Tag Archives: old town

Taking public transport in Albania takes time. Our bus didn’t leave on time, so we arrived in the late afternoon at the bus station, just outside of the city. However, the ride from Tirana to Berat was pretty smooth. Minutes after arriving a local bus arrived. My friend and I hopped on, hoping it would take us towards Berat’s old town. Although we weren’t 100% sure, all the other tourists followed. We were staying in the Gorica part of town, across the river. It is one half of the Unesco protected part of the city. Our hostel was in one of the typical local houses that Berat is known for. They spread out from the river all the way up the hill and create the most picturesque cityscape. When we saw the river we hit the stop button. It was only a short walk to the hostel. I was eager…

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I spent some time working remotely in Italy and the first place I stayed in was Altamura, a small town in the Puglia region, right in the heel of Italy’s boot. I had seen some photos on Google and decided it was worth a visit. So I booked a small apartment and took the train from the city of Bari. Bari Centrale is a bit of an odd station, because there are several train companies operating from different stations that are close, but not the same. The regional train to Altamura left from Bari Centrale FAL, which is around the corner from the bigger central station. The journey took about 1,5 hours and went smoothly, through a dry landscape filled with olive trees, brown fields and the occasional building. The old, small constructions were built in a roundish shape with grey stones and a dome roof, the old trulli. From…

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Rhodes’ medieval citadel is one of the best preserved ones in Europe and earned its place on the Unesco heritage list. We can thank the Knights Hospitallers for much of what Rhodes looks like now. They moved to the island in the 14th century and left their mark in the approximately 200 years that they were there. After some Ottoman attacks the knights decided to build heavy fortifications, which you can still see today. However in the the 16th century the Ottomans won after all and added some oriental flavor to the town. Visiting Rhodes Town now, you can see elements from different times in the small streets within the city wall. If you enter the old town from the coast, you walk through the impressive Knight’s street towards the even more impressive palace of the grand master. At the hottest time of the day, tourists were using the small…

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I fell in love with the old town of Dubrovnik. What a pretty place this is! As soon as you enter through the old Pile gate, you step back in time. It’s like the middle ages, only with a bunch of souvenir shops and without the smells of piss and garbage. The new and improved middle ages. I loved spending a few days here and can totally recommend coming here for a holiday. But come early on in the season, because when tens of thousands of cruise ship passengers flood the city, the city’s charm sinks. The old town is super small and basically consists of two long streets with about a dozen smaller alleyways crossing it. Stradun is the main street and on either side the alleys start climbing up towards the walls. Dubrovnik is your personal stair master and after a day of exploring the city, you deserve that gelato…

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Today was going to be an active day. Well… holiday active anyway. Koh Lanta is a fairly big island, too big to explore on foot, so there are a few roads you can take to have a look around the island. The main mode of transportation seems to be the scooter. Both locals and tourists alike race down the streets on them and every other house has a sign ‘motorbikes for rent’. However, I’ve never driven a scooter. So my plan was to rent a bicycle, which is much harder to find than a scooter. Luckily I’d met a lovely Swiss girl who was keen to do something active today. So I rented a 6-speed bike from the hostel and was on my way. Nora was waiting for me close to her hostel and off we went. The plan was to visit the old town on the other side of…

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After visiting some Italian cities, my group went to a villa in Chianciano Terme. It was amazing to see the quiet little town after the busy streets of Rome and the overwhelming buildings in Florence. There were no other tourists here. All we saw were tiny streets, where cars struggled to get through. Occasionally there was a grandmother on a balcony or some people having a coffee in the café. From the town on the hill we had amazing views over the Tuscan countryside. “This is nothing” said my Italian friend. To me it was quite something, don’t you think?

The beach town of Rovinj is a popular place for Dutch and German tourists during the summer holidays. One summer I found myself working on a campsite for a few weeks and got to explore this lovely town. The campsite was massive, located along the beach. A water taxi could bring you to Rovinj several times a day. As I came off the taxi boat, I was greeted by a small local market with fresh veggies. The old town of Rovinj is quite small, so you can easily explore it on foot. Rovinj’s old town used to be surrounded by a wall, like a true mediëval town. Although the wall is broken down, the small streets are still a vibrant part of town. You can find all kinds of shops, restaurants and cafés along the cobbled streets and squares. A landmark that can be seen from the water is the…

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