In Stockholm: Kungsträdgården

Kungsträdgården is a really pretty park in central Stockholm. It’s a beautiful tree lined strip with seating, a pretty green areas and fountains. This is a busy area with couples, groups of friends, lots of dog walkers and is generally filled with mirth! PhoebeGill160714671Take note during the summer from April 23rd to August 31st there is a military foot parade that happens every day, they walk from the Army museum and will pass the Kungsträdgården at around 12pm. It’s similar to the changing of the guards in London. It is a great thing to see. In other months of the year it only happens on specific days so check before you go to Stockholm or just be surprised like I was.  PhoebeGill160714208There is a Tbana stop just beside this area and the tram lines are at the top of the park so it’s really easy to get to. It has lots of outdoor eating and cafes so it’s a perfect place to stop at. There is also a stage area where outdoor concerts are held in Summer and in Winter there is an ice rink.

You definitely have to check it out when you go to Stockholm. It was such a pretty area to relax and take in the sunshine!

Happy Travels!

In Stockholm: Hop On Hop Off Tours

I got a Stockholm pass in a goodie bag from TBex, thanks TBex,  I looked up what it can do and I was really pleasantly surprised. Amongst a lot of other things, you are able to do unlimited Hop On Hop Off Tours, both bus and boat. So I took full advantage. PhoebeGill160714036Over my three day stay I took 3 bus tours and 2 boats. (Be careful though, Stockholm VIP pass only lasts for two days) The bus is great, it has a removable roof because of the tram lines above but it means that if it rains you aren’t getting soaked. It has the audio tour and free headphones so you will be able to learn about the city. I have to say though, every time I sat at the window I would have someone reach over me and touch my knee to get to the audio box. I would say to them do you want me to do it but they just ignored me and reached over. Ugh it makes me shiver just thinking about it. Don’t touch people you don’t know. PhoebeGill160714668I really recommend it though. You get to go to districts that you wouldn’t normally go to and it gives you lots of information. I wouldn’t know the term brackish water if I didn’t take the bus! (It is said a lot on the tours) The views from the bus are gorgeous, Stockholm is so beautiful and this tour gives you such a nice vantage point! PhoebeGill160714340I really think everyone should see Stockholm by boat, any city by the water just has such a gorgeous feel to it. You would see couples on little motor boats, tour boats, sail boats, big ships. Seeing Stockholm by water gives you a different view of the city and gives you more information the bus doesn’t give. It was really nice being a tourist for a change. Usually I get out of cities to explore but it was a lot of fun to just relax and take my time to see Stockholm properly. PhoebeGill160716554The boat stops in some great areas like The Vasa museum, The Royal Palace and other wonderful areas you have to explore. I fell in love with the buildings by the water and how the city wasn’t impacted with modern sky scrapers.  PhoebeGill160716276With the Stockholm Pass you are permitted to go on the green busses and boats. If you don’t have the pass then you can buy a one (€32) or two (€37) day bus ticket. You can also get a bus, boat combo ticket, one day (€42) and two day (€48). If you want more information check it out herePhoebeGill160716106

Do you do hop on hop off tours when you travel? Which one was your favourite?

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!

In London: The Sky Garden

Before this trip I had never even heard of The Sky Garden but I can tell you right now I was missing out, it is beautiful! This mini botanical garden area is 155m up in the air, with 360 degrees panoramic views and spots to eat, you could spend the entire day up here! PhoebeGill160509210The first amazing thing about this place is that it is free to get into! Free! All you have to do is book in at a certain time, there are limited spaces available each day. Check out ticket times and options here. Although the ticket permits you in for an hour at a time, there is also a restaurant and a bar so you can be fed and watered, if you want to experience the Sky Garden for longer.  PhoebeGill160509083In the main section of the Sky Garden there is the Sky Pod where you can have coffee and cake or I choose some delicious lemonade. It is going to be a bit more expensive but it’s such a nice atmosphere. With the plants and the flowers it gives this fresh air feeling. Also I have allergies and I can assure you you I didn’t sneeze once, which was great. Now lets talk about the view. PhoebeGill160509073As you are 155 meters up there needs to be safety procedures so there are thick panes of glass for you to look out at. This does mean that they are a bit grubby and there will be reflections but it is still an amazing view. Watching busy London from above is really interesting, watching boats go by and cars go over the bridge, it’s such a great vantage point to watch the city. PhoebeGill160509089I definitely recommend this gorgeous place, check out the website and book a ticket. Also thanks to the couple who perfectly fit in this image. Hope you’re well! Thanks so much for reading!

Happy Travels!

In Clare: Cliffs of Moher Helicopter Tour

I have wanted to ride in a helicopter for the longest time and just before christmas I saw the Groupon had an offer that I couldn’t pass up! I went with Executive Helicopters. Usually the 15 minute helicopter tour costs €250 euro but the offer was for €99 euro. Now to me that is a good deal. PhoebeGill160306588You could either choose from a Dublin tour or a Cliffs of Moher tour and when I saw this I thought I could kill two birds with one stone and so I made some plans to go across the country to check off something very high on the bucket list! PhoebeGill160306271To get to Spanish Point airfield type in these coordinates into google or your gps: 52°50’52.0″N 9°24’55.2″W. There is a small amount of parking on site just go though the gate and you can park up. Go into the portacabin and you can get a prosecco or soft drink before your flight. The process to get on your flight is almost instantaneous, it’s a very relaxed atmosphere! PhoebeGill160306060-2There are two helicopters and it’s four people in each. Although it can feel quite cramped I loved every second! I would love to go up by myself but I might make it rock side to side as I slosh around trying to look out every window and trying to get the best shots! PhoebeGill160306341The views are just amazing! I chose to do my flight on the Sunday and I went to the Cliffs of Moher the day before so it was wonderful to see the landscape at a different angle! I recommend you do the same, I think it is a much more well rounded trip if you end it in the air. PhoebeGill160306567The flight feels like 5 minutes but it does take 15, it’s almost as if you are going slow but time has sped up, it’s a mad feeling and it’s something I want to experience again and again! The views are just incredible, seeing the coastline and just how green it is, is astonishingly beautiful! I was smiling ear to ear!PhoebeGill160306072I know €99 euro sounds very expensive for 15 minutes but you have to take into consideration that running a helicopter is very very costly. Saying that I don’t think I would pay €250 but I would pay €99 again. I am so so grateful I was able to check off something I have wanted to do for such a long time and do it in a beautiful part of Ireland.

Would you go up in a helicopter? Is it on your list?

Happy Travels!

In Clare: 656km in a Weekend

I woke up early on Saturday morning and got ready for my little road trip across the country. I had booked something very special for the Sunday which gave me loads of time to explore a county I had never been too before. So I had a few things I wanted to see but was just going to drive around and see what it was like.

My first spot along the way was Spanish Point.

Spanish Point

PhoebeGill160305331Although it’s a small area it is where I decided to stay for the night. Spanish Point has a lovely sea front area. I can imagine on a hot summers day this beach being packed, with lots of surfers out. Clare has good surf, so if you want to go on a surfing holiday in Ireland I would put Clare on your list! PhoebeGill160305370

Where I Stayed

PhoebeGill160306126I stayed in the Bellbridge House Hotel, it has a classic Irish pub/a family home type feel to it, dark woods, roaring fire, striped wallpaper and warm colours. I booked a single room for €50 euro, it had an ensuite so I was very happy, thankfully when I got there they upgraded me! I got a double room and it was really nice, there was a tv and tea and coffee making facilities. The only thing I would say in the mattress was a little lumpy and the room was a little cold, they don’t have air conditioning, just radiators but the duvet was really comfortable and warm! Breakfast is included it’s a continental style, pastries, cereals, hot food, fruit, pancakes, I think the chef will make you almost any breakfast food if you ask. They also have a bar menu and a restaurant, the restaurant gets booked out on weekends so I would ring ahead but the bar menu is tasty. I definitely recommend this hotel and would definitely stay again. PhoebeGill160305265

Cliffs of Moher

PhoebeGill160305411Admission to the Cliffs of Moher are on good faith if you are walking the coastal route or are generally on foot or bike. If so, you are asked to go to the visitors centre and pay the fee of €6. I took my car and admittance is the same price, so you aren’t charged for parking, which I definitely appreciate, there is lots of parking and its busy all day! O’Brian’s Tower is an additional cost of €2, I didn’t avail of it but I am sure the views are great! PhoebeGill160305384The Cliffs are amazing, like every picture you’ve seen is beautiful but they are stunning in person, I want to go back and do the coastal walk, give myself more time to actually walk around. The main viewing platform gives you an almost 180 degree view of the cliffs but I urge you to walk around and see it! Just be careful if it’s a really windy/rainy day it could be very dangerous. The day I went it was cold and sunny so it was perfect. PhoebeGill160305159I 100% recommend you go around sunset, the cliffs become golden are are so beautiful! The Cliff of Moher have a closing time, which I don’t really understand how you can close a cliff top but I think it is if you come after closing to see the cliffs and you don’t pay, you can be fined. PhoebeGill160305060

The Burren

I then decided to drive! I do love driving, I didn’t have a plan but I gave the Wild Atlantic Way route a try and it didn’t disappoint! The Burren spans 250 square kilometres of limestone rock that cracks and leaves slabs of rock in the landscape, the geology of it all is quite cool! Driving around shows just how big and how beautiful it is, so hop in the car and get exploring! PhoebeGill160305006There are lots of points to stop off and look around, I also saw rock climbers so I am sure there are groups you can join to go climbing. The Wild Atlantic Way is such a gorgeous route to follow and to explore but do keep in mind that the landscape looks very similar so if you go for a long walk make sure you have gps or orienteering skills of some sort. PhoebeGill160305225

Craggy Island’s Parochial  House

You can’t go to Clare without seeing Father Ted’s house, this is a private home and farm so don’t go up the drive, or knock on the door or obstruct the gates. There is a farm tour €25 and  you can go for tea €10 and hear the history of the house. Check out their website to see what’s on offer. PhoebeGill160306534The route to get to the house are tiny roads, very very tiny! Be careful driving around, although the area is quiet make sure you take the corners carefully and drive with lights on, even in the day time, lights are easier to see than cars that are similar colours to the hedging. Make sure you take a look at the farm life, lots of cows, sheep and horses, there is nothing better than seeing these faces peer over a stone wall. PhoebeGill160306542

In Closing

I think the only thing I didn’t like was that the roads aren’t built for the amount tourism that Clare gets, huge tour buses are going along country roads which means the side of your car is scraping the bushes, that sound makes my heart hurt! My poor car. Also a red car whacked off the side of my door so thank you person, that was nice of you…but that’s my only gripe, everything else was amazing!

Screen Shot 2016-03-07 at 08.36.57I think in total I spent €252 for the weekend including petrol, activities, food, accommodation. It was such a good trip and there is still more to see of Clare. I think three days is enough time to see and do the upper half of the county! There are also the Doolin cave, the Alawee caves, there is the surf town of Lahinch. I am very happy I chose Clare to explore, it’s a great county with so much to do and see. Definitely rent a car, do the Wild Atlantic Way route, see the Cliffs of Moher, get in the sea and have an amazing weekend! PhoebeGill160305162

Happy Travels!