Three days in heaven

Three days in heaven

If I would be ever asked how heaven looks like for me, this would be my answer: a cup of coffee with the company of my beloved one, waking up somewhere in the nature, breathing greedy the fresh air, looking at the green views and enjoying the value of the silence, living in the moment.I had the chance to live my own paradise spending three days at the beautiful south coast of England in a log cabin. Three days were enough  to make me clear my mind, and recharge my battaries ,soothe my soul, and have the benefit of waking up at a place like that.

Our log cabin was located at Hawkchurch Resorts and Spa, in the area of Axminster, a little wooden home with hidden treasures. From the outside it looked like so simple but cozy, in the inside a luxury apartment, however, keeping it simple and comfortable. At the first morning I enjoyed a cup of coffee on the balcony with a couple of sweet crepes, watching the misty, full of green fields landscape and confirming my theory about the famous English authors: the english landscape is ideal for some dark, romantic, inspired writing. Everything here is motivating an artist to feel deeply, to feel strongly, to feel emotions hidden deep in the soul. A sweet melancholy, a familiar and strange feeling of nostalgia. Something is missing but its not so bad as long as there is a cup of nice, warm English tea on the table.

These were my thoughts during my short stay near to the nature of Axminster, while i was eating my crepes, sharing some laughs and wandering around the green fields and forests. At the second day we had a beautiful, adventurus road trip  through the south coast. In eight hours we managed to visit three diamonds of the english coast.

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Lyme Regis

Our first stop was a small but beautiful town in the area of Dorset, the Lyme Regis. Lyme Regis is a real pearl in  Dorset. A cute, little town, full of beautiful, old-style buildings, an atmosphere that travels you in another century, not so far from our own though, when people were still using their hands for working on the land and the sea. Lyme Regis is located next to the coast,giving you the opportunity to walk beside the beach and breathe the refreshing salty air. You can notice that there are small shops and markets selling fish in almost every corner and little, cute candy shops, making you stop and stare for a while. Different smells everywhere in the air creating memories in your mind, making this little town remarkable inside you.

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Charmouth

The weather has started to be more cold by the time we arrived at Charmouth,some minutes far from Lyme Regis. Our second stop was brief but totally worth it. A nice little walk on the beach and some pictures as a memory, was a brilliant break from our time in the car, getting ready to start again for our last-but definitely not least, stop.

 

Jurassic Coast

Walking next to the coast. Holding hands. Talking abou small things and big things. These were the essentials of a beautiful day. Not even the moody weather could ruin the moment. I was wondering how many beautiful, amazing, awesome places there are around the world, and even I was already on a trip, I was getting more greedy. I want to see everything.

The Jurassic Coast World Heritage Site is about 154 km in the area of Dorset and it’s famous for its remains of various creatures that have been found in the rocks-no we didn’t walk the whole 154 km and we didnt see any dinosaur (too  bad). We had a brief stop for lunch at a restaurant in the Jurassic coast  before our arrival at the main attraction.

When we arrived, we had to walk for a bit and take a look at the breathtaking view. Below the sea, watching her touch the sand with her waves, rocks around her and the little caves created from the nature. We stood for a while to capture the moment, to admire the work of the nature and keep the memory deep inside us. It was one of these moments that you wish your eyes could take pictures, just to capture the exact magic you have the chance to watch. We just walked the stairs down the beach and… here we are! In front of us a piece of the heaven, and the famous gate that has been created by something more important than us- time nature, god, a strange creature, we will never know.  We had a short rest in the stoned caves and we grabbed the opportunity to admire the sunset. Our time there was perfect. We were not late in our date with this amazing magical time of the day. As the night was coming and the weather was colder and colder we returned in the comfort and the warmth of our log cabin, making a nice cup of tea so we could relax and enjoy our last night in the log cabin.

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Cara mia Siena

«And though she but little, she is fierce», William Shakespeare used to say, and for an unknown reason, I believe this phrase defines you, little but powerful and beautiful Siena, the star of the Tuscan area. You may not be popular like the capital of your country, Rome, or not so fabulous like Milano, maybe the young couples prefer to visit Florence and Venice, thinking that their love will last longer (no, a chain on the bridge will not give you the «forever», sorry! ) but for me you will always be a little princess, a small city with a big heart. Your medieval buildings are the portal for different times, different roams that made my fantasy run ages away.  Your little shops, the candy shops, the restaurants with the smell of delicious pizza, the big square where young people were sitting there, enjoying the sun, chatting, laughing, giving you energy.A city that gave me the impression that is so young but so old at the same time. I remember my favourite hour, the «happy hour», spending it with a nice company and my friend F. who was a superior host. I remember the nights with F. when we were enjoying a glass of wine and I was so happy to taste again the original Italiana Carbonara (yummy), I remember  your customs, like «never pass through between two columns, because If you are a student  you are not going to graduate any soon». But the city is full of little columns, so if you are a student walking around Siena, you will be exhausted trying to avoid them. And I was so thrilled every time, like a little child who is playing a street game, and laughing like a stupid, when  I was trying to not go through the small columns.

I remember your people Siena, simple and beautiful like you. Polite and warm,full of the mediterranean spirit that marks them,  men ready to chase you down for flirting, moving their hands, speaking like they ‘re singing, and all these Italian habits that are so adorable.

Three days were enough to fall for you Siena. Thank you for the beautiful memories and your amazing landscapes.Thank you for being yourself and showing me your secret beauties. Those who are willing to see them, deserve them!  You will be always in my heart, Siena.

Till the next time,

Un Bacione.

xxx

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The main square

Today is life. Tomorrow never comes.

This time, im having a break from my adventures abroad, and im gonna start my narration with a place which maybe it’s not so far from my place, but definitely has the magical power to make me travel-as the other visitors-through time. A time when living like homeless person, barefoot, with flowers on the head and a spirit full of adventure, peace and love, was not only a »must» or a »trend»of the times, it was more like a lifestyle. Why, of course, im speaking about the famous place of Crete, Matala which  was culminated at the 60s-70s, the gold decade of the »flower children», the hippies. There, the »children» with the wild hearts, the free spirit, who only wanted to live freely, with love, and they were dreaming a better place full of peace and humanity, were spending their days living in the caves, swimming on the beautiful, crystal-blue sea, and playing the guitars on the beach, in front of the fire. Sounds like a fairytale? Oh, but it’s not.

Maybe the flowers children do not exist anymore, only with some exceptions, but the spirit of the hippies and those golden ages are still alive, and the citizens of this magnificient place are giving their bests to make it alive every year, organising a 3 days festival, full of music, colour and people who are coming from all over the world just to live those carefrees years, when materials, stress and daily life were left behind. For some of the visitors the place works like a reminder of those years, because hippies from every corner of Europe are still organising reunions at Matala, just to remember the old good times.

For me, was the second time i had the pleasure to visit Matala,and i was absolutely thrilled to touch again this magical atmosphere of the place: young people all over the beach with their tents as permanent home, holding beers and colouring their bodies, music during the day and the night, laughters,excited screams, young and older couples spreading the love around. The day was empty of responsibilities and the ordinary daily activities, but the soul was full of harmony and calmness.

And i was standing there, in front of the beach, watching the sunset, with my toes in the sand and flowers on my hair, and i knew i was complete, because today is life, tomorrow never comes. And today was damn good.

 

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sunset on Matala
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Children of the flowers

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My bestie M. looks amazing as always (even with sea salt all over )
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Good vibes
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the caves
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my toes in the sand
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hippie girls looking for food. #peace #love #rocknroll

Mamma Mia!

Cappuccino,pasta,pizza,gelato…they ‘re saying that the best things are for free.Well, that’s not exactly the truth. But for sure, you can find the best things in one country-Italy!

The first city i decided to visit was Milan, and to be honest i was sure that this was not my first and last trip to Italy. Elegant people all around me, the smell of the pizza and hot cappuccino, beautiful sightseeings, the capital of fashion didn’t disappoint me.

My wandering in Milan started with the one of the most popular churches in the whole Italy: the Duomo of Milano. I have heard many things about the Duomo and its magnificant beauty, but what I saw when  i stepped out of the subway it was something that left me totally speechless-a really rare phenomenon in my case. The marvellous church was standing in front of me, haughty and grandiose, as it should be.

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Duomo and the square from above. 

Then, I had the chance to walk through the famous  Galleria Vittorio Emanuele which is next to the Duomo, and i was surrounded by shops such as  Gucci, Luis Vuitton etc. What a lucky woman 😀  Ten minutes later i found myself taking pictures of the Sforza Castle, with the beautiful garden and fountain, listening the majestic sound of the violin and dreaming about medieval times.

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Galleria Vittorio Emanuele
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Sforza Castle

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I could tell that i was a lucky woman not only for the fact that i was surrounded by the greatest names of the fashion industry but i took a free ticket for the biggest event in Milan- the EXPO 2016, a festival where people have the opportunity to present the best tastes of their countries. Of course one day was not enough, but at least i had the chance to take a look from the culture of countries such as Marocco, Azerbaijan, San Marino, Brazil etc, or even from GREECE (proudtobeGreek feeling 😀 ) Hungary, Albania, Croatia and other countries.

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The magic fountain of life-Expo 2016

Last but not least, i have to mention the beautiful area of Navigli,the place that looks like a small  Amsterdam, and both visitors and citizens can have a happy hour in one of the many restaurants of Navigli,  where they can eat as much they want and pay only the cocktail (this is the precious time of apperittivo, like an Italian would say so).  Besides that, the small Amsterdam of Milan, offers you an opportunity to  walk on the bridges and the canals, enjoying the vibration of the vivid crowd, full of young people, who are wandering in the streets of Navigli area.

It definitely worth a visit the place EATALY (clever name, isn’t it?), where you can do exactly what the title promises: eat every traditional food of italy, buy an ice cream, taste italian liquors- with alcohol or not, choose your ideal type of pasta amongst all the types of pasta that Italians have invented, and at the end of the day you can die as a very happy and  full-stomach man. As for pizza and pasta, what i have to say? Words are not able to describe the pleasure of these two goods.Thank you Italy. (Btw, don’t miss to try out pizza Margherita with Buffalo cheese-a taste of heaven 😉 )

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EATALY

I could say that it was a first-sight love with Italy. Maybe because of the delicious food, or the beautiful language that sounds like a song in my ears every morning i was waking up, maybe because of  the all smiling people, who are not really good english-speakers but they were always willing to help, moving their hands so intense everytime they were speaking, maybe it’s  the sunny land of football and good coffee and extremely delicious ice cream, i don’t know exactly what it is, but if you feel that you ‘re captured by the beauty of Italy and you ‘re falling in love with her, don’t resist, just relax and enjoy it. As for me,the only thing I know is that i will always come back 😀

The city of sins

City of sins or city of freedom? This was my question during my trip to the city that has caused many controversial opinions and rumors around its name, the city that everyone who has visit it, they promise themself to go back: Amsterdam. Spending three days there I managed to answer to my question and to change my mind about many things.

Remembering all the places i have visited in Europe so far, I have to admit-although, difficult for someone to believe it if they don’t see it-Amsterdam is one of the most romantic cities I ‘ve ever been. Wandering around with my friend, i enjoyed walking beside the beautiful canals or through the brigdes( bridges lover here, thank you!), the markets on the road full of souvenir shops and shops with flowers, full, of course, of the main star, the tulip (anyway, Amsterdam among other things, it’s really famous for the beautiful tulips, favourite flower of mine, as well). Smiling, warm people around us, ready anytime to help us even if we were strangers-and obviously, we were tourists. People with bicycles, many, many, many bicycles and only a few cars, going for a walk, going to meet their friends, going to their jobs. I didn’t have to look carefully in order to notice the harmony of this city, a city full of contrasts, a city which satisfy all the kinds of taste, all the types of different people.

At the night, Amsterdam had the same vivid and alive face as in the morning. The air of the city gave me the impression that everything could happen, however, at the same time i was feeling safe: anything could happen, but nothing that you dont like. We visited the famous pub Bulldog, where we enjoyed the famous cake and we tried a really good quality of joint, enjoying good music, laughing…I had a strange feeling of freedom, a freedom that i can feel only in this city, here in Amsterdam, and everywhere else this feeling would not be the same.

We passed a lot of times through the Red light district area, maybe the most famous area in Amsterdam, and we were watching the girls in the windows, with beautiful lingeries, living in a cage of glass, acting like noone is watching them, smoking, posing, doing their make up and challenging all kind of men in their »home». I remember clearly that we found a place like that exactly behind a church.

Of course, it was forbidden to take pictures of the girls, although i was feeling my hand ready to push the button of my camera, just to capture these moments that probably i will not see anywhere else (it was about 11 in the morning.) Also, we entered a  fancy shop where we were able to taste any kind of cheese for free-best choice ever, i entered in starving, i stepped out stomach full 😀 ,we tried the famous chips with a really really hot and spicy sauce-the hotter the better,  we passed by the Heineken Experience where they give you the possibility for a tour through the canals, and we took pictures on the »broken bridge».

The last day, we spent our time in the beautiful Vondelpark, one of the main parks in Amsterdam and we took a breathtaking picture from the Sky Bar,  a tall building where we could admire the beauty of the city.

Taking our flight ftom the airport of Eindhoven, a city one and a half hour far from Amsterdam, we could explore another place too, even though it didn’t have the glory of the majestic city of sins, but it impressed us with its graphical streets and architecture.

Yes, Amsterdam is a city of sins but in their purest form. It lets you to be whoever you are, to do whatever you want, to be free in every and truly sense of freedom, a freedom that always bear in mind to respect yourself and respect the choices of other people. From the very first time you put a foot there,you have taken your decision to return back to this city, like a murderer always returns to the crime scene. 😉

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Rijksmuseum and IAMSTERDAM letters

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I am feeling hoooot!!! (chips with hot sauce-must!)
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Heineken Experience
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Van Gogh’s museum
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Dam Square
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Breathtaking view from above
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Sex shops everywhere

 

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Canals & bicycles
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Scenes from Eindhoven

 

Sunny Krakow (Part 2)

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History is to be told. History is to be known. History is to be written and remembered. These were my thoughts all along my way to Auschwitz, the place that has written its own history through times because of the crimes which has taken place there.  We woke up early in the morning in order to catch up the bus, leaving F. behind us because of his strong headache ( i call it strong hangover) and we arrived in Auschwitz one hour later. One of the privileges as students is to be able to walk through important museums and historical monuments with no entrance fee, although we had to be in Auschwitz before ten, if we wanted to take advantage of our precious benefits. We stepped in at ten and one, but as the receptionist told us, we couldn’t entry for free. Some minutes later we broke this rule and we could enjoy a free tour by ourselves. How? This is a small tip for travelers around the world: if you have a friend who studies law, just take them with you. If you don’t have…well, just find one. They know how to charm people, they know what to say in every situation and nobody are able to talk and disagree with them. So, i have to say thanks to our friend N. for his abilities and for the fact that he was a good student in law. (He has graduated now-congratulazioni)

Walking around Auschwitz, i was happy only for one reason: we had decided to make this tour in our last day in Krakow, and it was the best decision. I couldn’t hold my tears when i was looking around all those small houses, with the wet, grey walls, the pictures of women, men and children who were captured there, waiting for the awful ending, an ending that other people has chosen for them. My spine was shivering in cold when i visited the cells of the prisoners who were waiting for their death, or the places where their personal things-hats, pyjamas, comps, hairs or carpets made by human hairs of dead people, able to make the living one warm between those walls – were displayed behind the glass. But the pictures that were chasing me all day are the faces of the little children whose life was stolen so early, the siblings, brothers and sisters who have lost each other, they lost their parents, they lost the right that every child has: the right to grow up.

Krakow was a beautiful, colourful, warm city, the same was my trip too.Only with a grey spot, Auschwitz.

History has to be told. History has to be known. History has to be written and remembered. So, we can avoid other grey spots in the future.

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Pictures from the city of Krakow:

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Symbol of Krakow : the dragon

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Sunny Krakow (Part I)

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It was a quiet evening of April, i was enjoying my free time on my room 1204, in the dormitory of Kounicova, when my Italian friend F. sent me a pm on facebook : ‘Vale, we have to organise a trip. Come downstairs.’ These were his words. He was on the mood for a mini-weekend escape and he talked to the right person. Next destination : the beautiful, small city of Poland, Krakow. I booked our hostel, we found tickets, we searched for the ‘best things to do’ in Krakow, we created our  small group (two Italians, two Greeks, a Brazilian) and we were ready to go.I was sure im going to have an adventure with these guys. Sometimes, we are not sure how things are going to end up. But i saw it coming.                      It was going to be c-r-a-z-y!

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Some random, Mexican guys we have met on the road.

F. lost his phone during the journey, i run out of money because i finished all the money of my scholarship (thanks to Nicola I had to eat for three days), we were searching for the bus station AND the bus from Katowice ( a small city between Brno and Krakow) to Krakow, generally, the situation was a mess but i couldn’t enjoy it more. I was with my crazy, beloved people and we left our sign on this trip. We went against the odds and we won. Krakow was worth any adventure anyway.

You see, i have this game on my own. When i visit a place for the very first time, I am giving time to myself-without anyone else understand it, trying to sense it, to feel what’s happening in its atmosphere, to see the invisible lights of the city, to sense  its smells, to breathe the air around me, its oxyzen, like it’s a human being, something alive, a living creature. By this way, im getting closer to meet the city deeply and im giving it a name, like a characteristic. I call Krakow ‘sunny’. Maybe because of the weather, that blessed us with sunny days on the weekend, maybe because of the people who were so warm, and helpful, people all smiling and funny. Streets full of young blood, cheap drinks, vivid nights, beautiful people, overcrowded clubs: a perfect city for students. THE perfect city for my friend F. , my Italian boy, the definition of ‘latino lover’, whose weakest spots are the good beer and blonde girls-and thank god Krakow has both.

I have to mention the splendid restaurant that we found under the castle, with the best beer and best soup ever. Their lifestyle : the bigger, the better. (i am talking about the huge amount of food and the huge glass of beer they offer 😀 )The only thing i regret is that i didn’t take a sky-walk with the huge balloon, because the weather was a little bit windy.

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I have had a wonderful time in the hostel when we started drinking the Polish vodka ‘souplica’, with the taste of hazelnut (it tastes like nutella) and you can feel the heaven in your mouth. It’s so sweet, you feel the need to drink again and again. Result : drunk in no time(that’s why i don’t remember much from my birthday party 🙂 ). The best thing was that on our first night there our friends L. and D. (the Italian crazy girl and our Hungarian girl) came to find us and explore Krakow too.

 

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Sunny days with sunny faces in a sunny town. Only one dark spot. Its name, Auschwitz…