16 April 2017

A Weekend in Venice (+ 5 Tips On Exploring Without Blowing The Budget)


The second instalment to the Venetian exploration over a cold weekend in the floating city. I thought I would share a couple of tips on exploring Venice without breaking the bank.

1. Use Waterbuses - Venice offers the option of taxis and vapaortetto - waterbuses. Taxis can be can be quite expensive and more so if you intend on using them as your main transportation. Waterbuses offer an inexpensive way to get around the city. Tip: Before you arrive in Venice download AVM Venezia official app(Android  & iTunes). You can buy your tickets and have them to hand on your phone. You can buy 1, 2, 3 and 7-day tickets as well as buying tickets for 75 minutes for the waterbuses at 7.50 Euros. These work in a similar way as London's Oyster or Hong Kong's Octopus but use a barcode that you scan just before boarding the waterbus on the machines at the entrances of the stops. You can also buy multiple tickets on the apps you don't have to download several apps on other phones if travelling with others. We used my boyfriend's app to buy both our tickets, which meant we already had tickets from the moment we arrived as well as the occasion taxi. I will share tips on how to save money on the taxis in the next Venice post.

2. Explore on Foot - After your initial arrival into Venice, you have the option of getting around by the waterbuses or seeing Venice on foot. I have found opting for exploring on foot way better. You will see more of Venice than you will on the waterbuses. Venice is inter-connected by hundreds of bridges so this means you can see all those beautiful little gems hidden within the floating city that only your feet can get as some of the waterways are too narrow for the waterbuses. The only other mode of transportation that gets around these narrow waterways are Gondolas and smaller boats. That in itself would be a costly way to explore this small city via Gondola. So put on a comfortable pair of shoes, put the map away and let Venice reveal itself to you.

14 April 2017

Norway | A Weekend In Bergen(+ What To See & Do)



I have heard so many people talk about how expensive Norway is. I was really bracing myself for the worst. To be honest I needn't have. It's not any more expensive than London, apart from maybe a beer, then again I don't drink beer, so that's that. Everything else was great, the views, the people, the mountains, even the weather was behaving itself for the majority of the trip.

The plan for Norway was to visit Bergen, explore for 2 days then head off on a road trip through the fjords, hopping on and off ferries, this plan would later bite us in the arse at the end of the road trip as we forgot that the last ferry leaves at 11 pm. I scoped out where to stay, what see and do in the city and where to get the best views too. Seven mountains surround the city center of Bergen so finding a spot for a good view is not that had.

5 April 2017

Discover Kiefernstrasse | A Colourful Side of Dusseldorf You Need To See


There is something that just brightens up your day with simply a splash of colour. Ever noticed how just wearing brightly coloured clothes will perk you up, even when the weather is dull and miserable? Yes, it’s that effect I get when I am exploring places with bright and evocative street art. Street Art today, I guess isn’t what is used to be. It's become more though provoking. It’s no longer just some street kids in dark hoodies that leave their tags all over the streets. I love the political side of it, focus on current affair as well as social aspects of it. Throw in a little colour and I fall absolutely in love with it all. When you div deep into it, it’s no longer just about the message the art is trying to convey, but the personal style each of the street artist use. I may not know a lot of the street artists' names but when I can recognise some of the street artist's pieces when I travel I get excited. Pieces by Stik, Vhil's use of small explosives to create distinctive portraits, Banksy's political art not to mention his new installation in a form of a hotel in Palestine call the Walled Off Hotel. Then there are big and rather ambitious murals. I think Kiefernstraße fits in the latter. Kiefernstraße is a street in the Flingern-Süd district of Düsseldorf that became notorious in the 1980s for squatting. Kiefernstraße has a rather colour past and I guess the street art somewhat represents that in a way.

31 March 2017

Magical Venice | Falling In Love With The Floating City



Venice, a city that needs little, if no introduction! The capital of Italy's Veneto region, and built on more than 100 little islands that have beautiful and amazing architecture. So, why oh why would I not visit, once, or maybe twice? The last time I was visiting the floating city was was a few years ago on a little summer weekend in Venice. Word of warning for anyone visiting in the summer, it is crowded! Everyone and their cousin, uncle, auntie are there, so you can just imagine how packed the vaporettos (water buses) and streets are. I don't think I intentionally chose to visit out of the busy season this time round when I went in the winter but it just turned that way as I was hoping to visit before the end of last year. Thank goodness it wasn't snowing. I was also a little apprehensive about going in the winter as winters in Venice are synonymous with Aqua Alta. Aqua Alta is the term used in Venice for the annual flooding that occurs in winter months. When this happens, most of San Marco square is covered in water together with many streets and alleys, actually. They put up little platforms for people to walk around. This was a worry up until a few weeks before the trip when the weather seemed to stabilise, although still cold.

21 March 2017

Nope Not India! - London's Insanely Beautiful Temple You Have To See

London's Insanely Beautiful Temple You Have To See - Neasden temple or Baps Shri-Swaninarayan Mandir

Religion has always been at the heart of living as human beings. I am always fascinated by the lengths religions go to in the detailed designs of religious architecture. From Chinese temples of Beijing, Malaysian Batu Caves, Cambodian ancient Ankorian temples to exploring India and Israel's Bahai temples. I also always advocate exploring your own backyard as well as seeing faraway places. Neasden temple or Baps Shri-Swaninarayan Mandir as its originally known is a beautiful Hindu temple that has been on my list for far too long. I have visited a couple of times but last year was the very first time I actually got to see the inside. The details and stories of the architecture around Neasden Temple is every bit as interesting as the outside. Said to be the largest marble structure outside of India and we all know about India's famous marble structures such as the Taj Mahal in Agra.

10 March 2017

Paris Apartment Views Don't Get Any Better Than This!



My first post of 2017! I hope you are all doing fabulous. It's been a little quiet on the blog due to being busy with work and travelling between London and Oxford. Hopefully, this will now settle down as I now have an apartment in Oxford, which makes life a little easier with travel while I finish my Formula 1 project. In my last post, I shared a yearly review of travel and adventures from 2016. The travel adventures continue even though I had to cancel a trip to Milan and Lugano, this year still killed off with a trip to Lisbon in January and then February saw a trip to Florence. More pictures of those trips to come soon.

Paris apartment views don't get any better than this, that's for sure. I thought I would share pictures of the beautiful apartment I rented in my last visit to Paris. Paris is well known for its beautiful balconies and this little beauty I rented didn’t disappoint. I booked it via Airbnb and shared a couple of reasons to use Airbnb when you travel. During this visit, I travelled with a couple of photographer friends and one of them took the portraits of me below. The views were perfect, such a shame that my fiancé with on this trip but it was a treat to have Laku Davies create magic on the lens! I absolutely love these shots. We have since been Lisbon together so I can’t wait to share her pictures with you.