Helsinki

Travel

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Hei! (Finnish for ‘hello’)

How are you all? I know, it’s been a rather long time since I was last here-4 months to be exact- but I’m beginning to accept that unfortunately, I am a sporadic blogger. Although saying that, I will have considerably more time on my hands as of next March (or considerably less, depending on how you look at it) so there is hope!

Two weeks ago, Ored, myself and my best friend Termie , caught a plane and headed to Helsinki for the weekend, all in the name of belated Birthday celebrations. None of us had ever been anywhere particularly ‘north’ of Europe and with Christmas around the corner, it feel like the perfect opportunity to visit somewhere a little more remote.

Helsinki is an incredible city full of stunning architecture and culture, not to mention some amazing places to eat and drink!  Despite just 3 days to explore in sub-zero temperatures , we rather surprisingly packed a lot into our weekend, including an afternoon at world heritage site Suomenlinna, copious amounts of hot chocolate and of course some traditional (and delicious) finnish food.

Having just missed the famous Christmas markets along with the forecasted snow by just a week, we’d love to go back again. Until then, I can only hope that Father Christmas brings us a white Christmas here in the UK… (well, one can dream!)

 

What has been your most memorable winter holiday? Let me know by commenting below!

 

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Madrid

Travel

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Hola!

I know it’s been a little while since I last posted anything, so I thought I’d share a few snaps that I took last week on our holiday to Madrid!

Having never been before, and in a moment of madness, we decided  we wanted to do something a little more cultural than lying on a beach all day. Madrid seemed the perfect choice. We both love Spain, having been to Barcelona and Benicassim a handful of times, . so we eagerly planned a week full of sightseeing, good food and some much needed down time.

We stayed at Dear Madrid, an incredible boutique hotel right in the heart of the city. We had no idea when we booked it, how great a base it would be to explore, with great transport links both in and around the city as well as to the airport.

We went for 7 days and although it wasn’t enough time to visit all of the tourist attractions we’d pinned on the map it was more than enough time in 38+ degree heat. I hate to sound like that cliched English(wo)man but it really was just too hot for Ored and I. Whereas in the UK temperatures tend to dip after the midday heat, in Madrid they only just begin to hot up, meaning that from around 12-7PM you’re contending with temperatures of around 28-38!

Despite language barriers, we still had a great time. Not only was it nice to get away from home but it was great to do something other than hit the beach for a week (who knew Ored would enjoy the Caravaggio exhibition at the Royal Palace as much as he did!)

So who else has been to Madrid? I’d love to know what you thought of the city!

 

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Nostalgic- Cascais ’15

Travel

 

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Today is the first day of Spring which means only one thing in the UK- rain. I took it as a sign that it was OK for me to forgo my morning run and enjoy an indulgently lazy morning in bed, savouring the last day of home life before I start my new job tomorrow.

But as the chill ran through the house, summer desperately ached within my bones and I couldn’t help but feel nostalgic for mine and Ored’s Portuguese holiday last year.

I ended up pouring over the snapshots we took whilst we stayed in the stunning beautiful town of Cascais. Neither of us had been to Portugal before, and I remember that feeling of being excited by both uncharted territory and guaranteed sunshine (I’m a total sun baby).

Due to work schedules we were only able to go for a week instead of the intended two, so we took a relaxed approach to sight seeing. Of course we wanted to see and do as much as possible, but at the time I was working almost every weekend which never quite aligned with Ored’s Mon-Fri, so above all we really just wanted to relax, turn off and enjoy spending time with one another.

And we truly had a fantastic time. The people were so warm and friendly, the food was out of this world and the weather made my skin sing (well let’s be honest, who doesn’t look and feel good with a little bit of a bronzed glow?). Not to mention the hotel, complete with balcony views, helpful staff and some of the best meals we’d eaten all week.

I would love to go back again because there was so much that we didn’t get to do-like visit the neighbouring town of Sintra and the capital, Lisbon- but with Italy on our list for 2016, it might just have to wait a while…

 

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