Where I’ve Rambled

Overnight Train to Budapest from Brasov

Overnight Train to Budapest from Brasov

WAITING FOR THE OVERNIGHT TRAIN IN BRASOV After much deliberation we decided not to visit another small town (Sibiu) in Romania, as felt on balance it would be too similar to Brasov, so booked the overnight train to Budapest which was a journey taking 12 hours. We therefore had to wait out the day in Brasov until the evening, so we did what we do best when killing time and found a nice little place to have a few drinks. We…

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Peles Castle (Siana)

Peles Castle (Siana)

PELES CASTLE (SIANA) The following day we got another local bus (from Brasov) one hour south to the small town of Siana to see Peles Castle. It was a lovely Autumnal day with all the trees changing from green to yellow to red to brown and we strolled through the quiet town following the signs for the castle, famous as it is where the Romanian Royal Family had lived. We both stood and stared at it for a while thinking it…

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Dracula’s Castle (Bran)

Dracula’s Castle (Bran)

DRACULA’S CASTLE (BRAN) We took a local bus from Brasov for 45 mins out to the town of Bran to visit Dracula’s castle. Well, technically it isn’t Dracula’s castle at all, but is most likely the castle in Transylvania that Bram Stoker based his book on. The not so spooky Dracula’s Castle So where does Dracula come from? It would appear that Bram Stoker got his inspiration from the real life tyrant called Vlad Tepes, who viciously ruled Transylvania in the…

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Brasov

Brasov

BRASOV OLD TOWN With a three hour train ride ahead to Brasov, we headed for the Bucharest railway station and had worked out that the local bus stopped almost right outside our hostel. By some luck there was a bus stuck at the lights right by the station and we jumped on, only half asking ourselves if we could by a ticket on the bus or not. The driver had a curtain around his cabin and there was no conductor on…

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Bucharest

Bucharest

BUCHAREST THE CRAZY DUCK LODGE – “BOOK A REST” We pulled into Bucharest in the dark just after 11pm, not at the well lit, taxi filled central railway station I was expecting, but in some dark and dingy bus car park on the outskirts of town instead. Terrific. The cherry on the cake after 8 hours on a bus. We doubled back 10 minutes to the last main road we’d remembered from the bus journey and after several attempts managed…

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Sofia

Sofia

SOFIA We arrived in Sofia in the afternoon and opted for a taxi to our hotel to avoid the hour plus walk with our bags through some fairly dull “concrete jungle” scenery and were vigilant with the taxi as apparently over charging tourists is one of the biggest scams going in Bulgaria. Bulgaria was chosen mainly as a logical stepping stone to Romania. Not that it didn’t have its fair share of places that peaked our interest, it was just…

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Budapest

Budapest

BUDAPEST – THE PEST SIDE We arrived early in the morning at Budapest Keleti Train station after a surprisingly enjoyable overnight train from Brasov in Romania. Unbeknown to me, Budapest actually used to be two separate cities – Buda (West of the Danube) and Pest (East of the Danube) so we ended up splitting our time there, about a day on each side of the river. We couldn’t check in until 3pm, so we stored our luggage at the lockers in the train…

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Day Trips in Southern France – Gorges Du Verdon, Grasse and Cannes

Day Trips in Southern France – Gorges Du Verdon, Grasse and Cannes

DAY TRIPS IN SOUTHERN FRANCE GORGES DU VERDON – ST CROIX From our base camp in Brignoles we planned out several day trips in Southern France to make use of the car hire. First of on our list for day trips in Southern France was the striking Gorges Du Verdon, described as the “French Grand Canyon” and we could quickly see why. For over an hour we weaved out of Brignoles up the windy mountain road, occasionally pulling over to let the…

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Brignoles

Brignoles

BRIGNOLES Pleased to see the back of Marseille, we drove 2 hours to Brignoles, chosen for no other reasons than there being reasonably cheap accommodation and a good location to do day trips from seeing as we had the car. We checked into the Lemon Hotel on the outskirts of town, however there was nothing citrusy and zesty fresh about the aroma in our room which stank of either smelly feet or rotting cheese. It actually turned out to be…

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Marseille via Nimes and Cassis

Marseille via Nimes and Cassis

THE TRIP TO MARSEILLE VIA NIMES The actual trip to Marseille couldn’t have played out further than the trip we had planned. Not a lot went as hoped 🙁 We had booked another rental car to allow us to do day trips from out to towns that we couldn’t easily get to by public transport, or we couldn’t afford to stay in. We naively thought that the car would be ready and waiting for us at 10am, despite clicking 2pm…

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