After a crazy marathon (6 countries in 3 time zones in 5 days) I started a month in Romania. After 7 years I returned to Sibiu and I visited Cluj Napoca and Oradea for the first time. And I loved all the places, they are so beautiful! While in Sibiu you can see pretty many tourists (the city definitely deserves them!), Cluj and especially Oradea are really overlooked. Which is rather strange as Cluj is the main transport hub for Transylvania with cheap flight connections all over Europe (I paid for my ticket from Bratislava 9€ and to Berlin 12€). Each city I visited was different and enchanted me with something else: in Sibiu I fell for houses with the eyes and charming courtyards, in Cluj I enjoyed the amazing cafe culture and students vibe while Oradea was an art nouveau heaven!
Just a week after retutning I had to go to Berlin again as this time I flew for few days to Montenegro. Everyone knows I consider Kotor one of the most beautiful places in the world so it’s always good to return there (especially when you stay in the 600 years old palace). This time however I finally had a chance to see more of the country. And I’m enchanted! I went to two day tours from Kotor, with 360Monte agency (definitely recommended!) and managed to see most of Montenegro’s highlights in such a short time. And even if the place I was most looking forward to – Lovcen mountain – was all covered in clouds I can’t complain! Funny thing as on both tours I met readers on this blog. If any of you see me somewhere – don’t be shy, come and say hi!
Shortly after Montenegro you could see my flying from Berlin again. I took my mother for her birthday and mother’s day to Bosnia and Herzegovina and I think she loved it there! Even if the trip was mostly for her I enjoyed being in Bosnia big time too. It’s been only two months since my previous visit there but Sarajevo is one of those places that I feel really good at and can spend days there without being bored. Again I left the place with a heavy heart and I already can’t stop thinking of another trip to Sarajevo. I really have no idea what this city has but it is like some kind of magnet for me.
Days on the road: 15
Places visited: Oradea, Cluj Napoca (Romania); Berlin (Germany); Podgorica, Kotor, Cetinje, Budva, Lovcen NP, Rijeka Crnojevica, Zabljak, Durdecia Tara Bridge, Ostrog Monastery (Montenegro); Fronołów, Sarnaki, Gnojno (Poland); Sarajevo, Mostar (Bosnia and Herzegovina)
I keep telling everyone who wants to visit Warsaw that the time between May and September is the best to do so and even if this past month hasn’t been the best weather-wise and even if I was barely around I managed to enjoy some lovely Warsaw days too. There were couple of great meetings with friends, trying new food (this time it was Mexican) or craft beers and my favorite evenings at the riverside. As much as I love travelling I also adore being here in Warsaw and just having a good time.
I also managed to get away one weekend to my friends’ cottage some 2 hours away from Warsaw. It’s one of my favorite places ever, located in the middle of the forest, with the Bug river nearby. You really can relax there and so I’ve spent half of the day napping in the hammock – it was perfect!
What I struggled the most with in May was the work / travel / life / blog balance. I like having some sort of routine in my everyday life and with so much travels it was rather difficult to balance everything in May. Work kept me really busy and then I spent way too much time watching TV shows and I couldn’t force myself to catch up on the blog as it felt one more episode of “Gossip Girl” just can not wait! But it’s time to pull myself together and I’m really hoping to be more present in here this month – I really miss working on the blog!
Books read in May
It seems like I’m reading 5 or even more books at the same time – for each trip I took a new book thinking the one I’ve already started might not be enough. And so my goal for May was to finally finish them all. Well, I failed. I’ve only finished three books, two of which were bought this month anyway:
- The Morning They Came For Us: Dispatches from Syria by Janine di Giovanni – a really good book about the current war in Syria. I couldn’t put it down even if at times it really made me feel sick, literally. Everyone should read it to understand what’s happening in Syria these days!
- A book about Bosnia and Herzegovina by Hervé Ghesquière (I can’t find it in English, the Polish title is “Sarajewo. Rany są nadal zbyt głębokie) – while I enjoyed the book it I also felt it was very quickly written, the story could have been more detailed. Still it’s a good book to see what’s happening in Bosnia and Herzegovina 20 years after the war.
- Logavina Street: Life and Death in a Sarajevo Neighborhood by Barbara Demick – I’ve read it for the 3rd time, that’s how good this book is. It tells the story of life during the Sarajevo siege but focuses on people living only on one street – Logavina. This time reading the book was even more special as I was in between my two visits on Logavina street and I could picture everything so easily.
I must confess I’ve been having a hard time enjoying Instagram. I used to love it and all the travel pictures fed my wanderlust on daily basis. But I’m just tired and annoyed of this whole follow – unfollow game and this month I posted significantly less pictures than usual. Still, the most popular one was the image of early morning in Sarajevo and the view of Strossmayerova street (which for me is one of the most beautiful views in Sarajevo Old Town, it’s the best seen from the stairs of the Catholic Cathedral).
On the blog you will find the new post with the best pictures from Bosnia and Herzegovina – link in the profile! Here you can Sarajevo and Strossmayerova street in the very center early in the morning – then you can really see how beautiful the city is. What's your favorite time to explore the places you visit?
In May I posted only twice on the blog and both posts were about the Balkans. I showed you my favorite pictures from Bosnia and Herzegovina as well as shared all I know about travelling in the Balkans. I really hope to be more active here in June, there is so much I still want to write about!
In May you could also find my article about cafes in Kosovo in one of the biggest Polish printed magazines about food – “Kuchnia”. Let me tell you it’s a weird feeling to see your face when you open the magazine at the newsstand. It looks like you might see more of my writing there in future!
Oh, and my Facebook group about travels to Eastern Europe, the Balkans and former USSR crossed a milestone of 3 thousands members. I really love the community we’ve created there and I couldn’t be happier to see how it’s growing. If you haven’t joined yet you can do it here!
Plans for June
It seems like another busy month is waiting for me. Tomorrow after work I’m heading to Wrocław where, after evening out with some friends, I will catch a flight to Lviv, Ukraine. It’s one of my favorite cities so I don’t mind going there for less than 24 hours. On Wednesday I’m going to Slovakia from work but after the conference I’m planning to stay in the area for the weekend, probably in Cieszyn (one of my happy places). At the end of June I’m going for a weekend to Liberec, Czech Republic – a city I used to visit pretty often some years ago. I’m really curious to see how much it has changed and if it’s still as pleasant as I remember. But the highlight of the month will be System of a Down concert in Kraków – it will be the 3rd time I will see my favorite band (after concerts in Prague and Yerevan) and I couldn’t be any more excited!
Hope your May was pretty good too!
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