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Surfing with bulls on Sumatra

We are landing in Padang in western Sumatra. The kamikaze driver provides a quick transfer from the airport to Bukittinggi. Three hundred thousand rupees and less than two hours later we’re (safely!) in place. We stop in the slightly forgotten Rajawali Homestay. There is no bedding or running water, but there is ‘still water’ in…

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A hot day in Abu Dhabi

It is the capital and the second  largest city of the United Arab Emirates (Dubai is the first). Our plane has landed in Abu Dhabi early in the morning, just at the crack of dawn. Intuition tells me that, being located somewhere in the desert on the Arabian peninsula, this must be an unusual city.…

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Romania by Yellow Bus

The first hours in Romania are not easy. We are trying to pass through endless kilometers of road works. It’s not just swinging traffic and unexpectedly deep holes. It’s also about speeding kamikaze trucks and poorly marked dangerous sections of the road. Provided we can survive it, everything is gonna be fine. I’m glad that…

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Exploring levadas in Madeira

This time it’s a family trip. More precisely a surprise trip for my mother’s 60th birthday. She’s always been a fan of Portuguese culture and heritage, hence the idea to go to Madeira. What do you associate Madeira with? For my mother and sister Luisa, this is the “island of everlasting spring” and the cradle…

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Alsace and the Upper Rhine trail

Rhine River originates on the hilly slopes of the Swiss Alps and it gradually grows in strength with every kilometer it passes. Its headwaters set boundaries for the three European countries: France, Switzerland and Germany. Being in the area it is worth to visit all of these. I’m enchanted not by the Swiss scenery, but…

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Belgian beer and chocolates

I came to Belgium in the middle of completely hot summer, out of curiosity. I rarely travel in that part of Europe so it is even more interesting to visit a country commonly associated with beers and chocolates. We drive my yellow bus from the Luxembourg side and arrive to Rochefort, a random town on…

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Mandalay by the Ayerarwady river

Mandalay is a flat city. During the day it is hot as a frying pan. Vertical-horizontal arrangement of the city’s streets makes it easy to find your way, so it is quite unlikely to get lost here. This morning I’m meeting Vera. A few days ago we agreed that our roads would join here. As…

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Mawlamyine and the Ogre Island

We arrive to Mawlamyine at six in the morning and to our surprise it is not too early for a very early check-in. Courtesy of  Breeze Guest House. Without wasting time, we set off on scooters to explore the area around. The everyday life of the town’s inhabitants concentrates around the market, bustling with retailers…

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Land crossing into Myanmar

The overland travel to Myanmar, former Burma, had crossed my mind long time ago when visited Southeast Asia for the first time. Even though some of the Burmese land borders began to open already few years ago, the south of the country remained largely isolated from the world until August 2013. Today one can “easily”…

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Serbia, Danube and bicycles

Let’s move south. Eurovelo 6 is a bike trail going from the Atlantic coast of France, following for some time Danube river, all the way to the Black Sea. Our goal is to cycle along the Serbian section of the this route, commonly known as EV6. We start from Baja, a Hungarian town nearby the…

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Goat in the Masai village

Kenyan side of Mt. Kilimanjaro We are heading towards Kilimanjaro along the road C102. Police officers at the roadside station ensure us that we are unlikely to come across dangerous animals at this time of a year. On the way we pass scattered tiny villages with inhabitants taking care of their cattle. It’s nearly the…

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Cycling through land of the Masai

Short break in a village Every day we learn more about African animals, their behavior and nature. We cycle through land of the Masai, yet most of the time it is a no man’s land. Observing the landscape I see only fleeing antelopes, warthogs lurking from the distance, zebras resting in the shade of a…

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Weird things going on Cuba

Classic old-timer One of the most popular dishes in Cuba is pan con hamburguesa, which in other words, is kind of a hamburger.  The preparation process involves making it ready first and then heating the entire thing in the toaster, in a way that the meat always stays cold, almost as if it was taken…

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Sipping tereré in Paraguay

Tereré on a hot day Gran Chaco is the second least accessible part of South America (preceded by the Amazon jungle). We pass this giant uninhabited area with a passenger and smuggling bus. The bus is definitely overloaded, there is a crowd in the aisle, lots of bags and boxes with unknown contents cramped all…

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Tierra Caliente in Bolivia

Chatting by the table In the beginning I must admit that the last few weeks spent at over three thousand meters made me feel a bit tired. This feeling is accompanied by longing. I miss early morning sun which warms up my tent and wakes me up. I also miss these pleasant evenings, sitting outside…

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Notes from Ecuador

The panorama of colorful Las Peńas and central Guayaquil Traveling through Ecuador I visit some interesting places. Guayaquil is a vibrant and modern city, which despite its size (its bus terminal could easily compete with many international airports in Europe) has a few nice spots captivating with ambience. One of which is Parque Seminario, a…

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Snapshots from Colombia

A colorful group of street musicians There are some questions at the Venezuelan-Colombian border. “You speak Polish in your country, right?" – I nodded – “So where did you learn Spanish?” – “By traveling and reading books". Questions become less formal, “How do you say “Buenos Dias" in Polish?” – I answer that “Dzien Dobry”,…

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A glimpse of Venezuela

U.S. made school bus A small Caribbean Airlines plane quickly gains altitude. Shortly after the takeoff it performs a rapid turnaround in a surprisingly limited space. Twenty minutes after leaving Trinidad I notice scattered islands, green hills and large, two or three thousand meters high peaks on mainland South America. These are the remote territories…

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Sinai on a bike

Secretive bay, Sinai Tamar, a girl we met in a desert oasis in Israel has influenced our plans. “Jordan is just like Israel twenty years ago, go to Sinai and see something entirely magical". I remember the gleam in her eyes and lips telling of the truth. A few days have passed until we managed…

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Two Laotian tribes

Hot springs to bathe and do the laundry, Muang Vieng Thong I still cherish a hope that an already delayed bus would take me to the east. Luckily it arrives. The journey starts in the early afternoon and lasts until darkness. I carefully observe changing scenery. Mountains, plateaus and valleys of this vast land are…

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A village in the north of Laos

A sticky rice basket is made of dried bamboo, or katip Two days in Luang Prabang is exactly two days more than enough. The main problem is the city is often perceived as the only point on a tourist map of Laos and honestly it is simply overrated. I appreciate the unique night market and…

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Lao motorcycle diaries

While the four guys came up to the fence, the fifth one hid behind a tree Bolaven Plateau is an area located at an altitude of 1000-1350 meters in southern Laos. The region is famous for its picturesque waterfalls. Making your way to the waterfalls you will pass little scattered villages inhabited by ethnic minority…

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People of the Mekong

Cambodian temple complex in Kampong Cham Blacksmith works alone, his wife takes care of their child and a family’s friend sits comfortably in an unchanged position with a thoughtless, unconcerned expression as he rolls another strong cigarette and smokes it, occasionally sipping his tea. Leaving the city behind we get to know Mr. Peck, who…

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Southern Cambodia

A curious but still timid girl, southern Cambodia Cambodian four hours equals roughly seven regular hours and it is the amount of time to reach Kampot by bus. We discover another pleasant city, whose once slow life bustles on when you visit a marketplace. The local market is divided into sections making some sort of…

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Ankor Wat and the Khmer Empire

Prah Khan temple, Angkor Wat The history of Cambodia dates back to 2000 years ago. The former Kingdom of Funan grew in power over the years to become the Khmer Empire in the ninth century. Many problems plagued the empire, but still it had been consistently gaining the importance in the region. It is also…

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Thai notes

Colorful Thai fashion Khanom is a medium sized town. This is our first destination, also a place to visit Thai family of a Swedish friend. We wait for a bit and two young guys arrive on their scooters to give us a ride. After a few minutes we find ourselves in a modern hut on…

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A cup of Ethiopian coffee

A sensual ritual of preparing coffee I visit a tiny souvenir shop in Addis Ababa. Lemlem is roasting beige coffee beans on a clay hearth. Just within minutes the sun is overcast by dark clouds and an imminent intense rain sets all the shopkeepers to action. I help Lemlem and her sister to hide merchandise…

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The unique Abyssinia

Kids on the roads less traveled are curious, throughout the world I get up at crack of dawn. Logically reasoning, a new day has just started. While a European would say it is six, according to Ethiopian time it is zero hour. The notional concept of time we are used to may be delusive. What…

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A glimpse from Ethiopia

An Ethiopian beauty In the center of Addis Ababa, just off the main street we find a friendly Ethiopian, a happy owner of a timless Renault 4. He give us a ride to the bus station. This old car has a unique charm. Clutch is a manual handle, the gears transmission works vertically and on…

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The Congo is falling apart

Transportation of barrels in the rural Congo The value of Congolese deposits of natural resources is estimated at over 20 trillion dollars. That is approximate equivalent of the entire U.S. housing market, or ten times the most recent financial crisis. The amount could be alternatively used to buy everyone on the planet a three packs…

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