Solo traveller who has been travelling regularly since 2016. I have a full time job but choose to use weekends and work holidays to explore. The world is my oyster🌍're only young once.
  • Day1

    Day 2 in Vilnius, Lithuania

    January 18, 2020 in Lithuania ⋅ ☁️ 0 °C

    Today I had a nice lie in and checked out of the hostel at 10.30am. There was nobody on the reception so I just left my key with a note.

    Then I did a hike to the three crosses which is on top of a hill. It was a VERY steep walk up high through a forest. It was freezing cold and the temperatures were definitely below zero. To be honest I was quite scared walking through this deserted hilly forest. I am an ethnic minority in a very "closed" country that is not known to be welcoming to foreigners. But a random Lithuanian guy smiled at me and said hello so I started to feel a bit more relaxed.

    By the time I had climbed down my hands were so red and numb. I couldn't even open my jacket pocket. So I went to get a light breakfast in a cafe, and then headed to Užupis.

    Užupis is actually considered an independent republic...but it is also not recognised as one by many people. It is a very bohemian area with lots of artsy things dotted around. I got my passport stamped with the entry... but forgot to get the exit stamp. Oh dear! Hopefully this will not cause any problems at the airport. The woman warned me that some people have problems with this stamp. But what is the worst they can do? I already have a stamp from Kosovo...and that is WAY more controversial than Užupis.

    I found a local pub/restaurant and had the cold beetroot soup for lunch. This is actually a summer dish but I got a hot drink to warm myself up. The thing I like about Eastern countries is that the waiters leave you in peace. If you have ordered something then the table is yours for however long you want. You could sit there for 3 hours if you wanted to. In England they are in a rush to get you out once you have finished, because the city is so crowded and they want to make money.

    So...I have now visited all the Baltic countries (Poland, Lithuania, Latvia, and Estonia). They are all very different and some I have enjoyed more than others. My favourite would have to be Latvia. Then I would say Poland. In 3rd place comes Lithuania. In last place comes Estonia.
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  • Day0

    Day 1 in Vilnius, Lithuania

    January 17, 2020 in Lithuania ⋅ ⛅ 1 °C

    So today I arrived in Vilnius Lithuania. So far I have a good impression of the city and everything seems to be going well. I arrived at 10.30am and took the bus into the city centre. I got kind of lost because the bus route online was completely different. So I opened google maps and tried to track the bus (using my hostel as the destination). I got off a stop late and ended up walking for 20 minutes to the hostel.

    The hostel staff were nice and they let me check in a few hours early. It seems that I have the room to myself, because January is not a favourable time to travel to northern Europe.

    I went out to explore the old town, which has many streets lined with market stalls. Most of them are selling wool socks, scarfs, slippers, and amber. I bought some thick wool slippers from a cute old lady, and an amber bracelet from another woman.

    Then I decided to get some food at a Lithuanian restaurant. I tried cepelinai which are dumplings filled with minced pork. The dumplings feel like stick play's a very weird texture but they are VERY filling. After washing my meal down with beer, I went to the main square and took some photos with the cathedral. My intention was to climb the hill to Gedeminas castle nearby, but it was so cold and windy so I decided not to.

    Then I did a long walk to the museum of occupation. It was €4 to enter which is very cheap considering that I was there for 2 hours. It wasn't very interactive...just loys of paragraphs of writings. The best bit was the actual prison area in the basement.

    It's very cold in Vilnius but not unbearable. The people are very polite, and even most old people speak English. I was shocked because in Poland generally only the young people speak English.

    I am looking forward to visiting the bohemian republic of Užupis tomorrow.

    Good night.
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  • Day3

    Day 3 in Zurich, Switzerland

    December 22, 2019 in Switzerland ⋅ 🌧 7 °C

    So today was my last day in Zürich. I got up very early at 6am, because my sleep wasn't as great as the previous night . The hotel provides bread, coffee, and orange juice for breakfast. Anything free is worth it in Switzerland (because it's so expensive).

    I headed out at 7.15am to take some nice photos before the crowds. The first stop was Banhofstrasse where I got photos with the beautiful Christmas lights. Then I headed towards the lake and took some photos.

    I went back to the hotel to pack and relax for a few hours. It rained all day today so I really could not do much. But I also felt as though I have seen/done everything in Zürich. This was my second trip here and probably the last. I definitely enjoyed Zürich and won't forget this trip.
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  • Day2

    Day 2 Basel, Switzerland

    December 21, 2019 in Switzerland ⋅ ⛅ 9 °C

    Today I did a day trip to Basel today. My train left a 9am and I arrived in Basel for 10am. I spent the journey reading a book about Switzerland. Trains are so glamorous in Switzerland. They are double decker and always so clean.

    It was a quick 15 minute walk to the city centre where I found the Christmas market. I have to say that this market was absolutely beautiful...maybe even better than the ones I saw in Austria last year. It literally looks like you are walking through a winter wonderland. They have little decorated huts where you can drink your glühwein, instead of standing outside.

    The local people in Basel are not the greatest in comparison to Zürich. I got a very "arrogant" impression of them. They are not rude...but you can just feel that they think they are like the kings of Switzerland. Every city is different in most countries so you don't really know what to expect. I was also surprised that it is a German speaking city because it is actually on the border with France.

    Anyway, the shopping in Basel was really good. I ended up buying a scarf, a fleece, a dress, and a pretty white blouse. All of these were on sale so I don't regret it. Clothes in England are bad quality so I always buy from other European countries.

    I had a nice day wandering around Basel and soaking up the festive atmosphere. It looks like a cute medieval city. My train back to Zürich was at 6pm and I was so tired by the time I got to the hotel.
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  • Day1

    Day 1 in Zürich, Switzerland

    December 20, 2019 in Switzerland ⋅ ☁️ 5 °C

    I love going to European Christmas markets in December. This year I am in Zürich, Switzerland. My flight landed at 9am and it only takes 15 mimutes to get to the centre. So I pretty much had the whole day to explore.

    My hotel were nice enough to let me check in at 9.30am. I put my luggage down and headed out to the Christkindl Christmas market in time for the opening at 11am. It was nice and peaceful at this time so I had some raclette for brunch (potatoes with melted cheese).

    Then I decided to walk along the rivrer to a different Christmas market (Dörfli in Niederdorf). This is in a cute old town area and there are only a few stores. I bought some rum punsch from an old Italian man, and then wandered around the shops. There are so many 50% off sales so it looks like I came at the right time.

    One thing I don't understand is why food is so expensive in Switzerland. Clothes on sale are actually cheaper than food. A bratwurst is roughly 10 francs here. In a German Christmas market you would pay €4. But overall Zürich does feel cheaper than my first visit in 2015. Maybe it's because I wasn't an experienced traveller back then.

    Anyway...I enjoyed my first day in Zürich. The locals are very friendly here and the city feels so peaceful.
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  • Day2

    Day 2 in Bordeaux, France

    October 13, 2019 in France ⋅ ☀️ 19 °C

    So today was my last day in Bordeaux. I had a night flight so I had the full day to explore. I started the day with a trip to the market. Sunday morning markets are one of my favourite things about France. It was so windy but I was happy to see that many locals go there. So I bought some dried thyme and ate a couple of macarons. I really wanted to try oysters for the first time...but just didnt have the courage. I'm slightly put off by the fact that they are alive and raw when you eat them. I observed locals dislodging them from their shells, and just decided i'm not that brave.

    So then I headed off to the water mirror and wandered around the narrow mediterranean streets. I found a crepe place and ate an egg, ham, and cheese crepe for brunch. Then did some more wandering around and now I am in a public garden drinking french wine. I managed to get a mini 250ml bottle of bordeaux wine for €1.50 from the supermarket.

    The day hasnt had much purpose but I had a lot of fun. Good weather, good food, and a positive atmosphere is all you need to have fun in France. It's the kind of place where you can just wander around and end up somewhere fascinating. I have like 3 more hours before I have to leave for the airport. So i'm just going to see where the day takes me.

    Au revoir.
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  • Day1

    Day 1 in Bordeaux, France

    October 12, 2019 in France ⋅ ☁️ 22 °C

    So I am in Bordeaux France for the weekend. It is very hot (30 degrees celcius). I think i'm going to make a habit of visiting southern France every October now.

    I started my trip by exploring an urban area called Darwin Ecosystème. They had a market there where I bought an eco friendly bamboo toothbrush. Then I took a bus into the city centre to explore the main shopping street. It was overcrowded which is why I generally hate going to main shopping streets in European cities.

    After this I went to the Le Bar à Vin. Its a popular wine bar in the city centre. The prices are really good and you can get wine for €2 or €3 per glass. I tried all 3 wine flavours...and underestimated the strength of French wine.

    So I had to try and sober up by eating food. It's a good thing that I am in France because I got to eat my beloved moules frites (mussels and chips). I have noticed that food and drinks in Bordeaux is actually reasonably priced.

    Anyway...after eating I went back to my hostel and finally checked in. Nobody was in the room so I could comfortably get ready for bed. The bed was not the most comfortable but hostel is cool so ot doesnt matter. They have a bar, they serve food, the kitchen is huge, and the atmosphere is really pleasant. So i'm can't complain about a lumpy bed that costs £25 per night.
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  • Day2

    Day 2 in Tallinn, Estonia

    September 22, 2019 in Estonia ⋅ ☀️ 10 °C

    So i'm at the airport and my trip has come to an end. It's strange because I have mixed emotions about Tallinn. I can't decide if I love it or hate it. I thought the old town was beautiful and I love Nothern culture. But then it was hit and miss with the locals. They were either very warm and friendly, or very cold and hostile.

    I didnt sleep much last night because the hostel was noisy. It seemed like everyone was partying and walking around the building all night. I shared a room with 2 other solo females but never met them. They came in whilst I was in bed at night.

    In the morning I decided to visit a supermarket on my way to the airport. I was determined to try "Kohuke" and I finally found it!. So kohuke is an Estonian snack, which is basically cheese curd covered in chocolate. It sounds bad but trust me the taste is wonderful.

    I am now at the airport enjoying a "kiluleib" (sprat sandwich). There is one hour left until I fly back to England.
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  • Day1

    Day 1 in Tallinn, Estonia

    September 21, 2019 in Estonia ⋅ ⛅ 13 °C

    I arrived at 12 after an awful 3 hour flight. Sitting near the back with Wizz Air means smelling the toilet everytime the door opens.

    Anyway... I took a tram into the city centre and did some exploring. Tallinn has the most authentic old town I have ever seen. You can see that many buildings are still in the same state they were years ago (wooden doors, cracked exteriors).

    There are lots of Russian people in Estonia. I went to a market that was selling things from Ukraine and Russia. So of course I had a shot of Russian liquor for €1.

    The weather was actually okay today. It started to get "nordic" in the evening, but many restaurants provide outdoor heating and blankets anyway. So I enjoyed a meat soup and honey beer outdoors with a blanket.

    I am slightly surprised that Estonia is the most expensive Baltic country I have been to. Latvia and Poland are a lot cheaper. Luckily I already bought amber in Latvia for half of what it costs here.
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