Page 5 of Mediterranean Dreams Travel Blog Posts

Asia » Japan » Nagano » Matsumoto October 13th 2015

Nat and Bill 's trip 2015 Japan! We arrived in Tokyo on Saturday evening and caught a train (the slow one!) to central Tokyo to spend our first evening in Japan. The next morning we started early and took the short walk to Tokyo station to validate our JR rail pass(a must for any foreign tourist in Japan doing extensive travel by train) and reserve our tickets to Matsumoto in Nagano prefecture. Tokyo station is huge!! It was bustling with people on a Sunday morning, and the array of foods you can buy for your onward journey or just to sit, eat and people watch was astounding. We had a traditional bento box for our brunch. 2 hours later after a speedy journey on the Shinkansen (bullet train) we were in Matsumoto. A neat, compact and ... read more
Me and Bill
Mirrored cones
Downtown Matsumoto

Middle East » Turkey October 3rd 2014

Finally, after 4 years we were going back to Turkey!! I don't know how I can describe why I love this country so much, I just do. We left Samos and took the 1.5 hr ferry to Kuşadası, Turkey. We were greeted at the port by Anne-Maree. Anne-Maree used to work in the same department as me, and after an Intrepid trip (like me) she decided to go back and teach English. She then worked as a hotel manager for a few years in Pammukale (we also visted in our last trip) and now in Kuşadası, working in tourism. So we set up base in her gorgeous apartment overlooking the town and the port. After beers on the balcony, we went to dinner and met the charming Fadl (spelling?) at her favourite restaurant. The next day ... read more
Me overlooking lovely Şirince
Jenga and Efes
Library of Celsus, Ephesus

Europe » Greece September 22nd 2014

We finally made it to Thessaloniki! We caught the bus from the airport, and were met by our airbnb host's friend with the keys to the apartment. The apartment was close to the city centre, and that evening we went for a walk down the waterfront. Hundreds of people were out around town, it was great! We found a quaint little place for dinner - finally mediterranean cuisine and cheap wine! After 2 weeks of eating bland grilled meat, this was a welcome!! The next day we set downtown and climbed the white tower (I was sorry I didn't ask about the audioguide as all the exhibits were in Greek). However the views at the top were brilliant. After that, we decided to go to the Byzantine museum, which showed archelogical relics of churches, tombs, pottery, ... read more
Free cruises in Thessaloniki
Acropolis, Athens
Phythogorio, Samos

Europe » Italy » Lazio » Rome September 12th 2014

We flew out of Split with budget carrier Veuling. The original plan was to fly to Rome and then hop onto an EasyJet flight to Thessaloniki. However, the Veuling flight was half an hour late, and when we got to Rome there were hundreds of people in the passport 'queue'. 45 mins to get to the head of the line it was evident we were going to miss the flight. It took us a further 20 or so minitues to find our bags. Finally made our way to T2 and found the EasyJet customer service who happily put us onto the next flight for €115! I explianed we had purchased missed flight cover for this very reason. Well a smile ensued and of course the fee was waved. And this was all an extra €10 each ... read more
proper Italian pizza!
Vespa museum

Europe » Croatia » Dalmatia September 12th 2014

After Intrepid had officially finished, Bill, Alan and I moved to our new apartment in Dubrovnik old city. We ran into Svet, Phil, Kristy and Annie having coffee so we were able to say goodbye. Our apartment man met us, and it was an exhausting climb up over 200 medieval stairs to the apartment (but it was worth it!) While we waited for the room to be finalised, wd had lunch and Alan made the waitress laugh and blush (as he inevitably does!). Later that evening we met Svet, Brit, Maree and Emer for dinner and drinks. The next day, Bill and I went for a short trip to the incredibly close island of Lokrum. On the island, there is some lovely nature walks and peacocks walking freely around the island. All along the shoreline, there ... read more
Saying cheerio to Alan in Dubrovnik
Ruins of the Diocletian's palace

Europe » Montenegro » Kotor September 4th 2014

So it was goodbye to Bosnia & Hersegovina and hello Montenegro. Next stop was the rafting camp at Šćepan Polje, just over the border. So close to the border in fact after we got stamped into Motenegro, we went back into Bosnia & Herzegovina to drive to the camp! We were greeted by cute apline-like cabins, a gorgeous flowing river and a stunning backdrop of mountains with mist coming over. While most of us had drinks, Maree and Claire went rafting. Since there was limited activites due to the rain, I had a bit of a snooze then joined the others who got into the wines we had bought at the wineries! After a hearty dinner, it was off to bed for another early start. The next day we drove to the Ostrog monestary. Built into ... read more
Mist coming in over the mountains
Ostrog monestary

Europe » Bosnia & Herzegovina » East » Sarajevo September 1st 2014

The next day was a long journey day to Sarajevo, the capital of Bosnia and Herzegovina. Along the way, which I didn't know until Phil and Brit told me, we passed Srebenica, a small Bosnian town betrayed during the war and the site of a massive geonocide af the hands of the Serbian army. We asked stop there, but we were denied citing a pressing schedule. In Sarajevo, we were greeted at our Pension for 3 nights, and later we greeted by our local Sarajevo guide Muhamed. Muhamed was a very warm and welcoming guide who was very enthusiastic about his city. As a boy of 10 when the 3 and a half year seige of Sarajevo started, he vividly recounted what it was like to live in hiding from snipers who would shoot and wound ... read more
Shopping in old town Sarajevo
Ariel veiw of Sarajevo
Bosnian coffee

Europe » Serbia August 29th 2014

We were then in Novi Sad - a city in northern Serbia. As part of the intrepid itinerary, we visited a honey bee museum and (another) winery. We preferred this winery to the last - smaller, more intimate and more tastings! We also got to sample the local honey and a local honey-infused rakija (spirit). I bought a bottle to take home as a gift, and like the last winery, most people bought a bottle to share along the trip. The next day, after a big walk to the old fortress, we were off to the capital Belgrade by train. I don't know what it is, maybe flashbacks of news reports coming back to me, but this city name had stuck in my mind so I really didn't know what to expect. It was a tired, ... read more
Serbian train
Bohemian quarter Belgrade
Me and Bill soaking up our first day in Belgrade

Europe » Croatia » Slavonia August 27th 2014

We met our Intrepid group of travellers. There were 9 other people aside from us, and our leader who was Croatian. The group was a good mix of nationalities - Australians, Brits, Americans and a New Zealander. One of the British travellers was our good friend Alan from Oxford - 87 years young and fighting fit. We met Alan on our 2008 Intrepid Middle Eastern Adventure - 4 weeks through Egypt, Jordan, Syria and Turkey. We met Alan again in 2009 in Budapest and again in 2011 at his home of Oxford, and he also came to visit us in Brisbane later that year. After a welcome dinner with our group and then drinks at a funky open air multi-storeybar, we went back to the hotel to rest for a big day ahead of exploring Budapest. ... read more
Osijek old town
Nice Croatian beer
Me and Bill at his birthday dinner

Europe » Hungary » Central Hungary » Budapest August 19th 2014

After over 24 hours of flying, Bill and I landed in Vienna. Our plan was to spend 2 nights and one day in Vienna, and then to continue onto Eger, Hungary, via Budapest. We had been to Vienna previously (2009) so we didn't have to rush around doing the touristy things as we had done most of them. We walked around a lot, shopped, and stopped for a bite to eat (and a beer!) at an open air food market area that was part of tne Vienna film festival. The next day we caught an early train to Budapest. Like Austria, we had been to Hungary (Budapest and Eger) in 2009. Budapest's Keleti train station is just as I remembered it - old communist era feel to it, air thick with cigarette smoke (that smell still ... read more

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