Friday 31 May 2013

Beer and Waffles in Belgium

The last stop on our epic journey home. Brussels. I've been to the city before. It's a lovely place, but not brimming with sights to see. Once we'd tracked down Mannequin Pis and walked around the Grand Place a few times, all that was left for these two weary travellers was to indulge in the culinary delights of Belgium. Moule frite, chocolate, waffles and fruit beer sorted us for the two days we spent in the city. We even manged to meet up with another travel blogger friend of Mary's Jerick (of 25travels).

A good place for the end of our trip, even if we were ready to be on the train home by the end of our stay.

Fancy a beer?

Banana flavour beer served in a coconut!

Un Croque Monsieur

and when we got home, finally a picture with all our luggage.

Tuesday 21 May 2013

A foggy day in Dover

I've been lucky with the job I've got since coming back home allows me to explore London and he UK for free! In March, I headed off to Dover with out 150 students to visit Dover Castle and the White Cliffs. We couldn't have picked a worse day to go, the weather was drizzly, cold and foggy. So foggy in fact, that when we got off the coach, I led the students in the wrong direction as I couldn't see the mist covered castle. Dover castle is a very interesting place to visit, and during our tour, we got to see a couple of the tunnels underneath the castle that were used during WWII as a hospital. There are a lot more layers of tunnels to see, some from the time of the Napoleonic wars, but on this occasion we only had time to see the hospital. After lunch in the NAAFI, and a vote from the students, as all headed up to the white cliffs. This was a mistake, in hindsight, as the cliffs had become very wet and slippery, and visibility was practically nil. We were barely able to make out the water below. The mist did add an air of the ethereal to our photos however, and shows the castle in a mysterious light. Next time I'll definitely be hoping for a much clearer day.

Saturday 18 May 2013


As Daliah and I were flying as cheaply as possible to and from Italy at Easter, instead of flying directly to Florence, we headed into Bologna and out of Pisa. This was a good idea, not only as it was cheaper, but it meant that we were able to take in the leaning tower of Pisa, before we headed back. I was glad about this, as I'd had to skip this when travelling there the last time. There isn't much else to see in Pisa, most people come for the tower, take a few pictures and leave. This is exactly what we did, wheeling our suitcases along, in the drizzling rain before heading to the airport. I'm glad I've seen the tower, but it really is more of a tick off the list than something that life altering.

The obligatory stupid posed picture!

Wednesday 15 May 2013

Flirting with Florence

The year I finished university, 2 friends and I bought an interrail pass and headed off travelling around Europe. The was my first backpacking trip, probably where my love-affair with trains started, and definitely taught me some valuable lessons about travel. On that trip, I managed to visit three cities in Italy. Starting in Venice, and ending with Florence and a flight back to England from Rome. Venice was lovely, Rome wasn't as nice but Florence was fantastic. This Easter, Daliah and Sam, the two girls I met in January while working at NYU London, and I decided we wanted to head off someone nice together. After exhausting most cities in Europe (and North Africa) we couldn't find a place where none of us had been before, that was easy enough for us all to get to (Sam lives in Abu Dhabi) and where flights were affordable. So I compromised. Florence was so nice, I was willing to go back. This time I didn't need to wake up early two days in a row to queue for the Uffizi or La Galleria dell'Accademia (although apparently it's possible to book online now anyway). I'd seen the beautiful art work and the David statue. I was there to relax with two great girls, drink lots of wine and eat lots of simple and delicious food.

In the end Daliah and Sam didn't make it to the Uffizi or La Galleria dell'Accademia either. We just had a terrific time wandering the streets, sitting in cafes and perusing the markets together. I can't say that we took in a lot of history, but we soaked up the atmosphere and the ambiance and left feeling relaxed and contented. Re-visiting a place you've enjoyed can really open your eyes to a slower and more easy going way of travelling, where you're unconcerned about what you 'have to' see and do with your time, and for me, I ended up leaving with as much enjoyment as if I'd ticked off all the 'must dos' in Florence.