Monday, 12 January 2015

Gap Year Plans

I have now finished University and I've decided the best idea is to take a Gap Year before I start teacher training in June 2015. After working for a few months in order to earn money I am now going to be taking three months out to go travelling. I am travelling with my cousin, it worked out perfectly that we wanted to both go away at the same time to similar places. 

Our trip began on January 7th and we will be flying back to the UK on 1st April. 

Our plan is...

East Coast - Greyhound Bus Hop On Hop Off 





Sunday, 11 January 2015

Paris 2014 | 48 hours in the city

My friend and myself decided to have a couple of days in Paris as she needed to do some research for her final year project. We booked quite last minute (flights from BA and hotel from anoma via Trivago) and managed to get quite a good deal considering. We only stayed for one night, and therefore had literally less than 48 hours in the city, but we managed to fit a lot in.

We found that being from the EU and being under 26 we managed to get free entry to many places just by showing our passports.

Day One
- Arrived into Paris in the morning, took RERB to hotel and left bags (Timhotel Le Louvre)
- Visited the Louvre (walking distance from hotel)
- Crossed over the love lock bridge (walking distance)
- Headed to Notre Dame to have a look inside (walked)
- Walked to the Pompidou Centre and looked round surrounding area (around 10 min walk)
- After a busy day we headed out for dinner, we found a lovely restaurant and managed to get a great deal on a steak dinner with dessert and wine (18 Euro each)
- To end the day we took an evening walk down by the Seine

Day Two
- We decided to get up nice and early for our free hotel breakfast which was great and really filling as there was so much variety.
- We popped into a patisserie around the corner from our hotel to grab some quiche to carry around ready for lunch. 
- Headed straight for the Musee Orsay (10 minute walk from our hotel with a walk through Jardin des Tuileries on the way). This was actually my favourite of the galleries we visited. 
- We boarded the metro and went to the Eiffel Tower
- Stopped for our lunch after the Eiffel Tower then walked to the Arc de Triomphe
- Metro from Arc de Triomphe to Moulin Rouge 
- From Moulin Rouge we walked to the Sacre Coeur (under 20 minutes)
- Looked round the Sacre Coeur then around Montmarte
- There was lots to see around Montmarte and we found the guide book very useful for discovering this area.
- We got the metro back to Charles De Gaulle and headed home on an evening flight

We had a really lovely time, there was so much to see in such a short space of time, but it was a great trip. I don't think I would have enjoyed it as much if I hadn't already have been to Paris just because we were trying to squeeze in seeing everything! But the itinerary worked well. 

Having a guide book with us was also a great help, we got to see and understand so many more exciting things as we were able to read as we went along. I would definitely recommend our hotel, the Timhotel Le Louvre. It was so close to the Louvre and a very reasonable price for a nice, clean (but small!) room and breakfast was also included. We tended to walk many places as we decided we would get to see much more on foot, but we did purchase a ParisVisite Pass for our metro journeys on day two and found it to be reasonably priced. Overall we had a brilliant couple of days away. 

Dubai 2014 | The Atlantis Hotel

We arrived on the Palm in the morning and had two nights booked in the hotel. It was the most amazing sight, a really beautiful hotel, almost a landmark in Dubai, set at the top of the Palm. We dropped our bags and headed for a walk around the grounds of the hotel. There is so much to see on site, including lots of shops, restaurants, swimming pools, a water park and an aquarium, and every is very grand! Trolleys take you round the resort as it can feel very far walking in the heat. We went to the water park first to grab our writsbands (the waterpark is included in the price for hotel guests) and then headed to the aquarium for a walk round and afterwards to the waterpark for a couple of hours. 

That night we decided to have dinner at the buffet restaurant, Kaleidoscope. There was quite a large queue but the food was delicious and there was so much choice. We walked around the hotel a little more as there was so much to see then went off to bed.

The following day we got up early to visit the Waterpark, we spent the whole day there and went on lots of different rides. The park is huge and has a massive 'lazy' river, which isn't so relaxing, running round the outside. I would definitely recommend a visit to the waterpark. This evening, we went to La Brasserie for dinner where we had the most amazing steak meal. 

The next morning meant heading out of the hotel early to catch our flight, it was a lovely stay at the Atlantis. I really enjoyed the amount of facilities and how grand it was, however I don't think that in comparison to other hotels, and for the cost, that it had the best service. The Hilton we stayed at first was definitely preferable in terms of service, but the Atlantis was great for an experience!

Saturday, 10 January 2015

Dubai 2014 | Beach times and Riverside Food

Lots of the time we spent in Dubai was spent around the pool and at the beach. The heat meant that porters from the hotel would come round every hour or so with cool flannels to help us cool down which was very much welcomed! Often there would be camels taken for walk along the beach, trying to get visitors to take ride. 

On our last evening at JBR we headed to the Dubai Marina for dinner. We had been recommended a restaurant called Fume which did not disappoint. It suggests it is 'no frills' service yet delicious sharing food and it was great. The food was amazing and the atmosphere was quite modern and quirky. We all had a great meal where we shared most of the food such as mac and cheese, duck noodles, ribs etc, they have a really wide variety and the aim of the concept is that everything is shared and it is only brought out when it is ready so dishes were arriving at different times. I would highly recommend this restaurant (

After a brilliant dinner we had a little walk around the Marina and headed back to the hotel to pack ready for a few nights in the Atlantis.