Listen along with Spotify: Spotify.com Wanderlust Wednesday 5
Hello and Welcome to Wanderlust Wednesdays! Your weekly dose of escapism.
I’m Kaitlin and I will be your host!
Today it’s just gonna be you me and old saint nick.
Yep, that’s right the show is going to be about all things Christmas!
I’m going to be running down the top ten best places to spend Christmas around the world, and of course, playing all your festive favourites!
Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree – Brenda Lee
In Travel news this week:
Game of Thrones fans will be thrilled to hear that Belfast airport is renaming itself Westeros Airport in honour of the hit show. The Northern Ireland capital which is famous for being a major filming location in game of thrones will hold the title for the whole of December to coincide with the release of season seven on Blu-Ray and DVD.
Although unfortunately, some fans might not make it to Westeros for Christmas as Ryanair pilots have announced strike action which is planned to take place on Tuesday the 20th of September at noon.
But some more festive news, the popular children’s book ‘The Train to Christmas Town’ has been turned into an actual train here in England. The train is crammed with dancing elves, festive music and even Santa Claus himself. It runs from Dartmoor to Durham and is a must for anyone with kids this Christmas season.
Little Saint Nick – The Beach Boys
So this week I’m not just choosing one country of the week but ten! I’m going to be counting down the ten best places to spend Christmas around the world starting with:
10. Budapest, Hungary
December in Budapest is a Christmas card of Couples skating hand-in-hand, frosty air and big buildings bejewelled with Christmas lights. One of the best spots, is the Hungarian capital’s picturesque central park, with its enormous outdoor ice skating rink.
If you are feeling chilly afterwards? Budapest is famous for its ornate thermal baths which this year are throwing a huge festive pool party which sounds unreal!
Jerusalem – Jacob Collier
Our own capital has to get a mention for its festive charm. Nothing quite beats ice-skating in front of the majestic Natural history museum, wandering the Camden Christmas markets and taking in the various ornate Christmas lights and window displays along Oxford-street.
Winter Wonderland in Hyde Park offers a whole range of festive delights and if you get chilly out in the frosty London air, you can duck into any one of the infinite cosy London pubs for a warming mulled wine by a crackling wood fire.
The Christmas Song – Gregory Porter
- Madrid, Spain –
Though it probably won’t be snowy,
Madrid is a glittering disco ball at Christmas with extravagant lights hanging above all the main streets.
There are Christmas markets too, the largest of which can be found in Plaza Mayor where you can buy all sorts of ornaments and festive snacks.
There’s also a double-decker ‘Navibus’ which takes passengers on a tour of the city’s sparkling Christmas lights. And you can even stop off for ice-skating in Retiro Park.
Feliz Navidad – Michael Buble and Thalia.
7. New York City
If you’ve ever watched pretty much any Christmas film ever, then a little part of you is probably dying to spend the holidays in the big apple. Whether it’s to see the giant Rockefeller Christmas tree from Home Alone 2 or a Parade like in miracle on 34th Street this snowy metropolis will not disappoint.
If you visit in December Be sure to take a wander through Central Park and maybe even stay a little longer to watch the ball drop in times square on new years eve.
Santa Tell Me – Ariana Grande
- Salzburg, Austria
Every year this beautiful city transforms into the perfect European winter wonderland. With nine different advent and Christmas markets running in the city of Salzburg, you can eat, drink and be merry to your heart’s content for days on end. And if you get around all the markets, there are still several large breweries covered in Christmas lights where the festive fun can continue.
I went to Salzburg this year and one of my favourite things to do was to just wander the city and take in the beautiful baroque architecture and mountainous natural surroundings, I bet it’s even more stunning covered in snow.
Fans of the new Netflix movie ‘A Christmas Prince’ will be able to trick themselves into thinking they are in the fabled Aldovia, as there’s even a castle that looks down on the city.
And plus, Is there anywhere more perfect to spend christmas than the City where silent night was written?
Accapella group Pentatonix do a beautiful version of ‘Silent Night’ but I’m actually gonna play you their original song:
Pentatonix – The Christmas Sing-Along.
5.SANTA CLAUS VILLAGE, FINLAND
This magical place showcases the best of today’s Christmas customs as well as centuries-old Finnish and foreign Christmas traditions.
There’s a Santa park where you can go to elf school and see their workshop and of course meet Santa in his office.
You can stay in cute little log cabins or the Snowman Igloo hotel or even the world-famous glass resort which has huge windows in every room which are just perfect for watching the northern lights without going out in the old.
Up next is my favourite version of this classic, this the boss and Santa Claus is coming to town (Bruce Springsteen)
Over Christmas, the sun doesn’t rise here, so that means twenty-four hours of nighttime, just perfect for spotting the beautiful northern lights. But when you aren’t staring hopefully into the sky, you can go cross-country skiing, dog sledging, ice fishing, learn about traditional Sami culture and even take day trips over into Norway. While you’re there don’t forget to check out the world’s first Ice Hotel complete with Absolut vodka ice bar.
Let it Snow, Let it Snow, Let it Snow – Dean Martin
White Christmas – Dean Martin
3. Bondi Beach
This Christmas destination ranks highly on the list because it is just so different from the others! No need for arctic overalls on this festive break! Just a bikini and generous helpings of suncream. I spent Christmas on Bondi a few years ago and it is the most surreal experience! Wishing loved ones a Merry Christmas over facetime before diving into the ocean felt bonkers! But it was so much fun. The atmosphere on the beach is electric and you can hardly see the yellow sand for all the red santa hats. Whether you spend it in one of Bondi’s many backpacker hostels or at a friend’s, Bondi Beach is the Christmas party everyone is invited to, and one you won’t want to miss!!
Warm this Winter – Gabriella Cilmi
You can visit Santa’s home in Lapland throughout December for the ultimate festive break. You get to Sleep in cosy family-sized log cabins and eat traditional Finnish foods. And it’s not all about the man in red either, you can go toboganning, husky sledging, play ice hockey, go ice fishing, or even take a reindeer sleigh ride.
Run, Run Rudolph – Chuck Berry.
So, we have arrived at Number one!!
- It’s a little cheesy I know, but the best place to spend Christmas is wherever your loved ones are. As with most trips, really, the location isn’t important, it’s who you’re with. But of course, there’s nothing stopping you being with them in any of the fantastic destinations we’ve talked about today. This Christmas, make it less about the presents and more about those you love.
This next song is for everyone making the journey to see loved ones over the festive period, and all those who aren’t able to, this is:
I’ll Be Home For Christmas – Doris Day
Now for my favourite segment: STA TRAVEL DEALS OF THE WEEK
I’ve got two for you this week:
The first takes you to my personal absolute favourite place to spend Christmas, because it is where my family come from and is just truly beautiful.
|Start & finish Edinburgh or London, 3 or 5 days, departs 23 or 24 December
Imagine a Highland setting for Christmas, with lochs, snow-capped mountains and cosy pubs with real fires. Then add a proper slap up dinner with all the trimmings and a party with other travellers. A wee bit different to mince pies with your granny! Learn more >
|3 days NOW FR £254!
5 days NOW FR £352
|Christmas in Paris
|Start & finish London, 4 days, departs 24 December
A big traditional Christmas lunch, a beautiful Parisian setting, a little present waiting under the glistening tree and a rocking Christmas party at the world-renowned St Christopher’s Paris topped off with some lovely side trips to soak up the festive French spirit. Sure beats sitting round at home eating another one of Nan’s mince pies!
|Was fr £339
NOW FR £288!
Song request from Wendy and Michelle who are listening in Portchester this is for you ladies:
All I want for Christmas is you – Mariah Carey
That’s all we’ve got time for today, and this is actually the last Wanderlust Wednesday of the year! But I will catch you back here with more travel talk on January the 10th!
But in the meantime, have yourself a merry little Christmas, and a very happy new year,
Thank you for listening
I’ll leave you with WHAM!
Last Christmas – Wham!