Cracow Trip - Wawel castle

Cracow Trip

In times when travel opportunities are risky and limited, I appreciate each memory from my past travels even more. I love to explore new places, I find it enriching, even when it’s just a short, one day trip somewhere not too far from home. One of my fairly recent trips was one to Cracow, about a year ago now. I went there hoping to document it on the blog and took dozens of photos, but then life got busy and I never actually got round to posting the trip. Until now, that is.

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Cleaned seashells in water, gloves and a toothbrush

How To Clean Seashells

I’ve recently spent 2 weeks in Croatia on a miraculous family holiday. Miraculous, because we booked it in November last year and after the pandemic started for good, I  doubted it would go ahead. Luckily, I was able to see my family for the first time after 6 months and spent a fortnight in a small Croatian village, away from the crowds, which was certainly safer than living a normal life in London.

One of my favourite things to do on the beach is collecting seashells. I’d get bored to death if I was to just sunbathe for hours and I don’t particularly enjoy swimming in the sea, but walking on the shore or in the shallow water, looking for seashells and live sea creatures can keep me busy for days. Yet again I came back home with heavy bags of seashells, and I immediately proceeded to clean them.

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A big fountain in Regent's Park, London

London Parks – Regent’s Park and Primrose Hill

Continuing with the London Parks series, after Ruskin Park, West Ham Park and St James’s Park, I’m taking you to Regent’s Park and the nearby Primrose Hill. Located in central-north London, it’s one of the eight Royal Parks in London. It’s named after Prince Regent, who later become king George IV. It’s home to diverse flora and fauna, as well as the London Zoo.

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Holding a green parrot in St James's Park, London

London Parks – St James’s Park

One of my favourite things about London are the parks. Those in the suburbs tend to be more wild, whilst those in the centre – perfect and tidy, with flower beds, pavements and fences. One of my favourite parks in central London is St James’s Park. Located just opposite the Buckingham Palace, it truly looks like a royal park – beautiful, organised and tidy. Full of colourful flowers and amazing wildlife.

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London parks - West Ham Park - orange flowers

London Parks – West Ham Park

One of my favourite things about London are the parks. When you look at Google Maps, they may seem like small patches of grass, compared to the size of the city. In reality though, London is so big that what looks like a small green dot on the map can in fact be a pretty big park. I’ve been to many of them and I definitely plan to continue exploring London parks, so I thought I’d share those adventures here. Today I’m taking you to a not so popular West Ham Park.

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Red squirrel on a bench looking straight in the camera

The Squirrels of Ruskin Park

Lockdown has definitely made me look for entertainment primarily in my local area and it helped me realise yet again that happiness can come from small, simple things. One of the parks I visited most often at the beginning of the quarantine was Ruskin Park. A small park in southern London, not much different from your regular city park. A big, grassy open space for picnics, a cute little pond, trees, flowers and sport facilities. But the natural inhabitants of the park are one of a kind.

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Dragon plants and pink flowers in Columbia Road

Columbia Road Flower Market

One of the reasons why I love London is that despite being a huge city, it has a small town vibe as soon as you leave the tourist and business oriented central zone. My commute to the City (the part of central London with all the glass skyscrapers) takes only 10 minutes, and where I live feels much like a small town area. Short, brick buildings, local shops, green parks and interesting markets. One of such markets is the Columbia Road Flower Market.

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Kew Gardens - tall palm trees

Kew Gardens in the Rain

One of my very last trips before coronavirus lockdown was a visit at Kew Gardens, on the 5th of March. There’s a similar place near my home town, and expecting tropical, indoor gardens, I decided to visit Kew Gardens on a gloomy, winter day. Something I was not aware of is that Kew Gardens, as opposed to the similar place in Gliwice, consist of multiple buildings and outdoor spaces. Ouch. Yep, I got completely soaked. Totally worth it! However, I do need to repeat this trip in summer, perhaps after lockdown.

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Very tall, luscious palm trees indoors in Gliwice

Indoor Gardens – Palm House – Palmiarnia, Gliwice, Poland

Even though it’s summer and most days are warm to even hot, I never have enough of high, almost tropical temperatures. The forecast for Wednesday last week was relatively poor (only around 20°C, with possible showers?!), so because summer decided not to come to me that day, I thought I’d go and chase it myself. In the city where I used to study (just a 25-minute train ride from my town), there are indoor tropical gardens – or, as we call it, a palm house (palm trees don’t normally grow here in this climate). I believe it’s a similar place to more popular Kew Gardens in London, though I’m yet to visit those, so I can only guess.

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Exotic animal expo - crested gecko baby on a hand

Exotic Animal Expo – Weekend In The City

This is probably one of my favourite posts to publish on this blog, ever. I briefly mentioned an event I went to last Sunday in yesterday’s post. Here’s what I did that day! If you live in a city and often get bored on days off, this can hopefully give you some ideas – you may be able to find animal expos in your town too! These events often get no advertising, so you might have to make a conscious decision to learn about them. But when you do, there’s plenty to choose from! Even in my not-so-big city there are cat, dog, reptile expos every few weeks. An amazing way to spend a few hours on a weekend day!

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