Tuesday, March 24, 2015

View on Lycabettus (Athens, Greece)

Athens is a huge city where in the summertime all around the streets you can find only a big chaos connected with a heat from the Sun above. Those Greeks which still not gone anywhere at the country sea side to swim or islands where they can rest and have business in tourism are forced to living in this almost impossible hot weather conditions. I was especially surprised by the number of scooters and motorcycles on the Athens streets who had no respect at all for the basic traffic light rules so it's better to be careful while you crossing the road. Since I have a lot of Greek friends it was not so hard for me to adapt on this temperature situation and enjoy in Athens to the maximum.

View on Lycabettus by Igor L.
(View on Lycabettus, Athens)
Photo taken by Igor L.

Before any hike adventures we first sat in nearby cafe for a little refreshment brake where we ordered classical cold Frappe. To be fully honest Frappe was a bit more expensive but without a doubt the best one I have ever tried in my life so I forgive them price and we were now absolutely ready for climbing all the way to the Acropolis. When we were somewhere very near to the top I took this beautiful photo of Lycabettus mountain and its surrounding which was standing straight in front of us. Unfortunately Acropolis museum at the top of the hill on that time was closed due to general reconstruction works but it's all worth it by seeing the Athens from some totally different angle.

Greek Parliament Building by Igor L.
(Greek Parliament Building, Athens)
Photo taken by Igor L.

After we went to all major sights of Athens on the next step I was going just by myself directly to the famous Greek (Hellenic) Parliament, which is very well known for its numerous protests in front of it (that by the way did not miss out even on a day when I was passing by). Since it was very sunny and warm, for me was very hard to look at the things which are glowing all around the place but I was able to stand outside of the Parliament for a couple of minutes and watch guard march. It turned out to be an really interesting building which roots dates back from the 19th century, full of history and different coups like a whole Greek history anyway. Just across the street there is the city's main Syntagma Square where I went right after taking this nice photography of the Parliament.

House With Greece Flag by Igor L.
(House With Greece Flag, Athens)
Photo taken by Igor L.

Architecture in Athens and all over the Greece in general deserves a special attention and when I say that I do not only mean on the well known UNESCO sites from the time of ancient Greece but also and on the buildings in the local villages which are ignorantly underestimated. I especially liked the old Greek houses at the sea side and islands which are mostly small, colored with white, some stripes of blue color and in certain places you can still see that people living on their traditional way of life inherited from the past. House in Athens often have some symbol of Greece like this one with the Greece flag on the picture which I discovered somewhere close to the Acropolis.

Saturday, March 21, 2015

Old Cobblestone Street (Eskisehir, Turkey)

Old Cobblestone Street in Eskisehir by Igor L.
(Old Cobblestone Street) 
Photo taken by Igor L.

My long trip in Turkey was almost come to an end and I was debated whether to visit town Eskisehir or to skip this area and extend my journey directly to the Istanbul. Luckily I decided to stay, and Eskisehir for me was a very pleasant surprise! This town that totally stands out of all other Turkish places which I already visited with cobblestone streets and beautiful small seating places where you can drink cup of black tea and enjoy in the old Ottoman style house architecture of the 19th century.

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Carl's Bridge in Autumn (Prague, Czech Republic)

People do not call Prague the golden city without any good reason. Streets of this old historically important place simply can not leave anyone disinterested or without some emotions. In addition to topic, the whole Czech Republic (today called Czechia from lazy hipsters) is simply full of beautiful and small towns which takes you back in some good (or bad) old medieval times but only Prague among the others have that unique specific flavor in the air and of course the best beer pubs in the whole world which can only eventually be compared with those from Belgium.
Carl's Bridge in Autumn by Igor L.
(Carl's Bridge in Autumn, Prague)
Photo taken by Igor L.

It was the late autumn when I visited this fun artistic capital on my Euro fast train journey (trains were hell slow, but the journey itself was super fast) and of course I could not avoid taking a picture of the famous Carl's Bridge as one of his trademarks as you can see from the above example. Since it was the only attraction which I had planned to see on that day because I was very tired from the whole trip, I spent the rest of my time watching fascinating artists who were on the bridge and around him drawing portraits, landscapes and performing many various tricks. I decided to grab Kozel beer and leave my Prague research for tomorrow when I will be fresher then now.

Saint Vitus Cathedral by Igor L.
(Saint Vitus Cathedral, Prague)
Photo taken by Igor L.

The next morning, I already knew my new path that will led me back across the Carl's Bridge after a hot breakfast. If you have already come to Prague then except drinking a good beer, visiting places like Saint Vitus Cathedral and Old Town Square is simply the must! On the very first look I was fascinated by Carl's Bridge and its statues on sides around which tourists are gathering and making photos but after I stood there for almost half an hour watching the hill in front of me and on its top the large Cathedral, I could not resist to take some picture of it and by myself. It's time to move on and to check in person what is going on at the top of the hill and why Saint Vitus Cathedral is appointed among the most beautiful ones in Europe.

Saint George Basilica by Igor L.
(Saint George Basilica, Prague)
Photo taken by Igor L.

Besides the famouse St.Vitus Cathedral, which is without a doubt the true medieval artistic masterpiece and somehow today's symbol of the Prague city, on the top of the hill waited for me and more surprises like : Obelisk, Old Royal Palace, Golden Gate, Empress Maria Theresa Entrance and what particularly attracted my all attention was St.George Basilica that is inside actually very small but also very unusual lined with a stone blocks and peaceful atmosphere.

Monday, March 16, 2015

Little Coffee Break (Faro, Portugal)

When I started to think about the cold Ocean water in the beaches which are near Lisbon area and not even to mention Porto with whole north of Portugal, I wanted automatically to move away somewhere else more to the south of country and to see the region of Algarve where I can really enjoy in sunny coast, old medieval towns, nice bars, relatively good water for swimming and interesting local festivals. Using a short break from volunteering obligations on smart path was in fact a very hard, since I had no plans but I eventually bought my ticket for Lagos and let the fortune.

Lost Medieval Town by Igor L.
(Lost Medieval Town, Silves)
Photo taken by Igor L.

Passengers enter inside, bus was on its way heading to the highway track and I fell asleep exhausted from afternoon sun. I woke up somewhere in the middle of driving noticing that something was wrong. First road sign table showed me that Tavira is only 20km away, the next one that Tavira is 10km away when I realized that we are not going towards Lagos but instead in the totally opposite direction! The driver told me that change for Lagos was at Faro town but that he did not wanted to wake me up while I was sleeping! I was both angry and shocked but then I saw a good chance to also see Tavira during the couple of hours which turn out to be nice place but at that day it was full of hungry mosquitoes so I decided to take last train for Faro and to sleep there before continue of my journey & Silves visit.
Praia do Pinhão by Igor L.
(Praia do Pinhão, Lagos)
Photo taken by Igor L.

For Faro I had a lot of time anyway because I definitely wanted to go back there again but when I was already here I decided to visit port and some other main attractions. After I found out on the Internet and from people in the hostel that in Silves is currently held an funny medieval festival, I sat on the train next day and get out in the Silves train station which was empty and looked more like a scene from some western movie. Major problem is that the Silves station is not very close to Silves town and I had to walk with couple of other tourists for a while reaching the road which leads to this place. In the town vendors are just beginning to open their new stalls dressed up in medieval costumes and the whole place was redecorated so that you felt like you're back in the old knights ages. Slives has preserved fortress in which at that time was located Pirate exhibition with original stuffs and ships from the time of Piracy... I would stay there even longer but I had already booked my place in Lagos so I rush to go back through the huge road on the Slives train station.

Little Coffee Break in Faro by Igor L.
(Little Coffee Break, Faro)
Photo taken by Igor L.
At Lagos I felt like in paradise, beaches with stone walls and caves forced me to explore sights on the long walking distances, clear water in which I was finally able to swim like a normal person without freezing and tons of great bars at night with many people from all over the world. Of all the beaches that I visited I liked the most Praia do Pinhão but also and all others are real natural jewels. My two-week long vacation almost came to an end and it was the right time to go back home, but before that I enjoyed in the beautiful sunny day at Portimão port and stayed in Faro for once again. Before I went to the station to buy my back bus tickets I found an excellent coffee shop where I sat during the pause and drink famous Delta Coffee with milk. Sometimes it seems that in Portugal there is not any other kinds of coffee choices except the Delta Coffee but it does not matter since they are anyway always very good.