Road Trip Diary Part 6: Rain, more Shopping and more Castles

Hey there! Today I’m sharing the last part of my road trip with you guys. Two weeks of fun in the UK had to come to an end and so this is the final part. I had such a great time and I hope I can go back and visit some of the cools places again or visit new ones some times soon. That probably won’t happen but you never know.

So the the day before our final day we went to Newcastle. I’d been wanting to see that city of for the longest time, so I was pretty happy when the rest of my family liked my suggestion of going there. I really liked Newcastle and we wandered around the city for a while until it started to pour rain. Smart as I am I’d left my umbrella in the hotel so I got absolutely soaked! Didn’t really help my cold either. Oh well. The worst thing is that it wouldn’t stop so we started running towards the next restaurant to get some coffee and tea to warm up and dry off. When it stopped raining we went back to the car and drove to the Metro Centre, which is apparently the biggest indoor mall in Europe. Don’t know if that’s true but it’s definitely incredibly huge.

So here are some pictures my brother and I took when we were bored and some pictures of Newcastle.

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On our final day before our departure we went to Alnwick (hope I spelled that right) castle. We did a tour through it and it is quite the impressive place. If you have watched some of the Harry Potter movies this might look a bit familiar to you as it was used as a location to shoot some of the scene. Don’t sake me which ones though. Anyway… it’s a beautiful place.IMG_6323 SAMSUNG CSCSAMSUNG CSC SAMSUNG CSC SAMSUNG CSC

After our tour we went through the town itself. It’s such a charming little place and before leaving the UK I bought some more make up I knew I couldn’t get over here. Yep, that’s just me.

When we got back to the hotel we had to pack and get up at 2.30am to drive to Manchester Airport. I arrived back home incredibly exhausted and went straight to bed.

But it was definitely a fun vacation and I wish it would’ve lasted a little longer.

XX

Sophi

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Road Trip Diary Part 5: Shopping, Ruins & Soccer

Time for the next part of my road trip. Although we were still staying in York we drove all the way to Manchester (actually it’s just an hour but whatever :P) because my brother is quite the fan of Manchester United and he wanted to get a soccer jersey or whatever you call these things and he didn’t want to buy it anywhere else than in Manchester. First me made a stop at the Trafford Centre for some shopping and oh my gosh I’ve seen many many shopping malls in my life but this one must’ve been one of the prettiest I’ve ever seen. It almost reminds me of a temple with all the pretty paintings, statues and fountains. After dragging my brother and dad around with me for 2 hours (they despise shopping) I put them out of their misery and we drove over to the Old Trafford stadium. My brother got excited like a little kid and before I knew what was happening I found myself in a huge store full of Manchester United everything. It took my brother forever to get everything he wanted so I had to sit there and wait and probably looked totally out of place. Guess it was only fair. I wish I could’ve seen more of the actual city of Manchester but we had to get back to York. I have to admit I was quite disappointed but hopefully I get to see the city some other time.

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So the next day it was time to drive on to our final destination: Durham. Until that day I had never ever even heard of that place but it’s somewhere up in the very north of England close to the Scottish border. As always we made quite a few stops on the way. Our first stop was Castle Howard. It’s pretty much a huge castle in the middle of nowhere. I don’t think I’ve ever seen so many castles in so little time.

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Next we stopped by this little small town by the sea. I totally forgot the name of this (sorry. really wish I could remember) but it definitely was a beautiful place. We went on a walk by the sea side and had some ice ream. Yummy.

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Another stop we made was at the ruins of this incredible old abby. I thought it looked so cool and a bit creepy. Apparently it gave the inspiration for Dracula. I can definitely see why. Oh and I saw this adorable horse there. Isn’t it cute? I just had to take a picture. Gosh, I’m such an animal lover.

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Before finally making it to hour hotel we took one last stop at this upper old train station. They still run their trains with steam and the trains ration was actually used for some Harry Potter scenes. I think this is the train station they arrive at when they go to Hogwarts.Nevertheless it was pretty magical to see.

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This was the hotel we stayed in. It’s in the area of Durham and from what it looks like i’s quite old. It looks a bit like some old spooky haunted place to me and not just from the outside. Our room was pretty dark and there were weird paintings hanging on the wall. Plus it was in the middle of absolutely nowhere and I heard some really creepy noises at night.

Hope you enjoyed reading this post :) The next part is coming up soon.

XX

Sophie

Road Trip Diary Part 4: Shakespeare, Christmas & Ghost Walks

After having spend two nights in Oxfordshire it was time to move on and our next destination was York. Before actually going to York we made a quick stop in the historical town of Stratford-upon-Avon because it was Shakespeare’s birth place and my mom really wanted to go see that. I have to admit I wasn’t in the best mood because I had caught an annoying cold. I had a horrible headache, felt really weak and tired and my nose was completely blocked. To top it all of it started to pour down rain like crazy when we got out of the car. You can probably imagine that I wasn’t all too excited to look at old houses whether Shakespeare had lived in them or not. All I wanted was my bed and a hot cup of tea.

When we actually did reach Shakespeare’s birthplace and took a tour through it I was quite amazed by it though considering the house has been standing there since the 16th century. That is really impressive. I forgot my cold for a minute and really enjoyed learning about the life of one of the greatest writers to ever walk on this planet. Next up we visited some other houses some of his family members had lived in before ending our tour with visiting his grave. That was a bit bizarre to me because, well, I just don’t have the desire to look at graves. Who does,right?
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As much as I really enjoyed learning more about Shakespeare my absolute favorite thing in Startford was probably this Christmas store I spotted. Okay, Christmas is basically my favorite time of the entire year. I love Christmas music, and baking, and putting up lights everywhere and just making people happy. Christmas just reunites people and I could go on and on about why I love Christmas but you reading this probably don’t care. So I saw this Christmas store and obviously I had to go inside. This place is just truly awesome. It sounds like Christmas. It looks like Christmas and it even smells like Christmas. It just made me incredibly happy.

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After having spent about 4 hours in Stratford we decided it time to get back on the road and continue our drive to York. Good thing we did because it took much much longer than expected. We were supposed to arrive at around 4pm but due to immense traffic and horrible weather conditions we didn’t make it until 6.30pm. When we finally arrived at out bed and breakfast I was so happy to see I finally got a room for myself and didn’t have to share it with my brother. My room was really nice and most importantly free of spiders. I was in heaven for 3 nights. After getting some rest we went to a pub near by and I had my very first British pub lunch. Yay! It was quite good.

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The next day we got up quite early and spent the entire day exploring York. I think York might be one of my favorite places I’ve been to in England so far. It is just such a beautiful place. I like how it’s not such a big city, so you can explore it within a day without getting lost. We started off by walking through this beautiful garden. After that we went into the huge Minster cathedral and took a tour through it. It is such a pretty cathedral.

After lunch  we went on a boat tour! YAY! I absolutely love boat tours (as long as the weather’s nice). I just like sitting on a boat while people tell me facts about the buildings I’m seeing. That’s just me. I’m boring like that. Sorry.

We then continued to walk through the city itself and I did a tiny little bit of shopping. After dinner we waited until 8pm to take part in a ghost walk. I kind of like mystical weird stuff. Horror movies are my favorite and I loved hearing ghost stories when I was little so it was jet naturally that I talked everyone into joining me for the ghost walk. Now I don’t really believe in ghosts but I just really like the stories. The guy doing the ghost walk did such a great job! We walked to some scary places within York and he would tell us some horrifying stories that apparently happened there.

When the ghost walk was over I was absolutely exhausted and tired and couldn’t wait to get into bed. But York was definitely one of my favorite places to visit in England and I hope to go back there one day.

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Hope you enjoyed this post!

Sophie

Road Trip Diary: Days 4&5 – Stuck In the Middle Of Nowhere & Oxford

On day 4 of our road trip we had to get up super early to get to the airport and pick up our rental car. This took much longer than expected. First we had to take the tube back to Heathrow. Once we’ve made it there we had to find the right bus stop that takes you to the car rental service which took ages to find. Once we’d mad it to the car rental station we had to draw a ticket and probably waited for about an hour until it was finally our turn. After my dad  had gotten the car legs and everything was thought to be settled the next problem surfaced. The guy at from the rental service had given us a car with a super tiny trunk. It barely fit two of our suitcases and we had four of them. If I’m being honest I think it’s quite ridiculous to give a family of four a car with a tiny trunk. Before renting a car you have to mention for what purposes you’re going to use it and we clearly said it was for a road trip for a family. Obviously we’d all have suitcases. Eventually they gave us a new and bigger one and we could finally make our way to Oxfordshire – our next stop.

After about an hour of driving we reached our destination: a beautiful old English farm home. It was literally located in the middle of nowhere. There was nothing but fields and lakes around it. After taking a bit of a break and getting some rest we decided to check out the area and went for a hike through the nature. I’m not really someone that goes hiking a lot but I had a great time and the landscape surrounding us was absolutely stunning.

The interior design of the place we stayed at itself was so British. At least it was what I think is really British. Since I’m not I guess I can’t really determine that but it just looked exactly what you would imagine an old British farm house to look like. It was over 270 years old by the way. The house itself was beautiful but nothing I would ever want to live in. The only downside was that I didn’t only have to share a room with my brother but with a bunch of spiders as well. I’m not terribly afraid of them but I don’t really like them either. At first I made my brother catch them and throw them out the window but we kept finding more spiders so we eventually gave up and I just had to deal with it. Oh the nightmares.

On our 5th day we drove to Oxford and basically spend all day there as there is so much to look at. I loved checking out all the old University buildings and Oxford castle. The entire town just seems like such a historic place and I really enjoyed my time there.

Here are some pictures. Hope you enjoy :)

Sophie

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Road Trip Diary: Day 1 – London

Hey guys!
I’m finally on vacation and I have made it to London safely! Yay! We’ll be staying in London until Friday morning before making our way further up North. Even though the first day was absolutely exhausting it’s so nice to be back here. Last night I had to get up at 3.45 am and I’d gotten about 2 hours of sleep. We landed in London pretty early and made it to where we are staying quite quickly. We’re not staying in a hotel but in an apartment, which is pretty cool because we have a kitchen and a living room, which you normally wouldn’t have. It’s so nice to be back in London though. I’ve been a few times before, so I kind of know my way around a little bit already. Obviously it doesn’t feel like coming home but it feels a lot more familiar than for example when I went to Spain or Norway. I guess this has something to do with the language as well. Even though I’m may not fit in perfectly with my American accent it’s still a lot easier to communicate with people. So since my dad and my brother have never been to London before we basically just did some typical tourist sightseeing stuff today like going to Buckingham Palace, Big Ben and the Tower Bridge. At around 3pm I was feeling absolutely dead though. I’d hardly gotten any sleep the night before and I was feeling like a freaking zombie. I could barely keep my eyes open and I was so afraid of bumping into people because it was so crowded. Sure you have to count on large crowds of people in a big town like London but when I spent New Year’s there in 2014 it sure wasn’t this crowded. Maybe because it was in winter. Anyway.. Here are some pictures I took today! Hope you enjoy!

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Happy midweek!
Sophie :)

Just Some Little Things

Yesterday I have told you guys all about my stay in London and today I’m going to show you some of the things I bought during my stay. Lucky for me there were many sales in almost every store I went in. Still I didn’t buy that much because I’m trying to save more money rather than spending it all. It’s my New Years Resolution and I’m really curious how long it will last.

anyway….

it was raining and very story so the umbrella I brought unfortunately got killed by the British weather, so I had to get a new one. Besides it rains quite a lot in the Netherlands as well and since I’ll be returning to Holland on Sunday to take my final exams of this semester before my 2nd semester starts a new umbrella will come in quite handy.

Isn't it adorable?
Isn’t it adorable?

Since it was cold and windy my ears were freezing and I sure didn’t want to catch a cold. Usually I’m not much of a hat person but I fell in love with this one and it was on sale. That’s always a good argument.

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Just like every other tourist I had to get some souvenirs from a gift shop so I bought some key chains that I can now put next to my Eiffel Tower and the Empire State Building.

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As I might have mentioned before I am just a little bit vain when it comes to my hair and I love love love wearing bows or cute headbands. What’s very unfortunate though is that not many people seem to wear that around where I’m currently living ( I don’t really care about that) but that makes it pretty hard to find cute hair accessories that aren’t meant for little girls. In London there were so many stores with adorable hair accessories so I just had to get some.

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That’s it already. I just wanted to get a few things that would remind me of the great time I had in London and I believe I found some good stuff.

Have an amazing day everyone :)

I Love London

First of all HAPPY NEW YEAR EVERYONE!

I just got back from London today and apart from being incredibly tired I’m kind of depressed I’m already back. London was absolutely amazing. I love how the subway, or tube system (how they call it), takes you everywhere so fast and the city itself just has this British charm, that I totally adore. Besides that there is so much to see.Unfortunately I did not get to see everything but I saw a lot and it was so so so amazing.

Originally I went to London with my best friend to celebrate New Years Eve there. My last New Years Eves all kind of sucked so I finally broke the spell! This year totally rocked! I know I’m repeating myself but it was just so cool I can’t really find the right words to describe it. But apart from celebrating into the New Year we got to do so much more.

My best friend’s been to London so many times she already knows her way around there so I had my own personal tour guide in a way.

The first day we arrived pretty late so we did some late night sightseeing.

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The next day the weather was pretty British. Rain and wind but I guess when you go to the UK you just have to be prepared for that. Of course we wouldn’t let the rain ruin our day so we checked out Piccadilly Circus and did some shopping. London was full of sales and I love how in big cities you can find so many different kinds of clothes.

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After that we looked at the Tower of London and went up the Tower Bridge. Lucky for us the rain stopped so we could enjoy this amazing view.

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The next day we went to see the Buckingham Palace.

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On the 31st we went to Madame Tussaud’s and after waiting in line (or queuing as the British would say) we finally got in and I met one of my favourite superheroes… Captain America.

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Later that day we went back to the Hotel, changed and went back to the River Thames to wait for midnight and watch the fireworks. When the clock finally turned twelve we had an amazing view over the Thames and the fireworks. It was absolutely amazing and probably the best fireworks I’ve seen so far.

I hope all of you guys had an amazing New Years Eve as well and may all your wishes for 2014 come true!

XX