The Land of Pigeons and Wild Boars: The Hapless Guide to Kușadası

The first rule of Kușadası is that no one talks about the ineptitude of Google maps when it comes to Kușadası. For if they did, no one would ever go there. Jokes put aside, if your accommodation is in the old town, loosely referred to as Kaleiçi, basically the area surrounding the bazaar and the…

Rocks, Saints, Rivers- A Visit to Ephesus

Present day Ephesus lies stranded inland, about 5 kilometres away from the coast. As with many ancient sites, one could hardly notice its presence if it wasn’t for the road signs. The closest settlement is Selçuk, a sleepy provincial town on the road from Izmir to the seaside resort of Kușadası. Most visitors also come…

High Life over Vienna: The Donauturm (and other Observations)

Having found ourselves in Vienna on a particularly lovely summer’s day, we decided to do some things we’ve done before: briefly visit the Hundertwasserhaus (glad to report people are still posing with empty looks on their faces in front of the fountain), have cakes in Demel (glad to report the waitresses are still the same…

To Tourist or Not to Tourist: Day Trip to the Floating Village of Bokod

Experts in day tripping as we are, we set off on a sunny bank holiday morning with that generally ill-advised Top Gear/Grand Tour confidence of what could possibly go wrong only to be immediately confronted with the first thing that most definitely went wrong. As Hungarians are almost irrationally staunch about sticking to bank holiday…

A River Runs Through It- Day Trip to Mostar

Mount Velež oversees Mostar from a height of 1969 metres, bearing the name of Veles, the Slavic god of many things: earth, waters, underworld, and deceit. Veles is the trickster god. For those more familiar with Norse mythology, or its Marvel corruption, Veles is Loki. Yet the one thing Veles could not achieve is protect…

A Somewhat Practical Guide to Sarajevo- Travel Diary Part Two

Having waxed lyrical in the previous installment, it’s time for some actual intel for those who want to visit Sarajevo, beginning with the thorny issue of how to get there. Flying is probably the best bet for everyone approaching from outside the former Yugoslavia, as the country’s roads and railways still have some post-war infrastructural…

A Cabinet of Viennese Curiosities for Beer and Book Lovers

So there I was, in the world’s most livable city, on a fine spring evening, in excellent company, listening to one of my all-time indie crushes and feeling deeply miserable. Not just any kind of misery, but an existential dread that bends one into a tortured Egon Schiele silhouette, sends one onto the couch of…

Sailing Through 117 years of Budapest History: The Adria Palace

The Adria Palace (of which I of course did not yet know the name) had been the backdrop to many a mundane undertaking of my Budapest life: I would give it a passing glance on my way to Iguana’s Cinco de Mayo celebration, peer at it aimlessly while queuing at the mobile bathroom during the…

Best of 2018- Travels

A visit to Juventus’s stadium in Turin. Do it even if you don’t like football all that much, or support other clubs. It’s not ridiculously long and the guides are entertaining- provided you speak Italian, as English versions are mainly available only from tape, which I say is fine given we’re in Italy and all…

Un(re)touched Christmas

Last time I felt truly ready for Christmas was probably when I was about six, mainly because at that time I did not prepare for it, it just came, and it was lovely. Santa always brought the presents I had asked for, as if he knew me exactly as well as, let’s say, my parents,…