What’s in store for 2017?

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Firstly I understand that it isn’t the best start posting my blogging new years resolutions on the last day of January but I have been busy getting back into things after Christmas and its still January so it still counts 🙂

This is just a quick blog to say Happy New Year and thank you to all my readers who continued to read and support throughout our travels in 2016.

I plan to have all the generic boring new year’s resolutions like eat healthier, go to the gym more blah blah, but I also wanted to set myself a few blogging resolutions.

This year I still plan to blog, we have a few trips planned which will definitely be included. Being away for so long made me realise that travel isn’t just in another country, and the UK has so many amazing places to offer that I still haven’t explored. So this year is going to include lots of UK trips and days out, recipes from my travels and my top travel tips.

The name of the blog will still stay the same as without New Zealand I would never have blogged my way through all our adventures for 18 months! I’m sentimental.

Thanks again for all your support

Lucy

P.s this photo was taken in Malham on Sunday, as one of our days out, as part of our promise to #exploreengland more! If you want to see more of my adventures in real time give my instagram @lucyjbarrett a follow.

Girls in Paris

A few weeks ago (well a month) myself and the girls donned our berets (literally) and jetted off on a girls holiday to Paris for the weekend! It was a much needed girly holiday after missing my friends so much when we were away in NZ. As you know I am scarily organised so I actually organised and booked the trip from NZ in June!

There were six of us in total myself, Laura, Kaley, Chrissy, Stacey and Daker! I won’t introduce how I know everyone or it will take all day. We flew on the Friday night on Air France and as half the group are teachers so we needed an after school flight. After a very long security and a few drinks we boarded the plane. Air France were fantastic and for an hour flight we got a lot of in flight perks such as wine and food (one of the air stewards took a liking to us and gave us two bottles of wine each and a large bottle of champagne- I think he thought we were on a hen do). The flight was so quick that laura thought we were going down when we started to land.

We were staying in a lovely little apartment in the Gare du Nord area which was pretty central and near to lots of lovely little bars, bakeries and restaurants.

Now if I tried to tell you every little funny quote and thing we did this blog would be a novel, but let me just say that I had such a brilliant time so many laughs and random moments! One of my favourites has to be us all stumbling into a locals bar one night and meeting the local 76 year old alcoholic Elaine who took a liking to us and started shouting ‘Show me the way’ as it was the only English she knew, to which Laura replied ‘Bon Pantalon’ (nice trousers). She was also pretty flexible putting us all to shame whacking her leg on the bar no problem.

We had such a fun time exploring the city and on the Sunday night Stacey, Laura, Chrissy and Daker went home and me and Kaley stayed on until Tuesday.

Those who left on the Sunday felt they had ample time in Paris to see the sites and therefore I would 100% recommend it as a cheap weekend get away that’s close to home! The flight is only an hour and we paid around £70 each return, flying out on Air France and back with easyJet! Accommodation prices range considerably so there is something for every budget!

We did and saw a lot of things whilst in Paris so I will share my top five with you:

1. Champagne at the top of the Eiffel Tower.

We had a brilliant time at the Eiffel Tower, it may seem a cliche but it really is a must in Paris, the view is amazing. They have a champagne bar at the top, which is a little pricey at €13 a glass but we were treating ourselves, and had a lot of fun taking pictures in our berets with champagne in hand! I would advise booking in advance like we did to avoid queuing as they were horrendous. By booking in advance we got straight in, and on our limited amount of time it was worth it. Tickets to the very top are €17 each.


2. Open Top Bus.

I think all of us agreed that the open top bus was a brilliant way to get around Paris. They came around every 20 minutes and had two different routes (one for central Paris and one for the bits further out such as Moulin Rouge). We used Big Bus Paris which is €33 euros for a 2 day pass. We saw most of Paris from this bus and had such a laugh people watching and spotting funny things. I can recommend Big Bus as they had a great commentary and some excellent songs!


3. The Louvre.

On our last day as a 6 we headed to the Louvre and it was such a sunny day. The only reason we really came was to see the Mona Lisa and look at the glass triangle outside, which most tourists do. It’s €15 entry, if you are under 26 and in the EU it’s free (getting old as I didn’t qualify as I am 26). Anyway it’s worth a visit and quite impressive from the outside, the Mona Lisa on the other hand is quite underwhelming.


4. A night out in Montmartre.

When myself and Kaley were left to our own devises we spend both nights out in Montmartre which is where the famous Sacre Couer is and Moulin Rouge. This area had a fantastic atmosphere and many quirky little bars and restaurants! I would defo recommend a bar crawl round here like we did.


5. French Bakeries.

This one might seem obvious but definitely pick up a baguette or a croissant whilst in Paris, they are amazing!

So after a lovely few days we headed home. Get yourself to Paris if you haven’t been, it was my first visit and I loved it. It was lovely to catch up and have lots of girly chats so thanks for an amazing weekend girls!

Lucy

Coming home…

A week ago after 14 months away we finally came home!

7 Countries
9 Flights
20 Buses
9 Boats
32 Taxis
29 Trains
18 Hotels
9 Temples
3 Massages
1 Segway

It has been an epic adventure and the things we have seen and done have been the best experiences of our lives! We had a morning flight home from Kraków and arrived in Liverpool at midday!

It has been lovely coming home to see everyone and people have made an overwhelming effort for our return it’s so touching. When we arrived at the airport my Auntie, Cousin and oldest friend Chrissy surprised us at the airport which was very unexpected, I apologised later for acting really dazed!

I got home and my beloved Max he the westie ignored me I was devastated (he’s friends with me now though). I had a lovely bunch of flowers left off my godmother and my parents had completely redecorated my room which is gorgeous!

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The night we got home all me and Chris wanted was a Sainsburys curry and a chill night with my family, all the home comforts we have missed! We got a Julie Barrett bacon breakfast the next day which tasted amazing and had a full day shopping for new work clothes.

Sunday we picked up our besties Emma and Scott up from the airport as they were arriving back from Canada. I must say standing in arrivals is much more emotional than walking into it, I was so emotional seeing them again! That night we had drinks at my house and all our friends came, we were supposed to go to the blues but after too many drinks and catching up we never got there! It was such a good night and I don’t think we have all been together like that for 4/5 years it’s crazy. Three of my friends are engaged now so all the girls were in the kitchen being typical girls and the boys in the conservatory talking bikes!

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As it was bank holiday the weekend still wasn’t over and we had a much craved pub lunch with my family at the Silent Inn which was so good. The barman gave me and Chris a bottle of wine as a welcome home gift!

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I’ve been back to work for a week now, which is the job I had before NZ so it’s been very strange going back but great to see everyone! Returning home in general has been very strange, don’t get me wrong it’s been so nice to see everyone but slotting back into normal life and adapting after being away is quite hard.

Chris has set off for his job working away in Cambridge tonight which feels strange as I haven’t been apart from him for 14 months! I’m sure everything will go back to normal soon!

So that’s it we are home! I intend tocontinue my blog and talk about places I’ve been which I have never mentioned and other travel related blogs!

Thanks again to everyone who has kept reading.

Lucy

Kraków – Part 2

Our first day after the Segway debacle we were up early for the Wieliczka Salt Mines tour, it was a private tour so we had our own mini bus to take us the half an hour journey to the mines. We had to walk down 350 stairs to get to the bottom of the mine and it made you really dizzy, it was funny looking down and not being able to see the bottom and knowing how far you had left yet! We were 135 metres underground and walked 3km through all the underground corridors of salt, there were huge timber trunks holding up the walls and lots of different sculptures carved out of salt. The best was the hidden cathedral which had lots of carvings and ornate chandeliers it was really beautiful. I must say though we were all very happy to get above ground again and even more happy that there was a lift.

We had another lovely lunch around the main square, there is a trumpeter that comes out of the tower every hour and plays a turn north, east, south and west and then waves at everyone.

We then went back to the apartment for a nap before our polish food and vodka tour. We were picked up by our guide Kate at 7 and she walked us to the polish restaurant which was decorated like an authentic polish mountain restaurant. I was a little but apprehensive about the food, but not the vodka! The menu included polish dishes and five accompanying liqueurs:

Vodka
Krupnik (honey vodka)
A normal polish vodka but it was 72%
Soplica (Cherry Vodka)
Slivovitz Plum Brandy
Żołądkowa Gorzka (a herbal vodka good for digestion)

Food
Bread with lard and pickles
Oscypek (smoked cheese)
Zurek (sour rye soup)
Grilled polish sausages
Pierogis (polish dumplings three different flavours – spinach, cheese and beef)
Kaszanka (polish black pudding)

It was interesting to try the food but it was very heavy and unusual to what we are used to, it felt very strange actively eating lard! My favourite were the pierogis, I love dumplings and they were so tasty. The vodka was seriously strong the cherry one was my favourite, poppa Pete and Chris were the only ones who managed to shot all five and they both went a bit crazy for a few minutes after the strong one. It was a really good night to sample the polish culture.

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We had a Schindlers List tour which was a walking tour, the guide took us around the Jewish Quarter telling us all the history and showing us locations from the film. She took us into a Synagog and explain all the religious rituals. It was a really lovely sunny day too, mother Jules bottle of fizzy water exploded as she opened it and terrified everyone it was hilarious.

The guide then took us too a memorial in the old Jewish Ghetto which is lots of metal chairs, which signifies the Nazis throwing the chairs and furniture out of the windows and everything they had to leave behind.

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After some lunch we went to Schindlers Factory which was more of a museum to the whole of the history rather than what Schindler did (saved thousands of Jews, risking his own life) but it was a really good interactive museum. It showed the Ghetto flats they had to live in which were tiny, the Nazi rule that one window equalled four people in a room!

The afternoon was spent having a horse and cart tour around the square and then a tour of an underground medieval market!

I would recommend to anyone that Poland is an amazing holiday and very reason all price wise too. It is a beautiful country with so much history, and we had a brilliant time. I would like to thank my lovely family for coming out to meet us we had an great time with you and it was so fun catching up! Love you all.

Lucy

Kraków – Part 1

We are in Kraków! We arrived on Sunday by train and went straight to the apartment to meet my family! For those of you who have wondered ‘Why Poland?’ It’s because my dad has always wanted to go, and whilst me and Chris were in NZ we missed his 60th birthday so this is a little family trip to end the holiday and celebrate his birthday. So anyway we met the family at the apartment and had lots of hugs it was amazing to see them, we are here with my mum, dad, brother Josh and his girlfriend Amy. We cracked the gin open straight away and spent a few hours chatting and catching up it was so great to see them all.

That night we went to an Italian which was in Lonely Planet, the family have so far gone along with my Lonely Planet obsession which is nice of them to humour me. The Italian was lovely and I had an amazing chicken and almond pizza washed down with some wine, it was a lovely first day.

The next day we were up early for our trip to Auschwitz and Birkenau, which we were all a bit apprehensive about. We were picked up on a mini bus and we watch an hour video all about the holocaust and the horrors that went on there. It was so harrowing and the whole bus was silent for the journey, apprehensive about what we might see or feel when we got to Auschwitz. As we entered the first camp there was a huge sign that read ‘Arbeit Macht Frei’ which means ‘work brings freedom’ and I just couldn’t help but feel how untrue that statement was as we walked underneath the sign.

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Auschwitz camp was established in 1940 on the outskirts of a town called Oswiecim chosen for its location due to good rail links and already existing buildings. I still cannot get my head around the fact that over a million people were killed here of 27 different nationalities. There are 13 of the 30 surviving original prison blocks present as some of the camp was destroyed when the Nazis were fleeing.

We were taken into many of the brick prison blocks which have been converted into museums, with horrible images on the walls and exhibits behind glass. It shows the gas pellets that were used to gas the victims in the gas chambers. In one room there was a huge pile of human hair and shoes which really shocked me. It was the hair from 40,000 woman and it just made you think that even the amount of hair there was nothing compared to what there would be at the time. We were told that the Nazis actually made money from killing selling people’s belongings, hair, teeth, clothes anything they could.

We were then shown a replica of where people would have slept, either on the floor of six to a three tier bunk bed. There were often fights as people were fighting to get the to bunk so that the very ill people who had diarrhoea due to starvation wouldn’t poo on them in the night, it really is harrowing.

Next was the camp prison in a cellar, it was hard to believe they needed a prion as the whole place was enough of a prison, with electric fences and barbed wire around the entire camp. In the prison we were shown the different types of punishment cells, such as the starvation cell and standing cell. The standing cell was a bricked cell with a tiny door at the bottom in which you had to crawl into and then stand all night there would be five or six people in there at a time.

The reasons for punishment seem so unjustified and it appears that they just wanted any reason to be as cruel as possible. If you helped a fellow weak prisoner – you got punished, if you gave someone you food – you got punished, if someone ran away they would punish ten other prisoners for that persons actions. There was a killing wall where people were regularly shot and it was horrible to stand on the same ground where all these people have brutally lost there lives.

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The bit that I wasn’t looking forward to was the gas chamber, the only way to describe it was a concrete underground bunker. When the prisoners arrived after being stuffed in a train for three days they were told they were being taken to shower. They were split into men and woman with children and then selected on whether they were fit to work. If they weren’t fit to work they were taken off separately naked for a ‘shower’, led into the gas chamber and killed. Hardly any children survived as they were all killed. The thing that upset me were the nail marks down the walls from people clawing to get out. They were then burned by other prisoners, which must have been horrendous.

Next we were taken to Auschwitz II or Birkenau as it is more well known as which is the camp where actually most of the killing was done. This is more to show the scale of the camp and reflect, hardly any barracks are open as they are falling down. The Nazis did everything as cheap as possible in order to make as much money as they could.

There was just barbed wire and barracks and the ruins of gas chambers it was so horrible to see how big the camp is and the horrors that went on there, I must say it was a quiet journey back to our apartment.

After a debrief and in-depth conversation about what we had seen we went out for a lovely Mexican meal and then headed to the main Old Town Square for a drink. There was a jazz band playing and the funniest drunk man dancing for everyone it was such a laugh. After a few cocktails we went home to bed.

The next day was a free day with no trips booked so we went to hire segways as Josh really wanted to give them a try. We were given a lesson and I must say I was terrible at first as you always feel like you are going to fall off, and it all about balance. We had hired them for an hour but the guide for some reason wouldn’t let us go off on our own and insisted on coming with us (must have seen trouble coming). We had so much fun whizzing around on them, it was a bit scary going up curbs on them as you had to lean forward with full power to get them to go up, and because we were scared me and Amy always ended up stopping at the curb and then not being able to get up!

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The one lady who did surprise everyone (in more ways than one) was my mum, she was so good at segwaying, riding around taking videos and handing our mints. Then the disaster happened at one very narrow bit she hit a parked car and fell off really hurting her shoulder. Then when she got back on the Segway she felt faint and then briefly fainted in the street and at one point we thought we might have to call an ambulance. I must say we are joking with her about it now, but it was pretty scary at the time and we are really glad she’s ok!

So after a steak lunch and a wanderthat afternoon the parents went back as my mum wasn’t feeling very well.

Me, Chris, Josh and Amy hired three wheel bikes with motors, they were just like mobility scooters it was hilarious. They were so rubbish but we had such a funny afternoon. We had to go back early though as two lost battery and the other had a popped tyre!

We finished the night with a few cocktails then back to the apartment as we were up early the next day for our salt mines tour!

Lucy

Warsaw

Warsaw is such a beautiful European city, we are so excited to be back in Europe and even more excited to see my family in Kraków today! We arrived in Warsaw around midday and got the train to the hotel – which is so amazing and luxurious compared to what we have been used too! A lovely lady we saw at the train station gave us a free tour bus ticket as she was leaving so that was the afternoon sorted. We had a ride on the bus which was a great way to see the city in our short time! We drove past the old town which looked gorgeous and said we would go back the next day. I was so tired as I didn’t sleep much on the plane and we had been travelling for 16 hours.

In the morning we hit the breakfast buffet and something amazing happened – we had our first proper bacon (in our opinion) in 14 months it was sooo good.

We got the tram to the old town which was beautiful so quaint and the buildings at
are so intricate and ornate in such nice colours. Everywhere is cobbled and there are no cars we spent the whole day here – I really have missed how much history Europe has and how lovely it really is. I feel we sometimes take it for granted living so close.

We had a tour around the castle which is actually a replica reconstruction as Hitler demolished the original, the inside was so lovely. There was so much gold and marble and expensive furniture, there were portraits everywhere – they looked like they should move like in Harry Potter.

After this we stopped for a cheeky gin or two in a cafe on the square and watched all the street performers, it really was a great day finished with a meal at Hard Rock Cafe!

I haven’t mentioned at the obvious which is the history of Poland in regards to the Jews it is there and a lot of museums and statues and memorials acknowledge the tragic times. We haven’t been to any of the museums yet as we have a full week in Kraków planned with my family to visit these areas, which I must say I am nervous about as I know it will be harrowing.

Today we have spent the morning killing time in the technology museum before our train to Kraków!

Lucy

Kuala Lumpur

Firstly let me say how lucky you are to have two blogs in one day (not really just trying to catch up). This is going to be my shortest blog yet I think, because as you know our two days there were actually spent recovering from our bug! Classic joke off Poppa Pete ‘I bet you had a shit time there’.

We really didn’t see very much but in our last day before our flight we managed to get to the amazing Petronas Towers to see them at night before we left which was cool.

So really all I have left are the few photos we took there….enjoy!

Lucy

Singapore

Our time in Singapore didn’t really start (or end) as planned, after our flight we were so excited on the shuttle bus to the hotel, and we had booked lots of discount trips at the airport. I started to feel a bit off at the hotel but put it aside and we decided to go and visit Gardens by the Bay which is a bit like the Eden Project and has an outdoor area too with some huge tree sculptures.

We didn’t really make it into the attraction as I was sick in a bush, this continued all night so this day was a definite write off. I don’t know what it was but all I can think is it must have been some sort of bug.

The following day I felt a bit better so we went back to Garden by the Bay, there are two main greenhouse type structures and one if the Flower Garden and the other is the Cloud Forest. The Flower Garden was full of bright flowers and sculptures and had a garden showing plants from each part of the world. It was funny as I remember the Eden Project being boiling but the conservatories here feel cold as they need to be kept colder than outside.

The next conservatory the Cloud Forest had this huge waterfall and a replica of a rainforest inside it was amazing. There was this huge walkway that went round the roof and it gave a lot of information about environmental issues and climate change, this conservatory was even colder but I think it was my favourite.

We went back to the hotel to charge the camera but ended up sleeping for two hours as I still felt crap and then Chris started to feel ill too, it really wasn’t our few days. We ended up staying in that night too as Chris had caught my bug.

The next day we were feeling a little better so we set off for Singapore Zoo which has been rated number one zoo in Asia. We had to take the underground and a bus to get there. Poor Chris was feeling ok when we set off but by the time we got to the bus he had to turn back to the hotel on his own and I went solo at the zoo. It was an amazing zoo and I saw some cool animals I have never seen before like White Tigers, Polar Bears and a Komodo Dragon but it was really sad doing it alone. Being at the zoo without Chris really made me value having someone to share it all with. It made me realise how much I love spending time with him and a few times I even turned round and said ‘look at this chris’ lol! (Soppy).

I rushed back for 3 o’clock as we had a walking tour booked I went to the hotel on the off chance Chris might want to come and he was felling better so I was so happy I went back. We met our guide at the train station and he took us on an amazing walking tour of Singapore! Showing us all the different areas like the Muslim area, Malaysian areas and Raffles Place. There was this one street which was the only street in Singapore that allowed graffiti, the penalty for graffiti anywhere else in the city is three lashes of a cane, 5000 dollars fine and a years prison! It is such an amazing city that has only developed in the last 50 years, the tour finished with a river cruise which was lovely, the tour was a great way to see the city in a short time.

After the cruise we both decided it was worth risking a Singapore Sling at Raffles, Raffles was an Englishman who discovered Singapore and the bar is where they invented the Singapore Sling Cocktail. We had a lovely night, the bar is very old fashioned and to keep the history of the English colonials they let you throw your peanut shells on the floor!

Chris still wasn’t really up for eating but I was (surprise) so we stopped so I could have a quick bite (I had the best steak ever). The bar was so cool and it happened to be the day that Joseph Schooling had won the first ever gold medal in the Olympics for Singapore, so they went around cheering giving out free shots. It was an amazing atmosphere. At the time I didn’t know his name so when everyone was shouting Schooling I thought they were saying Skull It! So obviously I downed mine.

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We had a quick wander to see the city and at night and then went back for an early night ready for our day at Universal Studios the next day!

It was so cool! I have never been to one so I know the ones in America are probably better but I loved it. I hate rides though and I am a big chicken. There were a few different film themes like Madagascar, Egypt for the mummy, Sci Fi transformers and Farway for Shrek it really brought out the big kid in you. My favourites were the Madagascar ride where the animatronics were amazing and it showed the story of the film and the 4d Shrek. The 4d had moving seats and sprayed you with water when donkey sneezed it was so much fun. The whole place makes you feel like you are in the movie or in another fantasy land.

We also saw how special effects work in a room which simulated a category 5 hurricane which had fire and wind and things smashing and flying at you. One of the best things we saw was a show that acted some of the Water World film out the stunts were incredible and the actors were doing tricks on jet skis and boats soaking the audience in water. There were explosions and a plane flew in from nowhere it was fantastic!

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After our day here we went to the bar at the top of Marina Bay Sands for sunset to see the city at night. The bar was unreal and I think there is nothing more beautiful than a city at night (I have probably already said that before). Marine Bay Sands is the classic hotel you see in all the Singapore pictures that is three tall columns with a boat on the top with the famous infinity pool (I did look at staying there but it was about 50 times out of our budget).

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This is where the story gets sad again, the next day we were both very very ill again, we had to cancel our bus to Kuala Lumpur and book an extra day in Singapore and we slept all day. The bug was horrible, we managed to get to Kuala Lumpur the next day but spent the majority of the next two days sleeping and trying to eat. It was awful. We think we are on the right side of it now though (fingers crossed).

We tried to make the most of Singapore despite being ill, we are glad to be back in Europe and on the mend! I think we did it justice considering and we managed to do everything we wanted to do! It is a great city.

Lucy

Jakarta

We were originally going on a trip to Krakatoa from Jakarta which I was really excited about when we booked, but we talked about it over the few days in Yogyakarta and decided not to go. It was very expensive and it was also a full 12 hour trip, which would leave us with no time at all in Jakarta.

We were staying in a hotel which was in a shopping mall which was quite strange, to get to the hotel we had to get a golf buggy round the side, then up a lift into the top car park, and then walk to the reception then another lift to our room. It was lovely though and had a tv and aircon a real bonus for us!

As we only had one full day in Jakarta so we wanted to go to the top recommended places which were the Indonesia Bank Museum and the Grand Mall. We started at the bank museum which was ok, it was showing the history of Indonesia’s banks and it had a lot of cool old equipment and old safes. I was a bit disappointed though until we got outside and realised there were two bank museums and we had been to the wrong one!

The other was much better and had currency for all over the world it was amazing I love stuff like that because I collect currency from countries we have been.

Next was the mall and it was amazing there were two big malls east and west and they were nine stories high! We spent the whole afternoon there it was so much fun. They had a whole floor as an arcade and we spent absolutely ages in there. I was on the dance mat smashing out some moves.

This is a bit of a short blog really as we only had a day, I am sure I will make up for it in my next blog for Singapore!

Lucy

Yogyakarta

We have taken a very chilled approach to Yogyakarta and made the most of being in the same place for more than 2 nights! Yogyakarta feels like the Ubud of Java and is where it is all going on, we have instantly noticed that Java is a lot less touristy and we are getting a lot more attention here. By attention I mean people stopping in the streets to stare and asking us for photographs because we are white, I remember it happening a lot in India but it always feels quite strange. We actually asked a tour guide why they do it and she said that the Indonesians are really intrigued by us because we look different, have white skin and pointy noses!

When we arrived in Yogyakarta we were taken straight to our hotel which is like stepping into a quiet oasis after being on the busy hot streets. It has a nice little poolside restaurant so you don’t have to leave at all if you don’t want too. By the time we had unpacked and eaten etc. it was around 3 o’clock so we didn’t want to venture too far, we ended up wandering the streets near to where we are staying and finding a lovely little restaurant that we went and had a drink at, when I say drink I mean 2 bottles of wine and a three course meal! It was nice to just sit and relax drinking nice wine (something there is a lack of in Indonesia).

The next day we spend the morning researching things to do and trips we could go on, we booked a trip to Borobudur and Prambanan temples for the Monday, and then looked at where we could go and see a Javanese show. We wandered to the ticket office and booked dinner and the show and then grabbed a Becak (like a backwards rickshaw that had like a sofa on the front and you get cycled around) to the cool market area with all the bars, basically where it’s all happening called Maliboro road. We had a wander round looking at all the markets and then realised we had walked 15 minutes walking in the wrong direction (it was so annoying in the heat). We turned around and headed back and found a cafe for lunch (it was about 3ish by now). After we had spent 3 hours in the cafe (there is a trend here) we got another Becak – this time it was motorised not pedal so much more fun as you feel like you are going so fast, to the ballet. After the buffet dinner we were taken into the theatre for the show.

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The show (a traditional ballet called Ramayana) wasn’t really our thing but we are really glad we did it, I could really appreciate the amazing costumes and the performance. It was so hard to follow what was going on in the story though, it was a love story and involved a man cutting off his private parts and a fight between giants and monkeys. It was a very beautiful performance though and it was great to see this side of the Javanese culture. There was a huge tropical thunderstorm in the night which was really cool to watch it rained that much that the pool depth rose by 4inches!

The next day we spent the morning wandering round the very hot streets looking at the buildings and Dutch fort that is here, I can’t tell you how hot it is though it was unbearable. We ended up in another cafe (haha) and Chris decided it would be a good idea to try a drink called ‘Devils drink’ which was snakes blood mixed with honey. It arrived and in the bottom was a snakes heart and also snakes marrow, it looked disgusting and his face was a picture (he later admitted that he’s been reading too many Spider Shepard books by Stephen Leather about a really tough SAS guy who got his name from eating a spider. It’s my fault I got him into the books).

Anyway we got back to the hotel and spent the afternoon by the pool, before getting another Becak up to Maliboro road again to see it at night.

The next day wasn’t much different we have been so full on with our traveling that we have tired ourselves out, we made the executive decision very early on that we would have a pool day, which was so nice! We had a lot of nice food that day too including the best falafel salad ever. That night for some reason we thought it would be an amazing idea to get drunk even though we had to be up at 3am for a trip- I stopped drinking pretty early but my lovely boyfriend was a tad rough the next morning.

At 3am we were up for our tour or Borobudur and Prambanan Temples, we were picked up by our tour company which was probably the most unorganised tour I have ever been on, it was so funny. We headed to Borobudur for sunrise and honestly the driver was mental, swerving, driving very fast, cutting red lights and driving on the wrong side of the road. We got to Borobudur and were quickly hustled into the hotel entrance as we had opted to pay more and actually see the sunrise from inside the temple.

Not a lot is known about Borobudur’s history, it is a Buddist temple that was built sometime between AD750 and AD850 and 60000 cubic metres of stone (2million stone blocks) were used to build it. As there was a decline in Buddhism in the country Borobudur was left abandoned until the early 20th century where the Dutch started to restored the temple but the hill on which it sat started to subside. A Unesco funded restoration took place between 1973 and 1983 to restore and stabilise.

The temple is beautiful it’s very hard to explain but it is 118m by 118m and has six square terraces which are topped by three circular ones, with four stairways leading to the top. The three circular terraces contain large stone bells that surround one amazing large bell in the centre. There was a scale model at Borobudur so I took a picture to make it visual for you (see always thinking about my readers).

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So now you have had the history lesson we were there for 4.30 waiting for sunrise which was again not the impressive but the crowds were a lot quieter and we got to see the amazing temple as the light increased, and then about an hour later a gorgeous sun broke through the haze! We were given a breakfast and told to meet at 8.30 but at 9.30 we set off due to the crazy unorganised tour, who tried to tell us we weren’t even on their tour! They didn’t believe us until we knew their names!

Next up we were off to Prambanan temple which is a Hindu temple and it is so spectacular. This temple was built between the 8th and 10th century AD when Java was ruled by Buddist Sailendras in the south and Hindu Sanjayas in the north. Prambanan also made the Unesco list in 1991, it is currently being restored today as in 2006 it suffered a lot of damage in an earthquake.

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The main spire of Prambanan is 47m high and the carvings are very detailed and intricate, the temple consists of eight main and eight minor temples in the main complex and it honestly was so impressive. I cannot decided which one I preferred. It was such a hot day though we were really struggling I think it’s one of the hottest we have had. After this we were taken back to the hotel, it was around 2.30pm so we just chilled for the rest of the day, we had to be up again at 6.30 for our next 8 hour train to the capital Jakarta!

Also another very successful train ride I managed to write my blog and watch 7 episodes of Keeping Up With The Kardashians!

Lucy 😘