The collected writings of a Renegade Tourist

Month August 2012

Back on Swedish soil

After a long train journey to Swinoujscie and too little sleep on the ferry to Ystad we are now back in Sweden and our travels are over for now.  Despite a few mishaps we enjoyed ourselves but, traveling around like this is tiring in the long run; three weeks is just enough.

During the trip I learned a few things that can be useful to know for future adventures.

  • I brought too many things: I had a few items I never used and can further reduce the size and weight of my bag without a problem.
  • It is a good
Read the rest

Rain and Museums

Since it was overcast and raining this morning, the weather was perfect for visiting a couple of museums. It turns out that Warsaw’s museums, or at least the ones we visited, were mostly hum drum. The museum of the Warsaw Uprising however, was great. A good collection of photos, old weapons and so on, documenting the Warsawian’s attempt to cast out the Nazis. It was all displayed in a very moving way. Although a bit off the main tourist rout (we got slightly lost on the tram network) it’s definitely worth the visit.

That’s pretty much it for the day … Read the rest

The capital of Poland

Warsaw is less overwhelming than Krakow, very likely due to it being a proper city, a metropolis even. Therefore the interesting attractions such as the old town, palaces, churches and so on are all spread out. To see them one cannot simply stroll around, it is a fair walk among modern buildings to get anywhere and public transport would be preferable for the not so young and fit.

For me and Yini, walking along the royal way up past the castle was no problem, so we did manage to see much of old (or should I say rebuilt) Warsaw in … Read the rest

Salt mines

Today we spent more or less the entire day under ground in the Wieliczka salt mine just on the edge of town. We started with the classical tourist rout which, by the looks of it would be very crowded considering the one hour queue for tickets and a further half hour wait to get in. Down below it was not as bad as all that, due to a limited group size.

We descended down a seemingly endless set of stairs. When we got to the bottom we set off on our walk through long, wood lined corridors and chambers of … Read the rest

Holocaust memorials in the heat

I normally despise all inclusive tours but for the goal of the day it seemed like the best option, so we took the easy way out. A mini bus picked us up outside the hostel and drove us directly to Auschwitz which is only an hour or so away from central Krakow. From there a guide led us around the remains of the concentration camp, giving us nearly whispered explanations through  our head phones.

I expected to have some feelings of sadness at this place, but they never showed up. Perhaps it was due to the very controlled environment crowded … Read the rest

k k k Kraaaaaaaaakow

krakow undoubtedly has one of Europes most memorable old towns, definitely the best during this trip. Walking from the train station towards old town a simply breathtaking sight meets you as the street opens up onto the main market square. The churches, market hall, town hall and so on are just magnificent. Other cities like Bratislava are simply no match for this. The sheer size of the place also plays a role in upping the wow factor I guess. I snapped a few quick shots but they don’t really do the place justice.

Shots of old town Krakow taken during Read the rest

Hotspring and night train

A small box in the guide book titled “Worth the trip” informed us of the hot springs in a town called Piestany. Since both Yini and I enjoy hot spring baths we decided to go for a day excursion and relax a bit. Although not really what we expected, it was really nice to go for a soak in hot water, both clear and muddy. What was less nice was the lack of tourist information and maps that caused us to get lost on the way back to the train station.

When we got back from our day trip, we … Read the rest

One night in Bratislava

Slovenia is a great country but we have limited time so this morning we moved on through Austria to Bratislava in Slovakia. We have walked around most of the old town and can conclude that, much like Ljubljana, Bratislava can not offer all that much in terms of the old towns compared to places like Budapest; the only noteworthy things are the statues of every day people here and there. The atmosphere however, is much nicer than more popular old towns with fewer crowds. The people on the street seem to be locals for the most part, since very few … Read the rest

The true slovenia

The last two days we have been busy seeing what Slovenia is really all about: the great outdoors. We started yesterday by going southwest to the Karst region and visited the Postojna caves which was nice but a bit on the touristy side. You have to take a rather expensive tour that includes two journeys with a small undground train. Even though photography was forbidden I snapped a few shots on the way out.

Riding on the cave train
Shot from inside the cave

From there we went to Predjama Castle that is built in the mouth of a gigantic … Read the rest

Postojna caves 12 noon

The air gets chillier as the small, open train takes us through a tunnel of rough rocks into the underground. The tunnel opens up onto a new world full of limestone formations, stalactites hanging from the ceiling, stalagmites growing up from the ground, free standing pillars and curtains clinging to the wall. Some are lit up by strategically placed lamps while others lay in shadow, creating a captivating play of light. Some times the train winds through narrow passages that then open up into large caverns. The landscape is fascinating for an inexperienced spelunker like me, just too bad there … Read the rest

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