Arthur’s Seat

Edinburgh, Scotland, Travel

Some of you may have seen the photos I posted on Facebook and Instagram of the hike Willem and I made up to Arthur’s Seat this week. A little something you should know about me is when I was young I was extremely lazy. Physical activity and the outdoors did not interest me in the slightest. There was no way you would get me climbing any kind of hill. Willem can testify that I am an extremely stubborn woman – the poor guy. So for me to be out and about loving nature as much as I do now, it’s kind of a miracle.

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Arthur’s Seat happens to be in the park that we live so close to now, it’s perfect. However, the day we chose to go up was not perfect. I got it in my head that we were going up on this particular day and as I said I’m stubborn so there was no changing my mind. My weather app told me the wind was at about 45km. Well let me tell you it was a SHITLOAD stronger than that. As we climbed to the top the wind tried to push us back to bottom. We persevered and kept clambering up. Three quarters of the way up a huge gust of wind came along forcing me to grab hold of a rock to stay upright and not be thrown off the edge. With every blast of wind that came to test us I let out an involuntary scream. Each more ridiculous sounding than the last.

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Finally we were at Arthur’s Seat and it was time to sit down and marvel at Edinburgh in all it’s glory. Except the winds were like 100km winds I swear to god so it was terrifying. My face looked like I was on the back of a motorbike without a helmet. Snot flying, again involuntary, in all directions. Thankfully, the winds did not effect the view. Edinburgh is a gorgeous city, especially from up high.

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The trek back down was a little less traumatic. Although on the walk back down I started running and because of the wind couldn’t stop. The walk home also including me slipping in a huge pile of mud. It was a hilarious day.

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Until next time friends..
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Italy

Europe, Travel

Italy is somewhere I never really expected to travel to, but wow I am so glad I got to. Each town and city surprised me more than the last. By the end of our 10 days in Italy, I was head over heels. The little alley ways, the food and the people are all part of Italy’s charm. Genoa was our first little taste of Italy, a gorgeous coastal town up the top of Italy with a population of close to 600,000. It set a high standard for the rest of the trip. Old buildings, passionate people, phenomenal architecture and Fiat Bambina’s everywhere.

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Our accommodation throughout Italy was through Air BNB which I have raved about before and cannot recommend highly enough. Willem’s Mum booked each apartment for the cities we visited and she NAILED it. Our apartment in Genoa was up in the hills, with a balcony overlooking the city. It was perfect for drinking wine and eating all the Italian food you can possibly think of – olives, cheese, prosciutto, salami and bread.

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2 nights later it was arrivederci Genoa and hello Florence. We caught the train to Florence and on our way popped in to Monterosso al Mare planning to do the Cinque Terre coastal walk but unfortunately the weather decided it didn’t want to cooperate. Instead we found shelter in the form of a beach side cafe and ate our weight in Lasagne.

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Time to emerge ourselves in Florence! Our apartment was right in the city centre so everything was within walking distance. It wasn’t love at first sight with Florence. Because it was a bigger city it didn’t have the same charm that Genoa and Monterosso had. It wasn’t until we got to the Florence Cathedral that my breath was taken away. The outside of the cathedral is insane. Such intricate detailing on every inch – inside and out. Willem, Brendan and Julie climbed to the top of the dome where they got incredible views over the city.

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After 2 nights in Florence it was time to say goodbye and make our way to Rome! We spent 4 nights in Rome and we definitely didn’t run out of things to do. Vatican City and The Colosseum were my favourites, obvious I know. Standing inside The Colosseum was such a strange feeling. The history of that place is so bizarre so to be where it all took place gave me goosebumps as soon as I walked in.

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Again, our apartment was in an amazing location, less than 100m away from The Spanish Steps. So each night we would stand at the top of the steps looking out to the city and each night people would hassle us, trying to sell us stuff. People had approached us in every city to try and sell us stuff but Rome was the worst. At the top of the steps guys would come up to girls and force bunches of fake roses in their hands and then follow them asking for money. It got so bad I just had to yell NO to get them to go away. I have very little patience with people trying to sell me crap. Our last day was spent walking across the Bridge of Angels and exploring Castel Sant’Angelo. We had lunch at the castle with a view straight across to Vatican City. A perfect way to end our time there.

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Our time in Italy was drawing to a close and we finished in style – Venice! Julie outdid herself booking our apartment in Venice. It was located down the cutest wee alleyway overlooking a canal – bellissimo! Venice was the perfect way to end our time in Italy and it was my favourite place by far. Each day we would get lost, turning down different alleyways. Venice was far more shopping orientated than I had expected but it didn’t feel too touristy. Our last night was fantastic. We got dinner and decided to eat it by the water. Willem was leading us and it seemed like we were getting lost and further away from the water but ended up in a perfect spot by ourselves on the waters edge watching boats and gondolas go past.

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Well Italy, well done. I wasn’t sure what to expect but you blew me away and I can’t wait to get back.