London is a magnificent melting pot and an exemplary showcase art, culture and beautiful urban spaces - both contemporary and historical. England’s largest city is home to some of the world’s most magnetic Gothic architecture, and a prolific arts and theatre culture. A few must visit places in London city are the Tower of London and the Tower Bridge. Head to the Buckingham Palace and catch the "Changing of the Guard" at 11:30am from May until the end of July. Tourists can view the Crown Jewels, and also take a mandatory picture with a guard. Most of London’s museums have free entry, so take it all in from Tate Modern to the City Museum to the National Gallery and the Historical Museum. Make a stop at the Westminster Abbey and revel in the bustling Trafalgar Square that is the heart of London. For something more intimate, take a walk down to the Borough Market that has probably the best food and produce in London. Grab yourself a Cornish pasty or a plateful of the signature fish and chips before you leave London city.
I have always been in awe of wooden windmills, from the first time I, as a child, attempted to paint a Dutch country side with a windmills-dotted skyline to the time when I visited a windmill-turned-brewery (Browerij’t IJ) in Amsterdam on my student trip in 2011. My short time in Amsterdam had not given me the scope to visit any other windmills around the area and my awe persisted. In my recent Euro-trip, I decided to get a closure on my infatuation and visit the Dutch countryside teeming with these imposing wooden structures. The visit turned out to be much more than windmills and alas, my love for the Dutch countryside continues…In Netherlands, there are two very popular neighborhoods which have been protected and preserved to display the Dutch way of living and trades and crafts from rural Netherlands. One is Kinderdijk (near Rotterdam) which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The other is Zaanse Schans (near Amsterdam). We decided on Zaanse Schans because it was easier for us travel-wise. We took a bus from Stuttgart to Amsterdam and then bought an Amsterdam & Region Travel Pass, which covers a lot of neighborhoods around Amsterdam including the famous Keukenhof tulip gardens and Zaanse Schans. Zaanse Schans is a short 45 mins trip from Amsterdam Central by bus.We had booked an Airbnb accommodation in Zaandijk, very close to the site of Zaanse Schaans. After freshening up, we took our bicycles and made our way to the site. It was very windy and our hair was windswept. As we neared the place, a strong odour accosted us. We were to find out later that it was the emissions from the chocolate and starch factories in the region.We had a preconceived picture of a few windmills and wooden houses that we would get to see at the site. But the scene that welcomed us transported us immediately to the industrial age in Netherlands. It is like an open-air museum with bakery, cheese factory, clog-making warehouse and wooden houses with barns and working-windmills on the banks of river Zaan that flows in the area. It indeed looked like a painting.
Ticket to Tomorrowland - Where there's a will, there's a way, kind of beautifulAfter my solo trip to Bali, Indonesia in April, I made up my mind that I am going to Tomorrowland this year and will explore other official ticket partners even if I have to go for solo trip again. I got 2-3 options and finalized one on the basis of reliability, price and package they were providing. My bus package was starting from Amsterdam from there they gave me treasure box (official ticket) in the bus and dropped me and other festival goers in the front gate of camping at Tomorrowland in Boom, Brussels.
Paris is magnetic, plastered across the vision boards of dreamy-eyed, budding travellers around the world. Start with a visit to the Notre Dame Cathedral for an understanding of Paris’s multilayered history. When you visit the city’s major attraction, the Eiffel tower, try reserving tickets ahead of time, to skip the long queues. Although there are many, many such things and attractions you must visit in Paris, don’t miss out on a leisurely walk under the shaded trails by the Seine, or unwind at the lush promenades of Jardin des Tuileries. Attend a poetry reading in an old bookshop and enjoy the illustrious cabaret of The Crazy Horse. This glittering city of light is all about understated, yet glamorised experiences - wandering the Parisian streets, walking the avenues and bridges, listening to the hum flowing out of bistros and bars; musicians in the metro and that particular scent of old, used books at the Shakespeare and Co. Paris is also a shopaholic’s Mecca, with a number of high-end shops and hidden flea markets. For those led by their stomachs, don’t leave Paris without getting your hands on their baguettes and macarons. And of course, many many glasses of wine.
Brussels, capital of Belgium, is said to be the capital of Europe since it’s home to the European Parliament, European Council and European Commission.This old city has its own charm when it comes to attracting people. Belgian waffles, beer and chocolates oh and did I forget the Belgian fries? Definitely add it to the list. However I would say that Brussels is pretty famous for its Gothic structures and art in various form that makes another reason for this place to be experienced at least once.
The only August travel was a long weekend of partying in Bristol (one of my favourite UK cities) with friends.This blog was finally launched after 5 months of hard work and teaching myself how to use word press from scratch. Sh*t Just Got Real was my first post, which reflected that suddenly our upcoming adventure was becoming a realityAndy handed in his notice at work and we finished selling, giving away and storing our belongings, and put our Norwich house up for rent. We also spent hours working through our exit plan to ensure we had all loose ends tied up in The UK, a rough idea of our route to Cambodia and that we had the relevant visas sorted out.Selling belongings for long term travelI also spent much of the month caring for my Mum after she’d badly broken her arm falling off her bicycle. All in all it was quite a very busy and quite stressful month. At the end of August it was time to start saying farewell to our friends and family over a string of goodbye catch-ups and one final big leaving party. All great fun but also tinged with sadness!SeptemberAt long last we left the UK to travel, and to live and work abroad in early September.It started with a weeks villa holiday near Santanyi in Mallorca with my family, including my two little nephews. It was a gorgeous villa with a pool in a picturesque setting a bit bit out in the sticks. We had some time relaxing at the villa and a couple of day trips out to nearby beaches and towns. It was lovely to have that week with my family before we left Europe for the foreseeable future