Last summer I travelled to Cologne and Dusseldorf. Germany is one of my favourite places to visit. I have been to Berlin before and loved it. I would love to learn how to speak German and I don’t think I would find it difficult to learn. Below are some highlights from the trip. I look forward to visiting Germany again after the Coronavirus pandemic. Germany has excellent food and drink, shopping, transport options, architecture and tourist attractions. 🥨 Follow my insta for more snaps 💫
Last summer, I visited Estonia and was there for three nights. I had never been there before so it was hard to know what to expect. We went to Tallinn, the capital. Tallinn is very pretty and unique. There is a town with lots of crafts and markets, there is also the Old Town. The architecture is very pretty and bright. The city reminded me of Prague in a way. The weather was good for the four days and we did lots of walking and sightseeing. We considered going to Helsinki for a daytrip as it is only across the sea but we didn’t- maybe next time. Below are some highlights, check out my Instagram for more ⭐
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Over a year ago, I visited Bristol with my Mom. My aunt won two flight tickets on the radio and gave them to us. Bristol is somewhere I would never think of going otherwise, so it was hard to know what to expect. We stayed for 3 nights in a lovely hotel close to the centre. One of the days we went to Bath, which was an hour bus journey. It was worth the trip to this pretty town. Highlights in Bath included The Roman Baths and a Fashion museum. There are lots of shops in Bristol and one of the main attractions was Clifton Suspension Bridge. We also did a river cruise.
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Last year my family and I went to Italy for the first time. In the good ole days we used to go to Spain a lot, so Italy was somewhere new and exciting. We flew into Milan Bergamo airport and stayed in a lovely hotel called Hotel Mediolanum for three nights. It was an enjoyable trip and we plan on visiting Rome on our next holiday.
Places of interest we visited were Duomo dil Milano, Teatro alla Scala, Sforza Castle, Corso Buenos Aires, Porta Venezia, Piazza della Repubblica, Piazza Gae Aulenti. One of the days we visited Lake Como, Bellagio and Varenna. It was well worth the hour journey by train to see such spectacular scenes. It was January, so a quite time of year to visit for tourists. It would be great to go again in the summertime. Decathalon was one of my favourite shops in this city. This is a big sports shop with good quality clothes for a low price that is popular in many European countries. I also loved the Swatch shop. Foodwise, a large quantity and variety of pizza and pastas were consumed throughout the four days. This city has wonderful architecture, galleries and theatres. 🍕🍝
County Clare is one of my favourite counties in Ireland. It is not far from County Galway and there are lots of small towns and villages. The countryside is picturesque and very rural Ireland. County Clare is very popular with (American) tourists because of its scenery. Clare is notorious for its flora, fauna and landscape 🦌🌿 I go to County Clare often with friends and family and was there recently. I have been to County Clare on many school trips and family holidays and it brings back many memories🥪 I plan on visiting Bunratty Castle soon with friends. Below are a list of some of my Clare favourites.
Other places in County Clare I recommend visiting are Ballyvaughan, The Aillwee Caves, Lisdoonvarna (if matchmaking is what you’re into), Bunratty Castle & Folk Park, Shannon town.
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This time two years ago, my best friend and I went to Rock Werchter (pronounced Vercher). Not many people know about this festival but it is one I would highly recommend. We went on the Sunday but if I were to go again I would go for the weekend🏕️ My friends brother had been there several times and goes every year but she had never been💃
Werchter is a small village in Belgium. A shuttle bus took us from Leuven and brought us to Werchter which was only 15 minutes away. So ideal! We spent the morning getting ready and prepping ourselves💅🎒🍋 We arrived around 12pm just in time for George Ezra (🤩). The weather was scorching ☀️ so we bought some coupons 🤙 which we required for beverages at a later stage🥤 and we were much excité 💯
At the festival, there were loads of great acts, including George Ezra, Post Malone, Sigrid, Kaleo, The Academic, Warbly Jets, Noel’s High Flying Birds 🎵 Arctic Monkeys were last to perform and there were fireworks. The whole day was amazing ⚡Festivals in Europe are much better than in Ireland 🎆 here was lots of other fun things to see there such as a bean bag area and ballpit. I would definitely go again🎵 By 12am we were covered in glitter and talking ráiméis to Flemish dudes.
I look forward to attending Rock Werchter again in the future 🤟🇧🇪
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I have been to Spain countless times; Mardid, Málaga, Murcia, Albacete, Alicante, Benidorm and the canary islands, Majorca, Lanzarote and Feurteventura. However, last year was my first time to go to Barcelona. There is lots to do in Barcelona, and I would definitely go again. It is a huge city with lots to see and do.
Here are some recommendations..
Sightseeing: Bascílica de la Sagrada Família, Casa Battló, Park Guell, Parc Montjuic, Las Ramblas, Beaches
Shopping: I love Spanish shops. They have much nicer clothes than here in Ireland, better quality and more selection. My favourite shops in Barcelona are Pull&Bear, Zara, Stradivarius, Ale-Hop.
Food: Nachos at the W Hotel, Fresc Co, McDonald’s
Traditional Spanish food and drinks: Spanish omelette, paella, olives, patatas bravas, jamón, gazpacho, tapas, churros, Sangria wine
Nightclubs: Opium, Razzmatazz
Comment below if you have ever been to Barcelona or Spain and if you have any other recommendations💭 Follow my instagram @instaphotojo for snaps 💛❤️💛❤️
I have been to Belgium twice and I would recommend travelling there if you have never been before. One of my best friends is currently doing a Masters in Digital Media and Society at KU Leuven. She did her Erasmus in Belgium in third year of her B.Sc Commerce at Leuven. The first time I went to visit her in Belgium was in summer 2018. I stayed for three nights and we had a busy weekend with lots of walking and things to see and do. I was also in Belgium last Christmas and I would highly recommend seeing Brussels at Christmas time.
Brussels attractions include Grand Place, the Atomium and Manneken Pis. Belgian beer, frites and chocolat are a must! 🍺🍟🍫One of the days, we went to both Bruges and Ghent. (+20,000 steps walked😪). I personally prefer Bruges to Brussels city as it is prettier and more picturesque. In Ghent, we did a river cruise and did some sightseeing. Belgium has lovely architecture and has lots of nice cafés and restaurants. A lot of people speak English there and the people there are very good-looking, I must say.
Last Christmas, Niamh and I went to visit Alanna in Belgium. It was a wholesome weekend filled with yummy food and Christmas spirit. The Christmas markets at Brussels and Leuven were amazing. Everywhere was covered in colourful lights and the smell of sugar and Gluwhein whafted through the air. We went on a big ferris wheel and ice-skating and did some shopping. One of the days we got the train to Maastricht in the Netherlands. A return ticket was only 18 euros and it was definitely worth it! There were more Christmas markets in Maastricht, shopping and food🥨 Winter time is a great time of year to visit Belgium and the Netherlands. My flight to Belgium was after my last Christmas exam for my Masters so it was very exciting. The winter lights in Brussels are amazing at Christmas time. One evening we went to Leuven, where there were choral singers and a candle-lit ceremony. It was truly magical🥰💫
As the quarantine restrictions are easing, we can look forward to hopping on a plane in the not too distant future (hopefully). I have listed tips below for packing a suitcase and preparing for your next trip.
- Write a list of things you want to bring- you can start this weeks in advance. You may have to buy some items for the trip and having a list will prevent you from forgetting anything important.
- Roll your clothes to prevent them from creasing. Clothes can be placed in vacuum compression bags which are sealed, maximising space in your suitcase.
- Pack heavier items such as shoes towards the bottom of the suitcase
- Pour liquids into 100ml clear containers. Containers can be bought at a discount store, pharmacy or some clothing stores. Avoid bringing too many liquids if you are only going for a few days. Don’t forget suncream!
- Fit oddly shaped items such as accessories or hairbrushes last.
- Bring a totebag for foodshopping or souvenirs and another small bag for laundry. Ziplock bags are great for snacks, chargers or small items such as makeup and it is always a good idea to have two or three of these handy.
- Check if you require a travel adapter for the country you are travelling to.
- Luggage tags can be bought at a low cost and can be useful in preventing luggage from getting lost. Limit the amount of information on your lugagge tag, you do not need to write your home address or nationality. A name, phone number and email address should do as well as the address of where you are travelling to.
- Bring a scarf for the plane journey. Whether it is an early morning flight or late at night, the plane can often be chilly.
- Bring a reusable water bottle that can be brought through security empty.
- Passport and boarding pass!
Comment below if you have any other suggestions or tips 💭✨ Subscribe if you know the song reference🎵
There are many things to look forward to after the Coronavirus pandemic settles.
Meeting friends on a regular basis, visiting family members, travelling abroad, staying at hotels, driving beyond 5km without getting stopped by the guards, going to the cinema, going for drinks, takeaway coffees, going for food, buying things we don’t need, getting dressed up (rather than tracksuit or pjs), clothes shopping, food shopping, playing sports, going to concerts, attending events with large gatherings of people, attending birthdays and weddings, reopening of schools and Universities, back to work, going to the beach, going for roadtrips, going to parks, going to markets, going to the hairdressers and salon, going to mass, museums and galleries.
Comment below what you look forward to the most💭