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Slide Show of Photos Taken During The First 6 Months of This Year

4th July 2018

European Trip Bookings

Today I have finalised all flight and hotel bookings for my European trip in September and the total cost is $1,975 USD - which is about $500 less than I expected it to be (even though I am "Mr. Cheap"). Whilst overall the cost of travel and accommodation within Europe is quite expensive there are still options for the "Budget Traveller". The average cost of my hotel rooms was $37 USD/night (no dorms - varying from single rooms with shared bathroom to studio apartments with kitchen and bathroom).

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2nd July 2018

European Trip Number 2

Today I have booked flights to Europe (depart 4th September, return 25th September) flying with Thai Airways. So far I have only booked from Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam to Zurich, Switzerland ($850 USD return - which I am happy with). The cities I will be visiting in Europe are:
Zurich (Switzerland), Barcelona (Spain), Brussels (Belgium), Strasbourg (France), Prague (Czech Republic), Krakow (Poland), Gdansk (Poland), Cologne (Germany), Hamburg (Germany) and Bremen (Germany). This trip will include 7 cities I have not visited (Zurich, Brussels, Strasbourg, Krakow, Gdansk, Cologne and Hamburg) but only 1 new country (Poland).

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28th June 2018

Change of Plans

I had planned (booked and paid for flights) to return to Australia to live for a year but I have changed my mind. The main issue is that my cost of living here in Vietnam is so low that I can save money despite being on a pension (the main reason I was able to travel to Europe for 3+ weeks this month). The cost of living in Australia is ridiculous (especially rental accommodation), well above the cost in Europe and more than double the cost of living in Vietnam.

What I am now going to do is travel to Europe again in September for 3 weeks. The European trip I just completed may become a regular event (with varied cities) as I really enjoyed it and believe the "Culture" and "Old Fashioned" way of life is more sensible than Australia (who follow the USA "Mindlessly") - the Australian government is also following the USA by becoming "Less Democratic" every day (funded by corporations - and to a large degree "Puppets" of the corporations who fund them).

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27th June 2018

Nha Trang, Vietnam

I am now back home in Nha Trang after a wonderful trip around Europe - the trip home was rather tiring but the holiday was excellent and gave me the "Refresh" I was seeking.

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25th June 2018

Berlin, Germany

Today I sepnt most of my time walking around various areas of Berlin like an average tourist - the weather in Berlin is cold and dreary - it feels more like the start of winter than the start of summer. Tomorrow I leave Berlin and fly to Paris where I catch another flight to Saigon and then my last flight from Saigon to Nha Trang, Vietnam (Home). I have really enjoyed this trip and it may well become an "Annual".

Brandenburg Gate, Berlin, Germany          Quadriga          Reichstag, Berlin, Germany
Brandenburg Gate                                        Quadriga                                             Reichstag        

Victory Column, Berlin, Germany                    Victoria, Goddess of Victory
         Victory Column                                    Victoria, Goddess of Victory

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24th June 2018

Berlin, Germany

I am now back in Berlin where my European trip began - I will be here until 26th when I fly to Paris and then on to Saigon and Nha Trang, Vietnam. The weather today has been cold and wet so I did not do much - I travelled around on the trains and buses and went to see "Checkpoint Charlie" just for the heck of it and walked around what would have been the border region between East and West Berlin (No Wall Anymore).

Checkpoint Charlie, Berlin, Germany
Checkpoint Charlie

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23rd June 2018

Vienna, Austria

At the start of this trip I imagined there was a good chance of something going wrong due to the number of places I was visiting and the co-ordination of flights, hotels, etc. Up until yesterday things had gone very smoothly other than some rain in Madrd. But yesterday I flew from Lisbon to Vienna and shortly after I had booked into my hotel I got an email saying my flight from Vienna to Berlin on 24th June had been cancelled. Unfortunately the best option was to get a flight the day earlier which meant that I only had a single night in Vienna. So my plans of touring Vienna today are scrapped and I am now at Vienna airport waiting for my flight to Berlin. That means that I will be in Berlin for 3 nights rather than 2 (I would have rather spent 3 nights in Vienna and 1 in Berlin but it was not practical with the flight options). I also had to book a second hotel as the one I had booked had no vacancies for tonight - anyway all is OK and the trip has been very good. Three nights in Berlin then fly back to Nha Trang, Vietnam, via Paris and Saigon.

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21st June 2018

Lisbon, Portugal - Day 2

Spent today doing what has become my regular day tour - a self guided tour using the Metro. I covered most of the areas of Lisbon and as far as I can tell Lisbon does not have many (any) stand out features. I am sure the locals love it and some visitors as well but for me it is rather dull and boring.

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20th June 2018

Lisbon, Portugal

Today I flew from Frankfurt to Lisbon and I am starting to realise my European Adventure has not got long to go. I am in Lisbon for 2 nights, Vienna, Austria, for 2 nights and the Berlin for 2 nights before I fly home to Nha Trang, Vietnam. This is my first visit to Lisbon and Portugal and my first impressions are that is just as I had expected ie. very Southern Europe. I really will only have one full day in Lisbon (tomorrow) and I have not yet decided what I will do. I took a couple of Metro trips today and did not find anything special. I took a photo of a large waterfall and fountain in a park near my hotel.

Lisbon Waterfall & Fountain
Lisbon's Fonte Luminosa - Waterfall & Fountain

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19th June 2018

Frankfurt, Germany - Day 3

Today I just took it easy and did nothing much. I caught the train to Wiesbaden, which is about 40 kilometres from Frankfurt, just for a change of scenery. Wiesbaden is much smaller than Frankfurt and was very quiet. On my return to Frankfurt I had a typical German "Street Lunch" of Bratwurst and fries. Tomorrow I fly to Lisbon, Portugal.

Marktkirche - Wiesbaden                        Frankfurt Bratwurst
      Marktkirche - Wiesbaden                             Frankfurt Lunch - Bratwurst & Fries

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18th June 2018

Frankfurt, Germany - Day 2

Arrived in Frankfurt yesterday and spent today playing tourist. I eventually found the "Old Town Square" after discovering the station I wanted to get off at was closed for renovations. Overall the trains and trams are excellent and run every few minutes.

Frankfurt Old Town Hall                    Frankfurt Old Town Square                    Frankfurt Old Town Square
Frankfurt Old Town Hall                                                             Frankfurt Old Town Square                                     

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16th June 2018

Prague, Czech Republic - Day 3

I spent today doing much the same as yesterday - travelling around by tram and walking. Both today and yesterday I had typical Prague "Street Food' lunches which were fine. I also took a drone video of Prague Castle, St. Vitus Cathedral and Vltava River.

Prague Trams                    Klobasa Sausage and Beer                    Halusky and Pivo
           Prague-Trams                                           Klobasa Sausage & Beer                                             Halusky & Pivo        



Prague Castle, St. Vitus Cathedral and Vltava River, Prague, Czech Republic

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15th June 2018

Prague, Czech Republic - Day 2

I flew Paris to Prague yesterday and spent today doing a DIY tram and walking tour of the city - getting around Prague is best done by trams as they run all over the city and on a regular basis. I have been to Prague before and if it didn't get so cold in winter I could consider living here (this morning the temperature was 9 degrees and this is summer).

Old Town Bridge Tower - Charles Bridge King Charles IV Statue Vltava River - Prague Castle St. Vitus Cathedral
Bridge Tower - Charles Bridge                 King Charles IV Statue                      Vltava River                             St. Vitus Cathedral        

Church of Our Lady before Tn
Church of Our Lady before Tn

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14th June 2018

Paris, France - Day 3

Yesterday I made a drone video of the Eiffel Tower from close range.


Drone Video of The Eiffel Tower, Paris, France

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13th June 2018

Paris, France - Day 2

Most of today was spent doing a self guided Metro/Walking tour of Paris - luckily the rain had cleared but it was quite cold. I covered a lot of ground and took several photos (and a video that I will post tomorrow).

Arc de Triomphe Fontaine des Mers Luxor Obelisk Army Museum, Paris
Arc de Triomphe                           Fontaine des Mers                            Luxor Obelisk                                 Army Museum      

River Seine, Paris Gold Statue Alexandre III Bridge, Paris Eiffel Tower, Paris Louvre Museum, Paris
    River Seine                      Gold Statue Alexandre III Bridge                  Eiffel Tower                              Louvre Museum     

Eiffel Tower - Close Up
Eiffel Tower - Close Up

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12th June 2018

Paris, France

I arrived in Paris today and struck the first rain of the trip - only light drizzle. The forecast for tomorrow is sun and clouds. I have grown tired of hop on hop off bus tours and will spend tomorrow doing my own Metro tour. I have been to Paris before and to be honest it is not really my sort of city although I do not know why.

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11th June 2018

Madrid, Spain

Arrived in Madrid yesterday and today did the hop on hop off bus tour and it was quite boring. I fly on to Paris tomorrow where I will spend 2 nights before flying to Prague for 3 nights.

Unusual Building, Madrid, Spain Puerta de Alcal El Retiro Park El Retiro Park
Unusual Building                              Puerta de Alcal                                                  El Retiro Park                                 

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9th June 2018

Rome, Italy - Day 3

Spent most of the day travelling to various parts of Rome on the Metro - nothing much of interest in the suburbs. I leave for Madrid, Spain in the morning and the weather forecast is good - so far there has been clear skies and warm temperatures for the trip (hot in Athens between 31-33C).

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8th June 2018

Rome, Italy
 - Day 2

Flew into Rome yesterday and did nothing much other than have pizza and beer for lunch ("When in Rome").
Today I did a Hop on Hop Off bus tour that covered the main tourist sites of Rome. I took some photos and considered a drone video but discovered that the entire city of Rome is a "No Fly" as an anti terrorist measure (in truth it is probably an anti drone measure).

Arch of Constantine Colosseum Colosseum Castel Sant'Angelo

    Arch of Constantine                            Colosseum                                        Colosseum                         Castel Sant'Angelo    

St. Peter's Basilica Piazza Venezia Trevi Fountain
St. Peter's Basilica                            Piazza Venezia                              Trevi Fountain     

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6th June 2018

Athens, Greece - Day 3

Did the hop on hop off bus trips today and it was OK but not as good as I had hoped - the highlight was the Parthenon but I did not go in as there was a long queue and it was 20 Euro entrance fee (Mr. Cheap). But I did find a spot to launch the drone and get a photo and video which was good. Later I also made a video of the changing of the guard at parliament house.

Parthenon, Athens, Greece
Parthenon, Athens, Greece


Drone Video of The Parthenon in Athens, Greece


Changing of the guard at parliament house, Athens, Greece

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5th June 2018

Athens, Greece - Day 2

Today included a lot of walking - a group walking tour of the central Athens area and solo walking around the same area in the afternoon.
I took a few photos and will take more tomorrow.
The highlight of the day for me was the Panathenaic Stadium which was originally built in 144 AD and renovated and expanded before becoming the stadium for the first modern Olympic Games in 1896 with a capacity of 80,000 and is built of 100% marble.

Hadrian's Arch, Athens Zeus Temple, Athens Roman Baths, Athens Zappeion Hall, Athens
Hadrian's Arch                                Zeus Temple                                Roman Baths                              Zappeion Hall   

Zappeion Fountain, Athens Panathenaic Stadium, Athens Presidential Guard, Athens
Zappeion Fountain                      Panathenaic Stadium                        Presidential Guard

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4th June 2018

Athens, Greece

I arrived in Athens, Greece, today after flying from Berlin - the sky was clear and the temperatue 31C. I was very tired as the trip to get here included stops in three countries in three days (Vietnam, France and Germany).
I have booked a walking tour of Athens tomorrow and will probably spend the next day doing hop on hop off bus trips all over Athens.

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2nd June 2018

European Adventure

My "European Adventure" begins today with a flight from Nha Trang to Ho Chi Minh City followed by Paris, Berlin, Athens, Rome, Madrid, Paris, Prague, Frankfurt, Lisbon, Vienna, Berlin, Paris, Ho Chi Minh City and finally back to Nha Trang on 27th June.

Europe Map

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12th May 2018

Counting The Days

Today I delivered my motorbike to the new owner,
Harry, a long time Vietnamese friend - I will be missing the bike on a regular basis. My trip to Europe starts in three weeks and I am counting the days.

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9th May 2018

Dalat - Maybe The Last Time

This may be my final trip to Dalat (I have had several). I rode up yesterday and got soaked again during a tropical storm (common in the mountains around Dalat) The trip took much longer than usual as the road was closed for a couple of hours due to a landslide (also quite common for this region). I am only here for 2 nights and ride back to Nha Trang tomorrow.
I have arranged to sell my motorbike and this trip will be my last (on a motorbike) in Vietnam. I am spending most of June travelling around Europe and will return to Vietnam for 2 months before I leave for Darwin, Australia, where I will probably stay for 12 months - After that "Who Knows" perhaps Cyprus, Malta or back to Vietnam.

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22nd April 2018

Home in Nha Trang

After another enjoyable trip to Hanoi I am now back home in Nha Trang. The street food tour was great and there was only me and an Australian couple on the tour.
My next trip is a solo motorbike trip to Dong Hoi (stopping at Qui Nhon and Danang on the way up and back) and Phong Nha National Park which contains many caves including (I think) the largest cave in the World and the longest cave in the World. I have previously passed through Phong Nha but did not get to see the caves. The plan is to leave Nha Trang on 7th May and return on 15th May (I may extend a day or 2) the total distance will be 1,600 kilometres +.

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18th April 2018

Hanoi Again

Yesterday I flew up to Hanoi from Nha Trang with the main reason for the visit being a Street Food tour this evening. I am only here for 2 nights and it looks like the weather will be OK this time (I had previously booked a tour months ago when in Hanoi but it was flooded out).
I spent this morning walking around and ventured out of the "Old Quarter" (the first time I have done this on foot) - I went as far as the Botanical Gardens and the Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum.

St Joseph Cathedral          Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum
St Joseph Cathedral - Hanoi's Oldest Church           Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum             

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14th April 2018

Europe Trip

I have now finalised all bookings for my Europe Trip in June:

June 2nd - Nha Trang to Saigon - Vietjet
June 3rd - Saigon to Berlin (via Paris) - Air France (Premium Economy)
June 4th - Berlin to Athens - Ryanair
June 7th - Athens to Rome - Ryanair
June 10th - Rome to Madrid - Ryanair
June 12th - Madrid to Paris - Transavia
June 14th - Paris to Prague - Vueling
June 17th - Prague to Frankfurt - Lufthansa
June 20th - Frankfurt to Lisbon - Ryanair
June 22nd - Lisbon to Vienna - TAP
June 24th - Vienna to Berlin - Easyjet
June 26th - Berlin to Saigon (via Paris) - Air France (Premium Economy)
June 27th - Saigon to Nha Trang - Vietjet

Hotels: 1 night Saigon, 1 night Berlin, 3 nights Athens, 3 nights Rome, 2 nights Madrid, 2 nights Paris, 3 nights Prague, 3 nights Frankfurt, 2 nights Lisbon, 2 nights Vienna and 2 nights Berlin.
Total cost for all flights (15 flights) and hotels (24 nights) about $3,300 USD (Mr. Cheap)

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1st April 2018

Nha Trang

I spent last night in Nha Trang central as I do occasionally - I stay at the Sen Vang Guesthouse which is in the Centre of the "Tourist Area" but down an alley and so it is insulated from traffic noises etc. (at $10 US/night for a single room with A/C, ensuite, cable TV and Wifi probably the best budget option in town). I ate at a newly opened restaurant 10 metres from the hotel entrance named "Cheap Cheap II" restaurant (perfect for Mr. Cheap) the food was great and the size of me meal was 50% larger than most restaurants (I had trouble eating it all) and the local 450 ml Bia Saigon was $0.53 cents US.
I have no travel for a couple of weeks before flying to Hanoi for 3 days to do a Street Food Tour.

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24th March 2018

Hanoi Traffic - What Traffic

On the weekends the main road around Lake Hon Kiếm is closed to traffic and becomes a pedestrian only zone with a "Carnival Atmosphere". Below are some photos I took whilst I walked a circuit of the lake today.

Hanoi Old Quarter Hanoi Balloons Hanoi Bubbles Hanoi Lake Balloons
Hanoi Backpack Corner Hanoi Sack Race Hanoi Traffic Hanoi Fruit Seller
Couple Lake Hanoi Lake Bridge Turtle Island Hanoi Mothers and Daughters Walking Faamily Trio Walking Two Girls Woman Flowers

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23rd March 2018

Hanoi Cooking Class

This morning was spent at Chef Duyen's cooking class in Hanoi, Vietnam. The morning started with a walking tour through a local street market and Chef Duyen explained the various ingredients we would be using for our cooking class (plus a whole lot more). There was only myself and Jonas, a German Backpacker, doing the cooking class which was great. After the market tour we went to Chef Duyen's home and with her patient instruction we prepared lunch that consisted of:

Caramel Pork
Banana Flower Salad with Chicken
Fried Spring Rolls - and Dipping Sauce
Sweet Coconut Soup with Taro (Che)

The course was very practical and fully "Hands On" with us all contributing to the preparation and cooking of all dishes. The resulting lunch was excellent and enjoyed by all.

Hanoi Street Market    Hanoi Cooking Clas    Chef Duyen's Cooking Class    Hanoi Cooking Class Lunch
     Hanoi Street Market      Hard at Work            The Lunch We Prepared              Enjoying Lunch        

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2nd March 2018

Dalat Street Food Tour

This evening I went on a street food tour of Dalat run by Dalat Food Tour with Binh as my guide. The tour was excellent and Binh was a great guide and spoke perfect English. I was the only guest on this tour so I got personal service all the way (I even got to cook a Vietnamese Pizza - Bnh Trng Nướng
 at a footpath restaurant).

Me Cooking a Vietnamese Pizza                    Binh Eating The Pizza I Cooked
Me Cooking a Vietnamese Pizza                         Binh Eating The Pizza I Cooked

The tour included the following dishes:

Bnh Trng Nướng    Nem Nướng Dũng Lộc    C ri Vịt    Xi G    Ch H
Bnh Trng Nướng           Nem Nướng Dũng Lộc                   C ri Vịt                           Xi G                Ch H

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1st March 2018

Dalat (Vietnam)


After a few days of rest (to get over my Thailand trip) back home in Nha Trang I am "On The Road Again". This morning I rode up to Dalat (I have been here several times) and luckily the weather was fine all the way. I will be here for 4 days and tomorrow I have booked a local "Street Food Tour" which I am looking forward to.
 
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