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Cyprus, 5 years after

IMG_9410Cyprus! A sunny island with no concerns. I haven’t been there since our trip 5 years ago. Back then we went as typical tourists looking for parties, so we stayed in Ayia Napa. Nissi beach is still one of the most spectacular ones in my memory, and rocky landscapes are breathtaking. Not even commenting on the parties which I now would be too old for, same as Malta last year.

This trip was more chilled because I was visiting my friends at their house not far from Larnaca.

Feeling the heat for the first time this year was just so amazing for such a weather dependent person as I happen to be! And the food!

We drove down to Ayia Napa, I dived into my first trip memories while eating the best tuna and seafood at Vassos Tavern. Those restaurants seem all the same, even menus are quite similar, but quality of the food can differ gradually, especially at tourist areas. So don’t rely on what flyers your hotel might have at the reception desk, but better ask some locals or check out blogs for the best Mediterranean food experiences.

This time we hit Limassol, as well! Last time the hangover was too harsh on us to let us drive what seemed so far, but the guys made sure I check it out and meet with Polina, who lives there. Going to a place with the local is always a different experience, so I’m sure we had the best oysters at Puesta Oyster Bar and Grill. The place is said to have one of the best oysters you can find on the island, but it’s so charming, hidden from tourists, and offers such an amazing variety of seafood and local dishes, that it’s worth a visit even of you are no oyster fan.

Having always thought that Cyprus is a place solely for parties or getting old in a nice house in the rock, I didn’t expect Limassol to be so dynamic. The island is still more of a resort than a modern country, but that’s what islands are attracting us with, isn’t it? Definitely coming back soon to visit the guys again!

Summer, hello! IMG_9476_Facetune_12-05-2019-19-44-00

 


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Mallorca

4D6DDEFD-6929-4893-8B5C-E3ACC36F06E1Hola, Mallorca!

This year my Easter getaway surprisingly didn’t bring me to Portugal again, but back to Mallorca, where I haven’t been since 5-6 years. In fact, it was the first time I saw Palma in daylight. My previous visits started in lines to Pacha and Tito’s and ended on a kebab search mission mostly either still before the sun was up or after I could process the information from my eyes to the brain. So, that was quite a new experience.

Mallorca is great. Is it a great party place? Yes! Would I go to the famous clubs being 26? Nahh. But, again, because I already had all of this when I was 18 and Avicii was still alive. This time it was meant to be about bars, especially taking into consideration that I was with Dani the Barprofi there.

  • Bar Abaco is a place to see. Insanely beautiful. It is something in between Garden of Eden and a place of ancient Greek worship. Never seen decorations this crazy and at the same time harmonised. The drinks quality, unfortunately, as it most always is in such iconic places that attract crowds anyways, very average.
  • Botanic De Can Bordoy wasn’t on my list, we were just walking a tiny street and a beautiful inner yard caught our eye. The sweetest little garden looked something like those hotels on Garda lake. The staff wasn’t interested in a young couple wearing jeans, crowding solely around older guests who looked more representative – an unforgivable mistake for a good place, in my opinion, because you really NEVER know who might be in front of you. But we enjoyed the time in this beautiful and very quiet for the center of a capital city location.
  • Bar Central is a complete opposite: terrace on a pavement of the loudest avenues, tourist crowds passing by, noise and rush concentrated around this oasis of chilling and slowing life down. I love how the southern folks do that thing. Mallorca Delicatessen of Mateu Pons next to the Bar is definitely a shop to visit for typical Catalan souvenirs: jamón, jams, wines and cheeses.
  • Bar Cafe Coto is very bright, Argentinian style, with tiny wobbly tables, great sangrias and pink houses around on beautiful Plaça de la Drassana. It’s cozy both daytime and at night. The colors there saved our mood once we got a rainy day.
  • Ombu is a place that was recommended to me by most of my friends who had visited Mallorca. It’s touristy, but indeed good so to say haute cuisine of tapas.
  • Ca’n Toni – this is where tapas hit the new level. I am no big fan of Spanish cuisine in general and it tires me very fast. This place we found on our last but one evening,  but the line waiting to be seated was so enormous that we only had some wine standing there. So we came back on our last night in Palma – and it was worth it!
  • WhyNot is the smallest bar I’ve ever seen. 8 chairs and the bar – that’s it. Very cute, intimate but not boring thanks to its owner aka bartender always being there and hosting people with his heart and soul. Good drinks and creative and personalised (obviously, in such a tiny place) approach.
  • Brassclub was recommended to us by the owner of WhyNot. It’s a less traditional and more commercial bar, but with great design and classical approach to drinks. A place to visit if you want no sangria but a proper gin tonic.
  • More of the dude’s recommendations are: Door 13, Ginbo, Clandestino, El Neo & Nicolas 
  • Santina is a place for brunches in a non-spanish understanding. For those who can’t replace avocado breads with tortillas.

Palma is great, but the island is so much more. The capital is the best off-season, but for beaches you’d have to explore Mallorca a bit further. Last time we lived in Magaluf – purely a party-resort with an ok beach. There are gorgeous bays like Port de Soller, Cala Deia, Puro Beach, Puerto Andratx, Cala Millor and many more. Even around Palma there are very nice beaches. Bugambilia is a charming hidden restaurant easy to access by public transport or even walking the coastline but impossible to come across unless you know about it. Valldemossa is another beautiful location hidden in the mountains that brings you back in time and just steals your heart away. I am quite sentimental about Mallorca compared to those posts from Pacha in 2013, huh?

Another thing I would definitely recommend doing in Mallorca is flying a hot air balloon.  I did that last time and was enthralled. So, don’t be lazy to get up early one day and see the beautiful island from above during sunrise.

Mallorca, thanks for kicking the summer 2019 off! Only summer views from my window airplane seat as of now! IMG_8163


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UPD: wake up, wake up, sound the alarm

6A47E7CC-94F8-4B0A-96D0-3DA6D9243CDDHeya!

Long time no updates! I can proudly share that this time it’s due to a lot of work and not only a mental breakdown, as it has always been when I didn’t post for long. After more than half a year, I completely plunged into my new job, which now seems like something I have been doing since years, not months. I recently came from my first business trip, to Ukraine. And since it is a country I had never been to before, the experience definitely deserves to be on the blog, too! Will try to manage that some time soonest.

Also, I celebrated my birthday couple weeks ago, coming straight from the flight to a techno Sunday – adult life has a tight schedule! I don’t make any I-grew-older-and-better claims devoting a post to my birthday resolutions since a couple years, so I would like to simply thank all my friends who celebrated with me.

Guys, you are the best! And may the summer party season finally start soon, I just can’t bare the temperature below 25 degrees anymore!

I went to Lignano already twice this year, visited my parents at their second home to be; traveled to Mallorca for a spring break and have actually done so much cool stuff that it’s too much to keep written track of. Working routine makes you completely rethink some values, especially those that demand free time. I am enjoying it very much though, always being on the go, waking up at 6 not because I’m a weirdo but because I actually have stuff to do; balancing my job with socialising, traveling and just doing things. The only thing I am missing is reading more. Where do people as active as I am find time for that? 😦

Another great thing is happening at the moment: my sunshine friend Lisa is in Vienna again! There must be a hashtag #LisainVienna on this blog! It’s always the coolest times with crazy stories whenever she comes over! This time they came together with her boyfriend, and I couldn’t be happier to spend time with them. It’s Lisa’s birthday today and I am just blessed to spend it with her. sending you all her sunshine rays! Love!


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First time in Ukraine

Снимок экрана 2019-05-22 в 19.32.20The biggest untouched spot in Europe has been scratched off my travels map, wohoo! It was not a usual vacation, though, but a business trip. Still one hell of a voyage in 5 days with my route: Kiev-Dnipro-Demurine-Dnipro-Volnohirsk-Zhovti Vody-Kiev-Ivano Frankivsk-Kalush-Kiev. I believe I have seen more of Ukraine that many of the Ukranians did themselves. It was a very diverse and intense experience, from modern and dynamic capital, across a Russian-speaking part, to the deepest quarries lost in the middle of nowhere, followed by visiting oil refineries and metalwire manufactures in the Western Ukraine, so different and mystical (mostly because I didn’t understand the language anymore and wasn’t even sure what I was eating most of the time).

This trip was very eventful, with one meeting followed by another, 300km in Duster followed by a train at 5 a.m., and most of my meals were dedicated to business. But I wouldn’t be me if I hadn’t found 2 hours there – 1 hour there – late night dinner place there, to explore a bit on the go.

Once in Ukraine, the must-eats include: traditional borscht, dranyki, syrniki, vareniki (pierogi: there are dozens of fillings; I love classic potato ones, as well as with a modern twist, like truffles inside; can be sweet, too!), cow’s tongue, salo (fatback) and many more, depending on the region. I found food in the east to be completely different from the west. But everything in Ukraine is so satisfying! Always tastes like homemade from grandma’s kitchen, even in haute cuisine places. Even breakfasts in hotels are nothing we imagine here in Europe, where you barely see a buffet with 3 different soups, 5 hot meat dishes, all kind of potatoes, baked mushrooms, mayonnaise salads or shashlik at 8 a.m.

I have a list of Kiev and Dnipro recommendations from the locals, of course. I have tried out as many as I had the time for. However, I’d like to keep it, as well as expressing my emotions from traveling across Ukraine, for the next time, when I manage to visit more places myself and put together more impressions.

It’s amazing, how much of a life experience can a business trip be! Meeting local people from the tiniest villages and learning about their lifestyle was just as exciting as trying the most expensive truffle pierogi in the capital. See you soon, Ukraine!


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Obertauern

IMG_5826_Facetune_16-03-2019-13-44-36And another new snowboarding location follows!

Despite not having much time off this season to properly go to the Alps for the regular 2 weeks trip I have been doing couple times per season since 14 years (ahh, amazing school/uni years!), I have managed to see surprisingly a lot of new slopes this year!

This trip was an amazing combo of everything, because we first went to Slazburg to celebrate Ruby’s Birthday, which was followed by an amazing skiing and apres-skiing weekend in Obertauern.

For the dinner (which we had en blanc, since it was indeed an outstanding culinary experience), we were invited to Stratmann. It’s one of those places no tourist has never found, and it’s just incredible. It’s one of those cases when I don’t write “if you happen to pass by – definitely check it out”, but “you have to GO there!”.

 

About Obertauern itself I’ve heard a lot, but had never been before. It’s a place for young crowds who want to party, but the slopes are great, too! A wide range of easy routes marked blue (but we found some black adventures as well, so a rider of any level won’t be bored there), and the coolest thing – slopes interconnected in a way that enables a round-trip through the entire area, somewhat like Sella Ronda of Italy.

We were there more to party than to do sports, but I am very proud of us that we actually managed to start at 8 a.m. and were killing it on the slopes until the lifts were closed. Then the apres-ski comes, and it’s amazing there! I lived the place called Kingsalm the most. It’s so rare to hear good techno music on the slopes! Most of the huts play traditional Austrian/Slovenian (depends on the area) music that is made solely for apres-ski and isn’t always the deepest lyrics or the best taste melody, I admit. That place had a great dj every day and even live performers, so cool! The vibe itself is also incredible, already during daytime it turns into Ibiza of the mountains.

There are plenty of traditional huts, too, and they are open all night long, whereas most of the resorts die around dinner time. Here one can surely go crazy! Even fancy restaurants, eg. Peakini, turn into crazy party places that keep the neighbours up all night long. You go, Obertauern!

The season of this year is over and despite loving snowboarding with all my heart, I can’t wait for this spring to start!


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Viennese Balls 2019

Processed with VSCO with m3 presetOne of the most beautiful Viennese traditions: the famous balls. I admit that my absence in the past 2 months has been determined partially by getting ready for balls, then attending them, and then recovering from them. What a life!

This year I attended 3 balls and there is one more to go: the best night of the year, Life Ball. But it’s a completely different format of a ball, and this post is about the traditional ones that are held in Hofburg, the palace those born in the 1900s know from the cartoon “Princess Sissi”.

Viennese Balls are strict in dress code and traditions. Floor length dresses only for women and tuxedos for men. Traditional Austrian clothing, dirndl and trachten, are allowed on a certain occasion. To the ball held by the United Nations, one can be dressed in a national costume of another country, too. That was the one we kicked the ball season off with.

IAEA Staff Association Ball

this one was a lot of fun due to the number of acquaintances we met there. Crowd of young and ambitions people, interesting conversations while drinking wine in gallons, cool fun music and the best techno and disco dance floors out of all balls. Yes, you read it right! There are modern DJs at the balls, too, and after midnight the palace turns into a rave.

Ball der Wiener Wirtschaft

this one is much more traditional than IAEA ball. The crowd is significantly older, but nevertheless dances quadrille with even more enthusiasm than the young ones 😉 The classical part of the ball, from the opening ceremony with debutants to the orchestra and singers of the main ballroom, was of the best quality. Pure aesthetic enjoyment! Also, more seating areas than dance floors, if compared to how the other balls were organised. Suitable for those who are more into music and performance rather than crazy nights out.

Kaffeesiederball

This one is said to be the coolest in Vienna. We had a lot of fun because we gathered a large group of people. Even Polina flew on from London for the occasion. What can be more exciting than a bunch of friends dressed in amazing gowns pre-drinking all together in one of the most elegant bars of Vienna? We chose Park Hyatt Bank Brasserie&Bar for the occasion. Not something that happens every weekend, huh?

Apparently, the pregame was awesome, because we came to the ball itself very late. I would be regretting this a lot if it would be my first ball, but luckily I already saw the opening ceremony of another ball, so didn’t feel left out as we rolled into the palace just before midnight. Next year, however, I would give it a desperate try to show up a bit earlier. But the later you come – the longer you are likely to stay! We stayed until the very end at all balls, but after this one we even went to a club. Also one hell of an experience in a long light gown! But this is Vienna baby, so in fact half of the club was dressed like that, too. Ah, this time of the year! Elegance and never feeling overdressed. I wish I could just wear gowns all year long. Sometimes I do, though. But such occasions as balls really make one feel special.

Since I started talking about Viennese traditions and clothing, in between the balls we had a night of dressing up un traditional Austrian dirndls and going to a heuriger. Usually this is a kind of entertainment for summer, but our dear Olivia had her farewell leaving Vienna for New York, so we had a proper reason.

I am honestly quite excited to be in Vienna the upcoming summer (I always left before) and experience things like Kirtag and all the crazy wine festivals that I missed before.

For now we are saying goodbye to the Ball Season and are looking forward to wearing our gowns again next year, searching for more down to Earth entertainments meanwhile.

 


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Stuhleck & Nassfeld

Processed with VSCO with m5 presetThe mountains! I haven’t spent as much time as I usually do every winter in the Alps this year. The closing of the season is yet to come, though!

We opened the season at Stuhleck: slopes area in Semmering, ca. 1,5h away from Vienna. It is the closest to the capital skiing area which I never even knew existed. I expected 2,5 short slopes for beginners and old-school lifts which throw you down in precipice not slowing down at the stations. So I was quite surprised when discovered a decent slopes map, modern infrastructure and even the convenience of getting there: timetable of a bus that takes you directly to the funicular is adjusted to train arrival times. I liked it and I wish I had another free day to go, since it is a place for a one-day trip (I mean, there are some hotels around, but it’s not necessary to sleep over when Vienna is so close).

The only frustration was the lack of apres-ski – something essential for proper mountain lovers. We did find delicious sausages, Mohnknödel and even musicians singing awfully loud and playing an accordion there; but a classy hut where everyone dances on benches in their skiboots was missing a bit. We still managed to get so drunk that we missed the last skilift load and had to walk 4km through the forest though, so the experience was complete!

My next trip was longer and took me further: to Nassfeld. It is convenient for us to meet up there with my parents when they drive from Lignano. The town of Hermagor where we stayed is relatively small but there are no tourists, only Austrians and some Slovenians. They know how to party Alpine style, so apres-ski was on point since midday already. The slopes area itself is satisfying: suitable for all levels, with nice views over the peaks and a few restaurants to chose from.

But the size matters in this case and I admit that 5 days is max. lenght of stay in Nassfeld if you don’t want to be deadly bored. It is not a loud fun town with a lot going on and all places booked out every night like Sölden or Ischgl. Great for family vacations and for those who seek to have some quite time, but too still for those who can’t sit at home in the evening. So, I would recommend choosing a different location if you are a large group and wanna go for 2 weeks. But for a few days the place is perfect!

Try beef tartar at Bärenwirt and book a table for dinner at Mari e Monti, if you ever come to the place 😉

Meanwhile, I am very excited for the next weekend and our trip with friends to Obertauern! March is my favourite time to be in the mountains. Sunshine and sparkly snow, here we come!