Confession: I do keep count of the countries I’ve visited

I've been to 43 countries so far. Yes, I know the number off the top of my head because yes, I'm almost a little ashamed to say, I do keep count of how many countries I've visited. I know that a real traveller shouldn't care about this and shouldn't really count countries because it's not a matter … [Read more...]

Norwegian ferry dinners … nearly 30 years later!

What pops into your head when you think of Norway? Quite aside from the thrill of seeing houses with grass roofs - probably my number one memory of my childhood experiences in Norway - I recall spending a lot of time travelling on ferries. Fortunately, I enjoyed travelling on ferries (and still do, … [Read more...]

That strange building in Frankfurt, Germany …

On my big first trip, 25 years ago in Europe, regular readers will remember that I kept a diary of some of the highlights, or at least what seemed like highlights to the mind of a nine-year-old. Apparently, in Frankfurt, Germany, a city which I have to admit I'm still not thrilled with despite … [Read more...]

Apologies to Spain and the Mas Nou swimming pool

I had another look through my old travel diaries (from 25 years ago in Europe) the other night and found what is probably the reason why my nine-year-old self was not impressed by Spain:See the fine print? Under this attractive-looking (well, for the 80s) swimming pool at Mas Nou Caravan Park on the … [Read more...]

500 posts later and the ballerina is still (not) dancing …

If I could go back 500 posts, I might change the whole ballerina theme to this blog, but I'm too sentimental to do it now. Yes - 500 posts ago, I wrote for Not A Ballerina for the very first time. Of course, it has taken me over six years to reach this milestone so I am not exactly a prolific … [Read more...]

Greek treasures, including smuggled seaweed

It all started with that drawing of Hong Kong, and now I'm mildly obsessed with my shelf full of old travel diaries. This won't be the last post you'll see about some of the treasures and diary entries I made during my campervan trip around Europe as a nine-year-old, I promise you. Today, it's … [Read more...]

An artist’s impression of Hong Kong, with bonus musings on apartment life

Regular readers will remember my 25 years ago in Europe series in which I laid bare numerous pictures of me as a nine-year-old (fortunately, I haven't received *too* much ridicule as a result!). But wait, as they say, there's more. I recently came across the diaries I kept during those trips and … [Read more...]

25 years ago in Europe: A musical in London to end the trip

And so our six months of campervanning around Europe sadly came to an end. For the last couple of weeks we rented a small flat (very small, as I remember) not too far from the Elephant and Castle tube station. As small girls we thought this was the funniest name for a station ever. As a big girl I … [Read more...]

25 years ago in Europe: Back in London, visiting Madame Tussaud’s

Sadly, we're nearing the end of my 25 years ago in Europe series - sadly, but fittingly, because in a couple of weeks it'll be 26 years ago, which doesn't have quite the same ring to it! Taking our campervan back to London to sell, we spent a couple of weeks exploring London's attractions … [Read more...]

25 years ago in Europe: Greyfriars Bobby made me cry

Nearing the end of our circumnavigation of Western Europe, my family and I ended up back in the British Isles after taking a ferry from Bergen in Norway down to Scotland. Next stop: Edinburgh, and most memorably for me, this statue of Greyfriars Bobby*.For those of you not in the know, Greyfriars … [Read more...]