So let the party begin…!

Right, I’m back – ready for the next phase of our trip? Good, I hoped you would be! So, after Rome, Milan and Munich/Cologne we get the train to Amsterdam. The German train booking website was easier to use than the Italian one, so clear and easy to understand it was great to use http://www.bahn.de/p/view/index.shtml and again, the InterRail website takes you through how to use it – some German trains need to be booked by phone or can be left until you’re at the station.

We arranged our whole trip around the fact that we wanted to be in Amsterdam from the 1st to the 3rd of August because that weekend is Gay Pride and quite frankly, we can’t wait for those few days. I think it’ll be filled with just about everything! Whilst we’re there we want to go to the Anne Frank House and the Van Gogh museum and possibly the Diamond Museum and any other places where we can soak up some culture. Sophia found a nightclub called Trouw which is held in an old newspaper printing factory and combines food, music and art all in one space so it seems like an interesting place to check out. If you’ve been, do tell me all the pros and cons of it – it seems slightly, uh, safer (?) than some of the other options around town… I don’t think we’ll need a tetanus shot after at least.

So after a welcome mix of education and crazy partying with everyone for Pride, we’re off to Denmark and I have to say, it’s mostly for the statue of The Little Mermaid. The blurb surrounding Denmark labels it as a fairy tale-like country and around Copenhagen, where we’re staying, there are many fairy tale walking tours you can take which give an insight into Hans Christian Andersons life as well as the inspirations for his stories. We’re not spending that long in Copenhagen but it’ll be nice to just to relax a little after our busy (and probably exhausting) Amsterdam weekend.

Now after spending three weeks jumping on and off trains and walking until we can’t anymore, we wanted somewhere to fully relax and top up our tans before returning home; and what better place to do that than Esapaῆaaaaa! Granted we had to fly from Denmark to but it was actually pretty cheap, perhaps something to do with the 6am take-off. The alternative was a train to Barcelona and then a ferry to Palma which would have taken about 24 hours and as you can imagine neither of us we’re particularly thrilled at that thought. So 6 days in Mallorca is how we’re finishing our travels and it’ll be perfect to just lie on the beach and do absolutely nothing. I for one will be filling up on paella and authentic Spanish food like there’s no tomorrow simply because it’s delicious and of course, you can’t have Spanish food without Spanish sangria… so let the party begin! 

Well we’ve done it…

Well we’ve done it. Everything is booked (minus a few trains we can sort on the day) so now we can really start to get excited and tell people where we’re going! It was a little hush hush about our destinations before, in case things didn’t work out but now, if you’ll kindly pull up a chair I shall tell you about our travels.

Oh by the way, for those of you that don’t know her – this is Sophia! The photo below was taken in March on our trip to Disneyland Paris, at the time this photo was hilarious but looking at it now, maybe you had to be there…

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Just a little side note and insight into my mind, you should know that yesterday was heaven for me – I was surrounded by plastic wallets, colouring pens, staples and highlighters (you name it I was using it) and just generally being crazily organised. I’m so proud of the folder I made/decorated/organised it’s a bit insane, but hey! At least we won’t be faffing around at each place wondering where we are and what we’re doing right?! The important things are planned but we’re throwing caution to the wind with everything else, I guess you could call that adventure.

Okay, here goes!

We start with a few days in Rome (we had to fly as I said previously because we can’t use the InterRail pass in Britain), taking in the sights and probably being super touristy then we hop on a train to Milan. Use this website http://www.italiarail.com/ if you want to book Italian train tickets and have an InterRail pass, the InterRail website will take you through what to do at each stage. I have to say, watching the price drop from €79 to €7 was very satisfying. So we stay in Milan for four days, whilst we’re there we’re hoping to visit Verona and Venice for day trips since they’re only ½ hours away by train. In both cities we’re staying in very basic hostels although anywhere in Italy seemed to be pretty pricey but we found somewhere close to the station and the town centre so it seems alright for what we need.

From Milan we wanted to go Cologne, Germany, but unfortunately the sleeper train was incredibly expensive, even with our InterRail passes so instead we decided to stop overnight in Munich and then get the train to Cologne the next morning which worked out cheaper – and we get to see two German cities instead of one! We’re frantically trying to remember useful German phrases from doing GCSE’s although I think we’ll be able to muddle through, how bad can our memories be..?
In Cologne we have a few tourist sites listed; the Cathedral (Kölner Dom) which is impressive – I’ve climbed the stairs to the top before and although it was exhausting, as always, the view was worth it. There’s also the chocolate museum (Schokoladenmuseum) and of course the Fragrance museum which being in Cologne, you can’t really miss.

I’m wary that this post is getting a bit long so I’ll keep the next set of cities for a separate installment and I don’t want to give too much away but it includes Gay Pride in Amsterdam, that’s all I’ll tell you…

But seriously…

Hey guys, me again – thanks for coming back! I’m trying to keep these posts regular so that I get into a bit of a routine with writing and such but not a lot has happened in the past few days with regards to travel plans and bookings so I was wondering what you’d like to read about during these “nothing days”.  I can write about what I do throughout my last few days in Portsmouth? Some of those days will just be packing or binge watching multiple TV series, but who doesn’t love a good Orange is the New Black discussion, right? I’m joking; I won’t give away spoilers for those of you who aren’t quite up to speed. But seriously, what would you like to see here? I can tell you about the semi-interesting things I get up to, post pretty sunset photos if I get to the beach at some point and things like that? Let me know what you think and I’ll do my best to keep you all interested in my life… 

Since you’re joining me…

Seeing as this is only my second post, I thought I’d give you a little more info about the trip I’m planning (since you’re joining me I guess it’s only polite). I’m attempting InterRailing across Europe with my best friend, we both need to catch a break and this seemed to be the perfect time. Friday night was meant to be our “let’s plan and book everything night” but my God were we overestimating ourselves! We managed to book Rome as the first city, which was exciting but a little disheartening seeing as we didn’t accomplish quite as much as we’d have liked. Still, we’re going somewhere for now at least!
While I think of it, a quick tip – if you’re thinking of doing InterRailing too, be aware that you can’t use the pass in your own country, meaning you have to fly to your first destination. At least that’s what we found – do comment below if you have an alternatives/ways round that.
So yes, Rome is first on the list. Then we’re hoping to go to Verona for Juliet’s House (I want to write her a letter – I’m a romantic, what can I say?!) and then we’re heading to Milan for a couple of days because visiting Venice was much too expensive (it’s still on my bucket list of places to go though, simply because it looks so interesting and beautiful). Originally, we’d started with a list of near enough 12 countries that we’d always longed to see but time restrictions and money constraints quickly put us in our place. So until things are booked all the cities I mention are merely hopes and dreams for the time being. The next few days and weeks should change all that though!
(I’d say if you’re planning a similar trip, make a list of places you want to go and then half it. And maybe half it again and that might be more realistic…)

If you have any recommendations of places to visit in the Italian cities I mentioned do let me know! Or if you know of any restaurants/secret hideaways/bars/hostels – you name it, i’m interested so nothing is too irrelevant. Grazie!

Give or take…

Give or take, I’ve been in education for 3,136 days. 16 years. As long as I can remember, and now, just like that; it’s over. Done. Finished. I know for me at least, it’s a feeling I can’t quite describe. I’d class it as an odd mix of sheer panic combined with a desperate need for excitement, adventure and something new. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve actually loved being in education (clearly, I chose three extra years of it) but there comes a time when enough is enough and it’s time for a change. 

Originally I thought I’d stay in Portsmouth, the place I went to uni and the city I’ve fallen in love with, get a job and an apartment and really start to live – I presumed that would work anyway. Yet personal circumstances changed and I no longer felt the need to stay in a place that held rather few too many painful memories and so I embarked on a new plan. Travel. And this is where you come in (yes, you’re probably the only one still reading so thank you for getting this far). I invite you on this journey with me, one of adventure and discovery in every form. Hopefully these little excerpts will be full of wit and whimsy with a rather large (and rather needed) overdose of wanderlust. Welcome.