Hello World

Let me first introduce myself before taking you on an adventure around the world: My name is Alianne, 34 years and the proud (single) mother of the second blonde mentioned in Two Blondes and a travel blog:

Besides being a fashion addict, foodlover, full-time working mum and booknerd, we have this part-time gig on the side which is travelling the world.

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Often people are wondering how I can travel the world as a single mother. The idea of this travel blog started by wanting to change your mindset and give away the tips and trics to see the world on a budget. Life is not meant to stay in one place.

And so the adventure begins….

Rome

After our high speed train arrived in Rome Termini, the central station of Rome, we walked the into the museum called Roma.

Wandering the ancient streets of Rome

Our hotel was located in the middle of the centre (Hotel Hiberia) on a walking distance of all the main sights. So after pulling our gigantic pink trolley over the cobblestones and checking into our home away from home, we started exploring the city.

Toss a coin and suddenly you know what you’ve been hoping for all along.

Looking for a gelato we suddenly came across Fontana di Trevi, the most famous and iconic fountain of Rome. The fountain’s water comes from the Acqua Virgo, an underground aquaduct that is over 2000 years old.

The tradition is to toss a coin into the fountain, thus ensuring your return to Rome. An estimated 3000 euros is thrown into the Trevi each day. This money is collected daily and it goes to the Catholic church charity.

Piazza Navone

After bumping into the Trevi fountain we continued to find a lunch spot. We found the best spot close the Piazza Navona watching the Romans doing their daily things.

The Spanish Steps

After lunch we continued our quest to explore Rome, finding Piazza di Spagna. The Spanish Steps are forming a picture perfect backdrop to Rome’s iconic meeting point.

You are not allowed to sit on the steps. It is also forbidden to eat, drink, shout or sing on the beautifully restored staircase. There is security watching every step carefully.

Pantheon

A striking 2000 years old temple (now a church) the Pantheon is Rome’s best preserved ancient monument and most influential building in the western world. The Dome is considered the Roman’s greatest architectural achievement. Each Pentecost thousands of red petals are rained down on the Pantheon representing the Holy Spirit descending to Earth.

Ce Stamo a Pensa

The best restaurant we found close to our hotel and is called Ce Stamo a Pensa. The delicious food would be one of the top reasons to return to Rome.

The Colloseum

The next morning we continued our walking tour to Rome’s top sight the Colloseum. This was the place where gladiators met in fierce combat and condemned prisoners fought against wild animals in front of bloodthirsty crowds.

Next to the colloseum you can find the Roman Forum and Palatine Hill, a collection of ruins that can leave you with the imagination of time travelling into ancient Rome.

After Rome our journey continues to the Amalfi Coast. As tossing a coin in the Trevi fountain promised our return to Rome, we are patiently waiting for that day.

Maastricht

Maastricht is one of the most charming cities in the Netherlands and it can be easily explored in a weekend. In this blogpost you can read exactly why you need to visit Maastricht. Maastricht is the perfect place for a weekend away and it almost feels like going abroad. Wandering the tangled streets, exploring the …

Beekse Bergen

As we are still stuck in the Netherlands, we decided to make the best out of it and explore the worlds within the Dutch borders For this weekend we decided to spend a couple of days in Tilburg. We booked ourselves a nice hotel room with a bath tub which we don’t have at home …

Giethoorn

Due to the Covid outbreak we have not been able to follow our mission to travel the world together. Time for a change. This team is now on a quest to find the most beautiful places to visit within the Dutch borders. Our first stop is the idyllic town of Giethoorn. The village without roads …

Florence & Tuscany

After exploring the most fashionable city in Italy we took a train down south to Florence. Travelling by (high speed) train we would highly recommend as your mode of transportation in Italy. Driving a car in Italy is challenging and the traffic is insane. Plus parking spots are hard to find.

The Duomo, Florence

We found the perfect hotel (La Croce di Malta) for us next to the train station with a swimming pool and a cocktail bar overlooking the city.

After the colloseum in Rome and the leaning tower of Pisa, the Duomo of Florence is the most recognisable item of Italy and not to be missed on your trip to Florence.

This is the Ponte Vecchio from a 160cm perspective

The best way to explore a city is by getting lost in it. We found the Ponte Vecchio after dinner in our favourite Ravioli restaurant (Raviolo è Raviolo) trying to find our hotel.

You cannot leave Florence without a visit to the Uffizi Gallery where you can find the most famous renaissance masterpieces such as works by Giotto, Botticelli, Michelangelo, Da Vinci, Raphael, Titian and Caravaggio.

This city is also known as art lover’s paradise.

Horseriding in Tuscany

After a couple of days exploring the city we felt the urge to explore more behind the cityscape into the Tuscan hills.

Tuscany, with its rolling hills, vineyards, and medieval castles and villages is one of the most picturesque regions in Italy.

Horseriding through the vineyards

Our travels at some point need to involve horses, so we booked a horseriding tour with Fun-in-Tuscany to explore the Tuscan vineyards on a horseback and ending the tour with a winetasting experience. A fabulous manner to combine both my passions for wine and horses. Needless to say, the best experience in Tuscany.

Chianti tasting , a must when visiting Tuscany

Visitors are universally spellbound when they discover San Gimignano. This ancient walled city on top of the Tuscan hills is called medieval Manhattan.

The towers of San Gimignano were not just displays of wealth, they also represented the power of the families who built them. The taller the tower, the more important the owners appeared to be.

Pretending to be Godzilla in San Gimignano

Another reason you need to add San Gimignano to your trip, is the award winning gelato. These Italian gelato connosseurs have tried gelato throughout Italy and have to agree with this winner.

Tasting the award winning gelato.

After spending these glorious days in Tuscany, the time comes to explore some more. With train tickets in my hand, we’re departing to the ancient city of Rome.

To be continued.

Bonaire

A small island with a desert landscape. The ultimate place for divers and snorkelers who want to immerse themselves in that vibrant world under the sea.

The beauty of Bonaire is that the coral reef is a national park. Yellow stones along the roads are indicators that there is a diving and snorkeling spot. Bear in mind that you need to get a Stinapa tag to use the national parks. You can apply for one online and you need to be able to show your tag when requested.

Peaceful mind, grateful heart.

About 1km off the coast of Kralendijk there is a small deserted island called Klein Bonaire. The most perfect No Name Beach is found here. There are no facilities available so bring snacks and lots of water along. You can get a return ticket from Kralendijk for a water taxi for 20 dollars per person.

Always follow your dreams

As you probably know by now is that every trip we take at some point needs to have horses involved, no exception on Bonaire.

The day Poco and I went swimming together.

Swimming with horses, another bucket list goal to tick off. And needless to say an absolutely amazing experience for these equestrian girls. To go swimming with horses you can contact one of the ranches on the island to book a tour.

Kralendijk

The beautiful candy coloured houses makes you feel like walking around in a tropical fairytale land.

Kralendijk is so small that you can walk up and down within 30 minutes and see most of the city. It has everything you need from cute shops, lovely restaurants and good Italian coffee and ice-cream.

Belgian Waffles and French Crepes on Bonaire

According to Jasmine the best part of travelling to the Dutch Caribbean is that you can find all your favourite food and drinks on the islands. Which means we had dinner twice at the local snackbar ordering fries and kroketten.

On the lookout for Flamingos.

These pink salt flats are amazing feeding areas for our magical friends. Bonaire’s landscape is mostly flat but despite the desolation the island is rich with bird life, including the iconic pink flamingo and many colourful parrots.

On the edge of Washington Slagbaai National Park you can find this large salt water lagoon. It attracts flocks of Flamingos especially during nesting season.

Out of office

You can’t get too close to these shy feathered pink friends. Once they are interrupted, they will not return to the same spot for months.

Slagbaai National Park

Boka Slagbaai is the host for many activities such as bird watching, snorkeling and cliff jumping. The picture above is taken on the cliff jumping spot where we took the walk of shame back to the picnic area.

The wild part of the island

The amazing national Slagbaai Park is a protected area where you can find many ecological wonders. This spot is where sea turtles come to lay their eggs. On our next visit we hopefully can watch a nest hatch and help baby turtles to get to the sea in safety.

Slavehuts

Along the coast you will see the legacy of a vile chapter in Bonaire’s past. These stone huts were built as residencies for the slaves who worked at the salt mines. The slaves homes were in Rincon so every Friday afternoon they would take a 7 hour hike to the other end of the island to spend a day at home, returning on Sunday back to work at the mines.

Hello Curacao!

Right before departure back to Amsterdam, the landing gear of our plane got stuck on the runway after being pulled back to far. After spending the night at Flamingo Airport we were transferred to a luxury resort on Curacao because there was simply nothing else available…

It’s a hard knock life for us.

Bali

We have been planning our trip to Bali for a long time. Two years ago a dear friend of mine was going on a solo trip to Bali to find herself. We joined her to help her find her way the first couple of weeks around. Well, that was the idea. The unfortunate case of events happened that my passport was expiring within 6 months so we were not allowed to enter Indonesia. This nightmare has been haunting me for years. But fears need to be conquered so that’s why we decided to give Bali another chance.

The greatest gifts we can give our children are roots and wings

As we are staying in Kuta but also want to travel and explore the island you can easily find drivers to take you all over Bali. As all drivers are local, they can help you find the hidden gems on your way. Recommendations from friends and family are best but you can find many tours online. We found our drivers on Tripadvisor. Just check the reviews.

Once upon a time…. (Tirta Ganga)

On top of our bucketlist is meeting elephants. We found an elephant sanctuary in Ubud where we could not only meet elephants but also wash and brush them. Dreams came true that day. Look at those shiny manes.

Working at the Jumbo Wash

After a series of narrow roads we found a perfect lunch spot on the lake side with an astonishing view on the volcano Mount Batur. Bear in mind that this volcano is still active and the last eruption was only two years ago.

Today’s lunch view is astonishing. And the food as well, 6 spring rolls and counting.

When you are visiting Bali you cannot leave without visiting the rice terraces. The rice fields are part of Bali’s ancient rice growing culture. The emerald rice fields will exhaust your ability to describe the word green and are a must on your trip to Bali. We finished our hiking trip with the Insta famous jungle swing.

It’d be fun they said…. Mama, you can go first. And so I did. Never again.
One of the most terrifying things I have ever done in my life.

The Balinese Hindu Temple Pura Lempuyang is one of the most popular and sacred temples on the island. The Gate of Heaven (Pura Lempuyang) has recently become famous due to countless photos posted on Instagram.

Picture perfect at the Gate of Heaven

If you want to have the same photograph taken, bear in mind that the queue for taking your photograph can take up to 2 hours. Make sure you arrive at the temple at 8am so there is no tourist to be found yet and you will have the temple to yourself.

Following the famous stepping stones at Tirta Gannga

Tirta Gangga literally means water from the Ganges. Strictly, the name refers to the water palace built here in 1946 by the King of Karangasem. Today it is one of the hotspots to visit when in Bali. The palace is absolutely stunning but overcrowded by tourists. We bought fish food to feed the fish but they kindly declined our offer for a snack. These fish are severly overweight due the all the tourists that feed them to take their perfect photograph to claim Insta fame.

And so the snorkeling adventure begins

The blue lagoon is the best place to go snorkelling. Local fishermen took us to the best spot in the Indian ocean on a traditional boat. Cheap and lovely experience. So many fish in different shapes and colours. It is an absolute dream to explore the coral and pretending to be mermaids.

Virgin beach

Picture a desert island, fringed by a white sand beach and coconut palms, sitting in a turquoise sea: Virgin beach is a vision of paradise. And luckily still a hidden gem in East Bali.

Tanah Lot

One of the most popular sights in Bali is Tanah Lot. It’s the most visited and photographed temple but it has the authenticity of a stage set. Especially overly crowded with tourists and vendors around the overhyped sunsets. So the best time to visit is before noon and after you can watch the sunset from one of the many beachbars.

A must for coffee and tea lovers

When traveling to Indonesia you must to try Kopi Luwak coffee (a.k.a. Cat poop coffee) at least once. Visiting a coffee and tea plantation is a must for all coffee and tea lovers. We had a hard time picking our favourites.

Tradition al Indonesian fire dance show

You will be haunted for hours after you see a Kecak performance. The sounds of dozens of men chanting and singing more than an hour is bewitching and mesmerising. The movements of de dancers seem impossibly robotic and rigidly controlled.

Bali is more than a place. It’s a mood, it’s magical. It’s a tropical state of mind and we never want to leave.