Wednesday, 31 August 2016

Finally home


I'm finally home after a long day of delays and missed trains. Public transport can be very frustrating sometimes!

I'm straight back into uni tomorrow and have a very early start, so I will write a longer post tomorrow.

For now I'm off to bed!

Hannah x

Monday, 29 August 2016

Positano



Today we were finally able to visit beautiful Positano! We left at around 9am to ensure that we would get a parking space, and the earlyish morning was definitely worth it.







Positano is a hillside town on the Amalfi Coast, and is well-known for its colourful buildings and gorgeous views of the ocean. We wandered around the small windy streets, occasionally looking in a shop (mainly for the AC...), and slowly made our way down to the pebbled beach.

I think Positano is one of my favourite towns that I've ever visited in Italy. It is absolutely beautiful, and every corner you turn there is something else to take a photo of. The only downside is the walk back up the hill - me and my sister nearly fainted with heat exhaustion as there are so many steps. But beautiful steps all the same!

I think I'll just let the photos I've uploaded to the post do the talking, instead of me rambling on.

Just please visit there if you get a chance.

Hannah x

Saturday, 27 August 2016

The Amalfi coast


This post is a kind of amalgamation of 2 days, where both of which we visited the Amalfi Coast. The Amalfi Coast is a 50km beautiful stretch of coastline that is popular with tourists for very obvious reasons - the gorgeous little towns along it, and the breathtaking views from the cliffs above. You literally can't escape views of the ocean in this area of Italy.



T-Shirt - H&M
Shorts - Topshop


We are currently staying fairly close to Sorrento, with a view over the Amalfi Coast, so we knew how beautiful it is. However we didn't know what to expect of the coastal road - one long winding road that stretches from Sorrento to Salerno, with amazing views over various towns and the ocean. Just driving it without stopping is an experience itself - it very much reminds me of The Italian Job.


The first place we wanted to visit was Positano - a colourful town on the cliffs overlooking a harbour. However, as we drove through it became clear that we wouldn't be able to park, so we drove on to Amalfi instead - hopefully we will be able to visit Positano another day as it looks gorgeous.

Amalfi is pictured in the first lot of photos, and I loved it there. Again, it was very busy - but wasn't at all touristy in a tacky way. The only touristy things that I noticed were the sheer amount of people, and the fact that most of the restaurant and shop owners spoke English as well as Italian. Amalfi is definitely worth a visit, as it has lots of little streets to wander around, as well as the harbour at the front of the town.


The first place we visited today was Salerno, which is right at the other end of the coast - but it can be accessed by a motorway from the Pompeii area, so the coastal road doesn't have to be used. I wasn't that impressed by Salerno; it seemed like a normal big city to me, with lots of shops but not that much else to see.


Denim Bardot Top - Boohoo
Shorts - New Look (Similar)
Sandals - Tesco

After a quick walk around Salerno, we jumped back in the car and drove to Vietri Sul Mare, a small town not too far away. The first thing that struck us in Vietri was that there were a lot of ceramics there! Every other shop sold pattered ceramics - you could deck your whole house out, as they sold everything from plant pots to lamp shades. Apparently Vietri is the place that supplies the Amalfi coastal region with ceramics such as dishes, pots and tiles. Definitely the place to go if you like ceramics, but there wasn't much else there.


Our next stop was Ravello, a town that is slightly further along the Amalfi Coast. Ravello was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1996, and I think it is my favourite place that we have visited in this region so far. It has a large main square with views over the ocean, with lots of little cafes and shops dotted about. The winding streets have lots of interesting shops along them, and every few metres you come across another breathtaking view - I became a bit blasé after the first few. Most of the buildings are made out of a beautiful white stone, except for the churches and cathedrals - which I think there are about 3 of.



If you are visiting the Amalfi Coast my must-see towns would be Amalfi, Positano and Ravello. You can catch a bus along the coastal road, which means that you can see the amazing views without driving - but having a car gives you much more freedom. I would recommend visiting places like Positano earlier on in the day though, to make sure that you get a parking space!


I think the Amalfi Coast is my favourite region that we have visited in Italy. Everywhere is just so beautiful and photogenic - I can see why it is so popular to holiday here.

Hannah x

Friday, 26 August 2016

Sunshine and pizza



Orange Bardot Dress - New Look



 Today has mainly been spent reading and napping around the pool, as the weather has been so hot. This evening we went to a pizzeria for dinner, which is where I wore this dress. Food is very important to my family and I while we are on holiday - most days my dad will cook us an amazing dinner such as fish or pasta, but sometimes we also go out for a meal in the evenings. I think meals are very sociable, and it is precious time that I get to spend with my family.




I got this dress before I went travelling, and have worn it numerous times since. It is very flattering, especially if you're a bit curvier like me, but also has plenty of room for a good food baby. My food baby was perhaps about 3 months old after all of the pizza I consumed this evening.


Hannah x

Thursday, 25 August 2016

Pompeii


As we're in the Naples region, we had to visit the famous Pompeii really, so yesterday we got in the car and drove to the architectural site.


In 79 AD Mount Vesuvius erupted and covered the Roman town of Pompeii in metres of ash. It has since been recovered and opened to the public as an archaeological site to be explored, and is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.


Pompeii was much larger than I imagined, and it was so interesting to wander around the streets and imagine what life would have been like thousands of years ago. There is still evidence of rooms such as kitchens and bathrooms, and some artefacts still remain - including plaster casts of human bodies.





I had such an interesting day, but if I went again I would definitely get a tour guide. I think they would be able to enlighten me much more on what I was actually looking at. Pompeii is definitely a must-see if you are in this area!

Hannah x

Wednesday, 24 August 2016

Striving for perfection


Hi, my name's Hannah, and I'm a perfectionist.

I always have been. In fact, I don't remember the last time I didn't strive for perfection. Even as a young girl, I would put myself down if I didn't achieve the best I possibly could. In primary school I hated myself if I didn't get every spelling right, or if I didn't fill my reading book record up.

This unreasonable expectation seems to have carried with me throughout my teenage and adult life too. During my GCSEs I gained all A*'s except for an A in English Language and English Literature - and I couldn't celebrate the rest of my results, because I didn't achieve those two little *'s and I was therefore really disappointed in myself. For some of my university work I received a merit instead of a distinction, so I felt like I wasn't good enough to be studying medicine.

And then tonight I found out that for one exam result I didn't get as high as I possibly could (although I got the highest possible result for my 3 other exams). It made me feel awfully disappointed in myself and all of my other achievements disappeared from my mind.

Until my mum and sister told me how proud they were of me, and reminded me how well I am doing, even with my struggles with my mental health in the past.

And for once in my life I realised how stupid I was being. Perfection is impossible and an unrealistic target. I have done incredibly well regarding my grades so far, and that is something I should celebrate - not put myself down for.

I think my perfectionism is probably one of the reasons that I've suffered with depression, and that's one huge reason why it needs to stop. Over the past few months I have been able to accept myself more for who I am, and fully embrace my personality, flaws and all. I think this needs to be extended to my studies and grades - I can't expect to do well all of the time, and I need to stop fearing failure. Failing is good - it makes you learn, and it makes you grow.

So I think we all need to stop reaching for perfection and unrealistic targets, and start being completely and unapologetically ourselves. Perfection has never, and will never, exist, for as long as we continue to be individuals.

Hannah x

Monday, 22 August 2016

Sorrento



Off the Shoulder Top - Zara (Similar)
Denim Shorts - Topshop
Sunglasses - eBay
Sandals - Tesco (Old)



Today we visited Sorrento, which is a beautiful coastal town on the Amalfi Coast, and the nearest well-known landmark to our villa. It is on top of cliffs with gorgeous views of the bay and Naples across the peninsula, and has loads of lovely shops and restaurants to wander around. Probably one of my favourite places I've visited in Italy, although it is fairly touristy.






Of course I found a dog - this one was a Great Dane and was called Rocco.


You can't beat a good Italian pizza!



Hannah x

Sunday, 21 August 2016

Relaxing day in Italy



Trousers - Zara
Sandals - Tesco (Old)


Today has been a lovely day - I lay in until midday, and spent the rest of the day chilling around the pool. Our villa is so nice and we have an amazing view, so it's such a pleasure to spend time here.




I got these trousers (culottes?) from Zara before I went travelling, and they are the comfiest things ever. They are made out of a silky material so are really light and airy - plus they still manage to look stylish.


Tomorrow we are visiting Sorrento which I am every excited for as it's supposed to be beautiful. More photos to come!



Hannah x