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Exploring Caerphilly Castle: Moats Amazing

18th July 2018

I’ve seen a lot of castles, you might event call me a castle connoisseur. I couldn’t tell you the differences between a flanking tower and an polygonal tower, but I know what I like… and I like this one!

The towering walls and large stretches of water cut the castle off from the modern world, at least until someone in front poses for a selfie.

The other thing you’ll notice is a giant leaning tower, left to show part of the original ruins, complete with a rather large sculpture ready to catch. Pisa – take note.

Exploring the maze-like castle grounds catapults you back in time. The very minimal interiors allow your imagination to run wild and you can picture walking around the private apartments, the Great Hall and in-house brewery.

P.S. If you fall in love with the castle on your visit, why not book a wedding? During my visit I saw them setting up for a ceremony – hopefully it had a better ending than the Red Wedding!

This is definitely a nicer alternative to the eternally-busy Tower of London or for those who enjoyed exploring the gigantic Dover Castle.

What’s your favourite castle to explore?

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SCOOP Exhibition: The Wonderful World of Ice Cream Pop-up

15th July 2018

Ice-cream museums recently popped up in New York and Los Angeles and now SCOOP is in town to serve up its take on the idea at Gasholders in King’s Cross. What better way to escape London’s heatwave than a visit to a cool, refreshing and tasty ice cream pop up exhibition?

Unlike the exhibitions in the US, you won’t find over-styled art installations that beg to clog up your Instagram, but a more informative take on your favourite treat, such as the history of early ice cream, with one room dedicated to Agnes B. Marshall, the Godmother of the frozen desserts in Victorian age.

The other sugary highlights included chilling in the ice room, sniffing obscure ingredients making your own ice cream, inhaling vanilla ice-cream fog, exploring ice cream paraphernalia, sampling lots of free ice cream (including a glow in the dark soft serve!) and tasting some unique, historic flavours, like daffodill or water mint – which, even as ice-cream aficionado, I’ve never seen before.

Not bothered to pay £12? Here’s what you’re missing out on…

The exhibition runs til 30 September at The British Museum of Food near King’s Cross Station. Tickets are £12.

What’s the weirdest ice-cream flavour you’ve ever had?

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What I Packed For Georgia

12th July 2018

I went on an 7-day trip to Georgia (the country, not the state) and this is what I managed to cram into my backpack (Patagonia Arbor Grande Pack 32L)

Where: Kutaisi (4 days) and Tbilisi (3 days).

Weather: During my visit in mid-June it was hot, sticky and humid.

Travel clothing on the plane: One of my signature travel outfits is super comfy jeans, t-shirt, a jacket and worn-in trainers.

What you actually packed:
1 pair of sandals, 1 skirt, 1 pair of jeans, 7 t-shirts/tops, 1 long sleeve, pyjamas, underwear and socks, the usual toiletries, sunscreen, day contacts + solution, micro towel, adapters and converters, chargers, totebag, water bottle, playing cards, a little bag with travel documents, passport, notebook, pen, tablet filled with books and entertainment, 1 pair of sunglasses.

Did you wear everything?
I didn’t wear one shirt that didn’t match the weather and one pair of socks.

Anything you wished you had brought along?
More cotton tops/shirts to change for the evening. And proper shoes, I really need to treat my feet better and not wear Converse and cheap sandals for holidays where I plan to walk a lot.

Anything you wished you had left?
That pair of sandals I bought when the weather got nice and I remembered my other pair was broken. They lasted 2 days. I really need to look into a sustainable as well as comfy pair before summer ends.

Did you buy anything while traveling?
Just some Georgian wine and grape-wax snickers-style snacks.

Whats your go-to backpack for travelling light?

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Tuesday, Three Travel Would You Rather’s

10th July 2018

I feel like I’ve gone through all the possible travel-related ‘would you rathers’ here and here already, but I recently came across these three gems for today’s mini edition.


Stay in a palm hut along the seashore for seven days OR stay in a log cabin in
the woods
for one month?


A log cabin in the woods! I’m might be a bit skewed right now as I recently saw the fantastic film Leave No Trace, though I prefer my stay in the woods to be legal and my days with some light green gardening and a walk here and there and my evenings with red wine and a book. And can I request a lake near my cabin.


Would you rather jump out of an airplane OR explore the bottom of the ocean?


Without a doubt I’d rather jump out of the plane, actually 10 planes if needed! This Pisces doesn’t love the idea of getting too deep into the ocean as it just seems claustrophobic and not needed for me – and even the enigmatic duo of Wes Anderson and Steven Zissou can’t change my mind. Which is stupid as it’s a whole new undiscovered world out there, just not for me.


Have an unlimited money for RyanAir only, OR a £7,000 for British Airways?


A few years ago I would have chosen unlimited money for Ryanair flights, but today with limited holidays I think I prefer a flight that brings me close to my destination with a little bit of more comfort. Not that BA is what they used to be when I started flying with them but at least their luggage rules are clear. For now…

What would you rather?

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April to June – Things I’ve Been Doing While Abandoning This Blog

7th July 2018

It’s that time again to look back on all the awesome and slightly less awesome things I’ve seen and done in Q2 of 2018.

BEEN THERE
Croatia: Slunj
Bosnia: Home
Georgia: Kutaisi and Tbilisi and surroundings
Wales: Caerphilly Castle and Blaenavon

DONE THAT
Quick visit to the Motherland (Bosnia)
Where I saw family, stuffed my face with loads of carbs and helped with sowing potatoes and other vegetables. You know, so I can justify eating everything potato related during my next visit – invest in your future (meals)!

A pit stop in Croatia
A little stop in the very quant city of Slunj, Croatia – if you are going on a Balkan roadtrip and heading to Plitvice Lakes, keep Slunj in mind for your overnight stay as accommodation is much cheaper and you get to visit the historic town centre known as little Plitvice.

Cheeseland Visits
When I think about my Netherlands trips I only remember the cheese and corn bread I had for breakfast and lunch, but there are so many things to visit there. Oh and I almost forgoet, I saw probably the prettiest Dutch Starbucks in the world – located in a beautiful former waiting hall in Groningen train station.

Ups and downs in Georgia
Georgia (former USSR, not USA) was an interesting experience to say the least. Everything was against me, but so much of the country is gorgeous, so I’m trying not to get the negative emotions take over when I write, but soon I’ll share some posts telling all.

Daytrip to Wales
I loved seeing the medieval wonders of Caerphilly Castle as well as the deep dark mining pit and the ironworks in Blaenavon. It reminds me to go out and explore more of the UK, but then I check the cost of train tickets and try to convince myself I don’t need to leave zone 6.

In and around London
I finally explored the fantastic Hampton Court Palace, was disappointed by almost everything I saw at Kew Gardens, discovered ruins in zone 4 South East London, saw what I only can imagine is Rapunzels Tower near Greenwich, walked a section of the rather long Thamespath, enjoyed the food glory of Mercado Metropolitano, saw a spooky Macbeth in the National Theatre, went to an out-of-this-world exhibition at Hayward Gallery, had a delightful afternoon tea at the Dorchester and saw so many movies I might be sick of popcorn.

BUCKET LIST
Kew Gardens is on my London list but it didn’t live up to the expectations, the Wales trip is on my 2018 list and it was everything I wanted it to be and I’ve crossed off the Shakespeare play and afternoon tea from my updated London list (that I need to share) so hooray!!

LOWLIGHTS
I hate taking the last flight of the day as the last few I took were delayed. So why not take the very first one I thought, because WHAT could go wrong? Well…there could be fog at the destination and you can end up circling Southend Airport for eternity.

Let’s stay on the flying theme: I was supposed to fly to Georgia via Milan. But less than 24 hours before departure my flight to got cancelled due to strikes in Italy. I ended up booking a direct flight, but lost around £100 AND 2 full days that I could have spend in Georgia. So much for a budget holiday…

LESSONS LEARNED
Avoid travelling on Bank Holiday and/or don’t book flights via/to Italy/France during high season as there seem to be strikes every summer. I mean…why not avoid flying altogether?

In Georgia I learned the travel style I had in my early 20s might not be for me anymore: everything from my bed time to my accommodation and food preference has changed. Ten years that free beer at the hostel would have been the highlight of the day, now I just want my bed and for everyone to shut up so I can have my 7 hours of sleep.

How was your Q2?