Travel

New Zealand: Hobbiton

So many little hobbit holes! That’s what you’ll find within this blog post because I made it to Hobbiton!

When we started planning New Zealand this was the first thing on my “need to see!” list. Basic information: Tickets are $85 NZ or $58 USD and you book your tours on the Hobbiton Tours website! They run frequently but, of course, make sure you book in advance! They make it easy enough with three pick up locations in Matamata, the LOTR-esque town, and Rotorua. On the drive through the bountiful hills which is the Alexander family’s sheep farm the driver shows informational videos and offers insight into the discovery of the area. And finally, you’re there. In Hobbiton.

Well, Hobbiton was…wet! As soon as we stepped off of the tour bus it started raining all over the lush green hills and studio set. Thankfully the tour is prepared for this and has a fully stocked umbrella area ready for the occasion. In a way, once it calmed down it almost made the set a little dreamier.

Besides the weather upon arrival and the crowds (as it gets extremely busy), it was a perfect wander through the Shire. It was exactly how I always pictured it: a tranquil landscape with pops of color, beautiful vegetation, and intricate details surrounded by New Zealand’s enormous lush topography.

DSC06590DSC06594DSC06596DSC06615DSC06618DSC06636DSC06659The area is full of so many tiny perfectly situated details entailed to ensure individuality for every hobbit home as, of course, every hobbit is different.

DSC06667DSC06674No admittance! Bilbo and Frodo’s home in all it’s glory!

The tour winds its way up and through the hills of Hobbiton and through the Green Dragon for a complimentary “Southfarthing” adult beverage. DSC06757.jpgDSC06765DSC06769

Alright so the specifics!

On our way from Coromandel to Rotorua we stopped at Matamata for the tour. This is what I spent for the entire second day on our trip:

  • $19.94 breakfast (at the delicious cafe right next to the Tatahai Backpackers)
  • $6.89 snack
  • $10.51 lunch
  • $ 57.29 Hobbiton ticket
  • $~20 NZ drinks at hostel

So USD total: $94.63 and about $20 NZ cash (give or take a few bucks for a magnet or two)

Also here’s me looking really big, frizzy, and dorky in front of the first hobbit hole that I saw.

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From the Shire we continued our journey to our next destination of Rotorua where we visited some roaring falls and rolled down a hill in a hamster ball! Stay tuned!

Until next time, friends!

 

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Travel

Heidelberg, Germany: Antiquariat Hatry

From the outside looking in you could not imagine the magical literary explosion that occurs in this bookstore on a bustling street in Heidelberg. Rooms upon rooms of books, photographs, movies, CD’s, and then even more books line this beautiful surprise from the moment you walk in to the basement (and beyond I’m sure). It is a serene escape from the excited chatter of Christmas markets that are occurring down the cobble-lined street.

I have to admit, the Christmas markets were remarkable, but this place…this place was my favorite part of Heidelberg. That is all I can really say.

Until next time, friends (When I’ll talk about the Christmas markets!)

Mary Anna

DSC00449-2 Continue reading

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Compilations, Travel

Recent Travel Compilation 

Y’all, I cannot fully express how fulfilling this work trip has been. In one short week I have gotten the chance to explore more of the world and I couldn’t be happier right now. Work last month was full of 28 very, very long days and I was extremely exhausted by the time I got home. So, I am so pleasantly surprised that this trip has been so lovely and full of excitement! Between having an amazing crew to wonderful new layover cities, I am 1000% satisfied with my travel/work life right now. (Until I get the next travel itch, of course!) So below are photos of my four main layover destinations of this past work-action. Enjoy! Continue reading

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Travel

Bernkastel, Germany

Holy smokes what a day!

Hello, all! I hope everyone is doing really well! Today has been a ridiculously long day. It started out at 4AM German time to intense wind crashing against my window and snow/sleet falling. After breakfast, Laura, Per, and Teryn, my crewmembers and friends, decided to go for a little walk. To my surprise it was a walk down snow covered vineyards to the nearby quaint village of Bernkastel. The town is very popular in the summer for its many vineyards and boat cruises on the Middle Mosel river. Cobble streets are filled with tiny boutiques and cafés. The buildings are really quite old, one from 1490 to be exact. Try and picture that! As Laura said, Bernkastel is exactly how you would picture a German town to be, especially down to the decorum. The town has a huge down period in the winter so we basically had the entire center to ourselves. It was a pleasant afternoon walk full of much needed fresh air with wonderful friends. Continue reading

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