Third Class Traveller
Cave cults, death threats, mud eating and a broken back. It can only be another adventure with Julian Hanton. No economic downturn can stop the intrepid Mr Hanton, so for this journey he attempts to survive a week on just $100. This requires Julian to rely on the kindness of strangers and enjoy a little traveller's luck. Julian's relationship with luck is erratic at best, so it's no surprise that during a massage in Vilnius in Lithuania he is informed he has a broken back. Determined to improve his health after this news, Julian heads to the spa town of Druskininkai but finds that he can only afford a mud eating treatment. Turkey proves to be a particularly tough week to survive as Julian is threatened on the street and then becomes violently ill shortly before being beaten up by a four year old. Still at least he could afford to eat there, unlike in Copenhagen where surviving on $100 means making one meal last the entire week. By barely scraping through weeks in Milan, Berlin, Nicosia and Sofia Julian shows how travelling extremely cheaply can be done but also demonstrates there's little chance of success with Third Class Traveller package tours.
No. of Episodes: 7
For his first journey Julian visits Berlin, the capital of a reunited Germany, a city that still bears some physical and psychological scars two decades on from the fall of the wall. Staying with locals, Julian tests the couches of a 70's 'Party Queen' and an escapee from the former East. Hanging with comedians, graffiti artists and beer drinkers, Julian sees if Berlin has reclaimed its spot as one of the coolest cities in the world.
Taking in the small Baltic nation of Lithuania, Julian begins in its picturesque capital Vilnius where he investigates the country's communist past, visiting an abandoned war time bunker. He then embarks on a disastrous tour of the city's nightlife with a local drunkard. In the small town of Birzzai he takes a beer tour, where the information is all lost in translation and later during a massage he discovers he has a broken back. In Klapieda he re-enacts a disorganized Napoleonic battle, and goes hunting for amber in the Baltic Sea. Ending his journey in the spa town of Druskininkai he finds he's fast running out of money and can only afford to eat mud.
With a limited budget Julian travels to one of the cheapest countries in Europe, Bulgaria. Starting in the capital Sofia, he joins the circus and also finds a thriving film industry. Outside the city limits he takes a daytrip to a village named 'Evil Valley' and down south finds the 'Nostradamus' of the Balkans, Baba Vanga. Although Bulgaria is still a country emerging from its troubled past Julian finds that hospitality, food and drink are never in short supply in this much under-rated country.
Risking it all Julian travels to one of Europe's most expensive countries, Denmark. He stays with a top furniture designer in the capital, visits the infamous hippy free state of Christiania and, dressing up as a Viking, takes a wild ride on one of their ships. Struggling to find anything affordable in Copenhagen he moves off to Arhus where he is taken back in time to the 1860's and follows a shoplifting actor through historic streets. Achieving childhood nirvana he ends his time in the original Legoland.
In many ways Milan suffers from being the poor cousin to Italy's more impressive cities like Rome and Venice, which makes it a perfect destination for the third class traveller. On a mission to find its best attributes, Julian stays with a gay ballerina who takes him synchronized swimming and with a hipster filmmaker who takes Julian out on the town to teach him the art of picking up Italian girls; Julian is a willing student. Outside of Turin he enters the amazing cave temples of a local religious sect. In these times of cheap travel, Julian even tries his hand at 'dumpster diving' for food with a couple of vegans who live on trash while they travel.
Julian sees how much his $100 US will stretch on the resort island of Cyprus, a tourist hotspot at the crossroads of the Mediterranean. He knocks back a tequila layback in Ayia Napa the 'Ibiza' of Cyprus. Moving on to Limassol he escapes the heat by ice-skating and soon finds himself working behind the scenes of a busy restaurant to get a free meal. Finally in the capital Nicosia, he attends a big fat Cypriot wedding with a 2000 guests and joins an ex-pat drinking group with a 'running problem'.
Julian's third-class travel in Turkey is also his toughest. Istanbul turns out to be a city as divided as the two continents it sits upon. Staying with two very modern women he embarks on a quest to find the extreme side to the city; discovering a sexy world of risqué cabaret and the underground punk scene. Also on Julian's list of highlights are getting threatened with beheading, vomiting in the streets and getting beaten up by a 4-year-old boy.
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