Albanian Alps – Valbona valley

Albania, Zsofi

We had accomodation in Bajram Curri. 


We went hiking to the mountains. Amazing ones. We did 7,5 kms, and 800m up to the peak. First part was in the river’s bed, and then up.




In the end, when we went up on the spine of the mountain, that was almost out of my comfort zone.

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Decan

Kosovo, Zsofi

First we went to a monastery. Around there were a few KFOR army cars, and at the entrance we had to give our passports to a soldier. It wasn’t allowed to make picture, but this was the first place in Kosovo, where I found fridge magnet, so this is my best picture:


After getting back our passports we visited Osdautajve Kulla. This is a house, where people lived, but because of the instabil political sitiation, it is a bit like a middle age fortress. On ground floor, not too much windows, but where you can see windows, they are small. Walls are thick.

Other visited places: Kosovska Motrovica, Ulpiana, Prishtina, Mirusha, Decan

Wishlist: –

Mirusha

Kosovo, Zsofi

Not the easiest to get here, but definitely worth it. In the end, there is just dirt road. 

When you arrive, a wonderful landscape shows up in front of you. I love waterfalls, but here the rocks were more breathtaking. We walked/climbed up to higher parts, and there are lakes on every level of the waterfall chain. Part of the parh is via ferrata. It’s also very nice place to just hike.

Most likely because of the tricky road, we broke down, but problem is solved 🙂

Other visited places: Kosovska Mitrovica, Ulpiana, Prishtina, Isniq, Decan-canyon

Wishlist: –

Prishtina

Kosovo, Zsofi

As our guide also said: this is not the city, that you will fall in love with for the first sight. But its a lovely mixture of different cultures. 

The oldest building of Prishtina is on this picture:


It’s not the mosque. The minaret is.

Most of the statues shows national heroes. You can find the first president, a guy (Skanderbeg), who kept back turkish for a long time with the hungarian Hunyadi. Also they have streets named after Hunyadi. 

National Library got the ‘award’ to be one of the 10 ugliest building in the world.


Market is cosy and cheap. You can find usual things, also clothes, housekeeping products etc.


They have a golden Bill Clinton statue, because he helped a lot when Kosovo wanted to become independent.

We went for dinner to an authentic restaurant. I already love their kitchen. They also have tejföl (its a dairy product, in english a lot of times its called sour cream, but its not exactly the same). Also their cheeses are very good. I ate veal with something that were made of flour. And huge portions. They really want you to eat a lot.

Other visited places: Kosovska Mitrovica, Ulpiana, Mirusha, Isniq, Decan-canyon

Wishlist: –

Ulpiana

Kosovo, Zsofi

First we stopped at an orthodox church, Gracanica. A very impressive one. They have a rule, that they cannot change or renovate anything, so everything is in its original shape. But they can clean it. Till the end of this year, they plan to clean the whole surface, so they will wait for us next year too. It’s crazy how amazing shape these frescos kept. The colours are still so alive after 700 years. And the background blue colour is made of Afganian diamond powder. 

It’s a small serbian island in albanian Kosovo. When albanians had to runaway from Prishtina, this is where they went.


Ulpiana is basically just ruins today, under construction. It was a very important city because of location, before the serbs arrived, so in Roman Empire. It was soooo hot, and no shade at all.


After this, we went to an autentic kosovo plage. Two pools, and thats all, but it was so amazingly clean…

Other visited places: Kosovska Mitrica, Isniq, Mirusha, Prishtina, Decan-canyon

Wishlist: –

Kosovska Mitrovica

Kosovo, Zsofi

First of all, I would like to thank you for Qalandar.hu, to take us to this trip.

Mitrovica is a symbolic city of Kosovo. For long long time albanians and serbs lived here mixed. Also government forced them to be mixed. On the way for Kosovo to become independent, the relationship of the two nations got a bad direction. Now the north bank of Istar river has serb inhabitants, with kommunistish city view. Serbs are friends of Russia, and they got money for rebuilding this part of the city, so there are serbian and russian flags everywhere. 

The south bank of Istar is for albanians. Everywhere you can see albanian flags, and memories, that turks helped to rebuild this part of Mitrovica.


The bridge, connecting the two parts supposed to symbolize the unity and friendship of serbs and albanians (France built it). It didn’t reach its point. It symbolize the dividing of the nations. Also nowadays a lot of people doesn’t dare to cross the bridge and go to the other side.


You can see 3 types of car: with serbian plate, with kosovo plate, without plate. Most of them are without plate. As I got to know, there are cars, where the owner has serbian and kosovo plate too in the boot, and if they go to serbian part, they put on serbian plate, if they go to albanian part, they put on kosovo plate.


Other visited places: Ulpiana, Prishtina, Mirusha waterfall, Isniq, Decan-canyon

Wishlist: –

Barcelona in 5 days

Spain, Zsofi

Day 1

With my best friend we arrived to Barcelona in the morning. What to do? Well, we have just a backpack, no more luggage, so lets go and discover the city. For this day, we planned Montjuic. We bought a 5days Hola Barcelona travel card, which gives you ‘access to almost all public transports’ (I will explain the quotation mark). We were so happy that we have this card, we have to try it immediately, so let’s go by metro. We took off at Pl. Espanya, and had breakfast. This goat cheese is amazing here!

This square is amazing in itself too. I was a bit shocked of so many things to see at one place. We started our walk towards MNAC. There is a Magic Fountain here, will be mentioned later too. It was ‘early morning’ (10 am) for them, so the vendors were not so active yet, but they already packed out the fake RayBans, Guccis, selfie sticks and fridge magnets (you can find nicer ones, than these at these street vendors). We visited the Olympic Stadium, nice, but nothing special, and then we chilled in the park. I was disappointed in Jardin Botanic. We visited Castell Montjuic (the ticket seller guy was super cute, he also spoke a few words in hungarian, I’m sure he can do the same trick in every language, but come on, he also did it in hungarian!). The view is breathtaking from the castell. It’s a pity, that that part of the sea shore what you can see from the castell is a dock. We walked down to the sea shore, and enjoyed the sun. There is an Aquarium here, and we checked the plaza too (and ate icecream). We stayed in Equity Point Sea Hostel, in a women dormitory room. I can recommend it, just our roommates were problematic, but this is not the Hostels fault.

Weather was warm and sunny, so we tried the beach. Beginning of June, it was still a bit cold, but we enjoyed it very much. Actually the vendors here are not that annoying. If you are not interested in Mojito, scarves, henna, or massage, than they are not forcing it. Evening we went out, had a very good hamburger at UrbanDock, and drink a jar of Sangria. Good start!

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Day 2

We had breakfast at the Hostel. It was okay. For 2 euros, more than what you expect. Today the plan was Tibidabo. Hola BCN card was not valid for the Tibidabo Funicular, and there was a horribly long line waiting for ticket, so we decided to go up the hill by foot. It’s an easy walk, and totally worth it. As we walked, the place was like the way how I imagine Mexico. Everywhere next to the road, huge cactuses, the sun was burning our skin, noone near and far, just the dried out nature… I loved it.on top, there is a spectacular cathedral, Temple de Sagrad Cor. On top, there is a statue of Jesus, so it reminded me of Rio de Janeiro. There is also an Amusement Park here, but there wasn’t too much people in. It was a bit disturbing, that it wasn’t too easy to find a place from where it was possible to shoot a photo without any equipment of the Park. For Vallvidrera Funicular the Hola BCN card is valid, so we went down with that.

Next touristical point was Parc Güell. Whatever you read about it since now, you have to know, that it is breathtaking. Okay, I felt in love with Gaudi’s architecture. It didn’t take long to get to love it. Very important to buy your ticket in advance, online, if you don’t want to wait hours, or come back. We walked first in the park around, which is cost-free, so its full of vendors. Seriously, you cannot make a step without hearing someone to try to sell you something for one euro. This really kills this calm park. Yes, it was calm compared to the other places, because most of the tourists just went in to the paying zone, and not visit the park around. The paying zone was gorgeous, but we expected a bit more. We spent the rest of the day on the beach, and in the evening we ate  and drank at La Vinya del Mar. Recommended.

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Day 3

We got lost (not really) in the downtown, gothic quarter. We just went and went, and never run out of churches. Also we saw couples dancing tango on the street. I loved the atmosphere. Just count one day for this area, and walk up and down. In the evening we went back to the Magic Fountain. It was funny, full of colors and with a music and light show.

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Day 4

The most wanted! THE Sagrada Familia! Absolutely this was my favorite thing to see and do and experience and etc. It’s nothing like a church. It’s like if you would walk up and down in a Dalí painting. Incredible. It’s full of lights, colors, and shapes (most of the surface is round). You have to buy your ticket online in advance, other way you will get old there, standing in the line. After this everything is just something gray, average building, but we visited Casa Battlo, Casa Milá and La Ramblas. To Milá, also buy your ticket in advance. Here the row is not that horrible, but you can spend there an hour or two too. Here the roof is definitely worth to see. It’s so vibrating. On La Ramblas, we read that there are a lot of pickpocket, so we were very careful, and nothing was stolen. Evening meal was spent in TapaTapa. Waiter guy was super cute, food and sangria is delicious.

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Day 5

We had an easy day here, we left some space for ourselves, if we would run out of time on one of the days, we still have time on the last one. We went to Monastir de Padralbes. Very cute, out of the bustling city. You can chill in the garden, where there is also a fountain. Then we walked back towards the city center. We wanted a coffee, so we set in the first cafe (Carpe Diem Lounge). At home I realized that it was a night bar. Most likely they knew, that we are at the wrong place, so they were really rude with us. The weather was not the best, it was raining and we were totally wet. Fortunately the bar where we wanted to eat had very lovely staff, they invited us in (Restaurant Can Costa).

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Other visited places: –

Wishlist: Madrid, Málaga, Canarias

Koper

Slovenia

In all time of history it was a very important port, now its part of Slovenian shore, close to Italy. Slovenia is very famous for the mountains, and landscapes, but seashore is also not worse for spending your time. While Croatia is still more popular, Slovenia’s short beach line is as beautiful as croatian, but less crowded (and cheaper).

And why Koper for me? Its the closest bigger city on the seashore to Matej’s hometown. 🙂

Main attraction is Koper cathedral and bell tower in the heart of the city. If you go up to the tower, you can have a nice view of the city, the port and the sea. On the other side of Titov trg you will find a very unusual looking building, the Praetorian Palace. Also here you can find tourist information.

You can feel here the strong italian influence. Not just in restaurants, but culturally too, there are fountains and sculptures at many places. Of course, italian influence is not a new thing here, just look at the Taverna Koper.

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If you arrive in summer, try the beach too!

 

Trieste

Italy, Zsofi

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Since we are together with Matej, Trieste is a bit like home for me. You know, when you live close to some place, and it’s just an easy sunday afternoon free time activity to visit. Actually, we don’t live close to Trieste, but Matej’s parents do. If we go to visit them, it can happen, that we just jump over. For example to buy ski helmets, or something.

But let’s see it with travellers eyes!

Citta Vecchia, or Old Town. Tipical mediterranean old town with its romantic narrow streets. Half of the city was built under Austrian-Hungarian rule, so they have an austrian quarter. Part of this is Piazza Unita, the largest sea-front square in Europe.

Museo Revoltella – for modern and contemporary art lovers. Museo di Storia, Arte e Orto Lapidario – archeology, history, library.

San Giusto Cathedral and Castle – have to visit if you are interested in a panorama of the city, the hills around and the sea.

An augustan gate is Arco di Riccardo.

The Roman Theater. Obviously they have. Come on, its Italy! Building was finished by Emperor Octavius in 32 BC. Of course it faces the sea. At such a place, everything faces the sea 🙂

Museo della Comunita Ebraica di Trieste is a ritual art collection of Jews. Trieste’s synagogue is one of the biggest in Europe.

Museo della Risiera di San Sabba is a testimonial of Italy’s only Nazi extermination camp. It’s on the south from Trieste. If you start to go to the north, you can find Il Faro della Vittoria. If there is sea, you need a lighthouse too. More to north there is the Miramare Castle.

And the sea:

Trieste

Other visited places in Italy: Catania, Napoli, Rome, Venice

Wish list: Stromboli

Kutna Hora

Czech, Zsofi

If you check it up on the internet, you will find first the Sedlec Ossuary, or Bone Chapel.

BUT Kutna Hora is more!

It’s not far from Prague, and definitely worth to go and see it. We went by train till Kutna Hora – Sedlec, and walked to the Ossuary. It’s not a big city, don’t expect anything like Prague. It’s more like a calm village (but in city size). Basically on the way to the Ossuary (because you will just come here for that) you will find the Church of the Assumption.

And of course the Ossuary… Breathtaking. I cannot explain. It is full of bones. obviously they make a cool, blood freezing atmosphere. Smart. It was a religious spot for very long time, and during the plague epidemies, it became a mass grave. Later people found the bones of the mass grave, and they had a good idea. A very good one. It’s actually really creapy to walk up and down in this church. In a hall, full of bones from people who died in plague.

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In the city center, most of the thing to see are next to the main road, Barborská, which ends up in the Cathedral of St. Barabara. Unbelievable to see such a gorgeous church here.

Less important spectacularities are the Museum of Silver and Gothic Stone Fountain. We got back on train at Kutna Hora mesto station.