topbar

                       
Showing posts with label europe. Show all posts
Showing posts with label europe. Show all posts

Thursday, 28 August 2014

Owl Guy: City breaks for couples

Romantic holiday New York

Hi, It’s Dan again! This time I am going to talk about holidays. You might have seen a few of Candy’s posts about holidays we have been on, and if so you might have noticed that we tend to go on a particular kind of holiday most of the time. Yup, city breaks! Now I do love to soak up the rays on the beach, but given our busy lives and thus limited time we want to pack as much “doing stuff” into our holidays which means that we inevitably end up going on city breaks.

Seoul Night Lights
Couple in Norway
Oslo Tram Guide tourism
Western Couple in Korea
Parasol or Umbrella Seoul
Shibuya Guide Starbucks

Going to a new city as a couple is great, you get to share all of the new exciting things with someone but there aren’t so many people on the holiday that you all want to do different things. (For group holidays I would totally recommend skiing!) Going to a new city is such a great way to immerse yourself in a new culture, there are always so much to explore! Our favourite way of exploring a city is walking, most cities, when you get down to it aren’t really that big, even London or New York! and walking lets you get a real feel for the atmosphere and take in some of the more obvious sights (how better to look at Korean palaces, downtown New York or the Tokyo tower?). If you do have a long way to go public transport is also great, not only is it usually pretty cheap but you get to feel like a local, just for a few moments! Obviously all that walking has to end somewhere, we usually try to fit in a few local museums and galleries, a good bit of shopping and of course, most importantly lots of restaurants! I mean I’m pretty sure it is a saying that “The best way to get to know somewhere is by its food!” Speaking of museums, everywhere has some totally unique ones and it is great fun to explore them. Oslo has the Fram museum (it has a giant boat in it!) which Candy blogged about, Tokyo has a museum for basically anything you can think of and Venice has a fascinating little museum about the local Jewish population!

Venice sunset scene
Budapest twilight

If you have a little bit of extra time it can be really fun to make a little day trip or two out into the countryside (or another city, whatever floats your boat). We did this during our honeymoon in Tokyo, we made 2 day trips, getting the shinkansen (bullet train) out first to the Tokogawa shrine and then to Aokigahara forest where we got caught in a thunderstorm in a the forest on a mountain and thought we would never make it home!
Finally, one of my favourite things about going on city breaks as a couple is that you get to experience all of these awesome things with someone that you love and spend some time together totally away from all the stresses and anxieties of life! So what kind of holidays do you guys like, and do you usually go with family, as a couple, with friends or as a solo adventurer?

Monday, 28 January 2013

Winter in Brittany

I love the "country lifestyle".

Right now, I live in central London, but when I was growing up in Brighton I always had unlimited access to both the beach and the countryside. I also spent my summers in rural France, exploring everything on my own. I always relish going to stay with my Dad, so here's a little taster of what I got up to on my very relaxing trip to stay with him, this winter.

winter beach walk
winter sunset

festive table setting

winter prawn stew

analogue camera and woolen legs

twilight trees

magic lake brittany
It was the perfect way to convalesce after my operation. I'm on my way back to health, and looking forward to a productive, healthy, and happy new year. This year, I'm getting married, and lots of other exciting things are going to happen too! Keep your eyes peeled, friends!

Monday, 11 June 2012

Belated Eurovision Post!

Owing to the fact that my Teacher Training dissertation is due in on Friday, I've been holed up for what feels like a million years! I've had these photos all ready to go for ages, but I haven't been able to sit down and write a post.
That said, I probably shouldn't be writing this now, but I've left this long enough, and I really need to stop making excuses - feel free to slap me virtually on the (virtual) wrists, if that's what floats your boat!
On to the show! For those of you who do not know what Eurovision is, it is a song competition that's been held every year since 1956. The countries allowed to compete are primarily European countries as you might expect, although there are a few non-European countries allowed to compete. Whilst some countries seem to take this competition really seriously, a great many of the acts could very easily be described as 'comedy' songs. On the whole, the spirit of Eurovision is about cheesy, fun, outlandish, 'Eurotastic' songs. Here are some of my favourites from the last few years:



I could spend this entire post linking you to a plethora of youtube clips of various Eurovision songs, writing about how much I love them, and lamenting the fact that Eurovision is over for another year (In case you didn't notice, I love Eurovision a LOT), but I think that I ought to move on to show you my outfit.

In honour of my favourite Eurovision entry of all time, I came up with my closest approximation to the outfit worn by Lena Meyer-Landrut for Eurovision 2010. Oh okay, I'll link you to ONE MORE video. Fine... if I must...
(This doesn't show the entire song, but you get the gist, I'm sure!) Lena is an absolute beaut' and we were all obsessed with her at university for quite some time after this particular Eurovision... So here is my take on Lena's "LBD" look:
I look pretty damn moody in this picture, don't I? In actuality, I was probably just trying to focus my eyes without my glasses on! My LBD isn't as sexy as Lena's, what with it being from the H&M basics range, and being essentially a long black T-Shirt, but when it was new, it was quite fitted!
And there's ma sexeh face! If you remember, I have recently purchased some lovely new makeup, and this was simply another photo of me trying said makeup on, for our Eurovision PARTY! Dan and I invited our lovely friends Emma and Other Dan over for Euro-themed food and fun. Designing a Eurocentric menu was pretty difficult, as so much of the cuisine of mainland Europe is very integrated into our every-day meals, and so it was hard work finding stuff that felt like party-food and felt Eurotastic! Eventually, it ended up being a mish-mash (Sorry, Antipasto of various European/Middle Eastern foods, accompanied by Mojitos - I know, they aren't ACTUALLY Spanish, but Shhh!!!). We divided Europe into categories of 'Mediterranean', Northern Europe, Scandinavia, Eastern Europe and 'Middle East' (a nod to Azerbaijan, the host country for this year!). The highlight was probably the baked Camembert we ate in honour of France... the low point for me might have been the very oily stuffed Aubergine from a tin...
I created 'score cards' (Yes I know, I'm a big geek) and then I forced everyone to fill them in. This one is Dan's. I think that the gaps were when he was making mojitos for the rest of us! The categories were 'Artist Aesthetic' (a combination of 'Are they physically attractive?' and 'Has an effort been made with their costume?'), 'Background Aesthetic' (use of setpieces, pyrotechnics, light shows, props, etc.), 'Music' (speaks for itself really - did we like the song?), 'Lyrics' (points were awarded for gems such as Moldova's classic "You do not know how looks the trumpet"), 'Eurotasticism' (my own creation that simply asks you, "Is this fun, cheesy, over the top, and quintessentially 'Eurovision'?") and the final category was just an overall "What did you think?" sort of affair. I love making scorecards... SUCH FUN!

*SPOILER ALERT*

Sweden won Eurovision 2012, and I think the song was super Eurotastic, and a well-deserved win. The UK came second from bottom, which was a disappointment, but there you go. Can't win everything I suppose! It was a great night, and I can't wait for next year's Eurovision!

Here's the winning entry:


Stay tuned for cat-updates, folks!