The Five Star Vagabond

Super travel tips, all road tested by David Herd. I'm an Australian guy who moved to Thailand in 2011 & still travel the world as often as possible.


Unforgettable Eastern European Odyssey

One of my greatest trips.

Unforgettable Eastern European Odyssey

Unforgettable Eastern European Odyssey

Unforgettable Eastern European Odyssey plus London was a hectic 4 week trip to a number of cities I had never visited before. First stop was Istanbul on February 25 2015 then on to London for a few days before flying to Zagreb in Croatia. A 3 hour bus trip took me to Split on the coast for a couple of days followed by 5 hours on the bus down the coast to Dubrovnik.

From Dubrovnik I traveled to Mostar in Bosnia-Herzegovina then onto Sarajevo. Finally back to Zagreb for one night before a horror train journey to Budapest due to construction work on the railroad.

A stand out feature of this trip was my selection of hotels and apartments, everyone of them was in a perfect location with a very reasonable price when booked through Agoda,

Istanbul The Blue Mosque

Unforgettable Eastern European Odyssey

 It was built from 1609 to 1616, during the rule of Ahmed I. Its Külliye contains a tomb of the founder, a madrasah and a hospice. The Sultan Ahmed Mosque is still popularly used as a mosque.

I stayed at the Hotel Spectra right next door to the Blue Mosque, it was in a great location and very good value if you book through Agoda.

Singing for the crowd

Fascinating Istanbul Asia Meets Europe

There were quite a few buskers around the city.

Istanbul slideshow

Second stop London

Unforgettable Eastern European Odyssey

St Pauls Cathredal  The cathedral is one of the most famous and most recognisable sights of London, with its dome, framed by the spires of Wren’s City churches, dominating the skyline for 300 years.

Enoteca da Luca

Unforgettable Eastern European Odyssey

Very close to St Pauls is this delightful Italian restaurant, put it on your list, it’s a breath of fresh air in a city not known for its fine food. 🙂

The Villa Kensington 10-11 Ashburn Gardens SW7  This excellent budget hotel is in a great location, only 2 blocks from Gloucester Road underground and surrounded by dozens of good restaurants. I booked through Agoda as usual and stayed in a newly renovated room for only 50 Quid or $98 usd including breakfast.

The Walkie Talkie and The Gherkin

London blue sky cold winter wind

Plus of course we have the Tower of London in the foreground.

London slideshow

Third stop Zagreb

Unforgettable Eastern European Odyssey

My hotel the Dubrovnik, looked over Zagreb’s Main Square, the perfect location for exploring this interesting city.

The Corner Bar

Unforgettable Eastern European Odyssey

  This hidden away little bar was a gem, drinks, snacks of simply good coffee.  

Zagreb Cathredal

Unforgettable Eastern European Odyssey

The cathedral towers over the city.

Zagreb slideshow


Next stop Split

Unforgettable Eastern European Odyssey

A three hour bus ride through the mountains to the coastal city of Split. My two bedroom apartment was terrific, only $60 per night in a perfect location. Book it through Agoda for this great rate.

Part of the old city

Split Ancient Croatian Coastal city

  There seemed to be a surprise around every corner wandering through the old part of the city.  

The Prokurative

Unforgettable Eastern European Odyssey

The square has long been established as an excellent stage for cultural events, especially the pop music festival, and the local bars and restaurants made it a popular venue for the citizens of Split.

Split slideshow  

Beautiful Dubrovnik

Unforgettable Eastern European Odyssey

  I was so pleased I was here in the “off season” as the crowds of tourists in the summer would be a real turn off.  

Amazing city walls

Unforgettable Eastern European Odyssey

You can walk around the entire city on top of the ancient walls, it takes about 1.5 hours and is well worth the effort. If you visit Dubrovnik and want a fantastic apartment look no further than Karmen apartments.  The location is perfect and the price is very reasonable indeed. Marc the owner is very helpful and a hive of information. Staying here is like staying in your own home, the furniture, atmosphere and comfort is simply fantastic.

Outside the walls

Unforgettable Eastern European Odyssey

You can see why some scenes from Game of Thrones was filmed here.

Dubrovnik slideshow

Great Dubrovnik video clip

Mostar Bosnia-Herzegovina

Unforgettable Eastern European Odyssey

  Bosnia was never part of my original plans until a couple of people suggested I should go as it was so close to where I was in Dubrovnik. I’m pleased I took their advice as Mostar turned out to be a real surprise packet. The Old Bridge was the jewel in the crown, it was destroyed in the war around 1993 and rebuilt.  

Opposite the Bella Vista restaurant

Unforgettable Eastern European Odyssey

This reminded me of a mini version of Table mountain in Cape Town, in fact it was exactly one year ago when I was there.  My hotel by the river is in a terrific location and the nice couple Arnela & Adis running the hotel booked me a car to do a 3 hour tour of the area for $70 aud. The funny thing was they said “we are not busy today can we come with you?” So as it turned out I had 3 personal translators and tour guides including Admir the driver. The Vila park only costs about $35 per night if you book through Agoda.

Adis, Arnela & Admir

Unforgettable Eastern European Odyssey

Admir is a great taxi driver who will charge you the correct price, he speaks German & the local language but only a little English. You can phone him on +387 62 600 260, or if you are local 062 600 260.

Mostar slideshow

Next stop Sarajevo

Unforgettable Eastern European Odyssey

Another bus trip, unusual for me when travelling to take so many buses, however you certainly see a lot more of the country. These guys gather every day to play chess in the square, lots of shouting from the spectators as they give advice to the players.

Avaz Twist Tower

Unforgettable Eastern European Odyssey

  The tallest building in Sarajevo, they have a lookout on the top floor which gives you a great view of the city.   My hotel in Sarajevo was in a perfect location with a good price, even though the rooms & breakfast were average I would stay at the Kovaci Hotel again.

Unforgettable Eastern European Odyssey

Unforgettable Eastern European Odyssey

I bought a nice leather bag for only $15.

Sarajevo slideshow



The final stop Budapest

Unforgettable Eastern European Odyssey

What a fabulous city, so many photo opportunities particularly at night with all the lights. Buda Castle above is a beautiful example.

Hungarian Parliament

Unforgettable Eastern European Odyssey

For a reasonably priced hotel in the perfect location book the Promenade City hotel through this Agoda link.  

Buda Castle

Unforgettable Eastern European Odyssey

What a super city Budapest was.

Budapest slideshow

Thanks for visiting my Unforgettable Eastern European Odyssey post, come back any time.

Unforgettable Eastern European Odyssey



Here are some more posts to check out 

         Sydney                               Paris                                   Bangkok           
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          Tokyo                        Rio De Janeiro                        Budapest
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           London                            Beijing                            Capetown
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            Great hotel room rates anywhere in the world if you            
 book through these links below.  Book now & pay later.
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                                               Bangkok Hotels                    Pattaya Hotels
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Pattaya live webcam
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That’s all folks

1g Duck



Budapest beautiful river Danube bridges

First stop Istanbul


I have never seen a city with so many markets, bazaars & mosques, over 3000 Mosques here and 83,000 in the country.

Posted by Travel blogger” on Saturday, February 28, 2015

Second stop London


Some of London’s amazing ultra modern buildings.

Posted by Travel blogger” on Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Third stop Zagreb


Check out my post on Zagreb, an interesting city in Croatia.

Posted by Travel blogger” on Sunday, March 8, 2015

Fourth stop Split


I hope you enjoy my post on Split a delightful Croatian coastal city, I’m taking a 4’5 hour bus trip to Dubrovnik tomorrow.

Posted by Travel blogger” on Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Fifth stop Dubrovnik


Dubrovnik is a magic city, check out my travel blog for lots more great photos.

Posted by Travel blogger” on Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Sixth stop Mostar


Mostar was really a surprise package, I’m so glad I made a late decision to visit Bosnia. Check out my travel blog here.

Posted by Travel blogger” on Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Seventh stop Sarajevo


Bosnia commemorated 100 years since the assassination of Austrian Archduke Franz Ferdinand in Sarajevo on June 28 last…

Posted by Travel blogger” on Friday, March 20, 2015

Eight stop Budapest


Budapest was united from three cities in 1873 and seven years later the Diet resolved to establish a new, representative…

Posted by Travel blogger” on Monday, March 23, 2015

Author: David Herd

My history, particularly over the last 30 years is dominated by overseas travel. I sold my home in Australia October 20th 2011 and have have been living in Thailand since then. I don’t know where the time has gone? It seems like you go to sleep one night, wake up the next morning, and 20 years have flashed by. Not sure how many years I have left, however I have enjoyed a wonderful charmed life, and if it all ended today I would leave this world with no regrets.

I was born in Sydney halfway through the last century, started my travels in the 60s with the usual U.K. Europe adventure at the age of 20, back to Australia and worked in Sydney, Melbourne & Adelaide in Sales & Marketing with multinational companies including Sanyo, Canon & Remington.

Engaged to be married 3 times and never quite made it to the alter, finally realized by the mid 90s I was not cut out for “long term relationships” so I moved to the Gold Coast in Queensland in January 1987, worked for a couple of banks as a Financial Planner, I took a year off work in 1998 to travel and never went back to full time work again, after 25 fun filled years on the Coast I packed up and moved to Thailand.

What is the purpose of this blog? Well I really want to use it to record my travel experiences & to display my photographs, give and receive travel tips, comment on places I visit, restaurants I eat in and use it to replace the autobiography I intended to write, apart from all that it helps me fill in my day. :)

I moved to Thailand mainly because I wanted to keep travelling while my health allowed me to, there are huge advantages being closer to all the places I want to visit.

Cost of living in Thailand is around 35% of the cost in Australia, plus flights are 50% cheaper because you are much closer to everywhere. ????

Consequently I am able to travel to many more places compared to living in Australia.

Having said all that, it is & has always been my intention to return to Australia when my travelling is finished, I predict this will happen around 2021.

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