Lifecruiser » Scotland Ranked Top 100 Travel Blog Lifecruiser. Travel information & photos. Europe, North & South America. Thu, 21 Feb 2013 09:24:24 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Top 3 UK Summer City Destination Fri, 13 Jul 2012 08:00:15 +0000 Lifecruiser Now that the summer months are finally upon us and the bashful British sun has finally crawled out of hiding, it’s time to start planning our time away with family and friends.

With the changeability of British weather, one of the best ways to enjoy our occasional fleeting moments of heat and sunshine is to take a last-minute trip to one of this nation’s beautiful cities. On a Saturday morning, if the birds are chirping and the sky is blue, why not take a chance and book a weekend away?

Here are my 3 favourite summer city breaks in the UK:

This quaint yet vibrant city really has it all. Stroll down the magical city streets amid the hustle and bustle of seasoned shoppers enjoying the unequalled variety of boutiques and stores, before settling down in one of the many oddball coffee houses. The city offers an impressive array of museums, galleries and theatres as well as one of the country’s most abundant nightlife and music scenes.

Nestled in between the lulling blue waters of the English Channel and the rolling green hills of the South Downs, Brighton is in the perfect position for summer exploration. Try kite flying on the breezy, Sussex hills or take a walk along the wide promenade, ice cream in hand as excitable roller bladers whizz past yelling.

Brighton seaside is packed to the hilt with accommodation, as well as plenty of ambient cafes and bars; it has to be my favourite place in the country for weekend hotel breaks.

The beautiful seafront architecture, highlighted in the summer sun, will send a shiver down your spine, and along with the salty sea breeze, will guarantee your stay in Brighton to be a summer break to remember.

For something a little different, why not visit one of England’s most ancient and iconic cities? Amble down the same cobbled streets as the Romans did two thousand years before you. The striking, colourful architecture, constructed almost solely from beautiful Bath Stone, oozes antiquity and atmosphere.

Taking a relaxing dip in the Roman baths is essential when visiting the city to which they gave their name. The steamy waters come straight from the nearby natural hot springs, bubbling and brewing at an impressive 117 degrees F.

There is plenty more in the way of history here. The beautiful city was inscribed as a World heritage Site in 1987 and has many other sights and stories to offer. The striking Abbey was first founded in the 7th Century, and has undergone much renewal and refurbishment over the following centuries, retaining a little of every epoch it has endured. Pulteney Bridge has been designated a Grade I site of historical importance and is one of the very few bridges in the world lined with interesting and traditional boutiques, cafes and stalls. Bath really is a city like no other!

The capital of our northern neighbour is surely one of the world’s prettiest cities. As an ancient centre for trade and commerce, the archaic settlement is steeped in history and stories. Taking a stroll through the enchanting streets and back alleys while viewing the magnificent architecture is simply breath taking, the view from the top of Calton Hill on the East side of the city at sunset is a truly unforgettable experience.

In terms of things to do, Scotland’s capital will have you spoilt for choice. There is a wide spectrum of shops and stores with enough variation in style and price tag to suit everyone.

The National Museum of Scotland has been recently refurbished and now holds a remarkable collection of exhibits, spanning millions of years and representing a diverse collection of cultures and continents from whale skeletons to Egyptian coffins, from medieval jewellery to a Concorde.

During the summer, the world-famous Edinburgh festival takes place showcasing all sorts of up-and-coming talent in all areas of the performing arts. Laughing at the hilarious routines of an international comedy troupe while in the shadow of the impressive Edinburgh Castle is an amazing feeling – life doesn’t get much better!

So this summer, instead of going abroad, stay in Britain and take advantage of the wealth of culture and fun that this historic country has to offer. A trip to any one of these great locations promises to be a memorable experience, but why not try and visit all three for a truly spectacular summer!

Lifecruiser Love UK Destinations

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2012 Edinburgh Fringe Festival Budget Breaks Wed, 11 Jul 2012 20:15:51 +0000 Lifecruiser Everyone loves to laugh and be entertained, which is why Edinburgh Fringe is the only festival which appeals to the whole of the UK. Because of its popularly, Edinburgh hotels fill up quickly during the period, so look online and book Edinburgh hotels as soon as possible if you plan to attend the event.

The Fringe takes place from 3 to 27 August when comedians, sketches and plays will fill the streets, halls, theatres and public places within the capital of Scotland.

The Ginge, The Geordie and The Geek

The Ginge, the Geordie and the Geek are back with a brand new show for 2012. The Fringe favourites return to perform their hilarious sketch twice daily at 1645 and 1945 hours.

The show is classed as family friendly, with the occasional use of bad language. Watch them with the teens at Just the Tonic at The Caves.

Susan Calman: This Lady’s Not For Turning Either

The Comedy Queen of ‘saying it like it is’ returns for another year at the Fringe. One of the most original female comics of today performs her brand new show, more shocking and political than ever.

See her at 1800 hours between 1 and 27 August at Underbelly Bristo Square. Be prepared to leave your inhibitions surrounding female comics at the door.

Alan Davies – Life Is Pain

A famous face from the world of television, you may recognise this comedy genius from his starring role in Jonathan Creek and his long standing stint on quiz show, QI.

Life Is Pain marks Davies’ return to stand up after a ten year breather from the scene. See him daily from 1940 hours from 9 to 14 August at the Venue 150 @ EICC.

Book Edinburgh hotels online to get the best deals for stays in the city during the Fringe Festival. Programmes for the 2012 season can now be ordered.

Lifecruiser Love Edinburgh

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Camping in the Highlands Fri, 13 Apr 2012 18:49:11 +0000 Lifecruiser The Scottish Highlands, despite their remoteness and at times unfavourable climate, have proven to be hugely popular with tourists due to their outstanding natural beauty, friendly locals and peaceful nature. Aside from that, there are also many great camping sites in this part of Scotland.

Other parts of the country have their charms, and campsites in Ayrshire, Lothian and Dumfries and Galloway prove that. However, for unrivalled views of towering mountains and lush green valleys, you’d struggle to better the Highlands.

kayaking_sunnyside-croft-touring-campingPhoto by Pitchup of Sunnyside Croft Touring Caravan & Camping Site

One of the best campsites in this region is the Sunnyside Croft Touring Caravan & Camping Site near the village of Arisaig. Boasting fantastic views of the islands of Eigg, Rum and Muck, you’re also only a short ferry ride from the Isle of Skye. The site itself has its own shop, a laundrette, sells local produce and even has recycling facilities.

embo-beach_grannies-heilan-hame-holiday-parkPhoto by Pitchup of Grannie’s Heilan’ Hame Holiday Park

Another site well worth visiting for campers is the eccentrically named Grannie’s Heilan’ Hame Holiday Park near Dornoch. This site is perfect for bringing the family, as there’s just about everything you could possibly want here: an indoor swimming pool, Jacuzzi, tennis courts, ten-pin bowling, crazy golf and, being near the beach, an amusement arcade. This isn’t your traditional campsite, and is all the better for it.

ben-nevis-hike-fort-william-scotlandPhoto by Coda of Ben Nevis Hike, near Fort William

If you’re away from the campsites, then there’s plenty of things to do. You could go walking around the mountains and valleys (the more adventurous among you might fancy a crack at scaling Ben Nevis), visit the many towns and villages like Inverness and Fort William or even go surfing somewhere like Thurso in the Highlands’ most northerly point.

Lifecruiser Love Scotland


Other camping travel related posts by Lifecruiser:

VW Camper Van Blue Retro Twins
56ans Nostalgia Cafe, Gotland
Worned Out Vintage Vacation
How to find cheap holiday deals from Sweden
8 Unique Travel Posts Boosts
Thousands by horse to El Rocio

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Vacations with a view in the UK Wed, 04 Apr 2012 20:47:14 +0000 Lifecruiser One of the most important things about choosing a location for holidaying in is the view. In the UK, there are plenty of places to visit which have vistas to die for. If a great view is what you’re after, why not stay in holiday cottages in the Lake District? This part of Cumbria is just one of a number of picturesque destinations that this country has to offer:


The stuff of walkers’ dreams, the hugely popular Lake District National Park lies in the North West of England, and there’s a great view on offer wherever you turn. When it comes to accommodation Windermere, Kendal and Ambleside have a number of comfortable welcoming cottages for you to set up base while you take snaps of the inspiring landscape at will in between walking to your heart’s content. By visiting sites such as, you can get the perfect holiday cottage to spend a night in after a day’s walking.

UK Peak District in March

Further south, the Peak District, which lies in Northern Derbyshire and parts of Greater Manchester and South Yorkshire, boasts a similar number of fantastic views and great walking trails. Being close to both Manchester and Sheffield makes it all the more enticing for urban tourists. Among the activities you can do here include visiting market towns such as Buxton and Bakewell, exploring the impressive caves and climbing and abseiling the rocks.

UK: Cotswold Hills/Heart of England

The Cotswolds in Somerset and Gloucestershire, known as the ‘heart of England’, spreads into four other counties. Its countryside is every bit as impressive as that of the Lake and Peak Districts and has some magnificent local towns which boast great drinking establishments and great accommodation to boot. For well over half a century, the Cotswolds have been designated an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, which is testament to its popularity with tourists.

UK: Scottish Highlands

Over in Scotland, not much beats the Highlands as a holiday destination with stunning views. Elsewhere, Edinburgh is a great place to spend a week or two. As you gaze with awe at the Scottish capital’s world-famous architecture, you feel like you’re a world away from the lofty peaks of Cumbria, Derbyshire and the Highlands, but no less comfortable. Bringing your camera is important, as you’ll want to take a picture of Edinburgh at any given opportunity. Given that the city has a reputation for a cultural hotspot, maybe seeing a show during the Fringe festival could be a great alternative to walking.

Image courtesy for Image 1: Barry, Image 2: Lorraine Phelan, Image 3: Christian Benke, Image 4: Jeff Barnes.

Lifecruiser Love UK Vacations

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Enjoy UK golf breaks and take in these top three courses Wed, 11 Jan 2012 19:41:20 +0000 Lifecruiser UK golf breaks offer players of all ages the chance to follow in the footsteps of some of the sport’s legendary figures and play at a handful of the most iconic courses in the world.

Here, we highlight three of the best courses in the UK, some of which also have golf hotels you can stay in that are also of a high standard.

St Andrews

Fairmont, St Andrews   Golf Travel: Fairmont St Andrews

The ‘home’ of golf is steeped in history, rich in heritage and has evolved into the biggest public golf complex in the whole of Europe. With seven courses to choose from, there’s bound to be something to appeal to players of varying ability. Adult green fees range from as cheap as £8 on the Balgove course depending on when you play up to £150 on the prestigious Old course, which is ranked by Tiger Woods as his favourite course.


Golf Travel: Turnberry bunker, UK   Golf Travel: Turnberry, Lighthouse, UK

Offering a stunning vista of the Firth of Clyde, the Mull of Kintyre and a nearby lighthouse, Turnberry is undoubtedly one of the most scenic golf resorts you’ll ever have the pleasure of playing. There are three courses here, a 12-hole pitch and putt course if you need to work on your short game, a five-star hotel and a golf academy complete with state-of-the-art facilities to help you work on every aspect of your game. As an exposed resort right on the coast, Turnberry will pose you all sorts of problems depending on the weather. Stay at the hotel to receive reduced green fees.


UK Golf Travel: Wentworth

Located on the fringes of London, Wentworth is a golf resort where the emphasis is firmly on exclusivity and exceptional facilities. The green fees on each of the three courses – there’s also a par-three executive course – here are very much on the expensive side, but it’s an experience you’re unlikely to forget in a hurry and it’s worth it providing you can afford it. The West course is the pick of the bunch and has benefited from a revamp in recent years that saw the construction of 18 new greens.

Lifecruiser Love UK Golf Travel

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The top ten attractions in Edinburgh Fri, 25 Nov 2011 22:46:02 +0000 Lifecruiser Edinburgh is hot on London’s heels for the crown of the most popular UK city amongst tourists. In many ways, it offers a greater, more traditional experience than the English capital, which makes it no wonder that more than 13 million tourists visit the Scottish capital every year.

Hotels like the George hotel Edinburgh has to offer are plentiful, so you will always have somewhere to relax at night after a long day’s sightseeing. Here are some of the best bits of Edinburgh to keep you busy:

Old Town

The historic Old Town district of Edinburgh is famous not only for its architecture, but also for the quality and variety of its restaurants, cafes and whisky shops. Walk down the Royal Mile on your visit to the Old Town and you won’t be disappointed.

Edinburgh Castle

This is easily the most recognisable thing about Edinburgh. The city’s castle sits atop Castle Rock, which forms part of an extinct volcano, looming over the city from above. It really gives you a sense of heritage when you visit this beautiful building.

Holyrood Park

For a bit of a break from all the hustle and bustle of the city, you can visit Holyrood Park on the eastern city borders. The park has a range of climbing areas, a few challenging peaks with some great views from the top.

Royal Observatory

If you fancy gazing up at the stars for a few hours or even simply listening to a few talks on astronomy, pay the Royal Observatory a visit. There are also exhibitions held regularly at the Royal Observatory for you and all the family to enjoy.

Arthur’s Seat

Referring back to the volcanic presence in Edinburgh, Arthur’s Seat is another must-visit attraction in the area. This place is what makes Edinburgh really unique – it is an extinct volcano found in Holyrood Park to the east of the city, which makes Edinburgh the only city in the world to have a volcano within its boundaries.

©Lifecruiser Love Edinburgh

Earlier UK Travel post by Lifecruiser:

UK Travel: Swedes Love London


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Where to go in the world for the best massages Tue, 28 Jun 2011 06:38:10 +0000 Lifecruiser Whether for an injury, an illness, or just relaxation; a massage can treat a variety of problems. There are hundreds of massage techniques varying in vigour and force, with some methods dating back thousands of years in different countries around the world.

Here are three of the best places to experience the ultimate massage:

1.The Balmoral Hotel and Spa, Edinburgh

Best massages Balmoral Hotel, EdinburghImage courtesy of The Balmoral Hotel

Based in Scotland, this isn’t a country typically associated with massage and natural remedies; but at this luxurious spa; methods from all around the world have been harnessed to offer some of the best therapeutic treatments in the UK. If you book one of their spa days on offer here, you’ll get a choice of some incredible massages. The “Intensive Muscle Warmer” helps you battle the cold and wet Scottish weather, using hot and stimulating essential oils to soothe aches and pains, and relax muscular tension. And there’s no better way to treat a common cold than their “Immune Booster” massage, which uses tea-tree and eucalyptus to open up your airways. This is the perfect destination for a weekend break, and one of the best spa hotels UK.

2.The Chiva-Som resort, Bangkok

Best massages Chiva Som, ThailandImage courtesy of Chiva Som

No stranger to the rich and famous, the Chiva-Som resort offers the finest in traditional Thai massage. Using only 100% natural spa products sourced and produced in Thailand; the therapists here spend two hours stretching your body and massaging deep into your muscles, in a practice which has given Thailand the reputation for one of the best countries in the world for a massage. No oils are used, so the therapists rely on their talented hands to treat you – and sometimes their feet! It’s not uncommon for them to walk on your back as part of a traditional Thai massage, and it’s generally quite a vigorous massage method.

3.The Grand Hotel, Stockholm

Best massages Grand Hotel, Stockholm, SwedenImage courtesy of Grand Hotel

It’s still true that the best Swedish massage can only be experienced in Sweden itself. Here, the Swedish massage is simply known as “classic massage” and it’s designed to improve circulation and soothe tired muscles. This massage is also known to be a great treatment for joint stiffness or pain, and uses a combination of slow, flowing strokes and friction and vibration. A massage at this spa will involve their own organic range of body products, inspired by Nordic herbs and flowers. Whilst these luxury spas are fairly pricey, they often feature day or weekend offers at a fraction of their usual price. And let’s face it, if you’ve been backpacking across Thailand, or travelling around Europe; splashing out for a relaxing and indulging spa experience will be so worth it.

Lifecruiser Spa massages

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Car rentals experience and tips Tue, 14 Jun 2011 12:55:17 +0000 Lifecruiser For us curious travelers that not only want to lay on a beach on the vacation, it is of great importance to find a great low-cost car hire company when booking a trip, to get the most out of a destination. So lets talk about car rentals and road trips.

Roadtrip Fuerteventura

We have hired cars in Spain, Scotland, France and Greece by now and never regretted it. It is an unbeatable way of doing sightseeing in your own pace, able to make stops along the way where ever you want to, for how long you want. A must for photo freaks like us!

One more road trip we know already that we want to do later is along the English coastline, but then we will probably use the latest car hire UK site we have found. Actually we would love to spend a long time driving around in all UK, we have seen so many photos that has enchanted us. Except for the weather maybe (lol).

Finding the best car rental prices can be quite time consuming and we really have saved a lot of money spending some time doing extensive comparison searches!

Just like in our article about where to find late holiday deals there are many car rental sites online too and it is so beneficial to use a comparison site with lots of car hire sites to compare between instead of going to each of them separate.

We like car hire sites which offer a lot of locations and have needed extras already included in the price, making sure that they do not add any hidden fees on our first given rental quotes, to avoid negative surprises.

Extras to check if it is included in the price are: GPS Navigator, AC, unlimited mileage or at least no mileage restrictions, additional driver/s (make sure they are added in the contract!), free fuel, child seats.

We really like when there are roadside assistance offered, if anything should happen to the rental car. It is more safe having instructions and phone number with you in the car in case of any emergency, especially when driving in uninhabited mountain areas perhaps even with wild animals.

Roadtrip Anaga mountain

We have noticed that the earlier to book the car rental the better, there are more to choose between and it is often cheaper when booking early.

Many car rental companies also advertise in local magazines, in hotel lobbies, shops and at other local boards – useful if you decide to rent a car in the last minute when you already have arrived at the destination.

Advice: Always check up in advance – before you leave home – if you need to get an international driving permit.

Sometimes it can be cheaper if you pick up your car already at the airport, sometimes not, you have to check around, maybe even calling the car hire company. The difference can be quite big!

When we hired a car in Majorca, Spain, we got 2 days extra for free if we picked up the car at the airport at Palma instead of Alcudia – and it was the car hire company that were service-minded enough to tell us about the cheaper deal.

Also, we are always checking that their office is open if having a late flight, otherwise we book the first accommodation very close to be able to easily come back the other day.

That close-to-the-airport accommodation could be a lifesaver even in other situations too. One time in Scotland we had trouble with our credit card and could not get our rental car, we had to come back the next day after calling our bank to fix it.

Another important thing to think about, is that it should be the drivers credit card you pay with and it should have cover for the deposit amount. We had problems with that last time we were in France and had not planned to use that card. Once again our bank had to be called, making us delayed to our blogger meeting.

Read all terms and conditions. Check the cancellation policy if there is a cancellation charge and how much in advance you must give notice if cancelling. Being prepared makes things go smoother.

I will not go into the question about if one should get a car insurance or not, it is too big subject to discuss here. Do check if your car insurance you have for your own car also covers rental cars, in that case it might be unnecessary. Some cards also provide insurance if you use them to pay for the rental car.

One lesson we have learned is: if hiring from an unknown car hire company and you have not checked up their reputation in advance, make sure you pick up the car together with someone from the car hire company.

Why? Because a couple of times we have not really been satisfied with the car, like the one below were I had to put back the side blinkers that kept falling off all the time!

Roadtrip: rental car broke

It is always best to see the actual car. Inspect the car to make sure there is no scratches or damages already. If there is, make sure they are noted in the contract, so you will not be hold responsible afterward.

We have always been taken photos of the car both when picking it up and when leaving it, from all angles, just to be on the safe side. Nothing has happened so far though.

Be aware of that there can be some restrictions of where you can go with the car, you might not be allowed to drive over the borders to other countries. Luckily we did not know that when we used a car hire in Malaga, we did not check if we were allowed to drive into Gibraltar. Oops.

After being there I can understand their restrictions – there were very steep and narrow streets where the car owners all had folded their car mirrors into the cars side, to not get it torn away. Many of the cars were scratched and some had no mirrors left. Phew. I am glad we made it without scratches!

It is also great to do an estimate of how much you will drive around before you hire a car, so you know if it is beneficial for you or not to pay for a tank of gas in advance and bring the car back empty – or fill up the fuel yourself right before returning it. Save all gas receipts.

Cars with diesel as fuel can be really cheap to drive, since they do not use as much fuel as petrol driven cars. Several times we have almost wondered if the car were magic, we thought we never had to fill up any fuel!

Always check where to park your rental car without getting parking tickets or in worst case: had your car been removed and have to try to haggle with the local police about it… yes, happened to us once…. ehum…

One last advice: Do not drive on any private roads!

Roadtrip Spain: sign private

Of course, it can be a rather thrilling experience, but we do not recommend it…

Lifecruiser Roadtrips

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13 Most Boost Trips Tue, 24 May 2011 10:53:21 +0000 Lifecruiser Lifecruiser now presents 13 of our experiences in different trips that gave us the most boost of inspiration and travel fuel. The trips experiences that makes the travel interest going.

Those different experiences from trips that for different reasons stays in our memories until eternity, for totally different reasons.

Not necessary so remarkable, just the ones given us most pleasure right in that moment. Often it is the mood you are in that defines a success, right?

  1. Most spectacular: Wet kiss at Iguazu Falls
  2. Best beach water: Elafonisi, Crete
  3. Biggest beach: Monte Gordo, Algarve, Portugal
  4. Best B&B: Steinway playing, Scotland
  5. Best hotel: Hotel Vanity Golf, Majorca, Spain
  6. Best hostel: Wombats City Hostel, Vienna, Austria
  7. Most unique roadtrip: 4620 km roadtrip to Spain
  8. Dearest memory: French Riviera blog meetup
  9. Biggest blog meetup: Oslo blog gathering, Norway
  10. Best tour experience: Iceland excursions
  11. Love memory 1: Proposal in Paris
  12. Love memory 2: Honeymoon, Crete, Greece
  13. Winner: Our engagement beach, Gotland, Sweden

You might wonder why the engagement beach are a winner?

It’s impossible to beat a fabulous island beach like that, especially deeply in love, in February changing rings in minus degrees, very windy with sand blowing into the Champagne glasses, totally alone under the stars – it felt like we were alone in the universe!

Recently we also made a Lifecruiser Travel brief list where you can have an overview over Lifecruiser trips we’ve done before.

LifecruiserMemorable Trips

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Hey, Andy Hayes Says… Wed, 17 Jun 2009 09:15:55 +0000 Lifecruiser Interested in meeting someone that has done what at least I only dream about? Lifecruiser have interviewed Andy Hayes, who has escaped the 9-to-5 routines and is doing travel-related stuff full time now!

He is not traveling full time yet, but he’s doing serious travel writing, even real books. Besides that, he lives in Scotland, which I think gives enough material for some really interesting stuff!

Sit down, relax, have a Scotch Whisky, read and enjoy….

When did your passion for travel started? What do you think triggered it?

I grew up in a very small town, so my first “long haul” holiday was to the Caribbean island of Aruba. Relaxing in the sun, riding motorbikes across the sand dunes, and eating up delicious foods from around the world while our friends of the same age were sitting at home, I was hooked.

I think perhaps it came from growing up in a very conservative and poorly-travelled family, so when I first had those international experiences they were so rich and powerful, I was overcome with an incurable travel bug.

How many countries have you been to? What country or multi-destination trip is your absolute favorite among your trips?

Good question, I had to count: 35 (using the Wikipedia list of sovereign states, just to be clear). It doesn’t seem like a lot, actually, but when I close my eyes and think back to all those wonderful experiences, it is a tremendous amount of “stuff.”

Spending a number of weeks wandering around Australia and New Zealand is without a doubt one of my fondest trips in recent memory. In Australia, it was disappointing to see so much and yet have only covered a tiny strip in the south-eastern corner of the country. I must go back and explore further. Melbourne really struck me as a spectacular place – when the silver skyline of the city appeared shimmering in the distance as the airport bus sped through the heat of the countryside, my heart swooned. But it wasn’t just a pretty façade; I found the Melbournians (is that what we call them?) so friendly and nice. The food was some of the best I’ve had in the world – a terrific fusion of European and Asian influences. And I think the gorgeous shoreline in St Kilda speaks for itself…

Do you have some special memory from a trip, something special that happened or a special photo to share with us?

When I think about all those miles travelled, there a two specific things that come to mind:

- Sitting on the cobblestone terrace outside Restaurant Salzamt in Vienna, one of my three favourite restaurants in the world. It was a warm summer night, a special experience in itself, and we could hear the gentle hum of the violin of a street artist playing nearby. The red wine was somewhat fruity and quite refreshing. The streetlights in the courtyard were dim but gave just enough light to our table, and if you looked up you could see the steeple of the neighbouring church lit perfectly. Each course of food was better than the next – it was truly a meal to remember.

- In New Zealand, I went to Fox Village specifically to experience a sunrise at the mystical Mirror Lake. The hotel I was staying at offered me the use of one of their bicycles to get to the lake early that morning, since I wasn’t travelling by car. However, I’m probably one of the only people in New Zealand history to actually lose his bag on the bus service! They had dropped it off in the previous town by accident. So I went one night without my bag. Normally this would not be a big deal, but this meant that I awoke at 4:30AM in the dark to jump in a bike in shorts and sandals and pedal my way in the freezing morning air to then walk a couple of miles around a lake in the dark – muddy paths and mosquitoes included – to see this sunset. It was a rough ride, needless to say. But the scene I witnessed unfolding by Mother Nature herself was unreal, and I was one of only a couple people there to see it. It was definitely worth it.

Mirror Lake, New Zeeland, Photo Copyright Andy Hayes

You’re based in Edinburgh, one of our favorite capitals, since we love Scotland almost as deep as we love Champagne *giggles*. What do you recommend to see and do at a visit?

I’d definitely place Edinburgh and Champagne in the same category – a lot of people think they’re only good for special occasions, but in fact you should treat yourself to them whenever possible! Yes, Edinburgh is such a charming and wonderful place and I am so pleased to call it home.

I’m actually publishing an “Edinburgh Historical Walking Guide” next month (watch my blog for details) which will have all of the best things to do and see in Edinburgh. My top tips would be – in no particular order:
- Go for a walk along the Water of Leith. It’s such a refreshing new perspective on the city. The most scenic bit is between Roseburn Terrace and Stockbridge.
- Do the night tour of Greyfriars Kirkyard. It is pretty spooky, but the guides are excellent and offer factual insights that you don’t often hear on other tours.
- Eat. Edinburgh has the highest number of restaurants per capita in all of the UK, and a huge array of cuisines – from Polish to Modern Scottish to Greek.

Edinburgh, Scotland, Photo Copyright Andy Hayes

How about the rest of Scotland, what do you say are must-see locations or attractions besides searching for Nessie and trying to look underneath the Scots kilts?

Those are two obviously good first choices, indeed. I personally love Pitlochry which has some great walks and is a picture postcard village in the autumn when the leaves change colour. Isle of Skye is good but very busy – try another one of the village/islands on the west coast and get some peace and quiet.

You have been to Sweden, what did you think about our cold country and cool people? Honestly, I won’t be offended if it isn’t your absolute favorite!

I’ve always loved the Scandinavian countries, and Sweden in particular. I’ve not explored much – mostly Stockholm and its surroundings – but it was a good taster and look forward to coming back soon. In our grade school we had a Swedish exchange student, so I had exposure to the Swedish food she would bring in and had heard some of the presentations she gave about Sweden, and the country lived up to the expectations she gave it! Stockholm is so stylish and the locals all look so happy and full of life. The streets were spotless and the food was tasty. Obviously there is more to Sweden than ABBA. :

What do you want to see next time you’re coming back here again? Besides from us I mean…

Well yes, we’ll be catching up over a few drinks, by beyond that, I’d love to go see:
- the colourful houses and towers of Visby
- the Midnight Sun and the Northern Lights
- the castle in Landskrona
- the harbour in Mölle

Lifecruiser comments: You can find a lot of information about our favorite Visby at The midnight sun is awesome and we too want to catch the northern light, such a magnificent phenomena! Landskrona Castle Citadel is awesome too and if going there this year, go the 29th or 30th of August when they’re having Medieval days with tournaments. (Use Google Translate to translate the Swedish pages). About Mölle we don’t know much. Very interesting choices!

What is your upcoming travel plans?

I’m sure you heard, but I’ve just left my 9-to-5 job and now I’m doing my travel stuff full time! So I am taking some time to get my business set up properly – I’ll still be doing plenty of writing but I’ll also be helping small businesses in travel and tourism take advantage of online technologies. You can read more about my services on my website – I publish a monthly newsletter with online tips and tricks for businesses and if you signup now you can get a free copy of my ebook, Preparing for Takeoff: “7 Common Mistakes Businesses Make when Going Online”.

So once I’ve got that setup I have my sights set on a beach holiday – we’re looking at Fiji. I’d also like to spend some time in Eastern Europe, such as the Baltic states where I haven’t seen much. And as silly as it sounds, I want to head up to the very north of Scotland and just spend some peaceful time up there where it is nice and quiet.

For further reading about my travels, a couple of my most favourite blog posts are Touring France with Julia Child and Sensory Overload in Hong Kong.

Lifecruiser comments:

Andy has lots of very interesting articles and a great portfolio (not to mention gorgeous photos!), so this really was an honor for us to return the favor, since he did a wonderful interview of Lifecruiser a while ago!

This actually was Lifecruiser’s first interview victim…. *giggles*

Simply go there to explore more and enjoy!

Lifecruiser Interviews

PS. Don’t miss Andy’s free stuff!!!!

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