I’ve been taking the time over lockdown (thank you, coronavirus) to sort out all of my travel photographs and organise some blog posts. First up is the beautiful Seville! Admittedly, this post was prepared a long time ago but I guess you could say I lost confidence with my little blog and it took a backseat – let’s get back on the horse, shall we?
If I’m completely honest, a trip to Seville had never crossed my mind before but the sunny city proved to be the perfect September getaway. Easily done in a long weekend, the traditional Spanish streets were perfect for wandering, lined with boutiques and sweet bars to hide away from the sun (and play a good card game). What else are holidays for?
We stayed in a lovely Airbnb by the river which was a short walk to Alameda De Hercules, a fun square with bars and restaurants. The city is full of photogenic spots, including the beautiful Plaza de España (pictured above) and Parque de Maria Luisa. Star Wars: Episode II – Attack of the Clones was even filmed at the Plaza de España.
It’s very much a walking city; everything is within a short distance and it’s easy to while away the time as you wander the streets. You can find charming boutiques and cafés in the Jewish Quarter, just behind the Royal Alcázar of Seville – a magnificent palace with a mix of Christian and Mudéjar architecture. The palace has also been a screen star, appearing on the famous series Game of Thrones. Book in advance for a €4 student ticket and skip the huge queues. Be warned – you’ll spend hours in there!
The weather was glorious in September but in the afternoon it reached up to 36 degrees – the perfect time to hide in those bars I mentioned!
Museum of Flamenco – only €15 for a student ticket (€22 for full adult) for a fantastic show and cheap sangria!
H2go! paddle boarding and kayaking – this was such a lovely way to spend our final evening, paddling along the beautiful river as the sun set!
Las Setas De Sevilla – the famous wooden structure in the old quarter, with great views across the city.
La Azotea – a very chic restaurant, with delicious seafood dishes. They also cater for dairy-free and gluten-free diets.
Ice Wave – very instagrammable ice cream, frozen in front of you (picture at the end of this post)!
Portugal’s capital made the perfect September city break (I know I’m running a bit late, let’s just call this post a throwback). The city is made for those who like to explore on foot – the quiet streets climbing up the hills are great for wandering, but bring good shoes!
The views are wonderful, the September sun is just right, and the famously colourful tiles and gorgeous light make for great pictures. Our 3-day trip was short and sweet, and left me wanting more! We strolled through the cobbled streets and ate our way through ice cream and pastries – the best way to spend a long weekend, right?
H10 Duque de Loulé A beautiful hotel with a great rooftop bar which is open to visitors. We visited on a Saturday night and it wasn’t busy at all. Cosy up in the cool evening breeze and take in the spectacular view of the city.
Open Brasserie Mediterrânica
Some of our party had food allergies so we were eager to find a restaurant that could accommodate all of us. The Open Brasserie Mediterrânica had knowledgable, friendly staff and a great choice of meals for everybody, including vegan and gluten free. I recommend the pumpkin gnocchi!
Belém Belém, a charming district just a tram ride away from the centre, fast became my favourite part of the city. There was a photogenic door or wall at every turn through the peaceful, colourful streets and the Tropical Botanical Garden was perfect for chilling out in the sun.
I never thought I’d really have the chance to go to Thailand. It just seemed like one of those far-away, mystical places. Luckily, my best friend Emily travelled the world this year and I managed to join her for two weeks, travelling to Bangkok and the Gulf islands of Thailand! We started with 3 days in Bangkok, including a visit to the Grand Palace. I’d highly recommend a visit to the Wildlife Friends Foundation Thailand, a two hour drive from the city – we got to walk with, feed and shower the elephants, as well as learn about where they’d all come from. It wasn’t just a home for elephants, either – bears, gibbons, birds and dogs were all looked after. I wish I could’ve stayed with the elephants forever, especially baby Prin!
A long overnight bus and ferry took us to Koh Samui, our first island adventure. The Sirin Samui Hostel was the perfect stop, with clean, spacious rooms and a great pool to relax by. We spent most of our time on the beach! Our second island was Koh Phangan, for the infamous Half Moon Party. Once we’d recovered from our hangovers, we visited Paradise Waterfalls and even found the beautiful Milky Bay resort tucked away on the beach. The breakfast was delicious and they let us use their pool!
Our final stop was Koh Tao, which fast became my favourite island (perhaps purely because of the sunsets). Koh Tao is the smallest of the islands, and I found it the most beautiful! Our days were mostly spent relaxing on the beach and walking around the shops and restaurants. A snorkelling or scuba-diving trip is a must – we visited all of the bays of the island, as well as Koh Nang Yuan which is just breathtaking. I can’t wait to go back!