Lisbon

Lisbon Portugal Review

[Citeste acest articol in Limba Romana AICI]

Lisbon, an unpolished diamond at a finished price. The first vacation in 2019 found us in the capital of Portugal, Lisbon. I have wanted for a long time to reach the Western End of mainland Europe and now I am glad to have had this opportunity together with my friends from Romania.

I was pleasantly surprised to see that Ryanair has daily flights from Manchester to Lisbon, and the UK’s logistics, organization, prepaid airport parking, transfer to the terminal is simply impeccable. The first thing we had to do when we landed was to search for a means of transport to the city. Against my reason and judgement, we proceeded in to being stupid tourists and we went to the airport information desk to ask how we can get to Lisbon city center. They sent us to the Aerobus 1 service, which costs 4 EUR per person. Later I found out that there is a subway station inside the airport and also other normal regular buses where you pay € 1.5 per person ticket. That’s it, what to do now, so my first tip for everyone who wants to get to Lisbon, take the metro from the airport!

We found a cute apartment on Booking.com next to Rossio Square, which looked very nice in the pictures, but it proved to be lacking when we got there. The first thing we were asked by our host there was to pay the Lisbon tourist tax of 2 EUR per person per night, which must be paid separately on arrival. We knew about the tax from the site, but an extra cost of 48 EUR besides the already paid accommodation seems a bit expensive. I know all cities have a similar charge, but everywhere I have been, I didn’t pay more than 10-15 EUR, which were already included in the accommodation price. I have figured that it is for a good cause and at least something good is done with that money. I can not say that at the end of the holiday that I saw any great work done for tourists, but rather more for the locals.

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Lisbon

Lisabona Portugalia Recenzie / Lisbon Portugal Review

[TO READ THIS ARTICLE IN ENGLISH CLICK HERE]

Lisabona, un diamant neslefuit la pret piperat. Prima vacanta din 2019 ne-a gasit in capitala Portugaliei, Lisabona. Am vrut de mult sa ajung in capatul Vestic al Europei si acum ma bucur ca am avut aceasta ocazie impreuna cu prietenii din Romania.

Am fost placut surprins sa vad ca Ryanair are zboruri zilnice din Manchester catre Lisabona, iar organizarea in UK la capitolul logistica, parcare la aeroport preplatita, transfer catre terminal este impecabila. Primul lucru de care ne-am lovit cand am aterizat a fost cautarea unui mijloc de transport catre oras. Fiind turisti prosti, ne-am dus la biroul de informatii din aeroport si i-am intrebat cum ajungem cel mai usor in Lisabona. Ei ne-au trimis la autobuzul Aerobus 1, care costa 4 EUR de persoana. Mai tarziu am aflat ca exista metrou si alte autobuze normale, unde platesti 1.5 EUR pe bilet de persoana. Asta e, am muscat-o, deci un sfat pentru toata lumea care vrea sa ajunga la Lisabona, luati metroul din aeroport!

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Tales of the past: unique photos from Constanta Park 1991

[citeste acest articol in Limba Romana AICI]

In my previous article about the Lost train line in the Park , I made a call out to all my readers asking for old scanned photos of the park and of the miniature train.  A few days ago Mr. Ray Wilkinson from Halifax contacted me. He was in vacation in Constanta, Romania in 1991, a short period just after the anti communist revolution and luckily he made coloured photos that he was kind enough to share. As a tourist he described his experience as beeing “real” , enjoyed the train ride and mentioned that in the post-revolutionary Constanta of 1991 there was still chaos and disarray (which sadly still is today after 28 years), but everyone was being friendly and tried to show them a good time.

I am sure that the young people of today that fill up the “City Park Mall” which is built on the spot where the first pic is taken, have no idea how the place looked like before.  Unfortunately the people of Constanta just don’t care that this park is gone, a clear evidence of this is the very small number of people that came to protest against the building of the shopping mall when they started the construction site.  At least we still got the photos and our memories, for the others all I can say is: Enjoy your shopping in the recently extended shopping mall!

Constanta Park

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Singapore – a world jewel – Review

[for English version scroll down below photos]

Singapore – un mega oras – stat independent  , situat pe o insula , un nume  cunoscut de orice navigator si orice persoana ce lucreaza in domeniul shipping sau finante internationale.  Desi orasul este limitat de barierele geografice ale insulei , nu are resurse naturale proprii si are zero hectare de teren arabil este unul din cele mai prospere si civilizate orase din lume , fiind unul din cei 4 tigri economici din Asia , alaturi de Honk Kong , Korea de Sud si Taiwan.  Ceea ce are este pozitie strategica in stramtoarea Malaca dintre Oceanul Indian si Marea Galbena  , fiind un nod  naval cu un port imens de tranzit si o legislatie libera care incurajeaza investitiile , dar si o mentalitate asiatica lipsita de coruptie.  Am avut ocazia la ultimul voiaj sa vizitez de mai multe ori orasul asta minunat , si mi-a lasat o impresie foarte buna , daca nu printre cele mai bune , doar in Auckland – Noua Zeelanda sa zic ca mi-a placut mai mult.

In primul rand , primul lucru care te loveste e imensitatea orasului (ok , cel mai probabil va fi imensitatea aeroportului , si dupa caldura constanta de afara , Continue reading “Singapore – a world jewel – Review”

Cluj Napoca weekend

 

Went for a short trip to Cluj Napoca or Klausenburg as the Germans  used to call it , the capital in the heart of Transilvania. This time i went without a car , took a train from Constanta to Bucharest , that was about 3 hours time and costed 60 RON , and I was supposed to take the morning 05:45 train to Cluj , but it was impossible to wake up at that time , so i Took the 9 AM bus , that made about 9 hours time , and costed 74 RON (leaves from Militari bus station).

Cluj , the same nice city that i enjoyed to see again , a place that while it is inside Romania , doesn’t quite feel like it , Continue reading “Cluj Napoca weekend”

Budapest – Vienna trip & reviews

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De la un trip in tara la munte am ajuns usor usor la ceva mai complex , un trip excelent in Budapesta si la Vienna , am optat pentru varianta autocarului versus masina daca tot era inclus in pachetul cu cazarea , un pachet de la Eurolines (TUI travel) , dar de acum nu voi mai pasi in autocar pe distante asa lungi , e pur si simplu insuportabila experienta de a calatori cu toti compatriotii nostri consumatori de alcool si scandalagii atatea ore , daca va permiteti un avion ca nui asa scump daca il iei cu ceva timp inainte pentru a reduce calatoria de la 24-60 de ore in functie de destinatie  la 2-3 se merita! , nici la tren sa nu va ganditi pentru ca CFRul nostru , chiar si cel care merge la Budapesta e la fel de praf cum il stiti.

Budapesta , orasul impartit de Dunare in Buda si Pesta este surprinzator de frumos si civilizat , la standarde comparabile cu frati mai mari ca Vienna , Munchen , Praga , are de oferit de toate , incepand de la cetatea medievala situata la inaltime langa palatul imperial Buda , in imediata apropiere de la Continue reading “Budapest – Vienna trip & reviews”

Valencia – Spain review

[ENGLISH version scroll down below pictures]

Valencia , o adevarata bijuterie a Spaniei si un dreamcity  care are cam tot ce isi poate dori un vizitator dar mai ales un locuitor , de la viata de noapte incredibila , centru istoric foarte frumos prezervat cu numeroase imobile din patrimoniu UNESCO dar si o latura moderna incorporata cu stil in oras plus faptul ca e la cateva ore distanta de insula Ibiza. Merita precizate catedrala gotica din secolul 13 din centrul istoric , portul turistic modern care a fost si gazda cupei Americii , langa el fiind amenajat si circuitul de formula 1 , orasul artelor si culturii  , creatia arhitectului Santiago Calatrava (must see pentru toti) si multe alte atractii care ma oftic ca nu le-am apucat sa le vad.

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Alternative tourism destinations: Georgia – o tara care poate da lectii Europei de Est / a country that can teach Eastern Europe

[english version below pictures]

Georgia – o tara micuta la Marea Neagra  de 4,7 mil locuitori care primeste intre 2 si 3 milioane de turisti anual (Romania a avut vreo 6 mil in 2010). Acest statulet mic a existat  cu drapelul , limba , alfabetul si forma sa inca de prin secolul 11 si dupa ce sia facut de cap prin zona a tot aparut si disparut de pe harti fiind anexata la diferitele imperii , ultimul fiind URSS. Desi este hartuita de vecinul rus (ultimul comflict/imvazie fiind in 2008)  tarisoara asta se tine bine si reuseste sa avanseze cu pasi mari si rapizi , lucru pentru care ii admir , mai ales comparand cu ce vezi la noi . Casa la cateva din cele mai vechi biserici ortodoxe din lume si cu un relief diversificat (de la orase cu aer mediteranean la munti de 5000m inaltime) si gazda legendei lanii de aur nu prea are cum sa dezamageasca vizitatorii. Ca sa numai vorbesc de preturile decente , preturi de care chiar primesti ceva…

Vezi alte calatorii / other trips : Brasov 02.2014 , Istanbul 01.2014 , Cluj Napoca 08.2013 , Sibiu 07.2013San Pedro , Bucharest 2013 , Varna 2012 , Los Angeles 2012 , Budapest & Viena , Salerno , Cluj Napoca 2012 , Firenze , Brasov 02.2012 , Amsterdam , Antofagasta , Valencia , Lima , Bremen , Istanbul 2009 , Valletta , San Juan , Barcelona , Singapore 2010 , Los Angeles 2010 , Transilvania road trip , La Spezia , Bosphor by ship , Sydney , Melborune , AucklandSan FranciscoTauranga

Alternative tourism: Georgia , Burning gate of Turkmenistan , North Korea , Chernobyl   , Nouadhibou graveyard

In cealalta jumatate / How the other half lives : Guayaquil  , Lagos

the capital Tbilisi (~1.4 mil population)

Gudauri ski resort

Batumi – main port and summer resort (adica un fel de Constanta a lor)


see also my other alternative tourism destinations :

Alternative tourism: Georgia , Burning gate of Turkmenistan , North Korea , Chernobyl   , Nouadhibou graveyard

In cealalta jumatate / How the other half lives : Guayaquil  , Lagos

 

[english version]

Georgia – a small country of 4.7 million on the Black Sea that receives 2 to 3 million tourists annually (Romania had about 6 million in 2010). This small state existed with it’s flag, language, alphabet and form since the 11th century and after it made some rampage in the area it went on and off the charts being attached to  various empires, the last being the Soviet Union. Though harassed by it’s Russian neighbor (last comflict / invasion being in 2008) this small country is able to advance with big steps and fast, for which I admire it, especially comparing with what you see here in Romania. Home to some of the oldest Orthodox churches  with a diversified relief (from cities with a Mediterranean feeling to mountains of  5000m  height) and host the Golden Fleece legend this country cannot dissapoint  it’s visitors.

Singapore quick stop

Vezi alte calatorii / other trips : Brasov 02.2014 , Istanbul 01.2014 , Cluj Napoca 08.2013 , Sibiu 07.2013San Pedro , Bucharest 2013 , Varna 2012 , Los Angeles 2012 , Budapest & Viena , Salerno , Cluj Napoca 2012 , Firenze , Brasov 02.2012 , Amsterdam , Antofagasta , Valencia , Lima , Bremen , Istanbul 2009 , Valletta , San Juan , Barcelona , Singapore 2010 , Los Angeles 2010 , Transilvania road trip , La Spezia , Bosphor by ship , Sydney , Melborune , AucklandSan FranciscoTauranga

Alternative tourism: Georgia , Burning gate of Turkmenistan , North Korea , Chernobyl   , Nouadhibou graveyard

In cealalta jumatate / How the other half lives : Guayaquil  , Lagos