Travel to Istanbul with Friends in January

January begins with great uproar in most of the planet. The excitement of New Year helps mitigate the fact that much of the northern hemisphere is frozen. January is a good time to get away as a group and there are several reasons for this. First, the supply pressure to the holiday season has passed. And the beginning of the year is usually one of the times when flights are cheaper.

The day began very soon. By 4:30 the alarm clock sounded, since we had to be at the airport at 6:30. The flight to Paris was perfect, as always. After a short stopover, just enough to get from one terminal to another, we're on the way again. In three and a half hours we got to Ataturk airport. This flight was a bit worse, and the food on top was frozen, but well, nothing could take away the illusion as we approach our destination.

When we leave the plane, we pay the visa on arrival fee, and after doing a little queue at the immigration we go for the suitcases. We left the airport less charged than expected, and we also changed for Turkish liras to pay the taxi. In the end it left us at the door which is what we expected.

The hotel is just as we expected, where a charming guy receive us. The room was quite spacious, the bathroom was hyper-clean and the beds comfortable, so what more could we ask for? We left the things. I evidently had little to leave. We organized everything and we left to discover the surroundings. We were next to the blue mosque. Going up a small hill, we find the Hippodrome with its columns and its newly opened cobblestone.

Seeing Hagia Sophia for the first time was impressive. It was already starting to get dark and it was illuminated, so the spectacle for the view was astonishing. I still do not take that first image out of my head.

We continued down the tram street until we decided we did not want to get too far away. We changed curbs, and turned up the same street! We stopped to have some hot drinks. It was quite cold, in the cafe. I opt for a very rich chocolate and Turkish coffee, although we still try to discover how it is taken.

After a long, and good, talk, we move to go to dinner somewhere. The one that convinces us the most is one in which they did not try to get us in. The dinner was very good. We tried Turkish food for the first time and the service was very attentive. I ordered a plate of chicken skewers, accompanied by rice, a spicy chicken steak and it was very delicious. For dessert I stole a little baklava.

After dinner, and very tired, but tremendously excited to finally be here, we went to the hotel to rest. We decided that we would go to see the Topkapi Palace tomorrow , and we put the alarm clock early.

Travel to Istanbul with Friends in January

Day 2 in Istanbul

The alarm sounds punctually at 8:25 and the game begins. By 8:30 we get to have breakfast, which is what we wanted. The breakfast is pretty decent with sweets, sausages, cereals, coffee.

We leave the hotel and go straight to the Topkapi Palace. Before that we stop to admire the Ahmed III fountain. They say that it is one of the most beautiful in the city. We cannot comment because until now we have only seen that. The fountain is right at the entrance to the palace.

We pay for the ticket and we go inwards. I had read in all the Istanbul travel blogs and forums that it is best to go first to the Harem, because the tickets are limited and I do not know what else. That recommendation has served us to see the place almost alone. It has been, without doubt, what we liked most about the palace. We wander around its halls, imagining all the intrigues that were framed within its walls for so many years.

To enter the Harem we have to pay a separate entrance. If we think about it coldly it is quite a scam, but if you do not enter I think the visit to Topkapi does not make any sense. Maybe I would highlight the Library, a very well-kept space with an exquisite decoration. I would avoid the weapons rooms and the Treasury. First of all because they do not attract me at all. Second because here there was a lot of people, in addition to the typical push.

After that pleasant experience, we enjoyed the view of the Bosphorus Palace. In summer that terrace has to be a luxury. What are we going to do? We have chosen the winter and today the day has threatened even with snowshoes.

We left the palace early enough for what we expected. We thought we were going to spend the whole morning there and decided to see Hagia Irene. An open door on the side calls us to enter without question or where we are going. I understood that we could not enter, and well, it's not like we can walk through the center of the church, but at least we can access it and see it minimally.

I was happier for having been able to see something that I was convinced that I would never see. We left the walled area of ​​Topkapi and turning right we went to the street Sogukcesme Sokak, a very nice street that goes around the wall of the palace. The houses, attached to it, are all built of wood and painted in bright colors. It can be said without any doubt that it is a very authentic place, and also, again free of tourist hordes.

Taking first the street of the tram and then skirting the road that goes next to the sea, we arrive at the well-known Galata bridge. Before that we enter our first mosque. The one that shows such honor is the Yeni Camii, or New Mosque. Although we had to wait a bit because we were right in the hour of prayer, and when the faithful prayed, the infidels stayed on the street. It seems fair to me. While we waited we enjoyed the ritual before the prayer, and ablutions.

When almost everyone left, we started with the routine in all the mosques. We take off our shoes, take a plastic bag and keep it, and put the handkerchief on our head. We enter the mosque and feel the softness of the carpet. Above all we let ourselves be imbued by that mystical environment that each and every one of them has.

There were still a lot of people praying. So we did not get involved because we thought it was wrong to be out there swarming and taking pictures while a lot of other people were praying. We took the Galata bridge and we spent some time watching the hundreds of fishermen is there on both sides. Will there be fish for everyone? Apparently yes as they fill cubes. Best of all, many of them go fishing with suit and fine coat.

We had thought to take the tunnel to go up to the Galata Tower, but once there we went up the steep streets and the innumerable stairs. By the time we reached its base, the quills were shaking a little and it was no longer cold.

We paid the entrance, and climbed in the elevator. It's a good thing that this one does not have to be walked up. The views from above are great. We go out and have a coffee, a little expensive, in the cafeteria that is at the top. Here I went around the outside and took pictures around the perimeter. To me it is that only to see the people that there were in a few palms of cornice and some crazy people sitting on the railings. I already thought it was enough.

We return to take the elevator, this time to go down and look for a restaurant to eat. In this area we do not find anything, apart from a thousand electricity stores, and lights. So we cross the Galata bridge again and enter the restaurant. The site is on a terrace on the third floor with great views over the bridge, and the new mosque. There were a few waiters serving about fifteen tables. So it took them a little while to serve us.

This time I went back to some lamb meatballs with cherry tomatoes and chicken. We also share a dessert of the typical baklava. It was all, although for now it is one of the places we liked the least, since it did not stand out for the food or the service. Although yes, the location is incredible.

We left the restaurant with renewed strength. We went to the Spice Bazaar, although almost without wanting it we first came across the Rustem Pasha Camii. There are stairs that seem that they are going to take us to some mysterious place. After our initial doubts we entered and discovered its beautiful interior.

We left the mosque happy to have dared to enter and we already headed towards the Egyptian Bazaar. It is quite stimulating to see so many colors and things, but at the same time it is a pain. So we fled fast from the place.

From there we took the tram, discovered the system of jets and we fought a little with the machine and we got off at the Beyazit stop to get into the Grand Bazaar. We liked it better than the spice bazaar. It is much more spacious, and above all, much less overwhelming. We leave the shopping for the last days.

We went wandering aimlessly, but following a pattern to not get lost, and so we got out through the same entrance door that we had accessed. In the street tram we went down to the Sultanahmet area, quite tired already because we had foolishly walked half the city. We went to the hotel to rest, since it was already night.

The accumulated fatigue was noticeable, and there were those who took a few replenishing shower before going to dinner. The site chosen could not be better, which is also about 100 meters from the hotel. I chose a veal dish that tasted like Moorish kebabs. I had a rolled kebap that was cooked very well, and a roasted trout fish, although we do not really know what it was. And that was the end of our first full day in Istanbul, traveling back the 100 meters that separated the restaurant from our hotel.

Day 3 in Istanbul

We got up a day earlier, almost like every morning, and I say almost like every morning because we were very aware that we would spend our last day in Istanbul. The dream was coming to an end.

We have the breakfast and we paid already the stay of the hotel, because the next day we left very early. We left for those things that remained pending and for shopping. We started with the visit to the Kucuk Ayasofya Camii. This time we had more luck and we could access inside.

It is also known as the Church of Sergius and Bacchus, and as they explained to us in the hotel, it is not yet a museum, but as if it were. It is in the only mosque where we can wander to our liking. Again we enjoy it alone, and what a joy! It is beautiful, and not too visited because it is a little hidden. I guess people are more focused on other more typical or more at hand.

It is like Hagia Sophia, hence its name, also from the Byzantine era. Inside it is decorated with marble columns and still retains in its friezes Greek reliefs referring to the saints to whom it was consecrated. As we had several orders to buy tea, we went walking, once again, to the Spice Bazaar. We smelled all kinds of teas, spices, condiments until we decided on a store and bought everything we had ordered. From my point of view they are all the same, and in almost all they have the same. So it is about choosing one and that's it. Certainly they packaged everything under vacuum to keep it better. Here my companions stopped a reporter from Turkish television and wanted to ask some questions.

We went out with our bags in the direction of a couple of mosques that we had looked at and we had not yet been able to enter. They were both on the same street as the tram, so we got back together and got carried away by their tracks.

It was Friday, and it was noticeable. At the time of prayer, we were coincidentally on the tram. People were seen praying even outside the mosques, on the same sidewalk with their carpets. When we arrived we could not enter. So we decided to go for a coffee or a chocolate in a chain that we had already tried in Sultanahmet on the first day. This day we were in relaxed mode, without hurry, remembering everything we had lived until then.

We have rich chocolate with vanilla ice cream. When we finished and saw that people had left the mosque, we go inside. It was the Pertevniyal Valide Sultan Camii, in the Aksaray neighborhood. It is quite new, from the 19th century and with a more precious interior decoration than we had seen until then. We believe that it was noticeable that it had been built for a woman.

We loved the flooring. Super fluffy and warm, it is a very small mosque, in which we spent a good time looking at every detail of the walls. We were totally alone, only accompanied by a mother, who climbed the top to pray, and her daughter, who stayed at the door on the phone.

We left there with a lot of sadness. When we got there, we went to the Laleli Camii, another mosque that we wanted. The tulip mosque, surprised us by its color, a powerful mix of blues, greens and reds that we were not used to. In addition to the marbles and tiles, also in its stained glass.

We left our last mosque. So we put on our boots and took off our handkerchiefs for the last time. It's time to eat. As we were in the area, we decided to repeat at the restaurant which we liked a lot, because of the variety and quality of the food.

I do not remember the waiters I greeted when I entered. There were at least fifteen and I was thinking please let it end now. We went to where the cook was and to choose! With a full stomach and renewed energy, we crossed the street to enter the Grand Bazaar again. In the same tactic of previous days, we tried to follow a pattern and we lost sight of the main street for a long time.

It is technically impossible that one does not get distracted on any occasion, since all the streets are practically the same, with the same stores, and the same vendors at the doorstep. The bargaining was more or less well. I guess we lost, how could it be otherwise. For a change we thought we made good purchases! We have survived the Grand Bazaar! Now where are we going?

By the time we got exhausted from so much walking, it was already dark, so we went to the hotel to pack and without resting. We went to dinner promptly for the last time. How delicious was that Turkish pizza! What a pity to have discovered it on the last day.

It was already night and we had to return to the room to rest. Our flight left the next day morning, which meant we had to get up very early. We could not stop watching the Hagia Sophia illuminated by the night, or the Blue Mosque that we had been seeing every day, and that we knew we would never meet again.

And that's the end of our story in Istanbul, a place I always wanted to go to and that I can cross off my list, but from now on I'll always want to return.

There are many things that could be said about our trip to Istanbul but mainly it has filled us in a way that we never imagined. If I had to stay with something, it would be with the people in general, who are always willing to help, to make our days in the city a little easier.

I also loved their mosques, the small and hidden Little Hagia Sophia, the bright Sehzade, the carpet of the Pertevniyal. I would spend days and days discovering new mosques. And also a dream come true, the majesty of Hagia Sophia remains there undaunted watching the years go by. We can still imagine what the people of her time would feel when she walked through its doors.

Magical Trip to an Exotic Turkey, Cappadocia and Istanbul

This is a small Turkey travel guide for everyone visiting this magical destination. This country of tulips and the sultans will make you want to come back again and again! In Turkey you will find a marvel of incalculable cultural and historical value. From Mount Nemrut in the vicinity of Malatya you can see wonderful views of Anatolia and Kurdistan, as well as enjoy its famous stone statues. There is also Mount Ararat further east. It is the highest peak in Turkey with more than 5,000 meters and this is where it is said that Noah's Ark was discovered.

We landed at night and as soon as we got off the plane, we began to see that the Turkish winters are really cold. We wanted to do everything without losing a minute, to try to reach the last public transports that go towards the center. We did not consider choosing another option, like taking a taxi or spending the night at the airport.

The customs procedures were fast. We removed the backpacks, and changed some money to move. We looked for the station inside the big airport, and when we finally reached the metro, we relaxed. Test passed! One hour and two transports later, we arrived at Sultanahmet.

Usually, we try to travel with a reserved hotel for the 1st day of the trip. More than anything because after many hours of flight, it leaves us more relaxed knowing that we have a place to sleep on arrival, without worrying about haggling or going here and there to compare prices. Even more if we arrive at night to a totally new city. This time, we did not have anything.

Only a vague idea of ​​the area where we wanted to stay. It was so late that there was practically no movement in the streets. At that time we still did not know that we will be observing the city in these conditions that is so desolate. The silence and quietness could only occur only at these late hours of the night.

We started walking, with a guide in hand, towards the area of ​​the hostels. We were wrong a couple of times on the way, and there was no one to ask if we were going in the right direction. Added to it the darkness did not allow us to read the name of the streets on our tiny map. So we practically ended up with the head tucked inside the guide. Until at a certain moment, we looked up to see if we were on track.

And there it was. The crush. I saw her, she saw me. There she was, illuminated and lonely, in front of us. Dazzling as it was 400 years ago. So beautiful that I almost felt like crying. We could not think of anything other than contemplating it. In that moment, I think that the Blue Mosque was the most beautiful and perfect we had seen in a long time. We were silent, partly because of the emotion, and partly because the fatigue and the cold did not allow us to say a word.

When we managed to look away from her, Santa Sofia appeared before us, just in front, as if they were watching each other with suspicion, in a competition of egos and vanities. But perhaps because the Blue Mosque was the first one with which we crossed glances, it became our favorite. Even if Hagia Sophia was there, at a step, trying to conquer us. With us there was no case. Love at first sight is like that.

Every time we plan a new destination, I think what it will be like. We imagine ourselves walking through its streets, observing its people, photographing everything. The most interesting part begins when we arrive at the desired place, and we can place a real image, generally quite different from what we had in mind. Neither better nor worse. Different. In those moments, our brain automatically deletes the idealized image (or not) that we had incorporated, to start archiving the true image, also subjective.

After all, there are so many different Buenos Aires, Montevideo or Istanbul, as people who know her. So one day we reset the preconceptions and we face a more western Kuala Lumpur, a less chaotic Bangkok, a more touristy Luang Prabang, a Koh Lipe not so paradisiacal, or a Havana much more beautiful than any modern city can reach. The feeling could be compared to reading a book, and a time later, watching the movie based on it.

Everything we put together in our minds, the faces of the protagonists, the stages, the voices, everything, absolutely everything, is transformed into five minutes, even if the story is the same.

We never imagined Istanbul. We dreamed about hundreds of places, but Istanbul was not among them. If a few months ago I had been told that in the summer we were going to be putting together our backpack to travel to Turkey, I would not have believed it. Maybe that's exactly what made this city (and the country) surpass any expectations. It was all so fast, so improvised, that I did not even have time.

When I wanted to start imagining it, it was already late and we were seeing each other face to face with this city that dazzled us with every step with its beauty. They say that sometimes what we plan least is what best comes out. Perhaps the fact that it was not a destiny thought, helped so that it became a dreamed place to our eyes. Who knows!

When I went through it, the first thing that struck me is that it is much more western than I imagined . Everything could indicate that we are in the downtown area of ​​any other city in the old continent. Its cobbled streets, the architectural style of its houses (many converted nowadays in restaurants and hotels), the way of dressing its people, the means of transport.

And when we are convinced that this city is so beautifully European, there are the calls to prayer from the minarets of the mosques, which come to ruffle our skin by overlapping from different angles of the city. It remind us that Istanbul is also beautifully Asian. A city, two continents. Before the trip I read that Istanbul is the most European city in Asia, and the most Asian in Europe. Will there be a site described in a more cosmopolitan way?

There is no doubt that a city with 13 million inhabitants should be large, but Istanbul seems much more so for the amount of attractions it has to enjoy. It takes several days to acclimate to the rhythm of the city and see at least the places considered essential in the travel guides. We were only here 3 nights because we had a limited time in Turkey and there were other places we wanted to visit. But we would have stayed longer because we loved the city, in addition to the occasional things that we wanted to see.

That is why we can assure you that there is no way to consciously and productively visit the most important places in Istanbul in a couple of days. Unless we only see Hagia Sophia, the Blue Mosque and little else, without dedicating ourselves to strolling, or discovering mosques or less crowded corners. Anyway, everything is said, there are people who visit it in 2 or 3 days and feel that it is enough, and that more time there would not be worth it. That is never our case (we always want to stay longer), But punctually in Istanbul, time flies by (even more so in winter, as the days are very short).

This city impacts you at every step, for asleep or with jet lag you are. Wandering around its corners are much more Europeans than one might imagine, it is hard to realize that one is walking through ancient Constantinople. Yes, Constantinople! So many times we hear it in school history classes, which does not seem real. This city was the capital of the Eastern Roman Empire, the Ottoman Empire and the Republic of Turkey. When it was founded back in 600 BC it was called Byzantium, a name that lasted until 330 AD.

Then it was Constantinople, until 1453, time of which we left as a legacy some churches, palaces, cisterns and the famous Hagia Sophia. Then came the period of the sultans of the Ottoman Empire, which came to encompass the Middle East, North Africa and much of Eastern Europe. In those days of splendor, they say that through the streets of Istanbul you could hear Turkish, Greek, Armenian, Russian, Arabic, Romanian, French, and English.

The official name of Istanbul was imposed in 1930. Eventually it was declining, until in the 90's it began to resurface, until it became what it is today. For that reason, it is hard to imagine the centuries of history that these streets lived.

Orienting ourselves in the city, in a first glance of the map, and to those who come from cities hundred percent in the form of a grid, seems a bit complicated. However, by walking a bit and incorporating some quick reference sites, we will see that the reading is simpler than it seems.

Istanbul is crossed by the Bosphorus Strait, which not only links the Black Sea with the Sea of ​​Marmara, but also is responsible for separating Europe from Asia. A city in the middle of two continents is not usual. In fact, there are only three bicontinental cities between Europe and Asia. Atyrau in Kazakhstan, Orenburg in Russia, and of course, Istanbul in Turkey. In turn, on the European side the city is again divided into two by the Golden Horn. It basically separates the old town, where the Sultanahmet neighborhood and the bazaar area are located, from the most modern part.

The main tourist attractions, such as Hagia Sophia, the Blue Mosque and the Topkapi Palace, are located in Sultanahmet. It is very close to the bazaar area, where the crowds fill the streets, walking from here to there, buying and selling. From here we walk to the Golden Horn, where the famous Galata Bridge is located, with fishermen at all hours, an even greater crowd, hundreds of seagulls fluttering in search of food. Here we see one of the best views of the city, especially at sunset.

Crossing the bridge we reach the most modern area, Beyoğlu, where the Galata Tower and the Istiklal pedestrian street stand. We walk to the well-known and bland Taksim Square.

As if all this were not enough, being a city surrounded by water that joins two continents, there are ferries that cross the Bosphorus Strait all the time joining both banks. Traveling to the Asian side, that is more local, is another interesting visit.

Leaving aside all the attractions that Istanbul has to offer, there is something that is undoubtedly one of the most enjoyable. Walking through its streets and getting lost among its bazaars is an experience for the senses. The view has to be attentive to everything, not to overlook any detail. But if there is a sense that is the protagonist in this city and should stay wide awake is the sense of smell. Istanbul is an incredible mix of aromas.

The environment that surrounds us would not be the same if not for the special character that gives the smell of roasted chestnuts, spices, or even coffee, if we passed the corner of the Egyptian Bazaar. We could feel satisfied and believe that with these two "open" senses we already have more than enough. Well, no. Istanbul would not be the same without the shouts of street vendors trying to get someone to buy their simit (bread roll with sesame), corn or chestnuts.

Or without the calls to prayer that are heard from every corner of the city and that melt in one. Or without the flavor of the typical döner kebabs that they sell in the street stalls. Or without the soft texture of the carpets that our bare feet feel when entering the mosques. It is as if all our senses should be placed in ON mode, to perceive in the best possible way each space and each moment in this historic and beautiful city. It without doubt would not be the same without those small details.

There is a mosque more impressive at each step, some so majestic and others so beautifully simple (and simply beautiful), new aromas to perceive, magical corners and filled with centuries of history to discover. Is three days is a lot? How can three days be sufficient when a life would not reach to discover Istanbul thoroughly?

How can we summarize in three short days a city that took centuries to forge? How to understand in this lapse 1000 years of history? There is no way. Any time is short in Istanbul. Let's look at the glass half full. We will always have an excellent excuse to return.

Day 4

It's time to get up early and a long road to head to Cappadocia. And so, after visiting Istanbul, with 10 hours of night bus, we reached the charming village of Goreme, in Cappadocia. A trip that I recommend to photographers, geologists, and travelers. If you are looking for nightclubs and trendy places you have missed your destination.

We go towards the city of Ankara. To leave Istanbul there are two bridges that go to the Asian side. It takes less than 5 hours to Ankara and most of the journey is by highway. We make a small stop in the great salt lake of Golu. The salt lake of Tuz Golu was perhaps the biggest surprise. I had never heard of it.

I did not even believe that there was such a thing in Turkey. Imagine then my expression transfixed when I found myself in front of a stretch of white that goes beyond the horizon and seems to know no end. It is more salty than the Dead Sea. This lake allows you to walk peacefully on the surface. If it were not for the mild temperatures, we would seem to have ended up in a boundless land in Iceland.

Day 5, 6 and 7

Who has not heard of a fairytale land in the middle of Turkey. That place is the Cappadocia, where one of the most spectacular landscapes of the planet is hidden and where thousands of people live in incredible caves. This place is ideal to get lost and enjoy everything that surrounds us in a relaxed way. Goreme is a valley that hides an endless number of churches and houses excavated in the rock, being a true open-air museum.

Unique tufa formations, have been shaped by weathering over millions of years. They are friable to the point that they allowed the man to derive dwellings inside giving life to rock settlements. At Göreme we really get the feeling of being on another planet, and what excites us the most is the chance to be able to live it! These rock formations, in fact, are still used today and house residences, restaurants, shops and so on.

Staying at the Inn in Göreme was a fabulous experience. Sleeping in fairy chimneys, in addition to being very typical and charming, has a comfort not just: within them the temperature remains constant, and the thermal excursions of the desert climate are not even felt!

They say that living in Cappadocia in a hot air balloon at dawn is an experience that deserves the trip. This I can confirm. A compromise could be to enjoy it at least from below, getting up at 4 in the morning to capture the hot air balloons that rise in flight, drawing a unique scenario. The canyon of the Ihlara valley is another wonder of nature, but that has thrilled me less. The landscape is radically different from the rest of Cappadocia, but it is undoubtedly a pleasant excursion to do. The rift is several km long and we walk through a path that runs along pigeon houses and rock churches on one side, and a relaxing stream on the other.

Since Cappadocia is the object of repeated invasions, since the time of the Hittites the inhabitants began to build underground shelters, later used by the Christians. They were self-sufficient cities in all respects, and, for many months a year, up to 20,000 people lived there! An example? Derinkuyu: in the bowels of the earth. City dating back to at least 2000 BC, but discovered less than 50 years ago!

The city is spread over 85 meters deep with 12 underground floors (8 open to the public, 4 reserved for archaeological and anthropological research). The tunnels in some places are so narrow that you have to walk down, but they come out in relatively spacious areas. At regular intervals there are ample ventilation chimneys that allow an excellent air exchange. These chimneys were the focal point of the system. It was a collective communication route, as well as goods entry and exit channels, were reported outside only as wells, connected directly to the groundwater that flowed under it.

At Selime the Byzantine monks obtained and frescoed incredible rock churches, and they say that George Lucas set the Star Wars (Planet Tatooine) there. It seems to be just a rumor to attract tourists, as the Skywalker home set should be in Tunisia, but Selime really makes the idea and there is no need for this input to visit a place that takes your breath away like this.

The town of Uçhisar is identifiable with its castello. It is a wonderful troglodyte fortress carved into the rock, which represents the highest point of Cappadocia.

Well yes, I think that Turkish cuisine is one of my favorites. Strong pieces experimented here, were the pottery kebab with meat cooked in an earthenware pot, broken at the time of serving. I like the börek, rolls of a particular puff pastry stuffed to taste. For this last specialty we came back for two nights in a row in the restaurant.

Göreme and the other places mentioned above, are clearly touristy. But in any case far from mass tourism and speculation you can enjoy undisturbed a real landscape with tears in your eyes.

From here I get to Mount Nemrut, which stood on the cover of my Routard guide and which seemed to be one of the most beautiful sites in the whole of Turkey. The only way to get there was with an organized tour. So I slipped into the office of one of the countless agencies lined up along the main road of Goreme (all proposed similar excursions) and contracted an acceptable price (about 150 euros, including two nights and meals).

I did halfway with their tour and after Mount Nemrut, I have had to be in Urfa. The group was small and even if it was heterogeneous we immediately got along. And the two very capable guides. That's why I'm not against organized travel, especially small laps within a trip.

Nemrut Dağı in Turkish is pronounced Nemrut Daah. This is why I prefer to call it Mount Nemrut, which is what it means. The quickest way for those arriving from Istanbul is in the areo (up to Adiyaman, from where you can find buses to the site). But I, coming along the winding and dusty streets of Anatolia, suffering the heat and the uncomfortable seats, felt of having earned this goal to the end. I felt it mine.

To go to Nemrut dagi, we stop at Kahta, a city of little interest but large tourist hotels, for what I saw. To go up to the mountain we start at night, to get to dawn at the top. After leaving the minibus, we walk up a rocky path up to about 2,150 meters of the summit. And so our journey was like that. It was very cold and above us there was a huge amount of stars.

When the sun rose, it lit up a valley of reddish rocks and a long golden strip. It was the Euphrates River, which flowed beneath us. Think of the history, the millennia of which this river had been silent witness and what he would have seen along its course, when it would arrive in Iraq (where at the time there was a terrible war), it made me feel the grain of sand of a huge hourglass. It made my head spin. Or, perhaps, it was only the emptiness below me that gave me vertigo.

The light, like every day for more than two thousand years, slowly illuminated the summit, revealing the enormous stone heads of the Greek gods who were scanning the horizon. Because the mountain is a great funerary monument erected by Antiochus I, Hellenistic king of the first century BC. He had himself buried in a huge mound on top of the mountain, being sculpted sitting among the gods of Olympus while looking east and west, the path of the sun.

Time has reduced the ambitions of Antiochus and the sculpted bodies, rediscovered only in the 800 after centuries of incomprehensible oblivion. Now they are without heads, resting, almost mockingly, tens of meters lower. But it is precisely this disordered and ruined aspect that makes this place so enigmatic and powerful.

With these images in my eyes, which I already knew would never leave me again, I turned my gaze to that flaming dawn, trying to imagine what awaited me in the east.

Day 8

We return to the road to travel the 500 kilometers that separates the Cappadocia from the theater of Aspendos. As the route is very long, it is best to get up early and make a stop along the way in one of the old stops along the Silk Road. This theater of Greco-Roman origin is considered one of the best preserved on the planet.

Among the few places in the world where "good weather" is still a guarantee, born exclusively to satisfy the needs of the most pretentious tourist, among the most famous and wonderful seaside resorts of the Mediterranean, Kemer surprises me and excites me, offering me a lot of more than the classic holiday I was prepared for.

The sea is definitely one of the strong points, of a color ranging from celestial, to emerald green, to deep blue, clean and untouched, together with its equipped or wild beaches, made of pebbles and sand.

History and culture await us in the immediate vicinity, because in addition to excelling for truly cutting-edge tourism infrastructures, Kemer has also been able to preserve a great part of its glorious past, such as the Roman theater of Aspendos, the baths and the remains of the agora of Perge, the walls, the cistern for water collection and the necropolis of Termessos.

The port of Antalya is a crossroads of romantic caiques, typical Turkish boats originally used for fishing and transport, which will lead you to full sail to discover a sea and coastal views almost invisible or inaccessible from the mainland, also for a pleasant navigation of one day only!

I decide to rent a car and venture into the mountains of the hinterland where it is impossible not to meet some hospitable and kind turkish "granny", dressed in their traditional clothes, proud to offer you tastings of local cuisine. The desserts dipped in the honey are a pleasure for the palate, while the raki, brandy flavored with aniseed, is a real delight for the spirit!

A half day of shopping is a must for looking for necklaces in silver and semi-precious stones, local ceramics, a crochet shawl, as much as it is priceless one hour of relaxation in the hammam to give me a relaxing and regenerating massage. Night falls at Kemer and everything is transformed, sparkling with lights and colors, vibrant with sounds and songs, immersed in the exciting and engaging whirl of dancing until the first light of dawn.

I return to the hotel, in the air still the sweet smell of fruit and lemon balm coming out of the hookahs. And it's day again and again an intense and exciting day awaits me in this amazing Turkish seaside resort!

If the car has not finished until the hat, two hours from the theater of Aspendos is the famous Mount Olympus and its famous fumaroles, which we go to see them at night. There are numerous hotels in the area so it was the perfect culmination to a very long day.

Day 9

From Mount Olympus we have less than two hours to visit these tombs dug into the rock, the tombs of Fethiye. They are located very close to Roman ruins very well preserved in the town of Myra, with a theater worthy of admiration and little visited. And as the day goes by ruins, we end up in the Greco-Roman ruins of Patara,very close to the sea and only an hour and a quarter from Myra.

Day 10

We get back early because we need three and a half hours to reach Pamukkale and its incredible calcium formations. As the Greeks saw that their waters had therapeutic properties they built here the city of Hierapolis. The theater is quite well preserved. And then the white show par excellence. Pamukkale, in Turkish means cotton castle. It is natural site characterized by gigantic calcareous pools placed side by side. It is one of the most beautiful landscapes that I have ever seen, so beautiful that I struggled to leave. Do you know when you cannot help but look back at what you are leaving? Here, it went exactly like that.

Day 11

From Pamukkale we go one hour and a half to the fascinating Greek city of Aphrodisias. Everything is in an excellent state of preservation and the circus where races were held is almost intact, without forgetting the odeon and its great theater. After the visit we can go to Priene where we spend the night after traveling less than two and a half hours.

Day 12

At the top of the mountain and after making a small hiking trail are the ruins of Pirene, which have the theater with the best views of all Turkey. We visited the ruins we went to Ephesus, an hour away. It is perhaps the most visited Greek city in Turkey, due to its excellent state of preservation and because numerous cruise ships stop at the port. As Ephesus is very large, the ideal is to spend the rest of the day on the beach and visit it the next day. An interesting beach is that of Mocamp.

Day 13

We get up early to see the city with tranquility and especially the great Ephesus library. It is very big, but the cruises make their streets stuffed with tourists from 11 in the morning. Ephesus is perhaps the jewel in the crown of Turkey and why many Greeks pull their hair not to be currently in their territory.

Day 14

A little over two hours separates Ephesus from Pergamum. This last one was one of the most important cities of the Greek world but now part of the city is in Germany! The museum of Pergamum lodges the famous Altar of Zeus, eagerly requested by the Turkish government without answer on the part of the Germans. Even so there are many things that were not taken and we visit as the temple of Trajan. We then set sail for Istanbul and stop to sleep halfway.

Day 15

Once back in Istanbul, this great trip ended knowing that we have traveled the best places in the country.

And to finish

Maybe you think the trip was a beating, but nothing could be further from reality. Being able to see such a number of monuments, two more or less per day, meant that traveling in Turkey in two weeks was like 3 weeks, but it is certainly not done for all kinds of people, especially if you are looking for a very relaxed trip. A circuit of the Cappadocia state circuit can be an interesting option if you want to have everything to your needs and in a more relaxed way.

My trip to Turkey was a puzzle of emotions. Every time I immerse myself in the photos I cannot understand how one country can contain so many extreme different beauties from each other. Yet, among many landscape diversities, my trip to Turkey has been characterized by a beautiful constant: white. Excluding Istanbul with its color vortex, all the stages of my tour have filled my eyes with candor. That pleasant candor that, even in rather crowded places, manages to convey serenity.

Odyssey in the Great Wall of China

China wallpaper

My legs were shaking with fatigue. The Great Wall of China melted into an unintelligible embrace with the mountain on which it had lain for millennia. We climbed with the conviction that the only way to finish what we had started was to keep pushing. We have to keep moving despite the fear that it lodged in our throats and from the fatigue that burned us in the body.

Our greatest adventure in the most wonderful Wall of all time began that warm spring morning in Beijing. We never would have imagined to what extent we could prove ourselves, nor the danger in which we were about to lay down our lives.

The Wall has more than 5000 kilometers, the great majority of which are not reconstructed, nor subject to control. This and an article that we read on the Internet pushed us to search for an adventure in the Great Wall of China. It was one that unknowingly, would take us to the limit of our will and would put us face to face with our worst fears in more than an occasion.

We arrived at the village from which we would begin our ascent without setbacks. The weather was unbeatable, and after buying some fruit in a street stall, we began without delay to advance along the road marked with red ribbons tied to the branches of the trees.

We advanced at a leisurely pace with the dirt path that ran between the trees and went into the mountainside. From there we could see, on the distant top of the mountain, the Great Wall of China. Gradually, the road became more and more inclined. The dirt track became more treacherous as we advanced. After crossing with a group of people going in another direction to start the journey, we did not see another soul in the mountain.

Without realizing it, we find ourselves using not only the feet but also the hands to move forward. The handles were those arranged by nature of branches, trunks, roots, rocks, and ledges. Each step had to be calculated, each branch, each root, had to be tested for its resistance.

Suddenly I stayed on boards with the mountain. We collided with a smooth rock surface in an ascending plane, with the only help of a small ledge on the side of the mountain. One by one we climbed slowly, stuck to the face of the stone, standing firm, swallowing the scare.

We passed that test and laughing we assured each other that the worst had happened. But the road, from there, did nothing but get worse.

The difficult road

One hour. We stop to rest and drink water. Two hours. We should continue, we should be close. Three hours. Silence, nobody wants to say what we all think. Weariness took over each one of us. We found ourselves climbing the same stones, crawling through the earth, putting all the weight of our body on a root, on a branch.

The sun, pressing us, was already hidden by the West behind one of the walls of the valley through which we ascended. We were afraid to drink water. Something already told us that the day would not go according to plan, and we were terrified to be stranded and without water in that remote mountainous wasteland.

When we approached the 4 hours of climbing, we found the road more difficult. An ascent to 45 degrees as far as the eye could see where the options were loose stones or slippery ground. We faced it with the conviction that that had to be the end, the top of the mountain was not seen in front anymore.

Between screams, directions and a growing desperation to get there, we advance to the top. Now it was safe, there was only one obstacle left to get to the Great Wall of China, which although we could not see it, we could feel it.

A gigantic stone blocked our view and the ascent. It was too big to skip, too smooth to climb. I was just below the rock, with my feet still on an incline. A couple of Chinese appeared from where we came and with a speed worthy of envy went up to where I was. Seeing them, I decided to wait to see what they did with the obstacle that stopped us.

But they also had no idea of what to do, so they stopped on a path that went away on the side of the mountain to see what I was doing. The whole situation must not have lasted more than a second, but it seemed like a lifetime. First listen to what no one wants to hear on the mountain: falling stones.

Fear paralyzed me for a fraction of a second. The Chinese shouted maybe one of the few words they knew from English, careful! Careful! Instinct took the reins of my body and leaped headfirst under the great stone that happened to be an obstacle to my salvation.

Where my head had been a second before, passed one, two, three rocks the size of a watermelon at high speed. I felt them bounce against the great rock that had become my protection, and the fear of not being able to turn around filled me.

Even before the noise of falling stones disappears, I was already screaming like crazy, until I heard her telling me that everything was fine. I decided that we had to put ourselves in a more secure position and moved to where the Chinese were. We heard the falling rocks again.

I was paralyzed by fear. The stones passed us by as if they did not want to touch us. While at last, he was approaching me, the Chinese and I started shouting so that, whoever was going down the side of the mountain, be more careful. Then we saw two girls.

They were Uruguayan, and they quickly told us that they were coming from the Wall, that we were indeed there, but that it was so destroyed that there was no way forward. That it was best to go back where we had come from. Impossible, we said. We had not gone through everything to leave without touching the Great Wall of China. After I exchanged information with the Uruguayans, we discreetly went by the road on the side of the mountain.

We all ran. There it was. What a vision, what an emotion. We reach those walls erected at the dawn of time, millennia ago, and we touch them. We smell them. We feel it with the touch, we walk it, and we caress it with our eyes. We hug, we sit, we breathe. We drink water and smile. But I, aware of the time it was and how much light we had left, I was inflexible. We have to continue, I said.

Odyssey in the Great Wall of China

We started to move towards the East, in the direction of a tourist stretch of the Wall from where we could take a group back to Beijing. We do not get very far. Soon we were face to face with a wall of rock and bricks about 20 meters high that was erected there where the passage of centuries had destroyed the Wall. We did not know what to do and time was pressing.

Suddenly we saw, as if from an apparition, a couple coming down the same wall that we had called impossible. Once they reached us, we attacked them with questions. They came from the East, they told us that we had a very difficult hour, two more walls like this one, and then we arrived at the reconstructed tourist section, from where we had about two hours until the exit.

The other option was, once again, to return. We doubt it, of course. We were tired and the mathematics did not give. We were going to end up in the dark. But we decided to move forward, partly because of stubbornness, partly because the other option was to spend the night in a hotel in the village on the other side of the Wall. The couple gave us one piece of advice to follow the red ribbons. So we keep moving forward, we keep pushing.

The Great Wall of China, in its time, was built on the sinuous line formed by the tops of the mountains of the north of the country to defend against the constant foreign invasions. At present, a large part of the more than 5000 kilometers of it is practically destroyed due to lack of maintenance.

The road alternated steep rises almost vertically by segments destroyed walls that seemed more like walls than stairs (and often that was the case) and even steeper descents in which we had to descend with the tail stuck to the ground to maintain the center of gravity as stable as possible.

How beautiful is the Great Wall of China? Like a celestial viper, it extends through the mountains of the North to beyond the horizon. It is a symbol that hides in its sinister dichotomy different meanings. On the one hand, it is one of the greatest monuments to the will of man, to the infinite capacity to create and build humanity. On the other, it symbolizes the obsession that has always marked the civilizations of wanting to separate themselves from the different, to keep the "others" out.

In a world that increasingly builds more walls and fewer bridges, the Great Wall of China, which did not stop to stop foreign invasions, stands triumphantly as a reminder that divisions are never, but never, a solution. And we had it for ourselves. We looked for that, that I dreamed since I was a boy. The Great Wall of China unfolding to the horizon, bathed in the light of the setting sun, lashed by the wind, desolate in all its magnificence. In the midst of exhaustion, nerves, and fear, the smiles managed to surface on our faces.

But the view to the East was very different because it marked the way forward. And there, where the Wall ends and the mountain ascends. How we do? When we arrived, we saw that indeed the Great Wall of China had disappeared and we had only one option: to climb the mountainside. The red ribbons guided us to the base.

I went first to find the best way. From the accumulated fatigue my legs trembled and threatened not to push me up enough to reach with my hand the next hold. With the instinct as a guide, I moved slowly, with the strong wind tugging at my shirt, through a narrow space that sank into the rocky wall until it reaches the root of a tree, from which it pushes me up.

But there was still one last test. I only saw the emptiness. At that point, the wall was cut and reappeared by passing a rocky point, but the union of the other side of the rock was the wall. My fear of heights, which until now had helped me to hold on to the stones, beat me. Fear overtook me. I could not move a millimeter of the body. I felt my heart pumping hard as if trying to make the most of its last beats, I saw the abyss as a hole and felt, as I had felt on another occasion in the Himalayas, that the abyss wanted to swallow me.

Slowly, sitting on the stone, with my legs almost hanging in the air, I used my arms to move laterally the meters that separated me from the wall of the wall on the other side. The most difficult part was getting off one foot because I could not see where I was walking. Millimeter by millimeter I was lowering it with every molecule of my body in tension until I touched a brick. I breathed and tried to put some weight on it.

I was loose. The typical swaying of a tile that does not fit shook me with a new wave of fear that terrified me, but I was on my way. Without letting go of the stone with my hands behind my back, I supported the other foot and looked up. I quickly found the way to go down to a safer place, from within the other stretch of Wall.

How sweet is the air that is breathed after fear? The euphoria was taking over us as we approached. There was no doubt, that tower was rebuilt, and from his window, someone was seen taking pictures. We accelerate the pace with anticipation.

We arrived, and once again we shouted, we embraced, we celebrated. Once again, we caressed the Great Wall of China with its sight in its infinite extension towards the sunset. It took us a total of 6 hours, but the worst was over.

Back home

We walked along the reconstructed part of the wall, always towards the East, for almost two hours. The road was, then, easier and easier. Some sections were reconstructed in cement, and others in wood. There were fences where the wall had collapsed, and we even saw tea stalls, now abandoned by the late hour in which we were.

Our mood became euphoric. Now the smile did not escape from our faces. How thirsty I am! I shouted at the wall. And on the next step, I found a bottle of mineral water almost full and closed. We found a path that left the Wall and went in the direction of a village, and we followed it. The descent was hard, it always is. That is when the knees are punished, but the spirit (and gravity) was responsible for pushing us.

We caught the night halfway to the village, but we continued, already on a relatively firm road, with cell phone flashlights. An hour later we arrived at the route. We followed her to the blessed village, where a family of tourists, with wide eyes as they listened to a very limited version of our story, told us how to get to their hotel, where they could help us.

A taxi to a subway station, and a couple of stations later we arrived at the house of our hostess. We collapsed in her living room, even trying to process, while she warmed us some hot dumplings, after everything we had lived.d.

Chronicles of Jesus Christ in Jerusalem and Bethlehem

It is a very intense day, with many places to visit. After breakfast a taxi driver took us to the viewpoint of the Mount of Olives. The views of Jerusalem, with the Dome of the Rock in the foreground and beyond the Holy Sepulcher, are spectacular. It is the best known photo of Jerusalem.

From here, we made a full walk, downhill, that would take us to the Lions' Gate of the ancient city. The tour lasted us all morning. We visited Dominus Flevit, a small church dedicated to the predictions of Jesus Christ concerning the destruction of Jerusalem. The Russian church of Mary Magdalene was closed, even when it was scheduled for a theoretical opening.

We see the Garden of Gethsemane, place where Jesus went with his disciples after the Last Supper and where he was arrested. Inside it is the Church of All Nations, from 1924 (different nations collaborated in its construction). And the tomb of Mary, in the underground Church of the Assumption.

Once we cross the Lions' Gate we visit the Pool of Bethesda and the Church of Saint Anne in Via Dolorosa. We then head to the first stations of the Via Crucis, from the Franciscan Church of Condemnation and Flagellation, the Church of Ecce Homo, and the third station in a Polish chapel, at the corner of El Wadi street.

Before going to lunch we still had the strength to visit the Citadel, which houses the Israel Museum and the Tower of David. The museum illustrates all the periods through which the city has passed, summarizing a rich history in events throughout the ages. From the Citadel we can see magnificent views of Jerusalem, both its old part and the modern Jewish part, with the famous King David Hotel and the YMCA of West Jerusalem.

Once we ate and we had our strength in an Arab-Christian restaurant, at the Jaffa gate, we went along the Armenian Patnarchate street, in the Armenian quarter and in the direction of the Zion gate. Halfway through, we enter the Armenian cathedral.

Once the Zion Gate is crossed, the Cenacle is on the left, where is the place of the Last Supper of Jesus Christ with his disciples and the tomb of David, as well as the Chamber of the Holocaust. On the right is the church of the Dormition, where it is said that the Virgin Mary entered into an eternal sleep.

We stopped at the The Garden Tomb. Many people, but especially the Anglican church, believe that this is the place of the tomb of Jesus Christ and not the Holy Sepulcher. They believe it could be the garden of Joseph of Arimathea, in which Jesus was buried before his resurrection. In it there is a slope in the shape of a skull.

Then we went to the Arab bus station at the Damascus gate and we would go to the checkpoint, to visit Bethlehem, in the West Bank (Judea for the Jews). On the other side we expected a good number of taxi drivers, but there were also buses to Bethlehem. We agreed a series of visits to Bethlehem with one of the taxi drivers.

We reach the Greek Orthodox monastery of St. Elias (Mar Elias), where the prophet announced to Mary the birth of Jesus. We then head to the Herod's Temple (Herodion), one of the palaces-fortress of Herod. We see the Church of the Nativity, built on the cave where Jesus was supposed to be born. We reach the Chapel of the Milk Grotto, where it is said that the Virgin Mary breastfed Jesus for the first time.

The visit was very interesting, both for the history of the places visited and for the displacements between these places. It allowed us to see the precarious situation that exists in Palestine, as well as the settlements of the Jewish settlers, authentic impregnable forts.

On the way back to the checkpoint, the taxi driver explain to us and make us notice the unfavorable differences between the Palestinians and the Israeli settlers. He surprised us by stopping about three hundred meters before arriving at the checkpoint.

That afternoon, for being Sabbat and the last one in Jerusalem, we returned to the Wailing Wall, where there were many people. Although there is prohibition to take photos for being Sabbat, the tourists did, without major problem. When we marched, we climbed through the Armenian quarter and left through the Jaffa gate. It was getting dark and more and more ultra-Orthodox descended, with whole families, towards the Wall.

Even through the Damascus gate is in the eastern part, many people came down from the Mea Shearim neighborhood. We walked through the area, very lively, with many young people, many terraces, street musicians. The area is very good, full of restaurants. We had dinner there, in a very charming restaurant, with more modern dishes. After dinner we walked back to our hotel.

Bethlehem Jesus christ images wallpaper hd

The Best Hair Removal with Braun Epilators

For both men and women, unwanted body hair has become a real problem. Over the years, many methods have been adopted for the removal of hair from wax to the traditional razor, electric shaver and more recently to the epilator. For exceptional results, you have to choose an epilator that has a powerful motor, settable speed, integrated skin protection and that is easy to handle.

The general conception of people is that only women want to remove unwanted hair. Well, it's not like that anymore! Based on market research of companies that care about personal care products, men also want to get rid of unwanted hair. To get a smoother skin for longer, men use different methods of hair removal, and now they are not ashamed anymore. Enough with preconceptions!

What is an epilator?

It is a temporary hair removal device that can run on battery, can be rechargeable or powered by electricity.
Epilation consists of tearing the hairs (sorry it's a bit raw as a scene) together with their follicle. As the hair is removed together with the follicle, you will have a slower regrowth and the skin will be smoother for longer.

The epilators are made up of numerous automatic tweezers, which remove more hairs at the same time. Let's say that represents the evolution of simple tweezers, which rips a hair at a time. So, if you're always in a hurry, do not worry, the men's epilators eliminate more hairs in a single pass, making the operation faster.

The hair will grow back in a few weeks, but, of course, how many weeks depends on the person. The re-growth, in fact, is linked to a double thread at the speed of the hair growth cycle, so it varies from subject to subject. They are easily transportable and therefore ideal to take them with you on trips. For you who travel often, for work or for fun, I am a godsend. You can remove unwanted hair at any time!

Is it a hassle for you to epilate the body with traditional epilators? There is a method of permanent hair reduction that is much faster and lasts longer. It is the pulsed light epilator.

Items to consider when buying an epilator

The epilation of men is different from that of the women, for many reasons. Men generally have harder skin, and body hair is thicker and thicker. For this reason, you need an epilator that removes as many hairs as efficiently as possible. You can buy an epilator with fewer tweezers, but it will take forever. The more time it takes and more pain you will feel! Many female epilators have difficulty removing male hairs, so you have to be careful when buying an epilator. I recommend you buy one of quality. They cost more, but all the money spent is worth.

What features make a SUPER epilator?

The power of the engine, the number of tweezers and the brand. Motor power It is important because the hairs of the males are thicker and require more power. The number of tweezers, the more they are, the better. They allow removing more hairs in a single pass. The process will be faster and the pain will be more bearable. Go on the safe side. Buy top-of-the-line Braun, Philips and Panasonic epilators.

An epilator works quickly and is designed for larger areas such as legs, chest, and shoulders. These devices are available in the dry only version, only wet or wet and dry in combination. If you want to wear the epilator even in the shower, we recommend a wet & dry epilator.

You have to choose the model you like best, even if it is designed for women. Do not be afraid especially not be ashamed to buy an epilator. What is important, as I have already explained, is that it has a powerful motor and a lot of tweezers. The aesthetics do not count! So, you will use it in your bathroom, away from prying eyes.

Is epilation necessary for men? And above all, does the epilator work for men?

YES! An epilator is very useful for men. Let's see the benefits of an epilator. First, it's very easy to use. Unlike tweezers, epilation does not involve the removal of any hair individually. In addition, unlike waxing, the hair removal process does not create disorder for the home and does not require long preparations.

The results last longer than shaving because the hair removal removes the hair from the root, it does not cut it only superficially, at the skin level. The hair torn from the root becomes weaker and the speed of regrowth decreases with each epilation. It can be used many times. You will have one single expense a little more conspicuous, the purchase cost.

It can be used comfortably at home. The men's epilator can be applied to large areas of skin such as shoulders, legs, abdomen or chest, and on small areas. As the hairs are torn from the root, they grow back more slowly. Usually after 2, 3 or 4 weeks. The time of regrowth, however, varies from subject to subject. It depends on the speed of regrowth of the hairs of every single person.

Some disadvantages of the electric epilator

The epilator works similarly to waxing, and like waxing, it does not exfoliate the skin from accumulated dead cells. Tear only the hair from the root. The exfoliation gives a shine to the skin that the epilator, unfortunately, does not give. In addition to the initial purchase cost, after a certain period of time, to keep it always efficient, you need to change the discs or blades. It can be painful and cause redness, ingrown hairs, and irritation.

The delicate parts, like the pubis, are very sensitive to the epilator. Epilators have advantages and disadvantages. It is up to you whether or not to use it. The epilator market, in general, is aimed at women. For this reason, there are very few epilators created specifically for men. The Braun Silk Epil 9 9-561 is small and easy to use. It is convenient because it is wet and dry (you can also use it in the shower). For us men and for those who are beginners, this is a great feature. The hot water relieves pain.

It is a cordless, portable and practical epilator. It allows you to remove the hair quickly, and the skin remains smooth for at least 4 weeks. It has a hair removal head 40% wider than previous models. This means that it can eliminate more hair in a single pass. The tweezers are not only wider, but also longer. They also capture the shortest hairs.

The Braun Silk Epil 9 9-561 has 6 extra accessories of the shaving head, the trimmer hood, the massage hood, the hood for the face. There is a cap in contact with the skin and a charging base where to place it and to charge it for the next use

The massage cap reduces the pain you usually feel during epilation. I remind you that over time you will feel less pain and the hair will become thinner and thinner. The other accessories allow you to use the epilator on other parts of the body such as arms and armpits. It is very convenient for people who have sensitive skin and are easily irritated. In fact, unlike other epilators, the Braun Silk Epil 9 9-561 does not pull the skin during epilation and prevents redness and pain.

The larger head of 40% allows you to remove more hairs in a single pass. The high frequency massaging head makes epilation a little more delicate. The SmartLight light helps to see even the shortest and finest hairs. The Wet & Dry technology allows you to also use the Silk-épil in the shower or in the bathtub for hair removal quicker and less painful.

Braun guarantees that the skin remains smooth for up to 4 weeks with the Silk-épil 9-561. The Epilation is fast. It has numerous interchangeable heads. It is easy to clean since it is impermeable to water. It has a beautiful design, is handy, compact and light. The battery has excellent autonomy and can be recharged quickly. For safety reasons it cannot be used while it is attached to the power cord (only for charging). For us, the Braun Silk Epil 9 9-561 is the best epilator in circulation for women and men.


Although not designed for men, the Braun Silk-épil 7 7681 is one of the most used among men. The reviews of users who have used, and who use this epilator, are very positive. Braun 7681 is really effective! It's a wet & dry epilator. It can also be used in the shower. It is cordless and battery operated. It is equipped with a flexible head that adapts to the curves of the body, making epilation more precise. This epilator effectively removes even the very short hairs, up to 0.5mm. It has 40 tweezers that remove hair directly from the root, making the skin smooth for weeks.

It is equipped with 5 different accessories, namely the razor head, the regulator cap, the maximum efficiency hood, the hood for sensitive areas and the hood for the face. Let's see them in more detail. The razor head converts the epilator into a normal electric shaver. You can use the Regulator cap to adjust the hair at a certain length before starting the epilation process. The hood allows the epilator to keep in close contact with the skin, for a faster process. Once used to epilation, switch to this hood for better results. The Cap is used for sensitive areas such as the armpits and the groin. It allows greater control and precision.

The Hood for the face guarantees greater precision in removing facial hair. The massage cap is already attached to the epilator. During epilation, by means of mini rollers, it performs a skin massage to relieve the pain of the process. Remember to take it with you on business trips and on vacation. Unwanted hair will only be a memory and you will have smooth skin for weeks!

I think a review must be as objective as possible. If the product has something negative, you need to let it be known to its readers. I must be honest! The negative part of this epilator (and of all the others) is the pain that is felt during the process. Unfortunately, there are no epilators that do not cause pain.

For those who have been using an epilator for some time, any epilator is a known problem. The good news is that over time your skin will begin to get used to it, and the pain will only become a tingling.

The Braun Silk Epil 7 Xpressive Pro 7681 is very effective. The epilation process is fast. You can also epilate yourself in the shower. Speed 1 is for a more delicate epilation, speed 2 for extra efficiency. An integrated light illuminates the area of hair removal, to see all the hairs, even the smallest ones.

You can use it all over your body. It is equipped with a good razor and a precision regulator. It has an ergonomic design. It is easy to clean. You can rinse it under running water, it's waterproof. It's cordless so you do not have the thread problem that can hamper the process. It is easy to use. You can take it with you anywhere. It is very delicate in sensitive parts, like the bikini area

You cannot use it while it's in charge. It is a little expensive, but worth the money spent. The massage cap, unfortunately, does not reduce the pain. It already has a good battery life, but Braun could do better. It can be noisy.

My final opinion

The Braun Silk-Epil 9 9-561 is an extremely efficient hair removal epilator. Compared to many other epilators, it removes unwanted hair in fewer passes. It also removes those small and thin hairs that even the wax cannot eliminate. Although not designed exclusively for men, it is powerful enough to eradicate any type of fur, even the thickest of males.

Travel Experiences in Lapland at Christmas in the Santa Claus Village

I want to tell you about my last trip to Lapland. For some time it was a trip that I wanted to do. But with the cold, the snow, and the distance, there was always an apology to postpone it. Without thinking much and seeing in the calendar four days off, I went to Finland. Santa Claus was waiting for us! The day was clear when I left on this trip to Finnish Lapland during Christmas where I set out in the footsteps of Santa Claus.

After a few kilometers from the capital of Lapland (Rovaniemi), we have been able to talk to Santa Claus, know his history, his Post Office, the town where he works every year to distribute gifts in a reindeer sleigh, the Santa Claus Village or Napapiiri.

In the last hours of the day, we approach the snow-covered village of Rovaniemi with dozens of restaurants, hotels, bars, cafes, and supermarkets and charming places. We booked the hotel on our own with some beautiful wooden cabins at the foot of a ski resort but only four kilometers from the city center. It had fully equipped kitchen, bathroom with sauna and a loft.

christmas Aurora Rovaniemi Lapland santa claus

Santa Claus Village

From the first hour on the breakfast buffet we have in the panoramic restaurant of the Lapland hotel where we stayed, I had a restless smile. Although I could have gone down in search of the bus to get closer, I decided to take a taxi to arrive almost without people to that desired place! Santa Claus village or the town of Santa Claus in Lapland!

How could it be otherwise without snow in the distant land of the symbol of Christmas? There is no missing ingredient to what we could have imagined. Santa Claus village is a kind of theme park 8 km from Rovaniemi just where the line of the Arctic Circle passes. It includes its workshop, a post office, a shopping center, ice slides, the Snowman or ice bar-restaurant. There are several facilities where you can take a reindeer sleigh ride or hire activities with huskies or snowmobiles. There are restaurants, villas to stay and a Christmas building-house. It is precisely this building-Christmas house that makes the reception and small museum the first one we have entered.

The museum turns out to be rather a simple Christmas exhibition that combines some traditions and explanations of the Sami life. There are nativity scenes or a modern lego. There is a door where Santa Claus lets himself "fall" from time to time. The rest of the building works as a shop and restaurant. It is also access to where one can stay in any of the apartments with the best Christmas atmosphere. The heart of this park whose access is completely free (except for the hiring of activities and the entrance to the Snowman) is the Santa Claus Office or Santa Claus workshop. It can also be visited without paying except the photos.

We are on the coldest day of the trip so far. It seems that tonight the temperature has reached -20.5 ° C although small arctic squirrels seem to adapt perfectly to the environment. After a stop for a short coffee and buns, we approach another jewel in the crown of the place, the main post office of the town of Santa Claus. We are thousands of kilometers away from the big cities of the world but from here leave millions of gifts both by mail and in the sleigh of Santa Claus on Christmas night. Inside is a small shop decorated with much love, with an area to buy parcels and another to sit down to write your own postcards or letters.

Any package, letter or postcard that you send bears the seal of one of the most special places in the world. We were not going to miss the opportunity, of course. This place also receives thousands of letters from all over the world and are piled up waiting to be read by the white-bearded old to prepare their gifts this year. Another interesting thing to know is that you can decide dates between buying stamps from there, sending your postcards, packages or letters.

It is time to continue what else we can visit in this great town of Santa Claus that receives so many visits a day. It is important to know that it is open all year round, not only at Christmas. Although Lapland at Christmas is magical, you will not have any problem at any other time.

We went out again in the cold (although it has stopped snowing) to the Santa Claus Office to the Snowman or ice bar-restaurant. After passing a playground for children, some great snowmen give us access to the bar and restaurant area. It's amazing, even the smallest detail is all decorated. Although perhaps, more than a cold drink, what we want is a hot soup or a good cappuccino? We walked to the top of the Santa Claus village or Santa Claus town and we approached a kind of reindeer farm. We plan to enter it tomorrow in another great activity that we have reserved.

We sit near a fire that they have outside to warm us. Further on there is also an area to book snowmobile rides or huskies sledding. Although I believe that today is not the day for it and I would reserve it for another specific day. We read that in what is called Santa Claus Gift Claus or main shopping center there is a place to put a stamp on the passport!

We are in a large enclosed space full of small shops, restaurants, coffee shops (where we get warm again) and the line that marks the Arctic Circle! Right in this same place, the center of the long covered space is the information point where you can stamp the passport. But what most strikes us is a new activity that allows one to fly over the clouds in a flight in search of the Northern Lights. It's expensive.

We are already entered hungry and near us was a restaurant with a lot of charm on the outside that inside is a little cave. They serve a kind of buffet with beers. It was perfect to regain strength.

Nothing of the previous thing would be complete if it were not because in this town it is Santa Claus! Yes, the true, unique and greatest symbol of Christmas that made this place officially its "office" to listen to the wishes of its visitors since 2010 although it has been doing it for centuries.

Someone tells the story that, after World War II, Finland was destroyed. It was the first lady of the United States, Eleanor Roosevelt, who decided to hold a ceremony where the Arctic Circle begins and build a small cabin enlarged with time. The history of Napapiiri is born, a town that grew up where in 1985 Santa decided to install his office and workshop to distribute the gifts every year.

christmas Rovaniemi Lapland santa claus

As we said before, visiting Santa Claus village is completely free and allows you to enjoy 5 minutes with him. But the condition is not being able to take pictures from the moment we walk through the entrance path behind the door of his workshop. You can buy them when you finish besides a video of your experience. However, today the elves have been magical with us and the blog has served to allow us to enter. We open the door and walk down a path with music and an atmosphere that takes us to a magical world. If it is already exciting, the emotion still rises.

We climb a staircase to the upper floor. Regalitos, strange watches, pendulums, photos of their encounters. Everything leads us to a final door where even an elf offers us a gift that Santa Claus can hide behind his chair to give to the little ones when they enter. An elf receives us at the entrance of his office. Joulupukki (Finnish name of Santa Claus) is already ready to receive us. It is curious to know that in Finland is presented on Christmas Eve to distribute gifts (as he does in the houses year after year). While in the United States it seems that he does it "stealthily" when nobody sees him. And there he is.

It's our desired moment of the day and it finally arrives. We can only say that health was one of the most important issues. The great Joulupukki showed that he is not only a character who creates magic for Christmas but his heart does not fit into that suit. Many keys already have a little detail that that old man with white beard and the red suit had for all of us. I am sure that he will fulfill many wishes of travelers (and those who are not) for the next new year. We say goodbye. After the office, there is a control center where you can record video and photos of your meeting with the most important person of this time of the year.

In the outskirts of the town of Santa Claus, it has already got dark. The building where the illusions of children and adults are fulfilled looks beautiful in colored lights, Christmas trees and the line of the Arctic Circle with its 66º 32 '35 " perfectly marked in blue to the room where it receives us. Every December 24 in this same place, Santa is received by many visitors to greet Christmas and go out on his reindeer sleigh to distribute the gifts that night.

I will never forget the hands of Santa Claus. They were white and the softest I've ever touched. I could not find out where his house is hiding but I'm sure that these days we will find out more clues that will take us their, the cave of her elves or find one of the reindeer that pulls her sleigh every year. Legend has it that the location of Santa's house is one of Lapland's best-kept secrets and only a select few, his elves, are aware of his whereabouts. But, as we always say, this is part of another beautiful story.

The temperatures begin to fall with the darkness and it is a good time to take the bus just in front of the main Gift House and get closer to Rovaniemi. This same bus stops in Santa Park but will also be the subject of another exciting day. It's around 5:30 when we step on Rovaniemi. Almost without realizing we have been almost 9 hours!

christmas Aurora Rovaniemi Lapland santa claus

Rovaniemi - the capital of Lapland

This small town of 70,000 inhabitants stands out more for being a perfect base for all the activities that can be done than for its tourist attraction. Along the main street, we can find several companies dedicated to organizing sleigh trips, snowmobiles, Aurora Borealis hunting. Logically they did not guarantee anything because they are an unpredictable phenomenon.

The Koskikatu Street is the main street that gives life to Rovaniemi and around which are the shopping malls, hotels, restaurants, and markets. There is another street that extends the offer. I could say that the Lardi square with a large clock that marks the temperature would be the heart of everything. The main purchases that can be made, as it could not be otherwise, are made from reindeer pieces. I believe that Rudolf spent some time here, otherwise it would be impossible to have posters with his picture. We will have to keep looking.

The main attractions are the Presbyterian church, the Jätkänkynttilä bridge over the Kemijoki river that we have seen several times these days. We do the river walk and the Arktikum museums of Sami culture. There are wildlife and attractions to learn while playing or the Pilke Scientific center which is a kind of interactive exhibition quite funny as they say. We dine in a restaurant where we order salmon soup, reindeer stew, and king crab.

Seeing the night clear we took some warm coffee to the car and we went on an adventure in search of the northern lights. We had been told that you could see on one on every three clear nights. We crossed our fingers so that this was one of those nights. We had to get away from the lights of the city, so we started to drive north, along a lonely road. It not only had trees on the sides but houses that looked like they were taken out of a movie.

I am sure that today is one of those days when the time has stopped and any thought has gone into the background before my first encounter with Santa Claus. My enthusiasm and affection for the little things that happen to us in life is incredible. But today, just to see Santa in this small place far from the world, in this town full of magic, I have fulfilled a great dream, to know that Old man with a white beard and red suit who will visit us again on Christmas night. Do you believe in the magic of Christmas? I was sleeping at this hour as the child who has reached their most magical dreams! Santa Claus exists!

Trip to Iceland during Winter Solstice to the Cold Dark Polar Nights

I just returned after a stay of several days in Iceland during the winter solstice. In December low temperatures are already well established on the land which is also a country geographically half Europe and America. What's in winter in Iceland, other than cold, freezing wind and ice? There are some primeval landscapes, a magical and fleeting light, and almost no tourists. And with a lot of patience and some luck, perhaps some aurora borealis. In fact, it was the main motivation for the trip. It was all very tempting for a photographer.

Winter travel in Iceland has its charm. They are auroras Borealis or northern lights. You can enjoy the snowy landscapes and the best-known traditions of Icelanders since summer lasts only three months. For me, the best days are after a heavy snowfall, as the sky shines like opening the contours of the fading city. Children enjoy it very much.

If you visit Iceland in winter, chances are that you can see the white Christmas like in Christmas movies. The houses are colorful with maximum two floors. Outside of Reykjavik, in rural areas, there is snow in abundance. Every morning snowplows pass through the streets and bike lanes. I do not know who would we be without them.

I find it very romantic to drink coffee and look out the window or sit on the couch and read, listen to jazz and drink a glass of wine or beer. We love bathing in very hot water. All pools have jacuzzis, mostly outdoors. The good winter in Iceland is also surrounded by snow and we watch northern lights in the sky.

When does winter begin in Iceland?

The winter in Iceland according to the Old Norse calendar begins in October between 21 and 27. This day traders in the downtown street of Skolavordustigur invite everyone for beef soup. This month is called Gormánuður. The Viking calendar distinguishes only two seasons: summer and winter.

Fleeting and cold wind

But shooting at this time of the year on a destination bordering the Arctic presents its difficulties. First, the few hours of light. After a long night and a long morning sun peeked over the horizon at about 11:30 AM in the morning and hid back by 3 PM. Then, every night we went out to the field several hours in a stubborn attempt to observe auroras. The lived excitement and jumping for joy at the first sight of the northern lights remain among our fondest memories.

The second problem for the photographer is some pretty severe weather, although they were expected given the latitudes where we were. Both during the day and night temperature range between -1 and -3 ° C, down to -11 sometimes. Although we are accustomed to such temperatures, the fact is that the combination with the constant winds between 35 and 90 Km/h subjected to thermal sensations equivalent to -15 to -30 ° C, which was quite harder.

It was also impressive driving both day and night on roads and tracks in full blizzard or sandstorm. But to me personally these extreme conditions motivate me even more and I've always enjoyed them. I demonstrate the strength of wild nature and sometimes are the way to get images out of the ordinary. So I had to use shutter speeds and higher ISO than usual. Fortunately, my camera allows shooting at high sensitivities with low noise and an image stabilizer.

Clothing to Photograph Iceland in Winter

One of the most troublesome things to work under intense cold is clothing. Outside we had one or even two thermal tights, plus a high mountain pants and other waterproof up to stop the wind. In the upper two thermal shirts under a fleece jersey, and a thick jacket fleece and down anorak or wind jackets (even at times both at once). A thin thermal gloves under mittens fleece for hands and cap with fleece insulate us. The 4x4 car we rented was, besides our means of transport, our shelter from blizzards and low temperatures in Iceland.

With the cold and wind, everything is more difficult and, as we work frequently at dusk and night. Sitting on a comfortable sofa with a cup of chocolate, wrapped in a warm flannel blanket and a house of solid walls. And you are near a window receiving the light passing through the glass, you will feel even more comfortable.

I had long wanted to live it, not another destination, but to experience the freezing cold and the polar night. With only 5 hours of dim light of the sun, near the sinuous profile of the horizon of snowy mountains around us.

Since the December 21 winter solstice began, temperatures are negative and at this time, will fall further, reaching approximate minimum limits of -40º C or even less. Each year at this time, the inhabitants of the northern lands of the northern hemisphere or Boreal enthusiastically celebrate the return of the sun.

The new small great adventure

I fly to Norway to experience the polar night and the first frigid winter storms beyond the Arctic Circle. I live there for a few days in a small cabin of only 8 square meters with the basics and two bunk beds, a table, and 4 chairs. Once there we visit the area and take photographs. We also indulge in other sports, mountain and ice climbing.

What is the polar night?

It is the eternal night, in the days pass without sunlight. This effect is due to the tilt of Earth's axis, therefore, in the Geographic North Pole (where it crosses the Earth's axis), sunlight does not reach this point for three months a year. There is no dawn (sunrise) and sunset (sunset). As we go down latitude, 'traveling to the South' that time of darkness become lower, reaching nearly a month in the Arctic Circle. In the area in Norway this astronomical event occurs, we were between the boundary of the almost total darkness and very little daylight.

From Norway to Finland

An eternal night? Between 20 and December 23 each year, in northern Finland, almost so. The sun rises shortly before 12 am and goes to sleep less than an hour later.

This is the winter solstice, to a world famous midnight sun. In southern Finland, on the solstice day there is about six hours of daylight. However, for long distances with the north, the feeling is much more extreme in Lapland. Winter can be very hard in northern Europe. The cold and lack of light cause a lot of people see the solstice with hope.

The legend of the longest night

In northern Finland and Lapland lands in general, the Samis had the tradition of sacrificing females of their livestock to the goddess of fertility, love, spring and the sun, the Beaivi. The festival celebrated on the day of the solstice is known as the Festival of Beaivi.

Endless Return

On the day of our departure at the airport, we had no idea of the mess we got into. We were returning exhausted, but happy with what we had seen and photographed. The auroras were very shy, but we saw landscapes and had experiences that had been very satisfactory.

The simple return home became a new journey within the journey. Heavy snowfalls and ice that were affecting northern Europe had left many closed or highly affected airports. Our plane left Iceland with eight hours late and when we stopped at Gatwick airport and London, we are plunged into total chaos. All flights canceled and hundreds of thousands of travelers caught in the UK.

After our initial shock and despair began a marathon search for a way to escape from the British Isles. It became a challenge. We find no ticket on any plane, train or coach before Christmas. Apart from many roads of England and France were cut off by snow and ice. With the help of laptops and credit cards, and thanks to the experience of organizing trips, we got a room in a hotel, a precious commodity in those moments of chaos in which thousands of people had sleeping on the ground of British airports.

This had been the longest return of our lives, for one of our shorter trips. In life a travel photographer may never know when a normal path will become an ordeal. The good thing is not to despair and even learn to enjoy it.

24 Hours in Zurich - The Most German City in Switzerland

After my first incursion into the Scandinavian countries, I got more desire for cold and snow. I found a wonderful offer to Switzerland and the best thing was that I would travel around Christmas. I had been dodging it for a long time and there I was alone, lost in the heart of Europe and even without stepping on it. My 6-day trip integrated by train through Switzerland was through Zurich, Lucerne, Basel and Colmar, Bern, Freiburg and Gruyeres and Lausanne and Geneva.

My winter adventure decidedly began in Zurich where I arrived with the flight after a stopover in Amsterdam. From there my itinerary started on trains, which at first I thought I would do by car. The infallible Swiss train network is sensational. Needless to say that they work perfectly. Driving in the middle of winter with snow, ice, and fog? Without much hesitation, I got on the sensational train system!

I arrived at the Zurich airport from where I easily took the train (Flughafen Station) that left me 12 minutes later at the Zürich Central Train Station. It was easy, convenient, fast and cheap! I booked my apartment for a night very close to the station, since the tourist part of Zurich is relatively small and is very close to the station. Everything can be done walking without any problem.

My first host was a lovely Italian and Swedish couple, who had settled in Zurich after traveling. There was a huge mural with a world map decorated on one of the walls of the living room with the trips made and to be done. I arrived late so, immediately, I went to bed trying not to bother them too much. Also, the next morning I was going to get up early. Until the alarm clock decided not to sound, hahaha!

When I got up startled from so much sleep, I found the couple parting with laughter in the living room. After thanking them a million times for coffee and a delicious piece of lemon cake, I went out to visit the city.

This small Swiss city was frozen but not snowed. I begin my visit to the Altstadt, the old town. The first thing I did was to take the most commercial and busiest street in Zurich, Bahnhofstrasse. This street, full of the most important shops, trams and lots of commercial life, also houses the renowned and historical Confiserie Sprüngli.

Going to is almost mandatory when you are in Zurich, trying your coffee, or confectionery, and it is well worth it! It is Switzerland and its chocolate is forced in this famous and spectacular chocolate house. Which one is the best? The hot chocolate that gave us energy that cold December day and that they prepared it with milk without the fat!

I continued my walk along the Limmat River (which cuts the city in two) passing through the emblematic Grossmünster, Fraumünster and the Church of St. Peter. We continue going through its charming streets full of details, streets so beautiful and full of places such as Augustinergasse, St.Peterhofstatt, Munsterhof or Storchengasse. After a stop in the Paradeplatz square for some sandwiches at a bus stop (to keep time), I decided to keep walking towards the Lake Zurich. I spent the whole afternoon strolling through the beautiful Belvoir garden. The views of the lake with the mountains with snow in the distance seemed to be taken from a postcard.

There was the typical Swiss landscape that we all imagine. What surprised me the most in my first foray into this country was to see that I really breathed a very relaxed and peaceful atmosphere throughout the city. It gave me a fit of laughter when I caught some armed police officers inside their van, looking at their mobile phones with a face of extreme boredom. What kind of infractions can be committed in a city that seems so quiet?

It was still cold so I decided to make a stop for a hot drink in a café-restaurant hidden in an old building in the center. It turned out to be a very authentic place. I took my coffee in a fine tableware and silver spoons surrounded by paintings of great painters such as Braque, Chagall, Miró, and Picasso hanging from the walls. How to make your wine glass fall while you dine!

Its historic center was what I liked the most and the views on both sides of the Limmat. Although, here I also meet for the first time in these 6 days, with what I least liked about Switzerland and what would be the common denominator in the trip, the Swiss timetables. That, at the time of travel (and even more in winter), play a fundamental role in the enjoyment and relaxation of a trip. Everything closes around 5 pm. There are few people walking down the street after 7 pm and at 9 pm it is an almost absolute solitude. Dining is strictly early. To my surprise the day starts late, few people walk before 9 am.

It started getting dark and I realized that, despite having fallen asleep, Zurich did not have much more to offer. I returned walking along the beautiful Rennweg street with medieval buildings and enjoy the atmosphere of the premises that were beginning to be closed. On the way home curiously I found a wine store. So I was encouraged to take a gift for my apartment couple who had offered me complimentary dinner that night.

When I arrived with the bottle of Rioja, they left me amazed with their surprise of a Raclette! I could not be thankful enough for the incredible generosity of the couple. After putting on my boots with a delicious dinner and typically Swiss white wine, I still enjoyed the evening exchanging impressions, telling my adventures and even taking out the guitar and singing.

I arrived in Zurich without much expectations and I liked the city much more than I imagined.