Exploring the brauhaus’ of Cologne

 

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Germany is a country well known for its beer, so what better what to enjoy a weekend in the nation by spending some time indulging in local beer at brewhouses?

Dan and I spent a weekend in Cologne recently, a city neither of us had travelled to before.

One of the popular features of Cologne, the fourth most populated German city, is the stunning architecture scattered across the Rhine River-split city, so it’s not all just beers and banter!

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Top 5 money saving tips for travelling to Iceland

 

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Iceland is a notoriously expensive country to visit.

Due to the higher wages and therefore higher living costs, the prices of food, activities and accommodation can be quite a shock to travellers arriving in the Scandinavian country.

Recently my boyfriend Dan and I travelled to Iceland (If you haven’t seen all my videos and blog posts about that trip, you can find them here) and luckily we prepared ourselves beforehand for the financial heart attack that Iceland would be to our bank accounts.

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Iceland puts on a stunning show from the air as we say goodbye

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Now I can’t be the only one who feels such an intense, dizzy excitement on the airplane toward a destination, and a deep, sorrowful, pit of despair on the homebound journey.

I’m talking more extreme than just general travel excitement and disappointment when those travels come to an end.

I’m talking a black hole mood that can sometimes show itself despondently, or with a fit of tears.

Post-travel depression is real, people.

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Exploring Iceland’s southern waterfalls and beaches

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With Iceland being a relatively small country in size (40,000 square miles, in fact), many people who visit tend to stay in Reykjavik for the entirety of their stay, only venturing out of the city to visit the Golden Circle.

But if you explore just a little further afield, you’ll find some exceptionally beautiful sights that will take your breath away.

Now, I’m not saying you need to do a month-long intensive roadtrip around the island nation (although that sounds like an incredible time to me!), but I would implore you, even if you stay in accommodation in Reykjavik for your entire travels (as we did, for this trip), take more than just the one day trip outside of Reykjavik for the usual sights of the Blue Lagoon, Gulfoss, Pingvellir, Kerid and Geysir.

We chose to do a day trip to the southern coast to see the stunning waterfalls that can be found there, as well as the popular Reynisfjara Black Sand Beach.

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Not letting the weather dampen our visit to the Golden Circle and Blue Lagoon

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Weather, Mother Nature, the elements – whatever you want to call it, you can’t control it (except for the title you give to it).

Being exposed to varying types of weather is a non-negotiable part of travel, and we must adapt to it, even when it seems inconvenient to our plans.

As I said in my first couple of vlogs from Iceland (Which you can see here, here, and here if you haven’t already), the weather conditions in Iceland were quite snowy and windy whilst we were there.

Oh, go on, I’ll just say it. There were snowstorms. Pretty much daily.

Well, the weather event deepened during our fourth day there – just in time for our day tour to the Golden Circle and the Blue Lagoon – somewhere I’ve been daydreaming about visiting for years.

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Whales and Quad Bikes, oh my!

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Reykjavik is one of the most beautiful and cosy – or to steal a term from the Danes, Hyggeligt – cities I’ve visited.

From the main streets lined with traditional lamp posts, strung together with pretty ropes of fairy lights following the Scandinavian-style buildings in a row, to the more secluded areas just a few blocks back from the main hub, decorated with greenery and flowers next to a frozen pond, to the cosy interiors of the cafes and bars along the city’s streets, there is plenty to admire from an aesthetic point of view in Reykjavik.

It’s all of these things which make Iceland’s capital such a snug place to be. It feels homely, almost – which is a rather large feat for a capital city.

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Welcomed to Iceland with a snowstorm

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Iceland has been one of those countries Dan and I have been wanting to travel to for a long time.

When we realised we both wanted to visit this Scandinavian bucket-list item, it quickly became our next adventure to plan.

We fell into a burrow of internet searches, guidebooks and travel blogs, finding out all the information we could to plan the trip of our dreams (Well, one of them, at least).

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My First British Christmas

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My family-in-laws beautiful Christmas tree

My first Christmas in the UK was exactly how I imagined it to be:

Filled with love, lots of smiles with my family in law, and, of course, more layers of clothing than needed in Australia.

I’ve been dreaming of a winter Christmas for a long time.

Even before I was in a long distance relationship with Dan, I’d always imagined spending at least one Christmas in the northern hemisphere, just to experience a cold (or, if I was lucky, a White) Christmas.

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