We finally made it. After a very long 15 months, we managed to travel to Germany and see the family. Hooray. But quite a few things had changed since we last went over in summer 2020. Travel restrictions due to the ongoing pandemic, Brexit coming into full effect, as well as taking a dog over to mainland Europe for the first time. Even as a seasoned traveller, I found it super confusing to work out what paperwork we would need. So, I thought I’d give you a little run down of everything we needed to travel to Germany and back to the UK at these uncertain times. But please don’t take this as a check list for your own travels. If you are planning on travelling, I would urge you to check the respective government websites yourself. Travel restrictions and requirements change all the time, and I wouldn’t want you to get stuck somewhere along the way because you had the wrong documents (or were missing a test).
With the arrival of our puppy Frank back in 2020, planning a trip has become a little more complicated. Don’t get me wrong, I am not complaining. On the few occasions we had been away, Frank had been good as gold and did not moan (well, initial car sickness aside, but fingers crossed, we seem to have overcome that by now). And Frank loves the water. Be it a lake, a muddy puddle, or the bathtub. So, as soon as the weather started to warm up last spring (and we were finally allowed to leave the house again), we decided to treat the pup and head to the seaside for the day. And gosh, did that go wrong… we were so naïve to think we could just show up and take doggy to the beach. But no, that would have been far too easy. So, to save you the same embarrassment (and disappointed look from your pup) I’ve compiled a list of dog friendly beaches in England, tried and tested by our little dachshund.
Back in 2019, Mr T embarked on his first ever cycle touring adventure. A three-day tour from Cambridge to Norfolk. And since he enjoyed it, he vowed this wouldn’t have been the last time he’d do a cycle tour. Two years on and he finally got to do it all again. Not quite as long this time, instead he would cycle the Avenue Verte in one day. Or at least the English part of it, from London to the coast, not crossing over to France (as if that was an option at the moment… sadly not).
I love a good rom com (so does Mr T occasionally, but he’ll never admit it, so don’t tell him I told you). You already know that one of our all-time favourite movies is ‘You’ve got Mail’. Last time we visited New York we took the opportunity to do our ‘You’ve got Mail movie locations tour’. Another favourite of ours is the 1999 movie ‘Notting Hill’ with Hugh Grant and Julia Roberts. As the title already suggests, it is set in London’s Notting Hill district. An area famous for Portobello Market, colourful houses, and Notting Hill carnival. And something that should not be missed on any London itinerary. So, next time you are heading to London, why not spend an hour or two on a self-guided Notting Hill movie locations tour.
Last weekend, we went down to the Isle of Wight for a long weekend. And you know what? This was the first time, we had been anywhere since our short trip up North, back in September. And it was actually the first time our puppy Frank spent a night away from home.
It has been well over two years since we had last been down to the island. And as some of you might remember, it didn’t quite go to plan for me. My weekend on the Isle of Wight was cut a little short, thanks to getting stuck in Paris for an extra day (something Mr T frequently keeps reminding me of).
Have you seen the Netflix series ‘Emily in Paris’ yet? I came across series 1 recently and binged it… I even got Mr T hooked (whoops, did I say that out loud?). It might not be everyone’s cup of tea. And Emily’s American accent when trying to speak French even makes me cringe (and believe me, mine most certainly isn’t anything to be proud of when stumbling three words of French). But it provides some light-hearted entertainment that was just what I needed. And features so many Parisian corners, that helped calm my wanderlust (temporarily). Whilst at the same time making me miss Paris so much more. To tie me over until my next Paris trip (or until season two is released), I decided to put together a little Emily in Paris filming locations tour. For us all to check out, next time we make it to Paris in person.
I love Vienna. And over the years I’ve visited quite a few times. Both for work (my client’s head office was just outside Vienna, so any Austrian tour would start and end in Vienna) and on leisure. And I totally fell for the city and the people. Any excuse and I’ll be over there without hesitation. Be it a weekend with a friend or visiting the Viennese Christmas markets with my mum. Occasionally I might even get Mr T to come with me. Although he isn’t quite so keen on Vienna (probably because it always seems to be pouring with rain all day long whenever he comes over). What about you? Have you ever been to Vienna? No? Well, you really should go and visit, it is absolutely gorgeous.
To help you make up your mind, let me share with you my 19 top things to see and do in Vienna. For sure there is something here for you.
I love Paris. And I would happily spend a weekend or two there at short notice (although unfortunately Mr T doesn’t quite share my love for Paris). However, most of my more recent visits were work related. Which obviously meant a lot less time for sightseeing. But you know what? That doesn’t mean you can’t see something of Paris before or after work. For those of you in a similar position and with limited time, I’ve put together a little walking tour through Paris. To show you the best of Paris in two hours. Intrigued?
Did you know that Budapest has no less than nine thermal baths and a staggering 123 thermal springs? When planning our mother-daughter-weekend in Budapest, visiting one of those thermal baths was top of our itinerary. And with so much choice, we decided on a visit to the Szechenyi Baths. But is this the best thermal bath in Budapest? Or should we have gone to one of the others? Well, let me tell you all about our afternoon at the Szechenyi Baths and you can decide for yourself.
When it comes to mother-daughter-weekends, our usual time slot for years was the August bank holiday weekend (ok, with the exception of visiting the Vienna Christmas markets obviously, not many of those around in August). But when it came to planning our Budapest weekend, we also decided we’d rather not go in August. As visiting a thermal bath in Budapest (or anywhere really) in the height of summer didn’t sound much fun. Much more appealing when it is cold outside (maybe even with a little snow on the ground?). Therefore, we settled for a weekend in November instead.
If you don’t follow me on Instagram and haven’t read my 2020 review (I know, how could I even doubt that), you might be not know that back in October we finally got ourselves a little dachshund puppy. Frank is an absolute amazing clever little dog (obviously my completely unbiased opinion here) and we are completely head over heels in love with him. I mean who wouldn’t be, just take one look at those puppy eyes and wrinkly legs. But since we love to travel and back then were still planning on seeing the family in Germany for Christmas, we had to ensure we had everything needed for taking a dog abroad post Brexit.
Travelling with dogs between the UK and the rest of Europe has always been different, not just since Brexit. With the UK being a rabies free country, they are very protective when it comes to travelling with dogs and other pets.