Thursday, 5 May 2011


A 10 days in Croatia during Easter 2011.
10 kunas = £1,2
Ice-creams 7 or 8 kunas
Daily budget: 100 k (£12) for sleeping, 200 to 300 k for food & transportation.

D1: Arrival at Zadar airport at 8.30pm Very small airport so not long to wait for the bags. 2 ATMS in the entrance hall. The airport shuttle leaves at 9pm sharp, 25 kunas one way, it takes 15 min to go to the bus station. Don't stay at Zadar more than half day as there is not much to see. There is a left luggage storage at Zadar bus station, very cheap, it was about 10k for 5 hours.
Accommodation: Kresan room, 190 kunas for a double room, private bathroom, clean and new 15 min walk from the bus station. A small shop available across the accommodation. The closest places to eat are at the bus station.

D2: Bus to Plitvice at 3.10pm 86k + 7 k for the backpack. Arrival at 6.30pm at Plitvice entrance 2. (There is a 30 min break during the bus trip).
Accommodation: Appartments Polnajak: The owners came to pick us up at Entrance 2. 10 minutes drive to their house. 322 k for a very nice room, very clean with tv and bathroom in the countryside, delicious and fulfilling breakfast included but no restaurant around (closest is at 40 minutes walk), so bring food before you arrive or have you own transportation.D3: The owners dropped us at the Entrance 2 of Plitvice Lakes at 8pm just when it opens. There are free lockers to put your bag. Entrance fee is 110 k and includes boats and shuttles. Various itineraries are offered from 2-3h walk to 5-6h, but make sure you go in direction of the waterfalls on the right of the map, this is the most beautiful area. In a day you have time to go everywhere as you can take shuttles and boats. As it was a Sunday and Easter, there were not many buses to leave Plitvice to go to Split or anywhere else. Only 2 buses that day at 10.50am and 1.50pm. I advice to ask at your accommodation if they can check what time there will be buses as you may wait for a few hours if it is holiday for instance.
Arrival at Split at 8.00pm
Accommodation: Raspudic accommodation, 110 k for the double room, shared bathroom, tv, 5 minutes from the centre, ideal, cleanliness is ok but furnitures are quite old.D4: Split. Beautiful city. A great restaurant is Konoba Tratorria Bajamont, where the menu changes daily and is ready only after 12pm, there are only a few tables (less than 10 overall), you can see the cook preparing the dishes. For 50k, you have a plate of local sausages with couscous and vegetables, that's a bargain, considering it is tasty and homemade. This tavern (Konoba means tavern) was recommended by the Lonely Planet, opened everyday except Sundays.

D5: Katamaran to Bol in Brac island (22 k daily departure at 4pm everyday except Fridays at 4.30pm, arrival at 5.20pm), where you lay in the famous beach 'Zlatni Rat', it has the shape of a peak going to the sea for about 150 meters (photo hereunder). It is not a sandy beach but has pebbles.
Accommodation found on arrival, as many locals rent appartments, however, you have to go knock at their door to see if they have available rooms.
D6: Bol. Ferry to Jelsa on Hvar Island (11k deparure at 5.20pm, arrival at 6pm). You can buy the tickets just 15 minutes before the boat is coming at the booth on the pier.

D7: Hvar Island, bus to Hvar Town leaving Jelsa at 7.20am or 2pm, 30k, duration 40 minutes (stopping by Stari Grad).
Hvar Town
D8: Hvar Town, walk to the citadel, beach. Lovely town. Private accommodation for 200 k per night. It seemed there are much less accommodation available in Hvar Town than in Jelsa or Bol though the town is bigger and attract more tourists.

D9: Katamaran back to Split 22k with the company Krilo Jet (duration 1 hour), much better than Jadrolinija as it is more confortable and on time (Jadrolinija both times was 25 minutes late). With Krilo Jet departure at 7.30am, arrival at 8.30am in Split Monday to Saturday (at 2.30pm on Sundays), with Jadrolinja, departures at 6.30am Monday to Saturday (at 9am on Sundays).
Bus back to Split 108k, in the afternoon leaving at 4pm or 7pm. The bus was full so better arrive in advance. First come, first served.

D10: Airport shuttle at 1pm (25k). Plane back home :) The duty free has attractive prices, where you can pay in kunas and euros.

Friday, 11 February 2011


Iceland is a highy recommended destination if you want would like to enjoy nature's treasure and treat yourself with exquisite dishes! You will mostly eat raw salmon, herring, catfish and lamb. Icelanders have plenty a good restaurants, everywhere we ate, it was delicious and the price was reasonable.

We booked a 4 days/3 nights package through Icelandair. Prices from London are from £265/person, including flight, hotel, 1 free excursion.

Additionally to this package, we found that Netbus was offering a good price, so we booked for 15000 ISK (£80) a package including: return airport transfert to hotel + Blue Lagoon ride & entry + Golden Circle Tour.

In January, the sun rises at 10.30am and sets at 4.45pm, so when you do an early day tour, you will not see anything in the first couple of hours.

Our programme was:
D1: arrival at Hilton, dinner at restaurant at the incredible Askur (30m on the right when you exit Hilton), a all you can eat buffet with soups, bread, salads, fish, meat for 1590 ISK (£9!)
free shuttle to the centre of Reykjavik
D2: Delicious Brunch at Hilton 3300 ISK (£18) with many dishes, fish, desserts, fruit juice...
Afternoon Blue Lagoon 45 min drive. Water between 38° to 42°, natural hot pool when the temperature outside was only 4°, sauna and steam room.
D3: Golden Circle Tour, with a guide, departure at 8am, arrival at 16.30pm. You could see a geysir, a walk in a natural park, waterfalls.
Laugardaslaug, Local pool entry at only 450 ISK (£2), indoor and outdoor pools with also, sauna, steam room and 4 jacuzzis, each with different water temperatures.
D4: gym and spa at Hilton, with free neck massage.

Sunday, 4 April 2010

Day Trip to Cambridge

Only 2 hours from London, Cambridge is a pleasant city, famous for its university, it is also a very green and clean city.
How to go there from London: from Victoria Station, the National Express leaves every hour, the ticket costs about £13 return, depending on the time, it can be cheaper.

What to do there:
  • a rowboat cruise for 45 minutes, we paid £13 each (student price) with a student as a guide, there are cheaper tours, just walk along the riverside and you will find several or you can also just rent your own boat £18 (can fit til 5-6 people) but boating can be quite hard.
  • walking around the historic city, many colleges to visit
  • the art & craft market on weekends
  • museums, botanic gardens

Traffic jams

Saturday, 9 January 2010

My hometown, La Rochelle


La Rochelle has more than a thousand years of history. During the 10th century, it was a fisherman city. From 1154 to 1224, the city was under English rule until Louis XIII recaptured it. Then in the 13th century, the port of La Rochelle became the most important among French ports. In the 16th century, La Rochelle became a free city, during this time its inhabitants were mostly Protestants. La Rochelle started to be seen as a threat for the unification policy ordered by Richelieu Cardinal. Soon, the royal army besieged the city for 13 months. It lead to a period of starvation until La Rochelle Mayor, Jean Guiton, chose to surrender rather than letting the Rochelois starving.


La Rochelle, with its old port and its towers are very famous. St Nicolas Tower, Chaine Tower and Lanterne Tower have protected the gateway to the old port & city center for seven centuries. These towers were designed as residences and prisons.

La Rochelle has a rich architectural heritage, many pedestrian and arcade streets, you can also see half timbering houses. You can admire many houses built between the 15th and 18th century. Strolling from the old port to Place de Verdun, you will walk by the Clock Tower, the Law Courts, City Hall, the Stock Exchange and the Cathedral

Several parks, markets, 3 beaches, 4 ports, Ré Island facing La Rochelle, it is perfect to discover it riding a bicycle. In summer, you can take the bus-vélo, a bus that carries bicycles from the city center to the island. All year long, you can do a cruise around Fort Boyard and Ile d’Aix.

  • The aquarium, open 365 days/year
  • Museums : Musée Maritime, Musée d’Orbigny Bernon, Musée Rochelais d’Histoire Protestante, Musée du Flacon à Parfum, Musée des Automates, Museum d’Histoire Naturelle, Musée des Modèles Réduits, Musée du Nouveau Monde, Musée des Beaux-Arts
  • Water parks, Palmilud et le Centre Aquatique de Châtelaillon
More information about Tourism in La Rochelle here

Transport :

From/To La Rochelle:

London, Edinburgh, Manchester, Leeds, Southampton, Bristol, Birmingham, Glasgow, Dublin, Cork, Brussels, Oslo, Lyon et Nice.

From the airport:

Take the bus n°7, it goes to Place de Verdun, where you can take another bus. Price: 1,30€ (ticket is valid for 1 hour), 15minutes to the city center.

From/To the train station:

Located 10 minutes walk from the old port, you can also take buses n° 1, 10, 17 and 19.

Timetable of the buses here.

Tuesday, 29 September 2009

My top 5 favourite destinations in the world

Top 1: Angkor Wat
Where? Cambodia
When? January 2006
With who? Lukas and Monika
Anecdote: Remember the lost temples in the movie Tomb Raider (Lara Croft)? This is it, Angkor Wat, the 1000 years old temples where trees are growing on it. The most beautiful place in the world on my list.

Top 2: Perhentian Island
Where? Malaysia
When? September 2009
With who? Sarah, my colleague
Anecdote: Translucid blue sea, turtles, sharks, sun, a paradise on earth. But be aware, on this island there are some innoffensive pretty huge varans (till 1,5 meters long!)
Top 3: Rotorua
Where? New Zealand
When? April 2005
With who? Solange
Anecdote: The whole city of Rotorua smells like rotten eggs :) It's a geothermic site with geysers, bubbling mud...Amazing to see

Top 4: Guilin, Yangshuo
Where? China
When? July 2009
With who? Stephen, my colleague
Anecdote: Great scenery, you can do a tour on a small wooden boat (5 people max), less tourists if you go at 12pm (everybody goes there at 9am).
Top 5:
Santorini Island
Where? Greece
When? May 2008
With who? Louise, my best friend
Anecdote: Santorini has a white, a red and a black beach.

Thursday, 20 August 2009

Back to the origins

After one year spent in Asia, 2 internships, 1 in Malaysia, 1 in China, 6 countries travelled, Malaysia, Indonesia, Singapore, Thailand, Vietnam and China, I am now back home in France at my hometown La Rochelle. I will keep this blog updated for my next trips, as I can't live without travelling...

Saturday, 1 August 2009

Weizhou island

From Beihai, i decided to go to Weizhou island, as it was not touristic (only mentioned on Lonely Planet). There are 2 kinds of ferries to go there, the speed ones (1,5 hour, 120 to 240 yuan for a seat) and the slow one (2,5/3 hours, 80 yuan). I took the slow one, it departed at 5pm from the International Wharf. As expected, only Chinese on board, it was funny, the sea was a bit agitated, so big waves were hitting the ferry, so it was pitching all way long. 10 minutes after the departure, 1/3rd of the passengers were hitted by seasickness. I guess they didn't think about the problem before! That's why so many locals on the island try to sell you medicines.

I was disappointed to see that we had to pay an expensive entrance fee for the island (I mostly went there for the beach so...) which is 90 yuan for adults and 50 for students, quite a lot of money, mosty because government decided a few years ago to class this island as a volcanic reserve. Ok, this is the only volcanic island in China, but I went in Greece in Santorini Island, didn't pay any fee and it was much more beautiful. I was quite disppointed because I booked a hostel there Piggybar Youth Hostel with a very nice overview and photos, which didn't mention the island entrance price and which actually was not as nice as the pictures. A night in dorm was only 35 yuan but it was a 0,5 cm mattress!! and sleeping in a prefab. Most of the bicycles you can rent were broken.
Then, the beach, dot not worth Thailand or even Beihai, because the locals throw their waste in the ocean! Ok at least the sea temperature was hot, and I got tanned, what I wanted!

Riding around the island was not very convenient, there were big up and downs road as many hills.