Posts in Europe
The Vélodyssée - Part Two

The overnight ferry arrived in Roscoff early the next morning and we were a little tired, hungover and hungry, but rather than stop immediately to fuel up, we headed in the vague direction of where the EuroVelo route started. The EuroVelo routes are a network of long-distance cycle routes which cover nearly every corner of Europe. Some, like those in France, are completed and offer some of the best uninterrupted, traffic-free, cycling in Europe. Others are still in development, but it’s a great initiative which is getting Europe moving.

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La Vélodyssée - An Atlantic Cycle - Part One

I hadn’t always been a cyclist. And I definitely wouldn’t class myself as a proper cyclist even now. In fact, I was once so poor at cycling that not so long ago I had to be rescued by my friend’s dad on a route that could have been no longer than five miles, because my legs had gone. Looking back that’s pretty embarrassing. With that memory, at the time, relatively fresh in my mind, i’m not quite sure what encouraged me to quit my job and head off on at 1200km cycle down the western coast of France, but i’m glad I did.

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Madrid long weekender by Giedre

Weekend escapes are a great way to really take advantage of a four day working week, as we at Four Day Week Ltd try to do as much as possible. Most of the places that we visit are within a 2-3 hour flight from the UK and prices when you are travelling on a Friday or Monday are generally much lower than the traditional bank holiday scramble.

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Trans-Siberian Express in a Nutshell (Part 1 - Russia)

There’s something about train travel which makes it such a soothing way to get from a to b. For me, everything looks better through a train window and there is no better way to see a country or region (I actually think cycling is the best way to do this, but you definitely need plenty of time to embark upon a long distance cycle tour). Long distance train travel isn’t for everyone though, especially in an age of budget airlines.

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‘Come to the Costa del Sol’ - By Samantha Owen-Stoddart

After visiting the Costa del Sol over Christmas time, I wanted to write a short blog about what there is to see and where you can venture too whilst enjoying southern Spain! I rented a car (the least said about that the better…) as I wanted to get out and about and see this lovely part of Spain. I remember fondly family holidays in this region, I am not sure if you’ll agree, but it seems the older I become the more appreciative I am for seeing places or discovering parts I have never seen. This is how I feel about the Costa del Sol and why I was so determined to travel along this stretch of coastline.

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A Weekend in Vibrant Valencia

Continuing with my exploration of Spain I decided on a trip from Madrid to the nearest coastal city, Valencia. I’d been to Barcelona in the past and loved it, but I didn't know much about Valencia, a city some 350km south of the Catalonian capital.

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Pottering Around Porto

My only memory of Portugal before this visit was a fairly distant one. I went to the Algarve after University for some ‘real’ sun and, well, because i’m English and that’s where we go. The beaches and scenery were beautiful, but I didn’t really experience any Portuguese culture. Having moved to Madrid in the summer of 2018 I was in a much better location to explore parts of Europe for brief weekend visits.

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Spanish City ‘Making the most out of Malaga’

Back in May whilst I was travelling around Gdansk in Poland, Adam booked us two return flights with Easyjet to Malaga for November. Firstly as they were a fantastic deal and secondly because that’s the kind of lovely person he is! Always super supportive of my travel blog, to which I am thankful. When we discussed accommodation, he happily booked a place we had been to see a year earlier on a Boxing Day trip to the city, called Dulces Dreams. It was a small hotel, very central to everything and cheap. Our booking was confirmed and we began planning our trip…

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‘Essential North East’- Forts and Castles - By Samantha Owen-Stoddart

I love to write about the North East of England, my birthplace, I am sure you can tell by now. Reason being I feel this fabulous part of the United Kingdom looses out to bigger cities or more famous/well known places. There is just so much to offer the traveller or tourist alike up in this region, this is why when I am not travelling abroad I am exploring more of the North East, I myself still have parts to see…

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’48 Hours in Geneva’ - Switzerland (Part Two) - by Samantha Owen-stoddart

Waking after a great night’s sleep, breakfast at the Ibis Petit Lancy was a buffet style, help yourself with a nice variety including make your own waffles! Perfect fuel for the busy day of sightseeing ahead of us. After another short tram ride we arrived at Bel Air and set off for Geneva  Old Town, en route we stopped at the Victorinox store. Adam was eager to get a Swiss army knife, well we are in Switzerland where better!! Two new ‘personalised’ knives later, we were on our way.

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’48 Hours in Geneva!’ - Switzerland (Part One) - BY SAMANTHA OWEN-STODDART

After returning from Geneva last week I want to fill you all in on my latest adventure… about a month ago I was scouring the EasyJet website, as I regularly do, I saw a return flight to Geneva for 29.99 per person on offer! I immediately wanted to book it, so after checking on accommodation availability in Switzerland, I paid for two flights as my husband was accompanying me on this short break. Booking.com was my first port of call for a hotel, I pre booked the Ibis Hotel in Petit Lancy for two nights bed and breakfast basis with payment on departure, which is a great idea. The cost was £90 pp for the stay, so all in all the city break to Geneva was £119.99 each BARGAIN! With a little pre destination reading I was excited to see what Geneva had in store for me.

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Poland - ‘Gdansk with Me’ - BY SAMANTHA OWEN-STODDART

Over the last May Bank Holiday weekend I took a trip to Gdansk, with my mum. Gdansk is a port city on the Baltic coast of Poland. We always plan one or two girls trips throughout the year, mainly to spend some quality mum and daughter time together and live out both of our passions, you guessed it travel! As I have said before my mum and dad instilled the need to travel and learn from other cultures into to me from being small. I am so thankful that they did so. My mum is a lovely lady, so kind and caring. Even though I am 35 soon, she would tell you if she met you I was still her little girl and always will be.. She is not only mum, she’s my best friend. So who better to experience Gdansk with!!

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Making the most of Madrid (on a budget)

City breaks in Europe are great option if you want to save some pennies (assuming your point of origin is also in Europe). Whilst it’s easy to go on holiday and spend lavishly, it’s often harder to go away on a shoestring, yet it needn’t be. Madrid is a city which I know pretty well and there are plenty of hidden cafes and restaurants, hilltop hideaways and basement bars that offer great value for money. So, if you want to explore the Spanish capital on a tight budget, stick with me…

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Gratitude Tipping (& Travel) Update is Here!

After weeks of collating feedback from our users and testing the app on multiple devices we’ve managed to complete our first upgrade! And we’re pretty happy with it if we do say so ourselves… 

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Facts about countries across the globe and app update info

In preparation for the launch of our updated app, we’ve collated a load of cool facts about countries which will feature in our new travel guide. Each country will have its own personalised travel guide including information such as the capital city, population, language tips, tourist hotspots, hidden gems, unique facts and must try foods and drinks. 

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How to ask for the bill in nearly ever country in the world

Asking for the bill in the language of the country you’re in is a nice touch to show your respect for the culture. Whilst it’s not essential (and you can normally act out the signing of a bill on you hand which works just as well), it gives you a chance to show your language skills. Below is a list of ways to ask for the bill in all dialects. 

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Tipping in restaurants in the Nordic Countries 

When referring to Nordic countries we mean those that encompass the most northern regions of Europe: Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway & Sweden. In general, tipping in these countries is fairly conservative and not a mandatory requirement as such. Waiting staff wages are high in comparison to most other European countries meaning that there is less emphasis on tips to supplement salaries. In addition, most meals will automatically have service charge included in the price, meaning there are no extra hidden costs you need to account for. But whilst tipping is not necessary, it certainly isn’t uncommon either. 

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Tipping in 3 tourist hotspots: London, New York and Barcelona

London, New York and Barcelona are cities which welcome millions of tourists each year, but tipping in each city isn’t necessarily the same.

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