Monday, November 29, 2010

Split, Croatia

Spent a lovely holiday in Split from the 19th to the 24th of September 2010.

Split is a stunning city along the Dalmatian coast of Croatia. A few paces from the city centre led us to Bacvice beach where we spent lots of swimming and watching locals play picigin - a game of passing a ball and keeping it in the air away from the water for as long as possible! Walked back towards the centre of the city and found ourselves inside a massive Roman palace known as Diocletian's Palace. It is so massive that inside the palace is a city on its own: shops, antiques, restaurants, hotels, and residents occupying every nook and cranny of this palace. One day, we got on our bikes and headed out to Marjan Hills where we enjoyed a panoramic view of the Dalmatian coast... headed down to the sea for more crystal clear beaches. On our last night, we dined at what is in the day a fish market converted to an open air restaurant at night where we feasted on fresh seafood grilled right in front of us!

Getting there: Easyjet (from London is a bargain)

Where to stay: Dream Split Apartments (50 Euros/night for a 2-bedroom apartment, great value for the location, cleanliness and amenities - it's fully furnished!)

Highlights: Diocletian's Palace, fresh seafood and other Croatian food! local wine (cheap and very good quality!), Marjan Hills, Dalmatian coast, jet skiing at Makarska

Season: September is a good month to visit (not too hot and the beaches are not packed with tourists!) you and your beach towel will have a good space on the shore

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Pinay traveler goes Scandinavian

May 2010. So, with my Schengen visa having 4 more weeks of validity, I had to see another Schengen State. I chose Sweden! My first Scandinavian country to visit and I truly loved it!

Dave and I visited Malin in her university town - Linkoping then spent a touristy weekend in Stockholm. Friendly people, great food, expensive alcohol (not sold in all shops, you're better off bringing your own bottle when you go to Sweden :-)

Highlight: Gamla Stan, or old town, is a perfect way to discover Stockholm. Established in the 13th century (yes 1300), you will find yourself walking through medieval streets and as you wander around this old city, try and find one of those viking pubs - we found one called Tunnan. Great interior depicting a viking decor and even the waiting staff are dressed like one! May 14-17, 2010.

A few traveller's tips:

ACCESS. There is a travel card called 'access' which you can purchase for a period of say 3 days, 7 days, etc. Great value to take you around the city of Stockholm. For the equivalent of 20 pounds, you can use this travel card for the metro, buses and ferries! Unlike the oyster card in London, this travel card covers all stops within the metro map of Stockholm. Great value indeed!

ALCOHOL. It is worth buying your own alcohol from the duty free shops where you are flying from or even pay for a check in bag to load your alcohol. You can only buy alcohol from special shops in Sweden. If you think you can just walk in to any shop or any 24 hour shop and buy a can of beer or a bottle of wine, hmmmn NOT! Don't be disappointed and take my advise!

ACCOMMODATION. If you are having doubts about booking a hotel which is not in the centre, don't fret, as long as you book a hotel which is near a train station, then you are safe. We stayed in a hotel outside the city centre and the commute to the city was within 15 minutes! Place is a lot cheaper and you are not far from the city.

Thursday, May 06, 2010

Berlin and its Walls

Have just come back from a brief visit to Berlin where we had a taste of Berlin's underground art, shops, music, culture and history. Spent a good deal walking around the city seeing Berlin icons and viewing a vast display of arts in what remains of the Berlin wall.

What to drink: dunkel, wheat bear...

What to eat: Schnitzel, currywurst...

What to see: Reichstag - brilliant work of architecture; Jewish Museum Berlin; Berlin Wall...

Where to stay: The Circus Hostel, slap bang in the center, clean, newly refurbished, very friendly and helpful staff, cool bar, cafe, free wifi, comfortable beds and quiet bedrooms, very reasonably priced.

Where to eat: Deponie # 3, Fabische

Where to head for music: Schokolada, great live music and nice relaxed atmosphere

Beer garden: Prater

Friday, March 05, 2010

Sheila at 50

Keswick, Lake District, England. 26-28 February 2010.

Dave's sister Sheila turned 50 last week. She organised a walking weekend in the Lake District to celebrate. It was a fantastic weekend! We had a bright sunny day to complement our walk. To my fellow adventure seekers, look out for High Spy; locally brewed Keswick ale; and of course a walk by the lakes!

Where we stayed: Newlands Adventure Centre. 25/pax inc breakfast.

More photos can be viewed on this link: