The Trans-Siberian Expedition has come to an end last year but the story continues. This Sunday (13.12.) you will be able to read my new article on The Travel Stories on the part of the route from Moscow to Irkutsk - a 3,5 days long train journey in the lowest class called platskart. Although many things have been written on this blog, this story is re-told in a different way with facts never told and some photos never published before.
During this project we got to learn that Russia is a vast country with great and hospitable people. Some of them drink a lot, some are nationalist, the administration don't give much interest in you, some want to get to know you better. Whatever you experience, you probably notice that Russia is "a state of mind" as explained two builders we met on the train. Read more on The Travel Stories this Sunday.
In December 2014 embargo between America and Cuba was relaxed. Import and export of some goods within certain limitations. The initial sanctions towards Cuba have been in place since 1960s in various forms. Additionally, the country suffered after the Soviet Union ceased to exist in 1991 due to withdrawal of Soviet subsidies worth $4 billion to $6 billion annually. After several years People's Republic of China has became a supporter for Cuba. Nevertheless, the economy has not yet managed to rebuild itself.
Paul Wex has visited the country in 2013 and captured how Cuba looked like in that particular moment in time. Not only the cities but also other parts of the island. Paul is not only the director of the video but also composed the music himself. Kudos.
Even a short visit to London's Portobello Market is revealing. Either a taste, a sight or a smell. This time without much of a narrative. Just photos to enjoy. If you can stand the immense crowd and still keep mindful about what you see, you'll be able to find some interesting stuff. Few glimpses from a stroll below.
This story started with the departure of a 73 year old father for a journey around the world that would last at least three years. On a boat from Valleviken, Sweden. Eight months later a son, together with his friend, departed on Arianna of Valleviken on their 16 day-long journey to Melchior Islands, Antarctica. See what they experienced.
Belgrade, 6 am. local time. The night train from Podgorica arrives. On and near the train station are lots of immigrants from Syria. They are not begging as it often is thought. They waiting in their small " tent towns" made in parks. Waiting for their transit to Western Europe. In the morning turmoil and not so comfortable journey we are on the way to our apartment in Belgrade. Gorgeously tucked in between two tenement houses, accessible through a narrow gate. It's our Airbnb booking on Gavrila Principa 10 street. We leave our baggage and go in search for a breakfast. We find a place recommended by a local with nice coffee and so so breakfasts - all packed in mediocre+ prices. Our second visit to Belgrade starts now.
The last day in Shkoder was rather a quick one. It started with sending some postcards to friends and family and repacking for our journey to Podgorica and then Belgrade. We've paid (20 EUR / 5 EUR each) to an uncle of one of the staff members to drive us through the border to Montenegro's capital. The whole trip took as around 2h. We have passed through a bunker that was adopted as a tattoo studio, a huge cross on one of the hills surrounding Shkoder and crossed the border at Granični Prijelaz Božaj where we waited for 30 min which was said that is common in high season Jun - Aug.
What would you do? Listen to what Alan Watts (1915-1973), a philosopher, buddhist, speaker and writer has to say. Answer the question “What would happen if money was no object?" and so what unfolds and where you end up being. Use this information to guide you through life. You can find a transcript below.
The capital of UK is well known for supporting street art and performances. Not all though. Banksy, for instance, a world renown graffiti artist is public enemy no 1 when it comes to the authorities. That being said, some regions of London are more or less open to art. I've taken a stroll through Shoreditch, one of the epicentres of art here, and captured moments that I found interesting...