A Tour of Tulum.

A trip to the Mayan Riviera isn’t complete without at least heading on a day trip to Tulum!

Known for being a little quieter and more hipster than it’s noisy neighbors Cancun and Playa del Carmen. It’s a great place to unwind.

Getting there from Playa couldn’t be easier, go to Calle 2 just off 10th Ave and spot the Colectivos or minivans and jump on board! It cost about 80 peso for two of us and took around 40 minutes to get to the archaeological area.



From here, cross over the road and walk straight down, ignore the tour operators as all you need to do is pay the entrance fee and you’re free to wander the ruins at your own leisure. It’s 80 peso entrance fee, spot the Coati a small mammal related to racoons while you’re there!

In the ruins you can find amazing views out to sea, and loads of information regarding each building. There’s a lot to do and we spent a couple of hours here. Make sure you find the steps down to a small secluded beach where you can cool off in the blue waters of the Caribbean sea.

After a swim and a sun bathe, we walked around the rest of the archaeological park. Now from here you have two choices. Take a left and head to the other beaches where you can relax, or take a Colectivo into Tulum town from the main road.


We chose the latter as we were starving. We wandered along the main road through Tulum and spotted a few nice restaurants on a side street. This time we had enchiladas and nachos smothered in beans and cheese! Obviously washed down with a beer.


After this we wandered around and checked out some of the cute shops. Then it was time to head back to Playa, so we jumped into a Colectivo heading back up the freeway. I wish we’d spent a bit more time in Tulum, you can visit some nearby Cenotes and Coba, a Mayan temple you can climb is nearby too.



But there’s always next time! 🇲🇽

Playing around in Playa Del Carmen.

I was so excited to be heading over to Mexico, home of my favourite food, my favourite drinks and my favourite thing, adventure! It was my partners friend’s birthday, so we decided to go all out and book an all inclusive, adults only hotel in the heart of Playa. This resort is located on the Yucatan peninsula, right on the Caribbean shores.

We flew into Cancun after bottomless mimosa and drag brunch the day before in LA. We had booked transport through Booking.com which was quick and easy, Cancun is a busy airport though so be prepared to wait as they find somewhere to park. Luckily they sell Margaritas as soon as you leave the airport, so we got two huge frozen ones to share for the hour long journey.

We stayed at The Reef 28, a relatively new hotel found right in the centre of Playa, with a rooftop pool, 3 restaurants and a snack bar it was perfect for what we wanted. We spent many an evening playing pool, giant jenga and card games on the rooftop. It was also just 5 minutes walk to the beach, and Quinta Avenida or 5th Ave the next street over.

Here are a few fun things to do in and around Playa Del Carmen….

5th Avenue

This sprawling mecca of all things Mexico goes for at least 2km and is filled with restaurants, bars and shops. It’s a vibrant place and no visit to Playa is complete without a wander along here.

There is literally something for everyone, Senor Frogs for the Spring Breakers, up to classier restaurants like Catch and everything in between. Prices can vary from bar to bar so make sure you check a few out before deciding where your first margarita or tequila will be! I love street art and there were so many cool pieces dotted about as we wandered up.

You can check out the Frida Kahlo museum full of information about the famous Mexican painter, 3D museum of wonders or just tequila taste and souvenir shop! If you want something a bit more chill head to 10th ave, the next street over for restaurants and bars without the big crowds or for a big party 1st Ave is the place to be with 3 big bars/clubs on one corner.

For a little bit of culture/relaxation Parque Los Fundadores is a lovely little green space found on one end of the avenue. There’s an impressive bronze archway here, an adorable white church and traditional Mayan performances. Grab some fresh fruit from one the vendors, sit back and enjoy the shows!

Playacar

The beach at Playa is beautiful, white sand and clear waters, but it’s not the biggest due to development going almost right to the water and lots of areas filled with boats. Instead take a 30 minute walk or catch a bus to Playacar.

This gated and upmarket community has the best beach we visited. The water was warm and so blue, with palm trees lining the powdery white sand. Luckily The Reef has a sister hotel here we could use which was amazing, cocktails , ice cream and a huge lunch buffet to enjoy!

Make sure you stop off and explore some mini ruins on the walk there or back, just as you enter Playacar from the beach at Playa Del Carmen you can spot them, including a crazy palm tree that is growing sideways then vertically! It’s a nice little addition to a fun walk, and Iguanas are sunbathing on the ancient rocks.

Cozumel

This tropical island is found just 30 minuets by ferry from Playa. Get your tickets down near Parque Los Fundadores and head over for a great little day trip.

The ferries leave every hour on the hour which is simple to remember. There’s a wonderful square here where you can get some food and drinks, but if you head down the coast towards the South of the island you can find amazing snorkelling opportunites!

Unfortunately we arrived there on the same day as 5 huge cruise ships did, so taxi prices were super inflated so we didn’t make it as far as Playa El Cielo where there’s meant to be incredible snorkelling just off the beach with a natural reef.

Instead we walked along the road to find a beach club we could eat and swim from. It ended up being a great afternoon as we found El Cid La Ceiba beach! We had a great lunch here, beautiful quesadillas and then got to lounge on the jetty, with hammocks in the water, and hundreds of fish to marvel at while we snorkelled. Locals were chilling out here too which I always think is a good impression of somewhere.

The bar even has it’s own mascot, Cid the Pig! After swimming and relaxing here we walked back, spotting Pelicans diving into the water and Iguanas sun baking. A lot of locals were swimming in the rock pools along the street here too. Then we watched the sunset from the boat as flying fish scattered ahead of us.

Gay Playa Del Carmen

As our group consisted of 3 gay men, I had to have a little section on the gay scene here. While not huge, there’s definitely a lot going on. The main bar/club is Bar69 found just off 5th Ave down a side street. This place was pretty quiet in the week but on the weekend it was full!

They had drag queen performances and Gogo dancers, just make sure you have Pesos for the cover charge and drinks. We felt really safe in Playa and didn’t get any hassle when holding hands or arms around each other while walking along 5th Ave. There’s a good row of cash machines on 10th Ave. Don’t trust the ATMs on 5th they charge loads and most only give out USD.

There were also a couple of bars on Calle 6 which were gay friendly, and Billy Gin which an instagram friend 2minionsontour recommended. This was a great little place for a few drinks before heading to bar69. It was great to meet someone who actually had been living there so we got loads of great advice from Jeroen.

Day Trips!

There are soooo many activities and trips you can take from Playa. All the different cenotes (sinkholes you can swim in) Mayan ruins like Coba and Chichen Itza (Which we did) plus activity parks, diving and boat trips. Check out Flamingogaytours and meridagaytours for gay friendly tours all around the Yucatan peninsula!

We had such a great time in Playa, and we would love to visit again one day and see some more of the scenery and snorkelling opportunities. The all inclusive was perfect for what we wanted, but some of our best meals were when we headed out and did some exploring. My favourite street was Calle 38, it was so different to everywhere else, lined with trees and the coolest looking restaurants.

We ate at Amate 38 and it was so good! Lots of veggie options and we got to try some excellent Mezcal surrounded by nature. Check out my link to the Chichen Itza tour and doing a Tulum tour ourselves coming soon HERE.

Oslo the Tiger City!

Oslo! Capital City of Norway, where the nobel peace prize is awarded, it’s also known as the Tiger City! It was founded in 1000AD and has been the capital since 1814.

Even though it’s in the South of Norway, it shares the same latitude as Alaska, and it used ti be called Christiana after Christian IV of Denmark. Edvard Munchs famous painting ‘The Scream’ is found here and is based on a view you can find in Oslo.

My trip to Oslo was mainly because I wanted to head up to the Arctic Circle and see the Northern Lights but was interested to see what the City had for me and I wasn’t disappointed.



I flew in with Ryanair, but it was only after I had booked my flights that I realised how far Oslo Torp is from the city. Luckily you can take a straight through train that takes about 1 hour 45 minutes.

I started my adventure at the Operahuset, a modern building completed in 2007 that’s built right onto the water. You can climb up the steps to the top of the building and check out the views.


Head over to the Revierkaia for a cool, hipster vibe area to grab a beer, sit back and relax. Spot the tiny little floating sauna as you walk there.


Wandering the streets of Oslo, I came across so many fun statues everywhere it was the perfect photoshoot opportunity. This led to the ultimate statue park Vigeland! On the way I checked out the unassuming Royal Palace where the King and Queen still stay, it’s a modest building and not what I was expecting.

Anyway, Vigeland can be found in Frogner park and has over 200 sculptures all by Gustav Vigeland with The Angry Boy, The Monolith and The Wheel Of Life being some of the more famous ones. It’s also completely free. You approach along a bridge lined with the sculptures then follow them up to The Monolith.

I was staying in the Aker Brygge area, and headed back there for dinner and a drink, Oslo is an expensive city and to budget I definitely reduced the amount I would usually drink on holiday! It’s a nice area with lots of restaurants/bars and a cute walk out along the fjord with some cool sculptures here too.

The next day I leisurely got up and had breakfast at the hotel, if you can find somewhere with breakfast included in expensive countries it’s always a winner.

I was off to explore Oslo’s castle just across the water from my hotel, dating from 1299 Akershus fortress has served as a prison, an army base and currently serves the prime minister’s offices. There’s lots to see and do here, I enjoyed walking around the grounds, stopping off to marvel at the architecture and history.



There were even some old fashioned UN vehicles in the grounds. I spent a couple.of hours just walking along the coast back past the opera house and along to Sorenga. They had a great outdoor pool here to try and a few nice bars and restaurants.


After that it was time for a Viking lesson at the Viking ship museum. I took the ferry from Aker Brygge City hall pier 3 to the Bygdoy peninsula. It cost 75NOK return. You can also get a bus from the central station.


The Viking ship museum is 120NOK to enter and houses the best preserved Viking ship in the world!


While I was there I also visited the maritime museum, which had really interesting displays and interactive features It had loads of information on arctic exploration which was cool.



It was time to head back home after an amazing experience in Norway. Yes it’s expensive but there are a lot of free activities too. I picked up my stuff and headed for the train station, ready to face the hour and 45 minute train journey to the airport.

Magical Madrid! What to see and do.

Madrid! Capital of Spain, world famous for art and home to the Prado, Real and Atletico Madrid, and the birthplace of Penelope Cruz and Enrique Iglesias.  It’s a very trendy City with a lot of history, interestingly it was the Moors who initially turned Madrid into a flourishing City before King Phillip II made it the administrative center.
It’s also one of the largest Cities in Europe, in Sobrino de Botin they have the oldest restaurant in the world, and we soon learnt that rioja wine is synonymous with the City and it was always accompanied by small tapas! Here is how we enjoyed our time in Madrid!





Arts and Museum District

First off, breakfast! Head to Plenti in the Art and Museum district for amazing tasty food and brilliant coffee.

Then wander down past the art galleries and museums, we’ll visit these later when it’s free. Nearby is Retiro Park, a huge 350 acre green space in the middle of the City.

There’s some really interesting things to see here too, such as the only statue of the devil in the world! It’s got a really eerie vibe but it’s brilliant in it’s design.


Head towards the crystal palace for amazing instagrammable moments, this 1887 structure is made almost exclusively from glass and is in the shape of a Greek cross.


When we visited there was an art installation inside which made it even more memorable! Nearby is a small art gallery that’s free to enter so definitely worth a look. Once you’ve done the cultural side it’s time to have fun on the lake, rent a rowing boat and enjoy the huge statues nearby from the water, and enjoy the sunshine, Madrid gets around 250 days of it a year!


Now you’re done with nature, walk up to the North East of the park and check out the triumphal arch Puerta de Alcala in the Plaza de la Independencia and the cute Parroquia San Manuel church.



Head along the street to Plaza de Cibeles to enjoy the gothic Madrid City Hall! That’s a lot of working so take a break at the nearby rooftop bar Azotea del Circulo and grab a glass of wine or cocktail while enjoying the incredible views. We also ordered some tapas to go with. Spot all the cool statues that sit on rooftops from here.



Now it’s time for some culture, wander back down to the museums and galleries and take your pick! Check out the Prado in the evening as it’s free between 6 and 8pm monday to saturday!

There are some massively famous paintings here but we actually found it a little too religious and classical for our taste. After this we found Tinto y Tapas, an adorable little bar nearby where we could sit back and relax with a wine after a full on day.


South and East Madrid

Breakfast today was at Pum Pum cafe, this place had a great brunch style menu and the decor inside was very hipster chic. Delicious!


Our plan from here was to check out Madrid Rio, a run down area that used to be part of Madrid’s inner ring road but has been transformed into a 6km long green space. It incudes an urban beach, relaxing walks, beautiful views and interesting architectural bridges. Check out some of the cool street art on the opposite bank to the city center.

The weather was so beautiful so it was great to leisurely wander down. At the end we passed by the old Atletico Madrid stadium and a lot of construction as they transform this area even more. It’s a bit of a walk but the weather was so good we didn’t want to use the excellent metro underground system, but we made it to the Santa Maria Cathedral and Almudena Cathedral and quickly checked out the old arabic walls nearby. 

The church was beautiful inside and out with it’s baroque architecture, make sure you check out both levels. It took 110 years to be completed and it’s believed to be built over the ruins of a mosque.


Next up and opposite the church is the Madrid Royal Palace, it’s the official residence of the Spanish royal family but is now only used for state ceremonies. The palace was also built over an old muslim era fortress and was first occupied in 1764.



It’s a little annoying as you can’t take a bag in but the rules were a bit unclear as some people got through while others didn’t. The palace itself is opulence turned up to a hundred! The main staircase was a great introduction to how grand it would be. Photos aren’t allowed in most of the rooms but we did manage to sneak a few now and again.




Behind the palace is a lovely little park to have a breather and relax and nearby is a bigger area called Montana Park which has a reconstructed egyptian temple usually there’s water around it to get some great reflection photos but unfortunately it was dry this time.


Plaza de Espana is a short walk from here and is an impressive square surrounded by interesting buildings and sculptures, including one of Cervantes who wrote ‘Don Quixote’. It was definitely time for lunch and we wanted to try one of the food markets and opted for San Anton. Located on Calle de Augusto Figueroa it’s and amazing place for the senses. Filled with small restaurants and food markets it’s a great place to try a few things. We had a huge plate of padron peppers, greek salad, hummus and pita and obviously olives, all washed down with a beer.


The rest of the afternoon and evening was spent sipping amazing rioja sat outside of various bars and cafes heading towards our hotel. Then we relaxed a little before heading over to a vegetarian restaurant where the wine was good but the food was a bit of a let down and I can’t find it now so I guess it’s gone out of business.


The Rest of Madrid

Plaza Mayor is a famous square in the heart of the City with impressive buildings surrounding it and filled with restaurants where you can sit outside. It’s cute but maybe a little too touristy, we did however leave a lock there with our initials for Valentine’s Day.
You have to check out the statue of Oso, the bear and the strawberry tree, the symbol of Madrid and found on the coat of arms. This is also near the Puerta del Sol another major landmark in Madrid. Find yourself a sweet treat in the form of Churros, and for some of the oldest and tastiest can be found at Chocolateria San Gines. This place seems like it’s always busy but we managed to bag a table outside and it was worth every Euro, it was delicious!


The area around Calle de la Cava Bajo is filled with bars and restaurants and the nightlife is meant to be good here. We sat out on the Plaza de San Andres for a wine and snacks and it’s a stunning square with lovely little churches dotted around it.


Then just wander, stop for wine and tapas, watch the world go by. It feels like a city that’s really designed to do this.

Gay Madrid

Madrid is super LGBTQ+ friendly and has a multitude of gay bars and gay friendly hotels. Nearly all of the bars etc can be found in the Chueca district right in the heart of the City. Madrid hosts a huge Pride festival running from the end of June to beginning of July.

Doin’ Dallas. The Top Sights.

Dallas is the 9th largest City in the United States, located in the vast state of Texas. It’s also the birthplace of the frozen margarita machine, the microchip and 7/11 stores! It grew as a trade center from it’s history of Ranching, farming and oil production. It’s now an important business, financial and tech center.

I was lucky enough to be in a situation where I could fly over and check out some of the best things to do in and around Dallas and I was super excited. I was staying in the gay district called Oak Lawn. Home to a street of LGBTQ+ friendly bars and businesses it was a good starting off point! Here are the top sights in Dallas.

Perot Museum of Nature and Science

This place is jaw dropping from the outisde, an architecturally impressive masterpiece plus it’s an eco building which is awesome. As soon as I was greeted by a Diplodocus skeleton I knew would enjoy it.

It’s definitely a great place to spend with families but I noticed people of all ages enjoying the exhibitons. These range from history to science, culture to technology and space.

6th Floor Museum at Dealey Plaza

This was a surreal place to visit, a massive moment in American politics. It’s the place that Lee Harvey Oswald used as a vantage point to shoot the 35th American President – John F Kennedy. It was fascinating learning about the lead up to the murder. There’s a no photo policy inside the museum so be aware.

However it was the aftermath, what happened, conspiracy theories and the outpouring of good will from around the world in dedication to a man who really seemed like he wanted to change people’s lives for the better. You can look out of the same window and there’s an X on the road below to mark where it happened. Walk along the road a little to a wooden fence with tributes from people carved into it.

Dallas CBD

I found the center of Dallas pretty non existant and mostly business buildings, but there are a few pretty cool points of interest if you have the time. Nearby the 6th Floor Museum is an interesting memorial to JFK with a whole plaza dedicated to him.

Near this is the John Neely Bryan Cabin, a replica of the founder of Dallas’ home. You can also see the Old Red Courthouse here, I didn’t go inside but it’s a beautiful old building with some interesting exhibits inside.

One of the coolest things I saw in central Dallas was Pioneer Plaza! This had a great sculpture of cowboys herding cattle, which as a big fan of cowboys when I was younger was pretty amazing!

Also look out for the big red pegasus, which started out on the top of the City’s first skyscraper, it’s said to look over Dallas and is a bit of a cultural icon nowadays. Head to Reunion Tower for for panoramic 360 degree views of Dallas, with the Central business district impressive from here at 470 feet in the air!

Fort Worth Stockyards

Actually a nearby City, Fort Worth was an important trading post for cowboys, and is located around 35 miles from Dallas. It’s now home to a historic district called the Stockyards which is a fully realised glimpe of the American wild west!

Full of restored shops, bars and hotels it’s like stepping back in time. Wander along and buy yourself a pair of cowboy boots, or a hat and watch the cattle drive. There’s a mini train to take you around some parts of it and live cowboy acts if you’re lucky.

It was pretty cool, and obviously we had to stop off for a beer in an old timey saloon! Lookout for the Texas trail of fame, a nod to the walk of fame in LA only with famous cowboys and pioneers!

Dallas Parks and Gardens

If you want a break from the City there are a few beautiful green spaces in and around the City. The Arboretum and Botanical Gardens are 66 acres of serenity where you can experience Shinrin-Yoku or forest bathing.

It’s located on the shore of White Rock Lake, has stunning sculpted gardens and a cafe that serves food that utilises things grown there.

A really fun walk I did here was the Katy Trail, this recreational area runs 240 miles across America. In Dallas you can walk 3.5 miles of greenland in the heart of the City. Check out turtle creek along the way to spot snapper turtles.

I love it when a City really uses it’s space to create fun walking/running areas. Klyde Warren Park is the ultimate goal of a green City. Built over a freeway it’s 5.2 acres of parks with food trucks lining the street on the side of it. You can get lovely ice cream and street food snacks from here while you enjoy the fountains and shade in the heat of the day.

Deep Ellum

Known for it’s completely hipster vibe, this area has been totally regenerated and filled with street art, local brewpubs selling pale ales and IPAs, and quirky stores selling oddities.

It’s a great place to get lost in while checking out the murals, stopping off for a beer or coffee and enjoying some live music at one of the many venues around here.

I stopped off at braindead which had an amazing craft ale menu. It’s also super artsy in general around here with cool sculptures and small independent art galleries.

While here make sure you try some Tex Mex cuisine a staple of Dallas life, sip a frozen margartia while you do it.

Gay District – Oak Lawn

Head here for a night of pure southern charm, start off at JRs for a balcony view of the street and ice cold beers.They host drag shows and have great drinks offers.

For a real taste of gay culture in Texas head to the Round Up Saloon here you can either watch or get involved in some line dancing, I was told about it but until you see it you’ll never understand. The central dance floor is sunken a few feet and it was filled with people in cowboy hats and boots dancing in complete sync.

I didn’t have the guts to join in but I definitely enjoyed watching! I then headed over to Station 4. This place had GoGo boys dancing on poles and they also host awesome drag shows, Asia O’Hara from S10 Dragrace fame comes from Dallas! If you’re after something a little more interesting Eagle bar Dallas is a short taxi ride down the road, where you can enjoy a men only space with lots of fetish nights.

NASA Houston

Houston is a 4 hour drive from Dallas, home of Beyonce but more interestingly for me the home of NASA. I wasn’t sure if it was worth spending a night away from Dallas to do it but I couldn’t pass up the opportunity.

We drove through a huge storm which was pretty insane, but we did get to stop at iHop for a pancake breakfast! We got there in the afternoon and decided to head to Galveston on the coast.

It was fun to stand in the Atlantic ocean as Pelicans flew overhead. It’s a cute old school seaside resort and I enjoyed looking at some of the old buildings.

After some tasty Mexican we hit the hay and headed over to NASA early in the morning.

This is the birthplace of space exploration, and it was an absolutely incredible experience! From learning about the history of the space race, looking at all the flight suits and history, even getting to see the command centre where the immortal ‘Houston we have a problem’ happened, and the speaker where those and other amazing words came from.

You get to look around the science buildings and find out what NASA are working towards, and explore a real space shuttle. There were so many things to see and do we spent a good 5 or 6 hours, maybe more here!

Dallas might not be on a lot of people’s must see lists, but it’s a great City, a big LGBTQ+ friendly area and the locals are some of the friendliest I’ve ever encountered.

I’d love to head back to Texas and check out Austin and maybe Houston properly, Dallas was a great introduction to Texan life and really opened my eyes to a place that I wasn’t sure would welcome me with open arms. I didn’t make it there but I’ve heard the art galleries in Dallas are meant to be incredible too, so there’s definitely enough to keep you occupied for a few days at least here.

48 Hours in Luxembourg

Luxembourg! One of the smallest nations in Europe, it’s located between France, Belgium and Germany. Luxembourg had the first EU leader to marry someone of the same sex! It also has the second highest minimum wage in the world.The capital city is also called Luxembourg, and there’s a 17km long network of tunnels beneath the City that were originally built in 1644.I arrived by train from Brussels in Belgium after a fabulous journey through the Belgian countryside. Topped off by the most amazing pizza pie spinach thing at the station. Incredible. The station is actually located about a ten minute walk from the old town, but it’s a great approach as you climb up towards the fortified town.Luxembourg old town is built up on a rocky outcrop which makes it only accessible by bridges on three sides which gives it an almost mystical quality. The small gorge that runs beneath the bridges has been turned into lovely parkland with a lazy river wanding its way through.I was staying at a youth hostel down in one of these valleys called the mon hotel, it was so cute surrounded by a forest and the river Alzette running past it. I checked in and dropped my stuff off.It was a beautiful day at around 25°c in the middle of June. I wandered off in search of adventure. Honestly you wouldn’t think you were in a capital City, the cute stone houses and small bridges crossing the river made me feel like I was out in some idyllic country village.

I found an elevator with an impressive design hanging off the side of the cliff, and took it all the way to the top. As I ascended I couldn’t believe the amazing views over the countryside.At the top I took an obligatory selfie and marveled at the design of Luxembourg. I then set off to explore the streets of the town. It’s a cute place to wander around but there aren’t many ‘big sights’.However there are plenty of old interesting buildings to look at, like the notre dame cathedral and pretty squares to stop for a coffee or beer.One of the most beautiful parts of the town looks out towards their most famous bridge the Adolphe with the Musee de la Banque just peaking out from behind some trees.I think Luxembourg is one of the greenest Cities I have ever visited. I descended back down into the valley to wander around the park and enjoy the cool evening after the heat of the day.All this walking was making me hungry, so I ended up in a generic pizza place. Where I wasn’t even embarrassed about eating a large all to myself. After this I sat outside a small cafe/bar and watched the world go by with a nice cold beer.As the sun began to set I headed back in the general direction of my hostel, which took me past some cute little turrets with more amazing panoramic views. After a night cap in the hostel bar it was bed time, but I couldn’t wait to explore more of Luxembourg.The next day I woke very early before sunrise and decided to head up to the Bock, the old fortified castle walls that sit above catacombs and tunnels in the hillside. I sat there and watched the the sun peak out from the horizon. It was such a calm and peaceful moment.I followed this up by walking down to the river again and following it in the opposite direction to yesterday. This was a particularly interesting route.The old bridges and churches looked beautiful in the morning light as I looked up and spotted caves in the cliff side. The reflections in the water made for an amazing picture too!It was turning into another scorcher of a day, so after a simple breakfast of bread cheese and an apple I set out once more. This time I was going to check out the Grand Duke Jean museum of modern art that sits atop a hill opposite the town.It was a beautiful walk up past old fortifications, and once I reached the top of the hill the views back across to the City were fab.I stopped off at Fort Thungen, a reconstructed castle that was demolished after the treaty of London in 1867. This treaty demanded the demolition of the City’s fortifications due to it’s neutrality after centuries of foreign rule.It houses a museum which shows the history of Luxembourg and the City, with lots of artefacts. Make sure you head up to the rooftop to enjoy some fresh air and 360 views. Just beyond the Fort is the art museum, also known as MUDAM.This impressive building is super modern and has revolving exhibitions, check out the website to see what’s on. When I visited the installations were really cool, I spent a really good amount of time here and got a quick bite to eat in the cafe.I walked back to the City through the Parc des Trois Glands, and found myself opposite the elevator from the day before. I took the elevator back up and hung out in the Parc Kinnekswiss, sunbathing and people watching, it was a great way to spend the early afternoon.Next up I wanted to explore the underground tunnel network, so I headed to the Casemates back near my hostel. It’s 7 Euros entrance fee and you get to wander around at your own pleasure. I loved finding little rooms with windows looking out over the countryside and getting lost within the caves and crypts!That evening I treated myself to a few beers and watched some football and had an amazing veggie burger at a place called Snooze. Then went over to the Adolphe bridge to watch the sunset which was gorgeous. The walk back at night was really pretty too. I was heading back to Brussels the next day before flying back home.

A short visit to Canberra. Australia’s Capital.

When you think of Australia, you think of Sydney, Melbourne, Perth, Brisbane. So it surprises a lot of people to find out the capital is actually little Canberra.

Located between Victoria and New South Wales, it’s a relatively new City with building commencing in 1913. It was built due to a disagreement over which existing City should become the Capital of a united Australia.

We were visiting as a little stop off point between Melbourne and Sydney. It’s a 9 hour drive between these two, and Canberra sits around 6 hours from Melbourne.

We arrived late in the evening after an eventful drive, stopping off to see a giant Ned Kelly, a submarine and a dog on a tucker box. It was a pleasant drive until we hit the smoke from the NSW fires.

We stayed at the QT Canberra, which is a lovely hotel set within walking distance of the parliament and museum area.

We woke up early and crossed lake Burley Griffin, a huge man made lake set right in the centre of the City. You can hike around the whole thing which would be fun. Unfortunately the huge fountain located in the lake wasn’t on when we walked over.

We stopped along the opposite bank and followed the Australian of the year walkway before passing the national library.

Next up was the old parliament, a classic looking white building which was superseded by the new parliament built up on Capitol hill.

So off we trekked up the hill, and the new building is definitely well thought out architecturally. The best part is that you can wander around inside with no tour guide or security following you.

So we visited the senate room and the house of representatives. Although parliament wasn’t on session, it was still interesting to learn more about Australian politics.

The great hall was beautiful, with a great tapestry on the wall, but the best part was heading to the roof and seeing the 266ft flagpole. The views from here were also amazing, albeit ruined by the bushfire smoke a little, but hey, that’s the least of Australia’s problems with the fires.

We headed back to the hotel and checked out. Then drove over to the ANZAC parade. This was really interesting with memorials lining the parade to every war Australia has fought in.

There was also a memorial for army nurses which I loved, but the most interesting were the Boer and Vietnamese war memorials. Lots of history and information.

I really love the quote from Atatürk after the battle of Gallipoli.

We didn’t have time to go inside the actual war museum, instead we drove up to Mount Ainslie lookout. If you had time the hike up there would be brilliant, with a chance to see kangaroos and other interesting Australian animals.

The view was still hazy, but it was still really interesting, with a straight look down ANZAC parade to the lake, and the fountain was now on!

That was the end of our little Canberra journey, it felt like there was still a lot of hiking opportunities we missed because of time constraints, and I’ve heard the art galleries and museums are top class here.

So there’s plenty to see and do to fill at least a couple of days. Lastly, we were on a budget so we didn’t try out any of the restaurants, but Canberra is meant to be a foodies dream!

It was on to Sydney for us, this time we got to see a giant Merino sheep and stopped at the town of Yass! To get a picture with the sign and live our Queer Eye fantasy.

Brussels in 48 hours.

Brussels, capital of Belgium and home to the EU. The only reason I visited here the first time was because of cheap flights. My friends and I were desperate to get away somewhere and it cost about £25 return each.

After a few days here, I fell in love. There’s so much to see and do! The food is great and the beer is some of the best in the world.

I returned recently to relive some experiences and to find some new sights and it was just as magical. The gay scene here is also top notch.

We were based right next to the Grand Place, a huge square surrounded by some of the most extravagant and beautiful buildings you’ll see in Europe.

Starting off as a market square sometime in the 11th century, it’s now home to the town hall, old guildhalls and the City museum. It’s also a UNESCO world heritage site.

From here head down Rue Charles Buls to one of the strangest attractions I’ve ever seen in a country. The Manneken Pis is a 17th century fountain of a young boy having a wee.

There were big crowds here both times I visited, he gets dressed up for festivals and holidays, and you can’t go 10 feet without seeing a souvenir with him on it.

They even built a female version called Jeanneke Pis. Don’t spend much time here, but rather enjoy the cool street art dotted around and indulge in a Belgian waffle or some frites with mayo.

A beautiful area of the City is the Parc De Bruxelles, a lovely green space which leads up to the Palace De Bruxelles. You can walk down through the Parc Bruxelles to get back to the main part of the City.

For those interested in street art, this is the City to go to. I spent a couple of hours following this map here. My advice? Wander around and stop at the many bars for a real taste of Belgian beer along the way.

You can admire the beautiful old architecture along the way, my walk took me out to the canal, before heading back into the City via Plaine de Jeux Quai A la Houille and it’s cute pigeon soldier statue.

I followed the square down, past Fontaine Anspach to St Catherine’s church. Then stopped for a few beers and to watch some football. I got chatting to an American Dad and Son and we had a good time enjoying the beers and watching the football.

We ate on Rue des Bouchers, something which I wouldn’t recommend, it’s all catered towards tourism, although the street is cute to walk along, the food was the worst we had and it was Moules a Frites! a staple of Belgian cuisine.

That night was spent singing karaoke and dancing away. We went on a day trip the following day to Bruges, but it was literally a downpour so we didn’t do much there apart from a very wet boat ride and sampling Belgian beers.

If you get chance, head out towards the Atomium, an exhibition space that’s a very interesting building especially from the outside. It was built for the world fair in Brussels.

Just along from here is a miniature recreation of Europe! Although not essential it’s a pretty fun place to wander around and see each countries most famous sights.

There’s even a space rocket launch at the end!

Gozo, Island of Wonders Pt.2

Today we were going into full on exploration mode. After another wonderful breakfast we took the bus over to Victoria also known as Rabat, the capital of Gozo.

The main sight here is the Citadel, it dominates the skyline in Victoria, and it’s just a short walk up from the bus station.

The first fortifications were built here in 1500BC and it’s believed to be the Acropolis of a Roman City called Gaulos. The buildings you see now are from the 15th century.

It once would have served as a defense against pirates, and until 1637 the Gozitan settlers had to stay within the walls at night by law.

A 5 Euro ticket gets you access to the main citadel, a few museums and a prison. It starts with an amazing digital show charting the history of the place.

From there you’re free to wander at your own leisure, the size of the place is amazing and we started by following along the huge outer walls.

From here we climbed up into the depths of the Citadel, and found ourselves in front of the magnificent Cathedral of Gozo. Unfortunately you have to pay to go inside so we just enjoyed the lovely square and baroque architecture.

We checked out some of the museums, they’re only small but the nature museum was pretty interesting, and the prison was cool.

One of the best parts was wandering the little side streets, there were a few nice shops around and the views from the Citadel walkway were unreal. You could see the Gozitan countryside for miles around, and it was such a beautiful day.

Once we had exhausted the sights inside the Citadel, it was time to explore the main town. It’s full of charming alleyways, hidden squares and lots of nice little restaurants and bars.

We tried the local pastizzi, a pastry stuffed with ricotta cheese which was delicious. After this little snack we stopped for lunch on St George’s square.

We shared a traditional platter, filled with everything I love about Mediterranean food. Washed down with a couple of cold beers.

You can also try Capitan Spriss for something more modern and for some good wine and cake.

We headed back towards the bus station through the narrow streets, stoping to admire flowers cascading down the walls and old wooden doorways.

We were heading over to Dwejra bay, but we had 45 minutes to spare so we walked around the Villa Rundle gardens. These were really pretty, and I loved the little art sculptures like the bees and the rainbow.

We noticed a gelato place opposite the bus station and it’s some of the best ice cream either of us had ever had. It was called Vanilla+ and it was soooo creamy and delicious.

We were soon on our way to Dwejra. Once famous for the Azure Window, a natural arch formation that collapsed in 2017.

Despite this I had heard it was a beautiful spot, with a sea tunnel and some amazing rock formations. Sadly the boats that take you through the tunnel weren’t running that day, but we had great fun exploring the crazy landscape.

The cliffs and rock pools are fun to wander around, and in Summer you can get a better chance to swim apparently. The Azure Window restaurant is also a good place to grab lunch or even just a beer.

The bus journey there is also amazing, you can spot Ta’pinu, the oldest church on the island, legend says that after it was ordered to be demolished, the first hammer blow to it broke the workers arm, so they left it standing!

We also passed golden fields of corn, and even the ruins of an aqueduct! If we’d had more time or a car we definitely would have stopped to explore these places.

After a long day we decided to cook for ourselves to save some money, so we stopped at the Arkadia foodstore. There was so much amazing stuff here, we had to hold back from buying too much!

Finally we arrived home, after eating a lovely little meal we took our wine down to the terrace lookout and watched the sun set on another amazing day in Gozo.