21 February 2015

Belgium Holiday Part 2 - Bruges

The other day I posted part 1 of my half term break holiday adventure to Belgium which you can read about here. Now on to part 2 where sadly 1/3 of our travelling trio had to leave us to go back to work. So as a new duo we headed on to Bruges.

 Bruges is another gorgeous city and more touristy then Ghent was. I really enjoyed both places and I liked that literally you could walk everywhere in both places. The city was bustling full of tourists and we found it very easy to navigate around. We stayed in a hostel above a restaurant which after staying in a hotel for 2 nights prior it was not up to our standards. We were a bit spoiled in Ghent I came to realise very quickly. But since we rarely spent anytime in the room it was fine for a comfy bed.

After experiencing my waffles in Ghent I was now ready to take on some chocolate and beer. For beer we headed over to 2be where I had read online they served different types of beer and had a gluten-free one for my travel buddy. I tried cherry beer which is very sweet but nice and a new personal fave coconut beer! Which was amazing and also served in a coconut shell cup! I recommend hitting up 2be just to try a coconut beer and sit outside on their patio which in alongside the canals. Great location for a few afternoon drinks but be aware as we came to sadly realise that it closes early in the evening. So a perfect excuse to get your day drink on!

We had read about a quirky chocolate shop called The Chocolate Line that made all these different unique chocolate flavours and decided to check it out. It was almost overwhelming with all the different choices. I decided just to pick 6 that sounded the weirdest and go from there. This lead me to a lemon vodka chocolate, a skull shaped one filled with cherries, a bacon flavoured one, a walnut one, a sundried tomato olive and basil flavoured one, and a lemon lime one. 

The worst one was the sundried tomato olive basil combo! And the best one shockingly turned out to be the bacon flavoured one! But I guess it makes sense since... bacon good... chocolate good.

We did a couple touristy things while in Bruges. We went on a little boat ride canal tour which was nice to see the city and all the bridges from a different angle. We also walked to the top of the Belfry Tower which gave us some amazing views of the city. I highly recommend everyone does this as its one of the most popular attractions in Bruges. At first I was a little sceptical about walking up 366 steps in a narrow and pretty steep at some points winding staircase but actually it wasn't that bad and I did make it to the top! Plus you have a couple stops along the way to read about the history as you climb up. While we were at the top the bells actually chimed which was really cool to experience. You also get an amazing view of the city! And it was a beautiful sunny day so definitely worth it!

Bruges is a beautiful city and I loved how quaint and friendly it was. I definitly recommend a good Belgian holiday visiting both Ghent and Bruges to anyone looking for an escape from busy London!

19 February 2015

Belgium Holiday Part 1 - Ghent

Another half term break is upon us and a couple friends and I decided to do a little mini trip away to Belgium. I had never been to Belgium and my mind kept wandering to thoughts of waffles, chocolate and beer. So of course I was keen to go! 

We booked in for a couple nights in Ghent to start off the adventure. I had never heard of Ghent but upon looking up pictures and reading up on it I was pretty excited to go. 

Ghent all lit up on the canals at night is stunning

Ghent is a beautiful little city! It has so many different little cobble stone alleyways and beautiful bridges over the canals. Its literally something like you would imagine out of a fairytale. At night everything is lit up and the water reflections are a photographers dream. It was gorgeous. The city full of tourists and we did lots of walking around and exploring different parts of the city and different views of the canals. It's a rather small place and you could easily walk to everything and just chill out and have a coffee which made for a good relaxing holiday. Exactly what I needed after all the madness that has been going on at work.

my travel buddies
buddy systems in order so we don't get lost.
I gave myself three goals as stated above for Belgium... waffles, chocolate and beer. While in Ghent I ticked off the waffles bit and overendulged in a true Belgian waffle with peaches, warm chocolate sauce and cream. and it was AMAZING! I loved every minute of it. Another good thing about Belgium is anytime you order a coffee or warm drink you get a piece of chocolate on the side. The food was good so we ate lots and drank even more. A true dipiction of a good holiday!

While in Ghent we had found self guided Graffiti tour around the city and being the little explorers we are... we decided to give it a go. We set off around the city in search of some art by local artist, ROA since we really liked his style having searched him a bit before hand. His work is definitely some of the best I have seen and it was such a cool experience to wander around in the city where he is from and look for different pieces of his art.

We stayed in Ghent for a few days before wandering over to Bruges where I still needed to check off my chocolate and beer goals. To be continued...

08 February 2015

Riviera Maya

I was going through some of my pictures yesterday and came across some from a trip I took in 2011 to Mexico with some friends. I started this blog pretty much right after the trip and didn't blog about my adventures... so here is my throw back post.

 Before I moved over to London a few of my bests and I had talked about taking a trip together. We started throwing around different ideas and agreed we all wanted sunshine, beaches, hot weather, and all-inclusive. We found some really good deals on applevacations.com and booked a trip for the four of us girls to Riviera Maya, Mexico. We stayed at this huge resort called The Grand Sunset Princess. It basically was this massive hotel with numerous pools, swim up bars, restaurants and a beach front location.

Our room was beautiful and had a balcony which overlooked one of the hotel pools and I got to sleep in a massive comfy bed all to myself for the week! We did the usual things that most all-inclusive travelleres do... lay around the pool/ocean all day working on our tans, eat way too much at the buffets, consume lots of fun fruity drinks, and take in a couple of excursions. It was a nice and relaxing lazy trip for sure.

For our excursions the four of us split off and did one of them in pairs and then one all together. Sarah and I had decided we wanted to go and see some of the underground caves so we went to Rio Secreto while Kelly and Christina ventured off to ride ATVs. I'm really happy we did the caves because it was such a cool experience. We got there and they suited us up in a wetsuit, helmet, life jackets and water shoes. Sarah and I of course got stuck on the tour with a group of 4 other couples. So while everyone was posing for pictures with their partner in a loving embrace, Sarah and I opted to pose for ours like 'true explorers'.  The caves were so cool to be inside. There were some parts that were full of water where we had to swim around and other parts where we would climb around and over different dry areas. It was definately a highlight of the trip.

The second excursion we all opted to take together was a swim with the dolphins. We had never done it before and I was dying to try it since of course it is the main holiday stereotype out there. But it was actually really fun and I'm glad I did it. The dolphins were cute and they seemed to be treated well... (as well as you can be in a enclosed area where you push and pull people around all day). But besides that point I got suckered in and got a kiss from a dolphin and I liked it!

Overall it was a good relaxing trip. Sometimes you just need a week to lay around on the beach and with all this cold weather London has currently been having I know I would love to be catching some rays in the Mexican sunshine!

This is still one of my favourite pictures ever taken! It makes me laugh every time!


01 February 2015

February Travel Link Up

This months travel link up hosted by Kelly, Emma, Rebecca and I'm excited to say co-hosted by my girl Sara! It is all about the unexpected benefits of blogging.

Now when Sara told me she was co-hosting this month I was pretty excited for her and obviously excited to get some scoop on what we would be writing about for February! When she told me the topic I must admit I was a bit stumped and had to actually sit down and think about what I could write for it. I started this blog right before moving over to London as a way to keep in contact with mostly my family and fill them in on some of the things I was up to and now I look at how far it has come over these past few years. But also just in this past year alone when it has actually started to pick up.

The biggest unexpected benefit of blogging for me was connecting and being part of a whole blogging community. I have been to events hosted for bloggers where I have met some pretty great people. I have been able to experience different London sights, try new gadgets, taste new food creations all with other bloggers. I love to read other bloggers adventures and see the pictures of places they have travelled to. I love seeing tips on new things to do in London or new spots to go with friends. 

London Photography Walk for bloggers
London bloggers sights tour
Trying some new scone recipes at London Bloggers Tea

It is just my fun little hobby that has unexpectedly become a big part of my London life!