Through The Lens: Bruges Impressions #2

Today I have some more photographs of Bruges for you. This is the second edition of „Through The Lens: Bruges Impressions“, if you have not seen the first part of this small photography series, click here.

I hope you enjoy the photographs!

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The „Grote Markt“ is so beautiful!

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I became obsessed with taking pictures of beautiful doorways!

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and another doorway…
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…last one, I promise!
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This is what happens when you are taking pictures while you are walking… but still- these houses are so beautiful!

Thanks for „reading“!
xx, Sophie

Through The Lens: Bruges Impressions #1

Bruges (Flemish: Brugge; German: Brügge) is a beautiful city in Belgium near the dutch border. Its historic city centre is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and this beautiful city is home to almost 120K people. This post is more about the pictures, which is why I decided to choose the title „Through The Lens“. My friend and I only spend two hours in Bruges but we loved wandering through the beautiful streets and enjoyed the architecture of the buildings.

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The Markt (the market square)

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Belfry of Bruges on Market Square (The highest building in Bruges!)

Ending this post with „Thanks for reading“ is not really appropriate I guess – therefore: Thanks for having a look at my Bruges-Photographs, I hope you enjoyed them!
xx, Sophie

Road Trippin‘ England #2 – Hiking the Seven Sisters

Blogpost contains unsponsored ads (Restaurants etc.). These are all my personal recommendations based on my experience in England. I don’t get paid for mentioning any of these places.

 

Hello and welcome back to my Road Trippin‘ England series!

If you have no clue what I’m talking about, make sure to check out the first post of this series where we took the ferry to Dover and started our road trip (click here).

After we had left Folkestone, we headed towards our next destination:

The Seven Sisters

The Seven Sisters are a series of chalk cliffs, situated in the South Downs National Park between the two coastal towns, Seaford and Eastbourne.

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We parked our car in a car park in a street called Crowlink Lane. From there we took a twenty minute walk to the cliffs across the meadows of the national park which are home to sheep and cattle since the area is used as a farm.

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The view from the cliffs is simply stunning. However, be careful and stay away from the edge- as solid as they may seem, these cliffs are naturally unstable and cliff falls happen.

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Yup, these cliffs are definitely naturally unstable. 

Tea Time

If you need a break from hiking, you can enjoy a coffee or tea, as well as other foods and drinks at the Birling Gap Café next to the National Trust Birling Gap and the Seven Sisters.
On our hike we haven’t seen too many people, only at the Tourist center that I’ve just mentioned. As far as I can tell, many people just like to park their car near the cliffs and enjoy the view, only some people actually like to hike the cliffs.

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After a quick coffee break, we went back to the car and enjoyed the walk being surrounded by baby sheep with their mothers and curious calfs observing us through the fence of their meadows.

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A curious baby sheep approaching a calf. 
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Poor little baby sheep got scared when the calf snuffled. 

I loved hiking the Seven Sisters and I will definitely come back (with better footwear)!
Thanks for reading.

xx, Sophie

Road Trippin‘ England #1 White Cliffs of Dover and spending the night in Folkestone

Blogpost contains unsponsored ads (Hostels, Restaurants etc.). These are all my personal recommendations based on my experience in England. I don’t get paid for mentioning any of these places.

Long time ago in 2018, (can’t believe it’s already 2020 and  I haven’t posted this article earlier) my dad and I decided to go an a road trip to England.
We drove my little, at least 24 year old, VW Golf Three Cabriolet to Calais and took the ferry to Dover. We had to book the ferry in advance and since my dad and I are usually not „over punctual“, we were fearing we might miss the ferry, which was not particular cheap to be honest. Fortunately, we made it on time and enjoyed the ride to England while at least half of the cars where honking because their alarms got off due to the movement of the ferry.

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The White Cliffs of Dover, arriving at the P&O Dover Ferry terminal

After twenty minutes, we could see the the beautiful and well known White Cliffs of Dover. I am definitely obsessed with rocks, cliffs and mountains, therefore, approaching the cliffs was really amazing to me. It didn’t take us too long to get off the ferry and we decided to drive uphill and go for a short walk. We parked the car on a car park near the Visitor Center Langdon Cliffs and wandered around the green meadows on top of the cliffs.

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View on Dover Harbour 
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Dover Castle

We had a great view on Dover Castle and enjoyed the last rays of sunlight, the view on the sea and the fresh and salty air.

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As the sun was beginning to set, we decided to drive through the city of Dover, in order to drive to Folkestone, a small city near Dover where our hotel was located. If we saw a nice spot, we would just stop, wander around, take a picture and then go on. Since we hadn’t really planned the trip, we had time to relax and go wherever we wanted.

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The hotel we booked a day earlier was the Southcliff Hotel, I nice and inexpensive hotel, that offered English and continental breakfast as well.

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Hummus and Falafel at the Aspendos Restaurant

The receptionist recommended the Aspendos Restaurant to us, a Turkish restaurant that offers a great variety of delicious dishes and has inside and outside seating options. I had hummus and falafel and they also served us fresh pita (I think it was pita…) bread. To be honest, I think this was just the starter but I can’t remember what I had as a main dish.

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The next day we left after breakfast and continued our trip, driving along the coast, seeing many nice places and beautiful houses. I really love the „typical“ English houses with the red bricks and the cute chimneys.

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After a short stop at a beach, we eventually arrived at our next destination, which I will talk about in the next England Road Trip post.

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Quick stop at a beach on the way to our next destination.

We really enjoyed Folkestone as a place to spend the night. The hotels there were definitely cheaper than in Dover, the atmosphere was nice and the view on the sea was amazing! We also spend our last night before heading back to Germany in the same hotel and tried another restaurant, which I can highly recommend, called The Meze House. It is a greek restaurant located almost next to the Southcliff Hotel in a street called „Shakespeare Terrace“– and the food was great! I absolutely fell in love with Halloumi fries and we eventually ordered them twice, since even my dad loved them, although he always referred to Halloumi as the „Squeaking Cheese“ and never really enjoyed it… until that point … :)!

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The Meze House, such a beautiful interior design!

Stay tuned for the upcoming articles about our little „England Road Trip Adventure“, I hope you enjoyed reading this!

xx, Sophie

Afternoon in Amsterdam

Hello everybody,

before we get into my little Amsterdam experience, I just want to draw your attention to my new domain. Unfortunately, someone managed to use my old domain and I had to switch to http://www.aperture-wanderlust.com – I just wanted to let you know! Sorry for the inconvenience.

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Alrighty, in June 2018 my friend and I decided to go on a road trip to Belgium and the Netherlands. On our way back to Germany we decided spend an afternoon in Amsterdam. Since it was a quite spontaneous-low budget-trip, we did not plan to stay over night and parked in a P&R parking area for only a couple of euros. The parking fee also included the ticket for public transport. From there we just took a tram to the main train station in Amsterdam.

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To be honest, I definitely need to go back because even though we have seen and admired the pretty buildings, streets and channels, we have not been to a single museum and I cannot really give you any tips or recommendations besides from just strolling around and enjoying the beauty of the city.

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However, what I really love about Amsterdam is how friendly and open people are. People talked to us on the streets, complimented us from their bikes and the atmosphere in general was really nice. As you can see, I took many pictures of the facades and channels, of course we could not miss taking some pictures of ourselves 🙂

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We finished our little side trip to this gorgeous city with some good old pasta in a nice, little restaurant. I will definitely come back!

Do you have any recommendations for my next Amsterdam trip?

Thanks for reading!
Sophie

Traveller’s Autobarn Australia, our experience

There are two big car rental companies in Australia where travellers under the age of 21 are allowed to rent cars: Juicy and Traveller’s Autobarn.
Since we wanted to rent a car and drive from Brisbane to Sydney, we asked our travel company ‚Peter Pan’s Travel‘ for help and decided to rent a Ford Falcon Station Wagon.
The car came with a tent, a stove (which didn’t work but we bought a new one and got the money back), cooking supplies and two chairs.
Well, our trip was cool but there are some reasons why I won’t go with Traveller’s Autobarn again.

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The staff from Traveller’s Autobarn in Brisbane was quite friendly and the pick-up was totally fine. We spent the first day driving from Brisbane to Beenleigh and made our way to Gold Coast and Lamington National Park the next days.
So, on our last day in Lamington we realised our car battery was dead.
Yes, we did pay attention not to use the lights of the car, the radio or whatsoever.
Problem was, that there was no phone signal, only for Telstra Sim Cards. At that time we had vodafone data sim cards, but fortunately I kept my old Telstra sim and consequently was able to call the road assistance. It took them two hours to get to the park (thirty kilometers uphill) and the guy jump started our car and told us that the battery only had half the power it was supposed to have. However, what he said was something like ‚give it a good ride and you should be fine the next two weeks‘. We were slightly annoyed since we were back on the road at five in the evening, although we had planned to drive to Byron Bay that day. Instead, we were forced to spend the night on a creepy highway campground/parking space.

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Our Falcon broke down a second time in Byron Bay and some Australian guys gave us a jump start. In order to be able to continue our road trip the next day and drive to Port Maquarie, we drove around for twenty minutes. Obviously our plan didn’t work out and we called Road Assistance again next morning. They jump started our car AGAIN and told us to go to the next garage in Byron Bay. Surprise surprise, they told us it wasn’t the battery but the alternator and we had to wait three hours until they had replaced it. Consequently, we lost another day.
The people from the garage also talked to Traveller’s Autobarn and fortunately they paid for the repair.

 

 

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You think everything was alright then? It wasn’t. The fourth time our car broke down was in Crowdy Bay National Park and we had to ask again for a jump start on our campground. This time we were so annoyed and contacted Traveller’s Autobarn.
A staff member told us that we would get a refund for the two days we had to rely on Road Assistance and said we would get a refund if we returned our car two days earlier.

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Green Mountains Camping Area was the best campground we had!

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At that time, we were totally exhausted and annoyed. The car had ruined our trip and we were scared our car might break down again. It had already forced us to sleep at gloomy motorway rest areas and we just wanted to get rid of this car and finally arrive in Sydney. Since the guy told us that we could return our car earlier, we decided to go for it quitted the trip.

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Again- surprise! We got into trouble with the Traveller’s Autobarn garage in Sydney since they didn’t want to give us the full refund of four days and told us that there was nothing wrong with the car. They said they had checked it and everything was alright. If we knew that they wouldn’t give us the refund, we would have stayed in Newcastle.
However, we returned the car earlier and had to pay another two nights in our hostel.
Too bad.

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Reading ‚Gone Girl‘

To summarise, they gave us a car that didn’t work properly, they gave us false information and the staff in Sydney was rather arrogant than friendly.
Even though we spend a lot of time worrying and waiting, our road trip was still very cool but I know for sure, that I will NEVER EVER rent a car at Traveller’s Autobarn again.
I will probably publish another blogpost where I will be talking about traffic, roads, gas and the positive aspects of our road trip the next few weeks.

I hope some of you found this helpful. If some of you have ever rented a car at this company, please tell me about your experience :)!

xx, Sophie