Sisters on Tour- 32 hours in Belgium

It’s here, it’s finally here. The best video I put together so far, I think.

Sightseeing, plenty of food and chocolate and endless laughter whilst wandering around Bruges and Brussels. I hope you enjoy it as much as we did!

So here’s all the places we’ve been if you fancy checking them out.

Bruges

The Markt. The central square in Bruges, made famous by the well-known film In Bruges. Gorgeous architecture, endless restaurants and chocolate shops, horses passing by, breathtaking.

Le Panier d’Or: The restaurant we had early dinner at. The decor is a bit dated but the food was delicious. Also one of the least expensive restaurants on the square.

Brussels

-Manneken Pis. The infamous bronze sculpture depicting a little boy urinating into a fountain’s basin. We were lucky as we were there on the International Francophonie day, a celebration of the French language and Francophone culture across the world, so not only the statue had a costume on as it does in major events but there was a brass band playing music by it for most of the day!

-Choco-story. A chocolate museum situated very close to Manneken Pis (it has recently moved there). Chocolate through time, exhibits, chocolate to taste (the Peru dark one was my favourite by far) and a chocolatier making chocolate right in front of you!

-Grand Place. The central square in Brussels. Gorgeous. Just gorgeous. The architecture is ma-gni-fi-que.

-L’Atelier En Ville. A cafe and clothes and furniture shop. Unique and quirky. Definitely recommend.

-Peck 47 Cafe. A small cafe in the city centre, serving huge, delicious sandwiches served with the creamiest soup I ever had.

I loved both Bruges and Brussels but I’d definitely like to return to Bruges since we only had a few hours and didn’t have time to explore more.

Any questions on anything on this post, comment below or send me an email!

Eleni

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Sisters on Tour- Southampton and the Forest

There are very few people I enjoy having a holiday with as much as my sisters. We don’t do too much planning, we get into the most unlikely situations end every single time my tummy hurts from laughing. So when the little one found and booked a cheap ticket to the UK, I couldn’t wait.

I was gutted my other sister Stella couldn’t make it, but I’m glad the little one did. I desperately needed this break and it did not disappoint. I tried filming as much as possible so I can practice my video editing skills as mentioned before. My skills are getting better but any advice is welcome!

So voila! Here’s my first ever travel, holiday vlog. Hope you laugh as much as we did on our little adventure.

And here’s all the places we’ve been or I mentioned (in order of appearance) in case you fancy checking any of them out. All highly recommended!

Popsis. A little, local, independent pizza place, at Bedford Place in Southampton. I’ve been a few times and their pizza is always delicious, fresh ingredients, nice and crispy.

John Hansard GalleryThe new-ish local gallery. The exhibition they had on when we went on was incredible.

Paperchase. My favourite chain stationery shop. One of my happy places when I need some cheering up.

Halladays. My all-time favourite cafe in Southampton. The best breakfast/brunch/lunch in town. And ever so pretty.

Rhinefield Ornamental Drive, New Forest. One of the many beautiful paths in the Forest.

Avon Beach, Christchurch. Right below the impressive Highcliffe Castle, lies the gorgeous, sandy Avon beach. Now I finally understand why this is Chris’s favourite place in the UK.

The Noisy Lobster Cafe, Avon Beach. A cute, nautical themed cafe by the water. The fish burger I had was superb!

That was it! Next vlog will be about our day in London (it’s mostly food, lots of food).

Eleni

Blogmas day 23- Christmas baking, theatre and friends

It’s been a busy one today I didn’t get to write my Blogmas post until now and it’s already half eight.

I’ve only been home for two days and I’ve already caught up with two my closest friends, did some Christmas shopping, saw my little Prince and today the little sister and I did our Christmas baking.

First up it was ‘melomakarona’ , Greek/Cypriot traditional Christmas sweet, honey biscuits . It’s my favourite Christmas treat and you’ll find it in every Cypriot home. My dad used to make them every year and I used to make them back in Southampton to remind me of Christmas at home.

I was over the moon when I’ve tasted the first one and it was delicious! The whole house smelled of Christmas.

melomakarona

We’ve also made a heavenly Nutella Christmas tree. I came across the recipe months ago and the little sister, who’s probably the only person I know who has sweeter tooth than I do couldn’t wait for us to attempt it.

I just had some and it was incredible. I definitely recommend it. It’s super easy to make and it tastes amazing.

Nutella Christmas tree

After our Christmas baking we went to the theatre to watch ‘Ο Χιονάνθρωπος μου’ (my Snowman) which turned out it was mainly aimed at children and we were probably the only adults there with no kids. We had a right laugh with the little sister. It was fun anyway. We were photobombed by a not so happy mum whilst trying to take a selfie with all the little ones in the background.

Theatre

Now time for a Christmas movie and munching our homemade Christmas treats and sweet and salty popcorn I finally found in a supermarket here (and funnily enough it’s made in the UK).

Two more blogs and two more sleeps until Christmas. I can’t wait!

Eleni

Italy- Sisters on Tour part 3-Rome continued…

On our third day in Rome (part 1 and part 2 here) the plan was to go on a day trip to either Naples or Tivoli but the skies opened up from the night before and it rained all night through to the next morning. It rained A LOT the whole morning and there was a hailstorm followed by more heavy rain. We went to the train station but some trains were cancelled so we decided it would be wiser to stay in Rome. We were already exhausted by that time and a more relaxed day would be great since we were heading to the Vatican the following day (the museums are closed on Sundays, except the last Sunday of the month when is free to get in!).

None of us had any umbrellas and the illegal sellers outside the station were selling them for a tenner each!! But luckily we found some in a store nearby.

After a quick snack at the station we went to the National Museum of Oriental Art, which had a lot of exhibits considering its size and then to Palazzo delle Espozioni to check out their Hollywood Icons exhibition with photographs from the John Kobal foundation. The building is impressive, to say the least, and the exhibition was great, although sister number two decided to touch one of the photos and alarms went off! Needless to say she was told off (hover on photos for captions).

 

 

By that time we were starving so we went for dinner at a nearby restaurant, another delicious meal, and then we stopped by Mercato Centrale, a large food court next to the station, for pudding on our way to the hotel.

On day four, after our breakfast, we went to the Vatican Museums. It’s super easy to get there from Roma Termini, it’s only a 15-20 min tube ride. If you decide to go, use the self-service dispensers, not the counters, you need to get a ticket to join the queue and wait for a long time! You don’t need to know Italian to use the dispensers, you just get a ticket which is valid for 90 minutes or a day.

It was raining again but we didn’t mind much as we were to spend most of the day in the museums. I tried to book tickets online the night before from their official website but they were sold out for that day, so we decided to check how long the queues were and hoped they ‘d be tourist guides around, like at the Colosseum and pay a bit more to skip the queues.

And that’s what happened. We got our vouchers from a tourist guide and after collecting our tickets from the cashier at the museum entrance, about half an hour later, we were in. I was in awe the whole time! The architecture, the exhibits (including a mummy!!), everything! We spent around 3 hours, with a break for a snack at their canteen there (where we met the rudest waiter ever!) and the last thing to see was what I looked forward to since we got there, Capela Sistina, the Sistine Chapel.

I still remember the first time I learned about it at school, many many years ago, staring and admiring at the pictures and I always wanted to see it with my own eyes. And it finally happened. And it did not disappoint. You are not allowed to take any photos once you are in the chapel but I noticed I stood just below the infamous Creation of Adam, so I sneakily took a snap.

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The creation of Adam

After we left the museums we headed to St Peter’s basilica. But there were long queues and we didn’t pay extra to get in (it is free to go into the basilica, but if you pay extra when you get your Vatican museums’ tickets you can skip the queues for the basilica too).

It was still amazing to be standing at St Peter’s square and admire the views.

 

After a short stop for a drink (worst cup of tea I ever had!) we went back to Mercato Centrale for dinner and then headed back to the hotel to rest and pack as we were leaving the following day.

Our last day was one of my favourite of the whole trip! We had no idea what to do. So after we checked out of the hotel we passed by Quattro Fontane, Piazza della Repubblica, went by to see the Fontana di Trevi and the Pantheon one last time and we ended up at Piazza Navona where we had our last delicious pizza in Rome.

 

We popped in the Angelica Library, which I wanted to from day one but we didn’t get the chance earlier

 

we had the best ice cream we ever tasted in our whole life (details on the food blog coming next!), we loved the Pinocchio dedicated store, Bartolucci

 

we bumped into Cremonini Area Archeologica, an underground archaeological site near the Trevi hidden on a quiet side street where we met the friendliest sales assistant

Cremonini Area Archeologica
Cremonini Area Archeologica

and after picking our bags from the hotel (you can leave them at the station too but it costs a tenner for the whole day, if you google it you can find others for cheaper) we headed to the airport.

My flight had three and a half hour delay due to the French air strike so after I waved my sisters goodbye, sad and exhausted I caught the plane back to the UK.

And that was the end of our amazing week in Florence and Rome.

 

It’s been five days since I’ve been back in the UK and it already feels like a dream. I’m sad is over but so happy for the amazing memories, places and experiences shared with my best friends, my sisters. I already started planning my next adventure!

Next blog on our Italian food experience.

Eleni

A different kind of Monday

Happy Monday!

I started this blog last night but I was really tired I couldn’t finish it. So posting it first thing in the morning for a change.

Today is a different kind of Monday. I’m not dreading it. Much. It’s still Monday….

But tomorrow night I’m heading to the airport. And on Wednesday, early morning I’ll reunite with my best friends, my soulmates, my sisters!

We will spend two days in Florence and four days in Rome. First time in Italy, for all of us. I can’t even describe how excited I am!

To explore a new country, a country I wanted to visit for so long, but the circumstances didn’t allow it, and to do that with my sisters, first time we’ll all be on holiday at a country other than home (Cyprus) or… home (UK) is overwhelmingly amazing.

I spent Saturday doing chores, with a break for coffee and catch the last rays of sunshine with my bestie and to get new books to read from Oxfam as I finished Perfume (review coming soon!).

Yesterday I completely lost concentration, I started worrying whether my sisters will make it to Rome, what if I miss my flight and a wave of other irrational thoughts made their way in and I felt lost. I didn’t know what thing to do first on my long to-do list. But after my Yoga practice (which co-incidentally was about mental focus and concentration, what are the chances!) I focused on the session’s mantra- I got this!- and got on with almost everything I needed to do. Only a couple last minute things to do today after work and I’m all set!

https://www.instagram.com/p/BYid6JshBd1/?taken-by=eleni_zenonos

https://www.instagram.com/p/BYk0-FHhsoc/?taken-by=eleni_zenonos

I recently started meditating and practising mindfulness when I can’t sleep, which happens often and it definitely made a difference! I’ll write about it when I get the chance.

I’ve once read that more than often people crave a holiday and plan everything to the dot and then are disappointed when the time comes as their expectations don’t match reality. Which makes sense.

But I love doing the opposite. Exploring and see where it leads rather than meticulous planning is my favourite thing to do and it never failed. That’s what Shebz and I did in Berlin last year and we had the best of times.

And I’m sure Italy won’t let me down!

I know it’s only a short break, (which includes FriendsFest in London after Italy!) and it won’t change my life, or maybe it will, you never know, but it’s exactly what I need right now.

It will be incredible if I meet an Italian hunk and we go sailing in the Mediterranean afterwards rather than come back, as I’ve been joking for the last week, but it’s highly unlikely that will happen. A girl can only dream though!

I still have high hopes for September!

I’ll miss blogging but my next one will be a special one! A travel post (which will of course include local cuisine) on bella Italia.

I will be posting snaps on my Insta if you want to follow my Italian ventures.

Until then…

Namaste

Eleni