Western Trail

I’m still having a hard time finding the right words to adequately describe my summer, but I made good on my promise to film more while traveling and as a result I can now present you with this little video. I’ve had a great time and saw amazing things.
If you are looking for a fun, inexpensive and adventurous way to travel you might want to check out Green Tortoise. Their bus travel really didn’t feel like a bus travel at all.

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A week of pushing limits.

One of the first things I booked and planned when I decided to spend my summer in the US was a bus and adventure travel tour. The route would take me down from San Francisco along the rugged coastline of the Big Sur, back to Los Angeles. I’d then spend some time in Joshua Tree National park, Las Vegas, and Zion National park before heading back to San Francisco.
It was a week of long bus rides, new friends, camping, dirty hair and exhausting but exhilarating hikes.

I was never and probably will never be a huge fan of camping but I enjoy it every once in a while. I feel better after having been uncomfortable and dirty for a couple of days. It makes me appreciate what I have more, learn how to deal better with awkward situations and exercises my patience. It grounds me in ways other things cannot.
This is why I’d urge anyone to put themselves out there and feel uncomfortable at least once a year. Go out there, smell like campfire and have sticky hands from all the S’mores you just made. The laughter and occasional shooting star will more than make up for that. I promise you.

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London Travel Diary: Day Three

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Our third day in the United Kingdom took us out of London and across the beautiful (but very dreary) English countryside to Dover.

Writing this may be a bit hard as opinions obviously vary and I don’t think we got the best impression of this town as it was super rainy, windy and cold, but it’s safe to say that one day, or even afternoon is more than enough.

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Upon arrival we made our way to the tourist office to get some maps and folders about activities. Then we made our way up to Dover Castle. You can easily get there by foot. It takes around 10-15 minutes from the town centre. At the castle you can do various tours.
I’d recommend the tours that lead you through the Secret Wartime Tunnels that were used during WWII.
I did the one of the wounded soldier. It took around 20 minutes and you follow the story of a wounded soldier who’s brought in to the infirmary. The tour is complete with sound and light effects. They also use chemicals to recreate the original smell, which can be nauseating at times. There’s a second one that takes around one hour, which we decided not to take because the wait would have been too long. The tours are included in the entrance fee you pay and definitely worth doing!
When you go further up the castle, you get to know more about the earlier history of it. The insides are done very nicely and it’s fun and educational for children as well as for grown-ups.

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Afterwards we meant to hike around the cliffs for a bit to a lighthouse, but the horrendous weather thwarted our plans. There are boat tours around the harbour offered as well, but this too, might be nicer if it’s not pouring cats and dogs ;-)
When asked where we’d get the best view of the cliffs, we were told that it would be from down at the boardwalk. This was partly true. We got a nice view but still had the port in front.
After that, we still had a few hours left in Dover but nothing to do really. The city centre also seemed to lack nice, cosy cafés or restaurants. (At least we couldn’t find them. If you disagree and have some tips and cool locations, please let me know!)

All in all we had a nice day, saw a place we haven’t been to before and, in the end, even though it was lacking in some aspects, we didn’t regret our choice of going to Dover.
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How to get there:
Initially we looked up trains from London to Dover, but found that taking a bus was much, much cheaper (one way train tickets would have been 75£/person whereas the bus ticket was 12£/person for a return ticket). The bus ride takes around 3 hours and I’ve only ever had good experiences with National Express. The buses are clean, comfortable and barring any major traffic jams they’ve always been on time.

World: Budapest

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Budapest, May 2012.
Such a stunning city. Such fond memories.

Bus connection: Vienna-Budapest: return ticket around 17€ with Eurolines (ca. 3h drive) – cheaper when booked via. the hungarian bus company.
Hostel: cheaper when sharing a 3+ bedroom (I was traveling with 4 friends so we took a room for five and ended up getting a really good price).

[More pictures here]