Manchester

It happened to spend an overnight in Manchester. Some reason I always wanted to go there since I moved to UK.
Got a ticket on first class that was pretty comfy. Arrived and got a taxi to Radisson Blue Edwardian. My old time friend was waiting for me at the bar. What a hotel! Very nice people working there, huge, clean however the decor has a bit East impact that makes a bit mix match but nice.
The cocktail bar fab and we had dinner at the restaurant that serves Steak & Lobster only. Good combination. We were looking for somewhere to go for few drink but because it was Sunday pretty much everything was closed or empty. Had a few cocktails at @WaleusMCR that’s is a great bar and reasonable price. Next day we tried the spa of the hotel. Brilliant. Elegant and well pretty. The whole pool is blue…so nice! Jacuzzi and sauna really good as well. After all to get more energy had some late lunch at @alchemistNYS. They have a cocktail, called Breakfast at Tiffany’s. If Audrey Hepburn knew…seriously good!
Manchester is a good city, plenty shops, coffees, pubs and restaurant. It goes under refurbishment just now so if you go next year, it will be brilliant. Serious money has been put into it.
I don’t think I will be back soon however I’m sure I never forget this trip. I spent my time with one of the most fantastic person in my life. It’s just the shame some dreams are never come true…
In every trip of mine I get different feelings and most of the time it’s hard to go home. This time was one of the hardest. The saddest train journey of my life so far.

20130902-232054.jpg

20130902-232106.jpg

20130902-232112.jpg

20130902-232120.jpg

20130902-232129.jpg

20130902-232147.jpg

Weekend in Faro, Portugal

I had a weekend off and as much I love Scotland I had to jet away to get some sun. I picked Faro. Reason, that was the cheapest flight ticket. I knew a lot about Portugal as years back I was living with few awesome Portuguese guys and I tasted their culture however I was not planning to go only for 2 nights. Still better than nothing! I packed a little bag with shorts, shades and bikinis, got a map and go!

My first real getaway alone! I was so excited. Arrived at Faro and the heat! Wow! Amazing! Strip down to top and short and catch the bus. Surprisingly the bus is only like 20 min max and 2.20 Euros. Bargain. Talked to a few German guys who just arrived as well and they had that much clue where they were heading as I had. The bus stopped somewhere and the lady driver said that’s it, we are in Faro! Hmmmm….next adventure to find the guest house that I booked and explore the town. What a lucky girl I am! I booked Sol Algarve Guest House. Real cute Portuguese guest house with nice staff. 5 min from the bus station and 10 from center with free wifi. Boom! Explore! I start walking around, I tried using the map but given up quickly. Faro is small and easy to walk around. Beautiful old town. Sun was hot, like very hot. Harbour Marina is beautiful, old town is quiet and very old…I really really liked this town. Had late lunch at Cideda Velha at Old town. Really good food and the waiting staff explained a lot to me where to go what to do that not that touristy. Thank you guys! I had some very tasty prawns in garlic sauce and green wine and sardine pate and salad….oh my! I love my food! Everything was so fresh! I spent the evening at Harbour Marina Faro watching the sunset with my caipirinha…that kind of moments stay with you for long time! IMG_5014

IMG_5026

Next day I woke up early and seen the Chapel of Bones. Pretty scary for early morning. 1245 skulls in chapel. Mental. After all, lets go to thees! Long beach, heat and sand. 30 min by bust that goes to the airport. Bargain. After to get fried on the sun I went for late lunch again. Calms, cod and mojito this time. I really really wanted to stay! I had to get back to Faro to catch a catamaran. That was going from the Harbour and taken as to the natural park and desert island. Be honest all I really cared the sunset. I wanted to see the sunset. It

IMG_5116

 was full moon. Can you imagine the sunset? When we were heading back to Faro, around 8pm, the sunset was front of us and the island with the full moon behind us. I don’t think I have seen such a gorgeous thing in my life. It was breathtaking and pretty romantic. Wish I was not alone in that moment but our guide was pretty cool and helped me out with his sarcastic stories. I never taken that amazing pictures of the sunset. When got back to Faro I headed to the center as there was a Folk-festival on so could taste local sweeties and food and drinks while enjoying local folk da

nce. Like that festival was throw to me. Awesome!

I have to go back to Portugal. I just have to. This 2 nights were enough to realize

 there’s another country to explore. Fantastic people, beautiful nature and very, very good food. I will be back!

IMG_5107 IMG_5131 IMG_5095IMG_5112   IMG_5058 IMG_5140Faro 18082013 162

Faro 18082013 112 Faro 18082013 093 IMG_4976 Faro 18082013 164

 

 

 

Canyoning in Scotland

I use to go canyoning in Slovenia and have been done it in Dominic Republic as well. This time my work is to busy to take some time off however I felt I needed something. Canyoning in Scotland? Have a look.
I found a team, Action Adventure Activities. Bought a voucher and booked a date. They have many availability to the time that suits you best. I booked a Sunday afternoon end of June. 
Driving to Stirlingshire, slightly raining and I’m  thinking, am I right in my head? Arrived to middle of nowhere and got a warm welcome by the organizer. Ok, let’s get ready! Instructions: sign the paper that basically says if you don’t corporate you can get hurt, choose 2 wetsuits, a helmet and life jacket, change and hand over your car keys. Yes. 2 wetsuits. It’s Scotland. It’s so freezing even end of June! Like 2 wetsuits helps. While I was changing at my car, feel the nature, was thinking why on earth I not booked a spa day?
Lets go! It’s 14 of us, few couples but mostly boys in the gang. All into a mini bus and drive away for around 20 min. The landscape is breathtaking. We arrive and get the instructions. Don’t do anything that they don’t say. Follow them. Don’t be a hero. Jump in this way, swim in that way, oh yes and don’t be afraid but the water is freezing cold. Great. Lets do this!
We follow our instructor who’s by the way one of the coolest adrenalin junkie I ever met. Beautiful scene. Waterfall by mossy rocks and green trees bow into the river. Time to step in! Actually when you expect something really bad end of the day it can be just better. The temperature of the water not that bad…until it does go under your wetsuits…keep smiling!
After few steps there’s the first jump. Top of the rock. Have to step over my instructor head and end up in that cold river. I have to man up. Can’t be a real girl here! Everyone does it…one, two, Am I really? Splash! Oh my! This is AMAZING! Adrenalin level sorted, let’s carry on! Crawl, fell, swim, laugh, jump. It was around 40 min. I want to go again! It feels like you’re free you’re capable to do anything and you’re still safe. Unfortunately it’s over. Drive back to the base. It’s not cold anymore and can’t take my smile off my face! Change back to warm cloth, little chit chat and head home.
I generally think if you’re a bit down or want to do something different or just want to go crazy…contact these guys. You won’t regret. I had a truly amazing time.

CanyoningCanyoningCanyoning

Edinburgh – My Home Town

Edinburgh is the place where history meets with the coolest everyday life. I moved here 9 years ago and I never will forget that moment when I arrived at Waverley train station. I walked up to Princess Street and was standing there for a good while, totally stunned. This feeling has stayed with me. Forever.

Middle of Edinburgh there’s the Castle the World famous icon of Scotland and part of the Old and New Towns of Edinburgh World Heritage Site. When you walk up there on Royal Mile you feel you go back hundred years and you are one of the lady/lord who’s going for an afternoon tea/cigar. You can take a tour to see the hidden life under the city. Amazing. Actually underground there’s another city that had been forgotten many many years ago. The history just hits you.
Many things to do and see. I usual just take a walk to Royal mile, see the castle and go to Princess Street where past and present meet. One of the side of the street is the Princess garden, a huge garden middle of the city, the other side high street shops. The contrast is unreal however somehow goes together so well. One side you are a lady from 1800 the other side you are the most modern chick spending money to find the next outfit. If you can’t find any, walk up to George street. There’s high quality shops and beautiful restaurants, bars and nightclubs. East end of the street there’s Harvey Nichols where you can do your nails, get your outfit, shop at foodmarket, eat sushi, sit at restaurant Forth Floor’s  terrace and watch Edinburgh goes by…One of my favorite place. For more urban hang out you must go to Grassmarket area that is the other side of the castle. Many real Scottish pubs, nightclubs however lots of different International restaurants as well.
You have to have good few days to see real Edinburgh. You can do so much. Walk down to Leith where’s the The Royal Yacht Britannia that definitely worth a visit and many beautiful restaurants at the shore. You can go to South Queensferry to see the Forth Road Bridge that total outstanding. You can go to Meadows Park when sunny and just chill. You can go to the west end of the city and try new/old bars and restaurants. You can climb up to Arthur Seat for the outstanding view…so many and many things to do…but one for sure I doubt anyone would leave this city with any negative thoughts.
I suppose to stay here one year…I am still here and enjoying every minute of it!
Edinburgh is The happiest city in UK according to a 2011-12 survey by the Office for National Statistics.  
I am living here and I am happy. 

Edinburgh Castle
Edinburgh Castle
View from Arthur Seat
View from Arthur Seat
Sunrise Edinburgh
Sunrise Edinburgh
Princess Garden
Princess Garden
Edinburgh Christmas time
Edinburgh Christmas time

 

Luxury in Paris

Paris is Paris. Is my city. The feeling that Paris gives me is different of any other city. I feel I am home and I am very chic and just luxurious.

I go to Paris to feel this incredible feeling. I go there to eat and drink at the best places. I go there to enjoy.

As I like to dance I had to go to Moulin Rouge of course. I have got tickets online for dinner and the show. We had a driver to take us there and when we arrived at the door they thought it was my birthday ( I did not correct them ) and I had the best sit ever plus got an extra champagne by glass. The dinner was 3 courses and included a half bottle of champagne. It was not my best meal I ever had however was enjoyable and had some live music while we were eating. Starter was soup, main course a steak and for dessert a creme brulee. I don’t waste time to describe as seriously was very average.  After dinner the show started. Amazing, extraordinary show with beautiful dancers. You can not take pictures but I am sure everyone who has been there would agree, you don’t have to. It stays with you forever  with or without pictures. We had a few additional bottle of champagne so as good spenders and happy guests we could have stayed and watch the show again. What a night! After all we have got opportunity to talk to the dancers, the director, everyone. It was just purely amazing.

Next day I had one of the most luxury day of my life. Started with some drinks at Hotel Le Meurice at the Rue de Rivoli. What a luxury. Mosaic floor, crystal chandeliers, heavy damask curtains, magnificent place. I had few Gin and Tonic with very old fashioned surrounding, luxurious decor and attentive service.  At the door before you enter the bar there’s a wall full with sand so you can write anything in it. Apparently they are cleaning it every night so whatever you write into the sand wont show longer than a day but still fun. After that I have had dinner at  Restaurant du Palais – Royal. Something extremely romantic to dine here, the restaurant’s terrace is the most magical place in Paris at summer time. Next to the Ministry of Culture at the gardens. It’s been told many years ago this garden was the home of the very high class prostitutes who were walking along the garden and sitting on the bench or enjoying a glass of wine. I do believe. It does look like it. The place feels something unique. The food was brilliant. I had Foi Gras for starter and Sole for main course. Perfectly cooked meal. The perfect companion for my food was a bottle of Crozes Hermitage from 2007. One of the most amazing dinner I have had.

After dinner we had a little walk at Place Vendome, looking around the luxury shops. There’s plenty jewelry shops with beautiful and very shiny diamonds. After a little daydreaming we were heading to the Buddha Bar at  Rue Boissy d’Anglas. It has opened 1996  where a 20‑metre‑tall golden Buddha watches over drinkers. Opposite that Huge Buddha there’s a very long staircase that gives you a challenge to make sure you can walk in your high heels!

Few drinks after we were heading to Hotel Costas. My favorite place in Paris. Very chic, very good place with beautiful people and everyone is there who wants to be seen. I had dinner here before. Absolutely outstanding. The service very Parisian and the food very fresh and enjoyable. This time I had Hennessy XO with a chocolate fondant. Perfect marriage.

The best night club in Paris is the VIP Room at Rue De Rivoli with french rococo furniture and baroque style, where was our last stop. Tables are only for reservation. They have mostly Grey Goose and Moet by bottle. Music is amazing with some beautiful dancers. and attentive staff. ( good looking guys in leather kilt….hmmm ) Very, very good night.

Paris is always the most stylist couple of days in my travel diary and the most expensive as well. Any money worth it, always the best experience. Paris is Paris.

 

Kat Eiffel Tower  Moulin Rouge French Can Can  Champ ElyseesParis is Paris

 

 

Stockholm

 

I always wanted to go to Stockholm and finally managed to get  there for a weekend. You can get very cheap tickets from UK to Stockholm Skavsta through Ryanair. You have get the bus that takes you to the center. Journey is around 80 min and you will arrive to the center station, middle of Stockholm.

This city is amazing! Plenty things to see. My first impression was: the city is very pretty and the buildings are huge. Everything seemed massive. Old fashioned buildings and very fashionable people. They are beautiful. Girls and boys. Everyone is simply gorgeous. Not over friendly but you get a  smile while you are around.

Places I have been: 

Get to the cityhall at 10am for the guided tour, really worth it. Very pretty and good history.

Go and see the change of the guard at the palace ( pretty boys in uniform, military band and sun….awesome )

Go to Skansen Open Air Museum and buy cinamon bap from the bakery. They making them there, still warm. The place takes you back years and years. Very cool.

Kaknas TV Tower. Amazing view over Stockholm. If you are adventurous enough you can walk however it is a bit far, would suggest to take the bus. I took bus 69 that takes you exactly to the door. There’s a restaurant there too, a bit pricey but very good with nice service.

Katherina lift, it’s ok. You can see Stockholm from the top but its not too high, still pretty enjoyable though. I was walking back to the center from there and found a few very nice square with coffees and restaurants, busy spot for Swedish people.

Boat trip. Must do. Stockholm is very pretty from the water and you can take awesome pictures. I have taken the boat, that was included with the card so why not. It takes 40 min and you can see almost everything from the water. Of course with a guide in many language.

Modern Museum. ( Moderna Museet ) I am old fashioned. Modern art not my love but still open for everything so went there, seen it and left. Its not for me, however if you like modern art you’d love it.

Swedish Museum of Natural History, that I could not go in. Many kids were around I was ready for a drink…please let me know how is inside. Outside is beautiful and massive.

Ostermalm – it is a residential neighborhood that full with amazing architecture miracle. I just was walking around and check out  the buildings. They are so gorgeous! Very well kept through the years.

Hay Market – outdoor market, fresh fruit, flowers, handbags…anything really. Not a huge market but if you wondering around worth to stop buy.

Kulturhuset – its the one in the center where everyone goes. Coffee places, restaurants ,shops everything. Just everyone is there. Simple  Front of the Kulturhuset at the top of the stairs there’s a free tour everyday by cool young guys if you want some help to get around.

Spy bar – WOW! Night club for the people who wants to be seen. Even when you are just a tourist. Make sure you have THE best heels with you! For the more Pub Lovers there’s a Queens Head named bar that rather English than Swedish but food is good and full with youngsters.

Food and Drink – I was a bit disappointed. They don’t have something like that real Swedish, except hot dog that is very cheap from the street and really easy to have a few during the day…just because. I had some weird ‘traditional’ Swedish dish that was nothing else just fried meat and potatoes with horseradish on top. Actually I thought that was cheese and I had them almost all in ones…hmmm…I could not said a word for a few very long moments…No special wine either, however they have nice wine lists almost everywhere. Beer is not my drink but seen in pubs they have pretty good selection international beers and ales.

MUST DO

– take a lot of money ( special if you want to go for shopping. Plenty! Posh and awesome stuff! )

– get a Stockholm card

– make sure you get a massage when you back if you go for a weekend and want to see everything. Could not feel my legs and my back was aching but worth every little pain….

– don’t forget your shades (everyone wearing shades Ray Ban Aviator the must )

– get a good hotel, I don’t mention mine as was very small although just slept there and was pretty much in the center so done the job

 

” You have to find it. No one else can find it for you! ” – Bjorn Borg