Even on a cloudy day, the colourful streets of Perth never fail to surprise.
It was the last day of the Karlovy Vary International Film Festival in Karlovy Vary or Carlsbad as the Germans call it. The famous spa town in the region of Bohemia was bustling with many tourists and excitement over the celebrities that were believed to be staying in one of the many exclusive hotels. I was excited to see the Grandhotel Pupp, which is precisely the hotel that hosts the annual film festival. The hotel also appears in the James Bond film Casino Royale.
A very hot summer’s day didn’t stop us from exploring every corner, boutique or geyser that the town had to offer.
We visited the Mill Colonnade whose twelve statues for the twelve months of the year stand above its portico. There were also the Market Colonnade and the Park Colonnade that were equally fascinating.
No wonder they call it Czech’s very own ‘Monte Carlo.’ Simply amazing and exclusive yet not expensive at all !
A perfect weekend getaway for all !!
Just on the border with the Czech Republic we visited Dresden, a city in the State of Saxony, Germany. There were many cultural and historical buildings and residences to visit. The first one that caught my attention was the famous opera house – Semperoper. Built in 1841, it was named after architect Gottfried Semper. The house offers tourists a look at the baroque and neo-rennaissance architecture that defines most of the city’s edifices.
The Fürstenzug is a mural representing the princes that once ruled the State of Saxony. Starting with Conrad the Margrave of Meissen in the 12th century, the procession of princes goes on to King George who ruled in the 20th century. However, visitors seemed more enthralled in the motionless figure and his dog companion which was not real by the way! I did not see him flinch at once!
A visit to the Zwinger Palace was breathtaking. Built for Augustus the Strong, the palace today stands as a huge complex for four museums: the Old Masters Picture Gallery, the Dresden Porcelain Collection and the Mathematisch-Physikalischer Salon.
My Eastern European tour this summer was firstly enriched by our stop in Slovakia’s capital – Bratislava. The weather and the brilliant blue sky served us well as our group set off to explore the many grandiose buildings and castles. There were no signs of the city’s Communist period – the archiecture and town squares were enlivened and built in a renaissance and baroque style. Around every corner it was easy to come across one of the city’s funny statues such as Cumil. We’re not quite sure what he is up to, cleaning the sewer or just having a rest after a hard day’s work.
The soldier resting on the bench reminds visitors of Napoleon’s first visit to Bratislava in 1809.
A charismatic figure known as Schoner Naci wearing a top hat is ready to greet you in the beautiful city.
The highlight of the day was definitely a tour up the Bratislava Castle built in the 9th century. From the top there are great views of the city and parts of neighbouring countries such as Hungary and Austria. Known for its history with the Romans and the Celts, the castle stands as a major tourist attraction.
Thank you Bratislava ! It was lovely !! Dovidenia
It was my first trip to Italy, a surprise holiday for my mum and for sure the first city to visit that came to mind was: Rome! Known as the Eternal City, Rome is a mesmerizing city where every step led me to amazing views that would make me halt, stop and take a photo. My hotel was situated very close to the Colosseum itself, a mere 5 minute walk. I remember the first time I caught sight of the Colosseum, a medieval architectural masterpiece of the capital . It simply took my breath away. I noticed how grand and majestic it stood compared to my miniscule self in a picture.
Unfortunately it was a short 3-day trip, therefore I was limited in my desire to go everywhere and explore everything. I did however manage to visit the famous landmarks such as the Pantheon, the Roman Forum, the Arch of Constantine, the monument to Vittorio Emanuele II, and the tall column of Marcus Aurelius. I was really excited for the Trevi Fountain yet was shortly disappointed to see that it was under construction. Just around the corner was my ascend up the Spanish Steps at the Piazza di Spagna. Breathtaking. I have to mention the beautiful boutiques and parks, the tasty Italian cuisine from their traditional trademark pizzas (with mozzarella and tomato sauce), spaghetti and the espresso of course! I even watched a World Cup match on a huge screen in the main street of Rome, cheering along with many other tourists with a beautiful and starry sky above us. Witnessed a couple of weddings take place on the streets. Summer was in full swing.
The bustling city of Rome with its ancient and rich history is a city I will love to visit again.
It has always been my desire to explore the unknown and discover the unseen. I decided to venture into the wilderness, setting off on a hike in the surrounding mountains that encircled my parents local city in Serbia. The ascend up was very tiring yet rewarding. Every step revealed a view that would take my breath away.
I noticed many small houses or cottages that were barely visible from all the trees that obscured anything that seemed out of place. I thought the houses were abandoned, yet on closer inspection I discovered that people actually inhabited these secluded and distant shelters. The people I encountered seemed to come from another time, far from the fast-paced world we live in today. They seemed perplexed at first, seeing me with a phone in my hand, taking pictures of everything with every chance I had. However, one greeting from me seemed to make their day as well as mine. Their dog terrified me by the way. Its size was magnified in my eyes in which I hurried off, skipping down without a backward glance!
Even though they probably don’t have the necessities that we all need like sufficient clean water or electricity or even food, they seemed happy; something that this world needs, more laughter and smiles and appreciation for the chance to live in such a beautiful world.
Only when we step out of our shoes and see how the unprivileged and less fortunate than us live, will we start to appreciate the small things in life that give life its true meaning.
“To see the world, things dangerous to come to, to see behind walls, to draw closer, to find each other and to feel. That, is the purpose of life.” – Walter Mitty (The Secret Life of Walter Mitty)