At first I felt that it was in me to wax on the understated charms and bare knuckle beauty of this often overlooked post-soviet gem, but then I actually spent some time there. Considering it's approximation to other more deserving Eastern European heavyweights -- Vienna an hour to the west, Prague and Budapest equidistant on either side, and Krakow a few hours to the northeast -- who in their right mind would designate more than a 24 hour stopover to this highly unremarkable point of transit?
When setting off from A to B, I used to apply the 'early bird gets the worm' mentality. You're flying to Chicago? Then you should DEFINITELY leave on that 5:30am flight. Going camping? Obviously you should leave before the sun comes up. The sooner the better. This ensures that you will be tired and cranky AND almost definitely leave something important behind.
Although Transylvania deserves to have world recognition for it's alpine scenery and medieval charm, mention of the area most often inspires darker connotations. Thanks to the undying work of Bram Stoker, Transylvania has become synonymous with vampires. The basis for the fictional Count Dracula finds it's roots here in Sighasoara -- and is actually a bit scarier than our chocolate cereal spun off Hollywood vampire friend could ever hope to be.
We’re going up in a hot air balloon today, and the butterflies in my stomach have begun to spread throughout the rest of my body. By the time we reach the Voyager Balloon offices on the opposite side of the tiny tourist enclave of Göreme, I’m buzzing so hard that the Turkish coffee I quaff down hardly registers on my radar.
There’s no place in the world like the Grand Bazaar in Istanbul. Exotic textiles, the finest handmade carpets in the world, jewels fit for royalty, aphrodisiacal teas, and treasures recovered from shipwrecks mark only a small portion of the vast selection on offer in this labyrinthine sprawl — it’s as easy to get lost in the colors and smells as it is in the virtually indistinguishable passageways that twist and turn upon each other in every direction here.
Traveling with your significant other demands a level of intimacy that supersedes anything your life at home together can possibly prepare you for. This isn't the kind of intimacy that you won each other over with in the first place, but rather zero privacy, sweat caked socks and underwear, diarrhea and fungal infection style intimacy. Gross.
Who eats fish for dessert? I'm inordinately open minded, but sweet syrups and savory crusts do not mix with the pesce. Yet here we are in the small town of Markow, about 2 hours east of Warsaw, and every polite guest's nightmare is staring at me with a succession of cold, dead eyes. There are SIX different fish based desserts piled onto the doily laden candle lit table before me. I hate every dish I see, but feel obligated to try all of them.
It seems like you can't go 5 minutes in Berlin without getting tangled up in the force field like aroma of a kebap shack -- and just like star warring vessels caught in the magnetic overhaul of a vastly more powerful craft, you'll find yourself throwing open the doors and staring down that spinning meat on a spit before you know what grabbed you.
We spent 5 days in Berlin recently, which was definitely not enough time to properly appreciate such a magnificent capital of culture and history.
It was the first visit here for both of us -- though we had already visited Germany on multiple occasions, we somehow missed out on what is arguably the finest city that Deutschland has to offer.
When the opportunity to visit our dear friend David's brother Giorgi in Sweden arose, we snapped it up immediately. Hop on a short bus ride (3 hours from Oslo) to a totally new country to meet a mysterious individual who was only described as "an amazing chef with a massive beard?" Alll Abooooarrddd.