Page 3 of Mediterranean Dreams Travel Blog Posts

Asia » Vietnam » Southeast » Ho Chi Minh City December 24th 2017

Nha Trang and Saigon (Ho Chi Minh City) After another bumpier overnight train (no late night party drinking this time)we arrived at the coastal town of Nha Trang. Duc had said Nha Trang is full of Russian tourists and he wasn't wrong. Shops and tourist agencies had Russian translations on everything, there were even Russian tour agencies. As we got there early in the morning we went for coffee at Cong Caphe (which was communist themed) which was delicious and had croissants from the bakery next door. Afterward a group of us took a taxi to the Po Nahar temple which is a temple of the Cham people, an ethnic minority in Vietnam. This sandstone series of temples is inspired by Hinduism and has reliefs of different gods. It was interesting to see, as well as ... read more
Nha Trang
Climbing in the tunnel opening
One of the many Cu Chi tunnels

Asia » Vietnam » South Central Coast » Quảng Nam » Hoi An December 20th 2017

Hue and Hoi An We departed from Hanoi around 7/8pm. We were all in the first class sleeper carriage with a 4 person sleeper and me, Bill, Andrea and my dad shared a cabin. The others gate crashed the girls’ cabin and started making gin and tonic mixers (thanks to Duc for buying it!) I swore it was a dry day but was coerced into having a G&T! So we talked, they drank (a lot- finished the Gin and cleaned the trolley lady out of beer). I went to bed at midnight (my crew were already asleep) and the others went to bed soon after. We arrived in Hue at about 9am, some worse for wear (and badly hungover luckily not me!) We checked into the hotel and had a light breakfast. The weather was drizzly ... read more
Fishpond at the imperial city Hue
Entrance to the Emporor's palace, Hue
Chinese temple, Hoi An

Asia » Vietnam » Northeast » Quang Ninh » Halong Bay December 15th 2017

I haven't updated this blog in awhile and we are already into week one of the Intrepid trip so I best take a moment to reflect on the week that was! On Wednesday morning, me, Bill, Andrea and my dad checked out of the Hanoi Focus hotel and made our way down to the Hanoi prison aka ‘Hanoi Hilton'. But before that we bought some fake North Face jackets at the shop next door as I predicted the cool rainy weather would follow us and I wasn't wrong! So with Bill's directions we made our way on foot, weaving in and out of traffic to the Hoa Lo prison (no longer a prison now a museum) originally built by the French in 1896. Up until the 1950’s the inmates were mostly Vietnamese people imprisoned by the ... read more
Magnificent Halong Bay
Halong Bay
The caves

Asia » Vietnam December 13th 2017

Vietnam – Hanoi 12/12/17 Goooood morning (well ok evening!) Vietnam!! As I write this we are stuck in notorious Hanoi traffic back to the city from our day trip to the Perfume Pagoda. Today is day 3 of our Hanoi adventure so let's start from the beginning. Bill, my dad and our friend Andrea flew from Brisbane to Bangkok on Saturday night. It was an uneventful flight, and after a much needed coffee and duty free shop in Bangkok we were on the plane again to Hanoi. This trip is almost a year in the making. After a few days ourselves in Hanoi we will join a 3 week Intrepid trip – Explore Indochina- starting in Hanoi making our way south along the coastline finishing in Ho Chi Minh city (Saigon) for the Vietnamese leg, then ... read more
Hanoi by night
Perfume Pagoda
Huong Tich Caves

Europe » Netherlands » North Holland September 28th 2016

Well all good things must come to n end. We are currently flying to Dubai from Amsterdam, and then connecting to Brisbane and our European holiday 2016 will definitely be over! Let’s catch up on what happened in Holland aka The Netherlands. We left Munich on Friday morning. We were very lucky to get a seat as seat reservations are not compulsory on German trains, so we could just hop on with our German rail pass. Unfortunately everyone else who bought a full fare ticket has the option of paying for a seat reservation, which many people did. Anyway we found 2 seats for our journey to Duisburg. We changed trains in Duisburg, and the train to Amsterdam was beyond full (we should have gotten off at Frankfurt airport which is where the train originated and ... read more
The infamous Golden Tit
Me and Biab at A'Dam Lookout
Dinner at aunty Punee's

Europe » Germany » Bavaria September 23rd 2016

We arrived in Frankfurt (with a short connection Ljubljana) with about 2 hours sleep due to our early morning flight. After validating our German rail pass, we got on a train to Nuremburg. The three hour train trip seemed much longer as we were very tired. When we arrived, it seemed as we brought the rain with us as it was wet and cold. After checking in, we went to get some sandwiches from the train station then went back to take a short nap. Just after the sun set we went out into the old town to look around and for dinner, Nuremburg alstadt (old town) is very pretty and compact with rows of shops and restaurants lining the streets and cathedrals dotted around the place. We went to a Thai restaurant recommended on trip ... read more
Lovely Nuremberg building
St Sebald Cathedral, Nuremberg
Views of Nuremberg

Europe » Macedonia September 17th 2016

We have parted ways with Intrepid. Our Albania, Kosovo and Macedonia expedition has finished. Officially today on paper, but really yesterday was the last day with a farewell dinner. Me and Bill have made our way through 3 countries and its not even midday – Albania, Slovenia and Germany. Early morning flight from Tirana saw us leaving in the wee hours of the morning, connecting a flight in Ljubljana to Frankfurt. We currently are on the ICE train to Nuremberg. So I need to recap the last country of our intrepid adventure – Macedonia!! We left Pristina early in the morning to catch a ‘rustic’ train over the border to Skopje, the capital of Macedonia. Apparently the train, which takes longer, is much more scenic and beautiful. Honestly, it was a rust bucket of a thing ... read more
Colour revolution, Skopje
Mustapha Pasha mosque, Skopje
Earthquake danger is real!

Europe » Kosovo September 14th 2016

We are currently on a bus from Skopje, Macedonia to Lake Ohrid. Let’s recap our 4 days in Kosovo. We took a mini bus from Vila Dini to Peja, Kosovo. Our first stop was Visoki Dečani monastery. A Serbian Orthodox monastery since 1327, as with other Serbian monasteries and communities in the country, it is heavily under guard by the KFOR (NATO-led Kosovo Force) another legacy of decades of tension and violence between the Serbs and ethnic Albanian community of Kosovo. This white-washed monastery is set amidst a large lush green lawn, and Orthodox frescoes decorated the walls of the church which was surprisingly in good condition after all these years. 25 monks live here in isolation and produce wine, cheese and honey. Some of us bought some for our trip! After the Monastery it was ... read more
Patriarchate of Peć monestary
Rugova valley, Peja
Rugova valley, Intrepid style!

Europe » Albania September 7th 2016

We have just arrived in Kosovo from Albania, and well into our Intrepid trip so it’s high time I update this blog! We arrived in Tirana, Albania from Brussels really tired. After waiting ages at the airport to get our passports checked (no stamps) and baggage, we hopped into a cab to our hotel. When we hit the city centre it was hello Tirana!! Really hectic traffic particularly around roundabouts! After a cat nap we went to a local café and a general walk around. We seemed to be in the ‘downtown’ area or so we thought. It reminded us of a mini-Cairo, or any other city in the Middle East due to the chaotic traffic. Later we had decided to go for a free walking tour of the city at 6pm. We really didn’t know ... read more
Albania National History Museum
Skanderberg square
Views from Shkoder castle

Europe » Belgium » Brussels-Capital Region » Brussels September 4th 2016

We have well and truly left Belgium and are in Tirana, Albania travelling now north of the country to Shkoder. But before I go in depth about our Albanian adventure lets go back to our last 2 days in Belgium – Brussels! We arrived in the predominantly French-speaking capital in the afternoon. Our very lovely hotel was very close to the central station and a stone’s throw from the Grand-Place, a big square with lovely Baroque style building surrounding it (I believe they may date from the 19th century). We just for a walk around they day and popped into the Smurfs (des Stroumphes in Dutch) store at the figurine museum to buy a papa Smurfs toy for Shaabi (our Maltese-Shihtsu dog and yes we spoilt him). For dinner we walked around and got hassled in ... read more
Parlamentarium! Hello from the EU
Mannekan Pis chocolate statues
Smurf store and figurine museum

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