night perspective

I always talk about another perspective. Then of course everyone is asking me what do I actually mean by that? In the end everyone will have different perception as everything can be subjective. So no, I don’t mean our personal views or opinions, but how things around us can seem completely different depending on the factors and also… on our mood and mindset at that moment.

Today I was having my first evening walk in Taormina. I am no going to lie, I was very close of hitting bed for a nap at 5 p.m., as after morning alarm clock at 3 a.m. to get the flight, then bus to get to Catania, walk to leave luggage, very long walk around the city (which was a bit disappointing, but soon I’ll write about it as well), then reach Taormina by train & bus & 20 minutes walk up the stairs. Can be exhausting, right?

But the moment when I have seen the color of the sea, the crowd of people walking through narrow streets, sipping coffee in restaurants or having drinks on the square – that was the moment when the nap idea was simply gone. [currently I am still in a bar trying to write down all the thoughts and ideas for future posts! Somehow my brain still seems to be working.]
So quick shower – I start looking like a human being again and not to make people move away from me – and off we go. Taormina! I was supposed to find a nice place to sit and enjoy the view. Instead I have started with getting lost in all the streets, playing with homeless cats and giving directions to other tourists. Somehow wherever I go, everyone is asking me for some advice. Today, I was asked by an Italian person about the bus. What is funnier though, even if she has heard that I am obviously not a local, she still insisted on me knowing the answer. Why? Because I have had map in my hand, camera and phone, so I must have looked like Info Point! Anyway, never mind, I always take it with a bit of distance and I am very proud of myself if I can actually reply to their questions. This means that I have clearly made my lesson and studies the place – my way.

Coming back to the perspective. The city by day seemed very touristic, which of course is the case, crowded, loud, full of selfies, people with their eyes on their phones instead of following what is around. I was walking and despite I admit this is the most beautiful place I have seen by now, I kind of couldn’t understand its vibe. Like is it just touristy, or maybe it is real historic and cultural place that I have imagined and wanted to explore? I was doubting it all afternoon. But then the sun went down. People kind of calmed down. You have started seeing more elderly people walking around enjoying views, more romantic view of couples heading for aperitivo or dinner.
Surprisingly, for the first time, I felt a bit lonely as the solo-traveler, as I literally haven’t seen a single person in a bar or restaurant. Need to explore it tomorrow more. Not that I mind, but for the first time it felt slightly weird.
While getting lost in the streets at night in Taormina, I have finally recognized that this city has its particular atmosphere. The time seems to have stopped a while back for locals. The buildings, the way they live but also their pace in doing things (oh my… they have pushed the limits of my patience just in few hours!). Just then I realized, it is not them that should adapt to my world, but me to adapt to theirs.

Night is the time for locals. When tourists are tired after long walk, million of drinks and stuffed with delicious food, the southerners are escaping from their dens to wine and dine. I have noticed the rule that the more south you go, the bigger chance to meet locals and mix with them. It has proven itself today. In the first bar I have entered I have spoken with at least five different people. It was also very funny to see how all waiters and waitresses felt sorry for me to be on my own… They genuinely cared and were talking to me in any spare minute they have had.
Having all those new images in my head, I have completely changed what I thought about this place. Initially distant, touristy and cold, started to feel like my cozy place to be. Maybe with a lot of people, but very open ones and yet, in the evening you are able to discover the real life happening there behind the ‘travelling’ curtains.

Magic 6 of Prague’s flavours

‘Eastern Europe has been really trendy. Prague is the best-preserved city in the region … and the best beer in Europe lands on your table there for 50 cents.’ Rick Steves, American travel writer summed up perfectly Prague. Stunning place. Delicious beer. Budget weekend. However, normally when we think about Prague food is not the first thing that comes up to our mind. So today, I’m gonna prove you that Czech cuisine can be, to your surprise, very interesting and what is more important, satisfy your tastes.

6 things to try in Prague

  1. Guláš – my personal favorite
    Of course – each central european country has their own kind of Goulash. The original one comes from Hungary, however, its czech cusine is definitely the one to remember. Why? First of all, if you are vegetarin skip this part, it contains more meat and less veggies. Secondly, it is less spicy. Thirdly, it includes typical dumplings made of bread, which are dipped in this delicious soup/dish.
    Aren’t you hungry yet?

    Risultati immagini per Guláš
    Where will you find the best one?

    Mincovna – if you like it a bit fancier – http://www.restauracemincovna.cz/
    U Magistra Kelly at Hradcany – get the real Czech feeling there – http://www.umagistrakelly.cz/index-en.html

  2. Knedliky – cause as a polish person, I love anything that could be similar to our dumplings!
    Typically you will find them together with goulash, but.. you can actually have them with marmelade inside! Yummy!
    Risultati immagini per Knedliky
  3. Vepřo-knedlo-zelo – almost impossible to remember the name or to pronounce it for an english speaker, so WRITE IT DOWN!

    bread dumplings + pork + pickled cabbage
    Can you ask for more? Very typical food, which I’d strongly recommend for winter lunch, rather than late dinner! It will fill you up for few hours, so maybe then consider a glass of wine in the cathedral area to relax and enjoy your time!

    Risultati immagini per Vepřo-knedlo-zelo

  4. Kulajda – why would anyone recommend a simple soup?
    Maybe cause in the end it is not a simply soup, but a delicious mix of potatoes, mushrooms and dill. Funny enough, this soup used to be my nightmare when I was a kid, but rumor has it that our tastes are changing while we are growing up – does it mean I got older??… Hah definitely not, just smarter with my food choice!I had a really good one here – http://www.tristoleti.cz/index.php/en/
    But the best one I’ve tried was one winter at the Xmas market. It became my lunch and dinner the same day… I’m getting hungry only by the thought of it.

    Risultati immagini per kulajda

  5. Vegetarians will find the Smažený Sýr as a pure paradise for their pallate. Cheese. Fried Cheese. Deep Fried Cheese. When you think it can’t get better – they have added potato salad or fries. Pure love.

    Risultati immagini per Smažený Sýr

  6. Last but not least – or the best. Yes, I have a lot of ‘the bests’ here – Trdelnik. Again very difficult to pronounce rolled pastry usually topped with sugar, cinnamon or nuts.
    Where will you find the best one – on the street. Do not dare pass it indifferently.

    Risultati immagini per trdelnik
    What do you need to know?
    Prices in Prague are usually very low, so going even to a fancy restaurant means actually very good quality for reasonable price.
    The best period to try the street food is Xmas to discover little markets with mulled beer and typical grilled sausages or above mentioned goulash. Try to go to Wencelas Square where you should be able to try the local dishes throughout the year!
    Try to discover smaller streets filled with locals and ask them for their recommendations! From my experience, Czech are very friendly and usually speak English pretty well.

    Other places to recommend:
    U Bile Kuzelky – http://lokal-ubilekuzelky.ambi.cz/en/?PHPSESSID=84b6102ef752062549f0b7518e1d997b
    U Veverky – http://www.uveverky.com/?utm_source=tripadvisor&utm_medium=referral
    Pivovarsky Klub – http://www.pivovarskyklub.com

    Comment your experience with Czech cuisine and tell me what was your unforgettable experience!

Conquer the heart of Budapest

 

You may think – Why does she put M83 song while talking about Budapest?
I agree might be a bit off topic, but let me show you my side of the city. The angle that I believe everyone should discover and yes, maybe it is not the best way to discover the city at the first attempt. In the end you have to see the beauty of Buda and Pest. To start with Gellert Hill, Parliament Building, Hosok Tere (Heroes Square) or the Margharet Island. However, Budapest has much more to offer for you to feel the place and understand the rhythm of the city.

As an insomniac, I have always been a night person. I love cities by night. My biggest dreams and plans always appear during the night in the places that simply can inspire me. I truly believe that each place has its soul and we can connect with the city same way as we do with the person. We can fall in love and we can create some kind of relationship with it. We will be doing everything to come back, to get in platonic touch with the city and experience all its secrets. To get to know better and understand. Also for a traveler or a tourist – it can mean a one night stand, so let’s try to take the best out of it! So yes my dear Budapest, let’s share our story.

In order to get into the night feeling of the city, I have decided to make a kind of different trip. Not necessarily focusing on the main places in the city, but to discover the place deeper. The first day I spent purely on the main sights, from the second day the real plot has started.

It is worth saying that I have been travelling to Hungary with my Parents since I was 4 years old until 15, so I know the food and culture pretty well, however, my first time with the capital happened just recently in 2017.

 

Children on Duty

First stop was a Children on Duty train. Basically the whole thing is led by kids from 10 till 14 years old. They sell you tickets, operate the train, call in the last passengers and make sure you are behaving well at the station! At first glance it can seem a bit ridiculous, but if you let yourself into the situation you start getting into the Doogie Howser series. You kind of get that weird feeling that maybe we are all working adults being kids inside? Or maybe the world is accelerating too much and we are all getting into adulthood too early? Or maybe we all underestimate the naive children’s world and they actually can do more? I don’t know… Just my thoughts. Second thought I had, while I saw a boy dressed in kind of old-style uniform was… Oliver Twist. Yeah… of course those kids have completely different lives!
Don’t get me wrong. I get that this is volunteering and gives them amazing opportunity to learn responsibility and do something different and fun, but then… shouldn’t they live their kids’ lives? Like if you let yourself in the situation being surrounded by beautiful nature and views, you get those weird thoughts and personally I have had very good feeling but also started to wonder is it the way I would like to have my childhood – from the perspective of time or am I happy with being careless longer!

Znalezione obrazy dla zapytania children on duty budapest

>>> http://www.gyermekvasut.hu/english_eng/introduction/

Hospital in The Rock

While getting back from the trip train, it is easy to reach the old nuclear bunker or actually the old hospital set in the previously nuclear bunker. You get the guided trip every hour in English and then you teleport yourself into the times of the war. This is an old hospital, so you get a bit of a chill from that. Then when you see that it has those bunker elements the whole darkness of the place seems just overwhelming! Videos, letters, notes, memories – this all just make you speechless after leaving the place. We are so damn lucky to have normal hospitals! Something to experience, something to see. Of course probably exaggerated (or not?!) for the commercial purposes, but makes you appreciate the modern times in a way.

Znalezione obrazy dla zapytania hospital in the rock budapest

There was also a Polish accent there!

Polish radio program (Z kraju i ze świata) – 10th of December 195
Anna Retmaniak radio reporter, the Special Correspondent of the Polish Radio, accompanied the first transport of aid supply sent from Poland. During her trip to Hungary, she visited the Hospital in the Rock.

>>> https://www.sziklakorhaz.eu/en/archive/memories

Libraries

Something amazing about Budapest is that wherever you go, you’ll get stuck in some random place where you discover amazing spot. Walking toward the Gellert Hill I have found a library – Orszagos Szechenyi Koenyvtar (of course I checked it out online how to write it!). Now you will tell me… it is the first national library in Budapest. Everyone knows about it. True. It is in the castle that millions of visitors go and see every year, but I was still happy like a baby to go inside and see the manuscripts, feel old books and admire the silence of the place.

Below you can find some links to famous libraries in the city. I haven’t been there, but looking at their websites they look simply… inspiring.

>>> http://www.fszek.hu/english/our_libraries/central_library/?article_hid=7448

>>> http://seaslib.elte.hu/ – this one looks the coolest! I can’t imagine I have missed it! First of all it is the English and German literature, which I am in love with. Secondly – it looks like a country yard. Must be the experience.

 

Then you head to Gellert Hill and you visit mesmerizing Cave Church, I was lucky and saw a display of the modern art on my way up the hill. Unfortunately, I have lost some photos when my phone broke down, so I can’t share neither photos nor the name of the artist … (Hungarian is not the easiest language!). I wonder – how the hell people has built this church? Like nowadays the buildings created are falling down after few years, because the construction wasn’t the best, probably the investment too low etc. But at least we have the tools. Back in times… only human hands. My mind simply cannot process it.

Another things worth seeing during the day to get ready for the night:

  • Singing Fountains >>> https://www.tripadvisor.co.uk/Attraction_Review-g274887-d6936772-Reviews-Music_Fountain-Budapest_Central_Hungary.html
  • Semmelweis Medical Museum >>> http://semmelweismuseum.hu/
  • Hidden Thermal Water Tap close to the Elizabeth Bridge. Great thing – especially at night when you drank slightly… too much! 😉
  • Ronald Reagan statue at the Liberty Square

 

Then you enter into the nightlife

Znalezione obrazy dla zapytania night in budapest promenade

The thing not to miss in Budapest is the night cruise. The views are breathtaking. Have a glass of wine during the cruise and just free your thoughts in your mind. You think that a lot of cities are lit at night. Normal stuff. But there is something in this city, that makes it stand out. Maybe because the colors are very well-thought. Everything has the same light color which mixed with the old bricks of buildings is mixed into Gold. Maybe because all the monuments seem like big stains in the darkness if you see them from the further distance. Maybe cause.. it is Budapest and I have had the connection with the place, so felt it more. Maybe it was wine… Well who knows?! But it got into me. I wrote a separate post on my Budapest solo travelling and there you can see what an impact city had on me. Quite relevant one 😉 (https://run-klaudia-run.com/2017/08/01/simply-solo-travelling/)

Then you leave the boat and go straight to the Jewish District to experience the real nightlife. Pubs, Jazz music, Beer, food… Some places that I strongly recommend!

  • Ruin Bars in Budapest: Mazel Tov, Kertem (must see!)
  • Kisuzem: I was lucky to hear little part of the life jazz concert
  • Aurora: a bit bohemian place, filled with locals, great experience with not many tourists

 

After seeing and experiencing those things and a bit of wine and good food (below) – walking back at 2 a.m. in the morning back to the airbnb with the view at the Cathedral I guess you can imagine why I have had this song in my head. Mixed with the sound of the Budapest soul. Music and People around. Yes, the culture is very different from the Italian one that is around me. Maybe they ar a bit colder, maybe less extroverts, but this is the signature of each place. Different culture and approach. You can’t have enough of it and the first thing you got in your head after coming back home is… when am I going to be back.

I hope that now you understand why this ‘city is my church, it wraps me in the sparkling twilight’.

Budapest, see you soon.

 

 

Little things to help you to conquer this unsettled heart!

Moving around

Metro and trams are super cheap. Just buy few single tickets at the airport at the kiosk and you will be completely fine. You cannot miss the famous tram no. 2 and the oldest metro line 1 with really cool stops that makes you feel as if you were in another era.

Food

Hungarian Cuisine is very heavy, so if you are travelling in the summer (like I did), you’d struggle with trying all their best dishes, but there are some must eat things, that yes, you will probably need a digestive nap in your hotel afterwards, but you cannot miss them out!

  • Perkelt simply Goulash – be careful can be pretty spicy as for the European standards!Znalezione obrazy dla zapytania perkelt
  • Paprikas – not easy to explain, but imagine mix of peppers, meet and rice. Can’t go wrong! 😉 Znalezione obrazy dla zapytania paprikas
  • Langos – I recommend with garlic sauce and cheese – very typical one. Of course, if you are not planning to kiss anyone for the next two days! Pretty strong flavors!Znalezione obrazy dla zapytania langos
  • Ruszwurm Cake – simply heaven in your mouth >>> http://www.ruszwurm.hu/en/
  • Tokaj Wine (e.g. Aszu) and Palinka – shall I really convince you to try this?

 

 

Another perspective

So yes… I went to Spain. This was my second solo-travel in there. Last one was in 2014, just few weeks before a big change in my life – move to the UK. I guess I can say it now, as I have already revealed it to the HR before, that my first phone ‘interview’ with HR to the company I work for now took place when I was sipping sangria on the beach in Alicante. Maybe this is why I have such a big sentiment to this city?

Anyway, this year I have completely resigned from the Christmas celebrations. First of all, cause I am really not the biggest fan of it for a while now and secondly, I simply needed a kind of a brain cleansing in order to put my sh*t together after quite an intense year. Intense due to personal and work life. So the perfect mix. You can imagine… moving to another country is never a piece of cake!

So.. back in October, I have started to look for the cheap flights from my area. Obviously, there was nothing too interesting for the Xmas period, so… I had to make some crazy plans and… there we go Spain! Flights from Bologna to Madrid and then from Madrid to Bergamo were booked (yes, the trip to Madrid in the end took me 12 hours and back 11 hrs, but it was woooorth it!). So looking through internet and listening to some advice, I have decided to go to Granada and Sevilla. Was planning also to visit Cordoba, but a pretty long night out has made me change my plans slightly…!

There were few things I really loved in Granda and frankly speaking it is difficult for me to find anything that wouldn’t convince me to this city. As I have spent there 3 days, I’d focus on my experiences there.

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The city can seem very normal at the first glance – nice old square, cathedral in the centre, some hills in the background and castle on the hill. Well.. How wrong the first glance can be… Surprisingly maybe for some of you, the best part of the city for me was neither Alhambra nor Albaicin, but Sacromonte. Seems that the careless or you can call it free life of gypsies and hippies got into me. Not that I would like to lead their life, but made me think about the life choices we make and how can you escape from reality being just few hundred metres above the big city.

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To give you more feeling about this place. There are some kind of caves in the hills in front of which you see some armchairs, sofas, chairs and lots of colorful items (honestly, got no idea what half of them were). You think… some garbage that was blown there by the wind. Then you look more carefully. You see something moving there… When you realize that people actually live there, at first you don’t know if you should run or go there and understand their lives. While walking on those paths between the caves, I have rememberred the book I read by Ildefonso Falconses Le Mano de Fatima. I must say this book was not his best and I definitely preferred Le Catedral del Mar, but what stroke me in that book was the mixture of very strong feelings and emotiones with the struggle and fight every day for their own independency, ideaology and beliefs. Honestly, I thought that like every book it was exaggerated or simply life of course does not look like that anymore. Well, I was wrong.

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The history of cuevas has its roots back in 15th Century, where people believed that during the christianisation of the city, Arabs, who were running away, in a rush were hiding gold in the mountains. So people have started digging/creating caves in order to look for gold. As in every legend, I guess there must be some string of truth, but… it doesn’t seem that a lot of people got rich. At least not in our common definition of rich. Cause I really believe they have something, that we don’t. Or maybe I should speak for myself, and say I don’t have it. The feeling of freedom, disconnection, independency from money. Of course, I am not naive.. they do need money, they are dependent on many factors including the government and they rely on tourists in some areas, but… their general mindset is so far from my understanding of the world today. The first day I was a bit scared to come closer, but then I was told that they are safe and actually very friendly for tourists. How embarrased I felt by assuming the worst… So one of them (a guy suuupeeer old) let me have a look inside. You might not believe it, but inside those caves there is electricity and kind of heating. It stinks as hell, but you can also smell the specific smell of weed. 2 minutes in the cave were enough though for me also to understand that this kind of freedom is fascinating but while looking from far away 😉

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The big part of Sacromonte is the art. Not the fancy paintings though, but some street art, graffiti mixed with folklore and flamenco elements. When I was walking there in the Christimas Eve I became also a part of the little flamenco Xmas party with some locals. It was very late, so I didn’t stay as I needed to walk down the hill, but the warm atmosphere and smiling faces were very welcoming and bring my belief in genuine people back and made me feel bad again. Assuming.

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What I have learnt this time in Spain? To look at the world through another perspective. Discover it with another angle and explore with the eyes of others.

Yes – I will be back there. Very soon.

…but what is CS again?

I have never used actively Couchsurfing. Actually I have learnt the CS abbreviation just recently through my friends and created a big disbelief by not using it while being an expat.

I have hosted three girls by now in my place and showed them around, but it was more of a conicidence than being on the app + we set up everything through whatsapp or phone, so actually I didn’t even log in too much.

Why? Because in the place I live there doesn’t seem to be a very big community or active people. So in the end, you switch it off as nothing is happening. For staying at someone’s place – I am still more into having a flat on my own through airbnb and just enjoy my own time the way I want without looking at others. Yes, I am being very the only child type now. In the end – I am one. So yes, I have never used the hangouts part of it. I had actually no idea that there was anyone that uses it! This seems to be as usual as Tinder though, which was very eyes-opening for me! I am sometimes really old-school or ignorant with the social media novelties.

Anyway, on 25th I was a bit bored. Normally I would hang out in some bar with expats or students, but can you imagine those places being full on Xmas? Clearly they were not. So in the heat of the moment – I have opened the hangouts and put online for a drink. Within 5 minutes, there was a group created to go out for a beer. 2 spanish guys, 1 spanish girl and 1…. POLISH girl. I was super happy to have met all of them, but my closest sentiment and my heart beat was faster while I have heard a word in my mother tongue. We have met in a tapas bar for a drink and a talk. Okey.. well it wasn’t easy from the start, as it took us like 30min to find and recognize each other, but we have made it!

I connected immidiately with my compatriot, but also other people were awesome and had great stories to tell. I had the feeling that I have known them since forever. Maybe it was only myself being very excited and they didn’t feel it – in any case, I was very amused! In those moments I always realize how different people are in different ages and nowadays how much they achieve in their lives within a very young age. I love determined people with passion and they all had this X-factor. Listening to their stories, description of places they lived in and the future goals, that I am sure will be achieved soon just made me think how small I was. It motivates me as hell and gives me a kick to move forward which I clearly needed those days, as I was going too much into my beloved not giving a f*ck direction. It’s also good to see that there are people out there that have a bit twisted view at the reality and you are not the only one not being able to sit in one place as sometimes I feel like this freak lost in the moment or a place 😉 Like in the past year, I have changed a lot in my life, but did I actually achieve anything on my personal development part? In kind of discovering my spirit? Not sure. I’ve definitely further developed my general interest in art and music, but I don’t feel like I’ve done much to explore it more or to set any goals or expectations towards myself here. Well, got the plan for 2018. Though I hate planning.

In any case, 5 random people ended up chilling all night together, talking, laughing, drinking, dancing and curing hangover (unfortunately, couchsurfing does not cure this miracolously as well! Though it would have been a great addition…-.-). The next day we have also had a girls night sipping wine and celebrating the new tattoo, which will always remind me about the people I have met and the places I have visited that moment.

Summing up, many of my friends ask me how do I normally meet so many people from different places … I am adding another place to my standard answer – couchsurfing. Hopefully, more popular in my area or the future places I’d like to visit.

 

so anyway … what happens in Granada will stay with me forever thanks to places (-> Another Perspective post) but most importandly to People. hah… in a way – thank you Casey Fenton 😉

 

Let’s see if we ever meet through this app in the future…

How to meet new people?

Imagine – 22nd December. Everyone in a hurry to do groceries, last shopping for Xmas. Some random girl calls you on the doorbell with panic in her eyes. Car keys in the hand. The word ‘help me’ written clearly on the forehead and says … ‘I locked my door to the flat. The keys are inside. The phone is inside. The door shuts itself so can’t open it.’

Is this how you should meet your neighbours? Probably not. But let’s move further… the neighbour and the son were very friendly. Helped a lot but… no locksmith was available due to Xmas. So they called…. firemen. After 1 hour spent in their flat. Fire brigade (literally brigade) comes over. 5 men. They open the door with no problem. The face of the girl – astonished, slowly starting to believe in magic and unnatural power. David Copperfield of Como. Well no. The door wasn’t locked. It was lack of muscle to open the door that had this additional security in order not to open too easily. 5 firemen. Two neighbours. And a blond girl. Of course that girl was ME.

Why do I mention such an embarassing story from less than a week ago now? First of all so you can laugh. Second to answer on how am i meeting so many different people and why do i want to keep in touch.

So I went to Spain…

the Bologna Code

Yes, I finally fell in love. Those butterflies in my stomach. I can’t fall asleep as the reality seems better than the dream. I am dreaming about new plans. I am trying new things and discovering new interests.

You already know me, so I bet you realize it. I fell in love with another city.

Bologna – a great chapter that has just started three weeks ago. Unexpectedly. Very spontaneously bought train tickets and went away. With no significant plan. Just to walk around. Read a book. Chill. Maybe meet some people. Did I expect that the city will have such a great impact on myself? Not at all.

Let’s start from the beginning. As any bigger city in Italy, Bologna has its unique adjectives that sum up her soul. Why do I assume it’s a Lady? Because despite all very specific and sometimes even dark corners of the city, I can feel the feminine side of it. So Bologna is just a proper Lady for me 😉 So what are the adjectives for her? ‘La rossa, La dotta, La Grassa’. In other words, eductated, red and fat. It describes the place to the point. The city is full of very wise people, that even within 3 mintue conversation have something interesting to say that will leave you hanging with a thought till the end of the day. They also love having a drink and a dinner under beautiful cloth halls with red roof tiles (which are actually the big advantage of the city, as both times I have been there it rained). Funny thing is that in regards to the cuisine, I have discovered that actually spaghetti bolognese does not exist. I mean not in a worldwide known form, so with pasta spaghetti and ragu al bolognese sauce. Simply because this type of pasta is too thin and destroys under the heavy sauce. Now we know why it is simply impossible to be eaten and for us to remain without stains!

Following my interest in everything that is less usual, I have made my own investigation, almost like the one from the da Vinci code, and followed the well-known secrets (nice oxymoron, isn’t it?!) of Bologna. You’d be surprised how many of them appear in this, yes I will say it, slightly communist city.

First one is connected with my first weekend there and is about the Il Portico di San Luca. The longest portico in the world. It leads us straight to the sanctuary on the top of the hill. Unfortunately, the view from it is slightly disappointing, but on the way you can see an old stadium and just a big of panorama at the city. Anyway, what is so mysterious about this place? The number. The diabolic number 666. It reflects the number of all arcades that belong to this portico. It is a bit strange that in the end it leads to such a religious place. Or maybe it is just me? Bologna definitely is the city that breaks rules and she doesn’t care about what is perceived as normal.

san-luca-portici-bologna

Let’s see another proof of that. Fontana del Nettuno. At first sight very normal. Actually, I haven’t noticed anything abnormal, but the second time I have visited the city, I have noticed it from another angle. The thumb. The thumb that is, just saying it very politely, the extension of the male’s attribute. Of course the first thing I did was to google it! Was it only me having this connotaion?! Thank god no. There are more of us.

fontananettunobologna

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Actually it was done on purpose. The sculpture didn’t get the permission to make the penis as long as he believed it should be, so.. he has decided to place the thumb in the strategic area. It worked. Obviously! To add up to this. It is placed in the square straight to the window of window that used to be a building of nun’s. Apparantly, they have been so gutted about the view that they have covered the window completely. Is it true? We can’t be sure. But definitely sounds provocative. Like the whole city.

Another quite rebellious story is connected with the affair. How could it be different?! Portico Corte Isolani. It supposedly has 3 arrows stuck in it. I haven’t seen them. I was standing and staring and have seen nothing. In any case, they are supposed to be there after the big scene made after the husband got to know his wife was cheating on him! He has paid three archers to kill the lover, however, the wife has shown her breast during the execution to distract the men. They all missed it and the beau remained alive.

Bologna-porticato-Corte-Isolani

Panis vita, canabis protectio, vinum laetitia. That smell of the city. It reminded me the smell of Amsterdam, Berlin and UK. The smell of marihuana. Maybe this fresco is not meant to mean what it means today, but it adds this freedom feeling to the city. In the past cannabis meant simply the fibre or canvas. Let me believe in this independent meaning though.

canabis-protectio

Can you hear those whispers? I have heard a lot of italian swear words while standing on the other side of Palazzo di Podesta! The walls of this place are created in a way to enable the listener on the other side to hear what the other person is saying while standing on the opposite. It is said it was created like that on purpose. To allow leprotic people to confess. I don’t know if this is the truth, but I would definitely love to try this one out with one of my friends or… to ‘mishear’ some crazy story of another person. Admit it… you would love to hear something like that as well! Everyone loves other people’s secrets!

4

I admit it. I took all of the photos from the internet this time. Mainly because I got so caught up in the moment of the city that I spent most of the time witouht my camera and the phone almost dead, as I kept on forgetting to recharge it. I met amazing people, that I really hope to keep in touch with.

Now, can you guess why do I love this city that much? What are the main adjectives that come to your mind that me and Lady Bologna have in common? Or maybe which ones I aim to achieve and build up my life on that this mysterious city insipired me with?

To make it easier for you, I will share some of the feelings that this city is giving to me. First of all, it is inspiring. You see the art everywhere. In every corner. In people. In the walls. Modern art shaken with medieval memories. It gives a kick to the creativity, but also makes me feel calm. Just sitting on some square and reading. I feel outside my zone. Because it is far enough for me to disattach from my current home, but close enough to go there every other weekend to create my own space. What I have always looking for in my life was this place that will allow me to build up a separate world, where I can fully focus on my personal plans and to look for inspirations and motivations to proceed with my adventure. It used to be Spain for a while. Then come back to Poland.

This Lady is rebbelious and is not scared to go her own way. I don’t know if I am there yet, but surely I want to be this independent person that overcomes the fears and some established rules. Yes, this is slightly liberal lifestyle – somehow a getaway from the normality. This Lady helps me to have smile on my face and feeling better in my own skin. It is open minded and proves that the normality simply does not exist.

So yes, I fell in love again.

kla

simply solo-travelling

Sometimes being on your own brings the best ideas to you. Very often you start seeing things you haven’t noticed before or maybe you even avoided seeing. Of course, there will be times that you will simply get bored, but in the end if you get bored with yourself, then maybe there is something wrong that needs to be fixed? 😉

Time to check if we like ourselves! 😉

I love people and I love being around them. I like listening to new stories, but also sharing my experiences or thoughts. What I also love though is my own peace. Being on my own and from time to time just dissapear in my own world. Going somewhere and just being with myself. So once in a while I just make a solo trip. Some time ago I have booked tickets to Budapest and Bratislava (in the end I only ended up in the first capital as it was so beautiful I really did not want to leave!). I have asked my friends if they want to join, but no one actually could, so I said – this is the time again! Some of them told me that I am crazy to travel on my own, I will get bored, won’t do anything in the evening, no nightlife etc. etc. How wrong they were! In the end, it wasn’t also my first solo trip, so I knew how to get ready.

So off I go. Tickets in my hand (OK, in my phone), passport, backpack and lots of positive vibes of excitment! I am ready! Until I realized I have forgotten half of cosmetics and a charger for a camera. So in the end I had almost no make up look and a lot of hope for my camera’s battery (thank god fully charged)! I need to work on my packing abilities. It is still crawling, despite numerous moves in my life …

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But ok.. I am in Budapest!!! The weather was amazing. View from my hotel – breathtaking, although I did not spend much time there. I took the shower after quite long trip and went to explore. Not only the city, but the culture, the atmosphere and the people. Because this is something that always brings most of my attention. The variety of culture, habits and looks. Where the fashion mixes with cultural elements and different stages of life, there I find a lot of magic. The exploring made my nights sleepless and mornings very early. Coming back at 1 a.m. leaving at 9 a.m. with full smile and no mark of tiredness!

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Parliament in Budapest captured from the cruise trip on Danube River with legenda.hu – beautiful views and great audio guide

What I have noticed this time was significantly increased number of people exploring the city on their own. With the map, phone and a backpack. Just moving in front of them in their own pace and simply taking a break from the ‘normal’ life. I started wondering why solo-travelling is more and more popular; at the same time asking myself a question, why I actually enjoy it so much and have this need of on my own time. The most important and first thing that came to my mind was getting a distance. The distance from everything. One could say to distance yourself from problems, but I don’t think this is the only reason. You also need to look at your life from another perspective to check if by the rush you are not missing some opportunities or if there is anything that you could do better. Or simply to chill from overthinking – which is also very often the case which overwhelmes a lot of us. It does happen to me for sure. It also gives a scope to realize how much we’ve already achieved and open for new adventures ahead.

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still scared of flying …

Experiencing everything only with my own eyes is completely different than doing it partially with our travel partner’s eyes. In the end you only share your comments with yourself. I stop wherever I want to and focus on looking at the world with my own eyes only. I see it as I want to and grab every second of it. I am always really happy for every next second that is in front of me and with the thrill, I am looking forward to it!

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Alicante – also one of my solo-travelling destinations in the past

Being completely dependent.. from yourself! You need to plan everything or decide to go with the flow and not have any structured plan. This time I had the idea what to do. The second hour of the trip I have changed everything as I have felt that I need something else from the trip. With the map in my hand, I was walking around, discovering every corner of the city – in completely different order than anticipated. It worked really well though! When you are alone, what is also really good is that the public transport trip with 4 stops and changes does not make any problem anymore. You know you need to do it, you have your goal – so you just do it! I treat those moments as a great adventure and a way to talk to locals! Admit it – how many times you were discussing something with your trip partner. You have decided to go with your idea to go to one place, despite the fact that your partner originally did not want to. OK, you agreed to stick to your idea together, but inside haven’t you had this feeling as if you did something wrong by convicing to your plan or that maybe the other person is upset? Of course, you can talk the whole topic through 10 times, but the feeling is there. This is the nature of the human – which does not happen when you are on your own.

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Realizing that I actually feel comfortable with myself. I can go to the restaurant and have a meal or drink on my own and not having my nose in the phone. I can just look at the street and observe what is happening there, read a book or focus on the local dishes which are always my favourite part of the trip!

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Ruszwurm Cream Cake – love at a first bite bringing memories from Poland <3

I can’t see myself being on my own that long back at the uni. Now I can’t imagine not having this time at least few times a year! Very important lesson is also to ask for help. I am the kind of the person that has always had problems with that. When you travel on your own, I am sorry to admit it, you will always find yourself in the situation, you have to ask for support. Definitely help is also needed after all the selfie fails I had…

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Last observation was connected with the kindness I have experienced from others. I am no longer seen as an alien when I ask for a table for one, but actually people are very helpful, nice and start conversations, ask questions, provide some pieces of advice, introduces to others. Despite being on my own, I have always felt support coming from different sides. This brings me a lot of believe in people’s kind nature.

To sum up I can tell that I have discovered a new way of travelling and I will continue to do so – I am already planning some weekend gateaway shortly. During the times on the bench I have made some notes, I’d like to share at some points with you, some things I haven’t normally noticed in my quite fast pace life, but to be continued…

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