Tandem House programme, May 2016 Mościbrody Manor Estate, Poland.

In 2016 Antony and I did 5 different Angloville programmes (and a Diverbo Englischhausen which I will blog about separately). All the programmes were really enjoyable and a great chance to meet locals. We can highly recommend doing these programmes if you are a native English speaker travelling in Europe! Participating in an Angloville programme usually means spending 5 nights in a resort or hotel in the countryside, where, as native English speakers, you receive all meals and accommodation for free. In return you […]

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 […]

Prague by foot

With Gena on the Charles Bridge, Prague.

We spent our week in Prague with friends from the States, Gena & Chris. It was really nice exploring a place with other people for a change! Gena had found some walking tours of Prague online before she arrived so we followed a few of these which was great as they took us to slightly random places we might otherwise have missed, for example the John Lennon Wall & the Piss Sculpture. I kid you not, nearish the Charles Bridge on the Castle side there […]

Couchsurfing in an Iranian Village

Biking in the village

Aside from our first 2 weeks on Qeshm island, the following 6 weeks in Iran were almost exclusively spent staying in cities. There was one night in the desert and one other exception- when we couchsurfed in the village Nasrola Mahaleh, (near Fouman) in Gilan Province, with our host Hamed and his parents. This was quite a different experience and just wonderful. The village was in a green rural valley in the north of Iran. Cows and other animals wandered freely along the roads. […]

Singing under the bridge, Esfahan

Singing under Khaju Bridge, Esfahan, Iran.

One of the more memorable moments from our trip was hanging out under Khaju bridge in Esfahan one night, together with new German friends Reiner & Theresa, our host Mohammad and also Omid – a friend I have from the language exchange website italki. We listened to people sing all sorts of traditional Persian songs unaccompanied. It was only men singing as it is forbidden for females to sing in Iran. There were lots of people gathered all the way along the bridge and […]

Fabulous Female CS hosts in Iran

Simin & Roha

We stayed with just two female Couchsurf hosts in Iran. Both were married, well educated, spoke excellent English and had one child each. Their husbands knew very little English but were both the loveliest people. We stayed just one night in Shahrebabak with Somaye, an industrial engineer. This was an exception to our usual 2 night minimum policy. Somaye was recommended to us by a couchsurfer from Bandar Abbas – one we didn’t stay with but who provided us with lots of helpful information. […]

Around Auckland (North Island 3 of 3)

With ridiculous house prices, urban sprawl and terrible traffic, I sometimes wonder why so many people choose to live in Auckland. Especially when there are so many gorgeous, much cheaper, alternatives. We didn’t spend a lot of time in Auckland itself on this trip but explored some stunning places nearby which helped me see some of the attraction of living in the big smoke. And maybe the good, good people that live here make it hard for some to move away. We certainly caught […]