our homes away from home: the europe edition

and as a follow-up to the asia accomodation recap, here is our recap from our european airbnb and hotels:

barcelona:

ghetto. as. fxck.
ghetto. as. fxck.

cost/night/person (in cad): $45
the thing that rocked: nothing.  we couldn’t wait to get out of there.
the thing that sucked: i’m not sure what sucked more, the dripping water pressure with a hot water heater the size of a lunch box or our icebox of a laneway unit.  wifi was also nearly nonexistent.

madrid:

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super homey, cozy and all other adjectives you’d find on pinterest & etsy
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the second retarded shower from europe in as many stops.

cost/night/person (in cad): $38
the thing that rocked: blazing fast wifi, nicely decorated studio and just an overall comfortable unit that we were happy to cook and chill in.
the thing that sucked: the washing machine from hell.  a six hour cycle ended up doing nothing except drenching our clothes in boiling hot water which we had to deal with at 3am.  leaking shower because the shower well had a 1 inch brim to keep the water in.  we were also provided one roll of toilet paper.  one.  uno.

granada:

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this living room was huge which came in handy as we were drying all of our clothes during the rainstorms
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our ultra cozy bedroom aka hibernation cave

cost/night/person (in cad): $58
the thing that rocked: having some space to sprawl out with separate rooms and having multiple space heaters to keep us dry after the torrential downpours we kept getting caught in.  also a cute little courtyard with french doors that made the place really comfortable as the sun was shining in during the afternoons.
the thing that sucked: a little aged but still very comfortable.  no real complaints about this airbnb.

sevilla:

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our first airbnb that doubled as a showroom
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beautiful bedrooms as well. twin beds, as per usual.

cost/night/person (in cad): $42
the thing that rocked: very modern decor and cloud-like beds.  felt like we were living at frank & karan’s place!
the thing that sucked: retarded shower design with a glass wall that extends half the length of the shower stream resulting in plentiful amounts of water outside of the tub therb  where the hell do they get these interior designers from anyways?

albufeira:

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i’m going to give our host the benefit of the doubt and assume he was colour blind
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they were nice enough to label things in the kitchen in case we forgot what trays looked like. also, i could have packed that oven into my carry on

cost/night/person (in cad): $20
the thing that rocked: our host’s dad who was late meeting us because he was out with his friends having a few drinks in the middle of the day.
the thing that sucked: drunk brits outside our place at all hours of the night.  any place in albufeira would’ve had the same issue.

porto:

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to cost of having an awesomely comfortable shower

cost/night/person (in cad): $38
the thing that rocked: blackout window shutters, insane wifi speeds to finally backup our japan videos and for haha, an army of cats directly outside of our place
the thing that sucked: pretty cold even with the space heaters.  a weird cold front swooped into the city this week and it was hot in the day and freezing at night.

lisbon:

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the math of traveling holds true: the nicer the kitchen the worse the shower

cost/night/person (in cad): $50
the thing that rocked: amazing kitchen that prompted haha to cook up a storm of asian dishes (red cooked pork belly)
the thing that sucked: the shower was draining at the speed of a hungover slug.  we regularly had to turn off the water for minutes at a time multiple times during each shower so that it wouldn’t spill out onto the floor.

copenhagen:

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the award for the best stocked and decorated unit of the year goes to….
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gangster lamp. and yes that is a tintin & captain haddock silhouette behind a busty naked girl.

cost/night/person (in cad): $63
the thing that rocked: gorgeously decorated place and it was well stocked, furnished and very inviting for a long term stay.  we had a sunny patio to eat on and the neighbours were playing their 80s tunes loud enough for mood music.
the thing that sucked: a little out of the city center though that wasn’t really a negative.  even being in a suburb and half the price of a hotel rental to accomodate us and my parents, this place was still over our budget.  to the budget travellers: copenhagen ain’t cost effective.

santorini:

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a 10 minute walk to get into town was just perfect for this place. quiet and we had everything we needed. eva’s house was awesome
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so that shower design… fortunately there was a drain in the middle of the bathroom floor so once the floor got wet it all kind of worked out

cost/night/person (in cad): $48
the thing that rocked: a newly opened six unit hotel out of a building the size of a house, our host, eva, was super accomodating and one of the friendliest hosts we’ve ever met.  a patio to start the morning off in the sun, a reading nook and a comfortable bed to boot within our budget; a bit of a surprise since santorini prices can get up there in a hurry during summertime.
the thing that sucked: a shower that had no shower curtain and a tap three feet from the floor.  you can imagine how that turned out.

athens:

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i have no idea why i’m smiling at 2am in an airport. i’m going to claim insanity.

cost/night/person (in cad): $0
the thing that rocked: we saved a night’s worth of accomodations
the thing that sucked: it was an airport ffs.

sarande:

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more beds than we knew what to do with
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the second best view behind the bohol bee farm

cost/night/person (in cad): $28
the thing that rocked: private beach and a patio overlooking it.
the thing that sucked: funky smelling bathroom when we arrived that seemed to go away over time, probably because we were the first visitors to arrive this season.  bathtowels the thickness of a handkerchief.

tirana:

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all of us were shocked at what our $ got us here. freddy’s hotel in tirana was a smoking hot deal
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the bathroom in tirana surpassed every other one we used in europe. please explain to me how that’s possible.

cost/night/person (in cad): $30
the thing that rocked: lovely interior, a shower that didn’t leak for a change and comfortable bedding.  completely exceeded our expectations of tirana.
the thing that sucked: nothing really.  we were all really surprised at how nice, new and cheap this place was.

kotor:

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if i didn’t know any better i’d think i woke up in a chinese furniture store

cost/night/person (in cad): $35
the thing that rocked: absolutely massive, well furnished, comfortable beds, lots of aircon and a full kitchen in addition to being upstairs from the best butcher in town.
the thing that sucked: randomly leaking shower.  wet patches would turn up away from the shower and it was different each time.

dubrovnik:

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welcome to our flowery dungeon
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the most ghetto looking shower of the trip that worked perfectly

cost/night/person (in cad): $36
the thing that rocked: for as ghetto of a feeling place as it was, the shower didn’t leak and the washing machine worked perfectly.  it’s the little victories in life that keep us happy.
the thing that sucked: this place felt like a dungeon thanks to the lack of natural light thanks to being a basement suite.

split:

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i used to give haha a hard time for her 10 inch tv. i hadn’t realized she mailed it to split.

cost/night/person (in cad): $34
the thing that rocked: good location, outside of old town, quiet but close enough to restaurants and bars.
the thing that sucked: tiny, unusable kitchen.  ghetto tv that was playing alf.  i’m not sure where to categorize that.

lake plitvice:

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any bed that i’ve gotten out of at 530am isn’t going to have fond memories associated with it

cost/night/person (in cad): $44
the thing that rocked: our unit served it’s purpose for our 12 hour stay.  and our host’s sister kindly hooked us up with homemade raki, a high proof, traditional croatian liquor.  oh wait, that was a bad thing.
the thing that sucked: bad wifi

porec:

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my mouth dropped when we opened this door for the first time. it’s as if barbie exploded.

cost/night/person (in cad): $45
the thing that rocked: our host zjarko.  when i grow up i want to have as few cares in the world as him.
the thing that sucked: mosquitoes, not a great kitchen to work with as i had food poisoning and stayed in for two days.

zagreb:

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this bedroom was bigger than our vancouver apartment. i wish i was kidding :(
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everything was great except for that toilet flusher. we’ve had some unique stays in croatia that’s for sure

cost/night/person (in cad): $27
the thing that rocked: huge and well decorated
the thing that sucked: the toilet flush switch was a turning valve and it was situated behind your neck.  nearly incompatible with courtesy flushing.

prague:

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the only picture we have from prague. seriously, fxck this guy. i hope he gets anally raped by an aids infested raccoon

cost/night/person (in cad): $24
the thing that rocked: next question please.
the thing that sucked: our dipshit of an airbnb host, velvety pillow cases and bedsheets that smelled like body odour, broken towel dryer, broken washing machine, leaking shower, dirty bathroom, piss poor lighting, unstable internet and neighbours that play their music so loud that you can’t hear the other neighbours having sex.  want more?

berlin:

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hotel stays were few and far between this trip and the sana hotel didn’t disappoint in the least

cost/night/person (in cad): $61
the thing that rocked: immaculately clean hotel and a giant tub for… bubble baths!
the thing that sucked: a little over our accomodations budget at $120/night but with the lack of airbnbs in berlin, we didn’t have many options, nor did we mind after the nightmare of an airbnb in prague.

warsaw:

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the perks of being the first rental for a newly listed airbnb unit. brand new errythang
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with a hanging closet my height

cost/night/person (in cad): $42
the thing that rocked: felt like home and we stretched our legs out here like it was.  extended our stay to 8 nights total and really embraced travelling slow.
the thing that sucked: while the bed was great, the pillows were twice the size and half as stuffed which were interesting to fumble with.  being the only livable unit in a big complex meant it was quiet but also got us woken up by contruction on a few of the mornings.  grinding saws and jackhammering first thing in the day isn’t the best way to spend a vacay.

riga:

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loved this placed. that coffee machine alone is worth more than all the furniture we own

cost/night/person (in cad): $45
the thing that rocked: very modern throughout the whole unit.  the most comfortable bed of the trip behind the heavenly beds of the westin.  a glass door enclosed bedroom with motorized, blackout curtains.  a long breakfast bar/island opposite of the kitchen counter which was very useful since we ate half our meals at home.  two wireless streaming capable tvs for us to pass the time.  a rainfall shower with a heated floor and finally another washing machine that worked perfectly.   even the kitchen appliances were great; thick, durable pots and pans and one seriously bitching coffee maker that grinds, brews a multitude of coffees and automatically cleans itself.  i have a feeling that this is going to be on someone’s xmas list.
the thing that sucked: the 120 year old staircase.  being a heritage building and only half vacant, the money to update the common areas aren’t there (although our host only quoted that at 2000 euro per unit in a 10 unit building).  also, five flights of stairs everyday means that any trip equals 160 stairs being added to our daily regimen.  that’s not a typo.  buns of steel baby.

brussels:

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the only bathroom we’ve used where we were giving free peepshows to people outside while fixing the permanently broken shower curtain

the thing that rocked: a heritage building, a usable kitchen but a considerable downgrade from our previous stays
the thing that sucked: it felt old.  creaky floorboards that moved up and down and threatened to pinch your feet if you stepped the wrong way.  the bedroom/alley was just wide enough to accomodate the bed and one leg so you’d either have to crawl along the bed or shimmy sideways.  the bathroom was outside of our unit in between the first and second floors.  the window next to the shower offered full on views from the outside and the shower curtain rod fell everytime we showered.  oh and it took three days before we figured out if this was a communal bathroom or private.  haha was not impressed when our host asked us ‘oh, so you will visit again?’ as we were checking out.

bruges:

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the most frustrating shower episodes of the whole trip

the thing that rocked: surprisingly comfortable bed and a really good sleep every night.  dead center of town but bruges is as quiet as a town can get.
the thing that sucked: a completely retarded shower design, likely designed by bathers with no legs ie: mermaids.  no shower curtain, soap requires two hands, shower pressure changes every five seconds along with the temperature from freezing to scalding (really fun when you’re using your hands to soap up during this period).  oh and the ‘fresh’ scent of the bathroom.  the scent of nouveau toiletpucks fills your nostrils as you walk into the room.  peak season rate: 72 euro.  off season rate: 68 euro.  translation: tourists love to burn money in bruges.

lille:

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welcome to lille’s cafe racer haq
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space age stovetop with a 2 foot tall glass toothpick of a pepper mill which i knocked over onto the stovetop and subsequently chipped it. ugh…

the thing that rocked: nicely decorated place, stocked kitchen as the host actually lives here which we’ve made full usage of, memory foam mattress & pillows, great natural light and airflow, across from an awesome bakery
the thing that sucked: 160 stairs everyday.

rotterdam:

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tons of space and windows
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winner of most memorable toilet

cost/night/person (in cad): $57
the thing that rocked: huge space with a good sized kitchen, could really sprawl out in the living area.  a surprisngly comfortable bed for a mushy ikea mattress.  so many windows that the place felt like a giant patio.
the thing that sucked: the most unusual toilet we’ve had the pleasure of using.  located above a car mechanic shop where power tools are your wakeup call from 9am onwards.  the washing machine (surprise) didn’t work at all; the drum made noise but never spun so we were left with half our clothes completely soaked and were doing laundry at 1am again.

amsterdam:

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best for last

cost/night/person (in cad): $75
the thing that rocked: beautiful dutch modern interiors, impeccable service staff and the best (included) hotel breakfast i can remember for the life of me.  a shower that only partially leaks.  blackout curtains.
the thing that sucked: over budget but no regrets.

so that’s nearly all the places we’ve stayed at over our travels in asia and europe.  our budget was roughly $50 cad per person per night and i was surprised at how much under budget we were at most places.  having said that, we found some oddities at almost every place we stayed at and they made for some umm… interesting experiences.  had we not gone the airbnb route i think our accomodation portion may have run us close to double of what we ended up spending which also would have translated to higher food costs with not having kitchens.  life on the road has been a constant adjustment but that challenge has been enjoyable.  looking forward to see how some of our future places turn out!

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