The birds are singing, the flowers are budding, and the nights are slowly getting longer. Why not make the most of spring by jetting off to explore a foreign destination as different places begin to wake up from the grey cold of winter?
One such place you could start with is France, which is a wonderful country to visit at any time of year. In spring though, villages burst into life, the countryside shimmers, pale greens and blues melt into the background as flowers bloom. You can catch the scent of lavender and wild garlic as you roam through regions such as Champagne and the town of Troyes, visit Nice and the French Riviera, or have a cafe au lait and pain au chocolat in one of Paris’s many pavement cafes. Before you head out, research your sparkling wines by making the most of a few champagne deals, then enjoy the real thing while you’re out in Champagne itself.
Likewise Italy is a great place to visit in spring before the weather becomes stifling and the tourists descend upon the country in their thousands. The mist rising off Lake Genoa at the dawn of a spring morning is an experience not to be missed. However, undoubtedly a trip to Italy should focus on the tourist triangle of Rome, Venice and Florence. They’re all easily accessible by train from each other. If you do go to Rome by train, the first thing you’ll notice as you head down the Via Cavour to the coliseum is the sheer volume of traffic and people. Don’t let that put you off however. Rome really is one of Italy’s must-see cities. And when in Rome — eat some pizza!
The Czech Republic may not be the warmest place to visit in spring — the days are still cool and the nights frosty – but it really is at its best. After the cold of winter and before the prices heat up for summer, Prague is a dream of spires and winding alleyways. Avoid the tourist trap of Wenceslas Square, cut through to Old Town Square and witness the clockwork figures of the oldest working astronomical clock in the world ring in each hour. Moravia is also another great place to visit and breathe in the spring air, as is Bohemia and the small town of KutnáHora
, containing a church made out of human bones and skeletons. Of course, no visit to the Czech Republic is complete without sampling some deep-fried cheese.
Cheese, wine, pizza, what a great way to commemorate the arrival of spring!
Image by Megan Mallen, used under Creative Commons license.