After a few cups of red wine the other night, I set myself a challenge: to travel to a place for every single lovely letter of the alphabet. More people should live their life guided by the alphabet I say.
At first I thought it would be a good idea to use countries as my marker, until I realised that Qatar was pretty much my only option for Q (which is fine, but a little unlikely) so I'm going for places instead, because it's my challenge, my idea and my blog. So there. Maybe once I've completed this challenge (or run out of money, whichever comes first) I'll step it up to countries. We'll see.
Here we go, wish me luck. Come with me if you want!
a. Albufeira, Portugal. This place is completely schizophrenic. You have the Old Town, full of charming side streets, great bars with live music around old squares... and then they go and ruin it all with the New Town. Bleugh. Neon bars serving 2 for 1 shots, 24hr party square full of absolute kn*bheads out on the lash. I do like the fact Matt's Bar has a bucking bronco though. Those things are great.
b. Barcelona, Spain. My fourth recent visit was a charm. The more I visit this place the more I love it.
c. Copan, Honduras. Zip lining, horse riding, sitting at bars with swings instead of barstools, Mayan ruins, cosy cafes, 150 Hacienda restaurants - I LOVED Copan.
d. DisneyLand Paris, France. Guilty pleasure! Disneyland was so much fun, just surrender yourself to the whole experience and you'll soon find yourself shoving kids out of the way in a bid to get a signature from a guy dressed up as Mickey Mouse...
e. Edinburgh, Scotland. Love this city so much. I've been four times and haven't been let down yet and I don't expect to either.
h. Hoofdoorp, Holland. Residential town close to Schipol airport. I stayed here a few times with some family friends and experienced real Holland. Riding my (borrowed) bike around with my sister Beth, buying flour from a windmill, drinking Chocomel and swimming in the lake. Oh and going to Ikea. I loved Hoofdoorp more than Amsterdam, easily.
k. Kabale, Uganda. The only place I've been to where you can get a vodka and coke with under 75p. Did I mention that comes with a BOTTLE of vokda?
l. Lake Bunyonyi, Uganda. One of the most stunning places I've ever seen. Tiny islands dotted as far as your eye can see, so peaceful and just so beautiful. DON'T try taking a dug-out canoe on to the lake without a guide though, us Westerners were useless at canoeing.
m. Mombasa, Kenya. If you like temperatures akin to living in an oven, head to Mombasa. Fantastic culture and a great nightlife, but do me a favour and stay long enough to get used to the heat.
n. Nungwi, Zanzibar.
o. Olhos D'Agua, Portugal.
p. Paphos, Cyprus. I think Cyprus gets some bad press or people write it off, please don't! It's one of the best places to go if you've only got a week off work. Really clean place with delicious food (halloumi, baby) gorgeous weather, scenic harbour and just well worth a visit. Go please. Now.
s. Stone Town, Zanzibar. I've never covered up so much in such a hot place before. Stone Town is so intriguing with its tiny alleys and stunning Arabic architecture and I loved being there. Want to know a secret? I didn't do the spice tour in Zanzibar! I know, I'm pretty sure that's illegal, but I hit the shops instead, so I helped the local economy. Go and watch the sunset at the Africa House Hotel.