Thinking of inter-railing? Read this!

Morning everyone!

I just got back from almost three weeks of interrailing around Europe and it was the highlight of my summer.  In case you’re wondering what interrailing is; it’s an organisation that allows you to buy one ticket that gives you access to all international trains across Europe and some national trains too.  The options range from 5 days of travel to 1 month, I went for the 15 days continuous pass and tacked on a bit of extra holiday on the end.  The only things that aren’t included is travel with in your own country meaning British travellers will have to purchase a ticket to get to the mainland (I went on the Eurostar) and public transport within countries however this is generally much cheaper than Britain and you can get discounted rates.

I’ve read a lot of posts about interrailing so I hope mine is of use to you.  I’ll give you a summary of what I did in each city and my top tip for the visit.  My route was: London to Brussels (via Eurostar); I only stayed in Brussels long enough to have lunch before going to Amsterdam where my trip really started.  Amsterdam to Berlin, Berlin to Prague then Prague to Venice on an overnight train via Munich, then from Venice to Zurich and I finished with a trip from Zurich to Paris.

Pont de l'Archeveche, Paris

Pont de l’Archeveche, Paris

Amsterdam

This was my favourite city, it’s just so picturesque.  I’m from Cambridge and it reminded me of home with everyone on their bicycles.  I was so impressed by the amount of people that spoke English, even n tiny corner shops; normally I like to try and speak a bit of the local language while I’m on holiday but having no experience of Dutch it made it a lt easier that people spoke English and were happy to help.

Must do in Amsterdam: the Van Gogh Museum, the Rijksmuseum, a cycle ride in the Vondelpark.  If it’s spring time go to the flower market, I was there in August so it was disappointing but I can imagine it’s stunning when it’s filled with tulips. Visit Pancakes! for any meal of the day; the dutch do pancakes like no one else so try poffertjes (small fluffy pancakes) for a traditional dutch brunch.  Another delicacy are bitterballen, little round balls filled with creamy sauce and meat and then fried and served with mustard as an appetiser.

Top tip: I’ve got two top tips for Amsterdam.  The first would be to get an Iamsterdam card which was a brilliant deal it includes public transport, free access to many museums and discounts at lots of places to eat.  We used the trams A LOT so it was 100% worth it.  My second piece of advice would be to arrive at any museums you want to visit for when they open as queues can be enormous.  You can book ahead of time and save queuing but as a traveller in a city for two days this isn’t always feasible.

Berlin

Unfortunately I was only in Berlin for one whole day but I could’ve easily spent longer there. I did a lot of historical visits there as I think that’s an important part of Berlin today rather than the art scene in Amsterdam.

Must do in Berlin: Visit the Berlin Wall, the Brandenburg Tor, the Holocaust memorial and information centre and check out the electro clubbing scene I had no problem getting into House of Weekend which also had a rooftop bar.  I also visited Panorama Berlin which I wouldn’t say is must do but it was a beautiful day and the views were stunning; you read the summit in the fasted elevator in Europe!

Top tip: for Berlin: stay at Generator Hostel! It was the best hostel I stayed at in my time away, newly renovated, friendly staff and safe.

Prague

Prague is a beautiful city which is why it was such a shame that it was absolutely chucking it down for the majority of the time I was there.  The architecture is beautiful and it has a really rich history.

Must do in Prague: visit the Jewish museum; this consists of four synagogues each focusing on a different part of Jewish culture or history.  Some parts were incredibly moving whilst others were very informative, it took me a good part of a day and was perfect in the wet weather.

Top tip: get your hands on trudlo a traditional Czech pastry.  It’s rolled in sugar, vanilla, cinnamon and walnuts and tastes delicious.

Venice

As expected Venice was stunning and the food was incredible. The majority of places are geared up for tourists which makes it expensive (especially compared to the incredibly low prices in Prague) so be sure to save up for it.  I was there with an Italian friend which made it a lot easier to find deals and traditional restaurants filled with locals.

Must do in Venice: visit the Piazza San Marco and soak up the atmosphere and sunshine.  Unfortunately the queues were too long and I didn’t have time to get into the cathedral but the outside is beautiful, I also went up the watch tower and got breath-taking views of the city.  Gondola’s can cost upwards of €80 an hour which I couldn’t justify but I found a place where you could go across the width of a canal for €2.  It’s a bit lame, I know, but I can say I have been in a gondola and I still got some great photos.

Top tip: Be prepared to get lost A LOT.  I have no sense of direction but luckily my friends did.  Either learn to read a map, get a sense of direction or enjoy being lost.  Everywhere is in walking distance from each other so going a bit off track doesn’t make a huge difference and you might come across something amazing that you weren’t expecting.

Zurich

I only had one day in Zurich as it was more of a stopping off point at a friend’s to break up the journey from Venice to Paris but I wish I’d had longer there.  The scenery is absolutely breath-taking and I can see myself going back there again.  The only negative is that it’s expensive but it’s absolutely worth saving for.

Must do in Zurich: Hike (or take the cable car to save time as I did) up to the top of a mountain and have lunch in the cafe there surrounded by beautiful views.  Most mountains have a little cafe at the top (according to my friend who lives there). I would also highly recommend visiting the Lindt shop and taking a boat across to the old town.

Top tip: Go for more than one day! I’d love to go again and spend some time just relaxing by the lake.

Paris

Obviously Paris did not disappoint.  It’s one of my favourite cities and looks beautiful and feels magical even in the rain.  I spent three days there but there’s always more to do; in fact I’d love to move there for at least a year after I’ve graduated.

Must do in Paris: Go to the top of the Eiffel Tower; even though I’d visited Paris before with my parents we hadn’t planned well and the enormous queues meant we could go up.  This time I woke up early; got there before it opened and it was totally worth it.  Visit the Musee d’Orsay and the Louvre; I’ve discovered I’m a huge fan of Degas since seeing so much of his work at the Orsay.  The Place des Vosges is also a great place to go and soak up some sunshine and visit all the independent boutiques.

Top tip: If you’re aged 18-25 and an EU student you get free access to the Louvre, Orsay, the top of the Arc de Triomphe and many more places so take some ID out with you, either a passport or drivers’ licence.

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European Adventure!

Hello lovely readers!

I am in the midst of a pile of clothes and in much need of a break.  On Sunday, I’m leaving England to go inter-railling for 18 days which leaves me with one big dilemma: WHAT TO PACK??!  I’ve got a big rucksack which I used a couple of years ago for my Duke of Edinburgh trek so there’s lots of room for all my clothes.  At least that’s what I thought at first “I’ll just chuck in some shorts, tops and underwear and I’ll be off”.  I thought wrong.  Let me tell you, toiletries always take up a lot more room than you think.  Then you need to remember things like a first aid kit, suncream, pyjamas, adapters, chargers, camera, bum bag, passport, photocopies of all my important documents, the kitchen sink…

I had to take a step back and really think about what was necessary, the thing is I’m not planning on wasting valuable time or Euros on washing my clothes while I’m away so have to really thing about what’s necessary.  Obviously, some things can be worn more than once but I’m not going to sacrifice fashion for hygiene (yes, dad, I do need all those tops).  Another thing to think about is the main aim of the holiday I’m planning on visiting lots of art galleries, walking around the old cities and cycling through beautiful parks so no I don’t need that body-con dress but yes the cord skirt can stay.  I’m also aiming to check out some of the night life in Europe, especially Berlin, so some going out clothes are necessary.  I’ve heard Berlin have very strict door policies and dress codes and there’s no room for heels so I guess that might decide me which clubs I can go to.  Good, strong, comfortable shoes are a must! I’ll be on my feet all day every day.  I’m planning on wearing my Converse trainers but I’ll also bring some sandals to wear in the evenings and a pair of flip flops (a must in youth hostel bathrooms!).

It’s all about being economical with the room in your bag and planning outfits will help with this; don’t just through whatever catches your eye first into a rucksack.  All in all, as long as I’ve got my ticket, passport and clean underwear I’ll be sorted but if I’m visiting some of the most glamourous cities in Europe I plan on looking chic.

Can’t wait to write all about my travels when I’m back! Á bientôt! X

Summer Style Part I

Hi all! Sorry for the lack of posts recently; I’ve been busy with exams but now I’m back and more enthusiastic than ever.  Thanks for sticking with me and don’t forget to share this page so as many people can join in as possible.  I really love knowing that people actually read my posts and I’ve got an audience so don’t be afraid to say hi!

This is going to be one of a few posts I’ll be doing over the summer about summer outfits and I’ll try to make them a bit different from the usual, tired denim shorts and a tank top.  I don’t think you need to sacrifice you’re own style just because it’s hotting up.  I wore this outfit to a local one day festival I went to recently.  The shorts were an absolute steal from H&M for £7.99.  Get them here: http://www.hm.com/gb/product/80055?article=80055-J

The tank top is from Topshop and it’s a great basic to have but the v-neck, crop and ribbing make it slightly more interesting.  I accessorised with a couple of dainty chain necklaces and black chelsea boots to minimise the girly-ness and so that I could keep dancing all day.  x

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Dressing up

Sorry for being absent; I’ve got exams at the moment and looking to find a new place to live for next year at uni so you could say I’m pretty busy! I hate having so long between posts so I thought I’d take a revision break to show you what I wore for a night out a week or so ago.  The top was in the Misguided sale and I knew I had to have it as soon as I saw it – the colours are gorgeous.  It’s a nice alternative to wear a more dressy top with jeans and heels than wearing a dress every time you go out.  My wardrobe definitely does not contain enough dresses to wear them on nights out very often, only on VERY special occasions.

Misguided top, Topshop jeans and heels

Misguided top, Topshop jeans and heels

If you’re looking for something else to do head over to my instagram: @whatsheworeuk to see my favourite look from the Met Gala 2015.

Jewellery

Just a quickie on jewellery which is something I love and wear a lot of most days.  I hope to post more regularly about it to so here’s to the first of many on the topic!

Firstly, in the words of Beyoncé, PUT A RING ON IT.  I love rings; I wear them every day.  There’s one that I wear almost all the time that I bought on holiday, it reminds me of a brilliant two weeks in France and it’s turquoise – my favourite.  I normally stack rings, combine sizes and knuckle rings with midi rings for an eclectic mixture.  I never wear the same combination two days running.

Forefinger: Topshop Middle finger: Urban Outfitters

Forefinger: Topshop
Middle finger: Urban Outfitters

Earrings are also a big deal for me; I always like to have some in, normally studs.  I own tonnes of earrings but forget to change them regularly.  This is something I’m working on because I don’t want to forget about some of the gorgeous pairs I own.  I have 5 ear piercings and am considering some more…I have two in each lobe and the cartilage on my left side.  If I were to get some more, what would you recommend?

First piercing from bottom: Topshop Second piercing: Urban Outfitters Cartilage: hoop from piercing shop

First piercing from bottom: Topshop
Second piercing: Urban Outfitters
Cartilage: hoop from piercing shop

I also normally wear a necklace. In the day time I’ll layer a few dainty chains and maybe a thin choker for a casual look.  In the evening I tend to wear more of a statement necklace if I’m going out.  I like clean, often monochrome, outfits so I think a statement look can really set of an d complete a look.

It can be difficult to get the balance of the right amount of jewellery so that you’re not forgetting anything (I feel naked without my rings on) but on the other hand you don’t want to look like you’re weighed down by wearing every piece of jewellery you own.  I tend to go for an either/or rule.  If I’m wearing a statement necklace I’ll wear stud earrings or maybe thin hoops.  But if I’m wearing bolder earrings and a lot of rings I won’t wear a necklace.  I never wear bracelets, apart from occasionally a watch, so that’s another way I compromise.

Dreamy Jacket

Sorry for my blogging absence recently.  Uni has been crazy at the moment but it’s the end of term now so I am back and raring to go! I just got back from the Charlotte Olympia sample sale; still couldn’t justify the prices on a student budget but those heels are works of art and it was brilliant to see them up close.  Plus, it was held at the The Connaught which is a GORGEOUS hotel.

On to the main focus of this blog, THIS JACKET

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I got it in the Missguided sale and I think it’s one of my best buys for a while.  It was reduced to only £10 which makes it even sweeter.  It is quite thick but lightweight which makes it perfect for this in-between Spring weather which can be so changeable.  I love how it looks like a plain bomber jacket from the front but the back has this really cool, electric blue leopard print design.  It is a great way to liven up a plain outfit but because of its simplicity it’s also very versatile.  Basically  the take home message is I love this jacket.