South of England aka the hardest biking ever

Me, camera, my bike and the Sun.

Hei, You, You and You! I have been promising a review of my Southern England trip already for a while and for some reason life has taken over and it is still not done. Well now I am sitting down to talk about the most difficult biking I have ever had to do.

So we thought it would be a good idea to spend a long weekend in South of England WITH BIKES. At first Tom planned it as a 2-3 day biking trip… Khmm. I am everything but a biker. My ass gets sore after first 40km and then I don’t want to even see those 2 tires for a month.

So we drove to the South with the car, left it in a parking place, threw our bags over shoulders and put up a tent. I think it was the most romantic night in my life. Full moon lighted the whole empty beach, night was warm and calm. Perfect time to spend the night under the stars.

Yes this is Moon shining bright like a diamond. We even had shadows?! At night?!

The next day we were supposed to start the “long” biking trip. From the map the cliffs don’t seem as steep and high as they are. So for our surprise they were damn difficult to cycle. 70% of the track I was pushing my bike. I managed to bike downhill with brakes on, but that was about it. The first day started with clouds and for sure not as hot as the previous night so I didn’t really think of even getting my sunscreen out. Before leaving my mom had left me a message to be careful with the sun… hah.. which sun?! But MOMS ALWAYS KNOW BETTER!

It was about mid day when the sun came out and was shining damn bright. I am such a fan of sun so I never mind. The cliffs where AMAZING. The views are just fantastic. So you can imagine how many people were walking around there. The closer you got to some hut or a resting place, the more crowded it got. Although, taking a bike with was still a bad idea. After like 2-3 hours of pushing my bike uphill with the sun burning as hell, I was sure I am not going to sit on that bike tomorrow. My shoulders were burnt, couldn’t even touch them. And I don’t get sunburnt…. ever. So how did that happen I don’t know. Even my nose was peeling days after.

_DSC0963.JPG

When ask other people to take a picture…. Let’s say it’s okay.

As I said, I didn’t hop on the bike net day. We drove the car a bit further and put the tent up on the beach again. I experienced the perfect morning for me. I woke up at 7am… just like that. Put my bikinis on and went swimming. The water was cold enough to need time to go in, but warm enough to stay there. After refreshing and cooling swim I decided to try to meditate as this was the perfect surrounding. I sat there for about half an h… just me and the ocean breeze, thinking that I want to wake up like this every single morning. If I only had a good cup of coffee right there as well…. that, my friend, would have been a paradise.

_DSC0993.JPG

So peaceful, so calm.

So we didn’t bike this trip any more. We decided to go home sooner as were both red as crabs. On our way back I insisted on going to 2 places. First stop Arundel castle. This giant castle looks exactly like from a fairy tale. I didn’t want to pay half of my salary on simply getting in, so I bought a ticket to the gardens only. I had seen some pics of it and I wanted to create my own. Tom didn’t come of course, so this view was just for me and my camera. First time I remembered to take my tripod with and for some reason, people think that this shows that I know what I am doing…..Well I don’t. At least 2-3 people asked me to take a picture of them….. cause it would be professional…. Sure. I did tell them that I am not a photographer, but…. You know people. I tried to stay in shadows the whole time because by that time my skin was on fire. I don’t eve remember the last time I felt so much pain because of sun. If it hurts then it loves?

_DSC1002.JPG

Can You believe it?! I do need to buy some equipment as  taking picture in sunlight is way too much for this camera. Maybe I don’t know all the tricks, but long exposure is out. Check rest of the pictures of the garden from my photography section.

The last stop, but not least was a lavender field. Another thing I saw on the internet and wanted to experience by myself. We picked a field in Lordington as it seemed that they do not ask too much money for the visit. When arriving it came out that the “season” is not even started and the farm is closed. The field was available only for photo shoots with photographers. I believe in kindness and we decided to ask to stay anyway. For a pleasant surprise they didn’t mind me taking few pictures from the other corner of the field while photographers were calmly giving introductions for kids running around on the field. I was amazed. Who doesn’t know, then purple is my damn favourite colour and there was a loooooot of purple. One little ginger girl even wanted to pose for me. As I can see from my pics, I need to take more pictures of people, cause I am not pleased. Yet, how cute is that.

_DSC1103.JPG

And that was about it for the this time. If you are thinking of visiting England then the White Cliffs are worth it! 😉 P.S The pictures of other places are up as well!

I have to find some time to write, cause I have already another trip to tell You about. 4 days ago I came back from Ireland and I am soooooooo excited to tell You about it. After a long time we tried the hitchhiking again and man, how easy it in Ireland. I cannot wait to write You about it. But his time, cheers, for everyone who still keeps reading my blog ;). I really appreciate it!

For the song of the post I chose something that makes me feel good, makes me want to dance, makes we want to jump into the ocean.

Easter in Wales

Easter roadtrip around South of Wales

It is so nice to be abroad at Easter, because unlike in Estonia, you get 4 days off. This time we decided to make a little roadtrip around South of Wales. Well at first we thought we are going to make it a hiking trip, but as the weather again didn’t want to cooperate at all, we hiked only on one day for few hours. So, i guess you cannot even call it a hike.

We started already on Thursday after my work, but as we arrived to Littledean so late, we stayed there for the night. After good sleep and rich breakfast we took our bags and hit the road towards Cardiff. As it was 3 of us this time, we had 2 tents. Well, let’s say my Estonian friend didn’t enjoy sleeping in the tent too much, as she was basically sleeping under rain. She had a tent that had just one lair which means all the humidity in the tent fell on her as soon she moved around in there. In the morning she woke up almost soaking wet. And probably it wouldn’t be a problem if the nights would have been warm… but they weren’t. I was fully dressed and in 2 sleeping bags, so I didn’t feel cold but I can imagine how bad sleeping in wet tent was. During the day the temperature didn’t rise much above +10. Yes, local people were wearing shorts and t-shirts, but that didn’t make me want to take my skiing jacket, gloves and hat off. I am such a warm lover, I cannot help it.

So the 2 cities i was really looking forward to visit were Cardiff and Swansea. Unfortunately, and I really feel it’s unfortunate, because I had such high hopes, I didn’t really like either of them. It was not bad, but nothing special either. I did like the little “port” in Swansea, I think it was lovely. Especially at night with all the lights. Rest of the city, on the other hand, nothing to see, really. How disappointing. In Cardiff we visited the castle, of course, which was okay, I guess. But that was about it. We made a 4-hour walk in the city and besides the castle… I don’t think I took my camera out even once. And that is a big thing. So I don’t know… not my kind of cities. And I guess in general I have to say that the cities/towns in there are for sure not the reason to go to Wales. So, I am not going to really talk about them.

_DSC0560

One of the few pics I took from Cardiff. Big door but small lock (if you try to look at the lock, then it’s normal door’s size). Apparently size doesn’t matter.

Rest of the trip we focused again on the coastline and searching for amazing views. In Rhossilli we even had a small 2-hour hike. Which turned out to be amazing. The sun came out, we even managed to take the jackets off for few hours, and burn our noses. As soon as i got out of the car, I smelled coconut. Of course there are no coconut trees, so I was super suspicious. The more I walked around, the more I was sure I can smell coconut. After pointing it out to my friend she agreed with me, but we couldn’t figure out what was it. An hour, or so, later Tom came and asked if we can smell coconut as well. He has quite bad nose, so now I was sure, that I am smelling it right. Apparently some yellow bushes were giving out the smell. And especially when you found a spot with no wind, you could smell the coconut so clearly. And I love coconut!

_DSC0602.JPG

Next stop was a nice small town St Davids. They have a huge cathedral there, which at Easter time is obviously full of people. I must say I am not very cathedral/church-person. I do like the architecture, but it is not that often that I take out my camera for that. In St Davids I did. And this time I didn’t even take pictures of the architecture, but I was amazed about some patterns they used on the floors/ceilings. That “interior lover” side of me came out instantly. I couldn’t get carried away too much as someone was practicing organ at the same time. I find clerical music a bit creepy in such big cathedrals anyway, so doing the same lines all over again several times didn’t help. Probably I am the only one.

Is it just me, or those patterns are really nice indeed?! My favourite is the floor (on left). And have you ever seen wooden ceiling in church??

Almost by accident, Tom found and amazing blue lagoon near Fishguard. It was very nice beach with an amazing view. But right behind the beach there was an artificial blue lagoon. If anyone of you has visited Rummu in Estonia, then this was something like that. The water was super cold, but sooooo blue that you couldn’t even believe it. Yeah, I took like 2000 pictures. I think it is so cute and mysterious that it was hidden right behind the little hill. Most of the people would probably just settle with the view from the beach, not even knowing what’s waiting behind the hill. That’s didactical, right?!

After the lagoon we drove further and stopped in few other small towns, but as I said before, it was really nothing special. If you want to see the beauty of South-Wales, you need go to the coast! Hopefully in summer we will have a chance to visit Snowdonia as well. I am so excited and cannot wait! If the weather would cooperate just a little more than so far…

That was my Easter weekend. We managed to make  a nice 1000km roundtrip (from the map small stops missing). Check out some extra pictures, as always, from “photography”.

map

Time flies, soon it’s June and guess what, I AM COMING HOME! Yes, I really hope I will get the tickets and I can spend few days in Estonia. I miss my friends and family already, and as my little brother is about to graduate, I want to be there for him as well.  So all my Estonians, hopefully see you in June! If you want to meet up, let me know!

As my thoughts are already “flying over” Estonia, Curly Strings can have this post. One of their older, yet one of my favourite songs.

 

 

Memories from South-West of England

Roadtrip around South and South-West of England.

As I mentioned in the previous post, I couldn’t start the work before April so I had another week off. The car made it happily to England (ptuiptuiptui), so we decided to spend a week out of Reading. I searched out plenty of stuff, from which we by the end of the week didn’t manage to see any of. But I guess it is for the next time.

We started the trip by heading straight to South from Reading, hoping to see a sunset near Stonehenge. Unfortunately we didn’t make it on time, so it was already closed when we arrived. For my surprise they are asking money on the gates, and not little money. For an adult it costs 17 pounds to see the rocks…. Yes, 34 pounds to get in with your mate. That is overpriced for sure. As our plan was already ruined we decided to drive further and not wait until the morning when the gates open. We headed towards Salisbury and hoped to reach Poole by the end of the day. That night we ended up sleeping next to a cemetary near Poole. It was so creepy at first, but as we were both so tired, it didn’t really matter. In the morning and in sunlight we noticed a sign that there is a camping area in 100yards. Oeh…

_DSC0103.JPG

Yeah, You can say I have seen Stonehenge.

For the next day we planned a little hike in Dartmoor National Park. We asked from a village what places are worth to visit, packed our bags and started walking. We took with everything. And by everything I mean everything. We thought we are going to hike over the hills and hitchhike further for few days, but English weather said, hello NO, guys! SO, it was raining all the damn day, and the wind wanted to blow off our faces. So instead of hitchhiking further, we just walked down back to the car. I must say I was a little disappointed. I guess I am just already used to hiking in big mountains and suddenly few hundred meters is not enough.  And at that moment we decided that we are not going to make this trip a hitchhiking trip. We sat in the car and started looking for a place to park the car… again. This time we didn’t go too far. Found a little space next to a small road near Princetown.  When mentioning Princetown, I must say that the roads there are crazy! Not that its just up-and-down, but they have planted some bushes right next to the road so you cannot see on the sides. And what is more, most of the time you can fit on the road only 1 car. Why?!

_DSC0150.JPG

On our way over the hills. This time no cows, only sheep, who were so scared that escaped as soon as they noticed you coming.

The next day we were driving again towards Cornwall and the very South-West edge. In one small town local people suggested us to go to Tavistock to try local farmer’s food. After mentioning food we were already sitting in the car, speeding towards Tavistock. We ended up buying 2 types of cheese (blue cheese and hard cheese with garlic) and bread. We chose only the products that you could buy from there and nowhere else.  We wasted about 20 pounds on damn sandwich. BUT, we ate the sandwiches for like 3-4 days. The hard cheese is still left and in the fridge. So, if you divide it by the days, not that expensive after all.

From Tavistock back to the coast. Next stop was St Austell and little villages around it. Amazing coastline and amazing views! That part I recommend for sure. We took some chips from “fish and chips” in the port and enjoyed the view. It was a little rainy but the food makes it always better. And if you didn’t know, then “fish and chips” is a thing here. I think it is the most popular fast food as you can find it almost on every street. We ended up with the views in Land’s End. It is good that I can say I have been there, but I wouldn’t say you have missed anything if you haven’t. If you have visited any other coast in South of England, it is pretty much the same. I would maybe even say that the beaches before the very end were even prettier. One beach even had a little sand area, so from a distance really seamed like a paradise (check out the pic from photos). There was something like a window in the water (in Land’s End), but not sure if you can really call it a window. Surprising thing was that there are whales, sharks and dolphins swimming around. I checked the information written down for tourists and they mentioned different type of whales, sharks and dolphins. Unfortunately didn’t see any on that day. BUT, in Mevagissey I did notice a fin in the water, that from time to time just disappeared. I am not sure what was it, but I want to think it was a shark.

_DSC0243.JPG

Can you see it?! There is a fin in the water! On the right side in first third from up. Right?! It’s tiny, but it’s there!

From the very western point we started driving back towards Bristol. As this was the town I was supposed to meet one of my very best friends from Estonia. On the way we visited Appledore (and basically all the other small ones around there), Brigewater, and Bath. I must say I LOVED that small town Appledore. This kind of town is a place I would like to live in. As the weather was quite windy and  even a bit stormy, the sea was unbelievable. We were standing on some street right next to the sea and waves just kept jumping over the wall on the street. The waves were so big that surfers seemed like ants in them. And seeing the real surfing (without the kite)- damn, I think my bucket list just got longer. About Bridgwater I cannot say much. Didn’t really leave any impression.  But I had really high hopes for Bath, but I must say I didn’t like that one either. You know, sometimes you just don’t connect with the vibes of the place and that’s it. Bristol, on the other hand, I enjoyed a lot. Nice architecture, active nightlife, river- what else can you ask for. As we arrived already in the dark, I cannot give you any feedback of the town in sunlight. The night in Bristol was nice for sure. If you like partying and getting to know the city in that way, you should go!

_DSC0470.JPG

Nike tree in Bristol. Local people didn’t really know the reason why the trainers are hanging there either.

When we were already in Bristol, it came out my friend didn’t come there and is waiting for me in Littledean. My phone just keeps letting me down lately. I am not sure what’s the problem, but the messages are coming through like hours later. If I want my messages hours later I would just send a dove… Anyway, after walking around few hours we decided to drive for the night to Littledean and spend some time with my Estonian homie. I must say I loved that place. Really small, but so nice. She is living in a shared house there with an amazing view from the backyard. For the night we went to a little local pub to celebrate our reunion (as I haven’t seen her for 8-9 months). I don’t even remember when was the last time I was in a pub until they kicked you out. Probably in Erasmus. We had such a nice time.  The next day we walked around at her work (she’s working in a biodynamic garden in a some kind of centre). Again so peaceful, so nice. Had an amazing meal there (made by a lady from Nepal) and had to start driving back home right after.

_DSC0485.JPG

Deep, right?! When walking around in the garden that is full of small signs and interesting cute spiritual elements, it does make you feel calm and stress free.

On our way home we stopped in Gloucester as I insisted visiting the cathedral. As soon as I heard that all the scenes in Hogwarts’ corridors are filmed there, I wanted to go. I am not that big fan (as I haven’t really read any of the books), but I am a fan enough to want to see it. I must say, I wasn’t disappointed. I just wish people nowadays would spend as much time on details when building houses as they did back then. Just incredible.

And last, but not least Oxford. I must admit, so far my favourite city. I remember I had the same feeling in Bucharest when wherever you turn, the view is amazing. You can take a picture of any of the streets and it looks fabulous. While walking around the city center I even felt a bit bad not going to study there. Fortunately it is close to Reading, so I can go back for more pictures at any time.

That is about it for this time. I added a whole bunch of pictures from the trip in my photography section, so go check it out! I had 300 of them, so unfortunately I couldn’t upload all of them.

And everyone of you who is thinking now that you should go and check out some new cities/places,  MOVE!

 

 

To travel or to travel?

My colorful stories from Erasmus times.

So I thought to write more about travelling this time. I have learned that in order to motivate or inspire someone to see the world and look further from the comfortzone, you need to give out some of your either embarrassing or very colorful stories from being on the road. Well, guess what, I have both and a lot.

Erasmus is great, I must say. Besides all the knowledge you get (p.s not for all of the students), you also experience something that you otherwise never would (p.s for all of the students). Well I would have definitely never thought  that I will find myself from a Tunisian wedding’s afterparty, driving with ferry in captain’s cabin or climbing fences in the middle of the night. I will dedicate this post to my lovely Erasmus friends who made those 3 months in Sofia inspiring to me.

The first little crazy story coming to my mind was when we took a trip to Romania. So we started hitchhiking in 4 ( 2+2) from Sofia. For some reason I ended up with 3 the most crazy people I have ever met and I decided to hitchhike first time in my life. So besides me I had there my very best Latvian girl, another globetrotter from Poland and last but not least my now already 1.5years boyfriend from Czech. The crazy part of the trip started when we tried to hitchhike back from Romania to Bulgaria. Me and Tom got stuck in a small village near Constanta. I had just said the words “Yeah, no BMW nor Mercedes is stopping for a hitchhiker” when one Mercedes pulled over. Inside was sitting a young guy (money shining from his eyes), speaking zero English, but understood when we said we are going towards Bulgaria. We sat in, both on the backseat, and as soon as we closed the door he put the music on so loud that I couldn’t even hear Tom talking right next to me. Well, I tried to calm myself down that maybe he is just a music fan. Suddenly, he made a turn to a very small road and drove towards old, half abandoned, broken houses. Let’s be honest a guy with a car like that probably doesn’t live in that part of the town, so I got a little bit worried. I was thinking, okay, so now we are going to get robbed or beaten up or something like that (as it was a small town in Romania). He stopped the car in front of one of the houses and started hitting the horn. After a minute about 10 (okay, rather 5) small gypsy boys were having their faces on the windows. He started screaming at them and hitting the window with his hands in a hope to scare them off. Well, let’s be honest, these fellas are scared of nothing. A little later a gypsy girl (seemed like 20 or so) sat in the car and they were talking (well more like arguing) something in Romanian. You didn’t need to know much Romanian to understand that the guy just ordered her in the car and that was the end of their discussion. My head was full of many thoughts: what is going to happen, and where are we going to be taken to, and what is up with that girl, why is she here, is she his slave or something. After a 15min drive we were finally on the border and the guy stopped. He said simply “Bulgaria” and pointed straight forward. We just thanked him kindly and got out of that car as fast as we could. For me this adventurous car drive was even a bit educational. I learned not to judge people too fast (with a hope that the girl is fine and is actually his girlfriend or something).

11149514_979537872080840_8597933936244308434_n

Picture taken by a stranger in Pleven, Bulgaria.

The second one is also from 2015 when we took a trip to Istanbul with my roommates back then (amazing Polish and Latvian girl). We took a bus from Sofia to Istanbul and set up couchsurfing in the city. I must say the city really is amazing and I wish I had my camera back then. So, one of the days we decided to spend on the Prince’s Islands. As we needed to take a ferry for that, we decided to walk to the port and look around the city while walking. Suddenly we noticed a policeman on the road whistling and waving with hands. We were like three chickens not knowing what to do. At first we just kept walking but seeing the police officer getting only more frustrated, we started running. In about 100m we saw a group of people standing next to the road, so we thought, oh, some important guy is coming, take out your cameras. And after few minutes we heard a big bang. There was a bomb in one of the gardens next to the road we were walking on. So, they had found a bomb and deactivated it right there. Yeah, you can say the situation was quite out of our hands. Fortunately, again, everyone was okay and we just witnessed a badass almost-like-in-movie scene.

11064273_954020674630459_8928695674792516158_n

Picture taken by my Polish girl in Istanbul. Found an uncle carrying bread on his head, why not.

11159558_954020181297175_7430192596810111154_n

Picture taken by a stranger in a mosque in Istanbul.

For the last one in that post I will leave one rather funny one. It was one of the first nights of the second semester in Sofia, so I had just arrived. And we decided to go to a bar. Like always you get tired of one place and you move on. I did not know the city back then at all so I just followed the others. For some reason I found myself in the middle of the night alone in some club, so I decided to go home. After all the shots and I am not even sure what we drank, I had no idea which direction “home” was. So, I put on my coat and just started walking in a hope to see at least something familiar. After walking half an hour back and forth I started panicking. I really didn’t know where I was or where I was supposed to go, everything seemed far from familiar. I felt tears coming to my eyes. I didn’t have anyone’s number from the dorms yet nor cash with. I saw a taxi and I decided to take a taxi to home. I looked through all my pockets and found 2 levas (1 euro). So, I asked the driver through the tears if he can take me to my dorms, but I have only 2 levas. He said: “no problem!” After driving 3min the taxi stopped- we were at the front gate. As you can see, sometimes the situation is not that bad as you think. So, no hard feelings, guys!

11006174_10200233232109441_629738297_n

Picture taken by the barman of ´The Shots´ in Sofia.

And that post I will end with a song that has inspired me to overcome myself and live the life o the fullest. That means enjoying even the embarrassing an crazy situations.