2017 London Highlights

This post is the highlights of living in London 2017. It covers everything from the Waitangi Day pub crawl to snow to sketch to Kew Gardens to Wimbledon. Enjoy!

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Kiwi Christmas in Vienna

For Christmas this year I decided to head off to Vienna with a group of friends for a kiwi orphans Christmas. Vienna turned out to be an absolute treat at Christmas time. It was freezing cold, no snow unfortunately but we did get some sun. What was even more special, was enjoying the beautiful city while hopping between Christmas markets. I particularly enjoyed the beautiful Hapsburg palaces and stunning architecture of the city. This was more or less how we spent our time, exploring the city and Christmas markets.

Christmas Day we started with a Christmas breakfast at our AirBnB, compete with secret Santa presents. Once that was done and dusted, we headed out for what was intended to be a few drinks, but ended up being the 12 pubs of Christmas, Vienna edition! Pretty unique but also fun way to spend the day and pub number 12 provided us with an unusual Christmas dinner complete with schnitzel!

On the 26th all we really accomplished was finding food and climbing a disappointing church tower before our flight home.

Hooooome to Kiwiland

In November I had a pleasure of traveling home for the first time in 18 months. This was to attend the wedding of very good friends, as well as to catch up with family and friends.

Nothing beats quality time in little old New Zealand with those you care about most. Home for me in New Zealand is a combination of Auckland where I grew up and went to school and uni and worked, and the Bay of Plenty where I spent all my school holidays with my extended family, and where my parents and majority of all family still live. I shared my time between both on my trip, and was sure to get out and experience NZ’s best while I was there.

And with that, I share a snippet of my trip through pictures.

Porto

Portugal is one of the countries in Europe it took me almost 18 months to visit, which I finally did with my fab flatmate Katharine just before my birthday.

Our trip to Porto was focused around a few key things. Port (obviously), food, architecture and history. We started our adventure by wandering from our hostel towards the famous bookshop, stopping off to admire the beautiful and iconic Sao Bento railway station on the way. After the bookshop, we wandered our way through the winding downhill streets, admiring the colourful buildings until we made it to the Ribeira Neighbourhood and the Douro River.

After wandering along the river and admiring the Ponte Luis I bridge, we crossed over to discover some port. Unfortunately we were too late for this, but booked a session for the following night and enjoyed some Port cocktails overlooking the river at sunset instead. Next we ventured back to the Sao Bento area for a delicious dinner and local wine before bed.

Our second day we had a quick sleep in before heading to explore the Clerigos Church and climb the narrow stairs of the church tower. The view were spectacular, however it was very windy and cold up there. Our next adventure was to the Casa de Musica where Katharine got her Architecture geek on as we admired the impressive and unusual modern architecture. Pre-lunch we made our way back to explore the Se de Porto Cathedral, before having a lunch break and then exploring Paco Episocal do Porto, also known as the palace of the Bishops of Porto.

By this time the temperature had soared to 28 degrees which was a bit hot for us in our jeans. The best option was Sangria and shade by the river, before heading to our Port tasting and Fado evening at the famous Salem Port House. We followed this with a fabulous traditional meal of Porto specialties and local wine, before rolling our way home.

Our last morning we ventured to Museu Serralves to check our the modern art and gardens. The Art was definitely interesting and the gardens were quite beautiful, but then it was time to head to the airport for our flight home to London.