Sunday, October 4, 2015

Kate flies from S.Korea to Vietnam to home

My daughter Kate-Lynn spent her final week in South Korea this week ad starts her homeward trek via Vietnam. She flew out today with Chris on an exciting tour of Vietnam, taking in Hanoi, an overnight train and hiking in the north-west of Vietnam, a two day cruise on a rustic boat around Lab Ha Bay with rock-climbing and kayaking down to Danang, a flight to Ho Chi Minh city for a 2-day cooking course and a 2-day scooter tour... then home.

So excited to see you again.. it's been 1 year 8 months in Korea and a year since we visited there last October.

The incredible islands around the Ha Long Bay area in Vietnam

Kate's last few days in S.Korea involved packing up, saying goodbye to friends, spending a few days with Chris as his Airforce base south of Seoul and then jetting off today to Vietnam

Kate will be travelling from Hanoi in the north of Vietnam, to the west, then back to the east and down south to Ho Chi Minh City which used to be called Saigon during the war

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Podgorica to Budva, Montenegro

We have been away a week on our month-long European vacation, and we caught a bus from Podgorica to Budva on the coast of Montenegro where we had only a night before our onward bus trip into Croatia to Dubrovnik.


Budva was undoubtedly the best seaside resort and stop-over we had on our trip. It is not a huge town, at the foothills of the mountain range and looks a little bit like Camps bay, Cape Town. There is a stunning old walled city and our hotel was just inside the walls. The back droor of the hotel fronted onto the small beach where we sat on lounger chairs, swam in the Adriatic Sea and sipped cocktails that were not overpriced. Outside the walled city the seaside resort boasted about a kilometre promenade with dozens of restaurants, shops and cocktail bars as well as a large fleamarket where we had the good sense to buy some rock shoes after agonising over the pebbles on the beach and the rocks that make up the seabed as you step in.

Budva, Montenegro

The walls of the old city

Our Hotel Astoria just on the inside of the walled city

Cute alleys and passages filled with shops and restaurants

At the back of our hotel was the beach and the Adriatic sea

Some of the fortress ramparts

The waters were crystal clear and reasonably warm

First swim in the Adriatic

Cocktails on the pebble beach

We had a beer in every city - local is lekker (Pivo = beer in Montenegran)

The pebbles on the beach

Comfortable hotel room

The prices were cheap/affordable in Budva. I booked for paragliding off the cliff too but they cancelled due to cloud sitting on the top

We took a cruise around the bay and to the little island

Dinner alongside the water's edge

Yummy breakfast - the first eggs and bacon of the trip

Bus trip to Dubrovnik, skirting the huge Bay of Kotor with little island in the middle

Heading through passport control from Montenegro to Bosnia and then to Croatia - we drove in 3 countries that day

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Routing to Montenegro

We were meeting up with our mates in Croatia in two days and needed to get to Dubrovnik to rendezvous with them, so we hunted the net for the best air deal from Bulgaria which was Air Serbia, flying from Sofia, Bulgaria, to Podgorica, the capital of Montenegro via Belgrade, Serbia.

The cheapest route from Bulgaria to Montenegro was north through Serbia, stopping only at the airport. We stayed in Podgorica, the capital of Montenegro, for a night, then caught a bus to the coast where we stayed in Budva (the best stop-over of our trip). We then caught another bus which jouneyed through Montenegro, Bosnia and Croatia to get to Dubrovnik where we met up with our mates for our yacht cruise. They had hired a 10-seater van and we drove together up to near Split, Croatia, spending a night en route at Makarska in Croatia. Our yacht cruise was around the islands in the oval I have drawn on the map.

I love turbo-prop planes and this was a 60-seater with comfortable service from Air Serbia

Arriving at Belgrade Airport, Serbia

Our connecting flight to Podgorica, Montenegro
Snow on the mountain tops of Serbia as we head south-west again to warmer summer

Catching the sunset and jet streams

We landed at night in Podgorica and were to catch the bus the next morning out of our Hotel positioned right next to the terminus, so we managed a walk to eat suppoer which was outstanding and caught a glimpse of this tower and that was about our experience of Podgorica - they used the Euro here, so we had a change of currency.