When my friend comes over for a visit from Germany, we always do a day of exploring around Ireland. Generally around the region of Sligo. She hasn’t been to visit me since we moved to County Kildare. Can you imagine how much we have to explore here? It would take us days, if not even weeks. We only live at the border of County Dublin and everything is so easily accessible once you have a car with an up to date insurance ie. Chill.
So far I have shared my World Travel and Ireland Travel Bucket list with you. When I came across Kerry’s post who blogs at Oh So Amelia, I realised that I never created a bucket list for the whole family. That doesn’t mean I forgot the family. I just never thought to write it down. I always keep it in my head. But the problem with that is sometimes, I come up with all these great ideas we can do as a family and then forget them. So better to write them down for sure.
Last year we went on our first ever family holiday to Spain. Despite the heat, the kids did enjoy it especially Matthew splashing in the water all day. This year we might be taking it a bit easier and skip a summer holiday. Instead we are planning on going a few mini trips and make use of the bank holidays. That way we don’t have to take much time off work. But not everything requires us to travel, so I added those things to the list, too.
• Go to the Zoo
• Visit the Children’s Museum “Imaginosity”
• Explore the local nature trail
• Go to the beach
• Have a family dinner meal out
• Build a den
• Take the family on a ferry to the UK
• Take a train ride (my four year old has never been on a train before would you believe it)
• Run off some energy in the play centre
• Pick fruit from a field
• Visit Peppa Pig World/ Thomas Land
• Find a local playground
• Have a family movie night with popcorn, pizza and drinks
• Go to the cinema more often
• Create a family scrap book ( meant to do this for ages)
• Go on a mini holiday to Center Parcs
• Sign up Matthew for his first tennis lessons in September
• Head into Dublin City as a family
• Build sandcastles in the garden in the sandpit
• Take a mini family break in Ireland somewhere
• Go to an aquarium
That should keep us occupied for the whole year. I can’t wait to tick them off. I think I am actually going to print them off on a sheet and hang them on the fridge so I can see them all the time and that way I can tick them off as I go along. We definitely have an exciting year ahead having the bucket list set. It’s like having a plan rather than just letting the year pass by and see what happens.
Have you got a family bucket list?
About 9 years ago a friend and I traveled from Dublin to London. We stayed in a hostel for a couple of days to go to a concert and do some little sightseeing around the city. Back then I was only in Ireland a year working as an Au Pair. This meant I had little money, so it was hard to save in the first place. I suppose the meals were provided but even so living on 100 EUR a week can be hard for anyone.
The day of departure came. We were flying from London Stanstead which is quite a distance away from London city centre. To get to and from the airport we used the bus. It is advisable to be at the airport 2 hours before departure. On the day of our departure just 3-4 hours before heading off to the airport, we decided to look at the bus timetable to see which bus would be best to take. Well, this is where the disaster comes in. It turned out there was no bus leaving between a certain time for 3-4 hours. It meant we would completely miss the flight even if we would have taken the next bus available.
So what do you do in a case like this? First thing that came in mind was to take a taxi to the airport. Now you can probably imagine the cost of going from London city centre to London Stanstead Airport. As far as I can remember he said something like £100. Looking back on it now, we should have gone with that option. Anyway, across from the bus station was another bus station that brings you out to the ferry.
We ended up buying a ferry ticket each. The bus didn’t leave until the next day which meant we had to book accommodation nearby. The next day we took the bus somewhere near Manchester to get on the ferry to Belfast. To make it worse, there was absolutely no available ticket to go to Dublin. On a brighter note, this was my first ever trip on a ferry, so I guess you can see a positive side in it.
This trip was definitely my most eventful one for sure.
Did you ever run into trouble while abroad?
*Disclaimer: This post was written to enter the Jurni Blogger Competition.
Following on from my post about what places I still have to visit in Ireland, I thought I’d share with you which places I want to explore around the world.
It’s hard to achieve this with two small children but luckily I have a great hubby who let’s me travel abroad once a year on my own.
My bestie Karo from Germany is big into traveling just like me. She wants to see the world but on your own it can be hard sometimes so that’s why we are traveling together every year to achieve our goals and tick off the destinations. For example this year we went to New York for a week. I have visited twice in the past but she has never been and there were still some sights that I didn’t manage to visit.
Without any further stories, read on about the beautiful places on earth I still need to visit…
Road Trip To Las Vegas/San Francisco
Being the far West of the USA, it’s not easy to tick off this destination. It has been on my mind so many times though that I do need of travel here in the next 5 years, if not even less. While in Las Vegas, we could rent a car and travel the west coast like you see it in the movies and include San Francisco on it too. Los Angeles has to be included too
Well…why Florida? I want to go to Disney World. I’m such a child right? But you’re never too old to like Disney. This one I will definitely experience with my kids though when they are a bit older.
I’ll be visiting this city sooner than I think if it all goes to plan. My 30th birthday is coming up in January. I don’t do parties so instead I want to travel. As January is quite cold in most countries, Dubai is the ideal spot to travel to, enjoy some sun but also do a bit of sightseeing in and around.
Discover The Islands of Hawaii
I have always been a fan of Hawaii. Even more since watching Hawaii-Five-O. Maybe one day… There are about 5 different islands you can discover as well as several volcanoes. The dance of Hula looks also quite appealing.
I actually can’t believe that I have never been to either Denmark, Finland, Sweden or Norway. It’s so close to Ireland and even closer to Germany. In Finland they have these glass igloo hotels which look pretty impressive.
I think everyone needs to do a trip to Italy. Simply for the hospitality and the boats riding on the river.
Snorkel In The Great Barrier Reef Australia
This continent has so much to offer. You probably have to spend a whole month over to discover all the places. I’d be happy enough with just Sydney and the Great Barrier Reef.
Climb The Eiffel Tower In Paris
I have been to Disneyland as a child but I’ve never visited Paris itself. Eiffel tower is definitely on my list, everything else is a bonus.
Walk on the Great Wall of China
I got a little taste of China when Karo and I went to Chinatown in New York. That was mad enough. I can only imagine what it’s like to be in actual China. The China wall is something I have in mind for sure.
Visit the Pyramids in Egypt
I’d love to visit the pyramids. I am generally not a big fan of history in itself but this would certainly be interesting. A cruise on the river Nile would be another great adventure or a safari into the Great Sand Sea.
Explore a Rain Forest in Brazil
I always dreamt of walking through a rain forest… guided of course. You never know what you find on the way. It just sounds so exciting. For example the Amazon rain forest.
Take a Safari in the Serengeti of Tanzania – Africa
The Serengeti Park is very popular and what else can you do other than a safari through it.
Take a Cruise
In the last maybe 2 years I seem to have got attracted to going on a cruise ship. Previously to that I didn’t like being on a ship. Probably because I may get seasick. Even so I’d love to be on one one day. It doesn’t have to be the Atlantic Ocean… The Mediterranean Sea or near Norway will do. I’ve also read a lot of good things about the Disney cruise.
Holiday in Dominican Republic
What I would give for a two week holiday in the Dominican Republic. Just lying on the beautiful white beaches, jumping into the blue ocean, having a cocktail by the beach bar. It’s okay to dream right?
This September marks 10 years of me living in Ireland. How time flies. I can’t believe I have lived on the Emerald Island for 10 whole years. Neither have I thought that I am going to actually stay here. The plan was to spend one year in a foreign country which in my case was Ireland. I had no intention of staying, finding a job, a home, a man and start a family. After spending one year in Ireland in 2007, I wanted to stay a bit longer. It dragged out. Soon I realised it was mean to be. Leaving my home country Germany behind and starting a new life in a complete new country.
I’ve been quiet on the blogging front for the last week. The reason is I was on a mini holiday in Germany visiting my bestie in Berlin. We celebrated her 30th birthday. It’s always nice to get a mini break away particularly when it’s in my home country Germany.
We didn’t make any massive plans because 30 is only a number after all. I still have my 30th birthday (January) ahead of me but I don’t plan on doing anything big either. It more than likely will be me and her going away somewhere again. To get the most out of my visit, I flew over on Friday early morning. When I say early I mean early. The flight was at 7.20 am.
With such an early flight and a journey of 2 1/2 hours to the airport, I booked a hotel 10 mins away from the airport for the night before. The Clayton was the one I picked. First time I stayed there. Such a big, lovely and family orientated hotel. I can’t recommend it enough. Plenty of room.
Last week was first time for everything. It was also the first time that I flew with Ryanair to Germany. It’s always Aer Lingus. Wow…the check in was a bit confusing. You basically have to do everything yourself. That is scanning your boarding card, make sure the bags aren’t too heavy and put the tag on the suitcase. It’s supposed to speed things up. I didn’t that. The queue was extremely long and you were seriously wondering if you are going to make it on time.
First day was a chill out day. I did my usual shopping. I brought everything back that I can’t get in Ireland. This can be quite a lot sometimes but because I flew with Ryanair this time, I was pretty limited as I only booked 15 kg.
In the evening we had a BBQ. The eye always sees more than you can actually eat. But oh my god the meat, skewers and sausages were so good. On the side a bit of delicious potato salad.
We made some delicious cocktails Karo found on Pinterest. One of them was Sangria. Very refreshing and tasty.
Saturday was shopping and sightseeing day. Would you believe it, even though I was born in the Eastern part of Germany, I have never actually seen the Berlin wall in the East Side Gallery. I have to say Karo is a great little tour guide.
We also went to the Mall Of Berlin which is a huge shopping centre. It’s two buildings connected with a bridge. I didn’t actually buy anything, very unusual I know. Karo always wanted to go to this place called “Wonder Waffle“. They basically make waffles and you get to choose what you want to put into it. It’s oh so yummy but yet so filling. The coolest thing is though that they take your name and write it in chocolate writing.
In the evening time we took the train to “Alexander Platz” and met one of Karo’s school friends for dinner. We went to the ALEX restaurant. The food came pretty quick but other than the waiters were really slow. I was told they are quite good and efficient most of the time. When I am in Germany I always need to have a portion of chips, Schnitzel and mushroom sauce and that’s what I had. They also made this delicious lemonade which they have in different flavours. I had the Pink Passion one. We all had two lemonades because they were so good.
On Sunday it was one of the hottest days… 29 degrees. That didn’t stop us from doing a bit of sightseeing. Karo, her mum and I drove down to Potsdam. There is not much you can do on a Sunday in Germany because shops are closed. We walked around Sanssouci Park. Jackson, who is Karo’s dog came with us. He loved it. He did need to have a pit stop and drink some water in that heat.
To everyone who doesn’t know what Sanssouci is:
Sanssouci is the former summer palace of Frederick the Great, King of Prussia, in Potsdam, near Berlin. It is often counted among the German rivals of Versailles. While Sanssouci is in the more intimate Rococo style and is far smaller than its French Baroque counterpart, it too is notable for the numerous temples and follies in the park.
When we came back to the house, Karo and I went off and got some ice cream for us three from my favourite restaurant “Madlen”. At that point it was only an hour to dinner time. You can probably gather from my post that I ate a lot in those 3 1/2 days. I still needed to eat my favourite meal… a doner kebab. Just around 8 pm we decided to get one. I enjoyed every bite of it. The rest of the evening we watched a horror movie and had some cuddles with Karo’s new kitten called “Fussel” (Fluff). She is only 8 weeks old. It makes me want to get a third cat.
Monday was spent with a bit more shopping in the local town, some lunch and off I went to the airport to catch my evening flight back to Dublin. I had a great time and can’t wait for our next trip away. Of course I need to consult this with hubby first. Our next trip away will be Spain at the beginning of August. I might be going away on a short trip with Karo for my 30th in January.