A taste of Greece

It’s taken me a long time to get around to visiting Greece, a favourite of Britons and all tourists alike.

I chose the island of Santorini, famed for its azure seas, cliff-clinging villages and magical sunsets.

It delivered all of this and had a fantastic light for photography.

But I have to be an honest traveller. Santorini is incredibly popular and crawls with visitors. Quad bikes choke the roads and destinations like Oia trap tourists like flies. Departing from the oversubscribed airport can be an uncomfortable experience.

If you want to relax in the Greek islands, choose one of the many others which still enjoy relative anonymity. A lesson learned…

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Manchester haven

Here’s a complaint about Manchester city centre. There just aren’t enough decent green spaces – lungs for the metropolis.

But if you board a tram south to East Didsbury and take a leisurely stroll of around 15 minutes, you will find Fletcher Moss Park.

On a July visit when the weather had turned more unsettled, I was enthralled by the botanical garden, woodlands and the park’s tree-lined avenue.

Who said that Manchester doesn’t have any green havens!

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Welcome to Terceira, one of the islands in Portugal’s beautiful and beguiling Azores archipelago in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean.

It’s steeped in history with the oldest Azorean city, Angra do Heroismo, sitting colourfully on the island.

Memorable moments of Terceira: Walking deep into a volcanic cone (Algar do Carvão), sweeping views over the agricultural plains and visiting grand buildings from Portugal’s imperial past.

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Lilium Asiatica

A magnificent bunch of Asian Lilies. There’s little to match their exuberant beauty and heady perfume that fills a room.

This spray came tightly closed and unfurled over a few days.

They are still displayed on my mother’s memorial table and are a fitting tribute.

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Faial was one of the four islands of the Azores archipelago I visited recently.

This piece of Portugal sits in the mid-Atlantic, more than 1,500km from the country’s mainland.

Memorable moments of Faial: The captivating volcanic landscape and lighthouse of Capelinhos. The volcano last erupted in 1958. The delightful port of Horta, which sits in the shadow of Mount Pico.

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