Jan 212017
 

I was treated to a wine tasting at a Tuscan vineyard. They took us into a cave where the family has been making wine for a very long time. We were shown how the wine is made and I was surprised to discover that they made white, red, and rosé all from the same grapes. As it turns out, the wine isn’t colored by the color of the grape but by how long the skins are left in the vat.

We were presented with a delicious rosé to start off the day. Unfortunately, I thoroughly enjoyed this and tucked back a few glasses before moving onto the rest of the tasting flight, which was voluminous. We were treated to food pairings for the wine. The owner’s mother appeared as we enjoyed lasagna made in strict accordance with her recipe.

This photo is taken from the spot that I put back the original few glasses of rosé. I, along with most of our group, got a good nap in on the bus ride back to Florence.

barrels of wine stored in a tuscan vineyards cave

Jan 202017
 

I’m on my way back to Marrakech for a quick two night stop before attending meetings in London. We’re making a return to the beautiful Palais Sebban so I thought it was fitting to post a photo of the riad. This trip I’ll be taking some friends on the same amazing food tour we went on last time as well as making a quick morning trip to go camel trekking in the foothills of the Atlas mountains. It involves two hours on the back of a camel, which should be interesting. I’ve wanted to do a multi-day trip through the desert by camel for a while now. This will be a good test of my willingness to spend extended periods of time on top of  a camel.

central courtyard pool at the palais sebban in marrakech morroco

Jan 192017
 

The walk up to the top of this tower was interesting. It was a tower that vacationers could rent, but there is only one room per floor. So as you walked up, you passed through multiple bedrooms, kitchens and bathrooms, each on their own floor. By the time I got to the top I was ready to collapse. After catching my breath I took a few picture before making my way down again. We sat in a nearby courtyard and enjoyed the most garlicky bruschetta I’ve ever had. It was delicious.

san gimignano square tower and tuscan countryside

Jan 182017
 

In my post about Delphi I mentioned that I had made a return to Greece last February to tick a couple spots off the list that I’d missed, while inter-railing across Europe, due to an extended stay in Thessaloniki. The other place that I’ve been wanting to get back to is Meteora, where monasteries perch atop rock pinnacles. They used to be cut off from civilization with no roads leading to them. The method used for entry by most was formerly a rope net basket that the monks would climb into, to be hoisted up by the monks above turning a wooden winch. Standing on the edge of these and looking down was pretty terrifying.

panorama meteora with monastaries

Jan 162017
 

Typically, the idea of eating seafood at a street food stall would not even be up for consideration for me. However, Cat Ba island is known for its super fresh seafood. So, we stood looking at the array of street kitchens that line the harbour you can see below. Eventually, a German family of four gestured us over and told us that the clams they had just eaten were incredible. With that unsolicited review, we decided that would be the spot. Sure enough, the clams were incredible.

I took this photo the next morning, as we prepared to ship out back to Hanoi.

vietnamese-boats-in-cat-ba-island-harbour-with-karst-islands-in-misty-background

Jan 152017
 

The Alcázar of Seville, which was originally built for Moorish kings, has featured in Game of Thrones. It’s a huge complex. I was lucky enough to be there in off season so there were very few people wandering around it with me.

The below photo was taken in one of the side rooms surrounding The Courtyard of the Maidens.

interior-view-of-room-around-courtyard-of-the-maidens-alcazar-seville-spain

Jan 142017
 

One of the big reasons why I stopped posting photos was because I bought a house and most of my energy was going into getting it move-in ready. I finally got moved in 6 months ago (I still didn’t have a roof on my living room yet at that point). The night that I moved my camera gear in with me I was greeted by this sunset.

little sound five star island bermuda sunset

Jan 132017
 

I’d seen photos of the Seven Sisters and thought they looked like an impressive collection of cliffs. So when presented with the opportunity to take a drive out of London, I made my way there. It was a windy, rainy day and I was fairly underwhelmed with the cliffs. They didn’t look as impressive as they did in photographs.

Oddly, looking back at this photo, the Seven Sisters look pretty impressive again.

couple on bench viewing seven sisters cliffs south downs england

Jan 122017
 

The drive to this spot, just outside of Cassis, was pretty difficult. The roads were really tight and I was adjusting to driving a manual transmission again for the first time in a few years. At one point, I was driving up a steep hill and a car came round the corner causing me to stall the car. The problem was I also rolled back about 2 yards. I have no idea how I avoided hitting the car behind me.

This is a calanque. It is a narrow-steep walled inlet carved into the limestone rock. When we got there, I had no idea it was going to be full of sailboats like this!

calanque full of silaboats near to cassis provence france