DeeWanderlust: Brugge, Belgium

Finally, here is the other half of my Belgium travel diary. Brugge was stunning and I thought that it definitely deserved to have its own separate post. This is the link of the first half if you haven’t seen it yet – DeeWanderlust: Brussels, Belgium 

Honestly, Brugge wasn’t part of my initial itinerary when going to Belgium but since we were staying longer than planned and with peoples’ suggestions we took a day trip to Brugge. I’m so happy that we did as the city was absolutely stunning.

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We took the train from Gare du Midi station and bought our tickets there on the day. Ghent was part of the ticket, but we decided to skip it and focus on exploring Brugge.

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Brugge is a beautiful city and I am glad that I got to explore this fairytale medieval town.

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Below is Bruges’ Town Hall ‘Stadhuis’, which is one of the oldest building in Belgium. The amazing Gothic architecture was constructed between 1376 and 1420. It’s insane to think that it is from here that the city has been governed for more than 600 years!    

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 Lunch with a view – as you can see I enjoyed having beer, mussels and fries (and of course I also had waffles for dessert!)

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I seriously loved the vibe in this place. The cobbled streets, horse carriages and medieval canals reminded me of a place that we visited in the Philippines called Vigan.

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Don’t you just love these colourful buildings in Markt Square? So pretty! 

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Finally, I had to have my moment of overlooking the canal. Touring around can get too much sometimes, most especially when it’s summer time. This is why ever time I go on a trip I make sure that I stop for a moment and take the time to enjoy the scenery. Brugge was so tranquil and peaceful and this was definitely a good trip for me.

Let me know on the comments down below if you have been to Brugge or Belgium in general and what you loved about the city the most?

As for me I really enjoyed my trip because the places were full of life. It was buzzing  with people, music and of course delicious food! I also admire the architecture and historical buildings that Belgium had to offer.

Where is your next holiday destination? 

Love from,

dsb

DeeWanderlust: Brussels, Belgium

Hey, nothing new with the intro.. it has always been the ‘I can’t believe I’m back to blogging again’ opening sentence! It has truly been a long time since my last post – exactly 9 months ago. I know that is absolutely terrible but here I go again, trying it for the Nth time to be consistent with blogging for 2019 🙂

So finally another travel blog and this time it is all about Brussels! From London (St Pancras International station) to Brussels (Gare du Midi station), it only takes approximately 2 hours via Eurostar which I think is amazing. Personally, I had a comfortable journey on the train itself, the temperature was nice and cool, you can bring your own food and wine or any drinks that you wish to have on the train. They also sell food and drinks on board. However, the only problem I found was the disorganised boarding process from St Pancras. Though the checks and passport control was smooth when leaving Brussels, it was the opposite when we were checking in at St Pancras. The queue was long and disorganised but I figured that there were three trains departing few minutes apart from each other (two Paris trains and our train to Brussels) at the time. There was hardly any space and people were sitting on the floor in the waiting area.

The Grand Place (Grote Markt), which is the central square of the city was the main one my list and it did not disappoint when I got to finally see it. It is registered on the World Heritage List of the UNESCO and it is absolutely beautiful. It is surrounded with the guild houses, City Hall and Maison du Roi. I have seen the place in daylight and at night and they are both just as lovely.

In the summer, they have the famous Flower Carpet on the Grand Place and last year’s event was devoted to Guanajuato, which is a Mexican region with exceptionally rich culture and flower tradition.

I love the Mont de Arts area, the first time I went to see it was just before sunset and it was so beautiful, but unfortunately I couldn’t take much photos due to lighting. However, I loved it – we just walked around, chilled after a long tiring day, watched the sunset while there were singers performing by the steps of Mont de Arts (how romantic 😊).

I then made sure that we go back to the place the very next day when it was much more brighter and sunny so I can take photos. Also, when you go up the stairs, you can see a fine view of the lower central city and the whole view of the beautiful flowers/garden.

While on our way to find Parc du Cinquantenaire, as soon as we exited the metro station we spotted the EU building. I saw it before as one of the list to visit for Brussels but I honestly didn’t think much of it. It was so unexpected but I am glad that it was close by to our itinerary and we were able to take photos from the outside of the building.

We also visited some amazing churches and other tourist spots.

After a few days of being a tourist, walking and exploring around the city can get so tiring and draining. Parc du Cinquantenaire was the place where we got to relax. On our way, there was a corner shop where we got our snacks and cold drinks from to bring to the park. We chilled and enjoyed nature for few hours and I must say that it was great being able to go to a tourist spot and yet still get to relax at the same time. Also, when we went around just after lunch time, there weren’t much people which is sometimes nice.

Of course, the other thing that I did enjoy was the food. Mussels, Belgian fries, beer, waffles and chocolates were some of them.

Overall, I was so happy with my Brussels trip. I have been tracking the weather for about a week or two before I went and it was supposed to be rainy and gloomy for all the days that I am staying but fortunately enough it was the complete opposite –  sunny and warm.

I will do a separate post for my Brugge, Belgium adventure because it is worth having a separate travel diary for that beautiful city.

Thanks for reading! Let me know what your next holiday destination is. Also, if you have been to Brussels, what were your favourite places and why?

Lots of love,

dsb

 

 

DeeWanderlust: Paoay Church and Culili Point Adventure

I’m so happy that I’m finally doing another travel post after such a long time! This one is about Paoay, Ilocos Norte, Philippines. When I went on holiday, I had to visit the Northern part of the country as I hear so many good things about it but I just never had the chance to really visit. It was quite far away from the area where we usually stay and yes that equals to long drives but all I can say was it was worth it. We went to so many amazing places in the North that I had to break my blog post in few parts but for now here is my Deewanderlust adventure in Paoay, Ilocos Norte:

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As you can see in the photo, Paoay Church also known as San Agustine Church is absolutely beautiful. It’s overall design of Gothic and baroque emphasises its beauty and history. I am not surprised why it is considered as one of the oldest and most beautiful churches in the entire Philippines. It is under a United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) World Heritage Site under the group of Baroque Churches of the Philippines.

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How I wish I got to show the interior of the church as it also looks amazing. It had coral stones, bricks and impressive architectural styles. The locals were explaining to us how the church stood the test of time. It had obviously survived countless typhoons and earthquakes. However, it was partially damaged during the strong earthquakes in 1865 and 1885. Nonetheless, I still think that it is stunning and the history behind it makes it even more beautiful. It almost reminds me of our local church in Morong Bataan (Our Lady of the Pillar Parish Church).

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Culili Point Sand Dunes Adventure – 4×4 ride and sand boarding

I’ll start off by saying that this was the highlight of my visit in the North!!! I loved the 4×4 ride adventure. I was sceptical at first and a bit overwhelmed as it wasn’t really part of our itinerary but my uncle decided to take us to this place because he said it will be fun. He was right, it was super fun and extreme! We went in a big group but only few of us rode on the 4×4 but can you believe that even my dad’s older sister joined us.

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We had to stand at the back of the ride and I remember the adrenaline it gave when we knew that we were going steep and downhill, so fun!

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The view was absolutely stunning, the sand, sea, sun, dunes, desert everything!  Sometimes it’s nice to see an empty space as it makes you appreciate nature more. Lucky enough our driver stopped a few times for us to be able to take photos, I mean if he didn’t I would have asked him to anyway. 😊

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There was a sand boarding area at the end of our driving experience. However, I didn’t get to try this. Some of my family members had a go and they said it was fun and had an amazing experience. I mean how often can you surf in the sand? 😊  Unfortunately, we didn’t get to stay in this area for too long as we had other places to go to. As you can see I was wearing a dress that day, I decided not to try it as I think I was not dressed appropriately for it and honestly, I was not in the mood to surf in the sand but I enjoyed watching and cheering other people surf.

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Overall, I loved my 4×4 adventure and would recommend it if you have the chance to visit the place. Not only that Culili Point will give you an amazing experience and the adrenaline rush but there are also loads of other beautiful places to visit within the area.

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 What is the best adventure you have done so far or planning to experience? Give me ideas, I need to add some on my bucket list!

Lots of love from,

dsb

DeeWanderlust: Prague, Czech Republic

Prague, Czech Republic is such a wonderful place. It will definitely be a city that I would want to go back to. It offers breathtaking views, historic gardens, gothic cathedrals and many more. I am so in love with Prague and I appreciate the city’s diversity of architecture as they have both historical and modern ones. There are some places that are less known attraction but ended up being the highlight of my trip. The food were amazing and relatively affordable in relation to prices of food here in London. The people were so friendly and helpful especially when I have to ask for directions, they seemed to not be annoyed with tourist asking them questions. They also have few shopping malls such asNový Smíchov, Palladium, Chodov and many more. I love how they have Sephora, I literally went inside Sephora every single day that I was there. I had to take advantage as for some strange reason we don’t have any Sephora stores in London, therefore Sephora line of products are quite hard to get hold of. Overall, I enjoyed my holiday as the city has full of character and life. I absolutely loved every bit of it. Also, when I was there the sun was shining throughout the whole week which made my stay even more amazing!

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Prague’s tram: The tram can actually access places like downtown Prague. These are the locations where the buses do not get to enter. They also have night trams, which runs from midnight to 4:30am but I would reccommend to first check the schedule if you are thinking of using it at night.

Walk around the city: Walking is very much enjoyable in Prague. The good thing about it is that if you are close to a landmark, it is pretty much certain than you are surrounded with other good spots within walking distance. For instance, if you are in Old Town Square, the surrounding places around it are interesting (such as Charles Bridge and Wencelas Square) which are all within 30 minutes walk. 

Visit churches: There are full of historical architectures around the city and Prague’s churches are a must-visit. The photo below is St. Salvator Church in Cahrles Bridge, which is said to be one of the largest and most complex building in the Old Town. The baroque architectures, sandstone sculptures and a dome painted with fresco are some of the reasons why I find the St. Salvator Church so majestic. Enjoy the view: I found that one of the best views I got was when I went up the Prague Castle. It was so clear to me Prague is such a picturesque city. I definitely got to admire the ancient side of things and it was definitely something very memorable for me.

Look up at the Astronomical Clock: this medieval clock was installed in the year 1410, which makes it the third-oldest astronomical clock in the world. I would recommend to wait to a round hour so that you will be able to watch the famous moving figures of the clock. This is located in the famous Old Town Square of Prague.

Visit the Old Town Square: This has got to be one of my personal favourite spot in Prague. It is such a historic square, which is located between Charles Bridge and Wenceslas Square. I remember being here and admiring how magical the place looked. It has various architectural styles including the Gothic Church of our Lady before Týn, the astronomical clock and the Baroque St. Nicholas Church. It also features statues and memorials within the Town Square. What I love the most about this place is the vibe. It has such a fun and happy vibe. The place had street performers who were playing satisfying music from classical, pop to rock and other genre. Some were dance performers and magicians. The Old Town Square is a must visit when in Prague. img_5547img_5559

Try the Czech traditional cuisines: There are loads of great restaurants and cafés all over the city. One of the most popular traditional side dish is knedliky (dumplings), which includes either pork or beef meat with sauce. Tasteful Czech cuisines usually includes chicken, fish, duck, turkey, lamb and rabbit. I found that they also serve Guláš everywhere, which I love because it reminded me of my trip to Budapest. However, goulash actually belongs to the traditional Hungarian cuisine. The dishes mentioned are recommended to combine with beer and Prague offers loads of beer options aswell as their own brand of Pilsner Urquell.img_5642img_5805

The photo below shows Czech’s traditional cake and sweet pastry, which is called trdelník. It is made from rolled dough that is wrapped around a stick, which they then grill and top with sugar and walnut mix and sometimes even coat with nutella. 

I totally enjoyed this potato chip spiral. This particular one from the photo below was located at the Old Town Square. It was perfect for snacks while I waited for the hour to watch the famous moving figures of the astronomical clock. 

Cross the Charles Bridge: This is one of the first tourist spot that I got to visit as I crossed the bridge on my first day of getting to the city. I absolutely love the Baroque statues, I have never seen anything like it before. It felt very medieval, it was like I was living in a different era. Even though the place was popular with tourists; it was somehow still very peaceful for me. I was admiring the unique structures of the building and I was definitely loving the vibe. I also got to dine in one of the restaurants by the bridge and it was such an amazing experience. It was very romantic as live classical music was playing while having delicious dinner and of course being surrounded by the beautiful scenery was so memorable. 

These are some of the paintings that they sell by the bridge. As you can see, they all look so lovely and the artists are clearly very talented. 

Out of all the photo that I took in Prague, the photo below has got to be one of my favorite. It looks so magical and it felt so wonderful being able to witness that kind of view. The river, trees, building and the sky are absolutely captured perfectly in a photo. I loved how the sun was peeking, which is also surrounded with blue skies. It felt like it was shining upon someone or something. I stayed in this spot for quite a while until the sun went down, which was so beautiful to witness.

Tour Prague castle (breathtaking view): The other name for Prague Castle is Pražský Hrad, which is one of the most popular tourist attraction. The castle is located above Malá Strana (the Lesser Town). The good thing is that it is free to enter and wander around the courtyards of Prague Castle. The view in the castle was truly breathtaking as you will be able to see the whole city from a different perspective. 

St. Vitus Cathedral: This cathedral is one of the most recognisable landmark in Prague. It is also the most important church in the country as it contains many Bohemian kings and Holy Roman Emperors’ tombs. I love the detail of the cathedral and its gothic architectural style. I admire the cathedral because of its rose window, the mosaic of the last judgement and its intricate stained glass design.

Check out some souvenirs: I would recommend to go to Havelske Trziste Market in Havelska Street for souvenirs as it is cheaper than buying it in the shops or malls. It is a permanent market that offers souvenirs, arts and crafts, chocolates, sweets, wooden toys, leather goods, ceramics, fruits, vegetables and many more. It is located off Melantrichova, a pedestrian route which links Wencelas Square with the Old Town Square. 

I enjoyed taking the public transport and the picture below shows how cool their stations are. From my experience, the transport was very much straight forward, reliable and convenient. The stations’ design varies from a modern style to an artistic graffiti walls.img_5661

Have you been to Prague, Czech Republic? If so, how was your adventure and if  you haven’t where was you last holiday and how was it? 

Lots of love from,

dsb

DeeWanderlust: Budapest, Hungary

Budapest is such a beautiful place and it will always be special to me. The sceneries are breathtaking, the food was nice and most of all the people were lovely. The people I came across were all so friendly and helpful. I didn’t feel any language barrier as most of them knew how to speak English very well. The place was also not crowded at all or maybe I just got used to living life in the very busy London town. Below are some of the random pictures I have while I was in Budapest:

This is called the Budapest Castle Hill Funicular (Budavári Sikló) and it has two stations. The upper station is the Castle Hill and the lower station is located at the Buda end of the Chain Bridge. Initially, the plan was to take the short ride up to get to Castle Hill. However, when I noticed that there was a walkway to go up the hill, I decided to climb the stairs instead. It was tiring because the hill was quiet steep but it was all worth it as I got to see such an amazing panoramic views.

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These are the shots that I took when I got up the hill. It was almost like it doesn’t matter which angle you take it from because the place is truly beautiful. In the pictures below, you can see the Chain Bridge. This was the first bridge to connect Buda and Pest. It was definitely worth it go up the hill to see the beautiful view. It was the perfect time to reflect on life as it was so peaceful where I was standing while overlooking the busy Budapest.

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This was when I was actually standing on the Chain Bridge. Looking over Danube river and enjoying the view was so peaceful. It reminds me a little bit of our River Thames here in London.

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While walking on the Chain Bridge towards the Parliament, I found a perfect place to chill. As you can see, it has sand and beach benches. It seems like it was a couples’ spot because I remember looking around and seeing couples everywhere. People were drinking beer by the river and watching the sunset.

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The architecture in Budapest is amazing the most obvious one in my photo below is the Hungarian Parliament Building. It looks stunning both in day and night.

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My favourite place in Budapest has got to be the Fisherman’s Bastion (Halászbástya). The place was located on the Buda side of the Danube, on the Castle Hill. I remember seeing it and being so speechless because it literally felt so magical. It felt like I was in one of the real Disney palaces. The real palaces with rich in history and not a colourful with glitters girly version.

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It got even more amazing when I went up the tower’s terraces. I felt like a real princess inside the castle and being able to look at the overview of Budapest. The Danube, Margaret Island, Pest and the Gellért Hill existed. I will never ever forget the excitement that I had while being there as I loved every second of it! I still can’t believe that it did not even cost me any forint to enter the Fisherman’s Bastion.

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I was so glad that I stayed right near Keleti Pályaudvar station as it was very much accessible to mostly all the places that I wanted to visit.

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Of course my DeeWanderlust series in Budapest, Hungary will not be complete if I did not try the best food in the city.IMG_6516IMG_3455

 

Overall, I totally enjoyed my holiday and would love to go back there again. Have you been to Budapest? If so, how was your experience? If not, where was your recent holiday and how was it? 

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 Lots of love from,

dsb