Roosevelt Island

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Roosevelt Island

A gem of New York City. Roosevelt Island is a narrow island located in the East River. The Island is considered to be  apart of the borough of Manhattan. Manhattan sits to the west of the island and the borough of Queens sits to the east. Once known as Blackwells island, and also welfare island. The island was home to prisons, hospitals and asylums. The island was renamed in 1971 after Franklin D Roosevelt.

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What to see and do

Roosevelt Island tram

Take the aerial tram at least one when visiting Roosevelt Island. The views are amazing, providing a unique skyline view of the city. The tram runs from 59th street and second avenue in Manhattan to Tramway plaza on Roosevelt plaza. The tram ride definitely offers an exciting aerial view of the city. A must see for anyone visiting New York City.

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Four Freedom Park

This beautiful four acre park is a memorial, dedicated to President Franklin D Roosevelt. The park celebrates the Four Freedoms he articulated in his 1941 state of the union address. The park is located at the southern tip of the island, and I would recommend this to be the number one sight that you must see on Roosevelt Island. The landscape is stunning and the views of Manhattan and Queens are gorgeous.  If you love sunsets, I would suggest viewing one during the winter the months, they are absolutely breathtaking.

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The smallpox hospital

A very unique sight to see in New York City. The hospital is a historic landmark structure. The hospital was built in 1854 and was the first major hospital in the United States dedicated to treat the victims of smallpox. It is an interesting sight to see and represents an era of old New York life. It is great to see at different times of the year. The fall foliage is gorgeous, the winter adds more of an eerie vibe and it is  very pretty during the warmer months, with the greenery covering the hospital.

Small pox in the fall

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Cornell tech

An impressive engineering campus, with  an innovative design and beautiful grounds. Exploring this area is a change of scenery from the rest of the island, as it represents modern growth.

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Blackwell Island light house

The majority of the sights to see on the island, are located in the southern region. However, a visit to the northeast tip is well worth the walk (or bus ride) to view the pretty stone lighthouse, which was built in 1872.

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From stunning aerial views, escaping the chaos of midtown,  relaxing with  the breeze of the east river and exploring historic sights Roosevelt Island is a top place to visit when exploring New York City.

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Brooklyn bridge park

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Brooklyn’s waterfront

The Brooklyn bridge park is a true gem of New York City. With a charming atmosphere and stunning views of the Manhattan skyline. The Park represents a reconstruction of the post industrial waterfront, which goes from Atlantic avenue in the South (the Columbia heights neighborhood), under the gorgeous Brooklyn heights promenade, past the impressive Brooklyn bridge, to north of the Manhattan bridge, to the trendy neighborhood of DUMBO (Down under the Manhattan bridge).

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What to see and do

View the iconic Manhattan skyline

The view from the Brooklyn bridge park is one of my favorites places to observe the dramatic Manhattan skyline. On a clear summers day or during a sunset, the view is incredible.

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Bike Ride

Go riding through the lush green park, taking in the views with a cool breeze from the East river. An easy 1.3 mile ride from one of the park to the other.

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Wine and dine

Picnic

With plenty of green space and iconic views, the Brooklyn Bridge park provides a great opportunity to have a picnic and chill out.

Splurge at the River cafe

With a stunning setting, a romantic atmosphere and incredible views, the river cafe is the perfect place to dine on special occasion.

Buzz bar

A chill place to grab a drink and a quick bite to eat. With outdoor seating and live music events this is the perfect place to relax after exploring the Brooklyn Bridge park.

Brooklyn ice cream factory

Satisfy your sweet tooth at the famous Brooklyn ice cream factory. The lines do get long but the ice cream is truly delicious and satisfying on a hot summers day.

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Free events

Take advantage of the events  that the park puts on during the warmer months.

From waterfront workouts, water sports (Kayaking, rowing ect), summer night movies, environmental volunteering days, and books under the bridge, the Brooklyn Bridge park offers something for everyone.

Check out their website for upcoming events – Brooklyn Bridge park website

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Visit the trendy neighborhood of DUMBO

Down under the Manhattan bridge. This area was once a ferry landing, and is characterized as 19th century industrial with warehouse buildings. With its Belgian block streets, the neighborhood definitely has a lot of charm and character. It has now been taken over by hipsters, and is one of New York’s trendiest neighborhoods, with plenty of places for weekend brunch, art events, photo shoots and is also considered to  be the tech hub of Brooklyn.

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DUMBO

Down under the Manhattan Bridge

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Take a photo under the Manhattan Bridge

Stop at the intersection of Water and Washington street to take this iconic photo. It is now one of the most famous Instagram photos of New York City. The view is pretty impressive, with the Manhattan bridge framing the Empire State building.

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The Brooklyn bridge park and surrounding neighborhoods are a true jewel of the city that never sleeps. It is one of my favorite neighborhoods and I always enjoy strolling through this area. It has changed a lot and will continue to do so. This area of the city has so much to offer. I would recommend visiting.

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Brooklyn bridge park night views

 

 

Munich

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The capital of Bavaria

A modern cosmopolitan city with a touch of traditions, and home to the most famous beer festival!

The pretty city, Munich is the third largest city in Germany and is the capital city of Bavaria. Bavaria is the largest (land) state and is located in the southeastern section of Germany. Often described as a fairytale city, with the numerous castles, views of the Alps and strong traditions still present. Munich is located on the banks of the river Isar, north of the gorgeous Bavarian alps.

 The city is absolutely stunning, rich in history with ties to royal Bavarian heritage. Munich showcases stunning architecture, beautiful galleries and museums, fine dinning and breathtaking views of the alps. Munich is a cosmopolitan city, however the traditions are still very present  and with a touch of medieval vibes. A great place to explore history (both good and bad), and to absorb German culture.

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Seven days in Munich

Our first visit to Germany, was to visit this beautiful city! Again, we found really cheap flights. From London to Munich the cost of the flight was around $15 usd), so perfect. We brought the tickets and then went to search for a cheap hostel to stay in……we did not realize that we were arriving when the world’s largest Volksfeast would be  happening. We could not find any accommodation! All that was left was a bed in a dorm room going for thousands of dollars, ah no thanks. We had nearly given up on looking for accommodation and had decided to just camp, however I stumbled across a local website where people rented out their apartment (this was not airbnb). So we were able to book a great one bedroom apartment located in the city center, we couldn’t believe our luck. This worked out perfectly, we could cook in the apartment (saving money on eating out), we were able to walk  nearly everywhere in the city and now we could even enjoy the Volksfest, you can read about our time at Oktoberfest here. 

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Highlights and must sees

  • Nymphenburg Palace: We spent a good portion of the day visiting this beautiful regal 18th century palace. Wandering around the well kept gardens is so dreamy.
  • Englishcher garden: A large and lush garden, with its own beer garden!
  • Marienplatz: Described as the heart of the city. This square is very popular and has a range of restaurants, shops and street performances.
  • Viktualiemarkt: A vibrant farmers market and is the cities oldest market.
  • St. Peter’s church: A stunning church and Munich’s oldest place of worship.
  • Residenzmuseum:  This hall is one of the most important palace museums in Europe.
  • Hofbrauhaus Muchen: This well known beer hall was founded in the 16th century!
  • Linderhof Palace: Stunning palace and is the smallest of the palaces built by king Ludwig the second second of Bavaria.

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Dachau concentration camp

One of the first concentration camps to open in Nazi Germany. It is now a memorial site, a place to reflect on the past and to mourn the victims.

Located 10 miles north of Munich, we took the train for a day trip to visit the Dachau concentration camp. Walking through the site was very confronting, eerie and heartbreaking. However it is important to step out of our comfort zones to acknowledge what happened, we cannot ignore the ugly past. If visiting Munich, I do recommend a visit to this memorial site to pay  respect to the victims.

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Munchen

Rich in history, Bavarian culture, stunning architecture, beautiful green scenery, fairy tale palaces and alp views, Munich has something for everyone. Our trip was very enjoyable and insightful. We learnt a lot about the location and experienced some great German culture. I would return, and I would also love to explore more of the state of Bavaria and the surrounding countries.

 

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Me in munich

Malmo and Lund

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Sweden

Malmo

Malmo is the third largest city in Sweden and the capital and largest city of the Swedish county of Scania. Malmo is located near the southwestern tip of Sweden, and is connected to Copenhagen, Denmark by the Oresund bridge. This small and vibrant city, is rich in history, culture and art and with its friendly people, pretty sights and sandy beaches, Malmo is a great city to explore.

Lund

Located in the southern tip of Sweden in the Skane province. Lund is the second oldest city in Sweden! The city was founded in AD 990 and still maintains its medieval charm and low key vibes. Lund holds great traditions within education, the Lund university was established in 1660, and today it is one of the largest institutions for education and research in Scandinavia. It is no surprise that the university and its buildings dominate much of the city.

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Southern Sweden

We have a friend who lives in Lund (who we had met in Townsville, Australia) who had invited us to stay with him. So from Copenhagen, Denmark we took the train across the Oresund bridge for 40 minutes until we reached Malmo. We arrived early and spent the day exploring the picturesque city before our friend picked us up and took us to his home in Lund.

We spent four days exploring Malmo and Lund, our friend was a great host and tour guide, who not only showed us the highlights but also took us to some hidden gems, and show us around the local night life scene. The weather was also so beautiful, sunny and mild. It also just happened to be the time of year that the Malmo festival was on, so we were able to experience and enjoy this annual festival.

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Highlights and must sees

  • Oresund bridge: The bridge connecting Denmark to Sweden.
  • Turning torso: Impressive architecture, a twisted and sculptured tower block.
  • Malmo castle: A 16th century castle which was built by the Danish.
  • Kungsparken: A pretty park to wander around, and also the oldest park in the city
  • Science and Maritime museum: 
  • The Stortorget: Malmo’s city center square. This square was built in 1536! And surrounds the old town.
  • Lund University and the historical museum: Visit the impressive buildings and explore the rich history.
  • Botaniska tradgarden: The beautiful botanical garden in Lund.
  • Lomma: The nearest beach to Lund

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Our time in Malmo and Lund was so enjoyable, and I think it was made even better as we had someone to show us around! I would love to return to Sweden, the next hopefully to visit the North!

Next stop, Munich, Germany, to experience the famous Oktoberfest

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