travelling

Sunburnt in Helsinki

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Sounds quite unbelievable, doesn’t it?
I spent just one day, less than 10 hours up there. Nonetheless, the day was so bright, the sky cloudless and the temperature confortably warm.. not only was I overdressed (so had to carry a jacket + jumper + scarf all day long in my bag), but also got sunburnt.

Plus, since I was visiting Esti and decided the day before to catch the ferry and take a look at Finland as well, I was clueless regarding anything to do and visit in Helsinki.

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Usually I’m super organized and plan everything ahead; before leaving I already have everything figured out: the day after buying the plane ticket I start booking hotels, reading the guide, checking anything on internet and so on. By the time I arrive at my destination, I can give a good piece of advise about restaurants, museums, stuff to do.
So, this was so not like me.

But don’t you like to relax a bit when on holidays and face the unexpected? I do too, that’s why I’m so organized all the time: this gives me the chance to be confident enough about important things like where to eat and where to sleep, so I have time and energy to enjoy the little things during my days off and face everything that comes on my way.

I know it may sound a contradiction, but works for me.

Helsinki, then. Kinda expensive (had to have lunch at a fast food to save a bit and still couldn’t believe the prices), this I must say.
I loved, though, the atmosphere. Let’s say it gave positive vibes and I considered for a few hours to move there. The language, though. I don’t think I could learn it, even though literally everybody speaks English.

Now that I’ve gone through all the pictures I got how much I’ve missed of the city. My bad.

The Cathedral
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The Central Station
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The Kaisaniemi Botanic Garden
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A stroll along the lake Baltici 813
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Hanoi, Vietnam

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My last post dates back to February. My bad.
Well at least I have a lot to say, after months of absence..

February. Those days I was booking and getting ready for the farthest I have ever been.
My first time in Asia. My second one outside my comfort zone aka Europe.
About time.

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copyright for this picture: my friend Sara. It was the only one in this post not shot by me.

When I came back everybody asked “How was it?”. All the time.
First thing first: Hot. Extremely hot. And humid. Far more than I could ever expect and I currently live amid water. We were sweating more than our t-shirts and shorts could bear.
We were literally dripping. Every second we spent outside. But it was worthy.

Here is beautiful Hanoi.

Streetfood is basically the only food for themdsc_0515A lovely young ladydsc_0630The Hanoi Social Clubdsc_0563A barber shop (can you spot me?)dsc_0519 A moment of relax: coconut milk coffee (addictive!)csc_0011The smith streetdsc_1071dsc_0932

Get creative! Street Art around Europe

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When around visiting a new city, I happen to focus on smaller things than monuments and historical buildings: I appreciate them as well, clearly, but I love to remember everyday-life details: a bakery, a school, how people tend to live their city. A few years ago I start focusing on street art; I noticed it tends to be similar everywhere; colours and languages may change, but it usually refers to solid problems that country faces everyday or, totally the contrary, tries to escape any reality; it’s extremely creative, smart and geniuously assembled. It can be just a couple of letters added on a wall or a huge drawing on a bridge. Is it art? Is it vandalism? I am no competent judge.
This is Paris, France

Stree Art in Paris Stree Art in Paris Stree Art in Paris Stree Art in Paris Stree Art in ParisStree Art in Paris Stree Art in Paris Stree Art in Paris

Let’s move to Cracow, Poland

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Here comes Nantes, France

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Calabria, wilderness and beaches

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Pff, raining again and all I can do is thinking about is the holiday I spent deep South a couple of weeks ago.

Last year I published a post a lot of people liked and commented. Totally unexpected. I mean, I love South of Italy and in particular the area my dad is from, but I never thought I would get all those positive feedback. I am just a girl who posts pictures of her travels and stuff she loves to bake, I don’t get any money out of this blog and honestly I love to spend time and “efforts” without getting anything back. This is part of the fun. I already have a job, I want my spare time to be used on priceless stuff like baking, hanging out with people I love and enjoying books, nature, good music, movies, walking around my beloved city and, obviously, travelling.

Receiving all those thumbs up made me pretty happy: Italy is not only a bunch of beautiful and chaotic places. Though packed with problems (huge ones most of the time), my country is worthy a long and accurate visit. Many, actually. I see tourists coming to Venice just for a couple of hours or a day, thinking Venice is just Rialto Bridge and Saint Mark’s square. I know, the city could be expensive and not everybody has time (or feel like) to properly visit it, but as Roald Dahl said “those who don’t believe in magic will never find it”; same for Venice: wandering aimlessly at night is magical and so charming (plus, nobody’s around). Take the time to give a look at all that surrounds you and give the city a chance.

As you seen, I take pride in my cultural heritage and all the history leaking out of buildings, monuments and even landscapes. Though our social and political situation is tragicly leading the country to a non-return death point, I still love living here. We’ll see what the future has in store.

Calabria is my second home. Though my grandparents are long gone, I still have some cousins there and I feel I belong to that place too.
Calabria is a problematic area. Local mob controls the local population in an invisible yet perceivable cobweb. Normal services like hospitals and public offices are not efficient at all, money gets wasted and bribes are a rule. It breaks my heart to see how those places are totally ignored by political leaders and kept uncared. I can only imagine how the locals would feel about this.
I love how wild and deserted those places can be, but I am aware of the many issues the population has to face daily.

Calabria Calabria Calabria Calabria Calabria Calabria Calabria Calabria Calabria Calabria Calabria WP_20140731_015

Boston

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When planning my trip in USA, apart from New York and Walden Pond, I enlisted Boston on “cities I can’t miss”. It was a good choice, despite the weather. We stayed just for 3 days and had no chance to visit the city with sun shining, but who cares? I was in Boston, hurray!
I even entered into the Harvar courtyard. Harvard. Wow, I couldn’t wait to tell my friends.
I knew from the start I would visit a quite small city packed with super-interesting things: buildings, the freedom trail, the Holocaust memorial, Harvard itself, monuments and so on. Oh, how I love to walk around a new city and just watch passers-by doing their errands or simply leading their lives. They are part of the whole city and most of all unconscious part of my vision and idea of this piece of the world.

I imagine the same when walking around Venice and taking a look at all the tourists taking pictures and consulting their maps. How many pictures could I possibly be in?

DSCN6495 USS Constitution

DSCN6546DSCN6550 DSCN6555 DSCN6568 DSCN6598 DSCN6604 DSCN6611 DSCN6626 DSCN6633 DSCN6647 DSCN6648 The Old State House DSCN6684
DSCN6699View from our hotel, just outside Boston
DSCN6720Me and “my” shop 😉
Arianna, my full name, properly written, a shop of beauty care, in Boston? A picture was mandatory!

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Poland

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I never considered Poland as a holiday destination. I knew there are old and interesting cities but anyway it never was at the top of my list. 

This until I met some Polish people while living in Eire. Hanging out wit them instilled a growing curiosity about their country in my head. I started asking them about their original cities and uses, political situation and I even learned a few words of their language (just a few, it’s so difficult!). 

So, never thought of Poland as a nation worth visiting? How wrong I was. And I’m still wondering why: I love to travel around the central and upper European countries, so why had I never considered Poland? Who knows.

Anyway, it took me a few years to finally get there since I had the chance to visit other countries and I grabbed it without blinking an eye 🙂 Could you blame me? I’m trying to see and experience as much as possible until I can, so I don’t wanna miss any chance.

One day, talking about future travel goals, I found out that a close girlfriend of mine wanted to visit Poland too, so yeah! Finally the time had come!

We left on a a Thursday May morning, hoping the weather would be good or at least not too cold. We were blessed by 4 sunny and hot days, we even managed to bike for a couple of hours for an extremely funny tour, guided by a young man speaking a perfect English.
We only managed to visit Krakow and Auschwitz, but I honestly can tell you that I can’t wait to go back to Poland to take a look at Warsaw, the Northern part of the country, the mainland..

When I told my family, friends and colleagues about my trip to Poland, basically I received two kinds of feedback: a disgusted face and the question “Why? Why Poland?”, but (thank God), also many compliments for choosing such an interesting but less-explored country.
(My mom in particular is so proud and happy everytime I call her and start screaming “Guess what? I’ve bought a ticket to…”. She loves to travel too, but speaks just a little of English and French and feels this blocks her. Not a good reason, I reckon, to keep someone from visiting the world but hey! anyone’s free to do whatever they want.)

Well, everybody who sees Poland as sad, out-od-date, problematic should definitely reconsider their point of view!
As far as I saw, Krakow is young, dynamic, clean, packed with things to see and cheap (always a good point!). People are friendly and they almost all speak English in the touristic areas (maybe not outside but think twice: do they speak anything about your language where you live? I agree, everybody should be able to get by in at least a couple of languages, probably it’s just a matter of time. Hopefully.)

A couple of things about Auschwitz before posting the picture. 
Many asked why I visited that lager. I am not Jewish, but you don’t have to belong to that culture to feel disgusted by history. I had visited other camps before Auschwitz and everytime is hard. Really hard. I cried a bit but most of all I felt so shocked I couldn’t talk or think about anything good about life again.
I believe we all should see with our own eyes those places and tell other people about it. They are real. Millions of children, women and man died.
Let’s not forget and get blinded by hate again.

 

Rynek Głowny – St. Mary’s Basilica
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Renaissance Cloth Hall (Sukiennice)
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The Wawel Castle
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Tadeusz Kościuszko Monument, The Wawel Castle
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A tipical dish: Pierogi and a well deserved beer 😉
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Rynek Głowny – St. Mary’s Basilica
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Rynek Głowny – St. Adalbert
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Rynek Głowny
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If you look close you can spot the trumpet, playing the Hejnał (a traditional anthem played four times per hour, every day)
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The Vistula river
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St. Joseph, Podgorze
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Plac Bohaterow – Heroes’ Square
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Barbican
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Monument of Broken Hearts at Plaszow
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Monument of Broken Hearts at Plaszow
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Auschwitz (pictures are out of focus since we couldn’t use any flash)
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DSCN4762Birkenau
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