Continuing my 3 days in… series, our next stop is Hamburg!
I was debating whether or not to even write about this stop in the blog because to us, this was more of a pit-stop to our next destination. However, we did end up having a good time in Hamburg so I thought I’d include it anyway!
In Hamburg we stayed in an Airbnb about 20 mins from the city centre, there is a subway stop only around 5 minutes walk away.
After arriving in Hamburg by Flixbus we had to make our way to the Airbnb, we did get lost a few times and probably ended up walking double the amount that we needed to!
We both felt too lazy to go back out the supermarket and get food in so we just ordered a pizza & bottle of wine again from Domino’s, and just sat in front of the TV completely slobbing out. We actually ended up just going to sleep super early.
After sleeping for a whole 12 hours we both woke up just feeling really groggy and not very well.
We went out to the supermarket and bought all our food for the time we are here. Then walked home and started to made breakfast with the intention of starting the day afterwards and going out but we both just felt completely zapped! I had the shivers and Adrian had a headache we were both a bit of a mess really! All we wanted to do was wrap in a blanket and go back to sleep – so we did, we slept for another few hours and then just chilled around the airbnb for the rest of the day watching films. I think it was needed because by the night we were both feeling alot better!
After the day of rest we both woke up feeling much better and ready to go out and explore.
We walked into the city centre and saw the town hall and mooched around the shops for a while.
Then we went to see the old factories, the concert hall and walked by the river.
It was really interesting to see how there was such a mix of brick factory buildings and modern glass ones in Hamburg. I was also surprised that in an area with such an industrial past there was so much attention to our current climate crisis.
After this, we went back home for dinner and got ready to go out again. We decided to go to Reeperbahn which is a road which is basically the red light district of Hamburg. It’s quite a spectacle with all the neon signs and and bright lights!
We walked up and down the strip before choosing a bar to drink at, we sat down for a few hours with a few drinks and just chatted about what countries are next on our list after this trip 😊
After this you could say we were a little tipsy so we decided it would be funny to go into one of the… adult shops… needless to say it was a laugh but we were swiftly asked to leave for laughing and because Adrian thought it would be hilarious to pick up some of the shall we say equipment and wave it around… Very immature! 😂
Despite Hamburg being just a stop off to us on our way to our next destination, we actually had alot of fun here and I’m pleased I’ve had the chance to visit!
Now onto the next stop!
Thank you so much for reading, I hope you enjoyed! 🙂
It took us 8.5 hours by bus to reach Frankfurt by Flixbus. It was a day bus but we both each slept for an hour or so. We found our apartment really easily and then went out and got some bits to eat and then pretty much just slobbed out watching the Apprentice! We ordered a Domino’s takeaway (over here Domino’s sell wine?! It was cheap but surprisingly not half bad!)
We headed out to the town centre to do a bit of shopping as we were both in need of some more winter jumpers for the next few places we’re visiting! ❄ There was lots of cute market stalls selling traditional German food, fruits and veggies, and pumpkins which got me in the autumn spirit for sure! 🍂
We popped to TKmaxx and a couple of other shops but were really unsuccessful… Adrian managed to get a few pairs of joggers but that was it!
After what felt like hours of walking around we decided to have some dinner, we had a little look on the Happy Cow app and it suggested somewhere called MoschMosch which was Japanese food. It was just like Wagamama really, but alot cheaper and with more vegan options! Adrian loved it too so I’d defo recommend that!
After a google search we discovered that most of the main shops in Frankfurt are in a mall called the Skyline plaza!
It was only about a 10 minute walk away from our Airbnb so we decided to give the winter shopping another go and had SO much more success! I got a few more jumpers and a hat, scarf and gloves, and Adrian got a jumper and a scarf too.
(Let me know if a clothing haul – type blog is something you’d be interested in??)
I also couldn’t resist dragging Adrian around a few christmassy homeware shops like my fave: Butlers!
After a long day of shopping we came home and packaged up some of our last summer clothes to send back to the UK as we needed to make room for our new purchases.
Our last day in Frankfurt we decided to pay a visit to the older part of town!
It was really pretty! There were lots of little shops and bars just off the square aswell! We stopped in one to get Vegan ice lollies :p
Then we decided to go and get some food, we just happened upon a burger place that sold the Impossible burger by BeyondMeat which I have been wanting to try for ages! (Its just basically a vegan burger but it’s supposed to have the same taste/ texture of meat without actually eating an animal!)
That concludes our Frankfurt trip… tomrrow we leave 1st thing for our next stop!
Can anyone guess where it is?? (Hint: it’s a 7hr bus ride from Frankfurt)
Thank you so much for reading! Please comment below if there’s anything in particular that you’d like to hear about!
We are currently staying in a tiny log cabin-like airbnb in the Swiss countryside! It’s much, much colder than its been on the rest of our trip so far. Which is great as I can finally get it the autumn spirit! 👻🎃🍂
So as it’s now October, i thought that i would make a change from the pasta, pizza and salads we had been having in Italy and make something really warming and cozy!
The airbnb is super cute but the kitchen facilities are very limited… There is only 3 hobs that work, there 2 small pans, not a wooden spoon in sight, no strainer. Literally only these 2 pans and some regular cutlery! So, this was a bit of a challenge but if it can be done here, it can easily be done in a fully functioning kitchen!!
(All of this is totally adaptable, I just used what we had and what we could find in the local supermarket as low waste as possible)
I was just making this for Adrian & I so the recipe serves 2 people. (But can obviously be doubled/halved etc…)
1 white onion
3 cloves of garlic
2 handfuls of button mushrooms
1/4 butternut squash
1 large carrot
4 small potatoes
1 tsp sugar
2 tsp olive oil
2 veggie stock cubes
1/2 can chopped tomatoes
1 & 1/2 cups red wine
1/2 tsp crushed chillies
Salt & pepper to taste
Crusty bread to serve (optional)
Add the oil, sugar, onion, garlic and leek to the pan and begin to cook until they are transparent, stirring often.
Meanwhile part-boil the butternut squash, potatoes and carrots in another saucepan for 5 minutes.
3. Once the onion & leek have gone transparent add the mushrooms to the pan
4. Strain the part -boiled vegetables but save the water that they boiled in and set it aside for later.
5. Once the mushrooms are soft add all the remaining veggies into the pan
6. Add the red wine into the pan and turn up the heat to boil off the alcohol
7. Pour yourself a glass of wine 😉
8. Add the stock cubes to the water/stock that was saved from boiling the veggies and stir until they are fully dissolved
9. Once the alcohol has cooked out of the wine add around 2 cups of the stock into the pan along with the chopped tomatoes and the seasoning
10. Leave to simmer for 10-15 minutes to reduce down slightly
11. Serve with crusty bread & enjoy! 🙂
Thank you for reading! I am literally by no means a chef I just chuck everything together and it seems to work out alright!! 😂😭
Please bear with me as I have never made a post like this before but please let me know if you liked it or would like to see more like this in the future! 😊❤
On day one we decided to go to the Colosseum as it was the nearest landmark to us. The queue was really long, we queued for about an hour to buy tickets. We managed to get tickets for €2 each as we are EU citizens between 18-26 so that was really good! We spend about 2 hours walking around the Colosseum and the museum inside! Adrian and I both said we thought it was so much smaller in real life that what it looked like in pictures but we still really enjoyed it!
The Colosseum tickets also included a visit to the Roman Forum (Foro Romano) which was sort of like a really big park with ruins in it aswell as some gardens with a really big fountain and a church with lots of statues. It gave a gorgeous view of Rome from the top. (I’ll add a picture below) so we spent another hour or 2 walking around there.
After this we went back onto the main street, by this time it was around 5pm and all the street performers were out, so we walked back up the main street watching the dancers, painters and musicians.
We decided that we would just have a wander around all the back streets of Rome on this day as there are so many little shops and things to see.
We sort of wandered upon Trevi fountain were we had to literally fight our way and jump under a barrier to get right to the front but it looked so beautiful in the evening all lit up. After this we walked to the Pantheon and stopped at a resturant nearby to have a glass of wine and some really overpriced desserts!
This was our last full day and we decided we wanted to go to Vatican City! We decided to walk there from out accommodation just to see the sights along the way really! It took about 1hr 15 mins but we finally got there and had a look around, only had to queue for about 40 minutes to get in!
Once inside we decided we would do the walk up the steps to the top of the basilica but they only took cash and we (stupidly) didn’t bring any out with us! We got some lovely pictures while exploring the rest though and we watched the changing of the Swiss guard too which was really interesting to see!
We found a resturant that catered well for vegans on happy cow that was on the way home so we decided to go there for dinner! The food was soooo good!! There was almost too much choice for me on the menu! There was about 6 pasta dishes and 3 pizzas. In the end I went for the pizza as we had been eating SO much pasta at home.
Day 4 (bonus day lol)
We were meant to be leaving on day 4, but our bus to our next destination was an evening one so we had to check out of our airbnb at 1.30 and then wait for our bus until 8pm. We decided to go to the cinema as we both really wanted to see the new Tarantino film: Once Upon A Time In Hollywood… which was really good! The cinema tickets worked out at only £5 each which is so cheap compared to the UK!
Our airbnb host kindly agreed to look after all our luggage while we went 🙂
After the film, we came back to collect our bags but there had been a bit of a miscommunication and he wasnt there! Our bus was leaving in 30mins at this point so were were getting a bit nervous as the bus stop was a 10min walk away! The time ticked on and on until it was 7.55pm! Our host came speeding back, grabbed our bags for us, threw them on his scooter and ferried us one by one to the stop! We made it just in time! Phew!!
We really enjoyed visiting Rome, it definitely had a different atmosphere to the other Italian cities we had visited prior.
Thank you so much for reading my blog! Please comment if there is anything in particular that you would like to see!
Eating while on the go can be really difficult sometimes without leaving a trail of plastic packaging behind you….
In this blog I want to talk about the ways we have tried to eat as sustainably as possible while on our travels around Europe and the apps that we have been using to help us along the way!
As we are on a budget we have been trying to make our own food as much as possible but we have been eating out from time to time.
We have been using the Happy Cow app to find resturants that cater for vegans and it’s made it ridiculously easy! It shows you all the resturants that have vegan options near you, their distance away, a description, photos and reviews and then you can also use the app to get directions to the resturant! We have had so many delicious meals from resturants we have found on Happy Cow!
Being/ eating vegan/ plant based is the best way to reduce the environmental impact of your food as the diet uses less water, land and energy than any other diet!
Adrian isn’t vegan so when we eat out he tends to have a bit of cheese or meat as he only eats vegan at home (he eats whatever I make lol)
As mentioned in my previous blog, we have only been staying in Airbnbs that give us a decent facility to cook. This is obviously the cheapest option but also the most environmentally friendly.
We have been trying to get our fresh fruit and veg from local sellers or markets where possible as it’s cheaper, fresher and tends to be more sustainable (local produce means less transportation emissions.) At the very least we buy it plastic free at the supermarkets.
We have been eating alot of pasta and salads etc so sometimes a small amount of plastic packaging is unavoidable. We try to separate our rubbish for recycling where possible. We have found that in Europe they tend to have separate bins for everything which gives me a little more confidence that it’s being recycled!
Bringing food on the go!
We packed a Tupperware and a fork each for this trip and it has honestly saved us!! I think I saw someone mention bringing them in a YouTube video about backpacking before we left. Making extra for dinner the night before and then taking it for lunch the next day has become our thing! Or when we are leaving one city i just make something with all the leftover ingredients and we take it on the journey with us! Its saved so much food from going to waste and saved money on meals on the go!
Karma is an app that allows cafes and resturants to sell their leftover food at a cheaper price to reduce food wastage. It creates free advertisement for the business, reduces their waste and allows them to make a bit of money from the food which would otherwise be ending up in the bin! As a community we must do all we can to reduce our environmental impact (1/3 of all food goes to waste in the UK!) so this app is a great way to do so and to get resturant quality food at a fraction of the price!
Refill my bottle is an app that shows you a map with all the water fountains or free bottle refill stations near you! You can also add new water refill stations and “check in” to existing ones to earn points! You can redeem the points for rewards too! We have used this app all in every city we have visited and even added some new refill points onto the app ourselves!! Its great as it’s free and stops the need for buying plastic bottles, or at least if you need to buy one you can refill it and reuse it rather than throwing it away! Some businesses can also become refill stations so you can go in and fill up from their supply! This is a really great app and worth checking out!
In Part 2 of my World tourism day series I will be talking about accommodation. The places that we choose to stay can really impact the carbon footprint of our trips! I’ll be sharing my experiences and tips on how we have travelled this far on a budget, but in a sustainable way.
Staying in hotels tends to have the largest environmental impact of all the accommodation types for the following reasons:
Large buildings that are being paid to be heated/ airconditioned 24/7
Constant turnover of washing. (At home do you wash your bed sheets 3 times a week? I dont think so.) The amount of energy and water wastage from this practice is astronomical!
There doesn’t usually tend to be any facilities to cook for yourself in your room, therefore you have to eat at their resturants. Obviously the environmental impact of the food will be a whole other story! But we have all seen the trays and trays of food that are laid out at a hotel buffet breakfast! The amount of wastage at the end of each service must be enormous!
Where does their waste go?? Do they even recycle?
The list could go on and on!!
Below I will talk about where we have stayed on each leg of our journey so far to remain eco (and budget) friendly.
Fougere ( Loire valley)
We stayed for 3 weeks in the gorgeous scenery of the Loire valley for free. Yes, you heard me right, it didn’t cost us a penny!
To do this we used a website called HelpX which allows people to sign up to their site and create a profile as a “helper” I think this cost €18 to sign up but was more than worth it!
There are thousands of different listings on the website all over the world but to cut it short: you go and help people and in return you get free accommodation and food.
When in Fougere we stayed with Joyce, an Engligh woman who had moved to France to run a small organic farm, a gite and a massage practice. Doing all of this on her own it’s clear to see why she could do with some help!
The jobs were mainly outdoor work with the exception of getting the gite ready for new visitors! We worked for 5 days in exchange for 2 free days to explore the surrounding area on our own, however Joyce was quite laid back and if she was going out often took us with her to see the nearby towns and told us alot about the history of the area!
The work wasn’t anything that you would need specific skills for you just need to be willing to listen and learn really! It was a really great experience for both of us, something that we had never done before but will never forget!
The actual stay itself was lovely too! We stayed in our own room at Joyce’s but when the gite didn’t have anyone in we stayed in there and had the whole place to ourselves! The food was sooo good, we are definitely missing it now we are on the move! We had lots of lovely evenings sitting outside with a glass of wine and putting the world to rights!
Joyce also had a donkey, a horse, a cat, chickens and a goose! We loved spending time with the animals too!
I would really encourage anyone to use HelpX as a means of accommodation! It perfect as a form of low-impact travel and staying with a host (like Joyce) who respects nature and the environment makes it a great way to gain lots of new knowledge and skills.
After leaving Joyce’s we went to Montpellier. We stayed in an Airbnb here.
Airbnb’s are great at they tend to be more reasonable in cost for what you get in comparison to hotel rooms. We always make sure our Airbnb’s give us the facility to cook our own meals in order to cut down our own personal footprint.
These are all the Airbnb’s we have stayed in so far… Overall our experiences have been really positive and the places we have stayed have been really suitable to our budget!
There are also a few other types of sustainable accommodation that we havent yet tried but may try later on this trip or in the future.
The 1st is hostels, hostels have a reputation of being dirty and unsafe but there are actually tons of really nice hostels that you can stay in at really reasonable prices. Although quite often the kitchen and bathroom are shared with other guests (kind of like a uni dorm I guess) you often have the option of your own room at a little extra cost. There are lots of low impact hostels in cities we have on our list to visit so it may be something we try in the future!
The next is a website called Trusted house sitters. This is effectively where you sign up and people who have pets who are going on holiday have you come and stay in their house and look after their pets for free. Again, this is something we haven’t yet tried but may be a possibility for us in the future if the right place comes about! When we were in the Loire valley we met a woman who lived a castle with a swimming pool, she said she was on this website and people would stay there for free when she went away to look after her dogs! Not a bad deal if you ask me!
I think there are also other websites that are effectively the same as HelpX a few I found online were called: “WOOF” & “WorkAway”
Thank you for reading part 2 of my World toursim day series!
I would love to hear if anyone has tried out any of the accommodation types mentioned in this blog so please comment if you have!
Since 1980, the 27th of September has been recognised by the UN as World Tourism Day.
In honour of world tourism day yesterday, I wanted to share a few of the ways I have learnt to be more of an eco-friendly tourist while backpacking Europe.
The first thing I want to mention is travel. Getting from A to B.
Wherever possible Adrian and I have used public transport such as buses, trams and trains to get around. There is a few companies I would love to mention that have made this really easy (and affordable)
Flixbus is a bus company that operates all over Europe and I believe in the USA aswell. The tickets are ridiculously affordable, it cost us £24 per person to take the overnight bus from London to Paris compared to the £123 for the Eurostar! Our journey from Florence to Rome cost us £6.50 each!
The busses are really well equipped with phone charging ports, comfortable seats and air conditioning. The booking is super easy and you can reserve seats for an extra £1.50 to avoid the scramble.
They also have an option when you book to pay a tiny amount extra for Co2 compensation for your journey. (Its usually less than £1 but depends on your journey length) This donation goes directly to Carbon offset projects in developing countries and in Germany!
We like getting the bus as you are able to see the place you’re travelling through! The amount of gorgeous mountains we have driven past and lovely scenery that you never would have seen from a flight! You also dont have the hassle of checking in bags, going through security, passport control as you do with flying!
Here is the link to the website for anyone that is interested, the page also includes the details of the Carbon offset project: FLIXBUS
Blablacar is a French app that connects people for car sharing or carpooling. If someone is already going on a journey and has spare seats in their car they can effectively “sell” the seats to people who are going in the same direction!
Here is a list of countries the app currently operates in:
Belgium, Brazil, Croatia, Czechia, France, Germany, Hungary, India, Italy, Luxembourg, Mexico, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Russia, Serbia, Slovakia, Spain, Turkey, Ukraine, and United Kingdom
We used Blablacar alot in France when we were staying in the Loire valley to visit nearby cities. It’s a really great way of meeting people and you can talk in the car as little or as much as you like. The journeys are relatively cheap, I think we paid €6 each to get from La Fleche to Tours which is about an hour journey.
It allowed me to practice my French a bit and all the drivers were really friendly. You rate the drivers at the end and they rate you back so I think this makes the platform safer as you an look at reviews before you buy a seat in someone’s car!
Blablacar is a more environmentally friendly way of travelling than getting an Uber or taxi as you’re just jumping in on a journey that was already going to be made so therefore reducing the number of cars on the road. They also as a company do alot for the environment through their forestation schemes which I will leave a link to below: BLABLACAR
Trains are one of the environmentally friendly forms of public transport. We have used the trainline app consistently to book our trains across Europe as we have found it’s just the easiest and most straightforward way. We have also used the underground/ metro consistently in lots of cities aswell! Unlike in England we have found European train to be super cheap making train travel a sustainable way of getting around that doesn’t break the bank!
I plan to write a few parts to this blog as I think it will be too long otherwise! I’m going to do one on accommodation and food aswell!
Please leave a comment if there is anything you would like to hear about in particular!
Florence is our next stop after Milan, we went by flixbus which took about 4 hours and then took the tram into the city. Then got a bus to our airbnb.
We didn’t have any issues with the airbnb this time we managed to check in straight away so that was good! The airbnb was in a really good location with buses running all the time into the city. The public transport in Florence is really efficient but the bus drivers dont wait for anyone! They have no problem shutting the door on anyone, elderly, pregnant etc… so you have to be quick getting on and off! It’s also so affordable you pay €1.50 per hour and that goes for all the busses and trams in the city which is amazing!
We woke up and went straight into the city where we went to see the Cathedral of Santa Maria in the city centre, it was absolutely gorgeous!
Then we wandered down to to river where we saw the famous bridge with all the jewellery shops along it.
Then we stopped for some ice cream and sat by the river people watching for a bit. There are tons of options for vegans as there are alot of shops that have vegan ice cream and sorbets aswell! Even though we were visiting technically off peak, Florence was still absolutely heaving with tourists! We both said we cant even imagine what it’s like during the summer holidays!
We spent the rest of the afternoon just wandering down the little streets window shopping and stopping for wine every now and again!
We didn’t really do much on day 2 so I dont have any pictures to share of the day. We planned our next steps of our travels (I’ll write about them as they happen) we also started watching the new season of Peaky Blinders! We both needed a day to just relax as we have had so much walking around and carrying heavy bags lately!
This was our last day in Florence. We decided that we wanted to post back some of our summer clothes as it will soon be getting colder so we wanted room for some more winter clothes in our bag. We didn’t have anything to post them back in though so we had to improvise a bit! Adrian found a broken down cardboard box by the bins behind our apartment 😂 and then using the medical tape from my first aid kit we taped it back up, then we went round it with the cling film from the apartment and used the hairdryer to shrink wrap it all together! It actually worked quite well so hopefully that will hold all the way back to the UK, it weighed about 6kg so that’s a bit of weight off our shoulders though the bags still do feel quite heavy, we can handle it 😊
Then we went into the city to go to the Ufizzi Gallery, if you are a EU citizen and between 18 and 26 you get a reduced ticket so instead of paying €20 each we only paid €2 each, bargain!
It was so beautiful I would really reccomend doing if you can get the reduced ticket as it’s so cheap but there’s so much to see! There is also gorgeous views of the city from the gallery aswell!
We really dont think that 3 days was long enough to see everything that Florence had to offer, we both agreed that we would come back to Italy in the future to spend more time in Milan and Florence.
Thank you so much for reading! Please comment if there is anything in particular you would like me to write about 🙂
Milan was another city that we had heard was expensive but both desperately wanted to see… Completely by chance timing had worked out that we were in Milan at the time of Milan fashion week 2019 and the Milan derby (AC vs Inter Milan) making it probably the most expensive and busiest time to go.
We flew from Barcelona to Milan and then got the train from the airport to the city.
We got to our airbnb at 4pm (the time stated on the listing that we should meet the host) and no one was there… we tried messaging and calling the host but there was still no response.
We called airbnb to find out what to do next and they said they would have to try contacting the host and get back to us. After around half an hour a member of the airbnb support team called us back and said that they couldn’t make contact with the host so they would give us a full refund and a voucher for a new room (€25) this wasnt really good enough as all the prices of the Airbnb’s had shot up in Milan due to all of the events happening in the city and it being so last minute. There were rooms that were usually £30 a night listed for £200!!
After a further 3 hours of messaging back and forth with airbnb they found us an apartment and agreed to pay 2/3rd of the cost of it so we were happy. The air bnb actually ended up being perfect and the hosts were amazing so that was great for us!! It was also near the metro line so we were getting around for about €8 a day!
We decided to go straight into the centre to try and get tickets to see the Milan derby that evening. We went straight to the ticket office and managed to get tickets for an amazing price!!
After this we went to a restaurant called Soul Green (serves fish but apart from that loads of veggie and vegan options) and had the tastiest lunch ever! Adrian called it the best restaurant food he’s ever had and that’s a huge deal as he’s really picky especially with vegan food! It was so great to find a resturant that had so much choice for me so we did go a little wild and have 4 courses and some bubbly but I think there is a theme with our whole Milan trip where we just forgot the budget 😂
After this we went shopping!!! We got handed a leaflet to a “secret designer shop” all the past Milan fashion week designer runway outfits at up to 80% off! I bought a gorg Silvian Heach black faux fur jacket for about €200 off!
We spent the next few hours mooching around and seeing the street performances and the cathedral before heading to the Football!
The next day we had a little shopping day as the shopping in Milan is amazing and it was raining really heavily so we just wanted to be indoors. We actually had a really good day just trying on different outfits, Adrian bought a few bits too and I bought a new pair of boots 🙂
We loved Milan, we really don’t think 3 days was enough time to see everything. We decided we wanted to come back here maybe for a city break in a few years and explore more!!