Exploring

Stress & Sweet Singing Rugby players in Suva

How did I end up in a lounge with the Fijian national rugby team, being asked if I wanted to lead their regular before dinner devotions? It was a random and rather beautiful end to an afternoon that had been full of stress and a few tears. I arrived in Suva as planned around lunch time, looking forward to my air bnb with a pool, hot water showers and a chance to do some laundry. I’d texted my host Elizabeth the day before with […]

Sleepy Sigatoka

It was always going to be hard to match the beauty and enjoyment of staying on Kuata Island but I couldn’t stay there forever. It was time to explore the mainland. The bus from Nadi to Sigatoka (pronounced Singatoka) was less than $6 and took an hour. I was the only non-Fijian on the full bus. An older bearded gentleman sat next to me. After a while we had a little chat. Turns out he went to Canterbury University and Massey back in the […]

Barefoot Kuata Island

Day 2 in Fiji,  I headed to the Denerau Marina where I was to take my boat to Barefoot Kuata Island. Denerau is actually an island, less than 3 square kms in size, attached to the mainland by a causeway. The golf course on the way in looked gorgeous as did the homes on the other side of the road. Few locals can afford to own them though and this is a distinctly tourist area. The Marina was a relaxed yet busy place with all […]

Arriving in Fiji

Nadi (said Nandy, rhymes with Andy) is home to Fiji’s only International airport, so travellers usually need to stay here for at least a night before their boat leaves to the islands the next morning or they head off for more beautiful spots on the mainland. There is plenty of accommodation available here with all the fancy hotel chains having beach side resorts in Denerau (where the marina is) and a few backpackers and hotels in Nadi itself. I opted for an air bnb […]

Auschwitz

On a lovely sunny day we walked under the Arbeit Macht Frei sign (not the original as it was stolen) into wide, clean streets full of two storey brick buildings at Auschwitz I. Walking further in the area we saw streets full of one storey buidings that resembled warehouses. There was a uniformity and tidiness about these brick buildings that, if you didn’t know the history, could give the impression of a rather pleasant place. We began our visit early in the day, so […]

Krakow (Part 2)

Legend has it that Krakow was founded on the defeat of a virgin-eating dragon! A statue of this dragon is to be found betwen the Vistula River and Wawel Castle and if you’re lucky, you’ll see it breathe fire. The legend goes that as well as eating cows, the dragon found virgin girls particularly tasty. Given the King had a daughter who could very well be the dragon’s next victim, he offered the daughter’s hand in marriage and half his kingdom to anyone who […]

Krakow (Part 1)

Wawel Royal Cathedral

After a pleasant four hour train trip from Warsaw, we arrived in Krakow around 4.30pm on a beautiful sunny spring day. Our BnB was a lovely studio apartment that was completely Ikea furnished and decorated. It was just across the river from the castle and the main part of town. One of the reasons this placed grabbed my attention when booking was that it included the free use of 2 bikes. The men’s bike was really big and the seat was up really high […]

Warsaw, Poland

Old Town Square

Warsaw was the first European destination of our trip. It was a city with a great mix of architectural styles and interesting history. 85% of the city was destroyed during WW2 so most of what we saw was built after 1945. We stayed in a soviet style Air B & B apartment with a nice couple who were away most of the time we were there. The place was quite funky and had a huge balcony with great views of the city. In between the […]

Český Krumlov

Pano

Český Krumlov is an incredibly picturesque fairy-tale like town in Bohemia, in the south west of the Czech Republic. Its historic Old Town which is classified as a UNESCO World Heritage site is almost completely ringed by the Vltava river. The main attraction here is the Česky Krumlov Castle which is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, just like the Old City which it overlooks. We stayed right in the heart of the Old City and it took just a few minutes to […]

Day-tripping from Prague

Kutna Hora is about 85km from Prague and definitely warrants a day trip. Together with friends Gena and Chris we took a train to this town which boasts a number of sights including the famous ‘Bone Church’ aka The Sedlec Ossuary. This was a pretty crazy place to see! The whole underground chapel is decorated with human bones. 40,000 people have their resting place here!! The reason being that around 1278 a local abbot went to Jerusalem and brough back some soil which he […]