Saturday, 24 September 2016

THE BEAUTIFUL MONTSERRAT / SPAIN

I saw this beautiful place on Instagram and knew I had to visit while in Barcelona. There are many companies that travel to this destination, I went with Viator on an early morning access tour. Pick up time was 6:45am from Barcelona city centre but when you arrive at a "touristy" place and there are no tourist to block your view its an amazing feeling. This was only half a day trip and we returned to Barcelona by 1pm. This was still plenty of time to explore and experience everything Montserrat has to offer. 


The tour begins with a visit to Santa Maria de Montserrat Abbey, this is an incredible church with impressive gothic architecture. You're unable to go into some of this building as monks live there. The church inside had beautifully coloured stainglass windows, also we saw the "virgin mary" which is a worshiped statue for Catalonia people so its a privilege to see this statue upclose. Unfortunately I couldn't get many photos of this building as my memory card in my camera decided to develop a glitch. Gotta love technology aye! This was the one time I didn't bring my camera bag from the coach, so I had to run back to get another memory card!

We had 2 hours to explore, there is loads of options to choose from, you could sit in the cafe and enjoy a drink although in my opinion in a beautiful place like this you shouldn't be sitting in a cafe. If you wanted to go up the mountain you could either hike up or catch a gondaia "thingy". At the top there is several hikes to choose from, I could of taken the easy option but I decided to do the hike which took 1 hour and a half. The views at the top were amazing. Although in 30 degree heat hiking started to feel exhausting quickly but I powered through and kept going because the views were too great to miss!

This day trip gave me the opportunity to test out my new Joby camera stand, its perfect for travelling solo because the stand can bend around objects and adjust in awkward positions. Sometimes when you visit somewhere and there aren't many people around, it can be difficult to get a photo of yourself that isn't a selfie!

After I finished hiking for a few hours in the sun I decided to head back down the mountain to explore a little more. I was considering grabbing a drink and relaxing in the cafe, but naturally I decided to make the most of my time and look around. There is a museum that was meant to be incredible but I didn't have enough time to do this. One thing I knew I wanted to see on this trip was this square stacked statue, from the photos I saw people were climbing to the top and getting an amazing shot. I was very disappointed to find out that a fence had been put up to ensure tourist don't risk their life for a great photo! Despite the bright orange sign and fencing its still is an amazing view.

Sincerely, Kimberly.
xxx

Sunday, 11 September 2016

DAYTRIP TO COSTA BRAVA FROM BARCELONA

Barcelona is a beautiful place to visit and I couldn't wait to explore the city. Since I had 10 days I decided to spend some time out of the city, I took a day trip to Costa Brava which is about 2 hours drive from Barcelona city centre, along the way we stopped at Calella, L'estartit, Illies Medes, Pals and Empuries. All these places I visited had different vibes and things to offer. There are loads of companies that do day trips from Barcelona, I went with Viator, the price wasn't too bad at £71 for the entire day and that included all the entry fees etc but unfortunately not food. The tour guides were bilingual and spoke highly of each destination and included any stories or fun facts.

Calella de Palafruguell
First stop on the tour was the beautiful Calella, we were given 1 1/2 hour to go off and explore. I did debate sitting on the beach the entire time but then I would miss so many amazing photography opportunities, I got some great scenic shots. I spend my time wondering around and enjoying the view, naturally I couldn't resist indulging in a chocolate ice cream when I came across a little shop, and yes it was worth it. 

L'estartit & Illes Medes
Second stop was L'estartit port, boats everywhere and there is nothing more I love than photographs of boats! Luckily we stopped for lunch here and it was the best timing as I was very hungry. Since it was 29 degrees I didn't fancy anything too heavy, in the end I had a chicken Caesar salad and it was delicious. I always love to eat where you have a great view. Afterwards it was time for the boat trip in a submarine boat, this was a new experience for me and was great because you could see everything as if you were diving.


Pals
I was very excited to see this medieval town after researching beforehand. We stopped here for 20 minutes and I wish we had longer as it's not enough time to explore this pretty place. I don't know about you but when I visit somewhere I don't like to be rushed and when we were here it felt very rushed. I understand its because they have a lot of tours coming and going but I think 40 minutes would have been a good amount of time so you could truly enjoy everything Pals has to offer. Overall I did love my time here and I would recommend to anyone to visit while in the area.


Empuries
Final stop on the day trip was Empuries, this is greek and roman ruins site. I don't know about you but I always find it interesting seeing ruins and learning about the history, as you can tell from the photos not a lot remains of these ruins. I felt like I didn't enjoy this as much as the other destinations due to the fact I had heat stoke! Yes heat stoke, I struggled to walk in a straight line at this point and had blurred vision, next time I NEED to wear a hat throughout the day to prevent this.


Sincerely, Kimberly.
xxx

Monday, 22 August 2016

SUMMER FLORALS

I've said this many times before the English "summer days" are few and far between, but when we do get a nice day its great to take advantage and throw on a pretty floral dress. This day in particular was not one of those "summer days" and begin to rain as soon as we reached the car! It was amazing while the decent weather lasted though.

This sundress is a favourite of mine for a few reasons, I purchased it in Australia and have worn it on so many occasions. The scuba material is great as it doesn't need to be ironed and can be folded or scrunched into the tiniest places and still be wearable. This is an amazing feature especially if you're travelling around. Another incredible thing about this dress is I don't need to wear a bra, I'm sure you'll appreciate this is a great feeling!

You need staple pieces in your wardrobe to wear with bold or patterned items and summer would be nothing without my Birkenstocks, these beauts are so comfortable and easy to wear. They're a versatile piece to own and if you haven't already I would suggest you invest in a pair. 

Outfit details

Dress: Dotti
Bag: H&M
Sunglasses: Gok Wan

Sincerely, Kimberly.
xxx

Friday, 12 August 2016

EDINBURGH IN 5 DAYS


I left Edinburgh a few days ago after spending 5 days there with friends from overseas. None of us had ever been to Scotland and thought it would be a nice little getaway to catch up and spend some time together since we hadn’t seen each other for over a year! 

I wasn’t sure what to expect from this city as I had heard mixed reviews, one piece of advise I would give you is remember your rain coat as you will need it! Most of the days it rained for at least an hour, although this didn’t ruin our trip we just adapted to the cold and wet weather. Other than that it was a great trip.

Fringe Festival
One thing I do have to say is if the Fringe Festival wasn’t on I think we would have been lost of things to do, Edinburgh is only so big afterall. If you are going outside of August I would suggest 3 days is enough to see what the city has to offer. Luckily the Fringe Festival was on so we had plenty to do! For those of you who don’t know the Fringe Festival is on for the entire month of August in Edinburgh and features musicals, comedians, magic acts, cabrets and music acts so there is plenty to choose from. The atmosphere for all these events was amazing! All the acts would perform on the streets to get everyone’s attention so you could "try before you buy" in a way. Another great thing about this festival is a lot of acts are free to watch and you simply pay what you think the show is worth. We saw quite a few acts including Laura London (magician), Abi Roberts (Comedian) and Elf Lyons (Comedian) and a few more. Spring Awakening the musical was the only performance we pre-booked and paid for beforehand, it was well worth it. The cast gave an incredible performance and were extremely talented, if you’re heading to Edinburgh this month I would suggest you put this musical on your list of things to do as you won’t be disappointed! 


Since Fringe was on there was also loads of markets to purchase some lovely little souvenirs for friends and family. There was also outdoor marquees where live music was played and you could get some street food and have a few cheeky drinks.  



Author’s Seat
If you enjoy hiking then Authur’s Seat should be on your todo list while in Edinburgh. Loz and I trekked up there about midday, we did attempt early morning but other things easily distracted us beforehand. This hike would normally take people about 2 hours at most, not for us, we stopped almost every 5 minutes to take photos and sit down now and again so it ended up taking just short of 5 hours for us by the time we returned to the hostel. It's great to take all these photos for memories, although the pictures never do it justice. Half way up we decided to try and do dual Yoga poses which was interesting, Loz is much more advanced in yoga than I plus when you’re upside down it can be difficult to know your left from your right aye! We finally got a few good shots before carrying on up the hill. We reached the top and god was it windy!!!!! Gale force winds I’ll tell you that! I could put almost all my bodyweight onto the wind and it would hold me up, although I didn’t follow this through completely as I would have injured myself knowing my luck when the wind stops blowing. As we’re at the top Loz attempts to do some yoga in this extremely strong wind and I couldn’t help but think please don’t hurt yourself as it’s a long way down and I don’t think I’ve got the strength to carry both of us haha! After she stops giving me a heart attack we head down the hill through these beautiful flowers and a view just as nice. We went through little foot paths which had netals either side so I got stung a lot, this wasn't ideally. After we did some rock climbing to get down as I think we took a path not often taken, we made it to the bottom safely with no known injuries! 



St Giles Cathedral
This is located in the centre of the city, if you enjoy architecture it’s a great monument to explore. 

Holyrood Palace
This is another beautiful building that I would suggest you go and see, I didn't pay to go inside but I've heard its pretty amazing.

Edinburgh Castle
Personally I didn’t go into Edinburgh castle and only went to view the outside, the castle itself is beautiful. Loz and Aroha both paid to go inside and said it was worth it but was smaller than they imagined.

Royal Botanical Gardens
I love visiting Botanical Gardens, you always know there will be something beautiful to look at. There were so many pretty flowers and mini waterfalls, it was so peaceful strolling around this place. Loz and I found a huge tree that we obviously had to take a few photos as always!

Highlands & Loch Ness Tour
Why not get out of the city for a day and explore a few places around Edinburgh, we decided to book a day tour around the highlands and up to Loch Ness. We got to see some beautiful scenery along the way although we weren’t expecting to spend so much time on the coach. We did stop occasionally for 5 minutes to take some photos but not enough in my opinion. To be honest this tour was not worth the money as it was £46 per person, we were told it also included lunch and a boat tour of Loch Ness, which it didn’t and these were added extras. 

Drinks at Tiger Lily
I wouldn’t have know about this amazing place if it wasn’t for my mother, she suggested we go here for drinks. As always mother has all the great ideas, it was indeed a pretty place, very relaxed and they made gorgeous cocktails. This is also a hotel so it might be an option for the next time I visit. Although since I didn't expect to be taking photos I didn't have my camera, it was dark and my iPhone photos didn't turn out the best.

The Elephant Café 
For those of you who don’t know the Elephant Café is where J.K. Rowling got the inspiration for the first Harry Potter book. It’s said that she would come to the café to write and only order one cup of coffee and made it last as that’s all she could afford. She would always choose the table by the window so she could look outside and let her imagination run wild. You can tell that she did indeed get the inspiration for Hogwarts from Edinburgh castle as they have a lot of similarities, she also took other little bits from Edinburgh for the book so it was amazing to see where everything came from.


Sincerely, Kimberly.
xxx