rock werchter 2017
Travel

Arguably Abroad: Amsterdam and Rock Werchter 2017

Well, here we are again. Another travel blog. Hush – don’t look at the ridiculous amount of shopping I did, and ignore the packets of waffles and other Dutch treats next to me. Definitely don’t pay any attention to the two bags I didn’t need that I bought from duty free on the way back. Okay you can look, but don’t judge. I can explain.

Towards the end of last month, I set off for a week-and-a-half long holiday to Amsterdam (my second visit) and Belgium for Rock Werchter – a music festival I’ve been dying to hit for the last two or three years. I like things to be a little organised, so let’s break this down by location, okay?

Amsterdam

This was my first time visiting Amsterdam in summer, and it was absolutely stunning. Vondelpark was transformed from a quiet park made up of greys and earthy tones into a lively hub filled with lush, green grass and countless people relaxing in the sun or cycling around. We spent a couple of hours wandering around and having lunch there and I would 100% recommend you do that too.

vondelpark amsterdam

On our first day, we hit a place called Body Worlds. How do I begin to explain the strange beauty that is Body Worlds? Well, it’s an exhibit about ‘the secrets of happiness and its effects on the body’ – but using real human bodies that have been peeled back a few layers and posed doing normal human things. I feel like I’m not doing a great job selling this one, but trust me – if you’re into the weird and wonderful, then this is a cool alternative to your typical sightseeing.

Oh yeah – and if you want to go to the next level of ‘weird’ (and if you’re not squeamish at all) hit the Museum Vrolik Academic Medical Centre, just a short train ride away from the city centre. Here’s the low-down: this museum is made up of the private collection of…interesting…specimens curated and brought together by a super important Dutch scientist called Gerardus Vrolik (1755 – 1859) and his son, Willem Vrolik. You’ll find roughly 5000 different, um, “specimens”, including (but not limited to) loads of different skeletons, sliced brains, male and female reproductive systems, and various creatures (human and not) preserved in big jars. Moving on…

vrolik museum amsterdam

I’d wanted to visit the Rijksmuseum for ages, and had already spent a good chunk of time exploring the Van Gogh Museum (go – seriously). While the rest of my friends hit the Heineken Experience, I spent around three hours wandering around this huge space filled with century upon century of incredible art, completely in awe of everything. Rembrandt was a definite highlight, and they even had one of Van Gogh‘s self-portraits.

Rock Werchter (Belgium)

After a few days exploring Amsterdam, we set off on the journey to Rock Werchter. Two trains, a bus ride, and a fair few hours (and not enough coffees) later, we made it to the camping grounds – that, I’ll have to say, was not fun. I’m not a good or happy camper, and I especially don’t like queuing to find a decent spot to pitch my tent. Then there’s the actual camping – ugh. I’m already too impatient to queue for long – add the fact that I’m queuing for showers and toilets is just a little too much.

travel blog

I will admit that it was nice to wake up to the sound of rain drops hitting the tent one morning – but that’s all the positive feedback you’ll get about camping from this house-cat right here. Forget about all that – the music is what we were there for anyway! The lineup was pretty strong, but my must-sees were Imagine Dragons, Kings of Leon, Blink-182, Linkin Park, and Alt-J – you obviously can’t hope to see every single act at a festival. I was quite happy to enjoy the rest of the acts sitting down on the grass and being quite possibly more relaxed than I’ve ever been in my entire life.

 

 

 

 

 

 

What else can I say? Travelling to see some of your favourite, most inspiring bands and artists live is something else. You can’t compare the feeling you get when you’re right in front of your idols, watching them play songs both old and new. I’m going to try and hit a music festival once a year – where to next?

Which music festival do you recommend? Leave a comment to help me choose my 2018 spot! 

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restaurants in malta
Food

5 of My Favourite Restaurants in Malta

restaurants in malta

I’m not sure if I’ve mentioned this to you guys already or not, but here it is just in case – I love food. Honestly, I can’t think of anything better than an incredible plate of fresh, Maltese king prawns so velvety they could melt in your mouth. And let’s not forget the wine. Or the dessert – preferably something luxurious like  pannacotta, dark chocolate fondant, or tiramisu. Okay, I’m getting hungry just writing this so let’s get to the meaty part of this blog post (pun fully intended).

1 | Club Sushi

It would be fair to say that my strong attachment to this little restaurant comes from the fact that my fellow foodie and boyfriend took me here for a fantastic dinner on our first date – but I swear on my plum sake that this is the place to go to for some incredible Japanese (and Korean) deliciousness. Don’t leave without trying the gunkan and the octopus gar age

restaurants in malta

2 | It-Tmun

This one’s only second because I have to catch a ferry over to Gozo for their amazing food and great service. It’s located right next to the harbour, nestled between some boat houses and bars, so close to the sea you could probably fall in if you hit the Merlot a bit too hard (nobody’s judging, don’t worry).

restaurants in malta

3 | Aaron’s Kitchen 

This restaurant doesn’t just serve up some of the most authentic aljotta (Maltese fish soup) and fresh pasta on the island – it’s also located right in the heart of my favourite place in Malta: Valletta.

https://www.instagram.com/p/BHz-SRBgne5/?taken-at=1001332125

4 | Il-Pirata

I can’t believe it took me as long as it did to try this place out. Anyway, it was love at first bite, and I’m in a very satisfying relationship with their lobster pasta and mouth-watering beef tagliata. Zero regrets. 

5 | Zen

“But Kelly, you’ve already done sushi here!” is what I hear you saying – but when has there ever been such a thing as “too much sushi”? Exactly. I went to Zen at Portomaso for my first anniversary, and was treated to a table right in front of all the rice-rolling action. Copious amounts of sushi were ordered and served up on an actual BOAT. A boat. Of sushi. I am so done.

restaurants in malta

Do you have any must-try restaurants of your own? Post your recommendations below and help me add more eateries to my list! 

-Kelly

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