All aboard the friendship train: Bucharest & Chisinau.

Before you think I've joined a cult, I'd like to clarify what the 'Friendship Train' is, lest you have concerns for my sanity or wellbeing. The aforementioned train connects the capitals of two countries which have at times in their histories been joined as one, and which still have much in common, including an almost … Continue reading All aboard the friendship train: Bucharest & Chisinau.

Extravagant public art and a stoned hostel owner: my adventures in Macedonia.

Cities stayed in: Ohrid & Skopje Other places visited: Pristina, Kosovo Stayed at: Hotel Super 8 in Skopje (I won't name the hostel in Ohrid as it was awful, and I'm going to give it a thorough roasting later). Best thing I ate:My favourite meal was in Skopje, in an Italian Restaurant called Bella Vista, … Continue reading Extravagant public art and a stoned hostel owner: my adventures in Macedonia.

Ten things you’ll find in every Balkan supermarket (which you should definitely pack for a picnic)

Snacks: Sunflower seeds, the favoured snack of every man aged over 55, at least in warm countries where you can sit in the sunshine and hull them with your teeth, leaving mounds of shells around park benches, a kind of compostable calling card if you will. There's a technique to opening them which involves cracking … Continue reading Ten things you’ll find in every Balkan supermarket (which you should definitely pack for a picnic)

Pour yourself a glass of rakija, and let me tell you about Albania.

Cities: Shkoder & Tirana Stayed at: The Wanderer's Hostel & Trip'Inn Best thing I ate:The breakfast at The Wanderer's Hostel, partly because it was so tasty but also because of the lovely courtyard surroundings and the amazing staff who serve it up. You get a huge piece of cheese burek, a delicious chocolate croissant and … Continue reading Pour yourself a glass of rakija, and let me tell you about Albania.

Montenegro: In which I drank too much cheap local wine and accidentally ordered a hamburger.

City: Budva, Montenegro Other places visted: Kotor Stayed at: Freedom Hostel, in Budva's Old Town. Best thing  I ate: Cakes and wine. Wine and cake. Montenegrin wine is about €3.00 per bottle, and some of it even has a cork (POSH!). I don't know much about wine so I'm going to say that it was … Continue reading Montenegro: In which I drank too much cheap local wine and accidentally ordered a hamburger.

Sarajevo & Mostar: Ottoman architecture, complex histories and turquoise rivers.

City: Sarajevo, Bosnia & Hercegovina Other places visted: Mostar Stayed at: Franz Ferdinand Hostel Best thing  I ate: Veggie platter and fresh lemonade from 'Falafel', in Sarajevo's Old Town. I'm also obsessed with a fizzy drink called 'Cockta', which is a kind of herbal cola - a bit like Sarsaparilla. Transport: Buses x 3, trolleybuses x … Continue reading Sarajevo & Mostar: Ottoman architecture, complex histories and turquoise rivers.

Roman ruins, stray cats and sunny courtyards: 3 days in Split.

City: Split, Croatia Other places visted: Trogir, Krka National Park Stayed at: Tchaikovsky Hostel Best thing  I ate: Gelato from Luka, a little place around the corner from my hostel. Transport: Buses x 5 The lowdown on veggie/vegan/special diets: Burek (filo pastries) with cheese or cheese and spinach are widely available for a tasty snack or … Continue reading Roman ruins, stray cats and sunny courtyards: 3 days in Split.

Tokyo Day 6 – A haunted toilet, a picnic that went wrong, and another boiling hot bath.

My original plan for today had been to go out to Hakone, to see Mt Fuji and do the tourist loop, which includes rinding on a cable car and a faux pirate ship, both of which were hugely appealing to me. However, I realised the night before that I was running out of time to … Continue reading Tokyo Day 6 – A haunted toilet, a picnic that went wrong, and another boiling hot bath.