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Zugspitze. The Top of Germany. 5 things to expect while visiting.

With 2962 m (9,718 ft) above sea level, the Z U G S P I T Z E is the highest mountain in Germany. It lies South of Germany near the beautiful traditional Bavarian town called Garmisch-Partenkirchen and the Austria–Germany border. You can read all about it in the well maintained Wikipedia page.

There are some things though that Wikipedia or any other official web sites does not tell you about this unique and wonderful experience:

1. Expect a huge mass of tourists.

The good and bad thing (at the same time) is that literally ANYONE can get there: yes, your grandma too if she does not have any hearth or respiratory problems, and all the kids next door and yes you can take your dog too. There are cable cars 🚠 and a cogwheel train 🚎 and if you want you can wear your flipp-flopps 👡 or high heels 👠 and still can make it almost (see point 2. for explanations) to the top ⛰

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2. You will probably not make it to the very top

As much as you want that victorious picture while toughing the summit, this might not be the case if you can not rock climb a bit and have at least some proper shoes. The cable car’s  🚠  end station is a few meters under the peak level and on a twin peek. You will literally need to climb up bare hands to the top. Before being brave and trying to jump with your street shoes to go up, take in consideration the iced rocks and the ravines on all sides. Don’t wanna scare you, just keep it safe 😉

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3. Caution! Construction site.

As much as unreal it sounds, at almost 3000 m beside rocks and little birds,  in summer time there are some important constructions going on :O  At the highest station of the cable car some ares are being closed for renovation, both inside and outside.

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4. The weather

As any mountain weather it can be unpredictable af  😀  If you are flexible with your visiting dates, than check the weather before and try to go on a sunny day. Even so it is not guaranteed that after midday the clouds would not gather gratefully exactly and only on the peak. This had happened on the day we went up, but it still was a unique and breathtaking experience while “flying” in the cable car in and out of fluffy white clouds. ☁️ ☁️ ☁️

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5. Ticket prices

All those majestic landscapes, the panoramic restaurant at ~2950m, the cable car and the cogwheel train experiences have a fair price that needs to be payed. Prepare to take out of your pocket 53 EUR for an adult ticket. This includes an ascent and descent with the cogwheel train and multiple entries for the Gletscherbahn cable car, on the day of your visit. You can find all current prices for summer 2017 here.

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But all in all those breathtaking landscapes were seen, those stunning pictures were made 📷 , another beautiful and popular destination was checked ✔ and I can brag now that I was literally on the top of Germany ⛰🤗👌

Feel free to comment about your tips or your experience on the Zugspitze (or other destinations).

Share and like to Spread the Travel Love.

With love as usually, Ioana ❤

 

travel

Pisa and the Thriller zombies

We all know the famous “Thriller” video from Michael Jackson made in 1982 and we all know the famous Leaning Tower of Pisa. What do these two have in common? If you do not know, I tell you: The zombies… 🙂 😛 🙂

Around 13 years ago I was here for the first time and I remember how impressed I was of the tower and all the historical stories around it. As a good young tourist I was, I took some nice pictures with the tower, I bought the postcards, the leaning tower itself, the key chain and left home happily with my souvenirs and nice memories.

J U N E   2 0 1 7 a new experience was waiting for me in the Era of mobile phones, cameras, selfie sticks and digitalizations: hundreds of tourist with their hands up, doing hand stand, throwing kicks, standing in naughty positions all remind me perfectly of the above mentioned video 🙂

Let us count together the “zombies” (people having their hands up) in this picture.

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and in this one. 🙂 🙂 🙂

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The tower itself is a beautiful construction, the square itself is a wonderful place (where you are not allowed to step on the grass) and the experience is priceless in all the ways possible. After 2 hours on a hot Sunday afternoon, crowd, ambulant sales, street artists, security with machin guns, I took my nice summer hat and left content for being able to live this experience. This time the only souvenir I have are some nice pictures that bring a smile on my face each time.

But not before I took one picture myself. I made this one specially for you ❤

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Thank you so much for reading. Fell free to like and share. Leave a comment to tell us how your Pisa experience was.

With ❤ from Ioana.

S P R E A D I N G   T R A V E L   L O V E.

Cuisine, travel

Eat. Travel. Capture. Cuisine sightseeing

It is June now, it is warm and the summer has finally started. How to celebrate summer better than going to the sea side. For this begging of the hot season I chose  I T A L Y  and more specifically Cinque Terre. And no I did not regretted a second this decision: sunny hot summer days, warm sea water, still green landscape, and delicious-amazing food.

Herby I present you… C I N Q U E   T E R R E and the surroundings…

R I O M A G G I O R E

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M A N A R O L A

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T E L L A R O

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F I A S C H E R I N O

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Don’t forget to S P R E A D   T R A V E L   L O V E. Feel free to like, comment or share your thoughts about traveling and local cuisine.

travel

Solo travel. But not alone. 6 Travel Ideas

The inspiration for this post came after having a short conversation on the blog post  “5 Reasons to travel in low season” about “the courage” or will that you need to have in order to travel solo. I guess you need a good dosage of will, courage and madness 🙂 to take the decision to do this, but I promise that after you do it once you will see that it is not so scary or big deal as you might have though before.

And who decided that if you solo travel you have to be alone? No. No. And no! That is a false concept and not something any of us want. Hereby I wrote a beautiful list for you with travel ideas you can take part in alone and not be on your own:

1.Road trip and visiting friends on the way

Personally this is how I started my solo travel many many years ago (I don’t want to say how many so you do not think I am old 😛 ). I was still in my student times, while the summers were hot and everybody was away. You do not have to do anything big: I took a tour through the west and center of the country and in some places I had some friends to visit/ meet up or sleep at. It was a budget backpacking- camping tour, worry less and fun.

Moving to nowadays the option would be to take a holiday where on the way you meet or stay at people you know (friends, family or friends of friends that you trust). You do have company from time to time and you also have the freedom to explore and do your own things when the others are “busy” with their daily lives.

2. Take a learning vacation

4 summers ago after doing 2 weeks of solo travel around Spain and Portugal I decided that I would better spend my holiday with people that share the same interest like me. Next summer I booked 2 weeks of Spanish Course at a nice language institute in Malaga, Spain. BEST DECISION EVER. Not only that in 2 weeks I manage to get some Spanish basics but we manage to have a great group of young fun people with the same schedule like yours and also ready to go to beach/ sightseeing/ party/ tapas/ shopping  you name it. And if you think that this is for young people only, well it is not. The Institute had also senior groups with their own schedule, that of course collided with ours from time to time. The Internet is filled with resources and not only for language courses.

3. Join a retreat

Wellness, healthy food, sports, nature what could you wish for more for a true relaxing holiday? Don’t panic directly at your first search and see the prices, because there are some really fancy all inclusive retreats in very exotic locations. Take some time to search a bit and decide exactly what you want to do according to your budget. Choose where you want to stay and if you want or prefer self-sufficiency, half board or all inclusive. There are retreats that go as low as 30$/ day and the locations variety is almost limitless: Europe/ Asia/ Latin America/ USA/ Australia/ Oceania almost any place you can think of. Start somewhere close in place that looks appealing to you. Please read the reviews before and make sure you feel comfortable with all the goods and bads. The idea is to go there and have the time of your life! DO IT and ENJOY IT!

4. Join a volunteering program

Now is the time to travel and support a cause you stand for. Whether is health, education, environment or a conservation project that is up to you. There are programs for all. This way you use your time and knowledge for a matter you stand for and also enjoy an unique and extraordinary experience abroad. During your stay you will meet people that are permanently in the project and fellow volunteers like you. Feel free to explore the resources of the Internet. They are abundant and you can find projects for all budges and time limits (even for a week).

5. Join an organised travel tour

This is one of the easiest and common ways for travelers and solo travelers to see the world and be accompanied in their holiday. Buying a travel tour where for 1, 2, 3 weeks you travel with a bus/ fairy boat, a guide and an already made plan of the places you will visit and places where you will eat and sleep. Easy as that. You are always accompanied and have a guarantee of safety from the company you travel with and the guide. During my life I did 3 tours like this: a bus tour through Italy (16 days), a bus tours through the Nordic countries (18 days) and a bus/ train tour through Sri Lanka (2 weeks – Sept. 2015). I was accompanied in all of them, but in each of them there were amazing people traveling alone. Sri Lanka was my first time in Asia and it was the best way to travel to an unknown culture. Our local guide presented very nicely many aspects about the country and places we visited and also thought us about the does and don’ts in a Buddhist country so we avoid any “cultural mistakes”.

6. Paid sponsored programs

This is more particularly and won’t apply to everybody but I will mention it anyway. Accordingly to the area you work in there might a good chance to find partially/ fully sponsored programs.  This take place usually in summer time and the purpose is to meet and share experiences with fellow colleagues from other countries that work in same/ similar domain like yours. This applies in many cases for teachers or researchers and some volunteering programs. Take this in consideration and inform yourself of about it.

I wish you a safe, amazing and unforgeable journey and remember…

YOU ARE NEVER ALONE! 🙂

~.~.~

Feel free to like and share this post and leave a comment to tell us how you did started to travel solo or how would you do it best.

With Love from Ioana, spreading travel love ❤

travel

5 Reasons to travel in low season

Last week I came back from spending 6 beautiful days in Malta, in the island of Gozo. This was my third time in Malta and the first time completely off season (beginning of April). By far was the time I could feel the most the real Maltese life, could enjoy the amazing nature, the green landscapes and the sea, without having to make myself way through a crowd of selfie sticks and pointing tablets. Here are my top 5 reasons why traveling in the low season is a an amazing idea:

1.  Few Tourists. No Tourists.

The definition of  low season is the period in the year when the fewest people visit a place and when the prices are at their lowest level* .

This is finally your chance to take that selfie you always wanted and all your friends could be jealous off.  No more waiting 30 minutes in line to take a good shot or to have 20 other people around looking like in the Thriller video from Michael Jackson. Now is the time for your glorious moment.

2. Better contact with the locals

For me travelling means getting to know a new land or a new culture, the cuisine, their traditions or local customs, learning a bit of the language or some of the local history. How could you live all this better than somewhere in the country side, in a guest house, far away from crowded hotels, eating at some local imbiss? And to have all this almost stress free, traveling off season is one solution.

Not being overwhelmed by the hot weather in the main season and the huge amount of tourists, the locals have finally more time to interact with you, to advise you or to show you around. If you usually stay inside tourist groups I highly recommend you to try getting in contact with the locals. It is indeed a beautiful and rewarding experience that you can have in a foreign country.

3. Prices

Lower demand, lower prices – the most simple rule in economy. Not only that you will find better deals for accommodation and flights, but also most entrances at most tourist attraction have special prices for the low season. YEY for amazing adventures on budget prices! 🙂

4. Nature

This is by far my favorite reason from all 5 mentioned. From the weather conditions in a sun and sand resort low season means the coldest and wettest months, whereas in a ski resort, this means the warmest months. Travelling in a different season will reveal the nature and the landscapes in a totally new perspective. The countries that have monsoon for example have an abundance of flowers and green vegetation in the rainy season. Malta offered me in April green fields with poppies and many filed flowers, colored birds that stop on their way from Africa to the central Europe and cute violet jelly fishes at the beach. And yes maybe it rains more than usually, but we are not made out of sugar 😉

5. The silence

I know how to enjoy a good company but I also know how to enjoy a beautiful quiet place with a good view, good food, a coffee or just a drink. Time to breath and to be. Uncrowded terraces, restaurants, view points, beaches, top of hills, attraction, all and everywhere is a good place to finally take that breath of fresh air you needed.

All in all it was a beautiful and refreshing experience that warm me up in the cold spring and boosted  the hope in the waiting for the summer.

~.~.~

Please leave a comment and tell me when is your favorite time of the year to travel. Fell free to like or share. Hugs from a fellow traveler.

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 * Source Cambridge Dictionary