Whenever you think of the Tour de France do you think of those grueling mountains climbs with hordes of spectators lining the route? Do you picture those snaking mountain climbs such as Alpe d’Huez with its recent great stage winners of Pantani and Shleck? Did you know you can cycle up this mountain yourself? Wait? What? You can cycle up the 21 bends too? Well yes you can and this is what it’s like!
The views from Alpe d’Huez were amazing
Back in the Summer my girlfriend and I were making plans for a one week break when the idea of cycling up Alpe d’Huez came about. Some of her friends had done it before and we’d heard their mixed stories of how “enjoyable” it was. So without further ado we thought we’d have a go ourselves, preceded by a couple of nights each in Lyon and Grenoble after starting out on the train from London’s St Pancras station.
Even though this was my 5th visit to New York City, a stay in town is always a complete pleasure and I realise for many people it is still simply a “dream” to be able to visit. Feeling like I had the whole of NYC to choose from I chose the Dream Hotel just off Broadway on W 55th Street due to its proximity to Central Park (just 4 streets away), Times Square (8 streets away) and its Midtown location (which I generally know better than any other part of Manhattan). So was it a dream experience?
The view of the Dream Hotel on 55th Street
The hotel doesn’t have a sweeping, set-back entrance so its frontage is up against the sidewalk but once through the front doors you are welcomed into a dark, marble-floored reception area along with a stylish floor to ceiling aquarium. Continue reading
Back in January I stumbled across a blog post on TheTravelHack challenging people to take 12 trips throughout the year – #Take12Trips. At this point I already had some weekend breaks booked to get me off the mark – a stag do, a marathon and a wedding. The other 9 would have to materialise in 2016 as we went along.
My 12 long list eventually looked like this being fortunate enough to get my 12 trips in early … and I missed January anyway. Always grateful that I have the ability to visit so many places, and aware of the environment impact of flying I’m pleased to say the 12 trips conveniently broke down as:
- 4 by train
- 4 by car
- 4 by plane
Trip 1 – Paris – February
First up a work conference in Eurodisney Paris. It was low season but there were still a surprisingly large number of families around. The alarm has to be set at 4am to get there on the Eurostar. Ouch!
Meeting Minnie Mouse in Eurodisney