An NZ Update!

Hello lovely people!

I’m super jet-lagged and it’s about 5.30am but I just wanted to check in to let anyone who’s interested know that I am safely in New Zealand, yay!

Yesterday, which I think is still English Wednesday when this gets posted, was my first full day and Matthew took me to Auckland Zoo – you know how much I love zoos!

We got to see all the usual suspects – meerkats, giraffes, penguins etc – but also were lucky enough to see one of the red pandas, and also catch a glimpse of a kiwi, and I loved every second of it!

I’m still needing to nap to cope with the tiredness, but after a quick afternoon snooze we went out for dinner at this amazing Indian restaurant, then went to a comedy club for the night which, with the exception of one of the comedians, had me in stitches the whole time!

Tomorrow we’ll be doing some more fun stuff in Auckland, then driving down to Rotoroa, and although I won’t be updating you day to day on this trip (but there’s plenty of other posts going up daily!), I’ll might drop another update in a few days time!

Now I’m gonna try and go back to sleep..

Lottie Does Europe: A Hanover Stop-over

The hotel I stayed at last night had the comfiest bedding. Like, I almost didn’t want to leave kind of comfy. Just wow.

But I did, and you know how I’ve said the last few days about it getting colder? Well this morning when I eventually left the cosy bed to leave Frankfurt, it was a chilly 3°C out. My drive to Hanover was, yet again, delayed somewhat by more motorway roadworks, and by the time I’d arrived, it had warmed up to a practically tropical 6°C; hello big coat!

I arrived at about 1pm, and with a growling stomach, so I was delighted to see a shining beacon of hope; a guarantee of good, reasonably priced food and one of my favourite places ever.. IKEA. I mean, it would be rude not to, right? Well I thought so, so lunch and a quick browse was on the cards.

Unfortunately, due to awful wi-fi at my last hotel, I hadn’t had a chance to look up anything to do with the rest of my day, so it was down to my trusty sat-nav to find me something. ‘Find Point of Interest’, ‘Near You’, ‘Tourist Attraction’, and hope for the best.. And it came up trumps: another zoo! I love zoos, so this being the second this trip really wasn’t a problem for me, plus it was only 15 minutes away from where I was, so hello zoo trip #2!




This zoo was a little smaller, but more efficient; it probably had more animals than Mulhouse, but not as spread out, and the map came with a marked route to take so you didn’t miss anything out. It was a really well themed zoo too: each area was set up to look like the country of origin – Africa, Australia, India etc. This pretty much took up the rest of my afternoon, chilling with the animals. And chilling is the most appropriate word there, it was so cold that I’m afraid my hands were so busy trying to warm up in my pockets that there really weren’t a lot of photos today!

It’s so crazy to think that I’ve only got two full days left before I head home..

Lottie Does Europe: A Zoo Day (with trains)

So this morning I actually allowed myself that lie in I mentioned yesterday, woo! Of course my body clock is fairly used to early mornings, and I think I still woke up at about 7.30, but I enjoyed mooching and laying around in bed for a good hour or so after that! This is also the first morning where I didn’t have to worry about packing up and moving on, as I’m staying in this hotel tonight aswell, so it was nice to not have to worry about clearing and packing everything back up.


I also had a lie in due to the fact that today I went to Mulhouse Zoo, which didn’t open til 10 and was only a 20 minute drive from my hotel. I got to the zoo for opening, and while it was only €14.50, which I thought was a very reasonably price, I was determined to get my money’s worth out of the day. I’d packed a lunch on leftovers from yesterday’s supermarket shop, and I was reading for a day of meandering and animal watching.


The zoo itself was much larger than I had thought, despite being fairly central in the city, and I’d only really covered a few of the different animals befor I headed over to the sealions for the morning feeding show; well, it wasn’t much of a show as it was watching the sealions being fed, but they did a few tricks and it lasted a solid 10 minutes or so. Afterwards I continued to wander the park, chatting to the various animals as I went, of course, and I’d covered about half of the enclosures by lunchtime, so I found a sweet little spot by a lake of ducks and flamingos to set up camp for lunch: cheese baguette and an apple. Being a weekday, it was really quiet, and I enjoyed the peace of sitting and watching the ducks for a good 45 minutes or so, before continuing on my way.


After lunch it was a case of more animal spotting; the zoo had so many little twists and turns that it took me quiet some time before I’d hit everywhere; monkeys, meerkats, felines, penguins, I could go on.. I walked some of the enclosures several times because I know different animals are more/less active at different points of the day, and also to kill some time because I wanted to see the polar bears, which for some reason I couldn’t quite translate, weren’t let out until later in the afternoon.


With that, I felt content that I had done everything to be done, having spent the best part of 5+ hours there(!!) and decided to spend the rest of my day at the Musee Electropolis: an electricity and science museum. This plan flopped when I got there only to find that, despite not being mentioned on any of the information leaflets I had collected, it was closed for refurbishment, so I thought I would check out the Cite du Train – train museum – that was just opposite. Now if I was an avid train person, I think I would have enjoyed it, but to be perfectly honest, while it seemed impressive at first, I was soon bored, and although I walked the whole museum (which was actually pretty huge), I soon gave up listening to my audioguide.


Since getting back to my room for the night, I’ve spent my evening sorting the remaining details of my trip; I’ve now got all my accommodation booked, and I’ve actually changed my route through Germany, as well as adding in a day in Belgium before I head to Amsterdarm. Now everything’s a bit more set in stone, I’m pretty buzzed to continue on my adventure! Tomorrow I head into Switzerland, although I’ll be spending the night on the French side of the border to avoid steep hotel prices, so its back to longer drive lengths from here onwards!

For now though, French TV and bed!