Weekend in Warsaw

Last weekend I took little weekend break in Warsaw with my fabulous flatmates (you know who you are). It was so much fun! It felt really special to finally be in Poland as I’m actually a 1/4 polish! As well as eating, drinking and exploring I learned a few polish words, but I won’t embarrass myself by trying to spell them for you…

We booked our flights a few months in advance for only £40 from Edinburgh to Warsaw Modlin. The flight was only 2.5 hours, which is funny considering it takes longer to drive to Inverness from Edinburgh!

Before leaving we prebooked train tickets to take us into the centre of Warsaw where our Airbnb was. However, the train station was a taxi ride away and took an hour. Learning from this experience we rode in an Uber (£23) to the airport, which took 40 mins and was just a little more expensive than the train and MUCH EASIER!

On that note Uber is your best friend in Polish cities as it’s so much cheaper than in the UK!

 I had an amazing time in Warsaw and would recommend checking out these places…

What To See

1. The Old Town Market Place

This colourful square is the heart of Warsaw and one of the oldest places in Warsaw (it was rebuilt after WW2 ended).  Find The Mermaid of Warsaw and enjoy the Christmas market stalls in Winter.

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Legend has it that local fisherman wanted to capture the mermaid after she kept rescuing the fish from their nets. However, after the heard her singing they fell in love. Then a rich man imprisoned the mermaid,but the fisherman saved her. Ever since, she has been protecting Warsaw’s citizens with her sword and shield.

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2. Warsaw Rising Museum

This museum was well worth a visit. It was created in memory of the people of Warsaw who died fighting for the independence of Poland.

Entry is free of charge every Sunday

3. Palace of Culture and Science

This is one of the most iconic buildings in the city. Unfortunately we ran out of time to visit, but we heard a rumour that the top floor is the best place to take a picture of Warsaw!

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It was a little foggy….

4. Royal Castle

This is one of the most beautiful buildings in Warsaw! Spend time wondering around the lavishly designed rooms of the Polish monarchs.

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Entry is free of charge every Wednesday

Where To Eat

If you have been looking at any of my recent Instagram stories you probably saw brunch and Pierogi crop up a few times…. these were the stars of the show!!

1. Bulke przez Bibulke

Yes Polish is a very tricky language….so the link is above so you can find this gem too! This place was so cosy and is rated one of the best brunch spots in the city. Try the stack of pancakes!

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2. Restaurant Zapiecek

According to two of my native friends, this traditional Polish restaurant serves some of the BEST PIEROGI (dumplings)!

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If you want to stick to the local cuisine order a class of apple wine with your meal (it’s delicious).

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3. SAM Kameralny Komplex Gastronomiczny

Back to Brunch!!

Breakfast is the most important meal of the day… and if you don’t wake up early enough this is the perfect solution…right?!

One word….BAGELS!

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4. Hala Koszyki

This is one of the best indoor food markets I have ever been to. It’s such a relaxed environment with so many cuisines to sample. If you are vegan check out the range of vegan stalls here!

But what did I chose to eat again…..

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PIEROGI!!!!

Where To Drink

1. Czupito

This quirky vodka bar is the perfect place to start your night out in Warsaw! Try the Pink Panther if you have a sweet tooth or Rainbow if you’re brave enough….

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2. Nap Nap Cafe

This is the perfect stop for a midday mulled wine and cake!

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3. Panorama Sky Bar

If you want to take your night out to the next level check out the Sky Bar! Great cocktails, music and views!

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Bare in mind the cocktails here are more like UK prices eg £10!

I hope you have enjoyed reading about my time in this cool city and have the chance to experience it for yourself!

I’m currently planning my next trip back to Poland….people to see and things to explore!

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Newbies Guide To New York #1 Attractions

As the title suggests, yes it was my FIRST TIME IN NEW YORK! 

We arrived home early on Saturday morning after spending 1 week in The Big Apple and it was such an incredible place.

We got good flight deals to Stewart Airport direct from Edinburgh which was ideal (8 hours). The airline was Norwegian Air who are known for doing long-haul budget deals. It made much more sense to fly cheaper into Stewart Airport and drive 90 minutes on the bus into Manhattan than pay for more expensive flights to JFK.

There is no “cheap” way of doing New York properly but there are plenty of wallet-friendlier alternatives…

After researching the cost of the attractions that we wanted to visit (there were so many) we thought it was cheaper to purchase a 5 Day New York Pass. This pass granted us access to all of the city’s main attractions. This was great because it meant that we could visit everything we wanted to in the time we had! For the 1 day pass it was $127 but for 5 days it was only $325. The pass was definitely worth it because there was 4 of us doing on average 3 attractions per day. For example the price to visit the observatory deck at the Empire State building is $57 per person

Click here to purchase the New York Pass

It would take far too long to write a day by day itinerary of my week in New York… so I’ll give you a quick run through of my favourite things to see and do!

1. Brooklyn Bridge at Sunset

For the best view of the complete Manhattan skyline spend the day in Brooklyn! There are so many cool places to visit in Brooklyn, we loved Dumbo! This is the area of Brooklyn that is just over the bridge and is home to Jane’s Carousel and the BEST pizza you may ever try in NYC!

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Promise I wasn’t the only adult……
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Guacamole on a pizza is life changing!

The pizza parlour was called Julianas Pizza and was run by the pizza legends themselves….the Grimaldi’s in New York!

After exploring Dumbo follow the pedestrian signs onto the Brooklyn Bridge at sunset and watch Manhattan light up! The walk took around 30 minutes but we stopped for lots of pictures.

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If you love the look of my t-shirt use my personal code CatrionaKe15 for 15% off all orders at the checkout! A percentage of all Sandcloud’s profits go into saving marine life by supporting conservation charities. #savethefishes

2. Empire State Building

Included in our New York Pass was entry to the observatory decks at the Empire State building. I don’t know if we just got EXTREMELY LUCKY but we went up to the top at around 10pm and there was NO QUEUE!!

Even if there was a line we would have waited for this magical view!

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3. Top of the Rocks

On our last full day we realised that we still had to check out the view from Top of the Rock! Again we flashed our New York Passes and got entry up to the top. The fact that we didn’t have to pay more for the entry was good as we might not have seen the view because the weather was similar to Scotland…hence my signing in the rain picture!

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4. Broadway Show

Even if you are not a huge theatre fan (like my brother) most people still love the experience of seeing a show on Broadway at least once! We saw Chicago in the Ambassador Theatre and it was definitely worth seeing.  If you are not too fussy and looking for discounted tickets try websites like BroadwayBox. 

5. The High Line

I know when people think about parks in New York, Central Park springs to mind. However, The High Line is a cool green space hidden above the busy city streets. This space used to be home for an old railway line now it’s an urban oasis.

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6. New York Water Taxi

I know this isn’t an attraction but it was a great way to see the city! You can hop on a New York Water Taxi either in Midtown Manhattan, Battery Park, Seaport or Brooklyn. My favourite part of the ride was sailing around the Statue of Liberty with the Alicia Keys “Empire State of Mind” playing!

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As I come to the end of this post, I’m a little sad that I didn’t mention all the other amazing attractions. However, I would be writing a book not a blog post in that case and that’s not what I do!

Watch this space for Newbies Guide To New York #2 Wine & Dine!

HOW TO INCREASE YOUR BLOG PERFORMANCE

I would like to start this post by thanking you for supporting my blog so far! I have only been blogging regularly for 6 months now but I am proud to say I am now sitting at 118 subscribers, 2K views, 391 Instagram followers, 969 Twitter followers and 2 brand collaborations.

This blog post is all about how I got these results! 

1.  TWITTER 

I can honestly not thank the followers on Twitter enough! They have been a MASSIVE help and I would not be sitting on 2K without them. By bloggers reading my posts, liking and retweeting my content  I have managed to reach a much bigger audience than I ever thought imaginable. I’ve had my blog for over a year now but have only been active on Twitter since March and I have had 1,500 more views since then. That may not seem like much to people sitting on 10,000 views but trust me from going from on average 25 views a month to 500 really is something!

In addition, Blogger Trains are GOLD! They are a great way to get more readers as well as gain inspiration from other bloggers. You never know what you might find……or who might find you.Untitled design (24)

2. HOOTSUITE

Okay , this one is still Twitter related… but it’ll become your blogging best friend!

This is an app on your phone that is designed to make your life as a blogger or social media influencer EASIER.

FORGET the days where you come home from work and are disappointed about how neglected your site has been. Download the app….spend a few minutes with a cup of coffee scheduling your tweets for the next day (even the next week) and the engagement will come rolling in without you even lifting a finger.

I usually try to schedule around 5 tweets a day. Don’t worry about it being new content! No one could do that!! Just pick a few different blog posts each day, maybe even ask a question so you will get more interaction and feedback from your viewers.

 

3. FELLOW BLOGGERS

I have only been part of the blogging community for a short time, however I’ve found out that it’s full of THE MOST supportive people. As soon as I started putting my content on other social media platforms I managed to gain a great group of “blogger friends” who are always sharing and feed-backing on my blog posts.

In addition, I have joined various blogger groups such as Blogger Support created by Ellie Louise and Intrepid Entrepreneurs Community , created by the worldwide travellers, Hannah and Nate and UK Influencer Opportunities. These are the first places I go to for blogging related advice and to hear about oaid blogging opportunities.

Another reason why I RATE the Blogging Community is that you are often asked to feature as a “Guest Blogger”. This is when another blogger asks their favourite bloggers or people who fit their niche to write a post on their blog. This is an excellent way reach more people and gain a larger following!

As well as increasing your blog views you can also gain so much from other bloggers. I get lots of inspiration from reading these amazing blogs!

http://savingjoyfully.com/

http://svitforyou.com/

http://ellelouise.co.uk/

https://offtotheworld.com/

 

4. CANVA

 

Who doesn’t like a blog with pretty pictures right?! Well… lets top that and make pretty smartphone pictures look professional.

Canva is one of my favourite apps! I use it for my Instagram, blog images, Pinterest and Facebook cover-art.  It is completely free to use and has a million ways to enhance your your own images. Spend a few hours playing about with all the features and you’ll get the hang of it in no time!Untitled design (25)

5. AWIN

 

I’m not saying this is the way to make your millions…but it’s somewhere to start!

Awin as a website designed to promote and partner companies that offer affiliate programmes with bloggers. This website only has a £5 joining fee and can link you to thousands of companies around the world. The cliched phrase that comes to mind is “the world is your oyster”….but it really is!

At the moment I have joined the affiliate programmes offered by TripAdvisor, Trivago and Booking.com.

One of the best things about this site is that it works both ways! As well as bloggers taking the initiative to ask to partner with companies, companies can also find and offer programmes to bloggers! Give it a go at https://www.awin.com/gb

As I said at the start of this post, I am still a newbie! Thank you for your support so far, I can’t wait to learn new ways to improve my blog…who knows….maybe there will be a Part 2 to this post!

 

 

 

 

Mystery Blogger Award

Firstly I would like to thank Brigitta Jesica who writes Roam Terra blog for the nomination. Bloggers like you make the blogging community so valuable because you support and share other bloggers successes. We all know that we can spend a lot of time and effort writing a post, making it the best it can be, to only receive a few views. At the start of my blogging journey this happened  to me a lot. It was such a disappointing and demotivating feeling that made me question why I was writing in the first place. However, my blog success improved dramatically when I actually started getting in contact with bloggers such as Andrea at Saving Joyfully

To quickly summarise how the support of other bloggers has helped my viewings, I say that I hit 1000 views on my blog after having it for almost 1 year….3 weeks after I hit that milestone I have managed to get 400 more views!

Okay! Here are the questions I was asked by Brigitta Jesica to answer….

1. Who is the movie character that inspires you most?

Oh this is such a hard one! I don’t think I have actually ever been asked this question before… I would have to say Noah from the Notebook. He never gives up on getting his true love back. If someone is loyal enough to write letters every day for a whole year (without getting a response…because her Mother binned the letters), never fall in love with someone else, build a dream house for their loved one that they planned when they were 17 years old (blue shutters and all) and read their own stories of the life they shared together back to them when they were too ill to remember themselves, that is inspirational.

2. Two favourite things about blogging?

My two favourite things about blogging….

  1. Like I highlighted earlier the community is extremely supportive of one another which makes it a joy to be part of. As well as increasing my viewings through the community I love reading other people’s blogs in my spare time. Whether it’s about places that I never been before, places I will soon visit or just general lifestyle posts that I can relate to it’s definitely one of my favourite hobbies.

2.  I have kept a diary for as long as I can remember so I have always enjoyed writing and reflecting on past experiences. Therefore my travel blog is really just a focused extension of what I would write in my diary to remember the amazing places I have been. Also, I am a MAJOR  foodie so I LOVE giving restaurant reviews (especially to hidden gems I find)!

3. What is the best decision you have ever made in life

Wow….from movie characters to the big questions…it’s getting serious! Okay…I am going to be brutally honest. The best decision I have made so far is to cut certain people out my life. Yes I know that seems awful and dramatic but I’ll explain.

What I mean by this is that life is too short to pretend or to be unhappy. So by cutting ties with certain people who have made me repeatedly unhappy with their actions I am a lot happier.

I have learnt that you can’t change people, so it is wasted time wishing that you can. If you are not happy/satisfied with the way someone is treating you, whether it’s in a relationship, friendship or other circumstance it’s better to walk away. It gives you more time to focus on enjoying life, with people you would want have by your side for years to come.

4. Pick an object that in some way resembles you

Hmm… in a former life I was 100% a mermaid so I would have to say a seashell. I love being in the sea…preferably not in 15 degrees weather. However, growing up in Scotland has taught me valuable life lessons, like if you run in quick your body becomes numb and you don’t feel the cold anymore…never mind your legs…win win…..?

5. In which environment do you feel most productive? 

9/10 you will see me writing a blog post or essay in my dressing gown in my flat. I tend to work more productively in the morning and with some chilled background music. I use the nights for more research based work like looking for flights and accommodation etc.

6. If you could date anyone, in the entire world who would it be? 

Zac Efron obviously

Just kidding…my boyfriend is going to read this post in a few minutes and I can honestly say it would be him!

We kind of just….found each other on a night out and the rest is history!

At the moment we are doing a long distance relationship. We met in Edinburgh when he was doing his half year abroad and now he is back in Germany. Even though we can’t have date night every week or hang out as much as “normal” couples the best feeling in the world is when we get off the plane. We have been in a relationship for 5 months and have visited 8 places together and planning many more adventures!

Cliched I know… but he honestly makes me the best version of myself. He supports my ambitious ideas, encourages my dreams and has learned the difference between a playsuit and a jumpsuit. What more could I ask for…..a teleportation device would be useful….

Wow…. I feel like if you didn’t know me before you definitely know me now!

Thank you once again  Brigitta Jesica for my nomination! Please check out her blog at https://roamterra.wordpress.com/!

Here is a list of my favourite bloggers, have fun checking them out!

Saving Joyfully

Elle Louise

Seeking Sammy

Svit For You

I’m Just A Girl

Marky Marc’s Blog

The It Girl Blog

Clemloves

Now proceeding to the rules!
1. Put the award logo image in your blog.
2. List the rules
3.Thank whoever nominated you and provide a link to their blog.
4. Answer the questions you were asked.
5. Nominate 5-10 people and notify.
6.Ask your nominees any six questions of your choice and one weird or funny (specify)

Here are my questions, have fun answering them!

  1. Where do you see yourself in 5 years time and what are you doing?
  2. What is one thing you would definitely like to do before you die?
  3. What is your biggest weakness?
  4. What is your favourite song lyric?
  5. What is your dream destination
  6. What would be your perfect date?