The Longest Walk Ever | Budapest 2017

Hello again,

On one of our days in Budapest, we worked out that we walked around 12 miles. To some people that may not be a lot but it definitely is when you’re in a country as cold as Hungary.

We set off fairly early because we knew we wanted to see a lot of things throughout the day. The mains things that I wanted to see were the Hungarian Parliament Building, St Stephen’s Basilica and the Dohány Street Synagogue. So, anything that we saw along the way was a bonus.

Our hotel was on Margaret Island on the Danube River. The Parliament Building, Országház, was the closest to where we were staying so we thought it would be the best place to start. It’s near enough impossible to get a photo of the whole building unless you’re stood at the other side of the river, as you’ll see later on in the post. I don’t know how else to describe it over than it was overwhelmingly tall and looked like something out of a fairytale.

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Across the road is the Néprajzi Múzeum, which translates as the Ethnographic Museum. We didn’t go in but I thought it was well worth taking a picture of at least. I read that the museum is the home to pieces from everyday Hungarian like pre-World War II so it would probably be worth having a look if we ever visit again.

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As you know, the thing on our list was St Stephen’s Basilica so after we wandered around the grounds of the Parliament Building, we went on our way to find it. On the way we found the Statue of Imre Nagy, which actually faces the Parliament Building. I hadn’t heard of it before we saw it but I checked online to find out what is was. Imre Nagy was the Prime Minister of Hungary on two occasions and ended up being a symbol of freedom.

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Another short walk later and we came to St Stephen’s Basilica, after walking through Szabadság tér. We had to stop for a while so Cem could watch some kids play football and I could look at the memorial.

There was a lot of work going on around St Stephen’s Basilica. It looked like people were either putting together or dismantling a stage. After we’d have a look at, we decided we needed a cake and hot chocolate break in Starbucks. I remember my fingers were freezing even though I was wearing the thickest gloves in the world.

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The final place that I desperately wanted to visit was the Dohány Street Synagogue. Before we went to Budapest, I’d read about it online and found out that it’s the largest synagogue in Europe and the second largest in the world. The building is also attached to the Jewish Museum. We went in and had a look until in started to get darker and colder and we thought it was best to head back to our hotel and to the spa.

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We probably took the longest possible route home. We walked down to Erzsébet híd, Elisabeth Bridge, to cross the river. We probably could have tackled Gellért Hill it wasn’t getting dark but we decided that it was best to leave that for another day. We started to walk back up the other side of the river and we moaned and moaned about how cold it was and how much our legs were aching. We carried on and got the see the Budavári Palota and Parliament Building light up so I’d say it was definitely worth it…

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As always, thanks for reading!

Let me know if you have any travel recommendations…

Ways you can reach me:

Bye for now,

Courteney x

Ice Skating in City Park | Budapest 2017

Hello again,

One of the first places we visited in Budapest was City Park. We actually came here twice because there was so much to see. On one day, we looked at the museums and walked around the whole park to see what was there and on the other day, we went to Budapest Zoo and went ice skating in the evening.

There’s quite a few things to do in City Park so if we visited every single thing, we’d have spent our whole holiday there. City Park is home to Heroes’ Square, an amusement park, a circus, Széchenyi baths and Vajdahunyad Castle as well as the zoo and ice skating.

Heroes’ Square

Heroes’ Square sits between Kunsthalle Műcsarnok and Szépművészeti Múzeum, which are both art galleries. Although we didn’t go inside either of them because we were short on time, we still got to see the sun setting in the middle of it all, which was lovely all the same.

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Vajdahunyad Castle

Across from the ice skating rink, we saw this palace and thought we’d have a little look around. The photos don’t really do it justice, it was a lot taller and more stunning in person. Bizarrely, when we were walking around the castle grounds we saw a man dressed up as the grim reaper and loads of people were lining up to have pictures with him. Not sure what all that was about to be honest.

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Outside Vajdahunyad Castle a little bit of water had frozen over and some children were actually ice skating on it too. Cem made me walk on it with him and I was terrified that the ice was going to break and we were going to fall in the water, even though the water was probably a few inches deep. In the photo above you might notice Cem pointing and smiling. As I was taking that picture he was showing me that he wanted to go and walk on the ice. I’ve never seen someone so excited about a frozen puddle…

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Széchenyi Thermal Baths

We didn’t go in to the baths but we caught a glimpse of the inside and walked all the way around it. The building itself is huge and looks like a palace and the baths were also packed with people.

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Ice Skating

After the practise we had at Winter Wonderland, I was hoping that me and Cem wouldn’t fall over in front of all the ice skating pros, who pretty much skated like olympians compared to us. The more and more laps we did, the more faith I had in our ice skating abilities.

A few laps in, Cem must have tried dancing to the music that was playing but failed terribly and started to fall backwards. As I tried to stop him from falling, he fell forwards instead and used me to cushion his fall. He fell on me in front of everyone and as painful as it was, we could barely skate afterwards because we were laughing so much.

We definitely need a little more practise before our next ice skating adventure.

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We couldn’t believe how big the ice skating rink was or how many people came to skate either. Compared to how much we’ve paid to go ice skating in Winter Wonderland, skating here was incredibly cheap and definitely worth the money. Also, you don’t just get an hour slot. Once you’ve paid to go ice skating at 4pm when it opens for the evening, you can stay until 8pm when it closes. We ended up skating for about an hour and a half but if we so keen to rush back to our hotel and go into the spa we probably would’ve skated for ours.

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We ended up getting the taxi home because I felt like I was going to freeze to death if I walked back to our hotel again, which in fairness was over an hour’s walk away. It was worth it though because it meant we could sit in the spa for longer.

As always, thank you for reading!

Let me know where your favourite holiday was and what sort of things you did…

Ways you can reach me:

Bye for now,

Courteney x

2016 Highlights

Hello again,

Here’s a little reflection on some of my favourite moments of 2016. It was an amazing year so these aren’t all of the good things that happened, just some of the ones that stood out.

Finishing my first year of uni 

If you didn’t already know, I study Journalism at London Metropolitan University. In May I finished first year with a 2:1, which I was really pleased with. It’s a shame first year’s grades don’t count towards my final grade but it was still uplifting to finish with the grade all the same.

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A weekend in Paris

Me and Cem went to Paris for my birthday in November and, despite a bit of turbulence, it was a lovely weekend.  Our hotel was an hour’s walk from the Eiffel Tower so we got to see all the sights along the way. It was bitterly cold but I suppose it wasn’t far from London in that respect. I’d love to go back.   

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Getting back into blogging

Towards the end of this year, I started blogging again after quite a lot of time away from it. I bought my own domain name, started posting consistently, told my friends and family about it and started talking to a lot more bloggers and brands. This year was definitely a success for my blog, in my opinion. Although I want to learn more about them designs and the layout of my blog, I’m happy with how it looks for now. I also hosted my first blog chat on Twitter on The Bloggers Hub account, which was a huge step for me in my opinion.

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My first sponsored blog post

I was recently contacted by a company called Tekfirst who asked to collaborate with me. Long story short: I was paid to write a blog post. Hopefully this was the first of many blog opportunities. I really enjoyed writing the post and learning a bit more about working with brands on blog posts.

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Getting an internship

In 2016 I started my first internship in social media with Brain Füd, a startup drinks company. It’s a 3 month long internship that will come to an end at the beginning of February which feels crazy – I feel like I’ve only been doing it for a couple of weeks. I’ve learnt a lot from my time there so I’m really glad I’m doing it.

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As always, thank you for reading.

Let me know some of your highlights from this year…

Ways you can reach me:

Bye for now,

Courteney x

This Time Next Year | 2017

Hello again,

Seeing as 2016 has come to an end, I thought I’d think about all of the things I’d achieved over the past year and everything I hope to achieve over the next year. This post is basically going to summarise where I want to be by this time next year.

Firstly, I hope I’m working in a job that I truly love and enjoy doing. At the moment I hope that this job involves freelance writing or social media, but who knows what sort of job I’ll want to be doing in the future? I could completely change my mind. It will only be a part-time job because I’ll still be in uni, but it will be a job nonetheless.

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Another thing that I want to be doing is making money from my blog. Although my blog is primarily a creative outlet for me, my life would be a lot easier if I got paid from it. I’ve just completed my first paid blog post which is a start but it would nice to have a steady income from it.

If I want to do this then I need to self-host my blog, which is a boring concept if you’re not a blogger. Basically, by this time next year, I want to have completely self-hosted by blog so I can use Google AdSense etc.

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I also hope that I’m doing well in uni. I’ll be in my third and final year so I hope that I’m on top of all of my assignments and I’m getting the grades that I want (firsts, obviously).

Hopefully I’ll still be going to the gym this time next year. I’ve barely been over the past couple of months but I recently got back into it. So, I hope that I’m still going regularly and I’m enjoying it instead of seeing it as a burden.

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It would also be a bonus to have completely cleared up my acne. It’s ok at the minute and there are times where I have no acne at all. I now know what I need to do and what products I should be using to clear up my skin so hopefully by this time next year it won’t be an issue for me.

Most importantly, I hope I’m happy with all of the decisions I’ve made up to that point. Even if I make bad decisions, I hope that I’ve put those decisions down to experience and moved on. If nothing else, I really hope that I’m happy.

 

As always, thank you for reading.

Let me know in the comments where you hope to be by this time next year…

Ways you can reach me:

Bye for now,

Courteney x

New Year’s Resolutions | 2017

Hello again,

Here are the new year’s resolutions that I’m going to be attempting to stick to this year.

No more fizzy drinks

I don’t drink fizzy drinks at home because I never buy them and would always pick iced tea or water over a Coke if I had the choice. However, when we’re in restaurants and Cem orders a Coke I always end up getting one myself. Bad life choices. I drink a lot of water anyway but hopefully buy cutting out fizzy drinks I’ll drink even more.

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Start assignments early

This is going to be the hardest one. I really want to start all of my uni assignments as soon as possible, preferably on the day they’re set, while I’m motivated and the information is fresh in my mind.

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Read more books

Throughout 2016 I didn’t read as much as I usually do because I have been a lot busier than I usually am. However, in 2017 I want to plough through my ever-growing reading list before it becomes unmanageable. I’ve been reading Dark Places on and off for months now so I really want to finish it. I used to read a new book every few days so I’m not sure how I managed to get so behind…

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As always, thank you for reading.

I hope you had a great new year! Let me know what your resolutions are…

Ways you can reach me:

Bye for now,

Courteney x

The Best Bits | December 2016

Hello again,

Winning a pug at Winter Wonderland

To be exact, Cem was actually the pug winner. He played a game where you just have to throw a basketball into a hoop once and you win a prize. The hoop was so so far away but by some form of miracle, we walked away with a giant pug.

Getting a first in the first uni assignment of second year

To be honest I didn’t expect to do as well in this assignment because of the lack of direction that our teacher gave us. A Christmas miracle maybe.

Ice skating at Winter Wonderland

This seems to be mine and Cem’s new favourite thing. We’re actually getting quite good. We can’t skate without holding each other’s hand yet but I’d say we’re getting close.

Handing in all of my winter assignments

As soon as I handed in my last assignment before the Christmas holiday, I felt a massive weight lift off of my shoulders. I am now in full Christmas mode and ready to eat all of the Celebrations I can get my hands on.

Going home for Christmas 

I went home for Christmas a few days earlier than I planned because I just couldn’t wait. It was well work the 9 and a half hour bus journey and the bad back I had from sleeping upright all night.

Decorating a real Christmas tree

It’s been years since we’ve had a real Christmas tree so this year’s tree was a special one. Showing my little brother and sister how Christmas trees are netted was also hilarious.

Christmas Day

Obviously.

Moana 

Me and Lily went to see Moana in the cinema and we LOVED it. The songs are really catchy!

Hosting my first blog chat

This month I hosted by first ever blog chat for The Bloggers Hub on Twitter. Everyone who took part was so lovely and we had a good old natter.

As always, thank you for reading.

Let me know some of your highlights from this month…

Ways you can reach me:

Bye for now,

Courteney x

8 Things This Year Taught Me | 2016

Hello again,

I thought it would be nice to look back on the things that I’ve learnt this year. Some are serious, some are more lighthearted – either way, I’ve learnt a lot. Hopefully I’ll look back on this post in years to come and remember how many life lessons 2016 gave me.

Jacket potatoes can be cooked in the microwave

This is something I learnt from the other students I live with. Stab your potato all over and cook for 4 minutes on each side.

Golf is HARD

…but I’m getting much better at it. I’m not even talking about proper golf by the way. I’m talking about the type of golf where you just hit golf balls into the distance as hard as you can.

Soya milk tastes a lot better than normal milk

Drinking ordinary milk now makes me feel sick – that’s something I never thought I’d say.

Using a phone case doesn’t make your phone clean

When I took my phone case off a few months ago after having it on for a long long time, I realised that it doesn’t protect your phone from dirt.

Chocolate biscuits should be eaten in moderation

Something I struggle with but definitely understand. However, I will be going into 2017 full of willingness to consume fewer biscuits.

Green tea isn’t disgusting

I love matcha and I love green tea. Who’d have thought?

Never leave your bag unattended

…or out of your sight for that matter. Paris taught me this one.

It is actually possible to ice skate without falling over

I didn’t actually know I was capable of this. However, me and Cem went ice skating twice and didn’t fall over once.

As always, thanks for reading.

Let me know something that you learned this year, or just laugh at me for not knowing how to cook a jacket potato…

Ways you can reach me:

Bye for now,

Courteney x