Spain, Gibraltar, Tangiers & Portugal in 14 days

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Spain, Gibraltar, Tangiers & Portugal in 14 days

If you haven't decided on a holiday for 2016 yet and live on a budget, this might just be what you were looking for. spain_portugal_tangiers-28

From Valencia to Madrid via Gibraltar, Africa and Portugal.

It's the kind of trip where you leave your day to day life, planning and scheduling at home. There is no time to make appointments, no time to meet a deadline. Only time to live each day as it comes.

Home from home - the sunny south.

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It's just like any Irish city really - music. Or maybe not exactly.

Starting in Valencia you will find them. Musicians. But not those with hats, open guitar cases or other boxes in front of them. You find musicians that simply enjoy to strum their tunes in the summer sun - just for pleasure, or well at least some.

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Here's the deal. Don't plan ahead. Don't book ahead and don't look ahead.

I make two promises:

  1. you will experience the unexpected
  2. you will miss out

It's the price you will have to pay if you're up for a little adventure and for surprises - good and bad.

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Having said that... here is my take on Spain, cities to visit and those to - not. Some to spend days in and some to enjoy passing by. And one or two "lost in translation" that you want to avoid.

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The only bookings you will need to make:

  1. book your return flight (arrive in a place and depart from another)
  2. book a first hotel / hostel / B&B
  3. book a car for about 2 weeks

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Valencia.

A busy city. If you chose Valencia for your first stop you will get a great exercise for driving in Spanish traffic (and ... on the other side of the busy road), which will be very helpful for the rest of your trip.

Mind less busy backroads and roads with no signage as they might tempt you to change back to the right side of the road, left.

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Valencia seems extremely busy at first. But as soon as you checked in (I'm a friend of hostels), went for a little stroll and settled into a street cafe, you will quickly ease into the Spanish "savour vivre" - or: "modo de vivir" :)

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There are plenty of photography opportunities from flowers to buildings ... it's been a while since I went and I feel it's time to go back to see the city from a different view.

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Granada.

We continue from the busy city life as I craved some quiet. Having rented a car I quickly felt extremely free and independent. The - partly - planned trip lead me along the Costa del sol. Realising it's not quite my cup of Sangria, I moved on back into the heartland of Granada.

 

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...first impressions. Granada from the outside looked slightly industrial, so I decided to go off the track yet again and landed in a lovely hostel near the Alhambra.

 

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If you are into photography - make sure to bring extra time.

 

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When travelling with no or little planning, I promise myself to go back to places that I loved or couldn't enter. I queued for ...ages. When at the counter the señorita asked me if I wanted a ticket for the gardens only - which I could access immediately, or if I wanted a ticket for the palace which will be open for another tour in 4h.

 

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As a good aul impatient German would, I refused the ticket for the palace. And what a mistake. The gardens around the palace are so breathtakingly beautiful that I spent a phenomenal 4h taking snaps of the old built, colourful blossoms and random visitors.

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You win some you lose some - I'll have to come back!

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Gibraltar.

While I queued to get tickets for the pretty copious gardens and refuse those for the palace, I asked a Canadian family for recommendations on where to go next. The apes.

Another day, another country. Off you pop (apologies, I love this expression) to the hill of the apes in Gibraltar.

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They are rather close if you like or not and just as bold. If you start feeding them - your bad. They take what they get.

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Some jump on peoples heads, hug legs - not for attention but to distract you, while others steal your food, camera, anything really.

But who could take offence of these cute little "buggers"!

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While trying to find a way back by foot - you go up by cable car if you want to save some energy - try to stay on the road. I managed to find a dead end and as the sun was burning on my head I had to climb over a fence and crawl through the bushes. Ending up on a construction site, I put my most natural smile on as if there was nothing to see, said "hola" to the lads and made my way back to the civilisation as quick as possible.

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Fabulous - and quirky plants in most incredible colours.

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Tarifa.

no, not Tenerife. Tarifa.

I love to set my on records. Tarifa, the southernmost European point in the province of Cádiz. Pretty, bright, and friendly - but, be aware that friendliness might sometimes be found in the second best option.

"I was young and needed a place to sleep".

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Surely it's been my mistake. I arrived late at night as I really didn't have a plan (that's where "bad" things happen). The first place I popped into was a rather pretty, typical Spanish B&B. Artistic walls, red tiles, plants where you look.

Though out of season the owner (German too) offered me a room that he usually wouldn't rent out. Happy enough with what I saw - I didn't really see anything as my only thought was: FOOD - I agreed to the price ($$$) and left for dinner. Enjoying a glass of wine or two, I headed back to the B&B to find some sleep. Realising the whole room was full of mould. Disappointed of being ripped off - but lucky enough as this was the first and only time of my trip, I left early in the morning and found a fantastic B&B just a couple of metres ahead.

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Tarifa is extremely windy for the Spanish coast line. It is due to it's positioning. It's extremely close to Africa too. A surfer paradise in season they say - I visited outside the season.

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Tangiers.

So off I went on a ferry from Tarifa to Tangiers for half a day. You leave your car behind and travel by yourself or with a guided group.

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What you can expect is a huge commercial market, typical moroccan architecture, business people, and yummy fresh fruits and vegetables.

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It's not exactly a holiday destination - but it's also only the harbour market you get to visit. If you want to go further into the heartland you would book a full day or overnight stay (not sure about visas coming from Gibraltar etc.).

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If you are looking to get typical moroccan jewellery, a rug or carpet, etc. you're just right.

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And don't forget - even though you might not be into buying anything, you might want to use a half day trip with the ferry for two reasons:

  1. adventure (...I love to be on a boat and experience new countries)
  2. plenty of photography opportunities (while you would need to respect not to take photos of locals - only after asking and in most cases they'd expect a small contribution. Fair enough I think - I don't like to be "shot" for someones online portfolio - and as a photographer, I respect that some people are ok with a snap and some are not.)

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Landscape.

Windows down, music loud and stop where ever you want! Blue skies, a warm breeze your favourite song - that's life worth living! Some of my most enjoyable moment - also cause you can sing as loud as you want - it's YOUR road trip ;)

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You'll always find some cyclists, so mind them on the road. Lovely coffee places in and outside the season.

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Though don't forget la siesta. At first I wasn't quiet so sure about closed shops, restaurants and bars, but after a little while you do get used to shops being closed during the hot afternoons. I actually used the time for a nap - it was harder to retrain into the office life when I came back.

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Off to Faro.

It's a bit of a jump as I did stop in Sevilla just to relax. I didn't take a single photo. Not due to of lack of opportunity. Just the opposite. Sevilla is my absolute favourite city in Spain. Plenty of Spanish tapas, music, flamenco, lovely people, trendy bars and cafes - do go and if you can stay at least 2 - 3 nights.

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It's funny really. While in Spain I did run into the one or other "lost in translation" situation. e.g. Don't ever try to explain being "desperate for a beer" using the tv program "desperate housewife". Chances are the Spanish might understand "you are desperate housewives"... let's just say it was a short night for me.

...being in Portugal "they" say don't try and speak Spanish "they" don't appreciate it. Very much the opposite yet again. Portuguese (bit of cliché) are very friendly and do appreciate the effort of speaking a bit of Spanish.

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Maybe start with a friendly "Obrigada" when female and "Obrigado" when male to say "Thank you" :)

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A very pretty landscape - it seems endless, nearly like the end of the world - well at least the continent.

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Lisbon.

A bit of a shock then when you get back to civilisation. Or well, Lisbon.

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I call it little San Francisco. Because of its hilly streets. It's a pretty and colourful rather arty city. Not to big and not too small. A lovely choice of restaurants - and don't mind the lads trying to sell little bags of tobacco. It can be a little busy during the summer months.

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Fabulous views too!

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We should have spent more time in Lisbon. It wasn't planned. I met some new friends in Sevilla and we decided to share petrol costs and headed all the way to Portugal to see Faro & Lisbon.

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Leaving.

Madrid.

I always prefer a quieter place when going back home but the best option to fly back for price and car rental at the time was Madrid. I actually - despite preferring the nature, village and countryside, I absolutely fell in love with Madrid.

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I can't quite say why. It's just a vibrant city with many street lights. Restaurants, things to see and do. A huge park in the centre and everything (though I doubt it is) seems walking distance.

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Madrid seems to be a mix of a fast paced city and a relaxed Spanish way of life.

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It's modern and rustic, antique and new it's welcoming and insurgent.

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Distance: 2,600km

Countries: Spain, Gibraltar, Africa, Portugal

Map: click here for Google Maps (whole trip ;))

Car rental: from 15EUR a day - about 250 EUR for 2 weeks (including insurance - try rental car. They have a pretty decent customer service too)

Flight to Valencia: from 39EUR dreams (depending on season - check ryan air or sky scanner too.)

Flight from Madrid: Jetcost 56EUR (depending on season - check ryan air or sky scanner too.)

Average B&B / hostel price: 25EUR per night. - about 375EUR for 2 weeks (try Airbnb)

Drink and food really low budget when sharing in a hostel. We cooked together which is fab for learning new recipes . Most bars still offer free tapas ;) and a pint is half the price compared to Ireland.

Don't forget petrol - get a Diesel if you can.

Enjoy your holiday :)

xx

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Pegs & Strings - Flowers for your home

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Pegs & Strings - Flowers for your home

This Floral table decoration is a colour full and affordable way to decorate your home, festival and make someone happy! flower_string_peg-1

Ingredients....

  1. String - available in different colours in your flower shop ($$$) or DIY ($), I personally like the brown or beige ones
  2. Paint & Brush - depending on durability (I love change - and use colour that comes off when washing)
  3. Little Stones (the ones that you'd usually stick on your finger nails :))
  4. Tape (or juts leave enough string on both ends and tie a knot)
  5. Pegs - wooden ones are class, you can paint or spray paint them
  6. Scissors
  7. Flowers - any that you can cut to size (with only one flower bouquet you can decorate your whole house :))

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You can spray them in the colour you like to make it fit your flowers and paint that you use on the little jars. Maybe use different colours for each room ?!

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You can spray paint or paint these pegs. Use different colours if you have white flowers or keep it white for colourful flowers.

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There are loads of different jars available in every different size. I love the smaller ones. They look really cute around the house. I always try to get things in threes.

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Mix colours! Loving the outdoors and water, I naturally go for orange and blue.

For the blue I used acrylic colours ($ - $$$ depending on the store you go to - I wouldn't go for the cheapest acrylic paint as it won't stick on glass and come off to easily). You find cheap enough acrylic colours in big tubes in your art supply. So if you're a DIY crazy artist then go and get yourself this large tubes rather than small paints.

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Small or large. It's really not about the size but a mix is always pretty I think. Very trendy at the moment are Baby's Breath Flowers or "Gypsophila" (image above).flower_string_peg-2flower_string_peg-7

I love a plain, minimalistic house. So be brave and get some strong colours to decorate those white room.

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Cut them short. I thought it would be very pretty to cut the stalks short. It really give the beauty of the flower justice and shows off your own little piece of art.

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...things in threes.

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If you have a lovely background even better!

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The jar. If you want to spray your jar white why not decorate it with little colourful crystals. I used those little stickers that you put on fingernails. Be creative and see what you have lying around in your "art studio". Maybe some buttons, seeds, leftover blossoms?

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Be brave and use strong colours for some contrast and to make a statement.

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What is your favourite colour... for each of your rooms?

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Enjoy your newly decorated home - & a scent of nature :)

xx

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Apologies, I don't do "posed"

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Apologies, I don't do "posed"

When you are looking for a wedding photographer, you might get more than you bargained for.

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There are two things that I absolutely adore. Detail & Moments.

So if you let me run wild you'll get your photos of a lifetime!

:)

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Country Wedding in France - in love

Katherine & Charlie decided to take their loved ones on a trip to France to say "Yes" in he beautiful country side - sunshine nearly guaranteed! IMG_1374

...it's been an absolute beautiful - and smooth wedding - as "Mum" for the weekend, Patricia, has planned everything perfectly. Patricia, Wedding Planner from Country Weddings in France helped form start to finish she even decorated and made the Cheese-Wedding Cake!

Family and friends had plenty of time and opportunity to sit down and relax, go for a swim in the pool, enjoy the views over golden fields and sip a glass of wine or too to enjoy the French Cheese. A wedding right up my street :) I am getting creative - one may dream!

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Hello Summer!

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Hello Summer!

Summer is defined "the warmest period of the year". Well climbing up the dunes of Strandhill yesterday increased our temperatures. So - here's to summer, I officially announce the start of summer! Easky - Strandhill-182

Who's to tell you when you're allowed to play outside!

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Sharee & Paddy & the Ice Cream Van @ Royal Hospital Kilmainham

It was only last winter, when a cold winter breeze was in the air that I met with Sharee & Paddy. While a wedding is such a unique and personal event, we want to make sure to find a spark between the two & I. Being a photographer I do follow  couples like a second shadow nearly, so it's a must to "click".Sharee_Paddy-146 Having "clicked" :) I was delighted to be the one who had the honour of capturing Sharee & Paddy's Wedding in Royal Hospital Kilmainham in Dublin.

Sharee & Paddy are such a beautiful couple. When visiting Sharee at her home last Saturday I had the pleasure of meeting her mum, sister & grandma and felt the warm loving atmosphere immediately. Everybody was so relaxed & cheerful - we were extremely lucky with the sunshine too! I loved to wander through Sharee's home - a great way to find out a little more about the family - well and to get inspirations for when my boyfriend and I decorate our little cottage in the country side - look at the original wall paper - I love it!

Traveling is one of Sharee & Paddy's big passions, not only the decor in her parent's house but also the wedding cake by Jenny "Delightful" Donohoe are giving it away!

The Dress... breath taking! It's classy, pretty & simply beautiful. Kathy de Stafford - I love her designs! I will make a note on my own list! ...you never know!

Oh and the Bridesmaid's dress was made for the wedding dress! Sharee's sister Naomi looked absolutely stunning in her dress by Sarah Foy.

Have I mentioned Sharee's amazing DIY skill? From up styling her fab shoes to binding her own wedding bouquet! What a talent!

Sharee & Paddy - Thank you again for letting me capture your wedding day & being part of a fabulous day filled with love and laughter!

Supplier's at the day:

Cake: Jenny "Delightful" Donohoe @jennydelightful

Sweetcart: Adam and Friends

Ayrfield Youth Gospel Choir

Dress: Kathy deStafford

Band: Deja Boo

Catering: Egan Hospitality

Venue: Royal Hospital Kilmainham

Car: Big Day Cars

Bridesmaid dress: Sarah Foy Couture

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"Lake Bord na Móna"

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"Lake Bord na Móna"

When the water rises we have to get a little more creative to find walking trails that aren't flooded. Bog-14

Our search brought us to the derelict Train Tracks along the bog. It's a pretty scenery and a fab walk to keep us fit - honey's loving it to - and I love that after a walk along the bog land she's all tired :D

You can walk along the tracks for at least an hour one way. Wear your wellies or hiking boots - highly recommended. It's a great training track.

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Don't walk on your own for two reasons:

  1. The wet ground could trap you a bit like a sump
  2. I spotted two black dogs the other day - they didn't seem to be looking for friends.

Other than that an absolute beautiful walk!

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Getting married in France 2016?

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Getting married in France 2016?

Who wouldn't want to head to France to secure some sunshine for their wedding celebrations. Weddings abroad have a couple of advantages and don't have to be more expensive than a wedding at home.12080272_1000249499996454_7796814590607495644_o We will look into the area in the south of France close to the Pyrenees. A wedding in French Chateaus with a barn feeling. We will look into where to get help to plan your getaway wedding too.

If you bring your family and friends or only a small number of close ones - you don't have to compromise. Either invite them all, or make it 2 celebrations, one at home and one abroad. Sometimes it's nice to just "run away" with your big love and get married without a big crowd.

It's been a trend in 2015 still is in 2016 / 2017 "they" say.

Let's start with the area. Gascogne.

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Gascony, in the south of France is adjoined to Spain at the Atlantic Ocean. It is renowned for being the land of d'Artagnan - the land that inspired the 3 Musketeer Character.

While I was taken by the scent of Garlic - which at first I thought would be awkward - but it's actually a beautiful scent when driving through sun flooded garlic fields. The only problem - I was constantly hungry :)

Gascony is known for it's Armagnac Brandy - the oldest Brandy distilled in France. ...Armagnac is rumoured of having therapeutic benefits - I won't dispute - but will make sure to convince myself during my next visit!

Parts of Gascogne's landscape remind me of endless sunflower fields in the south of Spain.

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It's the warm summer sun and around 2500h of sunshine per year which is to be made responsible for that picturesque scenery.

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But not only the landscape is breathtaking! Gascony's buildings give the area in the South its true French rural characteristic. Old sandy stonewalls, roman architecture and a - usually - bright light give the little towns beautiful photography opportunities.

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Music, Food and accommodation... and any fun decor you're looking for :)

Seek help. That's my one big advice. There are a couple of agencies based in the UK, in Ireland and in France that operate locally.

Truly spoken, I personally haven't worked with an agency yet so I won't be able to provide any feedback about agencies. Well and then again - I personally prefer to work with someone on a more personal base.

I did find a fabulous wedding planner in France and really - she's the go-to person when it comes to a smooth flow of everything to do with your own unique summer wedding in France.

Patricia O'Reilly from "Country Weddings in Gascony" is really like your mum on the day - before, during & after. While she will make sure that everything is set up in a romantic way before your wedding, she will also be there for your during the actual wedding day.

She know the most stunning venues!

...even for last minute requests such as this rustic flower setup - I still don't know where she got the bicycle, basket and flower bouquet from on the actual wedding day :)

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With a love for everything pretty - flower and table decoration is also covered by your mum for the day :)

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As Patricia is a "self-appointed" local - originally from the North of Ireland, she has developed a fab network of lovely suppliers in the area. Reliable, friendly and of high quality. Fluent in French too which makes everything so much easier.

The below ensemble played amazing music from classical to modern with a twist for every taste.

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Food was absolutely mouthwatering - even a photographer needs feeding sometimes, so I was lucky to get a taste of the French cuisine!

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...pick up. Patricia organises anything from pick up from the airport to recommendations about venue, sight seeing & accommodation for friends and family - you are in good hands - promised!

I thoroughly enjoy wedding photography in France, though it's work for me it's in the most relaxed atmosphere and your wedding will be a fabulous celebration with nothing to worry but loads to do, see and... eat :)

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Getting married in Ireland 2016

I am here for 8 years and can tell you, Ireland is a fabulous country to say "yes". Not just because we're finally all equal, but also because of the diversity of it's nature, colours and - the pubs! December_Road_Trip_Tralee_Carolyn-1-12

The truly beautiful countryside and the friendly people -  will make sure you and your loved ones will have a fantastic time!

You might have heard about the 4 seasons in one day - it's not just a myth!

So when getting married in Ireland there are a couple of tips that I'd love to share, and I hope it helps when you book your venue, decide about location and - food! Wedding and Event Photography have taken me to stunning castles like Malahide Castle, little private manors "Killyon Manor" and the great outdoors, to Kilmainham Royal Hospital and many more...

Tips for your Wedding Venue in Ireland:

First of all, you'll have a fabulous wedding if you are looking for a beautiful scenery, plenty of nature and pubs with Irish music and a bit of banter!

In case you only got engaged - Congrats :) and while you might have started your wedding planning: "Please give the state 3 months notice of your intention to getting married in Ireland."

There are some very helpful information from the HSE. Have a read through their requirements when it comes to documents, your status e.g. first time marriage, marriage after divorce or civil annulment... well and the fees etc.

There are plenty of hidden gems for your wedding venue. Weather you are looking for a cottage, barn, castle or manor, Ireland is famous for a variety of locations with mind blowing buildings.

1. Killyon Manor

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"the" secret place for one of Ireland latest additions to Hipster Festivals. Another Love Story. From  glamping, Irish music (traditional and modern), fabulous food by The Happy Pear - I have been 3 times and fell in love with the Manor, the people  atmosphere each single time.Another_Love_Story_2015-34Another_Love_Story_2015-2

...and if you aren't into glamping, there are 8 beds in the house! Newly renovated. What's not to love!

2. Kilmainham Royal Hospital

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If you fancy a location closer to the city, Kilmainham Royal Hospital is only a stone throw from Dublin City Centre - but its gardens make you feel as if you are in the countryside.

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Kilmainham Royal Hospital has been listed in Irelands New Wedding Venues 2015.Sharee_Paddy-137

3. Malahide Castle

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If you always dreamt of a wedding in a castle, near to town & near the sea, Malahide Castle might be your dream location. Beautiful gardens are open for your civil ceremony too!

4. Maryville Tea Rooms:

Treat yourself to tea & coffee in a Victorian Gentleman's Residence which has a yummy selection of finest pastry and coffee and even a stunning B&B.

As promised, we have loads of adventure too!

 As you can tell, Ireland has plenty of water, so in case you haven't got your stag or hen event planned or, if you fancy a slightly different action filled wedding...

Weddings aren't only just for sitting down and chatting with friends. For weddings and hen & stag nights Ireland has plenty on offer - I am not getting into Temple Bar I'm afraid - I am talking "real" adventures.

1. Cork - ... well or Ballyhass, which is about 40min from Cork City:

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In a beautiful - and slightly rural - location, you will find an adventure camp with activities for anyone (seriously)! Accommodation: About five well equipped houses each with few on the lake and a shared BBQ right at the lake where you can relax after a good workout. Head down to the lake for some decent water sports activities. Anything from  Wake boarding (like snowboarding but on the water :)) - to fishing, archery

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... and much more.

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Book your group in for a day or two (just go for 3 days if you can!) - you'll have some stories to tell!

...be nice to the crew and Eoghan might give your gang a lift to the pub! ;)

Cork airport is about 56 minutes from Ballyhass Adventure Centre. If you have the chance and you're from abroad make it a road trip. Ireland's rural and real nature is way too beautiful to be missed.

2. Dublin Adventure Centre Surfdock @GrandCanalDock

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If you are looking to go to Dublin for your hen, stag night or wedding you'll be surprised. Right in the busy financial centre of Dublin at Grand Canal Dock you'll find city adventure centre: Surfdock. It's not only windsurfing right in the city, it's wake boarding by WakedockSUP (Stand-up paddle boat), SUP Yoga (yeah right! get in shape before the madness! :) ), kayaking.

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On top of it all lovely restaurants, I definitely recommend the Oarsman Pub - it's behind the hustle and bustle - it's food is delicious!! Best Chicken Wings yet

3. Go to Strandhill! Surfing, Hiking & good Food! ...and my favourite for food: Shell's Seaside Cafe

This is worth a day trip to the sea from anywhere in Ireland! Shell's Seaside Cafe right in Strandhill at the coast. Shell's has a little shop next door - great for souvenirs, e.g. Shell's cook book with food & impressions from Sligo. From Strand hill to Sligo town in about 10 minutes for some shopping or travel further north about 40 minutes to Bundoran or Rossnowlagh if you're into the coast and surfing. It's Europe finest surfing you can get!

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4. I nearly forgot ...County Kerry - here's THE tip if you are looking to stay in a Boutique Hotel in Tralee!

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For a bit of scouting we went to Tralee and checked into the Ashe Hotel right in the city centre.December_Road_Trip_Tralee_Carolyn-1-32

There one thing - next to the boutique-y interior design, most comfortable beds and stylish bathrooms - that stood out most: the food. You really won't have to go far if you want to dine in a bar-style modern environment with a loungy twist. I had prawns & pasta - delish!

Irish Coffee - a must, and the hot chocolate to die for.

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Pack your suitcases and stay for a night or two - it's only 50 min from Dingle too!

5. Oh, I need to mention my local pub & restaurant - discovered 2015! ...fresh from the press!

The location: You could have guessed - The Midlands - the heart of Ireland & my home.

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So let's start with the restaurant. Or... the pub? Yeah let's start with the pub.

The name: Lifebelt.... or Sorohan's, the beer: top notch, the atmosphere: ...ah here - it's an Irish pub you just want to go to again and again for all the right reasons. ...except someone has a poor taste for music, while the jukebox is in the back room - thank god ;)

P.S.Red Our latest addition right beside the pub (tip, if you feel like a sneaky pint during dinner, pop into the pub through the back doors...)

We've been a couple of times now, I sneaked my way into tasting some of their dishes while offering my photography :) - it's all mouth watering!

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Desert - just say yes already!

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Sharon and Paul and a class team (!) are doing a great job in the newly opened restaurant to make me feel home :).

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I don't know how they do it but each spoon full is a bursts with flavour! It's a party in your mouth (I think you get the idea). And all to thanks to Chef Paul.

Think this is his secret...

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Award winning, yummy food, delicious choice of some of the finest wines.

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This list could go on and on and on!

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I'd be delighted to hear from you if you're looking for a photographer for any occasion really - I shoot professionally for a true passion :)

For more locations, just pop over to Hidden Ireland - have a look and just ask owners of beautiful places if they would mind for you to rent the place. You might be lucky and find a house, castle or manor to be the first couple to get married :)

And if you need any help or advice, as always... pm me, let's chat over a cupa tea & I find out more for you! Always happy to help!

nicolette

xx

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Breakfast Cake - easy on the hips and your wallet

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Breakfast Cake - easy on the hips and your wallet

We've had cookies, cakes and chocolates during the holiday season and now you want me to stop?? I don't think so! Breakfast_Cake-6

...preparation time: 10 - 20 min

...baking time: 30 min in low baking tin / 1.5h in bread shaped baking tin.

Here's an easy to copy cake with stuff you've got in your cupboard!

...and it's very yummy while not too naughty!

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Ingredients

  • 100g raisins
  • 175g oats
  • 75g brown sugar
  • 1 tea spoon cinnamon
  • 300ml apple juice
  • 175g flower
  • 3 tea spoons baking powder
  • butter

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1.

Mix Raisins, Oats, Brown Sugar, Cinnamon in a bowl. Add Apple juice. Mix Flower with Baking powder and add using a sieve.

Pre-heat oven to 160 degrees.

2.

Grease baking tin with butter or baking fat.

Bake cake

  • 30 min in low baking tin (about 3cm high)
  • 1.5h in bread  shaped baking tin

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Your Done!

Breakfast_Cake-6Tips:

  • Sprinkle the icing sugar after baking the cake when cooled down
  • Use non-sweetened apple juice
  • Add carrots (grated)
  • Salted butter for the baking tin give the cake an interesting flavour

Different Flavour?

  • add any dried fruits (chop in small pieces)
  • add coconut sprinkles
  • add vanilla drops
  • add teaspoon of chocolate powder

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Boutique Hotel for Christmas...

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Boutique Hotel for Christmas...

Just home from a city break to fab boutique hotel "Ashe Hotel" (Full ♥♥♥ hearts from us) in Tralee. December_Road_Trip_Tralee_Carolyn-1-29

What an amazing Christmas present from Carolyn - who I am grateful to have as a dear friend. ...she supports me with my madness filled life as a photographer and "randomness blogger". (you are only as crazy as your friends :) )

I have a couple of snaps for you from Tralee to Dingle:

  • bit of nature in Dingle
  • boutique hotel Ashe Hotel in Tralee town centre

 

Despite being woken up by a knocking sound - grrrrr - we give the Ashe Hotel all the stars we have for the following reasons:

  • A super friendly team and smile where you look
  • Yummy Irish & Continental style breakfast
  • Delicious hot chocolate! (TIP: when the glass is spilled you get an extra hot Chocolate - with Marshmallows of course :D)
  • Bar food is fantastic!! ...no need to go to the Chinese around the corner. I recommend Prawn Pasta dish TIP: If you ask you get sun-dried Tomatoes and extra Parmesan Cheese!

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