Just like a fairytale

Like any little girl, I was a big fan of of fairytales when I was younger. Those wonderful timeless stories had a way of capturing my imagination like nothing else could! So of course, when I grew up to realise they were all make-believe, I was more than a little bummed!

But a few days ago, when I stumbled across some pictures of real castles in Europe, I reverted straight back to my childhood days. I thought, if there was anywhere on earth where fairytales could actually exist, it would be in and around these castles (seriously, I was just waiting to see Snow White or Cinderella pop up somewhere)! The white-wash bricks, picturesque surroundings and towering turrets look like they have leaped off the pages of my favorite books, they are so beautiful and majestic!

I thought I had better share these with you all. I'm sure you will be just as enchanted by these wonderful structures as I was...

Hluboka nad Vltavau Castle in Czech Republic

Alcazar of Segovia in Spain

Lichtenstein Castle in Germany

Neuschwanstein Castle in Germany

Egeskov Castle in Denmark

Anif Palace in Austria

Chateau d'Usse in France

Chateau de Chambord in France

Chateau de Chaumont, France

These are all definitely going on my 'to go to' list!

Rachel xoxo

Busy Brisbane

I am not sure why I haven't posted about Brisbane yet. Over the past year or so the city has become almost like a second home to me. My parents moved there last year, abandoning my brother and I for the sunny Queensland skies! As you can imagine, it is really strange not seeing them as often as I used to (and by often, I mean everyday) so whenever I get a break from studying I always make sure to get over there for a good catch up (at their expense of course)!

I have seen quite a bit of the city during my time over there so I thought today, I would share with you three of my favorite spots. So, here goes...

1. Southbank

The 'Wheel of Brisbane' at Southbank

Southbank is a must for anyone planning on travelling to Brisbane. It is located right by the riverbank, opposite the CBD. This makes for stunning views, especially at night when the city lights reflect onto the water– so pretty! To get an even better view of the city you can jump onto the 'Wheel of Brisbane' (also known as the 'Brisbane Eye') which is also located at Southbank.

Southbank Markets

Another great thing about Southbank are the weekly 'Southbank Markets'. On Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays the main pathway is overrun with eclectic stalls. There you can buy one-of-a-kind items that you can treasure for a lifetime or give to friends and family as souvenirs of your trip. Last time I was there, I found the cutest purse ever! I am always getting complements on it and its not hard to see why...

Why yes, that is a purse in the shape of a cat! Jealous?

There is also a man-made beach and lagoon with giant TV screens. It's usually pretty populated during the summer months so, if you're not a fan of big crowds you can always plan for a winter trip, where the average high is still a moderate 20.9º celsius (around 70º fahrenheit)!

2. Mt Coot-tha 

The view from the Mt Coot-tha look out restaurant and bar

The Mt Coot-tha lookout is another place in Brisbane where you can find beautiful views. It is the highest point in the city so you know you won't be disappointed!

The 'Kuta Cafe' is a wonderful place for a good cafe style meal. I can tell you now, there is nothing better than good food with a pretty view (even though I only had a hot chocolate– it's not quite "food" but was still really good)!

Brisbane Botanical Gardens

The Brisbane Botanical Gardens can also be found at Mt Coot-tha. Although I haven't had the pleasure of going there yet (I'm planning that for my next trip!), from what I have seen and heard it is pretty amazing; and who doesn't love a good stroll through some pretty plants!?

3. Chermside Shopping Centre

Westfield, Chermside

How could I not include a good shopping destination in this list? And if it's shopping that you want, it's shopping that you will get at Westfield Chermside. This place is huge! It's the biggest mall in Queensland and the second biggest in Australia, so you would be wise to put aside at least a few hours if you want to get the most out if it.

The Apple store at Chermside

One of the most popular shops at Chermside is the Apple store. It is always packed to the brim with people faffing about on iPads and iPhones, most of whom probably won't end up buying anything!
If you live in a big city that has Apple stores around every corner, you will never understand the immense excitement that people like me, from small little island countries like New Zealand, feel when we see one of these stores. The bright lights, the technology and the wide array of gadgets and gizmos is enough to send us into a spin! There is just so much to see and buy!

So there you have it! I am happy to say that I will be going back to this wonderful city during my winter break in 3 weeks time. I am so excited to be able to test my skills as an legit travel blogger and post about my own traveling experiences. It's gonna be great, I can't wait!

Rachel xoxo

P.S. Yay for reaching 1000 page views! This makes me happy :)

Landmarks- Happy Birthday, Golden Gate Bridge!

Happy Birthday to the Golden Gate Bridge!!

Today marks 75 years since America's most beloved bridge was opened to the public and I must say, it looks just as beautiful today as it did way back then, don't you agree?!...

The Golden Gate Bridge on opening day, 27th of May, 1937
Seventy-five years certainly is a long time so, it's strange to think that there was a time when the iconic 'Golden Gates' weren't there, guarding the passage to the Pacific! I have found some pictures, which I think are absolutely fascinating, taken during the construction of the bridge all those years ago...

Something the bridge is known for is the clouds and fog that often surrounds it. It is apparently something about the positioning of the bridge that seems to make the mist gravitate toward it. This makes things a bit tricky for motorists but also allows for some pretty amazing pictures to be taken...

However, even when it's not covered in clouds it is just as pretty! Have a look at these pictures of the bridge, captured over it's 75 year lifetime...

The bridge in 1950

Members of the San Francisco Ballet pose in front of the bridge in 1957

A couple gets their picture taken in front of the bridge in the 60's

Fireworks during the finale of the 50th anniversary celebrations in 1987

People gather to commemorate the bridge's 50th anniversary in 1987

Reflection of the bridge in raindrops

The bridge during a storm

I want to finish with a confession. As someone who has never seen the bridge in person (as of yet anyway!), one of my only connections with it growing up was through movies and television. So of course, when I think of the 'Golden Gate Bridge', this instantly comes to mind...

I'm sure I'm not the only one, am I?!
I'm not ashamed though... I LOVED Full House, almost as much as I love that bridge!

Rachel xoxo

Landmarks- Egypt's pyramids

When I was around eight or nine I developed an obsession. I was learning about Ancient Egypt at school and found myself instantly fascinated by the idea of pharaohs, tombs, mummies and all the ancient traditions that came along with them (it's kinda funny, I've talked to so many people who also went though this same phase when they were younger– not sure what it is about this topic that makes it so universally fascinating)!

As some of the few remaining monuments to these times gone by, the pyramids captured my imagination. I enjoyed day-dreaming about how they looked when they were in their prime (I had heard they were fitted with big gold toppers that shined really bright in the desert sun) and was in awe of the sheer size of them. I just knew I had to see them for myself one day!

At 139m (455ft), The Pyramid of Giza can almost
hold its own next to the Eiffel Tower

Is it just me or do the pyramids seem like they come right out of the pages of a classic fable– like Aladdin or something? They are just so old, its almost as if you have to see them to believe they actually exist! Just look at them, they are so magical...

What do you think? I know it's a bit of an unusual holiday destination and it can seem a bit too 'intrepid' for some people's liking! Would you ever go there?

Rachel xoxo

Take me with you!?

I'm at the age now (21) where a lot of my friends have decided to go on their OE's (Overseas Experience). While I am so happy for them, I cannot help but feel an overwhelming sense of jealousy when looking at all the wonderful pictures they post on Facebook. Most of these pictures go something like this; they are standing in some interesting location I've been dreaming of going to for years, they are holding heaps of shopping bags from shops I love and they have a huge smile plastered on their face, an ear to ear grin that I can't blame them for having.
It drives me kinda nuts because I'm sure I want to travel more than anyone else (in my mind anyway)! Yet here I am, still stuck in this isolated corner of the world, thousands and thousands of km's away from the places I want to be most!

But thats just the way it goes. Its alright I guess, I know I'm gonna get there one day. In the meantime, I need to finish of my studies, get a job and save, save, save!! And when I've done all that, I can start my own travel adventures! Then I can be the person my friends envy– its gonna be so good!

Rachel xoxo

PS. Sorry its been so long since my last post, you can thank my tutors for that, they seem to like making all my assignments due at the same time! I've got through the bulk of it all now, so hopefully I will be posting a bit more frequently!

Under The Tuscan Sun

Under The Tuscan Sun– I've been meaning to watch that movie for a while now, but have always been distracted by other things (have I mentioned the massive amount of assignments and essays that have been piling up over the semester?– it's ridiculous).

I really do love this movie though! Sure, the storyline is alright, I do like a good romance from time to time (from what I remember, this one's a goodie!)– but honestly, the reason I love this movie so much is the scenery and pretty buildings! If anyone is interested in Italy, this is an absolute must see! Look...

Now, I know I tend to overuse the word 'beautiful' on this blog (there are just so many pretty places to fall in love with!), but seriously, have you ever seen anything that can match this!?...

I mean, really!? Tuscany has to be one of the most beautiful places on earth!

Oh, and thats not all! If you thought the landscapes were good, just check out the amazing old buildings...

Oh, I want to be there! But I guess, in the meantime, I always have the movie to watch and dream about. It will have to do... for now!

Rachel xoxo