After the minibus driver from Kyrenia dropped me off and pointed me towards the checkpoint between northern and southern Cyprus, I started wandering and looking around the northern half of Nicosia, the capital of Cyprus. I probably would’ve spent a little more time on that side if it hadn’t been so hot and I hadn’t been walking around with my backpack. Most of what I saw were cheap souvenir shops positioned to lure in tourists who just came over for a couple of hours to see the other side. I spent my remaining Turkish lira on water and chocolate before exiting the north.
Traveling to Northern Cyprus is a bit complicated and yet simple at the same time. This region considers itself a separate country, but the Republic of Cyprus (essentially the south) does not consider Northern Cyprus to be a separate country. Things can get confusing pretty quickly. A little background:
My original plan was to take the bus from Larnaca to Nicosia, have lunch, and then walk across the border checkpoint to find a bus to get to Kyrenia on the northern coast. But since the bus schedule was altered due to a holiday, I ended up getting a ride (along with another couple) from a guy with a car service. It was more expensive but at least I didn’t have to worry about figuring out where to get the bus on the north side of Nicosia.
As I stood examining the bus schedule, a woman came over to see if I needed help. After telling me the correct bus, conversation quickly turned to small talk, and then somehow she was ranting about Muslims and foreigners in general. She went on like this for the next 15 minutes until the bus arrived and continued until we both exited the bus at the same stop. No matter what I said, in an effort to change the subject, she always brought it back to how terrible the Muslims are and how all the immigrants are taking her pension in the UK.
It was a short trip to Prague, a long weekend away to celebrate our anniversary. Andy has been to Prague several times, and I was there once before when we first met. We had both seen most of the major sights, so this was a trip about food, enjoying the city, and having a relaxing weekend together. Here’s a look at how much we spent traveling in Prague.
It was supposed to be a romantic four day weekend celebrating five years from the day we got married. Prague was the city where we first met in person after months of emails and Skype calls from one side of the Atlantic to the other. And even though the weekend itself was actually pretty great, the aftermath was a nightmare.
This winter we didn’t do our normal lengthy cold weather escape. It didn’t quite work out the way we had hoped the last few times, so we decided this year to take a few weeks to travel somewhere warm without working. For a little over three weeks, we traveled between Belize, Guatemala, Honduras, and El Salvador. Here’s how much we spent traveling in Central America.
I used to say that all I needed out of a hotel or hostel was that it had to be safe and it had to be clean. I didn’t care much beyond that. It was simply a place to sleep. But lately, whether it’s due to a string of not-so-great hotels or due to the fact that I’m just getting older, what I want from a hotel has changed.
Antigua is one of the most popular destinations in Guatemala. This Spanish colonial town attracts travelers who want to learn Spanish, people on church missions, and quite often, people who want to climb a volcano. Several of them sit close enough to the city to be easily seen, and trips to hike up them, especially Picaya, are very popular. But that’s not what Andy and I had in our plans.