Author Archives: Helene Grosjean

Helene’s Guide to Istanbul

Turkey Itin­er­ary: Istan­bul (8 days) -> Pam­mukale (3 days) -> Olu­d­eniz (4 days) ->
Olym­pos (6 days) -> Antalya (3 nights) -> Konya (3 days) -> Goreme (7 days) -> Amasya (3 days) -> Tra­b­zon (6 days) -> Erzu­rum (2 days) -> Kars (2 days) -> Van (4 days) -> Dogubayazit (1day)

Get In: Bus from Varna  $30 Euros/person
Stay: Air BNB room $20 EURO/night

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A view of the spec­tac­u­lar Hagia Sophia

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Nor­mally I like to tell a story about each city we visit, but recount­ing the 8 days we spent in Istan­bul day by day would be nearly impos­si­ble.  There are 2 rea­sons for this: firstly we were there nearly two and a half months ago (we’ve been really busy lately!) and sec­ondly because Istan­bul was jammed packed with activ­i­ties.   With­out fur­ther ado, I present to you my tips/tidbits to enjoy­ing Istan­bul and Turkey in general.

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Look­ing mis­chie­vous in the Blue Mosque

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The stun­ning inte­rior of the Blue Mosque

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The Bulgaria Files: Part 4 — Visiting Varna

Bul­garia itin­er­ary: Sofia (5 nights) -> Veliko Tarnovo (4 nights) -> Varna (5 nights)

Get In: Bus from Veliko Tarnovo 9 Euros/person
Stay: Varna Camp­site and Black Sea Cot­tage pri­vate room 20 Euros/night

Relax­ing on the Black Sea Coast

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Wait­ing for the bus

Vis­it­ing Bul­garia in the sum­mer and not hav­ing at least one stop on the Black sea coast is kind of like vis­it­ing Paris and never see­ing the Eif­fel tower.  We knew we had to expe­ri­ence it, but had trou­ble decid­ing where exactly we should go. Con­tinue read­ing

The Bulgaria Files: Part 1 — Sofia

Bul­garia itin­er­ary: Sofia (5 nights) -> Veliko Tarnovo (4 nights) -> Varna (5 nights)

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Back­pack­ing route across Bulgaria

Tim and I found our­selves in a pecu­liar sit­u­a­tion at the end of July. We were in Greece, but it was get­ting expen­sive, and the heat had defeated us. We wanted to go to Turkey, but wanted to avoid trav­el­ing in a Mus­lim coun­try dur­ing Ramadan. So, where could we go in the mean­time? Con­tinue read­ing

The Time We Went to Corfu, Greece

Greece Itin­er­ary: Corfu (11 days) -> Athens (5 days) -> Mete­ora (2 days) -> Thes­sa­loniki (2 days)

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Ipsos beach.

Since last sum­mer, my brother and his wife, Ger, had been plan­ning a fam­ily trip to Corfu to cel­e­brate her 40th birth­day. Tim and I had politely declined the invi­ta­tion to join, but once we knew for sure that we were going to be trav­el­ing for a year, it became a no brainer for us to rethink our deci­sion.  And what a good idea that was. We were due for a vaca­tion from the vacation.

Photo time.

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Flash Through Western Europe: Fun, Family, and Friends

Two months ago, Tim and I wrapped up our Latin Amer­ica leg of the jour­ney and set off to con­quer West­ern Europe in what was to be a lovely three week jaunt through some of the major cities between Madrid and Berlin before head­ing to our planned des­ti­na­tion of Greece.  We met loads of peo­ple, caught up with fam­ily and friends, and most of all, got to expe­ri­ence the ubiq­ui­tous “Eurotrip” in high sea­son summer.

Flights and accom­mo­da­tion, as we found out, can be much more expen­sive than it needs to be if not planned in advance. So, as much as pos­si­ble we came up with an itin­er­ary and travel route:

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Madrid (2 nights) -> Paris (5 nights) -> Bel­gium (3 nights) -> Ams­ter­dam (4 nights) -> Berlin (2 nights)

Tim and Helene‘s Excellent Inca Adventure

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Tim and I returned to Peru, ready and excited to go and explore Machu Pic­chu.  We had been sav­ing the city of Cusco as a sort of grand finale to our time in South Amer­ica.  We arrived really late after an inter­minable bus ride from hell from La Paz, and took the fol­low­ing day to rest up and relax before we made our plans to visit the noto­ri­ous Inca ruins, Machu Pichu.  We def­i­nitely didn’t expect that we we’re both about to get sick and take turns being bedrid­den for the next week.  For­tu­nately it was noth­ing seri­ous, and once we we’re feel­ing bet­ter, we knew that sim­ply vis­it­ing Machu Pic­chu by bus wasn’t going to be enough. We needed a lit­tle bit of an adven­ture to get there, so we booked a 4 day/3 night Inca Jun­gle trek.

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Worst Activity Ever: Anaconda Hunting

As you may imag­ine, when trav­el­ing on a long-term basis you are con­sis­tently fill­ing your days with incred­i­ble expe­ri­ences and cre­at­ing great new mem­o­ries.  Some­times, how­ever, you par­tic­i­pate in an activ­ity that is not only not enjoy­able but down­right hor­ri­ble.  This is the story of one such activity.

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Mission Impossible: Getting to the Bolivian Jungle

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After a few weeks of high alti­tude and cold weather, Tim con­vinced me that it was a good idea to go down to sea level to do a jun­gle tour, despite my fear of spi­ders and snakes. There are many options as start­ing points and we decided to try the clos­est one from Sucre, where we had been hang­ing out for the last few days. Our plan was sim­ple, we’d take a bus to Santa Cruz, the largest city in Bolivia, and then from there we’d eas­ily be able to fig­ure it out.  Easy, it was not. Con­tinue read­ing

A journey around Lake Titicaca

Tim and I arrived in Puno, Peru late one evening a cou­ple weeks ago.  The sun was set­ting as we approached the city and we were offered our first glimpse of the beau­ti­ful Lake Tit­i­caca from the top of the hills which sur­round the city.
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