Churches

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 […]

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 […]

Prague Castle

We headed to Prague at the end of September 2016 to meet with our American friends who were going to be in the city for a few days. I had visited Prague twice before (in 1995 & 2006) so was mostly looking forward to hanging out with our friends rather than sightseeing. But I have to say the city really impressed again! In a city full of fantastic architecture and magnificent buildings, Prague Castle dominates them all with its place on the hill overlooking […]

Akhaltsikhe & Georgian Food

Rabati Fortress, Akhaltsikhe

We took a marshutka from Kutaisi to Akhaltsikhe and when we got off we were admiring the cars set up as hardware shops and were trying to work out which way to go to get to our hotel when a bustling woman approached us offering accommodation at her guesthouse. We had already booked a room a hotel so politely declined her offer. Not giving up she offered home cooked meals and a husband who could drive us to Vardzia and other places of interest […]

Kutaisi, Georgia

Wizz Air flies in and out of Kutaisi from all over Europe for very few euros so it’s likely the budget traveller to Georgia will fly via this city rather than Tbilisi. Our first visit to Georgia saw us finish in Kutaisi where we then flew to Warsaw. Our second visit had us arrive in Kutaisi from Munich and leave from there to Budapest.  Kutaisi it turns out is more than just a place for budget airline arrivals and departures. The town has quite […]

The Georgian Military Highway

We did two day trips from Tbilisi when we were there in April and I can recommend both to future travellers to Georgia. The first was with a driver up what is known as the Georgian Military Highway to Kazbegi, a truly magnificent drive. We stopped off at a few beautiful points along the way both there and back. The second trip from Tbilisi was to Uplitsikhe cave city and Gori, birthplace of Stalin and home to the Stalin Museum. I’ll cover this one […]

Tbilisi – Capital of Georgia

We have been fortunate enough to visit Georgia and its capital Tbilisi on two occasions this year. The first experience in Georgia was so good (but relatively short, just 10 days in April) so when we needed to exit the Schengen Zone we decided to return to Georgia and explore some more. In October we were back for around 3 weeks. I’ll write about both trips now so all the Georgia posts are together. Let’s start with a bit of background about the place… […]

Last day in Armenia – Debed Canyon

Impressive frescoes in the ruins

We stayed in Vanadzor for two nights with a guy who is also involved in the ARK Armenia organisation we helped out with in Kapan. We arrived after our Lake Sevan trip and the following day we were off exploring again, this time hitch-hiking and on buses. Our target was the dramatic and beautiful Debed Canyon and a few monasteries there. Our attempts at hitch-hiking out of town didn’t last long as a very crowded mini-van bus came along and we jumped in that. […]

Qazvin

Once the capital of all Iran, Qazvin these days is a smallish city with a population around 400,00 and home to a few pleasant sights. The main reason for us and many other tourists to come to Qazvin is the city’s proximity to the Alamut Valley & Castle of the Assassins. We had an amazing day trip exploring these places and it was great to be in the mountains again. But Qazvin itself was also nice to wander around. The highlight of the town […]