travel

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0855 On the train to Venice. Out of the window picture number one.

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0932 From sunshine in Trieste it had become slightly foggy. Hopeful that it would clear! Out of the window picture number two (it is a two hour ride to Venice). I like to pretend which rambling, falling down farmhouse I will buy when travelling on the train through the countryside.

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1015 Coming into Venice – still foggy (iphone pic)

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1151 First on the itinerary (after a cornetto) was a visit to the Peggy Guggenheim Museum. I loved spending the day with this guy. He loved staring intently at Pollacks. I suppose this is a place that will always be busy. At this time of year when there are slightly fewer tourists it was pretty packed with school groups. But it is an amazing collection with Picasso, Pollack, Twombly, Miro and many more.

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1222 The blue sky made an appearance. The rest of the day was weather perfection.

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1320 On the search for some food. We passed through St Mark’s Square but for this trip I was keen to explore the quieter parts of the island city so we continued on to the Castello area. It is incredibly hard to find vegetarian food in Venice that isn’t in one of the tourist restaurants (and thus not really great food anyway). I did some research to find a vegetarian friendly lunch at a little cafe called Le Spighe. It is pay by weight for a variety of options of salads, pies, etc. The food was good but it was pricey for what it was (€27 for 2 plates of food – not piled high – and a shared cola).

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1428 After lunch we headed to a greenhouse which has been restored and turned into a nursery/coffee shop. We had an afternoon spritz and some biscuits. Weird combo but that’s allowed on your birthday. Right?

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1536 This park at the end of the islands was perfect for a wander and a relax.

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1600 Walking around the quiet neighbourhoods there is lots of washing hanging up. If I lived in Venice I would live in this area just because the streets are wider and houses must get more light inside. The little warrens around the more central areas must lead to very dark apartments.

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1734 Gelato time! This is from Il Doge. A bit too cold but the Crema del Doge flavour is awesome – cream with chocolate drizzle and candied orange.

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1854 More walking. I forgot how much distance there is between places and how if you don’t want to take a waterbus (which costs €7 a trip) it can take a long time to get around. The places I wanted to try out were pretty far apart. Too far apart as it turned out because by the time we found the little bar where I wanted to get an evening apertivo it was too late and we had to head to the station to catch our train home. Trying to find the place in the maze of streets which we passed did mean that I captured this beautiful light though.

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1936 Farewell Venezia. Until next time.

slovenian relaxation

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We spent another weekend in Slovenia. It is amazing living so close to another country! This was even more of a relaxing one. We stayed in a thermal spa hotel which was a bit of a time warp to the 1970s but pretty amazing. We mostly spent our time sleeping and reading with a dip in the thermal waters and a couples massage and wondering around in bathrobes and slippers like the other hotel guests. So relaxing in fact that this is the one photo I took!

On the Saturday we eschewed the inclusive dinner to visit a local restaurant. It was excellent! We started with a yummy cheese platter including a local cheese which was like paneer and halloumi had a baby and ended with a shared dessert plate with chocolate pudding with blueberries, roast grape ice-cream and some other amazing bits. We then got given some complimentary cherry liquor which was so good and tasted like liquid Christmas that I had to ask if they sold it. I don’t know if they normally do but the owner obliging sold us his last bottle.

I’m now planning our next trip – we definitely need to head to Ljubljana.

slovenia

slovenia

It was Tim’s school holidays last week and we headed for a long weekend with some friends to the Julian Alps in Slovenia for some skiing (or hot chocolate drinking on my part), relaxation and fresh air.

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On the drive up to the place we were staying we stopped at Lake Bled. This is a beautiful clear lake that caters well to tourism by having a picturesque castle to photograph on top of a mountain and a traditional cream cake as well as very relaxed swans which were walking around and caused cars to change their path rather than disturb them.

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The next day I woke up early to capture the perfectly white and quiet world that was outside. Is there anything like being surrounded by the magic of nature?

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We then headed up to a ski resort near Lake Bohinj. Our friends went skiing while Tim and I enjoyed hot chocolate, chatting and beautiful views from the top of a mountain.

jereka-slovenia-church-mycreative jereka-slovenia-mycreative There was also some general relaxing, driving around, oohin and aahing over views. I had been a bit worried that when eating out that there wouldn’t be anything for me to eat and although the food was simple I never went hungry – boiled potatoes with cottage cheese (much drier than the shop variety), asparagus with gorgonzola, local pastries, strud’l.

Slovenia had never been big on my radar but I have to say the country has blown me away and I am keen to head back.We are in fact heading to a different part of the country this weekend for Tim’s birthday! It is super handy that it is literally 20 minutes drive from us to the border so I can imagine many more trips happening soon. As a bonus I definitely have pictures sorted for Christmas cards sorted for this year!

eat | verona suggestions

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A lot of our weekend in Verona involved eating. The Saturday was wet and rainy. We managed to wander around for a bit, see Juliet’s balcony, eat a late lunch from a take-away (a panzarotti which is like a delicious pillow), and a dash around the Christmas market while drinking gluhwein under an archway.

We finally decided to head to an enoteca recommended in our guidebook. If you are a fan of those kind of musty second hand book shops that have their goods all over the floor you will love this place. Enoteca Oreste dal Zovo had a selection wines and other drinks – we had two glasses each for a reasonable amount as well as some snacks. The wine was second fiddle to the amazing interior though which had painted ceiling and an amazing arrangement of drawings and paintings. I have no idea if it is the best but well worth a visit.

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On Sunday morning we had a late breakfast (more like lunch) at the Retro Bar near the Duomo (as in across the street). This is an awesome option if you are vegetarian/vegan or gluten-intolerant as they had a wide selection, as well as coffee with almond milk as an option. Their food was really good, their decor fun, service friendly and they had chalkboard placemats! Plus I had a cappuccino with Nutella! Life changing I tell you.

We also had dinner at Milio a S. Anastasia Restaurant. It had a lovely atmosphere with super comfortable chairs, good wine and a decent selection for us veggies.

Have you been to Verona? Hit me up with some of your suggestions for our next visit.

the weekend in verona

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On Saturday we drove down to Verona with some new friends. Saturday rained but it perked up on Sunday for some wandering around. We mostly ate/drank (I’ll share some places later in the week). We didn’t go into any major attractions but often just walking around feels like you are in an attraction.

It is amazing how the architecture of a country or area can be so typical. Trieste is much more influenced by its Austrian heritage and so doesn’t have the quintessential warm earthy colours, wooden shutters and terracotta roofs. So I really got stuck on those. The duomo in particular was lovely. verona duomo verona duomo verona duomo verona duomo detail verona dumo detail verona duomo bicycle verona architecture verona house and tree

we’ll have paris

paris reflection reflectee On my way to Trieste by train I went to Paris for the weekend with friends. It is so good to spend quality time with the special people in your life. We started with breakfast at The Wolseley (certainly one of happy places in London). Perhaps a little indulgent but I had to leave London in style, non?

We stayed at an Airbnb apartment. Not the most stylish one in the world but cheap and certainly in a good location, near Commerce Metro. When we arrived there was a little food market and there was one of the recommended bakeries in the area.  On the first morning we picked up viennoiseries which were absolutely delicious. Unfortunately, it was closed on the Sunday so we couldn’t repeat the experience.

On Saturday I had my Paris Eat and Snap which was really good and so much fun. Though as always it felt a little too short as we tried to squeeze learning, eating and sight-seeing into a rather tight time gap. My friends I was travelling with joined in the day (thanks for the Eurostar ticket ladies) and we were joined by Claire and Amanda who both had lovely things to say. I can only say thank you for making the effort to come on over to Paris!

We started the walk-shop with coffee on a lovely street with a selection of places that looked good (including a lovely looking vegetarian friendly place). We then headed to a rue Montorguiel, a market street with lots of shops (rather than stalls), restaurants, bakeries and lots of delightful things o snap away. We ended the day at the Notre Dame and quick crepe run before Claire had to dash to catch her Eurostar home.

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It was a great opportunity for me to see how a ‘travelling’ Eat and Snap would work and I hope to bring it to a few more places. Perhaps from the spring …

Sunday required a search for Croque Madames for my travelling companions (which unfortunately ended in failure) and a dash to Laduree (if you visit you have to go to the one on Rue Bonaparte) for some gorgeous macarons for Tim.

I have to say (and this is just perhaps because Tim is not a fan of Paris) that I always enjoy visiting with friends. I enjoyed Eiffel Tower sitings, food, macarons, a glass of champagne, a crepe and good company. What more can you want in life?