Vergina: The historic hotspot of Greece

Vergina, a small town in northern Greece, will surprise you with historic treasures.

The town became more famous after the important archeologic discovery’s of Mr Andronikos in 1977. He found the skull of Phillip II with a damaged right eye which indicated that he was hit with an arrow. You’ll learn a lot more when you get a guided tour in one of the many archeologic museums Vergina has to offer.

How To Get There!
If you want to stay for a more than a week, plan your stay in Thessaloniki. Vergina has a lot to offer but after a couple days, you’ll be done with all the history and museums. Then it’s nice to get some city-life and enjoy a cocktail or two. It’s easy to get to Vergina from Thessaloniki with a rental car. It takes about an hour and a half. 

Tip: take a detour en route and spot the lovely lunch places with an amazing view of the Techniti Rimi Lake.

Vergina

Get Historical
Make sure not to miss the Museum of Royal Tombs of Aigai. Here you’ll find the grave of Phillip II and Alexander IV of Macedon. The guide told us a lot of complicated stories about their death, marriages and traditions. For example, one of the wives of Phillip II was buried in a chamber next to him in the tomb. Where she came from, it was a tradition to follow the husband into the grave. And so she gave up her life.

Vergina Greece

You can park the rental car next to this museum. The museum is open on Monday from 12:00 to 20:00 and on Tuesday till Sunday from 08:00 to 20:00. A normal ticket is €12. Unfortunately, I was not allowed to take pictures in the museum.

Get Local
If you want to stay the night in this small historic town, I recommend hotel Esperides. The owner (Mr Mantsios) is a lovely host and most of all: an amazing chef! Usually, he doesn’t serve dinner at the hotel, but if you smile friendly and ask nicely you might have a chance. At least don’t miss his homemade olive breadsticks and plum jam during breakfast. This hotel also includes a small spa with sauna and steam bath.

Come to Vergina if you love history, great weather and a wonderful Greek atmosphere. (the food is a huge bonus ;-))

Love,

Larissa

*Larissa is our brand new guest editor! She lives in The Netherlands and has accomplished a lot for her age. She works as an editor in Chief at BLVD

5 places in Costa Rica you cannot miss out on

Costa Rica is the ultimate holiday destination for nature lovers and adventurous travelers. The country has 2 extensive coastlines, lots of jungle and more than half a million different plants and animals. The people and their lifestyle are considered incredibly friendly and relaxed, which rings true with the countries motto “Pura Vida”, meaning “the good life”. Below are 5 hotspots selected for you.

La Fortuna
La Fortuna is a small town at the foot of the Arenal volcano. The Arenal is one of the few active volcanoes in the world and when it is dark you can see the lava flowing down. At the foot of the volcano there are thermal baths and hot springs. It is an unforgettable experience to observe the volcano from the warm water of the springs.

La_Fortuna
La Fortuna

Turrialba
Turrialba is located in the central region of Costa Rica. Along the town runs the river Pacuare and is considered one of the 5 best and most beautiful rivers worldwide for rafting. In addition, Turrialba is located next to a volcano where where you can go hiking.


Hiking in Costa Rica

Dominical
Dominical is located on the pacific coast and those who like to surf will find themselves right at home here. Dominical itself consists of a paved road with some shops and restaurants. It is a cozy place with a hippie-like vibe and many interesting people. Check out this surfschool if you want to learn how to surf.

There are many beautiful beaches nearby and a lot of nature reserves

Ojochal
The small community of Ojochal in Puntarenas is located in the South Pacific, about 30 minutes south from the town of Dominical. Ojochal is a perfect base from which you can do all kinds of activities. There are many beautiful beaches nearby and a lot of nature reserves. It is also worthwhile to do a horseback tour there. 2 local guides will take you through the jungle and across the beach. During this tour you will also pass Cascada El Pavon, a small-but-beautiful waterfall with a pool at the bottom for swimming. Stay at Villas Gaia to get that local feeling.

Ojochal

Cahuita.
Cahuita is located in the northeast of Costa Rica on the Caribbean coast. This town also has a slightly hippie-like feel about it. Take a visit to the Cahuita national park where monkeys jump around all over the place, snakes are hidden in the trees and raccoons cross the paths. The largest coral reef in Costa Rica is also in the national park, so snorkeling in the colorful underwater world is a must. In the evening you will find a variety of good restaurants, as well as locals hanging out in the streets with friends and family, which creates a nice and lively atmosphere.

Love,

Iris

*Iris is one of our guest editors from The Netherlands. She’s got a big interest for fashion, poetry and traveling. She was only 3 months old when she was on the plane for the first time, and she has been to every continent in the meantime. She’s a dreamer and would prefer to be on the beach every day. You can follow Iris on Instagram.

It’s Going to Snow in Brabant Today!

Temperatures are rising up to 33 degrees in Holland today, and that can be pretty tough. Brabant will officially be the coolest place in The Netherlands tomorrow.

On Friday the 3rd of August, with the motto “Cool Best”, in collaboration CoolBest and the town of Best, they will turn the Marktplein square into a true snow world, making it the coolest place in the Netherlands. From 11am till 3pm, people can sit in their shorts or swimsuits in beach chairs IN THE SNOW, make snowmen, have snowball fights, sled and enjoy cool and refreshing drinks. How COOL?!

Snow heart
Are you ready to play in the snow today?

The snow is provided by Polar Europe, who also does this for the Olympic Games, so it’s not going to be shabby. Around 11 am the snow is sprayed onto the square and it will then gradually melt during the day. (so be there quick!)

“In the ongoing heat wave, the idea came to cool down city Best. With this campaign we want to offer hydration to the residents and visitors of this Brabant city in a fun way. How cool is it to say that you played in the snow with 33 degrees?! “, says Sabine Blom of CoolBest. 

You know where to go tomorrow!

Love,

Wander-Lust

Cruising the rivers of France with Nicols (without a license!)

Sailing alongside the Great Barrier reef? Yes, I’ve done it, but with help of an experienced captain of course. Cruising across a river in France WITHOUT any navigation experience or having a boat license? Yep, done that too! How? Read on..

Last week I sailed across the Saône river in France with a huge boat by Nicols, a boating company that offers a variation of boats that you can rent at different locations across Europe. The cool thing is, that you don’t need a boat or sailing license to cruise along the rivers. Boating holidays like these are well known by the French, the English and the Germans, but Funny enough, many Dutch still haven’t heard of it.

Nicols invite me to try it for one week. Cruising from Dole, all the way up to Port Sur Saône by boat. Or may I say yacht. It was huge! The boat they provided for us, was the Estivale Sixto. It had 3 bedrooms, 2 toilets, 2 bathrooms, a kitchen and a living area. Oh, and I forgot to mention the large sundeck big enough for 8 people. Instead of 8 people, me, my hubby and our child Caiden opted for the challenge.


The Estivale Sixto

Which Route is right for you?
We cruised along the Saône river, which is located in North East France, but Nicols has 19 other route options in France, 2 in Germany and 1 in Portugal. All river cruises have one thing in common; it’s quiet, relaxing and peaceful. Don’t expect to visit big cities, with many bars or restaurants. Some villages are so tiny, they only count 82 inhabitants! (as long as they have a bakery right?)

Your confidence will grow after a few locks

154 km with a total of 23 locks. Locks?! I hear you think. Yes, that was a first for me too. When you cruise the rivers, you have locks to account for, and for this, you need your full attention. I must admit, the locks gave me some nerves a view times. You need to toss a rope, hope someone on shore will catch it, or otherwise you need to climb up a very steep stairs, while the boat manoeuvres it’s way into the lock. It was my job to do it right. The boyfriend would steer, while our little boy sat in in high chair, watching the spectacle with his lifejacket on.

Nicols boot cruising

nicols boat
AiAi Captain!

Tunnel
Tunnel vision!

ROUTE 3 : DOLE – PORT-SUR-SAÔNE
(Some of the towns & villages we passed)

  • Dole: starting point and such a cute town! I advise you to stay the night here and enjoy the small streets, and smell of fresh baguettes.
  • Auxonne: Church, castle, museum, a few small restaurants near the water
  • Pontallier-sur-Saône: Square de la Vierge (plantsoen), kasteel van Talmay, wasplaatsen
  • Heuilley-sur-Saône: La maison de l’eau, de la pêche et de la nature (museum over water, visserij en natuur)
  • Essertenne-et-Cecey: Very small village
  • Mantoche: Caste & Chruch
  • Gray: A bigger town with a tourist office, a nice outside terrace, some restaurants and shops. TIP: I advise you to dock the boat one lock further where you have a camping with a nice restaurant, swimming pool and BBQ’s.
  • Ray-sur-Saône: A big castle, other than that, not much to see
  • Scey-sur-Saône: Navigate your boat through a 640 meters long tunnel, very cool!
  • Port-sur-Saône: The final destination, park your boat in the harbour, visit the deer park, swimming pool

If you want a little more buzz, you should check out the south route from Port Lauragais or Le Somail where you pass Carcasonne.

Nicols Boat
Dole, France

In The Middle of Nowhere
You can stop whenever you want and dock almost everywhere you want. At first we docked at small harbors, located at villages, but as our confidence grew, we docked in the middle of nature a few times. Tip: buy enough water and food, because there might not be a supermarket nearby for a few miles. We took our bicycles and explored a few villages where we could only find cows, cornfields and farms. I really felt like I was in the middle of nowhere, and where wifi didn’t matter. Sometimes we stayed at campings, other times next to a cornfield, drinking vino underneath the stars. In order to get to your final docking place on time, you need to cruise about 20km a day. We did around 25 – 30 km a day, so you’ll easily make it.


Docking in the middle of nature (spiders also loved it!)

Cows in France
Landscapes and cows is what you are going to see a lot of

Nicols boat
Some of the cute houses we passed

Add Some Extra’s
At Nicols you have a few add on’s you can go for. You can hire bicycles for example, which are super handy if you decide to dock in the middle of nowhere and you need to get some fresh croissants for breakfast. You can also hire an inflatable pool, which is nice for those hot days. Some boats even have a small pool on board! (see photo)

Nicols
Pool on board, why not! (source: Nicols)

Breakfast on board
Le Petit Dejeunér on board

Verdict:
Such a unique experience! Mind you, cruising a river, isn’t like cruising the open sea, with the opportunity to visit (busy) jetset islands, with many restaurants, shops or bars. If you decide to rent a boat with Nicols, you will relax, appreciate nature, and add some navigation skills to your resumé. (I learned something new everyday!) It’s perfect for couples, a group of friends or families. Dogs are allowed on deck! Cost: The boat that I had with all the add on’s and Diesel, cost around €3570,-. It was big enough to share with 3 couples.

Nicols Boats
Facebook / Instagram

Wesbite

Love,

Elke

More travel tips?

7 x Amazing Accommodations in The Black Forest!

The black forest is a huge forest located in the South of Germany, which is well known by many outdoor fanatics. I’ve been coming here for years, because my sister lives in the area. After all these years, it was about time that I wrote something about it. Planning to visit? These are 8 unusual but must visit accommodations in or near the Black Forest.

Black Forest Accommodations
The Black Forest is stunning and yet not known by everyone

black forest
Waterfalls and green at the Black Forest

Bubble Tent at Furtwangen
Sleep underneath the stars and wake up my the morning skies. The bubble tent is equipped with a bed, a small table, 2 chairs and a fridge with free drinks and a separate bathroom with free towels. Mind you, when it’s hot, it can be quite steamy inside the bubble during the day. However, this stay would definitely be a memorable one with a view like this! www.bubble-tent.de

accommodations in the black forest
Source

Hotel Liberty at Offenburg
If you love pretty boutique hotels, this is a must visit. This former prison that dates back from the 1800’s turned into a beautiful design hotel with 38 rooms. They’ve kept some of the original prison doors and steel windows to add some details. The rooms are incredible! The beds are huge and there is a separate bathtub standing in the room, which makes it such a treat to jump in straight away. Guests can use the swimming pool & spa down the road (5 minute walk) for free. www.hotel-liberty.de

Black forest accommodations
The old prison doors

Bedroom shot
Waking up in a prison, has never felt so good

Schwarzwald Camp
This campsite is located about 45 minutes from Freiburg. Sleep in a Tipi Tent, normal tent, in a tree or in a gondola! The outdoor options are endless here and it’s certainly special! www.schwarzwaldcamp.com

Schwarzwaldcamp Black Forest
Source

Black Forest Lodge at Feldberg
Recently opened back in December, this huge wooden lodge, offers guest apartments throughout the seasons. During the winter you can ski down the Feldberg and during the sunny season, you can stay here while exploring the beautiful surroundings of the Black Forest. All apartments are equipped with a kitchen, bedroom, a very modern and spacious bathroom, and living area. All guests can use the sauna and relaxing area, and there are many villages nearby for supermarkets or restaurants. The best thing? Your own porch with a view of the Feldberg. www.black-forest-lodge.com

Black Forest Germany
My view from the Black Forest Lodge

Sleep in a Wine Barrel at Titisee
I haven’t stayed at this particular one, but I have stayed in a wine barrel before! It’s a must do if you love to snuggle up to your loved one, because it’s very romantic and cozy. My advise is to book between June and September as it can get quite chilly otherwise.

Wine barrel

Zeitraum at Elzach-Yach
If you’re into sustainability like me, you’re going to love this hotel. This holiday home in the middle of nature with ecological structureBuild from wood and other natural materials, gently support the Feng Shui of the house. The outside jacuzzi and spa, complete your visit. It’s located 30 minutes away from Freiburg city. www.imzeitraum.de

NaturTräume in Schiltach
This is for brave and free from giddiness people! Sleep in a tent that hangs from a zipeline, over the trees of the Black Forest. Would you dare?  www.de/uebernachtung.com

naturtraume black forest

So, where would you stay?

Love,

Elke

Zwier » Escape The City

A few weeks ago I booked a weekend at Zwier, a glamping experience just outside the city of Amsterdam.Deadlines took my stress level to a high last week, and my body & mind were looking for those holiday vibes.

After a short drive from Amsterdam, and you’ll find yourself in pure serenity

From City life into Glamping life
Within 15 minutes by car, you find yourself at The Vinkeveense Plassen. A lake area with flora and fauna that feels miles away from busy Amsterdam, or any city for that matter. Zwier is located in the middle of this, and situated next to a tiny harbour with boats and canoes. Until one year ago, Zwier was a normal camping, with caravans and places to set up your tent. It’s a family business that has recently been passed on to the latest generation, and they decided to focus more on glamping, sustainability, and offer people from around the busy cities a place to totally relax.

Glamping at Zwier
The comfort of glamping

It feels like coming home, from home.

At Zwier you can stay in beautiful Bell Tents that are equipped with a small fridge, comfy boxspring beds, a small table and chairs. It feels like coming home, from home. If you want, you can also book your stay on a large boathouse or tiny island hut next to the water. The utilities are extremely luxury for a camping. Rain-shower, check. Clean toilets, (that include unlimited toilet rolls!) check. Each tent has enough space, and a feeling of privacy. I noticed that most people staying at Zwier, are aged between 25 and 40 years old, work of live in cities nearby, and have a busy profession. Burn outs, are most common between the age of 30 and 45, so it’s extremely important to give your head some space now and then. The bell tents are available from €229,- for a whole wknd (Fri-Sun) and include 2 boxspring beds, breakfast, yoga and free use of sup-boards and canoes.

Zwier Bell Tent

Zwier Amsterdam

Healthy & Fresh
Breakfast is served in a glass house between 8 and 11am that includes fresh bread, croissants, homemade smoothies & granola, fresh orange juice and unlimited coffee & tea It’s also the community kitchen to prepare your dinner that you can pre-order at the Zwier reception, or you buy in your local supermarket. Veggies and herbs grow in the Zwier garden, and guests are welcomed to pick some fresh salad and cucumbers. At the reception, you can buy organic ice-cream, beers, crisp and organic lemonade.


Fresh herbs & veggies from the garden

Zwier
Breakfast in the glass community kitchen

Zwier Breakfast

So what do you do at Zwier?
Mainly; relax! I saw people reading books, sunbath, girlfriends chatting away, take a plunge in the Zwier natural pool, or take a yoga class. At Zwier you can do anything that feels good. Nothing has to be done, but the options are there. You can take a sub-board or canoe for free and explore the Vinkeveense plassen. You can also rent a boat, which is great for a group of friends, for €99,- per day, or €35,- per hour. If you arrive at Zwier by car, you have the option to explore a bit further, but we loved staying in and around Zwier for the 2 days that we were there. I felt no rush to explore, just being there in the moment.

Zwier
Where would you stay, tent, or boat?

Around The Area
If you feel like eating somewhere else, other than Zwier, you can visit the Coffee house “De Goede Morgen” which is just 10 a minute walk away and such an amazing hidden spot. They serve breakfast and lunch until 4pm, so it’s great for a morning stroll. If you continue walking for a little longer, you’ll get to beach club Lust, where you can order a more lavish lunch (and some wine). If you come with kids, this area is also nice because of the man-made beaches, that allows shallow swimming. I must say, the water near the beaches, aren’t very clean, so be sure to shower your children after they’e been swimming.

Vinkeveense plassen
So quiet and peaceful

Goede mOrgen Café, Zwier
Coffee house, De Goede Morgen

24 Hours Without
Zwier also has some nice activities planned such as 24 Hours Without. Here you are challenged to stay at Zwier’s Island Cabin, which is not located on the camping, without Wifi, mobile phone or tablet. With a basket full of organic goodies, a good book and your thoughts, you can opt for the 24hours or the 48 hours challenge. Would you dare? 24 Hours Without is available from €175,- and includes a made up boxspring bed, transportation to – and from the island, a food basket and a small kitchen.

Zwier
Waking up at Zwier

Zwier may be one of my biggest must-do-tips to date

When it was time to check out on Sunday (check out is a 4pm if you stay the weekend), it felt like the end of a holiday. I couldn’t believe I was 15 minutes away from the city, and my home. At Wander-Lust we give many tips, but this must be one of my best ones yet. So no matter who you decide to come with; your girlfriends, your partner, your colleagues or alone, Zwier will re-charge your batteries. 100%.

Zwier
Winkeldijk 20A, Vinkeveen
Website

Love,

Elke

The Best Hidden Spots on Mykonos

Everybody has heard of Mykonos once in their lifetime. Mykonos is part of the Cyclades islands and the Ibiza of Greece.
Known for it’s lavish parties and the jetset life, yet it has a lot more to offer than just that. Like many of you, 
I dislike mass tourism, so finding some less crowded spots on Mykonos seemed to be a quest. Lucky enough I did find some and I love to share these with you.

The Beaches:
Mykonos is surrounded by the Aegean sea so there are plenty beaches to choose from! But not all are suitable for what you might be looking for.
If you have small children, you might want to visit the south east coast for example. For the best quiet beaches check these out:

The North:
» Fokos Beach (quiet, plus one small and tasty restaurant!)
» Merssini (private beach best for couples! No restaurant)

Mykonos has some quiet beaches
Staring in to the sea and feeling the warm sand at Fokos Beach

The South:
» Kalaftis (beautiful, windsurfing, good for children)
» Kapari beach (great for couples, to get there you must go off road a little bit)
» Agios Ioannis Beach (some nice beach bars like Hippiefish but very chilled out and not crowded)

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The hard to find Kapari beach. Ssst, it’s a secret!

The water in Mykonos is like.. wow.

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Eating well and enjoying the sound of children playing at Kalaftis beach

Accommodation:
Hotels can be expensive in the high season so if you’re looking for the best budget deal, check out the Paraga Beach Hostel at Paraga Beach. The view from the poolside is amazing and you won’t spend more than 120 euro’s for 3 nights depending on what accommodation type you will get. I slept in a 2 persons tent (TRB) with electricity but you can also hire a small tent for as little as 15 euro’s per night.  The only thing to be aware of is that on the left side of paraga beach you will find the infamous Paradise beach which is full of youngsters getting their groove on until 4 in the morning. Bring some earplugs and you should be fine though. The service at this hostel is great and they serve food all day long and even have a small supermarket.

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The view from Paraga Beach Hostel was pretty amazing!

glamping at Paraga Beach Hostel Mykonos
Very basic but you can’t get a better deal in Mykonos than this one! 🙂


Paraga Beach Hostel Mykonos
Laying by the pool at Paraga Beach Hostel

Next door to this hostel is an amazing boutique hotel called San Giorgio. This is a completely different experience and a big upgrade! I was lucky enough to get a tour and taste the amazing breakfast buffet. The hotel manager (who happened to be Dutch) explained to me that a lot of her guest come here to get that comfortable “home” feeling that large hotels don’t offer. San Giorgio’s architecture suits any type of traveller because it’s warm, stylish screams hippie chic.

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The bohemian entrance of San Giorgio Hotel

Their pool area is by far my favorite place of the hotel. Overlooking the aegan sea, you can chill here on large beds or relax at the bar next to the pool. I enjoyed my first healthy smoothly here and it cured my cold which I brought back from The Netherlands.
For rooms check their amazing website: sangiorgio-mykonos.com. Psst, if you book with Booking.com and you use our discount code, you’ll get €25 back, after you return from your trip!

San Giorgio Hotel, Mykonos
Endless views from the pool area

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A colorful vitamin boost!

San Giorgio also has a stylish little brother called the Scorpios beach club just on the other side of Paraga beach. Same architect, different management.
They just opened in May and it already attracts celebrities and the elite. I danced at sunset which is something you must do when coming to mykonos.
Read about the best beach bars in Mykonos here. In the “club” they also have an amazing clothing shop where they sell one Mexican label called Caravana Montaecristo. They offer an exclusive capsule collection for luxury-minded globetrotting travelers.


Caravana Mykonos
The beautiful collection of  Caravana

Eating:
The main town of Mykonos is called Chora. Be aware that it’s crowded at nights and you will walk through the small street at a slow pace. The best time to visit is in the morning. I have to be honest and I have to say I was a little disappointed by the food in this area and it was overpriced when you compare it to the more secluded areas. One restaurant I can highly recommend is Joanna’s Nikos Place Taverna. I think it might be run by women only because on the evening I ate there, I didn’t see one men on the floor. (even the cook!) And the food is amazing. Try the moussaka or the fresh fish from the grill! It’s situated at the left beach next to Chora and it can be busy. If you want a table with sea view, you must make a reservation.
If you’re on a budget I have a great tip for you: try and visit your nearest bakery and order a feta and spinach roll or if you like something sweet, try the pastery filled with cream. Both are tipically Greek and this way you can have lunch on the beach and save some cash! A win win right?

Verdict: Mykonos is a must visit if you like the jetset life, don’t mind to spend a little more cash than usual and dance until sunset. This island hasn’t lost his raw beauty yet so definitely check out the afore mentioned beaches and enjoy the white and blue houses!

Love,

Elke

Catawiki » Finding that unique treasure online

Auctions. It was something that I had only seen on TV, where people would buy antiques and art, something I had never experience before. But why not? There are many treasures to hunt for, or maybe even sell. When I travel, I buy special items and I bargain for it. So why wouldn’t I do this online? I decided to explore and test Catawiki, one of the largest and fastest growing online auction platforms in Europe.

CataWiki

Do you have a special piece of art from Bali?

How to use Catawiki
If you go to Catawiki.com, you’ll immediately see several items that have joined the auction platform and are available for sale. You can either sell or buy. Do you have a special piece of art from Bali? Or an item that has been in the family for decades? Catawiki has many in-house experts that review your items and advise a decent price to offer your lot. Add a clear description, good quality photographs that include numbers, codes or other details. If your lot has a value of more than €200, you can add a reserve price to it. If your lot does not reach this price at auction, it will not be sold. What’s in it for Catawiki? Well, they ask for a 12,5% of the winning bid, (excluding VAT). A small fee to pay if you sell your vintage watch for thousands of Euro’s! This video explains:

Pretty sad for the jacket that I knew deserved better.

My Selling Experience on Catawiki
I’ve had this one Levi’s Vintage Jacket for ages. It was just hanging in my closet. Pretty sad for the jacket that I knew deserved better. I had tried to sell it at Marktplaats, E-Bay and United Waredrobe, but people wouldn’t offer more than 50 euro’s for it, even though this jacket was worth well over a 100 Euro. This is when someone told me about Catawiki. A platform full of one of a kind items from all over the world. Here you can find jewellery, art, books, vintage fashion items & accessories, and much more.

Catawiki levis
My Levi’s Vintage jacket on Catawiki

CataWiki
Snap Snap, got a vintage camera? Sell it!

Each day, new “lots” are offered and go up for auction for about 5 days. I offered my lot for 135 euro with an estimate value of 300 euro. Within 5 days, I received several bids, and it was eventually sold at 135! Afterwards you need to wait for the buyer to transfer the money, and you are ready to send you item. Shipping cost will be paid by the buyer and you can ship from anywhere in the world.

So are you ready to put your auction face on? Or perhaps you are looking for that vintage Chanel bag? Don’t be hesitant, take the leap! It’s a whole new treasure world out there.

Love,

Elke

*This article was written in collaboration with Catawiki. At Wander-Lust we only collaborate with brands and organisations that we believe in and offer a good product, so we can tip it to you, our readers in an honest way.

How to see Rome in 2 days

This city has been on my European bucketlist forever. Somehow I never got the chance to visit Rome but when I planned my Greek Island hopping tour a few months back, it seemed like the perfect opportunity to fly via Rome. With only 2 days to discover this Italian capital, I needed to plan a little ahead to make the most of it. After all, 2 days may seem too short for a city with so many things to see but it can be done! How?

Here’s my guide on how to make the most of  your visit to Rome in 2 days:

1. Book yourself an Airbnb and stay in an area just outside the centre.
You’ll proberly stay in an authentic italian house with a local host. This way you get real inside tips and information.
I stayed at Mario’s Place which was located at Trastevere. Great walking distance to most must see attractions and next to the tram 8 which takes you to the centre in just a few minutes. Breakfast contains of fresh cakes and pastry’s and is including within the price. (Just make sure you get the directions right as Mario will send you a full and clear description at the time of your booking. I booked a few months ahead so I already forgot about them and ended up calling him a few times as I couldn’t find his front door.)

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My flowery Airbnb accommodation in Rome

2. Bring comfy shoes.
Rome is very accessible on foot and every area is near to eachother.  
But Rome wasn’t build in a day so expect to walk a few extra miles! I didn’t use the tram a lot so I walked an average of 7km(!) a day and in this case you might end up with blisters if you bring those: they-only-look-good-shoes.

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Caught in an exhausted “moment”

3. Pre-Buy your tickets 
Especially for the main attractions like the Colosseum.This way you can skip the que. During summertime it can be craaaazy busy!

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Both impressive: The Colosseum and the 2000 year old Pantheon.

4. Eat where the locals eat.
This is my biggest tip for all destinations. Don’t eat near the tourist attractions as the food will be overpriced and you won’t taste real authentic food. I had my first pizza at Mirrors pizzaria. Pizza’s cost 6 euro’s and were crunchy and delicious! I had a lovely dinner at Baylon Café where they serve homemade pasta with a twist. I was the only “tourist” in the restaurant (i see myself more as a traveller) and I enjoyed watching the beautiful people of Rome eating and drinking wine. Perfect night.


Enjoying the Italian cuisine at Baylon Cafe in Trastevere.

5. Save cash by using the free tab water.
Rome is hot, and in summer it’s boiling. Thank god for the free and very drinkable tap water that you will find throughout the city in little fountains. I filled about 4 bottles a day and I saved money at the same time!
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One of the many life savers in Rome!

6. Keep it real Italian
Go to a little bakery/delicatesse shop like Giselda Forno and taste the fine italian cuisine and even better, take it with you while you wander round. Sit in the shade and enjoy!
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Help, too many to choose from at Giselda Forno!

7. Check the Rome events calendar for special celebrations or nights.
When I was there, I enjoyed a special art cinema night by the river with music and films.
I found this great website here you can easily see what’s on and when.

8. Walk alongside the Tiber river at night
Have a cocktail at one of many cute bars alongside the water. Make deals with the temperamental market sales men and listen to the occasional karaoke.

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One of the many outdoor bars you will find on one side of the riverbanks

9. Visit one of Rome’s many markets.
From vegetables, herbs and fresh fruit to wine, kitchenware and art.
The most famous markets are Piazza Testaccio and Il Traittore. The less crowded but also great are San Teodoro – Circo Massimo and Ponte Milvio.

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Colorful vegetables and pasta’s at the Piazza Testaccio market.

10. Last but not least; if you can, do not visit Rome during summer.
Why not? Well, because it’s just so bloody hot! 
30 degrees is a high temperature if you have to walk around in Rome. It was a sticky experience sometimes and it’s not the dry heat you will find in Greece for example. Lucky for me, I like the heat (perhaps it’s because I have Indonesian blood?). If you must go during this period, then you should be aware of this and dress accordingly.

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They still exist! 
 
I hope you can use these tips for your next visit to Rome!

Ciao Ciao wanderlusties!

Love,

Elke

The Traveling Guide to Salzburg, Austria

Austria, the country of the Von Trapp family, the boot-sized wiener schnitzels and Viennese waltz. When I was a little kiddo my travel enthusiastic parents took me to Vienna. That was the one and only time I’ve been on holiday in Austria. And to be honest, in the recent years I’ve never thought to book a spring or summer trip to Austria. Maybe because I mainly associated (yeah associated) it with retired, tree-hugging people who love to live in complete silence outdoors. Quite generalising and prejudiced. But after SalzburgerLand invited me to discover their region, I definitely said ‘yes’. Time to figure out what the Western part of Austria has to offer for this 27-year-old urban girl.

We Dutchies mostly know SalzburgerLand from the 2300 slopes and aprês ski

SalzburgerLand in a nutshell
Just a 1,5 hour flight from Amsterdam and you’re in Salzburg. We Dutchies mostly know SalzburgerLand from the 2300 slopes spread over 23 ski areas (like Zell am See, Saalbach, Hinterglemm or Kitzbühel), the Austrian place to be for skiing, snowboarding or other winter sports fun. But did you know there’s no other country that waltzes so smoothly between winter and summer time, between urban and outdoors? I didn’t! One day you’re standing on top of the world overlooking the greener than green, fresh-aired Almhof and Milka look-a-like settings, the next you’re swanning around in Mozart’s birthplace Salzburg. I can tell you, a perfect nature-city combi for me!

Tips what to do in SalzburgerLand
Just so you know, I had almost 72 hours in SalzburgerLand. And I can tell you it felt much longer, good thing. This area is very suitable for short trips, but also for a longer summer holiday. Recommended is to do a day trip over the Grossglockner High Alpine road. I kicked-off with it, and was blown away by the natural beauty and calmness. Bizarre to walk on a height of almost 3000 meters in winter wonderland during spring. Best tip I can give: during your journey of discovery definitely go together with a guide. And don’t forget your sunscreen, in no time you’re a complexion or two richer.

Extra Tip » the valley of Gastein. Go by cable car up to the summit of mountain Stubnerkogel, give the flying fox over the waterfall of Bad Gastein a try for an adrenaline shot or unwind in the spa area of Alpentherme. Little sidenote: don’t expect a spa in the mountains, but surrounded by mountains.


Bad Gastein

City Tip Salzburg » when in SalzburgerLand, a city sightseeing walk through picturesque Salzburg is a must. You can’t escape it: this really touristic town is all about Mozart, interesting to learn more about this classical music wunderkind. And based on my window shopping experience, I can say their High Street has lots of cosy and delicious boutiques. Besides it’s not the most special city I’ve ever been, it’s worth a visit through the lovely ambiance and perky parks.

Shopping in Salzburg
Shopping in Salzburg

SchloBpark #6 Salzburg

Active Tip » Go with the flow during stand up paddling on the Mattsee. I ended my journey here in the for me Austrian Côte d’Azur. The sympathetic, originally Dutch girl Danique learns you the tricks in a sec, so you can enjoy the amazing, idyllic surroundings. Like to be challenged? Well, all right what about sup Vinyasa flow or Yin yoga (*wink*)

Suppen at Salzburgerland

Where to eat 
Guess what? This gourmet tasted lots of the typical Austrian gastronomy. Not so surprisingly I was excited to try if the super sweetened Kaiserschmarrn were as good as people told me…they’re, no doubt! And despite meat isn’t my fave food, you really have to order a jumbo wiener schnitzel. But there’s more to Austrian cuisine than this. If you’re hungry for visiting restaurants where you can taste the love Austrians have for the land, and where they like to swing with the seasons, definitely restaurant Unterbergerwirt at Dorfgastein (famous for their award-winning, mouth-watering Salzburger Nockerl) and Biohotel Schiessentobel are two must-try’s (please, don’t get disinterested by their bit dated websites).

Icecream SchloBpark
Ice-Ice Baby

Food in Salzburg

Where to Sleep
And last but not least, my two hotel recommendations. Let’s face it, there’s nothing as good as ‘coming home’ in a serene hotel room after an active day outsides. The four-star hotel Das Goldberg was heaven on earth (too bad it only was a one night stand…uhh stay). This upscale place with spa, swimming pool and a breaky buffet with the X-factor has captured my heart. In case you prefer a classic Salzburg style hotel with all the modern room facilities, choose for hotel Neumayr at Obertrum.


Das Goldberg

there’s nothing as good as ‘coming home’ in a serene hotel room after an active day

Das Goldberg

In short, I was totally surprised by the Austrian area SalzburgerLand. Giant plus was the diverse mingle of urban and outdoors. Will miss the breaths of fresh air here in Amsterdam…ohh and the Kaiserschmarrn for sure!

For more info about Salzburg, check this website.

Love,

Sharmaine

*Sharmaine is one of our guest bloggers from the Netherlands with a sweet tooth. The sweeter, the better! She no kitchen princess so she’s always in search for the best hotspots in Amsterdam! You can expect an article from her once a month! Check her out on Instagram!