Things to do in Athens

Happy New Year!!!

Hellooo! Sorry it took me so long to type this up!

So before I start with the things to do in Athens, I have to say that we struggled a bit to find a good hotel to stay in Athens. What do I mean by good hotel? A hotel in a good area for a reasonable price. So after a lot of looking around my friend and I decided to book an Airbnb.

The Airbnb we stayed in was absolutely perfect and Homer who rented his place to us was so lovely and gave us a lot of advice for our stay in Athens. Another reason to stay at an Airbnb!!!

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Day 1

We arrived in Athens in the evening and then we took the metro to the city centre. A one way metro ticket costs €8. You also have the option to take the express bus which might take a little bit longer but only costs €5.

After unpacking in our beautiful Airbnb in Koukaki area ( which is only about 10 mins away from the Acropolis by walking), we went out for dinner at “Skoumpri” which is a Seafood tavern! So if you are into fresh fish, this is the place to be.

We ordered zucchini fries for starters and salmon pasta for main, both which were delicious! I think we each paid around €15 and we had to take some of the pasta as a takeaway because the portions were so big!!

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Day 2

After having breakfast on our little beautiful balcony, it was time for some sight seeing!

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On our first full day in Athens we wanted to see the main attractions.

  1. Acropolis

This is the ultimate must see when you are in Athens!! I now understand why its on these lists of “places you must see before you die”! The Parthenon, and the Acropolis, the rocky hill on which it stands, really do live up to the hype.

There is a lot of restoration work going on at the moment but still the ruins and views are impressive!!

TIP: Apparently you can enter the Acropolis for free if you are a student and save € 12.

The ticket to the Acropolis includes entry into several other ancient sites within a four day period.

2) Acropolis museum 

The Acropolis museum is right next to the Acropolis and is modern building with glass floors allowing you to see the old structures of Athens underneath your feet.

I was really impressed with the fact that there were archaeologists seated in the museum, who were there to answer any questions you might have had! On the second floor of the Museum there is also a restaurant which offers panoramic views of the Acropolis.

Entry to the museum is €5 but free if you are a student! 

3) National Gardens

Beautiful garden and best place to unwind after a busy day in the city.

4)Temple of Olympian Zeus

Entry is free with Acropolis ticket. Its massive! You can walk around the stone pillars which are impressive!

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5) Keramikos Cemetery

A beautiful and interesting cemetery, which a lot of people miss apparently!

Inside, you can find several ancient tomb stones which are nicely preserved and three churches. In the past, the Keramikos was apparently a settlement of vase painters and potters and the main production centre of famous Attic vases.

Free entry with the Acropolis ticket.

6) Central Market

We made a stop here to buy some fresh fruits. I also tried figs for the first time.

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7) Panathenaic Stadium

Nice to see from the outside, we didn’t think it was worth paying to go inside as it wasn’t included in the Acropolis ticket. We got great views of the Acropolis in the evening whilst walking to the Stadium.

8) Ancient Agora of Athens

An open air “gallery” showing major buildings and structures of the agora of Athens as it was in the 5th century BC.

9) The Temple Of Poseidon at Sounion

If you have an extra day left in Athens, I would recommend The Temple Of Poseidon at Sounion. We personally didn’t make it but our Airbnb host highly recommended it. Apparently you can take the Express bus but it does take about 1.5 hours to get there which is why you should spend a whole day there. This is as close you can get to a nice beach in Athens!

We also explored the neighbourhood Plaka that day, as it was ‘underneath’ the Acropolis. It is full of local cafes, bars, restaurants and shops. You can also find the classical white houses with red tiles.

Day 3

On our last day we did a bit of shopping mainly on the famous Ermou Street. One shop we came across was the “Kilo Shop” found at the far end of Ermou Street near the Keramikos Cemetery. A must visit for vintage shoppers! You can find good quality clothes and accessories each tagged with specific colours telling us how much the clothing costs by kilo.

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We also explored Psiri on that day. Close to Monastiraki, Psiri is one of the oldest districts in Athens. It has a Bohemian feel to it, as you can find a lot of graffiti on the streets and it is also known for some great bars and restaurants.

For dinner we went to “Taverna Tou Psiri”. The food was lovely, they even let us look at the dishes before we ordered them and the staff was really nice. At the end we also got pieces of watermelon as a dessert for free. Overall great food and great service so highly recommend it.

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This pretty much sums up our 3 days in Athens and to be honest I would have liked to stay a day or two more in Athens, just to explore a bit more and maybe to have the time to visit “The Temple Of Poseidon at Sounion”. Nevertheless I was blown away by the beauty of this city and would definitely recommend it for a travel destination in 2016!

Thanks for reading.

Jeny

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Bilingual? What language do you think in? | Globalgirl90

Hello, Hallo, Salut, Kalimera!

I thought today I will write about something different than my normal “Things to do in this country” posts. I want to talk or ask all you people out there who are bilingual or trilingual what language do you think or dream in? I get asked this a lot and it’s quite interesting to know.

I am actually trilingual and I speak German and English fluently. I used to think or dream in German mostly because I was born and lived there for a long time before moving to the UK. But after 10 years in the UK, I have to say it has changed. It started slowly and I think it took a few years for me to start thinking in English..To be honest I can’t really remember when it started exactly! I guess you don’t really think “Oh, I started to think in English now!”. But it must have happened around the time I started University, because that’s when I was mostly in an “English surrounding”.  But I do still think in German but only when I think about something Germany related like my German friends. For example, if I am going over in my head how I am going tell my German friend a story that happened to me, then I would do this in German. It’s strange right? But if its a story I am going to tell my English friends I will think in English. The brain is amazing I tell ya!

Also me and my sister used to talk in German all the time at home, but now we are slowly starting to speak in English and sometimes half way we go back to German. Its quite funny!

Anyway, are any of you bilingual or trilingual? What language do you think in or when do you swap to the other language?Let me know I would be interested to know!

Also I am working on my Athens and Santorini Travel guides posts. They should be up soon!

Thanks for reading.

Jeny

Souvenirs ( Sweets) from Germany

Hallo!

I think I have said this before but when I go on holiday I find it so hard to buy souvenirs for everyone at home. That’s why I usually tend to buy sweets that you can’t get back home in the UK or I just buy sweets that looks different and is worth trying ?!

So last month when I went back to Germany, I had to get my hands on a few sweets/biscuits I absolutely love but can’t get in the UK 😦 I am not going to list the typical “Aachener Printen” biscuits or the tasty “Spekulatius” biscuits you can buy from ALDI during christmas in the UK. I rather talk about my old time favourite biscuits I used to eat a lot when I lived in Germany.

So here comes the list…

  1. Hanuta

Haunta basically consists of a cream of hazelnuts and chocolate sandwiched between two crispy waffles. They are made by Ferrero

2. Knoppers

Knoppers is also a waffle sandwich filled with nougat and milk creme. So nice and probably my favourite!

3. Ferrero Giotto

It consists of a delicious Milk-Hazelnut Cream coated in hazelnut pastry shell.

4. Balisto

Balisto is a digestive biscuit with milky cream toppings covered in milk chocolate.

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Has anyone tried them? Which one is your favourite? Or do you have any other recommendations?

I would love to know.

Jeny xxx

Harry Potter Warner Bros Studio Tour London | Things to do in London

“No story lives unless someone wants to listen”- J K Rowling.

Hellooo!

So if you are a Harry Potter fan and you are in London, then you have to go and see the Harry Potter Warner Bros Studio in Leavesden!! It’s a must for everyone who wants an in depth look at the sets, all the props, costumes and technology etc used. And whats really exciting is you can try the famous Butterbeer for only £2.95 ( or more if you want it in a souvenir glass)!! All I can say is that it is fizzy and quite unique in its taste. So you have to try it! Moreover you walk down the Privet Drive, hop onto the Hogwarts Expressor get green screen pictures/videos taken on a broom ride across Hogwarts. It really offers something for everyone!

Our booking was for 4-4.30 pm and after a short wait in the queue we entered our experience. It took us about 3-4 hours for the whole tour, and in between we stopped for a sandwich and butterbeer at a cafe inside the Studio. But you can also bring a sandwich with you if you prefer. At the end of the Tour, there is a big shop which offers an exhaustive amount of Potter souvenirs!

If you are planning to visit the Harry Potter Studio, you should book well in advance as the waiting time can be long depending on when you are coming. Tickets are £33 for adults (16+) for the basic Studio Tour ticket, however you can also get the Complete Studio Tour Package which includes the Studio Tour Ticket, a Digital Guide and a Paperback Souvenir Guidebook for £42 and upwards.

Here is the link for the booking:

https://tickets.wbstudiotour.co.uk/webstore/shop/ViewItems.aspx?CG=HPTST2&C=tix2

We absolutely loved the Harry Potter Studio Tour and the staff was very friendly and helpful too, but the one thing I will say is that it would be nice if they could maybe introduce special discounts or a something like a badge or banner for kids who spent their birthday at the Studio just to make them feel extra special. I went there on my sister’s birthday and although she definitely is not a kid anymore, some kind of acknowledgement of her birthday would have made her really happy and made her day even more magical.

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Hope you enjoy it!

My current favourite restaurants in London

Hey!

Today I thought I will write something slightly different and recommend my current favourite restaurant/ cafe for breakfast, lunch and dinner in London. I hope you find it useful!

BreakfastThe Breakfast Club Soho

The ultimate best place for breakfast/brunch in London has to be “The Breakfast Club” for me! You can get anything from the traditional English breakfast to pancakes and oats! Everything is just so delicious! Their smoothies are also really nice! Try the Green Smoothie!

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LunchTibits Mayfair

This is a hard one because there are so many nice places in London. After much consideration I decided to write about “Tibits”, which is a vegetarian and vegan restaurant where you pay by weight of the food you pile up on your plate. After our delicious food in “Silvoplee” in Helsinki, Finland, my friend and I found this place in London after looking for this kind of restaurant where you pay per weight. I have to point out that I am not a vegetarian but its nice to have meat free days! Also you have such a great choice of homemade vegetarian dishes at Tibits that you certainly won’t miss the meat. Tibits also have super healthy and delicious smoothies and really good desserts!

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DinnerDim T London Bridge

Again so many nice places for dinner, but this time the winner is Dim T in London Bridge. I went to University in that area so we used to eat quite frequently at Dim T’s and also the view is AMAZING! There are not many places around where you can eat delicous food overlooking the Tower Bridge at an affordable price! I should add Dim T’s offer oriental dishes and amazing Chinese Tea’s.

My all time favourite dish is the “Sweet Coconut” with Chicken and Lychee Ice Tea. I am still dreaming about this.

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If  you are planning to visit them especially on Friday evenings or the weekend, be sure to reserver with them so you don’t have to wait for a table for too long.

Also if you feel like a hot chocolate or tea, go visit AMT they have the BEST Hazelnut Hot Chocolate in the world! They are located inside London Bridge Station. Seriously they are amazing!

I hope I was able to recommend you one or two new restaurants in London. If you go and check them out please let me know if you liked them. Also let me know of any good places you know!

Thanks for reading.

Jeny xxx

Pop Up Screens | Things to do in London

Hellooo!

About two weeks ago my friends and I went to an outdoor cinema in Ravenscourt Park in London. I booked the tickets via TimeOut London and only paid about £6 for them. I never went to one of these Pop Up Screens before so was not completely sure what to pack but now from experience I can tell you..

  1. Blanket,  because it will get cold…
  2. Sandwiches, sweets and drinks. We went to a Pizza Hut and just ordered pizza to eat during the film but homemade sandwiches are also good 😛
  3. Pillows?! Yes some people even brought small pillows so they could lie on their back with their head supported and enjoy the movie.
  4. Picnic Rug
  5. Cards? We had to wait for the sun to set to watch the movie and arrived early so you could also play  cards while waiting
  6. An umbrella just in case! We are in London after all…

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We watched Good Will Hunting and I absolutely loved that movie!! There is so much meaning behind the movie and lessons about comfort zones!

My favourites quotes from the movie are:

“You’ll never have that kind of relationship in a world where you’re afraid to take the first step because all you see is every negative thing 10 miles down the road.”

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If you haven’t seen the movie yet, go and see it NOW! The movie stars Matt Damon, who also wrote the screenplay for the movie ( what a genius!) as a maths genius janitor, whose talents are discovered by Professor Gerald Lambeau (Stellan Skarsgard), who decides to help the misguided youth reach his full potential. He also receives help from a psychologist (Robin Williams) to find direction in his life. Ben Affleck and his brother Casey Affleck play Matt Damon’s friends.

So yes if you get the opportunity to go to one of these outdoor screenings when you are in London go and check them out!

There are still some outdoor screenings left if you are interested:

https://www.popupscreens.co.uk/

Jeny x

Travel guide Berlin

So last month I went to Berlin and I have always wanted to go and explore the capital of the country I was born in but I never made until now! I met my best friend in Berlin and we had an amazing three days there!

Day 1

After arriving at Berlin Schoenefeld airport, the first thing I did was to buy a day travel ticket for zones ABC ( as Schoenefeld airport was in zone C and our apartment in Berlin Mitte in zone A). The ticket was 7.40 € and I had a hard time deciding between the 3 days Welcome Berlin travel card which costs 28.70 € and the day ticket. In the end I decided to go for the day ticket because we didn’t know how much of the discounted activities that come with the Welcome Berlin Card we would end up doing.

TIP: Have a look at the Welcome Berlin Card website and their discounted activities and if plan on doing a few of them then its probably worth getting the Welcome Berlin card over the day tickets.

With the  day ticket you can use any modes of transport: train, bus ( also the TXL bus) and tram.

After unpacking in our apartment, we left shortly after for our sightseeing tour.

We went to see:

  1. Brandenburger Tor

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3. Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe (Holocaust Denkmal)

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4.Berlin Victory Column

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TIP:

If you want to visit the Reichstag Dome (for free!) all you need to do is to register online in advance for a set time. Unfortunately we didn’t book in advance but its totally worth it! You will get a nice view of Berlin and its surroundings. All you need to do is register online at the Bundestag website:

https://visite.bundestag.de/BAPWeb/pages/createBookingRequest.jsf?lang=en

For lunch we wanted #Bratwurst and decided to eat at Berlin Pavillon opposite the Reichstag.

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Day 2

The following day, we went to visit:

  1. Museum Island
  2. Alexander Platz

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3. Red City Hall (Rotes Rathaus)

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4. Berlin Cathedral 

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5. Kurfürstendamm

6. Friedrichsstrasse

Friedrichsstrasse, Kurfürstendamm and Alexander Platz are great places for shopping. There is a big Primark, Cinema, ALEXA ( a big mall) and TK Maxx at Alexander Platz. Next to TK Maxx, there is also a Candy store called La Cure Gourmande, which is also worth visiting. They have lovely homemade biscuits.

For lunch that day we went to “The Bowl” on Warschauer Straße and let me tell you it was so delicious! We had to travel for about 40 mins to get there but it was so worth it! Its a vegetarian restaurant and all about clean eating so everything you eat there does not only taste good but is also good for your body! Its tucked away above a popular vegan grocery store. For my Buddha Bowl and Turmeric Latte I only paid 15€ and I still can’t get over how good it was.

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As we left “The Bowl” with a full happy stomach, we also found one of these Photo Booths (Photoautomaten) right opposite it!!! We were so excited and immediately went to take photos. You insert €2 and wait for the flash basically. Overall you can take 4 photos and it takes about 2-3 mins for the photos to print and come out. You have to take these unique photos when in Berlin!

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TIP: We didn’t realise this at the time but East Side Gallery is really close to the Bowl. So after exploring and visiting the East Side Gallery you can go and eat at “The Bowl”.

I probably said the Bowl a million times now. I need to stop. Ok.

We then went to Kurfürstendamm for a bit of shopping and then wanted to check out Markthalle 9, which is a popular street food market that takes place every Thursday evening from 6pm to 10pm. It reminded me a bit of La Boqueria in Barcelona, because there were so many stands, so much to see and really busy! After exploring our options we decided to have waffles with a scoop of ice cream. Really nice!

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Because Berlin is known for it’s nightlife, we decided to go out on Thursday night to Kaffee Burger and let me tell you it was an interesting night. There were a lot more guys there then girls so be prepared to get asked to dance a lot. A lot of the people we met there were tourists on that day but we had a good time with cheap drinks, fun music and a great atmosphere. The only thing I didn’t like was that you could smoke in there. Getting home after a night out is also not very hard in Berlin  as there are plenty of night buses there, but be sure to check when the last one is.

Day 3

On our last day, we finally went to see the Checkpoint Charlie, Berlin Wall Memorial and Documentation Centre and East Side Gallery! We spent a long time reading and learning about the history of the Berlin Wall  in the Documentation Centre and admiring the artwork on East Side Gallery and of course taking photos. It was surreal to think about everything that has happened across this wall and the problems people encountered back then just to cross from east to west Germany.

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For dinner on our last day, we reserved a table in the restaurant at the TV Tower a month in advance. We paid 13€ just for the entry into the TV Tower and for food and a drink we paid 22€, which is not that bad for the amazing views we had and the food was really nice too. We had Citrus Courgetti with pine nuts, parmesan, mascarpone sauce and small mixed leaf salad. Yum!

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I would definitely recommend this as it was a nice way to end our trip to this beautiful city.

Overall we had a great time in Berlin and I have to say that there is so much more to see so three days in Berlin weren’t enough but we got to see the most important bits and I am definitely planning to visit beautiful Berlin soon!

Watch my Berlin Travel VLOG here: