Thursdays on social media are all about throwbacks – and with the 37th Bristol International Balloon Fiesta starting today, I can think of no better time to reminisce… My first experience of the balloon fiesta was last year, when I had no idea what to expect and to be perfectly honest couldn’t really see how hot air balloons would keep me entertained for that long. However, I had a great time and am really disappointed I won’t be there again this year!

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I’ve been lucky enough to have been away for a while on holiday and sample the delights of the Eastern Algarve. A first time visitor to Portugal, I wasn’t quite sure what to expect, and it appeared that I wasn’t the only one. The people I was with, who had visited Portugal before, seemed torn between wishing there was more to do nearby (like the attractions of the Western Algarve) and being delighted with how un-touristy the area was. If you are planning on visiting, I would certainly recommend going sooner rather than later before the area becomes another loud and plastic-y tourist resort.

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I walked through the centre of York last week on a brief visit, and could tell that tourist season had well and truly kicked in. How? The long queue of people outside of Bettys. When the line on a Tuesday lunchtime is as long as it would usually be on a Saturday, you know that tourist season in York has arrived. For anyone who doesn’t know, Bettys is a tea room which first opened in Harrogate in 1919. There are now six café tea rooms in Yorkshire and the Bettys brand is famous worldwide.

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For Christmas 2013 my boyfriend bought me a colouring book and a set of pens. I’d been looking for a colouring book for a while, having decided it might be a nice thing to do when I was feeling stressed, so it was a really thoughtful gift. However, everyone else (not that I particularly valued their opinion) though it was really weird. I wasn’t a child so why would I want a colouring book?

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I recently read a post on another blog from someone currently visiting the UK and the impression that I got is that they aren’t enjoying themselves. This in itself is disappointing, but more disappointing were their comments regarding Hadrian’s Wall. I am a history lover, and think it is great that so many tourists love visiting heritage sites of historical importance when they visit the UK. But it is not great when some people clearly come away just as ignorant as when they arrived, or with completely the wrong impression.

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