Rain – the cause of many a ruined holiday. How many times have you packed your suitcase with Hawaiian shirts, flip-flops, sun-tan lotion and t-shirts, in expectation of a glorious week relaxing on the beach, only to spend your holiday either confined to your hotel room or obliged to buy some waterproof clothing abroad because of an unpredictable shift in the weather resulting in torrential downpours?
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Never, you say? Well lucky old you. It’s happened to me at least four times, and believe me, when you’re staying in a resort where there’s little to do besides mucking around on the beach or by the pool, a rainy vacation is a miserable experience, especially if you’ve spent a lot of your hard-earned cash on it.
But rain needn’t spoil your holiday. In fact, as these destinations show, sometimes it can even enhance it.
Tropical Islands, Krausnick
A tropical holiday in Europe? Sounds far-fetched, and it is, slightly. But Krausnick, just south of Berlin, is where you will find this incredible tropical park, housed under a massive dome taller than the Statue of Liberty, and wider than the Eiffel Tower length-ways. You could fit all of Potsdamer Platz, skyscrapers too, inside it. But that’s not what’s actually inside it. Instead you’ve got massive swimming pools full of warm water, sandy beaches, loads of exciting rides, bars and restaurants, spa facilities, and even accommodation options. So no matter the weather outside, under the dome you’re toasty warm. It’s like Center Parcs, only better.
Paris or Rome
Paris and Rome are two of Europe’s most important cultural destinations. They are stuffed to over-flowing with museums, galleries, theatres and historic sites which attract millions of visitors every year. If it rains while you’re there, just duck into an attraction and spend a morning wandering around absorbing some culture, or find the coffee-shop attached. You can spend a rainy week there and all you need is an umbrella and some good waterproof shoes to get you the short distance from place to place.
It’s supposed to rain when you’re on holiday in England, that’s the whole point. It gives you something to talk about. Hire a boat on our incredible canal system though, and if it does start to chuck it down you can moor up, stick a brew on and play cards or read til it passes, or find one of the many lovely pubs that are sprinkled along every route. Although sunbathing on the roof as you cruise along is blissful, somehow the rain suits this type of holiday even more, don’t ask me why though.
Now, why does that name ring a bell, you might think. This quiet little town in North-West America used to be known mainly for its timber industry, and the pleasant walking trails through the Olympic National Park which surrounds it. But then along came a series of books you might have heard of, the Twilight series, written by Stephenie Meyer and beloved by a generation of teenage girls and vampire-fanciers. The series is based in Forks, although the films were shot mainly elsewhere, but this hasn’t stopped a booming tourist industry fuelled by fans of the books arriving by the coach-load to see the home of Edward and Bella. Forks is renowned for its incredible rainy climate, around 212 days a year seeing a spot of precipitation. Let’s face it, if you’ve come here on holiday because you’ve read the books, if it was a sunny day the atmosphere would be ruined! Grand American Adventures run tours through the lovely Olympic National Park, and if you fancy a quick detour to visit Forks, it can be easily arranged.
Rob is going to pack his flip-flops and his sun sat no matter what the weather promises this year.