Page 5 of Mediterranean Dreams Travel Blog Posts

Europe » Spain » District of Madrid » Madrid August 15th 2016

We’re finally here in Spain!! After 2 loong flights from Australia (14 hours Brisbane to Dubai and 7 hours Dubai to Madrid) we finally made it. After navigating our way out of the very large Madrid airport and getting on the correct train to central Madrid we got to our hotel at 11.30pm. Mind you we were go go go since 2am Brisbane time so to say we were tired is a massive understatement! Today on our first full day we went to meet up with my friend from home Monika who is also visiting Spain. After buying our onward train tickets for this afternoon’s train ride to Sevilla, we made our way to Plaza Mayor to meet Monika for lunch. It was really great to meet a friend so early on our trip. Monika is ... read more
Me and Bill at Plaza Mayor
Plaza Mayor

Asia » Japan » Tokyo October 24th 2015

After a wonderful long weekend in Mito, we were off again to our last destination - Tokyo! We got up early to say goodbye to Yotsuha and Mika who had to go to school and work. Mika's parents took us to the station. A short train ride later, we were in Tokyo! Our hotel was in Akasaka, a really trendy district - smaller streets, dotted with restaurants and shops and really vibrant at night. We walked around while waiting to be checked it and got to know the area and has lunch. Later that evening, we went to Roppongi, which is known as the entertainment district of Tokyo. It was certainly more impressive than Brisbane and any Australian city for that matter, however we preferred the intimate and vibrant feel of Akasaka. We went to ... read more
View from Tokyo Sky View
Wall art, Asakusa

Asia » Japan » Ibaraki » Mito October 20th 2015

And we are off to Mito city in Ibraraki prefecture to meet my friend Mika and the wonderfully hospitable Masaki family. I've been the best of friends with Mika since she stayed with my family for 8 months on student exchange in year 12. Since then she and her family and friends ave been to Australia numerous times and I have visited her once in 2005 for 2 weeks. So after 10 years we we are back in Mito! We were greeted at the train station by Mika, her parents and her gorgeous 7 year old son Yotsuha. He has grown so much since I last saw him! We was keen to show off his big boy muscles and drag Bill's big bag to the car! At home we were quick to discover his love of ... read more
Yoshida Shrine Autumn festival,  Mito
Nat-chan and Mika-chan!
Me and my Thai friend  Jhum

Asia » Japan » Kyoto » Kyoto October 17th 2015

Kyoto - the ancient capital, abundant with traditional Japanese culture, gardens and temples. Upon arrival, we quickly discovered Kyoto was like many towns and cities we've visited in the Middle East - there is the 'new' city and the 'old' city. After checking in to our downtown hotel, we went for a stroll to the old quarter, Gion. At the very end of long street was Yakasa shrine - a large shinto shrine set amongst a backdrop of lush trees and gardens. It is said construction started on this in 656 and it became the object of Imperial patronage in the early Heinan period. Later we walked through the tiny backstreets of Gion to the Gion corner, a small theatre tucked away in the backstreets to see a (touristy) traditional performance of Japanese arts starting with ... read more
Kyoto, a photographers dream
Kyogen, ancient comic play
Me as a Maiko, Gion quarter

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

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