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Sofia, the capital of Bulgaria, is a nice city to be. However, the weather is getting nicer so everyone is on the street, in the parks. And let’s be honest, it’s gonna be crazy because we all were waiting for the sunny days the whole winter.
A sweet escape from the crowd in the capital – Pasarel. The Pasarel dam is a nice area just 30 min from Sofia by car. There is a small rope bridge on the left of the road. On the right side of the bridge, there is a parking area where you can park your car and cross the bridge. On the other side of the bridge starts a nice path in the mountain. You will have a nice view of the Pasarel dam and can observe the Villa Pasarel area. If you brought food with you, you can have a nice lunch under the shadow of the trees with a view to the Pasarel dam.
The rope bridge
take your dog with you!
Nice area to relax!
If you didn’t get food with you, don’t worry. I have a really nice suggestion for lunch – Golden Fish (Златната рибка). Here you can taste really fresh fish. The place is bringing the spirit of the ’90s of Bulgarian culture.
The Golden Fish restaurant
The Golden fish
Just 10 min from Pasarel
This trip is really easy to be organized, no need to think about extra baggage. Just bring your comfortable shoes and your smile. Cheers! Enjoy the sunny days in Bulgaria. Bulgarian nature is going to be so amazing! As always!
This is a part of me I didn’t show before. I have been playing handball for 12 years. I love workouts! I have been dancing for 2 years and a half Latin dances. I go to Zumba classes, Kango Jumps, aerobics. I usually swim once per week.
No matter how much work I have or how busy I feel I am, I do have time for my body. It is an excuse when people say they are too busy to go to the gym. The truth is they prioritize other things but not their own body.
In my life, I have been training different sports and I am always motivated to stay fit, to have time for myself, to refresh my mind. Even if there is no time to go in a class or in the gym, I can do some exercise at home! Now when the winter is coming on the side of the Planet I am, I start with home workouts. Together with my puppy. He helps me to push myself and it is really funny!
When I am traveling I stay fit and practice exercise at the hotel, sometimes I am taking really long walks – easy-burn-calories.
I am a big fan of Kayla Itsines and her amazing exercise. Click on her name and check her facebook page. She is super hot and her workout programs are quite hard. When I am traveling I can easily train for 27 minutes.
Another gorgeous Lady from FITNESINSTRUCTOR.She is Rumi – find her facebook page HERE. She is from Bulgaria and she can give you valuable tips how stay fit no matter where you are, how often you are traveling, how busy you are at work.
This is my secret to enjoying LIFE. Especially when you are traveling you should take care of your body because you change the place you live, you taste different types of food and drinks. This can be very stressful. Even 15 minutes workouts are enough!
Next time when you pack your luggage put your sports equipment there! Enjoy Life!
It is easy to arrive at Constanta. There are many ways but from Bucurest is the easiest way, by bus. Bucurest is the capital of Romania and you can find plenty of flights arriving at Bucurest.
Constanta is a big Romanian city situated on the Black Sea. It has the biggest Romanian seaport and it is a strong water connection for Romania for centuries.
My visit here was because of Erasmus Plus Exchange Program. We were youth group of 25 people from different European countries – Romania, Bulgaria, Italy, Spain, Turkey (non-European country), Greece.
I spent one really amazing day in Constanta playing “where is what”.
Where is the oldest building in Constanta? – The oldest building is Constanta Casino situated along The Black Sea alley in the old part of the city center. This is the most impressive building here and it’s a pure love for the architects’ eyes.
Where you can get some fun with locals? – On the Black sea alley in the old part of Constanta. Actually right where the Constanta Casino is. It is a very nice boardwalk and you can feel and smell the sea, touch the Romanian spirit and even talk with some locals.
Is there a mosque in Constanta? – Yes, part of the locals is Muslims.
Where is the best place to eat? – Tomis Harbor. It is part of the port and there are restourants and nice coffee shops.
Find one beautiful beach on the Black Sea in Constanta. – Easy! Mamaia Beach is natural and gives you a charming wide view of the sea. It is a nice place to walk, jump, relax, have a sit and just watching the water.
Constanta has many museums and I visited The Museum of National History and Archeology. It was curious to see plenty of the Romanian history, traditional clothes, and accessories. It was a mixture of Greek and Roman heritage. We found out interesting pieces and fragments from Romanian sculptors, painters, artist.
I spent one really crazy and busy day in Constanta and I loved the city. It is not so big as Bucurest but it has authentic spirit and salt taste.
It was totally worth it to visit Constanta even for a day. Actually, you don’t need to spend many days – just a weekend is enough to enjoy the city and explore the interesting places there.
I see you checking for a ticket! Let me do the same and find my next destination!
Rome is my favorite metropolitan city in Europe. The Renaissance is in the air and everything is so impressive here. The time is never enough for this amazing city.
But the tourists are so much! You can get mad because of the thousands of people everywhere and you can destroy your holiday while waiting on huge queue, being in a group with so many and different people, so in the end you can feel just tired and frustrated.
This article is about how to behave smart and skip the big lines, being alone in usually crowded places, how to visit all the exciting things without getting pissed off. Rome is beating in a crazy rhythm and a good time schedule is the key for amazing time and you’ll have time to feel the energy of the places and to enjoy the food and the weather.
Smart time schedule for sightseeing in Rome:
1. Vatican city – Probably you read a lot about it, it is different city than Rome, located in the heart of Rome and it’s fully autonomous. It has its own lows and rules and you must follow them as a tourist if you want to go inside. Big problem here it is always very crowded, you can spend half day just waiting to go inside and you will not have enough time to explore all the museums and the gardens.
Tip 1: Buy your ticket online in advance or go in front of the main entrance and ask for a qualified guide. Otherwise there is unwritten rule you will be treated with the lowest priority on the queue. My advice is to spend a bit more money and have a guide (ticket + a guide is around 50 $) because this will make your stay in Vatican city more useful, you will learn new things in a funny interactive way and you will get more into the historical details. And you can ask whatever you want and you’ll get the answer, and this is super cool because in Vatican a lot of questions will appear! Also as a part of a group you will be treated with priority on the entrance.
Tip 2: For the Vatican gardens you will need to book your ticket 2-3 months in advance. Depending on how much you want to see them – think for that some months before your staying in Rome. You can see them from the roof of St Peter basilica for free.
Tip 3: Don’t be frustrated if you don’t see everything. This is mission impossible. Vatican city needs months to be discovered, so stay focused on what you see, feel the energy of the museums you will visit and enjoy Sistine Chapel.
Tip 4: Stay quite inside the Sistine Chapel. Don’t take pictures and videos – it is not allowed! Nippon Television Network Corporation of Japan owns the rights for all videos and photos and in case somebody take a photo, a fee might be registered! and when you want to leave, take the right exist which will lead you directly to St Peter Cathedral. If you take the left exist you will be back at the beginning of the museums and you will need to wait on another queue for the St Peter Cathedral.
Tip 5: You can have some snack with you as you will probably spend about 6 hours and inside the Vatican city there are no food places for tourist.
For Vatican city a day will be enough to be touched by the power of Art, to explore the main halls, to enjoy Sistine Chapel and St Peter.
2. Coliseum, Roman Forum, Palatine Hill and Circus Maximus – 1 or 2 days in a row
Did you watch the movie Gladiator, if so – keep calm and wait for the moment you will start feeling as an actor in the movie. Coliseum is amazing from the outside. During the night the atmosphere turns even more to a magic. It is totally worth it to go inside and spend some nice hours exploring the past and the cruel fights that had happened.
Tip 6: Depending on your time take a guide or audo record with you. You will hear about really interesting stories which had taken place inside the Coliseum. With the audo you are a little bit more free to do whatever you want and go where you choose without waiting for all the people in the group.
Tip 7: The Coliseum ticket can be combined with The Roman Forum and the Palatine Hill. The ticket can be one for all these 3! And the good news are you will have 2 days to explore them with one ticket. But you can delay Coliseum for your 2nd day. With this combined ticket you have to start from The Roman Forum first!
Tip 8: Take the combined ticket from Tip 7 from the entrance of the Forum which is next to the Piazza Venezia, don’t buy it from the main entrance next to the Coliseum as there the queue is much bigger. Once you enter in the Roman Forum you can reach directly from the inside The Coliseum and The Palatine Hill.
Tip 9: If you delay your visit to Coliseum for the second day – once on the queue, go in front of all people and show your ticket. It is allowed to skip the line in case you have your ticket in advance as described in Tip 7 and Tip 8.
Tip 10: Circus Maximus can be combined also during this visit. Enjoy it!
3. Spanish steps and Fontana Di Trevi
Tip 11: These two sightseengs are in the heart of the city center of Rome. It’s better go there during the night. Of course you will pass by them many times during the day as well. During the night it is not so crowded, especially worth it for Fontana Di Trevi. Spanish steps are a good place to eat gelato and feel the Roman love in the air!
4. Piazza Venezia has special place in my heart!
It is modern Piazza and personally I can say this is the most beautiful one in Rome. It is so enormous and so impressive. The building is marble and white. The view is so cool! The two fires at the entrance of the building represent Roman people always keep the fire. You can visit Piazza Venezia many times and every time it looks different.
Tip 12: Close to Piazza Venezia is the main street Corso in Rome. You can combine the visit here with a walk after that on the Corso street. And plenty of restaurants, coffees, shops and souvenirs can be found. Of course the smell of pasta, pizza and wine is everywhere!
5. Piazza Navona and The Pantheon
Two amazing places to have fun! Piazza Navona is another charming place to eat gelato, relax and enjoy the two beautiful fountains there. There are very nice restaurants but they are quite expensive.
Tip 13: If you want to eat somewhere in the city center, avoid the restaurants in front of Piazza Navona. Take some small narrow streets and find a place close to Piazza Navona but not on it. The prices will be different but the quality will stay the same.
Tip 14: Go inside The Pantheon and enjoy the energy, take some history background and the place will be even more alive.
6. Tiber and castle St Angelo
If you like to spend hours in museums and different castles – check St Angelo castle as well. The price is 15 EUR. Tip 15: If you are more about the nature – spend some time in front of the castle. There is a beautiful bridge and the river Tiber is making the nature around so fresh and green. Nice chance to eat gelato or find a restaurant near the St Angelo Castle and enjoy some pasta and wine.
7. Villa Borghese and the whole Borghese gardens are a good way to spend really funny time laying on a green grass. The park is with small lakes, beautiful trees and flowers and it is so relaxing to just sit on a bench. Tip 16: Combine the walk through Villa Borghese with a nice lunch, drink wine and be an actor/ actress of this Renaissance masterpiece. You can hire rickshaw or a bike and be active and free. Amazing way to have some fun with your friends, to burn some calories and deserve the dinner.
On the Borhese terrace there is nice view!
I believe these tips are quite helpful because they are about the most wanted to be visited places in Rome. Of course this is not the entire list of all sightseeings as there is something to be seen on every corner in Rome. But for the rest there is not so much pressure and queues.
Keep calm and enjoy Rome!
I spent one amazing week in Rome, full of surprises and unexpected joyful moments. Rome is my favorite European metropolitan city and my heart starts beating in the rhythm of Renaissance every time I am in Rome. But this time I discover the beauty of Tivoli – just 30 km away from the crowded Rome!
It is easy to go there – a plane to Rome and then you can find one day trips to Tivoli or just go to the train station Termini (in Rome) and in 40 minutes you will arrive in Tivoli.
Tovoli is a small city with narrow streets which smell on coffee and delicious bread panini. The atmosphere is charming, harmonic and you can fall in love with Tivoli from the very first moment!
It has the most beautiful gardens I have ever seen. Villa d’Este and Villa Gregoriana – the masterpiece of many centuries. Both places are beautiful gardens which represents the scientific and creative achievements of thousands famous painters, physicist, architects, sculptors, and any other kind of аrt people. There is another ancient garden Villa Adriana but it is out of the city Tivoli. It should takes 1 hour to reach it. I read amazing reviews for Villa Adriana but I could’t manage to visit it this time. Amazing excuse to come back in Tivoli !
Villa Gregoriana is a funny way to spend amazing time and even to have your lunch away from the big city’s noise and vanity. It has crazy wild paths and waterfall. While walking Tempio della Sibia is wathing you from the top of the gardens. One of the ways to enter in Villa Gregoriana is from the side of Tempio della Sibia. The other way is across the bridge.
Tempo della Sibia is ancient temple from Roman times located in acropolis of Tivoli, in the province of Rome. The temple is huge and well preserved and there is a nice restaurant nearby where you can eat delicious food and enjoy the beauty of both the temple and Villa Gregoriana. The restaurant has Michelin sighs for 2017, 2016, 2015 and the food here must be tested. Unfortunately during my stay the restaurant was closed.
Villa d’Este is UNESCO World Herritage and it has been created before Christ. During the centuries many creative people has been building more and more beautiful masterpieces inside. It is very famous with its fountains. Villa d’Este is 4 hectares residential place and the best gardens to walk through! Some of the fountains are singing at fixed hours, other have light shows.
Travel Tip: Check the opening hours for both villas and plan in advance when what. If you have a day for both villas, better to do Villa Gregoriana first because usually Villa d’Este opens in a later hour. Between the two walks a lunch can be included 🙂 Home made pasta and pizza are always the best choice.
While walking through the Tivoli’s streets searching for some souvenirs, I found Rocca Pia. Another well preserved historical sightseeing in Tivoli – the castle of the city with imposing structure and ancient architecture. The sightseeing of Tivoli can been seen from the top if you go inside. I enjoy Rocca Pia from the outside because of my time schedule. If you have experienced the Rocca Pia atmosphere from the inside, please share your excitements as comments 🙂
Arco dei Padri Costituenti is modern arc in the center of Tivoli. Perfect place for snack or gelato. From this point you can reach all sightseeings of Tivoli in 5-10 minutes, you are close to the central streets where you can eat delicious homemade pasta and drink homemade wine.
So start planning a trip to Tivoli! and don’t miss: Villa d’Este, Villa Gregoriana, Tempio della Sibia, Rocca Pia, city center and the small restaurants and bakeries. Feel the energy of Tivoli!
For centuries the Romanian city Brasov has been gateway towards the South and East. The Harvard professor Samuel Huntington used the term “The Clash of Civilizations” for Brasov.
I see for the second time in my life the name of the city “written” in the mountain. The first time was in Los Angeles.
The Old Town of the city still reminds us for the Medieval battles. The Old Town had been fortress. This can be seen from the top of the Mount Tampa, one of the crazy things to do in Brasov. The Mount Tampa is an easy way to „climb“ the mountain and to have the best view on the top. It takes around 14 minutes in both directions to go on the top and back.
You can be lost in The Old Town of Brasov and start thinking you are in Italy not in Romania. Sorry for the comparison, but I really see a lot of common things between Romanian and Italian and the languages are closed enough so they can understand each other perfect!
The long pedestrian street in the heart of The Old Town of Brasov is beautiful and can take you directly in front of the Cathedral on the main square – Council Square of Brasov. For all tourist there are plenty of bars, restaurants, coffee bars. I am in love with the main square of the Romanian city Brasov. I can stay here with hours just to drink coffee and be grateful for the moment!
The Old town of Brasov has green areas and relaxing zones, so it is really nice to have time for the city, not to be in a rush there!
The night life is interesting, it is a nice mixture between Balkans and Western Europe spirit. I had delicious dinner in Brasserie Brasov on the Council Square. Check it at tripadvsor here: Brasserie Brasov.During the dinner there was incredible music. The decors on the floor and on the roof are kind of religious and at the same time very beautiful. The style inside is medieval and modern, perfect combination. The place is so unique and I strongly recommend it!
TIP: Don’t expect the spirit of the Old Town to be outside of the Old Town. After going out of the Old Town of Brasov, you are in a big Romanian city – crowded, dirty, a lot of people in a rush. Better plant to spend the night in The Old Town, there are small boutique hotels with breakfast included on a fare prices.
This destination can be combined with the Castle Bran, the castle of Dracula. Also close is the Castle Peles. Unfortunately I couldn’t manage to visit these castles as my travel was just for a weekend, but this is a sweet excuse to go back and to look for more adventures in Romania again.
Do you remember the crazy Californian bridesmaid party from San Diego? Refresh your mind here.
So, logically after every bridesmaid party, comes the day – the wedding!
I was waiting one year to write about this wedding as now these my two lovely friends recently got married again. So in 2 years, we have experienced one American and one Bulgarian wedding. Crazy, isn’t it? I am waiting to see where will be the third wedding…
So I will use the two summer weddings (happened 2015/2016) to share with you the funniest moments and I will try to compare the 2 weddings, as the distance between Bulgaria and California, which is 6 599.51 miles or 10 620.60 km by air, means something.
We are starting with the first wedding, summer 2015. We are in California, Lake Arrowhead – 2 hours away from Los Angelis by car. I will not spend the time to express my feelings when I first saw my friend, as we didn’t see each other for a year. The emotional part of our first meeting is not travellifestory, so skipping it.
The Lake Arrowhead area is very green and relaxing one. People were friendly and showed us some of the attraction of the Lake. We took a boat and toured around the lake – water splashes and fast speed moments.
The day before the wedding was the rehearsal day. As for me and more 5 girls – the same from the bridesmaid party in San Diegowere engaged in the wedding process, we made some repetitions how to move on the alley together with our groomsmen. It was nice, funny, not so long rehearsal, so it was not boring at all. The lady, who explained to us what we are supposed to do, was worried about not to get drunk before the official ceremony. She saw 6 girls – 3 Bulgarian and 3 Irish, crazy enough to be able to do this. Also, the groomsmen were very crazy, so it seemed to be a fun day.
After the rehearsal, we had a barbecue, typical American and my favorite. After the good food came wine time. We met all close friends of our bride and groom and exchanged information on so many different topics 🙂
And here is the day – the wedding! The wedding was very nice, relaxing, no rush. It was outdoor and the weather was warm and sunny. Everything was green, the water from the lake slightly twitched on the sun.
Good thing was that the civil marriage ceremony was interesting speech and not boring at all.
The wedding was during the day and continued till 10:30 pm. I have enough time to broke my shoes, so I went home barefoot. But I am used to partying a lot more lately than this hour.
On the wedding in the United States there were people from more than 20 countries, so imagine how colorful it was! Great experience! Great California and people.
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Now we are traveling at the time and one year later in the summer of 2016. We are in Bulgaria, in small village nearby city of Haskovo, called Mineralni bani. As I grew there, the words are not enough to explain the beauty of the place (actually I am planning to try in another post, but not now). The crew is here.
Everything is prepared for the wedding and the day has begun. What to expect from one Bulgarian traditional wedding. The recipe:
The wedding starts parallel in the home of the bride and in the home of the best man. Lunchtime. Everybody starts drinking rakia (typical Bulgarian drink) and other alcoholic drinks. Imagine plenty of food also. After some parallel traditional Bulgarian dancing “horo” on the road outside, the party from the best men has to be combined with the party in the bride’s home.
The best men and all his group should “steal” the bride, but the guests of the bride take good care of her. So actually it’s a “fight” in front of her door. After the two groups find an agreement, the party continues with more food and drinks.
The typical Bulgarian wedding includes religious marriage and civil marriage. Personally, this is so long procedures for me.
After everybody gets exhausted because of the long procedures during the mention in point 3 marriages, it’s time the real party to start.
Here there is an official ceremony and after that, it’s a dancing party till guests want to sleep. Which actually happens early in the morning, so it counts the Bulgarian wedding continues usually 2 days.
I cannot say which of the weddings is better, as they are so different. For sure both were very emotional and people had fun. It is nice to gather different languages, different cultures, plenty of traditions and to watch how the interaction magic happens.
What happens in Vegas stays in Vegas, right? Before going there, I have asked a friend of mine from California to share his experience from Las Vegas. He said “I don’t go often there, it’s too good and I am getting faded.” The so called Sin City of Nevada has many opportunities for having fun! And the word “sin” is a personal understanding.
What can happen there is unknown – you can lost money, earn money, go to a pool party and lost your swimming suit, you can totally loose the feeling of the time as there are lots of clubs under the earth and you cannot see the sun – is it down or up … Here there is a real example of one fake sky under the Venice replication.
You can see the American version of the Eiffel tower.
You can go in Caesar palace and feel the whole Hellenic atmosphere with sculptures and pretending-to-be-old architectures.
Then it’s time for the amazing view of the Fountains at Bellagio. It is breathtaking moment and it’s very beautiful synchronized show & music.
In hotel Mirage every night a volcano erupts, spewing a cocktail of aromas and realistic sounds. The main street of Las Vegas – so called “The strip”, has sightseeings from different part of the world and the night view is shiny and marvelous.
Daily average number of couples which are getting married in Las Vegas is 500! It costs 55 $ and 20 minutes to be married with counterpart of Elvis Presley.
The Stratosphere Tower of Stratosphere hotel is the highest tower in the Desert – 350 meters. The view from the top of the roof at the Stratosphere hotel makes you believe that’s impossible to be in the desert! Really! My choice for staying in Las Vegas, Nevada was this really nice hotel, so take my recommendations!
The only forbidden thing is to drink in the public transport, so actually me and my crew were interested in.
We found some treasury! And we even didn’t play poker games!
What better than the sunset view from Rockefeller building. We’ve been attending a piano night on the top of the Rockefeller. Drinking wine helped us to understand better how beautiful the world is.
After the first delight, we have been talking, walking and appreciating the life moments.When going out of the building we decided to fully enjoy the night, we took a limo, we have had a lot of fun there… we have been discovering the best parts of Manhattan.
Our driver was so cool and showed us a special party place, where you can dance all night. It was a lot space over there. There were more than 10 rooms separated with heavy mantles, which is very romantic when you add the music, the lights, the professional dancers, the drinks and the passion.
It was like in a move. There were singers and dancers with their bands. They had dance battle, they rocked the place.
At one moment it was just the dance movements, the smell of the passion and the electricity in the air.
Love that moment! Love the dynamic in life, love dancing and love my life.
I can’t wait to see what is coming next! Stay grateful! Attract the world beauty with your positive vibes!