Wednesday, 30 August 2017

Budapest, Hungary

Budapest. The third and final summer destination. One of the most beautiful cities I've seen so far.

Also a place full of disasters from start to finish because as soon as I arrived, I fell down the concrete bank which is next to Parliament and have either badly bruised or fractured by tailbone, and am still in a lot of pain! However, glossing over that, I tried to forget about the pain and carried on like nothing had happened.

If you've ever been to Paris, Budapest feels like you are there. The buildings are very Parisian and decorative, which I actually loved looking at and walking around. Parliament, as you can see, is both stunning day and night.




We visited all of the 'sights', so Parliament, Fisherman's Bastille, St. Stephens Bastion,
SzĂ©chenyi Thermal Bath, Buda Castle and the City park including a trip to the zoo. 

I must admit, although everyone raves about the spa, it wasn't for me and I only lasted an hour. 
If any of you don't like baths because it's like bathing in your own dirt, you'll know exactly what I mean! 
It was an experience though and one I'm glad I did.





I was also really impressed with how cheap the food and drink was! One of my favourite places to visit was Karavan which is like a small garden full of street food. We shared this pulled pork goulash bread dish which was really good. I loved how it was lit with lanterns as well which I imagine are so pretty in the dark.


I know Budapest feels like the place to go in the blogging world (and real world from what I've seen), but I can definitely see why. It's a beautiful place, great summer weather and extremely kind people.

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Sunday, 27 August 2017

The Best Shave Yet

I am one of those women who always has time to shave. As Samantha Jones says in Sex and the City 2 'you wouldn't see me on my deathbed with a bush like that', and I'm sorry to say that I'm totally with her on this.

I haven't stopped writing about products but I'm just becoming more particular when it comes to choosing what I write about. As I've been away a lot, one thing I find myself reaching for in supermarkets is razors, because you cannot take them on a flight where you have no checked in luggage.

Disposable razors just do. not. make. the. grade.

And to be honest, neither do the well known brands which are approximately £10 every time you need a new one.



 But y'know what does make the grade? The new rose gold razor from Friction Free Shaving (FFS) subscription service. Not only does it look beautiful, but it's actually a really good, 6 bladed razor which comes with a fresh new blade for every week of the month.


FFS lets you choose from 2 high quality razors, either £5 or £9 per month which includes delivery, and comes with 4 blades to last the month. They provide 4 blades because a new blade every week makes shaving cleaner, sharper and less irritating - and it definitely works! I absolutely love this razor, it's so much more affordable than regular brands and it's so much higher quality. The only thing that may have put me off, is the subscription service but actually, you can cancel at any time SO easily.


And if you do fancy trying this out, FFS have kindly given my readers 25% off your first razor with the code 52NQKM or simply follow this link. You can thank me later :-)


*this post is in collaboration  with
Friction Free Shaving  but 
all  opinions are my own!


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Sunday, 20 August 2017

Berlin, Germany

Like I said in my last post, I recently went away to Germany with someone who doesn't appreciate travel but I'm not going to dwell on that here.

I think the most fascinating part of history lessons when I was stuck in GCSE history, was definitely WW1 and WW2 so when it came to picking a city break, Berlin has both the history and the newly revamped modern vibe to it. It was pretty high on the list of places to go in Europe, so that was that.





We did so much in Berlin; the Berlin Dome, River tour, Checkpoint Charlie, National History/Science Museum, Anne Frank Centre, Jewish Museum, the Reichstag, Brandenburg gate, Madame Tussauds and the Sea Life Centre. Oh and we did all of this on foot so ended up walking 10 miles a day!

For me, the Jewish museum really stood out as it was as more solemn museum to visit. I've been to Poland and seen it from their perspective but in Germany, the museum was more about trying to create the feelings which the jewish may have felt. I use that sentence lightly because of course, we would be feeling no where near as frightened as they were.

There was a room which resembled a holocaust room; nothing in there but darkness. Small and dark. Awaiting death.

There was another garden, almost like a maze but the floor was very uneven and the maze was all different heights. The idea being that you set foot into this garden and feel uneasy, almost sick as you walk around because you're so disorientated. I just found this to be really powerful.






I've also just finished reading Anne Frank's Diary that I purchased at the centre. Not the best in terms of writing (she was a young teenager so must remember that) but a really important read. One I recommend wholeheartedly.

Berlin is a really cool city, one I'd go back to again for sure.
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Wednesday, 16 August 2017

Travelling

I think we often forget that travelling is a privilege. To be able to afford a plane ticket, passport, spending money, accommodation, cameras etc.. well not everyone can. I've been fortunate to have visited seven new countries this year which probably makes me sound like a spoilt brat (FYI, I worked hard and funded it myself) but I am so grateful to be in a position which allows me to do so.



Travelling is really important to me. I believe it probably saved my life (along with a very good friend) and for that reason, it has a special place in my heart. When you travel, you no longer have a routine. You don't necessarily know where you'll be tomorrow, what you'll be eating, learning, exploring or seeing. And yes, a very long time ago, that would have been terrifying to think about but now it's the most exciting thing I can imagine.

I try not to go to fancy hotels and fancy restaurants when I'm away. A basic AirBnB works wonders providing there is a bed and bathroom because really, how long are you in the room for? As for restaurants, I think part of the fun is experiencing the local delicacies and flavours. Long gone are the days where I sit by a pool for days but you'll find me exploring the town, museums and landmarks at least trying to learn about the history and culture. I never used to think history was important but to understand the present, we should at least try to understand the past and how we came to be.

I try not to get taxi's everywhere, choosing to mostly walk miles all over as you get to see so much more. And I take lots of pictures because I want to show my grandchildren all of the places I've been and that life is much bigger than their bedroom walls.

I recently went away with someone who didn't have this same outlook on travelling. They didn't leave their comfort zone and it broke my heart. A new place with a wealth of opportunity - wasted. I get that travelling isn't for everyone but trying something new is how we learn and grow. As an adult, you don't come across those opportunities in the same quantity as you do a child, so you have to grab them with both hands and run.

If you go away and embrace everything possible, you rarely come back the same person. You'll have a new outlook on life, something in you will have changed because you will see that the world is much bigger than what you first thought.
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Monday, 14 August 2017

Kotor, Montenegro

So the opposite direction to Bosnia, is Montenegro. Another border crossing for us but we were off to visit the town called Kotor and the Lady of rocks in a town named Perest.

The morning began with Kotor, a beautiful little town surrounded by a wall. We were shown around by a local guide who taught us about the churches and famous iconic buildings. I don't actually remember doing much here though as it was way too hot (there was a heatwave when we arrived reaching temperatures of 38 celsius) so I just sat in a bar and ordered cool drinks. There are steps up (45 mins worth) to the most famous church in Kotor but the heat immediately threw that idea out of the window.




After exploring the town, we drove back to Perest. This is home to the legend of Our Lady of the Rocks. It's a tiny man made island which homes a beautiful blue and white church. We took a small boat over to visit it and learned that according to legend, seamen kept finding a religious painting where the island is now. They moved it to the local church but it just kept returning to the rock. As a result, they built this artificial island and the painting remains inside.

We didn't stay here for long but did explore the church with a guide showing us the rooms and artefacts. I don't actually think it's a place I'd stay for a long time as I love activity but the bay of Kotor is definitely somewhere I'm glad I've ticked off my world list.


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Friday, 11 August 2017

Mostar, Bosnia & Herzegovina


These posts are really few and far between, which I apologise about.. actually, I don't because I'm busy seeing European cities (currently on my way home from Berlin). But it does mean I'm writing these from memory rather than in the present.

Anyway, whilst in Croatia we decided to do two excursions with the first being to Bosnia & Herzegovina. To get to the main part of Bosnia, you actually have to cross two borders from Dubrovnik which is a little laborious but definitely worth it.

The trip included a stop at Kravice waterfalls which was absolutely beautiful. We only stayed an hour but the water was again, crystal clear, and also freezing cold. It didn't matter though because Bosnia is even hotter than Croatia so it was nice to feel temporarily refreshed!

 


Then we drove onto Mostar. Our mini bus actually crashed so can say I experienced an accident in Bosnia! Luckily everyone was absolutely fine and we were on our way within 30 minutes.

Mostar was even hotter than the waterfalls but again absolutely stunning. I've never been to Morocco but I imagine it to be similar to the markets in Marrakech - female heaven! We had a 30 minute tour with a local guide before heading off on our own to explore and grab lunch.

Mostar really is beautiful, especially the view of and from the bridge. I'm so glad we spent the day there.



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Sunday, 6 August 2017

Dubrovnik, Croatia

This summer is all about travelling. Seeing the world, exploring new cities and making memories with close ones.

I've kick started this with a trip to Dubrovnik, Croatia. We were there for 10 days which was actually far too long to remain in one place, so also ventured to Bosnia & Herzegovina followed by Montenegro.

We honestly had the most amazing time. I won't write much as the pictures do the talking but we did everything from visit the old town, relaxed in bars, swam in the most crystal clear waters, chilled out on the beaches, sailed to different islands... oh and walked at least 5 miles a day due to the steps down to get anywhere!

The weather was beautiful (if not a little hot towards the end), the food was delicious and everywhere you looked was simply stunning.

I will leave you with photos (the other countries will follow in later posts!)

















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