Two Days In Istanbul

I was in Istanbul for two days which does not give justice to this historical city. It was just enough to visit the main attractions. This is my itinerary of the places that I went and visited during my short visit assuming that it is also your first time there.

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Bern, Switzerland

I visited Zurich and Bern from 18-21 July 2016. My overnight journey from Budapest to Zurich was finally coming to an end soon. As it struck 7am, there was more activity in the train as people disembarking or were getting ready to disembark. Kids were waking up their parents, some were changing into their daytime clothing or brushing their teeth. I, on the other hand was trying to catch up on sleep since I did not get a good night sleep in the hot, cramped train compartments.

As the sun rose, the majestic towering mountains and green valleys complimented with pristine blue rivers as well as quaint villages started to reveal itself. I had to choose between catching up sleep or admiring the view outside. The train felt so small when we passed through the high mountains.

At one of the stations, the immigration officers boarded the train to check our passports. The only people left in my compartment were 2 Australians from Newcastle on working holiday in the UK. One of them had a British passport though.

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Budapest, Hungary

BUDAPEST

I was in Budapest for 2 nights from 15-17 July 2016. After the frantic run from the centre of Krakow’s old town and through the confusing signs at the central station + shopping mall, I finally reached the bus stop. There was already a big crowd waiting for the bus. It was supposed to have arrived by now (around 11 pm). The crowd was getting restless. Rumours were swirling around that the bus will be an hour late as they’ve received notifications on their local numbers or email but I checked my email and I didn’t get the news ( the email came in late ). I killed time talking to a Singaporean girl and a Ukrainian girl over some biscuits that they happily shared with me.

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Poland – Warsaw and Krakow

WARSAW

It was my first time in Poland. After an overnight bus trip from Vilnius, I finally arrived in Warsaw where the bus stopped at the Warsaw central train station at almost 6am ( Poland is 1 hour behind of the Baltic States). The summer sun was already up but it still felt a bit cool though. I was lucky that i managed to open the map to my hostel before my data ran out on my roaming Swedish mobile number.

My hostel was called Warsaw Hostel Centrum at 36a Emilii Plater Street and was around a 10-15 minute walk from the central station. It was too early to check in but I was allowed to put my bags, have a shower and rest. It felt so good to have  my first shower since Riga 2 days ago. After that, I had a short nap at the hostel lounge since it was still early and nothing in town was opened yet. I was aiming for the free city tour in the old city just in front of a column in front of the Royal Palace starting at 11am. I also joined the Jewish tour at 2pm.

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Baltic States – Tallinn, Riga and Vilnius Express Trip

When visiting the Baltic states for the first time, if you are like me, you would probably not know or confuse which Baltic capital city belonged to which country or which country is next to  which country. To put you out of your misery, this is the list of the capitals and the countries of the 3 Baltic states Tallinn in Estonia, Riga in Latvia and Vilnius in Lithuania. Continue reading “Baltic States – Tallinn, Riga and Vilnius Express Trip”

Helsinki

Landed in Helsinki from Stockholm around 3pm. I think the airport was too small for the number of passengers that needed to be handled. You just have to keep moving. Lucky for me, I only travelled with my cabin luggage.

( 2.5 days visit, Reading time : 5 mins, expenses at the bottom of the article, more pictures of my trips on my fb page : wanderingfadz link: https://www.facebook.com/pg/wanderingfadz/photos/?tab=album&album_id=1838500896373839 )

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Chilling in Stockholm

(~9 day stay, end June – early July 2016, ~10-15 min read)

We could’ve arrived in Stockholm earlier if not for the repair works on a major highway bridge due to an accident. Now we took a long detour passing from the west then to the north of city before heading to the north east towards my friends David’s house near Ākersberg. He hosted me for my almost 2 weeks stay in Sweden. I wrote about my experience with his family and friends here.
Hence, what I write here will overlap with that other post. Here it will mostly be a summary of the places I went and the things you can do during summer. Timetables might change for the other seasons.

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10 Days in Sweden Hosted by David and Family

( ~20 minute read about my friend, David and his family who hosted me while I stayed in Sweden)

Since I was now on a Eurotrip, I found it apt that I visited a few of my European friends whom I met during my travels around the world.

My ride to Malmö was onboard flixbus which cost me just €2. It was supposed to be €5 but I had a one off ISIC card discount of €3). A train would’ve cost me around SEK90. It was a double decker bus and was quite empty when I boarded. It was on the way to Gothenburg from Germany before stopping in Copenhagen. ( No wifi )

Around 20 minutes later, we were driving on the Øresund Bridge that separates Denmark and Sweden. It was quite long and we were driving on it for more than 10 minutes. Arrived in Malmö around an hour later. It’s not too far away which explains why people commute to work everyday between Copenhagen and Malmö.

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Copenhagen, Denmark – My First Scandinavian Country

Arrived at Copenhagen Airport at 7.20 am. On the approach to the runway, I was able to see wind farms strewn all over the flat landscape below and at the background I assume would be Sweden. That’s how close these 2 countries are geographically (as well in terms of the cost of living and prices of things here – expensive!).

Since I don’t have checked in luggage, I was able to walk more leisurely towards the exit. Bought myself a one way train ticket to Kobenhavn H – (Copenhagen central station  – DKK36). One thing I noticed when I stepped out to the arrival hall was how cold it was. After almost a week enjoying the Greek sunshine, the cold was definitely a shock to the system. Since it was summer, I only brought 1 sweater and 1 jacket with me. Thankfully that was enough. Walk downstairs towards the train tracks and there was already a train heading to the city waiting.

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Athens and Crete

( 7 days stay, ~ 20 mins read, June 2016)

The day of my flight to Athens has finally arrived. Just like any other flights I usually took, I don’t feel so nervous even though it was a long flight. The only bad thing this time was I had a minor fever that seems to be coming and going every few hours alongside with its  associated signs of coughing and a runny nose. I don’t get sick that often but this time it couldn’t have come at a worse time.   I was flying from Kuala Lumpur to Athens with an around 4 hour stop over in Abu Dhabi. The total journey was around 14.5 hours. Visited the doctor a few days before. So I was recovering but not fast enough. Stocked up on lozenges before I flew since buying it might be more expensive once I got to Europe.

Etihad flight EY413 took off from Kuala Lumpur International Airport at 2.15am, June 12, 2016 and my 6 hour flight to Abu Dhabi begins. Continue reading “Athens and Crete”