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#1 Zoo in Europe – Loro Parque Tenerife

May 3, 2017

On my recent trip to Tenerife me and my parents spent the day exploring Loro Parque situated in the north off the island. We started of the day with the discovery tour. Our friendly tour guide showed us round and explained all about the zoo. They work with many different projects to protect endangered species and to help protect the environment. Loro means Parrot in English and Loro Parque actually started off as a refuge for Parrots. They still have loads of parrots there and breed them there. The zoo previously won the Tripadvisor’s travellers choice for zoos and aquariums and came number 1 in Europe and 2nd in the world. The zoo is amazing and there’s so much to see and do!

Loro Parque Zoo Penguins - Enjoy the Adventure

On the tour we went to the Penguin enclosure its amazing you stand on a moving platform and can see them dive into the water. There’s also a machine to create snow falling from the ceiling.

Loro Parque Zoo Fish - Enjoy the Adventure

Loro Parque Zoo Flamingos - Enjoy the Adventure

For lunch we stopped off at Casa Pepe which serves Canarian specialities tapas-style. I would recommend the cheese with Mojo sauce for a starter. They also have a selection of meat dishes such as chicken skewers and a variety of sausages.

Animal shows

The shows are well worth seeing! Its amazing what the animals can do. I would recommend trying to see as many of the shows as possible. We missed the parrot show as we had to get back on the coach. Try and get to Loro Parque early as there’s so much to see there.

Loro Parque Zoo Whales Enjoy the Adventure

There are six Orca Whales at OrcaOcean who perform, even a deaf one who receives guidance through special hand and light signals. Bear in mind if you sit near the front you’ll get soaked.

Dolphins Loro Parque Enjoy the Adventure

The Dolphin show is brilliant and all of the shows give you information about the animals.

Sea Lions Loro Parque Zoo Enjoy the Adventure

My favourite show was the Sea Lion show. One of the sea lions wanted all the attention. Every time the trainer went to do something with the other sea lions it would jump down and get in the way.

Loro Parque entrance - Enjoy the Adventure

I loved this zoo there’s so much to see and the animals are treated well. It’s easy to see how the zoo has won so many awards. If I visit Tenerife again I’d love to go back as I didn’t get to see the bird show and could have spent longer exploring the zoo.

Loro Parque Tenerife - Enjoy the Adventure

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*Disclaimer – I was a guest at Loro Parque.*

 

Bosnia Europe Weekend Away

10 Things to do in Bosnia & Herzegovina

October 26, 2016

Turquoise rivers, tumbling waterfalls and lush green landscapes. The beautiful lands of Bosnia and Herzegovina are one of Europe’s best kept secrets. Wandering around Mostar feels like stepping back in time. Even if you only have a few days its worth visiting Mostar’s old bridge and exploring the alleys in Sarajevo. Here is my list of 10 things to do in Bosnia & Herzegovina.

1.Stari Most – Old Bridge

Stari Most means old bridge in Bosnian and is located in the old town of Mostar. This bridge is just as beautiful in real life as it is in photos. The bridge was built by the Ottomans in the 16th century. A word of warning the bridge is very slippery so wear sensible shoes. Crowds gather here during the day to watch people dive from the bridge into the River Neretva. Tourists can pay a fee for advice and a practise jump however this is not safe and travellers have died attempting to jump into the river.

mostar-satri-most-bridge

2.Blagaj

Blagaj is a small village town which is becoming a popular tourist destination. Its a lovely place to relax by the beautiful turquoise river. You can also visit the Dervish house in Blagaj (Tekija) for a small fee.This house is an important monument from the Ottoman period where religious ceremonies took place. You have to cover up before you go in and there are scarves and cover ups that will be given to you.

blagaj-bosnia

3.Kravice Waterfalls

This is an amazing lake surrounded by large waterfalls where you can enjoy a swim but be aware the water is freezing! There is also a restaurant next to the lake so you can relax with lunch or a beer whilst you take in the wonderful scenery.

bosnia-kravice-waterfall

4. Ancient Pocitelj

This is a UNESCO world heritage site located to the south of Mostar. The walled town of Pocitelj was built by the Ottomans.

mostar-bosnia

5. Viewpoint in Mostar

I went here on a day trip and this was our first stop with a view over Mostar our tour guide told us about the history of Mostar.

mostar-viewpoint

mostar-cross

6.Feast on meat

You have to try Ćevapi it is a traditional Balkan dish. Consisting of small grilled meat sausages made of lamb and beef mix; served with onions, sour cream and Bosnian pita bread.

mostar-mines

7.Learn about the history – Bosnia has had a turbulent past with a horrific war in the 90s, the effects of which are still massively visible especially in Mostar. You can still see bullet holes in buildings. I went on a walking tour in Mostar it was definitely the creepiest walking tour I’ve ever been on. I went with the hostel I was staying at, we walked to the sniper tower and had to climb over a huge wall to get in. It was at night so it was pretty dark. We walked around the corner and saw the graffiti as pictured below soo creepy!

graffiti-mostar-bosnia

We then walked up the stairs over lots of broken glass to get to the roof. Once at the top there was a great view of the city.

mostar-bosnia-48

8. Relax with Tea or coffee and a cake –  The Bosnians drink their coffee & tea Turkish style

sarajevo-tea-and-cake

9. Wander the old streets of Sarajevo, visit the winding alleys to discover antique shops and cute cafes. Buy some handmade copper coffee sets to enjoy Bosnian tea back home. Make sure you also check out the city hall!

10.Viewpoint in Sarajevo – As I only had 1 day in Sarajevo I didn’t have time to go during the day so went here at night and it had a great view of the city lit up. I saw the cutest proposal here. A man had bought his friends along and put some candles in a heart shape and played Bruno Mars “I think I want to marry you”he got down on one knee and proposed and she said yes! Their friends let go of red balloons and they floated off into the night sky it was so romantic. This viewpoint would be great to visit during sunset.

sarajevo-viewpoint

10. Visit the street corner that changed the world. This is where Franz Ferdinand was assassinated. This incident led Austria-Hungary to declare war on Serbia within weeks the conflict soon spread over the world causing world war one.

Accomodation

Boutique hostel skylounge – Mostar

bosnia-mostar-hostel

Photo from Hostelworld

  • Centrally located
  • Events in the evening such as walking tour then head to restaurant and bar which is a great way to meet other hostel guests
  • Breakfast included
  • So cheap around £7 a night
  • Organised tour day trip with hostel as shown in photo below

tour-mostar

Hostel Inn Luxury – Sarajevo

hostel-inn-luxury-sarajevo-mostar

Photo from Hostelworld

  • Nice design very white and clean
  • Selection of teas and coffee available for free – tea is so important for a British traveller haha

Information

  • If travelling by bus buy at the station as I couldn’t find any tickets available online
  • Currency: Bosnia and Herzegovina convertible mark (BAM) £5 = 11 BAM
  • Where to go next: Explore Croatia’s wonderful coastline such as Split or Dubrovnik or head to Montenegro and another option would be to visit Belgrade in Serbia.

Croatia Europe Travel Weekend Away

A Guide to Hvar Island, Croatia

October 22, 2016

A guide to Hvar island Croatia.jpg

Hvar is a small bay town that attracts a lot of tourists. Visitors can explore the winding stone streets, old Venetian architecture, crystal clear waters and crazy nightlife. It’s easily accessible for a day trip or for a longer stay. The only way to get to Hvar is by ferry, I got a ferry from Split with Jadrolinija. Its not too expensive either it was around £5-10.  This island is perfect for a fancy getaway but is also suitable for backpackers with a number of hostels available. Here is a list of of things to do in Hvar.

St Stephens Square

This is the main square filled with restaurants, supermarkets, bakeries and St Stephens cathedral.

street-in-hvar

Hvar’s Fortica

The fortress is perched on a hill above the old town. To get here walk up the steps off the main square and continue until you get to the top. It’s a steep walk to the top but well worth it with stunning views over Hvar town and the sea. It costs 30kn (£3.60) to get in and there’s a small museum and shop. It would also be a amazing to visit during sunset.

hvar-view

Beaches

Near the town centre most of the beaches are rocky but if you keep walking to the right of the centre you’ll get to a nice beach near some hotels. There is also a closer beach by the Franciscan Monastery.

Party

Hvar has a great nightlife and was super busy when I was there in August. Carpe Diem is a big nightclub in Hvar and you have to get a water taxi to there.Entrance to the club is £20. If you like partying this is definitely worth going to at least once. The water taxi’s are free but stop running around 2.30am.

Boat trip to the Palenki Islands

There are many companies offering boat trips so have a look around for a good deal.

Wine Tour

Hvar has been a city of wine since the ancient Greeks sailed into the bay at Stari Grad. Have a look in the tourism shops for a different range of wine tours.

Accommodation

Try to book in advance especially in peak seasons as when I went I had to move hostels as the first one I was staying at was sold out on the second night.

Hostel Villa Skansi

hostel-villa-skansi-hvar

Photo from Hostelworld

  • Good for solo travellers as has a bar
  • Has a free pub crawl, this only consists of one bar then your’e left to do your own thing but its still a good way to meet new people and you get a free shot
  • Free pizza

The White Rabbit Hostel

white-rabbit-hostel-hvar

Photo from Hostelworld

  • Centrally located near shops and restaurants
  • Also a good place to meet people as has a small cheap bar upstairs
  • Air con
  • Lockable storage

hvar-main-square

Information

  • Hvar can be quite expensive so budget accordingly
  • Some of the beach is quite rocky so bring the right footwear
  • The streets are marble which can be quite slippy
  • There are a few ferries running daily and you can book a ferry by the port

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Croatia Europe Travel Weekend Away

What to do in Split, Croatia

October 16, 2016

what-to-do-in-split-croatiaSplit is the second largest city in Croatia. It is full of history and culture it is a very popular tourist destination. Here is a list of what to do in Split.

  • Visit the Old Town

The old town is a UNESCO world heritage site

split-croatia

  • Wander through Diocletian’s Palace in the Old Town

    Some of game of thrones was filmed here!

diocletians-palace-split

markets-split-croatia

  • Explore the Markets

Selling a variety of souvenirs and food. Croatia is one of the largest producers of lavender so be sure to pick up a lavender gift or try out the lavender ice cream.

lavender-croatia

  • Go to the beach

Bacvice beach is closest to the city centre.

  • Day trip to Krka National Park

I did a day trip with Gecko tours, the trip started at 8 in the morning and took about 1 hour to get there in a mini bus. It is a good idea to get to the waterfalls early as it gets super busy. When its busy its hard to cross the bridge which is the best area to take photos.  We went on a walk around the park and to some small museums. If you go swimming it is a good idea to wear wet shoes as there’s lots of rocks to climb over. The Krka National Park is definitely worth a trip the waterfalls are stunning!

krka-waterfalls

  • Island Hopping

Split is a great destination for island hopping. I got a ferry Split to Hvar it only takes 1.5 hours. You can book tickets at the pier in Split with Jadrolinija. Some other options would be to get a ferry to Vis, Brac or Solta.

  • Relax with food and drink by the seafront

  • Enjoy the night life

Split has a great night life with many different bars. I went on the tower pub crawl you get to drink as much as you want for two hours.Theres also free pizza and beer pong and after the two hours drinking you get taken to a massive club.

Accomodation

Split Hostel Fiesta Siesta

  • This hostel is great for solo travellers as they have nightly dinners which are a great way to meet new people
  • Staff are friendly and helpful trying to make sure all guests are having a good time
  • Located abover Charlies backpacker bar which is a good bar to meet people
  • Centrally located near restaurants and bars
  • Free towel and linen
fiesta-siesta-hostel-split

Photo from Hostelworld

Information

  • Language: Croatian – easy to get by with English though
  • Currency: Croatian kuna (10kuna = £1.21)

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Croatia Europe Travel Weekend Away

Why visit Croatia’s Capital Zagreb

October 10, 2016

zagreb-st-marks-church

Many travellers often overlook Zagreb and head straight to Croatia’s Dalmatian coast. I decided to stop here for one day before heading to the coast and I am so glad I did as its a lovely city with plenty of shops, museums and buildings to explore.

St Marks Church

This church has an elaborate patterned roof representing the coat of arms of Zagreb. It is just around the corner from the museum of broken relationships.

The Museum of Broken Relationships

I thought I’d try out this museum as it has good reviews and is different to any other museum I’ve seen. The concept is that people around the world send in items from previous relationships with a message about that relationship. Some of the items and letters are very sad and moving and others are funny.

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The Museum of Illusions

Fun museum that kids will enjoy as there’s lots of different activities. It’s not very big so you don’t need to spend that much time here.

Processed with Snapseed.

Cathedral

Processed with Snapseed.

View from Upper Town

You can get the shortest funicular in the world from lower town to upper town. It costs 4 kuna (£0.48) Alternatively you can walk to the top this is what I did and its not very far. Once at the top you can admire the views over the city.

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Trg Josipa Jelacica

The main square in Zagrebs lower town with beautiful coloured buildings this area is ideal for people watching.

Processed with Snapseed.

Accommodation

Chill Out Hostel Zagreb

chill-out-hostel-zagreb

Photo from Hostelworld

  • Very close to main square and shops
  • Check out at 12pm
  • Each bed has a locker
  • Free towel and wifi
  • Pub crawls
  • Bar and restaurant downstairs but wasn’t loud so could get a good nights sleep

Information

  • Currency: Kuna
  • Tram line runs throughout the city 30 kunas for a day ticket (£3.60) or 10 kunas for 90 minutes (£1.20)
  • Good times to go: July & August’s hot climate attracts the most visitors to Croatia November & December are good for the Christmas markets

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