Bolivia: Why you shouldn’t miss out Sucre

La Paz and the Salt Flats – that is the basic itinerary for most travellers to Bolivia that we met along the way – yet Bolivia is such a diverse country and what better way to see a slice of its history than by visiting its capital?

Sucre is so small compared to the giant La Paz, however it has a lovely charm and it would be easy to spend a few days to weeks roaming its streets. In comparison to La Paz, Sucre and Uyuni are much safer places to visit and I never once felt uneasy there.

We arrived at the bus station in Sucre and bargained for a taxi – 50p each for a 30 minute taxi journey – okay..? It turned out our taxi driver had no dashboard – it was on the wrong side of the car and didn’t work and he had to wind the windows down to be able to open the doors. We shared the ride with two Swiss guys, who informed us that they had just quit their stressful jobs and felt liberated – of course they were teachers (ha!). The car managed to get there in one piece to our hotel! Welcome to Sucre…


Despite the rather crazy taxi journey, Sucre is home to beautiful colonial architecture and museums which are well worth visiting. The Museo del tesoro on the main square is worth a visit if you are interested in the history of mining precious metals in Bolivia and its jewellery. We arrived just after the museum opened in the morning and received a private tour of the museum included in our ticket.

On our first morning however, we left our hotel to the sounds of a procession of some kind in the street. Bolivia really likes brass bands, especially with processions we found out during our trip.


Just a procession, in the street, holding up the traffic, totally normal…

We spent just one day in Sucre which we felt was sufficient – but it is worth visiting the most beautiful city in Bolivia!

Japan Series: Tranquility in Tokyo

How to describe Tokyo in three words? Massive, dazzling, overwhelming. Tranquility ain’t normally one of them!

This was certainly not the case either, when I woke up at 3am on the first night and the room shook for 3 seconds – yes, that was an earthquake! It was only a 2.0 so was not horrific but earthquakes are common in Japan.

As a first-time traveller to the country, Tokyo was really something. I have never been in a city comparable in size to it. The scale of Tokyo only began to unravel when I gazed out through the window in the Government Building tower one night. So. Big. (this is a great way to see the city day or night for free by the way!).

gov building view.jpg

Still, despite the hustle and bustle of city life, stuffed metro carriages and huge zebra crossings, there are pockets of calm in the form of gardens and shrines that slow down the pace.

Meiji Shrine is one of them. It is currently being renovated in time for the 2020 Olympics, so I did not see her in her true glory, but the size and beauty of the surrounding area is so serene, only a stones’ throw away from Harajuku.

Hamarikyu Gardens, a 40-minute ferry-ride away from the beautiful yet touristy Asakusa temple, is such a tranquil spot to appreciate natural beauty surrounded by the cityscape. The gardens do not hide from the skyscrapers and modern buildings, rather they embrace them. The tea rooms here gave me my first experience of Japanese green tea and wagashi (sweets).




Asakusa and my first sight of sakura!! (cherry blossom)




On my final day, I braced the area of Shinjuku on my own, clutching my phone with the GPS on, using Harrie’s trusty portable wifi, stashed in my bag, to go to the Shinjuki Gyoen (Gardens). These gardens were massive and only 200 yen to enter. It took me a good 2 hours to walk the length and breadth of this place, but it did not feel anywhere near as magical as the last two places. My only guess is that this is just such a huge area and they simply don’t have the means to truly care for every corner of it. It did feel like it wasn’t looking its best, or maybe I just have high expectations. Either way, it is a great way to spend some time away from the faced-paced city, whilst still in the center of it.

This city really threw me in the deep-end as my first stop on my whirlwind trip to Japan. Despite all that, it was exhilarating and totally different to anywhere I have been before.


What do you think of Tokyo? Let me know in the comments!



Berlin: Highlights

It’s been two months since my wonderful trip to Berlin and yes, I am feeling slightly guilty for not having posted this earlier…

The work/eat/sleep/repeat lifestyle sucked me back in for a while, and then the Easter holidays happened (yay!), I feel alive and inspired again. I was also so, so lucky and managed to experience a whole new country: Japan. I can’t wait to share that with you, it was a truly incredible country. My only regret was having to come home! But first things first…

Berlin Highlights

The low-down:

Your euros can go a long way in Germany’s capital! The majority of my highlights cost us a grand totaly of 0€. Berlin was, shockingly, a very affordable city to visit; I completely over-budgeted and have leftover euros I will have to spend at some point in the future.

There are so many places worth visiting to discover the diverse and rich culture and history of Germany’s capital. After 6 days, there was still so much more to see, but we will have to wait for our next trip. Luckily, Berlin in summer has a completely different vibe, so I look forward to experiencing the city without frozen limbs in February..!

If you still need to catch up on the first post in this series, you may find it here:  Berlin, Berlin!

Brandenburg Gate at night

This photo pretty much speaks for itself. It was a great view! In summer, I believe there is a nice park to explore just behind it.

Recommended duration of visit: 15-30 minutes


Brandenburg Gate

Look down

Berlin has its fair share of rooftop bars, but on a rainy day, Monkey Bar was a nice way to shelter from the rain/cold while spying on some of the Zoo’s inhabitants below!

Recommended duration of visit: Under 1 hour


Monkey Bar, view of the Berlin Zoo

Jewish Museum

I highly recommend the Jewish Museum which was nothing short of an experience. The exhibits to the architecture of the building were really powerful and thought-provoking.

Recommended duration of visit: 1-2 hours


Jewish Museum

Walk, just walk

The public transport in Berlin was really impressive, and we were able to get anywhere by bus, tram, or U-Bahn/S-Bahn so easily. What I really loved though was getting off in a neighbourhood and just exploring.



Berlin streets

The Holocaust Memorial

This is free so there is no excuse not to do it. There is an indoor exhibit underground, below the memorial which has a collection of a range of testimonials and collections from victims and survivors of the Shoah.

Recommended duration of visit: 1 hour


Holocaust Memorial

Visit the Bundestag

The roof terrace and dome of the Reichstag Building offer great views of the city. A free audio guide is also included (who doesn’t love a free audio guide?) which lets you brush up on your knowledge of the Reichstag Building and its surroundings, the German Bundestag, the work of Parliament, and the sights you can see as you walk up and around the dome.

Remember to book in advance online to be able to take advantage of this free activity!

Recommended duration of visit: Under 1 hour

berlin1Walk the Berlin Wall memorial

The East Side Gallery is an interesting walk where you can see the open air art ‘gallery,’ but to better comprehend what life was like during this time, The Berlin Wall Memorial, located on Bernauer Strasse, gives a powerful insight into this historic moment. It highlights what this particular street and its residents experienced divided by the Berlin Wall.  It gives visitors an impression of the fortifications on the Eastern side but also the events which took place there. I recommend visiting during the evening which is when we went; the darkness envelopes your surroundings, allowing you to visualise what this street might have looked like not so long ago.

Another interesting exhibition nearby which is worth seeing is the Ghost Stations Exhibition, “Border Stations and Ghost Stations in Divided Berlin,” which can be viewed at Nordbahnhof S-Bahn station. It gives an idea of how the underground transport system worked during the Berlin Wall.

Recommended duration of visit: 1 hour


Kaiser Wilhelm Memorial Church

One of my colleagues encouraged me to ‘go to the church, which has stained glass everywhere – it is really beautiful to look at.’ Not a lot to go on, but luckily my friend Kam, who I was visiting, knew exactly what my colleague was talking about – the Kaiser Wilhelm, Memorial Church. This Church, was built in 1959-1963 in what was West Berlin, after the original 19th-century church was bombed during WWII. . The damaged spire of the old church remains, which is adjacent to the new-build and its ground floor has been made into a memorial hall (which is so beautiful!!). It’s free to enter both and it’s really amazing to see the new and old standing harmoniously together.

Recommended duration of visit: 30 minutes




What are your Berlin highlights? Let me know in the comments!


How I fell head over heels for Berlin

After 5 months of zero travel, it felt strange packing my bags and heading to the airport for February half term to the German capital. A week away was refreshing, and I had missed that sense of adventure, discovering a new city and all it had to offer.

In this post I am going to give an overview of my trip, sharing the best of accommodation, transport, the costs and the wonderful food. Next post: Berlin Highlights



Meeting me at the other end was one of my closest friends who I hadn’t seen since our Graduation last July, and also my boyfriend who arrived on a separate flight.

My friend Kam has been studying in Berlin for the last six months, learning German and exploring Berlin, which is much more exciting than what I have been up to, training to teach. We were lucky enough to visit restaurants, bars and sites we would never have found had we been traveling without her – even with our beloved TripAdvisor app.


My boyfriend and I booked an Airbnb apartment for the trip and we were both thrilled with it. At £30 each a night, we had our own flat with full amenities, steps from the tram, in the hip area of Prenzauer Berg in what was part of ‘East Berlin’ – I can’t get over how hipster this area is! We booked the accommodation ourselves but fate happened that we were staying on the very same street as Kam Albeit, it was a very long street and she was 5 stops away on the tram. Still, this was great as we could co-ordinate meeting up much easier than if we were staying on the other side of the city.

Berlin is not pretty

it is intriguing, has a profoundly interesting and distressing history, it carries a sense of being liberal and slightly rebellious. It is a city of contrasts and its streets are museums in their own right.

6 days in the city gave us enough time to ‘see’ the sights and also to begin to get a feel for the place. At the start of the week, I decided that Berlin was not for me; grimy, so hipster at times that I couldn’t cope, it even reminded me a bit of Budapest which I enjoyed but was not my favourite city, and it was cold. After a few days it really grew on me though. It is a very livable city.

There are three aspects which we enjoyed most about Berlin; it is affordable, the public transport system is great and possibly the most important thing – the food was so good.

It’s an an affordable city

Aside from the cost of flights, accommodation and a 42€ Berlin transport pass, six days in Berlin only cost 100€ for all food, drink and touristy things. We were not very thrifty as we ate out every lunchtime and evening. I came back with quite a few euros to spare which hardly ever, ahem, never happens.


We paid the 42€ for a 6-day transport pass for all tram, bus, U-Bahn and S-Bahn travel in Berlin. This I would highly recommend as we relied heavily on public transport to get around. The transport was always punctual and even had services which run through the night. Moreover, there are no ticket barriers or staff checking passengers for valid tickets. So different to what I know in the UK. There is a sense of trust that people do not abuse the system, however I am sure that there are those that do. Of course, I could have got away with buying no ticket for the entire trip as I never had to show mine, but it is not worth it as you can be charged a heavy fine. Also, as the transport is of such good quality, its worth buying to ensure that this continues.

Delicious food and drink

The three of us agreed that we did not eat one bad meal all week. We discovered wonderful homemade pizzas for 3.90€ that were so good, we went back to the Pizzeria for more on our final night. We discovered a chic cocktail bar in West Berlin, where you have to ring a doorbell to be let in. Berlin does excellent burgers, as we found at Shisho. Beat the queue and spend an hour at the Monkey Bar in the early afternoon and have a birds-eye view over the Berlin Zoo. Or for a more affordable option, visit Bikini Berlins rooftop view next door for a free showing!

Is Berlin on your bucket list?

Robyn Bobbing has won a Leibster Award!

All my thanks goes towards Jordan from Global Debauchery for nominating me! The Liebster Award is awarded to bloggers by other award winners, in an effort to recognize up-and-coming talent in the blogging community. They are also an incentive to network, provide exposure and build a supportive online community.

Robyn Bobbing Around’s 11 Nominator Questions:

  • Tell us a little about yourself.

My name is Robyn, I’m 21 and currently studying Modern Languages at unviersity in the UK. I like travel, yoga, sunny weather and I have a gorgeous black cat called Blackie.

  • What’s your blog about and why was it started?

My blog is predominantly a travel blog where I share my adventures around the UK and abroad. It originally started as a Year Abroad blog for a university outreach scheme but as the blog began to grow, I too began to grow so fond of it. I decided that I did not wish to part with it after the year was over, and here we are.

  • When were you officially bitten by the travel bug? What was the inspiration?

I don’t recall when it began, I have always had an interest in travel. When I was younger, my family and I mostly spent our summers on the Costa Blanca, where I would read a lot, swim and walk along the beach. They were very much relaxing holidays and cultivated within me a sense that Spain is a second-home, something I still feel today. Perhaps, the school trips arouund mainland Greece and to Rome really instilled upon me a desire to travel to historical and cultural centers, which is my main travel interest now. I have not had a beach holiday in 5 years, I just love cultural breaks.

  • What was your last trip? What was your favorite part?

My last trip was to Budapest at New Year. My favourite moment was seeing Die Fledamaus at the Opera. It’s so affordable to get great seats at the opera in Budapest, compared to what you can get for the same price in London.

  • Do you have any specific travel “goals?” If so, what are they?

Before I turn 30, I hope to step on the African continent (where to go first though?!), return to South America (Ecuador, Brazil at the top), go to Japan and travel a bit around India. I have more long term buck list destinations, but I will get there when I get there.

  • What’s your favorite part of traveling (culture, people, nature, etc.)? Why?

That’s a tricky one. My favourite part of traveling is definitely the culture; understanding how other people live, attempting to speak the language(s), and of course, eating the delicous cuisine. Still, the people I meet and spend the experience with can make it or break it -my Birthright Trip around Israel in 2014 is so memorable because of the people I spent it with. I love nature, and that is why Iceland is my number one destination, it has such outstanding natural beauty.

  • Any travel disasters? Please elaborate.

Luckily, I don’t think I have had any of them yet. Bad experiences? A fair few. Looking back on them now they’re quite amusing to recall, but they were far from it at the time. An interesting one would be when I was hiking the Salkantay Trek in Peru. I hadn’t acclimitased well to the high altitude as it was still the first day and within a few hours of hking, there I was, lying on the top of a mountain in South America with an oxygen mask over my face, while everyone else was sat having lunch. Not a great start, but I should add, that I did finish, so not a disaster – just the most physically challenging thing I have ever done.

  • Tell me about the most interesting person you’ve met while traveling.

I met a fascinating man when I was a a hostel in Porto last summer. He was a peregrino for the Camino de Santiago. He had spent the previous 8 weeks walking on several routes to Santiago (quite a long time). He then had walked from Santiago down to Porto. It was so interesting to learn about his experiences; how he tested his endurance, the people he met, how he was received by others on the road. The Camino in general is an amazing thing to do and it was the first time I had ever met a peregrino.

  • Have you ever had an epiphany on your travels? Do tell.

On my Year Abroad last year, I would often have the feeling of gratitude and amazement of how lucky I was to be living in such a beautiful part of the world at that given moment. However, whether that was gazing at the snow-capped mountains in Perpignan, marvelling at the beauty of the Plaza Mayor in Salamanca or admiring the views over Lisbon at one its many miradouros, I cannot tell you.

  • What’s the most adventurous thing you’ve done while traveling?

Iceland has to win this. Snorkelling in the Silfra fissure between tectonic plates in 2°c water? Spectacular but my body did not appreciate the numbing sensation from such cold conditions. Hiking on a glacier in Skaftafell was exhilarating – looking down the crevasses to the dangerous abyss below…

  • What’s your next trip? What are you most looking forward to on it?

My next trip is in the next few weeks at Easter. I’m going to Amsterdam and Brussels with my housemate, Kam. Looking forward to seeing Brussels from a local’s perspective (Kam’s from there) and stocking up on lots and lots of delicious Belgian chocolate. Also, admiring the tulips at the Keukenhof Festival in the Netherlands.

Robyn Bobbing Around’s Nominees

Congratulations to my nominees! Please click around and visit their sites to support them.

Frogs Legs and Vodka Dregs

Andorin’a Travels


Charlotte’s Web

Joycelyn: Aspiring Grown Up

5903 miles

Robyn Bobbing Around’s 11 Nominee Questions:

Okay guys, your 11 questions are below. Enjoy and make the most of it. I’m looking forward to reading everyone’s answers! Thanks for taking part.

  • Share an interesting fact about yourself.
  • What motivated you to start your blog?
  • If you were to receive an all-expense paid trip for you and a friend for two weeks, where would your first choice be and why?
  • What helps you to relax?
  • If you could be fluent in one other language in addition to the ones you already know, which would you choose and why?
  • Do you have some sort of bucket list (travel/life experiences/goals)? What are your top three?
  • Have you read a book that has been especially influential on you? Please tell.
  • What is the one thing about yourself that you’re most proud of and why?
  • What is one thing you can’t leave home without?
  • Is there a craft or hobby you would like to learn how to do?
  • Tell me where you are now and where you’re going next!

Happy blogging!


Budapest: New Year’s 2016

Hi everyone, it’s been a while. Things have been busy since I last posted – busy in a good way. The Christmas holidays have flown by and uni starts again on Monday for my final ever semester at university; I cannot believe I just said that!

Not only have the holidays happened, but I have accepted an offer for Teacher Training starting in September to teach Modern Languages. I had originally intended to spend a year working in Spain but it turns out I will be sticking to South Yorkshire for a bit longer instead! Quite a few of my friends are making plans to do Masters programmes abroad, so it will be an amazing excuse for me to travel to new far-flung places in the near future. I also passed my Literacy and Numeracy Tests required for my course; passing the Numeracy Test was such a relief, as I had not studied Maths in over 5 years and calling my Maths skills ‘rusty’ was an understatement! I even found a place to live starting in July AND booked an exciting 4-week trip with my boyfriend to South-East Asia in the summer! It’s all a-go at this end as you can see, now I just need to keep my head down and get my degree in the run-up to all this excitement.

One word to describe my trip to Budapest at New Year would be: freezing! Well, it was more than that as it was below-freezing. It would have helped if it had been slightly warmer, but we knew what we were getting into when we were going. At least our hotel offered free hot drinks until 5pm, so we drank copeous amounts of delicious hot lemonade every day! We thoroughly enjoyed the trip however I must admit that it was not as good as my three weeks in Poland in 2014. Poland has a special place in my heart and I could not help but compare the two destinations. We also found that the locals were not too friendly with tourists; very polite but they would not go out of their way to make you feel welcome. Also, despite researching what to expect for New Year’s Eve, we were disappointed as we found very little had been organised (edit: nothing had been organised). We ended up returning to the hotel before 1am in time to watch London’s firework displays on the BBC! A bit of a disappointment? Totally.

Despite all this, what stands out in Budapest is its fascinating history and architecture in its two distinctive sides – Pest and Buda -it is great walking around the city and soaking up the grand buildings all around.


St. Stephen’s Basilica, Pest


Mattias Church next to The Fisherman’s Bastion

We especially enjoyed the Jewish Quarter for its mazing restaurants and visiting the Dohány Street Synagogue, the largest synagogue in Europe. It is a beautiful building, however it is a harrowing place to visit; the Synagogue carries strong Holocaust links which are impossible to ignore. Next to the Synagogue is a cemetary which holds 2,000 victims from the Budapest Ghetto. The area where the cemetary now stands was originally intended to be used as a park where people could relax; the local community had such high hopes for the future and yet it would never come to fruitition, just despair and pain.

IMG_2860 (2)

Dohány Street Synagogue


Night at The Opera (we went twice!)

One of the major highlights was going to the Opera twice (we love the opera) to see La Bohème and Die Fledermaus (The Bat). The Opera in Budapest is significantly cheaper than the one in London and was a major reason why we wanted to visit Budapest in winter rather than the summer. We have become accustomed to sitting at the very back, watching the stage, squinting our eyes through opera glasses, but in Budapest we were able to book our very own box for La Bohème and seats in the Stalls for Die Fledermaus – a luxury we had not indugled in until this trip! I was looking forward to La Bohème as I love the musical RENT which is based off this particular opera, but it was impossibly depressing, to be honest. Die Fledermaus was not my choice of opera as I did not know much about it, but it turned out to be the better of the two and was absolutely hilarious. The sets were so impressive that the audience clapped just for their grandeur – they were that good! It was also sung in Hungarian which was special as it is normally sung in German outside of Hungary.

The Terror Museum was our museum of choice after Buda Castle and I would recommend all who visit Budapest to come here to better understand the city’s difficult past. It is absolutely harrowing to visit and frustrating to learn that very little aid was given to the Hungarians before, during and after WWII. To learn about the insufferable misery and pain that the Nazi and Soviet occupations had on Hungary is difficult to take in. Post-war Europe was not ready or prepared to take on Russia after the war, and left the Eastern block helpless for decades of surpression. Each room provides A4 print-outs with detailled information on various parts of life in Hungary during the Occupations with many audio-visual documentaries and objects. The building itself is significant as it was used as the SS Headquarters during the War which then passed over to the Soviets for a similar purpose.


After staying out late in the cold on New Year’s Eve, it was absolutely wonderful to go to the Szécheny Thermal Baths on New Year’s Day! However, it seems the entire population of Budapest had the same idea, so we were lucky to have pre-booked online or we would have been refused entry. The thermal pools were so soothing on our achey, cold bones. When visiting Iceland’s Blue Lagoon, I had complained that I felt the changing rooms and seating areas were lacking as there was so much overcrowding – well, since going to to Szécheny Baths, I retract that statement and can confirm it was even worse in Budapest. Firstly, upon arrival, there are so many queues around the building and very little information as to what you are queueing for. As we had Fast-Track access, we had to join a smaller queue (thank goodness!), but were there signs anywhere for this? Of course not. I would recommend paying for the Private Cabins as you can change in privacy and keep your belongings in there instead of getting a locker, but you may have to wait a while for one to become available. Not only this, but there is no a one-way in and out system. So where everyone walks in with their muddy shoes, you have to walk back through in bare feet/flip-flops. Gross. Bring flip-flops! I really regret not bringing any. Walking around outside between pools was freezing as it was, and then there was the grit they had thrown everywhere on the floor which made it even worse! Nevertheless, you cannot come to Budapest and not go to the Thermal Baths. In the outside pool, we found a lazy river, and spent so much time whirling around in there which was fun.

On our final day we spotted a Cat Café where I accidently spent two hours with the cats. Great place; I turned out to be very popular with two particular felines and everyone on neighbouring tables was jealous as one sat on me twice!


All in all, hats off to Budapest, a fascinating city and a great start to 2016.



Reykjavik Photo Diary and 1-Day Itinerary

Reykjavik is the world’s northernmost capital. The name means ‘smoky-bay’ in Icelandic and it’s where 60% of the country’s population live. Sheffield may be Europe’s greenest city, but Reykjavik is the greenest city in the world! It was a charming place to start our week-long trip to the country, but instead of talking about it, let’s just experience it:

(Scroll down to see 1-Day Itinerary)

Hallgrímskirkja Church

Hallgrímskirkja Church

View from Hallgrímskirkja church tower

View from Hallgrímskirkja church tower

Inside Hallgrímskirkja church

Inside Hallgrímskirkja church

View from Hallgrímskirkja church tower

View from Hallgrímskirkja church tower


Rainbow Road from Reykjavik PRIDE in August 2015


Inside the Harpa

Inside the Harpa

Outside the Harpa

Outside the Harpa

Inside the Harpa

Inside the Harpa

Inside the Harpa

Inside the Harpa

The Sun Voyager sculpture

The Sun Voyager sculpture

Interior of Café Babalú

Interior of Café Babalú. Their cakes and cookies are great. Don’t forget to go to the upstairs bathroom and write something in the Visitor’s Book while on the toilet…


Mexican Vegetable Soup in an Irish Pub… in Iceland


This cat has made it in life: sleeping on a woolly jumper in a clothes shop window


What colour do you prefer? I like the blue on the far left.

We arrived in Iceland on the evening of Thursday 3rd September 2015. After a delayed flight, we took the FlyBus Shuttle Service (1 hour) straight to our hostel in Reykjavik city center where we were staying for two nights.

We had one full day on the Friday to explore the city before we got our hire car to explore the Golden Circle and Southern Iceland. Look below to find our itinerary for the day:

Our 1-Day Reykjavik Itinerary:

  • Picked up food for breakfast at a supermarket across the road instead of hostel (to save money!)
  • Hallgrímskirkja Church. Entrance fee to go up the tower: 800ISK (worth going up)
  • Walk around historic center
  • Budget Lunch @ Celtic Cross: soup in bread bowl (delicious). 1490ISK
  • Marvel at the incredible architecture in the Harpa Concert Hall
  • Walk along the habour and then see the Sun Voyager Sculpure
  • Reykjavik Photography Museum: a small museum above the library with some collections by local photograhers
  • Aurora Reykjavik (recommend) 1200ISK. A small interactive museum to find out about the myths and scientific explanations behind the Northern Lights. We didn’t get to see the real thing during our trip though but there was an area where it gave advice on how to take pictures of the Northern Lights on a DSLR which was useful for whenever I do get to see them…
  • Café Babalú (highly recommend) for cake and a hot drink
  • Budget Dinner @ Noodle Station for dinner (highly recommend). Chicken noodle soup: 1420ISK. Vegetable and beef soups also available
  • Accommodation: Hlemmur Square hostel

What are your thoughts on Reykjavik?