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.
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.
Photos: Konstantina Vasileva ©
Thessaloniki always has something special in store for me. Two years ago it hosted a concert of one of my favorite bands BRMC (Black Rebel Motorcycle Club) a day after my birthday and in month it will help me check another band off my bucketlist: the omnimonstrous bad boys of stoner rock: Monster Magnet. So stay tuned in the beginning of April for some photos of Dave Wyndorf & co.
Meanwhile some thoughts about Thessaloniki itself: The city really is an awesome music destination because it is about 5 hours away from two Balkan capitals (Sofia and Skopje) and unlike its neighboring countries where major bands come if you can fill up stadiums or large scale festivals, Thessaloniki manages to attract world class acts even to its smaller venues.
The club where we watched BRMC (Principal Club Theatre) is a famous underground place near the port which can fit about 1 thousand visitors. Yet since its opening in 2004 it has attracted some of the big names in the music rock scene: Faithless, Simple minds, Massive Attack, Juno Reactor, Tricky, Death in Vegas, Everlast, etc.
Initially, the location is slightly hard to find without good map skills but once you get a hold of it, it is actually so convenient that after the BRMC show we stormed to the bus station and were back in Sofia by dawn. Straight to the office after a wonderful rock night: don’t try that at home (at least not too often 🙂 ).
Anyway, there is also plenty to see around the city if you decide to stay a bit longer. It has lovely promenade streets, warm pleasant climate and fine examples of Byzantine architecture, historical sights and museums. If you are less into sightseeing- you can always enjoy the waterfront (you will feel like you are in a small Balkan Monaco) , eat ice cream or try beer on one of the local venues.
With my boyfriend we tried Primator here for the first time. It is a great Czech beer with really fine taste and several types (from Weizenbier and Blond to premium dark). I recommend you the dark porter style Double (the photo below): apart from the great taste it is a stunning 24% beer, which really leaves no room for too many bottles of it 🙂
National Geographic is like my ultimate childhood dream when it comes to Globetrotting, Adventure and Wildlife photography.
They have been doing a great job at developing a community of aspiring photographers through the Your Shot section on the site. It has wonderful (bi)weekly Assignments: curated, assessed and published by inspiring experts in this field where you can see some of the most amazing travel photos from around the world. Take a look around because there are some wonderful photographers out there.
2016 is the centennial year of the US National Park Service and Nat Geo is especially interested in Landmark photos and stories from National parks in the US and around the world
Grandfather cuts loose the ponnies
Above you can see a link to an old shot of mine from Vantage, Eastern Washington: the horses you see there are in fact a series of monumental metal sculptures called Grandfather cuts loose the ponnies.
These steel mustangs, frozen in time by David Govedare is a magnificent and confusing sight, overlooking the Columbia river: art which plays games with your eyes and imagination.
You can read more about it in Atlas Obscura.