Holiday in the Sun

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Since my husband and I are in the thick of winter here in Northern Europe, the choice to fly south for our next destination was all too easy. London’s cold and bitter temperatures were making us absolutely crave the sun, and what better place to soak it all up than in beautiful Lisbon, Portugal? Lisbon is located in Portugal right along the coast of the Atlantic Ocean, making it the farthest place that we have traveled to from London thus far. Coming here was a bit of a question mark because it seemed like hardly anyone we knew had ever been to Portugal before, and we once again felt a little out of our element. There ended up being no reason to worry about the unknown because this sunny city in my opinion is truly one of Europe’s hidden gems! Although not a common stop for travelers in Europe, Lisbon sure was popular with us easily making it one of our most memorable (and warmest!) trips yet.

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As soon as we stepped off the plane in Portugal, we instantly knew we had picked a good one. The weather was absolutely gorgeous and we couldn’t have asked for anything better, especially in the beginning of December! My overall first impression of Lisbon was how highly laid-back and relaxing it was. Our travels around Europe have been so fun and exciting, but none have been anywhere close as relaxing and stress-free like Lisbon. It was so refreshing to finally take things slow and enjoy the calm culture that the city had to offer. We really wanted to spend all of our time in the sunshine, so we took the metro (super easy to use) into the center and main square known as Praca do Comercio. This area felt like the heart of the city and included landmarks such as the Rue Augusta Arch which is surrounded by streets loaded with awesome shopping. Our favorite part of the square had to be the stone steps that led right into the ocean, it was so peaceful and inviting! 

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Step right in!

From Praca do Comercio, we walked a little bit further to up the hill to visit the Castle of Sao JorgeThis Castle dates clear back to the medieval century and is now a popular tourist attraction that offers scenic views of the entire city. On our way up to the castle (bit of a hike up) we stopped by to see the Lisbon Cathedral which offers free admission, and is worthwhile to spend time admiring the beauty of the Portuguese architectural style. I have mentioned before that in Europe, no two castles are the same, and this too goes for cathedrals. No matter how many castles and cathedrals you see, it really just never gets old! We continued on from the cathedral and up to the main castle entrance. We were super pleased that they accepted our student IDs making it only 4 Euros per person. We immediately were wowed by the incredible views we saw of Lisbon from here. Nothing can make you appreciate a place more than sitting back and enjoying a good overlook. There are plenty of things to explore inside the castle, and be sure to climb the towers to get even better views.

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Lisbon 12-1After all that exploring, we weren’t exactly looking forward to walking back down to the city. Thankfully they have a tram that runs from the top of the castle and into the city center. We had heard earlier before that taking tram 28 is the perfect way to fully see all of the historic sites well-known to Lisbon. We jumped right on to an old-fashioned trolley that reminded us a little bit of the trolleys found in San Francisco. It was definitely a fun ride and possibly the best way to see the downtown area without all that walking. It was so neat to look at all the bright-colored buildings with red-roofed tops! All the streets in Portugal are so fun to see and I highly recommend taking tram 28 to observe things you would miss out on by only taking the underground metro.

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For the rest of the afternoon we wanted to spend it in an area in Lisbon known as Belem. Belem is lovely part of Lisbon that includes other main attractions and is located about twenty minutes away from Praca do Comercio. We planned that day to go visit Jeronimos Monastery as well as Belem Tower but learned that if we went the following day we would get in at no cost because it was free museum day! YAY! We quickly made arrangements so that we could go the next day instead. The great thing about Belem is that there are plenty of other things to do, so we continued to check out the area even though we would be going the next day as well. We headed over to see the Monument to the Discoveries which is a massive monument built to honor the Portuguese age of discovery that began during the 15th century. This tribute was magnificent and a stunning surprise of the day. Don’t forget to view the big world map just below the monument.

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Lisbon 20-1One of the main reasons why we loved Portugal so much was for the FOOD, and in particular their popular specialties of Bitoque and custard tarts. Bitoque is a typical authentic meal served in Portugal that consists of homemade fries, white rice, and steak with a fried egg on top. We had this meal our first night in Lisbon and about died because of how delicious it was. My husband was so infatuated in fact, that he ordered it for dinner every night the rest of the trip (every man’s dream meal). We had some in Belem that day that was pretty delightful but our favorite version of it was at a little restaurant near our hotel called Mr. Papas. Please do yourself a favor and go there, we were beyond impressed! The custard tarts are also famous in Portugal, and are like a mini creme brûlée which happens to be my favorite dessert… like ever. There was a great spot in Belem we found that is supposed to be the best place in town. It was called Pasteis de Belem and they were also quite affordable as is most of the food in Portugal. Be sure to take note that Yelp! is non-existent in Lisbon so if you need a website to find good meals, then I would recommend using TripAdvisor which was very helpful for us.

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I think my husband is going through Bitoque withdrawals already.

We finished the day by eating our goodies and watching the sun go down (one of our favorite things to do these days) over Belem.

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Just as planned, the following day we took the tram and made our way back out to Belem again. Free museum days are the best, the only problem is that they tend to be pretty busy and this was indeed the case on the day that we went. But what can you expect when things are free?! We first went to Jeronimos Monastery which was really enchanting to marvel over the ornate gothic architecture. There was a great big and beautiful cathedral inside that is also worth seeing. After spending quite some time admiring the inside of the monastery, we walked a little further down the water to see the iconic Belem Tower. This tower along with the monastery are considered a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Although very appealing on the outside, I have to admit that we weren’t completely blown-away by our tour inside Belem Tower. It was literally just an empty tower which was completely overcrowded making it impossible to get around, and the views were just ok. We were sure glad that we didn’t have to pay anything because we felt that the tower was best enjoyed by observing it from the outside.

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I spy with my little eye..

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No, that is not the Golden Gate Bridge, but the 25 de Abril Bridge. It was a little freaky how much Lisbon reminded us of San Francisco! 

Our weekend spent in Portugal was such an enjoyable experience. Lisbon truly has all the key ingredients for a world-class destination and should be a city not to look over when planning your next European getaway. In fact, my husband and I are looking forward to the day when we get to come back during the warmer months and test out the Portuguese beaches that looked absolutely beautiful. Until next time…

                                       The Savvy Suitcase Top 3 Picks:

                           1. Portuguese Food. MUST try Bitoque & a custard tart.

                           2. Belem. A beautiful area of the city with lots to do.

                           3. Castle of Sao Jorge. Fantastic views of Lisbon.

Thanks for stopping by!

xoxo

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Portobello Road & St. Pancras

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I cannot believe that it has now been almost 6 months since my husband and I first moved to London and started our big adventure abroad! While we have spent a good chunk of our time traveling all throughout Europe, London has truly felt like home to us and we have absolutely loved living our life together here. I’ll be starting to cover more details about the best things to do, see, and eat in the city, but for this post I wanted to showcase two of our very favorite places in London.

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A few weeks ago I was approached by an extremely talented photographer friend of mine to collaborate on a shoot around the city of my favorite spots, and Portobello Market and St. Pancras Station instantly came to mind! My husband and I often find ourselves shopping down famous Portobello Road for some of the best vintage shopping and modern eateries. While we have been traveling, we also always find ourselves catching a train at beautiful St. Pancras which happens to be one of my favorite buildings in London! We really have enjoyed being able to have some professional photos to remember this chapter of our life here in London. Be sure to check out JKB Young Photography to see more of her amazing work (seriously though, she is outstanding!). All photos in this post are done by JKB Young Photography. 

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Fletcher-64Fletcher-91Fletcher-95I hope everyone has a fabulous weekend!

xoxo

Falling for Florence

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As I mentioned last week in a post about Rome, my time during that trip was also spent visiting another historically significant city known as Florence, Italy. Recognized by the Italians as Firenze, Florence is the capital city of the Tuscany region and is considered to be the birthplace of the Renaissance during the middle ages. Countless famous artists studied here including greats like Michelangelo, Botticelli, Leonardo da Vinci, and Dante Alighieri (my all-time favorites). I cannot even begin to tell you just how excited I was about getting the chance to go here! Florence is every art-lover’s dream, and seeing and discovering it for myself truly felt like stepping back in time to the magical era of the Renaissance.

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Starting from Rome, My husband and I together travelled by speed train on Trenitalia (highly recommended) about an hour north to Florence. We always enjoy taking the train to fully appreciate the lovely views of the countryside when traveling, and Tuscany was particularly beautiful to see. As we arrived at the train station we checked in to our hotel and immediately set out to explore the most prominent building that dominates the Florentine skyline…  The Florence Cathedral. More commonly called “Il Duomo”, the cathedral incorporates a series of structures including the main Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore, Brunelleschi’s Dome, Giotto’s Bell Tower, the Baptistry, the Crypt, and the Gallery of the Opera del Duomo (museum). It was absolutely incredible to see every inch of these buildings both inside and out. I feel like it would be a crime to ever skip out on doing this, even the website says “If you haven’t seen this, you haven’t seen Florence” and I couldn’t agree more! There is plenty of ground to cover here and I strongly suggest to plan on saving an entire day to look at it all. We spent a good few hours going through every part because there really is just so much to see. The ticket office is located in Giotto’s Bell Tower and costs only 10 Euro per person which is quite the steal when you consider all that is included.

Florence 2-1First, we hiked up the Duomo to see Vasari’s massive fresco (inside), and views from on top of the dome. Both were breathtaking.

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If your legs aren’t completely numb then you can also climb Giotto’s Tower which offers fantastic views of the dome itself. 

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Experiencing the Cathedral that day was utterly exhausting but completely worth it. That evening we somehow managed to find the energy to head around the corner to the famous San Lorenzo Leather Market. If this market hadn’t been so fantastic we probably wouldn’t have had the strength to walk up and down the streets. But the San Lorenzo Market is literally the BEST market shopping I have seen in Europe! We are usually too busy seeing the sites to really shop at the cities we go to, but here? We definitely shopped until we dropped. They have some of the best quality-made leather goods for the most reasonable prices. Leather purses, jackets, belts, and wallets, they really do have it all. I almost think that it would be impossible to go through the market without wanting to buy something. Be sure to barter with the salesmen to get even better deals. We ended our fun-filled day that evening with delicious authentic pizza from a tasty little restaurant La Bottega del Pizzaiolo. In Florence, we literally ate pizza for every meal! There are plenty of great pizza places around and I’m pretty sure that you can’t go wrong no matter where you go. Don’t forget to have gelato for dessert.

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Knock off Celine bags anyone?

The following morning for us was museum day, and we couldn’t think of a better way to start it off than by seeing Michelangelo’s iconic masterpiece, The David. You can see the sculpture by visiting the Galleria dell’Accademia just north from the Duomo. My husband and I were both completely blown away by the sheer size and beauty of the David. We stood there for almost an hour just observing the pure perfection of one of the world’s most incredible works of art. The David is by far the most amazing sculpture I have ever seen. Photos are not allowed in the museum, but it doesn’t matter because no pictures could ever do the David justice! There is nothing like seeing it in person for yourself and viewing that statue for the first time was probably my favorite moment in Florence.

Florence 15-1From there we continued with the artistic theme of the day by heading next to the Uffizi Gallery which is the centerpiece museum of the city. Various historic works of art are shown including well-known paintings like The Birth of Venus (Botticelli), The Annunciation (Da Vinci), and Madonna of the Goldfinch (Raphael). These are just a few standouts from an impressive collection of some of the world’s oldest pieces of art. The price for both the Uffizi and Accademia were not ideal, but we have found that most museums/sites in Italy are this way (not much you can do about that). Seeing this museum left us feeling super cultured but super tired. Huge museums can often be a little overwhelming so be sure to check out the highlights so you aren’t just wandering around aimlessly. As we finished the tour we stepped right out to the Arno River to relax and enjoy some great views of Florence’s most famous bridge, The Ponte Vecchio.

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Going across Ponte Vecchio was a little crazy due to the fact that the Florence Marathon was happening throughout all the main streets of the city. We still managed to see some gorgeous views from the bridge and go through all the little jewelry shops on our way over to the other side. I really liked seeing the other side of town which included more main attractions including Pitti Palace and the beautiful The Boboli Gardens. I have to admit that before going to Florence I read Dan Brown’s latest book Inferno, which takes place in Florence and covers all the different landmarks. It’s a little nerdy, but I learned all about the city before going which made exploring around even more enjoyable.

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Our evening was spent watching the most beautiful sunset go down over The Ponte, Vecchio.

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Florence 22-1You know that moment when you arrive somewhere and you feel instantly connected? That was exactly how Florence was for me. It was love at first sight, and everything about this city spoke to me. From the architecture and art, to the history and scenery. Florence was perfection in my eyes. I do hope that I get the chance to go back again to visit one of my most favorite places I have ever been.

                                     The Savvy Suitcase Top 3 Picks:

                           1. Michelangelo’s David. A masterpiece.

                           2. Florence Cathedral. Crown jewel of the city.

                           3. San Lorenzo Leather Market. Such fun shopping.

xoxo

*We recently went to Portugal and I will be covering all about that soon!

When in Rome

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I think everyone can agree that a long stay in Europe would not be complete without a visit to the beautiful country of Italia! There are so many must-see cities that I wanted to check out in Italy, but naturally Rome was my very first pick. Having never been before, my husband and I made a lengthy list of the classic Roman ruins and sites that we needed to see during our stay. In other words, we were on a mission to be the ultimate tourists in Rome! You name it, we wanted to see it. Although it definitely was no easy task to cover in just a few days, we thoroughly enjoyed our busy time spent “Rome”ing around The Eternal City.

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Our very first day in Rome was quite the whirlwind. Our itinerary included seeing what seemed like everything under the sun within the central area of Rome. Fortunately we booked a hotel right by the Spanish Steps, which was close to the Metro and in the middle of all the action. I highly recommend getting a room within the heart of Rome like we did. It may take a lot of researching to find a good one, but it is completely worth being situated within walking distance from all the major sites.

Italy 5-1The first area of the city that we wanted to discover were the iconic Roman ruins including the ColosseumForum, and Palatine Hill. If there is one part of Rome that you need to see, then this is the one! We took an easy Metro ride over and got off at the “Colosseo” stop. As soon as we walked out of the station we were met with the most incredible view of the Colosseum. Currently ranked as one the 7 new wonders of the world, the Colosseum is one of the most magnificent structures ever created. Because we came during the off-season, there was hardly any wait at all to purchase our tickets from the Colosseum booth to tour the landmark. We each paid 12 euros per ticket, which included entrance into the Colosseum, Forum, and Palatine Hill. Apparently there are a bunch of ways to do it, but we found this to be the easiest and most convenient. We noticed a lot of scammers out front trying to offer overpriced tours, faster ways to get in, etc. so I would advise to avoid those if you can. If you do happen to find yourself visiting during the busy season and want to avoid the long line, then I would suggest buying them from the Palatine Hill Office which is a short walk from the Colosseum and a lot less crowded.

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For me, seeing and experiencing the Colosseum was such an amazing spectacle. It is so much more impressive than portrayed in photos, and I couldn’t help but day-dream about what it must have been like to be there during the height of its glory…

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“Are you not entertained?!”

After the Colosseum we walked through The Arch of Constantine and into what remains of the Forum that once served as the imperial city center for the ancient Romans long ago. I was expecting to see just a few columns or fallen over rocks, but was astonished to witness what seemed like an entire city of ruins covering every inch of the vast space. It was so amazing, and one of my favorite things that we did that day. We had so much fun exploring all through the ruins and overlooking the remains from the top of Palatine Hill. One tip I recommend doing before entering is to check out before and after renderings of what the Forum used to look like, and what is left today. You can truly get a greater sense for how glorious the Forum and its surroundings were meant to be during that time.

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If you feel like walking a little further, be sure to check out the Italian Capitol Building. It is really beautiful and offers great views of the Forum. 

We were pretty much starving after that point, so we went back to the Spanish Steps to try out some freshly made pasta off the street. This place was called Pastifico and they had the tastiest homemade pesto and garlic pasta for just only 4 Euros! It was the perfect amount for lunch and gave us more energy to walk down to see the Trevi Fountain and get some gelato. We wanted to experience Trevi Fountain both during the day, and at night. We often do this when sight-seeing because it is magical to see landmarks both ways (don’t forget to throw a coin and make a wish)! Also not too far from the fountain is the incredible Pantheon. It is completely free to tour inside and is one of the most perfectly built structures I have ever seen. The fact that it is still in such good condition today is simply amazing!!!

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We spent a lot of time by the Pantheon strolling along the different streets and alley ways finding some fun shopping. Close to this area is another must-see in Rome which is the Piazza Navona. There are many city squares, but this is the main one complete with pretty fountains and lots of great restaurant options. We decided to eat dinner around the square and dined at the most authentic place, Da Francesco. Our dinner we had here was probably the best meal of our trip. For an appetizer we had a golf ball-sized piece of fresh mozzarella with carbonara and Bolognese for the main courses. All of the ingredients were handmade including the pasta and our waiter was the sweetest little Italian man ever. This place was also super reasonable and it would be such a shame to miss while visiting Rome. We absolutely loved eating REAL Italian food here!

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Italians really do have the most delicious food. Mmmmm…

It never ceases to amaze me how much ground we can cover in just one day sometimes. We were so exhausted by the end of our first day, but it was just the beginning of our little tour of Italy. During the middle of our trip we took the train to spend some time in Florence (which I will be covering in another post soon). After Florence, the last half of our time in Rome was spent visiting the world’s smallest country and heart of the Catholic Church.. Vatican City. This definitely had to be one of the major highlights of our trip as it was so magnificent to experience in person.

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We took the Metro and started our tour at the Vatican Museum. This museum showcases great works of art including Michelangelo’s famous masterpiece, The Sistine Chapel. The only way to actually see the chapel is through the museum and by purchasing tickets to get in. I personally thought the price was a little high, even with our student discount, but it was just one of those things that you have to do whatever it takes to see. I had no clue that Michelangelo actually painted every inch inside the Sistine Chapel. From The Last Judgement, to the Book of Genesis, every fresco he created was painted to perfection. Our necks got sore from looking up at the ceiling because it was so incredible and we could not stop staring! Unfortunately no photos were allowed inside.

Italy 33-1Since the museum was located separate from St. Peter’s Square, we had to walk pretty far to get to the center of it all because we had no idea just how big Vatican City really was! As we made it to the center we got right in line to see the massive and ornate St. Peter’s Basilica (free admission). Again, we were in the off-season so this made the lines move really fast and efficiently. St. Peter’s Basilica was by far the biggest and most grand of all the major cathedrals that we have seen in Europe. I absolutely loved seeing the gorgeous Pieta, and my husband really enjoyed seeing the burial crypts below and in particular the tomb of Peter himself. St. Peter’s was just so stunning, and so was the rest of the square and city. No matter what religion you are, Vatican City is something that cannot be missed when in Rome.

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Phew! I think I covered just about everything that we did during our busy, yet amazing time spent in the city of Rome. Out of all the cities we have seen in Europe, Rome has had the most historic sites and attractions to visit making it one of our favorites. This one is really tough to narrow down, but here is my list of absolute must-sees/do’s when visiting lovely Roma.

                                      The Savvy Suitcase Top 3 Picks:

                       1. Colosseum. A famous world wonder for a reason.

                       2. Food. Pasta, Pizza, Gelato, it is all GOOD!

                       3. Vatican City. Spectacular.

                       4. Pantheon. I had to throw it in, it was so amazing!

Ciao! 🙂

xoxo

*Our next european destination includes a beach! YAY!

Zurich & Lucerne

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On my long list of places to see in the world, Switzerland has always been right at the top. Maybe it’s because I’m a huge sucker for mountain scenery, or the fact that I have grown up going to Swiss festivals (“Swiss Days”) with my family in Utah every year. I have just always had a slight obsession with all things Swiss! The great thing about Switzerland is that it is completely everything you would hope and dream it to be.. and THEN SOME. Switzerland in my opinion, has literally been one of the most outstanding and memorable places that my husband and I have ever been to. And if you don’t believe me, then I’ll just let the pictures do the talking…

Swiss 2-1We started our Swiss adventure by flying into the country’s largest city, Zürich. A few friends had warned us that Zürich is a really expensive place to visit, but we shrugged it off because it seems like just about every city in Europe is as pricey as can be. After getting off the plane we quickly learned that our friends were spot on, and that Zürich is even more expensive than we could have imagined. So expensive in fact, that Zürich is currently ranked as the #2 most expensive city to visit in the world… Yikes! This was really hard for us to stomach at first, but seeing how nice and beautiful the surroundings were definitely helped. It was so intriguing to see the cleanest, most organized, and efficiently run city I have ever seen. It almost felt as if we had stepped into another world of higher living and aside from our wallets, we actually fell in love with it. Luckily, we also found a somewhat reasonable and delicious place for dinner that night at Sternen Grill. They had a schnitzel sandwich with spicy mayo and cabbage that was downright delectable and totally worth the money!

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The airport felt more like a luxury shopping mall!

On day 2 we focused all of our attention on our next stop in Switzerland, which was to visit the lakeside town of Lucerne (Luzern). Starting from Zürich, we took an hour train ride through the lovely green countryside and into Lucerne. We stepped out from the train station to see the most charming Swiss city nestled perfectly alongside Lake Lucerne. It was like seeing something straight from a postcard, and I all wanted to do was take pictures! We quickly checked into our hotel and then went out into the streets eager to spend the rest of the day sightseeing.

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Being the middle of November, we had to get pretty bundled up to stand the brisk weather here. It was definitely cold and overcast in Lucerne, but it wasn’t too different from the cold temperatures we’re used to in London, so we were pretty grateful for that! We really loved strolling through Lucerne because it is such a great walking city and we found it to be quite manageable to walk to each section on foot. We started off by wandering down Chapel Bridge which was built in the beginning of the 14th century and now serves as an icon for the city. Be sure to check out the unique Swiss illustrations inside the bridge! As we walked farther into town we found ourselves at the next site which I really wanted to see.. The Lion Monument. Not only is this stone sculpture breathtaking, but I found the meaning behind the monument to be even more amazing. The lion was carved to commemorate the Swiss guards who were massacred during the French Revolution in 1792. The Swiss felt that the guards so nobly fought and died “like a lion” thus having the dying lion sculpted to represent their heroic efforts.

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Swiss 14-1Swiss 15-1As lunchtime hit, we thought it would be fun to head to the local supermarket in town and grab some freshly made Swiss bread, cheese, salami, and chocolate (a must!) for a picnic. We brought all of our goodies to the top of the Musegg Wall, which is an ancient wall made to protect the city and overlooks all of Lucerne. Not only was it fun to have a picnic, but it also was much more affordable than dealing with a high-priced restaurant! I found Musegg Wall to be one of my favorite landmarks of the day. My husband and I always try to find a good overlook when we travel, and this one was so peaceful and pretty. Another fun part about being by this old wall was to see the Swiss animals behind it! There was a little farm where we stopped by to see some llamas and yaks, which I have never even seen before! Make sure to walk all the way around the wall to get some beautiful views of both sides of the mountain if you go.

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Swiss 22-1We spent the rest of the day checking out the shops and boutiques back in old town. In contrast, lucerne was a little less expensive than Zurich but not by much. We really enjoyed eating all the Swiss chocolate that they were handing out for free. I actually think that I might just like the Swiss chocolate better than Belgian chocolate!! Because we were there over the weekend, they also were having Christmas markets all around the city selling candles, advent calendars, etc. Christmas in Europe is kind of a magical thing to see and I love to learn about how different countries celebrate it!

Swiss 23-1For our last day in Switzerland we saved the best for last. Our entire day was devoted to exploring the magnificent Swiss Alps, and in particular Mt. Rigi. Mt. Rigi is known as the “Queen of the Mountains” and happens to be one of the most massive peaks in all of Switzerland. The amazing thing about Rigi is that modern transportation makes it possible to go all the way up to the tippy top. My husband and I were sooooo excited about doing this! The only downside was that of course it wasn’t exactly the cheapest attraction to do in Lucerne, but how many times in life do you get to go to the top of the Swiss Alps? Our thoughts exactly. We bit the bullet and bought our tickets yearning to see famous Mt. Rigi for ourselves. The journey to actually get to the summit started by taking a boat from Lucerne and across the lake to a place called Vitznau. From there we took a tram/train all the way up the mountain to Rigi. The crazy part about this was that we started at the bottom with overcast and dreary weather, and then went through the clouds to discover sunshine and blue skies!

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Cold and dreary…

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To clear skies. I took both photos within just a few seconds!

Nothing could prepare us for the grandeur we were about to see next. I honestly cannot put into words how breathtakingly beautiful the Alps are…

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It is so crazy to think that the bottom half of the mountains are under all those white clouds! At the top of the Alps we naturally we took advantage of our spectacular surroundings by taking as many photos as humanly possible (while having the time of our lives).

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Swiss 37-1They had a lot of attractions and things you can do at the top of the mountain. They had everything from ski resorts and hotels, to restaurants and spas! Although we wished that the we could have stayed up there forever, at some point we were finally able to take the gondola (instead of the tram) down the mountain and then to catch the boat back to Lucerne.

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Did I post too many pictures again? Oh well… but can you blame me? I think you can tell that my husband and I loved this country. We would go back again and again. It was just so amazing and even though it may have been a little on the pricey side, it is completely worth every single penny. Thank you for the all the incredible memories Switzerland!

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                                        The Savvy Suitcase Top 3 Picks:

                  1. The Swiss Alps. Out of this world!

                  2. Try the Swiss chocolate. I could not get enough.

                  3. Lucerne. An absolute must-see!

Thanks for reading!

xoxo

*We are trying to save our energy for more travels this week!

Staying Savvy in Europe: Travel Tips

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I have been wanting to share some of the travel tips that have really helped my husband and I while we have been touring Europe these past 5 months. I am by no means a travel expert, just a twenty-something American who has learned a thing or two that I think others might find useful! At this point, it seems like we have been on just about every form of transportation available traveling to different cities in Europe almost every weekend. We continue to learn new things (sometimes the hard way) about getting there, keeping things affordable, and making the overall experience easier. I have put down literally everything I can think of that hopefully can help prepare those looking to travel abroad. Here is my categorized list of tried and true travel tips for staying savvy in Europe…

p94-1Finances: 

  • Get a Charles Schwab debit card. They charge ZERO fees for international over-the-counter transactions and ATM withdrawals unlike Wells Fargo, American Express, etc. No gimmicks whatsoever. We easily got it the week before we left and it has completely saved us from horrible transaction fees. I cannot recommend this enough!
  • Before leaving be sure to notify your banks. Let them know what countries you will be traveling to or else they might freeze your account which would not be good.
  • Do not exchange money before leaving. You’ll be hit with much higher exchange rate. Also do not exchange inside airports. Wait until you are at your destination and away from the high rates found in the airport.
  • Be aware of conversion rates. Especially when shopping. The Pound is much different from the Euro and other currencies. Pay attention and try to figure out how much you’ll actually be spending before purchasing.
  • Always carry cash. So many restaurants and stores in Europe only take cash. Prepare accordingly.
  • Ask for the VAT. Most department stores and major shopping places offer tourists to shop tax-free. Always ask at for the VAT at the counter and they will give you a form which you can then claim at the airport to get your money back.
  • Invest in a coin purse. Unlike the US, Europeans prefer coins and it can get pretty inconvenient to store them in a slim wallet. You will also need small coins to pay for bathroom use.

Immigration:

  • Check the expiration date on your passport. You’ll need to have it current for at least six months after the date you arrive internationally.
  • Know the address of the hotel you will be staying at. Passport control can sometimes grill you on this.
  • Provide a print-out of flight home information. They want to know precisely when you’ll be leaving the country and you will need proof.
  • Stay calm and be respectful. Seriously, don’t mess with immigration officials. They are really tough but it will go smoothly if you stay calm and confident while they ask questions.
  • Keep all travel documents in a folder. Flight info, boarding tickets, hotel reservations, passport copies, travel itinerary etc. Print it all out and keep it organized and accessible.

Safety:

  • Tell family members/friends where you’ll be. Just in case of an emergency.
  • Travel with someone or with a group. You can definitely go alone, but it is always good to have someone else’s opinion and help. Much more safe as well.
  • Stay up to date with current events. Most countries in Europe are completely safe politically, but if you have any concern you might want to check with the embassy before going.
  • Don’t wear headphones while traveling. If you tune out your surroundings you will become an instant target.
  • NEVER keep your wallet in your back pocket. Rookie mistake!
  • Make a fake wallet. We have never had to use it, but it is a good thing to have just in case you get heckled by someone.
  • Keep your purse and belongings in front of you.
  • Research your surroundings and know where you are going.
  • Just use common sense and you won’t have a problem!

Transportation:

  • Book flights with skyscanner.com. Our favorite site for finding cheap flights in Europe.
  • Travel off-season for better rates. This goes for hotels as well.
  • Book international trains in advance. These (like Eurostar) can fill up fast, and booking in advance gives you a much lower rate.
  • DONT book local/national trains in advance. We have found that it’s not  always necessary which has saved us money.
  • Take the underground metro. This is by far the easiest and cheapest way to get around and just about every major European city has one.
  • Hold on to metro cards/tickets. They sometimes make you scan them again at the end of your journey (always the case with the London tube).
  • Only bring ONE bag when flying on budget airlines. We brought backpacks. No purses, souvenir bags, etc. They literally only let you take one bag and will charge you hefty fines for anything extra. Don’t chance it.
  • Only ONE Ziploc bag for liquids for budget airlines. This one was hard for me at first. Buy all liquids in travel size.
  • Always check airport monitors. In Europe they usually give you the gate number for your flight only about 20 minutes before departure. You’ll have to pay attention and hurry! (I HATE this)
  • Avoid taking a bus to catch a flight. Always take an express train or metro. The shuttle buses more than always make you late!
  • Avoid jet lag by drinking lots of water and soaking in sunlight.
  • Only book a rental car with brands that you know and trust. There are some sketchy ones all over Europe.
  • Bring passport, drivers license, and flight-home information to rent a car.
  • Only use a taxi if you don’t feel safe. Otherwise they are wayyy too over-priced to use all the time!

Wear: 

  • Bring rain-resistant clothing. No matter what time of year it is, it’s just always a good idea to bring rain gear. I have really loved using this foldable and wet-proof tote.
  • GOOD. SHOES. You’ll find out really fast in Europe if they are comfortable or not. Break them out before leaving and wear some that you don’t mind ruining!
  • Umbrella. Always.
  • Wear neutrals. If you want to blend in like a true European then don’t wear neon or any clothes that scream “I’m a tourist” you’ll stick out right away.
  • Pack light. Not always easy but I have come a long way and it has really payed off!

Hotels:

  • Use hotels.com. We have found some good ones through using this site.
  • Find hotels close to the city center or metro stop. You could pay a fortune in transportation just to get into the city everyday. Sometimes it is worth a little extra to be within walking distance of where you want to primarily be.
  • Look for hotels with free WiFi. Most of them will at least offer it free in the lobby which can be very helpful.
  • Try a Bed & Breakfast! Super cheap. We have always had pleasant experiences doing a B&B plus, free breakfast!
  • Steer clear of hotels/hostels that make you pay large deposits. We have never booked with a hotel that makes you pay a large deposit up front. It’s too risky!

Food:

  • Save money by bringing non-perishable snacks from home.
  • Eat breakfast/lunch by grabbing food from the supermarket. We have cut costs by getting fresh bread, cheese, and salami for lunch.. yummy too!
  • Eat street food. Also inexpensive and some of the tastiest things we have had!
  • Don’t sit down at a cafe unless you want to eat. They get really mad if you just want to sit.
  • Order “tap” water. If you don’t specify then you’ll get a big 5 euro bottle of water added to your bill. Tap water is safe to drink in Europe and free too.
  • Try authentic foods. Don’t eat Pizza Hut or any other chain in Europe when you can have it in the US. That is a long way to travel to eat at the same place you always do. Branch out and try new things!
  • Be sure to buy “still” water instead of “sparkling”. There’s a big difference, and sparkling water isn’t the most refreshing in my opinion.
  • Avoid tourist food traps. Always common around tourist attractions. Walk a little further and the prices almost cut in half.
  • Check Yelp! reviews. We have found some of our best meals by searching on Yelp!
  • Prepare for long meal times. Europeans are notorious for giving a long dining experience. If you go out to eat, plan to be there a while, and expect slow and relaxed service.
  • Order a food card. We tried the Tastecard in London, and it gave us great discounts to fantastic restaurants. They let you have a free 30-day trial!

Attractions:

  • Make a game plan of sites you want to see. Try and have a tentative plan including how much time it will take to see each place.
  • Avoid long lines by getting up early or buying your tickets online
  • Check deals online. Some museums are free on certain days or you can find major discounts only available online.
  • Buy a city pass. If you want to see all of the classic tourist attractions, then most major cities can group it all together for a lower price including transportation.
  • Bring your student ID. This can get you at least 2-3 dollars off regular admission prices.
  • Don’t be disappointed if you can’t see it all. It’s just not possible in big cities like Paris and London. Always give yourself a reason to return 🙂

Technology:

  • Get an all-in-one adapter. The UK uses different outlets from the rest of Europe so it is so worth it to get a combination one if you are visiting both.
  • Turn off WiFi by using “Airplane Mode”. To avoid those roaming charges.
  • The best free WiFi can be found at Starbucks. This works every single time for us. It is so nice that they are all over Europe too!
  • Clear your camera. You don’t want to waste time erasing pictures instead of enjoying the moment.
  • Keep devices fully charged to start the day. This is a no brainer, but it would be awful to be lost with no phone juice!

People:

  • Learn the art of “people weaving”. Don’t be the annoying tourist who stops right in front people when they are walking or trying to catch a train. Step aside! There can be so many people clustered by tourist areas so pay attention and people weave.
  • Be courteous. Always know how to say please and thank you in a language. It goes a long way.
  • Keep an open mind to different cultures. Be respectful, especially in places of worship.
  • At least attempt to speak the language first. It might be embarrassing, but locals will be more willing to speak and help you if you at least try 🙂
  • Try and learn tips from the locals. It can be soooo very helpful!

What are some tips that you have found to be useful when traveling Europe?

I hope this list has helped! It sure has for us!

Happy travels!

xoxo

*We are off to Switzerland this Friday!

A Visit to the Republic

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Czech Republic that is. My husband and I decided long ago that Prague would definitely have to be one of those places that we had to see while living in London. We have heard so many good things over the years, and something about the enchanting medieval aspect of Prague really gave us the desire to visit. As with most countries in Europe, we didn’t quite know what to expect before going, in fact we didn’t even know how to say hello in the Czech language! The feeling of being completely out of our element and knowing almost nothing before leaving, made Prague one of the most fascinating cities we have experienced in Europe yet.

Prague 1-1During our plane ride to Prague we did one of the most helpful things you can possibly do as a traveller.. we made friends with the locals! We really do try to be as friendly and open-minded as we can when we travel and that usually always pays off for us. The Czech friends that we met on our flight were some of the nicest people we have come across thus far. We felt so lost after getting off the plane, and they helped us get currency, buy our transportation tickets (no easy task in Czech), rode the bus with us, and explained in detail how to get to our hotel. Whoever said that the Czechs don’t like Americans? We will forever be grateful for their generosity as I’m not quite sure we would have figured out how to get to our hotel that night.

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The following day we woke up eager to explore the unknown. I have found that each city we have been to has a very distinct feeling and mood that can instantly be felt within moments upon arrival. My first impressions walking around the town reminded me of something that a place like Russia might be like. The tall ornate churches and red-roofed buildings were exquisite. The river was adorned with gothic bridges which showcased the medieval Prague Castle high up on the hill… which happened to be the first stop of our sight-seeing that day. We made our way on the local tram that winded up the steep mountain side to the Castle. We have discovered that most castles can be more like actual cities or estates with countless attractions to visit. Prague Castle was no exception, and even felt like a mini-metropolis inside. Be sure to plan accordingly if you visit so that you can have enough time to see it all like we did.

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We started our tour by heading to St. Vitus Cathedral which is the HUGE and most famous cathedral that can be seen towering over all of Prague. Audio guide headsets are offered for an additional price, but we noticed that literally nobody was using them so we took that as a sign and passed on them. Stepping inside the cathedral makes you realize why this is one of the most magnificent structures in the city. I felt that the detailed stained glass windows rivaled the ones found at Notre-Dame in Paris. We spent quite a bit of time in here wandering in awe of the sheer size and beauty of this place.

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After the church we stepped inside the Old Royal Palace which is where many of the state events are still held to this day. We were really excited to see this because the Republic is currently in the process of crowning a new king, so the grand crown jewels have been put on public display for a limited time only (lucky us!).

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Towards the end of our tour we walked down Golden Lane which is the most adorable street full of multi-colored mini houses that are now home to some fabulous boutique shopping. There was also an entrance around here to see the castle armory which contains all the medieval weapons and torture devices used throughout the Czech history (my husband’s favorite part). If you walk a little farther from Golden Lane you’ll also notice some pretty breathtaking views from the castle walls overlooking all of Prague. This is the highest point of the city and you won’t find better views of it all than this spot!

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Prague is one beautiful city, especially during autumn time. 

As we exited down the castle steps, we stopped for lunch and to try some of the most interesting yet delicious food stand specialties we have ever had. Seriously, we had no idea that the Czechs were such masters at the art of street food! They had everything from spicy hot dogs, to homemade crispy potato chips (on a stick!), and our favorite pastries ever called “trdelniks”. These trdelniks are like jumbo cinnamon-crusted churros that are freshly made and prepared right in front of you. There are multiple stands located all over making the whole city smell like them (which is not a bad thing if you ask me).

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While savoring every bite, we continued walking from the castle to historic Charles Bridge. This bridge is another highlight of the city, and was built back in the 13th century to link the Old Town to the Lesser Town. Massive gothic statues line the bridge and it is fun to hear the history behind them because some bring you good fortune when you rub them! We loved the medieval feel this bridge had and it is easy to see why it is a must-see when visiting Prague. Charles Bridge can tend to be very overcrowded so be sure to keep an eye on your belongings when passing through.

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There were so many beautiful swans swimming by the bridge.

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This one wanted to pose for me.

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Prague 22-1The great thing about Charles Bridge, is that it leads you right into the heart of Prague which is Old Town Square. Here you will find so much going on including live entertainment, the Astronomical Clock (listen to it at the top of the hour), and the towering Tyn Church (a must-see). We also wanted to experience an authentic Czech dinner and there are plenty of restaurants close to this area to choose from. The place we ate at was pretty good, but the food was very hearty and felt a little heavy on our stomachs. Personally, I think it’s definitely worth a try, but I much preferred the more exciting street goodies.

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Did I mention that they also have a bar here entirely made of ice?!

To wrap up our time spent in Prague, we spent most of Day 3 going back to our favorite sites during the day time. We also enjoyed more of the street food, and fun outdoor shopping markets around Old Town. Another area that we explored was the Jewish neighborhood which includes a really historic cemetery and synagogue. If you have extra time another place worth checking out is The Dancing House done by architect Frank Gehry. We saw a lot of his work in Germany, so it was really neat to see it again in Prague (unfortunately I didn’t get a photo).

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Prague 39-1My apologies for the lengthy post, but Prague was so amazing and I wanted to document every inch of the city! My husband and I were such big fans of this place as well as the country. A visit to Europe would just not be complete without visiting incredible Prague, Czech Republic.

                                    The Savvy Suitcase Top 3 Picks:

                          1. Prague Castle. Crowning jewel of Prague.

                          2. Street Food. Be sure to try a trdelnik!

                          3. Charles Bridge/Old Town. A must-see.

xoxo

*We are continuing to venture farther and farther away from London this November!

 

An English Birthday

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Yes, it was my birthday just recently and my husband (being the gem that he is) surprised me with a weekend getaway at the incredible Breadsall Priory Estate in Derbyshire, UK. Pronounced “Darbee”, Derby is a suburb located two hours north of London in an area known as the “Midlands” region of England. Derby is a beautiful countryside town that is also closely located next to Sherwood Forest and the city of Nottingham.. (aka where the legend of Robin Hood was based). All of these ingredients together made for a perfect and rather memorable birthday weekend spent enjoying lovely old England.

Derby 10-1The main attraction that brought us to Derby in the first place was the allure of staying at the elegant Breadsall Priory Estate. From looks alone the property and mansion-turned-hotel reminded me of a classic English manor or even the gorgeous “Downtown Abbey Estate” (couldn’t help it!). In fact, the historic structure itself dates back to the middle of the 13th century, making it one of the oldest estates in the region. Today the priory is made up of a charming hotel, golf course, indoor swimming pool, and expansive garden area. With all of the busy travel that we have done lately, all we wanted to do was relax at this peaceful place and spend time celebrating my birthday and the beautiful autumn season. And relax we did.

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Derby 11-1 I still cannot get over the vibrant green color of the countryside!

Derby 6-1At some point we did manage to finally pull ourselves away from the hotel and over to check out downtown Derbyshire. While grabbing breakfast in town, we met some extremely nice locals who explained to us that Derby is known to be one of the most haunted cities in England… Whaaat?! What are the chances that we found this out and happened to be there the weekend before Halloween, AND the fact that I absolutely love haunted places??! It was like music to my ears! We spent the rest of the day shopping at the city center and chatting to locals about all of the spooky spots that we needed to visit including the underground tunnels, and the ghostly Ye Olde Dolphin Inne.

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They tell you all the spooky stories inside the pub here.

Derby 16-1An opening to the underground tunnels where they be-headed traitors.. Eeek!

All of that ghost hunting made us hungry for dinner, and luckily we had made a reservation in advance to eat at one of the best eateries in Derby called Restaurant Zest. Now normally a pricey place like this would not even come up on our radar, but by researching online, we found that by dining early between 6-7pm, we would get a 25% discount off of the total bill. We love a good deal, and we were so happy about this because the food at this place was nothing short of excellent. I think that I may have had the best pasta I have ever had in my life here.. no joke. Always be sure to take advantage of any kind of food deal in Europe since they can be pretty rare sometimes!

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We really could not have asked for a better low-key weekend to spend in a beautiful place like Derby. I’m pretty sure we were both elated to have a break from our usual go-go-go attitude when traveling. It just felt so good to get away from the city and enjoy a quiet estate in the english countryside with each other. I’d say that my husband did a pretty amazing job spoiling me with a getaway here right?? This surely was a birthday weekend to remember! 🙂

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Here were our recommendations from Derbyshire…

                                  The Savvy Suitcase Top 3 Picks:

             1. Breadsall Priory Estate. You’ll feel like a Duke or Duchess!

             2. Restaurant Zest. Fancy food for a deal.

             3. Haunted Derby. Spooky tours are offered all year.

I hope everyone has a Happy Halloween!

xoxo

*Our November is going to be jam packed with lots of surprises, stay tuned 🙂

Beaches of Bournemouth

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Last weekend was all about adventure! After a quick trip up to Ireland, my husband and I were in the spontaneous mood to rent a car and drive south of London to cruise the British coastline. Lately we have been trying to take advantage of our location by traveling throughout more of England before our time here is up. We love to find scenic and relaxing beaches and we had heard really great things about the beach-friendly town of Bournemouth, UK.

B'mouth 1-1The drive from London to Bournemouth (pronounced Bourne”Mith”) is just a little over two hours which makes it the perfect destination for a quick English getaway. We made it to our hotel in no time and spent the evening enjoying a walk along beautiful Bournemouth Beach. Since we are in the fall season, the beach was relatively quiet and not as busy as I would imagine it would be during the summer months. Although a little a chilly this time of year, we still enjoyed strolling through the sand and exploring the seaside pier. The beach in Bournemouth almost reminded me of being at home in Santa Cruz, California with all of the different boardwalk attractions and Victorian-era architecture. There are endless amounts of activities to do here and it is easy to see why Bournemouth Beach has become a favorite spot for both locals and tourists alike.

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Our overnight stay in Bournemouth was a really pleasant one, but it was just the first stop on our little Southern England adventure. The next visit on our road trip was to see the picturesque limestone arch known as Durdle Door. Durdle door is a natural landmark located along the Jurassic Coast (sadly, no dinosaurs) that has become a popular scenic stop along the coastline. We took a super pretty drive through the country down a remote road to an area known as Dorset. It’s just an easy 30 minutes from Bournemouth, and upon arrival we parked at the top of a mountainside with trails leading to Durdle Door. As we hiked down the hill (be sure to wear good shoes) we were completely struck with amazement in every direction. We viewed the most stunning landscape with huge white cliffs and a baby blue ocean. Durdle Door was even more magnificent than seen in pictures, and we could not believe that a place like this even existed in England! The sheer beauty of this natural coast left us speechless and we gladly spent the afternoon soaking in every second of it.

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B'mouth 15-1Most of our day was spent sitting on the beach while admiring Durdle Door (can you blame us?) but we still had one last major pit stop on our road trip. The last place we wanted to visit were the abandoned ruins of Corfe Castle. One thing we have learned about Europe is that no two castles are the same, and every castle offers something unique and different from the other. We quite enjoy going “castle hunting” these days, and take almost every chance we can get to see one! Corfe Castle is located just a little bit north of the Jurassic Coast which was perfect for us to check out on our way back to London. The ruins are found on top of a huge hill overlooking the most adorable little English village of Corfe. The fun part about this castle was that we were able to climb on the ruins and explore inside the arches. We kind of felt like kids on a play ground, and we sure had a blast with our time spent here… the views weren’t too shabby either.

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B'mouth 24-1 We were convinced that this train was the Hogwarts Express

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B'mouth 27-1Sorry, lots of pictures I know. Our travels to Southern England left me feeling so inspired by the coast and countryside that I found myself to be a little snap happy on this post. We truly did feel like we had an epic road trip adventure to Bournemouth, and we may even try to rent another car for this weekend because we loved exploring England so much!

                                     The Savvy Suitcase Top 3 Picks:

                       1. Durdle Door. Even better in person.

                       2. Corfe Castle. Hike through the ruins.

                       3. Bournemouth Beach. Lots of fun going on.

Thanks for viewing this post 🙂

xoxo

*We will visit around England some more and then travel to Eastern Europe!

Holiday at Windsor

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A few weeks ago we were gladly able to join in by celebrating the UK’s national Bank Holiday here in London. With the day off work for my husband and my good friend visiting us in town, we knew that we had to go and visit someplace special for the holiday. All three of us had never been to historic Windsor Castle before, so we booked our tickets ahead of time and made arrangements to see the longest-occupied palace in Europe!

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We took the tube to Paddington Station, where we hopped on a short 40 minute train ride out to the little town of Windsor. Thanks to buying our admission tickets in advance, we were able to avoid all the long lines and get right into the castle. From first glance, Windsor is quite impressive. The large buildings and fortifying brick walls make you realize just how important and meaningful this palace really is. Windsor Castle is the Queen’s main residence of choice and the estate truly does feel like it was made for royalty! Lucky for us, the Queen was away in Scotland during our visit, so this meant that we would have access to more of the state rooms while she was on holiday.

Windsor 2-1 Be prepared for tourist overload! 

The great thing about Windsor Castle is that an audio head-set comes included with your purchase of a general admission ticket. This turned out to be a really nice surprise because not all European attractions do this and usually can charge you extra for it. As soon as you step onto the castle grounds, the audio tour begins. Now I have done a lot of audio tours throughout my touristy travels (guilty), and I have found that some can definitely be better than others. The audio tour here though is really well done and it is worth the time and effort to listen and learn about Windsor’s remarkable history. Prince Charles himself narrates insightful information, and gives you an even greater feel to what defines Britain’s cherished royal landmark. So don’t be lame and skip out on the headsets.. you could really miss out on some incredible history!

Windsor 6-1In the middle of the tour you can choose whether to wait in line to see just the state rooms, or if you would like to see the state rooms along with Queen Mary’s Doll’s House. On the day we went, the line to see the dollhouse was out the door and around the corner. The idea of waiting in a longer line just to see a dollhouse sounded dumb, but we didn’t want to regret anything about our visit so we decided to tough it out and see it. This sounds crazy, but it has been one of the most unusual and intricate things I have seen in London! It was a gift given from Princess Marie Louise in 1924 to Queen Mary, and is known to be the world’s largest dollhouse! I personally thought it was worth the wait to get inside.`

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Unfortunately, no photos were allowed inside.. But it sure was a beautiful day to take some around the grounds!

After the dollhouse, we toured all of the state rooms inside the castle and this. was. phenomenal. I absolutely loooooooved the state rooms. They are more glittery and ornate than you could even imagine! We got to see just about everything inside from the grand St. George’s Hall, to the actual room where the queen knights her subjects. It was spectacular to get a sneak peek into how the royals actually live their lives today. At the end of the state rooms we were then directed to tour the perfectly kept castle gardens and then over to St. George’s Chapel. This was neat to see where all the famous monarchs of England have been buried. The current Queen Elizabeth’s mother is buried here, along with famous King Henry VIII and his third wife Jane Seymour. There are so many great stories and history to hear.. exploring the state rooms and chapel at Windsor was such a treat indeed.

Windsor 4-1Windsor 11-1Windsor 10-1The tour finished up at St. George’s Chapel where we then checked out the gift shops and snuck in some photos with the royal guards. They don’t let you get up close with the guards at Buckingham Palace, so if you want that ultimate cliché photo (gotta have at least one) then Windsor is the only place where they let you interact with them.

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Believe it or not, but there is actually more to explore in the town of Windsor besides Windsor Castle. There are plenty of tourist food traps as you exit the estate, but if you walk a bit further out into the city you can find some really cute and authentic places to shop, dine, and explore. Sticking with our British theme of the day, we opted to eat some fish and chips at The Corner House not far from the main center. I know I have stated before that our best fish and chips we have had in the UK have been in Wales.. this however is false. The Corner House in Windsor has them beat. Their fish and chips were so insanely delicious, that I have been debating going back to Windsor just to eat them again. 

Windsor 13-1

Windsor 15-1 True melt-in-your-mouth perfection.

It was so much fun to be tourists for the day at Windsor Castle, and to do all things British! Windsor Castle has been one of my favorite tourist attractions that I have done in London and I’m so glad that we were able to take a whole day off to do it. Our tour of the castle took about three hours, and then we spent the rest of the day eating and shopping in the town. I totally recommend making a day of it like we did if you visit because there is so much see and do here. Windsor is the heart of the United Kingdom and by visiting, we felt like we got to learn so much more about what makes this country so fascinating.

Windsor 14-1 The Savvy Suitcase Top 3 Picks:

                      1. Windsor Castle. Do I even need to say why?

                      2. Fish & Chips. The Corner House. Just go. 

                      3. Windsor Town. So royal and lots going on!

xoxo

*This weekend we are heading into the countryside to Bournemouth, England