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About chicovilla

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  • Birthday 17/03/1972

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    Travel, Photography, food/drink and Villa
  1. chicovilla

    2018 Holiday Plans

    Thanks for that! Unfortunately we are out there during International break, so no Villa matches! - Do you have any idea how easy it is to get bus tickets from Sofia to Skopje?
  2. chicovilla

    2018 Holiday Plans

    All booked now, flying to Sofia in Bulgaria from Luton, visiting Sofia, Rila and Plovdiv over 5 days then travelling south to Skopje, to stay there for 2 days and then Lake Ohrid area for further 3 nights. Fly back to Luton from Skopje, Macedonia. Flights cost £65 return and accommodation at some excellent Air BnB's for average £25 a night. Hearing that Bulgaria is one of the cheapest places in Europe and Macedonia even cheaper Will probably skip Kosovo on this trip.
  3. chicovilla

    2018 Holiday Plans

    1st half of 2018 went to plan, apart from I managed to squeeze in Albania in early. Flew into Corfu town and the crossed over to Albania by ferry. Hired a scooter for 5 days and toured along the south coast of Albania and inland to Gjirokastër. Some stunning mountain scenery and relatively unspoiled coastline. Nice and cheap, and the locals were friendly. 2nd half of 2018, will be visiting friends in Cork in Aug. Planning a trip to Bulgaria.Macedonia and Kosovo in September. Fly into Sofia and out from Skopje. Back to Hong Kong in November. Rail trip from Rome to Sicily over Xmas/new year
  4. chicovilla

    2018 Holiday Plans

    First half of 2018 coming in to place now Started 2018 off with a Belgium roadtrip late Dec and Jan. Some lovely places - Ghent, Bruges and Brussels. Off to India for my 4th trip there end of Feb...Delhi, Varanasi and Marutha over 11 days. Roadtrip to Edinburgh over Easter. 4 day trip to Genoa beginning of May to take in Sampdoria v Napoli. Back to Hong Kong and Thailand end of May. No new countries but some of my favourites. Hope to go to Albania in September.
  5. chicovilla


    One of my favourite areas is Montmatre. Up a hill near the white Chuch Sacre couer. Nice view over Paris from there, and a chilled area behind with nice cafes and bars.
  6. chicovilla

    India Travel

    I've been to India 3 times and loved it more each visit. Will defo go back again. My first trip was 3 weeks in North India in 2012. Staying in Delhi, Varanasi, Agra, Jaipur, Jodhour, Jaisalmer and Shimla. Travelling about by train is a great way to mix with locals, sleeping in Sleeper Class. Varanasi was the highlight, one of the most spiritual places i've ever been to. If you are into photography or People watching it's a dream. 2nd trip was in 2013, another 3 weeker, staying in Mumbai and travelling down the west coast by train to Goa and Kerala. Another brilliant trip - highlights staying on a on a Houseboat through the Kerala Backwaters. 3rd trip was last year. I travelled to Amritsar in the Punjab staying there for 4 nights, then took Sleeper class train to Uttarakhand, staying at Haridwar and Rickishesh at the foothills of the Himilayas. All 3 places were stunning and well worth staying. There's still so many more places I want to visit. I'm into photography, here are some of my photos from those 3 trips.
  7. chicovilla

    2017 Holiday Plans

    All plans gone well soon. Nepal in Jan was incredible. Definately somewhere I will return to. Visited Kathmandu, Bandipur, Pokhara (for Annapuna trek) and Bhaktapur. Great people, very cheap and the scenery is mind blowing. Taiwan, Borneo and Hong Kong in March/April. Went to Hong Kong late March, followed by a small 4 day side trip to Borneo. This was a pre wedding trip before my wedding back in Hong Kong. Then we went to Taiwan for 2 weeks. Landing in Kaoshiung in the South, travelling up towards Taipei. Fantastic street food, and hotpot and grills in the restaurants. Definately some of the best food I have tasted. Very vibrant and exciting cities, but very tiring! Scooters rule out there so hired one to join the mad races on the roads, brilliant fun! Alishan in the centre has some beautiful scenery. Next up, Madrid next weekend, followed by a 5 day trip to Porto at the end of May. Going to Athens late June to explore the city, and then 2 weeks of Island hopping in the Cyclade group of islands. Photos of my trips on my Flickr page https://www.flickr.com/photos/chicovilla/
  8. chicovilla

    Favourite city?

    Kinda biased as im marrying a Hong Konger next month over there! But a billiant place and cant wait to get back there. Honeymooning in Taiwan!
  9. chicovilla

    Favourite city?

    My top 10 cities 1. Hong Kong - amazing with a lot more to it than skyscrapers. Some beautiful beaches, great trekking, incredible food and culture. 2. Varanassi - Photographers dream. everywhere you look a photo opportunity. 3. Granada - Great buildings and base to explore surrounding mountains. Great Tapas culture 4.Venice - See #2 Unique city with stunning architecture 5. Bangkok - street food, vibrant atmosphere, temples 6. Sa Pa - Nice little city to base yourself to trek the surrounding hills in North Vietnam 7. Rome - again, some stunning buildings and architecture. Historic, iconic landmarks everywhere. Great food. 8. Kyoto - Food, people and culture. 9. Sarajevo- Vibrant nightlife, compact center which is easy to get around. 10. Fort Kochi - chilled, laid back city in South India. Great fresh local curries, some beautiful scenery on the backwaters.
  10. chicovilla

    Holiday 'to-do' list

    Thanks @tonyh29 useful information. I've heard many good things about Iran.
  11. chicovilla

    Holiday 'to-do' list

    I travelled a few years ago from Warwick all the way to Krakow by train, via London, Paris, Munich, Prague and finally Krakow (Paris-Munich and Prague-Krakow both overnight sleeper trains) Great trip over 10 days and my favourite way to get around. I’ve also travelled extensively around India over a few trips by their brilliant Rail network. Train travel, is a great opportunity to mix with fellow travellers and natives alike, and you pass some amazing scenery en route. It’s always my default mode of transport (abroad) whenever possible. My to-do list…. -Stay in a Yurt and spend some time with Nomadic groups in Mongolia or one of the Central Asia ‘stans. -Climb Kilimanjaro -White water raft on one of the great rivers -A train trip in the Holy land, starting in Tel Aviv and ending in Amman - Visit Iran! I think UK nationals are still restricted to going with organised tours, which is the only thing that puts me off! -continue my India travels, taking in the Eastern side. -cycle/wild camp the North Coast 500 road in Scotland Many more can be added to this list!
  12. chicovilla

    2017 Holiday Plans

    Cheers, will take this advice on board. Looking to spend some time in the mountains and plains living in yurts and hiking/horse trekking, and some of the time exploring the towns and cities. Although now you mention it, the idea of flying into Almaty and home from Bishtek is definately an option.
  13. chicovilla

    2017 Holiday Plans

    My other half is from Hong Kong, so get a lot of insider information on that neck of the woods! (she is very familiar with most of SE Asia) Will be flying into the south of Taiwan and travelling up the country for 2 weeks and flying back to Hong Kong from Taipei in the North. Heard the scenery is great and the street food is immense! Cheaper than Hong Kong, but nothing like Thailand/Vietnamese cheap! Will give you my verdict when I get back I work a lot away from home, with a lot of driving about in UK, so build up a lot of lieu time on top of my 26 days annual leave. So lucky to get about 10+ weeks off per year.
  14. chicovilla

    2017 Holiday Plans

    Managed to travel to 9 countries this year.....Morocco, Italy x 2, Sri Lanka, India, Hong Kong, Qatar, Japan, Spain (Majorca-fly out this week) and finally finishing off the year in Italy. Flying into Rome on December 23rd and travelling to Florence, Bologna, Venice (will be there for NYE) Verona and flying out of milan on January 6th. Sri Lanka, Qatar and Japan being new countries. Going to Nepal late Jan/Feb for a couple of weeks travelling. Going to Hong Kong, Malaysia (Borneo) and Taiwan in late March and April. Weekend City break to Madrid in May. These are all booked and paid for :). Later in the year hope to get to Mongolia or Kyrzgstan and a few random city breaks.
  15. chicovilla

    What Album Are You Listening To Right Now?

    Got to say the new Michael Kiwanaku album called Love and Hate is a soulful and mellow delight. Great arrangements and the opening track is a corker with a Pink Floydesque opening 5 minutes. Great music for the Downtempo fan.