One of my biggest dreams when I was a child is to visit the incredible “City of Love” Paris, all of the girls in my town would love to be there it’s very famous of its romantic and european style architectures, buildings, people, culture and plus they speak the language of love “french”.
How many of you would love to go to this place? I’m pretty sure every single lady would love to be proposed by their lover in front of the Eiffel Tower, to make a lovers padlock in the Bridge, and eat french croissant and pain au chocolat while sitting in front of the Seine River.
For this part I’ll show you more of my forte, since I am a historical lover I do love to visits museums and expositions etc. so my second official visit in the city town of Paris is most likely to visit the rest of the places that I haven’t visit yet, and of course to tour the most famous and largest museum in the world, a historical place in Paris The Louvre.
The Louvre or Louvre Museum is one of the most visited place in Paris, it is the third most visited Museum in the world with more or less 7 millions visitors every year, there are around 38,000 objects from prehistory to 21st century including for sure the masterpiece of Leonardo De Vinci’s Mona Lisa and a lot more aircrafts from the most famous people, furthermore the Museum contains the most prestigious collections like Egyptian Antiquities, Near Eastern Antiquities, Greek, Etruscan, and Roman Antiquities; Islamic Art; sculpture, Decorative Arts; Paintings; Prints and Drawings and a lot more.
Organizing the visit was quite difficult at first when we passed by to this place we thought that we could directly come in and have a tour however it’s not likely that way here, in this place you will see people queuing up to enter the Louvre that would take for 30 minutes to one hour of waiting just to enter imagine? the day we went to our hotel to plan the tour for the next day, we bought our tickets online and went there as early as possible but well surprise there’s still a queue even 8:00 am but not as much as yesterday.
It was a sunny day, the weather is harmoniously synchronizing with my mood despite of the long queue we were able to stay calm and stress less. waited for more about 25 minutes finally its our turn to enter, yehey I was very excited that I want to see all of the precious fine objects inside this famous museum. Time check 8:30 am and we’re about to start our grand tour.
This is the first view when you get inside the Museum.
After a brief tour in the entrance hall its time to kick some oh sorry not to kick to visit the first section that we have chosen and that’s the Greek/Roman/European Empire the most awaiting part garnering the most visited department you know why? it’s just that its very famous if you have seen the book based film “The Vinci Code” the museum earned $2.5 million by allowing filming in its galleries.
With not much further a do here I’ll show you one my favorite galleries including the painting of Mona Lisa, The Wedding Feast at Cana, The Winged Victory of Samothrace, and many more.
There were a lot of cool stuffs that are exposed in the galleries it’s really up to you where will you start first but for me I chose this one since I wanted to see more of paintings, arts, and just have that feeling to be back on 300 BC feeling like a time machine where you can see all the creations, fantastic and incredible creations rather from our ancient people.
Meanwhile on the other part of the gallery we have encountered the most unique pieces which are the collection of special arts from different cultural base of several countries starting off with the African rare objects, Asians including from Malaysia, Indonesia, and Philippines among other collections are also from South and North American and Eastern and Western Europe.
The one and only piece came from my country which I’m very proud of.
The tour from the beginning took us around hours already then we decided to take a break eat some a little bit and continue, for those who doesn’t know the Museum area is 72,735 square metres (782,910 square feet) it might take you an hour to tour just one category of the galleries.
Looking forward to the next department its the Egyptian side, it is really fun to see how this collection was retrieved thinking that it was from way back years ago.
Going through the Near Eastern Antiquities it’s the second new department, the contents are from the archeological objects of Iraq, Iran from Persian period. The most famous collection is the Human-Headed winged bull Assyria, limestone from 8th century.
The last part was the ancient greek mythology side where you can see statues of Hercules, Artemis, Zeus, Hermes and a lot more. Well I wish I could show you all the fantastic works of art the Louvre Museum has unfortunately I have a limited space here so I’m trying to cater the maximum that I can so here are just a quick peek of the Greek Gods.
Before I end I want to share to you the most expensive collections that I have seen this are the jewelry collection of the French Royal family from Louis XV period, and the rest of the descendants.
Personally I would consider it as the “chamber of secrets “like in Harry Potter, chamber of jewelry and fancy stuffs, the rest of the place are extremely elegant and majestic, who doesn’t want to see this things, I think every girl wants to marry a prince in her dreams.
So there it is our journée in La Louvre Museum it was pretty long, started 8:00 am as I have mention earlier till 4:00 pm and after that we headed directly to Brussels. my eyes are very intrigued with all those collections that I have discovered some were familiar to me some were my first time to see especially the Mona Lisa painting, looking at it, it feels like unreal honestly the tour was worth it.
Finally I could say after years of coming in and out of Paris I have visited this most famous Museum in the world, no offense from the other Museums however this one is the most that I’m looking forward to.
Some tips if you want to organize a visit in the Museum, first you need to know that this is a huge really huge place it will take you hours of walking and visiting the entire area, be reminded that there are restaurants inside the hall so you can eat whenever you want. Be sure to come early before 8:00 am perhaps especially in summer its very tight very full. Be reminded that when you buy your tickets you need to select the entrance time so be prepared and be there early before your chosen time.
Nothing much more to say, this a 10/10 score for me, if you will visit the Museum in the near future you can always visit their official website Louvre.fr
Ticket are also available there its 17 euros/person, open every day except Tuesdays from 9:00 am to 6:00pm
You’ll receive an information map, audio guides from different languages they even offer guided tours and workshops, so it’s all for you now to choose what’s the best fit for your tour. I wish you had a great fun reading this article.
As an habitual way to turn the page of the season winter is the spring, when spring comes it means nature will be no more in mode hibernation, nature will be more colorful, trees will be filled with leaves, grasses resembles like a beautiful shining green carpet, and flowers are commencing their petals to flourish, bees will be more occupied to fulfill their works, and above all Spring in europe means Tulips will be one of the biggest clan of flowers that will be lively and attractive to watch out.
After a long trip from Philippines the next plan is to visit one of the most biggest flower gardens of the world, it is located in the city of Lisse just right next to Amsterdam on its southwest part in Netherlands. The journey began with early in the morning like 6:00 am already in the road, a road trip from brussels to Holland that will take for about more than 2 hours depending of the traffic flow, unfortunately for us passing through frontier between Belgium and Netherlands is the busiest.
The ride took us 3 hours to get to the destined place, it was already passed 9:00 am when we arrived, before entering the main road I’ve noticed the large farm of tulips around however the flowers were already ripped off since it was almost the end of the tulips season.
Entering the garden was majestic, blooming flowers was waiting to welcome us the colors of each and every variety of tulips are amazing there were violet, blue, red, yellow, orange, white, pink it was like a real rainbow shattered in the garden. Not just tulips but also daffodils and hyacinths.
There weren’t a lot of people at that time, I had such an incredible time to savour the immense city of tulips and just relax take some photos from here to there.
The park covers an area of 32 hectares equivalent to 79 acres, accordingly it has approximately 7 million flower bulbs planted yearly which means this place is enormously brimmed with blossoms surrounding.
Keukenhof actually means “kitchen garden” has more or less 100 royal suppliers, this are exhibitors who supply the best of the best range of flowers and arrange them accordingly through out the exposition.
On the map you will see some guide the area, places where you can visit publicly, some with shops, souvenirs etc. at first you have Wilhelmina which indicated a shop image and restaurant and also public toilets, next is Beatrix for Orchid Show then Irene a plain shop, Willem-Alexander with flower shows, Oranje Nassau with flower shows, flower mosaic and walk of fame, the Mill, and lastly Main Entrance and Flower Bulb Shop.
It has several types of gardens too it features the english landscape garden which has winding paths and see-through alignment, the historical garden which has many old types of bulb, nature garden which consist of water garden and shrubs and japanese country garden a non-traditional garden.
As we passed by from one garden to another I’ve noticed a lot of types of colourful displays, uniques statues, paintings, arts and special art designs that are very attractive on eyes.
Aside from this unique displays of course the most much visited area of the park is the famous Mill, there were already many people at the vicinity, families, children, couples, doing some picnic, it was the highlight of the site, along side is the souvenir shop filled with special items for visitors.
There is also a kiosk for the Wispher Boat tour it was 7 euros per person for a tour in the tulip farm, but unluckily since we visited a little late in the month the farmers already cut off the tulips for their the next cycle of bulbs to be created.
After visiting the Mill on the other corner, there’s a small building with a collection of different kinds of orchids exhibition, wide range of rare colorful orchids decorated and designed by specialists they usually call it the orchid show which is stated in the map, there were also some mannequins wearing special clothes with orchid design on it, it was very interesting to see cause it’s not typical nowadays.
After the visit in the Orchid Show next was to eat lunch in Wilhelmina near the big fountain, but before getting there we get to go up close in the lake and did the march with the circle spot like wood floating. there were people crossing the lake at the moment it was kinda difficult for two or even three persons in one circle, you really need to be careful not to fall on the lake if that I’ll be a bad day for you.
After lunch the visit wasn’t over yet, continuing our track next on the line is Juliana/Tulpomania wherein this place offers exhibition of tulpomania and bulb information which means it’s all about the “bulb” for those who doesn’t know this is a rounded underground storage organ, consisting of a short stem surrounded by fleshy scale leaves or leaf bases in short this is the kind of seed but for tulips it’s called a bulb.
The biggest of all the exhibition building is the Willem-Alexander it has the largest exposition with an area filled with flowers arts, designs, landscape, shops, ideas for interior design with plants and even techniques and ways to make plants look more attractive and prettier and a lot more.
The best thing that I’ve found here is that handicap persons are very welcome and they can access almost every where in the park except on those circle spot floating in the lake of course.
A few walks later I saw a small house with some rabbit like form statues all over the place, I wonder what was it at first I thought it was like a souvenir shop for tulips but in the end when I went there it was a petit Miffy Village.
Miffy is originally told by Dick Bruna to his son for bedtime stories as white bunny, who scampered around the garden of their holiday home, later on he sketched and make it a little girl bunny in dress and so Miffy was born.
Miffy is very popular for children all over the world, its creator featured her in more than 30 books, she is known as “nijntje” in Netherlands from the dutch word “konijntje”, meaning “little bunny” and in French she is known as “le petit lapin” .
Moving on, I wanna show you my favorite part of this tour normally there’s two of them first is the different types of water fountain that I saw around the gardens, I intentionally took pictures of them cause for me I find them beautiful, who knows one day I’m gonna build a water fountain in my house.
The second is my personal collection of beautiful photos of tulips that I have collected, hopefully it will please you also.
Over all Keukenhof is a very accessible park to all, for all ages and specially for handicapped persons they even have wheelchairs free of charge and electric wheelchairs with 10 euros charge available in the park, however with a 20 euros for security deposit.
Free Wi-fi, Lockers , Lost and found service, and even your dog can enter in the park except in restaurants and pavilions.
Opening hours is from 8:00 am – 7:30 pm
Admission fees :
- adults – € 16
- children (aged 0 to 3) – free
- children (aged 4 to 11) – € 8
- combi-ticket (entrance + travel from Amsterdam) – € 29
How to go to Keukenhof ? via public transport use 9292.nl find the shortest and the fastest way to get to Keukenhof by public transport. Note that during Keukenhof opening season there are special direct buses going to Keukenhof from airport Schiphol (№858), Leiden (№854) and Haarlem (№850).
Going there by car? Keukenhof is located between Amsterdam and Leiden. To plan your route use Keukenhof’s address in your navigation: Stationsweg 166A, Lisse. It will take you approx. 40 minutes (sometimes more depending on the traffic) to drive from Amsterdam to Keukenhof. You can park your car near the park for € 6.
For more informations go to the official website keukenhof.nl
Score : 8.9/10
Almost everything was perfect but due to the traffic of the road deviation in the Keukenhof Area, and plus the inutility of the Whisper Boat without the tulips farm this is my score.
Have you ever heard of this ancient greek historical places, if you’re a fan of Greek Mythology or Greek history you might already have read about them, It all started with a curiosity at the beginning at it turns out to be more and more intense of the stories or myth behind this mysterious country Greece.
Have you ever questioned yourself between reality and the myth about the Goddess, Zeus, Hera, Aphrodite, Athena, Hector, Paris, Adonis, Apollo and many other known names, even if we go into details about the past and history of Greece some of this names will come out, how come people from the ancient period mentioned the goddesses and drag it til the future, what is really the connection between this two different worlds? did Zeus really existed? did Athena herself was the Queen of the City of Athens? what if Gods really existed? what if there are still some demigods out there trying to survive themselves in this fierce world.
Well all I can say is lets keep it as a mystery, every world has a secret, let it be, leave it like that. who knows one day someone out there will unleash the truth behind every enigma in this world.
A week in Athens wasn’t really enough to tour all the corners of it, all the beautiful sceneries, the people, the culture, its treasures, its ruins, its history, It was pretty tough to have a short time in this beautiful city. it has been decided that the last day would be visiting the so-called Peloponnese part of western Greece, getting almost in Sparta there were incredible, stunning, and wonderful temple/ruins to be discovered.
Sunny morning we’re heading to west Attica direction, we happen to take the non toll roads, where you need to take the short and normal roads of the village and after we had a quick stop in Megara, It was a fine view of Megara Gulf, the ocean was blue the other islands was clearer as I can imagine. Since I’m a fan of greek mythology I know who is Megara but for the real city that’s existing I havent heard anything special in this city a part from its outstanding picturesque seaside, the Saint Constantine and Helen church, the rest is yet to research.
During our quick stop at Megara, I have at least took some magnificent photos of the Megara Gulf and its surroundings. On the left side as you can see its the trail way and from far island view are Islands of Makronosis, Revithousa, and Salamina.
Near Ancient Corinth there is a bridge connecting Corinth to Athens, there were superb photos that I found online and I really wanna see it with my own eyes, unfortunately we passed on the other side of the bridge which I haven’t had a good angle in the car to take a picture. it was desperate sadness not to have even one picture of it.
Meanwhile we continued our adventure, taking up the toll-free roads to Corinth City, we actually got confuse because the city Corinth and there’s also Ancient Corinth, instead we went to Corinth arriving at the place it was kinda bizarre cause the place is pretty modernize, a lot of cars, building were like same in Athens.
I recheck the address on the GPS and it was actually the right one, but Ancient was added on so as we tried with Ancient Corinth and there I found the real address was pretty far from where we are, it’s actually 20 minutes drive more to the Temple of Apollo.
At last after more or less an hour and half of searching this place finally we have found it, it’s normally an hour drive from Athens but since we had some circumstances causing to be more delayed than expected.
Archaological Site Of Corinth And Temple of Apollo
In this site can be found not just only the Temple of Apollo but as well as the remains/ruins of the Corinth itself, the beauty of this ancient city hasnt faded even once, even to its archeological parameters it has quite dramatic, according to Greeks Temple of Apollo is one of the best examples of Doric Building in the greek world.
Getting to the inside was interesting, it was a big space in the midst of nowhere, only houses and normal buildings around. As we landed in the area, paid 6 euros for entrance fee and get to discover the museum and its collection from the Ancient City located where you are.
A great way to start the day it was already pas 11:00 am and now here we are roaming, searching, discover this antic site part of the Ancient city, the view of this temple is splendid I could say that it has the perfect 7 columns left standing after all this decades. I could imagine and feel the houses built before, the roads, the people, if I close my eyes I feel like I’m in the middle of the film from Hercules or Odyssey.
Going to the inside of the Museum, it was filled with different collections of remains from the city, vases, coins, toys, plates, sculptures, mosaic floors, parts of statues and figurines, buttons, and a lot more. As they’ve said romans were very keen of water, fountains and running water are their favourites, that’s perhaps the answer why researcher have digged out from their excavations more of vases, pots, and other things that mostly related to water.
Corinth was one of the famous city for its pottery, that explains why I saw a lot of pottery collection from different stages and designs.
Corithian Order Columns in Ancient Corinth
Corinthian Order is one of the three classical orders of Greek and Roman architecture, the others are Doric Order and Ionic Order, Corinthian was one of the most difficult of the three showing how luxurious lifestyle and the wealth of the city.
Adoring this remains might be the easiest work to do but making them will take maybe a century to attain its perfection.
Meanwhile on the farther northern part of the site was a total beauty with its pure and solitude ambiance features of remains, since Corinth was once considered as the “city of luxury” because of its wealth, its pretty obvious as you can see the richness of the architectural foundation.
It makes me wonder how have they actually build the temples at the first place, then how did they come up with this structural ideas for their houses, roads, ports, and others. It’s largely impressive.
The monolithic rock hilltop that you actually see as the background of the temple is called Acrocorinth means “upper Corinth” it is the acropolis of the Ancient Corinth. it is one of the most popular site of the city since it has been the most impressive Acropolis/high city of mainland Greece but unfortunately for me being my first time travelling without a lot of information from the western part of Greece I havent had the time to research and I slipped this information, even after the visit we went to a restaurant nearby ordered some greek dishes and ask for some other sites that we might visit and the man said “you must visit Mycenae”
though the visit has taken more or less an hour plus lunch, it was practically 2:00 pm when we decided to go with no hesitations, we rather directly drive out and hence our next destination is Mycenae it is.
Continuing our toll-free road at the time being, enormous mountains were in front of us, its symmetrical angles are surely charming, the curves, lines, and its forms were almost identical. lucky to have this view for another 45 minutes drive going to our next stop I’m sufficiently prepared for this next adventure.
Finally arrived at this place, roads were not that difficult to follow although it was calm not a lot of vehicles around mostly I can see was tour buses and motorcycles from locals. the ruins and museums are located on the top of the hill as expected I can sense a wonderful story to be discovered here, I’m very excited.
Mycenae is an archeological site consist of the classical temple and ruins, the grave circle A, citadel of Mycenae, and museum its located near Mikines in Greece. The lion’s gate will be the first thing you will see upon entering the main entrance of the bronze age citadel of Mycenae.
The entrance fee is 6 euros person access of Mycenae and Treasury of Atreus, but if you’re a student is free or being in a group it’ll be more cheaper.
Grave Circle A
As you go to the right side after the entrance you’ll find this noticeable circle form of ruins, it is called the Grave Circle A, a royal cemetery situated to the south of lion’s gate.
After climbing up you’ll see a beautiful panorama of the whole place with the view of the whole citadel, the mountains surrounding it and the ruins above all.
I have read the citadel facts about its time-consuming construction process, I can’t believe that the Minimum stone required: 145,215 Cu.M or 14,420 average stones (10 tons) that will actually take 2.125 days to move a 1 block of stone, imagine how long will it take to build a citadel like this. It’s really amazing how ancient people live their lives like this.
Walking around the area til its exit gate was exhausting, the place is very interesting, if you’re a fan of new discoveries, reading while walking, this one is perfect for you. Of course reading all the details of every single piece of stone that you may see is really annoying but once you followed the story you’ll become part of it and you’ll surely never stop reading until you’ll be totally satisfied.
As we go on, we bump into a cave like passage where you can go down using the stairs, at first it looks creepy but once you got in you’ll different it was like being with the Mycenean people working and doing their job. I light up my phone lamp and go one until the dead-end well not really its just that it’s stated “no enter” so I guess that’s means you cannot go on anymore.
Lion Tholos Tomb
After nearly finishing the tour of the citadel, the tomb of Lion Tholos was on the way, it’s mostly known as “Beehive Tomb” its a kind of burial structure having a false dome that resembles a beehive.
The last highlight is the Museum, personally its more like normal for me, since I got to visit tons of Museums everywhere but I guess the Museum of Mycenae is special for its very calm and details, its more of a place where you can relax while walking around reading some information about Greece’s history.
Treasury of Atreus
But lastly there’s one more archeological site that we must visit, its situated not to far from Mycenae its 5 mins drive it’s called the Tomb of Agamemnon hearing this name reminds of the “Helen of Troy” movie does it reminds you too? If yes you know what I mean but for the sake of those who doesn’t have any idea from the movie Agamemnon is the king of Mycenae or Argos the brother of Menelaus the king of Mycenaean Sparta the husband of Helen of Troy.
It’s also a Beehive/tholos tomb, one of the largest actually located on the Panagitsa Hill of Mycenae its known for its lintel stone above the doorway which weights 120 tons that makes an extreme dimension of the door makes it the largest of the world and its monumental shape and grandeur it is one of the most impressive monuments.
According to some information that I’ve found, Agamemnon doesn’t have anything to do about this tomb, it was the german archeologist Heinrich Schliemann who named this place and thus the name was use ever since.
To end the day a sweet sunset view was the last perfect piece to make it indescribable, for me this one is one of the special tour that I’ve done, I call it a Lazy Traveller’s Way of discovering other places. I’m not a professional traveller nor a professional Nomad I am simply a human who wants to enjoy my designated limited vacations and making the best out of it.
For those who want to discover other place near Athens it’ll be magnificent. just don’t forget your suitable shoes for walking and wear comfortable clothes, especially light ones cause its very hot in terms of weather issues. If you’re travelling via car better pack up your own food and drinks It’ll be cheaper or even via bus bring a backpack with your food and drink on.
To summarize all of my experiences from Athens to Argolis it was 100 percent fantastic, though there were maybe more places we could have visited if I managed to plan it before it started but no regrets at all. the food, the places, the people, it was all worth it.I totally recommend you to spend a week or more and delve into the inner history of Greece.
Score : 8.8/10
Athens as we all know is the capital and the largest city in Greece, it has been a city for 3,500 years but its greatest glory was during the classical period of ancient Greece from now has several building and artifacts that still standing. Metropolitan population reached 3.7 million inhabitants.
The name of Athens was from its patron goddess Athena (goddess of wisdom, craft and war), according to etiological myth its name was acquired from winning the legendary contest between Athena and Poseidon requested to be patrons of the city and dedicate their names to it, she won by creating an Olive tree which Athenians accepted and named their city to her.
Athens had passed from Roman to Byzantine when the empire was split, later it was part of the Ottoman Empire however did not became of the independent Greece until 1832, 2 years after it became Greece capital and after 62 years it hosted the very first modern Olympics.
It remains a metropolis which is the center of businesses and a major world tourist attractions.
There are some places that I have visited in Athens, for a week spending in this enraptured city I have learnt a lot of things culturally, and more over people in this city are much more friendlier as I’ve heard from people’s opinion before getting here. Let me guide and show you these delightful experience of mine, considering that I didn’t visit every corner of Athens but anyways these places are 100 percent worth it to spend your time.
Temple of Olympian Zeus
known as Olympieion or Columns of the Olympian Zeus, is a former colossal at the center of Greek capital, dedicated to the olympian Zeus.
Built over several centuries and completed by a roman emperor, its unique columns and layout made it to be one of the largest built in ancient history.
General Entrance: 2 euros, Hours of Operation:
Winter: 08:30 – 15:00
Summer: Daily: 08:00 – 19:30
Arch of Hadrian
Commonly known as Hadrian’s Gate, it has been said that the gate is built to celebrate the adventus or arrival of the Roman Emperor Hadrian it resemble a bit with the Roman triumphal arch.
To arrive in the location of this Arch all you have to do is to walk until the end of the Temple Olympian Zeus and you will reach this place, it’s actually in the side of the road on open public so no more entrance free to pay.
Means “beautiful marble” a multi purpose stadium in Athens, listed as one of the main attractions of the city, to enter here is not free at all but not too expensive either you must make a reservation or buy ticket on the place. its 3 euros or 1,50 euros reduced, Open daily from 08:00-19:00 during March to October and 08:00-17:00 for November to February.
The National Garden
It’s a 15.5 hectares enormous Garden located at the back of the Parliament, the park was used to be garden of the royal palace, eventually the garden was open to public for free admission.
Inside this place you will see some remaining ancient ruins, amazing landscapes, plants, trees, and flowers.
Is found in the National Garden, the heart of Athens City, The Zappeion is currently being used as a Conference and Exhibition Center.
The Acropolis Museum was built to conserve and display all the artifacts, and rocks parts found in the surroundings of the treasured area of Acropolis which are essential to the Athenian’s history.
General admission fee is 5 euros, Free entry: 6 March (In Memory of Melina Mercouri), 25 March, 18 May (International Museum Day), 28 October.
Summer season opening hours may vary from 8:am to 4, 8, or 10:00 pm or winter season from 9:00am to 5, 8, or 10:00 pm depending on what day you will visit.
I have already discussed this site in my previous article you can continue reading here : Acropolis which consists of Parthenon, Theatre of Dionysos, Theatre of Herodes Atticus, Temple of Athena Nike, Erechtheion, Old Temple of Athena, Statue of Athena Promachos, Propylaea, Eleusinion, Sanctuary of Artemis Brauronia or Brauroneion, Altar of Athena, Sanctuary of Pandion and many more.
Is located in the northern part before the entrance of Acropolis, from the inside you’ll see some ancient columns, Tower of the Winds, Gate of Athena Archegetis, East Propylon, Fethiye Mosque, Agoranomion, Vespasianae.
The word itself literally means rock” people say the name of comes from Ares or Erinyes, however later Romans referred it as “Mars Hill” from Mars from the Roman God of War.
The rock is situated at the northwest of Acropolis, you can actually see the rock from the Temple of Athena Nike as you’ve at the last photo of mine.
Known as Lycabettos, Lykabettos or Lykavittos the hill is one of the famous tourist spots of Athens, it’s a Cretaceous limestone hill with 300 meters high.
There are two peaks the first is still accessible via cars or other vehicles but the highest peak is accessible only by walking its passage. from the top you’ll see a 360 panorama view of the city.
Stoa of Attalos
Is located inside the Agora of Athens, the building is made of Pentelic marble and limestone. The stoa is identified as a gift to the Athenians for the education that Attalos received. The Museum of Ancient Agora is found inside Stoa it consists various types of collected items from ancient period.
Temple of Hephaestus
or known as Hephaisteion “Hephesteum” referred to its Ancient Greek name and earlier it’s called as Theseion “Theseum”. located at the northwest side of the Agora of Athens on top of the Agoraios Kolonos hill.
Ancient Agora of Athens
The Ancient Agora of Classical Athens an example of Greek Agora, it a huge location where various types of temple and ancient buildings like Peristyle Court, Mint, Enneakrounos, South Stoa I, and South Stoa II, Aiakeion, Strategeion, Agoraios Kolonos, Tholos, Agora stone, Monument of the Eponymous Heroes, Metroon (Old Bouleuterion), New Bouleuterion, Temple of Hephaestus (Hephaestion), Temple of Apollo Patroos, Stoa of Zeus, Altar of the Twelve Gods, Stoa Basileios (Royal stoa), Temple of Aphrodite Urania, Stoa of Hermes, and Stoa Poikile.
In addition to this there are more places that you must visit, places where to eat and drink, and especially to shop for souvernirs. like a flea Market Monastiraki, going there was easy from the last located which is Agora of Athens but unfortunately it began raining and I had to keep my camera to avoid raindrops.
I suggest if you would visit all this places you can reserve a package ticket or reserve online, the thing is Museums and Monuments site admission fee are very cheap 2-6 euros only. but its more interesting if you’ll buy a ticket for all of this visits it will cost you only 12 euros and try to look the schedules in advances, especially days of free admissions. except of those places that doesnt require entrance fee.
From the Airport to the city center it will take 30-40 minutes you can take by:
Metro line 3 The trip from or to the Airport to Syntagma station to Athens Center important tip is that you must not forget to validate your ticket rules are very strict and officers do often check around.
via Suburban Railway (Proastiakos) take Athens Central Railway Station (Larissis Station) and Acharnai Railway Center.
via 24 hours Express Bus which routes are directly to Athens center and Piraeus you can take port X93 to Kifissos Coach Station, X95 to Syntagma Square (subway Lines 2 and 3), X96 to Piraeus (subway Line 1) and X97 to Dafni metro station (subway Line 2) for €6 (€2.50 under 18 or over 65) or
by Taxi located at Exit 3 of Arrivals Level with a fix rate of €35 from 5:00 a.m. to midnight, and €50 from midnight to 5:00 a.m.
A private airport transfer can be also booked in advance or last but not the least rent a car i’ll be more convinient for you if you’re travelling with family.
for more infos visit http://www.visitgreece.gr
After the great experience exploring the Queen City of South its time to go back to the place where I truly feel safe, the place where I founded, molded, evolved and loved, the place where I called home, once entitled as “The City of Flowers” in my college days however after years gone by it turns out to be “The Asia’s Latin City”
As we always sing Zamboanga Hermosa a chavacano song it says there “Orgullo de Mindanao” which literally mean the Pride of Mindanao Region. It is a colorful, historical, interesting, spanish style, scenic, and most of all the people itself are different from other Filipinos around the country.
Chavacano “un poquito español” the dialect called in the city, its a mix of largely spanish words and Filipino, and Cebuano or Visaya. Among 175 dialects in the country this one is the most unusual, unique and stylish dialect currently spoken by the citizens which has been passed from old generations through new ones and still being spread and preserve by its people.
There are various tourists spots hidden in this marvelous Municipal some are just discovered recently or shall I say appreciated recently, on the other hand others were actually discovered by the people themselves. Classic beautiful spots are the Fort Pilar, Santa Cruz Island, Pasonanca Park, Paseo del Mar, Plaza del Pilar, Plaza Rizal and City Hall, Plaza Pershing, Mount Pulong Bato, Cathedral of Immaculate Concepcion, some were discovered in year 2010 and beyond like Marloquet Falls, Butterfly Garden, Limpapa Bridge, Parola in Limpapa, Grassland in Lantawan, Dulian Falls in Bungiao, Hermosa Falls in Anuling, Tinuy-an Falls, Lumbangan Falls and many more.
Lets move on to my short visit, I personally love to visit all this places, unfortunately even a zamboangueño like me haven’t explored yet some of the most beautiful spots found here, with my limited time my first priority is to spend maximum time with my family and the rest nothing rest actually I didn’t have much time, so I rigidly utilise every single second to fulfill and satisfy my duty as a daughter and sister to my family, the best way is? road trips and outings.
First was visiting KCC mall, my first time it was enormous same as those as I can see in Cebu and Manila containing different restaurants, supermarkets, branded stores and etc. my family’s favorite thing to do? is to eat so here’s our first target for that day.
Puerto Vila of Patalon
Puerto Villa Beach Resort was our next on our list, a somewhat family bonding and at the same time profiting the lovely breeze of the sea and to be relax after a non stop travel throughout the week.
With the neighbour resort just beside it was really interesting, I got to take some good pictures out of it, the sun was rising, the temperature was high but the ocean’s charm overflows them all.
Despite of being far from the city center this zone has a lot of visitors, a more or less 1 hour and a half trip would lead you to hidden resort in Barangay Patalon.
The sunset is pretty amazing here its breathless, you’ll surely be blown away by its spectacular gaze of colors, the trendy feature of sunset that you’ll normally see on films or in T.V. this one has exceptionally cross the bord of perfection.
The day was overwhelming, watching the sunset, having my favorite foods cooked by my mom, being with my siblings seeing them enjoying the ambiance, laughing and smiling, it was the perfect day for me.
Fort Pilar Shrine
We all know that Philippines was under the colonisation of Spain for more than 300 years, this shrine is one of their doings, in the history Fort Pilar was originally built as military defense fortress by spanish colonial government in Zamboanga City, after some time a relief of Our Lady of Pillar was place above the eastern wall of the fort.
According to people Virgin Mary appeared twice in the area, the first when a soldier seen her at the gate of the city and ask to stop her but by the time the soldier saw her face he fell down on his knees and secondly after a strong earthquake hit the city, Virgin Mary made an apparition standing straight with her right hand raise protecting the city from tsunami.
One of the most famous site nowadays many people would always visit here to pray, attend the mass, light candles, and praise Our Lady of Pillar who never fails to protect and guide its people and the city.
Paseo Del Mar
Who would not pass by to this corner after praying and lighting candles in Fort Pilar, it was already late that we have decided to eat our dinner here at Paseo the stunning streets lights and of course the view of the sea here are the most wanted plus the food, I remember before I used to come her with my friends and eat tempura, isaw, and nicker bucker.
Leaving this place with a satisfied stomach, we must hurry to go home and sleep for the next trip that we’ll take, a trip that I will endure for 2 hours going to Barangay Limpapa on the next day.
6 o’clock in the morning and we are heading to see the known Limpapa Bridge and Parola in Patalon. As I’ve seen the photos of my brother it gives me the pulse to see in it with own eyes if how splendid those places are, we planned to stop by the bridge first since its more easy to access to avoid the heavy sun at noon.
Lately, explosion on social media about Limpapa Bridge was definitely not to ignore, it has captured a lot of attention to locals as well as tourists in the internet, boosted by all this blissful shoutouts of videos and photos nowadays has become one of the talk about spot in City. this bridge is located at Barangay Limpapa west coast area border of Zamboanga City from Del Norte (North)
There’s not much information about this bridge as I’ve heard it’s a simple bridge which called by people from the barangay “Rol-Pa Bridge” not sure if the city municipal made it already official.
Getting to this place is very easy if you live in the city center it’s around 2 hours of travel or more depending on the weight of the road traffic, or if you live in the west area its more rapid and light since your driving straight roads until you arrive at the crossing point where military team are on duty to check vehicles who enter and exit the city.
It’s time for breakfast after a long ride and taking many pictures as we can in the bridge, As we went on the down part of the it with our small family size vehicle, we stumbled into this more unexpected seascape that it offers, I didn’t expect that the highlight of area lies underneath.
Imagine yourself having a breakfast with this picturesque view, your day will absolutely be complete. It’s around 9:30 am we ate and continue to roam around explore a little the vicinity hoping to see more great and interesting side of it.
A five minutes walk from the bridge is a residential area on the seaside, fishermen, and children were there getting ready for their day to start, as we walk on further we found out this cottages and bangka (native canoe) encircling the place.
The heat of the sun is getting more and more violent so after the short exploration we went back to the car and continue for the next destination which is just a few minutes drive away from the opposite direction.
A couple of minutes after our departure from the bridge we stumble into this recommended spot by my brother, it’s an actual beach hidden from bushes and grass on the road side. It’s an anonymous sea-side with an exceptional glimpse of the curve shape of the island.
Parola of Patalon
15-20 minutes of walk from the road side to this so-called Parola or Lighthouse which is now among the busiest places that locals and tourists visit. To penetrate to this site you need to be physically and psychologically ready from its ups and downs land formation that you must undergo.
The passage was a little bit scary if you have fear of heights it’s not advisable for you, on the other hand if you reach the top of the hill it’s all worth it you’ll see a wonderful panorama sight of the west coast.
We climbed up on the top of the lighthouse and there much higher and vivid view of this magnificent west coast surroundings, I cannot help myself not to say “wow” on this one, maybe it’s not the same panorama features from european countries but hey this one is raw and can be found in the far land of The Philippines.
Relaxing and enjoying the moment was our goal while having our lunch in the corner cottages beside Parola, in the morning we had a drive thru from Jollibee for breakfast and lunch not that healthy stuffs but the quickest way to be on the road from 6:00 am in the morning.
Strongly recommended for tourist, though the way to this site has a range of difficulty just make sure you’ll bring your sport shoes with you and wear proper attire as you are needed to climb hills and don’t forget the sun cream to protect your skin from heavy heat of the sun.
At night-time my brother and I have discussed about going to this another spot near in our neighbourhood not far from Cabatangan which is Lantawan, in the hill-top part of the barangay there is this hill located higher than Pulong Bato of Pasonca, locals call it “GrassLand”
GrassLand of Lantawan
In the morning we rushed up bringing our motorcycles heading at the location, it wasn’t that far more or less 10 minutes of drive and you’ll arrive in the upper part of Lantawan. 6:15 am we were late for the sunrise and at that moment we were ready to challenge ourselves for another hill to surmount.
Soaring the almost vertical passage going the top, at last we made it and get to profit the weather its surroundings and well of course the hallmark of this place its landscape and outlook of the whole city of Zamboanga.
Exploring the spot I would say that this is notably one of the places that I would consider as next to Chocolate Hills of Bohol, the outline of the hills around the vicinity are much likely that of Bohol’s perhaps not that bounteous as I can see less 10 hills from where I was standing.
I recommend you to come and visit this spot this one will surely fascinate and allure your eyes, very easy to access from those who live near Lantawan and for those who are in the City it’s just a drive away from your place.
We continue to run, play, and jumping out of joy up to our out most effort till we run out of energy. Since its my last day being with my family the day has yet to begin and we will surely bond and value every single second that we are together.
The day has come that I need to go back to Cebu for my flight and I will truly miss this experience. I wish I could just stop the time and live with the moment with them, nevertheless life must go on, we need to accept and move on and continue our regular daily lives.
The venture of my visit was incredibly great, what I’ve learned from featuring this new comers tourists spots is definitely a challenge since not a lot of information were spread about those sites, it’s one of the hardest thing especially Limpapa Bridge, Parola of Patalon and Grass Land I have to be honest that I did dig out some research arround sites however there’s not pretty much historical linings on this ones.
I’m lucky that I have my brother and his fiancée who know more about the west coast area of the City.
Personally I think the city’s government should put an attention to this new tourists attractions spots, these are very important for it could help uplift the city’s reputation, they must probably start on improving the area and make it more convivial and accessible to all visitors. Tours and Travel company could add this sites to their lists with the help of the government. The City of Zamboanga will positively stood out from all of the cities of the Philippines.
Summing up points on my visited areas I can say its all worth it even if it’s not that much improved yet but as they all say “It’s with whom you are with that counts“
For those foreigners who want to make a tour in the city please be guided that you are advised to ask more information if it’s safe for you to travel alone, if you know someone who lives here then its much better if not you can always call the tourist information of Zamboanga City they will always be available to help and assist you for your future visit http://www.zamboangacity.gov.ph/
Photos are taken by me and my siblings with my phone hopefully you’ll enjoy reading this article and follow me for my next adventure “22 hours and 10 minutes of travel time” experience with Emirates going back to Paris
Verdict : 8.5/10
Most Berliners believe that this is the most beautiful place in Germany and indeed in all countries in europe, its best known for the architectural trio which are the German (Deutscher Dom) and French Cathedral (Franzosischer Dom) and Concert Hall (Schinkel’s KonzertHaus) made this square the most magnificient and outstanding image that differs from all other places.
The French Cathedral (Franzosischer Dom) is built by a Frenchman and intended it to be a church for french protestants who had fled in Berlin way back 17th Century on the other hand the Concert Hall was built as a theater to replace that National Theatre of Berlin.
Gendarmenmarkt as french origin “Gens d’arms” which was a Prussian regiment consisting of Hugeunots Soldiers which literally the name of the square was derived from. It is now used for Berlins Christmas Market every year and season festivals.
Concert Hall (Schinkel’s KonzertHaus)
Check Point Charlie
Its name after the famous crossing point on Berlin Wall between East and West Berlin, it became the symbol of Cold War, Soviet and Americans tanks briefly facing each other on this spot during the year of crisis.
Its located at the junction of Friedrichstrasse and Mauerstrasse, the name Charlie came from NATO phonetic alphabet, the other check points were called Alpha, Bravo, Wannsee, and from the Soviet part they called it simply Friedrichstrasse, and East Germans name it Charlie.
To enter the museum its gonna be 14,50 euros per person, open from 9:00 am to 10:00 pm however to take a picture with this american soldier is 2 euros.
Great tips for those who want to walk less or getting the subway less for visiting tourist attractions. You can get a Berlin Pass for 1 day depending of what kind of access you would like, for example the Berlin Bus Tour for 1 whole day it cost 19 euros/person and you can hop in and off within the day for 19 different locations. Another great deal is the 3 days Berlin pass which cost 119 euros/person and you’ll have access to over 60 tours and museums including entrances fees of course.
Before the day ended I have gathered sufficient photos of this famous Wall that is found often in the middle of the city. In 1961 the Communist Government of the East Germany build a barbed wire and concrete “antifascist bulwark”. The official purpose of the Berlin wall is to prevent Western fascists (the Soviet Union part) from entering the East Berlin and undermining the socialist state but it mainly serves as the objective of stemming mass defection from East to West.
Until November 9, 1989 the proclamation of East Government that people can cross the border freely the berlin wall was destroyed little by little by the people themselves, some of its ruins are still standing on the streets even to this year, the most memorable and enduring symbol of Cold War.
On the next day, the weather was pretty well the sun is up and the sky is clear, its the best time to see the panorama view of the City, among all of the choices I’m actually torn between the two that I’ve initially chosen either the Fernsehturm or Panoramapunkt. But I’ve remember that one friend of mine have posted some pics in Facebook recently with the panorama view from the Television Tower and honestly speaking I was a little disappointed cause it wasnt that good as I’ve expected. So I have chosen the Panoramapunkt 360 degrees panorama view to see what it can offer.
At that day we walked 10-15 minutes from the hotel to Potsdamer Platz to look for the location of Panoramapunkt at the Kollhoff Tower, we entered the building and I thought it was a hotel it was very elegant and it looks cozy after went to the tour office to pay our entrance fee 7,50 euros/person, the opening and closing hours are seasonal when it is summer it’s 10:00 am to 8:00 pm and winter 10:00 am to 6:00 pm.
The moment we entered on the lift its says level 0 – 24th floor a 90 meter distance, the rapidity of the elevator was so incredible it took us less than 25 seconds, 20 seconds to be exact that was really quick like riding a roller coaster except that your head isn’t moving. its holding the title of the fastest elevator in Europe. On the top you will see a marvellous view of the City, a great experience that you wont regret.
This is a café/restaurant found on the top, you can relax and drink or eat while being mesmerised by the magnificent view of Berlin. Getting to Kollhoff Tower? If your hotel is far from the area you can eventually take bus or metro it’s situated just meters away from Potsdamer Platz.
After spending time meters above the city its time to stretch and walk a bit, while I was taking some pictures from the Panoramapunkt I’ve notice this thing a huge tent like that caught my eye it was actually the famous Sony Center, which is famous of its cinemas, IMAX theater and Legoland Discovery Center, the place is also filled with restaurants and shops.
I took a picture around the vicinity, it was huge and a lot of people. I caught this fountain flow in the middle of the area it was great to see how this center has been welcoming people around the world and even hollywood stars.
After resting a little we directly get ourselves back to the track where in we need to go to Reichstag Dome, when arriving at the place a lot of surprises came to us to get an access to the Dome you actually need to present yourself at the counter area for inspection and presentation of you passport or ID, the entrance is free but you need to fill on the queue to get a scheduled visit or you can also visit their site to fill up the necessary information that you must give about yourself.
After waiting til our turn for about half an hour under the sun, finally we got our turn to be at the counter and got the scheduled visit in the afternoon and decided to continue to visit the rest of the tourists spots in Berlin.
Spree is a 400 kilometers river that flows through the Saxony, Brandenburg, and Berlin States of Germany. the river is few walks away from the Cathedral and you can also take the 1 hour boat tour for 14,50 euros/person as for me I chose not to do it for this time maybe in my next visit.
As we all now Berlin is not just full of wonderful places to visit but also delicious comfort foods to savour, one of this is the Currywurst, I should not miss this one.
Germany is largely known for its sausages, currywurst is sliced sausages deep in tomato sauce with sprinkled curry powder it’s actually the most loved street food in Berlin. After a frustrated event from the Dome I got to forget it with this super mouth-watering street food semi spicy sausages, plus its super cheap you don’t need to go to some chic restaurant to spend 50 euros for a meal.
St. Mary’s Church
For all the travels that I’ve done I never missed to visit a church or cathedral, this one is really special since it’s the oldest church in Berlin that is made of granite and bricks that’s why when you take a look of the color of this church it’s very bright red color. Situated right after the tram passage and next to the square of Fernsehturm TV Tower.
Unfortunately this area is also under construction and the access to the outside part of the Church is impossible, so I decided to get a look inside the church. Strangely I stumbled into this human like statues covered with ripped clothes, I felt scared and sad when I read the description saying that this is represents the jewish people victims from the war.
Red Town Hall (Rotes Rathaus)
Is also one of the landmarks of Berlin located at the Mitte district near Alexander Platz where the Mayor and the Senate of Berlin seated. getting out from the church an enormous Red/Orange color building can be found. Its open on Mondays – Fridays 9:00 – 6:00 pm.
Fernsehturm (Television Tower)
The fourth tallest freestanding structure in Europe next to Moscow, Kiev, and Riga’s tower is Berlin TV Tower, the tallest building in Germany with a 368 meters tall, 203 meters above the ground, the only TV Tower existing in Europe.
It has attracted huge number of tourists through the years with a record of 1 million visitors per year this Tower is a steel sphere form that has a restaurant installed on its 207th meters above the ground and a platform panorama view on 203 m.
Located near Alexander Platz you can easily access here via bus, train, or tram. there are different kinds of tariffs for to visit here, normally is from 15,50 up to 17,50 euros depending if you’ll choose to visit early in the morning or at night, and if you wish to eat at the sphere restaurant on the top it’ll be 23,50 euros/person with a guarantee of a window table or 17,50 depending on the availabilities of the tables.
At the moment where I was in entrance building of this Tower, I really wanted to go up and see the restaurants view I was more curious of how will it be at 207 meters away from the ground but rather due to limited time that day I contained myself and save it for my next visit.
One of the top visited places in Berlin is the Germany’s largest urban square where you can find many sights and attractions in the city including the TV Tower, “Brunnen der Völkerfreundschaft” (Fountain of Friendship amongst People) and the landmark World Time Clock.
It was named after the Russian Emperor who visited on 18th century Alexander I and became a traffic hub when a train station was built at that period and currently transformed into a modernized junction of transits and shopping area.
After visiting this place I was totally exhausted after walking since morning until afternoon, for about 10 kilometers of my stomach was complaining and luckily KFC is not that far from the place, we took a break and get some energy and started to walk again until Reichstag Dome for our scheduled tour.
Is a famous glass dome that symbolizes the reunification of Germany, it is located at the top of Reichstag Building where german parliament is seated, the main highlights of this place are its 360 degrees view of the cityscape and Tiergarden, and the dome and the mirror cylinder at the center. The glass dome reminds of the Flower Dome in Singapore which has the same form of jackfruit.
After a tiring day of walking it was almost 6:00 pm that we arrived at the expected place where the tour will formally start, the entrance to the building is pretty cool it was actually closed with a transparent door then automatically opened and we pass through and took an elevator to get to the top.
Right on the entrance hall of the topmost part of the building which is the terrace, there you can find an office where in they’ll give you and audio device as a vocal guide information of the places that you will see during every step that you’ll take until arriving at the top part of the dome furthermore you can choose whenever you want to start your tour, you’re the absolute master this tour, you can walk all over the place get to the open terrace part, take some pictures around and when you feel that you’re ready just go inside the dome and click the start button and follow the instructions.
Its super easy, step by step listening to the voice guide thoroughly you will learn more and more about the history of the city and at the same time you will see the beauty of the city from above, this is really a must spot to visit.
After this great tour this time to pack the things and go home but before that I wanna say 4 days and 3 nights are not enough to totally visit every single corner of this City, I would love to go back and continue discover some hidden treasures that it hides.
All I could say that this one is a mix emotion sentiments that I have felt from this experience, a twist of sadness and happiness about the story of the people’s struggles, their survival, and the unity of its country.
In regards with the City’s touristic spots to explore, there would be more than 60 sites to see it always depends on your preference, your willingness and surely your patience.
In terms of tour prices it’s true that you must pay every time you enter a site or museums except of those places that I’ve been where I haven’t paid anything. It is more likely better than Barcelona, cause there almost every corner to visit are with entrance fees on the other hand Berlin is innovated, I salute the German Government for keeping their facilities available to those sites that are free entry its rare to find this kind of service.
If you looking to be thrifty while in this city bringing your own food will be perfect, however if you want to taste some of the food speciality you can definitely do that also with street foods and desserts will be considerably enough to fill your curiosity.
Parking in this City is expensive so if you’re travelling with car better get a hotel parking reservation to make sure not to pay excessively. To keep from buying tickets of bus and train or metro you can always walk the distances, one or two stops are not that far from each other, in that way you can save and as well enjoy the weather and the surroundings.
Driving on the road to Berlin is a hard thing, you must be very wise in terms of the time cause from 7 am to 8 am the highways are filled with cars. About the hotel I would say everything was flawless except of two things first is the problem of different schedules of their buffet breakfast in weekends and weekdays because of this I lost my breakfast opportunity and second is the poor wi-fi connection, it was a complete deception no connection at all, and when I ask the receptionist what can they do with this situation the person didn’t know what to say I’ll give a 3/5 for the Hotel.
Verdict : 8/10
Switzerland or Suisse in french is an independent country in Europe known for its richness, high cost of living and for its incredible landscapes and climates, has more than 1,500 lakes, it has several of the largest bodies of fresh water in central and western europe including the largest Lake Geneva, in terms of climate it has two distinguish whether, from Alps mountaintop or northern part is mostly glacial conditions which lead to often suffers no sun appearance for weeks like most of the european countries do and on the other hand southern part receives the mediterranean climate, with palm trees, sunny humid and rainfall.
People are here are called “Swiss” they speak quite a lot of languages including German from the frontier part of Germany, French from the frontier part of France, Italian and Romansh from the frontier part of Italy.
Lugano City is known for its Marvelous Lake Lugano a glacial lake located in between the border of southern part of Switzerland and Northern part of Italy. There are two other lakes situated not far from away these are Lake Como and Lake Maggiore.
To start of my adventure, I know you would ask why I chose Lugano Lake from other lakes of Switzerland, apart from visiting the largest Lake Geneva last time but with a short limited time only, apparently Lugano has its own ideal and perfect panorama view furthermore it has its own unique Monte Bré from the east and Monte San Salvatore from west side which encompasses the whole magnificent view of Lake Lugano. though Geneva has Mont Blanc however for summer destinations it’s not really an ideal spot.
The Distance from Brussels Belgium to Lugano City is more or less 836 kilometers taking us more than 8 hours of drive from home until our destination, which led us to stop 3-4 times on the road for to eat and other necessarily needs to be done.
The difference from the gasoline price between Belgium and France are not that much but when it comes to Switzerland it’s more higher, the solution was to gas up in Luxembourg before entering France and Switzerland, note that Luxembourg has the cheapest among of them all, cheaper than in Belgium.
Along the way I have seen a lot of fantastic view from the border side of Luxembourg and France especially in Metz and Strasbourg, We have also drive through the holder of the longest tunnel during 1980 and now currently in its 4th place longest is Gothard Road Tunnel with almost 16.9 km of length.
We started our road trip early 4 o’clock in the morning, had some traffic when it comes to crossing the frontier from Switzerland to Italy. We headed first to our hotel located at the northern part of Milan one of the hotels from IHG booked for one night only with free parking, breakfast and wi-fi, primary purpose is to have enough time to visit Lugano City and also pass by for a shopping in Milan near Malpensa Airport.
The moment we arrived at the hotel around 12:30 pm, we arranged our baggage from car to the room then search for to eat, at that time we haven’t eaten lunch yet so we went to the hotel’s restaurant and waited and waited a lot. There were only 2 employees working that time and the restaurant is full of people ending up on searching online some restaurants nearby.
Kilometer away from the hotel is a simple yet cheap restaurant, shockingly cheap only 8 euros a menu per person including main course and drinks, well considering that we’re in Italy its kinda a bit cheap compare to northern side of europe.
At 2 o’clock in the afternoon we arrived at the main city, the weather is not on our favor again, the sky is starting to be grey but still lucky that It didn’t rain yet. We went to search for a parking space then search for a bank to exchange euros to franc swiss, astonishing banks are everywhere from commercial to privates.
Inside the bank, the receptionist told us that in the city they also accept euros, reminder that euros is just some cent bigger than CHF in terms of monetary value its around 1 euro for 1,07 up to 1,10.
Finally walking in the streets of Lugano City the most awaited part is to see Lake Lugano, minutes walk from the parking lot, we made a desert stop at Macdonald’s my favourite sundae delight.
In front of us is the stunning view of the lake, with the sparking gaze of the fresh water, the yellowish color of the sky was impressive, the rare forms of mountains on the other side of the lake are pretty cool, you will definitely fall in love with its water and mountain creation.
I was absolutely blown away from this wonderful place, the more I zoom with my camera the more I’m amazed by its natural formation.
The journey didn’t end there, I have seen various aerial view of this lake displayed from all over the stores that we have passed the next plan was to get to the hilltop of the city in Monte Bré minutes drive from the city center.
As we go on our way I suddenly spot this perfect view which led me to stop the car and take some pictures of it. What can you say? isn’t it fantastic? who else won’t adore this kind of view.
Panorama View from Monte Bré
Monte Bré is actually a small mountain compare to Mount San Salvatore , you can access here via car but you must be a good driver cause the road is narrow and its a one way road but 2 vehicles can pass at the same time or via Monte Bré funicular its 20-30 minutes drive from city center to the hilltop, from here you can see the view of Lugano, Pennines Alps and Bernese Alps.
There are two more Funicular that you can take also if you’re visiting here, this mountains are must to visit. The first other one is Monte San Salvatore Funicular and Lugano Citta-Stazione Funicular.
After taking spending some time with the mountains, the nature, and the aerial view, I guess the sky didn’t like us to stay longer, it began to turn dark and commence its excessive heavy rain then thunder and lightning. I was kinda intimidated by the fact that we have to cross this tiny road again to drive down back to the city but with more difficulties.
Successfully surpassed all the vehicles in our way back to the city, the rain didn’t stop still after waiting some minutes more finally we headed back to the hotel.
Monte San Salvatore Funicular
On the next day we went back to Lugano and took the Monte San Salvatore Funicular, the price per person was a higher than expected as usual its was 30 euros person back and forth, if you are travelling with a group It’ll be 26 per person. Its open from 9:00 am – 6:00 pm on normal days and summer up to 11:00 pm.
But it will guarantee you a 360 degrees view of the city, Lake Lugano, Monte Generoso, and the italian enclave of Campione. It’s absolutely splendid and priceless, I won’t recommend you this if you are afraid of heights or aerial views are not your on list of preferences, if you prefer City Site seeing it would good for you.
Monte San Salvatore and its View
Monte San Salvatore is a mountain situated in the Lepontine Alps above Lake Lugano its as high as 912 meters, arriving at the summit on that day, I can’t barely see the city cause of fogs all over it wasn’t raining but there were some droplets in fog.
After taking to funicular car we arrive at the spot were you can take pictures of the panorama view between Lugano City and the italian enclave of Campione, though I can feel some raindrops falling it didn’t bothers me at all.
The rain started and we didn’t have a choice but to stay at the restaurant nearby and ate our lunch.
We continued to climb up to the top of the hill, there is a cathedral that is found at the topmost part of this site and climbed the stairs inside until we arrive at the topmost part of the cathedral.
The view is spectacular, I lost my words and just take a deep breath and enjoyed the moment but suddenly something terrible happened to me.
As I was busy taking some photos I suddenly suffer from pain of stomach (suffering from dysmenorrhea), due to it we directly rested inside this small cathedral but the pain was still there I was about to cry and I kept on praying, and at last miracle happens after almost 30 minutes of baring the pain I was able to overcome and walk down untill the funicular car.
We drive back at the hotel and there I rested, took some medicine and when I was feeling a bit better we checked out from and directly went to Malpensa Shopping Mall.
It’s actually my second time there, the first time was visiting Milan 2014 which made me discovered this shopping mall with cheaper prices especially in Sales period.
Shopping was done so its time to bid goodbye to our Italian friends and Swiss friends I will miss this adventure though I had gone through some bad situation, however there’s always a brighter side. I’ll surely come back again to make sure to do all the activities that I’ve missed, and maybe shopping again why not.
First I would say that this adventure was amazing, despite of what had happened to me or even due to the weather and even if we didn’t have the opportunity to visit the city that much, I can still say that our tour was successful. Probably one of the most expensive city trip that you want to do, well for me 2nd cause I have been to Geneva too for a day and it is really expensive.
You have to take note that when eating out at the restaurants here prices are from 30 euros per person (not a menu only main course) so if you wanna be thrifty you must pack homemade sandwiches with your or buy from groceries stores, Italy is not far away so it was an advantage to buy some food in Milan and bring it with you in Lugano.
Always check the weather of the City, but yeah sometimes when bad weather comes we cannot do anything against it.
Toll fees crossing Italy are not too expensive 2-3 euros only, and eating out is cheaper than Lugano of course, I recommend you to take a buffet breakfast included in your hotel stay, you can save more.
Which is cheaper to Lugano via Car or Plane? Car will be more cheaper but you need to be more resistant in terms of driving and it’ll take time. 8 hours is a lot for novice drivers it inquires 3-4 stops on the road, however if there’s some sales on flight tickets don’t hesitate to grab it. The flights are pricey from 250 euros and above so if you prefer quick travel then plane is your solution.
Verdict : 7,5/10