Category: Moments

A little ramble..

Hello everyone,

Its been a while since I gave you an update about our travels. Mike and I are currently working for KiteWorldWide in Dakhla, in Morocco as kitesurf instructors/ guides. Dakhla lies in the midst of the Western Sahara which is particularly a kind of ‘no-mans-land’. We started working here since the end of March. We will stay here until the 31th of July and then we will travel through Morocco for a while and end up in Tarifa for holidays. The most asked question Mike and I get is if we do not get bored of living in the desert. The answer is no, the desert is beautiful more then I could ever imagine. The wind is blowing almost every day so if we get the change we will be on the water ourselves or teaching the whole day! Also the group we get in the camp is changing every week, meeting new people and talking to people is a thing we really like. These things keep our work interesting and diverse. In May we were home for one week for two weddings of our friends. Because we are home every 2/3 months we are not homesick as well. Of course we miss our friends & family but a few months pass by so fast every time!

The 31th of July Mike and I will start on our journey through Morocco, we will fly from Dakhla to Agadir. We will stay 8 nights in the Lunar Surfhouse where we will celebrate my 26th birthday (CRAZY EXCITED!). My 25th was so amazing, I had the chance to fulfill one of my dreams which I was dreaming of since I was 13! I cannot wait what my 26th year will bring me! After our surf/yoga experience at the Lunar Surfhouse we will arrive in Marrakech for a ‘thousand-and-one-night‘ experience. After our trip in Marrakech we have a few days for which we did not plan anything. Mike and I would love to ride a camel in the desert and hike the Atlas Mountains around Marrakech, so we probably will end up doing that! Then it is time for us to leave Morocco/Africa for a while. We decided that our next adventure will be out of Africa, it is time to explore other continents and cultures. We will travel via Tanger with the ferry to Tarifa and kite there for one week, and finally eat something else then tajine. Say yes to a lot of tapas and our favorite drink: SANGRIA. We will celebrate Mikes’ birthday there. So long for keeping up with our tradition to celebrate our birthdays on holiday :).

The 22th of August we will be in the Netherlands again, one of my good friends is marrying then. These are things you do not want to miss out on. Even not when travelling the world. Because it is summer as well in the Netherlands we decided to stay in the Netherlands for a few weeks to enjoy the love&happiness of our family & friends. We will travel from the end of September on again. The good thing is we have not planned any of it yet. Looking forward to where our future travel plans will take us. For now we are really enjoying our time in Dakhla teaching, talking with a lot of people & enjoying our time together. It is truly great to spent so much time together. Maybe it looks scary to you to work and live together with your partner, (we do it now for 6 months) and it is a really good experience. Anyone who can keep up with me for so long is a keeper.

If you are in to kitesurfing I would highly recommend going to Dakhla once in your life. It is a great lagoon to learn, but also a great spot to progress if you can kite already. The whole atmosphere is perfect, everyone comes to Dakhla to kite, there is not much to take your attention of kiting. Not to forget the spot has 11 months of wind a year.. The best period is from mid-May until the end of October. January is the off-season, for the rest of the months you have to be lucky the wind is there half of the time, which is still more than at other spots. In short Dakhla is great.

Kitesurfing in Dakhla

We will enjoy our lost 50 nights in Dakhla & our travels in Morocco & Tarifa. We will keep you updated about our travels and for our plans in the future.

If you have any questions about our travels put them in the comments down below.
We are so grateful for this trip and spending so much time in and on the water, it is one of the best experiences we ever had and we get to enjoy it together. <3

With love,

us.

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Karibu! Life on Zanzibar

Hello everyone,

Welcome, or as we say in Swahili : Karibu to Zanzibar.
As you know from my former blogpost Mike and I went to Zanzibar on the 25th of November 2016. This feels and is, a long time ago already.
Ever since we have been here I wanted to write a blogpost. Little did I know that you will find gold easier then you will find good WiFi.
So many times have past by that I was walking on the beach and was thinking, this or that I have to tell the people at home trough my blog. But as ideas and stories in your head may come up, they will go as well. Now it is low season I have found the chance to come and tell you all about our life for the past 4 months. Take a drink and a snack and enjoy our story.

As you may not know Zanzibar is a small Island, and its actual name is Unguja and it is located in the Indian Ocean. It is one of the two islands of Tanzania, Pemba is the Island close to Zanzibar but less touristic. Zanzibars’ name comes originally from the Persians’ Zang-bar which means: black coast. Zanzibar has a history of slavery, in 1873 the slavery ended on Zanzibar under force of the British Navy. On the mainland of Tanzania the slavery ended after the first World War.

When we arrived on Zanzibar it was quit a shock for me, I had seen more of Africa than Mike (South Africa, Cape Verde, Tunisia & Egypt) but Zanzibar was more like you imagine Africa then all the others countries I’ve been combined. That said, Mike had never been tot Africa and he was really calm. We drove from the airport at around 10 o’clock in the evening together with our friends Frank & Janneke to a guesthouse named Bellevue. Frank & Janneke joined us the first two weeks on our adventure which was amazing. After two nights in the beautiful guesthouse of the owner of the Kitecenter,  it was time to go to the ‘Orange house’. The Orange house is the house Mike & I and most of the instructors live in for the season. It is directly in the center of Paje. Let me say it was quit an experience, imagine one of your worst experienced student houses you have ever been in, and then that is it. But as it is the same with everything, it just needs time to get used to it. Now it even feels like home! First thing we did was get all the old furniture out because we were sure we did not want to sit on it. We put on some white bed sheets on our bed and it looked like a hotel room. Big shout out to our friends who helped cleaning the house on their holiday. Although in three months we’ve cooked maybe 5 times in the ‘kitchen’ (the rest of the time we went out for dinner) I am going to miss the house. It learned us to be happy with everything you have in the Netherlands. It was very nice to live together with people, the more the merrier I always say.

So this was where our adventure began, then it was time to explore the village and the beach (and our workplace) of Paje. The village is how you expect Africa to be. Houses of stone, with no or little furniture and little or no electricity or running water. People mostly live their lives outside of the house on the street, cooking, washing, socializing and working. As the main religion of Zanzibar is Muslim you will see the women’s dressed up in long dresses and head scarfs, sometimes you will see the man wearing a hat as well. The first thing you will notice is that there are children playing everywhere. From sunrise (6am) until sunset (between 6 and 7 pm) the village will be lively and children are playing outside. When it is dark outside the people live there lives inside their houses, notice that there are no street lanterns on Zanzibar. Dark is dark, do not forget to look up because you will see the most beautiful sky you have ever seen. The stars are so bright, it happened many times that I was falling face forward because I spent my time walking with my head up looking to the sky.

In Zanzibar you will not even walk with your head up to gaze at the stars at night, you will look up because of the many, I state many palm trees there are. You will look up to them to watch out if you don’t get a coconut on the top of your head. Falling coconuts are more dangerous than sharks you know.. We experienced a few coconuts and palm leaves falling down, you don’t want them on top of your head. On another note you really don’t have to be ”scared” of the people on Zanzibar, they are super friendly, always saying; ”Jambo”’or ”Karibu” which means hello and welcome. In our eyes the people are very poor, but they do not see themselves that way. Most of the times there is enough food to provide for the family and water out of a put or tank close by. The difference with us is that they do not care so much about how they look, and how their house looks like. You will find little furniture in their houses, just because they live their lives outside and they do not care so much as we do. People watch television in a local cafe so they do not have to have one at home. What is important in the lives of the Zanzibaris’ is dancing, like all African people they have an amazing feeling for rhythm.

Back to the reason why we were in Zanzibar. We managed a kitesurfschool called Kitecentre Zanzibar from December until half of March. In the peak season (christmas and springbreak holidays) we where with a group of 13 instructors. For me managing a kiteschool was a whole new experience, Mike has been managing a kiteschool before in the Netherlands. It was a really good experience and I gained a lot of knowledge about how to run your own business. I also know that at this moment in my life it is not the responsibility I want to have. This is also the reason why we decided to not stay for another season (June until October) which was originally the plan. I decided that if I had a gap year I should not be working more than I did back at home. That is why we decided to go back as kitesurf instructors and make our money that way while travelling in between. Currently we are working in Morocco for KiteWorldWide.

We had a great time living on Zanzibar and learned lots of different things about life. We found it amazing that our friends Frank, Janneke, Hanneke, Robin and my parents came by to visit us on this beautiful Island. I will write up a next blogpost about the 10 best places to go and to do in Zanzibar. Keep an eye out for that!
Zanzibar is a beautiful Island which I can recommend to everyone!

With love,

Irina

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WHAT?! Yes we are moving abroad!

Hello everyone,

Today I have a totally different story for you because we are moving? WHAT?! Yes, we have lived in Scheveningen, (the Hague) for the last three years together and now we are off on a big adventure. I always wanted to travel the world, but I knew that it was important to finish my studies first. After I finished University in 2015 I had no money to go on my dream trip around the world. I decided to work for a year or longer (it turned out to be a year and one month) and when we had the money to go we would. And so we did.

You know the feeling of continious unrest deep inside of you? That you want to go out and explore the world? I had that feeling every damn day. It is not that I am not satisfied with the place and people surrounding me right now, but the unknown keeps calling me. For sure I am going to miss my family & friends!

In the beginning of this year we saw a vacancy to work in a guesthouse in Zanzibar. I told Mike and he said that we should react to it. Half an hour later we had send an email. Soon we got a reaction back that the owner liked our story but that we were not the right fit to run their guesthouse. On the other hand he told us that he had another vacancy that was just the right fit for us. The vacancy we then applied for was for managing a kitesurfschool in Zanzibar. And so it went, a few months later we were hired and our job starts the 1th of December 2016 in Zanzibar.

Our plan at first was a whole lot different then it is now. Origally we planned to go to the UK, then the USA, Hawaii and New Zealand. Unfortunately this trip is really expensive and we do not have the money to pay for this trip. Instead of that we chose to work on our trip and saw the amazing opportunity to work, travel and combine this with our passion which is kitesurfing.

I want to give you a few tips when you are planning to go away for a long period. In this case we are going to Africa. Africa is a whole lot different then Europe so you know you have to make some adjustments. The owner of the kitesurfschool provided a house for us. In the house there is only a bed and some kitchen stuff. That means, that we need to bring bedding, pillows, and all that sort of homestuff. Book some extra weight or an extra suitcase. We booked two suitcases for 25 kilogram.

Pack light, bring the important stuff like medicins (depending on your destination), and an adaptor which you can use in the specific country you are going to. Make sure you bring an emergency kit, take a scissors and some towels and desinfection ). It is more important to bring medical and handy stuff such as a small piece of rope and nails to hang your musquito net for example, instead of a bunch of clothes. Important is anti mosquito reppellent especially because we travel in a zone where you can get various diseases trough a mosquito bite. Make sure your passport is valid six months after you plan to come back. Make sure you get the vaccinations which are required. For more information check the website of your ministry of foreign affairs or contact your doctor.

Make sure you save enough money not only for the trip but also for before the trip. Mike and I needed vaccinations which already costs E1000 in the Netherlands. Some of it got covered by the insurance but most of it not because we needed 8 vaccinations per person. You also need another few honderds of euro’s for medicins, suncare, visa’s and for example some new clothes (wetsuits)  and footwear you need for your destination.

It is always fun too study the place your are going to before hand and learn some of the basic words of the language too! We are learning Swahili now to understand the locals and speak in their mother tongue. In Zanzibar almost all the people speak English too so that makes life very easy.

We arrived the 25th of November at Zanzibar (Unguja) Island and we will stay untill the 17th of March.
We will keep you up to date with all our adventures and how our daily life in Zanzibar (Paje) looks like.

With love, Irina

 

 

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Lissabon, through the eyes of a local

Hello everyone,

Welcome back to another travel story on this blogspot. This time it wasn’t me that was travelling this beautiful planet earth.  Prepare yourself for all the great food hotspots, (who doesn’t like food??) in Lisbon! My friend Daphne lived in Portugal for 5 months and she wrote this amazing piece of work about all the must-visiting places in Lisbon.

”She said :After 5 months living close to Lisbon I am eager to share you my fav spots in this fantastic capital!”

Bambu
Let’s begin with this cosy place on the Avenida da Liberdade. This is a street with high-end fashion stores, it is a 10 minute walk from the city centre. At first sight, Bambu looks like an ordinary kiosk but in fact it has an awesome city vibe. Friendly staff, good music and even better tasty vegetarian-, Asian and Thai food.  Even locals will make a stop on the terrace of Bambu to enjoy the Thai curry soup, homemade ginger lemonade, vegetarian salad (picture), or an afternoon cocktail.  Already hungry? This are the opening times: Every day from 10:00-02:00, Address: Avenida da Liberdade 13. Good to know: Free Wifi

bambu

Fabrica Lisboa
You are searching for a heavenly brunch? This is the place! Besides the best cheesecake in town they also have different croissants, sandwiches and salades. And not to forget fresh juices and a good espresso. Great way to start your day! These are the opening times: Monday closed, Tue-Fri 08:00-20:00 in the weekends from 9 am till 7 pm. Address: Rua dua Madalena 121.

fabrica

Gelados Santini
I think I can say I am a hardcore ice cream lover and in Lisbon I was searching for good ice cream and guess what?! I found the best! Santini is located in the Time Out Market as well in the city centre. Everyone wants a scoop of Santini, take note because the waiting line is very long. But I didn’t wait longer than half hour and it was totally worth it! My favorite flavors are raspberry, greek joghurt and mango. These are the opening times: Everyday from 11 am till noon. Address: Rua do Carmo 9 (city centre) and Avenida 24 de Julho 49 (Time Out Market).

gelados santini

LX Factory
If you like the Foodhallen in Amsterdam or the Fenix Food Factory in Rotterdam you will love the LX Factory in Lisbon. As the name can tell LX was an old textile factory outside the city. It is well transformed into a wonderful mishmash of art, food and shops. Take the elevator to the roof terrace to have a great cityview (picture), get a fresh haircut at the hairdresser or take a look in the bookstore. These are the opening times: Everyday from 11 am till noon. Address: Rua do Carmo 9 (city centre) and Avenida 24 de Julho 49 (Time Out Market).

lx factory 2

Good to know: There is more to do in the weekends for example the first weekend of May there is a beer festival (Pátio da Cerveja) at the factory, must-see (and drink)!

Esplanada da mata
This hotspot is still a bit unknown so expect to see only locals here. If you need to escape from the crowdy vibe in the city centre just go the park; José Gomes Ferreira, also called Mata de Alvalade. In this park, near the airport, you can find the small bar Esplanada da mata. They have German beer, tasty sandwiches and real organic juices.  And if this didn’t make you enthusiastic enough, they also have great live music in summer. On their Facebook page you can see who is playing when. Opening times: Mon-Fri 12:00-22:00 and in the weekend from 10 am till 10 pm. Address: Avenida Almirante Gago Coutinho, Parque José Gomes Ferreira.

esplanada de mata

Good to know: The bar doesn’t open when it rains

Lost In
Another hidden secret in the city is the Lost in. This hotspot is in Bairro Alto (‘’the Upper hood’’), a district in Lisbon with the best atmosphere, at least in my opinion. From the outside you will think it is a clothing store but if you walk through the shop all the way to the terrace you will be amazed! The umbrella’s and couches in all the bright colors give the small venue the extra touch and you just want to take a powernap in the shadow. But don’t forget to order the delicious homemade lemonade and dito spinach salade, you will not be disappointed.

lost in 3

The place is always really crowdy with mostly locals so go early if you want to have a spot with a great city view! Opening times: Mondays from 4 pm till noon and the rest of the week it opens already at 12:30. Address: Rua Dom Pedro V 58. Good to know: Lost in also has a less fancier restaurant without terrace places on number 56. 


lost in 2
lost in

Park
When your in the area of Bairro Alto you must go to the best roof terrace in Lisbon called Park. It can be a bit difficult to find because it is on the top of a garage. Just go in the elevator at the beginning of the garage and go to the top floor. Take the stairs to enter the terrace of Park. The view is breathtaking and also the atmosphere is so relax you just want to sit there all day. And why not? The place is also amazing in the evenings, just sit back and relax, drink a few Park cocktails and enjoy the live music. On the Facebook page of Park you will find an exact summermonths schedule with different DJ’s. Opening times: Mondays from 1 pm till 2 am and closed on Sundays. Address: Calcada do Combro 58

park

Tartine
I already told you about a great brunch spot (Fabrica Lisboa) but nobody can have enough brunch spots right? With my roommate and good friend Joy we started our ‘Foodie day’ with breakfast in this place and it was so delightful I can recommend it to everyone. Joy had scrambled eggs and toast and I ordered granola with organic yoghurt. But we looked at the other full tables and everything they have looked tasteful. I can’t wait to return and have a grand brunch! Opening times: Mon-Thu 08:00-20:00 and in the weekend they open at 10 am. Address: Rua Serpa Pinto 15a.

Time Out Market/ Mercado da Ribeira
I hope I made you enthusiastic to visit Lisbon and if you do so there is absolutely one place you can’t skip. Mercado da Ribeira is one big modern indoor market with a lot of different high quality food stalls. I went there with Joy but also with my friends who came to visit and it always was a lovely experience.time out marktet 2

market

‘’What do you want to eat today?’’ is the only question to worry about in this eat walhalla. The market offers –ofcourse- a lot of typical Portuguese food but you will also find delicious Pad Thai, sushi and ice cream (Santini). The prices are maybe a bit higher than you are used too but it will be one of the best markets you will ever visit!  Opening times: Sun-Wed 10:00-00:00 and Thu-Sat 10:00-02:00. Address: Avenida 24 de Julho 49.

 

time out markte

I hope you enjoyed my blogpost. I had fun trying and finding all this great food and hidden gems in Lisbon!

With Love, and have a great day Daphne.

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Ibiza 2016

Hello everyone,

Welcome to another travel story from me. This time we, Mike and I, went back to Ibiza.
We have been to Ibiza or Eivissa as the locals say in August 2013. We were amazed back then how beautiful the island was that we definitely wanted to come back. This January we saw some cheap tickets for the month May and we immediately booked them. So the 6th of May we went back for a week to the lovely Eivissa.

Our hotel 

I will give you a small overview of the things we have done in Ibiza and some tips to go for dinner. Maybe one day when you are going to Ibiza you can enjoy these tips & tricks! When we went to Ibiza in 2013 we stayed in a small hotel in San Antonio because it was cheap and at the time I was still a student so everything that was cheap sounded perfectly fine to me. This time, since we both have full time jobs we wanted something more Ibiza luxe life during our holiday. We stayed in Santos Ibiza Coast Suites, a more luxury hotel right by the Strip, the big clubs in Ibiza and the hotel is at the beach called Playa d’n Bossa.

our hotel
Santos Ibiza Coast suites

Transport on Ibiza 

One of the must do’s in Ibiza is renting a car. The best way to rent a car is booking your car online before you go to Ibiza. If you are looking for a rental car on the Island itself or at the airport you pay double the price you would when you book it in advance from home online. We booked a car from Sunny cars and it all went perfect. Going around Ibiza by car is the easiest way of transport. There are busses and taxi’s too. But because there are a lot of mountain roads in Ibiza usually the busses and taxi’s will not go there. And that is a shame, because beyond those mountain roads you will end up on the most beautiful beaches and bay’s. You can also rent a scooter or quad in Ibiza, but then you have to drive your scooter or quad on the motorway… Rent a car if you can!

What to do when staying in Ibiza, from beaches to hippy markets

Because we went ”off-season” we had to plan to go to certain markets and places because they were not open everyday. We arrived on Friday so I will start with our planning from there on. On Saturday we went to the hippy market Las Dalias. This was my favorite hippy market. This one is a little  bit smaller then the hippy market in Punta Arabi. Don’t be mistaken by the word market, because it is not a cheap one! The prices of the clothing and accessoires are the same as you would buy clothes here in the Netherlands. Either way we bought some cool stuff at the Hippy markets. The best thing to do on a Sunday is going to Cala Benirras. From 5 o’clock in the afternoon untill the sun goes down the real hippies, ”the older island people”, come together and they drum the sun down. Grab a beer, and dance the evening away! It is a great place to go for people and children of all ages!

Hippy Market Ibiza
A top I bought at Las Dalias

Another event that took place when we where in Ibiza was the Medieval. It was a festival in the old town of Ibiza where people wear original clothing that the people used to wear in the middle ages and there were foodstands everywhere and people showed old handcrafts. It was a lot of fun. This fesitval takes place every year in the beginning of May. Make sure to visit the old town of Ibiza! In the evening it is a great place to grab some drinks and dinner in the old town or at the harbour area of Ibiza nearby the old town.

On Wednesday we went to another hippy market at Punta Arabi. This is the original and the biggest hippy market in Ibiza. We did not like this one because it is so big and way too crouded. But we still bought some fun bits. On the other days we explored the island by car. Make sure to go and watch the sunset at the viewpont near Cala d’Hort to see Es Vedra. Es Vedra is a 380 meters high rock in the sea and together with the sunset this gives a magical view. Also Cafe del Mar is known to be a great place to watch the sun set in Ibiza!

In front of Es Vedra
In front of Es Vedra

Exploring Ibiza and finding new beautiful beaches everywhere you go is the best thing about Ibiza. When I went I was kind of stressed out because I wanted to see the most beautfiul beaches and that in only 7 days. But don’t worry, do not plan too much because everywhere you end up is gorgeous. One of our favorite beaches were:

Cala Tarida; Cala de Sant Vincent; Platja de Figuerettes; Cala Jondal; s’Aiqua Blanca; Cala Xaracca and Cala Talamanca.  It is to hard to pick a favorite! If you really want to see a beautiful Caribbean looking beach then you have to go to Formentera Island. Hop on to a ferry and go to the nearby island (30 minutes on a ferry) Formentera. We did not went this year because we wanted to explore Ibiza but we went three years ago and it was A-MA-ZING.

Cala de Sant Vincent

If you have some spare time visit the home store Cocoq. It is located close to Santa Eularia, have a nice wonder around and don’t try to buy everything. If you have a rainy day or four like we had go to Cova de Can Marca. This are one of the oldest caves in Ibiza, it is a fun thing to do!

Just go and explore the Island, from beaches to harbours to the old town. You will find a gem everytime you go around another corner.

Eating in Ibiza

Can we take a little moment for all the amazing beachbars and restaurants in Ibiza? I give you a view of my recommendations you MUST go to.

Cheers to good times in Ibiza

Amante, with a beautiful sight over the sea this restaurant in the rocks is one of the most beautiful places I have ever visted. This restaurant is in the mid-price range. I had a goat cheese salad, what can go wrong? Favorite food at my favorite place in Ibiza. Amante is located on the right side of the Island at a viewpoint called Sol d’en Serra. The next restaurant on top of my list is Cotton Beach Club at Cala Tarida. Everything is so Ibiza white, you want a luxury lunch or dinner? Go to Cala Tarida, which is one of the best beaches in Ibiza and make a visit to the Cotton Beach club, it is located on the left side of the Island.

Lunch at Cotton Beach Club
Lunch at Cotton Beach Club

When we were in Ibiza Town we had dinner at the famous La Bodega tapas restaurant. It is a place a lot A LOT of Dutch people go, but it is worth it.This restaurant is at the mid-price range. Another restaurant with a beautiful view is Sa Punta, overlooking old Ibiza town and the harbour from the other side. The restaurant is close to Cala Talamanca. I had the best Apple Martini cocktail ever. The last place I will talk about is Cafe La Paloma in San Lorenzo. When you walk into La Paloma Cafe it feels like walking into a lost paradise from a Cinderella movie. Make sure to bring cash money because you can’t pay with card in this restaurant. After all the expensive dinners and drinks it is understandable if you want a cheap meal for once. Go to San Antonio for a cheap burger or pizza!

Delicious lunch at La Paloma Cafe with the juiciest juices

Some other hyped and good restaurants in Ibiza are: Blue Marlin located at Cala Jondal, Nikki beach close to Santa Eularia, Elements (fun place to eat at Cala Benirass) and Restaurant Cicale in San Juan a good Italian restaurant.

So much for this blogpost. If you want more recommendations leave a comment down below! We did not went to the clubs because we were off-season and there were no good parties to go to. We had a poolparty at our hotel and some late night dinners and drinks at the restaurants and that was it!

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Hope you are having a lovely day.
With love, Irina

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A trip to Ireland

Hello everyone,

Recently I went on a 5-day trip to Ireland, everybody asked me: What are you going to do in Ireland in March, it is freezing! We were lucky with the weather, we even got a slight tan! I can highly recommend going to Ireland, no matter the weather. I will give you an overview of the do’s and don’ts in Ireland.

We flew with Ryanair from Eindhoven to Dublin for only 67 euro, so a trip to Ireland doesn’t have to be that expensive. The flight to Ireland only takes up 1 hour and 40 minutes. From the airport it is very easy to travel by bus, or as they call it ‘coach’, to Dublin city centre.

We had booked a Bed & Breakfast in Dublin via Booking.com. Easy as it is, there is plenty of choice. We were located just outside the centre, which is perfect otherwise your hotel is located where the bars are and you will have a lot of noise outside your hotel/B&B.

Things to do in Dublin and surrounding area’s

Ireland is a bigger country than the Netherlands, but the country has only 6 million citizens.
1 million people live in Dublin, the city is easy to walk around in. Don’t go on the hop-on-hop-off bus only if you’re not able to walk a lot. In around 30 minutes you can walk from one side of the city to the other.

We went to Trinity College, this is the highlight of the things you can see in Dublin. The college is very old dated from 1592 and still in use as a college for bachelor and master studies. The long room will take your breath away, so many old books and history lies there. I found it very inspirational, a must see!

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After going to Trinity College we fancied something relaxing and a beer so we went to the Guinness Storehouse. In the storehouse you can walk around 6 floors to learn everything about Guinness beer, how its made, where its made from and you learn a little bit about the history of Ireland. At the 7th floor you will enter the Gravity bar which has a 360 view over the City.

If you fancy a stroll around the park you must go to Phoenix Park close to the Guinness Storehouse, it is one of the largest parks in a city in Europe. The park is very clean and has lots of benches you can sit on.

For shopping Ireland has plenty to offer, you can go to Grafton and O’Connell street for the most regular shops like Topshop and Urban Outfitters. Or you can go to the streets on the side of the above mentioned main streets and you will find some cute little boutiques and a Chanel & Louis Vuitton store.

A day trip to Howth is a must do when you are visiting Dublin. It takes up to 20 to 30 minutes per DART (kind of a mix between a metro and train) and costs around 6 euro for a retour ticket. Howth is beautiful and well-known for its cliff walks. You can choose how long you want to walk, we choose to purple road. It said 10 km. But in the end it was around 15 kilometer, it took us 4,5 hours of climbing up-and-down a mountain but the view was worth every sour muscle in my body! I highly recommend a trip to Howth. A don’t in Howth is eating at the ‘famous’ fish & chips place, the food was rubbish and super fat. Instead of going there I recommend going to a real restaurant in the area.

dav

dav
Cliff walk in Howth

Another trip that is a must if you are in Dublin for more then three days is a trip to the Wicklow Mountains. You can easily book it at the Information Centre (for tourists) in the city. It costs around 28 euro’s and you have an entire tour through the Wicklow Mountains including a 2 hour walk, visiting the Guinness lake and seeing the P.S. I love you Bridge.
For the record, P.S. I love you and many more films and series are shot in the Wicklow mountains, also my favorite series at the moment Reign! Make sure you have a good night rest before you go on this trip.

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The Wicklow Mountains

Last but not least you have to visit a pub when you are in Ireland. I grew up with listening to Irish music because my parents love it so much. The vibe in the pubs is amazing and you will start dancing when the live music starts to play, no matter if it is on a Monday afternoon or an a wild Saturday night… Some pub recommandations are; the Temple Bar, the Auld Dubliner, O’Donoghues pub, the Celt and Stags Head.

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Sloucha (cheers in Gealic!)

Where to eat

I have a few recommandations where we have been to go out for food.

For Breakfast go to Kilkenny on Nassau Street. For lunch Elephant & Castle in the Temple Bar area is delightful, order an omelet after a night out with to many pints of Guinness and you will feel human again. KC Peaches has more than one restaurant in Dublin and serve delicious & healthy food. I also recommend Chopped for on the go salads.

For the best tarte or pie you have to go to Queen of Tarts which is a pastry shop with a few seats. Try the Baileys cheesecake and you will taste a little bit of heaven in your mouth.

For dinner we sometimes skipped dinner, because we were so tired of walking around and just ate a bag of popcorn and then fall asleep. But we can highly recommend eating at Crackbird. The restaurant only serves dishes with chicken but we honestly ate the best chicken wings ever, but then in a restaurant with super awesome side dishes. For an easy and cheap quick bite you can go to  Bobo’s Burgers, good burgers and not to expensive. For other restaurant recommandations I recommend you to go on to tripadvisor because there are soooooo many (good) restuarants in Dublin. There is to much to chose from!

I hope you enjoyed this blogpost and I wish you all a good day!

Thanks to Jantine for giving us tips for going to Howth and going to Queen of Tarts!

With love, Irina (& Mike)

bty


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Bruggenloop in Rotterdam

Hoi iedereen,

Hé, is deze blog nu in het Nederlands? Voor deze keer wilde ik graag een blog in het Nederlands schrijven dit omdat het onderwerp ook leuker is voor de Nederlanders onder ons. Het is eindelijk zover, er gaat hopelijk een item van mijn bucketlist afgestreept worden deze winter. Op zondag 13 december gaan Daphne en ik 15 kilometer hardlopen tijdens de Bruggenloop in Rotterdam die onder andere over de Erasmusbrug en de van Brienenoordbrug zal gaan. Nu wil ik jullie graag meenemen op de reis naar de run toe via mijn blog! Ik loop sinds een paar maanden hard, hardlopen is iets waar ik een enorme aversie tegen heb maar het houd je fit. Hardlopen is eigenlijk een vervanger op de momenten dat ik niet kan kiten, vanwege geen tijd of geen wind. Fit blijven vind ik heel belangrijk, en hardlopen en zwemmen zijn een van de meest effectieve manieren om ook daadwerkelijk fit te blijven. De eerste paar keer hardlopen was zwaar, heftig en mentaal slopend. Ondertussen gaat het lekker, de mentale strijd wordt minder, de kilometers leuker en ik heb het ideale rondje gevonden om er even snel en lekker tussenuit te zijn. Elke week loop ik hard met mijn hardloopmaatje Liselot, we hebben hetzelfde tempo en we kletsen elke week lekker bij over alle ontwikkelingen in ons dagelijks leven.

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Hier in Scheveningen zijn er veel plekken waar je goed kunt hardlopen, de duinen en het strand zijn toch wel mijn favoriet. ‘S avonds net na het werk met een zonsondergang erbij langs de waterlijn is een ideale plek om je werk en alles achter je te laten en eens lekker te ontspannen tijdens het hardlopen. Op het strand hardlopen is wel wat zwaarder dan op een harde ondergrond hardlopen maar dit is de ideale manier om je zitvlees strak in vorm te krijgen. Het wordt hard werken de komende weken, ik loop nu elke keer (2 keer in de week) 7 kilometer per keer en we moeten naar een vlotte 15. Bikkelen dus, en voor deze speciale gelegenheid ben ik maar gelijk even gaan shoppen. Een paar nieuwe rappe trappers en een hardlooplegging rijker (de loop is in de winter dus wat warms aan de benen kan geen kwaad) ben ik qua kleding alvast helemaal klaar voor de 15 kilometer. Nu de conditie nog! Ik hou jullie op de hoogte van de ontwikkelingen & natuurlijk komt er een uitgebreide rapportage na de run op 13 december.

New Balance , Bjorn Borg

Liefs, Irina

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Top ten.. Youtubers!

Hello everyone,

Welkom back at my blog, today it is all about my top ten Youtubers I love watching. I started watching beauty videos and following youtubers around five years ago. I have been watching most of the people listed below for as long as I watch Youtube. Who hasn’t started watching beauty videos of Juicystar07 and Allthatglitters21? These two sisters where one of the first girls who become famous and rich because of doing Youtube videos! I still like the Fowler sisters but these are my top ten Youtubers I love watching right now.

The people I watch today are moslty people from the United Kingdom and some people from the U.S.

  1. Fleur de Force from Fleurdeforce and Fleurdevlog
    Fleur is just a mega babe, and a hard working girl! It is so cool to see how much she has achieved in the last years. She has written a book and she just released her own make-up line. Fleur is lives in the countryside of the United Kingdom but she also has an appartment in London. She travels a lot for work, and vlogs every other month every single day! With 3 dogs, 2 cats a great husband who features a lot in the vlogs too, and sometimes even vlogs for her Fleurs’ channel and vlogs are filled with good madness!
  2. Zoe Sugg from Zoella and Morezoella 
    With 9 million subscribers Zoe is one of the most famous Youtube stars in the world. She has achieved a lot you can say for sure. Zoe is very open about her life and all the stuff that happens in your twenties, that is why people can easily relate to her. Her vlogs are amazing to watch and perfect if you want to have a half an hour break from your day (mostly her vlogs are 30!! minutes, just amazing). With a bestseller book and another one coming out soon and two beauty ranges Zoe proved that Youtubers are true entrepeneurs! Zoe Sugg is based in Brighton, a pretty city at the Southern coastline of the United Kingdom.
  3. Claudia Sulewski, from Claudia Sulewski
    Claudia is one of the Youtubers I watched from the beginning, and at the time she just started Youtube. She has grown a lot since! From a high school teenager to a hard working girl in Los Angeles. Claudia enjoys life with a funny twist and a great style! Her style is very inspirational and her fashion videos are to die for! She also has a vlogging channel which I do not watch often but every year around christmas time she puts up some fun vlogs at Beyondbeautystartv. 
  4. Ingrid Nilsen from Ingrid Nilsen and TheGridmonster
    Ingrid is amazing, and she is full of life lessons. On her main channel she puts up amazing beauty, fashion, food and home decor videos and on her second channel, which is also her vlogging channel Ingrid uploads life lessons videos called 5 minutes for us. This is game changing, every youtuber is constantly seeking for new content, Ingrid found it. In the 5 seconds for us videos Ingrid talks about problems in life in 5 minutes, this can be loss, jalousy, stress, anxiety and so on. She inspires me every single time! Ingrid is also based in Los Angeles and sometimes, whenever she wants she decides to stay in New York for a while.
  5. Amelia Liana, username is also Amelia Liana
    Amelia, there is just no one like her. I love her, she is so generous and kind in her videos. Amelia has one channel on which she uploads all her videos including her vlogs. But the main reason you should follow her is because she is so funny and not scared to make fun of herself. Amelia takes the best Instagram pictures ever (those outfits though, my goodness they are beaut). Follow her Instagram @amelialiana. Amelia is based in London.
  6. Lily Pebbles username is also Lily Pebbles
    Lily is also London based, very recently she got engaged and moved in together with her boyfriend. Lily knows how to do Youtube. If you want honest opinions, great content and footage go over to Lily’s channel. Lily also has only one channel on which she both upload her vlogs and beauty videos. Lily knows all the best spots there are in London and she takes you with her on her trips to all the best restaurants and places in and around London in her vlogs. I don’t have anything else to say that Lily is just one of my favorite Youtubers of all time! P.s. her weekly vlogs are worth waiting for every tuesday.
  7. Vivianna, or Anna from Viviannadoesmakeup
    Anna just moved to Brighton where she lives together with her boyfriend. Anna is the best friend of Lily, together they are the best besties you can imagine. They make very fun footage together. Anna has an amazing blog as does Lily too but I admire her so much for putting up a blog everyday and her writing style is sooo good! Her Youtube channel is also very organized, perfect, never a dull video with Anna. She goes for it the full 100% and deserves all the support in the world! Anna used to do weekly vlogs every week which where awesome but now they are missing a little bit. But hey, you can still follow her in her everyday life stories on her blog!
  8. Estee Lalonde, from Estee Lalonde and EverydayEstee
    Estee is the best friend of Amelia. Estee is just Estee, there is no other like her. Her vlogs are a perfect escape of the day, the way how she loves her dog Reggie is heartwarming and her boyfriend features a lot in her videos as well.
  9. Alfie Deyes, Pointlessblog and Pointlessblogvlogs
    Alfie is the only guy youtuber I am following. He is one of the most well-known vloggers in the world!  With two books, a lot of merchandise and a wax figure of him and his girlfriend Zoe (which I mentioned at point 2) in Madame Tussaud in London you can say he has succeeded in his Youtube career! Alfie has a main channel, which I sometimes follow but mostly I watch his everyday vlogs. Could you imagine filming every day of your life? He does the most funny things for the camera and he is obsessed with weird gadgets which makes his videos very funny!
  10. Niomi Smart from Niomi Smart
    Niomi is a beautiful girl who lives in London. I love Niomi’s healthy eating and working out videos. Since a while Niomi tries to eat vegan, and she has come up with so many fun and delicious recepies. If you are in for a healthy vibe, go over to Niomi’s channel.

In the last months I discovered some other channels which I also really love!

  1. Freddy My Love
  2. Inthefrow
  3. Icovetthee

Go check them out and show #teaminternet some support! Have a great day, with love Irina♡

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Quick bites (for at work)

Hello everyone,

I just started working at an office which I am really exited about. The only thing that concerned me when started working was eating healthy. I can be that very lazy person who will spend her (lunch)breaks in the canteen/cafetaria. I am a 100%  motivated to avoid that! Today I will share with you my quick bites which don’t even require a knife or a vork. These quick bites will keep you full and be able to live a healty lifestyle at work.

1. A good breakfast is key, if you start the day with something filling like oats and grains it will help you to feel awake, energized and full. Ready to start the day! I usually start the day with a bowl of oats with some low fat yoghurt. Another tip is to take time for your breakfast if you have trouble with eating in the morning because it is better to have breakfast than not to.

Oats

2. Fruits & Veggies. Take a tupperware box with you or something you can keep your fruit and vegetables in. Take fruit and vegetables with you that you love to eat, then you are more likely to actually eat them during the day. I brought some cherry tomatoes and some grapes.

Tomatoes

3. Lets go nuts. Nuts are full of vitamins and will give you energy. You only need a handful to keep yourself healthy and fit. My choice of nuts are walnuts and cashews nuts.

cashew nuts

4. Go back in the day and make yourself happy with some raisins. As a kid I used to get raisins as a snack from my grandmother because it is a healthy snack. So why not use raisins as a snack when you are older? Raisins are full of vitamins, fibers and minerals.

Raisins

5. When it is 4 o’clock I need a pick me up. Fruit, nuts and vegetables will not do at this point. That is where I need my bouillon, or cup of soup. The saltness wakes me up!

bouillon

Have a nice day everybody. With love Irina ♡

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Scheveningen Pier

Hello everyone,

Just like the famous Santa Monica Pier in the United States, we have a less famous one in the Netherlands located in Scheveningen (the Hague). The Pier in Scheveningen opened in 1961 and was closed in 2013. After renovation this year the Pier is reopend in July 2015. There are many new cool things to do and look at on the Pier so I thought I would share some pictures with you. It is an absolute must do or see when you are in the neighbourhood, it feels like you walk into a foodfestival. Where there is food, life is good.

Here are some pictures of the bars & foodtrucks at the Scheveningen Pier.

On the 28th of August we ate burgers at Pickles, Burgers & Wines. It was soo goood. I actually want one right now! The seasoning over the fries is just to die for.

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The entrance of the Scheveningen Pier

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One of the bars at the Pier

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Lovely gelato’s at the Pier.

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Good looking spaces to chill out with a view over the sea.

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A Flammkuchen foodtruck, so many choices!

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At the end of the Pier there are two restaurants, the Pier North and the Pier South. Both spaces have something unique.

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When the weather is good you can also eat on top of the Pier.

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Come out and take a look lovely people!

Have  nice day, with love Irina


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