One day at Download festival and Derby, UK

I went to Download to see the Band I love – Biffy Clyro. They were the headliners of Saturday night and they were just awesome. For me it was a wee family reunion. Watching the band you love with people you love is priceless! I even took few pictures at the end. They are not good, though, but they will be a nice memory.  We were lucky with the weather. I think that there was the sun for few minutes but the next day I have noticed that my face was red. We finished Reading with a very tasty vegeratian burgers. I had to say to my friends “see you soon” as they were there for the entire weekend and I had to leave. I hate to say goodbye. I guess you agree that see you soon sounds much better!

The festival is held at Donington Park which is very close to the Midlands airport. First I was thinking about booking a hostel in Nottingham but then I saw that the bus ride takes almost 1 hour in one direction. This is the reason why I have decided to stay in Derby. it was a half hour-long bus ride. The public transport was very well organised. There is Derby Skylink. there is a bus very 20 minutes from the airport. Btw, it was also very well organized to get to Download because one option was using the Skylink and the other the shuttle bus. When I arrived to Derby on Friday I was too tired so I headed directly to the hotel that was close to the train station. The next day was the Download day. I had time to visit Derby on Sunday because my flight was late afternoon.

I liked Derby. A lot of buildings were built with dark red bricks. The city center was easy to reach from the train station. It was a Sunday but I was surprised that the shopping center and other shops were open. This is good, specially when you need a toilet hahahah. I had a walk to the Cathedral, Derby Silk Mill (UNESCO world heritage site) and along the Derwent River to the River Gardens.

 

 

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The beautiful Garda Lake

 

Luckily I got my time off during Easter Holidays. Very much-needed! In this period the flights were quite expensive and a month before my holidays I didn’t even know where I would go. This was the holiday with my mum. Usually I am an organised traveller that knows in advance exactly where to go and organises everything. Lately (a year or so) it is not the case because I’m spend a lot of time at work and when I come home i’m very tired with no energy to spend time on the computer researching.  After some thinking we have decided to visit the Lake of Garda. It’s only 3 hours drive from home. I have booked a hotel in Peschiera del Garda because it had a lot of things we needed:
– a hotel with a free parking space to leave my car there for the rest of the week
– free wi-fi
– a train station to easily reach Verona and Milan
– a good ferry connection to the other cities at the lake
– the amusement park Gardaland
Peschiera del Garda 
During Easter Holidays this city that lives of tourism was full of tourists. Most of people book here their hotels because of Gardaland and some other amusement parks like Caneva World, Movie Land, Safari, Seaworld … It’s also a good spot if you love cycling along the lake. The old city is surrounded with the city walls. It was a fort. You can have a walk around and there is a lovely promenade. There are a lot of swans and ducks that make it entertaining. Other than that you don’t have anything else here … It is a good starting point for your daytrips. I specially loved the trips with the ferry to other small interesting cities.
Verona 
On the second day we decided to visit Verona. It’s 20 minutes away. The train ticket costs 3,40 eur. From the Verona Porta Nuova to the old city is 10 – 15 min walk. There was no real plan what to see. Just following the instinct… I was here few years ago and visited everything with my friend. This time we decided to just walk around the city. The area around the arena was full with tourists from all over the world. It was interesting sitting there and observing the crowd. If you want to avoid the crowd there are 2 rules. Don’t travel during holidays and be wherever you want to see immediately when they open it. The queue for the arena was too long to even think about visiting it. We were not interested to see the Giulietta’s balcony (apparently she didn’t even live there). We actually passed that street and had a glimpse of part of it while walking by. Needless to say that the queue was endless. Piazza delle Erbe is a very beautiful square. The buildings are very interesting. There we got a cup of fruit that was very refreshing on a hot day. We proceeded to the river side. It was lovely sitting there and have some rest.
Sirmione
My mum’s friend told us Sirmione is beautiful so we decided to visit it. It’s a small peninsula with a castle and an archeological park. We took the ferry. It’s 5 eur for one direction. It took us 40 min to get there. We were on the deck enjoying the view of the lake and mountains surrounding it. From the ferry we saw that it should be interesting since we saw the castle and some huge ruins (archeological park) at the end of the peninsula. The other side was more disappointing with so many hotels. I was surprised how many tourists were here because it was not a holiday anymore. Yes, I admit I don’t like places with too many people. You can see that this was a small city, defended with the walls and castle that now lives of tourism. It’s just strange because the small streets are full of people and cars drive there. Oh well… We took the pictures of the castle. We didn’t go inside because there were too many people waiting. Honestly, since I’m spending too much time in the office, I enjoy spending time outside whenever I can. We proceeded on the panoramic walk. Then we arrived to the archeological site called Catullus Caves. Those are the remainings of a villa from roman times. Apparently it is the biggest archeological remain on this part of Europe.  The entrance costs 8 eur. There is a small museum and then you can proceed to the ruins. It is such a peaceful place with a beautiful view of the lake and surrounding mountains. Opposite to the entrance of the archeological park is the entrance of Jamaica Beach. It’s an interesting beach with the colours of the water like Aegean Sea. A perfect place for relax, having some rest and taking pictures, of course. When we headed back to the ferries we noticed that the main hobby of the tourists here is to get huge ice creams that they can’t eat…
Milan
Milan is an hour and a half train drive away. The train ticket costs 10,50 eur if you take the Reggio Express. The final stop is Milano Centrale. From there you can take the metro. A single ride costs 1,30 eur . The day ticket is 4,30 eur. Honestly, we didn’t spend much time there. We went to visit the Duomo and Castello Sforcesco. There is a park behind it with the way to the Arch of Triumph. I don’t know what trees are in that park blooming in this period because bot my mum and me started to cough and not feel well so we decided we better return to Peschiera … not all days are good days.
Garda Lake
Maybe I didn’t describe this place as very interesting, my excuse for that, but I was really happy that I have decided to spend my holidays there. The lake is really really beautiful already where we were. It was the south part of it. The north must be amazing because the lake there is surroudede by mountains. I guess there will be my next holidays. Walking by the lake is so relaxing and all the time you can enjoy the stunning view of the lake and it’as beautiful colours. I’m not a bird observer, but there I have noticed a big variety of birds. I was angry at them because they didn’t want to pose to my camera 🙂