A Travellerspoint blog

Homeward bound

View 2002 Russia & Europe via Lebanon & Syria on alexchan's travel map.

For us, this was the end of the journey. More a stopover before the journey home rather ... can't transit 4 times without stopping can we? Caught up with Kim's old friend from school, Erik. Lots of walks along pretty canals and tea-stops.

And then we saw many coffee-shops which aren't really coffee shops!

We normally meet many nice people that we'd like to keep in touch with, staying at hostels. But here, we shared a room with 3 Irish (and 4 very straight-laced Singaporean architecture students) ... the Irish really made their presence felt by storming in at 3 am both nights ... even asked a Singaporean if he had an alarm clock or if he could wake him up at 7am! Wouldn't believe a story like this if anyone had told me!

Also, one of them asked Kim if he was English (actually, the first second they met) ... because someone had left a Union Jack towel in the room. I was confident he would have shown some agression if the answer had been a "yes". Such bad ambassadors for their countries ... should lock them at home.

They got their just desserts when they left in a hurry leaving approx 80 Euros worth of interesting purchases on the bed.

We are looking forward to being in KL. Finally, some spicy food after nearly 7 weeks ... the last one being the most gorgeous chilli prawns you can imagine, served for breakfast at 3am before landing (or rather, our aborted landing) in Cairo.

Look forward to seeing those of you who live in Auckland!

Posted by alexchan 17:00 Archived in Netherlands Comments (0)

Baths of Budapest

View 2002 Russia & Europe via Lebanon & Syria on alexchan's travel map.

Budapest is one of my favourite cities (as opposed to favourite countries, Croatia ... until it started raining, remember?) ... hence a second visit. Nice buildings (like many other great cities of the world). But the difference here is the numerous therapeutic pools and spas ... several complexes of pools where people can swim or relax, sit and play chess in the water. Choose from modern atmosphere or in a surrounding more like the palace of Versailles! And then there are the dark Turkish-style baths. We went to a different spa each day!

We also had beautifully clear days of about 26degC. Definitely the right time to visit. Can get too hot in the height of summer.

Posted by alexchan 17:00 Archived in Hungary Comments (0)

Short stop in the capital

View 2002 Russia & Europe via Lebanon & Syria on alexchan's travel map.

We had an early start on our last day in the country, flying to the capital Zagreb where we spent a few hours wandering the old city. Then hopped on the 6 hour train-ride to Budapest through green countryside along the shores of Lake Balaton. Highly touristed by Germans in the peak of summer.

Zagreb is still the same after four years except that Malaysia Airlines has moved to more economical-looking premises ... now that they don't fly here anymore.

Posted by alexchan 17:00 Archived in Croatia Comments (0)

Where are the spotted canines?

View 2002 Russia & Europe via Lebanon & Syria on alexchan's travel map.

We're in Dalmatia [Dalmatia-travel-guide-1314979] but we haven't seen any of the spotted canines yet, but we did try Dalamatian ham.

The jewel of Dalmatia is the walled city of Dubrovnik [Dubrovnik-travel-guide-999507]. It was heavily shelled during the Balkan conflict but now completely restored. The tourism trade is booming (with cruise liners just arriving for the start of the season), but it is only a shadow of its former glory. Many enormous hotels are abandoned with shell-holes and broken windows ... clay tennis are now overgrown with grass.

Many Brits have found a new place to worship the Sun in other places like Spain.

The whole Croatian coast is just gorgeous ... all the towns and islands are similar but yet so different ... it is hard to pick a favourite, but if I had to ... I'd choose Porec/Rovinj in the Istrian peninsula which I visited 4 years ago. But Split and Dubrovnik come close. Great day trips available to surrounding islands.

Posted by alexchan 17:00 Archived in Croatia Comments (0)

Marco Polo's home

View 2002 Russia & Europe via Lebanon & Syria on alexchan's travel map.

Korcula is supposedly Marco Polo's birthplace. He's always been known as Venetian ... but these areas were part of Venice then. More of the same beautiful fortresses as in the other islands.

Since my first visit four years ago, Croatia is one of my favourite countries ... full of beautiful islands and old towns, set against the dramatic Dalmatian mountains and the bright aqua seas of the Adriatic. It seems they have perfected the cafe culture here. People sit at cafes for hours drinking coffee and wine ... and these outlet normally have absolutely no food available!

But now the weather has finally turned on us. And Croatia has just fallen of my hot list.

Posted by alexchan 17:00 Archived in Croatia Comments (0)

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