All posts by Lars

Africa for a Day


The first week of August 2016 I spent with Simeon from Munich at our friend Jose’s place in Tarifa, Spain. The three of us have met in New Zealand when we were doing internships there in 2014.

Tarifa is a small municipality located in the very south of the Iberian Peninsula, just a stone’s throw away from Gibraltar. You will get a better impression of the genereal area in this VIDEO from my previous POST. However, on one day we decided to cross the Bay of Gibraltar and take the FRS speed ferry to Tanger (or Tangier) in Morocco. The ride cost us 67€ pP for both ways and took ~35min each direction.

Place du 9 Avril 1947 & the Mosquée Sidi Bou Arrakia
Place du 9 Avril 1947 & the Mosquée Sidi Bou Arrakia

Not long after filling in your visas & leaving the boat you will feel the difference in the culture. Walking from the harbor to the center of town takes you about 15 minutes – at least this is what it took us in 25°C at 10am, uphill. We then changed 15€, which would turn out to be more than enough money for the whole day, including meals, drinks & souvenirs. After going to a really central café close to the “Place du 9 Avril 1947” & the “Mosquée Sidi Bou Arrakia” (Mosk).

After some bread with delicious honey & a glas of hot tea (both Moroccan specialities) we made our way to the local Fish-, Meat-, Herb- and Vegetable- market. The Hall was extremely crowded and fresh food was offered as far as the eye could see.

Vegetable Stalls
Vegetable Stalls

Looking at some of the corners of the market one would see an elderly woman or man sitting, trying to sell their herbs but barely being able to keep their eyes open. Farmers as seen in the picture below sometimes walk for more than 2 hours from their homes to the market just to make a dime.

Farmer Lady
Farmer Lady

Then we continued to make our way through the streets that remind you of Tales from 1001 nights, Aladin and other orient-movies. Unfortunately, we quickly got to know the downsides of being a tourist in Morocco. Know this: Sketchy people will try to involve you in all kinds of conversations with a similar end result – they will kindly suggest a must-see touristic attraction and will offer to take you there. Despite them being extremely friendly, I would not recommend following anyone you do not know through the intertwined alleyways. This does not mean one should not talk to anybody or feel unsafe. In most cases these people will actually show you something nice e.g. a great restaurant and then just ask for a little pocket money. However, it is better to be safe than sorry…

Stray cat realxing
Stray cat realxing

Other than that, Tanger is home to countless stray cats. Language-wise English should suffice. If you can speak Spanish or French that is even better, as most Moroccans in Tanger speak at least one of these languages – especially if they make earn their living with the tourists.

So, after walking through the small alleys, past plenty stands with spices, sweets, souvenirs and food we made our way to the city park – which also seemed to be a cemetery – and took a little rest next to the aforementioned Mosquée Sidi Bou Arrakia:

Mosquée Sidi Bou Arrakia
Mosquée Sidi Bou Arrakia

Not being able to find a tourist info we were lucky to run into a couple of Welsh tourists who happened to have a map and a tip. They mentioned that they have been told to go and see the historic old town or “Ancien Medina”. Not knowing much about the place we followed this hint and climbed the ~300m hill as the temperature steadily rose above 40°C.

Yeah, you can imagine…

Salon Bleu
Salon Bleu

Still it was worth it. One of our favorite spots was the Salon Bleu where you can get a great view over the old-town as well as the entire city of Tanger.

It is definitely worth to pay a visit & climb their ridiculously small round stairs to the terrace. Their food and service however are not that good, so you might consider a nicer (+ cheaper) place to have a lunch break. We had a menu of 4 typical Moroccan courses & a soft drink for ~13€ in town.

Rooftop view of Salon Bleu
Rooftop view of Salon Bleu

 The old town is surrounded by ancient city walls and its alleyways are extremely colorful. A lot of locals still reside in this part of town which is otherwise peppered with small cafés and kiosks. There is also a nice museum named “Musée de la Kasbah”.

Residential area in the oldtown
Residential area in the oldtowndav

We rounded the day off with some souvenir hunting and went back onto the ferry. Totally worth it!

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Tarifa, Spain

The video below is a quick-time recap of an amazing week in Tarifa. The small municipality in the south of Spain increases its population by a factor of 5-6 every summer. Most locals make their living based of tourists and kite surfers. Tarifa is known for its beautiful beaches, stable great weather and strong winds.

Video:

https://www.facebook.com/theglobeonabudget/videos/610397409128750/

When Lars was there in the beginning of August most of his days were shaped by the tranquil Spanish lifestyle. The day rarely started before 11am, continued with a late breakfast, followed by a late lunch and a beach visit or a nice siesta. The long, white beaches are flooded with tourists – mainly from Italy & Spain – in the summertime. Due to this accommodation prices are outrageous between June & September. Our budget traveler had the luck to stay with a friend, whom could easily rent out his flat for more than 1,000€ per week. The cost of living on the other hand is decent. Fresh food & cold drinks will not cost you more than 10-15€ per day. Below Lars made a list of Top 10 things to do in Tarifa, if you find a place to stay.

No 1:

Buy fresh Oranges (~65cts p. kg) and have fresh orange juice everyday! Also shop locally at supermarkets and prepare your own Tapas or other local dishes, like Paella, to save money.

No 2:

Have the best Mojito ever at the “Bar Taco Way”! During Happy Hours their own delicious version of combining of fresh mint, brown sugar, lime, slushed ice & white rum will cost you 3€. If you give those guys a tip, the whole crew has a really funny way to express their happiness.

Best Mojito Ever
Best Mojito Ever

No 3:

Go Kite surfing! If you have the time & money you can learn how to do it in one of the plenty Kite surfing schools in Tarifa. If you do not, just relax at the beach, grab a cold one and watch the others. It can be really fascinating.

No 4:

Share a perfectly spiced chicken at “El Palmar”, a restaurant not far from the beach in the town with the same name (one hour north of Tarifa).

Pollo Asado in El Palmar
Pollo Asado in El Palmar

The top selling whole Chicken “Pollo Asado” will cost you 11€ and will leave a great impression. However, I recommend that you reserve a table (and a dish) before hanging out at the beach, as the place is packed during lunch & dinner hours. Also do not sleep on their homemade deserts.

No 5:

Carpe Noctem – go out at night. Tarifa is a party town, so go roam the little alleyways of the town, together with thousands of other toursits & locals and enjoy Tarifa’s one of a kind nightlife.

Tarifa at night
Tarifa at night

A nice club to start with is “La Teteria de Tarifa”. It is a cozy bar with outdoor gardens to relax in and enjoy a cold drink or a waterpipe. Between 2am-3am a lot of locals prefer to go to “La Ruina” & dance to some electronical music. Afterwards locals recommend to go to “Cafe del Mar”, a club on the edge of town that opens its doors until 8am.

No 6:

Find a person with a boat and enjoy a day in the Bay of Gibraltar. The turquoise water is very clean & clear and has a perfect swimming and diving temperature.

No 7:

Lavante
Lavante

Lay at the beach at night and enjoy the beautiful stars. Due to the strong winds in southern Spain (“Lavante”) clouds are generally passing quickly and you will have lots of crystal clear night skies. Maybe you want to add a round of skinny-dipping as well ;).

No 8:

Take the ferry to Tangier, Morocco. The ferry ride will take 35 minutes and costs 65€ in total for both ways. You can have a little peek into the culture of the North African country. For a better understanding of the life in Morocco you can consider reading my next blog entry and spending several days there and driving further inland.

No 9:

Talk to the locals. The best way to understand the Andalusian mentality is talking to the locals and doing what they do. Not many of them are fluent in English though, so you might want to freshen up your Spanish skills.

No 10:

Andalusian Sunset
Andalusian Sunset

Watch a sunset at Waikiki Beach Club! This is the top of the crop. We went there every night to see the sun go down around 21:30 and leave us with a burning sky. People generally applaud the sun every night, as can be seen in this Facebook live video I have taken. I can also recommend enjoying the delicious Waikiki cocktail while watching the dusk. It is similar to a Pina Colada and specializes in turning 6€ from your pocket into a taste explosion in your mouth and a feeling of shear happiness in your tummy.

Total budget spent by Lars (incl. Flights):

313€ in 8 days.

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Ultimate Money Saving Backpacking Essentials – by Nikki

So the travel bug has bitten, but you’re really stretched for cash? Or perhaps you just want to make your money go the distance, all the way to that dreamy exotic destination?

Hey I’m Nikki, Lars’ friend and travel writer over at WorldFanFair. We met last Christmas at the very “hygge” City Backpackers Hostel in Stockholm, where the feature photo was taken just outside at midnight. And now here I am, ready to share with you my travelled and tested money saving backpacking tips. I hope you enjoy!

Before you even set off, it’s wise to consider where you are going and when. Your money will go a lot further in some destinations than others and you can also reduce the cost of your travels greatly by travelling either off peak or during the shoulder seasons.

In addition to where and when you’re going, there are some items that can eliminate or reduce your spending greatly when abroad. 

  1. If you’re going to be travelling by airplane, one of the best ways to save good money is to take Carry-on Luggage only. Many airlines, especially the budget ones, charge extra for tickets with checked luggage, so if you’re planning on taking a lot of flights, this can be a way to save bulk cash. Of course, this generally works better for travel in warmer weather when you’ll need less heavy clothing. 
  2. Not so glamorous, but essential, is your Microfiber Towel. If you’ll be staying in hostels, there’s often a charge for towels so depending on how long you’ll be away it may be worth investing in your own. Microfiber is the best because it dries super-fast, even in cold or damp conditions, so you can pack it up without all your things getting wet. 
  3. Another hostel essential is a Padlock for your security locker. It’s better to be smart than inconvenienced, so take a padlock to lock your things, especially valuables, away. If you don’t, you’ll often have to rent one from the reception at your hostel.
  4. Bottled water sucks for our environment and for your wallet so always handy when moving around is a refillable Water Canteen. Just remember to empty the contents before airport security. 
  5. Getting around is so much easier when you have access to the internet so make sure to get yourself a Universal Plug Adaptor. This is another common item people often end up renting from hostels, but it’s much more convenient and cheaper to have your own. Don’t fall into the trap of getting it at the airport or in a travel shop though, they can be found much cheaper from hardware type stores or your supermarket.
  6. You snagged the cheap flights, now keep it that way! Remember to print your Boarding Passes, or download the app for your airline before getting to the airport. Many budget airlines charge a hefty fee if you forget and have to print them at check-in.

Nikki Louise is the New Zealand born, London based, creator behind WorldFanFair, the online Travel Blog and YouTube channel.

Check out her latest blog post A Weekend in Paris: Top 9 Moments Not to Miss and follow her on Instagram and Twitter for more travel, design and coffee inspired moments (not to miss)…

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Video: Roadtrip Norway 2016

In June 2016 Frederik & Lars took a Roadtrip all around southern Norway. During 10 days & almost 4,000 km of hauntingly beautiful nature the guys met a lot of interesting people, camped in scenically breathtaking spots and learned one thing or another about the country. Check out some footage and impressions in the video below & please follow us on Facebook and Instagram

Roadtrip Norway 2016 click here.

We hope you enjoy the video!

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The Feast of Valborg – Sweden

Today I would like to tell you about Valborg, one of the biggest festivities in Sweden. At the end of the entry you will find a table listing the expenses you will have to face when coming to take part in this one of a kind event!

The festival takes place on the 30th of April. Often referred to as Walpurgis Night in other countries, Valborg celebrates the end of the cold winter and the beginning of spring. May Day celebrations have a very long tradition in Sweden. In its oldest university town, Uppsala people gather by the thousands in the park and sing hymns in their white captain’s hats – a traditional accessory for the city’s students.

I have celebrated it in Lund, where I study & live.

Lund Cathedral
Lund Cathedral

Lund is very famous for its 3 – 4 days of Valborg parties. As Lund is a very international & vibrant student city, people from all over the world come to celebrate Valborg here. From what people who have been living here for quite a while been telling me it is the best party in the country. This was made clear by many people from Stockholm whom I have met. Sweden’s capital is actually much closer to Uppsala and still…they come here every year.

Both, Lund and Uppsala, are the country’s biggest and best known student cities & in a constant battle about which one is better & who has the better Valborg. Briefly put: It is Lund. Deal with it Uppsala…

Back to the festival. Everything starts on Kvalborg, the night before Valborg. This year it was on a Friday and a major part of the population of Lund, namely its 47,000 students (of an overall 100,000 population), began to celebrate in the student clubs and the housing areas. Music boomed from the speakers since midday all over town & tourists began to arrive.

Party in Parentesen
Party in Parentesen

I spent that day in Parentesen, which is a housing area for students that is well-known for its parties. Sorry for the bad picture…it is the best I could do in my condition at that point in time. Forgive me.

Although it was a cold & windy day a lot of people showed up after their casual “Friday-afternoon System Bolaget walk”. Allow me to explain. System Bolaget is where people buy their booze in Sweden.

Beershelf in System Bolaget
Beershelf in System Bolaget

It is a state liquor store and the only option to buy drinks with more than 3.5% alcohol. One can also get light-beers with up to 3.5% at the 7/11 and other supermarkets. One thing for all you my fellow budget travelers, this is where a major part of your budget will end up being spent. Alcohol is anything but cheap in Sweden. However, the pre-drinking mindset is well-established here, as the pubsclubs are barely affordable. If you go to a regular Irish Pub in Sweden you will pay at least 6-8€ for a pint of beer…Yes, 6-8€. This is why we have student nations, accessible only to students, which have special deals with the government & are able to serve cheaper drinks (0.33l beer for around 2,50€). These nations mainly exist in Lund & Uppsala. Another fun-fact: Those two cities are also the only places in all of Sweden where it is permitted to drink in public, which has an imminent effect on the Valborg festivities in the parks.

So, Parentesen, as well as other places in town started going wild on Friday and to a large extent partied all night. I was doing the only responsible thing and went back early (around 3 am) so I could get up early for Valborg – because that is what it is all about. Due to the unbelievable mass of people coming to the small city of Lund for the party on Saturday you have to be in the park early. This is what a typical Valborg morning looks like:

  • Wake up around 6:30/7am
  • Take a shot of a spirit of your choice, which you wisely placed next to your bed the night before
  • Take a shower, brush your teeth etc.
  • Grab a chair, food, summer clothes, sunglasses, a raincoat, winter boots, a scarf…basically be prepared for any kind of weather
  • Go to the fridge and take out the massive amount of alcohol you have stored
  • Go to Stadsparken (city-park)
  • Arrive no later than 8am to find a decent spot
  • Sit down and enjoy the show
  • Drink
  • Don’t stop drinking

When arriving in the park – after following this morning routine – I was impressed by how many people have already been there. The pictures below were taken at around 8:30.

Valborg morning in Stadsparken
Valborg morning in Stadsparken
Get up early & go to the park
Get up early & go to the park

By 9:30 it was extremely difficult to get anywhere else but your spot. We were a group of around 40 people from different study programs, countries and continents. The day proceeded with live music from the stage and more drinks. True festival vibes were created by the usually reserved Swedish people who – on that day – went all out… Partying, shouting, dancing, singing, drinking, kissing & mating.

Frederik & I in front of the pile of wood
Frederik & I in front of the pile of wood

At around 3pm authorities start to clean the park & everyone goes into town or to private “inbetween-parties”. Frederik & I went to one of those, where we sat around had some more beers & ultimately went for a Lundafalafel, which is the infamous must-have meal in Lund on such a day. Around 8pm everyone gathers back in the park to see a huge bonfire. An about 3 meter high pile of wood is lit. At this time you will also see quite a few families & hear a choir singing. In the video below you can see the fire and hear the choir chant.

At the end of the night I went to nation event. Three of Lund’s student nations gathered together and opened their clubs. Everything from Electro/Dance, over Hip Hop, up to Swedish Folklore & pop music was represented in the clubs. The night went on until 5am for me. I can say it was a long & exhausting two days. The Swede did not quit there though. The day after Valborg they were out partying again at some nations & the parks. They call this last day of the festival “Finalborg“. Some crazy people even add a fourth day and call that one “Katastrophalborg“. Now that I know how things go down I will be prepared for the full 4 days next year! 

Below I have arranged a small list of budget considerations you should have in mind when thinking about attending Valborg. Also, you can get a better idea of the festival here.

Budget:

Activity

Amount in Euro

Flight to & from Copenhagen (Denmark) within Europe, when booked in time

50-100€

Train to & from Lund

25€
Beer in System Bolaget (0.5l & alcohol 3.5% – 10%)

1,20€ – 3,00€

Wine bottle (1l) in System Bolaget

6,50€ – 20€

Spirits in System Bolaget

>20€
Fetsival day in the park

0€

Meeting new people & joining them for “inbetween-parties”

0€

Bonfire

0€

Public transport

0€, because you do not need it in tiny Lund

Accomodation (Hostel) in Lund Pp Night

30€

Accomodation (Hostel) in Malmö (between Copenhagen & Lund) Pp Night

20€

Or just couch-surf or crash at the place of someone you met on Valborg 🙂

0€

All around the long weekend will cost you anything between 150-250€.  I agree that this is anything but cheap but it is also really worth it. If you plan on going to Sweden anyway you should really consider this weekend!

If you have any questions about the festival, Lund, Sweden or the budget just let me know in the comments and I will get back to you right away! 🙂

Thanks for reading this entry, I hope you liked it.

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Tallinn, Estonia

In my first location-based blog entry I would like to talk about the pearl of the Baltics – Tallinn. From the 18th of April until the 20th I was fortunate enough to visit this lovely place for a third, wonderful, time, since 2012. Tallinn is famous for its red roofs, amber and good, affordable beerbooze. People from Finland and Scandinavia regularly cross the Baltic Sea by ferry to shop in the liquor paradise.

As you know I am living and studying in Sweden at the moment. Thus, I used this chance to participate in the Erasmus Student Network’s biggest event- the Sea Battle – twice. One time last fall and well…this week. This event is characterized by bringing together 2100 students from countless countries, trapping them all on a boat, and letting them have the time of their lives.

Tallink Ferry and Sea Battle Party Boat
Tallink Ferry and Sea Battle Party Boat

The ferry they use has a huge dining room, a café, 2 nightclubs, a casino area, 5 different bars, a sauna, a sundeck and other common areas.

Capoeira Show Performance
Capoeira Show Performance

During the sea battle there are a lot of special events such as fat-suit-sumo, karaoke, pub-quizzes, game-nights, and special acrobatic dance shows, such as seen on the left.

The ferry usually departs Stockholm, Sweden around 5pm, and arrives in Tallinn, Estonia at 10am. People tend to get stuffed at the free buffet, go to the duty-free liquor store on board, buy large amounts of cheap booze, play drinking games, meet new people from everywhere in the world, get wasted, then party all night and go to bed around 6ish (If at all).

Boat-Party
Boat-Party

In the video below you can see the party at around 4am with Helga (a sex-doll) going wild in the crowd. Calling her & giving her compliments is a common festival tradition:

The next day is used to explore the beautiful old-town of Estonia’s capital, which I would like to tell you a little bit more about. So, this is how I would like to structure this blog entry. I will start telling you a little bit more about the city itself and show you some pictures of my favorite spots. Throughout this entry I will give you some budget tips and tell you what you should not miss.


The Old town

The historical old town is the best preserved medieval town of northern Europe and very famous for its architecture, the red roofs, it’s famous gothic steeple-tops, the winding cobblestone streets and the surrounding city wall.

City wall with red tower steeples
City wall with red tower steeples

Unlike many other European capitals Tallinn managed to maintain its medieval design and the structure from its hanseatic beginning. If you spend some time here you’ll immediately be under Tallinn’s spell and feel its mystical subsistence. One place that really arouses this constitution is the Olde Hansa. It is a restaurant/bar in the very center of the old town.

Olde Hansa
Olde Hansa

Knights and maidens will lure you into the huge building and serve you with medieval dishes, prepared liked in the 15th century, music from the same era and homebrewed beers and herb-drinks.

Medieval musicians perform almost every night – excluding Mondays. On the weekend you will also see some street artist performing with fire in front of the building. Along the streets of the old town you will find plenty antique churches and enormous buildings from the former rich European salesmen coming to Tallinn, along with barns and attics.

If you follow the cobblestone road past the Olde Hansa you will get to the town hall square in the very center of town. In the summer-time plenty of concerts are held here, flee-& food-markets occur and the restaurants are packed, whereas in the wintertime you’ll come to visit a wonderfully decorated Christmasmarket with a tall fir tree in the middle of the square.

One of my favorite spots in town can be reached if you pass the square and climb the stairs along the massive city walls. You will reach a nice lookout.

The red rooftops of Tallin's Old Town, Estonia
The red rooftops of Tallin’s Old Town, Estonia

This place is where we should glance over the red city roofs, let our mind fade, listen to some folk music played by street performers, get a hot chocolate from one of the stalls, and just think about “The times we had”.

"The Times We Had" - Rooftops of Tallinn's Old Town, Estonia
“The Times We Had” – Rooftops of Tallinn’s Old Town, Estonia

Just around the corner is another nice lookout, facing the direction of the harbor. This point can also be reached with a set of endless stairs from the very bottom of the hill the old town was built on. Continuing to stroll around the narrower streets on top of the hill you will eventually reach the pinkish parliament building & the beautiful Alexander Nevsky Cathedral, named after a saint whom won the battle of ice, which literally took part on the ice of Lake Peipus in 1242.

Alexander Nevsky Cathedral, Tallinn, Estonia
Alexander Nevsky Cathedral, Tallinn, Estonia

The orthodox cathedral was built around a 120 years ago, when Estonia was part of the Russian empire.

After climbing the hill of the old town and looking at all the cute little alley-ways, amber shops, medieval stores & nice sights the city has to offer, I’m sure you’ll be starving or at least thirsty. This is why I have set up a list of places you can reach within the next ten minutes from wherever you are in the old town. I have divided the table into famous places and my favorites including some pricing info. Just be aware that nothing is reeaaaally expensive in Estonia in comparison to other European countries.

Activity Regular Budget
Snack “Foody Allen“, “Wok to Walk“, Fast-Food joints Pastry Kiosk located all over town (see below)
Proper Restaurant “Olde Hansa” (Main dishes around 16-30€)

If you have the budget still a must see!

“Vanaema Juures” (Mains range around 10-16€)
Café “Café Mademoiselle” (Reasonable price and good cake)

“Reval café” (Nice atmosphere, not so good food)

Tipp: “Chocolates de Pierre” not necessarily cheaper but it has great homemade chocolate!
Local Food and Beers “Hell Hunt” “Hell Hunt” (STOP LOOKING FOR CHEAPER OPTIONS – JUST GO HERE ALREADY!)
Hostel “16 EUR Hostel” or “Fat Margaret´s” are common, decent, choices “Vana Tom Hostel” (from 8€) or “Tallinn Backpackers” (from 9€)
Bar “Must Puudel” (Soviet Themed)

“Shooters” (Endless array of shots)

“Tops” (Alternatv. for Soviet Theme)

“Valli Baar” (usually live music)

Nightlife & Clubbing “Club Hollywood”, “Klubi Teater” There is no real “cheapest” option here. It depends on the venue.

Basically, my must-see recommendation for you guys is the Hell Hunt (“The Gentle Wolf”). Delicious food for fairly cheap prices & a selection of the best beersall you really need. I have been resting and dining here every single time I have been to Tallinn and will continue doing so. I can recommend almost everything the menu has to offer. One of my favorites is the borscht soup & the traditional Estonian appetizer fried brown bread, rubbed with garlic and a cucumber dip. So simple but so delicious.

If you just want a small snack I’d recommend one of the Pastry Kiosks located around town. As the name suggests they serve pastries stuffed with e.g. meat, spinach, pees, beans, chicken etc. My preferred Kiosk is located very close to the famous city gate of Tallinn (Two towers on the border of the old town, opening the way to the main shopping street). With the gate left behind you, a McDonald’s is to your left. You follow that road (along the city wall) and the pastry store will be located on the next corner on the left. It is a small greenish hut.

Another great pub you should not miss is the Scotland Yard. I did not include it in the table as it is rather expensive. Nonetheless, its authenticity makes up for their prices. They have a traditional Scottish police officer showing you where to sit, as well as all kinds of random, old decoration, such as an electric chair and old weapons. Also, there is a huge aquarium in the middle of the bar with large fish in it. It is located on the bottom of the hill, outside of the old city walls.


One final thing: You should really check out the Olde Hansa, even though it is one of the most expensive places in town, it really fits the town and rounds off your trip back to medieval times. Of course, the choice is yours.

If you are studying in Europe I can only recommend you take part in this ESN-event and visit Tallinn. The second party cruise, the way back, is just as good. Nobody said conquering the Baltic sea would be easy – but I can proudly announce that we made it! All the exzessive partying and city touring was worth it. The view on the trip through Stockholm’s Archipelago the next morning before reaching the harbor compensates for all the blood, sweat & tears that shaped the conquest. See for yourself (No idea why video is turned, even though it has been filmed correctly):

If you liked this blog entry & would like to see more, please subscribe. If you have any questions, feel free to comment and ask. If there is anything you did not like or would like me to improve next time, please comment & subscribe to get notified when I post my next entry ;). Also, sharing is caring!

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Serra de Tramuntana

It’s a pleasure to introduce you to our first travel report – Yay! In this first blog entry we would like to recount about our hiking trip to Mallorca last September. For us, it was the first real hiking trip apart from some day hikes in New Zealand, so it was new & adventurous! To be precise, we hiked a part of the Majorcan mountain range called the Serra de Tramuntana which is located in the West of the island. As we were (& still are) newbies in hiking, we decided for a four-day trip from Valdemossa to Pollença. This route only covers a small part of the whole Serra de Tramuntana since you can as well hike the whole mountain range, from Port d’Andratx/Sant Elm to Pollença. You can see the entire route in the picture of the map:

Hiking map of Serra de Tramuntana
Hiking map of Serra de Tramuntana

After we landed at the airport of Palma de Mallorca we spent the rest of the first day in Palma city where we as well booked a hostel for that night. Concerning the transfer from the airport to the city centre, which is about 10 kilometres further West, we recommend you to take a public bus instead of booking an airport shuttle since it is much cheaper (3€ instead of 8€).

Rooftop in Palma de Mallorca
Rooftop in Palma de Mallorca

Before we tell you more about the beautiful city of Palma which we fell in love with immediately, we would like to describe the hostel we stayed in. It is called Hostel Pura Vida & is located in the city centre, close to the Catedral de Santa María – so close that you have a wonderful view of the cathedral & the ocean from the little roof terrace of the hostel. This view over the rooftops of Palma is definitely a highlight! For one night in a dorm with six beds (including breakfast & wifi) we paid 35€ per person (booked via booking.com).

Rooftop view
Rooftop view

Unfortunately, we had to leave the hostel early the next morning so that we could not have breakfast in the hostel. As that day was our first hiking day we wanted to start as early as possible to make sure that we will definitely arrive at our first destination, Port de Sóller, before the sun goes down. We liked the hostel because it was very cozy: the Mediterranean charm invited us to relax & feel comfortable. Our dorm room contained three wooden bunk beds & everything (including the wash rooms) was well maintained & clean. For our next trip to Palma we would definitely choose this hostel again!

Inside Hostel Hostel Pura Vida, Palma de Mallorca
Inside Hostel Hostel Pura Vida, Palma de Mallorca
Hostel Hostel Pura Vida, Palma de Mallorca
Hostel Hostel Pura Vida, Palma de Mallorca

Palma de Mallorca is the awesome capital of the Spanish Mediterranean island Mallorca which combines many different things without being too urban or anonymous. We enjoyed the familiar atmosphere while hanging out in tapas bars (we can recommend 13%, delicious tapas there! (13 Prozent), strolling through the friendly city centre which offers shopping opportunities for every budget & having a refreshing sangria at one of the lively squares where you can observe the hustle & bustle of the tourists, as well as of the Majorcans. For us, this is the best way to get to know the Spanish way of living – take your time!

Palma de Mallorca at night

Of course you can also quench your thirst for knowledge about the historical & cultural aspects of Palma, for example in one of the numerous museums. A good spot to chill (without being obliged to spend money for a drink or tapas) is the square behind the cathedral where you can sit on the steps leading down to a small water basin & enjoy the sun :).

So now, let’s start hiking! As already mentioned, our first hiking day started very early, because we planned to hike two shorter tracks: 8,5 kilometres from Valdemossa to Deià & 9,3 kilometres from Deià to Port de Sóller where we wanted to stay in the Refugi Muleta. Refugis are simple accommodations especially set up for hikers. It’s recommended to book it in advance which you can do online. As you will be sleeping in dorms containing ten to sometimes 36 beds, you shouldn’t forget to take your ear plugs with you ;). But don’t worry: if you forget them or they won’t stay in your ears (my ears don’t seem to be suitable for ear plugs :D) you will nevertheless fall asleep immediately because you will be really exhausted from the hiking day…

Valdemossa Llibreria
Valdemossa Llibreria

Powered from a quick coffee & a delicious croissant – not actually a good & nutritious breakfast for hikers – we made our way to the main bus station (Estació Intermodal) of Palma where we took the bus to Valdemossa around 7:30 a.m. The drive to the historic old town of Valdemossa takes about half an hour.

Cappucino Valdemossa
Cappucino Valdemossa

Before we went to look for the start of the hiking track we strolled along the (still) silent streets of the picturesque village which was still sleeping – would have been interesting to see the small town & its locals waking up!

Valdemossa
Valdemossa

After having provided ourselves with some baguette & Spanish salami for the day we tried to find the starting point of the trail which was not as easy as expected. It was hard to see where exactly the entrance to the track was supposed to be because it wasn’t marked very clearly & our guide map wasn’t precise enough. Once we found the start of the track it didn’t really get easier: this part of the route from Valdemossa to Deià is not yet officially marked so that you really have to follow the instructions in the guide map, as well as always keep your eyes open for the so-called cairns. These little figures made out of several stones piled one on another at the left or right side of the trail indicate that you are on the right way.

Beginning of the hike
Beginning of the hike

During the first part of the serpentine trail we went uphill until we reached the first lookout, called Pla des Pouet. From here you can see the church of Valdemossa beneath you – such an amazing view!

Leaving the lookout behind us we followed the cairns through a forest area (where we had some problems to stay on the right track) & finally came to the mountain path Camí de S’Arxiduc where we took a lunch break. 

Quality Time
Quality Time

We sat on rocks directly at the steep face, enjoying a breathtaking view of the ocean & the rocky coastline.

What a view
What a view
Lunch location
Lunch location

Right in front of us a mountain goat was balancing on the branches of a tree & was scared to jump off again which was really entertaining to observe… Marius thought of rescuing the helpless goat which was bleating so loudly but it finally overcame its fear & jumped on the ground. 

The goat says "hi"
The goat says “hi”

This situation wasn’t supposed to be the last one where Marius wanted to get in touch with “wild” animals… 😀 So if you want to know how Marius found a new donkey-friend, read our following blog entry about the next episode of our hiking trip on Mallorca!

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The start of something big!

Wow our first blog entry! I am so excited!

Hi everyone! My name is Lars and I have the honor of composing our first blog entry ever! So, let me tell you a little about myself, my team, the idea behind theglobeonabudget & what you can expect from this blog.


“theglobeonabudget” is born


Here we go. I am a 24 year old travel enthusiast who came up with the idea of forming this travel collective. During my master studies in “Entrepreneurship” in Sweden I thought a lot about what I would like to do with my life – about what my true passion is & what I would really, really love to do. The first thing that came to mind was, of course, traveling as such. However, I also discovered how much I enjoy telling people about my travels & listening to their stories. Exchanging experiences with other backpackers at hostels,  with exchange students whom I meet on a daily basis or simply  anyone else, is what really excites me. Furthermore, I figured that by now I have gathered quite some experience & knowledge about various places on this beautiful planet we call earth. I thus decided to give some tips to fellow travelers, such as you. Finally, it came to my mind that I have a couple of friends who also love nothing more than traveling & who also have seen their share of the globe already. Hence, I decided to build a team. The more insights & opinions, the better. Right?

So, this blog came out as a result of all these thoughts. I started carefully with a few pictures from my past travels on @theglobeonabudget on Instagram & added some tips I considered helpful. After that I approached some friends of mine to pitch the idea to them & to ask if they would like to join the team. Well, they did.

The Team


My fellow bloggers are Frederik – whom I have studied International Business and Management in the Netherlands with – and Marius a good friend and passionate globetrotter. All of us have developed our passion for traveling in the recent years, through semesters or internships abroad. We had a taste of seeing the world & now can’t stop.

Frederik has lived in Kansas for quite some time. He enjoys typical road-trips through the States & is a fan of the American lifestyle. He further studied in Bali for a semester and lived & worked in Bali for a couple of months. Right now he studies his masters in “Globalization, Brands and Consumption” at Lund University in Sweden.

Marius discovered the beauty of travel during his internship in Auckland, New Zealand. Against all odds he discovered a new love for hiking in NZ. This new desire drove him to explore the Serra de Tramuntana, on the island of Mallorca, towards the end of last year. He genuinely enjoys meeting locals & discovering their culture as well as their day-to-day life.

We are planning to get a couple more members on bord in the near future. All of us will be traveling with companions most of the time, whom we will of course also introduce to you. Also, we are planning on meeting each other in different parts of the world at one point. You can read up on more about the team in the respective section of our website.

The Future in a nutshell


Our main focus will lay on YOU, our friends, followers & partners in crime. We want to design this blog as interactive as possible & create a new experience for everyone. This is why we are looking forward to your comments, your thoughts, your suggestions, your own experiences & your opinion on everything we do. We will try to upload live material on our theglobeonabudget Facebook channel whenever possible. We will serve you with exclusive YouTube content in addition to the pictures you will see in the blog, in order to provide you with a 360° experience & let you see what we see & feel what we feel. On another note, we will publish exclusive content from other bloggers, casual & frequent travelers or friends & followers of the page, who would like to share some of their experience on www.theglobeonabudget.com. So if you are keen on becoming active just contact us under contact@theglobeonabudget.com!

Last but not least, we will of course try to provide you with as many helpful budget-tips & travel recommendations as possible. However, we also want to make it entertaining for you! We will try to find an attractive balance & thus rely on your feedback to do so!


First last words…

So, as you can see we have a bright future ahead of us. If you like our plans & our approach or would like to contribute something, let us know in the comment section or via email.

Let me finish with saying that I am really grateful for each & everyone of you reading this. I cannot stress enough how much this experience rely’s on your input just as much as on our output. So, let us change the world of travel-blogging & create the most amazing common experience TOGETHER!

If you liked our first blog entry, please leave a comment.

If you didn’t, please leave a comment.

If you have any suggestions for us, please leave a comment.

If there is anything you would like us to elaborate upon from our previous Instagram posts from @theglobeonabudget, please leave a comment.

Or if you just like to chat about traveling, please leave a comment.

I am looking forward to hearing from you & to an exciting time with THEGLOBEONABUDGET!

Best,

Lars


 

 

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