It’s cold , damp and dark outside . We’ve been told to expect Thundersnow. I’m not exactly sure what that is but it sounds fun and very dramatic!
I’m sat drinking copious amounts of coffee while dreaming of far off shores. Imaging the sun beating down on my back (of course I’d be wearing spf 50) of lounging around pools and exploring new playgrounds.
I’ve been really lucky that within my 46 years I have visited some beautiful places. Its well documented that at 17 years old I spent 6 glorious weeks island hopping around Greece with my best friend. If you don’t know… where have you been?!
Just Karen and I with a back pack each . Not a hair dryer in sight. We sailed, worked, partied, slept rough and even met Judith Chalmers who was filming ‘Wish you were here’ It was maybe the most fun 6 weeks of my life.
Greece aside I thought I’d share with you my 3 favourite places that I have had the pleasure to visit to date followed by my dream destinations. We should all have a dream, something to aspire too …and what better way to while away a moody grim January afternoon ?
Lets escape if only in my memories for a little while…
ST TROPEZ, South of France
‘St. Tropez has a face glow that is amazing – you can put it on without makeup, and your skin just glows’ – Chrissy Teigen
I fell in love with St Tropez as an impressionable 14 year old. It immediately felt like somewhere I wanted to return … when I was older and without my parents.
I remember our first evening like it was yesterday. Mum, dad, my brother and I mooching around taking in our surroundings. Of me coming to a stand-still , gob-smacked as a lady in a figure hugging tiger print cat-suit made her way past us with her pet tiger on a lead !
The ‘expensive-looking’ coiffed, immaculate old ladies. They didn’t seem to sweat or feel the heat, and the old men with skin the colour and texture of currants playing bowls in the square.
The artists painting in the Port. I’ve always been a romanticiser and informed my dad I would retire here , spend my days painting too. It could still happen (though I’ve not actually painted in years)
I’ve returned to St Tropez twice since and it still enchants me every bit as much as it did back then.
The first time I returned it was for an adventure weekend with a few girl pals. It was amazing if not very luxurious. We stayed in basic accommodation and our guide for the weekend was the randy ‘Lester the Molester’ (as we nick-named him) and his wife who couldn’t make it any less obvious that she hated us if she tried.
Despite the accommodation, Lesters wandering hands and his wifes frosty glares we got to spend our days on his speed boat.
Cruising. Living the dream. It was amazing.
I even got to drive Lester’s little motorized raft into St Tropez Port.
Leigh and I got up early and decided it was a beautiful calm morning and that we’d go on the breakfast run. A memorable experience for more reason than one.
(Mum if your reading skip this bit!!) Lester’s hard ‘member’ sticking in my back as he directed me and the boat was one I’d rather forget but one I fear will live with me forever! I squirmed, made embarrassed small talk while desperately trying to get Leigh’s attention who at the time was being sick over the side of the raft.
You have to laugh. No wonder his wife hated us…she probably knew what he was like!
The second time we stayed (way back in 2005) we decided to do it in style and booked in at the 5-star Byblos Hotel. A beautiful hotel where a chuffing beef burger set you back £30!
Funny the things you remember isn’t it?
In typical fashion we didn’t check our dates and booked in during the Harley Davidson weekend!
All the beautiful people had been replaced with leather clad, hairy bikers and the air filled with the constant ‘vroom vroom’ from bikes doing the chuffing circuit which went past our hotel.
You can see the bikers at the Port below…top left.
My St Tropez Highlights:
Caves Nightclub and Spoons Restaurant which adjoined out hotel. This was at the time the most amazing nightclub I had ever frequented. It still ranks up there.
The Beaches – Golden, busy and endless. We favoured Pampelonne Beach.
The Port – Relaxed, cobbled streets with pavement cafes. Perfect for people watching.
Images courtesy of Pinterest
I need to return soon. St Tropez is calling and I’m a listening!
POSITANIO – The Amalfi Coast, Italy
‘Positano bites deep. It is a dream place that isn’t quite real when you are there and becomes beckoningly real after you have gone’- John Steinbeck
I spent my honeymoon week in Sorrento. The year was 1999 and I remember even though it was October it was beautifully hot. I’m not sure if we were lucky or October in Italy is always glorious.
Everyone and everything was seemingly beautiful.
Our receptionist was a man, but not just any man. He was a chiseled god with slicked back hair, dressed head to toe in Gucci. Despite being a newly wed he made me blush and giggle like the closet geek I am. Don’t worry my then husband knew and found it quite amusing.
On his recommendation (not just beautiful, but also very wise) we spent a day in Positanio a cliff side fishing village and just like St Tropez I fell in love.
We made the 1/2 hour journey from Sorrento on an overly packed bus which got scarily close to the cliff edge . Relieved to get off alive we descended gobsmacked at the beautiful sight that beheld us.
We grabbed some refreshments and made our way down the steep narrow streets which led to the beach. Everything was pretty, pastel coloured and in places battered looking which only added to its charm.
Breath-taking and very photogenic its an instagram dream. I didn’t even have a mobile back then. Oh how times have changed.
*photos courtesy of Pinterest
Another place I need to return to as I didn’t spend enough time there. I want to explore more and take pretty instagram piccies!
“Seville never had a rich chess tradition. Valencia is entirely different, it is enough to say that one of the city squares is named after me.” – Anatoly Karpov
I’ve visited Valenica a couple of times and it never disappoints.
A busy yet friendly city with an abundance of architecture. There’s a church on every corner. I’ve danced on a Grand Prix track, got lost in the Old Town and had a foot massage on the beach. It’s got something for everybody…
Ok I say friendly … on my first visit I may have once got into some trouble with a group of Spanish woman in a pub toilet who took an instant dislike to me assuming that I was a German. I had short blonde hair at the time and this was a general misconception.
Long story short Spain were playing Germany in the World Cup Semi Finals (hence the hatred) . I spoke . “Hey up chuck you al’reight” They asked if I’d met the Queen? I may have said yes! I survived . We hugged it out and most importantly it didn’t put me off the city and I visited a second time.
So there you have it, it went on slightly longer than i anticipated and it was harder than I thought to narrow it down to just 3 places. Mum always said I could talk the hind legs off a donkey?!
Miami, Barcelona and Prague almost made it!
I visited Prague before it got popular and over run with stag do’s . I was 20 at the time, that’s how long ago it was!
Charles Bridge in the mist is a beautiful memory which made me cry at the time. We also bought puppets , loads of bloody puppets and wooden mice… I think the cold went to our minds or maybe it was the fact a pint cost a mere 10p (we were like bloody millionaires!) and we spent the week mostly inebriated.
MY HOLIDAY DESTINATION WISHLIST – a girl can dream …
I personally love somewhere with lots of architecture and a bit of history on offer. I’m easily bored and need to be kept entertained. I wouldn’t however say no to a week on a beautiful beach somewhere!
- Lake Garda
- Mykonos, Greece
- Cayman Islands
I’m really hoping that I get to travel more this year…as someone once said the world is our oyster!
Where have you been that you ‘d recommend or what is your dream destination ? As always I’d love to here in the comments below.
Until next time, Tracey x
* Linking up with NotLamb #SaturdayShareLinkUp