Daytrip from Sliema to Gozo & Comino Islands

Just a cross the street of my hotel “The Sliema Marina” where I was staying I saw these boats leaving everyday with tourists to Valletta or to Gozo and Comino Island bringing them back in the evening when it was already dark. Around 6 or 7 pm. Since I have been in Malta in november this means it’s already dark around 5 pm in this time of the year. To complete my Malta trip I had to visit those Islands even if it would be for a short time and just to go out there and see something.
The next day I bought my ticket at a small ticket boot, there are many companies who try to sell you tickets for the boat and busses and the good thing is since tourist season is over in October the prices in november are much cheaper, more discounts are being given and the drinks at the bar like beer and soft drinks were free, real open bar. The weather is still ok, not so hot, however sometimes in november you can have heavy rains and winds but since Malta is an island it quickly goes away. I was lucky this time, no rain like I experienced in Batumi (Georgia) and Kotor (Montenegro).

Boat trip to Gozo and Comino from Sliema

Hotel Sliema Marina

upper deck of the bus touring Gozo

Gozo countryside

Cittadella Fortress in Victoria

John Paul II statue inner court of the Cittadella

The boat heads first for the biggest Island of the two which is Gozo, there all the people get of the boat and hop in to a bus, so did, I sat in the upper deck of the bus, it’s the same kind of busses like the hop on hop off busses, but from another company. The place you go see is the Cittadella fortress in the Victoria the capital of Gozo. In the Cittadella there are several museums, there is a cathedral with in front a statue of Pope John Paul II and a restaurant.

Cathedral of the Cittadella

walking the Cittadella walls

 

After spending an hour there, it was back to the bus and then back to the boat again to set for Comino the smallest Island. In the summertime Comino is popular for watersports, no people live there is what I’ve been told and I can imagine cause all you see are rocks, cliffs and caves. We got out at the Blue lagoon, a spot were you can take a plunge in the mighty blue water. I didn’t go for a dive as I found it to windy. I did a little walk to get a little idea about the island but basically I felt like it was more of stepping foot on it and that’s it. I think in full summer it must be nice to come here for the whole day and swim and dive from the cliffs in to the water.

Comino Island

Blue Lagoon

Elephant rock

It was a nice day out and since this was my last full day in Malta it was better for me to go on this day trip to see a glimpse of the other two Islands then to spend my day walking around Valletta again or to go shopping in Sliema.

evening falls on our way back

Advertisements

SMOM The country with no land

The only country recognised by the United Nations that has no land is located in Fort St Angelo in Birgu on the Island of Malta.
If you have not heard about this before, then its nothing to feel embarrassed of as I also didn’t knew about its existence untill a friend of mine Jonny backpacked it.
The name of the country is the Sovereign Military Order of Malta or  “The Sovereign Military Hospitaller Order of Saint John of Jerusalem of Rhodes and of Malta” and it has its own flag and as mentioned already its recognised internationally by more than 100 other countries in the world. St. John was the leader of the Order more on this person can be found on google and wikipedia (link)

Fort St Angelo

First you enter Fort St Angelo which belongs to Malta you buy the entrance ticket at the reception desk and although the Fort brochure says you need to pre-book a visit to the upper part of the fort, it wasn’t a problem for me to visit this place. I just told the man at the reception that a friend of mine visited it a month earlier and that he recommended it to me and that I was interested in seeing the upper part of the Fort which is a new Country.
The upper part of Fort St Angelo is where the Order or country is situated. It’s private property and closed by a gate with above the gate the emblem of the Order.
I got a guided tour which is the only way to enter this private area of the fort. The guide opened the gate and I left Malta to enter into a new country SMOM = Sovereign Military Order of Malta. It was almost a 2 hour tour with a lot of history and interesting information about the place. Funny that there are 2 countries in one Fortress.

 

The emblem of SMOM above the entrance gate

me in front of the entrance gate ready to enter a new country

with my guide at the Magisterial Palace

The Magisterial Palace , residence of the Knight

a look inside the Knights home

One of the private rooms of the Knight had a balcony with a great view over Valletta at the other side of Birgu

So what’s there to see on the upper level ?

The magisterial Palace the home for the only resident Knight on the Island of this Order with the St Anne’s Chapel and the adjoining terraces.
This part of the Fort is a 99-year-old lease that they have which was given to them in 1998 after an absence of 200 years. In a treaty signed by Malta and SMOM.

the terrace or courtyard

chilling area

St Anne’s Chapel

Inside St Anne’s Chapel

In Front of the St Anne’s Chapel there is a statue of St. John and 2 flag poles, one with the flag of Smom and the other with the Maltese flag

The Military Order of Malta has 2 lands that they own, first one is the one I visited which is the upper part of Fort St Angelo in Malta. The other one is in Rome, that’s where the Order has it’s capital. This is the address : Palazzo Malta Via dei Condotti 68, Rome, Italy
I have been in Rome several times a few years back and never knew I was so close to this address where the Order has its government with library. It’s close to the Spanish steps at the Piazza di Spagna.

If you want to know more about the Sovereign Military Order of Malta (aka SMOM) go check their Wikipedia page (link click here)

 

 

Malta

Image

Malta a stone in water was what I heard someone once say, and yes its little Island but not as little as Easter Island. Malta got 3 Islands the Island of Malta itself, Gozo and Comino. I visited all of them although it was not planned to do so cause my time there was limited. I started in La Valletta the capital while staying in Sliema. This town is at the opposite side of Valletta and there are boats and bus tours you can take from there to Valletta and the rest of Malta.

View on the Sliema bay

boat connecting Sliema and Valletta

Going to Malta :

I booked a flight to Malta through Ryanair, an airlines that I used quit a lot over the years as they mostly have the cheapest prices for travel in Europe. Ryanair however had some problems lately with most of their flights because pilots had to take their vacation days before the end of the year 2017 and so there was a shortage of pilots and as a result of this, flights got cancelled or schedules got changed. My flight was supposed to fly out of Brussels in the late afternoon, till Ryanair decided to reschedule my flight into the early morning, for me it was a problem and because the new departure time was changed 8 hours earlier then my original flight and they offered me a full refund, which I accepted. So was my travel plan to go to Malta falling apart (?) well to my own surprise no it wasn’t I found a flight on the same day with Air Malta in the afternoon just like I wanted my flight to be in the first place and a cheaper than Ryanair.

Ryanair return ticket from Brussels was 95 EUR
Air Malta was 80 EUR
Not a big difference but I was surprised that Air Malta was cheaper and this for a non early flight. Everybody who travels regularly knows that morning flights and evening flights are the cheapest compared to a midday flight, well not this time thanks to Air Malta.

La Valletta :

The capital is worth a citytrip, it’s not that big, you can easily do it in one day.

Few interesting spots to see are Fort St Elmo, St John’s Co Cathedral, St. George’s Square, St Paul Cathedral,…

La Valletta with the Basilica Our Lady of Mt Carmel and the St Paul Anglican Cathedral

Maltese flags in front of the city walls of Valletta on a roundabound

The old city walls

Parliament a modern building in front of the old city centre

Auberge de Castille

St George Square

The Malta siege Memorial with Bell

Other places I have seen by taking a hop on hop off bus (has been a while since I have taking one of the busses) were : Marsaxlokk, Mosta and Mdina.

Mosta Fort with dome

Mdina

Marsaxlokk

Typically Colored wooden Maltese fisherman’s boats in Marsaxlokk

The Land of Fire

My next trip brought me back to the Caucasus, after being in Georgia and Abkhazia (still part of Georgia) 3 years back, it was time to visit the region again by going to the land of Fire aka Azerbaijan. It was a short trip this time to its capital Baku which in Azeri language means the city of winds cause there is wind everyday, although it’s pretty alright for me coming from Belgium where it’s wind and rain for most of the year.
Baku is laying at the Caspian sea, no wonder there is wind but it’s good cause it can be pretty hot out here. 24 degrees Celsius in October not bad at all and the sun was more than welcome for me.

Flame Towers seen from Maiden Tower

Why is it called the land of fire ?
Because the people who used to live here before the Islam and Soviet times where Zoroastrians, Zoroastrianism was a type of religion that had influences from the old Persian empire and the ancient Indian Hindu time. Zoroastrians were worshipping fire and near Baku I visited their fire temple of Atashgah.

What did I do in Baku ?

I visited the old town as well as the modern part of the city with the Flame Towers and the Heydar Aliyev Center by architect Zaha Hadid.

Heydar Aliyev Center (Museum)

Inside Museum

Very modern

Another modern building near the Caspian Sea is the Carpet museum.

Carpet museum, building is a giant rolled up carpet

In the old town I visited mosques, caravanserai, Maiden Tower from which you have a view over the city of Baku, The palace of Shirvanshahs and more.

Maiden Tower

Maiden Tower from the other side of the street

Palace of the Shirvanshahs

Inside the Juma Mosque

War Memorial for the victims of the Soviet attack in 1990 and the Karabakh war with Armenia of 1994.

Eternal Flame @ the War Memorial monument

The War Memorial is on Martyrs Lane which is up hill and from here you got a superb view over the City and its Caspian sea bay

 

Places visited outside Baku but near the capital on a half day trip were : Atashgah, burning mountain Yanartag and the Ramana Castle.
The tour companies in Baku also offer day trips to Qobustan park with its petroglyphs and the mud volcanos. I didn’t do the last one since I have seen petroglyphs in Kyrgyzstan and mud volcanos in Yellowstone or something very similar to it.
I personally was not interested in stones and mud, but if it’s your thing then go and book this tour when you are in Baku

Atashgah Fire temple of the Zoroastrians

Inside Fire Temple

Ramana Castle

Burning mountain – Yanartag

Because of the gas in the surface this mountain is burning for 5000 years, something else then Darvaza in Turkmenistan which is burning since  1971

Outside Baku, Azerbaijan is different , landscape, roads , houses it all changes and it seems there is a big gap between those who live their lives in the great capital city and those who live in the countryside.
I saw oil fields and the impact the black gold has on the environment and found this more interesting to see all these oil derricks going up and down pumping it up out of the oil wells, then a park with petroglyphs on stones.

oil derrick working

more of them pumping oil

oil field and the impact on the environment

countryside

Houses in the countryside, just a few km from Baku

 

 

 

Sankt-Petersburg Russia’s Pride

The City of Peter The Great !

I came to St. Petersburg by high-speed train “Sapsan” from Moscow, only 4 hours to the City that lays at the Finish Gulf. I didn’t bring the hot Moscow weather with me cause in Sankt-Peter there were moments with a lot of rain and besides the touristic sites I wasn’t in the mood to explore the city more on my own. Sometimes the sun came out peeking and that was usually when I wanted to take picture of something that it stopped raining for a moment, call it crazy luck.
Sankt-Peter as the Russian call the city, is the pride of Russia, it has so much to offer for tourists, that you need several days to see everything.
Despite the rain it’s a city with a nice vibe, nice European style streets and houses to walk by, many ways to get around by tram, bus and metro.

Peter The Great

Places that I visited were the Blue & white Smolny Complex with its cloister and Cathedral build for Elizabeth Peter The Great’s Daughter who became a nun.
Peter & Paul Fortress by the Neva River that was built on a small Island to protect the city from Swedish invasion. It also served as a prison and nowadays it’s a museum with a Cathedral that you can visit. This Cathedral with its bell tower contains a big carillon that was a gift from the city of Mechelen in Flanders (Belgium) for Peter the Great, it contains 51 bells. It was Peters idea to bring back the musical revival in his city.

Smolny Complex

Cathedral

Peter & Paul Fortress

The Alexander Nevsky monastery with its cemetery where historically famous Russians like Dostoevsky and Tchaikovsky are buried.
Saint Isaac’s Cathedral which is the biggest Russian Orthodox Cathedral in Sankt-Peterburg and it really stands out with its doors of bronze and its golden dome, you can see it from different parts of the city.
The interior is also stunning and makes your mouth fall open. From all parts of Russia multicolored granites and marbles were gathered to compose the internal features such as columns, pilasters, floors.
At Palace Square I visited the Hermitage with the Diamant room which unfortunately was not allowed to take photos of.

Alexander Nevsky Monastery, view from my Hotel

Saint Isaac’s Cathedral

Palace Square

Hermitage

Inside the Hermitage

Throne room

25km outside of the City I visited Peterhof, the Palace of Peter The Great at the Finish Gulf. This residence has magnificent rooms, in different styles, it gives you an idea about how life was for the rulers of Russia. Golden statues and fountains of the Grand Cascade in the garden makes this place look unique.

Peterhof

Grand Cascade with its golden statues

the sea channel in back of me

Another Palace about 35km away from Sankt-Petersburg is the Catharina Palace or Pushkin Palace. It used to be Katherina’s summer palace with its famous Amber room (no pictures allowed, but you can find them on google anyway) and the ball room.
I liked walking around here and see this for myself and I must say Russians can be proud of Sankt-Petersburg and their palaces.

Pushkin Palace

Pol the Great

The Ball room with gold on the sidings and a the biggest ceiling painting I ‘ve ever seen

room with Flemish and Dutch paintings

lunch room

at the Gardens park

 

 

Visiting the Biggest Country on Earth

A Country that’s almost on the news everyday and I haven’t been there yet ? I’m talking about Russia.
The biggest country on earth, historically a lot in common with Europe and partly being part of the old continent and also of Asia.
Wonder how life is there, how Russians are. Since this is my first visit to Russia I decided to do a classic trip visiting its capital Moscow and Sankt-Petersburg.

Kremlin

Starting in Moscow.

One of the biggest cities in the world, a lot of traffic, took me 1 hour to get from the airport to the city centre and its only 30km !
I saw big expensive cars, but also old lada’s, yes they are still present which is nice, it gives you a feeling for Russia, you realizing you really are in a post-sovjet country. On some buildings still the hammer and sickle is showing and the red star.

What is there to see ?

There is a lot to see in Moscow, everywhere you go you see nice buildings in different styles, but since my visit was only 2 days, I did the classic touristic sites such as : The Red Square (which was half closed because they were preparing for some military festivity), off course the famous Saint Basil’s Cathedral, the Kremlin with the Tsar-bell and Tsar-cannon and its many cathedrals and churches with golden domes.

On my way to the Red Square

The gate through which I entered the Red Square

preparations for celebrating the Russian army – Red Square

Saint Basil’s Cathedral

Tsar-cannon

Tsar-Bell

Cathedrals and churches behind the Kremlin walls

However the first place I went to see was the Novodevichy Convent aka New Maidens’ Monastery a Unesco site surrounded by a park behind big walls with twelve towers. The most famous building at the convent is “the Cathedral of our lady of Smolensk” which was under construction so I didn’t get to see that. To be honest all the cathedrals in Russia are nice but they all look a bit the same to me, it’s the little towers and the golden domes that make them all look beautiful and spectacular looking in the distance. When you drive into the city you see them domes standing out from these Orthodox Cathedrals and churches it has something special.

Novodevichy Convent

One of the towers of the Novodevichy convent in my back

Next stop was the Cathedral of Christ the Saviour situated on the northern bank of the Moskva River, on the backside of the cathedral there is a bridge over the river from which you have a view on a big statue of Peter the Great standing in the river on one side and a view over the Kremlin on the other side of that bridge.

Cathedral of Christ the Saviour

Statue of Peter The Great in the Moskva River

Then I made my way towards the red square, where there is a big mall next to it, the GUM department store, there I had lunch in a Russian restaurant on the top floor, really good and not expensive at all, besides tourist a lot of locals were als eating there, can’t remember the name of the restaurant but there are many places to eat, besides restaurants, there are shops and even a movieteatr.

GUM Department store

A nice place to see Moscow is at Vorobyovy gory (Sparrow hill) from here you can see a great panoramic view over Russia’s Capital city, its adjacent to the Moscow state University which is just another bombastic building, real piece of architecture.
It’s easy to get there by metro, you step out at Vorobyovy station and from there you just walk to the observation point up hill.

Moscow State University

Panorama of Moscow with the Luzhniki Stadium, which will host the Opening Match and Final of the 2018 FIFA World Cup

Vendors selling Russian suvenirs, the Matroshka’s

Russian hats

Putin shirts

Going down the Metro

Speaking about metro, the one of Moscow is worth a visit many stations are well decorated, with sculptures, glass work, statuettes, mosaics on walls and ceilings. It’s really an underground palace, if only the metro in Brussels could be like that.

look at the ceilings in the metro, decorated with Mosaics

Walls are also decorated with Mosaics

“Mir” which means peace

Hammer and Sickle, the symbol of the Soviet Union

Metro station decorated with glasswork on the walls

 

 

Statuettes as decoration

   

 

 

 

Daytrip from Lisbon Sintra Cascais

While in Lisbon I did a daytrip to Pena, Sintra and Cascais, you can book this trip from any hotel or hostel as a half day trip or a full day trip. I took the half day trip but the trick is that it can save you money. Most people they go for the full day trip, so when a minivan arrived at my hotel to pick me up, the driver told me that since I was the only one who booked the half day tour, he will let me do the full day trip with the rest of the people on this tour at no extra charge. So I payed for half day excursion and got the full day, great deal for me and at the end of the trip I gave the driver some extra tip. Don’t know if this always works but I think it would be crazy for him to drive back to Lisbon to drop me off and then go back to do the rest of the tour with all the others.
The first visit in the cloudy and foggy morning was the Pena Palace. The colors and architecture of this palace which is situated in the middle of a park up hill makes this place look like it comes out of children’s fairy tale book.

100_7027

Palacio da Pena – try to find me 🙂

100_7015

incredibly detailed

100_7038

View from the Palace

100_7013

In the town of Sintra, I visited the Sintra National Palace with its big twin chimney’s and walked around the main square, had a lunch there and checked out the many souvenir shops in the narrow steeply streets.

100_7058

The Sintra National Palace

100_7044

Main square in Sintra

100_7059

The steeply streets with restaurants and souvenir shops

In the afternoon the sun came out and the fog and clouds disappeared, great moment to go to Cascais and visit Cabo da Roca and Boca do Inferno on our way.

Cabo da Roca is the most Western point of the European continent.

Cabo da Roca monument

Cabo da Roca monument

Monument that says it's the most Western point of Portugal and Europe

Monument that says it’s the most Western point of Portugal and Europe

Cliffs at Cabo da Roca

Cliffs at Cabo da Roca

Near Cascais is Boca do Inferno (Hell’s mouth). The Seawater slams into the rocky caves, it’s a popular place that attracts many visitors.

100_7104

Boca do Inferno

100_7106

Finally I arrived in the city of Cascais to enjoy the beach, watch the fisherman bringing in their catch of the day. Portugal is the place to be if you want to eat good fish, it’s what I’ve heard but then again I’m not a big fish eater so what do I know. To know you have to try it for yourself here in Cascais.

100_7121

many people at the beach on this beautiful day in Cascais

100_7122

Cascais

Cascais

Fishermen arriving in the port of Cascais

Fishermen arriving in the port of Cascais

nice catch ! From the sea to the restaurant :)

nice catch ! From the sea to the restaurant 🙂

DSC04693

The port of Cascais

 

Copenhagen to Sweden

Since I was in Copenhagen I knew I was very close to Sweden and decided to do a daytrip to the city of Malmö by crossing the longest border bridge in the world, this Bridge between both countries is the Oresund bridge and it’s a combined road and rail bridge. I entered Sweden by train, it was easy and fast, you just buy a 24hour ticket at the Copenhagen Centre station or like I did at the CPH Airport.
Malmö is the 3rd largest city in Sweden after Stockholm and Göteborg.
I had a walk in the city centre where the shopping streets are close the city hall and also in King’s park which is just behind the Malmö Castle. Just across the street you have the Malmö Museum where I bought a ticket that includes the Castle with the museum.
The Museum’s focus is on historical vehicles, old technology and seafaring.

Music Statue in Malmö shopping street

Music Statue in Malmö shopping street

Malmö Sweden

Ready to explore Malmö Sweden

DSC00051 DSC00050

City Hall

City Hall

some nice buildings

some nice buildings

Kings Park

Kings Park

DSC00067

The Malmö Castle

The Malmö Castle

DSC00073

DSC00104

In the Malmö Museum

DSC00097 DSC00085 DSC00084

Down the sea-coast you have a nice view on the biggest building in Sweden the modern Turning Torso Tower, that stands out, you can see it from anywhere in the city.
I walked a little further down the coast line and came to the Ribersborgs Kallbadhus its a badhouse with saunas and a restaurant, from here I had a good view on the Oresund bridge connecting Sweden and Denmark.

The Torso Tower

The Turning Torso Tower

Ribersborgs Kallbadhus

Ribersborgs Kallbadhus

The Oresund Bridge between Svenska and Danska :)

The Oresund Bridge between Svenska and Danska 🙂

If you want to put another country on your list or if you want to visit a less crowded city, than Malmö is worth a visit if you are so close to it in Copenhagen. A daytrip for this city is more than enough. In the late afternoon I was already back in Denmark.

 

Copenhagen

COPENHAGEN

It wouldn't be Denmark without LEGO :)

It wouldn’t be Denmark without LEGO 🙂

Copenhagen was a very interesting citytrip, because I didn’t have any expectations, nor did I really had prepared myself well for this trip. It was one of these Capital cities in Europe that I wanted to visit someday but never exactly knew when time would bring me there.
Copenhagen is a very easy to walk city, with the plan that I grabbed at the Copenhagen centre railway station I had enough. I stayed at the Best Western Hotel close to the Tivoli Amusement park and the Radhuspladsen (The City Hall Square).

The City Hall

The City Hall

Inside City Hall

Inside City Hall Danish Flags

H.C. Andersen Statue

H.C. Andersen Statue

The first day I have done the free walking tour, it started at 11am, it’s a 3 hour tour, you can leave anytime you want, you don’t have to stay untill the end, but I did since I had a good guide and afterwards I already knew some of the great spots without having to use my map anymore.
Some of the places I have visited were Nyhavn,Rosenborhg Castle, The Round Tower,The Freetown of Christiania and ofcourse the most famous symbol of Copenhagen, the Statue of the Little Mermaid. The Little Mermaid is a story for children by Hans Christian Anderson who also has a statue of himself just next to the City Hall. He wrote so many children stories, to name some :  The Princess and the pea and his famous one The Ugly duckling.
The Little Mermaid is not a big statue but just like the Manneken Piss in Brussels its world-famous and that’s why people want to see it.
I liked walking around the Rosenborg Castle which is in the middle of a nice Royal park belonging to the Danish Royal collection, just like the Royal Palaces at Amalienborg.
Close to the Rosenborg Castle, just a few streets away, you can find the Round Tower which is now an observation tower for a great view over the city.

Nyhavn

Nyhavn

The Little Mermaid

The Little Mermaid

Royal Palace Amalienborg

Royal Palace Amalienborg

Rosenborg Park

Rosenborg Park

Rosenborg Park Statue

Rosenborg Park Statue

The Round Tower

The Round Tower

inside the Roudn tower , that's how it goes up, no stairs, just climbing a wall

Inside the Round tower , that’s how it goes up, no stairs, just climbing a wall

View on Copenhagen from the roof of the Round Tower

View on Copenhagen shopping street  from the roof of the Round Tower

View on Copenhagen from the roof of the Round Tower

View on Copenhagen from the roof of the Round Tower

From Castle Island where the Christiansborg Castle stands and the stock exchange building I crossed the Knippelsbro bridge to another part of the city “Christianshavn where the Our saviors church stands with its amazing tower. It’s the church with the nicest tower hard to miss. Just 1 block further lays the freetown of Christiania which is an old hippy town , a self-declared republic, they sell weed here and since that is illegal you can’t take pictures, only a few at the entrance of this Freetown. Some nice graffiti is what I saw,  to bad that I have been constantly watched by some weirdos who wondered what the hell I lost over there and maybe waiting for me to break the rules of not taking pictures, to smash my camera to the ground like they did with some American tourists in the past (source tripadvisor).To be honest it’s not that special and to call this a country you must be really screwed up in your head. Been there done that, not much else to say about this place.

Crossing the Bridge into Christianshavn

Crossing the Bridge into Christianshavn

The Our Saviour Church in Christianshavn

The Our Savior Church in Christianshavn

This is the Christiania Flag Red with 3 yellow dots, only someone who must have smoked allot of weed could have invented this flag.

This is the Christiania Flag Red with 3 yellow dots, only someone who must have smoked a lot of weed could have invented this flag.

Some of the graffiti

Some of the graffiti

The 3rd and last night in Copenhagen I went to the Tivoli Amusement park, it was closed the first days but has been re-opened for the Christmas period. I was lucky it opened just the evening before I had to leave. Because it was the opening of the parks Winter season the place was crowded, people everywhere but it’s a must do when you are here, since it’s the second oldest theme park in the world (1843) and the most visited one in Scandinavia.
This park was also an inspiration to Walt Disney. He visited the park in the early 50’ies and a few years later in 1955 he opened his first Disneypark in Anaheim California ‘Disneyland’.
The oldest theme park in the world is Dyrehavsbakken (1583) about 10km north of Copenhagen near Klampenborg. Looks as the Danes were the founders of the theme parks something I didn’t know before going to Denmark.

Tivoli

Tivoli

DSC00202 DSC00191 DSC00179 DSC00174 DSC00170

Pol in Tiraspol

The old Soviet train was waiting in Odesa for me to come on board for the trip to Tiraspol the capital of the self-declared state of Transnistria within Moldova also known as PMR : Pridnestrovian Moldavian Republic. I was with the group of Youngpioneertours and had great fun on this “wodka train” we bought all the booze there was in the one and only bar in this old charming compartment and when we arrived we were a little light-headed but not drunk, maybe little tipsy.

train compartment with bar

train compartment with bar

 

Welcome in Transnistria !

People here speak Russian and feel Russian but their passport says Moldavian. They also have a Transnistrian passport but with this passport they can’t travel cause Transnistria isn’t a recognized country. I was here to visit the Capital of this unrecognized republic and to experience the Soviet feeling of this place.
They have their own Parliament and its here in the capital Tiraspol, in front there is a big Lenin statue.

The Parliament building with Lenin statue

The Parliament building with Lenin statue

It’s like time stood still, cause you get the feeling walking around this city like being in an old Soviet open air park kind of museum. Soviet symbols in the street, the old Soviet tank with the barrel pointing in the direction of Moldova.

465535_855792869912_954350232_o

Putin is popular here

IMG_0372 DSC04358 DSC04354

The independence war memorial with its eternal flame, the statue of Suvorov a Russian general who founded the city in 1792, the Pobedi Park (Victory Park) and the Orthodox Nativity Church with the golden domes are just some sightseeings of the city I came across on my stroll around the streets of Tiraspol.

Eternal flame

Eternal flame

Independence war memorial monument

Independence war memorial monument

Pobedi Park entrance

Pobedi Park entrance

Soviet Symbol CCCP star

Soviet Symbol CCCP star

Suvorov statue

Suvorov statue

me on the Soviet tank

me on the Soviet tank

Russian Orthodox Church

Russian Orthodox Church

Lenin head

Lenin head