Tuesday, 28 July 2015

Sziget - The Island of Freedom: expectations.

In just over a week, I will be flying with others from London to Budapest in order to attend one of Europe's largest festivals, Sziget.

Sziget is a week long festival from the 10th to the 17th August, but we leave next Friday (7th) so that we can grab a few days of sightseeing Budapest before the festival begins. We leave next week, and yet in all honesty, I do not have a clue what to expect. Considering I'm meant to be saving for my second year of university, I have to admit that this trip has been all very random and spontaneous (for me anyway). But as Motivational Photos helpfully reminded me on Instagram, 'memories are priceless'.

Tbf considering it's a week long, Sziget is actually really good value for money with camping tickets costing around £170 (the actual price is in euros); which I think is amazing considering that last year's V Festival ticket cost me £200, and that was only for weekend camping. The acts are really good too, with Robbie Williams (I am a big fan) headlining the first night, followed by the likes of Rudimental, Avicii, Ellie Goulding, Kings Of Leon, The Script, Ella Eyre, Florence and the Machine etc.

From looking at the photos and videos from last year, I get the impression that Sziget is sort of like a humungous Glastonbury (as if Glastonbury isn't big enough!) - with loads of different tents and things to do besides obviously enjoying the music. Below is the video that made me want to go :)

Despite being in a constant state of dilemma over what to pack, being very very scared about the unavoidable portaloo situation and having absoltutely near no idea what I'm about to walk into; wriitng this blog post and rewatching last year's aftermovie has made me incredibly excited. Make sure to look out for my blog post 'Sziget - The Island of Freedom: the reality' when I'm back home!

Have you been to Sziget before or are going this year? Get in touch below :)


Monday, 27 July 2015

Is Chester Zoo really as great as everyone makes out?

Last Tuesday myself and my boyfriend visited Chester Zoo for the first time. We both work at a wildlife park which meant that we were lucky enough to be able to both receive free entry due to an agreement between zoos across the country - the perfect date day right?!

The usual price for adult entry is £25.00 which on first glance, I thought seemed pretty expensive. However as soon as I passed the ticket booth, I could tell why. Chester Zoo is absolutely huge! 100% the largest zoo I have ever visited. Before visiting Chester I was surprised when friends who had previously visited the zoo advised that we arrive as soon as the zoo opened at 10am; as I would never normally aim to be at an attraction such as a zoo, right from opening. However I am so glad that they did, because we spent at least 5 hours there and still didn't manage to get around all of the enclosures!

One of my favourite attractions was the zoo's monorail which transports you to a different area of the zoo by slowly passing above and through the top of several animal enclosures - giving you an amazing perspective of the animals that you were unable to see from the ground! I was personally delighted as the monorail went above the tiger enclosure - probably my all time favourite animal. Unfortunately I actually missed glimpsing the tiger from above, but I did manage to see an adult tiger and three tiger cubs from the ground below :)

Despite tigers being my favourite, I absolutely adore all other types of big cat just as much, and so I was so excited to find out that Chester Zoo is also the home to a family of lions, cheetahs, and jaguars too. Being the allusive kitties that they are, despite being hopeful, I wasn't expecting to actually see any of the big cats, so to be able to take these beautiful photos from such a short distance was amazing!

Unfortunately my iPhone didn't have a good enough camera in order for me to capture a photo of the jaguar or tiger, but I can happily say that I did manage to get a good look at them in person :) All of the enclosures were humungous which made it great for viewing the animals, but I was especially blown away by the jaguar enclosure. I really loved how open the floor to ceiling glass made the enclosure feel, enabling you to get as close as possible for the best view - if anything I was scared to get too close in case a jaguar suddenly leaped out and surprised me!

In answer to my question: 'Is Chester Zoo really as great as everyone makes out?' I have decided that the answer is yes. Even if I had to pay full entry price, I would definitely return (Adam and I have already planned a return trip to see the boat ride that is being opened this August), and would definitely recommend Chester Zoo to anyone who is an animal lover looking for a fun day out. My only negative would be how far away it is!

Have you visited Chester Zoo? What were your thoughts?

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