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pilnikjezerobota

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I'm a musician, writer, linguist, esoteric type and european train buff from London, UK with an inexplicable connection to the Czech Republic, currently living in Prague.

I started this blog before my first ever trip to Czech Republic back in August 2008, and decided to move there 10 months later. Since then I've been doing as much travel around the region as possible.

I can offer you: decent advice about trains, tickets, reservations, online discounts and the quickest route from point A to B basically anywhere in central europe or UK, and advice about Prague and the Czech Republic generally especially if you're interested in getting off the tourist tracks. Just message me.



Europe » Bosnia & Herzegovina » South » Mostar July 26th 2014

I didn't know very much about Mostar except that there was a bronze statue of Bruce Lee there. They chose Bruce Lee after failing to agree on any national figure or statesman that the Serbs, Croats and Bosnians who had all fought against each other in the mixed city during its 18-month siege could all be proud of. Soon after the statue was unveiled, it was vandalised because "it was pointing towards a predominantly Croatian area in a fighting stance." It was returned only last year. Other than that, my grandmother told me she had visited the city, but that was back when Tito was president. Things were probably very, very different back then. Sure, the city was nice. The so-called "old bridge" was shiny new, as it had needed a complete reconstruction after being wantonly ... read more
The scars of war
Mostar
Dervish house at Blagaj

Europe » Bosnia & Herzegovina » East » Sarajevo July 23rd 2014

I was trying to think of a good title for my entry about Sarajevo and they all just sounded like clichés. "The Lost Olympic City", "The War-Torn Jewel of the Balkans" (well, that could be a lot of places), "The Melting Pot of the Balkans", various crap titles referencing Frankie Ferdinand and WW1, "The Valley of Hope"... there's a tunnel of hope, so... well, all of these sounded too seedy. Valley of Clichés it is, even though touristic clichés were few and far between. Not much happened between Osijek and Sarajevo. On the Sunday after that dreadful walk I woke up late and chatted to the girl from reception at the guesthouse over a very hearty breakfast of whatever was left. I headed to the station promising myself to return to Osijek sometime, stay at Maksimilian ... read more
Mosque-like church in Doboj
Baščaršija at night
Nordic Conference (with me taking the photo)

Europe » Croatia » Slavonia » Osijek July 21st 2014

On July 18th I set off on another solo trip through the balkans. A bit of background info to this trip is necessary. M and I were supposed to go on solo trips at the same time, her to the Alps and me to Bosnia. Hers was to do some serious mountaineering and mine was for background research for my next book. My trip was delayed because I was waiting for a new passport and some 400,000 applications were piling up in a conference room somewhere in the Scouse Republic, mine being one of them. Finally, a week ago, I set off on a train for Budapest and checked into the grimmest and most cheap and spiteful hostel I've ever seen, though for 10 euros for a private room one can hardly complain. The next morning ... read more
Crossing the border at Barcs
Entering Croatia
Church in Gornje Bazije

Asia » Georgia » Western Georgia » Svaneti October 13th 2013

This is a 9-month late story but a story anyway. In October 2013 my girlfriend, who we'll call M, and I, flew out from Katowice to Kutaisi, Georgia for 2 weeks, finally giving me a chance to explore somewhere which isn't in or being considered for accession to the European Union. The flight arrived at some strange hour in the morning and it was one of about 5 flights per week to serve the airport, but that didn't stop the airport being chock full of taxi and minibus drivers ready to shout city names at you as soon as you got through passport control. "Kutaisi city centre, 10 euros for two people!", offered one taxi driver. We knew that sounded a bit expensive, so we tried to negotiate. "Okay, okay! So I will take you for ... read more
A typical Svanetian house in Mestia
Setting off towards Zhabeshi, Day 1
Chvabiani, Zhabeshi and various other villages

Europe » Hungary » Central Hungary » Budapest May 10th 2012

...we just don't see each other as often as I see Bratislava. This has been my 5th time in Budapest by my count, my 3rd and 4th I didn't bother writing about here, one was one of the craziest DJing trips of my life and the other was a trip with a friend. This was actually the first time I'd ever been in this city alone, so I was looking forward to exploring it without any limits. The train journey from Zagreb was made a bit more bearable by being thrown off because of engineering works for one stop before the border, which meant we got to stretch our legs and break the painfully slow 7 hour journey up a bit. I chatted up until the border with a New Zealander and a Croat, the latter ... read more
Paprikás Csirke
Motorway bridge
Széchenyi Fürdő

Europe » Croatia » Central Croatia » Zagreb May 7th 2012

The train journey from Kelenföld to Zagreb was just neverending. I got too distracted reminiscing about my would-be epic fail visit to Komárno/om which never happened in my last entry to explain why I was even going via Budapest to later retrace my steps - people who know me will know this isn't like me at all. I had been held up by missing one connection and my original plan to go via Győr and Szombathely, getting there in 6 hours from Komárom, was voided. So I ended up taking an hour and half journey to Kelenföld, waiting in that café bar for two, then sitting on this dying piece of old Yugoslavian metal for six and a half. I'm very pleased with myself because I managed to make it all the way across Hungary, from ... read more
Street sign and mosaic
Spoiled for choice
Can of love incense

Europe » Slovakia » Bratislava Region » Bratislava April 22nd 2012

Imagine you're in a bar with a friend of the opposite sex you don't know all that well, perhaps you just met her at the bar, you're chatting in a normal, friendly way and then suddenly her drunk boyfriend saunters down the stairs having had a particularly bad day at work, sees you with her, gets the wrong idea and you later end up in hospital. But the girl has a heart and a good temperament, so she sticks around with you until the ambulance comes having sent him home in a taxi to sober up, then once you get out with a few stitches in your head and what not, she arranges for the three of you to meet for dinner so the guy can sincerely apologise for his mistake and then you and the ... read more
SubClub
Bryndzové halušky s klobásou
Faces

Europe » Germany » Bavaria » Bayerisch Eisenstein August 18th 2011

Over the summer, an ESL teacher and DJ's life in Prague often becomes a complete void. The upper classes whose companies we teach in go off on holiday, while clubs stick to their resident DJs to cater for the musically apathetic tourists and serious music shifts to the festival stage. My summer hit such a catastrophic low in mid-August, and last week, I had a day where I was apparently not supposed to do anything at all. So I went and did nothing at all, but at least got way way out of Prague to do it. I was drawn to the Bohemian-Bavarian border by a trivia question someone posted on Facebook a while back which asked "can anyone name a railway station which is in a different country to the place named on its signs?" ... read more
In more detail...
The Czech half of the station
The mountain lake on the way to the peak

Europe » Slovenia » Upper Carniola » Bled July 3rd 2011

T'was a heavy grey-skied morning, and a hung over, dehydrated Zeibura waddled across Václavák to hlavní nádraží pondering all the things he had forgotten to pack which might be moderately useful. The 7.16 to České Budějovice accompanied by the two carriages continuing across the border to Linz had been waiting on the platform for a long time, as when we reached it, it was already packed full. My heavy head resulting from last night's beerfest to celebrate my birthday had to be shaken off forcefully, and the exact completion of my 24th orbit around the sun (9:30am CET) was spent standing next to the toilet, dealing with a group of noisy and annoying scout kids gallivanting about the corridors. We then got a compartment with a couple of nice Czech guys at České Budějovice which we ... read more
Jesenice
Vintgar
Word games

Europe » Czech Republic » Prague April 7th 2011

So this summer I am sticking two fingers up at Opencard, the terribly implemented new transport ticketing system for Prague locals, which has achieved nothing except making buying season tickets a far more complicated and slippery process. One day in March I logged onto the Czech version of Ebay and bought an old bike, which I have since lubed up and pimped out with a crafty little pair of speakers which you can plug an iPod into. Bike weather began the day after I returned from the Tatras, with temperatures soaring over 20 degrees and so I have been exploring Prague's cycleways. Generally Prague is not a cyclist's paradise, the tricky cobblestoned streets, narrow streets with tram lines, ubiquitous one way systems and the sheer hilliness of most parts of the city is enough to put ... read more
The Dancing House
Podolská Vodárna
Zbraslav Chateau




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