I kicked off the summer with a road trip out to the Swiss Alps – my boyfriend is a trainee Mountain Guide, so he’s always jetting about and for summer it was Switzerland. I tagged along for the ride.
First stop was Bruges, and that was pretty cool – there was a flea market selling just about everything you could imagine, the coolest vintage stuff – I wished I had a truck to bring stuff home with me! Lots of cultural sightseeing was topped off with watching the Euros in the little, hidden squares that were absolutely packed with supporters!
Then onwards towards the Alps, we camped on the shores of Lake Geneva at La Maladaire on La Tour-de-Peilz – amazing doesn’t cover it – the weather was class, so we spent the days chilling by the lake, taking a dip when it got too hot and then heading into Montreux for the Jazz Festival at night – which, if you’ve never been, is definitely a ‘bucket list’ festival!
I didn’t spend the whole time lounging about and partying though, having recently taken up rock climbing, and desperate to start making some improvements, I was whisked to T’as Bientot Fin near Evian for a day of climbing.
After a week of roughing it on the road, and camping I flew home for a few days of pampering and luxury – my first stop was the Royal Marine Hotel in Dublin, for a bit of pampering and afternoon tea, before heading to Belfast to catch up with my girlfriends – we ended up at Drumology, which is held monthly at Voodoo, for some dub influenced jungle – not my usual cup of tea, but my wee bro was playing the closing set so I couldn’t miss it – have to say it was more chilled than I expected and definitely highly recommended!
Working full-time definitely does have a big effect on your social life, so I’ve learned to make the most of all my weekends! And I try to get a good mix of all the things I love crammed into every weekend.
Most of my spare time recently has been spent on a mountain bike – Aviemore has some of the best backcountry trails in Europe, and I’ve had a blast getting to know them all – some of the most epic rides I’ve done this season are the Ryvoan Pass from both directions and the Burma Road – which is supposed to be the most brutal mtb climb in the UK – I can confirm, it is painful!
The Highlands definitely isn’t party-central, but I’ve had some of the best nights out ever here – there’s a great little pub called The Old Bridge and they pull in the most amazing local bands who you would just never get the chance to go and see anywhere else – it’s always packed and the atmosphere is electric! My favourite band from the past month or so were Kan – a folksy, indie sort of sound, and having met them after the gig – they were a great, fun bunch of guys to boot!