A time and a place
I have made a few slight miscalculations when travelling that I regret. On more than one occasion I’ve arrived somewhere for a few days to find out I’ve just missed an incredible event or something exciting happening a few days after I leave. Equally I have also accidentally benefitted from lucky timing when arriving somewhere and stumbling into an incredible occasion that sees all the locals and tourists come together for a big party. One of my most fun holiday experiences ever came about when driving around Puglia in Italy and unexpectedly finding an entire town dancing in the streets, celebrating what I think was called the tarantula festival… an odd thing to celebrate perhaps, especially for someone like me who is terrified of spiders. However, that day and night turned into one of my favourite ever. The thought that I would have missed it if I’d arrived a day earlier or later makes me shudder!
So I’ve vowed from now on, whenever possible, to time my travels to include something incredible happening locally. It makes perfect sense after all – you get everything the destination offers all year round plus the option of joining a hugely fun celebration. I’ve started a little calendar that is now pinned on the fridge to make sure I go to places at the perfect time.
Top of my list is the Crop Over Festival in Barbados. The whole island is taken over by the party spirit and everyone comes together for an entire two months of celebrations, live music, dancing, carnivals and markets, with the stand-out event being the Kandooment Parade to bring the celebrations to a close on the 1st of August. I am not sure I will make it in time for this year (bad planning on my part) but I am already excited to start preparations for next year!
Also high on the list is the Venice Architecture Biennale which, rather handily, runs from the end of May all the way through to the end of November. If you like contemporary architecture – and I must admit I have become a little obsessed in my old age – this is a wonderful time to visit a great city.
As you know I’m a big Paris fan so I’m always looking for excuses to jump on the train! My latest excuse is a very good one – the Paris Jazz Festival which runs till the end of July. Open air venues across the city host some incredible music and nothing feels quite as civilised as listening to jazz under the stars of France’s capital. I really could go on and on but I should probably not mention everything on my list as we’d be here all day. If you want a few more ideas Small Luxury Hotels of the World has plenty and, of course, their boutique hotels are perfectly located in the middle of all the action.
I’m off to buy an outfit for the Notting Hill Carnival which is one of my personal London summer highlights at which I’ll be dancing all day and all night.
See you next week