Day 2. A visit from Vilnius to Trakai, Lithuania

The rain clouds of the previous day had cleared resulting in a dull but fine morning. We enjoyed a lie in and a leisurely breakfast as we had planned a visit to Trakai for mid-morning. Trakai was the former capital of ancient Lithuania and its 14th century castle was the summer home of the Lithuanian …

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Day 2. Exploring Norwich

After a hearty breakfast in The Bell Hotel we were ready to spend the day viewing more of the city's cultural attractions.  We'd planned our first stop at the Plantation Garden but on the way discovered a hidden gem.  Tucked away on Bethel Street is the South Asia Decorative Arts & Crafts Collection museum and …

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Day 4.  A visit to Malbork Castle

I'd read about Malbork Castle and was eager to visit whilst staying in Gdansk.  It is the largest brick built castle in the world and was constructed in the thirteenth century. Malbork lies 69km from Gdansk and is easily accessible by train with numerous services daily.  It's on the main line to Warsaw, so tickets …

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Historic Lancaster

A weekend visit to the historic city of Lancaster located in the north west of England was our plan, approximately a two hour drive from our home.  I'd visited Lancaster before but not for many years and on entering the city, it was still congested through the one way system as we crept along until …

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Exploring Winchester 

Having read that Winchester was taking part in the National Heritage Open Days with over 70 events taking place over four days, we decided to spend a day in this Hampshire city to view a selection of its historic sights.  Approaching the city from the M3 motorway, we followed signs to the St. Catherine's Park …

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Ripley Castle Gardens and Village

My friend suggested a drive out into the Yorkshire countryside and a visit to Ripley Castle.  Ripley is situated 3 miles north of Harrogate.  It is also the preferred starting point of a 53 mile circular walking trail known as 'The Nidderdale Way' which passes through some delightful Yorkshire beauty spots including Brimham Rocks.  We …

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Day 1. Exploring Bratislava

On noticing that Ryanair had introduced weekly flights to Bratislava from Leeds Bradford Airport we were tempted into a weekend break in the Slovakian capital.  Dragging ourselves out of bed at 3.15 am to reach the airport in time for our early 6.45 am departure wasn't great but the upside was that we would be …

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Day 3.  A Ferry to Gozo

Drawing back the curtains we were dismayed to find it was raining heavily and a strong wind was blowing.  Not to be deterred, we kept with our original plans and caught a bus (No.221) to the Gozo ferry terminal at Cirkewwa, taking approximately 30 minutes. During the winter months ferries depart for Gozo at 45 …

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Day 2. Visiting Prague Castle

After a hearty breakfast in the Hotel Pav's modern restaurant, we wrapped up well to protect us from the below freezing temperatures and set off to visit the castle. Overlooking the Vltava river stands the magnificent Prague Castle, the largest medieval castle in Europe and today the home of the President of the Czech Republic …

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Day 5.  A train ride to Silves

I woke up briefly during the night to what sounded like hailstones out on the terrace but when we opened the curtains at 8.00 am we discovered our tiled balcony and white patio furniture were coated in a mixture of mud and grit.  It must have rained heavily and as our room is on the …

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