• Africa,  Tanzania

    A Banana Beer Nip, A Coffee Sip and a Waterfall Dip

    A Coffe Tour in Tanzania This is probably the strangest title I have ever used on a travel article. The strangest combination and yet, this trio made for a perfect day out exploring the countryside in the southern slopes of Mount Kilimanjaro, a village called Materuni, where banana and coffee beans grow as neighbors to each other. I was on a coffee tour in Tanzania. BANANA BEER NIP Banana beer? Our guide asked, outstretching his arm to me with a 1 liter plastic green cup in his hand, shared by everyone. I don’t like beer but I like banana. Though I don’t need to please my taste buds to try…

  • Africa,  Tanzania

    Why did I visit a Tanzanian Prison?

    “Your passport”. We looked at each other – we didn’t know we were supposed to bring it. We left it in our bags back at the school, together with our phones and cameras. None of it was allowed on a visit to a prison in Tanzania. I was volunteering at Magereza Nursery School, in Moshi. The school is located inside the Magereza prison quarters and it offers free classes to the children of guards and prisoners, as well as to the children that live in the village in front of the prison. One of the boys in my class, Joshua, lives with his jailed mum since he was born. In…

  • Africa,  Tanzania

    YOU NEED TO KNOW THIS BEFORE YOU VOLUNTEER IN A SCHOOL IN AFRICA

    Chaos. 49 children, between 2 to 4 years old in one classroom. Only 6 are sitting down, the other 43 let their inner wild animal out. 4 are getting under the carpet while 2 are jumping on top of it. 3 are hanging out the windows; 1 of them is throwing chalk out to the garden. 5 are taking turns climbing the tables and jumping to the floor. One landed on a girl that started crying. 4 boys are moving the furniture against the wall, while 3 boys are fighting for a tennis ball. 2 boys are drawing lines across the board; another 2 are erasing what I had written.…

  • Africa,  Tanzania

    MOSHI TRAIN STATION – Where Time Stopped

    “Moshi has a train station?! But there are no trains here!” 2 weeks into my time in Moshi, a town in the north of Tanzania, I found out about the existence of a train station. And as it has turned out, it became my favorite place in Moshi. With the sumptuous Kilimanjaro as a backdrop, it is a place to sit in peace, a place where time stopped and where

  • Africa,  Tanzania

    A Tanzanian Town and the Tanzanian People – from a Mzungo’s perspective

    “Mambo” “Poa” “Hujambo” “Sijambo” “Habari” “Mzuri” “Karibu” “Asante” This was the daily introduction conversation exchanged with strangers on the streets of Tanzania. For the first two weeks living here, my brain couldn’t think quick enough and countless times I ended up answering the wrong thing. The locals would laugh at my clumsiness trying to correct myself with another wrong answer! At times it felt like the locals were testing how much Swahili did I speak, which was pretty much just about it. Tanzanian people are super friendly, curious and always happy to

  • Europe,  Turkey

    48 Hours in Istanbul – Photo Gallery

    With 48 hours to explore such a big city, I opted to only focus on one side of Istanbul, the southwest of Bosphurus river. And this side was bustling with various things to indulge myself in. From the Blue Mosque and Hagia Sophia to the old Jewish colorful neighborhood of Balat, going by the subterraneous labyrinth of the Grand Bazaar, I walked everywhere. Turkish delights added a sweetness to my wanderlust, while roasted chestnuts and the typical chewy ice-cream, known as dondurma, kept me company while “people watching”. Istanbul was a delight to explore and photograph.   But if it’s a rooftop you are looking for in Istanbul, read this:…

  • Europe,  Turkey

    More than a Secret Rooftop in Istanbul

    Have you ever felt it?! When you find a place you didn’t know existed before, you hadn’t imagined it, you weren’t expecting it, you are the only one there and it wraps you up in the soul of a city like a blanket in the cold night… Every traveller craves this feeling. And I found that sort of place in Istanbul. In fact I found it several times. I found it in the colorful streets and coffee shops of Balat neighborhood. I found it in the freshly squeezed pomegranate juice. I found it in the Turkish delights I thought I didn’t like and gave another chance. I found it in…

  • Europe,  Germany

    Neuschwanstein, a Fairytale Castle

    “Pinch me!! Am I dreaming?!” No, I wasn’t dreaming. Neither was I the sleeping beauty and (sadly) I definitely didn’t have a Prince standing outside my bedroom to wake me up with a kiss… But believe me, when the grandiose Neuschwanstein Castle appeared in the distance, the last thing I thought was the kiss of the Prince… An authentic fairytale Castle stood upon the hill,

  • Europe,  Greece

    SANTORINI: 4 THINGS TO DO OFF THE BEATEN (BLUE AND WHITE) PATH

    If you have read my previous post or even ever googled Santorini, you will have seen the famous dreamy cliff-towns painted in blue and white: Fira and Oia. But outside these towns, Santorini has other colours and much more to explore… So I have put together a little list of 4 things to do off the beaten path: 1 – VISIT THE RED BEACH OF AKROTIRI At the extreme opposite side of the island,there is a red South-West corner worth having a look at:

  • Europe,  Greece

    IF LOVE WAS AN ISLAND…

    My heart skipped a beat and my eyes travelled back and forth, looking to be an ultra-wide-angle lens in order to take it all in. It wasn’t until Michael let out a wow, that I realized I was also holding my breath. And just like that I knew I was falling in love with the island of SANTORINI!   I arrived in Santorini already excited to finally explore the island that had for years featured at the top of my bucket list (if you can call a bucket list a I-want-to-visit-every-place-in-the-world’s list). It was early May and we landed in a very windy island. At first this was quite disappointing,…

  • Asia,  Thailand

    Dreamy Pink Lake in Thailand

    “Sonhos cor-de-rosa”, he said. It is the Portuguese translation for “sweet dreams” and, literally, it means “pink dreams”. A wish that peace and beauty takes over your mind and you let go of reality: and so I did. There I was, on my last day in Thailand, floating on board a blue long tail wooden boat surrounded by “pink peacefulness.” This rather unusual lake is located 50km south of Udon Thani in Northeast Thailand. It holds a special “pink dream” which can be seen every early morning from December to February, the Red Lotus Sea (Talay But Daeng). Don’t be mistaken by the name, it isn’t red, it isn’t lotus…

  • Asia,  Thailand

    Pai, Northern Thailand

    More than a destination, a lifestyle The river is refreshing but not that powerful. The mountains are curvy but not that steep. The waterfalls are hidden but not that full. So what is it that makes Pai a destination that compels travellers to stay longer than they had originally planned?! I originally booked for 2 nights, stayed for 5 and then wished I could have stayed longer. I wasn’t alone in this feeling. It was a recurring theme that people initially came for couple days but ended up staying for several weeks or even months. Travelers who had flexible schedule found they had a difficult decision to make… when to…

  • Asia,  Thailand

    Letter to an Elephant

    Dear Elephant, After our last encounter, contradicting emotions have grown inside my heart. I was overwhelmed with your story and left you when I still had so much to say. Ever since I booked my trip to Thailand, I had really been looking forward to meeting you. That morning we left Chiang Mai in early hours and drove for over an hour until we arrived at the Care Centre in the mountains; where you now live. After a brief introduction about your life style, we learnt about what you like to eat and we prepared a mash of food to give you. When I first walked towards you, you pricked…

  • Asia,  Thailand

    Colourful Temples of Bangkok – photo gallery

    On my first day in Krung Thep Mahanakhon Amon Rattanakosin Mahinthara Ayuthaya Mahadilok Phop Noppharat Ratchathani Burirom Udomratchaniwet Mahasathan Amon Piman Awatan Sathit Sakkathattiya Witsanukam Prasit I wandered in-between temples! Oh wait, confused?! I was as confused as impressed! The 21 words written above compose the official name of Bangkok. Thai people shorten it to just Krung Thep, which means “City of Angels”. It is the longest place name according to the Guinness World Records. But that wasn’t the only thing that impressed me. It was the pallet of colors I found in the walls of Bangkok, and by that I mean the Buddhist Temples! Authentic pieces of art stand scattered across the…