What is the Liebster award, and what are the rules?
Not going to lie, we weren’t too sure ourselves when we were first nominated! In a nutshell, it’s a way to recognise other travel bloggers and their work – helping us to grow our networks and helping everyone discover great blogs that they might not know about!
The rules [detailed info can be found here] are:
- Mention & give a short overview of your nominator
- Nominate a further 5-11 blogs
- Answer the 11 questions asked by your nominator
- Come up with a brand new set of 11 questions for your nominees
- Provide 10 random facts about yourself
Our Nominator – Ginger Joe!
Joe is a twenty-something traveler who took the huge plunge of quitting his job and travelling around the world with his best friend, with his route taking him from China all the way to New York! Now that he’s back from his adventures, he’s writing up his entire trip on www.gingerjoesjourney.co.uk, as well as adding new memories from his most recent travels. He’s got a great conversational style of writing, and his posts are really interesting and fun to read – check him out!
Our Questions 🙂
1: Mountains or Beaches?
We’re (Matt and Lucy, for those who don’t know!) both agreed on Mountains here! Don’t get us wrong, beaches are awesome – but we both reckon that there’s much more variety in the mountains; not to mention the sense of achievement you get when you reach the top of one! Also, as Lucy points out, mountains have lakes, and lakes have beaches…killing two birds with one stone?!
2: What is your favourite country?
Germany! We both studied German at University, and spent a year abroad there, so it’s a pretty inevitable answer. A great place to call your home for a while, and an amazing place to be a student; barely any tuition fees and free travel across the state you’re studying in? Yes please – it makes all the amazing food (Schnitzel), beer, cities and scenery much more accessible. It’ll be a sad day when a year goes by without us heading to Germany…normally for the magical Christmas Markets.
3: Cities or middle of nowhere?
That’s a really tough one! It completely depends on the city, and on the ‘middle of nowhere’. Stick us in some anonymous plain of corn fields for a week and we’d probably go slightly crazy and wish we were in a city. On the flip side, put us in a boring city centred around work rather than culture (might be slightly harsh on the place – but Frankfurt, anyone?) and we’d be begging for the great outdoors. There’s certainly a time and a place for both ways of travelling.
4: Friendliest country you have visited?
Matt: Tanzania – it’s a cliché, but the people there really were the friendliest and most smiley I’ve ever come across.
Lucy: Actually, the USA! The times that I’ve been, everyone has been lovely – especially when we veered (sometimes quite spectacularly) off the tourist trail.
5: Favourite travel story?
When we accidentally discovered the beautiful town of Mostar in Bosnia! We were doing a Thursday – Sunday crazy travel trip during our year abroad; Lucy had come up with a great schedule which would see us (deep breath) go from Dortmund to Utrecht to Eindhoven to Belgrade to Sarajevo to Dubrovnik. It was all going swimmingly, until we reached the bus station in Sarajevo and realised that the bus which Lucy thought existed was, in fact, a lie. There was no bus. With less than 24 hours until our flight from Dubrovnik, we sort of slightly needed to get there at some point – so we looked at a map and found a town halfway between, which none of us had ever heard of. That town was Mostar.
We hopped on the bus, and the rest is history. What an great town, with a tragic, but fascinating, recent history. We loved it so much that we went back the next year (see our Mostar blog!).
The fun wasn’t over though, as it turned out there were no buses from Mostar to Dubrovnik. We found a taxi driver who spoke no English, but a little German, and so negotiated a 90 Euro fare for the 3 hour drive to Dubrovnik. Yep, we ended up getting a 3 hour taxi from Bosnia to Croatia. And we loved it.
6: Best meal you have had whilst traveling?
Our best meal probably wasn’t the greatest food ever, but it was certainly one of the most memorable. We were travelling around the Balkans just after taking our finals, and it turned out that we’d be in Split, Croatia when our results were published. The original plan had been to wait until we got back – but we got a text from one of our friends asking if we wanted to hear our results, and we just couldn’t resist. Thankfully, we both did well (especially Lucy, who might have slightly started crying in the restaurant – making Matt look like he’d just delivered really bad news!) and were phenomenally happy! The fact that it was the last night of our trip made it even more special.
7: Hotel or hostel?
Hotel! Travelling as a couple, we like the security that hotel rooms offer – no having to worry about leaving your stuff all over the room. Matt loves finding a good bargain and is happy to shop around for the right prices, so we normally end up staying somewhere decent and not paying too much more than we would for a room in a hostel. We’re both fans of long showers too, so try to avoid communal facilities wherever possible! Our favourite sort of accommodation isn’t actually a hostel or a hotel – it’s an apartment, and there are plenty of them to be found. It’s really nice to be able to cook your own breakfast, or make a cup of tea etc.
8: Best hotel/hostel story?
Lucy probably wins out on this one. Lucy: on a trip to Ljubljana, we stayed in the Celica hostel (celica translates as cell, which makes sense considering that the hostel is a former military prison). The building was due to be destroyed, but was protected by a group of artists and after years of struggling with the authorities the building was developed into a hostel. Twenty of the cells were converted into rooms, and it was one of these we stayed in.
Each cell was designed by a different artist. Our room, 119, was by Anthony Gormley. We found our room (or should that be cell) slightly disconcerting, firstly because there were dozens of screaming clay figures under a glass panel in the floor and secondly because to get into bed you had to climb up a vertical ladder and then across a second glass panel. Eeek. It was a hostel like no other, and a fascinating place to stay – although the serious case of flu/sickness/dizziness experienced overnight meant that the terracotta armies and the drop from the bed were not appreciated!
9: Planned or spontaneous travel?
A bit of both is the winner here! Lucy absolutely loves planning travel – the getting from A to Z bit – and Matt is a big fan of trawling through hotels to find the right place to stay. However, we tend to book the actual destinations fairly spontaneously and then figure out the planning a bit later!
10: Favourite travel song?
There’s only one winner here, and that’s ‘Keep on Moving‘ by 5ive. A cheesy late 90s classic which became our alarm clock/anthem on our travels. Never fails to get us up and moving in the mornings, and we only really ever listen to it whilst we’re travelling!
11: Where is your next venture?
Morocco in a few days! Flying into Marrakech (via Eindhoven!) and heading into the desert for a couple of nights, before heading back to Marrakech to get the night train up to Tangiers – which should be an interesting experience. From there, we’re getting the ferry across to Spain before finally flying out of Gibraltar. Not quite as many destinations as some of our travels in the past, but it should be great! And, of course, there’ll be a write up on www.twoticketsto.com when we’re finished 🙂
10 Random Facts about us
1: We studied the exact same degree at the same University.
2: We have many sheep-themed items. Coasters, mats, tea towels. And more.
3: Matt is never seen out and about without a checked shirt.
4: Lucy is a foot shorter than Matt.
5: In the past 5 years, neither of us have ever lived in the same building for more than 9 months.
6: Lucy drinks a lot of tea. Matt makes a lot of tea and forgets to drink it.
7: We once nearly missed a flight from Dubrovnik because we explored the whole city overnight and then went to bed 2 hours before the flight left. Oops.
8: Lucy is scared of boats. Matt is scared of planes.
9: We get obsessed with random TV shows and binge watch them for a month before never tuning in again. E.g. Come Dine With Me
10: We walk fast and get annoyed at people who get in our way.
11 Questions for our nominees
1: What is the scariest place you’ve ever visited?
2: Out of all the places that you’ve visited, which one would you most want to go back to?
3: Is there anywhere in the world that you’ve always dreamed of living?
4: Selfie sticks. Yay or Nay?
5: Do you try to learn the language of the place you’re traveling to?
6: Do you collect anything from your travels?
7: Is there anything you avoid doing when you travel?
8: What’s the funniest mode of transport you’ve used?
9: Which destination has surprised you the most, and in what way?
10: What is the most unusual food you’ve ever eaten on your travels?
11: Finally – which ‘under the radar’ place would you recommend everyone to visit?
Looking forward to reading all the responses!
As always, happy travels 🙂