My First ‘Real’ Eid – Vlog

Hi loves! Eid Mubarak to all who celebrated it last week. This Eid was a special one for me, as it’s the first one where I sort of had my own house to entertain guests. It made me feel like a real grown up and gave me a chance for me to feed my friends and family. I was looking forward to it for a while actually and spent the days coming up to it making Eid snacks with my mum like somosas and daal puris, you’ll get to see all that in the video.

I thought I would vlog it, mainly because I wanted to capture the memories and secondly so I stop being such a ghost to you all. I feel like I’ve disappeared from this blog, and that is okay as it is a passion/hobby of mine rather than a full time job but I won’t lie, it is disheartening to see the stats dropping and views dwindling. So I guess this was also my way of saying hello again and trying to make sure I gradually start making my return on here. I’m rambling. Please watch the video and comment, share, like and all that lovely stuff.

You can watch the video [here]

I hope you enjoyed watching my Eid vlog, I’d love to know what you think and if you’d like to see more videos like this one. I enjoyed filming in this laid back style, so if you want more, I’ll make it happen. I miss being on here and typing away, so I can’t wait to be back soon. Speak soon, Tanzina x

Day Four in Rome & Rome Vlog

I didn’t think my little getaway to Rome would turn into a little mini series here on the blog, but here we are, day four in Rome, and it seems to be just that. It was just so eventful, each day jammed with something different, and so many pictures to share, I couldn’t help myself I HAD to share it with you all. Today’s post is (hopefully) going to be a little shorter than the others, as it was our final day in Rome and in essence, a shopping day. 

Rome

We had caught Fontana Di Trevi during the night on our first night in Rome, but I was adamant we needed to see it in daylight too. It wasn’t a mistake, the fountain had a different feel to it during sunlight, but just as beautiful. The water was so blue, the atmosphere so loud, just magical. We lingered for a while and then made our way over to Spagna, home of the Spanish Steps and also the shopping district of Rome. Side by side, you see all the fashion houses that dreams are made of. Prada, Versace, Chanel, Gucci, Louis Vuitton, Hermes, Armani – let’s say the list is never ending. Call me uneducated but I had no idea just how many of these brands were actually Italian – I knew some of them were but wow the Italian’s really do fashion well. And cars. And food. Talk about a talented bunch. We wondered shop to shop, picking up gifts for loved ones and looking for things for ourselves. I also had a huge shop in Zara (it’s cheaper here than in the UK).

We didn’t really do much other than shopping, but I just wanted to put this post out there so that you could see the Fontana Di Trevi in the daylight. Once our shopping was wrapped up, we headed back to the hotel and got in our taxi to the airport. Again we opted to get a private taxi simply to avoid the hassle of getting lost, getting on the right train and also because we were feeling quite lazy. I am sure it would’ve been fine catching the train but you know how it is, excuses excuses. At the airport there were a fair few duty free shops, I picked up a pair of sunglasses for myself from Ray-ban and also one for the husband as I hadn’t purchased him anything from Rome. We then quickly dined on our last Roman pizza and caught our plane back home.

As this blog post has been fairly short and you’ve been so patient with reading my blog posts, it is only fair that I share with you a vlog of all 4 days in Rome. I really hope you enjoy it, I’d love your feedback as I have never done a travel diary or travel vlog before so do let me know if this is something you’d like to see more of.

You can watch the vlog [here]

Our stay in Rome was beautiful, although a little exhausting as we packed in so much in 3 days. Would I go again? Yes for sure, but probably not right away. I’d love to travel a little more in other countries and then revisit Rome again one day and reminisce about our very first holiday there together.  I hope you’ve enjoyed the last few posts on our little trip and the vlog, do let me know if I should a post like this again next time we go away. Speak soon! Tanzina x

Our First Night in Rome
Day Two in Rome

Day Three in Rome

Day Three in Rome

Day Three in Rome really took our breath away. If you’ve kept up with the posts you’d know that I haven’t really travelled as much as I would like to. I wanted to see sights in this world that I have only seen through pictures, I wanted to create memories and I wanted tick off destinations that I have only dreamt of. Day three was particularly special to us as it was my birthday so it seemed fit that we had left the best for this day.


The agenda for the day was simple: The Vatican and St. Peter’s Basilica. The Vatican is the world’s smallest country which completely baffled us, we couldn’t understand how this could be a country but I guess it just is! Just in case you didn’t know, the Vatican is is a walled enclave within the city of Rome, where all the Popes and the current Pope lived/live. Inside the huge stoned walls, you can find the Vatican Museum, the Sistine Chapel and St Peter’s Basilica which we visited in that order. I feel like using the words ‘breath taking’ over and over again, because I can’t find the words to explain just how stunning everything was. We were just blown away by the history, the art, the details that were surrounding us. I took so many pictures, but as you can predict, it just doesn’t capture the beauty at all as the naked eye does. We literally were walking around in awe.

So we had an English speaking tour booked for the Vatican Museum, this we booked directly through the official website [this one], our tour guide was really knowledgeable and talked us through the Vatican Museum which is also the official home of the Pope. We went from room to room, soaking in all the information and history around us. We asked questions, posed for pictures and just truly lost ourselves in the moment. It is so special, and a sight I would suggest you go see if you ever get the chance to. A paragraph won’t do it justice, so I’m going to stop typing about it, but I suggest you go check out a few videos if the pictures interest you. By the way, you will be blown away by the amazing artists who contributed to the beauty of the Vatican.

Tip: We got really lucky as we went in January so we were able to move around leisurely without it being overcrowded. Try to go in the colder off peak months to truly enjoy your experience.

After the Vatican Museum, we went to the Sistine Chapel, which is connected to the Vatican Museum. Unfortunately no photos are allowed to be taken in the Sistine Chapel but a quick Google search will bring you up lots of pictures. Last time I picked up a paintbrush and did a bit of art work was way back in the days whilst doing my Art GCSE and I feel like my love for art has been reignited just by spending even 10 seconds in the Sistine Chapel. The beautiful artwork of Michealangelo which I have seen in so many textbooks and images, was right in front of me, and all the pictures I have seen could have never prepared me for how grand and how ‘breathtaking’ the real thing was – yes that word again because I can’t think of what else to substitute for the feeling I got. I just sat there, for the longest time, soaking it in and just staring. My husband was ready to move on, but I felt rooted like I couldn’t move, as there was just so much to see. So so much. I was imagining Michealangelo painting the ceiling and being pretty much blinded in the process with the lead in the paint falling into his eyes. I imagined the process of a pope being selected, in the very hall I was sitting in. It is so fascinating. I’d definitely go back again.

After the Sistine Chapel, we went to see the St. Peter’s Basilica which is a renaissance chapel inside the Vatican City. Again, the structure of the chapel was grand, if you are a fan of architecture you are going to be blown away by the very prominent renaissance architecture here. We walked around just marveling at the high ceiling, the pillars and just the million other details that made up the Basilica. I had a goal in mind, climb to the dome of the chapel and experience the view below. I was determined to tick this off my bucket list, even it almost killed me in the process. Not everyone knows this, but it is actually possible to climb to the dome of St. Peter’s, even I wouldn’t have known should I not have researched before hand. There are a lot of stairs to climb, we skipped about 400 of these by paying to use the elevator but we were left to take the remaining 550ish. These are very very narrow, very tiny winding stairs that look like a death trap. It is absolutely exhausting, so claustrophobic and quite scary climbing to the top. (I’ll try upload a vlog about it soon). Eventually after a few breaks, a lot of complaints, we made it to the top. The cold air greeting us was a welcome sensation, and the view of St. Peter’s square was just worth it. Again, pictures don’t capture the beauty, you have to see it to believe it.


After that rather exhausting excursion, we relaxed in St. Peter’s square and watched the sun go down on the square. Then, I had a craving for gelato so off we went to satisfy that craving. We wound down my birthday evening by just relaxing before dinner, which we had at a restaurant close to our hotel. We dined on spicy prawn spaghetti and virgin mojitos.

My 26th birthday turned out to be the most eventful birthday I think I ever had. I feel like it was a once in a lifetime kind of birthday, how often will I be able to spend my special day at the Vatican and all the other special places we visited. It was my first birthday as a married woman, so it was rather special sharing the day solely with my husband. Phones were off, social media silent, just the two of us. It was just beautiful, and I fell asleep that night as the happiest girl in all the lands.   

P.S You can read my other Rome posts here:

Our First Night in Rome
Day Two in Rome

Day Two in Rome

For Day Two in Rome we had a plan: Colleseum, Roman Forum and the Pantheon. As we were in Rome for only 4 days, I wanted to pack in as much as we could and as all the sites are quite close to each other in Rome, it seemed possible to do in one day. We started the day quite early, opting to have breakfast in the hotel and then jumped on the Metro and headed towards the Colosseum. 

I loved how easy the Metro system was in Rome, it is easy to understand, quite affordable and really quick as well. I think they had 72 hour tickets we could purchase for under 2o Euros each, so it made sense to get that for our stay. If you have read my previous post about our trip to Rome, you would know that we had already visited the Colosseum the night before, but seeing it in all it’s glory during the day time was something else. I would recommend you purchase tickets beforehand, I bought the tickets and an Ipod tour [here] – which meant we skipped the queues. There are lots of tour companies selling Colosseum tours, but you really don’t need a tour guide. Just get an audio tour and you are ready to start exploring yourself, without any time constraints. The Colosseum was breath taking, all that history just sitting there right in front of you. I closed my eyes and tried to imagine the crowds baying at Gladiators and exotic animals appearing on the grounds. How amazing must it have been? Did you know they used to fill it up with water sometimes, and create battleship wars! Who knew? Why don’t we have anything like that nowadays, I would definitely go watch.

After we finished exploring the Colosseum, we went over to explore the Roman Forum, which is right next to the Colosseum. This was basically the main hub of the Roman city, with lots of important city buildings once residing here. Now a lot of the buildings are in ruin, but you still can feel just how magnificent it once were. There are beautiful orange gardens to explore and lots of ruined temples to the Roman gods. We explored leisurely, stopping off to read plaques explaining the story behind each ruin we visited. We were at the top of the Palatine hill at one point, overlooking the ruins when I spotted a beautiful green door and insisted we walk over and find out why it is there. I was hoping I could run up and take pictures in front of it, but unfortunately it was cordoned off. However my husband was determined I get to take the picture I wanted and may have suggested that I jump over the cordon. Luckily I didn’t get in trouble, it was a quick dash in and out. The doors are actually original bronze doors to the Temple of Romulus, I believe he was a young boy who died and his father, the Emperor Maxentius had it built in his honour.

Once we had finished exploring the Roman Forum, we asked lots of people for the way to see the Pantheon as that was the last site seeing destination for the day. Side note, the people we came across were so friendly. Everyone was helpful and it was so easy to get around due to their helpful nature. On the way to the Pantheon, we came across a grand monument that we just had to stop and explore. It was the Vittoriano, a monument built to honour Victor Emmanuel, the first king of a unified Italy. As it was completed in 1925, everything is intact and the grandeur cannot be missed. Some Romans call it the wedding cake building, and find it too vulgar, pompous and too blinding white in their city, but we loved it. I believe it’s creation destroyed some of the original buildings in the Palatine Hill, so you can understand the frustrations. We loved exploring it, and also visited the museum located inside.

Finally we made our way to the Pantheon, which used to be a Roman temple, now a church. I wanted to see this building with a hole in the roof for myself, and see how that hole illuminated the entire hall. The Pantheon has been really well preserved and I really enjoyed soaking in the atmosphere. Being a church there were lots of people praying, and there was just a spiritual ambiance. I sat down for a brief few minutes and made my own little prayer (dua) before I left.

The evening was rather uneventful, we were totally exhausted to say the least. I can’t recall what snacks we had through out the day but in the evening we visited a local Indian restaurant. Rome Tip: Leave the Indian dining to either the UK where there are such amazing restaurant or for when you are in South Asia. The food was rather disappointing so we filled the evening with snacks and called it a night.

Speak to you soon about our third day in Rome. Tanzina x

First Night in Rome

Travelling is something I really want to do more of, one of my goals in life is to visit a new country every year. Unfortunately I didn’t manage to accomplish this goal in 2016 – our wedding took out a large chunk of the year for me and I didn’t want to spend too much money in the run up to the wedding. However I am definitely going to make up for it this year but visiting atleast two countries, a goal I kicked off by visiting Rome, Italy earlier this year.

I haven’t really ever explored a city or country before. I have been fortunate to visit a fair few countries with my family, and there was that one time in Portugal with one of my best friends, but I’ve never really had an itinerary or a check list of things I must do or see during my break. With the family we just see where the day takes us and when I was in Portugal I literally just relaxed for the entire duration. However this time I was prepared and was armed with an itinerary that literally had our whereabouts in hourly breakdowns.

We arrived in Rome, at the Fiumicino – Leonardo da Vinci airport around 3.20PM, meaning we had a lot of time to explore the city on the day of our arrival. It took about 40 minutes to get to our hotel, we were feeling lazy and opted not to get the train, we got a private taxi for €50 to the hotel which was a lot more convenient for us. After we relaxed and settled into the hotel, we decided to go exploring. I had been told by many people that I need to see some of the sites at night time, so that is exactly what we decided to go out and do. We visited the Colosseum, and saw it all lit up from within, beautiful as well as imposing. We didn’t stay there too long as we knew we would be back the next day, so we then went off to see Fontana di Trevi (Trevi Fountain). This was jaw dropping gorgeous, a huge beautiful fountain surrounded by ornate sculptures of the Roman gods. We sat in front of it for a while, just soaking in the atmosphere.

We then went for our first Italian dinner, in a little restaurant near Fontana di Trevi. One thing I had purposely not researched was places to eat. I just wanted to stumble into places that seemed inviting. We dined on bruscetta and pizza and chips/fries. I also had my first fresh made bread with Italian extra virgin olive oil and balsamic vinegar. It was the best olive oil I had ever tasted, I didn’t realise my palate could pick up the difference! Pizza was also the best pizza I had ever had. The bruscetta was a bit too simple for me.


 We wound down the evening by talking a walk in Spagna, near the Spanish Steps. This is the shopping area of Rome, with so many designer shops everywhere you look. It had gotten quite late so all the shops were closed but I had all of the Spanish Steps to myself, and again it was just nice to soak in the atmosphere. Once the temperature had dropped a little too low for my liking, we made our way to our home for the next few days. On the note of temperature, do forgive my choice of clothing in this trip! It was quite cold and we had a lot of walking to do so I had to put comfort over fashion.

We stayed in Rome for 3 night, 4 full days. We explored so much, I’ll try and cram as much as I can into the next post. I haven’t really shared any holiday blogs before, so I hope this hasn’t been too different for here. I think 2016 started taking this blog in a new direction, a direction where I share more of my life and personality with you all. Make sure you subscribe on Bloglovin (here) to keep up to date with all my latest posts, and do let know what you think of these ones where you see more of my life.

Speak soon, Tanzina x