December 2013 archive

28 things to do in New York

28 things that I like to do when the airplane takes me to New York:

1.    Having the feeling that everything is possible in a city that never sleeps.

2.    Straying into the streets like a lost tourist and out of the blue starting to take part of a film like a background actor. Am I going to be a famous??? Is Brad Pitt somewhere here?

3.    Going from Manhattan to Brooklyn walking on the Brooklyn Bridge, especially when it is time for the sun to go down and the sky becomes something a rainbow of purple pink red and orange …

4.    Going for a stroll in Dumbo and Brooklyn heights and wondering how life should be for a New Yorker?

5.    Visiting the Victoria’s secret shop in Valentine’s Day while listening to Whitney Houston sings loudly that she will always love you and thinking about my significant other.

6.    Giving myself a chance to a frenetic shopping on the 5th Avenue following in the footsteps of Carrie Bradshaw.

7.    Having an Italian dinner in the EATALY restaurant. But don’t make the hilarious mistake that I made myself to ask somebody where is EATALY, cause you will get the answer that EATALY is not in Manhattan but in the north of the Europe!!!!! LOL LOL LOL!

8.    Eating cheeseburgers and delicious fries in the hidden Burger Joint behind the curtain in the 56th Street or in the Shake Shack in the heart of Battery Park City although I have to wait in a long queue.

9.    Ice skating at Rockefeller Center.

10.    Having a Sunday brunch at Red Rooster in the heart of Harlem or at the French Bistro Pastis on the 9th Avenue.

11.    Visiting the Museum of modern art MOMA and having a lunch at its own restaurant The Modern. Besides the MOMA, I also like the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

12.    Taking a bus without having an idea of where it will go. But just be careful that it won’t bring you to the Bronx in the middle of the night.

13.    Visiting Columbia University and all of a sudden finding out that the persons mentioned in the main building are the Greek philosophers.

14.    Trying to understand how the metro works.

15.    Trying to understand where all these persons come from. Is anybody here 100% real New Yorker?

16.    After midnight shopping at Times square…I love you FOREVER 21.

17.    Eating cupcakes at the Magnolia Bakery. Oh my God, which one should I choose?

18.    Admiring the architecture of the Chrysler Building, Flatiron Building and the Woolworth Building and looking at the scenic view from the 102nd floor Observatory of the Empire State building.

19.    Having a coffee or hot caramel chocolate in one of 129 Starbucks Coffee stores.

20.    Needless to talk about the Statue of liberty. Taking the boat which departs from the Battery Park should belong to every tourist’s program who respect it.

21.    Visiting the china town, having a pizza at Lombardi’s in Little Italy, shopping and gallery hopping in Soho and Tribeka.

22.    Having a coffee in the Bleecker Street in Greenwich Village and definitely having a dinner at the Spice Market in the Meatpacking district.

23.    Relaxing in The High Line Park with views of the Hudson River. It is surprising that in this park dogs are not allowed but there is always a reason.

24.    Studying in the New York public library at 42nd Street.

25.    What about a fashion week in the Lincoln Centre?

26.    Enjoying a drink at the rooftop bar at 230 Fifth.

27.    Taking Citibike to the Riverside Park.

28.    Listening to the song of frank Sinatra “Start spreading the news, I am leaving today, I want to be a part of it “while having picnic in the Central park. Visiting the park on foot or by bicycle, both of them are beautiful ideas.

Who of you have similar experiences in the city that never sleeps?

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Holidays in the Greek islands

Holidays in the Greek islands
Holidays in the Greek islands
 

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20 things that I like to do when I am on holidays in the Greek islands:

1. Closing the eyes and listening to the waves of sea.

2. Endless beach parties.

3. Having breakfast, lunch, and dinner next to the sea.

4. Looking at the endless blue of the sky and sea without thinking anything.

5. Smelling the aroma of Greek bakery in the middle of the night that challenges you to go there and taste everything. The choice is difficult. Begin with tiropita, spanakopita and for something sweet take a bugatsa.

6. Climbing on the roof of a white church in Santorini.

7. Eat eat eat. Fish, Suvlaki, musaka, greek salads, and fresh fruits.

8. Discovering a hidden cave and swimming naked.

9. Renting a motor yacht and having a hop on hop off tour from island to the next island.

10. Spending the whole day with bikini and pareo.

11. Listening to Greek music such as the song of Melina Merkouri that says that the moon is made from paper and the beach is fake. But if you had believed her just a little bit, everything would be real.

12. Feeling the sea salt sensation all over your body.

13. Looking around myself and seeing happy carefree people.

14. Losing the sense of time. What time is it? Is it Monday or Sunday? Where did you say that we are now?

15. Participating in a Panigiri!!! Eat and drink like a local and dance Syrtaki or Kalamatiano with strangers.

16. Letting myself enjoy the Greek hospitality. It will sound strange, but only when I lived in foreign countries, I really understood what Greek hospitality is. When you live in Greece, you don’t really understand it because you take it for granted, but when you go to live in a foreign country, then you get it. Only if you compare it with other countries, only if you see a different side, you understand what Greek hospitality is all about.

17. Window shopping jewelleries that are inspired from the ancient Greek architecture.

18. Having a hot tan. Going there with a skin which has the colour of milk and coming back home with a chocolate skin.

19. Walking barefoot in hot sand.

20. Coming back to your country, looking at the photos that you took in Greece and spontaneously having a big smile in your face that makes you desperately want to have a bit of Greece in your life and forever.

Do you have similar experiences in Greece?

27 things to do in Paris

27 things to do in Paris

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When the airplane brings me to Paris, these are the 27 things that I like to do:

1. Going to L’Éclair de Génie for delicious éclairs.

2. Going to Ladurée for the macarons. It is like taking a part in fairy tale. I am the princess and you are the frog. And what if i kiss you?

3. Going to Angelina cafe for l’Africain chocolate and the Mont Blanc. A ritual habit. Don’t think, don’t speak. Just taste and enjoy.

4. Sitting at the steps in front of the Sacre Coeur with many other tourists gazing at the Parisian Rooftops. And when the night falls, you start to fall for everything. J’adore!!!

5. Eating chocolate crepes in Montmartre. How many could you eat?

6. Going for a coffee/drink to the Cafè des Deux Moulins in the rue Lepic because you promised it to Amelie and she is waiting for you.

7. Shopping in the boutiques of Rue du Faubourg Saint-Honoré. The credit card is going to suffer!

8. Thinking of my favorite French film “La Boum” with the hope that I will suddenly meet Sophie Marceau and she will take me to some crazy parties where people dance “Dreams are my reality…The only kind of real fantasy….”

9. Visiting the famous Louvre and the Musée d’Orsay and spending hours inside there.

10. Meeting friends in Rue Oberkampf for some cocktails.

11. Losing my way in Marrais and Saint Germain thinking of Edith Piaf! Non, je ne regrette rien!

12. When it is time for a flea market, all the roads bring me to Les Puces de Saint-Ouen.

13. Walking along the river Seine gazing at the stands of the second-hand dealers.

14. Flicking through books in the bookstore Shakespeare and Company.

15. Enjoying coffee at the famous Café de Flore and Café les deux Magots.

16. Wearing a beret and holding a Baguette under my arm trying to look like a real Parisian girl.

17. Pampering myself with a luxurious breakfast at the Hotel de Crillon.

18. Picnicking in the Jardin du Luxembourg with a candle. SUPER ROMANTIC!!!

19. The Trilogy of Happiness: French wine, French cheese, French baguette! My favorite cheese is Cancoillotte. I love to share it with Ratatouille because he always has something interesting to say about the french haute cuisine!

20. Having a sophisticated French dinner at La Ferrandaise restaurant!

21. Taking pictures of the Eiffel Tour from the Trocadéro, day and night!

22. Visiting the two islands Ile de la Cite and Ile St. Louis reaching to the Notre-Dame Cathedral with an ice cream Berthillon in your hand.

23. Stopping for a break in the Fontaine Stravinsky in front of the Centre George Pompidou.

24. Visiting my favourites Place des Vosges, Place Vendôme, Place de la Concorde, Place Charles de Gaulle, place Madeleine, Place de l’Opéra.

25. Sitting in one of the green chairs in the fontaines du Jardin des Tuileries.

26. The wall of “I love you” in Place des Abbesses. Don’t even dare to miss it! Oui Paris, je t’aime beaucoup aussi er pour toujours!!!

27. Having Picnic (or just bring one bottle of wine and two glasses, it’s enough) on “Pont des Arts” at the sunset. Bring a padlock, write something on it, and lock it forever on the bridge.

Is there anything to add? Have I forgot something? Mon Dieu! The list is endless…

The Viennese Girl goes to Italy

20 things that I like to do in Italy

1.    Being able to understand everything that the Italians say, especially when they talk about you and they think that you don’t understand them. It is such a blast.

2.    Getting lost in the small streets of Venice without having a map in hand. Just listen to your instinct and let yourself  be surprised.

3.    Eat eat eat. Everywhere and everything. With an emphasis to Pizza, spaghetti, gelato, mozzarella and prosciutto.

4.    Drinking Martini Asti. Every moment is appropriate for a glass of Martini Asti.

5.    Shopping at Camomilla in Via del Corso. Don’t go with your boyfriend because it is very possible that he will get sick of all these pink girly stuff.

6.    Missing the last train to Perugia and trying to figure out where to spend the night in Rome.

7.    Sitting in the steps of Piazza di Spagna for hours.

8.    Eating cannoli and cassata in Sicily.

9.    Having a ride in a scooter in Rome like Audrey Hepburn did in “Vacation in Rome”.

10.    Driving a vintage Fiat 500! They are just so cute and funny!

11.    Having my own apartment behind the University of Perugia.

12.    Discovering all the small villages in Umbria and Toscana.

13.    Acting spontaneously because you are a tourist and it is all permitted. In the end, whatever happens in Italy stays in Italy.

14.    Shopping in Via Montenapoleone in Milano. Your credit card will suffer.

15.    Feeling the romance in Piazza Michelangelo in Florence.

16.    Exploring Florence on a bicycle.

17.    Eating “Bistecca alla fiorentina” in Florence.

18.    Having crazy summer nights in Amalfi and the Costiera Amalfitana.

19.    Feeling the beautiful chaos of Napoli listening to the song “Una notte a Napoli” of Pink Martini.

20.    Small talks with Old Italian ladies who get excited when tourists can speak their own language. Be prepared to receive a dozen questions about who you are, where you come from, and why you speak Italian etc.

Do you have similar experiences in Italy?

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The Viennese Girl goes to Italy

The Viennese Girl goes to Istanbul

22 Things I like to do when the airplane lands in Istanbul:

1. Feeling the magic that is in the air all over the city. It is that feeling that you cannot describe with words.

2. The beautiful view from Galata Tower and also from the Pierre Loti Café.

3. Drinking dozens of cups of apple tea and fresh pomegranate juice while strolling through the city.

4. Talking and laughing with the Turks. They are so generous, friendly and funny.

5. Exploring Istanbul by night around Istiklal Caddesi to places such as the Bar 360 with its amazing view.

6. Eating baklava and tasting all other Turkish sweets such as kazandibi.

7. Taking a boat for cruise to the Prince’s Islands and enjoying the Bosphorus.

8. Asking a DJ or live music group to play my favourite Turkish song Anlamazdin Anlamazdin… the song reminds me of someone!

9. Trying to find where my favourite Turkish film took place, especially the last scene which was thrilling. The name of the film is Issiz Adam! Love it!

10. Going for a hamam in the Cemberlitas Hamami Turkish Baths and all of a sudden learning that they have a special price only for Greeks and they do it just because. This is what why call love!!

11. Losing myself in the narrow streets of the Spice Bazaar and in the Grand Bazaar, preferably not in the weekend because it is extremely crowded.

12. Taking a boat to Kadikoy, a beautiful way to pass from the European to the Asian sides of Istanbul! Wandering through the crowd, you can find thousands of small shops, you can taste the Turkish coffee, doner kebab and more.

13. Trying to negotiate for a better price and manage to take everything in half price!!!!

14. Going for shopping in the street Abdi Ipekci in Nisantasi.

15. Asking from a fisherman to give you the fishing Rod and trying to catch a fish in the Galata Bridge.

16. Taking a taxi or a dolmus and let the driver drive you crazy…

17. Visiting all the monuments in Sultanahmet area such as Ayasofya, Top kapi, The Basilica Cistern, BlueMosque. They are next to each other. Don’t forget to visit the Archaeological museum.

19. Finding a beautiful Turkish guy and propose him that if you dance for him, he should then cook for you, like in the film “A touch of spice”. I don’t think that they will say no…

20. Taking pictures of the colourful houses in Balat, a different side of the city and playing with the children. If you buy them an ice cream you might have the honour to get a kiss from them.

21. Strolling in front of the Ortakoy Mosque when the sunset falls with the view of the Bosphorus bridge behind you.

22. But the best of all was the life lesson, that I already knew, but it is proven to me one more time. People who don’t have a lot of money are the people that they will treat you with the best way. They were the one that gave us to eat without wanting money, they were the one who told us “thank you for coming in Istanbul” and from their way, you could feel it, that they really meant it.

Seni Seviyorum İstanbul, çok teşekkür ederim, Tekrar geleceğim.

 

 

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The Viennese Girl goes to Istanbul

The Viennese Girl goes to Dubai

When the airplane brings me to Dubai, these are the 9 things that I like to do:

1.    Taking a night flight to Dubai and watching palm trees from the window of your airplane. You will not believe it with your own eyes. The craziest thing I have ever seen. Is it true or am I dreaming?

2.    Visiting the Palm Jumeirah and then the taxi driver brings me to the Atlantis the Palm Hotel to see the Aquarium and more…so much luxury in one place than I have ever seen anywhere else in the world.

3.    Allowing myself a drink in the most luxurious hotel in the world, the 7 star hotel Burj Al Arab.  Once in a lifetime experience.

4.    Having lunch in The Meat Co restaurant in the Madinat Jumeirah.

5.    Trying to wear an abaya and making fun of the way I look. The shop assistant was glad to help me and laughed at me as well because abaya and I don’t mix well at all.

6.    Enjoying the night life in Dubai is like participating in the fairy tale of 1001 nights.

7.    Watching the tallest building in the world looking high high high above the clouds… the Burj Khalifa skyscraper.

8.    And of course experiencing shopping in Dubai’s shopping malls and in Dubai’s souks such as Dubai Gold Souk.

9.    Visiting Dubai on February and wearing sandals when you know that it is a freezing cold back in Europe. Don’t forget to change shoes once back in Europe, otherwise people will look at you like an alien.

Although they say that everything in Dubai is artificial, on my opinion it is worth visiting. Every city has something to offer and Dubai is very different from Europe. That’s enough for me to make a place an interesting place to visit.

 

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The Viennese Girl goes to Dubai

The Viennese Girl goes to Cairo

When the airplane brings me to Cairo, these are the 10 things that I like to do:

1.    Visiting the Giza Necropolis to admire the Pyramids and Sphinx.

2.    Riding a camel in the desert.

3.    Taking a taxi and when you reach your destination, say thanks to Allah that you are still alive.

4.    Losing myself in the Khan el-Khalili Market while listening to the song “Tamally maak (=Always With You)” that suits the atmosphere of the market so well. Great memory!!!

5.    Taking a boat for a small cruise in the Nile River in night to enjoy the night colours of the city.

6.    Taking a part in an Egyptian marriage ceremony without being invited!! It doesn’t matter, they will welcome you anyway. Allah, Allah!!!

7.    Escaping from the crowd and traffic jam for tea in the Cairo Marriott Hotel.

8.    Visiting The Museum of Egyptian Antiquities and seeing many mummies and many important pieces of ancient Egyptian history.

9.    Having an Egyptian friend willing to take hundred of photos of you without being bored and asking you when you are going to visit Cairo again.

10.    Walking through the streets of Cairo and talking spontaneously with the locals. They are all so nice and kind. It can also occur that you have to help them to push their car which has stopped in the middle of an avenue to start. The Greeks were always available to help.

I don’t know why, but I still have Cairo on my mind as the funniest travel I have ever done; I suppose I owe this to the 10 friends of mine who came with me. We knew how to have fun and that is all that counts.

Cairo, tammaly maak, We law hata ba eed any, Fe alby hawak.

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The Viennese Girl goes to Cairo

The Viennese girl goes to Berlin

When the airplane brings me to Berlin, these are the 12 things that I like to do:

1.    Enjoying a cup of tea and delicious sweets in the Fassbender & Rausch Chocolate House looking at the Gendarmenmarkt.

2.    Exploring the German capital on a pink bicycle. The city is suitable for going around on bicycle because it has a highly developed bicycling infrastructure.

3.    Eating fish chips in the train stations – I love the fried shrimps!

4.    Going for a walk in the Tiergarten and having a break at the Cafe am Neuen See.

5.    Shopping in the Gallerie Lafayete on a Saturday morning and eating mussels in the basement of the department store.

6.    Having a cup of tea in the Wintergarten am Literaturhaus. The highlight is the garden when you sit down in a warm summer air.

7.    Taking funny pictures in the East Side Gallery. It is the second-most visited tourist attraction in Berlin.

8.    Visiting the flea markets where you can buy anything, or so it seems, and the Christmas Markets in December.

9.    Free walking tours in Berlin!! Amazing!! You can find them here: http://www.newberlintours.com/daily-tours/free-tour.html

10.    Visiting the museums in Museuminsel such as the famous Pergamonmuseum.

11.    Visiting Berlin’s oldest quarter Nikoleiviertel and stop for a break at the Ephraim’s Cafe. It is like a grandma’s house.

12.    But above all these, enjoying a red Berliner Weisse Beer in my favourite Dance Hall Ballhaus Clärchens in the Auguststrasse 24!!! Nowhere in the world I have ever found a place like that. LOVE LOVE LOVE!!!

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The Viennese girl goes to Berlin

The Viennese Girl goes to Argentina

When the airplane brings me to Argentina, these are the 16 things that I like to do:

1.    Looking at the waitress who is coming towards me bringing a “bife de chorizo”. At this point I have to admit that I am not keen on meat, I almost never eat it, but in Argentina it became an addiction that I couldn’t escape.

2.    Having the privilege to taste Alfajores, empanadas, and dulce de leche every day.

3.    Practising tango in a Milonga night with Argentinias.

4.    Dancing to the song “Santa Maria Del Buen Ayre” of Gotan Project in the streets of Buenos Aires.

5.    Taking hundreds of photos in the Caminito La Boca neighbourhood.

6.    Travelling around in the city on bicycles Naranja starting from San Telmo, visiting the famous stadium “La Bombonera,” reaching the nature reserve surrounded by the vast La Plata River at the end.

7.    Walking in front of the “Casa Rosada” thinking of Evita Perron. Don’t cry for her Argentina.

8.    Enjoying a cup of hot chocolate and panqueques at the famous Cafe Tortoni.

9.    Having a private dinner with strangers in an old apartment in Palermo Viejo. The menu is a surprise.

10.    Crossing the widest avenue of the world by taxi, the 9 de Julio Avenue, especially in the night.

11.    Spending a lot of hours in “El Ateneo” looking for a special book and having hot chocolate afterwards. Simply, one of the most incredible bookstores in the world.

12.    Drinking mate tea in the mountains the Andes.

13.    Wine tasting in the vineyards in the city of Mendoza.

14.    Exploring the countryside visiting small little villages like Cachi, San Antonio de los Cobres, and Purmamarca.

15.    Gazing at the pink church of Salta. Have you ever seen a pink church before?  If only I could have one more lunch at the restaurant Doña Salta…

16.    Two days tour in the incredible Iguazu Falls, both sides. One day the Argentinean side and the next one the Brazilian side. The Devil’s Throat is spectacular. Enjoy the nature.

Who of you have similar experiences in the beautiful Argentina?

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The Viennese Girl goes to Argentina

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