One night at a party, a friend and I noticed we had a weekend without plans or events in the near future and decided to do another city trip. Flights to Bratislava or Sofia were super expensive so we scrolled all the way down and clicked on Vilnius. We found return flights for ~75€ that’d leave friday afternoon and return early monday morning so we didn’T even need to take days off work. We booked and didn’t plan anything besides booking a hostel. As always, we did a free walking tour with an amazing guide to learn about the capital of Lithuania and its history. Thanks to ‘no unlock fee’ scooter-offers from BOLT, we scootered a lot around the city. We saw the ‘independent’ republic of Uzupis, a small area near old town which is basically the artsy area of the town. The best-spent 3€ ever was probably for the 30min boat ride around the island-castle ‘Trakai’ near Vilnius 😀 . Thanks to rainy weather, we even visited a nearby water-park with lots of saunas and waterslides and of course we tried the amazing local specialties and beers. Lithuanian cooking seems pretty simple but tasty: take some minced meat, wrap it in dough, cabbage or potatoes and fry / cook / deepfry / bake it. Some resemble potato dumplings, others look like empanadas, cabbage rools or tortellini/pierogi.
As mentioned in the previous post, I tried to explore more of eastern europe in 2019. So in september, I flew over to Budapest, the capital of hungary. Since it was another weekend-trip I only had ~3days but the advantage that a friend of mine was doing an internship there.
As usually, I did a free walking tour to learn about the history and also took the tour through the parliament besides going to the zoo on sunday :D.
Back in singapore I spent most weekends exploring the neighbouring countries and wondered, why I never did that in europe. I decided to start ‘exploring europe’ in more detail when I got back. This didn’t work due to a lack of cheap flights, many events on the weekends and other calendar conflicts. This year, I decided to – finally – get a few dots east of germany into my travel map and booked weekend trips to:
– Gdansk, Poland (03/2019)
– Kraków, Poland (04/2019)
– Warsaw, Poland (08/2019)
– Vienna, Austria (01/2019)
– Budapest, Hungary (09/2019)
– Vilnius, Lithuania (10/2019)
Besides these trips to eastern europe, I spent weekends in
– Malta (see post absout diving malta)
– Bergen, Norway (see post about Bergen)
– Lago di garda, Italy
and went to London and Zurich though I’d been there previously.
The gallery below shows pictures from my poland-trips (Gdansk, Warsaw and Kraków since I only had ~2 days each to get a quick grasp of the culture, monuments and lifestlye)
In February 2019 I went back to Indonesia – but this time with a plan :D. I tried to convince a few friends to ‘join my trip’ with a 1-pager filled with pictures of vulcanos, manta-rays and temples.
So in February, we flew to Denpasar, Bali and started our trip via Ubud and back south to Nusa Lembongang for the Manta rays. After some nice dives and driving around the island we left for permuteran – a small village near the national park of Menjangan in northwest Bali.
We enjoyed some more dives and visited the turtle hatchery to send a small turtle (Sgt. Miau) on it’s way into the big blue ocean. Afterwards we passed the straight and slept a few hours near Mt. Ijen before hiking up the crater at night – and even saw the famous blue flames.
The next day, we took a train through the Indonesian landscape towards Probollinggo to get close to Mt. Bromo. Due to cloudy weather we didn’T go for the sunrise and we walked around the planes near Mt. Bromo in the late morning hours. We also hiked up to the craters edge where we could hear the rumbling and see the smoke coming out of the partly active volcano.
As our final stop of the trip, we went to Yogyakarta and spent the last days visiting the UNESCO world-heritage site temples Borobudur and Prambanan as well as the city and its surroundings.
I put the diving pictures in a second gallery below.
In autumn of 2018 my company declared a limit to the amount of holidays I could transfer to the next year so I had to squeeze in a short holiday. After checking flights to wherever, I noticed there were direct flights to Cancun, Mexico or the island of curacao. I decided to book a 1 week trip to Mexico due to the possibility of a mixture between diving and seeing some mayan cultural heritage sites. The amazing Mezcal hostel turned out to be the perfect spot to stay in Cancun and meet people to spend the evenings with.
Despite the short time, I managed to see the heritage sites of Chichén Itzá and Tulum as well as dining on the beach in Playa del Carmen, see some baby turtles on Isla Mujeres, swim in the pristine waters of the cenotes in the middle of the jungle and party in Cancun’s famous Hotel/nightlife area. Of course, I also went diving in the ocean and a cenote to witness the halocline (border between sweet and saltwater) that give you the impression of fish and divers flying in the sky while raising your head out of a lake. Unfortunately, diving is relatively expensive in Mexico and they try to make money by selling pictures (80$ for ~5 pics the professional took of me and none showing the incredible ) so I couldn’t take any pictures in the cenote Chac Mool. If I were to fly to Mexico again, I’d definently make it a multi-stop trip and slowly travel down towards Belize and the other neighbouring countries.
On a perfect weekend trip to norway, we made a roadtrip to stavanger to hike preikestolen – The weather wasn’t perfect but the scenery definetly is!
I’ve been wanting to dive in Malta for a few years now but everytime I tried to organize a trip with a few friends oder a long weekend, flights were really expensive. This spring I finally managed to spend a 4-day weekend on this mediterranean island and dive some of it’s wrecks.
As mentioned in the previous post, I went to the philippines again!
This time, I took some friends who also dive and flew to manila. From there, we went to coron, oslob and moalboal to spend a few days island hopping and diving – but see for yourself!