Categories
black women budget Europe information Uncategorized women

Trevi Fountain

You didn’t do Rome if you don’t visit the Fontana di Trevi, or Trevi Fountain. The Trevi Fountain is known as one of the most stunning fountains in the world. But there’s more to it than it’s beauty.

It was one of 1,352 fountains in 4th century Rome, but the Trevi Fountain always stood out from the rest. 

Some fun facts about the the fountain:

  1. The Trevi Fountain is one of the oldest water sources in Rome – the fountain was built at the end point of the aqueduct, at the junction of three roads. These three streets (tre vie) give the Trevi Fountain its name, the Three Street Fountain.
  1. It’s made from the same material as the Colosseum – the fountain is mostly built from travertine stone, a name that means “from the Tiber” in Latin.
  2. The fountain uses A LOT of water – the Trevi Fountain stands a massive 85 feet tall and is almost 65 feet wide. Water pumps out of multiple sources and the large pool in front, the fountain spills about 2,824,800 cubic feet of water every day! Environment gang I hear you gasping! but don’t worry, these days the water is recycled (meaning unlike the ancient Romans you’ll have to drink from the nearby drinking fountains instead!)
  3. The fountain is charitable – during its operating hours roughly €3,000 is thrown into it every day as people follow the tradition of throwing coins over their shoulders. Legend has it that a coin thrown into the fountain will ensure a return to Rome. This tradition also dates back to the ancient Romans who often threw coins in water to make the gods of water favour their journey or help them get back home safely. (Throw in a second coin if you’re seeking love – even a third for wedding bells!) What many don’t know is that the coins are collected every night and given to an Italian charity called Caritas. Caritas, in turn, use the money for a supermarket program giving rechargeable cards to Rome’s needy to help them get groceries.
  4. It’s illegal to fish out coins from the fountain – in the past it was common for gangs of thieves to sweep the coins out of the fountain at night. In fact, three were caught by a T.V. show using a hidden camera in 2011. The most famous raider, however, was known by his nickname, d’Artagnan. He stole the coins from the fountain for 34 years before he was caught in the summer of 2002! (A true scammer!)

Insider tip: Like all popular sites, to maximise your photo taking opportunities you should get there early! To help me with this, I actually monitored it on this website: Live Cam Trevi Fountain – Rome. You’re welcome.

Keep up to date with us on: @sarahambitious / @trippinwithsj x

Categories
Europe information Uncategorized

Rome 101

  • Fly into Fiumicino (FCO), slightly more expensive than CIA but better connected.
  • Use your card everywhere, cash for souvenirs
  • Buy a city pass or stay centrally and walk around city instead

Here are our top sites to see in Rome, Rome is such a walkable city – things we love! So it’s easy to do a lot of these in one day.

  • Trevi Fountain – find out more about this amazing fountain here.
  • Pantheon – is a former Roman temple, now a Catholic church. A great spot to sit and people watch or grab a bite to eat at nearby restaurants.
  • The Colosseum – is an oval amphitheatre in the centre of the city and is the largest ancient amphitheatre ever built, and is still the largest standing amphitheater in the world today, despite its age!
  • Roman Forum – also known by its Latin name Forum Romanum, is a rectangular forum surrounded by the ruins of several important ancient government buildings at the centre of the city.
  • Spanish Steps – are a set of steps, climbing a steep slope between the Piazza di Spagna at the base and Piazza Trinità dei Monti, dominated by the Trinità dei Monti church at the top. It’s a lovely sea of people; on their lunch breaks – a welcome break after a long day of walking.
  • Piazza Navona – is a public open space in Rome, Italy. It is built on the site of the Stadium of Domitian, built in the 1st century AD, and follows the form of the open space of the stadium.
  • St. Peters Basilica – is a church built in the Renaissance style located in Vatican City.
  • Sistine Chapel – a chapel in the Apostolic Palace, the official residence of the pope, in Vatican City. You could spend hours, literally in awe of the intricate and beautiful paintings on the ceiling.
  • Palatine Hill – which is the centremost of the Seven Hills of Rome, is one of the most ancient parts of the city and has been called “the first nucleus of the Roman Empire.
  • Vatican / Vatican City – you may get to see the Pope during a processions, it also gave me Twilight vibes – the Volturi and all.
  • Trastevere – is one of Rome’s most colourful neighbourhoods. While it may be less touristy when compared to the ancient town or Vatican City, it has to be said that it does remain firmly on the tourist trail – but that’s not to say it’s not worth a visit! Restaurnats, cinemas – lots of choices. 

Food to try: Pasta, Pizza, Gelato – bye-bye waistline.

Have you been to Rome? What’s your favourite thing to do there? If you found this useful, share and save it for later x

Categories
Europe information luxury Uncategorized

Icelandic bites

So, the food is expensive – yes. But IT. IS. WORTH. IT. 🤤 

Whether it’s at the petrol station stop or the high end restaurant – the Icelandic quality of food is UNMATCHED.

And for all of you non-tap water drinkers, just bring your water bottle and be amazed. Wow, I never thought I would miss tap water.

Here are my top places to grab a bite to eat:

Braud & Co. do the most amazing baked goods 😍 wow, their cinnamon rolls are just divine. You can usually wait for a fresh batch to be made, if your visit is timed right. I ended up buying two for later. They were just that good!

Rok – if you’re in Reykjavik and need a bite to eat after seeing the church, this is the place to come. I opted for seafood and it didn’t disappoint. The bread too! *chefs kiss*

Lava @ Blue Lagoon – depending on which package you book, it will include a reservation for a meal and complimentary wine 🍷 *clink clink*. Again with the flavours 😍 I ordered the langoustine soup as a starter and personally the taste was slightly overpowering – so I wouldn’t recommend. For a main, I opted for the lamb 😍 and it ticked all the boxes.

Perlan – The Pearl; other than being a great observation deck for the Northern Lights. This is a great spot for food. Seafood soup – slapped! Steak in red wine jus – slapped! Creme brûlée 😍 – you get where this is going 😋 it has a really cute vibe and they were playing Sade as we walked in. I mean talk about good vibes 😂

The CooCoo’s nest – is a cosy restaurant, with blankets and fur all over to make you feel like you’re in a nest I guess. It’s a no reservation and more of you turning up and hoping the wait isn’t too long to be sat down. The breakfast options here are insane; the portions are generous, the flavours and it all tastes so fresh 👅

Wherever you decide to eat in Iceland, I don’t think you’ll be disappointed. It’s pricey at most places, but I really think it’s worth it. The quality is top tier.

Categories
Europe information luxury Uncategorized

Iceland attractions

Iceland is full of natural wonders, it feels otherworldly. You’ll stop and want to make the moments last forever.

Here is my list of attractions on the Southeastern route, that you can’t miss out on!

Top attractions 🎡 

Blue Lagoon – theee location for that Instagram shot. It’s also one of 25 wonders of the world. Blue Lagoon is a natural geothermal spa and it’s located in a lava field. You can lodge at the hotel if you like or if you want to save your coin, just book a day pass. There are a range of options; it’s a matter of booking the one that suits you 😍

Hallgrimskirkja Church – in central Reykjavik, is a Lutheran parish church and it’s one of the tallest structures in Iceland. Wherever you are in the city, you can see it. You can walk around at your own leisure or pay for a tour to go right to the top. It’s a good place to start your exploring.

Sun Voyager – is a structure on the waterfront in Reykjavik. It makes for a pretty picture and an opportunity to walk around the city.

Strokkuris a natural geyser and when I went my arrival was timed perfectly to see it doing what it should do. It’s part of a park and there are other natural sites to see, a plaza type place to shop and get some food, use the toilet etc.

Gullfoss, Seljalandsfoss, Skogafoss forget all about what TLC said, chase these waterfalls! Waterfalls, waterfalls and more waterfalls 😍

Thingvellir National Park – is a great spot to gain an understanding of the ancient Icelandic culture and makes for a beautiful walk. It’s pretty big and there are many sites to see.

Reynisfjarais a popular black sand beach. If you’re a GoT fan, you’ll recognise it from some scenes; this is the case for many locations in Iceland.

Diamond Beach – no, you’re not about to strike rich 🤑 it’s called Diamond Beach because of all the glaciers on the black sand and those that float in the surrounding water 😍. Climate change is real and although this is a natural occurrence, the impact rising temperatures will have on this area and others, really worries me ☹️.

Skaftárhreppur is an unreal location me. Iceland’s landscape took my breath away, and this area didn’t disappoint. You can spend hours hiking here and you wouldn’t realise how much time has passed.

The Northen Lights – on my trip I managed to see the Northern Lights not once but twice! I’d always wanted to see them but I didn’t think I’d get to so soon in my life 🥺😂. The key for optimal viewing is darkness, no light pollution, no pollution-pollution either 😂 so Iceland is perfect for this. Happy hunting if you decide to chase the aurora.

Here’s a look at these excursions

Categories
Europe information Uncategorized

Iceland

So Iceland is open 🤩 their main focus is getting people to explore some of the less popular parts of the country. This won’t be an issue because Iceland is hugeee, so please be prepared for long days on the road whether you drive or follow a group around. 

On my trip to Iceland, I chose to explore the Southeastern part of the Golden Circle. Doing Reykjavik > Hella > Hofn > Reykjavik; the total trip lasted 6 days and consisted of roughly 5 hours of driving on a few days in between destination.

So load up the playlist, podcast and snacks! If you want to do this trip, you’re going to need it all. 

Getting to Iceland 🇮🇸 

Icelandair have sales regularly and they offer a great service. As always check Skyscanner for your dates to see if there is anyone flying cheaper. 

Accommodation 🏨 

Booking.com and airbnb are the plugs. Once you’re sure on the route you’d like to explore, you need to pinpoint reasonable stops in between your sightseeing so you can rest and recharge. 

Getting around 🚘 

If you can drive I’d recommend hiring a car and driving, it’s another expense but does aid your enjoyment of the trip. You’re on your own timetable and can social distance to your hearts desire! 

Top tips: 

  • Buy snacks and drinks beforehand!!! (Iceland is expensive; btw this will be a running theme)
  • Beware of the wind! There are countless horror stories of the Icelandic wind blowing car doors the wrong way and making the trip MUCH more expensive. So please hold onto the door 🥺
  • N1 & Bonus offer free toilets 🚽 on the Ring Road route, all other toilets charge.
  • Layers, layers, layers – layer up as it’s cold

In the spirit of keeping this post short and sweet, I’ll stop here and be back soon with some of the best places to eat and explore 😍😌

For a taste of what’s to come, check out our highlight.

Categories
budget covid Europe information Uncategorized women

Breaks close to home

Not being able to travel internationally doesn’t mean you have to miss out on some well deserved #RnR 🧖🏾‍♀️. 

Here’s our list of local destinations we think you should try out: 

1️⃣ London – Why not stay close to home or drive/commute down and stay at a 5* star hotel. We recommend the Landmark as they always offer an amazing service 👌🏾 

Breakfast in bed? A spa treatment? Get the holiday feeling without getting on a flight. 

➡️ if you’d prefer a day service why not try the Montcalm or one of the many Bannatyne sites? Their massages are amazing and they offer access to their swimming pool and spa services. 

2️⃣ The Cotswolds 

The Cotswolds have been declared an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB). They are truly picturesque. They cover 800 square miles across 5 counties. It’s a gateway to some amazing cities; Bath, Oxford for example and the chefs at their gastropubs are top tier.

We could go on but then this post would get really long 😉 Look into it and make a weekend or longer of it.

3️⃣ Cornwall – St. Ives, Penzance, Newquay, Torquay. Getting to some of these places will really make you feel like you’ve left the UK. You will have a lengthy drive or train head ahead of you but the destination is more than worth it.

https://www.visitcornwall.com

4️⃣Edinburgh, Scotland 

There are nearly more castles than people (not really but there are a lot of castles)! Gothic vibes, castle vibes, cobbled street vibes. Edinburgh offers a lot of vibes, if you’re feeling even more adventourous why not head to the coast and take in some of the beautiful coastline 😍

**Please check local lockdown/covid restrictions before booking anything**

Categories
covid Europe information Uncategorized

Post Brexit Travel to Europe

European travel looks like the way to go once Covid cases start dropping. Here are few things to bear in mind for UK travellers.

We’re officially about to be outside of the clurb 🥺😔

For more information, visit www.gov.uk/transition

Categories
black women budget luxury Uncategorized women

Tourin’ Athens

If you go on a trip and don’t eat something new or see a new site, you didn’t really travel. And that’s on life!

So with that being said, here are my top things:

  • to do
  • to look out for
  • to try in Athens. Enjoy 😉

DOING UP TOURISTReasons to visit Athens:

  • Ancient Greek ruins
  • Greek cuisine 
  • Sculptures
  • Taverns 
  • The Acropolis 

You can pretty much see all the architectural sights in one day if you’re up early and up for walking. A pass costs around €20, unfortunately there’s no longer a cheaper student option to access the sites. You can also go on an inexpensive walking tour and use this as an opportunity to meet people or go it alone! 

Trippin’ tip: if you’re being a Scrooge, you can see the sites from the outside (apart from the Acropolis) so you don’t need to pay anything 🙈

**NOTE: Most sites are closed on Sunday and all close around 5pm (except the Acropolis which stays open until 8pm)**

Top Trippin in Athens tips 

Watch out for pick pockets! – The little kids that you think are cute may be up to no good. And that gentlemen that lets you walk in front of him as you walk down the stairs from the acropolis…he’s watching your pockets! 

Walk everywhere! – Athens is somewhere you can easily get your steps in! 

Foodie? – Eat like a local. For tips on good food places, ask the locals, they usually have the best hidden spots! 

For brunch: I visited Ellyz Athens which is a cute little pink spot serving up good vibes and pancakes with that readymade Insta aesthetic. 

You can find it on the back streets behind the flea market, before you reach the Acropolis. It can get very busy though so prepare to queue! 

For dinner: A visit to a rooftop bar is a MUST whilst in Athens. Electra Rooftop Garden has the most break taking views of the city. The food personally was a bit underwhelming, but the cocktails were sensational. 

Have you been to Athens before? What was your favourite part? Here’s what 15 seconds in Athens looks like…