Last year I embarked on my overseas travel to few countries across the ocean. I went to few places that I really wanted to visit in mind and others were based on spontaneity, invites from friends and other circumstances. As for thanksgiving, an American friend I met while I was in university invited me to celebrate it with her family in Colorado, USA. So I made sure that I was in Colorado then.
Few days before thanksgiving, I arrived in the US. My friend picked me up from Denver airport and took me to her house and introduced me to her family in Fort Collins.
For a short trip in Austria, I decided to go to Salzburg and Innsbruck. I wish I have gone to Vienna too. Perhaps I will be one day back in the land of mountains and the land of rivers, Austria.
Salzburg is one of Austria tourist destination and famous as the birthplace of legendary Mozart and the setting of classic movie, The Sound of Music. I have lived for 10 years in New Zealand and only recently managed to watch the movie after pressure from friends. Being in English country, I felt that it is a requirement to watch the movie. And I love the movie.
Salzburg is also popular because it is a nice city with the view of Eastern Alps and beautiful baroque architecture on the Altstadt (Old town) side of the city. New town and the Salzach river that divide the old town and new town are (in my humble opinion) nice place to walk through.
A short visit to Prague, the capital city of the Czech Republic gave me a glimpse of Central Europe. The city gave the feeling of old medieval Europe; the buildings, the street and the history that accompany it. It was beautiful in its on way. The city is located on Vitara River and has had its glory in the past being political, economical and cultural centre of Central Europe. After going through different era and glory, it is left with a number of famous cultural attractions. Here are the summary of my visit to Prague. Continue reading “Czech Republic – Prague”
Berlin is a big city and the transport system is much more complicated. Yep, transport was indeed the first thing I noticed from Berlin; that was because I arrived there late at night and all I wanted to do is heading to my friend’s place. Thought it would be easy and straight forward but I got lost in no time; I relied on saved google instruction from when I had access to internet last. Because the instruction given was wrong, I relied on a kind Berliner to show me the way. Berlin has S-Bahn, U-bahn, Tram and bus. It cost me Є2.7 for a single trip and Є6.9 for a day trip
Germany is one of the biggest and most influential country in Europe. The dark time of Germany during Hitler time and cold war are recorded in museums and the historical spots such as Berlin wall and concentration camp. Those places are kept to remember what happened in the past. Germans have big heart for admitting the bad they have done in the past and moving on from the past trying to live a better life. Amazing country with amazing people! Most of these memorial places are free for visitors.
The atmosphere in Berlin is certainly different. Big city, more people, more places to visit, more food to eat and more things to do. I was staying with a friend who is a student in one of the university in Berlin. Here, university is free both for domestic and International student. The living cost is much lower compared to The Netherlands and more events are happening around town.
Read my Amsterdam visit and tips for travelling in Amsterdam here.
Although The Netherlands is a great place to bike to go from one city or town to another, I chose to take train from Amsterdam to Rotterdam. Differ from the big city Amsterdam, Rotterdam is much quieter city. The city has modern architecture and beautiful harbour. Unfortunately, the museums there were not opened on Monday; that limit my adventure in Rotterdam. Markthal was my favourite place where they sold local Dutch delicacies such as warm stroopwafel, raw herrings, all kind of sausages, bread, Dutch cheese, poffertjes, Dutch meatballs and so many other delicious food. The French weed smoker I met in the hostel told me that the quality of weed in Rotterdam is so much better than Amsterdam and sold for cheaper price.
The idea of Backpacking is not common for Indonesian. We generally travel with organised tour from our country. Perhaps because of the language barrier that makes it so much more convenient to have a guide who can explain about the visited place in their native language and enable them to enjoy what the place can offer. Indonesian is the sole official language in Indonesia and spoken by over 200 million of its population. Only small percentage of the people speak English. Somehow I can see a job opportunity for me there; being travel guide for Indonesian!
Another thing to note is the difficulty of travelling with Indonesian passport. There are institution that rank the world passport mainly based on their value and their power of taking their citizen to other countries without VISA. US, UK, some countries in Western Europe, Australia and NZ are some countries on the top of the rank. Indonesia is close to the bottom of the rank. Which means I have to apply for VISA to most places I want to visit. And who likes the process of applying for VISA? Does it make me feel discontent of being Indonesian citizen? Continue reading “Backpacking as Indonesian with Indonesian Passport”
Couple years ago, I decided to get myself a good camera as my travel company. Without much knowledge on how to utilise any of the feature of a modern camera, I chose Canon Power Shot SX50HS. It is designed as a middle point between digital camera and DSLR. Not knowing different programs the camera has, I set my default setting on “Auto” and use only capture button, zoom in and zoom out. I honestly feel that I do no justice to my camera. Well, actually this is not the first time. I feel the same towards my Mac and Iphone. Perhaps I just do not have the knack for technology. Thank to my friends who are kindly teaching me how to use the features of the camera. Camera is a clever invention and certainly blows my mind! Continue reading “Camera Lesson”
My big trip has finally begun with The Netherlands or Holland as my first stop. The view from the sky (aeroplane) gave me impression that the country was a well organised country with lots of green area and good irrigation. Landed at Schipol airport, Amsterdam, I could not wait to take train to go to Wageningen to meet and stay with a good friend of mine for two days. As expected, the airport and train station was neat and tidy with clear signs to follow. Although English is not Holland’s first language, everyone here speak very good English. The people were very friendly and always willing to help a visitor like me. I got through the immigration without any problem and soon found the train to take and the way to the platform. The helpful signs and friendly Netherlanders gave me immediate fondness towards the place. Perhaps because I am Indonesian raised with Dutch influence due to our country connection.
I loved the view from the train; lots of green paddocks with good irrigation and cows in it. Arriving at Ede-Wageningen train station, I looked for a bus that would take me to my friend’s place. Perhaps because of pity (or kindness) seeing an Asian girl carrying a big backpack, the driver gave me a free ride to my destination. Being one of the student cities, it has diverse student accomodation. My friend lived in a studio which actually is a room in a big metal container. Nonetheless, it was very cosy and the window let us star gaze in clear night sky! Continue reading “Netherlands – Ede Wageningen”
Coming back from a year of travel, I am now home and looking for a new job. Because I did not know when the job will come, I decided to turn my waiting time into traveling within New Zealand. There is so much to discover here in New Zealand. Every turn has its own beauty. I decided to explore Rotorua and Taupo. These are two known tourist destinations in the North Island. New Zealand can be expensive to travel in because of the cost of accomodation, transport and food. I am currently travelling on a shoestring budget because I am jobless.
As two of the main tourist destinations, Rotorua and Taupo have many commercial touristic destinations. They charge steep price, and adding accomodation, tours and meals… it is not a holiday I can afford. But as I said earlier, there is beauty in every part of New Zealand. Let me take you through to my findings in Rotorua and Taupo that make them places to visit even for people on a budget.