A Travellerspoint blog

Booked Helsinki!

Got 25% off!

May now combine trip with Lthuania :)

Posted by boulderman 03:20 Comments (0)

Booked! Istanbul 11-16th March!

Relief! Using my carried over holiday

Organising hostel now.

Posted by boulderman 07:16 Comments (0)

Northern Balkans

Heading down

Budapest - Belgrade - Sarajevo - Podgorica1 - Dubrovnik

Posted by boulderman 04:00 Comments (0)

Southern Balkans

Ferry with Durres

Brindisi - Bari - Durres - Tirane - Ohrid - Sofia

Posted by boulderman 03:59 Comments (0)

Trips - more trips -and more pricey

I think Brazil, Uuguay, Argenitna, Chile, Peru, Ecuador, Boliva, then maybe either El Salvador or Mexico - to see Naja and Mexico City.

As for other ones, Istanbul and Athens flights have gone up and as for other ones I am thinking abotu ferys to Southern Europe. Heading to Albania.

Posted by boulderman 03:36 Comments (0)

Route added - see map

http://www.travellerspoint.com/member_map.cfm?itinid=180608&tripid=180608

Posted by boulderman 08:08 Comments (0)

Lost my South America route info :(

Had my Puno stuff!

Need to redo the list, in no really order:

Rio de Janiero
Copacabana beach
Iguassu Falls
Montevideo
Buenos Aires
Santiago
Cochabamba?
La Paz
Puno
Lima
Cusco Inca Trail
Lake Titicaca
Galapagos
Machu Picchu
Quito
Angel Falls
El Salvador –Tazumal (Mayan/Inca)
Mendoza?

Posted by boulderman 07:02 Comments (0)

Booked Bruges hostel!

Last 2 beds!

Worried about the place from a cleanliness and audible point of view though.

Showers are apparently cold.

I've emailed the,

They have 6 weeks to fix them!

Posted by boulderman 06:58 Archived in Belgium Tagged lodging Comments (0)

Picked upmy Lithuania book!

Thrills!

Very informative!

Posted by boulderman 06:19 Comments (1)

Flight increase!

No! Fligths to Athens have gone up £10 as the date is now nearer!

Istanbul is still £60.

Julie now has a weke off in June so could go somewhere then!

Posted by boulderman 04:54 Comments (0)

Doubts

Friend has new work lined up

Could be interesting as he may not be able to commit to trips.

However I can park at him and get to Gateick easily.

Posted by boulderman 06:35 Comments (0)

Flights!

Deciding on Athens and flights back form Riga have reduced! Althoguh currency rate was better in the past

Posted by boulderman 05:23 Comments (0)

Travel Planning for the year ahead

Time to book

semi-overcast

Ok, so now I am in a few minds as to what I will be with myself with my holiday allowance.

A few trips, 4-6 abroad.

I tend to stick to only a couple as a maximum outside of the continent to save on costs as well as time taken to get there. I think it unwise to have a few days in a far away place.

With flights being what they are and the about of flexibility I have, destinations are not limited, especially with the airports.

Living/working in the Home Counties I have used the following airports: Birmingham, International, Bristol, Bournemouth, Stansted, Gatwick, Luton and Heathrow. Stansted is pretty simply and is the one I’ve used most, despite the costs and times taken to get there, the roads can be notorious if I take National Express, but I avoid the Tube. Takes about 3 hours. Luckily the bus depot this end is close by, 3 minutes in a car so I tend to do half days then fly, return to work.

I typically travel light, merely a 25L backpack (my Jeep day sack has been excellent).
This can limit me, climate wise, however I was in Germany for 5 days, seeing 5 city Christmas market and I simply wore 2 pairs of trousers and 2 large jackets and they were ideal.

I have to be in work at the beginning and the end of the months so there are a few of us who have to try and juggle our holidays, but if I book up far enough in advance, flights/accommodation are normally cheaper/available.

Unusually I have a day remaining from last year so I have 24 days this year.

Cheap flights have come up and I’ve booked a few (for friends as well) flights to Lithuania, mid April, for 1 penny, so I intend to fly to Kaunas, then see the coast, Klaipeda and Palanga (day trip for the latter – merely awesome beaches I understand, and parties), best to stay in Klaipeda, more accommodation and closer to Kaunas. I will also have time to see the capital, Vilnius, and look forward to that.

I have thought of trips for my birthday, mid March, and have thought of Athens or Istanbul for a few days. A work colleague is keen on the trip and I’ve found accommodation with a swimming pool! More info to follow!

Prices are very low (about half what most are) and my friend lives close to Gatwick. The flights are fairly early, so we can walk 15 mins then take a 17min train. Will mean we land midday to check in and see the city!

Both offer islands and it’s a mixture of answers regarding what has more to see, Istanbul was behind in that opinion but has now soared ahead! The trip would mean entire days at some Mosques and entire day trips can be exhausting. Athens has day trips to islands which sound great having travelled around the Ha Long bay island in Viet Nam (UNESCO world heritage) and the Canary Islands.

This week I have also negotiated a deal and as my other half cannot get time off before then, we have booked (on the day she finishes work) to Sharm-El-Sheikh in mid July, 37C! 8 nights in a PROPER 5* all inclusive, private beach, private house reef, hotel. Diving will be on the agenda, in particular the top 10 in the world site, The Thistlegorm, which is a wreck from WWII. Day trips to the Pyramids also seem likely.

Also tempted to complete my Baltic crave which I’ve had some 12 months now, and head to Finland, Tampere was on the cards, then a 2 hour £25 train to Helsinki. However the lack of hostels (despite the rave reviews about the city) I think it will merely be a flight into the capital.

Having said that, the flight (cheapest on Saturday) will reclaim 2 days holiday. Having discussed with my boss, who I booked my holiday time off via, he enjoyed Helsinki and went there high season when many things are closed but culture is in full flow.

Worried about hostel availability then and May should still be warm enough.

All thought of trips have now have the holiday dates accepted and all I need to do now is book.

I am all for museums; In Vienna I covered 6 of the major 8 and spent 3-4 hours in each (most people spend 1-2 hours. I was travelling with (ironically) a Finnish girl, who loves Klimt and she loved the occasionally (which were often) when I would say something like, “Klimp-a-tee-klip-klops”. Anyway, after 30 minutes in the first art gallery she was bored and I agreed to meet her near the entrance. 60 minutes later she was drawing in her art book (she is very arty and very good at copying Klimt and Klimt “fashion” style) I said I enjoyed that section and was about to walk to the next wing of the building. She couldn’t believe I was still taking the art in and we agreed to meet later. Another 2 ½ hours later I left fully satisfied and came away with a list of fantastic artists painting names. Alas, Google search returned nothing about them, or any more images of them 

Basically, I have seen a number of parks in guides worth seeing in Helsinki and think a natural state one (Central Park) and a couple of other ones, plus maybe one museum (if worthy) and something else.

The accommodation I’ve found is 100m from the ferry to Tallinn.

I think the last one in the evening is cheapest and it will still be light (my boss said that in high summer the sun sets at 0030 and rises at 0215! I think a day and night in Estonia’s capital and another day and night in Latvia’s capital, Riga, should be ok. The mention of the Vienna art galleries should be noted because, I may “save time” but seeing the culture in the street instead of historical information and artefacts in a museum (unless I am not properly attired for the weather – in Amsterdam the Film Museum was fascinating during a 3 hour downpour!). I’ve heard that in the Baltic’s the museums “may” not be fantastic and using your eyes and ears outdoor can do plenty for the senses and the mind.

This week I have ALSO booked for my partner and me, a trip to Belgium on the Euro star. I have 6 guide books on my desk. We are taking a trip form her house at 0300 Good Friday to Brussels then in the evening taking the train (free 24 hour with those tickets) to Bruges (top 100 cities to visit) and spend a couple of nights there. Onwards to Ghent and the larger yet less to see Antwerp in the following evening.

So…I think by my calculations I will have 6 days holiday left perhaps and I’m thinking of a trip to North Africa in October, alternatively Oktoberfest 

Missed it last year as my German travel friend was on a barge trip in France!

Posted by boulderman 09:18 Comments (0)

Where to next

Choices!

Having been too ill and too dangerous to get to the airport I now have my holiday allowance back and thinking where to consider next...cheaply (as always)

Posted by boulderman 02:45 Comments (0)

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