Brussels is Calling!

Ciao a tutti,

So, I don’t know if you read my last blog, but for those that didn’t I was influenced about my favorite thing, travelling and I talked about my ideal destinations for 2020.

The very first one was Brussels, in Belgium and to be sincere I told that it wasn’t ideal and I booked this trip because it was cheap. I can honestly tell, I was wrong!

 

 

First things first this trip was really quick. I landed in Brussels Saturday at 7.30 o’clock and I flew back Monday at 7.00. It was from the start a small and economic trip. I also had the luck to find a cheap hostel, but really nice in the center of the city.

To do a good presentation of the trip, I have to start from my co-travelers, which were two friends of mine from Spain. We started all together our trip from Faenza to Brussels Saturday afternoon, first using the train and then the bus to arrive to Bologna airport. From there a beautiful, sunny Saturday of this February we took the plain to go to the less sunny and extremely windy Brussels. We have seen in the Internet that the weather wouldn’t be by our side, but we didn’t expect that.

Our first night, Saturday night we didn’t had the chance to do much. We arrived in the hostel at 11.00 o’clock this night and we were also a bit tired. We went for a walk around the block to grab a bite and we ended up to grad a couple of beers, too. For those that they don’t have a clear idea about Belgium, I have to say that is famous for the beer, the waffles and the french fries -which as I learned in a free tour were not French at all but Belgian and they named them French the American Soldiers of World War 2 that hearing the Belgian people talking French and eating the fries, they thought that they are French. Until this day, the name remains ”french fries” and the people of Belgium are trying really hard to change it to ”fries”. So, if you want to help them, just start to call them ”fries” and spreed the word.

 

 

The next day we had a full plan of visiting the city center and see all the sights. What we didn’t knew was that in Brussels this day, they had an ”orange alarm”, that means that the weather was really bad and the wind so strong and the most of the people were actually afraid of going out of their houses. And the strangle was real! We fought with the wind, we got wet from the rain and we were cold the whole time, but we saw it all! We walked the center alone and then we booked a free walking tour; we tried the traditional street waffles and the fries that are double fried to they can be crispy outside and soft inside; and last but not least we drunk different beers that is a MUST once you go to Belgium.

Saturday went by smoothly even though the weather was extremely bad and the wind tried to hit me in the walls several times. As the night was coming one of my friends had to go, return to the airport, because she had to catch an early flight and there wasn’t a midnight bus. So, she did, but the weather played a tricky game with us again. Of course, the wind couldn’t stop early on Monday morning and the fight of my friend got canceled twice. She had to spent more that 12 hours in the airport waiting her flight back home.

 

 

On the other side, me and my other friend had one more day to spent in Brussels and we took this chance to visit the famous European Parliament. The Parliament is placed in a centered quarter and it was really easy to find it. I wasn’t impressed from the building actually; I expected it bigger and nicer. Except that, I enjoyed the sights of it. There is a place that called ”Parlamentarium” that is helping you to get more information about the European Union, its formation and history and also there is a European History Museum. Unfortunately, I had only the time to visit the ”Parlamentarium”, it was interesting and gain a lot of new information.

After these two days of moving around, watching and tasting new things, we had to return. We took our flight at 7.00 o’clock and thankfully we didn’t had a problem with the wind that was continuing being strong. We landed in Bologna around 8.30 o’clock only to discover that the wind followed me here. But, I will survive….

P.S: I also got tested for Corona Virus when I landed in Bologna. That thing is becoming bigger and bigger, right?

That’s it for today…

Danai, Greece

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Firenze: Una città bella ma ”piena come un uovo”…

Ciao a tutti,

Sono qui per ancora una volta e con un nuovo travel blog! Or better I can keep going on with English. Sooo, I am still here, still living, working in Faenza and still travelling. For this week I have a really special city to talk to you about, but as you already understood we are going to speak for Florence!

One of the most famous cities in Italy, that I am sure everybody have heard about it, is Florence. Is a city with a huge history background from Medici and Renascence until the Modern Italian Ages. Easily can somebody say that while walking around the city seems like you are moving through the rooms of a museum. There is something to see in every corner of this city and you can easy fill your camera with beautiful pictures of Florence.

I think these are enough as an introduction for this town, so let’s move smoothly on my personal experience.

Here in Italy the 1st of November is actually a bank holiday and lucky me, happened this year to be a Friday. As you can imagine it was the perfect opportunity for me to start my trip from Friday, since I didn’t worked. I took a train at 10.00 o’clock in the morning and after two hours of an amazing route with the train, between mountains and cloudy autumn trees, I was finally in Florence. I had a date with a friend, in which house I stayed these days, in the central station of the city and from the first minute we started to explore Florence.

After a quick look in the city center I realized that Florence is a touristic destination, but a REALLY TOURISTIC DESTINATION. People were everywhere and it is getting extremely difficult to see the famous sights of the city. People are everywhere, you can’t move easily and of course in every place you have to wait a long to drink, eat, order etc.

One of the first things I actually wanted to do in Florence it was eating because I hadn’t had breakfast -as usual as we are talking about me- and I was pretty hungry around 2.00 o’clock. So, we tried the most famous place to eat in town, ”All’ Antico Vinaio”, and from the very first moment I was scared. There are three shops under the same name in the same street and the people were making huge lines to wait for a panini. Of course, I started complaining and begging my friend to find something else, but eventually she convinced me and I don’t regret it. After an 1 hour waiting we finally got our Panini and it was really delicious, maybe the best thing I ate in Italy so far.

After that really long waiting, we visited some of the sights in the town but I didn’t actually enjoyed them enough because of the people who were everywhere and in big, big numbers. The last thing that we did and it was maybe the thing I liked the most, -even though it was a little bit far from the city center-it was to visit the Michelangelo’s Square which is up to a hill and you can see all Florence from up there. The view is incredible and even though the people was pretty much for another time -I know you are bored for reading this today-, I enjoyed my time up there, listening to smooth music and drinking beer.

We went back home at 8.00 o’clock and we had plans to party a little bit in Florence by night, but as you can imagine all my energy was spent in only one morning in the town and just dealing with this huge number of people.

The next day we were expecting an other friend for ours, a fella volunteer as me and he was in town around 10.00 o’clock. Also he had a problem with all these people as me, but a bigger one. Our original plan was to stay in Florence since Sunday so we can visit for free all the famous museums in the city -because every first Sunday of the month you can enjoy a free entrance in all museums-, but after all we felt really tired in this town and I was started getting pissed off with this crowd of tourists.

We started our trip back in Saturday evening and around 9.00 o’clock in the night we were back in our quiet and rainy Faenza. We decided to make a common dinner and we drunk our two bottles of wine in the peace and quiet of our apartment, while enjoying quiet and calm conversation.

Yes, you got it right, it’s pretty crazy down there in Florence. I am voting ”Pass”, but I really don’t want to influence you, just take a visit too and tell me your opinion.

Until the next time…

Ci vediamo,

Danai, Greece

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A due passi da Faenza…

Ciao a tutti,

I am here almost two weeks now, let’s start talking a little bit in italian, too! The ESC life goes on with more and more activities every week, new things to learn, new adventures to live and new people – especially Italians- to meet.

The office hours passing fast while dealing with European Exchange Projects – at least I am trying- and social media work. The italian language is becoming a friend of mine step by step and regarding my social life, we made a pretty good start with the other volunteers here. But, as good as it can be the everyday life, you always waiting and counting the days – the hours, the minutes- for the weekend!

I made a pretty good deal with myself for this year when they anounced me that I am accepted for this European Union opportunity. I decided to travel a lot this year. Don’t get me wroght, I also want to live in an italian lifestyle and get to know this small city that I am currently living, Faenza, but it is also a pretty good opportunity to travel around the courty every weekend. So, this weekend I made my first, small step and I visited Bologna!

Private moments with my friend in Bologna

I got into the traveler mind from Friday when my friend from Florence visited me in Faenza. After two – ok, maybe three- Spritzs as an aperitivo – I really like this italian habit- we decided to visit Bologna for one day. The next day, Saturday, me, my friend and other two volunteers as travel buddies, we woke up and took the train to Bologna. Ok, I knew it was really close to Faenza, but seriously it is just 30 minutes away and with the train you have to pay only 5 euros to go – that’s perfect because I don’t have money-. Almost at 11.00 we arrived in Bologna and start moving around these beautiful streets, visiting the local market and of course having breakfast as real Italians in the most lovely coffee shop in town. It was a weekend, so Bologna was full of people in the streets, shopping, drinking their coffees fast, having fun and enjoying their free time.

We moved as fast as we could to visit all the right places in only a day. We went to the center of the city, where the market is – of course I did a little bit of shopping and it’s one of the reasons that now I don’t have money for food-, but except the market you can see there the Two Towers, the Piazza Maggiore, the Cathedral and a lot of bars, restaurants and coffeeshops. The time passed as fast as the water flows and we got hungry, but who could expect that the weekend in Bologna it’s pretty hard to eat for lunch! All the places that we went at almost 1.00 o’ clock was full or had no more food and after 2.30 o’ clock they started telling us that they were close until the afternoon. We ended up eating at 5.00 o’clock but at least we tried the official spaghetti alla bolognese.

Of course, I couldn’t leave this full of people, full of life and amazing city without having an aperitivo first -yes, officially it’s my habit, too-. For another time, Bologna left me speakless and I am seriously in love with this city… So, after a little walking around the small streets of the center, we found a very, very small place, like a hole but full of people, in which bar you can drink a Spritz or a Campari with inly 2,5 euros. Take my money and give me clothes and Spritzs, SERIOUSLY! I was in heaven until we reallized that we have to go back to Faenza and of course we were late. As an authentic Greek one this time, I showed to my travel buddies how you can catch a train that leaves in 10 minutes and you are 15 minutes away and you don’t have a ticket, too. It’s pretty easy, you run, you run like hell, maybe the cars will hit you but seriously now, you have to run people!

That’s all folks! Just me, trying to leave me greek mark in Italy!

Ci vediamo…

Danai, Greece

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