Exploring the sights and culture outside the convention venue while in the Belgian capital.
At the heart of Europe, Brussels is a magnet for business and industry conferences, and it was due to such a symposium that I got to visit the Belgian capital myself recently. However, with glimpses of spare time during the day and a few free evenings, I was determined to make the most of my time in the city and see as much as I could when outside the conference centre.
Landing with colleagues at Brussels Airport, getting to the city centre was a breeze, with frequent rail services whizzing visitors to Brussels Central Station in 17 minutes. For those heading further afield, up to 16 trains a day connect the airport to Amsterdam in the Netherlands via Dordrecht, Rotterdam and The Hague.
Continue reading “Brussels for business”
From close-up animal encounters to the history of Kenyan rail transport, Nairobi offers the perfect taster for the best this African nation has to offer.
I went to Kenya for business, but it was the spirit of its people that will draw me back.
My first trip to Kenya came about as a result of me representing my place of work at the Uniserv UK Education Fair 2017, which took place at the Sarit Centre in Nairobi earlier this year.
There was a great irony in this situation as, while I was discussing with hundreds of prospective Kenyan students all the things they might be able to do for the first time if they choose to study in the UK – attend a Premier League match, take a ride in a black cab or make a snowman – I was experiencing their country for the first time.
Continue reading “The warmth of Kenya”
From the world’s largest labyrinth to the world’s the world’s first monument to Darth Vader, Odessa makes for an unusual yet captivating city break.
I know the phrase ‘Paris of the…’ gets bandied around all too often, but Odessa may well be worthy of that statement. It’s like the best bits of Paris, Milan and Istanbul have all been mixed in a Slavic hotpot. Plus, just like Barcelona, it boasts stunning beaches mere minutes from the city centre.
Odessa might not seem like the obvious city break destination, but there is plenty to see and do for a short trip, with countless eateries to suit all taste buds and green spaces that are simply captivating.
Continue reading “Odessan odyssey”
Chișinău feels like the Soviet Union fell yesterday and no-one’s still quite sure what to do next. However, once you get past its shortcomings, Chișinău reveals a capital city that oozes sights, quality eateries and is a genuine treat for any traveller.
After a five hour delay and an erratic taxi drive through some pretty ropey areas of the Moldovan capital, I arrived at my Communist-era hotel in a pretty foul mood. I dumped my bags in my room and ran my fingers along the wall-to-wall carpet, but even this crime to interior decoration failed to raise a smile.
So, I braved the bitter winter air and ventured out in search of something, anything, to elevate my disposition and rekindle the excitement I felt 12 hours earlier when I checked in at London Luton…
Continue reading “How now Chișinău”
Bizarre and dignified in equal proportions, Tokyo is an endless city that never fails to surprise at every corner.
Nothing can prepare you for Tokyo. From the moment you step off the plane, you enter a colourful and ultramodern world full of bizarre gadgets and cute cartoonish mascots, but one that is steeped in tradition and precision.
Everything you’ve read about Tokyo is true; from the ultrarealistic plastic models of food outside restaurants enticing in diners, to the futuristic toilets that play sound effects to hide your bodily functions. It’s a bonkers city, but one that’s easy to fall in love with.
Continue reading “Yo! Tokyo”