As we approach the end of the year we’ve been reflecting on amazing adventures had and beautiful sights seen. Read on to see where our team have been exploring in 2018…
Maria went to Malta!
Maria based herself in St Julian's Bay near Valletta and the excellent public transport system meant she managed to explore the whole island by bus in the space of a week!
This stunning little bay on the island of Comino is a must-see if you visit Malta. Try and catch the first ferry in the morning to get the crystal-clear waters to yourself for a bit before the hordes of tourists arrive!
The second largest island in Malta is a fantastic day out with a Citadel, sandy beaches, little fishing villages, Neolithic temples and much more to explore. The hop on hop off bus is a really handy way of seeing everything in one day, but make sure you get there early so you don't run out of time, like Maria did!
The tiny capital is brimming with historical beauty and culture. Spend your day in Valletta wandering down the main Merchants Street and the colourful side streets that lead off it, exploring quaint boutiques and cafes. Don't miss the view from the Upper Barrakka Gardens, a lovely place to take a break from sightseeing and relax. St. John’s Co-Cathedral's stunning interior is another unmissable visit with its jaw dropping decoration and religious importance.
Haylee went to the USA!
Our Flights expert set off on a USA road trip with her family. Ziplining in North Carolina, a house boat on a lake in Tennessee, and St Pete’s Beach in Florida were her highlights!
Flying through the Blue Ridge Mountains (which Cherokee Indians referred to as Sa-koh-na-gas, meaning blue!) was the best adrenaline rush with incredible views. The man who lead us through the mountains was called Bear, and at one point he quoted Albert Einstein which really stuck with me... “The most beautiful gift of nature is that it gives one pleasure to look around and try to comprehend what we see.” (deep I know)
Sunset at St Pete’s Beach
The photographs really don’t do it justice, you know the feeling. But the sugary-white sand, dolphins frolicking just off shore and postcard-perfect sunset was an incredible experience and one of the most beautiful skies I've ever seen. Plus, they make a VERY good Margherita at Jimmy Bs Beach Bar.
Dale Hollow Lake
This spidery lake on the Tennessee/Kentucky border is like a scene out of Jurassic park, where lush trees come right down to the lake, and Cicadas sound like Velociraptors. They have an island in the middle which is the home of a goat (just one goat) called Butternuts. The best way to experience the lake is by staying on a houseboat as we did and explore the secret coves on a Pontoon boat or kayak/canoe.
Jade went to Italy!
Our Marketing Executive visited Italy in July, a trip she's been planning in her head for years. Rome, Naples and Sorrento were on the agenda, and they didn't fail to disappoint!
With only a few hours I chose to visit the most famous (and arguably the best) pizzeria, L’Antica Pizzeria da Michele. The queue to eat in the restaurant was long so I opted for a takeaway pizza but after tasting would say it's worth the wait if you've got the time. They only serve two choices of pizza, Margherita or Marinara, and for only €5 you get the best pizza of your life!
My favourite spot in Sorrento was the Marina Grande. This charming little port has retained its rustic identity even though it is located in one of the most popular resorts on the Amalfi coast. This untouched gem, nestled in the surrounding rocks is lined with restaurants where you can sample delicious Italian dishes and exquisite seafood with views over the Gulf of Naples to Mount Vesuvius.
This is a tough one as everything is so breathtaking and ALL the food is incredible but my stand out experiences would have to be the Colosseum, Vatican Museums, St Peters Basillica and the Sistine Chapel, Trevi Fountain in the evening, watching the sunset on Pincio Terrace in Villa Borghese Gardens, and the best meal was in Osteria da Fortunata where you can see women making the pasta fresh on a table at the front... So authentic!
Chris went to Berlin!
Our Product Manager took a trip to Berlin to see LCD Soundsystem at the Tempodrom. He managed to fit in some sightseeing and a lot of eating and drinking!
The longest surviving section (and Chris' favourite!) of the Berlin Wall is the East Side Gallery. In 1990, more than 100 artists from over 20 countries decorated the wall with their stunning murals. It's a great experience to wander along the open-air gallery and see all the different messages and styles of the artists.
This restaurant is in a beautiful area of Berlin with wonderful high ceilings and arched windows. The food was amazing and catered for everyone (including vegans!) deliciously.
LCD Soundsystem Concert
Seeing a band in a different place to your usual hometown spots is always exciting, especially when you combine it with a holiday. The Tempodrom was an excellent venue and the band did not disappoint!
Alex went to Dublin!
Our Operations Manager recently visited Dublin for a big group birthday night away! They stayed in a private dorm at the Abbey Court Hostel which was a cheap and cheerful base with a great location when all you need the room for is to sleep.
Gallagher’s Boxty House
Sample this delicious Irish classic, the potato pancake, in a range of forms in the heart of the Temple Bar district. The Boxty tasting slate is a particularly tasty treat!
St Stephen's Green
This beautiful park is right near the main shopping area, and a lovely tranquil place for a walk in the midst of this busy city, and definitely an ideal picnic spot!
The Workman’s Club
This quirky art and live music bar was a relaxed change from the hundreds of packed pubs on a Saturday night in Dublin. The rooftop terrace with its own fast food kitchen is perfect for summer evening drinks.
Keith went to Perth!
Our Homeworker Support Agent took a trip to Perth, Western Australia to visit some family and explore the area.
This gorgeous artsy town is brimming with cute cafes and coffee shops, and independent boutiques and book shops. It's perfect for a relaxing wander and picking up the most unique presents for friends back home!
The oldest wine region in WA has a multitude of food, drink, art and culture to sample on its Swan Valley Food and Wine Trail, where you can often meet the owners of the wineries and hear tales of the past.
I had a go at skydiving for the first time with Skydive Australia in York it was truly one of the best experiences of my life. York is also a lovely little town, definitely worth a visit if you're in the area.
Nicki went to Dubai!
When your friend lives in Dubai it's the perfect excuse for a holiday, as our Customer Service Manager found out this month!
XLine Dubai Marina
The longest urban zipline in the world was top of Nicki’s list before she left, and it did not disappoint. The views were stunning, and the experience was a rush! Check out the video on our facebook page!
A falcon display, dune bashing, sunset on the dunes, a bonfire camp, camel rides, henna hand painting and a three-course buffet on some big comfy cushions... What more could you want from a day trip in Dubai!
Nicki went for brunch at Mr Miyagi's, which is a Thai restaurant she was recommended, but she said the options of restaurants were endless. A great experience with all you can eat and drink, music and dancing!
Donna went to Venice!
Our Aftersales Team Leader took a trip to Venice, one of the most charming and romantic locations in the world.
This legendary bar, famous for its Bellini's and Carpaccio's, has been frequented by customers such as Ernest Hemingway and Alfred Hitchcock. It was a tad expensive but great for people watching!
This is the true way to experience Venice. Drifting through the picture-perfect waterways whilst relaxing and enjoying the gorgeous weather was the highlight of the trip!
St Mark’s Square
This square holds the main sightseeing attractions of Venice like the Bell Tower, Doges Palace, and St Marks Church.
Natalie went to New Orleans!
Nicknamed the "Big Easy", this unique city in Louisiana USA is famed for its vibrant nightlife, live music, and cuisine.
Café du Monde
The beignets are like a sugar doughnut, square-shaped French pastry, that are freshly cooked and warm in the middle. Order with a frozen coffee too!
Cats Meow Bar
This Karaoke bar is one of the most famous in New Orleans. They had an amazing entertainer who made the Americans get up singing to country songs and doing funny drinking games!
Oak Alley Plantation Tour
The 28 oak trees along the entrance path to the house are stunning to look at and the guides give you a real insight into the families that lived there and the slaves who built the house.
Paul went to Passo Tonale!
Our Admin Agent Paul took a trip to Passo Tonale, one of Italy's highest resorts for a gorgeous skiing getaway.
As it was a skiing holiday this is obviously top of the list! Whether you're a beginner or seasoned skier you must try it out, especially in this beautiful area
Paul's favourite apres Ski (after ski drinks) was in La Baracca, a glass and wooden bar overlooking the slopes and mountains with awesome music and free monkey nuts!
A group of 8 skidoos following a guide up the mountain. Reach thrilling speeds of up to 65mph and get a great adrenaline rush.
You can visit the Monastery and hear the monks tell interesting stories, as well as having a meal with them.
If you'd like to visit one of these incredible destinations give our team a call on 0161 440 6735 and start planning your next adventure...