Category: Travel

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

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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.

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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).

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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).

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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.

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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. 


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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

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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.

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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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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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AirBnB a must try!

Hello everyone,

Last weekend I was in France in Dunkerque and had my second AirBnB experience. It was Mike’s 27th birthday and as far as he did know we would go to France together. He did not know that two friends of us came on this trip too, we had a little surprise event planned at their house and after telling Mike that instead of just the two of us it would be with the four of us it was time to start the roadtrip to France. I had rent an AirBnB house near Dunkerque which is a surf spot in the North of France. For you who don’t know what AirBnB is I will explain it! AirBnB is a website that makes it possible for everyone to rent houses all over the world. The offer is huge, from renting a treehouse to luxury villa’s in Ibiza. Whatever you like AirBnB has it. Sometimes you prefer the cozyness of a real house instead of a hotel room. This weekend we were with friends, and cooking together and playing games around the table was one of the main things we wanted to do, just chilling out! We found that a house was a better surrounding to relax together then a hotel room.

happy birthday

AirBnB is very user-friendly, just type in the place where you want to go and when and the website will automatically show you which houses are available at that time and place and for which price. You can fill in the maximum amount you want to spend per night and how many nights you want to stay too. Be aware that with most of the houses you have to stay the minimum amount of two nights if you want to rent it. Don’t be scared to try, all places and people are checked by AirBnB itself, you don’t have to be scared that it is a waste of money. Always check out the references, they will tell you if the house was exactly like it looked like on the pictures, how the owners are and what the plus and downsides are of this house!

We stayed in this lovely little cottage with a nice garden and a balcony inside the house. We really wanted to stay! Click on the link for more pictures of the house!

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Another plus side of renting a house on the AirBnB website is that the owners of the house are most of the times locals of the area you are staying in. They can give you the best tips on which things to visit and which not! When we stayed in Dunkerque we went to a town called Bergues (Bergen) and we had a stroll around the city wall. After that we ate some celebratory icecreams! We had the best time, thanks to AirBnB and the owners of the cottage.

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Have a nice day everybody, with love Irina ♡

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Festival Survival Tips

Hello everyone,

You may have noticed that I went to a festival for my birthday(party). I went to Solar festival in the South of the Netherlands in Roermond. I went for three days with a total group of eight. When you are going to a weekend or festival you have to stay over at the festival camping. Here are my festival survival tips!

1 Pack light
Do not overpack. You have to carry a tent, an inflatable bed, a sleeping bag and a towel that is already heavy enough. Try to bring enough socks and underwear so you are clean for sure in those areas. Bring one sweater for the nighttime but bring only one outfit a day! You can wear your shorts the whole weekend, no problem!

2 Pack easy to carry bags
In the end how many or how less you pack it is always irritating to carry all your lugage from the bus to the camping area. In the summer it is hot, you get sweaty and if your stuff drops all the time you will be unhappy by the time you arrive at the camping. It does not matter how much you pack but pack easy to carry bags. Choose a backpack, or as I did a kitesurfbag and you will fit almost all your stuff in there. You put it on your back and your ready to go!

3 Help your friends and the other way around
Do you have a spare hand left? Does someone need help with putting their tent together? Help eachother! The sooner you are all ready to go to the party!

4 Bring mini size beauty related stuff 
Bring mini’s, mini shampoo or a two in one shampoo and bodywash and a mini toothpaste. It is so much easier to carry around. Also pack your liquids apart from your clothes, if they leak you have no clothes to wear.

5 Bring wipes, face, hand or body
This does not need much explanation. Festivals are dir to the tayyy. You get brown of dirt, beer and festival toilets. If you bring some wipes you feel refreshed and a lot better!

6 Bring something to sit on
This can be a towel or a mini-chair but after standing the whole day it is nice to relax in a seat or if you an sit on the floor before you go into bed or when you get out off bed.

7 Bring your breakfast or snack with you
After your first night of partying you wake up destroyed because you always party too hard the first night, it is just the excitement that has to go out I think. When the first morning arrives and the sun drives you out of your tent you want water and something to eat. Bring at least breakfast for the first morning with you. Some oatbars, apples, water or bread with spread. It will make the start of your day so much better. You do not have to stroll around to find some food in your clothes from yesterday with your hair all cray cray.

irina festival

8 Don’t mind getting dirty
When you are on a festival, you will get dirty. Do not be all Barbie like and freak out, that is not sexy. Grab a wipe, refresh your face and dance! I do not say that you should not think about your personal hygiene, there are showers on the camping and use them everyday! Wash your hands after you come from the festival toilet but do not overdo it.

9 Drink enough water

10 Bring cash money
Festival drinks and food are expensive. If you bring cash you will keep track of what youre spending. Make sure you hide your cash well enough if you leave it in the tent when you are going to the festival area.

Last but not least. ENJOY!

Hope you have a great summer everybody! With love, Irina

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Wednesday’s Finest

Hello everyone!

I know it has been a week since I last posted! But I have a good excuse, I was in France for a beautiful wedding of my cousin. The wedding feast lasted for three days! If you want to see some pictures head over to my Instagram account to take a sneak peak into my adventures in France. You also may notice that the website is going through some changes. This week there will be taken some new photo’s for the website and the lay-out will change. Keep your eyes pealed!

Today I will discuss my favorites of the last month and new discoveries with you in my Wednesday’s Finest!

1. My favorite perfume of the last month is Escada’s Turqouise Summer. Let me tell you, Escada knows how to rock summer scents!

2. My favorite nailpolish of this month will come as no surprise and it is the Rimmel London Ring a Ring O’Roses. This light pink makes every outfit perfect!

3. My favorite Youtuber and new discovery is Alix. Her youtube channel is icovetthee, this girl is so gorgeous she looks like Scarlett Johansson. I would love to meet her one day.

4.This month Mike surprised me and bought our first Lonely planet! It is the lonely planet about Hawaii. When reading this book I cannot wait to go, let the counting begin.

Lonely Planet Hawaii

5.With the lonely planet surprise came another gift from mike, he bought us a ‘treasure chest‘ in which we can collect our items we find on our trip. We already filled it with a necklace from Ibiza and a stone from Elba.

Treasure chest

6. My favorite outfit of this month comes from H&M.

H&M outfit

7. There have been quite a few events last month and those were all weddings. I loved them all so much, a wedding is such a beautiful thing to be a part of. Here is a picture of me and my cousins at her wedding last week in France.

Wedding France

8. Now summer is officially here I do not like to wear foundation, that is why the BodyShop BB cream is my favorite make-up item this month.

Bodyshop BB cream

9. My favorite Style Icon of this month is Whitney Port. Ever since the Hills started I loved her. I rewatched the City a hundred times, and still today she is an inspiration to me!

10. My favorite summer holiday is Ibiza, maybe, maybe we go again this summer. Fingers crossed!

I hope you enjoyed the blog. Do not forget to subscribe to be up to date!

Have a great day, with love Irina


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Roadtrip adventures in Italy

Hello everyone!

I have had a week off, Mike and I had a friend’s wedding in Italy and we decided to make it into a roadtrip holiday. Last year we also did a roadtrip and it was amazing, so we were ready for another roadtrip adventure this time in Italy! We left the 9th of June and drove to Colle Val D’elsa in Tuscany which was a long ride of 16 hours and 15 minutes. We booked a cute Bed&Breakfast near the location of the wedding the next day. For the red wine lovers amongst us the wedding was in Chianti in Castellina, Chianti is famous for its delicious red wine. It was the first time for us in Tuscany, a dream come true because I always wanted to go there. The best way to describe Tuscany in three words are hills, orange houses and food. Whilst we were in Tuscany we visited Sienna and it was amazing, one of the most beautiful cities I have ever seen. We had a nice dinner on the big ‘piazza’ or square as we say and ate huge icecreams and I felt like a real Italian for a minute. After two days it was time to go to our next destination: Rome.

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DCIM100GOPRO

We had a little bit of bad luck because we had a flat tire so we arrived at Rome a few hours later than planned. As soon as we landed at our Bungalow in a nice Bungalowpark in Rome we took the bus and metro to get to the heart of the city to get some dinner. Funny fact, when we were walking in Rome I thought that I saw the Pantheon, I took some photo’s and was pretty exited. After 200 meters of walking away from what I thought was the Pantheon was the real one, looking 10 times better than the ‘other Pantheon’. Make sure you know your statues everyone! We had a nice dinner in one of the streets full of restaurants around the Pantheon, we ate pasta carbonara which comes originally from Rome so we had to eat it whilst we were in Rome. The next day we had a full day in Rome, we were destined to see everything and we only had one day left. The good thing in Rome is that everything is within a walking distance from eachother. If you have the possibility to rent a bike do so, but I can recommend walking around Rome too! We did saw almost everyhting, we walked straight on for nine hours and then we went home.

Some of the highlights we saw
1. Pantheon
2. Collosseum (and went inside)
3. Forum Romanum (amazing and huge)
4. Spanish steps
5. Piazza Navona (nice artists around!)
6. Vatican city (only the outside because it was closed)
7. San Angelo church (Angels & Demons film)

Vatican city

Collosseum

After a few busy days it was time to drive to the beach (Piombino) and do some relaxing. Ofcourse always when we want to relax we cannot. As soon as we arrived in our appartement we made plans to go to Elba, on of the islands of Italy the next day. There was a nice restaurant on the beach close to our appartment where we ate for two nights in a row. It was amazing and I will insert some photo’s down below. We had a nice day at Elba and enjoyed our last day of our holiday, we stayed at Sansone beach apparently one of the nicest beaches in Elba and had some good fun!

Elba

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DCIM100GOPRO

I hope you enjoyed my travel diary and I would love to hear about your holiday plans for this summer! With love, Irina ♡

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