Melk Abbey

I knew I wanted to visit Melk Abbey ever since I found out it has a beautiful library. It turned out that you are not allowed to take any kind of photograph of the library, but I could photograph the rest of the Abbey which was a nice place in an of itself.

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Palm trees

This week I said goodbye to one of the hottest summers in Europe by leaving the rainy, finally cool Vienna and going to Cannes, where the sun was relentless in the clear blue sky, the humidity was high and the sea water was my escape from turning into a raisin. And there were palm trees there. Palm trees are still so exotic to me. I was already a grown woman when I saw some in real life. Up until then I had only seen them in films or photographs of some far away places with glamorous sun tanned people. Now here I was, in one of those places, a place with palm trees. And I may have been more overheated and sweaty than glamorous and sun tanned, but hey, at least there were palm trees in the background.

Бузлуджа (Buzludzha)

If you’ve ever read an article listing strange abandoned places, you’ve probably seen this one. A massive building on top of a peak in the Bulgarian mountains, this place used to be a tribute to the Communist Party until the regime fell. It was supposed to impress everyone going there and show how strong the party was (like everything else they build). And to this day, when you are driving towards this place you see it from kilometres away and you think this thing must be huge. And it is. It’s also falling apart.

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High above Valencia

Valencia was one of the nicest trips I’ve taken. Our apartment was in the centre, the weather was nice, the food was delicious and we had enough time to see everything and to take it easy. And so when we went up the Cathedral at the end of our 4 day trip in May, we knew what we were looking at. We saw the terrace of our AirBnb where we had breakfast, we saw the City of Arts and Sciences in the background where we went to twice, we saw the Gate Tower we had just climbed and we looked at people’s terraces, longingly, as people who don’t have such a luxury at home. We saw the old town and the modern part. The palm trees and the brown buildings. The view was well worth the small entrance price to the tower of the Cathedral and the climbing of the winding steps that I so viscerally hate.

Climbing towers is the most exhausting and yet most rewarding thing a person can do in a new city. I’ve climbed towers in Pisa, Prague, Copenhagen and Edinburgh. And yet, if there is an option for an elevator, you can bet your ass you will find me on the queue for the elevator.

High above Copenhagen

The Rundetaarn or Round Tower in Copenhagen is one of the nicer towers I’ve ever climbed. Not only is it roomy it also has no stairs. I repeat, no stairs to remind me I’m not doing enough cardio and to make me question if I have claustrophobia or if it’s normal to feel a bit disconcerted while being out of breath in a small space tens of meters above ground.

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Loch Ness

Loch Ness totally lives off the Nessie hype, but hey it’s better than what most places have. A legendary prehistoric monster beats a tired ghost story any day. I went on a search for the monster myself during my visit to Scotland last month. My boyfriend and I took a one day tour from Edinburgh to the Highlands and Loch Ness. It was 12 hours, at least 7 of them spent on a bus, but the scenery and the driver’s stories kept me entertained, so that I didn’t even want to take a nap, in order to not miss anything.
We stopped at Fort Augustus in the afternoon and had time to walk around the lake, buy some fish and chips and expensive souvenirs (there are places where you just have to buy a touristy souvenir and this is one of them – I settled for a Nessie tea infuser). The village is a small one, but it’s thriving because of the tourism (check out the monster themed beers in the gas station). The lake itself is the second biggest in Scotland and it may or may not be an actual home to a giant monster. There are also boat tours from the village, for those who want to explore further.

I remember watching a documentary about Loch Ness and the monster when I was young. I was fascinated by it and I wanted to go there, but I didn’t really think that I would. It seemed so far away to a small, poor child in Eastern Europe. Now that I finally have the chance to travel, I am glad I went there. Even though we spend just over an hour there and we couldn’t explore the area as well as I wished, it was definitely worth it.

Schönbrunn

Last week when I wrote my post on Schloss Hof I wanted to link to my post on Schönbrunn, another impressive, yellow, Baroque palace in Austria, but to my dismay, I didn’t have a post on Schönbrunn. I was convinced it must have been one of my first posts, because it was one of the first things I fell in love with in Vienna, but apparently I never wrote it. I only had a post on the Schönbrunn zoo, but that isn’t even the best part (no offence, tiger, I still love you).

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