Thursday 20 February, 2020

Travel Tuesday: Donna Brown heads to Spain via England!

I love meeting new people and having novel experiences so what better way to achieve both than by travelling to new places.

The allure of travel is so great that even when friends are not available to travel with me, I travel alone.  

My travel journey started young. In my 20s, I travelled throughout the US, and at 22 I was in Canada in the ’80s. Since then, my focus has narrowed to continents.

SEE flicks from Donna's recent trip to Ibiza, Spain via London.

Travel Tuesday, attorney-at-law Donna Brown

I love wandering through Europe because there are hardly any language barriers. I find that people throughout Europe tend to speak fluent English.

I love fashion so I usually go to London first for a bit of shopping then use it as my base to launch off to the rest of the other parts of Europe.

I find that it is less expensive to purchase luxury handbags in London than in the US.

Somehow on straight conversion it is less expensive, plus you can claim back a portion of the Value Added Tax (VAT) at the port of departure on my back to Jamaica.

So Chanel, Dior, and Gucci, check, check, check!

 

So far I have visited:

England

Germany

Switzerland

Belgium

Austria

France

Italy

Dubai, UAE

Spain

Portugal

Morocco

Amsterdam

Cuba

 

My favourite spots so far are for:

Tea

1 The Pink Room at Sketch Gallery is haute! Their Champagne afternoon tea is everything a luxury lover appreciates. Luxury transcends beautiful architecture and décor in The Pink Room.    

2 The Shangri-La Hotel at The Shard, London. Such a beautiful setting in the glass building with a wonderful view of the city of London. I appreciated the smoke show that was put on for me.

 

Shopping

Selfridges for luxury and other items.

 

Interesting places I've visited and the reasons I love them!

Spain

I love the diverse beauty of Spain. Whenever I arrive in Spain, the greeting from immigration is a heart-warming ‘Turista’ or a ‘Bienvenido a España’.

The medieval architecture, the Gardens at the Alhambra, the streets of Las Ramblas in Barcelona; and my favourite place: Ibiza.

Ibiza is the place where all the beautiful people gather to party. The mountains are so majestic in Montserrat, I honestly felt close to God. It was lovely, I could go on and on.

 

Venice

Sailing in a gondola along the canals in Venice, serenaded by a gondolier…très romantique!

 

Switzerland

Switzerland was a short trip, but walking across the Kapellbrücke Bridge (literally, Chapel bridge) which is a covered wooden footbridge spanning The Reuss in Lucerne.

 

Cuba


In a good way I was shocked about Cuba – the beautiful architecture and the vintage cars. I could have easily been in any European city.

I scored some beautiful art work, sat in at the Tropicana Cabaret. The show is lively and the dancers interact with the audience, I would definitely recommend for a first-time visitors.

 

Morocco

Marrakesh is an interesting city. I stayed in a Riad, which is a large traditional house built around a central courtyard – the ultimate luxury.

The Medina (the old city) of Marrakesh was, for me, the gem of the city.

I had to walk along narrow cobblestone streets to get to there.

My suitcases were wheeled in and out on a wheelbarrow.

During the daytime, the roads to the Riads are transformed into a street-side marketplace teeming with artisans trading their wares.

It is a good place to purchase spices and handcrafted jewellery.

 

My travel essentials

1 A cross-body bag, which is placed in front of me. I suggest you keep an eye out all the time for pickpockets.

2 My cell phone is both a means of communication and my personal Nikon. An SD card for additional storage could come in handy too.

3 I highly recommend travelling with an international adapter to charge my electronics, especially for your cell as the plugs vary everywhere.

4 If you can travel with more than one credit card for swift action in case of an emergency, and take ample cash for tipping etc.

5 Prepare an itinerary, leaving ample time to do impromptu things.

6 Always ensure you have clothes for dinner, swimsuits, sneakers, sandals. I always pack something warm because the weather can be very unpredictable.

7 I never leave my travel-size umbrella

8 Sunshades…a must!

9 When I’m in London, I always try to get my hands on a tube map for the London Subway and an Oyster card (and I top up frequently) for transportation on the buses and tubes.

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