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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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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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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The Great Wall of China – April 2019

If you want to head for somewhere in South East Asia, there’s a good chance your cheapest route will take you through Beijing, or to be more precise Beijing Capital International Airport (PEK). For some reason, our experience here is that arrival isn’t very well coordinated with your onward flight. We’ve been through this airport a number of times, with delays before the next flight of between 5 and 15 hours.  So what to do in these circumstances? Just wait it out, or make time to squeeze in another adventure in your limited travel opportunities?

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Bangkok, Thailand – April 2019

We had travelled through Bangkok a few times en route to other places including Cambodia and Phuket but never actually spent any time there.  Our schedule did allow for a few days on our return leg so we thought why not! We left Ho Chi Minh City and travelled with Air Asia back to DMK Airport (Don Mueang).  This was the most uncomfortable journey thus far with a very cramped plane.  Upon arrival, we were unable to book a transfer to the accommodation with them directly and therefore used the Taxify App to book a transfer from the airport.

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Vietnam Part 2 – Ho Chi Minh City – April 2019

Our Vietjet flight was quite pleasant, ran on time and the transfer organised by the accommodation was there upon arrival (which is always a relief!).  We got to our accommodation Cozy House and checked in.  The location was down an alleyway and despite outside appearances, it was, well, cosy!

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Vietnam Part 1 – Da Nang – March 2019

Our travel to Da Nang went as planned; the flights to Bangkok ran to schedule with a decent stopover in Beijing and our accommodation in Thailand was just the job for a nights rest before heading to Da Nang.  We did realise that we arrived in one Bangkok airport and departed from another (arrived at Suvarnabhumi – BKK and departed from Don Mueang – DMK) but were able to get a taxi to take us to DMK for our Air Asia flight in plenty of time.  Despite a slightly delayed departure for our flight, we arrived in Da Nang just before 7pm.  It is a small airport and was pretty painless collecting our bags and getting through passport control, we told them we intended to stay for a week, and they gave us a visa for 10 days.

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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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