Tour Paris in Style!

During our trip to Paris in August 2016, Henner and I went on what I would consider my favourite tour I´ve been on so far; the Citroën 2CV tour.

My parents actually recommended it to us after their trip to Paris, as my mum is tour obsessed and literally did ever tour possible in the day and a half they spent in the City of Love (boat, bus, car and walking all in the same day, plus dinner at the Eiffel Tower and Moulin Rouge!). If you´re asking yourself how they managed all of this, I have no clue!

Anyway, back to the tour. So, we arranged our with 2CV Tours and they were fantastic. We booked through the website with the owner, Marc, who answered immediately and was very friendly. He let us know that they only had one Spanish driver called Marion and checked her availability for the dates we chose. She was available which was perfect, but the day we were meant to go on out tour, her car broke down, something that I know happens often as these cars are extremely old and we completely understood. So, Marc arranged for Jeff, another driver to pick us up from our hotel as arranged and even threw in a bottle of champagne which was kind of him.

 

champagne 2
Enjoying a glass of champagne during our tour!

 

The great thing about this company is that they charge per car instead of per person like most of the other tour companies I researched, this was what most inclined me towards Marc and his drivers, it makes the tour much more affordable, especially if you are more that two people.

 

citroen cv 1
At the end of the tour being dropped off outside our hotel!

 

Jeff, a student that worked as a 2CV tour guide part-time, was fantastic from start to finish and I would highly recommend requesting him for your tour, although I´m sure the other drivers are great too. He took us on a super interesting tour of Paris, showing us both the famous monuments and cute Little corners of Paris most tours usually overlook. He was extremely knowledgable and told us some great facts about Paris and it´s monuments. He even climbed up onto his car and picked some figs for us from the oldest tree in Paris!

This tour was by far the highlight of our trip and I´ve recommended it to anyone I know that has been to Paris since! It´s such a great way to explore the beautiful city, especially as the car is so tiny which made sure Jeff was able to take us here, there and everywhere, from the most famous monuments to the tiny little streets that tour buses can´t get down. It´s also well worth the price! So, be sure to put this on your Paris bucket list and let me know if you loved it as much as we did!

Lots of Love,

Molly x

 

A day at El Jardín de los Sentidos, Altea 

There are places that can’t be described with words and El Jardín de los Sentidos or The Garden of Senses, is one of those magical locations. It’s a botanical garden and rural house located in the beautiful town of Altea in Alicante, Spain.

DSCN0500

It’s actually 10 minutes away from Henner’s house and we had stupidly never even been, so this weekend we decided to pay the beautiful gardens a visit and we definitely didn’t regret the decision.

DSCN0497

As you arrive, you are told to have a walk around and chose the spot you like the most, then you come back to the entrance where the tea shop is and it’s a price of 7,50€ each for tea and cake, orange cake and green tea for me and apple cake for Henner.  We also ordered a plate of fruit each and Henner a pinnaple smoothie. Everything was delicious.

DSCN0501

There are also hammocks right next to the tables in which you could dose off for hours if you liked. Or beds to lay for the day and read a book. The time you spend there is unlimited for the day which is great. It´s also a beautiful location to take photos, so whether you are passionate about photography or just want a new picture for Instagram,  El Jardín de los Sentidos is the perfect place for you.

DSCN0472

I hope these lovely photos that Henner took have inspired you and if you do decide to give these beautiful gardens a visit, please let me know if you enjoyed the visit as much as we did!

Molly x

 

Brussels on a Budget

Looking for an affordable last-minute holiday? Want to explore a country but don´t have the time or money to spend? If you answered yes to both of these questions, Brussels is the destination for you.

I actually visited the beautiful Belgian capital on a studies related trip. During the spring semester at University, in our History of the European Union subject, a few classmates had been given the task of trying to arrange a trip to the European Parliament for our whole class, which worked out pretty difficult and in the end we only got enough invites for 40 of us. This meant only those of us with the highest marks in our subject could go; Chantal, Marina, Paula, Irene and I were five of those.

So, at the beginning of May we started planning our 3 day trip to Brussels. The European Parliament actually funded our entire trip, the only issue was that we had to put the money forward in advance and then they refunded it, so as you can probably imagine, 5 students don´t have tonnes of money  lying around. For this reason, I thought I would post about how we kept our trip as student budget friendly as possible.

FLIGHTS: 228€ return.

In my opinion, skyscanner is the best place to look for flights. After finding out which airlines are the cheapest for your destination and dates, you can then go to the Airlines official website to book the flights as Skyscanner usually bumps the price up a little. We booked our flights from Madrid – Brussels International Airport with AirEuropa.

There were cheaper flights but we chose the ones that best suited us and helped us make the most of our time in the city (i.e early on our first day and late on our last).

ACCOMODATION: 37€ for two nights.

One of the best ways to save on holidays is by staying in a hostel instead of a hotel. We found ours, Urban City Centre Hostel on Booking.com and it was absolutely perfect for us; affordable (37€ for two nights!), with friendly and helpful staff and most importantly, at least for me, clean. Our only issue in the 3 days we were there was that we were on the 5th floor with no lift (imagine dragging your suitcase and bags up 5 flights of stairs!).So I would suggest that if you ever decide to visit this hostel, that you request a room on one of the first floors.

The location of our hostel was a 5-10 minute walk or a couple of metro stops away from the Grand Place and the Central Station which was perfect for us. There was also a metro stop right outside, for as far as location goes, you can´t go wrong with this hostel.

TRANSPORT

Getting to the city centre: After arriving at Brussels  International Airport, we made our only transportation mistake in the whole 3 days we were there, which was getting the bus (4,50€ one way) into the city centre. We had no clue where we had to get off, the stops were terribly sign posted and the driver didn´t speak much English. I would recommend either making sure you know the exact bus stop before you arrive or taking the train (8,80€) to and from the airport, as even though it´s a little more expensive, it drops you in the heart of the city at Central Station.

Getting around Brussels: The metro tickets cost 2,10€ which lasts an hour, so you can use it again within that time frame, but they also have special discounts if you buy various tickets at once.

metro.jpg

Travelling to other cities: We debated whether to go to Brugge or Ghent as they were the cities we had been recommended the most. In the end we decided to visit both in the same day and I’m so glad we did. They were both soo beautiful.

Don’t be fooled by the ticket machines in Central Station where the tickets cost 14,70€ one way. Instead, cue up at the ticket office where you can actually buy a return ticket for 11,40€ to Brugge with a stop in Ghent for groups of 3 people or over. The train doesn´t drop you off right in the centre of Ghent so if you have time, you can walk, and if you are on a time limit like us, you can take the metro.

FOOD: 36,30€

We ate breakfast at our hotel for 5€ each morning which was lovely and had quite a good variety of food for the price. For lunch, we bought sandwiches at the local supermarkets and had picnics in the park or ate fast food. Not the healthiest but definitely the cheapest and it’s only 3 days! Finally, for dinner, one night we shared pizza (8,60€ each) and another night we ate at a Greek restaurant (6,30€), both near the Grand Place.

Oh, and you can´t leave Belgium without trying a Belgian Waffle with chocolate sauce, this really should be considered a crime!

Another option if you are extremely low on cash is to find an apartment within your budget range on AirBnB which will mean you are able to cook and you can avoid having to buy food in restaurants etc.

DRINK

As you most probably know,  Belgium is famous for its beer which meant we couldn’t leave without trying all the flavours on offer! I’m actually not a huge fan of beer at all, in fact, I hate the taste of beer, but I must admit that the flavoured beers, especially the cherry flavour, were actually delicious! As we were 5, one night after dinner we went to a local pub, ordered the 5 flavours they had and we all got to have a little taste of each.

If you are a big fan of beer, then Delirium Café is a must! They have all the beers you can imagine, really cheap and there is a great atmosphere there. If I’m not mistaken, it’s open all day until 4am so you can go at any time of the day. It’s also a great place to meet people from all over the world. We visited the bar on our last night in Brussels planning on only staying for a few drinks and going home ready to do our last bit of sightseeing in the morning. We ended up having so much fun, meeting people from Venezuela to Bangladesh, that we ended up staying until we got kicked out at closing time. We had such a good time. We then went to visit the Mannikin Pis as there would be no queues.

TOURS
We actually only took one tour in the whole time we were in Belgium and this was in Ghent where we went on a boat tour. I would recommend buying a second-hand guide-book to whichever city you decide to visit and skipping the tours if you are an a tight budget. Another option is to book a free tour with a local which you can find on quite a few different Facebook pages; just type in on google: ________ free tours and arrange the one that best suits you.

I would definitely recommend the European Parliament tour, especially considering the fact that it’s free. You learn some extremely interesting facts and everyone that works there is so helpful and caring.


So, these are a few tips on how you can visit Brussels on a budget. I could have even spent less if I was on a seriously tight budget but I had some money saved up from working as an English teacher whilst at uni.

We had a great time during our stay in the European Capital and can’t thank my friends enough for making the trip so enjoyable! Gracias Paula, Marina, Irene y Chantal 🙂

If you have any questions at all or any other tips you think people may find useful then please leave a comment down below!

Molly x

 

 

 

Destination Unknown: Waynabox

In need of a short break away but can’t decide where to travel? Waynabox is your solution.

This March, my friend Maria and I were scrolling through our boring FaceBook home pages when we came across Waynabox, and became extremely intrigued. So, by now you’re probably wondering, what exactly is Waynabox? Well, Waynabox is a spanish company that offers weekends away for only 150€ each, a fixed price, including flights and accommodation, and the best part, the destination is a surprise!  (At the moment they only offer their service from 3 airports, Madrid, Barcelona and Malaga, but they are working hard to expand their options.)

The company offers you a list of 12 european destinations, one of which you can remove from the list free of charge (maybe you’ve already been there or just don’t fancy it) and randomly chooses your destination for you, which you don’t find out until 2 days before your travels! Seeing as we are both extremely indecisive travel addicts, we thought, why not give it a go? So thats exactly what we did. Impatiently, in the middle of a lecture at uni, we booked our Waynabox getaway. Our destination options were: Paris, Geneva, Frankfurt, Tangier, Brussels, London, Dublin, Cologne, Lisbon, Budapest and Turin.

After booking I started having my doubts… 3 days, what if our flights are terrible and we only really get a full day or a day and a half? What if our hotel is in the middle of nowhere and we have to spend a fortune on transport to the city? And all I can say is boy was I wrong!

On Wednesday at 12:00pm, 2 days before our getaway, as promised, we received an email from Waynabox announcing our destination of travel: FRANKFURT! I was so excited as I had never been to Germany. Included in the email were our flight details, the hotel booking and a guide to the city. The flights were great, flying early Friday morning at 7:00am and returning late Sunday evening at 20:00pm and the hotel was right in the city centre, in front of the central station.

Overall, our experience with Waynabox was perfect, they were extremely professional and I don’t have a bad word to say about their service. WATCH THIS SPACE FOR MY REVIEW OF FRANKFURT! 

Waynabox.