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.

Day 5 – Your bow is red, your dress is blue, oh Hello Kitty, I really love you! (Valentine’s Day at Sanrio Puroland!)

I've been obsessed with the little white cat with a red bow since I was child, when Sanrio merchandise was far harder to come by. Whenever our parents took us to London, my sister and I would insist on a visit to Harrods or Hamleys, where I'd spend my pocket money on Hello Kitty stationary … Continue reading Day 5 – Your bow is red, your dress is blue, oh Hello Kitty, I really love you! (Valentine’s Day at Sanrio Puroland!)

Tokyo Day 4 – Visiting the Emperor, travelling back in time and window-shopping for plastic food.

After waking up far, far too early, I made the Imperial Palace my first stop of the day. I'd expected just to be able to walk around the surrounding parkland, but when I got to the gate I discovered you could have a free guided tour. The tour is in Japanese, but there's a free … Continue reading Tokyo Day 4 – Visiting the Emperor, travelling back in time and window-shopping for plastic food.

Tokyo Day 3 – Hot baths, cheese curry and freaky face masks.

I’m writing in Starbucks, and it’s 8am, which is a time of day I didn’t often experience (at least not out of choice) until the last 6 months or so, when I’ve inexplicably become allergic to lying in. Is this something that happens when you hurtle towards your thirtieth year on earth? Or is it something … Continue reading Tokyo Day 3 – Hot baths, cheese curry and freaky face masks.