All posts filed under: Blog

The Last Days of Rome | Day 2 ~ Part 2 of 2

We hit up all the touristy hotspots in the area, including the famous Trevi fountain, which had tourists overflowing from every crevice which was enough to send a girl running, and the Pantheon, which, although was packed with tourists too, was pretty damn amazing. The Pantheon is apparently the most preserved and influential building of ancient Rome, being a temple dedicated to all the gods of pagan Rome. The architecture is just extraordinary. Truly slap-you-in-the-face-fantastic. The front facade is like tour typical temple, build with large stone columns supporting a triangular top (sorry, I’m not much of an architectural-writer). As you walk through, a drum-like interior (the rotunda) engulfs you, the dome of which having a hole at the centre casting a beam of white daylight into itself. This dome, if it were to flipped upside down, would actually fit perfectly inside the rotunda. Luckily it’s free to enter and it’s incredible detail and design forgives the flocks of tourists that come to visit its interior. Pantheon… By this time I began to freak out …

Tirami-so Good | Day 2 ~ Part 1 of 2

Saturday morning arrived in a flash and sunshine beamed down upon the capital as we headed out towards the Villa Borghese gardens, conveniently only a 5 minute walk from our hotel, and they were marvellous; magnificent, yet slim, sky-scraping tree trunks help up green leafy shrubbery at their tops, the trees clustering together and stretching far into the gardens, enticing any passer-by. Visitors to the park strolled, cycled, jogged, through the long pathways fragmenting the landscape. The Villa Borghese Gardens is the largest public park in Rome so it’s easy to just relax here with Roman snacks on a Sunny afternoon, have a look at the historical buildings, villas and museums on site whilst being serenaded by Italian buskers. There’s also a fantastic little lake with the Temple of Asclepius right at the back of it that looks like something straight out of a movie – you can even hire a wooden boat and sail around it. After exploring the gardens we made our way to Terrazza del Pincio for an amazing panoramic view and …

All Roads Lead to Rome | Day 1 ~ Part 1 of 2

We left a frosty, bitterly cold Budapest to arrive in a sunny, not-so-warm-either, Rome in the early hours of Friday morning, battling the urge to let our eyelids droop and fall into a deep sleep after waking up absurdly early to catch a 6am flight – my relationship with budget airlines is a love-hate kind of one. As a travel ambassador with Choice Hotels Europe and the Travel Top 6 site, I was pretty lucky to get sent to a swanky European destination to produce some fun travel content (and bring along a plus-one too). After landing, we taxi-pooled with some fellow tourists to get to our hotel, ditching our bags, checking out our hotel decor briefly and heading straight out into the day to make the most of our short 48 hours there. First, and most importantly, on the agenda was coffee… We headed for coffee whilst waiting for our room to be cleaned actually – a convenient 20 minutes to check out this amazing speciality coffee shop nearby: Faro. Although the coffee culture …

How to Experience Budapest Like a Local ~ A Travel Top 6 Guide!

Ever found yourself wandering the unknown streets of a city or town, wondering why you feel so out of place? Well you need some Travel Top 6 knowledge, my friend, and if you’re in the business of visiting Budapest, the glorious capital of Hungary, then don’t worry: I’ve got your back. In my latest Travel Top 6 article, in collaboration with Choice Hotels Europe, you’ll find out about some quick tips on eating, drinking, shopping and generally living like a local (from the perspective of a non-local trying very hard to fit in) in Hungary’s Buda-BEST city – scratch that – Europe’s Buda-BEST city. * Head here for the path to travel knowledge, and hit me up if you’re ever in the city! * “Any extra tips?” Make sure you say ‘szia’ (see-yah) to say hello and goodbye (yes… it’s the same). Make sure you say thank you: ‘köszönöm’ (kuh-suh-nuhm) or ‘köszi’ (kuh-si) for short. Eat everything with paprika and bread. Don’t spend longer than 5 seconds packing up your groceries at the tills after …

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 …