San Sebastian’s Monte Urgull is Worth the Hike!

One of San Sebastian’s most famous landmarks is the statue of Christ on top of Monte Urgull that looks over the city.  We had a lovely view of it from our hotel room at the Hotel Londres.  I had heard that you could walk up to see it and I thought that would be fun to do.  I had no idea that Monte Urgull has more to offer than just the statue of Christ and a great view.  So if you get a chance to visit San Sebastian, I would definitely recommend setting aside an afternoon to explore Monte Urgull.

The statue of Christ on top of the castle.
The statue of Christ on top of the castle.

I would really classify the trek up Monte Urgull as an easy hike.  While the paths are nicely paved, some parts are steep.  You will also find stairs in some places.  If you walked up without stopping to explore, it would probably only take 30-45 minutes depending on the speed that you walked.  You can reach the trail from Mari Street in the Old Town Port Area. (more…)

The Magical Fairy Pools in Isle of Skye, Scotland

When you visit the Isle of Skye, you will definitely notice a fairy theme.  The scenery feels like something out of a fairy tale and there are many stories about fairies and the Isle of Skye.  One of the most famous being the story of the fairy flag.  So not surprisingly, the Fairy Pools is one of the most popular attractions on the Isle of Skye.  It’s a beautiful area with crystal clear pools and several waterfalls.

The water is crystal clear! - "The Magical Fairy Pools in Isle of Skye, Scotland" - Two Traveling Texans
The water is crystal clear!

It was a scenic 40 minute drive from the Bed and Breakfast where we were staying to the fairy pools.  A good portion of drive was on one lane roads where you have to use the passing places if cars come the other direction.  You will pass through the Black Cuillins and sections with sheep (or cows) close to or even on the road.  

You should try to do the Fairy Pools first thing in the morning because it is so popular.  The parking area is not very big at all.  When we walked back to the car we saw people parked along the road.  The road is already narrow enough as it is! From what I have been told, you have a high likelihood of getting a ticket if you park in the street, so please just don’t. (more…)

Random Acts of Kindness – Spark Hope Tag

The world can be a scary place these days.  There is no shortage of bad news and everyone is fighting their own battle.  So I always try to be kind to everyone, but these days we need more  than that.  Random acts of kindness are a great way to bring something positive into someone’s life.  

Spark Hope Tag

Recently Soo Hyun wrote a post about random acts of kindness and tagged me in it.  She was inspired seeing a woman buy a homeless man a yogurt drink in Korea.  Not just the fact that she bought him a drink but she showed compassion giving it to him.  It gave her hope, so she decided to create the spark hope tag to help spread the love. Once you are tagged you must do your own act of kindness and then tag others to continue the trend.  Thank Soo Hyun for the inspiration and for tagging me.  

Since this is a travel blog, I wanted my random act of kindness to be travel related.  I decided that I wanted to do something nice for the flight attendants on my Cathay Pacific flight from JFK to Hong Kong.  Of course without flight attendants, the travel we do would not be possible.

Anisa with the Hong Kong skyline in the background. "Random Acts of Kindness - Spark Hope Tag" - Two Traveling Texans
Anisa with the Hong Kong skyline in the background.

Flight attendants do not have an easy job.  Their schedules can be brutal and constantly changing.  Customers don’t listen and sometimes take out their frustrations on them.  Plus they are undercompensated, although the flight benefits are a nice perk.  One of my college friends, Julie, recently became a flight attendant and the stories she has told me have really made me appreciate all they do. (more…)

York: Five Must See Historic Sites

York was the last stop on our UK road trip. To be honest, I thought it was just a convenient place to stop for the night before making our way back to Suffolk, where Russell lives. We only had one day to spend in York. Russell had been before, so he had some ideas of what he wanted to show me. I really was pleasantly surprised about what there was to see in York and pretty impressed with the history.

It is such a pretty city and I would love to go back to explore the area more. For first time visitors to York, I thought I would share the five sites that I think are must sees and definitely worth a visit.

The Shambles

The Shambles is arguably the most picturesque street in England. Located in the center of the city, it is York’s oldest street. Since it is mentioned in the Doomsday book, we know it is over 900 years old. Most of the buildings on the street date from the 15th century and they have been well preserved. It takes its name from the word “Shamel” which means stalls or benches where meat is displayed.

Anisa on the Shambles. We were there early so it was nice and quiet! - "York: Five Must See Historic Sites" - Two Traveling Texans
Anisa on the Shambles. We were there early so it was nice and quiet!

As I was walking down the street, I felt like I was transported back in time. I love how the buildings are sort of leaning towards each other and are still the traditional Tudor style. Today the Shambles is filled with shops and restaurants. We bought some fudge and chocolate, which York is known for. (more…)

Things You Should Know Before Visiting Sydney (Guest Post)

Roxana - "Things You Should Know Before Visiting Sydney (Guest Post)"
Roxana

We know a lot of you probably have Australia on your bucket list.  Of course, a trip down under would not be complete without spending some time in Sydney,  so we thought we would share some insights from Roxana, a local expert.   We connected with her since she is also a big fan of Austin, Texas.  In addition to years of experience in the travel industry, Roxana is now lifestyle consultant and a blogger/editor at upupandabear.com and highstylife.com.  We are excited to share Roxana’s expertise and thoughts on Sydney with you.

The following information and photos are provided by Roxana:

Sydney Overview

I may as well come clean from the start… I adore Sydney.  After four years of working as a tour guide, I came to realize that a lifetime would not be enough to visit all the sites this bold, vibrant and wonderful city has to offer.  Sydney is much more than just sunny tropical sandy beaches and laid-back lifestyle.  During the peak season, millions of people flock to the land down under to explore its beauty and embark on an epic adventure.  Here are the top tips you should know before visiting this bustling city.

Sydney's Iconic Opera House - " Things You Should Know Before Visiting Sydney (Guest Post)"
Sydney’s Iconic Opera House

It’s hot

One of the Sydney’s greatest attractions is definitely outdoor life.  Spending a day on a beautiful, sun-drenched beach, while sipping a cold drink or swimming in the sea sounds like a perfect way to unwind.  However, many underestimate how surprisingly warm summers can be with temperatures rising up to 40 degrees (Celsius).  If you don’t want to get a nasty burn, wear sunscreen and cover up when you are outside in the scorching sun. (more…)

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