Wednesday, 19 March 2014

Im back.

So I'm back...

A friend on Facebook messaged me with a question about her upcoming holiday to USA... I couldn't help but bombard her with advice and questions. I love planning for trips so much that any excuse is a good excuse to talk about it!

SOOOOOO.... if anyone has ANY QUESTIONS this is your time to shine. I will do a post on anywhere you want a refresher or more info on. Comment away my friends!

It has been over a year since I returned from my big USA and Europe 4 month holiday! I can not believe it has been so long!! My sister is actually planning her big trip to Europe in June and it's been so much fun helping her out with all the little details like eurail passes and accomm in different cities.

In the meantime I've done a few little trips around.
My bf and I drove up the coast to a surfy village called Crescent Head last easter.
I went to China and Hong Kong last August and...
I'm off to Thailand in this coming April...
So we have lots to catch up on.

Here's some pictures that are making me so so so excited to soak up the sun in Thailand.

Saturday, 17 November 2012


I'm sorry, but I really have been the worst blogger EVER!
I have been so crazy busy! It's ridiculous! Working full time shift work again is like a slap in the face after having four months travelling. Oh the post Europe depression is an actual illness. I have a job interview coming up which could mean really good things for me so things are starting to look up. I also found ridic cheap flights to Asia... I'm desperately trying to convince Gonz I need another holiday but it's not going down so well! I love holidays. If the choice were mine I would holiday forever.
Our room... complete with air con THANK GOD.

I am going to show you Florence.
Beautiful, charming, boiling hot Florence.
We continued to try and speak Italian wherever we went and it made our experience that much better because the shop owners (or whoever we were trying to talk to) were way more receptive to us and even tried to speak a little English.

If we thought Rome was hot, we certainly weren't prepared for Florence. Holy shit, 47 degrees. I wore no makeup for like 2 months as we were in Italy and Spain because otherwise my Tshirt would end up with more makeup than my face. Seriously you... just... sweat!!!!
Imagine lining up for three hours in the heat to get a ticket to see the painting "The Birth of Venus" and then lining up for another hour to get into the gallery.
"Birth of Venus" by Botticelli. I actually really wanted to see this. 

Fake David. 

The square where you see the fake David statue.
We tried but we just couldn't! If you go and you are desperate to see either the "Birth of Venus" or Michelangelo's "David" then I suggest you suck it up and sweat in the line, buy a reservation for the next day which means you don't have to line up for the ticket (this option is about double the price but totally affordable if you are on a shorter holiday.) Or you just go out in the public square and look at the replica statue of David. 

There are two main attractions that I was excited to see and they are the:

  • Ponte Vecchio (some people call it the Jewelry bridge because these days the bridge is covered with jewellery stores and merchants. 
  • The Duomo (cathedral) which is properly called the Basilica di Santa Maria del Fiore. 
Ponte Vecchio 
The Duomo at night.

Looking at jewelry on the bridge. 
Florence is so beautiful. There is so much more to see. 

We went on a half day trip to the Chianti wine region, famous for its red wine. We stopped off at two Tuscan villages which were absolutely beautiful. It was so nice to see the Italian countryside. 

We did a day trip to Pisa. Seriously go take a picture and leave. It is quite fun, and funny to see everyone doing it! But do not bother to book accom in Pisa. It is one hour out of Florence by train and there is nothing else there really. 

We met a girl from the USA who had been studying in Florence for a few months. She told us at sunset to go up to:
  • Piazzale Michelangelo. It is a little bit of a steep walk, but it's worth it. The view is great and you get a completely new view of Florence. There are little kiosks up there and it is common to buy a beer, or take your own wine, sit on the steps and look at the view. 
Can you see the Ponte Veccio

Food wise, Florence was much better than Rome. 
We managed to find pasta that was freshly made. Keep an eye out for Florentine steak! It is HUGE! 

Tuesday, 23 October 2012

Italy. ROME

Finally I have uploaded my photos! Computers are so frustrating when they don't do as they're told...

Italy is amazing... Unfortunately we were very limited for time as we had to be in Spain to meet up with parents. I had planned to do Capri, Almalfi and Cinque Terre as well as Rome and Florence. Because of our time restriction we only got to do Rome and Florence... not that I'm complaining. It was fantastic!


We arrived in Rome after an overnight ferry from Dubrovnik. 
Rome was stinking hot! Literally over forty degrees until 6pm at night! So so hot that you could not stop sweating! I gave up on makeup in the day and opted for 30+. 
For once city, there is so much to see and do!
All the Roman ruins seem to be scattered across the city giving it an ancient feel. There are so many iconic landmarks and I really couldn't believe I was standing outside the Colosseum! 

We went to Palentine Hill where we saw PLENTY of Roman Ruins. There was no shade and it was soaring above 40 degrees... it was exhausting but there was so much to get done. 

The Colosseum was fantastic. You really believe you are in Rome when you get to the Colosseum. 

Vatican city! It was so impressive. I think it was one of the highlights for Gonz. St. Pauls cathedral is beautiful and decorated elaborately. The marble and the gold decorations everywhere is incredible. 

The Trevi Fountain is so beautiful, I really loved it there. It felt so Roman and pretty. You must go at night, the crowds die down considerably!!!

Spanish Steps... mmm. They are nothing special... seriously they were a staircase. We took pictures... but I wasn't impressed. 

The Pantheon. Quite impressive and you don't have to line up. It a huge dome with a circle cut into the roof. It is the most intact and preserved Roman building. 

Our room. 

Inside the Colosseum 

Inside the Pantheon.

I loved the Trevi fountain. 
Our dinner was SO shit, so we went out for desert. 

Spanish steps.

  •   Buy a Rome pass. It was reasonable in price and included all public transport for 3 days and 2 attractions where you could skip the que. The que skipping is the best feature!! It saves you SO much time. Besides, who wants to be queing outside in 40 degrees. 
  • Sleep in. Why not. No really, you might as well. The sights are FILLED with tourists and the busiest time to go is in the morning! We would go out at around 12, have some lunch and then get to places at like  2pm really was perfect as most people were ready to escape the heat by this time! The ques were half, if not one quarter of the size as earlier in the morning. 
  • Pack sunscreen and take a water bottle with you. It may sound weird, and a little unhygienic. BUT there are taps across the whole city of Rome with fresh running drinking water. You can literally fill your drink bottle at any of these and they appear frequently. The water tastes as good as the bottled kind you buy in a supermarket. 
  • Prepare your Italian language skills! Seriously, this saved us! So many times we wanted to know where something was or how to get somewhere. I learned off an audio book that was on my kindle. We were surprised about how little English the Italians spoke so be prepared! Plus it is fun and the locals are much friendlier if you give it a go. We would go into restaurants and try to order everything in Italian. We could also go into cafe's and bars and ask for what we wanted. I might even write a post on the audio language books I used!
  • Eat lots of ice cream and drink lots of wine.

  • Try not to visit in early August. For one the weather is almost unbearable. In thoery it might sounds manageable... but when you have SO much to see and do it is VERY difficult. Also, we had many experiences of trying to find authentic pasta restaurants that sold quality fresh pasta etc. We were 99% unsuccessful finding good food because all the family run and owned restaurants closed for two weeks at the end of August! All the great little trip adviser finds were closed! We would trek the whole way across the city only to find it closed, so annoying!
  • Expect much from the Spanish steps. 
  • Expect too much from the food. We tried really hard to find places but were pretty unsuccessful.