Archive | June, 2011

A ‘Cultural Day’

30 Jun

We decided that after so much time sunbathing yesterday we had better have a ‘cultural’ day and see some of the amazing sites Barcelona has to offer!

After breakfast and a cup of coffee Β to get us going, we headed off in search of rental bikes.. two hours later and stops at the Arc de Triomf, Parc de la Ciutadella, and a long walk along the beachfront, we realised we had gone a very very long way to get to the bike rental place which was actually only a 25min walk from our guesthouse! We soon set off down the busy streets of Barcelona, eventually arriving at the stunning, crazy, impressive, beautiful, and astounding Placa de la Sagrada Familia – the cathedral designed by Gaudi. It is a completely amazing site to behold, both inside and out! The inner ceiling is designed to look like a forest canopy and is unlike anything I’ve seen before!

A quick sandwich in the park and we were off biking up to Park Guell, another place in Barcelona graced with Gaudi’s intricate and distinctive design work! The park has stunning views over the city looking down towards the beach, and the viewing platform, entrance, and ‘house’ within the park are covered in beautiful tile details πŸ™‚ Feeling happy (and sweaty… it was HOT in the sun! haha) we biked back to our guesthouse, admiring again the many beautiful buildings, statues, and churches along the way. The bike lanes in BCN are in the middle of the road which was also an interesting experience!

That night we headed to the little courtyard outside the Av de la Catedral for tapas and wine – the perfect end to a wonderful and exhausting day! Tomorrow we will probably take it easy again.. i.e. beach time! hehe πŸ™‚ Happy Wednesday everyone!

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Hola Barcelona!

29 Jun

Finally here are some pics from our first day in the beautiful city of Barcelona! πŸ™‚ It was awesome to be able to wear shorts and feel the heat of the summer sun beating down on us at last…(sorry London, haha)… although apparently my skin is more English than Vietnamese and I ended up with unwelcome sunburn by the day’s end!

The day was, however, the best kick-start to our holiday! We wandered down the famous La Rambla full of shops and street vendors, making our way slowly to the beach for lunch. The beach was PACKED with people, and we had to fight for towel space – but it was worth it! Lying in the sun with hundreds of other holiday-makers, sipping on strawberry mojitos, and swimming in the warm sparkling sea… so amazing! πŸ™‚ A gelato or two later and we were back wandering around the small cobbled streets, looking at all the narrow alleyways and picturesque buildings with their romantic wrought iron balconies and flower boxes… We saw the wonderful Av De La Catedral and an interesting local street parade, before settling down for some sangria and paella!

Am off to fall into bed for another night… hope you are all having a good week! πŸ™‚Β 

 

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Random collection from London!

28 Jun

Woops, I haven’t been able to blog for a couple of days as I am now in BARCELONA (!! πŸ™‚ Β ) and the internet wasn’t working at first, but now I am back online! Here are a few random pictures from the rest of my week in London including a visit to Harrods, my new & beautiful ring from YSL (I love it!!), the Portobello Rd markets in Notting Hill, Big Ben and the parliament buildings, Trafalgar Square… I managed to see and do quite a bit! πŸ™‚

Alice, you are the most amazing host… thank you so much again for the yummy meals (lasagne, pie, oh and of course glasses of Pims!!) and taking such good care of me! πŸ™‚

Tomorrow I will be able to post pics from Barcelona – it is so beautiful here! Hope you have had a good start to the week πŸ™‚Β 
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Tower of London

24 Jun

Another very touristy post for today! πŸ™‚ British & particularly English history has always been of interest to me – and one of the more fascinating remnants of that history is of course the Tower of London! It was first built in 1080 by Willam the Conquerer and later added to by successive monarchs. After a massive lunch of yummy burgers & milkshakes, we headed off to the Tower where we saw the Crown Jewels, the spot where Queen Anne Boleyn and Queen Catherine Howard were beheaded and the chapel where they are buried, the armour of King Henry VIII and various other kings, Traitors Gate and the tower where traitors where imprisoned! All so interesting and amazing to see! πŸ™‚

I would definitely recommend anyone visiting London to check it out – the Yeoman Warder (Beefeater) tours are full of stories of intrigue, imprisonment, murder plots etc .. So fascinating, and totally bring the place to life! πŸ™‚

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Oh to be a tourist!

23 Jun

There are so many things to see and do in London, and luckily for me the sun was shining as I set off to do some more exploring yesterday! I spent the day wandering around from Oxford Circus to Wellington Arch, through Hyde Park to Marble Arch, and on to Covent Garden, Chinatown, and Soho. We ended the day by seeing the musical ‘We Will Rock You’ by Queen which was so much fun – everyone clapping & singing along with the performers! πŸ™‚

I only have two days left in London and can’t believe how fast time is flying! Am off to try and make the most of another day – happy Thursday everyone! πŸ™‚

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SHOPPING

22 Jun

Monday was a day for SHOPPING! My friend (and amazing host) Alice took me to Old Bond Street, where we saw so many amazing designer stores! It was magical (hehe) … and although I didn’t make any immediate purchases, I have definitely been thinking about one or two particularly beautiful things! Now I just need to work out my budget & purchase justification… hehe πŸ™‚

Before the shopping however we wandered down to Buckingham Palace for a bit of site-seeing, and luckily for us we got there just as there was a change of guard with a lot of the usual fantastic pomp and ceremony!Β Gotta love tradition… πŸ˜‰ Add all that to a lunch of fish’n chips at a pub, and it was a perfect British day πŸ™‚ More exploring to do tomorrow!

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Friends are the best :)

21 Jun

Yesterday was my second day in London and was particularly lovely because I was able to catch up with old school friends! With people moving around the world so often and doing different things, it’s always so nice when you get a chance to catch up again! Plus it was fun zipping around London on the tube with my trusty Oyster card hehe πŸ™‚

I first met a friend at the Spitafields market where we found the most AMAZING cupcakes, delicious smelling tea, and funny t-shirts! Then I went to Oxford Circus & Regent St, which is so gorgeous.. I love the style of the buildings in this area, and with the red double decker buses and black London taxis it’s all so picturesque! πŸ™‚ I also ended up wandering around Carnaby St, and had my first taste of Topshop and the one and only Liberty, which is such a beautiful building!

Finally I went to have dinner on the South Bank where we watched the sun set (9.30pm!) and the lights come on at Parliament and Big Ben πŸ™‚ So much more to see and do, and I’m enjoying every minute of it! Hope you’ve had a good start to the week πŸ™‚Β 

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