Positano, Italy 🇮🇹

Hello World,

After visiting Sorrento during our World Tours Naples day trip, booked again throug Viator.com, my family and I arrived in Positano, just a short drive down the coast on the west side of Italy.

We spent nearly two hours in Positano, parking at the top of the town and walking our way right down to the beach. Each of the houses, shops and church are built scaling down the hill of this steep, cliff-side town – now a UNESCO Heritage site and protected.

Positano is known as Amalfi Coasts most expensive town to live or stay in, but also the most photogenic. There is so much colour from the lush green olive and lemon trees cascading to the sea, mixed with the yellow, peach and pink terracotta brick work buildings.

I keep saying town, but Positano is really a village, or even a commune in Campania, Italy, along the Amalfi Coast. Founded in the medieval times (though the Ancient Romans has built summer villas here) as a port, it flourished in the 16th and 17th centuries, despite over half of its population emigrated to America – no wonder New York City has the highest amount of Pizza restaurants in the world.

John Steinbeck wrote in Harper’s Bazzar in 1953, of which I agree – “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.”

While walking down the steps to the beach we passed so many colourful shops selling jewellery, artwork and Positano&/ signature hand painted dresses! These were so gorgeous in various designers but they come in one size and my body is a bit more voluptuous than the average Italian, so it seems.

We visited the church of Santa Maria Assunta which has a dome of the typical Napoli style of majolica tiles, an Italian tin-glazed pottery in green and yellow.

The beach is lovely and would be perfecto to swim on a summers day, gazing out to the Sirenuse Islands – named historically because legend states there were Sirens in this area of the sea – possibly why so many pirates landed on the Amalfi Coast. These islands are Capri, Ischia and Procida. We visited Capri another day.

We then climbed back up the steps towards the mini-bus and I thought to count. I got to 70 steps and gave up so I would love to know how many flights of stairs there are through this village!

What a lovely day!

Love Curls x

Seligman, Arizona, USA

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Hello World,

One of the final legs of our Camp America road trip was driving along a section of the infamous Route 66!

Also known as ‘Will Rogers Highway; ‘the Mother Road’ or the ‘Main Street of America’, Route 66 originally spanned from Chicago to Santa Monica in California, passing through Missouri, Kansas, Oklahoma, Texas, New Mexico and Arizona on the way. Route 66 was officially removed from the US Highway System and now parts are called the “Historic Route 66” and are designated to a National Scenic Byway.

We arrived onto Route 66 in Arizona. Our first stop in Seligman was to the famous Delgadillo’s Snow Cap Drive-In, a popular tourist stop. They are known for the best milkshakes ever and I totally agree! A friend M and I shared an Oreo-Chocolate ice-cream! This historic eatery was built in 1953 by local resident Juan Delgadilo as a drive-in and restaurant built with scrap lumber from a yard in Santa Fe. You can still see exciting displays with cars and fun names on the menu such as a “cheeseburger with cheese”…

Being the huge Disney fan I am, I have to mention that ‘Cars’ features the town of Seligman and Pixar’s John Lasseter even met Delgadillo’s brother, Route 66 historian Angel Delgadillo. Seligman turned into a slight ghost-town since Interstate 40 opened, so traffic through the town slowed down. We rarely saw cars passing by when we were eating and exploring, which made me feel very secluded.

Delgadillo’s daughter Cecillia and son John now run the restaurant.I added a ticket for London that was in my purse onto the wall that is covered in business cards and money and tickets from across the world.

We then explored the shops, historical locally-owned businesses that seem like they are stuck in time. Walking down the street felt like I was in the 1950s – the town was founded in 1895.

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I bought a Route 66 t-shirt and magnet of course, which I love!

We had a wonderful few hours exploring Seligman before continuing our drive to the Grand Canyon. The following summer I went to California, walking across Santa Monica pier so I have seen the middle and the end of Route 66 so one day I will go to the beginning!! I love America and still have 24 States to visit!!

Love Curls x

 

 

Waverley Abbey, Farnham

Hello World,

Today I had a very exciting day. I caught up with a friend from University, we were on the Tennis team together, amazing players and both social-secretary the year after each other!

We met at Farnborough Main station and drove to the Shepherd and Flock pub in Farnham, in the middle of a roundabout – we returned later for a drink and crisps. I will return one day for food – we arrived too late for lunch as the kitchen closed at 2:30. https://www.shepherdandflock.co.uk/

From here we walked about 2 miles through the countryside to an unknown destination. My friend knows how much of an Archaeology nerd I am so she organised this adventure walk! What a wonderful girl! We had a brilliant time catching up on our year, adventures and careers.

We passed a few farms with sheep and baby lambs who have just been born, continuing along a river and subsequent streams and lakes.

Next was an incredible sight, one of myths and legends and magic – Mother Ludlum’s Cave. Legend states – from https://www.historic-uk.com/CultureUK/The-Legend-of-Mother-Ludlam-Surrey-Witch/ – that:

“Being friendlier than most witches, Mother Ludlam developed quite an enviable reputation by lending local villagers anything they asked for, under the rather peculiar proviso that it should be returned within two days.

Would-be borrowers were required to stand on a boulder on the entrance to Mother Ludlam’s cave and clearly state what they required. Once they got home they would then find the object of their desire waiting for them on their doorstep… think of it like an olden day amazon.com, albeit with a mandatory two day returns policy!

One day, a local man visited the cave (now known as Mother Ludlam’s Hole) and asked to borrow the witch’s cauldron. Hesitant to grant his request as this was her personal property, Mother Ludlam reluctantly agreed but reminded the man that it must be returned within two days.

Perhaps the man was half way through slow cooking his Sunday lunch, but for whatever reason he failed to return the cauldron and Mother Ludlam – gripped by rage – left the confines of her cave to seek vengeance. Upon hearing that he was a wanted man, the borrower sought refuge in Frensham Church and this is where the cauldron remains to this day.”

We next arrived at Waverley Abbey, an English Heritage site – http://www.english-heritage.org.uk/visit/places/waverley-abbey/

This Abbey is in ruins but you can still see where the Monks lived and how the site has grown over years. This is such a beautiful site and such a romantic setting for picnics. Today was great weather so we enjoyed this walk alot and walked about 5 miles in total! We passed Waverley Abbey house too which looked lovely, a old Georgian Manor!

I love exploring the local area of England. Enjoy travelling on your doorstep as well as across the world!

Love Curls x

Sorrento, Italy 🇮🇹

Hello World,

On Monday while in Naples we enjoyed another wonderful tour with World Tours Naples. I am writing about each location separately so I hope I give each town the admiration and beauty they deserve.

My family and I were picked up at the Cathedral round the corner from our hotel – Hotel Caravaggio. http://www.booking.com/Share-0PFBLg I booked through Booking.com as I normally do for holidays, enjoying giving ratings too.

We then drove out of Naples in the mini-van with the group of about 10 of us ready for our tour. We stopped about 45 minutes later at a Limoncello Factory down the coast with a beautiful view along the coast. Limoncello is a digestif made of lemons and alcohol, water and sugar. The lemons in Sorrento were huge!!

We then continued along the winding coastal cliff side roads to Sorrento, a Neapolitan town in the south of Italy overlooking the Bay of Naples, Vesuvius and the Isle of Capri. This road connecting Sorrento and Amalfi is the Amalfi Drive, a narrow road threading along the high cliffs above the Tyrrhenian Sea.

We had a lovely time exploring Sorrento. We walked into the Cathedral from the 14th century, built over time with different styles and looked over the cliff to Marina Grande, the port of Sorrento.

Sorrento is called an ‘Archaeological Lasagna’, looking down at the Greek Layer, then the Romans built onto, then the Medieval Age and the Renaissance era. So many people and cultures create the world, leaving their mark. The historic center of Sorrento contains a warren of narrow alleys, home to the Chiesa di San Francesco, a 14th-century church with a tranquil cloiste.

This is a quiet and civilised town though Ivan see that in the summer at peak season this is a bustling tourist destination.

The Il Vallone dei Mulino is behind the Piazza Tasso and was so hidden we didn’t know it was there! This stunning natural phenomenon is seen from Via Fuorimura. This deep mountain cleft dates from a volcanic eruption 35,000 years ago. Sorrento was once bounded by three gorges, but today this is the only one that remains. The ruins are still seen and named after the ancient wheat mills.

This hotel we met at before boarding the bus again to the next stop was covered in this fragrant wisteria. I couldn’t help but get a photograph!

Sorrento is a gorgeous little town with much more to see and learn about. Onto Positano next…

Love Curls x

Mount Vesuvius, Italy

Hello World,

I am in Naples, Italy and on Saturday (7th April 2018) we took a Tour with World Tours Naples, booked through Viator.com to Mount Vesuvius. We had spent the morning exploring Pompeii but I will return to writing about the history another day.

This is a brilliant company to travel with and their website is… https://www.worldtoursitaly.com/#

Our tour Guide was Marco, a wonderful man who was informative, exciting and patient – he even took my mother arm in arm to climb the volcano. We had a lovely day with Marco and I would recommend his tours to all who visit Naples! We had such a fun day!

Mount Vesuvius is seen from Naples, only a few miles away and dominates the landscape. This volcano is of course best known for its eruption in AD79 that destroyed the Roman Cities of Pompeii and Herculaneum, ejecting gases, stones and ash into the sky to 33km high with molten rock, or lava covering the nearby landscape. It has erupted a number of times since, being the most dangerous volcano in Europe as it is dormant, with no clear idea when the next eruption could be, though volcanologists monitor its activity daily. We had a talk from a volcanologist at the top of the hike, overlooking the crater!

Vesuvius is inside the crater of the mother mountain, Monte Somma, ringing Vesuvius on the left who’s shape has changed during each eruption. The most recent was in 1940!

During the tour we drove up the volcano from Torre del Greco which ends around 275metres before the volcano’s rim. We then walked up a steep path created by small lava rocks. Tourist books and guides say this walk takes 30 minutes, and possibly it would if you’re a professional hiker, but I think it took us nearer 45mins to an hour. It is €10 entry to hike to the top, despite booking a tour so do check this as we thought it was included and this prices wasn’t so make sure you have cash. This money goes towards preservation and I assume checking the volcanic activity. It is also essential you wear good walking shoes which we did!

When we arrived at the top we walked around the crater to see a panoramic view of Naples, the coastal area and then Pompeii.

Our decent down took us less time of course, but this did feel much more slippery so watch your step! There are two little cafes and shops at the top of Vesuvius too for a scenic lunch if you have time! We of course bought a new magnet for our collection on the fridge at home!

We had a wonderful day and thank you so much to Marco for showing us the views across Naples!

Love Curls x

Pizzeria Da Michele, Naples 🇮🇹

Hello World,

Today I flew to Naples, Italy from Stanstead Airport, London at 6am with my mum and two sisters for a family holiday. We arrived at 9:30am local time and took a taxi to our Hotel in the Historic District of the City. As we arrived, our room was ready which was brilliant. I booked with Booking.com as I usually do for city breaks as I find them reliable and good prices.

After a well needed nap, we were refreshed and ready to explore the city. After a lovely walk we were rather hungry so we found Pizzeria Da Michele. We had read many raving reviews about this restaurant so just had to try it!

Pizzeria Da Michele was established in 1870 and Naples is famed for inventing the Pizza! The pizza of Naples conquered the world so we had to eat in the oldest Pizzaria in Naples! It is also more recently famous for being the favourite restaurant of Julia Roberts in her film – Eat, Pray, Love. There is a signed photo of her eating pizza in the restaurant on the wall inside, along with old family photos dating back to the 19th century!

This restaurant creates just two types of pizza on their simple yet famously effective menu – Mozzarella on a tomato base and Marinara, a simple combination of fresh tomato with juicy new garlic.

This original Pizzeria is, for good reason. an institution. We took a number to wait for our table. We were told it would be about 45 minutes so we went for a walk around the neighbourhood, admiring the locals shops until we felt it was time to return. There were so many people waiting for their tables too and why not! It was so worth the wait! This restaurant was lovely, classic and yummy! One of the best pizzas I’ve ever eaten. I do not usually write about food and wouldn’t call myself a culinary expert, but I do love food!

Their website is:

https://www.damichele.net

I cannot wait to share more about my Naples holiday! We saw so much today and walked for miles so I am looking forward to writing more, but for now, I’m going bed ready for a tour to Pompeii tomorrow!

Love Curls x

Rimini, Italy 🇮🇹

Hello World,

Tomorrow I am travelling to Naples in Italy for a family holiday! I am so excited and cannot wait to share my experience!

This will be my fourth trip to Italy!

My first visit was in February 2014 to Rome and then two months later I went to Rimini on the University sports tour… there was sports played, but also a lot of drinking, partying and fun! I was 20 and loved it!

This trip was with https://www.ilovetour.co.uk/

Rimini is a city on the Adriatic Coast and was once a beautiful tourist holiday destination, though has more recently been know for cheap and cheerful young adult holidays.

We drove to Rimini from England which did take over a day driving through France, Germany and Switzerland, stopping for breakfast near the Alps!

I was with all my tennis girls and friends from other teams and we had a wonderful holiday! The beach was gorgeous, on the east coast. We visited in April so there was not many people about though in the summer Rimini is packed with holidaymakers.

I won’t be sharing any photos but I had a wonderful time and am looking forward to another Italian Adventure!

Love Curls x

Ubud Monkey Forest

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Hello World,

During my month in Bali with RealGap.com we had a Culture Week, where one day we visited the Sacred Monkey Forest Sanctuary in Ubud.

This was just a 45 minute walk through the city from where we were staying in Penestanan which was a lovely, quiet neighbouring village. Ubud’s vicinity has many enchanting villages and places to explore. To get to Ubud from Penestanan we had to cross the Wos river, walking over a wooden bridge above a small canyon. My fear of heights was definitely getting to me walking over here but I knew I’d have to to get to the wonderful city!

The Monkey Forest is an unmissable site! My parents had even been there over 23 years before I did during their honeymoon! This is a nature reserve and also a top tourist attraction housing the local Macaques monkeys.

Before entering, check the warning signs, a friend of mine’s sunglasses were taken off her head by a monkey! Hilarious! But she didn’t get them back! The monkey’s are hungry, so don’t walk around with any food you actually want to eat… we bought a bunch of bananas and the monkey’s climbed up us to grab them! So funny!!

The monkeys all run around having fun and are harmless and are always fed with wonderful fruits. We saw a few babies being carried by their mothers with was sooo amazing to see. We wee able to get so close and could spend as much time as we wanted exploring. There were ancient temples around too where the monkey’s roamed freely, as if we were in the Jungle Book!

I loved this day! I found a new found love for animals that day.

Love Curls x

 

Coney Island, NYC

Hello World,

After Camp in 2016 while travelling America we went to New York City. This was my second visit so I wanted to see more than Times Square, the Empire State Building and the Staten Island Ferry.

We took the Subway to Brooklyn and onto Coney Island. The island infamous for fun, rollercoasters and entertainment!

I absolutely loved the Coney Island Train Station! How picturesque! This is evocative of this early 20th century and now looking back at pictures, reminds me a little of Napier in New Zealand – https://curlsaroundtheworldweb.wordpress.com/2018/01/21/napier-new-zealand/

I really admire the art-deco style from the 1920s and hope this gets revived in the 2020s!

We walked along this beautiful promenade along the beach and I couldn’t believe this was just a short train ride away from the hustle and bustle of the busy city of New York.

Coney Island reached its historical peak in the 1920s, unsurprisingly though it was rather busy for this early August day. We had perfect weather there that day and explored the theme park. I’m so scared of rides so I honestly did t go on them but it was exciting seeing everyone running around enjoying themselves.

Back at the promenade I bought the boys a funnel cake to share between us, an American snack delicacy like a donut but funnelled into a random circular miss-mashed shape.

Coney Island Luna Park is owned by the same company that owns Luna Parks in Australia. There is also another park called Deno’a Wonder Wheel Amusement Park. There are also rides not in either park.

Coney Island has a website to explore: https://www.coneyisland.com/tourist-information

Enjoy! Go wild! Have fun!

Love Curls x

Bamburgh Castle, Northumberland

Hello world,

Bamburgh Castle in Northumberland, England, is often known as ‘The King of Castles’.

http://www.bamburghcastle.com/

Bamburgh Castle was the Royal Sea of the Kings of Northumbria, on the northeast coast of England. It is now a Grade I listed building. We visited over Easter weekend in 2013, staying in cottages nearby.

The castle was built on a Celtic Brittonic fort site. It passed between the Britons and the Anglo-Saxons three times, when the fort came under the control of the Anglo-Saxons in 590. In 993 the Vikings destroyed the fort and the Normans built the current castle, at least the foundations and most of it later. This has of course been added to and adapted over the by subsequent owners and families. The English Monarch had owned and supported the castle since a revolt in 1095.

The castle deteriorated from the 17th century because of financial difficulties until its restoration in the Victorian age when it was bought by William Armstrong and it is still owned by his family now and open to the public.

There are thousands of visitors each year from around the globe who come to see the site of bloodshed, rebellion, myths and ghosts. There is such a vast history of Bamburgh and its connection to the surrounding area of Northumbria.

The State Rooms are beautiful with the medieval tapestries adorning each wall and showing how the families adapted the interiors across the years, collection Chionaserie (blue and white pots) to paintings and grand furniture.

The site was also used for filming locations for the film Ivanhoe (1982). Mary, Queen of Scots (1971), Elizabeth (1998) and Macbeth productions in 1971 and 2015.

The Castle is also next to a beach we walked across, with beautiful sand dunes and near the Inner Farne Islands, home of monk monasteries.

Do enjoy a lovely trip up here!

Love Curls x