Sunday, 30 August 2009

Random fun in Wroclaw

I was lately enjoying my time in Wrocław (The meeting place!) with friends from many parts of Europe! This weekend (28th-30th August) I met people from Ireland, England, Greece, Ukraine, Portugal and France. For sure it was a very funny and unusual weekend for me!

On Friday, I met students of the Polish language school. The so-called "Language cafe", however I would name it: "Language beer". Nobody orders coffee in these nightly events in Wrocław... Anyway, I was still walking towards the main square, minding my own business and then I saw a vitrine of a men's store and end up buying a waistcoat (this one I'm wearing) and I reached the meeting already following the new trends of fashion! hehe!

This meeting took place in the pub "Jaś i Małgosia". And they organized some quiz game. The questions were sorted out by subject (travel, arts, history, movies, leisure, etc...). In my team, among others, there were the Portuguese and Edyta (my teacher). We had a French guy in our team that knew all the answers about movies. This photo above shows my team trying to sort out some of the questions.

(Marta, representing the second team, after picking up a question card from the box, started:)
- Marta: Oh! I think this question is too hard for your team...
- Nano: Hit me, babe.
- Marta: "What is the youngest range of mountains in the world?"
- Nano: Himalayas.
- Marta: Wow! How did you know it ?
- Nano: Hmm... I know a lot of things.

So I met the Irish in the Language cafe, they were very friendly and I guess I made two good new friendships. Grace and Con. They like my favourite band: Thin Lizzy, therefore, they are my friends. I also met again my two Portuguese friends: Daniel and Victor! They are such guys that really want to bring down the house. Regardless of what's going on, they keep bringing more and more madogs (40ml alcohol shot with Tabasco pepper) and kamikaze (a japanese blue shot) to our table. :)

On Saturday, I was invited for a friendly match against the football representation of the neighbourhood of Brochów. After the match we had some sort of Mexican grill; instead of sausages we had tortillas. It was my first football match since my "tragic" accident two months before when I had my ankle twisted. After the match I wanted to have a picture with Luis (a friend from Guatemala) however, Antonio made us a video!

("Man, you are making a video")

After that, I went to some grocery store to buy more beer for the grill. As always, I needed to ask about the "quality" of the beer, I mean: THE TEMPERATURE!!

Nano: Hi, which one is the coldest Polish beer in the fridge at the moment?
Saleswoman: All of them are Polish and they are very cold.
Nano: Ok! So please I would like two bottles of these "Polish" Carlsberg's...
(they think they can fool me)

In the evening, my friend Con sms'ed me about a party at the flat of Jacques (One of the French who was in the Language Cafe). I was not refusing invitations at all... That party happened to be a VIP's party and I was the youngest human being attending. Nice wine and cheese! I kinda like these VIP parties! I really could join more often.

After the wine and cheese bash we all went to some club. Yes, "some" club. Because I didn't see the name of it anywhere, but it was close to the theatre Capitol. Once again I was fashion! Check it out:

Grace and me.

On Sunday I tried to rest, save energy for monday and I always also wondering how to post about this weekend. What to write and what to keep for myself! ;)

Sunday, 9 August 2009

Wrocław - "The Polish Venice"

After visiting many nice cities throughout Europe and promoting them on my posts, I just felt like a tourist again in Wrocław with my guests who are NOT really from Lublin, but from Siedlce (not far from Belarus). They are: Kasia and Natalia.

- Nano, what was the best choice you have ever taken in your life?

- Wrocław.

It's very sunny in here and very beautiful. It's the eastern Europe's Venice. Lots of canals and beautiful small bridges connecting everything. I'm very grateful for the visit of my friends. I really had a perfect weekend! I hadn't seen the new illuminated fountain in the centennial hall (Hala stulecia). Amazing spectacle!

Among other moments of fun, we had a boat ride on Oder river ("Odra" in Polish), and the hunt for gnomes in the city centre (We couldn't find all of them but we had fun anyway). Oh! And preparing spaghetti al Pesto listening to Thin Lizzy! great fun, moreover we also had time for my own performance of Whiskey in the Jar on the guitar! Another "kitchen serenade" :)

On saturday we went to the Brazilian restaurant in the city centre, and I've introduced them to the "Pao de queijo" prepared by chef Marcelo, as well as "Moqueca Baiana" - yes! dende oil in Poland! Pitty that there were no Guava nor Mango juice! Maybe next time?

** Attention - My Wrocławian friends liked my post, however they asked me to write about one small difference between Wrocław and Venice, here it goes: WROCŁAW DOES NOT STINK! :)

Few photos for y'all:

To see the full album of photos, click here.

Monday, 3 August 2009

Dublin (+ Metallica concert)

Unique chance to see Metallica again (yeah!), visit Dublin and drink few pints of Guinness which is one of my favourite beers. Two hundred and fifth years of tradition (precisely on this year). The brewery 'Guinness' established in 1759 by the young Arthur Guinness is a strong mark and its beer is widely known throughout the world. I had the chance to visit the headquarters of Guinness Inc. at St. James's Gate, Dublin 8. There's a possibility to make a tour inside the storehouse. Tickets cost fifteen euros for adults and eleven for students. Includes one pint of Guinness at the end.

Dublin has the highest density of Polish people that I've ever seen out of Poland (And I've been to cities like London and Edinburgh). I could speak Polish in the hostel and when ordering a cheeseburger at McDonald's. I'm now wondering... When will they claim for independence and make Ireland an annex of the Polish territory? So I would be able to move to Dublin only with my Polish Resident Card. :)

Dublin is really a very pleasant city, except for the prices! Everything is at least four times more expensive than in Warsaw (which is the most expensive city in Poland). If you earn in zloty like me, do the math carefully before flying there. :P The spots I visited in Dublin were:

  • City center (Mostly O'Connel St. and Grafton St.) - Definately worth go for a walk, don't forget your umbrella.

  • Dublin's Castle - Not medieval, rather contemporary. Not so interesting to see unless you are passing by.

  • Guinness Storehouse - Already described in the beginning of the post. I highly recommend.

  • Phoenix Park - Nearly the size of Dublin's centre itself. Nice green field for relaxation. Dogs not allowed. I recommend too.

  • Phil Lynott's statue - A "rock" tourist spot on Grafton Street. Phil was the Lead singer of Thin Lizzy. Died in 1986.

Was just a weekend, I couldn't do more. The concert was tiring... Oh, the concert

Dublin is the city of Thin Lizzy, my favourite band. This t-shirt I was wearing on the photo above was a gift from a friend who also likes Thin Lizzy. That t-shirt was responsible for my "success" in Dublin. Many people on the streets came to me to say things as: "Thin Lizzy is the best band, dude!" or "Yeah! Tonight there's gonna be a jailbreak!!" (Which is part of the lyrics from their famous song: "Jailbreak").

Thin Lizzy was(is?) one of the main influences of Metallica's James Hetfield who liked to perform alongside them whenever Metallica is in Dublin. Unfortunatelly, Thin Lizzy couldn't even perform on saturday due to an injury on the back of their drummer. Metallica just performed the Thin Lizzy's classical 'Whiskey in the jar' on their own (See video below).

Metallica performed at Marley Park in Dublin with Avanged Sevenfold, Alice in Chains and Mastodon. It's the Death Magnetic's tour. The setlist had twenty songs, including "Killing time" featuring the lead singer of the band "Sweet Savage" and four songs from the new album:

  • All nightmare long

  • The day that never comes

  • Cyanide

  • Broken beat and scarred

I recorded part of the performance of the song "Whiskey in the Jar" which hadn't been performed by Metallica for a while:

People started asking me already: "Nano, where is your next stop?" - My parents started to worry about me. They think if I keep travelling a lot I will be fired from work! hehe! I'm just trying to accomplish my mission! Several countries yet to be visited. Stay tunned. :P

For full album of photos from the sightseeing and the concert, click here!