Tuesday, 1 May 2018

FIVE PLACES THAT YOU MUST VISIT IN CORNWALL


Sunrise at Duporth Beach, St Austell, Cornwall
So you bethinking of visiting Kernow then? A wild moorland embraced by epic scenery, dramatic coastline and infinite geological wonders... Where the spirits of proficient and patient Smugglers linger beneath the tall and wispy roots of the earth... Where land meets sea and Celtic folk legends become reality... And if you're very quiet and very still, you may even find yourself immersed in the realm of the Cornish Piskies...

Home of the 'Cornish Pasty' and King Arthur, Cornwall is a county in South-West England. It boasts of wild flowers, luminous cliffs and sandy beaches, and not to mention the excellent beer and ice cream. It doesn't matter where you find yourself in this Celtic Kingdom, an endless labyrinth of beauty awaits to be explored...

Share:

Sunday, 4 March 2018

WHEN A HIKE UP A MOUNTAIN GOES WRONG, PART TWO

The perfect view from above, High Tatra Mountains



Tuesday 28th July 2015 


“But I need water.” I mumbled, somehow. Jack was panicking and I was convinced that I was going to die, growing thirstier and thirstier by the second. As I still continued to be sick, throwing up the last of my liquids, I was getting irritable and shaky. I didn’t want to walk any longer through this greenish desert but I needed water. We had to keep walking. It was getting darker and we had no other way of getting out of this. Jack stormed on ahead, determined to find a solution and eventually, he came across a mini stream flowing beneath the cracks of the rocky path, the water trickled inside our water bottles. 

As I lay there sprawled out on the floor, not bothered if a bear came and mauled me to death, Jack came to my rescue. The water tasted just like soil, yummy but I didn’t care. The earthy taste and floating bits of gravel just blended in with my tasteless gratitude and nonchalant attitude. Jack was motivating me down that path like a soldier but just when I thought that it couldn’t get any worse, my sickness took a brief break of coming out of one way and decided to come out of another… Brilliant. I used fixed branches as a seat and leaves as paper and to be honest, I actually quite enjoyed it. I felt pleasantly unrestricted and free, like a wild animal.

High Tatra Valleys

As minutes grew longer and longer, my body ready to collapse, I started to hear familiar sounds, and people. A carpark, a road. We had made it, again. I couldn’t wait to get on that bus, get back to the hostel and sleep for the rest of my life.


It was 7:00pm when the bus arrived, I was hot and sweaty and there was nowhere to sit down. I felt so irritable and was in need of a chair ASAP because I knew exactly what was coming. As more and more locals got on and off, I hadn’t even noticed that there was an empty seat near to me. I think the people around could see how shit and pale I looked, eyes half closed, flapping about from side to side, my last bit of strength clutching to the pole, that they knew I needed that seat more than them. A woman tapped me on the shoulder and gestured me to sit down. She smiled at me apprehensively, as I mimed the words, “Thank you,” but her smile quickly vanished when I began aggressively throwing up into a plastic bag. When I came out for air, everyone was staring at me and thank god, Jack was now sitting next to me, rubbing my back and comforting me, my knight in shining armour. 

The longest walk of my life, High Tatra Mountains

When we arrived back in Zdiar, I rushed back to the hostel, as if my body had been saving up this last bit of energy for the final journey. I pathetically waved to guests sitting on the terrace, mumbling some kind of polite greeting, trying to act normal, as I stumbled inside and straight up to the staff room. I lay on my bed with the same appreciation that I had had this morning and fell straight to sleep. It was ‘Italian night’ in the hostel and although, I absolutely adored all things Italian, especially the food, it was the very last thing on my mind. 

I continued to dart to the bathroom throughout the night, my sporadic belching keeping the entire hostel awake. And although, I was still feeling crappy, that same content feeling that I had had this morning still lingered within. As I wiped away the last of the acidic slime and got back into bed, Jack asking how I was, I knew that I could finally open my mouth again without being sick. I uttered the words, “Fuck you Jeff.” Smiled and fell asleep.


Share:

Saturday, 3 March 2018

WHEN A HIKE UP A MOUNTAIN GOES WRONG, PART ONE

Pink 'Chamerion angustifolium' flowers of the High Tatras
Tuesday 28th July 2015 

The weather couldn’t have been more perfect. The vibrant, azure sky was cloudless, the sunlight was beaming from every angle and the colour green was so vivid, it looked as if all nature was showing off its purest beauty. Jack and I set off for the High Tatras at 8:00am. It was the second time that we were hiking up this mountain range and I couldn’t wait to be surrounded by enormous valleys and mountain goats again. I was especially excited today, as we were taking on a different route, one we had not yet ventured up before. 

The beginning of a wander in the woods, Ždiar


The hike began at the doorway to the forest. I still remember how everything looked and felt around me, as if it was only yesterday that I began volunteering for the summer at The Ginger Monkey Hostel in Ždiar, a small village in Northern Slovakia. Although it was warm out, pockets of cool, fresh air occasionally caressed my face and made me feel alive. I was so ready for this wander within nature, excited to embrace every tree and creature that paved the way. The ground beneath my feet was squidgy but firm, still damp from this morning’s dew, and the sound of the stream that flowed beside me echoed gently and soothingly, a melody of the forest. The rest of the woodland was completely still. 

The High Tatra Mountains, which border Slovakia and Poland

Thick branches covered with shades of green continued to shelter us for the first part of our walk. As we began to climb a very steep, crumbly and rocky path, I was too busy focusing on the dirt below that I didn’t even realise we were out of the woods until I stopped to catch my breath. As we walked further and further on, our legs aching from the perpendicular track, we were greeted by outstanding scenery. 

Below, shadows of valleys and hidden caves began to manifest and only upon this magnificent sight did we realise how far we had come. We were surrounded by everlasting, emerald wildlife, with the sun complementing every flora and fauna, bird and bear, visible and invisible. I fell in love with everything that day, as if I was on a non-travelled pilgrimage trying to find the meaning of life or something. 

Small Cold Valley, High Tatra Mountain Rage, Slovakia


The walk through the various valleys was long and tough but Jack and I continued on, rarely complaining, as our adrenaline and determination pushed us through every step of the way. The further we got to the top, the more people there were, which selfishly saddened me because we grew accustomed to having this place to ourselves. 

‘Kamzik’ or Mountain Goats peculiarly revealed themselves, their eyes fixed on the strangers before them, observing us meticulously, whilst defending their territory. I didn’t dare step off the path and venture towards them, in case they all congregated towards me. Although they were a very striking breed of goats, they appeared to be quite impulsive and that made me feel a little intimidated. So I decided to be respectful and leave them to it. This was their home after all and I was just a visitor.

Kamzik (Chamois) Goat-Antelope nestled in the grass of the High Tatra Mountains
It took five, long, demanding hours before we got to the very top of the Tatras, and the further we went, the stranger I had begun to feel. Slightly nauseous and totally fatigued, Jack suggested that it was probably down to the altitude and I agreed. But we had made it and the view from the top was every shade of perfection. As we dug in to our tuna and mayonnaise sandwiches, overlooking the striking valleys below, I realised that I was no longer in the realm of appreciation. My lunch tasted bland and I was so drained, I just wanted to go to bed. I wasn’t quite used to this kind of leg work so I assumed that I had just simply overworked myself. After we finished our food, we decided to head back down the Tatras a different way to which we had come up. 

'The Belá', which runs through the High Tatra Mountains

As we meandered down the summit, Jack a bit further ahead, I felt more and more uneasy. My belly felt abnormally bloated, like when you overeat, yet I hadn’t. I decided that it was down to the bread and crisps that I had scoffed earlier, coupled with the altitude sickness. All of a sudden I had to stop. I could feel something coming up. Vomit. I threw up secretly and quite aggressively in a patch of tall grass that was towering over a lake. I wanted to explore and admire the view but I didn’t have the energy nor the focus to enjoy it, the sudden change of appreciation was making me dizzy and unbothered by everything. 

Being sick had made me feel better and I was ready to take back everything that I had failed to appreciate. I turned around, smiled at Jack and signalled for some water. As he made his way over me, whilst I carelessly stared at the mushed up mess below, I started feeling terrible again. I felt abnormally fatigued that I could have fell asleep there and then. This wasn’t a usual feeling for me, I had absolutely no energy, nor enthusiasm but unfortunately, there was only one way to get home and that was to force myself back down this mountain. 

The village of Ždiar in the distance


The walk back down felt like the longest mission of my life, my mind wandered to all sorts of things, even cursing ‘Jeff’ under my breath, a guy who had brought the sickness bug to the hostel that we were staying at. Although, I felt peculiar, I was still content, as if my feelings from this morning were still apparent and ceasing to dominate my present melancholy. Whilst I embraced 360 degrees of pure bliss, not a soul in sight, my pleasant appreciation would continue to be punctuated, as I threw up again and again, and again. Jack continued to support me and offer me words of ease but I was so miserable and sluggish, every time I opened my mouth I thought I was going to be sick. 

Malá Studená Dolina (Small Cold Valley), High Tatra Mountains


As I staggered down unconsciously, we had finally made it back to the woods. It all felt so different to me now and that made me sad. I was so dehydrated. At one point, I actually understood Frodo Baggins’ agitation when he was climbing up Mount Doom, swatting away hallucinations here and there, in a daze, having some kind of outer body experience. Yes ok, it sounds pretty ridiculous, as if it could be that bad right? Wrong. I was in a such a vile state that I couldn’t even be bothered to wipe away the leftover sick drooling down my jacket. 
Why is this taking so long?” And, “Water, Harry.” Was all that I could think about. We still had a couple of hours to go yet my entire body was ready for bed. 
“Oh shit.” Jack blurted out.
'Oh, what nowWe’re not lost are we?' Rolling my eyes at the irritating remark, the only response I could fathom.
"We have no more water left." Shit.

Continue on to part two...

Share:

Wednesday, 28 February 2018

WHY SYROS IS YOUR NEXT GREEK ADVENTURE

The Greek Island Syros - *not my photo, taken from Adobe Stock*
Calm and laid-back, Syros is a hidden Greek gem in the Aegean Sea. Part of the Cyclades, it is known to be the island that houses Ermoupoli and Ano Syros, two famous cities in this archipelago. Not a major tourist destination, its charm remains overshadowed by the magnanimous aura of the mainland however, this island has the potential to surprise visitors with its true Greek lifestyle. For those who are planning a trip to Greece this year and are wondering what alternative things they could do, consider Syros as your next Greek adventure. Have a read below as to why it should be on your travel wish list...

One of the many beaches in Syros - *not my photo, tahen from Syrostoday*
The Beaches 
Undoubtedly the most persuasive facet of the island is its shoreline. With parts of it being completely concrete and with hotels and homes almost touching the waters, you can always find small hidden havens, which are tucked away from the city. A remarkable union of white sand and azure waters can be witnessed here, as you laze around and enjoy the laid-back but mesmerising atmosphere.

Embrace yourself in the bedazzling history of Syros - *not my photo, taken from Syroshotels*
History, Art and Culture
Whether it be the famous Apollo Theatre, the Agios Georgios Cathedral, or the Industrial Museum, Syros has many sites which are an absolute delight. The marble and limestone artwork, the posh, archaic cathedrals and the traditional artists performing is only a glimpse of what all this island has to offer. Another must-see is that of Ano Syros. Boasting of bright, vibrant houses, the labyrinth cobblestone corridors, and the street cafes that open early in the morning, filling the streets with the warm aroma of breakfast, it's pride lies in the cathedral that is set atop the steep hill.

Seafood by the Sea in Syros - *Not my photo, taken from greece-is.com*
The Food
Seafood is the obvious choice of Syros, what with it being surrounded by the best of marine life. And apart from the fresh seafood, Turkish delight is what people love to indulge in here. Known as 'Loukoumia' in Greek, these chewy rich sweets are mouth-watering, and somewhat compelling. Dishes like Moussaka, Saganaki, Gyros and Souvlaki are a must try for all.

The prehistoric settlement of Kastri - *not my photo, taken from Syrosisland.com*
The Hidden Beauties
Grammata and the Grey Cave; dating back to the Roman and Byzantine times, these caves showcase the hope and love that sailors who were washed over to the island had. Short poems and letters written on the walls of the cave are kept intact as a remembrance. Chalandriani and Kastri; Travel back to the prehistoric times, with these settlements that date back to 3rd millennium BC, and Early 2nd Cycladic period. 600 tombs, a citadel and ceramic stone and metal ruins are a wonder.

Help to improve the life of cats in Syros - *Not my photo, taken from Syroscats*
Share:

Tuesday, 6 February 2018

WHEN A CERTAIN TIME ATTRACTS A CERTAIN MOMENT

*Not my picture: Starry Sky by artist Wenzel Hablik*
Three friends are lying down together in a peaceful, undisturbed field at midnight overlooking the last lights lit within a small, Slovakian settlement below. Mystical mountains stand tall in front, their bright, white peaks illuminated by moonlight and behind, nocturnal beasts are awakening beneath the forest’s dark green pelage. Above, the sky is sprinkled with infinite mystery and phenomenon and the silhouette of the Milky Way is so apparent, you really feel a part of everything and everything a part of you. As we lay side by side looking above and beyond, embracing this mutual understanding of unspoken oneness, we begin to appreciate every past moment, which has led us to this exact moment.

I think of the memories that we have shared together this past summer, volunteering at a Slavic-style, wooden hostel with the High-Tatra mountains on our door-step. I think of the many friends I have made, the sounds of laughter and of freedom and independence. As I slowly fall into the state of non-thought, silence and total awareness, I am fully relaxed and in complete unity with the two other beings beside me. I close my eyes, caressing the cool grass between my finger tips. I feel hollow somehow, yet full of love and elation.

As I float further along a stream of consciousness, almost on the pinnacle of euphoria, my eyes are suddenly open. I am abruptly awoken by a powerful and heavy tremor ascending towards me, a force that I have never felt nor heard before. I freeze, unable to move. Its ferocious and predatory footsteps echo through the solid surface beneath me, like ripples in water. Carolyne begins to shout, “Get back!” Instinct snaps me out of my petrification and simultaneously, Jack and I rise together without thought. Adrenaline immediately consumes me and we too begin to shout words of protection and authority. My heart is filled with the rawest emotion I have ever felt, the purest of fear. My body is overflowing with primitive power, I am no longer scared.

The path back down


He stops. He is now afraid of us.

The three of us retreat, still bellowing together like the true animals we are. Realising that our collective cries have prevailed and we are no longer in danger, we take this moment to run as fast as we can, as if our lives depend on every step we take.

We reach the bottom of the field and are grounded by the safe, concrete floor of Ždiar. Completely speechless and too stimulated to stand still, we carry on walking, each of us taking it in turns to look behind. He is no longer in sight and we are no longer consumed by fear…

The field in Zdiar, the morning after.


Three friends are walking together along a silent road. Late night dog walkers casually greet us, completely unaware of what has just happened. We sit on a curb, all of us lost for words. I look to Jack and then to Carolyne. We begin to laugh and process the past ten minutes, as well as the irony of it all.

As the last few drops of adrenaline leave my body, I am now back in the realm of thought with only one thing left to say…

“Periods really do attract bears, don’t they?”

Share:

Sunday, 21 January 2018

FIVE ESSENTIAL TIPS TO FEEL STYLISH WHILST TRAVELLING

Rocking the streets in Amsterdam, August 2017 - Picture taken by Jessie Curry
Many people think that travel and fashion cannot go hand in hand. Some say that you have to choose comfort over style whilst travelling, but why can't you do both? You can easily stay stylish whilst travelling and daub your Instagram feed with fierce photos if you follow these 5 simple tips.

Clothes - So you want to look like one of them girls in music videos whilst walking along the beach? Well, all you need is a flattering floral dress or playsuit and a cute pair of sunglasses. It may feel tempting to let the wind play with your hair but instead, why not opt for a messy bun or ponytail? You can kill two birds with one stone by looking chic and saving your hair from sun damage at the same time.
If you are packing for winter however, wear a trench coat with skinny jeans and pair with knee-length boots. If the weather is going to be warm, dig out your ankle boots or printed pumps. Pack light dresses and t-shirts that are wrinkle-free and will more importantly, dry quickly.

Accessories - Minimalism is the way to do it right my fellow travellers. If you think accessorising with tones of jewellery will help you to look more stylish whilst you travel then you are wrong. Ever heard of that saying, "Less is more." Do not carry all those fancy earrings you own. Instead, choose pieces of jewellery that can go with multiple outfits and won't weigh your backpack down. A simple pendant and a trendy watch or bracelet can do wonders. Leave those statement necklaces behind and save room for those unique pieces that you might find along the way!

Makeup Kit - Always remember the first two rules of choosing travel-friendly makeup; do not carry anything powdery or products that can be ruined after heat exposure. If you are using a vacation planner then you will know whether your destination is going to be warm or not. Instead, focus on having a classic red lipstick (that can be used as a blush as well), a brown eyebrow/eyeliner pencil, moisturiser, lip balm and a bit of concealer. These things are more than enough to make you look sassy. Forget the foundation and mascara and save room for your eye lash curlers instead.

Scarf - If jewellery is not your thing then a scarf is your go-to accessory. You do not need a designer scarf to make your outfit look fancy. Instead, chose abstract prints, vibrant colours and soft, flowing fabrics. You can even consider packing a few different scarves, as they do not take up much space and will also keep you warm if you are travelling to some place cold. You can brighten-up any basic outfit with a scarf, which can also double up as a sarong or beach towel.

Handbags - We all know that a clutch looks great when you are going 'out-out' but carrying a small, tan backpack or a fringe shoulder bag will make you look fashionable but feel chilled. Do not forget to choose a bag with many pockets and zips. Everything from your phone, sunglasses and water bottle to your journal, passport and cash should easily fit in to your bag. It will also reduce the chances of losing anything and of course, you already know how stylish it looks.

Finally, do not forget to do your research about the place you are visiting and check the weather forecast in advance. There is nothing more disappointing than packing your favourite dress and not being able to wear it because it's 0-degree's outside. From personal experiences of living out of a backpack or a van, my final tip to you guys is... Keep it simple and stay natural.

So go, pack your bags and rule the world (or at least the place you are visiting) with your own personal style.


*This is a sponsored post however, content has been amended by © Wandering In The Now.
Share:
© WANDERING IN THE NOW - Travel & Lifestyle Blog | All rights reserved.
Template crafted by pipdig. Developed by © Wandering In The Now