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Europe

    48 hours in Brasov, Transylvania

    The Transylvanian city of Brasov is usually just a day trip from Bucharest. People spend maybe an hour or so to wandering around the town square, and buy a drink before hopping back on their transport back to the capital city of Romania.

    Things to do in Brasov Romania Adventures of a London Kiwi

    But, thanks to an epic tip-off from the travel ninja Shikha at Why Waste Annual Leave and a few other Brasov devotees, instead of following the crowds, we booked a couple of leisurely nights there. At the end of our day trip, instead of returning to Bucharest and getting stuck in the Sunday evening traffic, we checked into our hotel and waved our guide off.

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    Peles Castle, Transylvania Romania

    Unsurprising confession time: I’m slightly obsessed with castles. Peleș Castle is a Neo-Renaissance castle in the Carpathian Mountains, near Sinaia, in Prahova County, Romania, on an existing medieval route linking Transylvania and Wallachia, built between 1873 and 1914.

    Peles Castle Romania Adventures of a London Kiwi

    I blame Hollywood, Walt Disney and a raging childhood addiction to turning pages that transported a young Kiwi girl from a humble New Zealand backyard to galloping around the world astride a noble steed, tresses streaming in the air.

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    Romania – A Place I Can’t Get Out Of My Head | Travel Linkup

    The draw of Dracula’s Castle and the historic coup over communist tyrant Nicolae Ceaușescu was enough to fire up our curiosity about visiting Romania, but I didn’t quite expect how hard it would be to get out of my head.

    Bucharest Romania Adventures of a London Kiwi

    Sometimes we travel to escape, and sometimes we travel to explore – our 4.5 day trip to Romania, staying in Bucharest and Brasov – was a combination of the two.

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    The Natural History Museum, London: A Walk Through Time

    I was never a very outdoorsy child. Interested in old history and buildings rather than dresses and makeup, I was too busy building modern Barbie houses and with my nose in a book, to play skipping games and race around the playground kissing boys (ok, a little of that did happen, usually in the art cupboard if I’m honest). This means it was no real surprise that when the lovely Keri (from Ladies That Travel) and I had our plans of brunch and wandering through Londonscuppered by a bout of dismal weather, we decided to pop over to the Natural History Museum near South Kensington instead.

    Things to do in London Visit the Natural History Museum Adventures of a London Kiwi

    Warning: Images contain animal skeletons & taxidermy.

    As a childhood favourite haunt of Keri’s and one that I grew to love in the first few years living in the UK, the Natural History Museum has a special place in both our hearts, and taking a wander – even on a busy weekend day – was a walk down memory lane.

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    A Day Trip To The Birmingham Christmas Market.

    We tried to visit last year but ran out of available December weekends and the Birmingham Christmas markets eluded our grasp. This year was a different story. Rounding us up like Rudolph gathering his sleigh of reindeer, but with Whatsapp rather than elf-dust, our esteemed organiser not only managed to secure a whole day that we all could do but book train tickets in as well. She cracked that tinsel covered whip…

    Day Trip to Birmingham Adventures of a London Kiwi

    So, bright and early on a Saturday morning we gathered, scrubbing the sleep from the corners of our eyes and brightly hugging – glad that instead of cracking our usual escape rooms, we were just shuffling onto the train – we boarded our sleigh (also known as a Class 165/0 Network Turbo train) nice and early.


    It began as all good stories do, with coffee. Straight off the train,  Camp Mother fired up the GoogleMaps and we hunted out purveyors of quality grounds and beautiful milk froth hearts.

    Day Trip to Birmingham Adventures of a London Kiwi

    Over the years, I’ve heard so many (often disparaging) things about Birmingham, but despite the damp grey skies, the buildings are beautiful and the locals are friendly.

    Day Trip to Birmingham Adventures of a London Kiwi

    Oh, and we are pretty sure that the entire population of the West Midlands were milling around the Birmingham Christmas market, chafing their hands on mugs of mulled wine and wrapping their laughing gear around a proliferation of hearty winter fair fare.

    Day Trip to Birmingham Adventures of a London Kiwi

    And it was typical December weather. But, we still had a lovely away from the thoughts of our London lives.

    Day Trip to Birmingham Adventures of a London Kiwi

    There were Santas as far as the eye could see, twinkling lights threaded through boughs of evergreen foliage, the merry cheeks of families all gathered around tables, the ring of Christmas carols through tinny speakers, stalls full of every kind of small gift you can think of and the enchanting aroma of mulled wine and hot doughnuts drifting through the air.

    Day Trip to Birmingham Adventures of a London Kiwi

    I went hotdog, just in case you were interested, and then had a ridiculous amount of food envy when we walked past a stand of blackened ham served on bloomer rolls, slathered in mustard. Rookie error right there – always complete a full circuit of the food stands before acceding to hunger.

    Appetites satiated, we then answered the siren call of freshly made Poffertjes – a traditional Dutch batter treat. Resembling small, fluffy pancakes, they are made with yeast and buckwheat flour AND ARE AMAZING. We first tried them in Amsterdam, but these Brummy ones were scrumptious.

    Day Trip to Birmingham Adventures of a London Kiwi

    It was just one of those afternoons, the ones where you drift to whichever corner takes your fancy, occasionally dodging flocks of fair-attendees.

    Birmingham, you have me curious.

    Day Trip to Birmingham Adventures of a London Kiwi

    Our day also ended with coffee, because we are addicts…

    Day Trip to Birmingham Adventures of a London Kiwi

    A bit like our visit to Manchester which was entirely based around one thing (in that case visiting their cat-cafe), we haven’t really explored Birmingham very much, but I’m rather intrigued to visit again and explore a little more thoroughly, and a little more slowly.

    What is your favourite UK city? Edinburgh, Dublin, CambridgeBath, Salisbury, Chester, Belfast, Glasgow, York, Winchester…?

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