Venice short stay | Travel Diary

20160625_171258.jpgVenice was just a short stay for us, and we chose Venice because for the next part of our trip we were meeting up with my cousin Gemma and her boyfriend Matia in Trieste, which was about a 2 hour train ride from Venice. Isaac and I came up from Sorrento on the Friday, arriving at night, and we left first thing on Sunday morning. We took a ferry from Sorrento to Naples, and from Naples the train to Venice. It was a bit more expensive to book the direct change but we thought we would prefer this rather then change in Rome, however it wouldn’t have been a big deal if we did. So we sat, watched some tv shows and read our books for the 6 hour journey.

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I had booked in to stay at Sarah Sun Island. It was 2 power boats docked together that stay at Sacca Fisola set up like a hotel. Its more of a residential island then other parts of Venice, and it was nice and quiet. It was incredibly easy and quick to get around and to get to more central parts of Venice, so all up this made for a great cheap way to be staying here.

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The first night we stayed we had a little wander around and found somewhere for dinner. We were a bit shocked at the prices, which were extremely inflated compared to Sorrento, when we had had some better meals for better prices.

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On the Saturday the heat was nearly unbearable, we were shocked that the entire city was so unprepared for the heat. We had planned to do a gondola ride, but we thought that to sit for over an hour in the blasting sun would not be the most pleasant way to spend the afternoon, so we will have to come back one day and do a gondola ride (what a shame).

20160625_144055.jpgHere are some tips I got from Matia, who went to uni in venice: eat ‘ciccjetti’ from of the best ‘bacareto in town, Bacareto Da lele, or al Bottegon. Go to the island of Giudecca to walk around and get more of a local feeling. Walk along the ‘fondamenta della zattere’ and you will end up in front of san Marco.

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We tried to do as much of this as we could throughout the day, and in the morning we went to the Peggy Guggenheim collection, which was her former home. This took up the whole morning as it was quite extensive, but I definitely wouldn’t miss it if that’s where your interests lie. It was a fantastic gallery.

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That night we crossed over to Giudecca to get something for dinner, but we found that this island in particular had a few expensive restaurants. We also struggled for a decent vegetarian option as well. We had a lovely view though, and half way through the dinner we got rained out and had to run inside, with flashes of lightning getting closer and closer. We waited out the rain before calling it a night.

 

Early on the Sunday we made our way to the station to go to Trieste. From here we were getting picked up by Gem and Matia and were driving down to Mali Losinj in Croatia, for the next part of our holiday.

Amalfi Coast: Travel Diary

 

Welcome to Sorrento! We came from Rome to Naples by train, and Naples to Sorrento by ferry, so we were welcomes with a wonderful view from the water. We stayed at a place called Villa Lubrense. It was about a 15 minute drive from Sorrento, and an awfully expensive taxi ride. The accommodation its self was cheap and suitable, but that was the best we could say about it. While it was a bit of a pain being further out we discovered a bus that went past that would take us into Sorrento. The view from our villa was absolutely incredible, perched right on the top of a cliff over looking Vesuvius and Naples, with Capri to the left and Sorrento to the right. As we arrived we were told of a beach if you walk down the cliff for 5 minutes (walking back taking 15 mins). We made our way down and found the beach over crowded with children running all over the show, so we didn’t make our way down again. They did have a few places to eat and drink along here which would have been nice. We sweated our way back up the hill, and took the bus into Sorrento for our first night. It was a great city to take your time wandering thought the streets and little shops. We chose one of the many restaurants for a pasta meal and a drink at sunset before taking the bus back to our villa. This was the first time, on our ride back, when we got to experience the sun set over the bay, wondering can anyone ever get over this? The 4 nights that we were there we didn’t get over it once, we even endured the mosquitos one night to have a wine and set up the go pro for the sunset.

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20160621_202812.jpg20160620_205955.jpgWe were in Sorrento for the Monday to Friday, so we had 3 full days here. The first day we took the train from Sorrento to Pompeii, and made our way through the ruins. We tried to give the audio guide a go but the voice got to us and we couldn’t bear to listen to it after the first 5 minutes. There were many tours available to take you to Pompeii but they were all rather pricey, I’m glad that we did it the way we did.

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For one of the other days we joined an under 30’s tour to Capri, a boat with 12 passengers. This turned out to be a lot of fun, doing lots of swimming off the boat and spent a few hours on the island. If you care to plan ahead a little they had specific days when tour similar to this were quite cheap in price so that would have been good to look out for.

 

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20160622_143400.jpgOur 3rd day we booked our selves on a boat tour to Amalfi and Positano. While it was a really nice day I found that it wasn’t really worth the money to go around with family tourists. You could have taken public transport to Amalfi, trekked along the ‘gods trail’ to Positano, and gotten a bus back to Sorrento, saving your self a lot of money and making for a much more flexible day. We did have a beautiful day however, we had a few hours in Amalfi to wander the streets, and a shorter time to check out Positano were we had a bit of a swim. Amalfi was fantastic to see, however Positano, while smaller, was much more picturesque.

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We managed to find a few beautiful restaurants around purely by luck, where we had the best food from our holiday.

On the Friday it was time for us to move, so we got on the ferry back to Naples, where we caught the train to Venice for the weekend.

Rome in a Day | Part 1 Travel diary

This was the start of a 3-week holiday in June/July. It was my last real holiday before I move back to Perth in September. The realization of this is slowly creeping in as the holiday gets closer. I’m so excited to spend the summer in Europe, but the thought that next winter I cant go to Switzerland for a ski trip is pretty tragic. To be fair, next winter in Europe will be my summer in Australia, so I get to a double summer. Also pretty great. Anyway, what I am saying is that its bitter sweet. I am so happy to come home to my boyfriend and family and friends, but so sad to leave behind the Europe travels and the new friends I have made.

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So this holiday starts in Rome, Isaac is coming straight up from Perth to Rome, so we will meet in the airport. Kinda romantic right? Meet you in Rome, that’s what I thought. Until staff travel had a different idea and I was stuck in Heathrow airport for 8 hours trying to leave the country. I was to fly with BA, and it seemed that every BA employee was trying to get to Rome, which means they have priority over me as I work for Qantas. So 5th flight lucky and I was finally on my way, my romantic ideas of meeting Isaac in the airport shattered. He made his way to our accommodation, and I was to meet him there. We stayed at Roma Camping Village, a common stop for contiki travelers. It was a great place to stay with a really nice atmosphere and good, cheap facilities, but it was a little out of the city. The first night we caught up and had cheap pizza and beer at the camping grounds.

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19-06-2016-10.25.09.jpg.jpegThe next day was our only full day in Rome, as we were out early next morning for Sorrento. We caught a bus into the city, and started our day at the Vatican. What we didn’t realize is that the only day we had in Rome was a Sunday, so the museum was closed the whole day. We were still able to go into the city, but we also found that we were a few hours too early for the pope’s speech, so we didn’t even get to see that. However the city was fantastic to see, and as we come in jeans (making sure our knees and shoulders were covered) we were sweating profusely by the time we lined up and were able to enter, but this didn’t deter from it at all. We walked into the city, past the castel san tangelo, up to piazza del popolo, and down to trevi fountain. Upon recommendation we went to gelato di san crispino, which was worth a trip. We made our way to the pantheon, took at look at the world’s largest freestanding dome, and had a pizza lunch in the square.

We made our way to the coliseum and joined the massive queues to see the inside. As it turned out it didn’t take too long to get through the queue so we didn’t mind so much. It was awe inspiring to be at this iconic location, to get a glimpse into the past. By this time our feet were aching from all the walking, and we stumbled and complained our way across the river Tiber. As walked along through all the pop up markets and bars, it had a lovely atmosphere. Isaac and I made our way close to badilica di santa maria in trastevere for a drink. There were many bars an restaurants in the area, it was really lovely, and we went to ai marmi for pizza, again by recommendation from some Italian friends. It seemed to be a popular spot for the locals and the restaurant was heaving, despite there being a pizzeria next door which looked quite quiet. We were a bit stuck of how to get back to our accommodation from here, and it has been a long day, so we got an uber to pick us up. On the drive home we caught a glimpse of Rome from above during sunset, and it was truly magical.

19-06-2016-01.57.56.jpg.jpegIt was time to move on, and we organized a train from Rome to Naples the next morning. From Naples we went to the port and took a ferry to Sorrento, the whole process taking about 4 hours and onto part 2 of our summer adventure.

Skiing Extraordinaire | French/Swiss Travel diary

This trip was when Isaac was up in London for the first time, January 2015. As I had just started working up in the UK I was only able to get a week off, but it was well spent. The first few days we dedicated to Paris. We got on the Eurostar from London so it was a nice easy trip up. We had booked our selves a cheap hotel not far from Gare de Lest so we didn’t have far to go once we got off the train. It was an okay area to stay, but as I said on my previous post about Paris I really enjoyed staying around Bastille it was much nicer with more to do in the area. The few days that we had here we tried to make our way through the Louvre, although I doubt we even made it through a quarter of it. It was really busy inside, and this was in January so definitely not a peek season. I can imagine that it would be really busy during the summer time. We made our way through the catacombs (taking so many photos in the hopes of getting a gost on camera) and one night we went to go and see the Crazy Horse show, which we opted for instead of the Moulin Rouge as it was quite a bit cheaper, and it still made for a great night out. After wards we went up the Eifel tower, joining the tourists with our selfies, and had a nice night strolling around the area. On one of the other nights we went to Sacre-Coeur to get a good View of Paris. It would have been a nice place to have a picnic.

 

 

We went to Geneva by train, about 4 hours long. My cousin Jane lives here, so we were coming to visit for the weekend. And she took us around and did some amazing things. She drove us about an hour out of Geneva and took us to a chocolate factory and afterwards to an out door spa overlooking the snow covered mountains. It was such an amazing view. The next day we drove up to the French Alps where Jane taught me to ski for the first time. This was a completely daunting experience, but I fell in love. It was my first time in snow, which was amazing enough and the fun of skiing added a whole new dimension. The snow was thick and heavy, making it difficult to see and a dangerous drive back down the mountain at the end of the day. That night we spent getting fondue and going to a whiskey bar, the perfect after-skiing feast for our last night in Geneva! Before we flew out the next day, Jane took us around the lake in Geneva, but that was all we had time to do before heading off. We were able to do amazing things based out of Geneva, it was definitely a weekend to remember.

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Feeling Spanish | Barcelona Travel Diary


This was pretty impromptu trip. I had a week off in January 2015 with no real travel plans, so I put it out there to a few friends to come and join me in Barcelona. I went ahead and booked a room with 4 beds in a hostel, and told people to come and join me if they had any free days. The first night I spent there with a friend Hannah. She was just staying the first 2 nights. We booked our selves onto a city bus tour, so we had a great time getting the history of the city and seeing the tourist sights. We went down to the harbour that night for paella and sangria, with a beautiful sunset for the show.

 

As Hannah was leaving, my housemate Caroline arrived. We hired bikes for the day and rode along the coast all day, terrified of being killed in Barcelona, stopping for lunch before turning back. For January we had lovely weather, a big relief from our first winter in London. Caris and Dan arrived that night, and we stayed at the hostel for dinner as they had some flamenco dancers performing that night, which was great fun to see. We went out afterwards to a cocktail bar named after some famous rehab clinic in America, which we were told had great cocktails. Unfortunately the ones that we ordered tasted how band aids smell (plasters), but it made for a fun night anyway.

 

Again we spent the next day wandering by the harbour and the beach, and walking along the streets and shopping a little. We found a great place for tapas that night and continued with the sangria theme. The culture and the food were amazing and it made for a very social week, I cannot wait until I can go back and do more of Spain, Ideally incorporating it with a road trip through Portugal. That will have to go on the list of places where to travel! I only got a taster of Spain.

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Solo Lisbon Trip | Travel Diary

I had a few days off on my own so I thought that it was about time for Portugal. It was may 2015 that I went, so coming out of winter I was hoping for a place with a bit more warmth. I booked myself into a hostel and tried to use TAP airways with staff travel. This was a horrible time to travel to Portugal as TAP had pilot strikes going on, and they were the main carrier to Lisbon. So I struggled to get to Lisbon and out of, back to London. But I had 3 days to spend and I wanted to make the most of it. The afternoon that I arrived I just wandered around the city and trying some of the foods that they had to offer. Mostly the Portuguese custard tarts. That night I spent in the hostel for dinner. We sat in a large group setting with lots of sangria going around, so I met a few lovely people there that night.

 

My first full day I spent the morning on a walking tour, which went for about 5 hours. This was a great way to see the city and also meet other travelers. We walked from Rua Costa Do Castelo to Alfama, which has great panoramic views. I loved the old colourful buildings and the easy vibe to the city. There were lots of small streets and old bookshops to get lost in. This night I met up with some people who I had met earlier to go for dinner and find a spot to over look the city at sunset.

 

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I also spend a day in Sintra. You can get the train, it’ll take about an hour. It’s a resort town in the foothills of the Sintra mountains. I hiked up the mountain to reach the castle of the Moors. This took about an hour. There are a few paths and signs along the way but there aren’t many people on the trails. You can also choose to get a bus up, but I found the hike so beautiful and rewarding. From the castle I walked to the Pena Palace which probably took another 20-30 minutes. The palace was painted with bright colours and was truly unique. It has wonderful history and beautiful gardens, which I got lost in a few times. Finally I made my way back down to the town, where I sat outside and enjoyed some food before heading back to Lisbon on the train, exhausted.

That was the last night I spent in Lisbon before heading back to London the next day, having to deal with the pilot strikes again.

Mitte of Europe | Travel Diary

I had some wonderful delusions for this trip. I was sick of flying and obsessed with the idea of slow traveling. While I still prefer to go across land rather then by air if I can help it, I don’t think I would willingly do a trip exactly like this again. Going by bus is a very cheap, and very slow, and very uncomfortable way to travel. I left London on a night bus to Brussels, which was about 10 hours long. You leave from Victoria bus station and get dropped of in central Brussels. I took a few train stops to the hostel that I was staying at. I am really glad that I made my way to Belgium, however I wouldn’t recommend travelling there on your own, or perhaps if your going on your own there would be an event on that you were interested in. Traveling alone is a bit of an art form, personally I have found that you are going to have an awesome time if you have some kind of activity to do, for example hiking, snorkeling or diving. While I had a nice time in Brussels, I didn’t have an amazing experience. I found it difficult to meet people despite staying at a hostel. I arrived on a Monday and left on the Friday, and I thought afterwards it would be good to come for an event or perhaps even on a weekend when there is some more night life. I also found that just 2 full days would be enough. I spent 2 days just wandering around the city, eating chocolate and waffles and drinking beer. It’s a beautiful city and I made my way through the streets to view the architecture, and found my self in a music museum. I would recommend a walking tour to get the full history. I went to Bruges for a day on the train. This was a magical city, nice to walk and wander and get lost in the streets. It’s not a huge town, half a day here would be plenty. As I was leaving I decided to go back to Brussels via Ostend, which was the train stop after Bruges. I stayed for the sunset by the water before heading back. For my last day I brought some food and headed by train to Boitsfort to have a walk around the walking trails in the forest, which I really enjoyed.

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From Brussels, I got on a bus to Amsterdam. I was meeting up with my friends Caris and Dan and a few other girls here to go and see Taylor Swift, a love of Caris’. Isaac, my partner, was meant to meet us in Amsterdam, but we had a lot of trouble getting him out of Perth on staff travel. He ended up going via Sydney and London, making it 4 connecting flights before arriving in Amsterdam on the day that we were leaving. We only had the weekend here, and we didn’t do much other then eat, drink and shop. And see T-Swift, which was awesome. Isaac arrived in the morning of my last day extremely travel worn, and we spent the day walking around before our bus that night to Berlin.

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The Bus was about 9 hours long. We planned to spend 4 days in Berlin and this was a perfect amount of time here. It was pouring rain when we arrived, but when the sun was out it was the best atmosphere. We were staying at Generator hostel, which was a really friendly place to be. There were lots of art galleries around everywhere and we loved the relaxed vibe to the city. We made our way through monuments, parks, beer gardens and along the Berlin wall. We caught up with my cousin Gemma and her partner Matia, along with some friends of theirs who were living in Germany at the time. They were able to take us to a few nice places to enjoy the weather and recommend some great food and beers to have while there.

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We then made our way to Munich, again by bus. It was around a 6 hour ride. It was here that we first tried an airbnb, we booked our self a private place quite central. It was a great experience and saved us a lot of money. The weather was great in Munich, and we spent our days walking around the parks along the river, and watching surfers take turns along the waves that the river made. It was a great atmosphere, and all we wanted to do was spend our time outside. We also made our way to Dachau concentration camp. It was packed with information, and was a very interesting and ominous place to be. It felt very normal, just an average place to go in the country, and for me that was the strangest thing about it, to know that so much horror had gone on here and yet there we were strolling around on a summer’s day.

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This brought our trip to an end, and we flew back to London (in amazement and relief that it only took us 2 hours when we had spend so many hours on busses this trip).