Posts tagged travel blog

Letters from Turkey: Istanbul, City of Two Continents…

My dear travellers, I hope you are well and ready for a new adventure! After a long break after tsarist Russia, a magical adventure that we all experienced together at the beginning of this year in St. Petersburg, it’s time for a new destination!

Today’s post will be dedicated to the city that I truly love because of its oriental charm and cordial mentality of the people. As a person whose travel has become more than a passionate hobby, I must admit that I missed some little things like the loudspeaker at the airport, travelers who are excited to look for their passports and flight tickets, especially the youngest adventurers who see special edition of M&M sweets in the airport shop.

This time I had the opportunity to experience the ease of travel with the unique and elegant suitcases and travel accessories of the Italian house Bric’s. The Bellagio collection allows all travel hedonists to travel in style with appropriate travel pieces that captivate with true elegance, while on the other hand, the Life Pelle collection nurtures the beauty of leather travel pieces with which you can travel around the world.

Italian fashion house Bric’s is the best ally for any trip with style: the Bellagio Trolley Organizer and the backpack from the Life Pelle collection.

Bric’s story begins with Mr. Mario Briccola’s dreams of quality luggage and leather goods in 1952 in the Como region. The brand has become internationally known for its handmade luggage made of the finest Tuscan leather and the most modern, durable nylon. Although Bric’s has now outgrown the original workshop, love and a personal stamp for every piece made are still present in every piece today.

Now the second generation of the Briccola family is providing its heritage of quality, style and attention to detail which Mr. Mario Briccola started. Known as the best Italian brand for luggage quality, Bric’s continued to justify its reputation. From luggage over handbags to spacious cosmetic bags and accessories quality workmanship is easily noticeable.

Using only the finest materials such as micro antelope skin that is resistant to all weather conditions and leather tanned in plants, Bric’s luggage is made to withstand everything and give you a sense of security and the beauty of travel in style.

With several leading stores around the world, Bric’s continues to develop Mario Briccola’s dream and becomes a world-renowned brand in the field of travel. Bric’s is a story about family, hard work, crafts and a company where dreams really come true.

This adventure would not have been possible without the cordial support of my friends from Air Montenegro who allowed me to feel the beauty and security of traveling during the pandemic.

Air Montenegro is a new airline founded by the Government of Montenegro at the beginning of 2021. The first flight of this company was made in June this year. Air Montenegro’s vision is to be one of the key pillars of tourism, to support the national economy and the economy as a sustainable company that will create a large number of jobs and reduce unemployment in Montenegro.

Responsible and sustainable business positively affect long-term relationships with society, resources and the environment. Air Montenegro also takes care of the safety and health of passengers and employees. It is important to note that Air Montenegro has received the international Safe Travels badge.

“Safe Travel” is a special tourist label that allows travelers to identify destinations and companies around the world, which in order to prevent the spread of COVID-19 have adopted global standards of health and hygiene.

Air Montenegro joined the European Association of Airlines of the Region (ERA) in October this year. One of the main goals of the Association, which has over 55 airlines, is to represent the interests of all members before major European regulators, governments and legislators in order to encourage and develop awareness of long-term and sustainable growth for the sector and the airline industry.

The first commercial flight of this company was on the route Podgorica – Sarajevo on June 1, 2021, as part of the Montenegrin national football team that traveled to Sarajevo. Regular commercial traffic of Air Montenegro was launched on June 10 with the route Podgorica – Belgrade. The fleet of this young airline consists of Embraer 195 medium-range passenger planes.

For all fans of the Montenegrin coast, the airline Air Montenegro has special offers for flights Frankfurt – Podgorica and Ljubljana – Podgorica and Tivat as well. These flights are performed throughout the year, so you have the opportunity to enjoy the natural wild beauty of Montenegro throughout the year. Also, one of the destinations in the region that you can visit with Air Montenegro is Banja Luka, which proudly bears the title of “Green Valley” as a symbol of beauty and greenery.

In today’s post, I will share my adventure and what a trip with Air Montenegro to Oriental Istanbul looks like! If you are ready to feel the magic of traveling during the New Year holidays, visit the Air Montenegro website and book your seat by the window so you can enjoy the enchanting view!

To get to magical Istanbul, the first thing you need to do is head to beautiful Tivat where you have two options: take a break and enjoy the beauties of Tivat and its surroundings or continue your journey to Istanbul and maybe during the return to experience the charms of wonderful Montenegro.

The flight to Tivat is maybe short, but the picturesque landscapes that you will have the opportunity to see will be worth as a new life experience that will not be forgotten. My sincere advice is to prepare your phones and capture these moments when you fly over the mountain ranges and suddenly see the beauty of the Montenegrin coast, these contrasts are just amazing!

Since I had the opportunity to visit Podgorica a few years ago, it was a great pleasure for me to have the opportunity to see what the Mediterranean part looks like and to feel the beauty of the coastal landscapes.

Just landing at the airport in Tivat was a fantastic experience because you have the opportunity to see the Bay of Kotor. I have always been fascinated by airports located by the water. As it was cold and changeable in Belgrade, the weather in Tivat was unusually warm and sunny for this time of year!

Do you remember the possibilities I mentioned a moment ago? I decided that due to the terms of the consultation with the doctors and procedures that awaited me in Turkey, it was best to continue my journey to Istanbul, so I had at least 2 hours to enjoy the beauty and smell of water in the Mediterranean.

The time at the airport passed quickly, while I picked up my suitcase and performed all the necessary procedures, it was time to board the second flight to my final destination – Istanbul.

The flight Tivat – Istanbul lasts about an hour and a half, maybe about 1 hour and 45 minutes, just enough to enjoy “life in the clouds”. Istanbul has more airports, it is important to know that Air Montenegro planes land at the new international airport in Istanbul. Refreshment and in-flight snacks are available on all Air Montenegro flights.

ISTANBUL

Are there words that can describe this picturesque metropolis that today has over 15 million inhabitants, yes you read well over 15 million people live in Istanbul! Some sources unofficially claim that about 20 million people live in Istanbul, but that is unconfirmed information. Honestly, I believe that about 18 million people live in Istanbul, so maybe the truth is somewhere in the middle.

Why do all roads lead to Istanbul today? Istanbul is considered the economic, social and cultural center of the Republic of Turkey. In addition, Istanbul is one of the most populous cities in the world, the seventh largest city in the world and the largest city in Europe. Istanbul is considered a bridge between East and West.

I admit that I have been to Istanbul more times than I have years and this city is one of my favorites because it has that unusual oriental charm and it is a city that never sleeps! There are many reasons why tourists come to Istanbul today, many come for good shopping, some for visiting cultural heritage, while some like me come this time for the famous medical tourism.

Taksim Square, located in the Beyoglu district in the European part of Istanbul, is a major tourist and recreational district known for its restaurants, shops and hotels. It is considered the heart of modern Istanbul with the central station of the Istanbul metro network. Taksim Square is also famous for the monument of the Republic, which you can see better in my picture with a simit (bagel).

Don’t miss the opportunity to catch the famous red tram number two and ride along the entire Istikal Street. It is a unique experience and will be remembered for a lifetime!

When you come to Istanbul, on the streets of the city you will notice the curled heads of men who have had hair transplants, masks on the noses of men and women who have solved their health and aesthetic problem, of course there are women in their golden age who proudly show that have regained their youth.

Since I came to Istanbul this time with the intention of helping myself, I did something beautiful and useful for myself in order to improve my health and beautify myself, I counted in myself how many people on the street really did something for themselves.

I admit that at first I was amazed while pulling the suitcase, I was not very active in counting, but I think I met at least 30 people who had some aesthetic procedure, mostly nose surgery or hair transplantation.

Turkish plastic surgeons are considered one of the best in Europe, perhaps even in the world. Also, other branches of medicine have been developed, especially oncology, which unfortunately has an increasing number of cases and patients come to Turkey to find a cure and their salvation.

In addition to aesthetic and plastic surgery, dental services are represented in Turkey, as well as services related to gastric surgery, procedures that enable significant and permanent weight loss.

Since many of you contacted me about obesity surgery while I was in Istanbul, I inquired a little about these interventions. Gastric surgery as part of obesity surgery is drastically cheaper in Turkey than in other countries in Europe and the world as well. Due to the large number of patients coming from Europe and the world, Turkish doctors have gained experience. Since there are several types of procedures related to obesity surgery, I am not competent to talk about it in more detail, but I can tell you that the prices are quite cheaper than in Germany.

Many people from Europe and the world went to Istanbul to solve this health problem and really managed to lose weight, but I note that it is necessary to be careful and choose the right clinic for any type of intervention. Obesity is a serious health problem and surgery to reduce the weight is serious and you need to find the right doctor to help you.

Most people who followed my experience on social media were interested in how medical tourism works in Turkey. Is it really based on the principle “you come in, go out and it’s over” and after a few days you just fly back home or is it just a fairy tale.

When it comes to plastic surgery, everything is extremely simple. The most important thing is not to make a mistake in the initial selection of the clinic and the doctor, and everything else goes according to plan. The second step is arranging an arrival in Turkey and the first consultation with a selected plastic surgeon.

At the first consultation, you meet the doctor and try to explain all your wishes in more detail so that the doctor understands the reason for your visit, as I explained in detail what bothers me on my nose and face in general. When it comes to communicating with the staff at the clinic, a large number of clinics have staff who speak some of the languages from your country or hire an interpreter who spends time with you at the clinic, as well as afterwards during the operation.

When you have finished the first consultation with your chosen doctor, his assistant will schedule an intervention. Sometimes the clinic immediately offers you the date of the operation, but in most cases the clinic schedules a consultation with the patient in the period when it can perform the intervention, so that enough time is left for the patient to decide after the first consultation.

Local transport around Istanbul, hotel – clinic – hotel is free in most cases so you don’t have to worry about how to get to the clinic and back to the hotel, everything is already organized. As for accommodation (hotels) when you go to Istanbul on this occasion, clinics mostly offer packages where hotels + transport around Istanbul and airport transportation and interventions are included in the price, but it is necessary to agree with the clinic in advance.

My mom and I were given an appointment for surgery which was two days after the first consultation so everything was very fast. You can use your free time to explore Istanbul.

Also a question which was repeated many times was the time which you need to spent in Istanbul during the visit. Depending on the type of intervention, the period that needs to be spent in Istanbul also depends. Calculate that plastic surgery takes between 10 and 15 days, depending on the procedure you are performing.

These were just introductory information about medical tourism, you will get all the more detailed information in my next blog post which will be dedicated to the operations that my mom and I did in Istanbul.

This post will be interesting to you as a kind of tourist guide that you can visit and see in Istanbul before and after the procedure. The operations did not slow me down too much, maybe I rested for 2-3 days and after that I went out on the street to see people and try various Turkish delights!

Everyone who goes to Istanbul for the first time is eager to explore this city and that is why they first head to Fatih, the part of the city where Hagia Sophia is located, the Blue Mosque and other sights for which Istanbul is famous. Of course, there is also the Capali Carsi in the neighborhood (the famous Grand Bazaar) where you can shop for interesting leather goods, sweets and souvenirs. When going to the Grand Bazaar, prepare your negotiating skills because Turks are known as skilled traders and bargaining is an integral part of negotiations. Take 1 to 2 days to tour this part of the city, depending on how interested you are about this kind of sights and shopping.

When you are done with the cultural uplift so that you can brag to your neighbors and friends about seeing some important sights in Istanbul, you can choose whether you are more for a shopping marathon (shopping without borders) or a cruise.

Istanbul is a promised paradise for all shopaholics, without false promises Istanbul is a place where there is a price range from the cheapest brands you can imagine, affordable jewelry and interesting things to extremely expensive things. No one was left empty-handed in this city, everyone found something for themselves and bought it, whether it was a small thing or an expensive thing.

If you are a fan of luxury fashion, and honestly your budget can’t afford it, there are more than 10 outlet shopping malls that are bigger than usual shopping centres in Germany and Europe so you can find everything your heart desires from the most famous brands from previous seasons.

The most famous outlet shopping malls are: Optimum Outlet, Viaport Outlet, Starcity Outlet.

Of course there are others, but these are with a better offer of brands. These shopping malls are located on the outskirts of the city, so get ready for an adventure in local transport. It can be an interesting and unforgettable adventure!

My hotel was close to Nisantasi, a paradise for luxury shopping where you can find all the world famous luxury brands such as Louis Vuitton, Hermes, Berlutti, Max Mara, Gucci and others.

Currently, the choice of brands on Nisantashi has been reduced as all the big fashion houses have moved to big malls like Istinye Park, Emaar Square Mall (new mall), Kanyon Mall and Zorlu Mall.

During my last visit to Istanbul, I visited all the mentioned shopping malls, but as soon as I took out my professional camera, security guards came to warn me that photography is not allowed, so unfortunately you will be abridged the modernist beauties of luxury shopping malls in Istanbul, so you will need to feel it by yourself especially now when seasonal sales starts.

Nisantasi is a meeting place for Turkish designers, so if you happen to pay attention, you will notice numerous fashion ateliers that simply entice customers with their creations to look at their latest collections. Diamonds on the dress, no problem! Everything can be found in this city which is located at the crossroads of East and West.

Due to that fact, Istanbul has become a paradise for shopaholics from the Far and Middle East who come to Istanbul to feel the European version of the Oriental East.

Nisantasi is a popular district of Sisli district on the European side of Istanbul. It consists of settlements such as Tesvikije, Mačka, Osmanbey and Pangalti. A popular shopping and residential district, it is one of the most exclusive districts of Istanbul.

Here, as I just mentioned, you can find stores of the most famous fashion brands, department stores, cafes, pubs, restaurants and nightclubs. Abdi Ipekci Street, the most expensive shopping street in Turkey in terms of rental prices, stretches from the Macka and Tesvikiye districts to the center of Nisantasi.

The Nisantasi district is unrivaled in terms of entertainment and cultural content. High class restaurants, cafes and pubs with various additional activities. In the neighboring areas there are large shopping malls such as Cevahir Mall which can be easily reached by public transport or a short walk.

Pangalti, which connects Nisantashi with Mecidiyeköy, is full of local shops and brands. In other words, Nisantasi can give you the opportunity to enjoy prestige and luxury with the ability to have everything at your fingertips.

When I’m on Nisantasi, I always like to go down to the neighboring district of Besiktas, the area where the famous stadium of the famous Turkish club is located and the part that goes out on the Bosphorus. The water always relaxes me and I like to watch the boats and seagulls that adorn this idyllic picture of Istanbul.

Besiktas is located on the European shores of the Bosphorus. The district encompasses important landmarks along the European shores of the Bosphorus, from the Dolmabahçe Palace in the south to the Bebek area in the north.

This area is home to lesser-known neighborhoods overlooking the Bosphorus where you have the opportunity to see expensive villas in Turkish series that we love to watch. I sincerely love this district because of the opportunity to go ashore and see the boats and to enjoy the beauty of the Dolmabahçe Palace, which I sincerely advise everyone to visit when they come to Istanbul.

Although this is a relatively small district of Istanbul, both in terms of population and area, Besiktas is one of the most important areas of the city due to its business and trade zones, historical institutions, universities and of course the fabulous view of the Bosphorus and waterways.

The photo was taken 7 days after the aesthetic procedure

OUTFIT

Jacket: Paul & Shark

Backpack: Bric’s

Jeans: Brunello Cucinelli

Bric’s backpack from the Life Pelle special collection

Here on the coast you can see locals resting and fishing, all the way to those curious tourists like me who came to admire Istanbul and experience this view of Istanbul and the Bosphorus, which we only have the opportunity to see every day in favorite Turkish soap operas.

In addition to shopping, Istanbul is ideal for gourmets because Turkish cuisine is rich and their specialties are unique. If you are more of a street food lover then only three words are allowed: Doner, Börek and Simit. Doner is like Greek gyros that is made exclusively in Turkey with chicken and veal meat with various side dishes, the price of one doner portion varies from 12 to 35 lira depending on the portion size and additives.

Börek is known to everyone, pastry that you will not forget, the price of one serving of Borek is around 15 to 20 lira and finally Simit who never let me down on the street because on every corner in Istanbul you can see an interesting red stroller with bagels that currently cost 2.50 Turkish lira , about 23-25 euro cents. To understand the ratio currency, 1 euro is worth between 11 and 12 Turkish lira.

Istanbul is a city that you just have to love because it gets under your skin. It is a city that awakens a special kind of emotion in everyone. Istanbul is a city with many faces and I am sure that each of you will find at least one that you will adore. This is a city that will delight you every time you visit.

Some people say that it is necessary to come to Istanbul at least until you find at least one answer to the famous question: “Why do you love Istanbul?“.

Every good adventure has its beginning and end, so after less than 3 weeks in beautiful Istanbul it’s time to go home… This adventure was special for me because I fulfilled my greatest wishes and thank you to everyone who took the time to send quick message and to give me words of support. In a few days I will share with you my experience and what my makeover process looked like.

At the very end of this post, I would like to take this opportunity to thank my friends from Air Montenegro who made it possible for my adventure to be just perfect. I sincerely hope that we will meet soon be again and discover the world together.

I invite all travel lovers to visit the official website of the new airline Air Montenegro and book your ticket to Montenegro or some European metropolis! They say that the New Year in Montenegro is magical, it’s worth checking out!

I would also like to take this opportunity to thank Bric’s for their trust and look forward to being a member of the Bric’s family and I am confident that together we will embark on new adventures early next year and write some new travel pages of the Mr.M online diary!

My dear adventurers, we have come to the end of this first special post from Turkey which would not have been possible without the selfless help of Air Montenegro and Arpanu Medical Group, partners who made it possible for me to share my impressions of medical tourism in Turkey.

Time always flies when a person has a good time! A man is rich at heart if he has managed to explore the world and I am glad to always be able to find suitable partners for my projects that allow me to discover some destinations in a completely different way during this global health crisis COVID-19.

I am honored to have the opportunity to work with companies that are at the very top in each industry and I would like to thank them for this amazing adventure and for allowing me to experience the charms of Istanbul in a completely different way.

How did you like this story of mine about Istanbul? Have you had the opportunity to visit this magical city so far?

If you have a question, comment, suggestion or message for me you can write to me below in the comments. Of course, you can always contact me via email or social networks and you can find it on the CONTACT page. See you in the same place in a couple of days, with a new story!

Blogger greetings from Istanbul,

Mr.M

This post is sponsored by national airline carrier Air Montenegro, brands Bric’s, Brunello Cucinelli, Paul & Shark, and Arpanu Medical Group which represents my personal and honest review of their products and services.

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Letter from Russia: St. Petersburg, a golden fairy tale on the banks of the Neva…

My dear travelers, welcome to the Mr.M blog. I sincerely hope that you are well and that you are ready to spend this weekend with me in St. Petersburg well known also as Sankt-Peterburg or Leningrad. We will agree later on how we will call this beautiful golden city, which is one of the most beautiful cities in Russia, while for some people it is also the most beautiful city in the world!

When I announced on social media channels on the day of my departure for Russia that I was on my way to the tsarist Russian empire, most people were shocked where I plan to go to snowy Russia in the middle of winter at minus 20 degrees. My hosts from the Tourist Board of the city of St. Petersburg sent an interesting invitation where they briefly evoked the winter magic in this imperial city. My desire for adventure, as well as my suitcase that craved airport tracks with the first dose of the vaccine received, I decided to embark on a new unusual adventure!

St. Petersburg, formerly known as Sankt-Peterburg, and later as Leningrad, is the second largest city in Russia. The city is located on the banks of the Neva River, at the very top of the Gulf of Finland on the Baltic Sea. This imperial city today has about 6 million inhabitants.

Interesting information that St. Petersburg is the fourth most populous city in Europe, and at the same time the most populous city on the Baltic Sea, as well as the northernmost city in the world with over a million inhabitants. St. Petersburg is considered one of the most important Russian ports in the Baltic Sea.

Lakhta Center (Gazprom Tower)

The city was founded by Emperor Peter the Great at the beginning of the 18th century on the site of a occupied Swedish fortress, and was named after the apostle St. Peter. St. Petersburg is historically and culturally connected with the birth of the Russian Empire and Russia’s entry into modern history as one of the greatest European powers.

It served as the capital of the Russian Empire during the period from the beginning of the 18th century to the beginning of the 20th century (replaced by Moscow for a short period between 1728 and 1730). After the Great October Revolution of 1917, the Bolsheviks moved their government to Moscow.

St. Petersburg is known as the “Cultural Capital of Russia” and today is considered an important economic, scientific, cultural and tourist center of today’s Russia and Europe. The historical core (old part of the city) of St. Petersburg and related groups of monuments are listed as UNESCO World Heritage Sites.

St. Petersburg is home to the Hermitage, one of the largest art museums in the world, the center of Lakhta (Gazprom Tower), the tallest skyscraper in Europe and was one of the host cities of the 2018 FIFA World Cup.

As you are used to, I always try to look back at the history of the creation and development of a city. According to the interpretations of the first written documents on the territory of modern St. Petersburg, the first human settlement can be traced back to the time of the last melting of the glacier that covered this territory.

About 12,000 years ago, the ice receded, and people went further north because of the ice. Data on the Slavs are known from the 8th to the 9th century. They were engaged in agriculture, animal husbandry, hunting and fishing and carried out armed attacks on other peoples. At the beginning of the 9th century, these lands became part of the Old Russian state, forming part of the territory of Veliky Novgorod called Vodskaya Pyatina, the area on the right along the Neva was called the Karelian Land, on the left – the Izhora Land.

As a result of the defeat in the war with Sweden due to the Stolbov Peace Treaty in 1617, the territories along the Neva River became part of Swedish Ingermanland, whose trade and administrative center was the city of Nien near the Nienskans fortress, built in 1611 on the Landskrona site.

As a result of the Northern War of 1700-1721, the Neva River Valley was conquered by Sweden and became part of the Russian Empire under the Nishtat Peace Treaty. At the beginning of the 18th century, at the mouth of the Neva, not far from Nien, the city of St. Petersburg was founded.

In the first quarter of the 18th century, the name was written as San (k) t-Peter-Burh. When the city was built, no special act was adopted defining the name of the city, but in the letters of Peter I and the official newspaper Vedomosti, the name “San (k) t-Peter-Burh” is almost always mentioned in accordance with the Dutch version. St. Pieter Burch). The spelling “St. Petersburg” was first recorded in the newspaper “Vedomosti” in July 1724.

In the first ten years of its existence, the main part of the city was the City Island (modern Petrogradski Island), there were Gostinji Dvor, Trinity Church, many service buildings, craft settlements and military units. The first industrial company was the Admiralty shipyard, where the Galija shipyard, the Winter Palace and the Summer Palace of Peter I with the Summer Garden were later built.

Peter and Paul Fortress (St. Petersburg Fortress) is the oldest architectural monument in St. Petersburg. Located on the island of Hare, the historic heart of the city. It was never used in any battle, and from the first quarter of the 18th century until the beginning of the 1920s, it served as a prison. Since 1924, this fortification has been turned into a state museum.

The Peter and Paul Fortress is a monument of Russian architecture, on which numerous architects worked. The modern fortress houses numerous architectural monuments and museums: the Cathedral of Peter and Paul, the tomb of the Grand Duke, the Botan House, the Commander’s House, the Engineering House, the Mint, the Museum of the History of Technology.

The fortress belongs to the historical part of St. Petersburg and, together with the complex of monuments, is included in the UNESCO World Heritage List. The model of the fortress of Peter and Paul has become a symbol of the city and occupies a key place in its panorama. From 1873, an artillery signal shot was fired from Naryshkin’s bastion of the fortress every day at 12 o’clock, which was not carried out from 1934 to 1953.

It is a historical symbol of the city together with an angel on the tower of the Cathedral of Peter and Paul together with a boat on the tower of the Admiralty and a monument to the Bronze Horseman.

The Cathedral of Peter and Paul is an architectural monument, the tomb of the Russian imperial house of the Romanovs. The wooden church of Peter and Paul appeared on this site in 1703. In its place, 1712-1733, according to the project of the architect Trezzini, a stone cathedral was built in the style of the early Russian Baroque.

In the middle of 1756, due to a fire, the wooden tower, the roof and the upper layers of the bell tower burned down. The building was renovated until 1780, with some minor architectural changes to the plan. After the fire, a great storm occurred which tilted the cross and tore off the image of an angel from the cross.

The bell tower is 122.5 meters high. A bell clock has been placed on the bell tower since 1776. From 1708, the burial of members of the Romanov family began in the Cathedral of Peter and Paul. At the beginning of March 1725, the coffin with the body of Emperor Peter I was placed in a temporary wooden chapel, and in 1731 it was buried again in the iconostasis of the cathedral. During the 18th century, until the beginning of the 20th century, all the emperors and empresses of the Russian Empire were buried in the cathedral, with the exception of John VI and Peter II. In 1998, the last Tsar Nicholas II was buried in Catherine’s Palace.

During 1918, church services in the church were stopped and all church valuables were confiscated. Currently, the cathedral is under the jurisdiction of the Museum of the History of St. Petersburg

St. Petersburg is a cultural center of world importance, it is often called the “Cultural Capital” of Russia. The city has over 8000 places of cultural heritage (historical and cultural monuments), including 4000 places of cultural heritage of federal significance, which is almost 10% of all monuments that the state protects on the territory of the Russian Federation.

There are over 200 museums and their branches (including the Hermitage (about three million works of art and monuments of world culture), the Russian Museum (the largest museum of Russian art), the Central Maritime Museum, the Museum of the Russian Academy of Arts, the Museum of Modern Art and Sculpture, St. Petersburg History Museum). , Museum of Anthropology and Ethnography of Peter the Great (Kunstkamera), museums-palaces and parks Peterhof, Oranienbaum, Tsarskoe Selo, Pavlovsk, art Pushkinskaya 10 Center, Museum of Contemporary Art Erarta, Sverdlovsk Museum of AS Pushkin, Museum of Defense and Siege of Leningrad and others, exhibition complex Lenekpo.

There are more than 70 theaters in St. Petersburg, including the Mariinsky Theater, the Alexandria Theater, the Mikhailovsky Theater, the Bolshoi Drama Theater named after GA Tovstonogov, the St. Petersburg Academic Comedy Theater named after NP Akimov, the Small Drama Theater (Europe Theater), the Lensovet Academic Theater, the Baltic House , VF Komissarzhevskaya Academic Drama Theater, Litsedei Clovneri Theater, St. Petersburg Bolshoi State Circus and many others).

Saint Isaac’s Cathedral

Da li ste znali da je Sankt Petersburg dom više od 1000 biblioteka (najveće među njima su Ruska nacionalna biblioteka (javna), Biblioteka Ruske akademije nauka, Predsednička biblioteka Borisa Jeljcina).

Sankt Petersburg je kulturna prestonica Rusije i Evrope, bez obzira na period godine kada se odlučite da posetite grad imaćete priliku da uživate u raznim kulturnim i umetničkim manifestacijama.

When we finished with the most important sights and getting to know the city, my hosts from the tourist organization sent me a nice form, what would I like to see in St. Petersburg? The list included botanical gardens and aquariums. Since I haven’t visited aquariums for a long time, I decided to visit the St. Petersburg Oceanarium.

Oceanarium” is a kind of “underwater museum” with living exhibits – the inhabitants of the aquatic environment. It is located in the shopping and entertainment complex “Planet Neptune” in St. Petersburg.

The total area of the Oceanarium is about 5000 square meters. There are 59 aquariums, and the largest aquarium has an underwater tunnel 35 meters long. The unique exhibition of the Oceanarium allows you to enjoy the beauty of the underwater world because more than 2,000 specimens of freshwater and marine fish, aquatic invertebrates and mammals live here.

Here you can spend a few hours observing the inhabitants of the underwater world. Colorful fish, frogs, graceful sharks will calm you with cheerfulness, and clumsy seals and curious faces of Asian otters will make you laugh to tears!

Every visitor can not only dive into the atmosphere of the underwater world, but also become a spectator of interesting “shows” in which the actors are sharks, numerous fish and seals. Performances with these amazing residents are held every day except Monday.

After the adventure I had in the wilderness of the underwater world, the tourist organization prepared a surprise for me, so we just went a little further from St. Petersburg, where we had the opportunity to hang out with unusual inhabitants of this part of the country – European Bison (Wisent).

Zubrovnik Park, a nature reserve located near St. Petersburg, you can enjoy nature, winter sports and socializing with European bison.

European Bison

The “Zubrovnik” family vacation and ecotourism park is one of the largest suburban complexes in terms of area and the only facility in the Leningrad region specialized in ecotourism.

Zubrovnik Park can provide you with interesting walks and excursions to beautiful places, contact with the wild and leave an incredible impression that you will remember for a long time.

The Wisent or European bison is a European type of cattle (Bovini). Wisents were found in the primeval forests of western, central and south-eastern Europe until the early Middle Ages. Their habitat are temperate deciduous, coniferous and mixed forests.

Wisents are herd animals, but only to be found in small groups depending on their habitat. Typical herds include 12 to 20 animals and consist of cows and young animals. Sexually mature bulls only stay with the herds during the rutting season. The outwardly similar American bison (Bos bison) can be crossed with the bison without restriction.

In addition to getting to know the bison, I had the opportunity to feel the adrenaline and be in contact with nature while riding a snowmobile where you have organized tours. A unique experience, I have to admit that it is one of the more extreme things I have done in my life so far.

Believe me, you don’t even notice the cold over time, for the first 3 days I couldn’t imagine spending more than 5 hours outside, but after that my body got used to the environment and I easily spent a few hours outdoors and in nature. It is amazing how quickly a person gets used to the weather conditions in Russia. The immunity of the Russians is good and they are one of the healthiest nations in Europe.

My dear travelers, we have reached the end of this special post from Russia, which would not have been possible without the selfless help of the Tourist Board of St. Petersburg, an institution that allowed me to feel the spirit and beauty of the former tsarist Russian capital and share my impressions of this unusual city. The Baltic Sea on the banks of the Neva River. I would also like to take this opportunity to thank the national Russian airline Aeroflot for the wonderful trip.

Time always flies when a person has a good time! A man is rich at heart if he has managed to explore the world and I am glad to always be able to find partners for my projects that help me discover new and unusual destinations in a completely different way during this global COVID-19 health crisis.

I am honored to have the opportunity to work with companies that are at the very top in the tourism industry and I would like to thank them for this incredible adventure and for allowing me to feel the beauty, culture, spirit and hospitality of tsarist Russia in a completely different way.

How did you like this story of mine about St. Petersburg? Have you had the opportunity to visit this city in Russia so far?

A model of what a house in St. Petersburg looked like

If you have a question, comment, suggestion or message for me, you can write me down in the comments. Of course, as always you can contact me via mail or social media, which you can find on the CONTACT page.

With love from St. Petersburg,
Mr.M

This post is sponsored by the City Tourism Board of St. Petersburg and Aeroflot airline.

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Letters from Northern Macedonia: Skopje, the capital of warm southern spirit, tradition and good wine

My dear travelers, welcome to the Mr.M blog! Today, as the first post in February, I prepared a special gift for all of you – a travelogue about the capital of the Republic of Northern Macedonia – Skopje. Make some of your favorite drinks and treats, settle down comfortably and our adventure can begin!

The Republic of Northern Macedonia is a country located on the Balkan Peninsula in Southeast Europe. It gained independence in 1991 as one of the successor states of the former Yugoslavia. Northern Macedonia is a landlocked country bordering Serbia in the north, Bulgaria in the east, Greece in the south, Kosovo in the northwest and Albania in the west.

“Warrior on a Horse” Monument on the main square in Skopje

An interesting fact is that a quarter of the country’s 2.06 million population lives in Skopje, the capital of the Republic of Northern Macedonia and also it is the largest city in the country. The majority of the inhabitants are ethnic Macedonians, a South Slavic people. Albanians make up a significant minority followed by Turks, Roma, Serbs, Bosniaks and Aromanians.

As you are used to, this time I will tell you something more about the history of this interesting country in the Balkans. The history of the region begins with the kingdom of Paeonia, a mixed Thracian-Illyrian. At the end of the sixth century BC, this area was subjugated by the Persian Achaemenid Empire, which was then incorporated into the Kingdom of Macedonia in the fourth century BC.

The Romans conquered the region in the second century BC and made it part of a larger province of Macedonia. The area remained part of the Byzantine Empire, but Slavic tribes often raided and inhabited it in the sixth century AD.

After centuries of quarrels between the Bulgarian, Byzantine and Serbian empires, it was part of Ottoman rule from the mid-14th to the beginning of the 20th century, when the modern territory of Northern Macedonia came under Serbian rule after the Balkan Wars of 1912 and 1913.

During the First World War, the area of today’s Republic of Northern Macedonia was ruled by Bulgaria, but after the end of the war it returned to Serbian rule as part of the newly formed Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes. During the Second World War, it was ruled again by Bulgaria, and in 1945 it was established as a constituent state of communist Yugoslavia, which remained until its peaceful secession in 1991.

The Vardar River and extraordinary Restaurant – Hotel Senigallia (right)

The country became a member of the United Nations in April 1993 as a result of a dispute with Greece over the name “Macedonia”, accepted under the provisional description “former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia” (abbreviated “FYR Macedonia” or “FYROM”).

In June 2018, Macedonia and Greece resolved the dispute with an agreement that the country should be renamed the Republic of Northern Macedonia. This renaming came into force in February 2019.

Skopje is the political, cultural, economic and academic center of the Republic of Northern Macedonia. There is evidence that the territory of the city of Skopje was first inhabited at least 4000 years before the new era.

Remains of Neolithic settlements have been found within the old fortress which overlooks the modern city center. Originally a Paeonian city, Skopje became the capital of Dardania in the second century BC. On the eve of the 1st century AD, the settlement was occupied by the Romans and became a military camp.

Skopje is located on the upper course of the Vardar River and at the same time on the main north-south route of the Balkans between two capitals – Belgrade and Athens. This unusual city is a center for metal processing, chemical, wood, textile, leather and printing industries. The industrial development of the city is accompanied by the development of the trade, logistics and banking sectors, as well as the emphasis on the areas of transport, culture and sports.

According to the latest official census, the city of Skopje had about 450,000 inhabitants in its metropolitan area and over 500,000 inhabitants in the ten municipalities that make up the city and include many other less urbanized and rural settlements besides Skopje.

Macedonian Archaeological Museum in Skopje

The city has several theaters and concert halls. Univerzal hall, used for concerts, fashion shows and congresses. The Metropolis Arena, which was made specifically for big concerts, is one of the largest concert halls.

Other large halls include the Macedonian Opera and Ballet, the National Theater and the Drama Theater. There are other smaller concert halls, such as the Albanian Theater and the Theater of the Youth.

The largest museum in Skopje is the Museum of Macedonia, which describes the history of the country in detail. The Macedonian Archaeological Museum, opened in 2014, houses some of the best archaeological discoveries in Northern Macedonia, dating from prehistory to the Ottoman period.

The National Gallery of Macedonia exhibits paintings from the 14th to the 20th century in two former Turkish baths of the Old Bazaar. The Museum of Contemporary Art in Macedonia was built after the 1963 earthquake thanks to international aid. The rich collection of this museum includes works by Macedonian and foreign artists, such as Fernando Legera, Andrea Masson, Pablo Picasso, Hans Hartung, Victor Vasareli, Alexander Calder, Pierre Soulages, Alberto Burri and Christo.

Mother Teresa Memorial House in the heart of the city in Macedonia Street

The Museum of the City of Skopje is located inside the remains of the old railway station, destroyed by the 1963 earthquake. It is dedicated to local history and has four part of exhibitions: archeology, ethnology, history and art history.

The memorial home of Mother Teresa was built in 2009 on the occasion of the centenary of her birth on the original site of the Church of the Sacred Heart of Jesus. The Museum of the Macedonian Struggle is dedicated to modern national history and the struggle of Macedonians for their independence. Nearby is the Holocaust Memorial Center for the Jews of Macedonia.

About 4,000 items are on display at the Natural History Museum of Macedonia, while 300 animals have found their home in the Skopje 12-hectare zoo.

Stone Bridge (Dusan’s Bridge) and Museum of Macedonian Struggle (on the left)

One of the most visited and main sights in the capital of Northern Macedonia is the famous Dusan’s Bridge (Stone Bridge), a bridge that connects the old part of Skopje with the new part of the city via Vardar river. There are many unconfirmed legends about the construction of this bridge, but some historians believe that this bridge was built in the IV. century during the reign of Emperor Justinian I.

A monument founded in honor of the educators Cyril and Methodius

When you reach the Gate of Macedonia, you know that you have reached the central square where you have the opportunity to see the monument “Warrior on a Horse“, a monument dedicated to Alexander the Great. Another of the most important attractions of the city of Skopje is the mountain Vodno, which is located near the city.

Gate of Macedonia

You can reach its top by a special cable car, and on it is the Millennium Cross. The nature at the top of the Vodno mountain leaves all visitors breathless, and the view of Skopje city is just wonderful.

If you want to visit Skopje during a pandemic, take the opportunity to enjoy the beauty of culture and art at significantly lower prices than usual. The hotels are reopened and disinfected, the legal regulations are strictly followed and you can stay in hotels in Skopje without any kind of fear.

Whether you decide to go on a trip and visit Skopje with your own car, bus or plane, I am sure that you will enjoy the beautiful scenery and that this trip will remain in your best travel memories.

View from the Stone Bridge to the top of the mountain Vodno, the place where the Millennium Cross is located

I advise you that due to the difficult current health situation in the country and the European region, if you want to travel and enjoy the charms of travel and discover new beauties, clear your mind a little, feel free to do so, but be responsible to yourself and others and do not visit places where the huge crowds gathers.

Travel within Europe is currently stable, but I sincerely hope that with the start of vaccination of the population in Europe and the world, the measures will be relaxed.

I would like to take this opportunity to draw your attention to the care and protection of yourself and your loved ones. Let’s prevent the spread of the Corona virus and try to make this one day just one bad dream that we have successfully forgotten!

My dear travelers, we have reached the end of this special post from Northern Macedonia, which would not have been possible without the selfless help of the Agency for Promotion and Support of Tourism of the Republic of Northern Macedonia, an institution that allowed me to feel the spirit and beauty of the south. I share with you my impressions of this unusual country on the Balkan Peninsula.

Time always flies when a person has a good time! A man is rich at heart if he has managed to explore the world and I am glad to always be able to find partners for my projects that help me discover new and unusual destinations in a completely different way during this global COVID-19 health crisis.

I am honored to have the opportunity to work with companies that are at the very top in the tourism industry and I would like to thank them for this amazing adventure and for allowing me to feel the beauty, warm southern spirit and hospitality of the Republic of Northern Macedonia in a completely different way. .

How did you like this story of mine about Skopje? Have you had the opportunity to visit this city in Northern Macedonia so far?

If you have a question, comment, suggestion or message for me, you can write me down in the comments. Of course, as always you can contact me via mail or social media, which you can find on the CONTACT page.

With love from Skopje,
Mr.M

This post is sponsored by the Agency for Promotion and Support of Tourism of the Republic of Northern Macedonia.

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Letters from Germany: Hanover, a Green City in the Heart of Lower Saxony

My dear travelers, welcome to the Mr.M blog! At the very beginning, I would like to wish you a Happy New Year and Merry Christmas holidays and wish you a lot of health, happiness and love. I hope that the New Year will bring us only beautiful moments and that the old year will take all the negative things with it tomorrow, and tomorrow at midnight you will wish yourself and your loved ones a lot of beautiful moments and give each other the most precious thing – your time.

In the previous months, I received your messages saying that you miss my “letters”, so I decided to give you something nice for the end of this year and take you for a walk through the green city in the heart of Lower Saxony. Welcome to Hanover!

Hanover is the capital of the German state of Lower Saxony. The city is located in the southern part of the northern German lowlands on Leine and Ihme and was first mentioned in written documents in 1150, and the status of the city was officially announced in 1241.

At the beginning of 1636, Hanover became the royal city of Welf, from 1692 the residence of Kurhannovers, and in 1814 it became the capital of the Kingdom of Hanover, after the annexation of Prussia in 1866, the provincial capital of Hanover and after the breakup of Prussia in August 1946. is the capital of the state of Hanover.

By merging with the Free States of Braunschweig, Oldenburg and Schaumburg-Lippe in 1946, Hanover gained the status of the capital of the German province of Lower Saxony. Today, Hanover is one of the 15 most populous cities in Germany.

Hanover is a major European traffic “crossroads”, as it crosses important road and rail routes north-south and east-west. Hanover was a Hanseatic city in the period from the 13th century to the middle of the 17th century and is a member of the Hanseatic League, which was symbolically re-established in the 1980s until the end of June 2019.

A monument in honor of the famous German surgeon George Friedrich Luis Stomeyer

There are eleven universities and several libraries in Hanover. The letters of Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz and the document Golden Letter are documents kept in the library of Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz and are part of the UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Hanover is an important economic and business in Lower Saxony. The cultural scene is considered diverse, with numerous, and in some cases internationally renowned theaters and museums. Numerous international theater, music and dance festivals are held every year in this city of music and art.

Hanover has been a city of music on the UNESCO list since 2014. The city plan of urbanism is characterized by numerous public green areas, high density of street art and numerous architectural monuments, including representative buildings of various styles such as: North German brick Gothic, Hanoverian school of architecture, expressionism brick, Art Nouveau and classical buildings Georg Ludwig Friedrich Laves.

Holocaust Remembrance: A Monument to the Jewish Victims in Hanover

While post-war buildings dominate the interior of the city, many parts of this city still possess a significant number of old buildings and maintain the identity of the city of Hanover.

The Hanover Adventure Zoo, Maschsee and Herrenhausen Gardens are famous throughout Germany. An unusual curiosity is the arched elevator in the New Town Hall, which I must admit is a real world rarity. With the world’s largest exhibition center and numerous leading international fairs, Hanover is one of the leading congress and fair centers in Europe.

Memorial sacral monument: Tower of the Aegidienkirche church in Hanover

The cultural content in Hanover is diverse. To understand the richness and development of culture and art, I would like to mention that there are about 40 museums and galleries in Hanover, of which eight are the main city museums:

The State Museum of Lower Saxony has three sections: the art section on one side shows the state gallery with European art from the 11th to the 20th century, including a collection of German and French Impressionism, and on the other a rich collection of coins of former kings of Great Britain. A natural section showing zoology, botany, geology and a vivarium with 2000 species of fish, insects, amphibians, spiders and lizards.

The section on the history of mankind shows the prehistory and early history of Lower Saxony, as well as cultures from all over the world, including Japanese culture. The origins of the museum date back to 1856, while the building of today’s museum was built in 1902.

Kröpcke-Uhr

The Historical Museum is a “witness” who can tell us more about Hanover from the medieval settlement of Hanover to the royal seat and the current location of the fair. One of the focuses is the time between 1714 and 1837, when the electorate of Hanover ruled in close communion with the British Kingdom.

The neighboring Begin Tower is connected to the museum and is accessible. The museum was opened elsewhere in 1903 as the “Patriotic Museum” and moved to the current building in 1966.

History of the Kröpcke clock in the heart of Hanover

The Herrenhausen Palace Museum opened to the public in 2013 and is part of the History Museum. In this palace you can see settings where people from the Welfenhaus and various garden architectures are presented, and it illuminates the connection between the social and intellectual preconditions of the Baroque and the villa garden design. The third part of the palace shows the development of the Herrenhausen gardens from the Enlightenment to the present day.

The August Kestner Museum, opened in 1889, displays 6,000 years of applied art in four eras of art collection: ancient culture, Egyptian culture, the largest collection of coins in northern Germany with about 1,000 pieces, and applied art.

One of the central streets in Hanover

The Sprengel Museum was opened in 1979 and represents modern art of the 20th century. The focus is on classical modernism with the collection of Kurt Schwitters, works of German Expressionism and French Cubism, the Cabinet of Abstracts, Graphics and the Department of Photography and Media. The museum also displays special examples of abstract, conceptual and minimal art,

The Wilhelm Bush Museum, the German Museum of Caricature and Drawing Art in Herrenhausen, displays permanent collections about Wilhelm Busch and caricature and critical graphics. In addition, exhibitions (cartoons, comics and caricatures) of contemporary artists from the country and abroad are constantly changing. The museum was founded in 1937.

The Kestnergesellschaft was founded in 1916 and displays exhibitions of classical modernism and contemporary art. The focus is on film, video, contemporary music and architecture, and extensive installations and comprehensive presentations of contemporary painting, sculpture and video art are on display.

Kunstverein Hannover, founded in 1832 as one of the first art associations in Germany, is based in the Kunstlerhaus Hannover. Six to eight internationally oriented monographic and thematic exhibitions are presented each year.

Hanover has long been considered a mediocre and boring destination. The prevailing opinion was that the city center was impersonal and soulless, while the inhabitants of the surrounding municipalities of the city, some of which were large old buildings, developed some of their way of life. The city has a relatively large amount of open space and green areas, which is why some tourists attribute its small “stress due to density” and relaxation in everyday life.

In 2018, the accommodation booking portal Booking.com listed Hanover as one of the ten new tourist destinations in development due to the “large number of museums, parks and cultural events”.

The Leine-Heide-Radweg long cycle path, the Kulturroute cycle path, the Gruner Ring cycle cycle and hiking trail, Lower Saxony Muhlenstrasse, the Via Scandinavica pilgrimage route and the European History Gardens route, the Council of Europe’s cultural route, escape routes of the greatest tourist importance. city of Hanover.

Today’s old part of the city is significantly different from the original old city before the Second World War. The center of Hanover was 90% destroyed, including the old town. Therefore, a kind of traditional island was created around the market church. For that purpose, the main landmarks were renovated, such as the market church, half-timbered houses and other buildings moved from other parts of the city, and post-war buildings were created as part of the reconstruction that harmoniously blended into the old part of the city.

Today’s gates of the old town are the Marstalltor Louis Remi de la Fosse. It is the preserved central portal of the Hofmar stables on the Hohe Ufer. As already mentioned, in the center of the old part of the city is a market church, built in the 14th century, with a market square and a market fountain in Hanover. Together with the old town hall, it is a testimony to North German brick Gothic.

Broihanhaus, Hanns-Lilje-Haus and Georg-von-Colln-Haus are located near the Marktkirche. The Kreuzkirche in the Kreuzkirchenviertel has a precious altarpiece by Lucas Cranach the Elder.

Opposite it is the Kreuzklappe restaurant. The oldest preserved half-timbered house in Hanover from 1564/1566 is located at Burgstrasse 12. Ballhof, built between 1649 and 1664, has long been the largest event hall in the city, and is now one of the places in Lower Saxony – State Theater.

On Holzmarkt with the Oscar Fountain, next to the Nolta house, which was built shortly before 1900, there is a house with a Renaissance facade of the Leibniz house, which was reconstructed in 1983 (originally built in 1499 in Schmiedtstraße).

Of the medieval city defense towers, only the initial tower in the History Museum has been completely preserved. The old town is bordered by the Hohe Ufer der Leine, where the Leineschloss and the promenade along the coast with cafes and restaurants, which was redesigned in 2018, are located.

Martin-Neuffer-Brucke runs from the old town to Calenberger Neustadt. And this suffered serious destruction in World War II. However, there are numerous representative buildings and sandstone churches here.

The Baroque Neustadter Church with Leibniz’s tomb and St. Clemens’ Basilica, the first new Catholic church building in Hanover after the Reformation, and the Evangelical Reformed Church, whose bells were donated by Britain’s Queen Victoria, still give an idea of why Calenberger Neustadt was called “Freedom Island”.

Even then, all denominations and beliefs were allowed. The State Archives of Lower Saxony and the Ministry of the Environment are also located in Calenberger Neustadt, in front of which is the Duve Fountain, in the middle of the Leibniz coast.

Everywhere in the city center, but also in some parts of the city, there are buildings of master Georg Ludwig Friedrich Laves. At the beginning of the 19th century, the planning and design of the city of Ernst-August-Stadt, which is today part of the district of Mitte, began.

Its largest buildings in Hanover include the Opera House, the Waterloo Column, the Vangenheim Palace and the Laveshaus opposite the New Town Hall.

He renovated the Leineschloss on the edge of the old town (today the seat of the state parliament of Lower Saxony) and expanded it, among other things, with a portico in Leinstrasse. Other Laves buildings include the von Beckedorf Chamber House summer house, Villa Rosa and various bridges.

In the middle age, until the end of the 19th century, the Hanover School of Architecture created its own direction of form with clinker brick buildings in the neo-Gothic and arched style (for example from the Kunstlerhaus Hannover, 1855), which had an influence outside Hanover and shaped the face of the great residential districts.

Due to the many green areas in the city, Hanover is one of the greenest cities in Germany and has a special epithet called “green metropolis”. On the ranking list Meinestadt.de in 2011 came in first place in Germany, but not on other rankings, because other cities have more green space in terms of area (total or proportional), and some rankings do not count only public green areas. However, Hanover is particularly sustainable in terms of its urban development.

The new town hall in Hanover is the town hall of the capital of Lower Saxony and the seat of the city administration of Hanover under the administration of the mayor. Wilhelmina, a magnificent palace-like building in an eclectic style, was built between 1901 and 1913.

The new city hall is located in the most beautiful part of the ten-hectare Maschpark on the southern edge of the city center, outside the historic center of Hanover. The square in front of the north-northeast facing the north wing is now called Trammplatz, it was created especially in connection with the town hall building and was named after Heinrich Tramm, the then mayor. The south side of the building faces Maschteich.

During the expansion of the city with industrialization, especially from the early days of its founding, the scattered administration of the city of Hanover grew, so that at the end of the 19th century a new larger town house was necessary. The driving force behind this was the city director, Heinrich Tramm, who had been in office since 1891, and under whom the building was to become “the pinnacle of bourgeois self-expression.”

Initially, there was talk of Goseriede north of the old town. The finally determined location on the then southern outskirts of the city took into account the planned expansion of the city to the south (“Sudstadt”), in combination with the “Rathauspark (Maschpark) which stretched there as the center of new public buildings”.

The town house, 97.73 meters high, about 129 meters long and about 67 meters wide, was built on 6026 beech piles according to the plans of architect Hermann Eggert. The main hall of the town hall was 30 meters long, 21 meters wide and over 30 meters high. The construction material, the sandman claims, was brought from the Mehler quarry.

I advise you that due to the difficult current situation in the country, if you want to go out into the fresh air, take a walk and clear your mind, feel free to do so, but do not go to places where there are a lot of people and create crowds.

Travel is currently disabled, but I sincerely hope that with the start of vaccination of the population in Europe and the world, the measures will be relaxed.

My dear travelers, we have reached the end of this special post from Germany which would not have been possible without the selfless help of the Hanover Tourist Board and the Tourist Board of the German State of Lower Saxony in cooperation with the German National Railway DB – Deutsche Bahn which allowed me to feel the spirit and beauty the city of Hanover and the German federal state of Lower Saxony and to share my impressions of this unusual city in Germany.

Time always flies when a person has a good time! A man is rich at heart if he has managed to explore the world and I am glad to always be able to find partners for my projects that help me discover new and unusual destinations in a completely different way during this global COVID-19 health crisis.

I would like to take this opportunity to draw your attention to the care and protection of yourself and your loved ones. Let’s prevent the spread of the Corona virus and try to make this one day just one bad dream that we have successfully forgotten!

I understand that people need to go out into the fresh air for physical activity and mental health, and you can do that by walking around the city in the open air every day, using the busy streets. Of course, you can walk through the park and other types of green areas or along the promenades along the rivers, but stick to the prescribed physical distance and use disinfectants and wear a mask.

I am honored to have the opportunity to work with companies that are at the top of the tourism industry and I would like to thank them for this incredible adventure and for allowing me to experience the beauties of the German state of Lower Saxony in a completely different way.

How did you like this story of mine about Hanover? Have you had a chance to visit this city in Germany so far?

If you have a question, comment, suggestion or message for me, you can write me down in the comments. Of course, as always you can contact me via mail or social media, which you can find on the CONTACT page.

With love from Hanover,
Mr.M

This post is sponsored by the Tourist Board of the City of Hanover, the Tourist Organization of the German state of Lower Saxony and the German national railway Deutsche Bahn.

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Letters from Germany: Magdeburg, the Royal Fairy Tale on the Banks of the Elbe…

My dear travellers, are you ready for a new adventure and getting to know some gems of Germany? In previous posts you have had the opportunity to feel the spirit of the charming city of art and design – Halle and the Hanseatic city on the Baltic coast – Greifswald.

Today I will introduce you to the capital of the German federal state of Saxony – Anhalt and also the oldest city in East Germany – Magdeburg. The city lies on the river Elbe and is one of the three largest regional centers in the country. With less than 250,000 inhabitants, Magdeburg is the second largest city in the German federal state of Saxony-Anhalt, after Halle.

According to some historical records, Magdeburg was first mentioned in official documents at the beginning of the 9th century. In the middle of the 9th century, Otto I the Great, the first emperor of the Holy Roman Empire, together with the scientist and politician Otto von Guericke, founded the Archdiocese of Magdeburg with his namesake of today’s “Ottostadt Magdeburg”.

Emperor Otto I was so fascinated by the beauty of this city that was the wedding gift to his wife Edith of England (Eadgyth of England). The locals faithfully preserve their history and the memory of this emperor, who was buried in the Magdeburg Cathedral, which is a great symbol of the city today.

The building of the state parliament of the German province of Saxony – Anhalt

In the Middle Ages, the Hanseatic city gained exceptional importance due to its trade role and Magdeburg city law. In the late Middle Ages, it was one of the largest German cities and the center of the Reformation and resistance against recatholicization in the Schmalkaldic League.

After the devastation of the Thirty Years’ War (better known as the “The Sack of Magdeburg”), Magdeburg was expanded and became the strongest fortress in the Kingdom of Prussia.

At the end of the 19th century, Magdeburg became a large city with almost 100,000 inhabitants. Unfortunately, the city was seriously destroyed again in the Second World War. Magdeburg was part of the GDR from 1952 to 1990, and after 1990 it became the capital of the German federal state of Saxony-Anhalt.

Magdeburger Dom (Magdeburg Cathedral) – Cathedral of St. Catherine and Maurice

Due to its unusual geographical location, Magdeburg has a separate port at the mouth of the Elbe and Havel canals and is the economic and industrial center in Saxony-Anhalt German state.

This city has a highly developed machine industry, special environmental technologies and recycling management, logistics and production of chemical products, iron and steel products, paper and textiles, and all these industries help maintain the economic stability of the city and the province in general.

Magdeburg is both a Protestant and a Catholic diocese. The true symbol of the city is the Cathedral of St. Catherine and Maurice. Magdeburg Cathedral is a Protestant cathedral in Germany and also the oldest Gothic cathedral in Germany. This cathedral was under the administration of the former emperor-archbishopric of Magdeburg.

Today, the Magdeburg Cathedral is one of the most important architectural monuments in central Germany and the first cathedral in Germany built in the Gothic style. The Magdeburg Church is the main church of the Evangelical Church in central Germany. An interesting fact is that its bell towers, which are about 100 m high, make this church one of the highest cathedrals in East Germany.

North side of the cloister in Gothic style

The cathedral’s main chapel has a trapezoidal shape, because its three wings were equated with the previous cathedral from the 10th century. The south wing still remained in the Romanesque style. The east wing also contains a large two-row hall, also known as the “Remter”. The cathedral is visited annually by more than 100,000 tourists. During 2019, the 810th anniversary of this late Romanesque-Gothic cathedral was celebrated.

An interesting fact is that during the Middle Ages, the city had a shape that was shaped by seven churches with two towers, the only formation of the city in Europe. This structure of the city was unfortunately lost due to the bombing in the Second World War and the demolition during the GDR period, and only four of the seven pairs of towers survived.

There are still seven church buildings in the area of medieval Magdeburg, but not all of them are used for religious purposes.

Today, the Magdeburg Cathedral is the episcopal church of the Evangelical Church on the territory of the province of Saxony-Anhalt. The artistic treasures of this cathedral include ancient pillars of porphyry, marble and granite, a large baptistery and the tomb of Emperor Otto I the Great.

Monastery of Our dear Lady in Magdeburg

The Monastery of Our Lady was built in the middle of the 11th century. The Municipal Art Museum of Fine Arts was opened in 1974 and is located in the premises of this important complex of the Romanesque monastery. Most of the exhibits are on display in the monastery itself, but some sculptures and figures can also be found in the nearby park.

The Johanniskirche (Church of St. John), located near the town hall, built in the 13th century, is now used as a dance and concert hall. The sculpture of the “Bereaved Magdeburg” in the church lobby was saved from the ruins in 1945. This sculpture is a historical reminder of the conquest and subsequent devastation of the city by the imperial army in the Thirty Years’ War.

Church of St. John in Magdeburg

The single-nave Gothic Magdalenenkapelle chapel was built at the beginning of the 14th century as a sign of reconciliation, and it was moved to the neighboring Magdalenenkloster only at the end of the 14th century. St. Petri-Kirche, also known as the University Church, was located outside the city when it was built in the early 12th century.

Church of St. Sebastian built in the 11th century. The architecture of this religious building shows the features of the Romanesque and Gothic style, and today’s shape was largely given to the cathedral between the 14th and 15th centuries. After hundreds of years of use for the purpose of a warehouse, St. Sebastian’s Cathedral has regained its role as a Catholic parish church. Vallonerkirche: The church in the Gothic hall was built in 1285 as the church of the Augustinian monastery.

There are numerous cultural institutions in Magdeburg, including the Magdeburg Theater and the Magdeburg Cultural History Museum. Otto von Guericke University and the Magdeburg-Stendhal University of Applied Sciences are located in Magdeburg.

Due to the severe destruction of the 17th century in the Thirty Years’ War and the middle of the 20th century in the Second World War, Magdeburg has fewer historical landmarks than other cities in Germany if we look at the traditional architectural sense. Many buildings that are carriers of the city’s history, architecture, art and culture have been destroyed.

Many excavations have taken place in the vicinity of Magdeburg in recent years and numerous discoveries have been made. Government is working on a detailed discovery of historical facts about the development of Magdeburg, where we could supplement and present some new facts that would be worth mentioning.

The most important sights of the city are located in the area of the old part of the city, separated from the university part of the city and the newer center of Askanischer Square and the river Elbe. Cultural monuments that exist in Magdeburg are registered in the city and regional register of monuments.

My dear travellers, once again we have come to the end of the special blog post from Germany. Time just flies so fast when you are having a good time! At the end of this post, I would like to thank my friends from Magdeburg Tourist Board – Magdeburg Marketing, Saxony – Anhalt Marketing and Deutsche Bahn for this incredible German adventure.

Once again, Deutsche Bahn recognized the quality of my work and they wanted to be part of this amazing project. I am honored to have the opportunity to work with companies that are at the top of the tourism industry and I would like to thank them for this incredible adventure and for allowing me to experience the beauty of the capital of Saxony – Anhalt German state in a completely different way.

How do you like this story about this German gem of Saxony – Anhalt called Magdeburg? Have you maybe had a chance to visit this lovely city? I would like to share with me your experience! See you next week with another interesting story!

If you have a question, comment, suggestion or message for me, you can write me down in the comments. Of course, as always you can contact me via mail or social media, which you can find on the CONTACT page.

Best,
Mr.M

This post is sponsored by the Tourist Board of the City of Magdeburg, the Tourist Organization of the German state of Saxony – Anhalt and the German national railway Deutsche Bahn.

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Letters from Germany: Greifswald, Hanseatic city on the Baltic coast…

My dear travellers, how are you today? I hope you are ready for a new adventure, because today I present you another jewel of Germany, which is located on the shores of the Baltic Sea. In the previous post, you had the opportunity to get to know Halle, a charming city in Germany that is well- known for its art and design. If by any chance you missed it or want to enjoy the beauty of this unusual city near Leipzig again, you can do so with one click on this link.

Greifswald is the capital of the district of Vorpommern-Greifswald, located in the northeast of the Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania region. This university and Hanseatic city lies on the river Ryck which flows into the Baltic Sea spatially between the islands of Rügen and Usedom.

An interesting fact is that Greifswald received the city charter of the city of Lübeck in the middle of the 13th century. The University of Greifswald, was founded in the middle of the 15th century and is the second oldest university in the Baltic region.

The city has almost 60 thousand inhabitants, which makes it the fifth largest city in Mecklenburg-Vorpommern. Together with Stralsund, Greifswald forms one of the four regional centers in the province.

Greifswald is approximately equidistant from the two largest cities in Germany, Berlin and Hamburg. The nearest major cities are Stralsund and Rostock. The coastal part of Greifswald at the mouth of the river Ryck, called Greifswald-Vieck, originated from a small fishing village. Today there is a small beach, a marina and the main port that belongs to Greifswald.

How did Greifswald get its name? The original name of this settlement, which eventually developed into the independent city of Greifswald, is not known. The only written evidence that exists is a letter from Duke Vartislav III. which dates from the 13th century. is also the first documented mention of today’s name of the city.

In the feudal era during the reign of Vartislav III. in the 13th century, there is his explicit statement that Greifswald is called Gripeswald in Low Saxon German, which suggests that this area originally had a different ethnic population: Slavic, Danish and German as well.

There is no official evidence for the theory that the original name was Danish based on Gripscogh, the name of a forest located near the town of Esrom in Denmark.

Greifswald – contains the word “griffins” which represents the legendary heraldic animals of the Pomeranian dukes. “Wald” means forest. The griffin and the forest can also be found in the coat of arms of the city of Greifswald. Since 1990, the city has again become a Hanseatic city and is now described as a university and Hanseatic city.

The Hanseatic League (Hanseatic League of Cities) is an alliance of trade guilds, which established and maintained a trade monopoly in the Baltic Sea and most of northern Europe between the 13th and 17th centuries. German cities have achieved a dominant position in trade in the Baltic with incredible speed over the course of a century. Lübeck became a central hub in all maritime trade during that period.

Due to its size, Greifswald has a rich cultural and tourist offer for its visitors. The largest cultural institutions in the city are the Vorpommern Theater and the Pommersche Landesmuseum (Pomeranian State Museum), a museum housing paintings by the famous painter Caspar David Friedrich, a native of Greifswald.

More than 10 million euros have been set aside for this project and it was founded out of a great desire to document the life and work of this “romantic” and his artistic environment. This project was funded by the city of Greifswald, the region of Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania, as well as the federal government.

The town hall of Greifswald, which was built in 1915, has been completely restored and together with the adjacent theater building, represents the central complex of the old part of the town of Greifswald.

City architecture has styles from almost all eras, from medieval brick, Gothic to modern forms of architecture. The older buildings of the city are especially characterized by the style common in northern Germany and the Baltic Sea region, which can also be found in other Hanseatic cities such as Lübeck and Wismar.

Of course, the architecture of classicism and the beginning of the Wilhelmin era also left a significant mark in Greifswald. During the GDR era, large parts of the northern part of the old town were demolished and prefabricated apartments were built there. Since 1990, great efforts have been made to restore and restore the historical architecture of the city.

Old town

The central market square, unique in size and shape in northern Germany, is truly imposing. The 13th-century Gothic-Baroque town house of Greifswald is located in the market square. The two medieval Hanseatic town houses Markt 11 and 13 in the famous brick-Gothic style are especially significant in terms of the architectural history of the town.

At the corner of Muhlenstrasse is the white, classicist building of the Pomeranian State Museum’s painting gallery, designed by Johann Gottfried Kuistorp.

There are also various important historic town houses in the old town, for example near the main churches and along the east-west direction of Schuhhagen or Muhlenstraße and Lange Straße streets.

The northern part of the old town in the direction of the port was significantly destroyed due to the design of the old system, although it was spared during the war and replaced by prefabricated buildings, only a few old buildings, such as the city library in Knopfstrasse, were spared this destructive measure.

My dear travellers, once again we have come to the end of the special blog post from Greifswald. Time just flies so fast when you are having a good time! At the end of this post, I would like to thank my friends from Greifswald Tourist Board – Greifswald Marketing GmbH (GMG) and Deutsche Bahn for this incredible German adventure.

Once again, Deutsche Bahn recognized the quality of my work and they wanted to be part of this amazing project. I am honored to have the opportunity to work with companies that are at the top of the tourism industry and I would like to thank them for this incredible adventure and for allowing me to experience the beauty of Mecklenburg-Vorpommern German state in a completely different way.

How do you like this story about this German gem of Baltic called Greifswald? Have you maybe had a chance to visit this lovely city? I would like to share with me your experience! See you next week with another interesting story!

If you have a question, comment, suggestion or message for me, you can write me down in the comments. Of course, as always you can contact me via mail or social media, which you can find on the CONTACT page. Also, I am kindly inviting you to enjoy in the rest photos of Greifswald in gallery below.

Best,
Mr.M

This post is sponsored by the Greifswald Marketing GmbH and the Deutsche Bahn German National Railway.

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Letters from Germany: Halle, a charming City of Art and Design…

My dear travellers, how are you today? It is my great pleasure to have the opportunity to write you a new travelogue after a long time. The corona virus has changed our daily habits and some pleasures such as travel have been limited and kept to a minimum. This year’s tourist season is in great danger and many countries are trying to encourage domestic and international tourists to visit their country this season.

This year, the German National Tourist Board (GNTB) has made great efforts to motivate domestic and foreign tourists with their campaigns to visit Germany after the tourist “break” with the imposed quarantine.

Halle, a town in the southern part of the German state of Saxony – Anhalt.

Welcome to Halle, a charming city of art, history and design. This city is located in the very south of the German province of Saxony-Anhalt, on the river Saale, which is the third longest river in Germany.

Halle is an economic and educational center in central and eastern Germany with less than 250,000 inhabitants. The Martin Luther University of Halle-Wittenberg, with its campuses in Halle and Wittenberg, is the largest university center in the state of Saxony-Anhalt, and one of the oldest universities in Germany where the principle of startup ecosystems is nurtured. Halle University Hospital is the largest hospital in this province.

How did this charming city get its name? The name of this city is historically connected with the salt harvest. The name of the river Saale contains the Germanic root of the word for salt, and the salt harvest has been taking place in Halle since the Bronze Age.


The city itself has a modern city center, a large number of green areas and numerous unusual narrow streets in which architecture from several epochs has been preserved. There are many interesting and beautiful places you can visit along the Saale River that runs through the city. Halle is located near Leipzig and as a tourist you can enjoy the beauties of these two exceptional cities in Germany.

Halle is a relatively small town, but that doesn’t mean it’s boring. On the contrary, you will feel like you are in a big open-air museum. Halle is one of the largest university centers in Germany and various university institutes and libraries can be found here.

Halle became a very rich and “famous” city as a result of a successful salt trade. The preserved ramparts of the medieval castle give Halle its historical stamp and exceptional beauty. Other sights of the city include the Unserer Lieben Frauen and the Roter Turm, a free-standing bell tower.

In addition to the renovated city center, the surrounding modern districts give this town an unusual charm. In some parts of the city one can still find villas and houses and houses that belong to the old architectural style and have unfortunately been demolished in many other cities in Germany.

Halle is not only the cultural capital of the German federal state of Saxony-Anhalt, but also the birthplace of George Frederic Handel. The spirit of the famous baroque composer can still be felt in the city today, especially during the Handel festival, which is usually held in June every year.

If the road leads you to this city, be sure to visit the birth house of the composer Handel and the Church where Handel was baptized, which is located in the heart of the city. Experience the cultural diversity of the more than 1,200-year-old Halle city center with its narrow streets and historic buildings.

Did you know that Halle is also popular because of its history of sweets. Mozart balls were born in Salzburg, but in Halle there are the famous Halloren Kugeln.

Whoever does not feel the beauty of fluttering his wings, remains an ordinary creature of this world…

My dear travellers, once again we have come to the end of the special blog post from Halle. Time just flies so fast when you are having a good time! At the end of this post, I would like to thank my friends from Halle Tourist Board – Stadtmarketing Halle and Deutsche Bahn for this incredible German adventure.

Once again, Deutsche Bahn recognized the quality of my work and they wanted to be part of this amazing project. I am honored to have the opportunity to work with companies that are at the top of the tourism industry and I would like to thank them for this incredible adventure and for allowing me to experience the beauty of Saxony-Anhalt German state in a completely different way.

How do you like this story about this art and design centre in Saxony-Anhalt? Have you maybe had a chance to visit this lovely city called Halle? I would like to share with me your experience! See you next week with another interesting story from Germany!

If you have a question, comment, suggestion or message for me, you can write me down in the comments. Of course, as always you can contact me via mail or social media, which you can find on the CONTACT page.

Best,
Mr.M

This post is sponsored by the Halle Tourismus and the Deutsche Bahn German National Railway.

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Letter from India: The Magical Indian Panorama Journey with the Maharajas’ Express…

My dear travellers, how are you today? I believe that this heat and pandemic did not hinder you in performing your daily duties. Due to the current health situation, the only thing left for us to do is look at our old pictures and remember the beautiful moments from the trip and along the way hope that we will soon be able to travel normally again.

If you follow my blog for a long time, I believe that you will remember my stories about an unusual, distant land of contrast – India. Two years ago, more precisely in February 2018, I had the opportunity to visit this far distant country. My boyhood dream was to visit one of the wonders of the world – the Taj Mahal.

The plan of the National Tourism Organization of the Republic of India was to promote different regions in India with the use of railways. It was my first long train journey and all the time during the flight to Delhi I wondered what a trip really looks like where people spend most of their time on the train itself.

My thinking was interrupted by the captain of the plane, who welcomed us to the capital of one of the most populous countries in the world. The excitement and adrenaline after several hours of flights did its thing and I tried in every way to get around the crowd and find my hosts. A warm welcome and numerous gifts brought a smile to my face. During the drive to the hotel, the hosts tried to briefly explain the route and the way of traveling to me, but my eyes were fixed on the window because I was seduced by the lights of a world metropolis such as New Delhi.

Through conversation, I learned that I was one of the first bloggers from my group to come and that the remaining members of the crew would arrive by the early hours of the morning. Insomnia did its thing, so I decided to get acquainted with the details of the trip and started reading the details about the Maharajas’ Express, a dream train that many say is a five-star hotel on wheels.

The Maharajas’ Express is the only train that provides a journey that will be remembered for the rest of your life. The National Railways of the Republic of India, together with the management of the Maharaja Express, wanted to show people the beauty of travel that dates back to the famous Indian royal era. Maharaja Express trips are specially organized throughout the year and last on average between seven and ten days. The main goal of each trip is to acquaint tourists with the national treasure of India, the incredible Indian spirit and cultural heritage. All Maharajas’ Express trips are created to be in line with the wishes and needs of clients who value their money and expect a certain level of comfort and luxury during their trip.

This unusual luxury train in India, after many years of successful work, has received numerous awards for its exceptional hospitality. The specificity of this train is the presidential suite, which is symbolically called “Navratna“, which in Indian language means “nine precious gems”. The luxury train Maharajas’ Express received its own for the precious gems of various Maharajas (kings). According to tradition, the trains of the Indian Maharajah have 14 locomotives for guests, which are called: Moti (Pearl), Manik (Rubin), Heera (Diamond), Panna (Emerald), Neelam (Blue Sapphire), etc.

A traveler on this extremely luxurious train journey can get to know and come into direct contact with the cultural heritage of India. All information and travel instructions are sent to passengers by mail to the home address before the trip, and passengers also receive a special copy of documents and brochures before the train departs. Traveling by this luxury train will be an unforgettable experience that you will remember for a lifetime.

The price of the travel package also includes the services of professional butlers, spacious cabins with fully equipped bathrooms with basic packages for daily care, TV, electronic safe and wireless internet.

Maharaja Express has several dining cars (wagons) with different themed units, where an incredible variety of world cuisines are served in gold and silver cutlery in an elegantly decorated ambience. Themed restaurants are: Peacock Restaurant (Maiur Mahal) and Haveli Restaurant (Rang Mahal). One of the many cars is reserved for the Safari bar where passengers can enjoy a variety of alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks with a number of snacks.

I have to admit that I spent a lot of time with pistachios, Indian nuts and unsalted peanuts while working on the computer during the trip. I think I spent more time in the Safari Bar than in my own room. All train services like food and drinks of all kinds are included in the price because the train service is “all inclusive” so you don’t have to carry money or the credit card with you every time.

Safari Bar wagon within the Maharaja Express

If you decide to travel by this magical train, you can choose between four programs: Indian Panorama, Indian Shine, Cultural Heritage of India and Jewels of India. Each of these programs is unique and differs in route and duration of the trip. I am a member of the crew that was on the Indian Panorama program. If you are interested in the routes and duration of all programs, you can read all about the program tours at this link.

For all those adventurers who have the desire to get to know India and visit this country for the first time, I wholeheartedly recommend the Indian Panorama tour. Why? This program includes all the jewels of Indian cultural heritage: Agra and Fatehpur Sikri (Taj Mahal), Jaipur (pink city of winds), Varanasi (the place where the river Ganges connects the earthly with the heavenly world), as well as many others. In addition to important cultural and historical cities, you will have the opportunity to go on safari and experience the beauties of the natural wild life of India.

For years I have dreamed of visiting the Taj Mahal and after so many years my dream has been fulfilled because of that I am most grateful to have a job that I truly love and that fulfills me with the selfless support of my readers who daily follow my unusual adventures around the world.

If you want to remind yourself what my great Indian adventure looked like you can read my stories at the following links:

  1. India: Land of Smile and Happiness
  2. India: When Dreams Come True!
  3. India: Last Call For Varanasi
  4. India: Red is the Color of Joy (special fashion outfit post)
Lunch time and arrival of Maharaja Express in Varanasi with a view of the river Ganges

My dear travellers, once again we have come to the end post from special post about my Indian adventure with Maharajas’ Express. Time just flies so fast when you are having a good time! At the end of this post, I would like to thank my friends from Maharajas’ Express for this incredible adventure and Incredible India for their huge efforts to make my dream come true. Also I would like to say huge thank you for this great adventure.

This time, Qatar Airways recognized the quality of my work and they wanted to be part of this amazing project. I am honored to have the opportunity to work with companies that are at the top of the tourism industry and I would like to thank them for this incredible adventure and for allowing me to experience the beauty of the world in a completely different way.

How do you like this story about India? Have you maybe had a chance to explore India with Maharajas’ Express? I would like to share with me your experience! See you next week with another interesting story!

If you have a question, comment, suggestion or message for me, you can write me down in the comments. Of course, as always you can contact me via mail or social media, which you can find on the CONTACT page.

Best,
Mr.M

This post was sponsored by Incredible India and Maharajas’ Express. I would like to say thank you to Qatar Airways for having me. This trip was an extraordinary experience for me!

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My Side of the World: Sonja Lapatanov (Part 2)

My dear travellers, how are you today? Welcome to the new post from the special section “My Side of the World” which successfully managed to win your hearts in a very short time on the Mr.M blog. I hope that we will continue to travel the world together with our famous adventurers and discover some new and unexplored parts of the world.

This post is a continuation of the interview with my dear guest Sonja Lapatanov. If you want to read the first part of the interview and remind yourself of some unusual destinations or just to enjoy the beauties of the world throught the lens of one of our most famous ballet artists, choreographers and adventurers, visit the link.

Easter Island: Ahu Tongariki.

11. Did you go to the same destinations again and did you happen to be disappointed with something that had previously delighted you or that you were delighted with something that seemed ordinary to you for the first time? Should you turn around the second time when something thrills you at first sight or should the experience not be spoiled by a replay?

Sonja Lapatanov: Unfortunately, I am not able to “repeat the class”, although I would gladly do so. I’m looking for new destinations, because time is not waiting for no one. The situation on our planet is worrying. There are more and more forest fires, floods, earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, tsunamis, epidemics, general dissatisfaction, accidents, wars, riots… The years of dangerous living have arrived! That is why I will repeat the old destinations maybe in the next life.

Tibet: A prayer wheel around Lhasa city.

12. People usually think that so-called exotic travel takes a lot of money. How have you organized all these trips over the decades? Have you ever traveled to the end of the world with just 100$ in your pocket?

Sonja Lapatanov: I gave up every luxury and through travel, I invested in myself. It is a great treasure, which no one can steal from me. Today, travel is expensive, but young people are doing well, because they can organize everything themselves via the Internet.

Nepal: Pokalde peak ridge at an altitude of 5000 m.

– They just need to know what they want and where they want to travel. I’m an adventurer, but I’m not a backpacker and I wouldn’t spend the night in a hostel and I would hardly go to the end of the world with 100$ in my pocket. Today, that amount could not cover travel expenses, accommodation, or the costs of a two-day stay in a tourist place in our country!

Patagonia: Glaciers and icebergs in the Oneli Lagoon.

13. What is the most exotic type of transportation you used during your trip?

Sonja Lapatanov: I flew by helicopter in Laos, piston planes in Nepal, a balloon over the Tanzanian and Kenyan savannas and a para-glider from Brajić to Slovenska plaža in Montenegro!

Sudan: At the top of the holy rock Jebel Barkal.

I sailed the seas, lakes and mighty rivers throughout Asia and Africa, rode tuk-tuks and rickshaws, in India, South and Central America half-decomposed buses, along with chickens and goats, sat on the roof of the Andean railway, on the backs of various animals.

But the real adventurous adventure was canoeing and extreme riding on zip-line cables, through the treetops of giant trees in the jungles of Malaysia and Guatemala.

Tahiti: A Dolphin Kiss.

14. I know from my experience that travel is actually learning about the culture and history of a nation. Whose culture impressed you the most?

Sonja Lapatanov: Ancient civilizations left an invaluable cultural and historical heritage to the human race, so it would be unfair to mention only one, so I single out the fascinating Mayan and Khmer culture, the culture of Myanmar, Egypt, Libya, Algeria…

Namibia: Namib Naukluft National Park, Dead Vlei.

15. Did some of the trips disappointed you in the sense that you expected much more from that country, but then you collided with reality and realized that sometimes good advertising is responsible for the overestimation of a certain destination?

Sonja Lapatanov: There is no trip that has disappointed me. I choose them carefully. I do not follow the tourist fashion, but my adventurous spirit. My curiosity and adrenaline addiction knows no bounds, while the desire to adventure and discover the still not so commercialized parts of the blue planet is immeasurable. However, in a way, my expectations were not met by China. It is a modern country and that fact seems to have fallen hard on me.

Northern Thailand: In the company of female members of the Aka tribe.

– I thought I would enter the world that Pearl Bak wrote about, or the world of Mao Zedong, with columns of cyclists and uniformed people, who practice Kung Fu and Tai Chi in the early morning hours. The expected images of idyllic landscapes with bamboos and pandas, green rice fields, fairy-tale cone-shaped hills of Gilina painted on silk, are remnants of some ancient times, which have passed.

Kenya: On the shores of Lake Nakuru.

– The reality is different. Somewhere far from the metropolis, there are villages and rice fields, the Great Wall of China, and in Beijing, the Forbidden City, Tienanmen Square, the Temple of Heaven, the Summer Palace, a hutong district in traditional Chinese construction with an inner courtyard and a Peking duck. I was late to visit China before the big changes.

Patagonia: Punta Tombo

16. Is there a country where the pictures you remember are more beautiful than the ones from the postcards?

Sonja Lapatanov: Indisputably; French Polynesia-Tahiti, Bora Bora, Morea, Huahin…

Sudan: Pylons in front of the temple of the goddess Mut, below the rock of Jebel Barkal.

17. Which distant country would you say is most similar to Serbia and why? Is there still our mentality somewhere or are we still unique?

Sonja Lapatanov: Serbs are unique, but when it comes to temperament and joy of life, there are similarities with Mexicans and Irish people.

Japan: In Tokyo with a rickshaw driver.

18. When did you feel the need to convert travel into travelogues? Has any country particularly encouraged you to do that?

Sonja Lapatanov: In the late nineties, I started writing reports for newspapers and magazines, and then a few years later, my friends encouraged me to turn my travelogues into books. They stay, and newspapers and magazines are thrown away, they told me. Since then, I have written seven books of travel prose, and an eighth is in preparation.

Papua New Guinea: With members of the Huli people.

19. Do you remember the feelings when you wrote the first book? The moment you typed the last word on a keyboard and realized you had written your first book. Can that excitement be compared to any destination?

Sonja Lapatanov: Admiration, when you hit a dot on the keyboard after the last word, is an indescribably beautiful feeling.

With sharks in the waters of the Pacific

20. If you had to choose only one determinant, what would you say to the question of who Sonja Lapatanov is. A ballerina, a passionate traveler or a writer?

Sonja Lapatanov: Three in one! Everything happened at the right time and now it exists and lives in me.

Sudan: Gates are a sign of prestige among residents of Sudanese villages and towns.

My dear travellers, I hope you like this post in column on the blog “My side of the world” and that you enjoyed it with my guest today. We will continue our trip around the world in a few days with some new guest

I would recommend you to take a look at the other pictures that dear Sonja set aside in the gallery especially for us to see what kind of beauties our earth hides.

Madagascar: Hanging out with a lemur.

If you have a suggestion whose side of the world of famous world travelers you would like to discover, you can write to me below in the comments. Of course, as always you can contact me via mail or social media, which you can find on the CONTACT page. See you soon with another interesting story!

Best,
Mr.M

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Cyprus and Malta: Two priceless Gems of the Mediterranean Sea…

My dear travellers, welcome to my new post. Honestly, I hope you are doing well and that we all look forward to some better days that are characteristic of this period of the year after this lockdown. June is usually a month when people go to the sea or plan their summer vacation, but this year was an exception. Due to the new situation caused by the Coronavirus, people are prevented from planning summer vacations and maybe postponing their travels for the autumn season.

“Hello? Can you hear me? Can I change my travel dates for the Summer holidays, please?”

I was glad that many of you remembered my blog and a large number of readers have approached me via email and private messages on social media in the past few weeks asking for advice on where you could go on a “summer” vacation in the fall season.

What are the destinations that interested you the most? The people from Europe region were most suggested by the following destinations: Turkey, Egypt, Cyprus, Greece, Tunisia, Morocco and Malta.

The Central street city of Valletta, the capital of Republic of Malta
Central street in the heart of Valletta – the capital of Malta

MALTA

The Republic of Malta is a very small and densely populated island country made up of the Maltese archipelago in the Mediterranean. The archipelago consists of three islands: Malta, Gozo and Comino. This unusual island country is located south of Sicily, east of Tunisia and north of Libya, so geographically Malta belongs to North Africa, but from a political point of view, this country belongs to Europe and is a member of the European Union.

It was a great honor and pleasure for me to feel the charms of this island country in collaboration with the tourist organization of the Malta Tourism Authority. Before I start with the post I would like to inform you that MTA expressed satisfaction at the announcement of the reopening of the airport and the resumption of commercial flights to and from Malta as from July 1st 2020.

Republic Square is located in the city center of capital of Malta - Valletta.
Wonderful Republic Square in Valletta

The first group of destinations that are being reopened for travel comprises: Germany, Austria, Sicily, Cyprus, Switzerland, Sardinia, Iceland, Slovakia, Norway, Denmark, Hungary, Finland, Ireland, Lithuania, Israel, Latvia, Estonia, Luxembourg, and Czech Republic. More destinations will be announced in due course, once clearance from the health authorities is received. For more information about entry rules and reopening please visit the website of Malta Tourism Authority.

The capital of the Republic of Malta is Valletta. Due to its specific geographical location, Maltese culture is an unusual combination of many cultures that have been linked throughout history. These are mainly the nearby neighboring Mediterranean countries or the cultures of the countries that ruled Malta before gaining independence. The Maltese Islands are one big open-air museum, as 7,000 years of Maltese history, heavily influenced by the Phoenicians, Arabs, Romans, Knights of Malta and the British, can still be seen today.

The Tritons Fountain is a fountain located on the periphery of the City Gate of Valletta, Republic of Malta, Europe
Tritons’ Fountain in Valletta, Malta

Malta is an exceptional tourist destination, no matter what you expect from your vacation, whether you are a fan of active vacation or pure hedonistic relaxation, the possibilities of this island are countless. For lovers of culture and art, there are numerous museums and galleries.

On the other hand, for all gourmets, Malta is a real little paradise because you have the opportunity to enjoy the unusual specialties of this Mediterranean island.

Malta also has a large number of natural beauties such as numerous caves, coves and natural monuments. Don’t forget when you’re done touring the sights and enjoying the many delicacies, don’t forget to do your shopping or take a walk along the promenade in Sliema and Bugibba in the evening.

Mdina is a fortified town in the northern part of the island, which throughout history in the period from ancient times to the Middle Ages served as the capital of the island. The city is still fortified inside the walls and has a population of just under 300 people, but next to the neighboring town of Rabat, which is named after the Arabic word for suburbs. According to the latest data, the two cities together have just over 10,000 inhabitants.

Mdina still remained the center of the Maltese nobility and religious institutions. Assets are still largely passed down from generation to generation. The city never managed to fully regain its significance that it had until 1530, which also led to the popular nickname “Quiet City” by natives and tourists. Mdina is on the UNESCO World Heritage List and is currently one of the main tourist attractions in Malta.

Vilhena Palace also known as the Magisterial Palace and Palazzo Pretorio, is a French Baroque palace in Mdina, Republic of Malta.
Vilhena Palace is open to the public as Malta’s National Museum of Natural History.

Today, Mdina is one of the main tourist attractions of Malta, which annually hosts about a million tourists. You can experience the city as an interesting mix of Norman and Baroque architecture, including several palaces, most of which are privately owned. In the period from 2008 to 2016, a major restoration of the city walls was carried out.

Cathedral and Monastery of St. Peter in the heart of Mdina, Malta.

During my visit to Malta, I visited Valletta, Mdina, Rabat, Sliema, the small traditional fishing village of Marsaxlokk (Marsa-Shlok) and the island of Gozo. This interesting island country has left an impression on me and I sincerely hope to visit Malta soon.

Posts about Malta that you had the opportunity to read on the blog:

  1. Letters from Malta: The Mediterranean Love at First Sight…
  2. Letters from Malta: Mdina, Silence speaks more than Words…
  3. Letters from Malta: My glamorous Escape to Valletta
  4. Letters from Malta: Gozo, your new happy place!
  5. Letters from Malta: Stylish and Fashionable Summer on the streets of Valletta (fashion outfit post)
  6. Letters from Malta: My second day on Malta Fashion Week (outfit)
  7. Last Letter from Malta: Dear Diary, it was amazing! (outfit)
Marsaxlokk is a small traditional fishing village in Republic of Malta.
Marsaxlokk is a small traditional fishing village known for its colorful boats “Luzzus”

CYPRUS

The Republic of Cyprus is an island country located in the eastern part of the Mediterranean Sea. Due to its geographical position, Cyprus represented a crossroads between Europe, Asia and Africa, and many traces of ancient civilizations are still present, such as Roman and Byzantine.

One interesting fact that I learned from the representatives of the National Cyprus Tourism Office is that Cyprus is actually the warmest island in the Mediterranean. It is also called Aphrodite’s Island, because, according to one of the many legends, the Greek goddess Aphrodite was born here from sea foam. The most visited summer resort in Cyprus is Limassol, a city famous for its unrealistically beautiful beaches.

TRAVELING AFTER COVID-19: Cyprus is now ready to welcome travelers from several countries. Having successfully dealt with the Covid-19 epidemic, that you can explore this beautiful island once again. For further info regarding traveling please visit the official portal of Cyprus tourism.

Aphrodite's Rock, a landmark located near Paphos. Republic of Cyprus, Europe
Aphrodite’s Rock, a landmark located near Paphos.

Nicosia is the right place for fans of the combination of modern and traditional. The capital of Cyprus has adorned the old part of the city since the 12th century with an unusual promenade and cobblestone cafes. A place where history intertwines with the modern world.

The Liberty Monument in Nicosia

Larnaca is a few kilometers away from the largest international airport in Cyprus. The city is located on the southeast coast and is the oldest city on the island. In addition to Limassol, Larnaca is one of the most luxurious resorts whose port is visited by visitors from various parts of Europe and the world with new models of yachts.

The building of the administration of the Larnaca region, which is located in the center - Europe Square near the main Promenade. Larnaca, the Republic of Cyprus
The building of the administration of the Larnaca region, which is located in the center – Europe Square near the main Promenade.

Larnaca has modern equipped sandy beaches rated with high marks, which contributes to the development of tourism. The city is known for its landscaped promenade, which is located along the coast, along which there are rows of palm trees. One of the most famous sights near the promenade is the church of St. Lazarus.

Posts about Cyprus that I shared with you on the blog:

  1. Letters from Cyprus: Everyone needs a little Vitamin Sea
  2. Letters from Cyprus: Nicosia, City of History and Freedom
  3. Letters from Cyprus: Everything you need to know about Limassol and Paphos
  4. One Little Red Postcard from Cyprus (fashion outfit post)
Church of St. Lazarus in Larnaca

My dear travellers, we have reached the end of this special post where I briefly tried to compare the beauties of these two unusual island countries in Europe. This is just the beginning of this special series of posts where I will try to describe some of my other observations that I forgot to share with you while I was writing previous posts about those destinations and of course you will have the opportunity to remind yourself some of my previous posts and all together “renew” the material.

Have you maybe had the opportunity to visit some of these gems of the Mediterranean? What are your experiences? Did you like Malta or Cyprus more and I would like to hear your reasons. I would really like to hear some of your experiences and I would be happy to read your impressions in the comments.

Harbour in Larnaca

If you have a question, comment, suggestion or message for me, you can write me down in the comments. Of course, as always you can contact me via mail or social media, which you can find on the CONTACT page. See you soon with another interesting story about Belgrade!

Best,
Mr.M

Morning in Limassol

This post is my gift to all my loyal readers who wants to learn something new about tourist destinations. The post is for informational purposes only and is not sponsored.

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