Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Madame Tussaud (Amsterdam, The Netherlands)

It was late autumn evening when I arrived by the train in Amsterdam, capital city of The Netherlands and since back then I was very young & naive, I went directly after the main station to look up for some accommodation around city center without any internet reservation, thinking that it would be just an easy mission! Of course I was totally wrong, welcomed by unpleasant surprise when I discovered that there were literally no free rooms, hostels or even hotels left since all of them were full of tourists! After visiting several places I almost give up, when I finally got luck and find a free bed in the one recently opened guestroom so I used the rest of my time to sleep in not so luxurious environment and try to woke up in the early morning hoping to visit as much as I can for day after.

Madame Tussaud by Igor L.
(Madame Tussaud, Amsterdam)
Photo taken by Igor L.

When the new day starts, I was more then ready for a short Amsterdam tour trip created by myself. I always liked Wax Figures because they represent a mirror of our world in a funny and interactive way. After I visited several museums of this type all around the Europe, Madame Tussaud proved to be certainly one of the finest, which shows exceptional faithful replicas of a different famous people but also and those who are less famous which are made with stunning accurately. Since outside was heavy rain, at given moment could not find more funny thing to do than visiting of the Madame Tussaud museum and I can only warmly suggest its exhibition to everyone who finds itself near here.

Nice Ordinary Street in Amsterdam by Igor L.
(Nice Ordinary Street, Amsterdam)
Photo taken by Igor L.

Several times I was in a very dangerous situation in which bicycles almost run over me. Because in my country I'm not used to that kind of busy bicycle traffic I was trying to stay away from these haunts but somehow they will appear out of nowhere usually faster then me and around every single corner! Parking for bicycles in all streets is a completely normal thing, and when it already comes to the Amsterdam streets soul I can say that I really like their vintage style. I spent the rest of foggy day by visiting some nice parts of the Amsterdam including Dam Square, Red Light District, De Negen Straatjes, Bridges, Leiden Square and others... The prices are really high and it's one of the things which I didn't liked (sorry but 4,5 euro for beer is just a way too much) but except that and couple of drunk tourists I really enjoyed walking in the area.

Tram & Bicycles Area by Igor L.
(Tram & Bicycles Area, Amsterdam)
Photo taken by Igor L.

This picture of a typical Dutch neighborhood is made right after my departure from guestrooms where I have stayed for a two days. Unfortunately I did not had more time to spend in Amsterdam and trip to Germany was waiting for me but I promised that I will be back as soon as possible and that the next time I will sure take some more days off for this great country! General atmosphere would make Amsterdam one of my favorite cities in all Europe, which is not strange since it is a real heaven for many world artists. If there is not such a many visitors that are destroying good old spirit which this place used to have in the past and high prices Amsterdam will be even better then it is already!

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Magnificent Bosphorus (Istanbul, Turkey)

My trip to Istanbul started with a landing at the Ataturk airport. At first I was very surprised by the size of the airport because I did not presumed that this is literally one huge hub between East and West and I noticed so many people with a different passports around me rushing on their flights. I was going on the totally opposite side trying to find right exit which will lead me to the metro station which eventually I succeed to discover. After wandering through the narrow streets full of small shops, exchanging Euro into Turkish Lira next to the Blue Mosque, and little help from the local Turkish people I finally came to small hostel which looked more like family house.

Magnificent Bosphorus by Igor L.
(Magnificent Bosphorus, Istanbul)
Photo taken by Igor L. 

The next morning, I headed directly toward Bosphorus! Just imagine how many significant events in the human history happened at this wonderful place that connects the two seas. In the past almost unconquerable Constantinople with his charm attracts merchant ships, artists and connects people who were headed to this world specific crossroad. Back to this days it is already late noon, and Istanbul as usually was full of tourists who rushed to arrive first and visit as many historical sights as possible. The voices overlap with the hot summer day while local Turkish sellers offering different items to people bothering them from all sides and screaming for a cheaper discount prices if you chose to spent some Turkish Lira in their shops. I managed to visit Topkapi Palace after half hour waiting in the line among the Asian tourst and photography above is the one of my favorites which I took that afternoon...

Blue Mosque in the Night Light by Igor L.
(Blue Mosque in the Night Light)
Photo taken by Igor L. 

Night had fallen, street lights are turned on along with the calls for praying from all nearby mosques and for me it was the perfect moment for a short walk between Hagia Sophia and the Blue Mosque before sleeping. As someone who just arrived for the first time in busy Istanbul, this night seemed totally magical along the whole Sultanahmet area. Accidentally I had pressed the button on my small digital camera in the wrong moment when I was next to the Blue Mosque and results of it you can see on this photo. They say that the best things come by an accident...

Magic of Arasta Bazaar by Igor L.
(Magic of Arasta Bazaar, Istanbul)
Photo taken by Igor L.

If you've ever read some fairy tale story from 1001 Nights book than you can surely imagine those colorful Middle Eastern bazaars where it is possible to shop almost everything from needle to locomotiveI felt exactly like that when I was heading in one of such places, whilewalked down the street at Istanbul Arasta Bazaar on the way back to my hostelProbably I would have stayed there even a few hours just choosing between the tasty Turkish delights, scented color soaps, spices, souvenirs, vintage items and of course all kinds of clothes but it was already late and time for me to go. Markets have slowly begun to close their front doors while Istanbul drifted off to sleep in its dream under the shine of a full moon.