The Trip of the Sunrises. Israel, En Gedi, Wadi David

The fascinating world of En Gedi Nature Reserve, Wadi David

My beloved is unto me a cluster of henna blossoms From the vineyards of En Gedi“ Song of Songs

6 AM and I was staying in front of my hut at Metzoke Dragot Hostel watching how the haze above the Dead Sea was starting to glow when the sun was rising from behind the Moab Mountains in Jordan.

It was the beginning of a new day and while the sun was becoming more bright I was thinking how interesting the path of my life was until that moment. Probably it was one of those moments in which I was trying to find an answer to “the meaning of life “ question. Considering where I was there was nothing strange about it, for millennia people were coming here in search of themselves and to find answers.

The Trip of the Sunrises. Israel, En Gedi, Wadi David

The Trip of the Sunrises. Israel, Wadi Dragot

Wadi Dragot, probably the most challenging and spectacular canyon in the Judean Desert

Away from a bustling and never sleeping Tel Aviv and from the prayers rising to the sky from the Wailing Wall in Jerusalem, deep in the Judean Desert, winding its way towards The Dead Sea, lies the most scenic and challenging canyon in Israel, Wadi Dragot or Wadi Darga. Nature was particularly generous with the deserts of Israel because for millennia was continuously carving deep hidden valleys, where rapid waterfalls were creating natural pools and high dry falls. Life was thriving in those places and even now a very rich flora and fauna can be found despite the dryness around.  Amazingly, this magnificent place is lesser known to travellers since most of Israel tourism is a religious one and not too many dare to search thoroughly the desert. Although lesser known to the foreign tourist seems to be popular among Israelis in search for some adrenaline rush because this particular trail is difficult and spectacular at the same time. I can’t say I knew about it either, but somehow, the choices I made during this trip took me right in the vicinity of this astonishing place.

The Trip of the Sunrises. Israel, Wadi Dragot

Playa de Guigui, Gran Canaria`s Epic Trail

Hiking into the wild to reach the remote Playa de Guigui

Guigui is one of the secluded and hard-to-reach beaches of Gran Canaria and with this two attributes it became imperative to see it. At the beginning of my vacation, I thought that I will spend a certain amount of time on the beach but ironically, most of the time I was in the mountains, either hiking or driving from one place to another. I was not expecting the island to be so sensational, neither the beach in Maspalomas to be the wind`s playground. Since the Ocean was not playing nice I turned my eyes to the roughness and wilderness of the island and one day, Andra and I we decided to hike to Guigui, a remote beach on the hard-to-reach west coast of the island.

Playa de Guigui, Gran Canaria`s Epic Trail

Gran Canaria, a marvel of the Atlantic Ocean

First Day. Driving on GC210 one of the most scenic and dangerous roads of Gran Canaria

It was few months since my last escape and I was beginning to become impatient. Being January and really not fond of Winter my eyes turned towards the Canary Islands once more. This time, Gran Canaria.

Gran Canaria.…this name was haunting my adulthood since I was reading the book ``Gran Canaria“ by A. J. Cronin when I was a teenager. Life works in a mysterious way, because after so many years, here I was. Flight ticket with my buddy Ryanair. Checked! One casita rural in Barranco Saint Bartolome de Tirajana booked with Airbnb. Checked! One Opel Astra rented with CICAR. Checked! What else..? I have the feeling I forgot something…Oh yes. One credit card. Checked!

I had the money, I had the tools, so it was time for fiestaaaa!!! I mean, it was time to explore the Island. Gran Canaria, a marvel of the Atlantic Ocean

Meteora. Greece on the road.

Meteora, the world above the earth, beneath the clouds, overlooking the plain of Thessaly

The last day of my road trip to Greece came so fast that I could not believe that the eight days allocated for it already passed. We left Lefkada pretty early, not before having my coffee on the terrace watching the sea thou. We had a long trip ahead of us, 405 km to Thessaloniki where we were supposed to spend the last night before leaving Greece. I kept looking at the amazingly blue colour of the sea and although I was sad for leaving I was happy for the time spent in its vicinity. I will be back! I know I will!

On the today agenda was a detour to Meteora. I thought that since I have been so many times in Greece maybe I should see Meteora although I wasn’t very enthusiastic about the idea. I would have preferred to spend another  day close to the sea if possible. In my mind, I had an idea of what I might see there, or at least I thought I knew what I might see there. Again I realise how wrong I was. What I found there was beyond my expectations.

Meteora. Greece on the road.

Greece. On the road series

Crossing Greece from Kavala on the East coast to Parga on the West coast. 495 km on Egnatia Odos Highway through mountainous regions of  Thrace and Epirus

Greece! YES!!! This time was going to happen and I could not wait to be again on the road. Packed as always more than I need it and we hit the road…If in Montenegro were three of us, this time, it was just Crina and I. Me as always being in charge of the navigation.

From Bucharest to Kavala are 569 km and to get there we had to cross Bulgaria where I discovered that besides navigation I had to do some camera spotting and traffic police spotting too in order to avoid getting any fine for speeding. This spotting business kept me alert and I did not realise when we crossed the border with  Greece at Makaza.

Greece. On the road series

Travelling, Photographing when seeking for Dracula

Walking on Dracula`s footsteps. Bucharest to Poienari Arges, Vidraru Dam and then trying to cross the Fagaras  mountains  to Transylvania on Transfagarasan road

Another Sunday, another escape. This time, I wasn`t after a hard working week but after a night in a club. Hmm…maybe someday I should cover the nightlife in Bucharest too. Till then, though, I shall return to my story, which goes like this.

I was feeling like being hit by a train when Crina called me and asked me to join he for a tip. Destination, as always, anywhere as long as is far from Bucharest. Of course, I could not say no. Even if I were dead the word “road trip “ would have returned me from the land of the dead instantly. Still sleepy we agreed to take the road to Curtea de Arges and from there to go to Poienari Fortress and after although we knew the Transfagarasan road is closed due to the snow at high altitude to go till the snow is too thick and we can’t continue.  Well, we were hoping that there would not be any snow and we will be able to cross the mountains to Transylvania

Travelling, Photographing when seeking for Dracula

The Mysterious and Magical South-West Transylvania

Seeking for the Sarmizegetusa, the ancient Dacian citadel hidden in the core of Orastie Mountains in South-West Transylvania

 

When you hear Transylvania, many of you will probably think Dracula, Bran, Brasov, Sibiu, Sighisoara, rolling green hills…Well..YES! Transylvania is all that, but also much more. In the South-West, in the core of the mountains lies the ruins of Sarmizegetusa, the ancient capital and sacred place of Dacians. A magical place and its mysteries were not fully uncovered yet…Probably, by now I already stirred up your imagination. Good! The thing is, that you have to be patient…

The Mysterious and Magical South-West Transylvania

The Mountain and I

When the mind wins over matter. Climbing  7 hours from Victoria town to Chalet Podragu, 2136 m  altitude, Fagaras Mountains

I am always saying yes without thinking things through to all crazy trips ideas. The yes is coming first and the thinking part comes the last when I  start asking myself how am I going to pull this through. When I decided to join this hiking trip it wasn’t different than usual. I said yes and only after saying it I was thinking “What the hell am I going to do, I do not have any equipment?“. I am the proud owner of a pair of  mountain boots, but this is pretty much it, although this was not the only hiking trip I had till now. I always thought that as long as I have a good pair of mountain boots and a reasonably sized backpack I am good to go. I am saying reasonable because I like to carry less when I am going up the mountain,  although when I travel I take with me half of my closet content. I am a woman and I like to travel in style and as long as the airplane or the car is carrying my bag I do not care how heavy my suitcase is. So, definitely you will never get from me the kind of advice that tells you how to pack light, I have no idea how to do it either. The Mountain and I