Photo of the day: Memories from Coronado Island

Now, that summer is gone and winter is coming there is one place I am dreaming of: Coronado island. The most exotic, fabulous, peaceful and wonderful pacific coastal place I visited last April. 
I will keep this picture in my mind and wait till the sun comes out again..

Summer memories


Missing summer...

Now that in this part of the world (yes, even in Greece) the summer is gone we begin whining about the cold and the rain and the grey skies. In such an atmosphere, a friend asked me: What is it about summer that makes you love it so much?
Well... how could I possibly give only one answer?

"Summer is about not caring about a thing"

"Summer is about salty bedsheets"

"Summer is about roadtrips"

"Summer is about quality time with friends"

"Summer is about falling in love"

"Summer is about living your dreams"

"Summer is about wearing your suimsuit all day long"

"Summer is about being happy all the time without an obvious reason"

...because summer is the best time of the year!!!

Maybe it's time to move towards the other half of the globe, where summer is coming..

See you soon, summer!


Crossing Vistula: a not so colorful Warsaw

When travelling I love discovering the places where locals hang out and see how the real life looks like. Well, when you are a tourist it is difficult to really feel what is like to live in the city you visit but at least you can have a very brief idea. So I walk a lot, I get lost in the streets and after the touristy things I try to find the local things. I mean, if you come to Athens you definitely have to see the Acropolis, but what about a beer or a meal to a non touristic place? It is much more traditional, much more original and much cheaper! When you don't know a local person it is not easy. But it is not impossible -with the precious help of the world wide web.
So this time, after visiting the stunning old square, we decided to cross the river. And see the other side of Warsaw: the real one. 
Accross the river, there is Praga suburb with big grey communist-like residencies, wide streets and huge buildings. Once you cross Vistula, the area is not very nice.  And feels estranged. But it is original. And very artistic. 

After a quick research (Internet I love you!), we found an interesting and artistic place to visit in Praga neighborhood: Soho Factory
Soho Factory is a completely different experience in Warsaw. It is an avant-garde industrial space for culture and business, consisting of various galleries and design stores, restaurants and cafes but in a very New York style. I would really suggest this multispace if you have enough time. Just keep in mind that the two restaurants are quite nice but expensive too (I don't really know how polish people can afford it)
There was also a Neon museum that must have been very interesting, having communist neon signs but unfortunatelry we arrived late so it was closed. 
Important information: plan your visit early since after 17:00 most of the shops close.

Avant-garde or what?


Inside Cafe Kulturalna

Μέσα στο επιβλητικό κτίριο του Palace of Culture and Science, βρίσκεται ένα σοβιετικού τύπου καφέ που αξίζει μία επίσκεψη.
Η διακόσμηση έχει παραμείνει η ίδια: ανεμιστήρες κοσμούν το ταβάνι και λιτή διακόσμηση στους τοίχους. Η παντελής έλλειψη πολυτέλειας ή μοντερνισμού (πώς θα μπορούσε άλλωστε) ξυπνάει μνήμες, που τώρα μπορεί μας φαίνεται σαν ένα μουσειακό κατάλοιπο αλλά είναι ανατριχιαστικό για το πόσο κοντινά στο παρελθόν μιλάμε.
Αξίζει μία επίσκεψη. Ανοίγει από τις 12 το μεσημέρι ενώ τα Σαββατοκύριακα φιλοξενεί πολλά μουσικά events.


Decorated with vinyl armchairs, postcommunist posters and 50s chandeliers this postcommunist cafe is found inside the Palace of Culture and Science. It is a magnet for the student intelligentsia and its worth a visit while in Warsaw. 
It opens from noon and on weekends it hosts various cultural and music events.

Kultur Trαvεllεr: 


Photo of the day: Warsaw from the 30th floor

Warsaw is an underestimated city. Some call it beautiful, some are completely indifferent about it, others think it is ugly. I say that you can find beauty everywhere, even in the grey and most populated and overbuilt cities.

I would suggest entering the Palace of Culture and Science and getting up to the 30rd floor for a panoramic view of the polish capital. Warsaw is beautiful from there. You can admire the big skyscrappers, the hotels, the Stadium, you can even locate the old town.

This building is the city's defining landmark and has an interesting history. It was comissioned by Stalin as "a gift from the Soviet people" and took its architectural inspiration by the capitalist world, by NY Empire State Building! Its construction begun on 1952 after WWII and took only 3 years to complete! It is 231 metres high and admitedly very impressing. 


Colorful Warsaw

Η παλιά πόλη της Βαρσοβίας είναι τόσο πολύχρωμη που σε κάνει να αισθάνεσαι ότι περπατάς μέσα σε σκηνικό από παραμύθι. Πολύχρωμα σπιτάκια γύρω από την πλατεία και στενοί πλακόστρωτοι δρόμοι δημιουργουν αυτό το υπέροχο σκηνικό.
Η παλιά πόλη καταστράφηκε ολοσχερώς μετά τον δεύτερο παγκόσμιο πόλεμο. Είναι αρκετά δύσκολο (και ανατριχιαστικό) να σκεφτεί κανείς όλα αυτά τα σπίτια ισοπεδωμένα. Η πόλη ξαναχτίστηκε ακριβώς όπως ήταν πριν τον πόλεμο και πλέον αποτελεί Παγκόσμιο Μνημείο της UNESCO από το 1980. Στην άκρη της πόλης υπάρχει το Royal Castle, του οποίου η ανακατασκευή τελείωσε μόλις το 1984 και αποτελεί επισκέψιμο αξιοθέατο. 
Όντας τόσο μικρή η παλιά πόλη είναι και εύκολα εξερευνήσιμη οπότε μας άφησε αρκετό χρόνο για να δούμε και το μη τουριστικό πρόσωπο της Βαρσοβίας. Ξεκινήσαμε τη βόλτα μας από την 22 μέτρων ψηλή King Sigismund's Column που κυριαρχεί στο κέντρο της πλατείας και χαθήκαμε στα δρομάκια και τα μαγαζιά.

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Warsaw old town is so colorful you feel like you walk inside the scenery of a fairy tale. Cute little houses all around the square and narrow pebbled roads are the main scenery of the area. 
The old town was destroyed after World War II. It is so hard to imagine that all those houses were flatened. The city was rebuilt exactly as it was and its reconstruction finished on 1962. It now is a UNESCO World Heritage since 1980. At the edge of the old town you find the Royal Castle whose reconstruction finished on 1984 and one can visit it.
Being so small the old town, it means that it's walkable and gives you plenty of time to discover the non touristic Warsaw. We begun our walk from the 22 meters high King Sigismund's Column which dominates at the centre of the square and got lost at the various roads and shops. 

Polish pottery:

Some useful tips:
 Do not miss Krakowska Manufaktura Czekolady in Marszalkowska street, they have perfect handmade chocolate, like a piece of art!
♬ Buy amber! It is a local product and is beautiful and in reasonable prices. There is a street called "amber street", full of amber jewlery shops- some of them are masterpieces!
♬ Try ice cream! There is everywhere and is so delicious!
♬ Try the legendary Zabrowska vodka!
♬ For shopping, have a look at the popular polish brand Mohito.
♬ If you have children or you like science, visit the Copernicus Science Centre. We did not have the chance to do it, but it was suggested from friends.
Warsaw is full of shops with Bloeslawiek Pottery a polish pottery tecnique which I love. Great for souvenir.