimer: This review was also posted by me on TripAdvisor. This blog has no affiliation with TripAdvisor. I just share my experiences to spread the love to fellow travelers.