The Best Capital Cities I’ve Visited

Copenhagen

The starting place of my inter-railing adventure from Denmark to Switzerland, Copenhagen set the tone for what turned out to be a brilliant European journey. As most of my friends will tell you I will cycle or walk whenever its an option, especially in a busy city. Using public transport is a great way to save energy and feel like a local but I prefer being able to take my time, go off the beaten track and take way too many photos. Also its a great money saver if your on a budget!

 

Copenhagen is filled with students, bikes and friendly locals. The city far exceeded by expectations and everyone we met was incredibly helpful.  The only disappointment I had was the famous ‘Little Mermaid’ bronze statue. It was much smaller than I was expecting and it was engulfed by tourists. The city is very walkable and there are plenty of cafes and restaurants to experience Scandinavian cuisine first hand.

As you would expect from a capital city, Copenhagen has great transport links. You can get a train over the famous bridge to Sweden, a boat to Germany or a flight to almost anywhere in Europe.

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Tokyo

Tokyo, another starting point of an adventure. This time my 2016 Japanese adventure. Our 24 day journey started and ended in Tokyo. Overall we spent 6 days in Tokyo, I could’ve happily spent 6 months here. Being so big I knew there was a potential of being overwhelmed, especially while still experiencing jet lag. But from the minute we landed at the airport I felt at home. The sheer size of Tokyo means it has a suburb offering something for everyone. Whether you want to spend your day walking around the beautiful parks or dressing up as your favourite anime character, theres a place to do that (and not be judged!).

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Like every city Tokyo has its flaws. Both me and Juna were disheartened by Akihabara. The district is know for its vibrant electronic stores and arcades. Although I did find the Japanese Harry Potter DVD’s I had been longing for, the shops didn’t hide their adult material and there was lots of it. Adult DVD’s and comics weren’t off limits, they could’ve easily been accessed by children. It made for an uncomfortable trip through the district’s shops. But in the almost month-long time I spent in Japan this was my only negative experience.

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The underground train system is intimidating at first but once you get the hang of it, its an efficient, clean and relatively cheap way of getting around.And the nightlife in Tokyo is as eclectic as you can imagine. You can eat dinner at a robot restaurant, have drinks at a bar that fits only 5 people and then sing the night away at a Karaoke Bar.

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Juna at the Moomin Cafe

I am already planning my return to Tokyo and if you haven’t yet been now is the time! The country is gearing up for hosting the 2020 olympics, you can already feel the excitement and see the venues being constructed.

Budapest

Budapest happens to be the first place I travelled to with just my friends so it will always hold special memories. It was the first time we had held the responsibilities of having a successful trip; not loosing our passports, exchanging currency,  planning enough to keep us occupied without being so tired we walk around with our eyes shut.

Terri outside our ‘Happy Flat’ hostel

Budapest has a range of sights and a good nightlife which entices a lot of young (and older) visitors from around the world. From ruin bars and riding the tram to visiting the spa, you could spend a week just scratching the surface of what Budapest has to offer.

As a big fan of architecture I loved winding through the streets of Budapest and photographing the grand castles and decadent government buildings. The thermal spa is a must visit and if your looking to save your money theres great walks ending with brilliant panoramic views across the city. It was a very happy surprise that Budapest was so cheap, if you play your cards right you can eat dinner out for under £5. I really enjoyed my 4 days in Budapest and created a short film..

Feel free to recommend and comment your favourite Cities!

Combining Travelling with Creativity

Over the last year I have been lucky enough to experience many new cultures which I have always wanted to capture.  But it’s not always been easy juggling photography, filmmaking and experiencing a place for the first time.  I have written an article for a great new magazine, 99% Lifestyle, which is available to read on their website.

I hope you enjoy the article, comment below if you have any questions or what you’re getting up to over the weekend. I Hope you have a great Easter!

2016 Travel Highlights

To celebrate the end of an eventful year I have compiled my personal travel highlights. Feel free to comment your favourite 2016 travel moments and recommend trips for 2017!

Japan

Japan was a brilliant 24 day adventure, I am already planning my return. The biggest highlight  was climbing Mt.Fuji, my first ever mountain climb. It was both tougher and easier than I expected. I found ascending reasonably easy but the descent took way longer than it should’ve as I found it really tough on my knees and ankles. Juna, school friend and travel buddy, suffered from altitude sickness which I was really lucky to avoid.

Everyone we interacted with were incredibly friendly and I am still in touch with many of the brilliant people we met. We visited 4 regions during our time, Kyoto was one of the most beautiful places I ever witnessed, Tokyo was brilliantly mad, Takayama was a stunningly peaceful mountain village and my visit to Hiroshima still lives with me everyday.

Wales

Wales was my chosen cure for my Travel Bug instilled by Japan. But it soon became another place for me to return to. Staying in a homely Snowdonia b’n’b we were up at 7.30am every morning for breakfast (I won’t be replicating that at home) and spent the entire day hiking and photographing. The locals were very approachable and my first taste of Welsh Rarebit certainly didn’t disappoint.

Italy

Naples

My first trip of the year was to the Southern coast of Italy, Naples with my two cousins Chloe (23) and Harry (21). Unsure of what to expect I really enjoyed my few days there and happily over-indulged on pizza. Visiting Capri out-of-season turned out to be a good move. Almost completely free of any tourists, most of the shops were shut (handy for a poor student) and there was a light breeze which created a perfect day for exploring the island and going off the beaten track (once I got over feeling sea-sick). Before flying out I heard some negative stories surrounding Air b’n’b, although I’ve used them before I’ve never used it in a country where I can’t speak the language. But my apprehension was unfounded as our host was an Italian actress who was incredibly  buoyant, helpful and motherly towards us (we were often told to put a coat on to avoid catching a cold).

Verona

A short train ride away from Venice is Verona. Although famous for Juliet’s balcony it has a lot more to offer and worth at least a day of exploring. It has a mix of beautiful architecture  and expensive shops. There’s a great range of restaurants to chose from and the locals went out their way to help us find our way and recommend their personal favourite parts of the city. Due to its close proximity to Verona we were able to spend a day at a very foggy Lake Garda.

Venice

I was really excited to return to Venice. I haven’t been there since I was a child and couldn’t wait to exploit the photo opportunities. It was just as I remembered although much, much busier and selfie sticks have now been invented. It was a complete coincidence that we were there for the Venice Marathon but the atmosphere was brilliant and they built ramps over the stairs which prevented loosing energy which I used to consume ridiculous amounts of pizza and pastry.

 

2016 has provided many challenges but also lots of personal highlights. These included my nan and mum watching me graduate, climbing my first mountain, going on my longest ever flight, travelling on a bullet rain for the first time and visiting Wales, which means I have now travelled to all the nations of the U.K. Although I flew 6000 miles to Japan I also made an extra effort to explore places closer to home which I really enjoyed. So heres to more adventures in 2017 both far and near!

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24 Days in Japan: Photos (Part I)

A selection of images from my time in Japan. Including night shots and sun rises photographed from Mt.Fuji and the surreal beauty that Tokyo provides. You can read my Japan Travel Diary here.

 

 

More to follow  from Japan as well as photographs from my recent trip to North Wales.

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