Travelling to Zante After the Travel Ban…What to expect

We booked a last minute trip to Zante after we heard that restrictions for quarantine were lifted in Greece. From our own research it appeared that Greece have managed well with Covid with only 4000ish cases and 200ish deaths (mostly on the mainland).  We were a little apprehensive of what to expect in terms of health checks and covid safety and so thought we would share our experiences to inform others.

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Vilnius, Lithuania – September 2019

Vilnius is the capital city of Lithuania and has a population of over ½ million people.  It is known for its baroque architecture and cobbled streets.  It is a bustling city with something for everyone from art, history, trendy bars and restaurants and street art.   It wouldn’t be right to see so much of Lithuania without a trip to the capital!

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The Hill of Crosses & Kaunas, Lithuania – September 2019

On our journey back to Kaunas we did a detour to The Hill of Crosses; located 12km north of the city of Šiauliai in northern Lithuania.  The origins of the place are unconfirmed however the original crosses were thought to have been placed during the November Uprising or the Polish – Russian war of 1830-1831.

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Nida & Raganu Kalnas, Lithuania – September 2019

We arrived at Kaunas airport just after 12pm, picked up the hire car and began our 270Km journey heading towards Nida,  a coastal town in the Neringa Municipality.  Nida is the westernmost point of Lithuania and close to the Russian enclave of Kaliningrad.  The motorways in Lithuania are in pretty good condition compared to the neighbouring countries we have visited.  Approximately 30 miles along our route on the A1 we stopped for some lunch at the Kavine 130 cafe.  It is a popular and fun stop and we had some giggles with the props outside.   It was a welcome break after our very early start. Continue reading “Nida & Raganu Kalnas, Lithuania – September 2019”

Trieste, Italy – December 2019

For our New Year break we did a lot of research and wanted to visit Ljubljana, Slovenia and Zagreb, Croatia.  This incorporated a bus trip between the two.  Zagreb looked amazing for New Year and Ljubljana just looked really lovely so we decided we wanted to visit both.  Trieste was not somewhere we had planned to go; initially we had booked direct flights to Ljubljana with Wizz Air; unfortunately they decided to cancel their route there very last minute for us.  When we went to check on our flight status they had changed our flights to Prague! 

We had done a lot of research as to where we wanted to spend New Year and we were dead set on Zagreb so we found a work around…. We found we could fly to Trieste in Italy and get a bus to Zagreb and Ljubljana so with some rejigging we had the unexpected and delightful addition of visiting Trieste for just under 24 hours!

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Trip to Lithuania – September 2019

For a September break, we organised with friends Jane and Vitalis to visit Lithuania. Vitalis is Lithuanian and therefore what better way to spend time in the country than go with a local! We booked our flights through Wizz Air from Luton to Kaunas and planned to see Nida, Kaunas, Marijampole and fly back from Vilnius with Ryanair. Our flights out were an absolute bargain price of £17.49 each as we had purchased the Wizz Air discount card previously. The flights back were not so cheap but were £37.50 each back. The flight each way took approximately 2hrs 40.

 

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Trip to Chernobyl & Pripyat – July 2019

The first thoughts anyone may have about visiting the Chernobyl area is safety; is it really safe to visit a location that was subject of a nuclear disaster 33 years ago? On 26th April 1986 reactor core, 4 at the Chernobyl Nuclear Plant ruptured during safety testing, resulting in a highly explosive steam explosion and a subsequent open-air reactor core fire which lasted for approximately 9 days.  During this time the fire caused a release of radioactive contamination which precipitated upon parts of the USSR and Western Europe before finally being contained on 4th May 1986.  You can read more about it here. Continue reading “Trip to Chernobyl & Pripyat – July 2019”

Kyiv – Ukraine – July 2019

As part of our quest to conquer Europe by visiting every single country, Ukraine is somewhere we hadn’t been and were interested in going to.  As it worked out it was also a good time to go with flights being very reasonable and due to the higher media interest in the area due to the recent TV series based on the events of Chernobyl we decided now would be an excellent time to go for a 4-night break.  We flew with Ryanair from London Stansted.

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Budapest, Hungary – June 2019

It was time for another ladies holiday away but this time with the purpose of celebrating Ginny’s 60th Birthday.  She was given the task of deciding where she would like to go and Budapest was a popular choice due to the fact none of us had been there but had all heard good things.  After some travel planning earlier in the year we managed to find reasonable flights from Stansted with Ryanair and a lovely looking apartment from Booking.com and away we went.

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Riga, Latvia – January 2019

The bus trip from Tallinn was actually quite comfortable; the journey took 4hr 40 minutes but unlike any other bus trip like this we had been on, it had in-coach entertainment! We were able to watch a couple of films which made the journey go quicker and they had free tea and coffee and a toilet if required! We encountered a blizzard on the way,  but unlike the UK the roads were adequately prepared and there were no delays.  There is no hard border between Estonia or Latvia we just had to present our passport before we boarded.  We had a couple of stops on the way including Parnu and arrived at Riga bus station at 5pm.

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