There have been times while travelling when I’ve turned to Mr Silver and said:
‘Hold on to this moment, this is a once in a lifetime experience…remember it forever…’
There have been so many wonderful places that I’ve visited, so many great adventures and fantastic memories made…I wanted to tell you about some of my favourite places, the ones that I can’t get out of my head…
Places I’ll Never Forget
Ayers Rock, Australia
There’s something rather magical about that spectacular sandstone rock formation, also know by the Aborigines as Uluru. The rock is 348 metres high with a circumference of 9.4 kilometres and is sacred to the Anangu, the aboriginal people of the area. What really struck me was the vibrant colour of the place and the fact that it changed shades in different lights, appearing to glow red at sunset and sun down. What made this outback experience even more incredible was our stay at Longitude 131, perhaps one of the best hotels that I’ve ever stayed in.
The rooms were luxurious tents scattered across the desert, each decked out in memory to early Australian pioneers and explorers and every single one with a direct view on to the rock. The service at Longitude 131 was second to none; the food was of excellent quality, I never knew that you could get such fresh fish everyday in the middle of the desert, and the chef was happy to prepare anything that we wished for. Best of all was the chance to explore Uluru national park with a guided walk through the Walpa Gorge and tours around the base of the rock. Whilst staying there we admired the stark landscape, natural rock formations and learnt about the history of the indigenous people.
And of course every night ended with a glass of champagne at sunset admiring the gorgeous colours of that beautiful red rock.
I don’t talk about being Jewish much on this blog as I’m certainly not a religious person; I mean I eat shellfish all the time and think nothing of having meat and milk in the same meal. My parents aren’t religious either though my dad claims to be gastronomically Jewish which basically means he likes eating chicken soup with kneidlach, chopped liver and salt beef sandwiches…Anyway, as a Jew it feels like there’s a certain rite of passage to visit the homeland…I’ve now visited Israel three times and I’ve been to Jerusalem twice.
The Western Wall or Wailing Wall is in the Old City of Jerusalem, is the holiest site in Judaism and a site of Jewish prayer and pilgrimage. It’s also a well known practice to write a prayer or a wish on a piece of paper and slip it into the crevices of the wall. The first time that I visited with Mr S we’d only been together around six months and my wish was that we’d stay together forever…looks like my wish came true ;). When I last visited Israel we stayed in Tel Aviv as Mr Silver’s sister Olivia and her husband live there…I think I might be gastronomically Israeli as I absolutely love the food there, fresh fish on the beach, pitta and falafel and mountains of hummus and salads. I’d love to do a post on some restaurant recommendations for Tel Aviv but sadly as I last went around four years ago my photos just aren’t great quality.
Big Sur, California, USA
One of the main reasons that I love travel is seeing the natural beauty of our planet and our drive along the Pacific Coast Highway gave us the most amazing opportunity to see some of the highlights of the California coast. Big Sur where the Santa Lucia Mountains rise up from the Pacific Ocean and where ancient redwood trees loom above you is some of the most stunning scenery I’ve ever seen; it’s hard for photos to do it justice.
I can’t write about Big Sur without mentioning Post Ranch Inn, another one of my favourite hotels of all time. This gorgeous hotel is made up of 39 cabins, clinging to the clifftop 1,200 feet above the Pacific Ocean. The beautiful rustic cabins are made of recycled materials, the food is wonderful and the pools are, well infinite!! Post Ranch Inn in Big Sur is perhaps the most beautiful and romantic retreat I’ve ever been in. In fact I might just go and ask Mr S if we can go back…
Sabi Sands and Kruger Park
If you were to ask me what my number one experience is while travelling, I can answer very quickly: going on safari in South Africa. Earlier this year we visited Kruger National Park and the adjacent private game reserve Sabi Sands for the ultimate luxury safari. When we went on our first game drive we saw elephants bathing in the river almost immediately, I couldn’t believe my eyes that I was seeing my favourite animals interacting in the wild.
Another pinch-yourself-moment was when we happened across a huge pride of lions and then three male lions a little further away; I’m not going to lie, I felt pretty nervous when this fierce lion bared his teeth as we sat there in our completely open vehicle.
The experience was enhanced even further by the incredible safari lodges that we stayed in: Singita Boulders and Singita Lebombo. Boulders was by far the best hotel I’ve stayed in my whole life with the most incredible accommodation which seamlessly blended with the natural environment, delicious food and the best service I’ve ever experienced.
Memories I Can’t Wait To Make
That’s the problem with chronic wanderlust there’s always another place that you can’t get out of your head, somewhere that you dream of visiting and making even more memories. Here’s my current wish list:
Machu Picchu, Peru
The top place that I can’t get out of my head at the moment is Peru. I’ve never been to South America and at the moment I’m dreaming of seeing the natural beauty, learning about the Incas and eating mountains of ceviche! It seems like great minds think alike as Kelly has the same yearning at the moment too…
Image provided by Inkaterra Hotels
For me seeing Machu Picchu, the ancient city of the Incas, would be an absolute highlight. The UNESCO world heritage site stands 2,430 metres above sea level in the middle of a mountainous forest and is made up of around 200 structures and is one of the world’s greatest sites. The lodge I’m lusting after here is Inkaterra Machu Picchu Pueblo hotel, located near the ancient citadel. The hotel is a trailblazer for sustainable tourism and looks like the perfect place to relax between excursions to Machu Picchu and exploring the local scenery and conservation projects.Image provided by Inkaterra Hotels
Iguassu Falls, Brazil
And with my current obsession with South America, I’m also dreaming of visiting the mighty Iguassu Falls between Argentina and Brazil. Also an UNESCO world heritage site, the falls are 80 metres high and surrounded by subtropical rainforests with over 2,000 species of plant life and diverse wildlife.
Image from iStock
The Belmond Hotel Das Cataratas is the only hotel in the national park and is located directly in front of the falls giving it one of the world’s most spectacular locations. Though I’d be scared, the hotel can arrange helicopter rides over the falls, speed boats through the rapids and drives through the rainforest. It sounds like a truly unforgettable experience!Image from Belmond
I simply can’t get the idea of going to Tokyo out of my head; I’d love to get lost in translation in this country so completely different to my own. To see the bright lights of the city, the cool fashions and to experience some of the older traditions too. I’m so curious to visit one of the world’s most advanced cities that also houses temples and beautiful gardens…but most of all I want to try authentic Japanese sushi!
Image from iStock
The Amalfi Coast
Mr S and I had planned on visiting the Amalfi Coast this year for our wedding anniversary but in the end we decided that we wanted to devote more time to this part of Italy and instead take weekend away in Rome. I’m still massively wanderlusting (is that a word?) for visiting Amalfi, Positano and Sorrento with maybe a trip over to Capri especially after seeing Polly’s beautiful honeymoon photos on Instagram.
Image from iStock
I’m hoping next year we’ll get the chance to visit those stunning coastlines, colourful cities and drive along those famous hairpin roads! A hotel that I particularly have my eye on is Monastero Santa Rosa, where Polly stayed in Amalfi, a stunning converted monastery perched precariously on a cliff edge.
This post is part of the travel link up with Emma, Kelly, Rebecca and Liz and the theme for this month is places that you can’t get out of your head past, present or future. I’d love to know what places are always in the back of your mind; where did you make significant memories, did somewhere really touch your soul or is there a place that you’ve yearned to visit.
To join up simply pop your post on the link up widget on one of the host’s blogs in the first week of September and check out what all the other fab bloggers have written on the subject.