Photos of Venice to make you want to go now!

If you are thinking about going to Venice by the end of this post you will already be booking! These photos of Venice will inspire you to visit, whether it’s your first time or if you’ve been a hundred times before. I don’t think you could ever get enough of this beautiful city and its amazing canals.

Photos of Venice – The Rialto Bridge

Photos of Venice - the Rialto Bridge

The Rialto Bridge may be one of the most popular photos of Venice and with good reason. This amazing image is the ultimate Venice scene. There’s history here and it is the oldest bridge across the canal, it was also the dividing line between the districts of San Marco and San Polo.  Iconic and charming make sure you take your own pictures from the canal when passing over or under this bridge.

Photos of Venice – Carnivale

Photos of Venice Carnival masks

Venice Carnival or Mardi Gras (Martedì Grasso) should be on your bucket list. Celebrated on Shrove Tuesday before the start of Lent, join the masses clad in elaborate masks like this one in a festival like one you have never attended before. An age old tradition you are sure to enjoy and remember forever. If you want to take part in one of the special events or popular balls you will want to book in advance and plan now for your visit next year.

Gondolas on the Grand Canal

Venice boats - photos of venice

Venice is nothing if not filled with its famous Gondolas. On the Grand Canal near St Marks square you will find these moored boats just waiting to be rowed. Everywhere you go in Venice you’ll find moored boats be that gondolas, speed boats or small fishing boats. Each offers its own photo opportunity and you can capture your own unique moment. You’ll especially love the ornately decorated Gondolas with gold flourishes and plush seating.

Colourful Venice squares

Venice colourful square - photos of venice

When it comes to great photos of Venice, the beautiful squares and colourful houses make some of the best. When you move away from the canals there are less crowds and even on the best day, you can find a quiet haven in one of these hidden spaces. Not the usual kind of place you would imagine to be in Venice. Be mindful that these are people’s houses and appreciate the privacy of locals.

St Marks Square

Photos of venice - ST Marks square

This expansive square is a must see in Venice but it might be difficult to get yourself a photograph like this. You’ll usually see this place filled with tourists and groups with their guides carrying colourful umbrellas. But if you get up early and avoid the cruise ship times you might just get to see this scene. And what a beautiful view it is. At any time of the day however you can enjoy the fascinating architecture in this magnificent space.

Photos of Venice at Sunrise

Photos of Venice - Sunrise

At all times of the day you will find the city spectacular, however, nothing quite beats the early morning. Sunrise here is really beautiful. You will see the light reflecting against the water and onto the buildings giving the whole place a unique glow. Keep your cameras at the ready and head out to meet the sun. It is absolutely sensational and I guess you will just have to go and witness it for yourself!

Luscious markets in Venice

Photos of Venice - markets

Fresh and succulent fruits, vegetables and fish can be found in the massive morning market in Venice. You will find it hard to resist the colourful array of foods on offer here. The fresh fish may be the most exciting part of the market and you can find so many local catches from that very morning. Ok, so you might just be visiting and not really be able to buy and cook Octopus for example. Well, don’t worry you can always walk away with a fresh fruit pot complete with cutlery to eat as you continue your wandering.

Boutique souvenir shopping

Photos of venice - shopping

If you love shopping then you will love Venice. So many unique stores to explore and find that special item to take home and remind you of your trip. Popular souvenirs you might be interested in are of course masks as pictured and some gorgeous glass items made locally. Pictures, paintings, and tapestries by talented artists are sold around the city too. Not only will you find souvenirs but also designer and independent brands of clothing and shoes too.

Churches in Venice

Photos of Venice - churches

There may be up to 137 churches within all of the Islands of Venice to find. As you might assume, most of these churches are Catholic and most are pretty historic. The amazing thing is a lot of the churches have active members, hold regular services and are very much part of the community. You probably won’t find a service in English, rather Latin or Italian. That doesn’t mean you can’t attend, though, or even just sit in the back and enjoy the experience. What is for sure is that you will find each church has it’s own character and appeal. Visit as many as you can!

Al Fresco Dining

Photos of Venice - dining

What could be better than eating outside in a fantastic restaurant in one of the world most romantic destinations? It’s a lovely experience to sit beside the canals and eat some fresh, locally produced food. There are too many great restaurants here to mention but many of them have tables that spill out onto squares and streets. You can really soak up the atmosphere and enjoy the weather in the warm summer months.

So from these photos of Venice surely you are convinced to make that trip soon! Venice is such a photogenic destination and everywhere you turn you are sure to find that perfect photo opportunity. It may be the water that does it or it may be the charming buildings and historic character. Whatever it is that makes Venice such an alluring place one thing that is clear is that after seeing these pictures you will want to go right now!

You can get some great deals to fly to Venice at the moment so put this destination on your list. Have you been to Venice? What did you think?

Originally posted on Pretravels.com

Baby passport – how to get a passport for your baby

Baby passport

How to get your baby passport in the UK – my tips.

Gone are the days when a child can travel on their parents passports. Every British child now needs to have their own baby passport to travel even new-born babies.

Baby passport

It may sound like a difficult task to get a baby passport. However it is simpler than you may think.

First things first – your baby needs to be registered and have a birth certificate that can be sent with their passport application. This can take some time depending on where you live. For example Birmingham registry office had a 6 week wait for appointments to register births. There are, however, always cancelled appointments that come up. If you call the office you may get in earlier. (We managed to get an appointment after a week.)




Next  is getting the passport photo right.  Here are the guidelines:

Photos of babies and children.

‘Children must be on their own in the picture. Babies must not be holding toys or using dummies. Children under 6 don’t have to be looking directly at the camera or have a neutral expression. Children under one don’t have to have their eyes open. You can support their head with your hand, but your hand must not be visible in the photo.’

The background must also be cream or light grey. I used a cream blanket to lie the baby on.

To make sure the photos were correct I used the website paspic.com. They quality check the photos and print them at the correct size which prevents problems with the application. The pictures were delivered in a couple of days.

Baby passport
We got our baby passport!

The application is pretty straightforward. Very much the same as an adult passport, however you will need to fill in grandparents as well as parents details.  The passport needs to be signed by someone who has known the adult filling in the form for at least two years and recognise the baby photo.

Here are the requirements of the counter-signatory:

‘Who can sign your form and photo

Your counter-signatory must:

  • have known the person applying (or the adult who signed the form if the passport is for a child under 16) for at least 2 years.
  • be able to identify the person applying, eg they’re a friend, neighbour or colleague (not just someone who knows them professionally).
  • be ‘a person of good standing in their community’ or work in (or be retired from) a recognised profession.

They can’t be closely related to or involved with the person applying, eg:

  • related by birth or marriage
  • be in a relationship with or live at the same address as the person applyingIf you’re applying in the UK

Your counter-signatory must:

  • live in the UK
  • have a current British or Irish passport’

Here is a link to the list of Recognised professionals who can sign the baby passport and photo. There are more to choose from than I realised!

Baby passport.
Our passports ready for our first family trip to Lisbon in September.

So you have your birth certificate, completed form, photos and counter-signatory.. Next send it off and wait for the return!

I sent everything off by Royal Mail special delivery as I wanted to make sure it got there as soon as possible. I also wanted to make sure it got there, not that I don’t trust the post office.

Within 3 weeks from sending everything off we received our brand new baby passport! Quick and easy really :-).

I hope this has helped and makes sense for those applying for their babies first passport. I cant wait to take our new baby on her first trip!

Happy travels!




 

 

 

 

Kaunas spring market

Kaunas market.

Kaunas spring market Lithuania

Due to the flights being extra cheap with Ryanair from Birmingham to Kaunas, rather than Vilnius we flew into and out of Kaunas airport. On arrival we went straight to Vilnius, however we stayed in Kaunas at the end of our trip. I’m glad we did as when we arrived the streets were lined with stalls being set up for the annual Kaunas spring market.

The stalls spanned the length of the old town all the way up to St Michael the archangel church. There were very few tourists here at this time and many stall holders did not speak English. We managed to get by with hand gestures, laughter and the odd word to make our purchases!

The vendors consisted of lots of food stalls, both hot and cold,  local crafts including carvings and iron mongers and also every day items. It was great to browse the stalls taking in the sights and smells and sampling some of the foods on offer!

Here are a few pictures which are much better at showing the market than I can explain!

Kaunas market
The view of Kaunas Spring market from our room.
Kaunas spring market
Hot food cooking away at the market.
Kaunas spring market.
Sweets and treats.
Kaunas spring market.
Local crafts. We bought one of these fabric Lithuania banners.
Kaunas spring market.
More fresh cooked food on the go.
Kaunas market.
Smoking fish sold at this stall.
Stalls lining the streets in Kaunas.
Stalls lining the streets in Kaunas.
Kaunas market.
Amazing carvings at the Kaunas spring market.

 

Kaunas spring market.
Love these crisps on a stick! So simple, a potato spiralled and fried!

 

 

 







Meeting Dolphins in St Kitts

Meeting Dolphins – Swim and encounter in the Caribbean.

A dream activity for many holidaymakers and animal lovers.

As part of our cruise we had the opportunity to arrange shore excursions. We are not used to taking part in large scheduled trips however the idea of meeting Dolphins here appealed to us. Before exploring the island of St Kitts we decided to book on the Dolphin Swim and Encounter at Dolphin discovery.

Dolphin Discovery Saint Kitts - meeting dolphins.
Meeting Dolphins in St Kitts. Ocean enclosure.

I liked the thought of the enclosure being part of the ocean here. I believed it would be closer to their natural habitat than an aquarium or pool in a park. However I did not have much time to conduct research prior to our visit.

On arrival we were given a safety briefing and a short explanation about the centre. We were issued our life jackets and split into groups of about 7 people. Our dolphin trainer then took us along the board-walk and down to a submerged platform to introduce us to the Dolphin named Dali.

The trainer explained how our encounters would work and told us about the commands he would be using. Dali the dolphin swam and played in the square enclosure whilst our trainer was speaking to us.

Meeting dolphins.
Dolphin kiss.

Meeting Dolphins.

Each person then took it in turns to kiss, hug, swim, dance and be pushed along by the dolphin. He was fed fish as a reward and responded to the trainers whistle as well as hand gestures we were giving. (Or trying to give..).

I found it a great experience to meet this beautiful creature. I really enjoyed being so close to Dali and swimming in the water with him. He was gentle and seemed to enjoy what he was doing. But to be honest I don’t think I would really be able to tell if the Dolphin was happy to be there or not.

Meeting Dolphins.
Dolphin trainer at Dolphin discovery.

Meeting dolphins is an activity that is on the majority of bucket-lists across the world. Maybe naively I expected there to be worldwide welfare standards for those places offering Dolphin encounters. After researching the topic a little I have only found very positive or very negative views on the subject.

I am disappointed in myself as I usually conduct a lot of research before visiting such places to ensure I am not inadvertently supporting cruelty. Although I have not read anything about cruelty at Dolphin Discovery in St Kitts. I have found concerns about the size of the enclosures. This however is often a concern for every dolphin encounter centre, as wild dolphins have the whole ocean to explore.

I still can not make up my mind if it is acceptable to take part in meeting dolphins programs. I know that I would definitely do my research before considering it again. I do know that I will never forget this amazing experience.

What do you think? Any good or bad experiences or views on this?


 

 

Trafalgar falls and Titou gorge Dominica

Trafalgar falls and Titou gorge.

Exploring Trafalgar falls and Titou gorge Dominica Caribbean.

To make the most of our day on the beautiful island of Dominica we decided to explore the natural wonders of the place. Trafalgar falls and Titou gorge are popular sites to visit. Dominica is a lush volcanic island which boasts rainforest and the famous Morne Trois Pitons National Park.

Trafalgar falls and Titou gorge
Trafalgar falls and Titou gorge trip.

Our tour guide looked after a minibus full of tourists. Our drive was really interesting, taking regular stops to marvel at the beautiful views. As it was Christmas time we learned about the local traditions and food served at this time of the year.

As we drove higher and higher the temperature dropped. The air became thicker with less of a breeze and I wished I had brought some drinking water along with me! Once we got off the bus there were always a few vendors around so I managed to get myself a drink on the way.




Trafalgar falls
Trafalgar Falls.

Our first stop was Trafalgar falls. We walked a short trek through rainforest to a viewing platform. Here we could see both waterfalls, the mother and the father. The taller of the falls, the father, drops 200 feet. The mother is adjacent shorter, wider waterfall. I enjoyed taking pictures here!

Dominica
The mother Trafalgar falls.
Dominica
The father Trafalgar falls.
Trafalgar falls and Titou gorge.
The Mother and the Father waterfalls.

I would have liked to spend more time here. However being on a schedule we trekked back down to our waiting minibus and carried on our tour.

Next stop was Titou gorge. Famous for being featured in the film Pirates of the Caribbean where a narrow gap leads to a pool and a hidden waterfall. Due to the current and being pregnant at the time I watched from a platform as others swam through the small gap. Life jackets were provided to those who swam and both adults and children took the plunge.

Dominica
View over the national park in Dominica.




The waterfall was strong so  swimmers could not swim out into the pool beyond. We did get a show from one of the guides who recreated the film scene by jumping from the platform into the pool below.

The water was described as “refreshing”. Which just meant pretty cold from the shrieks I heard as people entered the water!

titou gorge
Swimming through the gorge.

After finishing up here we were taken back to the town. The trip lasted half a day which left us with some time to explore some more of Dominica.

Geeky Wanderlust
Geeky Wanderlust posters, photography, cards and more.

Beach day in St Lucia

Beach day in St Lucia.

Spending a beach day in St Lucia

Not having much time to spend here we decided to have a beach day in St Lucia and make the most of the beautiful sunshine and the sea.

After asking for some advise we were directed towards Rodney Beach as somewhere we could relax and swim with facilities too.

Beach day in St Lucia
Beach day in St Lucia. Rodney beach.




We got a taxi and as is usual in the Caribbean we arranged a time for the same driver to collect us to take us back to the harbour.

The friendly driver took us past some lovely scenery and told us about the island.  He then showed us where we could hire sun beds and umbrellas. We later found the rental was quite expensive here compared to other islands but it was quite a popular beach.

We paid 10 East Caribbean dollars for each beach chair and another 10 for the umbrella. This included waiter service from a nearby restaurant if we wanted to order some drinks.

There were quite a few vendors hanging around on this beach. Every now and again I would be disturbed from my reading. Being asked if I wanted a massage, to buy jewellery, coconuts or other items. Most were not pushy and left us alone after a while. Still it wasn’t as relaxing as you would imagine!

Beach day in St Lucia.
Sea and sunshine at Rodney beach.




Although there were some water sports around, the sea was safe for swimming. I had a nice dip and a swim in the refreshing water. Again it was pretty busy compared to some other beaches we later visited.

Our taxi driver returned at the time arranged and took us back to the town where we stopped off at the markets. At the time of year we visited a lot of places were closed for the holidays as local people prepared for their own festivities.

Beach day St Lucia.
View over St Lucia.




 

 

 

 

Road Unraveled asks Travel Geek Tara

Road Unraveled Interview Travel Geek Tara

Want to know a bit more about me and why I travel? Here are my interview answers for Road Unraveled.

Road Unraveled Interview Travel Geek Tara

The lovely Adam and Steph from Road Unraveled have asked me to answer a few questions about travel. They have said some very kind things about my blog and I really appreciate the recognition. Thanks guys!

Q: What one experience have you had that reminded you the world can be pretty small sometimes?

Probably traveling by train through Europe. It made me realise that it is so easy to get around between countries. Especially when on a sleeper train! Places are not as far away as they seem.

Q: What is the strangest food you have been served and did you eat it?

The strangest food would have to be a bag of salted crickets from a stall in Chiang Mai market. I actually enjoyed them, a nice alternative to crisps!

Road Unraveled interview Travel Geek Tara.
Eating Crickets in Chiang Mai. Probably the smallest of the crickets for the photo!

Q: What is the one city you would recommend to a new traveler?

Rome is a lovely city. There is so much to do and see and it’s really easy to get around. I recommend Rome to people as an easy, fun and interesting city break.

Q:  If you could live anywhere in the world, where would it be and why?

This is really difficult because there are lots of places that I love! I think I would settle on Venice. I have visited three times and still haven’t had enough of this beautiful place.

Q: How do you decide where you will travel?

There are lots of places on my list so I try to travel to these places. However when I have some dates in mind I check skyscanner and find cheap flights!


Q: What is the hardest part about travel whether it’s short term or long-term?

Getting tired. I try to pack a lot into my holiday time and this can get exhausting. I need to learn to relax and do nothing sometimes. Along with this comes jet-lag, I missed half a day in Bangkok just sleeping off my jet-lag. But it was worth it to feel better!

Q: What one place would you never go back to again and why?

I had a bad experience in Tunisia. I booked a beach holiday many years ago to Sousse and did not enjoy it. I felt very uncomfortable and a little unsafe. I have heard good things about Tunisia from other travelers but for me I would not go back.

Q: What is the best meal you have had while travelling?

Another difficult question. I have eaten so many lovely meals whilst traveling. The food in Thailand was particularly good. However, a meal I had in Paris at L’Ange 20 has to top everything. Read my review here.

Q: Do you have a travel goal (see a certain number of countries, visit a certain number of landmarks, etc.)? What is it?

I want to see and experience as much of the world as I can. One goal of mine is to visit all of the 7 wonders of the world. I have visited Machu Picchu, the Great wall of China, The Colosseum and  the Pyramid at Chichen Itza. I hope to visit Petra at the end of the year which leaves the Taj Mahal and Christ the redeemer!

Road Unraveled interview Travel Geek Tara
Me at Chichen Itza!

Q: Why do you travel?

Travel makes me happy. I enjoy new experiences, great food, history and art. Traveling has shaped who I am today. It can change the way you see yourself as well as the world.

Plus it provides me with lots of things to write about in my blog! That’s why I call myself a travel geek :-).

Thanks again for the questions guys and I hope you enjoyed my answers.

Readers can check out the Road Unraveled blog here road unraveled.com.

And on social media:- instagram.com/ahubka  twitter.com/road unraveled.

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