by Carmen Allan-Petale
Happy Valentine’s Day! We hope that you were spoilt from your Valentine. And if you don’t have one, never mind, we think it’s a bit of a commercial day anyway. (Or maybe I’m just saying that to make me feel better because Dave didn’t buy me a gift this year.)
After nearly five years together romance could easily die. But even though Dave didn’t buy me a present today he didn’t need to – because he shows me he loves me every day, not just on Valentine’s day. Although don’t tell him I said that because I wouldn’t mind a gift next year!
But it’s true, he cooks me dinner most nights and contrary to the stereotypical husband, he does most of the vacuum cleaning. I know that when we one day have children he’ll probably change most of their nappies too. I’m lucky to have a husband like him – I know many men who wouldn’t lift a finger. (I’ve never seen my dad cook dinner that wasn’t a barbie, for example.)
But what about travelling and romance? We’ve been to so many beautiful places that it’s hard to choose our top five most romantic locations, but I’ll give it a go!
1. Santorini, Greece
I may have been bitten by mosquitoes all over my face, making me look like an ogre, but Santorini was still a romantic place for us. We went at the end of the summer season which meant the party scene wasn’t really happening, but we could skinny dip at the beach without any interruptions, so that was nice!
2. Paris, France
It’s not called ‘The City of Love’ without reason. Just strolling down the tree-lined promenades makes you want to embrace the person nearest to you – lover or not. Going for a boat ride along the Seine or being serenaded by a musician in a restaurant in any other city might seem cheesy but in Paris it just seems oh-so-right.
3. Lisbon, Portugal
This was a bit of a surprise for us because even though we didn’t know what to expect, a romantic setting was far from our minds. But Lisbon has a lot of charm. The cobbled streets and rickety trams (Lisbon has the oldest tram system in Europe) make it feel as though you’re stepping back in time. And watching the sun set over terracotta-tiled roofs is something else.
4. Lucca, Italy
We went to Lucca whilst we were travelling through Tuscany. It was on a bit of a whim – we were driving by and thought it’d be a nice place to go for lunch. We spent the afternoon strolling the town housed within medieval walls and rode bikes in its parks. The highlight of the day was wandering past a jeweller when a sparkly diamond caught my eye. The rock drew me into the store and lo and behold we walked out with our wedding bands. Romantic, indeed.
5. Margaret River, Australia
Talking of weddings, Margaret River was where we spent our honeymoon so it has a special meaning for us. We’d watch the kangaroos hopping in the field outside our secluded hilltop retreat and in the evenings we’d lie in bed and look at the stars from the windows. Sigh. I’d do anything to be back there now, escaping the drab British winter!