10 places where I have been and why they are so AMAZING!
Some Places Stay in Your Heart
Buongiorno, friends! Since yesterday I’m thinking about my stay in Sicily and especially about place called Scala dei Turchi. Last summer I spent two weeks with friends from Agrigento and had a great time. And still today, Scala dei Turchi is one of my most preferred places on Earth. And believe me, I am not easy to impress! 🙂
In this connection, I started to remember all amazing places I visited and how they are different from each other. Each place has its own distinctive features and worthy to be known. So, I’ve decided to share with you these small pieces of my Heaven. Hope you will enjoy them too.
1 – TIGRAY, ETHIOPIA
Almost one year of my life was spent in this dry and dusty region of Ethiopia. For me it was culture shock – so much poverty, so much sicknesses and no hope for better life. After the first month of shock I began really to enjoy this so unique land and culture. Tigranya people are proud of their history and religion, and sometimes kind like children. This doesn’t prevent them to be also aggressive when begging. During my stay I have learned how to understand and accept the differences between people and to appreciate every moment of my adventure in Africa.
But why this place is so special? For few reasons:
– The rock-hewn churches. These churches are made almost by one piece of rock and have long history. Ethiopia is one of the countries which first adopted (in 4th century) the Christianity and they are very proud of that. Inside these churches there are no particular decorations or icons painted on the walls, and women and man pray in separated groups, not together. There are five clusters of rock-hewn churches in the region but my favorite always has been the Wukro Cherkos. I like it because of the stone’s soft color and the yellow painting on the windows. The one-block building has a charm for me because it makes me think about how small and unimportant I am in comparison with the nature. Rock can last forever, body not. And we don’t know since when this church is standing there. So, when I was sitting at front of the church the feel of humility always was my only emotion and I was in peace with the world.
– Tigray is desert place. There are no trees or other coarse vegetation. First time when I arrived my wondering was how the people here survive. I still don’t really know. There are no gardens with fruit trees or vegetables. And the local people do not think how to preserve the nature but who will use it first. If there is one small tree, they will not care about it in order to grow big and strong but they will cut it and used to make a stick, for example.
– The desert landscapes and the red rock formations are very beautiful. The most fabulous of them is a place named Gheralta. If you climb Gheralta Rock you will find all its hidden treasures – the rock-hewn churches, and will have access to wonderful sceneries, particularly stunning at sunset.
2 – KAPALI CHARSI, ISTANBUL
It is known also as the Grand Bazaar. Today the Grand Bazaar is one of the main Istanbul’s landmarks. Many Turkish people and tourists are visiting the bazaar every year. You should have a look even if you don’t like to mix with the masses. The old architecture (500 years old), the colors and aromas of all goods sold here are unbelievable. Just by placing your foot in the Grand Bazaar you can go back in the time of the sultans and their harems.
Why this place is amazing?
– The spices! Ah, those spices. Love their colors, aromas and taste! They are one whole universe. There are some that are not much known and you can always buy some to bring back home. Probably you will feel like Vasko da Gama. 🙂
– There are so interesting and beautiful goods for sale in Kapali Charsi. Especially for women travelers. The colorful glass lamps are one of my favorites. But there are so many more. You can bring back home very interesting objects that can be used for home decorating.
– The unbeatable charm of the bargaining! Well, it’s Istanbul. The capital of previous Ottoman Empire. You HAVE TO bargain! And if you feel uncomfortable about that because of your western mentality, don’t! It is normal to bargain, it is even necessary if you want to pay reasonable price for your choice. And it is pleasure because like that you go out of your comfort zone and you see that you can do it well. With practice, of course. 🙂 You can read some advices on how to bargain HERE.
– The professional hospitality of the Turkish sellers. They will do anything to make you feel comfortable in order to make a purchase. They will smile, talk to you as an old friend and will invite you for a tea… It is pleasure to shop in the Grand Bazaar. Still, be cautious. It’s just a business.
– Leather bags, clothes Arabic style, jewelry, silk scarves ….. All what a modern princess can possibly want. There are thousands of goods for every taste.
– Lokum (in English is Turkish delight) and all other sweets that are specialty of the Turkish culture. You should try it. The taste of these syrupy cookies is unforgettable. 🙂
3 – LVIV, UKRAINE
I described Lviv in my article as “The Most Beautiful City in Ukraine”.
For me, this city is the most interesting place for visit in Ukraine. It is beautiful, has few different faces which respond to the different historical periods. Lviv is situated in the Northwest part of the country and it is the part of Ukraine where people with pro-western thinking are living. These are the people who want the country to become member of European Union and to be more open to the world. It is very cosmopolite. There are universities with international students. In addition to its modern look, Lviv has interesting history that is closely connected with Poland. The city was part of the Habsburg Empire and this created mixture of spoken languages and of different religions.
What is interesting?
– You can start by visiting the old historical part of Lviv where most of the museums are situated.
– The museums in Lviv are numerous and there is one for every taste. Some of the museums that I visited are Lviv History Museum (very beautiful), Museum of Historical Valuables and the Pharmacy Museum which is in fact working Pharmacy.
– Walking around the city is enjoyable because of all young people around (many of them speaking English), the beautiful old architecture, and the modern shops many of them offering goods produced in Ukraine. The whole impression is for a city of a good standard of life.
– The Lviv’s nightlife. I didn’t have chance to explore it but have heard a lot about. It sounds interesting.
– The art is very important part of Lviv’s culture. There are many art galleries, larger and smaller shops, which provide to the visitor aesthetic pleasure.
4 – SEYNE LES ALPES
Seyne les Alpes is a small village in the French department Alpes-de-Haute-Provence. As the name speaks, the location of the village is in the heart of the beautiful Alps Mountains in the south part of France. Not far from the village is the ski station Grand Puy which is famous as family-friendly.
Why Seyne les Alpes is good place to visit? Here why:
– It has picturesque beauty and typical French charm.
– The slow pace of village life.
– During the summer the village is revived by mixture of French and international tourists.
– The area is very beautiful and the mountain sceneries are splendid!
– There are many possibilities for different activities – bicycling, trekking, paragliding, beach activities in the nearby lake of Serre-Poncon and many other options.
– It is easy to move around – you will enjoy walking in the village and around.
– If you want clean mountain air, this is the place for you.
– Family-friendly destination. Kids love it because of the freedom of running and playing in the nature.
5 – KORCULA
Next on my list is Korcula, one of the beautiful islands in Adriatic Sea. For me this island is a small gem in the big crown of Croatia. It is also historically rich land and it is said that it is Marco Polo’s birthplace. The atmosphere here is relax and yet very special.
What are the charming features of Korcula?
– The way you approach the small island from the continent (from Orebic) is magical. We took a small boat which reached the destination for short time (maybe 10-15 min, don’t remember exactly). The trip gives a beautiful view to the island with its flourishing green vegetation and white stone houses between. The port is small and a beautiful white stone stairs are welcoming you upon your arrival.
– The old town reminds me of the small narrow streets of Venice in Italy. The opened windows above the heads of people passing by and the flowers pots, arranged at unexpected places are part of the charm. There is smell of fried fish and Italian pizza.
– The people are kind and generous. The pace of life is slow and at many places you can see parents playing with their children. It is relaxing and beautiful place.
HERE you can see more photos from the island.
6 – MERZOUGA, MOROCCO
To see Sahara and to feel the golden sand flowing down through my fingers was one of my travel bucket list points. I waited a long time to make it true, but it was worth it. Merzouga is the place in Morocco where the sand dunes rise to the greatest height. Their color varies with the change of the sun’s position. From pale pink, gold and finally becoming dark red and brown, the sands of the Sahara are insatiable attractive. Besides the undeniable beauty and the fact that visit to Merzouga is a safe way to enjoy the wilderness without putting your life in danger (after Merzouga there are no other settlements in the desert and the desert seamlessly cross the border with Algeria), sense of peace and serenity overwhelms the traveler. Now I understand why travelers for centuries were attaracted by the desert. Its vastness and infinity makes you feel at one with the universe around you and you realize that your life is just a tiny piece of the eternity’s puzzle. Desert teaches wisdom, obedience and fortitude. Everyone should see it and feel it to find peace in himself and take this new lesson back home.
You can see more photos from Merzouga HERE.
7 – MONTENEGRO
Montenegro is quite a popular destination in the recent years and for good reasons. There reasons are beautiful nature, humble people, relatively low prices and most of all – new place, undiscovered until now. I think what impresses most in Montenegro are the beautiful mountains, leaning over crystal-clear waters. In some places you may think that you are in Norway in summer instead of Montenegro because of the fjords before your eyes (Boka Kotorska / The Bay of Kotor). It is strange because this fjord is not in the north but in the south of Europe.
8 – HVAR, CROATIA
One of my favorite islands! I wrote already about the island in the articles Island of Hvar – the Croatian Saint-Tropez and Practical guide to visiting the Island of Hvar, Croatia where you can see more pictures.
9 – SCALA DEI TURCHI, SICILY
Unique place! One of the most beautiful beaches of Sicily situated near Agrigento. Rock with milky color creates a sense of purity and alien presence. It’s like if a giant had poured over the rocks vanilla ice cream. However, the rocks are warm and pleasant to the touch. It is wonderful to feel your bare feet on the soft stone. The rock’s color makes you blind and but also calms your soul. Around the sand is fine and the water clean and full of small fish. Scala dei Turchi is a favorite place for locals and tourists, but even in mid-August you can find a place to unfold your beach towel.
10 – CLUJ-NAPOKA, ROMANIA
Cluj-Napoca is a very interesting city in northern Romania. While it is located within the country, the Austro-Hungarian influence is felt everywhere. The city’s history is linked to the Austro-Hungarian Empire and even now the majority of the inhabitants are ethnic Hungarians and this determines the appearance and culture of the place. Catholic Cathedral stands in the center, but Orthodox one is not missing. You can see old classic architecture in late Gothic style everywhere on public buildings and private homes too. People are distant in a German way but very helpful and pleasant for communication. And finally the food ….. you have to try it! The specialty of the region are dishes of game meat with berries sauce. Yummy ….
What are the places where you have been and made big impression on you so much so that even have changed the way you see the world?