Year-a-thon TBR

The beginning of the April Year-a-thon is here and that means we start reading the Highest and Lowest rated books on your Goodreads TBR. So these are the two books I’ll be picking up this week.

‘Empress of A Thousand Skies’ by Rhoda Belleza is the lowest rated book on my Goodreads TBR so I will be picking that up, along with ‘Heartstopper: Volume 3’ by Alice Oseman which is my highest rated book.

I’m really looking forward to reading both and I’m a little glad that this challenge is making me prioratise books that may not of been on the forefront of my TBR.

Weekly Update: 13.6.19

Over a week has definitely elapses since my last weekly update and what a busy time it was! I ended up going to camp with a different class than my own for 4 days last week which was very unexpected but an absolute blast! Even though it was a busy time I still managed to finish a book!

I was luckily still able to complete ‘Everblaze’ By Shannon Messenger, the 3rd book in the Keeper of Lost Cities series.

I am really enjoying this series and its definitely one I hope to complete before the end of the year – although I will be really sad when I don’t have anymore books to read in this series.

It’s a quick read being a middle grade novel, they are quite long, being 600+ pages each, but I could not recommend it more, especially if you love a fantasy series but are looking for an easy read.

I am continuing to listen to ‘The Iron Trial’ by Holly Black and Cassandra Clare. I only have around 4 hours left on this audiobook – which I am borrowing from my library – so I should be able to complete it this week!

After completing ‘Everblaze’ I was unsure about what I was going to read next. I changed around what I thought I was going to do at the end of May when I posted my June TBR and I am now moving into ‘Sky in the Deep’ By Adrienne Young instead of reading ‘Empire of storms’ By Sarah J. Maas first. I am still really enthralled by Norse Mythology, I don’t know if ‘Sky in the Deep’ has much mythology in it, but being a Viking book I am hopeful.

This week is another busy week! I am doing some extra teaching this afternoon with a different class (so excited) as well as picking up my wedding dress and changing up my hair a bit – which means a longer appointment. We are also in the process of enquiring about wedding cakes and sending out our invites. Along with all this we are preparing for our trip to Europe which we leave for in 13 days!

Travel Guide: Osaka, Japan

So its been a while – as in a year – since I was in Japan but I wanted to post some photos from my trip there with some links to some of the things we did. This will most definitely be shorter than my Greece posts, mostly because I don’t remember everything we did or where we stayed etc.

So if you want to see some photos from Japan and some helpful links then keep on scrolling/reading.

Universal Studios

 

Dotonbori

Osaka Castle

Osaka 5

 

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Travel Guide: Tokyo, Japan

My trip to Japan was over a year ago and I’ve had these posts sitting in drafts for ages. I know its probably not as helpful a year later, so I decided to post some pictures from some of the different places we visited in Japan last year.

Stick around and have a scroll, Each place will be linked if you’d like to find out more information. If you have any questions leave a comment and I’ll get back to you! šŸ™‚

 

Happy reading!

Kyoto

 

 

Tokyo Disney

Hedgehog Cafe

Takashita Street

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Pokemon Mega Store

Exploring Tokyo

 

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Greece Tavel Diary #6: Thira, Santorini

Santorini was hands down the most touristy place we visited, the island was full of tourists. We stayed in Thira which is the capital of Santorini and definitely a hot spot.

map of santorini

Personally I enjoyed Thira, but it was super crowded. I am not someone who manages well in crowded places so it wasn’t me favourite. We stayed and Kamares Apartments in Thira and it was me absolute favourite place we stayed. We had an amazing view of the Caldera, and fun fact I love volcanos so I was having an amazing time.

We mostly relaxed and stayed around Thira in Santorini, although there are so many places to go throughout the island, we decided to be less busy and just enjoy where we were. We wandered the streets and explored and got massages in our room, relaxed and enjoyed the view.

We did do one day trip out to Oia. A town not far from Thira, the local bus stop was super close to our accommodation so we walked down and hopped on the bus which cost us aboutĀ ā‚¬1.30 each pay, per person. Oia is just as stunning as Thira and is known for its amazing sunsets (although it doesn’t have a view of the volcano) If I hadn’t stayed in Thira I would of stayed in Oia.

Overall Santorini was amazing and its somewhere I’ll never forget going. Our whole trip was filled with incredible memories and just positive happy vibes.

– Useful Links –Ā 

Thira, Santorini
Oia, SantoriniĀ 
Atlantis Books
Kamares Apartments

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Greece Travel Diary #5: Chania, Crete

After the tour we spent one night in Athens before leaving early for the Athens International Airport and heading to Chania, Crete. We had an early flight as we were determined to maximise our time in Chania after hearing what an amazing place it was. We were not disappointed.

I was also keen to visit as Crete has deep rooted ties to Greek Mythology being the birth place of Zeus!

When we arrived, which was at about 10am we grabbed a taxi which costĀ ā‚¬39, flat rate to get from the airport into Chania, even though we took a longer route to avoid the traffic that hits Chania at that time of day due to the cruise liners. Our Taxi driver was lovely and told us all about the things we could do in Chania and gave us some recommendations for other places on the island if we had time. I was also recovering form a cold, which he kindly offered me a cough drop for.

When we arrived at our accommodation, Elea Appartments, we were about 3.5 hours early for our check in time, however they let us leave our suitcases with them and gave us information for getting into town or heading to the beach. We opted to head to the beach as it was closer and it was a beautiful day.

With our extra time we explored the coast and found 3 beaches, all stunning. After grabbing lunch at one of the beach shack cafe’s and walking to the local supermarket -about a 10 minute walk from our accommodation – we headed back to the accommodation. We were just going to chill by the pool but they had already cleaned the apartment we were staying in and were happy for us to check in at 1:30pm.

While we were in Chania we had a pretty chill week. I would definitely recommend staying for a week or more. There is so much to do and we ran out of time to get to everything we had set out to do.

While we were there though we spent a day exploring Chania’s old town, which is a beautiful town on the coast.

 

We then spend a day on a boat tour visiting two beaches. One of which was Balos beach which is hard to get to driving, you have to park up the top of a mountain and hike down to it. Its definitely worth doing, Balos is beautiful.

Balos 2Balos 3balos 4Balos 5

Another day we spent completing the Samaria Gorge hike. This hike is not for anyone that likes a leisurely walk. This hike takes 4-8 hours depending on your pace and is 16.5km over uneven terrain. The views are worth it though, its absolutely stunning.

It took us some time to recover from the hike so we ended up needing a couple of chill days that we spent by the pool or at the local beach.

We were able to book both of these adventures through our accommodation. Which I would highly recommend as they will organise your boat tickets and your entry.

Another amazing thing about Chania is the food! The greek salads were amazing and at nearly every place we ate dinner we were give complimentary coffee, cake and Raki shots. It was honestly amazing and made me love the people of Chania even more.

I would highly recommend travelling to Chania!

– Useful Links –

Athens international Airport
Chania, Crete
Balos Beach
Samaria Gorge
Elea Apartments
Zeus’s Birthplace

 

 

Greece Travel Diary #4: Mainland Tour (Day 4)

Today was the LAST day of our tour and it was such a bitter sweet day. We were looking forward to going to Meteora – one of the places the GeorgeĀ wanted to visit the most – but we were also ending our tour. We’d met some amazing people through out and our tour guide was incredibly knowledgeable that it just seemed crazy that this was it and then we would be on our own again!

We woke early again – if getting up early is not a thing you can get around then I don’t think this tour is for you! – before our last breakfast all together and got back on our coach to head to the stunning monasteries of Meteora.Ā We were visiting two of the four (I believe) that are still in use. As we were driving up to the first monastery we passed what looked like a cave high in the side of one of the rocks, Dimitra explained to us that this was a shrine to St. George. The small cave was filled with colour fabrics and even a Greek flag. It was a custom – and still is – that on St. Georges day, 23rd of April, all the men named George climb up and leave a piece of fabric as a tribute to St. George. I thought it was absolutely incredible that this tradition has been carried on even now in modern day Greece.

After a very curve heavy drive up to the first monastery we walked from the carpark, up a lot of stairs into the first monastery. It was straight up stunning. I still cannot fathom how they were able to build these beautiful buildings with no roads leading to the monasteries. They even showed us the pulley system they used to get people up to the tops of the rocks!

Things to note about Meteora:
* the road is very windy and small, if you get bus sick try to sit near the front of the bus.
* You can’t take photos when you are inside the actual building.
* there are Monks and Nuns who care for the two monasteries
* the toilets are not modern toilets.
* Both men and women need to have their knees and shoulders covered and Women must be wearing a skirt. They do provide skirts to put over shorts or pants, but I found it easier just wearing a long skirt.

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Meteora is stunning and its somewhere I recommend you visit!

After exploring both Monasteries we had a long long – about 5 hours – drive back to Athens. We were dropped at our hotels, so the process did take some time, but it was nice that once we were dropped of we didn’t need to worry about trying to find our hotels after we got dropped off.

Overall I would HIGHLY recommend this tour. Its amazing value for money, as well as being incredibly in depth and easy to understand. Everything was incredibly organised and the driver and tour guide were always willing to answer questions. Also included in the price is the cost of your accomodation, breakfast and dinner (lunch is own expense but quiet cheap) as well as entry to all the sites visited. We only paidĀ ā‚¬2 each to the monastery to light a candle.

– Useful Links –

Tour
Meteora Monasteries
Amalia Hotel – Kalambaka

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what are some of your Tour experiences? This is the first one I’ve been on that is more than a day!

Greece Travel Diary #3: Mainland Tour (Day 3)

Our 3rd day on the tour started again with an early wake up call. We were heading to Delphi and Kalambaka today. After the long drive yesterday I think we were all grateful to hear that we were only travelling a short distance for the morning.

Delphi was somewhere that was really looking forward to going. I knew all about its significance during the Classical period, having just finished ‘Mythos’ By Stephen Fry on the bus the day before.

It felt like our experience was enhanced thanks to the low clouds that gave it an eerie feeling, well deserved in my opinion considering that people travelled from all over Greece to experience the Oracle of Delphi and to worship in the temples dedicated to all the gods, but most prominently, Apollo.

We saw the belly button of the earth where the two eagles sent out my Zeus met, which is now a stunning and well polished stone. Honestly I couldn’t even fathom how they had built all they had up there considering there we no cars and we were kind of on a mountain.

after a some time to explore the site, we headed to the museum of Delphi to complete a walking tour with Dimitra were we were taken around to the key exhibits. We were even lucky enough to visit the Sphinx of Naxos and theĀ charioteer of Delphi!

Once the guided tour was completed, we were able to walk around the museum on our own before heading back onto the bus. We had another long drive ahead of us as we drove from Delphi to Kalambaka.Ā map

Kalambaka is the closest town to Meteora which was out last stop for the whole tour! We got into our hotel quiet late – 7:30pmish- and headed down for dinner before hitting the hay very very early!

This was also the day that we had a few changes in terms of our bus. After exploring Delphi we went back to the hotel where the people who were only completing the 3 day tour stayed on the original bus and everyone doing the 4 day tour – including us! – moved onto a new bus with people completing a 2 day tour of Delphi and Meteora. Now this kind of thing usually stresses me out a lot! I don’t want to end up in the wrong place or loose my suitcase. Thankfully everything was fantastically organised and we were able to navigate this tricky change over easily – thank goodness!

– Useful Links –Ā 

Tour
Amalia Hotel Delphi
Delphi
KalambakaĀ 
‘Mythos’ By Stephen Fry Review

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