the trip to the unusual

Unusual nowadays this word has definitely no clear meaning. There are so little things we can call this way as in the millennials era we seem to accept, digest and acquire more information or strange situations that our ancestors would not even have thought about. Not to mention to think they could ever happen. I love discovering abandoned places. Some are creepy. Some mesmerizing. Some romantic. And some scare the shit out of you.
There is something mysterious about such place. Why was it abandoned? Which stories do the walls keep from us? How were people living there? They are old. They are deserted. They are empty.
They were closed for a reason.

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Some time ago I have randomly heard about an abandoned mental hospital in Mombello, which is around 40 min by car from my place. It gave me goosebumps. I usually try to go on my own to those creepy places and then after first minute I regret doing that as I have no one to follow and hide myself behind, so I have used some strategy – namely sent a link to the place to a person I was quite convinced would like it. Just a feeling. Few days after the flight tickets were booked and I was getting ready for a trip. Mentally.

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If you look up the place online, you won’t have a lot of information about it. Especially not in English, so it took me a while to find some notes, reviews and suggestions on how to get there and move there. I have asked around and people seemed to be slightly creep out that I would have even asked about it or haven’t even heard about the place (how could they not, no idea!).

Mombello is situated in Limbiate and is a very small village, which – not sure if because it is suggestive due to the aim of the trip – but looks quite weird and scary from the ‘gate’ to the city.

Capture
Imgine this the complex of almost 40,000 sqm filled with hospital beds, electrocardiograms, medical records. All this scattered on the floor and coming even from the 70s. Moreover the whole place is surrounded by 2 m high wall that were hiding in the past some tragic stories. Some experiments and I am sure very sad stories.

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The complex includes few buildings. Surprisingly one of them seem to be used still as the houses of an institute for business appraiser and the Corberi, a halfway house for heavy mentally ills. What is interesting this is the building where Napoleon Bonaparte has spent few months during the war. Next to this, let’s call it main building, you can see abandoned little church/chapel. I really wish it was possible to visit it, but I think we didn’t have balls to cross the do not enter sign. Only in that place though. This villa was built for the noble family Pusterla and called Villa Crivelli Pusterla in 14th century. Over the years changing owners there were more buildings added and changed or renovated until being first abandoned in the late 19th century. Few years after, when the mental hospital in Senavra.

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Initially there were supposed to be maximum 900 patients in that place, however, there were over 3500 of them.. and who knows what was the real number. To add up to the craziness of this place, at the beginning of 20th century, for 10 years, the italian psychiatrist – Ugo Cerletti – worked in Mombello, where he started his studies on experimental epilepsy which later conducted him to the invention of electroshock therapy… Am I the only one having very literal and weird images in my life of people suffering in those dark rooms?

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In 1916 Mussolini has actually received a call from Mombello. Wondering why? Well, Benito Mussolini has been known for having affairs. This time it wasn’t different and he has been with Ida Dalser. When she got pregnant, Mussolini has already left her to get married few months after to another woman. In the meantime, he was trying to convince Ida to abortion, however, she gave a birth to the boy. The same one that died in Mombello 26 years after. Mussolini made sure that Ida was kept in the asylum and did not interrupt his life. She passed away in Venice after being moved there from Trento. As for the son, he was adopted by one of the Duce of Regime’s followers – Giuli Bernardi. He graduated from the naval school in La Spezia and then sailed to China where he has heard about his mum’s (step mother to be more accurate) death. He came back, but he suffered a lot of pain which was mistaken by the mental ilness and was closed in Mombello. Most likely he has been treated there for over 2 years, however, his condition was worsening and inevitably led to his death at the very young age. That was when Mussolini got the information from this creepy place.
Mysteriously the reason of his death remained unknown. His body was buried at the cementary in Limbiate.

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Walking through the hallways of the buildings it is difficult not to have the feeling that you are being observed. The writings on the walls looking at you from each side. Realizing that uring the First World War, the former Psychiatric Hospital of Limbiate assigned two pavilions for veterans traumatized by the war in the trenches, and whose extreme drama was clearly shown by recent studies gives you additional thrill… Here the soldiers were subjected to clinotherapy or rest therapy and a re-energising diet. The empty chairs and plates burnt by the sun, keeping the stories undiscovered. There were not many photographing enthusiasts there, so the complete silence of the place made you think. How much suffering must have taken place in such a, in the end, small complex. Then you discover that there is more to that. While walking in the park you discover the stairs to the tunnels. If you want to discover them better, make sure to bring good boots, helmets and torches. As we were not prepared for that and I would definitely have a heart attack, I can only tell… I saw darkness that felt like cutting my skin in pieces due to the chills that was giving me. Yes, that was the moment when I started hiding, but took a deep breath and chose the direction to the second floor…

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Just few moments after walking up the stairs and realizing how dangerous is the ceiling, we have heard some noises downstairs. Those were some teenagers throwing stuff and running away. You can’t imagine how scared I got that those were fireworks… I mean what kind of parents let their kids playing in Mombello? It took a lot of self-control in order to walk very carefully downstairs and not run and scream. I don’t know if I looked calm – I was trying to, but inside I felt every single, strong heart beat…

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If you move around the complex you will notice stairs in the park, slightly hidden, leading you to another two buildings and the greenhouse. There  we literally didn’t meet anyone. Except for a snake… Not sure what would have been better. (Un)fortunately, we also didn’t find anything weird on the photos taken. No dingy silhouettes, afterglows, strange figures… If we did, I think I would be the next patient of the mental hospital …

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The official reason for closing the place – as mentioned before, during the war there were too many patients and afterwards reaching over 3500 of them, which required opening new branches and moving them all in the 90s of 20th century.
But who knows what was really happening behind the closed walls… Now you can only imagine the history of this place through the suggestive graffiti created by street artists or some vandals, that in the end gave this place the special, undiscovered, feeling.

 


No object is mysterious. The mystery is your eye.

trentino or südtirol part 1: bolzano

Someone has said that Italy is only a geographical expression. After my road trip in Trentino area, I wouldn’t be able to fight those words. Just two weeks after the visit in the South we have decided to discover the North-East of my new homeland.
The preparation for this trip was not very long, but intense. The main aim was to do some hiking and discover places that are quite far from the city hustle and bustle, yet not unknown to tourists. We were expecting a lot of traveleres and people walking around looking for a good shot, however, in the end it appeared that the places were quite empty, hiking paths seemed abandoned and we have managed to enjoy the pure nature. We didn’t complain of course! Maybe it was because of the weather or maybe we were just lucky that long weekend was only in Switzerland, but in any case – it was perfect!

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Our long weekend started on Thursday morning. I have packed on Wednesday late evening as actually last weeks were pretty busy for me. I have been travelling, had a Friend over and was also celebrating my one year in Italy – I still don’t believe it has passed by so quickly! So there we are, my Friend is waiting for me in the car already and I am trying to have my last sip of hot espresso to wake myself up! I got in the car and… boom forgot my sunglasses so a quick sprint upstairs and got them! My morning grumpiness can magically disappear if I have a travel ahead, so I have got in the car again and started talking about anything. Well.. until first 5 minutes passed by and I have realized that I have forgotten ten million things at home like shampoo or packed only sport bra! Yeah, women problems… Where was my head, I have NO IDEA.

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The first destination was Lago di Resia or Reschensee. There we go with the first and main difference for this particular area – everyone speaks German. I would even say they use it as their first language and then italian. Since both of us look more german than italian (for sure myself!) no one ever started with Ciao but Hallo! The problem is that despite speaking German pretty well, their dialect was just too much. I gave up. So I went to Trentino, where they speak two languages I should understand – and in reality I was lost.

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The lake of almost 6km length is well know for the unusual bell tower outstanding from the lake. Many legends have been passed on by locals on the bells ringing from the bottom of the lake since the tower has been dammed while the dam was being constructed in the 50s. We have decided to make a walk around the lake.

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The trip takes around 3 hours and is 15km long. The views are spectacular, however, probably with more sunny weather the color of water would have been more beautiful. From the perspective now I can recommend you renting a bike and making the trip on your two-wheeled vehicle. The place definitely to visit, but don’t plan to spend too much time there – treat it more as a stop on your way, just like we did.

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Around 4 hours later, after nice coffee and lunch, we have been ready to reach Bolzano. I was checking the city before and tried to organize our evening, as I was pretty sure it will be super empty and not interesting. How wrong I was!!! The city is worth to stay over for a weekend. Filled with people of any age having a drink outside bars. The nightlife was fully on! It was just Thursday evening, to be honest I am not used to so many people in Como at such time.

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For aperitivo we have chosen Hopfen & Co. It was quite random choice as all of the places we have checked on tripadvisor before were completely full and we couldn’t make a booking in advance as weren’t sure what time we will arrive.
https://www.tripadvisor.it/Restaurant_Review-g187857-d788203-Reviews-Hopfen_Co-Bolzano_Province_of_South_Tyrol_Trentino_Alto_Adige.html

Aperitivo was fine, cocktail was fine. For me, a person with not super sophisticated palate, everything tasted well, however, there was one big but the service. I usually try not to complain and I am very understanding, however, if the waitress asks you to look at the receipt and check if the transaction was done as she is not sure how to read it or is making faces of being annoyed and irritated – god knows why – I get a bit frustrated myself. The only thing I was expecting was at least being polite, but I think it was too much. Anyway, let’s hope she has had only worse day. For a drink head to Franz. Super cool and crowded place. I would recommend it for solo travelers, as I am sure you will meet loads of new people there!
https://www.tripadvisor.it/Restaurant_Review-g187857-d8830665-Reviews-Franzbar-Bolzano_Province_of_South_Tyrol_Trentino_Alto_Adige.html

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Later on we have decided to go for a walk. I completely forgot to mention that our apartment, found on booking.com was right in the city center, in great price and I strongly recommend it for two people!
https://www.booking.com/hotel/it/suite-bolzano.it.html

The room looks even better than on the photos and the owner is a really nice person.

The places in Bolzano that are the must see if you are there only for an evening:
Arcades – gives the medieval feeling to the city. You feel as if you moved back in time.
Via Joseph Streiter – filled with bars and historic buildings
Via Argentieri – with the Casa Troilo and very cute link to the Arcades
Piazza delle Erbe – with the Neptune Fountain and the food market (that turns into a huge bar at night)
Piazza Municipio and the Town Hall
and last but not least Cathedral and the Castle

Once you cover all those places you can head to… have some gelato!
We’ve tried Gelateria Eccetera as it was one of the only few still open at 11 p.m. It was a good choice though – cremino flavor… mmm… I wish I had some ice cream in my fridge now (or better not!).
https://www.tripadvisor.it/Restaurant_Review-g187857-d4913331-Reviews-Gelateria_Eccetera-Bolzano_Province_of_South_Tyrol_Trentino_Alto_Adige.html

It was time to bed, as Friday morning we had some trekking to do. Still in Bolzano.

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As I was going through websites and doing research on the area, I have found a nice trekking path between three castles and a tower nearby. You will see the ruins of Castel d’Appiano, Castel Boymont and Castel Corba.

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The walk is around 5 km and should take no longer than 2.5h. The only problem is that we didn’t learn from the mistakes from the past and we have got lost as we didn’t read the signs properly! In the end our trekking was almost 8km long and lasted over 3 hours. It was very steep (the original path should be pretty easy), pretty scary as there were no sights of live and we have even managed to trespass to somebody’s vineyard and met their two little, but feisty dogs!

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The whole path you can find under this link:
https://www.suedtirolerland.it/en/leisure-activities/mountains-and-hiking/hiking-in-the-south-of-south-tyrol/three-castle-walk/

After the walk – and a bit of pain in my legs! – we have started our trip towards Lago di Braies and Trento. About that Friday soon… and there is still Saturday to tell you about.

 

Considering all the differences that I have noticed between the north and the south or even Lombardy and Trentino, I agree that Italy is only a geographical expression and don’t even try to fight it and find one definition of this colorful variety. Every visitor admires how different and unlike is each city from another and how you can’t compare the places, people and language.
Each has its beauty but also perks, so you have to discover yourself which is your own part of this picturesque peninsula. 

the road trip buddy

Izaak Walton – and English writer of 17th century. I have read his The Compleat Anger while still being a student, but actually just few weeks back I have reached out to him again. To my surprise one of the quotes was as follows As Italians say: good company in a journey makes the way seem shorter. I found it a bit funny that I have noticed the quote just now – before the weekend road trip with Giulia.
The quote is also very contradictory for me, however, let me start from the beginning.

Plans for the long weekend, so-called swiss holidays, have been arranged already in February or even earlier. The choice of the place was not easy, as living in Como gives a great array of beautiful places to visit that are easily reachable by car. After quite thorough research we have decided to go to Trentino, so to more eastern part. I said We, cause this time it was not a solo trip, but a trip with already mentioned Giulia. Who is she? Long story short – started from being a colleague, through a sort of mentor in my new path in Italy – finishing with a real friend.

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The trip itself will be a subject for another post as the itinerary we have created and covered within only three days was demanding but the views totally worth the efforts. Maybe we were tired and afterwards decided to devote Sunday to pure relax and chill at home after… holiday! However, I would not change anything in a trip. Well, maybe the weather, but clearly  we haven’t booked it in advance. You can’t have everything though, can you?

Coming back to my main thought though, do you really think that having a road trip – not a flight, not a train, but a road trip in one car – with your friend is always a good and easy idea?
If so, you were lucky by now with your friends and it means you should stick to them for your life! If not, then we are in the same group as I strongly believe that having a road trip buddy is a special gift and in the end it is easier to lose a friend than to create closer bonds. Every person has their particular way of travelling and spending time abroad. When I say different I mean it can be like black and white experience that you would only notice while preparing the trip. Unfortunately, usually we are not able to say if going away with even our best friend is a great idea, until we actually make it. So we take some kind of a risk. Either we have fun or we have awkward moments after the trip.
I want to believe that I have found some kind of balance on how to work things out and make sure that everyone is happy during the trip. The ROAD trip.

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Why Road Trip is so particular? You are spending with a person good few hours (at least!) closed in a car. Usually listening to music or annoying radio broadcast. Either you are a driver and you may get annoyed by your co-pilot or the other way round. There are so many things that could go wrong, but even more that you can make right.

When you decide to travel together, always ask yourself few crucial questions. First one is what is the aim of the trip. Let’s make sure it is clear and everyone wants the same. If you are going to do a trekking, but your Friend in the morning is annoyed and wants to grab a coffee or go to the beach. Clearly there was a miscommunication and you don’t want to have a hot discussion in the morning on how to compromise and who does what and then have some not very pleasant moments of silence in the car. Of course, don’t get me wrong, silent is fine – as long it is the I need my space and time type. Otherwise, one can feel like opening the door and leaving the car with a friend far away.

On the contrary, don’t try to talk all the time. No one is able to listen actively and have a meaningful conversation for 24 hours. If you are in silent it does not mean one of you is upset. This means you feel comfortable with the person and you can simply enjoy the moment.

This leads to the next question do we have to do everything together? There is one answer – NO. We are not chained to each other and we do not have to spend every second of the day together, but there are some limitations if we all stuck with one car. Make clear plans in advance and while still being flexible, try not to mess it up too much.

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You have to be flexible and open for new ideas and ad-hoc things happening during the trip, but please for everyone’s sake, don’t be the always I don’t mind type. Probably this is the most annoying and irritating sentence if repeated by the same person more than 5 times within a trip. Have an opinion. If you say that you have none, it clearly means that you are scared to share what you really think as it is probably against the majority. Have some balls and say it out loud or keep it low and follow the herd. But do mind. On the other side if someone is walking or eating a bit slower, just chill. Probably they think you are too fast. No one is perfect and there are always two point of view.

What is the usual core of all problems? Money. Make sure you make it clear at the start how you split the expenses and if you pay 50/50 or everyone pays for themselves. I have been travelling in the past month with all type of friends and since we have said at the start how everything is gonna function, we have avoided a lot of unnecessary conversations. Another advice though – if someone says they will cover the bill or you don’t have to give them 50 cent change, don’t fight against them. Just buy them espresso next time and give back the favor. You will all feel way better about such situation.

Don’t forget rules about packing. You might want to take half of your wardrobe, but please… if you are travelling in fiat 500 in 4, probably a little backpack is more recommended unless you are happy with holding your stuff for 5 hours on your laps.
One of my nightmares? Once I have traveled with a person that has eaten sardines in the morning. The smell in the car was definitely unforgettable…

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In order not to start your story with infamous words the night was dark and rainy… and lead to some undesired actions, repeat to yourself – you can be as irritating, disorganized, annoying and slow/fast as the other person, so take it easy, communicate everything clearly and chill. While you realize that, you can focus on the trip itself and getting closer with your friends.

This month I have done every single type of travelling with other people. With Friends, people I haven’t known before, some people that are close to me but still we are getting to know each other and other maybe more randomly met travelers that have become the big part of the adventure – short or long term. Having said that, I can tell that from my perspective every trip was different, but everyone respected our space. All rules were clear and we did not argue at all. I was definitely not irritated, but rather very pleasantly surprised that in such mixed groups we have made it to have great time with no misunderstanding or discussions.
Clearly I have found the way to have a road trip with my friends or maybe I just have found the best friends to travel with?

Remember a good friend listens to your adventures, the best friend makes them with you.

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!

Cracovian Legends

I have just realized that despite me being in love with my country – in a weird way as from the distant – I have never written anything particularly about polish cities. It is a time now, so get ready to discover Kraków following some legends and a big part through my friend’s – Giulia – photos, which are way better than the ones you could find on google (*spoiler alert*). At the end you will also find some recommendations on where to eat and drink 😉

There are a lot of theories on the origin of the name of our second Polish capital city. Some are purely theoretic and pragmatic but one that I like in particular is connected with the legend. In the time of Game of Thrones when I say that it includes the dragon, I should get your attention.
Walking down the Grodzka street, which is one the oldest ones in the city as is the part of the Royal trade route back from at least 13th Century, you will end up facing the huge walls of the Wawel’s Castle. My suggestion is to turn right first and head towards the Wawel’s dragon. Ah yes.. so the legend. Once upon a time… to be more specific in the 1st century, there was a lair on the Wawel’s hill where the dragon that spread the havoc among the citizens as was responsible for attacks on local virgins. No one was brave enough to face him or the strongest and most courageous knights were dying at the Vistula’s bank. Until one day the brave cobbler Dratewka or later Prince Krakus came up with a very smart or… original idea to create a fake sheep filled in with brimstone. Yes, I was asking myself why with brimstone not with dynamite or … poison. Well.. the legend says that it made the dragon so thirsty that has started to drink water from the restless Vistula. He couldn’t stop, so… he burst out and liberated the city from his cruelty. Until today the inscription on the sculpture is as below and the dragon’s cave can be visited during the summer.

KRAKUS, A POLISH PRINCE
RULED AD 730-750.
HERE IS THE CAVE IN WHICH HAVING KILLED THE WILD DRAGON HE SETTLED AT WAWEL, AND FOUNDED THE CITY OF KRAKÓW.

Znalezione obrazy dla zapytania smok wawelski

Wawel is the perfect place to spend early afternoon. You will find information in each guide that there is a breathtaking view from the terrace at the sunset, but I dare to differ. The view is actually more beautiful when you look from the other side of the Vistula river towards the hill and see the streaks of sun tearing themselves through the previous Royal Families’ residency, chapels…

Podobny obraz

It is interesting to mention that the bell located in the Sigmund’s Tower can be only heard during the most important occasions in Poland and in the world. Unfortunately, also during the reign of the same King the capital city of Poland was moved to Warsaw and Wawel started being neglected or occupied by Prussians leading to worsening it’s condition significantly. One of my favorite parts are actually the Tombs of Royal family or very important figures from Polish history placed under the castle. If you are interested in polish history, I am sure you will find it fascinated to walk through the tombs of people who used to have the unimaginable power over our ancestors. Of course there is a controversy of the more modern graves placed in that area after the plane crash in Smoleńsk few years back, but this should not disperse a tourist.

Znalezione obrazy dla zapytania wawel

How many pigeons have you seen on the Market Square in Kraków? Hah.. no one is able to count them. As we are very creative people by nature (I hope!) there is another legend linked to that and as locals are used to avoiding those little flying creatures and trying not to walk under them, the tourists can go back in time and think about the legend linked with them which says that pigeons are the knights that have been put under the spell when the Prince of Krakow of that time had no money and asked the fairy for help. She then turned all his army into birds and they have started taking out rocks from the walls of St. Mary’s Church making them fall on the ground and changing into golden coins. The prince was now rich but… with no army to defend the city. The fairy has promised to take the spell back, however, under the condition that he will go to Rome and see the Pope. Unfortunately, Prince forgot quickly about his city and spent all the money on wine and decadent life on the way to Italy and Kraków is.. filled with soldiers closed in the little pigeons’ bodies.

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The most beautiful sight on the square is unarguably the St. Mary’s Church, which maybe from the outside may look more average, but inside… just have a look… (one of Giulia’s photos):

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Also here there is a legend of the Trumpeter that was motivating the soldiers to defend the city, however, has been killed with a single Tatar’s arrow, so the melody has finished. Until today the hejnał is being played only until the moment when it was stopped at the memorable battle.

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The beautiful altar on photos above created by Veit Stoss has also its story. First of all the creation took over 12 years and spending the unimaginable amount of money to finish it. Afterwards he came back to Germany and was imprisoned for… an investment fraud! The altar survived ages of different historic moments until the Nazi soldiers came and stole it. Fortunately, unlike the other pieces of art, it was found in the unaffected condition and brought back to the church.

Have you heard of Wieliczka salt mine? No, well… high time to discover the place! 2.5km of a walk with a guide. Starting with going down the stairs to 63m under the ground and reaching 130m towards the end of the trip.

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Plenty of underground salt lakes, chambers, chapels… the view is something unreal! Also you can lick the wall as it is pure salt due to what all the bacteria is killed (so it is hygienic) and… it is simply fun! 😀

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The legend here says that hungarian Princess Kinga was about to marry our Polish King, so as the part of her dowry she has asked for the lump of salt from the salt mine in Hungary, as it was very pricey in Poland and not only. She went to the salt mine with her Father and threw her engagement ring into the shaft. Upon arrival to Poland she has asked minors to dig a whole in the ground until they reached a rock. To everyone’s disbelief they have discovered there salt! When they split it into halves they have discovered Kinga’s engagement ring. That’s why she has become also the patron of polish miners.

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The same King that has rebuilt the Salt Mine (Kazimierz Wielki) has also created the city which is now the Jewish quarter of Kraków and was named by his name – Kazimierz.

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One of the tragic ones is connected with the cemetary that we have also visited on the Szeroka street. It may seem weird to have the graveyard in the middle of the main square, however, it is said that it was placed there because at one of the Jewish weddings (just before the sabbath) organized for an orphan that had no dowry, so the whole celebrations were at night to keep it simply cheaper… lasted too long and interrupted the religious celebrations in the temple. Long story short, they have all been punished with… death and the graveyard was initially for all the merrymakers…

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Nowadays the quarter seems to have stopped in time and is filled with Jewish restaurants, typical shops and the roofs of mosques gazing at us inbetween the beautiful tenement houses.

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Thanks to my Friends I have also got to know that there is a Jewish tradition to put little stones on the grave in order to make sure that the soul does not leave the body deceased. Another, more practical, explanation is to show others that someone has visited the grave recently.

Not to be too long with the legends of Kraków, I would like to finish with recommending few places that we were lucky to visit.

  1. Restaurant U Babci Maliny – https://www.tripadvisor.com/Restaurant_Review-g274772-d697169-Reviews-U_Babci_Maliny-Krakow_Lesser_Poland_Province_Southern_Poland.html

    Typical polish food. I can tell that was almost as good as my Grandma’s! The only problem is the mix of the old soul of the place and the modern elements imposed in the interior. The beeping number on the wall was ruining the atmosphere…
    I recommend the one on Sławkowska street as it is hidden and you have to pass through the library in order to get inside. Nice little hidden place 😉

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  2. Cafe Żarówka on Floriańska Street – https://www.tripadvisor.com/Restaurant_Review-g274772-d7277453-Reviews-Zarowka_Cafe-Krakow_Lesser_Poland_Province_Southern_Poland.html
    Super cozy and friendly place with very cute breakfasts and lunches. Additional advantage is extremely friendly dog of the owner and again… being hidden in-between the buildings!

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  3. Zapiekanka on Plac Nowy – https://www.tripadvisor.com/Restaurant_Review-g274772-d3700898-Reviews-Endzior_Zapiekanki-Krakow_Lesser_Poland_Province_Southern_Poland.html Foreigners call it a Polish pizza – for me it is more like a bruschetta thing. In any case, everyone loves it! Typical polish street food. My personal recommendation – the simpler the better (ham, mushrooms and cheese with ketchup obligatory).WhatsApp Image 2018-03-18 at 12.56.09
  4. Pijalnia Wódki i Piwa – https://www.tripadvisor.com/Restaurant_Review-g274772-d7991552-Reviews-Pijalnia_Wodki_I_Piwa-Krakow_Lesser_Poland_Province_Southern_Poland.html
    Because you simply can’t leave Kraków/Poland without trying few different flavours of vodka. It would have been as if being in Italy and not trying pasta!

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  5. Bar Mleczny Pod Temidą – https://www.tripadvisor.com/Restaurant_Review-g274772-d2693216-Reviews-Bar_Mleczny-Krakow_Lesser_Poland_Province_Southern_Poland.html
    Another place you can’t miss is the Milk Bar – the best pierogi, the best dumplings, the best bigos and the best krokiety – after my Grandma’s, my Mum’s and mine 😛 The only issue was very rude staff, but you can handle it for the taste of their food.

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I really hope that I have made you want to discover Poland a bit more and in case you need local’s advice, let me know as I have much more tips and ideas for this trip than I could have shared here!

Hope to hear your stories on this city soon!

back to the roots

So today I have come back from yoga and ate sushi. You might think that I really became boring and have nothing to write about, but bear with me for few more minutes. This was some kind of breakthrough in my life, as … I do not do yoga and do not eat sushi. You may ask now why the hell is she writing about it now then and why did she do both in the end? Or at least you are asking yourself this question, as this post is, hopefully, gonna be on people that can change the perception of yourself and motivate you and… my latest trip back home. Quite an unusual mix, but that would be all about my last weekend in Poland.

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Since I have moved abroad I have met a lot of people that travel but not a lot that have actually been to Poland or… would like to go there anytime soon. I am not sure why as there are a lot of beautiful places there, the prices are very cheap and cities easily reachable from anywhere in Europe simply by Ryanair. But there is this stereotype I guess that Poland is cold, cities not as impressive as in Western Europe and people are even colder then the weather. Which is kind of true but… I think younger generation is leading to some major changes! Anyway… It is not a country for hot summer holiday, but it is the place for sightseeing and discovering the unknown.

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Coming back to my main thought. In Italy I have been very positively surprised that my new Friends are actually very interested in my culture and origins. In the end for them my life is a complete tabula-rasa. I might not know their families or friends but still can see the environment they grew up in. They don’t have the same luxury with myself, so in the end I could pretend to be anyone I’d like to. I don’t see the point of doing that, but in the end who knows! 😉 Their interest was very strong and sometimes across a lot of jokes and irony we have been talking about my country and Family. There were some things that they felt to be absurd but also, or at least I hope so, that there are interesting, new or worth to listen/know about. Following that I have proposed to come to Poland few months back to two of my Friends from work, and actually not only at work.

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The decision to go was made actually within seconds. The tickets were cheap, city beautiful and long weekend at work filled. So yes – within next few moments the tickets have been booked and on my face there was this kind of childish smile due to the prospect of being home again after 9 months and the mix of my old world with the new surrounding. In reality, that was also the first time I was bringing people that are very close to me to very personal place of mine, so I also have felt pressure – if they gonna like it? How shall I go about the trip? Is my knowledge enough to interest them?  What was even cooler is that we have actually went also to my hometown and had dinner with my Parents and spent the night in my old room! Small thing but for me meant a world!
Having mentioned the dinner with my Mum and Dad. It was the first great highlight of the whole trip of our trio, which was then even extended to the quintet. But coming back to the dinner… My Mum is a bit extrovert, with crazy thoughts, strong personality and very vocal opinions. She is the one you can steal horses with (as we say in Poland meaning it is a great company for everything!) but also.. you can be scared as she is always straight to the point and doesn’t waste time for pretending to like something or someone. Clearly I can tell that she has loved girls. To the point that while saying goodbye, she has actually forgotten to say goodbye to me. She was so happy to meet girls and have them around that she has actually forgotten that… I am leaving back to Italy as well. Or maybe got used to our goodbyes. In any case, it was super funny situation!! But coming back to the change of habits, I will finally explain why those two stories or elements are very much linked to each other.

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During the dinner both of my Friends were very interested in polish culture, our traditions, language, funny stories… everything and of course you could have tell that it was a real interest. Not type of the… OMG I am here so least I can do is pretend to listen and pay attention. Moreover, I think they may have discovered and remembered even more than I wish them to! Ahh my Parents have sold them few quite good phrases or stories on me… 🙂 You can always count on them in case! Despite, or maybe thanks to, the fact it was something completely new I have seen that they were really getting into details and trying to recognize or compare that world to myself from their world, my stories and eventually, as I believe so, to their own houses. In the end our cultures are different, so it works both way. I was and still am discovering the Italian style!

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The next day we have been walking around Kraków and visited Wieliczka Salt Mine. I have done my best to remember by heart some stories on sights, legends, but I have failed few times, so thank god for my pretty good imagination. I hope they still remember the legend on the Dragon of Wawel! 😀 I was recommending new places, new food and… I have realized that even despite considering myself as very open person, I am probably much more difficult to be motivated to change or to try something new. At least when it comes to my habits. This weekend, both of them have trusted me completely in anything I have recommended or suggested, so well… this is something I should have learnt. They have been convincing me to do so many things and for some I have said YES straight, for some with time and for some I have failed. Of course it is easier to change your mindset for a weekend rather than lifetime, but still… in the end leading the same lifestyle and habits forever must be boring and doesn’t allow us to taste the life in its full colors.

So I have made my notes – things they have been convincing me… yoga, gym, sushi, speak italian.

Game is on girls…

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Five Shades of Liguria

No, I am not a fan of ‘Fifty Shades of Grey’. Although I read all parts (skipping every other page). I just like knowing what people talk about. Seems the same was with Cinque Terre. Everyone has been there. Everyone loved it. Everyone had some particular experience there. I was meant to go there already since July, but there was always something more interesting. In the end I thought those are small cities mainly for hiking, so it wasn’t put on my priority. Until my Friend, Suku, has mentioned that this was her dream to go and visit the place before leaving back to India. So we went off. Just two days before her flight.

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Looking through the photos on the internet, some recommendations, suggestions what to do and what to see I started falling for this place. It seemed magical. Soon I was about to experience this fully. Saturday morning we have left Milan in really good moods. Despite the weather forecast saying that it’s gonna be cold and rainy we were motivated to explore as much as possible and take most of the trip and last hours before our separation.

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What a surprise we had when we have reached La Spezia (where our hotel was) and started to sweat in our thick jumpers as it was really warm (+16 degrees!). We parked the car. Got lost. Found very nice lady that traveled with us on two buses in order to show us where the train station was. It is important to mention that the hotel was 6 min walking from the train station. Now you can imagine how lost we were before to take 2 buses …

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First city was Riomaggiore. In the sun, we have been joking around, while trying to take the best photos, but of course it took ages to convince me to take a photo of myself – then I gave up and surprisingly was asking for some more shots. (not vodka ones!) This place was definitely the brightest one. It was a great beginning of the trip.

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I haven’t felt the brutally coming Monday yet, so I was very careless. In the end, MONDAY IS NOT REAL! What the fuck is Monday?! Joking around come non ci fosse un domani, laughing my ass off about the most ridiculous things. People around must have thought that I have some issues, but.. I don’t think about others 😉 I even wore my brand new glasses, that I honestly hate. But I did not care.

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After Riomaggiore, there was a time for Manarola. Very picturesque city where we have also eaten in the restaurant carried out by a couple of elder marriage. Home food. Sweet couple. Oh my god… I started feeling sentimental and everyone knows I am not sentimental at all. More like ‘bah..what the fuck?!’ type of a person. But come on… homemade food in grandma style (maybe not mine, but I imagine she could be my Italian grandma 😉 ) can move even such a rational person as I am. So we have started talking about future.

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Our dreams and how to make them reality. Some things made me angry. As if I didn’t want to understand what was happening around. Accepting reality is not my strongest feature. I have heard the word fate few times during that trip and I am still not convinced. I mean the truth is there are weird things happening around myself, but how much is it me wanting something, looking for some sights or simple unnatural powers? Who knows?

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I always try to find my own way to perceive what is happening in order to make it easier. But I could not handle this one. I was just getting pissed off. At the world. For being so big and me so small. And no, I don’t mean smelling armpits on the bus, but not being able to be everywhere, with everyone, all the time. I do my best on whatsapp, but clearly it is not the same 😀

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Corniglia. A lot of effort. So many stairs… Despite almost falling twice, I was laughing all the time and covering getting more and more sad. I don’t know if I hid it well enough, but I did my best. Walking up the hill gives you some time to think. UNFORTUNATELY. This should be forbidden. Like there should be some distractions on the way. But no.. the only one was the sign of the path – which was the exact polish flag – oh.. thanks for making me more homesick. We sat a bit looking at the view from the top. Took a glass of wine. I have made friends with two cats.

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Lost my head due to so many thoughts.. Trying to come up with the best excuse and way to keep all my Friends close! …so while I couldn’t focus both on the cat, thinking what was coming soon and holding a glass of wine, I have dropped wine. Cut myself and spilled it on the floor. Great. Some Italian older gentleman started complaining that I did it because I was focused on the cat. I wasn’t. As a born negotiator, I was trying to come up with the best pack with devil possible. I guess I wasn’t creative enough! A little run down to the station and … Vernazza.

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I think it was my favorite city. For few reasons. But we have spent there the longest time both on Saturday and Sunday. On Sunday I got completely turned off in the city. I barely spoke, actually completely mute. For few reasons I guess. When I am down, I either speak too much and pretend all is good, I am a complete bitch and you better don’t come closer than 1km to me or I don’t speak at all. I felt weird as I was also meeting another Friend met recently for like 3 minutes, so I was supposed to be happy. But I simply lost all the excitement and just got cold. As I would do. Sounds depressing, but this is what I have felt. I was happy inside and super awkward and lost outside. I hope they didn’t mind or… notice!

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Although, people are mainly used to me talking some nonsense, so I guess it was alright when I have started out of nowhere my stream of ‘word’sciousness. This mood led me down to the last city.

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On Sunday, last city. Monterosso. The biggest. Probably with less nice views, but most interesting city. I was very calm there. Kind of accepted than in 7 hours I will be saying goodbye and crying in the car for last 45 minutes to Como. Maybe not 45, but a good 10 – yeah I did! I started joking around again and being more relaxed. In the end I had to use the time wisely. Next time we see each other is most likely no sooner than August or even LATER!!

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Now you will ask why? Why did I went through all of those steps to say goodbye to a person that I have met for only 6 months? Because I get close only to some people. The ones I believe that can change me in a good way and I have changed. I was calmer. More distant and was able to build up my private world in the new place. Of course, I have friends here, but this is the one that is leaving me now. And being the selfish type only child, I believed I own the only right to do so. But well… Sometimes I need to wake up from this selfish side of me. Open my eyes, remember the acceptance feeling of Monterosso and move forward. In the end those are not goodbyes but see you laters. Like soon I am gonna have the reunion in Lisbon, meet for the first time (and we know each other for good few years) my kind of career mentor (I hope you read it and die from laughter!:PPPP) in Amsterdam, show my little world and origins in Kraków and my hometown, discovering new places with my Como Mentor & Friend, getting to know how to party with italians in the south, showing my Mum the beauty of Toscany and hopefully big.. Hello again in India! <3

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and yes… I still believe I am the only one having the right to leave, so don’t try to prove me wrong again. anyone.

‘Trust me!’

I am being spontaneous, crazy and unpredictable, but my Friends despite knowing that will always perceive me as the responsible one. Because I can take care of myself and I guess I am there for them when they need me. Or I want to believe that they think so. In any case, only while travelling with me you can discover the real side of my twisted personality and the special skill of being a magnet to all of the weird/funny/ridiculous situations that could happen to me. While solo travelling it is not easy to describe everything as people will think I exaggerate, but this time I have some witnesses. And despite being in Barcelona in three (soon a post about it), all the crazy stuff happened after those words – ‘Sangu, trust me!’.

Sangu, one of my best Friends living in Milan has made probably not well-thought decision to go to Barcelona and let me organize the trip. Everything was settled. Itinerary, flights, luggage packed… let’s go for the adventure! We have entered the plane and she realized that I am really scared of flying. So taking off – despite a solid glass of wine at the airport – was ‘a bit’ intense. She was laughing but at the same time supported me in my craziness. This is how you recognize a real friend!!

So after a bit bumpy landing with the weird sounds coming from wheels (as if the pilot has used manual lever to open the chassis), we have reached the ground and I could have breathed normally again. Or even better as… Spain… here we are!!!! We rushed to the hotel to meet Lianne, who was travelling from UK and we have met through this blog actually – but this is for another long story! – so we reached the hotel and two of us went out. After 15 min of looking for some pub, we have chosen the one opened the longest as it was already way after 1 a.m. but we had no time to lose and we wanted to taste a bit of Spanish nightlife! So there we are… first ‘Sangu, trust me.’ slips from my mouth. We were trying to come back but no taxi was around and despite me speaking fluently at the bar Spanish – god knows how?! – I was reluctant to call for a cab. So we were walking. With 15% on one phone and much less on the other. I have learnt that I couldn’t trust google maps with my life. That is for sure! 1 hour of walking around and not finding our hotel which was initially 15 minutes away! We passed the same Arch of Liberty 3 times. But we did not give up. I said to trust me… and we found it! Exhausted but laughing to tears. Cause… from the start of course I knew what I was doing (or not!).

After 3 hours of sleep we have left to discover the city. Sagrada Familia and the fulfillment of my dream – Museo di Salvador Dali were the highlights of the day and we have taken the best out of it. Running back to the train station with paella in our hands might not have been the best idea but… worth it! Then the shower and exploring the La Rambla and Gothic part at night.

How many times did I say I fell in love with Spain? Well, here I am again – #INLOVE standing at the edge of the harbor and hoping to live there one day or at least have a summer house somewhere at the seaside.

With those thoughts in my head and being struck by the beauty of Spanish chicos around, while drinking coffee I was woken up by the street guitar player. Yes, he sang ‘Sex bomb’ by Tom Jones for us. Not very good, so we couldn’t stop the burst of laughter! Of course, who laughed first? (Pointing the finger at myself). So I have decided to be nice to this poor guy and gave him few euros asking – please, could you not sing again? Girls thought they will die from laughter, but what is worst he has decided to sing a little part of another weird serenade and then leave. I was literally crying there… couldn’t stop for good few minutes! Anyway.. it was very calm and relaxing evening. Me and Sangu did not know that the next night – leaving one – was supposed to be full of adventures.

So yes… Sunday, not to go into details now, I woke up earlier went to a museum and then we met in the city. It was raining a lot but we still have managed to have great time and see a big part of this splendid city. After merenda unfortunately, the two of us had to be coming back to the flat. Last goodbyes and … back home 🙁

Somehow we have made it to reach the airport with no surprises or adventures. Our plane was supposed to depart at 20.50. Now imagine our faces when we realized it was departing at 22.50 as there was delay. We had almost 4 hours ahead! I don’t want to count how many sangrias we could have had in that time on Plaça Reial!

After trusting me in finding the way back from the toilet – I failed again, but at least I have admitted it after 15 minutes of walkig towards the dead end (another #trustme story), we went shopping the grab some food. I have ordered first and then when my Friend was buying her food, from boredom, I have reached out my phone and checked the vueling (airlines) app. What I saw…. our flight was departing at 21.35!!! It was 21.05!!!!!!!! Damn it! Started to sweat in a second. Sangu came back. Saw my face and I was only like… Sangu, we need to leave. Now!

I run to check the board and it was right. I checked the gate number B29 came back to our food and suitcases and… instead of doing anything I grabbed few french fries. Stood still and said.. just trust me. I take my french fries, you take yours and run!

So we run to B29. To our surprise it was empty. I was already partially happy hoping that our plane is gone and we have to stay longer. But.. it still seemed weird. No notice… nothing. So I run to the board. Again. Oops… it was B39!!! How blind one can be! ‘RUN!!!’. So we reached our queue… thank god not as last ones. We have started to talk and also organize how to pick up the car at the airport etc. As I left it for the first time at the cheap but in the middle of nowhere car park. So we needed a transfer. I took out the card and… it was all wet, so while I was taking it out I did a huge hole just in the middle of a bar code… thank god not the number to the place though! So trusting me with the car was not the best idea either…why was it wet? Cause I said that it would be the great idea to keep both umbrellas in one bag – mine – together, so it wouldn’t make everything wet… just my car ticket and PASSPORT that were in the same pocket #welldone.

Ok. We have landed. Finally! Out of the airport. I called this sad van to pick us up and we were waiting with other people. Then we hear ‘Klaudia!’. Yes, that’s us!! Smiling like two little babies (it was midnight!) we ran to the minibus and I said my surname. The guy confirmed, so we packed our stuff and went to sit inside. Just in case, I showed the ticket… the face of driver said it all. Do not trust me. It is not our transfer. So we patiently left the car just to discover few minutes later that the guy was waiting for Claudio, so two guys not two girls…

Anyway, we finally made it to the car park and despite not very good karaoke session which made us realize we can flawlessly sing only two lines from any song, we have reached our homes. With lots of funny storied and this one sentence in our head ‘… trust me’.

So if you ever think about travelling with me, I do recommend to read this post twice. Or more 😉

#trustme

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.

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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?

 

 

my 15 cities of 2017

cause ‘every city is a living body’

#1 Brighton

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#2 Peak District: Matlock & Chatsworth

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#3 Milan

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#4 Lago Di Como: Bellagio, Menaggio, Tremezzo, Cernobbio, Lenno, Lecco, Erba, Varenna

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#5 Torino

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#6 Verona

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#7 Parma

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#8 Bologna

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#9 Lago di Garda: Dezenzano del Garda, Sirmione

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#10 Budapest

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#11 Marbella

Znalezione obrazy dla zapytania marbella

#12 Innsbruck

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#13 Madrid

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#14 Granada

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#15 Sevilla

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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.

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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