Krakow, Poland

From Olomouc we decided to be brave (and cheap) and get a bus to the Czech/Polish border town and then walk across before catching a bus to Krakow. It was slightly stressful as we had incorrect info but some lovely local girls, who couldn’t speak English, went out of their way and walked us to the bus station.

Krakow was gorgeous – it had all the facilities you needed from a city but the main town was all lovely, cobbled and old fashioned. We were there at Easter and therefore most shops closed from Saturday afternoon to Tuesday morning – bit of a shame as we missed out on the highly recommended Grandma’s restaurant. There was a lovely Easter market on where we tried some traditional food, sausage etc and got me my easter treats.

We went to Auschwitz & Birkenhau on Saturday which was obviously awful but such an important thing to see. Initially we both weren’t as affected as we had been when visiting Dachau Camp in Munich last year but once you see the size of Birkenhau and hear the stats and at Auschwitz see the glass paned rooms filled high with human hair, thousands of pairs of glasses, suitcases, hairbrushes and even prosthetic limbs you really start to feel the magnitude of how many people went through the camps and the awful truth of it all.

We did a half day trip to the Salt Mines, you go 135 metres underground and it’s really big – you actually only see 1% of the entire mine which is mindblowing how huge it must me! There’s a whole lot of sculptures and even a chapel all carved/sculpted out of the salts, most of which were created by miners themselves. I wouldn’t recommend going though – I’ve heard better reviews from salt mines in different countries, plus it was pricey!

We met some fun Aussies and Brits at the hostel and went out with them to dinner one night and indulged in some polish vodka over card games the next…PHOTOS TO COME!

Prague & Olomouc, Czech Republic

After a short but sweet overnight stop in London, after our Egypt trip, we flew out to Prague. We arrived at 21:25 and as soon as we’d gotten through passport control I realised I’d left my jacket on the plane…oops! I hadn’t needed it in Egypt at all so I was out of the habit. Anyway we got it back no worries it was just a bit of waiting around. We finally arrived at our hostel at midnight and were checked out again by 9am. As we had already visited Prague in November last year, we moved straight on to Olomouc, which is a lot smaller than Prague and we’d heard it was gorgeous. We had our first stroke of luck when we were allowed on to the bus even though it was fully booked – the driver moved his stuff off a seat and was very helpful, even with the language barrier. At every stop they were turning people without tickets away, and at one stop they had to go through the bus checking tickets as there were no seats left, yet 2 people with tickets needed to get on - I seriously thought we were going to get kicked off as they had overbooked or something, but they found the culprits…Soo lucky! Phew!

We stayed for 2 nights in a nice small hostel called Poets Corner. We went to a museum which happened to be free on Wednesdays (woop woop - otherwise we wouldn’t have gone) so that was cool as we ended up seeing some pretty neat stuff….a massive chariot for one, very bling bling. While we were there it snowed a bit – very strange for us as we were still sunburnt from Egypt! Olomouc is very small so 1.5 days was plenty of time and we could just walk around at our leisure and fit in most the stuff the hostel recommended including indulging in fantastic local food, beer and a scrumptious chocolate tart.

Eastern Europe Trip mid-Mar to mid-Apr 2008

Already the memories of our month around Eastern Europe are fading fast, and as I really don’t have the energy to write a detailed blog I’ll just go ahead with the things that stood out the most and knowing me it’ll end up being super long anyway.

If I could offer one piece of advice for would be “go with the flow” travellers, it would be to look into distances and travel options between countries that you plan to visit – this is what caught us out many times and even though we still had a fantastic time (and perhaps things happen for a reason)…we could’ve saved a chunk of money if we had looked into it more.

We passed through 11 countries in 28 days, which is about as crazy as doing a Contiki trip but without the bus driver, tour guide and pre-planned accommodation and meals!

CZECH REPUBLIC - Prague & Olomouc
POLAND - Krakow
SLOVAKIA - Štrbské Pleso (High Tatra Mountains)
HUNGARY - Budapest
SERBIA - Belgrade
CROATIA - Dubrovnik
MONTENEGRO (bussed through)
ALBANIA - Tirane
GREECE - Athens & Aegina (Greek Island)

With the invention of websites like and the whole accommodation search has become pretty easy and I’m pleased to say that all the hostels we stayed in were fantastic – in particular, Greg & Tom’s in Krakow, Poland stands out. Small, modern, clean and friendly staff. Playstation2, wide screen tv, dvds, free internet, laundry and breakfast & supper! Crème de la crème of hostels

I’ve started writing paragraphs for every country so will post these along with some photos very soon…and I warn you it’s already getting rather long!