Archive for the ‘Europe’ Category

Summer Sun and Sunflowers

November 28, 2011

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As the weather descends into winter here in the UK my mind starts to wander to next year’s family holiday.

My children will be 14 and 11 and are keen to go surfing – Polzeath in Cornwall being their favourite spot so far.

Being a cyclist, I find the lanes of Cornwall a little hectic at times so whilst I can run on the coastal path or find quiet lanes to ride on my thoughts are leaning towards a holiday spent in Ste Catherine de Fierbois a few years ago where I spent many happy hours navigating the quiet roads amongst the sunflowers.

I’m sure Cornwall will win for August 2012, but I do have another thought – the 2012 Tour de France visits the North East coast and Boulogne, so perhaps I can squeeze in a Gallic trip to see how @markcavendish is warming up for the Olympic Road Race?

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A short break in Wales

November 25, 2011

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Mountain Bike Rider magazine has just awarded the Doethie Valley in Wales their “Trail of the Year” award, and I was lucky enough to spend a weekend in the area last month with ten friends.

With liberal car sharing we made our way across the Severn Bridge on Friday evening and awoke the next morning to crystal clear skies.

Saturday was to be a guided ride, ably led by Carl of Bike Brechfa and he did a marvellous job of showing us the best the region has to offer.

Now, due to my recent change in jobs, I’ve been riding a train a lot more than riding a bike, so of the eleven of us, I was near the tail end of the group for most of the weekend.

We were a disparate group, from XC whippets on £4k of Ibis Tranny, to weekend warriors on £400 Specialized Hardrocks the fitness and skill levels varied just as much, and Carl nurtured us throughout the day.

Just as the light started to fade we popped out of the end of the Doethie Valley and had a refreshing drink at The Royal Oak Inn (Royal Oak) in Rhandirmwyn, before the short trip back to our rented cottage.

A great day in a fantastic location, with impeccable guiding and good, Welsh hospitality.

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The last mile – winter

November 17, 2011

One mile. That’s how far my office is from the railway station.

I’m extremely lucky to have the option of a free shuttle bus, but connecting bus and train doesn’t always work, so it can be easier to walk the mile.

I’d like the freedom of a folding bike, so I don’t need to run the gauntlet of missing a train by waiting for a bus.

I’ll be looking for extreme light weight, single speed, maybe belt drive and a very quick fold – so intend posting some of my thoughts as I research.

A shot in the arm for Tesla

May 19, 2009

Tesla Motors have received an investment from Daimler-Benz in exchange for 10% equity in the company.

A great vote of confidence for Tesla’s nascent technology and following my post about the Smart car trial, not too surprising.

Tripess. This year’s Dopplr ?

February 8, 2009

I’ve just joined the private beta of a new travel planning website called www.tripess.com.

I use www.dopplr.com, but thought I would give Tripess a try, as I often find the user interface on Dopplr counterintuitive.

First impressions are good – with a particularly neat bookmark option that can grab data from the webpage you are visiting and use it to create a Tripess entry.

I’ll share my findings as my knowledge of the service grows.

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L’Etape Du Tour

November 1, 2008

It’s been announced! The venue is Mont Ventoux – Hardly a trundlin destination. L’Etape Du Tour is heading up “The Giant of Provence” at the end of a gruelling 172km route.

L’Etape follows the route of a single Tour de France stage every year and this one is a cracker. Enter now and start training, for the experience of a lifetime!

www.letapedutour.com

www.lafuga.cc

www.sportstoursinternational.co.uk

Inspired by The Clash…..

October 25, 2008

Should I stay or Should I go?

A couple of days in San Fran or stay at home for some R&R – perhaps a lightning trip to Snowdon?

How to decide? Aha, back to the Trundlin equation – a complex algorithm of time, money, weather and relationships.

For the moment I’m pondering……

A touch of luxury

October 14, 2008

Sublime trundlin.

The trundlin ethos is part eccentricity, part sustainability, part luxury and part frugality. This recommendation has no sense of frugality, the tiniest soupcon of sustainability and a nod to eccentricity.

The 16th century Bauer Palladio Hotel & Spa (www.palladiohotelspa.com) on Giudecca Island in Venice is rated #13 of 410 hotels in Venice by tripadvisor.com users – a testament to its quality. With design attributed to Francesco Palladio the hotel is a core part of Venice history.

Being situated on an island 50m from St Mark’s Square the hotel provides a water shuttle to “mainland” Venice. The B Mare solar powered shuttle boat trundles across the Giudecca Canal with no carbon footprint at all. A small nod in the direction of sustainability, but an important one in vulnerable Venezia!

Being across the water from the bustle of Venice, in the dawn light or evening glow you can sit on the terrazzo and admire Venice – eccentric in character and location – trundlin perfection!

Trundlin town no.2 = Perpignan, France

October 1, 2008

Hot on the heels of Zurich as a good trundlin centre is Perpignan, minutes from the Mediterranean, a scant few miles from the Pyrenees.

The Languedoc-Roussillon area has unnumerable gems, all within  an hour’s drive, or a couple of hours’ cycle ride of Perpignan.

  • Colliourre, Castelnou for architectural history.
  • Argeles sur Mer or Saint Cyprien for gaudy Meditteranean resorts.
  • Canigou for a majestic entrance to the Pyrenees

Visti www.perpignan.fr, www.collioure.com or www.castelnou.com for more enticing glimpses of what the region has to offer.

The best city to live in, trundlin wise…..

September 19, 2008

Magazines frequently feature “list” articles, detailing “The 20 Best Towns for…..”.

I’m going to be no different, and will try to build a list of locations where it’s easy to live, within easy reach of some great leisure locations.

The easy option would be to list all the great holiday destinations! However my aim is to show how many great destinations are within easy reach of some major conurbations.

First up, and for no particulate reason, apart from the fact I spent some formative years there is Zurich, Switzerland.

Visit www.zuerich.com for a taster, and in a few days I’ll elaborate on what the area has to offer.

Update: Dec 2011 – This post has received thousands of hits over the last two years. Check back soon, for more detail on how to travel leisurely around Zurich and its environs.