Lonely Planet Writer

Pathfinders: top posts from April 2018

Bran Castle, Brasov, Romania. A medieval fortress associated with Dracula that stands isolated at the border between Wallachia and Transylvania © Emi Cristea / Shutterstock This month's round up includes a misadventure in Transylvania that ends at Bran Castle © Emi Cristea / Shutterstock

As temperatures heated up for large swathes of the world in April our Pathfinders embarked on a cross section of adventures certain to stoke curiosity; from wanderings through ghost towns to misadventures in Transylvania, not forgetting a rendezvous with two remarkable women determined to bring vegetarian cuisine to La Paz.

Though it was a tough task to narrow down our favourites, here’s our pick of blog posts from our Pathfinders community in April.

Belgium’s decaying ghost town taken over by street art – Marlo and Kristof

A mysterious ghost town turned giant art canvas? Consider our interest piqued. While managing to combine two popular travel trends – so-called ‘ruinporn’ and street art – Marlo and Kristof’s post about the derelict town of Doel manages to elicit a surprisingly humanitarian story from the striking imagery of abandoned, mural-clad buildings, giving the post a depth that complements its attention-grabbing title.

Marlo and Kristof’s inspirational blog is aimed at those who only travel for short periods. Find out more at alongcameanelephant.com.

Photo diary: people in Rajasthan – Dave McClane

Despite boasting awe-inspiring monuments, exceptional wildlife and scenic landscapes, anyone who has spent time in India will know it’s the people that leave the biggest impression, and Dave’s post plays on this theme, capturing a host of colourful characters from Rajasthan. Depicting everything from bearded dervishes to sunglass-sporting children sat atop oxen, the post manages to capture the vibrancy and colour of India in a way that traditional landscape photography could never muster.

Dave is a 30-something Yorkshireman on a quest to see – and photograph – as much of the world as possible. See more of his work at manvsglobe.com.

Lost in Transylvania – Justin Greak

Travel is more fun when it goes wrong, right? Or at least fun for other people to read about. In this post Justin details his misadventures in Romania, that begin with a wrong train and end at Dracula’s castle – though that isn’t quite as ominous as it sounds. Fast-paced prose and snappy dialogue combine to make this an entertaining and relatable account of that horrible feeling when things start to go a bit pear-shaped on the road. Don’t worry Justin, it happens to the best of us.

When he’s not travelling the world, Justin is a fifth grade maths and science teacher. Follow his blog at justingoesplaces.com.

Why two single-parents opened Baja California’s first veggie street food stand – Jess Vincent

Travel is about meeting real characters, and Jess’s interview with two women taking on the meat-adoring masses of Mexico by setting up La Paz’s first vegetarian food stand, makes for a wonderful read on many different levels. While the story of Luz and Alexa’s pioneering vegetarian venture is intriguing in its own right, more broadly this is a post about the universal struggles and consequences faced by anyone attempting to change the status quo.

Jess left her graduate job in the city to pursue her love of travel writing. Keep up with her adventures at nomadatravel.co.uk.

The tiniest teahouse in Tehran – Pontia Fallahi

We all want to find those authentic little places when we travel – family-run restaurants, traditional bars, welcoming homestays. Pontia’s post is an echo of this collective endeavour, as she goes in search of Tehran’s tiniest, and perhaps best, tea house. The post’s ‘quest’ format, interspersed with entertaining dialogue from locals, makes for compelling and enjoyable reading; after all, who isn’t a little particular when it comes to preparing their morning brew?

Pontia’s blog is dedicated to the country of Iran, delving into its culture, language and sites. Find out more at mypersiancorner.com.

RUNNERS-UP

Find out what else the Lonely Planet Pathfinders are up to (or sign up yourself!) by checking out the Travel Bloggers: your stories forum on Thorn Tree.