Krakow is an old soul

So I went to Krakow, finally. I’ve been planning this for a long time, yet the right moment was just now, thanks to a dear dear friend. And I truly loved it.

First things first, our host first words were literally “in this house we drink! ” Hey! Who am I to argue? (A lot of thank you’s for the hospitality and for making my trip memorable 😘)

Krakow is poetry really.

Krakow is architecture and impossibly good looking castles.

Krakow is history and Jewish cakes and beautiful girls.

Krakow is friends and friendly people (most of them).

Krakow is fun, surprises and happy bikes.

Krakow is green trees and sun and a summer rain.

Krakow is delicious charlotka and lemonades .

Krakow is impossible to describe really but it feels like home.

Lastly but the most important: Krakow is the poignant heartbreaking memory of The Holocaust.

”Thou shall not be a victim, thou shall not be a perpetrator, but above all, thou shall not be a bystander”.

Never forget.

This last week end

“Often I feel I go to some (not so) distant region of the world to be reminded of who I really am
Stripped of your ordinary surroundings, your friends, your daily routines
you are forced into direct experience [which] inevitably makes you aware of who it is that is having the experience.”

Words are unnecessary sometimes. It is often said that a picture worths a thousand words. So I will just leave these here. Unedited, just as I captured.

The Maya (civilization) challenge

Some important discoveries made in my latest journey.  First: I love peanut butter. Second: I can eat impressive amounts of water melon and still not have enough. I mean: impressive. Third: I always prefer a more solitary environment to a crowded city. Always.

Even more I prefer a challenge. When it comes to the tallest Maya pyramid climb, I am in! This one has 120 steps and I discovered that even during a very hot day, after a walk in the sun, still can be done even if one is not in the best shape. Mexico-Coba-Ixmoja-Pyramid-Tallest-Maya-Temple-Northern-Yucatan-600x398

OK, i was truly out of breath afterwards but, hey!, who said 120 steps climb is easy? Even for a sporty figure.

More than ever i think when people go in vacation they become different people. We (as “we humans”) disrespect the surroundings,  the nature (a moron started to smoke on a protected island after being told repeatedly it is  forbidden, someone had to stop him on the spot), disrespect the others, especially the locals and their habitat. I must disagree with myself here and say that usually, a big percentage of city people behave like assholes ALL  the time, not only during vacation.

You probably realized already that the vacation zen is gone and instead i am in the “HateCityHumans” mode. Yes, that is true. I never felt less connected with a city. This one is  loud, aggressive, dirty (literally full of shit at any corner), misogynistic, oppressive, merciless and ready to crush you at any step. Or, maybe i am just extremely tired of being in a tram/metro/tram for more than two hours a day.

End of rant. Have i mentioned that i love peanut butter? I do.

Namaste.

 

City of Dawn

It’s decided: I love Mexico.

First of all: it’s hot, hot, hot! Second: it has THE blissful, inimitable nature. The amazing beautiful and indescribable Caribbean Sea. What else? That should be enough but Mexico is so much more.

Tulum archeological site is impressive. The ruins of this archeological Maya city was serving as a major port for Coba in the Mexican state of Quintana Roo. The city of Dawn stands on a bluff facing the Caribbean Sea. As you can see, the words fail to describe this place:

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The old man and the sea

Senor Gato was our captain today. Isla Contoy and Isla de Mujeres we’re the islands that we explored with his help. “Senor Gato is a bit grumpy” but it’s alright said one of his colleagues. I disagree with him. Even if Captain Gato ( The Cat) is around 75/80 years young, he is definitely one of those characters that making one of a lifetime trip, memorable. First, he is short on words and you can say that he’s passionate about his sea. His gestures are short and concise, he is well known and respected by all the rest of his fellows. And he was actually very tolerant with me when I explained that I cannot swim. He started to talk to me In Spanish and told me some funny tourists stories.

It seems that the coral reef here – the second biggest in the world after the Australian coast – is a protected UNESCO heritage. I was impressed by the strict rules applied on this particular island – no smoking allowed and no sun screen allowed to be applied. The sun screen creates a filter on the reef that basically kills it. Even though it’s impressive, these measures come only after learning that the reef might be completely dead in the next twenty years. Maybe is not to late. Maybe.

And, boy: the Caribbean Sea – I understand all the fuss about. Nature is amazing in general and this particular part is perfection. The colours are truly unbelievable – turquoise or green or blue? Isla Contoy is also part of the UNESCO heritage and we have been allowed to take a short tour. We had a Romanian(!) speaking lady explaining the unbelievable way nature works here. Everything is in perfect harmony and the smallest birds have their role in this natural ecosystem.

I am in awe facing the nature. Always perfectly harmonious, nothing ever created by man equals our mysterious planet.

Stop with the bloody plastic!

Hasta pronto senor Gato! May you never lose the passion for the sea.

La vida es un carnaval

As you can imagine, I slept for a few good hours, maybe ten, maybe twelve?, who’s counting anyway.

We started somewhat easy and took a day to recover with sleep, the jet lag cannot be ignored, however, we did well. Over dose of vitamin D and vitamin sea.

I can not describe the colour of the water and, I think, pictures don’t do justice to this amazing Caribbean shore.

Mexico is a catholic country being a former Spanish colony, however some of the Maya – the native locals have remained to tell the story. It’s truly unfortunate that the Spanish destroyed a lot of this great civilisation remains – the Maya’s are known as the first civilisation discovered to have used or started to use hieroglyphics, in order to write. Worldwide now there are only three left manuscripts after the colonial destruction.

After one day rest, we decided to go visit some of the famous Maya places. We reached the Kukulkan temple after two hours drive from our location and i decided it was worth waking up at 6am.

The impressive temple is one of the worlds wonders, and considering they (still) worship the Sun I think they should be closely related to north Europeans (Belgians?, me?).

Flora and fauna are truly amazing and I was surprised to discover that, actually, the area is not dry at all but the vegetation is luxuriant due to the extreme humidity. Seeing a mango in a tree is definitely something. Needless to say that my diet is mainly composed of papaya, pineapple, more papaya, watermelon, more watermelon – and I cheat topping with peanut butter(and Nutella). Ok, also pancakes.

The cuisine, though fairly simple, is very tasty. The veggies taste like veggies, you can feel there is no plastic. The great variety of spices and exotic fruits, the hot chilli, the avocado ( I also eat tons of guacamole) – you can literally eat it with everything, the black beans, the coconut – oh, the fresh coconut, the Tabasco, the coffee, mescaline, the cacao- everything has flavour and it’s fresh.

And you know, I really like Maya; first things first: they invented the chocolate. They discovered the cocoa beans and they started to prepare it as a drink first. You would think that is enough to make them my favourite people. But. There is more: they were a matriarchy. And even more: they didn’t have concept of death or hate – so literally they were hatefree and death was merely a passage towards another spiritual experience.

I think I like Mexico so far. They dance, they eat, they relax and they are hungry for more ( Anthony Bourdain référence inserted here).

Hasta manana chicos!

Arriba!

As i enter the airport, i get instantly that special feeling: the excitement of the upcoming trip and the new things i am about to discover, the perspective of the heat wave, waiting for me as i am out of that airplane door, also the fact that i can use my credit card aimlessly on cosmetics – since i will only feel the pain next month; the books waiting to be read, taking my time, without having to stop because of any particular reason (like i might need sleep); observing the sea of people that will probably be in different hemispheres only after a few hours of flying; and i am trying to imagine their stories (i can tell you some of them have crazy stories, my imagination probably exagerates and i am sure none of them is an international smuggler).

Since this particular airport has been blow up once, i am having also some ideas regarding that event, not without some scenarios that might happen again. I don’t share those thoughts with my friends . However, the lightness is not chased away by possible explosions, i let my imagination easily explore some of the possibilities,  leaving my thoughts flying, while i walk slowly amid the strange mix of people.  I can see a typical family going in vacation, wearing ridiculous outfits, like being in vacation allows you to forget any rules of decency or common sense (ok, I get your point but still, transparent Spandex should be forbidden by law). There is also the typical lone traveler – the one that thinks he/she invented this trend, the typical trendsetter, the hipster, the group of friends filled with the excitement of their upcoming adventure, the old couple holding hands while they watch with melancholia the noisy groups of teenagers and not lastly, the smell. Today the airport smells like a giant toilet, for some reason. It’s better not to know why anyway.

Of course, because of my passport I learn that I might encounter some issues at my arrival in Mexico. Yes, that should be my destination, more precisely: Cancun. And, since I travel light, they advise that in order to be regarded as a real tourist, I should have at least a 20 kg luggage (mine is only 7). Wait, what?

Anyway, short story, they wish me luck and let’s hope that Mexicans will not think of me that I am a gypsy Romanian instead of just a plain Romanian.

So I sit next to a Mexican couple that started to watch a Tom Cruise movie in tandem, so they were literally laughing together at the jokes (how cute is that? Not.) Ok, we start to talk, i get to know the story of their life: they went to a trip to Europe, she’s pregnant, they are from Monterey, etc etc but finally they are really nice. It’s true.

I am denied to move next to my friends – sitting somewhere in the back because something. So I am sitting here, and my screen is not working. At least I have two books. I get annoyed with Paterson’s “12 rules for life” because he blames Eve that Adam tried the apple. Something.

Ten (long) hours later, we arrive in Cancun. Badaboom! 30 degrees Celsius.

Arriba!!!Abajo!