Staycation in U.K : Manchester Day Out

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Manchester is regarded as the third-most visited city in the United Kingdom by foreign visitors, after London and Edinburgh. Manchester can be easily reached, thanks to good transport connections. Manchester is famous for its football clubs. Not only one but two, the Manchester City and Manchester United.

My friend Gina and Me decided to go for a stroll around Manchester. It has a very rich culture and notable for architectural design dotted around the city. Here’s the places to see and do while visiting the city.

We arrived in Manchester just in time for lunch. We didn’t look any further, we went straight towards the china town area. China Town as you enter to the area you’ll notice the welcoming red gate. Decorated in chinese style that dominates the area and the pagoda on the corner. It felt like you’ve been transported to china. Best place to go if your looking for cheap food. The place is swarm with “eat all you can-buffet style” chinese restaurants, as well as food market in every corner.

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Just after lunch, we decided to go for a stroll along the canal side. We were surprised to reach the gay village, we soon noticed the rainbow flags hanging in every establishment in the area. Gay Village is located in canal street along the west side of Rochdale Canal. It is the most successful gay village in Europe. Lined with cool bars, clubs and restaurants. Great location for night out and hen/stag parties. If your homophobic not a place to go.

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Shopping spree haven. Either go to Trafford Centre or just browse around the city center in Arndale Centre for high end fashion. Head towards the main shopping district along Deansgate. The pedestrian street sorrounded by elegant Victorian buildings. Continue to walk around the King’s street and St. Ann’s Square for up market boutique shops.

Photography stroll around the city. Start your walk along the canal, then discover the city with it’s magnificent architectures dotted around the city. Admiring and capturing the most famous and iconic buildings with different period times.

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Watch a Football match! Are you a footie fanatic/ holigan or just wanted to experience a football match for the day? Here’s your chance to watch the famous football club Manchester United or the Manchester City play in their home grounds.

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Watch a Concert! Head towards Manchester Arena, it’s the first European indoor venue to built a 360 degrees sitting layout and the only arena in U.K with this feature. It is also regarded as the second busiest arena in the world after The O2 arena in London. I have been to a numerous concert in the Arena such as Enrique Iglesias, Westlife and Ellie Goulding to mention a few.

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Have you been to Manchester City? Have you got any activity I should add to this post. Leave your comment and I will update this article.

Staycation in U.K : Road Trip to North Devon

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The gloomy U.K winter weather cold and wet, makes you want to just curl up in a ball and stay indoor. As the temperature plummeting down to single digit, it’s so frustrating to organise an outdoor activity. But this time I’m embracing the winter months. A random getway was planned in a rush with my good friend Ching. Yes a road trip to North  Devon.

The previous night southern U.K. was hit by storm Imogen, but when we woke up the following day the weather started to clear up. We set off just after the morning rush hour traffic, heading towards south. I’m  glad as soon as we hit the motorway, the sun started to come out. We even needed sunglasses as the sun was shining so bright. A beautiful day, perfect timing for a road trip.

Our intial itinerary was to head towards  Heddon Valley, but because  of the heavy rain from the previous  night, most  the local  road was closed  and lots  of road  diversions. So we changed our plan, instead we drove  towards Barnstaple City Centre.

Barnstaple is considered the main town of North Devon. It has a diversed mix of architectural design. As evidence of the landmarks such as the Pannier’s Market, it used to be the major market since Saxton times. Strolled along the quayside and we come across to Queen Anne’s Walk, it was built in 1708 as a former  Mercantile Exchange. As we continued walking towards the high street, there  we found a courtyard where an ancient building of St. Anne’s Chapel was erected.

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Just before sunsets in, we drove towards Milton Damerel to find our hotel. We stayed in Woodford Bridge Country  Club for couple of nights. A very remote place set in the beautiful landscaped countryside, greenfields and a stream. With free parking for guests. A good place to stay but the only downside, they charge additional fee for the pool and wifi.

On that evening we drove towards Bideford to find a restaurant. A pretty quaint town full of history. Bideford is the historic port town on the North Devon, along the estuary of River Torridge. There’s a legend about a man named John Strange who was born in the 16th century. When he was a little boy he fell down the hill without any injury acquired. Then another incident when someone launched an arrow on his forehead. Luckily didn’t penetrate his skull it only left a scar. Later in his life he became a ship owner, merchant and mayor of the town. He passed away in 1646, while helping with the Outbreak of a flaque.
Another legend in 1682, The Bideford witch trial last hanging punishment in England. To the three women named Temperance Lloyd, Mary Trembles and Susannah Edwards,after being accused of witchcraft.

The following day we headed towards Clovelly for a day out. Clovelly is a pretty small harbour village in Torridge district of Devon. The village was believed to be a settlement area before Saxton times. The most greenest village in U.K., that it can only be accessed through its beautifully laid predestrian cobblesstone street and some deliveries they used sledges pulled by human or donkeys. The village is run by The Clovelly State Co. Ltd. For the management of restoration and maintenance of the village listed buildings . Getting into the village requires a small ticket fee through the Visitors Centre, that includes a free parking. After getting through the visitors centre, a short walk through a steeped cobbled streets there are small buildings noticeably on the left. A donkey barn, a silk shop and a pottery shop. We ended up visiting the cute donkeys, then walked around the pottery shop. Which offered paint your own pot, a cool stress buster activity. I would say a good activity for kids and adults too. And the best thing you can take it home for souvenir.

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Then continue walking through the steeped cobbled street to the village with the beautiful seaside view. Walk passed the historic Fisherman’s Cottage, the New Inn pub and hotel and there’s a chapel too. After wandering around and if you reached the lower part of the village. Go to the harbour bar, they serve the best and freshly catch fish. Fish and chips anyone?

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After lunch why not explore more and go for a long walk. The place offers a coastal path to enjoy the stunning coastal scenery. Walk along the seaside and you’ll discover a waterfalls, a few meters away from the Lifeboat Station.

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Shortly after our wandering we decided to go for a quick drive to Bude. Finding a parking space wasn’t hard, there are only few tourists around. Bude is a seaside town on the border of Devon and Cornwall. Famous for it’s beaches, the Sumnerleaze and Crooklets. It was too cold for a beach stroll so we walked by the Bude canal. We were supposed to visit the castle, when drizzles started. Instead we decided to go to a café, but unfortunately most of the café were closed by 4pm. Luckily a friendly local directed us to a local bar just around the corner. Not a usual place for cappuccino but good enough for a hot drink in a cold rainy afternoon.

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The following day, it’s time to drive back home. After checking out, my friend Ching kept nagging about cream tea. So along the way we stopped at Tiverton. Tiverton or Twyverton meaning “the town on two fords. Tiverton enjoys the view of two beautiful river, the well known River Exe and River Lowman. As soon as we parked the car securely, were able to find delicious scones. We walked around and found a small shopping area and found a café, but unfortunately they have run out of cream tea’s. But the lady on the counter directed us to a musuem and they serves tea an scones the whole day. We didn’t waste no time, we headed towards the Tiverton Museum of Mid Devon Life. We soon found the musuem sign, and we walked through a courtyard with a small café. And yes they are open and serving cream tea. We were lucky to get the last table, beause most of the table were reserved. The creamy and rich clotted cream maybe so calorific but who cares we are on holiday. We enjoyed every bite of the scones. What a way to end a beautiful getaway.

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Before driving off and hitting the motorway, we saw a signpost for castle so we went for a quick visit. Bickleigh Castle is a fortified manor house situated on the banks of River Exe. The castle was built in the 11th century and since then more parts were added in different period. Not until the 20th century were the final restoration was done, the only remaining original part of the castle is the Norman chapel and the gatehouse. Now a days the castle offers a B&B accommodation, conferences,seminars, and wedding venues.

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Have you been to North Devon? Whatever the weather you can still enjoy the stunning sceneries and walking trails. Surely a perfect holiday getaway.

Winter Sun Holiday in Lanzarote

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Winter sun holiday was booked last minute. I bagged a good bargain holiday – half board for a week in Lanzarote. Lanzarote was not my personal choice, I heard crazy drunken stories from friends. So since then I thought it’s a party island like any other canary island, not my typical holiday. But I did a little research what to see and things to do. Which I then found out there are interesting day out activities. Which I then booked a car hire from the airport, more freedom to drive around and not depending on public transport.

Landed in Arricefe Airport about 9 pm. After going through customs and baggage collection. I went to pick up the car hire, which is just across the road at the car park area. With car key at hand I was good to go. I was setting up my sat nav, which I knew for sure it works around Europe. But disaster strikes only in main big European Cities, unable to locate Lanzarote. But luckily I got map at hand and a car park attendant also gave me instructions to follow Yaiza direction. I was pretty confident driving out from the airport and joining the motorway. But then I missed my exit, instead of going west I headed the opposite direction. Grrrr having really a bad day and even strikes twice but then I calms myself down when I saw a sign of services. So I stopped by the service station and asked for Playa Blanca direction. The petrol station man told me to go around and go towards the other direction. So I went back to the car and maybe mumbling loudly to myself for the direction. A young man noticed me and he asked if I was “OK”. I replied “NO” I’m lost. Then he asked where I’am going, so I said Playa Blanca are you going that way? Maybe I sounded in desperation, he said “NO ” but I can show you the way. My face brighten up and he asked me to follow his car. I felt safe following him on my car. My instinct tells me his a good man, as well as I can see signs of Yaiza which the car park attendant mention to follow. After 45 minutes of driving, I saw the big sign of the hotel. I have thank Mario maybe hundredth times, a total  stranger with a good heart. And I do believe good people still do exist!

Hipotel Natura Palace a nice and quiet place in Playa Blanca area. The grandeur of the lobby was so welcoming, and I noticed a bar on the corner of my eye. After dropping off my luggage to the room, went back down to the restaurant as they are serving late night snacks. Then went straight to the bar for a well earned cocktail, after an eventful evening. My relaxing holiday has started as soon as my second glass of mojito is served.

On the following day, the chirpings of the birds woken me up. As nothing concrete plan for the day,so it was a lazy day for me. I devoured to a sumptuous buffet breakfast and a drink of cava! Yes lets starts the day with a glass of cava, to relax and enjoy the holiday. My lazy day consist of lounging by the pool or by the seaside with a book at hand. About lunch time, when I decide to explore and drove to the town. After securing a parking space, I was excited to wander along the promanade. Passing through the rows of restaurants and bars. I spotted a good place for perfect tapas and seafood, with a beautiful sea view.

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A week in this beautiful island sounds so perfect. Come to think of it I’m far away from the gloomy U.K. weather. It’s time for a day out to venture the sunny Lanzarote. With a local map at hand, I’m ready for a road trip. Come and tag along with me and let’s explore Lanzarote!

A visit to Timanfaya National Park is a great way to experience the island. The Island was hit by series of violent volcanic eruptions from 1730 for 6 years. Almost quarter of the island surface was covered by lava. And again in 1824 another eruption has occurred. The island is a protected area, it’s a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve. The park is regulated with public access with camel ride, coach tour or on foot. At the information office building they have volcanic shows and volcanic art gallery displays.

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A drive to Puerto del Carmen for a day out is highly recommended to enjoy the beautiful seaside. It’s regarded as the main tourist town. Offering variety of shops, arrays of restaurants, and clubs with karaoke bars. The place comes to life and very popular to young tourist. It’s the party place of the island, it gets rowdy and loud at night and party goes on till dawn.

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Another place to visit is the El Lago Verde ( Green Lagoon). Is located in El Golfo village. The lagoon is the main attraction in the area. The unusual phenomenon behind the lagoon, it has been claimed that the seawater was trapped in a form of lake. With the volcanic minerals, microorganisms and green algae that gives a striking green colour. The place is easily reached it’s well signed posted, along the coast of El Golfo and it has a free parking space.

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Salinas del Denubio ( Salt Flats ) is the only remaining salt flat in the area. It used to be the main production for fish peservation and processing. The production has decreased due to preservation technologies. But they still produce high quality table salt, as well as they use for decorations with tons of dyed salt. With different colours from magenta, coral, dusky pink to deep red. An impressive colourful landscape in the area.

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Lagomar is another fascinating place to see. Located in Oasis de Nazaret village, a unique house purposely built on a quarry area. The house is set into the hillside with different levels and some magnificent views of the ocean. A legend behind the house, that Hollywood actor Omar Sharif fell inlove with the house and bought it, but he loses it on a card game. Since then the house is known Casa Omar Sharif. The house was opened to the public on 1997 and it has a museum, gallery, bar and restaurant for the visitors.

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If driving around the island is to much for a couple of days. Why not join and go for a Catamaran sailing. It’s another way to explore the island and more fun and see the island in different perspective. Catamaran sailing is sure fun way to mingle and party with other people. With water activities like jet ski and snorkling with free food and drinks flowing. Who’s joining to party with me?

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What about a Beach day? Finding a nice beach around the island is not hard to do. There are beautiful beaches like Playa Blanca and Playa Papagayo and Playa del Carmen to mention a few, with stunning coves to enjoy your privacy too. Calling all the beach bum to come and enjoy and laze around by the seaside or just top up your suntan.

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As the sunsets in, it’s time to party at Playa del Carmen. With all the pub and karaoke bar along the promanade you can party till dawn. Or just enjoy the hotel entertainment. I was lucky to stayed in Hipotel Natura Palace. Every evening they provide different entertainment from Jazz night, concert and Flamenco show.

Insiders Tip:

Where to stay? If you want a quiet and relaxing area I suggest stay at Playa Blanca. But if you intend to party till the rising sun stay at Playa del Carmen.

Hiring a car is highly recommended it’s better to do it that way and its cheap, than booking day trips with tour operators. Driving around you have more freedom to stop when you spoted a beautiful scenery.

Seafood lover? You will be spoilt with choices from freshly catch fish, lobster and king prawn. Why not have the whole platter.

Beach bums,come along and enjoy the stunning beaches scattered around the island. The beautiful fine or pebbled sand with different colours white, gray to red. You ready to top up your suntan?

A week in Lanzarote was a prefect winter sun getaway. Being skeptical going to a party island turns out I enjoyed every minute of it in the end. If given a chance again I will choose Lanzarote anytime.

The Captivating Legend of Krakow City

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Come and see the City of Kraków and hear its captivating legends behind the walls of Old Town. According to history the first written record of Kraków was in year 966. Kraków is one of the best preserved medieval city in Europe. As evidence of the Renaissance arcades, bustling Market Square, the sprawling Baroque spires, towers adding beauty that dominates the skyline.

An evening arrival was pleasantly good time for a night photography. The Old City comes to life as the flickering street lights and buildings lits on. Passing through the Old Town on my way to find my accommodation was a bliss. I was surprise to find out it’s only 2 minutes walk from the market square.

Immediately after checking-in, I went for a wander to grab something to eat. I came across to a so called Milkbar there are few around Krakow . It used to serve as ex-Socialist era workers cafeteria it was previously run as government-subsidised cafes. Now a days the reestablishment of these places, attracts locals and tourist costumers with the colourful décor. But still provides traditional Polish cuisine at affordable prices. Most of these places are self service, with a tray at hand I had main course, side dish and a drink only costs 25 zloty. After my sumptuous meal, I was eager for my night stroll photography around the Market square. There’s something mystical about this place, after I captured every angle and corners of the square. I went back to my accommodation and I called it a night .

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The next day, I decided to join the free Old Town walking tour. Meeting place was just infront of St Mary’s Basilica. We started the tour around the market square. Then we continued our walk around the Old Walls. It was mentioned that in year 1038 when Kraków became the capital of Poland. It is also the seat of the monarchy as evidence of the Wawel Castle.

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According to the legend, Kraków was founded on a defeat of a dragon. Once upon a time, during the reign of King Krakus, the legendary founder of the city. There was evil dragon would beat a path of destruction across the countryside, devouring their livestock and killing people. In desperation of the King, he promised his aughters marriage to anyone who could defeat the evil dragon. Many great warriors has failed the mission. But one day, a young man named Skuba accepted the challenge. He started to stuffed a lamb with sulphur and left it outside the dragon’s cave. The dragon ate it and his stomach started to ache, and after swelling up from drinking almost half of the Vistula river, he exploded into pieces. Skuba married the King’s daughter and they lived happily ever after.

A very interesting walking tour and legendary story I would say. In the afternoon I decided to join the Jewish walking tour. We went towards the Kasimierz district where the Jews settlement. Walking around the narrow cobble stone streets and alleyways. There are rows of cafes and restaurants. And a market with many stalls in the square, where you can taste best Zapikankie in Kraków. This area comes to life at night when the youngsters are out partying. Recently became trendy and fashionable place for locals and tourist alike.

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Passing through the Jewish cemetery, continue your walk towards the Old Synagogue. A brick building dating back to the 15th century and rebuilt to Renaissance in the 1560s. The movie location of the famous Schindler’s list. Then crossed the bridge then you will come across another square. A memorial display with rows of empty bronze chair for the victims of the Holocaust.

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If you still have time for musuem visit. There’s plenty of museums to chose from, or why not have a musuem day and visit them all. Psst it’s free of charge on Sunday. They even give you free guide and map museum, so you won’t miss a thing.

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Kraków is such a fascinating place to explore on foot. Wander around and appreciate the stunningly beautiful old architectural buildings. I can’t get enough capturing every angle with my camera, such a mesmerising Old Town.

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Insiders Tips:

If you like visiting museums Kraków has plenty of it. And good news is the museums are free entry every Sundays.

Are you a history nerd or just fancy to hear the fascinating history of Kraków. Why not join the Old Town Walking Tour and Jewish Walking Tour both walking tours are free of charge.

If the Jewish walking tour is sort of your interest . I highly recommend taking the tour in Auschwitz-Birkenau Complex. There’s more to discover and see. My visit to the concentration camp was so emotional and it has left a part in my heart that my visit would never be forgotten. I got separate blog on my visit. Click the link here : The Desolate Atmosphere in Auschwitz-Birkenau Complex .

How to get there:
Getting to Auschwitz Concentration Camp has two option take a train or bus. But I suggest take the bus, go to the bus station and find a bus or mini van en route to Oświęcim more convenient and easier. The bus will stop at the compound. The entry to the compound is free before 9am and after 3pm. And you need to pay guided tour between 9am-3pm, which is better to join the guied tour they give you more history and show you the most important things to see.

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To lighten up your day, I suggest a visit to the Wieliczka Saltmine is a must. Be amazed by the Rocksalt art display, which is perfectly carved on the walls of the grand hall. Here’s the link to the blog Undoubtedly Stunning Chambers in Wieliczka Saltmine

How to get there:
There’s two option how to get to the Saltmine. If you like to take the Bus 304 which departs near the Galeria Krakowska Mall ( ul. Kurniki) But I highly suggest to take the train which directly stopped at Rynek Kopalnia Wieliczka. Travel time on the train is quicker and bonus no traffic. There’s 2 different tour tickect to choose from Tourist Route entrance by Daniłowicz Shaft. Or if your more adventurous take the Miners Route by the Regis Shaft.

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DISCLOSURE: Thank you to Auschwitz-Birkenau and Wieliczka Saltmine press department for providing my complimentary tickets. I enjoyed my experience as a guest but I retained full editorial control and all opinions are my own.

Exploring the Magical Kingdom of Copenhagen

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Oh I can’t wait to explore the Magical Kingdom of Denmark’s Capital City- Copenhagen. I know Copenhagen is regarded as expensive place to go for holidays. But I got things to do whatever your budget scale. Come with me and let’s explore in a whirlwind of fun!

What comes to mind when visiting Copenhagen. The Little Mermaid? What about the Danish Royals? Hans Christian Andersen-the famous Danish writer. Danish Cuisine -Michelin star restaurants. Hmmm what about Carlsberg? Yes that famous beer around the globe! These are just the few things that sprung to my mind, when me and my friend was organising our trip. No wonder Copenhagen is regarded as the happiest city. Imagine living along side with the Royalties? Or living in a fairytale world inspired city?

I Arrived at the hotel and the room wasn’t ready yet, but the receptionist told me they upgraded our room. While waiting for the room, I didn’t waste no time. I left my luggage at the hotels luggage room. Then I grab a map, I’m ready to explore Copenhagen.

Looking at the map, the hotel is near the famous Nyhavn Street. Only 5 minutes walk away, and the colourful rows of houses/establishment was right in front of my eyes. Admiringly meandering along the canal side, taking lots of photos. Nyhavn lined by brightly coloured 17th and early 18th century townhouses. Used to be the red light district in the city, but now a days the harbor serves as a hub of canal tours. With continuous lined of restaurants and bars facing the harbour, it’s a good place to meet up with friends for meal out or just a couple of tipples to end a lovely day.

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As I continue my wandering I ended up in Ny Carlsberg Glyptotek. An art museum for personal collection of Carl Jacobsen, the son of the founder of the Carlsberg Breweries. The antique sculptures from the ancient cultures of Egypt, Rome and Greece. Famous artists art display includes as Jacques-Louis David, Monet, Pissarro, Renoir, and Degas to mention a few. And the great thing about this place it’s free entry on Tuesdays.

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On the second day, my friend Kassie arrived and we decided to experience the Danish hospitality and their cool life perspective . I have read it somewhere that you haven´t experienced Denmark, till you have experienced “hygge”. Ever heard about “Hygge”. It means a quiet happy cosy atmosphere of people having a good time. They strive to have this atmosphere everywhere they go – at work, at home, with friends and relatives. So we started our day lounging in this quirky coffee book shop. The cool vibe of Bøger café is so relaxing. A good place to hang out with friends to chat or just browse the book display. Or have a quiet morning with cappuccino and just listen to the soft music at the background.

After our cappuccino and long chat about our itinerary, it was time for lunch. Oh yes! It’s time to try the Danish local cuisine. Not just ordinary restaurant, we headed to a Michelin star. We choose the Koefoed restaurant in Landgreven street. They serve the famous Smørrebrød and they even brew their own Koefoeds lager in Svaneke brewery. We were first offered an Aquavit shot, Seabuckthorn fruit flavour. It was nice and sweet according to the manager it’s their newest concoction. Then I ordered Smørrebrød Sol over Gudjem- smoked herring, with fresh egg yolk, garnish with radish & chives. And the second was Bornholm sausage with mustard beech brown and beet root. They were both served with Rye bread ,butter and buttermilk. Washed down with their local brewed beer and followed by another shot of aquavit with honey flavour. The first shot was free and oh boy this is a lethal shot, it felt it went straight to my brain- that strong! So the last shot I just had sipped each time.

Afterwards we decided to go for a stroll towards the harbour. Along the way we passed by a beautiful rows of brightly yellow coloured painted houses. Which I then found out, it was a film location of The Danish Girl movie. Then we took a short cut towards a park with a frozen lake, the place was so picturesque. As usual I took lots of photos in every angle.

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We then continued our walk heading towards the Little Mermaid. In Danish it’s called Den lille Havfrue. Based on the fairy tale by author Hans Christian Andersen. The bronze statue was commissioned by Carl Jacobsen. Located on a rock by the waterside at the Langelinie promenade. It’s the most iconic statue in Copenhagen and has been a major tourist attraction since 1913 up to these days. The sculpture has been vandalised numerous times but has been restored each time.

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Subsequently as the sun sets in and the temperature drops down a little bit colder, we decided to grab some coffee. There are few café restaurants on the way to our hotel, but we ended up to Nyhavn Street. Instead of just ordering coffee, the menu was enticing so we decided to have an early dinner.

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The next morning on our way to the castle, we bump into a hotdog stand. In Danish it’s called Pølsevogn, which can be found in most major streets of Denmark. The sausage served in a bun, and a choice of ketchup or mustard sauce with pickled cucumber and crispy onion toppings. It was delicious and I had couple more during our stay in Copenhagen.

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We were scheduled to visit the Rosenborg Castle at 11:30 am, to witness the marching of guards. We watched it by the distance and after the marching routine, we headed to the castle information office to collect our tickets. After ticket collection, we were advised to put our bag to a designated locker room. With ticket at hand and castle map, we are eager to discover the Danish National Treasure.

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A visit to the Treasure Chamber of Rosenborg Palace was fascinating . We started the tour at the basement where you can see the magnifient collections of Christian V weapons from the Scanian War. On the next chamber are displays of precious stone collections from Ivory, amber and ebony. There’s this corner that they store the royal vintage wine. Yes its fascinating that Rosenborg wine is still served on special occasions. It’s even said that there’s enough wine supply for another hundred years. Imagine sipping a vintage wine? So enough with the wine. We continued our tour towards the Treasury. As we entered to the room the first thing that caught my eyes was the Sceptre and the sword , which symbolises the authority and power to judge. These very masterpieces were carried by the Royal Danish kings during their anointing ceremonies, from the anointment of Christian V in 1671 to Christian VIII in 1840.

Then to the next chamber display was the crown of Christian V, regarded as the Crown of Absolute along side with the Queens crown. There’s a controversy regarding the Queens crown. That Queen Sophie Magdalene refused to wear the crown,so they made a new crown. But the gems from the old crown was transfered to the new one.

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We then headed through the ground floor, regarded as the intimate room. The highlights are Christian IV’s Winter Room, a display of his gold trophy from his knightly tournament of Ring-riding. As well as it served as the entertainment music room to his guest. He usually invites great conductors, composer and Danish Royal orchestra to play while they are in the cellar. And his guest will enjoy the music while in the winter room, but the musicians where nowhere to be seen. And it was only discovered until 2005 during restoration work were they found the sound channels. As we climbed up to the second floor, the grandeur of the Great Hall is overwhelming. The vastness of the banquet hall and the sumptuous art décor, and those fine tapestry suspended on the wall. Admiringly examining the carvings perfectly laid on the ceiling. The masterpiece display are the Danish Absolute Monarch Throne, which are made from narwhal tusk and silver lions sourounding like a guard.

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On that afternoon we decided to see the cityscapes. And the best place to go is a visit to the Rundetarn. The round Tower is located centrally in Copenhagen City. The 17th century tower is architectural project of Christian V. It has interesting features of equestrian stairs and an old toilet which has been claimed the largest a earliest septic tank. Now a days the tower served as observatory. It has also a Library Hall that displays art exhibits.

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The following day, it’s time to visit Carlsberg Brewery House. With the help of the hotel receptionist, she kindly printed how to get to the brewery. We went to catch the bus at Kogens Nytrov, we were advise to get Bus 1A. But the bus driver has suggested Bus 26, which you can buy a ticket at the driver for DKK 24.00. And directly will stopped infront of the brewery. From the bus stop just cross the road and head towards Gamle Carlsberg Vej. The place is well sign posted, just follow the Visit Carlsberg Experience poster and it will lead you to the Brand store. You can buy your ticket for self guidedtour or with guide, which includes 2 free draft beer or soft drinks. You can either redeem your ticket tab at the old Brewhouse or Jacobsen Brewhouse & Bar, which we opted for the later. We collected our ticket at the brand store and they also provided another ticket for a guided tour. With the brewery map at hand we were headed towards the Old Brewery House. At the time of our visit they were conducting a survey with their new drink flavour. We had a chance to do a tester taste survey.

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After that we took our own time to wander around the Old Brewery. There were displays of the highlights and years achievements of the brewery. And the extraodinary accomplishments of J.C. Jacobsen and his son Carl Jacobsen. It was so interesting to read the history of Carlsberg to becoming one of the biggest brewers in the world. We then ended up at the sculpture garden. A collection of Carlsberg magnificent sculptures that includes the copy of the Little Mermaid. There’s even a barn where they keep the Danish breed horses.
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Shortly after wandering around the brewery, just before the guided tour to start. We decided to go for a lunch at the Brewhouse and have our free drinks.

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The guided tour started just outside the Old Brewery House. Hearing the history of Carlsberg was fascinating. It all begun in 1847 when J.C. Jacobsen, the founder of Carlsberg. Established his state-of-the-art brewery on a hill, overlooking the city of Copenhagen. The brewery was named after his son Carl and Berg means mountain. Carlsberg became a monumental success and the most famous Danish beer brand. Behind the success of the family is a gloomy conflict between the Jacobsen father and son. The story of the family feud has led to competition between the two, Old Carlsberg versus New Carlsberg. Carl being ambitious he decide to expand and started exporting. Until it became one of the largest international brewery group in the world. Carlsbergs now a days is run by a foundation in behalf of the Jacobsen’s. The foundation is currently expanding the area in building a Carlsberg community, with housings and schools for the locals.

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On our last day we spend it for a day photography. Copenhagen can be easily explored on foot. We leisurely strolled around and found these beautiful places and buildings.

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Insiders Tips:

From Copenhagen Airport buy a metro ticket at the ticket office worth 36.00 DKK next to Terminal 3. Most importantly make sure you have change/ coins when purchasing at the ticket machines or use your bank card.

If you like to visit museums Ny Carlsberg Glyptoteket is free of charge every Tuesday.

Best panoramic view of the city, go and visit Rundetarn or Round Tower.

Everyday at 11:30 Marching of Guards display in Rosenborg Castle. And 12:00 is Changing of Guards in Amalienborg Palace. You can buy combined ticket of the Castle and Palace.

DISCLOSURE: We enjoyed our experience as a guest in Carlsberg Brewery, Rundetårn and Rosenborg Castle. Even though we received complimentary tickets during our visits, I retained full editorial control and all opinions are my own.

Dublin Getaway and Guiness Storehouse Visit

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After nagging my travelling partner for a getaway to Dublin, at last he agreed and even booked the hotel. As I was organising the flight and our itinerary which includes a visit to the Guinness Storehouse. It’s a cliché a visit to Dublin is not complete without going to see the Guinness factory. Added bonus we had a free ticket to the Guinness Storehouse courtesy from their press department.

We arrived in Dublin in the afternoon, and from the airport we took the airport shuttle bus going to the city centre. It should have been a 30 minutes ride, but it took us more or less an hour journey. As it went around the city center and it was rush hour traffic.

We had a couple of hours rest in the hotel, then we decided to go for a meal. We went to Rilley’s pub restaurant. One of the iconic Victorian pub around, the miss matched chairs added character to the place. There are different nooks and private areas. Looks like a hangout for the locals and tourist costumers. After we had our dinner, we decided to go for an evening stroll.

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The following day, we joined the Old Town walking tour. We met the group in the town hall. It started at the Dublin Castle grounds, hearing the stories and legends of leprechaun was fascinating. Did you know that Dublin comes from the “old irish dubh means black” and “linn means pool” referring to the dark tidal lake entered the River Liffey along the site of Dublin Castle.
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A couple of stopped were made to the National Museum, Christ Church Cathedral, Trinity College
After the walking tour we had our lunch at O’ Neill’s, and ordered an Irish beef stew and it was so filling.

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On the afternoon we were scheduled to visit the Guinness Storehouse. We took the taxi to the factory, and the wooden black gate at St. James welcomes us. We went straight to the information desk to collect our complimentary tickets provided by the press department. With the ticket at had we are ready to explore the Storehouse. The ticket normally cost €20.00 but there’s a discount if you buy it online. It includes the tour and free pint of Guinness at the Gravity Bar or you can pour your own pint at the Academy. Which we opted for the later. On the first floor, it’s the display of all kinds of Guinness merchandise from mugs, shirts, caps to mention a few. Then following the spiralling arrow to the room where they display the raw materials of the stout. From high quality of Barleys, Hops, Yeast and Water. Which are carefully selected and mixed well accordingly to their secret recipe producing extraordinary soft and creamy stout. But did you know that Guinness is not a black in colour it’s more of reddish. It’s from the roasted barley one of the main ingredients giving a distinctive ruby red colour.
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The next level where the interactive room display, where you can actually smell the aroma of 4 key ingredients. Then heading to the tasting room, we were properly taught how to taste and drink Guinness. There’s also display of official advertisement and slogans. There’s even a restaurant with innovative cooking techniques using Guinness in their recipes.
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After touring around the Storehouse it’s about time for a pint. We headed to the Academy where you can pour your own pint. Excitedly went to the queue and we were taught how to pour a perfect pint of Guinness, it was a great fun with added group photo souvenir with the participants.
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After that we headed to the Gravity bar to enjoy our pint. We were greeted with the 360 degrees view of the city. What a way to end a beautiful evening sipping up with our creamy rich stout drink. Sláinte!

Days out outside Dublin City

On the third day, we planned for a day out. We purchased a day train ticket, as suggested by the ticket officer and a lot cheaper only cost €10.00. Before hopping to the train we grab breakfast to take away. From Tara street station it was only a 30 minutes journey to Howth.

Howth is a small coastal town in Northeast of Dublin. It remains an active centre of the fishing industry, as evidence by the fresh market and dotted seafood restaurants by the promenade. Aside from being seafood haven. Howth is fantastic place for a day out.
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A visit to the Howth Castle is not to be missed. A 16th century building, it’s ground lies over 250 acres overlooking the bay. Those distinctive Towers on front side. And the noticeable irregular appearance of the building added on different periods gives added character. It used to be the ancestral home of the Gaisford St. Lawrence the descendents of the Earls of Howth.
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After the castle why not visit the St Marys Church, it’s along the main road on the way to the castle. It was built in 1042 by Sitric King of Dublin, and was modified in 16th century.

As you walk along the promanade head towards the south-east corner of the harbour. Where you can see the Harbour lighthouse, was built in 1817. It features the lighthouse keepers accommodation, a small Georgian style building attached to the lighthouse.

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After a nice cup of tea along the promenade pub-restaurant. We decided to head off to Malahaide just before the sunsets and starts to get dark. Another seaside town northeast of Dublin. A good excuse for an evening walk along the harbour.

Malahide (Mullach Íde ) meaning “the hill of Íde” or it could also mean “Sand-hills of the Hydes”. During Georgian time this seaside resort is popular for wealthy Dublin city dwellers. As still evident today from the beautiful rows of Georgian houses along the seafront. Up to the present times is still admired by many people especially in the summer months, a good getaway place for day trippers.

On our last day we just went for usual meandering and photography. We went around spotting the public art display around the city. It was fun and exciting finding these pieces of arts, as well as knowing their funny rhyming words go to with the certain art.

The sphere of Dublin– location along O’Connell Street, it has got different versions:
“The Syringe in The Binge”
“The Nail in The Pale”
“The Pin in The Bin”
“The Bertie Pole”
“The Spire in The Mire”
“The Pole in The Hole”

James Joyce location along North Earl Street.”The Prick with the Stick”.

Two women location along Lower Liffey Street. “Hags with the bags”.

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Molly Mallone location along Suffolk Street.
“The Tart with the Cart”
“The Dish with the Fish”
“The Dolly with the Trolley”
“The Trollop with the Scallops”

Oscar Wilde located Merrion Square Park.
“The Quare in the Square”
“The fag on the crag”
“The Queer with the Leer”

There were more monuments around but it was cold and gloomy, so we decided to go for shopping.

Insiders tips:

Why not join the free walking tour around Dublin City and learn about it’s history.

Go and visit galleries and museums. Its free of charge to visit The National Museum of Ireland along Kildare Street and the WWII museum.

And dont forget to go to Temple Bar. The most vibrant and colourful area of Dublin where all the fun begins.

If you fancy a day out by the seaside town near Dublin City. Get a day ticket train only cost €10.00

People keep on saying Dublin visit is not complete without a visit to the Guinness Storehouse. There’s a discount when you book your ticket online. Check it out here Guinness Storehouse

DISCLOSURE: I enjoyed my experience as a guest of the Guinness Storehouse but received no further remuneration to write this post. I retained full editorial control and all opinions are my own.

Highlights of 2015: My Travels and Adventures

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Year 2015 has been a blessed year for me in regards to my tavel adventures. It’s my 2nd year of Solo travelling and looking back its the best ever experience. Most of it are solo travels and some of my adventure I share it with my love ones and amazing people I met along the way. Here you go from January to December the highlights of my travel adventures.

Cambridge U.K :
Actually not a travel related its more of my adventure. I did a Tandem Skydive! Yes jumping off the plane, and I did volunteer to do it for the love of charity. It’s the most adventurous activity I have ever done so far. If given a chance to do it again, hell yeah without a doubt.

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Italy:
It’s my 3rd visit in this beautiful land of the Romans. A quick visit and stroll around Rome for couple of days. Then head off to Venice. I have been planning to witness the Venezia Carnevale for awhile now and the timing was perfect. Capturing the flamboyant costumes and mask of the participants is so amazing. Getting a chance to go for a day out to the most colourful village of Burano as well a quick visit to the Murano village famous for its murano glass production. What a great time strolling around Venice bonus with my aka tour guide relatives.

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Spain: Lloret de Mar, Tossa de Mar & Barcelona
Been to Barcelona once but this time I was attending a bloggers conference. I was so excited about this journey. Funny enough when I attended the conference my blog was not self hosted. I have learned so much during the conference and the most amazing part meeting up with the big names in the bloggers world. I had a wonderful time in Girona, Lloret de Mar, Tossa de Mar and Barcelona. Thank you to the Barcelona Turisme, Lloret de Mar Turisme and Patronat de Turisme Costa Brava Girona for the wonderful experience.

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Crete Greece:
It was my birthday holiday planned and organise by a friend. Was booked it last minute and all inclusive holiday, who am I to argue. The road trip to Sant Agnicholas,Malia Rethymno and visiting archaeological sites such as Knossos was fantastic. Having witness a Cretan night with plate smashing and participate to dance in authentic taverna was excellent. But doing a scuba dive for the first time was so amazing.

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Austria: Salzburg & Vienna

My Austrian adventure coincides with the celebration of Saints Rupert day in Salzburg. It was fun wandering around the old town and seeing the locals wearing their traditional costumes, eating pretzels and sampling some local beers and wine. As well as my remarkable Sound of Music movie location stroll.

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Then I took a train to Vienna to be amaze with its grandeur. The stunning architectural designs from Baroque, Gothic and Art Nouveau. A great day to a wine/champagne tasting. And experience a real Viennese hospitality. Thanks to Stephen for taking me to his local restaurant and gin bar. Thank you Salzburg & Vienna Tourism Board for providing my 72 hour pass.

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Slovakia: Bratislava
Cruising from Vienna along the Danube river to Bratislava was a great experience. My unplanned visit to Bratislava, the Slovakia’s capital city was a delightful. Thanks to a cheap flight offers from Bratislava to U.K.
I had a chance to experience the beauty of the city, and it’s exquisite slovak’s cuisine. As well wander around the remnant of communism and enjoy its charming architectures. Thanks to Nana a Japanese girl I met, we end up strolling around the castle and shopping souvenirs.

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Poland: Poznan, Wroclaw & Krakow

A cheap flights from U.K lands me to Poznan. I didn’t do my research to this place. All I knew they display a Monet painting in the National Museum. Good enough for me for a stop over. But I was surprise with the charming Old Town. The old and modernity collided with such a beautiful sparks. This is something I love about Poznan. Thank you to Luca and Zimon for sharing a meal and vodka shots, I had a great time.

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A 2 hour train ride to Wroclaw another place with stunning Old Town, the Market Square is so colourful. I spent hours going round and round admiring the buildings, meandering around spotting the gnomes scattered around the city. Such a great way to be welcome with the imposing grandeur of the church.

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Walking around the market square of Krakow and admire the Gothic architecture and feel the mystical atmosphere in its cobbled street. Leading towards the castle discovering its legendary tales. A visit to Auschwitz-Birkenau was an eye opener of the history. And be amaze by the stunning sculptures in Wieliczka Salt Mine.

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My December getaway landed me to Dublin Ireland. The visit to the Guinness Storehouse was a great experience, pouring our own pint of Guinness was so exciting. A day out to a quaint fishing village called Howth, and strolling along the promenade of Malahide was a bliss. Thank you to Guinness Storehouse for our complimentary tickets I had a fabulous time.

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As I’m writing this blog my friend is busy looking for our next adventure. Somewhere hot away from the gloomy U.K. weather. A pre Christmas holiday in the sun.

Thank 2015 for a wonderful year, I’am welcoming 2016 with open arms for more exciting adventures to come.

A Wander Around the Mystical World of Wrocław

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The feeling of excitement builds up as I gets off the train. I was impressed and mesmerised by the Wrocław Glowny building. It felt like a castle with those two tower dominating the glowing yellow building. I even asked myself am I in a wonderland? Like a fairytale land, a mystical atmosphere slowly spreading in the air.
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Wrocław is the fourth largest city in Poland. Commonly known by its German name Breslau. Mistakenly pronounced by English speaking people “Rock law” but local pronounced it “Vrots-swaf”.

Shortly after I checked-in to my accommodation. I planned to check out the Rynek. I was so curious and excited to go for my usual meandering with a map at hand I was good to go. In a little while I was greeted by the grandeur of the Town Hall, a brick building façade stands out in the middle of the market square. I instantly fell inlove with this place, such a perfect place for a romantic getaway. It’s a shame I’m travelling solo this time, but I make sure on my next visit I will be travelling with my travelling buddy. As I dawdle around the main square at my own pace, admiringly examining every cornerstone of each building. Those dark red brickwork laid perfectly, the colourful rows of houses/establishment sourounding the square.

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To my surprise I came across to a little bronze figurines. A gnome and it’s one of a local tourist attractions, like a mushroom sproutted and scattered round the city. It has been a symbol to commemorate the freedom from communism. I can’t stop clicking my camera in every angle, with these little creatures.

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As I continue to walk around the square, a pink building caught the corner of my eye. Towards the northwest of the square. There’s something mystic about the place. A pretty tenement building built in 16 and 18th century. Locally known the Hansel and Gretrel with the connecting arch way that inscribed a Latin means “Death is the gate to life”. Now a days it serves as studio and souvenir shop respectively.

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As darkness sets in it’s a good time for a night photography stroll. So I headed towards the cathedral island locally known Ostrow Tumski it was suggested by local and assured me I will gonna love the place. As I stroll along the cobbled streets I see more of gnome. Felt like in a sleeping beauty world with these gnomes around me.

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As I crossed the bridge , I noticed a stunning building with spheres. Following the footpath along the river bank, it’s a good spot to start my photography stroll. To my surprise as I continue my walk there’s this pretty green bridge connecting to the island. With the grandeur of the Cathedral in the backdrop as it welcomes you to the island and what a stunning view of the River Odra to complete the scene. There was still light when I got there, so I decided go to a café to pass time and waited a bit until it’s darker.

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After my nice cappuccino and a piece of cake, the lights on the streets and building was on. The place looks spectacular at night. A magical feeling and atmosphere strolling around the island. What a great time to end perfect day.

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To complete my fairy tale adventure it’s time for a castle visit. So on the following day,I went for a day trip to Ksiąz Castle locally known” Zamek Ksiąz” . I catched the train towards Wałbrzych. From the train station take a taxi or a bus to the castle. I took the taxi for convenience. The impressive castle sat on a top of a hill was built in Baroque,Rocco and Gothic architectural style. The picturesque setting overlooking the Pelcznica River, it is right in the middle of a protected park owned by Ksiąz landscape park. It has been claimed that the castle was excavated to become a sojourn for Adolph Hitler. There’s a legend behind this castle, it has a vast underground tunnel. It was once a nazis underground factory using a force labour. In recent days they claimed that they found a nazi gold buried there, that hoards 300 tons of gold and precious stone gems but up to now this lies a mystery.
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On my last day, I did my usual photography stroll. I bump into the rotunda building, a funny looking round building where the Raclawice Panorama was exhibited. A painting depicting the Battle of Racławice.

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After the visit I crossed the road leading to a small concrete hill. On the base it appeared like a derelict brick building. I continued my wander, what a great surprise awaiting for me. A beautiful view overlooking the River Odra and the cathedral island. If your looking for best view, I guarantee this is the place to go.

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Have you been to Wrocław? I would love to hear your experience, please leave your comments below.

Poznan: Impressive Mixed of the Old and Modern Twist

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An evoking admiration left me wanting to explore Poznan. Through it’s spectacular mixed of Old and Modern twist, collided with explosion of spark and surprises. Are you ready for a stroll around Poznan and be impress too? Let me tell you why Poznan deserves your attention.

Poland has been long suggested by my colleague. When I had a week off from work, I was excited to plan my itinerary. Actually my plan was just go to Krakow Poland for a week, but there’s a cheap flight offers from U.K to Poznan so I took the chance to spend 3 days in the city. Poznan is not a popular tourist choice destination around Poland compared to bigger cities like Warsaw or Krakow.

We landed in Poznan at 2pm, initialy I planned to take a taxi to the city. But when I inquired at the information desk, it’s cheaper to take an airport shuttle bus as it will stop at the main train station/ bus. So I bought a 60 minutes bus ticket by the shop in the corner, I also bought my local sim card here for 5 zloty. With my bus ticket at hand, I waited just outside the main entrance for the Bus L. This bus line runs every 15 minutes. I was instructed to get off on the second bus stop so I did, then I started walking towards the Old Town to find my accommodation.
As soon as I checked-in not wasting any time. I decided to visit Poznan National Museum it was only 10 minutes walk from my accommodation so it was handy. And other good news when I reached the museum it’s free entry on Saturday. I gathered that they display one of Claude Monet Painting the ” Beach in Pouville”. I asked the staff where the painting is and went straight to the 3rd floor where it was displayed. I was expecting a massive masterpiece but it was only size A5 if im not mistaken. I spent another hour wandering around the museum admiring other painting display of local Polish artist.

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Then I went back to my accommodation to have a rest before grabbing my first Polish meal. I spent couple of hours chilling by the lounge. Then I met Luca an Italian guy, we got chatting and I found out he just arrived a day ago for his Erasmus Program. Then we both felt hungry and decided to go for a meal. We asked Chris the receptionist, if he can recommend a nice restaurant serving local food. We were both eager to try some Polish food. It was only 5 minutes walk to the restaurant. Soon we were greeted a waitress and we were seated straight away. I took the chance to check out the place its nice, bright and spacious with minimalist art deco. Scanning through the menu handed to us we immediately spoted their specialty which is Pierogi or Pirogi. Also known varensky, a dumplings with different fillings ranging from savory, sweet, meat or vegetables usually boiled. We ordered some bake and boiled ones, it went well with locally brewed beer.

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After the meal we went for a walk towards the Old Town, it was handy for my night photography.

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The following day I went back to the Old Town to witness the famous tourist attraction display at the Ratusz everyday at 12 midday. I got there early so I went inside the Ratusz. The imposing renaissance building right in the middle of the old market square, was built in the late 13th century. It used to be the seat of local government, now serves as a Museum of the History of the City of Poznan. After the tour around the museum, just before it strikes 12pm I went down to join the other expectators. Good timing when I reached the front of Ratusz to join the crowd, the clock strikes 12 pm. The famous billy goat came out from the tower,the two mechanical goat’s started butting head.

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According to a legend there was a big banquette for the city official and dignitaries. The cook has accidentally burnt a roast deer and he attempted to replace it by stealling two goats, but the goats has escaped and run up towards the town hall tower attracting attention when started butting head, since then they put up the mechanical goats for entertainment.

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There are lots of local tourist but not swarm with foreign tourist. It’s so nice wandering around the Old Town without bamping to any chinese tourist taking photos on their tablet, or using selfie stick. Instead lots of Spanish tourist around. The market square is one of the prettiest place I have seen around Europe. The rows of merchant building bursting with perfectly intesive and brightly colour pallete. So appealing to the eyes that you can’t get enough of the place. I can’t stop clicking my camera. The square completes with cafe and restaurants, a cool place to just sit and have a sip of cappuccino while admiring the Old Market Square.

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After a while, I headed towards the Citadella Park, the cities largest park just 15 minutes walk from the Old Town. It was a good excuse for a walk in the park. The Soviet Obelisk sat prominently at the top of the grand staircase as it welcomes you to the park. Meander around and feel the autumnal breeze. Watch the leaves falls on the ground with it’s alluring shades of yellow, orange and red. Passing through the shaded benches, there’s an open field with momunent, museums of military, permanent art display troop of towering, headless cast iron figures marching aimlessly is officially titled “Unrecognised” by local artist. Such a great way to spend a day.

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After the stroll in the park, time to grab a lunch, so I decided to go to the Old Brewery as local calls it Stary Browar. An old brewery converted in to a shopping centre, with hotel and art gallery. The gallery displays interactive and innovative technology to enjoy. Stroll leisurely and admire the permanent art display scattered around while shopping. Go and visit the 50/50 blow up display right in a luxury hotel restaurant. A very unusual architecture design but unique and impressive mixed of the old and modern twist.

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On my last day I spend the whole day for my photography stroll. Poznan has impressed me big time. If Poznan is not on your bucket list yet. Let these photos invites you.
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My Poznan experience isn’t complete without these two awesome guys I met Luca and Zimon. On my last night we went for dinner and had a couple of vodka shots. It was my first time to taste the famous and locally produced Żubrówka also known Bison Grass Vodka, its a unique herb-flavoured dry vodka that is distilled at 40% alcohol. What a great night to finish with vodka shots.

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Insiders Tip :

Getting in to the City from the Airport. Its cheaper to take the Bus L, pick up point is just outside the main entrance of the airport. You can buy a ticket at the kiosk next to the information desk or you can just get in the bus and the driver will issue your ticket. Alternatively take the taxi if you are in a rush.

Every Saturday Poznan National Museum entry is FREE of charge. If your an art fanatic this place is for you!

Go and watch the billy goats at the Ratusz, an everyday display at 12 midday.

Dont forget to do your shopping at Stary Browar,or just go and check out the permanent art display.

Links below for my other Poland travel adventurers:
Undoubtedly Stunning Chambers in Wieliczka Saltmine

The Desolate Atmosphere in Auschwitz-Birkenau Complex

Undoubtedly Stunning Chambers in Wieliczka Salt Mine.

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I have heard so many beautiful stories and no doubt with those stunning photos of the Wieliczka Salt Mine I have seen. Wielczka Salt Mine had been in operation for over 700 years and its on UNESCO World Heritage list. I was so excited to organise my trip and I got a bargain return flights to Poland. Im like a kid jumping out of joy. And added bonus upon receiving an email from the Wieliczka Saltmine press department for a free English tour.

As soon as I arrived at my accommodation in Krakow. I inquired to the receptionist how to get to the Saltmine. She checked out the easiest way to get there. Soon we found out that there’s a new trainline to the Saltmine. So off I went to the Krakow Glowny and checked for the flatform. I met two American guy on board going to the Salt mine too, so we started chatting. It wasn’t long when the train started to move away. We were then passing through the polish countryside, cornfields and open greenfield. After 25 minutes train journey, we reached the Wieliczka station. Its only 15 km southeast of Krakow. And from the train station just 5 minutes walk to Daniłowicz Shaft the main entrance to the Saltmine.

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I went straight to the information office to collect my complimentary ticket. They gave me two tickets so I gave away the other ticket to the American guy I met on the train on my way to the Saltmine. We then joined the English tour group, I was wondering I got different ticket but I was thinking probably because it’s a complimentary. I showed my ticket to the guard nods at me and this american guy behind me was held up, the guard says the ticket was not valid. I went back to tell that his with me. And they escorted us inside the office, I wasn’t aware we need to exchange it to a ticket. We were laughing we thought we were in trouble. Knowing me thats my other name. So after it was all sorted, we were then given an audio and we were excited to join the other 15 tourist.

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I was expecting a lift to go down but oh boy we took the stairs. It was like 300 plus stairs step, not sure the exactly but I stopped counting when I felt dizzy ( not literally). I can’t imagine we descend as deep as 135m below ground. But we were assured that there’s a lift coming back up, we were all relieved.

As we descend to the chambers, you can feel the warmth air, some part its nice and cool. There are chambers that is close to the public due to preservation and according to our guide through our warm breath might destroy the Salt formation.
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The first chamber we seen was the Mikolaj Kornik or more famously known as Nicolaus Copernicus. A great polish astronomer and mathematician who formulated the Copernican Revolution.
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Next was the Janowice Chamber, it was discovered before 1642. The display of the legends discovery of rock salt. Fun thing about this you can lick the walls to prove its a rock salt! And it is salty.
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Then we moved towards the Casimirs The Great Chamber was dedicated to Kazimierza Wielkiego, who organised the form of Statute the law regulating the management of the salt mines. Sculptor by Wladyslaw Hapek.
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Watch out for the dinosaur on the wall it’s watching you. There’s even this chamber that according to our guide there’s a monster, across the water. Not quite sure what sort of monster but I saw a carved statue on the wall, the background music makes it more spoky than what really is.
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Then we went to the Chapel of St. Kinga. Which is the known crown jewel of the Wieliczka Salt Mine and the miners’ pride. Evidently as you descend from the grand stairs, its majestic ground area welcomes you. With the impressivelly bright chandeliers suspended in the air. Slowly walk along the sides and be amaze by the saltrock sculptures spectacularly carved on the walls and stunning statues around. Such a great time admiring the masterpiece with my very eyes. This area can accommodate 400 people and they cater for weddings too. And other smaller chapels. So who’s ready to be hitch anyone?

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They also cater for parties, conferences and seminars.

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On your way out there’s a store for souvenirs, photo exhibition of the mine.

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At the end of the tour head off to the lift/ elevator. But don’t get too excited because if your claustrophobic you won’t gonna love it.
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Insiders Tip

From Krakow Glowny there’s a direct trainline going to Wieliczka Salt mine, look for Rynek Kopalnia Wieliczka it’s the last train stop. Only cost 3 zloty each way for a 25 minutes journey.

Theres buses going to the Saltmine. BUS 304 departs near shopping mall Galeria Krakowska (ul. Kurniki), but I highly recommend taking the train. Travel time for buses are longer, due to road works.

You can buy entry tickets on site.
There 2 site entry depends on what tour you choose.
Daniłowicz Shaft where the normal tourist route.
Regis Shaft where the more adventurous tourist go for the miners route.

Buy a souvenir bath salt it was really nice. Needed badly after a stressful day.

Have you been to Wieliczka Salt Mine or other place like this? Share your experience on the comment below. I love to hear your stories too.

Disclosure:

Thank you to Wieliczka Salt Mine press department for providing my complimentary English Tour ticket. I enjoyed my visit but as always all opinions expressed are my own.