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Rafal's Travel log

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Life is a journey - enjoy it

Log entries 51 - 60 of 197 Page: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10

Apr 30, 2011 06:00 PM The picture can be taken only with the person

The picture can be taken only with the person Area around Plovdiv is fullfiled with interesting places to see. Unfortunately this time I won't be able to see Rila, that is why I choosed second biggest monastery as our destination for today. Bachkovo is around 30 kilometers from Plovdiv. It is easy to get there with the bus (only 4 BGN, from Rodopy Bus station) and journey takes around 40 minutes. The best is to ask the driver to drop us in the monastery because it's located few kilometers after. Entrance is for free but today were holidays so there were many people there. Monastery was founded in the XI century and contains a group of buildings (two churches, monks dormitorys, reflectory, etc). It is not possible to make a picture in the Monastery but the some guy told us that we can make a picture but only with the person on it. So we started to do the pictures, pretending that we are on it :) On the way back we saw (but only from the bus window) Asenowgrad fortress, wonderfuly located on the top of the mountain. Then we took a minibus to Veliko Tyrnovo (only few per day, from northern bus station, ticket 16 BGN). The road leads throug pretty landscapes of the Valley of the roses, Shipka pass and Stara Planina mountains. We reached Veliko Tyrnovo in the evening and had great dinner. For me Bulgarian cusine is one of the tasties in the world.

Apr 29, 2011 06:00 PM Filipopolis - ancient amphitheatre over the tunnel

Filipopolis - ancient amphitheatre over the tunnel That was a very cold night. The owner of the hostel in Sofia decided not to allow the guests turn on the heating in the room. Most of the night was really freezing. As the time is limited we spent only the morning in Sofia. City center seems to be quite nice with a lot of people, bars and cafeterias. But for today we wanted to get to Plovdiv. Ancient Filipopolis, Pyldin or Filibe is now the second biggest city in Bulgaria. There is a lot of possibilities to get there from Sofia. We chosed train (8.20 BGN per person; 1 EUR - 2 BGN) and the road leads through pretty landscapes of southern Bulgaria. In the afternoon we had a long walk around the city. It is so wonderful, with lots of remainings of different cultures, from different period. We could find the ruins of an ancient Roman Stadium hidden in the under the pedestrian mall and buildings (but some parts are uncovered), just near is the mosque from Ottoman period , then is a lot of churches and houses from revieval time. Then at the end we found the ruins of the Roman amphiteatre. Discovered only in the 70's last century is wonderfuly located on the hill and less wonderfuly over the road tunnel.

Apr 28, 2011 06:00 PM Balkan adventure

Balkan adventure After long time I packed again my backpack and I am going to see another wonderful country in Balkan peninsula. This time I am heading to Bulgaria. As the trip is very short - only 5 days - I won't have time to see all the wonders of this country, but still I hope to see some great places meet great people....

Nov 12, 2010 09:00 PM Will this country be a surprise for me?

Will this country be a surprise for me? Today I am leaving for another short holidays. This time to Africa to Cap Verde. I donĀ“t know what to expect from this islands. From the photos it seems that they are amazing. But what will be the reality? I will let you know. But today I am going to Lisbon where I have a stopover until tomorrow evening. So Bairro Alto I am coming :)

Sep 15, 2010 06:00 PM Holy see of Armenian church

Holy see of Armenian church Except the buses and marshrutkas in Armenia there is also a transport caled share taxi. Little bit more expensive but faster than the others. It took me only 3 hours to get from Alaverdi to Yerevan. In Yerevan I switched to the bus to Echmiadzin. This is the most holy place in Armenian church. By bus its only takes aroun 30 minutes to get there. City itself is not that pretty, but the church (especially interior is very beautyfull). Now is a seat of Catholicos (head of Armenian church). Then again in Yerevan I wanted to see the Genocide museum (from 1915 -1924 more than 1.5 milion Armenian people were killed) but it turned out that the museum is open from 11 till 16pm (except Mondays) so I was too late. And this afternoon I am spending just strolling around the city and soaking up Armenian sun before coming back to Poland.

Sep 14, 2010 06:00 PM Anahit was singing for me

Anahit was singing for me It was another great day. In the early morning my hosts took me to the bus station from where I took the bus to Vanadzor (500 ADM). Unfortunately I didn't precise that I wanted marshrutka and I had to take regular, slow and very old bus... But it was also an experience. From Vanadzor I changed to marshrutka to Alaverdi (500 ADM - 50 minutes). As soon as I left my bacpack at Irina B&B I found the taxi and I went to see some monastries next to Alaverdi (2 of them are on UNESCO list). I started with Sanahin. The oldest church in the complex was constructed in year 928 and now whole complex include 3 churches, library, academia. From the hill nearby is fabulous view over the Debbed Canyon. Then during short stop in Alaverdi I could see the copper mine (main company in the city) and then I saw Haghpat Monastery - antoher exapmle of wonderful architecture. The last stop was in Akhtala - monastery different than the others as inside are well preserved 700 years old frescoes. I was really impressed. And at the end of the day I had dinner with Irina, her family and other guests. Except wonderful food, during the dinner one of the guest Anahit started to sing for us old Armenian songs. I will remember this moment for long time.

Sep 13, 2010 06:00 PM Dance of the eagles

Dance of the eagles As I already visited south of the country today I decided to go north. LP guidebook recomended very much Dilijan as extremely nice city (which is not true in my opinion). So I went from my hostel to one of Yerevan bus station (almost out of the city) and there I found marshrutka to Dilijan (1000 ADM 90 minutes). Road as always in Armenia is quite scenic and also leading next to Lake Sevan. Also the busses are going through newly opened (well from 3 years already) tunnel and that make the trip much shorter. I quickly checked in my B & B Nina and organised the transport to nearby monasteries - Haghartsin and Goshavank. Unfortunately the first one was under reconstruction and I was not able to visit it. Location of the monastery is very scennic and the name means "Dance of the eagles". After I went to Goshavank. During the road I saw some poor villages, I think that life here is not easy. Goshavank is located in the middle of village Gosh. The complex has two churches and two storey library. Nice but I liked more others churches. When I was coming back it started to rain and be cold. Evening I spent with my charchming hosts - talking and drinking.

Sep 12, 2010 06:00 PM Breathtaking moment

Breathtaking moment I hardly remember when I was so impressed. This morning my host helped me to organise the transport to Tatev monastery (I paid 9 000 ADM for a private taxi). There is also a posiblity to use the public transport but it is very difficult and I had no time for that. Sergei was my driver - a funny 60 years old Armenian who was repeating me all the time - Sergei ok, Sergei ok, Sergei know the best. So I heard that around 100 times during two hours. Road from Goris to Tatev monastery is one of the most scenic that I saw in my life (somehow I was comparing views with the ones that I saw in Bolivia). High mountains, deep gorges, small villages. Tatev is located like nest on a high rock with high mountains surrounding it, has more than a 1 000 years and is wonderful. I think that I came in the very last moment to visit the place because there is a chairlift and a new road under construction. So probably next year it will be much more accesible and it will loose some of its authentic. In Goris I have lunch with Kchachik and its entire family and then my new friends proposed me a lift to Yerevan. On the road we saw also Noravank monastery, another example of a great Armenian architecture. What a day!!!

Sep 11, 2010 06:00 PM Nagorno Karabakh

Nagorno Karabakh It is a very political issue so I wont judge much. Today I had a chance to see Republic of Nagorno Karabakh - a quasi state unrecognised by the world, part of Azerbijan but with autonomus goverment (very closed to Yerevan). People whom I meet yesterday at my B B, had their own car and proposed me to go with them. So we took a road from Goris to Stepankert (through high anh rough mountains). Then we found a direction to Gandzasar - most holy place in whole Nagorno Krabakh. Monastery is old from 13 th century, rebuilt after latest war destructions. When we got there I had a chance to listen the mass. Something wonderful and such different from Catholic masses, only the priest is praying and chorus (two womans) were singing religoius songs and in the church was perfect acoustic. Then from Gandzasar we come back to Stepnakert, capital of the Republic. A lot of money have been invested in the city and there is no more war scars, but the city is odd, very odd - somwhere brand new, somwhere old, without the people and with strange songs from radio in the main round about... And the buildings...
The we went to Shushi - city which was the cultural centre in XIX century, heave damaged during last war (which is still very easy to see). And in the huge fog we come back to Goris, to have dinner with my fabulous hosts.

Sep 10, 2010 06:00 PM Vegetables - stop, fruits - stop...

Vegetables - stop, fruits - stop... It should be a calm day. I should take only the road from Yerevan to Goris... but first of all I woke up extremely late and I had to take a shared taxi (6 000 AMD). I was with 3 ladies who were very nice to me, even if we didn't talked that much (problems with understdaning). But after 40 kilometers from Yerevan one of the ladies decided that she wants to make a shopping. So every 5 minutes driver had to stop because she wanted to buy fruits, vegetables, bread, pasta etc etc. In the meantime outside the window nature made a beautiful spectacl. I never expected to see such wonderful mountains here. Unfortunately few kilometers befor Goris weather just broke down. Clouds rain and cold just afraided me. I didn't expected that. When I entered to my bed and breakfast (Kchachik) my mood upgraded soon. I meet wonderful poeple with whom I spen the evening drinking, eating and laughing. I just need to practice how to make a speech. I am much worst than Armenian here

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