My journey started at 18:15 at the carpark Sihlquai in Zurich. I took the X206 straight out of Zurich to Munich, the city of beer.
After a nice ride and a good conversation with my seat neighbour I arrived in Munich at 22:00.This time I had a nice accommodation, close to the centre, it was the couch of a friend of mine.
That evening my friend and I went to the Milchbar, a nice cute club for enjoying the night life of Munich. The entry fee was 6€ and the wardrobe cost 2€.
Anyway we enjoyed the time there and had some drinks together until the birds started to chirp.
Next morning we enjoyed a nice Bavarian breakfast, Weisswürste, Brez’n und Bier (veal sausage, pretzel and Beer). It was a great deal, it only cost 7.90€.
Also my German friend was surprised, was really a great deal. If you are interested, the restaurant was called Haidhauser Augustiner, I totally recommend it.
In the afternoon we visited the university (Ludwig-Maximilian), a really nice building to see and of course for free. Later on we transferred to TUM (technical university of Munich).
On the top of the main building there is a coffee/bar/pub, where you can enjoy a nice view and of course you can catch there some rays of sun. Some hours later we walked around the Pinakotheks, also really nice to watch.
Due to this long walk we got hungry and headed to a different location.
My friend recommended a nice pommes frites booth called Pommes Boutique. There you can buy some real Belgian pommes also you can chose from 20 different pommes sauce.
Really really delicious, if you are in Munich go and try from the tasty pommes. I totally recommend it.
Some hours later we already headed to the centre of Munich. Near the Rathauskeller (town hall cellar) there is a good decent restaurant, which serves Munich specialities for low-middle budget travellers.
I tried the corn flakes Schnitzel, it was so tasty and I also got a huuuuuuuge portion. After some bites to be honest after the half of the plate I was totally full…. therefore I took the rest to home.
That evening we had a relaxing evening with beer and some nice talks.
On Sunday, we ate Sushi for breakfast. All you can eat for 7.90€ it was worth it!!!
Later that day we had walk near the river Isar, but it was really windy and cold, therefore we changed the location and transferred to a pub.
Augustiner Keller: where we drank some beer. I ordered a “Mass” (1 Liter of beer) also I tried a Bretzn Soup (Soup with pretzel and bacon cubes).
It was the perfect snack for oncoming bus trip back home to Switzerland.
Of course you could do a lot more in Munich, like the BMW World, Olympia Park etc. but I did that already another time.
This time I just enjoyed the meals and the beverages in Munich.
Try the pommes boutique
Pub on the top of the TUM
Haidhauser Augustiner, Weisswürst special in the morning
Bee-line: ZRH – Munich – ZRH 2x 315.00 km =630.00 km
My friend and I arrived at 20:30 at the airport of Roma Fiumicino and noticed that there was no duty free shop for arrivaers to be accurate no “cheap” alcohol for us. Anyway we headed to the train station and we bought a 1st class ticket. Yeah you read it right, a 1st class ticket (14€, 1/2 h) not because we had too much money, no, because we did not want to spend 1h (8€) in a train to Roma Termini.
After a half an hour we got out of the train and went to our hotel near the train station. The name of the hotel was everest and a bed cost around 30€ per night with taxes. Later on we took the bus (1.50€ single) to Piazza Mastai because our receptionist told us that there were some pubs and good locations for going out. Anyway we could not find a really good place to have fun but in the end we spent our time near a “pub” (bar san calisto) and after some hours we called it a night due to our tour on the next day.
Next morning we get up and looked for a breakfast for champions. Some minutes later we found a location where you could get a menu (salad, lasagne and a drink) for 9.90€. The lasagne and the salad were good. Colosseum was our next destination. It was worth it to see the colosseum in real life but I imagined it a little bit bigger.
Where great expectations are there can be great disappointments (wwW, 2016).
Later on we rented a city bike for 10€ a day (best decision ever!!!).
Now a short summary what we visited or did:
We drove on the circo massimo
Campo de Fiori
Ponte Umberto I to Ponte Principe (James Bond was also on that street next to the river)
Piazza Pio XII, Drove around State of Vatican
Castel Sant Angelo
Palazzo di Giustizia Piazza del Popolo
Trinita dei Monti
Fontana di Trevi
Colonna Traina, Foro di Nerva
After this tour we went back to the hotel for a rest. 🙂
If you asked how long we the tour was: 12:00 until 18:00.
Of course we did some breaks, eating and drinking stops. Also we took some pictures, but we did not enter any buildings or monuments.
In the night we went for a pizza to Gallina Bianca. Wood oven and the pizza (~9€) was delicious. Also the bottiglia vino rosso (16€) was good.
After the excellent dinner we went to Campo de Fiori. The square was really busy and a lot of bars were there. We found a pub where you could play beer pong for 15€. It was great fun and the people were nice. We had good, funny and interesting conversations with the italians. Around 4 we took a taxi to our hotel (3 km around 10€, taxometer).
Next day we went to Piazza della Repubblica it was okay but not really necessary.
The time came where we had to think to go back to home. First we wanted to take the bus for 8€ (55 min) because we had enough time. But when we wanted to buy our ticket in advance, the lady told us that the bus was fully booked out. Therefore we took the train again….
Some hours later we said bye bye Italia see you again.
Facts about Roma:
Train Airport F. to Termini 1st class 14€, 30 min
Bus 90 min, Single 1.50€Taxi 3 km ~10€
Beer 33cl 1.30-1.80€ @mini markets
Pizza Margherita 6-9€
Renting a city bike near the Colosseum 10€ a day
Our hotel everst in Via Cavour around 30€ a night
Street next to the river
Piazza Navona because of Fontana dei Quattro Fiumi
Did I forget something? If yes please leave a comment!
Bee-line: ZRH – FCO – ZRH 2x 692.70 km = 1385.40 km
Our alarm clock rang at 5:00 am in the morning. Then we waited for our 6:00 am bus to Soná, unfortunately the bus arrived at 6:30 am, anyway the bus was on time according to the driver’s clock. In Soná we changed the bus again to Santiago and there another time to David. For the last time we changed our vehicle and got on a bus to Bocas del Toro (direction of Changuinola). We finally arrived in Almirante at 7:30 pm. It was a hell of a ride and we were relieved that it won’t take any longer to reach the islands. Anyway, we hired a taxi driver to give us a lift to the harbour where the water taxis were. Then we found out, that the last official water taxi just left and the taxi service is closed for that day…. Fortunately, two young guys shouted on us:”Come here, we have a boat and we will give you a lift to the island!” My friends and I looked at each other and I told to my friends: we have no other choice, we have to accept the offer. The boat trip cost 10$ and we were really happy that we finally arrived on the island. The boat trip was as I think in the grey area. Safety measures were solala, life vest check, flashlight “check”. It was a toy flashlight, yeah in the end better than nothing :).
On the island we asked some tourists where we could spend the night. He recommended us a party hostel, but we declined and asked for a quitter one due to our lack of energy. Then he told us about a hotel with good infrastructure. We finally took our room, private room with two beds (one double and one single) also with its own bathroom and AC. I assume the price of 15$ per person and night was okay. Because the islands were the most touristic place I have been to in Panama and therefore the prices are higher. On the same evening I ate lobster with some side dishes in that Indian “freaking restaurant near the park. Freaking because of its interior and design inside the restaurant, if you are there you think that the time stands still and the room is timeless. Don’t ask, you have to experience it by yourself. The lobster was a little bit dry but still a dream. After the dinner we were witnesses of a Panamanian Christmas parade. Unfortunately, I have no pictures of it but enough in my mind. After the parade was finished we went to the park, in which a concert was held. Some minutes later we called it a day and went to bed.
We woke up to a rainy day (yeah it rained cats and dogs) and our motivation was not that high but we were lucky that everybody was really hungry and so our mission began to find a place to eat. After a while an unimposing sign got our attention. A French restaurant just opened and they offered French breakfast with croissants. We know we found our destiny and ordered a breakfast for champions. It was delicious nothing more. I totally recommend you the place for breakfast (see the fact part)!!! On that day we walked a little bit around and played some games. The weather was really really bad and we didn’t want to waste our money for a rainy rainy boat trip (or quad tour). I was kind of happy to have a day off from adventures :). On that night my friend and I went to the Selina Hostel to have a drink. The cocktails were tasteful and the atmosphere was appealing. Later that night we went to a f***ed up pub next to the park. Also the prices were really low. A beer for 1.50$. Also that night was “jamming night” / “freestyle night” and the time went by really really fast.
Some hours later we woke up, went to the French restaurant for breakfast again after we packed our lagguage. Then we started our journey to our jungle hostel Lost & Found between David and Bocas del Toro.
For the Hostel Lost & Found blog click here!
Facts of Bocas del Toro:
Santa Catalina to Bocas del Toro with normal buses around 13h. I recommend to shorten the distance with a stop in between.
Bus costs were around 20-25$ from Santa Catalina to Bocas del Toro plus 10$ for the water taxi. Normal water taxi costs 6$.
You should arrive there before 7:00 pm due to the water taxi service opening time.
Bocas del Toro is really touristy therefore take enough money with you, also you should plan what you want to do and also what will you do when it is rainy.
Selina Hostel was recommended us but we could not try it by ourselves, but the cocktails were delicious thou.
For drink: as I already wrote, visit the hostel Selina for delicious cocktails (happy hour was I think 6 pm to 7 pm. For a really cheap beer try the pub next to the Pin Up ice cream shop.
Hotel Don Chicho, 3 room private with AC and private shower, 45$ -> per person 15$.
We took the bus to Albrook and from Albrook to Santiago then we changed bus again to Soná. The last bus drove from Soná to Santa Catalina. I cannot remember the exact prices, for sure the bus in panama city costs 0.25$ per ride (with the 3 in 1 bus card). As far as I remember in total maximum 20$. Finally we arrived in the centre of Santa Catalina if I am allowed to call it that way. We were really tired from the journey and we wanted to find quickly a place to stay. Suddenly we started to speak with a local guy and he told us that he has a hotel room for us three (with AC and private shower). Firstly, we were kind of sceptical but we gave it a try and he showed us his hotel. Anyway we took the room and the prices was not that bad (35$ per night for 3 persons). In the end we were happy that we didn’t have to walk a long distance to the next hostel or hotel.
Next day we went on a snorkelling trip next to the island de Coiba. For me it was really really astonishing because it was my very first snorkelling trip in the sea. We stopped at three snorkelling spots and the view was breath taking. Holy shit, anyway I saw a lot of sea creatures from sea turtle to manta ray, dolphins and last but not least a SHARK!!! For this segment I will post some photos from the nice view underwater. Because a picture is worth a thousand words. In total the snorkelling trip cost 50 or 55 $ plus 20$ for the fee on the island of Coiba. Included were a water bottle, a can of beer and a small lunch and of course the snorkelling gear (goggles, snorkel and the fins). For the guys I recommend to take a small snack and more water with you. Also I recommend you to try the fresh coconuts from the palm tree. Before we drove back to Santa Catalina we stopped on a bigger island and our captain organised a really long tool to harvest the coconuts. So he harvested for us fresh green coconuts. Hmmm that was delicious, really really fresh coconut milk. Also we took two coconuts with us for “cocoloco”, (coconut water, lemo and lemon). They called the fresh green coconut special and I cannot remember, maybe you know the name of it and can tell me the name of it.
In the evening we granted us a nice pizza from an Italian owner (La Panaderia Vieja). The pizza was delicious and the prices were around 10$. Next day we took our relaxing day and also changed the place. We went to the Jammin Hostel y Pizzeria. Yeah you read right, y Pizzeria, again J. On that night we ate another pizza. Anyway during the day we went to the other beach (next to the oasis surf camp). The beach was not that spectacular but if you are surfer I think you found your paradise. The beach does not provide shade and therefore not suitable for swimming and sunbathing. At this evening I tried my first time the cocoloco and it was really delicious. Rum, coconut milk, lemon. That was it. Ah wait and of course a straw.
After the night at the Jammin hotel we took the first bus in the morning 6:00 am to Soná. Our day goal was to reach the islands of Bocas del Toro. If you are interested in the Bocas del Toro part then click here.
Santa Catalina Facts:
Snorekling trip with gear and lunch around 50/55$ plus 20$ fee for the national park (Coiba), the house where we booked was on the main street to the beach. The house was yellow and on the left side of the road.
There are two pizzerias one at the beginning of Santa Catalina an the other a little bit in the “east”
La Panaderia Vieja good pizza
Jammin Pizzeria very good pizza, my inner Italian part recommends you this pizzeria also the gelateria was delicious.
Panama City to Santa Catalina is around 6 hours and 20$. You should go early because the last bus from Soná to Santa Catlina is around 2 pm or 3 pm.
American Hotel (above of the dream diving panama), three room with private shower with AC, 35$
Jammin Hostel 12$ ( as far as I remember) for a bed in a four dorm room
I woke up at 4:45 am, the appointment was at 5:00 in front of my hostel. Manuel arrived and picked me up. At this moment I knew i wasnt prepared at all. I had no food, no water and no booze with me. Damn. Okay there is no way back. But I knew (hoped…) that we will make a short stop somewhere, where a small shop should be. I started to imagine a whole trip without water. I did not know how the infrastructure on the island were. Anyway after 40 min we stopped somewhere nowhere and luckly there were water bottles for sale. I bought 4 bottles, you never know ;). Back in the car we headed to the San Blas islands. After a nice “offroad” part we arrived at the “border” and we had to pay 20$ each. After that we arrived at the “docks”, a small harbour with a “restaurant”, I think kiosk was a better word, a bathroom and a shelter to wait.
With my “very good” spanish I could tell them that I wanted to go to the Franklin’s island. I heard that this island was small and cheap and ideal for backpackers. After a 30 min watertaxi ride I arrived on the island. On the islabd there was a reception building, a cantin, bathrooms and of course the shacks for the tourists. I took a bed in a dorm for 26$ a night. The island was little but nice. The food was included (lunch, dinner and breakfast). A can of coke or beer costed 1.5$. When I arrived I was still tired and not in travelling mood. So I decided to relax and do nothing than enjoy the sun and the beach. After a night I went back to panama city. Summary: I recommend the san blas island but if you travel alone in the off-peak seasion chose another island, which is a little bigger and accomodate more people. I heard Inas island is good but keep in mind also more expensive.
I arrived at the Tocumen Airport around 17:00. The arrival time could have been a little bit earlier. Anyway I headed outside and a huge horde of taxi driver wanted me to get in a taxi. The price for a taxi to the centre was 30$!!! I knew that there was public transport (bus) for 1.25$. Fortunately I met a guy from Slovakia, who told me where the bus station was. I headed to the bus station and waited a little time. I got on the bus and I learnt that you need a 3 in 1 card to travel with the public transportation. Anyway I spoke with the bus driver in my Italian-English if I could pay with cash. In the end the bus driver took my 2$ cash and I could get on the bus.
I was really happy and I finally arrived at my hostel villa vento surf. The hostel is really nice and the people were really calm, relaxed and helpful. I totally recommend that hostel. Also the price is fair for what you get there.
Next day I went to the national park in the north of Panama City.
The entrance was 4 bucks. It was a nice walk and at the top you had a nice view over the city. Also I have seen some sloths, birds and the big hamster (I do not know its name). The sloths were hard to find that’s why we ask a park keeper, if he could tell where they were hiding. He was really happy and gave us a small sloth tour.
Back in the hostel it was time for a swim, yeah the hostel had a own swimming pool. Also that night the BBQ from the hostel was planned. Meat, meat, meat, some vegetables and of course Abuelo and coke was on the menu. (the next day I went to San Blas, please read the other article if you are interested). The day after San Blas I was back in Panama City and I discovered the city hill Acôn and the old town. We (Nina and I) took a taxi to the top of the hill. Because some people told us that the region around the hill is not that safe. Anyway it was a really hot day and we were happy for the taxi. After the view we went to the old town and paid a “fortune” for the taxi (15$). It was our mistake that we did not bargain. The old town was nice but you should not drink a beer there (4.2 bucks, the waiter told us the beer would be 3 but in the end it was 3.5 plus taxes) but anyway the beer was delicious.
Later we headed to the fish market and ate ceviche and a really nice fried fish. After the nice meal we walked home on the boulevard next to the sea. During the walk home we bought mango pieces from the fruit seller on the boulevard.
You should do the same!!! They sell mango pieces in a bag for 1 buck. They were awesome.
The next day my friends finally arrived. That day we went to the Miraflores lock. First we took a bus to Albrook and then changed to a taxi because we were in a hurry due to the “opening” times of the locks. The ships are allowed to get through the locks from west to east until 11:00. And 14:00 to the closing time from the other side. Therefore we took a taxi to be “on time” at the locks. We arrived at 10:50 and the last ship went through the locks. For every engineer it is a dream to see this mega construction. The 15 bucks (entrance to the locks and the museum) were worth it, if you are into technic stuff. The 15 bucks also included a museum about the history and the future of the locks also a small part was about the fauna (fish) there. Then we headed to Albrook and experienced the big big big shopping mall. After some long walk we decided to eat something. Unfortunately we took a wrong meal (clubsandwich) and we could just eat the cheese and the bread from the club sandwich.
Next day I went to Santa Catalina (click here).
Also the last day before I went back home, I staid in Panama City. I booked a bed in the hostel Oasis for 17$ again with a swimming pool :). On my last day I went to the Trump Ocean Club to the the nice view. If you want to go near the top, use the casino entrance! I enjoyed a nice salad and a good drink at the swimming pool area. That was the whole magic for me, after that I went back and packed my bags. Around 15:30 my personal shuttle picked me up, which drove me to the Tocumen airport. As I can remember it was 9$.
Panama City Facts:
Worth to visit:
Acōn Hill (taxi, around ~7$ depends on the duration and also how good you are at dealing)
Miraflores locks (15$, be there before 11:00)
Trump Ocean Club (use casino entrance, ~5$ for a beer)
Fish market (delicious deep fried fish ~10$)
Old part (viejo)
National Park (4$)
Villa Vento Surf 15$ for a bed in a 8 dorm
Swimming pool, AC, fridge with beer and water (1$), fridge for personal stuff, WiFi, locker etc.
Oasis 17$ dorm
Swimming pool, AC, Wifi, locker
Hello ladies and gentlemen I am introducing you to my freshly made travel blog.Here I will post some expirineces I made on my travels all arround the world therefore the fancy wordpress adress. 🙂
Also keep in mind that this is my very first blog I have ever written, excited. Also this blog will be about my first travel outside of Europe!!!
So I decided to write kind a two parted blog. The first part is always long and sometimes emotional. The second part is for the people that just need facts and helpful details, it starts with the title Facts.
Have fun and enjoy 😉