Sent by Melanie Eynon
Bearsden, Glasgow 9/28/2017 12:00:00 AM
Based in Haverhill
Having worked in the travel business for over 40 years, both as an agent and as a long haul stewardess with British Airways, I think it is fair to say that travel is in my blood.
I love the excitement and challenges that it brings and I am passionate about it.
I have travelled extensively throughout Europe, the United States, South America, Canada, the Caribbean, India, the Far East and the Indian Ocean.
In the last 12 months I have visited Puglia, Qatar, India, Gran Canaria and New Orleans.
I get so much satisfaction organising wonderful trips for my clients, whether it be a romantic city break or a round the world extravaganza. Surprises and honeymoons are my forte. I enjoy a challenge, so if you have a dream, I can help you to achieve it.
This year has been extraordinary and if you, like me are ready to pack your suitcase and go, pick up the phone or send me an email.
With the security that you will be provided with the latest travel information and trust that I am always at the end of the phone to assist, why waste time.
I absolutely live and breathe travel and I love to write about my experiences! Please take a look through my posts - you might find your own holiday inspiration.
08 November 2021
After almost 2 years of missing my daughter and grandchildren, we finally got together in Greece. Tearful hugs in the baggage reclaim area of all places and then 4 nights in Athens. It was hot but the joy of experiencing the city and its treasures was wonderful. On day 5 we headed to Poros on a seacat and there began our chilled, sun and laughter filled week. The sea is wondrous around the Greek islands. Clear, clean and warm. People were swimming from dusk until dawn. I would say that the majority of tourism is local, but the harbour is full of yachts from far and wide. We headed back to the mainland for our last week as I was unsure whether the required PCR tests would be available on the smaller islands. Vouliagmeni is a delight. Popular with Athenians and the jetset. We were fortunate to have lunch at the Four Seasons one afternoon. If you can afford a stay it is a perfect way to relax and soak up the amenities and fabulous location whilst also being within a 30 minute drive of Athens for the cultural experience. I would not have missed this one for the world.
09 October 2017
Visited Sri Lanka many years ago and was keen to see how it had developed. After an early arrival into Colombo airport, we began our journey to Ulagalla, Anuradhapura. The resort is set in over 58 acres of lush greenery and the accommodation is made up of individual bungalows dotted around the property, each one provided with two bicycles for ease of transport to the various facilities. Golf buggies are also on sight, should you not wish to exert yourself. Nature walks, with a resident naturalist take place every morning and there are also horses, for the more adventurous. The Cultural Triangle is within an hour's drive and we visited the Dambulla caves, to experience the five magical grottoes devoted to Sinhalese Buddhist art at its finest. Next was Polonnaruwa, the ruined capital dating back to the 12th century, which offers a great insight into medieval Sri Lanka. It was constantly invaded by marauding Indians and eventually left deserted. The highlight on this day was Sigiriya, "Lion Rock". This rises sheer above a huge outcrop of rock, 200m above the surrounding countryside. It was the shortest lived of all Sri Lanka's capitals. Every effort should be made to reach the peak, as it is stunning and leaves you with a sense of wonderment. I do not have a great head for heights but was coaxed by a local, who was keen for me to experience the view from the peak. I was so happy that I did. Another stunning day out from the resort was to Kaudulla National Park. This makes up part of the elephant corridor and we were privileged to see over 300 elephants in herds, consisting of tussling bulls, maternal mothers and aunties and wonderful babies chasing birds. Although there were a lot of jeeps in the area, this did not deter from the wonderment. Our next stop was Kandy and the Temple of the Tooth is worth a visit. Then on to Nuwara Eliya, Sri Lanka's highest town, known as "Little England". It has a boating lake, municipal park, golf course and the Grand Hotel, which is well worth a visit and some refreshment. The Post Office is a colonial relic, with service to match. Our itinerary progressed to Yala National Park. This covers an area of 1,260 acres and occupants include leopards, elephants, crocodiles, sambar, spotted deer, wild buffaloes and boar, sloth bears, macaque and langur monkeys. This is also a bird watcher’s paradise. Glorious. Galle was the final piece of our itinerary and full of atmosphere, with its colonial Dutch architecture. There are many restaurants and pleasant walks around the ramparts and atmospheric streets. Anyone interested in whale watching can get to Mirissa from Galle and experience a boat trip. Best between December and April. The journey back to Colombo is by motorway and seamlessly smooth. I would recommend Sri Lanka for its friendly people, diverse scenery, great sights and wonderful cuisine.
28 May 2015
I have a trullo here in this magical part of Italy and consequently visit as often as I can. Having Italian grandparents, from the north, I had never thought to venture to this part until persuaded by my husband to take advantage of Ryanair's cheap flights. 11 years ago, we could fly there for £40 each! It did not take long to fall head over heels with the area. It is unspoilt and the Pugliese are most welcoming. Apart from July and August, the beaches are deserted and the Adriatic is always crystal clear. The coast is rocky in parts and totally flat in others. The landscape is dominated by groves of olive trees, many hundreds of years old. Needless to say the produce is delicious. There are daily markets that rotate on a weekly basis and before you see them, the smell of garden fresh produce can be detected by the senses. A lot of meat is eaten in this area and many butchers shops have tables outside, so that the customers can select their cut and have it cooked and presented to them, ready to eat with the family. Every time that I visit, at different times of the year, I discover another plant or fruit. This time the narcissi were in bloom and swathes of poppies. The fig trees look as though they will produce a bumper crop this year. Yummy. Anyone venturing to Puglia will need to hire a car, as public transport is not great. There are so many interesting and pretty towns and villages to see. I am still exploring!
29 May 2015
New York, a city that I never tire of. My daughter and I share the same birthday and as she was celebrating her 30th, it was a good excuse to visit. This weekend was sunny and quite warm. The New Yorkers were out in style. Apart from the fabulous shopping, we visited the High Line, the disused elevated railway that has been converted into an incredible green space for walking and taking advantage of the unusual New York views. We also visit the financial district and observed the wonder that is the World Trade Centre, which will shortly open its viewing area to the public. This will certainly rival the Empire State Building and Top of the Rock. In front of the building is the pre-historic like structure of a shopping complex under construction. It is truly incredible and does not take away from the tragedy of the Twin Towers. We found some great bars and restaurants and spent our last day in Central Park. We sighted a huge eagle, that apparently is resident and seemed quite happy to co-habit with the locals! Having visited New York for many years, I think it gets better.
28 May 2015
India is one of my favourite places. I have been to Rajasthan many times but decided to try the south as friends had suggested Nagerhole National Park. Having flown into Bangalore, we travelled to Mysore for one night and along the way, the driver stopped in a small town, where a silk cocoon market took place daily. I had never heard of such a thing and found it totally fascinating. The price is determined by the colour, white is best and size. We were also shown how the silk worm evolves and spins the thread. Mysore was an interesting city and as the new Maharajh was to be instated within a few days, frantic preparations were going on. From Mysore we travelled to Orange County Resort, Kabini, which is situated in Nagarhole National Park, once the hunting grounds of the Maharajhs of Mysore. What a peaceful, stunning place. Our 4 nights should have been 7. We went on 2 daily safaris, by jeep and lastly boat. The boat safari was amazing. We had sightings of various eagles, basking crocodiles and elephants, to name but a few. The food at the resort was delicious. Prepared on a daily basis with fresh produce. Reluctantly we left this piece of heaven and travelled to Goa. I had reservations but these were totally unfounded. Staying in the southern part, the beaches were virtually deserted and we were never bothered by hawkers. I had wondered about sea swimming and the hotel was not keen to promote it, but it was a dream. Warm and calm. Not clear enough for snorkelling but I loved it. We were taken into the old town to visit the churches and market. This was a revelation. It was so unlike the rest of India and the Portuguese influence is still apparent. The produce in the covered market reminded me of Italy, France and Spain. I would definitely return. Finally we visited friends in Mumbai. It has changed a great deal even in the last 2 years. It is calmer and the people seem less frantic. Glorious India, so much more to see.
28 May 2015
After spending a night in Barbados and enjoying the great band and cocktails at our hotel, we boarded the Royal Clipper on Saturday afternoon. Over the next 7 days we visited St Lucia, Dominica, Antigua, St Kitts, Isles des Santes and Martinique. This is a great way of experiencing the Caribbean and seeing what the individual islands have to offer. Having visited Barbados, St Lucia and Antigua previously, as many people do on their trips, it was fascinating to experience Dominica, which is just emerging on the tourist route. It is totally self sufficient food wise and it was wonderful to see the avocados, mangoes, pineapples and bananas growing as well as sweet potatoes, onions and various other vegetables in abundance. This island is the envy of many others in the Caribbean. St Kitts is full of history and its sugar cane plantations and rum production are legendary. Romney Manor dating back to 1626, with its 400 year old Saman tree, are well worth a visit. Isles des Santes is absolutely charming. A sleepy place with a number of delicious seafood restaurants and quirky boutiques. Very French. Martinique was much larger and more commercialised than I had expected. McDonalds and KFC had a presence here but again French speaking and different. Apart from the opportunity to visit numerous islands, the atmosphere on board the Clipper is magical. When the sails are hoisted accompanied by wonderful musical, everyone is silent and in awe of the magnificent sight of the sails and the noise of wind billowing through them. Great friends can be made on board and by the end of the sailing, it is sad to say goodbye. This is my fourth trip and I am hooked.
24 October 2013
I arrived at Toulouse airport and was met by John Brough from Authentic Adventures. The group was then transported to Castelnau de Fiemarcon, our home for the weekend. It is a fascinating fortified village that had previously been abandoned and has now been restored to a place of serenity, with wondrous views over the valley. Our accommodation was in two of the 16 houses that vary in size. My room was in a house with a reception area complete with piano. This was to be the main meeting area for wine tasting. Authentic Adventures specialise in painting, photography and singing holidays and are looking to add cookery experiences to their portfolio. This weekend was a trial for agents and journalists to experience and contribute feedback. After time to freshen up, we were given a briefing by John on the weekend's programme. At the same time, Didier, the property manager, prompted us to taste some delicious wines from the region. We were then introduced to Anneli, our chef and cookery mentor. She is English but has lived in the area for a number of years and loves the gascon cuisine, which is predominately duck and fresh country produce. Our first meal included comfit du canard and it was delicious. We started Saturday with a hearty breakfast of yoghurts, fruit compotes, cereal, croissants and the most delicious bread. We then visited the town of Lectoire and its splendid cathedral, which is a national monument. The small town was very attractive and had a number of individual and interesting shops. We then moved on to Fleurance. The market was in progress within the covered areas of an historic building in the main square. Although compact, the produce on offer was varied and wholesome. Fleurance offered a selection of shops. Lunch was taken at Chez Nous in the village of St. Puy. We were fortunate to be able to dine alfresco and we were spoilt for choice. It had great food and reasonable prices. After lunch we waddled away up the hill to the Chateau du Monluc, where we were given a tour of the cellars, an insight into the history of the Chateau and a wine tasting. We were then taken back to base for a cookery demonstration and some hands on preparation for the evening meal. We had some time to wander around the property and take photos of the magnificent surrounding views. Sunday brought another hearty breakfast and then we visited Domaine D'Arton to learn about the wines and Armagnac produced there. This is a beautiful, compact chateau which is beautifully managed and presented. We were hosted in the Orangery by Patrick and Victoire de Montal, a couple who enthused and allowed us to sample their treasures, accompanied by canapes and chocolate cake, which is supposed to be a perfect match for certain wines. I purchased a bottle of white Armagnac, that I had tasted the night before. The afternoon was beautiful and a number of us went on a walk of the general area. It is a truly peaceful and endearing area of France. The last meal together was a garbure; a hearty soup of ham and seasonal vegetables. After breakfast on Monday morning, we set off to Toulouse via La Romieu, where we visited the Collegiate St Pierre, a 14th century cloister with tower and Castelnau sur l'Avignon. Both were quaint and picturesque. I would say that Gascony is well worth a visit for a tranquil holiday, with plenty of opportunity to enjoy a number of pursuits.
07 August 2012
Travelled British Airways Business class seats for the journey to San Juan via Miami. The flight was however delayed and we had the bonus of a night in Miami, as we missed our connection. Thursday 13th June Departed on American Airlines after a leisurely morning tour of South Beach, which was very colourful. First impressions of Puerto Rico were more Miami than Caribbean. Many high rise hotels. We arrived at La Concha, a Renaissance property, in time for dinner. A modern hotel, with an open plan lobby incorporating a bar, with music so loud, you could imagine that you were in Ibiza. All rooms overlook a beautiful beach and the ocean, although on the Atlantic side, was calm and inviting. Dinner in the Italian restaurant was in generous American style. There is also a Japanese and seafood restaurant at the property. The evening ended in the casino. Friday 14th June Hosted breakfast at La Concha and then a visit to the El Yunque Rainforest. We undertook a moderate trail to a waterfall, which was beautiful. We enjoyed our packed lunch before continuing to El Conquistador, part of the Waldorf Astoria group. On arrival, we were shown around Las Casitas, privately owned villas, managed by El Conquistador, that can be rented out to the public. They range from 1 to 3 bedrooms and have exclusive use of 3 swimming pools and various other facilities, not available to El Conquistador clients. However they are permitted to utilise any facilities at El Conquistador. The main hotel is vast and very busy. We were allocated rooms in a low rise block overlooking the Marina, that is accessed by a funicular from the main hotel. Palomino Island is the main beach and sports facility area and the hotel has 2 catamarans, operating on a regular basis to take clients across. The group made use of the island and the snorkelling is superb. With 750 rooms, the hotel's facilities include a casino, numerous food outlets, an 18 hole championship golf course, 7 tennis courts, a spa and fitness centre, a water park and a children's club. After dinner, we undertook our kayaking experience, which takes place at night. We paddled through the mangroves until we emerged into a bio-luminescent bay. The glow when you put your hand in the water was amazing. This occurs in very few areas worldwide and is caused by micro-organisms and only visible depending on the lunar cycle. Unmissable! Sat 16th June We moved on to the St Regis resort. From the moment that we entered the property, set in 483 hectares, it was clearly special. Breakfast was superb, with the most delicious french toast ever! The rooms are either at ground level or one above, with garden or ocean views. Resident naturalists, are bursting with information about the various conservation projects undertaken at the resort. We were shown an area where a huge turtle had lain eggs on the beach. Guests can snorkel, sail, kayak, ride bikes and the beach is superb. The golf course is immaculate. Hosted dinner at the Rio Mar Resort. Another large property with 600 rooms. This is a great family option, with the possibility of interconnecting rooms, accommodating up to 12 guests. We dined at the Argentinian restaurant and the service was superb. This hotel has 2 golf courses and a spa. Sunday 17th June We embarked on a tour of Old San Juan. You can imagine that you are in Seville or Grenada. Beautifully preserved and close to the cruise ship terminal, so not to be missed by any cruise passenger. We visited El Convento, a beautiful historic building, converted into an hotel. Great atmosphere in the enclosed courtyard for a cocktail or a meal. Our last night was spent at the Marriott, which is perfect for a pre cruise stay. Good food, bars, casino and beach. Monday 18 June Breakfast at the Intercontinental, which is close to the airport , but on the beach. All rooms to be renovated by mid-December.Beautifully manicured gardens. My second choice after the St Regis and perfect for couples. Another hotel worth considering for the 'hip' set, is the Water Beach Hotel. Contemporary, with a fabulous rooftop bar. Overall summary A great destination for clients who love beaches, but also the excitement of a casino. A visit to the Bacardi distillery is also a must. Puerto Ricans are charming, fun loving people. There are also opportunities to zip line and salsa. BA's direct weekly flights are a bonus.
02 December 2009
The last time I visited India was 30 years ago. When I arrived this time it was dawn and the city was just stirring. After dropping the bags and freshening up, I was out and visiting Old Delhi, including the Red Fort and the Jama Masjid, the largest mosque in India. Then a thrilling ride on a rickshaw through the covered Chandni Chowk bazaar, jammed with people eager to buy all manner of items to celebrate Diwali, the festival of light. This is not for the faint hearted! The next day I visited New Delhi including The Qutb Minar, the tallest stone tower in India, the impressive Parliament buildings, Humayan’s tomb and Lutyens buildings. The next day was an early morning start to catch the Shatabdi Express to Agra, which is very civilised, with reserved seats and breakfast on board. The Taj Mahal is breathtaking and no photograph can do it justice. No first trip to India can exclude this. The Red Fort is another must. In the evening I enjoyed a dance performance at the Kalakriti Cultural Centre, enacting the story of how the Taj came to be constructed, in honour of the Maharaja’s beloved wife who died in childbirth. This is an amazing spectacle of colour and sounds. The next day en route to Ranthambore, I visited Fatehpur Sikri, an incredible redstone city constructed and then abandoned through lack of water supplies. There are many other theories however. Then another train journey to Sawai Madhopur, Ranthambore National Park’s closest railway station. After the hustle and bustle of Delhi and Agra, this was heaven. I rose early morning for the first safari, in search of the illusive tiger. I encountered monkeys, deer and many birds including peacocks, but unfortunately no tigers. Back to the lodge for breakfast and then out again in the afternoon. This time I saw the most beautiful tiger that passed less than 3 metres from the jeep on its way to the lake. It was kind enough to yawn and show a beautiful set of teeth! I had to pinch myself in order to believe that this was real. I was not looking forward to my road trip to Jaipur as it was scheduled to take 4 hours. But what an adventure it was. After an hour or so, I encountered sheep for as far as the eye could see on the road. As the monsoon rains had not been so good for the year, the shepherds were moving their flocks to keep them fed. First came the lambs, then the sheep. Following on were camels laden with baskets, holding the lambs that had been born en-route and finally more camels with the women and children onboard. This went on for around 20 minutes. In Jaipur, I was greeted at the hotel with a garland of fragrant, fresh roses. The Indian people know how to make you feel welcome. I visited the wonderful Amber Fort, carried up by an elephant and managed to purchase a wonderful embroidered bed cover on the way - there is always time for shopping! I was introduced to a baby elephant and a snake charmer. Later I visited the Palace of the Winds, where the Maharajah’s ladies could look out onto daily city life, without being observed themselves and the Jantar Mantar, an astronomical observatory that was a wonder of its time. I then flew to Udaipur and stayed at the wonderful Lake Palace, seemingly floating in the middle of Lake Picchola. This is so romantic with stunning sunrises and sunsets. Udaipur is a good place for relaxed shopping. I am totally in love with India and will return again. I have only seen a fraction of the country. The people, the colours, food, sights and sounds will stay with me forever. There is something for everyone.
Bearsden, Glasgow 9/28/2017 12:00:00 AM
Hertfordshire 8/8/2017 12:00:00 AM
Great Bardfield 8/8/2017 12:00:00 AM
Sturmer 8/8/2017 12:00:00 AM
Saffron Walden 8/8/2017 12:00:00 AM
Wendens Ambo 8/8/2017 12:00:00 AM
Littlebury, Saffron Walden 8/8/2017 12:00:00 AM
Glasgow 8/8/2017 12:00:00 AM
Ware 8/8/2017 12:00:00 AM
Stansted Mountfitchet 8/8/2017 12:00:00 AM
West Wratting 8/8/2017 12:00:00 AM
Bishop's Stortford 8/8/2017 12:00:00 AM
Haverhill 10/14/2012 11:27:00 AM
Secret Harbour, Australia 9/30/2012 5:05:00 AM
Maldon - Essex 9/27/2012 1:59:00 PM
Thaxted 9/27/2012 10:45:00 AM
Bearsden,Glasgow 9/26/2012 4:54:00 PM
Saffron Walden 9/26/2012 3:22:00 PM
London 9/26/2012 2:14:00 PM
Ware, Hertfordshire 9/26/2012 12:04:00 PM
West Sussex 2/20/2011 8:30:00 PM
Haverhill 11/28/2009 5:59:00 PM
Saffron Walden 2/14/2009 6:35:00 PM