Posts in urban destination
Urban Hiking in Bergen, Norway: Mt. Ulriken and Mt. Fløyen

Bergen, in addition to the historic heritage and adorable wooden houses, offers also hiking experience without leaving the town. Even the biggest Norwegian cities are very close to nature, and it often takes a long walk, a bus ride or a few stops by a train to arrive in a pure and stunning natural area.

Bergen, the second-biggest city of Norway, lies at the western coast of the country. Its houses were often built on rocks and steep slopes of the surrounding mountains. If you have a chance to fly into Bergen, you can see the jaw-dropping setting for this city, with the many mountain peaks, lakes, fjords, and islands.

As part of the Bergen experience, one must go up at least one of the famous Seven Mountains surrounding the city: Mt. Fløyen. Easily accessible by the cute Fløibanen funicular can be reached by everyone. Although it's far from very high: it's 400 m above the sea level, it provides incredible views to the whole area.

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Visiting Rabka Zdrój and Hiking Solo In the Gorce Mountains, Poland

Don't be afraid to modify your plans mid-way, you can discover some true gems that way!

When I was hiking in the Island Beskids, I didn't enjoy them much. I liked the views - all mountains are beautiful, but the hiking was boring, horribly tiring, and just not much enjoyable. I started to questions my initial plan to spend all my five days on the red trail, so-called the "Small Trail of Beskids". I decided to go to Myślenice and take a local bus to Rabka Zdrój, one of the most famous spa towns in the Polish mountains.

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Must-see in Málaga: Alcazaba and Gibralfaro

Recently I visited Málaga again. My first time was some five years ago as a chaperone to a group of teenagers. Not exactly the perfect conditions for slow travel. This year I went with my Mom for a week, starting with the Great Friday. We had the freedom to do whatever we wanted and spend as much time as we needed in every place we visited. 

I was lucky to witness the Semana Santa celebrations and processions but I also had a chance to revisit Alcazaba. Five years ago we had to go pretty quickly through it (and with my eyes all around my head to see if kids were behaving) and we skipped the Gibralfaro. This time, we took our time and made sure to walk also to Gibralfaro.

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Walking Solo through Athens and the Acropolis - a Photo Essay

Athens welcomed me with a powerful storm, streams flowing down its streets and train workers strike. I came to hike on Crete but planned to have one day to see the Greek capital.

I’d never been to Greece before that and wasn’t sure what to expect. I knew I wanted to see the most important remnants of the ancient city but had no time to properly research anything. And I think it turned for the good. I had only basic memories of what The Acropolis looked like from old history books.

I started to walk through Athens up north as I had to buy a gas canister for my camping trip. I walked a few different districts before finally reaching the oldest parts of the city.

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Experiencing Semana Santa in Málaga, Spain

I am not a Christian but I grew up in a Catholic country so I am pretty well versed in the basics of Easter celebrations. But nothing like Semana Santa happens anywhere in the world. The famous processions are unique to Spain and their history reaches centuries-old traditions.

What exactly is Semana Santa?

During the Holy Week, a number of brotherhoods and fraternities perform processions on the streets of major Spanish cities. The processions are religious and their nature is penance for sins in spiritual preparation for the upcoming holiday. In some places, the celebrations have been taken place for over five hundred years!

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The Big Drama of Winter in Chania, Crete.

I arrived in Crete very early in the day, aboard a ferry from Piraeus. It was dark and cold, I was tired and cranky. The first thing I realized was that I didn’t actually arrive in Chania. The ferry arrives in a small town of Souda, some 12 km away from Chania center.

I am really glad there is a nice, warm café pretty close to the port. I could get a coffee, wi-fi and figure out how to get to the center. I had plenty of time – it was just after 6 am. Soon after I sat down a horrendous storm blasted over the town. Now I had even more time. After two hours the rain and gale strength wind quiet down a bit, enough for me to make the short walk to a bus stop. There is a ticket machine so no problem with buying one.

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The Vatican: Beauty, Crowds, and the Dark History

Visiting the Vatican is a must-do thingon most Rome visitors' itineraries, and so it was on ours..

A few weeks ago I went with my Mom to Rome for our first ever visit. We were mostly trying to see the most famous structures and places… To me, it was mostly trying to rein in my anxiety over the constant flood of the human form whenever we went.

Beyond the looks: the Vatican's heavy history

But the Vatican was high also on my list. Not only for the pure visual artistry have I known I would find there. I wanted to go and see with my own eyes the place that has been the most important source of pain, terror and progress inhibition in the history of the Western World

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Colosseum: Up Close & Personal with the Ancient Giant

Colosseum is the obvious stop on any trip to Rome. And so it was on ours.

I do not feel guilty for the lack of originality – when you go to a place for the first time, it’s natural to first go and see the big things, later on you might try to be a bit more adventurous.

Anyway, I really wanted to see it. To confirm with my own eyes it was real. Touch it even, if possible.

It’s one of those things you see in movies as the must-be symbol of a city. If an American movie takes place in Rome, there must be at least one scene with car chase going close by the Colosseum.

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Pantheon: the Marvel of Ancient Roman Architecture

No matter how long your trip to Rome is, there are a few places you just have to see: the Colosseum, the Forum Romanum, and the Pantheon. If you have more time, I am sure you would also want to see the famous Spanish stairs or the Trevi Fountain. Visit to the Vatican is also high on most tourists’ lists.

Long weekend in Rome

Recently, I took my Mom for a long weekend to Rome. It was a first time for both of us and we had just a bit more than two days, so there was not much time. We chose to go with the typical tourist must-sees.

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Battling Crowds during a Mother-Daughter Long Weekend in Rome

Back in August, when I just came back from my fabulous travels to Quebec in Iceland, I was telling my Mom about the great time I had.

She listened and then told me, You go, my dear daughter, go and travel – for me, it’s too late, but you go!

That shocked me.

What did she mean it was too late for her? Did she really think there would be nothing of that kind in her life ever anymore?

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