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Between 500,000 and 750,000 bunkers were constructed in Albania under communist dictatorship. Despite the strain on resources they were never used for their intended purpose. Opening just last week this bunker has been transformed into an informative and controversial museum beneath the streets of Albania.
The three legends of Miljo:
1. Rub his knees for good luck
2. Miljo's larger than life ears meant he heard everything from everyone and if you whisper into Miljo's larger than average ears he will grant your wish
3. The hand in his pocket is symbolic of another area of Miljo apparently also larger than average
Market Sundays in Zagreb, Croatia
On the other side of the river the Hreliçka Market was a true insight to the Croatian way of life. This is just the runway of stalls to the mass of stalls covering the size of multiple football fields.
LOCATION: Hreliçka Zavrtnica Flea Market
Shoes on the Danube - Budapest, Hungary .
Sixty iron shoes of varying styles, shapes and sizes line the Pest river bank. The memorial, only a decade young, is in memory of the victims whom were forced to remove their shoes before they were shot into the Danube by Arrow Cross militiamen in 1944–45. Some 3,500 people were executed, approximately 800 of them Jews.
Budapest Legend: A policeman that preferred goulash and langos over doughnuts was very successful with the ladies back in his time. Legend has it if you rub his belly you will have good luck in life and if you tweak his moustache you will have good luck in love. Stand on his right you're a woman for life, stand on the left you're a woman of just one night.
Porto. Where the city welcomes you even in the rain and the port flows on the banks of Vila Nova de Gaia. The cobblestone hilled streets are better than any gym membership and the handcrafted wooden tables in the Palace of Commence are older than Australia. The walks acoss the bridges are beautiful though someone should tell them an alien has landed on the Crystal Palace.
Lagos, Portugal - Where the happiest and friendliest locals I'm yet to meet can be found, the food is worth the long waits, going kayaking opens a different Portugal perspective and the sunsets are truly memorable.
Rooftops from Where I've Stayed - Ronda, Spain [Accommodation at the bottom in the middle between the 'T' and 'H'] Falling asleep to waterfalls, sleeping in a valley and the hostellees are the quietest I've experienced! Two lovely nights sleep in what has been one of my favourite (and one of the cheapest!) accommodations so far.
The lovely and lively Maria Alecea! Spirited and simply full of life reminding me very much of my own amazing grandmother back on Australian shores. Married for 54 years she left her husband downstairs to come and take in the view. From the north of Spain herself, her husband from California she still refers to her "real name" as the one prior to marriage. In the past she would visit Madrid annually though not so often any more. The hand gestures the dear Maria is making above her head is to represent "ochenta y ocho" also known as 88 to mark her years of life. It was a blessing to meet her at what already one of my favourite places Madrid, now memorably stamped with her presence.
Introduced to the amazing works of Gaudi who produces masterpieces similar to the pages of Dr Seuss. A "look up" city with an impressive basilica construction site and a magic fountain that truly works wonders.
Brussels, Belgium where a late night kebab literally saved my life! Brussels in a Day where beetles decorate palaces and a cave with 2004 beers actually exists. Not to mention the idolised statues of kids peeing.
All the independent traveling women put your hands up! A solo female traveler is somewhat of a rare breed. We are often called "brave" which is a title still difficult to digest. Adventurous, yes. Independent, yes. Travelers, hell yes. Simply wanderlusters that couldn't wait any longer. We're asked why we are not traveling with others, we each have the same answer. If we waited for someone the four of us would not have had this moment and the opportunity to make the memories to follow.
From France, USA, Canada and Australia. Our conversations don't revolve around the mundane instead comparing countries and continents, similarities and differences, where we've traveled and where is next on our hit list. .
Lesson: 1) She who waits may wait forever 2) Black swans flying together, if only for a moment, is rare and lovely occurrence to experience
These guys! Oh these guys. They are the prefect duo to dint the stereotypical ways of the French. Julien and Alexandre are traveling Croatia in true bromance style. Alex having spent a decent stint in Australia has managed to pick up an Aussie sense of humour delivered with a French accent. We went for a beverage the boys gave me a profanity education in French. There are not many hostel goers who can stur you after a 6am return from a pub crawl without the need to kill but these two with their "G'day mate" and "Hey Aussie" at the break of dawn did so with such humour they just got away with it. It would be a hoot to catch up with these two when in France. Possibly still intoxicated but with a checkout time looming this photograph was taken.
Lesson learned: Thankfully with stereotypes there are always the exceptions.