Monday, 10 February 2014

the big trip: booked

globe a Happy Monday! I hope you had a nice weekend. Mine was good. Hot, but good. The one big thing I did on Friday was to pick up our tickets: John and I are going overseas in late March for a few weeks. I can't quite believe it! We are going to London, then on to Paris, Italy, and Germany, before heading back to Australia. It will be the first time back to the UK since I moved here over ten years ago so it is very due! I can't wait to see what it's like there again. It'll also be my first time in Italy and Germany (Berlin mostly) and I am SO excited to finally be getting there. If you have any tips for London, Paris and Berlin they would be very welcome, so please share them! We plan to see and do as much as possible and sleep will have to wait!

I don't know how much blogging I'll be able to do when I'm there as I won't be taking my laptop with me, but I will have my iPad and plan to use that. I should get some practice at that before I go, really! I will of course be taking my camera and will have LOADS to share when I get back to Melbourne. Seeing a city as a visitor is something I love doing and I look forward to sharing it! globe b


Kirsty Altis said...

yay for you guys!
For Paris, I would definitely recommend staying at Hotel Borg Tibourg. Not the cheapest, but it is utterly divine and exudes SO much charm...the rooms are great, and the location unbeatable - right in Marais (SO stereotypically Paris-y it hurts!)
For Berlin, if you want somewhere cheaper, this place was great.
have fun!

Miss Louise said...

so excited for you guys!! Enjoy your trip! :)

Anonymous said...

So excited for you! Have not been to Germany (Berlin is top of my wish list) but here are some tips, if they're of help:

For accommodation I cannot recommend highly enough. I have used it for New York, Tokyo, Paris, Hawaii and it's been great every time. Check the 'entire place' button when you search, and only stay in places that have good reviews. It saves money renting a place with a kitchen to make breakfast/evening snack and it's great to live like a local. Have a look at apartments in places like Berlin. So stylish and cheap! You can get fab places to yourself for $60 per night with WiFi etc.

Paris - absolutely worth devoting an entire day to taking the train out to Versailles. More than any other tourist site I think. Pack a picnic. Make sure you allow enough time to rent a boat and go rowing on the boat, and go to the end to see Marie's hamlet (her farm village that still operates with produce & farm animals). Take the on-site 'train' to the end of the line & see the hamlet first then work your way back so you can see the best and most relaxed bit first before tackling the crowds in the palaces in the middle.

Moulin Rouge - spectacular! Book your own tickets on their website online, with a half bottle of champagne. You're better off eating at a nearby restaurant beforehand rather than at the Moulin Rouge.

Montmatre is spectacular and worth getting your own produce/cheese/wine from the individual markets there and having a picnic at the top of the hill with the view from the Sacre Couer. The Salvador Dali museum at Montmatre is nice to see and only takes an hour max to take in everything, unlike the other museums that need a full day at least. Louvre - I'm talking about you!

Flea markets! The best anywhere! Get awesome vintage prints and take them with you or post them back home so they are waiting for you.

The metro is awesome but do splurge on getting taxis to and from airport/train when you have to lug suitcases around as the steps make luggage miserable.

Have good walking shoes for walking along the bridges, the Seine etc. and in the Tulieres gardens try the violet ice cream from the street vendor. Love flower flavoured ice creams and macaroons that are so popular in Paris.

There are great natural history museums in Paris if you have time.

Venice - my husband and I took the night train from Paris to Venice. No hassles going through airport security and a nights accommodation sorted. Wake up and you're in the heart of Venice. Whatever you do though, don't eat on the trains restaurant. Worst salad of my life (frozen, black lettuce). Take your own food with you to eat in your cabin.

Peggy Guggenheim museum is a must see but aside from that just spend time walking and enjoying the sites. Absolutely worth doing research on sites like Trip advisor on where to eat as it's so easy to be ripped off for bad food. Venice has to be the most expensive city around.

The vaporetto is awesome. Don't bother with a water taxi.

For Venice you may want to splurge on a hotel as the airbnb selection 'ain't that great.

Rome- we did a dark rome tour of the Vatican. Totally worth it (I usually hate tours) and you may consider a day trip to Pompeii. We did a catacombs tour too. It was a bit creepy though.

Eat as much gelato as possible, eso outside the Trevii Fountain.

Also need to do your research on where to eat in Rome to make sure you have good food and not get sucked into tourist traps. Try the 'Time Out' guides for Rome, ( and prob Paris, London) for general tips.

Google to see what opera performances are on. Lovely hearing an Italian opera in Italy.

Bon voyage!

Amber Jade said...

How exciting! It sounds wonderful. I'm sure you guys will have an absolutely amazing time!

María José said...

Yes, I have a tip for you ENJOY your trip

María José said...

Yes, I have a tip for you ENJOY your trip

beate grigutsch said...

wahooo! big gorgeous trip in sight :-)

for berlin i could give you 1000 tips, but the city is very good organized with tourists, so you don´t need them. BUT - 2h by train or car from berlin are dresden - and that you should see! (and i can guide you around...) just google or look at my blog under "barock".

Jessica Cangiano said...

Ooohh, I'm elated for you both and wish you nothing but safe, joyful, fabulously fun travels every step and mile of the way.

♥ Jessica

Lien said...

Sounds like it will be a great trip. We went to Berlin in 2012 and it was fantastic. We're thinking about relocating there in a few years' time.

We're also off to Europe again at the end of March. But this time it will be Frankfurt, somewhere in Switzerland and Denmark.

If you don't already read this blog, check it out. She's got a few Berlin guides you can have a look at:

Ellie said...

Ah exciting! Berlin is just magic -- make sure you go to the Melbourne Canteen, it's so... Melburnian.

Anonymous said...

in italy eat gelato at least once a day. maybe twice. chocolate and strawberry are the best flavors, especially when eaten together.

Incendiary Blonde said...

How exciting! London has changed so much in the last 10 are going to love it! I know you are a fan of brunch, so I could definitely recommend some great brunch places, if you are interested. Feel free to get in touch via my blog of IG: or Incendiaryblonde. :)

Alli said...

How exciting! Can't wait to hear about your adventures, especially how you find being back in the UK. Have fun guys!!!!! :)

hellcandy said...

Ah sounds AMAZING! Always such a good thing to have a holiday to look forward to.
As a fellow Londoner there are so many lovely places I think you would like. I live smack bang in the West End & every month there is something new to's a city that is forever changing so there will be lots of new things for you to see & do!
Do let me know if you'd like someone to give you a little tour or need some advice on places to see. My bf is from Melbourne so am sure will be happy to help too :)

The Dainty Dolls House said...

So exciting doll...don't worry about blogging, enjoy yourself, that is more important!! You could always keep updates on instagram & connect it to your facebook page or something like that, so the update goes on everything. You haven't been in so long, now its time to enjoy yourself...posts won't be important, we can wait to hear all your good news when you return. But, instagrams and things like that would be fun too :) I hope you enjoy yourself :)) xx

let us wanderlust said...

Sounds like an absolute dream Marianne! I can only imagine how excited you are and to get back to London must be amazing for you! Seeing more of Europe is definitely high on my 'travel wish list'! After this current holiday, I'll be saving hard to get over there soon. I know you'll have the most amazing time on your travels! And I think March would be such a lovely time to go in terms of weather, and I assume it's slightly less busy then. I went to France in Autumn and the weather was perfect, only getting colder as winter drew nearer and the further north we headed :) can't wait to hear your stories and see your pictures! Carly xx

let us wanderlust said...

P.s. Speaking from experience, it is possible to blog from an iPad / tablet! Since starting my blog four months ago, I have been travelling full-time and use my tablet to edit pictures and post blog posts! It can get a little (a lot) frustrating at times because typing is slower and the screen is smaller than a laptop but I've managed to make it work. The hardest thing is crappy wifi connections which make uploading anything (and even using the internet at all) painfully slooooww. Anyway, just thought I'd share that it can be done! Xx

Anonymous said...

Soo much to see in Berlin! But do visit the Mauer Park flea market, maybe the film museum (, … and check out those numerous small eateries with their delicious (and cheap!) food that you can find all around town!

And if you have time, pay a visit to wonderful Potsdam - so beautiful and right outside Berlin.

Enjoy your trip!

Miranda said...

awesome! that sounds like a great trip. i follow a cool blog by a french girl,

she has guides to paris that may be helpful for you??

Liz said...

Berlin: Haus am Mauer (near Checkpoint Charlie), very impressive museum.
Paris: Luxembourg Park, Montmartre and Sacre Coeur, Pere Lachaise.

Miss Marie said...

You're going to get a million recommendations, more than you will be able to do, I know... But I'm going to throw my two cents in:

For magical fairy tales in London, try Dennis Severs House or Kensington Palace. For an Art Deco treat, try Eltham Palace. I always recommend a commuter boat up the Thames from Westminster to Greenwich (cheaper than a tourist boat) - Greenwich is wonderful. And there's an exhibition just opened at the Garden History Museum about fashion and garden - I've not been yet but it looks fab. I'll stop there before I get too carried away...

Oh, but Berlin, for an interesting place to relax in the City, try Tempelhof Park

Miss Marie said...

Oh, and I second beate grigutsch's recommendation of Dresden - a truly amazing, fascinating and vibrant city - I have very happy memories of it.

Anonymous said...

Oh, it sounds like it´s going to be a great trip - except the looong flight ;)
I live in Berlin and could give you many tips... Beside the typical sightseeing things you should visit the districts Kreuzberg, Friedrichshain and Prenzlauer Berg. There are so many cute cafés and shops... I believe you would like the hairdresser "Kaiserschnitt" in Friedrichshain - specialized in 50s hairstyle and a new shop called "Strawbetty" - with very nice 50s dresses. Around this area are so much more nice things to discover...

Have a lot of fun!
By the way... Dresden is really beautiful!


Aleksandra said...

Back to London after a ten year absence...that's quite something! I hope you both have a wonderful time.

Here are my London-tips anyway:

The Vintage Emporium, which is located right off Brick Lane, opened a few years ago and it’s my favourite London vintage shop. It is rather pricey but absolutely worth it as they stock some amazing pieces from the Victorian era through the 1950s. The upstairs café is really cute (although very popular so it’s often crowded) and the staff is friendly and helpful. It was my safe haven when I first moved to London!

When it comes to restaurants I’ve been dying to dine at the fairly recently refurbished Kettner’s in Soho. I can at least vouch for the drinks – they are excellent ;)

As far as museums are concerned, Sir John Soane’s Museum is my absolute favourite, it’s free and very atmospheric. I can also recommend the Leighton House Museum in Chelsea, which I visited for the first time last year and fell in completely in love with.
I went to see the ‘Cheapside Hoard’ 17th century jewelry exhibition at the Museum of London recently as well, it was brilliant and it doesn’t close until April.

hille said...

my guide to london if you're interested :)

and have a GREAT trip. so jealous!!

Bianca Esposito said...

I am super jealous, I miss Europe!

A must see in London is the Wallace Collection, situated just off Oxford Street lies an oasis of 18th century furniture, decorative arts and paintings! My favorite place from when I studied abroad in London, and best of all like most of London's museums it is free to visit! Along with 18th century things they have a large renaissance decorative arts collection and a huge armor and weaponry collection which is amazing to see so close up! And they let you take pictures which is always a bonus, they also have tea and lunch in their indoor courtyard that I can heartily recommend!

esme and the laneway said...

Kirsty Altis : thank you! Still need to book Paris accom and this looks great! I really want the Paris place to be perfect :)

Miss Louise: thank you! x

Anonymous : wow, that is an amazing, epic list! Thanks you SO MUCH! :D

María José : well I should hope so!

beate grigutsch : oh that's awesome, I would love to meet you and getting to Dresden would be a dream! We have three days so I will look and see if we can do it x

Amber Jade : thanks :)

Jessica Cangiano : thank you darling :)
: thanks for the link! Wow, relocating is a big deal, that's exciting. I spent a few weeks in Bern and loved it, all those nearby snowy mountains!

Ellie : haha I want to get away from Melbournianess as much as possible! :D

Anonymous: for breakfast then?

Incendiary Blonde : thank you :D I think I won't even recognise it. x

hellcandy: oh thanks very much! :D that sounds awesome!

The Dainty Dolls House: I think tbat's a good idea, and I'd like tp post a kind of running diary of it all as I'm there... should be doable :)

let us wanderlust : thanks Carly :) I think it will be cold but starting to warm up... ermergerd, a UK spring, I miss that so much! And that's v good to know re. the iPad, I'm hoping the Wifi over there is good (I've heard it is) so, fingers crossed!

Ellie: thanks so much – these sound great. I really can't wait to visit a flea market, as we don't really have them here! :)

Anonymous Miranda : thank you! Will definitely check this out, personal recs are always the best :) and oh, vintage shopping might just have to happen..! :D

Liz : thanks! Sounds good :)

Miss Marie : thank you so much :D I almost get a bit teary eyed looking at these, the names are so familiar but not the places themselves, so I can't wait. I literally dream about getting boats up the Thames, weird but true! And Dresden seems v. popular, I do hope to be able tog et there.

OpenID Aleksandra : thank you :) like I said above, I almost got teary with this one, too, because those names... so familiar. This sounds like an awesome list, and I'm chuffed to have it here in one place to refer to. thank you so, so much x

hille : yes, thank you! Gosh was a bit scared to click just now after reading the reccs for London so far as I might ball my eyes out but it's amazing, thank you – the pics of Portobello Market and those colourful houses are amazing, and now I have a lump in my thorat :) x

Bianca Esposito : this sounds amazing, thank you xxx

Laura Raskolnikova said...

It's a pity that you aren't coming to Spain. I think you would love the weather we've got here. I am sure you would really enjoy a visit to Madrid and it would be a pleasure for me to be your tourist guide. For a future trip you mustn't miss Spain!!
Lots of kisses from Madrid

Laura Raskolnikova

esme and the laneway said...

Laura Raskolnikova : oh, it definitely is. We just ran out of time (and money). It's depressing to think I will probably never even get to Spain or many other places, but then I made the choice to live in Australia, which is rather like jumping down a deep well... :(

Little Nan said...

Lucky ducks.....wish I could do another trip to the UK and Europe! Miss (the food mainly!) it desperately! And I love, love your globe! Its gorgeous!

ilwen said...

I could probably add hundreds of tips since I like in Berlin but I'll keep it simple: If you go to Potsdam (the old town is so lovely), you'd probably love the castle of Sanssouci. So elegant. But there're more castles in Berlin - Charlottenburg and Bellevue. Also, Hackesche Höfe at the train station Hackescher Markt - very artistic and special.
Have a great trip!

Joanna said...

Can't wait to see your pictures of London, the homeland will be happy to have you back, albeit temporarily :)

If you'd like a little tour of the Palace of Westminster aka Houses of Parliament while you're here, do let me know. I work there and I'm a trained tour guide also, so I'd be more than happy to show you and John around if the timing works. Drop me an email if you're interested, I'm at j m n u r s e [at] gmail [dot] com.


Mlle G to you... said...

Oh my gosh I'm so jealous. I could literally go on and on and on about Paris and I go there every few months so I have a lot to say, but you'll be so booked up with a lot of tourist things from the books (which are excellent and must sees) that I don't need to bore you. You should try and stay in the Marais or the Latin Quarter. They're the best for dinner and bars and shopping. You also have the most convenient metro lines to get anywhere without having to transfer multiple times. Saint Severin is a pedestrian only street lined with restaurants. Go there for dinner one night absolutely. You need to go to Les Puces Clignancourt (open Mon-Sat and over 2500 antique vendors) and I also like the Marche Rue Cler (Tues-Sat) near the Eiffel Tower. It's all the food vendors and you can taste cheeses and things and just buy a fresh baguette and some goodies and have a picnic at the Tower.
For Berlin - you must go to the pay as you wish wine bar called Weinerei. It has a jar on the counter when you leave and really pay what you want. Eat in the beer garden in the large park and watch the people go by on boats. I second what someone said about the film museum, but really so many are great there, especially about the war time history. You can always email me for any tips. I'd give London ones too but I'm sure you know those. Enjoy!!!!

Seifenkönigin said...

When you are in Berlin you must go to "Class of Berlin" (a good retro shop)
and eat some waffles at the lovely "Kauf Dich Glücklich" !

Anonymous said...

San Gimginano ( near to Firenze and Siena) is a beautiful medieval town.
And Venezia......I liked Joli hotel in Firenze ( is very near to the center)
and Germany,Fussen is really nice

Anonymous said...

Yay, you´re coming to Germany!!
I definitely recommand visiting the borough Prenzlauer Berg in Berlin, which is my abssolute favorite. Also, I loved Schloss Meyenburg which is a cute little fashion museum full of dresses and shoes and cameras from the past decades. Unfortunately it is located a bit outside of Berlin, but I think it really is worth the ride.
Greetings from Germany and ´Gute Reise´! <3

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