A Festive Day in London

Last Saturday me and my best friend decided to visit London and pretend to be tourists. As I haven’t done any vlogs since I was traveling in the summer I missed vlogging so much! So I decided to use this opportunity and film a nice festive vlog for you guys 🙂

We arrived in London just after midday and after we both bought a Gingerbread Latte from Starbucks at Victoria Station we made our way towards Buckingham Palace. We always do this “tourist-walk” as I like to call it: after seeing the palace we went through St James’s Park and found the Big Ben with the London Eye, then we headed towards Trafalgar Square. 

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Of course, as all the tourists do, we had to take some pictures at the most iconic spots! Here’s a little comparison of me in London now and exactly one year ago (because I love recreating old photos!) (also, I really miss my long hair) :

I still do not know how, but we also managed to finally take the picture that I wanted of me for years! Me standing in the little tunnel opposite Big Ben. Everytime I went there it was so crowded that it was just impossible to take a photo of me alone without any other tourists, and we almost gave up now as well after standing there for approximately half an hour waiting for one person (!!!) to take a picture. But as we were about to leave… suddenly the tourists have disappeared for a couple of moments, and we quickly took the photos. We were so lucky! I can’t even believe it. And here’s the iconic photo that will probably remain my profile picture on Facebook for at least a year:

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How amazing is that?

(Can you spot the cheeky seagull? I would’ve been surprised if none of them had decided to ruin my perfect picture. I can still see myself sitting  on Brighton Beach eating my fish and chips without the fish. Since then I am at war with every seagull in the world.)

After this, we continued our sightseeing tour at Baker Street, Oxford Street, Piccadilly Circus, Regent Street, Soho, Leicester Square and Covent Garden.

I love going to London in the festive season, the Christmas lights are amazing and the atmosphere of the city is incredibly exciting. I wouldn’t recommend going on a Saturday evening though, especially not during Black Friday weekend, as it was very VERY crowded. But that was kind of expected, and I think it also just added to the excitement of the day. I think my favourite part was Oxford Street because the huge shops are very exciting for me (you don’t see shops like these in Hungary, that’s for sure!) and that’s also the place where they go all out on the Christmas lights. It was just amazing!

I just had the best day ever at my happy place with one of my favourite people! I hope you will all enjoy the vlog as well as my little additional stories in this blog post. Let me know what you think in the comments! Would you like to go visit London in the festive season or would you rather avoid the crowd? What other cities do you like visiting before Christmas?

Hope you all have a great day and are getting as excited for Christmas as I am!

Xx

P.

Visiting Paris & Last Days in Rouen!

I have uploaded a second vlog of my trip to France! It has definitely been an incredible experience to spend two weeks in Rouen, and I am so grateful to my university for providing this opportunity! So as you can see in the vlog, me and my friend have also visited Paris, which was amazing!

Unfortunately the weather was not very nice, but I was still excited to go. This was my first time going to Paris, so I was very happy. We didn’t have a specific plan, we just roughly agreed to go to the Arc de Triomphe first, and then walk down to the Eiffel tower, then through Champ ÉlysĂ©es to the Louvre and finally to the Notre Dame. I was exhausted already halfway through! But I think it’s important to walk around when you visit a city for the first time, because if you take the underground you can’t see all the streets and houses. If you want the full experience, it’s worth it to walk.

Paris was just like I imagined it: beautiful buildings, art, history, elegance, and a lot of tourists. I wish I could’ve spent more time there, but I will definitely go back one day to explore the city more. This day was an amazing first impression!

After that, we tried to make the most out of our last days in France, so we walked around every day and also climbed up on a hill where the view was incredible! In the vlog I also wanted to show you that this trip was not only for being tourists, but for studying as well. I wrote another blog post about the full language learning process that I went through in these two weeks, so if you’re interested in that part of my experience, CLICK HERE TO READ IT.

I hope you enjoyed my vlogs! Please subscribe to my YouTube channel if you would like to see more!

Xx

P.

First Week in France!

The next stop of my summer adventures was France, even though this trip consists of just as much work as fun. I study French at university, and they have offered my group a trip to France for two weeks to do an intensive language course. I am so grateful to my university, because I would never have been able to afford this trip, but it is an amazing opportunity to immerse myself in the language and get to know the culture. Together with my friend I am staying with a French family in Rouen, and they are the nicest, funniest people! There was also a cute Japanese girl staying with them, and they took us all to the beach for a day in Étretat.

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On Sunday we went out for the first time to explore the town. We got an ice cream and then just walked around for a couple of hours. I absolutely loved everything! There are so many huge churches/cathedrals, and they all have the most detailed decorations. All the houses are so pretty here, the streets are filled with history and beauty.

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The next day the studying began. To be honest I didn’t talk to my host family as much as I wanted to, because I got more and more anxious every time they were speaking to me and I couldn’t understand them, and it got to the point where I just gave up on any kind of conversation. I am still working on fighting my anxiety, but I am gradually getting better every day I spend here. It helped a lot that we went to French lessons, because I needed to be reminded of many things I already knew. At university I took an accelerated course, which means that I jumped two language stages in just a year. I learned almost all of the French grammar in 10 months, and it definitely wasn’t enough time to practice everything properly, so I feel like I don’t have a strong enough base to build on. But with the French lessons I started working hard again, and I think I am already better in French than I have ever been. Probably the best way to learn a language is to go to a country where it’s spoken and talk to people without being scared of making mistakes.

So we have French lessons every day from 10am to 1pm, and after that we have the whole afternoon to explore this amazing town and have fun. We usually grab a big sandwich for lunch and then walk around. We went to the art museum where we saw impressionist paintings from the end of the 19th century by famous French artists, and to the history museum where we followed the story of Jeanne d’Arc in a really cool and modern way. Both museums were incredible.

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One night we went out to see the light show on the cathedral. Basically, videos were projected onto the front of it, and it was so cool and creative. The first one was of the Vikings and the other one was more creative and colourful. If you come to Rouen you should definitely check this out, because it’s very special and I haven’t seen anything like this before.

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We are also planning to go to Paris, but that’s gonna have to be in another vlog and blog post! Make sure you are subscribed to my YouTube channel if you are interested to see my adventures in Paris. And please give my video a thumbs up if you enjoyed it!

See you soon!

Xx

P.

Adventures in Hungary

As I mentioned in my blog post about my holiday in Croatia, after I visited my friend it was her turn to come and see my home country. I told her it was no big deal, but she seemed to really like it! As it was a special occasion we did some things that we don’t usually do, so I decided to share our adventures with you, and show you some parts of Budapest in case any of you are planning to visit. Feel free to ask me any questions about visiting Hungary in the comments below! And now, here’s the story of our adventure.

The day after we arrived in Hungary was the one we’ve been waiting for, for at least 6 months: seeing our favourite band, Muse live at the Sziget festival. To be fair I have to say that I do not like going to festivals. It’s just not my thing really, but for Muse it was worth it to make an exception. They were absolutely incredible, their music is amazing and it was a great experience to see them play.

After that day when we kind of managed to process that it happened, we went to Budapest to show my friend around. We started at the Parliament and then walked all the way to St. Stephen’s Basilica. The weather was horrible at the beginning, but it started to be really nice during the walk.

For lunch we went to my new favourite restaurant in Budapest: Vintage Garden. It’s such a cute and special place! The last time I went there was during the winter and I remember how cool the decoration was. Now the roof was taken down and the decoration was Hawaii-themed, which I really liked. The menu is amazing, it has so many special dishes but you can also get burgers for example. The staff is also incredibly nice, they really created a happy and friendly atmosphere. For dessert we all had cheesecake with blueberries and oreos, it was sooo good! I would definitely recommend this restaurant to everyone coming to Budapest.

After lunch we went up to the Fisherman’s Bastion, which was a bit crowded but it definitely has one of the best views of the city. If you like walking around and appreciating architecture, definitely check this place out!

The next time we went to Budapest, it was a really bad rainy day. But we didn’t mind as the tourists seemed to disappear. It was also a good idea to visit the zoo on that day, as we could properly see the animals without people blocking the view or children screaming. My favourite part in the zoo was Australia. We saw little koalas hiding on trees and we spent some time observing kangaroos. They were the cutest, jumping around in the rain! One of them was also carrying a baby, it was adorable! We had a little scary situation when we walked into a cave full of huge Australian bats, not suspecting that they were actually released in the room! We realised when we got the other end of the room, and then we thought we were going to die on our way out. The African part of the zoo was also very interesting, we sat for a while looking at the giraffes. One of them was so bored that it started going around in circles and under the necks of the others as they were eating. When it got bored again it started walking backwards. We laughed so much!

I didn’t vlog anymore, but we also visited some towns by the lake Balaton. It was so beautiful! To me it never seems like it’s a part of Hungary. In Balatonfüred we sat by the water drinking a nice glass of wine and then we walked around Tihany looking at the amazing view of the lake.

We also went to Esztergom a couple times, which is hometown and where I used to go to school. It was so nice to show my friend the place where I grew up!

I hope you all had a lovely summer! Let me know in the comments where you went on holiday!

Xx

P.

Holiday in Croatia

So this year, it was the first time that I had a proper holiday by the sea. For some reason, my family only likes to go and explore big cities, which I really love doing, but I also wanted to try going to a seaside town for a holiday. And now that I have a best friend who literally lives a 2 minute walk away from the sea, my opportunity has come.

As there are no flights between Hungary and Croatia, and I am not experienced enough to drive by myself for 10 hours, I had two options: train or bus. To Croatia I chose to go with an overnight train, which I have never done before, so I thought I would try it. But because I only bought my ticket one week before the journey, there were only second class tickets left for cabins with 6 people. Well, it’s definitely going to be an adventure, I thought. In reality, it was just horrible. Can you imagine sitting in one place for 15 hours without any electricity to charge your phone or any wifi to use your laptop? I am one of those people who get bored very easily, and I am also a bit claustrophobic, so let’s just say the journey seemed even longer than endless. But after 15 hours of boredom I finally arrived in Split, where my best friend, Ema waited for me.

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We spent the first day having some rest and sleeping on the sofa in Ema’s family’s apartment, and we went to the cinema in the evening, so it was nothing special. On the second day we went out to explore Split, and it was beautiful. First we explored Diocletian’s palace, which is basically an ancient town and now people still live inside and there are a lot of shops, museums and galleries. There is also a cathedral with a bell tower, it is beautiful. Then we went for a walk in the forest park Marjan to a viewing point, it was really nice. After that we wandered around the little beach shops on the hunt for some rose gold sunglasses, and we both ended up buying the same pair in different shades. #Bestfriendgoals.

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We also went down to the beach in Split, which is a sandy beach. It was really crowded and the water was not very blue or clear because of the sand. But it was still good to swim, because it was my first time going into the sea for such a long time! After that we went back to the promenade by the sea where we sat down for an iced coffee with vanilla ice cream and just chilled for a couple of hours. There were so many amazing artists on the street, from gymnasts to singers and bands, they somehow created a very good mood in the city and made it feel cosy.

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In the evening we travelled to Baska Voda, which is the small town where Ema lives. The next day we went down to the beach, which was amazing! This beach was filled with little rocks instead of sand so the water seemed much clearer. The view was also incredible: on one side you can see the huge mountains and on the other side the clear sea and the Croatian islands in the distance. I bought the best snorkelling glasses that I could possibly get, because ever since I was a child I’ve loved swimming underwater and exploring the sea (or mostly the pool, because I didn’t go to the sea). So this was basically my childhood dream coming true. I could see so many sea urchins and cute small fishes, it was amazing! …until Ema told me that some fishes do actually bite you, so I got scared and ran out of the water, haha!

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And then many other beach days followed, until the day I got ill. Yes, exactly at the worst time ever, my body decided to fail me and force me to slow down for a couple of days. We still went up to the mountains, where I could see almost the same view as in the Game of Thrones scene with Daenerys and the dragons, and we looked at some olive trees and lavender bushes. The weather was also very stormy and cold, so we stayed inside for a long time. In the evening we decided to go for a little walk, and it turned out to be amazing! There were less people outside and it was very calming and nice to be by the sea. We found a really cool spot on the rocks, where we could see some little caves and it was surrounded by pine trees. The sun also decided to come out so it was so nice to be outside! I loved it.

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As soon as I got better the next week, we returned to the beach, and also decided to do something a little bit more adventurous. So every day until then, I was watching people flying above the sea with parachutes which were attached to motorboats, and I just couldn’t get it out of my head. I wanted to do it so much! So when the weather was nice again, we did it. It was possible for me and Ema to go together with one parachute, so it was definitely the best of all our #bestfriendgoals moments. The view was incredible, even though it was a bit terrifying to be up there in the air above the sea. I loved it and it was over too soon! I definitely want to go again.

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I spent 12 days in Croatia, and I really enjoyed it. It is a beautiful country, and I loved swimming in the sea and exploring the forest next to Baska Voda. And then it was Ema’s turn to come to Hungary and see my hometown. To come back, we had to take two buses (she didn’t want to go with an overnight train, and to be fair I didn’t want to do it again either). So we took a bus to Zagreb, which was 7 hours and another one to Budapest, which was 5 hours. 12 hours of complete boredom and discomfort. Let’s not discuss that any further, the point is that we survived, and now it’s time to continue our adventures!

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The day after we came back to Hungary we went to a festival to see our favourite band live. I was doing a vlog on that day, so I might upload it later and of course write a blog post about it as well. So stay tuned to see our adventures in Hungary!

Please like my video on Youtube if you enjoyed it, and subscribe to my channel to see more videos!

Hope you’re all having a good summer! Enjoy every moment of sunshine, go out to explore and have fun!

Xx

P.