AU, HU – Vienna vs Budapest – Two cities in five days, p2

In case someone is wondering if five days were enough to visit these two cities Vienna and Budapest, the answer is not, 5 days is way too little to visit them, but I think it is enough get a glimpse of a great heritage of Austro-Hungarian Empire. You can read here the first part of this post. Today I will continue, and talk a bit about food, Danube River and churches.

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AU, HU – Vienna vs Budapest – Two cities in five days, p1

Once sisters of the one of the greatest powers of the world, Austro-Hungarian Empire, both Austria and Hungary have now been separated for the last 100 years. Years that took each of them on different paths, even though sometimes they were intertwined. Part of European Union and part of UNESCO Heritage, Vienna and Budapest are 2 centerpieces of Europe that justify their fame, no need for an introduction.

Cityscape

Vienna, known as a capital of music welcomed us in a waltz pace, as all the airport hallways resounded with Mozart tunes. A hot August morning was beckoning to us after we picked up our luggage and Vienna Pass, which made us wonder how hot a day can be in the middle of Europe, which we found out later on, after visiting Budapest as well, but this is another story.

A city with so many architectural styles, Vienna’s roots lie in early Celtic and Roman settlements. Now it is known as one of the most developed cities in Europe, being selected one of the most livable cities in the world. From the abundance of baroque style buildings in city centre (which was designed in 2001 UNESCO World Heritage Site) to some of the most interesting, colourful, or bizarre buildings, Vienna hasn’t faltered to offer us unique views.

In order to protect the cityscape, high-rise projects are totally excluded in certain zones. In Vienna there are about 100 buildings higher than 40 m, reason the city maintains the old historical charm, the panoramic viewpoints, and existing lookouts.

 

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IT: Pompeii vs Herculaneum – Which one is better?

If you have ever had a dilemma while visiting Italy and pondered what is better to visit, between these 2 sites, then you were not alone: Pompeii or Herculaneum? Herculaneum or Pompeii? And here is my answer, if there is any at all.

Pompeii, located in Campania region, is mainly known for the ruins of the ancient Roman town with the same name. A roman colony for about 160 years before the famous eruption of Mount Vesuvius from 79 AD left many traces about the roman life, as well as other inscriptions by previous conquerors in the area. With its great position very close to the Gulf of Naples, Pompeii became a very important and large city, it is estimated Continue reading

IT, Mount Vesuvius: Best time to visit

“To go or not to go” was the question for many undecided people. But not for us. How can we not visit the only active volcano on the Europe mainland?

Driving from Cinque Terre to Pompeii was without any major event. If one is not used to drive in Italy yet, now is the time. Once we passed Rome area towards South, we had a nice surprise to find a very low toll on the highway, but instead we found many roads under construction.

Mount Vesuvius is an active volcano with many eruptions over time, but it is best known for its eruption in 79 AD, when the Roman cities Pompeii and Ercolano (Herculaneum by its ancient name) were totally destroyed.

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IT, Florence: Firenze pass – Santa Maria Novella – Santa Croce- Accademia Gallery – Uffizi Gallery – Ponte Vecchio

“Italy is the garden of Europe

Tuscany is the garden of Italy

Florence is the flower of Tuscany”

Falling in love first time is about charm, attraction, fascination, obsession, purity, innocence. But falling in love a second time for the same city, same places, same sky – or maybe different – or just with different eyes but same heart (or same heart but different eyes?) is much more than I can describe in these few words, I probably will never be able to..

God was the first sculptor. He made the first figure: man.”

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IT, Rome: The Colloseum – Roman Forum – Piazza Navona – Terme di Caracalla – Via Appia Antica – St Sebastian Catacombs

As Virgiliu said “it’s the most beautiful thing”, Aristide named it “the capital of all nations”; Atheneu made a “summary of the world”, Ptolemeu the sofist called it “The city of all cities”, most of the people named it “The Eternal city”.

In a lifetime, the human being is continuously trying to find its own purpose on this Earth. Very few of us can truly say they found their own intent in this life. Our own hobbies, various jobs we go through, the books we read, the places we visit are the real proof we continue to search until the final moment.

This is how I felt when my own fate took my steps through Rome, feeling like I was born again. I could see how the modern life, present at every corner, is blending with the ancient ruins, making me thinking where we came from, and what we’re looking for. I realized that almost 3000 past years means almost nothing, I realized how ephemeral the Continue reading