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Best of Koh Samui – Where to sleep – Our hotels

Posted by on Nov 14, 2014 in All posts, Thailand | 0 comments

To find the best place to stay on Koh Samui, we searched all along the coast and compared various hostels, hotels and resorts. We were looking for a nice place that would shelter us for a month. Our wish was to find a hotel, located right at the beach. And the dream, a room with sea view and the beach at our doorstep. Sounds easy, right? I mean it is an island, so there will be plenty of beach bungalows. But no. Either the prices were shocking or the dwellings were off putting. The rooms aged, mouldy, damp, next to noisy generators or far away from the beach. Two days later, sun burned and a bit worn out from all the driving and inspecting, we found it. The perfect beach with a nice hotel.    Therefore, if you ask us…...

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The Flat, Food, Fun, Festival – our Krakow!

Posted by on Oct 2, 2014 in All posts, Poland | 0 comments

We will miss Krakow despite its legendary air pollution (better come in warmer months before inhabitants start working their old chimneys). Life’s amenities have been fully met in this lively city. Wed had found a cosy place to sleep, some great places to dine and the best place to hang out and party. This post is about our apartment rental, our favourite restaurants and the hippest location for eating, shopping, dancing and relaxing. Fun comes first. Which all comes down to the Hotel Forum Despite its name, it is not a hotel anymore. If you haven’t heard of it, you will undoubtedly see it, when walking down the river boulevards. A monstrous, wide and forlorn structure, sitting on Krakow’s riverfront will appear. This massive building was the most modern hotel in Poland in 1989. Designed in the 80s, it...

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Home rental and home life in Porto

Posted by on Jun 29, 2014 in All posts, Portugal | 0 comments

If you are planning to go abroad and like to travel more independently, think about renting an apartment. We have been doing this a while now and it is the most comfortable way to get a home away from home. Two years on the road and we have hardly seen a hotel room!       Our apartment rental in Porto We stayed 13 days and paid 65 Euros a night including airbnb fees (for the three of us – mum was travelling along).  If you are thinking about renting a home, you can get a referral bonus when booking through us, which is 25 $ that can be spend on any apartment of choice on airbnb. Airbnb is the web-portal we mainly use to find homes on our travels. No strings attached. As usual, location is a key...

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Lisbon – our Portuguese apartment, tiles and laundry

Posted by on May 5, 2014 in All posts, Portugal | 2 comments

We rent an apartment in Belém, Lisbon’s most monumental and historic hub. The area where you can witness the Age of Discovery, grandiose monuments and top museums. We admittedly don’t live right next door to those pearls, still we are on Ajuda hill in Belém where I can brag about the closeness to some prime Portuguese property. Ajuda hill is where the Portuguese king acquired a piece of land and build one of the most imposing residential palaces – Ajuda Palace… is the generic name. Maybe that is why it is off the beaten tourist track. Okay, the truth is from one side, the palace seriously looks like a miserable ruin… which… does not matter at all because I was going to show you our residence anyhow. Our area in Belém is very residential. And calm. It feels like being part...

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Vilnius – Baltic Tour Kickoff

Posted by on Apr 26, 2014 in All posts, Lithuania | 0 comments

We have started our Baltic tour today (the 31st of January 2014)  and people are questioning our judgement “In winter?”. Perpetual travelers can follow warm weather forecasts or they do some extreme sightseeing in -10C. We thought that to enjoy some crisp white city images in Lithuania isn’t so bad. And truthfully, it was making the best of a business trip to Vilnius. Vilnius is our first stop and will be followed by more capitals, namely Riga, Tallinn and Helsinki, before disembarking for Cologne. We haven’t been back home (to Germany where my parents live) for two years now. Dad has passed on his dentist’s practice last year and mum has only retired as a paediatrician of civil service in Cologne in autumn – perfect timing. We have been in Vilnius in December 2012 when the city was covered...

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Japanese house architecture & our condo rental

Posted by on Oct 18, 2013 in All posts, Japan | 2 comments

The most important thing when on the perpetual travel road, is a cozy place to work and live while being close to all amenities of the city. Living in various places gave me an insight into the different housing culture of countries.   Japan’s architecture is easily recognisable, with its perfectly cube shaped small shops and houses, intermingled with tall residential buildings which all stand very close to each other.   Japanese middle class.   Japanese well off.   Sometimes, black cables run from electricity posts in front of buildings which doesn’t look pretty but is easier to fix in the case of earthquakes and also a lot cheaper than putting all those cables underneath. Our town house in Tokyo (I am typing this from now), has a balcony and a great view up to the horizon but cables...

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Cheap but great hotels in Luang Prabang and the capital of Laos

Posted by on Oct 3, 2013 in All posts, Laos | 0 comments

Why Laos? The service, food and the people are generally fantastic in Laos. It reminds us of what Thailand, Bangkok was 17 years ago, when we first visited. Unspoiled by tourists. Friendly locals, good restaurants, no mass tourism but great accommodation for slim budgets. Nature, waterfalls and adventure tours. Enough entertainment not to get bored but also the place to lay back with a good book. While the capital Vientiane has chosen to move towards modernity with first shopping malls and big hotels emerging, Luang Prabang has tastefully preserved its traditional ancient look and bygone French flair. We liked the tranquil and rural quality of Laotian cities so much that we decided to stay in Luang Prabang all the way until it was time to disembark for our (rented) home in Japan by the end of September. No need...

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Our apartment rental in Seoul

Posted by on Jul 16, 2013 in All posts, South Korea | 2 comments

Renting in a foreign country, in places as exotic as Asia, is easier and not as exotic as one might think. In fact, many places to stay are up to western standards and I have to smile a bit when writing this because in many areas, Asia is a lot more accessible than one might think., We use these sites to check on homes. We do take some time to pick an apartment, inspect pictures and clarify specifics. Like checking the apartment’s location on the map, before making a booking. Locations do not have to be right in the centre but easily accessible by public transport to save time and money. Offers vary greatly not only in price but communication with the host. We always make contact beforehand via mail to check on apartment features that are important to...

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BESS house viewing, walking and eating around Shibuya

Posted by on May 26, 2013 in All posts, Japan | 0 comments

May 25th, 2013. Diary Format. Living in Tokyo would be a dream come true. Or just to establish a base at this fascinating city from which to travel the world.   Not only because there is this peculiar Buddhist subgroup we came across, calling itself Shinreikyo, the ‘Fountainhead of Miracles‘, promising brain growth and painless death, no putrefaction, looking rosy and fresh in the death bed. Something to look for when old age knocks on my door.   Well, miracles and Tokyo’s fabulous wedding houses are not what inspired us.   What infatuates me is that Tokyo is a city of hidden treasures, it is a comfortable world of ultra convenience with a rich culture and sympathetic personality of its people. No matter how many times we have visited an area, we always find something new. Like in Shibuya....

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Renting in Tokyo and Japanese residential architecture

Posted by on Mar 11, 2013 in All posts, Japan | 0 comments

Tokyo is the fascinating capital of Japan with over 35 million inhabitants inclusive of its metropolitan area. That is an overwhelming number of people but everything is so excellently planned that despite the crowds daily life flows smoothly. Tokyo’s infrastructure is very modern, shaped by two sad historic events. Tokyo was hit by the enormous Kanto earthquake in 1923 which almost completely devastated the city. In 1945 the city suffered massive damage through American fire-bombing which put half of the capital to ashes after Japan had attacked Pearl Harbour. Tokyo had to rebuild itself sort of from scratch and I have not really seen any old buildings so far. Tokyo’s architecture is very contemporary and planned thoroughly. Residential architecture is functional, mostly two storey high and square shaped, so as to make new building structures earthquake resistant and space...

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Glimpses of a past life: our maison formidable

Posted by on Jan 23, 2013 in All posts, Thoughts and Treasures | 0 comments

I love our past home. We used to live in the top floor apartment in an old house in Cologne/Germany. We paid it off over a long period of time, dedicated a lot of time and mainly money to renovation. It was one of the most rewarding things we have done in our lives. Tomek’s dad was a great help. He came all the way over to spent some of his precious retirement time at a construction site – our home to be. We did everything you could possibly imagine to rearrange our apartment which basically was expanded attic space. We put in a solid floor out of natural wood, new windows, reinforced walls, build a new hallway, bought a modern kitchen and completely changed bathroom interior. There was a lot of technical adjustments to be made, too, but...

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Two days in Cambridge: Sights, Shopping, Lodging, Transport

Posted by on Dec 14, 2012 in All posts, England | 0 comments

CAMBRIDGE is a secluded little wonderland of 19th-century splendour and Victorian façade. The town’s name stands worldwide for egalitarian students in smart academic dress with ties and gowns attending Cambridge University. Surprisingly I learned that presenting itself as one renowned university to the world is  foremost good PR – well okay, it does have some historical relevance as well. But, what the world perceives as the one Cambridge University is a variety of 31 Colleges, the oldest being Peterhouse dating back to 1284 and the most famous embodied by King’s College with its stunning late Gothic architecture and Trinity College, the smarty pants leader with the most Nobel price winners of all. Nobel prizes have been awarded to affiliate colleges of the Cambridge University for the discovery of DNA structure, the development of a national income accounting system and...

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First day in Vilnius: taxis, home rental, food and a lot of snow

Posted by on Dec 11, 2012 in All posts, Lithuania | 3 comments

After two months we left Athens and have just arrived in Lithuania at around midnight. My first impressions of this town is that it’s tiny and that there are not as many people nor cars around. The streets are vast and sort of empty contrasting with the densely populated Athens where scratched and bumped cars are blocking your way. The airport is small and looks more like a train station.   Tada! I hereby present snow and my well-adjusted (fake!) furry winter coat.   We will be in Vilnius for two weeks which is the capital with only about half a million inhabitants. Here is how we rented a flat, some pictures of Lithuanian food probes and a word on taxis. TAXIS IN VILNIUS We were advised not to flag a taxi down nor to take a taxi from...

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Short term rental advantage

Posted by on Nov 17, 2012 in All posts, Hungary, Perpetual travel issues | 0 comments

Travelling is a lot about making yourself at home in foreign countries. A major part of perpetual travel is logistics. Finding appropriate accommodation takes up some time, but renting an apartment can be a lot cheaper and more rewarding than staying at a hotel. Short term rental provides many benefits of a ‘real’ home and has a lot of advantages that hotels don’t offer. Renting worked very well for us in Budapest. Here is why: COMFORT Apartments are usually a lot bigger than hotel rooms. Ours had around 45m2, huge windows, a high ceiling, wooden floor, spacious bathroom, working desk and office corner, a big table and open kitchen. The flat was located in Buda, the quiet side of Budapest, in an old residential area which offered privacy – yet we were close to all amenities. What I like...

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Living Greek

Posted by on Nov 5, 2012 in All posts, Greece | 0 comments

Athens will be our temporary home for about two months. That is if it is going to keep up with perpetual travelers weather requirements of constant 25 °C. So far Greece is doing a great job keeping any signs of fall at bay. The only thing to get depressed about is the economic crisis but everyday strikes and street protests are supported by sunny weather and have been categorized under tourist attractions.   WHERE WE LIVE AND MODERNIST ARCHITECTURE We live in the neighbourhood of Kypseli, close to Athens centre, where our life has been going up and down lately. Kypseli is a hilly area of Athens.   Kypseli was once a distinctive bourgeois neighbourhood of Athens and has preserved its aristocratic character. Amongst modern blocks, stately neoclassical buildings and flats of the modernist period can be spotted and...

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The bachelor flat in Budapest

Posted by on Sep 4, 2012 in All posts, Hungary | 0 comments

Our first experience with renting in Budapest was spot on. The flat was super, the location excellent and the owner a likeable perfectionist, which gave our stay in Budapest an awesome start. The owner, Gábor delivered all I am looking for, when cruising for homes at 9flats.com. Gábor has done efficient flat logistics, creating a functional and comfy place for tourists. We were very lucky to be able to book his flat for four days. It was spotless clean, very well equipped and had all the little extras that make me smile and happy. Both emotional responses were evoked, as Gábor was explaining his well thought trough flat arrangement. He knew about our blog and made sure we got everything, speaking slowly and carefully, as  if living out of a suitcase has caused major oblivion to the concept of home life. Which...

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Pillow talk

Posted by on Jul 6, 2012 in All posts, Perpetual travel issues | 1 comment

Since we sold our home and most of our household stuff in January 2012, we are nomads living off our suitcases. As brand new perpetual travelers we are constantly on the move and although getting there is half the fun, we do look for an anchor in every country. And that will most likely be the place where we not only rest but also work – our temporary home, the hotel. Finding appropriate accommodation and holding a fine balance between comfort and budget is not always easy, but independent travel gives you the freedom to chose what you like and the time to look for it. So far, we have spent the majority of our time enjoying our new lifestyle in Asia by going through up scale hotels to middle priced boutiques to fair budget accommodation. But we always...

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Singapore – on hotels and taxis

Posted by on May 26, 2012 in All posts, Singapore | 2 comments

There are two sides to how Singapore presents itself. The super expensive side with (probably) excellent service for the rich and the highly overpriced sector with medium to appallingly bad service for average pockets. This is how accommodation for the tourist can be classified. Since we knew that Singapore was going to be expensive we were prepared to pay a lot more than what we usually intend to spend on hotels. We were even a bit frantic to enjoy a bit of Singapore’s luxuries and splash out on a superb room. However, having found a cheaper place with excellent descriptions and nice photos while browsing through the net we thought ourselves lucky, booked online and ended up in a hostel that featured a room for 75S$ without en suite facilities. For that price and with more people using it...

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