A Travellerspoint blog

By this Author: The Minion

Farting around Denmark

We bid Sweden farväl as we hit the Øresund Bridge, a 16-kilometre bridge and tunnel that connects Sweden and Denmark. We didn't have an exact destination in mind so just hit the road and enjoyed the unique riding experience. Soon we got to the Storebælt Bridge, an 18-kilometre-long bridge which includes the world's second-longest suspension bridge, which lead us to Denmark's middle island. During a petrol stop we consulted our map to find a random place to go. We both immaturely giggled as we spotted 'Middelfart' on the map and decided we would set up camp here.

The road to Middelfart took over another two impressive bridges. We were pleased to find a lovely camp-site right next to a deer reserve where we spotted spans of beautiful Bambi's grazing around.
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Greg was keen for a dip but all along the harbour were no swimming signs. We soon discovered why...

Hey, what's that in the water?
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Jellyfish!
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They're terrorizing these waters...
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Come poes!
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We feasted on a braai of random meats from the local butcher and enjoyed some of Denmark's notoriously expensive booze.

We had a relaxing stay in Middelfart and were planning to stay longer to see the local mental hospital museum and some classic motorbikes. However, these places were only open on Saturday's.

Posted by The Minion 02:02 Archived in Denmark Tagged bridge deer jellyfish denmark middelfart øresund oresund storebælt Comments (1)

Krakow & Wieliczka Salt Mine

sunny 25 °C

From Hungary we made our way into Poland. We set up camp in Krakow and headed straight into the town centre for some traditional Polish dumplings, which went down very well. We spent the rest of the day exploring the beautiful city (with a charitable rose) and tried some of the local beverages. During the day Krakow is a traditional city rich in history and legends. At night time, it is transformed into an atmospheric and hip party town with funky bars in the most unusual places and cocktails galore.

Some sights:
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Our rose:
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The next day we visited the Wieliczka Salt Mine, a few kilometres outside of Krakow. This fascinating place has been mined for 700 years and brought great fortune and prosperity to the area during this time as salt used to be a highly valuable commodity (it's where the word 'salary' derives from). The tour took us through several kilometres of salt tunnels and 20 of the mine's chambers, just 1% of its total which has over 300km of galleries. Besides the supporting wooden beams, everything was from salt: sculptures, walls, floors, ceilings and even the lights.

Unfortunately it was difficult to get good pictures due to the lighting, but here are a few of the better ones:
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A visit to Krakow and the surrounding area is well worth it!

Posted by The Minion 09:30 Archived in Poland Tagged poland rose salt mine krakow wieliczka Comments (0)

Hungary, the short version

sunny

I just spent ages typing up a nice blog and adding pictures. Then the internet went down and it was all lost, so here's a short version of our Hungarian adventure:

We left Romania and found a random campsite. We got lucky as the campsite was part of a swimming pool/natural spa/welness centre complex and we got free entry to the pools (see site for more info). We took and evening dip and spent the evening chatting and laughing about 2,5 months of touring.

The next day we spent chilling at the park: swimming before breakfast, lunch and dinner, soaking up the goodness of the natural healing spa, braaing for lunch and dinner, ect. It was super relaxing, especially as everything was of high standards, something we haven't always found in the Balkans.

Friday, after a morning swim, we made and early exit for the capital, Budapest. As we arrived at midday it was cooking. Luckily the hotel was well cooled and a shower made us feel refreshed. However, as we set off for an afternoon and evening of sightseeing, we concluded it was way too hot to do everything and kept the walking to a minimum and kept cool on the terraces. In the evening we had a traditional goulash which was lovely but is probably better suited to a cold winter's day rather than a scorching summer's day.

This morning we had a champagne breakfast (Greg declined the champers before setting off for Slovakia. As we kitted up and loaded the bike we were told it was going to be even hotter today than yesterday. As we were riding out of Budapest at 11 this morning, the LED thermometers were already showing 40'!

Happy as Larry with the campsite
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Some sights of Budapest
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Chatting up/snorting up some lovely ladies
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Enjoying traditional goulash
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Posted by The Minion 11:22 Archived in Hungary Tagged budapest hungary spa thermal babushka goulash babooshka oroshaza Comments (0)

Celebrations in Belgrade

Djoković broj 1!

As we arrived in Serbia's capital on sunday, we knew something special was going on: people were cheering, cars were hooting and bikers were pulling wheelies galore down the main street. As we got closer to our hotel we realized why: Djoković was being crowned the 2011 Wimbledon champion! We were in for 2 very cool nights in Belgrade... To get an idea of the madness, see Clip 1, Clip 2 (we saw all the people in clip 2!) and Clip 3.

Belgrade is a beautiful city with lots of impressive history to explore and wonderful architecture. The city is a vibrant mix of new and old, and has an atmospheric cafe culture which is great for people watching and/or camel-toe spotting (the latter was around in abundance!).

The main square, getting ready to party
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Basilica by night
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Belgrade Skyline from citadel
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Taking a walk on the wild side
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Belgrade citadel
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Fun military exhibition in the citadel
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Shooting blanks while the security guard wasn't looking
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Belgrade is an awesome city, well worth a visit. Our Belgrade experience was made even better by the Djokovic celebrations, how proud the nation is of 'their hero'. We didn't tell anybody we don't care much for tennis...

Posted by The Minion 12:31 Archived in Serbia Tagged military tennis serbia belgrade citadel djokovic Comments (0)

The ancient city of Stobi, Macedonia

The road from Lake Ohrid to our next destination took us over the enormous peaks of the Galičica National Park and through the famous Tikves wine region. Surprisingly, we were not in search of some good wine, but were looking for the ruins of the ancient city of Stobi.

Compared to Butrint in Albania, Stobi is much lower profile and works on a small budget (no UNESCO World Heritage Site status). However, the city of Stobi is much larger and historically probably more important. For more information on Stobi, see STOBI

As it was getting late, we didn't have time to find a hotel, unpack the bike and head back to Stobi so we headed there in the hope we could leave the packed up bike outside. Luckily the site was very quiet and the security guard would watch it for us. We were offered a free guide which was magnificent. Our local guide was very enthusiastic, shared a wealth of interesting information with us, made us laugh with some insider and local jokes, and ignited our imagination as he took us through the site.

From the more usual amphitheatre, Roman houses and churches, Stobi offered more unusual places such as a gambling house, library and different types of baths. We were also shown the beautiful mosaics and frescoes that have been found in different buildings and explained the meaning of the pictures.

Most of this wonderful city is still to be excavated so it is still very much a work in progress. We'd love to see what else they've uncovered in 10 years time as the site is very large but they need to dig up to 5 metres to get to the ruins. It's a time-consuming and costly process, but the rewards are magnificent. Stobi is a true gem in Macedonia...

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Posted by The Minion 07:22 Archived in Macedonia Tagged ruins ancient_city macedonia stobi Comments (2)

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