LYON & GENEVA w/ DAD

LYON & GENEVA w/ DAD

Last week marked the visit of my first guest here in Lyon, my dad. My mum will be the second, a week today and Roz, my third on 18th May! Although I love the idea of exploring new places and even old ones by myself, a lot of the time I do wish I had somebody with me. I think that you see places completely differently depending on your company. For example, my dad is a walker. So, although I have now been in Lyon for 2 whole months, by walking different routes last week I gained a totally new perspective and mental mapping out of the city. We also took one of those sight-seeing city buses on the rainiest day of his visit which again allowed me to see Lyon much differently than before. You miss so much by being lazy and taking the metro everywhere. I’ve been trying harder recently to look up and around rather than down at the ground or my Apple Maps – though it can prove a little tricky when you know how much dog poo is around. For me, having somebody visiting also forces me out of my room in which I feel so comfortable. That’s a good thing too because I always have a good day once I’m out and about.

17 / 3 / 2018 GENEVA

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FORTNIGHT in NORMANDY

FORTNIGHT in NORMANDY

Having just arrived home from a wonderful fortnight in Normandy, I thought it about time I return to the blog having not posted since before my first set of university exams. So, before getting into talk about my travels, I should say that all went well. I finished my first year studying French at Cardiff University with 69%,  one frustrating percent from a 1st but delighted nevertheless.

After months of lazing around at university and taking my first year pretty easy, I was so ready for a break having done some real work again for a few weeks. Normandy was the absolute ticket and oh so relaxing.

Having been kindly invited along by Tom’s dad, we had been so looking forward to this trip for weeks! After my new passport finally arrived, we decided that I would drive to Portsmouth, we would catch the ferry to Cherbourg, (I would be brave) and drive to the château on the other side.

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ATHENS TRILOGY | MUSEUMS

ATHENS TRILOGY | MUSEUMS

For me, no city break is complete without several visits to its greatest museums. They are central to any city and are the epicentre of identity for each and every one of them. The entire point of such trips is to gain from the culture of another country and learn from its history. There are very few other places that can open your eyes to and teach you these things in such a way as Athens.

IMG_5187National Archeological Museum

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The National Archeological Museum of Athens is a literal trove of the most amazing things you could ever lay eyes on. The mere idea that some of the objects in the vast collection are thousands of years old is mind-blowing and completely mesmerising. Gold, marble and bronze galore.

IMG_4931The Acropolis Museum

The Acropolis Museum is so beautifully laid out and designed in such a modern and minimalistic way that the exhibits really stand out as they rightly should. They all stand alone and are uninterrupted in expansive, spacious and flowing rooms that are easy to direct.  The huge glass panels allow for glorious views of the Parthenon as seen in the photograph below.

IMG_4936I absolutely love this shot of the Parthenon from the Acropolis Museum. Visiting the museum first and witnessing this view just makes you 10 times more excited to get up there in the following days.

Two other museums that we visited were the Epigraphic Museum (situated next to the National Archeological Museum) and the Museum of the Ancient Agora, both also worth a visit.

As students from an EU country, all of our museum tickets were free of charge which was absolutely amazing as it allowed opportunity for multiple visits and meant no rushing.

http://www.theacropolismuseum.gr/en

http://www.namuseum.gr/wellcome-en.html

 

ATHENS TRILOGY | FOOD & DRINK

ATHENS TRILOGY | FOOD & DRINK

Just a quick disclaimer before I begin; the plan was to eat as authentically Greek as possible and we did in fact stick to this plan as much as the limited selection of photos may beg to differ. However, unfortunately some of the local delicacies are not the most photogenic of dishes, despite being delicious and therefore will not be making an appearance.

IMG_4944A Greek coffee and Greek yogurt with honey and walnut topping at Fresko after the first trip to the Acropolis Museum.

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One pork and one vegetarian souvlaki from the highly recommended Kalyvas (http://www.tripadvisor.co.uk/Restaurant_Review-g189400-d9458162-Reviews-Kalyvas-Athens_Attica.htmlwhich lived up to its recommendations.

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It would be impossible to talk about the food we ate in Athens without mentioning the unbelievable price. For under €30 we had three courses and wine/beer on two occasions. By sticking to our Air B&B host’s recommendations we economically ate like royalty for the entirety of our trip, constantly considering what the price may have been on a city break in other European capital cities.

IMG_5314One of many delights purchased from the ‘local’ bakery, a spinach and feta pastry.

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IMG_5152Accidentally oversized snack-stop at Fish Café

The following links are to the recommended eateries we were particularly impressed by:

http://www.tripadvisor.co.uk/Restaurant_Review-g189400-d6721199-Reviews-Dio_Dekares_I_Oka-Athens_Attica.html

The service here was second to none, the waitress’ English was flawless and she took time to speak to us at great length. We ordered bread and tzatsiki, two traditional hot Greek mains, four crispy chocolate wafery things filled with chocolate creme and a bottle of white wine and the bill came to less than €30! The food was undoubtedly really yummy, but it was blown out of the water by the last meal of our trip.

http://www.tripadvisor.co.uk/Restaurant_Review-g189400-d4106733-Reviews-Olympiou_Amalthia-Athens_Attica.html

Again, the service here was superb and the waitress was super lovely! This time however, the food was just sublime. The dishes came out individually making them perfect for sharing and we were even given a starter (‘Greek Ratatouille’) and a little pudding (Greek yogurt and honey) that we hadn’t ordered, on the house! What we did order was bread, octopus and pickled veg, battered zucchini balls and tzatsiki, sausages and mustard (for Tom), sardines (for me), a litre of beer and a lemonade – a real feast, again for under €30.

IMG_5475Delicious homemade (not by me) Greek salad and tzatziki … and some chocolate milk.

The link to the Air B&B apartment which was also really great: https://www.airbnb.co.uk/rooms/6515130