Year: 2017

Sauntering through Slovakia | Bratislava ~ Part 2

The following day, we had a half day left to say goodbye to the city and experience all the Slovakian things that we could… Trying to check out some more museums and galleries but feeling sad that we had to pay *cry* Spending that money on tasty Slovakian treats instead: something which (from later research) I believe to be Bratislavske Makove Rozteky (Bratislavian “croissants”). These were absolutely divine, and thank god I had some restraint to not eat the two bags I was to bring back home to the UK. Composed of a biscuity yet kind of cakey pastry shell, they were filled with a sweet walnut or poppy seed filling (I went for walnut). Delicious. We decided to explore Bratislava’s old town hall, after eating far too many of the pastries, which had an amazing view of the city and also an extensive collection of historic weapons (random, but interesting nonetheless). The town hall from the bottom-up. We had no other business in Bratislava, and so meandered around the same spots once more to make sure …

City Explorers | Bratislava ~ Part 1

Bratislava, the small yet charming capital of Slovakia, awaited us after our brief trip to Brno in the Czech Republic. The rain didn’t let up as we de-boarded our coach and headed for our Airbnb near to the town’s centre. But by the time we had dumped our bags and took a breather, night had fallen, and we had to again begin exploring the town by moonlight (and streetlight). But first, dinner: The following day we discovered Bratislava in all its historical glory, it having a similar feel to Brno but seeming, to me, far more interesting and beautiful. The centre is only accessible by foot, meaning cars can’t pollute the pretty buildings and lively, yet calm, vibe. To begin exploring we grabbed some pirôžky on Obchodná street – a small business that was one of the few to survive the turbulence of Communism and other events of the time in the area. Pirôžky is basically a kind of doughnut filled with poppy seeds, marmalade, nut or apple filling, served only in the morning from …

Brief Encounters | Brno

Burno, bruno, brrrr-no… however you pronounce it, Brno is the underdog city of the Czech Republic, being fiercely out-done by it’s more beautiful sister, Prague. However, it’s not a place to be overlooked, especially if you’re in the Czech Republic or at least passing through – it’s a main stop on most coach routes from Budapest through to Vienna. After a very long coach journey in the evening from Budapest, I arrived in an illuminated Brno, engulfed by the Autumn night and chill – it was a spontaneous surprise trip, which made it all the better. Although I had eaten way too many Hungarian pastry snacks on the bus and my stomach gurgled to no end after I had to begin to use my legs I was eager to explore upon arrival. We attempted to soothe my pastry-induced stomach gurgles doing a mini evening tour of the city centre, led by a friend of a friend who had just moved to the area. Resigning to a tiny food market in the main square of the …

London’s Best Food Markets | A Travel Top 6 Travel Guide!

London is filled to the brim with fine food and delicious dishes: the metropolis is a magnet for chefs and foodies alike and produces some of the finest restaurants in the world, the quirkiest cafes and, most importantly, some of the most awesome food markets. If you’re travelling, and not for very long, food markets are your best friend, serving up delicious grub and quickly too. As a devoted food lover and resident Londoner, I’ve had my fair share of London food market experience, so let me tell you where to go – you just have to decide what to eat. * Check out my latest Travel Top 6 travel guide here to read more about where to go for the best street food and food markets in London! Here are some pics to tantalise your tastebuds…

A Little Pisa Italy | An Italian Friday

Friday in Porto Venere and Pisa My last full day in Italy meant heading to Pisa, ready to catch an early morning flight (and see the famous tower of course) – if you’re travelling in the area, flights from Pisa are a lot cheaper than other local airports. I had a full 24 hours though until the ball dropped on my trip, so I didn’t want to waste any time. I packed my bag, headed to La Spezia and took a bus to Porto Venere, a fisherman’s town resembling the architecture of Cinque Terre but being a quieter option than the mass tourism found there. Finally found the bus that was diverted because of a weekly market in La Spezia… I walked along the waterfront of Porto Venere, soaking up the last of the sun I would see in a while (in the UK, Winter was fast approaching) and observed fisherman and fisher-women hard at work, trading fish, gutting fish and catching fish (not exactly in that order). Roaming the town caused far less tourist-induced …

Cinque Terre-ravels | An Italian Thursday ~ Part 2

Thursday in Cinque Terre ~ Part 2 of 2 After taking a slightly wrong path and losing even more time, arriving into the town of Manarola extremely later expected, I was exhausted. My legs trembled. Clearly, my muscles were trying to tell me to lie down or jump into a jacuzzi to chill the heck out. I had had a short break in Corniglia, the third town after the first hike from Vernazza, but even then I was walking and exploring. It was super cute on the inside, maybe not the most beautiful of all the towns from the outside, but of course worth spending time in. My breakfast had surely burned off by that point and I took shelter at a cafe to have a glass of freshly squeezed orange and lemon juice (to soothe my looming illness) and some bruschetta – a classic Italian dish ;sliced toasted bread, drizzled with olive oil, garnished with tiny pieces of mozzarella, fresh chopped garlicky tomatoes and pesto, respectively, so as to create an Italian flag with …

Cinque Terre-Dreaming | An Italian Thursday ~ Part 1

Thursday in Cinque Terre ~ Part 1 of 2 Day broke and I was up and out the hostel before you could say “breakfast”. Strapped into the shuttle bus, hurtling far too quickly through Bassia, down the hills and into Cinque Terre, I arrived nice and early into Riomaggiore before the tourists flocked. I tiredly strolled to the rocky shore and climbed onto the rocks for a moment to breathe, listening to the sea waves bump against the tiny wooden boats parked in rows against the cliff faces and getting an amazing view of the whole town. Early wake-up calls, constant walking and a lack of vegetables started to run me down after a couple of days; my body ached, my throat scratched and my nose was bunged up. I hunted down a cafe on the main road in Riomaggiore and made sure to down a large glass of freshly squeezed orange juice before drinking a macchiato and small piece of freshly baked cheesecake and Riomaggiorian lemon pie (don’t judge). I felt super crispy, drinking …

The Spice of Italy | An Italian Wednesday

Wednesday in La Spezia and Cinque Terre  Looking back I really had no time at all in Genoa – pretty much only one full day. The struggle of travelling alone can be deciding how long to spend in one place; too long and you’ll get bored and become existential (unless that’s just me), too short and you’ll feel like it was a wasted trip, not fully taken advantage of. For sure, Genoa is a place I’d go back to, it being a bit rough around the edges yet exceptionally charming – not a shiny tourist-laden place (like Milan or Rome). I think it’s nicer to feel more immersed in the culture and location, in a more real atmosphere and environment rather than like a spectator at an aquarium (ironic, I know). I awoke on Wednesday morning to the sound of huge sporadic thumps and two men yelling in the street just below my window. What do I find but gigantic sides of meat being wielded out of a small white van, placed onto a metal …

Genoa Dreaming | An Italian Tuesday ~ Part 2

Tuesday in Genoa ~ Part 2 of 2 Late-afternoon hit and I jumped on a small yellow rickety bus to a nearby former fishing village called Boccadasse. Only a 30 minutes away, the exceptionally charming village has a small enclosed bay and a rocky shore, being the perfect spot to have a quiet moment amidst the hustle and bustle of the city. It’s a small place to explore, great for an hour or two max for those on the go. There’s an amazing view on a sort of “balcony” next to a church that overlooks the sea and village just at its edge, located at the end main promenade in the area and where you’ll likely come from when getting the bus from Genoa. When you take the rocky main path down, you can walk up and down paths around the surrounding tiny coloured houses or just lay on the beach and enjoy the sound of the waves licking the rocks. Impatient to wait for the sunset, having initially thought to see it at Boccadasse …

Genevan Joy | An Italian Tuesday ~ Part 1

Tuesday in Genoa ~ Part 1 of 2 Plans to explore a bit of the city when I had arrived the previous evening went swiftly out the window as I reached my hostel and rested my poor legs. In no time at all, I had to search for dinner and then night had fallen (alongside my eyelids). After the deepest of deep sleeps I awoke to climb up to Spinata Castelletto through the city’s steep and winding paths. Once a fortress of Castelletto, this ‘balcony’ offers a 360 view where one can admire the multicoloured terraced buildings, medieval towers and Baroque peaks and domes of the city. The early morning sun brought about a haze on Genoa’s skyline, and so I decided to make a later return to see the sunset and the city’s beauty in a different light. Meanwhile, caffeine was in order. Slowly stepping back down the steep trail up, I embedded myself into the winding spaghetti of Genevan streets, the buzzing arteries of the old part of the city. Whilst looking for …