Short Stay in Salzburg

The visit started out as a stopover on our 13 hour drive from Croatia to Germany, but turned out to be one of the best cities we had ever been in!

Click here to read the previous blog post!

Before deciding to spend a night in Salzburg, Lukas told me that everyone he knows who has visited the city has nothing but good things to say! Now I understand how the city makes you fall in love with it.

The city centre has an ambience of elegance and prestige…. but what really blew me away was the fairytale setting (complete with the white horse and carriage)!

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We stayed in Connie’s modern airbnb just outside the city centre for the night which was ideal.

If you would like money off your first Airbnb use my personal link when booking!

It was early evening when we arrived in Salzburg and we wasted no time before wandering around the beautiful streets and squares.

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For dinner we ate in a traditional Austrian restaurant called Alter Fuchs.

The outside seating area is great for people watching and soaking up the vibe but we chose to dine in the outside courtyard for a more exclusive feel. I would highly recommend the Rindersaftgulasch mit Semmelknödel und Essiggurkerl. If you are not fluent in German I would suggest order this dish by saying the beef goulash with dumplings!

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After consuming our weight in beer and goulash we headed back to the airbnb for the night.

In the morning we explored the birthplace of Wolfgang Mozart and discovered the famous Mozartkugeln! These are chocolate balls filled with marzipan, pistachio and nougat….had to buy some for the journey home!

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As well as admiring the baroque architecture from the town squares we decided to get an even more impressive view from the Hohensalzburg Fortress.

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Unfortunately, it was time to start our last part of the journey back Germany in the afternoon. Even though we had a fleeting visit to Salzburg, the memories will definitely form some of my favourite parts of our 2 week trip! I believe anyone could feel at home in this beautiful city and we look forward to returning soon.

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Weekend in London – Day 1

“When a man is tired of London, he is tired of life.” (Samuel Johnson, 1777)

As you may of noticed from my Instagrams you will have seen that I spent my weekend in London. I’m sorry for the spam pics but London is soooo INSTAWORTHY, especially Covent Garden! I had been to London once before when I was younger so I had done the major attractions but not the “real London”. It was amazing this time to explore the city with my best friend because she could show me hidden gems, as she has lived in London previously.

Somehow all my salary ends up in EasyJet’s pocket…..this time it was to fly from Edinburgh to London Luton. I knew that all the airports were outside London centre anyway so it didn’t really matter which one I flew to and Luton was the best price. I started off my day with a croissant and chia latte from Cafe Nero (pre-flight ritual) and was in London before I knew it (1 hour flight). From the airport I had already pre-booked my bus transfer to get me towards my Airbnb in Canning Town through EasyBus. The bus was £10 per journey and took my to Baker Street station (40 minutes) where I could get a direct tube to Canning Town.

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By reading this you may think I was clued up on London transport prior to my arrival…that would be incorrect. I had already asked for transport advice from my lovely Airbnb hosts and they were more than happy to help! That is one of the aspects of Airbnb that I love most, the hosts local knowledge. This is my 5th Airbnb I have stayed in so far and I have been blown away by the friendliness of each one of the hosts! For my trip to London I booked myself into Amir and Helena’s home which was only 20 minutes from the centre and had everything I needed. Fresh towels were laid out upon arrival and I was able to have a flexible check in as there was a key safe – very convenient when arriving early!

Click here for £25 off your first stay! 

After unpacking I headed to the Temple area to start my Hidden London Tour with Fun London Tours. Danielle the tour guide was excellent, especially when she sang  the Oranges and Lemons nursery rhyme at St Clements Danes Church! I thought this tour was particularly cool because it showed you areas of the city that the average tourist wouldn’t pay attention to.

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Gringotts Bank in Harry Potter
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St Bride’s Church – Inspiration for the tiered wedding cake!
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Printing Press Mural – Magpie Alley

After walking around the Temple area I walked 15 minutes to Covent Garden to soak up the atmosphere with a cocktail in hand…

 

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Royal Blush at Tuttons

To be honest, London is NEVER EVER going to be cheap but it really wasn’t anymore expensive than Edinburgh. Obviously it depends where you go, but a cocktail in the centre of Covent Gardens ranged from £8-£13 which is pretty standard.

 

Covent Gardens is such a beautiful area in the Summer. It’s buzzing with street performers and dressed with gorgeous flower displays. I went a little Insta-mad here but it would just be rude not to make use of all the perfect picture opportunities….?!

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By late afternoon I thought it was time to visit all the touristy places that I knew Sophia wouldn’t want to spend time seeing! I walked along the Hungerford Bridge enjoying the London Skyline featuring the London Eye and Big Ben.  After taking a few different wannabe photographer angles of the London Eye I ventured over to take in the view across the River Thames.

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Hungerford Bridge
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London Eye
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View from the Hungerford Bridge

After spending some time chilling in my Airbnb (recovering from my 22,000 step day) Sophia and I took the tube to Canary Warf. Unlike the rest of London that is continuously hectic we headed to the business hub for a more relaxing evening. As Canary Warf is the home of glittery office skyscrapers it’s a lot more chilled after office hours end!

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It was just after 10pm and the Crossrail Place Roof Garden  caught our eye. Unfortunately the garden closed at 10pm and they were just locking up…after a little persuasion we were allowed in to explore by ourselves!

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Crossrail Place Roof Garden At Night

After our private garden experience we headed towards the Giant Robot, which is a rooftop bar filled with lots of cool street food stalls. I would definitely encourage you to check out out this cool place! Rooftop, DJ and burritos….what’s not to like?!

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I hope you have enjoyed reading about my first day in London…stay tuned for day 2!

 

 

 

Weekend in Munich – Day 2

It was a snowy start to our second day in Munich!

After over eating at breakfast in the hotel (I have already confessed to the amount of pastries on my plate…) we headed out to explore more of the city. I hadn’t realised that it snowed overnight until I looked out the window of the restaurant in the hotel. In my opinion it definitely enhanced the beauty of the city, especially the Englischer Garten.

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Chinese Tower

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When we were wondering around in the freezing cold we ditched the beer garden (some were actually open) and headed into a tiny cosy cafe! Just so I could feel my hands again (only reason of course) I got a gluehwein and relaxed on a furry coated bench to admire the gardens without catching hypothermia! You don’t need to leave Scotland for that….

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Once we warmed up a little we stepped outside and cooled down a lot….nevertheless we continued walking back towards the city centre. On the way there we walked through a tunnel that had been decorated with various pieces of street art. Like always I felt the need to take a few photos…

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Alice in Wonderland or just a bit creepy? I’ll let you decide.

As I have spent time in Verona and visited Juliet’s balcony I know the legend of Juliet’s golden breast. When I found out there was another statue in Munich, gifted from the city of Verona we made sure to take a look. Who would pass up an opportunity of “undying love”?! Little did we know that instead of touching her breast like in Verona, people in Munich leave flowers by her side in order to receive the magic. Unaware of this difference we went for the breast…I’ll get back to you with how well that worked!

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Juliet Capulet Statue 
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Find under the archway in the Marienplatz 

 

 

After being granted eternal love I figured I didn’t need any more from this wonderful city.

Munich I’ll be back when the sun shines over the beer gardens!

 

Winter Getaway In York

As soon as our exams finished we decided to escape to York to get into the Christmas spirit! York is only 2 hours and 30 minutes on a train from Edinburgh, perfect for a short break. We spent a couple of days in this enchanting city exploring the fairy-lit alleyways and exploring York’s main attractions!

Day 1 

As soon as we arrived in York we took the bus from outside the station to Ashley Park Road where our Airbnb was. As I have never used an Airbnb before I was slightly apprehensive of the situation but I was amazed at how perfectly it worked out. I cannot recommend Kilmartin Lodge  enough, it was cosy, well located and Michelle the host was extremely welcoming (fresh bread and homemade jam on arrival)!

We arrived into York early evening so we just got settled into our accommodation then headed into York for dinner. As it was our first night we just took an Uber into York (cost around £6) and dined out. Our first meal was at a gorgeous Italian restaurant called Gusto.  It had a canape of fairy lights and leaves, perfect for a romantic dinner! I would highly recommend the smoked haddock risotto for a heartier option….

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Before heading back to the apartment we journeyed into the Teepee Tent that was in the centre of the Christmas market to indulge in some mulled wine!

Day 2

We woke up early to ensure that we had a full day of exploring York! We started our day by journeying into York on the Coastliner bus which was only a short walk from the accommodation. Once we arrived in the city centre we headed towards York Minster which is definitely a sight to see! It is a stunning cathedral that can be accessed with an entry fee of £10 (all profit goes to the maintenance of the site).

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After taking in the architecture that York Minster has to offer we strolled over to The Shambles. This is a picturesque street combined of many antique shops, confectioneries, jewellery shops and of course Harry Potter shops. This famous little street is said to be the inspiration of Diagon Alley in the Harry Potter series (hence the 3 Potter shops)!25593580_1718968314790287_279270880_n

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Then we headed towards the York Castle Museum to find out what living in York was like through the decades.

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Feeling peckish and with so many quirky places to try, we ventured into an art bar called Victor J’s to grab some lunch. This is definitely a great spot to admire local art work while warming up in this cosy bar/restaurant.

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Before heading back to the apartment we explored the Christmas market again, trying everything that was on offer….especially the York Fudge!

In the evening we dined at a restaurant that was recommended by a local and we were not mislead. We had dinner at a unique Spanish tapas restaurant called Ambiente  . Like many restaurants in York the building was originally someone’s home, which made the place even more charming. Spanish cuisine is my personal favourite so we had the tasting menu for 2 and loved every dish… (the meatballs were fought over… which can only be a good sign)!

Day 3

We woke up and gave our keys back to our wonderful Airbnb host in the morning which was all very easy. I can honestly not express how well my first experience of using an Airbnb went , I will definitely use the website for future travels.

We headed into York for the last time and took our luggage to the storage space near the station. It was the best option seeing as our train home was not till 6pm. After dropping our luggage off we headed back through the city walls, and down to the river for a walk in the park. We also climbed up Clifford’s Tower to take in the bird’s eye view of York.  25630317_1718968258123626_191023481_n25630739_1718968298123622_1199901981_nDSC01930

Afterwords, we visited The Shambles one last time and of course bought some more fudge to take  home with us! We still had a few hours of exploring before we needed to go for an early dinner, so we went to the York Dungeons . 25674344_1718968271456958_342321547_n.jpgThis was one of my favourite attractions in York. The actors were incredible and made me scream once or twice….. it’s such a good way to learn the history of York….even if you do get accused of witchcraft….

Before catching our train back to Edinburgh we had an early dinner somewhere that we always walked past and were eager to try. Lucia is an Italian restaurant that has lots of seating in the fairy-lit canopy courtyard. To keep dinners warm outside in the winter they also have outdoor fires amongst the tables as well as an indoor seating area.

Our time in York was amazing and we would definitely spend more time in this beautiful city. If we went back we would visit the places we ran out of time to see such as the top of York Minster and The Chocolate Story Museum!