I've finally got round to looking through the entries to my giveaway.
Thank you to everyone who entered, I really enjoyed reading your descriptions of places to visit and am very tempted to see them all now!
The competition is close, with people winning by half points but I did finally pick a winner for each prize;
The winner of the necklace is...
Perdita! She described London in all its glory.
Why visit London? Why bother staying in the UK... well, I would have said that a few years ago myself. Then we had to save for a wedding and home, so no holidays. Over the last few years my home town has thrown up, time and again, new opportunities and interests: quirky museums, thriving markets, kooky bars, lectures, free theatre, wonderful parks, libraries, churches/temples/mosques, shops and of course every type of food in every price range. Dr Johnson was right. The one downside of this city is that there is simply too much to do in a weekend: beyond the Eye and Tower, in the hidden streets and corners, there's a whole world to be found.
The winner of the book is...
Erika. She painted a very romantic picture of Sweden.
You should visit Sweden for the beautiful nature and the wonderful dancing! I would suggest a week at Herräng, the worlds biggest international swing dance camp (about 800 people calls it home each of the 5 weeks the camp is running). The camp is situated close to the beach, in the stunning archipelago of Roslagen, which in itself is worth a visit. 24 hours dancing a day for 6 days! The only bad thing to be said about Herrang is that one have to miss out on something in order to get any sleep =)
Before Herräng, as close to the mid-summer night as possible, I'd recommend a trip to northern Sweden. There's just no words beautiful enough to describe the light at night up here during June / early July! It's not the harsh daylight of the south, not even the softer daylight of the north. It's a cool, grayish, calm and somehow fragile light.
The midnight light is something no pictures can do justice, and words fall short. At least once in a lifetime one should see it... (Oh, how I'm longing for summer nights now! Writing this makes me wish for vacation when I can stay up late and just be). Just check out this post.
Then, of course, there's Stockholm, a very pretty city with lot's of nice tourist attractions, like the outdoor museum of Skansen. For anyone interested in history, it's bliss! If you have a week over after all this, I'd take the boat to Gotland, the island often referred to as "Swedens Riviera". Hot and sunny weather, long beaches, always close to the ocean. The island's medieval city Visby is absolutely charming!
Sweden is a beautiful land - but the selling point for me is the light. I don't even long for sun-vacations" in southern Europe! It gets dark there, after all =)
And last but not least, the winner of the purse is...
Ana! She described Route 66 and the America of neon lights and the Rat Pack.
While I don't think the central United States is at the top of anyone's dream vacation spots, there are lots of great vintage and antique shops here -- right in the path of the old Route 66. Its also more of a true American picture than visiting New York City or Los Angeles or Florida -- which are the more glamorized visions of life in the US. Though given my choice, I would recommend seeing old Hollywood in California and Miami in Florida, Chicago for the architecture and "big shoulders", Las Vegas for the neon sign graveyard and the thrift stores which are chock full of old showgirl costumes and Rat Pack wonders. Heck, make it a road trip from Chicago, to LA.... just like the song!
Well done ladies!
If you could pop me an email at nementai *at* gmail *dot* com I'll get your prizes in the post!