Friday, 28 November 2014

My Amsterdam

Amy and Becky visited me for a few days.

As most of you know, my parents live in Amsterdam. At some point I intend to write a blog with tips on where to go, what to see and maybe where to stay but for now, here are a few of my favourite photos of my stay in Amsterdam over the summer. Also please follow the link below to see my summer in video format (including a day at Amsterdam Gay Pride!)

The view from our kitchen at dusk.
The view from the other window at dusk.

My family from Brazil also visited and we went on a boat ride through the canals of Amsterdam. I highly recommend this experience to any group travelers!

Overall, I have come to realise that I love Amsterdam and it is the first place in my travels where I truly think I would be happy living there.

Stay tuned on that one I guess!

Lucy xxo

Thursday, 27 November 2014


I went to Slovenia for about a week in the Summer of 2014.

We stayed in a town that was an hours train ride away from Bled.

Lake Bled
We visited Lake Bled and the surrounding town as a day trip.

We also walked all the way to Soteska Vintgar.

The walk there reminded me a lot of where I come from in Germany.

Soteska Vintgar

 These views made the walk through the Vintgar my favourite part of the trip.

For the last two days of the trip, we went to Ljubljana.

Unfortunately, the weather here was much less appealing, but even in the rain, Ljubljana has its charms. We wandered around the city, getting lost and eating local food.

I would recommend going to Slovenia to anyone who gets the chance. Before going, it was never a place that I had previously considered but now that I have seen it, I would love to see it again!

I hope you like my pictures, none of them are edited and the water really is that colour!

Thank you,

Lucy xxo

Wednesday, 12 November 2014

Morocco with Mum

Before I go on to blog about my next adventure, here is one I have been meaning to write about since April 2014 when my mother and I went to Morocco for the week and had the best holiday of our lifetime. Travel has always been a love of mine but this single week truly highlighted why and goes to show just how much you can achieve in just one week.

However, without time and a place to start, this can be difficult to perfect (especially if you don't have someone as good at planning and researching as my mother) - so here is a cheat sheet with links to what we did with our week in Morocco.

This one is also dedicated to Ally Moss and Em - have fun in the summer guys!

The pool at the first hotel.

We flew to Marrakech and stayed three nights there. We stayed at Riad Puchka which was hidden away behind plain walls and opened up to the beautiful view above. If you book this hotel and stay for three nights or more, they come and pick you up from the airport for free. The staff are all locals and very friendly, even if originally, the location scared us a little!

Roaming around Marrakesh

In Marrakesh itself there are several great places anyone visiting should go and see. The above photo was taken in the gardens of Mamounia; a 5* hotel which opens its gardens to the public every day as long as they dress smartly. We got this tip from: DK's Eyewitness Travel series (Top 10 Marrakesh).

We spent the rest of our time in Marrakesh exploring the Souks. My only tip for that is to dress as locally as possible and to learn to say no before you go there. It's also good to remember that you pay whatever you are willing to pay - there is no set price so think what you want to pay and stick to it. This is an excellent place to try your hand at bargaining!

Souks by night - great for eating out cheaply

Souks by day - great for trinkets and learning about herbs

The second part of our trip to Morocco was a Sahara tour which we booked through Sahara Services. We did "Marrakech Tour III" which you can find on the link above. Although this was a lot of driving in a very hot car, this was my favorite part of the trip. It was so unexpected and so new to me that it will be a memory I treasure forever.

Our driver was called Hicham (Mobile: 00212 668 731700; he uses Whatsapp); who throughout the trip managed to stay cool and he never even had sweat patches in his crisp white shirt. He was a quiet driver who liked to listen to local music and stopped off half way through the tour to visit his mother (she gave us biscuits though so that was okay!). On parting, he kindly gave me a necklace which I still have today.

Sahara Desert.

The first place we stopped to eat.

Part of Game of Thrones is filmed here.

Hicham's mothers biscuits - handmade!

The forest of palm trees.
As well as driving through the desert, the tour included several stops along the way. At one of them, we were welcomed into the homes of a family who lived on the edges of the Sahara. Hicham showed us how to properly wrap a turban.

That night, we were surprised to find that the "camping in the Sahara Desert" was actually in fully structured tents with on-suit portable toilets and a full double sized bed. There was even a full length mirror in our tent!

Our room for the night.
Before dinner however, we had a camel ride into the sunset over some sand dunes. I decided to try out my local outfit that I had bought previously in Marrakesh.

The next morning, we decided to get up to watch the sunrise before breakfast and then heading back towards Marrakesh.

On the way back, we drove through what used to be a huge lake. The floor was solid and tried completely and there were fossils of fish in all the rocks.

Before we knew it, we were back in Marrakesh and spent the last two nights of our holiday in the five star hotel Le Jardins de l'Agdal; where we upgraded to a room with pool view. This three-part holiday worked so well because it meant that each place, each hotel, each activity lasted just long enough to really enjoy it but just short enough not to get sick of it. After 3 days in a sweaty car, it was pure luxury to find ourselves at a 5* retreat.

Both hotels were booked via and my mother felt that we got a very good price. Sahara Services also offer accommodation in Marrakech, but she found it more expensive.

The bed.

The view.

The pool.
On the last night, we pushed the 5* experience to the max and got room service. It actually turned out to be cheaper than going to the restaurant and eating it on the balcony was a great way to round of the trip.

Although Hicham offered to drive us, we missed out on a visit to the seaside town of Essaouira (where a lot more of Game of Thrones is filmed) and is therefore the only regret of this holiday.

I guess that just gives me an excuse to go back!

Love, Lucy xxo

p.s. remember that if you have any questions you can email me at

Tuesday, 15 July 2014

Being a University Freshman

My first year at the University of Chester in pictures:

All packed up and ready to go.
My mum always says that when I left to go to University, she felt a stronger sense of loss than when I left to go travelling. She says it felt more permanent and real. I completely agree, when I went travelling, I always knew I'd be back, I mean I had the obvious fantasies of falling in love and never returning but realistically, I knew I'd be back - I had a place at University after all! But moving to Chester? Different. As far as my imagination goes, when University is over, I'm not moving back into my parents place, I'll be a fully grown adult expected to go be in my own place with my own all-grown-up, real-adult, full-time job - no wonder it felt so daunting!

Freshers Week.
I guess this is pretty obvious, but for some unknown reason, I hadn't thought about it until it was too late. Freshers Week is expensive. Like really expensive. I don't know about other people but my household and neighboring household went out EVERY SINGLE NIGHT (except the last night if I remember correctly), on top of that, we bought things for the house to make it our own, we had to buy food and explore our new home, so yeah, it really added up. Not an issue at the time because I still had some savings but it hit me a lot harder than I thought it would. Also, if you aren't the type of person to go out more than once in a week, or at all really, make an exception for Freshers Week. This is where you make your first friends and you meet tonnes of people and everyone is in a good mood. The atmosphere is a bit like a week long festival but with about 10 different locations. It's awesome, and you should make it your mission not to miss it. Even if you don't drink or usually party - go to this one.

The girls of 35 Cheyney Road
I don't really know how this happened, but one minute I was having my first shower in this strange new house and the strangers I had been put with were calling me to go to an introduction speech on campus and the next minute, these girls are my life and I would do anything for them. I guess I got extremely lucky, but for me, my housemates turned into the strongest friends I have made at Uni as of yet. So my advice to people who need it, hang out in the kitchen. (Everyone needs to eat at some point). Make friends with the people you live with but above all, learn to respect their individual personal space and boundaries. It makes life so much easier and in turn, way more fun!

The boys next door.
Something else that I don't know how or why it happened, but it became the habit of one of our next door neighbors to always end up passed out in our living room, even though he lived literally next door, where he had a perfectly good bed. But for whatever reason he had, I'm glad he did it as that and all the other shared antics between our two houses during freshers made us a team. Or, the Cheyney Road Family as I once icing-sugar-wrote on a brownie batch I made. But yeah, yet another reason to do Freshers Week to the fullest; it's a great way to get to know the people you live with really really fast.

This is a picture of me and Becky, when we had known each other less than a week.
I don't regret a thing.

Other people may have different stories, but starting my course seemed somewhat less fundamental to my future than freshers week. Although I got to know a lot more about my course and how University was going to be run and when my classes were and so on, I think the real aspects of University didn't kick in for me until after Christmas, when I finally decided I was happy to stay in the course I had started. (Except to change it a tiny bit and combine it with Tourism next year). For me, the first term was very un-stimulating academically but extremely awesome on the social side which caused a great deal of unhappiness for me around Christmas and the lead up to second term. However, I stuck with it, greatly down to my new friendship group I have to say, so thanks for that guys :) and now I've finished first year and am actually looking forward to the second!

I ended up not even going out that night.
 Another great bit of advice I can give you (haha I'm so smart) is to join a society. My father told me that when he started University, he signed up for so many societies that there weren't enough days in the week to fit them all in. I did something a little similar: I joined three. Snow Sports, Events and Pole Fitness. On top of that, I also joined the Wales University Officer Training Corp (WUOTC) which I'll talk about a bit later. My advice is to join several at the start, see how it goes and then pick one to stick with. For me, that one was Pole Fitness. It worked well as all of my house mates did it, I thoroughly enjoyed it and the socials were really good, but again, I think it wasn't until after Christmas that I decided which ones were worth sticking to. So give yourself time to explore your options thoroughly.

Polka dot night with the Snow Sports Society.

The Events Society's first meeting.
The Pole Fitness Societies' first social: Cops and Robbers.

The WUOTC's first social: Generations.
As part of my course, we were supposed to volunteer at an event before April 2014 came along, where we would have to write about it in an assignment and would get 0% if we made an event up. So around November I started looking for opportunities and during one of these interviews, I was offered an internship at a small company working at the Chester Business Park called Black Mango. They were a luxury events company and were currently working on Chester Arts Fair 2013 where I had intended to volunteer for my assignment. My only advice here is to 'stay awake'. These days it isn't enough just to have a degree, you need some form of experience as well, and if that means you have to work for free (like I did for the first 5 months and then for minimum intern rates, which are less than minimum wage) do it. It's worth it in the long run - Or so I am told... I guess we'll just have to wait and see!

Chester Arts Fair 2013.
As previously mentioned, I joined the WUOTC at the beginning of first year as well. I've never been a military person but when I saw them at the Freshers Fair (and heard that it paid you - not a lot but enough to get you curious) I thought I'd give another way of life a go and boy am I glad that I did. To tell you the truth, most of the time I hated it and wanted to quit, especially over Annual Camp but I didn't. I didn't quit because of the people. (...again, similar to not quitting University, ha I see a trend forming!). The girls that I met through the WUOTC were not military freaks as I had anticipated but Disney-singing, Shark-facing, legends. Even now, when I full well know that I wont have time for it next year, I can't bring myself to quit.

The Wrexham Ladies.
Through the WUOTC, I also met Duckie who has become my best male friend in Chester. We had planned to raise money for charity and hitch hike to Morocco in aid of a charity called Link: Community Development. We managed to raise around £200 before realizing that we really didn't have the time or money to hitch hike to Morocco "in aid of charity" when really we just wanted to go to Morocco and had no idea who that particular charity was. (I'm all up for raising money for charity but this didn't seem quite morally right). So we ditched that idea (the £200 still went to the charity of course) and decided to just go travelling together instead. We haven't managed that yet (money money money) but we're still talking about it! I'm sure I'll write about it on here when we do, so keep posted.

Duckie and I in our charity shirts.

 So yes, first year at the University of Chester has been a tremendous adventure, with it's fair shares of up's and down's, overall it's been a really good experience. I am now 20 years old, (Gosh I started this blog over 2 years ago!) sat in Amsterdam for the summer having finished my first year of University. How does that feel? Weird. My best friend Abigail lives in her own apartment, has her own rabbit and has been promoted in her full time job, my mother is learning Dutch and getting good at it, my father is in Romania for the week doing business, and my brother is still in Ireland doing artistic things way beyond my skill level. It's crazy where life has taken us all. Oh, and there is no way I could ever answer that "where will you be in 5 years" question correctly.

Me - 5 years ago (July 2009) doing my Duke of Edinburgh Bronze with Sadie.

So yeah, now I am just waiting for my friends to come and visit me so that the summer can really start ;)

Catch ya later,

Lucy xxo