Riga was the city I flew into to start the Baltic leg of my trip. First thing I did was climb the tower of St Peter’s Church for a great view of the city. Of course, I did the free walking tour with Yellow Free tours where I met a couple of awesome girls. We checked out things such as ‘Stalin’s Cake’ , the food markets in the old airplane hangers (one of my favourite markets in the world!) and the oldest wooden church in the Baltics before a few of us branched off and went to an amazing teahouse in the middle of a snow-covered park.
The start of 2013 had started in fine form and the next few months followed in suit.
We had a fair bit of snow in London which made for some more snowman making at our friend’s pub, the Trafalgar Arms, which was the in the middle of our houses. This pub became our home for the next couple of months over winter for a solid ‘Sunday Sesh’, we even had a couch that was the specifically saved for us.
I was lucky enough to once again stay with some family in Copenhagen and to spend Christmas with them as well.
We were off to the West Coast of Denmark to spend it at my cousin’s family home in Värde.
The day we were due to leave there was a snow storm which caused a little delay but made everything look beautiful. It was a nice drive and once we got there you could smell the amazing aromas saved for Christmas time.
Shortly after arriving back in London, my Dad arrived for a visit..
We spent the first weekend exploring London and I took him for a typical English pub meal. We also went to a soccer game which is pretty foreign to the both of us. It was Fulham v Aston Villa and ended up as a draw.
During the week my Dad caught the Eurostar to Lille where he hired a car and took himself around France and Belgium for a week by himself to explore the WW1 Australian battlefields on the WesternFront..
I was off to Africa to volunteer for my first time, and I chose Zanzibar (an island of the coast of Tanzania) to offer my services (although it does cost to do this!). What an island paradise!
I arrived a few days before I was scheduled to help and went to the Northern tip of the island to Kendwa. This place was incredible. I have never seen such white sand with pristine waters – it was like a dream.
As it was the year of the Olympics in London, it was manic with crowds of people from all over the world – more than normal! Such a great time to be in the city though and there was even more on than usual!
A group of us watched the Opening Ceremony at a mate’s pub before I caught the train to Manchester the next day read to go to my first Olympic event – New Zealand v Egypt soccer (also Brazil v Belarus). As the people I went with were mainly Kiwis I thought it was best to support the cousins from across the sea and join in donning the black and white. It was good fun watching the game at Old Trafford stadium and a great atmosphere. I spent the night and did some exploring of Manchester with some mates making the most of our time there.
After returning from my latest trip I managed to pick up a couple of different temp assignments for a week or two before Richemont called me to say they wanted me back!! This was great news as I enjoyed working for Richemont, they were a great company and I learnt a lot working there. I ended up working there until my time was up in London.
The start of my weekend trips away was local, in Birmingham, to stay a night with my friend who was studying there. Charlotte showed me around and we hung out in the small city where the sun was shining for us. We did visit the Cadbury Chocolate factory which of course we felt ill from so much chocolate afterwards but well worth it.
The following weekend was the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee which meant an extra-long weekend, perfect to book a European trip away, Prague in the Czech Republic it was. I went solo and managed to meet some great people on the walking tour and at the hostel where I stayed.