Author: Josh

Back to… Utrecht

After a six month absence it was the right time to finally return to Utrecht. Many people I knew left long ago and the feelings were mixed. The city itself is a wonderful place but the university structure… best forgotten. If anything it is sad, sad to have left too early,...

Voting for sausage sizzle in Den Haag

I was going to vote in Wien, but this has decided it. Now I can go exercise my legally enforced* right to vote in Den Haag for one of various shitty candidates including this guy. *technically I’m exempt from Australia’s mandatory voting, but hey I still feel coerced…

Hotel Papageno, Vienna

Hotel Papageno Vienna

I needed a place to stay in Vienna this weekend. I was holding a reservation at the Le Meridien but after a Suite Night Award award didn’t get processed I thought better of it and cancelled just before cancellation deadline. I ended up not too far away and a relatively affordable...

Walking through Bratislava to the Castle

After spending a good day just resting and writing a hotel it was high time to get out and see some of Bratislava. It is quite a small capital with easy transport links, while you can get around the central tourist attractions on foot. I worked my way through the...

Hilton DoubleTree Bratislava

I’m currently laying low in the DoubleTree at Bratislava. It’s a bit out of town but given it’s a category 2, it provides cheap award redemptions and gives me a chance to catch up on some writing (this blog!). The hotel is otherwise modern albeit rather small and focused particularly...

Commuting between Vienna and Bratislava by train 🚆

The capitals of Austria and Slovakia are extremely close geographically and often in history been part of the same nation or empire. Today a quick commuter train service connects the two cities. People often choose to live one side and work the other to take advantage of the lower cost...

A busy day in Wien for an overpriced passport 💶

After all my fuss and avoidance in getting a new passport I spent today back in Vienna after returning yesterday. Off for a renewal application with a pile of cash and getting the photo taken. Given it is a huge sum of money compared to any other country and mine only had...

Rock in Vienna music festival🤘

I trying to figure out if I should go Budapest now or later while Julia was planning on going to a rock music festival with a friend. Neither of them wanted to go, her friend pulled out, exhausted after a fun run that morning. She felt obligated to go however as it was an old...

A colourful return to Skopje 🌈

Having given up entering Serbia for now, I decided to just fly over the fucking country the long way. Getting down to Skopje for a flight was meant to be routine but political protests in the Macedonian capital helped add some life to the day.

The old and new of Pristina

I spent the day exploring Pristina, the capital of Kosovo. I arrived here last night after deciding to leave Prizren but too late to head much further than the capital. Unlike Prizren this is definitely a city, not a town. It is characteristically cosmopolitan in a surprising sense. However underneath...

Pristina Ethnographic Museum

During my brief stay in Pristina I visited the Ethnographic Museum. It’s small – just a couple old houses, but tries to give a glimpse into the local culture and family unit prior to global influences arrived. It’s hidden in the back streets but not far from other major sights and...

A Stranded Joy, from Bajram Curri to Kosovo

Transport around and between the border of Albania and Kosovo is difficult. There are very limited public transport, nearly all of it is not properly scheduled, making it hard to plan. Even the freedom of your own vehicle can have complications with insurance. I got stranded twice in two days, once on a quick trip to Bajram...

Hiking through the Valbonë Valley 🏔

Escape to the quiet side of the Balkans, a side comparable to the alps. Staying in the Valbonë Valley in northeast Albania you are surrounded by mountains towering over a kilometre in height. Outside of the peak season it makes for an amazingly quiet and untouched part of the world....