City Break #2 – Montpellier

montepellier-airbnb-2 montepellier-airbnb-4 montepellier-airbnb-5 montepellier-airbnb-7 montepellier-airbnb-10 montepellier-airbnb-13 montepellier-airbnb-15 montepellier-airbnb-16montepellier-airbnb-17montepellier-airbnb-18 montpellier-2 montpellier-4 montpellier-5montpellier-6

Okay so I feel a little bit of a cheat with this one as it was last Summer that I actually visited Montpellier with a uni friend for a few days…however the pictures I have are way too beautiful to not share and technically it was a city break so here goes!

France is one of my favourite places, I love the language, the culture, the architecture – just everything about it. Montpellier is a city in the South of France that’s about 10km away from the coast, so has Mediterranean temperatures pretty much all year round which made it the perfect choice for a quick city break in the Summer.

We stayed in an Airbnb in the Centre Historique, which as you would imagine is full of old, traditional French buildings, scattered with small bars, patisseries and cafes. The nightlife and food was pretty good, and surprisingly there are quite a few retail shops throughout the centre. Reaching the beach was a little more complicated than we had imagined, however once you get to grips with the trams and busses it’s pretty smooth sailing and worth a visit, more so if you are there for a week rather than a few days.

Flights are so reasonabley priced, and Montpellier is perfectly located to then travel on to Monaco (I have yet to still go there but would love to!) and is somewhere I would definitely visit again.

So as mentioned in my previous City Break post (check it out here if you haven’t already!) I am planning to travel to 30 countries before I’m 30 – suggestions are welcome so please let me know your must see places!

xx

City Break #1 – Copenhagen

city-break-copenhagen

Here’s a little recent background to this post for ya…

I recently was having a conversation with someone at work who had recently got back from a weekend in Stockholm (fyi – I love Stockholm) and she mentioned that she was attempting to do 30 countries before 30.

Long story short, I am hooked on the thought and have so far calculated that I have travelled to 14 different countries – driving through/layovers etc. do not count!

And it made me think about the amazing time I had earlier in the year in Copenhagen, Denmark and starting a travel series (mainly city breaks) on Balm & Blyss!

Basically I decided to surprise my boyfriend for his birthday and head on a 2 night city break to one of the happiest counties in the world – Denmark!

Flights cost less than your average train ticket, and with a greatly priced airbnb apartment we were perfectly set!

Copenhagen is a city that you can instantly fall in love with – I could literally gush about the city and it’s people all day long, but you have probably already heard the good news.

It has a very trustworthy, friendly vibe and has so much to offer for such a small city!

I would recommend getting a local map and just wandering about – it is really walkable in ALL weather.

nyhavn-1

[Nyhavn waterfront, Copenhagen]

nyhavn-3

[Nyhavn panoramic view]

christiansborg-palace

[Christiansborg Palace]

carlsberg-road-1

[The old Carlsberg Street]

round-tower-view

[View from the Round Tower]

apartment-1 apartment-2 apartment-3 apartment-4 apartment-5 apartment-6 apartment-7 apartment-8

[The most amazing airbnb find in Copenhagen]

On the subject of this Danish post, I just want to mention a book I have read called ‘The Year of Living Danishly’ by Helen Russell. Such an amazing book that I actually never wanted to end whilst reading it. It was really interesting and insightful in look at the way of Danish life from a British expat’s perspective – it has even encouraged me to start learning Danish!! Thinking of doing a full book review style post and maybe another on the ‘hygge’ concept which i am already in love with!

Let me know if you have any hygge tips!

xx

p.s….next stop Krakow so please share restaurants/things to do tips!

Malta Moments

Malta Balm & Blyss

Everyone loves a snoop at holiday/travel pics – am I right or am I right?!

So recently my boyfriend and I travelled to Malta for 10 nights staying in the St Julians Bay area which fyi is probably the most lively area of Malta, with new buildings/hotels popping up everywhere! (Expect views of cranes in certain areas!)

It was a pretty relaxed holiday – most mornings we got up about 9am and alternated days of sightseeing with days relaxing by the pool or on the hotel’s private beach.

My favourite sightseeing moment was travelling to Comino Island and swimming in the Blue Lagoon – legit the most clear blue amazing sea water I have ever seen or swam in!

The weather was pretty perfect too with most days averaging 30+ degrees which was perfect!

Blue Lagoon 1

[Blue Lagoon, Comino Island]

Blue Lagoon 2

[Panoramic view @ Blue Lagoon, Comino Island]

Gozo 1

[Azure Window, Gozo]

Gozo 2

[Pool @ Azure Window, Gozo]

Gozo 5

[Azure Window view, Gozo]

Blue Grotto 1

[Caves @ Blue Grotto]

Blue Grotto 2

[Blue Grotto Archway]

Blue Grotto 3

[View from inside the Blue Grotto cave]

Blue Grotto 4

[Blue Grotto cave view frame]

Valetta 1

[Upper Barrakka Gardens, Valetta]

Valetta 2

[Fountains @ Upper Barrakka Gardens, Valetta]

So this is my share of my Malta moments!

Food-wise there was some great local restaurants (I would 100% recommend Peperoncino and The Blue Elephant @ The Hilton), and if I had to pick any bones with Malta it would be the lack of vegetarian/vegan options, and the high prices for drinks (even just a regular oj will set you back!)

Anyway aside from that Malta was definitely dreamy and somewhere I would definitely travel back to!

xx

 

 

GlowBites..en piste

Norway

Okay so I’m hoping to be kinda forgiven here for lack of posts last week by sharing a few skiing pics with you all! It was my first time ever on a ski holiday and it’s fair to say I loved it…already looking at booking for next year and I seem to have given my whole family the ski bug! I stayed in Gala Fjellgrend in Norway and could definitely recommend it for learner/beginners like me as it was pretty quiet there, if there was to be a negative at all it would be that Norway isn’t cheap but then again I don’t think any skiing holiday is! And if you’re a pretty advanced skier you may find the slopes a bit repetitive as there are not an awful lot of runs but there are still some pretty challenging ones!

The weather and snow was pretty perfect, the people are friendly and speak perfect english ( although I picked up a couple of basic words ) and it was a really picturesque place. Where I was there were two main mountains with different slopes, I managed to conquer the red before I left so I was pretty happy, although I was pretty nervous to start off with! So here are some scenic shots from my week away..

Norway Panoramic 1

Norway Panoramic 2

Norway Panoramic 3

Top of the blue slope

Skis on ski lift

Ski lift view 1

Ski lift view 2

Ski lift view 3

Red slope view

Cabin view 1

Lodge view 2

Lodge view 3

Moose on the lake

Plane view

Okay I may have just swamped you all with pictures so I will end the post here!

Ps – yes that is a wild moose walking across a frozen lake!!

Happy Wednesday!

Dear Melbourne…

Melb

“…don’t visit Melbourne first, you will fall in love and never want to leave!”

A friend told me this, which I then often told locals that I met who took it as a huge compliment and will almost guaranteed claim it is the best city in Australia to live in – and I can definitely vouch for it being one of the most amazing places I have ever spent time in!!

So as I guess it has probably been clear to most, I have spent the past 8 months of my life in Melbourne. What started off as plans to arrive in Melbourne for Christmas and then travel, ended up with a love and passion for the city – resulting in me and my boyfriend settling there and creating a short term life and home ( aww cute! ) That’s not to say that I would absolutely love to go back and explore the rest of Australia one day…so here’s a kind of toast to the reasons why I love Melbourne and a possible/hopeful promise to visit Australia again in the future!

To describe Melbourne to those who don’t know is almost an impossibility, I feel I struggle to do it justice – it is just one of those places you have to visit! In a nutshell, it is this amazingly diverse city that although being pretty big, still feels welcoming. I love the fact that 10 minutes on a tram out of the city and you can be at one of Melbourne’s amazingly gorgeous beaches that are just like what you would imagine! But even the streets of the city are pretty insane, from the graffiti alleyways to streets that are home to the most amazing coffee shops, cafes and restaurants ( fyi – locals are pretty big on their coffee! ) And the Yarra river that runs through the city provides an amazing choice of riverside bars and restaurants that have incredible views ( …okay I used the word amazing like 3 times but that’s because it really is! )

Although it is kinda similar to the UK in ways, it feels so different at the same time. There is this really laid back, cool, edgy/hippy vibe around Melbourne. The fashion is amazing, heaps ( – an aussie word for lots! ) of cool shops and I swear nearly everyone is in to some sort of fitness – there are yoga and pilates studios everywhere!

Transport in Melbourne is soooo easy – it sounds a bore but being from a small village in the UK  definitely has its disadvantages when trying to get about! Melbourne has trams and trains that run all the time and are usually on time – unlike at home! I actually enjoyed getting the train and trams ( sad I know! )

Okay so I guess a big thing is the weather right?! Well it’s true what people say about experiencing all 4 seasons in one day in Melbourne! In summer it was pretty much how you imagine the Aussie weather to be, Christmas day was a cool 34degrees whilst in Jan there was a week of 40degrees + it was so hot the pages of my book started to melt and fall out!! Winter is cool but still pretty nice – clear skies and the occasional bit of rain.

And finally the nightlife is aaaaa-mazing. Seriously. There are so many different styles of bar that every week you could go somewhere different depending on how you feel. There’s always something going on too, from music festivals to sporting events and food and wine markets.

So to round things up I kinda feel like I want to say that Melbourne has really been life-changing for me. It is a place where I really felt at home and there was always so much it had to offer. It’s like this place that has the perfect balance of  city life and the beach, old and new styles, cool hangouts and such a mix of people. It has been a pleasure and I feel so lucky and privileged to have spent a part of my life there. I think about my time there everyday, my favourite times being spent by the pool, at the beach, or days just out and about down Chapel Street ( one of my fave places to shop and eat/drink ) I am eternally thankful to this amazing city for playing such a big part in my life.

So dear Melbourne…thank-you!

Here’s to the Future!

Wow I have been pretty bad with updating here the past few weeks, I have missed it so much and felt so guilty! But I have been pretty busy with a final move from Melbourne, a holiday to Bali, to then flying back to Melbourne for a day, to flying back to England – that’s a lot of time spent in the air!

So I’m back home in England after an amazing 8 months in Melbourne, and I am determined to be posting more than ever now that I am almost fully settled back in to reality! I have so many posts planned, I am so excited to share some pictures from Bali it was such an amazing, jam-packed holiday – I swear I needed a holiday afterwards as we were non-stop sight-seeing and out on day trips!

I feel kinda sad that another chapter of my life is now closed, but so lucky to have experienced Melbourne and met some really great people. So here’s to the next adventure in life – wherever it may be – bring it on!!

Here's to the future!