All posts filed under: Europe

Europe: In Pictures

Europe is a long, long way away. It takes tiresome hours to fly to. Getting there and staying is expensive than many people can afford to. The exchange rate between Euro and with whatever currency you’re holding to is also not very encouraging either. And if any discouragement was left, the super-cheap all-inclusive packages to Bali and Indonesia cost just as much as a return airfare to Europe. So why even bother with travelling to Europe at all? Well, let us count the ways in Europe in Pictures. Europe For Neoclassical Architecture The revival of Classical architecture during the 18th and early 19 century, defines Europe. Almost in every big city, and even in small towns, you can find an elegant piece of architecture characterised either by the grandeur of scale, or something just as charming. Take St. Stephen’s Basilica in Budapest, for an example, which looks both reviving and ancient feel to the city, with its 100-meter high dome, it represents a neoclassical and period architecture, simply beautiful. Europe For Beautiful Drives Whether driving with a purpose or for a moment of joy, in Europe if you’re on the road, you’ll inevitably …

Travel Tips For Slovenia

What people think about a place, and what it actually is, can be two different realities. And so was the case with me before I travelled to Slovenia. While I was planning the route-map for my first backpacking trip across Europe, I considered Slovenia as something totally different than what it actually turned out to be. I expected it as a part of ‘wild west’ or Eastern Europe. Moreover to my guilt, my heart was always more drawn to the neighbouring countries of Italy, Austria and Hungary. But since there was no way to travel from Hungary to Italy, via land, without bypassing through Slovenia (because I didn’t want to cross through Croatia with a Schengen Visa), I decided to stay in Ljubljana for a few days. [Read: My First Impression of Ljubljana] So if you are visiting Slovenia for the first time, then read ahead. These four significant misconceptions are the most useful travel tips for Slovenia. Don’t Mix Slovenia And Slovakia Slovenian people are very friendly and well-versed. For almost always you will find them smiling, but if there’s one …

Budget Travel Tips For Europe

Even with more and more budget backpackers making it to Europe, discovering their own quirky ways to travel on a cheap, Europe is still considered as a fairly expensive destination (especially among those who are dealing with a big currency difference, as I did, of 1Euro (EUR)= 70 Indian Rupees). During my recent 2 months in Europe, and especially while travelling across countries like Germany, Austria and Italy, I often get sick to my stomach at how much everything — from transportation to food to accommodation — cost. However, I found that a few things have gone my way… the traveler’s way: weaker European currencies, the rise of sharing economy, new bus options, and lots of budget airlines are a few to speak of. All this has combined to make getting around Europe more affordable than ever. To speak in clear words, here are my personal learning to criss-cross the continent without breaking the budget: Take Buses more often. And Avoid Trains There’s no denying the fact that in Europe buses are a lot cheaper than trains. And most budget backpackers rely on buses to keep …

My Workaway Experience In Rome

First things first: I was not sponsored to review workaway, which may otherwise feel once you read my post, but what can I do if my volunteer stay turned out to be the best. 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 and description about yourself and what you offer. Once you have signed up, 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. Well, that’s what it’s supposed to be like. But that totally depends …

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 be in town during a 3-day blogging trip, Basel was, undoubtedly, a place to explore. 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, an old world European charm, 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 at every turn. 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 …

A Scenic Bus Ride In Switzerland

It was undoubtedly clear that the journey, as soon as the bus escaped Italy and entered into Swiss territory, became far more surreal. The majestic Swiss Alps, perfectly beautified with an unbroken chain of sparkling 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 denial the fact that Switzerland offers beauty unparalled, on any road trip, taken in any direction; but this 300-km long stretch, even though I’d nothing more than a window seat in a public bus, felt no less charming. It dwarfed the memories of many other places I’d so far classified as SERENE! (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 …

My First Impression Of Basel

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 a few other towns in Switzerland a couple of months ago – started reappearing slowly. It was undoubtedly clear that the bus ride, as soon as we escaped Italy and entered in Swiss territory, became far more entertaining. Everything around now looked unrealistically beautiful. But as I arrived in Basel, and took the tram to my hostel, things became even more surreal. 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 of old architecture – dating back its foundation to 13th century – with modern monuments, while keeping everything in one style and harmony, …

Exploring Rome On Segway

There are many ways to explore a city. You can ride the buses, walk the streets, or take numerous tours. But if you’re short in 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, in only 7 hours, 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 better a delicious local lunch of Roman specialties was included! Though ofcourse, Roman specialties can never be good in a restaurant, And my 15 day experience of living with a Roman family in the heart of Lazio, validates that statement well; but for a restaurant it was surely the best you can …

How To Skip The Crowds Of Vatican City

Everyday, around thousands of people visit Vatican City. 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 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 for general public, and for those who want 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 guides hand picked, with backgrounds in …

My First Impression Of Ljubljana, In Slovenia

Before I go any further, I’d like to confess that prior to my visit I knew a very little about Slovenia. Other than vaguely being aware of it as ‘a part of Eastern Europe’, I knew nothing more about this teeny-tiny country. 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 are only moving towards west, and to a place that looked far more organized and reformed, than what I’d initially thought, or have been experiencing for the past few weeks. I realised that Slovenia is actually not very Eastern European — neither by its geographic location, nor by its appearance. And speaking …