Venice

The Weird and Wonderful Outfits of Carnevale

I said I’d make a post about the costumes I saw at the Venice Carnival and look!  These are some of the most amazing outfits I’ve ever seen – and I have to learn to properly make clothes so I can make some for my niece!  (She’s only a year and a half just now.  But she’s going to have heaps of outfits when she’s old enough to enjoy fancy-dress- she doesn’t understand Disney yet, and that day can’t come soon enough! 😀 )


(This one was one of my favourites – so sparkly!) You guys have no idea how much I wanted to buy this mask.  The fact that I already have four made me stop (plus, this mask was a bit more expensive than I expected!  If it’s still there the next time I’m in Venice……..)

Venice Carnival 2017

I finally got to cross the Venice Carnival off of my bucket list! I have been wanting to go for years now, but I’ve never actually got around to it.  Probably because, when I’ve actually remembered about it, it’s been too close to the time and the flight prices have shot up.

But never mind – because I’ve finally been!  Would I go again during the Carnival?  I’m not sure – there’s so many people.  Waaaaaay more people than there normally is, and that’s saying something for Venice.

(This was ‘quiet’)

One of the greatest things about the Carnival was that it wasn’t all contained in the main areas – there was stuff going on everywhere.  I’d be walking down a quiet street, turn a corner, and bam! – more people in costume.  And those costumes were absolutely stunning.  I really need to up my sewing game and learn to make clothes.  I could practice by making small versions for my niece 🙂


(This picture doesn’t show it, but his costume was so sparkly!)

I could fill a whole blog post with all of the costume pictures I took (an idea for a future post, perhaps?).  Of course, because I was in Venice, I didn’t just get involved with the Carnival – I went exploring and got lost (as I am very good at doing – especially in Venice!).

I also visited San Servolo and saw the Insane Asylum museum, which I would recommend.  It’s extremely interesting and, this may be the pharmacology part of me talking, but looking at the different preserved brains and skulls was particularly interesting – in a morbid sort of way.  The clouds were also especially beautiful that day.

I visited for the final weekend of the Carnival – and I’m glad I did, as there seemed to be a lot of things going on.  I saw the ‘Svolo del Eagle’, or the ‘Flight of the Eagle’ on the last Sunday, which was a woman in a huge, gorgeous, feathery dress being lowered down from the belltower in St Mark’s Square.

And, in contrast, on the last day of the Carnival, I saw the ‘Svolo del Lion’, or the ‘Flight of the Lion’, which is where a mahoooosive Venetian flag gets raised up the belltower.  Now, I don’t know if it was supposed to go all the way up the belltower, or only halfway up (which it did in this case), but it was super windy and the rain had just started, so I’m thinking that’s why it only went halfway?  If any of you guys have been to the Carnival before and seen this, could you please tell me? 🙂

One of the main things I’d wanted to visit this time was the Venetian Ghetto and, especially, the Synagogues.  You can only see the synagogues on a guided tour, but I would definitely recommend it.  They are absolutely stunning – plus the guide was funny and sarcastic 🙂

I also wanted to see the Teatro La Fenice (I’d actually wanted the see it the first two times I’d visited, but never had a chance to).  I knew it had burnt down and been completely rebuilt – but I didn’t realise it had burnt down twice in fifty years!  The first time was an accident but the second time was apparently arson.  Who would want to burn down the theatre!  It’s an absolutely stunning building – and there was a mini orchestra rehearsal going on in one of the ballrooms, which echoed gorgeously through the theatre.

I would also recommend a visit to the rooftop of the Fondaco dei Tedeschi department store.  It’s completely free but you need to get a ticket in advance – I’d advise going early.  I only had to wait an hour (which I spent wandering through the store), but when it got to my turn to go on the rooftop (3.30pm), the people who had just arrived had four hours to wait until they could get their turn on the roof.

And, a visit to Venice would not be completed without a visit to my favourite bookshop – Libreria Acqua Alta – which has now become even better, as there were cats in it this time around!!  Cats!!  Anyone who’s read this blog knows I’m a cat person (I found so many cats this time in Venice – always a good thing 🙂 )

Because I love fancy dress (I’m not a weirdo 😛 ), I bought a mask (another one!) from a stall and wore it through the city.  Thankfully, I didn’t stand out, as every other person had a mask, or a hat, or a wig on.

I also caved and bought a hat at some point 😀 (The next photo isn’t the best quality, as it had started to get dark and I’d left my proper camera in my flat, so this photo was taken with my phone)

I was staying in a flat just off of the Via Garibaldi, which I would highly recommend.  I don’t know if it’s a regular thing, or if it was just because of the Carnival, but there was music and dancing in the street every night!  I absolutely loved it.  And I danced with a few old ladies 😀

Here’s another couple of photos of me, because I don’t know where else they’ll fit into this post 😛

And every night, I finished off my day with a gorgeous sunset by the water.

Ah, Venice.  I’m sure it won’t be long until I’m back again!

I’m back!

I’m still around, don’t worry!  It’s been, what, 3 and a half months since my last post?  My bad… In my defence, I haven’t travelled anywhere, plus I have had some stuff going on in my life (job stuff…ugh…).  But, this is just a quick post to say, I’m alive and I’m going back to Venice on Friday for the Carnival!!  (And then I’m off to Paris at the end of March – exciting stuff!!  🙂  )

Top 20 European Destinations

Manarola1

Out of all the continents, Europe is the one that I have travelled the most (living in Scotland helps!  What doesn’t help is the fact I have to take at least 2 planes to get anywhere…).  I’ve decided to make a list of my Top 20 European Destinations.  Some of these I’ve been to, some I’m desperate to visit but I hope you enjoy my list!

Just a head’s up, this list isn’t in order of how much I like the destinations, as they’re too amazing to put in order!

                                                                                                       20. Dubrovnik, Croatia                                                                            telegraph.co.uk

If you wanna pretend you’re in Game of Thrones (although, you’ll probably end up killed off like the rest of the characters…), then this is the destination for you!  Dubrovnik is a beautiful, old town, full of amazing history and museums.

Picture 02619. Saas-Fee, Switzerland

I need to go back here.  Saas-Fee is amazing for skiing.  Only electric cars are allowed in the town, which is full of cute buildings and amazing shops (and hot chocolate!)

                                                                                                                18. Monaco                                                                                              hotel-r.net

The world’s second smallest country (after the Vatican), Monaco is one of the glitziest places in the world and I badly want to visit it.  It’s very expensive, though!

                                                                                                          17. Barcelona, Spain                                                 timeout.com

I’m desperate to visit Barcelona and see the Sagrada Familia, get lost in the alleys, and enjoy everything Gaudi!

DSC_025216. Prague, Czech Republic

One of the most beautiful places I’ve visited, Prague is full of amazing architecture, history and everything is so cheap!  And you need to try a trdelnik – they’re so good!

                                                                                                      15. Amsterdam, Netherlands                                                           digital.fespa.com

Full of brilliant museums, Amsterdam is also famous for its biking, culture and history.

Edinburgh114. Edinburgh, Scotland

I lived here for 4 years, so Edinburgh will always have a special place in my heart.  Make sure you visit the many museums and the castle (and palace!).  And you must get lost in the small back streets! (The above photo is the street I lived on – isn’t it gorgeous?!)

                                                                                                       13. Budapest, Hungary                                                                            lvs.luxury

Budapest is probably up there for culture and architecture.  And I’ve heard it’s a good place to travel to if you’re on a budget.

DSC_073212. Verona, Italy

I love Verona.  It’s so small, cute, rustic and full of history – and it’s so easy to get away from the crowds as well!

                                                                                                     11. Cesky Krumlov, Czech Republic                                               czechtourism.com

Another small, cute town, Cesky Krumlov reminds me of The Grand Budapest Hotel (one of my favourite films!)

                                                                                                             10. Athens, Greece                                                                   lonelyplanet.com

I love anything to do with Ancient Greece, so what better place than Athens?

                                                                                                             9. Lisbon, Portugal                                                           worldwanderista.com

Lisbon is up there as one of the places I’m probably going to visit soon (fingers crossed!).  This beautiful city is full of amazing culture, great food, and gorgeous, tiny streets.

                                                                                                                8. Colmar, France                                                              thousandwonders.net

Probably the cutest town in France – how can you resist all of those gorgeous, brightly coloured houses!  And they’re next to a river!  Can’t go wrong there 🙂

                                                                                                             7. Ronda, Spain                                                                    malagatogo.com

I badly want to visit this cliffside village – imagine the views!  And the history of the place is amazing.

Picture 0046. Paris, France

The romantic City of Lights, there’s so much to do in Paris – amazing nightlife, culture and food, to name a few!

                                                                                                          5. Dordogne Region, France                                                       leseyzies-tourist.info

So many castles!  I need to go here!

                                                                                                         4. Santorini, Greece                                                                                   foundtheworld.com

You’ll recognise the pictures – the gorgeous, white buildings with blue roofs.  I’ve also heard the sunsets are amazing.

DSC_00053. Venice, Italy

I love Venice.  It’s so unique and unlike anywhere I’ve ever been before.  It’s impossible to walk over a bridge and not take a photo of the canals.

                                                                                                            2. Seville, Spain                                telegraph.co.uk

As well as the history and the amazing architecture, Seville is also famous for tapas, flamenco and sangria.

DSC_00681. Cinque Terre, Italy

Five gorgeous, small towns by the coast.  Hike or catch the train between each town.  Be prepared, though – there’s not a flat area anywhere.  It’s all hills or stairs.