And a new adventure begins

So here begins a new adventure for me and Ad (the fiancé.) We’ve packed our life into boxes and as we speak they should be on their way back to New Zealand where we (eventually) will be ending up.

Until that point though, we plan to travel around Eastern Europe as much as we can until our money runs dry. The blog will keep going, but you’ll have to excuse crappy layouts/editing/photos (it’s either phone or iPad and the app doesn’t seem to like me very much.)

We haven't booked much yet, only up till the end of September. So if you have any suggestions let me know .

Jenna

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Exploring Gozo, Malta

Malta is made up of three islands, Malta, Gozo and Comino.

Getting to Gozo is easy (as long as you can get on the bus to the ferry terminal) From Balluta Bay the bus take 90minutes, again it’s very full so we were driving past very angry people who had been waiting ages to be picked up. Ferry takes 25minutes, and you pay on your way back to Malta. I would suggest picking up a return ticket when arriving in Gozo since otherwise you’re lining up with the busload of people who got off at the same time as you.

Victoria (the capital of Gozo) is in the middle of the island, and all buses go to here and from here you decide where you want to go. I only had one place that I really wanted to visit and that was in Dwejra Bay.

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Azure Window is a natural stone arch, with some of the most gorgeous looking water around. So impressive that I had to break my no getting into a swimsuit in public rule and (NSV right here) stripped down to a bikini so I could take a dip.

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I had only planned to stay here for a short time so I could explore other parts of Gozo, but ended up staying 2 hours so had just enough time to get back to Victoria and explore (there’s really not that much to see there, trust me) and then the journey home from hell started.

First bus to the ferry was cancelled, second was full and the push to get on immense ( I expected to get trampled) The ferry was the easiest part of the trip because once we got off the boat, came an hour wait for the next bus (which again contained a stampede to get on the bus) Driving back to St Julian’s, the city was in black out (or whole country).. which made the 5 flights of steps I needed to walk up to my apartment interesting to the least.

sunset over Gozo

Gozo by night

Jenna

#2 Visit 30 new places- Malta

There are so many little towns in Malta to explore, that I couldn’t do just one post dedicated to them. These were a few of my favourites (and some that didn’t live up to the hype) in Malta, which I had to travel over an hour to get to*

Mdina

The walled city of Mdina

The view of Mdina from afar

This was one of my favourite places on Malta. The first capital city, it remains completely walled. I loved just being able to walk and get lost down it’s streets. It’s not very big, and they give out a map for a suggested route around Mdina, but once inside the city walls it would be almost impossible to get lost. I managed to spend about 3hours here, walking around. From St Julian’s, it took 1hour to get to the Mdina gates.

Alleyways in Mdina

Getting lost in the streets of Mdina

Blue doorway and flowers

Just don’t forget to stop for a slice of cake at Fontanella Tea Garden before leaving. Try and sit on the terrance looking towards the sea. The views are amazing.

Carrot and Walnut cake

Carrot and Walnut cake

Marsaxlokk

A very touristy fishing village on the south coast of Malta. I liked it, but mainly for the photo ops it provided. Other then that it was really a waterfront lined with different fish restaurants and a very small market. On Sundays there is suppose to be a fish market in Marsaxlokk which attracts lots of locals, but I didn’t manage to get there on a sunday to see for myself.

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Marsaxlokk Fishing boats

I took 2 buses, one to Valletta then another from Valetta to Marsaxlokk, which took just over an hour.

Mellieħa Bay

two sailing boats in Mellieħa Bay

Mellieħa Bay

Do not go here in summer unless you can get here early, as gorgeous as it looks.

Malleha Bay

No space whatsoever on the beach

A sandy beach, absolutely packed with people. Even trying to get here on the bus is difficult. It took over 90minutes and I had to wait for a second bus because the first one was so full it just drove past. It was even worse for people waiting in towns who were completely missed.

Blue Grotto

This was one of the places that no matter what happened, I wanted to visit… 2 buses later (and a long time.) When I finally got there at 12.30, I brought a ticket (€8) to go and see the blue grotto.  We got loaded into a boat,with 7 others, life jackets on and off we went.

IMG_1807The trip was very bumpy ( I half expected to fall into the water at one point or another) We finally sailed the corner and…

Blue Grotto, Malta

Blue Grotto, Malta

Well I had seen bluer water in my next post

Until then

Jenna

*the over an hour to get to part is what makes it officially a new place (otherwise every time I explored a new London borough it could be called a new place)

#1 Visit 8 new countries – Malta

Sun, Water and.. Work?

Well that is what I signed up for when I decided to head to Malta for three weeks over the summer.  When I wasn’t working, I was lucky enough to be able to enjoy warm sea and some amazing views.

I stayed in Exiles Bay, Sliema which was located right by St Julian’s (like around the corner)

Flowers on Exiles Bay waterfront

Walking down the Exiles Bay waterfront

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Exiles Bay, Malta with The Carmelite Church, Balluta Bay in the background

Ship dock in Spinola Bay

Spinola Bay, St Julian’s, Malta

St Julian’s is one of the more touristy areas in Malta. Lots of restaurants, and pubs around especially if you happen upon Paceville (which is a 20minute walk from where I was staying) which is a few streets dedicated to pubs, bars and clubs. Alcohol isn’t expensive here so drinking seems to be a favourite past time  of quite a few people and walking around Paceville, you’re more then likely to stumble upon a group of drunk 15 year olds.

Walk for another few minutes and you find St Georges Bay, a very small sandy beach (they are rare here) and every time I walked past was so packed, you couldn’t walk on the beach.

Valletta

Now if you want more of an old town vibe, head over to Valletta, which is the capital city of Malta. You can either catch a ferry here from Selima Ferry terminals ( I can’t remember the exact cost but I think it might have been around €2) or get a bus from pretty much any where in Malta.

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The view of Valletta from Sliema

I’d heard about Valletta before I went to Malta and was looking forward to seeing it for myself. The problem with hearing about somewhere is that often it’s not quite as good as it’s built up to be and although I really enjoyed walking around and exploring it wasn’t one of my favourite places in Malta.

The one attraction I did pay to do in Valletta was the Lascaris War Rooms. It played a major part in protecting Malta when it was heavily bombed during World War Two, and even though we went for the boy (on the weekend he visited) more then for me, I really enjoyed learning about the different ways they organised the small air force they had here.

I think I visited Valletta 3 times while I was in Malta, and each time spent about 4 hours  there.

View from the saluting battery Valletta

Looking towards the three cities from the Saluting Battery

View of St Elmos Fort, Valletta Malta

St Elmos Fort, Valletta

Upper Barrakka Gardens , Valetta, Malta

Jenna 

#3 Spend a day being a tourist in the city I live in ( London day 2)

You can view Day 1 here

Day 2

London underground Tube

Not many people out early on a Saturday

This time I dragged the Strikster out with me and unfortunately for him, decided we had to start early to avoid the crowds.

I had two free tickets to Ripleys Believe It Or Not from a blog event I went to, and decided  that now would be the perfect time to use them.

Inside the mirror maze

Inside the mirror maze

 My favorite part was definitely the mirror maze or the black hole, but I could not imagine it being worth it if I had  to spend that much money on two of us (even more if you had kids!)

We managed to spend just over an hour here, the reading part starting to bore me, as well as the amount of kids running around the real fun parts. Lunch came at the other halfs suggestion, knowing how much I like Markets, decided we should head to Spitalfields Markets for a spot of browsing followed by food (of course)

Spitalfields markets from above

View from the lunch spot

I love browsing, and had to talk myself out of a few purchases (I’m trying to save.. Just not very well)

Next we decided to walk from Spitalfields to Tower Hill, taking in the sights along the way

The Gherkin and Shard, London

Old and New London

London Literacy Walk

Katie in London seemed rather fitting for my first bench find.

poppies at Tower of London

The Tower of London Poppies!!

We ended up walking a bit further, and I got to see St Katharine Docks for the first time. why had I only just discovered this!

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With only a couple more days left in London now, I’m trying to think of all the things I have to attempt to do. I’ve still got Harry Potter world to look forward to but how much more would I be able to squeeze in?

Jenna

#3 Spend a day being a tourist in the city I live in (London, Day 1)

“People travel to faraway places to watch, in fascination, the kind of people they ignore at home. ”

― Dagobert D. Runes

It’s true, as my time in London, comes to an end, I realise there is so much more that I want/wanted to see and do that normally I wouldn’t have thought about.

Being a tourist for me meant going out with the idea of exploring new places, not reverting to those that are familiar and making… or just visiting the places that everyone who lives in the city avoids because they are filled with… well, tourists.

I actually did this over two days, once by myself and one day when I dragged The Fiancé with me to do all the things I know he hated.

Day one:

Started with a walk down Southbank (okay I admit I’ve been here before but it is one of my favourite places in the whole of London)

Big Ben,  South Bank, Westminster, London

First sight to see on Southbank… Big Ben

London Eye, Southbank, London

Then continue to the London Eye on Southbank. No, I didn’t go on.

The Southbank Center currently hosts the Museum of Broken Hearts as part of the Festival of Love. Being the hopeless romantic I am, I had to pay it a visit.

Love letter at the museum of broken hearts, Southbank Center

Confessions of Love at the Southbank Center

Gua Bao Vegetarian bun

Lunch thanks to Bao, at Kerb Southbank.

After this I just decided to  wonder a wee bit and happened to find my self at 1.55pm standing outside the globe theater. What other choice did i have, I had to go in.

Globe theater London

Inside the Globe Theater

Only £5 for a yard ticket, but it meant having to stand for a good 2 and a half hours. I’m glad it wasn’t to sunny, or I think I would have struggled, but now I can say I saw Julius Caesar at The Globe Theater.  Afterwards there was only one way I could reward myself…

Drinking Cider on Southbank

Cider by the Tate

Jenna

An Opportunity

My favourite words are possibilities, opportunities and curiosity. I think if you are curious, you create opportunities, and then if you open the doors, you create possibilities.
Mario Testino

I heard about a family friend who owned a bar. This bar just happened to be in Malta, a country I wanted to visit but hasn’t yet. I had 6 weeks of summer holidays coming up and nothing to do (except pack up my house but who wants to do that?!)
I sent off an email asking if he might have some hours…
And soon enough (like maybe a month. I had to book tickets and wait for school to finish) I had my bags packed (yeah that didn’t take the better part of a couple of days) was out the door and on a flight to Malta.

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I don’t have a laptop, just my trusted phone and kindle. So there will be photos galore on instagram and Twitter (so make sure you’re following me there’s) but the blog might stay rather quiet for the next three weeks, unless of course I get some amazing photos on my phone..

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until then,
Jenna