Torii gates at the Fushimi Inari Shrine in Kyoto

The mysterious and seemingly endless path of vibrant orange torii gates placed along a trail up the Inari mountain makes the Inari Fushimi shrine one of the most popular shrines in Kyoto. The torii path starts behind the main Fushimi Inari-taisha shrine and simply cannot miss it.

A bit of background of the Fushimi Inari torii gates: A torii gate is a Japanese gate that is usually found at the entrance of a sacred shrine in the Shinto religion. If you are travelling through Japan and especially Kyoto you will come across countless of these torii gates. The Fushimi Inari site alone is said to be home to over 10,000 torii gates. The torii gates at the Fushimi Inari shrine are somewhat unique in the sense of that they are all donated by a business or organisation to thank for their prosperity and in hope for good fortune in the future.

Walking up the Inari mountain makes a lovely day hike and takes around two hours to complete. For a more peaceful and mysterious experience, plan your walk for the early evening when most of the tourists have gone and the woods and little graveyards along the trail appear in a magical light :)
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La Voile BlancheIf you spend some days in Colombo, Sri Lanka, you have to try out the La Voile Blanche Beach Club. It was a bit tricky to find: La Voile Blanche is located on the Mount Lavinia beach just behind a rail track which you have to cross to enter the restaurant. That is unless you are arriving straight from the beach.. But once you have found the place, you are in little paradise.

La Voile Blanche Sri Lanka

The cafe / restaurant of la Voile Blanche serves excellent food and super yummy cocktails. Also the cappuccino is really good – a major plus when you are travelling in East Asia and don’t come across good cappuccino that often!

Sri Lanka La Voile Blanche Food

They serve a mix of international and Indian food. The restaurant also has a really yummy seafood platter with a great variety of different fish and shellfish. You can either sit in the restaurant or go to the beach and relax on one of their sun beds. What I also really liked about La Voile Blanche was the music selection. They have amazing lounge music with tracks from lots of different countries. You will love it if you like Buddha Bar or Cafe del Mar. They also played a lounge track of a song from Xaviar Naidoo! Ok, that name probably doesn’t ring a bell if you don’t speak German :)

At the end of your sun bathing session, you can move to one of the huge beds that the La Voile Blanche’s staff gets out just in time to watch the sunset. Have another cocktail and you will certainly feel like you are on holiday!

La Voile Blanche Sri Lanka During Sunset

Whilst their beds looked really tempting, I personally preferred to ‘play’ in the waves as they become quite rough during sunset (yes, you can go surfing in Sri Lanka!). And I just love watching the sunset while swimming in the ocean :)

 

Sunset Sri Lanka

Have you been to Sri Lanka? Have you tried this place? Where did you go?

Bodiam Castle is located near Robertsbridge in East Sussex, around two hours by car from London. The castle is a great half a day trip from East Sussex‘s beautiful coastal towns, e.g. Hastings, and makes also the perfect stop on a road trip from London down to the beach.

The castle was built in 1385 by Sir Edward Dalyngrigge, a former knight of Edward III, King of England from 1327 until his death in 1377. The Bodiam Castle is believed to have served as a protection of the area against French invasion during the Hundred Years’ War (1337 – 1453) that was fought over the succession of the French throne.

Bodiam Castle – From the Outside

The castle is a square shaped castle with towers at its corners and entrances. It is surrounded by a large moat which made the castle look much larger than it actually was. The beauty of the castle was also recognised by Irish singer Enya who shows Bodiam Castle in her music video for the song The Celts.

Bodiam Castle – Inner Area

The castle, though appearing complete from the outside, is merely in ruins nowadays. Yet still it is very picturesque with the moat and bridge which makes it is easy to imagine how it was strategic in defending the area.

Bodiam Castle – Interior

Walking through the interior you quickly get an idea of how it must have been to live inside the castle in the 14th century. To help your imagination, some rooms are decorated to resemble the daily life in the Bodiam Castle 600 years ago.

Bodiam Castle – View From the Tower

The castle is around 20 meters high. So don’t forget to climb up to the towers for a beautiful view of the area around the Bodiam Castle.

Nowadays little ducks enjoy living here :)

Tea Room at Bodiam Castle

Just before you cross the bridge to Bodiam Castle, there is also a little tea room and a restaurant to have Afternoon Tea or some snacks. And did you know, you can also tie the knot at Bodiam Castle. Wedding ceremonies can be held in the castle gatehouse with the reception in the Terrace Room near the river or in a marquee. For more info, check the National Trust wedding website here.

Bodiam Castle is a lovely candidate for a day trip in East Sussex. Just come by around early afternoon and take your time to explore the castle and enjoy the beautiful green surroundings (such a nice change from London!). Then have some Afternoon Tea before heading to your next destination. For more things to do in East Sussex, have a look here and for more things to do in the UK, visit this one.

Why you should visit the Bodiam Castle in East Sussex | Castles in the UK