Category: Western Europe

Christmas tree

Santa doesn’t fly in Finland

Two months ago I had know idea where I would be spending Christmas, but a random email brought me to Finland, the home of Santa. It’s wasn’t my first Christmas away from Australia, but it was the most culturally different.

Christmas bauble

In pictures: Christmas in Paris

I was excited to visit Paris again so close to Christmas. It made the city feel even more magical. Here are some of my favourite photos from Christmas time in Paris.

The layers of a francesinha

Porto’s heart attack on a plate

It was the most disgusting and awesome thing I’ve eaten. A sandwich filled with five kinds of meat, topped with an egg and melted cheese, dripping in a sauce made from beer and surrounded by chips. Yep, that’s francesinha.

Steep streets of Coimbra

The secrets of Coimbra

All I knew about Coimbra when I got there was “university town, steep streets”. I left having been introduced to a quirky city full of history, traditions and pastries.

Serbia (5)

Travelling in Serbia. Urgh.

Travelling in Serbia is fun, beautiful and incredibly frustrating. It’s a country that has yet to embrace mass tourism. That makes for a interesting travel experience, but not an easy one.

Albania (1)

Is it safe to travel in Albania?

Albania doesn’t have a great international reputation. It’s famed for its mafia, drug trade and human trafficking. Naturally, this image raises the question of whether it’s safe to travel here. After two weeks in Albania and I can tell you: it is.

Or this one?

A lesson from Kotor: I’m a travel snob and proud of it

Dissing popular attractions in favour or lesser-known destinations apparently makes me a travel snob. But visiting Kotor in Montenegro was a reminder of the experiences I enjoy and value when I travel. If that makes me a travel snob, so be it.

Hitchhiking

I’m sorry Mum, I hitchhiked

Poor public transport means hitchhiking is popular in the Balkans. For weeks I ignored the encouragement to do it. And then I got stranded at the Macedonian border.