Happy Favourites of the Week – Finland Trip

Adventure walk – It probably sounds more exciting than it is, but it was exciting to me. Spending Sunday walking through the city with friends, stopping at places where we’ve always wanted to go and learning more about the city was lovely!

Happy Favourites of the Week - Finland Trip - byLiiL

Trivial Pursuit – I love playing board games with friends and this week it was the trivial pursuit. Funnily enough, I am usually a very competitive person, but with this game, it is definitely more about the fun!

Meeting my Godson ❤ – I finally got to meet my godson, who was the most adorable little baby ever! Calm for a child of 1 month and heart warming. The feeling of responsibility and pride is amazing. I will definitely spoil him to bits! Can’t wait until the next time I will see him!

Happy Favourites of the Week - Finland Trip - byLiiL

A trip to Finland – Seeing my family and friends and spending some quality time with them. Not even talking about all the goodies I took home with me. Now we have rye bread for at least a month 😀

Sea Buckthorn Berry Juice – I’ve been a fan of sea buckthorn berries for a while now. Before going to Finland I got a cold and so my mother made me drink a sea buckthorn berry juice and I fell in love instantly! I love the sour taste of it that almost makes you cry. It makes me feel really awake and the c-vitamin content made me feel better so quickly!

Surprise friendship – This surprise friendship wasn’t mine, but something that I noticed. When flying to Finland I noticed close to me these two women talking together lively with enthusiasm. I thought to myself how fun that they were travelling together. When we were getting out of the plane they hugged like close friends, said how wonderful it was that they met each other on the plane making it obvious to me that they hadn’t known each other previously, and they went their own ways. It made me smile the rest of the day!

My furballs – Getting back home to my furballs was amazing! We were cuddling the whole day long! I missed them so much!

Bloom – The trees have been blooming almost everywhere except outside my bedroom window. The first morning I woke up back home, they were finally in full bloom and it made my day! How beautiful are they?!

 

How was your week?

With love,

Lii

Metz

On my trip to Luxembourg, I also got to visit the beautiful and charming city of Metz in France. It was a pretty quick stop with a walk across the city’s nice little shops, the cathedral (which was magnificent!) and the food market, so there is not a lot to tell. Instead, I will shower you what it was like and reassure that it is one of the places to visit if you are in the area.

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With love,

Lii

Fairytale village Vianden

 

You drive into a small village. It is quiet and peaceful. There are barely any people on the streets and cars nowhere to be seen. Sun is shining on the little patch of colourful little buildings around a sparkly blue narrow river. They are surrounded by hills of green tall trees with a magnificent castle in the midst. It looks like a fairytale and it feels like peace you’ve needed the whole week.

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Everything is closed except the couple cafe’s selling the best array of ice cream flavours which you can eat by the river bank on a beautiful white tiled terrace. Nobody is bothering you and you feel like you could spend hours in there.

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This is Vianden. A small village on the outskirts of Luxembourg right next to the german border. Actually, it only takes 1km to Germany. If you have a car and are visiting Luxembourg or any nearby city this is a place for a visit. It offers hiking routes and cultural pleasures. For me, the best thing was just sitting and enjoying the view and the vibe!

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Have you visited a fairytale village?

With love,

Lii

Luxembourg city

Luxembourg is a small country, however not as small as I originally though. It actually has more than one city. It is a great place if you want to travel around to other countries like Germany, France, Belgium or Nederlands. But there is also a lot to see in Luxembourg and in the city.

Luxembourg city is surprisingly big with amazing history, shopping spots, yummy pastries and gorgeous parks. You can take a bus almost everywhere. A ticket only costs 2 euros, however, most people do not usually even pay that as they check the tickets rarely. And yes, they use euros in Luxembourg. It is told that everything is very expensive. I found that touristy stuff was not really that expensive and with eating you can save if you buy from the cheaper supermarkets, like Lidl. Most museums are closed on Mondays, although many of them are free. The thing that shocked me the most was the opening times of the shops, as not only did the clothing shops close early so did the grocery stores as well. So remember to check opening times if you are planning something.

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What to see

Cathedrale Notre-Dame

The gorgeous sanctuary. With beautiful archways and glass windows. Come here to just sit and relax, or look around the magnificence of it. It is right in the centre of the city, next to the Grand Ducal Palace. It is a favourite with many tourists!

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Casemates

I found casemates to be one of the best places to do city sightseeing of the old town. It is located right above the Grund and the old city and it overlooks the Grand Duchess Charlotte bridge. However, there are parts of the casemates that are not for those who are afraid of confined spaces. Casemates are a set of tunnels initially built in the 17th century. They have a long and important history within the city and I found it one of the most exciting places to visit, although the confined spaces really did give me some anxiety, especially with the narrow and slope staircases.

Grund

This apparently is the name of the old town, which is located in a valley below the centre of the city. It is a very picturesque walk along a river, in a park and between cute buildings. You can get there either by walking down a long set of stairs or going down with a lift. The lift is free to use to everybody and unless you want to do some cardio on your way up to the central, it is the best way to get up (and has free bathrooms right next to it).

Banque et Caisse d’Epargne (Bank museum)

This building is probably the image building of the city and for no wonder, as it was the first bank in the city. Within the building, there is a bank museum, which takes you through the history of the bank, money, and history of Luxembourg. Interesting and free!

There are of course many other museums and parks in Luxembourg as well and other places to see. It might be a small city, but it has a long history.

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Food

Well, to tell you the truth I mainly ate patisserie throughout my trip and it is the best thing to do in the city. We went for brunch one morning only to realise that most people still like to eat something small and sweet next to brunch of fluids such as coffee, juice and possibly bubbly as well.

Rawdish

This was the only place where I didn’t have something sweet, but rather just a chia pudding with this amazing nutty paste. So yumm!! I also had so yummy raw juice and delicious coffee. Definitely a great place for breakfast or lunch.

Chocolate House

This was my favourite place ever! It is located across from the Grand Ducal Palace, but the price is not too bad. They offer massive yummy cakes, great hot chocolates in different flavours (also with alcohol) and different chocolates.

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Cathy Goedert

I know that this place also serves brunch on Sundays, but it is 27euros per brunch with a buffet. We did not try this so I cannot tell you whether it was good. The thing that got me in the patisserie where the great cakes they were serving and the bagels. My cake was the best thing ever!!

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Where to shop

The centre itself is the best place unless you want to travel to nearby outlets, which are not actually situated in the country itself. Rue Philippe 2 is good for the high-end finds, whereas Grand-Rue is best for high street fashion. But just circling around the centre, which is not massive you can find loads of places to spend your money and see lots. Although, if you are planning to travel around, then I would research some outlets, as they are much cheaper than the centre of Luxembourg.

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Where to have a drink

If you are looking to party the old town is the best place. There is a whole little area filled with most of the clubs next to each other. But if you would rather just have a quiet drink with a friend we loved the place next to Gare Centrale, next to the Rotondes. Can’t remember the place, but they had a lovely patio outside and reasonably priced drinks, as well as a grill outside where they made delicious burgers. We tried their falafel burger which was so yummy!!

Have you been to Luxembourg? Do you have any other travel tips?

With love,

Lii

Travelling in Scotland

HOW TO TRAVEL

There is some public transport in the form of a train to the biggest cities like Inverness. Buses travel to most places, as well, between smaller towns as well. However, if you want the freedom to go to any attractions/activities travelling by car can be much easier.

Be aware that roads are narrow and serpentine like. Other travellers are usually very polite and there are not that many people on the roads. Also, when you are driving your own car you can stop and wonder at the beauty of Nature. Like here we stopped to wonder at these deer!

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WHERE TO STAY

There are hotels and hostels, but I would rather stay in an Airbnb, cottage or a lodge. We stayed in a lodge, which was beautiful. We had an amazing view over a hill, lake and flowers, gorgeous! In a lodge, you have more space with your own kitchen and a living room, for relaxing in the evening.

These can be expensive during the season, however, you can find good deals and off-season prices are much more reasonable. Really good places to look from are hoseason.com and embracescotland.com.

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WHERE TO EAT

Seafood in the speciality in the highlands and you can find good seafood restaurants, especially in the big cities. Fish and chips should be available from almost all the restaurants in the area. In small towns and villages, there is not a big variety, but you should be able to find food. We loved having breakfast in our lodge, which kept us full until a late lunch. Also when we went for walking trips we could make lunch in the lodge and take it with us to eat in nature.

I ate the best ice cream ever in Oban. They had this small gelateria on the square (can’t remember the name) and I had pineapple ice cream, which was so creamy and fresh and just yummy!

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With love,

Lii

Scottish Highlands

What to see and do.

There still some summer left so some tips about Scottish Highlands as a holiday destination are somewhat relevant. I spent one long weekend travelling around this majestic scenery and now have the hankering to go back. It is not one of the warmest places to have your holiday and do not count on too much shopping (except if you are looking for Scottish goods such as whisky, woollen items or other memorabilia). The highlands, as a holiday, are for your sole. The scenery is so beautiful and serene it makes your mind forget about all your daily life troubles. There are several castles and other historic places, gorgeous nature and if you are lucky some wildlife to be spotted as well.

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Loch Ness

If you don’t know anything about Scotland, well you have heard about the Loch Ness monster and the lake. The lake is massive and very deep, however, it is still only a lake. I crossed it over my bucket list with little enthusiasm. What I did like about the lake, was the drive around it (it takes few hours). There were many things to see such as the Urquhart castle and the falls of Foyer. My favourite part, however, was the drive on the hills where we saw a large flock of deer having their evening meal next to the road. In the pictures, you can only see a couple of them, but there were at least a dozen and probably more.

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Urquhart castle

There is a lot of history related to this castle, which I am sure is interesting but I won’t go into it here. It is a ruined castle that looks onto the loch ness. It is very well hidden by the bushes around it and if you want to see and explore it properly you need to pay to get in. Or you can do the same as we did (and a dozen other tourists) take pictures through the holes you find in the bushes.

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Falls of Foyer

Well, these were beautiful! The only downside is that you have to walk down a hill for a while before you locate it and then, of course, the rise back up.

Standing Stones

This was definitely one of my favourite tourist attractions. It is a stone ‘arrangement’ dating back to the bronze era. I love the mystery behind the stones, why they are there, what was their function. We very often can go and see something from the middle ages, but from the bronze age it is a rare treat!

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Culloden Battlefield

This is the last site of Jacobite rising battlefield. I mean it is only a field, but there is a visitor centre with a lot of information about this time in the history. In addition, to really clean and nice bathrooms and good ice cream.

Cairngorms national park

On our way home we drove through this national park and it was beautiful! I wish we weren’t on a such a tight schedule, as I would have loved to stop somewhere along the road just to take it all in. This is a place where you can see some wildlife. We saw guise, hawks and rabbits (potentially you can see an eagle or even wildcats).

Dolphin spotting point

Apparently, this is the best place to spot dolphins in the wild in the whole isle (correct me if I am wrong). This spot is located on the Black Isle, next to a place called the Fortrose. You drive to a Rosemarkie bay which has a good parking spot to leave your car at. It is a freezing spot with all the ocean water running in, but that’s probably why it is a good spot to spot dolphins. We saw several of them jump! So exciting! There is a boat that can take you on the waters to see it happen, or you can just look from the beach. Beware of all the other people with their camera’s who are also looking for the dolphins.

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Hiking

This is the favourite sport of people who visit the highlands and why not. There are several Munros to climb, including Ben Nevis (the highest moor in Scotland), with gorgeous scenery to look at and with good trails. If this is of interest to you then I recommend checking walk highlands.

 

Have you ever been to Scottish Highlands?

With love,

Lii