The Best of Five Weeks of Travel

I cannot believe our five weeks of travel are over! Worse still, I cannot believe they’ve been over for three full weeks already; that’s more than half the amount of time we were on the road in the first place!

After changing the plans countless times, both before we set off and while we were travelling, in the end we visited a total of ten cities across four countries; Bulgaria, Turkey, Georgia and Hungary.

To celebrate and commemorate our experiences, I’d like to share with you some of the best of our travels. This is just the first in a mini-series, so stay tuned for the worst and the most surreal of our travels too!

Skyline, Istanbul, Turkey

Best City Visited

I’ve made no secret of the fact I fell head over heels in love with Istanbul; in fact I’ve written a whole post about the reasons I love the city, even going as far as declaring it my new favourite city in the world. Friendly locals, delicious food, crazy markets, fascinating history; seriously, what’s not to love?

Best Food Eaten

After being blown away by the delicious kebabs in Turkey, I thought it would be impossible for the Georgian cuisine to compete, but boy was I was wrong. One word; khachapuri. These traditional cheese-filled breads come in several varieties, but the best has to be the Adjarian. Topped with an egg or two and smothered in butter, it’s like a heart attack on a plate, but in a good way. Be sure to wash it down with a pear lemonade for the full Georgian experience.

Pinball Museum, Budapest, Hungary

Best Museum Visited

Hands up if you love pinball! If your hands are in the air right now, you might be as excited as I was to discover that Budapest has a whole museum dedicated to the game! And they’re using the word museum very loosely here; in reality it’s just a building filled with over 130 playable pinball machines, dating from the 1930s right though to the 2000s. The best part? They’re all set to free play! Pay 2,500 forint ($10) and you can play pinball all day! Oh, and if you really love pinball, you should maybe have a look at this post too.

Best Journey Travelled

Our journey from Istanbul to Canakkale was just one of a number of amazing bus journeys in Turkey. As we settled into our seats and checked out what movies were available on the built in screens, our host first appeared to offer us a complimentary mint. As the bus set off, a trolley full of drinks and snacks appeared; your choice of biscuits, cakes, crisps, nuts, tea, coffee, juice, all on the house. Then the host even did another length of the bus to offer everyone some hand wash gel. Talk about being looked after!

Seafront, Canakkale, Turkey

Best Photo Taken

There’s two types of photos. Those that you spend an hour perfecting, trying out every possible setting on your camera, and those that you quickly snap while still walking, barely thinking about it at all. This photo above was one of the latter, and when I looked back over my photos that night I could not believe how well it came out! Between the Turkish flag blowing in the wind, the beautiful scenery in the background and the carefree stance of the man, it really sums up everything I loved about Turkey. In fact, I was so pleased with this picture that it’s been my desktop background ever since!

Friendliest Locals

We met so many wonderful people people in Turkey that I’m planning on writing a whole post about them, but the absolute friendliest locals we met were actually in Budapest. We had been turfed out of one bar at closing time when, not quite ready to head back to our guesthouse, ended up talking to two friends outside. We instantly clicked and they soon led the way to another bar with a much later closing time. We settled in and chatted away non-stop, then the next thing I knew it was 6am! I can’t remember a thing we spoke about, or even their names for that matter, but it was nonetheless a night I’ll never forget!

Hot Air Balloon, Cappadocia, Turkey

Most Bucket List Worthy Experience

If I told you we stayed in a cave hotel and took a hot air balloon ride, could you guess where we were? That’s right, Cappadocia! With our very tight budget and the prices for hot air balloon rides online starting at €100, I was a little disappointed to realise we wouldn’t be able to afford to have a go. But that all changed when we met a lovely tour operator who offered us a price we couldn’t resist! We struggled to pull ourselves from bed at 6am, but admiring the unusual rock formations from the sky while the sun rose in background was definitely worth the early wake up call!

Greatest Personal Achievement

For the last two or three years a reoccurring item on my list of New Year’s Resolutions has been to stop wearing make up, or at least go seven days without wearing any. Well, I finally did it, and not just for seven days either; I went a whopping forty days without a single dab of concealer or slick of mascara! This might be the reason I have ended up with only five photos of myself from our entire trip, but hey, my skin has never been better!

Have you had any similar experiences on your travels?

PS. Just in case you missed them, here are some other posts from our travels: