A Short Trip North

Hello World !

I haven’t posted in quite a long time ! Two years to be precise. Don’t you for a second think that I spent all this time just sitting around at home and forgot about traveling. I traveled quite a lot ! I’ve visited Europe last summer and taken short little trips to Denver, Colorado; Nashville, Tennessee and most recently Madison, Wisconsin.

This post is dedicated to Madison, Wisconsin because I was surprised of the beauty and scenery of this capital city. Driving into the city is a magical experience ! Lake Monona lies right at the edge of the city when you drive on Beltline Highway. I spotted many canoes on the lake, bike riders and runners along the lake shore exercising.

The first stop I made was the Wisconsin State Capitol which reminded me of the Cathedral in Helsinki because of the huge dome and large steps. Upon some research I discovered that the Capitol dome is topped by Daniel Chester French’s guilded bronze statue, which is called “Wisconsin”. Pretty cool, right ?! And the most awesome part is that the interior dome of the rotunda is decorated by Edwin Blashfield’s mural called Resources of Wisconsin”. I then begin to drown in self pity because I didn’t go on a tour of the State Capitol…but I always cheer myself up by saying that I will return to each city to find even more unknown city gems !

When I saw the lake driving into Madison, Wisconsin, I knew I needed to take a picture of the exquisite city view with the lake in the forefront. The center of Madison seems to be built on a hill making it no surprise that Vilnius, Lithuania is a sister city ! The lake views are amazing and peaceful. I decided that this would be the place where I return this summer to kayak (even though I don’t know how to !). There were many fishermen trying to catch fish perhaps for dinner.

In conclusion, I can definitely recommend Madison, Wisconsin for a day trip ! The lake makes it a perfect city to relax in, grab a kayak and paddle around !

Until next time !

The CrAzY Explorer

My New York Adventure Part 2!

On my last post, you found out that I had just arrived in New York City! After “sleeping” for a little while, I started my way towards the city. It was pretty easy to navigate on the subway (I’m not going to lie, I did end up running back and forth from one side of the platform to the other at some points on the trip). After the air train, I had to get on the E train. Then after that I had to get on the train going “Uptown”. The best choice for me was train #1, as it was the closest to where my hotel was.

After getting to my hotel and dropping all my stuff off, I started to make my way towards Central Park. It was such a beautiful and sunny day! I absolutely fell in love with Central Park! If I had had more time, I would have definitely brought a blanket, sat down and had a picnic or just suntanned. Below I posted a picture I took at Central Park. If you want to see more of my awesome time at Central Park, check out my Instagram!

And just like that I'm in Central Park… 🌳🐶 #newyorkcity #centralpark #daytrip

A post shared by Marija (@mylifeasmarija) on

 

Woah! That picture came out huge on here! As you can see, the weather was awesome! The only regret in this little over 24 hour trip is that I only went on the east side of Central Park and in general of Manhattan.

Continuing to walk along Central Park (the roads kept going uphill than downhill and I realized I need to work-out more), I came along the American Museum of Natural History. Unfortunately, it opens at 10 AM so I couldn’t peek inside of the famous site of the movie The Night at the Museum… (I wonder if the dinosaur actually stands at the lobby)..

Being up all night and walking all through Central Park, I was getting hungry quite fast. My goal was to have some New York style pizza. Unfortunately, walking towards Times Square I couldn’t find anything! New York City local places were either too expensive, closed or completely full! I found Europa Cafe to be open and quite good actually. I had a typical sandwich which was very delicious! I decided to have my New York style pizza later that day.

My next stop was Rockefeller Center and a visit to the Top of the Rock! Be on the look out for my next post!

My New York City Adventure Begins!

Hello friends, travelers and blog followers! I have recently visited New York City and I absolutely loved it! Before I visited New York City, I had always imagined it to be big, fast paced and over-rated. My first time being there and I can say my view of New York City has completely changed. It is obviously bigger than Chicago and much more fast paced.

Working for an airline allows me to travel for free, obviously as stand-by. Many seats being open, I was able to jump on a flight to JFK right after my shift. New York being super expensive, I decided to spend my extra night at the airport. There were many places to sleep on and I wasn’t the only one with such a brilliant idea!

Airport Traffic JFK!

After “sleeping” (I think I snoozed for a total of 20 minutes because I kept getting cold), I decided it was time to make my way towards the city. I grabbed my carry-on and was on my way towards the JFK air train. Everything was pretty self-explanatory and easy to manage if you just read the signs. I got to my correct stop and was on the E train towards Manhattan where my adventures soon began!

P.S. I promise this time to stay on top of my blogging!

A New Adventure

The travel adventures began New Year’s Eve. At the last minute I decided to leave right after midnight on our trip to Canada if we wanted to make it to Montreal on time. Because of this arrangement, my brother and I ended up “celebrating” the New Year in my car on the intersection near the Trump Tower in Chicago. It was very amusing and different compared to past celebrations.

The rental car that took us from Chicago all the way to Montreal! It's a 2013 Nissan Altima.

The rental car that took us from Chicago all the way to Montreal! It’s a 2013 Nissan Altima.

Once my brother and I got to O’Hare International Airport to get a rental car, the real circus began. Dollar Rent A Car was one of the businesses open twenty-four hours, including New Year’s night. The bus that takes passengers from the terminals right to the rental car office ran every twenty minutes, including New Year’s night on the arrival level. For some odd reason, we were waiting on the departure level. After waiting for about thirty minutes, I got very irritated and called the Dollar Rent A Car center. A man answered my call and then he transferred me to a woman who told me the bus will be there shortly. Twenty minutes later and still waiting on the departure level, I called again, but this time I was very furious. I complained about waiting for about an hour and no bus having passed by. I was again transferred to a woman who told me the bus will be there momentarily. Again, we continue waiting on the departure level. Twenty minutes later we decided we had enough of this and we will take a taxi to Dollar Rent A Car, which is about ten minutes away. My brother went to the arrival level to see if there were any taxis available. Moments later he returns and asks me in a very soft tone: “Maybe the buses go on the arrival level?” And with this sentence I realized how dumb I was for waiting over an hour on the wrong level and calling the Dollar Rent A Car center making a huge deal of a problem that never existed. I still feel ashamed that I called the customer service center for a “fake” reason. But at least now I know that if there really is a huge problem, Dollar Rent A Car will definitely help me!

In my next few posts, follow me, as we make our way to Montreal and enjoy our time in Canada!

PHOTO ESSAY: Krakow

In my previous post, you read how my day went in Krakow. Now it’s time to see how that day went by. The photos could have been a lot better, if it would have been sunny. Other than that, Krakow has a lot of interesting places to see and things to do. It should be on everyone’s must visit list!

St Mary's Basilica

Make sure you are really willing to climb to the very top, because once you start climbing, there is no turning back!

Cross

Church

Wawel

The most famous attraction in Krakow- Wawel Royal Castle!
Jewish Cemetary

You will find more photos HERE!

One Day in Krakow

Just like Warsaw, I also spent only one day in Krakow. The weather was OK compared to what should have been- a huge thunderstorm was predicted. The most important part is that it didn’t rain! (I still remember the awful weather in Berlin..).

I took a bus from Warsaw to Krakow, which took 5 hours. The bus ride seemed like forever. When I finally arrived in Krakow, it was about 20h (8 p.m.) and the sun had already set. I was really tired, but I still had to get to my hostel.. So using the map I had printed from the internet, my friend and I set off to find our hostel. I don’t recall much of what I saw of the old town because we were really tired and walking pretty fast. But the most memorable part were the dancing fountains that were illuminated in different colors and played music.

View from St Mary's Basilica

The moment we saw the exterior of the hostel, I thought “where have I booked us at”.. That was the first impression. Morning brought a whole different sense. I actually liked the hostel! I recommend it for students, backpackers, budget travels, etc. It is located in a very good place and breakfast is included!

Morning was a little foggy so all of the church towers were a little bit hidden. But that didn’t stop me from taking pictures! Overall the old town was very nice and really different from Warsaw. It has this old feel to it.

My favorite moment from the trip was the climb to the top of St. Mary’s Basilica. The view from the top is worth the climb, but the weather was not in my favor as it was cloudy so I couldn’t really see the very distant parts of Krakow. What I liked most about Krakow, was the interior of the churches. They were all stunning!

Car in Kazkimierz District

Kazimierz

If you are thinking of visiting Krakow, don’t forget to visit the district of Kazimierz! It is known for being home to the Jewish community since the 14th century. I have never visited a synagogue before and since I had an opportunity to do that, I paid two Zlots and made my dream come true! I also visited a Jewish cemetery and I definitely recommend it!

Of course I visited the Wawel Royal Castle and the Cathedral. The visit took most of the time I had in Krakow, but it was very much worth it.

PHOTO ESSAY: Warsaw

I have been to the Warsaw airport many times, but this was my first time actually walking around the city. I was surprised how much I liked Warsaw right away! I saw many interesting monuments, beautiful churches, important places. I will definitely come back and stay for at least three days because there are a lot of things I did not see!

Statue of Mermaid

The mermaid is an important part of Polish history. Around Warsaw you will see many sculptures of mermaids. You will see some of them on facades and in artistic metalwork. There is mermaid tour in Warsaw during which you can see the most important mermaids.

Plac Zamkowy

Skyscrapers

New buildings rising in Warsaw!

Powstania Warszawskiego

Next to an important part of history.

Church of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary and St. Joseph the Betrothed

One of the many beautiful churches in Warsaw!

If you liked these photos, you’ll find more HERE!