Travel Guide: Trier, Germany

Across the Luxembourg border is a town called Trier- the oldest roman city in Germany. I was drawn to going for its easy travel (one hour from Luxembourg by train), history and shopping. I loved it from the moment I arrived- the train station is only 10 minutes away from the centre, making it super easy to walk down. The place I stopped into (as usual) was the info centre. Usually in every town theres an info centre either in the train station or in the city centre. I got a map and a list of tourist activities and I was on my way. trier2

The first place I hit was right beside the info centre and was one of the oldest places in the city. The Porta Nigra is a huge Roman city gate built out of sandstone between 186-200 AD. It was given its’s name ‘Porta Nigra’ (latin for ‘black gate) in the middle ages however the true Roman name for the gate has been lost in time. What I found most amazing was that the gate would have been taken apart stone by stone for building materials in the 11th century if not for a Greek hermit monk named Simeon who lived in the gate. Previous to living in the gate, Simeon had lived in a cave off the shore of the Red Sea, but left because he was he found he was too often disturbed by other people. I loved hearing the bits and pieces of his story and kept imagining him living in the (freezing) cold gate, alone, all day long.

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The rooms were huge and lonely but absolutely beautiful. Graffiti is carved into the stones, a mix of historical carvings and modern swear words. trier4trier5

trier7trier6One of the other things I lvoed about it was the long hallways and winding stairs. Each area had a long hallways connecting it with huge arched open windows, allowing you to take pictures of the town below. All together the experience cost 4 euros and was well worth it to wander around. Plus the view is fantastic.

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Next, I went and got myself a real german pretzel ( really great choice by the way) and made my way to the cathedral. On the way I stopped around town mostly because it all looked so cool and colourful. This fountain is in the middle of the square making it a beautiful meeting point for people. For a while I ate my pretzel and watched family and friends meet at the fountain, hugging and speaking german or french.

trier-13Finally I got to the cathedral. Inside it was massive- high ceilings and beautiful artwork. What amazed me most was the organ up on the wall. I would’ve loved to hear it played to know what it sounded like. It was so incredibly massive. trier-12trier-10trier-11

After being a tourist for most of the day, I resigned myself to shopping at T.K Max and some other shops. I got myself a Dunkin Donuts coffee and headed home. It was a great day of solo travel and my very first time going to a new country completely alone. I find travel empowering. It confirms that the crazy things I think I can’t do, I can.

Trier may not be the world’s hottest city to visit but I do recommend if you are in the Luxembourg area or even Germany, that you take a stop, even for a few hours and visit the Porta Nigra & Cathedral. They have beautiful stories attached to their history waiting to be explored.

xx

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Trust

I’ve always felt like a fairly brave person.Not brave as in, no fear & solid as stone, but brave as in willing to walk through the fire and get what needs to be done, done. The cross-over to this year is teaching me that bravery is actually useless & harmful. Trust is much harder than bravery… Why? Because it’s a hell of a lot harder to trust what you are unsure of than to power through it without feeling the flames.

In bravery we are arrogant, in trust we are humbled.

I felt brave making this move to Europe. I felt I was making the hard choice to move and last month I began to doubt that a lot. Now I see that there is no right or wrong. There is no brave moves- only those that require a lot more trust. I trust that this is neither good nor bad but that it will lead me where I am meant to be. I don’t know that this will all work out and I’m not so fearless as to think that it will be without its hardship. So far I have been shown so much generosity and kindness that it has been overwhelming at times. There have been so many moments when fear creeps in and tells me ‘this is where everything comes crashing down and you return a failure’ and every time there is such a peace after the fear. Such a moment of quiet connection to ‘now’ that I feel humbled enough to trust whatever will come, even if it’s catastrophically horrible.

Yesterday,I went to the airport with my dad to fly to Luxembourg. When we got in the car I was nervous and ready to get it over with. I looked up at the driver to see on his dash board  2 ganesha sculptures. I laughed to myself- it’s meant to be, I’m moving obstacles, I’m making changes, I’m in the right place at my right time. Fast forward- past getting searched at security and a very chaotic Heathrow post New Years- I got on the plane to Luxembourg, nervous and shaking. The plane took off under the most beautiful sunset-a scene I will always remember. The seatbelt sign switched off and I got a gingerale to settle my nervous stomach. Then we hit turbulence. Then more. Then the captain (who kept saying ‘gentlemen welcome to your flight’ and ‘gentlemen please take your seat and fasten your seatbelts’ as if women were non-present on the flight) came on and advised that it was about to get even rockier so to please remain seated. I’ve been on flights with turbulence before but none quite like this. The woman next to me was losing. her. shit. and I found myself looking at her and thinking ‘thats what inside my head has looked like for what feels like my whole life’. I found my grip on my seat loosen and my mind wander to those two ganeshas. I’m not in control. I’m not making changes. I’m not walking through this fire. I am trusting that the obstacles are meant to be there. That they need not be moved by me– that they will move on their own accord when the time is right. I’m trusting it all will be exactly as it is. My insides suddenly didn’t reflect the girl freaking out next to me and neither did my outsides. I found myself grateful to her and her fear and to me and mine. I found myself happy to be beside someone who was entirely in her own experience while I was so entirely within mine. And that is the difference between trust and bravery…

According to J.M Barrie, one of my favourite authors,
“All the world is made of faith, and trust, and pixie dust”

That may sound hokey and too sunshiny / naive to some but I’m starting to believe more in the power of trust…even if it takes me to ugly places where i’m overwhelmed and lonely.It’s all life and that is more empowering than being brave ever will be.

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Hanalei for Everyone! : A Hanalei, Kauai Travel Guide

While in Kauai, one of my favourite places we visited was the town of Hanalei. This laid back old surf town felt like home, like it was a place I should have been born in. It is by far Image result for hanaleione of the number one places I would re-visit in my life. Situated amongst the mountains and not too far of a drive to the beach, the town is the perfect mix of all of the beauty of Hawaii. To get there, there are a lot of one way bridges which, to a local may seem completely reasonable and safe, but to a tourist can seem absolutely danger ridden. With no stop signs or lights, the bridges have ‘unspoken’ rules for drivers to follow and let me tell you, in the dark they’re damn near impossible. I’d recommend visiting the town in the day and staying over a night- not only because of the tourist driving difficulty but because of the fun bars! Here is a list of fun places to stop in on while you are traveling Hanalei. I loved them all and took away the best memories!

Hanalei For the Yogis:

Hanalei is a small town on the north shore with plenty of history, shopping, dining and old surf vibes that you can’t pass up  when traveling Hawaii. Its got a hippie- artsy feel to it which I absolutely LOVED. The first place I was enamored with seeing was Yoga Hanalei Studio & Boutique. It sits in this open air shopping complex in front of huge mountains Image result for yoga hanaleiwith waterfalls in the distance. The whole trip I was curious about teacher trainings on the islands. In the future, I’d love to complete my 300 hour teacher training and I’ve been scoping out places to do just that. For anyone visiting, this studio excited me more than most I’ve seen. They had a bunch of drop in classes at multiple levels and multiple teacher trainings that look really in depth & fabulous. I grabbed all the brochures I could and they now are living in my ‘dream box’.  Check it out if you’re in town!

 

Hanalei For the Nature Lovers:

We came to the town originally to meet up with Andrew’s family for some drinks. We ended up pulling over on the side of the muddy road just outside of town because a beautiful rainbow appeared over the mountains. It was something out of a movie. Just incredible. Below that rainbow are taro fields (we were clearly slightly trespassing). Taro is an important staple to (traditional) Hawaiian meals (it is used to make Poi) and the fields are revered and absolutely beautiful. When we were finished gawking at the beauty and surely trespassing on someones property to take pictures, we carried on into the town.

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Hanalei For the Fun-Lover

One of the first places we stopped into was Tahiti Nui-that famous George Clooney tiki bar. It looked like walking into a history of happy people drinking and celebrating together. Its a really cozy old tiki bar where many famous people have stopped by and where the movie The Descendents had scenes filmed (with George Clooney in them). Opened in 1963, the bar has kept its 60s/70s surf vibe feel and is a true original tiki bar.Hanalei1.jpg

By far one of the best favours you can do yourself is getting a Mai Tai at the Tahiti Nui. On their menu this is what it says:

“FOUNDER OF TAHITI NUI, AUNTY LOUISE MARSTON CREATED THIS SECRET ORIGINAL RECIPE. TAHITIAN FRIENDS WOULD SIP THIS COCKTAIL AND SAY “MAI TAI ROA AE” – TAHITIAN FOR “OUT OF THIS WORLD, THE BEST!”

Let me tell you, this is the best drink I’ve ever had. It was amazing. They also serve Hawaiian beer (which Andrew loved) and a bunch of great food. hanalei3hanalei2

Probably one of the best parts about Tahiti Nui is that they have live Hawaiian music every night. I love Hawaiian music- you can’t hear it without smiling and feeling at peace with everything.

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Hanalei For the Shopper

If you love Billabong, Roxy, Volcom and Quicksilver- go to Hawaii, now. I swear every shop I went to, I could’ve bought everything. Hanalei was no exception. Not only is the shopping fantastic- the stores look fantastic. Keeping with the old surf town vibe, the shops look sort of artsy, each with its own character. There are lights strung up between shops giving it a calm twinkly look. One of our favourites were Hanalei Strings which had a podium for live music and tons of ukeleles and small instruments. There was also a dog in there which is mainly what I was focused on.

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Hanalei For the Food/Ice Cream Lover

Now, I’m no expert, but Hawaiian ice cream is the best ice cream ever. Seriously, they do it right. I had a waffle cone with chocolate ice cream and it was AMAZINGLY fantastic. The only downfall is that you are in Hanalei on an island so you have to eat it quick otherwise you just have a mess. Shave ice in Hanalei is also incredible- my favourite is with macadamia nut ice cream on the bottom and banana shave ice on top. YUM.Hanalei4.jpg

One of the coolest places which I didn’t have a chance to eat in was the Hanalei Bread Co & Coffee Shop. It was a cute little bakery with a seating area and porch. It smelled like fresh bread and pastries. Let me tell you, I will be returning there. It was perfect for anyone who loves sitting in coffee shops!

Hanalei was the coolest little surf town and I recommend everyone go, at least once!!

If you have any other suggestions for when I return please let me know!!

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