Blog – Naked Eye on 2013 (Part One)
With 2013 already becoming a distant memory, it seems an appropriate time to cast an eye over the travels Michelle and I undertook last year.
Regular readers will know that although we don’t get round the world like some of the nomadic travellers out there, we like to combine one or two big trips with plenty of exploration of what’s on our own doorstep.
So 2013 saw ‘once in a lifetime’ holidays to Peru, China and Japan (and yes, that is only a phrase, we’ll be back there like a shot given a chance) combined with day trips to Northamptonshire’s Althorp House, Castle Ashby and Sulgrave Manor.
Of course, our biggest holiday of the year – together at least – saw us fly out to Peru to take on the epic Inca Trail.
The trek from Cusco to the beautiful Machu Picchu was awe-inspiring, but there were other highlights in the Peruvian capital of Lima and in Cusco itself.
While the Inca Trail certainly provided several thousand feet of awe, it was also interesting to look into the environmental battle that is going on behind the picture postcard.
If Peru was magical, we also discovered some real sorcery closer to home: at the Harry Potter Studio Tour.
Harry Potter is all about finding magic in the most unusual places, whether that be platform 9 and 3/4 of King’s Cross Station or a few miles away from Watford.
And the Warner Bros. Studio Tour gives Harry fans everything they want – from a look inside Hagrid’s House to Hogwarts’ Great Hall.
Michelle’s biggest trip of the year saw her set out on an Asian adventure in China and Japan.
Her whistlestop tour of Beijing and some of China’s most popular landmarks including visiting The Great Wall, Tiananmen Square, The Forbidden City and the Summer Palace.
Then it was off to Japan, where adventures in Tokyo, Mount Fuji and Oita saw Michelle meet cats in a cafe and monkeys on a mountain, while visiting everything from castles to ropeways.
And all that before revealing why Japan’s men are becoming ‘parasite singles’.
Michelle and I were back on the road together when we set off to a galaxy far, far away to visit Naboo.
Or it could’ve been Seville, it’s hard to tell after a few orange wines in the sun.
While there we discovered how Christopher Columbus’ tomb could be found in the Catedral de Sevilla – or not, depending on who you believe – and how the Royal Alcazar combined spectacular gardens and the slaughter of virgins.
I’d certainly highly recommend Seville – especially if sun, history and Tapas are your things.
> Part two of Naked Eye Travel’s look at 2013 will follow…