German Christmas Markets vs London Hyde Park

This year I had the best of both worlds and visited the London Christmas markets as well as the one in Dusseldorf. Whilst Hyde Park’s Winter Wonderland (picture above) is fun to visit, I prefer the cute and cosy Christmas markets in Germany. Roller coasters and Christmas don’t really go hand in hand for me – I do love roller coasters during the rest of the year though :). Also I have not come across really good mulled wine in London either. AND I also love to have Reibekuchen on the Christmas market.

German Christmas Markets vs London Hyde Park

One of my favourite part of the Christmas markets are the Christmas villages. They consist of little decorated houses and stalls that usually either sell crafts or food and drinks. Some of stalls are a bit bigger so that you can sit inside with your mulled wine and listen to Christmas music :)

♫ ♬ Have a holly, jolly Christmas. It’s the best time of the year ♩ ♪

German Christmas Markets vs London Hyde Park

Christmas at Home

There has only been one Christmas so far that I didn’t spend at home (I was studying in Peru). For all the other years I managed to come home :) A few years ago London was snowed in and no plane would leave the country. Then I went by train to Dover and then took the ferry to Calais. After a few more hours of literally sliding to Germany (we even passed a truck that was turned 180 degrees on the highway..) I arrived home. The whole journey took around 12 hours… but I made it in time!

German Christmas Markets vs London Hyde Park

We usually have Christmas Eve dinner at my parents’ and then Christmas Day and Boxing Day dinner at my grannies’ places. This has been like that since I was born. And the spot in front of the Christmas tree has also been my reserved place to unwrap presents since I was a little girl. Not much has changed when you come for Christmas :)

German Christmas Markets vs London Hyde Park

♩ ♪ He’s making a list, He’s checking it twice, He’s gonna find out who’s naughty or nice. Santa Claus is coming to town ♫ ♬

German Christmas Markets vs London Hyde Park

 ♬ Jingle bells, jingle bells, jingle all the way. Oh, what fun it is to ride in a one horse open sleigh ♩ ♪

German Christmas Markets vs London Hyde Park

Did you notice the super cute earrings that I was wearing in one of the photos above? They are handmade by Slovenian jewellery designer Sanda Vidmar with who I am collaborating this December and January. She does not only create super unique jewellery, she also thinks a lot about the meaning and symbolism behind her creations. The birds shadow earrings come with the following words – the interpretation is up to you :)

‘This silver shallow bird was used to fly alone. Then one day she looked down and found another bird just like her, always following her around. She wanted to get rid of the annoying company, flew high, flew low, flew fast and hid behind the tree. But little did she know it was impossible. She wasn’t the brightest one, you see. Not very bright at all.’

Sanda Vidmar Jewellery

For more jewellery by Sanda Vidmar click over to A Happy Walk In The Park or check out her shop here. There will be a little giveaway in January, so make sure to check in then :)

Rovinj is a quaint and beautiful little town in Istria, the largest peninsula in the Adriatic Sea. Rovinj is often referred to as the prettiest town in Istria and I understand why!

We visited Rovinj on our way from Pula to Portoroz. During our stay we strolled through the quaint little alleys, the market place and walked up to the church on top of the hill on which Rovinj’s old town is located. We also had super yummy seafood in a restaurant with a really beautiful view of the sea. Rovinj is not big which makes it a perfect spot for a weekend trip and a must-see if you are ‘in the area’, e.g. if you pass by on a road trip.

Top 5 Reasons to Visit Rovinj

1. A gorgeous Old Town

The old town of Rovinj is located on a hill with small houses tightly crowded down to the seafront. Quaint alleys and cobbled streets lead to the hilltop church of St. Euphemia – the highest point of Rovinj. Also the market place and the port have lots of charisma and allow for really beautiful panoramic photos.

2. Romance Day & Night

The view of the sea on the way up to the church is stunning and allows for lots of remote romantic stops, especially during sunset. Or have a glass wine in one of Rovinj’s cosy litte wine bars and restaurants in the old town.

3. Lovely cafes & restaurants

We came across really charming & cute restaurants when walking up to the church. Most of them had a great view of the sea and were super cosy with lots of character. And, if you haven’t tried it yet, let me tell you: Istrian food is delicious! The area is known for its olive oil, truffels and excellent wines. Dobar tek!

4. Pretty Pebble Beaches

Rovinj offers plenty of pebble beaches to choose from. No sandy beaches though. But at least with pebble and rocky beaches you have a higher chance of finding a remote spot just for yourself instead of sharing the beach with the other people like sardines in a can… And the water very clear and refreshing :)

5. Ideal Location

Rovinj is perfectly located between Pula and Porec, two beautiful cities in Istria. We visited Rovinj on the way from Pula to Slovenia. Whether you decide to spend a couple of nights in Rovinj or just visit the city as a quick stop during a road trip, it’s definitely worth seeing. Rovinj also makes a great day trip if you are based in Pula.

Are you looking for more ideas and travel hacks for Croatia? Click over to this one.

In collaboration with Sanda Vidmar

‘We all have a hard and courageous responsibility to be happy. Usually your happiness depends merely on the perspective in your head.  It’s simple. Loving yourself is the key. It’s what makes your heart fill with exuberant joy. In the light of truth there is no twig without a shadow and there is no person without flaws. Your flaws are what makes you interesting and you should learn to love them. Admit you are an enchanting and beautiful creature and therefore for you – being happy is a walk in the park.’ – Sanda Vidmar

Today is the 21 December and it was raining all day… bye bye winter wonderland and snowy Christmas.. Some people get to have snow for Xmas, we have rain. You can’t have it all.  Though, honestly, I like all sorts of weather as each season is beautiful in its own way.

This afternoon I decided to go for a walk and take some photos. It’s such a nice change to hear rain, wind and birds in the forest instead of cars and millions of people in London. In fact breathing in the fresh air was amazing. You don’t notice much of the pollution in London but by leaving the city and stepping into a little bit of nature you are in for a big treat :)

Taking my twig ring for a walk :)

The forest today was also the perfect place to show you my twig ring by Slovenian designer Sanda Vidmar. All her jewellery is handmade and her designs are super unique. I really like the symbolism behind her creations: the twig ring, for instance, stands for loving your flaws and imperfection. And once you realise that you are an ‘enchanting and beautiful creature’, being happy becomes ‘a walk in the park’. I couldn’t agree more with that. I would always prefer a wild and imperfect forest to an artificially designed park. The same holds for people, wouldn’t it be the most boring place in the world if everyone looked and thought the same?!

Doesn’t the forest even look prettier when there is no sun? The absence of it gives the photos a much more moody vibe. I took around a couple of hundred photos as everything was so beautiful. At some point I must have got entirely lost in the moment as I turned around and there were two horses next to me haha. Hello horses! I didn’t hear them at all!

And apparently I was not the only one today who thought that the forest looks especially mesmerising in this weather: I came across at least a dozen of people who were taking their dogs for a walk. One dog even decided to jump into the water… the dog mummy must have been very happy about that :)

‘And into the forest I go, to lose my mind and find my soul.’  – John Muir

‘In a forest of a hundred thousand trees, no two leaves are alike. And no two journeys along the same path are alike.’ – Paulo Coelho

After walking for a little while I came across this super cute little hut. Perfect timing as the drizzle started to become proper rain. I wish I had taken my kindle with me. I had put on so many layers so that I wouldn’t get cold outside. Hence it was super cosy in the hut and it would have been the perfect place to read a book. Well, ok, a cup of tea would have also been nice. Or mulled wine :)

As I didn’t have either, no mulled wine nor my kindle, I decided to play bit more with the camera.

I chose the black and silver twig ring but it’s also available in sterling silver and copper. It’s also the perfect present as it arrives in a gift box and also comes with a little note that explains the symbolism behind your jewel :) Sanda designs a variety of different nature inspired pieces. You can click over to her shop here to explore :)