An alternative tour through Barcelona

I'm a bad tourist. I don't care about history and feel like I've seen enough churches. Also, many museums bore me.

What I'm interested in is meeting local people, hearing stories about weird customs and simply walking around looking for markets, small restaurants or street art. The problem is, that it's not that easy to always meet the locals, who are willing to tell me their stories or to show me their neighbourhoods. I guess, they also have something else to do.

 

Therefore, I was hooked right away when I heard about the Free Original Barcelona Alternative Tour. These guys specialise in street art and Catalunyan culture, which they will show you in the neighbourhood of le Raval.

Le Raval
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The New York High Line

On my last trip to New York City I was 18 and had just finished school. My friend Lena and I spent the week shopping at Century 21 and looking at all the touristy things there are to see in Manhattan.

 

So this time I decided to take it all a bit slower and to look at the New York High Line, which had been built in the meantime.

View from the Ney York City High Line
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Road tripping through Croatia

I'm usually not a big fan of driving, but in Croatia we found so many spots, that are just easier to reach this way, that J and I decided to rent a car for our entire trip.

 

It ended up being the perfect choice, as we were able to go to secluded places and travel at our own pace. We spent ten days in Croatia, but our itinerary could have been easily spread over two weeks or more.

Road trip through Croatia
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Abandoned planes and tunnels at Zeljava Air Base in Croatia

We were sitting on a bench in front of our hostel in Zagreb, while our new friend Iva zoomed in and out on my phone on Google maps: “The Zeljava air base should be here. Don't accidentally cross the border to Bosnia”. Seeing my confused stare she added “Exits one to three are in Croatia, exit four is Bosnia Herzegovina. Don't take exit four. And bring your ID, the police will come, but you will be fine”.

Abandoned airplane at Zeljava Air Base
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Hostel Crush: Swanky Mint in Zagreb

"Are you going in?” a girl sitting in a lounge chair asked, as I was holding the tip of my toe into the water. It was cold, but I was determined. This was my first time in a European hostel with a pool, and I was going to use it, no matter how cold it still was in May.

 

An hour earlier, we had arrived at Swanky Mint Hostel in Zagreb. It has been built into an old dry cleaning factory in the centre of the city, which now houses the hostel's rooms, two bars, several terraces and the pool I now was standing next to.

 

With Swanky Mint Hostel also comes Swanky Travel (a travel agency) and Swanky Monkey Garden (the bar), so we were taken care of by the whole Swanky Family.

Dog at Swanky Mint Hostel
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Top 10 instagrammable spots in Hamburg

With two rivers, douzens of parks and a buzzing art scene, Hamburg is not just great for a weekend trip, but also to impress your friends and followers on Instagram.

 

Since Hamburg still excites me after living here for several years, I've put together a list of my favourite spots to visit for a great afternoon and a few likes from your Social Media-friends.

Hafen City at sunset
Sunset makes everything better! The Hafen City is a great photography spot, as you'll find cool new architecture reflecting in the water
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Beach Bumming in South Bali

After almost a month in Indonesia, I realized that I hadn't been to a single beach there. If you've followed my journey for a while, you probably know that this is highly unusual for me, that's why I decided to spend my last three days in Bali looking for the perfect beach.

Drinking Milkshake at Bilangan Beach Bali
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Five things to do around Labuan Bajo apart from seeing Komodo dragons

Like most visitors, I came to Labuan Bajo from Bali to dive in the close-by Komodo National park and to look at Komodo dragons.

 

Labuan Bajo is famous as a starting point to go on a dragon tour to Komodo island or Rinca, but there are many other places to explore from there. I had already booked a week in a dive resort right at the border of the National Park, but had a couple of days to spare in Labuan Bajo. So I went on to explore Flores island, as usual mostly to see everything you can see from a boat.

View over Labuan Bajo
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Where to see Komodo dragons: On Rinca or Komodo island?

You can't come to the Komodo National Park without seeing the dragons.

Officially these giants are only found on Komodo and Rinca island where you can visit them with a ranger. The local dive guides then told me later that the dragons are also living on three other islands (I was very happy not having tis information earlier. I never heard of anybody just meeting them on the other inhabited islands, though)

Komodo Dragon on Komodo island
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One day in Taipei

Happy 2017 fellow travellers!

My last trip of 2016 took me to Indonesia, but not before stopping over in Taipei for a day and a half. I was pretty excited about this interruption, because I had never been to Taiwan and because I could see my friend Doug, who I had met in Hong Kong the year before and who is now working in Taipei.

 

Knowing I only really had one day (plus the time I'd spend drinking with Doug) and because I was travelling with my parents, I changed my usual sloth-like travel style to a day of exploring the city with a full itinerary.

Dulong Street in Taipei
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