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Our guide to the Vatican – Walk yourself – Get cheap tickets

Posted by on Nov 22, 2014 in All posts, Italy | 0 comments

Today, we toured the Vatican. On our own. We visited the Vatican Museums, the Raphael Galleries and the Sistine Chapel with Raphael’s masterpiece ceiling frescoes. Three hours passed in a breeze. Then we took a short walk to Saint Peter’s Basilica, visited the crypt, saw Michelangelo’s Pieta and even managed to sneak into a sermon at 5pm. We did not rush and had a great day. Starting our DIY tour at the Vatican Museums at noon, we finished exactly five hours later at St. Peter’s Basilica. Touring the Vatican by yourself is easy. Here is how.   How to buy cheap Vatican tickets and avoid tour agencies As I searched for tickets online, I noticed that apart from the Vatican’s official ticket website, many ticket sellers offer tours and tickets. Those middleman charge at least 30-40 Euros per person, but I have seen prices of 100 Euros for a ticket or guided tour.   We bought the entrance tickets for the Vatican Museums for 16 Euros per person straight from the official Vatican Website  (add an annoying 4 Euros service fee per head). The tickets include everything, that is: the Sistine Chapel, all Galleries, all Museums and Raphael Frescoes. St. Peter’s Basilica is always free, the dome (for the view over St. Peter’s Square)...

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Autumn Fashion 2014

Posted by on Nov 17, 2014 in All posts, Beauty and Fashion | 0 comments

Just popping in with a little outfit post. Lately I was absolutely infatuated with floral patterns and British fashion. All the clothes that are a bit more weird, eccentric or punk.  Words that to me more often than not describe British fashion philosophy. Fashion lovers of romantic or bold graphic patterns are not going to miss out on this year’s floral fashion movement. Whereas summer was more about flowers that visually jump out from your outfit, autumn is about what the ultra feminine love to wear, paired with rebellious accessories. This season, I went with flowery, Twiggy-inspired simple cut dresses and 1960s eye-liner, British patterns, paired with contrasting accessories. While in Prague, I spotted a new fashion store, which just sold a line of Jean Paul Gaultier designs. The striped kimono-style wrap was a keeper. It is a bit of an odd cookie when compared to my other outfits. I am also into bold colours, like in-your-face-gold, blue and burgundy red, which give the outfit a slightly sharper edge. For some ideas on the modern twist of floral and striped trends, scroll down below for my visual autumn nirvana in Italy.   I am ready to plant myself on the nearest flower bed is in this sunny city.  But probably will stick to stairs....

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Best of Koh Samui – Where to sleep – Our hotels

Posted by on Nov 14, 2014 in All posts, Thailand | 0 comments

To find the best place to stay on Koh Samui, we searched all along the coast and compared various hostels, hotels and resorts. We were looking for a nice place that would shelter us for a month. Our wish was to find a hotel, located right at the beach. And the dream, a room with sea view and the beach at our doorstep. Sounds easy, right? I mean it is an island, so there will be plenty of beach...

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Best of Koh Samui – Where to eat – Our favourite food places

Posted by on Nov 13, 2014 in All posts, Thailand | 0 comments

Koh Samui is the perfect island to take a break, relax and forget your worries. But even paradise island has its limits and with an influx of tourists, service may vary. We have tested the island for food and restaurants, and have found some real gems on Koh Samui.  Here they are.   WHERE TO EAT ON KOH SAMUI? 1. There really is just one answer to that – Mama Ninja Restaurant. Located at the touristy end of Chaweng...

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Best of Koh Samui – What to do – Our 25 treasured attractions

Posted by on Nov 12, 2014 in All posts, Thailand | 0 comments

I am going to spell out our well kept secrets on lodging, eateries and activities on our ever favourite island. Koh Samui. We have been at least four times to the island and stayed a few months, exploring the paradise from head to toe. So here are the tips and tricks that made it a paradise for us.     25 COOL THINGS TO DO ON KOH SAMUI (in random order)   1. Rent a motorbike. If you can....

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Tasty Tempura at Tenya – Tokyo’s cheap restaurant chain

Posted by on Nov 11, 2014 in All posts, Japan | 0 comments

Alongside sushi, tempura is Japan’s most known speciality dish. Softly battered and instantly deep fried veggies or seafood are served on rice in a rice bowl (tendon), with soba noodles, or simply as a side dish. Japan is known for keeping its food fresh despite the frying, tempura is truly Japanese when the taste of the vegetables is preserved and only lightly coated with a delicious layer of batter. Probably the best tempura deal in Tokyo can be devoured...

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The spell of Rome – trashy, tricky, tasty, tender

Posted by on Nov 7, 2014 in All posts, Italy | 0 comments

On some days, it isn’t easy to fall in love with this city. It can get loud, pushy and trashy. Occasionally, you might stumble into a tourist trap. Rome has kept its ancient ravening character. But, walking on so much history is special and imposing. It feels like navigating through a beautiful museum or romantic film setting. Today, I captured some of its spells. Exposing its tricky parts and reporting on Rome’s tender side.   Starting with THE TRAINS....

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Vatican without hassle

Posted by on Nov 6, 2014 in All posts, Italy | 0 comments

Crossing the border of one state to another can take as little as a leisurely stroll.   That is what we did today.       Entering the walled enclave that is Vatican City, standing proud right in the middle of Rome. Huge columns forming a colonnade around St Peter’s square leads all visitors towards St Peter’s Basilica.  St Peter’s Basilica. And the Egyptian obelisk that witnessed the crucifixion of Peter, a Christian martyr who died in Rome in...

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Called by the Sunday Market in Rome

Posted by on Nov 5, 2014 in All posts, Italy | 0 comments

I knew something was up when we woke to the sounds of banging metal bars at 6 am.  It was Sunday in Rome and that means Market Day. Every Sunday, it starts at around 6 am and ends at around 2 pm.   Peeking out the balcony from our flat onto the square of Largo Alesandro Toja in Trastevere, I saw market stalls popping up like mushrooms. The stands were lining adjacent streets for as far as my eyes...

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Do as the Romans do – Laser Tag

Posted by on Nov 4, 2014 in All posts, Italy | 0 comments

To make the most of our stay in lovely Rome, we like to do as the Roman’s do. We met Fabio, a real Italian and this is how we ended up at Laser Tag. Shooting each others asses. I was new to the game, but I guess one is never too old to try out weird stuff. This is how it went. Each player is dressed in a black vest with various illuminating spots at the front and back....

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Love-ly Rome, Roman sights and food at Carlo Menta

Posted by on Nov 3, 2014 in All posts, Italy | 0 comments

It is true what they say. Rome has coined the word romance. Or something like it. I might have just made it up. Because right now it seems very fitting.  The warm weather and Italy’s mild climate by the end of  October, our authentic Italian flat, the ancient Roman sights and mesmerizing monuments, our delicious breakfasts in the morning and in a way, the shabbiness of the city… … the right place to fall in love. Today felt just...

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First steps in romantic Rome – ticket tricks and tourist traps

Posted by on Nov 2, 2014 in All posts, Italy | 0 comments

Today, we went for a relaxing walk, with the goal to end up at one of the recommended restaurants (authentic, not expensive). We walked, we ate and mainly, I got more of an idea what it will be like to live in Rome for a month. Our breakfasts will indisputably stay the highlight of the morning (or noon more like). On our balcony in Trastevere. We have a balcony! Rucola, olives, artichoke, avocado, corn, Italian tomatoes, sprinkled with sunflower...

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All Saints in Poland

Posted by on Oct 31, 2014 in All posts, Poland | 0 comments

While in some countries people are all dressed up to celebrate Halloween, Poland is getting ready to commemorate Wszystkich Świętych (All Saints) on November the 1st. It is a huge catholic event, when masses of people flock to visit the deceased at their graves. Without costumes but carrying znicze, zapałki i zmiotki (cemetery lights, matches and brushes). The graves and tombs are carefully cleaned and decorated. In one day, Polish cemeteries turn into a magic place, adorned by countless...

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Traveler’s SIM card deal in Italy

Posted by on Oct 30, 2014 in All posts, Italy | 0 comments

There seems to be little competition in the SIM card department in Italy. The usual ordeal, we were looking for a way to stay connected, this time in Rome. Our apartment comes with was advertised as ‘free Internet’ and that is a giveaway to the Internet situation in Italy. Portable WIFI eggs are something we have only enjoyed in South Korea and Japan so far. I know Vodafone is experimenting in Germany but overall Europe is not quiet there...

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Welcome to Rome

Posted by on Oct 29, 2014 in All posts, Italy | 0 comments

We have arrived in the city of pizza and piazza, the place of sophisticated cultural sights and historic relevance. We dived right in, luggage in tow, leaving Fiumicino airport with a warm breeze blowing through the exit gates, only to be stopped by taxi touts, blocking our way to the ticket vending machines for the train. First lesson learned: taxi drivers act suspicious, will stay away and use public transport in Rome. Using public transport was a wise choice....

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Porto cruise and Sandeman cellars

Posted by on Oct 9, 2014 in All posts, Portugal | 0 comments

There is much to see in the small but rich port wine mecca that is Porto.   A classy way to enjoy the beauty of the city is by boat.   Cruising the Douro river, you get to see all crossing bridges of Porto and to enjoy a windy yet sunny ride.   We made use of a combined ticket deal, we partly used to sightsee the day before.   The wind was especially strong when we were facing...

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Japanese food models and kitchen supplies at Kappabashi

Posted by on Oct 8, 2014 in All posts, Japan | 0 comments

Every district in Tokyo has its unique charm. Kappabashi is known to be the playground for chefs, restaurant owners and hobby cooks, delivering various kitchen utensils, masses of tableware and cooking apparatus one can only imagine.  Here, you can find many shops with sampuru, the Japanese term for replica display food, actually derived from the English word sample. Some shops feel like a huge supermarket full of fake food. I always thought they were made of plastic but many...

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Making Japanese food models in Tokyo

Posted by on Oct 7, 2014 in All posts, Japan | 0 comments

Japan is known for its amazingly real looking food models. Replicas of dishes and drinks are prominently displayed at Japanese restaurant windows. The mother of food models is Tokyo’s Kappabashi district. With endless kitchen utensils, professional restaurant gadgets and beautiful tableware, it brings about more than exquisite plastic formations. For us, the greatest Kappabashi kick was to make some of those fantastic food samples ourselves. To experience some food model magic, we booked a mini-workshop at Ganso, one of...

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The Flat, Food, Fun, Festival – our Krakow!

Posted by on Oct 2, 2014 in All posts, Poland | 0 comments

We will miss Krakow despite its legendary air pollution (better come in warmer months before inhabitants start working their old chimneys). Life’s amenities have been fully met in this lively city. Wed had found a cosy place to sleep, some great places to dine and the best place to hang out and party. This post is about our apartment rental, our favourite restaurants and the hippest location for eating, shopping, dancing and relaxing. Fun comes first. Which all comes...

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Free Krakow sights and museums II

Posted by on Sep 30, 2014 in All posts, Poland | 0 comments

  During our stay in Krakow we have seen most museums and sights for free! All major attractions in Krakow generously provide one day of the week without taking admission fees. With a little planning ahead, anyone can enjoy Krakow’s museums and other sights without spending money.    Here is my nifty summary timetable with free sights in Krakow.   SIGHT LOCATION VISITING HOURS MONDAY Schindler’s Enamel Factory  ul. Lipowa 4 10-11 Every 1st Monday of the month closed...

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Free Krakow sights and museums I

Posted by on Sep 28, 2014 in All posts, Poland | 0 comments

Krakow is incredibly hospitable because you can visit most of its treasures and history without a dime, I mean Złoty. If you do some logistics, you can work your way around admission fees to all major attractions and save quiet a bit of money. In Krakow you can see a museum for free almost everyday.   I made this timetable with free sights in Krakow.   SIGHT LOCATION VISITING HOURS MONDAY Schindler’s Enamel Factory  ul. Lipowa 4 10-11 Every...

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Our Krakow – What I Loved and Learned

Posted by on Sep 25, 2014 in All posts, Poland | 0 comments

What a wonderful summer vacation, with most roads travelled in Spain, and at Polish beach resorts close to my hometown in Szczecin, where we unexpectedly ended up again in August. Summer finished off visiting friends in Krakow. Krakow was almost a culture shock after Szczecin. Poland and Poland are just not the same at all. Lesson learned. And there was just so much more in Krakow…    ❤ What I lOvE about KRakOW ❤   .:*・°☆. The great food,...

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More Port(o)!

Posted by on Aug 4, 2014 in All posts, Portugal | 0 comments

Porto did not only give its name to Portugal but to its famous wine – the port. Port is not everyone’s cup of wine. Some call it sickly sweet or an old ladies drink. Turns out I am a fan of sickly sweet and pushing ahead to be a proud old lady, which is probably why I really really liked port.  It is not as bitter as wine and there is a lot more appreciation for the sweet flavour...

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Norte – my favourite mall in Porto

Posted by on Jul 26, 2014 in All posts, Portugal | 0 comments

Shopping malls make for a great break inbetween sightseeing. Especially if it’s raining. Because the perfect solution to a rainy day – or any day – is a shopping mall. Preferably the biggest one with a decent food court. That lead us to Norte Shopping in Porto. Location: Rua Sara Afonso 105-117, 4460-841 Senhora da Hora, Porto.  Open from 10 a.m. to midnight. We got there using Porto’s public transport, that is, the new tram lines. You can take...

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Some magnificence of Porto

Posted by on Jul 23, 2014 in All posts, Portugal | 0 comments

The riches Portugal acquired during the age of discoveries is beyond decency. Noble, majestic and imposing. This would about summarise the sights we have seen in Porto this day. Impressions are similar to the magnificence Lisbon has offered. Splendid architecture and regal treasures. In today’s less flashy times Portugal lives off the past. Together with a stagnating economy,  many of the past riches could do with a financial boost. European Union aided projects are a blessing and the restoration...

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Shopping in Granada and my summer fashion 2014

Posted by on Jul 20, 2014 in All posts, Beauty and Fashion, Spain | 0 comments

Spain is great for shopping. The country has brought about the most popular high street brand names and an unmatched retail success story of one Spanish man from Galicia, with such a low profile, not many are aware that he stands behind the globalised fashion industry wonder that is Zara. The company’s secret is not to spend much on advertising but rather on opening up at prime locations which has proved to be incredibly clever.By now, Zara is just...

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