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Cologne Day 2

We had the best blackout blinds ever and managed to sleep until almost lunch time! After dragging our butts up we headed out to go on the hop on hop off our round the city to get some history and have a look about.

We got off at the cathedral getting to enjoy the beauty of the architecture in the daylight before fighting our way through the crowds along the main shopping strip.

We checked out Bose and had fun with some of their props for their mini photo booth before hitting the Lego store and getting some for our growing collection!

We grabbed a late lunch and decided to go to the chocolate museum….my heaven!

We even designed our own choccie bars. I went for caramel biscuit, chocolate chips and almond slithers – divine!

A short stop at the hotel (of course to test the newly made chocolate) we headed off to dinner and the Christmas markets.

It was heaving with people, but we managed to squeeze in enough to check out the stalls and get some waffle before we called it a night ready for an early start tomorrow.

Cologne Day 1

Yay Cologne! Christmas smells, good food, friendly people.

We landed late as our flight had delays (hopefully that means we have had our share for this trip!) and then we had a very confusing trip on the train to try and get to our hotel.

Firstly, it was a marathon walk to get from the terminal to the train platform…I seriously started to question if it even existed?! Then when we got there, there was only four ticket machines….four….for a large airport like Cologne….someone somewhere is having a good old laugh. So after queuing for what felt like days we then got to the front to try and get our tickets. There was some question as to what options to select so the always positive button mash of ‘next’ ensued and out popped two tickets.

On the platform we had another long arduous wait as apparently the trains don’t come on time….or they lie on the signs? Not sure which yet….but finally we got to the town centre!!!

We wandered to our hotel, checked in, dropped our stuff and went looking for food! Of course we went to the Hard Rock Café to pick up my pin…

Then we tried out some of the Christmas market food before heading to the supermarket for supplies to go back to the hotel and rest before our adventures tomorrow.

Krakow Day 4

What a day!!!!!

We got picked up by the uber in the morning for the airport to find the poor person before us had left their phone in the car! Their bad luck must have stuck to us as we were then followed by bad service, no food and flight delays….

Finally we made it back in one piece to have a quietish evening before normality kicks back in.

Krakow Day 3

Our last full day in Krakow….

First plan of action once up and out was to battle through the snow towards Wawel Castle and get on the hop on hop off bus to pick up a bit of history and see all that we could of the city. We got to hear some interesting pieces about the Jewish ghetto, the historical mounds and the dragon legend. Overall, a pretty packed hour and a half.

We stopped at the Hard Rock café to get some quick easy food before heading off to the Wieliczka salt mines.

We arrived just in time for one of the last English lead tours into the mines. 800 stairs later (yes I mean a literal 800 steps!) We had been through the cathedral, checked out some churches, seen some monuments, heard some history and learnt a hell of a lot about the mines.

Once back to town Jackson made the executive decision as I was dithering, that we should attend one of the concerts at one of the most beautiful churches in Krakow. It was really lovely. There was a quintet and a solo performance from a flute, piano, guitar and singer. The acoustics in the church were amazing!

After the performance, I tried to get feeling back in my toes, ate some good street food, got some traditional cake to try back at the apartment before tackling the mammoth challenge of the stairs….

A perfect way to finish the day, topped off by a good hot chocolate.

Krakow Day 1 & 2

We finally made it to Krakow late yesterday after an hour or so of delays and milling in the freezing snow.

Our apartment was awesome, I loved it instantly and happily collapsed into bed to sleep (it was 1am!).

Today we got up, layered up and headed over to the hard rock café in the old part of the town. It happened to be on the main square so we could check out the Christmas markets and of course get some good Polish food!

After filling my face we headed off towards Wawel castle. On the way we stopped at a beautiful church.

We went inside and round the crypts. I got quite teary feeling the emotion in the place and the beauty of it. Not being a religious person myself, I still felt something and it felt right to light a few candles for my lost loved ones. Back out into the snow, we made it to the castle!

Of course we had to check out the dragon there….

Once I’d made a friend, we headed back to the apartment to warm up and feel our toes again.

Our final stop was for some tasty local food that I could hardly fit in and to do a rounds of the Christmas markets before calling it a day and climbing the 100+ steps to our apartment for the night.

Budapest Day 4

We woke up, packed up and said goodbye to our apartment. Today is the last day in Budapest.

We headed over to the House of Terror which was actually open today and it only furthered my sadness. The turmoil, torture and death that was rife through Hungary due to Nazism, Communism and religion is just heartbreaking. It has left quite an impact on me. I felt truly moved.

We didn’t have much time left and after a bite to eat we hopping on the 100E shuttle bus direct to the airport for our flight home.

Upon arrival, snuggles from my fur babies were gratefully received 😍

Budapest Day 3

Today we had a hit list of places we wanted to check out…first on the list was the House of Terror. A lot of the roads were closed today, but the sun was shining so we decided to walk it, it was only 15 minutes after all.

We arrived ready to get our history on only to find out that it was closed Monday’s. Oh the joy!

On to step two then. The New York café. Another 15 minute walk and we arrived. We timed it perfectly, first in the queue! We were seated after 5 minutes. It was super grand and you even had a quartet playing for you. I took the opportunity to check out the Hungarian lemonade and dobos cake – I can confirm these are both absolutely mouth watering.

Refuelled ready for the next stint of walking we headed off. We walked through the Jewish quarter which was rather surreal to think that it had been a ghetto not that long ago with 14 people to a room and death’s left right and center, now though it is businesses and admired architecture.

We got to stop three. Szimpla Kert….a ruins bar. It was totally cool. I had heard and read about the ruins bars in Budapest and their increasing popularity but it is definitely something to experience. I can only imagine how totally awesome it would be to go in the evening for a drink or two….or four…..

We wandered further and ended up at central market hall, full of food, souvenirs and people. Oh and Christmas lights!

More food opportunity….yummo! Here we tried goulash. So so so good.

Jackson had to roll me from the market to th Danube for our boat trip and then had to nudge me awake to keep the food coma from kicking in!

After the boat we wandered through the Christmas markets (more food hoorah for langos!) and to this ice cream shop I has heard about. It does your ice creams as roses and I was so flipping excited. Rightly so – check them out!!!!

Final stop. Parliament to make sure the bestie got in on the Budapest action.

All in all, a pretty damn good day.

Budapest Day 1 & 2

Late yesterday we landed at Budapest airport. Tired, cold and hungry we stumbled out and into a taxi – rookie mistake….there is only one regulated taxi service in Budapest and we weren’t in it! A mortgage later we arrived at our Air BnB apartment. It is so awesome!

After some googling we decided to order and get pizza delivered. We filled in the online form and waited….an hour later and still no pizza we started to get concerned. Hanger was coming! When the pizza guy called, it was sweet relief!!! Then to to find out there was some confusion on getting to the right apartment could have bought me to years. Jackson (ever the hero) stepped in, took the phones and keys and headed down to find the pizza.

15 minutes later I started to get a little fidgety. I know he’s a capable guy but it was only pizza, where was he?! 25 minutes gone by and I was worried…..where the hell was Jackson (and of course most importantly my pizza!!!!!!). After 30 minutes I decided in my pyjamas, Jackson’s boots and my coat to risk leaving the apartment unlocked and head down to the main door to find him.

At the main door I freaked. No Jackson. No pizza. I couldn’t get out the front door as I had no key. I couldn’t call him as I had no phone. As panic set in I decided to head back to the apartment and rethink. As the door to lift began to close I saw a pizza box followed by Jackson come through the front door. I jammed my foot in the door to stop it closing and could have cried.

After getting back into the apartment and calming down/stuffing myself with pizza I finally could relax!

Today was much calmer. We had a very lazy start to the day. We are staying next to the parliament building so headed over to have a look.

After that I had to get my usual hard rock badge and we stumbled across some early Christmas markets here.

Of course, being the foodie I am I couldn’t resist trying the local chimney cake – sugar coma take me now!

The afternoon was spent freezing our butts off on the open top bus tour checking out Budapest and getting some of the history. Hopefully we have sussed what we want to do for the next couple of days!

We finished the night by grabbing a Hungarian sausage at the market to warm up a little (well enough for the walk to Aldi for snacks!) And back to the apartment to chillax – Jackson is much better at this than me!!!

Tenerife Day 5

Today we woke up with plans to hit the water park, but we both had a bit of sun stroke and decided the best plan was to stay in bed!

After a late start, we went to the buffet for breakfast and stocked up on fruit before lazing in the apartment and sunshine. I had a wonderful nap and in the time I left Natalie unattended she managed to get sunburnt!!!!

A trip out later to get some essentials and touristy gifts, we caught a taxi back to the apartment to watch Cinderella and apply a lot of after sun….doh!

Tenerife Day 4

The day started well with a delivery of a beautiful bouquet of flowers. The colours and flowers were my favourites so it definitely started the day with a smile!

Later in the afternoon, Natalie and I decided we were up for some jet skiing! So, we started the walk down the hill to the beach in search of a vaguely directed water sports hut.

After asking twice, we finally arrived. We dropped off our stuff, donned the life jackets and hot footed it across the sand to the waiting spot. It was then that Natalie decided to reveal that she was afraid of the sea…..

Five minutes later, a larger rubber dingy speed boat appeared to pick us up. We had to wade into the water and then get helped up in. Oh no, not Natalie. One – she’s stubborn, two – she doesn’t like the sea. As I was being helped up into the boat, all I heard beside me was a ‘thunk’. As I turned to look, Natalie was face down, bum and legs in the arms, wiggling herself over the edge of the boat. She slide into a pile on the inside of the boat, just missing face planting much to my amusement. This was then followed by laughter and the description of ‘like a tuna’ from the boat driver and I couldn’t stop myself creasing up. I laughed so hard I cried.

The drive over to the jet ski was amusing. The guy caught on that Natalie didn’t like it and so started doing alsorts of extravagant twists and turns. I was having the time of my life!

What must have felt like an eternity for Natalie, but was only moments, got us to the jet skis. Installed, introduced to the instructor and left bobbing in the sea, we were soon ready to go.

It was incredible! So much fun!!!! Feeling the sea air whip through your hair and the water spray up was just awesome. We had 40 minutes of this freedom before they bought us back in. (Pics to follow). We then have another joyous boat ride back…..

We were both exhausted after all the adrenaline. A slow walk up the hill, we were both ready for a bath, food and bed! What a day!