True Belgium fairy tale…

Rozenhoedkaai

This is the most photographed place in Bruges.

Our friends asked us astonished: „You are going to Belgium? Why?” We really didn’t have any particular reason, but if we want to see the whole world we have to go to the Belgium too, don’t we? So, we packed up our things and rush to our Belgium adventure – Bruges, Atwerp and Brussels were our stops, and of course we didn’t regret it, we loved it!

Bruges – our first stop and the town that I will tell you the story about. Everybody loves fairytales, and let me tell you, this small town on the north of the country is true fairy tale. It looks like every canal that passes through the city is telling its own story.

Most people visit this small town in West Flanders during the summer. We visited Bruges in October and it turned out like best time of the year to go there. Empty streets and a few people wandering around in the evening make this city even more special. In fact, you feel like you are all alone among these picturesque medieval buildings and small houses. Center of the city has a population of 20,000 people, but at night it seems like they all suddenly disappear. Shortly before midnight we were on the main square where you can see the bell tower 84 m high with 366 steps which leads you to the top. Believe it or not when the clock ticks midnight the lights in the city go off. At that moment the darkness embrace the whole main square and it was a perfect moment to enjoy the silence.

This belfry is the most famous monument in town, has 47 bells so you have to hear at least one melody that comes from a high tower.Those who have not had a chance to stand in front of it probably will recognize it from the movie “In Bruges”, with Colin Farrell in the lead role. Residents of Bruges, that we meet, are a bit angry because now many people associate this city only with this movie. But they have to get over it because there are a great number of tourists who had heard for that small town, in the north of Belgium, just from this film and it was their reason to visit it.

Every corner of Bruges, which is proclaimed as European capital of culture in 2002, is worth of taking a photo. We came back home with around 200 photos just because we wanted to “take” with us every part of this town. Everybody that comes here has at least one photo taken at the Rozenhoedkaai. If you are going to send the postcard from fairy tale, take the one with this motif, it will surely stir up the imagination of your friends.

Bruges is 1374 kilometers away from our hometown but we don’t regret kilometers that we had to pass just to see it. If someday I will have a list of the most beautiful cities that I visited, you will for sure find Bruges on the list too.

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A slightly different view of Auckland

This time I’m not going to talk to much, just want to share with you a few of my favorite photos of Auckland from my instagram profile. It doesn’t really matter which angle you will take while discovering everything that the biggest city of New Zealand has to offer because it will definitely fulfill your expectations.

Here are my favorite moments. Enjoy…

Wandering through Dublin

Christ Church

Christ Church

Even though I’m currently on the other side of the globe I have to introduce you to my favorite European destinations. With this post I’ll introduce you with the rytham of Dublin.

When we thought about Ireland, their music, whiskey and Guinness we knew that it will be a very interesting trip. Dublin is a beautiful city. Is it because of the all the castles, huge churches, fanciful pubs and the grass that can’t be greener then it is, we don’t know, but we know that we loved it!

What I liked the most are people. Dubliners are very cheerful and that’s the thing that gives me a good impression about the place I’m visiting. In the evening it’s very hard to find a spot that is not crowded, especially the pubs where you can enjoy the live irish rythm and perfect atmosphere. Everybody is having fun there and that is also what you want while traveling, isn’t it?

Dublin castle

Dublin castle

In Dublin you can walk for days and you’ll always have something to see. O’Connell Street is the main street in town and you will probably walk through it for hundred times. In this street you will see the tallest sculpture in the world, so-called “Dublin needle”, one “very impressive” 121 meter high installation, which is located in the center of the spot where once stood a monument to General Nelson.

The city is full of the attractions but the parks make it special and at all times you can choose a bench where you can relax a little bit. One of these parks is Phoenix Park where Dubliners love to go when they want to move away from the crowded city. This park is one of the largest urban parks in the world. It is located west of downtown so just take a walk or rent a bike and you will be there in a minute!

Dublin needle

Dublin needle

Phoenix park

Phoenix park

St Patrick Cathedral

One more interesting thing is that in Dublin you will pay for almost every entry to the church. Entry to the St. Patrick cathedral will cost you 5 euros.

What I would definitely recommend you is a visit to the Kilmainham jail which was built in the late 18th century. Guides will tell you all about the history of the punishment in this, one of the largest, European empty prisons. When you see the interior it may seem familiar to you just because there were filmed some movies (The Italian Job, In the name of father) and numerous documentaries, series and TV shows. During the visit you will watch a short movie about the love story of Grace Gifford and Joseph Plunkett, one of the leaders of the Easter Uprising, who were married in the prison chapel shortly before his assassination. I will not tell you the whole story, you will hear it right on the spot.

After five days in Dublin – sleepy and exhausted from the night before – we went to the airport check-in and headed towards the exit … but, we didn’t make it. The question “Where is your stamp?” is still ringing in my head! Back then Croatia wasn’t in the European Union so we had to pass some special check we forgot about… All in all, our stay in Dublin was extended for a three days, until the next flight.

We decided to visit Howth and after that we were glad that we didn’t get on that plane. 🙂

Baily lighthouse

Baily lighthouse

Howth is a suburb of Dublin, located on the peninsula 15 kilometers from the city center and can be reached most easily by train in less than 5 euros. This whole peninsula can be discovered by foot, it took us several hours because we took the longest trail. We just didn’t want us to miss anything on our way. You will know that you are on the right track when you get to the Bailey lighthouse.

After, unplanned, more than a week in Ireland, we returned home. The stamp we will never forget again because we don’t need it anymore. I really recommend a visit to Dublin and the surrounding area: drink beer, grasp the rhythm, walk around the cliffs. You’ll come back home full of good energy and, of course, ready for your next adventure!

Everybody has a happy place!

As you already know I just moved to New Zealand a few months ago and I’m still discovering something new and exciting every day. That’s why for now lot of places here can be described as my happy places. Photo challenge theme for this week really made a mess in my photo album so I decided to share with you my today’s happy place. Here I am, in the Auckland Domain, enjoying the sun. You know, summer is just around the corner, I can feel it…