29 July 2017

Top 10 Money Saving Tips When Visiting London


I live in a city said to be one of the most expensive cities in the world. Yes, London can be expensive for local residents and even more so for people visiting from outside the UK. It needn't be too expensive to visit especially if you know how to explore for less. I thought I would give you some tips on how to visit London without blowing the bank account and still have a great time! See below a few money saving tips for when you visit London.

23 July 2017

Fashion, Architecture and the Art Scene - Why Germany's Dusseldorf is a Must-Visit



With a crazy and hectic travel schedule work can some times bring, I am always grateful for the opportunities to meet people and build friendships with people I have met through work. A couple of years ago on a project far away from home and but with a diverse team covering many European countries, I made friends with a colleague from Germany. Months later I was due to get certification for IT course for which training was going to be held in Germany's Kronberg. I knew it was the perfect timing to take up a colleague's invitation for a guided tour of Dusseldorf before I embarked on my trip to Kronberg for training. This is how I got introduced to Dusseldorf. A beautiful German city ticket all the boxes for me; impressive architecture, great art scene, night life and city sights and plenty to offer on the fashion scene. I was sold! Dusseldorf is known for its fashion industry and art scene two things that usually get the blood pumping when planning a visit to a new city.

So when the opportunity to visit again came up I was super excited to visit. This time I was returning to see my colleague get married to his soul mate. I, on the other hand, was bringing fiance and getting the chance to show him around the city. If you haven't heard or even been to Dusseldorf then here are a few reasons why you need to one of Germany's best-kept secrets.

17 July 2017

Piazza Santa Croce | Visiting Florence's Hidden Gem



Is there a city in Italy that isn't full of city gems? Florence is no different as it scored big on that lottery and is filled with so much history. Said to be one of Europe's great art cities and it not just a city with beautiful art but beautiful architecture at almost every turn.  The city that has given birth to many luxury good companies, Salvatore Ferragamo to name a few of my favorite Italian brands was founded in Florence and is still headquartered here. Having searched high and low for where to stay in the shadows of Santa Maria del Fiore's Dome, with no luck we finally found something right by Piazza Santa Croce. Thinking that we were miles from everything, we couldn't have been more wrong.

Piazza Santa Croce is a little gem you need to add to your visit when you Florence. Our apartment in a street right next to Santa Croce church. Two streets over we had the Arno River and close by Ponte Vecchio and right across the river from us is Piazza Michaelangelo offering amazing views of the city vista. Needless to say, we had struck gold! Busy enough with Italian cafes, restaurants, shops, and galleries but quiet enough to enjoy surrounding without hordes of tourists clogging up the area too much. Santa Croce as well as offering a stunning focal point with its beautiful facade is also a place many Italian greats have been buried.  Known as Temple of Italian Glorie, Santa Croce is where Michelangelo, Machiavelli, Galileo and many illustrious Italians are buried. The church overlooks a piazza. This is also where another Italian sport was born; Calcio Fiorentino


20 June 2017

Svinafellsjokull Glacier - Jaw Dropping Glacier Views You Need to Add to Your Icelandic Adventure





Welcome to the land of surprises! After planning and reviewing our planned explorations of Iceland we thought we had our itinerary down to a T! (Scratch that! I thought I had it down to a T, I am more of a planner and Igal goes with the flow.) Then we arrived in Iceland, picked our campervan rental and embarked our a journey on Iceland’s Ring Road. All along thinking that we were going to be ticking off bucket list items one by one.

 

9 June 2017

Want A Stylish Arrival into Venice's Grand Canal Without Breaking The Bank? Here How You Book A Private Taxi On The Grand Canal!



I love a little luxury when you can get it. Even better is when you have a little luxury without blowing the bank account. Well, that's exactly how we were rolling in Venice on our last trip. The last time I was in Venice was during the summer peak season in Venice and as you can image it was busy, crowded and all the vaparotto aka water buses were packed to the brim. With a little creativity and searching, I found out that you can buy vouchers for shared taxis in Venice. Yes, you can ride the Venetian taxis from the airport to your hotel(or the nearest stop to your hotel), all without spending a lot of money.


4 June 2017

Room With A View | Where To Stay In Phuket


When planning a trip to Thailand, I was keen not to leave without seeing Phuket. I wanted to explore the island as much as possible. From the beautiful beaches to markets as well as surrounding islands and bays close to Phuket. The planned explorations of Phuket meant that we would be visiting various corners of Phuket which meant to make this easy and accessible to areas we were planning on visiting, we would need to change hotels. Ikon Hotel was one of three beautiful hotels we sampled during our visit to this popular and beautiful part of Thailand.

27 May 2017

Sleeping Sound Under Secret Iceland Waterfalls | A Must Have Experience When You Visit Iceland



Oh Iceland, a country that is probably on every wanderlusting traveler's bucket list. The land of fire and ice is brimming with waterfalls, volcanoes, geysers, glaciers, geothermal pools and somewhere in all of that is an adventure to be had. Adventure is my middle name! With that in mind, we set off in a camper van down south of Iceland. Having stopped to see Geysers we stumbled on Godafoss by accident as we didn't realise just how close it was from the Geysers and boiling earth of Litl Geyser. Having made a few stops along the way it wasn't until late in the night that we stumbled on Seljalandsfoss, this was close to the mark I had placed on a map to get us to the camping spot we were going to spend a night. I actually had no idea our camping spot was going to be right next to the falls. We arrived after midnight, but there was still a bit of light. We had Seljalandsfoss all to ourselves! 

17 May 2017

10 Reasons You Need To Visit Tel Aviv Now


Mediterranean vacations are almost synonymous with European getaways, well the Med is bigger than that, reaching the African shore as well as Middle-Eastern shores. One Mediterranean getaway that you need to add to your wanderlust is Israel's Tel Aviv. With 300 days of sunshine, long stretch of beautiful sandy beaches, great nightlife, cuisine, art, and culture, you just cannot go wrong. Tel Aviv was founded in 1909 as a suburb north of the ancient city of Jaffa, believed to be the oldest port in the world. So whether you are in the mood for a beach-bumming vacation for some rest and relaxation or soaking up on culture, there is something for everyone. If you need further convincing of why your next Mediterranean getaway needs to to be in this Middle-Eastern gem, how about 10 whole reasons why you need to visit Tel Aviv; 


1. Surfs Up - Beaches!

Long stretches of sandy beaches, perfect for sun-seekers, water sports enthusiast, sunset or people watching. Tel Aviv's west side faces the Mediterranean Sea with miles and miles of beaches. From family friendly, quiet and peaceful, to beaches catering to young, hip and ready for a party. You can rent snorkeling or surfing equipment to kayaks as well as sun loungers. If you are up for exploring the beaches, there are bike rentals nearby. If you want a hote right on the beach there is that too. Read on!

2 May 2017

Ultimate Guide to Hiking Trolltunga - Your Questions Answered!



A few days ago I shared with you a post with many a shot from hiking to Trolltunga. Norway has so many beautiful landscapes that it is hard to imagine how a country could have such amazing scenery all to itself.  Our drive from Bergen to Odda, which is the starting point to the little expedition that is the Trolltunga hike. All along the way, the road trip from Bergen to Trolltunga had us oohing and ahhing at waterfalls, lakes and beautiful mountains. A lot of people want to hike to Trolltunga, so I thought I would make my second post on a  Guide to Hiking to Trolltunga a Q&A of what you might want to know when planning a trip for this hike.

What the heck is Trolltunga anyway?

26 April 2017

Adventures in Norway | Hiking To Trolltunga



Last week I shared with you a post on Bergen, a beautiful city in Norway that is surrounded by 7 mountains. Our trip to Norway late last year was a trip to celebrate my boyfriend's birthday. It was not going to be an easy trip by a long shot. This was going to be an adventure-filled weekend that included hiking to Trolltunga in Norway's Hordaland region. The previous year we had spent his birthday hiking in Snowdonia so I was determined to top the next one. I researched and toiled over how I was going to plan this trip as a surprise. In fact, he only knew we were going to be heading to Norway and hiking to Trolltunga about 2 weeks before our trip. What he also didn't know that I had Trolltunga on my bucket list for a while now, as he is into the outdoors as well it was a win-win.

We didn't really need to buy much equipment for this trip as we have done similar trips before. The only difficulty was finding out how we were going to get to Trolltunga having arrived in Norway Via Bergen. I had down tonnes of research and decided car rental gave us the freedom to move as and when we wanted. I have had quite a few road trips around the world now that I am starting to prefer this mode of transportation when I travel. For more on road trips, you can check out posts on Namibia, Zambia, Spain, Wales, Iceland and many parts of England via the destinations page.

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 traveling 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. Having explored the main interconnected islands on foot you can also check out boat tours of Murano, Burano, and Torcello which start from about £18. There are also tours that combine a walking tour and a gondola ride.

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

When Airbnb Comes Through - 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.