Tourists, Christmas and LONDON

I just cannot help it: every time I get the chance, I just neeeed to see London.  So when two international friends, Dennis and Alberto, asked me if I would want to join them on their trip to London and show them around the city for a bit, I could not say ‘no’. So I visited London, once again. And I have never acted more touristy than this weekend.

So, what touristy things did I do? We took photos with all the landmarks (except for the Big Ben because that’s under construction). We visited the Tate Modern. We started our Saturday with a full English breakfast and ended the same day with fish and chips as dinner. We hunted squirrels in st. James’ park ánd we drank cider in a typically English pub. Loved it.

On Sunday I had another one of my solo-days! I took some time to visit places I had not seen before, and also some places I just love to visit. I started my day with a long walk: from our hostel I walked all the way to the Colombian Flower Market via Shoreditch’ Bricklane.  The atmosphere in these streets, the randomness of things you see around you, the happy people and the sun that shined bright… I enjoyed every second of it.

 

After this I took the bus to the city center, where I first had some hot chocolate in the Theater Café, after that I walked to Leicester Square, Trafalgar Square and decided to walk around the city into some random streets I had never seen before and -of course- I ended up in a bookstore! After that it was time to go home, unfortunately. But, this weekend made me realize once again how much I love London.

Oh, HOW CAN I FORGET!? I totally loved all the Christmas lights and -fairs!

 

 

Advertisements

Summer in London

Three weeks ago my summerbreak started and I decided to spend the first week of it in the UK to visit two people that I met in Ibiza two months ago! The first few days I visited London and after that I went to Manchester. I had a super early flight (which I nearly missed because I thought the gate would close at 8.40 but it closed 8.20), so I arrived in Notting Hill at 11.30! Which meant I had all day to enjoy the heath in the city.

 

At Notting Hill Gate I met Stefi (it was really good to see her again) and together we made a little walk through Notting Hill (with both our camera’s so we had a looooot of pictures). It was way to warm to walk a long distance AND Stefi didn’t have breakfast so we decided to end our tour at a really good Thai restaurant somewhere at Portobello Road, where the people in the kitchen talked to each other as if they were on the other side of London: they were LOUD, it was insane. But hey we had a lovely lunch/breakfast so my belly was fully satisfied after this little break.

Our cameras did not get a long time to relax since I badly wanted to visit One New Change. This is a shoppingcentre next to the St. Pauls Cathedral and you can get onto their roof FOR FREE. (Yep I did my research and found some really cool pictures on Instagram so I decided my trip to London would not be complete if I did not get myself a picture on that roof terrace.) I have to say: the view was amazing and we had fun doing a photoshoot, BUT being on a roof at 15:00 when it’s 32 Degrees Celsius might not be our best idea ever. (Sleeping in the gardens of the cathedral afterwards was a better idea 😀 )

Another thing I found during my research was a hidden rooftop bar in Oxford Street. So after sleeping in and visiting Ealing (the place I lived for two months last year – I cannot describe how happy I was being in Ealing), I decided to go visit this rooftop bar! The view was not that nice though, since it was blocked by plants. And if you were to look over these plants, you could only see some buildings and the traffic in Oxfort Street. But the bar itself looked really cool, the people were nice and I enjoyed a beer in the full sun: it was 35 degrees Celsius so I did not stay long…

After this I decided to check out something else: the roofgarden on top of the Queen Elisabeth Hall: a place I did not know of before but I’ve walked passed it sooo many times. I was pretty excited to see it but I was a bit disappointed when I actually saw it. The garden was not taken care of (most of the plants were dead), there were not that many chairs or other things to sit on, and the view was sort of blocked by the big yellow staircase. But at least I tried something new around a place I’ve already seen thousands of times (Southbank).

Even though I thought I knew London pretty well (and some places do feel like home, like the Theatre Café), these two days made clear that London has still so many cool new places to offer. So this will definitely NOT be my last visit in London!

IMG-20170620-WA0018

Time for a change

What to do when your boyfriend breaks up with you because of your lack of self-confidence and self-love? I don’t know, but I have to because that’s my current situation. I tried crying, but I found out that that didn’t really help (although I felt kind of relieved after a two-hour-long-crying-session). After getting myself to the fitness center for the first time in for ever and REALLY like it, I figured it is time for a change. I have to show myself that a life without a boyfriend can be totally awesome! And that I’ll learn to love myself.

Thank God for my friends and for my family. They helped me through the first two weeks. But now I want to get back on my feet again. And show myself that I am awesome. So I made a plan. I want to go on trips on my own, since I always do things together and never go somewhere on my own. Those trips can go from ‘going to the theatre/cinema’ to ‘visit a random city in the Netherlands’. But to give myself a kick start, I am going on a city trip. On my own. I am terrified. And excited. But terrified.

For so long I want to book a trip with SRPRS.me. This is a Dutch organisation that books you a trip to an unknown destination. Well, for me it is an unknown destination. The organisation will know where I go. At the airport I will hear where I go. So the next three weeks will be REALLY HARD because I have no idea at all where I will go to on my own. But it will be awesome and I will get to know myself a little better (I hope). Fingers crossed that everything will turn out the way I hope.

I’m going to blog about all my adventures. All my solo-trips and this SRPRS.me-travel. I’ll keep you posted!

London, again…

Last summer I lived in London for two months. And how I missed the city! So DSC_0316Daphne (another au pair) and I decided to go there again last Februari! It was amazing to see the city again. It felt like a different city this time, because we didn’t have to take care of kids ánd it was winter instead of summer. (Which meant that the sunset was waaaay earlier than we were used to and we walked mostly through the dark streets, which I loved.)

We arrived Friday evening. The first we saw when we came out of the underground station was the Big Ben and houses of parliament. What a view. And we both had the feeling Peter Pan was somewhere around because of the famous picture of him and Wendy and the boys standing on the clock-thingies of the Big Ben.

As I already showed you in this blog, I totally love Hampstead Heath so I decided to show Daphne on Saturday morning. After that, we spent our afternoon in the Theatre Café (my second home) and we went to the musicals (since I didn’t see any last summer – ahum – I saw 12 musicals last summer). Phantom of the Opera was amazing and the best thing was that Celinde Schoenmaker, a Dutch actress which I really like, played the lead.

On sunday we were stuck in traffic on our way to the free walking tour through Shoreditch. We were 30 minutes late but we were able to find our guide and join the group. The tour was very informative and I’d recommend it if you’re interested in streetart! The guide was very enthousiastic and even though my toes were frozen after the two-hour walk, I enjoyed it a lot. After that we went to the Sky Garden since we didn’t visit that last summer. Daphne is reaaally scared of hights so the first few minutes she was terrified but after that even she enjoyed the view. If you ever go to the Sky Garden, go during sunset! The view was so pretty!

On our last day we just visited our most favorite spots: south bank, Theatre Café (again) and Camden Food Market. At 13.00 it was time to go to the airport… We saw so many things in just three days, and not just the regular ‘hot spots’. London isn’t as big as you’d think once you know your way around!

When the sun sets in Rome…

Last year I went to Rome (November 2015). And even though my phone got stolen in the tram the second I arrived (don’t EVER put your phone in the pocket of your jacket when you’re in a crowded tram…), I had an amazing time. My friend Stella lived there – she is Dutch but she went to Rome to study abroad for a year. This gave me the opportunity for an extremely cheap city trip: couldn’t turn that opportunity down, could I?

When in Rome, we found a new hobby: having photoshoots! Especially during sunset we loved to take pictures of each other. So she showed me two extremely beautiful spots to visit during sunset! The first one was near Piazza del Popolo: beautiful view (including the St.Peters Cathedral!)

After a long day of walking and photoshoots (The Colloseum is SUCH a great place for pictures!), we ended the day at Il Giardino Degli Aranci. The view was amazing, but the sun didn’t set behind the St.Peters Cathedral as it did on the first place, so that was little bummer. But still: the view was great and the atmosphere was so magical! There were a lot of birds flying above the city (as you can see in the pictures). The viewing point was in a very small and cute garden, which I’d love to go back to during summertime to have a picknick!