Monday, 25 January 2016

CHRISTMAS MARKET BREAK IN BERLIN

Extreeeeeemely delayed blog post! I ideally wanted to get this up as soon as I got back from Berlin in case I had inspired anybody to book a last minute festive mini-break but hey h0, at least you will be ready for Christmas 2017!

I have always wanted to go to a German market in actual Germany, so last October my friend Emily and I decided to book a couple of nights in Berlin. We got a really good deal- around £200 for 3 nights and 4 days in the capital, including flights from Manchester. I have never stayed in a hostel before, but Emily convinced me that it's the best way to meet people and get tips on the best way to eat/drink/explore the city, so we booked into the Generator. It had the best reviews on Trip Advisor (who doesn't check this religiously when booking a break?!) and was in a really good central location.


We decided to treat ourselves and booked into the executive lounge before our flight. We were spoilt for choice with unlimited delicious breakfast-y food and drinks...I'll give you one guess what we took advantage of...


...30 minutes later


When we arrived at the Generator (which is AMAZING by the way!) our first port of call was the bar, obviously. I would recommend this hostel to anybody visiting Berlin- the staff are really friendly and helpful (and fit!), the rooms are clean and there is a bar downstairs which is great for meeting people- like we did with these Scottish boys. After about 25 thousand G&T's we went to a club called Le Chalet. It's a really cool old building and each room has a different DJ playing techno/house music. SUCH A GOOD NIGHT.


The next day we were feeling about as fresh as a mouldy apple but we dragged ourselves out of bed and in search of a walking tour of the city. Emily found one that started at the Brandenburg Gate- one of Berlin's landmarks. The tour guide was amazing- so knowledgeable and really engaging! He was pretty hot too, which helped my eyes to refrain from slowly sealing up as a result of my hangover.


Brandenberg Gate


Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe. (the holocaust memorial)


THE HOTEL THAT MICHAEL JACKSON DANGLED HIS BABY OUT THE WINDOW!!! (Obviously a major highlight of the tour)

We also visited Hitler's bunker where he committed suicide, Checkpoint Charlie, the remains of the Berlin wall, and loads of other interesting places across the city. The tour lasted about 3 hours and it's free, you just pay the guide however much you like at the end. I'm 99% sure this was the tour we went on > http://originalberlintours.com/ (we kind of just tagged along to one and got lucky!)


Because we enjoyed the original walking tour so much, we booked the Sachsenhausen tour for the following day. I have always had a massive interest in history so it was great to walk round the camp. Really harrowing and sad, but really eye-opening. 



We couldn't come to Germany and not try some tradition German food!  As much as I love a sausage, Currywurst wasn't really appealing to me, so we went to a little German restaurant called 'Mutterhoppen'. I ordered the venison which came with cranberries, about 50,000 brussel sprouts with bacon and two HUGE dumplings. I've never had a dumpling before, but I can honestly say I will never be eating one again. It tasted like a brillo pad. The whole meal was absolutely rank to be fair, and there was WAY too much on the plate! I had a slither of venison, about 5 sprouts and then threw the towel in. I don't even know why I even ordered venison to be fair, I think it's really cruel :|

Papped outside Museum Island!
On our last night we went to a club called Kit Kat which is actually a sex club! PLEASE GO if you visit Berlin, it is an 'experience' to say the least! The club features a full size indoor pool, beds everywhere, stripper poles and unisex toilets- I'll let you imagine what goes on in there! Germans are veeeeery open minded so there are no rules- apart from if you are wearing too many clothes at the door you have to take them off...

Of course I've saved the best till last.....THE CHRISTMAS MARKETS!!!! Because everything is so spread out it took us ages to find them, but it was soooo worth it! With over 250 stalls, the markets at Charlottenberg are one of the biggest. The atmosphere is so cute and Christmassy, and it was so nice to just wander round the stalls and browse the homemade treats and toys.



Staple diet- frankfurters and gluhwein's. We made friends with one of the girls on the bar so she made ours EXTRA strong, which was ideal really cos they are so small and not cheap!


CHEERSSSSSS!


Has anyone else visited Berlin? What was your highlight?

Tuesday, 19 January 2016

2015: THE ROUND UP

I genuinely can't believe it's 2016 already! After my birthday in May I feel like the rest of the year was a myth because I have just been SO busy. 2015 has been a pretty pivotal point of my life so far, so this is quite a personal post but I like to think the high's have outweighed the low's I thought I would share it with you.

I won;t go through all the boring, cliché stuff like my birthday, Christmas etc. So I'll start with the lowest points (lol) Cos then at least it's uphill from there!



I quit my job at Topshop. I had been working there just over a year since I finished my degree. Although the job itself was absolutely AWFUL and I was constantly watching the seconds go by, desperate for home time, I met some of the greatest people EVER. Namely, these two little babes (^) You know when you just feel like you've known somebody your whole life? That. We have had so many fun nights out and trips away (Narrrrrrbeth), and apart from Chloe's rendition of Cher, I can not pick ONE fault with these two. And so many other special ladies that I won't name but you know who you are!


*Deep breath* My boyfriend and I split up. It's always gonna be excrutiatingly hard to deal with a break-up, especially when it's your first ever boyfriend, and to be honest it's something I'm still trying to get through. And it's hard. We were together for almost three years (official for almost 2, but that's only because he took almost A WHOLE YEAR to ask me out ffs) which is a pretty big chunk of my early adult life! But as well as being my boyfriend he was my best friend and we lived together, which is pretty major especially for a 22 year old. So yeah. </3
Subsequently I moved out, and back in with my parents. HUUUUUUUUGE shock to the system after living away for 5 years! I couldn't leave the house without the Spanish Inquisition from my Mum or Dad  "Where are you going?" "What time are you gonna be home?" "Who's going, anyone I know?" :| But then I realised the perks- I am reunited with the notorious HOMEGYALS! The best group of friends I could ever imagine! I no longer have to miss out on every birthday/night out/dinner/sleepover/party due to being halfway across the country in Sheffield. Then of course I now have absolutely ZERO outgoings- no bills to pay, no council tax, no food shop...nothing. The heating is always on, I get my clothes washed and ironed, my Mum makes my lunches for work, dinner is always ready when I get home. I can't believe I ever left home in the first place! 


I also finally got myself on the career ladder in a job which I absolutely love, and I work with hilarious, motivating and fun people too which is a huge perk!


I got my dream car. I have wanted a cream Mini since I passed my driving test when I was 17 (it sounds quick, but I had about 4 lessons a week and failed 3 times beforehand). As I work in Lancaster, it was much easier to persuade my parents to get me a car, and it wasn't long till my Mum and I were browsing Mini's and I was driving this little beauty home. Not gonna lie- I already want to upgrade to a white BMW 1 Series :| (Sorry Mum if you're reading this!)


My best friend went travelling....So of course I booked a flight out to visit her in Thailand as soon as my Christmas break came around! I flew out the Bangkok on Christmas Eve and we spent the next 3 weeks travelling SE Asia and island hopping! It was my first time flying solo so I was a brave bunny and got there safe and sound. I also went snorkelling which was huge for me because I HATE the sea. I won't say too much about this yet though because I will be writing a full post on my Thailand adventure soon!


So yeah. A pretty big year for Claudia Wright. But despite the Great Depression, (the break-up) I feel like I've found my feet it's all uphill from here, and I can't WAIT to see what 2016 brings!

#NewYearNewMe......YEAH I SAID IT