Sunday, 16 May 2004

Brasil, Croatia and Brittany

Because I'm entitled to a sabatical holiday this year, I've got lots of holidays to take: the normal 5 weeks plus an extra 8 weeks. So, I was planning to go to Brasil for the whole month of October and go to Salvador, Rio, Sao Paulo, the Iguaçu falls and possibly a few other places like Manaus. And yesterday, going past Selfridges, I realise that they have a special feature on Brasil at the moment, with a reproduction of Rio's Christ the Redeemer statue that covers the façade of the store. So I'll have to go to Selfridges this week. I want to go to Brasil because I have a few friends living there and also because I find it one of the most appealing countries to visit. And also, the superb book called Unforgettable places to see before you die includes Rio and the Iguaçu Falls. This book simply lists and describes 40 places that the author, Steve Davey, thinks are places you will remember for the rest of your life, either because of their beauty, their atmosphere or any other reason. They are also destinations the average tourist could easily see on a short holiday, so nothing obscure or unreachable. So there you go, that's October sorted.

Now, for August, I mean you have to go on holidays in August. And a friend of mine recently got me in contact with friends who are organising a 2 weeks sailing trip along the coast of Croatia. Now, I've wanted to go to Croatia for a few months, I've even bought the Bradt Travel Guide on Croatia. In particular, I want to go to Dubrovnik on the Dalmatian coast. One of the most beautiful towns on one of the most beautiful coasts in the world, it has to be good. So when someone asks me if I want to go sailing there, the answer has to be yes, yes, yes, and YES!!! Oh, and Dubrovnik is also listed in Unforgettable places... And that's August sorted.

In the meantime, I am also getting organised to go back to my home town, Brest, at the West end of Brittany in Northern France. Every 4 years my home town hosts a huge tall ship meeting in July so I'm going to the 2004 edition between the 10th and 16th of July. If you like traditional sailing ships, this is the place to go. 2000+ ships in the harbour, from the smallest ones to the largest ones, like Sedov or Sørlandet. And because the town of Brest is very good at throwing a party, it should be great fun. So that's July's holidays sorted.

Now, don't get me wrong, I also have a day job that I love but when your company gives you 13 weeks paid holidays in a year, to thank you for being in your 5th year with them, you've got to make the most of it. Some people go skiing, I'd rather travel the world. And now that I have 7 of those 13 weeks booked, I just have to think about the other 6.

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