Called by some the City of Light, but better known as the City of Love, Paris has cast a shadow over the many other romantic gems that Europe has to offer. But perhaps taking a photo with your significant other with dozens of other couples in the background is not your scene, or maybe you find the romance Paris sells too contrived. If either of those are the case, here are some great alternatives for a romantic getaway that doesn’t feel like the restaurant from First Dates.
Before returning to university, my mum and I decided that a week in Rhodes was the perfect end to such a relaxing summer break. We went at the end of August, which meant that we got a good deal price-wise, and were told that quad-biking was the best way to see the island, because we could do it independently and at our own pace. Unable to drive, I was a little disappointed at first about staying a passenger the whole time, but I soon realised that I was able to see and experience the island better than if I had been concentrated on the road ahead.
‘What are you doing over summer?’ people asked me.
I’ve heard stories of tourists arriving in Oxford and asking the seemingly innocent question of where the university is. The answer: everywhere! However, if the world-famous city were only a centre of academic excellence, I doubt that I would’ve survived three years there as an undergraduate. For the prepared visitor, there is way more than just the chance to look at old buildings and walk the same paths as notable alumni. Here are ten of the best things to do in the so-called “City of Dreaming Spires”:
And I should say the dead of night. Thing is, St Andrews is truly a quiet town — us students, generally, bring the party. But at some point even the most late-night partiers crash, inebriated and overfull with toasties or cheesy chips or doner kebabs, into the soporific safe haven of what may or may not be their own bed. Once they’re out like a sack of rocks, the world pauses: they’re gone, as are the cyclists, cars, delivery trucks and vans, coffee shop go-getters, pub crawlers, red robes, beach-dwellers, hikers, dogs, old Scotsmen, seagulls (sometimes), wind. And all those places, the coffee shops, pubs, restaurants, Market Street shops, even the toastie bar and library and Empire, are shut down for the night.
This past Spring Break, the dates aligned perfectly for this tourist-y American to finally go to Ireland for St. Patty’s Day! (I say Patty’s and others say Paddy’s, but who knows the right way to spell it…) Because I had never been to Ireland before, my friends and I wanted a few days before and after the trip to see this beautiful country. Even if you can’t make it this semester, any time of year is perfect. I’ve written out my suggestions to have the best holiday in the east coast of Ireland!
Just like going to the cinema or eating alone, traveling alone is still seen as taboo; and I really don’t understand why! I love traveling with my family and friends when I can, but there is something so special about traveling alone. I recently took a solo train-trip through Switzerland and had a great time. If you follow my six tips when planning your next trip alone, you’ll be sure to have the best time.
In the past two years or so, the rate of tourists packing their bags and flying toward the beautiful rocky beaches and tall pine trees of Croatia has skyrocketed. The blue skied country has moved from almost criminally underrated to crawling with college students craving a good time and retired couples in their 60’s alike.
Boots scurry through volcanic gravel. A sliding door slams. The engine rumbles, the van lurches forward – and so the journey begins. Before me I see scrubland worming up through black volcanic fields, mountain ranges wildly stripped of green, waterfalls gushing from stunted valleys, lagoons littered with sky-blue chunks of ice, and ponds so still and so clear that they are mirrors to an inverted world – one where the sky or a mountain crag hangs upside-down.
Whether you are reading this at your desk, slowly disappearing beneath a pile of aesthetically pleasing yet functionally useless revision notes, or frantically clutching a coffee cup in some uninhabitable, oxygen-starved corner of the library – allow me to provide some momentary relief.