A city break in Budapest

Hi Guys! How is 2018 treating you?!?

I got to go on another quick city break this year for Rebecca’s birthday and am here to tell you all about it! Which cities have you visited this year?

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We left the Maltese Islands on the 12th of April via WizzAir – a quick one and a half hour flight and we landed in the beautiful Hungarian city. We took a bus from the airport (costs around €3.00) to the city centre – where our Hipster Hostel awaited us.

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I cannot praise this Hostel enough – it is the best one I have stayed at by far; location, staff, cleanliness and everything else you could imagine excelled – it felt like home for the three nights we stayed.

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We arrived late in the afternoon so we put our luggage in the room and left to walk around and explore the city. One thing is for sure – this city loves dogs and that, without a doubt, means that I love this city.

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For our first stop we headed to a Langos place – deep-fried dough topped with sour cream and loads of cheese! It is definitely not something you want to miss out on. After our snack it was time to grab more food so we headed to the dinner spot that I was most excited about!

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Meat! at the hot stone steakhouse – steak is served seared and you finish it off by cooking it to your liking on a hot stone. We had sizzling prawns for a starter – then the second best steak I have ever had (have your read my blog post about the one I had in Barcelona?!?) . The sides were great too and service was excellent – and the lava cake is to die for!

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And as you can see – Amy loved every minute of it (I did too but I am nowhere near as smiley during my dinners).

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We then headed back to the Hostel for the night to prepare ourselves for the jam-packed days to come.

We had an amazing breakfast at premier kult cafe which is an amazing place with a great cause . The coffee is amazing and the chicken club sandwich is not to be missed!

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The best way to get the most out of Budapest on such a short trip is to get on The Hop on Hop off buses there. Our first stop was the parliament. It has beautiful architecture and makes for a great photo spot , however the full grandeur of the parliament is best experienced via the river cruise.

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We then stopped for a Starbuck’s coffee and saw this amazing place on the way – a cafe with all kinds of donuts and books (not in English, but I still adore the concept) . I had a caramel donut with a stroopwafel on the side simply because I was craving the waffle and the galaxy donut which was yummy!

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I would highly recommend our next stop – the heroes’ square – home to various statues of different Chieftons and political leaders – The Budapest sign is also there and this makes for a great photo opportunity (get that shot!).

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Back onto the bus; on wards to the castle. We went up to the Buda castle via funicular which is a ride worth experiencing – again we took loads of pictures here and admired Pest and the Danube river in all its glory.

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On our third day we awoke bright and early boy oh boy was I ready for breakfast! We went to the bagel shop called ‘Bagel’ across from our hostel. This place is great for all you healthy eaters (Rebecca told me this) as there are super foods in the bagels and most options are healthy – I was mostly overjoyed about the bacon in mine.

On our second day on the bus we started the day off by stopping at the St. Stephens basilica and climbed all the way to the top – a beautiful view of the city and a church filled with amazing art.

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We passed by the heroes square again and decided to explore the city park which is just by the Vajdahunyad Castle.

This was probably my favorite stop in Budapest – the park is amazing, a hundred dogs run amok with places to stop for beer and fresh lemonade (for humans, perhaps a water for the dogs?). We spent the afternoon rolling in the grass and climbed to the top of the Gate Tower to watch over our castle.

Then it was time to relax and observe the city on a different form of transport. River cruises are a great way to explore whilst resting your feet and dirnking a nice coca cola (they have them in the tiny glass bottles!).

In an effort to see as much of Budapest as we possibly can we also headed to the fisherman’s bastion later that day. What a fairy tale – a great panoramic view of Pest, the river and Margaret island.

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For dinner we headed to the food stalls. Anything from fried potato pancakes (that’s what they looked like so that is what we called them), delicious pork, sausage, potatoes and goulash! This is a foodies dream come true – we got as much food as we possibly could and ate as much as our stomachs could take in.

For the evening we headed to a ruin bar – Szimpla. A bar like nothing I have experienced before; there are different sections and rooms within and outside of the bar. Great food, a beer bar, a wine section and loads of different music playing in the background.

For our last day in Budapest – we took the boat to Margaret island. Upon arrival we rented a little cart which we had to bike around. After a lot of physical strain we managed to get to the Japanese garden – took a few great pictures and paddled all the perimeter of the island to give the bike back. All in all it was a great laugh.

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After such laborious work we needed something to eat and there was no question – we headed back to the food stalls – had even more food and stuffed our faces.

Next up ; the baths. We got a cab to the Szechenyi Spa Baths. Definitely a great way to rest up after two days of walking around.

The pool can get overcrowded during the day and I especially enjoyed it after sunset. All the lights went on, there were fewer people and it was just a better atmosphere in general. After leaving the baths it was straight into the shower and the bed. We had been in the baths for a few hours and came out feeling so relaxed.

That was all the time we had in Budapest – a great city with amazing sights and wonderful dogs and delicious food. Do visit and let me know what your favorite place was!

Cher Shares x

 

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A weekend in Prague

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Hello Everyone 🙂

I am just now back from a holiday in the wonderful city of Prague and I am ready to tell you all about it! Originally the plan was for my friend and I to visit another city in Europe but we heard so many amazing things about Prague that we changed our plans and asked some other friends to join us until it turned into a full blown girl city trip.

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We landed in Vaclav Havel airport at around 7pm on Thursday night and purchased bus tickets from there. One short bus ride and a train ride later we arrived at our Hostel (around an hour in total).

We stayed at Homer Hostel which is set right in the heart of Old Town Prague (literally two corners away from the astronomical clock, shops etc). I would definitely recommend this hostel, it was affordable, central, clean and the staff helped out whenever we needed. It is also set right above a pizzeria so essentially if you are ever hungry food is one flight of stairs away.

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For our first night we simply strolled through the city.  The city itself is breath-taking, the architecture takes you back in time to when buildings were all made to look eloquent together. I love cities which can still hold onto beautiful architecture which oozes character into the city.

We stopped at El Toro Negro for Dinner; set right opposite the astronomical clock and in the heart of the square. I ordered the traditional goulash served in a bread bowl because it looked delicious and I was not disappointed. Perfect on a cold night in Prague and extremely filling. You can also admire the clock-work whilst sitting under a cosy heater and dining.

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On the second day our girl group split up. The two dare devils went skydiving (which they highly recommend to anyone who has been wanting to do it), whilst the rest of us kept our feet firmly planted on the ground; or should I say on deck?

We took a boat tour on the Vltava river. I love going on boat tours whenever I am in a new city. We do not have any rivers here in Malta plus it is a great way to start off your morning (and a great excuse to drink beer at 10:00 am as it is included in the price).

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After the boat tour we then strolled over the Charles Bridge. I suggest you get to the Bridge as early as possible as by 11am it is packed by caricature artists, jewelers and hundreds of tourists. It is best to explore the bridge both early in the morning when it is virtually empty and when it takes life during the afternoon hours as it seems to take on a new perspective.

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We then walked over the Charles bridge to the Castle, there are a few steps up so be ready for heavy breathing  (unless you are into fitness like my super fit friend who fitness blogs over at munch.abunch) but the views are well worth it.

 Breathtaking Prague strikes again. In addition, there were a few stalls outside the castle with amazing potatoes and sausages which are definitely a must – try. Entrance to some of the castle and the St.Vitus Cathedral is free. The cathedral itself is an amazing work of art with intricate stained glass designs and a grandeur all of its own.

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We then met up with the skydiving girls who were bursting with adrenaline and hit the city once again. We went to have dinner at Restaurant Stoleti which is a sweet cosy restaurant not far off from the Old Town square serving traditional food at a very affordable price (I recommend the chicken breast!). Prague is also chock-full of nightlife. From cute jazz bars, to pubs and clubs. You can join in on a Prague pub crawl which seemed the popular night-time activity as we saw hundreds of people moving from one pub to another in unison. However, we opted to grab a few drinks at a pub which had great live music and an amazing atmosphere.

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The next day we signed ourselves up to go to one of Old Town’s free walking tours. We got the brochure from our hostel and met our guide, Keith, at the astronomical tower. Keith was an amazing guide and showed us all the main attractions in the Old Town and Jewish Quarter of Prague. Of course, you can always visit the sites by yourself but having a guide there to tell you all about the rich history is always better! During our walking tour we passed by the Powder Tower which separates the new town from the old town. At just 100czk you can get onto the top of Tower and experience amazing views – highly recommended.

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After around two and a half hours of walking, and a hundred something steps we decided to walk even more; to the Dancing House in Prague. The walk by the river is charming with lots of dogs bustling around (which is a big plus if you are missing your pooch from back home).

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It was then time for some lunch! We went to the most amazing burger place: Joy’s burger bar and grill and ordered all we could eat . There was a bit of a wait as the restaurant seems to be very popular in Prague but it was well worth it! The guacamole nachos are to die for.

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In the evening, Lauren and I went on a ghost tour. We are both fans of all things horror or mysterious and we tend to do this (if the option is there) anytime we travel together. Prague is the home of the famous Golem which is said to have been the protector of the Jews in the Jewish quarter. There are several different tales and books about the Golem of Prague and I cannot wait to get my hands on some good literature!

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On our last day we all had breakfast together at Paul’s which is an amazing chain we do not get here on the Maltese Islands, with fresh bread and pastries all your breakfast dreams will come true.

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For our last day we decided to tour Kutna Hora. It is always nice to explore something outside of the city to get a good feel of how life can be away from the hustel and bustle. Kutna Hora, the silver mining town, once rivaled Prague in becoming the Capital City of the Czech Republic. Built for success there is much to see here. Kutna Hora is home to the Kosnice Ossuary (the bone church with impressive intricate designs), the stunning St.Barbara Church (the patron saint of miners) and the Italian Courtyard which was the former royal residence. We also had amazing Goulash and sausages for lunch. Once again, we had an amazing tour guide and I highly recommend this day-trip.

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For our last night; we wanted to experience a black light theatre show. The show was nothing like I had ever seen before. We watched colour dreams of Dr. Frankenstein. If you will be watching this show expect floating neon body-parts, a quick cameo from E.T and break dancing. Really, it indescribable, you will have to go and watch it for yourselves. Unfortunately, no photos are allowed during the show.

All in all, Prague is an amazing city with so much history and culture to offer. If you are not into Cathedrals and museums you can always take a stroll by the river, skydive, hop on a hot air balloon and visit the various gardens close by. Prague truly has something for everyone to enjoy, the food is delicious and I cannot wait to visit again, if Prague will have me!

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I hoped you enjoyed my Prague post and do not hesitate to contact me if you need any more information, I am happy to help you enjoy this amazing city as much as I did. I also tried to take more artistic photos; let me know if you like them!

 

-Cher Shares

 

Thailand: The Islands

Hey guys! I am back to talk to you about my Thailand trip. This time about the islands found towards the South of Thailand,  admittedly these are the most touristy parts of Thailand and many have visited but I am here to give you my two cents, plus I want to share all the great pictures with you all. If you want to read more about Thailand I have written posts about Thailand-The NorthPai and my day with Elephants.

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A day with Elephants

Hey everyone ! Fancy seeing you all here ! In the following post, as I have done in my previous posts about Thailand : The North and Exploring Pai I want to share my Thailand experience with you (we hung out with elephants!), but also raise awareness to some issues going on in Thailand at the moment.

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Gozo Mojo

Hello everyone! Hope you are all having a great time! Last Summer I got to visit Gozo, one of the Islands in the Maltese Archipelago right in the heart of the Mediterranean Sea. The backdrop to a lot of great movies like Troy, the Count of Montekristo and several parts of the Game of Thrones Series. Gozo is a very small island, but do not let the size fool you! The island is bursting with culture, arts and natural beauty.

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Best Rocky Beaches on the Maltese Islands

Hey 🙂

Fancy seeing you here!

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As you may all have realised (hopefully) it is September. This month things will start to get cooler and we will  all dig up our winter wardrobe in the hopes that something still fits and we still like it .

It is time for warmer colours, thicker socks (not the ones with toe inserts!) and more hot chocolate. However, aside from all my excitement (believe it or not I am a winter person) this time saying goodbye to summer is bittersweet.

Unfortunately, I was not able to travel this past Summer. So, as a wanderer does, I vacationed in my own country instead. I ate a lot of Maltese food, relaxed and swam in several beaches (see them all on my instagram @toshareblog) and tried new things. Continue reading