Outdoor Adventures | Start your day with a Hot Air Balloon Flight

You know what the most awesome thing in the world is? Pure and simple: Great Friends.

Thanks to my “wolf pack” of friends I also had the chance to experience another awesome aerial adventure: the joy of flying with a hot air balloon. I am a great fan of presents which provide a memorable experience rather than something material and I could not wait to finally turn my Birthday present into reality.

Up, up & Away


Flying is an experience to remember and it can become really addictive. Whether it is piloting a single motor plane or paragliding over Sopot: it always brings a unique kind of joy.

The best time to fly



I mistakenly thought that you need to wait for warm and pleasant weather to have a balloon flight. However, air currents and wind are much more important than temperature: especially the amount of wind at the lower altitude from which the balloon is supposed to take off.

In fact, Hot air balloon rides can be done all year round: even in winter. The heated air below the blast valve certainly won’t let you freeze even then. It is, in fact, easier to take off (it takes less fuel, etc.) when the surrounding air is colder than the air inside the balloon.

From Dusk till Dawn


In general, flights are done either early in the morning or at dusk/sunset: the times of the day when the air is more stable and cooler. The hot air inside the balloon is lighter than the surrounding air: so the bigger the difference between the two, the better. As the day unfolds, the heated air forms thermals (upward currents of warm air) which can interfere with the proper flight of the balloon and make it harder for pilots to navigate with precision.

So we got up at 5.a.m. A fresh way to start the day!  For less than an hour we were near Botevgrad: near the protected area Dreneto, which was one of the two options for takeoff this week.


With daily temperatures hitting 35+ degrees, it was incredibly refreshing to enjoy the morning chill. Not to mention that a flight at 7 am (which lasts roughly about an hour) allows you to enjoy nature and still be available for a full workday afterward.

Keep Calm & Enjoy the View


Not a bad way to start the day


Hot air balloon flights are really, really chill. Unlike the adrenaline involved in paragliding, both takeoff and landing here are very smooth and chill (or maybe they felt that way because we had a really good pilot).


Panoramic shot with Huawei p9


The speed of the flying is controlled by entering air currents at different altitude: the highest point we reached was above 600m above the ground but it never really felt like we are flying at high speed. So don’t expect a wild ride: this type of flight is all about enjoying the view and having a really, really pleasant experience.


The terrain over which we flew was mostly plains surrounded by mountains in the horizon, but the pilot told us that when the weather is right, they also do balloon flights between the Belogradchik rocks. I am absolutely looking forward to such an opportunity: as you can see from my photos below: Belogradchik is well worth seeing even without a balloon! I can only imagine how surreal it would be to flight across this type of terrain.


Note to my friends: Thank you so much, guys! ❤

P.S And let’s mark the day because the number of lovely people around me grew by one person today:  give it up for baby Lora <3!.

Safety Tips



Do not leave the basket before the pilot tells you to do it! Weights are well calculated during a balloon flight: there are 4 gas tanks (35kg each), 4 passengers and the weight of the basket. As soon as one person leaves the basket, it could suddenly fly up because it is lighter. This is not such a problem when there is a skilled pilot inside but there is a risk of the basket turning over if the balloon lifts too quickly.

In general balloon flights are very safe and the only accidents occur when landing near places with electric cables nearby (as the balloon can get entangled) or during competitions and flights with several balloons around in which it is hard to see whether someone is flying above you. So don’t worry, listen to the instructions and enjoy the ride!


Flying with Aeroact

My flight was a Birthday gift from friends who purchased a voucher from Aeroact balloons. I have no experience with other balloon flights but based on the detailed information about flying we were given by our pilot Kaloyan and the smooth ride, I’d say that they are doing their job really well.



Also they make no compromise with safety: going all the way to Austria each year to have a proper* inspection of their balloons (*there are no certified safety inspectors for hot air balloons in Bulgaria). So if you are interested you can check their website and Facebook page.


Practical Tips

Wear the proper clothes and shoes: 

– wear layers: the heated air from the valve will quickly change the chilly morning temperature so have a tanktop/t-shirt and something with long sleeves over it

-wear sneakers or comfortable ankle-high shoes: balloons often land in fields with grass or wheat and there is also a good chance your feet will get wet in the mud so flip flops and sandals won’t be a great choice

-take a hat with you: the hot air from the valve is just above your head and it is more comfortable if you are wearing something

-for the girls: wear comfortable pants or (not skinny) jeans by all means. To enter the balloon basket you will need to climb on it, so be practical: no shorts, skirts or dresses.

Bring your good mood and your camera, the view is worth it!



In Love with Lisbon | Above the city: spots with a great view

Lisbon is a time machine. Living simultaneously in Portugal’s glorious historical past and its more recent economic struggles. A city of contrasts, it grabs you by the heart and doesn’t let go. From our first glimpse of the city from Marqes de Pombal to the last dinner in Alfama: it is stamped on a pile of great wine-infused memories.
One of my favorite things about the city was definitely its layout. Like a small European version of San Francisco the streets run like serpents: high and low across town, shaping several elevated areas from which you can enjoy wonderful views of the area. Some of these spots are full of tourists, others are small local gems, which you have to find on your own.
Here are several of the best ones (and you don’t need to queue for the Elevador Santa Justa to see them).
The Moorish castle of Sao Jorge is not a palace: it is a fortress with beautiful views from the watchtowers with very limited number of museum collections inside. There is more to see outside than within the castle: apart from a tiny small archeological exhbition of ceramics and Moorish coins.
The elevator of Santa Just can be seen in the distance


However, the location allows you to enjoy Lisbon from above. The Portuguese way would be with a good company and a glass of wine.


Best view ever (pun fully intended)


Some people swarm in visitor crowds, others enjoy reading their book in solutide while overlooking the city. Couples breathe the serenity of the view, locking hands around each other or around glasses of white wine. Some stick only to sunset conversations, while others try a crossover straight to Sunset Boulevard…

Sao Jorge is open for visitors until 9pm so I would really recommend it for a late afternoon walk. It is definitely worth the hemstring challenge of the steep streets leading to it: especially if you stumble upon some of the small staircases with street musicians and Fado-themed graffitti. It is also above the charming neighbourhood of Alfama, so you can combine the visit with a dinner and Fado.


Park Bar: (A sort of) Secret Spot Above the City

Panorama of the Park Bar | Shot on Huawei P9

I learned about the Park bar online and I don’t think it is a place which is easy to discover by chance. It is in a quiter part westward of the busier streets of Bairro Alto: without the exact address, a map and a mighty thirst to quench we would have easily passed it by. There are no signs outside and to reach the bar you have to use the staircase of a 5 storey parking.

On the top of the building there is a small bohemian oasis which opens after 1pm and offers a rooftop space to chill in the middle of your city walk.

Rooftops, seaguls and airplanes: Lisbonian idyll shot from the top of the parking lot. A piece of advice: the Park Bar opens at 13.00: do not arrive there earlier unless you are really into getting sunburnt | Shot on Lumix Gx8

I recommend the fresh and fruity housewine and the tapas (petiscos) with shrimps or garlic calamary (Delicous!) You can go with friends or just hang out on your own: reading or writing & getting your inspiration from the view above town.

Bairro Alto at Night

“Bairro” is the name of communities/neighbourhood regions in Portugal and its colonies. The name Bairro Alto literally means The Upper District of Lisbon: a neighbourhood full of restaurants and bars located across a set of steep streets slowly ascending to small hill overlooking the lower part of the city.

We were joking that basically your evening follows the geography of the streets: you start with Petiscos (the Portuguese version of tapas) and dinner at the “lower” streets and then as your mood goes up, you continue on the upper streets with wine, Porto or Ginja (typical local sour cherry liqueur). You can simply enjoy the taste of local drinks or dive into a pool of cheap vodka and complimentary shots if you are a British tourist on a mission to crawl drunk on the sidewalk by midnight.

I recommend just walking around with sangria and enjoying the view: the bars are full of too many wasted tourists: something which is fun when you are in your 20s and frankly: sort of boring once you discover the joy of actually having fun without the need of tons of alcohol.

There is a lovely small park with fountains and terraces overlooking the city if you want to enjoy your drink with a view above the city.

Alfama (going up on Travessa Merceeiras)

Alfama is a whole new story on its own. Discovering  the dozens of small city spots with a great view on your own is one of the greatest thrills about walking around Lisbon.


Creamy sunset over Alfama | Shot on Huawei P9

Practical Tips

Sao Jorge Castle entrance fees: €8.50/€5.00/€20.00 per adult/child/family. The castlelo is open every day from 09:00 to 21:00 (peak season) and 09:00 to 18:00 (low season) | Google Maps
✓There are wonderful spots all across Lisbon which I personally prefer to discover by chance, but if you prefer to visit only recommended places here is a nice Conde Nast list of some of the best rooftop bars in the city
✓Lisbon is not a huge city: unless you want to enjoy the small vintage trams just walk around it. It is easier and faster to take public tansportation but the most charming spots are usually those you stumble upon by chance not those you meticulously pursue on your GPS

Disclaimer: With the exception of a few mobile shots made with my Huawei P9, all photos are taken on Panasonic GX8, kindly provided for a test by Panasonic Bulgaria

Perushtitsa | The Red Church in Black & White

Did you know that one of the earliest surviving Christian churches in Europe is located near the small Bulgarian town of Perushtitsa?


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Beautiful Bulgaria | Weekend in the Rhodope Mountains

 I had the pleasure to take Panasonic FZ2000 & DMC LX15 on a trip to the Rhodope mountains

to test their capabilities. The photos in this story are taken with these 2 cameras and only adjusted for brightness/saturation.


Reservoirs, lakes & gorges | The beautiful Rhodope Mountains

According to the Thracian legend Rhodopa and Hemus were a brother and sister who fell in love and called each other by the names of the Gods: Zeus and Hera. And since Ancient Greek Deities are not famous for their good temper, the abuse of their names brought on a curse on the young couple: both lovers turned into mountain ranges. Of course, geologists have a slightly different idea about the formation of the mountain range.

The Rhodope Mountains takes up 1/7th of the territory of Bulgaria and features ski slopes,  caves, historical cities and villages, hiking routes and some of Bulgaria’s biggest reservoirs & artificial lakes.


Unlike Rila, which is swarming with tourists (to the detriment of the area’s ecosystem), the Rhodope Mountains still manage to preserve their raw charm and offer travellers a serene look into Bulgarian nature, history and traditions.

Things to do & Places to visit

Zooming to the distant shore | Shot on Panasonic FZ2000

Continue reading “Beautiful Bulgaria | Weekend in the Rhodope Mountains”

Things to do near Sofia | A walk along the Dragoman Marsh

If you are fond of outdoors activities and especially birdwatching, take the time to visit the Dragoman Marsh. Located just 35-40km away from Sofia, this area is part of Via Aristotelis: an important bird migration route passing through the area. In fact more than 160 bird species have been identified by bird watchers visiting the marshes along with dozens of amphibians and other species.

Marshes, marshes, everywhere you look | Shot on LUmix FZ2000

In February birdwatching isn’t the best activity to plan, but the marshes still offer an escapist break away from the noisy city. The marsh itself covers more than 300 hectars but the most easily accessible to the general public area is relatively small: only several hundred meters of wooden bridges serpent their way through the marsh frail.

So unless you are into exploring the 160+ species of birds and plant species this trip would be relatively short. Me and my brother spent less than an hour there because there were no birds at this time of the year. Nevertheless, we were quite happy to explore the place and take some shots in the area.

Continue reading “Things to do near Sofia | A walk along the Dragoman Marsh”

Travelback Thursday | You can never see the same Venice twice

I remember my first arrival in Venice. The boat was shaking and so were we. Although winters in Italy are usually a pleasant thing, La Serenissima (the most serene of all cities) is often piereced by cold currents which can cut to the bone.


I remeber everyone who had already been there had completely conflicting stories of what the city is like:

“Oh, it’s overrated. And the channels smell so bad”

“It is the best city in the world: never seen anything quite like the Carnival”


So which one was it? Well, for me it was love at first sight. It can be a bit claustrophobic if you get phased by large crowds but as soon as you take a random street in the opposite direction of Rialto and San Marco you will soon discover the real charm of the city. As an art history buff I don’t underestimate Venice’s most famous spots, but trust me: its real appeal is away from the crowds.

Grab a gelato and choose the smallest, emptiest street you can find. Getting lost in Venice is a travelling delight and trust me: sooner or later you will reach the central spots again.


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Vazov’s Hiking Trail & Skaklya | The Bulgarian “Rocky Mountains”

It’s December 31st. The final chapter in a year full of great moments and great mishaps. We are headed to Zasele: a small village at the top of a series of pictureque road turns along the Iskar Gorge.

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I am looking out the car window and taking in the view: mountains, curvy road turns, pine trees, rows of houses up on the hills… Cough. Cough. Cough. It’s not me. The car is choking and when I look back there is blanket of thick white-to-gray-to-coal-black smoke coming out of it. Luckily we are just a few kilometers away from the village, so we park in the nearest pile of snow and leave the Cherokee behind for the rest of the road. 2016 reminds us it is still not over so I am keeping my fingers crossed for the remaining 10 hours of it.


Our guest house is 5 minutes away from the Vazov Hiking Trail which connects Gara Bov and the village where we are staying (Skaklya) so instead of spending time indoors we head to see the trail and the waterfall it leads to.

Continue reading “Vazov’s Hiking Trail & Skaklya | The Bulgarian “Rocky Mountains””

Bulgaria | The 5 Most Beautiful Places We Visited in 2016

In the past few years Stef and I have travelled all around Bulgaria: enjoyed its countrside, hiked (and snowboarded) across its mountains and stormed through beaches, caves, lakes, valleys and all sorts of beautiful places. We had seen a lot on our motorbike trip across the country, but the past year provided us with the chance to explore some of the prettiest spots in the country. It is quite hard to choose just 5 but here are the places which really impressed me during the year:

5. Belmeken


Belmeken felt like entering the Twilight zone. We went there on a day when a thick blanket of fog covered everything around us and it felt like our car was piercing its way through a hostile yet truly magical place. I would really like to come back on a sunnier day, but still: the area looked amazing (See more).


4. The Devetaki Cave (Devetashka Peshtera)

The Devetashka Cave | From the Paleolithic period to Hollywood action movies

The cave (named after the nearby village of Devetaki) looks so surreal and cinematic that some of my friends asked me if whether I had photoshopped it! No, I haven’t: it does exist in reality and its incredible space was used as a set for Hollywood movie productions.

What makes it even more special is that it is one of the most important speleological spots in Bulgaria and one of the largest habitats of rare bat species in Europe! (Learn more)

3. The Belogradchik Rocks


This is one of the most populat tourist spots in Bulgaria but I saw it for the first time this year. I definitely regret not coming here earlier: what an amazing and unusual view! (Read more).


2. 30km across Rila in a day




Musala is the end destination for most visitors in the Rila mountain but for our small group of enthusiasts it was just…the first stop.

After reaching the summit, we simply continued through the vast beauty of Rila for another 20+ killometers, we spent the night in Zavratchitsa Hut and on the next day…we kept walking…(Read more)

1. Tsigov Chark & The Lakes in the surrounding area

DSC_0200 (2).JPGI’ve seen my fair share of beautiful nature around the world, but Tsigov Chark and the abundance of not-so-popular but wonderful lakes in the area really took my breath away.


Waking up at dawn to run to the shore and take photos of the awakening nature was one of the best mornings I’ve had this year!  (Read more)



My best wish for you in 2017: Explore Bulgaria & Enjoy its beauty!

Travel Portraits | The People of Valencia

Pictures speak louder than words so I will just leave you with some portaits of the people I saw across town. This is by no means an exhaustive list but it captures some of the city’s many faces.

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Valencia | Love is in the air


One of the things I love the most about travel is the fact that you can stumble upon the most incredible situations and people just like that. Not that unusual things don’t happen to me all the time in Sofia, but when you travel you get that extra sparkle of spontaneity.

So here we are: riding bikes aroung the city and we pass near a ballerina jumping in the air for a photoshoot…Wait…What?


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Travelback Thursday | Exploring Valencian Street Art

One of my favourite things is to just ditch the map in my bag and take the first small street which catches my eye. Exploring cities in this way gives you a great opportunity to dive into local culture, discover spots off the tourist map and ultimately: feel at least a bit like a local, who sees the pulse of the city, not only its most advertised spots.

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Valencia | Girl Trip on Bikes

How do five people with completely different plans make an easy decision what to do on a trip? Well, quite easy actually. It is my second time in Valencia so I know exactly what I want to see with my best (girl)friend and it is Stef’s second Moto GP race so the boys have planned their weekend as well. What follows is a great girls trip + great boys trip until afternoon and joint operation with sangria in the evening.

But let’s focus on the gir trip schedule. One of the best things out there is to travel with someone similar enough to you that you can quickly sort anything out and different enough so each of you gets an extra sprinkle of unexpected fun and entertainment. Continue reading “Valencia | Girl Trip on Bikes”

Francesca Porzio about Valencia on and off the beaten path

I met Francesca on our first visit to Valencia a few years ago. It was our first trip to Spain with Stef and we quickly realized that the city is nothing less but love at first sight because of: the street art, the architecture, the wonderful urban atmosphere and above all: the friendliness and the positive attitude of the people around us.

Francesca was one of these smiling people: a charming curly Italian girl, who liked Valencia so much that she decided to move to live there. Now, just before we leave for our second visit to the city, I wanted to ask her a bit more about Valencia and see the city through the eyes of a local who is not only a visitor but also an owner of her own hostel …

*All photos (apart from Francesca’s portrait) were taken during our previous visit in the city, you can read more about that old trip on the Bulgarian website of National Geographic

Continue reading “Francesca Porzio about Valencia on and off the beaten path”

Travelback Thursday | Valencia’s Amazing Oceanographic Museum


I am a travelling nerd. Apart from the joy of experiencing new places, I take great pleasure in learning more about the world in a deepr sense. How things funciton, what is the history of a certain place, why an exciting natural phenomennon looks this way? Biology was one of my all time favourite topics: especially when it comes to marine life. If it has to do with water, seas, oceans: I love it. So naturally: it was on my Bucket list to visit one of those great acquariums where you walk beneath the glass floor and can see all kinds of great ocean creatures roam above or around you.

The Largest Marine Complex in Europe

So when we chose to visit Valencia a couple of years ago, I was more than excited to see the famous El Oceanografico: the largest marine complex in Europe which represents all major water ecosystems in the planet: from the Mediterranean to the Artcic.

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Sofia Talks | Rostislav Bakalov on Bulgarian Craft Beer Culture

A decade ago the expression “Craft beer” was a fully untapped topic on the Bulgarian beer market. Today, a growing number of people are using Untappd not to describe unknown beers but to rate their favourite local and global craft brands while they are getting a liquid infusion of their favourite Vitamin B(eer).

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Guest Explorer | The biggest Airbus landing in Bulgaria

Today the Lufthansa pilot Mario Bakalov made history as the first local pilot to land Airbus A380 in Bulgaria. The beautiful double-deck aircraft is the biggest passenger carrier in the world usually operating on transatlantic flights. Its symbolic landing in Bulgaria (outside of its usual route) marked the 104th anniversary of the Bulgarian Air force and Aviation.


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Travelback Thursday | Rome for a night

This #ThrowbackThursday I’m having an Erasmus Flashback!…

We are only a few weeks into the semester but it is starting to feel like I’ve been here for months. You know this feeling of time-wrapping when so many new things are happening that time seems to stretch like a happy lazy cat? Because it is dense with events, not because you are bored and the days are dragging…

So here we are with the other Erasmus students: taking our first Italian lessons and enjoying the beauty of the language and the unfortunate equivalents of its words in other languages. Like curva (curve, turn), which makes the entire Polish-Bulgarian section of the room go out of control when giving directions…


Anyway. We are like restless children, trapped in a room, while the playground is waiting for us outside…

Somebody passes an idea around: let’s go to Rome! Not tomorrow, not next week, not sometime…Now! Right after classes: run to catch the train, travel for a few hours (between 4 and 6 depending on the price of the ticket), arrive at the eternal city and explore it all night long! Crazy idea. Of course we are doing it.

The distance of 250km (between Macerata and Rome) should take about 3 hours by car and slightly more with the fastest trains, but even with the student discount it is more affordable to opt for a slower train. Anyway, we have tons of things to talk, joke and laugh about. And there is also some white wine and a special dance program with Michael Jackson impersonations by our very own Mr. Cengiz Kaan (yup, that’s his name! :)).

We arrive in Rome in the evening and it is true: you never visit the same city twice. The people with you, the mood their bring in, the improvisation born out of the interaction of a several teens and a few twenty-somethings show me the city in a completely new light compared to the last time I was here.

I remember it as a vast, endless place of curiosities, amazing architecture and sculptures and it doesn’t fail to make me fall in love with it again. Only this time it feels like it is much smaller: we literally walk around it all night and effortlessly manage to see many of its trademark places like:

Fontana delle Naiadi in Piazza della Repubblica, 

which looks like a real gem at night

Photo by Konstantina Vasileva | All rights reserved

The majestic Fontana di Trevi


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Love note to Sofia

Dear Sofia,

You are special: today and during the rest of your all-year-round kaleidoscope of urban memories and concrete life stories.

You are a perpetual scene for the surprises of life: from love stories and newly shaped friendships, to the daily carousel of work life, the excitement of success, as well as the black hole of unsolved social and cultural issues. But somehow you still make me love you.

Redhead Sofia.jpg

You know how many people love something only because it is beautiful/popular/expensive Or because others desire it. Or because it makes them feel good. Well that isn’t my kind of love.

I love you the way you are: with all your imperfections and charming little quirks.

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The Belogradchik Rocks can really rock your world


Travel Breakfast

Before we set off on a road trip to the Belogradchik Rocks, I quickly fix a healthy breakfast: banana pancakes (prepared without flour or milk, just a 1:2 ratio of bananas and eggs) covered with yoghurt, cinnamon, flax seed, mint leaves and a sprinkle of rum baking essence. It’s filling and delicious and it gives Stef all the energy he needs to deal with what’s ahead: driving a car full of girls for several hours. Poor him 🙂

Assembling the task force

We pick up the ladies and we are ready to go: the distance from Sofia to Belogradchik is not so big but the road is in a terrible condition and there are many steep turns in the woods (with people driving like crazy in the opposite lane) so we take our time.

Horror movies, photography, how our grandparents met and fell in love (respective grandparents, not mutual grandparents): the topics flow carefree as the rock music on the radio.

The Fortress


Continue reading “The Belogradchik Rocks can really rock your world”

The Devetashka Cave | From the Paleolithic period to Hollywood action movies

Saturday trips are my favourte! Sometimes we plan them way ahead of time but most of the time we like to improvise: we brainstorm the type of locations we feel like visiting and then choose one pretty much at the last minute. It takes more planning when you travel on a motorbike, but car trips provide a lot of freedom. So here we are: sleepy and chillaxed on  a Saturday morning: making our way to the Lovech province.



Our main goal for the day is the Devetashka Cave: one of the biggest and most beautiful caves in Bulgaria. If you are somewhere in the area- definitely don’t miss it. It is impressive to be there and the place is full of intriguing history going back to the Middle Paleolithic period.

Some interesting facts about the cave

Continue reading “The Devetashka Cave | From the Paleolithic period to Hollywood action movies”

Travelback Thursday | The Ancient Lakes


A desert with lakes?

Have you ever seen a desert with lakes and a waterfall? Actually not just a waterfall, but a waterfall gracefully flowing into a lake? How can this place even be true? Well, it is and it’s gorgeously beautiful for hiking.

The long story behind the Ancient Lakes in Washington State began as far back as 40-60mln years ago, when the so called Grand Coulee was formed. It is a huge ancient river bed which belongs to the Columbia Plateau and its name (“coulée“) comes from French and means to strain/to flow (in a manner similar to lava).

To cut the long story short: the region is close to the Eastern edges of the Cascade mountains where a “Rain shadow effect” has created an area with very dry and hot climate. 


Rain Shadow Effect.png

Simultaneously, it is also a part of the Grand Culee which I mentioned earlier: a giant bedrock which kept uplifting and subsiding over the course of millions of years and has undergone a series of major volcanic eruptions, in areas which were later covered by glacial ice which subsequently cause massive floods in the area. Dynamic, isn’t it? No wonder it is such a fascinating place. Nowadays, there are huge irrigation distribution networks across the Columbia basin and the combination of all these factors gives you the ultimate hiking dream: a scorching desert with lakes and a waterfall.

The trail is located in Eastern Washington state, near Quincy and the basin of the Columbia River. I used to live in Seattle back then, so the Ancient Lakes were about a 3 hour ride away from home across Interstate 90.

On the way to the trail

Along I-90 there is a cool landmark which is really worth visiting. The steel horses of Grandfather lets loose the ponies can almost fool you from the distance.  The string of ponies is running towards the edge of a hill overlooking the Columbia River and it makes for a great side stop for photos along the way.

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The hike

 There are paths through the steppe and fairly easy to find passages along the rocky parts of the terrain. Make sure you have sturdy shoes and watch out for your balance because some of the softer types of rocks get easily broken when you step on them.
The Ancient Lakes area spreads over 15,000 acres and although some spots seem to be really close- the terrain can get tricky and slow you down. What looks like a 15 min walk might take you more than an hour in some areas.

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Things I wish I knew on my first motorbike trip

What you see in photo above might look cool but as far as actual riding goes: on scale from 0 to That-makes-no-sense, this really tops the chart (Photo via Favim)

Imagine your locks beautifully flowing in the wind while you ride at the back of a motorbike. As if you are in a L’Oreal shampoo commercial or a movie version of a Nicolas Sparks novel….

Now stop, because that makes no damn sense! Photo shoots and movies constantly show us good looking people without helmets who speed through gorgeous sunsets, easy as a summer breeze. But everyone who has ever been on a bike knows that’s an almost hilarious, highly stylized and completely inaccurate version of reality.

It is really an incredible experience to travel on two wheels, but there are quite a few practical details that you might want to know before actually hopping on the motorbike.

They might look less romantic but helmets and protective gear can save your life (and you will really spend less on hairspray compared to the situation on the photo above)…

After several years and dozens of shorter and longer trips on the back seat you learn what makes your life easier on the road and what doesn’t. So if you are planning to join a friend or partner on the road, but you aren’t sure about the practical things you should know: here is an inconclusive list which might help you have an easier and more comfortable trip.

So let’s start with some basic preparation: What should I wear? is a very classical question for us girls, and when it comes to comfort and functionality it is actually a quite important one. Apart from the absolute MUSTs (helmet, (leather)jacket and gloves), here are some useful tips:

Continue reading “Things I wish I knew on my first motorbike trip”

Bella Italia | Things to do in Bologna


Returning to Italy after several years away was a truly thrilling experience. Sometimes you don’t realize how much you miss a country until you go back there and all memories start rushing in. I had passed through Bologna dozens of times, but never roamed across the city so the trip felt both familiar and completely new.

So what should you know about .Bologna? It is the home of the oldest university in the world (founded in 1088) and apart from its long-term inhabitants, it also attracts a lot of students from all over Italy and Europe in a mixture of old and new, of tradition and novelty.

As any city in Italy: it offers a lot of beauty and charm to the casual visitor and if you are into history and culture: the Etruscan and Roman roots of Bologna, its medieval importance and the Dolce Vita charm definitely make it a place worth visiting. Although it is the 7th most populous city in Italy, its historical centre is compact and cosy and everything is within a walking distance. Here are some tips how to enjoy your stay there:

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Outdoor Adventures | The Longest Hike


Summer weekends are a thrill!

There is no better way for recharging your batteries than a short outdoors trip after a busy week. It energizes you,  takes your mind off work & stress and (If done right) it also gives you a chance to get a good workout: by swimming, hiking or taking up extra physical activities.


The last weekend has not only fitted well into the whole concept of “Relaxing while being active”  – for me it brought a whole new meaning to the word “hiking”. As a couple we enjoy outdoor trips but we are by no means professional mountaineers and for both of us this has been the most strenuous hike so far. It felt like a really exciting (and painful) challenge to put behind us more than 20km (12.5 miles) of rocky mountain terrain and “conquer” 5 peaks within a single day (10 hours, to be more precise).

We started with Musala: the highest peak on the Balkan peninsula (2925metres). It owes its name to an old Arabic expression which means “Close to God”. The peak is in the gorgeously beautiful Rila Mountains and depending on your pace it takes about 3-4 hours of hiking after you get dropped off the lift [see some additional practical details on the hike].

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Guest Explorer | Cuba behind the curtain

Guest Author- Silvia

Guest Explorer | Szilvia Todorova

With her mixed Hungarian & Bulgarian heritage Szilvia is pretty much a globetrotter by birth. Crossing Europe on a monthly basis was not enough for her so several years ago she started crossing oceans and continents and hasn’t stopped ever since. She is one of my oldest friends and apart from being a lovely person, Szilvi is a great story-teller because she always manages to get herself into the craziest travel situations and still keep her “the glass is half full” attitude.  

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No money in the banks, empty shelves filled with a line pattern of the same few products, a coupon system…No, this article is not about time travel back to the former socialist reality of Eastern Europe. The year is 2016 and I am in one of the most exotic one-of-a-kind destinations I have visited: the newly opened to the world island nation of Cuba.

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Alpine Winter Tale | Snowboarding in Sölden

The last few winters in Bulgaria were a barren ground for skiers and snowboarders in Bulgaria. The limited snowfall and high temperatures made wintersports a contest in who is going to get the best blue-purple gradient certificate for painful landings on rocks barely covered with snow.

This year things look quite different, but if one wants to have guaranteed fun in the snow, the Alps are the destination to go. There are countless alpine resorts in Italy, France, Austria, Germany, you name it. 


Sölden, Austria

Yoddl, yoddl! Does it get any more Austrian than being in the heart of Tyrol? The lovely small city of Solden has just about 3 000 inhabitants, but it lies at the outskirts of 33 (!) lifts and 40 ski/snowboarding trails of varying difficulty.

It was one of the most enjoyable, well organized and neat spots for snowboarding I have ever visted: from conventional slopes, through fun parks and mountain-top views. I have heard that there are no less plesant spots in other Alpine resorts, but Solden is perfect for combining historical sight-seeing in the nearby city of Innsbruck. On your way back you can also visit beautiful Saltzburg, which is about 250km to the Northeast (more on that in the following posts).


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