Why Brussels?

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One of my favorite European cities visited yet, has to be Brussels. Having arrived into the city from Paris, perhaps a change in location was much anticipated due to the less dense population of Brussels compared to Paris. Having visited the city twice already, some of the things I always look forward to when in Brussels are; Belgium waffles, chocolate and trying out one of the many choices of Belgian brewed ales.

Some attractive touristic activities offered by Viva Tours, a non profit organization, are the free and alternative walking tours. Tours are either free or paid for. They offer plenty of insight into the political history, culture and lifestyle of the European Capital. Tour guides are highly knowledgeable and very friendly; providing a fantastic service which, according to the tour you sign up for, can come for free; whilst leaving the participant the option of tipping the tour guide at the end of each session, and this all from your own judgment of how good the tour was.

Leopold Park

Leopold Park

Four (4) languages are known to diversify Belgium; French, Dutch, English and German. Thus language barrier is hardly an obstacle when in Brussels. If you book a tour and head out to meet up with the tour guide and the rest of the group, look for an orange umbrella – the tour guides are always carrying those to make it easier for participants to locate them.

Here are some of the tours that my friends and I took part in, on this particular visit:

City Center Tour

Grand Place

Grand Place

  • The grand place – central square of Brussels
  • Manneken Pis & Janneke Pis
  • Yellow Waffle Van  [Waffles from the yellow vans are freshly made upon order)
  • Royal Galleries of St. Hubert. [best chocolates are from Pierre Marcolini, Passion Chocolat.]

 

Tour of the European Quarter

  • Matonge District (Congolese Neighborhood)
  • European parliament
  • Leopold park
  • European Commission
  • Cinquatenaire park
Cinqauntenaire Park

Cinquatenaire park

Beer Walking Tour

Kwak Beer

Kwak Beer

  • Strong Beers: Westmalle Triple, Chimay Blue, Orval
  • Favourited: La Chouffe, Barbar, Triple Karmelief; Kwak
  • Light Beers: Hoegaarden Wit, Zinnebir

 

Because of the proximity, and if not; the plenty of attractions along the way – maneuvering the city center is easily done on foot. This will get you plenty of exercise, as well as save you from transport fares.

 

Spain | Bold Strangers

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My guess is that we as people are much bolder at making romantic advances towards complete strangers, especially foreign strangers, because the likelihood of ever seeing them again is close to nil. I mean, what’s the harm right? You get to enjoy each other’s company in whichever way you choose, to end up parting ways with no strings attached, should that be choice.

But, let me ask this; is there some initiation ritual of vetting a person into bed? May I compare it to using social graces with the intend of speeding up the process of getting someone to a certain comfort level; or the display of wooing a woman – showing us your gentlemanly side, so that you may feel entitled to the savage ego that may follow when things don’t go your way. This is by no means a widespread profile on the male species, but in this particular story, it’s a profile that well describes the gentlemen approach I received on one particular visit to Spain.

Only too often do us ladies fall for the wooing trap, either as a result of pure ignorance because we are simply eying the gains, or as a result of naiveté and a faint wish in the direction of the situation just being an opportunity to socialize and make new friends in a place foreign to us. The reason for accepting such advances is usually not of mutual interest – one party may approach at a snail’s pace, whilst the other train-speeds to the very end of such an encounter. Motives are often hidden as the master players kick off conversation pleasantries to find common grounds; just for the victim to end up thirst-trapped in an unpleasant ambiance of sexual innuendo and a black swamp of social awkwardness.

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One afternoon, as we bathed in the cool waters of the hotel pool, we were approached by two gentlemen who invited us for a soirée. Later that evening, in conversation, they put forth their case of being on vacation for a couple of days in the Spanish Islands, and that they were scheduled to depart the coming morning.

At first I was startled by their forwardness, but later dismissed it as an innocent approach seeking inter-cultural exchange and mingling. Their attention to detail was indicative of habit. Prompting me to remember that, for some, an intimate encounter with an absolute stranger is without question the ultimate memory of a getaway vacation. At first, the evening was rather stimulating as we exchanged talk on career, origin, culture, shared music and dance moves.  The tables turned somewhat abruptly as our hosts decided to make their move and go for the kill.

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Now, it’s only fair to give people the benefit of the doubt – all within safe and wise parameters of course! This was one of my “male-female cultural-shock experiences”. The ease with which these gentlemen anticipated an intimate night to result from their invitation to a soirée, the situation was laughable. They then went on to stress their upcoming early morning flight, perhaps to justify their approach to leaving no stones unturned that night. After seeing that we were by no mean going to comply, their egos kicked in. Shocked at their ability to continue defending their position, we gladly left them to their own company.

Needless to say, approaching “inter-cultural” or just even “opposite-sex” encounters, especially those of a sensitive nature, with cautious respect rather than pre-conceive stereotypical assumptions is way better. Get to know people as individuals, not as a cultural-stereotype. Be vigilant with social encounters. People may approach you on some familiar ground on which you may connect, just to contrive you into unwarranted activities.

Don’t allow curiosity to lead you astray – safety should come first, always!

Stockholm, Sweden | A Scandinavian Summer

TRAVEL

My summer plans where clearly defined before summer 2017 came around, as there was no room for error in my already shortened summer break from Varsity. Stockholm was at the top of my list, as my person and I had been invited to a 70th birthday party by a sweet friend based in Stockholm. The party was to be at the beginning of August, and I thought to myself “what a delight it would be to catch some sun!”. This thought was a result of the cloudy & rainy days I was experiencing in Poznan then.

Having visited the island of Majorca in Spain at the end of June and taken in a bit of sun for about 4 days, I was hoping the weather would have warmed up upon my return to Poznan at the beginning of July. Unfortunately this was not the case and I had to sit through 4 weeks of summer training before I could escape the cloudy and gloomy weather that more often than not came with rain.

Four weeks later, I was just about ready to skip town as I made my way to Stockholm. My person and I planned on linking up at the Arlanda Airport because my flight was scheduled to arrive first. Having made arrangements for Per & Ingalill to pick me up from the airport, I then asked that those arrangements be canceled, as I wanted to meet him at the airport.

The Arlanda Airport was easy to navigate. I had with me a small carry on suitcase & therefore did not need to collect luggage upon disembarking my flight. After making my way to arrivals, I then headed for the bureau of exchange for some Swedish Krona. The Swedish Krona is not so expensive on the currency exchange, but mind you, the standard of living is quit high! It cost me about 60 Swedish Krona (approximately 6 Euros) for a decent cup of coffee in one of the Airport’s fine cafés. According to expats, Stockholm is 19% cheaper than London, 20% cheaper than Oslo & 21% more expensive than Berlin.

One of the waitresses at this café happened to be a young black woman who was quit interested to know where I was coming from & what it was I was doing in Stockholm. She started by asking me where I was from, to which I responded “Namibia”. I watched her as she paused in disbelieve, pen in hand as she took my order. Telling her I was in town for a birthday party sounded even more unbelievable!

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About an hour later, my person finally arrived and we made our way to the metro to get a train into the city. We were scheduled to check into “Hotel With Urban Deli”. Seeing as to how my person had visited Stockholm before on several occasions, we could easily get around.

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Central Stockholm

Arriving at “Hotel With Urban Deli”, the atmosphere was chilled, harmonious and comfortably welcoming. The hotel had a modern hip & colorful interior decor, including a good number of though provoking pieces of wall photographs. The hotel is centrally located. It has an inbuilt restaurant, a fresh food Deli & a rooftop garden bar. The atmosphere was filled with zest as people moved in and out of the hotel creating a vibrant, but yet relaxed & casual ambiance.

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Hotel With Urban Deli: wall photograph

We checked in and were directed to the elevator by the concierge. The bedrooms were simple and beautifully set-up. Considering the limited space which was available for set-up, I did not feel overwhelmed by the size of the room & rather found it to be cozy & conveniently arranged. The only down-side I found was when I needed to iron, I then needed to find the ironing room which was tucked away in a corner two to three turns away from the bedroom.

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Hotel With Urban Deli: Interior Decor

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Brunkebergs Tunnel in Norrmalm: A 231 meter long shortcut for cyclists & pedestrians through a ridge in the city center

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Crystal Plaza

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Swedish Summer House: come June, Swedes tend to abandon the cities and head to their summer houses for rest, relaxations & a touch of nature.

We paid a visit to the country side to get a feel of the Swedish summer houses. The drive to our destination was tranquil & clouds threatened rain. A look out the window showed vast open lands of nature enveloped in green! Drizzles of rain met us as we arrived at our destination and we quickly ran inside to take cover from the passing rain.

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Swedish Summer House

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Skansen: the first open-air museum & zoo in Sweden, located on the Island Djurgarden in Stockholm. Opened in 1891 by Artur Hazelius.

On this visit to Stockholm we managed to see Skansen, it was quite beautiful with plenty of animals to be seen; from snakes, to squirrels, to seals and so much more. We encountered traditional displays of Swedish women sitting outside their homes drinking tea and sharing stories.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Seglora Church: The old wooden church in Seglora village was due for demolition when it was saved and moved to Skansen in 1916

Whilst in skansen, the weather got bad at some point and it started to rain. Since none of us had brought an umbrella, we managed to find shelter near the roof of one of the housing structures in the Skansen Park. It was truly a wonderful place to be, serene and peaceful. We grabbed some hot dogs & fries before heading out of the park.

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Bredablick tower:  30 meters high, located in Skansen

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Maypole in Skansen: the maypole must be decorated before it is raised. Swede folk dancers enter the park area around the maypole and invite visitors to sing & dance alongside them

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Stockholm city view

Upon our return from Skansen, we headed to some ferries which were parked affront the Royal National Theater.

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The Royal Dramatic Theater: Sweden’s national stage for “spoken drama”.

On the same day of our visit to skansen, we had also arranged to go on the archipelago, to visit the Stockholm islands. Did you know that Stockholm is made up of 14 Islands, connected by more than 50 bridges, which basically make up the whole city? Well now you know. Stockholm was beautiful, conveniently set up and not too overpopulated at that the time of our visit.

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Grona Lund: Amusement park on Djurgarden Island

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Riding a ferry, exploring the Stockholm Archipelago [which happens to be the largest in Sweden]

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Viking waters 

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Typical color (Falu Red) & architecture for Swede summer homes. Falu red is a dye used in deep red paint, well known for its use on wooden barns & cottages throughout Sweden.

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Restaurant & Cafe Rokeriet: located at Fjaderholmen 12, Stockholm. A Seafood restaurant.

That evening was going to be the birthday party that primarily brought us into town, so we headed back to “Hotel With Urban Delhi’ to prepare ourselves accordingly for the night.

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City View: from Münchenbryggeriet conference center [A waterside event center housed in an iconic old brewery building] located at Torkel Knutssonsgatan 2, in Stockholm.

The party was to be held at Münchenbryggeriet conference center but before heading there, we were to meet up with some friends at Ingalill’s apartment, so we could head over to the party together.

Arriving at the party venue, coats where given to the concierge and table numbers were randomly assigned. The theme was rather interesting, it is one I quite hope to use someday as well. The tables where given the names of capital cities of countries that the birthday lady had lived in or visited over the course of her life up to her birthday date, and guests were randomly assigned their seat numbers so as to make sure that everyone sat with people they were not totally familiar with. This gave everyone an opportunity to network & socialize and thus, there was never a dull moment in time.

 

 

 

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As the event began: Ingalill’s 70th birthday

To be frank, everyone on my table of 6 to 7 people hailed or was residing in a different country. To make matters more interesting, I found myself being the youngest member at the table that night. I asked a lot of questions and got a lot of feedback with regards to travel, life, careers & family. I received a fresh perspective from a number of people who seemed to have had quite a good run in live. Their take on the topics discussed at the table was rather refreshing, as they approached the conversation with the mentality of living nowhere & everywhere all at once.

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City View-Point: the venue allowed for a wide-spread view of the distanced city. A touch of magic added as the sunlight slowly dimmed and the city lights came on.

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Sapphire blue sky & waters adorned by a chain of golden lights

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Old Haymarket Square, Stockholm 

Ultimately, Stockholm left a great impression on me. The basic necessities were conveniently availed and people adhered to rules and regulations accordingly. I remember this one time we called a taxi and failed to specify that we were with 2 children. The taxi showed up, and though it had no awaiting customers, the driver refused to take us to our destinations as he did not have the children’s car sits as is legally mandated.

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Crowds gathered to watch the LGBT ’17 parading parties

Whilst in Stockholm, we also witnessed an LGBT/GLBT parade. My first time ever baring witness to such and I thought to myself “what freedom!” And how patriotic it was to have other citizens openly support the cause, in the name of those who identified themselves as a part of this group.  We stood amidst the crowd on the side-lines as the parading parties took up the road on King’s street!”

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Amidst the crowd was I.

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Stockholm was a fresh of breath air. Seeing how conveniently their country runs gives me hope for my own country which is still in the infancy of setting up and rectifying  systems for the convenience of public use.

For more amazing pictures from stockholm, check out  http://www.justimagephotography.com

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The King’s Towers in Kungsgatan [King’s Street] downtown Stockholm.

Poland | 99 Years of Independence

TRAVEL

Poland has plenty of public holidays. A consequence of these holidays is that all shops, malls & most restaurants close their doors to join in celebrations – bringing business to a halt.

This was the case on November 11th 2017 when Poland celebrated its National Independence Day to commemorate the recovery of Poland as a sovereign state.

Taking a brief look into the history of Poland; the First Polish Republic [Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth] lasted a period of 226 years before 1795. The First Republic was a dualistic state [bi-confederation of Poland & Lithuania] ruled by a common monarch.

A Partitioned Poland existed from 1795 to 1918 [123 years], partitioned amongst the Russian Empire, the Kingdom of Prussia as well as Habsburg Austria. Four years towards the end of this period, World War 1 commenced and ended with the cessation of a Partitioned Poland.

From 1918 to 1939 the Second Republic of Poland [Polish People’s Republic or inter-war Poland] was in session, until the Second World War took place in 1939 to 1945.

A Communist Poland took up reins in the aftermath of World War 2, from 1945 to 1989.

Post 1989, Poland’s government ended its 44 years of “one – party rule” as per the Second Polish Republic, and began a democratic transition which led to what we now know as the Third Polish Republic [Post Communism – Democratic Republic of Poland].

To answer the question of when Poland gained its independence, it was in the year 1918, making the country one year short from a century of independence on November 11th 2017.

Saturday November 11th was a wet and cold day that had me in bed blogging away, waiting on the hour that my friends and I had planned to go and watch the Independence parade in Poznan’s Plac. Mickiewicza and despite the harsh weather, people were out in numbers.

To try and keep warm, my friends & I headed for the Zamek, a castle cultural center were we viewed photographs and historic depictions of Poland’s history. In the process of touring the Zamek, we stumbled upon a group of people getting ready for the parade.

Our first contact was with some lovely ladies robed in white gowns & red capes, both colors a representation of the bi-colored Polish National flag.

The moment was so intriguing I asked whether I could take picture of them. Upon agreeing, they suggested we join the group pictures and ultimately offered to dress us as they were dressed.

After completion of costumes and once it had been decided that we too would partake in the parade, we went ahead to see soldiers adding finishing touches to their costumes and chanting amongst themselves. They were to parade a historical reconstruction of Polish soldiers who had fought in the war that led to the country’s independence. It was a delight to be in the midst of such a joyous celebration.

The parade began.

Stepping into the drizzling rain, the crowd was enormous! They waved and smiled as the parade party passed by. The experience was exhilarating – celebrating the National Independence Day of Poland alongside the Poles, waving to children in the crowds and taking so many pictures along the way.

The day could not have been any more special, all thanks to the lovely ladies in white gowns and red capes.

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View of the Zamek Castle Cultural Center from Plac. Mickiewicza

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Statue performer

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Wall art depicting a time-line of Polish history | Zamek Castle

 

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Getting ready for the parade

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It was a joyous occasion!

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A historical reconstruction of Polish soldiers who fought the war towards the country’s independence

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Red capes and white gowns

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Polish street cuisine

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Poznan, Poland | City Blog

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A question I’ve often found repeatedly directed at foreigners residing in Poznan is; “How do you find it?” And so often I’ve come to find that not only do I give the same response with the change in inquisitors, but I also receive the same answer whenever I extend the same question to other outsiders.

Poznan is a city on the Warta River, in Greater Poland. This city is best known for its renaissance old town and is amongst the largest & oldest in Poland. It has been my home for just over three years now, and O’ so often I’ve answered the above question with “It grows on you”, and this is true.

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I had no previous knowledge of Poland before settling to study in Poznan, let alone the culture or cuisine of the Polish people. The detail I was certain of, which seemed to have given me false confidence concerning geography, was that I could easily locate the country on a map & like most people I had often confused it with Holland [the Netherlands].

Appreciation & understanding of a place, I believe arises from ones views & knowledge of where they come from, as well as knowledge of the place they’re trying to gain an understanding and appreciation for.

Places are uniquely different. Molded by historic influences on culture, economy, architecture and so forth, I’ve often found that society progresses and builds itself to make provision for dominant habits whilst attempting to stay rooted in cultural norms. Certain differences may prove inconvenient, while others may proof beneficial to outsiders.

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Stay long enough in a place and you’ll soon come to see the cracks & imperfections in systems. You will get critical as you get accustomed. On the other hand, I’ve come to realize that the things I most appreciate about living in this city have remained a constant over time.

Poznan is bigger than I’ve explored. In the little corner of the city where I live, which is the Grunwald dzielnica or neighbourhood, silence and lack of disturbances in the neighbourhood is what I’ve come to appreciate the most.

Coming from a country where simply carrying your purse the wrong way or leaving it unattended could have it snatch in the blink of an eye, I’ve quiet grown accustomed to my mother’s constant reminders of holding my purse close to my chest anytime I walked the town. Living in Poznan, I’ve noticed that there are times when chivalry shows up. I’ve come to appreciate this notion the day I unknowingly climbed aboard a tram with an open handbag and had somebody lightly tap on my shoulder and advise me to close my bag. Mind you, I’m on no attempt to paint a perfect picture of this centrally located polish city – as there are things I often observe in Poznan, that are not common where I come from. Second hand public smoking is something one often runs into more often than not. You’re likely to find yourself walking behind someone strolling with a cigarette in hand ahead of you.

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Old Market Square

One thing I can comment on, for both the city I hail from (Windhoek) as well as for Poznan, is the beauty in their sunsets. Now, of course this sunsets are subject to seasonal change – but when the opportunity presents itself and one takes a glance at the horizon from a good point of view, you are bound to find an astonishing sunset that will make you appreciate the dance of colors from lighting produced by sun beams during the summer & autumn seasons.

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Old Market Square

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Plac Wolnosci

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Fredry Street

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Jordan Bridge | Most Biskupa Jordana

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Archcatherdral Basilica of St.Peter & St.Paul

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Lake Malta

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Palma De Majorca, Spain | Chasing Summer

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Majorca or Mallorca, is one of four large islands that make up the Balearic islands of the Spanish archipelago[chain cluster of islands].  In addition to Majorca, Menorca; Ibiza & Formentera make up the largest of the Balearic Islands. Surrounded by much smaller islets and located east of the Spanish mainland in the Mediterranean sea, these Spanish islands are well known for their tropical weather; festive vibes & attracting an increasing number of holidaymaker.

The decision to visit Majorca was made in early June and the trip scheduled for the last week of the same month. Over the next two weeks prior to the trip, the rainy and gloomy weather we were experiencing in Poznan, Poland had taken a toll on me. For this reason, the anticipation of climate change had me counting down days to the arrival of the trip. In my mind and like so many of us do, I associated & anticipated a more vibrant ambiance to  warmer climate and thus grew eager to flee the wet Polish city.

With luggage prepped, passport in hand & an excitement paralleling that of a five year old, the trip began. Having arranged a 4 day stay & last minute reservations with Hotel Amic Horizonte in Palma, all that remained was to arrive.

I had anticipated the PMI Airport to be of smaller size and was vastly mistaken as a significant distance lay between our arrival flight and the luggage collection belts. A drawback encountered at this airport was the accessible, but non-functional wifi connection. The heat as anticipated was well met and the level of humidity was not a surprise as much as it was a discomfort.

Having lived in Cuba for a good year and a half, I had familiarized myself with some traits of Spanish culture; language; cuisine & customs. Cuba is known for its cultural diversity, built from Spanish; African; French and Asian influences. Having been a Spanish colony since 1492 when Christopher Columbus discovered the Island, until 1898 when the US defeated the Spanish who than gave up all claims & ceded the Island to the US, Cuba adapted much of its cultural traits from its Spanish conquerors.

Keeping an open mind upon arrival and forming no prior expectations regarding culture or lifestyle, I allowed myself a chance to better compare and contrast similarities & differences between Spain and the much more familiar Cuban traits I knew.

In addition to the obvious connection by language, many Cubans are of Spaniard descent and a growing community of Cuban immigrants in Spain is not unheard of.

The Spanish carry traces of a different accent in their spoken language, accompanied by a lisp. The lisp heard in the Spaniard’s Spanish is accredited to the Spanish King Ferdinand who supposedly had a lisp that caused the “z & c” letters in a word to be pronounced as “th”. The imitation of the King’s pronunciation revolutionized a new way of speaking.

The tropical climate in both places appeared equivalent, warm air; warm water & heightened humidity. You’re most likely to break a sweat even when immobile & under shade. To my understanding, Spain does have the diversity of all four seasons [including mild winters], compared to Cuba which only experiences the long effects of summers & mild effects of short winters.

The trip to Majorca was a delight! With beautiful sceneries and an easy to use public transport system, we explored as long as time allowed.

 

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Porto Pi commercial center located in Palma, the capital of the Island.

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Bathing in the clear blue waters of Cala Major beach

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The hot weather made no exceptions, everyone had to cool down and families were out in numbers.

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Walking along the shoreline

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T. in all her glory!

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Yes, we had a photographer

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Skin | Tone | Shades

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what better place to be | sunbathing for a tan-line & catching waves

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what better place to be | sunbathing for a tan-line & catching waves

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Walking the streets from the beach in the late afternoon

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Grandma & granddaughter on that scooter ride

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Waiting for A bus at the Porto Pi bus stop in Palma

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The yacht life | Sea ports fully clustered with yachts

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Windy days | Dancing of the Palms

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Palmas de Majorca

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Cathedral of Santa Maria |A Roman Catholic Cathedral of Gothic Architecture in Palma

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The streets of Palma

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To the left: El Corte Ingles – the biggest department chain store group in Spain |Founded in Madrid & spread across cities in the country.

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Waterfront

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After a long day of outdoor activities, we sat down for tapas

Palma De Majorca, Spain | My First Time in Spain

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Having wanted to visit Spain as far back as I can remember, it was an inexplicable coincidence that had Theopo and I both set on visiting Spain during the summer of 2017. We got in touch, made a few decisions and some arrangements and we were on our way to Majorca.

Upon arrival, we’d agreed to wait & meet at the Palma de Mallorca Airport since her flight from Dusseldorf was due to arrive 20 minutes after my flight from Munich had landed.

This arrangement had gone astray as her phone had died and airport WIFI was failing to connect. At first I opted to roam but then came to realise that the Orange Network is used in Spain as well, this discovery was futile as her phone was out of battery.

I opted to wait and hoped I’d spot her out in the passing crowd of arriving passengers as I set besides the luggage collection belts – suitcase in site, painting my nails a deep red as I pondered on all the excitement of having arrived in Mallorca, Spain.

After waiting close to an hour with no communications from her, I started to think that maybe she had found her way to the hotel ahead of me. During several failed attempts to contact her once again, I made a decision that had me on the way to the hotel. Half way from the airport to Hotel Horizonte where we had made our reservation, I receive a call from her asking where I was and that she was still at the airport. I asked the taxi to turn around and upon arrival at the airport, I get a second call informing me she is at the hotel. The roller-coaster of events was tedious, but we finally caught up with each other at Hotel Horizonte just before 10pm.

After checking in and being redirected to our assigned room by Adrianne – the young man who worked reception that night, we encountered the room to have some electrical problems. The time was now approaching midnight and on top of being upset that the hotel failed to pre-check the conditions of the room they’d assigned us before our arrival, we were famished and hoped to grabbed dinner before retiring to bed. Adrianne didn’t seem too sure on how to handle the situation and suggested he could get an electrician to fix the problem. We though that solution to be ridiculous & instead demanded to be reassigned a new room upon our return from dinner.

The hotel we stayed in was centrally located we thus took a 10min walk to the Porto-Pi commercial center and set down in Burger King as most food outlets where closed at this hour. Returning to the hotel, we were assigned a new room which turned out to be quite spacious. We settled in and chatted the night away as we prepared for bed.

My expectations of Spain where somehow challenged. The heat & humidity that met us in Majorca was bearable but discomforting. Waking up to our first full day, it took us all morning to get ready and upon stepping out, the sun was at full peak!

We headed in the direction of the commercial centre in search for snacks and drinks we could carry to the beach. Once we had the items in our possession, we hoped onto the bus and made our way to Cala Major beach in Palma.

The beach was pleasingly breath-taking with its white sand and blue waters! The Spanish were sunbathing to the colour of lobsters and dipping themselves into the waters repeatedly – some in all their naked glory! The level of comfort they have with their bodies is quite commendable. From young to old, women bear breasted or clothed – the heat blazing and waters refreshing, it was divine!

We returned to the hotel and passed the afternoon bathing in the cool waters of the hotel pool. Making friends during the course of this engagement, we arranged to have drinks with our new acquaintances later that evening, as they were scheduled to fly out of Mallorca in the early morning hours.

The evening was rather stimulating as we exchanged talk on career, origins, culture, shared music & dance moves. The night came to an end somewhat abruptly and we parted ways never to meet again!

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¿Cómo no vamos a tomar una selfie | How are we not going to take a selfie?

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Head statue of David | Estatua cabeza de David

 

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View from Hotel Horizonte Terrace

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Risa Capturada | Captured laughter

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llegando de la piscina | Arriving from the pool

 

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The streets leading to Porto-Pi shopping centers | Las calles que llegan a la Galeria de Porto-Pi

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Whilst inside the shopping mall, we encountered a stand with all sorts of delicious snacks

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Dentro de la Galeria de Porto-Pi

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Las calles que nos llevan a la playa Cala Major

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Where else would you rather be when temperatures are so high?

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Colors of the ocean

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Los apartamientos cerca de la playa

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Palmas de Majorca | Palms of Mallorca

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Family sunbathing

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walking the streets after the beach

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El view del Hotel Horizonte de la pisina

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Caminando las calles de Porto-Pi

 

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Listo a salir para la noche

Poland by Train, Get on Board!

TRAVEL

When compared to using roads or catching domestic flights across Polish cities, I would say that discovering Poland by train is a better choice. Driving can be tedious & lengthy while flights may be few and far spread causing one to pass time in airports. Traveling by train is quite efficient as you can get from one city to another in as little as four hours, such is the case between Gdansk and Poznan – But also trains are constantly on the move and one can easily reserve tickets on-line and hop onto the next train due to the frequency with which trains come and go.

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The efficiency and ease of travel is widely made available across Europe as tourism industries bring in huge numbers of country-trotting tourists and like in so many European countries, one can easily navigate & explore Poland by train.

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Intercity trains across Poland may not be of the same standard as its neighboring countries such as Germany and thus you may find yourself aboard a communist-era train carriage with the same frequency one finds themselves aboard a modern-tech train. Nonetheless, Polish intercity trains get you to your destination according to schedule. One can only anticipate and hope that high speed rails of up to date technology gain more ground nationally in line with the increasing population mobility of not only Polish commuters, but also tourists and international business consultants on the rise as the Polish economy continues to grow.

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Warsaw being the capital and central buzz of most business activities makes a frequent first point of entry for most modes of transport coming in and out of Poland.  The rail network spreads out across Poland from its biggest cities and Warsaw happens to be the point of convergence for all trains coming into the country.

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Gdynia train station

 

Discovering different parts of Poland and experiencing the culture from different perspectives regarding location has proven that most city environments consists of more or less the same ambiance, the difference has not proven to be much and most of it is highly influence by resource availability in said areas. Cities come to life in the old market squares so be sure to visit the old markets, especially at night as the lights amplify and bring a magical feel to the atmosphere.

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Krakow old market square at night

Gdynia, Poland | A Mid Spring Insight Into Gdynia’s Waterfront

TRAVEL

Spring is well known to breathe life into the bleakness of harsh northern winters. When the cold lasts so long & daylight is often viewed on a grey-scale, one can’t help but eagerly anticipation the arrival of a new season. But what happens when season change is late to turn and come mid spring, we’re all still dragging around heavy coats?

This year was no different as the cold extended well into the new season and when the sun came out, we all flocked to the streets to soak up the heat.

The tree below, situated just outside the courtyard. Fascinating as it is without leaves in the middle of spring with its branches looking like dead roots reaching for the sky.

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Prolonged Winter Effects | Dead Tree Branches straining to reach the sky

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Perfect for a stroll

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Polish Navy ORP Blyskawica H34 Museum Destroyer

The ORP Błyskawica (H34) was a destroyer in the Polish Navy during World War II and is the only ship of the Polish Navy to be awarded the Virtuti Militari medal. The ship is currently preserved as a museum ship in Gdynia’s waterfront.
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Deep Blues

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The ships of Gdynia’s waterfront

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Dragon Pirate Ship

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Evidence of spring

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Gdynia’s Fountain Mist

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Basking in the sun|after one too many cloudy days

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Flower bed angle

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The sun brings everyone out for a stroll

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A friendly face pops up in warm colors

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Multi-Nation ship mast

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The docks

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Polish Navy ORP Blyskawica H34 Museum Destroyer

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All so detailed | as crowds flocked to the streets

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Ship mast

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Polish flag

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Polish Navy ORP Blyskawica H34 Museum Destroyer

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An art of strings

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Anchor

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Welcome to the On board fish bar

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Amazing Heights!

 

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beautiful

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Ship mast so extensive

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Joseph Conrad Monument at waterfront

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Gdynia Waterfront sky-scraping statue

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waterfront square

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A day spent soaking up the heat

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Southern Pier Waterfront | Baltic Sea

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The port city produced amazing photographs around this time of year. The weather, though chilled was manageable & the streets where heavily pack during the day & emptied up at night!

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