One of the best decisions of our trip was to purchase an Apple's iPod Touch to bring along. This little and mobile device has allowed us to stay in touch with our friends and family via email or Skype, find out information about our next destination or entertain us on those long flight or train rides.
We decided to put together a list of some of our favourite iPod Touch (or iPhone) Travel Apps to share with the travel community.
- Transit Maps: this app is a navigator that lets you download, save and view large-size maps in PDF and image formats. It is great for all those subway and city maps that you can carry on the palm of your hand.
- Currency: this app provides up-to-date exchange rate information for over 90 currencies and 100 countries. You will need internet connection to update the currency but once downloaded the latest currencies you are good to go.
- Nimbuzz: this app is an alternative to Skype (Skype app is not available from the Canadian iTunes App Store). Nimbuzz allows you to connect to some of the most popular instant messaging applications like Skype, MSN, Google Talk, Facebook and more. This app is great to keep connected to family and friends.
- World Nomads Language Guide (Italian, French, Japanese, Spanish, German, Greek, Mandarin, Portuguese, Arabic, Russian, Thai, Vietnamese, Hindi, Swedish, Dutch, Turkish, Malay, Nepali, Australian, Indonesian, Lao and Cambodia): these apps teach you the basic phrases that you should know when traveling to any country.
- WordPress: if you are a travel blogger like us, you will love this app. WordPress allows you to create and edit content on your WordPress blog(s) with support of offline use. That means that you can write your blog during your train ride and uploaded to your blog as soon as you find Wi-Fi connection.
- WifiTrak: this app is one of our favourites and the only one we have ever paid for. WifiTrak helps you find FREE and open Wi-Fi hotspots. It has lots of great configurations that allows to you automatically connect when it finds on open hotspot. It is much better than the built-in Apple Wi-Fi core program.
- Flashlight: this might look like a pointless app but it has come very handy when you arrive late at a hostel and can't find your flashlight. This app will fill with bright white light to illuminate your way around.
If you would like to share some of your favourite iPod/iPhone Travel apps, please add them to the comment section.
Crisis! Our iPod touch crashed! It just doesn't work. We lost all our music, our documents...everything. This is no laughing matter. The iPod is our life line...we use it for everything! We use it to steal WiFi, Skyping to talk with our families and entertainment for those long journeys. Somehow I feel lost without it. Sniffle, sniffle...
Okay, enough whining and back to our travels. Next destination: Dubrovnik. Guys, there is a reason this town is so popular, it is simply beautiful here! The downside side is that there are way too many tourists and it is quite expensive.
The second we got off the bus, we were flocked by people trying to rent their apartments out. It was like a pack of wolves fighting over fresh meat. They yell and push so we decided to go with the nicest lady who approached us quietly (she also offered a great price).
We spent our days walking around the old town. We particularly liked the city wall tour. There was also an interesting memorial for the Defenders of Dubrovnik in the Homeland war of 1991. It is very hard to imagine that Dubrovnik was at war that recently. The town was bombed extensively, but walking around, you would never know it.
We then began our long journey back from Dubrovnik to Budapest. This included an eleven hour night bus to Zagreb which brought us in at 5am. The six hour train ride to Budapest didn't leave until 10am so we spent five hours sitting on park benches. Fun times...
We are now back in Budapest, taking it slowly. Our couchsufer, Dinah has an amazing apartment in the center of town. It is walking distance to everything! We are trying to see and do the things we missed out on the first time here.
Budapest was our next planned stop. I would put this city up there with Prague for most beautiful cities.
Budapest has a lot of charm with all the palaces, churches, statues and the great views of the Danube river.
Our stay in Budapest consisted in visiting the Dohany synagogue. This place is the biggest synagogue in Europe and the second in the world. It actually looks like a church. The guide told us that the architects were not Jewish so thet based the design on a church. They even play an organ on Shabbat but a non-Jew plays it (the Shabbath goy).
We also visited the Cathedral of St. Stephen. We were lucky to step into the cathedral on the day they were practicing the organ for an upcoming concert. The organ player was incredible and the accoustics in the place was great. The sounds of the organ was hair-raising!
We were lucky to be offered a new GPS audio guide system for free. Well, it was not entirely free. They were testing it and wanted some feedback. They gave it to us for 24hrs and if we came back with a smile on our faces then they would charge us 10 euros. Everything was good except that the told us that the device's batteries will last for about 8 hrs but it only lasted for about 3hrs. So at the end we got it for free. At least it gave us some important information about the castle and some other general information.
We followed Rebecca's advice and went to the Budavari Laborintus. This is a labyrinth under the castle. This was quite cheesy and not worth the money we paid. Oh well. There is one part of the labyrinth called the Chamber of Courage. The room was pitch black and you had to follow a rope attached to the wall. We wanted to go in but were too scared. In the end, we cheated and used our iPod touch as a flashlight...
We were given the advice to visit the town of Pecs in the south of Hungary. We were lucky to find Jim Bean, our couchsurfer friend, to host us. He lives with 3 other German medical students. They were all very friendly and welcoming.
Pecs is a small but quite nice town. We did a bit of walking but we mainly hung out at the house. The house had a very big cheery tree so Rebecca made 2 cherry pies for the big and hungry boys. They were all in their exam period so they were a bit stressed out. Hopefully the sugar helped!
We did a day trip to the village of Villany. There we found lots of different wineries. So after doing a little bit of tasting we went back to Pecs and crashed.
We are now on the train to Zagreb, Croatia.
Tomorrow, will be 5 months on the road. Seven to more to go!
I'm typing this from my iPod. Just testing it out. Just wish the keyboard was a little bit bigger.
Will need to get used to it.