(filtered by tag 'city')

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Is there a building done by Calatrava in the city? So that Zuzka must to see it. Actually I like his architecture too. Now to convince Peter... It could be much easier if there were other things too. Hm, there is oceanarium. Maybe that helps.

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Belem Tower, Lisbon, Portugal

Our flight from Funchal to Lisbon was boring compared to flight to Madeira :-) But we prefer it this way. We had hard time to find taxi driver waiting for us, because we misunderstood directions what to look for. Eventually he found us and we could go to our accommodation. It took longer than it should, because main street was closed due to preparation for some "fiesta".

At least our driver acted as tour guide and talked about many topics we could be interested in Lisbon. He even answered the most important series of questions - how long does it takes to get to airport by metro, whether it is full early in the morning and where is the closest metro station to our accommodation (well, he got the last one wrong).

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dry waterfall in Levada do Bom Successo, Madeira

Bom Successo means Big Success. But our walk from Monte through Levada do Bom Successo was quite a big fail. We were "promissed" (and expected) nice walk along the levada, with water and waterfall, but it was just boring hike down the hill in dry environment.

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To Madeira

Added: October 04, 2014

Tags: Madeira Portugal city photos

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Have you ever attempted to fly on Friday 13th? Only cheap direct flight we could find from Vienna to Madeira was with Fly Niky/airberlin on Friday 13th, so we have booked it. Just one way, because return trip seemed expensive compared to "bargain price" of outbound fly.

We decided to go back with Tap Portugal through Lisbon to see also mainland Portugal. That turned more complicated than we expected. The first booking failed with Bad Request and repeated try ended up with web page asking us to wait for 24h or contact them. So I have tried Skype to tap.contact.center, but they did not authorize me for following 25 hours. No problem, 24h passed, I can book again, can't I? Wrong! Same message. OK, let's make phone companies happy. I have called to listed sales agent in Prague. She could not help me, she advised me to wait 24h, prankster, or call to Portugal.

Should I make that call? Not yet, let's try e-mail first. I received bad news next day - they simply don't do bookings or advice on price through e-mail. It looked like people who fly on Friday 13th don't need inbound flight anymore :-) I replied angrily, that I don't want them to finish booking, all I am asking for is to remove that damn lock on my reservation that should not be there anymore. To my huge surprise, I could finish my booking next day. Who would guess that?

What was I writing about? Aha, flying on Friday 13th. Here is the rest of story...

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Lindos from acropolis, Rhodes

We have made day trip to Λίνδος while staying at Faliraki. Our plan was to visit acropolis, look around the town and spend some time on beach, or even better on two of them. We ended up at single beach and it took us whole day, we returned at night.

Lindos is definitely must for all people visiting Rhodes. It has everything - history, nice and busy town and last but not the least 2 wonderful beaches. This post will be about "human achievements", then following one will be about beaches.

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Palace of the Grand Master of the Knights of Rhodes at night, Greece

One of the reasons I wanted to be accommodated close to the medieval city was to allow me convenient way to take night photos of it. I have seen some during our preparation and wanted to get them too. That was also a reason why I packed tripod for this trip.

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Rhodes

Added: March 29, 2014

Tags: Greece Rhodes castle city island photos

Arches in Palace of the Grand Master of the Knights of Rhodes, Greece

We had made 2nd trip to Greece in 2013. This time we picked just single island - Ρόδος. Another difference was the approach we took. We waited till the last moment, hoping for better prices on last minute holidays, because my in-laws were there in summer 2012 and they got really good price. But it seems it does not work like that in September. 5 days ahead we bought last 2 flight tickets and they were not cheaper than 2 weeks earlier.

But we did something as we usually do. We did not stay at single place, but split our stay to 2 places. One was in city Rhodes, to allow us explore west part of island and the city. And then we moved south to Faliraki to explore east and south. And such a kind of freedom is not offered by any travel agency...

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sand dunes at Maspalomas

We used the last day of our trip until last minute. Literally. We flew back to Gran Canaria afternoon and wanted to go to Palmas de Gran Canaria. Our flight back was scheduled on next day at 6am, which was a bit inconvenient considering a need to find our way to Palmas, look around, find some accomodation to leave it early in the "morning" to gat back to airport.

So we changed our plan at last possible moment and I have studied Lonely Planet to find out what we could do instead while waiting at the airport in Santa Cruz de Tenerife. Our new plan has been born - we will rent a car and go to the south of island to check how it looks like.

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After we finished our Chinobre walk we went to San Cristóbal de la Laguna. Just a short stop to see its historic center with colorful buildings. It attracts Zuzka as an architect and me as a photographer. We had a lot of green today, it is time to get some reds and yellows too.

On our way to La Laguna we stopped in some restaurant for lunch. To our delight they served a goatling or cabrito in Spanish. We did not prepare especially for this vocabulary, but goat cheese (queso de cabra) was our favourite self-catering stuff, so we were able to recognize it. We like goat cheese and it was much cheaper than in Slovakia.

What else is cheap in Tenerife? you could ask. Well, that is easy - petrol. And car rentals are not expensive too. There are so many competitors there.

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Santa Cruz de Tenerife

Added: August 20, 2011

Tags: Spain architecture city photos

Opera house in Santa Cruz de Tenerife

I did not post anything new for a while. There were so many distractions and things to do during last couple of months, I simply could not find enough time (and I still cannot find it for other things, but I am going to post about our recent trips now).

We were thinking about visiting Tenerife while we were still in UK, but at that time we considered just single weekend due to all holidays being spent before. That did not work out well, so we jumped on an opportunity back home when I learned there will not be enough work at my job in May. It nicely coincided with Ryanair opening the route from Bratislava to Gran Canaria in April. We decided to go for a week. Perfect!

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It was on Zuzka's radar for years. We have to go to Valencia to see amazing buildings Santiago Calatrava designed in Ciudad de las Artes y las Ciencias. Nearly before every bank holiday we checked times and prices of flight tickets and this time we liked what we have found. Apart from small detail that more convenient flight back to Bristol was from Alicante. OK, why not? We can see 2 places in 3 days instead of one.

Weather forecast was favourable (if temperatures over 30°C could be named favourable) only later some web sites suggested it will be raining on Sunday. That had an effect on our plans. We will see whole place from outside on Saturday, then we will go to beach and interiors will be left for Sunday. We need to get to Alicante on Monday, let's go there early in the morning and we can spend more time on beach there. Or to climb the hill with castle (but that is not very probable we would like to do that in hot weather).

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Adrenaline in Rio de Janeiro

Added: August 04, 2010

Tags: Brazil RTW city photos

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Wednesday, 23rd of February. It will not be completely stress free day today. It is our second day in Rio de Janeiro and Zuzka decided we are going to visit Favela. Favelas are poor neighbourhoods in Rio de Janeiro and it is not safe to go there alone. You need a local guide. Somebody reliable and respected there. Her colleague James (thank you) recommended us to find Paulo Amendoim, they had great time with him in past.

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Sugarloaf Mountain

Flight to Rio de Janeiro was uneventful and rather quick. We flew around Rio and landed at Galeão airport ahead of schedule. It seemed we will get to city during daylight, but it turned to be wrong assumption. We were waiting for a bus to Botafogo more than one hour. Some buses arrived but all of them were heading to different parts or Rio.

When our bus finally arrived it was full. A driver did not want to take us, but the "bus employee" at the bus stop helped us to get in. He was probably tired of my periodic bothering him When is our bus due? Driver finally said he will take us if we don't mind standing 50min. No problem for us, just get us there.

It was dark when we stepped off the bus. Now to get oriented quickly and find our hostel. We selected Botafogo because it was cheaper than Copacabana and Ipanema and still rather close and safe. Our next task is to blend in and look like a Brazilians to avoid being robbed. At least that is suggested in all descriptions of Rio de Janeiro. Plus walking quickly so lazy muggers don't bother. This part should be easy, but how can we blend in with 2 backpacks each? :-)

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Buenos Aires

Added: July 17, 2010

Tags: Argentina RTW SouthAmerica city photos

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Argentina deserves long time to stay. It does not make sense to go there only for short visit, but we wanted to see Iguazu Falls. And the only way we could get there easily with oneworld Round The World ticket was through Buenos Aires. OK, why not.

Buenos Aires is nice big and modern city. There are not any very old buildings there, because they pulled down all buildings in colonial style and rebuilt new ones of mixed styles. But they looked pretty old to me :-) At least compared to many modern skyscrapers in other parts of the city.

I liked it more than Santiago de Chile, and 100 times more than Lima. But we planned to stay there only for one day... again.

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Cuzco

Added: July 13, 2010

Tags: Peru RTW SouthAmerica church city photos ruins

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Capital of former Incan empire, Cuzco is wonderful. We liked it a lot. There are hints of Incan architecture and also colonial. It is quite touristy, I haven't seen so many touts at one place before, but there has to be some price you pay for famous place.

We spent morning exploring centre of city and we will go afternoon to nearby places (it will be a separate post). We were not in a hurry, those a few places we wanted to see can be handled in half a day. The worse "problem" is Peruvian approach to tickets. You cannot buy any individual ticket, there are only for 10 days and the cheaper is I think for 3 days with limited number of attractions. It might not be bad deal if you stayed in Cuzco longer, but we were bound to leave soon.

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It's 12th of February and we are finally heading to Lake Titicaca! A pick up bus again arrives 30 minutes ahead of scheduled range, this time a driver is not willing to wait 5 minutes until I finish packing. We have to go to Vicuña Tours near main bus terminal to catch our bus. Fortunately receptionist is very helpful - he shows us the place on a map and catches a taxi for us.

The bus is packed, no wonder due to strike there are more travellers keen to get to Copacabana. It is really cloudy, clouds are quite low, because in El Alto they form fog.

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La Paz

Added: June 06, 2010

Tags: Bolivia RTW SouthAmerica church city mountains photos

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It was the 35th day of our travelling, Monday 1st of February 2010. Our flight landed at El Alto. We walked about 100m to passport control and it was sufficient to get light headed and heavy breathing. No wonder, El Alto is at about 4100m above sea level and we flew there from Santiago de Chile at 520m. With such high elevation any strange feelings in head cannot be ignored.

I cannot help myself, I have to show many photos here. No wonder, we've spent more days in La Paz than at any other place we travelled through. We wanted to acclimatize to this altitude well before heading to "wilderness" and spent there 4 days. And then later 3 unplanned days. During that time I found I like La Paz a lot. It's atmosphere, people, colours, mountains, even weather was amazing.

Our stay was enhanced by very good hostel Cruz de los Andes we stayed at. Staff did not speak English much, only one lady was able to help in all cases, but for simpler needs we managed well also with others. We liked especially old lady in kitchen who served breakfast.

While staying in La Paz to get acclimatized to altitude you don't need to be bored. You can make many small trips in surroundings. We went to Tiwanaku and Valle de la Luna (those are easy) and later we made a hike to Chacaltaya (~5300m). You can go further away, like for example visiting Copacabana at Lake Titicaca.

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On 30th of January 2010 we said farewell to New Zealand and Australia and spent 16 hours in plane flying to Santiago de Chile. It was the longest flight we have made. Immediately in the plane I have learned our English is less useful than anywhere else we have been till now. Even simple "water, please" was always met with puzzled face. Fortunately we have learned couple of phrases that should help us to get through South American continent.

We did not plan to stay in Santiago or in Chile for long time. Just to sleep after long flight, to spend one day around the city and then fly to Bolivia. We were not interested in European city like Santiago. But when we got to our hostel we have learned from provided fliers how many things we are going miss around Santiago. (We knew we will miss Patagonia, but there was not any time even think about going there during our 1 month stay in South America). At the end I can say Santiago de Chile is interesting city.

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Wellington

Added: May 18, 2010

Tags: NewZealand RTW city museum photos

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We arrived to Wellington later than we planned, but we were happy swimming with dolphins in Marlborough Sound was successful. Besides, we did not plan to stay there for long time. Just to visit Te Papa Museum and then move on.

Due to our late arrival in the evening we had some time to look around the centre. Museum was postponed till next morning.

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Wanaka

Added: April 13, 2010

Tags: NewZealand RTW city lake mountains photos

Wanaka

The same place can look completely differently when the weather changes. We could observe such a change in Wanaka. When we arrived it was cloudy and Wanaka did not look very nice. But next morning the sky was clean, sun was shining, birds were chirping and whole place seemed to be refurbished.

Colour of Lake Wanaka changed from ugly grey to beautiful blue. And the similar change happened with surrounding hills and mountains of Mount Aspring National Park - they grew from 2 dimensions into 3. My impression of Wanaka changed and I would put into my list of places I would like to live if I had one.

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Cardiff at night

Added: November 22, 2009

Tags: Cardiff city night photos

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I went to take a few photos of Cardiff at night on Friday. Cardiff is full of lights at this time of year and there is also the Wheel I tried to take photos last year, but screwed up completely. Back then I took my tripod, but forgot to return the plate for tripod shoe to camera after our trip to India, so I just pretended I had the camera attached to tripod. Results were obviously terrible. And I did not get a chance to get back later.

This time I paid attention to all details and somehow I have decided I do not need polarizing filter. That was mistake too, it would help me to take better photos of revolving wheel and also to blur moving people in the streets. So maybe next year everything will be perfect :-)

I am very happy with results because the sky was really dark and I could use ISO 100, so the noise was not the problem. This was the first time I just loaded all photos into DXO, selected a preset and started processing without tweaking every photo separatelly. (Well, I have returned later and fixed a few horizons or geometry, but that is not something DXO could guess itself :-) )

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Thursday 23rd of July is our last full day in China. 18 days passed really quickly, I would like to stay for longer. But that's not possible.

Today we plan to see Shanghai. Heidi, our local guide, told us 2 days ago that Shanghai is nicer during night than during day. After travelling through it by bus yesterday and today I can only agree with that.

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China Day 17 - Total Solar Fiasco

Added: November 08, 2009

Tags: China city night photos

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Finally, 22nd of July - Day of Solar Eclipse is here! We are leaving our hotel soon in the morning. The idea was to beat other groups heading to Solar Eclipse viewing site, but we were hardly the first group in the lobby of our hotel. We got breakfast box instead of proper breakfast and I have already described how bad it is. It was the same this morning, but we were sleepy so we did not care much. What was much worse, however, was heavy cloud cover. It looks like meteorologists fulfilled their threat from yesterday.

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China Day 15 - Xian

Added: November 03, 2009

Tags: China city food mosque photos

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We have not visited many places on Monday, 20th of July in Xian. And that was good, because I got cold yesterday at Bingling Si. I guess it was not warm enough for shorts and T-shirt for me. On the other hand it was really hot in Xian. So I was not in mood to explore exotic places.

Our train arrived to Xian at about 7am. Train station was overcrowded as we had not seen before. We had to keep together to or risk to get lost. We went out rather slowly, it was crowded also there. Slowly, we went around barrier and then back on other side to join our local guide. Then we walked for about 1km to place where our bus was waiting, because it is not possible to park directly at train station.

Xian is very old city, former capital of China and it has nicely preserved city walls. Our hotel was inside the walls, near to Bell Tower. It took us about 20 minutes to get there in the traffic.

We got keys to our room quite quickly, but the room was not ready yet. It was still before 8am, so we could hardly blame them. Contrary, Rich was able to get breakfast tickets for us, so we could spend time surrounded by nice meals ;-) (I still had no problem with Chinese-style of breakfast, but there were also toasts, eggs and everything).

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We looked forward to explore Lhasa for nearly a year since we decided to go and paid deposit. It finally happened on Friday 10th of July.

I could not sleep whole night, but not because of excitement. It was due to headache caused by time shift (I had some problems since Monday) mixed with problems with high altitude. And to make it worse I forgot to buy enough bottles of water in the evening and I was really thirsty. Drinking tap water is not the best idea as we were told and I eventually tried it myself (it was bitter). So shortly after midnight I set out for a quest. To find the bottle of water somewhere in the hotel. I have tried to ask some people in courtyard, I am not sure they were employees or they just lived there. Then I tried reception. It was deserted, but after short time dark figures got out of the sofas in the lobby. Receptionist and some more staff members were sleeping there (sorry guys). No water as well (or just too annoyed staff?).

So the first thing after "waking up" in the morning was that I went out to city to buy water. Most of shops we have seen yesterday were still closed. Only a few of them were preparing for next working day. But all of them located around hotel sold clothes, shoes and souvenirs so I had to wander further away.

It is pity I was primed to my task so much I could not concentrate and enjoy morning life around Jokhang Temple. It is very nice experience, Tibetan pilgrims going around it on the sacred path of worship named kora. They are nicely dressed, with prayer wheels in the hand. Some of them are doing prostrations.

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Thursday, 9th of July. Waking up soon today will be rewarded later by seeing Tibet! But first we need to pay for it by inconvenience of breakfast box like yesterday.

I am not very happy that sky is blue today, because we cannot take advantage of it. But it gives a promise we are heading to place where sky is blue, snow is white, the yaks are black and ... well, I am getting a bit too much poetic.

We nearly missed our plane, because after security check we went quickly to gate and we were the last passengers getting to the plane. I would say passport control took longer than I am used to, because they could not understand we have group Visa to Tibet so that all 19 people need to go through the same booth while there are 2 other idling. Eventually they decided to share us between themselves without checking one piece of paper with Visa. The security check took longer too.

Our flight was not direct, we stopped in the Chengdu, with some delay. After 30 minutes we got to the same plane, this time delayed even longer before we took off.

Sky was really cloudy during most of the flight and we had terrible visibility in Chengdu, so I slowly stopped hoping I will see Himalayas from the plane. But sky cleared partially shortly before landing in Lhasa so we could see very nice mountains through windows on both sides of plane. It is pity we were not sitting next to window, so we could not take any pictures. Next time...

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Wednesday, 8th of July. Wake up call is at 6am. We are leaving in 30 minutes because Rich wants to beat crowds at Great Wall. I like this approach. It suits me well. If I can come somewhere soon I usually do it.

We have been warned about breakfasts in Chinese hotels, but that is nothing compared to warning we have received regarding today. The breakfast boxes hotels give to people who cannot come to proper breakfast are terrible. They were probably invented to torture people by hunger. So I cheated a bit and ate a few things I brought with myself. It did not help at all :-( Unfortunately this was not the only time we ended up with dreaded breakfast box. Well, even getting to places before crowd forms has some disadvantages.

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China Day 2 - Beijing

Added: August 09, 2009

Tags: China city lake photos

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Morning 7th of July starts with a wake up call. Twice. Either human factor or failure of technique. Or too eager receptionist. Or maybe I did not say Xie Xie (谢谢) the first time, because I thought it is an automatic call.

Rich has warned us during briefing yesterday breakfast in China is different from what we are used to. It is the same stuff you will get for dinner. So he usually does not bother with it. But not us! We came here to taste as much of Chinese meals as possible... at least I did (well I looked forward for Tibetan meals more, but that does not eliminate Chinese ones).

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China Day 1 - Beijing

Added: August 03, 2009

Tags: China city photos

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After 10 long hours of flying we landed at modern Terminal 3 in Beijing. But it was not over yet. We had to wait till Swine Flu Prevention Squad measures temperature of all passengers. Now, we will see if all of them were coughing and choking for nothing. And whether my claim in Flu Assessment paper "I have not been in close contact with anybody with flu symptoms" is correct.

Great, we (and everybody else) passed! So now to get rid of assessment and to pass infra thermometers in terminal. Success again. It looks like doors to China are open for us! Yippee! And I can say they take swine flu more seriously than in UK.

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Life in Copenhagen

Added: June 03, 2009

Tags: Denmark city photos

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Because I decided to split "report" about our trip to Copenhagen according to themes, I could not show a few photos I wanted in the last post. Instead I am creating a post dedicated to theme I do not usually pay much attention.

We have been in Copenhagen during weekend and it could affect my observations, but Copenhagen seems to be very quiet city. Suburbs we have seen were peaceful and nice.

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Our trip to Copenhagen during Early Bank Holiday was planned for about half a year. Price of flight tickets was good and Copenhagen is full of modern architecture, so I could not say 'no' to Zuzka. She even bought little book about modern architecture in Copenhagen and that helped to sell the idea of visiting Copenhagen to me easily :-)

So this post will be about architecture. Old and also modern one.

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India Day 9 - Jodhpur

Added: December 21, 2008

Tags: India castle city lake photos

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Sunday 9th November. We slept rather well, it was quiet place again even it looked like we found another place with festival yesterday. We woke up at 6:30 to see sunrise - it would be big mistake to miss sunrise in Jodhpur.

Our plan for that day was to see Mehrangarh Fort and nothing else as our flight to New Delhi was moved 3 hours sooner so we needed to finish at noon. It is pity, Jodhpur has many places to offer to visitors. But what could we expect if we had only one day for every place?

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India Day 8 - Jaisalmer

Added: December 20, 2008

Tags: India animals city lake photos temple

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Saturday 8th November we woke up rather tired. We could hear life on streets for most of the night and it was really hot in our room because we closed windows as anti mosquito precaution (we had seen some in the evening). As I opened balcony a fresh cool air went inside. Well, we probably made mistake...

A group of tourists stopped in from of our hotel, directly below me and their guide explained something to them. After some time another bunch of tourists repeated the same ritual so it could not be coincidence. Mental note - I need to take photo from outside regardless of crammed space.

Hotel owner asked when our train is running - at 16:00. "You can leave your luggage here and return at about 2pm. Then you can refresh yourself shortly in your room before you leave." Thank you very much, we really appreciate this possibility :-) This would never happen in normal hotel with normal hotel manager...

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India Day 7 - Jaisalmer

Added: December 19, 2008

Tags: India castle city photos

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Friday 7th November. We woke up in train, it was uneventful night, it passed very well. We had still 6 hours to go and based on arrival to the last station we are late about 1 hour. Not so bad.

I took Azithromycin, followed by stomach ache (I confirmed it was caused by that pill just recently). We stayed in lying position for a few hours more, because nobody asked us to sit properly. I started to like these trains. They are cheaper than hostel, they just miss hot water :-)

As time passes it is getting hot, because air conditioning is not on. We are passing through dessert for last several hours so there is no wonder it is getting hotter.

Eventually I got up and sat opposite to my berth as Zuzka was still sleeping and it was not possible to sit when middle berth is deployed in AC/3. After some time a guy came, wanting to sell accommodation, but I got rid of him as soon as I realized that (described in the first part of series thoroughly).

To my big surprise we arrived to Jaisalmer on time. I do not get it how they do that :-)

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India Day 6 - Jaipur

Added: December 07, 2008

Tags: India animals castle city photos

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Thursday 6th November. I am tired as we get up. My throat is still sore. OK I am going to start with Azithromycin. Today we plan to visit Jaipur and shortly before midnight we are going to Jaisalmer by train.

We went down, our host was already there, a bit later Canadian couple came. We have been offered possibility to leave our luggage here, return in the evening and to have dinner here. Then all 6 of us would take rickshaw to train station to catch our train. It would be very hard to refuse such an offer!

We talked about our plans, Canadians wanted to go to Amber Fort too and we realized that having rickshaw for whole day is unnecessary expensive - it is possible to get to Amber Fort for 100 Rs, back to the city centre for 100 or less and it should cost 40 to return to guest house. Apart from Amber Fort everything else is in walking distance from each other.

Our wannabe rickshaw arrived. We went outside and told him we decided to go only to Amber Fort and then City Palace and we were willing to give him only 150 Rs for that. He did not see it coming. He was surprised, but started to explain it is not possible for that price and that his price (whatever it was) is fair. He got angry and even went into guest house to dispute with Manoj! It was not very good feeling for us :-( Manoj asked him to leave his house (clearly the manners of those two men were different even for those who do not speak Hindi).

As we went with driver outside Canadian couple came out too, telling him how ridiculous his price was. That did not help him to calm down. He was babbling something about government price list with 385 Rs for similar tour we wanted to make and he wanted us to show it, we just needed to go with him somewhere. No way! Finally he asked for 65 Rs for coming here and I gave him 60 just to get rid of him (even I knew I should not pay him at all).

We went about 200m to find the nearest rickshaw and where Canadians shown us how to haggle properly. Since then amounts we paid to drivers went down :-) Thank you for that and sorry for forgetting your names!

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India Day 5 - Gwalior

Added: December 07, 2008

Tags: India castle city photos

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Wednesday 5th November. It's not vacation, it's a boot camp! We are getting up at 5:25, because we need to catch train to Gwalior and then another one to Jaipur.

My throat is still sore, so I look into notes with advice from Robo. From list of medications I decided to buy Azithromycin as it matches my symptoms and promises solution in 3 days (with feedback in 2 days - if it does not work Ciprofloxacin will be next :-) ). Now just to find a pharmacy...

We ate breakfast our hosts prepared and paid for the stay (+ meals and bottled water). We gave colonel postcard with Cardiff castle as we enjoyed our stay here.

Our driver from yesterday was waiting for us (we made arrangement yesterday). I asked him to stop at open pharmacy, but he was not sure as it was about 7:00. Later on he showed us one closed pharmacy, but then he found open one on next street. Normal garage. Since then we knew garages are fully fledged shops :-) 3 pieces of Azithromycin were for 90 Rs. I will take one later if throat does not get better.

We arrived to train station early. But that does not surprise me, I just need to be everywhere on time and with some reserve. About 30 minutes later couple from Netherlands staying in our guest house arrived and there was still plenty of time...

Our train arrived, we found our coach. It was not very hard because displays at platform show where each coach will stop. We got in, it was AC Chair coach. We even got bottle of water and breakfast! We were bit surprised, but I decided to eat mine even I was not hungry. Zuzka did not touch hers, so I took it for later.

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India Day 4 - Engaged in Agra

Added: December 06, 2008

Tags: India castle city photos

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Tuesday 4th November is the most important day in our Indian trip. We came to India, because Zuzka dreamed about visiting Taj Mahal for 10 years - since she built model of it as school project (that helped her to decide she wants to be an architect). So her dream is finally fulfilled. And I have realized there is not better place in the world to propose. So apart of wanting to fulfil Zuzka's dream, it is important place to go for me too. I hope magic of Taj Mahal will work :-)

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India Day 3 - trip to Agra

Added: December 03, 2008

Tags: India city photos temple

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Monday 3rd November. We are going to Agra today. Original idea was to go by train, but as we checked availability of only train we could go, we found there was quite long waiting list. So we decided to go by plane through New Delhi instead. We got up at normal time, because our flight is at 11:00 so we are not in hurry. After we paid for accommodation at the reception we asked for a rickshaw. A boy staying there went outside and immediately returned with a driver. I did not think it will be so quick. So we got in and instructed him to go to airport. Streets were not as quiet as they were yesterday. But the biggest difference were policemen standing next to road in periodic intervals, every one has stick in hand. I don't get it. Maybe to beat drivers if traffic jam occurs :-)

Driver asked if we want shopping. "No, go to airport" was our answer. So we continued to the airport. As we got there rickshaw stopped at the furthest possible place at the parking lot. We paid 100 Rs (9km) even meter shown 80 (I have read somewhere that taxi/rickshaws have tariff charts, so it seemed OK, but we have never see them). Accepting higher price motivated driver to ask for more "Give me 50 more" he asked without any bad feelings. He tried to explain, we are two and we have luggage. Somehow these reasons did not sound as good to me as they might to him so he did not get more.

We walked back to road with barrier and policemen. We were asked for ticket so Zuzka tried to find one. Unfortunately she had (we both had) a lot of papers and she could not find correct one at that moment. After about minute policemen lost their patience and let us pass. We knew the next check at the terminal building will be tougher. And it was - we gave policeman one piece of paper (as usual), but this flight ticket was for one person only. So we needed to find another ticket. Fortunately we had it :-)

Departing terminal is as small as one for arrivals. Just a bit bigger. There is no display or chart with flights and what is worse there is no sign of Jet Lite anywhere. But they would not let us in if our flight did not exist, would they? Hence I went to ask to the closest matching airline - Jet Airways and they were willing to transport us to New Delhi at given time :-) Pleased with that we sat and waited for 2 hours as we are used to in normal sized airports in Europe... (a few flights more and we started to understand that we are doing something wrong - too many security people told us we are early. That cannot be coincidence).

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Norway Day 9 & 10 - Oslo

Added: September 14, 2008

Tags: Norway castle city museum photos

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We spent whole Saturday 26th and morning 27th of July in Oslo. Weather was unbelievable - clear sky and hot.

We bought 1 day Oslo Pass that allowed us unlimited travel by public transport and free entry to most of attractions in Oslo. Our exploration could begin.

I have a lot of photos from Oslo and I struggled for a while to decide how I am going to split it to pages. Previously used Morning/Afternoon won't work so I decided to make a split on areas of interest regardless time, location and how many times we have been there.

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For those who came here attracted by title - you can just skip to the end.

Tuesday 22nd of July is fair weather again. Our plan expects us to travel about 380km today. Thus we are going to enjoy sunny weather mostly from car. But we plan to spend some time in Trondheim so we are glad it is not raining.

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It is raining in Ålesund on Monday 21st of July.

Our plan is to go to Molde to visit open air museum there, then continue to Mardalsfossen and finally to arrive into Sunndalsøra.

We speculated to go more to north from Molde to see Atlantershaveien - very nice road with bridges between small islands but that would need additional 100km so we decided against that. If we knew Mardalsfossen will not be good and we will arrive to hostel sooner than we did any other time before (or after) we might decide differently.

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Sunday 20th of July starts as cloudy with ocassional blue patches in the sky. One of main highlights of our trip in Norway should happen today - cruise in Geiranger fjord.

I appologise for tons of photos here. I just could not edit them tighter.

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Note: I am more than one month behind in publishing photos from our vacation in Norway. Good news is that all photos are processed and I should have enough of time to publish them quite fast

Original plan was that Zuzka will go for trip around Norway with her friend living in Sveden and I will stay home because car was full. However more people from friend's side wanted to go later, thus we formed another (independent) group and went on our own. In the end, it turned out that group of Zuzka's friend did not go.

Because of Icelandic holiday shortly before we had not enough time to plan Norway thorougly (as with Iceland). Still we managed to cram enough of attractions into 9 days (It is terrible that people do not have 4 months of holidays :-) ) together with quite ambitious distance to travel. Norway is really long so if we wanted to get to Polar Circle and further we needed to flight back from there (see map later). On the other hand in means we did not have time to explore national parks in more details, so maybe later (yes, Norway is country that deserves another vacation there and with better weather we had!)

Again we used mainly youth hostels for accommodation. I have to say that they responded to e-mail enquiries much faster than in Iceland, but still there were a few problems. For example, just to try something more adventurous (at least for me) we ignored that one night was not fully confirmed (I just feel I need to enhance my terrible improvisation skills before our trip to India planned in November :-) ). There was another problem with hostels in Norway. Most of them ignored our Hostelling International membership and did not give us 15% discount even all of them claimed they did. Unfortunatelly I forgot all papers at the first hostel and it is hard to argue with them that way. So beware of them. They are lying with ease!

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Cardiff Bay

Added: September 02, 2008

Tags: Cardiff city photos

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I am in Cardiff for 6 months now and there are no photos here from Cardiff. I need to fix it.

Cardiff Bay is the nicest part of Cardiff as far as you ask me. We had nice weather on Saturday evening, I am kidding it was the third sunny day this summer, but I am probably too harsh about it.

You will not believe me, but I actually like cloudy and rainy days. It is much easier to manage my clothes - there are only 2 possibilities: hood on the head or off :-)

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On Friday 20th of June we are going again to Jökulsárgljúfur, because we did not go to Selfoss yesterday. This time we are going to try western road. Then we are going (again :-) ) to geothermal fields of Námafjall. This time with cameras.

Then we are going to check out surroundings of Mývatn (depends on weather), go to Goðafoss and finally to reach Akureyri.

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Finally I got enough time to process and sort photos from previous trip to London, Brighton, Seven Sisters, Norwich, Ely and Cambridge.

We had wonderful time there, nice weather, a lot of to see and enjoy. Very good way to spend 3 free days (I hope following Bank Holiday will be even better. Location has really potential, so stay tuned for photos from folowing weekend).

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