Sharyn J


Sharyn J

Welcome to my Travel Journal.

Ill be updating here as often as I can so you can catch up on my travels whenever you have the time. (I hope Ill be better at updating than I am with emailing or phoning!). There are green boxes below to help you jump to a particular country.

Where am I now:

26 December 09 - At Lovices, in Wijchen, The Netherlands

Below is a summary and map of the key places Ill be visiting.

  • Japan, China, Mongolia, Russian Federation
  • Finland, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania
  • Poland, Germany, Austria, Czech Republic
  • Poland, Slovakia, Hungary, Romania
  • Bulgaria, Turkey, Hungary, Serbia
  • Bosnia-Herzogovena, Montenegro, Croatia
  • Spain, United Kingdom, Netherlands
  • Croatia, Slovenia, Spain, Portugal
  • Morocco, Turkey, Scotland, England, Wales, The Netherlands.

    And then home!

Total Distance: 0 miles / 0 kmMouse: 0,0


From Melbourne to Marrakech. Main points only. Detail maps will be done on the way.

Middle East » Turkey » Marmara » Bursa October 3rd 2009

We travelled by taxi to the ferry terminals where we caught a ferry across the Bospherous to Yalova, in order to catch a local bus to Bursa. The buses in Turkey are very impressive. We were warned however, that noise was not appreciated as Turkish people did not like to disturb others. We endeavoured to be polite. We were even served water, coffee and a biscuit by the attentive conductor. Bursa was not far and after settling in, we headed out to lunch to enjoy the traditional iskender kebab - delicious. We met again late afternoon for a guided walk around the city. We visited some mosques with the green/blue tilework that originated from this area and then walked to a highpoint to view the surrounds of Bursa from above just on dusk. From there we ... read more
Local Musicians
Whirling Dervish
Inside Mosque

Middle East » Turkey » Marmara » Istanbul » Sultanahmet October 1st 2009

The Air Maroc flight was uneventful, and I was back in Istanbul. A taxi to the hotel and then meet the roommate, and down to meet a new group. This time there were a group of 8 friends from the US and four Australians. Istanbul or at least the Sultanahmet was a now familiar and welcoming place having been through back in June. The sounds of the call to prayer, the hustle on the street were all as it should be. We had an enjoyable dinner in the one of the restaurant areas and a small wander through the area in the evening. The following day was a guided walk where we went inside the Blue Mosque to admire it’s architecture, although we timed it so there were large numbers of groups from some cruise boats ... read more
Interior of Blue Mosque
Wooden Hotel
Wooden House

Africa » Morocco » Marrakech-Tensift-El Haouz » Marrakech September 25th 2009

As we were leaving our hotel one of the group fell down a couple of steps, lying on the ground saying she couldn’t move, which gave us a bit of a fright at first. However, she couldn't move only because her pack made her like an upturned turtle. She had hurt her wrist, and it turned out later that she had a small fracture. So easy to do. We caught a train to Marrakech taking about 8 hours. The overall impression of Marrakech was of a lot fairly new looking buildings that were mostly of an earth red colour. It was a smaller town than Fes, and the medina and square were smaller too but still interesting. We explored the market again and more purchases were made (but nor by me, as keeping the pack light ... read more
Minaret in Marrakesh
My Riad's internal courtyard
Essaouria view from my rooftop

Africa » Morocco » Fès-Boulemane » Fes September 22nd 2009

The ride to Fes began with squeezing into tiny taxis to get to the bus station, where we zoomed around corners with little regard to chickens, dogs or people along the way. At the bus station we had to go up a set of stairs to the office where someone came out to tag all our baggage with numbers, then we proceeded back down the stairs with our luggage to find our bus. Apparently in Fes our luggage would be taken off the bus like you would at an airport terminal and you retrieve it later. The coach we had, needed new suspension and shock absorbers, so we bounced and rocked our way over the windy and dusty roads to Fes. We had a stop halfway for a toilet break, it’s amazing if you have to ... read more
Fes Medina viewed from hill
Pottery making
A narrow lane way

Africa » Morocco » Tangier-Tétouan » Chefchaouen September 21st 2009

Chefchaouen September 21-22 Two buses and a ferry got us to Tangier in Morocco. It was immediately apparent that we had arrived in a very different country. Tangier had a lot of development of high rise buildings happening, I’m not sure if it was for tourism or for business being such a close port to Spain. The surrounds were very much like a half completed building site, and it seemed like a big wind had blown loose rubbish around everywhere. The streets were very crowded. With many in traditional dress. However, it was surprising how many women did not wear the head scarf. Fortunately our leader had arranged local transport to Chefchaouen instead of the 5 hours that had been the previous time, we should got there in about 2 hours, listenting to techno music and ... read more
White and Blue painted streets
Decorative doors at every turn

Europe » Spain » Andalusia » Jerez de la Frontera September 20th 2009

Jerez - September 20 Our trip then headed back into Spain, to a small town called Jerez (pronounced more like Hereth) which is the home for Sherry. We had a large hotel room which was great to spread out. Tapas for dinner, before an orientation walk around the town. The following day we had a visit to the famous Tio Pepe winery (called Gonzalez Byass) with an informative tour regarding Sherry and Brandy making, as well as the famous signatures on their barrels that they had collected for over 100 years. There is also a tradition at this winery to look after the local cellar mouse. They leave out each day a glass of wine, and a tray of food, complete with tiny ladder so the mouse can reach it. The family history holds that this ... read more
Signed wined cask
This is how you do it!
Vintage truck

Europe » Portugal » Algarve » Faro September 18th 2009

The Algarve - September 18-19 It was a Metro trip to the bus station, where we took a coach. As we headed out of town we crossed the Vasco da Gama bridge (the longest bridge in Europe) which starts out like any bridge going up and being high above the estuary, but then you head down and you are only a small part of the way across. The remainder of the bridge feels like it is almost at the level of the river. I couldn't get a photo of it but it is worth looking it up it to see a photo. We were off to the region of Portugal called the Algarve, and we were staying in the town of Olhao. The local people here were really friendly, waving from the café seats as we ... read more
Olhao Harbour and sunset
Olhao Harbour

Europe » Portugal » Lisbon & Tagus Valley » Lisbon September 16th 2009

Lisbon: September 16-17 We travelled by train to Lisbon, which was quite different from what I had expected. I think I’d seen a Sean Connery movie years ago that showed the colourful buildings set into the hill overlooking what I took to be the sea. However, what the water actually was is an really large estuary. The town of Lisbon is much less pristine than the towns I had visited in Spain, and you notice that Portugal’s economic situation must be lower than that of Spain. However, it certainly has a vibrancy to it that was quite different to Spain. No ned for white tableclothes here! On our orientation walk we visited the local church and the Castle/fort on the hill which provided great views across the city. From the top of the hill I saw ... read more
Lisbon Railway Station
Lisbon's Cafe Street
Funicula track

Europe » Portugal » Central » Coimbra September 14th 2009

Coimbra: September 14-15 From Salamanca we caught another bus to Portugal, where we were staying in the Portugese university town of Coimbra. Our accommodation had a terrace on the roof that looked out over Coimbra, affording great views of the houses and university that was built into hillside. The streets were hilly in parts but this is the norm in so many towns that I think I will miss my daily treks up and down the steps. As we arrived late in the day we interrupted our orientation walk to have dinner in a cafeteria style restaurants frequented by the students of the town. The university year had just begun and there weren’t so many students around yet, but those that were wore black capes quite like the students in Hogwarts! The next day we went ... read more
View of Coimbra from our terrace
Coimbra square
Decorative washing

Europe » Spain » Castile & León » Salamanca September 13th 2009

Salamanca - September 13 The following day we made the journey to Salamanca, first by metro and then by coach. Salamanca is a university town and is known for speaking the purist Spanish (and therefore gets language students from around the world). We arrived there during their week long festivities for their Saints day. There were food stalls and bands playing in the square that created a lively atmosphere. We wandered the streets of this town and visited the House of Shells which is actually a place that pilgrims would come to stay on their 1000km pilgramage through France and Spain. We also visited a freeze that hidden a hidden frog in it that we needed to search fo. We learned a little of the struggles of the Spanish revolution and the history of Spain’s alliance ... read more
Central Square
Central Square arches
Salamanca street

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