Vicky Franklin


Vicky Franklin

Be kind.


Europe » Latvia » Riga Region » Riga June 4th 2013

I arrived in Riga around 6:30am on the Friday. My ticket gave the impression that I would be changing buses in Vilnius, Lithuania, at 4:30, however, at 5:30, we had not stopped. I became a little concerned until I noticed street signs indicating that I was headed in the direction of Riga. I took a taxi to the Naughty Squirrel hostel, where I was greeted by a woman named Wendy. She showed me a city map and advised numerous places of interest. I went out for a walk, stopped for breakfast at a bakery called Martin's, then kicked back and relaxed in the common area of the hostel until my room was ready. I showered, pottered around and laid down for a while. I slept for perhaps half an hour before I was awoken by a ... read more
Don't mess.....
Wooden church

Europe » Belarus » Minsk Voblast » Minsk May 30th 2013

Arriving in Minsk from Vitebsk, I hopped straight in a taxi to King Hostel, hoping and praying it would be better than the last one. I'd specifically booked my own room for a whopping £27 per night, so I was keeping everything crossed. The room was amazing! I had a double bed, a widescreen TV, surround sound, a balcony, a sofa and an armchair. Loving the room so much, I spent the whole afternoon in there, Skyping and catching up with friends. In the evening, I took a leisurely stroll around the lake and grabbed a few supplies from the supermarket for my bus ride the next evening. On my way through the Trinity area, I passed by the Isle of Tears, a memorial commemorating the Soviet soldiers from Belarus that died during the war with ... read more
The chapel on the Isle of Tears
The Isle of Tears' chapel

Europe » Belarus » Vitsebsk Voblast » Vitebsk May 29th 2013

I slept on-off for the duration of the journey here before the attendant shook me awake (rather aggressively, in fact) to inform me that we were approaching Vitebsk. I'd already set my alarm anyway, so I dozed back off until it sounded. I swiftly hopped into a taxi outside the station and was driven to Mariya's apartment. It was so amazing to see her again! Despite being a busy new mother, she had made me a dinner of chicken, mashed potato and salad. It went down a treat! We sat chatting for a while before tiredness overcame me and I turned in. On Sunday morning, Mariya prepared a delicious breakfast, then we set out for a walk around town with baby Nikka and Mariya's niece, Paulina. Vitebsk is situated in the north-east of Belarus, close to ... read more
The Three Bayonets Memorial
The Annunciation Church
The Resurrection Church

Europe » Belarus » Minsk Voblast » Minsk May 25th 2013

So, the bus ride was pretty uneventful, and for once, there was an English-speaking attendant, so I didn't have the usual awkward sign-language crap when trying to decipher what was being said to me. The scenery was beautiful; striking green fields as far the eye could see, broken up by the odd little town or village. Border control was pretty strict but disorganised, and other than the fact that I wasn't sweating like a whore in church, I could've sworn I was back in Asia. There was a lot of waiting around with my heavy-arse backpack on (not that I'm complaining - I'm glad to have it back!), and even though I could've put it down, leaving it on was better than lifting it every time we moved a few steps. Note: anyone planning to visit ... read more
Minsk Central

Europe » Poland » Masovia » Warsaw » Anin May 24th 2013

So, shortly after completing my last blog entry on the bus to Warsaw, I received a wonderful phone call from the woman I originally spoke to at Munich airport regarding my lost luggage. It had been found! Of course, I was on my way out of Germany by this point, so the woman arranged to have it delivered to my hostel in Poland. I gave her the address, thanked her for making my day and did my little in-head victory dance. I was originally intending to just get off the bus in Warsaw and rock up to some hostels in search of somewhere to stay, so it's lucky I pre-booked! Everything happens for a reason, eh? The bus ride was pretty straight-forward, again, very unlike any in Asia. We had regular toilet stops (even though there ... read more
With Mawa (Malwina) and Margaret
The National Stadium

Europe » Germany May 19th 2013

On Friday, we took a short trip to Augsberg, a beautiful city that housed the US army during World War II, and, realising that I probably won't be seeing my backpack for the remainder of my trip (if ever again), I bought more clothes. Then, I kicked back in a cafe with a coffee and watched the world go by. In the evening, we drove a few hours east to Passau, to visit Christian's parents, Rudy and Elfi. Passau is lush in greenery and about a 20 minute drive from the Austrian border. The drive took longer than it normally would, as people were all leaving town for the bank holiday weekend, and the rain was torrential. We relaxed in the evening, and Suzanna prepared a delicious Ugandan meal of matoke and ground nut sauce. Then ... read more
Time to confess my sins....
You just can't take her anywhere....
The point where the three rivers meet

Europe » Germany » Bavaria » Ingolstadt May 17th 2013

Arriving in Ingolstadt, I felt every muscle in my body relax. My long-arse journey had reached its end. This is one instance when I revoke my usual belief of 'it's all about the journey' and thought "thank f*ck I've arrived". Suzanna drove us back to her place, and in my zombie-like state, we spent an hour or so comparing opinions and sharing stories on our teaching experiences, then I did something I've been longing to do for the past 30-odd hours: I took a steaming hot bubble bath. And oh my goodness, it was goooood! I could have laid in there for hours, but knowing I'd probably fall asleep, waking up cold and to the sounds of Suzanna and Christian banging on the door, needing to get ready for work, I made it brief. Ish. I ... read more

Europe » Germany » Bavaria » Munich May 13th 2013

"You know how lucky I am with regards to never having lost my luggage on a flight? I have a feeling that will change on this one." So yeah, I called it. Nicki will vouched for me on this one. This is the very message I sent her on Facebook the night before I flew, shortly after the stressful fiasco of obtaining my eTicket. Perhaps I jinxed myself. Disembarking the plane at around 20:15, I was in somewhat of a hurry to collect my luggage and catch the 21:45 bus to Ingolstadt, lest I have to wait until gone midnight for the next one. I rushed through to baggage claim, sat and waited until a handful of cases flowed past and were swiftly collected by their owners, and then considered that maybe mine had gone to ... read more

Europe » Germany » Bavaria » Ingolstadt May 13th 2013

So, rather than give a blow-by-blow account of the multi-leg, 37 hour door-to-door, soul-destroying journey from Kathmandu to Munich, during which I glided around five airports and four planes in an Ed Norton in Fight Club-style insomniac trance, I decided to just make notes of random thoughts and conversations that took place along the way: Seriously bitch, jumping the queue by one person will not get you to Delhi any quicker. Why is there a pigeon in departures? Why am I the only person shocked by the pigeon in departures? Hmm....let me have a healthy dinner tonight. "Can I have an iced cafe latte, a Caesar salad with extra cheese, and a Boston nut brownie, please?" Doh! In fairness, though, I didn't expect the brownie to come covered in warm chocolate sauce! Three hours down; six ... read more
The Alps
Somewhere over Italy....
Again, possibly over Italy....

Asia » Nepal » Kathmandu » Thamel May 12th 2013

I eventually arrived at the bus stop in Kalanki, and set off in search of a taxi, Thamel-bound. Rather than check out the guest houses I'd noted down, I opted for Khangsar, where I'd previously stayed. It wasn't the most modern or cleanest of places, but the staff were lovely and it was ideally located. I was pleasantly greeted by one of the guys there, who told me it was good to have me back, then a younger lad (that I'd never seen before) lugged my backpack up the stairs and showed me to my room. Luckily, it was only one floor up and had a double bed. After a quick bite to eat in the restaurant and a stint of magician entertainment from the fourteen year old lad that had carried my bag, I threw ... read more
Hat shopping

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