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Lignano-Rome-Saint Petersburg-TBA

I love this feeling, when I’m writing a post while almost boarding a plane to somewhere new. Because I know that once I am there – I’ll have so many fresh impressions that going back to previous trips will be tough.

So, a quick recap of my August before the last trip of this summer (unbelievable!) starts.

Lignano, Rome and Saint Petersburg, together with Barcelona and Venice where I went just before, are my most visited cities. Nevertheless, I am no less excited to go there every summer again and again! Lignano is like my second home now, a short vacation getaway at any time when I need it; Rome, Venice and Barcelona are just my perfect cities for a weekend, despite tourist crowds and all that what the locals hate, for me their energy I get charged with is worth making my way through any crowd; Saint Petersburg… well, I used to call this place home. And it still has a big part of my heart that I left there forever. It’s nice when it’s not broken but is left with my best friends who live there, and I can always visit and dive back into how it used to be; priceless opportunity.

This time in Lignano was special, because I went with Dani. It’s amazing to bring along someone you love and show them “your” place, with special corners, favourite restaurants, tennis courts from where I sent him so many pictures with parents. For him it is also a special area, where he spent a big deal of his childhood. Chilling on the beach sipping Aperols, stuffing ourselves with the best foods, reading on the rooftop while he is getting his sleep recap for the past year. I already can’t wait to be there next June again and reopen another amazing season!

Trip to Rome was also very cozy and full of comfort. You see cities completely differently once stop being a first-time tourist there. When this rush to see/eat/photograph all the musts is over, comes the time to fully enjoy the city. I was also very glad to go with Lena and spend some quality time together before she moves to Moscow.

Regarding the places, we were mostly sticking to my favourite route that I described last year, with mandatory meals at Urbana 47 and Cantina e Cucina, adding Campo de’ Fiori, rooftops at Forum Hotel, Monti Palace Hotel and Capo d’Africa, pizzeria Emma and cultural stiff outside of Vatican for the first time: MAXXI Museum of Modern art impressed us a lot; whereas Galleria Borghese where I wanted to go since many years turned out to be a big disappointment. Everything is relative!

We visited during Ferragosto, so a lot of places I wanted to visit were closed. It’s like I could’t manage to see Trevi Fountain for like 4 years in a row while it was on reconstruction, same is happening with Mercato Monti for me now. Next year, maybe!IMG_3894 2 Going to Saint Petersburg had even more wonderful purpose than eating and looking at Caravaggio. I was invited to my dear friend’s wedding. Skakun is Skakun no more! This was so beautiful and full of love that I couldn’t be happier for my friends.

Saint Petersburg is a place full of love for me even without such magical events as weddings, thanks to my friends and the memories there that don’t fade after more than 7 years.

I got to meet many more people than are in the pics, which makes it an absolute strike in terms of amount of cathing-ups in 36 hours. I love you, guys!

So do I love crab meat! Lisa, as always, took me on a gastro tour. Last time shawarma was what impressed me the most, together with Subzero, which I hit again for breakfast (because why not sushi for breakfast). The new discoveries were Harvest and DuoAsia, and they brought to an absolute ecstasy state.

As hard as it always is to say goodbye to my friends in Russia, was saying goodbye to those who are leaving Vienna now. Too many goodbyes at once for me!

As always when writing a post on the go, I have no time to properly wrap it up now. But maybe it’s even better this way, before I get too sentimental. Time to pack suitcases! For someone it’s bringing a new stage of life, may it be marriage or moving from Vienna, to me it will be opening a door that I closed 10 years ago.

Yup, I am finally going to New York!


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BCN’19

5EB73EA4-D97E-435E-946F-1AEE62BD89CABarcelona! Even the sound of this name drags the happiest moments out of my memory. I spent my happiest sunny days in that loud, fast and crazy city. From going to Port Aventura first time when I was 12 to actually living in Barcelona as a local in 2017, I have seen so many sides of it, including fixing air conditioner myself and being robbed or caught in a terrorist attack, yet I love it with all my heart and will always be coming back.

Two year break was longer than I could expect when left it last time. But maybe it was needed in order to see it again with fresh eye and appreciate even more. I was happy to bring along Anfisa who had never been there and enjoy the tourist stuff together with the local hidden places from my own experience and from tips that local friends always share.

Walks from el Raval to el Born through the Gothic Quarter, eating hangover crepes at Creps al Born, finding the most stylish tiny boutiques when getting lost in chaotic streets pattern, grabbing empanadas on Boqueria mercat when on the way to Barceloneta for a swim and a lemonade at Surf House – I swear I started crying few times from all the emotions and flashbacks those three days gave me.

But in fact, the first reason for our trip was visiting Sónar Festival.

I must admit the lineup was not as amazing as one could expect on a festival of such scale, and sound quality was suffering a few times at the venue of Sonar by Night. But it was nevertheless a great party, and we were happy we didn’t expect too much and definitely weren’t frustrated. Our main focus was still Barcelona itself. I can’t describe the beauty and energy of it – you have to experience it yourself! I can, however, describe my favourite thing, the food, which I will FINALLY do in the next post, together with all the previous tips I gathered in the past years. One new place to see was Casa Vicens – one of the first Gaudi masterpieces. It opened for visitors in 2017 and I am more than glad we made it there! It’s so much more worthy to see in comparison with the other venues that are flooded with tourists since years and lost their charm already. If you are in Bcn any time soon – make sure to visit it before the world knows about it 😉

My summer in Bcn in 2017 was so intense that I never kept on writing any posts that I was planning (I really tried). The emotions are still with me, but let me leave some memories from the best summer ever here ❤

Bcn, 2017:

See you soon again, hottie!


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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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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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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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2019 go!

Happy New Year 2019!

This is not a post of resolutions, I stopped making those when was 15 because, sorry, it’s stupid. If you need change in life – you don’t necessarily wait for nasty weather of January to start making it happen. This is more of an appreciation post. Thanking 2018 for being over, too.

There were a lot of changes for me in 2018 (most happened in summer btw, so nice weather is indeed alright to make things different). I graduated, and Uni Wien is soaking less soul out of me now (MA program still does its best, though); started an awesome job, first time working full-time in life, which was not as much of a shocking change as I anticipated and was warned by everyone; I traveled: visited my beloved Italy 5 times and came back to my favorite place on Earth, Hong Kong, and the only thing I promise to do in 2019 is to write posts about it which I’ve been postponing since 2016, as well as explored new places like mind-blowing Korea, hidden castles of Germany, new places in awesome Portugal together with re-discovering the well-known ones; rode tens of km’s of new slopes combined with the old good resorts. I went to Russia few times, saw Sochi where I spent so much time as a child looking all brand new now; even visited Nizhnii Novgorod! Felt young and crazy again on Malta with the girls. Together with my parents, we found a new home-to-be. I am happy that before starting to work a lot, I devoted enough time to seeing my family, spent good deal of time with Dani’s family and managed to have more reunions with friends than usually and even to come to St P where a big part of my heart still is; I cried at the first wedding of a close friend, hugged my mom and dad on their Birthdays, was by Dani’s side during his glorious moments like creating the World’s biggest negroni and, in general, didn’t miss out on any fun.

Despite all that greatness, 2018 was one of the hardest years ever for me and for my close ones. So, happy it’s over and looking forward to a more easygoing 2019, please!

 

Happy New Year and may the Force be with y’all!