THE WONDERFUL MYKONOS, GREECE

For our first holiday of the Summer Eesh and I were able to find a bargain on Thomas Cook, travelling to the divine Greek island of Mykonos and staying at the 4 star George Hotel, situated at the Southern beach of Platis Gailos.

The hotel was amazing for a variety of reasons. It not only looked beautiful, but provided amazing views of the bright blue coast and the multiple rocky hills that surrounded the beach, covered in the typical bright white buildings. Any hotel located in Platis Gailos is within a 5 minute walk of the beach front and the number of restaurants and shops that it offers. We soon realised that the restaurants, similar to the many that we visited across the island, all seem to offer roughly the same items on the menu, that consist of meat dishes, pizzas, pastas and seafood. Unfortunately for us, this was limited with our vegetarian diet, but I can’t complain about having pizza, pasta and chips for most meals!

Whilst we could not fully explore the Greek cuisine, we did try to explore the island itself as much as possible, whilst on a somewhat limited budget. Various beaches have simple paths from one another, or the buses to various locations across the island are extremely affordable. If that’s not for you, there are multiple excursions, such as jeep tours, quad bikes, or boat trips that provide opportunities to visit different locations. We chose the Southern Beach Tour, which evidently involved a boat trip, showing and docking up at a number of prominent beaches, some offering immensely clear waters, others providing opportunities for food or bars. Overall, we felt that for the £70 per person price tag of this excursion, it wasn’t that great. Some of the beaches that the boat docked up at were not the best (either super busy or covered in seaweed), there was little information explained whilst on the tour, nor time to snorkel, and the lunch that was part of the price was rather disappointing. With all that, we regret not doing some of the other excursions, which included a boat trip to the historic island of Dilos or a off-road venture across the Mykonos landmarks.

Next, we visited the main Mykonos Town. Located North of the island, this was the highlight of our trip. The vast amount of pictures of the painted white floor and the white and blue buildings do not do it enough justice. It truly was incredible. With the many little alleys anyone can roam for hours and never get bored… but can easily become lost. Within the compact town, there are many restaurants and bars, ranging from typical Greek cuisines to Italian pasta and pizzerias. Here we tried the Greek food of Souvlaki at the Pepper restaurant, which consisted of seasoned chips, salad and yogurt in pitta, and it was delicious! For those with a sweeter tooth, the town is home to dozens of dessert shops, offering so many flavours of ice cream, crepes and waffles that it is so hard to decide what to try.

The beaches of the town are filled with romantic restaurants and bars that provide ideal spots to overlook the sunsets each night, something that attracts huge crowds.

Looking back at our holiday, I would recommend finding a hotel closer to Mykonos Town. Simply due to the liveliness of the area, in comparison to where we stayed. Whilst the Platis Gailos had a wonderful beach and nice restaurants and bars, it was missing the immense Greek culture and the complete essence of Mykonos, with every street coated in white and colours in every direction. Obviously, some may prefer a beachside hotel, and whilst I can completely understand this, it seems that wonderful beaches can be found every half mile, evidently within a short hikes distance.

b933d54c-ab38-4d54-ab6d-fba63b2d562cMykonos was definitely one of my favourite locations that I have visited. If you haven’t been, I would definitely recommend, and if you have, I can’t blame you if you want to go back, as I’m pretty sure I’ll aim to at some point. However, as many people hope between mykonos and the beautiful island of Santorini, I now aim to visit there. For now though , I hope you have enjoyed my little summary of my trip to Mykonos!

 

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A WEEKEND EXPLORING STOCKHOLM, SWEDEN

I’ve been to the Swedish capital of Stockholm multiple times now, all of which have been with my family – mainly consisting of following my sister’s direction and plans, due to her previously living there for a year.

This time, I was taking Eesh as a Christmas present, thus taking all responsibility and planning. Fortunately, once you are familiar with the different areas of the city that are important for tourists, it can be quite easy to navigate.

I chose to stay in the Elite Hotel Stockholm Plaza, as not only was it a lovely hotel that I had stayed in before, it was also located in the centre of the city.

Everything in Stockholm is within walking distance, sometimes it may take 40 minutes, but its still easily achievable. If walking isn’t for you, then the Metro/Underground the easiest and most affordable alternative. The travel cards, which provide unlimited use of the Metro, trams and boats, can be purchased as a 24 hour pass at 130 SEK, equating to just over £10, or a 72 hour/ 3 day pass at 260 SEK, equating to just over £21.

The Metro can definitely be daunting at first, but if you’ve planned your routes and familiarise yourself with the names of stations and areas, then take your time and it is no different to any other country’s metro system.

Our first day involved a walk through some of the main streets of the city, before getting the Metro over to Slussen, and visiting the Fotografiska – the photography museum. The Fotografiska constantly changes its exhibitions, and each time I’ve been they’ve been pretty amazing. The exhibitions not only provide information about each picture, but information about the photographer, their reasons behind their collection, and even additional videos of the making of the collection. I highly recommend visiting, as like myself, I wouldn’t usually go to a photography event, but this was certainly worth it.

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Kirsty Mitchell – Wonderland

For me – someone that loves animals, the Skansen Zoo was a must. It prides itself on holding traditional Nordic animals, and featuring such animals in different areas to represent different parts of Sweden in which they come from. Again, a word of advice is that with snow, some animals, such as the wolverine and the brown bears, were either harder to see, or were actually hibernating… On the other hand, it was great to see the Wolves sprint through the heavy snow.

Another must is exploring Gamla Stan. Also referred to as the Old Town, this a top tourist location, as after all, this is where Stockholm was founded. Thus, what better location to hold the Royal Palace, which is a remarkable visit. Gamla stan is also ideal to relax and explore with its vast amounts of restaurants, cafes, museums and shops. The huge amounts of coffee shops not only in Gamla Stan, but all over the city serves the Swedish cultural tradition of fika. Fika involves not only coffee and cake, but a time to stop, relax and socialise.

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However, for those of you that are more into shopping, Stockholm does not disappoint. Drottninggatan is a large shopping area, with a huge street dedicated to retail shops and department stores. The area, of course, includes many coffee shops and restaurants as well.

During our visit to Stockholm we tried to vary our eating as much as possible. Like most large cities, Stockholm hosts vast amounts of chain and independent restaurants, catering to a variety of cuisines. Having turned vegetarian in recent months, it was already going to be a struggle to find food options, and we most likely gave up on the idea of trying the traditional Swedish meatballs. We did however, during fika, try both the Kanelbulle – a cinnamon role, and a Kladdkaka – a chocolate cake.

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Overall, the holiday to Stockholm was great. Like everywhere we’ve been so far, it provided us with an insight into a new and pleasant culture. There is lots to do, and whilst we were perhaps limited to some things with the harsh snowy weather, we would happily visit again in warmer weather to maximise on the Swedish experience. Based on our experience, I would perhaps suggest that it would be better to go in such warmer weather, however the cold time of January did allow us to experience cheaper prices and less busy attractions – always a positive!!

Not many people think of Stockholm as a first choice location for a holiday. I’d like to think that this post will show that the city of Stockholm certainly has unique, cultural attractions and traditions that intrigue the typical tourist. If you have any more questions or would like any advice for travelling to Stockholm, feel free to contact me!

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I hope you like this post on my travels to Stockholm, Sweden.

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RW

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A SHORT BREAK IN VILA-SECA, SPAIN

On the East coast of Spain, Vila-Seca is just an hours train or car journey South of Barcelona. This is where Eesh and I had a short three-day break, in which we stayed at the 4* Mercure Atenea Aventura Hotel.

The hotel itself was appealing to the eye. The circular building had a large, open skylight that filled the hotel lobby with light. Our room was pleasant as well, very large with a large on suite attached. Unfortunately, being in the centre of the town-like area made it unlikely that any room in the hotel would have much of a view. The building itself was of 4* quality, and the restaurant and pool were of equal quality.

 

In terms of the hotel’s service, the receptionists were polite and friendly enough, however, there was little information given about the hotel’s services, as well as information for the local area and services. In addition, the welcome drink coupon given upon check-in, was actually deemed useless when we could only receive it between 12-8, yet the bar didn’t open until 9. The bar, which was advertised as open for drinks throughout the day, was locked throughout our stay, apart from a couple of hours at night. On a positive note, whilst the restaurant’s breakfast options were limited, it was very enjoyable.

 

Vila-Seca itself is small, yet full of cafés, bars and restaurants that come alive at night. However, the  liveliness of these venues contrast the desolate streets and shops during the day. Even before or after the times of Siesta, there were very few, if any, shops open. Unfortunately, due to our short time there, we were unable to visit the close popular towns of Salou and Tarragona, and therefore we were unable to see if other local areas were similar, or perhaps offer more recreational opportunities. Overall, I would suggest that whilst Vila-Seca was pleasant and peaceful, it is perhaps merely a brief sunbathing break like ours, or acts as a better ‘base’ location to then travel to other locations, such as Salou and its beach and theme park, or Tarragona’s beaches and historical attractions.

However, it seems that for similar prices, or a little extra, a hotel closer to or in Barcelona itself would be more practical for those looking to do more sightseeing and tourist norms of the city. I am certain in the future, we will be doing just that, allowing us to fully explore Barcelona’s many attractions.

 

Overall we had a lovely stay in Vila-Seca. The only stress we had was trying to figure out a way of transport from the airport to Vila-Seca. With a bit of struggle and a lot of help from Google Maps and the transport officers at the stations, were finally managed to get a train from the airport to central Barcelona, and then a long train to where we were staying. The costs of this came to about €18 for us both, which is much cheaper for the journey than a €140 taxi fare. Personally, I would recommend using the public transport, as for the distance we travelled, it was extremely good value for money. However, I would definitely recommend planning your travel first if you are to stay as far out from Barcelona as we did. I know it can be hard with delays and inconveniences, but Google Maps still provides live train and metro times to keep you up-to-date.

 

Thanks for reading my post, I hope you find this interesting and can help in any way!

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RW

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HIKING IN THE LAKE DISTRICT

We’ve been saying we would do it for a while now, so finally my Dad and I travelled up to the Lake District for a weekend of hiking and exploring.

Now despite that I no longer do any sports, I do occasionally go to the gym, so I often consider myself fit and able to take on physical challenges. However, when we set off to climb one of the smallest peaks, I was in for a surprise…

Disclaimer… I’ll be using some random names of some peaks, just to explain the specific hike that we did, but obviously these names may mean absolutely nothing to most readers… however do still watch my vlog down below to gain a bit of understanding!

After 9 miles, and 20,000 steps, we finally conquered the walk from Steel Fell to Castle Crag, and then to Gibson Knott and Helm Crag.

As you can see in the vlog, this was unexpectedly hard for me. I assumed it would just be a long hill, maybe hard on the legs but still easily achievable. Damn I was wrong. I had to take many breaks, and the two bottles of water I had with me was certainly not enough. Thats one thing that you should prepare if hiking, plenty of water!

If you and your family haven’t been to the Lake District before, then I definitely recommend a trip up there. The long journey to Cumbria is definitely rewarded by the views and the seclusion from and busy city life, which can be a real treat.

 

If anyone reading this has visited the lake District before, then you’ll know that there is much more to the area than just mountains. Lake Windermere is a real sight, as well as local towns and villages such as Ambleside and Keswick which are great to explore.

I hope you have enjoyed my post on my time in the Lake District and I hope you can check out my vlog of my hiking trip! Thanks for visiting my site, be sure to follow my blog and social media via the links below!

RW

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TRAVELLING TO BERLIN

The last of our planned summer escapes was a three day stay in the German capital of Berlin. I have always wanted to visit Germany, and this would be my first time so I was extremely excited to visit and explore.

 

For our visit we stayed at the SwissHotel Berlin, situated in the West of the city, and fortunately in the heart of the shopping area in Berlin. However, we didn’t want to spend all of our time shopping, as we had lots of attractions to visit!

Above is our vlog of the holiday. As you can probably tell we are trying to log each holiday that we go on, and we hope it kind of tells a bit more about our time there!

There is literally so much to visit and see within the city of Berlin. From cathedrals and historic buildings, to the Television Tower, the Berlin Wall, Checkpoint Charlie and the Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe.

The Berlin Wall was definitely the most memorable attraction of our trip for me. Whilst there are remains scattered across the city,  the East Side Gallery provides the largest remaining part of the Berlin Wall, I think at around a mile long. It was truly amazing to see; the surprising height of it really showed how divided the city would have been, however now the remains have been graffitied with art to commemorate history and send messages to its audience.

Not far away from the Berlin Wall is the Television Tower. Whilst walking past we were amazed at the sight of it (as you can see in the picture at the top of this blog), but little did we know that the top of the building holds a restaurant and viewing point. We only discovered this whilst flying home to England, and whilst we did have a busy schedule, we were gutted that our lack of research into the tower meant that we were unable to fit in a viewpoint of the city. I guess it is a lesson for us to do even more research before going somewhere!

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I hope you have enjoyed this post and I hope you can check out my vlog of our time in Berlin! Thanks for visiting my site, be sure to follow my blog and social media via the links below!

RW

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SUNNY DAYS IN MAJORCA

To celebrate another year of university complete Eesh and I flew out to the sunny east coast of Majorca, in which we stayed at the Sun Village in Alcudia. We decided to go self catering as we thought we should branch out a bit and try the different foods and cuisines that the local restaurants had to offer.

 

The main thing I have taken away from the holiday was how amazing the beach was. I’ve been to different parts of Spain, and visited different beaches and coasts, but never before have I seen a beach like this. The cleanliness and clarity of the water was incredible – it was just unfortunate that there was little amounts of fish marine life to see.

At first we had worries about the weather, it seemed cloudy with little sun, and we even thought it could rain. Fortunately better weather came through, and we were able to enjoy not only the sun and beach, but also go on a snorkelling excursion. The snorkelling excursion that we did was £20, lasting two hours which involved a boat sailing around the coast to a cove. There, providing that you bring your own snorkels (it was annoying that they did not provide them), you can have 10 minutes to snorkel and swim around the deep waters.  Although there wasn’t much swimming time, there was still amazing views, and for £20 this was definitely worth the money.

 

I hope you have enjoyed this post and I hope you can check out my vlog of our time in Majorca! Thanks for visiting my site, be sure to follow my blog and social media via the links below!

RW

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EXPLORING PRAGUE FOR THE FIRST TIME

My sister completely surprised me for my birthday this year by getting me and Eesh a three day holiday to Prague, Czech Republic. I had never been to Prague, but all I had ever heard were good things, and now I can confirm it.

I’ve tried something completely new as well, by videoing our time in Prague, and creating my very own travel vlog! I hope you all enjoy it and works well with this blog post!

The first thing we realised was that we had no idea what the exchange rate was like, so we panicked when deciding where and what to eat. We also realised that the language is not as easy to understand and translate as other European countries, but fortunately some places had english menus and people had good english. One thing we were lucky to discover was the three day travel cards. The three-day (72h) ticket costs 330,- Kč (around £12) for adults, so is well worth the money to get you around the city’s tram or transport services.

As you can see in the video, when we visited Prague it started off snowing and cold… not the ideal holiday weather! However, we still acted like tourists the best we could, visiting the Prague Castle, the Old Town and Charles Bridge.

Whilst the weather was cold, a bit of the country’s traditional food would keep us warm and lively. After exploring the Prague Castle, we came across the street food of Trdelník (seen below on the left), a rolled pastry that can be topped with chocolate, custard, cream or ice cream. Its safe to safe we had a few whilst we were there, and we definitely state that the Trdelník topped with chocolate is our favourite, and definitely worth trying.

In addition, the the Czech guláš or more understood to other countries as goulash, is a typical food for the tourist of Prague. The dish consists of stewed beef, topped with gravy and bread dumplings. Although it is offered in most restaurants, we were determined to try it when served in a bread bowl (as seen below). It was not only amazingly tasteful, but provided great warmth and energy whilst it was cold and snowed.

On our last day we had hours before we needed to be at the airport, so we diced to have one last explore around the city. We did a little bit of shopping, as well as finding any new foods, but we also came across Prague Golf and Games. As you can see in the picture below and the vlog video above, the Prague Golf and Games provides black light mini golf with a Prague theme. It also provides other arcade games such as foosball and air hockey. From what I can remember it was pretty cheap and well worth the money, with one round of mini golf costing around £8 each. I think for an extra pound or two you got two alcohol drinks with your entry! If you have any free time I would definitely recommend, you might even learn a thing or two about Prague whilst you play!

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I hope you have enjoyed this post and I hope you can check out my vlog of our time in Prague! Thanks for visiting my site, be sure to follow my blog and social media via the links below!

RW

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SPENDING MY BIRTHDAY IN BATH

For my 21st Birthday at the beginning of March I was sooo spoilt with presents by my family and my girlfriend Ayeisha. On the day before my birthday, Eesh told me she had booked a night at the BailBrook House Hotel in Bath.

Bath

This was my first time visiting Bath, and I was so excited, considering everyone who’s been before have given it great reviews. Unfortunately, that was the weekend that England had loads of snow, and if you’re from England then you will know how chaotic everything is when it snows! So, because of the snow, the Roman Baths were closed, which is one of the main attractions at the city…

Although it was pretty wet and cold, we could still enjoy what Bath had to offer. The city seemed to have everything, from all the high street shops you could think of, to dozens of trendy bars and cafés.

If you’re eating out in Bath, I highly recommend the Charm Thai Restaurant. If you’re into Thai cuisine, then this is a definite must, as it isn’t only affordable, but the food was amazing.  Pictured below is the Pad Kee Mao dish with chicken. This was incredibly spicy but amazing.

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Another restaurant that we tried was Slug and Lettuce. This restaurant gives a similar feel to Wetherspoons, however we were impressed with the quirky and trendy decor. The prices were very reasonable, with a huge selection on the menu.

Outfit

This featured outfit can suit any occasion being somewhat smart-casual! The thin but tight layers provide warmth even on the coldest of days!

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The outfit includes the camel smart overcoat from New Look Mens, covering a beige muscle fit jumper from Topman. The beige jumper is a personal favourite of mine, mainly because of the excellent fit, and it provides the perfect smart-casual attire.  To go with this outfit I wore the black ripped jeans from ASOS.

Camel Smart Overcoat – New Look Mens |Black Ripped Jeans  – ASOS |Beige Muscle Fit Jumper – Topman

Be sure to check the links for the items or similar! Thanks for visiting my site, be sure to follow my blog and social media via the links below!

RW

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A PRE-CHRISTMAS HOLIDAY

The time of the year that mostly everyone seems to love is here. Snow, Christmas markets and cold but cosy days inside are what everybody expects, unless you’re my family…

Most people will probably find it strange, but we as a family tend to go on holiday the week before Christmas, just to get away from all of the stress and chaos, but to also get a bit of warmth and sun!

Last week we travelled to Puerto Calero, Lanzarote, aiming to travel back late Christmas Eve in time for the big day. Fortunately, my sister is great at finding online super deals, and we were able to get all-inclusive at the five-star Hotel Hesperia Lanzarote.

 

 

 

Catamaran Exertion

Around the area there are lots of exertion options, ranging from travelling to the volcano sites, to go-karting and boat trips. During the week we decided to experience sailing out on the ‘luxury’ catamaran. It was a great experience, with nets at the front to relax, lunch included and having a go on the jet ski, there was plenty to give you a good time. Even snorkelling with the fishes was great, despite the sea being a bit cold.

 

 

 

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I would definitely recommend a winter holiday to the Canary Islands, it may not be as hot as the summer, but there is still a guarantee of sun, warmth and cheaper prices!

 

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MY BUCKET LIST | TRAVEL DESTINATIONS

I’ve always wanted to travel the world, experiencing the different cultures and landscapes of different countries. I may not have exactly travelled the world… yet, but I’ve been to a handful of countries and I’ll certain explore more. Life as student has its downfalls, the most prominent being the lack of money to spend on luxuries.

However, with a bit of budgeting and the right website deal, visiting places around the world can be possible. I thought I would share the countries I’d love to visit, hopefully in the near future…

 Thailand

For years its been a plan of mine to travel after university, and Thailand was the key destination in which I wanted to pack up and journey through. Thailand obviously has such a different culture to anything of Europe, and films like The Beach have made me fascinated by the culture and landscape, and excited to eventually experience it.

My sister had a holiday in Thailand earlier this year, and I was extremely envious of the experience she had! The holiday seemed pretty perfect; one week experiencing the urban culture of Bangkok, and then a second week in the rural area of Hua Hin, in which she experienced volunteering with elephants.

Without copying their holiday identically, I would love to do similar to this, especially the volunteering and helping elephants part, with a bit more exploration!

 

Iceland

Travelling to Iceland is a must for me and my girlfriend, especially with the value for money in terms of the amazing opportunities to experience the blue lagoons, the Northern Lights and overall Icelandic culture. This seems like the most affordable holiday destination on my travel bucket list being a student, and hopefully  I’ll be able to tick it off the list in the next year or so!

 

Japan

Similarly to Thailand, I really am intrigued and excited by the vast difference in culture from areas in Asia. It seems to be common knowledge that Japan has rapidly progressed with technology, yet the country has so much historical attractions that I would just love to see. The Himeji Castle and Hiroshima are definitely top of my list, as well as being able to see Mount Fuji in person.

Japan also seems to be were a lot of people my age travel to during gap years or during summers, and I can tell by the endless amount of photos that it is so interesting and captivating.

 

New Zealand

New Zealand really does look like it has everything to see. The single fact that New Zealand is where the Lord of the Rings franchise was filmed is enough for me, but with different climates all packed into one country, theres so many different things and activities to experience.

 

Canada

Similarly to New Zealand, any picture or video I see of Canada, seems to be some kind of amazing scenery or landscape. I think the main thing for me to do, judging by the common theme in these places that I want to visit, is to explore. I feel that when somewhere looks so amazing, like in Canada, I will happily hike and photograph as much as possible.

 

Please feel free to comment where you would love to travel to or have travelled!

 

RW