In past two years I have visited couple of countries with totally different cultured than mine. So I thought it would be funny and/or interesting to share some things I learned about that country by visiting it.
Disclaimer: if I am talking about your country or a country you have been to, please have in mind this is just my experience in the short amount of time I spent it there. No hard feelings!!
Vatican City is probably the cleanest city in the whole world.
In Albanian bus stops there are no soap or mirrors in the bathrooms.
Athens is really dirty and full of not-so-artistic graffiti on every corner.
In Zakhyntos (Greece) you actually have to pay extra to have wi-fi in the hotel which is kind of absurd since you are paying the actual stay in the hotel which should include your personal right to the internet!!
In Greece people drive like crazy and in some towns like Laganas, Zakhyntos there are no zebra crossings.
Ohrid (Republic of Macedonia) has ridiculously low prices of alcohol and cigarettes and pretty much everything you can find.
In Naples (Italy) most of the restaurants are closed from 15:00 to 17:00 or something stupid like that. And also what I should probably outline is that one of the first things you see on your drive to and through the city are big piles of trash.
Rome is pretty much all churches, fountains and obelisks. Nonetheless a spectacular city and culture worth seeing. Also shopping streets are amazing!
There isn’t a big line in Starbucks in Athens, not even in the centre where all the tourists are which really surprised me since my previous experience with Starbucks was in London and there is a necessity to wait at least 5-10 minutes just to order.
If you are in London you must try a little picnic in one of their beautiful parks, even with just a coffee in hand. If you are not a park person I recommend you to go to Tate Modern and after a little exhibition sit in front of the museum, the view of the St Peter’s Cathedral and Millenium Bridge is just stunning.
Budva (Montenegro) is a really pretty and romantic city that everyone should see. The atmosphere at night is just relaxing and fun, the people are friendly and happy.
Tirana (Albany) is surprisingly well-developed since the rest of Albany is in a totally different state. When you arrive in Albany all you see are small houses that look like there is no one living there, and then you see a center like Tirana you stop to think how is even possible that I am in the same country.
This post was meant be published days ago but I had some problems with my computer so I couldn’t have publish this or anything for that matter any sooner. I hope this is the end of technical difficulties for some time!
So it has been over a week from when I got back from my excursion. The reason I did not do this post earlier is because I had some problems with the exports of photos.
For today I am just going to post a few pictures I took and under each one of the I will write something about them, just so you can get to know more details about my trips. I said for today because there could be more posts surrounding the same topic, but we’ll leave that for the future!!
Skipping to our second day in Zakhyntos since the first one we just had a night out in the city, nothing special to take photos of.
This is a photo from the inside of the famous shipwreck on the beach Navagio. Just look at the colour of the sea. I have never seen something quite like this, even though I have been growing up by the sea my whole life. Fascinating!
The island has a very indented coastline with a lot of coves, cliffs and caves, so you have a lot more to see than just the Shipwreck beach. On the way back from the beach we got to see these natural wonders up close and this photo I took is my favourite.
After that we went to a great viewpoint from where you can see the famous beach from above. Stunning sight indeed. Close to the viewpoint we got to see some local products we could try everything they offered and then buy it if we like it. Let me just tell you that all I got there and saved for my family at home got eaten the first day I came back.
For the last sight of the 2nd day we went to see the capital city of Zakhyntos also called Zakhyntos or Zante. The city is fairly new since it was ruined by an earthquake a few decades ago.
On the 3rd day we left the island Zahkyntos and replaced our destination on the Peloponnese. After a quick ride on a ferry, we made it to Mycenae, a pretty important archaeological site in Greece. The ruins of the old city are telling a story about how people lived ages ago and the Lion gate, something this site is most famous for, is really impressive. When you climb the hill amongst the ruins you can see Greece and where it meats the sea, so it is worth it if nothing, for the view.
Within the ruins there is a nice museum incorporated into the beautiful scenery. A lot of findings are stored there, including a replica of the notorious Agamemnon’s golden mask.
Not far away from the ruins and the museum there is the tomb of Atreus (father of Agamemnon) which is also a very popular site amongst the tourists.
Then we visited Epidaurus with the asclepeion (antient healing center opened by Asclepius) and the theatre which you see in th photo. It is huge and very well-built and preserved. There we had a demonstration of how it was built like this on purpose, so you can hear what is going on in the middle, where the actors were, even if you are sitting on the top, far away from that.
The last sight of the day was the Corinth canal which was built to shorten the voyage from one side to another since you do not have to circle around the Peloponnese. This canal actually transformed Peloponnese from a peninsula to an island.
4th day and the first look on Athens with a panoramic ride by bus to the entrance to Acropolis. It was a really hot day so everyone was looking for some shade whilst we were waiting for our local guide to show us around. The funny thing was that we actually got warned by a security guy and almost thrown out because we where sitting on the stairs in the shad for too long.
The Acropolis by itself is fascinating but when you combine it with the view it is so incredible to the point that it looks kind of unreal. Just take a look at the city of Athens with hundreds and hundreds of new building to the left of this old ancient building.
The most famous thing on the Acropolis is of course the Pantheon. From what I understood it is on of the worst preserved structures n the Acropolis because it was once storehouse for a lot of explosives and it exploded during the bombarding. There is nothing like humans to ruin something the time still hasn’t got the chance to.
A better look at the city of Athens from the Acropolis with me and my best friends posing like we are looking that way, you know the look in the distance. With the amazing Greek sky this is the best place to get amazing instagram photos, just look at my instagram magdalenam_dc (shameless self promo)!
Then we spent the rest of the day looking for souvenirs and shopping in the centre of Athens, where we also stopped for a traditional greek lunch in a cute little restaurant and jumped to Starbucks right after since I love it, but only have the chance to go when I am travelling since they do not have Starbucks in Croatia. In the evening I went on a romantic walk through the city and later on had a great night out in a club with the rest.
The 5th day we visited the city of Delphi, best known as the place where the priestess Pythia sat in a temple and recited the prophesies that where supposedly from the god Apollo. The whole old town was dug from under the houses built over the forgotten ancient town that served as a sanctuary.
In Delphi we had the best local guide ever, Penny. She really made the tour interesting and entertaining by keeping it easy and funny. The history of almost every building built here is that the people of the town or polis who were victors in a war made a treasure-house with the explanation why it was built, therefore we know who defeated whom.
After the tour and some resting time we went to a little greek tavern where we ate a lot of greek tradition food untill we couldn’t eat more. We soon left Delphi to arrive in Kalampaka, a beautiful little town where we stayed just one single night. That was the only night I didn’t go out with the most of my classmates, but I still had a pretty good night, maybe even better than if I went out.
The 6th day we left the hotel to go see the Meteora Monasteries. From the photo you can probably get what it actually is. This is a Monastery on a huge hill and also this is a complex of more than 10 of these monasteries that are open to sight-seeing. It is really great to see what humans are actually capable of building to keep the solitude and isolation vibe.
Soon after Meteora we left Greece and went to Ohrid, Macedonia. The weather drastically changed during the trip to Ohrid since we left the sunny and hot Greece and went to not so sunny and rainy Macedonia. But little rain didn’t stop us from shopping in the centre of Ohrid where the prices are scary low. After that we spent the last night in the hotel and of course our last going out of the trip.
Our last day, 7th day was mostly spent in a bus. First stop for a lunch break and some free time was Tirana, Albany. Tirana was surprisingly very modern looking and we could even believe we where in the same country because just an hour before that we were driving by old wooden houses that looked like they have been abandoned.
In a small restaurant somewhere in the centre of Tirana we had some lunch and relaxed knowing that we are going to spend half a day in the bus again. The food was pretty good and prices very reasonable.
The centre of Tirana is really developed. Our guide told us the reason behind that is a huge amount of money that highly developed countries are investing in the capital city. This photo was taken from the bus and the last one I took in Albany, since after we left Tirana the true face of Albany was visible.
Afer hours in the bus we got out in Budva to have some dinner and then a few hours for shopping. Budva is very busy at night since it really is a beautiful and romantic city. This stop was definitely my favourite one from the whole trip and I am already planning to get back next summer. This was our last stop and after romantic Budva we continued our journey to my hometown!
This is it! Everything about my trip in a brief summary. If you managed to read till the end and still enjoyed what you read, thank you so much!