Craiova (Romania)

While you are in Romania, though the south has nothing spectacular to see, if you find yourself in this region, go spend a day in Craiova.

You will like the center. Large streets with bars and fountains, music and lights, a musical fountain playing classic music, good (low) prices on everything…Nice to see it during the day, too….

Since you are here, you should also take a walk in Romanescu park – it is said to be the 3rd natural park in Europe (size point of view).

A very new and nice park is Youth park – in a suburbia of the town, but you will appreciate the shapes made out of bushes – it looks cooler than it sounds 😛

 

Enjoy!

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Bucharest (Romania)

Bucharest is a complex town…

Years of communism are still visible on some buildings, shapes or habits. However,  Romanian capital is continuously changing, growing, evolving, enriching, tending to re-become one of the most beautiful towns in Eastern Europe, maybe even “Little Paris” as we used to call it.

Large boulevards, fountains, crowded streets, TRAFFIC JAM, famous brands galleries (a little bit expensive), fine restaurants, rewarded wines, cheap (gooooood) beers, welcoming people (English speakers 🙂 most of them), lot of malls and cinemas, nice places to hang out to…Bucharest is a fine city!

The perfect choice for a staying – good prices, very good location – would be Ibis Hotel Palatul Parlamentului (next to Parliament’s house). From there you can simply walk to Bucharest nicest places to see…

Go have a (very short) tour of Palace of Parliament (it is often called People’s house). They only let you see like 2% of the entire building – the rest of the rooms are taken by members of the Senate and Parliament, but it’s worth seeing what Ceausescu managed to built in only 18 months and how much money (people’s money) he wasted. Despite this abuse, the pain seems to have disappeared as Romanians keep this prestigious edifice with pride and consider it a symbol.

Continue your walk to Lipscani street, where all the trendy (youth) bars are located. You will be able to admire interesting architectures and also you may choose Carul cu Bere for a traditional meal and a special beer (old recipe). Keep walking until Cismigiu park – that is actually a very large and coquette garden right in the heart of the town.

Get back to Calea Victoriei (Victory Avenue) and, after having admired all those fancy boutiques, make a pit stop to Revolution Place (Piata Revolutiei). Several monuments are gathered here: Art Museum (which is actually the old Royal Palace), National Library, the Athene, churches, theaters…

If you are not yet tired, continue along Victory Avenue and when the streets wides out, it means you are in the Victory Place – in front of the Government building. It’s impossible to miss the big statue of Heroes of the Air and if you still can walk, have a tour of Bucharest’s largest park: Herastrau. You won’t regret it and while you are there, you can grab a bite to Quattro Stragioni restaurant; you will be surprised of the quality of their services and products…Don’t hesitate to taste a drop of Murfatlar or some other wine from Domeniul Coroanei

Take the subway – that is not bad at all – and get back to your comfortable hotel bed.

Oh, I almost forgot … Are you a fan of tea and pastry? There are some famous, very nice tea houses (better have a taxi to go to them).

Green tea – my favorite one

Carturesti – very very nice, but few tables

AromaRoma – nice, nice and quiet…

Did I convince you already? 🙂

Opatija (Croatia)

Rocky & pebble beaches – sometimes with sandy regions –  turquoise water, spectacular views, pine forests, nice people, good services (not too cheap :)), GOOD restaurants, small and “coquette” villages hanging on the mountains, next to the sea, Italian influence on the Western Coast, monuments, churches, national parks … THIS IS what you can find in Croatia.

Very nationalists – and proud of being so – they encourage and use their own products and brands – no, you won’t find German beer, nor American Cigarettes….Not even a Danone yogurt… So, if you are a fanatic of some products, just have some pieces with you! Of course you can always try their “pivo” (beer) Velebitsko and maybe you will enjoy it…I, myself, as a hard consumer of ..”voda” (water), I very much appreciated Jana 😉

If you decide to see Croatia, there are some fabulous places to see. I would mention PLITVICE – regardless of where you are staying, a trip to this natural huge park worth every penny!!! You can chose from 3 ways of seeing the park – in a fast forward way – 2 hours – in a medium fast – 4 hours – and a deep, complete tour of 6 long and beautiful hours!!! Of course, I recommend you the last one. You will go by bus, then you will walk, then you will be picked up by a boat, then you will again go by foot, then again bus…. You won’t realize that you spent so many hours walking, simply because at every step, there is something magnificent to be admired…

My tip for every visitor selecting the 6 hours tour: make sure your camera batteries are full, have some sandwiches and water in your backpack – there are restaurants that you will get to after too many hours – have comfortable shoes and sun protection on you! The road can be challenging !!!

Of course there are other places to see like Krk island (the biggest  Croatian island), Dubrovnik – a marvelous Adriatic town – Mljet national park, Makarska, Split…Your decision if you will visit them! You won’t be dissapointed!

Enough with the talking!…I leave you to enjoy photos from Opatija and Plitvice!

Skiathos (Greece)

Beautiful Greece….

Should you chose Paralia Katerini or a piece of heaven like Skiathos, it’s impossible to forget Greece and for sure  you will wish to comeback and see more.

Of what I’ve heard, Skiathos is the island where the movie “( Return to) the blue lagoon” was filmed. Not true, though… Sorry Greek fellows :). The first part of the movie was filmed in Fiji and Australia whilst the second one was in Fiji and Jamaica…

You can find here golden large beaches, turquoise water, several nice restaurants and hotels, crowded streets…prices are higher than Katerini – well…Katerini is the cheapest place you will ever find in Greece!!!

But you will not regret seeing the island; it’s a special one.

Sousse (Tunisia)

A mixture of colors and traditions, with very warm, welcoming people, Tunisia offered us miles of sandy beaches, crystal clear water and nice restaurants!

No, French is not the second language spoken after Arabic….No… Russian is – at least in the resorts. In the capital, French is mostly used…

You will for sure appreciate their spices – they have markets with mountains of spices!! But don’t worry, they have all kind of food…if you are not a fan of spicy African stuff, you will any how add some kilos 😀

You wanted to find very very very cheap souvenirs?  Search no more!!! This is the place – it’s true that they are at the limit of grotesque, some of them, still, you can bring some nice Tunisian pieces to your home (leather jackets are the best deal!!! don’t forget to negotiate…well…rather burgle!)

If you are a sweets fan – or you want to delight your friends and family with some traditional cookies… go to Masmoudi pastry store. The cookies are amazing!!! And they will know how to wrap them up for you so that you safely bring a piece home  – if they will be some left overs 🙂

You will like the low prices on everything!! A (or several) word(s) of advice:   – always select a 4* or 5* resort with all inclusive would be nice, cause otherwise, if you are outside the hotel area, you don’t feel very very safe eating too far of your hotel restaurants….and trust me: Swedish buffet is a awesome! Also, a 3* (or less!!) hotel in Africa…..mmm…NO NO NO! (we went to Tour Kalef and we were very satisfied!)

always negotiate! No matter what, no matter where. Even if you buy something from Medina (old town) tables, or in a big brand store, or for a taxi, or for a boat cruise, it is considered disrespectful NOT to burgle! So, prepare your skills! And be patient! After a few days, you might say: “Just take me the money and leave me alone! :))

And if you feel like this is not enough, try all the water sports – cause they are very cheap!! – and so much fun!

Nearby Sousse, there is a harbor called El Kantaoui. Nice nice nice!! Stay later on in the evening and have a pancake at one of the bars  in the center. You will see a show of lights and music at the fountain shortly after the sun sets!..Oh, speaking of sun sets… I wouldn’t  recommend going in Tunisia – or some other Muslim countries – during Ramadan! They (the religious people, most of them) are not eating until the sun sets…Therefore, don’t be surprised if at 7 p.m they are asking you nicely to step out of their store – even though it shouldn’t be closed till midnight – so that they can grab a bite and drink a cup of tea. They are keeping themselves polite, but still, you will have to get out! It is the case for the bars and everything else where a religious is working. They simply ignore the clientele and they go EAT in the back…

You still think it’s not enough interesting?? Have a tour of Tunis! Very very interesting! You will see  Sidi Bou Said, Antonin’s baths, and you can have a nice tour of it’s main avenues.

Oh, I almost forgot! DO NOT REFUSE the trip to the desert!!!! It’s a totally different experience from what you ever lived, I can assure you! Prepare your luggage again, cause you are living your hotel for 2 days.

Rome (Italy)

Antique …our days

Rome is always surprisingly beautiful with all those monuments filled with history.

Should you chose to see the Colosseum, the forums, the “colonna”,  Vittorio Emanuelle II palace or to go shopping on Via del Corso… you will be delighted!

Not to mention what you can feel when you first enter Vatican gates…

A journey you will never regret!


Verone (Italy)

Romantic Verone…

A walk in the romantic Verone with a visit to Juliette’s Balcony and a contribution to the love-lockers chain should always end in a fun way: a Gardaland complete tour!!!

Florence (Italy)

Sunny Florence…

The massive Dome right in the center of Florence makes you feel so small 🙂

Crowded narrow streets lead you to an opened, magnificent view of the famous bridges of the town.

Pisa (Italy)

Beautiful Pisa

The leading tower – and also the church looks like falling – the warm sun, the green grass made a perfect afternoon for a photo shooting.

Venice (Italy)

Summer in Venice

A city worth seeing at least once in a lifetime!

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