Well well Hello there! Hope you guys are all staying safe and healthy during this Covid-19 pandemic. If you guys are bored home staying home and have nothing to do at the moment hope you have great time reading this short blog on my trips in 2019. I must admit I took really long time completing(well its not really completed but yea) after procrastinating for a while. After you continue reading you might notice how lazily written it is towards the end. But if you feel like this is a long ass blog and can’t be arsed to read feel free to skip the read and watch the video at the end 😀
I literally can’t believe the last post I made was more than a year ago.. 😥 sorry for not showing some attention and love my poor website. Time flies so quick…I guess people keep repeating themselves about it very often and get surprised every time.
2019 has been overall good journey. Have met a lot of people through work, dance classes and apps. Some I still keep in touch with whereas some they were just meant to be in the few chapter of my life I guess. Not sure if it was meant to be due to some of my the actions. Do apologise to anyone that I have made them feel uncomfortable, spat out some words that were not meant to be said or did any form of action. Hope all of the people I met have been doing well. Ok! all sad and petty stuff aside… lets continue haha
The places I travelled to were mostly European countries as I had nearly a year of valid Schengen visa since the last trip to France. So why not make the most out of it right?
I always want to keep updating my travel blogs after completing a holiday but obviously I’ve been slacking way too much. So here’s a brief update on places I have travelled in the year 2019. To be honest I don’t really remember the names of the part of the cities I visited while travelling but will try to mention it if I manage to remember it.
Brussels(16/02/2019 – 17/02/2019)
This trip was a very spontaneous and a quick one as I thought 2 days would be more than enough for Brussels. And yes, personally I thought you wouldn’t need more than 2 days to visit more of the main attraction in the city. We travelled with Eurostar as I believe its the quickest and convenient way to reach there. I’m sure most of the people reading might have already travelled with them but for those who haven’t tried it yet I would definitely recommend it if you are travelling to Brussels.
The main attractions can be found around the Grand place. Which is basically a square plaza where all the major events occur in the city. The place the surrounded by architecturally magnificent buildings and you can observe people take selfies, chilling, drinking etc. I unfortunately don’t have a picture take during the day 😥 do apologise for it.
Another main attraction is obviously the world famous status Manneken Pis. I don’t want to google and paste the fact here about it. But from what I know is a myth, a kid basically pissed and saved the whole city while it was engulfed by fire. Please do not flame at me for writing this information lol. Whether the previous myth is right or wrong here is a fact: after the U.K successfully managed to get their Brexit agreement rolling this status was dressed up with British flag. I think the status gets some makeover done everytime there is a major event happening around the world.
Speaking of Brexit, since it was a hot topic a year ago too, the Belgians had to spice things up with a menu of their own. After seeing the menu I surely had to try it with Belgian waffles with it.. well since its a must once you are in Brussels. I’m pretty sure many people would prefer this version of Brexit compared to the reality. Also I can’t believe I didn’t manage to take picture of French fries/Frites 😦 But do try it. They make the best ones out there. And yea also the goddamn Chocolates and the sausages!
Also loved the small manga store very close to the Grand place. If you are a big fan of anime do check it out. They got good collectables whoop whoop!
Stuttgart, Germany (17/05/2019 -19/05/2019)
This one was another quick cheeky weekend trip. This was the first and the only one German city I have visited so far. You might be wondering umm wait a minute why would this guy pick a not so famous touristy city to visit in Germany? well this trip was initially planned to meet a friend but sadly they couldn’t make it so turned out to be my first solo trip ever haha I always thought about and admired people who travelled their own around the world. This trip gave me a teaser on how solo trip feels like.
The first landmark I visited was the TV tower just to get a view of the whole city of Stuttgart. The tower is in the middle of nowhere but not far from the station itself. The main city centre is a nice place to roam around freely. There is a huge central park where people were sun bathing, chilling and just having a lovely weekend.
My personal favourite was the Mercedes museum. I am personally not a car enthusiasts which I think most people would think its the BOYS thing! But just checking the history of the brand itself was quite interesting how it impacted the country while world wars and many inventions of the auto mobile itself. One thing that caught my attention was the flipping lift in that museum. It looked like it came straight out of future shit.
Another lovely place was the Wilhelma which is basically the botanic garden plus a zoo. Its always nice and refreshing to visit these hotspots as you will always encounter a living creature that you had never seen or had an idea about. I would definitely recommend going for a visit here. And the last place I visited was Staatsgalerie which I was lucky to get in for free as it was the weekend. The piece that I loved the most was the piece from the legend( I guess? haha) Banksy – Love in the bin. I think this specific piece gained a lot of attention as while this piece was being revealed while auction, the art started shredding. Apparently the destruction of the art increased the amount of the item massively. Overall I had a great time as travelling solo, you can manage your time without having to worry about other person but I do miss company. Not sure if I will be able to travel solo again 😛
Madrid, Spain (24/06/2019 – 27/06/2019)
My first trip to mainland Spain and the only travelling abroad in the summer of 2019. I had absolutely no idea about where to visit but thanks for a friend, managed to visit some wonderful landmark in the out of the city.
If you are not a big fan of hot climates, then visiting Madrid in summer might not be a good idea. The tapa’s are the worth the try! yum yummmmm!! I don’t know any places in the city I visited as I was following my friends but I do remember the pretty main square where you can find good food but the price might be hiked compared to other places as it attracts many tourists.
While walking around we stumbled across a cute bubble tea place. Was a great treat! in the boiling temperature.
Also being the home of one of the most renowned football club Real Madrid I had to go an visit the stadium. My personal first football stadium I have ever visited even though I live just 5 min away from prestigious Wembley stadium. Doesn’t really matter if you are a football fan or not it is a cool place to visit.
Another favourite part of the trip was the day trip to El Escorial, from what I remember this its the residence of the King and has preserved the dead bodies of past Kings. It is a nice town to visit and also for a hike if you want.
Hands down Toledo was the favourite part of my trip and a great city to go if you want to avoid busy city of Madrid. It is nearly two hours of bus journey to the city from Madrid. Here you can also find cool places that sell the Game of thrones version of swords. I would definitely recommend you visit this place if you are in Madrid. We overstayed our stay in the city as we mistimed our last bus back. So luckily we were able to quickly book a hotel nearby the bus station. so all good!!!
Snowdonia (23/08/2019 – 26/08/2019)
During my years in Queen mary university I was part of the Nepalese society. Since 2018 with the fellow members we spent a weekend together away from the city. But last year most of the people were unavailable so three of us who were free decided to go for trip to Snowdonia. I had never been to a national park in UK so was very excited for it.
The trip was about 6 hrs long drive so make sure you got something comfy to seat on and make sure you take some rest on the stops and stretch yourself. The views on the way wont disappoint. Also make sure you are you set off early in the morning.. someone of the roads lack lights so might be little troublesome to be driving at night.
Well obviously the best part of the trip was hiking to the top of Mt. Snowdon. I don’t hike often but the overall hike was not that intimidating as I thought it would be. So do not worry about having previous hiking experience. Once you reach the top you do feel accomplished.. well I did. The fresh air and picturesque scene will definitely ease you from your fatigue. Also make sure you wake up early and finish the hike. Some of the route might be very difficult to be going through at night with no light.
Make sure you do checkout the Windmere, a small town with plenty of restaurants and good place to chill by the lake.
Portugal (31/08/2019 – 08/09/2019)
I had always heard great words about Portugal from my colleagues so I definitely had the urge to check the country out myself. Avrigado!! The only word I learnt while on holiday in Portugal haha hope I wrote it correctly. It means thank you in Portuguese (tying to act all smart here). We planned to travel from the North to southern part i.e. Porto -> Lisbon -> Faro. We initially had plan to travel Croatia but later changed our mind to make a week trip to Portugal.
A lovely city if you want to enjoy the riverside city along with some good beaches. The view from the bridge is very gorgeous and the restaurants beside the river is perfect place to chill sipping your cold drink in hot day.
I think personally it was first time having nata for the first time ever. Had to definitely try it since I was there where it was originally made. At first glance I thought it didn’t looking to appealing but once you took a bite it just start melting in your mouth. Boy! it was tasty.
While we were here we also decided to visit the famous bookstore featured as one of the worlds most featured bookstore. Apparently this is where the famous writer J.K. Rowling’s got inspired to create Hogwarts. In the pictures it might seem quite huge but in reality I found it quite small, might be because of many people visiting the store. If you do visit, be ready to wait for other people to finish their photos taken as they will be hogging the space lol
After exciting trip in Porto, we decided to take train journey to Lisbon. We did’t really hit any beaches here but rather explored the city. The city would definitely felt alot denser compared to Porto and laid back. I guess it kind of obvious side of bigger city. Personally I would say I prefer Porto.
But obviously every city has something different to offer right? The highlight for me from this city would be the day trip to Sintra, LxFactory and some cheeky Nepalese food too haha sorry couldn’t help it If you are into some unusual places or in recent terms called ‘Hipster’ area then you should definitely check out LxFactory. The vibe, countless food shops and trippy graffiti is worth the visit.
As I mentioned above another great place to visit if you are in Lisbon is the Sintra palace. A great place to go for short hiking and visiting the beautiful palance on top of the hill. A perfect place to take your instagrammable pictures 😉
The previous trips in Portugal were to big cities, hustling and bustling visiting many landmarks. So as approaching to the end of the whole trip we decided to stop at Faro region where it’s all about the calm, quite and beach life. There were no direct route from Lisbon for we have two take two different trains to get to our destination which was about 4 hours long journey.
If you are planning to visit best advice to be to rent a car in you are not living in the town area. We stayed a little further away from the town so our options were to take bus which arrived every 30 min or Uber.
Due to high waves and weather not being perfect we couldn’t try any of the water sports. But alternatively visiting any of the beaches is a perfect way you could spend your day.
Nepal(10/11/2019 – 25/11/2019)
Ah Nepal!!! After nearly 8 years, I managed to setup a quick holiday trip. I had few holidays left to kill till the end of the year, I had visited mostly European countries previously and my parents were going for a visit so yea it was a no brainer to go back to Nepal for few weeks. Another main reason was that my grandparents were getting older and you never know when would if something could happen to them anytime.
The first day into the trip my Mom decides to organise a Hindu ritual. So for this ritual my whole family was banned from eating meat 😥 that’s not what you expect on the first day of the trip is it? Truly a heart breaker! oh well the ritual was mostly focused on getting rid of all the bad omen in the future. I’m not into religion stuff much but the process of organising all the ingredients needed for it and the story behind it is truly interesting.
One of the other reason why I did not really plan to go Nepal for past years was really because most of my close friends have went abroad and I’m not very close with my cousins or other relatives back home. But not all of them were aboard so I managed to catch up with 2 of my close mates since my early school days. It’s always fun to catch up with old pals and talk about past and just laugh about it. Good times man!! Good times!! And lets not forget about foood!!!! My personal favourite MOMO I couldn’t just have enough of it…just love it. Food are always amazing back home… everything taste just more better. I’m sure everyone feels the same.
Skipping all the city life forward, we made a short trip to my mums home known as Darkha in Ramechhap district. If I recall properly this was my second time going for a visit. Well the journey was quite fascinating and similar to what had imagined from vague memories. My oh my! the ride was one hell of a bumpy one.. so the term ‘ Jumbo’ used to describe the vehicle that goes on a long ride and can sustain the tough journey. Since I’m considered little taller compared to average Nepalese, I had a tough time fitting inside the back row of the van with no leg room at all. Well the ride was about 6 hours long with 2 breaks. The foods in the reststops are to die for. Fresh fishes straight out of the river, with some rice and curry! ahh just great! revitalises all the energy you need for the ride. Also these breaks are nice time to get your butt back in shape… those bumpy rides will surely be making your bum cheeks uneven. The views once you get out of the city are just magnificent.
Finally after we arrived the final destination, my grandparents were waiting for our arrival and were very happy and glad to see us. Was kind of sad to see my grandpa unable to walk anymore because of the injury but at least he is smiling and laughing and as alive as ever which is great. I handed them the mobile phones that I had bought for them since it would be easier for them to keep in touch with anyone.
The fresh air, water and the scenery is what really makes you feel calm, relax and in zen. I would feel why grand parents would rather stay in village than cities. The way of life is just so laid back, friendly people, fresh foods and everyone keep in touch with everyone. While I was there I managed to witness the extraction of the honey. Yea, you guys might be like oh wait that doesn’t sound anything fancy.. well for me it was haha a bite off that fresh honey is just something else…. sweet and yummy felt like a proper bear there! Also I manged to hang around with some chicks! wait what are you guys thinking about? I was talking about actual real chicks yeaa!
Overall it was a nice trip! catching up with family members and long known friends. Nepal will always be a place to have good times! 🙂 ❤