Anyone that knows me is fully aware that Melbourne is one of my favourite cities in Australia. So much so, that Michael and I try to head down to Melbourne at least 3 times per year.
1 – 2 nights is enough to give you a bit of a teaser of what Melbourne has to offer. On weekends, our favourite things to do is to eat, travel and walk walk walk (even within Sydney itself). We are avid walkers and can get up to 30,000 steps per day! We find that It’s the best way to explore new areas and work off all of those scrumptious calories 🙂
I would say that our best experiences in Melbourne is when we visit the neighbourhoods. This weekend we decided to pick 2 neighbourhoods to explore. We headed north to Brunswick and north-east to Collingwood.
Continue reading 6 cafes, 2 neighbourhoods, 48 hours in Melbourne
Well, it’s almost been 3 years to the day when my fiancé (at the time) and I took off for our 1 year adventure across Europe and the US. I still remember that anxious feeling of packing everything I needed for 1 year in only 1 suitcase! It was a feeling of nerves and mostly excitement. I was off on an adventure with my husband-to-be in my favourite place in the world… Europe!
Needless to say, it was the best year of my life. We drove through Europe for 8 months which enabled us to explore the smaller cities which we never had a chance to earlier. We got married in Dubrovnik, Croatia with our family and friends by our side. We also spent 4 months in the US visiting my family and friends. What can I say, but this was the best time of my life and I have absolutely no regrets. We grew not only as individuals, but as a couple. From being thrown in stressful situations, being on a daily budget and sometimes being the only other person we could speak to when in remote areas. It was a trip of a lifetime and only made my thirst for travel that much larger!
It’s been 2 years since we came back to Sydney and to this day I feel that I am still transitioning back into “normal life.” We were both lucky enough to go back to the companies we previously worked for. This was a great boost as we had new job opportunities at companies we really enjoyed. This was definitely great for the bank account.
I am not going to lie, going back into the workforce after a gap year was a big transition. We had to wake up to an alarm clock again and we counted down the days to the weekends. It definitely had its ups and downs. To help combat the downs we decided to follow a few tactics:
Continue reading After a Gap Year… What’s Next?!?!
After spending 2 nights in Krakow, we decided to spend 1 night in Wroclaw to break up our drive from Krakow to Prague. As a result of us using Booking.com so much we have actually become classified as a “booking genius” which allows us better discounts on certain hotels. This was a great surprise as when we were looking for hotels in Wroclaw, we qualified for a great discount on a 5 star hotel, so we decided to splurge a bit and book it. We spent the day in Auschwitz so arrived to Wroclaw a bit late which was a pity as we would have loved to enjoy the amenities of this hotel a bit more. We booked into the Executive Suite at the Granary La Suite Hotel and were welcomed with orange slices, an apple and macaroons! This was such a change to some of the Ibis Budget’s and dodgy apartments we have stayed in during our stay 🙂
Continue reading The land of the Dwarfs – Wroclaw, Poland
Our hearts go out to everyone affected by the terrible happenings at Auschwitz-Birkenau. No history book or movie could prepare us for the actual experience of being in Auschwitz. We were a bit hesitant to visit, but thought that it would only provide us with more insight and information as to what happened in this concentration camp. We arrived to Auschwitz and booked into a 3.5 hour English speaking tour which visited both the Auschwitz and Birkenau camps. We spent the first 2 hours of the tour at Auschwitz where they have created an exhibition in some of the barracks which helped explain the purpose and the happenings of the concentration camp. We then took a short bus trip over to Birkenau which was built after Auschwitz as that camp was not big enough. It actually became 3 times larger than Auschwitz during WWII.
Continue reading Auschwitz & Birkenau
Our 1st thoughts when we think of Poland is of hard times under Communism and the atrocities during WW2. We weren’t sure if this is what we wanted to do on our holiday but there was some fascination to see what Poland looks like in 2013. So we changed our plans to fit in Krakow, the 2nd largest city in Poland and one of its prettiest.
Continue reading Communism in Paradise
Any guesses?!?! We found it in Vienna, by chance! It was our first night in Vienna, we found our apartment and headed straight out to dinner. We were staying in the 2nd District which is the Jewish Quarter. We headed over the bridge to the 1st district which is the Old Town and we were on a mission to get a Schnitzel. Having just spent 2.5 months in countries where food has been very reasonably priced (Croatia, Bosnia and Hungary) it was a shock to our system to see meals for a minimum of $10 Euros. This isn’t that much but when we were trying to find Schnitzels they were all priced around 15 Euros which would easily mean we were up for a 40 Euro meal tonight. We searched and searched for the perfect looking restaurant and the best description for a Schnitzel when we stumbled upon Figlmuller. They had a green sign on the street advertising the “Biggest Schnitzel in the World” and then we followed a cute little alleyway to find an intriguing restaurant with a large queue out the door. We waited patiently and thought that if there is a queue than this is the best option. Little did we know that this restaurant is so exclusive that you need a reservation to get in or the wait would be easily over 1 hour. To our surprise they actually opened up a 2nd restaurant only 60 metres down the block. So we headed there and were lucky enough to be seated straight away. The restaurant had a very cosy Austrian feel with dark wood furniture and brick vaulted ceilings. We both ordered the “original Schnitzel since 1905”, the Viennese potato salad with pumpkin seed oil and of course 2 large beers! Our food arrived and we were shocked to see that the schnitzel was actually so big that it hung off the plate. I looked at Michael and he was in heaven! I absolutely loved the potato salad and couldn’t get enough of the potato seed oil. It was sweet yet savoury all at the same time! This was definitely our best meal in Vienna and because we liked it so much we returned on our last night.
Continue reading The biggest Schnitzel in the World
As both Meagan and I had been to Budapest before, we knew we were in for a treat and were looking forward to spending some time in this amazing city. Our friend Audrey who lives in Sydney but is originally from Budapest was here so it was good to catch up with someone we knew from back home.
Continue reading Kurtosh
After the sad stories in Vukovar, we headed to Osijek to hopefully hear happier stories and find historical buildings and monuments intact. Osijek is currently the 5th largest city in Croatia. It is growing due to a mini tech boom with some leading technology companies in Croatia beginning in Osijek. It is also much easier to access for tourists with low cost airlines beginning to fly to the airport.
Continue reading Maksimilian
One of our most depressing moments of the trip was when we visited the sites of Vukovar & Ovcara in Eastern Croatia. These 2 areas were heavily damaged during the war with some areas still visibly damaged.
Continue reading The Ovcara Massacre
We had finished with Istria and were making our way to Eastern Croatia. To get there, we had to pass through Zagreb. We decided to stay one night, see the city a little and go back to our favourite food spots.
Continue reading Agram otherwise known as Zagreb