In Iceland: Renting a Car with GoCampers

Driving in Iceland is a must, seeing this amazing country at your own pace is something I will always recommend. I have used KuKu campers before, if you want to see my review click here. I wasn’t going to use them again and I also wanted a 4×4 so I went on to GoCamper. PhoebeGill170417107I chose the new 4×4 camper, a Mitsubishi Pajero and I have to say I love this car. It is a lot of fun to drive and it’s really spacious inside. I forgot to take a picture of the inside but there is everything you could need. Pots, pans, utensils, a little gas cooker, a cooler box and a heater. The only thing that didn’t work was the mp3 system didn’t work with Spotify, which isn’t a big deal. PhoebeGill170425006-1I spent 10 days in the car and it cost me €2490. €249 euro a day seems quite expensive and of course you can get a cheaper camper out there but for a car and accommodation, it’s not too bad. I am very happy I got the 4×4. As I was April, there were roads in the north that were icy and I was driving in whiteouts but I still felt very safe in the car. PhoebeGill170425006-2Do I recommend GoCampers? Yes, I definitely recommend the new 4×4 as it’s a great car to drive, it has lots of room, everything you could need. Also GoCampers offer a free transfer to your hotel after you drop back the car which is very helpful. PhoebeGill1704241990I had so much fun driving around Iceland and this car made it so easy and I felt really safe. It also looks great! I would love to be back in Iceland in the Pajero, till next time.

Happy Travels!

In Riga: Old Town

Old town is full of little streets to wander around and I highly recommend you take the time to explore. I was walking around on an overcast St Patricks day and it was quiet and just want I needed. I loved the architecture of the Old Town, medieval buildings with brightly coloured restaurants and shops. PhoebeGill170317116There are some incredible points of interest like the House of the Blackheads. This incredible red brick gothic structure is where you can get walking tours of Old Town. It has such great detail you can’t miss! PhoebeGill170318184Riga Castle is the official residence of the president, it has been rebuilt many times over the years, old structures and new bits added on gives this building a unique look, with six towers, all different colours and sizes. It is closed to the public due to a fire and will reopen in 2018. PhoebeGill170318143Old Town is small but its is completely charming, nothing is symetrical and there are so many little streets with charming spots. There are also big open squares where events are held and markets are set up. When I was walking around there was a brass band playing to no one, soft music reverberated in the square and it was lovely.PhoebeGill170318179There is one thing in European old towns that I love and that is making three building of similar ilk siblings. I have seen a few three brother buildings over Europe and I love finding them. These brothers are awkwardly placed down a small street.

Take the time. Take a walking tour. Enjoy!

Happy Travels!

In Riga: Central

To me Riga was split into three sections. Central was the most interesting to me, it had pretty parks, interesting musuems and a more gritty atmosphere. The most important thing in this area is the freedom monument. Learning Latvia’s history is sad and tough but it is really important to understand the country.PhoebeGill170317046The monument is in between a very lovely park which is nice to stroll through. It almost comforts the history to be sandwiched by nature. Another important place you need to go is the Museum of the Occupation of Latvia. Looking at history is very important but this museum is a lot easier to go through than other museums out there. PhoebeGill170317055There are many buildings that command your attention like the Russian Orthodox church. There is a nativity scene inside but there is a dress code. Women are expected to cover their head and shorts aren’t permitted. PhoebeGill170317047One museum I really enjoyed was the modern art museum, there is great painting from historical periods of time. It was really interesting to read the history of Latvia and then to see it expressed through art.

In the basement, there is modern day art after a good long break from modern art it was nice to see it on my terms. I really recommend this museum.  PhoebeGill170318230Behind the parks and museums is the local shopping area of Riga, charity shops, places to eat, it’s more residential than the area just outside old town. Something I loved about this area was the more gritty elements than the other areas. PhoebeGill170317064Whole buildings would be missing from the street, paint was peeling, it was nice to be somewhere that wasn’t just building apartment blocks all over a city. My favourite has to be this tictac ad, you never see ads like this anymore and I just love it. PhoebeGill170317067I liked walking around this area, there are lots of places to eat like Big Bad Bagels and Crazy Donuts. Walk around, explore and have a good time not being bombarded with modern architecture.

Happy Travels!

In Kerry: Best Driving Adventure

Kerry brings back memories of when I was small, when the drive used to take six hours and the rain would hammer down on the window and all I could see were my fathers eyes in the rear view mirror. It was always happy, always quiet, so much green. I tried to make friends with cows and definitely made friends with dogs and my mother gave me the worst fringe possible. I like those memories but the seem so long ago now.

So I decided I wanted to be back there, back in the memories, so I went. Here are some photos that I took on a two day driving adventure.

phoebegill160915052PhoebeGill160915038-2.jpgI walked around Dingle town in the evenings, I didn’t want to go to a pub so I just listened to music and walked around.

I walked up a street and a memory hit me. We’d just been in a pub and my mother, sister and I were going back to the house, when an old man stopped us and was speaking Irish to my mother. I was small so I wasn’t paying attention and messing with my sister, wondering when my mum would stop chatting so we could go. That’s it, one small snippet of a day. It’s now the most touristy bit of Dingle with more shamrocks than a field but it’s so nice to have a memory come back after over a decade of being away.phoebegill160916058I don’t have the memories of this place, just the photos. Somehow the photos make me feel like I remember being there but I don’t know if thats true. Photos are tricky like that.phoebegill160916226phoebegill160916260This is the first time in a long time I didn’t take just the touristy shots of a place. This is what I want to take more of. This feels better, this feels like it used to. I hope you enjoyed my trip down memory lane. Kerry is the perfect place to make memories so go and make them.

Happy Travels

 

In Stockholm: Staying in Kungsholman

Deciding where to stay in Stockholm was based on two things, was it cheaper than others and is it easy to get into the centre of Stockholm. I can definitely say I choose the right place! Let me explain.

This area is really really pretty and it’s where you can get a great view of the Karlberg Palace. Which is the home of the Military Academy. With all of the boats docked on the jettys it just makes for the most lovely picture. Take note, you might feel terribly unfit in this area! PhoebeGill160714403There is a great walkway that runs all along the water and it is busy with people running, walking and cycling. It’s a really nice walk that finishes just outside the main shopping district of Stockholm. PhoebeGill160714633-1The hotel I stayed at was the Connect City Hotel and I was really pleasantly surprised with my stay. It is so close to the Fridhemsplan T-Bana station. I got a single room with no windows for 4 nights for €228. I thought I was going into a cell but I was very happy. Stockholm gets hot in the Summer so I was worried that I would be sweltering but the fact there isn’t a window, means that it doesn’t get hot or cold. The duvet was really comfortable. The bed is small so tall people might find it difficult.PhoebeGill160713041I only had one problem with the hotel. At breakfast there is a tap that dispensed juice and as it was hot weather, there were a swarm of fruit flies, it wasn’t great. Other than that it was a great stay in a lovely area. I definitely recommend a stay here and I would stay here again.

Happy Travels!

 

In Life: 3 Things I Hate About Travel

There are very few things I hate about travel, I am choosing to make travel a huge part of my life, I wouldn’t do it if I didn’t love it! While most people can’t abide selfie sticks, umbrellas or people who touch the top of the Eiffel Tower or try and prop up the Tower of Piza. I don’t care, personally selfie stick all you like as long as you don’t hit into anyone, umbrellas are smart, you can see them and the heat is only getting worse and personally those posed photos are almost like buying a magnet, it’s iconic and stupid but it’s not that big of a deal!

What I do hate is the following three things and if we are honest we are all guilty of one of these thing is the past but from now on, stop it!

PhoebeGill150918942Throwing coins in amazing bodies of water.

I think this was started with attractions like the Trevi Fountain but seriously just stop! Burke’s pot holes in South Africa,  geyser’s in Iceland, countless pond, rivers, puddles are filled with peoples money. I hate it. The coins get collected in fountains, they don’t get collected in natural wonders! Stop messing with it. I don’t know the science of what coins do to the water and I’m sure it’s not terrible but money is gross and filthy and it just grinds my gears. We have some amazing things on this earth and I think it’s great we can have access but don’t push it, when you tamper with nature, you are pushing it.

Petting animals that aren’t for petting.

I don’t care if it’s fluffy, I don’t care if it looks healthy, I don’t care that it would look great as an Instagram. Stop petting animals that you wouldn’t pet in the wild. Would you go to into the Indian jungle to go pet a tiger?..no. So how about you don’t go to a place that has tigers chined up and beaten to have you pet it and take a picture with it. I have seen footage of what African and Asian elephants can do and you want to pet one or step on its back? I have had two bird animal experiences and I feel guilty about them all the time, I have had the chance to go to other sanctuaries and I haven’t taken them. I am guilty of this and I need to act way more responsibly because I don’t think I actually learned anything from both of my experiences. I appreciate and love the birds I encountered but am I using this knowledge? No. I should be, I should have learned from them and I haven’t. This bugs me!

PhoebeGill150915811People who get annoyed at fast airplane exit-ers.

This is my number one. Right, I have heard so many people complain about people who stand up and want to get off the plane quickly. The thing is though, we are trying to get you off the plane quicker too! (Also I hate being in a plane that isn’t moving, it makes my skin itch and I hate sitting beside people I don’t know) I bloody run through the airport when I am homeward bound because as much as I love travelling, I am going home, I am not chilling in the airport waiting for rush hour traffic or waiting for the parking fee to up the ridiculous amount. How is it bad that I want to free up space for you? How is affecting your day?  I am fast through security, are you mad about that too? No. I am helping the kids/humans who are cranky or need to pee because I gather my things and exit in a fast manner! So to you passengers who get so mad at people like me, hush, because maybe one day you have to use the bathroom or your child is going to explode in a rage you may be thankful for people who are quick!

 So they are the three things I hate about travel. I am sure I will have more very soon. What do you hate about travelling?

Happy Travels!