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Our Travel Bucket list

Every person I know has a travel bucket list or some kind of list of things to do and places they want to see before they die. If you don’t have one, then what are you waiting for? There is nothing more satisfying than ticking something off a list. Or maybe that’s just the OCD side in me.

I always knew I had a “Gallivanter Soul”. I have never missed being home, even as a small child, and I often feel depressed when we don’t have a trip planned soon after one has ended. I’m sure a lot of people can relate. But that will probably be where the similarities end.

You see, we are what regular folks call weird… And this bucket list might prove that too.  Although there might be a few destinations that seem normal, most of them are what they call “Dark Tourism”. Add to that our love for concerts and history, and you get our perfect bucket list… As seen below. I’ll come back to this list regularly to update it and have clickable links to the ones we “ticked off” our list. 

A person who likes to travels a lot and goes around from one place to the another in pursuit of amusement, fun or pleasure is called a ‘Gallivanter’.

Travel Bucketlist for the weird dark tourist

 

Our List

⇒ Columbia: Pablo Escobar History Tour in Medellin

⇒ WW2 Historical Sites in Germany

⇒ Day of the Dead Festival in Mexico

Bucketlist for the weird dark tourist. Day of the Dead festival

⇒ Explore India

⇒ Visit Kurt Cobain’s hometown Aberdeen, Washington

⇒ See Rammstein perform in their home country, Germany. We have seen them while they were in SA!

⇒ Burning Man Festival in the Nevada desert.

bucketlist for the weird dark tourist. Burning man Festival

⇒ Attend the Gay Pride Parade in San Francisco.

⇒ Drink Beer at Oktoberfest in Germany.

⇒ Stay in an Overwater Bungalow in Bora Bora.

⇒ Visit Roswell in New Mexico.

Bucketlist for the weird dark tourist. Roswell.

⇒ Visit the real Santa in Lapland, Finland. Haha! You didn’t see this one coming, did you?

⇒ See the F1 in Monaco. Or in Canada. Or in Abu Dhabi. Basically, go to a Formula 1 race anywhere in the world.

⇒ Spend a night in the Stanley Hotel in Colorado. Stephen King’s visit to the Hotel inspired The Shining.

⇒ Area 51. As if that would ever be allowed… Insert eye roll here… But as a big lover of Conspiracies, this would be extremely cool!

⇒ Explore Castles in Scotland

⇒ Pearl Habour Tour in Oahu, Hawaii.

⇒ The Swiss Alps

⇒ Oradour-sur-Glane in France. Oradour-sur-Glane is a little village that was a site of a grisly massacre by a German Waffen-SS company in the WW2.

⇒ Banff, Canada.

⇒ Chernobyl. Now, if you don’t know me, you might think this is insane. But those who do indeed know me well will know that abandoned cities and disasters are what sets my soul on fire. Almost as much as music does!

Travel Bucketlist for the weird dark tourist. Chernobyl.

⇒ See the Northern Lights.

⇒ See the Changing of the Guards in London.

⇒ Bali, Indonesia.

⇒ Take a tour on the HMS Belfast War Ship in London.

⇒ Lock Bridge in Paris

⇒ Coco Chanel Store in Paris. Another one that might surprise some and few might not be surprised at all. This was probably on my list since I came out of the womb.

⇒ Tour Namibia.

⇒ Kruger National Park. A million times over. I’ll never get tired of visiting the Kruger.

 

So this is just a few things at the top of our travel bucket list. It goes without saying that all the other Europe countries are on our list too. If you know of some cool places that we might be interested in, let me know so that I can add that to our list too. And be sure to check back regularly, as we tick these off.

Click here to read my post about what Dark Tourism is.

What is Dark Tourism or a Dark tourist?

The short answer: most of us are at least to a degree dark tourists and into dark tourism even if you’re unaware of it. It is by no means as gloomy, dubious or outlandish as it may at first appear or as some websites have stated. Dark tourism has been defined as tourism involving travel to places historically associated with death and tragedy.

Well to start off, ‘dark’ in this context is not meant literally but metaphorically, as in “a dark chapter of history“. And these dark aspects of history and humanity are simply quite interesting. So there are a lot of people who are interested in history. For example, my husband and I love WW2 history. And would love to explore War Sites. So thus it makes us Dark Tourists.

What is a Dark Tourist/ Dark Tourism really? Click to find out.

Think about it…

Have you ever thought of visiting the 9/11 Memorial site a Ground zero in New York? Tour the Catacombs of Paris? Even visiting a famous Rock Star’s grave. Or like us, would like to visit War Museums. How about a paranormal abandoned hospital?

If you answered yes or maybe to the few things I have mentioned above, then you are potentially a dark tourist.

To give you an example, the 9/11 Memorial Site in New York has about 5 million tourist visitors each year. Which makes it the most popular “dark site” in the World today.

The spot where the JFK shooting/murder happened is also a big tourist attraction. Going so far as having an X crossed out on the road at the exact spot he was shot in the car. And thousands of tourist go to see that every year.

In general: dark tourism is considered to be sites you travel to that are in some way connected to death or disaster. Or so goes the rough definition usually applied on Internet sites. But of course, it is much more complex than that short one-liner suggests I think.

Dark Tourism can be viewed in different ways. The connection with death and disaster or it can be quite indirect, like touring Volcanos and such. Which might not have caused deaths, but still gives a gloomy and dark feel to it.

‘Dark tourism’ is just a convenient cover term, but it covers a vast range of different types of sites that may have little to do with each other otherwise. Most visitors to dark tourism sites go there simply because they find it interesting and intriguing. Many come to learn something, or to try to understand something grim and unnerving that is hard to come to terms with. Some may attach even more philosophical depth to it.

“It has been speculated that one element could be that many dark tourism destinations make visitors confront their nightmares; e.g. what would you do if you found yourself in a civil war breaking out all around you – or if a nuclear power station blew up next door?”

So maybe there isn’t a single straightforward answer.

What is NOT included in dark tourism are such mainstream tourism elements as sunbathing on beaches or surfing.  Neither are traditional elements of tourism such as opera, ballet, theatre and a large portion of art galleries. But that doesn’t mean dark tourism couldn’t be combined with any of those other elements of tourism. You are still on holiday after all. So take me for example. I would love to go on a day trip visiting some war museum, but also enjoy other touristy stuff while on holiday.

I think what it comes down to, is having an open mind when travelling. To be open to learning. And to explore. However, if all you want from travelling is beaches, sun and relaxation, then I’m sure you don’t have to worry about being called a Dark Tourist.

If you would like to see what is at the top of our Tavel Bucket List, then click here.

 

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10 Instagram Photos that will inspire you to travel to London

With our upcoming trip to London in December, I couldn’t help but feel inspired by some of my favourite bloggers and Instagrammers’ photos while they were visiting the beautiful city.

I have been dreaming about living in London since I was a little girl.

I even chose the UK as the country I did one of my school projects on. And spent hours with my grandad who have traveled there frequently, listening to his stories.

But dreams aside, with mouthwatering pub food like fish and chips, the Big Ben, the London Eye, Windsor castle and the sighting of royals (who am I kidding?) the rainy, cold weather, and our best friends living there, what’s not to love. Aside from all the tourist attractions and doing what all tourists do, we want to go to some underground metal and rock bars/clubs and do a tiny bit of shopping on Oxford-street.

I’m extremely excited to experience Christmas in Winter as we have warm Summers here in South Africa over Christmas season. And you can bet that I’m already looking at ugly Christmas sweaters for Christmas Day. This is my one opportunity to wear a Christmas sweater without sweating or looking ridiculous.

So before I babble on about how excited I am, have a look at these London wanderlust photos.

10 Photos that will inspire you to visit London

@queenofjetlags

 

@alyson_haley

 

10 Photos that will inspire you to visit London

@bethsandland

 

10 Photos that will inspire you to visit London

@raquelsmx

 

10 Photos that will inspire you to visit London

@rosielondoner

 

10 Photos that will inspire you to visit London

@aspynovard

 

10 Photos that will inspire you to visit London

@inthefrow

 

10 Photos that will inspire you to visit London

@theblondeabroad

 

10 Photos that will inspire you to visit London

@amberfillerup

 

10 Photos that will inspire you to visit London

@lydiaemillen

 

It’s difficult looking at these photos and not want to start packing already. But it’s almost time for all the winter sales, so there’s a light at the end of the tunnel. Shopping!

And make sure to go follow all these beautiful babes on Instagram if you are not already. ♥

If you want to follow along on my travels to London, you can subscribe to my blog posts and follow me on Instagram.

I’ll make sure to link our London trip here in the future. And I might have to do a post about romantic Instagram photos taken in Paris, seeing that we are traveling there too. So keep your eyes peeled.

In the meantime, please enjoy my latest travels to the Kruger National Park.

 

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When, What and Where of the Kruger National Park

The Kruger National Park is one of my favourite places to visit in South Africa. I’m not a big fan of the beach. But I can regularly find myself going through hundreds if not thousands of photos and reminiscing about our visits there. The thought of our African bush brings up memories of wilderness, beautiful sunsets, and safari drives which all give me goosebumps.

Elephant in Kruger National Park

 

Where to Stay

Ngwenya Lodge (our favourite accommodation when visiting the park)

You can also go to Kruger Park’s site to find a camp or lodge that suits your fancy.

Kruger National Park Lions

Things to do

Game Viewing – Spoil yourself with an array of fauna by joining guided game drives in the African bush. These game drives are offered by camps inside the park. Be an early bird to catch the tranquil atmosphere during morning drives.

You can also drive yourself which is what we do every time. Driving around for the whole day is such a treat and adventure. We always hope to spot the famed Big Five – lion, leopard, elephant, rhino, and buffalo. And on one rainy day in February we were lucky enough to spot them all.

I also have the Kruger Sightings App. This is great to have for your visit to the park.

Wilderness Trails – If you are feeling more adventurous, they also have guided walks through the bushveld, where a guide will take you on all the hidden trails that you can’t reach by car. The Bushmans Trail, Napi Trail, Nyalaland Trail, Sweni Trail, and Wolhuter Trail are the most coveted three-day-long walking safaris in Kruger National Park.

Other Outdoor Thrills – Visit the carved rock paintings of the Bush people, go bird watching, chase your thrills, experience the magic of a hot air balloon safari from Hoedspruit,(this is on my bucket list) and have a traditional South African braai. And if you are feeling more sophisticated, get a hole-in-one at the Skukuza Golf Course.

Shopping – Some of the private lodges have small shops that sell unique jewelry, t-shirts, gift items, and souvenirs. I collect animal skulls and love going to the shops to see if they have one I can add to my collection. I got a crocodile skull from Skukuza which died of natural causes. And it’s still displayed in my living room.

 

When to visit

I’ve read on a few websites that they recommend visiting the Kruger from April to August. Which is generally our winter months here in South Africa. And I have to disagree with that. For someone who has been there during all seasons before, I prefer Spring/Summer. Even better if there is rain in the forecast. The bushveld is lush and green and seeing all the baby animals is one of my favourite things.

 

rainy days in the kruger national park

Coming out to play in the rain.

kruger national park

zebra kruger national park

Remember

  • To pack your camera and binoculars.
  • Pack snacks and drinks if you’re driving through the Kruger in your own car.
  • NEVER feed the animals or litter! What kind of humans do this??
  • There are 9 entrance gates: Crocodile Bridge, Malelane, Phabeni, Paul Kruger, Orpen, Numbi, Phalaborwa, Punda Maria, and Pafuri.
  • All the stops, accommodation and restaurants are wheelchair friendly.

Kruger national park South Africa

If you love The Kruger as much as I do, then I would recommend checking out this book. 101 Kruger Tales by Jeff Gordon. It’s been on my wishlist for a while now, but I’ve read great reviews.

Sunset in the Kruger

I hope you enjoyed my post about my favourite place in South Africa because there will surely be a lot more posts to come. Have you ever been to The Kruger National Park? Or is it on your bucket list? Please subscribe if you would like to get notified when I post my other 1000 blog posts about this amazing place. ♥

 

 

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A Week at Ngwenya Lodge – Crocodile River

Situated right next to the Crocodile River just outside Komatiepoort, Ngwenya Lodge is one of my favourite places in South Africa to visit. Getting a riverside chalet is a must. You get to see elephants, lions, baboons and giraffes drinking from the river all from your chalet patio. Add a braai and a glass of wine, and what more could you ask for? Seven days hardly felt long enough. I could easily stay here for a month-long vacation without getting bored. But maybe that’s just the nomad inside me.

Ngwenya Lodge - Kruger National Park

a glass of wine and a gorgeous view

 

The views and the sunsets are magnificent. And I still remember the noise of the hippos playing in the river during the night. Just thinking back to it gives me goosebumps.

We were juggling 2 lenses for my canon and had to try to quickly change lenses when we saw something beautiful that we wanted a nice photo of. Not an easy task. But this was the result… Some nice photos that I really love, and some blurry photos that I also loved. Just because they all formed part of one of my best holidays to date.

The onsite restaurant also has a view of the river and the best Amarula pancakes you can imagine. Think pancake filled with a decadent ice cream and all of that soaked in Amarula. While enjoying this delicacy, we saw a herd of elephants come down to the river for a splash and drink of water.

They have so much to keep you busy on the days that you don’t feel like driving through The Kruger. On one evening before we went to dinner, we stopped by the games room. And we were the only two in there.

We started playing this crazy Dance Off game. And I can honestly say that although my husband won, I have never had so much fun. We were still crying with laughter when we showed up to our dinner. I have video footage of this but will never be forgiven if I shared it here. Hahaha

Entering the Kruger National Park from here is the Crocodile Bridge Gate, only 5km’s away.

If you want to see our Kruger Park visits, CLICK HERE.

Let me leave you with these awesome breathtaking photos to do rest of the talking.

Early Morning breakfast while watching all the animals make their way down the side of the river.

This is by far my favourite destination in South Africa at the moment. I love wild animals and the bushveld. And it awakes something inside my heart that no beach could ever come close to doing.

Check out Ngwenya Lodge here.

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Ngwenya Lodge- Kruger National Park - South Africa - Wildlife - Hippos

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MSC Cruise – What to pack & Embarkation Tips

If you are anything like me, you start packing your suitcase a week or more before any holiday. You’ll have lists of what to remember and lists of things you still need to buy. Or you may be more like my husband, who can pack everything he needs, into a small suitcase, the night before.

                                                             Inside our Balcony Cabin

To say I over packed for our MSC cruise, would be an understatement. I had a massive suitcase and had to pay for the extra weight at the airport when we checked in… Something that my husband didn’t find funny at all. He always tells me that I overpack and he likes to prove to me he was right when we get home after a holiday and most of the clothes in my suitcase are still unworn. But a girl’s got to have choices, right?

 

Either way, we all have probably learned that what you pack or what you forget to pack, can impact your holiday immensely.We flew down from OR Tambo in Johannesburg to Durban, where we boarded the MSC Opera at the port in Durban.

Embarkation day is usually just waiting around on the Cruise ship for your room to be ready. and depending on the weather in the city you’re in, in Durban it’s usually extremely hot, sitting on the deck in the sun. I wore a lightweight jean, flowy top and sandals. Which worked out perfectly. But make sure to check out the weather while you pack so that you know what to wear on the embarkation day.

My list of things to remember:

  1. Pain Medication – For that unexpected headache.
  2. Seasickness Meds – Although I didn’t get seasick at all, it hit my husband hard on the first day of the cruise. and we paid a mini fortune to buy nausea tablets on the cruise.
  3. Reading Material – Your favourite book for relaxing on the deck next to the pool.
  4. A Cardigan that goes with everything – After shivering through a dinner in an icy cold cruise dining room, I was extremely happy that I always pack a trusty cardigan that goes with evening wear and jean when dressing down.
  5. Don’t forget your passport!
  6. Sunblock – For the obvious reason.
  7. Your Camera and camera charger.
  8. Chronic Medication – If like me, you need them.
  9. Binoculars – For the endless views.
  10. Card Holder – Your massive day to day wallet will be a hassle to carry around on the cruise. Instead, invest in a small card holder to store your cruise cards.

Bath towels and pool/beach towels available on board.

What to Wear on a Cruise

 

My choice of reading material will be Coco related 85% of the time. ♥

Now that you have the packing out of the way, here’s a list of my personal tips to make embarkation day easy peasy.

Unpack when you first arrive at your cabin. I find that this makes it easier to look for outfits for the rest of the cruise. Or maybe it’s a hint of OCD. Either way, it beats rummaging through your suitcase every morning and night.

Pack away dirty clothes. If you are not going to send that outfit to the onboard dry cleaners and wear it again, pack it away. We usually put them away in one of the suitcases. This will make it so much easier to pack up on the last night of the cruise. 

Schedule your flight at a reasonable time. Disembarkation day can take time. So make sure you have a flight booked at a reasonable time so that you don’t panic or even worse, miss your flight. 

And lastly, just a random tip… Take public transportation where possible on excursions. Instead of taking the bus when we got to Madagascar, we got a taxi. We paid the driver a bit extra and he took us to all the private, secluded beaches and local hot spots. It was one of the best decisions we made.

I hope you find this helpful! Have you ever been on a cruise? Or is a cruise on your bucket list? Please tell me in the comments below.

 

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My January Favourites

 

Happy Monday! I can’t believe we are going into the third week of January already. I hope you have been enjoying this heatwave we have been experiencing here in Gauteng. Nothing like the weather our friends over in the UK have had for the last month or so.

I thought I might share with you all my favourite things for the month of January.

Weekend Destination: Hennops Hiking Trail and Picnic

With the extremely nice weather we’ve been having this summer, we decided to pack a few things and opted for a day out somewhere to braai and swim. It’s not even a 25-minute drive from our home in Centurion. With a beautiful hiking trail, loads of areas for a picnic or braai and 2 swimming pools. It was a great choice.

 

Style: Speaking of said heatwave, I got all my dresses out from the back of my closet. I love me some lightweight, comfy and flowy maxi dresses. The right fit will look gorgeous and flattering on almost all women, any shape and size. Pulling a dress over your head is so easy, making the only thing you need to worry about, your makeup melting off your face. Haha!

Here are 2 maxi dresses that I’m in love with at the moment.

This one is from Spree and won’t hurt your budget either, at only R340! Click here to go shop this dress.

The second dress I love is from Superbalist. I like how it looks super comfy. This one will also not take a bite out of your budget at only R449. Click here to shop this dress.  

Both these dresses will look great with some metallic jewellery and a wide-brimmed hat. Making them perfect for the Summer. I have shopped at both online stores that I mentioned and can honestly recommend them both.

 

Movie: Jumani: Welcome to the Jungle.

I’ve recommended this movie to all my friends already. I can’t remember the last time we laughed from almost the very beginning till the end of a movie. This is hilarious. And as a bonus, it has Jack Black in it too. And who doesn’t love Jack Black! I liked the original Jumanji from 1995 too and this might be my favourite movie this year. That’s saying a lot, as we are still in January. Why are you still reading this? Go book your tickets online NOW to watch it in 3D!!!

 

 

Instagram Account to follow: Braeden Mckay

If you love beautiful travel photos, then give his account a follow. He is based in Canada and loves travelling. You won’t believe how young he still is, which amazes me with the amount of talent he has regarding photography! I’m looking forward to seeing where his talent takes him in the future.

 

 

 

Read: Dead Gods: The 27 Club

If you follow me on Instagram you would have seen that I’m currently reading this beaut. I’m a huge lover of music and got this book from the hubster for Christmas. And I can’t put it down. As the title states, it’s all about the famous legends that died at the age of 27. And all the music, sex, drugs and scandals that went along with it. I won’t get into it too much here, as I would love to do a full book review post on this book, as I feel it deserves a lot more than a measly mention in my favourites post.


Drink: At the moment my favourite drink is coffee. In my favourite unicorn mug. One teaspoon decaff, no sugar with skim milk. No fancy cocktails or beers this month as I just came off a week of treatment and am taking things slow.

 

TV Show: Stranger Things.

If you don’t know what Stranger Things are, then I only have one question for you… Have you been living under a rock?? This show captivated me since the very first episode! And I’m not sure if it is the set design, the music, the storyline or actors, but this show is currently my number one series of all time! Kicking Game of Thrones and The Walking Dead from their first place on my list. And that’s saying a lot! I’m currently taking my time to watch season 2 on Netflix as Millie Bobby Brown said on her Instagram that they haven’t started filming on season 3 yet.

 

 

 

Designer Dupe: If splurging is one of your New Year’s Resolutions, then I have just the investment you have been looking for. This classic black shoe is from Gucci and will cost R4150. Investing in classic pieces that you can wear with everything is always a good idea and will last you a very long time. You can shop this patent leather Gucci sandals at The Changing Room online. They sell second-hand designer goods at a very good price.

 

If saving sounds more like your thing this year, then these designer dupes would be perfect. I know “trying” to save is definitely part of my goals this year. I say trying because it’s not always easy. You know a sale can distract a girl! But check out these black block heels from Spree for only R349.

 

This was just a few of my favourite things this month! As you can see I’m all about chilling this month and shopping online. I would love to hear what some of your favourites are in the comments below.

 

25 Photos that will make you want to visit Mozambique

Chances are, if you are a South African citizen, you have been to Mozambique or plan to go. If not, you really should add it to your list of places to travel to.

Back in 2010, we were lucky to go there with our group of friends, some of whom we still hang out and travel with to this day.

Mozambique or more specifically Ponto do Ouro, where we stayed, is not your 5-star holiday type of vacation. It’s more rugged and you definitely need a 4 x 4 to travel around in. Although the civil war ended in 1992, the effects can still be seen today with a lot of broken and abandoned buildings and homes.

But having said that, it is still such a beautiful country. With long white sandy beaches and bright blue ocean as your view. And won’t cause a big dent in your pocket budget wise.

25 photos that will make you want to visit Mozambique

 

We arrived at the border quite early in the morning and can’t really say we had any issues with going through the border other than the usual. Having to bribe border control to take over our braai meat and waiting an hour or two. 

 

 

So as per tradition, and if you have been there you’ll know, you can’t go to Ponto do Ouro and not stop at Fernando’s. It’s famous for their R & R’s. To those who are not familiar with it, Rum and Rasberry. And I really mean a lot of Tipo Tinto Rum! To say we might have been drunk after one of those, will be an understatement! Unfortunately, Fernando passed away last year after losing his battle with colon cancer. But the bar still remains a legendary must to visit. And we are some of the lucky ones who had our passport photos up on the wall. Also one of the traditions at Fernando’s.

 

 

We stayed at Coco Rico Resort and had two duplexes, each with three bedrooms and three bathrooms. Definitely, nothing to complain about. There’s also a lot of camping accommodation. But if you know me, as well as one of my best friends, Tiffany, you’ll know we don’t do the camping thing… For a lot of reasons which I won’t bore you with.

 

 

This holiday was such a memorable one. We went swimming with dolphins and the guys all went deep sea fishing. We hung out and made fresh prawns for dinner and we went exploring.  We got drunk on absinthe and tequila shots on my husband’s birthday and we had lunches on the beach front. Everyone played touch rugby on the beach while we drank the local beers.

The Market where got all our fresh vegetables during our stay. 

Yes, that is Rob with a condom over his head hahaha!

Doesn’t this just make you want to go on holiday? Remember to take your crazy friends with you, to create your own unforgettable memories!

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25 photos that will make you want to visit Mozambique / Ponto do Ouro

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Winter Getaway in Drakensberg

In Winter 2007, 10 years ago, we booked a winter getaway to the Drakensberg. And due to unforeseen circumstances, we had to cancel. Since then, every winter, we said that this year will be the year we go. And we finally made the booking early in May. We searched the web and went through a lot of accommodation websites. When we finally decided on Dumbe Cottages.

Last week Friday, we packed our bags, met with our dog sitter and off we went. As we drove the 12km gravel road, passing wild horses and getting closer to the cottage, we started anticipating what we thought it would be like. But nothing, and I really mean nothing, could have prepared us for the beautiful, breathtaking view and cozy cottage. It was cloudy and misty, which obviously added to my excitement!

The wind was freezing, but inside the cottage was a fireplace which my husband immediately started. We had a drink next to the fireplace and enjoyed the view before it got dark. Then we made good use of that jacuzzi bath.

On Saturday we woke up to gushing winds, and -2 degrees at 7 am weather but we stuck to our plans for the day. My husband made us a lovely breakfast and off we went. We drove around the 2 small towns close by and eventually went for lunch at Little Switzerland Hotel. I really loved the whole look of the dining room there. It reminded me of The Shining.  And although lunch was so nice, nothing compares to the carrot cake I had. I had the best carrot cake of my life. I wish I could have thanked the chef personally, but sadly I couldn’t. So Mr. Chef, if you ever end up reading this, thank you! Really, thank you for baking the best carrot cake I ever had in my entire 31 years of life.

Afterwards, we went back to the cottage and took a cozy nap. We had such an amazing, romantic and relaxing weekend. And if I could ever recommend a winter getaway, Dumbe Cottages would be it. My husband I both agreed, we will definitely be back. It definitely doesn’t hurt when you have the best travel buddy in the world… (Croukamp, dis jy) xxx

 

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Crystal Springs – Mpumalanga

I have to admit, I really love the bushveld. I would pick it over the beach any day. And I’m lucky that my husband feels exactly the same. We would hardly ever have a holiday where we didn’t agree on where we should go. Crystal Springs is usually one of those easy choices when we want to break away. Not only is it not that far of a drive (4hours) from Johannesburg, but it’s so relaxing and beautiful too. Not to mention that we’ve been there more than a few times already.

We usually book one of the Lodges close to the cliff with beautiful views. I love waking up to the misty mountain views.

It’s close to the old mining village Pilgrim’s Rest. We’ll go have breakfast pancakes at the Silver Spoon Restuarant in Graskop and then go to the Royal Hotel to have a few drinks and walk down the street full of shops.

Reading the newspaper, looking all hot and stuff. 

The cool thing about Crytal Springs is that it has a lot of different pools, a spa, a restaurant and bar all on site. If we feel like not having a relaxing night in, we go have pizza in the restaurant and then go have a few drinks in the bar. Usually, while we are on holiday there,  I always book an appointment at the spa. Be it to do my nails, or get a massage.

 

We had a braai almost every night, because well… my husband is the best braaier but also the sunsets were amazing. On one of the nights, there was a power outage at the resort and we actually enjoyed it. The stars and the sky was absolutely something to experience. It’s not something you get to see often when you live in the city.

On this specific holiday, we took my wheelchair with, as I was starting to need it more. Although all the lodges we have stayed in thus far are not wheelchair friendly, it was quite easy to get around inside, with the help of my husband. I don’t think I’ll exchange the lodge with an astounding view for a wheelchair friendly lodge/cabin/chalet. But that’s just me. Wherever we had a few steps to use, the staff was so helpful and accommodating.

We are planning a trip there again, hopefully soon, and I can’t wait.