Monday, 21 April 2014

My visit to the Rocks on Paarl Mountain in South Africa.

View of  Gordon's Rock on Paarl Mountain, South Africa
This has been one of the greatest sites I've ever visited on the planet. This hidden gem of nature. It is an absolute must for any nature-traveler to visit the glorious granite rocks of Paarl. Charles Darwin visited these rocks on the 4th of June 1836 during his Beagle expedition and he must have been as amazed as I, seeing these products of nature. Walking on these remnants of volcanic activity just re-affirms how great this world of ours is and what great wonders there are, all around us. It also showed me how great it is to travel and to discover and experience these wonders.

There are three massive granite rock outcrops on the Paarl Mountain, namely Bretagne Rock, Paarl Rock and Gordon's Rock. The biggest rock accessible to the public is Bretagne Rock. It has a chain running up to the top, to assist us normal folk in ascending this jewel of South Africa. The chain was added to the rock in 1925 to assist the then Prince of Wales, Edward to ascend it.
See Below more photos of this beautiful location.

Bretagne Rock from below.
Another view of Bretagne Rock.
Gordon's and Bretagne Rocks from Paarl Rock.

Bolder on Paarl Rock.

One of the views from Paarl Rock.

Tuesday, 8 April 2014

Carrbridge, a Unique BackPackers Destination in the Scottish Highlands.

Old Pack Horse Bridge
Sign at bridge detailing the History.
I recently visited the village Carrbridge, in the Scottish Highlands. This village has got a rich history and is very much tourist focused. I enjoyed visiting the main attraction in the village namely the Old Pack Horse Bridge, built in 1717 and badly damaged in 1829. This damage is still evident today as the bridge was never repaired. See below some of the photo's I've taken during my whirlwind travels through the Highlands.

Carrbridge Hotel
There are some great accommodation all over the Highlands, but I particularly liked the Carrbridge Hotel.

Another view of Old Pack Horse Bridge
Scenery around Carrbridge
Signposts in Carrbridge
Scenery around Carrbridge
 Looking for other hotels in Scotland? Search Here!

Monday, 7 April 2014

Best Backpackers Accommodation Guide for 2015

Autumn in London.
Victoria Memorial in front of Buckingham Palace
Welcome to my first post on my new blog, where I will be providing some guidance and inspiration to those wanting to or is already planning a backpacking trip. I've traveled widely across the world and I am absolutely passionate about travelling.

If you are in a position to be able to travel, go for it! To travel the world provides you with a deep insight and understanding of our world. It is something that can't be taught at school or university. It opens ones eyes to the amazing fact of how similar we all are!

I'll be focusing on all the favorite backpacking cities, countries and continents. You are welcome to leave comments or provide tips for fellow travelers.

To end of this first post I want to emphasize the following quote from J.R.R. Tolkien, who wrote "Lord of the Rings"

“Not all those who wander are lost.” 

This is so true when it comes to backpackers. We wander, but we are not lost!!!

Thursday, 3 April 2014

Paarl, South Africa a great Backpacker's Destination

I visited the beautiful town of Paarl, 60 kilometres from Cape Town, in South Africa a couple of weeks ago. I was pleasantly surprised seeing this community at the southern point of Africa living a very much European lifestyle. The town is engulfed in its history, with countless historic buildings lining its roads. Most of the old part of town has got beautiful old oak trees planted in the 1700's.
Afrikaans Language Monument on Paarl

The first European to set foot in the valley was a man called Abraham Gabemma, in 1657 sent from the fort in Cape Town by the then governor, Jan van Riebeeck to barter cattle with the local natives called the Khoi and San people. As Abraham Gabema entered the valley he saw the sun shining on the huge granite outcrops on the mountain that was wet as a result of rain earlier on the same day. The glare from the rocks reminded him of pearls and he promptly called the mountain Parel mountain which means pearl in Dutch. This name has changed over centuries to Paarl. 

Paarl is famous for two events over the past three hundred years:
Today Paarl is an affluent community, living in a peaceful area surrounded by the most glorious vineyards, rivers and mountains. It is the proverbial heaven on earth. Summer evenings in this town is glorious. If you are lucky to be invited to a "braai", the local South African version of a barbecue you will get to know the locals better and understand what makes them tick. It is a fairly educated community that is very much up to date with world events, sports events, travel and education. The town is well known for quality schools, with some kids coming from countries as far north as Zambia to be taught here.
Paarl is the centre of the South African Wine Industry and has got some of the biggest cellar buildings in the world at the KWV, founded in 1918.
Paarl has got various attractions that are worthwhile to visit, including the following:
If you are really interested to visit Paarl, you can search for some great hotels in Paarl here.

See below some photos I took at the Paarl Nature Reserve as well as at Afrikaans Language Monument.

Tuesday, 1 April 2014

Busabout, the best way to see Europe as an Independent Traveler.

Image Copyright Busabout
I will be posting more updates and stories about the merits of using the Busabout service to see Europe. It is an absolutely great recipe to see Europe at your own pace. There is no age restriction and the service is top-notch. I've made use of this service and thoroughly enjoyed it. There is a good selection of Hostels used by Busabout, but you are free to book your own accommodation. You just need to ensure that you are at the pick up points in time for the bus on the day of your departure. Busabout is owned by the same operator that owns Trafalgar Tours and Contiki Tours.

Rome, Colosseum at evening
Image Copyright Wikipedia

Want to start your Busabout tour in Rome? See what hotel specials are available in Rome.