Spain solo trip: Day 3 Tossa De Mar, a beautiful medieval town

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Day 3 of my trip was spent in the beautiful medieval town of Tossa De Mar.

Tossa de Mar’s location

Tossa De Mar is located on the coast of the Costa Brava and sits around 103 kilometres from Barcelona and only around 100 kilometres from the French border.

The beautiful town is filled with cobbled streets and is constructed around an incredibly ancient castle. Besides this, the town is surrounded by mountains and beautiful green valleys, which adds to its beauty.

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A bit about the history of Tossa De Mar

The beautiful town is filled with cobbled streets and is constructed around an incredibly ancient castle. Besides this, the town is surrounded by mountains and beautiful green valleys, which adds to its beauty.

It is filled with a beautiful network of medieval paths, passageways with embedded shops and restaurants, as well as ancient houses.

This part of the old town is known as Villa Vella.

How I got here from Lloret De Mar

I took the bus from the main bus station in Lloret De Mar. The journey took around 40 minutes, and it cost €8.20 for a return ticket.

On arrival in Tossa de Mar

I strolled through the beautiful, quaint streets and did a spot of shopping until I reached one of the towers and started the elevated walk.

From here, I walked along the castle walls.

Tossa De Mar Lighthouse

After walking along the castle walls, I made my way up to the lighthouse.

The lighthouse was built in 1917 and sits at the highest point of Tossa de Mar. It is the headquarters for the Maritime Museum, where people can learn all about the evolution of lighthouses in the Mediterranean Sea.

The views approaching the lighthouse are stunning!

After the lighthouse visit, I made my way back down towards the beach, where I ate at a lovely beachfront restaurant called Da Giovanni. I would highly recommend it. It is very reasonably priced and has nice, friendly staff.

I spent the perfect end to my day trip with an hour at the beach overlooking the castle.

I hope you have enjoyed my blog today.

Thanks for visiting

Stay blessed 🙏🏾

Natalie ❤

Spain solo trip: Day 2 Lloret De Mar

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Lloret De Mar is a former fishing town on the Costa Brava in Spain’s Catalonia region. It is one of the most popular tourist destinations on the Costa Brava. I could clearly see why as I walked around and discovered the area myself.

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It boasts a stunning, lively stretch of beach lined with bars along its promenade, along with hidden beach spots and rocky coves.

As I wandered around the colourful streets in the early morning, I got the feeling this place could become pretty lively. In fact, I had read this was a place of a vibrant nightlife where places to drink are open 24/7 between the months of May and September.

I’m not really one for going out when I travel, (nor at home tbh) so I can’t tell you about all about the bars and clubs, but I can tell you I did see several pretty cool looking ones, from the outside, of course 😉. As well as this, there are plenty of restaurants, coffee shops , supermarkets and shops to wander around in.

Although I was staying in Lloret De Mar, I only got to explore here for one day because I had plans to travel to other places. Therefore, I didn’t really get to explore as much as I had initially hoped.

After wandering around the shops, I began to look for The Parish Church Of Sant Romà, which conveniently for me, was around a 5 minute walk from where I was in the centre.

The Parish Church Of Sant Romà (Iglesia de San Román de Lloret)

After a few missed turns I eventually come to the Church Of Sant Romà, the patron Saint of Lloret De Mar.

The church has two very different types of architecture. The forefront part is in the Gothic style and was built around the years of 1509 and 1522. While the other part is strikingly colourful and influenced by the Catalan modernisation movement which started in development at the end of the 19th century.

How beautiful is the architecture? Unfortunately, I didn’t get to visit inside because I arrived just as it was closing.

If you would like to know more about this place, visit it here.

D’en Plaja Castle

After a visit to the church, I took a stroll along the beach and went to D’en Plaja Castle.

The hilltop Castle is located at the end of Sa Caleta beach and is one of Loret De Mar’s best features.

It’s not a castle!

I never knew this at the time, but since returning home and researching a little more about the castle, I learnt that it wasn’t a castle at all, but a summer home. The home was constructed in 1935 by Girona industrial magnate Narcís Plaja, and an architect named Isidor Bosch.

It apparently caused a fair bit of controversy amongst the locals at first, but has since become one of Lloret De Mar’s favourite features.

The most beautiful coastal views

Once past the Castle, there is a foot path I walked along that took me to the most scenic coastal line views!

The further I walked along the path, the fewer people I came across until I came to a perfect beauty spot to just sit in the stillness and enjoy all the surrounding areas. It was just pure bliss!

The best part about it was it was completely unexpected. I only found it through curiosity, as I wondered what was beyond.

The trail goes all the way to a beautiful town called Tossa De Mar, though it is a 12-km walk, so it would take a few hours. It is said to be an incredibly magical walk that I would have loved to have done had I known. I did, however, visit Tossa De Mar by bus, which I will share with you in a later post.

Thank you for visiting my blog today, its much appreciated.

Stay blessed 🙏🏾

Natalie ❤

Spain solo trip: Loret De Mar Day 1: Arrival & Travel challenges

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Hi everyone! Hope your all having a great start to the week. It’s been a little while since I wrote to tell you I plucked up the courage to travel abroad again but, I’ve finally got around to writing the blogs. 🙌🏾

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I was all excited about my trip, that was until the day before, when I started to find fault with everything.

Vaccination proof

Although being fully vaccinated wasn’t required at the time of my trip, I had gone and got a booster so I could travel freely without having to list the location of where I was staying, then be possibly called at any point in time of my stay to take tests. However, I had noticed that night that the NHS had me listed at my old address. I wasn’t sure if when my covid passport was scanned, it  would show my address, and if so, if this would be a problem.

I decided I would just have to call the NHS service in the morning and find out if it was going to be a problem. If so, I figured I would just have to go through reluctantly as unvaccinated.

I managed to ring NHS customer services whilst at the airport. I was told the scanned documents might be okay. Not exactly the best reassuring words are they?

Holiday insurance not validated

As if discovering the issues of my vaccination wasn’t enough, I found out I would be travelling on invalid holiday insurance and this wasn’t anything I could fix. 🤦🏽‍♀️

As I read through my insurance policy, it prompted me to ring my new doctors, where I had just recently registered two weeks prior. The receptionist informed me that my registration was still in the process stage, which meant I was not a registered patient yet. And with an hour to go until closing time and a full surgery of patients, this was highly unlikely to happen today. Therefore, not being registered with a doctor invalidated my insurance!

Train cancellation

As I arrived at the train station, I discovered my train had been cancelled. It was a Sunday, so the next train available wasn’t until another hour! Having been advised to get there at least an hour and a half early, this would make me arrive just half an hour before, which panicked me a little. So instead, I decided to purchase a ticket and take a tram to the airport, then I discovered this was going to take more than an hour and I would arrive later than the train!🙄

Travel money card blocked

A few days before travelling, I got myself a travel money card. When I travel, I always take my debit card, some exchanged currency in cash and a travel card for extra precaution. Did you ever read what happened on my trip to Salou? I’ve learnt since my rookie travel days. Well, clearly I haven’t, otherwise I wouldn’t be writing this blog ha.

I think I may have caused my card to block. I was supposed to activate my card at 10am on the morning of my travel day, but me being me, tried to do it before and blocked the card! I rang customer services from the airport and they unblocked it for me and gave me a new pin, but it still appeared to be blocked.

I tried to use the card on the plane but it wouldn’t work. Then again, when I arrived in Spain at my hotel, it wouldn’t work. Also, I was blocked on the card App. Therefore, I couldn’t rectify anything.

Great! Now I had no backup card, I thought.

Everything is always working out if you release resistance

  1. One of the things that keeps showing up in my life, is that everything is always working out, no matter what the situation is…… Here’s what happened when I gave in to all the resistance throughout this travel day.

2. When I realised I was going to be late for boarding I jumped off the tram and took a taxi and arrived exactly an hour and a half early (the time required to get there).

3. On arrival in Spain, the lady took one look at my covid passport and allowed me to walk through and nothing was scanned.

4. Whilst I was blocked on the card app and couldn’t use the card to pay with, I discovered I could withdraw cash from it.

5. As for travel insurance, well, I still travelled with invalid travel insurance and a blessing to me, I didn’t need it, because everything worked out.

Arrival

After, let’s call it an eventful day, I finally reached my hotel at around 6pm. I stayed at the bluesea Montevista Hawaii , a 3 star cheap hotel which provided great value for money…. I honestly don’t like to spend much money on hotels, especially since I’m never in them.

My entire 4 night trip cost me £164 at onthebeach.com, this included flights, transfers and hotel. And get this, the hotel was All-inclusive. 🤣

As I arrived at 6pm, there wasn’t that much for me to do other than take a shower and try out the hotel’s buffet-style restaurant, which was great with a good selection of food and drinks. Not long after this, after an episode of Good girls,I was ready to sleep and that was the end to my first night.

Thank you for visiting my blog today, I hope you enjoyed reading.

Stay Blessed 🙏🏾

Natalie ❤

Lake District: Epic fail

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I finally made the trip to the Lake District in December, something I had been getting round to for pretty much the whole of 2021.

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I had woken up a little later than usual this morning so spent the morning catching up with my online work, taking a shower and getting ready before booking my train tickets. The earliest train I could make at this point was the 11.01am and the return ticket I chose was 17.08pm, which all seemed quite reasonable at the time of booking. That was until I got to the train station and realized I had to make two changes and not one as I initially thought. This meant I wasn’t going to arrive until 1pm. Still, I felt optimistic that 4 hours in the lake district was a reasonable amount of time.

A cruise to see nothing and the most expensive pee’s ever!

On arrival I discovered I had just missed a bus and had to wait 20-minutes for the next one. Anyway, I was still feeling optimistic as I had a few hours remaining.

I had no real plans so when the bus turned up I just purchased a £8.50 day rider with the idea of jumping off whenever I see anything of interest. We arrived at Bowness Pier it looked beautiful, so this was where I jumped off and at this point I really needed to use the ladies. Luckily enough there where some public toilets to use, but not without charge. £1.50 to have a pee! And the cheeky buggers take card payments too!🤣 This was the most expensive pee ever!

Anyway, Bowness lake was beautiful (shown in above picture), I should have stayed here and explored, but my irrational thinking this day lead to me going on a 45- minute return boat cruise to lakeside.

It was a nice cruise but really didn’t see anything on the cruise apart from a few houses of interest and trees.

When I arrived at Lakeside I asked one of the crew members what time the last boat back was. He explained, that this was the last boat back and it was boarding in 10-minutes. So, basically I paid £14.50 to see nothing! It was my own fault for not checking before hand🤷🏿‍♀️.

I managed to take this shot down a little village lane before having to head back on board for the 45 minute journey back.

By the time I got back to Bowness It was pretty much time to head back to the train station, but not without having another £1.50 pee. I honestly can’t believe the cost to take a pee here! Can you imagine the cost for a family of four! It would cost £6 😮.

Anyway, enough about pee’s. I think it’s fair to say, this trip was a little bit of a failed trip, but it taught me to be more prepared for next time. I did return to the lake district better prepared and had a more successful trip, which I will share with you in my next blog.

Thanks for visiting today

Stay blessed 🙏🏾

Natalie ❤

Llandudno: Picture Postcards from Llandudno

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Hi, hope everyone is doing good.

Here’s a collection of photos taken from my trip to Llandudno. You can see and find out more about Llandudno in previous posts here and here

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Have a great week and stay blessed x

Photos shot from the beach

Not sure if the yellow building is a house or hotel. How beautiful does it Look?

One thing I really admire, houses/hotels built on hills and there are plenty here.

Notice all the pastel coloured hotels. This is because when someone purchases a business here they have to choose a pastel colour from a charter.

Views walking towards The Great Orme

Views from the top of The Great Orme

St Tudno’s Church

New Brighton: A forgotten place

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If your ever in Liverpool maybe consider giving this place a visit. Its only approximately 22mins by car, 33mins by train or 1 hr 15mins if you enjoy a long walk.

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New Brighton

New Brighton is a seaside town located on the edge of the Wirral peninsula on Liverpool’s Bay where the River Mersey is joined with the Irish sea. New Brighton was born in 1826 and has been a busy seaside resort for centuries, attracting a million visitors a year.

A bit about the history

New Brighton come about after a Liverpool merchant by the name of James Atherton purchased 170 acres of Land and wanted to build a seaside resort similar and inspired by Brightons resort, which obviously was where it got its name.

During the later half of the 19th century the area become a popular destination and many of the huge houses in the area were converted into hotels. In the 1860s a pier was added and in the 1890s the promenade was opened. In 1900 there used to be a tower which was the tallest in the country at that time however, it was pulled down in 1921 when it couldn’t be maintained throughout world war I.

A forgotten place

New Brighton used to be the the third largest seaside resort in the UK. It now sits at 66th, like a lot of the old sea side resorts it started to decline when people started to go abroad for holidays. This explains why many people along with myself have never heard of it.

It’s being regenerated

As a result of its decline in visitor numbers over the years many of the old attractions in the area have now gone. Thankfully Dan Davies a local businessman who owns the company Rockpoint Leisure has been regenerating the area since 2018 and has got many more up and coming plans to bring the once beloved destination back to life like its more glorious days.

The things I come across here

Dispite it being one of the less popular destinations there is enough here to see and do. Here is a list of things I found of interest:

The Lighthouse

The lighthouse was first constructed in 1683 and goes by the name Perch Rock Lighthouse. It stands at the staggering height of 94ft tall and is an impressive structure to see, especially if you love lighthouses like myself.

Fort Perch Rock

Fort Perch Rock is a coastal defence battery built to protect the port of Liverpool. It was built in between 1825 and 1829 and was built in the location of an are known as Black Rock. It is now open as a museum and opens at weekends between the hours of 11am to 5pm ( With additional hours throughout the school holidays).

The Black Pearl

The black pearl was a piece of artwork made in 2013 with wood by an artist named Frank Lund, Major Mace and a group of pirates. However, earlier this year in March 2021 waves and strong winds battered the ship and this is all that’s left in the picture above. However, hopefully after an inspiring note to Frank from Johnny Depp telling him to retrieve it, the ship named after the ship in The Pirates Of the Caribbean hopefully might return someday.

Even though this is all that is left I still thought it was lovely to see and is well worth the walk up the promenade.

Marine Point Retail And Leisure Park

Marine point has something for people of all ages such as the light cinema, plenty of bars/restaurants, cafes, bowling etc.

There is also Bubbles world of play, which has the largest innovative play frames in the country.

Also there are various hotels for people wanting to stay near by, such as the Travelodge Hotel that offers incredible views over Liverpool bay.

The colourful Benches

There are around 420 colourful benches dotted around the seafront which adds such a lovely touch. However, whats more touching the story behind the project.

Carl Leckey who used to holiday here as a child wanted to bring back the seafront benches he remembered as a child, after discovering they were all gone. Carl set up a project with some local schools and school children to create the environmentally friendly benches. The children helped to identity the safe materials and design the benches, then presented the project to the local council in which it was accepted.

Now they are memorial benches to loved ones that have been purchased by families. Some of the benches are donated to commemorate organisations such as the NHS workers, hospitals and assistance dogs.

Other things to do here:

I’m sure there are plenty more things to do here, but here are just a few.

The Mermaid Trail

Do the mermaid trail and find the five identical sculptures at:

Victoria Parade, kings parade, marine promenade, seabank road and Atherton street on Victoria road.

The Victorian Quarter

Have a walk arond the Victorian Quarter where you will find more bars, restaurants and cafes along with quirky independent shops. If your into art, you will also find some amazing street art in this creative area.

Have fun at the funfair

New palace and Adventureland features a number of rides such as the teacups, walzers, circus train etc. The rides are are mostly suited to children aged from toddlers to around 13. There is also a soft play area, an arcade and activity centre.

Adventure land is open at weekends and during the school holidays between the hours of 11am to 6pm. Entry is free, but rides are all individually priced.

Watch a show at Floral Pavilion

This is the Wirrals largest theatre, it is located right on the promenade. It hosts a number of shows, pantomimes and has a dog friendly cafe.

Vale Park

If you wanted some quiet time, you could enjoy this lovely Victorian park with views over the River Mersey.

To visit New Brighton and find out more information visit here

Free Parking

There is plenty of free parking in this area near perch rock, near the seafront and around the area.

Thank you ❤

I hope you have enjoyed my post today, stay tuned for more.

Thank you for reading

Stay blessed x

Chester, England: Western Europe’s only portrayal of a Roman goddess

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I can’t believe I stumbled across this while wondering around Chester! Sometimes I love nothing more than getting of the beaten track. I’m so grateful and thankful to have a wondering curious mind and a real zest for life otherwise, I would never stumble across amazing things like this.

At first I thought it was a hobbit house, but it turned out to be the site of Minerva’s shrine, a roman goddess. It is said, that quarrymen carved this shrine to Minerva more than 2000 years ago. The quarrymen would come here to worship and pay respect to the goddess as well as praying for success and safety.

shrines were very common in the ancient world, but many of them have been claimed and this is the only one in its original site in Western Europe, as recorded by Historic England.

The shrine is a little worse for wear, but you can still see the outline figure of her holding a spear.

Location

If you want to visit, it’s located in Edgar’s field. Go across the old Dee Bridge across the river, Edgar’s field is on the right next to a pub called the Ship Inn.

Whilst here enjoy the beautiful surroundings nearby

Chester, England: The second most photographed clock in England

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Just a few steps away from Chester Cathedral, (mentioned in my last post), is the second most visited clock in England after Big Ben.

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Eastgate clock is another one of Chester’s most popular treasures not be missed on a visit here.

The clock is located on the gateway which used to be the entrance of the Roman Fortress of Deva.

The clock was placed here in 1899 to celebrate the diamond jubilee of Queen Victoria, which had taken place two years earlier.

Thanks for stopping by.

until next time

Natalie x

York England: Sisters take York

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After our two and a half hour tour we were given some free time for lunch and to explore some more.

Sister antics

Whilst everyone gathered around the tour guides to be pointed in the direction of landmarks and sites, we asked to be pointed in the direction of the bars. We were in agreement that it was important we got our priorities right to seek wine🤷🏿‍♀️.

We had been so excited to take this trip together over the last week and having just got out of lockdown, we were admittedly a little animated on this day. We had laughed and giggled at the back of the coach all the way here, turning answers to questions in the tour quiz into our own private little jokes. It wasn’t any different on the tour either. I don’t think either of us had heard much of what the tour guides said in the whole two hours.

Spoilt for choice

I’ve never been anywhere where in my life with so many choices of stunning looking pubs, bars and restaurants. We were well and truly spoilt for choice. In the end we settled with The Old White Swan Pie House because it fit everything we were looking for. A nice old traditional English pub, vegetarian frendly menu and of course nice wine.

We both ordered the Lentil cottage pie and a bottle of their white house wine. Everything was perfect and very well priced

Not only was the food delicious but, the pub is an historic place and is said to be one of York’s oldest pubs. The pub is a collection of ancient buildings with parts dating right back to the 16th century with interesting features. I would highly recommend this place.

We went for a stroll around some of the back streets and less busy areas

we walked by these pretty residential streets

And York Minster Conference and Banqueting Centre

York Minster Conference and Banqueting Centre is the origins of St. Williams College dating back to the 15th century.

Ouse Sightseeing River Cruise

We took a cruise tour down the river. The tour lasted around 45mins and cost £11.95 per adult. We had a great captain/guide who had the worst jokes ever, but he was very knowledgeable and had some interesting information about York.

Quirky Place

We managed to sneak in some more drinks at this quirky pub before heading back to our coach.

Conclusion

I hope my York posts have been helpful to anyone who has plans to visit here. York has by far been my favourite UK city to visit up to date. My only regret is not having a longer visit as one day is certainly not long enough to visit this incredible city. However, I do plan to visit again in the near future.

Thanks for reading 🙂

A place to wash your spirit clean, Snowdonia

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In September I visit North wales. One of the places I stopped off at was Snowdonia National Park, the largest national park in Wales and the proud owner of the highest mountain in both England and Wales. Yes, you probably guessed it, Mount Snowdon. Did I climb mount Snowdon? No I’m far too lazy for that, but I did hike a little into some moutains, after being driven up most of the way that is, Sshhhhhhhh!

Although my face says different, I really was having the time of my life here 🙂

I visited on a minibus shared with eight other travellers. We were taken to the most tranquil place, it literally felt like we had the whole national park to ourselves.

I honestly could not believe how beautiful and relaxing this place was! It was so silent with only the sounds of the waterfalls. It was like stepping into another world where everything stood still. A place where you could forget every worry in the world, a place where you could wash your spirit clean.

If your thinking of visiting North Wales, this is one place not to be missed.

Thanks for reading 🙂 Stay safe x