Recently I made a two-week trip to the island of St. Lucia in the Caribbean.
Famous for its Pitons and jungles, St. Lucia has something to offer for everyone. The image gallery above includes photos from the resorts I stayed at, and what I did whilst I was there, which I will link below.
Sugar Beach Viceroy Resort:
Sugar Beach is a resort situated right in-between the Gros Piton and the Petit Piton. It is about 10 minutes off of the main road down a windy road through the pitons, and is about a 10 minute drive from the town of Soufriere. There is also lots to do around the Soufriere area, like the volcano, mud baths and sulphur springs, making Soufriere the ideal area to stay.
Hotel Chocolat St. Lucia:
Boucan by Hotel Chocolat is the resort set up by Hotel Chocolat on the original cacao plantation in St. Lucia. Boucan is more of a boutique hotel than the others listed on this blog post, it is a lot smaller and quieter, which is better for couples or honeymooners. It is about 10-15 minutes from Sugar Beach, and at 9am you can make your own chocolate from scratch.
Jade Mountain Resort:
Jade Mountain resort is a hillside resort in the area of Anse Mamet. It is almost directly opposite the Gros and Petit Pitons, so all infinity pools have the same view. Definitely not one to stay at if you suffer from travel sickness though - the roads are very windy!
Windjammer Landing Beach Resort:
Windjammer Landing was my favourite resort I stayed at on the island. Although it is the furthest away from the main airport, which is a nightmare for those who suffer from travel sickness, it is accessible by helicopter (weather permitting). The staff here are amazing and always go out of their way for you, they can't do enough for you! It also had the best atmosphere, steel pans always playing and so many restaurants to choose from. It's also a 15 minute drive from Rodney Bay, which is really nice to visit and has good places to eat!
In mid-Jan, my friends and I embarked on an interesting city break to Rome to prematurely celebrate her 20th. If you've never been to Rome, you've sure as hell heard of it and could probably tell me the entire history behind each and every landmark I've very cliche and touristically photographed (or you've just seen the Lizzie McGuire Movie).
After a bumpy ride navigating our way through Stansted Airport security (I nearly got us arrested for carrying a minature Viktor and Rolf Flowerbomb perfume, which ironically enough actually resembles the shape of a grenade and made the security guards flinch with fear when I took the lid off and dared ask them to smell it) we finally made it onto our wonderfully cramped, pocket-lacking RyanAir plane. Credit where credit's due , we landed safely and smoothly with an added Super-Mario esque jingle just to further celebrate that RyanAir hadn't managed to kill us, so that was a fun bonus... even if I did have to pay £4 for incredibly average and rubbery mozzarella sticks. Despite our canvas, non-padlocked holdalls not making it into the cabin due to numbers, baggage claim was pretty speedy and all belongings were in tact, so it was on to our middle-of-nowhere 4 star but not really 4 star hotel to settle in and begin to see the sights of Rome.
We reached the Vatican at the perfect time to catch the pastel skies, after finally getting the hang of the bus system and being prompted by the one, helpful local who informed us it was our stop. Cleaner than your Nan's kitchen and inexplicably silent and still, no matter how many people entered its vicinity, this was like nowhere I've ever experienced. I'm still trying to comprehend how any of this was built so impeccably so many years ago and the basilica itself takes beauty and extravagance to a whole other level.
Now let me tell you though, do not go up to the dome of St Peter's Basilica though if you're even the slightest bit claustrophobic. Not one piece of signage anywhere has even the slightest warning of how small the spaces get, and laugh at me all you want but that was as near death an experience as it gets. It's tight, cramped and dark, with about 1,000 steps that get smaller and smaller the higher you go. Oh, and did I mention there's no way back? By the time I actually got to the top, I didn't even enjoy the view because I was nearly having a bloody heart attack at the thought of going back down.
If you're looking for somewhere great to eat in Rome where you can bloat as much as you like and not have a care in the world, then head towards the Spanish Steps area. Here you can get a full three course meal (any less than 3 courses would be a loss to yourself, and you'll regret it for eternity) for about 20 euro. And I'm talking about really, really good food. Not just average.
We spent the next day exploring the rest of what rome has to offer, the Citadel, the Colosseum and the Trevi Fountain. Sadly the Trevi Fountain was under heavy construction so I couldn't do a Lizzie McGuire and throw a penny in and wish for the love of my life to turn up (I still wished anyway, so who knows, maybe I'll find someone that shares my passion for eating copious amounts of thai food and game of thrones, and until then a girl can dream)
Now, if I could tell you anything worth noting from this trip, it would be to always listen to your mum. No matter how old or wise you are. You know that 'pre-warning' advice chat she gives you on what to take and how you must remember to wrap up? That. I think we've all been guilty of nodding along, with the occasional 'yes' input, whilst still sticking to our original plans of 'take what looks pretty'. Well, boy do I regret that one. I took flip flops, and yes you're reading that right. I thought "Italy" is always warm - wrong. We ended up practically living in the same clothing, just to refrain from chilling ourselves right through to the bone.
Ciao for now, until next time!