it’s been awhile now
Welcome back!!! Today’s episode is gonna be about our experience in Los Angeles, California.
Visiting California has always been a dream for us, finally we ended up fullfilling it.
We took a plane from Berlin (where we previously left) to New York (even if we had more hours we couldn’t sightsee in it, maybe next time) and then we catched another to LAX Airport. Despite arriving late that night we were pretty excited although a lot tired. As it’s suggested here in Cali, we rented a car from Hertz (i recommend you to do the same, it’s the only way to move in such a huge State). Then we proceeded to drive towards Los Angeles Downtown where our motel was located (we were able to find a cheap one in a very good location). The day after, to energize ourselves after such a long travel and jetlag consequences (first days if you come from so far you’re gonna feel it a little bit), we had breakfast at Urth Cafe, a renowned chain of bar that offers a huge variety of delicious things. Highly recommended.
So after visiting Berlin and the previous destinations where we missed so much going to the beach, besides in Europe is summer, the first thing we wanted to see was Venice locality and foremost Venice Beach.
Before going to the beach we stopped at Venice’s Nike shop for some shopping, that’s quite big and famous…the Venice’s streets remind me of some i watched in the videogames, especially GTA, (of course the famous Los Santos was non other than Los Angeles). That day was so hot, it reached 38 degrees as you probably imagined.
Thanks for a brilliant use of Maps app (it has been so useful in this trip as you can imagine) we managed to get to the seashore. Parking here can be very expensive, in fact we paid 20 dollars for our staying, but everywhere it is pretty much like that, so be prepared.
First as you walk the long promenade you may witness so many street artists from all over, from painters, magicians, acrobats, bohemiens artists and even rappers (we were lucky enough to meet one very good black rapper that gifted us with his CD) etc…always on sidewalk you find plenty of stores, from minimarkets, to pubs, restaurants,apartments to rent and even the Doc Green is among those.
on the beach there are a lot of uncommon places such as:
a skateboard area where even youngsters are so skilled. Just stop for a few minutes, it’s worth your time, believe me
a open gym where you may find so many outstanding athletes working out, from bodybuilders, to calisthenics and crossfitters.
While the water can not be considered so clean, the beach is so equipped even with public restrooms, but if you ever visited other famous beaches around the world do not think there will be sun umbrellas, deckchairs and sunbeds as we had in Italy for example. Unfortunately there are also a lot of homeless people and drug addicted but police is controlling everywhere.
What sets apart Venice Beach from the rest it’s the sense of freedom and expression that it has, where artists and people from all over the world are all involed in a unique context. It’s kinda difficult to explain it, but if you’ll ever visit Venice you will understand what i am talking about.
I highly suggest you to visit it for its particularity and style, it sure is a great experience and a remarkable place in Los Angeles. Next articles i am gonna cover a lot of other places of interest in LA. Thank you for your time and support (remember to follow our page on instagram to stay in touch with us and our great journey), Stay tuned for more….
TO BE CONTINUED….
Welcome back! Today’s article is going to be about our experience in Berlin.
We took a low cost flight from Amsterdam and we landed at Schoenefeld Airport.
As efficient as it can be, just exiting from arrivals point and you see the metro stop that reach every districts of the city. If you plan to stay for at least three days, you should buy a ticket valid per 72 hours (to everywhere) and it costs less than 30 euros.
We were lucky enough to reserve our staying in a cheap hostel that also provided breakfast. If you take a look on Tripadvisor you find plenty of these opportunities.
In our case, it was represented by Hostel CityStay in Mitte area, which was comfortable for its position and good services. Highly recommended for globetrotters like us.
Of course our Berlin Tour started from AlexanderPlatz, which is the main square and symbol of Berlin, placed in Mitte (district considered the heart of the city). Its places of interest are a lot: TV Tower (Height: 365 metres), Urania Weltzeituhr (known as the World Clock) the huge Fountain of Frendship and Marienkirsche (Saint Marie’s Church).
One stunning monument to see was Berlin Cathedral (Berliner Dome), built in 1454 with Italian Renaissance influential and baroque style. Then during centuries it has been modernized time and time again with a mixture of style. The result is greatly visible in the picture below.
Then in Mitte, you can not miss what is considered the main image of the capital, Brandeburg Gate, i suppose the most photographed landmark in Berlin. This neoclassical was built in the 18 century following the orders of Prussian King Fredrerik William II. Once it was the entrance to the city, and divided East and West, but then became the symbol of the reunion after the Fall of the Berlin Wall.
A few walks from there and you can find the Holocaust Memorial, built for the Jewish victims of the Holocaust.
If you proceed you are going to find the Reichstag, that hosts the German Federal Parliament. This monument embraces the modern side of Berlin and it sure represents a huge building with an excellent scenery. Behind the building, you will notice a large glass Dome that offers a 360 degrees view of the city’s landscape.
Another great landmark we were able to visit fully was the Museum Island. This complex of monuments is World UNESCO Heritage for a reason: Old Museum, New Museum, Old National Gallery, the Bode Museum and the Pergamon Museum are all great and provide audio on different languages. You can have discount on those by purchasing the Berlin Card (it was offered us at the airport). I suggest you to take your time and visit all you can while there. It’s worthy.
Passing by the famous Kreuzberg area, a multicultural neighborhood (for us it is Berlin’ soul) that has an exciting nightlife with plenty of pubs, discos, nightclubs, but also a little bit controversial due to its bohemien style and the presence of so many homeless. There you can not miss the renowned Checkpoint Charlie, it was known as the Berlin Wall crossing point between East and West Berlin during the Cold War.
Then of course you’re gonna walk aside the East Side Gallery, a series of murals painted directly on what was once the Berlin Wall. A true magnificent open air gallery (made by over than 100 artists from all over the world) that offers point of reflections of what the history of Berlin and even Europe has been during the 20th century. It gives a real message for those watching this amazing street art.
At the end of this incredible trip in one of the most known capitals in the world, i would tell you that Berlin is the perfect weekend destination if you’re looking for culture, tradition, history but also having fun, shopping and relaxing. As you may have understood the city is full of monuments, museums, green areas, original pubs and clubs. It offers an energetic environment and a particular atmosphere (sometimes at nights it looks like Gotham City), the fusion of old and modern is predictable in its hipster character. It’s as unique as it gets. You should witness all of these remarkable things at least once in a lifetime even though you have to know that it’s possible that you love Berlin so much or you totally do not like it.
Thanks guys for your great attention and please keep supporting us with your likes and following. You find our day by day pictures (original content) on our Instagram Channel: Travelspotlife.
Our next destination is gonna be a big surprise and maybe you can predict which one will be… Our journey has just started
Follow the ride
As you may have noticed on our Instagram, these days we were in Holland, in Amsterdam precisely.
We couldn’t be happier for our choice this time. We had never been here, but it was so enjoyable. First off: if you plan to stay for many days, you have to consider some hostels, cause the hotels and apartments to rent are quite expensive. Nonetheless Amsterdam is one of the most expensive city in the world. With regard to the flight, it’s much cheaper thanks to Ryanair connections.
Once landed in Amsterdam, we took a train (you find the train stop linked to the airport). When we reached the station, we had two choices to continue: hiring bycicles or take the tram (as you probably know, these are the most common means of transportation in Amsterdam). We opted for the second and we stopped at the well known Museum Quarter Square.
There, in addition to visit Rijksmuseum and Van Gogh Museum (the best collection of the artist) you can see the famous sign:
Then we procedeed to Damrak street to find one of the most known neighborhood in Amsterdam: Centrum (Center) which has further more than just his renowned Canal Ring (possibily the symbol of the city). In fact, there are plenty of restaurants, pubs, coffee shops, museums, a theatre, a huge cinema and even nightclubs.
Another fantastic neighborhood in Amsterdam has to be the Jordaan, considered the most touristic one with a long list of remarkable sites: Anne Frank House, Lindengracht Market, Café Chris among these.
A nearby microneighborhood is “The 9 Streets”, that is full of design shops, special stores and chic bars.
After seeing all these famous points we walked towards the world known Vondelpark just to witness some incredible display of nature. In this park area people are used to do many activities as jogging, working out, playing football and some photographers spend their afternoon capturing the diverse fauna and flora in it.
In those days we had a great time in what could be considered the heart of the city: Dam Square. This town plaza is known for its buildings, its great venues and daily events. It’s one of the main point of attractions you should not miss.
Our evenings and night were always spent in two well known places: the Leidseplein and Rembrandt Square, full of restaurants ,street artists, discos, cinemas, theatres and even a casino. There are also the most famous coffee shop in the world “The Bulldog” and two great sites for music lovers, Paradise and The Melkweg.
For singles you should not miss also the famous Red Light District Amsterdam, for obvious reasons a must destination for people all over the world. Other than the public use of marijuana, this motivation represents a force for tourism in the capital.
As you may have understood there a lot of things to do in a city like this one. So you can not make a mistake by visiting it. We would suggest you to spend at least a week because you would have the chance to take your time and not miss any of these awesome things.
Now we’re heading to Eindhoven where our plane is going to leave tomorrow night for our next destination.
Stay tuned for more adventures and travels and feel free to suggest us a possible destination in Europe that you would like to be covered by us.
Thank you for your time and remember to like and share as always.
See you soon guys!
We left ourselves in Verona, remember?
Fortunately our journey is not finished yet. It’ just started.
Following our amazing Verona trip we managed to fly from Orio al Serio Airport, in Bergamo (by the way a very nice town, with its famous “Città Alta”, Upper Town, as you can see in the pic below) to Tirana. Then we took a bus direct to Durres where we had planned our staying (we will for sure visit Tirana next time).
If you haven’t considered Albania yet for your holidays or trips, you’re highly mistaken my friend! The country has a very good climate, with awesome beaches, an enjoyable food (believe me) and people are so kind and nice to everyone. In addition it is so convenient for foreigners because of it’s so low cost.
Durres is known for being the second most popolous city in Albania, behind the capital.
What to visit:
The Durres Amphitheatre – built in the second century AD, it’s the largest amphitheatre in the Balkans. It was destroyed by earthquakes twice, but it has been remodernized during the years. It is considered UNESCO World Heritage Site. As you may know the areas nearby the Amphitheatre are full of street art paints.
Then we procedeed to visit the main place in Durres, Bulevardi Epidamni, where, as you can in the picture below, the Great Mosque is located. This area, Sheshi Liria Square has been modernized in recent times and it looks like an exposition. (you have probably seen our video on instagram about it).
For art lovers i would suggest you to visit the famous Archaeological Museum that offers a blueprint of the history of the city (wide due to Greek, Byzantine, Ottoman, Venetian and Bulgarian dominions).
Durres Castle is the fortified old city of Durres, known for his Venetian tower that has become a symbol of Durres.
Second day meant for us total relaxing at the beach (more than 6 km long) and walkin near the port side with its particular bridge. The pier was awesome with countless of open bars, restaurants and fast food offering a wide choice.
The best part of these days was the discover of one of the best street foods i have ever eaten: sufllaqe. It’s a sandwich/roll containing meat, tomatoes, onions, salc kosi (a delicious yogurt sauce) and even french fries with ketchup.
Other very good things to eat: byrek, qofte, bakllava, kadaif.
Durres was a very good experience. I had never been in Albania before and now i can say that there are amazing things to see and for me it has definitely become a must-go destination.
Thank you for your interest in our amazing journey. Next flight is direct to Amsterdam, in the Netherlands. Stay tuned for more and don’t forget to like and share!
Here our last city destination in Italy: Verona. After leaving Florence we decided that we had enough time before our flight (that leaves from Orio al Serio Airport in Bergamo) so our train stopped for an afternoon in this amazing place.
Following our arrival in town, we walk from the station for a few minutes and soon we were able to notice the well-known “Porta Nuova” a monumental building created by Michele Sanmicheli, that it is located just before the city center.
Then we walked for a km in Corso Porta Nuova, an avenue full of shops, markets and restaurants that culminates in two roman arches that preceed the renowned Piazza Bra (Bra Square).
This plaza/ square is famous for the “Arena di Verona”, but also for the huge space it has, with a lot of good restaurants and even minimarkets.
There it was our occasion for taking good pictures and above all entering this special theatre (The cost was around 10 euros each person).It was built in the first century and It sure represents the best trademark of Verona. This amphitheatre is still in use today and is internationally famous for the large-scale opera performances given there.
Then it was time for shopping when we entered Via Mazzini (Mazzini Street), a particular avenue that links the two main squares of Verona and hosts all the best shops, restaurants and locations of the city center.
Through this street we finally reached the most ancient Plaza of the town, Piazza delle Erbe. It was once the town’s forum during the Roman Empire time. Its highlights are probably the north part with the town hall named Torre dei Lamberti, followed by Palazzo Maffei (in Baroque style) and in the middle with the Square Fountain surmounted by a statue called Madonna Verona, which is a Roman sculpture dating to 380 AD.
Next we were able to see “Casa di Giulietta” (Juliet House), inspired by the romantic tragedy of Shakespeare “Romeo e Giulietta (Romeo & Juliet). Noone would believe me if i told you how many tourists were there taking pictures at its famous balcony.
Another fantastic thing we wanted to see was the renowned Ponte Pietra (Stone Bridge), a special roman arch bridge crossing the Adige river. It is known as the oldest bridge in Verona. Even if most parts were destroyed by German troops during the World War II, it was rebuilt efficiently in 1957.
Being amazed by it, we could not miss the Castelvecchio Bridge, it was built by Cangrande II della Scala as a defence for his Castelvecchio Castle. It was ruined during wars, but always reconstructed.
Visit Verona has always been a dream for us and the city made a positive impact on our journey. If you have the opportunity to go there, do not miss it. It’s such a beauty.
Because we had so little time to spent here in Italy, we decided three best locations to visit and we were happy to sightsee Venice, Florence and Verona. Next time we won’t miss Rome and Milan.
Thank you all for you attention, next destination is in Albania, for a few days, we are going to enjoy Durres. Then we’re gonna fly to Berlin and some locations in UK are in our plans.
Stay tuned for more and and follow our amazing journey!
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Following our incredible time in Venice, we decided to sightseeing Florence too.
Our choice paid off, the city center of this particular beauty was stunning.
We took a train from Venice to Milan and then from there another one directly to Santa Maria Novella Station. This famous railway was built for the front part in the 1930s designed by a group of architects known as “Gruppo Toscano”. Other details and facilities in this special building were all designed by Angiolo Mazzoni. Outside and adjacent to the station is also Michelucci’s white marble Palazzina Reale di Santa Maria Novella, built to host the Royal family on visits to Florence.
When we exited the station, we just followed the indications towards The Duomo, Florence main Cathedral. During this walk we could notice so many shops full of souvenirs, restaurants and above all pizzerias (There were also Burger King and Mcdonald).
Finally when we arrived at the Santa Maria del Fiore Cathedral (The Duomo) we could witness his majestic height of his cupola made by Filippo Brunelleschi. I’ve never saw such a beautiful art complex.
Next we visited the renowned Piazza della Signoria, with his illustrious Palazzo Ducale. Now we know why it is considered a symbol of the city.
It is the main point of the origin and history of the Republic and still maintains its reputation as the political focus of the city. It is the meeting place of Florentines as well as the numerous tourists, located near Palazzo Vecchio and Piazza del Duomo and gateway to Uffizi Gallery, that i would suggest you to see if you have time, it’s worth it.
After a good icecream break (although the price could not been higher i think) we proceeded towards one of the main trademarks of Florence. One of the most known bridges in the world: Ponte Vecchio. Located over the Arno river, it survived during the centuries, first a flood in 1117, then in 1333 and even during the World War II when Florence was swept away by Germans unless this special bridge, following Hitler’s order (local theory). It was during the sunset (at 19 o’clock), so we enjoyed so much this scene.
After leaving this amazing point of view we decided to visit Palazzo Pitti (Pitti Palace), the largest museum complex in Florence. The principal palazzo block, often in a building of this design known as the corps de logis, is 32,000 square metres. It is divided into several principal galleries or museums detailed below. It grew as a great treasure house as later generations amassed paintings, plates, jewelry and luxurious possessions. In the past it was bought by the Medici family (once the most important dynasty in Florence) in 1549 and became the chief residence of the ruling families of the Grand Duchy of Tuscany.
As time passed it was the moment we were waiting for: dinner. We knew for a fact (as millions of people i suppose) that Florence has one of the best steak in the world: the traditional “Fiorentina”. This is a must-eat for all visitors in Florence. It’s extremely delicious. You can not miss this “Bistecca”. We were lucky enough to taste it with some friends in one of the best restaurants near Fiesole locality, Ristorante Tullio.
Sorry vegeterians and vegans but everyone should try it at least one time in life (just kidding).
Thank you guys for your attention and stay tuned for more travel experiences.
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We finally made it to Italy. And no other city would have been better than Venice to start.
We all know more or less Venezia. Famous for being located above the seawater and full of bridges and canals that link all the small islands. The city offers a lot of historical buildings and monuments.
After we arrived at the airport we took a bus directed to Venezia Tronchetto Parking.
There at 9 am we took a Vaporetto that led us directly to Piazza San Marco. We were surprised to see so many tourists (it was so crowded) despite being so early.
In our way to Piazza San Marco we saw so many street-artists and restaurants that seemed so unreal to be in such particular place.
Just 200 metres towards the square and we found the famous Ponte dei Sospiri (Bridge of Sighs). In ancient times It was the last thing prisoners could see after the process before going to jail. They would sigh one last time before their inevitable faith. Nowadays it is considered a romantic place where couples take pictures and tourists can admire the great architecture and the gondolas that pass below.
After that you immerge yourself in Piazza San Marco. First thing you may notice on your right is Palazzo Ducale (The Doge’s Palace), once the residence of the Doge of Venice, the supreme authority of the Venetian Republic. Now it hosts a museum.
As you proceed you can see a lot of particular bars and restaurants placed under the portico.
One of them Florian Café, was our main choice during the day to stop by to enjoy some good italian coffee.
Despite some tourists may only look for pigeons in the main square to take pictures (usually the chinese ones) you have to notice the Majestic Basilica di San Marco (and dont let the queu scares , it’s worth it to go in). Of course there is also the Time Tower (Torre Orologio) in our highlights
After the Basilica we immerged ourselves into the narrow and overcrowded streets of Venezia, full of restaurants, shops and markets all over. If you need any souvenir you have a wide choice. Following the indications we ended up to the renowned Ponte di Rialto (Rialto Bridge) that once was considered the trade center of the city because it divides district of San Marco and San Polo passing above the Canal Grande. Here there are a lot of high quality restaurants if you ever want to have lunch or dinner.
After a lunch break we visited the island of San Giorgio, known also for his venetian gothic style Basilica.
If you like history of arts i would suggest you to visit at least the Peggy Guggenheim, Correr Museum and Ca’ Pesaro.
N.B: if you really wanna feel the spirit of Venezia you cannot miss the opportunity to tour the Laguna with a Gondola. The rates are 80 euros during the day and 100 euro in the evening (maximum 6 people per gondola). Once in a lifetime experience! Guaranteed
Thank you guys for your attention, tomorrow we will visit Jesolo a sea locality near Venezia, to enjoy one of the best italian beaches. See u soon.
Other wonderful pics:
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Welcome to the second chapter of our incredible journey!
Malta surprised us all in a positive way (We’ve never had been there before). We were fortune to find a cheap flight (only 24 euros) from Lisbon.
We arrived there at night (23) and our hotel was so kind to provide us a free shuttle bus from the airport. We ended up staying in Bugibba, a coastal town in the north of the Island. Of course everyone could speak in English, someone even in Italian and German.
The morning after our arrival we did not know what to visit first, so the hotel receptionist was so gracious to suggest us a boat trip that included beautiful scenes and beaches.
We were glad to take the offer and we did not regret it. The trip had many stops to allow tourists to sightsee and enjoy some of the best waters I have ever seen.
First thing that comes to mind here is the famous Blue Lagoon. It’s a place that looks like paradise because of crystal waters that seem not true because of such beauty. In so many travels i’ve never witnessed something like this. Above the rocks you can find minimarkets and street food all over.
One mention deserves also the Blue Grotto, where some filming were made for “The Count of Montecristo”. There the water seemed like made of Emerald. Swimming there is one of the best thing to recommend to someone going to Malta
This island is the second biggest in the archipelago. We stayed there an entire afternoon until 19 and it wasn’t enough to see everything because there are so many places to visit.
Just after getting off the boat, we took one of the famous buses from City Sightseeing Gozo Hop-On Hop-Off. This was the best way to link all of the several places of interest in Gozo with a service on point (audio commentary in 16 different languages and each tours lasts 45 minutes)
One of the remarkable thing to mention was Ta’ Pinu Sanctuary, with great architecture.
You can not miss Rabat (known also as Victoria), it’s the Cittadella of Gozo located in a fortress, full of shops, markets and tourists.
Of course that’s a must-go place. It’s the capital of Malta. There you can find good shops, pubs, restaurants but what you should not miss are:
Triton Fountain, just when you enter to the capital, improved in recent years and part of the Capital’s Heritage
The Parliament of Malta, even though the entrance is free you must reserve in advance
Pjazza Teatru Rjal the most famous Theatre in Malta once destroyed due to a bomb during the Second World War and now reorganized as an open theatre that hosts concerts and events.
Upper Baracca Gardens where you can have a great view toward the see and all the city. If uou like taking pictures and selfies, this is for you
After all this Touring we enjoyed our last day in some of the best beaches there are (We were able to visit more than one thanks to a great bus service that Malta provides) to name a few:
GOLDEN BAY, GHADIRA BAY (MELLEHA BAY), PARADISE BAY, BUGIBBA BEACH
WHERE TO EAT:
Food was not so good as in Lisbon, but i have to admit that there are places offering very good fish. One above all that i would recommend is Ocean Basket, in Qwara. Me and my girlfriend went there 2 days in a row, tasting delicious fresh fish and sushi. By the way, if you are a sushi fan, you should not miss Asian Kingdom Sushi – Chinese Restaurant in Bugibba. Just take a look at these pictures below:
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Next weeks we have a busy schedule (you can follow our adventures visiting our instagram page: travelspotlife). We’re planning to visit some places in Italy, France, Albania, England, California