Archive of ‘Wanderlust’ category

Life is a beach

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Have you ever been to a desolate island? Samiopoula is such an island, a Greek islet situated on the south of Samos Island. All you can find there is one beach, one church, one taverna and a drove of goats that want you to feed them. I usually visit Samiopoula once a year. This time 24 friends of mine and me were gathered at the port of Pythagorio and they told us that we had to be there at 07.00. The plan was to stay there until 19.00. So you can imagine one day before, we prepared food supplies like we were about to go to a war. We made sandwiches, toasts, baguettes, we bought watermelons, bottles of water, soft drinks and beers, and we also brought cooked food on a baking sheet.

If it happens that you are in Samos on holidays, take your friends and make a one day excursion to Samiopoula. Small boats depart everyday from the port of Pythagorio. They leave you in Samiopoula, then you have to walk a little bit to get to the beach in the photo below. There are signs that indicate the path to the beach. Since there are not so many things to do in Samiopoula other than lying around in the sand, playing with a beach ball, taking some pictures or swimming all day, life there is a beach..but probably only in Samiopoula.

La isla bonita

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We usually get up around 11.00 or 12.00 and the weather is very hot in “la isla bonita”. Then we slowly head straight to the beach, where we spend the rest of the day. Around 18.00 or 19.00 we go for a dinner to a taverna, preferably next to the sea listening to the waves. Our favorite outfit is of course….the swimsuit. When we come back home, we have a shower and later on, a glass of sweet Samos wine makes us dizzy and looking at the stars is the perfect way to end one more day in this paradise.

With all this beauty around me, it is difficult to sit in front of the computer and gather my thoughts, concentrate and write something for this blog. I see vivid colors and happy people everywhere. We have 3 turtles in the garden, cats and a Chihuahua dog, with big eyes and ears, called Lady. The neighbor wakes us up with his loud folklore music, the dog barks every time a stranger comes in, the turtle doesn’t like to be touched, the cats make the dog nervous but at the end of the day we all have good time in “la isla bonita”. I think I am literally in heaven.

Dear Greece

dear greece travel stories

My father comes from Athens and my mother comes from Samos. Samos is a Greek island in the eastern Aegean Sea, the birthplace of the Greek philosopher and mathematician Pythagoras. When my parents met, they decided to settle down in Athens. Consequently, my life was divided into two places. As a family we used to spend the summer in Samos and the winter in Athens. I consider myself very lucky having grown up in a Greek island because those experiences in Samos have influenced and shaped my life in a very positive way.
How I ended up living in Vienna is another long story. The situation now is even worse because I feel that my life is divided in three countries, something between Italy, Austria, and Greece. Sometimes I have an identity crisis (you know, who am I, where do I belong) but I think to myself that I am just a girl who went international and it is absolutely fine like that.

There are two ways to reach the paradise aka Greek islands from abroad. Either you fly with a direct flight from your country to your desired destination, or you fly to Athens and then you take the ship from the harbor or the airplane from the airport Venizelos. Usually direct flights from abroad to the islands costs more but they are more convenient. On the other hand, taking the ferry from the Piraeus harbor to the islands takes more time to reach your desired island but it is more adventurous and you can hop the islands around. You have options; it’s up to you to choose what suits you the best.

I have always been asked which Greek island tourists should definitely visit. That’s a hard to question to answer for the reason that there is no correct answer. Greek islands vary and have a lot to offer. I am not able to know which one you are going to like most. They are all beautiful, each one for different reasons. It always depends on what you want and what you like. And they are so many. For romance, go to Santorini. For summer beach parties, go to Mykonos. For history, go to Crete. For the most carefree holidays that you have ever experienced, go to Ikaria. If you like small islands go to Paxi or Antiparos. For a less touristic island, go to Patmos, Skiros or Samothraki. For beautiful beaches go to Zakynthos, Skiathos or come to my paradise, to Samos.

Columbia Road flower market

travel blog the viennese girl

travel blog the viennese girl
travel blog the viennese girl
 

travel blog the viennese girl

travel blog the viennese girl
travel blog the viennese girl
 

Columbia Road flower market (10)travel blog the viennese girl

Columbia Road flower market (12)
Columbia Road flower market (19)
 

Columbia Road flower market (7)

I read about it somewhere on the web, like you do now, and I knew that I shouldn’t miss it. During my stay in London I visited the Columbia Road flower market which takes place on Sundays. I got off at the Hoxton Overground Station and walked towards Columbia road. I haven’t seen something like that ever before. All kinds of flowers. Lavender, orchids, roses, tulips, colours and smells everywhere. I was lost in the most beautiul flower market I’ve ever been.
-“What about a smell, madame?” asked the flower seller.
-“Yes,sir!” I said.

Dear London

Dear London,

It’s been 12 years since the last time I visited you and I had that feeling that it was time for me to come back to you.

Although it’s been such a long time, I still remember some of the most famous spots around the city such as Oxford street, Buckingham Palace, Harrods, Big Ben, and London Bridge. But do you know what the most beautiful memory of my first visit is? The theatre and the musical “Cats”. I would pay again to see the same musical in the same city and listen to that song which goes like “Midnight, not a sound from the pavement, has the moon lost her memory?”.

On my second visit to that beautiful city, I had more time to explore and discover. But London, I have to say this. You are expensive. You are more expensive than New York and Paris. I mean, I knew that you would be expensive but didn’t imagine that you would be that expensive. Anyway, I still like you. You have been nice to me and I had a wonderful time walking around the streets and avenues.

Those who follow me on Instagram, you probably have seen some photos. Let me take you to the London city, through the lens of my camera.

Although I wasn’t so well organized because some days before my travel my arm was aching and I couldn’t stand in front of the pc doing the research I should have done, I managed to visit the following spots:

Covent garden / Trafalgar square / Camden Market / Old Spitalfields Market / Flower Market on Columbia Road / Notting Hill and portobello road / Big ben / London eye / Harrods / London Bridge / Borough Market / Soho / Piccadilly circus / British Museum

Some observations:

1.Everywhere at all hours I was listening to people speaking italian. What’s going on here? Where are the Londoners? It seems that Italians occupied the London city.

2.Nowhere in the world I have seen that sign in front of the traffic lights “look right/look left”. That was really funny and useful although pedestrians didn’t respect the red and green.

3.Around 20 degrees Celsius in July. Does summer ever come to that city? Visit Greece on July and you will understand what I mean.

4.The English pronunciation is to die for. They talk and I feel amazed.

5.Thanks to Starbucks, we have free wifi and can charge the empty batteries of the camera.

All my best,
Silia

Dear Prague

dear prague
dear prague
 
visit prague paris
dear prague
 
prague travel guide
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Prague was one of the destinations that I was dreaming of for a long time and then that day came, that one specific day of your dreams, this small dream to visit the Golden City of a Thousand Spires had come true.

A mix of Charles Bridge, astronomical clocks, illuminated castles, Czech marionettes, and black theatre in my mind was enough for me to call Prague my fairy tale city.

What I especially enjoyed:

1.    Walking around the historic centre.

2.    Having fun with street artists and musicians.

3.    Renting a pedal boat in the Vltava River.

4.    Picnicking in the park Riegrovy Sady while enjoying the view over the city.

5.    My hotel Rezidence Dlouhá 17 in the Old Town pedestrian zone.

“When you travel you are speechless, when you are back you become a story teller” – Ibn Batuta

weekend in Bratislava

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What I like most in Vienna is that it is situated in the heart of Europe, which means that you can easily reach other countries by car for a weekend excursion. Munich, Venice, Budapest, and of course Bratislava first come to my mind.

Did you know that the capital of Slovakia and the capital of Austria are the closest capitals in Europe? There are no other capitals in Europe which are as close to each other like Vienna and Bratislava. 50 minutes by car and you are in another country, where people speak another language.

So my dear friends, these are the things that I especially like in Bratislava:

1.    The city center with its Old Town Hall and Opera & Ballet House is small, picturesque, and easy to get around.

2.    Love for the Bratislava airport and its Ryanair flight connections to London, Rome, and Paris!

3.    All my love to the Lemontree & Sky Bar Restaurant. You can have an amazing dinner with the view of the illuminated castle of Bratislava.

4.    A smoothie and chocolate cake at the observation deck on top of the Novy Most Bridge with stunning views of the city.

5.    Walking on the banks of the Danube River and meeting friends over a cup of tea.

6.    Greentree Cafe in Bratislava’s downtown. Bring your book, order a cheese cake, and relax!

7.    Taking pictures of the funny quirky statues around the old town such as Cumil, Napoleon’s Army Soldier, Hans Christian Andersen, and Paparazzi.

Ďakujem

“To travel is very useful, it makes the imagination work, the rest is just delusion and pain. Our journey is entirely imaginary, which is its strength.” Journey to the End of Night, Louis-Ferdinand Céline.

Thermal Spa in Austria

Thermal Spa in Austria
Thermal Spa in Austria
 
Thermal Spa in Austria
Thermal Spa in Austria
 
Thermal Spa in Austria
Thermal Spa in Austria
 
Thermal Spa in Austria
Thermal Spa in Austria
 
Thermal Spa in Austria
Thermal Spa in Austria
 

Can you imagine yourself relaxing in an outdoor swimming pool looking at the Alps covered in snow? This is what I did in the Tauern Spa and it lasted one whole day! I was going from the sauna area to the indoor swimming pool and from the indoor swimming pool to the outdoor swimming pool! In other words, it was like heaven on earth, from which you don’t want to escape.

“But how? It is zero degrees outside!” he said.
“So what? All I have to do is relax, enjoy and forget the routine of everyday life.” I replied!

Oh, God of the Water World and sauna, are you listening to me? If only every Sunday could be like that…. 

Tauern Spa Platz 1, 5710 Kaprun, AUSTRIA

10 things to do in Budapest

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10 things that I like to do when in Budapest:

1.    Kürtőskalács. Write down the name and ask for it! I don’t know how to pronounce it, but it tastes delicious. One Kürtőskalács per day keeps the doctor away.

2.    Enjoying a coffee at the Café New York.

3.    Walking along the Andrássy Avenue reaching Heroes’ Square.

4.    Enjoying the sun at the tables of the Café Gerbeaud watching people come by.

5.    Gazing at the stunning view of the city from Fisherman’s Bastion.

6.    Savoring the smoked salmon filled with cheese cream and goulash soup in the Κiskakukk restaurant.

7.    Having a Sunday brunch at the Gundel Restaurant. Beware that you probably need a reservation, otherwise they don’t let you enter the door!

8.    Walking along the Danube River and watching the city lights is like taking part in a spy drama.

9.    Diving into the vibrant night life in the popular Liszt Ferenc tér and Ráday utca.

10.    The Shoes on the Danube Promenade is the saddest memorial I have ever seen in my life. It takes me immediately back to the day when the Jews fell into the river after having been shot during the World War II.

The Diamond on the Danube is also famous for its thermal baths. At this point I have to confess my disappointment for the Szechenyi Bath. It looks so beautiful in the photos, but I would never go there again. I am a Spa Therme lover and unfortunately Szechenyi Bath didn’t meet my expectations.

Szia Budapest… Köszönöm!

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