Christmas Markets: How to plan the perfect winter break

Christmas markets have fast become my favourite way to prepare for Christmas. The food, the stalls, the decorations, the gifts… there’s nothing quite like a Christmas market to put me in the mood for 25 December. For the past few years I have tried my hardest to go to one (last year I even went to one in Brisbane!) as I know it helps break up that long slog between the summer and a break at Christmas. A Christmas market can be a really good excuse to explore somewhere new and it’s also a really good way to get unique gifts for your family and friends.

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5 Disappointing Places to Visit

Too often with travel we focus on the good things. Nobody wants to admit to a failed trip, a disappointing visit or a holiday that wasn’t all it was cracked up to be. As such, it can sometimes feel as though there is a certain amount of pressure to have enjoyed every minute. If you didn’t find everything wonderful, were you really travelling properly? Well actually, yes. Like all things in life, travel has ups and downs, highs and lows, and sometimes there are places that turn out to be disappointing to visit. I usually try to focus on the highlights of a trip, the bits I would recommend to other people, but sometimes it’s good to share the places that weren’t so great. If anything, it might reassure someone else that it is ok to have a sub-par travel experience.

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A Weekend in Cologne

Cologne was a city I never imagined returning to. I first went for a short city break to the Cologne Christmas markets one December which I really enjoyed, but thought I’d seen the city. More recently, I’ve been on a summer city break to Cologne and had a completely different, but just as enjoyable experience. There are certain sites which will be enjoyable regardless of the time of year, but this guide will also focus on the two different seasons as they have a completely different atmosphere.

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Aix-en-Provence

You’ll probably see that there is a common thread in my posts about the South of France… each of the places I have blogged about so far (Toulon and Nice) I’d like to return to, and Aix-en-Provence is no exception. We headed to Aix as soon as we arrived at Marseille airport so were slightly tired, definitely acclimatising to the heat and I was trying to get my brain in gear to speak French, but despite these less than ideal conditions I really enjoyed our brief time in Aix for several reasons.

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24 hours in Nice

24 hours isn’t a particularly long time to stay anywhere, let alone a city that you’ve wanted to visit for a significant amount of time. In a way I’m quite pleased I didn’t do too much research before we arrived as it meant that we chose to do things as they came and took the time to enjoy it rather than marching our way through a list of pre-planned activity. That said, there is clearly plenty more which can be done than we fitted into our 24 hours so hopefully another trip to Nice will be on the cards for the future…

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