CA, British Columbia: Blooming memories @ The Butchart Gardens

Even though Spring has given us promising signs earlier this month, the temperatures dropped in the past week or so. What a better time to dig into my coffer, and find some blooming memories😊 – The Butchart Gardens, that we have visited back in 2016 when we did a road trip across half North America.

After an amazing ride by ferry from Vancouver, we arrived in Vancouver Island, planning to go to Victoria, the capital of the Canadian province British Columbia. As soon as we got down from the ferry, we wondered what if we could take a little detour to these gardens I was reading occasionally about. We found the entrance tickets were a bit expensive, but why not, since we are here already!

The Butchart Gardens

Continue reading

PE, Cusco to Puno: Route of the Sun

How to Peru in 2 weeks – Day #10: Route of the Sun

 We were so ready on the 10th day of our journey, waking up very early to be on time for the next leg of the trip. We didn’t call for a taxi, as the Plazoleta de San Blas was right at an arm length down the narrow street where we got accommodation for our 2-night stay in Cusco. A small plaza full with cars and street vendors was ready for us at that early time in the morning with a taxi, which took us in no less than 20 minutes to the Inka Express boarding location. More tourists appeared shortly in groups or pairs, and I was amazed how many people were suddenly surrounding us. Very well organized, the tour representatives took our names, handing the luggage tags, and the VIP passes. Around 7 am we were all boarded, heading to our new destination.

The bus tour Cuscoto Puno, known as Ruta del Sol/Route of the Sun, lasted about 10 hours, with 5 short stops in touristy places along the way. It might sound a long way, but the day went by pretty quickly actually.

Peruvian Highlands

Continue reading

PE, Cusco: Discovering and exploring Cusco in our own way

How to Peru in 2 weeks – Day #8: Getting to Cusco – Iglesia de San Blas – Plaza de Armas – The Cathedral – Templo del Triunfo – The Church of the Holy Family

Happy to get on the van, finally, I was all ready to relax and admire one more time the superb landscape of Sacred Valley where the main road would take us through, from Ollantaytambo (where we had our base for 4 nights) to Cusco.

The cheapest way to get from Ollantaytambo to Cusco was to get one of the many vans that run all day between these cities for a cheap rate of 10 soles. Our luck arrived before we even got to the main plaza; one van stopped and asked us “Cusco?” Before saying “yes” we jumped in the van right away, as a policeman was making signs already to the driver to keep moving.

Shortly after our first relaxing moments I noticed that the van had crossed Urubamba River and started ascending a hill that soon looked more like a mountain. Beautiful views, however both direction and landscape didn’t look right. Hmm, have we gotten on the right bus? Yes, we specifically asked a second time after settled in our seats. Where are they going to? Are they kidnapping us? What is going on?!..

Continue reading

When the old adventures become new memories

It is the time to wrap up another year.

Time to celebrate the holidays with family and friends, time to offer presents, time.

Time to give or forgive. It is the time of the year when the old adventures become new memories, and all past feelings and special moments become the ground for a new start. Time to think of all the lessons learnt in the past year, time to make plans for the new one.

My gift to you my friends is a collage of photos that brought me joy during the year, peace and happiness. Hope you will enjoy!

Continue reading

PE, Sacred Valley: Free things to do in Ollantaytambo

How to Peru in 2 weeks, Day#6: Ollantaytambo – Inca Bridge – Punku Punku – Q’ello Raqay

 After a sleepless night, and more headaches in the morning, I realized that one can’t play with the nature, and with the human nature. I was still reticent, and careful not to exert myself too much, but hopeful I could continue the trip, especially that our schedule would continue to higher altitudes.

Many people use Ollantaytambo as a stopover for their Machu Picchu adventure. But this little city is underappreciated by many, in their excitement to head to the great fortress. There are so many free activities that you can do in this small and cozy town, if you just have an extra day.

Ollantaytambo

Continue reading

PE, Sacred Valley: Ollantaytambo – Archaeological Park

How to Peru in 2 weeks, Day#4: Ollantaytambo – Archaeological Park

After 3 busy days in Lima, we decided to have a lazy morning in Ollantaytambo. We could see the sun was already up through a narrow gap of the dark curtain, and as soon as we pushed it aside I had the joy to spot immediately a hummingbird feeding from a hibiscus tree in the inner court of our hotel. Such a sweet way to start a day!

Hummingbird

Continue reading

PE – How to “Peru” in two weeks D#1 Lima – Miraflores district

How to Peru in 2 weeks, Day#1: Lima – Miraflores district

Getting over the anxiety I managed to acquire a couple of days before our departure, due to some rumors about kidnappings and pick pocketing in Lima airport, I found myself in the same mentioned airport waiting in the line to obtain my tourist visa beside few other hundred tourists. The fact we landed a little bit more after midnight didn’t take away my excitement, and, while I was standing for a photo session by the airport officer, I remembered a similar situation when we were taken pictures entering to Cuba. Tourists from all over the world, backpackers, bikers, in groups or alone, there was such a variety of people in that enclosed space I haven’t really seen anywhere before. I suddenly felt at ease, one more crumb beside over 4 million tourists that visit Peru annually. Continue reading

RO, Tulcea: Danube Delta – Mahmudia, a little paradise for birdwatchers

With our newest adventure from Sulina still fresh in our mind and heart, we arrived in Mahmudia at a slower pace, making plans for a relaxing time while visiting the surroundings.

Mahmudia, a village located on the southern branch of Danube River, was our base for 2 days of exploring the vicinity. The main plan was to rent a boat and visit the wetland that has been recently restored from an old agricultural land, right across the river.

Mahmudia - Swans, Eurasian coots, ducks

Continue reading