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SNAPS FROM PALMA DE MALLORCA

Friday, September 12, 2014

















Where do I start when explaining Palma de Mallorca? It’s such a beautiful island and a perfect place for Adrian to enjoy his birthday. 


We arrived at our beautiful hotel, the Hm Balanguera. It’s a bit outside the city centre but a perfect hotel that allowed us to relax after huge days of sightseeing and non-stop travel.

Again, we hired bikes to get around Mallorca, because we loved riding so much in Valencia. On our first day, we relaxed by the hotel’s rooftop pool, sipping cool drinks and jumping into the crystal clear water. It felt like paradise, because it was! That night, we hired our bikes and rode to the Cathedral at night and walked around the old part of Palma. Entering old book shops and eating ice-cream in quiet streets.

On Adrian’s birthday, we decided to ride about 5km outside of Palma de Mallorca to Cala Major beach (see picture 3). After about an hour riding/walking and complaining up the steepest hill ever and taking a wrong turn, we were both greeted with the best view! (see picture 2) We even decided to go back to the beach in the evening to take more photos (after realising there was a bike path along the port which cut about 30 minutes off the first ride we took).






























The whole trip to Palma de Mallorca was so relaxing, even though we were riding again. We got to see parts of Palma that we couldn’t have if we didn’t hire out the bikes.

Hope you're all well and enjoying these quick posts!

-Olivia. xx

SNAPS FROM VALENCIA

Wednesday, September 10, 2014


































In Valencia, we stayed at this great place we found on AirBnB, it was a perfect location and the people were super friendly!
After the organised the bikes we went to ride down towards the beach. We rode into the park and followed that the whole way. We then went riding along the port and eventually onto the promenade. After seeing the beach we headed back home and went to get ready for dinner. We had dinner at this cute burger place called Onion Burger Studio. The food was delicious although, the only thing we found was that the fries were really salty!



On the first day Adrian and I went on the hunt to find some cheap bike hire. We came across this great bike shop called Valencia Luxury Bikes and my bike was only 11EURO for 24 hours! 
We rode around everywhere and it was perfect; Valencia is such a bike friendly place. 


































We only really had two days in Valencia and we spent them riding our bikes through the parks and small, narrow streets. Gazing up every now and then to capture the beautiful buildings that surrounded us. 

The next day, we jumped on the bikes again and went around the town to see some sights. We tried our first Horchata at Daniels inside the Market.  We rode down toward the Torres de Serranos and heaps of other places.  Adrian and I decided to have a casual day riding through the town centre which was great, because when we got lost in the small streets we found a great bar to park our bikes at and enjoy a cool beverage. 



See more of what I'm up to on my Instagram

-Olivia. xx







SNAPS FROM BARCELONA

Tuesday, September 2, 2014





























HOLA FROM SPAIN!

Our first stop on this European holiday is Spain and if you've been following my instagram you would have noticed that we're no longer in Barcelona, but traveling around. We decided to make a holiday out of a very special occasion for my family; my twin sister is getting married over the weekend! I will do a very special post about that in due time. ;-)

I thought I'd share some happy snaps from our first day in Barcelona. We managed to do and see more than I thought we would. 
We stayed at this amazing place from Air BnB (the first couple photos), which was about a 15 minute walk to La Ramblas and then a bit further away from the park/zoo. Although, it gave us the chance to see more of Barcelona. 

After wandering around the market of La Ramblas and getting lost in the small side streets, we found this great cocktail and tapas bar called Ocana. I ordered a passionfruit mojito and I don't think anything else will beat this drink... ever. 

Anyway! Thought I'd share these with you and I'll post something a bit more substantial soon!

-Olivia. 
xx




























PHOTO DIARY: ISTANBUL 2014

Monday, August 25, 2014


















































TURKEY: ISTANBUL

If I was to sum up Istanbul, I'd say: old Mosques, stray cats and amazing lentil soup. Although, it's not the first thing I noticed in Istanbul. The first thing I noticed was it's love for tulips; they were pretty much everywhere in March.

Area we stayed: Sultanahmet.
This was the older part of town and I was so glad we stayed on this side of Istanbul. It was close to many places like: The Blue Mosque, Grand Bazzar, Basilica Cistern, Hippodrome of Constantinople and the Topkapi Palace.

DAY 1:
We walked to the Grand Bazzar and looked around for a long time, getting lost in is passages filled with amazing jewellery, lanterns, pottery and textiles. I can't tell you the name of where we had lunch, it was just a small shop and we ate a typical kebab. ha!
Along the way, we enjoyed a freshly squeezed pomegranate juice, delish!
We had a look inside the Basilica Cistern and found Medusas head, made a wish and went to walk by The Blue Mosque.


DAY 2:
We went back to check out the Blue Mosque after we visited the Topkapi Palace. There was a huge line in front of the palace but, like all good tourists, we waited in line and it was such a delight to see!  The gardens that surround the palace have so many stray dogs, lying under the trees. I noticed many stray animals in Istanbul. The Blue Mosque was something that I was really looking forward to, I had already seen so many images of it online. It was really beautiful inside, something that a camera just can't capture.
That night, we went to go shopping on İstiklal Caddesi (on the newer side of Istanbul) and found a great place for dinner around there too.

























































































DAY 3:
This was maybe the nicest day we had in Istanbul, weather wise. So, we took the opportunity to travel  to the Asian side of Istanbul. It was so nice to travel on the ferry and relax. We just took a walk around and headed back on the ferry toward the Spice Market. This was another highlight I was looking forward to but, after visiting the Grand Bazzar earlier, I felt a little underwhelmed at the Spice Market. Although, I did recognise parts around there that were shot during The Amazing Race!

We had an ice cream and caught a tram back toward Sultanahmet and found a rooftop bar to relax at.
That night, we decided to go out for a Turkish bath, it was definitely an experience. The one we went to was clean, the people were nice but, I wish they scrubbed me more. I'm really glad that I went to experience a traditional turkish bath. The only awkward part is being topless but, once you get over that, it's fine. Also, it was really nice to go with a friend, I think I would have felt awkward if I went alone. Plus, this one was a little bit difficult to find but, I assure you, it's there!


DAY 4:
This was our last day Istanbul and it was a whirlwind. We went back to The Grand Bazzar and bought last minute gifts for friends and family. Adrian and I were on the lookout for a post office, which was pretty hard to find! We ended up running into a hotel and asking them if they could direct us, luckily it was about 3 minutes away. Even though we had been searching for 20 minutes or longer.
FYI the post office in the Grand Bazzar is no longer there, we learnt that the hard way. If you're looking out for post boxes, they are yellow and post offices have PTT written on them. It's also just best to ask someone.
We then went back to our accommodation to dry off as it had been raining.We settled in to have some lunch. At this stage, I was addicted to Lentil soup from a kebab shop down the road. If you're ever around Sultanahmet, this is THE BEST place to eat, it's cheap, friendly and the lentil soup is like no other!

Adrian, his mum and myself decided we wanted to see the whirling dervishes and there was a show starting near by. After watching this, I honestly felt like my entire experience in Istanbul was complete. I think any whirling dervish place would be great, so I've just provided this link. While heading back to our accommodation, we walked through the Hippodrome for the last time. I snapped the second last image, capturing the stars in the sky, I think it looks so beautiful.






























Home James. 
This last image we took as we were landing back into Melbourne. I'm heading off to Europe again on Wednesday. Our first stop is Barcelona, so if you have any tips, please leave me a comment!

-Olivia. xx