Do you know what a gong bath is? Until just a few days ago I didn’t know either. So, let me explain: A gong bath is a form of sound therapy where the gong is played in a way to bring about healing (more precisely, holistic sound healing). You are essentially taking a bath in the sound waves.
Sounds weird? Yes it was.. But fun at the same time :) I’m not sure about the ‘healing’ part (…) but it certainly was super relaxing. And as plain meditation doesn’t work for me, meditating while listening to the sound of the gongs did work.
If you are wondering what the mark on my forehead is about, I think that was some sort of blessing (?) that we received before our gong bath. We were also invited to hold volcano stones onto each other’s foreheads to feel the volcanic vibrations. I think that our volcanic stones didn’t want to vibrate for us.
Wine & Art at Christie’s
Before the gong bath we had a glass of wine and looked at pretty paintings and furniture at Christie’s. Some were more pretty than others.. but then I guess beauty is in the eye of the beholder :)
Trafalgar Square and Pall Mall at night
I worked around St. James’s Square a while ago and hadn’t walked much around the area at night ever since. I still remember how getting taxis was such a pain sometimes when I left work late (that was before there was uber!). So yesterday’s walk to the tube reminded me on how pretty this part of London is at night. London visitors, do explore this area at night!
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.
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 ♩ ♪
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!
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 :)
♩ ♪ 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 ♫ ♬
♬ Jingle bells, jingle bells, jingle all the way. Oh, what fun it is to ride in a one horse open sleigh ♩ ♪
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.’
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.