Vienna – Sight-Seeing Galore!

There’s plenty of things to do and see when traveling about in Vienna! At least thats how I felt, we walked for ages some days but through the painful feet we always saw some beautiful things.

One of the most gorgeous places we went when we were in Vienna was the Schoenbrunn Castle, the gardens and the Gloriette.

The inside of the palace walls blew me away because the palace was so huge and impressive, it was a light beige colour and very authentic, it was like nothing Id ever seen before, purely for its size! If you head round the side of the castle you can walk through the rose cage and into the castle gardens which are just as impressive in size as the castle.

To walk up the to the Gloriette and to get an incredible view of Vienna you had to walk through their gardens directly behind the castle first. Theres a large fountain before the steep hill up towards the Gloriette, the architect didn’t hold back when building this place because everything about it is impressive in terms of size, the fountain is also, you guessed it, huge.

The gardens went on for miles, I believe somewhere within all the gardens theres a zoo?! There was also what appeared to be a botanical garden in a large greenhouse like building, it was really unique form the outside. I totally wish I’d gone inside when I had the chance, it was very photogenic, the whole of the gardens and palace are.

The trek up the hill to see the Gloriette was totally worth it. Not only was the Gloriette gorgeous but so was the view. I’d wanted to walk up the hill from the moment I saw it so I could see the view and it certainly didn’t disappoint.

The Gloriette is unbelievably impressive and towers over the hill, it also has a little cafe inside too! The sight of it and the attention to detail on the statues, the arches and the writing that is on the building, and the general structure of it would be any architects dream for sure. It’s been there since 1755 and also displays trophies and Roman Empire armour and many other Roman trinkets.

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The Danube is the river that runs through Vienna, we walked along it when we were shopping in town and when we got the tube one day. We got off at the stop where it’d on the bridge over the danube, it was lovely and was a gorgeous day which made the view a whole lot better.

We sat on the steps down to the water when we walked along side it, It was warm and I took my shoes off wandering up and down the steps, some of the graffiti on the walls was funky too, some of it was so well done!

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One of the first places that Julia took Jake and I was Karlzplatz, where I accidentally got a photo of the car park and put it on my insta saying how gorgeous it was there when really it was majority car park, so yeah, reaaaaally gorgeous haha!

But the Opera House in Karlzplatz is one that Tom Cruise jumped off in one of the Mission Impossible films (Mission Impossible 5)! I was I’d had the chance to see the Opera so I guess it gives me a very good excuse to visit again! They also held the premier for the Mission Impossible 5 film at the opera house!

*****

One morning we decided to not let our hangovers defeat us and we went on a road trip to a lake and man made beach! When we got there we paid about €5 to get in, then when inside they had changing areas and toilets, a huge balcony seating area on the water and multiple beanbags and sun-beds to chill out on. Theres a field of grass behind all this and then if you carry on walking theres a man made beach with sand and all! We set up on the sand with our towels and got tanning.

It was really cool to chill out and tan our hangovers away, we also went for a swim in the lake and it was so fretting. Theres a restaurant / cafe also there were we got lunch and could look over the lake. It was a really pretty place and a perfect day with friends.

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We spent a day shopping in Vienna, I’ll never forget storming to the till in Zara and Julia not really giving Jake any choice on the matter in buying a €50 cardigan. I’ve never asked Jake if he wears it so Jake if you’re reading this let me and Julia know!

We walked through the streets of Vienna looking at all the fancy shops and restaurants, we walked past places like Gucci, Chanel and Marc Jacobs and it all looked so flawless. Of course there was H&M, Forever 21, all the just as brilliant and cheaper shops for the broke students like me! The shops that got me the most was the #Respect Your Ass shop where you could make your won customised pair of jeans, It was cool inside and out, I wish I’d got some.

There were also plenty of statues dotted about which were made of gold! We had the nice Ice cream whilst walking back as it was getting a bit cold, and what better log then to have Ice cream when you’re cold. It was SO NICE. I rate Ice cream and that stuff was gorgeous.

Whilst out shopping we came across St, Stephens Cathedral, I never realised how cool the roof of the cathedral was until I saw it myself. It’s all patterned with zig zags in different colours. It was something different, especially for a cathedral!

More architectural beauty for sure in the heart of Vienna!

Vienna – Schnitzel blew my mind.

We didn’t go out very much when we were in Vienna due to staying in with Julia and the wonder of takeaways, but the few chances we did get to go out for some grub were really great.

71We went out for dinner to Vapiano’s twice, I loved it, although I was madly hungover and couldn’t eat much for the second time we went.

 

 

This was the first time I’d ever heard of Vapiano’s when Julia took us there for some lunch. I made myself the FATTEST Spaghetti bolognese ever. It was so cool watching it be made right In front of me, I’d never experienced a spaghetti bolognese so fast in my entire life. And my god was it delicious. You get to choose your entire dish at the counter in parts, like what pasta and sauce you want etc. Honestly its the best place, I went there in Amsterdam too!

*****

26Another place we went was just a small german restaurant, I didn’t catch the name of it but Julia really wanted Jake and I to try some schnitzel! We were totally up for it so we decided whilst wondering around Vienna that we headed to get some!

It came with some potato salad and we ordered quite a lot, but there were 3 of us, and it was really really nice. It wasn’t a familiar taste at all but It was really different and tasted so great! The dish originated in Austria, so we were pretty happy we got to give it a good taste!

Portugal – Exploring & Getting loud in Lagos

Of course our main exploration place was the beach, and there wasn’t really much there, plus I have a whole post about the beach and surfing already so I won’t go on too much (No promises though). It was a pretty beach but SO BIG. The dunes behind went on for miles, we had to venture there to go to the toilet,  most the time it was scorching hot so we had to run on our tip toes, it was so funny sometimes trying to find some shade when there wasn’t any! We also usually ended up rolling around in the dunes, well, I did.

If you guys are interested in going on surf trip with these guys I’d sure as hell recommend it, you can visit their website www.studentsurftrip.com to find out more information!

IMG_3215There was a boardwalk before you got to the beach that split of in two directions, one down to the beach where you had to cross this little river of water that goes up the beach on high tides. The water was so clear and cool on your feet when carrying the boards through it, Sometimes it was hard with bags and towels though!

The other direction the boardwalk split off too lead you down to the edge of the cliffs where you can see over the entire beach, the view was beautiful and to get to it you also have to pass an opening in the cliffs where the water is coming up the rocks. You can feel the sea air and its all so fresh, was like being in a dream. I love the beach so much.

*****

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Some days when we didn’t want to go surfing the option to stay at the lodge and just sunbathe by the pool was available.

I did this twice whilst I was out there, one because I was stupid and put my back out two days before the holiday and it was another days rest for it not to be painful. And the other because I wanted to get my TAN ON.

The pool area is huge and theres plenty of space, we spent a few evenings sat on the hammocks out there too. Its gorgeous in the evening when the sky is clear, we sat in the hammocks with bevs looking at the stars, and laughing hysterically.

On the last night we all stayed in at the lodge as our flights were early the next day. We had our food and drinks and there was live music too, At some point karaoke was on the cards and my friend Rachel sang her heart out and I got up and sang for a free cider. We all ended up getting very drunk that night as they had made us all pimms and other alcohol that was going around. It resulted in me, Abbie and a few others all dancing and singing on tables. I went to bed at 12pm. My taxi to the airport was at 5am. I was not fresh. I had so much fun!

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We had a very eventful night out when we went out in Lagos with the other university, it so much fun. We went to the Tavern and that was a lot of fun, I don’t know how it happened but we all ended up having shots poured straight into our mouths whilst we were laying on the pool table! Everyone was cheering and it was brilliant, this was IMG_3397.JPGapparently my initiation into being the Surf Societies new Social Secretary, and I did not hold back!

After the Tavern we went to the club I don’t have the name of, then we WERE going to go back to the Tavern, But things didn’t quite workout that way. This was easily the most eventful night in Portugal!

We’d all had a lot to drink and had been mingling with the other university, we were all merry and walking to the Tavern, I was with Abbie and Calum having a sing song. Next thing thats happening is I’m being picked up and thrown over my friends shoulder for fun, its great, he’s tall and he starts spinning around, its all hilarious right up until the last moment. Im not sure what happened but we went down and hit the ground. I was lucky enough to not hurt myself but unfortunately my friend hit his head (All the precautions for this were made don’t worry your socks off).

IMG_3541We ended up back at the lodge, my friend mad drunk with one of his uni mates, Abbie and myself came back too. Lets just say after this I ended up breaking my shoe in a mad rush to chase after my friend after he ran off drunk, after eventually putting him to bed Abbie and I sat around the pool and decided that we hadn’t done the ultimate yet.

Skinny Dipping in the Pool!

Everyone was still out and my friends were in their teepee, no one was around so we stripped off in our rooms and legged it with our towels, it was so funny, I don’t think I have ever laughed so hard. It was such a bizarre but wonderful night!

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We went out in Lagos on our first and last day, it was a really cute town, colourful and very easy to get lost in. The weather was beautiful when we first arrived apart from one day when it rained pretty much most of the day. We went to all these different clothes shops and classy english as we are settled for burger king for lunch on our first outing to Lagos.

I went with the girls the second time and we went to the supermarket and then over to the market on the harbour side. The market was the cutest, it was all these gazebos lined up along the harbour edge selling clothes and hareem trousers, big tapestry and all sorts of accessories.

I ended up buying almost 4 pairs of hareem pants, I only came away with 3 though. They’re so comfy and a regular necessity when I’m chilling out.

Portugal -Bevs are better when its over 25 degrees outside

We definitely had a fun time when we went out in Lagos, it made me realise how different clubbing is in Portugal than England. 

IMG_3530We started off at a restaurant called the Garden, It was a really pretty place, really funky seating and surroundings, we went to this place with the other uni we were sharing the lodge with and the instructors. It was the initial start to our night out. I bought a meat platter and my lord it was huge and tasted so nice. So good after a day of surfing. Then that was followed by an array of cocktails which were also really nice and got me royally drunk. It wasn’t too expensive, I think my platter was around €10-15 and I got a lot with it. Drinks weren’t poorly priced either!

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IMG_3388.jpgAfter the nicest meal at The Garden we headed over the a pub called The Tavern next door,
it was a really lively place as the night we went Portugal were playing football.

We headed through to a room at the back where everyone had congregated around a pool table and on some seats. After that it was drinks after shots after drinks and they weren’t small drinks either. Cocktails in huge big Stein glasses that were relatively cheap, around €5-6 and they were wonderful and got us very drunk very quick. The shots were cheap as well, and the alcohol was flowing for sure. the atmosphere was really great and everyone spoke good english, the staff were friendly too, they knew we were out for a good night!

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The place we went too after the tavern I didn’t catch the name off unfortunately but it was such a funky place, the music was really good and something I found different was that you could smoke inside! Obviously when in the UK you can’t smoke inside, so it was pretty enjoyable as a smoker to be able to do that. IMG_3401.JPG

The drinks were so good in there, they sold this drink called a HULK. lets define as these are the drinks that are cheap and get you mangled:

  • The Hulk: Absinthe Shot and energy drink Bomb
  • The REVERSE Hulk: A shot of energy drink and the mixer is Absinth bomb.

Lets just say, mistakes were made this night in terms of drinks. They were only €4-6 but they were so strong, easily the best drink for a night out.

There were also poles on the tables and on the dance floor, then through an arch there’s a pool table by the toilets, it was such a funky atmosphere and it was free entry too!

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IMG_3539.jpgThe prettiest place we went was the Rooftop Pool Bar. We went in the evening so the view wasn’t much but It would’ve been so much nicer in the day for sure. The best thing about it was the fact that they had a small pool!! So myself and Abbie sat poolside with our drinks  with our feet in the water. It was the coolest place we’d been to all night for sure.

The drinks were quite expensive, I think I paid €5 for a Corona. But it was totally worth it. I wish we had gone back in the day as it had sun-bed’s too, so Im assuming it was open in the day and that would’ve been really nice.

*****

Don’t forget to visit their website www.studentsurftrip.com if you guys are interested in heading over to Portugal! 

Portugal – SURFS UP!

We surfed on the beaches every day and it was such a huge gorgeous beach! Visit www.studentsurftrips.com for more info on these trips!

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When we got there everyday we would all work as a team to take the boards down to the water and set our base camp. The surf instructors back at the lodge had already put us in groups of our skills. I was in the beginner group because lets be honest I’ve never been that great at it. They would usually take us to two different beaches but the surf I believe was dead on the south coast but amazing on the west, so thats where we went, The beach was called Praia Da Borderia and it was beautiful (shout out to Paulina for telling me the name after I forgot!).

To get down to the beach we had to walk down a boardwalk, through where the sea on high tide cut off the boardwalk onto the beach, and then further down the beach to set up camp. IMG_3214They usually had a gazebo and then we’d set up and leave all our stuff around the Gazebo during the day. You had sunbathing time every day on the beach too which was always lovely.

They took each groups in the water for two sessions a day for two hours each session, although you could get out when you wanted and if you didn’t want to surf at all but still come to the beach you could! Or you could stay at the lodge if you didn’t fancy it which some days I really didn’t. So pool days were on the cards occasionally! They would show you how to do certain things before each session, you’d warm up and they would sometimes show you how to pop up again as its always a nice refresher. They also brought us food down to the beach for lunch! It would usually be salads, pastas and crisps and sandwiches, water too, it was all fresh and really nice after a surf session.

All the instructors are really nice, really good teachers and come on nights out with you when you go out in Lagos, they’re all up for a laugh which is always great!

I love surfing, I always ave, I don’t know how I got into it but I’m pretty sure it was through the love for my Beach lifeguarding job. Theres no surf where I live but joining the university surf society was easily the best choice I made! Surfing abroad is more challenging I think, it makes you more alert. Its amazing fun though and if you get the chance to surf anywhere you visit, take it.

There was a only a tiny little cafe on this huge beach, and there were not toilets which was always funny when 4 girls all ran off to pee in the dunes. The sea was also pretty chilly without your wetsuit on and the current was really strong in the water so we weren’t allowed to far out without some sort of supervision of the instructors.

It was a really beautiful beach, I don’t think I’ve ever been to a prettier beach and the swell was really good.

It was always so good to surf and I always came home covered in sea salt and with beach curls I never wanted to wash out, well and truly shattered and ready for bed. Its  my all time favourite feeling.  I love the beach too much.

Portugal – Staying in a Surf Lodge

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The Surf Lodge we stayed in was in Lagos, Jah Shaka Surf Lodge, and god it was Beautiful. It was about a half an hour – 45 Minute taxi ride from the airport, I’m not sure how much the taxi cost, It was a 9 seater that was full and it was a couple euros each! Their official website to book all things Jah Shaka is here; www.studentsurftrips.com! So check that out if you want too.

When we pulled up into the gates it was really gorgeous. All the trucks they use to get around were parked in the drive  with surf boards of the roofs of the car, and it just looked so cool. The lodge was pretty big, it had 10+ rooms and if the rooms were all full there were
Tipi’s! As cool as a Tipi sounds id rather have a room, so I got a 3 bed room with a double ben and en suite to share! It was so much more than what I’d hoped for.img_3266

The Lodge itself had a kitchen, a communal lounge, a large pool and garden area which was so good for chilling in, an eating area and a bar!!
The best part was that the bar was so cheap! Beer for €1 and Cider for €2! It also had a cool fire pit and seating area around it, some of the nights spent around that fire are now a lot of good memories.

The Lodge takes us to the beaches to learn how to surf at all these different beaches, they can teach different skill classes and the instructors are really nice and you get to chill with them at the lodge. They provide food for you on trips to the beach and in the mornings an evenings. They also plan nights out for you and take you for dinner. Its img_3182a pretty sound place, you get to choose what you do, and theres even for a little extra dosh go stand up paddle boarding at sunset/sunrise. I wish I’d done it!

I’d go back there to stay in a heartbeat. I shared a room with Abbie & Becca and it was so much fun. I’d never stayed in a surf lodge before so it was a really wonderful experience I would so do again. The staff were all lovely as they

*****

Getting around Lagos was pretty easy, nice and cheap! If we wanted to get into town we could get order taxi’s to the lodge for only a small price! it was under €10 at least and if there was 4+ of you in the taxi it never cost you more than €2-3 each! The taxi drivers are a little bit crazy and love to drive fast and unlike the drivers in the UK, they’re not very talkative or considerate either.

There was once instance where we got in a blazing argument with a taxi driver, but that wasn’t quite our fault. I look back on it now and I can’t help but laugh, we are some hormonal girls in a different country, it was hilariously brilliant. We ended up complaining to the surf lodge in the end!

img_3344I personally loved the way the instructors got us to the beaches, we got to fit 6-8 people in these awesome trucks and we all headed to the beach in convoy in these awesome looking trucks with surfboards on the roof. It was really sweet, I felt like I was on a proper surf holiday (even though I was it felt a little more real when I sat inside one of the trucks for the first time).

It was a really enjoyable time and although the journey in the back of the trucks didn’t always leave my stomach feeling wonderful, it was definitely a different way to travel to and from the beaches and it was a fun experience.