In the past month I have been working in some maps for Walkli.com, in this article I'm going to explain you what makes this website so special!
This is an easy to use website which offer you the oportunity to see in seconds which is the best walking route to discover the city, most of them made by locals or people with high knowledge of the place! So If you don't want to stress yourself and make a big list of things to do and see, Walkli.com has the solution.
The interface is really clear since there is an starting point and a route, and as you walk it there are different stops with some info and images attached!
As more people contribute with their maps, the routes in the cities will grow, and this is not just directed to average tourism! In big cities like Paris, London or Boston there are a wide range of different routes, from Foodie trips to thematic tours (Jack the reaper or WWII in London for example) as well as off the beaten path.
So far I have contributed with maps of my hometown, Zaragoza. As well as the city that hosted me for a year, Bratislava, but also added more Turistical oriented map for different Spanish cities like Barcelona, Toledo or Huesca.
When being abroad, several things surprise you, but in this article I'm gonna write about the little details that are so different and unique.
Obviously, everybody finds it different that British people drive on the left or that coffee in Italy is a vital part of the culture... As you know I hate to write about mainstream/viral/typical stuff and while these curiosities may not be a "secret" they are much less known to the public!
In many occasions, the first thing you will need to do when you arrive to another country is to meet new people, and here it comes a big difference between cultures: For example, in Spain it is totally ok to kiss both cheeks of somebody of the opposite sex whom you have just met, or even between men if you are family or really close, while in Poland and many other countries you will get a weird look by doing this since everybody just gives you a handshake (my advice is when in Rome do as Romans do...). But that does not end there, as "cold" as the handshake may look, in Slavic countries 3 cheek kisses when saying bye means you consider each other friends.
I find no real excuse not to have this at every home, the shades are widely common in all southern Europe (Spain, France, Italy...) but they seem to be a mythological legend in the rest of the world (or have some weird version of them). These wonderful inventions have many advantages: You can have a nap in darkness, you have more privacy at night and the most important thing is that early sun doesn't wake you up!!
Different kids of ice-creams
Pizza and Italian nightmares
If you are Italian and you are reading this, I do warn you, it may hurt your pride. Obviously, pizza comes from Italy, and something outside that country is not a pizza but a "round bread with things", but now here it comes the disaster... In Poland and Lithuania when you order a pizza they always add ketchup or other SAUCES to it!! You go to a pizzeria and each table has its own ketchup/ bbq/ moustard sauce set. Btw I do not consider American bbq or hawaiian "bread with things" anything related to pizza.
Orange wine in Georgia
When ordering a Rosato or sparkling wine one may imagine a pinkish coloured wine... Well this doesn't happen in Georgia, where that kind of wine has a very obvious orange colour!! Btw, this country has an excellent quality in food and wine, if you are a foodie this should be your next destination.
Driving in India
Ok, India is radically different to anything western but yet one of the things that stroked me the most was the driving... You couldn't pass 80 km/h in highways because cows are allowed to be where they want (guess what, they love to stay in the middle of the road) and also there is a lot of trucks, to pass them you need to horn at them (as their back painting reminds you)
Beer in Russia
While Russian beer is not world famous, there is a special thing about them. Specially if we take the most famous brand, Baltika, with several numbers to represent the different kinds of beer it has but the fun part comes with the 1L packaging, which is not a plastic bottle as you may think but a tremendous can, perfect for drunk pictures!
And now I will show you in pictures some other little curiosities!! I hope you enjoyed this article and learned how to appreciate little details more!
Have you ever traveled alone for some time? Or simply you have better time with already known people? In this article, I will talk about my impressions of solo traveling!!
It's becoming quite trendy to do so, with mottos like "you don't know yourself until you travel alone" and similar YOLO stuff... well... It can be true but at the same time if you have better time travelling with friends then you are not a "tourist not a traveller" or "typical traveller" as some articles want to point out, you simply travel happier ;)
The thing is, while travelling, do it in the way you have more fun, I have travelled solo 5 times in my life, all of them were great moments and I will speak about them later, but my best travelling moments have been sharing them with friends in a relatively big group (like Transsiberian railway or Mongolia trip)
It really depends on the people and if somebody tells you that you are not a real traveller until you travel alone, simply ignore it, he/she is an idiot.
But why did I travel alone then? Well, after reading this you will understand me, people who know me are aware that I'm a very active person, and I can't resist a great travelling deal if I got the right number of holidays available, but sometimes, friends simply don't want to go and, before asking people who you know a bit already and you are sure that they won't be the best traveling mates then... better travel alone than with the wrong company!
But as you can see, Pros are better than Cons, so, now I hope that reading my experiences will help you to understand this!
First time I ever traveled alone was in Dubai, and it was quite a shock for me. After my trip to Russia, Mongolia and China, I needed to come back to Spain, but instead of choosing the 400€ China-Madrid with Moscow stopover, I obviously choose the China-Dubai for 200€ and a later Dubai-Barcelona flight for another 220€, with 28 h between them!
So that gave me enough time to see Dubai in one day (you can get a really good glimpse of the city in just 24h) and just needed to pay for 1 night in hotel (4* Hotel with rooftop swimming pool for 40€), so in total, tours+hotel+food it was an extra 90€ cost instead of flying to Madrid through Moscow... but I saw Dubai for literally 90€, so totally worth it! Also, being alone in Dubai made me skip senseless shopping and heading just to tourist attractions or even doing the desert tour!
Check the Dubai Cheap Guide for more info!
Second time was not literally a solo trip, a friend was hosting me in Dresden and I needed to go from Bratislava, so, instead of going directly, I decided to stay 1 day before in Dresden and 2 after it in Prague. So, technically, I was in a hostel with unknown people and every morning I was traveling alone to nearby towns such as Czesky Krumlov or Plzen as you can read in this article.
But every afternoon and night I was meeting my friends from Prague (who needed to work during morning) so it was a funny combination. That trip gave bith to the Bohemia Guide, check it out!
Third time is an obvious one that I think no one would let it pass, I got an offer for 10€ go/back flight to Malmö (Sweden) for 4 day, perfect considering that Copenhagen (Denmark) is just 40 min away from the airport! I asked many people to come with me, but I had already finished my exams in May but most of people still didn't (it was beginning of June) so I booked a big youth hostel and I went to the adventure for 4 days!! The experience? Awesome, just by joining Free tours or having breakfast in the hostel you can get to know many people traveling alone as well, not minding to group with other people! And that's how you end up going in a group with people from New Zealand, Chile, USA and Australia while enjoying the awesome city of Copenhagen!
As I said before, I finished my exams earlier, and had nothing to do. Since tickets were just 30€ I decided to go to Zagreb from Bratislava! It was just a 2-day break, so, mostly I went there to rest and check an "unknown" capital of Europe, but the best was the unexpected way back... somehow, I ended up in Pecs (Hungary) and thanks to a friend from a previous trip, I was hosted by her friends (she was not there that time) in their dorm... well...
I arrived around 10pm and when I came there they greeted me with an awesome dinner and drinks! And that's the beginning of an incredible unexpected night going out until 5 am with a really awesome international group with people from China, Nigeria, Jordan, and Finland!! That's by far the best experience I could imagine when traveling alone!
In my last weeks in Bratislava, I really wanted to see every touristic place of the country (I needed to get the guides ready) so, two times I went party and after it, instead of going home, I went to train station at 7 am to take a 5h train to pass the hangover and appear in the mountains, or seeing an amazing castle such as Spis. In the afternoon, I simply headed back to Bratislava for more party/traveling! (Remember that I had free trains inside the country!)
So, my final verdict? Traveling alone can be really funny, BUT, it can go wrong terribly! Remember always to stay safe when traveling and that I went to really safe countries and cities, personally I will always choose a trip with people, but If there is an awesome (and cheap) opportunity like I had... instead of staying home, simply book the ticket and go!
Welcome to the place where you can learn about the coolest things and places of Europe and beyond in a funny way!