Day 2. Exploring Red Square and the Kremlin, Moscow

After sleeping like logs, we tucked into a delicious breakfast in the hotel's executive lounge where we had been invited after receiving a complimentary room upgrade.  The buffet selection was broadly similar to the main hotel restaurant but we received a more personal service from the waiting staff and were able to sit back and …

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Day 1. Moscow – the ultimate winter break

The previous evening I had taken the train to London to meet up with my son in Hammersmith.  We'd chosen Hammersmith as it was on the Piccadilly Line and meant we hadn't far to trundle our large suitcases.  After a tasty meal of fish and chips we returned to the nearby underground station for a …

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Day 4. Edinburgh Morningside

Although our hotel room was lovely and quiet there was no need to set an alarm as each morning we were roused from our slumbers at 8.00 a.m. sharp to the clattering sounds of a glass recycling truck emptying bins along the road. With so many nice things we wanted to fit into our Edinburgh …

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Day 3. Visiting the National Mining Museum of Scotland, Edinburgh

The rain clouds of the previous day seemed to have vanished but had been replaced by a strong wind so we wrapped up warm and after coming to life with bacon sandwiches and coffee, we wandered along Princes Street to visit Jenners. This famous department store has been part and parcel of Edinburgh's history since …

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Day 2. Exploring Edinburgh’s Royal Mile

After the lovely sunny weather we'd experienced the previous day, it was a little disappointing to wake up to a dark, gloomy sky accompanied by rain soaked pavements. Still, undeterred we braved the elements to find somewhere for breakfast. After being brought back to life with two cups of coffee and my favourite smashed avocados …

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Day 1. A festive short break in Edinburgh

It had been exactly three years since my last visit to Edinburgh and as it's one of my favourite cities, that was far too long. So, to remedy the situation, we managed to squeeze in a short break to the Scottish capital just before Christmas.  We travelled on a Cross-Country train that was over-crowded all …

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Day 6. Our final day in Istanbul

It was back to clear blue skies on our final morning in Istanbul and after a leisurely breakfast we completed our packing and checked out of the Holiday Inn Istanbul Old City which had been an ideal place to stay during our city break. We trundled our luggage the short distance to the nearest tram …

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Day 5. The Besiktas district of Istanbul

As we drew back the curtains we were dismayed to discover a dull and gloomy start to the day with rain beating against the window panes. Sadly, it wasn't any better by the time we had finished our breakfast so with our umbrellas unfurled for the first time since setting foot on Turkish soil, we …

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Day 4. Kadikoy – where east meets west in Istanbul

We allowed ourselves a little lie-in before enjoying a leisurely breakfast in the Holiday Inn's restaurant. Feeling suitably energised we were then ready to set off by 9.45 a.m. starting the day by strolling along to the nearest tram stop, about ten minutes walk away. It was the hottest day so far with the sun …

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Day 3. Exploring Taksim and Karaköy, Istanbul

After another enjoyable buffet breakfast in the hotel's elegant restaurant we wandered along to the nearest tram stop and took a Line 1 tram service all the way to Kabatas from where we transferred to an underground funicular train to Taksim Square. The Kabatas - Taksim funicular is a modern, air-conditioned underground train transporting passengers …

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