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: 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!

Prague’s International Airport

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

5 things to do in Budapest

 Go to Fisherman’s Bastion (Halászbástya)

The architecture in this place is absolutely beautiful especially when you get to go on one of the tower’s terraces. The panoramic view from up above is stunning and very peaceful. You will be able to look down on the Danube, Margaret Island, Pest and the Gellért Hill. 
 

Enjoy and relax in thermal baths and pool (Széchenyi)

There are a lot of thermal baths and pools in Budapest but from my own experience I can recommend the Széchenyi Thermal Bath. The pools in there has different variation of temperatures; the outdoor pools are 7 to 38 °C (81 to 100 °F) while the indoor pools are about 27 °C (81 °F). They also have saunas, steam rooms and massage services.  

Try Geralto Rosa

I LOVE their ice cream and its creativity of the rose shape . I was literally going back to it everyday when I was in Budapest. Their ice cream was super tasty and there was a decent amount of flavour varieties. I visited a few times in a row and I got the same excellent quality of customer service. The place is located right next to St Stephen’s Basilica and here is their address: Szent Istvan ter 3, Budapest 1051, Hungary.img_4576img_4578img_4574img_4583

Visit the Great Market Hall (Nagyvásárcsarnok)

This place is also known as the Central Market Hall. On the ground floor you will be able to find fresh fruits, vegetables, meats and Hungarian specialities. However, my favourite part was the first floor as it had a lot of eateries that offers warm Hungarian foods. In addition, it was also the perfect place to shop for souvenirs as they are much cheaper than buying it from a souvenir shop. They had key rings, magnets, embroidery, lace, porcelain, crystal vases and so much more.   

St. Stephen’s Basilica (Szent István-bazilika)

This basilica is included in one of the world’s top ten most photographed buildings. Once you stand right in front of it, you’ll definitely know why. The architecture is absolutely amazing! They do organ concerts for reasonable prices and it is also possible to go up the cupola and take in the overview of the whole Budapest. In addition, Stephen’s Square has a lot of cafe and restaurants around.       Lots of love from,

dsb