A day in Warsaw..

I visited Warsaw this July. Unfortunately, I spent only a day in the city. And I am NEVER doing this again. From now on, I’m spending at least three days in one city. It’s so stressful to see as much as possible in a limited amount of time! Here are some tips on how to get the most out of your one day in Warsaw.

1. Buy a one day public transport ticket

blekitny-normalny_320

You can get them where you see a ZTM ticket machine. The one day ticket was very useful as it saved a lot of time that I would have had to walk to places. It’s also not as scary to get on the wrong bus, since you can hop off at the next stop, cross the street and without having to validate a new ticket, get on a different bus. Warsaw’s metro line is very good. It took me 9 minutes to get from the very center of Warsaw to the Wilanowska station. On a scale from 1-10, I give 10 points to the public transportation in Warsaw. Before buying the ticket, find out what zones (1 or 1+2) you will be going to as that is what determines the cost of the ticket. You can read all about this here.

2. Visit the Palace of Culture and Science

The Palace of Culture and Science

This is a must especially if you want to see most of Warsaw in such a short amount of time!! The view from the 30th floor is amazing! Even though the red roofs of the old town are in the very distance, you won’t be disappointed. You can view all of Warsaw from all four sides of the terrace. The best view is towards the old town. You can also see the stadium where the UEFA European Football Championship 2012 took place. The only thing I didn’t like is having to wait some time for the elevators to take people up and then to take people down.

3. Visit the churches

Kościół Matki Bożej Łaskawej

Kościół Matki Bożej Łaskawej

Having had visited Rome last summer where I saw impressive churches and cathedrals, I was a bit disappointed with them in Warsaw. I’m not talking about the exterior of the churches. They are all beautiful. I’m talking about the interior. The altars seemed a little… well, blah. Just a painting and some candles. I’m not saying it’s a bad thing. Maybe the massive cathedrals in Rome are giving me this impression. But other than that, all of the cathedrals and churches are very much worth a visit. It’s also a good way to get to know a culture. By saying that, I noticed that Poles are very religious. And not just the older generation. Everyone of all ages goes inside churches to pray for like 10 minutes and goes back out and continues with their day.

More photos HERE!

12 Day Trip to EUROPE!

People of the world, listen up! Nomadic Matt is giving away a 12 day trip to Budapest, Prague and Vienna!!!  When I read the post, I thought I was dreaming! For about a year now, I’ve wanted to go to these three cities. And just my luck- there’s a give away! The only thing left to do is convince Nomadic Matt why I’m the one that should go on this wonderful trip…

I don’t think anyone likes travel more than me. I’m constantly online searching for plane or bus tickets, cheap hotels, things to do and places to see. If there is a great deal, I’ll most likely go for it… If I don’t, oh well, there’s always another great deal that will come along.. But I’ll always think about what I missed out on. Like, what a crazy and exciting trip that might have been!

This time, it will not happen. This is going to be a great blog post, Nomadic Matt will love it and I will win this trip. One more thing- I already planned what I’m going to see and do in each of those cities. And there are very interesting reasons why I want to visit Budapest, Prague and Vienna.

PRAGUE

First, I will fly into Prague, go to the Old Town Square and reset my watch to the correct time based on the Prague Astronomical Clock. This way I won’t miss my departure to Vienna. But Prague isn’t all about the Astronomical Clock! I just can’t stop imagining myself on the Charles Bridge taking many pictures of Prague’s red rooftops. Autumn is a perfect time to go on a Ghost Tour and see many underground passageways and catacombs- just in time for the season of Halloween! It is a must to visit Prague in all four seasons, so if I visit in Autumn, only three seasons will be left!

VIENNA

With my newly reset watch I’ll catch a train to Vienna. This is the city I want to visit the most out of all three. The reason- Inspector Rex (yes, the dog) has lived here for many years and I have been dying to come to Vienna and walk in the footsteps of the famous K-9. Chocolate tasting is another thing on my check list as well as time spent in a cozy Kaffeehaus. And I won’t forget Mozart’s and Beethoven’s graves either!!

BUDAPEST

At last I’ll reach Budapest. It will be like visiting two cities at once- Buda and Pest. Budapest will be the city where I’ll do most of my shopping because Hungary isn’t using the Euro and their currency is somewhat devalued! This is a dream come true for a shopaholic! Just kidding! I do love to shop for new clothes, but not that extremely! And after all of this shopping I’ll head to one of the many thermal baths to relax before my trip back home..

If I were to win, all of you will be able to follow me on my trip as I will write about my experiences and adventures in these three cities!

Wow, after I re-read this post, I can’t believe how much fun this trip would be. And I haven’t mentioned half of the things I would do there! All have to do is cross my fingers and hope I win!!

3 Pearls of Lithuania

Continuing my post about Lithuania, I want you to know, that Lithuania has some amazing places to check out. To some I have even been twice because they were that incredible!

LADAKALNIS

Ladakalnis

It is a 175 m high mountain in the region of Ignalina at the national park of Aukštaitija. Once you climb to the top, you can experience an incredible view and especially on a clear day. From the top, you can see 7 different lakes: Ūkojas, Linkmenas, Almajas, Asėkas, Asalnai, Lūšiai and Alksnas.

There is a custom, which some people still follow- to bring some rocks to the top of the mountain and put them by an oak tree.  The place where the oak tree grows now, people used to give offers to the goddess Lada. Some people thing that is how the mountain got its name.

I climbed to the top of Ladakalnis last summer. The weather that day was really good- not a cloud in the sky. I really recommend visiting this mountain and don’t worry if you haven’t been to the gym for a long time. Anyone is capable of climbing it!

PUNTUKAS

Puntukas

The second largest boulder in Lithuania! It is located about 5km from the town of Anykščiai. This rock has a really interesting legend. It is believed, that a devil carried the stone to destroy the the Church of Anykščiai, but a rooster crowed and the devil disappeared back to the underworld but left the rock behind. A famous Lithuanian poet, Antanas Baranauskas, wrote about it in his poem “Anykščių šilelis”.

Everyone at school visits this rock during a school trip. And especially when studying about the poem “Anykščių šilelis”.

NIDA

A small resort town on the Curonian Spit. It is the westernmost point of Lithuania. Tourists from Lithuania, Germany, Russia and Latvia are the ones to visit this town the most. Nida is better for family vacations and especially people who like peaceful vacations. If any of you like parties, clubs, you will not find this in Nida. Palanga is your vacation destination for entertainment.

Nida is famous for the highest sand dunes in Europe. People are not allowed to slide from them or walk in every part of the dunes because every year, the dune gets smaller and smaller. When walking through the dunes, I wouldn’t suggest making any phone calls, because Kaliningrad is really near and your phone might be catching Russia’s phone companies. Calls might be really expensive!

Have you been to any of these places? If so, did you like them? Do you think there are more pearls of Lithuania?

More photos HERE!

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Exploring Vilnius

Vilnius

I have noticed an interesting thing. Everyone seems to be traveling a lot, exploring different places, cities, countries, continents..

.. But no one truly knows their own backyard. Yes, me included…

If asked, not many of you would show me where Lithuania is on the map. Some of you might be hearing this country for the first time.

Vilnius

Guess what!? Lithuania does exist and it’s one of the three Baltic countries (the other two are Latvia and Estonia). If you suddenly thought- “oh yeah, I know this country- the capital is Riga.” You know what? You are WRONG!! The capital is VILNIUS!!

VilniusIt might rain a lot in Lithuania and the summers aren’t that perfect as in Italy or Spain, but if I were to choose between Berlin(the city I recently visited) or Vilnius, I would actually choose Vilnius. It’ actually a very beautiful city. You can see this in thepictures I took while exploring my own home city. And talking about the backyard thing again-I found a street I have never known before..

More photos HERE!

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Excited for my upcoming trip!

Warsaw

I am super excited for my trip to Warsaw and Krakow which is coming up really soon. I hope to see as much as I can and I really hope, that it won’t RAIN!!! But if it would, I will try to enjoy my time as much as I can, especially my time at the Starbucks Cafes (I already marked them on my map).

There are so many interesting monuments and places to see in Warsaw and Krakow, that I have been wondering why have I never been to these cities before? And especially since they are so close to Vilnius. Only an overnight bus ride and I’m in Warsaw!I have been to Warsaw before, but ONLY at the airport, so that does not count as me having actually seen the city.

Krakow

Krakow just came out of no where. I was just surfing the internet and noticed a cheap bus company that runs all through Poland to cities like Vienna, Berlin and Prague. The company is called “Polski Bus”. Since Krakow has so much history and was once the capital of Poland, I bought the bus tickets!!And now I can’t wait for my mini-trip to Warsaw and Krakow!!

P.S. Krakow has Starbucks Coffee!! And great shopping malls!

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Pinterest- Great for Travel Planning

I recently discovered Pinterest and I am officially addicted to this site. It is a pin board- style photo sharing website. You can browse through tons of interesting photos, re-pin images you find the most interesting to your own collection or simply like all the photos you see.

It has recently spread into the travel world because you can easily scan a destination’s food, architecture, historic sites and other places of interest. Here are some interesting pinterest pages:

Travel Agencies http://pinterest.com/lonelyplanet/
http://pinterest.com/expediadotcom/
http://pinterest.com/frommerstravel/
Travel Destinations http://pinterest.com/annehornyak/cvbs-on-pinterest/
http://pinterest.com/francetravel/
Magazines http://pinterest.com/budgettravel/
http://pinterest.com/TravelLeisure/
http://pinterest.com/travleisureasia/
http://pinterest.com/coastalliving/
Television http://pinterest.com/TravelChannel/
http://pinterest.com/globetrekker20/
Travel Writers http://pinterest.com/johnny_jet/
http://pinterest.com/petergreenberg/
Hotels http://pinterest.com/holidayinn/
http://pinterest.com/hostelworld/
http://pinterest.com/bookingdotcom/
http://pinterest.com/thebestwestern/
Other http://pinterest.com/whereivebeen/
http://pinterest.com/100places2visit/


Marking the Map

My goal is to visit all of the capital cities of Europe. I will constantly update this list after I visit any of these capital cities.

Capital City

Country

Amsterdam Netherlands
Andorra la Vella Andorra
Athens Greece
Belgrade Serbia
Berlin Germany
Bern Switzerland
Bratislava Slovakia
Brussels Belgium
Bucharest Romania
Budapest Hungary
Chisinau Moldova
Copenhagen Denmark
Dublin Ireland
Helsinki Finland
Kiev Ukraine
Lisbon Portugal
Ljubljana Slovenia
London United Kingdom
Luxembourg Luxembourg
Madrid Spain
Minsk Belarus
Monaco Monaco
Moscow Russia
Nicosia Cyprus
Oslo Norway
Paris France
Podgorica Montenegro
Prague Czech Republic
Pristina Kosovo
Reykjavik Iceland
Riga Latvia
Rome Italy
San Marino San Marino
Sarajevo Bosnia & Herzegovina
Skopje FYR Macedonia
Sofia Bulgaria
Stockholm Sweden
Tallinn Estonia
Tirana Albania
Vaduz Liechtenstein
Valletta Malta
Vatican City Vatican
Vienna Austria
Vilnius Lithuania
Warsaw Poland
Zagreb Croatia