In Croatia: Dubrovnik City Walls

‘I’m walking the walls’

It sounds and feels very Game of Thrones like! Everyone says walking the walls is the top thing to do in Dubrovnik and it is understandable why. The walls fully encircle the Old Town, it is a 2km uninterrupted walk that gives the most fantastic views!
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I recommend doing the route at the first entrance, this entrance is located opposite the Big Onofrio’s Fountain. It costs 100 kuna (€13) to walk the walls and admission into Fortress Lovrijenac so don’t forget your ticket!!
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I loved the Ikea like system they have in place when you are walking the walls. You walk one way, it means you don’t have buildups and people passing you by, you can generally stay in your own group and walk with minimal disruption. Loved the organisation! PhoebeGill150620428-1

The views from the walls are beautiful, there is one side the looks out to see on one side and then over to the buildings and small streets that makes up old town. There are forts and lookouts that give you so many vantage points. PhoebeGill150620468-6

Looking out over the red topped roofs you can imagine ships out at sea and the threat of a siege but you forget there was huge upheaval here twenty years ago. These defence walls are an amazing piece of history that seem untouched by war. It really makes you see how strong Croatia is. PhoebeGill150620704-7

If you take the first entrance your walk will end with the big tower to the North. Tower Minčeta is very popular with not much open space to look at the views it may get a bit crowded. It’s a really great way to end the walk. Walking it, with lots of stops for photos should take less than two hours and it is definitely two hours well spent!

Fortress Lovrijenac

PhoebeGill150620389-8I definitely recommend you go over to Fortress Lovrijenac. When you take the first entrance of the walls one of the first things you see is this beautiful fort on a rock and it looks amazing. Getting to the fort is a little confusing because there is the main square outside Pile Gate with restaurants, a bus stop and tour guide stalls. There are some steps down on the right side of the square that meander down to a small little harbour, you can then see lots of steps up to the fort. Don’t forget to bring your ticket! The views are great, it’s nice to see a different angle of the walls. Fortress Lovrijenac has been repurposed into a theatre space, Shakespeare’s Hamlet is preformed here which would be an amazing experience.

So it’s clear to see why people really like this feature of Dubrovnik. Take note you might want to walk the walls in the morning or evening it can get really hot so morning and evening means it’s a little cooler and a little quieter. It’s a must to visit this amazing structure and learn about it. Would you like to walk the walls?

Happy Travels!

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In China: Hong Kong

I went to Hong Kong in 2008 as a stop over on my way to Australia. I only spent two days in Hong Kong but there is something about it that I really enjoyed. Even though there is 7 million people in this city and for someone who hates crowds, I wasn’t uncomfortable with the amount of people. One thing I noticed was that no one cared that you were there, people are just going about their day to day business, I think that really aided to my feeling of calm. It’s an odd balance of feeling alone amongst hundreds of people. PhoebeGill081221009-1The food is amazing! authentic Chinese food is my in my top three favourite foods. Packed restaurants, lots of noise, really quick service, incredible food, it was amazing!

We like visiting lots of places that really creates a better understanding of a country BUT Hong Kong was different! There was one tourist attraction we went to multiple times, this never happens when we are on a trip.The Peak is a lookout point 428m above sea level that gives you the most amazing panoramic view of Hong Kong. It is nothing like I have ever seen before. It was incredible!

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We took a taxi up to The Peak Tower. The journey winds up the side of a mountain, it was beautifully green and really enjoyable ride up! At the base of the tower you can see the harbour, watching all the silhouettes of the boats was gorgeous.

In the tower there are lots of shops and places to eat so you can really spend a lot of time there if you want. You have to pass by them all to get to the top so you might as well have a look in.

The view from the top:pmgill_20081221_0031

This view is probably one of the most amazing views of a city I have ever seen. There is a reason we went twice. You definitely have to check it out if you are in Hong Kong. Have any of you been here?

Happy Travels!

In Meath: The Hill of Tara

The Hill of Tara is a very famous archeological site in County Meath. It is a very important site to our history. Except I usually just to go for a stroll with friends and get some fresh air. I still haven’t been with an archeologist to learn about this place! Next time I will go and get all the information I possibly can! PhoebeGill150306033-1

The landscape and the views are beautiful in this area! There are also many sheep in this area just in case you want to get some snaps! Inside this church is the visitors centre but I have never been in. PhoebeGill150306026-1

A huge, giant reason I will be going back to this area of Meath is Maguire’s of Tara cafe. Now I went here with my foodie partner in crime Jess. We love coming together and trying new things. This instalment was trying sweet treats.
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Firstly we started off with Hot Chocolate, it was delicious! Then we moved on to some chocolate squares and they were amazing! We couldn’t decide so we got three. I know, I know but we don’t care. PhoebeGill150306003-2 Firstly the classic caramel slice.

PhoebeGill150306015Then the honeycomb tiffin square.

PhoebeGill150306019 Then finally we got an Areo tiffin.PhoebeGill150306024All three were delicious and buttery and of so gluttonous. We didn’t finish all three we were able to take them away and have later on as well.

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The shop also sells trinkets, books, tshirts, signs, decorations, lots of fun things that would be perfect for presents! This is the inside of the cafe (with Jess vlogging, check out her channel here)

Something that I was not expecting but was pleasantly surprised was the resident cats that hang out outside the cafe. They are super friendly and all they want is to be pet, really nice animals. As I have said many times before, I make it my mission to pet and meet lots of different animals where ever I go. PhoebeGill150306039-1I definitely recommend this area, it’s filled with history and information, although I would read up on some info before you go or have a print out if you want to walk around and know what’s what as it is just a field with very limited on site information. (There is information on the gate outside the field)

The area outside The Hill is wonderful, the amazing cafe which you have to go and check out, absolutely delicious! There is a second hand book shop filled with book from floor to ceiling and other small local shop waiting to be explored.

It might be a bit far out from Dublin but sometimes it’s nice to get out and explore.

Happy Travels!

In Wicklow: My Happy Place

cover imageI don’t know what it is but when I am out driving, to clear my head, to get away from everything, I end up here. Possibly because of it’s beauty, maybe the breeze from the valley blows away the cobwebs or maybe because I have really happy memories attached to this place. Whatever it is it is a definite must see if you are travelling around Wicklow. cold

If you are travelling in Winter it will be very cold, do you see my face? I thought my fingers were going to fall off. Bring all of your layers! You will need them. Something I really recommend if you are freezing is to go for a walk, the Ballinastoe walk right by Lough Tay is the perfect walk to do if you need to get the feeling back in your body. PhoebeGill150227073

This walk is great for a tourist because of the boardwalk, if you are afraid of getting lost, don’t worry the path will guide you. It protects the landscape because it is such a travelled route. Bring some ankle support because the boards can get uneven in places and you don’t want to twist your ankle.

PhoebeGill150227043 The boardwalk goes all the way up to the base of the mountain, and because there has been so many visitors they have carved out the path in the mountain so it is very easy to follow. Untitled-1The main attraction is Lough Tay, this beautiful lake can be seen all along the road so there are many places to view it. Stopping off at any of them will give you the most amazing pictures! This area is amazing at all times of the year so whenever you are visiting you are sure to experience the best of the area.
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I love this area, it’s not far from South Dublin at all, it’s really accessible, lots of space to park your car and a great place to explore and get some great images! Have you been to this area? 

Happy Travels!

In Wicklow: Glendalough

One of my best friends and I went to Glendalough, Co. Wicklow recently. We are both bloggers/youtubers and it is great that we can come together and create and hang out while getting content to show all of you. So here are a few shots from that day.
PhoebeGill150211027There are lots of trails, paths you can go on, I haven’t actually explored all of them yet, I can’t wait to do the top trail, I was waiting for it to become a little bit nicer weather. I will probably make a video of it on my channel some time in the future. 

PhoebeGill150211101Glendalough is a Monastic site, it’s ruins are located near the lower lake. The most well intact and impressive is the round tower a classic site of Glendalough.

PhoebeGill150211118What I love most about this area is the wildlife and the colours. This patch of forest has always been covered in green moss when I go. It is always beautiful.

PhoebeGill150211106In winter the hills and the ground turn brown and will slowly get more colourful as the months go on. There are birds everywhere, it is great to stop and wait by the upper lake to see different species fly around and hear their calls.

PhoebeGill150211109There is something I look for every time I come to Glendalough. The first time I came here, I saw a stag and a doe. They were beautiful and ever since I always keep an eye out in case the deer are hiding in the tall grass. Can you spot the deer in this picture?

PhoebeGill150211162There is also some resident mallards that are always up for being in pictures. 

PhoebeGill150211192Glendalough is a perfect place in Summer or in Winter. I love spending time here all year round. I go on birthdays or days off, if I want some exercise or I take a picnic with some friends. It is a must do in Wicklow. When you visit it you’ll know why they call it the Garden of Ireland.

Happy Travels!PhoebeGill150211033

In Iceland: My Experience in January

I spent three days in this beautiful country and I am no where near done. This is what I have done so far. Screen Shot 2015-01-15 at 11.21.23

Reykjavik: 

I love the city, no skyscrapers, colourful houses, beautiful street art makes this city a perfect place to wander around and relax. I loved shopping downtownwalking from Harpa to the lake. Going to Hallgrímskirkja and looking at the amazing view from the top. It’s also so close to the sea which is my favourite place to be! The entire sea front area is beautiful. I loved seeing the Sun Voyager sculpture

Exploring this city is a must and I can’t wait to find more places next time. Here is my post on the food I experienced in Iceland! PhoebeGill150109076 PhoebeGill150109144

The Golden Circle:

The Golden Circle is a great tour to do in winter, it runs all year round and is generally easy to do if you want to self drive. First stop is Þingvellir National Park it is a beautiful location which is steeped in geographical and historical information. I definitely want to go back in summer/autumn! Next up is Geysir and Strokkur beautiful location to see the amazing power of nature, Lastly but in no means least is the magnificent Gullfoss Waterfall this place is so beautiful! A must see.

PhoebeGill150110208 PhoebeGill150110416South Iceland:

I had one day to get a glimpse of South Iceland and the short amount of time I spent there was amazing! I drove to Vik but the weather was so bad that I couldn’t see anything. I got to stop and take lots of photos of the amazing landscapes and I got to say hello to the cutest most lovely Icelandic Horses.

I did get to see two beautiful waterfalls Seljalandsfoss and Skógafoss

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Tips:

  1. Save up your money! I know people say it’s expensive all the time but it really is!
  2. If you want to do a lot, go on tours. Iceland is amazing but in Winter bus tours and super jeep tours are the easier option. Icelandic people know how to get around their country in Winter.
  3. Here is my post on my self drive experience
  4. Get a good jacket! I got a insulated Regatta Jacket and it was perfect!
  5. Also get a good pair of boots, if you want to do any walking get ones with good traction and waterproof shoes.

Things to note!

  1. The hot water smells like sulphur, it’s geothermal water, it’s normal don’t worry.
  2. In January daylight is from 11am-4:30pm. It does mean you get beautiful light for photos but not a lot of time adventuring.
  3. Everything is accessible. All attractions mentioned above are all just off the road. Really easy to get to and they all have toilets.
  4. Parking is really good in Iceland, there are car parks and on street parking, you can pay by card on the meters which is also really handy.

So that’s it, I can’t think of anything else. I think 14 posts for three days travel is pretty good. Have I missed anything? What should I see next?

Happy Travels!