Long-haul flights & pure, messy, carnal survival

Long haul flights are nobodies friend. Especially not a friend towards us taller folk. We struggle to get comfortable, we nearly always have someone 5″ sitting in-front of us who drop their seat back ALL the way the second that seatbelt light goes off. If we are lucky we end up in the middle.

I’ve been stuck between two tiny ladies on my flight from Singapore to Brisbane, both fall asleep on me and snore their little heads off. With all of their bags I had no leg room and to get comfy I tucked my feet into the magazine holder in front of me.

On my flight from Peru to Argentina, a lady took her shoe off, lifted it up over her knee and played with her toes for most of the flight. I had another guy on a flight from LA to Miami put his foot through the seats and poke me with his toes. There was the guy who burped and blew his burp breath behind him into my seating area so as not to offend his Wife.

My Husband had a lady eat a red onion covered salad from SanFran to NYC and I’ve had a woman take my magazine from my lap and read it from Singapore to Dubai. That same journey I had air-staff ask me to swap my extra-leg room seat for a pregnant lady. At the time I was too naive to say no and ended up in the middle seat next to her Husband who very aggressively told me I was not to consume meat or alcohol near him.

Oh and then there’s the tiny, tiny man who jammed his seat back into my legs so fiercely that it blew my meniscus out.

Ahhh flying. Now this was a post I started before we headed overseas. It has now been a couple of weeks overseas and multiple flights so here’s a few of my tips.

1. If you’re flying long-haul, forget the window seat because if there are strangers on the other side of you, you will be faced with the Tyler Durden position of arse or crotch. Go the middle row, outside seat. If you’re flying with another person then at MOST you will only be getting up for each other.

2. Forget your #instagram worthy outfit and get comfortable. Remember, you are in for the long-haul. Quite literally. In your own strange solo space, sitting and marinating in your own juices. Yeah that sounds disgusting but it’s the reality of the situation. You want some moisture-wicking, comfy and loose clothing. As for shoes, wear something you can slip on and off quickly. Pack socks – because your feet will get cold.

3. Creature comforts are your best friend. That’s your space. Get comfy. Set your little home up. Wipe your seat down with antibacterial wipes before you go touching everything. Make sure you have eye-drops & nose-spray. You need to treat yourself like your beloved dog, keep that nose wet. It’s your best defence against other people’s germs. Also, not sure if you’ve ever tried to wash your face in an airplane basin, but it’s no Neutrogena moment. So make-up wipes are where it’s at.

4. After my last flight I feel it’s pretty important to mention this next one. Don’t overdo it on your medication. Don’t over think the process. Do not take double what you are meant to. Because sometimes, some people get really sick and end up putting one of the plane toilets out of commission from your exorcist style illness. Ps. I was that person and I will carry this shame for the rest of my life.

5. Do not replace water with wine. You are not Jesus’ dinner guests. Drink your water or look like a haggard monster at the end of your trip.

6. Be prepared to become the resting place for smaller people. People fall asleep on me. People use my bags as pillows. People have no clue that I enjoy physical interactions with strangers about as much as I would enjoy putting a campfire out with my face. Set your boundaries. Keep them in place or be prepared to become someone’s prison Wife in that tiny flying steel chamber of hell for 14 hours.

7. If you want to eat first. Order a special meal. Not only will you be served first, but you can eat and then go to sleep. Win.

8. Have music lists ready to go. Close your eyes and try to sleep whenever you feel those little lids of yours dropping. If you cannot sleep wake back up and read or watch tv, but the second those little sleeping fairies start flirting with you, try to get to sleep.

9. If you are in the middle seat, let me give you a universally known tip. Those arm rests are YOURS. If someone who has an aisle seat tries to take your arm rests, or heaven forbid the people either side of you attempt this, get crafty with those elbows. They’re yours babe. Never forget.

10. Keep that air on high. Give yourself every possibility of remaining well. Remember, people for some reason seem to treat personal hygiene like a fancy persons treat. Try to keep those coughs, sneezes, burps, stinky breath and of course farts (animals people, they’re animals) out of your face as best you can.

Look, they’re my ten tips. You may or may not agree with them. If you can fly business do it. Otherwise remember it’s a means to an end and travel is the greatest thing in the world!

What’s your top long-haul tip?

Thank you so much for reading, I hope you enjoyed this post. If you did, please ‘like’ or share the post so I can see! 

Please note, I have not been paid any sponsorships at all for this post, however some of the links in my blog posts may be affiliate links, meaning that at no additional cost to you, I will earn a commission if you click-through and make a purchase.

I only ever talk about my own personal experiences and adventures, places and locations which I love and think you will too!

To follow me on Instagram click here – courtneygaye_travels

To follow me on Facebook – you can do so here – Courtney Gaye Travels FB

If you are a Pinterest fan – you can find me here – Courtney Gaye Pinterest

x C x

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Travel Diary (Day 10) – Faroe Islands

Wow. Today was one of the most amazing days I have ever had travelling, it compares to that time in 2014 when I witnessed the sun rise over Machu Picchu. Today was challenging, exhausting, rewarding and hard to believe.

IMG_1951A little about how we found ourselves heading to the Faroe Islands (pronounced like ‘fair-row’ and not ‘fa-row’. When G and I started dating, we spent over a year in a long-distance relationship. We saw each other for one weekend per month, it was tough. We used to take turns in inspiring trust in the process with one another and beyond the thousands of text messages and hundreds of calls to one another, we used to send each other destinations we had found pictures of. To remind ourselves that all the sacrifice we were making, the time we were spending apart and the money we were setting aside, was for a purpose.

IMG_1736We were going to travel the world. We shared pictures of far-away places with one another, one picture in particular stood out to us. It was an incredible picture of a place called  Lake Sørvágsvatn/Leitisvatn (the name really depends on who you ask). This place is known as the ‘lake over the ocean’, I would be willing to bet you have seen at least one picture of this incredible place. Look we can all admit we have seen a picture on Pinterest or Facebook or Instagram and gone ‘Oh my god I am going there!!!!’. Here’s a tip for your bank account, make sure that place is not the Faroe Islands!

IMG_1919We started our morning with a drive out to see the incredible town of Gasadalur, the picture-perfect town which was unable to be reached by any means other than helicopter up until 2004. Generations of postmen had to hike above the mountain several times a week to deliver goods to the inhabitants of the area! We stopped at the little white building and the gravel path on the left, and then walked down the pathway. Until we found ourselves staring across at Gasadalur and the incredible Múlafossur Waterfall

which makes its way into the ocean. I have seen pictures of this serene spot during summer, but we were treated to something else entirely. The wind was so strong that it was licking the waterfall back up over itself and sending it high into the sky, it was absolutely beautiful.

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We then drove back through one of the infamous Faroese tunnels and headed to to Lake Leitisvatn, near to the airport on Vagar. This is the largest fresh water lake in the Faroe Islands and it is absolutely incredible. We were there for a purpose and that was the hike to Bøsdalafossur.

Okay, so the actual ‘lake-above-the-ocean’ Bøsdalafossur is an optical illusion and it ‘allegedly’ takes 45 minutes to hike. To be clear, Grant and I are tall. We have long legs, we walk pretty quickly. So I would like to call B*llshit on the ’45 minute walking time’. We walked in rain which was going sideways, making way for others whose backsides were covered in  mud – they had obviously come undone in the slush!

Note for all: do NOT walk the path which looks worn, it is slippery, sludgey and dangerous. Falling over is all fun and games until you are on the sort of incline where such a fall could result in you toppling over the side! Where you can, look for the rocks, or the grass. Stick to the path in general but maybe one or two footsteps to the side, just to be safe.

The hike was rough, mostly because we had decided to segway our trip over to the Bøsdalafossur waterfall, as it was storming at the time, the cliffs were incredible, we were using each others body weight to try to stay vertical!

Bøsdalafossur flows from the lake Sørvagstan and into the Atlantic Ocean, it is 30m high and the views from this vantage point are astronomical and well-worth our goat-trek out to the area.

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The optical illusion is best seen from Traelanipan, which is very steep, so even though those photographs you have seen are something else, please be careful. We saw one couple going all out with their selfie-stick and they were much too close to the edge. Great photo, if you live to post it I suppose!

So, how to get to these beautiful islands?

You can fly either from Edinburgh in the UK, or from Bergen/Copenhagen in Nordic countries. You can also get there directly from Iceland. We flew from Copenhagen and then returned via Copenhagen to Bergen on our way back. If you wish to take your own car then there are many cruises which operate from many countries, just keep in mind that in poor weather, they are unable to dock so you may be out of luck in that respect.

Considering everything we saw and how many km’s we had once we returned our hire car, I doubt very much that this will be my last post on the Faroe Islands! For now though, I shall let you go, please enjoy the following shots!

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Thank you so much for reading, I hope you enjoyed this post. If you did, please ‘like’ or share the post so I can see! 

Please note, I have not been paid any sponsorships at all for this post, however some of the links in my blog posts may be affiliate links, meaning that at no additional cost to you, I will earn a commission if you click-through and make a purchase.

I only ever talk about my own personal experiences and adventures, places and locations which I love and think you will too!

To follow me on Instagram click here – courtneygaye_travels

To follow me on Facebook – you can do so here – Courtney Gaye Travels FB

If you are a Pinterest fan – you can find me here – Courtney Gaye Pinterest

x C x

Travel Diary (Day 9) – Faroe Islands

IMG_6031This morning I woke up to my gorgeous Husband telling me that sunrise would be within the hour and although we were both tired, it would be an absolute shame to miss it. It took a while to get going, but with our Frank Green Eco-Cups (to see this incredible range click here & at the moment it is $7 flat-rate Aussie shipping), at the ready and Kathmandu jackets good to go, getting out that front door was easier than I would have expected!

It was incredibly early and the sky was beginning to flash her pink tones, so without certain knowledge of the area, we headed to the highest point we could before the sun rose. The wind and the temperature of it in the Faroe Islands are unlike anything I have experienced before. When you take into consideration its coordinates 61.8926° N, 6.9118° W and its average temperature of 7° to 10° during the month in which we were there, as well as 30km winds, then it is only expected to be cold. I have tot ell you though, it was worth it – here are some of our shots from our early morning.

Once we made it back to our Air BnB, completely blown-away by the beautiful sunrise over Tórshavn we had witnessed, it was time for breakfast (toast & coffee) and to map out an action plan for the day. We made our way from Tórshavn through to Viðoy, where we first able to stop and have a look around. Driving through those tunnells is abslutely wild in the Faroe Islands, I have my Husband to thank for making it through, beause I 100% would have freaked out driving through those lowly-lit one-lane tunnel for km’s on end!

Our journey toViðoy was around an hour and a half (with a few stops) it was our most far away destination for our stay so we really wanted to knock it out the first day. The weather was being kind to us, it was incredibly windy and raining on and off but then we would have these incredible bursts of sunshine, which is quite rare given the time of year! The drive from on side of Viðoy to the other is just amazing, the cliffs coming out of the sea in the Faroe’s, commanding attention is something I will not soon forget.

We ate our packed sandwiches, enjoyed the view and then drove around to visit the Viðareiði Church, it is located in one of the most beautifully scenic locations I have ever seen and it has an amazing history to it. Viðareiði is the northernmost settlement of the Faroe Islands, so it felt really special to be able to visit such a place. It sits on the ocean, facing the fierce winds and has behind it a lovely village. To the north, Mount Villingdalsfjall rises over 844 meters (2,769 ft) from the water and it provides an astronomical background to the area. The church itself is rich with history. In the 17th century it was destroyed by a storm, it is said that part of the cemetery was washed away by the sea and that the coffins were recovered in Hvannasund and reburied. The church which stands on the land currently was constructed in 1892 and the silver was a gift from the British government, thanking the Viðareiði citizens for their assistance in saving the brig Marwood, which was shipwrecked in the are in 1847.

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We had another beautiful, cold, scenic and jaw-dropping drive back to our Air BnB, had potato gems for dinner, drank wine and whiskey and cuddled on the couch. I think we may have even watched a horror movie, it was so typically us. To do something so calm and relaxed and ‘normal’ after experiencing something so astronomically beautiful!

Tomorrow was a new day and we had mapped out some big-ticket attractions for it!

Thank you so much for reading, I hope you enjoyed this post. If you did, please ‘like’ or share the post so I can see! 

Please note, I have not been paid any sponsorships at all for this post, however some of the links in my blog posts may be affiliate links, meaning that at no additional cost to you, I will earn a commission if you click-through and make a purchase.

I only ever talk about my own personal experiences and adventures, places and locations which I love and think you will too!

To follow me on Instagram click here – courtneygaye_travels

To follow me on Facebook – you can do so here – Courtney Gaye Travels FB

If you are a Pinterest fan – you can find me here – Courtney Gaye Pinterest

x C x

Travel Diary (Day 8)- Faroe Islands

Day 9 – Friday 28/9

Waking up and knowing that you are heading to a magical land you stumbled across through Pinterest five years ago, is to say the least, a little overwhelming.

As excited as we both were, we really had no idea what our expectations should be or what we would be coming across. We knew that the weather for most of our trip was likely to be rain-filled, windy and cold. So to some degree we were prepared for that (side note: jeans, as fond as Aussies are of them, are not technically wet/warm-weather pants), other than that we had no idea what would be awaiting us.

We caught a cab from our hostel to the Copenhagen Central train station, as neither of us really felt like hauling our packs there. Once we were at the station it was all pretty straight-forward and just like that, we were on our journey to Vágar Airport, Faroe Islands. The flight was only two hours, Atlantic Airways has movies available on their internal and free Wi-Fi which is always appreciated! I made a terrible choice and watched a movie about an elderly couple, one of whom has Alzheimer’s and the other terminal cancer. Grant watched a comedy and his thoughts were “why are you crying? Always go dumb with the movie Courtney. Always”. I’ll admit it, there was far too much crying on that plane.

As our plane came in for landing and we spotted many of the Faroe Islands our of our window, we were nearly jumping from our seats. Flying into the Faroes is other-worldly, it is honestly like nothing you have ever seen before. Or in our case, will ever see again.

Getting off the plane was easy, getting the keys to our hire car was easy – there was just one problem. My international sim did not work there. Grant had bought a SIM card at the Copenhagen airport as well as the top-up credit, with the assurance (yet disdain) that it would work by the cashier. Yet here we were, in the Faroes with absolutely no reception. Thankfully I managed to feed offa servo’s Wi-Fi as G bought us very bizarre drinks (my request admittedly) which tasted like Guinness cola soda (but in a bad way, not a good way). So after a few back and forthcoming we found our Air BnB in Tórshavn.

Our Air BnB absolutely blew away any expectations we had, it was gorgeous, local to everything and had anything you could possibly need. Relief. Pure relief after our bare-as-bones hostel stay the two nights before.

It was a converted area on the bottom floor of our hosts home. We had a separate bedroom, laundry, wet room, tv with Apple TV and a courtyard. The kitchen was fully equipped and it just felt like home. For three nights we paid around $600 Australian and our host had left some local fruit and biscuits and locally brewed beer as well. It was just lovely.

It was getting on in the day so we went and spent a small fortune on a grocery shop, came home, had a few drinks and watched tv. The little comforts. We also started planning our Faroe Island attack for the next couple of days.

I was still coughing and generally being gross (seriously a holiday tradition of mine is to be a germ-riddled pain in the arse. So Grant slept in the lounge room, which is so unfair for him. He’s such a gentleman, honestly if it was me I would have kicked me out to the lounge room.

It was hard to believe we were finally here, this little place we had only dreamt of, changed our plans for and squirrelled away an extra amount of money which would make your eyes water to get there!

Thank you so much for reading, I hope you enjoyed this post. If you did, please ‘like’ or share the post so I can see! 

Please note, I have not been paid any sponsorships at all for this post, however some of the links in my blog posts may be affiliate links, meaning that at no additional cost to you, I will earn a commission if you click through and make a purchase.

I only ever talk about my own personal experiences and adventures, places and locations which I love and think you will too!

To follow me on Instagram click here – courtneygaye_travels

To follow me on Facebook – you can do so here – Courtney Gaye Travels FB

If you are a Pinterest fan – you can find me here – Courtney Gaye Pinterest

x C x

Travel Diary (Day 6) – Paris to Copenhagen

Day 6 – Tuesday 25/9

Today was the day we were to say aurevoir to Paris, as sad as it was we were incredibly excited to start the next leg of our adventure. Initially the morning did not start out well. We may or may not have over-indulged in the red wine on our dinner cruise the night before. So to wake up, pack our bags and get out and going was much harder than it should be.

Once we were packed and loaded to the high-heavens (why the hell have I packed so many things?!!), it was time to head to the metro station. Naturally the metro we needed had serious delays so we thought about catching the local bus. Then we realised that I’m horribly poor planning we didn’t have any cash to buy tickets (because, idiots). So we walked 500m the WRONG way, because our internet is deadset out to ruin our lives (seems dramatic, but remember = wine flu), then we turned around and walked the other way. Then we got off at the right stop to catch the bus that goes directly to the airport. Of course on the wrong side of the Arc de Triomphe, which meant legging it the other way. Then we horribly, terribly, inexcusably asked the bus driver if we were at the wrong one. This question caused the type of offence you would think would occur if you kicked someone’s dog or spat on their bus. He yelled at us in French and indicated we should basically piss off. To be fair, G spoke French really well when he asked the question. So, go figure. Maybe he had wine flu as well (or was an a-hole). The next bus driver was lovely and told us to move one bus stop down (old mate cranky pants had told us to walk around the corner, so he’s a jerk).

Regardless, we made it to the airport and might I say, these European airports have got this check-in situation SORTED. For someone who likes a smooth check-in, having the ability to pretty much do the entire thing on my own – is total travel bliss. Charles de Gaulle airport is really cool, it reminds me of a museum, all of these different tunnels and escalators weaving in and out from each other.

Once we got to our gate, I awkwardly made myself the table mate of a man who was sort of kind of hogging all the power-points. It must have been interesting watching this non-French speaking human pull out around 12 cables and plug in every single digital appliance known to man and get to charging!

G came back with chocolate croissants the size of our heads and two gigantic coffees. Hello wine-flu cure! Our flight from Paris to Copenhagen was around two hours. Luggage pick-up was cruiser and we were out of the airport within half an hour. What’s crazy is this whole non-boarded situation, it seems such a waste having to buy a 50-something page Passport only to get two stamps!

We bought a two-day travel pass for our stay, because we knew it was the best value for money. We had so many grand plans for Copenhagen, such limited time BUT, I was quickly crashing from some germ I had picked up from somewhere. We caught a Taxi to our hotel as Uber does not exist in Copenhagen (how reliant on Uber’s we have become for clear instructions, despite any language complexities!). Once we made it to our accomodation, we quickly found out what the meaning of a hostel is. Upon check in, we paid for a laundry room card, were given a couple of bags of sheets and towels and we were on our way. The view was spectacular, but after our luscious stays in Paris, the bare-bones hostel style was somewhat shocking. Once the bed was made, I was out. I slept from 3pm until the next day. So poor G was left to his own divides. Props to him though, he went out and wandered and got a feel for the place. I’m just sorry I missed it. My body desperately needed that sleep though. Apparently I slept/snored and tossed around like a demon-possessed freak for the night, but I think it helped.

Unfortunately, I did not really make the best of our time in Copenhagen for day one, but we made it, illness sometimes happens when you travel, and with a month ahead of us, I needed to just miss our a bit and let my body do its thing.

We made it to Copenhagen!

Thank you so much for reading, I hope you enjoyed this post. If you did, please ‘like’ or share the post so I can see! 

Please note, I have not been paid any sponsorships at all for this post, however some of the links in my blog posts may be affiliate links, meaning that at no additional cost to you, I will earn a commission if you click through and make a purchase.

I only ever talk about my own personal experiences and adventures, places and locations which I love and think you will too!

To follow me on Instagram click here – courtneygaye_travels

To follow me on Facebook – you can do so here – Courtney Gaye Travels FB

If you are a Pinterest fan – you can find me here – Courtney Gaye Pinterest

x C x

Travel Diary (Day 4) – Paris Day 1

On this morning we woke up and decided we were going to make the mission out to Versailles. It had not been a part of our original plans, given our limited amount of time in Paris, however G stayed up later and planned the day.

Alarms went off at 6.30am and it was time to move. We legged it to the Metro station and made our way down to Invalides where we would take the metro out to Versailles. Our timing was impeccable, we mastered the metro station, the timing, the platform. We even had time to scarf down our coffee and pastries. Then as we sat at the station and watched a train pull up, people run for it and then it leave – we looked at each other with a knowing ‘we nailed this, you don’t see us running to a train’, then we realised pretty quickly that it was our train. Leaving. Without us.

Ah well, next time hey? How many times could you make simple mistakes in Paris with the Metro? ;). The next train was only half an hour away and it still had us at the gate by 9am, which is when it opens. I am so glad G spent the extra seven euro’s to get the gate hopper. There was still a line but not one stretching all the way out to the main-gates. We also had the audio tour option, which was pretty touch-and-go, but when it was working, it provided a pretty impressive history to the area.

We must have been there for two hours, the weather started to turn so we bailed and headed back to the train, via our second or third coffee run for the day (Paris coffee, ah-mazing). So, there is the Versailles history which most people know – King Louis XIV chose to move to Versaille in 1682 after he abandoned his Royal palace and home at the Louvre. As well as the not-so-comfortable history for poor old Marie Antoinette. However, some of the more interesting facts, in my opinion are:

Versailles is not the world’s largest palace,  but it is the world’s largest royal domain, spanning across 2,014 acres and the palace itself is 721,206-feet in space.

King Louis XIV, XV and XVI all had courtiers attend twice-daily ceremonies in the King’s bedroom, where they would watch him wake, and they would also send him off to sleep. Ick.

A third of the budget of Versailles was consumed by the fountains as they required the diversion of three separate rivers, however as there was never enough water to fuel all of them, they was some sneaky backstage open and closing of floodgates behind the scenes.

The Hall of Mirrors took 8,000 candles to light the hall (which is half the size of a football field) and in fact, everything in there was made in France. Now, something super creepy is that since Venetians held a monopoly on mirror production, they deployed assassins to poison any worker found out to have helped build the Hall of Mirrors.

Later that day we had tickets booked to get to the summit of the Eiffel Tower, the weather was coming in quickly so we are lucky to have gotten there in time. Waiting in lines is never fun, but honestly the people-watching aspect of it, will always be my favourite. There was a pretty decent line of us who had pre-booked tickets and there was this one couple who approached the front of the line and started asking the guy (also in line), how they were meant to get to the Eiffel tower. There was a back and forth exchange with the guy trying to let on that he lined up, and she should really line-up and yes, we were all waiting to get up. I don’t know what was more awkward, the back and forth or the length of time it went on for?

The top of the Eiffel Tower is gorgeous, the ride up goes really quickly and even though the storm was rolling in and it was hard to stand up straight, it could not have been more perfect. Moody skies = love. We got some good shots and then headed down the tower, making out way back to the other side of the bridge and getting stuck into a new restaurant. Grant tried escargot and beef tartare (mistaken for carpaccio, which resulted in a pretty funny eating situation). I had tomato and mozzarella salad and duck confit (drool) and we shared a bottle of red as well. Because, Paris.

Back to the hotel for another outfit change (layers this time, many, many layers) and then back to the Arc de Triomphe to start our Big Bus Tour. Honestly, you cannot go wrong with these. Even though I am a Brisbane lover, I am perplexed as to what could justify that sort of expense back home, but the two-hour night tour was fantastic and well worth the money. We were absolutely freezing but refused to sit inside!

We finished the night with crepes and wine and then headed back to our gorgeous little hotel for our last night there. Perfect end to an absolutely manic, yet rewarding day!

Thank you so much for reading, I hope you enjoyed this post. If you did, please ‘like’ or share the post so I can see! 

Please note, I have not been paid any sponsorships at all for this post, however some of the links in my blog posts may be affiliate links, meaning that at no additional cost to you, I will earn a commission if you click through and make a purchase.

I only ever talk about my own personal experiences and adventures, places and locations which I love and think you will too!

To follow me on Instagram click here – courtneygaye_travels

To follow me on Facebook – you can do so here – Courtney Gaye Travels FB

If you are a Pinterest fan – you can find me here – Courtney Gaye Pinterest

x C x

Travel Diary (Day 3) – London to Paris

La vie est belle – Life is beautiful ❤

We woke up in our lovely little room in Kensington and decided to get a walk in through the gardens and to get breakfast at Dishoom, which was every bit as amazing as we had heard!

Kensington Gardens are some of the cleanest and loveliest areas I have ever seen, what took us by surprise though, was there was hardly anyone around until around 10am. Perhaps the Brits have it sorted and prefer to sleep in, rather than all of that seize the day rubbish.

When we were walking through the gardens we came across the Sunken Garden which was absolutely gorgeous.

Dishoom was recommended to me by the babes over at #teamkaptainkenny and once I floated the idea of a bacon & egg naan by Grant, the decision was pretty well made! The service was great, the restaurant beautiful and the food incredible for really reasonable prices as well. I highly recommend it!

After breakfast we wandered back to our hotel, totally in awe of the beauty which is Kensington. We certainly seemed out-of-place on the subway, I think just in general, given our size we attract a lot of attention – throw on 40kg worth of luggage between the two of us and you have quite the spectacle! Loading ourselves up with our giant backpacks, all I could think of was that we looked like this:

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pic by Pål-Kristian Hamre (Flickr)

We made it to St Pancras (mayhem), got through customs, had several run-ins with people who try to push in. When you are 150% your body weight with gear, and you’ve already been waiting 20 minutes to get through the gate, I am sorry I don’t care how old/cute/non-english speaking you are, you can wait your bloody turn.

G & and I were pretty stoked that we got to get a stamp in our passport, it so rarely happens these days that we are just carrying around these big empty passports without any recorded memories :(. We made it through to the bar area and a lovely older couple started a conversation with us (again our height and the size of our packs brough the conversation on). G on the other hand was waiting to buy a wine and a beer for several minutes behind one guy who managed to turn a comment about whether or not the croissants in the window were stale into a two-minute debacle.

We started to really become quite self-conscious by the staring, also by nature – when I am stared at, or someone looks me in the face, I smile at them. You know, like your normal, run-of-the-mill, non-psychopath. Well it turns out that there are plenty of people who do NOT respond in the same way. I saw more stink-face and total-contempt on people’s faces in that hour whilst we were waiting for our train than I have in weeks. Is smiling that hard?

Once we were on the train we were good to go, we had drinks in our bags, snacks left over from our international flight (anyone who knows me, knows my obsession with cacao almonds from Woolies!) and we had music. It is around 500km from St Pancras through to Paris and we left around 12:30 and arrived around quarter to 4pm which was pretty much perfect timing!

Thank you goddess of travel for the invention of Uber, because given our limited French we would have been absolutely stuffed trying to get to our hotel! A near 30 minute Uber ride cost us less than $20AUD to get us to Hotel Chambellan Morgane, where we had booked in for two nights. My parents had stayed there a few years ago and absolutely fell in love with it, so our booking came on their recommendation (we were not disappointed).

We dropped our bags, had a quick outfit change and decided to go for a stroll. The weather was pretty shocking but it didn’t matter, we were in Paris!!! We walked from Rue Kepler, through to the Arc de Triomphe (which from our hotel was only 900m), then we walked to Pont Alexandre III, which is an ornate, late 19th century arched bridge in a Beaux-Arts style and named after a Russian czar. This bridge is something else, unfortunately the wind/rain/every spare leaf in Paris was being whipped into a frenzy so we didn’t stick around for too long.We felt sorry for the several newly married couples trying to get their wedding shots at the time!

We then went walking along the Seine and headed back towards our hotel, stopping for an amazing dinner at Villa Sophia, which was so close to our hotel that we couldn’t say no. A bottle of Bordeaux, a mozzarella salad, lasagna, cheesy pasta dish and gelato later, we were done for the night.

So that was our first half-day in Paris! We had made it in one piece and as the days went by, we started to feel more and more on holiday – life is pretty damned good.

Thank you so much for reading, I hope you enjoyed this post. If you did, please ‘like’ or share the post so I can see! 

Please note, I have not been paid any sponsorships at all for this post, however some of the links in my blog posts may be affiliate links, meaning that at no additional cost to you, I will earn a commission if you click-through and make a purchase.

I only ever talk about my own personal experiences and adventures, places and locations which I love and think you will too!

To follow me on Instagram click here – courtneygaye_travels

To follow me on Facebook – you can do so here – Courtney Gaye Travels FB

If you are a Pinterest fan – you can find me here – Courtney Gaye Pinterest

x C x

Travel Diary (Day 2) – London

Is there anything more exciting than waking up in a new destination?! The answer is no. Waking up on a beautiful Autumn day in London, ready to start our adventure (now our 28+ hour transit was out of the way), in our beautiful hotel room was heaven! You miss having the simple pleasure of laying down after international travel!

We only had one full day in London before we chose to choof off to Paris, so we took advantage of the free breakfast and vintage bus tour around London and on the Thames River – which was a lovely little perk included in our booking with The Grange hotel.

We were out the door by 7am and to save any confusion or at risk of missing our bus, we caught an Uber for £9.57 to the Victoria Coach Station, where we met out adorable little Vintage Bus and our excellent tour guide, Steve. The way I see it, anyone who looks down on you for doing kitschy tourism stuff, can get stuffed. There are people and companies out there doing amazing things to pile together so much in only a few hours. This tour came for free with our hotel booking and I am SO glad we decided to take it up!

We saw sights old and new including Big Ben, the Houses of Parliament, Trafalgar Square, St Paul’s Cathedral, London Bridge, The Shard, Tower Bridge and the London Eye. We also got to watch the Changing of the Guard at Buckingham Palace which was really cool. Then we had a cruise on the River Thames which took us passed Shakespeare’s Globe, Cleopatra’s Needle. London Bridge and The Shard.

We managed to see so much and all before lunch time! In a complete fluke, we also were able to see the Changing of the Guard and it was amazing! Though watching the crowds sort of taking over the entire road and jumping the barriers, despite securities best efforts and very clear warnings, really reminds me that Darwinism is really doing it’s best.

We ate some pretty rubbish lunch in a fast-food chain type scenario, though we also had wine and beer, so that significantly improves our lunch star-rating! We were right next to the London Dungeon, and I had a cheap entry for the two of us, so why not?

I went to the London Dungeon around 9 years ago and some parts are the same and some are new altogether – either way it is worth a visit. Sure, it’s touristy and campy and all that, BUT it is phenomenally educational. Hot tip though, if you have a six year old with you, and she is terrified, do not proceed to laugh at her with your entire family for an hour and a half through a pretty scary theme attraction, You are a bad parent, best start saving for some counselling!

For the evening we headed across to the London Eye for our turn around the circle and views out on London. Our booking was for 5.15pm, which was not too bad of a turn-around to get home, get dressed and head back out. It is amazing that by day two in any new place, you have just about got the metro/tube/underground sorted!

The line was massive but it moved pretty quickly! Again, I think being in the presence of any rude/pushy people just gets my blood pumping, I know I would be happier if I could learn to ignore rudeness and stupidity, but just quietly, some of us should be pulling people up on their rubbish behaviour?

After our London Eye experience, it was time to head over to the incredibly beautiful Apollo Theatre Victoria to see Wicked. We saw the Lion King in New York so it was only fitting we saw something in London. The first half was absolutely amazing, the set-design, costumes, the movement and those beautiful voices were simply astonishing – I highly recommend it!

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Now our time in London, particularly at the start of our trip was always going to be a bit pricier than most, but we stayed within our daily budget, which was excellent! I am pretty sure we were both asleep before our heads had even hit our pillows that night!

Thank you so much for reading, I hope you enjoyed this post. If you did, please ‘like’ or share the post so I can see! 

Please note, I have not been paid any sponsorships at all for this post, however some of the links in my blog posts may be affiliate links, meaning that at no additional cost to you, I will earn a commission if you click through and make a purchase.

I only ever talk about my own personal experiences and adventures, places and locations which I love and think you will too!

To follow me on Instagram click here – courtneygaye_travels

To follow me on Facebook – you can do so here – Courtney Gaye Travels FB

If you are a Pinterest fan – you can find me here – Courtney Gaye Pinterest

x C x