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Thai trip: Bangkok

Street food in Chinatown, Bangkok

Good evening dear readers,

Today I’d like to start with the first chapter of a series of blogposts about the trip to Thailand and Cambodia that my boyfriend and I took in January. We traveled 18 days in total, so I won’t do only one blogpost about this journey, as I’ve got a lot of stories and photos to show you.

On our first day (night I should say, as we arrived in the evening) we checked-in in our hotel in Chinatown, had a well-needed shower (we traveled from Milan to Bangkok with a 2-hour stop in Dubai) and then hit the street to have dinner. We were extremely hungry and I had found a nice street food “restaurant” on the Lonely Planet bookguide, my dear companion during my travels, so we went there. We had Thai beer and noodles: it was absolutely delicious. The atmosphere, the food, the traffic, the suffocating heat, the noise, people from all over the world… Keep in mind that we left freezing Lake Como, in the middle of winter, so it was surreal to be able to wear hot pants and a top, really.

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I think that the day you first land in a new country for a journey is one of the best, because you have all the experience ahead of you, the curiosity, the expectations… When we left our hotel room to stroll around Chinatown I had that feeling that I love about travels. It’s so exciting that it gives me addiction.

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After our dinner we had a little walk (during which we had seen two massive rats. As in Chinatown the streets are full of food stalls there is so much food waste on the pavement and obviously rats are very common) but we were so tired that we soon got back to the hotel to go to bed. By the way, after seeing the huge rats on our first night, I never walked calmly again for the following 17 days.

The following day we had a very long walk around Chinatown and Little India, which we hadn’t seen in the daylight. I must say we weren’t very impressed, so we took a taxi to go to the Royal Palace. That area of the city is extremely different from Chinatown: cleaner, less crowded, less noisy but also very touristy. For lunch we went to a vegetarian restaurant that was recommended on the Lonely Planet but unfortunately we didn’t eat well, but I’m always happy to spend my money in a vegetarian restaurant, because of the ethics that they spread and that I share.

The view from the rooftop in the morning
The swimming pool of our hotel (we never used it!)

On our last day in Bangkok we went to the more modern and luxurious Sukhumvit with the subway (the best subway in the world I’ve ever been in: sparkling clean, precise, cheap). We had lunch in a very nice place that I had found on the Lonely Planet guide (this time they were right!) and my boyfriend went to the hairdresser to get his hair cut. Then we took the subway back to Chinatown to get our luggage and then go to the station, where our night train for Chiang Mai would leave.

We only spent two and a half days in Bangkok and to be honest with you I personally wouldn’t go back. It didn’t impress me and it’s not my kind of city, so if I’ll ever go back to Thailand I think I would skip it (maybe I would go on a river market first though, I’m ashamed of not having been to one). Maybe we stayed too shortly, obviously you can’t visit a huge city in 2.5 days, perhaps we didn’t find the right spots of Bangkok and you could give me some great advice, who knows?! My boyfriend and I were just very happy of having booked the night train to Chiang Mai because we knew that up there the setting was very different.

What did I like about Bangkok?

  1. The sunrise that I saw from the rooftop of our hotel. I just couldn’t sleep because of the jet lag so I took the elevator and went up to the last floor, alone, as my boyfriend was sleeping. I loved that little moment for myself, on the empty rooftop, seeing this immense metropolis slowly waking up and the red sun between the skyscrapers. It was really emotional (maybe because of the lack of sleep…ha!)
  2. The Sky Bar of Lebua Tower (the one that you can see in the movie “The Hangover Part II”). It’s ridiculously expensive but that night was what I loved the most of our two days in Bangkok. You’ve got a breathtaking view of the city, it’s one of the highest rooftops in the world and there still was this suffocating but marvellous heat. There was a woman singing live, with this great voice, and the orchestra, and going up the 67 floors with the luxurious elevator and the hostesses with their chic, elegant uniforms… What a beautiful memory. If you’ll ever go there keep in mind that they accept only smartly dressed people, remember this when you pack your luggage! Unfortunately we didn’t see the sunset because we spent 1.30 hour in our taxi (the traffic in Bangkok is crazy), so if you want to get there in time to see the sunset just leave very early from your hotel.

That’s it guys, I’ll go on with the rest of our journey in the next blogposts.

Next chapter: the Chiang Mai night train. What an adventure!

Have a lovely night,

xx

Camy

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Easter in Arran (Brodick Castle & Goat Fell)

The highest point we reached, going towards Goat Fell

Hello dear readers! I hope you have spent great Easter holidays. We had a blast: Saturday I went to see the Kilmarnock VS Aberdeen football match with my boyfriend, my German friend from university and my Scottish relatives and we had a lot of fun! When you have good company everything is better. The following day we went to the Isle of Arran and yesterday we had a pic nic on the beach because we had sunshine and 21 degrees here. I’d like to share with you some photos that I took on Sunday. I broke a record, I think: I walked 19.8 km, almost 20 km. Our first visit in Arran was Brodick castle: we only visited the gardens, we didn’t go inside. The park was beautiful, it has a breathtaking seaview and was full of beautiful flowers. I will split the photos into two blogposts, because I really took tons!

Brodick castle’s “Walled garden”

We didn’t reach the very top of Goat Fell because of me! 😦 I was so tired. We hadn’t planned to reach the Goat Fell top, we actually wanted to see some Highland cows, so we started the trail and then ended up walking almost 20 km! We just couldn’t stop because we wanted to see what was the view behind that hill and then behind that hill and so on.

A little break: we cooled off by putting our feet into the river
How to feel free and grateful for our earth and the fresh water ❤

We stopped 15 minutes before reaching the top and we went of the side of the mountain to look at the seaview. It was such a relaxing and peaceful place, I would love to go back there with a tent someday. I just hope the wind wouldn’t blow me into the sea!

After our walk we finally saw some Highland cows, by chance, really. We found them on our way to the brewery (we stopped there because there was a bus stop nearby and we deserved a fresh beer).

At first we stayed in because we hadn’t seen the beautiful garden, then we moved outside.
The brewery, I had a delicious IPA (usually I don’t like beer)

In the end we decided not to take the bus because it was quite early, so we enjoyed walking on the beach, but we ended up being quite in a hurry because it was longer than we thought and we saw the ferry approaching. We even had to cross a little river, that we hadn’t seen, because otherwise we would have lost the ferry. Thank God it was shallow. But my boyfriend still got the lower part of his trousers soaked!

We couldn’t believe that we were up there! (The highest point is Goat Fell)

We took the last ferry from Arran to Ardrossan just in time! On the ferry we stayed out on the deck to look at the beautiful view but after 15 minutes we went back inside at the bar to have a tea because it was cold and windy (the waitress gave us some cakes for free, it was the last journey of the day and otherwise they’d have to throw them away!).

If you’d like to go to the Isle of Arran you may want to know that there is a convenient direct train going straight from Glasgow Central Station to Ardrossan Harbour, taking you right in front on the ferry. It’s a great service, really. Obviously dogs, cars and bicycles are permitted on the ferry. We took the 9.45am ferry (it takes 55 minutes to get to Brodick Harbour in Arran) and then we took the 7.20pm ferry from Arran and arrived in Ardrossan at 20.15. The ticket is so cheap, 8 pounds with return. The ticket for the car (return) is about 32 pounds. In Arran we paid for the Day Rider ticket on the bus (6.30 pounds) but in the end unfortunately we didn’t use it because we took the 324 bus to get to Brodick Castle and spent all day (as you can start the trail to Goat Fell there, too) and we didn’t even take the bus to go back to the harbour as we walked on the beach. The next time I’d love to do a tour of Arran, going to Lochranza, a distillery and seeing other parts, in general (hopefully some deers, eagles and seals, too! 😀 )

Anyway, this was an unforgettable Easter with two of my favourite people in the world so I really can’t complain. Walking in nature, with the sun shining, seeing the sea from above… It gave me such a peaceful feeling.

Have a lovely day, guys

xx

Camilla

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Saltcoats beach, Ardrossan castle and spring blossoms

Good evening dear readers! I hope you’re having a great Good Friday. Today the beach was packed because of the Easter holidays and because it was the best weather ever. If only I think about the 7th of March, when we first stepped foot on the Scottish soil… It was so cold! I wasn’t feeling this warm in Scotland since I was a kid, because during the last decade I was always traveling to other places in summer and, even if we were coming here, we were quite unlucky with the weather. Today I was wearing flip-flops and then walking barefoot on the sand… I felt like I was on holiday in a sunny location, really. I hope this summer will be like today most of the time… Too optimistic? Could be. But enough talking about the weather. My eyes are red, and hurt, because I’ve used my laptop/telephone from this morning at 7.40. I read so many job offers, evaluated them, chose which ones to go for, edited my CVs on my laptop, on Indeed, on other websites… Then I helped my boyfriend doing the same. I’ve really exaggerated with my screen time today, but I really wanted to show you the photos that I took this afternoon while walking along the beach and up to Ardrossan castle (unfortunately it’s just ruins now, but there is a nice view and park there). This will be a mostly photographic blogpost.

I love seeing the hills with the windmills back there
I’ve always wanted a barefoot kind of life 😛
New pink blouse from Primark (and the
knee long cardigan that you’ve seen two posts ago)
One dog is swimming, can you spot his head? lol
It’s nice to see dry sand once in a while
That’s one of my favourite cars along with Wranglers… The Land Rover Defender (my dad had it!)
That’s Ardrossan “castle” up there
The lovely windmills
The ferry coming back to Ardrossan from the Isle of Arran
A postcard
A bit of history class now, guys! 😛
I live for little corners like this one… Pink, purple, yellow flowers
Blossoms

That’s it, guys. Now I’ll have a hot bath and then I think we’re off to bed because we’re quite tired because of the CV editing and job-hunting. Fingers crossed! By the way, I’m very happy because last night we met my Scottish cousin and her hubby for a drink and we had a great time. What had to be a quick drink evolved in a three-hour stay! We chatted a lot and it was just so nice to get ready to get out with someone in the evening, that’s what we miss about Italy! Friends, relatives, our dog… Actually I’m even happier because tomorrow a dear friend of mine is coming to visit us from Switzerland for a few days and we’ll go to a football match with my cousin and her hubby, my uncle and my friend, too! I’ve never been to a Scottish football match (well, actually I’ve also been just to ONE Italian football match, Ac Milan VS Verona in San Siro, Milan!)

Told you today on Instagram stories that there were people in the sea!

Have a good night!

xx

Camilla

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6 things to do when you’re sad

Good afternoon guys! Today I’d like to share with you some ways, that I find very useful, to boost my morale when I’m feeling down. If they work for me, they might as well work for you. I’d like to talk about feeling sad because I felt sad on Sunday myself and I think that it’s important to deal with this topic, this is one of the things that I love the most about my favourite youtubers or bloggers. We are human and it’s okay and perfectly normal to have a bad day: live it, don’t deny it and the next one (or the next week) will be better.

  1. Reading

I feel that when I’m sad I get distracted too easily while watching movies or a tv series, my mind runs away and spins around and I often pick up my mobile phone and lose the picture of the movie. Reading really works better for me. When you read a good book you just dive into the plot and the characters and that brings you far away from your worries and bad thoughts. Also, a movie lasts only 90-120 minutes but with a good book you are busy for hours, if you feel like reading. But, I must say that there is an exception, that is, watching your big faves in television (Bridget Jones always cheers me up and gives me hope, to be honest. Laughing and crying with Bridget, that’s so good for me. I think watching Game of Thrones would be great, too, because the characters deal with so many terrible tragedies…it instantly makes your problems look smaller).

2. Walking at the beach or in the woods

A second great way to get distracted from sadness, in my opinion, is to wear sneakers, a comfortable outfit and to get out of the house. I think that staying in all day when you’re sad makes you feel paranoid and even more miserable. Fresh air is always good for you, so try to get to your nearest park, beach or wood. When I’m in Italy I’ve got a wood 10 minutes from home, I’ve done that path countless times, on beautiful days and on horrible days (I mean emotionally), it’s a very steep walk and going back home after to take a shower and wash away all the sweat is so satisfying that it gives you the motivation to go the next time. Here in Scotland, on the other hand, I live in front of the beach and I love it (as you can see from my caption, I’m a big fan of salt water…ha!) but sometimes I miss the trees of Lake Como!

3. Run yourself a hot bath (or a long shower)

The water is so good for us: seeing the sea, a lake or a river, going to a spa or even having a nice, long bath or a relaxing shower is something I totally recommend. I don’t know about you, but when I’m feeling a bit down and I wear my pyjamas I find my day even more depressing. So, put your pyjamas under your pillow and take it out only in the evening! Choose a nice, perfumed shower gel, bath foam (vegan, please! Be kind ❤ ) or a Lush bath bomb, and light a candle. If you have a bath tub, bring your book with you, or put some music on, or watch your favourite youtube videos or series. If you have a shower, put some music on and indulge in a perfumed scrub or a nice hair mask.

4. Make yourself pretty

This one could sound shallow, but I honestly think that showering, choosing your favourite clothes (no, the pyjamas doesn’t count!) and working with your hands and make-up, to get you well-groomed and even more beautiful than you are, is a great solution. Our actions influence our mind, our body influences our mind. So, get prepared as if you were meeting someone, even if that day you’ll be alone, and you’ll see that you’ll feel better, more productive and your desire to stay in bed all day will fade. (Sometimes it’s good to stay in bed and sleep when you’re not feeling well, but give yourself a limit).

5. Clean your house

Maybe you’ll think that I’m crazy because having to clean your house would make you feel even sadder…ahah! But, believe me, living in a clean and tidy space helps your mind getting “cleaner and tidier”. Make your bed, open the windows to let fresh air in, fold the throw on your sofa, place your cushions as you like them and make the kitchen shine, so that you’ll feel like cooking something.

6. Cooking

As I was saying for make-up, working with hands is very therapeutic in my opinion, because it brings the attention away from our mind and into our hands. So, cooking is a big one for me. And after having kneaded, baked in the oven or stir fried you can eat your delicious creation, too!

So, I hope that the next time that you feel sad (I hope as late as possible) you will think about some of these ways that usually help me feeling better, to feel better, too. I know, talking to others is easy but putting into practice not so much, but I hope that it’ll help even just a little bit (or as we say here in Scotland, a wee bit!)

Have a great Thursday guys!

xx

Camilla


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Meteoropathic

Good afternoon dear readers! Today I’m so happy because of the weather… It’s so warm, it feels like summer! Last week it was sunny and beautiful, but still cold. Today I went to Irvine with my boyfriend because he had his English class. We then went to ASDA to buy a couple things and to wash the car (it’s been almost two months since he last washed it on the outside! Record-breaking for a car-addicted like him). I’d like to share my first spring look with you! It’s very, very simple actually but I couldn’t wait to wear my new clothes. My trousers are from Zara (these are 2 years old), my white blouse from Primark and the boots are from a mall in Switzerland but I can’t remember the brand, sorry!

What a beautiful, warm day
Tea time

I hope to find a job soon, I’ve sent some CVs but didn’t get any answer for the moment. I think I’ll go directly to the places I’ve sent the CVs to to hand them in person, because that works better for sure. For now I’m focusing on writing the blog, taking good photos, cooking healthy food (don’t look at the above picture, it’s just a snack haha!), reading and looking after the house, my boyfriend and my cat. I can’t say I get bored but I really feel like starting a job or doing something that brings positive feelings into my life. I’d like to start taking some classes (I’ll tell you more soon, for the moment I’m still quite superstitious! 🙂 ) and doing more sports in the meantime, I hope the weather will keep being nice and warm so I’ll start running along the prom.

I hope you’re having a good mid-week. I’m happy because tomorrow we’ll be meeting my Scottish cousin and her two kids (my boyfriend has never met them, it’ll be a good opportunity to practice English). She’s coming here from England for the Easter holidays. I’ve last seen her on Lake Como in July!

Have a good evening guys,

xx,

Camilla

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Beginning the week

Good evening guys, how are you? I must say today I woke up fine, while yesterday I was in a very bad mood, a mixture of sadness and boredom. I think that various factors got on me: my friends going back to Italy, the cloudy sky after a week of beautiful sun, Sunday (day that sometimes I find a bit depressing). I really didn’t know what to do with myself. I stayed in my pijamas almost all day, then at 16pm I tried to perk up and I dressed properly, put my headphones on to listen to some music and I cleaned the kitchen. But I must say I’ve had better days. The situation got better during the night, when at 2am my boyfriend and I got up to see the first episode of Game of Thrones simultaneously with the USA on Sky. I know, we’re a bit crazy, as a matter of fact when the alarm sounded I said “No, I don’t care, I’ll see it tomorrow at 8pm” but then I changed my mind because the temptation was just too strong…Ahah! I won’t tell you anything about the first episode because I don’t want to spoiler, I hate spoilers myself! I’ll just tell you that I was so emotional for seeing all the characters… GOT is one of the few series/movies that gives me goose bumps, really. Beside this, today my boyfriend started his English classes and I am very happy for him, I hope he will keep being motivated… Right know he’s improving his English so fast. It’s seven on them in class and I think this is a great thing because the teacher can focus on each of them more carefully. While he was doing his 2 hour class I waited for him in the car and I didn’t even got bored because I had brought my laptop to watch the latest videos of one of my favourite youtubers, her channel is called ShantiLives, it’s in Italian! If you know Italian and you are interested in personal development, love&emotions and the LGBT community, you should really check her out. She puts me in the best mood! After watching Shanti’s videos I read the book that my friend brought me as a gift last Monday. It’s called Women who run with the wolves by Clarissa Pinkola Estes. I’m really enjoying it, it’s very different from the kind of books that I usually read and it makes me think over and reflect. I find it challenging and very interesting and I’m also happy to read it because I had started a new thriller but it didn’t catch me much, it’s called The cutting edge. The last thriller that I read (You were gone, totally recommended!) was much better because it was psychological and it also talked about feelings, not a pure detective book. Moreover it was set in London, my favourite city, while this is set in New York. Actually, I bought it because it said that it was psychological and I liked the plot but the first pages weren’t special. But maybe I’ll change my mind while going on with it!

This evening we had dinner very early, as we’d skipped lunch. This morning we had late breakfast, got ready and then left home to go to the English classes and then to do the shopping at Tesco’s.

For dinner we had meat-free sausage rolls, potato waffles, salad and fresh bread with hummus. It’s been a month and a half since I’ve last had this kind of fresh bread in Italy… It’s so simple yet so delicious.

Vegan products

I bought a Cleansing Face Wash and a Cleansing Micellar Water at Tesco’s, as they were cheap and vegan. I’ve just finished my lovely, “high tech natural” face wash from Dr Joseph Sudtirol and I don’t want to spend too much for now so I didn’t order it online (I’m not even sure they would deliver it to the UK from Italy). I hope they will be good for my skin, I’ll let you know! I also bought a vegan shampoo, as that was finished, too.

What about you? How was your Monday? Comment below if you have a spare moment.

I’m off to a hot bath with a lighted, perfumed candle and some youtube videos now… Have a great evening guys!

xx,

Camilla

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What to know before bringing your cat to the UK

Hey there! I’ve thought about writing this post because I believe that somebody might be interested in this. The 5th of March my boyfriend, my cat Minnie and I left Lake Como to come to Scotland. We drove across Italy, Switzerland, France, Luxembourg, Belgium and the Netherlands. We then took the P&O night ferry from Rotterdam to Hull. First of all, let me tell you that the journey has been quite stressful, but it doesn’t have to be like that for everybody. Since we didn’t come here for a short holiday but we are staying at least for some months (it depends on Brexit, work and how we’ll settle here) my boyfriend’s car was absolutely filled with luggage. We managed to secure the cat carrier between our seats, but behind, fastened with some belts. The position was quite handy because I could easily check on her while my boyfriend was driving, I could give her food, water or take her in my arms. Also, it was safe and the carrier wasn’t moving at all thanks to the belts (my bf thought about this). The vet made a prescription for us, we gave her a tranquilizer at 8am when leaving home but unfortunately it didn’t make her sleep and, as she hates the car, she was meowing the whole time. After 10 or 12 hours of journey we arrived in Rotterdam, where we spent a night in a b&b because it was too late to catch the ferry (which travels at night, it leaves at 9pm and arrives in Hull at 8am). We decided to catch the ferry from Rotterdam to Hull instead of the one from Calais to Dover because Hull is in the north of England, for those of you who may not know, so that we didn’t have to drive again for eight hours from Dover to Scotland. Also, we could sleep and rest on the ferry while covering miles. The night in Rotterdam has been a blessing for us, because we washed Minnie (who, poor baby, had dirtied herself during the journey) and she has been able to walk and stretch her legs during the night and the following day (we requested a late check out at 3pm). We found an animal-frienldy hotel near the Europoort so that she could stay free in the room with us.

What do you need to bring a cat to the UK? I had read it all on the P&O ferries website, on the Gov.uk page and on various blogs.

  • He needs to be microchipped
  • He needs a European passport
  • He needs an anti-rabies vaccine (given at least 21 days before the journey)

They say on their websites that dogs also need the tapeworm vaccine, but not cats. When we arrived at the Europoort at 5pm on the 6th of March we had to check-in Minnie at the main reception and that’s when I got such a fright (and anger) because after showing the lady at the counter the European passport and telling her that she had been vaccinated and microchipped, that is to say every single requirement that you read on the Gov.uk “Take your pet abroad” page and on the P&O ferries “Taking your pet with us” page, she asked if Minnie had had a certain vaccination. I later understood that she was talking about Drontal for cats (a wormer which the vet thankfully had given her one day before we left Italy). She said “I don’t think she can travel” but then she checked on the passport, or on her health book, can’t remember, and she said “Oh, ok Drontal cats” and counted wiith her fingers how many hours had passed since the vet had given that to Minnie.

Now, let me tell you that I sent various angry emails to P&O ferries and to the UK government websites because on their site they expressively say that all a cat needs to enter the UK is what I told you before and NOTHING else. After 12 hours of driving and one night in Rotterdam we managed to board the ship only because my holy vet didn’t want us to run any risks and so he decided to give Minnie the Drontal cat wormer.

So, I hope this article has been useful for you or for anyone you know who wants to bring their cat from Italy or other European countries to the UK (at least for now, as after Brexit I guess something will change).

Have a good evening,

xx

Camilla