New

Seeing as one of my personal goals is to visit at least one new place and try one new activity every year, I thought this week’s photo challenge would be a good opportunity to look back at the new places I’ve visited and the activities I’ve tried since starting this blog.

My trip to Pisa was as amazing cultural experience…

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Pottery is something that I’ve always wanted to try, and I seemed to always just miss out on the opportunity until I enrolled on the one day workshop at the Howardian Centre in Cardiff…

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Sleeping ‘rough’ in St Davids 2 car park in Cardiff as part of the Sleep Easy Challenge helped to raise awareness of the issues surrounding homelessness. We also raised enough money to keep an emergency room open at the YMCA hostel. Click the link to see an updated comment from Mandy Caddy about this year’s event and how you can get involved…

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Taking part in the Cardiff Photo Marathon saw 400 of us running around the city like mad people for 12 hours, desperately trying to find our next shot. I was exhausted by the time I handed in my memory card, but it was a great experience…DSC_0032

I volunteered at an eco-campsite in Anglesey, North Wales for a week. I later found out from my mum that this was possibly not my first time visiting Anglesey, although if I have been before it was when I was a baby and I don’t remember it…DSC_0085

I’ve visited London lots of times, but every time I go there I found another part of the huge city that I haven’t explored before…DSC_0202

I decided to visit Boulogne-sur-mer, France because it is accessible by bus from Cardiff. I love that I live in Wales, yet I can be in a foreign country with a totally different culture within a day…DSC_0108

The high ropes course at Go Ape is not something I would have signed up for before, but I agreed to try it as part of a friend’s hen weekend. Even though I’m petrified of heights, I conquered my fear and completed the whole course…PENTAX DIGITAL CAMERA

Completing my first 5k was a reminder to myself of what I can achieve…IMG_0289

There are some new activities that I’m not very good at, and some that I just plain suck at. Archery is one of those activities…DSC_0325

New places that involve snow I can ski on are always my favourite. In January 2014 I went to Pila, Italy (not to be confused with Pisa, see above) with my parents and their friend…

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My initial reason for visiting Iceland was to see the Northern Lights, but I discovered so much more whilst I was there. I can’t wait to go back some day and explore more of the island…DSC_0236

I love being an aunty, and getting to try new activities with my nephew, nieces and godchildren make them even more special. I hadn’t planned to go mountain carting, my niece and nephew chose the activity and I’m so glad they did…DSC_0680

Learning to scythe was also a skill I never thought I’d acquire, until my volunteer work at the community garden led me to Phil the scythe master…DSC_0925This post is part of the Photo Challenge ‘New’. Click here to see more entries and a photo of a really cute baby.

Weekly Photo Challenge: Saturated

Michelle W’s picture for this week’s photo challenge (Saturated, click here to see more entries) reminded me of my trip to London in June.

I’d gone to Brick Lane with the intention of doing some shopping, bu didn’t find much to buy and was instead distracted by all the street art. I’d never visited this part of the city before, and I didn’t realise that graffiti is so prolific in the area. Not only is it really colourful, there are lots of different styles and it is all really good street art.

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The plant-based traveller finds some new favourite eateries

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Whenever I travel, I always search for my destination on Happy Cow to make sure I find the best vegetarian restaurants and health food shops whilst I’m there. There are so many great eating places to choose from in London, I always wish I could stay for longer just so I could eat more!

During my most recent trip, I stopped for a quick lunch at Chop’d in Old Spitalfields Market. I’d actually been looking for another food stand at the market, which unfortunately has closed down, and came across Chop’d by accident. This is a take-out that proves salad is way more than just rabbit food. As this was my first visit, my helpful server talked me through choosing my lunch. First of all, you choose your base from house leaves, deli leaves, pasta, brown rice or couscous. Then, choose from a great selection of house items including beetroot, chickpeas, edamame beans, olives and tomato to name just a few. The team at Chop’d recommend three house items, but you can add extra for 35p per portion. Next comes your deli item. They are options such as avocado and tofu, but Chop’d isn’t just for vegetarians, there are plenty of meat options as well. Now all you have to do is choose a garnish and dressing (mixed seeds with balsamic for me), and watch your server whip your salad up into a delicious lunch. You get plenty of food as well, although my photo doesn’t really do the portions justice (I was enjoying it so much that I forgot to take a photo until I was already halfway through!). As a bonus (for you and the planet), if you don’t take a bag or re-use an old one you get to pick another house item. I only realised this when I picked up a leaflet on my way out, and I got more than a bit confused when all the staff kept asking me if I needed a bag 🙂

After a few more hours wandering around the city, I was ready for dinner, and very excited to go and find Tibits. An entirely vegetarian restaurant, Tibits is even more customer friendly than Chop’d. All the food is laid out buffet style, and they weigh your plate to determine how much you pay. A massive plate of great tasting plant-based food, a glass of chilled white wine and a sunny summers afternoon in London. What more could I ask for?

London Street Art

I couldn’t tell you about the great couple of days I had in London and not mention the incredible street art that I saw whilst I was there. Here are some of my favourites from Brick Lane:

 

Whilst shopping on Portobello Road, I also noticed these colourful murals by Fiona Hawthorne, a local artist who drew her inspiration from the Carnival.

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I think my favourite is the street sweepers. It reminds me of clearing up after revellers when I worked at Glastonbury one year.

 

An abridged version of London

As I had to change buses in London Victoria on my return from Boulogne, it seemed silly to not stop there for a couple of nights and do some more exploring. I’ve visited London many times, and whenever I have some free time there I like to discover areas of the city that I haven’t been to before as well as visit some old favourites. The weather was lovely and sunny whilst I was there, so perfect for taking some photos.