A Travellerspoint blog

First stop: Lithuania capital Vilnius

overcast 0 °C
View Baltic States and Helsinki on fuechsken's travel map.

The main thing to learn about the old town of Vilnius is probably the vast number of churches that are spread around the city. Almost on every corner you can find a chapel or cathedral, every single one with its own history. Some are old, some are simply stunningly beautiful. But obviously you can't spend the time to see every single church, no matter how unique. There is the Vilnius Cathedral, which is a national symbol. There is also St. Anne's church, which was Napoleon's favourite. And take a look at St. Casimir, it has a really nice exterior. Apart from the churches, Vilnius has an old town district, which is a UNESCO World Heritage and therefore wandering through the little streets is a must when visiting the city. Although some areas may not be in the best shape and need some restauration, the little cobblestone streets have a special magic going on, especially after dark. Then you can easily let your imagination drift back to the time, when Vilnius was the key city in medieval Lithuania.

Another must - do is the walk up to the castle. It takes about 10 minutes, starting at the cathedral and you'll be rewarded with an epic view of the city.

If you are looking for the place to relax, I can recommend the many Coffee Inn locations around the city. Those are cozy little coffee shops with free Wi-Fi. And if you are used to Starbucks prices, prepare to be dazzled by the low prices here. A good place to have some Lithuanian food is Snekutis. Many locals go here and they have their own microbrew. Order Cepelinai (meat-stuffed dumplings) and a large dark beer, and you'll pay less than 6€ for your dinner. As a sleeping place I can recommend the hostel Hostelgate, situated directly at the Gates of Dawn, close to the main station. Rates are low and the house is clean and friendly, you'll like it there.

My trip now takes me to the Latvian capital Riga. It's a 4,5 hour bus drive, but the buses are comfy and the journey enjoyable. Try Lux Express: free Wi-Fi, great legroom, free coffee, and I only paid 14€.

Posted by fuechsken 00:19 Archived in Lithuania Tagged food church bus cathedral castle hostel riga vilnius cepelinai Comments (0)

Roadtripping through Southern Spain (Part 2)

Rental Car, Camping, Almeria and Cabo de Gata

sunny 28 °C
View Southern Spain Roadtrip on fuechsken's travel map.

Last post I described the planning progress of this week-long roadtrip. We had booked a rather cheap rental car through www.billiger-mietwagen.de, ending up at a local provider with name "Goldcar". I have to underline right from the beginning, that the rate we had was ridiculously low, so that compensated for a lot of the bad experiences we had with the provider. The booking process from www.billiger-mietwagen.de was easy and comprehensive, but everything that had to do directly with "Goldcar" was not. When we arrived in Malaga, we had to wait another 90 minutes after our scheduled reservation time to receive our vehicle. At the counter, every sales clerk tries really hard to sell additional insurance (be firm!) and it is common policy in Spain that the car is received with a full gas tank and returned empty. So you have to buy the gas, that is already in the car, from the rental firm (plus additional fuelling fee, which cannot be avoided). The trick is to monitor your level of gas very closely during the last days of the trip, so you really return it as empty as possible. Another interesting take-away is that the basic insurance covers body damage completely. So don't worry about dents and scratches, but do not expect your rental car to be in perfect shape anyway.

As we finally had received our car, we headed out of Malaga to the east towards the town of Nerja, where we stayed a night in my parents' holiday appartment. We tried to keep our travel budget as low as possible, so using this appartment and camping were really a good help money-wise. The next day we started the trip continuing along the Costa Tropical towards Almeria. Although there is a fairly new highway that runs through the hinterland, taking the older coastal road has a lot more atmosphere, as long as the schedule is not tight. Expect to do a lot of steering on this trip, since the road follows every curve of the coastline in- and outwards. We made a stop in the City of Almeria, which is towered by the mighty Alcazaba, a moorish castle from the 10th century. The walk uphill is definitely worthwhile, the entry is free for EU-citizens (no one checked that) and the view across the city is breathtaking.

A little further east of Almeria lies the nature reserve of Cabo the Gata. This remote coastal area supposedly still looks like the rest of the andalucian coast did, before the tourist came. This region is the only in Europe with a desert climate, and the nature is mostly unharmed. In the Salinas (Lagoons) you can even see flamingoes.

We chose the stay in Cabo de Gata for the night. Some words on campgrounds in Spain at this point. In general the campsites are partitioned and the soil is rather hard. So if you intend to stay in a tend, bring a hammer and a comfortable mattress. Beside that the campsites usually have good and clean washrooms, sometimes a pool or small supermarket on site. WiFi coverage is sensational, by the way. Throughout the week, we always paid between 18-25€ per night for 2 persons, 1 tent and 1 car. But as always, season prices differ. It is helpful to be informed about the location of possible campgrounds along the route, because the signs are not always there. And especially in the mainland, there are fewer sites than on the coast. We were touring in the shoulder season, so availability was no problem. But if you are going in the high season, make sure to make a reservation in advance.

This is it for today, on rental cars and camping in Spain, and the city of Almeria. Next time I will describe further stops along the route, Guardamar and Alicante.

Posted by fuechsken 14:18 Archived in Spain Tagged nature rental car de reserve cabo nerja almeria goldcar gata Comments (0)

Roadtripping through Southern Spain (Part 1)

Planning

sunny 15 °C

My job in Hamburg where I have worked for the past six month is almost over, there are only three days left between me and my big time-out. The plan to be on the road for as many days as possible within the next eight month still drives my thoughts. But how should this travel-madness begin? September is the last opportunity to travel together with my girlfriend, so we are planning a trip together. At first, we thought about making an Interrail tour through France and Spain. I have used Interrail once, right after I finished school, and I really liked the concept. Read more about it at a later point in a post especially dedicated to Interrail.

But we realised that this plan would be too expensive, or at least that we could make more out of the money we had saved. So we changed our plans and are now looking forward to a 2-week-roadtrip through the south of Spain. Flying into Málaga, we drive to my parents' holiday home in Nerja, drop off some stuff and continue along the Costa del Sol towards Almeria and Cartagena. From there we drive up to Valencia, which is supposed to be a beautiful city. From there we leave the coastline behind and drive through La Mancha eventually ending up in Córdoba. Making a stopover in Sevilla we hit the rock of Gibraltar. Continuing through Málaga we finally end up again in Nerja, where we let our souls rest in the sun, with our feets dug in the sand.

As always this plan is a little bit rudimentary in the beginning, but this leaves us with the flexibility to switch, move or extends some stops. We plan to take our tent, so we can hit any campground and spend the nights rather cheaply. The rental car allows us to make individual decisions every day and we scored a really nice deal on www.billiger-mietwagen.de. The car is supposed to cost only 58€ for 16 days. I am sure that there is some catch, but even if this price gets hiked up a bit by additional fees, it is still a nice price. I will definitely not forget to let you know, how this played out and share my good or bad experiences with you.

Posted by fuechsken 10:37 Archived in Germany Tagged spain camping roadtrip Comments (0)

About Me

How I became who I am

sunny 15 °C

Hey everybody,

thank you for visiting my travel blog! I am happy that in the colourful collection of blogs that populate the world wide web, you have chosen to visit my humble website and learn about my travels. I hope you enjoy your stay in the virtual home of my adventures, that I am planning to build here. Just in case you want to learn a little bit about who I am, here is a short introduction...

My name is Arne, I am 26 years old and from Germany. More precisely, I was born and raised in a town called Duisburg, in an industrial and multiculticultural region called the Ruhrgebiet. Luckily my parents decided that having a child would not stop them from travelling, so I joined them on many trips at early age, leading my through Europe, North Africa, North America and China. This might explain to a certain extent, where this feeling called "itchy feet" (I like this expression better than the germanism "wanderlust") that constantly accompanies me, might come from. After I moved out of my parents' house, I started and completed my studies of business administration, of course not without studying abroad, in beautiful Victoria, British-Columbia. But I realised that I am not made to spend my days staying in the same spot, or even worse in the same office every day. The need to walk out and see as many foreign places as possible let me to consider a job which requires me to travel a lot. Well, I thought, why not make travelling in itself my profession. Since being little I have dreamt of becoming a pilot, but at some point buried these plans out of wrong modesty and... no, I don't really know anymore, what had driven me. Anyhow, I decided to pursue my dreams and ended up scoring a spot a Lufthansa's pilot school in Bremen, Germany. Since Summer 2012 I am now learning to become a pilot, using all the free time I have got to continue travelling around the globe. Fate gave me the opportunity to have almost eight month of leisure time between now, August 2014, and the next section of my training in April 2015. I am willing to spend as much time as possible on the road between here and everywhere. When I'm not on the road, I work as a ramp agent at the City Airport Bremen.

Posted by fuechsken 10:14 Archived in Germany Tagged me profile about Comments (0)

(Entries 1 - 4 of 4) Page [1]