Bratislava is a place I’ve wanted to visit for some time, but it’s somewhere that has taken me a while to get to. It has held a special place in my heart for a while now for reasons I don’t want to share here, but I am very grateful to have finally visited.

Lucky for my friend Maya and I, I have a kiwi friend Adie, who is currently living in Bratislava. Adie offered to meet us on our first morning to introduce us to some of his local friends, Sasha and Martina, and show us the sights. This was a better offer than we could of hoped for, and made for a brilliant day.

After meeting at the markets having just had breakfast, we were immediately plied with food including traditional potato pancakes with goose fat and Slovak strudel with cherry and poppy seeds. We also tasted some Slovák wines and sat down and shared some wine and cheese at 11am! I can’t say I was a fan of the pancakes but the strudel, wine and cheese were all delicious. Next we were off to explore the city including the famous blue church, the castle and various other places along the way. Lucky for us, we got a sprinkling of snow much to our delight, although not enough to settle.

After several hours of wandering the city and sight seeing, we finally sat down for some food. Not that we were hungry again yet! I enjoyed some local beer, tradition Sauerkraut and pork sausage soup and also shared some potato dumplings with sheeps cheese and bacon. Next up we all shared some Slovák spirits in Pear, cherry and plum which were very strong. After a final coffee and cake with Adie and our new friends, we went our separate ways.

Having a friendly face and some fantastically fun locals to show us around for a day was a lot of fun and very informative. Absolutely an experiment O want to repeat and hopefully a favour I can return.

The rest of our evening was simply relaxing and having some dinner before an early-ish night.

On Sunday Maya and I were hoping to wake up to some snow, but all we got was a very little bit. Oh well. First on the agenda after breakfast was Devin Castle a little out of Bratislava, which looked like a great set of ruins from the outside but were unfortunately closed. We did manage to climb onto the icey roof of an abandoned building for a bit of a view and also got some sort of attempt at snow. After Devin Castle we made our way to the Slavin Monument, built in memory of the Soviet soldiers who lost their lives in WW2. As the monument was right up on a hill, it was all covered in snow and still snowing quite nicely when we arrived.

After exploring the monument we made our way back to the old town for some warm tea and a healthy lunch, and some time to relax. This then left time for one more item to be ticked off the list, climbing the tower inside St Michaels gate. This is the only surviving city gate of the old city as the rest were knocked down to allow the city to expand. The view looked out over old town and the castle, but also showed off the varied architecture of Bratislava. It is a very strange mix of historic, communistic and modern, all jumbled in together.

After the tower we were off to airport for our delayed flight home.


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!

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.


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.