I’m going to India – Incredible India!

I’m going to India!

I’m off to India!

Indiaaaaaa!

OMG!

INCREDIBLE INDIA!

The Taj Mahal in India.

I’m betting that most of my readers have never been to India, and probably have no plans to either.

But.

For the next few months weeks, I’ll be showing you that if you’re interested in visiting India.

I mean, reaaaaaaally interested.

You can.

Victoria outside the Amer Fort in Jaipur – India ©Victoria Ade-Genschow – The British Berliner – India – October 2018

So how did I do it?

Well, if you look at my about me page, you will see that I am married, I have a son, and I have a corporate job in Germany, as well as this wonderful lifestyle, travel, expat blog!

What I mean to say is that I live a normal life. Just like you.

I’m married, in a relationship with someone, or have been single. Just like you.

I have family responsibilities. Just like you.

I have a full-time job. Just like you.

And by god.

I have a daily budget.

Absolutely.

Just like you.

And for those of you who are over 30 (ahem!).

This blog and the next couple of months weeks, is for you.

The point I’m making is that you don’t have to do anything drastic if you want to afford a life of travel.

You don’t have to choose between having it all and having nothing at all, and you definitely don’t have to quit your lifestyle!

India isn’t easy, but if you want to go there.

You can!

Two hours later, my hotel room in India suddenly appeared!
And while we’re at it – 7 other common travel scams to avoid!

For the next couple of months weeks, I’ll be breaking down posts into simple categories such as:

  • How you don’t have to backpack around India if you don’t want to
  • India for first-timers
  • What to pack for India
  • How to book trains and cars in India
  • How to arrange hotels in India. By yourself!
  • What to eat / what not to eat
  • How to get a travel phone / sim card, in India
  • Family travel for India
  • How to be safe and healthy in India
  • Travel scams in India
  • A break-down of the best Indian cities to travel to

Mit wem, man auf Deutsch, sprechen kann – mein Mann – Frank Böster – Bitte klicken Sie hier!

And of course, if you’re really nervous, I offer a consultancy, and can help you organise or advice you on many parts of your trip to India! For more info, click here!

WHY IS VICTORIA GOING TO INDIA?

India

Funny you should ask ‘cos I’ve been to India before.

Thirteen (13) years ago!

And I have to tell you.

I’ve got mixed feelings about it!

I travelled solo and I was there for a month.

I went to North India and I really liked it and enjoyed it enormously.

But I didn’t love it!

I went to Romania. It didn’t wow me!

And if I don’t like a place, I’m certainly going to tell you!!

I went to Rajasthan and saw tigers on safari at the Ranthambore National Park, adored the beautiful lakes at Udaipur, chuckled at the wedding cake cinema at Jaipur, licked and tasted camel ice-cream in Pushkar, rode elephants in Jodhpur, went camel-riding in the sandy desert of Jaisalmer, danced to the music of Bollywood, delighted in the openness of the local people, licked my fingers at authentic Indian food, and marvelled at the wonderful amazing-ness of the Taj Mahal.

India is awesome!

It was awesome!

However, road traffic was mad and over-whelming, the noise was deafening, the dirt and grime was disgusting, the River Ganges at Varanasi was not only filthy, but I actually saw a bloated dead body being dragged across the water by a dog!

The beggar children were heart-breaking, the overnight train was horrific that I couldn’t sleep a wink, and the food-poisoning that I caught from stale / under-cooked eggs at a 5-star hotel restaurant was so awful, that my skin colour actually turned grey!

That wasn’t good news!

I’m sorry, but India’s Holy River Ganges in Varanasi is utterly filthy!

In fact, I was so exhausted by the shopkeepers and city of Delhi that for the only time in my life, I actually wanted to go home!

I stuck it out though, but was thrilled to be able to fly away, and leave it all behind me.

Eek!

WHERE IS VICTORIA GOING?

In my eyes, the best of India means Rajasthan!

Well, I wanted to show my family, otherwise known as – The Music Producer and The Tall Young Gentleman, the best of India.

In my eyes that means Rajasthan.

RAJASTHAN

Rajasthan – Land of Kings

Rajasthan literally means “Land of Kings” and is a state in the north-western part of India.

Rajasthan is 342,239 square kilometres or 132,139 square miles and is the largest state in India and the seventh largest by population!

Rajasthan is famous for the Thar Desert, otherwise known as the Rajasthan Desert and the Great Indian Desert, and shares a controversial border with Pakistan!

Rajasthan is surrounded by five Indian states such as the Punjab in the north, Haryana and Uttar Pradesh in the northeast, Madhya Pradesh in the southeast, and Gujarat in the southwest. It is also very famous for the ruins of the Indus Valley Civilisation, the Dilwara Temples, Rajasthan’s only hill station – Mount Abu, the Keoladeo National Park, three (3) national tiger reserves – the world-famous Ranthambore National Park, the Sariska Tiger Reserve, and the Mukundra Hill Tiger Reserve!

The capital and largest city is Jaipur.

We’ll not only be going to Rajasthan, but also the National Capital Territory of Delhi (NCT), otherwise known as Delhi, the northern state of Uttar PradeshAgra – and the capital city of the state of MaharashtraMumbai – otherwise known (up till 1995) as Bombay!

So let’s see where I’ll be going.

I feel like making dreams come true – Hello India!

We’ve only got two (2) weeks so we’ll be going to:

  • Delhi
  • Agra
  • Jaipur
  • Pushkar
  • Udaipur
  • Mumbai

Phew!

IF INDIA DOESN’T BREAK YOU, IT’LL MAKE YOU STRONGER ‘COS INDIA IS HARD!

You can’t keep me away from India’s beautiful Taj Mahal!

So how is it that I’m going back to India?

Again?

And to some of the very same places too!

?!!!?!

Ha! Ha! Ha!

I’m totally mad!

But I’m doing it anyway LOL!

Perhaps India has changed!

Well, thirteen (13) years ago is a long time, and perhaps India has changed.

I know I have.

I’ll be going to Rajasthan again but as I said above, I’ll only be focusing on Delhi, Agra, Jaipur, Pushkar, Udaipur and Mumbai.

I’ll also personally be doing all the planning and organising.

Gulp!

And this time I won’t be backpacking.

I won’t be taking any bumpy chicken-buses.

I won’t be going as cheap as chips.

I won’t be visiting Varanasi.

And I won’t be taking the over-night Indian train!

Who doesn’t like an exciting adventure?

Well, follow me over the next few months, and find out!

And if you follow me on Facebook or Twitter, you’ll see all the daily details, the lost luggage, the Delhi-Belly story, and others!

So  what are you waiting for?

‘Rah! ‘Rah!

I’M GOING TO INDIA – INCREDIBLE INDIA!

At the Ranthambore National Park, India.

This article is not sponsored, and all opinions and the incredible time in India that I’m hoping to have, are my very own!

Stay tuned.

Yay!

That’s it for now.

See you next week!

A street food snack in Delhi – India ©Victoria Ade-Genschow – The British Berliner – India – October 2018

Watch this space!

Note! I never travel without insurance as you never know what might happen.

I learnt my lesson in Spain. And obviously, in countries like Qatar, where technically the risk is higher, I can’t imagine going that far beyond, WITHOUT INSURANCE. No siree! You can get yours here, at World Nomads!

Please note that there are now affiliate links (for the very first time) connected to this post. Please consider using the links, because every time some sort of accommodation or travel insurance is booked via my links I get a little percentage, but at no extra cost to yourself!

A win-win for all!

Thanks a million!

I’m going to India – Incredible India!

Have you ever been to India? What do you think? Let me know in the comments below!

See you in Berlin.

If you have any questions send me a tweet, talk to me on Facebook, find me on Linkedin, make a comment below, look for me on Google+ or send me an Email: victoria@thebritishberliner.com

If you like this post, please Share it! Tweet it! Or like it!

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How to live in Dresden. For longer than a day!

How to live in Dresden. For longer than a day.

So Dresden.

A Baroque Old Town.

A garden suburb.

A cultural metropolis.

What a beautiful city!

As I told you last week, Dresden has a long rich history as the capital and royal residence of the Electors and Kings of Saxony, who furnished the city with cultural and artistic splendor, and was once known as the Jewel Box of Germany, because of it’s Old Town city centre which is crammed with baroque and rococo architecture.

Sadly, when the international community think of Dresden, they make no mention of German splendour and historical treasures, but rather the horror of the Second World War!

War is a terrible thing, and Dresden paid the price.

Towards the end of World War II, Dresden was pretty much flattened and destroyed, and became unrecognisable.

After the war, restoration work helped to reconstruct parts of the historic inner city, including the Dresden Cathedral, the Zwinger Museum Complex and the very famous Semper Oper.

Victoria at the River Elbe in Dresden – Germany
©Victoria Ade-Genschow – The British Berliner – Dresden – April 2018

Outside of the Old Town, Dresden has a trendy New Town – Neustadt – a nearby Saxon Switzerland National Park, the Ore Mountains which borders both Germany and the Czech Republic, the Moritzburg Castle, impressive countryside around the Elbe Valley, etc.

And.

It’s.

A.

Waterside City with the River Elbe running right through it.

Yeah!

Germans are enormously open-minded so nude beaches as Freikörperkultur, or FKK movement – Free Body Culture, was set up
©Bundesarchiv, Bild 183-1984-0828-411A / Settnik, Bernd / CC-BY-SA 3.0

I hadn’t visited Dresden in more than twenty (20) years, and when I first visited, my German boyfriend at the time tried to persuade me to join him, at one of the family-friendly nudist Free Body Culture (FKK) beaches.

With his friends!

As if!

I did however, agree to join him alone.

And only him.

I was very conscious of the fact that people would stare at my body.

They did!

I was the only person wearing items of “clothing.”

With chocolate-brown skin.

Wearing a bikini.

That was bright yellow!

You could see Victoria – in her bright yellow bikini – from the moon!

You could see me from the moon!

Cue 2018.

Like Hamburg, I had of course, breezed through, on my way to Prague, but I hadn’t stopped there for a very long time.

Dresden was better than I ever hoped.

Exciting Times in Dresden – Forgive the casual look. I was previously wearing heels!
©Victoria Ade-Genschow – The British Berliner – Dresden – March 2018

Last week, I told you what to do if you’re a tourist. But what if you wanted to stay a little longer?

A couple of days. A week. Perhaps, even for a few weeks!

Make no mistake, I’d still highly recommend Berlin as your go-to-city, but if you insist, Dresden will do just fine!

The Tall Young Gentleman had a fine time in Dresden. You will too!
©Victoria Ade-Genschow – The British Berliner – Dresden – April 2018

Being that my new job as the Referent Interne Trainings or the Internal Training Manager, is in Dresden, I’ve been doing a lot of research which has not only been exhausting, but pretty expensive too! 

Having said that, my experience has allowed me to stay in a wide variety of accommodation providers spanning from a collection of hotels, apartments, and even a hostel!

Yep!

I do these things, so that you don’t have to!

I know!

Let’s get started, shall we?

WHY VISIT DRESDEN?

Martin Luther in Dresden

Why not?!

Well, I wrote quite a bit about it last week.

And anyway, Dresden is in Germany!

So what?

You really can’t go wrong there.

Why not?

Well, it’s Germany!

TAKE ME THERE?

I’ve used FlixBus for both local & international travel. Great prices!
©Victoria Ade-Genschow – The British Berliner – Dresden – April 2018

As you all pretty much know by now, I’m a great believer in train travel. However, depending on where you’re coming from, taking the bus / coach might actually be cheaper. And far more efficient!

I’ve been taking FlixBus, and their prices have been marvellous.

At one point, I actually took a bus for €4.99!

The average price is usually between €6.00 – €10.00, depending on how flexible you can travel.

I’ve used FlixBus for both local (within Germany), and international travel, and if you’re on a budget, you’ll be hard-pressed to find anything cheaper!

I was having a fine time flying all over Europe, thank you very much!

Of course, if you’re coming from abroad, flying might prove more economical.

Dresden is quite a small city, so you might actually find yourself either flying to Dresden Airport (DRS), Leipzig-Halle Airport (LEJ), Berlin Tegel Airport (TXL) or perhaps, even Berlin-Schönefeld Airport (SXF)!

If you’re not sure which airport in Berlin, you’re supposed to be flying to or out of, here’s a link to the website of Flughafen / Airport Berlin Brandenburg GmbH which has comprehensive information on both airports BerlinTegel (TXL) and Berlin-Schönefeld (SXF) as they’re at opposite ends of the city, and you don’t want to find yourself in the wrong one!

IS IT GOING TO BE CROWDED?

There are tourists in Dresden. But I wouldn’t call it crowded!
©Victoria Ade-Genschow – The British Berliner – Dresden – April 2018

I didn’t think so!

In fact, as it wasn’t yet “the season,” some places and operations were still closed or had reduced hours.

But in the summer, prepare to gird your loins, and fight your way through!

Plan well.

WHAT IS DRESDEN LIKE?

Frederick Augustus II of Saxony or Augustus II the Strong – the Golden Rider!

I was pleasantly surprised.

It’s a small city of historical and architectural interest, the food and beer is impressive.

And it’s very, very pretty!

I DON’T SPEAK GERMAN.

How to be a German – 10 ways to do it!

Not. A. Problem.

No really.

No worries.

It’s amazing how many languages a typical European speaks.

Most speak a minimum of three (3)!

If you speak English, German, Russian, or Chinese, you’re good to go.

And get this.

I couldn’t believe it!

Most things were written in German.

And.

English!

Hurrah!

AM I GOING TO LIVE IN A HUT?

You’re not going to live in this abandoned hut, so don’t worry!

Ha! Ha! Not unless you want to!

I’M ON A BUDGET. WHAT SHOULD I DO?

At the tip of the River Elbe and the Elberadweg cycle path, in Altpieschen – Dresden
©Victoria Ade-Genschow – The British Berliner – Dresden – May 2018

Ha! Let me help you here.

Dresden isn’t as cheap as I was expecting.

If you’re from the UK or the US, it’s as cheap as chips, obviously.

If you’re from Germany, food prices are the same as in Berlin, but accommodation was far cheaper!

I mean, I was able to get a studio apartment with two (2) bedrooms, a small kitchen / dining room, and an en-suite bathroom for just €30.00 a night.

Thirty Euros (€30.00) a night!

And it wasn’t via Airbnb, but booking.com

But before we go any further, let me reiterate:

I am an affiliate partner of booking.com. In fact, if you use any of my hotel / apartment links, you’ll see the verified partner symbol of the British Berliner logo, along with each affiliated link. 

This means that every time some sort of accommodation is booked via my links I get a little percentage, but at absolutely no extra cost to yourself!

None of the hotels / hostels / apartments that I used were comped, or sponsored. All were paid for, absolutely by myself! As a result, you’ll also see my honest and verified view of what I thought when I stayed there, as a legitimate customer too.

Thanks a million!

Here’s all the variety of places where I stayed:

HOSTELS:

The Königssuite – Kings Suite at LaLeLu Hostel in Dresden
©Victoria Ade-Genschow – The British Berliner – Dresden – May 2018

It’s a boutique “mini-hostel” with just seven (7) rooms, which was why I booked it!

It’s in the trendy hip Äußere Neustadt, otherwise known as Antonstadt and just a 20 minute walk from the AltStadt! In fact, when I got there, I immediately felt quite at home!

I was in the Königssuite or the Kings Suite which was a romantic suite covered with gold and lots of red!

The bathroom and lovely kitchen is shared, but there’s a fee for bed sheets and towels.

Excellent WiFi!

I paid €39.00 per night for a private double room suite. If there’s two of you, that’s €19.50 a pop!

BED & BREAKFAST / GUEST HOUSES / PENSIONS:

The Hotel Pension zu Dresden Altpieschen in Dresden
©Victoria Ade-Genschow – The British Berliner – Dresden – May 2018

I was there for a week and really wished I could have stayed longer!

It’s a 1901-ish charming Guest House that is in the lovely district of Pieschen, about a 10 minute walk from the AltStadt, a 10 minute tram-ride to the NeuStadt, and a mere 250 metres from the river Elbe!

My room was in the loft, was absolutely huge, and had 20th century wooden beams features everywhere. I also had my own landing, my own staircase, and my own entrance door that could be securely locked!

I had a huge bathroom that was so big I couldn’t reach the mirror, so they had to had to get me a small one, for my tiny height!

A fridge was included, complete with a bottle of water!

Everything was delightful, except for the WiFi.

Quite adequate for your average tourist, but utterly useless for someone like me!

I paid €42.00 per night for a spacious loft. If there’s two of you, that’s €22.00 a pop!

Highly recommended!

The Pension Dresdener Berge in Dresden
©Victoria Ade-Genschow – The British Berliner – Dresden – April 2018

I couldn’t believe how cheap, but safe, the Pension / Bed and Breakfast would be!

This was my first hotel in Dresden, and if I had known then what I know now, I would have blocked-booked it, as I never got that fantastic price ever again!

In fact, I wasn’t even able to get the studio apartment either, as someone had booked it!

I highly recommend it as a budget option for 1 person, a couple, or a couple with a child!

I had a 2-bedroom studio apartment for just €30.00 a night!

It had a large bedroom, a small bedroom for a child, a small kitchen / dining room, and an en-suite bathroom.

Excellent WiFi!

I paid €30.00 per night for a 2-bedroom studio apartment. If there’s two of you, that’s €15.00 a pop, and your child is totally free of charge!

Book ahead!

APARTMENTS:

The work of a lifestyle, expat, travel blogger is never done. There’s just so much to dooo!

I stayed at two (2) different hotel – apartments. And one of them, I even stayed at twice!

The Hotel & Apartment Altstadtperle in Dresden
©Victoria Ade-Genschow – The British Berliner – Dresden – April 2018

With houses dated from the last century and older, genteel street lamps, and 300 year old churches scattered everywhere, it was no wonder that I found the quiet neighbourhood appealing.

I stayed in two different apartments at this hotel, and they were always quite large with a huge bathroom, and a small kitchen. And the cleaner came in every day!

I loved the hotel itself, the location was fantastic, and my apartment was great.

But the staff were lazy, and the WiFi pretty much non-existent. They also wouldn’t waive the City Tax even though they were supposed to!

I stayed here twice spanning almost two (2 weeks), as I really thought that the issues were a one-off.

They weren’t!

If you’re on holiday, it’s a really lovely apartment-hotel and I’d recommend it, but if you’re on a business trip, book somewhere else!

I paid €40.50 initially, and the following week I paid €46.08 per night. For two people, €20.25 and €23.04 a pop!

Stirl Apartments in Dresden
©Victoria Ade-Genschow – The British Berliner – Dresden – April 2018

My husband – The Music Producer and our son came to visit me in Dresden, so I booked a larger apartment in a residential area.

It had a fully equipped kitchen and dining room, a bedroom, a third bed, a sofabed, and a very nice bathroom!

The third bed was in our bedroom, but “The Tall Young Gentleman” was horrified when he saw it, so we used the sofabed in the “living room area” instead!

WiFi was excellent!

It was a little further away from the action than we would have wanted, but the neighbourhood was very quiet and peaceful.

We paid €85.00 per night which for three people would be €28.50 a pop!

SMALL HOTELS:

The Hotel Windsor in Dresden
©Victoria Ade-Genschow – The British Berliner – Dresden – May 2018
  • I stayed at the Hotel Windsor which is a very nice small hotel, which had the look of grandeur, but at surprisingly, “small budget” prices!

I had an en-suite bathroom, a double bed, a tiny writing-table and my own balcony.

Excellent WiFi!

I paid just €37.52 which is even less than I paid for the hostel above!

TRENDY FANCY HOTELS:

Aparthotel Am Schloss in Dresden.
©booking.com

It’s a hotel which is famous for it’s architecture, location, service and facilities.

It’s right in the center of the AltStadt, about 350 meters away from the Zwinger Palace in Dresden, and a few minutes from the Frauenkirche with the castle very, very close by!

We unfortunately couldn’t stay here as I had accidentally pre-booked Stirl Apartment as a last cheaper resort, just in case we couldn’t get the Aparthotel Am Schloss, and then I forgot!

I only remembered when I got a message stating that my reservation was now booked. Oops!

While we were in the AltStadt, I had a quick peek inside the Aparthotel Am Schloss.

It was exactly as I would have wished, and we really would have loved staying there!

Even though it was far more expensive than the hotels that I had previously been to, I would have preferred it, for the mere fact that it was exactly where we wanted to be.

In the Old Town!

It would have been €117 per night, but very much worth it!

Book ahead to get good prices.

I’M LOOKING FOR SOMETHING A BIT DIFFERENT. ANY IDEAS?

Just because you have a fixed job, doesn’t mean that you can’t look for an adventure!

Sure!

The AltStadt is the historical part of town, but the The NeuStadt is a grungy hipster sort of place. It’s for the young and trendy, but you don’t have to be young or trendy to visit, and it’s not Copenhagen or Amsterdam, so you can definitely take your children!

There’s a lot of free stuff happening in the city. Most of the available info is in German, but if you check the website of Visit Dresden on a regular basis, keep your eyes open, or just ask a local where you can meet other locals, you’ll find them!

WHAT ABOUT TRANSPORT POSSIBILITIES?

Like any other typical German town, public transport in Dresden, is pretty efficient!

Dresden isn’t as large as Berlin, and as such public transport is like any other typical German town – trams, buses, ferries, and overland trains.

And like any other typical German town, public transport is pretty efficient.

When using public transport, there are many possibilities to buy a ticket. You can buy:

A variety of Dresden public transport tickets!
©Victoria Ade-Genschow – The British Berliner – Dresden – April 2018
  • A short-trip ticket – €1.70
  • A single ticket – €2.30
  • A day ticket – €6.00
  • A four (4) journey ticket – €8.20
  • A family day ticket – €9.00
  • A small group ticket – €15.00
  • A weekly pass – €21.50
  • A monthly pass – €60.50
  • A season ticket (per month) – €50.90

I have bought them all, and since I’m a regular in Dresden, I decided to buy a season ticket to cut down on cost and for flexibility!

There are ticket machines pretty much everywhere, so you can buy your ticket whenever and wherever you want!

The ticket machine accepts cash, EC cards, and pretty much, most “recognised” credit cards!

As in Berlin, you buy your ticket and either validate it by clicking the ticket on a blue-standing object, which you’ll find on the train platform BEFORE you actually get on the train, or if using trams and buses, look for a sort of orange-standing object which is not far from the doorway, as soon as you get on.

Don’t forget, as in Berlin, there are no barriers to using public transport. However, there are random inspector checks, and if you are found NOT to have a valid ticket, the penalty is €60.00. Or more!

Dresden VVO – DVB public transport info & season ticket!
©Victoria Ade-Genschow – The British Berliner – Dresden – May 2018

So in order to keep German public transport a non-barrier one, please buy your ticket!

The marvellous thing about using the trams and buses in Dresden is that they actually have information on the monitor display INSIDE the tram or bus stating the name of the next stop, the details of the next available buses, trams, and train numbers at the stop, as well as how long the waiting time would be!

The frequency isn’t every 3-5 minutes as in Berlin, but the monitor display tells you all the information that you need to know, so that you can make choices as to which transport provider to use.

Great stuff!

ANYTHING ELSE?

Lovely hotels, but why are there no Reception Desks?!

Surprisingly, most places in Dresden don’t actually have a Reception Desk!

And if they do, it isn’t manned or even open!

You generally have to let them know when you’re going to arrive so that they’ll be there to meet you, but if you arrive after-hours there’s a telephone number to call or instructions as to how to get the key, which is usually in some sort of secure coded box near by.

Oh, and just so you know, the City of Dresden also puts a Tourism Tax of €1.30 per person. Per night!

However, if you’re in Dresden for business reasons (and can prove it), the tax is waived.

MY VERDICT:

The Music Producer & Victoria at the Zwinger Palace in Dresden – Saxony!
©Frank Böster – Behind The Couch Studios – Dresden – April 2018

We quite like Dresden!

Dresden has culture, and a vibrant history.

For many international visitors, Dresden isn’t a destination that immediately comes to mind, unless it’s Christmas.

Because Dresden Stollen!

But if you’re in Saxony region, make it a point of duty to spend a few weeks days, in Dresden or as many as the surrounding area, as you can manage.

If you’re looking for a new destination in East Germany, and you’ve “done” Berlin (As if!), say hello – DRESDEN!

WOULD I COME AGAIN?

Obviously!

My office is in Dresden, so I sort of have to!

Let’s do it!

HOW TO LIVE IN DRESDEN. FOR LONGER THAN A DAY!

Tea for everyone!
How to live in Dresden. For longer than a day!

This article is not sponsored, and all opinions and all the beds that I bounced up and down on, are my very own!

Next week, the last post on Dresden!

And in a few weeks, I’ll be revealing my next summer trip!

Stay tuned.

Yay!

That’s it for now.

See you next week!

The Lighthouse of Moritzburg – Saxony.
How to live in Dresden. For longer than a day!

Watch this space!

Note! I never travel without insurance as you never know what might happen.

I learnt my lesson in Spain. And obviously, in countries like Qatar, where technically the risk is higher, I can’t imagine going that far beyond, WITHOUT INSURANCE. No siree! You can get yours here, at World Nomads!

Please note that there are now affiliate links (for the very first time) connected to this post. Please consider using the links, because every time some sort of accommodation or travel insurance is booked via my links I get a little percentage, but at no extra cost to yourself!

A win-win for all!

Thanks a million!

How to live in Dresden. For longer than a day!

Have you ever lived in Dresden? Do you prefer hostels, pensions, guest houses, B&B’s, apartments, or hotels`? Would you know how to navigate yourself around trams, trains, buses & horses?! Let me know in the comments below!

See you in Berlin.

If you have any questions send me a tweet, talk to me on Facebook, find me on Linkedin, make a comment below, look for me on Google+ or send me an Email: victoria@thebritishberliner.com

If you like this post, please Share it! Tweet it! Or like it!

How to visit Yorkshire. And York!

How to visit Yorkshire. And York!

So York was pretty good!

As you know, I spent the Autumn and early winter, visiting the UK and travelling around Cheshire, Staffordshire, Manchester, Blackpool, Derbyshire and Yorkshire! And Liverpool!

If you’re just joining in, here’s a recap:

Yay!

And of course, if you want to read about Scotland and other British things, just follow the link here!

Book your hotel here!

YORKSHIRE

My piece of fudge in York – 3 days in York – 33 things to do!
©Victoria Ade-Genschow – The British Berliner

You really can’t talk about York, without talking about Yorkshire, the county (state) from which it came!

Yorkshire, otherwise known as Yorks or the County of York, is a county in Northern England, and the largest in the UK!

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LET’S GET A LITTLE BIT OF HISTORY!

The Flying Scotsman at the National Railway Museum – York
©Nigel Holland

As far back as 866, the south of Northumbria – otherwise known as modern-day Yorkshire – was invaded and conquered by fierce Norsemen from Scandinavia, which is present day Denmark, Norway, and Sweden, known as Jórvík!

The word Yorkshire, comes from the very same viking word – Jórvík, and the Old English word – Shire – meaning to take care of, or the official charge of.

Thus Yorkshire!

Constantine the Great – Emperor of the Roman Empire in York!

Yorkshire has a very rich heritage and has been around for more than 2,000 years!

In fact, my fellow British blogger – Thomas Peck – reminded me in my previous post that

Constantine the Great was crowned Emperor of the Roman Empire in York in 306AD. He was the Caesar that allowed religious tolerance and thus the survival of the early Christians. He popularised the festival of Christmas and converted to Christianity in 312AD. As a result, York had its first Bishop in 314. He was also the one who moved the capital of the Empire eastwards, and set up the new city of Constantinople. True, he moved from York to Trier (better wine no doubt), but it all started in the great city of York!

And another hilarious British blogger – Mike Snowden – decided it would be fun to sleep outdoors.

In Winter.

In the North York Moors National Park.

Without a tent!

Or anything. Just a bag!

He didn’t really like it!

Oh no. It’s snowing!
This isn’t Yorkshire. But I bet after he woke up. He probably thought it was!

But isn’t it funny?

Even though everyone in the UK knows all about Yorkshire, most people outside it, seem not to have heard of it!

The Humber Bridge in Hull – connecting all of Yorkshire!

Because Yorkshire is so huge, it has been divided into North Yorkshire, South Yorkshire, West Yorkshire, East Riding of Yorkshire, Hull, North Lincolnshire, North East Lincolnshire, and of course, the historical city of York!

Not only that, even though technically, Yorkshire is part of North-West England, remote parts of the county such as Great Ayton, Runswick Bay, Middlesbrough and Dalton-on-Tees, are now considered to be a part of North East England!

It’s been years since I’ve been to Newcastle, Tyneside, Northumberland, and Durham.

In fact, my first MA was actually at Durham University – the Number four (4) ranked university in Britain!

The Yorkshire Dales

Within the borders of the historic county of Yorkshire, are areas which are widely considered to be among the greenest in England, due to the vast stretches of unspoilt countryside in the Yorkshire Dales and North York Moors!

Indeed, Yorkshire is also known as God’s Own County or God’s Own Country because of it’s beauty, and is considered to be one of the best places in Europe!

In fact, I initially watched this marvellous film at the British Shorts Film Festival, and now it’s deservedly winning award upon award. As it should!

Take a look below.

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WHY GO TO YORKSHIRE?

Castle Howard in North Yorkshire, is more than 300 years old!

Why not?!

Well, Yorkshire is in England.

And regardless of Brexit, who doesn’t like England?

It’s entwined with civilizations, history and culture, that goes back centuries!

And.

We recognise far more than we realize.

We all know the Tudors! And also the gorgeous – Jonathan Rhys-Meyers!

If you are versed in English history, you’d know well the two rival branches of the royal House of Plantagenet: the House of Lancaster – a red rose – and the House of York – a white rose.

Think Vikings!

Think Guy Fawkes!

Think the Wars of the Roses!

Think the Tudors!

Think Henry VIII!

Think Harry Potter!

And then, book your hotel here!

Victoria in front of the carousel fairground – York
©Frank Böster – The Music Producer

Ha! Ha! Ha!

You won’t believe it, but before this visit, I had never previously been to York!

I know!

Why you should visit Switzerland, and eat cheese!

It’s as bad as when I didn’t go to Switzerland, even though Switzerland is literally next door!

Happily, I can say that I certainly changed this situation!

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TAKE ME THERE?

Using the TransPenine Express train!

We started from Blackpool and took the train to York.

The ticket above was from our journey from Cheshire to Manchester, and even though we took the Northern Railway train from Blackpool to York, the seating arrangements and look of the train, is similar!

I booked the tickets online and in advance. If you use the website National Rail Enquiries, it would give you the variety of available train options. Britain isn’t known for having cheap transportation, so the trick is to book well in advance!

Our journey took a little over 3 hours!

Cost: Blackpool North to York – on an Advance Single ticket – Adults – £12.50 each. Children (5-15) – £6.25 – Altogether a very reasonable £31.25 on the Northern Railway train!

If you’re really short on cash, you could of course take the bus-coach using the National Express or Megabus and check for prices, as in many case, the trains were surprisingly, by far the cheapest way to travel through the North!

The trains are not as plush or as spacious as those in Germany, and the train station in Blackpool is rather small, so give yourself plenty of time, as you can’t reserve a seat!

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IS IT GOING TO BE CROWDED?

Victoria outside Monk’s Bar – York City Wall – York
©Frank Böster – The Music Producer

It depends on the time of year!

We were in York during the best time of all – Halloween – and it was thrilling!

The Music Producer and The Tall Young Gentleman had never been in the UK during Halloween before, so they were pretty excited!

There are loads of night events and ghost activities in the city. York is quite small, so we frequently met other groups, but it was pretty well organised, as times were staggered so that you weren’t all standing in the same corner! There were a couple of whoops, and “get them,” but it was all in good fun.

We went on two night-time walking tours and ended up sprinting through the nooks and crannies of historical York with torches, a Dr. Who-like character, and being chased by zombies!

But in the summer, crowds are going to be huge, and the streets are quite narrow, so watch your handbag and wallets, queue smartly, and elbows at the ready!

Plan well.

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WHAT IS YORKSHIRE LIKE?

I’m a Yorkshire terrier and I’m impressive. So is Yorkshire!

We were only there for 3 days, but Yorkshire definitely made an impression on me.

Yorkshire as a whole is just wild!

It’s of historical and architectural interest, the local people are common folk, open-minded, loyal, reliable, packed with common sense, and typical of the North in speaking plainly, with a lovely Yorkshire burr!

And it’s quite beautiful!

I DON’T SPEAK ENGLISH VERY WELL.

No need to speak. Let nature do the talking!

Ha! Ha! Ha!

The locals speak with a Yorkshire accent.

The type of working class English that you would find in Manchester, Sheffield, Leeds, Northumbria, the Merseyside, Cumbria, Cheshire, Leeds, Hull, Middlesbrough, and certain parts of Northern England!

The proud accent of Sean Bean, and pretty much most of the Stark clan and anyone from The North, in Game of Thrones!

But don’t worry.

Just smile.

Have a drink.

And you’ll be fine in a jiffy!

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AM I GOING TO LIVE IN A HUT?

You don’t have to live in a Yorkshire Dale barn. Unless you want to!

Ha! Ha!

This is England!

Not unless you want to!

I’M ON A BUDGET, BUT I’M LOOKING FOR A BIT MORE LUXURY AS I DON’T WANT TO ROUGH IT! WHAT SHOULD I DO?

Now, let’s be honest. Britain isn’t cheap. The trick is clever planning!

Now, let’s be honest.

Britain isn’t cheap.

If you’re from Western Europe, the US, Japan, Korea, Hong Kong, South Korea, Singapore, or any of the Nordic countries, then Britain will be similar, if not cheaper than your own country!

If not, you could be in trouble!

The trick is clever planning!

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WHERE WE STAYED:

Our late night snack & a pot of tea at our Clearly Apartments Bootham York!

After our holiday in Madrid last year, we decided to always get an extra hotel / hostel room, or an apartment, so that our teenager doesn’t have to share personal space with his parents!

Frankly, if you’re paying between £35.00 – £60.00 per night, for huge apartments with a working kitchen, a terrace, and in some cases, even a piano, you simply can’t go wrong!

Book ahead to get good prices.

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Use my link and book your hotel!

After much research, I chose the very nice Clearly Apartments Bootham York.

I made our reservation via booking.com.

Use my link and book your hotel!

In many cases, I prefer to use booking.com because you can make hotel / hostel / apartment reservations, and cancel for free, if you’re not sure. Not only do I recommend them, but I use them myself! Note: I’m an affiliate member of booking.com. Please consider using the links, because every time some sort of accommodation is booked via my links, I get a little percentage, but at no extra cost to yourself!

Our living / dining room at our two-bedroom two-bathroom Clearly Apartments Bootham York!

The Clearly Apartments Bootham York is a lovely two-bedroom two-bathroom apartment in a quiet residential neighbourhood.

I loved the fact that the apartment was a mere seven (7) minute walk from the city centre.

We had two bedrooms with two en-suite bathrooms (yes!) which our teenage son liked enormously. There was also free refreshments, milk, WiFi, and a laundry room (with dryer), that we forgot to use until it was too late!

In fact, our bedspread and pillows were so comfy, that I dropped off within minutes!

The en-suite private bedroom of our teenager at the Clearly Apartments Bootham York, was comfy too!

Cost: For a standard two bedroomed – two bathroom apartment in the UK – £143.10 (including tax) per night, or for 4 people – £35.78 a pop!

You’re welcome!

Book the Clearly Apartments Bootham York or your Yorkshire hotel / apartment here!

I’M LOOKING FOR SOMETHING A BIT DIFFERENT. ANY IDEAS?

I’ve got millions of ideas!

Always!

Click here for more inspiration!

WHAT ABOUT TRANSPORT POSSIBILITIES?

Train travel through Yorkshire is best.
Followed by hiking & cycling through fields, then using the car when you’re utterly knackered!

Yorkshire is huge, so travelling by train is best!

Your next most enjoyable means of transport is hiking, trekking, rambling, walking, & cycling through open fields.

As well as sailing or river cruising.

Or you can of course, use the Yorkshire local services or the car, when you’re utterly knackered!

ANYTHING ELSE?

The Hogwarts Express at the National Railway Museum – York

Most museums and galleries, are free of charge.

Most importantly, if you live in the UK or visit the UK on a regular basis, there is quite frequently, free admission for 12 months included in your ticket, so don’t throw it away!

MY VERDICT:

Camping in Yorkshire. Happy Days!

I have happy childhood memories of camping and hiking through Yorkshire, the Yorkshire Dales, and the North York Moors!

I’m sure you will too.

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WOULD I COME AGAIN?

Totally!

Yorkshire is heaven.

It’s wild and captivating, and makes you feel alive!

I can’t wait to visit again.

Let’s do it!

HOW TO VISIT YORKSHIRE. AND YORK!

How to visit Yorkshire. And York!

This article isn’t sponsored, and all opinions and the wonders of Yorkshire that we gloried in, are my very own!

I have so much to share with you.

I went on a press trip to Hamburg. Watch out for the details!

I’ll be continuing my last visit to the UK next year!

In January, I’ll be visiting Belgium!

I’ll be at the British Shorts Film Festival taking place between 11th – 17th January, 2018. If you’re an aspiring film-maker submission is free of charge, so hurry!

I’ll be at Berlin Fashion Week taking place between 16th – 18th January, 2018

I’ll be at the 33rd British Council Literature Seminar – #BritLitBerlin taking place between 25th – 27th January, 2018. If you want to attend or join in, registration is now open!

Save the Date!

I’ll be there. Will you?

If you’re not in Berlin in winter, you’re missing out!

December is going to be glowing!

Yay!

How to visit Yorkshire. And York!

Watch this space!

Note! I never travel without insurance as you never know what might happen.

I learnt my lesson in Spain. And obviously, in countries like Qatar, where technically the risk is higher, I can’t imagine going that far beyond WITHOUT INSURANCE. No siree! You can get yours here, at World Nomads!

Please note that there are now affiliate links (for the very first time) connected to this post. Please consider using the links, because every time some sort of accommodation or travel insurance is booked via my links, I get a little percentage, but at no extra cost to yourself!

A win-win for all!

Thanks a million!

How to visit Yorkshire. And York!
How to visit Yorkshire. And York!

Have you ever been to Yorkshire? Do you like camping, or would you prefer a sandwich and a pint! Let me know in the comments below!

See you in Berlin.

If you have any questions send me a tweet, talk to me on Facebook, find me on Linkedin, make a comment below, look for me on Google+ or send me an Email: victoria@thebritishberliner.com

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