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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   Ghetto Eagle Pharmacy  pl. Bohaterów Getta 18 10-14   Old Synagogue  ul. Szeroka 24 10-14   Wawel Castle Wawel 5 9.30-13 from 1 April – 31 October SUNDAYS 10-16 from 1 November – 31 March TUESDAY Manggha Museum ul. Marii Konopnickiej 26 10-18   Underground Market Rynek Glowny 1 10-13 Every 1st Tuesday of the month closed   MOCAK...

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Portugal’s regent residences – Ajuda and Belem Palace

Posted by on Jun 8, 2014 in All posts, Portugal | 0 comments

Whilst visiting Queluz Palace, I was sure to have found the most opulent residence in Portugal. Today, I was proved wrong. Ajuda National Palace, just a stone’s throw away from our quarters in Belem, was the visualized definition of royal residence.  All heavy drapes and an abundance of aristocratic imagery. If you have little time in Lisbon, I would recommend to focus on the historic centre in Lisbon’s western district. Most of all, on Ajuda Palace. Palácio Nacional da Ajuda Location:  Largo Ajuda, Belem, Lisbon. Admission: The entrance is 5 Euros, plus 1 Euro for an info brochure (optional and the English version is a rather poor summary of the Spanish brochure). Construction of the Palácio started after royalty had lost their palace in the big earthquake and tsunami in 1755. A large piece of land stretching from Belem to...

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Mystic craze at Quinta da Regaleira

Posted by on Jun 5, 2014 in All posts, Portugal | 0 comments

Up next on our Sintra Hills tour was probably the most elaborate and funkiest fantasy-come-true. Quinta da Regaleira. Built between 1898 and 1912 by capitalist and philanthropist Carvalho Monteiro, also known as “Monteiro the Millionaire“. Money met a visionary. Italian architect Luigi Manini, who has also constructed the La Scala of Milan in Italy (where I cried to the dying swan from the Bolshoi), turned the vision of Monteiro into a private residence. It took 14 years of work. Close(r) up. Manueline features, Gothic style and Romanticism in architectural harmony. Once the property of a wealthy family of merchants from Porto, the Regaleira clan, Carvalho Monteiro bought the estate in 1892 and created a residence out of this world, magical and full of surprises. Baroness da Regaleira. She sold the house to Carvalho Monteiro.  Interestingly, in 1987 the property...

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Lisbon’s treasures of the Portuguese empire

Posted by on May 18, 2014 in All posts, Portugal | 0 comments

Today we dived into the exorbitant wealth of Lisbon’s past. When you walk the streets of the capital, the prosperous past oozes through the streets. And through holes of neglected walls. On every shabby corner of Lisbon you can see that it was a powerful empire, playing a first class role in the orders of the world. During the Age of Discovery Lisbon flourished with riches pouring into Portugal, which saw the construction of great monuments like the Tower of Belém and the Jerónimos Monastery – the latter I show you in this post. Portugal derived massive earnings and gold from its spice and slave trade, starting in the 15th century. Decolonisation is a fairly new thing. Independence to Portugal’s African colonies was granted not before 1975. While on our trip to Macao, I learned that the country had...

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Lisbon – our Portuguese apartment, tiles and laundry

Posted by on May 5, 2014 in All posts, Portugal | 2 comments

We rent an apartment in Belém, Lisbon’s most monumental and historic hub. The area where you can witness the Age of Discovery, grandiose monuments and top museums. We admittedly don’t live right next door to those pearls, still we are on Ajuda hill in Belém where I can brag about the closeness to some prime Portuguese property. Ajuda hill is where the Portuguese king acquired a piece of land and build one of the most imposing residential palaces – Ajuda Palace… is the generic name. Maybe that is why it is off the beaten tourist track. Okay, the truth is from one side, the palace seriously looks like a miserable ruin… which… does not matter at all because I was going to show you our residence anyhow. Our area in Belém is very residential. And calm. It feels like being part...

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Lisbon – for the blind, antique collectors and the hungry

Posted by on Apr 27, 2014 in All posts, Portugal | 0 comments

Having just arrived in Lisbon (on the 6th of April, mind you), we dropped off our bags at the apartment in the historic western part of the capital, called  Belém. This district is most famous for the Jerónimos Monastery, the Tower of Belém and mouth-watering egg tarts, called pasteis de Belém. Resisting temptation, we took a close walk around our neighbourhood to the nearby Jardim Botânico da Ajuda. It is the oldest park in Portugal, dating back to 1768 and features a special area with various scented plants and flowers for blind people (and people with a nose for gardens). This is where I was introduced (by mum) to the curry plant – smells totally like curry sauce! Tomek facing scents. Did not get very close with this species. Apart from the (nicely-) smelly herbs and flowers garden, there is...

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Vilnius – Baltic Tour Kickoff

Posted by on Apr 26, 2014 in All posts, Lithuania | 0 comments

We have started our Baltic tour today (the 31st of January 2014)  and people are questioning our judgement “In winter?”. Perpetual travelers can follow warm weather forecasts or they do some extreme sightseeing in -10C. We thought that to enjoy some crisp white city images in Lithuania isn’t so bad. And truthfully, it was making the best of a business trip to Vilnius. Vilnius is our first stop and will be followed by more capitals, namely Riga, Tallinn and Helsinki, before disembarking for Cologne. We haven’t been back home (to Germany where my parents live) for two years now. Dad has passed on his dentist’s practice last year and mum has only retired as a paediatrician of civil service in Cologne in autumn – perfect timing. We have been in Vilnius in December 2012 when the city was covered...

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Design Day

Posted by on Nov 13, 2013 in All posts, Japan | 0 comments

What better way to spend a rainy day than at home, cuddled up on the couch. Not in Tokyo, we don’t! So we cycled out as it had stopped raining for a while… to park our bikes only two stations from the house, because it was back to rain again and hubby knows I am made of sugar. Today’s motto was design and you are welcome to spend the day with us escaping the rain, which is what you get when visiting Japan in the wet season. First thing at the station, we spotted a very Japanese fish shop with striking seafood design.   Some stores look so European, I thought I was back home – more so, now that they are fully in Christmas mode – two months before Christmas.   At the stations, you will often see...

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Mitsubishi, Tenmangu, Kamukura, Parco = my Tokyo weekend

Posted by on Nov 7, 2013 in All posts, Japan | 0 comments

This post has nothing to do with cars, although the house we walked through today once belonged to the Mitsubishi magnate Iwasaki Yataro. Big in the automobile business he also owned a big house. Which nowadays can be visited by the less fortunate, for a fee. Although history has been tough on the Iwasakis during WWII. During turbulent war times the family had lost their residence, which is now open to the public. The attraction is called Kyu-Iwasaki-tei Gardens but truthfully, the garden is just a lawn, not at all as elaborate as the house. The real sight is the building itself. Admission: 400 yen per person. Location: 1-3-45 Ike-no-hata, Taito-ku, Tokyo, 3min to Yushima Station (Chiyoda Line), exit #1   Hello readers! Welcome to another Tokyo series of Dasza learning about the world.   This is what I...

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Japanese house architecture & our condo rental

Posted by on Oct 18, 2013 in All posts, Japan | 2 comments

The most important thing when on the perpetual travel road, is a cozy place to work and live while being close to all amenities of the city. Living in various places gave me an insight into the different housing culture of countries.   Japan’s architecture is easily recognisable, with its perfectly cube shaped small shops and houses, intermingled with tall residential buildings which all stand very close to each other.   Japanese middle class.   Japanese well off.   Sometimes, black cables run from electricity posts in front of buildings which doesn’t look pretty but is easier to fix in the case of earthquakes and also a lot cheaper than putting all those cables underneath. Our town house in Tokyo (I am typing this from now), has a balcony and a great view up to the horizon but cables...

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Luang Prabang – charismatic city of the monks

Posted by on Oct 2, 2013 in All posts, Laos | 0 comments

Luang Prabang is located between the Mekong and the Khan river with lush vegetation on the slim peninsula. In its centre stands a small mountain called Phousi hill (a bit of a strange name if you are an English speaking person). The hill is topped with a beautiful golden stupa. The city is marked by Buddhist tradition. There are over thirty temples, most intricately adorned, housing several hundred monks, who enrich the town with their orange-robed presence. Every morning the people of Luang Prabang line the streets to offer food and pay respect to the monks. The monks form a procession through town to receive alms, between 5.30 to 6 am, making for one of the biggest tourist attraction in town. Luang Prabang is a city that we came to visit for only a few days but got captured...

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National Museum, Seoul’s Architecture, Veggie Kraze Burger

Posted by on Jul 4, 2013 in All posts, South Korea | 0 comments

23rd June 2013. Labelled as the most representative museum in Korea and as one of the six major museums of the world, people who wrote this mainly refer to size. Seoul’s National Museum is a big historical museum. With vast and spacious architecture. Megalomania comes to mind when trying to describe the building structure. But it can withstand earthquakes and the displayed items stand on shock resistant platforms. The museum uses natural light and fire resistant building material. The resemblance to an overground bunker cannot be denied. Location: 137 Seobinggo-ro, Yongsan-gu, Seoul. Line 4, Jungjang Line Ichon Station, Exit 2 or take the underpass. Admission: Free! And you can take pictures (no flash nor tripod). When getting off at Jungjang Station, we took the museum’s nadeulgil (underpass) which featured double moving walkways to direct pedestrian traffic towards the museum....

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Seoul’s Metro, Palaces, Anti North Korea Demo and Korean Calligraphy

Posted by on Jun 12, 2013 in All posts, South Korea | 0 comments

8th June 2013. This post is going to be fun because I am going to take you for some serious Seoul sightseeing. Proper cultural and traditional places (palaces!). I have put in two videos on Korean calligraphy and an anti North Korean Demo we saw in the centre of Seoul, as well! It is still our first week. We are having tofu with kimchi for breakfast as usual. South Korea is famous for its kimchi variety but that inevitable carries the increased risk of picking the awful kind. That is exactly what happened. Hard and long cords of strange tasting kimchi. Breakfast scenes comparable to Charlie Chaplin eating his shoelaces in The Gold Rush.   Korea is not veggie land. It is still fairly difficult for us to find food without killed animals in it, so it is mainly...

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First contact in Seoul

Posted by on Jun 4, 2013 in All posts, South Korea | 0 comments

1st June. Diary Format. We have arrived in Seoul and are stomping on South Korean ground!       At Incheon International Airport. We got our tourist visa which is valid for 3 months. The airport looks modern.   First stop. We spotted a 7Eleven and when you have been following me in Tokyo, you do know why this is awesome. They were pretty well stocked.   Money exchange at the airport. The currency unit here is won (written as capital W). There are 10, 50, 100 and 500 coins and notes come in denominations of 1000, 5000, 10,000 and 50,000. We exchanged 103,ooo won for 10,000 yen.   Taking the bus from the airport for 6,000 won per person which dropped us of at a station near our new home. No English signs at the bus stations, we...

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Tokyo’s best second hand shop and city (s)hopping

Posted by on Mar 23, 2013 in All posts, Beauty and Fashion, Japan | 12 comments

What a title. Deserves an explanation but you do get it all. Pictures of Tokyo which show the modern character of a capital – build out of the rumble of last centuries tragedies. Tomek and I were walking around Tokyo and I took some pictures which show the craziness and vastness of Tokyo’s modern geometric shopping streets and prevalent architecture. And you get the coolest second hand shop amongst all the shopping frenzy in Tokyo. Because here money seems to evaporate fast for all kinds of great things. I was having an eye out for neat fashion stores and on that day the nifty clothes and accessories store I came across was a second hand shop called MODE OFF. Location: 4-2-3 Ueno, Taito-ku, Tokyo (open 11:00AM to 9:00PM), opposite McDonald’s, close to Ameyoko Street, they are a part of...

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Renting in Tokyo and Japanese residential architecture

Posted by on Mar 11, 2013 in All posts, Japan | 0 comments

Tokyo is the fascinating capital of Japan with over 35 million inhabitants inclusive of its metropolitan area. That is an overwhelming number of people but everything is so excellently planned that despite the crowds daily life flows smoothly. Tokyo’s infrastructure is very modern, shaped by two sad historic events. Tokyo was hit by the enormous Kanto earthquake in 1923 which almost completely devastated the city. In 1945 the city suffered massive damage through American fire-bombing which put half of the capital to ashes after Japan had attacked Pearl Harbour. Tokyo had to rebuild itself sort of from scratch and I have not really seen any old buildings so far. Tokyo’s architecture is very contemporary and planned thoroughly. Residential architecture is functional, mostly two storey high and square shaped, so as to make new building structures earthquake resistant and space...

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Secret sights of Budapest

Posted by on Dec 12, 2012 in All posts, Hungary | 0 comments

Having the opportunity to visit local sights is a pleasant distraction but we are not easily satisfied. Getting into the Hungarian rhythm and assimilating with the city is the real thrill. Walking confidently the streets of Budapest to be mistaken for a local, breathing in the urban air, walking around for hours, catching details, getting lost in its flair. Appreciating travel and our new way of life. When thinking about the recent craziness in my life, leaving everything behind, selling our home, enjoying an aimless journey on this planet, driven by life celebrating motives, I am appalled at my selfishness, not giving anything to society apart from this shitty blog. Those doubts last about a moment, and then I am thinking: I need this. I need this kind of frenzy in my life.That’s me! I will share some very...

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Budapest’s Opera but Ballet

Posted by on Nov 11, 2012 in All posts, Hungary | 2 comments

About a month ago, we went out to the Hungarian State Opera. Not for opera but ballet. Which is totally different despite sharing the same stage. Ballet is the classic art form I prefer, for the delightful sight of excellently shaped bodies and royal splendour of costumes and scenery. Opera, in contrast is a lot about bad acting, combined with forced, unpleasant and unintelligible singing with oversized performers-performing-overtime wearing circus tent. Elegance, grace and delightful lightness is what distinguishes ballet. (You do not have to agree and I might change my mind when I reach opera age.) Ballet, is ‘moving‘ in every sense of that word, especially the romantic classics.  Nutcracker, Swan Lake, Romeo and Juliet, Giselle and Sleeping beauty make me weep for the gripping beauty of sound and sight. There is a reason why they are played...

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