How to start a blog in just a mere 10 minutes: A simple guide!

How to start a blog in just a mere 10 minutes: A simple guide!
How to start a blog in just a mere 10 minutes: A simple guide!

In just 2 weeks, the ITB will take place in Berlin, and it’s so exciting!

In my mind, the ITB is one of the best places to go to if you’re a travel blogger, and for me that is where all the magic happened and I met a real-life blogger for the very first time!

Mind you, not all of them were nice, and one person in particular was pretty awful, but this is where I found out how useful my blog was, and where I received my first press trip. A mere five (5) months after my blog came into existence!

I’ve been very lucky!

I’ve also been at the right place at the right time. And where’s that maestro?

Me in front of a piece of the Berlin Wall & Street Art!
Me in front of a piece of the Berlin Wall & Street Art!

Why, Berlin of course!

Berlin is hip and trendy!

Mind you, it really helps if you can speak German, so go ahead, and book a class, and tell them that I sent you!

The other day, I went to a bloggers get-together, and I met a fellow who couldn’t understand how a blog could be made. He thought it was really difficult.

It really isn’t!

Me being thoughtful during a Live TV broadcast in Germany, and looking as if I'm about to sing! ©Pascale Scerbo Sarro
Me being thoughtful during a Live TV broadcast in Germany, and looking as if I’m about to sing!
©Pascale Scerbo Sarro

Having said that, if you’re going to survive in this business, it helps if you can write really well, or you have some other skill….

Now, I can’t help you with that, but I can show you how to start a blog for yourself.

Here goes!

HOW TO START A BLOG IN JUST A MERE 10 MINUTES: A SIMPLE GUIDE!

How to start a blog in just a mere 10 minutes: A simple guide!
How to start a blog in just a mere 10 minutes: A simple guide!

For many, when they think of WordPress, they think blog.

WHAT THE HELL IS WORDPRESS?

What the hell is wordpress?
What the hell is wordpress?

WordPress is web publishing software you can use to create your own website, blog, or app. Since it was released in 2003, WordPress has become one of the world’s largest and most popular web publishing platforms. Today it powers more than 70 million websites!

WordPress is much more just a blogging tool. It’s also a highly flexible content management system (CMS) that enables you to build and manage your own full-featured website using just your web browser. Best of all, it’s completely FREE!

And it’s free of charge because WordPress is an Open Source project beause hundreds of volunteers from all around the world constantly create and improve the code for the WordPress software. And, there are thousands of plugins, widgets, and themes that enable you to build just about any type of website you can imagine!

This post will show you how easy it is to get your blog, or website, up and running quickly.

CHOOSE A WEB HOST:

Choose a professional web hosting programme like Bluehost!
Choose a professional web hosting programme like Bluehost!

There are hundreds of thousands of web hosts out there, and choosing one from the crowd can be confusing. Depending on the country that you live in, choose whichever you are comfortable with.

If you don’t need the flexibility of a full web host, you may consider getting a free blog on WordPress.com. which is how I first started. And there’s perfectly nothing wrong with doing that!

However, I also mixed and blended as I went along mapping my free blog with my premium paid host which is why you either see my blog as this or this and if I leave a comment on your website (if you haven’t got one, all the better to be reading this post!), you’ll see my blog as this!

How to start a blog in just a mere 10 minutes: A simple guide!
How to start a blog in just a mere 10 minutes: A simple guide!

Having said that, if you’re looking for a popular well known host, and a host that won’t suddenly go bankrupt, then Bluehost should definitely be at the top of anyone’s list because Bluehost is one of the only hosting services officially recommended by WordPress and has been the top recommended hosting service for their platform for almost 10 years!

There are many reasons why Bluehost is so highly recommended, but here are just a few:

  • Premium customer service, reliability and usability
  • Easy-to-use control panel
  • Custom-built servers to provide the most stable and reliable hosting environment
  • Quickly get started with a one-click WordPress install, provided by MOJO Marketplace
  • Expert, in-house technical support provided 24 hours a day, 7 days a week
  • Unlimited websites, email accounts, and domains – all on one account, at an affordable price
  • No gimmicks, no contracts so that you can enjoy the comfort of a 30-day money back guarantee and the option to cancel at any time.
How to start a blog in just a mere 10 minutes: A simple guide!
How to start a blog in just a mere 10 minutes: A simple guide!

And to sweeten the deal even more, if you sign up through this tutorial, you’ll get a special offer of shared hosting at $3.95/month for 36 months, as well as a free domain name for a year!

To set up your hosting account with Bluehost, follow the steps below.

HOW TO SET UP YOUR HOSTING ACCOUNT:

Set up your hosting account with Bluehost!
Set up your hosting account with Bluehost!

Once you do so, the next page will see select your plan.

  • Click Get started now and choose which hosting package you want for a special introductory offer and a 30-day money-back guarantee!
  • On this page you will see three (3) different plan options: Basic, Plus, and Prime. I recommend the basic option at the beginning, and then as your traffic begins to grow and your blog expands, you could always consider upgrading to Plus or Prime.
  • If you’re still not sure, go for the free hosting package on WordPress.com but if you’re ready to get professional or at least look professional from the start, then go for self-hosting instead. Bluehost has great rates and they’ll also give you your domain name for free if you decide to host with them!
If you're ready to get professional or at least look professional from the start, then go for self-hosting instead!
If you’re ready to get professional or at least look professional from the start, then go for self-hosting instead!
  • The next page will direct you to the Sign Up Now page.
Choose a new domain name for your website or transfer or map, the one you already have!
Choose a new domain name for your website or transfer or map, the one you already have!
  • If you already own a domain name, you can enter it here, and you will just have to go through a few extra steps to make sure you get your DNS pointed to Bluehost.
  • If you don’t already have a domain name, you can purchase one from right in the sign up process, and the best part is, it comes free with your new WordPress hosting account purchase.

So for this you need to choose a domain name for your site:

Choose a really good domain name!
Choose a really good domain name!

Choosing a blog name is extremely difficult! You need a name that’s going to stick, something that’s catchy and memorable, but also something that you can grow with and that won’t make you look like a Silly Billy five (5) years down the line!

Really think about it!

If you make your domain name destination specific, what happens when you move? If you make your domain name age specific, what happens when you grow up? If you make your domain name budget specific, what happens when you start to become successful and can afford much more than a budget of $10.00 a day?

Me - The British Berliner - Live a life of both style & travel.
Me – The British Berliner – Live a life of both style & travel.

There is a reason that my blog is called The British Berliner.

Before this here blog ever existed, I lived in Berlin, and have always called myself The British Berliner. It used to be a running joke but when you think about it, it fits the label and is what it says on the tin!

I have lived in Berlin for over 15 years. I’m married, have a husband, and a teen. I’m pretty settled, and not likely to move anywhere else.

At least I don’t think so lol!

Book your hotel here!

The outcome of Brexit was crazy! @Visit England - Rich J Jones
The outcome of Brexit was crazy!
@Visit England – Rich J Jones

I’m also British. And regardless of that awful situation of Brexit, I love my country, and that won’t ever go away.

I’m both British and German.

I am The British Berliner!

So think carefully about your domain name.

Your Account Information for putting in personal details
Your Account Information for putting in personal details
  • Once you’ve entered a domain name, the next page will lead you to creating your account. This is where you should fill in your personal information.

This page will have a section where there’s:

Your Package Information & Payment Information section.
Your Package Information &
Payment Information section.
  • Account Information for putting in your personal details
  • Package Information for choosing which package you want to purchase
  • Payment Information for making payment via credit card or paypal
How to start a blog in just a mere 10 minutes: A simple guide!
How to start a blog in just a mere 10 minutes: A simple guide!

By the way, basic shared hosting is priced at 12, 24 and 36 month terms thus:

  • A Basic 12 month package is $5.45 per month
  • A Basic 24 month package is $4.95 per month
  • A Basic 36 month package is $3.95 per month

To help save you money obviously, the longer the term you purchase, the lower the monthly rate will be. By choosing a 36-month hosting term, you can get the great introductory rate of $3.95 per month. And, because you’ve chosen to host with Bluehost, if you ever need more than a shared hosting account, Bluehost provides seamless upgrades to VPS or dedicated server hosting accounts from inside your control panel!

How to start a blog in just a mere 10 minutes: A simple guide!
How to start a blog in just a mere 10 minutes: A simple guide!
  • After you’ve filled in your information and chosen your hosting package, click the Submit button to complete your purchase.
  • You’ll then be asked to create a password for your account. You can use the Password Generator to create a strong and secure password, or create one yourself.

It is required to have both capital and lowercase letters, a number, and a special character (?!#, etc.) in order to have a strong enough password to protect your account.

Now that you are all signed up and are able to log into your account, you can get started installing WordPress!

HOW TO INSTALL WORDPRESS:

How to install WordPress!
How to install WordPress!

This may seem like the most complicated step, but Bluehost has worked hard to make this one of the easiest things for you to do by using the new MOJO Marketplace for installing WordPress and other applications.

  • In your cPanel, scroll to the section titled MOJO Marketplace and choose the One-Click Installs button.
Installing WordPress via Bluehost
Installing WordPress via Bluehost
  • This will take you to a page inside MOJO Marketplace called Scripts and Platforms. The blog section is at the very top, so all you have to do here is click on the WordPress icon.
  • This will open the installation window.
Click on the green “Start” button that will start the WordPress installation process
Click on the green “Start” button that will start the WordPress installation process
  • Click on the green Start button that will start the WordPress installation process. The next part is easy and only a few steps.
Select which domain you would like to install to
Select which domain you would like to install to
  • Step 1: Choose where you want to install WordPress. This can be any domain on your account, a subdomain, or a folder for one of your domains.
  • Next, click on Check Domain, which will make sure the domain is assigned and pointing to your account. You may get a warning that you are overwriting files, but as long as you don’t have another website built yet, you can check the box and continue. This is mostly to make sure that you really want to install in that location. If you do have other sites built, you will want to make sure you’re not overwriting something important.
  • Step 2: Show Advanced Options. This section allows you to set up your own username and password for your WordPress install. It’s recommended to use a different username than admin and a very strong password.
  • Make sure that the Automatically create a new database for this installation box is checked, unless you have a database already set up that you want to use.
Once you're done, click “Install Now!”
Once you’re done, click “Install Now!”
  • Step 3: After you’ve read the terms and conditions, check the box indicating that you’ve done so, then click Install Now.
Once WordPress is fully installed, it will provide you with your site URL, the admin login URL, your username, and password. Make sure to keep it in a safe place.
Once WordPress is fully installed, it will provide you with your site URL, the admin login URL, your username, and password.
Make sure to keep it in a safe place.
  • Now you’ll see the progress page, which will show you how far along the installation is.
  • Once WordPress is fully installed, it will provide you with your site URL, the admin login URL, your username, and password.
  • You will get a copy of this information, except your password, in your email as well.
  • Make sure to keep it in a safe place.
Type in your username and password and you’re in. Hurrah!
Type in your username and password and you’re in. Hurrah!

 

  • Now you can log into your WordPress site by going to the admin login URL.
  • Enter your username and password, then click Log In and you’re in!

Congratulations! You’ve just created your first website or blog!

Congratulations! You've just created your first website or blog!
Congratulations! You’ve just created your first website or blog!
  • Once you’ve logged in, you’ll be taken to your WordPress dashboard. From here, you can control everything to do with your WordPress site, such as creating pages, writing posts, and changing the appearance.
  • Then all you have to do next is to write something or add a picture, and when you’re ready, hit publish!

Keep it sweet and simple and you’ll be fine!

Welcome to your first post!
Welcome to your first post!

Wow!

Welcome to your first post and the virtual bloggers club, otherwise known as twitter!

Remember, if you sign up through this tutorial, you’ll receive a special offer of shared hosting at $3.95/month for 36 months, as well as a free domain name for a year!

I’m not an expert in the technical field, but if I can setup a WordPress blog all by myself, so can you!

If you have any additional questions, comments or simply need more help, just ask, and I’ll do my best to help!

*The promotional price is for the first term only and renews at the regular rate.

HOW TO START A BLOG IN JUST A MERE 10 MINUTES: A SIMPLE GUIDE!

How to start a blog in just a mere 10 minutes: A simple guide!
How to start a blog in just a mere 10 minutes: A simple guide!

This article is not sponsored and all opinions and brilliant thoughts, are my very own!

It’s almost March!

On 07.03.17, I’ll be at the Travel Massive ITB 2017 Opening Party!

On 08.03.17, I’ll be at the iambassador – Traveldudes – ITB Travel Tweet-Up event.

On 08.03.17 – 12.03.17, the world’s largest tourism trade fair – the ITB will be in action, and everyone who is anyone in the travel industry, will be here!

On 15.03.17, I’ll be at the Spring Reception for the British Community at the British Embassy in Berlin.

From 07.03.17 – 09.03.17, our friends – the British musical and comedy duo – Carrington Brown – will be performing Germany’s premiere of Carrington-Brown feat. The Swonderful Orchestra: Comedy meets Classics at Tipi!

And in March and April, I’ll be on the road again to Austria & Croatia!

If you’re not in Berlin in March, you’re positively dull!

Watch this space!

Please note that there is now a bluehost affiliate link (for the very first time) connected to this post. Please consider using the link, because every time some sort of website hosting is booked via my link I get a little percentage, but at no extra cost to yourself!

A win-win for all!

Thanks a million!

How to start a blog in just a mere 10 minutes: A simple guide!
How to start a blog in just a mere 10 minutes: A simple guide!

Do you have any other questions about how to start a blog? Any comments or suggestions? Let me know below! 

See you in Berlin.

If you have any questions send me a tweet, talk to me on Facebook, find me on Linkedin, make a comment below, look for me on Google+ or send me an Email: victoria@thebritishberliner.com

If you like this post, please Share it! Tweet it! Or like it!

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A simple guide to Estonian food and Russian beer!

Hannah Elina's Short Independent Silent Film - Wer will noch mal, wer hat noch nicht.
Photo@Hannah Elina.

So last week was such an amazing week for me and my blog.

Being a British person living in Berlin is just so wonderful.

I helped a talented girlfriend of mine by participating in her independent movie for her film school. It was low-budget. Make that no budget, but we were just all happy to help out. It’s a silent movie with Charlie Chaplin-like wordings at the bottom of the screen. It’s called – Wer will noch mal, wer hat noch nicht.

I play the role of “sexy lady!”

At the Berlin Music Video Awards with Roc Roc It. © Pascale Scerbo Sarro
At the Berlin Music Video Awards with Roc Roc It.
© Pascale Scerbo Sarro

I attended the Berlin Music Video Awards as a press delegate over the weekend and last week, I met someone from the rbb TV station! They saw my blog and a small film interview that I did with Travel Massive, liked it and wanted to meet me. I’m going to be involved in a short documentary as a British expat blogger about town, and filming starts next week!

I’ll also be participating in a few radio interviews about Queen Elizabeth’s visit to Germany.

Yes, the Queen.

OMG. I’m a little nervous but very, very excited!

It’s all happened so quickly so to calm my beating heart, let’s go back to Estonia.

A Simple Guide to Estonian Food

As you recall, I went to Tallinn and this year, I have been refreshingly delighted by all the food I was lucky enough to taste and indulge in, not only from Estonia, but Latvia, Lithuania, Spain, Holland, Germany, the Czech Republic and Finland!

Bearing that in mind, let me now introduce you to:

 BREAKFAST

An Estonian breakfast of cold cuts, Estonian sausages, pate and vegetables at the Hotel St. Petersbourg!

By god we had some delicious stuff. As you recall, our first trip out to Tallinn was at the Hotel St. Petersbourg and the breakfast we were exposed to there.

For breakfast, we had marvellous cold cuts, paté, a variety of sea-food, vegetables, sauces, pickles and cream. As well as a wide variety of cereal, fruit, bread, cake, pastries, pots of tea, coffee and juices. You could also choose from the à la carte menu where you could order farm eggs in any style, omelette with ham, cheese, with mushrooms or tomatoes, freshly made oatmeal or semolina porridge and pancakes with maple syrup!

Breakfast at the Hotel St. Petersbourg.

I love seafood and there was all manner of fish like herrings and salmon, with fresh horse-radish. Mmmm. Yum, yum.

Bacon, sausages, baked beans and grilled potatoes at My City Hotel.

At the My City Hotel, we also had a buffet which consisted of bacon, sausages, baked beans and grilled potatoes. They also had a wonderful array of Finnish bread and a variety of pickles! Yum!

Cost – €0.00.

BREAD

Estonian bread in Tallinn, Estonia.

An assortment of warm bread filled with prunes, nuts and dollops of fresh butter. I had the plain bread with no nuts LOL!

Cost – €0.00.

A croissant in Tallinn, Estonia.

Just because you’re in Estonia, doesn’t mean that you can’t have a simple croissant and a pot of English tea!

Cost – €0.00.

 RUSTIC ESTONIAN DISHES

Mulgipuder - A traditional Estonian dish made from mashed potato & barley.

Estonia is a little more glam than Latvia, and Lithuania but that doesn’t mean that you can’t get down to earth good old Estonian peasant food because, you can! We went to The Estonian Open Air Museum and found a traditional tavern called the Kolu Inn. The inn is a relocated place built in 1840 with a single stable and which serves national Estonian dishes. “The Tall Young Gentleman” had the Mulgipuder which you can see above. Mulgipuder is a traditional dish made from potatoes and barley mashed together. Inside the mash are bacon bits and onions served with parsley, sour cream and slices of brown Estonian rustic bread.

Cost – €4.50.

Keedumana sprats and sauce at the Estonian Open Air Museum in Tallinn.

I had the meal above. It’s a dish of Keedumana, fish sprats and sauce. Keedumana is a sort of soft broiled egg and it was served with pickles, sprats, red peppers, parsley and a type of prawn and cocktail-seafood sauce accompanied by slices of brown Estonian rustic bread. Quite delicious!

Cost – €3.20.

Wild boar cooked in creamy juniper berry sauce served with oven baked potatoes and honey-dipped vegetables - Kuldse Notsu Korts or The Golden Piglet Inn, Tallinn - Estonia.

The Hotel St. Petersbourg has two (2) restaurants on its premises and the food was so good that we didn’t go anywhere else!

One of their restaurants is called Kuldse Notsu Korts or The Golden Piglet Inn, and it serves typical Estonian food. I had the meal above for lunch and it was wild boar cooked in creamy juniper berry sauce, served with chunky slices of baked potato, and vegetables dipped in honey. I mean, it was so deliciously yum!

Cost – €19.90.

A plate of Estonian sausages at the Kuldse Notsu Korts or The Golden Piglet Inn in Tallinn, Estonia.

Now you can’t go the Baltics without accosting yourself of a plate of sausages of which there is plenty LOL! The dish above is part of the Estonian Sausage Feast for Two (2). You get a tray-load of various Estonian sausages, chunky baked potatoes, vegetables, a variety of sauces and the habitual sour white cabbage, also known as sauerkraut!

The next time you’re in the region, try it for yourself.

Cost – €25.90.

IN TALLINN ONCE AGAIN!

A very warm welcome at My City Hotel in Tallinn.

As part of our Baltic trip, we also went to Finland and so on our return, we spent one (1) more day at the 4-star charming My City Hotel.

My City Hotel (formerly the Domina Inn City Hotel) is a charming little hotel with 68 rooms situated in the heart of Tallinn’s Old Town, and decorated with Italian modern art. We stayed in one of the Superior Twin Rooms.

They’re undergoing renovations at the moment, but once they’re  done, you’ll be well set up.

Our Superior Twin room at My City Hotel in Talinn.

My City Hotel is a nice hotel filled with glossy wood, a huge wardrobe, a tea and coffee set, a marble-like bathroom with a cute rubber-ducky! For a comfortable break, they are well situated as they are in a historical central location, is spacious, has free WiFi, a full buffet breakfast, and fluffy slippers! Most importantly, they had a basket of fruit waiting for us which I felt was a nice touch, and complimentary sauna.

We weren’t able to use the sauna this time around as we ran out of time, but I’m slowly getting used to them.

Oh, but again, you know how I feel about European saunas.

Double gulp!

And screaming down the street!

FANCY FOOD

Salted and marinated herring on creamy cheese at the Hermitage Restaurant.

The on-site restaurant at My City Hotel couldn’t be surpassed. The hotel might not have been to the high luxury standards of Hotel St. Petersbourg, but their dinner set was exquisite and one of the best meals we had, on our Baltic Region trip!

The restaurant is called MIX and the restaurant’s chef  – Vladimir Iljin – really did a fantastic job. The restaurant is so highly valued that it was packed with not only hotel guests, but external guests too. In fact, I had wavered into eating elsewhere but I’m so glad that I was swayed to try the hotel restaurant instead.

It was a really good choice and reservations are highly recommended LOL!

Homemade duck liver paté with dried plums at My City Hotel in Tallinn.

An Estonian starter of homemade duck liver paté on Estonian crisp bread on lettuce, covered with a secret ingredient (does anyone know what that is) and served with orange sliced dried plums!

Cost – à la carte €5.00.

Carpaccio of beef with rocket salad, parmesan cheese and balsamico at My City Hotel, Tallinn.

Yes, this starter isn’t traditionally Estonian, but MIX at My City Hotel combine their menus with a blend of Italian, French and Estonian cuisine. The hotel also had a special three-coursed (3) special offer of just €19.00 per person and being that Estonia isn’t one of your cheap locations, I thought it was reasonably priced!

The dish above was carpaccio of beef with rocket salad, sun-dried tomatoes, parmesan cheese, and pine nuts sprinkled with balsamic vinegar. Mine came without the nuts!

Cost – à la carte €8.00.

Blanched salmon stuffed with mussel and tender lemon flavored risotto at My City Hotel in Tallinn.

Seafood is just my fave type of food.

I had the blanched salmon stuffed with marscapone cheese and mussels, served with lemon-flavoured risotto and a side salad, and sprinkled with Béarnaise sauce and caviar. Oh yeah!

Cost – à la carte €15.00.

Saaremaa style baked wildboar with juniper berry sauce at My City Hotel in Tallinn.

“The Tall Young Gentleman” had the Saaremaa style baked wild boar fillet with sumiso sauce, horse radish-mashed potatoes, sauerkraut, grilled vegetables, a side salad, Estonian mustard and juniper berry sauce.

Cost – à la carte €14.00.

Grilled vegetables at My City Hotel in Tallinn.

Horse radish-mashed potatoes, sauerkraut, and grilled vegetables. Delicious!

DESSERT

A  selection of ice cream and sorbet at my City Hotel in Tallinn.

Just look at that presentation and the lovely strawberry sorbet with crumbled short-bread pastry and vanilla ice-cream!

Cost – à la carte €4.50.

Lemon tart at my City Hotel in Tallinn, Estonia.

Oooooo! Tangy lemon tart topped with burnt custard served with exotic fruit, and rolls of ice-cream!

Cost – à la carte €4.50.

Make your own individual choices or go for the chef’s 3-course menu for hotel guests only.

Cost – €19.00.

DRINKS

Saku - an Estonian beer.

We received a complimentary bottle of water and a Tallinn rum-flavoured wafer candy at Hotel St. Petersbourg, practically every day.

Saku Hele is Estonian beer brewed using clean spring water, malt, hops and Saku’s own yeast and is a light quality beer with a strong taste of hops and a pleasant aroma. A glass of Saku wasn’t too bad for the end of an evening in Tallinn!

Cost – €1.70.

Russian beer!

Estonian food & drink was pretty impressive.

Russian beer.

Cost – €1.80.

Enough said!

For more information about rustic Estonian fare, please contact the Kolu Inn at The Estonian Open Air Museum.

For more information about typical Estonian food, please contact Kuldse Notsu Korts or The Golden Piglet Inn.

For more information about quality Estonian food at MIX , please contact My City Hotel.

This article isn’t sponsored and even though I received a complimentary lunch, all opinions and the delicious meals that I happily tasted and consumed, are my very own!

I have so much to share with you.

Stay tuned!

Next week, I’ll be writing about the Helsinki in Finland and the cruise we took with TALLINK SLJA LINE.

Expat Expo: A Showcase of Wahlberliner: a curated selection of performances by multiple artists, will be taking place at The English Theatre in Berlin from 01.06.15 – 07.06.15.

The Berlin Fashion Film Festival will be taking place on 05.06.15.

The 23rd Lesbian and Gay City Festival is taking place between 20.06.15 – 21.06.15.

The Queen will be visiting Berlin from 23.06.15 – 26.05.15.

Fête de la Musique an open-air street music performance day, will take place all around Berlin, on 21.06.14.

Berlin’s Mardi Gras (the 36th) – CSD – Christopher Street Day Gay Pride festivity, will be on 27.06.15.

I’ll be there. Will you?

As usual, you can also follow me via daily tweets and pictures on Twitter & FB!

If you’re not in Berlin, you haven’t a clue!

June is going to be astounding!

Watch this space!

Anu Vahtra - Tallinn City Tourist Office & Convention Bureau.
Anu Vahtra – Tallinn City Tourist Office & Convention Bureau.

Have you ever had Estonian food? Do you think you could handle Mulgipuder or would you go all out and scoff down the Keedumana, fish sprats and all!?

See you in Berlin.

If you like this post or if you have any questions send me a tweet, talk to me on Facebook, find me on Linkedin, make a comment below, look for me on Google+ or send me an Email: victoria@thebritishberliner.com

Please Share it! Tweet it! Or like it!

The beginner’s guide to going up a volcano: because going up a volcano isn’t for everyone!

The beginner’s guide to going up a volcano: because going up a volcano isn’t for everyone!

Last week, I told you that part of our summer in Asia was of going to Indonesia. Indonesia is one of my favourite countries and going to Bali brought back memories of my travels all the way back in ’99!

Last week, I told you how I went on a cycling tour and fell in a ditch, but that isn’t all I did. Oh dear me no! I also decided to try my hand on going up a live volcano.

Craaaaazy!

I had heard about how easy it was to climb them from a young American blogger called Ashley. Her blog is called Ashley Abroad and this year she spent considerable time travelling around the world and finding herself. At the beginning of the year, she climbed Mount Batur which is Bali’s most active volcano! She made it sound reasonably easy so I decided to do the same.

Ha! If only I had known….!

Some of the licensed trekking guides on top of Mount Batur, Bali.
Some of the licensed trekking guides on top of Mount Batur, Bali.

I did a little research and found that a local company called Pineh Bali Tours seemed to have the sort of activity that I was looking for and were well organised with various outdoor activities such as white-water rafting, cycling and of course, trekking up the various volcanoes that Bali had to offer. We opted for the Batur Sunrise Trekking Tour.

And Gulp!

They weren’t joking about the sunrise part of it.

The Music Producer had taken a turn for the worse and decided to stay behind in the safe hands of the wonderful Alam Shanti Resort Hotel and the blissful quietness of the two level Utari House in the rice paddy. Not the Utari House in the city centre! The staff were great and I arranged for regular cups of tea and slices of cake to be sent up to our house, while my husband slept away and tried to recover from the illness that he had unfortunately picked up in Thailand.

Book your hotel here!

The mountain is alive! Mount Batur, I'm coming!
The mountain is alive!
Mount Batur, I’m coming!

And so it was left for “The Tall Young Gentleman” and I to undertake an adventure never discovered before, aka – climb a live volcano in Bali!

What was I thinking?!!

As promised, a car came to pick us up at 02:00. I mean, 2 a.m. in the morning! We hardly slept but I made our 12-year-old son go to bed at 21:00 so that he would get some shut-eye.

It was too early to eat so we just had a drink and then crawled into the car which already had a young American couple in it, who were just as bug-eyed as we were.

A banana pancake in Bali. Why do we always have to have this? I hate banana and I don’t like chocolate! Sigh!

Within an hour, we arrived at the Pineh Colada Bali coffee plantation and organic farm. It was freezing cold, but we managed to have our included breakfast of banana pancake sprinkled with chocolate sauce. Sigh! And a variety of tea and coffee. I don’t like coffee either so I stuck to the tea.

The Association of Mount Batur Trekking Guides, waiting for business.
The Association of Mount Batur Trekking Guides, waiting for business.

At about 04.00, we proceeded to the base of the volcano where not far away was a car park and also the licensing office. The volcano is a treasure and is well guarded, it’s also live and therefore dangerous. We don’t have to look far to remember volcanoes that have erupted in recent years such as that in Iceland. As a result of this, one licenced guide is allocated to at least 4 people and 2 guides for 6 people. We were a group of four (4).

We were given a young English-speaking guide who then gave us bottles of water and torches. These torches were very much-needed as it was pitch-black. The volcanic ash was dark and all around were the twinkle of village homes. And so we proceeded upwards and onwards.

Let me tell you. It was awful. Scratch! Scratch! Scratch! Akwaaaard!
Let me tell you. It was awful. Scratch! Scratch! Scratch!
Akwaaaard!

Let me tell you. It was awful.

The path was extremely narrow and it was pitch-black. I couldn’t see a thing. Thank goodness, “The Tall Young Gentleman” had on a red-jacket. On one hand, I kept a constant eye on where he was, and on the other, a hand on the rocks in front of us. The young couple travelling with us were quite irritating as they wanted to run to the top of the volcano as apparently, they were leaving for Spain in less than three (3) hours. Er. What!?

I, on the other hand, was just struggling to breathe up there and I had to rest every few minutes. I wish I could have said every five minutes but it was distinctly less.

I wanted to turn around right there and then but that wasn’t an option as there was a long line of people with torches, also behind me, and in the pitch darkness, it just wasn’t an option. Also, the guide has to stay with the tourists so if we split up, we would have a problem. In the end, our guide attached the couple to a group leader that he knew, so that we could again, go on at our own pace.

Some of the other tourists wrapped up warmly.
Some of the other tourists wrapped up warmly.

It was a long hard slog with enough time for me to think of why I was doing it. Why the hell was I climbing up a live volcano when I even had trouble walking up five flights of stairs?

I’ll tell you why.

Because I’m an idiot.

I like challenges even when I know perfectly well, that it’s a rubbish idea!

Honestly, looking around me, I saw lots of 20-somethings skipping merrily ahead and in flip-flops no less! I saw very few people over 50 and even less under 10. I’m in the middle and I have to confess, I found it a struggle.

“The Tall Young Gentleman” in the midst of Mount Batur – Bali’s most active volcano.

And The Tall Young Gentleman? He had a blast, sang to the sound of music, and skipped along too!

I tried not to cry and then the guide started giving me words of encouragement, “it’s only 20 minutes away” when it was actually 2 hours away! He held my hand, carried my “city” backpack and made me rest when my eyes began to get blood-shot with tears. He began chatting about the village life of local Balinese people and the stories of why they have a temple in the middle of the hike to remember people who had died from volcano eruptions years before. It didn’t make me sad, it just made me more determined.

At about 06:30, we finally made it to the top of the volcano.

The heavens began to open on Mount Batur. In Bali.
The heavens began to open on Mount Batur. In Bali.

There was an eerie silence as the sky was cloudy and then it happened. The clouds parted and the heavens appeared. It was a “wow” moment and complete and utter silence.

We were on top of the world!

Slices of bread and eggs boiled in the steam of a volcano!
Slices of bread and eggs boiled in the steam of a volcano!

We were completely exhausted and an included breakfast was welcome. We were offered eggs boiled in the steam of the volcano, sliced bread and a banana. I opted for a cup of tea and put down my plate for just a second when I saw a sudden movement.

Monkeys!

I hate monkeys.

One of the monkeys on top of Mount Batur in Indonesia!
One of the monkeys on top of Mount Batur in Indonesia!

And I’m scared of them.

As soon as I saw it, I realised that it was not only eyeing my breakfast plate but also my backpack which had a bottle of water sticking out of it, as well as my camera bag. I began to shake as monkeys can be ruthless. I managed to slide the bag away from it but left the breakfast, and all of a sudden there were more.

More monkeys.

OMG!

There was a monkey temple on the peak of the volcano and they knew that once people were around, so was the food. I took a few photos and tried to step away from them.

Monkeys! That was our breakfast by the way!
Monkeys! That was our breakfast by the way!

Slowly.

I have a few photos but they are pretty shaky!

Soon, it was time to go back down and it wasn’t any easier. It was worse!

My knees! My poor knees!

I don't know how they do it! The Balinese locals run up and down Mount Batur. And with no shoes on too! I even saw a local lady. With a baby on her back. Going up! They've all got perfect knees!
I don’t know how they do it! The Balinese locals run up & down Mount Batur. And with no shoes on too! I even saw a local lady. With a baby on her back. Going up! They’ve all got perfect knees!

Thankfully, there was a view so that we were able to actually see the beautiful valley and lakes, and the temples scattered around the volcano. We also walked through a few villages where people were going about their business and selling fruit, snacks, and live chickens to passersby.

A Kopi Luwak or Asian Civet.
A Kopi Luwak or Asian Civet.

After another hour or so climbing down the volcanic mountain, I gave our guide a hefty tip and we were once again driven by private car, back to the Pineh Colada Bali coffee plantation and organic farm, where we could look around the plantation and see that most interesting animal called a Kopi Luwak or a civet. Apparently, the coffee berries are eaten and then defecated out by this creature. The droppings are then cleaned, roasted and ground to be made into coffee. The aromatic falvour and its unusual process make the coffee one of the most expensive brands in the world.

It’s a good thing I don’t drink coffee!

They had a range of exotic drinks such as Bali Coffee, Vanilla Coffee, Lemon Tea, Ginger Tea, Ginseng Coffee, and Coconut Coffee. Tea yes! Coffee yuk!
They had a range of exotic drinks such as Bali Coffee, Vanilla Coffee, Lemon Tea, Ginger Tea, Ginseng Coffee, and Coconut Coffee. Tea yes! Coffee yuk!

However, you do get a chance to have a snack of banana fritters, try some strange fresh exotic fresh fruit, and a wide variety of tea and coffee to taste, ranging from ginseng coffee to ginger tea.

THE BEGINNER’S GUIDE TO GOING UP A VOLCANO!

Don’t be an idiot like me! Get fit & do some yoga.
Before you go!

And so to what you’ve all been waiting for – the beginner’s guide to going up a volcano.

  1. Get fit
  2. Go to bed early
  3. Go with a reputable company such as The Batur Sunrise Trekking Tour
  4. Wrap up warmly. In layers
  5. Bring a torch
  6. Take some snacks
  7. Get a little fitter
  8. Make sure you’re between 12 and 50 years old or possibly a well-honed 60
  9. When you get to the top, breathe in the sights
  10. Protect your breakfast from monkeys
  11. Mind the monkeys
  12. Take in the views again
  13. Now take photos and videos
  14. Prepare to do all that hard work all over again coming down
  15. Relax. It’s exhausting
  16. Have breakfast and taste as many different breeds of coffee as you can, as you’ll probably won’t find them again
  17. Try the poop coffee
  18. Buy some of the local stuff
  19. Go home
  20. Sleep
We're on top of the world, or at least on top of Mount Batur, in Bali!
We’re on top of the world, or at least on top of Mount Batur, in Bali!

Here’s the info:

WHAT IS PINEH BALI TOURS?

Pineh Bali Tours is a local Balinese owned and operated business focused on small organised trips to visit and climb Mount Batur, and other areas around it.

WHAT IS THE BATUR SUNRISE TREKKING TOUR ABOUT?

The Batur Sunrise Trekking Tour is a private organised tour and a once in a life-time experience to see the sunrise from the top of Bali’s most active volcano – Mt. Batur.

Phew!

A Balinese temple in Bali, Indonesia!
A Balinese temple in Bali, Indonesia!

DO I NEED TO UNDERSTAND BALINESE?

Nope!

This particluar tour was in English but being that the tours are private, I’m sure that they would try to link different guides with different people. If English isn’t your native-language not to worry, as most of the staff members spoke a multitude of languages, and are dedicated to ensuring that you enjoy your time and experience with Balinese nature and culture.

WHAT DO I NEED?

A pair of good walking shoes, a pair of thick gloves, a warm jacket, a scarf, a torch, a hat, some water, a camera, some snacks, and a huge smile!

Me with a huge smile on the beach in Sanur, Bali.
Me with a huge smile on the beach in Sanur, Bali.

ANYTHING ELSE?

Yes, this volcano tour includes a small breakfast, a variety of tea and coffee, as much bottled drinking water as you want, and a small lunch.

The trekking tour costs $40 or €32.60 per adult.

Return transport is included and they will collect you from Kuta, and Nusa Dua at 01:00 and Sanur and Ubud at 02:00.

Book your hotel here!

It's
It’s “only” a km away to Mount Batur in Bali.

MY VERDICT:

A tiring day.

It was an exciting challenge and an adventure that I wanted to do.

I ticked off that bucket list but I probably wouldn’t do it again!

My guide, as well as the other guides that I met, were wonderful and so professional. Climbing a volcano isn’t for me but don’t let that stop you.

If you want to do it, then DO IT!

What a wonderful view of Mount Batur in Bali!
©Jessy Eykendorp – Tropica Living

My knees cackled, and my glasses got smudged with ash and tears, but I’m proud that I made it once, up the most active volcano in Bali!

Everyone should go on an adventure tour of sort every now and then, if only to make sure that you’re not dead!

Well recommended!

WHAT IF THE PINEH BALI TOURS ISN’T MY CUP OF TEA?

Keep reading my blog. There is more to come!

For more information please contact: The Batur Sunrise Trekking Tour

Clinking glasses while drinking exotic beverage after an exhausting hike, on top of a volcano. In Bali! Phew! We made it!
Clinking glasses while drinking exotic beverage after an exhausting hike, on top of a volcano. In Bali!
Phew! We made it!

This article is not sponsored and even though I received a discount, all opinions and the large variety of drinks that I sampled, are my very own!

I have so much to share with you so next week I will be continuing our adventures in Indonesia, and Qatar and you can read what happened to me with those pesky monkeys……!

Christmas is coming, with more exclusive productions, and merry-making at German Xmas Markets. Whoop! Whoop!

A week ago, a British company contacted me and asked me to contribute my expert knowledge on Germany and Britain. You don’t need to ask me twice. Here it is: The 5 best differences between Germany and Britain.

Additional National Theatre Live productions are also coming up and can be seen at the Cinestar Berlin – Original such as:

For the rest of the year, Berlin will be celebrating and marking the 25th anniversary of the Fall of the Berlin Wall.

Berlin Fashion Week is coming up and will take place between January 19th and January 23rd, 2015. Save the Date!

December is going to be jolly!

Watch this space!

The beginner’s guide to going up a volcano: because going up a volcano isn’t for everyone!

Note! I never travel without insurance as you never know what might happen.

I learnt my lesson in Spain. And obviously, in countries like Qatar, where technically the risk is higher, I can’t imagine going that far beyond, WITHOUT INSURANCE. No siree! You can get yours here, at World Nomads!

Please note that there are now affiliate links (for the very first time) connected to this post. Please consider using the links, because every time some sort of accommodation or travel insurance is booked via my links I get a little percentage, but at no extra cost to yourself!

A win-win for all!

Thanks a million!

The beginner's guide to going up a volcano: because going up a volcano isn't for everyone!
The beginner’s guide to going up a volcano: because going up a volcano isn’t for everyone!

Have you ever been up a live volcano? Would you swallow coffee poop!

See you in Berlin.

If you have any questions send me a tweet, talk to me on Facebook, find me on Linkedin, make a comment below, look for me on Google+ or send me an Email: victoria@thebritishberliner.com

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