Tag Archives: Southern Europe

Skopje, North Macedonia – the fantasy of a crazy architect

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I planned my trip to Skopje for a long time, mainly because I wanted to see the capital of the former empire stretching on three continents, created by one of the greatest strategies of all time – Alexander III the Great. However, what I saw on the spot completely surprised me. Skopje actually looks very bizzare. The strict center of the city resembles the realisation of the boldest fantasy of a crazy architect. This is a combination of monumentalism and kitsch. Neoclassicism mixes here with a lot of unnecessary details and disco illumination, while

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Turin and its surroundings – in the footsteps of Umberto Eco

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I visited Turin with my friends during a weekend trip to Italy. I hadn’t actually planned to visit this city earlier, but when it turned out it was on the way we decided to look there. At first glance, you can see that this is one of the biggest cities in Italy. Between 1861 and 1864 it was even the capital for a while. However, architecture, driving habits, and people’s behavior are far from typical Italian culture. In my opinion, Turin is a more elegant and peaceful city. Turin is mainly  associated with the

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Lucca, Tuscany – forests on the roofs, Girl on a Trail

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Among the picturesque hills and vineyards of Tuscany there is a charming town – Lucca. At first glance, it looks the same as other Italian towns. However, there are some surprising places to explore. Lucca used to be a very rich city, inhabited by wealthy merchants. Its position was mainly due to the monopoly for silk production. Although silk clothes are still made here, Lucca is mostly famous for its excellent olive oil. Supposedly olive oil produced here is one of the best in Tuscany. Residents are proud of their city’s history and typical

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Mostar surroundings – an idea for a day trip

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Bosnia and Herzegovina has gained popularity thanks to the pictures of the Old Bridge in Mostar. However, it’s worth visiting nearby tourist attractions, which in my opinion can even compete with Mostar itself. The most interesting thing is that these places usually haven’t been discovered by mass tourism yet, and until recently they weren’t even described in well-known guidebooks. They are slowly gaining popularity, yet they still retain their wild character. Just seven kilometres from Mostar, there’s an interesting military area, forged in rock and hidden in the lush nearby forests. It’s a huge

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Lisbon – from a different perspective, Girl off the trail!

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Lisbon is mainly associated with yellow trams, breathtaking views and old district – Alfama. However, there’re many places in the capital of Portugal that are still overlooked by guidebooks. First of all, the streets of Lisbon are real street art gallery. Interesting murals can be seen in above mentioned Alfama and near Marim Moniz metro station. Painted in pink The colours of Lisbon aren’t limited to murals. Close to Cais do Sodré you can find a pink alley – Rua Nova do Carvalho. This place used to be the red lantern district, and now

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Lisbon, trams – a museum which turned out to be a workshop

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While most European cities rely on modern transport facilities, Lisbon remained faithful to the old trams. What’s more, they have become a real tourist attraction there! Yellow trams are the symbol of Lisbon, just as yellow cabs in New York. The old trams are certainly one of the best tourist attractions in Lisbon, however the decision to use them had nothing to do with marketing. The reason was rather practical. Only these trams can deal with numerous bends and narrow streets in Lisbon. Trams which are called here remodelado (or remodeled) have been adjusted

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Kotor, Montenegro – an alternative to Dubrovnik?

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Kotor was my next destination after overcrowded Dubrovnik. Kotor is the main tourist attraction in Montenegro, however I must admit that I hoped that it wouldn’t be besieged similarly to  its Croatian counterpart. When I saw huge luxury ferries in the distance, I realized that I was on my way, straight to another “tourist hell”. Fortunately, to my surprise I found out that my concerns had been unfounded. Certainly no one was treading on my heels or attacking me with a selfie – stick, apparently the advantage of this place is that neither Game

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Tavira, Algarve – simply Portugal!

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Tavira is the most beautiful town in Algarve region – such opinions can be read on most websites, blogs or forums dedicated to Portugal. Personally, I won’t be original regarding this matter, as I fully agree with this. Tavira is halfway from Faro to Spanish border. It’s only 30 kilometres away from Faro and Spain. Despite a good location, Tavira is visited by far less tourists in comparison to the famous resorts located in western Algarve. This enables the town to preserve its authentic local character. The city has been under the reign of

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Portugal, Lisbon – miraduro with a view of…

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Lisbon is a unique city where nobody would complain about shortage of tourist attractions. However, the most beautiful ones are available completely free of charge or for a small fee. These’re viewpoints, called miraduro. The perfect  location on the hills allows to see the capital of Portugal from many different perspectives. Moreover, miaraduros are also an interesting places to observe people or rest with a glass of wine, after intensive sightseeing. Miradouro das Portas do Sol – at the gates of the sun Riding the famous tram no 28 or visiting Alfama, it’s impossible

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Alfama, Lisbon – how to describe something undescribable?

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Alfama has been on my mind for a long time, however it has been very difficult for me to write a post about this Lisbon’s neighbourhood. It would have been easier to say that it was a matter of lack of time, but there was another reason. In fact, you can’t just write about Alfama. I could endlessly use many adjectives to describe my feelings or auditory, taste and visual impressions during visiting this part of the city. But the best description won’t convey my emotions and what’s left in my memories. Skipping Alfama

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Algarve – the best beaches in Portugal

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The ocean and beaches are an integral element of Portuguese life. The ocean is an inherent part of the history of Portugal and the era of great geographical discoveries, fado music or the exquisite cuisine of the country. Portuguese attachment to the ocean is reflected even in everyday sayings. The Portuguese equivalent of ” it’s not my cup of tea” is: ” não é a minha praia”- what means it’s not my beach. By the way, it is hard to be surprised by this, after all, the length of Portugal’s coastline amouts to over

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Dubrovnik – the Adriatic Star…

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Dubrovnik, also known as the Adriatic Pearl, attracts millions of tourists every year. Some come here to see the famous King’s Landing from the Game of Thrones, others the city of gamblers – Canto Bight from the Star Wars, the last ones simply want to visit the historic old town. Regardless of the purpose, there are so many people that the term “tourist trap” seems to be a suitable synonym for the name Dubrovnik. So how to survive a visit to Dubrovnik without losing nerves and a lot of money? Transport: Public parking around

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