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Paris: Eiffel Tower

Saturday, 17 August 2019

 
When visiting Paris there is one sight that everyone wants to see and that is the Eiffel Tower, it is a must on the tourist trail of people visiting the area. Being the generic tourist that I am I knew when visiting Paris I wanted to see the Eiffel Tower and go to the top to view the city for the structures fabulous lookout.
We couldn't have had better weather for our trip being the week in Summer 2018 where there was a scorching heatwave. This made the views ten times better as they were laced with clear blue skies as far as the eye could see so that you had a view all the way across Paris.
It was a very busy day on the tower with everyone crowding around trying to get pictures of the views and the river. 
After going to the top of the tower and getting all the photos that we wanted we headed back down and went out for food. After food we sat down on a grass verge with a bottle of wine and a view of the tower for the light show where the tower is illuminated and then sparkles on the hour. This truly made for a fun and relaxing evening and was a great way to spend a day and an evening in Paris.

The Palace of Versailles

Friday, 16 August 2019

Back in the Summer of 2018 when we had the massive heatwave I had a weeks holiday to Paris, while there we had a day trip to the Palace of Versailles to see the stunning architecture and the sprawling grounds.

Being June time there were massive queues to get in meaning we had to stand in the scorching sun waiting to get in, so if you are planning on going I would recommend booking tickets in advance.

The palace is now classed as a UNESCO World Heritage site having being the royal residence for Louis XIV until the start of the French Revolution.

The palace which was also once home for Marie Antionette is a stunning piece of architecture most notably known inside the walls for its expansive room dubbed the hall of mirrors. Encompassing a hall with mirrors all down once side and stunning intricate glass chandeliers that go down the full length of the hall.
This was by far my favourite room inside of the palace it was breath taking to see and certainly was the highlight of the sights that you could see inside and if you only want to visit one part of the palace this should be it.

After making our way around the inside of the palace (we did not visit all of the rooms as the building itself is massive) we decided to explore the grounds. The gardens themselves are incredibly massive comprising of woodlands, lakes, sculptures and various other outbuildings that you can walk around. To get the best view and make the most of our time we rented a golf car that you can drive around.
Even via golf car the views of the garden mixed with the extremely hot sunny day were a sight to behold and had we not used this means of transportation we might not have got to see as much as we did in the time that we had.
There was also the option to rent boats on the lake which had we had more time I can imagine it would have been a lovely relaxing way to spend some time floating around and admiring the greenery. If you are heading to Paris a day trip to Versailles should definitely be on your bucket list, such a stunning feat of architecture needs to be seen.

Riding Bikes in Amsterdam

Thursday, 15 August 2019

My last blog post spoke about my fear of heights and overcoming it to try the Over the Edge Swing which happens to be the highest swing in Europe. Amsterdam was certainly a holiday for me not letting my fears hold me back and another one of those was riding bikes on the streets of Amsterdam. While Amsterdam is probably the most cyclist friendly city in Europe I was nervous about taking up the task having not rode a bike for the best part of ten years.

Thankfully I was more than relieved when I realised you could rent bikes with the brakes on the handles like in England. We only had a short amount of time on our last day to complete this activity so we booked the bikes out for an hour and went all around the boat docking areas and up a few of the nearby streets surrounding the station area.

I soon realised I had nothing to worry about as despite being a tad unsteady - it's true what they say you never forget how to ride a bike. My main challenge while riding around was the other tourists who often just walked out in front of you in the cycle lanes without looking. 

Overall though I found it to be an incredibly enjoyable experience and one of my favourite from the whole weekend away. Biking around was a great way to see the city and get around quickly, the cycle lanes are really easy to navigate and use and cyclists definitely do get priority in the city. Despite being hard exercise it is definitely something I would repeat with far less worry as I had forgotten how enjoyable it was riding a bike, and riding a bike with the views of Amsterdam city and the canals made it quite possibly the best bike ride I have ever had.

Have you ever visited Amsterdam? If so have you rented the bikes and had a ride around?

Amsterdam: Over The Edge

Wednesday, 14 August 2019

I have a massive fear of heights and obtain vertigo when looking down over the edge of any high building or sheer drop. This is a fear I have been working on overcoming as I don't want to let it hold me back from trying new experiences. 

Throwback to October 2018 where me and my boyfriend had a long weekend away to Amsterdam. While we visited many sights in this truly stunning city there was one thing we had decided we were going to do before arriving. This was the Over the Edge Swing located at the top of A'DAM Lookout Tower, at a height of 100 meters it is Europe's highest swing and a must for any thrill seekers taking a trip to Amsterdam.

The building is opposite the central station where there is a free ferry that can take you over the water to the tower. You have to purchase entry to the tower as well as pay for the swing but for the view of the city and the experience it is more than worth it. Me and my boyfriend purchased the LOOKOUT Premium ticket which included entry to the viewpoint and two drinks for 18.50 euros. We then also purchased two goes on the swing both being 5 euros each.

The swing was an incredible experience and while being nervous initially I felt much more relaxed when I was on the swing after realising that it was more than safe. Once the nerves subsided the experience and the view took over and it was an incredible way to see the city from up high. I enjoyed it so much I did it again on my own, the fear was well and truly conquered and it didn't hold me back from having this amazing experience. 

If you're visiting Amsterdam soon or have a fear of heights definitely give the Over the Edge swing a go you won't regret it and it can be something different to tick off the bucket list.

Snowdon Walk for Myeloma UK

Tuesday, 13 August 2019

Back on the 22nd of June I arranged a walk up Snowdon in order to raise money for Myeloma UK, a charity and cause that has become extremely close to my heart.
The walk was part of a guided tour to watch the sunset, so we ended up in a large group of other hikers also raising money for various different charities.
Prior to this I had never been up Snowdon before and had never even walked the distance of the mountain all in one go. 

 The weather for the walk couldn't have been better it was the hottest day of the year and while the walk was at 6pm it was still sunny and extremely warm for the majority of the walk. This made for some fantastic scenery shots, having never been up Snowdon before I was blown away by the beautiful Welsh scenery and views like these photos made the hard slog up to the top all worth it.
 The walk was 9 miles with a few short breaks on the way up with the longest break being 5 minutes at the halfway point. It took us 3 hours to get to the top and a further 3 hours to get back down to the bottom. While a guided tour is a good option I found it to make the walk a harder task as it was regimented to get to the top for the sunset, then after reaching the top the break was again minimal and we watched the sunset while walking down. Needless to say that left all of us in our group exhausted and worn out and if I decided to do it again I would certainly go on my own so that I could take the walk at my own pace.

 It was an incredible and fantastic experience which gave me an overwhelming sense of achievement upon making it to the top and completing the walk, as well as for raising money for such a great cause. Despite this it was also one of the most challenging experiences of my life mentally and  physically and there were many points where I felt like quitting and giving up.
 I'm glad I didn't quit because the view at the top was clear and stunning and the sunset  on the walk down was a sight to behold.
The sense of achievement aside we also managed to raise a massive £340 for Myeloma UK. Having set a target of £150 I couldn't have been more overwhelmed by peoples generosity to the walk and for the charity and I can't thank everyone who donated to this fundraiser enough. Knowing that this money could help the charity with potential new developments made the aching legs afterwards one hundred percent worth it.



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