Thursday, 25 December 2008

Week in Greece


Traveling during winter can be frustrating if you go up north but Greece had very pleasant climate (South), with temperature range between +8c and +12c and very sunny, at least in Patras, (or Πάτρα in their language). I've got annoying rain and blistering winds in Athens, but fortunately none of those conflicts in the streets of Athens reported worldwide by the press occurred during my stay in Greece. :)

The idea of visiting Greece wasn't mine, however, as a passionate traveler, I wouldn't mind visiting such place. :)

I traveled with my parents and my brother, as we normally do every end of the year. Mom had made a friend through the internet by playing backgammon online. Her friend, Maria, is 29 years old, married and with kid (small Kostis). They kindly invited us over for Christmas in Patras. That was basically the motivation for the Greek trip.


I had the opportunity to try Greek seafood, octopus and squids. Mmmm... something that I can't find in Poland! On the other hand, in supermarkets, there is a ridiculous variety of beers. Imported beers basically only Amstel and Heineken! Oops, no Guinness for me this time! :) One issue, that can also be useful for my blog's readers as tip for a possible trip to Greece, is that credit cards are nearly not accepted anywhere. Even at fancy restaurants and cafes they accept only cash. I presume that the e-commerce does not exist in Greece if no one likes to use Credit/Charge cards. In Sweden I bought a train ticket via internet with credit card and got my e-ticket via SMS. Another tip about Greece is: WATCH YOUR STEP, cars NEVER stop for pedestrians to cross, even in the pedestrian crossing path ("zebra"). It was terrible to see a very old lady waving with her purse, almost begging to cross the road and cars going really fast very close to her.

Patras is an amazing city in the west coast of Greece, nice atmosphere. I felt it like Miami Beach! I heard there is a carnival there in February. Many motorcycles around town, not so many places to park cars. Locals go to Italy by ferryboat for cheap, journey to Bari takes 18 hours. Good luck! :P

Athens is very big city, but buildings are not so high (I guess this is the European style anyway), very efficient metro line and cheap (0,8 EUR - 1h ticket). Nearby the historical center it's easy to find nice restaurants and good Greek wines. In fact in Patras was even better for me, because there I could find more choices of seafood. Octopus overdose! :)

Few more photos (click to enlarge):



For all photos, high-quality, click here

Monday, 22 December 2008

Nano gets honoured by ex-workmates




After nearly 1,5 year working for PGS Software, and sharing many funny moments with lots of friends, my road once again forked and I had to leave this amazing team. I will still be living in Poland (I hope), and life goes shorter while memories get longer. :)

Believe it or not, this was the best way they have found to honor me. They have taken this special picture, so I can never forget them! So lovely! :)

Special thanks to the most crazy fuckers among all the others:

G. Makosa (Carrying letter "U") - bastard had the idea of doing such photo
P. Kwiatowski (Carrying letter "O")
M.Rakowski - Trujilo (Doing "devil sign" with hand)
S. Guz (Not in the photo) - bastard was sick, couldn't come

Special thanks for non-fuckers, but not present in the photo:

P. Gurgul
W. Gurgul
M. Gurgul
K. Kurzionek <- was supposed to be in the photo!

Picture will be enlarged if you click on it. :P

Happy 2009!!

Tuesday, 9 December 2008

Swedish trip ( + Bullet For My Valentine concert! )



Scandinavia has become my current spot in Europe. After visiting Oslo during summer, I've chosen Sweden to explore. I've visited three important cities there: Stockholm, Uppsala and Vasteras. Next trip will probably include Malmo and Gothenburg. Maybe during summer... I don't know. :P

The adventure was pretty much "influenced" by the low-cost airlines, so I could book tickets, for 56 EUR, a round-trip flight from Poland to Sweden. My plan was to spend seven nights, two of them in Vasteras, three in Stockholm and two in Uppsala.

What impressed me the most in Sweden?

  • Cordiality - Drivers always stop for the pedestrians even if the pedestrian doesn't force a move to cross. Just need to stand and they will stop for you to cross.
  • Trains - Fast and comfortable like a hotel. The toalet I saw during my journey was better than the one at my flat in Wroclove. And I could buy my ticket via internet and make check-in via SMS. Cool !
  • Communication - Nearly EVERYBODY speaks english, even old people. No need to learn Swedish at all ! The only non-english speaker I met was a turkish guy in the hostel :P

Stockholm

The city is full of bridges, due to its lake and connection to the Baltic sea. The metro is efficient and a single-way ticket valid for one hour costs 20 SEK (approx. 2 EUR). Interesting places I've seen during my stay:

  • Royal Castle - One of those palaces with a bored guard in front of it. Entrance costs around 13 EUR.
  • Icy Pub - A pub made of ice in its entirety. 18 EUR to get inside. They offer extra clothes and you can stay inside up to 40 minutes.
  • Vasa Museum - Amazing museum of a Vasa boat which has sunk in 1628. Entrance costs around 10 EUR.
All of these places mentioned above are very well know, just need to ask a local where it is exactly. My post is not a guidebook! :P

Uppsala



This is a students' town! I've never seen so many bikes in the streets. Amazing atmosphere. I was hosted by Gabriela Velasquez , from Chile. I had a great time in Uppsala, met many people from abroad; Spanish, Polish, French, Vietnamese, Kyrgyzstani

Uppsala doesn't have many specific touristical spots to see. The town is the spot itself. :P

Vasteras



Even smaller (less population) than Uppsala, Vasteras is also place for students. I could see many young people all around. I was hosted by Kaja, a Polish friend, who is living in a students' dormitory. In my opinion Swedish dorms are much better than the ones in Poland because there is no disgusting old ladies in the reception desk asking for ID all the time! I guess in the whole Sweden is like that. :P

I've seen many gorgeous flats by the lake and very interesting shopping center, which consists on shops in different buildings (3 or 4) but they are connected to each other by some tunnels over the streets to give the impression of unity.

Bullet for my valentine concert (3rd December, 2008 - Arenan Fryshuset)



Amazing! High-quality Welsh metal! This was part of promoting tour of the album "Scream Aim Fire" released this year.

The interaction with the audience was intense. During the song 'Eye of the storm' people opened a space in the middle of the crowd and started to run in circle - to be, in fact, THE EYE OF THE STORM! Uh!

The best part for me was during the song 'Waking the demon' - the crowd performed the WALL OF DEATH. You don't know what it is? Check it out:



I'll be keeping on chasing metal concerts in Europe!! ooh, yeah!

For full album of photos, just click here.