Getting there: By bus Assen (NS station), but we got there by car
Scenery: Trail into the forest, dunes like desserts and a beautiful small town
After a lot of months without our hiking getaways (thanks to COVID-19), we finally did our first dutch adventure of the year. This time, we decided to visit the beautiful province of Friesland by doing a road trip. Our main intention was to visit Leeuwarden (Awarded cultural capital 2018), but also we wanted to do a hike in a National park of that province. Luckily, we found on google maps the Drents-Friese Wold National Park, that actually is a national park that is shared by two provinces, Friesland and Drenthe.
Appelscha looked like a nice option for starting our hike, especially because we found the perfect Airbnb in there, completely recommended! Amazing huge breakfast, it was so much that they even gave sandwich bags, so we could prepare our lunch with the leftovers, of course, we did it and we saved on lunch for two days! After breakfast, we started our hiking trip from a desolated Appelscha. This little town is lovely by its own, and since it is so close to the national park is very quiet.
Just after the first kilometer south, we immersed ourselves in the first forest. The trees were so tall and the trail was noiseless, perfect for some relaxing moment in the morning. We walked in here for around 1 km more before getting to the road.
Once we got to the road, there were many farms with amazing horses. One of them was a famous Friesian horse, these types of horses are originally from Friesland and they are impressive. Some of their characteristics are the black color and the size, they are huge!!! Also, they have a lot of presence and elegance.
Then, we immersed ourselves in the national park, where there is a huge dune area that looked like a desert. This was the hardest part of the trail because it was really hot. Anyways, it was a different experience in our dutch hikes.
After walking in the desert, we reached a lovely lake in Canada! Yes, Canada is the name of this lake just in the middle of our hike. In here, we had a lovely sandwich made from the leftovers of the breakfast. The lake was full of families enjoying the nice weather. So, it was a nice lunch watching all the locals swimming and relaxing.
Our last stop of the journey was to reach the visitor center of the national park. Here, there were many beautiful wood sculptures of animals. We rested for a couple of minutes here and started walking to our accommodation.
In total, we did around 24km around this amazing national park. We crossed from one province to the other one, and that is always nice to say 🙂 The hardest part was the dune one, well, and the end as well, since we were already very tired.
Once we got to our Airbnb, we enjoyed a quiet and nice evening in the room.
Last fall, we wanted to discover the famous baltic golden forest. Since in my home country we do not have the four seasons, the colors of fall have been something that always amazed me. In the Netherlands (where I currently live), you can see the trees of different colors, but the variety is small. When I read that in some Baltic countries you can see the amber forest ( all the tonalities of amber in a whole forest), I knew one day I would have to make a visit, and this day came sooner than I thought.
This was because my mom visited me this fall, and one of her dreams was to visit the land of her great grandfather, Poland. Specifically, she wanted to visit a small town called Puck, near Gdánsk. Since we were going there, she told me about another dream of her: Visiting the famous Virgin Mary made of gold, which was in a famous church just in the city center of Vilnius. Therefore, why not visit both places on our trip.
We started planning the trip and realized that moving from Gdánsk to Vilnius by public transport was kinda difficult. In addition, the plane tickets for Vilnius were also more expensive than flying to other places in Poland, like Warsaw. Hence, we had the great idea to make this one a road trip.
This one was the best idea to discover all the places that we wanted to see and many more we didn’t know existed. Different from other points of view, the roads are in very good shape, and the gas in Poland is way cheaper than in other European countries. The only downside was the distances between the cities, and since I drove all the way, it was a little bit exhausting. Nevertheless, it is completely possible to do this trip.
Keep reading to discover all our itineraries.
1rst Day: Warsaw
Since our flight was late in the afternoon, we could not discover too much around the city that day. Nevertheless, we went to the supermarket to get some food for our breakfasts and dinners. Something that my mom and I love to do, discover the local produce, and try some new stuff. After spending a long time in the supermarket, we relaxed in our lovely and complete Airbnb. This is the link if you want to stay here as well. It was really convenient because there was a parking space, kitchen and enough space for both of us.
2nd Day: Warsaw Down Town
We woke up early, had a lovely porridge for breakfast, grab our raincoats, and start moving to discover the Polish capital. This city is unique, it is very big and it has many types of scenarios. The old town was colorful, full of life and with the marvelous buildings. I think it is one of the cities that I have seen so many churches, and all of them were opened and always with people.
We grab a beautiful lunch and tried the local delicacies. If you want to check our meals, do not miss my upcoming post.
This day we walked a lot around the city and back to our accommodation. We had a lovely dinner and prepared ourselves for the first stage of our road trip on the following day.
3rd day: Warsaw to Vilnius
After spending a good time in Warsaw, we started our way to Vilnius. The trip is around 6-7 hours, but counting the stops for lunch and rest at the end was like 9 hours. It is almost one day of driving, but we do not regret this decision since there was so much to see on the way.
We grab lunch in a beautiful little city called Augustow. It is surrounded by lakes and forests. We liked to have a nice meal in a restaurant called Kaktusik.
Since it was a really long way, we had dinner near our hotel. Luckily, this one was just next to a shopping center, so there were many options where to choose from. We rested this day, so we could discover Vilnius the following day.
That night we talked with our hotel receptionists and discovered a place called Trakai, not too far from the city (35 min by car). In here, there is the famous Trakai houses and a marvelous castle on an island. Therefore, we decided to wake up early and try to get to Trakai before all the tourist buses arrive, so we would have enough time to check everything and go back to discover Vilnius downtown.
We stayed in a Best Western, just outside of the city center. It was perfect due to the good connections with the highway, the free parking spot, and the superb included breakfast.
Forth Day: Vilnus and Trakai
On this day, we woke up early so we could do everything that we planned the night before. First, we had an amazing breakfast at the hotel, where we tried local delicacies. Then, we jumped in the car and start our way to Trakai. It was very fast to get there, just around 40min. We parked the car near the castle (on the road) and started our tour inside the castle. The scenario was beautiful, all the trees with leaves of different colors made a very fall-y vibe.
The castle by itself is stunning, with an elegant atmosphere and interesting pieces of the royalty. You can find interesting facts about the Trakai tribe and all the history of their people. Also, the houses around the castle entrance are so cute, the colors really matched the fall leaves, so it was part of the charm. We had lunch in a restaurant near the castle, where we tried authentical Trakai cuisine.
On our way back to Vilnius, we wanted to get deep into the Lithuanian fall forests. That is why we entered an alternative road to keep our trip. To our surprise, we were able to watch these amazing autumn views. Sadly, the road was in bad shape, so we had to make a U-turn, but at least we saw a gasp of how is it in the forests.
Once we got back to our hotel to leave the car, we grab our raincoats and got the bus to downtown. First, we planned to visit the Chapel of Our Lady of the Gate of Dawn, since this was the main motivation of coming to Vilnius. I couldn’t take photos inside, but I can assure you it is breathtaking. After this, we started walking around the city and climb the mountain to reach the Gediminas’ Tower is the remaining part of the Upper Castle. From there, you can see a nice view of the old town.
We finished the day having an early dinner and resting our hotel. We needed to recharge energy for the next day, the way back to Poland.
Fifth Day: Vilnus to Gdánsk
This trip is a long one, around 7 hours, but if you stop is around 9 hours. If you want to make it, I would recommend splitting it in two days.
Overall, the road is in very good shape, and you have the chance to check out cute little towns. Also, there is a large part that is full of forests. So you can also appreciate the seasonal wonders on your way.
Something that we notice was the fact that everything in Poland is cheaper, so we saved putting gas or shopping until we got back to Poland.
We arrived at Gdánsk at 3:00 pm, just in time to rest for a while and decide what was going to be our dinner. Luckily, our Airbnb had a very good location, with a very tasty restaurant just downstairs. I think that was one of the most delicious dinners we had in our trip, just because we were so tired from road trips. This is the link to our accommodation.
Sixth day: Malbork and Gdánsk
We stayed 3 delicious nights at Gdánsk, perfect to relax and really enjoy our lasts days in Poland. Well, that was what I thought, but with my mom, you can never relax. So we planned our 2 whole days in Gdánsk full of activities and must-see sited.
First, we saw this popular castle called Malbork. It is one of the biggest brick castles in the whole world. It has big and elegant halls, stunning gardens, and the most delicious restaurant just in the middle of the castle. It took us around 2-3 hours to see it all. Everything is well connected and if you arrive early you can get the chance to have all for you as we did.
My mom suggested to have lunch in the restaurant and I hesitated a little, I thought that was going to be a tourist trap and bloody expensive. To our surprise, it was delicious, and I liked the idea of eating a gourmet version of what the people were eating in the same castle in another era. The price was ok, not cheap but not too expensive for polish prices, in the end, I think we paid around 40 euros in total for two main dishes and two beverages, but you are eating in a castle!!! If you want to know more about this food check my food post for this trip!
Once with our belly full and happy, we got back to discover Gdánsk. Our accommodation was closed to the city, so we left the car at the apartment and we started walking to check the old downtown.
Gdánsk is an amazing big city, full of life and charming landscapes. The main street is full of nice shops and the wharf has so many nice spots to take pictures and grab a coffee. We visited the amber street full of nice jewelry. We got some souvenirs for the family and of course some nice pair of earrings for us.
Seven day: Puck, Gdynia and Sopot
We reserved this day to pay a visit to our main reason for coming to Poland, the small town of Puck. We wanted to go there because my great great grandfather was from there, and my mom wanted to check it out. The trip was around 1 hour, and we saw many things on our ways back, like the Hel peninsula, the fancy town of Sopot and the cool city of Gdynia.
Last Day! Going back home from Gdánsk
We couldn’t say another thing on our last day in Poland. Mainly because our flight was early in the morning. Nevertheless, I really want to come back and discover more about this amazing country.
If you want to check more of my adventures and food experiences, make sure to follow my Instagram account @thefoodiehiker or my Facebook page.
Last February, we were so lucky to visit Latin America. Since we saw the Taco Chronicles, we wanted to visit and eat the amazing country of Mexico. As it was a culinary and cultural trip, we decided to do a 9-day road trip around Mexico city. Here is the itinerary, and if you want to check out our budget read until the end of the article.
Day 1: Querétaro
We arrived at the Mexico City international airport (Benito Juaréz) at 10:00 am and we went immediately to buy sims cards for our phones. They were cheap, just like 6 euros for each card and the internet was around 5GBytes, the shop is near the rent-a-car shops.
After this, we went to pick up our car at Hertz. One tip and the reason why we spent a little bit more of what we calculated for this was due to the insurances (almost the double of the initial price). In Europe, when you rent a car with Hertz as a Golden member, all the insurances are already on the tariff. When we arrived at Hertz, we discovered that the price we got did not have the super cover or other important insurances. Also, they suggested us to also take the insurance for car parts theft and vandalism. If you are wondering if this is necessary, well YES it is. Actually, someone robbed us of one of the side mirrors, and Hertz covered it without hesitation (apparently it is a very normal situation).
Once we got our car, we put our GPS and head the road to Quéretaro. We wanted to visit this city due to the scenery and magical towns. All the landscape on the highway was like a desert, and you can see all the cactus and the mountains. The highway is in very good conditions, actually, we didn’t see a bad highway in all our road trips.
We stop for lunch near San Juan del Río to get some Tacos de Barbacoa at Barbacoa de Santiago. Delicious!!!!! Check out my food journey in Mexico for more details 😁Finally, we arrived at our accommodation in Quéretaro around 3:00 pm. We stayed outside downtown at a hotel called Turotel. We chose this hotel because of the price, the parking, the pool and obviously the good reviews about the breakfast (and they were right!)
At night, we went to have dinner and discover downtown. Querétaro is a charming city, with old buildings and a lot of life. The Michoacanas tolls are famous around this area, and you can find many of them in all the shops. During the night, this city has a lot of nightlife and the buildings are beautifully illuminated.
Day 2: Magic Towns and vineyards
On the second day, we went to discover the magical towns and the vineyards around Querétaro. Our first stop was Tequisquiapan. A little magical town with colorful streets and a nice variety of tourist shops. This is where almost all the wine tours end. So, it is not weird that you can feel a touristy atmosphere. We were glad to visit the town in the morning because was almost only for us.
Our last stop was Cadereyta de Montes, and the main reason for this was that we already knew where we wanted to have lunch 😂. We went to a small familiar restaurant called La Casita. This restaurant was one of my favorites, I really felt all the food was made with love, great portions and the price was insanely cheap, compare to other restaurants on our trip. The town was also very nice, and it was quieter than Tequisquiapan, so the vibe was less touristy.
Our third stop was Freixenet, one of the most popular Vineyards in the region. The main house is stylish and you can find many kinds of wines in there, and some snacks to wash up de wine. It is a nice stop if you need to use the toilet, and to learn a little bit about the wine culture around Quéretaro.
Finally, we ended our wine and magical town tour in Bernal. Perfect for our afternoon snack. We grab some black gorditas and a michelada to spend a nice afternoon in the main square with an amazing view of the huge rock. This town is small but very beautiful. What a day! We finished the tour kinda early, so we had time to buy for dinner some cheese and chocolates to have it with our regional wine.
Day 3: Teotihuacan Pyramides
On the third day, we woke up early. We got an amazing breakfast and started our way to México City. We were going to visit the Teotihuacan Pyramide another day, but we thought that since we were already on our way to the city, we could stop by and check that from the to-do list. The trip was of approximately 3 hours (we stop for gas and some food).
We arrived around 2 pm and we had lunch in the parking spot. When we arrived at the main door, the policeman advised us to do the tour (in a store) first and then climb the pyramids, so we could understand everything better. I am glad we did it in that way because we appreciated the view and the meaning of the pyramides better. Also, it was a good strategy from a weather point of view, because when we were on the top of the pyramids the sun was not over us, so it was easier and less hot.
On our first day in Mexico City, we wanted to visit the Saint Patron of Mexico, La Virgen de Guadalupe. For that, we adventured ourselves into Mexican public transport. We used the MetroBus, which actually is only a bus. It was very busy and I recommend you speak a little bit of Spanish to figure out how the system works, but if you are lucky you will figure it out alone. It took us around 1 hour to get there, and definitely due to the number of people we knew we were in the right place. It was really nice, especially to see how faithful are the Mexicans. The neighborhood is not very nice, but you are only going to see the church and grab the bus back to the Zocálo (Mexico City center).
Once we arrived at the Zocálo, we were starving. What better place to try the famous Tacos al pastor than in Mexico. We got lunch in this taquería called Arandas, the tacos were amazing and so cheap. We had lunch for 6 euros for both of us!
We walked around all the downtown and when we were hungry again we went for some churros at Churrería El Moro (a must-do). Just around 5:00 pm, we grab again the Metro Bus to get back to our Airbnb. At this time, it was rush-hour, so it was crazy. Nevertheless, it was nice to see the city in different scenarios.
Day 5: Chapultepec Castle and park
On our second day in Mexico City, we visited the Castle of Chapultepec (National History Museum) and the park. We arrived there on foot, it was around 40 minutes and the perfect way to experience the nice neighborhood of Roma and La Condesa.
The Museum is beautiful, you get a nice view of the city and you can learn a lot about Mexican history. We loved the garden and the windows. In addition, a small walk through the market is a must-do when you are in the park. Here, you can see that it is not very touristy, actually many mexicans go to the park to spend the afternoon and have a walk during lunch break.
Just a few meters from the park, you can go to another neighborhood called Polanco. This place is fancier than other neighborhoods in the area, and you can feel it, especially because of the hotels and the restaurants.
After a good walk around the Zoo and the park, we went back to our accommodation and we cooked dinner there. We were so tired that was impossible to go to another place to eat.
Day 6: Tepotzlan
It was time to keep moving, so we woke up early, got into the car and oops! We realized somebody stole our side mirror during the night. Luckily, we bought the extra car insurance for this. So please, if you are renting a car in Mexico do not hesitate to grab this insurance at your Rent-a-car agency. Thanks to this, our departure was delayed. We got to Tepotzlan at 3:00 pm, had lunch and then we wanted to climb the mountain to get to the pyramid. Sadly, it was already too late. The last admission is from 4:30 pm. Well, you always have to let something left for the next time, right?
Anyways, we were so lucky to arrive in this magical town on the Carnaval weekend. The streets were closed and full of people drinking and dancing. Definitely, it was an experience to remember. We also had lunch in this lovely restaurant called Los Colorines, where we tried the Enchiladas with Poblano sauce and the Chile Nogal. Both were amazing. In addition, the route from Mexico to Tepotzlan is very scenic, and it is amazing how it changes suddenly into this cold weather and high mountains.
Day 7: Cholula
We stayed in Tepotzlán only one night, so we couldn’t go back to the pyramid on the following day. Nevertheless, we stayed in this charming hotel that was a bakery as well. I can only say this was one of the best breakfast we had on our trip. The bread was fresh and there was plenty of food. We grab some snacks for our road trip and we were not disappointed with our selection.
We departed around 10:00 am on our way to Cholula. If you love scenic routes and volcanos, you have to do this route. We saw the Popocatelpec volcano during our trip, and we were so lucky to see it with the smoke and everything.
Once we got to Cholula, we went for a walked around the Zocálo and grab a coffee in the famous square. Then, we went back to climb the Pyramide where the church is. From here you have an amazing view of the two Volcanos, Popocatépetl and Iztaccíhuatl. Lastly, we went inside the pyramid. There was the longest 800 meters trail, at this moment I realized I don’t like those kinds of trails…but the price at the end of the trail is worthy because you can see the pyramid from another point of view. So, go ahead!
After all this walking, we got a late lunch in this place called La Casa de Frida. It was a little bit expensive but completely delicious. I think it was one of my favorite restaurants on the trip. We got tortilla soup and a pozole. I completely recommend this place if you go to Cholula, it is almost next to the pyramid.
We did not stay in Cholula for the night, we stayed at Puebla instead. Since it was a long day, we arrived at our accommodation just before the sunset. We were so tired that we decided to have dinner at our Hotel and rest for our adventure the next day. We stayed in Puebla for two nights at the Four Points by Sheraton Puebla, the room was comfy, the pool was temperate and the breakfast was excellent, just what we needed for our last nights in México.
Day 8: Puebla city
Just before going to Puebla downtown, we went to the smallest volcano in the world, the Cuexcomate. It was very closed to our hotel and we were intrigued. It was nice but in 5 minutes you can see it all, so if it is going to take you a lot of time to get there it is better to skip it. In addition, the neighborhood where it is located is not very nice, so think twice.
After going to the volcano, we finally got to Puebla downtown. I was so excited about going here due to culinary fame and valuable history. Definitely, this city has everything I love, good food, beautiful and colorful buildings, near nature, and nice people. Just walking around the city is beautiful, so if you want to experience this place go for a walk and get lost in the stores and restaurants. My favorite places were the Parian market, La Capilla del Rosario, and La Calle de Los Sapos.
To end up our day, we had a late lunch at this place called El Ranchito, where we tried all sorts of Puebla food.
Day 9: Leaving
Finally, our road trip around Mexico city was finished. We drove from Puebla directly to the Mexico international airport, it was around a 2-hour drive. Since we arrived early for our flight, we went to the movies. There is a movie theater very near the Airport called Cinépolis Plaza Aeropuerto, and you can have a cheap lunch in there as well.
In conclusion, we felt in love with Mexico. Especially the food, the people and the scenery. If you have the chance, get a car and do a road trip. I think this is the best decision if you want to discover more.
As a promise you here is our budget for this trip here:
Accommodation: 420 euros
Food: 230 euros
Transport (Car, gas, tolls, and parking): 700 euros
Souvenirs and extras: 324 euros
Total: 1674 euros
Please let me know if you need more info about this trip!
Around September from last year, I wanted to surprise Glenn for his birthday in January. Which better place to celebrate his 32nd-year-old than the happiest place in Europe. I checked the discount and I got a half-board free dining plan and a 25% discount on my stay. I was so excited because when we got married we wanted our honeymoon in Disneyworld with the dining plan, but we couldn’t do it. So this was going to be like our birthday/honeymoon celebration. At the end of the page, you can check how much we spend on this trip.
But well, for me one of the most important things is the food. So I read a lot about the best restaurants in Disney, and in which I can use the Disney dining plan. After reading a lot the menus, we decided to book two months (yes, 2 months earlier!)earlier in the following restaurant. Also, you can check some of our snacks outside the dining plan.
Disney plus dining package
How it works? Well, there are 3 different types of dining packages: Basic, plus, and premium. Since we stayed in a moderate price hotel (Sequoia Lodge) we got the plus package. We decided to upgrade the package to full board, so we could go to more restaurants. The discount only included free half-board (breakfast and a meal in a restaurant per night), but with the full-board, one more meal per day was included. We thought that we package didn’t include drinks, but it does. Per person, you can have a soft drink (soda or juice) or a coffee/tea. This last one was very useful for me because normally I eat with water and having tea after the heavy meals were amazing (yes, you can ask for tap water for free).
TIP: Only upgrade if you will stay enough time in Disney, in our case we arrived on a Friday morning and leave on Sunday Night. For us, the meals portions in the package were huge, so it was a good idea to disperse our 6 meals between the 3 days. Our schedule was the following;
2:00 pm- Lunch at Captain Jack’s
9:00 pm- Late Dinner at Buffalo Bill’s Wild West Show
10:00 am- Late breakfast at the hotel, this is one is from 7:00 am to 11:00 am (after Magic hours)
7:00 pm- Early dinner at Bistrot Chez Rémy
9:30 am- Late breakfast at the hotel (we woke up late 🙂
6:00 pm- Early dinner at Cape Cod
On the second and the third day we had some snacks between meals. These were not included in the meal plan, but were worthy 🙂
Captain Jack’s – Restaurant des Pirates
Our first meal in Disneyland Park was this romantic and delicious restaurant. The cuisine is tropical/Caribbean, and we were curious about this. Since we are from the tropic and our culture has a lot of Caribbean influence, we wanted to know how good Disney was doing proper research on the international cuisines. We were not disappointed!
With the dining package, you can only ask for the selection available for this selected plan. If you want something else from the premium package, you have to pay extra. We got the chicken salad and the fish soup as an entreé. They were huge, actually, they were almost like a main dish. On the side, they brought us a warm coconut bread that was nice (for me nothing special, it tasted like bread with artificial coconut flavor). The salad was delicious, it has like a Thai papaya salad flavor, and it was fresh and crunchy. Glenn’s fish soup was also very good, it tasted like tomato soup with tuna, it doesn’t sound good. But actually, the combination of species and textures was very authentic.
As a main dish, I chose the baked Mahi Mahi with coconut rice, and Glenn had the Caribean chicken with rice as well. My fish was baked in a tomato sauce (similar to the fish soup from the entreé) and some extra vegetables. It was really good and the rice was amazing. Glenn’s chicken was big and very tasty as well.
Our desserts were fantastic, but one more than the other one. I had the sugar cookie topped with roasted pineapple and cream. Glenn had the seasonal dessert of Christmas, it was a Minnie cookie shape, topped with berries mousse and raspberries coulis. The best was this last one, the pineapple one was good but I expected something more sophisticated and less sweet.
Buffalo Bill’s Wild West Show
At night, we went to the Buffalo Bill’s Wild West Dinner Show. You can go without paying extra with the plus dining package at the 9:30 pm show. Since we don’t have kids, this was perfect for us. We saw many kids sleeping in the middle of the show, so if you are going with kids at this show make sure they sleep before going, so they can enjoy the whole show.
The food was a typical American BBQ. Once you get to your site, there are some tortilla chips on the table. Then, the staff starts giving you the beverage and a piece of cornbread. This last one tasted like vanilla cake with some corn flavor, was good but no phenomenal. TIP: The beverages are unlimited, especially the beer 🙌🏽
As the second dish, we got a delicious Chili con Carne. As an expert on this field, I can say it was full of flavor and the portion is big enough. Well, at this point we were already kinda full, especially because we ate a lot of chips at the beginning (do not make this mistake, the best was going to come).
The main dish was a full BBQ with glorious pork Ribs, a chicken leg, a spicy sausage, and some roasted potatoes. The best were the ribs 🤤so much flavor and they were warm. The chicken was really good as well. It was a huge meal, and it didn’t end there.
The dessert was a warm apple cobbler with vanilla ice cream on top. It was really sweet for my taste, but I still ate it all 😂. They also brought us coffee or tea and a small chocolate coin for later. This was a good experience and the show was entertaining. I don’t think we will do it again, but we didn’t regret trying it at least once. I think is a must-do in Disneyland Paris.
Breakfast at the Hotel
We were pleasantly surprised about the breakfast at our hotel. The restaurants were you can get it are Hunter’s Grill and Beaver Creek Tavern, located on the ground floor. Both of them have nice decoration and they are very big, so there is not a problem to get a space.
Because before getting we read reviews about it and people said it was very basic. Not at all! The breakfast included many types of bread, scrambled and boiled eggs (but really in France you have to the get the scrambled, with all that butter). All kinds of cheese, seasonal fruits, and deli meats. Lastly, the best for us was the Croissants and the pancake, both fresh and delicious. The coffee was ok but the best, at least good to start the day. TIP: I combine half espresso with half hot chocolate… amazing mochaccino.
Between meals, we had snacks and some of them were seasonal. Like this Gingercake and the Christmas donut. Both of them were around 3 euros per two portions. They were nice, especially the ginger cake, but the donut was basic, just like Dunkin Donuts. Also, we had to try the Croque Monsieur from Market House Deli, after reading a lot of reviews about it. And yes, it was delicious and huge.
Bistrot Chez Rémy
The second day we had dinner at the restaurant from Ratatouille attraction. The topic is french cuisine but with American portions, so for us was perfect! The ambiance is unique, you really feel like the restaurants for the rats of the movie.
As an entreé, I got the salad with a poached egg and Chantal cheese. Glenn got the seasonal soup, pumpkin soup. Both were delicious, and the ingredients tasted very fresh.
As a main, both of us got the fish with Ratatouille and mash potatoes. I think this was the best dish I had on this trip. The sauce was bloody amazing, and everything on the plate was like a celestial marriage. The portion was perfect, not too big or too small. The ratatouille was on the same plate (different from other plates).
Finally, our dessert was the tiramisu and the chocolate mousse. For me, both were very sweet, and I would prefer a typical tiramisu, but in general, it was good since they were already made in a freezer. The chocolate mousse was ok, I prefer the ones that the chocolate flavor is more intense, but I guess they have to make one in the middle for every taste. Next time I would like to try the Gusteau’s Dessert, because yes I hope we will have the next time in this restaurant 😍.
On the last day, we want to go to this café, since it was number one in Tripadvisor from the Disney restaurant. The scenery and the decoration are amazing, in fact you are paying for it. We got the seasonal hot chocolates and a Croque monsieur to share (yes, the one in the picture is a Croque monsieur…). We were kinda disappointed with the food. The hot chocolates were normal, just the decoration was nice, but we realize you can get the same hot chocolate (with the decoration) for half the price in one of the stalls outside. The Croque Monsieur was a joke for me, it was like one of those simple sandwiches you make for kids. The whole price of this meal was 33 euros. Buring the fantastic Croque Monsieur at Market House Deli was only 7,5 euros (double the size, and the real thing). You can find those chocolates for 5 euros each. To sum out, this improved meal outside can cost you half-price. Basically, you pay the other half for the place.
Our last meal was a buffet before getting back home. We chose Cape Cod because we wanted to visit this hotel, and the reviews were really good. People were right about this one, one of the best buffets I have tried in Europe. Everything was fresh and delicious. We loved the soup, the salmon and of course the desserts. This was the perfect ending for our Disney foodie trip.
I have to give you my thoughts about our Hotel. The Sequoia Lodge had good reviews, and a price is a perfect option if you on a romantic trip. We stayed in the main building, in the east wing. Our room was a little bit far from the reception or the restaurant, but this was ideal for us since it was quieter. The only bad thing about the position was to walk until the reception to get back from the room, but it was not a big deal.
The view from the room was great, it was the lake. From here you can see the Disney globe and the Sequoia trees just outside the hotel. The room was big and the bed was comfy. The decoration was about Bambi and we found small shampoos and conditioners with Mickey design in the bathroom. The room didn’t have a kettle or tea facilities (we didn’t stay in the Golder Forest rooms).
The hotel is very cozy in general, for the winter is perfect. In addition, having a wine or a hot chocolate in front of the biggest fireplace in Europe is a must, this one is located in the Redwood Bar and Lounge. In general, this is an amazing hotel, and the location is less than 15min to the parks.
Accommodation (free half-board dining package, upgraded full-board, 2 nights, magic express, and park tickets for 3 days): 1035 euros
Food (outside the Dining Package): 66,5 euros
Transport (Train from NL to France in Thalys): 198 euros
Total: 1299,34 euros
Next trip wishes
Definitely, we want to go back and experience all the things we couldn’t on this last trip.
Places to eat (Buffet): Restaurant Agrabah Café, Inventions, Hunter’s Grill and Beaver Creek Tavern.
Places to eat (Table service): Silver Spur Steakhouse, Manhattan Restaurant, Walt’s, The Steakhouse, Auberge de Cendrillon, and Annette’s diner.
Places to eat (Counter Service): Earl of Sandwich, Fuente del Oro, Hakuna Matata, and Au Chalet de la Marionnette.
Places to stay: We would love to stay in the new Marvel Hotel (it was under construction), Newport Bay’s Club, Hotel Disneyland, and Cheyenne.
Many things to do in the happiest place in Europe. Please let me know if you need more info or if you recommend something for our next visit.
Last June, we finished our 2 weeks Norwegian trip. One part of this journey was a road trip from Trondheim to Bergen, making some strategic stop in places we want to do some hikes or we want to see some attractions. Some here is all the info, including our accommodation, meals, and budget.
We rented the car at Trondheim Airport. From there took us around 5 hours to get to Eide, where we were going to spend the night. As the main objective of this stop was to pass through the Atlantic Ocean Road, we first put on our GPS a supermarket in Kristiansund. So, after there, we had to get the popular road to get to our destination. This route has a ferry that cost around 15 euros for the car and an extra passenger.
Eide to Stranda, vía Trollstingen
After having a local breakfast at our Airbnb (Some barley porridge), we headed the road to Trollstingen. We were super lucky that the road was already open (it’s closed until the beginning of summer). The road by itself is beautiful and somehow magical. We reached the parking spot on the top, and from there we did some short hikes (Around 1 hour, since there was still some snow on the top). We had lunch here, and then we continue our journey to Stranda. where we spend two nights.
Stranda was a strategic stop for two reasons: the amazing Airbnb that was like staying with friends, plus the proximity to Geirangerfjord and other hiking trails. The next day, we drive until Hellesylt, where we took the tourist ferry to Geiranger. It is cheaper to get on the ferry without the car, it was around 93 euros return ticket. I think it is expensive but completely worthy since you can see the waterfall and learn some story behind the fjord. The ride is about 1 hour each way, so as we did it early, we had the whole afternoon to do a hike around Stranda.
Our Airbnb host recommended a hike near her place. Just a few minutes away by car we reached Livarden starting point. This hike is around 10km up and the view is outstanding, from here you can see have a spectacular view of the connection between Geirangerfjord and Tafjord, resulting in a big river that ended up in the ocean.
Stranda to Vikøyri, Lovatnet Lake stop
The following day, we started our long drive to Vikøyri. It was around five hours of driving since we want to get to know Lovatnet lake. We had a lovely lunch in front of the lake. This road has many types of breathtaking sceneries, as the view of the fjord from the mountain.
We decided to sleep at Vikøyri due to the convenient location, nothing more. But for our surprise, there is an old Stave Church called Hopperstad stavkyrkje. The structure is amazing and the whole ambiance made me feel I was in a mystical place. We arrived late, so we couldn’t get inside, so I will have to return to check it out.
Vikøyri to Segelgjerd, Viking village stop
Our next stop was Segelgjerd, a town near Trolltunga. To get there the trip is around 2 hours, but it took us more than because we want to visit the Viking village at Gudvangen. The entrance ticket is around 20 euros each adult and includes a small tour with some explanations on the Viking life. It was nice to see that the people working there actually live there, only for the 3 or months that the village is open. Apparently, there is a nice summer Festival in July, so visit around those days to have the full Viking experience.
The rest of the road was agreeable, with some nice views and tiny towns. Once we got to Segelgjerd, we were impressed by the landscape. Apart from Trolltunga, the surrounders are beautiful and you can have a nice view from the fjord along the highway. We were going to stay here because we bolled a two-day tour to climb Trolltunga the next morning.
Our Trolltunga experience was completely different from what we thought was going to be. Especially because we didn’t have the best weather, it was snowing at the end of May, so our equipped wasn’t the appropriate one but we survive! Luckily, besides the snow and some clouds, we achieve to saw the troll tongue (Trolltunga).
We booked a tour with Trolltunga adventures, it included the accommodation on tents on the top, all the meals, and local hiking snacks. I think it was worthy, so if you want the whole Norwegian hiking experience you should check them out!
Segelgjerd to Øystese
Since our two-days Trolltunga experience finished around 2 pm, we chose a near town where to spend that night closed to Hardangerfjord. This town was Øystese, near the ferry stop and the intersection for Bergen.
The view from this little town is amazing and our Airbnb was cozy and convenient. We just relaxed after all the walking and prepare for the following day drive.
Øystese to Bergen, via scenic route 49 & 48
This scenic route was recommended by our Airbnb hosts. It took us one hour more to reach Bergen but it was worthy. Although it was raining that day, we appreciated the numerous waterfalls, tunnels, and islands. We left the car at Bergen so that concludes our road trip.
Norway is an enormous country that we could see only a small part of it. Definitely, it has so many things to see and it is a great place to do any kind of outdoors activities.
This small road trip gave us a taste of the most popular attractions on the road, so if you want to replicate this trip let me know and tag us on Instagram.
Last June, we did a Journey of 10 nights and 11 days around the Island and this is how we did it:
We arrived at Dublin Airport and we rented a car in Hertz. Something important is that the price showed in the web page didn’t include taxes or Insurance. We got the full coverage insurance because many people told us about the tiny roads in Ireland. So, at the beginning the price for 10 days was going to be around 260 euros, plus everything else end up being 700 euros (more than the double). Also, they gave us the choice of returning the car full or empty, their gas price is lower than outside, so we decided to return it empty.
The first stop was Rock of Cashel. It is an amazing old church and everything I expected from Irish scenario. Nearby, there is an old abandoned castle, it is very nice and not so touristy, you can see it from the Rock of Castle.
Then we arrived at Cork, where we stayed at a Hostel called Kinlay House. Is a very basic accommodation, breakfast is poor, only toast and jellies. But it was nice to make sandwiches for the day.
We had dinner at the Fish Wife. If you want real Fish and Chips eat there! They are huge and the flavour is unique. The place is small so ask it for take away and sit in front of the river or in a bar.
We went for a little walk around the town and we end up at Blackrock castle. This one is a museum for kids, it was smaller than we thought. We walk back from there to the city, so we were starving, so our next stop was Franciscan Well, an old brewery with a nice selection of beers and pizzas. A most go if you visit Cork. They have live music and a nice atmosphere.
After breakfast, we went back to the road, our next stop was Kinsale. A beautiful and colorful little fisherman town. We had coffee and scones in a very cozy café called Jo’s Café. The raspberry scone was divine and fresh. It looked like a favorite between the locals.
After Kinsale we went to Killarney National Park. It was enough time to do the long trail and getting back to the Killarney downtown where our Hostel was. The Black Sheep Hostel was amazing, I highly recommended. The rooms were clean and the beds were private, the breakfast had a nice selection of different toppings for the toasts, cereals and fruits.
Dingle Peninsula Day. It is completely worthy and is kind of a short trip in the morning, after lunch we walked around the town. We had dinner in a place called Quinlan’s, it is famous for the fish and chips. They are very yummy, a little bit more restaurant style than the ones in Cork. The portions are big but is expensive, around 15 euros the plate. Later, we finished up in a pub with live Irish music. We tried, as always, the good local beers (Murphy’s and Killarney).
Finally, we did the Ring of Kerry, it is stunning and if you go early the tourist buses are not a problem. From here, we went directly to Cliffs of Moher. The place was crowded but since is very big you cannot realized it, giving you a lot of opportunities for photos without people.
Then we did Burren National Park on our way to Galway. It is worthy, we thought that we were in another planet.
We arrived at Galway in the evening, so we checked in the Hostel (Snoozles Hostel) and went to bed. This one was a new Hostel, it was comfy but a felt I was in a student residence.
We walked around the city and we went to the Claddagh Cottage, where they offered us a cup of tea and a scone. There was a very nice guy, who told us a little bit of the history of the Claddagh ring, cottage and Galway.
After our journey around every possible place in Galway, we had an early dinner in a place called The Pie Maker. It is a very small and cozy place where you can find delicious pies! My favourite was the Chicken and Mushrooms with Irish Whisky Sauce. Glenn had a Beef and Dark beer pie, and they recommend us to have one that was practically an Irish Breakfast in a pie. Since we already had enough Irish Breakfast on our trip and so more to go, we decided to skip it. The ambiance around Galway at night is amazing, it is very artistic and if you meet the Galway Street Club, you will enjoy of a great show for free.
Time to go to Sligo, but before that, we tooked the long way to meet the National Park of Connemara and Kylemore Abbey. Definitely, they are worth to visit, the scenarios in the Connemara park are speechless and the Kylemore Abbey looked nice but it was under refurnishing, so we could not enter. Probably we will visit next time.
After the long drive, we got to Sligo, where there is a fairy tale mountain and a completely different scenario of Ireland. It is a little bit more rural but the people is still friendly and a little bit less stress. There, we stayed at one Bed & Breakfast called Benbulben Farmhouse. I have to be honest with you, I chose this place because the Homemade Scones they make every morning and thank God, I did it. The place is amazing! I want to live there; the owner is super cute and helpful and her cooking skills are spectacular.
We had lunch at a place called Henry’s Bar and Restaurant. Our host recommended this place to us. The food is very Irish, if that could be an adjective, big amount and cheap. It was full of locals so if you want the real thing go there. It was also very closed to the B&B. As lunch was big, we ate some popcorn for dinner that our Host made for us.
We had the most amazing breakfast and leave early to visit Donegal and London Derry. Two completely different towns. We saw the Donegal castle and the controversial paintings in London Derry.
As our objective was to stay the closer be could of Giant Causeway, our accommodation was in a little town called Portrush, only 10 minutes by car. The got and an amazing Airbnb in front of the sea. Our dinner was TESCO pizza, not the fanciest think but still delicious.
We woke up early and took the road to try to see Giant Causeway without people. We didn´t achieved it but still is amazing. And make sure you look for the legend before you go. It makes it more magical.
On our way to Belfast, we passed through the Dark Hedges and the Carrick-a-Rede Rope Bridge, the first one is practically free, so there is a lot of tourists taking pictures. The Rope Bridge was also crowded but some friends told us that it wasn’t worthy to pay for passing the bridge, that the queue is long and in the other island there is not a lot of things to seem so we skip it.
When we arrive to Belfast, it was raining but that didn’t stop us to walk around the city and check the amazing paintings in the Cathedral Quarter and check the amazing architecture of St. Anne’s Cathedral and the City Hall.
We stayed at a nice hotel called Tara Lodge. The place was fancy, but that is our way to go, the last night of the trip must be a good place with nice breakfast. It is very close to the Belfast University, so we wait until the next day to visit it.
Our first stop was breakfast. It was delicious and they suggested us to try the porridge, Glenn doesn’t like it but I gave it a tried, especially if was a peculiar flavour as the Whisky one. It was amazing, but I would put more Whisky…
The visit to the University was nice and short, it is a spectacular campus and you can see how proud they are about the famous students.
Then, we started the last part of our journey. The last stop before Dublin was Brú na Bóinne, Tombs from the Neolithic period completely well conserved. Our intention was to enter Newgrange but the next tour was late and we had to return the car around 5:00pm, so we went to Knowth. We don’t regret this decision, Knowth is the biggest of the three tombs and you can walk to the top and have a nice view of the landscape. Also, you can enter in one part and see how is in the inside.
Well, we went back to Dublin airport to return the car and took a bus for staying the last night in Dublin. We spent only one night in Dublin because we had already been there, for as a recommendation stay in Dublin at least 3 nights to get to know it better. We stayed at my accommodation for the semester so no more hotels.
Obviously, in Dublin we went to a pub with live music called The Porterhouse. They have craft beer and a nice atmosphere. We had dinner in a place called Bunsen, they specialize in US style burgers, having only 3 types no cheese, with cheese and double. The burgers are really tasty, but what you have to try in there is the Chocolate Milkshake, is super chocolately.
Finally, the last morning we spent in Ireland we decided to go for souvenirs after we had breakfast in Brother Hubbard, because you must say goodbye from their pulled pork. Also, we got a snack to get to the airport at Augier Danger Donuts, a delicious red velvet and black forest donuts.
Well, that was everything. It was a long journey 1900 (we start with 90 km, it was a new car :)= but I think we covered almost everything we want to see.
If you plan to visit I recommend going at the end of May, when the weather is a little better and there are not many people, so the prices of everything are cheaper.