So Me and Brad went to the Netherlands in June 2019 to meet up with some of our closest friends Mel and Stan! Stan actually lives in the Netherlands too, so it was a pleasure to be hosted by him in his home country! We also met out friend Kaat from Belgium, she came across and stayed a few days with us.
We had an awesome few days and did some amazing things together. These photos below don’t actually do it any justice and it was so hard to find my favourites! We did a boat tour, went to the beach in Zandvoort, the A-dam look out and Swing, so many coffee shop and also a night out on the town! So these are only a quarter of my favourite shots I took in the Netherlands because If I had a choice I would have chosen all of them.
Enjoy and let me know which ones your favourite & if you’ve been to these places below!
Covid might still be very much a thing but we really can’t let it dull our Christmas spirit. Especially with how this year has already gone. So as part of the Blog Brew Collaboration this month and sticking to the theme of Christmas I wanted to share some of the top Christmas markets all over the world! Just because we can’t physically travel to them or they might cancelled due to Covid 19 doesn’t mean we need to forget about them, especially because we can keep up the Christmas spirit!
So here are some of the most beautiful Christmas Markets around the globe. Personal opinion and preference pending here! I’m doing this from my preferences and likes, If I miss any awesome Christmas markets let me know in the comments! I wanna research and add those bad boys to my bucket list! I will also be posting which Christmas market was my favourite that Ive been too (Hint: Its in Norway).
And before you say it, no, Winter Wonderland does NOT Make the cut.
None of the photos below are mine except for the Lincoln, Manchester & Oslo Market pictures
Vienna, Belvedere Palace
This Christmas market is a lot smaller than your usual Christmas market, you can go to a larger ones elsewhere in Vienna. This market is open for longer than usual, from mid November all the way through to the New Year which gives such a good time frame to visit. Plus its located in Belvedere and is also hosted along side a palace! A baroque palace! THE Belvedere Palace which I bet is beautiful and absolutely breathtaking when it comes to a Christmas markets, there are plenty of stalls and amusements for all the family but the main focus is on couples for this one.
You can head to Liseberg for an incredibly magical and family friendly Christmas market, with endless light shows, loads of Christmas stalls, they have an ice rink which they do shows on for an audience, they also offer Christmas with RABBITS? HOW SICK IS THAT. There is something magical about rabbits at Christmas. plus you’re in Sweden!
New Zealand, Wellington, Underground Market
New Zealand, Wellington has this pretty cool underground markets you can shop in and in the run up to Christmas these markets turn into Christmas stalls! Although this only happens on the weekends throughout December, In the week they are just your normal stalls and admission is completely free.
I’ve always really wanted to go to Canada, I bet no Christmas market is as magical as a Christmas market in CANADA. Not only do they have Santas Grotto, a kids day, plenty of stalls with for and drink, Christmas presents and gifts. THEY HAVE A WALK IN CHRISTMAS TREE? I don’t know about you guys but I’m moving to Vancouver. Plus a majority of the food and drink is all local or locally sourced, they also have their own mascots? Holly and Jolly! It is also situated right on Vancouver Harbour so you can watch the lights reflect off the water!
Singapore, Gardens by the Bay
I definitely feel this is the most impressive market. With the market itself spanning across 8 football fields of amusements, food, drinks and the most amazing lights, whats not be impressed about? Oh, not to forget it is held in the STUNNING Gardens by the Bay. I don’t think I really need to say much more than that. Not only that but there is also a parade and endless theatrical entertainment! They also offer a Flower Dome. I’ll let you look that one up yourself. AMAZING. BOOKING MY FLIGHT NOW.
Now is Cusco, Peru they don’t so much hold a Christmas Market but a market that is held on December 24th where you go to buy yourself a gift and no one else! This event is actually a National Cultural Event and recognised by National Institute of Cultural Heritage which is Pretty awesome if you ask me. It is based on the Retablos, the story of the birth of Jesus Christ. Santurantikuny stands for ‘Saints for Sale’ and is the largest craft market in Peru.
Birmingham, Frankfurt Style Market
Being from the UK its definitely on my bucket list to go to Birmingham Christmas market, its hugely popular and mimics the Christmas Market in Frankfurt which is what its really popular and well known for, it is also the largest Christmas market outside of Germany! Unfortunately it has been cancelled due to Covid but we continue to be festive. With 80 stalls all Christmas themed and endless mulled wine on every corner its a great place to explore and see friends and family. Birmingham itself is also supposed to be a greta city, so why not check out the rest of it whilst you’re at it?
Markets I’ve been too!
Manchester Christmas Market
After a heavy heavy night at WHP (Warehouse project Manchester) seeing Bicep we were all a bit reluctant to check out the market with the way we were feeling but I am so glad we did it, a hot chocolate with marshmallows and walking between the stalls it was so beautiful and very aesthetically pleasing. It also had some amazing Christmas lights and decorations. We managed to get lucky and go on a really nice day so the weather was glorious but cold and we managed to meet up with a good friend there as well who was in the city the same time we were so it was really great to experience something this GRAND with friends.
Lincoln Christmas Market
I went to university at Lincoln so of course I have visited it every year I was there, unfortunately the first year absolutely killed it for me because I was doing a tourism study on the market so I went up Steep Hill EVERY DAY. It was worth it because of course I got all the data I needed but i also go to experience all different aspects of the market. Lincoln market has so many stalls to offer of all varieties, its really good for your Christmas shopping and the best mulled wine is definitely form the BAR BUS which can usually find outside of the castle walls in the amusement area! Oh yeah, the start of the market is in the castle grounds, how beautiful is that? Its always really enjoyable and also has stalls by the cathedral but its a real shame because the past few years the market has gotten smaller and smaller, so I am hoping that come Christmas 2021 it will be back and teeming with life. It holds a lot of memories with all my friends from Uni and also my family when they visited for the market. Here is hoping for a better Christmassy 2021.
My all time favourite;
Oslo Christmas Market, Norway
This was without a doubt one of the most beautiful experiences of my life! I’d never been to Christmas market in another country so this was such a fun experience. Oslo Christmas market isn’t huge but it has all the essentials from Locally made Christmas gifts and clothes to the yummiest waffle and food stalls. And my god, the mulled wine was the best mulled wine I had ever had. There is a light tunnel you can walk through, an absolutely huge ice rink running through the middle and a beautiful big wheel where you can see the whole market and some of Oslo. They also have two talking moose heads in the bar area and at the entrance and they are SO funny. It was such a great vibe to go with some of my girlfriends as well, such a memorable experience.
Whats been the best Christmas market you’ve ever been too?
We woke up refreshed andready to go for another day of exploring the South West coast!
Waking up In the Hobbit Homes was really cool and very refreshing. You stepped straight outside into the fresh air so it was nice to have a cuppa and enjoy the fresh morning weather! Once we had walked down to the washrooms, had a shower and freshened up check out was at 10 so we got sorted and headed out to explore St Ives! The washrooms were also really clean and fresh. Although it would have been nice to see someone cleaning it straight after we had used it for other guests we also understand in todays climate that might not be possible!
So we jumped in the car and drive the 10 minute drive into the centre of St Ives. The first mistake we made was driving. Parking is really very limited so if possible park at the top of the hill on your way into St Ives. The walk back up might be painful but not as painful as trying to find parking in the centre because it isn’t really plausible on a busy summers day.
St Ives from the off was so beautiful, the blue water and the beautiful beaches and harbour. It was low tide so all the boats were resting on the sand in the harbour as we waded through the masses of people who had finally escaped after the coronavirus lockdown. Admittedly this was the only location out of the many that we visited where I didn’t feel Covid safe walking through the streets. Usually when we were outdoors I’d keep my mask off but when we were walking through I felt incredibly uncomfortable especially being basically shoulder to shoulder and popped my mask on until we had reached the other side of the harbour. All the restaurants were open and it was Ice creams galore! I love all the stone buildings and the cobbled streets. I imagine in winter its the cosiest town of them all.
We wandered across to Smeaton Pier and followed the coastal pathway along the seafront around to the piece of land known as ‘The Island’. To get there we walked past Bamaluz beach and also Porthgwidden beach to finally make our way up to St Ives head, situated on The Island, and also to take a nosey at St Nicholas Chapel too! It was a really lovely walk with beautiful views of St Ives beaches and the harbour. We then finished off with a picture overlooking Porthmeor Beach and a walk back through the cobbled streets of St Ives (trying not to buy even MORE fudge from some of the delicious shops) and up the dreaded hill to the car!
Next up on the agenda was to drive across from St Ives to Lands End! I was really excited for this as I’m from Lowestoft (although no longer residing there now) and Lowestoft holds the landmark on our coast for the Most Easterly Point of the UK! So Complete opposite sides of the country which is pretty fun. So I was very excited when we arrived.
We paid the £7 parking fee which is basically your entry fee and then headed down to the entrance! When you arrive there are so many facilities I really didn’t expect. I was expecting to arrive to the lands end landmark post, the flag and that was really about it. I was shocked to find children’s amusements and also multiple food stalls and places for drinks! There is even a hotel and place for you to stay if you wanted too! It was good as I was hungry so had a portion of nachos for the price of a small London Flat. It was massively overpriced but I guess its the tourist attractions that do that to you!
We wandered past the stalls after some food and headed down to look at the actual Lands End landmark, unfortunately again you had to pay for a picture in front of it. But we didn’t do that and just took a pretty good picture from the other side of the line and our own pictures as we walked down the slope towards the first and last house! It was cool to see the first and last post box and the first and last house, the first and last flagpole and the Lands End viewpoint. I never imaged I’d be that far South West in my entire life. Now all I want to do is go to the most Northern and Southern point! It would have made sense really to go to the most Southern point whilst at Lands End as it was just an hours drive away! Highlight of Lands end was definitely the proposal we saw by the Lands End sign, so nice that even the bad weather didn’t bring the mood down for such a special occasion!
Next location on the adventure for the next two days, the longest we will have spent anywhere on the trip, was Newquay! Now I was so excited to go to Newquay so I could teach Brad how to surf! The drive from Lands End to Newquay was only an hour or so and was really easy.
We arrived at our Airbnb and it was absolutely beautifully decorated and so cosy. We had everything we needed from a coffee machine, bathroom with a shower next door to the room with towels, a TV, a place to put our sandy things from the beach, the COMFIEST double, wardrobe space, Wi-Fi and a TV to relax and watch when we weren’t out exploring. It was like an upside down house, Kylie the host lived upstairs and the room ad bathroom was downstairs. During these Covid times she kept the bathroom sparkling clean also which was amazing. The best part about this Airbnb though? I went to the toilet at 6am and was greeted in an open kitchen door to A HOUSE RABBIT. I must have missed this part on the listing as it definitely states she’s in there but I was so pleasantly surprised, what a great way to wake up! She was super cute!
As we arrived quite late in the evening we decided to walk into Newquay and find some food. Unfortunately at this point the Help out to Eat out scheme had just started and we didn’t even think to book, everywhere was SO busy. We manged to find a table on the main high street at a place called Lost Brewing Co. On a complete whim and reluctantly we went inside and I am so glad we did, it was so good we went back the following day for drinks before our meal elsewhere. Not only do they brew their own beers and sell them here but the food was amazing. I had Halloumi fries, Battered prawns, Chicken strips and some fries as well for finger food as I was just so hungry and couldn’t make my mind up but they are actually super popular for their burgers as well!
All in all another successful day, we headed back to the Airbnb shortly after so we could get some good nights sleep ready for a day full of surfing the next day!
Another early wake up on Day 3 for a full day of action and exploring with Tasmin as our tour guide showing us around Brixham, Berry Head, Totnes and Dartmoor before we headed across to St Ives!
Our first stop was Berry Head just around the corner from Torquay and Brixham. It was a beautiful spot for a walk and to enjoy the sea views off the cliffs! Berry head is a nature reserve and coastal headland which houses an old quarry, a lighthouse and a cute little cafe for anyone wanting a hot drink and a cake whilst they take in the views of the ocean! It was a gorgeous spot and I’m glad we went on such a hot day! Its also one of only 7 Unesco Geoparks in the UK, 140 only in the world, how fascinating is that? It certainly didn’t disappoint.
Once we had finished in Berry Head it was off to Brixham. A bustling and very colourful seaside town on the coast of Devon. The houses were all beautiful colours and there were endless families crabbing in the harbour! I hadn’t been crabbing since I was a kid so this was so great to see which they had managed to catch with their lines and bits of bacon on the end. Of course fish and chips was in order. Tas took us to this amazing fish and chips shop called Rio’s Fish & Chips restaurant and takeaway. We decided on a takeaway and went and sat at Brixham Breakwater, a small flat stoned beach just the other side of the harbour!
The food was amazing and we spent the next half a hour watching and learning how to skim stones. Tas and Brad were really good but I just got into the habit of just throwing them into the water and giving up. But I tried and thats what counts!
Next up on our travels was the cute town of Totnes. With a beautiful river on low tide as we arrived we walked up the main high street which is a slight hill to enjoy all the small independent shops and to watch them make fudge in the window at Roly’s Fudge Pantry. A place we noticed is EVERYWHERE. Exeter, Lincoln, Brixham, Bournemouth, you name it chances are they have a shop there. We ventured up a small alleyway underneath the archway that hung over the main high street to find a quaint church of Totnes with low hanging trees all down the pathway, It was really beautiful. Followed by a browse in a book shop, mine and Tas’ favourite place! We then headed back down the hill for the next leg our journey!
Tas wanted to take us to Princetown in the Dartmoor National park and it was without a doubt the most stunning part of the trip when it came to driving routes! There were wild horses everywhere and sheep all over the hills and in the road that you had to slow down and swerve just so you didn’t hit them! One sheep did decide to run out in front of the car but thanks to Brads quick reactions he was safe and so were we! Honestly the views were like something from a movie, I’d never expected views quite like those here in the UK but how mistaken I was. It was breathtaking.
We arrived in the small village of Princetown and decided we wanted to have a look at Dartmoor prison. The prison is a category C mens prison with huge granite walls and a very gothic looking demeanour. We made it to the outside gate before realising we probably shouldn’t snoop any further but it was so cool as I’d never been so close to a prison before and I have a real fascination with prisons (dark tourism and all that). After a full day of exploring it was getting late and we still had an hour and a half drive to St Ives from where we were we decided to have a quick tea at The Old Police Station cafe in Princetown before we all went our separate ways.
We couldn’t have had a better day with Tas as our tour guide showing us places we had never even thought to go too! Plus it was so so wonderful to spend time with her, especially as when we left Dartmoor for St Ives she had an hours drive home for herself she brought us all this way. I’ll always be grateful for this time spent.
Next up was St Ives! Once we jumped in the car again we were off to our Hobbit Home! Yes you read that right, Brad and I were staying in a coastal Hobbit Home! It was so cool. The driveway once we arrived was small, narrow and windy and if anything a little bit dangerous. Once we arrived we grabbed our wheelbarrows, popped our luggage in the barrows and trekked our way across the field to our hobbit home.
We had our own hammock outside and a log fire too for us to prepare which accompanied an honestly box at the entrance where we could pick up a bag of wood. £5 down later and cracking fire we absolute could not complain. That same evening we used the communal kitchen and living space to cook up an easy meal of tortellini. The shared kitchen was amazing, wonderfully decorated and literally had everything you could ever need. The only things we brought was our food! Really resourceful. There was also perfectly clean and functioning toilets and showers but if you didn’t want to do the trek from your hobbit home or cabin up to the communal areas you had the option of a compost toilet. Personally, I chose the communal area toilets because the smell of the compost one nearly knocked me clean out. That and there was no good lighting in them either so if you fell over, oops.
The Hobbit Homes themselves were super cosy. There was a double bed and inside was a hamper with blankets inside if we needed them for around the fire. There were fake candles which were cute and fairy lights all around the cabin which gave it such a homely feel and there was plenty of room for our bags and belongings. You really are one with nature though as just as we went to sleep something started scratching at the walls of the home and naturally, not literally, I shit myself.
It was a great night and just as the sun was setting we ventured up to Knills monument which was only a 10 minute walk from where we were staying and got the most beautiful 360 view of the St Ives coastline, St Ives itself and we watched the blood moon come over the hills. It was definitely one of the most relaxing nights on the trip ready for another day of exploring the next day!
After an awesome first night in Bournemouth Brad and I were up early (which makes a nice change) and ready for our next adventure to Durdle Door, Exeter and Torquay all in one day!
We decided to get some food once we had arrived at Durdle Door so skipped out on breakfast to get on the road. It took us about an hour to get to Durdle Door from Bournemouth and once we arrived it was already getting busy! We paid the £5 car parking fee for 4 hours and headed down the big cliff to see the sights! Before you make your way down the cliff there is a cute little ice cream shop and a pasty van so we made note of those to make sure we grabbed some food once we made it back up to the top again.
Fun fact: Durdle Door is part of what is known as the Jurassic Coast! What is this? 96 Miles of English Heritage Protected Coastline!
Top tip. DON’T WEAR FLIP FLOPS. The views are beautiful and its really pleasant but the pathway down in white gravel and I nearly fell down multiple times I had to hold onto Brad basically all the way because the one time I let go I fully nearly stacked it. Once we made it to the top of the cliffs overlooking the beach we were in awe. On the left was Man O War Beach and further down from that was St Oswalds Beach. The water was beautifully blue and clear we could’ve been in another country! Then to our right was the monument itself, the beautiful Durdle Door and beach! We headed down the steps to the stoney beach to get a closer look. The waves were crashing and we took a seat right on the shoreline to enjoy the sun. We then headed up the beach to enjoy and sit in the small caves in the cliffs too.
Finally we grew an appetite and it was back up the hill (which was a struggle in the heat and flip fops) and onto the next part of our journey. NOT BEFORE a pasty and a sausage roll overlooking the Jurassic Coastline.
Then it was my turn to drive the 2 hour Journey to Exeter. Unfortunately for us Exeter was not what we expected and we didn’t find all that much to do. We headed over and saw the cathedral in all its glory which was an absolutely phenomenal piece of architecture.
Once we had seen the cathedral the town centre was pretty quiet so we decided to head to a riverside pub for a light snack and a pint (or a cup of tea if you’re me). We walked towards the River Exe and walked past what is known as and what is left of the old Medieval Exe Bridge which has been around for centuries. It was really cool to see the last remains of this piece of old historic architecture! We then walked along the river until we arrived at The Mill on the Exe pub and sat by the river to enjoy our pit stop!
Then it was back to the car for the rest of the drive to Torquay to see my beautiful friend Tasmin! Tasmin lives in Torquay so it would have been SO RUDE to no pop in. To top it off she also did us a huge favour, saving us a fair whack of money on accommodation, and let us stay with her as a bonus. I’ll always be thankful as this also meant we got to spend more time together and it had already been 11 months since I last saw her at our graduation. The Journey from Exeter took us 40 minutes which was really nice and short! When we arrived in Torquay we had a dinner booked to get ready for!
Once we were ready it was into Torquay Harbour for a meal at Twenty 1! This restaurant overlooked the harbour and the 4 of us enjoyed beautiful sunset views, great food and drinks and even better company. We laughed all night and caught up with everything possible, it was such a lovely evening with friends and I was so grateful to be able to do this.
For dinner I think we ordered the whole menu. I had the Chicken and Chorizo flatbread pizza as well as the Tempura Halloumi and the Cheesy Garlic Bread (because no meal is complete without cheesy garlic bread). Another brilliantly priced meal as well with a good vibes atmosphere and great cocktails!
We walked home along the harbour back to Tas’ house well and truly full of food for a final late night cup of tea and bed ready for Tas to show us around Berry Head, Brixham, Totnes and Dartmoor the next day! Another successful travelling day completed!
Im joking, we got in the car in Cambridgeshire and started off on our 7 day adventure! We popped our Bournemouth Airbnb destination in on Google Maps and were off! The first half of the journey apparently only taking us 2 and a half hours. Naturally the route to Bournemouth took us down the M25. If you’re from the UK you know this instantly as the M25 Car park. You’d be spot on, after one food stop on the way post M25 we arrived in Bournemouth 4 and a half hours after we left. Just a touch longer than it should have taken but we didn’t mind.
Once we drove under the bridge that said ‘Welcome to Bournemouth’ all of our travel grumbles had well and truly gone away.
Our Airbnb was in Winton which is just outside of Bournemouth. Only a 10 minute Uber from the beach and centre of Bournemouth too which was really helpful! The Uber only cost us £8 as well which was super cheap! We had a shared bathroom but it was beautifully clean and the room was also cosy and had everything we needed I.E a double bed, bedside table and a wardrobe that we didn’t use because we didn’t even unpack really! We paid £38 for one nigh and between the two of us this was such a brilliant price. It meant we could spend more money out and about.
I’ll be posting a link to where we stayed in a later post on which Airbnb’s we stayed in on our trip so you also have the opportunity to stay in these too!
We arrived at Bournemouth beach and as soon as we got out of the taxi we whipped our masks off (as you can’t get an Uber without a mask due to Covid) and breathed in the sea air! It was absolutely rammed on the beach, luckily we hadn’t planned to go in today. Bournemouth beach is huge and beautiful. Bournemouth was actually one of my university choices when I was doing journalism. Once I decided to change my course I was sad that Tourism and Hospitality etc wasn’t an option anymore, so it was good to be able to visit a place I could’ve spent 3 years of my life!
We paid the £1.30 each for Bournemouth pier admission and made our way down to the end. There was a restaurant and the end and also a beautiful butterfly mural on the way down to the left of the pier. Of course I had to get a picture! As we got to the end of the pier it was awesome to see a zip wire that went from the end of the pier to the beach! It was £25 but because we already had the Eden Project Hangloose Zip Wire booked for later on in the week we settled for some cocktails at Key West Bar and Grill and watched everyone fly over our heads instead!
After a few cocktails and the temperature drastically cooling down we decided to walk along the promenade of the beach for a while and then head to find some food. The beach huts were all really cute and there were plenty of amusement arcades right on the seafront. There was even a boujie bar on the sand with deck chairs and seafood. It was super fancy and we were not dressed for the occasion so decided to head into Bournemouth for dinner at a recommendation called 60 Million Postcards.
Originally as we hadn’t booked we got tired away, they told us to try again later so we headed to Backyard Bar which was in the car park of a bar/hotel called 1812. We definitely weren’t dressed for this place either but they let us in for some drinks because money is money! After making some friends and drinking more cocktails we tried to head back to 60 Million Postcards and we were in luck! We got a table for 2 sat outside and the food was INCREDIBLE.
I had a couple of gin cocktails and Brad enjoyed a couple of beers, but the food was absolutely something else. The two of us were taken by the Chicken Katsu Burger so we both decided to have this. We both also ordered Skin on Fries to have with this and they didn’t do Onion Rings (my personal favourite) but they did do some Spicy Battered Onions so I absolutely got a bowl of those as well. The whole meal was out of this world delicious and the vibe here was just so relaxed and mellow. If you went into the restaurant and bar you can see on the walls why its called 60 Million Postcards, there are postcards all over the walls! I believe the building used to be an only post office and when they found all these left over postcards what better thing to do with them then place them all over the walls. Thus 60 Million Postcards was born. It was also really well priced! For a couple of roads of drinks and food for the two of us we payed £30 each which was really really good and it was all so worth the money.
We then headed back to the Airbnb in our £8 Uber to get some good sleep ready for the next day of road tripping ahead!
So I haven’t ever posted anything like this before and I figured I’ve been blogging for a good six years now and recently its really taken off, so why not tell you all more about myself? That way I hope we can be a little more familiar!
I have blue eyes! (A nice easy one to start off with).
I’m a huge memory hoarder. I take far too many pictures, I have 3 scrapbooks, 5 photo albums (and then some), a notepad, bullet journal and adventure book. Including all my writing covered T-shirts from uni, school badges, primary school dresses and uniform. I love looking back at things it just makes me so happy.
I graduated in September 2019 from the University Of Lincoln (UK) with a 2:1 in International’s Tourism Management! Ive always been huge into my travel ever since I was little, massively influenced by my parents and being so luck to be well travelled, I’m very grateful.
My dream job is to work in Crisis and Disaster Management across the southern hemisphere regarding natural disasters like hurricanes, tsunami’s, earthquakes, landslides etc.
I am 23 and will be 24 on March 12th.
I have 5 Tattoo’s, 4 on my legs and 1 on my ribs. My first tattoo is my largest, I sat for 3 and a half hours to get a sea-witch. I also have a lotus flower, a Jigglypuff (I’ve always loved Pokemon) and an elephant on my legs and the Mental Health Semi-Colon on my ribs.
I have 1 pet, wigglebum, official name Digby. He is a beautiful and bouncy 5 year old Sprocker Spaniel, you can follow his instagram here! @theadventuresofdigbydog.
Lockdown really helped me to get back into reading, I have already read 36 books this year, thats a whole 35 more than last year if you don’t count university study books! I used to read quite intensely when I was younger, its been really nice to get back into it.
I have a very intense fascination with Dark Tourism. I wrote my dissertation on the topic and am looking forward to visiting some Dark Tourism sites in the future once Covid restrictions aren’t so heavy.
My all time favourite alcoholic drink is definitely Vodka or Malibu and Fanta Fruit Twist.
I have 1 younger sister by 3 years who is absolutely 100% taller than me by a good foot.
I LOVE the beach. I live for it, I was brought up only 5 minutes away from the beach and I adore the ocean, the sand, beach curls the salt on my skin. I miss the beach a lot now I’ve moved away from it, it will always be my goal and dreams to live next to or close-by to a beach or seaside town.
I was a beach lifeguard for 4 years and that was easily the best job I have ever had so far. So much fun and I was super duper fit as its hardcore fitness, and also fully first aid trained. It was a blessing of a job and great experience helping others in need!
I’ve been driving for 5 years now and in that time I have only crashed once, I had a good chat with a lorry and wrote off my beautiful Kirsten the KA. It was totally my fault and everyone walked away fine, I was just sad my car had to go. Definitely taught me a lesson, don’t think that a lorry can see you over their cab. Chances are if you’re in a small car, they can’t.
My favourite holiday destination I have ever visited is Sri Lanka, it was such an eye opening and informative trip. I absolutely loved it and got to experience the Lagoons, the disaster management centre, Colombo, climbing Adams Peak and SO MUCH MORE with some of my closest girlfriends.
So there you have it! 15 facts about myself!
I hope you feel like you know me a little bit better and know the person behind the blog. Any questions or queries drop me a comment!
Although we didn’t let it dampen our moods or our experience we decided, especially with family calling and messaging us as well urging us to come back, it was time to go home to the UK a day earlier than anticipated at the risk of being locked down in Paris, France.
Luckily with our breakfast goodies we bought the day before we enjoyed our Brunch in the hotel room and a relaxed morning before getting all packed up and heading back to the centre. We still had one more stop before heading to Gard Du Nord.
Walking down the streets of Le Defense to the tube stations were unusual as everything was closed and everything was very quiet. When we arrived at the tube station no one was in sight but this was the cheapest way to get back into the centre for us and we didn’t mind. This made it easier to manoeuvre with our cases.
We then arrived at the Eiffel Tower! I wanted to just at least walk past it, underneath it, take a picture, SOMETHING. So I was very grateful that Brad let me do this. We sat in the park below the Eiffel tower and ate what little food we had left and a quick smoke break to then head across to the Gard Du Nord Station. The Eiffel tower was just as beautiful and impressive as the pictures. I was so happy I got to see it and sit underneath it and enjoy the weather before we left. The park itself was busy and there were people everywhere. It was a lovely atmosphere.
They were very good when we arrived at Gard Du Nord and stated we had tickets for tomorrow but would like to leave a day earlier. The gentleman serving us seemed slightly confused and asked us why we were leaving early which shocked me. I did think that this would be obvious and I knew were certainly weren’t the first ones today to request a train home today. Brilliantly we managed to get the next train out!
16:10pm we left Gard Du Nord on the Eurostar home a day early. It was still an absolutely amazing trip. I loved every second of it and spending quality time with my man, the best birthday present a girl could ask for. The fact everything was closed museums and viewpoint wise was no let down or bummer and didn’t influence the trip negatively. If anything it made me want to go back once this is all over do everything we couldn’t do properly.
Watch out Paris. We’ll be back!
Stay safe and healthy during Covid-19. We will push through!
Before we headed off on this days exploring we had a little lay in and then headed to the supermarket across the road from our Ibis to get Croissant fillings! We got a packet of Pain Au Chocolat at the same time, as well as some crisps and cheese and had our own continental breakfast in our room. Then it was off to the tube station again for another day exploring!
Our first stop? the Arc De Triomphe! One of the most beautifully detailed pieces of architecture we had seen on the trip. The details in the statues and the sculptures is phenomenal. You have to walk underneath the roundabout to access the building and once we had a full look around we realised they were offering for people to go up to the top. NO BRAINER. Instead of standing in the huge queues in the underground pathway ticket office we bought our tickets online straight away for €13 each, perfectly reasonable! We jumped straight into the queue and headed on up. 300 winding in circles steps later, we made it. And the views were something else. Before we headed up to the terrace we entered the main section of the building where you could learn about the history of the Arc Du Triomphe before taking another 10-15 steps up to the terrace! The views were beautiful. You could see all 12 avenues coming from the roundabout of the building, the Eiffel tower, all the taller monuments and statues and especially the commercial sector. The ONLY Sector with skyscrapers!
After doing the 300+ spiralling and dizzying steps down we headed for a walk down the Avenue Des Champs-Elysees! Loads of shops and shopping malls, we even saw some super cars which you could pay to be driven around Paris in. Plenty of designer shops and non designer shops dotted all the way down the Avenue! The only thing I couldn’t shake was the police presence. They were everywhere. Lined up down every street. On every corner in groups of 5. On patrols walking or on horseback. It wasn’t quite intimidating as they all had huge guns and batons. They all appeared smiley enough though.
We dipped into one of the shopping centres to try some Macaroons! Neither me nor Brad had ever tried them before some bought a pack of 3, Vanilla, Chocolate and Caramel. They were AMAZING. I was actually sad it had taken me this long to try them! We both thoroughly enjoyed them and once we had a taste for food we had to go get something tasty. SO I don’t know about you guys. And don’t judge me here. But I will always go to a McDonald’s in another country. BECAUSE THEY ALWAYS HAVE DIFFERENT THINGS! I could’ve got a dessert BURGER. A DESSERT BURGER. Like how sick but also literally sick is that? haha! So we enjoyed a quick Macca’s for lunch and carried on!
We walked past the beautiful Grand Palais – RMN, again we wished we coddle gone in but this wasn’t the case. We did take some glorious pictures outside the beautiful golden gates of the building though. It was an opportunity not to be missed! Once we were done the space was taken by some top bloggers and photographers so we felt we hit a good one with that! We then walked over the Pont Alexandre III bridge. With 4 beautiful golden sculptures, 2 at each end of the bridge, crossing over the river Seine it was lovely. Another piece of beautiful architecture of the list.
We then took a leisurely stroll down to the Musee De L’armee, the Army museum and also home of Napoleons grave. We again would’ve loved to go inside but it was closed once more due to Covid-19, another smart move. So once we enjoyed the beautiful golden gates and cannons outside we headed on our way back to the hotel early ready for our night out in the Latin Quarter!
We arrived at La Defense tube station and as we left we played around on some Lime scooters for a bit! Personally I wish we could’ve used these every day everywhere but i didn’t have the confidence. These motorised scooters were activated by QR code on your phone on the app and charged €1 a minute. Seems quite expensive? NOPE. NOT with how fast these bad boys went. We did get a few looks as we were fucking about in the area but hey, all fun and games. After getting ready at the hotel we then fucked about AGAIN on the scooters before heading back in for dinner!
When we arrived at the latin Quarter we headed for a drink before dinner! We went to Bulls Brothers Paris for beers, the atmosphere was awesome and the pints were decent! We sat in their indoor/outdoor(?) area. We noticed that a lot of the pubs had half in half out areas where you could sit and drink and smoke but also be off the street and in the restaurant/bar. It was really nice and I like their outdoor culture.
We then headed to Rosies smokehouse for the most BOMB dinner. It was honestly amazing, we both got meat platters with 3 different types of meat, a salad and chips, as well as Meaty beans!!! The two of us were in our element. We said we would get more traditional food the next day on Sunday and try some proper French cuisine. We did think that France had been particularly quiet about their Covid-19 actions. Literally as we sat down for dinner our server informed us that from 12am that night every bar and restaurant will be closed for the foreseeable future.
We didn’t mind too much of course. Covid-19 is incredibly serious and they were taking the right precautions. We enjoyed our meal and our drinks and we also made friends with another Irish couple and we had a merry old time in the outdoor area of Rosie’s Smokehouse drinking away! Come 12am the restaurant owners told us we could drink inside as long as they closed the area. A couple of moments after we sat down they started handing us plastic cups saying that the police were doing rounds. With that it was our time to leave with our drinks in tow. It was still a fantastic night, one I won’t forget!
With that being said when we arrived at the hotel we were made aware there would be no food served at the hotel as well. We were lucky to have picked up our own breakfast the day before because the supermarket was also shut.
This lead to us leaving Paris a day early which you can read about in my final post!
So my wonderful man brought me to Paris on the Eurostar for my birthday!
What a hero. This was just before everything got shut down due to Covid-19. So we were lucky we managed to get our trip in when we did. We stayed in London the night before at Kings Cross before getting out early Eurostar train at 7:55am on Friday morning! Once we arrived we were on track and en route arriving at Gard Du Nord in France, Paris!
So we headed to our Ibis in the commercial sector, La Defense and we walked, EVERYWHERE. We walked to the tube station from the Eurostar and got an all day ticket for €7 which was really handy as it got us everywhere all day and considering we were there for 3 days (Should’ve been 4 but we will get to that!) it was actually cheaper to buy these day tickets than it was to buy a travel pass. We managed half the journey with our bags and decided to get off and get an Uber the rest of the way so we could plan our journeys in the hotel! The hotel was nice and the room was perfect for the two of us with a view of the River Seine out of the window and we could just see the top of the Eiffel Tower! So we dumped out bags and off we went exploring with City Mapper, our trusty travel app, in tow.
La Defense was the commercial sector so there were HUGE sky scrapers and buildings everywhere. We were walking on pathway raised above the read and it was very modernised and windy. It was Impressive to say the least and every day we were graced with beautiful weather and before the tube station to get to the centre a huge pond/body of water which was lovely and out of place due to the location! A really nice touch. The tubes were easy to maintain, just like London, and so we didn’t have many issues!
Although we did run into one issue. We arrived at the tube station Concorde and suddenly the doors opened and security piled in shouting what I can only image was “end of the line, get off the train”. Confused we asked on the platform what was going on as we had 3 more stops and there had been an accident up ahead. Hopefully it wasn’t serious, but this abrupt stop did lead us to leave the tube station earlier than anticipated. And boy were we glad we did! We found ourselves at Place De La Concorde.
A huge roundabout, cobbled roads, beautiful statues and fountains in the middle and the Palace itself at the end! The pair of us would have had absolutely no idea about this stop had we not gotten off! And it also warranted walk through the Jardin Des Tuileries which lead to the Musee Du Louvre. The Jardin Des Tuileries is in the centre of Paris and free to enter with 2 fountains and endless sculptures and statues throughout the park. It was a beautiful day and a beautiful walk through the gardens! We sat down by one of the fountains and relaxed for a little before moving on to the Musee Du Louvre!
Musee Du Lourve was as beautiful as all the pictures I had seen before, we walked through the archway from the park and over towards the museum itself. Due to Covid-19 the Museum was only open to ticket holders and unfortunately we didn’t have €60 each to spare, but it was another thing off the list just to see the beautiful architecture that is the Louvre itself and the beautiful building surrounding it. Brad was incredibly impressed and naturally pictures of us trying to pinch the top of the Louvre were a given. As we walked through the building surrounding the Louvre we headed out of one of the exits and over a Bridge which I can only assume used to be the Love Lock bridge! Much to our dismay of course the locks had all be removed as the bridge was way to heavy, but it was lovely to experience none the less. A few locks still remained on lamps.
Once over the bridge and walking beside the Seine we found the Statue Equestre Du Marechal Foch standing proudly in the middle of a bridge over the Seine, a militant memorial of the 19th century. After heading through some more beautifully aesthetically pleasing areas, we made it to the Latin Quarter.
The Latin Quarter is beside Notre-dame Cathedral and this was definitely an interesting sight as of course it was on fire not all that long ago. Works are well and truly underway and you cannot enter the area, only look by from the main road which is exactly what we did! I hope to go back once the Cathedral is repaired so I can get a proper good look at one of the most beautiful Cathedrals known.
Over the bridge at in the Latin Quarter we found a live band raising money for charity by the Fontaine Saint-Michel, A monumental fountain in Paris showing St Michel slaying a dragon! It was beautiful and very impressive. And in the perfect spot to have a beer! So we stopped in this area and sat down at Le Depart for a beer and some pretzels (a nice touch!). Although it cost a bomb, and we later realised that we had eaten into a tourist trap. Literally down the road to our left were pubs of the same caliber but selling beers for cheaper. But we didn’t mind, we knew for next time and enjoyed our beverage stop.
At the very top of the Latin Quarter was the beautiful building this is the Pantheon. It was a big old hill to climb to get to this beautiful building but totally worth it, the sun was setting and there was even a daffodil area going on in the square area outside the building so people could buy fresh daffodils and daffodil bulbs! It was getting late and on our way up to the Pantheon (which we wish we could’ve gone inside but Covid-19 had closed its doors which is wise!) we passed 2 pubs and tried to get in but they were SO Busy as they were buy a college, so we headed back down the hill for dinner!
Dinner was at Jardin Notre-Dame and the food was absolutely glorious. Our server was absolutely mental but she made the experience. I had Duck Confit whilst Brad has Shnitzel and we shared some wine whilst we looked out the window at Notre-dame all lit up! It was a cute little dinner spot and once we were done we headed literally over the road to Polly Maggoo for drinks, a rough and ready place for pints. We sat outside under the heaters and taked for hours.
I am so grateful for my man and this trip, we headed back to the hotel happily sloshed, I was baffled about how some of the trains were double deckers, and we were ready for day 2!