In Stockholm: Top Things to do in Djurgården

I love Stockholm, the Old Town is gorgeous, the water is beautiful, the walks you can do are so pretty but there is one place that I was drawn to every day. Djurgården is one of the islands that make up Stockholm and it is beyond beautiful! With loads of museums you can visit and a huge park and fun fair, it is the perfect spot for any visitor. phoebegill160716249First stop has to be the bridge onto the island, with statures of Thor and beautiful views of Stockholm, start there are take a few snaps before walking through these blue gates to the park. A lovely space with ample places to sit and have a picnic. It is the perfect location for a Sunday stroll.phoebegill160716315

Skansen

Skansen is an open air living museum, it has a cast, animals and historical buildings to showcase Sweden though the ages, from farming techniques to how Swedish people lived. It’s situated within the park, it has a funicular, I love funicular railways. Such simple things but they are so much fun. phoebegill160716489There is a market with stalls selling food and crafts. It’s a really interesting concept for a museum and it is well worth a look around. Just be aware there are animals in this park so would be considered a zoo, I know many people are against them so just be aware. Admission to Skansen if different at certain times of the year so check out prices herephoebegill160716581

Vasa Museum

Tbex can get really amazing access for their parties and the Stockholm Tbex was no different. Three of the most amazing museums we could just walk into. I just went to one and it was incredible. I saw the queue for the Vasa museum during the day and it was so busy it wrapped around onto the street. I decided to go during the party to see it as there would be considerably less people. phoebegill160715350The building houses a ship that sank in the 16oo’s and was recovered in 1961. It is an impressive artifact that is so well preserved. It is 98% original pieces which is just incredible. I was entirely in awe of the size of it. Definitely go and see this beautiful find, it is just wonderful! It’s free entry with the Stockholm Pass or SEK130 (€13).

Nordiska Museum

I didn’t get to go into the Nordiska but it is a collection of pieces from the 16th century onwards all showcasing Sweden and Swedish people. If you love history I’d go and see it because the Swedes have had an very interesting history. Entry is SEK100 (€10) but with the Stockholm Pass it is free. phoebegill160716254

Flickorna Helin Voltaire Cafe

I wasn’t in the mood for a hot dog or a sit down meal so I went for a wander and found this Hansel and Gretel house looking building. A cafe with cake. That’s all I wanted to hear. I chose some nutty, sugary tart and a coffee. phoebegill160716445There was the option to sit on a terrace and as it was the height of summer it was lovely to sit outside with the birds and take in a bit of sun. Although watch out there is a vicious looking seagull. phoebegill160716479

Abba Museum

Knowing me, knowing you, you’ll want to visit the ABBA museum. I’m sorry, I couldn’t help myself, there is way too much fun in song puns. There is an incredible documentary piece as you walk in that gets you in the mood to learn everything you’ve ever wanted to know about them.  phoebegill160715053-1What I really loved about this museum is that there is so much visitor participation, you can go into a recording booth and sing ABBA songs, you can have a dance, you can make a music video. It’s pretty magical! You can get money off your ticket if you have a Stockholm Pass and I have to say that entry into this museum is very expensive, for a normal Adult ticket is it SEK195 (€20)

Aquarium

I love aquariums, they are so peaceful. This one is tiny, I mean you could go through it in about 5 minutes. So take your time if you do go. This aquarium had a horseshoe crab which is quite rare to see. These magical creatures are millions of years old, they were roaming around back in the day, it’s pretty amazing. phoebegill160715112They have lots more aquatic animals if you are interested. It will cost you SEK100 (€10) which is very expensive for what it is but I like fish. phoebegill160715107

Gröna Lund

Last but not least, Gröna Lund, the fun fair. With rides and restaurants you can spend a large amount of time having a lot of fun. There is an admission fee and a ride fee, to see full details see here for prices.phoebegill160716454-1

Djurgården is an gorgeous area that is a must if you visit Stockholm. I had such a lovely time exploring the area and enjoying the sun. If you are visiting in July it is best to come armed with a picnic and friends.

Happy Travels!

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In Split: Marjan Hill

Marjan hill is the beautiful peak of green you can see as you walk around old town. It was one of the things I really wanted to do in Split. On google maps it looks really far out of the city but it’s actually a really easy walk to do.   PhoebeGill150617014-1

The hill is a spiral uphill walk with a fair few steps. There is a shuttle that can bring you up and down but I wanted the walk so I don’t know when it leaves or how much it is. I would recommend you go early in the morning or in the evening as the colder temperatures are nicer to hike up to the top. PhoebeGill150617125-3

Once you reach the top there is one main view looking over old town and the mountains behind. Although this is a fantastic look out location there are lots of trees covering the view. Now in no way do I think the trees should be taken down but just be aware your view might be obscured. PhoebeGill150617093-2

I really liked the uphill walk, it was nice to get a good bit of exercise when you have just been sitting on buses and eating. It’s not just a lookout point it’s also a park, this is an area where people walk their dogs and play with their kids. It’s a really nice place to go when you are in Split.

One thing I have to note is that this is where Split Zoo is. I urge you to never step foot into this “attraction” there is nothing that is nice or kind about this zoo. I had zero knowledge of this zoo before I went to Split, I wish I knew. I thought this was going to be a quaint little petting zoo, oh how I was wrong. This zoo costs 10 kuna (€1.30) to enter and I have no idea how this covers the cost of living for these creatures that live in this despicable area. I do visit zoos and I like to support breeding programmes and the educating people on animals but this zoo has none of that. It is dirty and small and the animals look miserable, the warthogs have hair missing, the animals had ZERO fresh produce in their cages. I fed some goats fresh grass and they got very excited. They have one tiger who I wanted to throw myself into the enclosure to give it something to do. I urge you, DO NOT enter this awful excuse for a zoo. It is too small for the amount of creatures and I felt sick walking around it.

In 2014 there were reports of it going to be closed, I don’t know why this hasn’t happened yet but I hope that it happens soon. It is a disgrace!

I definitely recommend Marjan Hill. It is a beautiful location but please do not give the zoo any money because the little amount of money that it gets is not going into building a better environment for these animals.

Happy Travels!

In Croatia: Plitvice National Park in June

Plitvice National Park has been on my bucket list for a long long time and as happy as I was to see it there was something that was quite disappointing about the whole thing. I hate coming away from a trip and feeling like I have to go back right away. After my day in Plitvice, I am not finished at all. Also I will never go back in June or Summer ever again.

I got the bus from Zadar to Plitvice, buses are really convenient to get around but the morning I was to leave, my bus was late, about an hour late so that was quite annoying, I also sat in something sticky which is just nasty. Always bring travel wipes with you!

PhoebeGill150615276-1I got to the park at about 12:30 which is pretty late if you want to get the park done in a day, which was the only time I could spend there.  I paid 110 kuna (€14.50) to get into the park which is very good value for money. I also got a big map that cost 20 kuna (€2.60) I started at entrance 2, and waited in line to get across the lake to the park itself. The lake is absolutely beautiful. You can hire boats that you can row by yourself and go off and explore, I will be doing that next time.   PhoebeGill150615477-2If you are looking at a map the of the park and are at entrance 2 you will see on the left that there are three loops around the lakes, I only did the lowest loop. I am annoyed I only saw that because I am sure that the rest of the upper lakes are beautiful.
PhoebeGill150615062-3Walking around the park was really nice but also a little unnerving. Massive groups of tourists would clump together and make you feel like you were going to fall into the water. These aren’t the biggest walkways and there are no banisters on the boardwalks also so take note. 

PhoebeGill150615148-4The waterfalls are absolutely beautiful! There are unfortunately no inlets to take pictures so there is always a bit of a pile up if you want to stop. It also makes the experience feel a bit rushed, like you can’t stop because then you are holding up a lot of people. PhoebeGill150615462-5 There are beautiful dragonflies all over the park, such beautiful, beautiful creatures. There are also lots of fish in the lakes and the water is so clear that you can see them really clearly.
PhoebeGill150615379-6 The right side of the map has ‘The Big Waterfall’. I did this route later in the evening when most of the big big tour groups are gone. I took the big boat across the lake from port 2 to port 3 to walk to the big waterfall. I was still following route K but it was closed off on this side which meant I needed to find an alternative route. This part of the park was a lot quieter. Although I didn’t have any pressure from people it was now almost closing time in the park.
PhoebeGill150615466-7The water is just absolutely amazing! It’s a shame you can’t go for a swim or touch it but to preserve it’s beauty is important and shouldn’t be messed with. PhoebeGill150615283-9When I got to the big waterfall it was worth it. I sat down tried to drown out all the selfie sticks and other people and enjoyed my time. It is utterly stunning!

Tips:

  1. Go early or later. If you are going in June this is your best bet to have a little more comfort walking around the park.
  2. Have a nice time but don’t loose all sense of courtesy. Don’t run past people, don’t walk two or three a breast, don’t be rude. It’s very simple.
  3. Use the boats and buses. They are a fantastic way to get around the park and break up a lot of walking.
  4. Stay at the Plitvice Hotel at entrance 2. Great basic hotel and you get breakfast included.
  5. Don’t touch the water or mess with any flora or fauna in the park.

*Note: I know my shots look empty but that is because I am an expert in taking people out of my shots, it was extremely busy!

I wish I listened to my gut and took an extra day here. I think two days is the perfect amount for a visit in Summer. I will be going back, I am already thinking of how I can go back and see more of Croatia and this park. I would definitely recommend going to see this beautiful park but I don’t recommend you go in Summer, this was just the start of the season and if you don’t like crowds it isn’t the time to go, I couldn’t handle it. Despite all this the park is beautiful and I can’t wait to go back. Have you been to Plitvice? What time of year did you go at? 

Happy Travels!

In Wicklow: Glendalough

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: Þingvellir National Park

In Iceland: Þingvellir National Park

This is the first stop of the Golden Circle. They way you pronounce Þingvellir is Thingvellir. I only did the main tourist walk bit I didn’t actually go down into the park. I was on a tour and I didn’t have any time to go off and explore for myself. Looking out at the viewing points the landscape is so beautiful!

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Þingvellir literally means ‘Assembly Plains’ it is where decisions were made and events were held. It is a very important place in Icelandic history. PhoebeGill150110232 Not only that but it is an amazing natural wonder. The area is a fissure area, which means that there is a huge crack in the earth because Iceland is on top of two tectonic plates that broke apart. Sites like these make me wish I paid more attention in geography!

In winter it is beautiful, everything is covered in snow and it makes the park look endless! I want to go back because I have no idea what it would look like without it and that is something I need to know.

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This park is free entry, although the toilets will cost you 200 isk (€1.30) because it is a national park and they have to remove the waste.

It is definitely worth it to go, the area is beautiful, the history and geography is fascinating and you can also go diving in this area too. I can’t wait to go back!

Happy Travels!

In South Africa: Kruger National Park

In South Africa: Kruger National Park

I have wanted to go to Kruger National Park for so many years. It has been on my bucket list to go on safari and ever since I watched The Wild Thornberrys I have wanted to see wild animals in Africa (also to talk to them but I don’t think I can achieve this). It has been a dream of mine for about 16 years.PhoebeGill141014048

The flight from Johannesburg to Nelspruit is thirty five minutes, very quick flight, you even get a carton of juice and a pastry, what more could you want.

Kruger about the size of Wales, so there is a lot of terrain you can cover and lots of gates you can enter and exit. You can go wherever as long as you are out of the park on time.

We stayed right next to the Paul Kruger Gate. A fantastic location, it is amazing as you are driving down the road you see wildebeest or zebra, it’s amazing. There is a bridge right in front of the Paul Kruger gate over the Sabie river. Before you even get into the park you can find wildlife on the river. The first animal we saw was an elephant in the tall grass.PhoebeGill141014029

We had a Jeep so we were able to go on the dirt roads, we generally stayed along the Sabie, I am very glad we did. Naturally animals go to water, so it is very likely you will see everything you want to see.

We went on three drives. First when we arrived at our hotel so around 2pm. One 5:30am – 9:30am and 1pm – 5:45. All amazing.PhoebeGill141014155-2

Tips:

  1. Look at previous sightings, there is a facebook and twitter page dedicated to what people see in the park. https://twitter.com/latestkruger Know where the animals are so you have a better shot at seeing them.
  2. Get a map, know where you are and how you can get back, don’t get stuck in the park.
  3. Bring suncream and sunglasses, you have no idea about the wind whipping you will get sitting in the back of a car and also the wind in your eyes for three hours is painful. Sun is hot, it’s africa.
  4. Get up early. I mean really early. Morning time is incredible in Kruger.
  5. If you see an elephant in the middle of the road. Back up. Elephants can be aggressive, they have killed people before. I am not sure about Rhino or Hippo but again these animals can be aggressive so be careful. Reverse is your friend, do it.
  6. Look in the trees! You never know what you could spot.PhoebeGill141014032-3

Animals I saw:

  1. Elephants (Probably around 90 in the total three drives)
  2. Black Rhino
  3. White Rhino
  4. Hippo
  5. Buffaloes
  6. Vervet Monkeys
  7. Chacma Baboons
  8. Giraffe
  9. Wildebeest
  10. Impala
  11. Greater Kudu
  12. Hyena
  13. Zebra
  14. Lilac Breasted Roller
  15. Sable
  16. Springbok
  17. Yellow Billed Hornbill
  18. Warthog
  19. Water Monitor
  20. Crocodile
  21. African Fish Eagle
  22. Martial Eagle
  23. Egyptian Goose
  24. Mongoose
  25. Bush Baby
  26. BatsPhoebeGill141014171

Some of my favourite moments:

  1. Zebra walking past our room. They were just grazing outside the window…amazing.
  2. Sitting in between a herd of elephants; they were at the river, females and calfs. We just turned off the car, rolled down the windows and watched these beautiful amazing creatures drink, eat and play. Absolutely amazing to watch such an amazing family dynamic.
  3. A whole herd of elephants coming up behind us at sunset. Absolutely amazing they were walking beside the river and we drove along beside them until they decided to walk on the road behind us. Incredible moment.
  4. A whole herd of buffaloes crossing the road causing a traffic jam.
  5. Coming across a huge beautiful black rhino. Just amazing.
  6. Watching a hippo cross the road. She decided she wanted to go to the other side of the river so right on the bridge, where everyone drives in and out, she just pottered across the road. It was just incredible.
  7. Lightening storm at dinner, sitting listening to the thunderous air and flashes of lightening.
  8. Watching bush babies at dinner.PhoebeGill141014069-4

Kruger is my disneyland. It is the happiest place on earth. If you take the 11 hour flight to Johannesburg and you don’t go to Kruger you are a fool. This place is just amazing and I can’t wait to go back.

Happy Travels!