Going back to work this week really did make me realise I will be soon facing reality again and back to routines. So I decided to make use of the bank holiday weekend to do one last trip to Brighton before the end of summer, hoping for some nice sunshine! ☀️ The last time I visited Brighton was all the way back in October last year with my mum during the half term break (come to think of it that was before the last national lockdown- time really does fly!)
On arrival it was all bright and sunny and I headed down to the hippy area of The Lanes, stumbling this vegetarian café for food. I ordered their mushroom and courgette lasagne and it tasted really good (I do enjoy having plant-based stuff 🌿🌿 every now and then, it just feels less heavy at times lol!)
While the sun was indeed out, the beach was generally still quite windy so it felt actually colder than it looked! 🥶 However, after checking into the hotel and having rested a little, I decided to head out to the beach for a mini picnic.
Afterwards, I journeyed along the beach (passing the naturist’s beach at one point haha! 😆) and reached the Brighton Marina Square.
I also got to enjoy the beautiful sunset and the vibrant night lights of the Brighton seafront 🌅🌃 (making the most of staying in a hotel by the beach this time! 😂)
The next day, I also paid a visit to the Royal Pavilion (which was doing renovations when I was here last time.) Also pleasantly surprised to find out that the normal ticket is all year around, so I can visit again and again for free! 😁
After the visit to the Royal Pavilion, I still had time to revisit the other side of the seafront and sit down for a seafood lunch at a restaurant by the i360 tower! 🤤🤤
Summer is finally over, but I know plenty of adventures are still out there! 🙂
The start to Day 2 in Iceland was a rainy mess! 😅🌧🌧 But nonetheless the day’s event was not to be missed – as I have booked a whale watching tour in the Icelandic sea! 🐳 🐋 (Though the awful weather had me bound to the hotel room in the entire morning after breakfast! 😂 FYI the lack of hot food in my hotel was breaking my heart! 💔)
Our tour boat set sail from the Reykjavik Old Harbour at 1pm and the tour lasted about three hours. Due to the nature of whales being wild animals, sightings are not guaranteed (though it is claimed that if no sightings occurred, then you are welcomed to book a free tour for another day 😂) but I have every fingers and toes crossed 🤞 that we will see something exciting! So overalls suited up and ready to go! 🛥
It was a bit of a long wait to get things going, but even sailing on the boat feels like such an adventure as we set off into the unknown! 🌊 🌊 Mind you, if you are somebody who is prone to seasickness, I really won’t recommend you doing this as this boat was rocking so much you get flung around even if you sitting firmly still on your seat! 😬😬 (Going for my toilet break in the lower deck at one point was quite an adventure! 😂) Though they do have sick bags ready for you as a couple of my fellow tour group people discovered… 🤢 Oh and you’re pretty much guaranteed to get soaked by the end! 😝 💦 💦
The trick of spotting those whales is apparently looking at where a swarm of seagulls gathered as it means there are many fishes nearby which will attract whales to come and eat them. After about an hour into the tour (almost felt like falling asleep lol 😴), we finally made our first discovery in a school of dolphins. I do apologise for all of the sightings being low-quality videos as it is SUPER tricky to get them in photos! They literally popped out of the water and will be gone the next second! 😠
We also managed to find a few killer whales and a bigger whale (I don’t know the name of it) which I missed to snap completely! 😂 The captain will shout out if they spotted anything and everyone will scramble to one side of the boat with their phones and camera! 📱 📸 It was absolute chaos! (“It’s at 9 o’clock!” “Where is 9 o’clock??” Many of us were simply running like headless chickens. 🤣🤣) Honestly, I was worried we would tip the boat over!
On the way back, we also visited the iconic puffin island.
After a long three-hour journey in the sea, I was finally back on dry land and I was starving! (FYI it felt so good getting out of those disgusting wet overalls! 😂) I then visited Hi Noodle for a late lunch/snack/early dinner. 😂🍜
After a quick nap in the hotel, I then went outside to pouring rain again (this time forgetting my umbrella… 🥲 ☔️) I was hoping to visit Aurora Reykjavik to see images of Northern Light, but unfortunately it was closed earlier than the time I checked, so I settled down in Lamb Street Food for another meal! 😂
After the rain has seemingly stopped (and it did), I took a long walk to the Seltjarnarnes area including paying a visit to Gróttuviti lighthouse (about an hour of walking from where I was for dinner.) Here are a few snapshots of the area.
By the time I made it back the centre of Reykjavik, it was absolutely buzzing with people with bars and clubs in full swing! And the area was even more beautiful with the Hallgrímskirkja lit up in the night.
This trip is especially exciting to me because this is the first time I will be staying in two different cities in consecutive days. 🚂 After a fairly short one hour train journey from Exeter this morning, I finally arrived in the city of Plymouth.
The vibes of Plymouth were most definitely very different from Exeter. The place felt a lot more busier and commercial, but I was most looking forward to seeing the beautiful coastline by the hotel. It was still quite some time though before I was allowed to check in when I arrived, so I first made a short trip to the Plymouth Market in the city centre.
Visiting marketplaces always bring back some childhood memories when I used to follow my grandpa around in the wet markets in Hong Kong. Though the Plymouth Market was nothing like a wet Market, the snapshots of the stalls and the pedestrian bridge nearby brought back a nostalgic feeling. ❤️
I decided to drop by Cornwall Street Fish Bar for lunch after seeing its reviews online. It seemed very popular among the locals as many were visiting when I was there today. I really liked the crispy batter around the haddock- probably one of the better ones I had. Though, personally, I feel the mushy peas could do with a touch more seasoning. But what I will remember the most are the warm atmosphere and the sense of community here. ❤️
So after lunch, I decided to head straight to my hotel for a brief rest. It was still before my check in time, but I decided to try my luck as it was hard work carrying my suitcase around town. However, when I finally arrived at the hotel, I was surprised to find out the front door was locked! 😨 (Turned out the owner went out for some shopping, but thankfully they were able to get back as soon as I called. 😅) While waiting, I went ahead and took a stroll around the beautiful coastline. ☀️ (And then again after I dropped my luggage in the hotel.) The view was absolutely breathtaking! 😍😍 (I honestly couldn’t get enough of it! ☺️)
Lastly, to finish off a perfectly beautiful day by the sea, I decided to go to KUKU for a delicious Japanese dinner. 😋 Absolutely loved the two appetisers of scallops and oyster! ❤️❤️ The beef was slightly overdone, but the teppanyaki vegetables had a nice grilled flavours to them. The sorbets were a great, refreshing way to finish the meal- I especially enjoyed the orange sorbet! 🍊
Now, I am sitting on the bed, looking forward to tomorrow with a full stomach and a slightly tipsy head! 😂