In January 2020, not long before the crisis caused by the Corona virus began, we had a dream vacation in Las Palmas, the capital of the island of Gran Canaria. Gran Canaria is part of the Canary Islands archipelago, along with Tenerife, Fuerteventura, Lanzarote, La Gomera, La Palma and El Hierro. The Canary Islands, although geographically located in Africa, are part of Spain and the EU, so you don’t have to worry about travel documents.
I chose this tropical destination in winter to escape from the cold in Europe. The canaries have been blessed with an excellent climate, protected by currents that ensure ideal temperatures all year round: not lower than 20 degrees in winter and not higher than 29 degrees during summer. Gran Canaria also gets an average of 320 sunny days out of 365 per year.
In Ianuarie 2020, nu cu mult timp inainte sa inceapa criza provocata de virusul Corona, am apucat o vacanta de vis in Las Palmas, capitala insulei Gran Canaria. Gran Canaria face parte din arhipelagul Insulelor Canare, alaturi de Tenerife, Fuerteventura, Lanzarote, La Gomera, La Palma si El Hierro. Insulele Canare desi sunt geografic localizate in Africa, fac parte din Spania si UE asa ca nu trebuie sa va faceti griji in privinta actelor.
Am ales aceasta destinatie tropicala iarna, pentru a scapa de frigul din Europa. Canarele au fost binecuvantate cu o clima excelenta, protejata de curenti ce ii asigura tot anul temperaturi nu mai mici de 20 de grade iarna si nu mai mari de 29 de grade vara, dar si o medie de 320 de zile insorite din 365 ale unui an.
After the previous article of TALES OF THE PAST: UNIQUE PHOTOS FROM CONSTANTA PARK AND PARK LINE 1991we have a further perspective of the public transport in the city of Constanta, Romania in 1991, shortly after the anti communist revolution. The Constanta tram system, although it had very good coverage of the city, was already old and degraded at that time. Unfortunately, the trolleybus network was in about the same situation. However, if we look at the map of the city public transport, with a few exceptions, all of Constanta city had electrified public transport. Quite admirable compared to today’s times.
Malta, a small and beautiful island in the middle of the Mediterranean. It is a destination known to every sailor around the world. Due to it’s central location, today it is an International hub for container transshipment, and also a major financial hub. Although I had the opportunity to visit the port many times, due to the short stay in the port (usually 12 to 18 hours), I never had time to really enjoy the island.
That is until the summer of 2016 when due to an unexpected engine problem, we were instructed by the shipowner to go to the Palumbo shipyard in Malta. When I started to plot the route, to my surprise I saw that the site is located straight in the heart of Valletta harbour, the capital of Malta.
The entrance to the bay was very narrow, the pilot carefully maneuvering our 300 meters ship through the walls and medieval fortifications of the entrance to the port of Valletta. But at the same time, this does offer some very nice views, being the same views as the tourists on the cruise ships enjoy when they come here.
Malta, o insulita mica si superba in mijlocul Marii Meditaraneene. Este o destinatie cunoscuta oricarui vaporean, fiind astazi un centru International de transbordare marfa, in special containere. Desi am avut ocazia sa vizitez de nenumarate ori portul, datorita sederii scurte in port de 12-18 ore, nu am avut niciodata timp sa savuram insula cum trebuie.
Asta pana in vara lui 2016 cand datorita unei probleme tehnice neasteptate, am fost instruiti de armator sa mergem catre santierul naval Palumbo din Malta. Cand m-am apucat sa fac ruta, spre surprinderea mea am vazut ca santierul este fix in inima orasului Valletta, capitala statului insula Malta.
Intrarea in golf a fost foarte stramta, pilotul manevrand cu grija nava noastra de 300 de metri printre zidurile si fortificatiile medievale de la intrarea in portul Valletta. Dar in acelasi timp ofera privelisti de vis, fiind aceleasi privelisti care le au si turistii de pe navele de croaziere care vin aici.
I heard great things about Krakow and thought we give it a try. This medieval city, which was voted the most beautiful city in Poland and in the region did not disappoint us at all. I can say that it was a very good holiday choice.
Poland is very similar to my home country Romania, and the feeling here is remarkably similar at first sight. Appearances fade away quickly from the moment you land on John Paul II airport (named after Polish Pope). The modern airport is very organized and clean. From here we easily found our way to the bus station.
A single ticket from the airport to the city center costs 9 Polish Zloty (2.1 EUR) or 16 Zloty (3.8 EUR) for a return ticket. You can buy tickets at the airport but also inside the bus at the dispenser, where you can pay cash or by card. Beautiful isn’t it? I look forward to seeing something like this in my country Romania.
Am auzit lucruri foarte bune despre Cracovia si am zis sa incercam si noi. Acest oras medieval votat cel mai frumos din Polonia si din regiune nu ne-a dezamagit deloc si pot zice ca a fost o alegere foarte buna de vacanta.
Polonia este foarte similara cu Romania, si peisajul pe aici chiar seamana cu ce vezi la noi la prima vedere. Aparentele dispar repede din momentul in care aterizezi pe aeroportul John Paul II (denumit dupa Papa Polonez Ioan Paul al doilea). Aeroportul modern este foarte organizat si curat. De aici am gasit lejer statia de autobuz catre centru.
Un bilet dus de la aeroport costa 9 Zloti Polonezi (10 Lei) sau 16 Zloti (18 Lei) pentru un bilet dus intors. Exista tonomat de bilete in aeroport dar si in autobuz unde se poate plati Cash sau cu cardul. Frumos asa nu? Astept ziua sa vad si in Romania asa ceva.
After visiting a large part of Europe, I present you my top 10 of the most beautiful cities that have left a memorable impression. The top is composed only of the cities I visited, I’m sure there are other beautiful cities out there that I have not yet had the chance to visit. For these I’m waiting for your suggestions in the comments section. We have included only the cities that have preserved their character and authentic beauty, not including those who have sacrificed their personality just for the sake of tourism (I can give Venice as an example of this)
I wasn’t sure if this city deserves to be included in the top because it can also easily be included in the list of the most overrated cities to visit and depending on the area you stay, it can also be included in the list of the most dangerous cities to visit. In principle, the French capital lives on the laurels of the past, but although the city of lights doesn’t shine so bright as it used to, it is still quite bright and appealing. The central area that you see as a tourist is still very beautiful and an example of urban planning to be looked up to. Also, the city offers a very large concentration of attractions that will keep you busy for at least a week, so it’s always a safe bet for a successful holiday. Protests, strikes and locals who do not speak English and who do not stand criticism towards their city or their country, all make sure you get a really authentic experience. (see London vs Paris article HERE.)
Dupa ce am vizitat o bucata mare din Europa, am sa va prezint un top 10 al celor mai frumoase orase care mi-au lasat o impresie memorabila. Topul este compus doar din cele vizitate, sunt sigur ca sunt si alte orase frumoase unde nu am apucat sa ajung, pentru acestea va astept cu sugestii in sectiunea de comentarii. Am inclus in top doar orasele care si-au pastrat caracterul si frumusetea autentica si nu am inclus pe cele spoite sau pe cele care si-au sacrificat personalitatea pentru a da bine la turisti (va pot da exemplu Venetia aici)
Nu eram sigur daca orasul merita inclus in acest top datorita faptului ca poate fi lejer inclus in topul celor mai supra evaluate orase de vizitat si in functie de zona in care esti acolo, poate fi lejer inclus si in topul celor mai periculoase orase de vizitat. In principiu capitala Franceza cam traieste pe laurii trecutului dar desi orasul luminilor numai straluceste atat de tare, este in continuare destul de sclipitor si atragator. Zona centrala pe care o vezi ca turist este in continuare foarte frumoasa si un exemplu de urbanistica demna de urmat. De asemenea orasul ofera o concentratie foarte mare de atractii care iti ocupa lejer o saptamana, asa ca este intotdeauna un pariu sigur pentru o vacanta reusita. Protestele, grevele si localnicii care nu vorbesc engleza si care nu suporta critici la adresa orasului si a tarii lor se asigura ca vei primi o experienta cu adevarat autentica.
Lisbon, an unpolished diamond at a finished price. The first vacation in 2019 found us in the capital of Portugal, Lisbon. I have wanted for a long time to reach the Western End of mainland Europe and now I am glad to have had this opportunity together with my friends from Romania.
I was pleasantly surprised to see that Ryanair has daily flights from Manchester to Lisbon, and the UK’s logistics, organization, prepaid airport parking, transfer to the terminal is simply impeccable. The first thing we had to do when we landed was to search for a means of transport to the city. Against my reason and judgement, we proceeded in to being stupid tourists and we went to the airport information desk to ask how we can get to Lisbon city center. They sent us to the Aerobus 1 service, which costs 4 EUR per person. Later I found out that there is a subway station inside the airport and also other normal regular buses where you pay € 1.5 per person ticket. That’s it, what to do now, so my first tip for everyone who wants to get to Lisbon, take the metro from the airport!
We found a cute apartment on Booking.com next to Rossio Square, which looked very nice in the pictures, but it proved to be lacking when we got there. The first thing we were asked by our host there was to pay the Lisbon tourist tax of 2 EUR per person per night, which must be paid separately on arrival. We knew about the tax from the site, but an extra cost of 48 EUR besides the already paid accommodation seems a bit expensive. I know all cities have a similar charge, but everywhere I have been, I didn’t pay more than 10-15 EUR, which were already included in the accommodation price. I have figured that it is for a good cause and at least something good is done with that money. I can not say that at the end of the holiday that I saw any great work done for tourists, but rather more for the locals.