My Eurotrip experience.

Hello world,

in one of the previous posts I wrote about my trip to Bieszczady Mountains, which is a range of hills in Southern Poland. I loved the trip, because not only had I had a pleasure to try pure spirits, but also it was my first ever trip when I swam in a lake. Before I ventured to this amazing place I had a pleasure of experiencing one of the most amazing trips of my life: EUROTRIP.

The task was quite easy, I live in Europe, so my only concern was to get a car, pack and book some hotels on the way. I went with my boyfriend Floret, of course, and our companion: my fluffy grey cat from Nicci, which was quite useful when we slept in a tent under olive trees in Croatia.

We started our trip in Warsaw, where we live, and first travelled to a Hungarian city of Eger. On our way there we had to drive through Slovakia, where we were really conscious since it’s extremely easy to get a fine for everything, but even though – of course – we got a fine for speeding. On the border with Hungaria. Literally looking at the sign of the country. We had 45 km/h on a 40 km/h limit, but they still imposed a mandate on us of 200 Euros. I’m looking at you Slovakian Police, stop!

After Eger, where we also visited Miscolc Topolca, we went to the capital city Budapest, where we spent three days travelling back and forth throughout a beautiful, old streets, eating hummus and drinking wine on the bank of Danube river with some very nice, old German people. We ate delicious food and both Floret and I enjoyed it very much.

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Budapest is a city known for it’s architecture, especially the building of the parlament, which is quite astonishing.

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Here it is just on the other side of the river. The weather did not spoil us, but we still got a lot of time simply enjoying little streets and food.

Later on we went to Zagreb, a capital of Croatia, where we visited a ZOO and were sightseeing for two entire days. Since we are both engineers we visited Technical Museum of Zagreb, where we enrolled into classes about Tesla (the greatest) and his inventions. It was for kids, and in croatian, so we understood only what the lecturer showed us and with knwoledge from our physics background we were really excited to try some experiments.

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The city of Zagreb is very misterious and looks a little like Warsaw.

A little digression here: You know how when you go home you look through pictures to see how they turned out? Most of the pictures taken by Floret, were pictures of… You’d think me, maybe some nice sites… No. Of our car. He literally took ten pictures of our car in different places. Men are weird. 

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At least our car got to take a picture with panorama of Zagreb 😉

After Zagreb, we went to one of the most beautiful places I’ve ever seen, the oldest national park in Croatia and one of the places on the UNESCO World Heritage register. Before we embarked on a hiking trip there I had a little accident – I left my laptop in one of the restaurants on the way. Luckily they wrote me on Facebook later and gave it back – Croatians are really nice. Thanks, lovely waiter guy!

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The trip was quite interesting and it took multiple hours (I think we hiked for like 6?) but it was totally worth it, just look at that water… It’s magnificent. The color is a result of sedimentation and limestone on the bottom, creating a fairytale look, that honestly, in real life looks just like the pictures.

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What is interesting there is that you can pass a lot of waterfalls and rivers, which look astonishing and make you realize, how beautiful our world is.

20160528_105532.jpgIf you are wondering right now – yes, I did take all these pictures myself, no joke.

After hiking we drove straight to the campsite, where we found a little river (of the same color) and we enjoyed a calm, warm evening sipping wine from cups with smurfs printed on. It was my first night ever in a tent – I start to sound a little like I was brought up in a shed, but really, it was my first time ever. The tent was very tiny (I think 1+) and I had to sleep with my back against the side, with moisture all over me. Thanks to this trip we bought and new tent now and are prepared for camping like pros.

Because we didn’t plan our trip in a great detail and only booked some hotels along the way, we decided to be spontaneous and travel to Krk Island to get some relax on the beach. We wanted to visit Dubrovnic where The Game of Thrones is shot, but we decided it was too far away.

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The island is absolutely beautiful. You can get there only through a bridge (for which you have to pay – that’s kind of weird). There are several towns here, where you can visit very old little church built of stone, very nice restaurants and a city of Punat, where we chose to stay. We slept under olive trees, in a tent, just next to our car on a campsite. There was a storm there that almost made me pee my pants, I swear, being in a tent during a thunderstorm is not funny, so we arranged bottles of wine and played cards for almost a whole night.

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Days are very lazy there in Punat. Beaches are great, although full of stones and we had to travel through the whole island to find one where there was sand. On the way there we also found a cevapi stand where we ate almost everyday – ayvar, the condiment made of paprika, is so amazingly tasty there… I have to buy some more!

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Since we didn’t want to only lay on the beach and burn our asses we took several trips through surrounding hills and found these guys. Actually, the picture was taken just because we were interested in how the foundations of the high voltage tower were made, but I centered a picture to be more interesting to you guys 🙂 The little island you see there is one where you can swim in a boat to and spend some romantic time on a picnic – you should try it!

It came a time where, with a broken heart, we had to leave for another place – Slovenia. I actually wanted to stay longer in Croatia, but we booked a rafting trip and had to meet our appointment.

Slovenia is…

I have no words, if you think Plitvice Lakes were amazing… Slovenia is just like… I don’t know, if you drank an elixir of happiness you’d end up there, for sure.

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This was our view from the hotel room. The host greeted us with wine and chips and all day long I could look at this mountain (Triglav) like on the painting of the greatest painters. Since we booked a rafting trip – which I was very scared of bearing in mind I just learned how to swim – we went there right away. I was unsure and freaking out, but it was one of the best experiences I ever lived through. We couldn’t film or take pictures there without GoPro, so I’m going to show you a video from YouTube. That was so much fun!

The water was ice-cold and during rafting our instructor chose to stop and let us jump from a huge stone in the river with such a strong current I was fighting with myself for 10 straight minutes if I should jump or not. I stood there, on this rock and wanted to jump, but my body didn’t want to move! Seriously, it was such an incredible experience, to fight my own fear. Finally, I jumped. But I was shaking from excitement!

Later we decided to try another typically Slovenian thing… we drove our car onto the train and we travelled by train in it!

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Very weird, especially in the tunnels, but  fun experience nevertheless. I shot a great video with my phone on that trip and I sent it to my mother. I hope one day I will be brave enough to show my face on this blog and share it with you guys.

We also visited a city of Bled with a gigantic castle way above a beautiful, also very blue, lake.

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This looks like I took a picture of a mirror, or I rendered it badly in Photoshop, but  trust me, it really does look just like that! The city is worldwide famous for its cake, which – of course – I had to try. Yummy!

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After eating all that sugar we had to find a way to burn it and since there is no good visit to the mountains (here Triglavski National Park) without a good old hike, we had some.

20160607_102514.jpgSlovenia is really an amazing place. All the people I met there (where we lived in Kranska Gora or where we went) were extremely nice. The owner of the house we stayed in (called Smucka – check it out on booking.com) let us use his grill, his own bikes (really nice ones – and advised us to bike to Italy. Doesn’t it sound weird? Like I could literally take a bike and go to Italy… in like two hours. Oh, Europe, you’re great!) and even washed our clothes! We promised to come back and for it we received a nice, handmade candle holder, which stands on my living room shelf till this day!

20160607_115944.jpgUnfortunately, we had to leave Slovenia and head back home, but not until we visited Vienna and a great aquapark next to it. I wanted to see Vienna because I’m very much interested in european royal families and their palaces – both Austria and Poland have some in common, including several kings. We’ve seen both Schonbrunn and Hofberg.

20160609_111330.jpgGerdens in Schonbrunn.

20160608_143003.jpgHofburg Palace, which is quite interestingly just in the middle of the city. Also, I learned a lot about empress Sisi, who is one of the most fascinating royals I’ve ever heard of (not to mention beautiful). Check her out in the website of Sisi Museum in Schonbrunn.

What should any of you do before leaving Vienna? Eat Saher Chocolate Cake, Schnitzel and of course visit the famous Wiener Prater which is an amusement park first opened in 1766!

After Vienna we headed back home with a plan for another EUROTRIP. To be honest we think of doing two: one for western Europe (I want to shop Portugal to Floret since I lived there for a year) and one for the North (Scandinavia).

Since this trip produced so many amazing pictures I decided to start a special chronicle of my trips with Floret. I will share some pieces with you in some of the next posts.

Wish me lack and tell me something about your trips in the comments!

Dorota

 

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Terrible thoughts on The Rain.

I’m not an aggressive person. Quite frankly I’m probably one of the calmest flowers on a freaking lake of life, slowly drifting with a current without ever bothering anyone. That is until I turned on the new Netflix series The Rain, and became an enraged bull!

You know this thought process in your head that just because Netflix did Stranger Things and this German series Dark, it cannot do any wrong? I thought so too, I was actually excited when I saw a poster of The Rain on one of the buildings in my city. I pass it everyday on my way to work and I was getting more and more interested until yesterday – obviously because I have to study for my license exam – I watched four episodes – and it got me so pissed, I’m still shaking.

I swear, I got so worked up my boyfriend Floret warned me he will turn the tv off if I keep constantly commenting what’s going on. Obviously, I have to let off steam now when he can’t listen, so buckle up dear readers, because oh boy, this will be a ride!

Let me stop here for a breath of not so fresh big city air and a little preface:

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The idea for this series reminds me highly of The Last of Us game on PS4, which I adore (like all the other products of Naughty Dog – which I will be talking about next week, so I’ll shut up now) and quite frankly this made me even more interested in The Rain. It starts with a family of four, running away from the virus spread by the rain – leading role plays a father who is a scientist working for a company called Apollon (sounds like an Umbrella Corporation to me). They hide in a bunker underground belonging to the firm and are shocked to see that a mysterious virus spreads across the country (in this case Denmark). The father parts ways with the rest of the family in order to “save the world” cliché. Everything until now is fine for me, I watch it interested, I’m not even sipping on wine that stands right in front of me. But then… I can’t really describe it without cussing – sorry guys – so PG 18 alert!

These kids, 11-year-old boy and an 18-year-old girl, are so stupid I can’t watch it sitting down. Their father tells them – it’s dangerous, don’t go out, don’t ever open the door, don’t even think of leaving until I come back, and then what? They open the freaking door! I can’t handle it, seriously, I was just jumping on my couch like: “if your scientist father tells you it’s dangerous outside – it is freaking dangerous outside!”. So sit your ass on the chair and wait.

After opening the door did not go so well, the girl has a sudden realization (literally, I’m not even kidding) “I shouldn’t have opened the door”. No shit, Sherlock.

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So after some time when all their food is gone they decide to leave. Very  smart, to leave just once you have one tiny box of food left. The girl leaves first, in pitch black, during the night. I would think that after some time if you don’t know what’s going on outside you’d probably choose to go out during the day ’cause you could at least see something, but the director of this show had another idea. Smart.

No worries, it goes worse with every second! The brother is probably the most annoying character I’ve seen on TV. He is such a spoiled brat I wished I could get into the series just to smack him across the face. He is whining about everything, I don’t think I’ve seen even one scene when he wasn’t infuriating. Such a little bitch, I swear.

After they meet some additional characters (my theory – there is always someone needed to die in the background) they venture to the city of Copenhagen. For at lest 15 minutes all you hear is that it’s dangerous there, because scavengers roam the city to get everybody’s food. What’s the logical choice to do when you enter the city during virus-apocalypse? Walk in the middle of a 4 lane street and later go to freaking Burger King, eat your packed-bunker-food there and hope nobody is gonna kill you for it. Seriously? SERIOUSLY?! Who the hell directed it?!

I checked by the way, but these are some crazy Danish names and I can’t handle copying it. 

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I just finished the show and it makes no sense whatsoever. I swear, I liked the vibe and the whole series wasn’t all rubbish, but honestly… I would never choose to watch it ever again. They generally ripped a great The Last of Us story, simply changing it from zombie-apocalypse into the virus one, except Ellie is not so damn annoying and you actually feel sad when side characters die. In case of The Rain I felt like… nah, who cares.

To be honest, I’m not saying: “don’t ever watch it”. I’m saying be prepared, because you might get annoyed. Or angry. Or pissed.

Sorry for my ranting tonight, but I really had to get it off my chest!

Dorota

How to stop being broke?

If you’re suffering from lack of money and are wondering why is it that some people always seem to have cash and you’re constantly broke, I think I might have a hint for you – you’re shopping inefficiently!

Please don’t tell me now other people have cash because they earn more. That is a misconception that grew into stereotype, when in reality the difference is: they’re frugal and you’re not. First example: me. I earn quite a lot of money for my age, but at the end of the month I struggle to be able to afford basic domestics. On the other hand, one of my best friends is an aspiring artist who seems to always have cash even though she earns a third of what I do. Since I noticed this phenomenon I became more aware of what I buy and how I manage my money. I hope this post is going to give you some ideas that might help you take care of your budget.

Disclaimer:

i suck at saving money

I really do suck at saving, I don’t think I ever had real savings my entire life. The following tips come from my personal experience, but I have yet to establish how to use them in a long run. Any tips?

  1. Buy only what you really need.

This goes for food, clothes, appliances, electronics and home decor – although if you really want to save money you don’t need anything else than food. Each time you think you need to buy something, immediately drink a glass of water, sit down and simply don’t do it. If you lived for a year without a dishwasher, and you struggle with cash, probably you don’t need the dishwasher that much. If your closet is full of clothes don’t buy another white t-shirt or jeans, rather keep your money for a time, when you’d be needing something important.

In case of food, I heard from various sources how you need a list of groceries to be sure you only buy necessities. That is true, I don’t usually go to the supermarket without a list either, but what you need to keep in mind is that even though you have one, you might still buy a lot of unnecessary items. Example: today I made a list of things I should buy for another three days. I folded it and put it in my purse, but just before I left I went to grab some water from the fridge and realised I listed a lot of things I already had! Hence, whenever you decide to go shopping look through your cupboards, fridge and refrigerator to learn what you really have there and maybe during that routine you might invent dishes that don’t need additional shopping – my favourite: spaghetti alio olio.

Another frugal thing I learned recently is to eat less meat. Meat is expensive – it deteriorates fast and you need to spend a lot of time to prepare it, plus you might feel bloated and tired from excess in your diet – shop smarter and more consciously.

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2. Find additional sources of income.

The best tip to not be broke is to earn more and from various sources. I work full-time for a company in Warsaw, but I also cooperate with other companies just to have additional source of income. If you can’t get another job, think about contacting your supervisor about a raise, or some additional benefits. Another way to do it is to get rid of the things you don’t need anymore, but other people may perceive useful – sell those off e-bay and save the money for later.

3. Look for small saving opportunities.

Don’t spend money on useless crap is more approriate for a title here, but it corresponds too much with point number one, so let me stay with the “look for small saving opportunities”. Generally, don’t spend money on… plastic bags – take some from home, gym membership cards if you’re too lazy to ever practice, paid applications on your iPad or phone – cause you don’t need any of it, even if you think you do, magazines and newspapers – use the Internet instead. Don’t buy bottled water if you have the same one or better in your tap, don’t buy fancy notebooks, pens etc. if you have a lot of them lying around your house. Don’t buy flowers, eat at restaurants, drink at pubs… generally live like a freaking monk for a while, but trust me, you will be rewarded. And, oh boy, it will be worth it!

4. Because the whole reason for saving up is to be able to spend it later on something totally worth it!

Keep your goal in mind and work towards it! If it’s a trip, renting a dream car (looking at you Floret), expensive camera or even paying up your debts. Work hard for it and you’ll finally achieve all your goals! Living life frugaly has to have a purpose, and collecting money is a crappy one, trust me. Money does not bring happiness, unless it’s a mean to achieve what you want. So buckle up on your adventure to whatever it is you need to save money for.

Btw. If anyone of you will tell me you don’t need to save money because you don’t have any debts, but in the same time you have mortgage on your house, credit or your balance on the credit card is not 0, than you are an idiot and you should save money cause you’re drowning in debt! If you are not in debt, you don’t owe money to ANYONE! Simple as that.

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Dorota