Posts tagged traveling

Letter from the Middle East: Dubai, the Center of Modern Oriental Luxury…

My dear travellers, how are you today? Today is the perfect day to start a new adventure, so this rainy Tuesday is perfect time for a new post! Journeys are truly gift to a gloomy everyday life and one has the opportunity to have fun and at least for a few days forget about daily problems. When it comes to travel it doesn’t matter the destination, the most important thing is that the person doesn’t go alone and to make a good plan of the program of the trip where everyone will have fun and have a nice relax.

I would like to take this opportunity to thank the flydubai airline and the Dubai Tourist Board (Visit Dubai), which made it possible for my photographer and I to experience the beauty and charm of a center of modern oriental luxury such as Dubai.

When the flydubai airline began operating in 2009, the goal was to connect with their passengers and transport them to as many destinations as possible daily. Today, flydubai flies to more than 90 destinations and is constantly adding new destinations to their “sky” network.

Over 70 million travelers have given their trust and with flydubai they have visited the largest and most famous city in the United Arab Emirates – Dubai, making them the second largest carrier in UAE. The vision and support of the Dubai government created new opportunities for travel, tourism and commerce and improved connectivity by increasing access to Dubai and connecting with the rest of the world.

With increasing demand and an daily-expanding sky network, flidubai has added a number of new destinations in its offer. Having already opened routes to Africa, Europe, Central Asia, the Middle East, the Indian Subcontinent and Southeast Asia, the goal is not only to expand the network of destinations, but to make the route as efficient as possible, with more regular flights, direct flights and new aircraft with which will make every trip unforgettable.

Flydubai Business Class offers a more comfortable, relaxed and completely new flying experience. At the airport, you will have benefit from faster check-in and priority airport services, including a special check-in desk, boarding and bus service. You can also relax before your trip in the business lounge at Terminal 2 Dubai International Airport, and if your flight departs from Terminal 3, you can use one of the many Emirates business class lounges, of course, and the ability to enjoy lounges at airports around of the world using the affiliate networks of the airlines to which flydubai belongs.

On the board, you will be able to enjoy the personalized, professional and superior service of crew members who are in the service of business-class passengers. Choose a delicious meal from the menu where you can find specialties from a variety of international cuisines. My recommendation is to try Arabic cuisine specialties and I am sure you will enjoy the undiscovered flavours so far!

The flight from Belgrade to Dubai takes about 6 hours on average and I believe that your flight will be comfortable and fun, whether you choose to travel economy or business class with flydubai. Friendly staff, landscapes you’ll encounter along the way and who knows, you might meet someone on the flight.

I was able to meet an interesting lady in her late years who is visiting her daughter in Dubai. I have learned so many interesting things about this quaint modern city and received first-hand recommendations what I should not miss in Dubai!

Dubai is the most populated city in the United Arab Emirates and the capital of Dubai. Located in the eastern Arabian Peninsula on the Persian Gulf coast, Dubai has occupied the central business center of Western Asia. It is also the world’s premier transportation hub for travelers and goods. Oil revenues helped accelerate the development of the city, which was already a major trading hub.

Today, less than 5% of the Emirates’ revenue comes from oil. Research from the Center for Regional and International Trade shows that, since the early 20th century, Dubai’s economy has largely relied on revenues from trade, tourism, aviation, real estate and financial services.

The history of human settlement in the area where the United Arab Emirates is now located is unusual and very complex. A large number of historical records point to the closely related trade links between the Indus Valley and Mesopotamia civilizations.

Archeological sites in the emirate of Dubai, especially in Al-Ashoosh, Al Sufouh, and extremely rich sites from Saruk Al Hadid, show settlement through the periods of Ubaid and Hafit, the Umm Al Nar and Wadi Suk periods, and the three Iron Age in the UAE.

This part was known to the Sumerians as Magan and was a source of metal ores, especially copper and bronze. The area was covered with sand about 5,000 years ago as the coast receded inland, becoming part of what is now the city’s coastline. The great find is pre-Islamic pottery found in the present-day city of Dubai, dating from the third and fourth centuries.

Before the introduction of Islam in the area, people in this region worshiped Bajir (or Bajar). Following the spread of Islam in the region, the Umayyad Caliph of the Eastern Islamic world invaded Southeast Arabia and expelled the Sassans. Excavations at the Dubai Museum in the Al-Jumairah region (Jumeirah) have found several artifacts from the Umaiyad period. The Venetian pearl dealer Gasparo Balbi visited this city in 1580 and mentioned Dubai (Dibei) which was significant at that time because of the pearl trade.

Dubai is thought to have been established as a fishing village in the early 18th century and by 1822 it had acquired the status of a city of between 700 and 800 members of the Bani Ias tribe and was subject to the rule of Sheikh Tahnun bin Shakhbut of Abua Dhabi . However, in 1833, after a tribal altercation, members of the Al Bu Falasah tribe separated from Abu Dhabi and settled in Dubai.

The Abu Dhabi exodus was led by Obeid bin Saeed and Maktoum bin Butti, who also became supreme authorities in Dubai until Obeid died in 1836, leaving Maktum in a bid to establish a new Maktoum dynasty.

Dubai signed the General Maritime Treaty of 1820 and together with other countries, following the British criminal expedition against Ras Al Khaimah of 1819, which also led to the bombing of the Gulf coastal communities. This led to a permanent maritime truce of 1853. Dubai, like its neighbors, also signed an exclusivity agreement in which the United Kingdom assumed responsibility for the security of the emirates in 1892.

Throughout the 1970s, Dubai continued to develop thanks to oil and trade revenue, even as an influx of immigrants fleeing the Lebanese civil war. Border disputes between the emirates continued after the formation of the UAE. In 1979, a formal compromise was reached that ended all disagreements. Jebel Ali Harbor was established in 1979 and JAFZA (Jebel Ali Free Zone) was built around the port in 1985 to allow foreign companies unrestricted imports of labor and capital.

Dubai Airport and the aerospace industry also continued to grow at a high rate of speed. Unfortunately for the 1990 Gulf War, Dubai experienced a major negative financial effect as major investors withdrew their money and chain stores closed their stores, but afterwards the city recovered in a changing political climate and managed to overcome all political and financial problems.

Later in the 1990s, many foreign trade communities – first from Kuwait, during the Gulf War, and later from Bahrain, in times of Shia unrest – moved their business to Dubai. The city had bases for filling up Allied forces in the Jebel Ali Free Zone during the Gulf War. The massive rise in oil prices after the Gulf War encouraged Dubai to continue to focus on free trade and tourism.

The number of tourist attractions and activities has increased significantly in recent years. There are many more options now than before, because all the activities were part of many hotel chains because the city did not have tourist attractions. Just the opening of the large Dubai Mall and the construction of the heart of the city (Dubai Downtown) have helped to expand the number of tourist attractions that make Dubai one of the most recognized in the world today.

The most striking attractions that have certainly changed the look of the city are the Burj Khalifa and the Dubai Fountain.

Burj Khalifa is known as the tallest building in the world. Visitors can take a special elevator to the 124th floor, which is known as the most beautiful vantage point from which Dubai can be seen in the palm of your hand. The Dubai Fountain, on the other hand, is the largest music fountain in the world that you can always visit for free, and it is part of the Dubai Mall.

Of course, besides the fountain at Dubai Mall, you can enjoy the winter magic at the spacious ice rink, aquarium and KidZania which is designed as a modern children’s playroom, believe me you have never had such a chance to see in your life. Honest to not be 27 years old, I would go play there all day long without break!

Bastakiya is known as a neighborhood marked in all travel guides and magazines as the old part of Dubai with a soul in which to keep the old city spirit and heritage. It was built at the end of the 19th century thanks to the Persian merchants who were attached to Dubai because of the easy and easy way to trade, and this is why this part of the city is named after the city of Bastak located in the south of Iran.

Many renovated buildings in this part of the city today still have special air conditioning systems called “Wind Towers” which was an interesting concept for the air conditioning of homes and commercial buildings. Today, most of the buildings in this part of the city are privately owned – homes and there are buildings of great cultural and social importance such as:

  1. Sheikh Mohammed Cultural Center
  2. The Museum of Dubai
  3. Arabian Tea House (formerly Basta Artistic Cafe)
  4. Majlis Gallery where works by local and international artists can be found.
  5. Ostra Gallery where you can find works of contemporary modern art and sculpture

Exactly 7 years ago, in February 2013, the Dubai Miracle Garden, a 72,000-meter flower garden, opened as part of the Dubailand complex. It is the largest flower garden in the world. The garden has a total of 45 million species of flowers maintained through a special irrigation system that uses wastewater that has been treated and plants are irrigated using a drip irrigation system.

During the summer from late May to September, when temperatures can be extremely high, with an average temperature of around 40 degrees, the garden is closed to the public.

Seeing the garden in full bloom with its 150 million flowers arranged in colorful bows, patterns and the myriad of shapes it forms is truly a magnificent experience for all your senses. Dubai Miracle Garden won two Guinness World Records for the largest vertical garden in 2013 and the largest flower sculpture in the world, shaping the shape of the 2016 Airbus A380.

The distinctive sculpture in this park is a masterpiece 18 meters high and is also the first Disney flower display in the Middle East and is made of almost 100,000 plants and flowers and weighs almost 35 tons. Every year, Dubai Miracle Garden changes its look and shows visitors a whole new concept and design experience. This unusual garden is visited by more than 1.5 million visitors a year.

My dear travellers, once again we have come to the end of the special blog post from Dubai. 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 Dubai Tourist Board – Visit Dubai and flydubai for this incredible adventure and Four Seasons Hotel Dubai International Financial Centre for their huge efforts to make our stay unforgettable and I felt like at home. Also I would like to say huge thank you for this great adventure.

This time, flydubai 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 Middle East in a completely different way.

How do you like this story about this oriental luxury centre of the Middle East called Dubai? Have you maybe had a chance to visit United Arab Emirates? 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 Visit Dubai and flydubai airline company. I would like to say thank you to Four Seasons Hotel DIFC for having me. This trip was an extraordinary experience for me!

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Letters from Laos: Buddhism is the Heart, where all People can find Peace…

My dear travellers, how are you today? Today I was just thinking about the passing of time and how some moments in life last much shorter than we thought. In today’s post, I will do my best to explain to you some of the basics of Buddhism and to evoke the beauty of the temples I had the opportunity to see in Laos.

Today is the day we will say goodbye to Laos on my blog and this is officially my last Lao “letter” which I will share with you. It was a memorable adventure that would not have been possible without the selfless support of the Ministry of Information, Culture and Tourism of PDR Lao and airline company Qatar Airways. This way, I would like to thank them heartily for this extraordinary experience that has allowed me to get to know a whole new culture.

Buddhism (Buddha Śãsana – Buddha’s Teaching) is the fourth largest religion in the world with over 520 million followers, known as Buddhists. If we look at this figure from a global point of view, it is over 7% of the total population on the planet. Buddhism itself encompasses different traditions, beliefs, and spiritual practices that are largely based on the original teachings attributed to the Buddha and the resulting interpreted philosophies.

That Luang (Great Stupa) is the symbol of Lao and an icon of Buddhism in Laos.

It originated in ancient India as a Sramana tradition sometime between the 6th and 4th centuries BC, and spread throughout much of Asia. The two major existing schools of Buddhism which were recognized are: Theravada (the oldest preserved school of Buddhism) and Mahayana (Sanskrit: the “The Great Vehicle”). There is also a third school of Vajrayana Buddhism (Tantric Buddhism).

Buddhism spread throughout the 45 years of the Buddha’s teaching and centuries after his death, spread across the Indian subcontinent and then into Central, South, East and Southeast Asia. Although Buddhism is often perceived as an apolitical religion, it has always exercised significant political influence in the countries in which it is present. It is often stated that the history of Buddhism, unlike other religions, knows no exile, inquisitions, religious wars, hunting heretics and burning people and books in the name of defending dogma. In the early 20th century, Buddhism arrived in Europe and America.

Most Buddhist schools share the goal of overcoming suffering, the cycle of death and rebirth, either by attaining Nirvana or by Buddhahood. Buddhist schools differ in showing the right path to liberation, the relative importance and canonicality assigned to different Buddhist texts, and their specific teachings and belief practices. Widely accepted beliefs include finding hope and refuge in Buddha, Dharma and Sangi, respect for moral principles, monasticism, meditation and cultivation of Paramit (perfection or virtue).

That Luang temple during Boun Pha That Luang Festival in Vientiane, Laos

Buddhists have the highest part of population (approximate figures expressed in millions) in: China (including Tibet) (102), Japan (89.5), Thailand (55.5), Vietnam (50), Myanmar (41.6), Sri Lanka ( 12.5), South Korea (10.9), Taiwan (9.2), Cambodia (9.1) and India (7). In some Southeast Asian countries, Buddhism is still a state religion.

Buddhism today can be divided into three major branches: Theravada, Mahayana and Vajrayana. Of the total population of 524 million Buddhists, it is estimated that 56 percent of Mahayana followers, 38 percent of Theravadas, and 6 percent of Tantric or Tibetan Buddhism.

Wat Xieng Thong Temple in Luang Prabang

How did Buddhism come about? Who is responsible for the emergence of this present-day world religion? I will do my best to provide you with as always, comprehensive and specific answers. Siddhartha Gautama was a wise and traveling teacher who lived in the territory of present-day northern India and Nepal. In Buddhist life, the Buddha becomes the mythical prototype of the “divine man” in accordance with Hindu tradition, which has many features in common with idealized perfect beings in other religions.

Siddhartha Gautama was born about 560 B.C. n. e. in the small republic of Shakya, in present-day Nepal, at a time when it was one of the hubs of intellectual and spiritual activity. Siddharth’s father was a member of the council of the Saky Republic, and he described himself as a Kshatriya, a member of the ruling caste. However, Siddhartha left the palace and became a beggar named Gautama. As he left the two teachers who taught him something akin to yoga philosophy and practice, he joined, along with five other students, the cruel torment of the body.

Realizing the futility of such ruthless asceticism, he began to preach moderation as a middle ground. After awakening (liberation), he first went to Varanasi to give his first word on the four noble truths to the five beggars he lives with during his six years of ascetic life; it is known as the “Word of the Dharma Point Initiation.” After hearing it and believing it, they set up their first followers. Following the initial proposals, the cultivated community grew spectacularly, attracting priests, kings, and ascetics. For the next 45 years, the Buddha was proposed throughout Northeast India. Indian Buddhism, along with other growing ascetic movements, was chosen by a self-serving and stratified Hindu society.

After the Buddha’s death, his successor became Mahakashyapa, not the faithful disciple and secretary Ananda, who had been in the direct service of the Awakened for twenty years, had no free time to use meditation to become Arhat (Holy).

What are the basic principles of Buddhism?

The four noble truths are the fundamental concept of Buddhism. It is through their understanding that Shakyamuni Buddha (as the Buddhist founder, Siddhartha Gautama is often called) experienced awakening and nirvana. In this sense, the aspiration and effort to understand the four noble truths, not only at the intellectual level but, above all, at the intuitive level, the so-called. by direct knowledge, they are the essence of Buddhist teaching. It is thought that this was the topic of the first sermon the Buddha delivered after he had awakened.

The four noble truths are:

    1) The Noble Truth of Suffering – there is suffering in the lives of all beings.
    2) The Noble Truth About the Origin of Suffering – There is a Cause of Suffering, which are attachment and desire (pali: tanha – desire, thirst) that arise from ignorance (avidya)
   3) The Noble Truth About Cessation of Suffering – There is a Way to Overcome Suffering by Dropping and Eradicating Attachment and Desire
   4) The Noble Truth of the Path that leads to the Cessation of Suffering – there is a way to eliminate attachment and desire, which is the eightfold noble path

When referring to the four noble truths, the Buddha is often compared to the physician because the truths are exposed according to the ancient Indian medical model:

    1. There is a disease (diagnosis)
    2. There is a cause of the disease (analysis of the factors that lead to the disease)
    3. There is a way to cure the disease (finding out the prognosis and the existence or absence of a way to eliminate the cause of the disease)
    4. Prescribing a cure or a way to cure the disease

This approach to the problem is one of the key features in the discussion of Buddhism in relation to other religions. Namely, this avoids metaphysical speculation and the need to believe in what is being exhibited. In each of the four noble truths, references are made to phenomena and concepts that are wholly within the realm of each person’s experience, which enables him or her to make judgments about the truthfulness or untruthfulness of the subject matter of the discussion.

Moreover, in Buddhist writings, the Buddha precisely insists on this, empirical, approach and non-reliance on blind belief in his words. The Buddhist is expected not to accept all of the above merely on the basis of faith in truth, but to insist on actively re-examining learning through personal experience and analysis of that experience, since, according to the Buddha, it is the only way to reach true knowledge and thus liberation from suffering.

A temple located within the Haw Kham Royal Complex in Luang Prabang, Laos.

It should be pointed out, however, that it would be wrong to say that religion has no role in Buddhism. On the contrary, the term shrada is an essential element of Buddhist teaching. This term is roughly translated as faith, though it encompasses confidence, perseverance, modesty and perseverance. Although the Buddha opposes blind beliefs based on authority, tradition, and the like, there remains a need for a certain amount of faith in Buddhist teaching. In principle, shrada is the result of deep reflection and accumulated experience.

In the context of the four noble truths, this is primarily about the fourth – the belief that the eightfold noble path really leads to the destruction of attachment and desire. The only proof of the effectiveness of the Noble eightfold path and Buddhist teaching as a whole is the attainment of nirvana by Shakyamuni Buddha later, arhat (one who is worthy; a person who attained awakening and nirvana but not independently, as in the case of Buddhas, but the next Buddha’s teaching) .

Since there is no way to objectively and directly verify that these individuals have truly achieved their relief from suffering, it remains for us to accept this possibility as true on the basis of trust. Although in different Buddhist schools the degree and objects of faith, or trust, differ, we can say that faith in the truth of the eightfold noble path is common to all schools. In this way, faith in Buddhism plays the role of a person’s initiator on the path to awakening and nirvana.

Wat Mai Suvannaphumaham or Wat Mai (New Monastery) Buddhist Temple in Luang Prabang.

The noble eightfold path to the teachings of Gautama Buddha is the path that leads to the cessation of suffering (dukkha) in human life. Essentially a practical guide to living, based on ethical and meditative discipline, the Noble Eightfold Path is the fourth member of a group of four noble truths that shaped and initiated the development of the later Buddhist tradition.

As the name implies, there are eight elements of the noble eightfold path, and they are divided into three basic categories:

    Wisdom

    1. Right view
    2. Right intention

    Moral virtues

    3. Right speech
    4. Right action
    5. Right livelihood

    Meditation

    6. Right effort
    7. Right mindfulness
    8. Right concentration


In each of these parts of the noble eightfold path, the word “right” is a translation of the word samyañc (sanskrit) or sammā (pali), which signifies completeness, harmony, and also carries the meaning “perfect” or “ideal.”

Although parts of the path are numbered, this does not mean that they are a linear series of steps that one must take one at a time to advance toward enlightenment; instead, they should be developed more or less simultaneously, as much as individual abilities allow, because progress in one direction facilitates the development of other qualities, so that they complement and support each other.

In Buddhist symbolism, the noble eightfold path is often represented by the Dharmachakra, whose eight spiders represent the eight elements of the path.

Three Jewels

The three jewels are the three main features of Buddhism, that is, three things in which every Buddhist can find refuge. Therefore, they are also known as three jewels. That are:

    Buddha (The Awakened)
    Dharma (The Practice)
    Sangha (The Community)

Five rules of morality

There are five moral principles in Buddhist religion that every follower must adhere to, namely:

    1. Don’t kill or hurt other living things,
    2. Don’t steal,
    3. Don’t abuse sexual pleasure
    4. Don’t misuse speech (don’t lying)
    5. Do not consume alcohol, drugs or other substances that disturb consciousness.

Meditation

Buddhist meditation is a series of techniques that develop awareness, concentration, calmness and insight. Buddhists practice meditation as part of the path to enlightenment and nirvana.

According to Buddhist understanding, meditation represents an activity in which one seeks to overcome discursive thinking, to destroy or prevent adverse mental states, and to initiate or establish favorable mental states. The essence of Buddhist meditation lies in the collection of mindfulness and awareness, mindfulness and observation.

What are the basic branches and schools of Buddhism?

There are two basic currents in Buddhism, Theravada and Mahayana. Both are based on earlier traditions, so it is difficult to pinpoint their origin. It was previously thought that the first Theravada school was based on canonical texts that fairly faithfully reflected the original Buddha’s teaching, while the Mahayana was derived from much later material. Today, science thinks this is not true. Vajrayana Buddhism is sometimes considered a third group, while some consider it only part of the Mahayana tradition.

Mahayana has developed as a group of schools that can be classified into two major cultural and linguistic categories: Tibet-Mongolian and Sino-Japanese. Theravada Buddhism was more consistent; it expanded without significant change from India to Sri Lanka, and from there to Southeast Asia.

Buddhism in Laos

In Laos, Buddhists make up the majority of the population. Buddhism practiced in Laos is a traditional Theravada school. Lao-Buddhism is a unique part of Theravada Buddhism and is at the root of ethnic Lao culture. Buddhism in Laos is often closely tied to animist beliefs and belief in ancestral spirits, especially in rural areas.

However, Laos is a multiethnic country with a high proportion of non-Buddhist minorities who adhere to religions that are often substantiated by symbols of “animism” but which may also significantly overlap with Buddhism, or at least contain Buddhist elements arising from intercultural contact.

Sai Bat (Morning Alms) procession

Laotian Buddhists are very devout and in the past almost every Lao man, even for a short period of time, joined a Buddhist monastery or temple. Some men also falter for the rest of their lives. As the changes that bring with it the 21st century and the innovations of modern life, this practice is currently undergoing major changes. Most people give food to the monks in order to earn merit and improve their karma.

The temples of Laos were once considered “Universities” for monks. Lao monks are highly respected and valued in Lao communities. Based on Laotian Buddhism, Laos women learn that they can only get nirvana after being born as men.

Pha That Luang, Wat Sisakhet, Wat Xieng Thong and That Dam are the most famous Buddhist shrines in Laos. Lao-Buddhism is also known for the Buddha figures performing unique Lao creations or movements, such as a rain call and a uniquely striking Lao pose, such as depicting a Buddha lying down and welcoming death, after which he would attain Nirvana.

During the colonial era, Henry Parmentier conducted a major exploration of Lao art and architecture, which continues to be crucial to the unique culture of this part of Southeast Asia before the destruction that took place in the 1960s and 1970s.

Sai Bat (Morning Alms)

Sai Bat (Morning Alms) is a longstanding tradition of Lao Buddhist culture. Respecting this tradition, locals make daily contributions to monks throughout Luang Prabang. Starting in the early morning around 05:30 the monks take to the streets of Luang Prabang and in their special bowls “Bat” collect food from locals.

The tradition has also extended to tourists, so in addition to locals, tourists are also trying to uphold the Lao tradition and culture. It was an honor for me to be a part of this truly fascinating custom.

The most important thing is to honor this ritual in silence and to contribute to giving alms only if it means more to you than a meal and you must do so with great respect. If you do not wish to give your food, be at a suitable distance and be careful not to disturb the monastic procession or those participating in the procession. Basic rules for contributing and participating in the Sai Bat procession:

1) To make your contribution, you need to buy sticky rice at a local market earlier that morning or from people who prepare daily for rice sales at places along the route where the procession of monks is held.

2) Try not to be too close to the monks when photographing, and the camera flash can be very disturbing and uncomfortable for the monks and the parade participants who contribute.

3) Wear appropriate wardrobe: shoulders, chest and legs should be covered.

4) Do not make physical contact with the monks and try to be at least 5 meters away from the monks if you are observing the ceremony. If you participate in the ceremony you may be close to a monk, but there is no conversation.

5) Please note that large buses are banned in the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Luang Prabang and are extremely disturbing in this context. If you are coming from another city, you can reach a certain area in the city and then you can reach by foot or by car.

6) Never follow the procession in the car, as this will put you above the monks, which in Laos shows great disrespect.

7) The most important thing is participating in the alms giving ceremony, protecting the dignity and beauty of this decades-long tradition.

My dear travellers, once again we have come to the end of the last blog post from special series of post from my Lao adventure. 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 Ministry of Information, Culture, Tourism of Lao DPR and Qatar Airways for this incredible adventure and MyLaoHome Hotel & Spa for their huge efforts to make our stay unforgettable and I felt like at home. 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 Asia in a completely different way.

How do you like this story about Buddhism and Lao longstanding custom Sai Bat? Have you maybe had a chance to visit Laos? I would like to share with me your experience! See you next week with another interesting story and we will enjoy in the beauties of Middle East! We are going to Dubai, place where all Emirates greet! See you next week in United Arab Emirates!

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 Ministry of Information, Culture and Tourism of PDR Lao and Qatar Airways airline company. I would like to say thank you to MyLaoHome Hotel & Spa and Tours for having me. This trip was an extraordinary experience for me!

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Letters from Laos: Luang Prabang, a magical fairy tale about the land of 1000 elephants…

My dear travellers, Happy New Year! I wish you much health, happiness, love and of course plenty of new adventures to remember! Life is one album that we ourselves fill with images that marked our existence. Today I am happy because this is my first post in the New Year and we continue our adventure in Laos, the smallest country in Southeast Asia.

In previous blog posts, you have had the opportunity to get to know the capital of Laos – Vientiane and to learn more about the largest Buddhist religious holiday, That Luang Festival.

Today I will take you to Luang Prabang, which many people call as the “land of 1000 elephants”. It is a city located in the mountainous north of Laos, which is also the capital of the Luang Prabang province.

If you are planning to visit Luang Prabang, it is best to use plane, in which case you will have a shorter flight of less than an hour from Vientiane. This trip was amazing and exciting, and it would not have been possible without the Ministry of Information, Culture and Tourism of the People’s Republic of Lao which I thank on this occasion for the kind invitation.

As I am a big animal lover, I have always had the desire to touch an elephant and see it live in its natural habitat. That is my wish which I shared with the team from the Ministry of Information, Culture and Tourism of the People’s Republic of Lao.

They have made every effort to fulfill my wish, and for that I am truly grateful to them for fulfilling one great wish for one child trapped in an adult’s body!

After a short drive, we came to Chateau Orientale a small family-run hotel-resort that has its own little paradise – a “Elephant Shelter” that currently houses two elephants. I didn’t know that until the lunch. They mentioned some tour where we will visit the local waterfalls. Just like that after the luch, I got ready. I wasn’t alone, one iconic tourism legend also went with us – Mr. Klaus Gengenbach, the man who connected the Middle East with Germany 40 years ago when he introduced the first flights to Dubai.

I had heard about his work in Germany after working with many local tourism organizations, so his name was featured in their brochures, but I didn’t get a chance to get to know him personally.

I have to be honest so at first I didn’t know who I was having the privilege of talking to because I was a little tired so my observation skills for details and facts was quite low that afternoon… The only thing I noticed was that a person from the Ministry in talking to Mr. Gengenbach mentioned a a strange word repeatedly – Sang (which in Lao means elephant).

At first I thought it was the name of one of the local waterfalls, until the moment when we were joined by a younger guy who introduced himself as a local guide who had some unusual whistle with him.

Suddenly, we stopped in one field and the “local guide” started calling someone, since that didn’t work, he used his whistle. Not a minute passed, I heard a familiar sound. A representative from the ministry noticed that I had become incredibly excited and he just said, “Sang is coming now!”

Then I finally figured out the meaning of the word Sang! The elephants living in this park as part of the Chateau Orientale resort have been rescued and now this is their new home. They are taken care of by two trainers and these elephants are not used to transport tourists. They are protected and you can enjoy with them, feed and have an interesting bath time with them, after which they return to their paradise, which is the only acceptable solution.

Elephants are indeed noble and highly intelligent and sentient animals that humans unfortunately exterminate because of ivory (tusks) and are used in captivity as a fun item, which is not at all commendable.

Elephants are the largest terrestrial mammals in the world. At birth, the cub can weigh up to 100 kg. The gestation period for an elephant female is between 20 and 22 months, which is also the longest gestation period for all mammals on the planet. Elephants can live for more than 70 years.

Today, there are only three other types of elephants species in the world:

     – African Elephant (Loxodonta africana)
     – African Forest Elephant (Loxodonta cyclotis)
     – Asian Elephant (Elephas maximus)

I’m sure that you maybe wonder why these trainers are here? Their role is to help the elephant to adapt to their new environment and help them live in harmony with their natural environment. Due to the previous experiences of this couple, they are accustomed to living with people and they are not able to live with their herd in nature.

There is a great possibility of rejecting from the herd as it was necessary to find the ideal solution for these two elephants.

During my visit to this unusual elephant shelter, I had the opportunity to learn some new facts about these extraordinary beings. By their nature, they are very headstrong, can be dangerous to humans, but in wildlife they never attack the first, only in self-defense.

When a baby elephant is born or taken captive, they lose that wilderness call over time, and some individuals will never be able to return to the wild, especially if they were raised in captivity because they did not have an adequate model to model their wildlife.

Because they are dependent on the goodwill of people, so many orphanages have been opened in many places in the world for elephants, their only hope of survival. At this shelter, a small paradise within the Chateau Oriental Resort, trainers strive every day to allow this pair of elephants to live beautifully and comfortably.

Have you ever wondered how much this mammal can eat daily? Elephants eat about 150 kg of grass, twigs, tree bark, carrots and fruits EVERY DAY. In order to eat so much food, he has to spend three quarters of his time eating. Now imagine that you live in a place where there are no abundant fruits every day, that means someone has to come and give you a hand of help.

Because it is vital to keep this couple in a resort, they strive to provide 70 to 100 kg of fruit each day with the help of local farmers who, at extremely low prices and food donations, help this resort survive.

That’s really nice on their part, and the more commendable thing is that the whole local community is working hard to maintain this little paradise by collecting donations for daily living and if ever needed healing for these lovely creatures.

The male was more open for communication, while the female needed some time to be free and socialize with us. They are an extremely caring couple and each of them has a difficult story and they just met at this shelter and loved it. It is the female who takes the lead, she can attack the male and leave, but after a few minutes she looks for him in the park.

On one occasion, when they quarreled, they moved the male to a nearby village for two days, the female tried to find the male in park, after she came to the hotel to show concern for her partner and wait literally 24 hours as a kind of quiet protest to return her partner. The owners and people working at the resort couldn’t believe how the female reacted when she spotted the male and they went across the river to their home…

I spent the most beautiful 3 hours with these animals and our time was so much fun, because the two of them were just in the mood for socializing. Someone had to take a break too! Of course, this is a joke, the truth is that the female wanted to dry because she was extremely angry with the male who seemed to be overdoing the refreshment in the river.

When you do not want to give all the bananas one at a time you get a scoop on your head which can be shown in the picture above. Elephants are fascinating animals and very intelligent just like humans have their virtues and disadvantages, and even those moments when they make some funny situations like this in the photo above. 😉

I am delighted to have the opportunity to meet people like the owners of Chateau Orientale Resort, their employees and the people who help them run the hotel smoothly.

Somehow I found the strength to say goodbye to the elephants, so it was the time to really see some local waterfalls. In Laos, nature is divine and for me this was a totally new lifetime experience.

With the help of the Chateau Orientale hotel-resort, which in addition to the accommodation service, as a tour operator, successfully organizes numerous half-day and full-day tours where you can discover the charms of Luang Prabang area and enjoy the beauty of nature.

They have succeeded in an unusual and unique way of proving to me that their motto is really true, which is: “Time (here) does not exist!”. Indeed in Luang Prabang you feel like time has stopped and everything is dedicated to nature.

Man is here as a observer who came to enjoy the beauty and to use the modern technologies to record and share it with his family, friends and the rest of the world, of course, if he uses social networks.

During my half-day tour, I had the opportunity to feel the peace and serenity next to the Tad Sae Waterfalls located along the tributary of the Nam Khan River in Luang Prabang Province. They are located about 18 kilometers southeast of Luang Prabang and about 2 kilometers from Bak En village.

The day was fulfilling and it was time for Mr.M to return to the hotel to rest and sum up his impressions. I have to admit, that day was my most exciting day in 2019 because I had the opportunity to fulfill my childhood dream. It may seem ridiculous and childish to some, but when your childhood dream is fulfilled you have the impression that the whole world is yours!

I used my last atoms of strength to get a little refreshment and nap, I tried to fall asleep, but it didn’t work, so I decided it was better to edit the photos. I’m one of those people who thinks that the sooner you start working, the sooner you finish, and the more time you will have for rest and fun.

The next morning, I woke up because of the strange sounds of “parrot fight” that were in the resort of the main mascots. Looks like someone ate more mangoes and papayas than followed, it was an interesting brawl…

Like every morning, you have to get up and get yourself resfreshed, but this view is definitely different from the one I have the opportunity to see in Belgrade and Berlin… There are no tall buildings and office skyscrapers, just pure nature and wild life.

Before breakfast, I decided to visit the resort and share with you what a distant paradise on earth looks like in Southeast Asia. I think that after these photos you will want to come to Luang Prabang and feel the untouched nature of Asia and visit the elephants.

Welcome to Chateau Orientale, a natural temple where you can rest your body, soul and all your senses. In the picturesque setting beside the exquisite riverfront locations, you can see in the ancient oriental oasis in the heart of the Lao Jungle.

Take the journey of our ancestors to the Middle and Far East, enjoying a unique experience. Allow your senses to flow in the pleasure that makes the atmosphere this tropical paradise special. Chateau Orientale is a place where time does’t exist…

Chateau Orientale is a mini-resort with only 4 accommodation units and uses this fact to provide the best possible personalized service to make every stay in this quaint paradise an unforgettable lifetime experience that you will remember.

My dear travellers, once again we have come to the end post from special series of post from my Lao adventure. 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 Ministry of Information, Culture, Tourism of Lao DPR and Qatar Airways for this incredible adventure and Chateau Orientale family run hotel-resort for their huge efforts to make our stay unforgettable and I felt like at home. Also I would like to say huge thank you for this great adventure.

How do you like this story about Luang Prabang, the land of 1000 Elephants? Have you maybe had a chance to visit Laos? I would like to share with me your experience! See you next week with another interesting story from Laos and we will continue our adventure in Luang Prabang and we will see what beautiful places are hidden in this wonderful part of Laos.

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 Ministry of Information, Culture and Tourism of PDR Lao and Qatar Airways airline company. I would like to say thank you to Chateau Orientale hotel-resort for having me. This trip was an extraordinary experience for me!

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Letters from Azerbaijan: What We Really Need to Be Happy?

Dear travellers, Good morning and welcome to another new post on the Mr.M blog. The season of vacations is going to end soon and we are preparing for some new work “victories”. I sincerely hope that you had a great time and that you made the most of your vacation memorable. As I did mine in Azerbaijan. This morning I was thinking about: “What We Really Need to Be Happy?”

Today’s post will be dedicated to the capital of Azerbaijan and one slightly different story. I am sure that for many of us it is always a problem to pack adequate clothing for the journey. I have to admit that I found myself in huge problem when I needed to pack my luggage. I had no idea what I need to pack and to prepare for 34-36 degrees in Azerbaijan when I checked weather forecast for the last time before my trip.

The first question I asked myself was, “Is there high humidity?”. The capital of Azerbaijan – Baku is blessed with climate. Due to its geographical location, colder air from Russia comes from North. While slightly warm and sandy air comes from Iran from the South. This unusual combination of climate and proximity to the Caspian Sea makes it easy to survive a tropical summer in Azerbaijan.

For the first time in my life, I packed a small suitcase and that half the things I didn’t manage to wear. That’s why I sometimes fool myself in the judgement… Anything is possible!

Due to the weather conditions in Azerbaijan during the summer, it is best to equip yourself with the clothes made mostly of Linen. Linen is the best natural material which allow our skin to breathe, I know there is another side of the story – it is hard to iron. Linen may be the best material when these high tropical temperatures come, but be prepared to iron almost every time when you come back to the hotel. If you are not used to iron, try a well-tried recipe.

When take off the linen clothes, place it immediately on a chair and fold your hands over the material, imitating the movements of the iron and leaving it overnight. The problem is that not every type of the linen react the same, so depending on the quality and the fabric processing of the linen itself, it depends on whether you will be able to straighten your linen garment. I have succeeded on this trip a few times since I have not separated from my white linen shirt. Sometimes we need so little for happiness! My happiness is when I do not need to iron my clothes too much, because I’m perfectionist, so I just can’t stand it if it is not good!

The second best material that can help you withstand high temperatures is viscose. Viscose is also natural material that cools and refresh the skin, of course, sometimes the opposite effect can occur when the combination of high temperature and high humidity, then only God is helpful to you, I will just say that I well remembered what spring in Sri Lanka looks like… You do not know Is it worse that you feel like you are a chicken in the oven or a feeling of helplessness that you cannot fully enjoy in a tropical paradise…

Baku is different and be prepared to bring with you comfortable and light clothing with you very, very comfortable shoes because believe me, YOU ABSOLUTELY NEED THEM! Baku is a huge city, boulevards are long and wide, so if you’re a fan of walking, get ready for a marathon. Transportation in Baku is very cheap, so you can use the transportation. The transport system is such that you can buy one card, but the difference is that one card can be used by more than one person, so you do not have to buy more than one card. The price of the card is about 2 USD, while the price of the ticket for one way ride is about 0.20 or 0.30 cents (USD), which you have to admit is much cheaper than Germany, where is one ride costs almost 3 Euros (2.80 in Berlin to be exact)…

As far as we are talking about food, trust me you won’t be hungry or thirsty, food is extremely affordable. I will only tell you that lunch for 4 people cost about 60-70 euros, and on the table were more than two kilograms of meat roast, various salads, various pies and sweet treats which is again similar, if not cheaper than the prices in European restaurants. Market prices are ok, I know prices of candies are much lower than European ones.

In previous posts from Azerbaijan, you have seen the cutest Marko in some pretty fancy cloths, but 80% of my time was spent in this let’s just say a simpler casual outfit. I changed two pairs of jeans and 3 linen shirts (which, by the way, were the same colors, same model) otherwise I am a person who binds to one model for a some period of time so in my free time (when I not taking photos for the blog) I only wear that one model in multiple colors (sometimes even in the same colour) until I’m not get bored, so I find some new “love.”

As I mentioned earlier, when you travel the most important thing is comfort. This is some of my suggestion for a summer version of the vacation outfit when traveling somewhere in the summer and exploring other parts of the country along the way, since I also went to rural areas where expensive clothes would surely be of no use for me.

OUTFIT

Shirt: Makia

Jeans: Pedro del Hierro

Backpack: Picard

Sneakers: Makia

Camera: Sony Alpha 7r IILens: Sony G Master 24-70 MM

I would like to take this opportunity to thank my friends at Makia Clothing for their trust, as well as my associates from the Picard brand who have always been there to support my work. The products of these two companies have always been helpful to me on my trips. Makia clothing is simple, practical and functional, while other Picard leather accessories are of high quality and very durable.

All the backpacks I got from Picard are still like new, of course I clean and treat them nice after every adventure so I don’t let leather get ruined. As a traveler who always carries a laptop, camera and big lens in my travel bag and some other necessities I need to survive a classic day on the journey, I can tell you that Picard products are high quality.

My dear adventurers, once again we have come to the end of our post. 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 National Tourism Promotion Board of Azerbaijan and Azerbaijan Airlines for this incredible adventure and Qafqaz Thermal & Spa Resort Hotel Yengija for their huge efforts to make our stay unforgettable and I felt like at home.

How do you like this story about this simple and casual outfit? I am sure that you have one nice white linen shirt in your closet, use it and make this summer unforgettable! Have you maybe had a chance to visit Azerbaijan before? I would like to share with me your experience! In a couple of days we will continue our adventure in Europe. This time i will take you to Baltic and we will visit the capital of Latvia – Riga.

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

P.S. If you want to know more about Azerbaijan you should read my other posts, I am sure you will find plenty of interesting tips and information about this incredible country:

  1. Letters from Azerbaijan: Lahij, place where dreams are made of Copper…
  2. Letters from Azerbaijan: Gobustan, the Cradle of Azeri Culture…
  3. Letters from Azerbaijan: Baku, a modern city made of traditional dreams…
This post was sponsored by National Tourism Promotion Bureau of Azerbaijan and the national airline company Azerbaijan Airlines and Boulevard Hotel Baku. I also thank my friends from  Makia Clothing and Picard Lederwaren for amazing outfit and my friends from Sony who made it possible to enjoy in these beautiful photos made with the Sony Alpha 7r Mark II camera with Sony FE 24-70 mm lense from special G Master series of professional lenses.
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Letters from Azerbaijan: Lahij, place where dreams are made of copper…

Hello my dear travellers, welcome to new post on the Mr.M blog. How are you doing today? Has something interesting happened to you today? Some people are back from vacation, while some lucky ones are just getting ready to start their journey. In the past few days, I read on the social networks comments from some people, like: “Why we call our vacation “annual leaving”, if it only lasts for 2,3 weeks… It is not fair!”. I agree with them, but what to do it looks like it’s another “wrong” name, such some terms like “final discounts”, and in the store you will find the maximum of 20% discount… Sweet “white” lies which we just love and want to believe.

In the previous two posts you had the opportunity to get to know Baku and see where the cradle of Azeri culture – Gobustan National Park. In today’s post you will meet an interesting village, which is located in the most beautiful part of Azerbaijan, at the heart of the Caucasus.

Of course, before I start today’s post I would like to thank the National Tourism Board of the Republic of Azerbaijan for its excellent organization, as well as other partners of this project who made our stay in Azerbaijan unforgettable!

Tural, our guide told us the opinion of the local people in Azerbaijan, which is that they consider that the road to Lahij village is one of the most beautiful in Azerbaijan. You can see how nature has adapted to climate and you have the great opportunity yo enjoy the view of mountains, plains and sea.

I must admit that usually when traveling somewhere by car, I try to rest and get some sleep because press trips can be extremely stressful at times and I use every free moment for rest and relaxation. However this time was different, the trip was different and I decided to show you these beauties of nature to people who may choose to visit Azerbaijan one day!

The people of Azerbaijan are simple, kind and frank. The language may be a small barrier, but because of its close proximity to Russia, many people know Russian. Maybe this fact helps from Balkan region like me because the Russians can understand some of Serbian words which makes it easier for some basic communication. Of course a lot of people speak English as well, but we are talking about older generations who lives in rural areas.

Tural explained to us the geographical location of Azerbaijan and some basic things about places where we are going, so this trip passed so fast for us quickly. Of course we took a couple of breaks, maybe the trip was a little longer, but we learned a lot about Azerbaijan.

At the first break, I used the time to take a picture by the sea… Well, I went well all way to far away Azerbaijan, I guess I deserved to have at least one nice picture with my best friend, I’m most afraid of – water. Strange, but very interesting love!

Shortly after these breaks, we came to our first stop on this short car trip. My hosts wanted to show me their oldest and largest mosque in Azerbaijan – the Juma Mosque. According to legend, it was built in the 8th century when Shamakhi was chosen as the residence of the Arab Caliph. This is why Shamakhi Juma looked like one of the oldest mosques in the Caucasus region. The architecture of this large complex is as follows – the huge prayer hall is divided into three independent sections that are connected with wide open arches.

Each part has its own separate mikhrab and an entrance. After considerable destruction of the mosque during wars and earthquakes, it was repeatedly reconstructed and restored. The current appearance of the mosque was formed in the early 20th century. The mosque was practically rebuilt on an old basis without losing the basic principles of its structure. There are still three halls. In addition, the central hall is covered by a huge dome and the other two smaller domes.

Below the central dome is a window belt. The windows are decorated with bars. The whole facade is decorated with tracery lattices. Built more than 1,200 years ago, the Shamakhi Juma Mosque remains one of the largest cult structures in the Caucasus region.

Mikhrab in the main Hall.

It was a great honor for me to visit this holy place and learn more about the history of this part of Azerbaijan. I was particularly attracted to the harem of the mosque (this word has different meaning, but also it is the name of the enclosed courtyard of the mosque) at the entrance to the mosque, as it was arranged as a small green oasis of peace and happiness.

We had to continue our journey, because we had a long way to go to Lahij village, and we had a few more things to see. We got in the car and continued our trip. Of course I got my camera ready, the photographer fell asleep from the heat, so I had to do some of his work. Nobody knows my “blogging” troubles on the trip when I have different roles to play at the same time…

You are maybe wondering why we headed to Lahij village? Lahij is a remote village located in the Ismaiilli area of Azerbaijan, on the slopes of the Greater Caucasus. About 2,000 people live in this village, mostly belonging to a minority ethnic group that speaks Tat.

Lahij is one of the oldest permanently populated places in the world. Moreover, the sewerage system of the village dates back to 1000 years ago, which during this time you must admit was very unusual and commendable. For example, large European cities such as Paris and London did not have sewerage system until the 13th – 14th centuries. Incredible, isn’t it?

The facilities and master plan of the village are very unique. As a result of frequent earthquakes, locals have developed sophisticated and authentic construction techniques. Traditionally, people used the ground floor of houses as workshops and workrooms. The houses here are characterized by flat roofs. In addition, some houses have balconies overlooking the street.

The history and story of the village, are associated with many legends. According to one legend, many years ago there was a town of 36,000 inhabitants called La. One day a major earthquake happened and La was leveled to the ground. There was no town afterwards, but the place name changed to La-hec. “Hec” in Azerbaijani means nothing or zero. Over time, people came to live in this settlement again. At that time, La-hec changed to Lahi.

According to another legend, the Persian Shah Kai Khosrov killed a prominent ruler of a city, which caused great unrest in his country. Finally, after some power and throne struggles, the defeated chess decided to flee the country to save his life. He later found refuge in the mountains near modern Lahi. The Shah servants established the village of Lahij for their families. Eventually Kai Khosrov died there, but gradually the small village expanded and turned into a settlement.

This is the way how locals consider themselves to be descendants of Kay Khosrov’s original court. Moreover, they claim that the name of the village comes from a place called Lahian in Persia. A tomb with a tombstone belonging to Kai Khosrov was found at the Zavara cemetery in Lahij along with other tombstones dating back more than a thousand years.

In the medieval period the village became an important center of craftsmen in Azerbaijan. Lahij’s artisans have started to become very popular throughout Asia and Europe. In the 18th century, the city gained a reputation for producing cold steel weapons and copper. Many of them, such as copper pots and lamps and weapons, still adorn famous European museums, especially the Louvre and the Hermitage. Today, the village and its entire heritage are protected, but open to tourists. The spirit of medieval times and the path of ancient silk is still found in Lahij.

Also, there is one interesting museum in this picturesque place called the Museum of Local History of Lahij and you can find many interesting exhibits in it and learn more about the history of this unusual village.

The museum was opened in 1985 within the Lahij Historical and Cultural Reserve. Initially it was part of the historical and cultural nature reserve, but since 1992 it has the function of an independent cultural object of significance. The museum itself is housed in a building known in Lahi as the “Aghaoglu Mosque”, which was built in 1914.

The exhibit of the museum consists of more than 1000 exhibits in 10 different sections. The exhibits date from ancient examples of crafts, including ceramic specimens, specimens more than 2000 years old, bellows made in the 18th century for copper smelting and other livestock and trade related parts, as well as information on the city’s underground irrigation system operating since 15th Century!

The development of international tourism, together with some new knowledge about people and cultures, has resulted in a gradual interest in the cultural diversity of the region. Lahij has attracted the attention of many world tourists in recent years and as a result Lahij village is now included in the tours of several leading travel agencies.

The time for move came and we continued our journey, we had an amazing time in Lahij village, but Gabala is calling us! Gabala (Azerbaijani: Kəbələ, also known as Kabala, the capital of the Kabbalah district) The municipality consists of the city of Gabala and the town of Kusnat village. Previously, the city was known as Kutkashen, but after the independence of the Republic of Azerbaijan, the city was renamed in honor of the much older city of Gabala.

The geographical location and mountainous relief of the city greatly influenced the formation of complex climatic conditions in the vertical arid region, as well as the density of the river network and the richness of land and vegetation cover.

The facilitated and humid climatic conditions of the Gabala region led to the formation of a dense river network in the area. The city is rich in chestnut and hazelnut trees. The flora and fauna of the district are very rich. Deer, wild boars, rabbits, bears, wolves, foxes and numerous birds can be found in the forest.

Gabala is an ideal tourist destination due to its combination of unusual spring climate, mountain scenery and diverse fauna. There are many world-class hotels and resorts, much of the Kafkaz hotel chain. The region’s natural climatic conditions create opportunities for summer and winter tourism development in the region. The northern side of Gabala belongs to the southern slopes of the Greater Caucasus mountain range, the central part of the Alazan-Haftaran Valley, the southern part of the Ainohur Mountains.

In addition, Azerbaijan has the highest mountain peak in Azerbaijan – Bazarduz Mountain (4466 meters). Also in Gabala is the Ieddi Gozel waterfall. In translation, it means ‘seven beauties’ because of its seven phases of decline, but it also depicts the classic story of Nizami Ganjavi. The city also contains the Gabaland Amusement Park, a skating rink and Greek-style theater built specifically for concerts and outdoor events. Gabala also has several malls. The city is home to the Tufandag Ski Resort, which is rated as the best ski resort in Azerbaijan and one of the main in the Caucasus.

My dear adventurers, once again we have come to the end of our post. 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 National Tourism Promotion Bureau of Azerbaijan and Azerbaijan Airlines for this incredible adventure and Qafqaz Thermal & Spa Resort Hotel Yengija for their huge efforts to make our stay unforgettable and I felt like at home.

How do you like this post about National Park Gobustan? Have you maybe had a chance to visit Azerbaijan before? I would like to share with me your experience! In a couple of days we will continue our adventure in Azerbaijan, and I will show you one interesting Lahij village which I visited during my visit. Stay tuned!

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

P.S. If you want to know more about Azerbaijan you should read my other posts, I am sure you will find plenty of interesting tips and information about this incredible country:

This post was sponsored by National Tourism Promotion Bureau of Azerbaijan and the national airline company Azerbaijan Airlines and Qafqaz Thermal & Spa Resort Hotel Yengija. I also thank my friends from Loro PianaMakia Clothing and Picard Lederwaren for amazing outfits and my friends from Sony who made it possible to enjoy in these beautiful photos made with the Sony Alpha 7r Mark II camera with Sony FE 24-70 mm lense from special G Master series of professional lenses.
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Letters from Cyprus: Everyone needs a little Vitamin Sea

Dear travellers, I hope you are doing well and you are ready for a new adventure! You’re used to almost all of my travel posts are titled with famous first words “Letters” or “Postcards” from a particular destination and I’m very glad that a lot of people who read my cheerful travel adventures regularly know that it’s time for a new travel adventure on Mr.M. Today I have prepared for you the first post from an island in Europe with one of the most beautiful, and at the same time one of the richest island countries in Europe – Cyprus.

After my exciting adventure in Morocco in May this year, I received an email from the National Tourism Organization of the Republic of Cyprus with an offer for potential collaboration if I am interested to visit Cyprus in November of this year. At first sight, I thought November is to far from now, but with great pleasure I accepted their invitation to visit this lovely county and to present to you, through a couple of special posts, on Mr.M blog.

I always easily will be deceived when it comes about the time… From May to November there may be many months to count when we look at it from some rational mathematical point of view, but life is quite another matter. Every day, people are preoccupied with daily activities, little joys and problems that fill their days, weeks and months. You do not notice it easily and time just do it’s thing – flies so fast, just like the sand in hourglass. That’s how it happened to me this time, so the days, weeks and months passed and this famous first part of November has came to mark the beginning of my new adventure.

Winter in Belgrade did her own thing. I got the fear, so I did not even know what to bring to my “winter” holiday in Cyprus, and in the end, like every average guy, I carried almost everything with me! With the full suitcase of medicines which I need for my cold, little Marko has officially started his adventure!

Maybe we were little exhausted, because we came in some early morning hours, but little Marko could not sleep. I drank all the possible medicines that could be drunk, imagined that I did not feel cold because of a my illness and dressed like all the normal world that morning. I did not miss anythings this time, I was really happy because I had the opportunity to experience the magic of the winter “summer” in Cyprus.

Republic of Cyprus has two airports: Larnaca Airport and the airport near Paphos city. When you come from Serbia, air carriers use the airport in Larnaca. Life on the island is interesting because of one very simple fact – each city is relatively close to another one. Whether you use: bus services or you want to rent a car or a car with a driver, believe me, everything is close.

I just want to mention for all those adventurers who want to rent a car in Cyprus and to explore the island independently, keep in mind the fact that in Cyprus the rules of driving apply as in the United Kingdom. Driving on the opposite side of road, than we used to be used in the other part of Europe, I just wanted to warn you about that fact. I’m sure you will have a quite adventure there!

Larnaca – Pearl of Cyprus on the sea coast

Larnaca with over 70,000 inhabitants is the third largest city in Cyprus. It is located in the southeast of the island and Larnaca is the oldest city in Cyprus, the legend says that it was built in the year 4000 BC. In ancient times, the city was named Kition. Due to its unusual geographical location and as a city at the crossroads of civilizations, the city had a quite exciting history. In the pictures above, you can see the Old Square in Larnaca, a square which today is the heart of Larnaca and the center of culture, where many cultural events are held every year.

One of the most important era that marked the history of this city was the Byzantine period due to the church of Saint Lazarus founded by the emperor of Constantinople, Zenon The Wise. In the basement of the church was one grave with sign “Lazarus, a friend of Christ” people believe that Lazarus (St. Lazarus) was the best friend of Jesus. Today the church of St. Lazarus is one of the most important sights of the city. There is an interesting tradition in Larnaca. On Lazarus Saturday, eight days before Easter, the icon of Saint Lazarus is taken in procession through the streets of Larnaca.

Orthodox Church of Sv. Lazarus is located in the old part of the city, closed to the Promenade of the city. St. Lazarus, who is considered to be the best friend of Jesus. Jesus resurrected him and sent him to Cyprus. If we just think about the period when the church was built, its architecture is impressive.

In the center of the church there is an iconostasis, which captivates all visitors with its beauty. I had the opportunity to see how the elderly people of Larnaca pray in the church and some of their daily customs when visiting this holy place. Maybe the way is a little different from ours in Serbia, but the same religion making us spiritual connected. The Orthodox Church in Cyprus is independent financially or in any other way dependent on another churches. On this trip I had the opportunity to visit many holly places on the Cyprus and I hope that I able to present you in some of the following posts.

What you should visit in Larnaca:

 

Cape Greco and Ayia Napa

After the sightseeing of Larnaca and some of its main attractions, we headed for the nearby town of Agia Napa. During our journey to Agia Napa we had the opportunity to enjoy the beauty of this natural stone bridge – Gefyri tou Koraka which is belonging to the national park Cape Greco. Nature is a miracle, somehow it can always obscure all the magnificent buildings that the human hand has made. We made a small break to enjoy the beauty of nature and this absolutely unreal color of water. I have to admit that the weather has served us excellently on our trip this time in Cyprus.

The time in this beautiful national park has just flied so fast and it was time to continue our journey to the final destination for today – Ayia Napa. I hope that at least you enjoyed the beauty of this beautiful view of the crystal clear sea.

Slowly, the time for the famous cypriot fish lunch was approaching, and we did not pass the halfway! It’s time to hurry up Ayia Napa is waiting for us! I was so excited because it was planned in our itinerary to visit another holly place in Cyprus – first female monastery in Ayia Napa.

This monastery was built around 15th century in the heart of the Ammochostos district in Agia Napa village by an extremely brave and courageous woman. A young woman who was a daughter of the famous Venetian aristocrat decided to run away from her home because she realized that she would never be able to marry someone she really loved, except for the members of the aristocratic society. This female monastery was built as in one type of medieval castles. One part of the monastery was built underground, but this has not yet been explored enough and that part of this monastery is not open to the public. The turbulent history is connected to this monastery, but despite everything that happened, it managed to resist the fortune of time.

This monastery was a shelter for all women who were rejected by their families and society. People usually think that persons who come from very wealthy families are selfish and only think about themselves, but this is one example that shows that it is not always the case. One woman who wanted to be loved did not succeed and she resolved to become an exile and find her refuge in a foreign country. She tried to help other women fighting for their own desires, imagine how it was then inconceivable and very difficult during the 15th century, when in the 21st century we continue to allow women to fight for their rights equality that should be acquired by birth. I really admire that woman how she managed to do everything and to help other women to realize their dreams.

Potamos Liopetriou – Natural fishing shelter

After we had the opportunity to hear something more about this brave young woman and to get to know a little better the history of this first female monastery, the guide has told us that there is an interesting surprise for the end of this day and if we are in the mood it will be great to visit it before the dinner which was planned by our friends from the National Tourism Organization of Cyprus. Of course, we accepted and after a few minutes we reached Potamos Liopetriou – which is known as a natural fishing shelter.

Thalia, our guide is who told us very interesting facts and stories about rich history of Cyprus during this one of our first day in Cyprus was absolutely right and this time! This is wonderful place! Here you have a unique opportunity to see how fishermen in Cyprus live and work. In this unusual fishermen’s heaven there is also a lovely fish tavern that is very good and where you can enjoy in fish specialties without spending a lot of money.

My dear travellers once again we have come to the end of our travel adventure. Time just flies so fast when you are having a good time! Don’t worry in a couple of days I will publish a new post where we will continue together to enjoy the charms of traveling and we will continue our adventure in Cyprus.

At the end of the post, I would like to thank the friendly staff from Frangiorgio Hotel that made our stay pleasant and we felt like we were at home.

How do you like this post? Have you ever visited Cyprus? Did you have chance to enjoy in the magic of the Larnaca? I would like to share with me your experience! 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.

As I promised we’ll see again in a couple of days, so if something new and interesting happens to me, I promise, I will write to you!

Best,

Mr.M

This post is sponsored by National Tourist Board of Cyprus, Frangiorgio Hotel and others partners of Cyprus Tourist Board which kindly help this project. I will mention all of them in some of the next posts.
For all these beautiful photos I used Sony Alpha 7r Mark II camera.
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Letters from Finland: Korkeasaari, Animal Kingdom

Hello everyone! My dear adventurers, how are you today? It’s time to introduce you to the most unusual zoo in the world, it’s not an ordinary zoo, it’s a real animal kingdom. Korkeasaari, a word that I still do not know how to say, but I was happy to read it on a little board of bus no 16 that can take you directly from the central train station – the heart of the city of Helsinki to the island where the zoo is located .

I think that morning at the station I was the oldest child on the bus, I honestly did not care about that, I just wanted to get to my goal. Sometimes is very hard to think almost about everything, but this time I forgot that the zoo was on the island, I completely distracted myself from the mind that it was windy there and that I should take my cap that I forgot in the apartment. My friends from My Helsinki were so good and they gave me an interesting brown cap as a gift, but I just forgot this time to bring it with me!

The Helsinki Zoo is located around 30 minutes of drive from the centre of the city and in a just 30 minutes you can leave the urban part of Helsinki and enjoy the beauty of the natural and wildlife. Due to the strength of the wind I was not able to take some photos of the approach to the island, the view was absolutely amazing. The picture above was created when we crossed the bridge, at the very entrance to the zoo. The view is enchanting, I was totally speechless!

This island paradise is home to more than 150 animal species and a rich vegetation world that has over 1000 species of plants. There are only few zoo’s on the world that are located on the islands, which is why the zoo in Helsinki is special. It is also one of the oldest zoos in the world, opened its doors in 1889. The zoo works all year round, only the approach of the island depending on the season and weather conditions is different. During the spring, summer and early autumn you can reach the Korkeasaari Zoo with special ferries, while during the late autumn and winter period you arrive by bus number 16, as we did this time.

The Korkeasaari Zoo is divided into several parts. Each part is a special story for itself and it is not important whether you are a child or a child “trapped” in the body of an adult man I am convinced that you will enjoy. There are special facilities throughout the zoo where you can feel the way of life in Finland. Wooden huts by the water, a camp fireplace and facilities built for the purpose of educating children and adults makes this zoo unique in Europe and the world as well.

It was a little harder to get to the monkeys this time because the children of school and preschool age were simply fascinated by the charisma and positivity of these pretty animals. In those days when we were in Helsinki, there was a special holiday for children in Finland that lasted for a week and is special because it is an active holiday for children. Children have planned activities every day, to get to know the world around them much better and learn something new. I really think that we need something similar to do in Serbian education system for preschool and elementary school age children.

This zoo is a great place for all lovers of nature, except that you will be able to spend time and see some of your favorite animals, you can also enjoy in all beauties of the nature. Fashion experts have said that the gold color is in the trend this season, it seems that nature in Finland follows the latest trends! ?

It was interesting to see how trainers and people who care about animal feeding animals. The bears were not in the mood for some photo shooting, since we came to them when it was time for the afternoon nap, so maybe they did not want to cooperate with us this time… Well that is one of the reason why I should come back to Helsinki again!

The reason I wanted to visit this zoo is White Owl. The White Winter Owl always appealed to the famous Hollywood films about the boy wizard Harry Potter. I do not know how familiar you are with this unusual movie hero, but I’m sure that you at least hear about him or some of your younger members of family are usually people who love this magical hero.

Since the main topic in Harry Potter movies are related to paranormal things like magic, they do not use “normal” mail services. All shipments – letters and parcels are sent with the help of white big owls. In Europe I have not noticed that zoos have theses species of owl, but when I saw a white owl on an advertising flyer of Helsinki Zoo, I had to go and see it. If they had let me take her home, I would gladly have it and imagine that I was Harry Potter every day! ?

Due to weather conditions that are slightly colder than in other parts of Europe, the Zoo in Helsinki has made efforts to have only animals that can live in these conditions in their small animal kingdom, there are not many tropical animals here, maybe a small number of bird species from Africa, but they are located in separate indoor buildings that are adapted to their special needs.

In this small animal kingdom you can find various polar mammals that are characteristic of this part of Europe. Deers, Reindeers and other species are the inhabitants of this unusual zoo. I was fascinated by the natural beauty of this paradise. My heart was full, because I had the opportunity to feel at least a couple of hours of all the natural beauty and magic of this natural oasis located not so far from the center of Helsinki.

This guy was not in the mood for photo shooting, but we tried to “capture” him in the best possible pose since we waited him almost 15 minutes to turn! He’s very stubborn! In the end, we somehow managed to capture this beauty on the photo. 🙂

On the other hand, we have this interesting gentle lady, which all those years could not do anything to her, so she is quite fast and very active for her age. In less than 10 minutes, she made full 3 laps without pausing, she greeted us and continued her daily activities.

My dear travellers once again we have come to the end of this second special travel post from Helsinki. Time just flies so fast when you are having a good time! Don’t worry in a couple of days I will publish a new post where we will continue together to enjoy the charms of traveling and we will continue our adventure.

At the end of the post, I would like to thank the friendly staff from Aallonkotti Hotel Apartmentsthat made our stay pleasant and we felt like we were at home. The concept of hotel is to stay in apartments of different sizes. The size of apartments depends on your needs. The apartment in which we had the opportunity to stay was specially decorated by the well-known Finnish brand Marimekko, which besides its basic activity – making clothes has its own special line for home decoration.

How do you like this post? Have you ever visited Finland? Did you have chance to enjoy in the magic of the Helsinki? I would like to share with me your experience! 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.

As I promised we’ll see again in a couple of days, so if something new and interesting happens to me, I promise, I will write to you!

Best,

Mr.M

This post is sponsored by Tourist Board of Helsinki – My Helsinki, Korkeasaari ZooAallonkoti Hotel Apartments, Marimekko company and others partners of My Helsinki organisation which kindly help this #MyHelsinkiResidence project. I will mention all of them in some of the next posts. For all these beautiful photos I used Sony Alpha 7r Mark II camera.
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Postcard from Estonia: Tallinn, The Medieval Gem of the Baltic

Hi everyone, welcome to my new post! Today is the first day of November and I think that this is more than enough reason to continue our adventure in Northern Europe and thus start this November with a new travel story, you will also learn more about the capital city, one country of Baltic States – Tallinn.

Now I can officially welcome you to Estonia. Estonia is one of the three Baltic states located in the northeastern Europe. The term of the Baltic states stands for the three former Soviet Republics, now the independent republics of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania. This year is very important for Estonia, because this year represents 100 years of the Republic of Estonia.

It was one early morning in Helsinki, I’d better admit to you that we did not even get to sleep at all, because we were expecting cruising to Tallinn in the early hours of the morning. I decided that it would be better for me to get something sweet to bite a little and finish the editing of the pictures of Helsinki, so I did not have a hard time for those few hours without of sleep.

With the late night chit-chats, laugh, snacks and a lot of work, we were up in early morning hours, so we almost got late for the first morning tram which led us directly to the harbour, luckily we all arrived on time at the end! When we arrived at the port, I did not get the impression that I was in front of the harbour , but I thought I was at the airport. Modern, straight lines made of glass and metal, the main harbour in Helsinki at half past six in the morning was shining in its full shine like a diamond.

We have checked in at the counters of Tallink, which is one of the friends of this project #MyHelsinkiResidence and I am pleased that they have provided us their support and enabled the realization of this wonderful project.

Two hours of journey, how much this trip usually lasts between these two “siblings” cities for me was very exciting, first this is my first cruise and just at an entrance of the modern version of the Titanic I realized it will be amazing and unforgettable. The first thing we noticed on the map of the ship is that there is a mini shopping mall and a supermarket on the cruise. The photographer and I were surprised, so I even had to get my glasses to make sure I read it well.

Yes, it turned out that is true… Star, one of the first Tallink cruisers with shops and a supermarket… We could not wait for breakfast, but we immediately went to look for shops, just to be sure that is true. We missed breakfast, but I bought chocolate in supermarket! As I wrote a while ago, time passed and the little Marko arrived in Tallinn. We arrived so quickly on the main square and you can see on the photo above my first reaction and fascination with this medieval city in the modern 21st century!

Our first task was to find the office of the Tallin’s Tourist Board – Visit Tallinn to take over the special Tallinn cards that will help us to visit the sights and museums.

How to get to know Tallinn? Where to start your adventure? – These are questions that almost all tourists are thinking about!

When I want to meet and “feel” the city, I first find the marked sights on the map and select the one that, according to the description of the sight itself, can best “tell” the story of the city. Tallinn is an unusual city, the city’s core has some special energy, which radiates some values that were more appreciated in the Middle Ages, while the periphery is completely modern and urban. It’s amazing how a bus ride can be interesting! My warm recommendation is to start a tour of Tallinn with the Estonian History Museum, located in the very heart of the city.

Time travel can be very fun, who knows, maybe you will learn something new and interesting that you did not know before. The museum is divided into several parts, as a fashion blogger, I’m sure that you all immediately assumed that my the most favorite part was that historic fashion corner. In a special exhibition of clothing you can see how fashion has developed in Estonia from the past to the present modern history of this Baltic country.

I will just say that I am thrilled with fashion development in Estonia, I think you will learn a lot of things about culture and lifestyle of Estonian people. Their culture is magnificent, so please take your time and enjoy. I’m sure you will love it! You also have an interesting part of museum which is interactive and you can “write” your own Estonian history, I tried something, but as I had just few hours in Tallinn I just run to see more sights in Tallinn. Use your time wisely! 🙂

Do you know that the Estonia Spirit is still alive? No?! You must visit him in Estonian History Museum! He is so silly! I’m sure he will make you laugh. Try to chat with him, maybe he will some interesting answers for you, try… You really don’t have anything to lose. 🙂

You will not spend a lot of time in the Museum of Estonian History, but you will learn a lot of new information you did not know about Estonia. After the museum, I suggest you visit the Tallinn’s City Hall, which is the oldest Town Hall in the Baltic region. Because of its uniqueness, it is on the UNESCO list of protected cultural heritage as well as the Tallinn city’s center. If you want to know more about architecture in Tallinn, you absolutely need to read this story.

Walking in the main streets of Tallinn will tell you a special story, enjoy the beauty of the cobblestones and the music of street performers. Souvenir shops, Medieval themed restaurants are just a small piece of puzzle that makes this city so fabulous. Believe me, walking around in the centre of Tallinn is really wonderful, but unfortunately we did not have more time to enjoy in it! 🙁

As we walked through the streets, my photographer heard that many tourists ask the locals for the cathedral of Saint Alexander Nevsky, I was not lazy, so I tried to connect to the WiFi internet network of a nearby café and I realized that we should not miss this beauty. The church is located on a hill, initially you will have the impression that it is far away and that the approach of the church is difficult, but it is not. If you already decided to visit this lovely town, please make sure not to miss this spiritual beauty.

In the next post you will see my fashion combination which I was wearing during my visit to this city. I hope you enjoy in my fashion story, some of the most beautiful photos were made near this temple.

The photographer reminded me that we did not have much time left and that it was time to slowly return to the city so that we would not be late for the bus that directly drives us to the Tallinn’s harbour. I have to admit, the time has just flown and it was not easy for me to just forgive myself why I’m in Tallinn just one day…

As we slowly descended to the city centre, I do not know how, but at one point I noticed the ad with a picture of a beautiful royal orders of Knighthood. First I checked which time it was, the photographer just said: “No way! We’ll be late, you know how much we have to be before boarding, I repeat, there is no chance! “. It would not be me if I did not look at the ad again if I could use the Tallinn card to enter this museum, when I saw a little red sign with white letters written word – Tallinn, I knew it! It was meant to be!

I just took out the card from my backpack and headed towards the entrance to the Museum of Orders of Knighthood, the photographer was outraged… I thought he left me, but he appeared after 5 minutes with the words: “You have 20 minutes, not a minute more!”. For me it was moment of happiness just to see the Royal Orders, I always loved sparkle, things that glitter, and even if it was transparent plastic, I am fascinated by the sparkle! ?

The curator of the museum saw my love for shiny things and showed me with great pride the Royal Order of the highest degree during the rise of the Kingdom of Russia … I must admit that the Russians, apart from the Spanish and the Italians, had a sense of aesthetics… and for sparkle things as well! Diamonds…

The Curator proudly spoke about their special royal orders collection, which has about 700 original pieces. After a short story about the museum, the lady asked me where I from and when I mentioned the word “Serbia”, she took me to another room where she showed me the Order of St. Sava. I remembered my father’s story that this is the highest order in Serbia and that it was given only to extremely prominent people.

The photographer was around all the time and he did patient shooting of the photos, he was trying to be just a observer, but he showed me all the time with mimics how much time left… I do not like one day trips, I can not easily achieve everything… Of course, because of all glitter and shine of the orders and all those shiny diamonds I forgot on time, so I again “break through” the schedule of our trip and now it was really time to go back to Helsinki.

We were in hurry, so fast cardio last walk through the main streets of Tallinn we reached the station of the bus that took us to the harbour. This is the last picture I managed to make in that hurry, because all of those souvenirs made of wood were interesting to me, so I wanted to share it with you. If I had time, I might have bought a new cutting board, but almost because of the diamonds I stay in Tallinn without hotel! It would just be an adventure!

My dear travellers once again we have come to the end of this second special travel post from Northern Europe. Time just flies so fast when you are having a good time! Don’t worry in a couple of days I will publish a new post where we will continue together to enjoy the charms of traveling and we will continue our adventure in Finland and Italy as well.

This one-day trip in Tallinn was successfully completed, we entered in our Megastar and I secretly waved to Tallinn with the desire that we will see soon again! Tired but lucky Tallink Megastar cruiser took us “home” to Helsinki.

At the end of the post I would like to thank the kind staff of Star and Megastar Cruisers that made our journey pleasant on board, although I’m not a swimmer and I have a mild fear of water I felt very safe. If by any chance you decide to visit Helsinki, make sure you will take the opportunity to visit Tallinn, for more information about ships, departures and prices visit their website.

Also, if you are a museum lover and would like to visit a greater number of attractions in Tallinn, take advantage of the special Tallinn tourist card that you can buy at any information tourist center in Tallinn and this sales points. By purchasing a card you get the right to enter certain museums completely for free and for the duration of the card, depending on whether you are purchasing a Tallinn card for a period of 24, 48 or 72h, you have the right to use the transportation completely for free.

As an economist, I always look to save as much as possible; the card is worth paying if you take  only one entry into a museum and a ride by tram or bus, even if you visit two or three museums, or if you have some other landmark, you will understand the real savings that this card provides to you.

How do you like this post? Have you ever visited Tallinn? Did you have chance to enjoy in the magic of the Medieval Gem of Baltic? I would like to share with me your experience! 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.

As I promised we’ll see again in a couple of days, so if something new and interesting happens to me, I promise, I will write to you!

Best,

Mr.M

This post is sponsored by Tallinn Tourist Board, Helsinki Tourist Board – My Helsinki, Visit Finland and other respected partners of project #MyHelsinkiResidence which I will mention in future posts. Also I would like to say thank you to Tallink for wonderful collaboration and for amazing opportunity to feel the beauty of travelling with their Star i Megastar cruisers.
For all these beautiful photos, I used Sony Alpha 7r Mark II.

 

 

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Story from Zurich: My Definition of Happiness…

My dear adventurers, how are you today? I sincerely hope that you are good and that you are ready for a new adventure. Today I am taking you to Zurich, a heavenly city where the pure hedonism is preserved. Travel is there to fulfill our lives and to give us the chance to explore the world and meet some new cultures. Switzerland is the best example where we have the opportunity to discover, in a relatively small area, the differences between the most famous languages ​​of the world, such as German, Italian and French. Each canton in Switzerland is unique, each of them possesses something special that separates it from others. I had the opportunity to visit this summer a socio-political and economic center of the German canton in Switzerland – Zurich.

Before I start with the post, I would like to thank for unselfish support to my friends from the Zurich Tourist Board. It was an interesting trip and I refreshed some childhood memories which I’ve almost forgot.

When we think about of Zurich, the first association is the Zurich Lake and the white swans that sunbathe on the grass. Of course, some of us think of those beautiful villas that are located on the shores of the lake. Those villas are just a dream for me now so it remains to me to enjoy the beauty of the lake as just a visitor for now. 

On the other hand, you never know what you can expect in life, I am from those people who believe in dreams which are absolutely impossible, and then I’m not surprised if one thing I’ve long dreamed of is simply accomplished. This is a positive thing for us with bigger dreamers, we don’t lose hope, and therefore we never fall into depression. 

If I have the chance to live in this city, I’m sure that I will enjoy the morning walk around t he lake and feeding swans every morning before work. As I said in one of the previous posts, there is some special connection between water and me, although to my regret I can not swim. It’s some special love that I just couldn’t explain.


The paths that surround the lake are very arranged so you can safely enjoy in the beauty of the lake and do not worry if a biker will “hook you up”. Particularly delightful are the stone benches which are positioned beside the lake and you have the feeling that you will at any moment just go into the lake. How scary it is, on the other hand it’s so much adrenaline does its own, and only excitement grows. All of this experience is enhanced by interesting crystal white swans and beautiful flowers and plants located along the lake itself, making this lake a real oasis.

I spent two hours in the special walk around the lake. It was so relaxing and nice, I’m sure that is because of the influence of water on my mind. Right now, while I’m writing this post and watching these pictures, I remember the smell of water and that wonderful colour of the lake. I know that I have been too long there, so I made myself to move on. Zurich is calling to discover all the beauties of the city!

As I returned to the heart of the city, I noticed people on bicycles who are in hurry to get on time on work. This is the a real Swiss organising skills we are constantly listening to! I’m sure that you have somewhere to read the phrase: “You’re like a Swiss Watch!”. The people who passed in front of me on bicycles in suits reminded me of the meaning of this expression and with a gentle smile on my face I continued my research of the city.

I’m entering the city core, the main street, the shops displays that just invite you to take a look into the latest collections of world famous fashion designers and brands that simply radiate luxury, but as I’ve just written our average Balkan pocket is not getting up this mission. Bu with a smile on my face I enjoy in the latest trends.

According to some research, Banhöfstrasse is one of the most beautiful and the most expensive streets in the world. Zurich is a smaller city, and if we look at the city as it is, this street is long and beautiful due to the architecture of the buildings that adorn this street of luxury. Since I was tired, I sat in front of a store, took the croissant which I bought at the store and watched people around me.

The average Swiss woman stopped in front of Hermes shop window, took a deep breath and blinked a couple of times while excusing her overpriced Hermes bag in the shop window. With a lower dose of sadness in the eyes, that woman continue her own way and she just started to run to grab the tram so she doesn’t get late for work.

On the other hand, another women who is very well dressed, happy, have some recognizable luxury symbols, luxurious Chanel suit, beautiful shoes, a perfume that feels at least two hundred meters down the street and with a completely different smile is looking at that same expensive bag. Her friend had even in the hand the same bag, but in another color and her gaze simply said: “I will buy it tomorrow and in this color, it’s good to have this bag in more shades!”. This is Zurich, a city of contrast! 

Since I analyzed almost all passers-by, I forgot to finish my meal, so I pack it again and  I was looking for my camera. Honestly to be that I wanted to lose myself in Zurich, I would not be able to find this sympathetic floral square with interesting shops. Down the street there is a street with restaurants that is similar to one street in Serbia which we call Skadarlija, the only thing that distinguishes us is the price. 🙂

When someone wants to compare Zurich with another European city, they still can not decide whether Zurich is a Swiss version of Venice or a Swiss version of Amsterdam. True to my will, I do not even know which comparison would suit this city more, but one thing is certain – this city lives on the water! The picturesque streets, architecture, cobblestones, bridges all kind of resemble something, and on the other hand it looks like something completely new and original. And now, there’s a real little treat for a real fashionistas! Do you recognize the sign on the right from the photo above? I think those high heels are recognisable absolutely everywhere! I’m sure you know that fashion label very well… It’s Christian Louboutin flagship store in Zurich! 🙂


Zurich is a city that has a lot to offer and a city in which hedonism is concerned. Various international cuisine, gourmet specialties, interesting sweet treats and beautiful landscapes are sufficient reasons to visit Zurich. I’m sure Zurich has something for everyone to offer. You will find everything what you’re searching for!

I had to fresh myself a little, so I bought some chocolate ice cream which was on some special sale and I can tell you it was great! 🙂 After finishing with my delicacy, I rested a little in the shade, I continued my adventure in this Swiss city. 

I wandered around the city and found a church of St. Peter with a clock tower. My mum always led me the other way, even when I was a kid it looked much different and much bigger. Now maybe I’m grown up, but this clock tower will be very special to me. Memories, memories, memories…

My dear travellers once again we have come to the end of this special post from Zurich. Time just flies so fast when you are having a good time! Don’t worry in a couple of days I will publish a new post where we will continue together to enjoy the charms of traveling. Next week I will refresh some of my memories from Italy, it will be with some summer vibes.

 

 

I would like to say once again thank you to the Zurich Tourist Board for the wonderful experience. It was a journey to remember, and I hope that I showed you this little Swiss adventure in the best possible way. Sometimes the words are just not enough, so I’ll tell you to look at the last photo in this post and my smile will tell you all those words that I have not been able to write in posts about this lovely city.

How do you like this story about Switzerland?  I would like to hear your opinion! 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.

As I promised we’ll see again in a couple of days, so if something new and interesting happens to me, I promise, I will write to you!

Best,

Mr.M

 

This post is sponsored by Zurich Tourist Board.
For all these beautiful photos I used Sony Alpha 7r Mark II camera.

 

 

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Story from Linz: Piece of Heaven on the banks of the Danube

My dear travellers, welcome to a new adventure! Today we continue our adventure through Linz. “Small city, with big ideas and huge opportunities” are words that can briefly describe this lovely city in Austria. The city which is a representative of the new multimedia arts and in 2009, was also proclaimed the European Capital of Culture. In the past 15 years, Linz has slowly but surely developed and became one of the more developed centers of culture in Europe.

Before I start with today’s post, I would like to thank my friends from the Linz Tourist BoardLinz Tourismus. It was a beautiful experience, a wonderful summer weekend that I will remember for a long time!

 

 

Linz is the third largest city in Austria, which represents the main social, political and administrative center of the Upper Austria region. Belgrade and Linz have something in common, surely you would never have thought it, but both cities are located on a beautiful blue Danube. The Danube, flows to the heart of the city and makes life more interesting, but we will talk about it later. That was an interesting fact which connected me to this city because I love that river so much. In Belgrade is similar situation, people just love to do some of their favourite activities on the banks of Danube.

 

 

Before I start with some of the interesting things that are related to today’s life of this city, I’m sure you would love to find out how this city was created. Historians believe that in the prehistory the Celts they inhabited the area of today’s city and called it Lentos, after which they were settled by the ancient Romans and the city got a new name – Lentia. During the old Romans, Linz was first mentioned as the city in 799, when Bavaria expanded to the south. Because of its geographical location, Linz was the most important trade center during the Emperor Friedrich III. After the death of the emperor, the significance of the city declines in favor of Vienna. In the early Middle Ages Germanic tribes inhabited the city. Then the city got the name Linz, the name which we know today very well. 🙂

 

 

How did Linz become the most important city of culture in Europe? After the Second World War, Linz began to develop as a cultural centre in the halfway between Vienna and Salzburg. In the past few years, Linz has built many buildings of exceptional cultural significance, such as the modern Lentos Museum and the Brucknerhaus Concert Hall.

Donaulände is a park next to the Danube, where festivals and cultural events are held (Ars Electronica Festival is significant). Also in Linz is opened a museum of modern music art – Ars Electronica Center.

There is a castle of Emperor Friedrich III in the city. and the oldest Austrian church of St. Martin. Also very significant church is the neo-Gothic church Mariendom.

 

 

Linz was known before as the “City of Steel”, due to the very strong former metalworking industry, which besides the textile was very developed in this Austrian town. Today, this has been suppressed by various cultural programs and developed river tourism on the Danube. The image of this city has changed and as I mentioned a few years ago, together with Vilnius, Linz became the European capital of culture in 2009.

 

 

Linz is a city which you need to explore! The thing I liked most was how the city developed and at the same time developed new opportunities, such as river tourism on the Danube. Life by the river of the mind is very interesting. I noticed that the color of the Danube is not the same in Linz and Belgrade. I’m sure you yourself know the answer to this question. The waste that is piled on the banks of the river in Serbia needs to be removed as soon as possible, but this is only the current solution.

The most important thing for us is that, as residents of the Serbia, we simply keep in mind that if we keep our environment clean, life will be much easier for everyone. Cans, bottles and other waste floating by the Danube and the Save river is not a beautiful picture that can be sent to the world, so we should as soon as possible analyse ourselves and start changing ourselves as soon as possible.

 

 

The city is small and well organized, if by any chance you can not explore the city by foot, you have excellent trams, there are a couple of lines. We had a little fun and only after a couple of rides we realized that Linz is not a very small city that at first sight can look like to somebody. Prices compared to other cities in Europe are almost the same.

 

 

Since we were able to spend the weekend in Linz, We visited the market that is being held on the main square. It’s a real little paradise for people who want to buy some interesting things for gift or for personal use. At the marketplace you can find everything and I will say at this interesting marketplace you can find interesting books, cloths and silk Persian carpets … This market you will find almost every weekend in the heart of the city. If you have the opportunity to visit this city on weekends, leave your Saturday free and get ready for the crowd! ? You will have a nice shopping spree, I’m sure!

 

 

If you have already arrived in Linz, do not forget to visit Mariendom (New Cathedral). The new cathedral is the largest cathedral in Austria and architecture is absolutely amazing. You can sit down and enjoy the beauty of this space. One evening we were able to listen to the concert in front of the church, were very interesting performers.

I would never say that it can be such interesting music at a church music festival. Linz is a city that celebrates diversity and where everything is possible. In the next post I will reveal to you some interesting places in Linz that you must visit.

 

 

My dear travellers once again we have come to the end of second post from Linz. Time just flies so fast when you are having a good time! Don’t worry in a couple of days I will publish a new post where we will continue together to enjoy the charms of traveling and we will continue our adventure in Austria. I know that you loved the travel posts from July and now I will show you all the beauties of Linz! We will together explore the City of Media Arts! Who didn’t read my previous post about Linz, you can read it here.

How do you like this story about Linz? I would like to hear your opinion! 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.

As I promised we’ll see again in a couple of days, so if something new and interesting happens to me, I promise, I will write to you!

Best,

Mr.M

 

 

This post is sponsored by Linz Tourist Board – Linz Tourismus.
For all these beautiful photos I used Sony Alpha 7r Mark II camera
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