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Travelblog Gone with the Wine

Travelblog and lifestyleblog. Life under the Californian sun - Gone with the Wine. Trips, food and wine from all over the world. Solo and family adventures.

Filtering by Tag: England

10 Travel Pictures from My Past, Vol 3

Paula Gaston

Every once in a while you can see some travel picture blog challenges going around. I have done it twice and showed you some pictures from my trips around the world. It is always fun to see people's travel photos, and it is even more fun to find some from your own albums. So many memories! 

So here it comes! Travel Pictures from My Past, Vol 3. The first photos you can find from here:

10 Travel Pictures from My Past
10 Travel Pictures from My Past, Vol 2




This photo quickly became one of my favorites. My family! And now we also have one more tiny traveller, but when the photo was taken, we were only three people. This picture was taken in Nara, Japan. We visited Todaiji Temple to see the world's biggest Buddha. The temple is listed on the UNESCO World Heritage List, and it truly was worth going to. 



When we travelled to Japan, I was dreaming about seeing a geisha. Then I found out, that it is actually pretty difficult to find them, and there is only 200 of them left. One night we were strolling around the Gion Geisha District when we heard this jingling noise. Suddenly a geisha walked by us. That night, we ended up seeing several geishas on their way to work. I will never forget it!



On our Christmas trip last year, we stopped in Solvang, here in California. Even though I had been there shortly before, I was surprised how much I liked visiting this Danish style town. We walked around downtown, stopped in little shops and ate some danishes. Perfect! 



In California, when in need of paradise, it's time to head to Hawaii. There you can lay on the sand and snorkel in the turquoise water. I would really love to go snorkeling again. All those colorful fish and corals are so beautiful! This picture is from Big Island.



We have driven through Nevada several times, and it looks like this at it's best and worst. The total freedom to do what ever you want and go where ever you want! It is both exciting and a little bit scary to drive through the open desert. On this trip we drove through an Indian reservation, saw some Joshua Trees and wild horses, and got stuck in a snow storm. Anything can happen in Nevada!



It is pretty cozy to stuff yourself inside the smallest pub in England with a bunch of other people for a pint. And I can tell you, the pub is really tiny! But it was fun to visit there. 



It is absolutely a luxury to fly in business class sometimes, especially when flying with All Nippon Airlines. The service was spotless, and the food was way better than that served in many restaurants with lots of stars. If I could always fly like this, I wonder if I would always arrive as happy and without jet lag to my destination.



The Church of the Savior on Spilled Blood is one of the most beautiful buildings I have seen. Many pictures from Japan could have also been used here, but I decided to go with this one from Saint Petersburg, Russia. The whole city is full of beautiful buildings on the inside and outside. 



I am still a little bitter about the way my trip to Israel and Jordan went. I was picked up by the border control at both borders for a special check up. In Jordan, a whole bus load of people had to wait for me to get through border control. In the end, everything went well, and my trip was a success, but I still remember sitting in the back room of customs. Although, now it seems like one big adventure.



There are so many pictures that I could have used on this topic. Since we just had a baby six months ago, I haven't been able to visit Finland in a very long time. This is actually the longest, I have ever been without visiting my home country. I chose this picture from the Snow Castle of Kemi, since it has been several years that I have been there. We rarely travel to Finland during the winter, and every year I think how cool it would be to visit the Snow Castle again. Well, maybe next year...


In case you are interested in participating in this challenge, you can copy the list of the topics from here. Originally this was started by a Finnish blog Journey diary. If you do write a post about it, I would love to read it. Please link it to my comments, and also link my blog on your post so we can find each other's posts easily.

1. My all time favorite shot
2. A surprising situation
3. A gem found nearby
4. White sand and turqoise water
5. When I think about the word freedom
6. Idyllic life
7. Luxury is... 
8. The most beautiful arhitecture
9. A bittersweet memory
10. It has taken too long to go visit this place again


Monday Memories: Windsor, England

Paula Gaston


Over the years, I have stored all the memories from trips in my heart. Every once in a while, for one reason or another, I think about my travel experiences. I see articles from the places I have been, or advertisements from countries I once went. Then, all those memories come back. Many times I have been thinking about writing them in my blog. That is why I started a new series, called Monday Memories. Every Monday, I will share a story from my past travels. 


In 2010 I was on a business trip in England. Before our flight back home, we had some extra time, and we decided to spend a day in the city of Windsor, in Berkshire, England. The River Thames separates the city from it's neighbour Eton, where you can just walk over Windsor Bridge. Windsor has about 30,000 inhabitants.

After a short sightseeing tour, we jumped out the taxi and headed to the world famous Windsor Castle.


Windsor Castle was first built by William the Conqueror in 1070. Today, the oldest parts of the castle are from 1227. There have been many changes and expansions to the castle over the years, and it got damaged in a fire in 1992. It has been serving as a residence for royals, kings and queens, for over 1000 years. It has also been used as a fortress and a prison. 

So needless to say, there is a lot of history here, and lots to see. Before visiting, it would be a good idea to find out what kind of museums, churches and exhibits are in the area. For us, a visit to Windsor came as a surprise, so we didn't have any information about the place. But it feels amazing that Shakespeare himself had been walking on these same roads. They believe he was there, since his play "The Merry Wives of Windsor" is situated in Windsor, and its surroundings. 

Henry VIII gateway at Windsor Castle.

Henry VIII gateway at Windsor Castle.

The Curfew Tower.

The Curfew Tower.

Today, some parts of the castle are open to visitors, but mostly, it is the home of the Windsor family and Queen Elisabeth II. She spends most of her weekends in Windsor, but was also there when we visited, and that was during the week. So if you visit Windsor Castle, take a look at the round tower. If there is a flag on the pole, the Queen is at home. It is said that, Windsor Castle is the largest castle that has residents. 

Right in front of Windsor Castle is the Windsor Royal Shopping Center, where we went for lunch, and to get some last minute souvenirs. Since I had no idea when I would be in England again and could get some authentic Fish & Chips, I just had to order some. 

I was truly sad that during this short visit, we didn't have time to visit inside the castle (you can find different ticket options here), and we were not able to see all the things in the area. We also missed the guard change, but we did enjoy the day enormously at Windsor before our flight back to Finland.