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    5 Reasons To..., Travel

    5 Reasons To Go On A Walking Holiday

    This post has been written in collaboration with Inntravel #SEEINGSWITZERLAND, but all words and thoughts are my own.

    5 Reasons To Go On A Walking Holiday | lifeofkitty.co.uk

    In 2014 I travelled to Finland for an expedition. It was part of a university module, and our plan was to go out and photograph bears. We travelled from Kajaani to a wildlife centre near Viiksimo, then to another near Suomussalmi and then braved the train up to Rovaneimi. That was an adventure! (We also went snow shoeing – as seen below! Photo on the below right thanks to Louise Groom!) Now besides that, I haven’t really been on a specifically active walking/hiking holiday – just day/weekend trips – despite me loving the idea of this style of holiday.

    I guess part of that is laziness (isn’t it easier to just book one of those typical beach/city holidays?) but part of it is also because I’ve just never really had anyone who wanted to do the same thing. That said, I’m someone who loves nothing more than to pull on my running shoes and go explore a new town on my own and I do it every time I go on holiday, no matter what kind of trip it is!

    5 Reasons To Go On A Walking Holiday | Finland | lifeofkitty.co.uk

    #1 The Weather Is Unpredictable, But Can Be Incredible

    A normal day in Britain could see you experiencing sunshine, rain, overcast, hail and snow all in the matter of an hour. I’m sure other countries are similar, but you know, that’s the chance you take when on an outdoor trip. Don’t let that put you off.

    You can choose where you want to go, and ultimately the kind of weather you want. If you want to see snow and hike in a colder place, Austria, Switzerland, Norway or Finland may be top choices. Sun-worshipper? Then maybe Spain, India, Morocco or Cyprus would be your thing. Some countries even have a good mixture of both, so really you just need to decide what you want and check what it’s like out there at that time of year. When I visited Finland, we experienced both snow and sun, as you can tell in the two photos above, the weather differs even just a 5 hour drive away!

    #2 Muscles You Didn’t Know Existed Will Ache, But You’ll Be Fitter

    And you should sleep well afterwards! If you’re not used to being out all day in all weather, walking about, then yes you probably will be sore afterwards. You can always go at your own pace though, so don’t feel like you have to be some super fit athlete to be doing it. Most walks will have a difficulty rating, and quite often there will be a few different routes that you can take.

    The more you do it, the fitter you’ll get and soon you’ll be running up those hills! Or okay, maybe not. You’ve also got the option to cycle around these kinds of places too, which brings a whole different kind of trip.

    #3 Getting Lost Is An Adventure, You Find New Places

    Hands up, who can read a map? I dabbled a little in map reading at university. And by that I mean I tried, tried a little more and didn’t do very well. I mean technically you don’t really need a map. There are plenty of walking holidays with toured walks, or ones where you just have to follow a path and signposts. Getting off the beaten track can be fun, but only if you can get yourself back on track!

    Many a time have I gone out to explore, taken a different turning or path and discovered something new. I still do that in my local areas! Doing this, you’ll see a lot more of the natural country than a regular tourist would, and you’ll come away feeling like you’ve discovered a country’s secrets.

    #4 There May Be No Mobile Signal So Switch Off, Enjoy The Quiet

    We’re all getting a little too reliant on social media nowadays aren’t we? I mean, is it even news unless you’ve seen it on BBC Breaking’s twitter account? Nope. I am fully aware that I rely on social media far too much. Forever checking Twitter and Facebook, forever wanting to post that photo on Instagram.

    I went to Wales last year and the signal was absolutely awful. We were lucky if we managed to scrape one bar in our cottage, and wifi, well, that was expensive. So you know what we did? Enjoyed the outdoors, explored the surrounding area and yes, we played board games. It was refreshing. You can post that photo on Instagram when you get back to real life.

    #5 Go Solo And Join A Walking Tour, Make New Friends

    This is one thing I haven’t done yet, but something I aim to do. Solo travel doesn’t have to be scary or lonely. There are plenty of tours and groups out there that will guide you around a country along with other travellers.

    If, like me, you have no one to enjoy this kind of holiday with, you don’t have to swear off them. I’m planning a solo trip myself for the end of 2018. I mean, if anyone wants to join me they can – but I’ll still be going regardless! (Well hopefully, as long as the saving works out…)

    Mammut Xeron Element Bag Giveaway | lifeofkitty.co.uk

    #SEEINGSWITZERLAND with Inntravel

    Now Inntravel call themselves specials in ‘slow holidays’. Holidays that give you time to fully savour every moment of your trip: travelling through beautiful landscapes; tasting local cuisine; relaxing in family-run hotels and talking to the locals. They basically aim to get you away from that typical city break or beach holiday and experience something new.

    Trips they offer include walking holidays, cycling, snow breaks, family breaks and privately guided. Currently they are promoting their self-guided ‘From the Eiger to the Matterhorn’ trip, giving you the chance to see some of the best walking tours in all of the Alps (and the Alps are pretty special – I was lucky enough to be driven through the Swiss Alps on my way home from a college trip!)

    I received a Mammut XERON ELEMENT 30L rucksack, Sigg drinking bottle, Viktorinox hiker Swiss army knife, two pairs of walking socks and some luxury Lindt Swiss chocolates. (Oh those chocolates were definitely luxury!)

    The Mammut bag you can see in the photos above, and it is quite a big backpack – great for long days out. I found it quite comfortable to wear and didn’t have any parts rubbing on the three hour hike that I took it on. With a laptop pocket, main pocket, front organiser pocket and another small front pocket (perfect for a map I would say!) you’ll easily be able to split items apart for easy access. 30L is actually quite roomy, so it’d be great for a walking holiday.

    And hey, thanks to Inntravel, you can win your very own Mammut XERON ELEMENT rucksack. Just enter below to be in with a chance to win. All entries are optional, but obviously the more you do the better chances you have!

    a Rafflecopter giveaway

    Giveaway T&C’s
    – The prize includes a Mammut XERON ELEMENT rucksack.
    – The giveaway will run from 19/05/17 until 31/05/17.
    – It will be open to UK residents only, aged 18+.
    – The winner will be chosen at random, and will be contacted by myself to request their postal address.
    – The winner will have 28 days from being notified to accept the prize. After that another winner will be chosen.
    – The prize will be provided by the company, and sent directly to the winner.
    – No data collected from Rafflecopter will be shared with the company or any other.

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    Travel, United Kingdom

    Travel Diary: Little Parts of Wales

    Nearly a month after going to Wales, I’ve finally got the last lot of photos to share… You may have seen some of these on my instagram but you know, always nice to reminisce about travels right? Might only be Wales, but it was so pretty. Would rather look at these than think about freezing cold Manchester! You can see my New Quay and Old Millers Cottage travel diaries using their respective links! Warning… photo heavy ;)

    Wales Photo Diary | lifeofkitty.co.uk

    Wales Photo Diary | lifeofkitty.co.uk

    Colourful Buildings and Cardigan Castle

    My favourite thing about seaside towns is that they are generally super colourful. The buildings are either pretty pastels or brights, and everything just looks so cute. Cardigan, New Quay, St Dogmaels are exactly that. I just couldn’t get enough of the colourful buildings and the little independent shops. Booksellers, sweet shops, candle makers, bakers… Little old pubs, cafes, and the one chip shop and Chinese takeaway. (Good – but not as good as home!)

    Wales Photo Diary | lifeofkitty.co.uk

    Wales Photo Diary | lifeofkitty.co.uk

    Cardigan Castle isn’t really a castle any more… Only the wall really stands, and the manor house shown below is the main exhibition area. Renovated to make it safe for visitors, the house still holds a lot of the original features inside. Really interesting to see! I don’t really have any photos from inside as they all came out awful. Just look at that vegetable garden though! The vegetables were huge. My dad has decided that we’re going to grow our own next year… We’ll see how that goes.

    Wales Photo Diary | lifeofkitty.co.uk

    Wales Photo Diary | lifeofkitty.co.uk

    Wales Photo Diary | lifeofkitty.co.uk

    Wales Photo Diary | lifeofkitty.co.uk

    Beach Running

    One of my favourite things to do whilst on holiday is run. There’s nothing better than setting out alone and just seeing where your legs take you. We’d already walked down to the beach before I did the first run so I knew it was less than a mile. Easy. Seriously though, there’s nothing better. Luckily I had a bit of sun to run in too! The beach was fairly deserted in the early morning, just myself, a couple running and some dog walkers. I’m really not a fan of sand, yet I really love beaches. There’s just something about them that draws me in. I know, I know, I look a mess. I woke up like that… Oh and this beach was called Poppit Sands. Could it sound even cuter?!

    Wales Photo Diary | lifeofkitty.co.uk

    Wales Photo Diary | lifeofkitty.co.uk

    And that pretty much sums up my visit to Wales!

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    Travel, United Kingdom

    Travel Diary: New Quay and Dolphin (or lack of) Spotting

    New Quay- not to be confused with Newquay, Cornwall – is a gorgeous little seaside town in Wales. We’d been to New Quay a few years previously, so it was nice to get back and feel familiar with the place.

    Travel Diary: New Quay, Wales and Dolphin (or lack of) Spotting | lifeofkitty.co.uk

    The first thing you notice with New Quay is the hills. I’m not sure how far out New Quay goes, but this little area by the harbour is very compact. The hills are huge, and the roads are narrow. No pavements means people are walking on the road, and with cars parked up on the sides it looked tricky to navigate. I’m sure glad I wasn’t driving! We parked up at the top of the hills and walked down, heading into the hustle and bustle of a touristy seaside town.

    Plenty of touristy shops had their doors open with buckets, sunglasses, swim floats and the like available for those caught short as well as cute trinkets and seaside related keepsakes. It’s all too tempting to just spend, spend, spend in these kinds of shops. Most often I’ll come home with various postcards and prints but I was good this time and saved some money…

    The boat tours are what makes New Quay so popular with tourists, with many offering either dolphin spotting tours or fishing experiences. It’s kind of a given that you have to go on a dolphin spotting tour whilst in New Quay… I mean, why else would you be there?! Well we did it, and it was a lovely little boat trip. Sadly we didn’t see any dolphins but we did see a seal pup. Yep, it’s the white blob near the rocks on the photo below. The two guys doing the tour gave us information about the area and the animals we could see (or not see as in the case of the dolphins…) including the nesting birds. Something nice to do anyway. They do make it clear that these dolphins are wild animals, and obviously unpredictable. Maybe third time lucky for us eh?

    After that, we ate and had the best chippy chips ever. So, so good. Disappointing to not have gravy (because it wasn’t vegetarian friendly) but they were still good nevertheless. Time for dessert! We’d passed a couple of ice cream shops on the way down and knew exactly where we were heading next. I’d originally had my eyes on the butterscotch and honeycomb ice cream (doesn’t that sound heavenly?!) but then I spotted cinnamon toffee waffle and well that was it. I can’t resist anything cinnamon flavoured. It was as good as it sounds.

    On this day we had 26 degree sunshine, so didn’t hang about for long. Instead we made the journey back to Cardigan Bay and made ourselves at home in the swimming pool. It was outside but with a glass covering that was opened up a little to let some sunshine in. Definitely a good way to end the afternoon!

    Travel Diary: New Quay, Wales and Dolphin (or lack of) Spotting | lifeofkitty.co.uk

    Travel Diary: New Quay, Wales and Dolphin (or lack of) Spotting | lifeofkitty.co.uk

    Travel Diary: New Quay, Wales and Dolphin (or lack of) Spotting | lifeofkitty.co.uk

    Travel Diary: New Quay, Wales and Dolphin (or lack of) Spotting | lifeofkitty.co.uk

    Travel Diary: New Quay, Wales and Dolphin (or lack of) Spotting | lifeofkitty.co.uk

    Travel Diary: New Quay, Wales and Dolphin (or lack of) Spotting | lifeofkitty.co.uk

    Travel Diary: New Quay, Wales and Dolphin (or lack of) Spotting | lifeofkitty.co.uk

    Ever seen any dolphins in the wild?

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    Travel, United Kingdom

    Travel Diary: Old Millers Cottage, Cardigan Bay

    Last week my family and I spent a relaxing five days in Sunny (for the most part…) Wales. Cardigan Bay to be exact – and yes, it is as cute as it sounds! We had our own little cottage and garden, and it was absolutely gorgeous, so here’s a little look at the place itself.

    Travel Diary: Old Millers Cottage, Cardigan Bay | lifeofkitty.co.uk

    We stayed on the Cardigan Bay Holiday Park, and had the Old Millers Cottage for the duration. It was hidden away behind a gate that made you feel like Mary Lennox finding the Secret Garden, even more so when you entered and were greeted by the sight above. Plants growing on a building is supposed to be really bad for the brickwork, but why oh why does it look so good?! I was already in love, just from seeing the outside of this cottage.

    Tall trees surrounding the grounds of the cottage kept it well hidden and secluded, perfect for that quiet break away. The only sounds to be heard included the gentle running water of the stream passing through the garden and the high chirps of all the birds in the trees. If you went into the garden in the early hours of the morning, you’d likely get a glimpse of the family of robins who must have been nesting within close proximity to the cottage. The bravest being the young robin – still with a touch of baby speckled feathers on its head. A Wagtail was spotted dashing across the stream, and Swifts circled overhead one night. Dozens just flying and swooping. Birdsong was something to be heard throughout the day though the chorus at dusk was the loudest, going on for what seemed like hours. It was so relaxing to just be sitting in the hot tub and listening to all the different voices and calls.

    We had a barbecue, we played games, we watched good tv (and bad tv!) and just enjoyed being a family. It has been so long since just the five of us had a break together. Quiz nights are way more entertaining after a drink, and even more so when the kids (my younger brother may be 20, and my older sister 30, but we are still kids at heart!) beat the parents… Then playing a modern style Frustration, and getting beat in both games by each parent. Having a go at mastermind – a game of logic – and my dad being surprised at how little goes it took each of us. Makes a difference when you’re not 10 any more!

    On a clear night, we sat in awe looking at the night sky. Finding the big dipper (or the plough), and wondering if the three bright stars we could see together were actually Orion’s Belt. My dad and I both saw a shooting star, and that was it. We had our chairs on the grass and were sat with aching necks gazing above to see if more appeared. I saw one more, my sister saw two. If you’ve never sat out to watch stars, you really should. It’s something that my sister, dad and I have done a lot actually. Once you’ve seen one shooting star you get greedy. You just want that one more. Just five more minutes. It’s addictive.

    I could have just stayed in this cottage and garden all week without moving, and I would have been happy. We did venture out however, and I’ll share more photos from our trip in different posts. For now, here’s a little look at the magic we experienced in Old Millers Cottage. The photos pretty much speak for themselves.

    Travel Diary: Old Millers Cottage, Cardigan Bay | lifeofkitty.co.uk

    Travel Diary: Old Millers Cottage, Cardigan Bay | lifeofkitty.co.uk

    Travel Diary: Old Millers Cottage, Cardigan Bay | lifeofkitty.co.uk

    Travel Diary: Old Millers Cottage, Cardigan Bay | lifeofkitty.co.uk

    Travel Diary: Old Millers Cottage, Cardigan Bay | lifeofkitty.co.uk

    Travel Diary: Old Millers Cottage, Cardigan Bay | lifeofkitty.co.uk

    Travel Diary: Old Millers Cottage, Cardigan Bay | lifeofkitty.co.uk

    Travel Diary: Old Millers Cottage, Cardigan Bay | lifeofkitty.co.uk

    Have you experienced anywhere like this? I’d love to see blog posts!

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    Thinking About, Travel

    Thinking About: Travel

    Travel. Oh Travel. I touched on working abroad in this post but I’d also just love to shove everything in a little backpack and head off into the unknown, whether that’s with a friend or alone. In fact, there’s nothing I’d like more than to just travel alone. I like my own company, and I like not having to do what others want to do. But a travel friend would be nice haha! Anyway, why do I want to travel? You’ll see why below…

    Thinking About: Travel | lifeofkitty.co.uk

    Doesn’t that photo just sum it up? Look at how beautiful this place is! The above is a film photograph that I took whilst in Turkey actually, near the Blue Lagoon and a very touristy area. You see, growing up, we went on holiday abroad a lot. My mum knows what she wants, and she wants sunshine, sunbathing and swimming. Not something you can really depend on getting in the UK… I’ve been to mainland Spain (many, many times), Lanzarote, Turkey, Malta (okay, I was younger than 4 here) and Tunisia. You’ll notice that they’re mostly in the same area of the world, and yes, they have all been holiday resorts and tourist traps.

    I know I’m lucky to have had these experiences and I definitely appreciate them, but I just want more. I want to explore the hidden parts of theses countries. I want to properly see different cultures and places. Get off the beaten track. I managed to get a little hint of this when I went to Finland in my second year of university. We slept in hides, we walked through snow and woodlands, we struggled up their weirdly tall trains with our heavy suitcases as we headed further up North – close to the Arctic Circle. We tried new foods – including reindeer. But most of all, we were alone without any package holiday help to rely on.

    In college and university I also managed to get out to Venice and Paris, and whilst those trips were very much educational ones, they gave me plenty of time to explore. Every night, wandering the many streets of Venice. Cute little shops on every corner, filled with glass ornaments and those pretty masks. Finding a new place to eat in, eating copious amounts of spaghetti and pizza, trying the random flavours of ice cream and the little cakes. Heading back to the hotel in the dark – trying to remember the exact route back. Then in Paris… Doing the usual – seeing the Eiffel Tower, going into the Louvre, looking around the Christmas markets. But also, finding hidden little bookshops, reading messages on the love locks, navigating the RER from Paris to Versailles, sitting in gorgeous little coffee shops.

    I want to travel for these little moments. The ones where you’re fully immersed in the local culture, and you feel completely at home. Whilst I don’t feel like I’ve travelled very far myself for my liking, I have a ton of memories. I’m one of those who will keep random bits and bobs from my trips… And I had a quick look to see what I could find in my box of treasures!

    Thinking About: Travel | lifeofkitty.co.uk

    Starting from the left, I have a wooden boomerang type ornament from Lanzarote. I bought it because it was pretty, and just something that I could keep to remind me. The top two polaroids are from Turkey – the first is our view of the sunset from the balcony, and the second in the blue lagoon. Underneath those is a map and information of our hotel in Venice – handy in case you get lost in the winding streets! Then I have my Eiffel Tower ticket, a metro ticket and a polaroid of the gardens in Versailles Palace. That little mugshot is my ID card from a holiday in Benidorm – from 1997! How do I still have this? I honestly do not know. Below that is a wooden bracelet that I got when I was on a holiday with my family and cousins in Spain sometime. Can’t get that over my hand now!

    Above and next to the notebook, I’ve got some rocks. I picked these up from Wales when I last went… They were pretty. I can remember looking in the stones for fossils with my dad, because that area of Wales was supposedly good for them. We didn’t find any – but I can remember it clearly. The Finland badge, postcard and Arctic circle knife are all from Finland – obviously. And then the shells are from Lanzarote as well. I picked them up when we visited Puerto Calero. There wasn’t much to do there, but I can remember spotting this amazing little shop that was filled with shells, rocks and a variety of items made from natural substances.

    This is just a small selection, but oh just looking at them reminds me of where I’ve been and what I’ve done. I want to go travelling to make more memories like this. Memories that I can’t get just by staying in sunny boring old Wigan. If I had the money, I’d be on a plane tomorrow.

    Would you?

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    Lifestyle, Travel

    Learning Spanish with Flashsticks

    Since graduating university, I’ve been toying with the idea of attempting to work in Spain, but never really put those ideas into movement. Something that’s necessary for working in another country is knowing the language. I don’t want to be that ignorant English person trying to get by with only the knowledge of hello, goodbye, yes, no and thank you. So, although I don’t have any set plans to work abroad, a couple of months ago I threw myself into learning some Spanish. When I was actually on holiday in Lanzarote in March, Flashsticks came to the rescue!

    Learning Spanish with Flashsticks | lifeofkitty.co.uk

    Flashsticks is a language learning system including post-it notes and an app. The thing is with learning a new language, you really need to be doing it regularly and fitting bits in every day to keep it going. One of the founders, Richard, starting writing himself words down on sticky notes and plastering them around his house. Discovering it was a great learning tool, he set out to make his own printed ones with a friend and voilà, Flashsticks was born. You can read a little more about that here. I think it’s interesting to see!

    My favourite thing about the post-it notes are the colours. In Spanish (and other languages!) words are gendered. It still confuses me – how on earth can a table, or a book be gendered? They’re feminine and masculine respectively, if you were wondering. Anyway. The post-its are blue for masculine nouns, pink for feminine nouns and green for all other word types. Makes it so much easier to remember! I’ve never really thought I was a visual learner, but the colours definitely help.

    Learning Spanish with Flashsticks | lifeofkitty.co.uk

    As well as the post-it notes, there’s an app. Now this app has a bunch of different learning tools included. You can look through words, get an audio pronunciation, see a video of a tutor, get information on related words, how to use in a sentence, grammar notes and more. Once you’ve done that, you can move onto the games. These are just fun little ways to practise your memory on the words or the spelling of them. There’s a timer too, so it can get quite competitive trying to quickly get the words right!

    Learning Spanish with Flashsticks | lifeofkitty.co.uk

    Learning Spanish with Flashsticks | lifeofkitty.co.uk

    And the main selling point? The app interacts with the post-it notes, and you can also scan random objects to get a translation. Definitely handy if you are abroad and struggling with the language! I’ve done a quick video of these tools in action, though apologies for the noise in the first section when scanning a chair. I did that on my balcony in lanzarote!

    Now I am a complete beginner. I’ve done 5 years of French at school, and we had a taster week of Spanish. I do occasionally find myself thinking up a French word instead of the Spanish (who knew – I actually did learn something!) but I’ve surprised myself with how well I’m remembering things. When you put daily effort in, it really isn’t as difficult as you think. Now I’m not saying it’s easy – it’s far from that – but continuous work and practise keeps the language fresh in mind. Coupled with a few reminders dotted around your house, you’ll be saying random bits and bobs in no time.

    The only downside for me is that the app needs wifi or data to use it. Not always handy when abroad, but I guess nowadays, most places do have wifi. I’m not ashamed to admit that I sat on the beach opposite a bar I’d been in the night before just to use the free wifi and get a little practise in… Currently my bedroom is filled with random post-it notes on my furniture, and I can tell you it’s definitely helping! In fact, my mum now calls my door la puerta regularly.

    Anyone else learning a language? Would love to hear what you do.

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    Europe, Travel

    Lanzarote Short South Tour

    I’m still not totally accepting of the fact that I am home from Lanzarote and back in boring Wigan. Nope. Hopefully, with Spring officially here, the weather will start to look up. Can’t say the same for work though haha!

    Anyway, whilst in Lanzarote this year, we decided to go on a tour. There are a lot to choose from – some just half days, some full days – and we chose the ‘Short South Tour’. The full days mostly just included a meal as an extra, and with me being vegetarian and my cousin vegan, it just probably wasn’t worth the fuss. Looking through the options, the Short South Tour sounded pretty good, and included a camel ride opportunity, wine tasting and then volcanic experiments and views.

    Lanzarote Short South Tour // lifeofkitty.co.uk

    As we drove into the area, we had some lovely views from the coach and a great tour guide telling us things about Lanzarote and the island. When rain clouds appear and it starts to rain, you usually only get a few minutes worth of rain because it can get so windy that the clouds just get blown away so quickly! It rained a few times whilst we were there, but only ever for a couple of minutes if that. I think that’s so fascinating haha! “Lanzarote has on average around 5 days of rain per year. About the same that England gets of sun.” Funny. Sadly not far from the truth!

    We also discovered on the journey that the buildings in Lanzarote are painted white to contrast the black volcanic landscape. If you decide you want a differently coloured house, you’ll be paying up to 2000 € every year it isn’t white! Damn. Traditionally, all houses inland have green windows/doors, and the ones on the coast have blue to reflect the sea. I’d always wondered why every building was white and green/blue, thinking it was actually something to do with the sun. Modern houses tend to have brown windows/doors – but I like the reasoning behind the green and blue!

    Lanzarote Short South Tour // lifeofkitty.co.uk

    Camel Rides

    First up – camel rides! I can’t say I’ve ever really wanted to ride a camel, so I didn’t. It was an extra 6 € and they took you on a little walk around the base of the ‘Fire Mountains’. The people on our coach who did it said it was worth the money, but then they also looked like they were holding on for dear life as the camels were moving… I kind of wish I’d done it, because the views would be amazing, but then I still don’t fancy taking a camel for a ride. There must have been a good couple of hundred of camels here though. Our tour guide told us they even had their own special road that took them back to their village – and the journey was always quicker on the way back because they were hungry…

    Lanzarote Short South Tour // lifeofkitty.co.uk

    Wine Tasting

    Next up – wine tasting! I’m not a big wine fan. I could drink one glass and probably be drunk, but nevertheless I wanted to try them. We headed to the wine district of Lanzarote – La Geria. Grown in the surrounding areas, the vines are planted in craters dug into the black fields. Quite a sight to see hundreds, thousands of circles on a black landscape. These craters are protected from wind erosion by the natural lava stones, built up to create a wall. You can see what they look like below!

    When we walked into the building, the smell was so strong and overwhelming. I suppose if you are some sort of wine connoisseur you may enjoy this smell. It was fine once you’d gotten over that initial shock!

    How was the wine? Well we tried a white and a red, and I really thought I’d hate the white and like the red. Wrong! The white wine was actually quite soft and sweet. Nothing like the white wines I’ve previously tried ha! The red wine was really sharp and quite tangy, and I didn’t like it at all. Took one swig and that was it – off to my mum so she could finish it.

    Lanzarote Short South Tour // lifeofkitty.co.uk

    Lanzarote Short South Tour // lifeofkitty.co.uk

    the Volcanoes

    Finally, we headed towards the Timanfaya National Park. On the drive up, we could see miles of land affected by previous volcanic eruptions. Just loads of lava fields, everywhere. It was pretty, and still a strange sight to see. We also got a small glimpse of actual grass – on a roundabout. Apparently grass is hard to come by in Lanzarote.

    We drove up a really steep hill, parked the coach on a precarious angle and headed towards the ‘experiment’ centre. First up, our group were told to stand in a circle. This area was known to be the hottest bit of land in Lanzarote. You could actually feel the heat through your shoes! The kind man who was working there dug up some of the stony ground and put a bit in everyone’s hand. It was bloody hot! A lot of people dropped it straight away from the shock, others – like me – just quickly kept passing the stones from hand to hand because it was so damn hot.

    Then we moved on to a hole in the ground. Because of the heat from the ground, when the guy shoved a load of dry hay type material into the hole, it just set on fire straight away. Pretty crazy. Then we were onto the hot steam. This guy put water into a hole (i think?) and this huge billow of steam followed. I was sad that he’d done the one on the far left for us, but the group before had the middle one and I’m guessing you have to give it a few minutes before trying again. The final experiment was to see how they cooked food there, just from the heat of the ground – no fire. Although this small room stunk of chicken, it was interesting to see.

    Overall, the experiments were interesting, and I enjoyed seeing them and hearing the information at each step. The downside for me is that it felt rushed. You could tell it was a popular tourist attraction, as you were just quickly moved through each station ready for the next group. Not much time to just look and reflect. I can only imagine what it would be like in Summer at peak season!

    Lanzarote Short South Tour // lifeofkitty.co.uk

    Seeing the volcanic landscape

    Back in the coach, we headed out for a drive through Timanfaya National Park where we could really see the landscape and the volcanoes. Lots of winding roads, and sometimes driving along a cliff side made this coach trip scarily exciting. Not for those who don’t enjoy heights! We had a recorded tour guide giving us some information (along with some cringy sound effects) and I really enjoyed this bit. I’m a sucker for information. Love it. The bottom photo here is our view from near the top of a mountain/volcano, and that bus was behind us on the route.

    Lanzarote Short South Tour // lifeofkitty.co.uk

    Lanzarote Short South Tour // lifeofkitty.co.uk

    The tour lasted from 9am to 2pm and whilst bits did feel rushed, I really enjoyed it. Was super interesting to hear about the history of Lanzarote and it’s land, as well as the few interactive bits. I’d definitely recommend doing a tour like this if you visit the area.

    How about you? Been on any interesting tours lately?

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