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2017 Euro Trip Bucketlist

In May this year, Insha Allah, I'll be flying out again for a whole month to Europe. 
I scored a very affordable return ticket to Paris and from Paris earlier this year and the more I starred at my laptop screen back then and thought, "Life is nothing but endless of choices and opportunities." and without further hesitation, voila, the ticket was confirmed and sent into my mail inbox.
I have to admit though, I had that kind of fear and insecurities flooding all over me for a few days - I was scared that I might made a stupid decision about going to Europe for a whole month when I actually will have to go for my 18-months clinical rotation this year.

But, what can I do? I'm breathing the unfamiliarity of places.

From the beginning of 2017, right after I bought the ticket, I've been super overwhelmed about choosing the right destinations for my first Eurotrip. Well, this is not actually my first ever euro trip, since I went to Paris two years ago - but I technically lived in Paris back then, for two weeks. I didn't go anywhere else and now I have to make another though decision about where should I visit.

I know that one month isn't much of time and I really dislike playing tourist hahah. I feel like I need to stay in one city at very least for three days to get to really know about that city, the people, the culture - something like that. But, this time, I feel like I want to get as many as I could! 
But, also at the same time, I don't want to rush anything. I'm a big fan of slow travel. Like, well, I spent 11 days full in London even in my third time. I could fly out to Manchester or Liverpool, but I didn't. 

There are a few friends of mine that I will visit there. Yvette and Kim in Stockholm, Mariana in Paris and Dilara in Vienna. I'm actually still not sure if I will really go to Stockholm because the ticket is kinda pricey. But, it's torturing me how much I want to see Superkilen in Copenhagen; the subway art in Stockholm, Belle's village in Colmar (Eguishem), Lego houses in Bruges, Fairy tales vibe in Cesky Krumlov and Hallstatt; the most colorful island in the world that is located in Burano, Venice; and for Zurich... I feel like I only want to go there because I can brag about 'I've been to Swiss yeah everything is expensive' haha.

1. Paris, France
Of course I have to go here again since it will be my base. But, I don't mind anyway. I've been missing the city far too long and I can't wait to wander around Montmartre, Latin Quarter and Marais with Mariana!

2. Colmar & Eguishem, France
I forget where I read the article saying that Belle's village in Beauty & the Beast was inspired by this beautiful little village in South-east France - but last friday when I watched Belle, I became 99% sure that the timbered house in the middle of the street above - is actually Belle's house!

3. Bruges, Belgium
I heard a lot of great things about ditching the capital of Belgium and just go straight to Bruges, one of the most charming fairytale town in Europe. Because I'm that girl who always love taking the life off-beaten path, I most probably will go straight here instead of Brussels. Like, really, look at those adorable lego houses.

4. Amsterdam, Netherlands
Because I want to eat frites. And wander around the Bloemenmarkt.

5. Giethoorn, Netherlands
There is no street in this little town. So, everyone will go everywhere by boat along the canal.

6. Copenhagen
I'm that weird girl who wants to go to Copenhagen just to see Superkilen, a very eccentric public park located a bit far away from the city centre. Well, I want to take a photograph of Nhyvan too. And pretending to be Effie in Copenhagen movie and wishing William will be out of nowhere to cycle around the city with me.

7. Stockholm, Sweden
No more reason to visit Stockholm beside 1) I want to meet Yvette & Kim, my two long-lost sisters when I spent my youth in England, 2) I want to explore Stockholm's subway art.

8. Bremen, Germany
Berlin isn't really on my top list, instead this city just stole my heart.

9. Munich, Germany
Also this city. I saw a lot of grand detail in Munich's legendary castles on Pinterest and I really want to see them in real life. I also want to explore Munich's subway art.

10. Prague, Czech Republic
Described as the most beautiful and charming town in Central Europe, I decided to stay in the city for five days. I've been really curious what's in the city since everytime I blogwalked, there are only great things I read about this city.
Ultimate bucket list: climb to the top of the highest building so that I can witness the whole city's charm.

11. Cesky Krumlov, Czech Republic
I love anything adorable and fairytale-like vibe. Isn't that enough to explain?

12. Vienna, Austria
I love classical music ever since I was only 12. Living in Vienna and watching orchestra every once in few months have been a dream of mine for so long.

13. Salzburg & Halsstatt, Austria
Well, of course this one too.

14. Innsbruck, Austria
I once saw this picture on Tumblr and fell in love instantly ever since. I'm not sure I can make it on this trip, but look at those colorful buildings with Austrian alps as the background?

15. Venice, Italy
Oh, this one as well. I'm still 100% unsure if I have to go here, but every other blog I stumbled into, when they talked about Venice, they described how magical the city was. Though its over-touristy, there are always things surprising and hidden at every corner in the island. I'm sure wandering the hidden streets of Venice, finding gems, will be one of the highlight of this trip.

16. Zurich, Switzerland
So that I can brag to people, "sure, I've been to Swiss."

(PS: all the pictures are credited to Pinterest.)

Now I have to think hard about which places I should really visit. I'm planning about visiting only 6--7 countries, so then I'll be able to stay at each places for 4-5 days. Ugh, I don't want to rush but I also don't want to miss out anything!!!!

Can anyone help me, please? Should I give up Scandinavian and just focus on the essential ones as the first timer?

10 Alternative Things To Do in London

You're in London, but done Big Ben, Trafalgar Square, Oxford Street and Portobello Market but still want some more?

Here's a few more ideas of Alternative Things To Do in London as I actually made this bucket list for myself.
You're welcome.

1. The Shard
Should I try The Shard? Will it be worth it?
Well, that was actually the question I've been asking myself before I finally decided to give it a go. 
There were a few reasons why we were feeling a bit skeptical, one of them is because obviously the price is a bit pricey. But, one thing you have to remember if you're a student visiting England (or EU): use your privilege as a student. 
Finally we decided to pick our schedule on our last day at 10 AM (which actually a wrong choice because all of our pictures turned out over-exposured). But, well, we paid with 5GBP off with our ISIC which was actually a good thing.

I strongly recommend anyone who wants to visit, pick time wisely. Better if you can enter during golden hour while you can enjoy the view of the city both when its still bright and also with that gorgeous night view.

And if you feel like to splurge...

Try out Authentic British fine dining at Aqua Shard 

Oh hi, Tower Bridge. 

2. Afternoon Tea at The Sketch
We all know that British is all about tea, tea and tea. There are a lot of fancy places, like The Ritz, Shangri La and more where you can unleash your inner British (again), but I personally like The Sketch in Conduit Street, Soho. 

During my last visit to London, I lived up my long-time fantasy about having an authentic aftertoon tea experience in this eccentric tea room. I was too excited that we arrived there 30 minutes earlier. We decided to stroll around Soho first, but the sun was shining too bright that day and we ended up waiting under the roof next to sketch.

I wrote a review about my experience in sketch, but if I can summarise in a sentence: if you fancy anything pink, cute and eccentric - a visit to London wouldn't complete if you don't visit sketch and sip a cup of earl jasmine tea. And, oh, don't forget about the bathroom. 
Related: Afternoon tea in sketch London

3. Primrose Hill
London has various range of public parks you can choose to spend your slow days in the city. While it's no a secret that every British loves sunshine, if you're actually not a British yet you are an angliophile and you're that life of "I'm a traveler, not a tourist - so I wouldn't mind soaking into the warm sunshine eventhough I'm allergic to sunshine in my homecountry because this is how the Brits do" so you have to make your way to Primrose Hill.

Located close to the infamous Camden Market, this park is probably still the best park out of all. Because, it's still less tourist, if you ask me. Like, have you seen Hyde Park and Green Park in summer? Gosh, they're packed.
And also, the London skyline view from here still lives up my expectation. 

4. Roam around Primrose Hill Houses
Tired of the tourists who keep blocking your way in Notting Hill? Well, there is Primrose Hill! 
I know we are all tourists here, but well!!! This is the alternative when you want to see and take pictures of pastel houses which are so picture-perfect.

4. Saatchi Gallery
There are wayyyyy too many museums you can find in London. Like, seriously. The museums are endless and even living there for 18 weeks doesn't mean that I have successfully visited every one of them. To name a few, my favorites are still Natural History Museum (because, duh!), Tate Modern (because The Thames view from the cafe upstairs) and British Museum (the friggin' interior!), but I do really think Saatchi Gallery will soon to be on my list.

Closest Tube Station: Sloane Square

5. London Rooftop Film Club
I've been seeing this everywhere!
Like, well, everyone watches movie, right? But not everyone watching movies at the rooftops, overlooking the beautiful view of London city skyscrappers while.... sitting on the beach chairs.... So hipster. They also have various amazing movies to choose.

Please note that this rooftop film club is only available during summer time (May to September).

6. Try Fun PhotoBooth in Urban Outfitters or Camden Locks
Alone, or with any companion, make sure to go to UO (in Oxford Street, Camden or Marylebone) and find the retro photo booth inside the stores and do a fun photo session there! 

7. Shoreditch
The hippest neighbourhood of London where you can find so many fun street arts and hipster cafes. Never been to Cereal Killer Cafe yet? Well, me too!
Actually, I've been there once and I admit that there are just TOO many things to see! Start your adventure to unleash your inner hipster soul from Bricklane and enjoy all the fun rural arts along the way. 
Don't forget to try Cereal Killer! (Said me, to myself.)
And also other fun cafes!

8. London Mews Hunting
Ever since I created @herwandertales and followed so many London Instagrammers, I noticed that photographing London houses is really a thing. Well, no wonder though when there are gorgeous pastel houses all around the city like in Notting Hill, Chelsea, Kensington, Primrose but what about London Mews?!?!?
Related: Guide to Instagram's Famous London's Secret Mews

9. Bookstores Hopping
Like I once said before, almost everyone in London loves reading and you can always find people reading there. Inside the tube, at the parks, in the corner of a quiet coffee shop, everywhere. 

While in Seoul you absolutely can find any Korean Beauty Stores everywhere even in Metro Station deep under the ground; but here in London it's Bookstore! Well Waterstones and Foyles are everywhere, but if you're fancy of pretty bookstores, there are a lot independent bookstores all over the city!

My personal favorite is still Daunt Bookstore though.

10. ... More Big Ben
"I'm so sick of Big Ben," said no one ever (??????).

Here I'm 99,9% sure that London Instragammer can't help not to snap a picture if Big Ben is standing proud in front of their eyes.
That guy over there is so pretty just from any perspective.

Credit pictures: various sources.

Guide to Instagram Famous London's Secret Mews

It's no secret that London has endless thing to offer. There are always some new things to do and it will never stop. I've spent almost half of the 2012 in the city, but still I didn't manage to conquer every single thing! It happened as well to Mary, my Airbnb host last summer said that even she's been living in the Big Smoke for 15 years, she said "There is always something new to do!"

Back in 2012 when I was still studying in London, Instagram wasn't as popular as now and I still had no idea what does Mews really mean. Even photographing London's beautiful doors wasn't really a thing back then. Thanks for Instagram and its incredible community, that phone app has been always inspired me to not be lazy and push the creativity out of brain. 

And also thanks to the beautiful accounts on Instagram such as @prettycitylondon and @prettylittlelondon who curated a lot of beautiful hidden and secret places of London from the city's talented photographers and instagrammers, so then when I got to be back again in the city, I knew where to go!

Here's a few beautiful and not-so-secret mews I managed to visit. I wish I can discover more!

1. St. Luke's Mews
This is one of the most famous among Instagrammers. Located in the area of Notting Hill, this pretty mews isn't difficult to be found since you can make a visit here after strolling around Portobello Market.

I was so excited when I finally found this pretty little gems, I jumped here and there because those houses are just SO pretty. I was glad I came with my best friend that he perfectly understand my weakness on anything pink, cute and adorable. He even waited for me taking of endless pictures of the houses. 

My favorite! Oh my God look at that adorable bike.

Every door, house and its bike are so instagrammable I just can't. No wonder this became a thing. If I live in London, I will make sure to walk past these houses every single time I leave the house.

St Lukes Mews, London W11 1DF
Nearest tube: Notting Hill / Westbourne Park / Ladbrooke Groove

2. Holland Park Mews
I loved this row of houses a lot eventhough it's a bit difficult to reach this hidden mews. I got off at the wrong bus stop which made me walk two more miles alone, but when I finally reached this place, I was so surprised that all the houses look the same!

All the houses look like this! (with a lot of variety of flowers on the stairs)

Kensington, London W11 3SU
Nearest tube: Holland Park
3. Blenheim Crescent

We accidentally ran to this beautiful facade after walking around Portobello Market and my curiosity couldn't help it not to look around! I'm glad I decided to turn there that I discovered this artsy wall!

Nearest tube: Ladbrooke Groove

4. Hyde Park Garden Mews
I went alone here at my last full day in London just before I met my friend at Harrods in the afternoon. Silly me, because I thought it would be close from Oxford Street (I forgot how MASSIVE Hyde Park is!) so I just walked and walked and walked and when I opened my GPS to check out if I'm close enough, I realized I had to take a bus.

It was empty when I walked trough this gate and I thought I was lucky so then I could photograph the houses with its beautiful door without being afraid of called creepy, but then I took photos of this majestic house with also its majestic door...

Someone walked behind me and said, "Is that for Instagram, yeah?" and when I turned around, he was all smiling and I couldn't do anything beside let out an awkward laugh. 

Nearest tube: Marble Arch

5. Warren Mews

Oh! This is also one of the most Instagram-worthy facade! I've seen it being posted all over London accounts and all I thought that I Had. To. Find. This. Mews.
Like, gosh, look at those two cute bikes being parked there. #InstagramGoals

Fritzovia, London
Nearest tube: Warren Street

There are actually a lot of other adorable mews in the city, such as Queens Gate Mews, Stanhope Mews, Kynance Mews or Colville Mews. I regretted it a lot that I couldn't make it to visit all of them, so I have to make sure when I go back to London, I have to see the rest. Or, when I finally move to London for good (amen to that, please) I'll earn a fortune so that I'll be able to buy one of those pretty houses. Yeah I know, a big dream is still better than no dream, right? ;)

11 days in London, while most of people from my country would prefer to also visit other cities like Liverpool or Manchester, I spent the whole 11 days in the city (well, one full day in Harry Potter studio actually!). I spent most of the times taking pictures of pretty things because in London, every turn you make, it's like begging you to be photographed! Especially in Notting Hill. 

Yes, you can pin it for later!

Afternoon tea in sketch London

I forgot when and where did I find this gem, was it on Instagram or was it on Tumblr or when I was blogwalking from here to there; I just fell in love instantly!!!! Like!!! Oh my God. If you don't think that Sketch is not the prettiest, cutest and quirkiest tea room in the world, you're mental. Really. (FYI, this was actually my first time trying authentic afternoon tea, sooo...)

So, when I had the chance to go back to London again last summer, I didn't think twice, "I really had to go this time."
BUT, the problem was, because I thought that I would be going with my guy friend, I was 100% sure that he would strongly reject to come with me. Why? Well, so many reasons. First, because it's literally all pink. Second, everything is too cute. Even all the utensils are SO cute. And I don't think he would like it. Third, it's all pink, again. Fourth, it's all pink.
So at the first time, I was a little bit scared to ask him, because I hate being rejected. 
Aaand I tried to look for another tea rooms in London, which I thought would be more 'okay' for my friend, but I totally failed choosing one. Because, duh, how can I choose?!?!?! There are so many beautiful tea rooms!!!! Fortnum and Mason, BBB Bakery, The Ritz, and oh SO many! Also, my heart was all taken already by Sketch.

But, it was like magic.
One evening, about two weeks before my departure, I sent him a picture of sketch and told him that IT'S THE CUTEST TEA ROOM IN LONDON LETS GO THERE, and guess what he easily said yes. Well, he laughed at it first, but he literally, easily, said yes. I was beyond surprised THANK YOU. Sometimes I wake up at night and just get into a very deep thought in all of sudden, thinking what did I do in my previous life so then right now everyone in my life always said yes to whatever I ask. My parents, my best friends. I'm both lucky and blessed, I think.

SOOOO, we really went there!!!! We booked our slot at 12:30 on Friday, we even arrived early and had to spend another 30 minutes walking around Soho to kill time, but it was one of the happiest day in my life.
I'm pretty sure it was all because I was inside the prettiest tea room I've been dreaming about for like a year and I was finally there, and the sandwiches were great, the desert was delicious, everything were just perfect and oh my God the tea was super great too I LOVED IT. I loved everything.
So, yeah, I was so happy. One of my happiest day. It was like being in Disneyland for a whole day. Yes, I was as happy as that. You could ask my friend honestly, I kept telling him that nobody could make me angry that day because I was just too happy.

a very happy me

But really, if you're in London and have a lot of time exploring the city, please try to experience a very authentic British afternoon tea there. Well, I think the most authentic one is the one in The Ritz actually, but well why not go for the quirkiest one for the start?!?! 
Eventhough there was one or two articles I've read from the internet, saying that sketch had a very bad service, because they're super slow while serving the food and the tea, I strongly disagree because I had only have to wait for like five minutes after ordering our tea and all the food came five more minutes afterwards.

sketch (https://sketch.london/)
9 Conduit St, London W1S 2XG

Paris Bucket List

I've heard once about one saying that if you haven't been to Paris yet, though you have been to Amsterdam or Berlin or any other city - that means you have never been to Europe at all. Quite funny, but I think it's true somewhat. Well, afterall, this is the city of light. I'm an Angliophile and I've been to England for three times (considering the fact that I live in South East Asia and the ticket always costs a fortune), but I can say that strolling through Seine river is far more giving you that feels compared to strolling through the Thames river. But, Paris is not only about Seine, obviously. Or Eiffel Tower. In fact, it's waaay more than that.

1. Well, to start it: Check out the cliche, obviously. Name it Eiffel Tower, Notre-Dame or Arc du Triomphe.
Oh come on, because you can't not.

2. When the weather is warm, have an authentic Parisian's picnic along The Seine.
Grab the baguette, cheese, strawberries, cookies and a few bottles of juice from the grocery and enjoy the evening overlooking the gorgeous sunset view of Notre-Dame. Yes please.

3. Make a visit to Musée D'orsay.
Arrive early and start backwards to see the gigantic clock you always see on Instagram. The clock is near the gift shop at the 5th floor.

4. Stroll around Le Marais and Latin Quarter.
Two of the most classy and beautiful areas in Paris that is always giving you that Parisian feels.

5. Take a walk along The Seine.

And pretend that you're in Adele's Someone Like You music video. Okay, let's be honest here, Seine is way more beautiful than Thames.

6. Book that room with a view via Airbnb.

You don't have to spend a fortune to live like a local in Paris. Want a room with a balcony overlooking the typical Haussmanian buildings? Airbnb, that is.

7. Visit Palace Garnier and be amazed with its ceiling detail.
You. Have. To. The Opera ceiling is so beautiful I can't.

8. Eat macaroon from Laduree (duh) and Pierre-Herme.

And don't forget to snap a picture of them with a Parisian's background and post it on Instagram.

9. View Parisian's skyline from atop of Notre Dame and/or Montparnasse Tower.

Last time I went there, I climbed to the top of Eiffel Tower and was totally amazed by the gorgeous view of the city. But there was one thing missing, which was the Tower itself. So, lesson learned, if you want to see Eiffel Tower included into your landscape photo taken, you don't go up to the top of Eiffel Tower.

10. Or, you can also head over to Galleries Lafayette.
Go straight to the 7th floor rooftop garden and enjoy one of the most gorgeous view of the city of light.

11. Take a photo of Paris bouquinistes. 
They're only in Paris anyway. And for bookworms like me, they look so beautiful.

12. Lounging at Palais-Royal.
I still remember how beautiful it is even when it was winter. I sat by the bench near the fountain, but could only stay for 20 minutes since it was freezing. Also, don't forget to grab a cup of coffee from Cafe Kitsune nearby.

13. Climb the stairs of Sacre-Ceour.
My most favorite part of Paris. The view from the top of Montmartre is so beautiful I just can't. When the weather is warm, have a picnic lunch and do people watching. 

14. Stroll around the streets of Montmarte.
There are a lot of gems hidden in between those touristy trinket shops, keep your map inside your pocket and all you need to do is to look around. Beautiful row of houses, adorable store fronts, and also, you can check out the Square of Artists; where you can have your painting done by the local artist.

15. Walk through the Champs-Elysees.
No particular reason, just because you have to. 

16. Make a visit to Notre-Dame.
Get inside and be mesmerized by the beautiful detail of its ceiling.

17. Visit Le Bon Marche.
The oldest shopping mall in the world and don't forget to take a picture of the symmetric elevator. Do it for the gram. Yeah.

18. Especially for the bibliophiles, spare an hour (or four) to travel in time at Shakespeare and Company Bookstore.
And pretend that you're now living at the era where Ernest Hemingway is still alive. Also, don't forget to buy a book (or four) from them and get your book(s) stamped by the authentic Shakespeare & Co's stamp.

19. Have a sip of hot chocolate from Angelina.
Of course.

20. Have a croissant for breakfast.

21. Attach a padlock to Pont des Arts.
Because, what's the point of life without being a little bit cliché and cheesy?

22. Ride a carousel.
You know, that famous one between Trocadero and Eiffel Tower? That is.

24. Go to Paris' flea markets.
They literally have a lot of them. Check out here.

25. Day trip to Versailles Palace.
I didn't manage to visit last time because I read it somewhere that the best time to visit Versailles is during warmer temperature. 

26. Wander through Parisian beautiful shopping passages.
Such as Galleries Vivienne, Passage of Panorama, or you can check it out here. Such a gem. 

27. People-watch from any typical Parisian's cafe.
Take that chair at the outside of the cafe and watch the world pass.

28. There are many museums beside Louvre, make a visit to any of them.
Well, you can visit Louvre too. Time to witness how small is it the Monalisa painting. But, to name a few, there are Centre Pompidou, Palais du Tokyo, National Museum of Natural History, or Musée de la vie Romantique.

29. Bike along the Seine.
I always want to try that out.

30. Stroll around Pére Lachaise Cemetery or Montmartre Cemetery.
I've never thought that I would enjoy walking through a cemetery, but one thing I learned that the cemetery in other countries aren't as scary as in my own country. Instead, they look, mystically, cool.

31. Make a visit to Merci.
One of my favorite concept store in the world after Å-Land. My happy place. Probably will be yours too.

32. Take a picture of yourself inside a retro photobox inside Palais du Tokyo.
For your travel keepsakes?

33. Picnic under Eiffel Tower.
I haven't got to do this since it was freezing last time. I always want to do this too. 

34. Day trip to Paris Disneyland.
Well, I have one goal in life that I must visit all of Disneyland branches all over the world. I know it's kinda weird, but isn't Disneyland is (one of) the happiest place on earth? FYI, Disneyland Paris is stated to have the cheapest entrance fee between the rest of the franchises.

35. See Eiffel Tower from Trocadero at sunrise.
Thank me later. It will be worth it.

36. Buy a crepe from the street vendor.
And walk along the Seine.

37. Make a visit to Parisian's public park or jardin.
Jardin du Tuilleries, Jardin du Luxemburg, Jardin du Palais Royal, Jardin des Plantes... My personal favorite is actually Jardin du Palais.

38. Stroll around Canal St. Martin.
It's 4km long and it somehow reminds me a lot of Little Venice in London!

39. Visit Rue Cremieux.
The Instagram Favorite. And this one reminds me a lot of Notting Hill. The houses are so adorable though! 

40. Put away your phone and live the moment as you watch the world pass while picnic-ing at The Seine.
Yes, you're at the most beautiful city in the world. Yes, you want to show it off to your friends back home that you're finally made it. But, you can do it later when you're back at the hotel/apartment. For godsake, it's such a gorgeous view right infront of eyes. 

Yes, you can pin it on Pinterest!