Getting ready for a two trips this weekend. First is a trip to Stuttgart and the second biggest beer festival in the world for my birthday next weekend and then a trip we have been waiting for all year in 19 days!!!
For now here is my thought of the day.
One of my sister-in-laws moved in Geneva 5 years ago but it has taken us until this year to make the journey to see her. Which is terrible if you ask me, especially considering it the flight was really quick! We spent a whirlwind 24 hours in Geneva and I can safely say it won’t be the last time!
Unlike 99% of our trips this was not one organised by myself which did leave me a little uneasy but I needn’t have worried as we had an amazing time.
Victoria has a lovely central apartment with high ceilings, white walls and sash windows – if I ever live in a city that’s the type of apartment I want! We stayed with her which meant we didn’t have to fork out for a hotel which I’d read could be pricey in Geneva (much like the rest of Switzerland.)
Our flight arrived late on Thursday evening so after a lie in and a leisurely breakfast Stuart, Victoria and I met up with her friend Ana to begin our tour.
First stop of the day – CERN.
We had a lovely time in Geneva, Switzerland and Morzine, France with my sister-in-law last weekend. It already feels like it was yonks ago but we have a couple of exciting trips coming up in the next 2 months! eek!!!
We last went to the West Dean Chilli Fiesta in 2015 so we thought it was time to head back this year. What shocked me a little was how much the tickets had increased in price and how almost unaffordable it has become. Given that I wanted to look for ways to make the most out of your ticket price.
The main jist of the festival is around chillis (obviously) so there are a hundred odd stalls selling everything from chilli chutney to beer, ice cream and plants. Most of these stalls offer free tasters of their wares so you can spend the day wandering round tasting chilli products without buying anything. It is done by lots of people but equally if you taste something amazing would you really be able to resist?
Part of what I am proud of is that we manage to hold down 2 full time jobs, run a household, look after 2 house rabbits and travel as much as we do.Yes, we don’t currently have any children so it is a little bit easier but it does take some pre-planning.
Come January my first job is to sort out what time off we want in the following 12 months to get the most out of our days. In the UK we have a statutory minimum of 20 days, if you’re lucky you get bank holidays on top of this and if you’re even luckier you will get more than the minimum. I understand that some jobs come with a requirement for holidays to be at certain times which can make it a little tricker but it’s all about making travel the priority.
If you really want to travel put it at the top of your list.
While spending some down time in the Lake Balaton area of Hungary we made a small side trip to a small peninsula called Tihany. It was about an hour’s drive around the lake from Siofok and was pretty easy, Hungarian roads make lots of sense and are easy to navigate! You do have the option to take a ferry across the lake instead but it didn’t fit in with our timings.
There are several things to do on Tihany, most famously is the Benedictine monastery and the Tihany echo. One was more impressive than the other. First off though we decided to check out a Lavender museum as Tihany is known for is lavender farms.
On the 5 year anniversary of me being at my current job I think this is very apt!
It’s a balance to get the most out of life whilst holding down a job, sometimes we get this balance just right and other times we don’t. But I guess that’s part of life!!!
After spending a few days in Budapest the second part of our Hungarian adventure was about to start. We picked up a car and headed down the M1 to the Lake Balaton area. Lake Balaton is the largest freshwater lake in Central Europe (not the largest in Europe as Stuart had spent a large portion of his life thinking) and is beautiful. Its one of Hungary’s hot spots for holiday makers, we were early in the season so it hadn’t got too busy but we could see why it was so popular!
The drive down was straightforward and enjoyable despite Hungary’s crazy drivers and I was so pleased with the idea of some downtime and seeing a part of the country not a huge amount of Brits see.
We stayed in the town of Siofok…which we found out from a Hungarian colleague that it was the Ibiza of Hungary. We were on the outskirts of the town in a wonderful boutique hotel, The Mala Garden. It was modelled on Bali and Thailand with a Thai menu, soft furnishings and a small onsite spa. The hotel is on the shorefront of the lake with it’s own jetty and sunbeds.