Travel | Barcelona, Spain

Tuesday, 27 December 2016

So, for the first week of August, I went on holiday to Barcelona, Spain with my family (mum, dad and one of my brothers) and one of my childhood friends who lives down our road. I thought today I would run through what we got up to in Barcelona and my recommendations for you guys!

Where to Stay

We stayed in an apartment that we found on AirBnB that was situated in the Vallcarca neighbourhood which is a little bit outside the centre of Barcelona. It was a really nice apartment in a nice area, although it wasn't very central which I do prefer when I'm staying somewhere. The lady we rented it from, Carmen, was lovely and very knowledgable about Barcelona and the surrounding areas and, as our flight was delayed on the way out, she stayed up until midnight waiting for us to get there! It was a lovely apartment and definitely exactly what we needed for our stay!

Where to Eat

We did a combination of eating meals out in local restaurants and we did a little bit of cooking in our apartment. A place that I would definitely recommend would be Gelaaati Di Marco for amazing ice cream in the gothic part of the town! My brother is vegan so we were looking for vegan places and found this amazing ice cream place which was incredible!! The ice cream isn't all vegan but they have an amazing dark chocolate ice cream with no dairy in whatsoever and it was still so creamy and delicious! We also ate in an amazing vegan restaurant near there too but I unfortunately have no idea what it was called!

Where to Go/What to Do

There is literally so much to do in Barcelona, we didn't even scratch the surface and we packed a lot in! We of course did all the typical tourist bits in Barcelona such as Park Guell, Casa Batllo and Casa Mila, we also went to Montserrat, took a day trip to Castelldefells to go the beach and went up Mount Tibidabo to see Sagrat Cor one morning! We didn't really go to the beach in Barcelona, (Barceloneta Beach) that much as we found it far too busy and crowded although we did go down a couple of times at night when it was much quieter and had a cocktail by the sea!

Barcelona should definitely be on your list of places to see in Europe! I thoroughly enjoyed my time there and would recommend it to anyone who is looking for a city break, especially art lovers as the city is brimming with inspiring architecture and art history!

Travel | Upcoming Trips!

Friday, 23 December 2016

Hey! So, today, I thought I would do a post to update you on some of the trips that I have coming up at the end of 2016 and in 2017!

So, from the 29 December to 5 January, me and one of my best friends are going to Bucharest, Romania and Budapest, Hungary! We're going to be in Bucharest from 29 December to 1 January and then we're flying to Budapest on the 1-5 January! We're both really excited as they are cities we've never been to before and we are also staying in hostels for the first time!

Then, in February, I have a reading week at Uni so me and another best friend are going to Vilnius, Lithuania from 19-23 February. We're staying in a hostel again and we chose Lithuania for a slightly geeky reason as Lithuanian is the closest language to the original language (Proto Into-European) that most European languages now stem from!

In April, me and Brandon, the friend I'm going to Lithuania with are going with my family to spend a chill week near St Ives, Cornwall. My mum wanted us to go on a family holiday at Easter but as we have Uni work, she didn't want it to be too busy so a chilled out week in Cornwall in perfect!

After exams at Uni in May, I'm planning to go and spend 10 days to 2 weeks with Brandon and his family at his house in San Diego! We have planned lots of things to do, especially as I have never been to America before so we are both super excited about that!

Finally, from 20 July to 10 August I am doing 3 weeks volunteering in Thailand teaching English as a foreign language! This is something that I am really excited for as, of course I do a linguistics degree so languages interest me and to be able to combine that with travel is amazing! I also get a TEFL qualification from doing it which means I can teach in other places afterwards!

I'm so excited for all of my 2016/2017 trips and can't wait to see more of the world! Do you have any travel plans for the end of 2016 or next year?

Rainy Days in Aberdeen!

Sunday, 18 December 2016

In October, I was asked to play the first dance at a wedding in Aberdeen as, alongside my degree, I do singing gigs as my job. So I was really happy to be asked to do this as I love playing at weddings as they are always really special! As this wedding was in Aberdeen, I travelled up on the train in the afternoon and went straight to the wedding venue which was at a beautiful hotel in Aberdeen.

I played the first dance which was a song called ‘The You and Me Song’ by The Wanadees which was lovely and then I headed to the AirBnB that I was staying the night in near the hotel. It was an absolutely lovely AirBnB and I took some photos to show you guys. It was a room in this couple’s house and, they were actually at a concert the night that I arrived so I didn’t see them until the following morning but they had dropped the keys off at the hotel for me, left me a ready meal and a bottle of wine out and lots of information about what to do in Aberdeen as they knew I had some time in the city on the Sunday.

Unfortunately, on the Sunday, it was absolutely tipping it down, so I didn’t get to see as much of Aberdeen as I would have liked to as I am definitely of the mindset that, if I’m in a new place, then I want to see of much of that place as possible. However, as it was raining so much, I didn’t manage to see that much. I had a wander around the Waterstones they have there which is absolutely huge and I also went to the maritime museum which was free, indoors and actually really interesting!

I actually have a friend at uni who is from Aberdeen so I think in the future I definitely will go back to Aberdeen and hopefully see it when it’s not so rainy, but I did have an absolutely lovely time, even though it was a long way to go to only play one song!

Travel | Nyhavn, Copenhagen

Sunday, 11 December 2016

When I visited Copenhagen we visited a really pretty harbour area called Nyhavn (New Harbour) that I thought I would show you guys today! I thought I had more pictures from the area but I can’t find any apart from this one from my visit in 2012 but essentially it’s a beautiful area near the harbour with coloured houses and you can get boat trips along the canal and round to The Little Mermaid. It’s definitely an area that you should visit if you’re in Copenhagen, even if just to wander around as that’s what we do when we visit Copenhagen as we are with a Danish family so we wander around the city and get more of a local’s view which is lovely. In Nyhavn there are also lots of cafes and restaurants so if you get there around a mealtime, it’s a lovely place to sit, eat a meal and relax!

As you can see when we visited, the canal was actually frozen, as was most of the water in and around Copenhagen as the first time when we visited in 2012, there was about a foot of snow and it was super cold for the entire week, which I loved! I ahven’t been in the summer but I have seen others’ pictures of Nyhavn in the summer and it is really pretty then as all of the colours of the houses are really bright, however I did think it was beautiful, even in, and maybe because of the snow!

Travel | Croatia Catamaran Day Trip

Sunday, 4 December 2016

 One of the things we really wanted to do in Croatia was to visit some of the islands in the Dalmatian Archipelago and we did this on one of our last days on a catamaran tour from Split with Summer Blues Tours. We picked Summer Blues because they did a 12 hour cruise with a trip to Hvar, Brac and the Pakleni Islands alongside free unlimited food and drinks all days for 70 euros which, although it was still quite expensive, it was one of our treats of the holiday as everything else had been super cheap!

We started the day at 9am getting on the catamaran at the Split harbour and straight away we were offered drinks from the bar which had a great selection of soft and alcoholic drinks. It was lovely on the catamaran as we could relax, read a book and chat in the sunshine and then we had breaks when the boat stopped for swimming, once near Brac island and once near the Pakleni islands. Here we stopped for about an hour at each location and we could jump off the boat into the sea or go down the ladders and have a swim for a while or we could sunbathe on a netting portion towards one end of the boat.

The main destination of the trip was Hvar island which is one of the biggest and most famous islands in the archipelago. We stopped here for about 3 and a half hours which gave us a chance to explore Hvar. We took a walk around the town and found a really cool shop where we bought sarongs as we had been trying to find one for the whole trip to cover our shoulders from the sun as they kept getting burnt no matter how much suncream we put on! I bought a purple tie dye one from this shop and then we went down to the nearby beach and relaxed in the sun there.

On the way back to Split, it was really beautiful as the sun was setting and we managed to get some photos of the sunset from the boat! If/when I go back to Croatia, I would definitely want to explore more islands so I definitely recommend it as a treat/day out from Split!! We got some beautiful photos throughout the day!

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