1. Memories of Jordan

The Dead Sea, Jordan — 25th October 2012

The sun sets as I relax at a hotel on the shores of the Dead Sea, also known as the Salt Sea, which borders Jordan to the east and Israel and the West Bank to the west. The surface of the sea and shoreline are 423 metres below sea level, Earth's lowest elevation on land.

Today I'm starting a brief series on my last holiday abroad (without twins!) as a general personal pick me up as we approach the autumn and winter months ahead.

After the excellent summer we have enjoyed in London draws to an end, I recently began reminiscing about a trip I made to the beautiful and historic kingdom of Jordan in Western Asia last year. That meant memories of overeating, sleep and wine (cue the violins).

I used to travel a lot before having children, but Jordan had never been on my personal radar until a friend suggested we visit the country for a few days sunshine. We loved it. I was lucky enough to spend five nights at the Kempinski Hotel, Ishtar and I took this photo after floating for 30 minutes in the Dead Sea, one of the world's saltiest bodies of water.

At the beach, bathers smother gooey black mud (with reputed health-giving properties) all over their bodies before hobbling into the body of water with 33.7% salinity.

I just watched!

Racing through the Surrey countryside

BIKEJPG The Prudential RideLondon-Surrey 100 on Sunday 4th August saw 20,000 amateur cyclists pedalling a gruelling 100 miles through London and beautiful Surrey countryside. Some hardy souls were in the saddle for over eight hours. But the thrill of cycling along closed roads, through picturesque Surrey towns and finally up The Mall in London was surely worth effort.

We picked this spot near Kingston to watch 150 professional cyclists whizz past us on a slightly extended route. The sight and sound as they raced past us reminded me of Derby Day at Epsom Race Course.

If you fancy taking part in the 2014 Prudential RideLondon-Surrey 100, the public ballot entry system is now open. I'll hopefully see you somewhere along the route!

I'm linking this post up with What's The Story which runs on PODcast blog and Magic Moments at The Oliver' Madhouse.