London

Hello there! It’s A again, this time I’m sharing with you a few of my experiences in London. Before I go any further, I think you should do know that the myth of London being gloomy, dark, miserable and raining all the time is a big, fat myth! I experienced London during the month of July, and well all I can say is it was fabulous!

The cheapest and most incredible experience I encountered in London was being surrounded by the wonderful sound of British accents. Be sure to have a conversation with some locals and learn about their culture (or pretend to be listening to what they are saying and enjoy the sound of their accents, just like I did!)

Confessions of a shopaholic: Shop, shop, shop till you drop!! One of the finest places for shopping in the heart of London is the mall ‘Harrods’. Harrods is the largest department store in Europe with the store covering an outstanding five acres of land! So if you love shopping, then this is the spot to be!

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Not only is London famous for having the largest mall in Europe but it is renowned for having the largest mall in Europe, but it is known for having the biggest ferris wheel in Europe! The Big Eye has a diameter of 120 metres and well, lets just say it is one of the most highly visited tourist destinations in the UK.

London Bridge is falling down, falling down, falling down…..Now I’m sure the majority of you reading this blog just read that to the rhythm of the nursery rhyme and if not well I’m sure you know the famous landmark. It is situated in the River Thames, so it is a perfect opportunity to take a river cat or cruise under the bridge to ensure the best opportunities for photos.

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After passing the famous London Bridge, you will sail further along the River Thames where you will see the iconic Tower Bridge. Once again, by taking water transport you will be able to take better photos where these viewings are big contributors to the full London experience.

Well, Well, Well Im sure many of you are thinking hmmm did this girl actually travel all the way to London and not visit the one and only Buckingham Palace? Well of course I did! I was even hoping to get a quick glance at the royals (that dream shattered into bits) but that’s okay, because I was lucky enough to watch the renowned Guard March!

Other places you may like to consider going to is the Big Ben & Parliament House or even the outstanding Westminster Abbey where the treasured royal couple Prince William and Catherine Middleton had there wedding ceremony.

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Tip: As the majority of these iconic landmarks of London are fairly close to each other I recommend you purchase a ticket for the ‘Hop-on-Hop-off’ bus. This form of transport is the cheapest way of getting around the city and they are quite convenient with a great number of bus stops located around the city. Yo can prepay for your ticket online or you may even choose to organise it through the hotel, but I do highly recommend it especially with informative tour guides on the buses and the freedom to pick and choose where you would like to go and how long you would like to stay at each place for. The buses come every 10 minutes! So there is no waiting and no time wasting either!

Happy travels, until my next post.

Love A xoxo

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Aloha from Hawaii!

Aloha to all my fellow travelers. I am a new blogger checking in today- please call me N. I would love to  take you all aboard the flight to Hawaii. As summer is fast approaching here in Australia, over in Hawaii it is summer and party season all year round. If your the kind of person who loves to party and enjoy the sunshine than keep on reading this blog because Hawaii is the place to be !

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The main reasowhy i love Hawaii so much is because it is a one stop shop. It has everything i love – shopping, sun, sand, beaches and great sight seeing adventures. When i visited Hawaii  i stayed on the Big island also known as the main island. I must advise you on the best places to go when in Hawaii must, these include:

– The Ala Moana shopping mall: there are over 1000 stores and i was still unable to visit them all. Might i add that i went there three consecutive days, because the place is so big. Even for a shopper holic like myself i was still unable to visit each store. The shopping mall and the factory outlets- Waikele Outlets in Hawaii are so great what makes them even better is that they are so reasonably price unlike many places here in Australia. 

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– The Wolfgang’s steak house was AMAZING if you love your meats be sure to visit. The meats are so tender; everything in Hawaii is served in such large proportions (even the ice-cream at Baskin and Robin are huge!). Ordering a salad in Hawaii; you don’t receive a normal proportion sizes are huge no matter what you order.

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– The cheesecake factory: great if you have a sweet tooth as they have over 30 different kinds of cheesecakes for you to try; though might i add make sure you book early if you ever do want to dine there as they have a huge waiting line 24/7 er one let me just tell you it could feed 5 people.

– I recommend you take a tour bus around the island; my family and i were able to see the whole island in 9 HOURS with pit stops. We visited the Buddha temple which is remarkable coming from a Catholic community and visiting the sacred temples of other religions was really beautiful.

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-Seeing the remarkable beaches where the waves reach over 9 meters high during there peak season (which is usually Jan-Mar), your able to try your surfing skills out

– Getting off the bus to visit the pineapple farms was one of my favorite pit stops; still till today i have the sweet taste in my mouth. May i just say they taste nothing like the pineapples here in Australia. Pineapple ice-cream, lollies, fried pineapple- anything pineapple they had.

– Going to one of the Gridiron games was phenomenal!! I never knew the games went for over 5 hours- reason being unlike NRL footy games here in Australia they don’t stop every time someone is tackled although in America every time someone is put to the ground they reset the game; this process takes up most of the time though as shown in the picture below it is an amazing view; felt as though i was going to fall off a cliff because the seats are so high up.

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– MUST DO snorkeling so beautiful being up close and touching the sea turtles and fish in the Hawaiian oceans was breath taking. Also, if you love the water make sure you do some great water sports as they offer great activities such as stand surfing. You could be out in the ocean as far as 10meters though there are still shallow patches and people still manage to find there way back to shore.

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Over all may i just stay make sure you take a visit to Hawaii you will be amazed by how much they have to offer. Their generosity is beautiful and the view in general is something which will take your breath away.

Until next time Mahalo
N xx

Hong Kong!

Hello! R again, with another exciting travelling destination – Hong Kong!

Man that is one heck of a place – its so fast paced and busy and smoggy and amazingly fun! To be fair I was only there for like two days when I was 14 as a stop over, so everything looked and felt big and intimidating to me then, but whadayagonnado?
Alright – let’s begin shall we?
People: Ridonkulously friendly when you’re not in the airport. When you are in the airport, it’s like some mass contamination is threatening the nation and you are personally resonsible for it. Also, there are no chairs in the airport. So when I was on a 6 hour stop over with mono (long story) and I was waiting to find out which gate was going to be my gate (they only assign it two hours before the flights) I had to sleep on the floor with the creepy Hong Kong military people walking around who are probably very nice but should smile more often. Particularly to jet-lagged glandular-fever suffering Australians. TANGENT OVER (can you guys tell I am particularly hyper today?)
Things to do: Shopping. There are seriously places everywhere that you can go shopping – and you can get technological things for SO FREAKING CHEAP. I legit bought an iPod there (back when the nanos were cool – remember those?) for like 100 bucks. Maybe a bit more, but you get the idea. From huge centres, to streets lined with super amazing stores (perfume for $5 OMG), to their markets, it’s a shopaholics haven! I mean, yeah you’re probably sitting at home thinking “I could get all that stuff from Hong Kong on ebay, why do I need to go?” I’ll tell you why – it’s the vibe of the thing (ten points if you guess where I’m quoting from). The whole place is buzzing and alive with people and places and things and stuff and smells (although those aren’t necessarily so amazing, to be honest).
Things to do but not expect too much from, even if you are 12: Disneyland Hong Kong. It’s shit. Excuse the language. But really, there are no rides – the most ‘actiony’ ride is one down a river where you go to Tarzan’s tree and you see the gorilla and the elephants spray you. Apparently Hong Kong doesnt like excess excitement. I dunno, but even at 14, and my sister at 12, we did not really have such a great time which was sad because it was Disneyland ya know? The taxi driver who took us there was hillarious though – he drove like we were in a roller coaster and stopped off because he needed the bathroom. Still though, if you have a day and money to throw away because you’ve already bought all the iPads you can optimistically fit in your suitcase then sure, go to Disneyland, just don’t expect it to be American Disney, because it’s not.
Ultimately though, enjoy the people, the vibe, the food, the shopping – it’s all so similar to the West and yet so fundamentally different that it’s a vibrant colourful city that you can spend days walking around. Or you can spend those days getting $5 manicures. To each their own!
x R 🙂

Paris, France!

Bonjour, it’s A here and I just wanted to share with you a little bit about Paris. It’s no secret why every girl wants to visit the remarkable city. I mean the promise of it being the city of love is a god enough reason right? Well if that doesn’t satisfy then surely the shopping, landmarks oh and lets not forget the amazing pastries and bread that are baked fresh daily at the local boulangerie.

It’s a good thing that a lot of the city can be seen in short walking distances or on a bike because you will appreciate the exercise after eating all the tempting macaroons, pastries and breads. One of my favourite places for a quick sugar fix was the Laduree. The mouthwatering sweet options were endless and you simply cannot leave Paris without having visited there.

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Apart from indulging in sweet treats, of course there are other spectacular things to do in Paris like shopping in the Champs Elysee. As you stroll along the stretch of paving that leads right up to the Arc De Triumphe, you may wish to zig zag from shop to shop, swiping that credit card or perhaps causing less damage and window shopping instead. But when you get to the very top of the street, there stands the large arch- one of Paris’ well known monuments which was built by Napoleon as a symbol of his victory in battle in 1805.

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Also, apart from shopping in the Champs Elysee you may wish to visit the very famous first  apartment and boutique of Mademoiselle Chanel at 31 Rue Cambon. The store comprises of four levels, but unless you are V.I.P I’m afraid you won’t make it past the first level, I thought I would try my luck anyway… but as I thought no chance. It’s alright a glance at the famous staircase sufficed I suppose.

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Well if shopping isnt youre thing don’t fret- there are other things to do! Like visiting the iconic Eiffel Tower, Versailles, Notre Dame and the Louvre.

If you are anything like me and are too lazy to take the stairs up the Eiffel Tower, then you can just take the lift up and enjoy the breathtaking view of the City from above. I also recommend that you visit the Eiffel Tower in the evening. With the thousands of fairy lights it is nothing short of impressive.

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Ahh, the Notre Dame! It was incredibly amazing! I just could not believe that this kind of engineering and architecture existed so may years back, I mean can you? The detail on the outside is equally as impressive as the inside. And I’m not the only one to find this fascinating either, because in order to enter the gothic cathedral you will be lining up for approximately 15 mins! Well I was anyway, though it wasnt so bad cause I had the opportunity to take pictures while I waited, and when I got inside it was all worth it.

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For my visit to Verailles and the Louvre I decided to take part of a tour because I thought it would probably be really easy to get lost in these places, and in hind sight I was right! SoI strongly recommend you do the same. What particularly impressed me at the Palace of Versailles was the acres of perfectly landscaped garden, surrounding the building that King Louis XIV and the royal family lived in before the French Revolution.

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The time we had in the Louvre was very limited, so we were restricted to a number of artworks we could see that day. But even if we had more time, it would be impossible to get through the whole art gallery in a single day, in fact it is said to take up to 100 days to view them all and that would be in a brief glance! My favourite part of the Louvre like many others was the end of the tour where we viewed the Mona Lisa. Im not sure if I actually liked the painting itself or if it was just the hype of viewing ‘The Mona Lisa’.

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Well, I’ve been to the beautiful city twice already and I can assure you I cannot wait until my next visit. But until then au revoir Paris and safe travels my friends!

A xx