Next destination: Paris, France

Sunday, August 20, 2017

11 things to do in Lyon - 11 lucruri de facut in Lyon

Lyon - the city located at Rhone's and Saone's confluence has plenty of amazing experiences to offer. It's a great place to find out everything about the French lifestyle. You've already seen in the movies and it's all as you imaigine: the way they have breakfast, the croissants, the baguettes, women in dresses riding bicycles, people smiling on the streets for no reason. 

Lyon - orasul ce se afla la confluenta fluviilor Rhone si Saone are o multime de experiente de oferit. Eu un loc minunat pentru a afla totul despre stilul de viata francez. L-ati vazut deja in filme si este totul exact cum va imaginati: felul in care iau micul dejun, croasantele, baghetele, femei in rochii ce se dau pe bicicleta, oameni ce zambesc fara motiv pe strada.

1. The city is dominated by the Notre-Dame Basilica built on Fourviere hill, reaching over 300 metres at its peak. The basilica dates from the XIIth ccentury and is remarkalbe for its mosaics and stained glass windows. Dedicated to Virgin Mary, there is a statue that watches over the city and its inhabitants. From here, you have a beautiful view of the city and it's a spot where tourists take pictures. 
Near the basilica there is a miniature Eiffel tower which is only 80 metres high and which is currently used as a TV relly. 

Orasul e dominat de Basilica Notre-Dame de pe dealul Fourviere, al carei varf  depaseste 300 de metri. Dateaza din secolul XII si se remarca prin mozaicurile si vitraliile sale. Dedicata Fecioarei Maria, are si o statuie care vegheaza deasupra orasului si a locuitorilor sai. De aici, aveti o vedere superba a orasului si un loc unde turistii fac fotografii. 
Langa catedrala veti vedea un turn Eiffel in miniatura care are doar 80 de metri si este folosit ca un releu de televiziune. 

2. Below the basilica stands Cathedrale Saint Jean-Baptiste. Here you will find a perfectly working astronomic horologe dating from 1379. Back then, it was used for calling canons to prayer. Now, it is admired for the moving figurines and music that start playing at 2 PM, 3 PM and 4 PM.

Mai jos de bazilica este Catedrala Saint Jean-Baptiste. Aici veti gasi un orologiu astronomic perfect functional care dateaza din 1379. Pe atunci, era folosit pentru a chema canonii la rugaciune. Acum, este admirat pentru figurinele care se misca si muzica ce canta la 2 PM, 3 PM si 4 PM.

3. On the other side of the Saone, you can live the experience of a French market on weekend mornings. A large variety of local specialities, bakery products, fruits and vegetables will steal your eyes and will make your mouth water. Here you will have the oportunity to walk by the locals who are shopping and fit in a small part of their lives. 

Pe cealalta parte a Saonei, puteti trai experienta pietei franceze in diminetile de weekend. O mare varietate de specialitati locale, produse de panificatie, fructe si legume va vor fura ochii si va vor face gura sa saliveze. Aici veti avea oportunitatea sa va plimbati impreuna cu localnicii la cumparaturi si sa va integrati intr-o mica parte din viata lor.

4. Between the Rhone and the Saone is the beautiful Place Bellecour, one of the biggest squares in Europe. A splendid statue of Louis the XIVth stands in the centre of the square. At the base of this statues, there are the statues of Rhone and Saone. 

Intre Rhone si Saone este frumoasa Piata Bellecour, una dintre cele mai mari piete din Europa. O statuie superba a lui Louis al XIV-lea sta in centrul pietei. La bazele statuii sunt statuile lui Rhone si a lui Saone.

5. Le musee des Beaux-Arts - the arts museum or Saint Pierre Palace is nicknamed 'Petit Louvre' (small Louvre). Even if you don't want to visit the museum, it's worth entering the inner courtyard and admire its beauty. 

Le musee des Beaux-Arts -  muzeul de arta sau Palatul Saint Pierre este numit si 'Petit Louvre' (micul Louvre). Chiar daca nu vreti sa vizitati muzeul, merita sa intrati in curtea interioara pentru a-i admira frumusetea.

6. Hotel de Ville - the city hall and the beautiful Place des Terreaux in front of it are some other spots you shouldn't miss. You can admire this building's great architecture while sipping a cold drink on one of the terraces in the square. 

Hotel de Ville - primaria si frumoasa Piata Terreaux din fata ei sunt alte locuri ce merita sa le vedeti. Puteti admira arhitectura acestei cladiri in timp ce sorbiti dintr-o bautura rece pe una dintre terasele din piata.  

7. Go for a walk in Parc de la Tete d'Or. An excellent location where you can spend nearly a whole day. The entrance is free and the park includes a big botanical garden, a zoo, a fantastic rose garden, a lake and plenty of enormous alleys where you can wander. You can have picnic on the grass or you can admire the squirrels that come down from the trees just to enchant you with their grace.   

Faceti o plimbare in Parc de la Tete d'Or. O locatie exceleta unde puteti petrece aproape o zi intreaga. Intrarea e gratuita si parcul include o gradina botanica mare, o gradina zoo, o gradina de trandafiri fantastica, un lac si o multime de alei enorme pe care va puteti plimba. Puteti lua picnicul pe iarba sau puteti admira veveritele ce coboara din pomi doar pentru a va incanta cu gratia lor. 

8. Escape in the nature on L'Ile Barbe. Cross the bridge Pont d'Ile Barbe over the Saone to get away from the city. Walk around and admire the old buildings, some of them unhabited, others habited by the richest people in Lyon. You will also find parks with playgrounds and a restaurant here. 

Evadati in natura pe insula L'Ile Barbe. Treceti podul Pont d'Ile Barbe peste Saone si indepartati-va de oras. Plimbati-va si admirati vechile cladiri, unele parasite, altele locuite de cei mai bogati oameni ai Lyonului. Tot aici veti gasi parcuri cu locuri de joaca pentru copii si un restaurant. 

9. Go up in the Part-Dieu tower, a pencil shaped skyscrapper. At floor 32 you have a panoramic view of the city in a very stylish bar. There is also a hotel at the top of this building with great view. 

Urcati in Turnul Part-Dieu, un zgarie-nori in forma de creion. La etajul 32 aveti o vedere panoramica a orasului si un bar stilat. Tot aici este si un hotel in varful cladirii cu un view superb.

10. Take time to admire the sunset. Lyon is also called the city of lights. It is because of a particular red light that covers the town in the afternoon. I have to admit that the sky turns into something magical at sunset, one of the most beautiful skies I've ever seen. I'll just leave you with the picture.

Lasati-va timp pentru a admira apusul. Lyon este supranumit orasul luminilor, asta datorita unei lumini rosii ce acopera orasul dupamasa. Trebuie sa recunosc ca cerul se transforma in ceva magic, unu din cele mai frumoase apusuri pe care le-am vazut. Va las doar fotografia.

11. Taste the French desserts. There are some things so good you shoudn't miss: the macarons, the icecream and the tarts. 

Gustati deserturile franceze. Sunt cateva lucruri atat de bune incat ar fi bine sa nu le ratati: macarons, inghetata si tartele. 

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

What to do in Corfu - Ce sa faci in Corfu

How to get to Corfu - Cum sa ajungi in Corfu
We traveld to Greece by car and took the ferry from Igoumenitsa to Lefkimi, as it was closer to Messonghi where we were going to stay. It takes about 55 minutes, it's shorter than the other rides, but you have to carefully check their timetable before you get there as they are less frequent (only 7 rides/day). Here ou can find more information about getting to Corfu and also timetables.

Am calatorit in Grecia cu masina si am luat feribotul de la Igoumenitsa spre Lefkimi, deoarec era cel mai apropiat port de Messonghi unde urma sa stam noi. Dureaza cam 55 de minute si este cea mai scurta cursa, dar sa aveti grija sa verificati orarul inainte sa ajungeti acolo pentru ca pe aceasta ruta sunt mai putin frecvente (doar 7 pe zi). Aici puteti citi mai multe despre modalitatile de a ajunge in Corfu si de asemenea toate orarele.

Where we staied - Unde am stat
 Our accomodation was in Messoghi, on the Eastern part of the island.  If you're looking for cheaper accomodation, there are plenty of options on Airbnb. If you're new to the site, you can sign up through my link and get an extra $35 discount for your next trip. Also, they give me $20, so everybody wins.
From the eastern part of the island you can see Albania. If you look carefully at my pictures, you can slightly see the shape of the mountains in the background.

Cazarea noastra a fost in Messonghi, pe partea de est a insulei. Daca sunteti in cautarea unei cazari mai ieftine, aveti o gramada de variante pe Airbnb. Daca nu aveti inca un cont pe site, va puteti inregistra prin linkul meu aici si primiti 100 de lei reducere la prima calatorie. De asemenea, voi primi si eu 50 de lei credit, asa ca toata lumea castiga. 
De pe partea de est a insulei se poate vedea Albania. Daca va uitati cu atentie in pozele de mai joi, puteti vedea pe fundal conturul muntilor.

Where to eat - Unde sa mananci
There is no food better than that cooked by the locals, in the mountain villages. We heard about The Village Taverna by chance, but it was the best culinar experience we could have chosen. We came back there almost every evening to taste something new and everything was great. From Messonghi, there is only a 30 minutes walk to the old village of Moraitika. 
This restaurant is a family business they started in 1981. The wife cooks, the husband comes to speak with you and recommend the food and the children help with the serving. They don't have menus because they don't need them. Nikos comes to the table and after a few minutes of talking to you he makes an idea about what you like. You tell him if you prefer chicken, lamb ot anything else and he knows what to bring you. Every night when we went there everyone had a different main dish on the table and everyone loved what they ate. If I were to give the restaurant a mark, it would be 10/10. 

Nu exista mancare mai buna decat cea gatita de localnici, in satele de munte. Am auzit despre The Village Taverna din intamplare si a fost cea mai buna experienta culinara. Ne-am intors acolo aproape in fiecare seara pentru a gusta ceva nou si totul a fost delicios. Din Messonghi pana aici e o plimbare de 30 de minute pe jos. 
Acest restaurant e o afacere de familie care a inceput in 1981. Sotia e bucatareasa, sotul vine la masa in intampinare si va recomanda ce sa mancati, iar copiii lor servesc la mese. Nu au meniuri deoarece nu au nevoie de ele. Nikos vine la masa si povesteste cateva minute cu voi, isi face o idee despre ce v-ar placea sa mancati. Ii spuneti daca preferati pui, miel sau orice altceva, iar el stie exact ce sa va aduca. In fiecare seara, fiecare a avut un fel diferit de mancare si tuturor le-a placut ce au mancat. Daca ar trebui sa ii dau acestui restaurant o nota, aceasta ar fi 10/10.

There is one special appetizer they brought us the first evening and asked for it every time we went there because it's A-MA-ZING! I don't know what it's called, but they bring you a home made toast and they prepare it in front of you: they slice some hot, melting cheese and they add some tomato sauce on the top. My mouth is already watering! Definitely ask for this one if you go there. 

In prima seara ne-au adus un aperitiv special, pe care l-am cerut de fiecare data cand ne-am intors acolo deoarece e absolut MI-NU-NAT! Nu stiu cum se numeste, dar ne-au adus la masa o paine prajita de casa pe care au preparat-o in fata noastra: au taiat o bucata de branza fierbinte, care se topea si ne-au pus peste un sos de rosii. Deja salivez! Cereti neaparat asta daca ajungeti acolo.

Kerkyra (Corfu Town)
The capital of the island offers plenty of opportunities. You can enjoy a walk on the Esplanada, the marble pedestrian area where in the past only aristocrats were allowed to walk. Near the port you can see the Old Fortress, a fascinating historical place. We didn't have the time to visit inside the walls, but the entrace is allowed. Don't forget to get lost on the small streets in the old town. The Greek atmosphere is veritable between the coloured buildings, little shops and terraces.

Capitala insulei ne ofera o multime de oportunitati. Va puteti bucura de o plimbare pe Esplanada, o zona pietonala din marmura unde in trecut aveau voie sa mearga doar aristocratii. Langa port gasiti Cetatea veche, un loc istoric fascinant. Noi nu am avut timp sa mergem in ineriorul zidurilor, dar intrarea e permisa. Pierdeti-va pe micile stradute din orasul vechi. Atmosfera greceasca e una veritabila printre cladirile colorate, micile magazine si terase.

Old Fortress
Old town

We also took a cold, refreshing break from walking in the sun and got a fish pedicure at the Fish Spa. It was my first experience of this kind and it was definitely unique. You put your feet in an aquarium full of small fish that eat your dead skin and leave your feet smoother. You feel a tickle at the begining but you get used to it. The results are less obvious if you do this only one time, but it's nice to try.  

La un moment dat, am luat o pauza bine meritata de la plimbarea prin caldura de afara si am fost la Fish Spa pentru o pedichiura cu pestisori. A fost prima mea experienta de acest tip si a fost cu siguranta ceva aparte. Intrati cu picioarele inr-un acvariu plin de pestisori care vor manca pielea moarta si va vor lasa picioarele mai fine. La inceput, veti ca va gadila picioarele , dar va obisnuiti cu senzatia. Rezultatele nu sunt spectaculoase dupa o singura sedinta, dar e ceva interesant de incercat.

Kaiser's Throne
It's in top of a hill from where you can see the whole island and the view is spectacular. A great spot for taking pictures. The access is from Pelekas. You leave your car in a parking and there is a short walk to the spot. There is also a bar near the place where you can sit for a refresing drink. 

Este in varful unui deal de unde puteti admira panorama incantatoare a intregii insule. Este un loc numai bun de facut poze. Accesul este din Pelekas. Masina trebuie lasata intr-o parcare, iar pana la acest loc este o plimbare scurta. De asemenea, este un bar in apropiere unde va puteti racori. 

My number 1 favourite place - it's a spot from where you can watch an amazing sunset by the sea but also planes landing and lifting from Capodistria's airport runways, which are extremely close. There is a very beautiful bar with a terrace on the top of the hill from where you can admire the whole thing, but you can also go down for taking amazing pictures with the planes that seem to be flying just a few meters above you. Actually, there is much more than a few meters, but it's impressive as the planes are so big and so close. We went there in the evening and there was a plane every 15-30 minutes, so it's impossible not to catch one. Be sure not to miss this experience if you travel to Corfu.

Locul meu preferat de pe aceasta insula - un loc de unde puteti privi un apus superb in mare, dar si avioanele care aterizeaza si decoleaza de pe pistele aeroportului Capodistria, care este foarte aproape. Aici este un bar dragut cu o terasa pe varful dealului, de unde puteti admira tot spectacolul, dar puteti si sa coborati pentru niste poze foarte reusite cu avioanele care par ca zboara doar cativa metri deasupra voastra. De fapt, e o distanta mult mai mare de cativa metri, dar e impresionant pentru ca avianele sunt atat de mari si atat de aproape. Ne-am dus acolo seara si am vazut cate un avion la fiecare 15-30 de minute, deci e imposibil sa nu prindeti unul. Nu ratati aceasta experienta incredibila din Corfu.

A natural, cristal clear pool in which the most curageous divers can jump from the cliffs. There is also a mud beach there.

O piscina naturala, cu apa limpede, unde cei mai curajosi dintre voi pot sari de pe stanci. Tot aici este si o plaja cu namol.

One day cruise - Croaziera de o zi
We went on a boat trip with Capitan Homers from Messonghi. They have a Certificate of Excellence from Trip Advisor and I've only read good opinions about their tours. They offered us drinks and souvlaki on the boat, but also a nice Greek atmosphere. They took us to Parga, Blue Lagoon and Botanical garden. I simply loved the last two places.

Am mers intr-o excursie cu vaporasul prin agentia Capitan Homers din Messonghi. Aceasta agentie a primit un Certificat de Excelenta de la trip advisor si am citit numai opinii pozitive despre excursiile lor. Pe vapor, ne-au oferit bauturi si souvlaki, dar si o atmosfera greceasca pe cinste. Ne-au dus la Parga, Laguna albastra si Gradina Botanica. Ultimele doua a fost favoritele mele.

 Swimming in the Blue Lagoon is an amazing thing to do. The water is crystal clear and you can see fish swimming next to you. It's a great place for snorkeling, though you don't necesarily need goggles to see the fish under water. We stopped there and had enough time to swim.

Sa inoti in Laguna albastra e ceva inedit. Apa e limpede ca si cristalul si poti vedea pestisori inotand langa tine. E un loc bun pentru snorkeling, desi nu aveti neaparat nevoie de ochelari pentru a vedea sub apa. Am facut o oprire aici si am avut timp sa inotam. 

On our way back, we stopped in a beautiful botanical garden. It was full of flowers, palm trees, bananna trees, hammoks, statuettes. There is also the possibility to swim in the sea. I think I liked this place the most in the cruise day as it was something different and refreshing.

Pe drumul inapoi spre Messonghi, ne-am oprit la o gradina botanica sperba. Era plina de flori, palmieri, bananieri, hamace si statuiete. Aici aveti si posibilitatea de a inota in mare. Cred ca acest loc mi-a placut cel mai mult in ziua croazierei deoarece a fost ceva diferit si racoros.