Noelle’s Monthly Recap: September 2016

I’ve decided to start a new monthly recap series – if you like it or would like to see additional areas included, please let me know in the comments!

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For the first time in several years, I’ve actually been able to enjoy my fall and not see September as the mark of back-to-grad-school for myself. The additional free time has let me finally find a gym in London that I like and catch up on the Game of Thrones series (I’m starting season four next!), as well as get quite a bit of travel in.

It overall was a great month with a few closer to home trips and one longer one to Bulgaria, my first foray into eastern Europe.

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Sofia, Bulgaria

Destinations visited:

London, England

Nice and Paris, France

Gloucester, Cheltenham, Sheffield, and York, England

Sofia and Rila, Bulgaria

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Paris, France

Favorite Destinations:

Sofia – Sofia is the first city I’ve been to in eastern Europe and I loved it. The friendly people, lovely mix of communist and European architecture, and laid back atmosphere in the affordable city really won me over.

York – York has been high on my England bucket list since moving earlier this year. While the historical part of the town is quite compact, it was really nice to spend a few hours walking around and taking its quaintness in.

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Sofia, Bulgaria – Views from above

Highlights:

My first time to eastern Europe – Despite traveling quite a bit in western Europe, this past month was my first time to eastern Europe. I really enjoyed Bulgaria and am eager to visit other eastern European countries.

Visiting the filming location for the Harry Potter movies – I’m a huge Harry Potter fan, so this was really exciting for me. I’d like to visit more filming locations in the future.

Escape rooms – My first time doing an escape room was in Bulgaria, and I loved the challenge! I’ve now done three, and a fourth is planned for October.

Finding a gym in London – Since moving to London, my only exercise has been the occasional run or workout video. Now that I’ve found a gym I like, I’ve gotten back into a routine. This month I did kickboxing, dance cardio, and a kettlebell class.

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Gloucester Cathedral, Harry Potter filming location

Challenges: 

A bomb threat in Paris Gare du Nord – I had not one but two bomb threats in France, and this second one was as I was attempting to head back to London on the Eurostar. We had to clear the platform while a suspicious bag was inspected, and next thing I knew I heard a loud popping noise – I wasn’t sure what it was at first, but later found out that they had crushed the luggage. Even though it wasn’t actually a bomb, I still was a little shaken afterwards.

Spending too much money in France – France is not a cheap destination, and while I did find some bargains, since this trip was nine days instead of my usual weekend trips, I spent more than I have in a while.

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Posts:

Belles Villes on the Côte d’Azur and Paris, Je T’aime – My nine day trip to the south of France and Paris led me to see some amazing scenery, but my feelings on France are still mixed.

Harry Potter fangirling in Gloucester, England – Gloucester is a strange city, but I was very excited to visit one of the filming location for the Harry Potter movies.

Balkan Bliss in Bulgaria – Mark and I’s trip to Bulgaria was one of the most relaxing I’ve had in a while, and I was pleasantly surprised by how much I liked Bulgaria.

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Villefranche-sur-Mer, France

Coming up in October 2016:

I’m now in northern Virginia where my parents live visiting friends and family for the week, as well as celebrating Markie’s 10th birthday at home. It’s been great to visit the U.S. after having been gone five months.

In mid-October my friend Christina and I will be heading to the Lake District in northern England for a weekend of hiking and enjoying nature.

Then, at the end of October my sister and her friend will be visiting me in London for a week. Thus far we have a day trip to Oxford, Windsor Castle, and Stonehenge planned as well as an escape room in an old tube station when Mark is in town.

The second to the last day of the month will be an exciting event – I have tickets to the NFL in London match up of my hometown team, the Washington Redskins vs the Cincinnati Bengals. I already have my jersey and cheers ready for the game.

What are you up to in October 2016? Post in the comments below!

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