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Cambodian trip: the temples of Angkor

One of the 216 faces of the Bayon

Hello dear readers! Happy Saturday, what are you up to this weekend? Write it down in the comments so that maybe I’ll get some inspiration. If you follow me on Instagram (@camyinwonderwblog) you’ll know that tomorrow new windows are coming and I’m quite happy and excited to see them.

But enough chatting now, here I am with the following chapter of the trip that my boyfriend Gabriele and I had in January. Maybe you have read my posts about Bangkok and Chiang Mai and the first from Siem Reap, Cambodia, already. If not you can find them in the category “My travels”.

“Cambogia”: it’s “Cambodia” in Italian, my mother tongue

On the second day in Siem Reap we started visiting the complex of Angkor’s temples (UNESCO World Heritage Site), one of the widest religious monuments in the world (162.6 hectares, as you can imagine we visited a quarter of a quarter of a quarter of the place). On our first evening we got a Grab from the town centre back to our hotel. Grab is an app which offers the same service as Uber, that is pre-booked taxi rides, but cheaper, and we discovered it in Bali. As the driver was quiet because he couldn’t speak English very well, but you could see from his eyes and his smile that he was a sweet person and really kind, we asked him if he could be our ride around Angkor on the following days. A tuk tuk was enough for us, we didn’t need a car with A/C! As I had searched a lot on the internet to have an idea about the costs, we arranged a price of 15 USD (in Cambodia they use Cambodian Riel and US Dollars) for the small circuit (there is the grand circuit or the small one). We would meet at 9am and visit the temples until 2pm. We were very happy of having found a tuk tuk by ourselves without having to use the super – expensive one from the hotel (of course, that would have been a car with A/C, maybe the driver would have also been a guide, so I don’t judge at all who wants to go that way!).

A little Google is always helpful

At 9.00 am our Grab arrived at the hotel and we went towards the temples, but before we had to buy the tickets. We bought the three-day tickets for 62 US Dollars per person (you can buy the one day ticket for 37 USD or the one week ticket for 72 USD). As we went to Cambodia just to see Angkor we obviously bought the three-day ticket because in one day you really don’t see anything.

The ticket is made just for you, so at the counter expect to be photographed and to receive your own beautiful personalised ticket with your face on it. It’s a great souvenir to bring back home and keep on the fridge. Ha!

Angkor Wat – not the best hour! It was too late and crowded already

Our first stop was at Angkor Wat (which means “capital of temples” and is located 5.5km from Siem Reap), unfortunately it was already too late and it was packed with huge groups of tourists and buses from the organised visits. As a matter of fact we stayed shortly because we would return for the sunrise. This is the most famous temple in Angkor, a classic example of Khmer architecture. We soon went to the Bayon, which is not far from there. Before visiting I was super confused because I really couldn’t understand which was the best time to visit it, by reading the Lonely Planet and on the internet. Sunrise and sunset are definitely not-to-miss (as a matter of fact we’ve seen both and it was breathtaking) but they are crowded. They say that the best time is slightly after the sunrise, when the groups go back to their hotels to have breakfast, and that’s what we’ve done. Instead of going back to the hotel to eat we remained there, hungry but happy. And we managed to go on the top of the temple (the stairs were so steep!), which we couldn’t do on the first day at 10.30am.

I loved the Bayon, it was quiet and peaceful because everybody was visiting Angkor Wat, I guess. It was 11.30am, more or less. The Bayon is a khmer temple from the 12th and 13th century and 216 (!) faces were carved into the stones. While walking around you constantly feel like someone is watching over you.

Can you spot the faces ? Try!
Myths
Offers

The heat was incredible and the stairs were tiring me so quickly that the temptation to go straight back to the hotel and have a dip in the pool was strong. But after the Bayon we didn’t stop and our tuk tuk headed towards the Ta Prohm, which I really liked. I think it was my favourite, along with one that we saw on our last day. You might think that vising one temple after another all day long might be boring, but it really isn’t because they are all very different. Some are flat and they develop in length while others are not that wide but they’re developed in height, so that you’ve got a beautiful view of the surroundings. I loved wondering how life was when Angkor was inhabited: kings, queens and maids… Wow! The same thing that I do when visiting castles. Shame that now I only fantasise about Game of Thrones when I’m in a castle…Ahah! It’s not a shame, obviously, I actually love it.

One of Lara Croft’s most famous scenes, with Angelina Jolie, was recorded in the spot above, as you can see from the endless queue to take a photo.

I loved the Ta Prohm because, except for other visitors, it was really like finding yourself in an “Indiana Jones” movie. The huge trees wrapping up the old buildings and becoming one whole thing. It was surreal to think that those walls, stairs, rooms were so old that secular trees (!) managed to grow around them.

Offers
What a lucky cat

For today this is it, people! I prefer to split the photos and the stories into more blogposts instead of writing a super long one that maybe would bore you. I will continue with the sunrise at Angkor Wat next time… What a magical morning.

I hope you are enjoying my chronicles from Asia (and if you follow me on my other channels…from Scotland, too!)

Have a great weekend!

xx

Camilla

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Breakfast at the Waterside Hotel

Don’t you love it when you end up with an empty fridge and you’ve got an excuse to go out for a meal? I surely do! Yesterday Gabriele (my boyfriend) didn’t have his English class, because his teacher couldn’t be there, so we decided to go out for breakfast. I had been at the Waterside Hotel, in West Kilbride, only once with my grandmother but, as it was winter, we were eating inside. While this time we could enjoy the beautiful outdoor beer garden, right in front of the sea. If you follow me on Instagram (@camyinwonderwblog) you’ll have seen my stories about it already. I just loved it! I had a Vegetarian Breakfast, while Gabriele had smoked salmon and scrambled eggs on toast. We also had tea and a cappuccino.

I really loved the atmosphere of the place, it was really quiet and relaxing, with some families, doggies and group of friends chatting. But it was not busy at all, which we loved.

The beach beside the hotel (I didn’t have enough zoom, sorry)

From the Waterside’s beer garden you’ve got beautiful views on the Isle of Arran, which never tire me. We could also see people enjoying the sun on the beach right beside the hotel.

After our brunch we went back home because I had to register a video assessment, while Gabriele studied a little bit. In the evening we went do the shopping at ASDA’s. It was a simple but very nice Wednesday. Before moving to Scotland I was very worried about the weather and its implications on my mood but so far (we arrived here more or less two months ago) we have been so lucky. I hope it’s not global warming… In the end it’s the middle of May now, right?

I really wanted the special copy. I love them, they look like a sweet, great couple, and I’ve always had a little crush on Harry…Ahah! Congratulations Harry & Meghan!! xx

Have a nice evening, guys.

Thanks for reading,

xx

Camilla

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Flying to Cambodia

Just arrived in Siem Reap!

Hello dear readers! Here I am with the new post about the trip that my boyfriend Gabriele and I had in January. After two days in Bangkok and three days in Chiang Mai, our next destination was Siem Reap, Cambodia. We left our hotel Tri Yaan Na Ros, in Chiang Mai, at 4 o’clock in the morning. We went to the airport with a pick up taxi that we booked through our hotel, we didn’t want to risk and look for one in the middle of the night with the Grab app (even if it would have been cheaper). We had a bad experience in Bali, when we refused the hotel taxi because the price was 4 times what we would find on Grab, but then we couldn’t find any driver at the moment of having to leave for the airport and we had to accept the hotel taxi, at the very last minute, to not miss our flight! Unfortunately there wasn’t a direct flight from Chiang Mai to Siem Reap so we had to change the plane in Bangkok after one hour up in the air, which was quite stressful because we were up from the early morning and I couldn’t sleep on the plane (moreover I’m quite afraid of flying, I’ve never been as a child and teenager, but lately I’m always quite uncomfortable… AH, growing old!)

After the cooler climate of Chiang Mai, we arrived in the crazy heat of Siem Reap at about midday. In the airport there was a long queue and we had to fill in a lot of papers (the visa that they gave us on the plane wasn’t enough) and prepare all the documents for the counter, that is photos in passport format, passports, visas, more paperwork and money. Regarding the money, please don’t be stupid like me, and prepare 30 US Dollars for the airport because otherwise you will lose a lot of money, as they do a ridiculous change at the counter (they earn a lot and you lose a lot). We had only Thai bahts so we have been fooled, losing 36 euros (both of us, not per person) and I was really mad because we tried to save money as much as possible to spend them in better ways and losing them in such a stupid way has been frustrating. I had read that preparing 30 US dollars was better but we didn’t because I didn’t know that the loss was this big.

Once we’ve finished the various queues and we got our backpacks, we found a kind tuktuk driver from the hotel waiting for us. A tuk tuk transfer airport-hotel (20 mins) was included in the hotel price (great bonus!), many hotels in Siem Reap do this, so if you’re planning a trip choose one which has this service. When we arrived at our hotel (the Cyclo D’Angkor Boutique Hotel, beautiful and cheap) we were so relieved, because of the stress, the heat and the tiredness. The staff was extremely kind, they gave us a welcome drink and explained everything about the hotel and the surroundings, the small tour or the grand tour (of the temples), the sunrise or sunset visit (same). Luckily our room was ready in advance.

Our hotel room
Lovely shower

On our first day in Siem Reap we didn’t do anything except rest, freshen up and study the Lonely Planet to plan what to visit the following days. Actually we just wanted to visit Angkor and the Landmine museum and for four days of our stay it was a reasonable plan.

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Maybe the word “Angkor” doesn’t sound familiar to you but you may have seen the Tomb Raider movie (2001) with Angelina Jolie? Well, Lara’s floating Defender lands exactly on the roof of one of Angkor’s temples! We watched it a few days before our departure for Asia and we were very surprised and amused of seeing scottish Iain Glenn, AKA Jorah Mormont from Game of Thrones, as the young, black-haired, villain!! :-D)

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After settling in the hotel we were very disoriented to be honest, because we didn’t know where was the center, where were the temples, which was the best way to visit them, how to move from one place to the other. Our hotel suggested a taxi but it was very expensive and we didn’t need it, a tuk tuk was fine for us. Brave people even explore Angkor’s temples by bicycle! Visiting it on foot is out of the question because of the miles and the heat.

On the same first day we had lunch and a short stay in the pool, because it wasn’t that sunny, and in the late afternoon we booked a Grab and went into town.

Our hotel was closer to Angkor than to the city centre. I really liked Siem Reap, it’s a colonial city, with colonial buildings and wide sidewalks. It reminded me of Cuba. Unfortunately I don’t have photos of that nice part of the city because we were just quickly passing by with the tuktuk. We were usually going to the more touristy part to have dinner, because there were a lot of recommended restaurants, around the famous Pub Street.

While out and about in Pub Street we saw a lot of begging people with amputated limbs, because of the injuries sustained from the landmines, and this really clashed with the atmosphere of the area, full of tourists and loud music, and it brought you back to Cambodia’s difficult history. The hardest scene that I saw was a poor man crawling on the street, beside the tables where tourists were having dinner. I don’t remember exactly but I think he had both legs missing. Those are scenes that break your heart and make you feel powerless. Mostly farmers are left without limbs or even worse, dead, because of the crazy amount of mines still left in Cambodia. It was really dizzying the fact that, while visiting some temples in Angkor, you had stay on the main path because in the woods you could step on a mine, that’s what I was reading on my guide. I feel so lucky to live in a place where I know I can go in the woods, in the fields, wherever I want, without risking of losing an arm or a leg…or dying. I will write in the following days about our visit to the Landmine museum, in Siem Reap, and also to the Angkor Wat, the Bayon and the other jaw dropping temples.

Thanks for reading.

Have a lovely evening,

Cam

xx

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Thai trip: Wat Phra Singh and Chiang Mai’s Walled Old City

Hello dear readers!

Today I’ll write about our last day in Chiang Mai, when we visited the Wat Phra Singh temple, in the Old City. It’s placed near a very noisy, busy road but the walled old part of the town has some beautiful little streets where you felt like you were in a rural village. It has been my favourite temple among the ones that I’ve seen in Thailand, because I just loved the atmosphere. It’s the kind of places you read about in novels and, even if there was a high school nearby and a busy road, too, it still was really quiet. I loved seeing the monks with their beautiful orange, traditional ropes walking among the gardens, studying, reading and praying in the temples. There were also some tables where you could speak with monks and ask them questions about life. Even if I’m not a Buddhist, I lighted a candle and some incense. The place was really spiritual and I felt like I was in a church, it really didn’t make a difference to me, which religion I belong to… I hope to give you a sense of that through the photos, even if I know it’s difficult.

Outside
Inside – look at the wallpaper! (Can we call it wallpaper?)
Candles and incense

You could buy incense and candles with a small offer.

This was my favourite part…
So peaceful and spiritual
Monks studying.
There were a lot of quotes hanging on trees

After our visit to the temple we went for a lovely traditional Thai massage at Lila Thai Ex-Inmate Employment Center, they have got 8 (!!!) centres in Chiang Mai and we hadn’t even planned to have a massage but we exited the temple and we just found it in front of us.

I really believe this is great for women who were former inmates, as it gives them the opportunity to start a new life and to have their own salaries. The idea of opening this array of salons was of the former director of Chiang Mai Women’s Prison and it helps women who were in jail because of the criminal activities of their husbands (but also because of other reasons, mostly drug related). Choosing which massage to do has been very hard because it was one better than the other, really. I would have done all of the beauty treatments, as well, because the salon was so cheap. We spent 17 pounds (19 euros) for a 2-hour massage. I’d move to Asia right away just for the prices of the massages. I must say it was a bit hard at times, I personally prefer a Balinese massage, but could you go to Thailand and not try a traditional Thai massage? NO. The salon is really relaxing, well kept and my masseuse was kind and professional, she couldn’t speak English but there wasn’t much to say and we communicated through gestures…HA! I’m an Italian, after all.

After our massage we were extremely relaxed, but hungry. It was so hot… We walked to a nice guesthouse with a restaurant (and a pool) where we had been for lunch on our first day, called Good morning Chiang Mai. As we appreciated the food, we went back!

After lunch we went back to the hotel to relax and rest a little bit, and to enjoy the pool. I was reading a very nice book. On our last night in Chiang Mai we had a lovely dinner in town, in a very nice restaurant called Dash! (as a matter of fact it was full and we had to wait 15 minutes). We had spring rolls and two Mai Tais, of course! Our first, original Mai Tais. To be honest, as the prices from Grab taxis (it’s like Uber, we discovered this app in Bali) were so cheap, we weren’t even walking from the hotel into town anymore! It was so handy. I know, we are lazy people, but we were walking miles during the day and I was also afraid of stepping onto a mouse (I love animals and I wouldn’t do a mouse any bad, but, just stay away from me because I’m scared, I can’t help it…Haha!)

The food was absolutely delicious

Ok dear readers, I’m done with my storytelling about Chiang Mai. Next time we’ll fly to Cambodia, stay with me!!!

xx

Cam

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Thai trip: Maerim Elephant Sanctuary in Chiang Mai

Hello readers!

Here I am with the third blogpost about my trip to Thailand and Cambodia. After having left Bangkok, we arrived in the beautiful town of Chiang Mai. We spent 3 nights and 4 days there, before catching our flight to Siem Reap, Cambodia. What we loved the most about this city in the north of Thailand was the atmosphere, the nature that surrounds it and the walled old town. Our hotel was really close to the centre, 10 minutes on foot. On our first evening out we went to the evening market and I had the best Indian dinner in my life (New Delhi Indian Restaurant, write it down if you’re ever going to Chiang Mai…I followed the Lonely Planet advice!).

During our evening walk we found an agency which was organising visits for tourists and, as we wanted to do something different from the usual, we chose to visit an elephant sanctuary.

Maerim Elephant Sanctuary, Chiang Mai, Thailand

Before choosing to go I visited the website of the sanctuary, I’ve read the reviews on TripAdvisor and I questioned the lady from the agency. As you may have understood if you follow me on Instagram I really love animals, I’m a vegetarian and I try to do my best to avoid anything that exploits or hurts animals. I sign a lot of petitions on Peta and Change and I avoid meat, the circus, “Seaworld” and similar places, leather, fur, products that are tested on animals, etc. To be honest I was sceptical and afraid of sponsoring a tourist-trap that was exploiting elephants, but I haven’t been disappointed at all by the Full Day Visit (they picked us up at our hotel at 9am and brought us back at 6pm).

Maerim is an elephant sanctuary one hour from the centre of Chiang Mai, it’s immersed in nature and it doesn’t allow people to ride elephants, because that is bad and stressful for them. They have seven elephants which were saved from circuses and riding camps for tourists, where they were forced to work and tormented with hooks. They are always looking for volunteers who could stay with them for at least 4 weeks so, If you’d like to do an experience like this, now you know 🙂 If I hadn’t different plans for my life at the moment I would definitely consider it.

When we arrived at the camp, at 10.30am, we met the guide and they gave us a blue uniform and a bag full of bananas (I was feeling like I was a member of Lost‘s Dharma Initiative… LOL). They showed us a video that explains why elephants shouldn’t be ridden, what they do at the sanctuary, etc. And then we finally met the beautiful, majestic animals that elephants are. We fed and pet them.

Me dressed up as Lost Dharma Project

It was a beautiful experience, really. I totally recommend it. It was so emotional to be able to meet, feed and pet elephants, animals that we don’t have in the western part of the world, except in the sad zoos.

For lunch there was a cooking lesson: we prepared our own rice noodles (they fortunately had different broths, both for meat eaters and for vegetarians… Very organised, well done!)

Cooking lesson!
Ta – daaah! Made by me

After lunch we walked beside the elephants (scary yet exciting!) to reach a field where we fed them again and where we chilled with them, while the guide explained about their projects in the sanctuary and gave us a lot of infos about the elephants (did you know that there are three species of elephant? African, Asian and Sri Lankan).

Maerim is planning to save another female elephant from a riding camp, which of course is quite expensive, so they are always looking for more visits, they sell souvenirs in the sanctuary and they look for volunteers and donations. I only bought ethical souvenirs during this trip (and I hope to keep doing the same in the next ones): at the Elephant Sanctuary, at the ex-inmate employment centre (where we had our beautiful, traditional Thai massage) and at the Landmine Museum, in Cambodia.

We soon reached the guides and helped them wash the elephants

What my boyfriend and I loved the most about this full day visit was the bath with the elephants. Unfortunately I don’t have photos of me washing them because, you know, I was full of mud and poo, but I let you imagine. There were two paddles, called “The Elephant’s SPA”: one full of mud, where we massaged them, and the other with (not so clean) water, where we rinsed them. It was so moving to see them lying on their side, trusting us enough to let us touch them. I was especially excited when I was massaging this majestic, female elephant and while moving I accidentally stepped on her huge, shaggy, hairy foot. What was my small foot in comparison to hers? The bath is very good for elephants, as they are always full of flies and bacteria, and also quite dry.

After bathing them we went back to the reception, the day was over, we swimmed and chilled by the pool, we changed back into our clothes, bought some souvenirs and we then took the pick-up back to the hotel.

I was really sad when the visit was over because I didn’t know when in my life I’d get the chance to stay with these beautiful creatures again. My thought at the end of the day? I still wish that elephants could live free, into the wild, because even if in the sanctuary they treat them well deep down it still feels wrong that they have to get their bath with tourists everyday…But I also know that visitors feed them, pet them, massage them and if they choose a sanctuary instead of a riding camp they must like animals. I have to be idealistic but realistic: in 2019 maybe elephants can’t live into the wild in Thailand, because horrible people would take them for their purposes: circus, riding camps, etc. Maybe elephants need this sanctuary to be safe and protected and I’m sure that 40 year-old Chock-Dee would live better in Maerim than in the riding place where she is right now. I hope they’ll earn enough to buy and save her. What do you think? Please tell me your opinion in the comments because I love reflecting about animals.

xx,

Camilla

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Thai trip: a night train to Chiang Mai

Hua Lamphong train station in Bangkok

Good evening dear readers!

I hope everything is fine with you. Here in Scotland it’s so sunny today. This morning my bf went to his English class while I did a yoga session. I love following “Yoga with Adriene” youtube tutorials, I started doing them again (after A LOT of months) yesterday after my walk/slow run and I’d like to make it a habit. After that we went to do the shopping because we had finished almost everything at home and we needed some food! Then in the afternoon I went jogging and I’ve had a lovely hot bath. Ok, so, I would like to go on with the (visual) narration of the travel to Thailand and Cambodia that we went for three months ago (it feels like a million years ago 😦 ).

Leaving at 19.35, arriving at 8.40!

On the 12th of January at 19.35 we took the night train who would take us from Bangkok Hua Lamphong station to Chiang Mai, in the very north of Thailand, a much quieter city full of culture, temples and nature. We were very happy to leave Bangkok and go there, also because we had read that the climate was cooler. Chiang Mai was founded in 1296 and it was the ancient Lanna capital of the independent homonymous kingdom.

The train ticket was more or less £28 (33 euro) pp, for a berth in second class with A/C. I had bought the tickets online, on 12 Go Asia. I wanted to try first class because it was so cheap and we would have had a private cabin with a sink as well, but it was full, so never mind, we had an even more authentic experience and the place was so clean and comfortable!

The journey lasted 13 hours and I can genuinely tell you that they passed quickly, except for the last 2, when we couldn’t wait to arrive at the hotel to have a shower. At 8.30pm a kind and polite steward came to prepare our berths, I was staying on the lower and my boyfriend on the upper.

The steward making our bed… It was just us backpackers in second class lol

We had curtains for our privacy, space for our big backpacks and, thank God, we had a small bulb inside our berths so that I could read. Unfortunately I only slept from 10pm to 4.30am because of the jet lag, but I had a great book with me so I read that while waiting for our breakfast because, yes!, a lady came to get our orders for breakfast shortly after leaving Hua Lamphong station. At 7am it was funny because she came talking super loud and waking up everyone by opening their curtains or knocking… What an adventure, I was super excited, really. Closing the curtain and having you privacy, it felt like being in that tents that we were making up at home, as a child, with covers and cushions…!

And the next morning…what a breakfast! The lady brought us a tray with toasted bread, butter, jam, eggs (as you liked them) and, if you eat meat, bacon and sausages. If you wanted you could also have dinner the night before, but we weren’t hungry. So, I went “upstairs” and we had breakfast on my bf berth.

Going to the toilet was really funny because I had this very long skirt, so it was comic because the toilet was extremely small, the train was moving so much, there was a hole on the (wet) floor, the window was completely open so the wind was blowing me away and I was afraid that someone could see me… LOL! What an experience. I was trying to keep my balance and laughing at the same time.

Good morning!
Arrived in Chiang Mai!

Once arrived in Chiang Mai we found a lot of red pickups waiting for backpackers arriving with the night train, they were extremely cheap and everybody could talk to the driver first, see where they had to go and arrange the price. We were going to Tri Yaan Na Ros (recommended by the Lonely Planet guide) an authentic, Lanna style colonial house for just £32 (37 euro) a night. Beautiful interiors and a huge bricked-up bath tub. The surroundings were lovely, too, we had a primary school near and I could spend hours looking at the squirrels running on the trees. Can you imagine switching from noisy, crowded, super hot Bangkok to this heaven with birds singing in the day, toads singing in the night and squirrels? This was definitely our kind of place. And it was also a stone’s throw from the centre and the walled old town.

Our hotel in Chiang Mai (unfortunately the pool was freezing cold and I wasn’t brave enough to get in, but my bf was)
This kitty cat welcomed us
Our beautiful king-size, canopy bed

That’s it for today guys, I’ll go on with the trip very soon, writing about what we have done in Chiang Mai during our four days (including visiting an elephant sanctuary and my favourite temple ever in Thailand. It was like being in another, peaceful world).

But please tell me about you in the comments, have you ever been to Thailand? In which part? Did you enjoy it? I’m curious! 😀

xx,

Camy

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Bathroom: before and after

Good evening dear readers,

Today I’d like to show you the before/after photos of our bathroom. After changing the bed in the main bedroom (https://camyinwonderworld.blog/2019/04/07/new-bed-before-and-after/), we switched to renovating the bathroom, which I personally think is very, very important in a property. Especially as I love hot, long baths. 😛 The bathroom is where you have a bit of “me time”, where you get pampered, so we tried to create a relaxing and tidy space, with much less clutter than before.

As you may have seen on my Instagram stories we have done some housework last weekend. We worked three days in a row and are now super-satisfied with the result. The former style of the bathroom wasn’t special, it was quite old actually, and the wallpaper was ruined, so we wanted to renovate it and give it a modern style. On Friday, the first day of housework, we went to B&Q and b&m Home Store to buy new wallpaper, rims for the window, paint, a tall boy and everything that we needed. When we got back home we removed the old wallpaper and let the walls dry out. On the second day we hanged the new paper, with a lot of patience and a couple curse words, and on our last day my boyfriend worked on the details and has done some electrical work, while I assembled then new tall boy. I could play it cool and tell you that I have done it perfectly but I actually assembled the upper part of the tall boy the wrong side…Ahah! My boyfriend made fun of me for half an hour, but let me tell you, in my defense, that it was the first piece of furniture that I have ever assembled. Before this I had only helped him putting together some IKEA chairs in my home in Italy…

On Monday the best part arrived, we cleaned the whole bathroom and I put a bit of a woman’s touch: candles, diffusers and bath bombs. Now we are looking for a big, round mirror to hang above the toilet and for a blind. If you’ve got any suggestions on where to find them, I’d thank you very much!

DURING

We got rid of the old blind and mirror, which were not very nice, along with other white, plastics pieces of furniture. As they say nowadays, and with the whole Marie Kondo school of thought, “less is more”. Create spaces that spark joy for you.

BEFORE

AFTER

The white rims that my boyfriend put on the sides of the window were very necessary, to protect the wallpaper

BEFORE

AFTER

BEFORE

AFTER

New rug from b&m Home Stores, grey to match the wallpaper

So, what do you think? Did we do a good job? We are chuffed to bits, honestly.

At the end of May we will get new windows for the sitting room and the twin bedroom and I can’t wait. Right now we have old, brown, wooden windows who let a lot of cold air and wind inside the house and when there are strong rain storms even water leaks in. Finally the heat will stay inside, as it’s supposed to, and we’ll save good money on our bills! Fortunately now it’s not cold, it’s not raining much and it’s not even windy, but when we arrived here in March in the evening you could hardly hear the television because of the strong draughts of wind. Ha! We’ll not miss that.

Have a lovely evening guys, I hope your week is going fine.

xx

Camilla