Travel report: Rome

Travel report: Rome

It took a while for me to do this blog post, but I seriously had no time to go through my pictures to make a selection on what to use for this blog post. But even though it’s been almost three weeks since I went to Rome, all those memories are still fresh in my brain to be sharing them with you. You may have already seen my beauty haul with all the bits I picked up while I was in Italy. Today I will be telling you all about what I actually did. It’s a long one, so grab a cuppa and enjoy!

River Tiber with St. Peter in the background

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Travel Report: Budapest

Travel Report: Budapest

Earlier this month I spent a few days in Budapest. No major trip this year where I’m gone for weeks on end. Rather I decided to take a few short city breaks. Budapest was my second destination this year, the first being London and the final one being Rome. My Budapest trip was only 3 days long, but I still feel I got a good sense of the city. Today I’d like to share with you what I did while I was there.

View of Pest, from the Buda side near the palace

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Off to Dublin!

Off to Dublin!

Yup today is the day! Time for trip no. 3 this year: Dublin. The Irish capital will be my home for the next 8 days to come. Here’s to hoping I also get to see pretty views such as this:

source: weheartit.com

There is no real plan yet as to what I’m going to see there. I’m going there again with my friend and we’ve decided to let our mood and the weather decide where we are going to go on what day. Of course we have a few things on our wishlist.

Both of us have never been to Dublin before so we’ll make sure to at least hit the hot spots: Temple Bar, Trinity College, etc. Our hotel is only a 10 minute walk away from all these spots so I’m sure we’ll be hitting up the must see places of Dublin as soon as we get there. The writer’s museum is around the corner from our hotel, so we’ll definitely be going there and my friend wants to go to some pipe maker. I, naturally, want to go shopping as well.

Apparently 5 days is plenty of time to see Dublin itself. Since we will be away for 8 days we are also planning on going to two towns near Dublin: Howth in the North and Dalkey in the South. The plan is to go there by foot (if weather permits, the forecasts are not the best) and take the train back once we’ve had enough. Oh and Oscar Wilde’s house is also situated in Dublin and there’s a James Joyce museum so I’m pretty sure we’ll be going there as well.

As you can tell: plenty of stuff to do. And there will be plenty to read for you as well. I have scheduled blogs to be posted here daily, so none of you will be left bored to bits. I will write a Dublin post (multiple if necessary) once I return. Alright, now I have to finish packing.

London Days 6, 7 & 8

London Days 6, 7 & 8

After 5 days of touristy things and some sightseeing, my final days in London would be spent shopping. My friend left London in the middle of the night to catch a flight to Italy. That gave me plenty of time to scour the town for make up, clothes and of course, shoes.

I arrived at Oxford Street a bit early. The only thing open was HMV. I browsed around for a bit and when I left a girl approached me. She needed a model for a hairdressing course for Toni & Guy and if I would like to get a new haircut. I had plenty of time on my hands so I agreed to go with her. It took 3,5 hours, but I now have a new haircut which looks great and it didn’t cost me a thing. Hurrah!

After a quick Starbucks break I went on with my shopping spree. My initial plan was to do Oxford Street & Covent Garden on Friday and go to Westfield Shopping Mall on Saturday. I ended up spending so much time on Oxford Street though that I never even had the time to go to Covent Garden. I went to all the major department stores, Top Shop, Aldo and then some. I also hit up Primark, but that was mayhem so I got out as quickly as I got there. By the time I was done shopping, I was starving and stopped at this nice Italian place just off Oxford Street to grab a bite to eat. Then onwards to the Odeon Cinema on Tottingham Court Road to watch Water for Elephants. That was day 6.

The movie was alright. I now know why I wasn’t interested in reading the book. I don’t like the story, but the movie is pretty: the costumes, the colors, the atmosphere are all very tastefully done. If you don’t like romantic love stories however, you’d better stay away from it. Plus there are a few parts of the story that move so fast that as a viewer you don’t have time to feel the emotions of the characters (when Jacob’s parents die for instance). The plot sometimes feels a little rushed to get it done within 2,5 hours and I never even read the book. Rob looks pretty though so you’ll get enough of eye candy if you like him ;-).

Saturday ended up being a let’s-go-across-town-as-many-times-as-possible day. I started my day by taking the subway up to Camden Market. Unfortunately the place was sprawling with touristy shops selling hats and sunglasses. I did spot the occasional punkers but you’d hardly notice them amongst all those loud Italians. So I walked around for maybe 30 minuts and grabbed a train to King’s Cross to sort out my train for Monday morning.

After that I went to Covent Garden where I finally bought a pair of Dr. Marten’s (the 1460 in Cherry Red Smooth in case you’re wondering) and went to Urban Outfitters and Space.NK. I walked back to my hotel to drop off some stuff and left to pick up my phone. By this time it had been 5 days and 3 trips to the repair shop and by the time I went to pick it up it still wasn’t functioning. Frustrated the guys from the shop offered me to swap my old Blackberry for the one they had on display at no extra charge. So now, finally, after almost 5 days of agony and frustration I again have a functioning Blackberry.Double hurrah!

After the phone debacle I went back to Urban Outfitters because I had spotted a cardigan, didn’t buy it and then decided I really wanted it anyway. So I went back, got the cardigan and went to The Strand to go to the Twinings Shop which was about to close. I got my favorite tea and stocked up on some more to try out and went for pizza. Dropped off my stuff at the hotel again and went to the Embankment tube station to join a walking tour called Bloodcurdling London. I took a walking tour with the same company last year and loved it and this one was great as well though not as much fun as the other one. Thoroughly exhausted I arrived back at my hotel, reinstalled my Blackberry and went to sleep.

Sunday (which is today) was a quiet day: I sorted out my taxi/ train ride for tomorrow. I also went to Heathrow airport to ship some stuff I bought which I don’t want to drag around for another week. The post office at Heathrow is the only post office to be open on a Sunday and since I didn’t have any major plans I decided to take the 2 hour journey to and from the airport.

After writing this I will go to Leicester square to find a cool musical to watch tonight and if I can’t find anything I like, I will go to watch another movie. Then I will have to sort out my suitcase and repack so I can take a cab to the train station at 5 AM. Not looking forward to that, but hey, a girl’s gotta do what a girl’s gotta do right? I will catch a flight to Amsterdam, then go to Breda to get on a bus to go to Edinburgh and go on the study trip with my students.

I will post a haul post (with pictures) once I get back next weekend. In the mean time, this blog will feature even less posts, as I don’t think the hostel has a WIFI connection. I will have a few Song Challenge posts coming up though!

London Days 3, 4 & 5: ITV Studios, Greenwich & Tate Gallery

London Days 3, 4 & 5: ITV Studios, Greenwich & Tate Gallery

And on it goes. Like the title indicates I went to Greenwich, The Tate Gallery but I also went to a TV show taping. Here’s a nice pictures from Tower Bridge to get you warmed up:

Day 3 was a special day, though to some this may be quite dreary since all I did was go to the ITV studios building. It’s located near Waterloo Station and there I waited all day so I could get a glimpse of none other than Rob Pattinson at the Graham Norton Show. The lovely Sarah told me about it on Friday and got me tickets. I did have normal tickets which meant I had to be there all day just to be able to get in, but it was well worth it.

My main goal was to see Rob Pattinson in the flesh. Which I did, be it from far away and I have no pictures to prove it, but the show was broadcast on BBC last night. The day before the show I checked the Graham Norton Show website and found out Hugh Laurie would be on the show as well. I wrecked my brain trying to find out why he would be on and figured out it must be to promote his new album. Turned out it was true: he performed live not once, but twice! So, not only did I get to see Rob Pattinson, but ALSO the amazing Hugh Laurie AND heard him sing live. To top it all off the show was hilarious. It was like a 2 hour comedy show and very entertaining.

For Day 4 we had planned on going to Greenwich. Unfortunately, we had to delay that trip by a few hours since my phone had decided to break down and we spent most of the morning in a phone shop off Tottenham Court Road. After a short boat ride we arrived in sunny Greenwich, had lunch and each went our own ways. My friend went to the Maritime museum, I went up to the Observatory & the Meridian and went into town. I found a nice second hand record store, bought some CDs and did some make up shopping at Superdrug. We met up at 5 PM and walked via the Greenwich foot tunnel and the Thames Path around the Docklands to Canary Wharf where we hopped on a Tube and went for some Starbucks & a few drinks in the pub.

Here’s a picture of the view from the Greenwich Observatory:

Day 5 was the first grey day: it rained when we set off for the Tate Gallery (with another necessary stop at the phone store). By the time we left the Tate the sun had decided to come back out and we walked back to our hotel via Pimlico, Buckingham Palace, Piccadilly and Soho. I bought another couple of CDs (Broken Bells EP, newest Fleet Foxes & latest Toro Y Moi!) at Sister Ray on Berwick Street and went on to our hotel. Grabbed another Starbucks and went back to the hotel at an early hour. My friend was to leave in the middle of the night to go to Italy, leaving me by myself to get some serious shopping done!

So my next post will be all about that!  For now here’s some more pictures from Greenwich & the Docklands!

Royal Naval College

Meridian

View from Docklands

London Days 1 & 2: Walking, V&A, Harrod’s & Hamlet

London Days 1 & 2: Walking, V&A, Harrod’s & Hamlet

Today is already my 6th day in London, but I haven’t had the time to write anything yet. Until now! As you may know by now, it’s not the first time that I’m visiting this city so therefore I don’t have many pictures, but I did do lots of stuff already. Here’s what days 1 & 2 looked like.

Pretty building on Shaftesbury Avenue

Sunday May 1st meant an early start as our plane left at 8.30 AM from Amsterdam Schiphol Airport. The flight went well and we got to our hotel around 11 AM GMT. The hotel is superb by the way. The room & bathroom are small, but the staff is very helpful and kind and breakfast is great & freshly served.

Since we had the entire day ahead of us we decided to first check out the neighborhood. Our hotel is located in Bloomsbury, a stone’s throw away from the British Museum and Tottenham Court Road. We walked from the hotel to Piccadilly Circus where we did some shopping at HMV and had lunch in a pub. After that we walked to Jermyn Street, shopped at Waterstone’s and went on to Westminster Bridge. We walked the North Bank, walked passed St. Paul’s Cathedral, had coffee at Starbucks and walked all the way back to the hotel. To some it all up: we saw a good part of the city within that first day.

Day two marked the first visit to a museum: The Victoria & Albert Museum. I was gutted that the Fashion exhibition was closed, but the lady at the desk sent us to see the exhibition Theatre and Performing arts as well as the Jewelry Collection which was amazing. I’ve never seen so much bling together in one room. We then decided to explore Harrod’s as it was near by. I bought some make up from the Benefit counter and we went back to the hotel. Did some freshing up and grabbed dinner (steak) at Tottenham Court Road. Then it was time for The Globe and the Hamlet performance. Needless to say it was amazing, but I was freezing near the end. I was glad to be back at the hotel and take a shower!

Days 3, 4 & 5 coming up tomorrow! I will post a separate haul post (or maybe multiple posts) once I’ve done some more shopping)