All posts tagged: featured

View from Observatorielunden, Stockholm best views

The Most Enchanting and Photo-worthy Places in Stockholm

There are places that you’ve never given much thought – sitting idly somewhere on the periphery of your mind, their existence acknowledged but never really explored further. Then, suddenly, they leave a mark so profound you can’t quite shake it off. That’s how my adventure with Stockholm began. I’ve always been fascinated with Scandinavia, but somehow that sentiment never quite extended to Stockholm. I’ve visited it over ten years ago on a rather dreadful January day, the hood of my puffa jacket sliding down my face as I tried navigating the streets, the snow melting on the pavements and slowly turning into grey mush. I neither liked it or disliked it but, having booked a flight to visit my family in Västerås in August this year, I decided to give Stockholm another try. It might’ve been that late summer feel that made all the difference – the warm light gently diffused by the clouds, illuminating the colourful buildings and sparkling in the water. Or perhaps it was me that was different. Either way, on the …

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How to Save on Travel Money and Foreign Exchange Rates with Compare Holiday Money

I landed at Haneda Airport in Tokyo, the sound of hurried footsteps and excited conversations buzzing around my head like an insistent bee. Armed with two suitcases – one filled with gifts for my friend and the other carrying the usual travel stuff, I was meant to be on the train now, heading towards Shibuya. Instead, I was panic-calling my bank (a pleasure which, as I later found out, set me back nearly £40). My card got blocked just minutes earlier and with no cash on me, I was stranded in one of the world’s most expensive cities with no means of leaving the airport! My innate optimism clearly didn’t factor in technical difficulties. As the automatic voice on the other end of the phone kept re-assuring me that my call was important, I really wished I’d sorted out my holiday money in advance. The main reason I didn’t (except for never being one to plan ahead), was because it seemed like a hassle, and with exchange rate deals varying from store to store, taking …

Pena Palace Sintra, Portugal

Cascais and Surroundings: Portugal’s Modern-Day Fairytale

I bit into Pasteis de Cruz Alta, a dangerously delicious egg and almond pastry named after the highest point of the Sintra Mountains, and looked around in contentment. It was my second day in Portugal with Visit Cascais, and we were starting it off at Casa Piriquita – an unassuming, 19th C bakery perched alongside a steep street in downtown Sintra. Practically unchanged since the 1800s and decorated with azulejos, Piriquita’s been ran by the same family for five generations and remains one the town’s most popular breakfast spots. I later discovered that this mix of tradition and modernity is somewhat typical for the area — it’s as if Portugal found the way to seamlessly blend the past with its present-day identity. Take Pena Palace for example, only a short drive away from Sintra. Built on the remains of a former monastery, its colours bringing to mind the cheerful streets of Burano and Cape Town rather than your typical castle, Pena blends Manueline and Moorish traditions into a modern day fairytale. Visible from every part of the …

Paddle boarding with Original Wild, Bath

Exploring the Unexpected Side of Bath

What’s the first thing that comes to mind when you think about Bath? Based on the name alone, it’s the Roman baths of course, a great reminder that ever since AD43 Bath was a city made to enjoy. Then it’s the Georgian Bath. Strolling through the elegant streets of the Royal Crescent, almost as if wandering the pages of Jane Austen novels – the city’s most famous resident – is another picture that jumps to mind. But there’s yet another, slightly more unexpected side to the city – one you’ll find once you look beneath the historical heritage and focus on what Bath has to offer today. I boarded the train at Paddington on a particularly gorgeous, summer day. The sun was shining in a very un-London-like manner and, as the countryside landscapes blurred when the train picked up speed, I smiled at the thought of the adventures ahead.  Visit Bath has ever so kindly invited me to explore the unexpected side of the city and, remembering how much I loved it the first time I …

the best photography spots

The Best Photography Spots in Florence, Italy

I’ve recently got back from a trip to Florence where I used to live for nearly two years. The winding streets, gorgeous architecture and the amazing food culture stole my heart to a point where a three-day trip in 2013 ended up in me packing my bags and moving to the Tuscan capital.   What followed were quite possibly the two most charming years of my life. Waking up to the sound of church bells echoing across Piazza Santa Croce where my apartment neighboured a building once owned by Michelangelo’s family; coffee dates turning into wine-filled lunches, gorgeous sunsets over Ponte Vecchio… it was nothing short of magical, or at least it certainly seemed like it when I look at my Fiorentino life from a perspective. Returning to Florence after nearly two years away felt a bit like slipping on an old glove, the feeling of familiarity warm and comforting. But there was something else…a bittersweet strike of nostalgia hiding in every corner of Centro Storico. Being back was the perfect excuse to re-discover some of my favourite spots and, as I figured …

Most Instagrammable London locations

The Most Instagrammable London Spots to Visit This Spring

I can’t think of a more perfect time to visit London than the spring, when the city cheerfully waves goodbye to winter gloom as the streets become covered with cherry blossom. From Hyde Park to zone nine, London suddenly turns into a cherry tree oasis, and with days finally getting longer and filled with sunshine, you’ll have little reason to stay inside. If you’re following me on Instagram, you’ll know that I have a rather soft spot for London’s cafe scene. In a city where new places pop up on every corner faster than you can say ‘coffee’, it’s hard to keep up but fear not – I’ve taken it upon myself to discover London’s most gorgeous cafes and equally glorious spots for your spring walk. After all, what better way to embrace the spring and the cherry blossom season than with a beetroot latte in hand, taking in the sights of London’s most Instagrammable spots? LONDON’S MOST INSTAGRAMMABLE CAFES PEGGY PORSCHEN The epitome of all things Instagrammable, Peggy Porschen is one of my favourite …

Villa Anouk, Essaouira - A Girl Who Travels

Villa Anouk – A Magical Sanctuary in the Heart of Morocco

A short drive from the coastal town of Essaouira in Morocco, where raw authenticity mixes with colonial charm, set amongst olive groves and countryside roads, nests Villa Anouk. My boyfriend and I arrived there on a warm January afternoon. We were driving up the rocky piste leading to the villa when I got a quick glimpse of its honey-coloured silhouette peeking through the trees. It was some time between then and the moment the driver pulled by the flower-adorned fountain at the entrance when I knew I was at no ordinary hotel.  It took me quite some time to think of the best way to describe Villa Anouk until I’ve realised that, to me, it remained more of a feeling than a place –  a sentiment that I share towards few hotels. So, let’s start with that feeling. Imagine a place where time passes slowly, wrapped up in a serenity so harmoniously perfect that it makes you want to hold each moment in the palm of your hand, just so you can gaze at it in a …

Maldives Club Med Kani

From the Sands of Abu Dhabi to The Maldivian Paradise: My Trip With Club Med

~ ABU DHABI My feet collapsed into the sand as I was slowly climbing the dunes of the Abu Dhabi Desert, the white fabric of our guide’s gandurah fluttering in the wind ahead of me. The sun was about to set, hovering over the horizon and casting orange shadows on the sand. Once I’ve reached the top, my long dress twisting around my ankles, there was hardly any sound except for the soft camel calling coming from afar. The desert stretched for miles and it almost felt like being trapped inside an hourglass. I smiled and looked back waving at my fellow travellers, Lorena and Rafaela, as they made their way up the dune. Just like me and a bunch of European and South African bloggers, they joined Club Med and Etihad Airways on an adventure that was about to take us from the sun seethed Emirates to the Maldives. We gazed over the horizon, gradually getting swollen by darkness as the tip of the sun began its descent behind the dunes. It was hard to …

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Love and Rock’n’Roll Under The Italian Sun: My Trip to Pantelleria

Set amongst the blue waters of the Mediterranean, with sun-drenched Sicily to the North and Tunisian coast to the South, the tiny, windblown island of Pantelleria is one of the very few South European isles still untouched by mass tourism. Raw and unapologetically beautiful, Pantelleria’s charm doesn’t come in an all-inclusive-package typical for the popular islands, but rather, encourages you to jump in the car and embrace adventure awaiting amongst the twisted roads, filled with the smell of fennel carried by the ever-present sirocco. Be it exploring the rugged coast with hot springs, emerald grottoes and fumaroles speckled across its shores, wine-tasting at the island’s many vineyards or indulging in the fabulous cuisine, Pantelleria has a lot to offer.  Nick-named  ‘the black pearl of Mediterranean’, a reference to the dark volcanic rock erupting from the ground, the island is accessible by a small plane which departs daily from Palermo, its slim silhouette cutting through the skies being the only disturbance to the quiet island life. Perhaps it was the island’s exclusivity, the reason that turned …

Best places to see in Northumberland, England

England’s Most Beautiful and Underrated Gem That You’re Missing Out On

What is the first place that comes to mind when you think of England? London has long been considered the quintessentially  British destination and for a good reason, but what if I told you that there’s a place just a few hours train ride away, where medieval castles are scattered along the rugged coast, the cool wind carries the smell of the sea and tiny islands are filled with scenery and history straight out of a romantic novel?   Northumberland in North East England is quite possibly the most underrated region in the country. Wild-spirited and unapologetically beautiful in its raw simplicity, its value doesn’t end at picture-perfect landscapes. The North East is known to be one of the cheapest regions in England and offers fabulous value for money compared to the typical tourist destinations like London or Cambridge in the South. Another benefit? It lies on the border Scotland with an easy access to Edinburgh, the region’s most magical city! My backyard during the 6 years I’ve spent living in the UK, I was absolutely delighted to …