My Dubai

And so here it is..the official write up on our crazy time in Dubai with my best friend Kemi! All I can say is that this trip was AMAZING. I shall try and get everything in but some things you really just had to be there for……

The way there

So I get to the airport super early as per usual. Kemi was running late so we decided we’d check in separately and meet in duty free.

10 minutes within checking in by myself and passing through passport control- I lose my phone.

Major. Panic.

How am I going to contact Kemi now?!

WHAT ABOUT ALL THE FUTURE 1000000000 HOLIDAY PICTURES I WANTED TO TAKE??!!!

Anyway. Drama over- I sprinted back to passport control luckilyyyy someone kindly handed it in as I’d stupidly left it on the side while getting my passport out.

Moving forward, we decided to cram our purposely empty hand luggage suitcases with alcohol as you’re not allowed to buy it from supermarkets in Dubai (letting you know if you’ve never been before- (you’re welcome in advance) :P).

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Fast forward seven hours of sleeping on the plane we arrive in Dubai!

Edging towards passport control fear kicks in that they’re going to take all the alcohol off us having being about 5x over the limit and not to mention all the small vodka bottles the air hostess I made friends with gave to me.

Mission accomplished. We’re through. We decided to have a quick look in duty free just in case we had missed anything on the way.

We’re looking around.

Kemi puts her material suitcase down..

SMASH!

The attendant rushes over and asks if everything okay as he heard something smash and break in her bag. She shakes her head denying all knowledge. We don’t want to attract any attention (bit late for that)

Wine is now pouring out of her bag yet we STILL buy not one but 2 more bottles!

Time to make a quick exit. I don’t think we’ve ever dashed out of the airport that quickly. Luckily the queue was full of men so we got taken to the front and put in a lady taxi specifically for women.

We check into the hotel, freshen up, clean Kemi’s wine and plan our mad week ahead

 

Of course then we head straight out to Smoky Beach on JBR for a much needed shisha. The vibe was chilled- you get a mixed crowd of expats, tourists and a few locals. It was cold though, around 18 degrees with isn’t what we were expecting. I don’t know how it got to 5am but we quickly rested up ready for day 1.

 

The Fairmont, Dubai

After an eventful day travelling the day before, we decide to take it easy during the day as we know we’re going to have a heavy night. We decide to head to The Fairmont Hotel on Sheikh Zyed road. There are three clubs there and its also next door to the Conrad where I know VII is always a good back up  plan. We started off in Bagatelle. The music was great but I really wanted to show Kemi Cirque Le Soir downstairs to see the acts. We had a great time in there- met some friends and again the music was really good and the acts were on point as usual.

 

Nikki Beach Dubai 

Wake up. Eat. Day two- Nikki beach. I think I’ve vaguely touched upon Nikki Beach Dubai in a previous blog..or perhaps it was Nikki Beach Miami. Anyway I do love Nikki Beach wherever it is in the world. If your fan of sushi I’d highly recommend skipping breakfast and saving yourself for lunch. With it being a white theme I decided to match it a little and Dress all white. The music is so good there, they often have a live jazz performance too which really adds to the atmosphere.

 

Koubba bar, Al Qasr hotel

We head back to the hotel, have dinner and then headed over to Koubba Bar at the Al Qasr hotel. I know the staff in there really well so we were warmly greeted and immediately sat on a lovely table facing the Burj Al Arab. Its so picturesque when the light show comes on every hour. The shisha there is always on point and they have a great selection of small bites.

 

The Zero Gravity Brunch

Zero Gravity hold an incredible brunch on a Saturday morning to afternoon. I had already been warned about this so I made sure we got there early (I’d recommend 12pm) There was a massive queue but luckily we had cash so were able to go straight through (another piece of advice)

It’s 250 DHS for women

300 DHS for men

We put our belongings down on beds beside the sea and decided to join the party. The spread is amazing. There are various spirit, cocktail, sangria stations and many more. The food is also incredible including a full buffet, dessert and ice cream stations. You’ll see about 100000 pictures being taken in the infinity pool (yes I’m guilty too) and its literally full of expats. Everyone was so friendly. I’d highly recommend this.

 

White, Meydan Racecourse Dubai

After a heavy day drinking in the sun, we quickly nap and get ready for White. Looking back, I don’t know how we did it and with SO much energy too! No wonder I’m dying now that I’m back home. When walking in, if you’re a group of girls you’ll often get boys trying to come in with you as they can only get in with females. We agreed and let two in with us and after a bit of awkward conversation we quickly said goodbye. It’s ladies night on a Saturday so free alcohol!- (no prosecco though :/) until 11pm. I love the location of White. It’s on the rooftop of the Meydan Racecourse and the skyline views are just spectacular. Kem and I agreed that the music there was the best out of all places. Our table was full of Brits and they were playing UK tunes also.

5am, lots of Dom P later- its time to go home.

 

Billionaire Mansion

It’s safe to say we died. I don’t think we got up till about 3pm. We ordered a full on Arabic family roast chicken feast to share between us we were literally that starving! (Had my tabasco sauce handy too obvvv)

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We may have been exhausted but that night was Billionaire Mansion and we definitely were not going to miss out on that. We thought we were late getting there at 12am but it was actually early! The music AGAIN was good but what I loved most was seeing a lot of different friends there. It hit about 3 and our friend suggested we should hit the after party.

We went obviously (There’s something wrong with us- its like we try and avoid sleep!).

We headed onto the yacht and I have to say, it was probably the BEST afterparty I have ever been to. Champagne flowing, DJ blasting tunes and everyone just having an incredible time (I was standardly fiddling with the controls and gadgets however not quite making sense of how it all worked). We didn’t even realise how late it got until we entered the hotel and saw it was 7am.

Ooops.

We have the desert safari in the afternoon.

 

The Desert Safari

I don’t really know how we got up and ready for this but we did. The tiredness of the constant partying and late nights didn’t hit me until today.

I was in and out of sleep all the way to the desert. The people we were with were a group of 5 Americans from LA who were really good to talk to. We were just glad we weren’t put with weird people. The Safari through the dunes was SO much fun. We all voted my phone to be connected for music and the driver was super chilled and drove extra crazy knowing we all loved it.

The safari was followed by seeing the camels. Do not even get me started on the evil camel in the back who decided to reach out and nuzzle his head again mine nearly half knocking me out.. TWICE!! I don’t know why he loved me so much but it’s safe to say I don’t really like camels anymore :// LOOK AT HIS FACE!!

 

We all then sat  down with various stations around us including drinks, henna, snacks and of course shisha. Although I couldn’t speak and absolutely vowed I wouldn’t do shisha again I was still found there puffing away. Typical. The buffet was served and there were two acts- one belly dancer performance and one man with fire performance. Kem and I were just bothered about the buffet to be honest. Our group decided we had had enough and it would be pointless to wait another two hours for nothing so we found the driver who agreed to make a quick exit before we hit traffic with other tours. Overall I cannot recommend the tour enough. We did it with Red Tours and the whole thing was so well organised from beginning to end.

 

China Grill, Westin Hotel

After a busy day of shopping while Kemi doing the Big Bus Tour we contemplated whether it would be wise to go out knowing we had a flight the next morning.

Did we still go out?

Of course we did.

On Tuesdays its a ladies night pretty much everywhere meaning free drinks. We decided to go to China Grill at the Westin Hotel. We got there a bit late and as we arrived there were already girls stumbling over on their way out. Not only is it free drinks for ladies but 50% off all food too! Unfortunately we had already eaten so we weren’t really feeling it but people I got speaking to said the food is amazing there. Despite the end of holiday blues we had an incredible eventful night as ALWAYS!

Overall, having lived in Dubai it will always be second home to me. The fact that it changes and grows so much is what I love best- there’s always something new to do!

I truly hope you enjoyed reading my blog. Follow my instagram: rukayax for more blog posts to come- I promised I’d do this more and I will.

If you have any questions about any of the places I went to, let me knowww

All my love,

Kaya xxx

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My day in food

For so many years I have had such digestive trouble and just felt constantly bloated all the time. I was eating super healthily- plenty of protein and vegetables in my diet but nothing was working. People would tell me other wise that I looked great..but you know within yourself when you’re not feeling right. Simply through trial and error my doctor and I concluded I was gluten sensitive. Not that having a bit of pizza is going to kill me or anything, just that I need to be careful as it could set back my digestion. I thought it would be an absolute nightmare but it is actually so much easier than I imagined and I feel so much better cutting it out. However saying that, everyone’s body type is different and this has worked for me personally. You literally just have to trial and error cutting out certain foods if you are for example bloated all the time or have certain issues.

Okay so back to my diet- Here is what I like to typically eat in a day…

Breakfast

Ah.. my favourite meal of the day. For breakfast I heat my non stick pan using around 4-5 sprays of extra Virgin olive oil and add chilli flakes and cumin. Whilst the pan is heating up I crack two eggs in a bowl and remove one of the yolks meaning I have 2 x egg white to 1 x yolk ratio. Once that is heating in the pan I add frozen spinach. I love all types of eggs so ill either have this mixture as fried, scramble it or turn it into an omelette. That’s always accompanied with a slice of gluten free wholegrain toast topped with Lurpack salted butter. I’ve recently tried out these lean chicken chipolatas which are amazing with scrambled eggs!

I always add PLENTY of tabasco (can’t be living without that!)

Or …

If I’m in a mega rush I’ll have Protein World Slender Porridge in the vanilla flavour. As lovely as their protein shake are, they filled me up for about..like..10 minutes. Their porridge is sooo much better and gluten free (yay!) and even has added B vitamins and green tea extract! I hate milk so I add unsweetened almond milk, maple syrup and Flavor God chocolate donut seasoning (which is YUM!)

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Mid morning snack

I loveeee fruit especially a crisp pink lady apple. Always. It just about keeps me filled enough for lunch!

Lunch

Lunch I’d say is the hardest part of the day to stay healthy for me. I work with my dad which often includes taking clients out for lunch. Because I’m off to Dubai in a few weeks, I’ve had to be really careful with my diet otherwise I’d order a normal meal and just have it. So at the moment when we go out I’ll usually stick to a lean meat such as chicken or salmon and have a side salad.. and maybeee a few chips (girls got to live ;))

I know every trick in the book when it comes to healthy restaurant ordering- maybe that can be a future blog post..I have a lot of tips!

If I’m in the office it’s out of my hands. I’m the only female there and they do not relate to my healthy views!! (hence why I said its the hardest part of the day for me :/)

Afternoon snack

POPCORN- If you know me well, you’ll know I am absolutely obsessed with Propercorn sweet and salty popcorn. Its wholegrain, gluten free, super filling, 129 calories! Need I try and promote it any more? This is literally my go to snack. One in the afternoon..maybe two.

Ok fine- two 😀

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Dinner

Dinner is also hard one when your mum is the most amazing cook ever. Trouble is I love Indian/ Pakistani food.. and thats what she makes best! Like how can you even resist that?! I’ll often cook a lean protein myself and have that with a low carb side such as salad /vegetables/brown rice as my main meal, fill myself up and have a small plate of my mums food too so I get the best of both worlds (and two dinners) but the more unhealthy asian food in moderation.

 

Late night snack

Yes I have to eat before bed. In all honesty I go to my quick fix protein porridge (even if I’ve had it for breakfast). It fills me up quickly and I know its super healthy!

So there you have it, this is what I typically eat during the day. It doesn’t even change that much from day to day as I know what suits my body and what my goals are!

 

 

Lots of love

Kaya xxx

My Italian Summer

I can’t believe it, it’s September already! I have to say I’ve been back less than a week and the Manchester rain sure does have a way of reminding you that Summer is over 😦 Yet again, I have had the most amazing time with some amazing people and I cant wait to write all about it!

Milan

The day after my birthday (August 26th just so you know for next year ;)) my partners in crime- mum, dad and I kicked off our Italian (and a bit of Swiss) adventure by firstly flying out to Milan. I had only ever been once before and I have to say- I didn’t know weather could make such a difference! When I went back in December it was cold and I was so shocked at how few people there were. It’s just such a good job I was with amazing company! However this time it was more of what I expected and it’s definitely a summer place! From our hotel we decided to walk into the centre which really wasn’t far. My parents and I love walking- especially in good weather.

If you’ve never been to Milan just be prepared- for when you get into the main square you’ll be confronted by the magnificent Duomo Di Milano. The building is truly breathtaking. Construction began in 1386 and the cathedral was completed in 1805 meaning it took 419 years to build! We went to the famous Terreza Aperol where Instagrammers go for the notorious Aperol picture (I didn’t have any unfortunately- I can’t stand the taste :/) We then went shopping in the beautiful Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II home to luxury brands and beautiful restaurants.

Although I love visiting Milan- there isn’t a whole lot to do so I would recommend pairing the city with another in order to make your trip more worthwhile.

Tirano to St Moritz

My parents have always spoken about this one train journey through the Alps that was unforgettable and I couldn’t wait to experience it! From Milan we drove to a small village called Tirano and checked into a local hotel. By the time we had settled it was pretty dark and late so we went to a local restaurant and had an early nigh in preparation for the next day. In the morning when we set off walking, the sun was shining and the air was so crisp and fresh- not like what I’m used to living in Manchester and Dubai!

The train was called the Bernina Express and we had large panoramic windows in our cabin. The line was built in 1910 and passes the highest summit of the Eastern Alps (4,093 m). The train itself was actually so long that when it turned a corner, you could see the back of the train while we were at the front! The views were just stunning. No words or pictures can describe it. The thing that shocked me the most is that the train went so high that you could actually see snow on the mountains! The train made a quick descent to the town of St Moritz, Switzerland famously known for skiing. After a satisfying lunch at the Carlton Hotel we made a move back on the train, crossed the border back into Italy as we wanted to travel to our next destination in daylight. It was definitely the shortest time I’ve ever stayed in a country but it surely was beautiful! I’d definitely make a plan to go skiing there one Winter. As if we hadn’t travelled enough for one day, once we got back to Tirano we made our way over to Como.

Lake Como

Lake Como is everything you see in pictures. It is a beautiful place in the Summer (again I would not recommend going in the winter- it was miserable!) The lake itself is surrounded by small towns and because it is a dog tooth shape, its sometimes easier and shorter to take your car on the ferry across the lake rather than drive around the coast. We went to a town called Bellagio famously known for having George Clooney’s Italian villa and no- sadly I didn’t bump into him! We took one of the cute choo choo road trains around the town which was very quaint and quite residential. After lunch by the water we made our way back to the hotel ready for the wedding ahead.

The Wedding

The whole reason of coming to Italy was for my parents to attend the wedding of Adam and Charlotte Kamani. I actually didn’t know I was going too till the day before and had to make do with whatever clothes I had in my suitcase! The wedding was just perfect from beginning to end and was carried out so tastefully and elegantly. The first two days were hosted at the beautiful Villa Erba in Como and the last event was hosted in another stunning villa close to the centre. I had such a lovely time catching up with old friends from back home and meeting some amazing new people. I was later informed by people back home that the Daily Mail had taken my photo from Instagram and put it on their article http://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/article-4850270/Fashion-heir-marries-1-million-Italian-wedding.html You can find photos on Instagram #KamaniEverAfter. It was such an amazing wedding and I truly wish the groom and stunning bride a lifetime of health and happiness.

Verona

So straight after the wedding, the Italian tour continued as we headed to Verona. Looking back I don’t know how we had the energy- no wonder I’ve been exhausted ever since I’ve been back! If you’re a fan of literature you’ll know that Romeo And Juliet by William Shakespeare was set here in Verona. We visited the famous Juliet balcony and saw stickers of love and promise from visitors stuck around the turned that led to it. I was shocked when I saw what resembled a mini Collusseum where I found that out famous opera singers perform here from all over the world. It was a lovely city full of historical and well maintained buildings.

Venice

Venice. I have to say this was my favourite city of all. Well in the morning as we were going down for breakfast I fell down the stairs :/ I was in so much pain it was unreal (this happens every holiday I swear) I still wanted to explore though! After a bit of rest set off for our adventurous walk to St Mark’s Square. There are so many alleys and dead ends where the path will would just stop and lead straight to water! It was quite fun reading directions from the wall on random buildings in the small streets but after an intense hour we were definitely tired. St Mark’s square is stunning and is home to another magnificent Cathedral. St Mark’s Basilica is even older than the Duomo in Milan and was firstly constructed in 828! I remember looking at it thinking how bizarre it was to be stood to a building so old.

I had been warned about the smell of the canals in the summer but honestly, it wasn’t that bad it just smelt like a normal harbour in the summer so don’t be put off as I was initially. As I said the place is like a maze so make sure you’ve got Google Maps fully installed and sufficient battery!

Just a note to finish with Venice- the shopping there is great 😉

Florence

Next stop- Florence. Florence in a lot of ways was like Verona- a small city with historical buildings. Once we checked into the hotel we climbed the hill to the highest point and got an amazing perspective of the city. There were hundreds of spectators gathered up there just in time for the sun set. Once the sun had gone down we made our way to yet another famous cathedral. I know I’ve mentioned others from different cities however for me, this one was by far my favourite. I just loved the whole architecture of it and its grand gothic design. in the evening mum and I went for a lovely dinner just outside the cathedral. It was an amazing evening. A bit of advice though- although nothing was taken from me, just be extremely vigilant with your possessions as there are a lot of pick pocketers surrounding touristy areas.

Pisa

So we all know Kanye’s Famous lyrics “Flying out to Pisa, just to get some pizza”…well that’s exactly what we did! I’ve not given food a mention yet which is surprising (as I ate my body weight in carbs) but the authentic Italian dishes are AMAZING! Everything is so fresh. Anyway so when we got there it was absolutely pouring with rain- so grim! My dad had been getting an ice cream (or two) a day and it was even too cold for him to do so. I was fascinated by the leaning tower and the whole history behind it. However my dad as a property developer did point out that the the angle of the top didn’t quite match the base. Hmm? We still managed to get our pictures despite the rain, you can just see the umbrella thrown onto the grass so we wouldn’t get it in! My actual favourite comb had to get in the picture though, I’m actually joined to it! You can find the comb and other amazing hair products at https://leylamilanihair.com/

The Italian Riviera

After a crazy tour of the country, we decided to spend our last few days at a resort in a small on the Italian riviera. It was full of older Italians enjoying the final days of summer. There was barely any British people but I liked that. There were many boutique hotels and local restaurants- absolutely NO fast food places at all. No wonder they were all slim!

One morning I woke up at 6am for a run and it was so interesting to see the market stalls being set up for the day. I had left my earphones at home by mistake which I was later glad about as I got to witness the communication and banter between the stalls. They’re so passionate and shout about absolutely everything- I loved that. One couple tried to include me in a conversation and when they saw that I couldn’t speak a word of Italian, they gave me an apple! It was so nice to relax by the sea and I definitely made the most of it knowing that I would be welcomed back by the miserable English weather.

There are many personal parts and memories of this holiday that made it so special. If you know me well, you’ll know how close I am to my parents- it’s like going away with two best friends. I am truly blessed to have such amazing people in my life that have my back no matter what.

Overall, feel free to comment, drop me an email or DM me on Instagram (rukayax) if you have any questions about the places I visited 🙂 I hope you enjoyed my Italian adventure!

With love always,

Kaya xxx

 

When In Rome…

If you follow me on Instagram you’ll see that I’ve posted about a billion pictures of my recent trip to Rome with my best friend. I can honestly say there’s never been a time we’ve been together and something hilarious hasn’t happened.

So it all started at the airport. 5am. Neither of us had been able to sleep and literally an hour before the 3am alarm went off did we finally catch some Z’s. Typical! So as you can imagine we’re literally sleepwalking through the airport dragging our luggage along- when at last we reach the priority lounge and have chill time before the flight.

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As I was happily helping myself to a croissant, one of the ladies at reception came up to me with some weird blue, yellow and white gross scarf thing. She asked if I would wear it as a sarong as my shorts were not knee length (um..no! And sorry didn’t realise we were in Saudi!!) I politely declined and said when I sit down I would put my jacket on my lap. Of course I couldn’t sit still. the whole time! My friend had an idea that I wrap my jacket around my waist every time I got up and I swear I’ve never had such a hideous outfit in my life!! It ended up looking like some weird skirt thing and I bet people thought I was wearing it on purpose :((

Of course though we found it absolutely hilarious, took pictures and cried about it for about an hour till we got on the plane. You’ve got to laugh at yourself sometimes- especially in that attire!

The plane was gross. I hate Ryan Air- it reminds me of one of those Despicable Me little minion things in transport form. Anywayyy so we landed in Rome where it was BOILING. Little did we know the week we were there, there was a massive heatwave. It was so bad that the city was silent in the afternoon as it was so hot and people couldn’t bear to be out. We finally reached the hotel, checked in and I headed out to get room snacks whilst my friend chilled in the room. After stocking up on kinder, crisps and nesquik bars I got back to the hotel my friend was frantic with the receptionist. When she saw me she ran up to me and told me that when she got into the bed there were hugeeee ants all over the place all crawling around. DISGUSTING. The hotel were moved us to another room. By this time neither of us wanted to stay in and rest so we decided to head out to Sephora (initial priorities in European countries ;)). It was at the train station so we decided to grab a restaurant around there. As many know, I am obsesseddd with chilli food so when they had chilli flakes on the table, I was definitely pleased and poured a load on my chicken.

Big. Mistake. These were the most lethal chillies I have ever consumed. I can’t remember a time when I had my mouth burning that badly! Obviously again although I was in so much pain to the point of tears, yet we still found the situation absolutely hilarious and decided to take videos for snap chat. Let’s just say..we were both extremely careful with those crazy chillies for the rest of the holiday.

Day 1: The Vatican. So we had made our way over to the hop on hop off bus where we had an 11am booking for The Vatican. Little did we know there was SO much traffic- I guess because people run their earlier as it’s cooler and then hide away mid day. So I rang the Vatican office, informed them we were going to be about 15 mins late but the woman was having none of it. After the phonecall my friend was on her phone (extremely silent) which NEVER happens and after about 5 minutes she handed me her phone and asked what I thought. It was the voucher…but it said 12:00 instead of 11:00?! Turns out she had been sneakily editing it on Instagram and the funny thing is when we got there- it actually worked!

The Vatican Museum was stunning. It was so beautiful you wouldn’t know where to look because there was so much to see! After wondering around, mingling with the crowds we ended up at the Sisteen Chapel where the whole ceiling was painted my Michael Angelo. I couldn’t help but chuckle to myself when my friend got caught taking a sneaky photo and the guard was there trying to argue with her to delete it (least she had Snapchat backup!!) After that we went into the city, had gelato and made our way back to the hotel ready for the evening.

On our way to the Spanish Steps, we studied the map we figured it would be quicker to walk 40 minutes up and down hills than get on that ridiculous snail of a bus. So off we trotted in our heels making our way to a well deserved dinner. We reached just at sunset which was a lovely time to soak in the atmosphere! We had dinner at Hotel De Russie followed by Shisha at Mandaloun where my friend worked on changing our 11:00 appointment for The Colosseum to 12:00. again 🙂

Day 2: The Colosseum. So after my friend managed to changed the time yesterday, we figured why not try our chances again? No matter how early we left, we’d still be waiting in traffic. They did however question us here as they scanned the voucher and the times didn’t match up. It was all good though- we just pretended we didn’t know why this was! Another hot day. Inside The Colosseum was boilingg!! There was literally no breeze. After enough time viewing the rocks (it was just a load of rocks tbh) we made a swift exit and cooled down at Aroma where we had a light lunch. The view was stunning and had a great view of the Colosseum. We saw that there was another terrace restaurant just opposite the Colosseum and booked that for dinner before heading back to the hotel to rest and change.

The dinner was delicious as expected and the view was something else! Another sunset with an amazing view

After that, we made our way to Piazza Navona and sat there for a drink. There was a woman- extremely drunk acting  sat at the front of the restaurant with a cigarette in one hand and a drink in the other being very noisy to passer byers and waving her arms in the air. After about 10 minutes the table next to us became available and she stumbled over and took a seat next to me. I don’t actually remember how it all happened but she started a conversation with us and all of a sudden she was part of our table. This lady was one of the loudest I have ever come across. She was from LA and had a very strange mixed accent claiming it was because she had lived all over the world. The lady kept calling the waiters over as if they were her best friends saying that we should all go the disco together! My friend and I kept awkwardly looking at each other wondering how we were going to get out of this situation!! At one point she gave one of the waiters her number and then said in French- “Don’t give this to ISIS!” Like.. where does that even come from?!! As crazy as she was (and even though she kept hugging me, squeezing my face and trying to set me up with her son) she was actually such a genuinely nice person and definitely added to our eventful holiday.

Day 3: Okay so we had no bookings today so no need to fiddle with vouchers. We made our way to the Trevi Fountain which was sooooo busy! Honestly I swear- it was like a swarm of bees around a drop of honey. We got our photos (of course) , went for lunch and made our way to The Terrace at The Sofitel Hotel. It had had a spectacular view but it was just toooo hot to sit outside for long period of time which was such a shame! We then made our way back to the hotel the final time because it was our last dinner 😦

I’ve been very unwell recently and whilst I was getting ready, collapsed in the room. I’m so so glad I had my best friend there, she was so good in the situation! But nothing was going to spoil our last night. We still went out for our final meal, had a lovely shisha and laughed about the little personal things that had made our holiday so special.

I can truly say I had a phenomenal time with my best friend in Rome, although eventful- it made it so much more memorable as we just laughed off unfortunate situations which is the best way to be in life!

Lots of love,

Kaya  xxx

My Time In Türkiye

I just wanted to start this post off by saying a MASSIVE thank you to those who read and enjoyed my last blog. I was so apprehensive to write one but all your amazing messages and feedback have meant the world and I’m so glad you enjoyed the post! Sooo..as promised, heres another one about my recent trip to Turkey.

Turkey is a place that I can honestly say second to England is home to me. My parents and I counted up that we’ve been at least 20 times either together or with other friends. Once again, off we went on our little adventure back to our fave place! I think its the same for everyone when you get to the airport- everyone splits off to either shop or eat (I vote eat!) And I don’t think a plane journey is quite complete without Sour Cream & Onion Pringles. I have to say I was veryyy content with my plane snacks (which lasted about 5 minutes unfortunately when sitting with mum and dad!)

One thing I love landing in a hot country is how the heat just hits you all of a sudden as soon as you get off the plane. No matter what time of the day/night it is, it’s there. By the time we landed it was about 1am and then we had to wait for our hire car as my dad loves to drive abroad. However I must say driving in Turkey is a very different experience indeed. Their driving habits there are CRAAAZY but the maddest thing of all is that- basically, at night they literally switch the traffic lights off to just flashing amber. No joke. Which means everyone literally goes at the same time. Definitely not the safest rule but I really did find it funny.

The hotel was gorgeous. I feel so happy and content by the sea which is where I spent most of my time. The hotel was an all inclusive which meant lotsss of eating. Honestly, I swear I wasn’t even hungry half the time I just ate because it was so nice! After loving it so much in Azerbaijan, mum and I went for a girly spa day at the hotel for a hamaam and massage..it just really isn’t the same in England!

A few days into the holiday we decided to stay at our place in Akbük. Being there brought back so many memories for me. I’ve spent so many summers over the years with so many different amazing people there. The thing I love about Akbük is that there aren’t many tourists- it’s where Turkish people from major cities have their holiday homes. There’s a marina with gorgeous yachts and restaurants where we had dinner the nights we stayed there. About 20 minutes away is the historic Lake Bafa Nature Park surrounded by local restaurants selling traditional Turkish food such as Gözleme in small huts. We visited the lake one evening and justttt about made it on time to see one of the most stunning, magical sun sets.

Next stop was Bodrum. My mum finally learned how to use Apple music which meant that alllll the way I had to listen to 70’s and 80’s Boogie tunes through the Turkish countryside (HELP!). At least the scenery was breathtaking though. It’s amazing how simple and traditional the rural areas are in the mountains of Turkey in comparison to the big modern cities. After what seemed to be the longest hour, we finally checked in at The Rixos Premium Bodrum. The whole lobby area was decorated in a very Da Vinci, Italian renaissance theme with a modern twist. It was stunning. There were so many things to do at the hotel and with the hotel being another 5* all inclusive, the choice of restaurants was too impossible! We opted for the main restaurant for lunch and decided to chill at the beach bar.

If you know me well, you’ll know that my legs often resemble a little boy who plays out on the streets- I don’t even know how the bruises are there half the time, I’m so used to bumping into things it’s just become normal to have them! However- this time was different. I decided I wanted a picture sat on a high banister..fair enough. I then decided I wanted to sit on the lower rail, thought I’d be quick and thread my leg through and ended up. Bang. on. the. floor. You know when you’re in so much pain you actually start laughing! I actually couldn’t sit for days.. it was terrible!

Two things I’ve learned:

  1. I am not Catwoman
  2. Don’t do it “for the gram”!

But for me, nothing was going to ruin that day. I was having so much fun with my two favourite people, the pain could wait. After another glorious sun set we opted for the buffet dinner. The choice of food was endless. I don’t think I’ve ever eaten so much! Literally every dish I saw, I wanted to put on my plate. My dad decided to go to the room after dinner which meant girl time with my mum! We decided to hit the party at the promenade. It was such a chilled vibe there, everyone was so talkative and friendly and just out to have a good time. Later on they put on a spectacular display of fireworks at The Bodrum. It was a truly memorable day for me.

Ah breakfast, my favourite meal. If you’re wondering what’s on my plate it’s a cheese omlette, with spicy turkish mash, fried potatoes, chips and then a little bit of salad (pretending to be healthy ;)) followed by time in a private cabana and a swim in the warm sea. No more bruises this day- thankfully.

Our next and final destination was Izmir- an industrial city by the Aegean Sea. We stayed at The Hilton which is one of the tallest buildings there and the views were just spectacular! The bazaar there was so old fashioned and timeless. If you ignored any phones or technology you could be in any period of time, not a lot has changed there over the centuries. There was nothing really there for us to shop round for, we just took in the atmosphere and enjoyed traditional Turkish food. I’m a massive fan of the bulgur rice there, I just can’t seem to get it the same when I try making it over here!

We went to a town called Çeşme for the day where we visited the castle and had lunch at the beautiful Yacht Club. We then went to a beach in Alacanti where there were so many wind surfers and paragliders it was so colourful and spectacular! On the beach there was this really cool hipster beach bar where we sat and had chips. Yes I know it was after lunch but it would have been rude not to! Like Akbuk, it was full of Turkish people and we loved being the only tourists!

Overall, yet again I had an amazing time on holiday. It’s the most amazing feeling going away with your parents as though you’re travelling as three best friends. The amount of laughs and adventures we had together made this trip one to truly remember.

I hope you enjoyed reading this post as much as the last!

Lots of love,

Kaya

 

 

 

 

 

My wonderful trip to Russia, Azerbaijan and Istanbul

So recently I was fortunate enough to make a trip to some unusual destinations which a lot of people have been asking me about… sooo I decided to finally use this site properly and write a blog all about it!

St Petersburg

First stop St Petersburg. Before going to Russia, I really didn’t know what to expect! I had heard that the people were hostile and the food wasn’t very good. They couldn’t have been more wrong! The food was so cheap and there was a huge variety of restaurants- my mum even managed to find an Indian (typical!!) As for the people, they were lovely. Quite quiet but there’s nothing wrong with that! A bit of advice though- a lot of Russians don’t speak English which I was quite shocked about so it would be beneficial just to learn a few phrases and key words to get you by.

 

So as a typical tourist we jumped on the hop on hop off bus and made our way around town. Our first stop was the stunning Winter Palace which was the official residence to monarchs up until 1917 and is now the Hermitage Museum

(Still laughing at that pigeon who was confident enough to fly in to my picture!!) Sly guy

 

Just when I thought I had seen one beautiful building, I was absolutely amazed at the sight of the Church Of Spilled Blood. Honestly, words cannot do this magnificent piece of art of a building any justice.

Even the whole atmosphere around it was so chilled like there were food stalls, live music and just people generally having a good time. I loved it!

The Cute Train Trip

 

We thought it would be fun to jump on the super speedy train to Moscow. Well when I say super speedy it still took 4 hours.  It made it all better when they gave me chocolate which I have to say was the best chocolate EVER!! Like I’d get on that train again just for the chocolate. No joke.

Anyway so unlike your standard English train this one had cabins which was amazing for 4 girls to completely chill out in. Definitely felt sorry for the cabins next to us/around/even the back! We were so loud!!!

So after about ten thousand calories consumed and a million selfies later the girrrrls arrive in Moscow

Moscow

Okayy so next stop the Kremlin for dinner with Putin! Only joking however we did check into one of the most stunning hotels I have ever stayed in. It’s one of the Seven Sisters which are seven buildings that were built by Stalin in order to show the wealth of Russia. It was so amazing to stay in a place with such history. It also has the longest chandelier in the world (first picture) which obvsiouslyyy I had to touch being the absolute child that I am! I underestimated how hard it was to jump high and take a picture at the same time was but anyway- had to be done. Good job no one was around!!

We actually did visit the Kremlin which was next to the stunning St Basil’s Cathedral. We went for lunch at the Bolsoi but unfortunately didn’t catch the ballet (this time ;)) Novikov was amazing for dinner also so I’d highly recommend that. Over all I’d say that I loved every single place that I visited in Russia- such a beautiful historical place!

Azerbaijan

So when I told people that I was off to Azerbaijan, I got so many confused remarks. A lot of people had never even heard of the place at all! In all honesty I really didn’t know what to expect myself but I can truly say I was pleasantly surprised. The place was beautiful! So modern and clean. The buildings were so detailed and ornate, the architecture was stunning. Not bad for a place that was previously under the soviet union.

We stayed at the Hilton which had an amazing Sky Bar which was  also revolving so you got to see the whole of Baku lit up at night. So handy having it a lift ride away- made it so convenient for me as I’m always leaving things in my room! The old town was quaint and we went for a traditional hammam and massage there before resting up for dinner at the Four Seasons (where I had about a million pictures as seen on my Instagram!) The people were also lovely- very friendly and couldn’t do enough. Baku means windy city and yes at times I did think I was literally going to be blown away!

I actually have so much love for this city and would definitely make a trip back there.

Istanbul

And finally to finish the holiday off we fly to my favourite city in the world- Istanbul! The culture is just amazing. Mosques are breathtaking. People are lovely. And then the food is amazinggg! As shown above my favourite dish is the chicken with bulgur rice which I literally once ate every night two weeks straight last year!

I’m so gutted it was only a short stay here but it gives me a good excuse to come back very soon 😀

The End

 

So that’s about it, I think I’ve covered everything! It was honestly one of the most amazing trips I have ever been on and I highly recommend each place. I really hope you’ve enjoyed reading my post as much as I did writing it!

Lots of love,

Kaya

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Nikki Beach Miami

So after a longgggg 9 hour flight I’m back from sunny Miami. After being in 36 degrees of sunshine, its safe to say I’ve got a tan (thank goodness!).

I have to say the beach club I enjoyed the most was Nikki Beach. It was quite small compared to the Dubai one but there was a massive party atmosphere and great music. As there is no pool we decided to get beds by the sea..not that we went into it as it was freezing! We also managed to have our shisha fix there- can you believe shisha is so hard to find in Miami?!!

Brunches In Dubai

In the UK, we think breakfast + lunch= brunch..right? Well it’s veryyy different in Dubai- some brunches are in the evening!

I have to say, my favourite brunch is Candypants at The Habtoor Grand Hotel, Dubai Marina on a Friday. The brunch starts at 12pm and serves food and unlimited drinks (absolute killer in the heat) till 4. If you’re willing to go on, the after party is at XL next door. It’s pretty cute- they have fun props etc around to mess about with and take random photos.

Things I liked about it- I liked how it was both inside and outside so if you were hot outside you could go and cool down inside (also very different to UK!), service was great and there was a wide selection of food. Young crowd consisting of mostly Brits- expats and people on holiday. I would highly recommend it and it was always so much fun coming in big groups.

Bit of advice though- book in advance!

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My First Blog Post

Hello and welcome to my blog! My name is Rukaya and I have just moved back from Dubai to the UK.

I’m obsessed with travelling but I’ve never really had time to blog so I’m super excited to share incredible things that I have seen and things to do at the amazing places that I have been / will be travelling to!

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