Wednesday, 22 July 2015

Ljubljana!

So I might be really uncultured, but I had never heard of Ljubljana until we started researching where we wanted to go for our euro-trip. For anyone else who didn't know, Ljubljana is the capital of Slovenia. 



I don't really know why we picked Slovenia as a country to visit... It wasn't on anyone's list but we ended up going there anyway! It was basically because we wanted to go to Venice and Croatia, and Slovenia was in between so we thought we might as well stop off and see some of the country that we would be travelling through. It also cut some of our travelling time down. We had to get overnight trains from Venice to Ljubljana and it took 10 hours. It was so horrible. We were exhausted and we couldn't properly sleep and there was no room to stretch out properly because the compartment was tiny and it was completely full. Sometimes night trains are necessary and they definitely were with our rail tickets because if we travelled during the day, we would be taking up a lot of our limited travel days, but they are a nightmare.



After such a crazy week of travelling through Italy, Ljubljana was a nice little break. It was quite small so you could do pretty much everything in one day. It was such a nice little city to wander round. It was so relaxing and had the feeling of being less tourist-y and more quiet than anywhere we had been in Italy. It was just what we needed after getting off multiple night trains. Also, the food was really good. A lot of stews and meats and soups which is all right up my street.



After spending one day in the actual city, we decided to do a day trip to Lake Bled. It was so beautiful there. It was such a picturesque surrounding with mountains and forests all around and the medieval-era Bled Castle standing above it. It was such a relaxing day. We just lay on the edge of the lake all day, sunbathing and chilling out. It was great to have some peace and quiet and time to reflect after the hustle and bustle of Italy and all the train journeys we had been doing. If anyone is in Ljubljana I definitely recommend going to Lake Bled. Its only an hour bus ride and its such a peaceful day out.

Look how beautiful it is! Can't you just see yourself lounging on the grass with a cider in your hand, taking in all this beautiful scenary?





Although Slovenia might be a random country to visit, I would recommend it to anyone for a nice little break away because it is so beautiful and relaxing there.


Tuesday, 21 July 2015

Date mix-ups!

Before I write my next post on Ljubljana, let me tell you about my bad luck I've been having with messing up my dates recently!
Not so much bad luck, but more complete lack of awareness of what month it is...

 I blame the Euro-trip. I had no idea what day it was at any point during that trip, let alone the actual specific date. One of the downsides of going away on a long trip where you're travelling around so much. You lose track of time.

1st mistake: I was down in London for the past two weeks for my sisters wedding. I booked my flights back for the 19th July so that I could be back in Glasgow in time for my internship starting on the 20th. Unfortunately, a few hours before my flight was supposed to take off I went to go check in online and realised that I had booked my flight back for the 19th August by mistake... Oops :/ After a few moments of panic I managed to book a new flight so it worked itself out. 

2nd mistake: My second internship was supposed to start tomorrow. Notice the word 'supposed'. I had arranged to start working on, what I thought, was the 20th July for 3 days a week until the 5th August. But when I turned up at the office yesterday morning and was ringing the buzzer to try and get in, there was no answer. As it turns out, it was a public holiday yesterday which I was not aware of. Anyway, I waited around for a bit before checking my email conversation with the woman I had organised my internship with to see if she had said a time I should be there for that I had missed out on. And that's when I realised my mistake. I had put the dates June and July down instead of July and August. So either I was a month late or I am supposed to start in a years time. It was really quite unfortunate... Thankfully I emailed the same woman telling her my mistake and asking if I could rearrange dates with her and she replied this morning saying I could. So fingers crossed, I will be starting my internship next week!

Anyway, moral of this story is: if you're away on a long trip, triple check any arrangements you make afterwards to make sure you have the right dates!!

Thursday, 9 July 2015

Venice!


The last city we visited in Italy was…. Venice!



Venice was definitely my favourite city that we travelled to when we were travelling around Italy. It is actually one of my favourite cities that we were in for the whole trip.



As soon as we stepped out of the train station it was amazing to see all the bridges and the canal and all the little streets. It just looked exactly like all the pictures you see of Venice. It was amazing. 






Our hostel was on the canal and there was a gondola taxi stand right outside the hostel so you could sit on the balcony and see everyone walking past, or the gondolas sailing down the canal. And contrary to what I heard a lot of people say, Venice does not smell at all. There’s a rumour that the canal’s stink but it doesn’t. I never smelt anything the entire time I was there.






Even though our hostel was probably the most run down out of all the one’s we stayed in (the toilets didn’t work properly and neither did the showers and the room was filled with mosquitos), it was the most sociable and fun hostel that we had stayed in up till then. We made friends with a few girls there and spent one night getting rather drunk on a 1 euro bottle of wine. Safe to say I did not feel so great the next morning…. I was walking around the streets of Venice looking out for a spot where I could run to and throw up in without anyone seeing me. Fortunately after I forced myself to have some food, I was fine. If anyone is looking for a party kind of Euro-trip, this is definitely the hostel for you. Its called A Venice Fish, for anyone wanting to stay there.



Venice was filled with tiny little streets all interconnected. We bought a map when we were there but it wasn’t great and we ended up just wandering around until we eventually stumbled upon what we had set out to see. Because it was quite a small place, it was pretty easy to find everything and you could get a lot done in a day. It was quite liberating to not depend on a map as well. You could just wander around freely and know that you wouldn’t get too lost and would come across something at some point.

 Despite being in Venice we never actually went on a gondola or water taxi because they were so expensive! It was 80 euros for a half an hour ride on a gondola!! We did however, do a tour of some of the islands around Venice – Murano, Burano and Torcello – so we did manage to get out on the water. It was a good deal as well. You got to see all 3 islands and the tour was about 4 and a half hours and it was only 20 euros. Murano is the little island where all the famous murano glass is made. Part of the tour was to go into the glass blowing factory and watch a man there at work. It was so impressive what he was doing. A quick few movements and all of a sudden the blob of hot melted glass he was working on was a horse! Burano was so beautiful. It’s a tiny little island full of different brightly coloured houses. its is a fishing island so in the winter when its really dark and foggy, the fishermen needed something to be able to identify their houses – hence, painting them different colours. The last island on the tour was Torcello. Its an island that only has 11 people living on it. Crazy! There’s a famous bridge there as well that has no sides or handrails or anything to it, called Devil’s Bridge. The myth is that a woman, desperate to see her love for one night, sold the souls of her first future 7 children to the Devil in exchange for a chance to see her partner. And so he built a bridge for her to cross over to see her lover. Seems a bit of a steep price to pay just to see your guy for one night. I’d be so mad if I were one of her children!







The only thing about Venice that I didn’t like was the extortionate amount you had to pay to use the public toilets. 1.50!! So basically once you left your hostel/hotel, you were screwed until you got back unless you wanted to fork out a lot of money every time you needed the toilet. We refused to use them out of principle.



Overall, Venice was so beautiful and we had such a fun time there. I would definitely go back for another holiday.