Potsdam, Germany

Whilst we were in Berlin, we took a cheeky day trip to Potsdam. We really can’t ever miss the chance to visit a World UNESCO site. Just half an hour from the capital and a few Euros, we boarded a double decker train to head on our way. We walked from the train station in Potsdam, which was a far old way and the outskirts of the city were very urban, but when we reach the centre, it felt like a world away from Berlin. We wandered the pretty tree lined streets, enjoyed the sculptures in the parks and admired the charming architecture.After lots of traditional German food in Berlin, we fancied something a little different. Potsdam, just as Berlin, had lots of different options – so we settled on Vietnamese. And boy, we are glad that we did as it was so fresh and delicious – the perfect antidote to sausages and potatoes!One thing we didn’t expect from Potsdam was the colour – even on the rather dark day that we were there, the pretty pastel buildings, parks and flora were stunning. We also found Potsdam to be relatively quiet, especially in comparison to the bustle of Berlin.We didn’t really have a plan for Potsdam, we spent out time walking, popping into little shops and taking lots and lots of pictures. We sat in the central square, watching the world go by. Even though it was a deeply overcast day, we were still very struck by the beauty of Potsdam. It was such a nice relaxing day and we’re so glad we took that train.


Berlin, Germany

We’ve wanted to visit Berlin for a very long time. So, we booked 4 days in Berlin. Little did we know that 4 days is not enough time to explore this massive city.We were blown away by the size of Berlin – the wide open expanses of green space that we’ve never seen in another European city. We realised pretty quickly that we needed to buy a travel ticket to maximise our time in the city. At 7 Euros a day, it was well worth it for the sake of our feet!A lot of the sites that we visited were free, which is great for a travellers pocket – the Brandenburg Gate, Checkpoint Charlie, Holocaust Memorial and the East Side Gallery. We loved walking around the Tiergarten park – where we got to see our first Red Squirrels, which was a completely unexpected joy.You can’t escape the history of Berlin and that’s a good thing. Sensitive yet impactful monuments. From the Berlin Wall to the Holocaust Memorial and the Kaiser Wilhelm Church. Spend time at them, quietly explore them and don’t forget the meaning behind them.

The Graffiti, the unique charm of each U-Bahn  station, the gritty vibe all makes Berlin something rather special. Experience the difference between what was East and West Berlin. We loved seeing the different areas of Berlin – Mitte, Kreuzburg, Charlottenburg, Friedrichshain, they are all so different and expose a different side to the city.Our favourite places

  • Charlottenburg – The grand streets and wide boulevards – so very pretty
  • Fernsehturm – the tallest building in Berlin with panoramic views across the city and a great bar the the top. Just get there early to book your tickets as there might be a bit of wait – buy you tickets and then go and explore Alexanderplatz.

Best Meal

  • Each and every Currywurst that we had – all from street stalls, we couldn’t get enough!

Things to try

  • Currywurst – Sausage with Curry Ketchup, cut up into little pieces, making it fantastic street food.
  • Pretzels – chewy, savoury and delicious. We often scraped off a lot of the Rock Salt otherwise it was supper salty.
  • Shawarma – grilled chicken, salad and sesame crusted flat bread, virtually sold everywhere. A cheap and filling meal that is just great.

Travel Details

  • We flew with Ryanair from London Stansted to Berlin Schonefeld– the flight costs were £96.06 each including taxes.
  • We stayed at the Easy Hotel, booked through Booking.com – for £125.29 for 3 nights.
  • We spent £110 on meals, drink and public transport.

Our final thoughts

Berlin really has something to offer everyone. The history, culture, food and night life. The industrial look to the city makes it feel really different from other very pretty European capitals, but it has a distinct charm of its own that can’t be beaten. Berlin is a absolute must visit and we will go back to spend more time exploring and experiencing the city.

* Prices correct as of March 2016.

24 hours in Venice, Italy

Sometimes you get the opportunity to visit a place that you’ve heard so much about, seen so many photos and dreamed about. You think that in no uncertain terms that it can live up the expectations but the minute that you take your first footsteps you know it is going to be everything that you were hoping for and more. That’s exactly what happened when we stepped on the boat from the mainland to the islands of Venice. There was just something in the air – the sunset, the grand canal, the architecture…We could have stayed on the boat forever watching Venice unfold before us, but then it was time to disembark and to start wandering. The narrow streets, the bridges, Gelato shops, the canals – it was picture perfect and everything we had expected Venice to be.Once the sun had set we headed to Cafe Florian, one of the oldest Cafes in the world. We sat outside, drank Coffee, Wine and ate Gelato. Music played gleefully and the lights of Piazzo San Marco twinkled in the slightly flooded square. It truly was perfection.

Then is was time to head back to the mainland to our hotel – we slept quite lightly that night as we were keen to get back on the boat in the morning! Morning came quickly enough and then we were back on the Canal. Venice quite literally sparkled in the sunlight. We arrived early in the morning and it was still very quite except for the Delivery men carrying their heavy loads yelling “Attenzione!”. We spent the day enjoying the sights and sounds. Saint Marks Basilica, the Bridge of Sighs, the Gondolas with their white and blue striped poles and the Rialto Bridge. Up and down beautiful bridges. We even got a chance to see Murano Glass being made – so very beautiful but deeply expensive. As were the toilets at 3 Euros a time!We ate lots of Gelato, always helpful to keep cool and Pizza for sustenance complete with litres of water as it was so very hot at over 40 degrees. We pottered in and out of shops, picking up a few gifts for people back home.Our time in Venice will stay with us for a very long time – it is definitely somewhere we’d like to go back to spend more time there to soak up the atmosphere and culture – definitely to eat more food! If you get the chance to go to Venice, go! Go with all your heart and enjoy every single moment.

The Far Away Couple – Venice




Trogir, Croatia

After a couple of days in Split, we decided to hop on a bus to travel 28km to Trogir. We had read about this UNESCO old town and decided we just had to go. Full of winding lanes, palm trees and beautiful buildings with plenty of Coffee Shops, Trogir is our type of place.We started the day with Breakfast – sat on the waterside promenade with local cats meandering and the warmth of the sun. Juice, Coffee and Pastries filled our bellies, which was a good job as after Breakfast we decided to climb the tower of the St Lawrence Cathedral. It was a long and rickety way up – plus we both got a little stuck in the final section with our backpacks, but the views from the top were spectacular. After we made it back down, with slightly wobbly legs, we sat in the square to enjoy some very, very strong Espresso and some people watching. That was the real beauty of Trogir, the incredibly slow pace of life.We spent hours wandering around Trogir – getting hopelessly lost in the endless medieval lanes. It was great to see the fruit market, the Kamerlengo Fortress, and the city gates. Towards the end of our visit, we had an hour to kill before heading back to Split Airport so we grabbed some fantastic Pizza and sat by the waters edge basking in the Sun and dipping our toes in the water – simply perfection.

Split, Croatia

We spend quite a bit of time looking at Flights on Skyscanner – sometimes just the most extraordinarily cheap flights come up – on this occasion it was return flights to Split in Croatia. At £42.98 each return, it would have been rude not to! We did absolutely no research and 4 weeks after booking to the flights, we arrived, grabbed a local bus from the Airport and headed towards the city.We spent our first few hours in Split wandering around aimlessly taking in the very beautiful sights and enjoying the oh so warm weather. Pure delight.

From the bustling fruit scented market to the 4 gates of Diocletians Palace – Split is a truly charming city to wander, drink coffee and just soak up the atmosphere.Our favourite places

  • Marjan Hill – we really enjoyed our time walking around the pine forested peninsula with amazing sites over Split and the surrounding mountains. So very quiet and peaceful.
  • Diocletians Palace – imposing Roman architecture that dominates the skyline of Split. Marble gloriousness with endless shop lined streets that’s part of the very heart of the city.
  • Riva Waterfront – the best place to people watch and see the comings and goings of every day life. A palm tree lined promenade with endless Cafes,
  • Bacvice Beach – when we were in Split, this beach was super quiet, but completely beautiful and a great place to watch the sunset. We enjoyed watching people play Picigin in the shallow waters – a traditional ball game where the players try to keep the small ball from touching the water.

Best Meal

  • Fife – One of the oldest restaurants in Split with a typical Dalmatian menu. We had grilled chicken, Sea Bass, Mashed Potatoes and Grilled Vegetables. With a drink each it was just £11 and we could barely finish it all as there was so much!

We could have stayed and watched these sunsets forever. Living on the East coast of the UK, you don’t get to see the sun setting over the sea, so it felt like a real treat.Things to try

  • Coffee – no particularly adventurous, but Split seriously had some of the very best Coffee we have ever had! Hot, dark and strong always served with a big glass of cold water. Simply perfection.
  • Cake – any cake! Split is filled with Bakeries, open late into the night. From Cream Cakes to Madjarica, a layer cake, to Sour Cherry Strudle. There wasn’t one cake that we didn’t devour and enjoy to its very last bite.

Travel Details

  • We flew with Wizz Air from London Luton to Split– the flight costs were £42.98 each including taxes.
  • We stayed at the Lana Apartments, booked through Booking.com – for £61.17 for 2 nights.
  • We spent £90 on meals, drinks, public transport and a beautiful piece of artwork made in Split of the cities skyline.

Our final thoughts

We adored Split – such a compact and beautiful city – the coffee, sedate way of life, the beaches, hills – it really has it all. If you go to Split, don’t forgot to rub the big mans toe!

*Prices – September 2016

Snowy Sigulda & Turaida, Latvia

Another trip that we took whilst in Latvia was to the town of Sigulda and the Castle at Turaida. Another cheap return from the central station in Riga and just over an hour ride on a train that was never going to be stopped by a bit of snow on the line, we arrived in the very snowy Sigulda.

We knew that we needed to get a bus to get us into the Gauja National Park and the Turaida Museum Reserve. But when we arrived there were just lots of somewhat ancient Minibuses. We eventually worked out which one we needed to take, paid 50 cents each and we were on our way. We wound our way around the windy roads – it was so snowy, so very snowy. The driver stopped, opened the door and looked at us – it was our turn to get off.

For the princely sum of 6 Euros for both of us, we entered the reserve. Snow crunching underfoot we set out to explore the site. There was so much to see from the Turaida Stone Castle, Rose of Turaida Memorial, Church and Church Hill, Folk Song Garden and Hill.

The view from the top of the Castle was spectacular – looking out over the snowy Gauja National Park in all its wintery goodness. The building itself, despite being a reconstruction, was beautiful too.

Our favourite part of the reserve was the Folk Song Garden and Hill – it was full of the most exquisite sculptures, nestled perfectly in the snow. There was barely another sole making it a serene and peaceful place to be.

After we were finished at the reserve, we hung out at the bus stop with no time table and hoped that a bus would appear, which fortunately it did! We made our way back to Sigulda to explore the town.

It was so nice to see a very different side to Latvia in comparison to the capital of Riga. A small bakery captured our attention where we bought a variety of delicacies to try with some hot coffee to help warm up. Absolutely delicious and a good fuel stop before heading for a wander around the town. Big open roads, wooden houses and wide open green (well snowy) spaces.

Outside of the train station were 2 boats – filled with giant ice blocks that each contained different items from feathers to ice picks and apples to fish – such an interesting concept and beautifully done too. We even saw lots and lots of people Ice Fishing. It was then time to head back to Riga for our last night in Latvia.

Overall, we are so glad that we ventured out of the Capital – we love seeing a different side to a country.

Jūrmala, Lativa

After a few days of exploring Riga, we decided that we wanted to see a different side to Latvia. We headed to the central train station to see where took our fancy. We saw that the next train out would take us to the beach at Jūrmala. We hurriedly paid for 2 extremely cheap return tickets and ran for the train.

After just 35 minutes we had arrived and we went straight to the beach. We had been hoping for a little more snow in Riga but Jūrmala certainly made up for it!

We walked along the frozen beach with barely another person in sight. The frozen ice cracking under our feet. The shards were so big and clear like glass. We have never seen a beach in true winter. The waves had frozen at the edge and we wanted to see the water’s edge.

That’s when it happened…

Claire in all her best efforts to see the water’s edge went straight through the ice and into the Baltic Sea. The Baltic Sea. In February. Up to her waist and flailing around trying to get out. Drenched up to her waist, she waded out and we both realised we were an hour away from the hotel and the temperature was sub-zero.

We high tailed it back into the centre to look for a clothes shop. It was getting dark and nearing the end of the day but we were fortunate to find somewhere open. We burst through the door, Claire dripping wet and explained what happened. The shop owner was horrified but got towels out and suitable replacement clothes. A few Euros lighter we were soon on our way back to Riga. We are extremely grateful to the kind lady in that shop, very grateful.

Moral of the story, don’t get too close to the frozen waters edge and don’t walk around in sub zero temperatures in wet socks with no shoes on, your freeze to the ground!

Winter in Riga, Latvia

With our carry on filled with warm winter clothes we headed to the capital of Latvia, Riga. Our first Baltic state and we hoped that when we landed it would be wintery perfection.

On the bus from the airport there was lots of snow, but on reaching the Old Town of Riga, this had completely disappeared. The skies were grey and a chill in the air as we started to explore the city but this only added to the atmosphere.We spent 2 days in Riga and with it’s compact Old Town, that was plenty of time to explore. Pretty pastel building lined streets with a serious Coffee culture and little tourism. At night the city was lit with fairy lights giving it a real magical atmosphere. Such a wonderful place to wander around, regularly diving into a Coffee shop to warm up and pottering in and out of the most delightful shops.Our favourite places

  • Central Market – A UNESCO World Heritage Site in old Zeppelin hangars full of the sights and smells of the capital – pickles, bread, fresh fruit and vegetables and great for people watching.
  • Daugava River – When we were there parts of the river were frozen and we really enjoyed walking along the banks seeing the street art, landmarks and crossing the bridges.
  • The Three Brothers – the oldest dwellings in Riga plus there’s a great café called Parunasum kafe’tekka
  • Monuments and Statues – there are so many in Riga! From an Astronaut Chimpanzee to the iconic Freedom Monument and the wonderfully whimsical Bremen Town Musicians.
  • House of the Blackheads – completely stunning 14th Century buildings.

Best Meal

  • Domini Canes – hands down the best meal we had in Riga. From the beautiful Bread and Olives to the Chicken with Beetroot Mash with Berries (quite unexpected, but seriously tasty) to the Chocolate Fondant and Crème Brulee, every bite was fantastic.

Things to try

  • Black Balsam – we tried it hot and it knocked our socks off.
  • Black Peas – deeply savoury and super tasty.
  • Pickled Mushrooms – an unusual one, but they just work.
  • Anything with Sea Buckthorn – especially on cake!

Travel Details

  • We flew with Ryan Air from London Stansted to Riga – the flight costs were £101.98 each including taxes.
  • We stayed at the Amber Rooms, booked through Booking.com – for £44.15 for 3 nights.
  • We spent £150 on meals, drinks, public transport and a couple of cheeky souvenirs.

Our final thoughts

We both really liked Riga. It feels safe and it’s quiet with a distinct lack of tourists. It was great to see it in the Winter and we’d definitely like to go back in the summertime to see a different side to the city. But there was just something quite magical about seeing this stunning city in the misty winter.


*Prices – February 2017

Hello from The Far Away Couple

We’re Claire and Derek and we want to share our adventures as we travel around the world. We met in 1999 at the University of East Anglia, whilst Derek was in his third year and Claire in her first year. We’ve been together ever since. Graduations, first jobs, renting, weddings, home ownership and adopting two Cats – good times and bad, we’ve been together through everything. We married in 2010.So, why are we blogging? We have an absolute love of travel – it’s part of who we are. We love exploring new places and we want to share these experiences with you. From the sights to the food and travel practicalities. We want to encourage you to get out and see the world!

What do you want to hear about from us? Please just leave us a comment or email us.

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