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#22. Visit 5 New Cities.

5 Nov

I am slowly but surely ticking items off my 101 in 1,001 list. I don’t think it’s cheating, but I easily visited more then 5 new cities while I was away travelling this summer.






Eurotrip Recap: Monte Carlo, Monaco.

31 Oct

I had booked a longer stay in Nice so that I would be able to visit Monaco and more specifically Monte Carlo. Described in the guide book as ‘fishing town turned millionaire’s playground’, I couldn’t wait to visit and form my own opinions about a destination I had heard so much about.

I was tired and a little hungover from my night out in Nice, but jumped on the 20minute train to Monte Carlo and started to explore.

As soon as I jumped off the train and made my way out in to the boiling midday heat, it was obvious that there was A LOT of money here.

I wandered around the town trying to flight off my wine head and lack of sleep, and soon found the palace. You had to climb a hill (in the state I was in, I was dubious at first!) but it was well worth it when I got to the top.

The view was magnificent.

I spent the afternoon exploring and admiring the boats (imagining what exciting adventures they would be off on whenever I saw one leave!) but the heat soon got too much and I decided to hop back on the train to Cap D’ail where I’d heard there was a great beach – I was dying to get in the sea!

I hopped off the train at Cap D’ail – unable to see the beach (or any other people – should have been a sign!) but walked down towards the water anyway. I wandered around the coastal path, but couldn’t find any beach 😦

It was hot and I was tired, so I decided to head back  – except it was a national holiday and I ended up waiting ages for another train to arrive!

When I finally got back to Nice, there was a parade going on to celebrate France’s liberation (?)

Lots of cool things to see!

Monte Carlo was a cool place to visit – to see how the other half live – but I probably wouldn’t go back (unless it was for the grand prix!)

Well, it’s taken me 2 whole months (to the day!) to write them all, but this is the last of my travel recaps! What destinations would be top of your European bucket list?


Eurotrip Recap: Cannes, France.

23 Oct

On my last whole day in France I jumped on the train to visit the famous town of Cannes. Unfortunately it rained all day, which put a bit of a downer on the day (the world trying to prepare me for my return to the British weather perhaps?!)

I was so upset that this was the first sandy beach that I had seen al trip and it was too wet for me to enjoy!

Unfortunately, I was seriously underwhelmed by the place, but am still glad that I have visited.

A combination of the weather, tiredness and my ‘end of adventure blues’ caused me to head back to Nice mid afternoon and settle down in the hostel watching dvds and stressing about how I was going to get to the airport the next day!

Eurotrip Recap: Nice, France

17 Oct

I left Milano Centrale for a mammoth train journey that involved a change at the Italian/French border, and was headed for Nice Ville.

I was a little overexcited by the time I got to Nice. I am a total Francophile and was relieved to be back somewhere that I could speak and understand enough of the language to get by in day-to-day life.

It was sad to think that this would be the lost stop on my adventure, but I was happy to be in such a great hostel in an amazing and vibrant city – not to mention the fact that it was 40’c+ and I was staying 2 minutes from the beach!

I arrived mid-afternoon, and after ditching my bag I went out to explore and find the beach – it had been a hectic few days in Italy and I just wanted to chill out.

(This is the best my foot had looked in weeks – it is impossible to keep them clean when you are travelling and not near to the sea!!)

I sat on the beach until about 8pm (it was still warm enough to be sat there in a bikini!) and then wandered back up through the town checking out some of the street art – there were loads of people around.

I was up and about early for my first whole day in this beautiful city (after a great sleep!) and wanted to explore the flower market and find Le Chateau.

It was a beautiful morning. I loved walking around the chateau park and soaking in the view – and the rich colours of Nice.

How beautiful is that?!

chateau pic x 2

And when you finally get to going down the hill on the other side, you discover Nice port! There was some serious money here – such big/posh/expensive boats!

port pic

I spent the afternoon of my first day on the beach (and turned very pink..!) before heading back to the hostel. The food in the hostel was amazing – so I ate there and started chatting to a few people from my dorm, and we ended up spending the night together and going out to experience some of Nice’s bars.

night out pic

See?! So pink!!

Eurotrip Recap: Florence, Italy.

10 Oct

I can’t believe I have been back in the country for over a month now and am still not really close to finishing the recaps of my trip – it’s all good though because I love looking back on my trip 🙂 (I hope you are enjoying it as much..!)

So if you remember, I had just left Abi in Pisa and was now officially on my own for the last week of my travels. I headed to Florence for the weekend, and was sureto choose a central hostel with lots going on – thankfully the reviews did not let me down and I ended up at the Archi Rosso in Florence centre.

The reception was covered in original modern artwork, and visitors had scribbled all over the walls – this part made me chuckle!

I checked in and ditched my bags in my room – it was a 6 bed dorm but I wouldn’t meet my amazing room mates until later that night  and went to explore the city and get my bearings.

Oh hi David!

Iasked a crazy Italian lady to take my picture on the Ponte Vecchio, but she got a bit overexcited and pulled the camera away before it flashed so I am all lopsided! Without a doubt, one of the worst parts of travelling on my own was having to ask people to take my photo all the time!!

In the evening, I met my roommates back at the hostel – 2 crazy Aussie guys and a lovely Australian girl, Ash, who I ended up spending most of my weekend with. We also got chatting to another Aussie girl (Seriously, so many Aus/NZ people in this hostel!!) and all went out for dinner together. Originally, I was anxious about being there on my own, but it was so nice to meet some different people and hear all about their adventures.

We had a lovely few days together, but unfortunately it was soon time to say our goodbye (after a blog address & facebook swap!) and for me to head on to Nice, via Milan (again)

Next stop, Nice!

Eurotrip Recap: Lucca & Pisa, Italy.

4 Oct

Wow, it’s already been a while since I wrote about my european adventure, and I still have so much more to tell you! Last time, I had been abandoned in Italy and had just left the mountain house in Lecco. Fortunately (for more reasons than one, obviously!) I have a wonderful flatemate at school who happenned to be on holiday with her family in Italy around the time that i was there and stuck on my own. We have a little joke that we have to stick together at work, but this took on a whole new element when she rescued me from a few days crying myself to sleep in the back end of Italy! I got in touch with her just to see whether she would like to meet for lunch somewhere one day (I didn’t really have any real plans about where I was going to go..) but when they heard about my situation her parents were kind enough to invite me to stay with them for a few days!

So I met them in a small town called Pescia, and one day we went to visit Lucca.

Lucca is a small Italian walled town. Inside the walls it was very quaint, with tall buildings and was almost exactly how I had pictured a slightly more rural Italy to be. We spent the day there, exploring, lunching, eating ice cream, riding bikes and drinking cocktails. Abi and I lived together for a year, but had soent 6 weeks apart over the summer school, so it was just nice to have some time to catch up and gossip again.

How cool is this ice cream holder?! Ity catches the drips of the melting ice cream so you don’t get super sticky hands!

There are a lot of churches and towers in lucca, but this one was specifically recommended to us because it had trees at the top! Random, I know but how many times have you climbed 400 steps to find a small garden at the top?! exactly, not to mention the awesome view.

In the afternoon we decided to rent bikes for a few hours to see the town from another angle. As I said, the town was walled, but the wall was actually so thick that it had a cycle path on top! All was going well until the chain came off my bike (typical – these things always happen to me!) Thankfully, Abi was able to come to the rescue!

We enjoed a few mojitos in the sun before heading back to the villa for our last night together.

On Friday, Abi was flying home and I was due to move on, but we had a few hours to kill before she went to the airport so decided to visit the town of Pisa! I was very excited by this because despite not really having a plan, I was still super surprised by being able to see landmarks that I wasn’t expecting!

I was also very very surprised by just how leaning the tower was!

It was the perfect opportunity for lots of silly photos to be taken, and also to feel like a giant!

The days flew by in a blur of excitement but it was soon time to say goodbye and for me to jump on my next train. This time I really was alone, but I was confident that I would cope with a few days in Italy before moving on to France after the weekend.

So I jumped on a train (when I finally found the station!!) Next stop – Florence!

Eurotrip Recap: Lecco, Italy.

25 Sep

So I was suddenly all on my own in Italy, but there are worse places to be, right?! Look at Lake Como – beautiful!

I spent a few days in the town of Lecco (north of Milan) and up at my friend’s mountain house.

You see that house right in the middle there? That’s where I was staying!

It was a lovely few days. I read my book, relaxed and it gave me time to formulate a new plan for the next 2 weeks.

By the time I left Lecco, I was feeling much more positive.

Eurotrip Recap: The Decision To Carry On Alone…

22 Sep

So my travelling partner had decided to leave me and return home, and I was all alone in Italy unsure of what to do.


Before Howard had given me his news, I had already planned for us to go and stay with some family friends of mine in the mountains above Lake Como for a few days, so my first decision was that I would go there for a few days and buy myself a bit more thinking time.

Mary took good care of me – fed me, looked after me and allowed me to think and talk through my choices, surrounded by some beautiful scenery.

I have always wanted to travel on my own, but I was nervous and unsure of my abilities to cope. However, I spoke to a few of my friends who have travelled alone, and they said it was a great experience. My main thought was that people go out to Japan/India/China for a year all the time, so surely I should be able to handle 2 weeks in Western Europe?! Also, there would be no cost difference between booking a last minute flight home now, or booking one in a few days time.

So the decision was made – 2 weeks solo travelling in Europe, here I came…

Eurotrip Recap: Boat Trip in Split, Croatia.

20 Sep

Wow, I can’t believe it’s been so long since I wrote about my trip!

Last time, I had one day left to enjoy in Split, Croatia. My Mum was kind enough to send me away on my travels with a few extra euros and a note telling me that it was ‘to do something that you wouldn’t normally do’, so on our last day, we decided to take a boat trip out to the Blue Lagoon.

It was BEAUTIFUL. Seriously, I’ve never seen anywhere like it – the water was clear, the sun was shining, and the islands remained uncommercialised.

Our first stop was on a tiny island where we had a few free hours to explore, enjoy the beach and swim to cool down. The time flew by but I spent all morning thinking that I couldn’t believe how lucky I was – this couldn’t have been more different from my hectic school life!

Look at how clear the water was – amazing!

At lunchtime we climbed back on the boat for a complimentary lunch – I had smoked makeral. It was yummy, but let’s be honest, there’s a lot of effort picking it apart for not very much food! The boat then moved on to the Blure Lagoon, dropped anchor and we had a free hour to swim.

Lots of people were jumping in off the top of the boat, but I was absolutely terrified! I’m proud of myself just for swimming somewhere that my feet couldn’t touch the ground!

Our next stop was Milan, Italy, but getting there by train was going to take 24hours+, so we booked ourselves seats on a budget ferry line from Split to Ancona in the south of Italy.

I was still on a high from a wonderful day out, but when we got on the ferry the evening took an unexpected turn. Howard had decided that he wasn’t enjoying the hostel life and travelling all the time, and that he wanted to go home. Apparantly he had already discussed this with his friends and family back in the UK, and plans had been made regardless of what I felt. Needless to say,  I had a rather sleepless night worrying about whether I was going to continue alone or fly home aswell…..

Eurotrip Recap: Split, Croatia.

12 Sep

As you can imagine after the night train experience (we actually ended up spending 2 nights in a row on the night train and arriving in Split 3 days after we left Athens, but I will spare you all the drama of that!) I was unexplicably happy to be arriving in Split.

This was the view as we walked out of the train station and around the port – the morning light was beautiful.

When I travelled around Europe in 2009, my friend Beth and I had planned every leg of our trip before we even left the UK and were on an extremely tight schedule. We stopped off in Zagreb for a night to break up a journey, and almost every single other person on the train hopped off and straight on to the night train to Split – so I did a bit of research (I had never heard of this place!) and decided almost immediately that I wanted to go there one day – and I am so so glad that I finally made it this summer.

By the time we arrived, we were exhausted, but couldn’t actually check in to our hostel for another 4 hours or so, so we set off exploring this little city.

There is a park on the far side of the city called the Marjan – it involves climing a massive hill but the view makes every sweaty step worth it.

Finally, once we had dropped off our bags and showered, we head out in search of the beach. A few days chilling out in the sun was the main reason for a trip to Split – I was exhausted after working a busy summer school.

That night we decided to sample the Croatian night life – it was so cheap there that it would have been rude not to! I had a great time (so good I forgot to take any pictures!!) but the next day was feeling a little worse for wear so spent another day on the beach, with just a little exploring of the city in the afternoon.

At this point we had one full day left in Croatia, and I want to be able to do it justice with lots of beautiful photos, so I’m going to leave it there for now 🙂