5   77
8   150
1   59
2   45
1   63
4   117
5   79

Feeling festive in Edinburgh

A last minute hop from Dublin to Edinburgh. I spent 3 nights & 3 days in the medieval city during the festive period. Less than an hour flight from Dublin to Scotland, if you live in Ireland or anywhere in the Uk its a no brainer !

Follow the instructions below to find out exactly what I got up to & also important tips to make your trip to Edinburgh much smoother.

Like always, please link in with my created Google City Map here, to help you navigate the city based on my schedule https://drive.google.com/open?id=1UAtqJnT_V5NfiIeWwAn_w8OkFP7m83vT&usp=sharing

Arrival

  • We decided to fly Ryanair to Edinburgh because the flight time was so short from Dublin. When we were booking we paid roughly €35 Return from Dublin to Edinburgh. I have seen flights to the city for as little as €20 return. Why not head over and book your trip right now > https://www.ryanair.com/ie/en/
  • After a very short flight time we arrived in Edinburgh City where we jumped straight onto the bus Airlink 100 at Stance D. This city bus can be found literally outside the main doors to the airport and to the left. Tickets can be purchased there also at a kiosk for less than £8 for a return ticket. The bus takes 20 minutes to get to Waverly Bridge, which is just off the main street Princes Street.
  • Given our late flight we decided to keep the night simple; Check into our hostel and find a local bar for a nice drink to toast our arrival, we visited the famous spook-tastic rock bar The Banshee Labyrinth. This haunted bar hosts movie night, live music and more.

Where did we stay; Kickass Hostel Grassmarket. We decided to opt for a hostel experience as we really wanted to feel that buzz that a hotel just couldn’t offer. The hostel has a range of options from super cheap dorm, to private double rooms and also our choice private pods. A unique experience that offered a little more privacy than your average dorm and still with the incredible cheap prices. Highlights of the hostel include deadly location, right in the heart of the city beside all the major tourist destinations and bars. They also do the BEST veggie haggis breakfast for only £2.95 with a coffee/tea. We met amazing people here thanks to their hosted nights, we joined the Pub Crawl (Will talk more about this below) The only downside to any hostel experience is that the rooms are SOOOO HOT, but nothing new there. You can book a dorm bed here for as little as £15 a night depending when you book, our pods were slightly higher and well worth it. Follow the link here to book a stay with Kickass Hostel in Grassmarket Edinburgh; https://kickasshostels.co.uk/

*Thank you to Kickass Hostel for upgrading us from a dorm to private pod.

Day 1

As mentioned above myself & Mollie kicked off our epic sister weekend in Edinburgh with The Veggie Haggis at our Hostel, I had to mention it a second time because it was THAT GOOD. I had it both mornings, it as epic.

The HAGGIS that was so nice we ordered it twice !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
  • We wandered around the sandstone buildings and graveyards of Greyfriars Kirkland. The feel is so authentic walking around and it was the perfect way to start our morning, we also visited the famous Greyfriars Bobby Statue while there (It’s a dog statue, so we had to)
  • The oldtown is a must, where you can visit cool sites like The Scott Monument and St Giles Cathedral, and move onto the shopping destination Victoria Street.
  • After all that walking we spent a magical afternoon at The National Scottish Museum (Free Entry) If you visit Edinburgh this is a MUST SEE place, as accurately described on their website ‘A world of wonder’. They have everything from art collections, a beautiful rooftop view over looking the city, Scottish history, a giant T-Rex skeleton, a cloned sheep and interactive music and tech experiences. They also have a huge space exhibition with beautiful gem stones and minerals. I’ve genuinely never had so much fun at a museum before, even though ive been to many.
  • As the sun set myself and Mollie enjoyed copious amounts of hot Glühwein (German Mulled Wine) with a dash of cherry brandy or amaretto at The Edinburgh Christmas Market. The markets run from the 16th of Nov to the 4th of January. We spent hours here, and revisited every day until our departure.

By Night – We decided we would sign up to our Hostels local pub crawl for £5 pound. This included our LOVELY local guide with lots of knowledge, a few shots along the way and the chance to meet lots of new people, and that we did. The night had everything from card games, beer pong, live music, dancing and more. What I loved more than anything is that most of our group were late 20’s/ 30’s and from all over the world, not just a group of messy teenagers (just messy adults who love to travel). I wish I could remember all the places we visited, but you know yourself ! You’ll find out more about The Kickass Hostel events on their web here; https://kickasshostels.co.uk/

Day 2

This was a little bit of a write-off day (Hangover from hell) After taking on a pub-crawl the night before, my advise is to take it easy. We attempted to be productive, which lead to a lot of aimless walking around going nowhere. Even with all my epic planning !

  • Edinburgh Castle (£20 entrance fee)
  • Hollyrood House Palace (£15 entrance fee)
  • We also took a walk to Leith to catch the waterfront views, maybe it was the hangover but I found this the least exciting part of the trip.

By Night – After a long day of mostly being useless, comedy was needed. One simply cannot visit Edinburgh without getting a dose of their world class comedy nights. Our choice of venue was Monkey Barrel Comedy for their comedian battle show night. On the night guests could pay whatever they thought the show was worth. The usual entrance fee is something ridiculous like £3 or £4 … With that in mind, comedy nights in Edinburgh are affordable for those even on a shoestring budget.

We all finished the night at one of the towns most popular local destination for a cocktail called Paradise Palms.


Day 3

  • Our last day was filled with so much promise, mostly because we both had a clear head and no hangover.
  • First stop of the day was the picturesque scenery of Dean’s Village, a 19th century Bucolic Village, which is located along the walk way following the water to Leith. We decided to follow it in the opposite way, which brought us up to The Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art. Edinburgh doesn’t have just one modern art gallery, it has two – Modern 1 (Free admission) & Modern 2 (Entrance fee). Which are located right across the street from each other. Myself & Mollie were so delighted to have the opportunity to experience the Paula Rego exhibition, as we both share a hue love of art thanks to our Mam Susan. It was a pretty special exhibition, one of the best i have ever been to due to the variety of her work and the sheer volume. We also had the chance to catch local artist Katie Paterson’s work on display, which i had a lot of fun photographing below.

By Night – Our flight was due to take off by 9.25pm, we had an aim to leave Edinburgh by Airlink 100 back to the airport for 7pm. Before that we really wanted to mark our last day by doing some really lovely things, including a gorgeous evening in The Bon Vivant for cocktails over candlelight. We also visited another cool spot called Hoot The Redeemer which was just around the corner.

The top places we ate in Edinburgh

Starting with the best

  1. Ting Saboteur Vietnamese – Make sure to order a Vietnamese Egg Coffee after your dinner, the most unusually amazing rich & sweet drink !
  2. Café Modern One – The café in Edinburgh’s main Modern Art Gallery. This was an accidental lunch, but the quality was out of this world. Both healthy and indulgent, which is a weird dichotomy.
  3. Maki & Ramen (We found this by mistake trying to get cover from the rain)
  4. Clam Shell – This local fish and chip shop is a must, don’t forget to order a Deep Fried Mars Bar too. An experience; I shall say no more.
  5. Ting Thai Caravan – Very cool spot, with great food. Not quite as good as Ting Saboteur in my opinion.

I write this blog for the absolute fun of it, mostly because I ADORE travel and love creating unique travel itineraries. I’m so very conscious of always sounding overly positive and not critical enough. I’m 90% sure that I say every where I go is amazing (except Brussels, sorry Brussels) Edinburgh genuinely is LEGENDARY ! Short and cheap flights from Ireland. Local people who are just as sound as The Irish. Fun, culture and laughs to be had all over the city. It was made extra special to be there with my little sister Mollie too.

Make sure to leave a comment below if you have enjoyed this post and if you found the tips helpful.

Kelly x

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Kraków

Dragons, Vodka & History !! Two days in Poland’s medieval town, ridiculous prices for anyone looking for a deal. Captivating buildings, beautiful clean streets and fun to be found from Karaoke to giant Polish donuts.

My personalised Google Maps linkhttps://drive.google.com/open?id=1iNtsWg9U-KIxOe7q4xJDHy8aYP1HFp9q&usp=sharing Here you will find all the most popular, cheapest and coolest places to eat. Spots to have a drink and main tourist destinations. I typically create a map for every trip, so I have a handy reference no matter where I am. I think its the best way to get incredible deals and value from every trip, it also saves precious time.

The Airbnb – Located just over the bride of Wawel Castle https://www.airbnb.ie/rooms/38082199?s=67&shared_item_type=1&virality_entry_point=1&sharer_id=270973525 The price was €28 per night based on two people, meaning €14 a night ! I give a big thumbs up to this Airbnb based on the price, location and a very cool décor (See photos below)


Day one itinerary in Kraków

6.30 am – 2pm – Its hard to imagine visiting Kraków without taking the time to experience The Auschwitz-Birkenau Memorial and Museum. After visiting you really get the sense of how important it is to keep the memory alive. To continue the conversation about what happened. Its eerie and filled with pain. Its something to see, supported by many of the victims. I would encourage all my readers to keep that memory alive and visit the memorial site and museum of Auschwitz & Birkenau.

Visit Getyourguide.com ! Which links you with local tour guide companies like https://www.supercracow.com/. For a full day it cost me €40 whichincluded transport, central pick-up point and the entire day tour which lasted from 6.30am- 2pm (roughly).

After a long morning visiting Auschwitz we decided food was essential. Naturally enough wanting to experience some deadly local dishes. Ending up in a small local spot called Gospoda Koko (€11 for 2 beers, 1 soup, 2 mains & 2 side salads)

After a much needed nap we continued the exploration of this cool city. We said hello to Smok Wawelski the fire breathing statue dedicated to Wawel the city dragon, which can be found at the foothill of Wawel Castle and cathedral. Both are also major tourist sites worth visiting too.

Hungry again we visited another INCREDIBLE local eating spot called U Babci (Milk Bar) The dinner cost us €21.74 altogether for 2 GIANT Polish beers, 2 main dishes, 1 side and 1 soup. The décor is so authentic and the portions are jumbo.

Evening – After a hectic day we decided to finish the night early but not before visiting a local alternative rock bar Anty Café, which is a stones throw away from U Babci. The music and atmosphere was brilliant, plus a cheeky whiskey sour which cost 20 Zloty = €4.67.

Top tips after day one

  • If you want to try a LOVELY local beer, be sure to order a pint of Zywiec White with a slice of orange. Major YUM !!
  • Try a local favourite dish like Pierogi Dumplings
  • Download the app Hive, for easy access to the local electronic scooters. Scan and ride. A lot of fun after a few glasses of Polish Vodka (Remember you didn’t hear that tip here haha)

Day two itinerary in Kraków

We split day two in two parts between The Old Town & The Jewish District.

Sites we visited in The Old Town

  • Floriańska Street & Kanonicza Street (Famous streets/Picture perfect)
  • The Main Square
  • The Cloth Hall
  • St Mary’s Basilica
  • Kraków Barbican and St Florian’s Gate
  • St. Andrew’s Church & Saints Peter and Paul Church (Beside each other)

Sites we visited in The Jewish District also known as Kazmierz

  • I would REALLY encourage anyone in this area to hunt out the local graffiti art within Kazmierz. There is some very impressive pieces dotted around this part of Krakow. Including Kazmierz Historical Murial, Corner of ul. Nowa & ul. Józefa and others.
  • The Old Synagogue
  • Ghetto Heroes Square

Les Couleurs Café is a must visit spot for a drink in The Old Jewish District, here we really experienced the youth culture of the city and enjoyed more than our fair share of Soplica Polish Cherry Vodka (Wisniowa) Here we paid 34 Zloty for 2 large pints of Polish Beer and 2 large shots of vodka just mentioned.

To finish off the night we returned back to the main square for a night of Karaoke at Ukacpra Pub, which hosts Karaoke every single night of the week.


After thoughts

Kraków is a great little city, so clean and picturesque. Worth visiting for those looking for an affordable destination that is easy to navigate on foot, just bring comfortable trainers. Two or three days is absolutely plenty, I wouldn’t recommend more to be honest. Be conscious the train from the airport is closed for renovations at the moment (22/10/19) so don’t waste time looking for it, head straight for the bus stop right outside the airport doors. Pack for ANY weather, as we expected mild and dry conditions. Unfortunately rain was on the cards for the majority of our trip.

After Krakow we took an overnight Flexibus to Budapest, my home away from home. Taking on overnight Flexibus is a great way to get to another city cheaply without loosing any days travelling, but ill be honest, I was like a bag of lego (in bits) after the journey. For the sake of saving a few quid it wasnt worth it in my opinion, could be more suitable to someone under 21.

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Border hopping from Carlow to Wicklow. The Perfect Irish Escape.

A girls weekend to remember, just an hour from Dublin ! My only regret is leaving too soon.

This Is a must read blog for anyone seeking a cool and alternative weekend away in Ireland. Fun, laughs + food. This blog post includes a detailed insight into the trip including the accommodation, day time activities and more. We explored everywhere from Redcross and Tinahely Wicklow to downtime in Hacketstown, Carlow.

The Airbnb – The Lodge Holiday Home, County Carlow.

Book a stay at The Lodge Holiday Home on Airbnb here http://bit.ly/2nXFRQX


As i am sure you have noticed from my blog i am a huge fan of Airbnb’s and hostels. They always add a very unique element to any trip and have WAY more personality than the average hotel. Booking this Airbnb was the catalyst that turned into one of the most memorable girls weekends away. The host Neil really turned our trip into something more by linking us with all the local fun which had everything to offer.

A private lodge located on a horse stud in Hacketstown, Co Carlow. A beautiful Airbnb surrounded by nature, mountains and incredibly friendly animals. Right on the border between Carlow and Wicklow, where you get to enjoy the best of both.

The lodge was the perfect base for our girls weekend and also the place we let our hair down. Some of the facilities we enjoyed included the pool table, outdoor jacuzzi, BBQ, insanely comfortable beds and of course spending time with the residents which included Jackie the famous goat and the herd of beautiful Gypsy Cob Horses. I couldn’t recommend this Airbnb more !!


Our first activity for the day was a private tour at The Wicklow Brewery.

The brewery is located in a gorgeous little town called Redcross in Wicklow, near Avoca. Easy to access from the m50 and a short 35 minute drive to the Airbnb in Hacketstown. The tour cost only €15 ! Which included plenty of Wicklow Brewery craft beer, an insight into their rich history and a tour around the brewery and introduction into the beer making process. I cannot wait to get my hands on their crafted Gingerknut Beer again. An experience I would certainly give a big thumbs up too.

Book your tour at The Wicklow Brewery here now https://www.wicklowbrewery.ie/brewery.html


Afternoon tea at Tinahely Farm Shop in a pink caravan. An epic food experience with a hint of Father Ted and washed down with prosecco.

Owned by Rebecca & Philip Hadden. The couple have created the most unique vintage afternoon tea experience in Tinahely, Wicklow. The little touches of care, the incredibly delicious food and the utter hilariousness of enjoying it within a quaint pink caravan. Better than ANY afternoon tea in Dublin and they couldn’t have been any more accommodating to our vegan & vegetarian needs. It was alternative, indulgent and crafty ! The rain couldn’t stop the fun had here at The Tinhaley Farm Shop.

Book your afternoon tea at Tinhaley Farm Shop here now https://tinahelyfarm.ie/


A pint of Guinness at a Traditional Irish Pub with an epic story called The Dying Cow.

The Dying Cow is famous for its nights of traditional Irish music, banter and it also has a great story (you need to go to find out the full story) !

For more information on this incredible weekend away please feel free to drop me a comment below. Time to get booking your adventure to Carlow & Wicklow.

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Saluti to Rome

What does the Italian capital of Rome have to offer ? Five days of ‘dolce vita’ (A life of heedless pleasure and luxury). This was a very special trip as I got to share it with my entire immediate family. Our first family trip in twelve years. When you turn 30, it is imperative to spend that entire year celebrating and experiencing the world.

What does it mean to have a large bucket list ? Simply a desire to acquaint yourself with more than what you know. To see every last morsel of what the earth has to offer. Its addictive right ?

Where did I stay in Rome? 900 Via Nazionale, Luxury Apartment (Airbnb)

The apartment was a very short walk to both The Colosseum and The Trevi Fountain. The total cost was €1135.50 for 4 days and 4 nights (€189.25 per person/6 in our group) The apartment was SPECTACULAR. The décor was elaborate and beautiful. The space was glamorous and spacious. It literally emulated everything that symbolises Rome. Our host Stefania couldn’t have been any more accommodating. She even allowed us the use of the apartment on the day of our check out, since we had a late flight and she had no other guests coming. A totally unnecessary kindness that added to the comfort of our trip.

Here’s a detailed look at my five day itinerary, in the hope of making your next trip to Rome a very unique one.

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Day One

  • Trevi Fountain
  • An Italian style breakfast at Dante’s Caffe (€9 for three Espresso’s & three delicious Italian pastries)
  • Palazzo Venezia
  • Arch of Constantine
  • ★★★★★ Experience – Guided tour of The Colosseum, Palatine Hill and The Roman Forum with Headout Tours. A three hour experience with an audio headset and an amazing tour guide for €34.30. https://www.headout.com/tour/3075/italy/rome/guided-tour-with-skip-the-line-access-to-colosseum-roman-forum-palatine
  • Dinner at La Taverna (Authentic Italian food at a great price) and close to Colosseum. We topped it off with a drink and a view in Hotel Forum’s American rooftop Bar (€17 for an Aperol Spritz)
  • To finish off the evening we went to Trastevere (The top spot when the sun goes down)
  • ★★★★★ Experience – Dinner at La Tavernetta 29 Da Tony e Andrea. This was one of the food highlights for us on the trip. Full of locals, it was vibrant and buzzing. Incredible Italian food and drink. (Less than €200 for starters & mains for 6, including drinks, free breads and sorbets)
  • Last stop on our fulfilling first day – Gregory’s Jazz Bar which was on route back to our apartment for a cheeky Whiskey Sour.

Wearing my audio headpiece for the tour of The Colosseum, Roman Forum & Palatine Hill.

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Day Two

  • The Spanish Steps & Trinita Dei Monti
  • Villa Borghese & Borghese Gardens – Since it was raining we decided to rent an electric buggy to see the entire grounds, which was great fun (€30 for one hour/ for four people)
  • L’argo Di Torre Argentina – A cat sanctuary in Rome where hundred’s of cats live and get adopted. The location is also tied to Roman history here where the famous emperor Caesar was murdered. Don’t forget to follow the stairs underground to see where the adoptions takes place.
  • ★★★★★ Experience at Mr 100 Tiramisu. Yes you heard me right 100 types of Italian Tiramisu. This gorgeous wine & cake bar is both indulgent & cool. We stayed for hours and even visited a second time before we flew home (€62 for 2 custom made Tiramisu’s, 4 glasses of wine, 2 limoncello’s & a large cheeseboard)

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Day 3

Today we decided to do something different and take a day trip to the sea. Since the weather was blistering, an afternoon in the Italian sea seemed like heaven. We agreed to head for Santa Marinella, 40 minutes from the city.

  • Since Rome Termini was the closest main train station, we began our adventure from there. The station is very overwhelming and even though I planned the trip meticulously, I still found myself confused about where to go.
  • There are customer service agents walking around the floor and we were guided through the process. The tickets were roughly €17 return.
  • On arrival to the beach I was blown away at how many locals were around, I don’t remember hearing or seeing any tourists. To rent a day bed was €12 & you can also buy food & drink there (Be aware most local bars & restaurant’s close midweek)

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Day 4

  • Circus Maximus
  • The Aventine Hill, View point at Giardino Degli Aranci & The famous Aventine Keyhole (literally a famous keyhole in a door)
  • Pyramid of Caius Cestius ( The ONLY Egyptian Pyramid in Europe) This sight is also the legendary tomb of Remus, one of the founders of Rome.
  • Close by i jumped into a great little local cafe for an espresso, i also decided to bring back some Italian cakes for breakfast for the family (€9.80 for an Espresso & 10 pastries)
  • One Rooftop drink at Hotel Minerva just at the back of The Pantheon (€16 Prosecco & €20 Aperol Spritz)
  • By night we visited The Fiumi Fountain at The Piazza Navona & The Pantheon

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Day 5

  • St Peter’s Square & St Peter’s Basillica
  • The Vatican Museum (The Sistine Chapel) We booked skip the line tickets which is an absolute essential. Do not visit The Vatican Museum without them. I would also advise avoiding high season, every site says this but i didn’t pay much attention. This was my least favourite experience on the trip due to the crowds and ques inside the museum (not even outside). It was so overcrowded, beyond warm and literally no emergency exits to be seen. There were very little opportunity to take in or enjoy the amazing artwork around as a result of the intense push forward from the hundreds of people coming behind us.
  • Saint Angelo’s Castle

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Follow the link below to see the detailed google map that I created. Including top Roman sights, best local places to eat without the mental price tags, vintage shops, rooftop bars and cool places to listen to music.

Click the link here to my personally create map of Rome https://drive.google.com/open?id=1Qhx60LpVFhLUgpGDqV9OSkrg3Lizbcbi&usp=sharing

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Why you want to spend 72 hours in Lisbon.

CHEAP, CULTURED & FUNKY !

I decided to FINALLY visit the beautiful tiled city of Lisbon in Portugal. The trip was to celebrate the big 30th birthday. I’m glad to report it did not disappoint and my only real regret is not booking one more day. A city break with everything to offer.

Celebration trips usually deserve a lot more planning, but life unfortunately got in the way of that happening. Regardless, the spontaneity was charming and part of the fun and exploration. Three days in a city without anything except a Lisbon city guide gifted to me by my fabulous mother. The potential at the beginning of the trip was really unlimited.

My arrival

  • Arrived in Lisbon Airport early (Don’t buy coffee in the airport)
  • Straight to the Metro which can be found right outside T1 in Lisbon Airport.
  • Picked up our Viva Viagem Card from the machine, we usually went with the daily 24 Hour metro ticket for €6.40.
  • Took the Red Line to Alameda and switched to the green line. We jumped off at Anjos. In total took roughly 30 minutes.
  • Arrived at our cool hostel called Lisbon Poets Hostel which i booked on www.Hostelworld.com. The hostel cost us €150 in total for three nights with a private double room (small room) with an ensuite, the price included breakfast too(€25 each per night is fairly wicked) http://www.lisbonpoetshostel.com/en/

Day 1 Itinerary

  • We first visted the famous and impressive Rua Augusta Arch & The Praca Do Comercio square. A very dramatic sight to start with as they overlook the sea and attract a vibrant energy.
  • Walk around the corner towards The Santa Justa Lift.
  • Walk up hill towards the amazing Castelo De Sao Jorge, through the small streets of Lisbon. Where the homes are all uniquely tiled, screaming with personality and colour. The castle offers some of the best views of the city and its still one of my trip highlights.
  • Walk down towards Alfama and grab a photo of the rooftops.

Day 2 Itinerary

  • We kicked off day two with a breakfast in our lovely hostel including pineapple, coffee and some lovely granola. Freshly baked bread from the local baker as well.
  • Our second day was focused around The Belem & Alcantara area, which involved taking the train/bus. The transport in Lisbon is so quick and easy to navigate.
  • Our first visits included The Monument to the Discoveries (Padrao Dos Descobrimentos) and The Torre De Belem
  • After spending years in art college i was so excited to see an Andy Warhol and Picasso piece with my own eyes. They can be seen at The Modern and Contemporary Art Museum in Lisbon, which is called Museu Coleção Berardo.
  • We finished off our time in Belem at Mosteiro Dos Jeronimos which is now a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
  • Rather than taking more public transport we decided to rent city scooters, which are available all over the city. Not only are they so much fun but they are so handy to navigate the city. Download the Lime App and upload money to your account, you can then unlock any Lime Scooter across the city for the period required.
  • On our Lime Scooters we left Belem for Alcantara, we took a straight route down along the water front, which was beautiful. It lead us straight to The April Bridge & from them we made our way to LX Factory. We were so lucky to catch their Sunday market that day.

Day 3 Itinerary

This was the toughest day for us as we had to make a decision between a day to Sintra and the renowned Pena Palace or take a day trip to the beach. Usually FOMO would take over and i couldn’t bare the thought of missing a top site. Maybe its age haha, but i decided a day away from the crowds would be more suitable. Take a moment to actually catch my breath and recharge the batteries, after all that’s what a holiday is all about.

  • The decision was made to visit the beautiful town and beaches of Cascais.
  • Rather than our usual Viva Viagem card for €6.40 which only includes buses and metros, we decided to go for the 24hr Viva Viagem which also includes rail, metro and bus. This ticket cost roughly €10. The journey took us less than an hour.
  • We wandered The Old Town and The Marina first, Took some cool photographs at The Fortaleza da Cidadela, visited the collapsed caves of The Boca do Inferno (Hell’s Mouth) and sat on rocks gazing at the turquoise waters surrounding The Casa de Santa Maria.
  • After lunch we literally spent the entire afternoon until 7pm relaxing, sleeping and swimming at the beautiful Praia de Rainha beach. After a lot of research this seemed like the best beach, very scenic, private and not crowded.

Food

One of the best things about Lisbon is the cheap and delicious food. I didn’t do much planning around cafes or restaurants, which i definitely regret. We still stumbled upon some great food regardless. After talking to other people we possibly missed some gems though, so i would highly recommend having a little list. Here’s some small gastro highlights ;

  • Pastel Da Nata – The famous Portuguese tart. There are a few really famous locations to grab one of these tarts, but the ques are RIDICULOUS. We grabbed ours from a lovely little local place right beside our hostel called Pastelaria Tebas. Super cheap and
  • We actually found this cafe restaurant by accident. Flower Power by Carlos Fillipe – https://www.facebook.com/Flower-Power-by-Carlos-Filipe-109866389083999/ We had been trying to find Park Restaurant Bar but decided to leave after almost an hour at a table without being served and crazy ques for the bar. The entire experience was very disappointing given it was meant to be a top spot. Then we came across Flower Power. Incredible customer service and the world BEST chocolate cake.
  • Ginjinha – Local Portuguese cherry liqueur. Great way to finish off a meal at any bar or restaurant in Lisbon.
  • O’Galhardo Tapas Bar – A beautiful little spot not to far from St Georges’s Castle. Quaint outdoor seating area where you can take it all in. https://www.facebook.com/ogalhardoalfama/

I hope you enjoyed my small piece on the incredible city of Lisbon. If you are looking for a European adventure, one with sun, fun and culture. Then Lisbon is your place to go.

Kelly x

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I’m back after my HACK !

Its been a while my friends, and for that i apologize. I am not sure if you follow me on Twitter, but if you did you would be aware of my recent debacle with a hacker. An unfortunate situation combining pot bad luck and to be honest a little naivety, who knew when you had a few followers that your stuff was desirable, even when you didn’t want it. Do you know one of those stories you read and you think it will never happen to you.

I had been taking a little time away from the world of social media and blogging to get a little bit more grounded with the real world, which was LOVELY BTW. Its been a busy few years after all, from my reality tv days to bodybuilding, climbing mountains and publishing my debut book Build Your Own Body (I WAS WRECKED/ MENTALLY) During that time my blog domain was due for renewal and of course WOOOPS, i forgot. Hey, don’t judge ! Girl was enjoying the real world like i said. Little did i know someone would be hunting for mistakes just like my one. Before i knew it the ‘hacker’ had purchased my domain and in turn registered my associated email to the blog. Don’t forget i had no idea this had even happened yet. Through my email he gained access to all my social media accounts except my Facebook. Another mistake on my part. People double check your social media security, because i hadn’t in a very long time.

Here is where the story gets weird, I randomly receive an email from MYSELF, BLAHHHHHHHHHH !!!!!!!!!!!!!! My blog email had emailed my private email. Here’s where it hurts. The hacker not only had access to all of my online homes (Blog,Email, Twitter & Instagram) but now also wanted $500 to get them all back. Masking the entire thing as legit, given the fact i didn’t renew my domain and he/her was entitled to charge me this.

I wasn’t going to bow down easy, oh no ! Sherlock Holmes was on the case (me) with that absolute ‘HOW VERY DARE THEY’ attitude to back it all up.

It took over three months or possibly more to reclaim all of my online property, through sheer tenacity and knocking on doors (phones). The hilarious thing about the entire event was that all the online world did a fabulous job at keeping hackers in, especially in this case, given the hacker had purchased my email legitimately. I had reached the end of my tether, i really wanted to give up and just let the hacker keep it all. My attitude was ‘well its not like i’m overly active online anymore, maybe its time to move on’ ! Until a ray of light came my way in the form of a deadly client i have the pleasure of working with. With a background in this industry he guided me through all the avenues to follow and linked me with the IEDR ( IE Domain Registry ) & GDBR Ireland (General Data Protection Regulation)

The legend himself Joey from GDPR Ireland helped me even further along the way, BEST CUSTOMER SERVICE EVER. Who facilitated the return of my social media pages. The IEDR also reclaimed my web domain for various reasons, which meant i could repurchase it.

And here we are, the present !

Through the entire process i realized how vulnerable we can be online. How crucial it is to have up to date security on all of your online platforms. Lastly i realized, how cool am i ? Someone wanted to steal my domain. Which made me think of the years of work i have put into building my brand up since 2010 and i should value it more. Ive decided to return to my former enthusiasm for sharing & getting back to what i’m best at. Just like my very first blog Bikini Brawn, i’m going to be back with health & fitness, of course travel and maybe some new features. People develop, we mature and i want to share that too.

Sometimes we have to loose something to really highlight just how valuable it is.

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