Life is in the detail

Fun food fact: every piece of tagliatelle sold in Italy has to reflect the proportions of Bologna's Torre degli Asinelli and be exactly 1/12,207th the size of the medieval skyscraper, not that any has ever gone to the trouble of measuring.

Abby - Original Traveller

Abby Hennell James

Original Travel Expert

I have extensive travel experience throughout Europe and North America.

My travels

polo_argentina

Travel Things I Want To Do Before I Die

  • Eat (and drink) my way around Italy
  • Learn to play Polo in Argentina
  • Chilean wine spa, anyone?
  • Go back to Napa Valley now that I'm actually old enough to drink the wine!
el_capitan_yosemite

Best Moments

  • Watching the sun set over El Capitan in Yosemite National Park, and then immediately seeing a black bear (well, its back end) as we made our way back to the lodge.
  • Eating a picnic of pizza and pignoletto (the local sparkling wine) in the hills after hiking to the Santuario di San Luca outside Bologna.
  • Sitting on a train going through the Swiss Alps and watching the sun come up between the snow capped mountains.
  • Watching Casablanca under the stars in Piazza Maggiore, Bologna, with my best friends and lots of pizza and prosecco. And getting to watch the goddess that is Isabella Rosselinni introduce the film.
mountains

Toughest Travel Moment

  • A hike up Le Salève in France. What we were told would be a gentle walk in the hills turned out to be a four hour climb up a mountain in 30C heat, although the view (and ice cream) more than made up for the Herculean effort involved. Suffice to say that the next time, we took the gondola!
train_austria

Weirdest Travel Moment

  • Taking to overnight train from Bologna to Vienna, sharing a compartment with three nuns, and having no idea what was going on when it stopped for an hour and a half in a drizzly Austrian field with no explanation.

Explore my blog posts

Deeper Cuts: The Second Cut is the Deepest

Cat Stevens, Rod Stewart and Sheryl Crowe may have all declared that the first cut is the deepest, but we at Original Travel are of the opinion that when it comes to visiting some of the classic destinations, the second cut goes a lot deeper. When returning to a beloved destination there's…

Parrots in tree

The Latin America Low Down

In honour of Valentine's Day last week, we thought we'd celebrate that most passionate of regions: Latin America. In the immortal words of Led Zeppelin we've got a whole lotta love for this romantic place that's sure to get the pulse racing with fabulous food and wine, wonderful wildlife,…

Bear cubs in British Columbia

On the Lookout: the Best Places to See Bears in Canada

These majestic creatures are found across Canada, so those going on a bear (sighting) hunt for grizzly, black, or polar are in luck. The animals have the largest and most complex brains of any North American mammal, as well as enormous teeth and claws that put them right at the top of the…

Five of the Best: Gardens

At the risk of sounding terribly middle-aged, we love a good garden. But where can you find the best (apart from at Monty Don's house, obviously)? Lucky for you, we've dug up (sorry) a list of some of our very favourites…

lion in Namibia

Where to Spot: Lions

Who could fail to be moved by Charm, alpha mother and feminist icon, in last night's Dynasties, moving heaven and earth to keep her pride going against the odds? It reminded us all at Original Travel HQ that life for lions is nearly always tough (no matter what The Lion King may have taught…

emperor penguins

Where to Spot: Penguins

Last night's Dynasties was another emotional blinder, though the freezing cold winter did have us pulling on an extra jumper and whacking the heating up several degrees to combat our sympathy shivers. We were transfixed as Sir David narrated us through the penguins' winter - which, if we're…

fishing boats at sunset

Winter Sun: Escaping the Big Chill

We may have just enjoyed one of the most glorious summers in recent memory here in the UK but come November we'll all be digging out the woolly jumpers, lining up our winter box-sets and - not to be too dramatic about it - wondering if we'll ever feel the warmth of the sun on our faces…

grape cutting

Top Three: European Vineyards to Experience

For all the oenophiles out there, there is surely nothing greater than sitting back and sipping a glass of vino (or three) while also drinking in (sorry) a seriously stunning view. Europe is home to some of the most beautiful vineyards in the world, which produce, unsurprisingly, some of the…

Time to Unplug: Digital Detox Holidays

Are you in need of a digital detox? Tell-tale signs that you are include checking your emails before you've even got out of bed in the morning, only looking up if it's to take a photo for Instagram and using 'just one more episode' as a maxim for life. If that sounds familiar then step this…

Rome vs Florence: The Battle of the Italian Cities

The days of the Grand Tour may have passed, but 60 million people visited Italy in 2017, and you can bet that a significant chunk of them (according to a very scientific straw poll at Original Travel HQ) went to Florence or Rome, or both. Since both cities are prime Big Short Break territory…

outdoor restaurant at Danai

A Day in the Life at Danai Beach Resort

Having recently returned from Greece's Danai Beach Resort, I can comfortably state that a day here can only be described as heaven on earth…

A colourful canal in Bologna

Bologna like a Local

Take it from a (rather biased) former local, there's truly nowhere better to live la dolce vita than Emilia-Romagna's capital city of Bologna...

Trees in Yosemite National Park

Six of the Best: US National Parks

First introduced by President Ulysses S. Grant, the US National Parks system began with Yellowstone National Park, an Original Travel favourite, and now includes 58 parks which protect approximately 52.2million acres of mountains, forests, and wilderness, not to mention the countless…

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