I have to say that the train ride from Innsbruck to Verona was one of the most picturesque of the trip! We wound through mountain valleys, past spectacular waterfalls and emmerged trough the alpine into the Dolomite Mountains with their foothills covered in old grape vines and apple trees.
Verona is a friendly and relaxed city. If you want to get away from the major tourist centres of Italy, this old Roman town offers food, shopping and historic architecture, and a spectacular view from the top of the Castel San Pietro.
Our apartment was in the centre of the old town, and we can highly recommend it. Corte Realdi was contemporary, yet keeping with the renascence these that heavily features in Verona. And what more so than the Casa do Giuletta, inspiring Shakespear’s story of Romeo and Juliet.
The atmosphere at Arena do Venrona is buzzing during the evening. A large crescent of eateries offer traditional Italian food. We dined at Restorante Liston 12 and ate spaghetti di vongle. If you are looking for something slightly off the beaten path, I can recommend Di Trentin Agostino in Via Fratta near the Castelvecchio. They prepare a mean platter di mare!
We are sad to be leaving the land of Aperol Spritz, as I think we could recommend staying and exploring new the region of Verona and its neighbouring countyside full of medieval castles.
To be honest Innsbruck is really only a connection between Salzburg and Verona. However, this charming city in the Tyrol Valley offers spectacular views and a particularly colourful old town. We wandered the old town and picked up some local Tyrolian cheeses to drink with out Austrian Weißburgeren wine, while enjoying the spectacular views from our aDLERS Innsbruck hotel room with floor to ceiling Windows!
Somewhere in the middle of Bulgaria is a city that resembles something out of Star Wars. I am sure that on the green leafy planet there are hanging houses on the side of the cliff with a meandering river below. Well, I can show you that there is such a place in Europe and it is here- in Veliko Tarnovo.
Veliko Tarnovo was the capital of the second Bulgarian Empire; wedged in-between the Byzantine and Ottoman occupations of 1100-1350’s. The fortresses surround the beautifully reconstructed fort, church and still house the evidence of an even earlier occupation of the Roman Empire. They even used the old Roman tomb stones to build the walls of the fortress.
The new city- built in the 18th century, is situated on the cliff sides of the Yantra River. The winding streets and authentic houses offer this town such a quaint and picturesque setting conducive to long periods of drinking the local beer and eating gelato! Every now and then there is a gap in the building offering a spectacular view of the Monument Asenevti.
I can recommend the Yantra Hotel– it affords spectacular views of the fort. If you are lucky and it is a holiday in the region there is a light show at night, portraying the history of Veliko Tarnovo and the Bulgarian Kingdoms.
La Cour du Corbeau is something a bit special in Strasbourg. Originally stables, it was built in the 16th century. It is amazing that it was only renovated in the last couple of decades, after having been left in ruins .
We stayed in a basic room, which was large and comfortable. There were mall windows that let the breeze flow through, and wonderful period features such as beams and alcoves.
Breakfast was generous, and the courtyard is lovely to sit and have coffee. There is also a bar at night.
It is located over the southern bridge to the city, but is only a short walk into the town centre.
We had an amazing time here, and would definitely stay here again- if we were in a position to splash the cash!
Situated in the heart of the Georgian village of Port Isaac is The Slipway Hotel. Made famous by the British ITV show ‘Doc Martin’, the village now experiences a bustling tourist trade, but this is also due to it’s quaint, idyllic setting.
The Slipway Hotel was our resting place during the New Year’s celebrations of 2014/2015. We booked the accommodation on Booking.com, and were delighted when the hosts at the Slipway Inn rang us personally to invite us for New Year’s dinner at their restaurant.
New Year’s Dinner is a bit of a thing in Port Isaac. There are only a couple of restaurants in the small town, and there are some serious seafood feasts to be had. Some can be quite pricey at £100 a head. The Slipway was much more reasonable.
There is a fantastic bar in the front of The Slipway Hotel, featuring local beer. I would say that there are some exclusive local beer, but the beer is so good that it is actually available all over the country!!
The Slipway Hotel dates backs to 1527. It was a shop in the 19th century selling all types of ship supplies and provisions out of what is now the two tiered restaurant. The Slipway was converted into a hotel in the mid twentieth century and has been gradually upgraded into its present state.
There are 10 rooms available, and the rooms at the front feature views of the harbour.
The breakfast is cooked and continental, a real treat compared with standard hotel breakfasts.
It is an amazing base for exploring the northern Cornish coastline, with Bude, Launceston, Tintangel and Padstow within easy distances.
We visited Rick Steins Fish restaurant in Padstow for lunch. That was something really special!