eTramping - Ask The Experts - Travel, Budget Travel, Expat, backpacking, Wanderlust, Travel tips - Pepo

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Tips and tricks to travel outside your comfort zone. Join the community of travellers who are not afraid to explore further, ask questions, and share experiences. this chat is hosted by Agness and Cez who blog at eTramping and travel since 2011.

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On our last day in Chisinau, our car broke down again... 😣 This time it was our fault, though. Cez forgot to turn off the lights for the night so the morning after we couldn't start the engine 😫. The bad luck continued when one hour after it turned out the onboard computer in Peugeot was faulty and the immobilizer stopped recognizing the key. Even though we got the battery recharged, we couldn't get the engine to start. It took 3 electricians a whole day plus overtimes to fix the issue. Instead of sightseeing the capital city during the day and leaving around 5 pm, we got to explore Chisinau after dark and left 1 hour before the midnight 🚗🌉
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After driving for over 7 hours, we finally arrived in Chisinau, the capital city of Moldova. We checked in our Airbnb apartment and went out to see the city. When trying to find a local supermarket, we bumped into a local girl who showed us the right way, went food shopping with us and helped us figure out how to get back home. It was our first night in the city and we already experienced such an amazing local hospitality! 😍😍😍
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During long drives, Cez loves to sip on some energy drinks or coffee from time to time. The coffee in Ukraine (apart from soy latte we had once) was very bad - way to sour and not strong enough - thus Cez picked up some Red Bull instead. This is an enormous size we found in the supermarket. Wow, we have never seen such big cans in Poland 🍹💪💪
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Everywhere we stopped on the way to Moldova, we were greeted by lovely dogs. They were harmless, so cute and friend. We fed them with some sausages and played a bit together 🐶🐕😍
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We are saying goodbye to Ukraine for now. It's time for another country 🚗➡️ Moldova. We are going to drive for approximately 6 hours with 2 stops planned.
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If you are a real foodie, you should definitely try Varenyky. These are dumplings filled with meat served with fried onions. Just like Polish dumplings called pierogi 👌🍽️
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We have stopped for a cup of coffee at Panna Pasticceria, a lovely cafeteria/restaurant where we ordered a soy flat white and cafe latte. Very delicious coffee and great service 👌
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You’ve got a new hair cut 😍
Agness Walewinder 2 days ago
Supalak Wijinwattana Thank you. I like it a lot too :)
This weekend has been devoted to exploration of Kiev's churches, cathedrals, natural history museums and other sacred and religious sites 💒 If we had to decide on our favorite one, it would be St. Michael's Cathedrale, beautiful and interesting inside and outside 🇺🇦👌
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Not everyone would think of an escape room as a great way to experience a new city. That's a pity. Playing this game with a local allows for a better understanding of their perspective. In our case, when we played the game in Kiev, some of the riddles involved the alphabet - which is the Russian alphabet and not the one we know. Well, we had a local help and loads of fun. We managed to escape in 57 minutes!
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We were very thirtsty and once we entered the place we started drinking the tap water. Later on, we found out that unfortunately, Ukraine does not have a clean tapping water because of the old rusty pipes. Everyone buys filtered water from local shops. On average, 1-litre costs less than 30 euro cents, which is quite cheap comparing to normal bottled water in EU for 1 euro! 
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At the very last minute, we decided to book our Airbnb place in Kiev. We have booked a very spacious and light two bedroom apartment which costed us only 20 euros per night. It is actually one of the nicest airbnb places we have ever stayed at. It is not very close to the city centre , but since we came here by car, it is very easy to move around and reach any place in Kiev.
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We were joking about turning off our GPS when suddenly some time more turns and roundabouts started appearing. It was a sign of getting closer to Kiev. We were so excited about exploring this new city🚗
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So we were driving for over 700 km and there was no alternative roads just one straight road 🚗No right, no left just straight road for 700 kilometres! It was like in the quote: the only way is UP! And in Ukraine the only way is straight! 😂😂😂
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Once we entered the country, we started noticing bus stops with toilets. Well, that was really surprising for us. Seems like buses don't run often in Ukraine and locals sometimes have to wait so long that they are provided with toilets for convenience.
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After a few issues with our car 🚗 and hours of driving across Poland, we finally arrived at Dorohusk - the Ukrainian border💪 The first thing that surprised us were quite cold and not smiley custom officers. After 2 hours of queueing in the car, answering all the questions about drugs and guns (that we obviously didn't carry), having our car and documents checked and trying to understand Ukrainian language, we eventually crossed the border at 2am 🎉
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We eat a lot of healthy food while on the road and we try to stop every 3 hours or so to eat a bigger meal. This evening we stopped at Lidl store, grabbed some veggies, smoked salmon with avocado and created our own meal in the car, just the way we like. No restaurant can replace this experience. When it comes to snacks, we usually snack on nuts, seeds, dried and fresh fruits and some paleo bars (we bought hundreds of them to last us for the entire trip - we both have big appetites, let's face it). 🍌🍅🍽️
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Road Trip Update 3: When waiting for our car to get fixed, we found out we might need to drive with the winter tires on. That was a great suggestion from an Uber driver who gave us a ride back home. He said Romania was already covered with snow and we needed to prepare better for driving in such conditions. We listened to him and managed to quickly change the tires. Insurance packed, tires changed - we are truly ready to kick start this epic adventure, hopefully with no more troubles on the way.
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Road trip update 2: After 20 minutes of driving, our car broke down. Disaster, right? Actually not, it turned out to be a real blessing. We found out that we needed a green card (a special international insurance) to enter Ukraine - our first stop. We left it at home and thanks to our car breaking down so close to our apartment, we were still able to get back home and pick up this quite important paper! The whole trip is 20 hours delayed, but we are back on the road.
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Road Trip Update 1: Yesterday evening we officially hit the road! Our car, throughout its long life, has traveled exactly 209000 km. That's the start of our Southeast Europe trip and we will update you sometimes where the counter stays to see how much distance we have covered already. 🚘🎉⏳
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Sightseeing tip: if you're in Killarney, make sure you visit St Mary's Cathedral. This is an epic spot, a Roman Catholic Cathedral with a very unique architecture.
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We have just come back from Ireland and after a day of rest, we are back on the road again. This time we are going on an adventure across Ukraine, Moldova, Romania, Hungary, and Slovakia. We are super excited about this road trip and can't wait to share our experience with us.
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If you make it to Killarney, you have to visit the National Park and explore it a bit. Hiking, running or just driving a car there could turn into a real adventure. Not even mentioning the stunning view you will be exposed to.
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Breakfast is my favorite meal of the day and Killeen House Hotel & Rozzers Restaurant made sure I was well fed before heading to TBEXIreland. The best food on one plate, I like it!
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We started off the day in Killarney with a real breakfast of champions. I had some mushrooms, eggs and grilled tomato with a bowl of fruits. Healthy and yummy.
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Irish houses are amazing. So green! Killeen House Hotel was covered with flowers and plants and we loved walking around its neighborhood.
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Just look at him! Cez was excited and happy to attend TBEXIreland. He was looking forward to meeting fellow travel bloggers and connecting with many interesting travel brands.
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TBEX was packed with plenty of breakout sessions. The majority of the sessions were mostly geared towards beginners but we also attended few that we found interesting and helpful, for example how to increase traffic on your blog or partner up with different travel brands. If you are or want to get more serious about travel blogging, you should definitely consider going there next year! We might also be there.
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Oh guys, you have no idea how much we have missed you and we hope you have missed us too. The last few days at TBEXIreland were insanely busy and we were mostly offline. But worry not folks, we are back at a full strength with plenty of pictures and tips on exploring Ireland like real locals. 🍀🚗💪
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Killeen House Hotel is a magical place. We were warmly greeted by Michael and his team last night and we were blown away by their hospitality. If you are planning to stay in Killarney, you should definitely stop at Michael's place and experience his amazing hospitality.
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Honey de G 2 weeks ago
Love this photo!!! The hotel looks cool!
Agness Walewinder 2 weeks ago
Honey de G Thanks, it was a lovely place!
Our cozy and beautiful room @ Killeen House Hotelin Killarney. We are staying here for 3 nights and we already made ourselves comfortable.
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We can't wait to fully explore Killarney! Here is a sneak peak of what waits for us tomorrow.
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So pretty! 😍
We are so excited to land in Dublin this afternoon. We are attending the TBEX - Europe's biggest travel conference that takes place in Killarney. We rented a car and we hit the road already. Follow our Irish adventure here!
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Another place worth visiting in Gdańsk is Gdansk Shipyard. This floundering Polish shipyard was once the soul of the Solidarity movement that capsized communism. You have to look into it more closer.
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Must visit in Gdańsk: Gdansk Astronomical Clock. It's a huge wooden clock that is so beautiful its creator was forcibly blinded and there is some pretty nice history behind it.
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Gdańsk at night. WOW! The best time to explore this beautiful city is definitely late evening.
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