Tag Archives: travel destinations

Day 3 – sightseeing of Rome

Love every day of my trip so far ūüôā . It is so nice to have a lazy mornings and simple enjoy the breakfast & relax an hour or more near the pool. I know I‚Äôm in Rome, & there are so many things to do & to see but these hours by the pool are nice as well. Chat with other people, read a travel guide about places to see and swim a bit in the pool. Well, to be honest I was in the pool more that outside. Because can tell you a secret ‚Äď you get nicer tan while in the water & most important, skin doesn‚Äôt get sunburn so fast. Learned this during my swimmers carrier ūüôā

Today is my ‚Äėtourist attraction‚Äô¬†day. My picks for the day are cathedral of San Giovanni in Laterano, Capitolini¬†Musseum¬†and Bocca¬†Del Verita¬†& Summer Night event¬†along riverbanks of¬†Tiber. Since I have Roma Pass that covers all transportation for 3 days and entrance to 2 museums of choice,¬† I need to take Metro to get to the Termini & bus to get to the San Giovanni. Here I‚Äėd like to mention that till the end of 2011 there are some traffic limits set on Metro line A and not all stations are served.

Metro line A service suspention

So ‚Äď San Giovanni in Lateranois the cathedral where the Pope officiates in his capacity as a bishop of Rome. Entrance is free & you even can get an audio guide for the visit; but if you want visit cloister (entrance at the end of left aisle), then there is 2.50euro for entrance.

San Giovanni in Laterano, Rome

Large builging of S.Giovanni in Laterno you definetely see but is not so impressive from outside as inside.

There are many cathedrals and churches in Rome. And every one of them is like a piece of art & architecture.

Cathedral S. Giovanni in Laterano is very impressive from inside

Cathedral S. Giovanni in Laterano is very impressive from inside

But San Giovanni in Laterano is really ‚Äėwow‚Äô. Besides, right next to it there is another unique place to visit ‚Äď Scala Santa. If you go out of cathedrals, main entrance, turn to the left ‚Äď across the street there is a 16th‚Äďcentury building. This church holds a staircase from Pilate‚Äôs Palace in Jerusalem. Tradition says that 28 steps of this middle staircase can be made on knees.

Santa Scala

My next destination is Capitolini Museum. Information states, that this is most ancient museum in the world. In two buildings of the museum there is a significant collection of mediaeval and modern works Palazzo Nouvo and Palazzo del Conservatori are linked with underground tunnel, which leads to ancient Tabularium with monumental arches overlooking Forum.

Forum - one of most famous tourist attraction in Rome

Forum - one of most famous tourist attraction in Rome.

Right next to the steps leading to the Musei Capitolini there are other ones left side that lead to the Vittoriano Complex and its panoramic terraces. Again, great view over the Rome and Piazza Venezia. Or maybe I have to say Capitolini is right behind Vittoriano? Because that white monument dominates the area of Piazza Venezia.

Vittoriano monument complex, Roma, Italy

My next destination was Bocca¬†della Verita. Many people are wondering where to find it but it turns out easy access from¬†Piazza Venezia ‚Äď I would say that you can just walk down the street on left side from steps to Capitolini¬†in direction to the river. Church itself is not far from Palatino bridge.

¬†Long day come to end and there was just one thing left ‚Äď Lung il Tevere¬†Roma (Along the Tiber). This is event, that already goes during the whole summer till the end of August in backsides of Tiber from Palatino bridge till the Sisto bridge. With 3 thematic areas ‚Äď culture, reception, entertainment this is nice place where to take evening walks.

Summer Nights along the Tiber , Rome

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Day two of my short ‘vacation’

My first morning at the hotel Exel Roma Montemario. This is a comfortable and modern hotel in surroundings of Montemario Natural Reserve. It was¬†kind of confusing to find it at first (because I took a public bus from the Lepanto metro station) but now it’s fine already. Though it was funny, when I asked how to get to the hotel at the Tourist Information center, got info that I have to take a bus #913 and¬†it’s 20 stops…

hotel Exel Rome Montemario

hotel Exel Rome Montemario

I was not lucky enough to get a room in upper floor to enjoy nice views over the Rome. But I like it anyway because one of the reasons I did choose this hotel was outdoor pool.

Nice way to start a day - few hours of morning sunshine

Nice way to start a day - few hours of morning sunshine

 

Castel Romano Designer Outlet has shuttle bus service. Return ticket - 12euro

Castel Romano Designer Outlet has shuttle bus service. Return ticket - 12euro

I know for many it sounds not smart, but for today the main thing is … shopping. I decided go to the Castel Romano Designer Outlet. It is located 25 km outside of Rome. This outlet is easy to reach by car but there is no connection with public transport. For customers convenience there is a direct shuttle bus from Termini Train Station or From Piazza Risorgimento (near Vatican).

 Some can wonder why to go shopping, if there are so many things to do. Well, the thing is that on Mondays many museums are closed, therefore I leave sightseeing for some other day. Besides I had great evening program because during the summer there are several cultural events & festivals going on in Rome. I was lucky to see opera singers at first at Trevi Fountain, but later near Spanish Steps.

Opera singers at Trevi Fountain, Rome

Opera singers at Trevi Fountain, Rome

One of the great summer events in Rome - concert at Spanish Steps

One of the great summer events in Rome - concert at Spanish Steps

Are you watching Eurovision?

This is kind of funny – I mean the Eurovision Song Contest. Everybody says they don’t¬†like it; everybody says that is not a serious contest; songs are not good; singers are not professionals and the winning song will have a ‘short live’…

But in many European countries professional singers are trying to be the ones that represent country. But what’s even more fun that everybody knows or have heard at least some thing about Eurovision Song Contest. & to be more fun, in Facebook Eurovision Song Contest has got¬†already 307¬†¬†791 likes. Even more – to some posts about favorites before tonight’s¬†semi-finals there are more than 4000¬†comments (and they keep coming¬†)…

Wondering what it’s all about? Every year European Broadcasting Union is organising a song contest where every European country can be represented with one, lately published song. The winner takes it all – I mean¬†the fame ūüôā but the winner’s country is the host of the next years contest. This year Eurovision Song Contest is hosted in Dusseldorf, Germany because last year it was won by Lena – a girl with a simple but ‘sticky’ song ‘Satelites’.

What ever is the people’s attitude to this song contest, millions of Europeans are watching this contest on TV and¬†hosting country gets some additional tourist attention as well. Tickets to the finals are sold out in every country.¬†Besides the local crowds,¬†there are people who travel to the new destination every year just to be part of the event. Last year Oslo was hosting¬†all the participants and travelers¬†to the Eurovision Song Contest.¬† Before that¬†many popular European travel destinations like Moskow,¬†Belgrad, Helsinki, ¬†Kiev, Riga, London, Stockholm, Dublin, Paris and many more¬†European cities have¬†welcomed Eurovision Song Contest.

What is your favorite Eurovision song?

P.S. Even though this is a song contest, many people turn on TV when the final voting goes on ( every participationg country can select their TOP 10 but own song).

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Traveling Sweden? Explore Stockholm on budget.

Everyone knows that Scandinavian countries are expensive (if to compare with the rest of Europe or US). After returning from long weekend getaway in Stockholm I can say that is possible to travel around the Sweden without a spending a fortune.

Stockholm View from Katarina lift view platform

Stockholm from Katarina lift view platform

Here are 3 suggestions that will save you some money during the trip to Stockholm and sightseeing the area:

1. Use some of the Europe’s low cost airlines for getting to Stockholm.

I did travel with Ryanair for the first time. Round trip cost me around $50 but if to buy tickets in few months advance then you can find even less. It takes to the Skavsta Airport that is around 100km away from the Stockholm. But there is a direct bus service organized & it takes around 1 h 20 min to get to the Stockholm. Tickets are sold at the Airport or you can get them online from Flygbussarna website.

2. For my stay I did pick one of the Scandic Hotels.

This is a popular Scandinavian hotel brand that has hotels in Northern Europe as well. What comes to these hotels they have a special offer for 2 or 3 night stays on weekends. So you can get 20 up to 35% discount if booked at the Scandic website.

Scandic Hotels

One of the Scandic Hotels in Stockholm.

Besides, why I like these hotels is that there is always free breakfast, free internet access and fitness facilities on site or near by area included in price. What comes to the Stockholm, then in summer time they are offering a bikes for sightseeing the city as well.  There are several Scandic Hotels in Stockholm, so you can choose any depending on destination area needed.

3. What comes to sightseeing then there are two options.

One ‚Äď get Stockholm Card¬†(1 day450¬†SEK¬†or¬† two days 525 SEK) and have access to most of the museums and public transport for free. But I would suggest think ahead what are you interested to do in Stockholm. Count the¬†admission prices and see maybe you can just buy a 24h¬†public transport card for 100 SEK and get separate tickets to few museums. This is an option two.

This is what I did during my stay. First of all I had two days of sightseeing. Since downtown of Stockholm is pretty compact & you can walk simple walk  from place to place. Gamla Stan (Old Town) the place for a walk anyway. So I got this 24h public transport card, activated it on afternoon so I could use it on next day as well.

What comes to museums, then I decided to go to the Royal Palace.  Single admission ticket to any of three  Palace venues costs 100 SEK but you can get a combined ticket for 140 SEK. Besides there are 2 guided tours (English & swedish) included in ticket price as well.

Stockholm's Royal Palace

Stockholm's Royal Palace

¬†If you decide to visit Royal Palace on Sunday, then there are special Changing of the Guard ceremony at 12pm with horses. So you can easily¬†spend more that tree hours in and around the Royal Palace. Than take a walk in Gamla¬†Stan and go to the Katarina lift for a nice views of Stockholm’s downtown.

My other day I mostly spent in Djurgarden Рa big island with a lot of museums and outdoor recreation areas. Depending on your choice, you can visit Skansen ( 70 SEK), Vasa museum or take a tram further on in island and go to Prins Eugens Waldemarsudde (100 SEK). This is how I spent my second sightseeing day in Stockholm.

If to count all my expenses¬†for these two days, total cost of Stockholm’s¬†sightseeing for me was 340 SEK¬†(240 SEK¬†for museums and 100 SEK¬†for public¬†transport card).¬†Well, I was taking this trip kind of easy (with late breakfasts) but I did a lot of walking around the central part of Stockholm. And yes, I did some shopping as well ūüôā

Of course, there is much more to do & to see in Stockholm but if you decide to visit more museums, than there will be no time for visiting Djurgarden.  Last thing what comes to Stockholm sightseeing is that there are City Bikes available for a rent. Hire a bike for 3 days just for 125 SEK & you are free to travel from one place to other.

Stockholm City Bikes

Rent Stockholm City Bikes from April 1 till October 31

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Sightseeing of the Royal London.

Have you been wondering about visiting London this or next year? I think todays Royal Wedding Ceremony broadcasted all over the world will be a little buster for many travelers who havent mada a mind about it. Besides next year, in 2012 London will host Olympic Games. Both these events will make people pay more attention to London as a travel destination.

If you are one of them, then here is something for you ūüôā For a limited time, here is a free download of¬†Royal London Audio Walking Tour provided by Lonely Planet Publications. Explore the sights of London with some additional information. Round Tower of Windsor Castle, Buckingham Palace, Westminster Abbey are the places¬†many travelers¬†are looking forward to visit. This walking tour shares a bit on information about London’s best¬†attractions.¬†

If¬†considering trip to Europe, London is one of the destinations people pick for various reasons. Art, culture, heritage, famous attractions, special events, shopping, leisure, entertainment and so on. Any of these are good reasons for visiting London. All you need is to book a hotel & find the¬†best way to get there ūüôā

Visiting Stockholm. Day 2 – Outdoor Activities

Stockholm is build on 14 islands. Water cover on third of the city area. If to compare with other European travel destinations Stockholm often is called Northern Venice. Therefore a lot of sightseeing includes boat trips, ferries and crossing many bridges.
On my todays route thee was just one because I was going to Djurgarden. Island where you can find Skansen, Vassa Musseum, Junibacken and Tivoli. To get there you can go by ferry, bus or tram.  I took the tram N 7 Рthough there is just one line for it.

Stokholm's Tram N7

Stokholm's only Tram N7 Sergels Torg - Djurgarden

My idea was to go till the¬†last stop¬†& then I’ll see – go to the Skansen¬†or there are some other things to do.¬† As day was really¬†nice & sunny, many local people were heading same way. Because there is a big public park ( actually sometimes it was like forest) there but place was very nice.


People use it for a walks, runs, hikes, biking. If you are looking for some kind of fitness¬†activity – it takes around 2 hours to get around the island. And as everywhere in the parks around the city¬†– a lot of people are just sun tanning. Or setting themselves for the picnic…

Stockholm. Outdoor Activities

Stockholm. Outdoor Activities at the Djurgarden

Stokholm. Sculptures at the Prince Eugens Waldermarsudde

Sculptures at the Prince Eugens Waldermarsudde

If you have come so far Рone of the places worth to visit is Prince Eugens Waldemarsudde. Formerly the residence of Prince Eugen (1865-1947) now this place is popular art museum. There are around 7000 works of sculpture, painting and craft.

Besides a selection on Prince Eugene own works, there are works from collections and temporary exhibitions. Entrance fee of 100 SEK¬†is worth to pay for the visit to this mansion ( though there are a lot of sculptures in a garden around the main buildings).¬†Afterwards take a walk around the area. The translation of Djurgarden is Game Park…

But at the end of long day with a lot of sunshine, there was one more thing to enjoy. Take a look yourself ūüôā

Stockholm. Blossom Trees at the Kunstradgarden

Stockholm. Cherry blossom trees at the Kunstradgarden

 

Hello Stockholm

Today was my first day here in Stockholm. I would call it arrival day ūüôā

This time for my trip I’ m using Ryanair. To be honest I have to say that I was a little bit afraid because of some stories about bad service and so on. But to my surprise I can’t say anything bad about the¬†Ryanair or service during / before/ after the flight.

Maybe it more concerns people who are traveling with low-cost airlines… Most of the people in my flight looked like regular travelers but few men were a little bit drunk & wanted to have conversation with some girls. …but the girls were mad because their luggage was taken away as too big for carry-on. Whole situation was kind of funny (I was sitting in opposite row) but otherwise nothing bad for this flight.

After arrival at the  Skavsta Airport everything went fast I was pretty soon already on aboard of bus taking me to the Stockholm center. But on the way bus had some technical problems (which only drivers knows what Рbut Sweden is Sweden ) and we stopped to wait for another bus to come.

During the bus ride (normally 1h20min) I started conversation with lady sitting next to me. At first it was because of the bus problem, then what they are doing here in Sweden & so on. Turned out¬†the lady¬†kind of knows someone I know … all this sounds like a regular conversation but the¬†woman was speaking just Italian…

Never thought that while going to Sweden I’ll start to remember my Italian… it’s not that I speak fluently or remember everything but it turns out when it’s needed¬†everything comes back itself. But I like the language itself therefore will have to think about some language studies… preferably in Italy ūüôā

So finally we arrived in Stockholm just after 4pm. One thing that I’m very happy about is nice sunshine here in Stockholm. When traveling around & doing sightseeing weather is important factor. So – it’s sunny, bright afternoon… I found the way to my hotel & went for a walk. It turned longer that I expected but it was nice. Went to Old town – Gamla Stan.¬†After this walk¬†I have more or less some understanding where everything is located and I’m ready for serious sightseeing tomorrow ūüėČ

Three things that show that spring has come (for those who don’t know) to Northern Europe and Sweden particularly :

1. In Stockholm many water fountains are working already;

2. Stockholm City Bikes are out for hire. Very reasonable offer Р3 days for 125 SEK. To keep this price with no penalties, bike has to be returned or changed after 3 hours. If you stay longer Рseasons ticket cost 250 SEK .  As I did see today this service is very popular amongst tourists & some local people as well;

3. & to know for sure that spring is here Рthere were some trees blossom already in Kungstradgarden & a lot of people enjoying the view & sunshine in open air cafe around the park area.

First impressions about Stockholm? Very nice, tourist friendly Scandinavian city. It is Easter time but many tourist attractions, museums & shops are open. Everywhere are street signs so it is easy to find directions. Actually today I met more tourists wandering around with the maps. And I was one of them…¬† ūüôā

P.S I wish I could upload the pictures but forgot the connection cord at home … ups