Wednesday, 31 December 2014

ending 2014

After my trip away when my visa ended I re-entered the UK on a tourist visa (after a bit of grilling from immigration at the border!). I spent the rest of the year mostly in Edinburgh, with a couple of small trips away.

Edinburgh Christmas Market

Tuesday, 16 December 2014

ye old england - a day in york

York has been used as an area of settlement from before even the Romans time. It's also somewhere I've wanted to go for a long time, for a fairly bizarre reason. When I was in primary school we used to have "computer units". This was when the class would divide into groups and we would get a certain amount of time per day to play an educational computer game. I remember one of the games went back in time to York, England, and it always stuck in my mind so that when I thought of cobbled streets and old England I thought of York. 

So in December I finally made the journey to walk the streets I have seen in probably terrible 90s computer animation as a child. It was obviously much better than I imagined. 

York Minster

Saturday, 6 December 2014

gdansk - poland

Gdansk was a surprise. I booked my flight back to Edinburgh from there before I had any concrete plans, because it was only £18. We only had one night there, but it is the kind of place that looks like it would be an awesome summer getaway, because it is both beautiful and cheap.

Amazing buildings in Gdansk

Thursday, 4 December 2014

berlin in winter - layers of history

Berlin is history on show. Despite the physical divides falling 25 years ago the city bares the scars of war and division, some of it on purpose so that we can remember and try and understand what has gone before.

At the East Side Gallery

Saturday, 29 November 2014

a day in vienna

Vienna is the perfect day trip from Bratislava, since it's only about an hour by train or bus and you get the benefit of staying in cheaper Slovakia but experiencing the culture of an Austrian city.

The first thing you see getting out of the underground in central Vienna 

Thursday, 27 November 2014

bratislava at christmas

Bratislava is one of those cities you tell people you're going to and they say "oh cool!...where is it?". It definitely doesn't get enough credit, especially since it's cheap and if you go in December it has one of my favourite Christmas Markets. There's also towers to climb, castles to see and a too many cafes and bars to choose from over a 3 night stay. 

Clock tower in Bratislava Old Town Square

Monday, 24 November 2014

auschwitz & birkenau - how to

I make the assumption that most people have heard of Auschwitz, and almost as many of Birkenau. 

These places represent the absolute horror of the Nazi Regime, and it is so important that they are never forgotten, for the people whose lives were cruelly taken from them there and for us to learn from the past and strive to never have such persecution happen again. I say strive because unfortunately it still has, and is.

I don't seek to glorify or promote these places as a tourist destination, everyone should make up their own mind about whether they want to visit or not, and think about why that is. Instead I want to explain  what your options are if you do decide to go, since I spent a considerable amount of time investigating before I went and can reflect on how it worked out.

Sunday, 23 November 2014

krakow - welcome to history

This trip was a bit of a strange one for me. It came about because I needed to leave the country for a couple of weeks when my UK working visa ended. While Krakow and Berlin had always been on my list of places I wanted to see before I left Europe, it was a weird feeling planning an enforced trip. Luckily my amazing Mum came over to do the trip with me, after putting off thinking about it and planning it for so long I finally sucked it up and did so in just enough time for her to book and join me. It wouldn't have been the same without her and I wouldn't have enjoyed it even half as much! 

Travel buddies reunited!

Wednesday, 29 October 2014

spain - in the alora campo

I first heard about HelpX from some friends in Edinburgh and I knew straight away it was something I wanted to do. It is like Woofing and Workaway, where you can work in exchange for board and food. Before I decided to come back to Edinburgh after my trip it was my main plan for Spain and beyond, however that changed when I decided to just be in Spain for 2 weeks so I could make it back to work. Luckily I still managed to find a HelpX that would take me for a week, and what a week it was.

My home for the week

Friday, 17 October 2014

tapas and palaces in granada

After my "experience" in Seville I was looking forward to getting to Granada to see if it was as good as I had heard. It certainly didn't disappoint.

The Alhambra

Wednesday, 15 October 2014

seville - a brief note

I started a big ranty post about Seville while I was still travelling but then deleted it, deciding I should just focus on the positive. People describe the city as near perfect, the only thing wrong being that it has no beach. I found the city itself really nice, it was the kind of ridiculous hostel experience I had there that put me off.
Seville Cathedral

Monday, 6 October 2014

Wednesday, 17 September 2014

the liebster award

My friend Hayley recently nominated me for the Liebster award. This is an award bloggers can give to other bloggers that have a small readership and they think other people would find interesting. It is kind of like a chain letter, but a nice way to learn more about people and spread great blogs.


Thursday, 11 September 2014

mykonos in september

Mykonos surprised me. From what I had heard it is a party island, and I expected it to be that and not much else. Instead what Jess and I found was less party and my favourite town of all!

naxos - windsurfing and more sunsets

I was finally getting the hang of this relaxing holiday thing in Santorini when it was time to go. Jess and I got the afternoon ferry to Naxos and realised straight away it was beautiful and interesting in a different but good way. No huge cliffs with soaring views, but instead less crowded lanes, a beach to walk to and sunsets based around an ancient ruin.

santorini views

Prepare for a ton of photos of one of the most spectacular places I have ever been.

Saturday, 6 September 2014

athens part one

Arriving in a new country at night is always a bit strange. Sometimes the airports and the transport to your destination all seem so familiar you could be almost anywhere, until you see something that firmly reminds you it's a whole new place and you can get excited about a new adventure.

In Paris it was spotting the Eiffel Tower, in Istanbul the ancient walls of Constantinople, and in Greece it was the Greek writing on buildings and signs. Kind of forgot about that...

Tuesday, 2 September 2014

on the road again

- To move, to breathe, to fly, to float,
To gain all while you give,
To roam the roads of land remote,
To travel is to live - Hans Christian Anderson 

Monday, 21 July 2014

summer festival: t in the park

One of the things I wanted to do while living over here was go to a music festival. T in the Park might not be the biggest or considered the best, but it was definitely the most convenient! Luckily it also ended up being pretty sweet.

I feel like some of our experience should be a guide on what NOT to do at T in the Park, but it's always the ridiculous things that make it in the end.

So here is the T in the Park Adventure according to Sonja, Sophie, Danny and Tom, with a guest appearance by the Bolton Crew.

Sunday, 15 June 2014

sail croatia by surprise

As I mentioned in my last post, I was lucky enough to be invited to go on Sail Croatia with a friend for free at short notice, and everything managed to fall into place so it could happen.

So after a couple of amazing days in Split I went and checked in to my home for the next week, Penelopa, and met up with the other girls to start our Sail Croatia adventure!

Beautiful weather on the Dalmatian Coast

Wednesday, 11 June 2014

falling in love with split

I have always been a firm believer in “If there is a will, there is a way”. I am super stubborn and if I can figure out a way for something to work I will do it. If I can’t it will drive me crazy!

Overlooking Split, Croatia

Wednesday, 4 June 2014

anzac day at gallipoli - 2014

They shall not grow old, as we that are left grow old:
Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.
At the going down of the sun, and in the morning,
We will remember them.

Entering the Cove

Tuesday, 20 May 2014

traveltalk turkey: asklepion & troy

Our Traveltalk tour of Turkey continued over the next couple of days on our way back towards the north to Gallipoli. We visited some more historical sites and relaxed by the beach.

Poppies and ancient ruins

Saturday, 17 May 2014

traveltalk turkey: pamukkale & ephesus

Getting out of Istanbul and down to the south showed a whole other amazing side of Turkey, from thermal pools to ancient ruins.


Friday, 16 May 2014

istanbul: across two continents

My primary reason for going to Turkey was to experience Anzac Day at Gallipoli. Because this is easiest done through an organised tour I decided to do the 8 day ANZAC Traveltalk tour recommended by a friend, with a few days tacked on in Istanbul to start with.

Hagia Sophia

Saturday, 5 April 2014

edinburgh bucket list

So at this stage it looks as though I will be leaving Edinburgh in less than 8 months.

View from Grey Friars Churchyard

Saturday, 29 March 2014

northern ireland escapades

The beauty of Europe is that you can skip over to another country for the weekend and see a decent amount of it. I have been meaning to go to Northern Ireland since I got here, with the flight being only half an hour, and seven of us finally made the journey at the beginning of March.

The coast of Northern Ireland

Wednesday, 12 March 2014

waitangi day pub crawl 2014 style

For the second year in a row I made the trek down to London for the Waitangi Day Pub Crawl shenanigans.

Possum costume!!

Sunday, 9 March 2014

everything is grand in ireland

Since my Mum was a school girl it has been her dream to go to Ireland, and since it is less than an hour flight I couldn't let her leave the UK without making the journey.

Countryside in County Kerry

Tuesday, 25 February 2014

feeling at home in the shetland isles

Like a large proportion of New Zealander's I have always known I have some Scottish  ancestry. Coming from a young country means that most people search for a link to somewhere else, and end up saying that they are "Scottish" or "English" or "French" even if they have no current connection to that country. 

Harbour in Lerwick

Monday, 17 February 2014

15 things i learned in paris

There is so much to do and see in Paris, and much of it well known, so I don't really need to do a blow by blow account of our time there.

Instead, here are 15 things I learned on our family trip just after New Year.

Eiffel Tower! Just as awesome in real life

Wednesday, 12 February 2014

road tripping scotland

While my family were over we had a car between Christmas and New Year, which gave us a really good chance to explore some of Scotland. There is so much to see but you can see a lot in a short time as well.

St Andrew's Cathedral

Tuesday, 4 February 2014

christmas in scotland

Last year I had a winter Christmas, for only the second  time in my life, in England with my best friends family. My first winter Christmas having been in Wichita, Kansas, when I was 17. I had an awesome time last year in England and had no responsibilities whatsoever. This year was a different story altogether.

With my family over for their first ever winter Christmas, I was playing host and going all out.

My cake!!!

dresden by train

Since we had originally planned to take in two cities on Mum's birthday trip, before Ryan Air thwarted our plans, I decided to have a look and see what was near Prague that we might be able to visit.

Such is the beauty of Europe, we could train to another city in another country in 2 hours! Plus Dresden has one of the oldest Christmas Markets in Europe. Tick and tick, we were on our way!

Mum waiting for the train to leave

december in prague

Mum arrived in Edinburgh right before her birthday in December, so we decided to do a trip that would take us to Christmas Markets, since Christmas is one of her favourite things. After a bit of drama with cancelled flights we ended up going to Prague, with a side trip to Dresden in Germany.

Just arrived at our apartment in Prague!