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Tuesday, 11 December 2012

It's my party and I'll cry if I want too

It's official. I am old. 

To those who still take the time out of their busy days to glimpse over my blog, I whole heartedly apologise (again) for my prolonged absence. You see I have been battling something so horrific, so gigantic and life changing that I have had barely anytime to think, let alone write.

Yes. It finally happened. I turned.. gulp.. 25- well a year older... Pipe down all you old cynics in the cheap seats, I can practically see you all rolling your eyes (dad). But girl to girl, you secretly all dread the concept of getting older, having to take on more responsibility and dare I say it.. become a grown up.

So yes, laugh at me all you like- but you all know what I am talking about.

Luckily for me- I got to celebrate my 25th  birthday in style, in the most incredible city in the world with all of my friends, some new, some old. The theme being monopoly....

The plan was simple. 26 pubs , one from each of the places on the monopoly board. We would start with Old Kent Road and finish with Mayfair... What could possibly go wrong? Especially when I was being helped by my two favourite people...
























Well, lets just say that five or so drinks later, it was obvious that we were not going to make all 26 bars, in fact, we would be lucky if we made four, which surprisingly - we did (just). 



































The beginning of the end...

























Spot the moustache...





It was an absolutely fantastic night which had me in drunken hysterics. Turns out being 25 older , does not make you more responsible or mature. Yup- I still managed to end the night with a bang! Still, it is my party, and I'll cry if I want too... If you don't like it, then on your bike! 





























Thank you to those who helped me organise it. Especially you, Feckhoff (if you're reading this from New Zealand) *sigh* and Anthony, if you're bored at work and having a quick glimpse. I truly mean it- you both made my night and let me be me. I love you both so much for it.  God knows, we better start brain storming for next year.... 21 seems SO old.. 


Sunday, 7 October 2012

London 101

After spending the majority of my time out of the great city of London, it suddenly dawned on me that with work and travelling, I had dropped the ball so to speak and had been neglecting the very city that I had travelled 28 hours to see.

After voicing my concerns to numerous friends (one in particular), I awoke one Saturday morning to be told that I was in for a treat. 

For one entire day, I got to act as a tourist. I was whisked away in to central London, before being told that I would be going on the London Eye. 

Now, I have wanted to do the London Eye since I first caught it looking at me over the river. Finally I got my chance.












Partner in crime and (tour guide)











































The view was spectacular. Being suspended in the air, with only a bit of glass between us, I got to truly look London in the eye.  It was only from the top that I realised just how big London as a city is and just how much of it I am yet to visit. It is exciting to know that I have only really scratched the surface of London and still have so much to see and do.


After getting a full view of London, I was then led to the Aquarium to take a bit of time out from  the hustle and bustle of London and take a swim with the fishes. Although I don't usually talk about it, certainly not outloud, I am a bit of a geek when it comes to  fishes and so for me, this was the perfect way to spend an afternoon. The Aquarium is located right by the London Eye, and in risk of sounding like a travel guide myself, it is definitely worth a look in.






























Although I enjoyed the Aquarium, after a few hours I was ready to resurface. But my handsome tour guide had one more surprise up his endlessly long sleeve. A boat tour. Now for those of you who know me, know I LOVE boats. Something about being on the water really relaxes me and I find myself acting like a young child who has never been on the water. I absolutely love it.

Lucky for me, this was during the Olympic period and London had never looked better. She was looking mighty fine that day. 






















Of course, no tourist would be satisfied without visiting Buckingham Palace and dropping in for a cup of tea with the Queen. Sadly, she was not there when I stopped in, however it was still a site that had to be seen.






For anyone who comes to London (and rumour has it there are a few of you..), don't forget London amongst your travels. Take the time to look around and be a tourist. One of my biggest regrets after moving to this fabulous city was that I got a job within two days and never took the time to truly enjoy it. It is only now, six months later, that I have incredible people in my life who are willing to take the time to show me their favourite parts of London and do the touristy things with me.

She is a beautiful city and deserves to be given your time, so that you too can see why I constantly harp on about this incredible place. 


















Thanks for the tour s.p !

Sunday, 30 September 2012

Love-locked

After a bumpy ten hour train ride, George and I awoke to the announcement that we had made it to Prague. Looking out the window, I questioned whether Prague was as beautiful as I had been told. Rain bucketed down and frankly, I was half inclined to stay on the train and continue to Budapest. 

After 'man-ing up', I left the comfort of my carriage and George and I quickly worked out how to get to our hostel. We caught a tram and in only minutes, we arrived at 'The Madhouse' - our home for the next three days. 

As soon as we arrived, the sun came out and I got to have my first real glimpse of Prague or 'Praha' to the locals.








One thing I really noticed about Prague, apart from its beauty, was the incredible food it had on offer for as little as a pound. Compared to Krakow, the food in Prague was, for want of a better word- 'delightful'. There were street vendors around every corner, and I think it is safe to say that George and I were in food heaven.
























































Prague literally took my breath away. I could have stayed there forever. The town was small, 'picture perfect' and extremely rich in culture. Every street had its own story to tell and being the tourist I am, I could not wait to hear it. 

The communist legacy of Prague and the Czech Republic was ever present and bits and bops of its scars remained.  George and I managed to find a 'free walking tour' of Prague which turned out to be a hidden gem as we were guided around Prague (at a mile a minute) and given a full lesson on its history. I would certainly recommend doing a walking tour, particularly one that takes you up to the Castle and over Charles Bridge. Look for the lady in green in the centre of Prague.... 
























































Getting ready...






Sorted!









Even looking back at these photos, I am astounded by the beauty of Prague. Trust me when I say, I am no photographer, and even I managed to capture I think, the true essence of this ethereal city.

One aspect of Prague that I truly appreciated during my travels, was the creativity and music that the city oozed. Graffiti art was imprinted all over Prague, only adding to its rich sense of culture. Music flowed through the streets.  It was inspiring. 







One part of Prague that will always stay with me was the 'love lock' bridge.  'Love lock' is a concept that originated in China, however has since popped up in all four corners of Europe. 

The symbolism behind the locks- everlasting love. Prague's love locks can be found along the canal near the Charles Bridge in Mala Strana. Lovers fix their locks on fences or gates, throw away the key in a romantic gesture of their love, locked together through all eternity. As you walk along the canal and see the thousands of locks, you cannot help but get swept away in the motion of young couples, bound together, standing on that canal professing their undying love and cementing their bond by fixing their lock to the steel bars and throwing their key into the water, the unknown. Yes yes yes, I know- I am a soppy romantic and perhaps a bit of an idealist. But as I walked along that canal, I could only imagine the thousands of stories behind the locks and found myself believing that each lock represented a couple, that even now, are hopelessly in love. 

Maybe one day, If I am lucky, I will get to go back there, with my own lock and love. 









After wandering around the streets of Prague, riding high on love, George and I stopped off for some local cuisine and a beer. We dared to eat the ghoulash, which I have to say, was delish. 











The beer also turned out to be quite pleasing, however once again, I will leave it to your imagination as to where the night went....





All in all, Prague was absolutely fantastic.  I cannot tell you enough how much all of you must go. It is for the foodie, the historian, the romantic, the artist and of course the musician.  The only thing I ask, is that if you do decide to go... take me too x