Travel Favourites: Memories from Extraordinary Places

Hello! I’ve been loving writing more travel-themed posts this summer (mainly because I really wish I could be traveling right now!!) and I think this is the direction I want my blog to head in, as well the odd post about studying or ramble about life. This time I thought I’d reminisce on some of my favourite memories from travelling and favourite places I’ve been to over the years. I haven’t travelled a lot or gone on a massive tour around multiple countries (I’d love to though!!), but I have been lucky enough to go to a few different places over the past few years, whether that be on family holidays, with school, friends or Scouts. I hope you enjoy! 🙂

Austrian Mountains

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This is one of my favourite photos I’ve ever taken??? (I just wish 11 year old me knew how to focus a camera properly lol)

I went to Austria back in 2011 with Scouts and we stayed in a town called Stanzach in the Tyrol region. The scenery was breathtaking, particularly the mountains which you could see form anywhere within the valley. I remember going on many evening walks to the river in the photo and skimming stones and building dams whilst the sunset. We also took a ski lift to the top of a mountain then hiked down. I’d love to go back one day and explore the mountains more!

The Eden Project, Cornwall

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It’s been a fair few years since I visited the Eden Project, but I remember really enjoying my visit. There are some really interesting and exotic plants within the rain forest and tropical ‘biomes’. My family and I were obsessed with the mimosa which look like mini ferns but when you touch their leaves they close up! It was really cute haha.

Studland Bay, Dorset

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Studland is one of my favourite beaches! When I was younger, we went camping in Dorset quite often so we’d visit Studland a lot. It’s great for swimming as the water doesn’t get deep very quickly and great for sand castles too! One of the most amusing memories I have comes from this beach. My sister and I decided to partially bury my mum in the sand and turn her into a mermaid but we later discovered that we’d left the camera in the car park down the other end of the beach. Not wanting to miss this photo opportunity, my dad, my sister and I walked back to the car park, and on the way my dad was convinced he’d seen his brother and children playing in the sand, so he went over to say hello. My sister and I realised immediately it wasn’t them but my dad insisted and kept saying to the man “don’t lie, you are my brother!” (in a friendly way). He thought his brother was messing around haha (can you tell we don’t see our family often enough to recognise them haha??). Eventually my dad gave up (my sister and I were so embarrassed at this point) and we carried on walking to the car park. When we got there, the funniest coincidence happened – we bumped into his actual brother and his family 😂😂 It was so funny! We told them about the mishap with the look-a-like and they said that that man was actually staying on the same campsite as them and that my cousins kept mistaking him for their dad, so at least it wasn’t just us!!! It was so weird though 😂 I’ll never forget that haha.

Double-decker trains in Berlin!!

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I still get slightly excited by this but DOUBLE-DECKER TRAINS AHHHH. I didn’t know they existed until I went to Berlin???!!? We took one out of the city one day and it was a really cool experience even though I’m too tall to stand up on the top deck haha.

Kynance Cove, Cornwall

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This beach really is a hidden beauty. We only found out about it as we are National Trust members and they own the land, but it is definitely worth a visit!! You have to walk quite far from the car park before you can descend the headland to the beach. The water was so blue!! And there were lot’s of little caves to explore. The main thing I can remember though is getting my hiking boots soaked. My dad told me to stand in front of this big rock to take a better picture of the sea, not realising that the waves came in really fast so when a big wave came in, my dad was able to scramble up onto the rock whilst I couldn’t because I was holding my camera so I was submerged up to my knees! When the wave went back out again though I was fine but had very soggy feet for the rest of the day!

Branscombe Beach, Devon

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As you may be able to tell, I really like beaches. I think it comes from growing up in a seaside town – I just love being on the coast! Branscombe Beach is another sort of hidden gem. We had to walk for a few hours to get there from our campsite, descending through the lovely village (and stopping for cake). The beach itself was stunning with sloping red cliffs and red-tinted water. My family and I spend a long time on the beach walking around, paddling and posing on various rocks for photos (as you can see above haha).

Notre Dame de la Garde, Marseille

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I visited Marseille last year and one of the highlights of the trip has to be going to the Notre Dame de la Garde cathedral, which is perched atop a hill overlooking the city. The views were incredible, especially looking out to sea, and we had to take a little train up the hill to the cathedral which I’ll always remember as it was one of the first times I had a proper conversation in French (in France) as I was volunteered by my classmates to ask if our tickets were valid for the train. (Still surprised that I actually managed to do that, though! Speaking to natives can be daunting sometimes!).

MuCEM, Marseille

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Another memory from Marseille was visiting the MuCEM – the Museum of European and Mediterranean Civilisations. The architecture of the building was?? INCREDIBLE?!! The outside is basically made to look like water ripples (I think??) so on the inside the light reflects through the gaps in the outer shell making it feel as if you were underwater! The actual exhibits themselves were really interesting too as I got to learn more about Mediterranean history and lifestyles. There’s a rooftop cafe with a bridge connecting you to Fort St. Jean, which used to guard the entrance to the port of Marseille. The Fort was full of things to explore and sadly we didn’t have enough time (or energy- it was so hot!!!) to do it all, so I’d definitely love to go back!

A’DAM Lookout, Amsterdam

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If you’ve read my Amsterdam series from back in July, you may remember me mentioning the A’DAM Lookout! It’s essentially a hotel with a restaurant and ‘lookout’ on top from which you can see across the city. It also has Europe’s highest swing which swings you over the edge of the tower!! I’m not the biggest fan of heights but I do LOVE being high enough up to see an amazing view, and the A’DAM Lookout definitely didn’t disappoint!! The whole experience of the Lookout was so fun, from getting stuck on a giant red horse, to battling the fierce wind and running for the ferry! Definitely one of the highlights of the holiday!

Porthor Beach, North Wales

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(Another beach oops!!). My family and I visited Porthor Beach on our most recent holiday to Snowdonia, North Wales. My dad is very good at planning holidays in that he picks out the less well-known places for us to visit, such as Porthor. It was very difficult to get to as we kept missing turnings, but after a longer than exepcted journey, it was definitely worth the hassle!! As far as beaches go, Porthor wsas fairly quiet which was nice because sometimes Studland Beach (which I mentioned earlier) is very busy and you don’t have much space. Porthor is also known as the Whistling Sands beach because!!! THE SAND WHISTLES WHEN YOU WALK AHHH! (I was probably way too excited by this but it was so fun!!! Although you can’t really sneak up on people haha). Due tot he type of sand at Porthor, when you walk the sand compresses and makes a sort of squeaky noise!! We spent the whole day at the beach, swimming in the sea which was clear blue and home to some jelly fish and also playing multiple matches of beach volley ball with our make-shift ‘net’ made of pebbles. It was great fun!

Aberglaslyn Gorge, North Wales

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Another memory from my holiday in Snowdonia was hiking through the Aberglaslyn Gorge. This was in the height of the heat wave in the UK so it’s safe to say we were VERY hot and possibly hiking in the heat wasn’t the BEST idea. However, the gorge was so beautiful!! The majority of the walk involved scrambling over rocks along the side of the river – some of which had metal handholds to help you across difficult sections. It reminded me of going canyoning in Austria! We had to stop halfway and cool off our feet in the river. When we reached Beddgeleret – a small village which is the river passes through – we stopped for an ice cream and looked around. It was sch a lovely little village, I could have seen myself living there, surrounded by the mountains. We sat on a wall by the river eating our ice creams and two tourists asked if they could photograph us sitting on the wall within the space of ten minutes which was STRANGE??

Snowdon Street, Porthmadog

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My final memory to share is from the same holiday again, this time of Snowdon Street in the town of Porthmadog. It may not seem the most interesting honestly it was so cool just walking through the town then at the bottom of a side street you can see Snowdon, perfectly framed between the rows of houses. I have so many memories of climbing Snowdon itself, which I shared here, and considering I couldn’t get any non-cloud covered photos whilst climbing it, I’m pretty pleased I had the opportunity to see Snowdon again, from the ground this time!!

Well, I hope you’ve enjoyed reading about some of my favourite memories from traveling and places I’ve been, I’ve certainly enjoyed reminiscing about them! There are so many beautiful and interesting places to see, whether that be in your own country or abroad. I’d love to hear your travel top picks below!

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//The world through an autumnal lens//

Hello! As it’s half term, I’ve had a lot more free time within which I’ve rediscovered my love of photography. I’ve taped up my broken digital camera so it’s now semi-usable and have enjoyed being able to take some very autumn-y photos that I thought I’d share here. 🙂

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I love experimenting with photography, so I’m really pleased with the way these turned out, especially the effect of the light through the leaves and shifting the focal point! Hope you’re enjoying the autumnal weather too. 🙂

//Blogger Aesthetic Tag//

Hello! The other day the lovely Michelle nominated me to do this tag! I love spending hours making aesthetics over on my tumblr so of course I couldn’t wait to do this tag!

The Rules:

  1. Collect any number of images that you feel represent you as a person—your personality, aspirations, favorite things, anything at all that makes you you.
  2. Put your chosen images together into a collage of whatever size and shape you find pleasing.
  3. Share your masterpiece with everyone, in all the places.
  4. Maybe nominate other bloggers as a way to tell them, “Hey, you, I think you’re awesome, and we should celebrate that awesomeness.”
  5. Share these rules (and maybe the below tips, if you’re feeling helpful).

Tips:

  • Find inspiration by spending (minimum) three hours scrolling through aesthetic Tumblr posts relevant to you.
  • Two great places to hunt for pictures are Pinterest and WeHeartIt. Pinterest requires an account; WeHeartIt does not.
  • PicMonkey’s collage editor is free to use and doesn’t require an account, heck yes.

 

So, here’s the aesthetic I made! I’m quite happy with how it turned out, it includes thinks that I love like reading, travelling, art, French, the colour yellow, but also some quotes that I could relate too, and the top left picture looks a bit like my shadow and reminds me of my love of sunsets and taking shadow photography. I used a sort of yellow, pink, blue/green pastel theme as well because I have a soft spot for pastel colours. Also the rainbow flag represents my sexuality, which is obviously an important part of my personality.

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So there we go, I hope you liked that. 🙂

I’m not going to nominate any specific people, but if you want to do this tag then consider yourself nomiated!

 

//What to do with old jeans (and way too much spare time for someone who is in the middle of exams…)//

So today I strangely found myself with loads of spare time on my hands – I woke up quite early and managed to cram in all of today’s and tomorrow’s planned revision in the space of an hour and a half (oops). Considering the weather has been very warm and summery for the past week, I suddenly found myself in need of a more summery wardrobe. Then I remembered a pair of old jeans I had lying in the bottom of my wardrobe that had got too short and decided to make some shorts:

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I’m actually quite pleased with how they turned out (sorry about the rubbish photo by the way, I have no clue how to take decent photos of clothes). They didn’t take too long to make – all I did was cut the jeans in half and sew up the hem. But then I was left with a load of spare denim and thought it would be silly to let it go to waste.

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My cutting in a straight line skills are just amazing, aren’t they?

So then I decided to make some decorations for my room because I love making my room look nice and themed. I decided to make some little hanging heart thingys and write a quote on them.

First I drew out the hearts on the jeans using a template and a permanent marker:100_8340.JPG

Then I cut out all the hearts so I had 12 hearts, then I paired them together so I had six hearts, each with a front and a back.

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I decided to make 3 darker blue ones and 3 lighter blue ones by turning some of the hearts inside out so the inside of what was the jeans was showing. Then I wrote the quote onto the hearts – ‘Be where you want to be’ – I saw it on Pinterest and it really caught my attention so I thought why not? My room has a travel/adventure theme anyway.

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Then (this is by far the longest, most tiring part) I sewed the hearts up, attached part of the seam of the jeans as a little handle and stuffed them using the remainder of the denim. I didn’t take any photos of this stage because I was too lazy to go and find my camera, oops.

Anyway, this is the finished product!

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Here are some close ups of individual hearts because that picture isn’t very clear:

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So that’s basically all I’ve done today but I feel like it’s been a very productive day! I have to go to school tomorrow which sucks because it’s supposed to be the half term break…

Yesterday I had a lovely barbecue with two of my friends and we had a board games evening too which was awesome (although I officially hate the income and super tax in Monopoly as I must have landed on them about 50 times, I couldn’t go past ‘go’ without landing on income tax)!

Hope you’re having a lovely week! 🙂

Oh also I reached 100 followers yesterday!!! Yay! Thank you guys for being so awesome! 🙂

//MAMMA MIA! (Here I go again… *breaks into song*)//

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Ever since I watched Mamma Mia for the first time back when I was 10/11 years old, I have been in love with all the music and dancing and just general vibe the film gives off. And then, naturally, after watching the film 20-something times and knowing all the words and scenes off by heart, I dug out my parents old Abba albums and started listening to them too.

As if that couldn’t satisfy my love of Abba enough, my dad surprised me by taking me and my family to see ‘The Ultimate Abba Tribute Band’ back in 2011 (I think) for my birthday which was an experience of a lifetime. As my first ever concert, it was pretty damn awesome. What with the mostly middle-aged audience of people singing and dancing along to Abba’s greatest hits – and some questionable ’70s Abba-style costumes including an old-ish man wearing a white flared suit which did nothing at all to help disguise the fact that he was wearing a thong, in fact it was practically see-through, but we’ll forget about this rather traumatic sight for twelve year-old me – it was definitely not a night I would forget anytime soon.

Ever since going to that concert, I have been dying to go and see the musical in theater as the ultimate experience for a Mamma Mia/Abba fan like me. Aaaaaand, guess what? Last weekend I managed to persuade my dad to buy last-minute tickets to see Mamma Mia the Musical yesterday evening!!!!!!

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My outfit (sorry for the blurriness)

OMG. It was ABSOLUTELY amazing. The actors and actresses were all brilliant and unique – like they weren’t acting in the same way as those in the film. Sky was Scottish for a start and Bill was Australian. But I think this made the musical extra special because I wasn’t expecting that and it was like a whole other take on Abba’s music. Plus there were three extra songs than in the film which meant extra scenes! Yay!

My favourite scenes would have to be dancing queen because Rosie and Tanya were sooooo funny and also the Lay All Your Love On Me scene as all the men were wearing flippers and dancing as if they were swimming (kinda like in the film) plus there were loads of six-packs on display. 😉

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Basically imagine this scene but on a stage.

 

And then at the end, all the cast came back on and did an encore of Mamma Mia, Dancing Queen and Waterloo and the whole audience was stood up dancing and singing along. It was amazing although we were sat on the third tier in literally the highest row of seats we could possibly be seat in so I was a little reluctant to stand up at first, especially because the floor sloped downwards!!!!!

All in all, it was an incredible evening out. I am extremely tired now though as I got home at 11:30pm yesterday and couldn’t get to sleep until about 2:30am as all of the songs and scenes from the musical kept going round my head (as well as Snap Out of It  – Arctic Monkeys, which was stuck in my head before I saw Mamma Mia and apparently watching a musical couldn’t even get rid of it)!

I highly recommend Mamma Mia the musical to EVERYONE, whether you’ve watched the film or not, because it is so funny and entertaining and the songs really make you feel good about yourself (at least I got that vibe anyway)!

Ooh I also managed to do a bit of photography whilst we were waiting to be let into the theater!

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Bye for now, hope you all had a lovely weekend! 🙂

 

//Blogoversary!!//

I can’t believe it’s been a whole year since I decided to create a WordPress account and start my first blog. Honestly, I think that spur-of-the-moment decision was probably the best choice I’ve ever made.

Like the sentimental person I am, I wanted to say a few words in an attempt to express just how much blogging has changed my life and how much it means to me.

Considering I’ve been in the blogosphere for a whole year now, I though it would be nice to do a voice recording for you guys so you get to hear the voice (with all it’s awkwardness) behind these words.

The recording – which you can listen to here* – pretty much sums up everything I would have written in this post if Liss hadn’t told me how to link to Dropbox (thank you very much also a huge Happy Birthday to her (if your birthday is today, it’s confusing with time zones, haha), her and dani are absolutely amazing and are some of the first bloggers I ever met!).

*Apologies in advance for my terrible attempt at a West Country accent and just my general awkwardness and rambling on.

So, if you’ve listened to the recording and haven’t run in fear from my weirdness, I’d like to thank you all very much for being so kind and welcoming and friendly – honestly the blogging community means the world to me! ♥

Oooh yeah, I also made an infographic with a few statistics and stuff from over the year from all of my blogs, so… enjoy!

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Something I forgot to add into my recording: I’m going to set myself goals for my next year of blogging.

1. Don’t abandon the blog again without telling my followers until 2 months later (oops, sorry guys).

2. Post more poetry on the blog/some of my old poems.

3. Post voice recordings regularly (hopefully this will work out…idk it took like 20 attempts just to record this one!).

4. Maybe Skype some bloggers (because I love you guys so much and I need to get over my fear of calling people PLUS considering I can’t fly out and meet everyone, this is the next best thing) but this would probably have to be in the summer holidays because I have hardly any free time with exams and revision and stuff, ugh.

So, that’s pretty much it for my goals for my second year in blogging. Once again a massive thank you to everyone, you are all amazingly kinda and lovely – here’s to another year! 🙂 ♥

//A stroll by the sea//

So this morning me and my family went on a lovely (but very windy – seriously it took me ten minutes to brush the knots out of my hair, it was sooo painful!) stroll along one of our local beaches. This used to be my favourite of the four beaches near us but now it is always packed with dog walkers which gets a little annoying. However I still enjoyed going there today – I’d never turn down the opportunity to see the sea!

After strolling along the beach and dunes (and getting stones in my hiking boots, no idea how, so I had to precariously lean on a wall and tip my boot out) we decided we hadn’t quite had enough fresh air yet so climbed up the headland. There are some great views from the headland (although it is ten times windier so my hair would beg to differ) which I tried to capture on camera but miserable failed.

We walked along the headland for a bit to my new favourite beach. It’s a pebble beach and it’s really secluded so it is never busy. It is really nice to just sit there and stare out at sea and feel as if you are on the edge of the world.

After that we trudged back to the car and I came home to a pile of revision and homework which even after one week of the spring holidays I have barely scratched the surface of.

And deciding that I could spare a couple of hours (I really couldn’t) I uploaded all the little video’s I took today and made a Youtube video which I also decided needed to have me playing Vance Joy’s Riptide in the background. Here it is, I’d love it if you could take a look and let me know what you think! I’m still not really used to Youtube so sorry if this is awful!

From watching that I have now realised just how weird I look when I’m walking, haha. Also I messed up the guitar a bit so sorry about that.

Anyway, today has been a very creative week to be honest. On Friday I made a banoffee birthday cake for my mum:

And I also made (and fell in love with) a henna jar using an empty jar and sharpies which I am really pleased with and must make more of!!

And I have also got rather addicted to Instagram so lots of photography has been going on this past week!!

So, that’s all for today. Tomorrow I am going into school in the middle of my spring holidays to do half a day of French revision which should be good because I love French so much (although I do have to get up early).

Bye for now! 🙂