Month: May 2017

My Workaway Experience In Rome

First things first: I was not sponsored to review workaway, which you may otherwise feel once you read this blogpost, but what can I do if my volunteering-stay turned out to be so great. Moreover, the fact that I had a great volunteering experience and that I encourage the idea of Workaway-ing, are not linked. In case you’re wondering what’s workaway… Workaway.info is a site where you can find volunteer positions in tourism, agriculture or as an au-pair anywhere in the world, and where potential hosts can hire you. You start by creating an account. All you have to do is sign-up, pay the fee for one year ($29 for a single person, $38 for a couple or two friends), and create a profile. Once it’s done, you can start contacting businesses or local hosts based on countries, cities, and/or type of work. The general gist in each location is that you get a room and board in exchange for 5 hours work a day. [Also Read: How Workaway Helps In Travelling The World Without Spending Much Money] The only problem is, however, you never know what …

What To See And Do In Basel

Basel is so tucked away on the northern edge of the country, bordering both France and Germany, that it’s not on the regular Geneva-Bern-Lucerne-Zurich route and is often forgotten by tourists. But speaking of my first impression of Basel, as I happened to explore it during a 3-day blog trip with Basel Tourism, it was undoubtedly charming and undeniably pleasant. Being Switzerland’s third largest town, Basel offers something for everyone. It has over 40 museums, uncountable art-galleries, world-class architecture, quirky bars, polished restaurants, it’s own trademarked beer, a lively riverside, traffic-free streets, Switzerland’s best town hall… well, I can go on. But honestly speaking I loved Basel not for the attractions it offered, but because of its old town European charm. Its many medieval winding streets that ooze both history and culture, offer a treat for the eyes. There couldn’t be a better place to conclude my 2 month long solo backpacking trip across Europe. Understanding Basel Before I arrived in Basel, I’d no idea that this part of Switzerland is straddling the borders of three countries, with little to indicate …

A Scenic Bus Ride In Switzerland

It was undoubtedly clear that as soon as the bus escaped Italy and entered into Swiss territory, the journey became far more surreal. The majestic Swiss Alps, perfectly beautified with an unbroken chain of white glaciers, crystal blue lakes and the many quaint villages – as I happened to explore, during a cheap 25 Euro Flixbus journey, offered no less than many million dollar views. I was travelling from Milan to Basel to spend my last weekend in Europe, before flying back to Delhi, and it couldn’t start any better. I mean there is no denying the fact that Switzerland offers the beauty unparalleled, on any road trip, taken in any direction — but this 300-km long stretch, even though I’d nothing more than a window seat on a public bus, felt no less spellbinding. (PS: Milan to Basel route was even better than Zurich-Lucern-Engelberg, as I explored during a day trip to Mount Titlis from Zurich) What To Expect From the Journey The first two hours, as we escaped Italy were perhaps the most boring, but as we …

My First Impression Of Basel

With museums galore, an emerald green river running through the heart of the city, and an old-world European charm, Basel indeed makes an appealing stopover. After spending a fortnight in the heart of Lazio, in Italy, while living with a Roman family and experiencing their way of life, as I left the country and started heading north, my preconceived, seemingly romanticized notions of Switzerland — now that I’d already explored Zurich and the Swiss Alps of Mount Titlis almost two months ago — started reappearing slowly. It was undoubtedly clear that the bus ride, as soon as we escaped Italy and entered into Swiss territory, became far more entertaining. Everything around now looked unbelievably beautiful. But as I arrived in Basel, and took the tram to my hostel, things became beautiful to another level. Basel was, indeed, a city to behold! An Old European Charm Despite being the third largest city in Switzerland, Basel unwinds itself as a romantic small town. Its many winding cobblestone streets, in the old town (that are also, lawfully, traffic free) are both narrow and beautiful. Its combination …

Exploring Rome On Segway

There are many ways to explore a city. Use public transport, hop-on-hop-off tourist buses, walk the streets, or take guided tours. But if you’re short on time and the city you’re traveling to is as massive and overwhelming as Rome can be, then what can be your best shot? In one word: Segway! Recently while I was in Rome, and was bitten by the idea of exploring the city, from inside out, on a fast track, while keeping it fun and relaxing, I thought — why not Segway it. And it turned out that exploring Rome by Segway, was perhaps the best decision. For €120, you get a 7-hour tour of Rome’s greatest sights including the Colosseum, Imperial Forum Road, Piazza Venezia and Trevi Fountain, among others. To make it even better a delicious local lunch of Roman specialities was included in the tour. Though of course, Roman specialities can never be good in a restaurant, And my 15-day experience of living with a Roman family in the heart of Lazio, validated that statement for me well. Before The Tour The …

How To Skip The Crowds Of Vatican City

Over twenty thousand people visit Vatican City every day. And in Vatican, the holy Sistine Chapel. They hope of experiencing a sublime or spiritual moment, but only end-up having a baffling experience. I mean how can you, in God’s name, feel anything peaceful in a place where all you get to see is a crowd of people pouring in, and guards constantly shouting “no talking, no pictures”! The solution? Take an exclusive tour carried out before the opening hours (for the general public) of Vatican. Private tours to Vatican City were usually reserved for celebrities, royals and politicians. But almost a decade ago, Vatican City opened its gates to the general public, and for those who wish to pay a little extra and escape the crowds. And this time, as I travelled through Rome, I ended up being one among them. I booked my early morning Skip The Crowds tour (for a little extra cost compared to what an ordinary walking tour costs) with a tour company called Through Eternity Tours, who claim to have their …

My First Impression Of Ljubljana, In Slovenia

Before I go any further, I’d like to confess that prior to my visit to Slovenia I knew a very little about this country, but my first impression of Slovenia changed it all. Other than vaguely being aware of it as ‘a part of Eastern Europe’, I knew nothing more about Slovenia. And to my guilt, my heart was always more drawn to the neighboring countries of Italy, Austria and Croatia — as is often the case with a majority of tourists travelling through Europe. Perhaps that’s why, while crafting the itinerary, I gave Ljubljana (the only town in Slovenia where I stayed) no more than four days, out of which I even planned a day out and visited Lake Bled and Postojna Cave. But as I left Budapest, in Hungary, and inched my way towards Slovenia, I realised that we were only moving towards west, and to a place that looked far more organized and reformed, than what I’d initially thought, or had been experiencing for the past few weeks. I realised that Slovenia was actually not very Eastern European — …

Day Trip To Lake Bled, Predjama Castle & Postojna Cave, From Ljubljana

Slovenia may appear like a tiny country sandwiched between stronger nations from all its directions, but speaking of the beauty it holds, there’re no rivals. Throughout my 4-day travel in Slovenia, I was amazed by its diversity, and the experiences it had to offer. From serene lakes to gigantic cave parks to medieval towns — Slovenia had something for everyone. But out of all the places of interest three highlights that complete your visit to Slovenia are: Lake Bled, Postojna Cave, and the Predjama Castle. Located at only an hour’s drive from Ljubljana, it is fairly easy to explore all three highlights in one day, given you are driving, because lake Bled is located in the opposite direction from that of Postojna Cave and Predjama Castle’s. But those travelling alone and not wanting to rent a car, as was the case with me, can opt for one of the day trips available from Ljubljana. I chose a company called The Roundabout, which runs day trips from Ljubljana and Zagreb, and explored the three highlights in under …

Metelkova District: Graffiti Art In The Streets Of Ljubljana

Before I arrived in Ljubljana, I’d no idea that Ljubljana — which happened to be the tiniest capital towns I’d ever seen in life (even tinier than Thimpu) — also happens to be one of Europe’s greenest and most liveable capitals. With a rich riverside café culture, an exceptionally peaceful vibe, and an old-world European charm, Ljubljana turned out to be one of those rare towns I’d like to revisit any day. But where the overwhelming charm and a chilled out vibe of Ljubljana Old Town enchant visitors and make them want to revisit again and again, there is also an entirely different side to the city — yes, I am talking about the shabby, but the respected graffiti area of the Metelkova district. Where graffiti in many places is considered, and even appear to be, a symbol of vandalism, in Ljubljana’s graffiti area the case was rather the contrary. Here it looked more like an art form. At Metelkova City artistic space, Ljubljana’s own graffiti area, several weird and wonderful buildings stand still, almost harmoniously, for you to marvel at, …

Vienna On A Budget

A city of culture, history, music and art, with a nightlife to rival with that of any city in the world, that’s what Vienna is, in a nutshell. Walking through its many fairytale-like streets you wonder if there can be a place so royal and majestic in its appearance found today — no wonder, Vienna deserves its nickname The Imperial City, fairly well. But where on one side every experience, every sight in the city, is a total treat, the cost of travelling here — whether you talk about a 10 Euro cup of coffee, or a 150 Euro ballet performance — can feel overwhelming, especially if you’re travelling Europe on a budget. But that doesn’t mean that it’s impossible to fill yourself up with the city’s history and culture, without having to spend too much. Because with my #ViennaNow budget travel guide, you can explore Vienna on budget. And Here’s how… Arriving In The City If you’re flying into Vienna, the best and the cheapest way to get to the city centre is by taking the S-Bahn connections from Euros 2.50 to Euros …