Via Giolitti, 208, Rome, Lazio, Italy
Sunshine hostel is in Via Giolitti, 208, Rome. This street actually right outside the termini train station. Should have been really convenient….. But….. i spent more than 45 min walking back and forth in Via Giolitti street, ’till finally someone showed me where it was! This hostel situated in a big flat, in the same side of the train station. All you need to do was walk and walk and walk straight, till you found the number. Don’t get fooled by the number on the other side of the road, cos they’re all odd numbers. And YES, number 207 was already far behind. The fact is, 207 and 208 was not facing each other, so no worries just walk straight, 208 would come somehow…..
Sunshine hostel was good enough for me. Clean, no funny smells, decent room, and decent bathroom. Too bad, no kitchen, not even a jar to boil water. Free wi-fi on the corridor, while the bedroom was wi-fi free…. Well, poor signal in the bedroom, hee hee hee. Coffee and pastry served in the morning, 8.30 am, at the cute terrace.
Something i learn about hostel in Europe is, the staff are not always available! The check in time usually started after lunch till evening. It was really important to inform what time we would arrive at the hostel via e mail. And please….. better not late, otherwise, there would be no one open the door for you!!In one evening, after wandering the Rome city, i went back to the hostel….. and it was no one there! None of the guest “back home”, and the staff was not there. I was…. “home alone”, in a hostel!
Address: Via Ricasoli, 31 N, 50122 Florence, Italy
This hostel situated in an old building, right in the heart of the Florence old town. Really touristic! Only some steps away from Duomo. David inn is in the 4th floor, the good thing is, they have lift! Well, of course it is tiny-old-classic-semimanual lift. Really interesting! Free wi-fi, of course. I think, nowadays, people would appreciate wi-fi more than breakfast. They also have cute kitchen and vending machine. The shower and toiled are classic (I might call it old in positive way), just like the rest of the building.
Unlike Sunshine hostel, David inn have their staff ready 24 hours. They didn’t provide keys for the guest, but they willing to wait, and open the door for the guest, 24 hour!!
Train Station Hostel
Piazzale Mezzacapo, 10, Venice Mestre, Veneto, Italy
I decided to stay in Venetian lagoon, instead of in the islands. Because, 1# I could not find an empty bed in the islands, it was Saturday when i arrived. 2# Staying i the lagoon is cheaper….. heeheehee. And, commuting to the islands is easy and cheap! It could be done by bus or train, both are frequent. It cost around 3 EUR round trip. It was not just the room are cheap, the food also cheaper in lagoon, compare to the islands. I think it was a good decision to stay in Mestre/Marghera.
I was staying in Train station hostel. Just like its name, this hostel situated behind the train station, about 10 min walks from train station. It is in decent housing, calm and i feel save, there. The hostel was good and clean, too bad, only 1 shower for 2 dorm room. When the dorm full, it would definitely become a big problem. The good thing is, the hostel was barely occupied, when i was there. So, no shower-queue-problem at all. But…. i feel kind of lonely there! I was staying in 5 bed female dorm, and no one there but me, for 3 nights!!
I stayed with CS-er in Berlin, Germany. He is a carpenter, almost all the furniture in his flat was made by himself. Well, not so many furniture there, it was small 1 bedroom flat. I was literary doing couch surfing, i mean…. slept on the couch.
The flat is in Kreuzberg district, known as immigrant district. On front of the flat is a temporary Turkish market, really interesting. Kebab and hummus was everywhere around that area. According to the subs rate, Kreuzberg still in the zone 1, means that it is still consider as center area.
Here is my “couch” in Strasbourg, France. Not really a couch, though, i was sleeping on the floor with a decent mattress ! My host stayed with 2 other flat mate there, all guys. Their apartment is quite big, 3 bedroom! They have spacious and sunny kitchen that would looks awesome in the spring and summer, but pain in the gass bill during winter time. The good thing is, they can close the blind, sacrifice the view to save some money for heating the kitchen. I slept in the “living room”, quite cold for me, that’s why my host lend me the winter blanket. He explained that it was actually for winter……
My host stayed in the newly built area, named Neudorf south, about 40 min walking from the old-touristic Strasbourg. It sounds Germany, indeed. Cos Strasbourg was in the border of France and Germany. According to the history, this area have been change “ownership” between Germany and France for a couple of time. That area actually looks like mix between France and Germany, the architecture, the people sure name, the name of the street, etc.
YMCA Basel, Switzerland
Gempenstrasse 64, Basel, switserland
I can not say much thing about both YMCA Basel- Switzerland, or the city itself, it was just 1 night stop on my way to Strasbourg. This YMCA was the most ordered hostel i visited. It looks like been built as a hostel from the very beginning, it doesn’t look like converted building or flat, like the other hostel i knew. The furniture are well designed, all costumized, special for a youth hostel. No un-match furniture, here. Even the electricity outlet also well design for modern gadget! They use the whole building, including the ground floor. Quite a big dormitory, 150 bed! I was staying in 8 bed dorm. They have spacious common room, large couch, and large dinning room. Oh yeah….. they have large-beautiful-fully equipment- kitchen! There are 2 units induction stove!
I think this place would be great for group traveler, they can cook together, hang out in the big common room or outdoor park….. But, for alone (and loner) traveler like me…. it was…..well…. no fun.
The rate was not included breakfast. The breakfast was not good at all, it cost about 6 EUR. Expensive? Yeah…. it is Swiss, anyway, eventhough still in the border. The Basel Train station have 2 faces. The France face, and the Swiss face. YMCA is just a few steps away from the train station, in the Swiss part, of course.
Another couchsurf! Paris, France. Paris is all about old-well preserved building. The whole city looks like museum. A drop of modern looks would make a big controversy for Parisian. Such as…. the glass pyramid in Louvre Museum. Some Parisian consider it as scar in beautiful Paris face….. Beaubourg museum also make the same controversy. The flat is a beautiful sunny, and artistic 1 bedroom. I stayed at the sofa bed in the living room.
So, my host apartment also an old building. They have add the cute lift that would stop in between floors, instead of in every floor. It is efficient, though. They’re in district 12, 5 min walks from the Daumesnail subs station. It is not the famous district 11, but, i think district 12 kind of nice. I guess this area is middle class, bustling with restaurant, cafes, shops, and flats. There are interesting park nearby the apartment. Looking at the good public transportation in Paris, it seems like u can stay wherever in the city, and move easily from point A to B.
I met this Parisian couple in Surabaya, i hosted them right after my first visa application rejected.
I was planning to stop a few hours in Dongen, visiting an old family friend. I mean, old both physical and spiritual, hee hee hee. These nun was friend with our family back in 1960’s. Their congregation have been doing mission in Java and some part of Kalimantan since colonial time. Till one day, they have to cut the connection, cos the congregation in Dutch have no more money, due the declining religious activity in Dutch. So, they make the new independent congregation in Indonesia, totally cut off from their “mother” in Dutch.
All the Dutch nun have to be sent back home, to Netherlands, and barely have no reason to visit Indonesia.
That’s why, i put Dongen in my itinerary. I was supposed to be in Breda at 9 am the morning, picked up by the nun, and continue to amsterdam in the evening. But…… it was serious storm coming, on the area. All train to Amsterdam was stopped till the next morning. So….. there i was…..stuck nicely in the nunnery, in Dongen. Not bad at all, actually.
The nunnery was situated in a calm and green neighborhood, close to the school. The nun are friendly as always, even though we can only communicate with smiles…. still, a sweet experience.
The last couch before flying back to Indonesia was, Spaarndammerbuurt – Amsterdam. About 15 min from the train station, by bus. My host stayed in the housing area, all along the street was red-bricked facade -4 storey houses. The stair was quite narrow, i don’t know how they move the couch and cupboard in? The stair barely have bordes! Later, my host explain me, how. They have big windows and door in balcony, for reason, to move big things in and out. Some building have kind of pulley port, looks like big beam stick out of the building’s forehead.
My host stayed in 1 bedroom flat. Quite cute but comfortable, the kitchen was spacious, and so with the living room. The couch was too short, so, i sleep on the floor. My host kindly lend me her camping mattress.