Brighton station

Station clock and signs to the beach

I’ve just come back from 5 days by the sea in Brighton. Is that a long weekend or a short week? Anyway, it was a restful time where I caught up with sleep, caught up with friends and generally hung about.

I managed some photography down on Brighton Pier, trying to capture the mood of the amusement park. I’ll post the pictures as I organise them. In the meantime, I’ll leave you with an image of the Victorian station clock which greets you when you arrive into Brighton by train.

~ Spotted Cow

Stockholm. Immediate impressions

Stockholm life on the river

The two things that struck me on my Stockholm city weekend was life on the water and the ubiquitous greenery. The combination made it feel fresh to be outside, and we were blessed with good weather to savour it. The picture above was our view while having a beer on the evening we arrived.

Stockholm sits on 14 islands, and water is everywhere. As I mentioned, the weather was good and we walked around a lot. Every so often, we would have a rest at one of the many bars and enjoy the calm of our surroundings. It’s not often you hear the words “tranquil” and “city” together.

It made me wish that we made more of London’s river and riverbank life. It’s not non-existent, but it could use a healthy helping of green.

~ Spotted Cow

Stockholm Opera House

Stockholm city skyline

Bridge onto Skeppsholmen

City Guides

Everyman Mapguide

Several readers have asked what guide books – if any – we use on city trips. Well, we do a fair bit of internet research at home first, but take the Everyman Mapguides along with us.

The Everyman guides are handy because they are pocket-sized and you can tuck them away into your coat or into a small handbag. They don’t weigh much and we find them especially useful in cities. The guide divides the city into sections and each has a foldout map as well as listings of places of interest, eating & drinking holes, and shops. The front and back covers also carry some cultural and logistic information.

There’s a decent spread of global cities but bear in mind that Everyman don’t update these guides very often. Places of interest remain unchanged for decades but the eating/drinking and store listings tend to be old favourites and granddaddies, rather than the hip and trendy. That doesn’t bother us too much because we discover those ideas online, through recommendations or with the concierge.

That doesn’t mean we don’t get lost. I had a long weekend in Marrakesh with The Ladies where we couldn’t make head or tail of the labyrinthine streets and alleyways of the souk and they weren’t always signposted. No matter … there were lots of ‘helpful’ citizens who led us round in circles, only to ask for a healthy tip at our destination !

Let us know how you plan your city breaks. We might indulge in a bit of crowd sourcing on this blog soon.

~ Spotted Cow

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