5 Beautiful Days in Prague

Hello lovely readers, new and old! Once again I am truly sorry for my lack of posting. The months of January to March have been not been the greatest, nor the most liberated time of my life as the big finale of my undergraduate degree sort of swallowed everything, namely my dissertation. Months of Tintoretto research finally resulted in the 8,000 word, properly bound and printed little booklet, an underwhelming testament to my activities of late. Naturally, after this was finished my lovely friend G and I felt we must get away and jetted off to a new European city: PRAGUE.
DSC_0301Oh my goodness, it was breathtaking. Full of history, cheap eats, friendly people and varying architecture everywhere. Needless to say, I am in love. G and I explored the sights, including of course Prague Castle, the Astrological clock in Old Town Square, ate traditional Czech food, which was hard for poor G as the Czech diet is very meat heavy and she is a solid vegetarian. But she managed to find some things she liked and we discovered that Prague actually has an extensive range of cuisine. We even discovered an amazing (and busy) little vegetarian place, which may have been the best meal we had there (bless my meat lover soul). We were so fortunate enough to be there during the Easter markets, so the square was filled with little huts covered in colourful ribbons and selling some unpronounceable twisty donut which G and I discovered is delicious! We drank cheap wine in an underground jazz bar (headaches followed), made friends with the locals and I took a million pictures. We discovered Kafka and the Jewish quarter, drank coffee in the square and put the worlds to rights. It was a completely perfect break for so many reasons and if you ever get the chance to visit, GO!

DSC_0077DSC_0084DSC_0087DSC_0090DSC_0115DSC_0137DSC_0170DSC_0231DSC_0315DSC_0415DSC_0423IMG_6054Similey times at the colourful John Lennon wall.
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Enjoy the photos and if you ever get a free ticket to Prague, because you might be lucky enough to have that kind of life….seriously go.

Czech me out,
Anna
xxx

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Life According to Instagram

Unsurprisingly, many of my latest Instagram’s picture share a similar ‘Venetian’ theme (take me back). I had a fantastic and busy ten weeks there and I want to keep sharing the places I discovered, the coffees I drank and the beauty of the city with all of you. For now, here are a few snaps of my time there according to Instagram.

Screen Shot 2014-12-09 at 23.36.46Top row from left: 1) A perfect morning coffee from Bar Al Verde, the cafe down the street where I went almost every day (addict?) 2) Using sweets instead of actual chips for poker night. 3) Fior de Latte & Sicilian Lemon ice cream from Grom. 4) Beautiful bridges over the canals of Venice. 5) The decorated portal to the Palazzo Ducal

Middle Row from left: 1) J and I eating pizza the size of your face. 2) Myself in front of the Rialto Bridge. Classic. 3) San Marco Square in aqua alta (flooding). 4) Funky coloured fish eye overlooking the Grand Canal. 5) Two lovely housemates in front of a big BIG statue

Bottom Row from left: 1) Hazy view of Santa Maria del Salute and gondolas. 2) Our arrival into Venice by water taxi. 3) (Before Venice) Pom poms at Hauser & Wirth exhibition in Somerset. 4) ‘Rainy days are the best days’ graphic made by me. 5) Super close up of Photojojo dinosaur received with iPhone lenses.

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Top row from left: 1) Back in England so I get a personalised Starbucks to sooth the transition. 2) Photo wall in my Venice room of tickets and arty postcards. 3) Amazing platter of meats and cheeses on our last meal out in Venice. 4) Bare tree against wintery sky on a walk with the dogs. 5) Sweet Nahla excited to be going on a walk

Middle row from left: 1) A rather spotty coffee from Al Verde. 2) Evidence of panetone and essay stress on housemates. 3) A night in with Nutella and true Italian panetone. 4) Essay writing and tea drinking. 5) My parents came to visit me and it was wonderful.

Bottom row from left: 1) I love my  housemates (#FZF). 2) Gorgeous gals enjoying breakfast in Rome. 3) Fisheye friends in Siena. 4) A sneaky Siena selfie. 5) Town hall in Siena

I hope you enjoyed my Italian Instagrams!
Ciao bella
Anna

 

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Island Brights – Burano’s colourful complexion

In the lagoon of Venice, a quick vaperetto stop away, is the gem island of Burano, where there are kaleidoscope coloured houses lining the canal.  It can be overlooked due to the clear beauty and variety of Venice, but a day trip for a local like me (ha) was wonderful. Here are some arty photos of the various pairings of colourful homes. I would have a mint green one for sure. Enjoy

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Stay Colourful
Anna xx

 

 

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Avoid the Tourists – The start of Venice

A couple of weeks ago, we arrived with an unreasonable amount of luggage to one of the most beautiful cities in the world, in the uniquest environment, eager to get to the little apartment that would be our home for the next ten weeks. We climbed into a bobbing water taxi and were sped towards the waterways of Venice. And our apartment was amazing, our local area friendly and our fellow students all around. Venice, similar to most of Italy, is a city of fast coffee and slow dinners. Venice is early to bed and early to rise and throughout the day there is a constant hustle and bustle of the restaurants, mask vendors and of course the thousands of tourists that flock to the tiny lagoon.
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So we are avoiding the tourists, finding the back alley shortcuts and have learnt our most  important Italian word: “PERMESSO!”. Shout it through crowds, the Italians part and the rest of the visitors halt in pure confusion, enabling you to dodge around and continue on your way.

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Needless to say, photography wise, it is wonderfully overwhelming. Across every bridge is an amazing view, around any corner there might be a decorated church. I forgot how inspiring Venice is, how easy it is to simply get lost. But you are never truly lost as sooner or later you will hit a familiar landmark. My day now starts with a coffee and a meander through new streets and over new bridges. I feel there is so much I want to do, and so much I want to do all over again, I have remind myself I am here for 10 weeks (yikes) and I HAVE TIME. Not an easy task for a spontaneous gal with itchy feet…persanmarco
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I am loving discovering the city with my hilarious (and gorgeous) housemates. Already we have conquered the Campo, braved the Aqua Alta Bookshop and become poker pros. I am shocked at my lack of blogging in Venice but it mainly because I have been loving the down time (and the Downton time) with the house.
pastaboxes blogboardthreeDSC_0893And of course, I am still unsure as to how I got so lucky to end up in one of my favourite cities in the world with my favourite person in the world. Sorry J, you are getting a mention so I remain grateful.
blog diptyicYay. I hope this has given you a little snapshot into how life is forming for me here. Trust me, there are plenty more arty photos to come and more Venetian musings.
All the Venetian greetings and love.
Ciao!
Anna in Venice

MEVENICE

 

P.S Also, how fun that this is my 60th post? Good topic to achieve such a landmark on!

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5 Tips for: PACKING

Welcome to addition number two of Anna’s little life tips. Since the first one went down so well, I am excited to share the next one on a topic that has been on my mind recently, what with the Big Move to Venice (1 more day!).

Packing. Not the most fun job in the world but definitely not as bad as unpacking (that’s an area I have yet to conquer). Your holiday is approaching, your move back to university is right around the corner, and there feels like there is 101 things to do. Packing should not be the most stressful of them all. Here are five handy tips to help you get on top of packing, and hopefully make the next pre-holiday to-do a little easier.

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1. Start Early 

Essentially, the secret to packing is organisation. I myself being naturally unorganised, now force myself through reminders and post-its everywhere, to start laying out what I want to take with me as early as a week before I go. This way, I don’t wear it and then have to wash it and cause a whole lot more hassle for myself before I fly away. As you build up a pile of items to take, the prospect of opening an empty suitcase and trying to fill it with everything you need the night before disappears.
IMG_4490  2. Prioritise
Have you worn it in the last year? No? Than the odds are you are not going to wear it on holiday. I am a terrible over packer. I always bring a bunch of clothes I know I am not going to wear because let face it, a gal needs options. My classic excuse. In fact, it just makes the suitcase heavier, makes more things to remember when you leave, and sits unused. So prioritise things that are suitable for where you are going as well as items you love. Think about the length of your trip. For example, when I arrive in Venice, the weather is sunny and hot. But since I am there until December, jumpers and coats are going to become a necessity! Save suitcase space and perhaps pack economically. 
IMG_42483. Lists, lists and LISTS

Seriously guys, lists! As you pack, write the items down somewhere (I find laptop the easiest). This is a great habit to develop for two reasons. One, this list becomes a visual summary of everything you have taken, helping you to achieve point two: prioritize. As you look down the list, look out for anything you don’t really need or might have too many of and things that are missing. Then two, take a copy of the final list with you! This way, when repacking, you can tick items off, creating peace of mind that nothing has been lost.
Screen Shot 2014-09-26 at 10.05.34Remember to descriptively name your clothes. Helps a lot.

4. Hold Luggage VS Carry on Luggage 

Nothing frustrates me more than those people at security who hold everyone up because despite waiting in lines with clear signs about what to do when you get to conveyor belt, they have left liquids in their hand luggage, sometimes scissors, casual few sticks of dynamite…you get the idea. They the fuss around with belts and shoes and taking laptops out and it drives me nuts. Don’t be one of these people. Avoid liquids of any kind in hand luggage, all shampoos and creams into hold suitcase please. Remember you are not going to be carrying around your hold suitcase so much, so if it is on the heavy side, it’s not a problem. If your carry on is like a bag of rocks, thats going to make the travel experience far more stressful.
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5. Passport!

Okay, this might sound like the most obvious item in the world to remember. However, before we headed off to Gozo a few weeks ago, I arrived at J’s house the day before with the horrific realisation that I had indeed forgotten my passport. World class idiot to say the least. It resulted in a 6 hour drive home to collect the darn thing and A LOT of deserved teasing for the rest of the holiday. So put it out the day/week/month before you go because your conquering of the packing process will mean nothing if you cannot fly away.
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All packed up and ready to go
Anna
xxx

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