• Izrael Museum (1)

    The Israel Museum and the Shrine of the Book store the Jewish past and pose riddles of symbolism

    5000 sq m is a lot of space, but not enough for the Israel Museum to display all the artistic and cultural monuments of the Jewish people and the Holy Land. 8000 years of history is too much time. However, what the museum in western Jerusalem is truly remarkable for is symbolism, hidden in the sculpture garden and the architecture of the ethnography, archeology and contemporary and modern art wings. Because of the city’s complex topography, the first-time visitor starts thinking about the symbols in the Israel Museum only after passing by the Knesset. The parliament of the still young Israeli state and the complex containing its millennia-long past are…

  • San Fermin Pamplona Spain (5)

    San Fermines festival in Pamplona: bullfighting and brutality, drink and song, joy and excitement

    I remember first reading Ernest Hemingway’s novel “The Sun Also Rises” (or “Fiesta”, how it is sometimes named) while still at school and from that daydreaming to see and experience San Fermines – a festival of bullfighting and brutality, drink and song, joy and excitement. This year I finally did it – while traveling in Spain, visited Pamplona, where the festival takes place every July. And you know what? Now I have a small understanding why San Fermines was Ernest Hemingway’s obsession. He first came to San Fermines in 1923 and paid his final visit to the annual fiestas in 1959. This festival has everything a traveler can dream off:…

  • Odessa Catacombs

    2,500 Km Underground: Largest Catacomb System In The World

    Odessa is a resort city in the Eastern European country Ukraine. Nevertheless, it is worth visiting for blue waters of the Black Sea, cheep seafood and rich history (the city itself was built by French, Italians, Dutch and many others) it has one unique place of interest – the largest underground catacomb system in the World. Yes, in the whole World. And you can go down there… You might have heard of the famous catacombs in Rome or Paris. But these, compared to the catacombs of Odesa, are just a “drop in the ocean”. Tunnels beneath Rome stretch only for 300 kilometers, while ones in Paris – approximatelly 500 kilometers.…

  • Macedonia

    Skopje – city of Mother Teresa

    When strolling by the Vardar River, passing under the arches of the Stone Bridge, regarding the medieval and 1970s buildings and taking pictures of the smiling children, you realize that Skopje will remain a puzzle. Even, perhaps, forever. The strange things is, that even after visiting this city – you can’t say you loved it or not. History offers little help in finding the solution. The Capital City of the Republic of Macedonia, a modern administrative, trade and cultural centre of the state, has twice rose up like a Phoenix, after two catastrophic earthquakes in 518 AD and in 1963. Although lot of human lives and material goods were lost,…

  • switzerland, giger

    The scariest bar in the World – with “Alien” movie decorations

    We are not sure, that after visiting this bar, in a medieval town of Gruyères in Switzerland – you will sleep calmly. Fantasy is a tricky thing and spending evening in a company of aliens can be one of the reasons for a sleepless night. On the other hand, if you love stories about other galaxies or just extreme things – that’s a perfect place. Interior of the bar is based on the epic movie “Alien” (1979). Gruyères – sweet little mountain village has one unexpected attraction. Swiss artist’s H.R. Giger museum and bar. In 1980 he won the Oscar for Best Visual Effects for his participation in the film…

  • riga-pagrabs-ala

    Ala in Riga: good basement for good beers

    Even though we believe that Vilnius is a true Baltic diamond, majority of travellers choose to fully wring their holidays out and visit three sister-counties at once. If you are one of those and Riga is on your to-do list, make sure to add folk club Ala as one of the ‘must’ places as well. Situated in Riga’s Old Town, it is the place to try national Latvian cuisine and even more importantly – local beers. Ala, meaning ‘cave’ in Latvian, is a shrine to local cultural heritage, filled with ancient symbols (the chandelier in the main hall depicts sun and has nothing to do with nazis), massive wooden furniture…