Monday, 16 October 2017

PHOTO DIARY: Aarhus, Denmark, June 2017


I absolutely adored Aarhus but the day and a half we spent there was not enough time, especially as it rained a lot. The city is basically a mini Copenhagen, there's lots to do, loads of great food options, and an absolutely charming vibe. It's the perfect long weekend destination and somewhere I hope to visit again soon.

DAY FIFTEEN

Friday, 13 October 2017

Out of Office: Netherlands Edition


Tonight Steve and I embark on a 9 day tour of the Netherlands. We're getting there via the Dutch Flyer which means a train from London Liverpool Street to Harwich, followed by an overnight boat to the Hook of Holland, and then a train to the Amsterdam. Steve has always wanted to do this route so it'll be a little adventure and perhaps more exciting than a direct one hour flight...

I visited Amsterdam back in my sixth form days and have been dying to make it back ever since. Steve has never been but the country has been at the top of his travel wish list for a long time. I think Dennis Bergkamp has something to do with it. This will be a very different trip from the one I took in 2005 (has it really been 12 years), as we'll be spending more time taking in the sights and less time feeling light headed in a coffee shop. But it's Amsterdam, who knows what will happen.

We're spending three nights in Amsterdam where we have a jam packed schedule with sightseeing, restaurant visiting, and beer tasting. We're staying in the Generator Hostel which looks lovely. I was originally hoping for The Hoxton but at £900 for three nights it was a little out of our budget.

Our next city will be Rotterdam, were we will be spending three nights at Stroom. I have a thing for second cities so I'm really looking forward to seeing what Rotterdam has to offer. There's meant to be great architecture which is just my thing so I can't wait to take some photos. One day we're going to visit The Hague and Delft which I'm really looking forward to. Delft is meant to be absolutely charming plus The Hague has some impressive sights.

We'll be spending one night in Utrecht, staying at Mother Goose. I don't know a lot about this city but an old colleague is from Utrecht and she speaks so fondly of the place that I can't wait to see everything she's told me about. Especially the Miffy Museum.

Our final stop will be a night in Maastricht, where we'll be staying at Townhouse Design Hotel. Again, I don't know a lot about Maastricht about it looks quite quaint. From here we'll be catching a train to Brussels where we'll be getting the Eurostar back to London. I'm really looking forward to a holiday not involving a single airport.

If you have any tips about things to do and see in any of these cities please do let me know.

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Wednesday, 11 October 2017

My European Travel Wish List


A little while ago I wrote a blog post about my ultimate travel wish list. I included big, once-in-a-lifetime destinations, that I hope to visit but realise they probably won't all happen for a while. But it got me thinking about how much I love Europe. As much as I love travelling to Asia I don't feel the need to sit on a plane for 10+ hours to have a 'big holiday'. Heck, my recent two week road trip around Denmark was a huge holiday and that was less than two hours away.

Ever since I went inter railing around Europe in 2009 I've been love with this part of the world. Despite being European myself, I still find the thought of travelling around my own continent exciting, and full of adventure. I've been to 33 different European countries (34 by the end of the year once I visit Liechtenstein) and each place has been a unique and rewarding opportunity to experience a new culture.

Next year I was planning a two week trip around the Balkans, an area of Europe I'm not very familiar with, but now we're heading to Indonesia to visit my little sister, so the Balkans will have to wait. I'd like to visit every country in Europe but I'm not into visiting places just to tick them off a list, so it's going to take a while. Especially as I like to revisit countries I've already been to.

Russia
Whilst technically part of Europe and Asia, Russia is high on my list. I am desperate to visit Moscow and St Petersburg but I keep putting them off until Steve and I manage to do the Trans-Mongolian Express. Moscow is full of history and St Petersburg looks so incredibly beautiful. I want to watch the Russian ballet, visit the beautiful palaces, and partake in some traditional vodka celebrations.

Sicily
Italy is a country I spent a lot of time in when I was inter railing and I managed to visit most major cities. But I'd like to go back and visit some of the more unconventional destinations. Sicily looks beautiful and whilst it would be nice to experience some warm weather on holiday I'd really love to visit Mount Etna, the Valley of the Temples, and spend a few days in Palmero. There's a lot of great last minute holidays to Sicily so hopefully I can find a good deal.

Greece


I visited the Greek island Kos back when I was little so it's really time for another visit to Greece. I'd love to visit Athens for all the Greek history, the Acropolis and Parthenon look incredible, but I'd also like to head back to the islands for a little r and r, the white washed buildings of Santorini sure look pretty.

Faroe Islands


Of course I had to choose something Scandinavian for the list and of course I knew it would be the Faroe Islands. I've travelled pretty extensively around the Nordic countries but the Faroe Islands still elude me. Maybe it's because there are currently no direct flights from London, or because I've been keen to revisit some of my favourite cities with Steve in tow, but this is a destination I absolutely want to visit soon. The scenery looks stunning, with it's dramatic cliffs, waterfalls and cute villages.

Ireland
Despite being from Northern Ireland, I've seen very little of the Republic of Ireland. A weekend in Dublin when I was 18, family trips to Donegal, and a few other random locations thrown in, there is still so much left of the country for me to discover. Steve and I have a little road trip of the south planned but I'm not sure when we'll get around to doing it. We want to start in Dublin, driving south along the coast to Waterford, Cork, Kerry, and back up to Limerick and Galway. I know we'll get around to doing it one day.

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