A Spanish tavern that serves only mushrooms!

DSC_0269 Don’t these mushrooms look absolutely irresistible? They are! Filled with extra virgin olive oil and flavoured with garlic and herbs, they are served in a lovely little tavern called Maison del Champinon (House of mushrooms)  in Madrid’s Old Quarter, very close to the famous Plaza Mayor. Part of the fun is to not follow the map, but the winding cobbled alleys that lead you to some of Spain’s oldest and most fabulous pubs and taverns.

If you are in Scotland, take a quick course in glass blowing.

Glass blowing workshop

Glass blowing workshops abound in Scotland. You need no prior experience to sign up for most of them. I walked into a studio where they were crafting exquisite baubles, paperweights and tumblers in a relaxed and friendly setting. Alas, I was pressed for time. But on my next trip, I am going to set aside one day to learning a new skill.  

The best way to tour Ireland: rent a car!

Belfast Airport

The best way to see Ireland is by driving around.

Ireland is the most breathtaking place I have set foot on.  It is impossible to drive through this exquisite nation without wanting to stop and explore, or just inhale, all that beauty every few kilometres or so. To be able to do that, you need a car. Sure, you will save a lot more money if you were to take a bus tour, but you won’t be able to stop and go as you like. So, pay a little more, but make sure you hire a car. There are scores of good rental companies to choose from. And keep at least 7 full days to soak in the clean, serene environs of Ireland. It will rejuvenate your very soul.