Busy times in Poland and London

The City of Wroclaw

I just got back from a great few days in Poland. I was on a bloggers’ trip with the Polish tourism board and three other bloggers.

Here they are:
Victoria from Pommie Travels
Paul from TravMonkey
Michael from Time Travel Turtle

Inside St Mary’s Basilica, Krakow

We visited Wroclaw, Zakopane and Krakow over 4 days which fun but completely exhausting. We slept on average about 3-4hrs a night. The Polish also love a couple of vodka shots in the evening and are fabulous hosts meaning that we just felt that it would be rude not to partake in the traditions. I’ve included a couple of pictures here. There’s a lot more to come. AND I’m still trying to get my WordPress site up and running. I just am finding it difficult to find the time to do it. There’s also something else in the pipeline that I’m keeping schtum on at the moment.

Vodka in Zakopane

Tomorrow I’ve spending a couple of days with my mum in London, which should again be fun but I’ll be spending all of next week catching up on work and blogging! Definitely worth it though.

Hectic Few Weeks…

After spending much of last week procrastinating and enjoying the sunshine and then much of this week watching the Samantha Brick phenomenon unfold, I have been spending the last couple of days getting up to date with deadlines and work. Why? Because I’m going to be everywhere in the next few weeks.

I’m heading to Venice tomorrow with my Mum for a little Easter break. Thank you to all of you who have sent me tips on the Travel Belles Community and on Twitter. I’m completely in love with The Travel Belles at the moment (and not because they have taken me on as a writer!). I urge you to check it out. It’s such a fun read. I’ll be in Venice for 3 nights. We’re simply planning on hanging out on gondolas, sampling the local pasta – based delights and checking out some sites such as the Lido and a few piazzas. Most people recommend getting lost in Venice, which sounds like a great non-plan to me!

On our return, I have to head to London on Thursday because I have an early flight to Poland on Friday for a Bloggers’ trip. Pretty excited for two reasons: I’ve never been before and I should be able to see my friend Kasia in Krakow. Remember she came to visit in February and we went to Lincoln?

I’ll be in Poland for 4 days before heading back up to London to sleep, and catch up on work and all of these travel notes I plan on making! Then, my mother will rejoin me for a girly couple of days. Steps at the O2 will be no1 on the agenda plus a few drinks and the obligatory shopping trip.

By the time the weekend rolls around, I hope to curl up with Mark, watch some movies and maybe enjoy a Sunday roast before major working out begins to work off my mammoth two weeks. Anybody fancy joining me back on the 30 Day Shred? It worked well for me last time!

Costa Rica: Narrowing Down the Geographic Possibilities

Yesterday my first piece went up on The Travel Belles. This site really is a fantastic little source of personal tips from every corner of the world. I’m so proud to now call myself a Travel Belle and hope to bring you so many more pieces on my time in Costa Rica.

Here’s the piece if you missed it:

Where to go, what to do and where to stay in Costa Rica

Two years ago, my boyfriend got a call in the middle of the night asking if he would like to move to Costa Rica for a couple of years to help a friend set up a business. Oh, and why don’t you bring your girlfriend, too? Well, it wasn’t a difficult decision. I had studied Spanish at university, so moving to a Spanish-speaking country really was a no brainer. And did I mention that it was the middle of January and snowing in England? My bikinis were packed by the time breakfast rolled around.
Costa Rica is one of the most beautiful countries in the world. With such a variety of things to do and great areas to stay, there really is something for everyone. The majority of the land is designated as rainforest. It may be a jungle out there, but as long as you know where to go in Costa Rica, it’s a fantastic opportunity to get into nature and have a great time while doing it.
costa rica central america  Costa Rica: Narrowing Down the Geographic Possibilities
My recommendation for a great trip in Costa Rica would be to combine a volcanic area like Arenal with one of the main beach areas, such as Manuel Antonio, Guanacaste, Nicoya or Puerto Viejo. Whether you are a pampered princess or more of a GI Jane type, you will not be disappointed. Almost every hotel across the country has a spa, and most around the volcanic areas specialize in natural hot springs and beauty treatments that embrace the nature around them.
Mix adventure and spa treatments at Volcán Arenal
Volcán Arenal, or the Arenal Volcano, is situated in the north of the country. There are lots of hotels in this area that offer quad-biking, hiking and ziplining during the day, and amazing massages and chocolate and coffee body wraps in the evening. Combine that with stunning views and you can’t go wrong. Near Arenal, the area of Monteverde is known for its high adventure activities. Fly through the rainforest on a zipline, explore the jungle on a guided quad bike tour or ride the rapids with a day of whitewater rafting.
costa rica central america  Costa Rica: Narrowing Down the Geographic Possibilities
Explore the beaches of Guanacaste
The main reason most people visit Costa Rica is its stunning coastline. From the north of the Pacific side of the country, you will find the beautiful beaches of Guanacaste, with delights like Playa Tamarindo, Playa Flamingo and smaller areas like Potrero and El Coco. Guanacaste is a fantastic place, full of a great blend of international people. I was often tempted by this area as an option to get out of the capital city, San José.
Guanacaste has everything you need to fully enjoy life, ranging from huge luxury resorts to pretty vacation rentals, breathtaking beaches and an amazing mix of restaurants. This area is served by Daniel Oduber Quiros International Airport (known as Liberia Costa Rica Airport), making it perfect for a short trip straight to the beach.
Get in touch with your inner hippy on the Nicoya Peninsula
Moving slightly further south, you come across the cool bohemian areas of Mal País, Santa Teresa and Montezuma on the Nicoya Peninsula. These small beach towns are full of artists and surfers. The amazing views are something I will hold in my heart forever.
Find paradise at Manuel Antonio National Park
If you want to be closer to the landlocked capital city of San José, Jacó and Puntarenas are two areas full of great luxury hotels and condos.
 Still, it’s well worth heading slightly further south to find Manuel Antonio, which sits along the Pacific coast. The nearby town of Quepos has great transport links including its own domestic airport and recently improved roads, making it a simple 2.5 hour-drive from the capital city of San José. From the national park to the stunning beaches and scenery, Manuel Antonio is a region of Costa Rica that you will never want to leave.
costa rica central america  Costa Rica: Narrowing Down the Geographic Possibilities

Discover the sunny Caribbean side of Costa Rica

On the Caribbean side, Puerto Viejo in Limón is not to be missed. It has a really cool, laid back, hippy vibe and boasts some of the most beautiful beach areas in the country. It is less built up and commercialized than popular areas like Guanacaste, but this place can really hold its own. It is also a good bet for finding sun during Costa Rica’s rainy season (May through mid-November). I have never been happier than I was when in a hammock on Playa Cocles with a Cuba Libre in my hand. It’s the perfect place to relax. There are also some amazing national parks in this area, such as Cahuita and Parque Refugio Manzanillo. And to view sea turtle nesting sites, travel further north to Tortuguero from June to September.
In fact, you will find stunning wildlife wherever you go in Costa Rica. From white-faced monkeys to sloths and huge iguanas, the nature is right on your doorstep. I never fail to be amazed whenever stunning red macaw parrots fly overhead together. And when a sloth crawled across the sand and climbed onto the sun lounger next to me in Puerto Viejo, I could not believe my eyes!
The colours of nature always astound me and Costa Rica is a country where you will find every single one, from the blue of the Caribbean Sea to the green of the rainforest and the orange of a toucan’s beak. Costa Rica is a place to enjoy, relax and be amazed all at the same time. 

The original article can be found here.

Riding Camels in Morocco

I’ve always wanted to ride a camel. I got the chance to do this on the beach in Agadir on the way to my surf lesson (yes, surf lesson…more on that to come!). I always thought that it would be the same as riding a horse, which it kind of is, except you are MUCH higher up. 
It really is a very strange feeling when the camel gets up. They lift their back ends up first so that you are almost hanging over their heads and then the front end comes up rather clumsily and I just found myself hanging on for dear life. However, once I was up there, I quite enjoyed it. My companion Harriet? Not so much.

My camel was called Mustafa. Hers was Syed. And hers was lead by a little boy which made her a little more nervous but he seemed very capable of handling the animal. And was probably older than he looked. Not that we could ask him, because he only spoke Arabic so her high school French wasn’t getting her very far. I even had a bit of a run on Mustafa, which was actually a little more comfortable than the constant back and forth rocking movement (yes, just like that!) of the walking.

I’d love to do it again, but maybe across the desert next time. I heard you can go camel trekking in the desert in other parts of Morocco- how cool would that be?!

I’d like to thank the Moroccan Tourism Board for their hospitality and giving me once-in-a-lifetime experiences such as this one.