Guten Tag Hamburg!

My flight from Dublin was far too early in the morning. Like way too early for any sane person to wake up.  It was nice watching the sunrise through the plane windows as my plane flew towards Northern Germany. But not so nice saying goodbye to my good Irish mate. I hate goodbyes.

Arriving in Hamburg, I settled into my hostel and had a chilled cheeky few hours catching up on this blog. You made have noticed I’m just a little bit behind on posts. I’m actually in New York City typing this at the moment about a month later in this trip. But don’t worry, you’ll catch up to me eventually. But I did enjoy a nice stroll and some really good Thai lemongrass soup later in the afternoon.


My neighbourhood


A cool little ‘beach’ bar area that I found next to the river


The main view over River Elbe

See the cranes and boats in the above photo? Hamburg is known for being the second largest port in Europe. There was a lot of activity happening in that shipping yard. It was interesting to sit and watch for a while. And then I kept walking until my feet hurt.

The next day, just to punish my feet a little more, I did a Sandmans walking tour and learned interesting things such as the fact that swans are protected in Hamburg. You aren’t allowed to hit them or even insult them. As a result the swans have a bit of a habit of grabbing food out of people’s hands. But there’s nothing you can do unless you fancy a hard punishment. We also walked past some lovely architecture and many many canals.


This building was impressively pointy

Lovely canal buildings


Yet another European love-lock bridge


The warehouse factory/millionaire apartment area

Overall I didn’t find Hamburg terribly memorable. It was muggy and overcast for most of my stay which isn’t terribly inspiring for my photography or mood I find. Plus I had had a few very tough goodbyes in the last couple of weeks so needed some time to process and mope. I also found that some of the attractions I was interested in were difficult to get into. One being the Dialogue in the Dark museum. This is one where you get to experience what it’s like to be blind. Sounded super interesting but the museum runs very few English tours each day which fill up quickly. I wasn’t able to do one to my frustration before my Hamburg time was up. But some parts were cool. I made a good friend at my hostel who I ended up meeting up with again later in my trip. And I discovered that good soup place. Win!


Where I stayed: Meininger Hamburg City Center
Price: €21 a night in an 8 bed dorm
Overall: More of a hotel than a hostel with the setup and clean modern-ness of it. Didn’t really have that friendly groungy hostel feel but was fine to stay in for a couple of nights.

Roundup of Month 3

 

greece2

UK and Ireland

After my last roundup, I had a three month break from travelling and spent it working in Brighton in the UK. It was a good break where I recharged and built up my funds again. I did do a couple of weekend trips away (to Switzerland and Birmingham) but kept it simple. Recommencing my travelling, month 3 was fantastic. So many memories will remain with me forever from this part of the trip.

  • Countries visited: Greece, England, Wales, Scotland and Ireland
  • Number of places visited: 22 places in 33 days
  • Favourite country verdict: Ireland
  • Favourite stop: The Lake District, UK
  • Best hostel: Hostel Meteora in Trikala, Greece
  • Best moment: While going through Chatsworth House in the Peak District, there was a grand piano in one of the rooms that members of the public could play on. I managed to convince Shelley to play for me. The song she preformed was very moving and she played beautifully. Within no time there was a large crowd listening to her play. I felt very proud to be one of her best friends, and now am inspired to learn an instrument of my own.
  • Worst moment: On the first day of my travelling on Mykonos when I realised how much I had to splash out for accommodation to avoid sleeping on the beach like a homeless person. Although it was awfully nice sitting alone in my peaceful €90 hotel room that night. But still, trying to be budget conscious, and I blew it on the first day!
  • Favourite photo:


A cheeky monastery kitten in Meteora, Greece

Budget spent overall: nz$3158 / £1541 / €1958

  • Flights – nz$406 / £199 / €252
    • flights x2 – London to Mykonos £120, and Athens to London – £79
  • Transport – nz$936 / £457 / €580
    • Really roughly done from memory and using Rome2rio.com to remember costs, but this includes all my buses, ferries and share of petrol.
  • Accommodation – nz$618 / £302 / €384
    • I only needed for pay for accommodation for 22 nights out of the 33. But that works out to an average of nz$28 / €17 a night in hostels, Airbnb, campsites and one hotel.
  • The rest on fun stuff, food and miscellaneous – nz$1194 / £583 / €740
    • Including fun things like my Santorini volcanco day tour (€20), quad bike hire (€30), Chatsworth House (£20), a lot of delicious food… etc

 


My budget overall was a lot better compared to the previous month where I spent 38% more and definitely felt the pain of an empty bank account. I think I’m finding as I travel more and more, I make less ‘expensive’ mistakes and generally make more travel-savvy decisions. For example the only budget fail was that first night in Mykonos this month. But even that didn’t affect the overall average per-night accommodation cost. In fact it was just higher by €2 a night. Staying in surprisingly super cheap Santorini accommodation priced at a mere €6 a night helped balance that out.

Travelling with another person for over half of the month reduced costs significantly too. It is very nice sharing petrol and accommodation costs. In fact just using a car to get around was a pleasant experience. So convenient although some planning was required. Adding me on the car insurance wasn’t free. I ended up spending roughly the same amount in each county with Greece being the most expensive with a total budget of nz$1310 / £637 for 13 nights.

But.. when trying to think of ‘fun stuff’ expenses, I realised that I actually couldn’t think of many. I should have splurged more especially realising how little I spent this month. In Santorini I considered doing some scuba diving, but decided to balance out Mykonos and save money by not doing it. Especially being the start of a three month trip I thought that I needed to save money for rest of my travelling. I really regret that now as the scuba diving sounds really cool there! Dive sites are based around the volcanic island in the centre. And there is an old sunken tourist boat wreck only 11m deep which is perfect for an open water diver like myself. I also had the chance to dive while in Athens but it was cancelled due to bad weather.

I had 19 ‘travel’ days in total. Which means I had a good 14 days of relaxing and not wearing my backpack. Plenty of beach time with some very enjoyable hikes in there. My favourite hike being in Greece visiting isolated monasteries on top of tall rock pinnacles in Meteora. There also wasn’t anywhere I regretted visiting. Although I wished I’d planned longer in Ireland as I only got to see a tiny fraction of it. And that fraction was incredibly beautiful.


A friendly Irish cow. Made spooky in honour of Halloween today ;)

If you’re interested in my other round up budgets during my travelling, or just nosy, you can find them here month 1 (Spain, Morocco and Portugal) and month 2 (Italy, Croatia and Hungary)