I Am In Harar, Ethiopia – Part Two

I Am In Harar, Ethiopia – Part Two

One would think that two weeks in Ethiopia would suffice, but when you have family members all over Harar, even a month seems too short. Be sure to read Part One to see the first part of my trip, and keep reading to hear about the rest! Harar has the greatest number of mosques per square meter. When I heard this fact, I thought nah, it can't be! But when you actually visit, and hear the call to prayer echoing from mosques on every street corner, it's easier to believe that this is true. Most streets within the old city of Harar have a mosque / place of prayer. The white and green mosque below is the first built mosque in Harar. It has recently been refurbished, but it is a very small mosque with a green interior. This narrow pathway is known as the 'street of reconciliation'. This pathway is so narrow that one one person is able to pass through at any...
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How To Travel To Morocco For Less Than £50

How To Travel To Morocco For Less Than £50

People always ask how I afford the many holidays I take. It is a sad misconception that going on holiday is expensive, and reserved only for those with a high disposable income. If one is smart, going abroad can be cheaper than simply jumping onto a train from London to Liverpool. As I mentioned in my previous post reviewing Hotel Riad Fes, I travelled to Morocco last month with my friend Hanna. We flew out on a Wednesday and returned on Sunday - 4 full days in Fes, Morocco. This was a last minute holiday that I booked, and one of the main reasons I booked it was the low cost of the trip. I paid about £100 return for the flight BUT if I had booked it earlier, then I could have got flights for less than £50 (see the photo below). A quick search on Ryanair.com gives a price of £47.18 in early October. The weather in Morocco at this time would...
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I am at the Saatchi Gallery

I am at the Saatchi Gallery

I've had my eye on the Saatchi Gallery for a while, but I had never visited as usually galleries/ museums close at 6pm. After a long day looking at cells through a microscope, the last thing I want to do is look at ANYTHING else. Last weekend, I went to a photographers meet-up at the Atlas Gallery in Marylebone. There was an piece in the Time Out magazine advertising the 'Fashion Show' exhibition that highlights fashion photography over the past six decades. When I arrived, I was slightly taken aback by how small the Atlas Gallery was - the words Fashion Show suggested an actual show. It seemed a bit like an open-house gallery as the paintings were for listed and for sale. As I didn't want to return home after 30 mins out, I remembered that the Saatchi Gallery is not too far away from the Atlas Gallery. The Saatchi Gallery in Chelsea is different to any others that I had been to...
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I am in South Kensington

I am in South Kensington

I spent a year in South Kensington during my Master's at Imperial College London. At the time, I was inundated with studies and didn't really take the time to explore and appreciate the region. I thought it may be a good idea to take a little time exploring the area, visiting the museums and other significant features of the area. For those not familiar with London, South Kensington is located in West side of London and the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea. It's a particularly upmarket area and where one can only dream to reside in. 1. Royal Albert Hall This concert hall, best known for holding the Proms during the Summer, is one of London's beautiful structures. It is of personal significance to me as it was here that my graduation ceremony was held in 2014. The inside is absolutely beautiful, although you cannot enter without having a pass for a ticketed event. The Royal Albert Hall is behind Imperial College London,...
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I am in Camden Town

I am in Camden Town

Camden Town (Camden) is most certainly a must-visit for anyone visiting or living in London. Although one may not think of it as an 'attraction', Camden is most certainly an extremely popular area with everything from vintage clothes to Ethiopian coffee and much more. I've always found Camden to be buzzing with people and the atmosphere is constantly alive regardless of the day or time of year. The prices at the markets are really a steal and I have found that the quality of items here are also great. Camden is one of those places, that when trying to find a gift for someone, is an almost safe bet that you will most definitely stumble across something worth purchasing. Camden is only one tube stop away from Euston making it a great location to travel to. The Camden Locks are very pretty and during the summer months, a ton of people flock to relax by the lock. Just behind the Locks...
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NYC in 4 days – Part 1

NYC in 4 days – Part 1

I visited New York in October but I'm JUST getting round to publishing this post as the PhD study life just took over! I had such an amazing time in the concrete jungle of NYC and it was extremely eye-opening and an enjoyable trip - would definitely recommend to anyone! Check out my previous blog post for more details on location and opening times. Here's what I got up to during a couple of days... 1/ Brooklyn Botanic Garden 2/ NY Water Taxi A MUST-DO! This fairly inexpensive (all-day access) taxi was quite exciting and one of my NYC highlights. I especially enjoyed the skyline views of Manhattan in the unexpected October sunshine. The taxi stops at each monumental icon allowing us to take pictures from all angles. It really was a perfect experience (weather-permitting of course)! 3/ Central Park 4/ NY Public Library For all those, like me, interested in building architecture and books (and the like), NY Public Library was another highlight of my trip. The...
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Best Rooftop View in Paris!

Best Rooftop View in Paris!

A work meeting in Paris gave me the opportunity to spend some time touring the city prior to my commitments. This was my third time visiting Paris, however I still had many unseen aspects of Paris that I was extremely excited to explore! I travelled by the Eurostar from London - only a two hour journey through the Channel Tunnel. I really love the Eurostar; although there are of course security checks and border control checks, this process is extremely speedy and takes a fraction of the time an airport would take, making it feel like a journey within the UK. My meetings were on Monday and Tuesday, and so I spent Saturday and Sunday checking off my list of places to go and things to see! I stayed in the Kyriad for one night and at the Luxembourg-Elysa for two nights. Both were in perfect locations and I would recommend both hotels for a short stay in Paris. I have compiled a...
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How to make the most of your money when travelling!

How to make the most of your money when travelling!

When travelling, one of the most important things to plan and consider is how to make the most of your money when converting to another currency. If, like me, your currency is the pound (£), then you my friend are lucky as the pound is pretty strong all over the world. However, there are still some hacks as to how to get the most out of every pound. *WARNING* A prerequisite: one must be organised! Tip 1: Shop around before selling your money! In general, most companies offer a similar rate but there are a few that buy money at a slightly higher (but significant) rate. When selling £1000 for Euros at 1.40 vs 1.44, that's a difference of 40 Euros, enough to have a nice dinner one day or grab a cab from the airport! For me, the best exchange rates can be found at Thomas Exchange. Without fail, the rates at Thomas Exchange are always that bit higher than any other competitors....
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What to do when in Ottawa for a day!

What to do when in Ottawa for a day!

Ottawa is the capital city of Canada - *WAIT*, the capital isn't TORONTO?? This is such a common mistake amongst visitors to Canada. Although I have been to Toronto four times before, I have never visited Ottawa, and so I thought it was right to travel two hours from Montreal to see what the capital of Canada could offer me. I must be honest, having done my usual Google search before travelling, I wasn't particularly 'wowed' by the selection of sights. I must say, however, that I had an AMAZING day. Keep reading to see what I did in Ottawa in a day. 1. Parliament Hill A definite must-visit, the Parliamentary building located downtown, has stark similarities to England's Big Ben in London (also described as the shadow of Big Ben). I was able to get a tour around the Parliament and access to the top of the Peace Tower. Both these passes are available for free just opposite the Parliament building...
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3 Things to do in Toronto in a day!

3 Things to do in Toronto in a day!

As mentioned in my previous post, I spent last weekend in Toronto visiting family. Seeing as I only had a weekend in Toronto I was strapped for time and tried to squeeze in as much as I possibly could in a day. I managed to do a mixture of touristy things, whilst also enjoying the city like a true Torontonian :) One Woodbine Beach Woodbine Beach is the largest of four beaches found in the City of Toronto. Coming from London, I envy cities that have a beach in close proximity - it really makes all the difference strolling along the shore with sand and water flowing between your toes on a beautiful summers day. It is easily accessible via TTC (Woodbine Station), followed by a short 5/10 min bus journey towards the beach. As it wasn't an extremely hot day, the beach was reasonably empty - with only volleyball nets setup for a sports competition to be help there. The sand was very clean...
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