Thursday, October 7, 2010


After 6 hours of trains we arrived in Amsterdam... still feeling the effects of Oktoberfest. We climbed 4 sets of steep stairs to get to our room and then went and had some dinner and went for a wander through the Red Light District. We then caught a train out to Harleem to meet up with Cal and Ilse - someone in Ilse's appartment block was having a party! So good to see Cal!! His girlfriend is from Holland and lives in a great spot just out of Harleem - she rents two appartments next to a school for 140 euro a month! Bargain!! Such a great area too! ended up having a sleep over there!

We made our way back to Amsterdam feeling a bit slow and then met up with Lauren and Andy! It was so nice to have so many friends in the same place at the same time!
Saturday night Cal, Ilse, Rory and I drank some wine before heading out for all you can eat ribs and then on for a couple of drinkies! We met up with Lauren and Andy again and then Lisa, Clare and Lauren, Had a really nice night out!
Ilse, Cal & Rory

Following day we went for a wander through the city and made our way to the iAmsterdam sign - felt a bit sorry for ourselves still so we went back for afternoon naps, had a small rest before meeting up with Cal again and then Lauren and Andy and then farewelled them all :(
Rory on the A

Lauren and I Clogging it

Friends <3

Bye Friends :(

Caught up with Lisa, Lauren and Clare again and headed to the flower markets and then continued on to some other markets, had a great lunch with the girls before spending some time with them in a cute little cafe and then eating some space cake.

Rory and I then checked out the Sex Museum before heading out to a soul food place with Carly and Cat - last dinner with our travel crew! Really good though!
Bye Guys :(


Our last day in Amsterdam we headed to Anne Franks House, very interesting and sad - so glad we managed to get in- by the time we left the line to get in was around the corner!
Loved Amsterdam so very much - We think it is one of our favourite places so far and could have stayed for longer!


Woo hoo!!
We loved Oktoberfest and spending time with Lauren and Andy!
We got in to Munich around 4pm and checked in to the hotel etc before going for a little wander around the area and then meeting Lauren and Andy and going in to Oktoberfest!
It took us over an hour to find somewhere to sit and get a beer but it was good fun finding somewhere anyway as we were soaking up the sights, so much to take in!
First Beers

First Beers (Looking excited!)
Rory and I drank 1.5 litres of beer each and we then went on a spinny chair ride to get a night view over the grounds! So much fun! They stopped serving drinks so we headed home excited for the next days adventure!!
Fun ride

Night Views of Oktoberfest
Woke up and wandered in to the main shopping area and had some breakfast before heading in to Oktoberfest- we managed to get a beer each at Hofbrau house and then got a seat outside and continued drinking, singing and ate a couple of different foods- chicken,gerkins, some doughnut things!
Inside Hofbrau Haus

2 beers in
We remember buying 3 litres of beer but there are a couple of hours un-accounted for so we figure we would have bought another each in that time!
Had a really great day and sent ourselves home around 8.30pm!! Hahaha!
Loved it!
Didn't love waking up at 7am to be sick.. But luckily all was good and settled by the time we had to catch the train to Amsterdam at 9.55am! Such a good couple of days- we would head back again!


The overnight train from Budapest got in at 3.30am.. We were lucky enough that we were able to go to the hostel/hotel but we couldn't check in until 2.30pm. The woman working the reception desk wasn't very nice and told us we were allowed to SIT on the couches but we couldn't LAY and sleep on them.. We managed to all get some rest and they let us in to our room around 9.30am!
We then went for a wander to the old town square and to the Charles Bridge. Prague has really taken advantage of the tourism market, lots of overpriced things in the old town square but it is very beautiful!!

The weather had drastically changed from Budapest where we were wearing shorts to needing jumpers and me investing in a pair of boots. Carly Rory and I did a bike tour which covered some of the other side of the bridge, lots of art work, the John Lennon Wall and lots of historical buildings- it started raining so we were lucky enough to get to wear some trendy ponchos.. It was a good laugh!
Poncho's at John Lennon Wall

Such good Cyclists
Had a delicious lunch at Bohemia Bagel and then a quiet afternoon before heading out on Prague Pub Crawl- had a great night out! Really enjoyed the pub crawl- it included free sangria, wine, beer and shots of cocktail mix (which wasn't as bad as we imagined it would be) and Rory and I only paid for one more drink during the night!
Preview of how good the pub crawl was...
The next day we were all a little behind the 8 ball.. Woke up late and then went out for lunch a very lazy day!
The following day we got all of our train tickets sorted and went to the shopping centre for a look around- the weather was really wet and cold so we couldn't spend much time outside, we then had a BEAUTIFUL dinner at a place down the road from our hotel. Everything was lovely and the meals were cheap too, under $30 for both of us and drinks!
The next day the girls left us and Rory and I headed over the other side of the bridge- once again fantastic view and really cute buildings and streets! We went to a Traditional Czech restaurant for dinner and then packed up ready to leave for Munich in the morning!
View of the City

Cute walkways


We arrived in Budapest around 9.30am and made our way to the hostel,we were actually staying in a really cute little apartment which only had 3 rooms. We shared a 4 bed room with Carly and Cat.
Went for a wander around through the shopping streets and got some lunch. it's amazing how much difference there is between the shops in Budapest versus Brasov! Carly and Cat both arrived in late afternoon so we headed out for dinner and had an early night.
We headed over to the Buda side of the city the following day, beautiful views over the city from the other side, which had a castle and lots of touristy attractions. they have tried to maintain the old town feel, it's very cute but felt touristy (Until we got to Prague).

Rory and I had scoped out an all you can eat and all you can drink place on one of our walks on the first day so we went there for dinner. The food was really nice, very good quality they even had a selection of meats, poultry and seafood that you could have grilled in front of you. Alcohol selection was beer, wines and champagne- we were well and truly impressed as it cost us about $22 Aussie each and def not like an Aussie all you can eat!! I was so full afterwards that my stomach was hurting- couldn't even fit in much alcohol!
All You Can Eat!
Spent a good part of the next day at the traditional Hungarian Baths. It was a big old building with around 30 different sized pools/spas with hot water and minerals in it. They were jam packed with people! Also had a few different Saunas and steam rooms on offer- we found it hard to relax as there was a strong eggy smell and so many old people wandering around and laying in the pools it was a bit off putting, an experience though!

We had an amazing dinner at a Hummus restaurant! Best hummus I have ever had!! Rory went out with some guys he had met on our last night but us girls were buggered so headed home!

We spent our last day wandering around Budapest and then caught an overnight train to Prague.. Not the best overnight train we have caught, very squishy but we slept well enough!!
We really loved Budapest and regret not staying another couple of nights! Such a cool city and so much more laid back/smaller/less full of tourists!

Monday, September 20, 2010

Brasov, Romania

After an exhausting day of travelling we got in to the Hostel at around 10pm, totally buggered we had an early night and then a restful morning before heading to Bran Castle (which is apparently where Dracula stayed once) the castle was very pretty, all of county side here is very green and the city is full of old buildings, flowers and little alleys to walk down - it feels very safe - we haven't seen many gypsies at all!
Bran Castle
Bran Castle
After our day trip to the Castle we wandered around the city before heading to a Traditional Romanian restaurant for dinner. We asked what the most traditional dishes were and went with it. First we had a free serve of Pork Crackling.. well we think that's what it was - either way it was delicious! Rory ordered a traditional Stew which was cooked with bread on top - it was very hearty and full of flavour. I tried the Cabbage Rolls with Polenta - VERY delicious! We decided we would share the traditional desert which was worded as a dumpling with sweet cheese and fruit sauce - it was a bit like a doughnut with a cream cheese/custard and jam- also delightful!
Rory's Dinner


The whole dinner cost of us $20 and we had left a tip - we were totally impressed!! Still no alcohol though - day two of alcohol free days!! (please don't think we have been drunk every day- that was just Bulgaria it was way too expensive everywhere else!)
We woke up the next day and went for an adventure to the train station to book our overnight train to Budapest and then spent the afternoon wandering around the city and people watching.

We had a very relaxing day and then had a dinner date at a Romanian Pub with a nice traditional band playing- it was a nice date night :)
The next day we headed to a Traditional Romanian Folk/Medieval festival which was at another one of the Castles in Rasnov. It was very interesting watching everyone dressed up - nothing was in English and there were not very many international tourists!
Chimney Bread Treat

We attempted to buy some drinks except no one had change for $100 Lei note (which is about $35) so we had to wait for people to start buying up!! eventually we got some lunch from a restaurant which was right near the site and then came back and met some people from the Hostel.

Various Medieval items on display

We watching some jousting and saw a horse run in the crowd and nearly bowl over some kids (luckily the dad got them out of the road in time) and then sat down and had some homemade red wine and a couple of drinks.. The wine was quite good until we started to think about if it had been made with feet.. hahaha! It was $2.50 per litre and actually pretty tasty! After our wine and some snacks we headed back to the city - had Pizza for dinner at an Irish Pub and then came back to the hostel and played some drinking games. Really fun night! Romania has been really lovely - so many nice people, so cheap and very beautiful! So happy we decided to come this way!

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Veliko Tarnovo & Varna

We arrived in to Veliko Tarnovo around 6pm - much prettier city than Sofia with lots of mountains and windy streets. We also travelled with another Australian Couple Jamie and Suzy- it was good to have some extra company for a few days- we had been with them in Sofia too. We decided to head out with everyone from the Hostel to find somewhere to drink as it was Friday night, the town was very quiet- apparently once Uni is back 50,000 students live there and its a lots more lively and fun but either way we ended up in a bar and got some $3 Mohitos and then got home around 2am- good night!
Next morning we went for a wander around Tsarevets Fortress which is a Medieval type castle.
Tsarevets Fortress
Tsarevets Fortress
We then wandered around the city taking in the sights and sounds before heading to a recommended restaurant for lunch - it was SO BUSY!!! Food was nice VERY rich and cheap for the serving sizes and quality.
Jamie and Suzy and Lunch
We then got a couple of bottles of red and ended up having a drunken last night in Veliko ready for our bus ride to Varna the next day! Spent the following day wandering around the Old Street in to Town and then around the city before lunch and heading to the bus stop to go to Varna.
Streets of Veliko
We got in to Varna about 8pm - both pretty run down from our red wine night the night before and got told as soon as we arrived in that there was a pub crawl on that night and there wouldn't be another event until Sunday so we should come along.. we quickly snazzied ourselves up and then headed out on a Golden Sands Pub Crawl. There would have been around 200 people in the Pub Crawl - apparently in summer they would usually have at least 400 and up to 700! The clubs were all really big and a we got a free drink at each place - ended up quiet drunk and got home about 2am (way before everyone else as we were still worn out from the days before!) Unfortunately my camera battery died so no piccys from the pub crawl guys :(
One & only Pub Crawl Photo
Our only whole day in Varna was spent booking bus tickets and wandering around the city. The City is on the Black Sea Coast - very pretty and busy with lots of mums and kids and oldies soaking up the sunshine and wandering around- it was also a bit like Glenelg i suppose.
Varna City
Varna Coast
We decided to get a bottle of red and have a quiet night in BUT it turned in to a very drunk, drinking games filled night where we got to bed at 3am and had to leave at 9am!! Not so fun for Travelling but we managed our 2 x 3 hour mini bus rides and two underground rides and 4.5 hour train ride and are safe in Brasov, Romania - ready for a couple of days detox!!!

Saturday, September 11, 2010


We got ready to load up on the Train and we quickly figured out that we were meant to be in the crack den looking part of the train... There were guys hanging out of the windows smoking with ripped t-shirts and dirty clothes - Rory went to check out seats and we were meant to be sitting in a 6 carriage dark room about the size of 2 toilet cubicles combined with 4 people and baby in there... he walked out completely horrified and we quickly went to go see if we could upgrade to the sleeper carriages.. best 30 Euro we have ever spent!!
Our Sleeper
We slept surprisingly well on the train and got woken up for a quick passport check at 3am and then arrived in to Sofia around 8am and got dropped off at the Hostel and had breakfast.
First day in Sofia we wandered down the food/flea markets (not much to see) and then got let in to our room and had our free pasta and beer for dinner before heading out for a couple more drinks.
We went a bar where they have taps on the walls and you pour your own beers, it worked out to be a bit more than $3 per litre of beer. We drank 4 Litres, it was wheat beer and very nice!!
Ale House
Went for a bit of a wander and found a place that sold hot dogs with chips, mayo, tomato sauce, chili sauce and some other secret ingredients... Way too delicious!!
Hot Dog

We headed to Rila Monastery the following day which was almost 3 hour each way - it was very beautiful - The colours of the paintings were very vibrant- they must spend a lot of time and money maintaining it!
Rila Monastery
Rila Monastery

Fresco of God doing a Poo and Satan at the bottom of the poo..

We also walked up a big mountain and checked out the Cave that the Rila Monk lived in for 7 years in solitary confinement - apparently if you can get through the cave without getting stuck all of your sins have been cleared and you are all good!! We fit through fine but it was actually quite hard walk and crawl through the cave! There was also a small chapel which was had some pretty paintings.
Hiking Section
The "cleansing" cave
Fresco in the Chapel
We cooked ourselves dinner rather than eating the free Spaghetti - We made a salad and had some pork chops that had been marinated in a mustard sauce - it was really really good - so nice having your own choice over what was in the salad - we had so many veggies!!
Our last day in Sofia we went to the main Cathedral and had a wander around the shops and streets.
Outside the Cathedral were some crazy markets with all different kinds of antiques and war memorabilia - lots of different Nazi items and knives etc. pretty full on!
we found a really cute little soup shop and had cheap soup for lunch before catching the bus on to Veliko Tarnovo.. updates of there to come!!