thetravelinggiraffe

Travel Poland: 3 Days in Warsaw

When my husband and I decided to book a family holiday – just the 3 of us for the first time in 3 years – I was over the moon. I started planning months in advance, imagining us renting a car and driving around Ireland or drinking gallons of Spanish wine and ordering plates of tapas in the heart of Barcelona.

But mid-daydreaming I realized that, more often than not, I’m the one who gets really, excited about where we’re going. So I turned to my husband and asked where he would like to go. He paused. Then finally, after much internal deliberation, he sent me a message that read: Poland. And just like that we’d booked flights into Munich and onto Warsaw, and out of Krakow.

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Did you know? 3 Facts About Warsaw

  • Warsaw is the capital city of Poland and has been since 1596. It is also the largest!
  • Warsaw, once described as the Paris of the East, was known as one of the world’s most beautiful cities German invasion of WWII in 1939 which left to over 85% of its building in ruins
  • Warsaw was listed as a UNESCO World Heritage site in 1980

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Curacao: One Week at the Santa Barbara Beach and Golf Resort

Curacao: A blue liqueur that makes tropical drinks taste delicious. Right?

Until about two months before booking, I’d never heard of a Curacao beyond the cocktail list. When family suggested making Curacao our Christmas getaway, we immediately took to researching the island and Google sent turquoise waters crawling across my screen. We were sold. To escape what turned out to be a remarkably warm winter in the end, we decided to make haste to the beautiful beaches of Curacao.

Curacao: About the Island

Wat bedoel ik ? Curacao is a Dutch Carribean island which, today, speaks the language of  Papiamentu (very confusing when you show up expecting Dutch, and listening for Spanish… it took us a few days to figure things out). At first glance (and even at close up), the colourful houses lining the water in Williemsted are entirely reminiscent of Amsterdam, with decorative facades squished together near the edge of the water. We had a passing glance of Williamsted en route to our hotel from the airport… it was solid timing considering we had just caught glance of the monster of an oil refinery riggght across the highway. Eek! That being said, Curacao ranks 46th in the world in terms of GDP per capita for a reason and part of that reason is that it hosts the Isla Refinery, operated by Venezuela’s state oil company. Cha-ching!
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Poseidon of Paros, Resort and Spa: A Piece of Paradise in Beautiful Paros, Greece

When our good friends invited us to their wedding in Paros, we were convinced they said “Paris”. I mean, it made sense. She’s French, they’d met in Boston (where the civic ceremony was held), and he’s from a beautiful part of Romania called Timisoara (I love you Romania, but Paris… is Paris). So when talk started circulating of warm climates and beach vacations, we were a bit confused. It was only when we received the official invite that we realized they hadn’t been talking about Paris, at all.

Paros: Greek Island. Not French Capital.

Paros? The first thing we did was Google it. Long behold, nestled somewhere close to Naxos, floating in the middle of the Aegean Sea, was Paros. After 2 wonderful days spent lounging in Santorini, we took a 3 hour(ish) ferry ride to Paros. The ferry, by the way, operated by Blue Star Ferries, was BY FAR, the best ferry ride I have ever, ever taken.

First of all, it was enormous. There was no cramming in between fellow passengers, running to get the first seat, or panic that you might be left standing for hours on end. Second of all, it was luxurious! Of course, this is coming from the backpacker who camped on the floor under a table on the ferry from Helsinki to Stockholm – so maybe take my opinion with a grain of (sea) salt. Tons of space for everyone to sit on couches, with tables on every level and a restaurant/cafe smack in the middle of things. Not to mention, the bathrooms which had walls facing out to sea and undoubtedly the best view on the boat.

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