Posted in Experience, Human connection

New chapter

I feel like these days I was finally able to close a chapter in my life. One that was tough, but full of lessons that taught me so much about myself. I needed a closure, even though I struggle a little with the whole “ending” idea.

Last night I celebrated a friend’s birthday and went to a club in Bucharest – The Silver Church. Trust me or not, it was the first time I actually went out in a club, with friends. There, I met some old friends, to whom I haven’t spoken in months. But still, our hearts felt linked as we got very excited to meet again.

We let some old memories on the table. Old stories that burned too bright, or how we dealt with how small we felt at that time. I let myself remember some things, and I found that with time, I forgave and moved now. I forgave myself and others. It was refreshing to feel no more pain when my mind crossed to that time.

Between drinks and chatts I offered myself some time to reflect. I was happy and content. The grey days were over, and bright ones were coming soon.

While being in the cab ’cause I called one to take me home as it was almost 5 o’clock in the morning, I saw a quiet Bucharest. Almost no one in the streets, city lights to guide me home, but the most interesting aspect was the way this ride made me feel: full of myself. But not in a proudly way, but more like authentically way.

Four hours later I was up, getting ready to start a new project. A few weeks ago, I received an email from my Romanian teacher, telling me about a project with teenagers. It is called Write your story (Scrie povestea ta) and it is dedicated to young girls that are passionate about writing. Just like me.

I can’t really recall whether I have told you before, or not, but I write. A lot. Short fragments, short fragments and right now I have this crazy idea about starting writing a novel and publishing it.

With little sleep, a small breakfast and a full cup of coffee, I rushed to the meeting place. Fortunately, I wasn’t late. I even had time to stop and take some pictures.

When I finally got to the building I had excitement and fright running through my veins. It was the first time that I went public with my writings. I met lovely girls, whose imagination stunned me, and somehow we become closer.

The first exercise was to pick a photo and make up a story about it. There you have the one that fascinated me. Maybe I will post the short fragment that I wrote. I’ll think about it.

The point is, after months of focusing just on school, blog and other stuff, I let myself sink again in those writer feels. It was great. And I hope that this course will make me more confident and improve my skills.

Posted in Experience, Travel

Meeting a dream

I hope you all have a good day, enjoying some cold beverage and staying as far as possible from the heat.ūüćłūüĎí
This post isn’t about myself, but a concept I believe in, one that’s promising a touristic future for Romania: Transilvania Train. I think that very few of you know about it. And this post has the goal to tell the world that Romania is ready to become more friendly with its tourists, that there are beautiful people who love this country and who want to share its beauty with others.

I want to tell you the background of this project so you can understand it better.

Everything started from a silly joke about the speed of our trains which are very slow compared to other European countries. Andrei Pitulice, Oana Pricop, Alina Deak and Alexandra Grigore are the ones that turned a turnoff of our country, into a potential new manner of discovering Romania.

They truly believe that this country has too many lovely things to offer: customs, kindness, sights and a good taste for travelling. Small entrepreneurs are tho ones who can change the world. They are enthusiast, motivated, and most of all, they are hardworking when it comes to their dreams.

I was extremely lucky to have the chance to meet Oana and Alina, and these awesome ladies changed the course of my life. While we were chatting, they told me about their new project and how excited they were about it.

Now it’s time to tell you guys what is going to happen in Transilvania Train. Picture at least 100 people, lovers of travelling, adventure, human experiences, eager to discover Romania, all in one place. They are all chatting around in the bistro’s carriages, while enjoying some tasty wine and admiring the beautiful landscapes.

They visit these 6 cities that are most representative of the Transylvanian spirit and participate at workshops about local customs and crafts.

They are the honor guests for which a classical concert will take place in one of the city’s market and another one in a fortified church.

Every aspect of this journey is traditional, supporting the local economy. It’s about people and feelings.

A lot of work was done in order to make it real. Creating partnerships. Convincing the right people. Promoting in every way. Being confident that it will be a success no matter the obstacles.

If you want to see Romania from a different point of view I truly recommend you to join us in our journey. It will be unforgettable. Click here to find more about the project.

Hopefully, we’ll see each other there!ūüėä

Posted in Travel, Experience

Next stop

Time passes very fast when you’re on holiday, or maybe I’m enjoying it too much to notice when the sun sets. Anyway, I’m back with the next part of my trip to Turkey.

There are so many beautiful things to be said, still I hope you will follow the whole line. I promise to emphasize only the outstanding stuff, even tho the entire journey was a mind blowing experience to me.

I’m too excited to post pone anymore. Let’s go.

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No matter where you are on this tiny yet crowded planet, you will always meet the sun. ¬†As the sun rose, so did life in √áanakkale. The streets became restless, filled with dozens of people wandering around or going to work. I woke up and kinda had a heart attack as I couldn’t understand where I was. There was no one else in the room. Then reality kicked in.

I was in Turkey, tasting the travelling experience. Before leaving the bed, I couldn’t help but look through the window. Luckily, it was showing a typical Turkish morning. People opening their shops, greeting neighbors and enjoying a cup of tea. Actually, they have these little glasses in which they serve their tea, which I fell in love with.

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I stretched my body as a very long and tiring day was waiting for me. We still had 7 hours to drive ’till we got to Bodrum. At 9 o’clock the heat was bearable, and I very pleasing wind was coming from the sea. We had breakfast (the hotel had a large variety of dishes and drinks) and then went back in the car.

Travelling with a GPS may be one of the most funny and frustrating experiences, especially if you go in a foreign country with 3 or even 4 highway lanes. Of course it rose fights and raging disagreements, but eventually we found our way, not before getting lost in Izmir, a city that truly impressed me with its high development and beautiful looks. We were supposed to drive on a highway that was near it, but we missed the exit and got stuck in the actual city.

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Twins building. Unfortunately, I couldn’t catch the entire landscape as dad didn’t mind my shooting session.

It felt like Miami. Palm trees, expensive cars, crowds on every street and a very complex infrastructure. Everyone in the car admitted that this city is one of a kind. I wanted to see every part of as I had never seen such a developed area in my life, except in the movies. We kept driving until we reach Basmane Square, one of the touristic attraction, even tho it’s just a roundabout. We stared through the window, it was captivating just to watch it.

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https://www.izmirisrehberi.com.tr/KONAK-ilcesi.html

I’m one of those who believe that everything happens with a reason. We had to get lost and waste and hour of driving so we could see the amazing landscapes and the heart of a city that I wish I could understand later in life. If you ever have the chance to get a glance of Izmir, don’t lose it. I promise it will be worth it.

Next time we’ll reach our destination, Bodrum – Yelken Hotel!

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First night in paradise.
Posted in Experience, Travel

Went sightseeing to discover my dreams

We got on the ferry and I couldn’t stop admiring the views, the sea, the blue sky and the gulls that were flying in circles, trying to get some bread from the tourists. One of them was so brave that he stood on the railing and waited patiently for somebody to approach. I remembered I still had some bread from an unfinished sandwich.

I have to admit that I was really scared, mainly because animals, in general, seem so unpredictable to me. My father encouraged me to put the fear aside and feed the bird. I felt like everybody on the deck was starring at me so my anxiety kicked in. I gulped. And did it. I stretched my hand very close to the gull and it grabbed the slice of bread.

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Photo from Pixabay.

As the atmosphere became more detached, we started making jokes and taking photos. It was very nice to feel the breeze on my skin. My hair was a total mess, but I couldn’t care less. I was enjoying my life and all the mixed emotions that were rushing inside my body. As I recall the memories, I can feel the smile on my face, the one I had in those moments. It’s the same size: huge.

We landed and got on the Asian part of Turkey. I looked everywhere, I wanted to capture all those blinding colors, to stuck in my mind some basic words, to immerse myself in the culture. Unsuccessful, of course. 

I felt like a lost child in a large mall. It all felt too much. We started seeking for the hotel and while doing that, we took a fugitive glance at the city.

It’s time for some history. Cannakale, it’s mostly known due the Trojan War and the Gallipoli War. Homer’s characters were pictured right in this beautiful place. Read¬†the Iliad and the Odyssey and you will be able to see the story happening. Blur the modern aspects and trust your imagination just with the wilderness.

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This is a copy of the Trojan Horse used by the Greece to conquer the city of Troy.

Can you believe that we couldn’t find the hotel in the first place? We had been told that it was near the sea, on some roundabout street. How twisted could it be? Actually, it was something like this:

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The hotel we were supposed to get to is circled.

It might not seem overwhelming, but trust me, when you see so many unknown words on signs, shops, and the crowd is rushing everywhere, you might get a little confused. But, don’t worry! You’ll get used to it, eventually. It’s really an adventure.

After half an hour of wandering we finally found the hotel. We were assaulted by a men selling key rings. He was really persisting and finally talked us to buy some. It’s something usual, don’t be scared.

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We made the check in, even though we had a little problem with the rooms, they were on the other building (Grand Anzac has 2), but everything was alright, eventually. I freshened up, and the whole famiy went in the city to have a late lunch. We were starving.

Let’s go there. No, better there. I want something traditional. Anything with meat. I’m too hungry to walk anymore. Let’s go shopping first. Imagine 9 people, arguing on a street like the ones from the Old Town in Bucharest, and you are close to the picture we were showing on the street. There was no fun in that. After a very long discussion, democracy won. We put our angry stomachs first. And then we fought over the place to eat. It was so frustrating, but at the same time, funny. Then Katik D√∂ner¬†showed up and that was it. No more searching.

After a fulfilling meal, we went by the sea to enjoy a beer, or more, it depended on who was drinking. I only had one, as I was more than underage. The sun set and so did our energy. We headed back to the hotel and rested.

As the next day, Bodrum was waiting for us!

Posted in Experience, Travel

Red sunshine on white skin

Hi everyone! I think everyone figured out what country had been my next destination after my holiday in Greece: Turkey.

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Photo taken from a cruise.

It was the following year after falling in love with Lefka – 2015. It was a family holiday, the biggest one I ever had, as everyone was going, godparents, parents, uncles, aunts and cousins. You can imagine what a fuss that could be. None of us was to Turkey before, except my uncle and his wife. They usually travel with Jeka so we let them discuss the arrangements. Two weeks on a land I only heard about during the History class. I couldn’t figure out my feelings towards this trip, but excitement was right on top of the list.

We packed for 1 week, putting and taking out stuff. We didn’t want to take too much because we wanted to see a bazaar and buy things from there. My dad, one of the drives, had checked the map many times in order to make sure we don’t get lost. I’ve got to tell you that not once did he mislead the way.

We decided to travel during night in order to be next day at our hotel, in √áanakkale. ¬†Our final destination was Bodrum, but the distance was too much to be traveled all long, aslo, it is a city you mustn’t miss while you’re in Turkey.

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This photo is Jorge L√°scar‘s. All credits go to him.

 

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As you can see, it was a very long way. It took 10 hours to reach the hotel – Anzac Hotel.Passing the border to Bulgaria took some time, as usual. There was some traffic despite the early hour – 2 o’clock in the morning, on the 31th of August. While driving on the CernavodńÉ bridge I watched the silent Danube following its course. The city on the Bulgarian was bright, throwing around all kinds of colors. To me, it felt like a smaller Vegas. We kept going, and going, and going.

Ghost towns, rocky mountains, starry sky watching over the sleepy world, all that and more was to be found in Bulgaria. I think I’ll never fully understand how fascinating this country could be despite its downs.

The morning came and we finally arrived at the border with Turkey. We were a little tense because we heard that the guards were very cautious and unpredictable. But after a short check everything went smoothly. Remember to bring the passports and the car’s book, make sure everything is alright with.

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This first stamp on my passport! And hopefully not the last one.

After we payed the taxes for the highways, do that at the closest office so you don’t get into trouble later and pay more than you did on your holiday.

The Turkish landscapes appeared shortly after that. Plains covered in small vegetation, sometimes not at all. Small hills which were the most silent witness of the tourist’s arrivals and leaves. An unbearable sun slowly turning the ground in boiled soil. And the heat. One of the worst enemy we had to face.

When we stopped to eat the sandwiches and food left, we felt like melting, despite being shadowed. We drank a lot of water and couldn’t wait anymore to get on the ferry. Thankfully, the highways on Turkey are perfect to be driven on. There are like 3 or 4 driving lanes, smoothly asphalted. Still, be careful!¬†There are speed limit signs which you need to notice and take into account as there are speed radars and cameras on the way. You’re in holiday, so stop rushing time.

Finally we got to Eceabat and took the ferry to pass the Dardanelles. We payed the taxes – 12 TL ¬†(the price varies depending on the car’s engine power) for the car and 3 for each passenger. Check here the prices and the schedules.

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Me and my aunt enjoying the sun and salty wind.

Next time we travel around Çanakkale!

Posted in Experience, Travel

The end of the beginning

Day passed by and my holiday was almost over. I had spent amazing time in Lefka, late night walks during which I discovered the Greek atmosphere in the old town. Lots of people going here and there. I saw well-dressed tourists wandering around the fur shops or jewelries and locals enjoying a delicious ice cream. They were all living the moment, and for Greeks I believe, that is infinite. When I was there I felt like time was still, like every day was my entire story to tell for when I leave life behind. There was no rush, but pleasure.

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A shop during the midday break that Greeks take everyday.

 

Also, we went on 2 cruises booked from Nidri, the most known port from the island. We had so much fun, especially in the one with Captain Gerasimo as the host. He made sure that everyone was having a great time, he served us with ouzo, and for our entertainment, he danced Zorba, the Greek dance so popular in the past. Our cruise started in the morning and didn’t finish until late afternoon. Captain Gerasimo took us to swim inside a marvelous cave, which few boats can access due to its small size. He let us jump from the deck and encouraged the scared ones to face their fears. The itinerary included a visit to an old village, Spartohori, whose few villagers were over 100 years old! Blue, white, olives and peace. On that day I barely saw 3 people in all town. It’s true that it was lunch time, but still, it was unbelievable. Before leaving the Meganissi Island (home of Spartohori), we visited an old olive oil factory. The tools used for producing the oil were almost all made of wood. The guide, we had a Romanian guide who was extremely friendly, explained us the production process. Then we were on boat again.

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Here the captain was trying to show me how to control the veil. That was a windy day.

There are a lot more things to say about this cruise, if you are interested, I inserted a link which directs you to the official site of Odysseia. I really recommend you to book a seat as it will be an enchanting experience who will make you feel like life is the best gift you could have ever received.

I really want to share with you the fact that in Greece I made my first tattoo (which was made with henna, but still, for me it was a huge deal). I wanted one so bad, but my mom didn’t like them so there was no way I could get one. Or was it? I talked with the ”adopted” family who took care of me and they accepted. I remember I entered an wooden cabin in Nidri. It was full of dream catcher, totems and tribal stuff. In charge of the shop was tall guy, if my memory doesn’t cheat on me, full covered in tattoos and had dreads made out of his hair. He simply looked great. He asked me what kind of tattoo I wanted and I couldn’t stop my mouth from saying a tremendous number of nouns with no connection in between. Figuring out I had no idea what I wanted, he brought me two big catalogs. Finally I decided on the Chinese sign for Love. I fell in love with Greece, with travelling, with myself with the world. So why not celebrating it?

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This is it.

I had it on my back, between the shoulder blades for more than 2 weeks. I cherished it a lot and decided to make a permanent one someday.

 

What else is left to say about Lefka? If you ever have the chance to meet it, do not lose it. Its beaches are inviting, its wild will make you feel freer than ever, the people will seem the most relaxed one and of course, stunning landscapes will be seen at every step you take.

Next stop – the buzzing and overwhelming Turkey.

Posted in Experience, Travel

The foggy day I fell in love with travelling

After we unpacked and took a shower we had a council meeting for deciding what to do now. Even if the weather was not fine at all, we still wanted to explore the island, preferably to see a beach. We stared at the map and figured out the perfect spot: Desimi Beach. It was the closest one and the way was passing through Nidri, an important city which was home for many sailboats. That day, Nidri seemed like our CernavodńÉ (Romanian small town) in its worst days. Frightening and lonely.

I was enthusiast about swimming in an ocean, it was my first time. We hit the road until we got lost. The sun was moving above the clouds, trying to make itself seen, but it could barely get through the closed atmosphere.

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As any of us had no clue about the Greek language, we had a hard time trying to find the beach. We drove for like 20 minutes and we stopped at a crossroad. There was a road which was going up the mountain (yes, Lefkada is a mountainous island)  and a blind alley. Then we went back and out of the blue, there was a blue sign pointing the right direction.

Capture

The way was tossed with gravel and was a little unfriendly for the car, it was pretty tight. It truly was an adventure. Finally, we reached the beach. It was pouring and there was no one to be found. Even the restaurant was empty. The cold, there were like 15 Celsius degrees out, was not very enjoyable as I was wearing a summer outfit. M.(the head of the family) went outside to check out the place while we stayed in the car. After a couple of minutes, we started worrying as he didn’t come back. Looking closer in the distance, I saw him swimming.

I got bored in the car so I decided to face the cold and feel the beach on my own. The rain drops kept hitting my skin, making the cold even worse. I stepped on the beach. Well, I can’t really call it a beach, as it had no sand. It was completely made out of stones. Little, different shaped, colorful ones.

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They were so beautiful I couldn’t stop myself from picking up some. This arrangement is made with stones from this trip. After I picked up stones from different beaches like Desimi, Agios Ioanis and Egremni, I brought them in a big plastic bag so I will always have a part of this spectacular island with me.

Getting back to the story.

Remember the famous atmosphere of the Lochness? Fog, big lake, no sign of mankind, big mountains around? Well, this is how Desimi was like that day. The little golf was all misty and I could barely see the end of the mountains that surrounded the area. I came closer to the water. The waves were so inviting, calm, but still making my heart restless. I took a deep breath, took my clothes off, remaining in my swimsuit and stepped into the ocean. The first feeling was a cold I will never forget. I felt it with my entire being and that chicken skin, as we Romanians, call it, appeared instantly.

I almost forgot about the family I was with as I was compelled by the inspiring view. In that particular moment I realised that there are millions of beautiful places like that one, spots that are spreaded all over the world. I wanted to see beauty, to have the chance of discovering the world. Back then I decided to become a traveler, not a tourist. And in time, my dream will become alive.

There is one more article left before finsihing my trip in Greece. The next stop is a red flag country. Try to figure it out before the next week.