As I’m only here in Berlin for a short while, there’s a tonne to do and see before I head off to Munich tomorrow. My hostel’s a little while away from the city centre (tourist landmarks) but luckily my Interrail ticket covers the use of the S-Bahn which is basically Germany’s equivalent of the Overground trains in London.
First off, a quick trip to the Zoologischer Garten where unfortunately didn’t have time to visit, but I trekked through the park nearby instead and headed towards Victory Column. Following my way down the Straße des 17. Juni to the Brandenburg Gate and the Murdered Jews of Europe Memorial. After, I decided to check out the other half of the inner city attractions such as parts of the old Berlin Wall, the Berlin TV tower and the Berlin Cathedral. I wanted to check out the International Design Centre and the Old National Gallery, but I’m sure that would have taken up a few hours of time I didn’t really have to see everything. I should have booked more than two nights here!
After yesterday’s day of nervous travel, not knowing what’s going on because of the language barrier, delayed trains and sitting round literally doing nothing, today’s been really fantastic.
Going to be honest, it’s starting to get lonely travelling by myself with only having little contact with people during the evenings, but I think if I have more days like this, then hopefully I’m going to get on with the next three weeks no problem :)
Basically just spent today roaming the city checking out the sights and wandering the narrow passages after a long stay in bed this morning. Venice is such a beautiful city.
Also, finally got my accommodation sorted for the next few days before I plan to fly out back home from Trieste. Stressful evening sorting that out, and I’ll treat myself to a long night’s sleep. Wow, I’m so tired.
Spent the day doing work before and whilst travelling. I managed to get through the majority of one of my my text books and start on another making notes along the way. I think I’m pretty much ready to start writing my dissertation once I get a reply to some questions I need answering from my tutor.
I passed some pretty decent landscapes today during the train ride, but most of them were obscured by the stuff like boarding, fences, hills and trees that rail companies put up to hide the trains from the local view. This is the sort of stuff I really want to see, but as I’m only really travelling to major cities, so there’s not going to be much chance of that. I was originally planning to head out of some of the cities around the alps to take a look at the mountains, but a lot of that seems quite impossible unless I had a lot more time to play around with. But I had a good trawl through my maps and paperwork etc, and I reckon I can at least get a glimpse here and there when I’m in Northern Italy and Switzerland. Fingers crossed though!
I think that I’ll probably save that sort of stuff for some time after I finish uni and fancy a few weeks of hiking?
I decided to head to Salzburg instead of Hungary today, and that was pretty much one of the best decisions I could have make like ever.
2 and a half hours there and the same back meant I didn’t have too long to spend at the city but it didn’t matter. I spent the whole day running round in the rain with my mouth wide open taking tonnes of photos wherever I went.
After grabbing a tourist map at the station, I decided to head to every viewpoint that they marked out on the outskirts of the city, and then headed up to the castle. The weather was pretty pants today but it didn’t dampen my spirits (insert witty pun) but it did dampen all of my clothes.
I didn’t really feel like doing too much today, so I stayed in bed until late and headed into the city to grab an early lunch, and spent the next few hours wandering the city centre getting lost here and there.
I finally came across Les Galleries Saint Hubert and spent the next couple of hours there staring through the amazing shop windows and wandering the amazing bookshops.
And now for a quiet evening casually browsing through some dissertation work and working out what train I need to get for Wednesday to head off to Amsterdam :)
As I ended up staying up until late last night even though I planned to go to bed early and wake up early, I woke up pretty late and headed straight into Amsterdam City Centre to explore. I can’t say I did too much exciting stuff, but I wandered the streets taking photos of the beautiful canals, spent a couple of hours in the Rijks Museum, and wandered round some more before heading back to the hostel. I took a peak into the red-light district at around 8pm but there was nothing spectacular going on due to it being so early.
Anyway, now I’m back at the hostel, it’s just time to chill with the friends I made last night and recover from my day of walking.
Storms had been on the weather forecast for the past few days and they’d finally hit the town of Split by early afternoon. Luckily there was only torrential downpour for about 10 minutes and another 10 later saw clear blue skies. Well, I’d rather have 3 days worth of storm in 10 minutes than anything longer so that was lucky!
So basically spent the day either chilling by the sea front or walking round the edge of the city through the National forest. Unfortunately I think I had one of my off days and kinds spent most of it a little miserable. I think I’m just stating to find being alone a little too much in the respect that I’m fed up of my own company and need someone else’s. Even if I do make friends in the places I stay, I seem to be spending the entire day by myself anyway through not wanting to crash other people’s parties.
It’s just strange because I feel like I’m ready to come back home, but I still want so bad to carry on and get to see all the amazing places I have planned yet to see. Yeah, my head feels a little all over the place at the moment.
Early change over of trains at 6:30am allowed me to catch the sunrise at the other end of the station while I ran over to my next train to the lovely town of Villach in Southern Austria. I managed to miss my next mode of transport due to expecting a train when in fact it was a coach that would be taking me to Venice, but that coach journey allowed me to catch some glimpses of the surrounding mountains while we snakily drove through the valleys between them.
After being dropped off in a different place to where my ticket said I would be, I spent the next couple of hours working my way through Venice to the other side where my hostel resides, taking a couple of snaps here and there.
With my travel being so long today, I had a good think about my intentions for carrying on this trip. I feel like it’s starting to become a chore more than an experience because of many reasons. Some being the fact that I’m on my own with little time actually having any social interactions, I’m starting to get exhausted now, getting little sleep and spending the entire day out and about. I’m just mentally and physically drained and I think if I carry on to the rest of the places that I had planned, then it’s going to ruin it for me. It’s no good visiting all of these magnificent places whilst I’m in such a foul mood because it’s not going to make the experience a good one like it should be. I’ve decided that I’m going to finish up here in Venice and make my way home somehow whether it’s flying straight out or heading to another city by train and flying from there. I may be cutting it short, but I’m definitely going to be seeing these places another day in the future (next time with somebody so I don’t go insane). Luckily it’s only really Switzerland that I’m missing which I’m sure can easily be done another time.
I feel like I’m letting myself down, but my family have told me what I’ve done so far is a great achievement anyway so I shouldn’t worry about it at all.
Halfway through my glorious trip now ladies and gentleman! It’s going so fast!
So today I headed out into central Vienna spending a good hour or so trying to work out the underground system. It’s quite obvious that the transport maps are mimicking London’s underground but it feels like they’ve tried too hard and made quite the mess and it’s so hard to figure out how to get to even the major stations within the city centre. Also, the signs in the station are a little ridiculous. For example, two signs to get to the same platform, one goes upstairs and the other downstairs. I find out that the one downstairs goes directly to the platform and the other goes up to a lift that takes you down to the platform… A lot of circular paths to take and going in and out of the station, and no exit signs to be seen anywhere haha. I know I may just be being a little simple, but the signs are meant to be there to make sure that even simple people can find their way round, and there was this problem in more than one station!
When I eventually made it into the town centre after a few detours, I had a good wander round the main tourist areas that were either full of old buildings covered in scaffolding, museums or chain shops and spent some of the time ducking and diving from the sudden downpours of rain.
Today wasn’t a fantastic day to be honest as I felt like I had little luck with a lot of things, but still, tomorrow’s a new day. I’ve decided I’m going to try and head to Budapest tomorrow for the day. The train travel requires a reservation and by the time I got to the information desk to do so they’d literally just closed. So, I’ll be heading off early morning tomorrow to the station to see if I can get a last minute booking in if I’m lucky.
After a 12 hour coach journey, I was finally dropped off at a bus stop somewhere in the middle of Brussels at 6am. Ideal in some ways but not in others haha. I had a little map I printed off to help me get my bearings to start off, but that ended up being completely useless, so I began to start wandering the city as the sun came up whilst joining the local drunks that were crawling around looking for post-drinks or some sort of transportation home to their beds. This at least gave me a chance to see some of the major points of interest in a fantastic light without the annoying crowds of people pushing their way past and shouting angry gibberish at each other.
I finally managed to find my hostel after a couple of hours wandering and dropped off my man-size rucksack so I could head off exploring the city’s tourist attractions. After walking in several different directions and refusing to ask for the correct ones (I presume because of my pompous male genes), I got my bearings and headed up to the Atomium where I took a tonne of photos and walked through the exhibitions they held there.
All pooped out from my lack of sleep, I took a cheeky nap in the nearby park, and then headed back to the hostel where I could have a bit of a relax and check out my room for the next couple of nights.
My last day in Venice consisted of a last wander round back alleys checking out the old buildings, drinking coffee and exploring the Peggy Guggenheim Exhibition.
This city’s really something. I can’t believe how different it is to everywhere else I’ve been - how colourful it is (the contrasting colours of the houses against the water brings it out so much), the maze of slim and tight streets, the extreme mix of people from around the world, and the amount of boats that fly through the canals between the buildings.
So now I’m here in Trieste chilling in a hotel room until my flight leaves for home on Sunday. I can still feel the rocking of the waves from the amount of time I spent on the water buses whilst I’m lying in bed, ugh.
Since 10pm last night I’ve been travelling and finally got round to my hostel in Split, Croatia at 10pm today. Wow, the journey’s been long and slightly eventful (I mean, I’m taking part in it so it must be).
So, spent the whole night reading because I couldn’t sleep, or when I finally did get round to sleeping getting woken up by sleepy ticketmen that didn’t seem to know what train tickets were, or by border patrol checking to see if I’m an illegal immigrant looking for work or just a traveller.
Arriving in Zagreb this morning at 9am allowed me some time to check out some of the town centre which led me to getting distracted for so long that I got to the station just as the train was about to depart! I am so lucky.
Made a couple of American friends in the train that joined my in photographing the scenery whilst travelling through the valleys down to Split. Upon arrival I helped them get to the place that they were staying and in doing so, lost my way to mine. Well done Lee, elegant entrance to a new city as usual.
Now, relatively early night for me and hopefully a good lie in to catch up on the sleep I lost and to hopefully help regain some sanity.
P.s. I got some really amazing photos today and I really can’t wait to share them all when I get back from Mainland Europe at the end of the month!
Easy day again today. There’s not so much to see touristy-wise in Munich compared to Berlin (unless you want to visit loads of beer places), and I almost saw all of the main tourist destinations in one day, so I lay in after staying up late watching movies on my iPad and got together some more work before I headed off into the city mid-afternoon.
I had a quick scout round the city centre, which only really seemed to be comprised of major retail chains, and then headed off to the English Gardens where I spent the rest of my time around walking about and playing with my camera on different settings. I finally worked out how to do daylight long exposures which allowed me to get a cool shot of the waterfall that’s in the photo above! - You’ll have to wait until I get back for that photo though as it’s on my camera card and I can’t upload it here.
Nothing too spesh today, but I’m saving the more touristy stuff for tomorrow! Gute nacht!
The day started with a tour of the local area around the city centre. We took a look around the major landmarks of inner city Brussels and were given a bunch of history lessons about how and why buildings were made, and about the local culture and people.
I met a few people along the tour - mainly a few Australians and couple of Americans and Canadians, of which I hung out with for the rest of the day trying out the Belgian Frittes and joining on a Beer tour travelling round Brussels’ bars. We hit about 5 bars where we learnt a bit of beer history and culture whilst trying out a few of the local delicacies. The tour came to an end and we were left to our own devices, which meant getting drunk! Me, Julia and Paul (an Australian pair of twin siblings) ended up waltzing round pretty drunk until 3am, making friends with locals and fellow travellers.
My second full day travelling went rather well this time round, without any stress outs through not knowing what’s going on (I even got a little bit of work done), and fortunately Munich has the S-Bahn also, so that’s free and quick travel for me round the city here as well! Woop woop!
It was also the first day of this trip that I’ve seen some sort of cloud in the sky. I thought that shit only happens in England, right?