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100 Days ‘Til Summer

I have realised suddenly that the days are almost into double digits and the three-month mark is closing in. My arms will soon start to feel like a hypodermic pin cushion (one injection down; ten to go). And with inoculations, bank appointments and extra work shifts, my schedule is becoming hard to manage.

Yet it will all soon be worth it. The months of working seven-day weeks, avoiding clothes shops and getting far less sleep than I need to function will definitely soon be worth it. In 100 days, I will be fleeing the beautiful Cotswolds for an altogether more terrifying – yet enticing – destination.

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I don’t have my whole trip planned out, but here is my rough itinerary for the first few months:

Starting slowly in Bangkok, I would really like to spend a few days getting to know the city. Visiting the must-see attractions and shopping at Chatuchak market are on my list, but I also plan to wander around the suburbs and along the riverbank that makes this metropolis so accessible.
Afterwards, I plan to move north to explore Ayutthaya and Sangkhlaburi, before heading nearer the Myanmar border to see a different, more rural side of Thailand.

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Following months of long working hours and desperately needing to relax, I have promised myself a summer on the Thai islands. By July/August the Andaman coast will be well into the monsoon season, so I plan to stay on Koh Tao and spend my days hiking, eating and learning to dive – a lifetime fear of mine that I’ve challenged myself to overcome.

At the end of August, China awaits. Whilst I have a few ideas and surprises lined up, from here I plan to not plan as much.

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Germany – the Fairytale Road

‘How often when we are comfortable, we begin to long for something new’ – Jacob Grimm

Like any young girl, I grew up watching Disney movies and dreaming of being a princess. A few years ago, I learnt that many of these, including Cinderella, Sleeping Beauty and Snow White, were based on the work of two brothers from Germany. Inspired by local folklore Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm – better known as Brothers Grimm – wrote a succession of bewitching fairy tales that still captivate readers today.

The Brothers Grimm

The Brothers Grimm

Desperate for an alternative (and maybe slightly geeky) holiday, my friend, Kate, and I flew over to Germany to explore the Fairytale Road. Known as Die Marchenstrasse in German, this northwestern region was home to the Brothers Grimm and acted as a canvas upon which they painted their most famous stories.

Winding north from Frankfurt to Bremen, the Fairytale Road took us through towns filled with magical castles, across enchanted landscapes and deep into spooky forests. It’s not difficult to see where the Brothers Grimm found their inspiration.

A typical German castle

A typical German castle

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Places we stopped along the way included:

Hanau – the birthplace of the Brothers Grimm

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Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm

Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm

Steinau – home to the Fairytale Museum on Bruder Grimm Strasse

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Brother Grimm Museum

Brother Grimm Museum

A stunning fairytale-theme house

A stunning fairytale-theme house

Alsfeld – beautiful timber framed houses, rustic bakeries and an impromptu Red Riding Hood performance

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“All the better to eat you with…”

Alsfeld Town Hall

Alsfeld Town Hall

Real life 'Red Riding Hood'

Real life ‘Red Riding Hood’

Trendelburg – sleeping in Rapunzel’s Castle, deep in the forest

Rapunzel's Tower

Rapunzel’s Tower

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Hameln – traditional beer halls, a quirky pancake restaurant and famous for its eponymous pied piper

"In total, one hundred thirty were lost..."

“In total, one hundred thirty were lost…”

Awesome pancakes

Awesome pancakes

Rats everywhere!

Rats everywhere!

Bremen – cobblestones, a Gothic cathedral and its very own Fab Four

"Come with us to Bremen. After all, you understand night music. You can become a town musician there."

“Come with us to Bremen. After all, you understand night music. You can become a town musician there.”

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Escaping the clutches of big bad wolves, evil queens and wicked witches, we flew back to England and lived happily ever after.

The End.