Friday, 16 December 2011

Old Orhei

Old Orhei is one of the most beautiful places and rocky monasteries in Moldova. This archaeological complex is an open-air museum situated between the villages Trebujeni and Butuceni 60 km North East from Chistanau. 

The name Orhei means “fortification”. Earlier at the beginning of the XIV century the Golden Horde conquered this territory. But later inhabitants moved 18 km to the North, to the new Orhei and since then that medieval city Orhei was named «Old Orhei».
The museum complex Old Orhei is a system of historical monuments and natural landscapes. It consists of few promontories. The central promontory in Old Orhei is called Pestere. Its name derives from the many caves carved in it ('Pestere' is translated from Romanian as 'caves'). The Butuceni headland contributes to the Old Orhei very well. Together with the Pestere promontory it forms complete complex harmonizing from all points of view. The Butuceni promontory is great from both geological view and the view point of unique scenery. It has tens of calcareous slates, spacious caves, small grottos. The wonderful view and ancient traces impress every guest of this place.
 Old Orhei is famous for the cave monasteries located there. This zone was ideal for the primary monasticism of early Christian community. It was isolated from the outer world. At the time when Christians came here there must have been smaller and bigger caves in the calcareous rocks cut by pre-historic tribes living on this territory. Christian life in the Old Orhei caves became eternal and saint. In the medieval period monastery life intensification made monks to deepen the caves. There also appeared new caves. Nowadays some caves are preserved well. Others were damaged, mainly by earthquakes which are frequent in this area. The researches show that tens of monasteries fell into waters of Raut River. However still many complexes are in good condition.
Another construction of great interest is the Turkish bath.  It appeared when the Golden Horde conquered this territory. The city existing here was turned into oriental one with the name Shehr al-Cedid.
 Adapted from:


"An electronically amplified, warped amusement park that has nothing to do with reality”[1]

Location: Óbudai-Island, Budapest, Hungary
Official website:

Sziget Festival is one of the biggest music and culture festivals in Europe. It is growing year by year giving home to more than 1000 performances in 2011. Since 2002 it is called Sziget Fesztivál, but before it was called Diáksziget and Pepsi Sziget. All the events are taking place on an island surrounded by Danube River, which also contribute to the festival’s exclusive atmosphere.

There are numerous stages, party halls, installations, chilling tents and bars all around the area, so everybody can find the right place for himself! Most of the people arrive here with tents and live on this unique amusement island for one week. The performing music bands are varying from rock through jazz to electro and national folk groups. During the day food stands, hi-tech games, competitions, handmade product shopping, sunbathing and cultural events are in focus, and after the sun goes down the party night begins with concerts of the most popular singers, DJs and bands from all around the world. For 7 days in every August the place becomes ‘an island which never sleeps’.

Not only for Hungarians is the festival a beloved spot, a great number of English, French, German, Italian, Irish and Dutch people also come to visit every year.

The upcoming Sziget will be held between 6-13, in August 2012, and since the first festival was held in 1993, this is going to be the 20th birthday of the event!!!! Don’t miss it!! Come to Budapest, Hungary in August, believe me you won’t regret it!!! ;)

Photos and article adapted from:

Wednesday, 14 December 2011

Potala Palace Tibet

The Potala Palace, located in Lhasa, Tibet Autonomous Region, China, was the residence of the Dalai Lama until the 14th Dailai Lama fled away. The construction of the palace started in 1645, as an advice of Konchog Chophel, saying that the site was ideal as a seat of government. The Potala Palace was inscribed to the UNESCO World Heritage List in 1994. Today the palace is a museum.
The White Palace is a part of Potala Place. It was also the living area of the Dalai Lama. It was originally built during the lifetime of the 5th Dalai Lama in 1649. Then it was extended to its size today by the 13th Dalai Lama in the early twentieth century.
Rapid modernization of this area became a concern for UNESCO. Thus the Chinese government responded by enacting a rule preventing building any construction taller than 21 meters. The number of visitors to the palace is strictly controlled, which was 1600 a day, and now around 6000 visitors would descend on the site during the peak period. Thus it is better to visit the palace during the period from July to September.

Article and photos adapted from:

Friday, 9 December 2011

Night in Belgium

There are a lot of wonderful places in Belgium that are worth to visit. 

One of them is Ghent. Small, student town by the river, with a lot of bars and restaurants. There are some specialties like the liquor “jenever” also called Dutch gin for aperitif and spare ribs for dinner. In Belgium all restaurants close very early, Belgian people seem to live a healthy life and do not eat after 6 pm. So hurry up to book a table because in some spots in Ghent you may stand for hours in line, waiting for the table. Nevertheless you won’t regret any minute of it – meal will be delicious, beyond your every expectation. After dinner it is time to go to a small and cozy bar, they are so different and each of them has something special.

The time here is passing slowly with no hurry in the air.
Night sightseeing in Ghent will bring you many pleasure minutes. It feels like you are in the town from a Fairy-tail…

Cricova is a nice small town, not so far away from the capital of Moldova Chisinau. But what is it famous for?
Cricova is also the company of wine production, there are the 2 largest wine cellars after Milesti Mici in Moldova, which makes it very attractive for the tourists. The cellars are 120 km of labyrinthine roadways, versus MM's 200 km; the tunnels have existed under Cricova since the 15th century, when limestone was dug out to help build Chișinău. They were converted into an underground wine emporium in the 1950s. Half of the roadways are used for wine storage. The roads are named by the wine they store. This "wine city" has its warehouse, tasting rooms and other facilities underground. It goes down to 100 metres (330 ft) below ground and holds 1.25 million bottles of rare wine. The oldest wine dates back to 1902. The temperature is maintained at about 12 °C (54 °F) all year round (which is perfect for wine).

Cricova is one of the very few wineries in the world that produce sparkling wines in accordance with the classical French method, purportedly invented centuries ago by the monkDom Pierre Perignon- "Methode Champenoise". 

Cricova makes a unique sparkling red wine, kodrinskoie-sparkling, made from cabernet sauvignon stocks and marketed as having a 'rich velvet texture and a blackcurrant and cherry taste.
The "Grand Cellars of Cricova" house a remarkable collection of wines – The National Oenotec. However, the pride of the Oenotec are, first of all, the wines bearing the name "Cricova", which brought the winery a collection of national and international tasting awards. As of 2008, the collection consists of over 70 silver, gold and Grand Prix awards.
Visit Moldova Cricova with!

Photos and article adapted from:

SAPA – “The town in fog”

Three days traveling in Sapa brings you a little of different feelings from the other parts of Vietnam. The climate is moderate, cool in the summer, foggy and cold in the winter with occasional snowfalls due to the geological high mountain and the close proximity to the border of China. In the spring time whole Sapa is blanketed soon by thickening fog and cloud, which makes the town look more mysterious. 
This is, actually the great land to have a memorable vacation, which adding more color to your journey with Sapa’s hidden values, admiring beauty of the rich nature, sharing understanding of locals and even your  interesting personal experience and cultures. 
Sa Pa is a quiet mountain town and home to a great diversity of ethnic minority people: Hmong, Dao, Tay, Kinh… Most of them live in small villages and hamlets scattering in valleys and mountains. Luckily, in spite of all fast changes taken place in recent years, the ethnic minority people in Sapa still maintain well their colorful and unique culture. One of the attractive things of Sapa is the ethnic market. Even though, minority people live their life in self-subsidiary style, the need for exchanging their products is always strong. More significantly, this is a chance for everyone to meet others when they live in remote and isolated villages. The market, especially, is the place for youngsters to make friends and seek for love! Perhaps because of this reason, tribal people always dress up in their best colorful traditional costumes to go to the market like attending a festival.
 All should be realized in a proper way as what you wish and do not forget to bring the gifted handicrafts of Sapa, which are made by skillful hands of the locals.

Article and photos adapted from:

The most beautiful river in the world – "river of five colors" Caño Cristales

Caño Cristales river flows in Colombia. The name of the river means "crystal creek" or "crystal river." Its unusual appearance resembles canvas of impressionists. Locals call this river "River of five colors."
Caño Cristales originates from the southern part of the country in the mountain chain called the Macarena and flows to the East until its confluence with the famous river Guayabero. Caño Cristales looks like an extraordinary series of rapids, valleys and waterfalls.
The water of Caño is very clean, if you look closely - you can easily see the bottom. It consists of several colors: red, yellow, black, blue and green. All these colors are the product of life of a large number of algal, colors change in every season.
Travel with and discover the world!

Photos and article adapted from:

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