Sunset over Budva

  I could not dreamed of a better day in Budva that luckily I experienced. Everything was just perfect…the weather, atmosphere and off-season time, I have always cherished. But, to be honest, mostly it was down to a great walking route I did that day. So if it happens that you will pop in to Budva, I would highly recommend to fallow that path too.img_1941.jpg

    Budva is a town located on the Adriatic Sea cost of Montenegro. The country name, actually, perfectly describes the landscape of this magnificent Balkans area. Once you will cross the border, the stunning mountain range will surround you, no matter on location you will visit. I have to say that it is kind of a perfect environment for me to be, as of my love for high hills conjured with waters like lakes, rivers and endless sea. I just possibly could not ask for more. And all that stunning land came with one of the friendliest and nicest nation ever.img_1964.jpg

Before starting, I would like to recommend visiting also a Kotor, another coast town just 30 minutes to the north way from Budva. I am afraid, I didn’t get a chance to see it, as of my busy schedule, but every possible backpacker, I have met (along with all locals), agreed that it is a must see place too!IMG_1960.JPG

   So coming back to my perfect day, the start wasn’t the easiest, as we came back late from night out. It was cool, as Budva is a perfect place for good long night out, but the next day headache wasn’t the best thing to start my day with. Despite that,  I looked on the map of surrounded area, and I quickly made my mind on activity, I was going to do.  IMG_1966.JPGThis time I decided to have a long walk by the cost up to the stunning place called Sveti Stefan. It is a 22 kilometers in total, so if you are not keen on long walk, you can hire a bike or take a bus. Please note that with the last option, you will not see the beautiful beaches on your way there.  My other thought is also to stay till sunset, as it is truly magic moment to watch then after take a bus back to Budva. I knew that we will go there again by car with other people from hostel, so I didn’t have to stay till late.

   The whole way is easy and very straight forward, located right by the cost line.IMG_1959.JPG You will just have to head south and fallow the path. On your way you will see loads of beautiful places to stop, eat or drink. Every beach will be a bit different, either because of a shelf density and shape, flora full of different kind of trees or just the rocks placed around. You will past trough 2 tunnels too on your way and a national park where you can wander around and get on a cliff.  The whole walk (with no stops) should take you around 2 h each, but please note that you really need to put a sun protection, as you will be facing the sunlight trough the whole way.img_1985.jpg

   As mentioning at the beginning, the sunset over Sveti Stefan is something you just have to whiteness. I would recommend going up to the parking lot of the motorway above for the best view of it. There is also a restaurant where you can sit, eat or drink during that spectacular time. Once the sun will disappear in to the sea, you can either walk back, but not recommended in the dark, or you can take a bus from the stop located not far from there. I haven’t used it, so I can’t tell you the price for the ticket, but I really doubt it’s more than 2 Euro.  So, not writing to many useless thoughts at the end, that was my peaceful journey, I wanted to share.

Discovering Shkoder by bike

    Thank universe for bicycles! Whats an amazing invention. Not only that it’s eco-friendly, it is also a very useful vehicle to conquer  surrounded area around newly visited  places. img_1829.jpgSo always hire one if possible while traveling! You could really discover tree times more things than by foot, and Shkoder is probably the best place to do so.

     I have visited Shkoder, a cute town in the northern part of Albania located by the Skadar Lake, in March. It was one of my many stops during backpacking Balkans. Yet, as of off-season time, I have spotted many places you could rent a bike, so it should be easy for you to hire it too. IMG_1882.JPG
It really is the best way to see the marvelous landscape around castle hill and the beautiful lake with water as clear that could be easily mistaken for Adriatic coast of Albania. lucky me, I was able to get a bike from my hostel (just 2 Euro for the whole day!), so I went off to enjoy…..

     There are 2 routs from Shkoder you can do. I would suggest one day for each, but  fit and quick bionic human can do in one day.

First path

   This path allows you to get to the castle hill, that is actually located just 3 kilometers from the city center, and to cycle around absolutely stunning Skadar Lake. Actually for me, it is the second (after Titicaca Lake in Bolivia/Peru) best lake I have seen so far. img_1894.jpg It should be around 25 kilometers in total, and the whole path is pretty flat (except castle hill, but you will walk up), so I would rate difficulty as easy!

   Before starting please just have a 200 Lek with you, as that is the entrance fee to the castle. I beg you…don’t skip it! 200 Lek is around 1.5 Euro and the remain ruins are absolutely in a great condition, not even mention the view from the top. You can spot the Albanian and Montenegro landscape, that surround the place, from every single angle.IMG_1834.JPG Geological rich area, build of lakes, river and high range of North Albanian Alps, will become as a great bonus to the Castle Itself.

  So you will start in a place where your bike will be coming from. From the city center you will have to fallow one of the main roads in town called Bulevardi Zogu I. IMG_1824.JPGYou will have to head South till the point where you will see the sigh pointing the directions towards Castle Rozafa. Once you see it cross the street (wherever you want , as Albanian traffic is anarchistic :D), so you will be on the left side. Now you can leave your bike somewhere there, as the road up to the hill is way to rocky to cycle.  If you haven’t got any lock with you, you can take your bike right to the entrance where the guard, that’s there all the time, will look after it for you. I have to say it here…Albanians are very friendly and nice.

   After probably an hour on the top, you can carry on with your trip. IMG_1880.JPG You will pick your bike, and you will go to the same place where you turned left. Now its time to go right to wonder around the lake. The bridge is just 200 meters away on the right hand side. You have to cross it (heh a challenge as well, as the wooden bridge is full of holes), and once you are on the other side, you will take the road to the right.IMG_1891.JPG Now I really don’t have to add anything, as the path from there is pretty straight forward. The whole road by the breath-taking lake is a great experience. The area around will stunt you with the beauty and peacefulness, you will face around. The clear blue waters of the lake with the green hills full of sheeps and cows will help your mind to chill a bit. IMG_1894.JPGYour eyes will get a rest from busy city streets too.  You will be also able to stop anywhere you like. There are loads of places for that.

    Cycling route will finish at the camping side where road terminates. From there you can start heading back to the Shkoder.  For me it was one of the best days trough my backpacking, but I know I was also lucky with great weather during the off-season time (not many tourists around).

Second rout

   The second trip will contain cycling around different  lake, river and another castle. This journey is longer than the first one as to the castle, I mention, is already 17 kilometer, and from there you can keep going along the river and lake.IMG_1855.JPG This time you will breath with the fresh air of green lowlands of  Drin River Basin that will accompany you trough the whole journey. It really is up to you how far you want to go. I would recommend to do 10 km more from the castle, if you have the whole day for it. You will pass trough  few little villages, so you will be ale to stack up on water and food.  This area is way less busy than the first route I mention, so you will spend one day away from busy city life with the nature.  IMG_1850.JPGI, myself, loves tips like that, especially when you are visiting many cities on your way. It really can create a great balance that will aloud your eyes to have a rest from busy streets, and your mind to get completely lost in simple thoughts admiring the background around you.  I have to add, that Albania is a very interesting country in general. You can rest there on one of many beautiful Adriatic sea beaches, you can do some hiking on North Albanian Albs, Koral Mountains or just visit beautiful lakes. I definitely loved my time here and I would highly recommend you this country, plus, it`s extremely cheap too, so really, there is no excuse for you not to come here! Just pack your backpack.

Matka Canyon by public bus from Skopje

    Once in Skopje, Matka Canyon is a place you just have to visit. Yes, you really do! I could start with important reasons like: the beauty of the place, clear green waters of the Treska River, path trial trough the canyon..loads.IMG_1797.JPGBut how about the fact that Matka is located just 15 kilometers from the city? Yeah I know, just around the corner. Even if you are visiting capital just for one day, you can still add it to your schedule, as the public bus takes only 30-40 minutes to reach the canyon, and it arrives just right before the entrance. You can even get there by taxi. I’ve heard it will cost 400-500 MKD one way (that’s around 8 Euros).

     So in order to get to Matka Canyon, you have to take a number 60 bus that leaves from the main bus station. Please note, that the stop is actually located on the right hand side of the main bus terminal behind the petrol station. The stand is somewhere in the middle, and it has a sign with number 60 next to it, so you really will find it with no hustle.IMG_1734 Ultimately, you can catch it also from the city center, as the bus makes loads of stops in Skopje on the way.IMG_1806   It is running quiet often. Times of departures from Skopje main bus station: 7:00 / 8:45 / 10:30 / 12:10 / 13:50 / 17:10 / 18:45 / 20:15 / 22:30.  From Matka to Skopje: 11:20 / 13:00 / 14:55 / 16:25 / 17:45 / 19:20 / 21:00.  Please, be 15 minutes earlier, as I have read somewhere on forum that bus can leave 15 mins prior departure from Matka.
Unlucky, most of the bus stands here in capital don’t have any information, so you have to ask locals where is the most convenient stop for you, if you are not going from the main one or the one near the city center (tagged on the photo). In order to travel you need to buy a card. You can not pay to the driver by cash any longer.IMG_1800 The travel card cost 150 MKD. That`s enough for 2 ways, and probably you will have some money on it left that you can use later on other buses, if needed. Please don’t panic if the bus is late, it`s normal. I, for example, waited just 10 minutes.

Going back

The bus will leave from the same place where you got off. IMG_1789You are swiping your card, and you are on your way back to Skopje. Easy? No? Then click here.

Great 3 days in Panama City

    How lucky was I being invited to stay at my friend’s home in Panama City. That what traveling is all about for me: discovering world wonders and meeting great people. Ok, ok…I like to dig my fork in a culinary map too. But yes, kind Clari, my friend I have met on a scent of Machu Picchu in Peru, took me for few days under her wings, to provide me with a real Panamanian hospitality, and to show me this stunning  modern capital of a small, however packed with beauty, country. Clari, as a Panamanian born and raised, became to be the best guide to show me around. Apart from a good time with a friend, I was able to discover all the hidden secrets of this magnificent city. The city filled by tropical nature, surrounded with a skyline bigger than Miami, but at the same time still full of history to learn about. I am aware that Panama City is globally mostly famous for its canal, but there is still so many things to do and see while there.  So what are these things?


Fish Market

   I guess it is odd to start with the Fish Market, as a first of the sight-seen, but apart from the big range of a fresh and delicious sea food, you will be able to spot the amazing panorama of the city from there. It can be as a good start. Market is located by the cost, very close to the Casco Viejo area, which makes it a very popular place to sit, eat and chill, especially in the evening, for locals and tourists. You can taste loads of cocktails made from all different ingredients. You can pick the ready one or just create your own. You might think it`s a bit pricey, but I have been told that all the stands offer the freshest, best sea food in Panama. 

Casco Viejo

  Casco Viejo, located in the center of Panama City, brings back the history and spirit from past centuries to this modern city. It is an old town dated back to 1673, after the original town of Panama Viejo got destroyed during the pirate attack. After some time it got left out when the modern trade-style era arrived to Panama City, among with the skyline architecture. Casco Viejo got renew a century ago, when Panamanian decided to bring back some history to this Miami-like city and restore the buildings around there. The location of this Spanish colonial quarter can be easily named as most cultural place now. The narrow streets of the place stands as foundation for many churches (some even 300 years old), squares, colonial buildings and statues. Just go to wander around with no map, and you will find something magnificent on very corner. The area is full of hotels, restaurants, souvenir shops and bars. The last I mention are usually very crowded at night, as Casco Viejo is a popular destination for night life lovers. Actually that would be my suggestion to visit the place late afternoon, to get a good look at architecture around, and in the evening to spot the panorama of bright lights, flashing from the great sky line building on the other side.

Panama Canal

    I have noticed that Panamanian are very proud of the canal. Almost seems like they think Panama holds the key to the one of the most important water gate in the world. Canal, that is a passage between the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans and North and South America, that dates back to 1515. It is worth to see it, but I don`t feel like you have to get inside to see the presentation, movie and museum. I did, but it definitely wasn’t the highlight. You can just see it from outside and that should be fine. The entrance fee is 15$.

Panamá Viejo

    Panamá Viejo, as a remaining part of the old Panama City and former capital of the country, is located at the edge of the modern city. Its been named as a World Heritage Site since 1997. You can see there structures dated back to 1519. Well worth to discover and entrance fee starts at 6$.

Mi Pueblito

   God glimpse of the various Panamanian cultures & traditions. This site is a collection of housing and artifact replicas of the various cultures (old and modern) of Panama. While simple, it gives you a good idea that this relatively small country is formed by various ethnicities and traditions that survive to this date. The entry fee for foreigners is 3$ USD and you get a free guide (optional), 1$ for locals.

Ancon Hill

    A hill in the heart of Panama City from where you can seen the wonderful panorama that include the canal, modern skyline and old Casco Viejo. Climbing is relatively easy and should take around 2 h, there’s no entrance fees. Apart from diverse panorama you will get surrounded by, you can see or read about loads of rare species of animals, that lives only there.

Avenida Balboa

    The avenue stands as a major financial district for Panama and the rest of Central America. Best known as one of the most expensive roads in the world, It is home to several very high building and points of interest including. The skyline at night is particularly beautiful as it is illuminated with the lights from these tall buildings.

Sofia to Skopje by bus

     Welcome again in my so-called “from A to B” section, where I will advise you on the best (or not?) ways of traveling between capitals. I will also share with you guys my adventures like: buying a ticket, looking for a toilet…etc.   This time we are looking at connections between Sofia (Bulgaria) and Skopje, a vibrant city in Macedonia. IMG_1697.JPGI know that train is a possible option, but it is not a direct one (you have to change at Nic, and it takes 10h…no thanks), so I simply took a bus.  Four-weeler  leaves from the terminal north of the city center. You can get there by underground, bus: 78, 213, 404 and tram: 3 and 12. Public transport costs 1.60 lev for one, single ride. Taxi is a good option too, as you should pay just 5 lev from the city center. Once you are around, please don’t head to the big fancy, glassy new  terminal, that’s not the one you are looking for. The bus station you need is located just across the street 100 meters away from the other terminal I mentioned on a right hand side. It looks like a square with little shops and travel agencies all around with the bus stands in the center. IMG_1699.JPGI have chosen to go with Matpu. It is possible that it is the only company that provides this service right now (march 2017). Bus will depart from the stand just next to the Matpu office, from where you got your ticket. The whole journey was a quiet pleasant experience. Bus did accommodate me in a confi chair, and there was a fast wifi available to use (but just on Bulgarian side…fair enough), so I was streaming youtube all the way till border. IMG_1821Also there was not many passengers in, so I could claim 2 sits to stretch. Toilet was there as well. The ticket can be paid by cash and by card at Matpu office.  I paid 30 lev, a fair price for a journey between 2 countries. Three departures at: 9.30, 16.00 and 19.00 are the part of a daily schedule that is valid everyday. Please note, that there may be other company that serves this route, but I can’t  be definitely sure, as there was no info to be found online.  Once you purchase your ticket, maybe in case, use a toilet on the side (0.60 lev), as the bus will stop only once by the loo, and the one in the vehicle may be either unavailable or not-existence. The journey takes around 5.45 h, but you will get to Skopje around 14.00 as of a time change (if you are taking 9.30 bus like me).

   The border crossing might be a bit annoying It is probably due to the fact that you are leaving a Schengen now. Your passport will be checked twice by Bulgarian and Macedonian side. Border control will do the same with your bag, it will be search twice, so maybe don’t try to smuggle anything 😉 Sniffing dogs are at the border too. After 30 mins,  you will get back to the bus, and you will head off to Skopje.  You will arrive at the main bus terminal that is located east of the city center. One you’re out, you will get attacked by taxi drivers offering their service. Take it if you are tired, they will charge you a fair price. The capital is very small, so I just walked to my accommodation. It took me 15 minutes to get to the main square in the center. So that’s it, you reached your destination…congratz, now leave your bag and go to explore the city!

Rila Monastery from Sofia by bus

    Hidden in the mountain wildness 1174 meters high above the sea level, Rila Monastery became as a number one attraction in Bulgaria. Remarkable scenery around and an impressive monk`s building itself creates something magnificent, where the old spirit can be still present. IMG_1668.JPGWhen you look at it, you can notice how well the architecture collaborates with surrounded nature. It feels like monastery grew from the ground respecting the peaceful flora around. The location makes it easy to be reached from the capital of Bulgaria on a daily bases. So here I come with my advise for you guys how to get to that remarkable place yourself.

     Before heading off please take a warm clothes with you like jacket, shoes etc. There is still snow (March, April) around, and the temperature can be very low. Ok, so after my grany`s tips, we are ready to go.

      In order to reach Rila Monastery you need to catch a bus from Ovcha Kupel bus station.  You can get by tram number 5, and you can do that from the stop by Palace of Justice in the city center from where the tram departs. The ticket cost just 1.80 lev and can be bought from the driver. Well…I have been told by one local that it is 1.60, so maybe the driver charges a little for an extra job as a seller :). I guess number 5 departs very often as, even that it was Sunday,  I waited only 5 mins for it. Once you are in the tram, you can count stops to get off on 13th (or 12?). You will see a Kaufland shop on the left and an ABC market on the right, so you wont miss it!

Now go to the right, and just 300 m away you will find a bus station. Don’t bother to ask for the ticket at the counter, as it can be only purchased in the bus. It cost 11 lev (march 2017) one way, and it can be paid only by cash. Please note, that the bus is always full, and it`s the only one you can catch for the trip, so please be earlier to claim a ticket and sit. Mine was full, people were standing (2h drive), and I`ve witnessed that 2 people were deny as of lack of the space. I would suggest to be 30 mins before to be 100% sure that you will get to the Rila that day. Bus will leave at 10.20 am (it should wait there 30 mins before) from the stand number 7. IMG_1682.JPG
As I mention before, the journey takes around 2h. Please keep your ticket with you just in case, as we had to change the bus in one little cute town just 30 mins away from monastery. We also stopped there for half an hour. The second bus came exactly to the same place where the first one dropped us. Nobody checked our tickets, but as I mentioned, just keep it with you. From there the journey was very pleasant with spectacular view of the mountain range, rivers and forest on the way. IMG_1664.JPGWe arrived after 30-40 minutes right by the entrance at exactly 13.00. The same bus (from the same place) departs at 15.00 back to Sofia, and that is your only option to get back, or you will have to get very friendly with local monks, so they will accommodate you….highly not possible. So You will be given 2 hours to look around and that is enough time, trust me. There is no fee for the entrance which makes the whole trip extremely cheap (around 10 Euros). Please go around to see everything and visit impressive church in the center. The side feel so peaceful (even with tourists around), you almost want to stay forever.  IMG_1688High peaks, that surround the place, creates a beautiful background to the mystical and old monastery. There is a museum to visit too, but you need to pay 8 Lev entry fee (20 with English speaking guide). To warm you up, coffees and teas are available from the dispensary machine and from loads of other stands. There is one restaurant (accepts cards) on the side where you can have a good meal for a fair price, but please remember you need to get off at 15.00. Souvenirs shops with little figures, postcards, local honey and loads more, are around too. Have a look, they do have loads of interesting and unusual stuff there. 2 free toilets are available on the side. If you have a spare bottle, get some water from the well, it is a great quality one.

Places to see in Rila Monastery:

The Church (located just in the heart of the monastery,

Museum (on the right hand side),

The cookhouse (can be found not far from the restaurant and food stands),

Monastic cells.

   I have read online that there is a cave to see too, but it`s located 4 kilometers away, and I don’t think it is possible to do with your 2 hours time restriction.

  Time to go “home”

    There is a time for an end to everything, and at Rila Monastery (for the one who took a public transport) that time is 15.00. So again you will get a return ticket from the driver, and you will head back to Sofia to the same bus station from where you departed. You should be back before 17.30, and this time we did not have to change the bus. Again, you can catch a tram back to the city center.  The whole journey from the start is nice, easy and very cheap. The Monastery will stay in your memory probably as one of the best you have ever seen.

Travelling between Bucharest and Sofia

   There are loads of out of date information online about connections between Bucharest and Sofia and vice versa, so I decided to enrich the internet with more current schedules. To complete your goal, either  you will take a bus or train. Fly is an option too, but I know that is expensive.

Bus

  I took a bus to travel to Sofia from Bucharest. As of march 2017 there are no longer any companies  with minibuses that provides a service between these two capitols. My transport was a direct one.

IMG_1635
Dodgy Filaret Bus Station

I paid 120 Lei (around 26€) for the trip, and I bought the ticket at the Filaret Bus Station, from where the bus departs. Please note that you can pay only in cash, and there is no cash machine there, so be prepared. Purchasing at the station is  the only option so far, so I am afraid it is not possible to book your sit online. Actually I remember, that when I approach the counter to buy a ticket, the kind lady told me that I need to wait 5 minutes till she will finish eating her banana…lol. I gave her 20 in case she had some afters to consume too. No problem whatsoever, I’ve been trough worst. Eventually banana lady served me, and she spoke as good English as was required to close the deal.

IMG_1626The Filaret Bus station, that probably isn’t very impressive but does the job, is located in southern part of the city, but still close to the center (around 20-30 mins walk from Parliament). Ultimately you can always take a bus, tram or taxi. My local Romanian friend advised me that taxi shouldn’t cost more than 8-9 Lei from the city center.IMG_1638
As I mentioned before, I didn’t manage to find any current info online, so I took a bus that was departing at 16.00. Now I know that there is another bus that leaves at 13.00, so you can arrive way earlier (god if I only knew, I wouldn’t have to drive with drank taxi driver in Sofia, I could just walk).  It does say at the counter’s window that bus arrives at 23.30 in Sophia’s main station for buses and trains (located north of the city center), but we arrived at 22.40 probably due to the fact that the border wasn’t busy at all. We stopped there only for 5 minute, where our passports got checked. There is also another bus from different company that leaves at 22.30 from Filaret too,  so you have 3 direct options: 13.00, 16.00 and 22.30, and they run from Monday to Sunday. The bus will leave from stand number 1. Even that it was a Friday, vehicle was almost empty, so I claimed all 5 sits at the end to stretch my legs. Joking, just 3. Mine did not have a toilet, so either don’t drink or use charming bathroom (1 Lei) at the Filaret Bus Station.IMG_1629.JPG

    On the way it will stop just twice, and journey takes around 7h. First stop will be after the border on Bulgarian side and just for 10 minutes. I am sure there must be a toilet, but I couldn’t locate one. Second stop will be a bit longer, 20 minutes, where you can use a loo and buy something to eat or drink. Toilet will cost 0.30 Bulgarian Lev. Once you will reach your destination, you can walk 20 minutes to the center, take a taxi (I paid 4.40 Lev), tram or bus.

   There are several buses that leaves hourly to Ruse (Bulgarian side). From there, just outside the border, you can catch another one to Sofia. As fare as I am aware it will be twice cheaper, but I just couldn’t be bothered .

Train

    Please check current timetable, but for sure train leaves twice a day from Nord Station at 12.45 and 22.25, and it should cost around 30 euros. My French friends from hostel told me that they are very comfortable but slow, and you can book a bed for overnight train there too.

Colombia solo? To go or not to go

    This little section is designated mostly for females that travel alone, like myself. There are loads of concerns, as always, whether It is safe to travel around Colombia without any company. I completely understand it, as I remember when I’ve had the same thoughts regarding my safety at the beginning of my solo trips. I remember well when I wasn’t sure if I will be fine in Morocco, and if I should travel there on my own, so I felt the doubt before. Somehow at the same time, I felt that It is my responsibility to simply help and share with you my observations, as because I consider myself as an experienced solo traveler by now. Perhaps, other reason may be the fact that I was often relaying on tips of other bloggers. So allow me, please, to prove that with proper attitude you will be just fine there.

     My beloved Colombia was never a casual destination, well… if you can call it like that. Though, it is starting to win the title of the backpackers second favorite destination in South America, after Bolivia, the reputation that originate in bloody 90s, still stops some solo females from visiting this truly amazing country. Don​`​t let the past stand between you and the land full of relax, passionate, dance and music loving people, one of the richest fauna and flora in South America and, if it`s not enough, sandy, crystal clear Caribbean cost line. So girls, maybe boys, the answer is easy, and it is a big fat YES. If you wont go, you will miss a lot, trust me. Loads of backpackers, I have met, completely felt in love with Colombia and stayed way longer that originally planned. Shouldn’t even just this fact directly turn on the green light in your head to cross Colombian border?

Safety

    I have to admit that, from my observations, Colombia is an extremely dual place. The diversity of the safeness strikes when the sun goes down. Yes, it is very dangerous at night. You should never walk alone in the dark,  even Colombians don`t do so. The robberies happen mostly at night and, even that there`s loads of police around, it happens on a daily basis too. I haven’t been robbed, but my friend from hotel told me that he got gunned down and been theft. If this will happened, don’t panic and just give them what they wont. I understand it might be scary, however it is very unlikely that they will do any harm to you. But again, he was walking alone at night from party. Don`t turn yourself to an easy target, so don’t do such things. It is very improbable to happens if you are walking in a big group. For example, when I stayed in Cali, we were going out every night to the clubs or different hostels, for a party, and nothing like that happened, nor I did whiteness it. Bigger group then better. Clubs are usually in the city center, so I would recommend to limit your night life just to that area. Here, I want to mention a Salsa Club in Cali, very cool place! And I learned to dance it in one night…. yeah me. So yes, the bottom line is to always go out at night in a big group and to avoid dangerous places in any city, you are in. Remember that the hotel or hostel always can arrange or recommend a trusted taxi company for you too. Please note, not to carry to many valuables with you, it is safer to leave it at hostel`s locker.

  During the day, please do what you like. It is relatively safe and very safe in all touristic areas. The police is on every corner there. Some places are branded as not so safe to wonder alone around. I know, as I was there, nothing happened, but there`s no police around. Why did I go there? Well, I told you in other posts how much I love local street food stands, and it happens that there was loads of them only in a dodgy areas. But guys, I guess it is better to stick to crowded areas. Colombians are extra nice, and if you’re lost, they will always point the directions to you. Never be afraid to talk to them or ask anything.

Harassment

  Well, sorry girls, but you will face it on a daily basis. Especially if you have a light colored eyes.  Just ignore it, apart from calling you names, inviting for dinner, asking for number, you shouldn’t come across any unwanted physical contact. That`s my experience, I was just ignoring it!! But please, always fallow the ultimate rules of not accepting any free drinks or food, never go anywhere with someone you don’t know and maybe ask for directions, but don’t let anyone to walk you to the place, you are looking for. But remember that people are wonderful there, don’t make few comments towards you, from local guys, to change your opinion.

SO REMEMBER TO

First: decide to go to Colombia.

Second: don`t walk with many valuables on empty streets and never alone at night!

Third: never accept invitations or any beverage from someone you don’t know.

Fourth: use only recommended taxi companies.

Fifth: Enjoy and love Colombia 🙂

Meet the Gods in Sounion

    Having a break in the heart of the land where democracy, philosophy and many more amazing inventions come from? Lucky you! The art will surround you in every single corner in Athens, not only because Acropolis is visible from every edge of the city. The unique combination of religion and literature, known as Greek mythology,  is not estrange to most of us too. You can spot the influence of it till today all over the Greece, among with other countries. dddThough as of school books, we have to go trough, it should be known to all of us, at least in basics, you will definitely leave this country with much greater knowledge about the ancient culture, history and art. Apart from the capital, there is one more wonder to discover.  It is one of the most stunning monuments in the world, build on a high hill by Aegean cost. The location makes it definitely as a must see  place and the ruins remain in a really great condition. So here we go.

Athens-Sounion

    Bus towards Sounion lives from the Pedion Areos Park bus terminal near the National Archaeological Museum. It is located close to the entrance of the park. Transport, as the direct one, should have a label of Sounion on the front, so you really shouldn’t miss it. My hotel was very close, so I just walked there, but it is accessible by bus, metro, tram or taxi of course. Please note that during 2017 the Athens transport ticket system will transition from paper tickets to modern electronic tickets with the use of plastic smartcards (similar to London’s Oyster cards), so please recheck before for updates. Distance to Sounion is 70 km long, so it takes around 1.5-2 hours. Great news is that almost the whole way there you will be able to view the charming Aegean Sea, as the road lays very close to the beautiful coast line of Greece. Price for the ticket should be around 6-7 Euros for one way. sdsd.jpgYou purchase it only in the bus, but not from the driver. Someone will pop in on the way with them to sell. I can’t remember if the merchant can accept cards, so maybe have a money just in case. Please carefully check a proper timetable, as during the summer holiday time bus leaves every hour, otherwise every 2 h. I, as always, did not check it properly, so I`ve had to wait  an hour. I took this opportunity to walk around the park. Not really my recommendation as its full of junkies.

       I arrived quiet early, around 12.00. I think it is to soon if you are planning on staying till sunset. Journey terminates at the top of the hill, so you wont have to hike much to the monument. wewewewMy goal was of course to watch the sunset, so I`ve had some spare time to look around. At the top you can find a restaurant and bar, where you can have a hot meal, drink or coffee. Apart from that there is a beautiful coast line to look at too. I did go down to sit on the beach for a little while by the crystal clear water, but quickly run away, after a completely naked Greek came towards me to chat. Around 14.00 I entered the Temple of Poseidon side. The entrance fee is just 4 Euros (2015) and it is open till the sun will disappear in to the waters of Aegean Sea. I visited the place in January, so the staff closed the passage around 16.30. As you can imagine the Temple is the main point of interest, but there is a route around the hill with some more remainings of the ancient structures. So go and have a look! You will find sits there as well to have a rest in a stunning spot. That`s what I did. I sat alone for few minutes to watch epic scenery, when a cute turtle kindly decided to accompany me, so we watched the panorama together. The view from there is truly stunning and makes you understand why Greeks chose this place to cherish one of most  important god in their ancient mythology. Magic dusk light at sunset makes this place to look very special with the magnificent panorama of Aegean Sea that surround the cliff.dfdfd.jpg When the spectacular sunset will finish you have to leave as the side is just about to close down. As far as I remember the return bus departs at 18.00 and is stopping at the same place from where it left in Athens. dfdfdf.jpgSo really, it is an outstanding one day, or half day city break trip. As you see the cost is not high and I know, that some agencies will charge you around 100 Euros, so why not to do it yourself. Also, if its a summer time, why not to go there early in the morning. I have spotted a very beautiful sandy beach close by, where you could swim or just relax before going to see the temple. If you haven’t got much time in the Athens you could also add Acropolis area to your day in the evening, trust me, it is absolutely remarkable at night!