Budapest #DiscoveryFriday

I am so excited to actually be posting for you guys from abroad on Good Friday! First of all Happy Easter and this one is going to be a short and quick one. Today I arrived to Budapest and have already walked a great part of the city just to get my bearings and establish where all the major sights are. The wander took me to this evening and I gladly got to see some iconic buildings all lit up! Oh I do love a bit of wanderlust and simply walking around gazing at the architecture and trying to read the signs in the local language. So today for a quick #DiscoveryFriday let me share with you guys this some quick images of this amazing city that I will be exploring for the next few days with my cousin!

Happy Easter, reading, writing and travelling!

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Away for Easter! #Budapest

The 5 or so days leading up to a trip are always a bit of a blur for me. I find myself googling names of buildings, their locations, marking maps, finding what events are on the city I am visiting, the top ten things to see, the obscure things to see, looking at weather reports every day, constantly to-ing and fro-ing between comfort and style for the wardrobe, printing tickets, booking forms, emails with hotels, sorting out currency and mostly not sleeping in the excitement of arriving to my destination. And so here I go, off tomorrow morning to Budapest!

I am so excited to visit this city, which has become iconic due to its thermal baths and fascinating history. I have wanted to visit for a while and finally I will be going and Easter should be a phenomenal experience as they hold an annual Easter festival at the Buda Castle. There is so much I want to find and I am told our 5 days are more than enough time to experience it all fully.

I am looking forward to then giving you all details on this trip, tips and advice, and sharing with you why this should definitely be at the top of your city break list, or not, who knows I could have an awful Hungarian experience but I somehow doubt that! I am equally excited to be sharing this trip with my cousin, she is 14 and for two years we have been plotting where I could take her on her first trip abroad without her parents.

So off I go first thing in the morning and I will be back next week I am sure with plenty of stories, photos, wanderlust and travel inspiration for you all.

For now my dear readers, wishes of the happiest and chocolatiest of Easter’s!

Happy reading, writing and travels!

Runemarks – falling in love with Norse Mythology

One of the biggest truths about life is that many little things make you fall in love. Literature was one of my first big loves, it helped me discover a thirst within me to find out more. It was also through literature that I started letting my mind wander to places far away from home, so here started my passion for travel. Finally, when studying history I started falling in love with mythology, from Greek, Roman, Norse etc. So many epic stories that form the basis for stories today, it is all one big intertwined world and literature has made me realise just how much it is. So Joanne Harris has brought three things together for me!

Runemarks follows the story of Maddy Smith – later called Modi – who discovers after a series of events that she is the estranged daughter of the lost God, Thor. The end of the world seems to be approaching – as it always is in these types of stories – and she needs to find a way to save the Gods, wake them from their slumber and rescue the world. With the help of her entrusted yet suspicious uncle Loki and her good friend One-eyed who taught her everything he could about magic and her godly abilities.

Joanne Harris brings together the old Norse stories with a beautiful world and prose that carries the myths so well. The award winning author had yet to tap into this style of writing and she did it effortlessly. I think adding the narrative that magic had been something that had been encountered before and was now being ignored due to fear allowed Harris to introduce the power of the gods quite effectively. The novel is both refreshing as it is coated in olden airs, a story that is so ancient and known but was told in a new way.

Norse mythology is one that I am not hugely familiar with, I am far more versed in Greek and Roman and other smaller mythologies, but it is truly phenomenal and fascinating. Harris introduces the subject and belief smoothly enabling us all to understand and feel like this world is not so detached from our own. For the avid fantasy reader and the traveller I really do recommend this novel. Written by an award winning and established author, it is a pleasure to be welcomed into the Norse world by her brilliant writing skill and wit. Enjoy this novel.

Framlingham Castle #DiscoveryFriday

Another week, another Friday, another discovery! I love being able to say that I take as much opportunity as I can to discover new things in all my small ventures. Be it a weekend trip, or time with my family, I always like to discover something new, like food, music, movies, places, you name it I want to find it.

This weekend just gone I had the pleasure of visiting Framlingham Castle. For over 2 years I have been visiting Suffolk but had yet to visit the castle inside. I had seen it several times, perching on the hill at the highest point of the town. From Framlingham college you see it reflecting on the mere and its mirror image is as mighty as the building itself.

The castle which dates back to the 12th century, was owned by the Bigod family who held great power on the East Anglian region of England at the time. It has been owned by many influential families and in the late 13th century when Framlingham extended its parkland and became a ground for hunting it was considered a luxurious home town for many.

It is a fascinating historical building, having seem family conflicts, been torn down, rebuilt and expanded. Families have added extensive gardens and sections of entertainment to the area, it was even once part of Pembroke College, Oxford University, and it even survived World War II as it was part of the regional defences against potential German invasion. It is a true delight and so affordable to visit. The audio guides are free and quite entertaining. The small bridges that link each section of the building as you walk across them might give you mild vertigo so do be careful.

I totally recommend seeing this practically intact historical building and imagining that you are shooting arrows from the narrow windows to defend your home. It is stunning, majestic and represents another little bit of British History.Travelling inside the UK can be just as filled with wanderlust as can the rest of the world.

Happy travels and reading!

Brigadeiros – recipe

There is just something so indulgent about chocolate and caramel and anything that is mixed with condensed milk and I think these are the perfect treat for any sugar obsessed/chocoholic and lover of all things delightfully decadent.

Here is a quick and easy way to make Brigadeiros – the Brazilian’s response to truffles.

Note: These can be quite messy to make but a lot of fun and so delicious.

INGREDIENTS:

  • One tub of condensed milk – you can also make these with caramel flavour condensed milk
  • 4 table spoons of pure dark coco powder – you can also make these with milk choc or white chocolate powder.
  • 2 table spoons of unsalted butter
  • Coating such as chocolate grains, rasbperry bits, millions and trillions and coconut shavings, or simply sugar.

PROCESS:

Mix all the ingredients in a pan at low heat. Do not let the mix boil. Mix until you can see the bottom of the pan and the mix is semi-viscose. Once it gets to this point let it chill for a bit.

Cover your hands in butter and shape them into balls of chocolate then cover them in your chosen coating. Set them all up on a plate and put them in the fridge to solidify.

Enjoy!

Note: I always get mini cupcake cases to keep the little bonbons intact.