Harrison Carter/Ali Draper - Cinque Terre - #2 Winner
What is your favourite European City?
Our answer is not a city, but instead five villages, or the 'Cinque Terre'. The Cinque Terre consists of five villages along Italy's beautiful Riveria; Monterosso al Mare, Vernazza, Corniglia, Manarola and Riomaggiore. The villages have limited corporate presence, creating a rustic and personal feel along the coast. The attached photos prove how close to paradise this section of Italy truly is (they may have sent in a separate email). We, having travelled there ourselves, would recommend Manarola for setting up HQ. Its picturesque setting and easy access makes it the ideal base for your trip's adventures.
What about the local cuisine?
Freshly caught fish is the 'must have' cuisine of the area. Settling into a bowl of mussels or fillet of sea bass, knowing that only this morning it was swimming around the coastline, is nothing short of exquisite. Also, pizzerias and ice cream shops are impossible to miss providing the perfect treat to a hard day's hike.
Why is it so suitable for kids (what the competition is about)?
The range of activities available throughout the Cinque Terre are ideal for children. Firstly the swimming oppurtunites are incomparable. Whether you want to take the ladders into the gorgeous Mediterrian or dive off one of the rocks, swimming is incredibly enjoyable and refreshing - giving children fantastic exercise and fun (even Ali got involved, who seldom enters the land of Poseidon). Hiking is one of, if not the, main activity around the five towns. Beautiful views and photo oppurtunites provide perfect exercise, in an incredibly safe environment. Ice Cream is in abundance and what kid doesn't love ice cream?
Why is the Cinque Terre so magnificent?
Cities around Europe can often feel manic and intimidating. The Cinque Terre brings the relaxed, personable and cultural feeling that many cities fail to do so.The views along the coastline are second to none. Feel free to indulge in lavish dining, or cook economically at home (in a caravan or otherwise) the Cinque Terra has it all
Do you get bang for your buck? (Or Euros in this case)
Well, you get what you pay for. Would you rather save money in a clostrephobic concrete jungle or experience mederteralian life at its most spectacular ? Whilst most city's have plenty to offer in way of knife crime and arson, the Cinque Terra offeres a different set of attributes. Whilst you may pay more for crosaries, you can take comfort in knowing that your pesto hasn't come from a far away land, but from the hills incompasing your temporary home. If that isn't enough reason to spend a few more euros we don't know what is.
Well well well, asking for our advice are we? Manarola is the perfect town to set up base-camp (or to park the van). Meals range from a lunch of delicious pizza from Pizzeria Lacambusa (around €3 for a slice - a slice is all you need) to a seafood feast at II Porticciolo (catch of the day at €16). Ice cream is a must - with a decent size cone at €2.50, a vast range of flavours are available (we recommend a new one every time). The walks amongst the vineyards give amazing views and really present the beauty of the area, which earn them a huge recommendation.
1 2 3 4 CINQUE ...Terre (five is always better than one).
Joel Stooke - Nicosia - #1 Winner
"In response to Augusts competition I would say you have to visit Nicosia, Cyprus. Known locally and on signs as Lefkosia you will no doubt know that it is the last divided city within Europe.
Ledra street, pronounced Ledger by Brits, is where you can cross on foot into the Turkish occupied North within Nicosia. Natrally, the history here is staggering, but it's the immediate difference which always grasps your attention. Two cultures so close and yet so different but within metres of one another. This is even more distinct at other crossing points.
Cypriot culture dotes on children and whilst the facilities are not always of those you may get in Britain It is one of the safest countries in Europe and the people care about children and their well being. Strangers often stroke our baby's head or chuck our children's cheeks, our children are aged 7, 6, 2 and 10 months. Initially it is unusual and our youngest two are blond haired and blue eyed which the Cypriots adore but you soon realise that the culture loves to give children their attention.
As an island there is much history, recent and ancient and it is a great place to visit. Also, if you visit in the next year we could happily meet and show you around as we currently live over there, I am a teacher , at present we are doing our family visiting during summer holidays and escaping the blistering heat so we are 'living the dream' between Doncaster and Darlington!
However, as a family who are looking at doing something similar to yourselves I know how much of a pain it is to reach Cyprus by boat. There is a ferry from Italy I believe but I know that in recent years these services have reduced significantly. If nothing else, I'm sure the above deserves a copy of John Ahern's book!
It will help us prepare further towards taking that next step which we intend to do in the next couple of years.
#3 Winner - To be announced