Sailing in Costabrava: A Fun Experience / Anneklien’sSoloTravels&Adventure

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Hola! Im in Costa Brava Spain a little coastal town called Lloret de Mar. Lloret de Mar is a coastal town along the Mediterranean Sea in Catalunya, Spain. It is one of the most popular holiday resorts on the Costa Brava, that attracts holidaymakers during summer months. It’s main beach stretches to a mile with beautiful white pebbled sands. A place for Sun, Sea and Sangria, oh its perfect. But why not add Sailing for additional experience? The Catamaran Sensation is sponsoring Travel bloggers conference Europe, and I’m one of the hundred of bloggers lucky enough to participate in this activity.  Its my first time to experience the catamaran so I was so excited about it.  I was at the meeting point 30 minutes before we sail. The ticketing stall is by the promanade. It is located along the Passeig Agustí  Font 1,  near the townhall of the city. You can’t miss it!

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The activity lasted for 3 hours. Plenty of time to relax, to enjoy the view and to mingle with other people on board. We boarded about 12 midday. With some familiar faces I recognised from social media it was all good. We started to sail away from the shore and headed towards the North. Passing through some ragged cliffs and private coves, it was really stunning views.

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I cant help clicking my camera away, every angle is picture perfect. And soon enough the crew dropped the anchor and we stopped in one of the private cove. Others were too eager to jump off and take the plunge. Im not a good swimmer so I just enjoyed the chats with other bloggers.

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The drinks were flowing from fizzies, sangria’s to beer. It was rather a wonderful time with the friendly sailing crews. We had sumptuous lunch. They served sausages, burger barbecues which were all deliciously good. Accompanied with bread, rice and pasta and more wine and beer!

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After lunch the music became louder. I stayed by the rear area dancing, swaying to the music. Then the captain acted as Dj and the party started. Spanish music make you dance. The DJ took the microphone giving instructions and showing some dance steps while we dance along. We didn’t realise soon enough we are sailing back. The catamaran sensation cruise is highly recommended if you are looking for fun, exciting off-shore social activity. Catamaran Anyone?

Disclaimer : This activity is organised by Lloret de Mar Turisme and Costa Brava Pirineu de Girona sponsored by Catamaran Sensation in Lloret de Mar. This is solely made by my personal experienced and honest opinion, not influenced in any way. Please contact the tour operator directly to book this activity link here : Catamaran Lloret de Mar

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The Walls of Girona / Anneklien’sSoloTravels&Adventure

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My excitement builds up as soon as I was scanning my electronic boarding pass heading to Girona Spain for 2 days. Then later on continue my journey to Lloret de Mar to attend a 3-day-blogger’s conference.

Im flying with Ryanair from Bristol Airport. Checking in was quick and boarding was after an hour wait. 
My relaxing holiday started as soon as the plane ascended to the air. The sunny U.K weather is good, but as expected,  Spanish weather is far better and warmer. My perfect holiday getaway, would not be complete  without Tapas, Sangria or even better, a glass of Cava. Thinking about it makes me more excited, I can’t wait! 

I arrived in Girona Aiport after an hour and 45 minutes gliding in the air.  Passport control was quick . From the airport to the heart of Girona City, it took me  for a 30-minute bus ride. When I reached Girona Bus station, I straightly head off to my hostel.  Im staying at the Equity Hostel for 2 nights. After check-in I wandered around looking for sim card for my mifi which I found in a phone shop along the main road a few blocks from my accommodation.

It’s about 9 pm when I felt hungry. I asked the receptionist if he can recommend a nice restaurant.  To my disappointment there’s no restaurant open till late during Monday throughout Girona Spain. It’s like their weekend rest! Luckily, there’s a cafe bar just next to the hostel. I had tortilla patatas , chicken wings and ham sandwich.  Not a traditional catalan food but hey I got a week to spend here in Catalunya to indulge with Spanish cuisine. After my meal I went back to the hostel and I called it a night. I’ll surely have a full day ahead for my wanders the next day.

Day 2 in Girona, I didnt have concrete plan for the day. I got up about 9am for my breakfast, then took a quick shower. After an hour, I was ready for my photography stroll around old town. I didnt do my research about Girona, I just decided to stay here to break up the journey to Lloret de Mar. I wasnt disappointed at my decision. It was a good call. As you all knew I love photography and Girona will spoil you for its architecture. Let me take you for a photographic stroll around beautiful Girona!

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A good walk and best place to go is Passeig de la Muralla to have this stunning views of the whole city.

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The Cathedral of Saint Mary is the church of the Roman Catholic Dioscese of Girona.

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A view overlooking Girona
Cathedral.

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The beautiful architectural facade of Esglesia de Sant Feliu.

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The colourful houses along the Onyar River adds character to the old town.

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Pont de les Peixateries Velles or
The Eiffel Bridge across the Onyar River.

Did you enjoy what you see? What are you waiting for come along and explore Girona.

Get Active and Explore Lloret de Mar in style! / Anneklien’sSoloTravels&Adventure

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Spain is very lively and bustling country that boasts a typically warm Mediterranean sunshine. Best place to go if you’re after a wonderfully relaxed and tranquil extremely serene or calm holiday experience. However, if you want to be active and fit. Then you really are spoilt for choices. I was lucky enough to attend the biggest bloggers conference held in Lloret de Mar Spain, and participate in an organised fam trip. Lloret de Mar is a coastal town along the Mediterranean Sea in Catalunya. It is one of the most popular holiday resort on the Costa Brava, that attracts holidaymakers during sumner months. It has sumptuous natural surroundings and beautifully tended space; it is a holiday paradise. The coastal areas of Lloret de Mar is so mesmerising. The main beach stretches to a mile with white pebbled sand, deep and clear turquoise sea, the rugged cliffs and the charming coves. Im not a sun worshipper, that would lay on the beach all day and catch a sun tan. I do that now and again, but I’d rather wander around and explore the hidden gems. However, if your looking for a different way to discover Lloret de Mar. I got cool and fun activity suggestions for you.

Nordic walking
To be honest I have never heard about it before. Not until I have join the Lloret de Mar Fam trip. So I’ve done a little research about the activity. The Nordic Walking was first developed in Finland as a summer training exercise for cross-country skiers. Since then it has long been popular in Northern Europe. It uses 90 per cent of the body’s muscles. It is said to burns more calories than ordinary walking and it has proven to lower Body Mass Index in just 12 weeks! This activity was fun, especially when doing it with other bloggers. Fellow bloggers and I were given a walking pole then adjusted to the right height for us, with velcro hand grip attached. At first we were taught how to walk properly with the pole then using the stairs. We were all laughed because we looked like a walking robots. Soon enough we all get the grips and strides and got used to it. Perhaps we maybe walked for approximately 5 miles. We didn’t realise we had gone that far because we took the coastal route. We had the most fantastic view of the sea. The sea breeze was so refreshing and the sun is perfectly shining bright. What else could you ask for?

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Kayaking activity
I first experienced kayaking in UK along the scenic route of the Wye River in Hay on Wye. It was exhilarating experience paddling along the rapids. It was real fun. Fortune chance to do it again in beautiful coast of Lloret de Mar is an experience I didn’t want to miss. It was just 3 of us who opted to do the kayaking. This time most in the group choose the Segway. Im not a good swimmer but I love water sports and Im an adventure junkie! We met Mark, our kayak instructor. He is young fun and friendly. Basic instructions was given – from the right way to paddle to keeping our balance while in the kayak. Initially, the kayak it was wobbly until we got use to it. Paddling away from ashore towards the orange buoy, was a good time to play with the water. What a gorgeous day! The heat of the sun was just right, mild enough to boast the day and not too hot not too cold. We were delighted we choose the kayaking. The deep blue sea is unbelievably so clear. The school of fishes swam around us and there’s even sea orchins resting by the corals. Passing through the privately secluded beach and even a nudist beach cove stirred my not so liberated mind. Yes, it was my very first time to see it in all forms arrayed on broad daylight. It’s another way to explore Lloret de Mar, I meant the kayaking!

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Segway excursion
Is one acitivity I have wanted to try for a while now. Added bonus doing the activity along the Lloret de Mar coast. I didnt do the whole trail, I just had a quick try. It seemed to be so hard to do it at first, but as long as you can balance yourself, the ride went quite easy. Lean to the right and left would be the way to turn. Pushing the handle away from you will move forward then hold back abit will make a stop. It’s a good way to go exploring around Lloret that doesn’t involve walking and its more fun when shared with friends.

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Catamaran Sensation Sailing
This is another way to explore Lloret de Mar and the neighbouring beaches. Its a 3 hour long activity, passing through the beautiful rugged coastline of Lloret and having a chance to swim in a private cove. A chance to mingle with other people for a chat. And enjoy the lunch barbecue served on board while sipping sangria or beer. Not to miss the party on board! Shake those hips with the beat of spanish music. Let’s party everyone!

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Lloret de Mar is not only a place for good night out and tapas. The beautiful and scenic view are so inviting, waiting to be explored. What are you waiting for? Start packing your bag and come and enjoy the place.

My time in Lloret de Mar was one of the most memorable moments in my travels. Thank you to Lloret de Mar Turisme and Costa Brava Pirineu de Girona
for organising a wonderful activities. Although these activities are sponsored, all the contents and opinions expressed are my own.

Anneklien’sSoloTravelsandAdventure

1st Year: Freedom of Solo Travelling /Anneklien’sSoloTravels&Adventure

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Travelling is so exciting, the opportunity to see beautiful places is so wonderful. But have you ever thought of Solo Travelling? Not everybody is brave enough to explore and travel on their own. It’s an idea usually dismissed by many especially for women. A Solo Travelling women comes along with a big dilemma that it’s not safe. I was one of those people who are skeptical about solo travelling, I was too enclosed into my cocoon that I was too afraid to go out even just to the next town or eating alone in a restaurant. Arranging travel schedules with friends are a bit frustrating and compromising itinerary and travel activities is also a big part. Times off from work are but a handful to consider. As much as I love travelling these things puts me off. Not until I was heavily influenced by bloggers and their amazing adventure. With those beautiful places they explored and fantastic photos been uploaded on the internet. I came to realised I’am missing out.
Then I was brave enough to try SoloTravelling and I wasn’t disappointed with my first experience. It’s been a year now as a Solo Traveler, looking back. It was a wonderful time wandering around Brussels Belgium for my birthday holiday and just a week after, I was booking my next trip. I cannot believe myself that I did my first SoloTravel and can honestly say I enjoyed it. My self esteem and confidence has surge up undoubtedly. I am more open to people and meeting strangers and made friends along the way. The best experience and decision I have ever made and im very chuffed I did. The only regret and I kept questioning myself, Why I haven’t done this before?

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My bucklist list is getting longer, each time I ticked off one destination I added another 2 new destination. The experience wandering around to new places gives me the confidence and thirst to explore the world more.  At this point of time im busy planning for my future travels, what about you? Have you ever thought or considered travelling solo? What’s stopping you to do? Are you waiting for the right time? Is your 9 to 5 job stopping you? Are you waiting for a travel buddy?
Dont just dream about travelling, booked your holiday and start exploring the world, we might bumped into each other on the road of wonderful travels see you soon. Have a safe travels everyone.

Anneklien’sSoloTravelsandAdventure

Things to do in Venice: Island Hopping / Anneklien’sSoloTravels&Adventure

Venice, the main island can be so crowded with tourist. Every corner there’s a crowd of tourist. Visiting Venice during the Canival time is more crowded with locals and tourist alike from different parts of the world. Venice is so picturesque and I can’t get enough with this place.  Wandering around every alleyways and crossing every bridges, at the same time snapping with my camera.  Taking in the views as well as enjoying the Carnevale di Venezia was so wonderful.

If you hate the crowds and you have extra day to spare, whilst in Venice. Why not explore the neighbouring islands if you want to discover other parts of Venice? Not saying the expensive gondola ride! There are other places which are not as crowded as San Marco. Try to head off to the beautiful villages in radius of 10-40 minutes watertaxi ride away. 
I discovered that Venice charges 80% more to tourists than locals.  A good example was the water taxi fare one way locals only pay €1.20 while tourists are  being charged €7.00. But that didn’t stop me to explore the place. I got Imob its a Venetian local card to use in every transportation, so I was charged like a local. Hurray lets explore the place in Venetian style! After exploring San Marco, Rialto Bridge and The old beautiful palazzos.  I think its about time for island hopping. Come and tag along with me through my captured moments in Venice and the Islands.

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MURANO

I don’t think this place needs much introduction. Murano Glass, does it rings a bell? Yes that’s right it’s where the infamous Murano glass originated. I have seen lots of Murano glasses in U.K shops. Stroll around the village and watched the locals make glass artwork  infront of my eyes is spectacular. Every shops displays a colourful pendant, bracelets and home decorations. A good excuse to do some retail therapy either for yourself or for gifts to take back home.
The Church of Santa Maria and Donato stand out in the background. A wonderful day spent with less tourist crowds. Its only 10 minutes watertaxi ride from Fondamente Nove.

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BURANO

Another picture perfect village. The charming and most colourful village I’ve ever explored. Wandering around this pretty place. Its like a painting comes to life in front of your very eyes, with the different colour  pallete- from red-green-yellow the whole colour wheel scheme has painted the whole village. The other thing about this island, its where the original tradition of merletto (lace). This place attract tourist for its buranese lace. Watched a couple of delightful old lace-making ladies with their intricately lace designs. As you walked around the shops,  lots of delicate and beautiful laces on display. A good quality and authentically buranese, a cool souvenir or gift to take home for your love one’s. It’s only 30 minutes watertaxi ride from Fondamente Nove.

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There are other islands nearby to explore, but time constraints I wasn’t able to go. But its a good excuse for another visit. Venice till next time. Arrivederci! Surely I will see you again.

Lazio Italy: It’s Hidden Gem near Rome/ Anneklien’sSoloTravels&Adventure

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Rome is so beautiful, from the structural buildings, to the fountains and piazza. As well as the spectacular cathedrals, churches to chapels. It’s my third time visit in Rome so I had already the chance to wander around this beautiful city and it’s tourist spots. Rome, it can get crowded with tourists. If you’re like me looking for unbeaten places to explore, why not go outside the city? If you have enough time to spare whilst in Rome. There are awesome places around Lazio Region, in radius of 20-40 kilometers just outside Rome. A day trip is suggested to explore these beautiful towns.

Castle Gandolfo

A day trip to this stunning place is a must. It’s a town on top of a hill, with a gorgeous view overlooking a lake called Lago Albano. It’s only 40 minutes train journey from Rome Termini, purchase 30 kilometres train ticket in any Tabacchini and you’re ready to go.

The Apostolic Palace of Castel Gandolfo is a 17th-century papal palace in the city. This place is where the Pope spent most of his summer time, it has the papal garden. Which was recently opened to the public last March 1st 2014. Aside from the beautiful garden, it also offers a breathtaking panoramic view of lake Albano. Wander around its alleyways. Watch the stunning sunset view, while having a relaxing time by the viewing platform. Why not have a glass of wine or a meal by the nearby restaurant.

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Frascati

This historic hill town is easily reach from Termini. Its only 40 minutes train journey. We have been told by a local that this place is the land of the Royals. Evidence of the palace sat on top of the hill, overlooking the whole town. There’s this big garden to explore, adorned with sculptures and stunning fountains. If you’re a sunset fanatic like me there’s a viewing deck by the park or by the road side. Take time to take in the stunning panoramic view of the neighbouring area- it’s so beautifully lite up from afar. And last but not least the famous Frascati Wine. While wandering around the shops, why not try free tasting sample of the local Frascati Wine.

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Tivoli

This place is full of history. Roam around this unspoilt village and go and see the different villas. This village is a quick train ride from Rome. A day trip is highly recommended. Go and explore the beautiful area. A visit to villa d’Este is not to miss out. It offers a great history inside the villa. The grandeur of every room, its interior designs, the paintings on the ceilings is so amazing. Villa d’Este is the most remarkable illustration of Renaissance architecture. The fountains is a unique display of Italians 16th century garden. It offers a vast garden to explore its 500 magnificent fountains.

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Lazio Region offers variety of beautiful places. From hilltop towns to seaside town, there’s so much places to explore but not enough time. Oh Italy im coming back for more!

Skydive: Do Something Amazing/ Anneklien’sSoloTravels&Adventure

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When I was asked to do Tandem Skydive. I quickly say Yes! You may say Am I mad? Definitely No! Im doing it for Crossroads Care Coventry & Warickshire Charity, so its like hitting two birds with one stone. Im doing something amazing for sure. And helping the charity at the same time I’m doing it for adventure. And to challenge myself outside my comfort zone and hurling myself out into the unknown. Because I do believe that on those scary moments you will find your true amazing self. I have done different adventurous activities before such as kayaking, ziplining, helicopter ride and microlight flights. But definitely Skydiving activity is another level of adventure.
The activity was first scheduled on February 7th, we were 25 skydivers on that day. The weather was a bit gloomy and foggy, so we waited till the weather got better. They announced the 1st 5 skydiver participants after 30 minutes . After the 1st batch of skydivers, the weather got worse. It rained and the activity was cancelled, it was rescheduled in 2 weeks time. Most of us were disappointed, but what can we do. Its a weather dependent activity, its better safe than sorry.
The most awaited day has arrived for the skydive. I wasn’t excited on the way because the weather was gloomy, but when we were almost near to the airfield the sun started to shine. My excitement has started to build-up. As soon as we reached the parking area, I was trotting towards the reception to register. A quick briefing was given and after 25 minutes waiting at the cafe, finally my name was called. Soon I was given a suit, hat and googles.

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Then I was ready to go. I was paired with Ralph for my tandem team and Brad my video cameraman for the activity. I soon found out its only me in the group doing the tandem skydive, there were 8 other skydivers, professionals and student skydivers.

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There were no hint of nervousness or what so ever. I was so excited for the activity.

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We were lined up to got into the small plane. Soon enough we were ascending up in the air. I slowly saw the buildings and trees getting smaller and smaller.

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We were finally 13,000 feet high, when we started to edge towards the door. It was Ralph and I last jumped with Brad nearby capturing every minute of the amazing adventure.

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It was sunny but abit chilly up in the air. We flew like a free eagle soaring the sky, then I felt a shuddering moved. It was the parachute opened and our position changed to standing. That was the time, I actually started to enjoy the scenery. We were like glidingin the air. Ralph was stearing to the left and to the right. The view from above is magnificently beautiful. The spectacular landscape from above is so magical. The feeling was so amazing, words can’t really described what I felt during the skydive.

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But one thing is for sure, I will definitely do this again.

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I would  like  to take  this opportunity to thank my family, friends and colleagues who supported me for the success of this endeavour I dealth with. Especially to my Tandem team buddy Ralph and to video/cameraman Brad of Skydiver Sibson at Uk Parachuting. Once again thank you very much to all of you. 

Are you an adrenaline junkie? What adventure would you like to do this year? Are you brave enough to jump high and take the plunge? Step forward and take the risk! Go further than you think you should do, than normally you would, because maybe it will end up being something really rather special that you could never have imagined. Today can be the day that everything changes. Are you ready for your adventure of a lifetime? The choice is all yours.