Ferrari Racing Day – 70th Anniversary

I never was a car fan, but Ferrari’s 70th Anniversary in the UK at the unique Ferrari Racing Days event at the world-famous Silverstone Grand Prix circuit surely got my attention. 6.1

The day was full of entertainment, from a special Ferrari Parade to the Ferrari Challenge Series and the most awaited Formula 1 show.

Ferrari displayed their latest Ferrari supercars and hundreds of Ferrari owners’ proudly showcased their horsepower under the hood.

31For me the Formula 1 show was the most enjoyable moment, failing on and on taking a picture of the cars during the race. The incredible wild sound and speed was simply mind-blowing.

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The city of Oxford

With the occasion of friends visiting the UK, together with a few friends we decided to show them around Oxford.

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Oxford is a diverse and historic city where you can see fine examples of architecture from every period, from late Saxon onwards.

It is known worldwide as the home of the University of Oxford, the oldest university in the English-speaking world.

Oxford’s complex history has given rise to its unique character. Some parts of the city have winding medieval lanes, while others have wide boulevards of Georgian houses, and others are modern housing estates.

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Oxford is a popular location for filming where much of the Harry Potter film adaptations were filmed in various Oxford colleges, as have adaptations of many other novels set in the city.

 

Thames and Cherwell run through the city of Oxdord and the need to move cattle across these rivers gave the city its original Saxon name Oxenaforda meaning ‘ford of the oxen’ in around 900AD.

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We started our trip by visiting the Pitt Rivers Museum where we traveled back in time and admired ferocious dinosaurs, but also pet brown bears and cute little animals.

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After the Pitt Rivers Museum we continued our journey walking around century old buildings and admire the great Georgian architecture.

We also decided to climb on the Carfax Tower and take a few pics with a brilliant panoramic view of the city.

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We have finished our day next to a classic Burrito and a lot of Cholula Hot Sauce at Mission Burrito.

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Notes: Wikipedia, About Oxford

 

A little bit of London

Considering the fact that London is just about 1 hour and 20 min away from where I live, I haven’t visited that much of London in the past 5 years. I thought of going to London over the weekend to meet up with some friends and for a little bit of sightseeing.

I started my little trip by taking the underground from Euston to Green Park which is just a 10 min journey and from there the plan was to walk to the Tower Bridge.

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Walking trough Green Park you can see the Autumn showing its presence by transforming the nature into a colorful painting. After just a 10 min walk through the park I ended up in the middle of the everyday group of tourists in front of Buckingham Palace. Said hi to Queen Elisabeth, took a selfie and continued my journey to Westminster Abbey.

 

 

IMG_6874There are loads of stuff that can be done and visited in London, but here I am at Westminster Abbey, an easy place to get to and you have all the famous touristy places in one place. Standing next to the cathedral you can enjoy a great view over the Big Ben, Palace of Westminster, House of Parliament and the London Eye.

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I have been on the Birmingham Eye, Paris Eye, but now I will skip getting on London eye and walk down on south bank to follow various street artists, expositions and skaters.

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After about a one hour walk I arrived to Tower Bridge where I enjoyed a little bit of sunshine, followed the cruises going up and down on river Thamese and of course taking that selfie with the bridge.

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It’s also a great spot to look at the famous modern buildings growing out like mushrooms from London’s old city.

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Yepp, after all this I set down to catch my breath over a coffer, hot dog and nice view over the bridge and The Shard.

Later on I met with Kelsey from New Zealand at Franco Manca. We had a few drinks, a pizza and had a good lough about some of our old memories.  Shared our recent travel experiences and the upcoming travel plans.

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A short but an enjoyable sightseeing tour around London.

 

Incredible Germany – Black Forest, Titisee and beautiful Lake Konstanz

Yo yo yo, what’s up beautiful people? Here we go again, really exited about this one. It seems that I am forming a tradition about visiting Germany as it is my 2nd time here and I love it.

I have been last year too in November to visit my cousins in Trossingen from where we went together on a trip to Colmar, France. If you haven’t seen the photos and videos, please check out my gallery and YouTube channel. A fairytale like city, Colmar.

This year we stayed local and visited Konstanz and the Bodensee lake which is the largest lake in Europe. A 63km-long, it borders Germany, Austria and Switzerland. The Bodensee-Radweg cycle path encircles the entire lake in about 260km. Maybe I will plan a cycling trip around the lake one day.

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The water is amazing, a beautiful turquoise water, super clean and warm…only if I knew about it. I was so into having a swim in the lake, but had no cloths with me to change, maybe next time.

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Looking far away, as far as the skyline you can spot the Alps, an astonishing view with the mountains. Loads of boats, cruises on the lake and even a Zeppelin roaming around on the sky.

It has been said that if you are in Germany, a must do is to have some Turkish food. Turkish food is really popular in Germany, so we had to go and try something out. People suggest a good Turkish kebab, but my favorite Turkish dish is a classic iskender so if I can find it I will definitely opt for an ayran and iskender.

It was a really fun first day, loved it. I have to come back to Konstanz and plan much more stuff to do.

The second day we went into the heart of the black forest up to an altitude of 850m and stopped by the well known Titisee lake. Oh my God! Such an amazing place, the best view I have seen in quite some time. It is a must visit if you are nearby.

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Clear clean water, perfect for swimming, kayaking, a cruise on the lake, many many hiking trails to do and so much more. I bet this place is brilliant during the winter too, with a frozen lake and awesome cozy cabins.

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It was great seeing everyone again and spend some quality time with my good friends, I really hope I will be able to come for a longer period next time.

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It was a great weekend, amazing weather, but for now I must go back to my rainy and gloomy Britain.

I walked 30km after I got lost in Mt. Meses

The plan was to go to the summit, but I got lost and ended up 30 Km away from home. Here is what happened:

I lived in my hometown for 20 years and never really gone to the summit of Mt. Meses. The plan was to wake up early in the morning to avoid the heat wave, but as it was heavily raining I enjoyed sleeping a bit more until the sky got clear again. When the rain stopped I started my walk to the mountain and probably it was the worst part of the day with a temperature of 40C melting my face off.

While walking down the route I had flashbacks of my childhood going to the base of the mountain for fishing, swimming in the river and even taking a muddy bath with the buffalo’s. My most recent trips to the base of the mountain was in 2012 with the youth from church where we have done 2-3 days camping trip.

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The Meses Mountains are a mountain range in Transylvania, Romania, which belongs to the Apuseni Mountains. The highest peak is Magura Priei at an altitude of 996 m, but the closest peaks to my town are at 868 m – Osoiu Mic and 873 m Osoiu Mare. The plan was to attempt climbing any of these two unless I get lost.

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It took me around 45 min from home to the entrance of the forest. It doesn’t seem that long but the heat was a challenge itself. There where so many trails I could have follow, but went with my instinct to eventually get somewhere to the top of the mountain after 3 hours. It was a matter of finding a place to call the summit, because there is a forester road on the top and you remain at the highest altitude for quite some time on that road. I think the forester road connects the two peak, but this is where I got lost.

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I loved how the forester road separated the two sides of the mountain and each side had different type of trees. On one side you had the tall pine trees the other side a mix of hornbeam and beech trees.

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Then I discovered this sign, a concrete short pillar with an inscription on it DTM 1962. I called it at that time the summit, but later on I made a research to understand what it actually was. I found out that DTM stands for Digital Terrain Model which represents the ground surface and height of the mountain. This helps making a three dimensional model of the mountain by gathering data via plane or satellite. Looking into my Strava records, I do believe that was close enough to the summit of the mountain, but I would love to go back and discover more, unless any of you reading this can advise if there is anything marking the summit.

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Right after this I started descending and found this really cool looking table with benches to sit down. I took a break and had something to it, I was already starving so I could have eaten anything.

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While I still believed to be on the right root towards the 2nd peak, I was wrong big times, because I ended up the other side of the mountain. At this point I already had about 5 hours spent on the mountain and probably would have taken me the same about of hours to go back. Instead of going back I decided to go down to the closes town and ask someone to give me a ride to a main road which goes back to Zalau.

It was worth getting lost because the view was astonishing. I was able to see far ahead the Apuseni mountains and it was this brilliant three layer of blue mountain shades.

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I went down into a town called Bodia which is 30Km from my home town and asked for some guidance. Someone was kind enough to give me a ride 10km down the road to a place from where I can easily hitch hike home. After 20 min of waiting for a car I started waling ahead for another 5km when finally someone stopped and gave me a ride to Zalau.

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I was already exhausted so I took a taxi and went back home.

Check out the journey on on my Strava Map below as well as my vlog. If you are seeing my videos for the first time make sure to subscribe to my channel and leave me a thumbs up. Usually I leave more details about my adventures and photos in my blog so follow me on this WordPress blog too. Make sure to check out my other articles and enjoy my photos.

Meses Trail

Stay with me as in my next adventure I will be cycling to Malvern Hills from Worcester, probably the steepest little “mountain” I ever climbed.

The wedding day – Csabi & Cristina

The wedding day is here. The guests have arrived, it is time for the son to say good bye from his parents, brother and friends. Most of the times it is a close member of the family who says good bye on behalf of the groom. This is done through a poem which is about thanking the parents for the sacrifices they have done their entire life for their son and in the same time to ask forgiveness for all those times he was disobedient.

Once this part of the ceremony is done, all the guests are invited to eat. There’s schnitzel, meatballs, sarmale, pork and all sort of goods served to the guests. Now that everyone had a good meal, wine and a shot of a brandy it is time to go after the bride.

It is a long journey ahead of us, about 3 hours across the mountains, so let’s make a bit of noise and let everyone know that there is a wedding in the village.

We arrived in the brides town, everyone came out to the streets to see the new married a couple and to wish them many blessings. The groom and his guests are standing in front of the brides house and family and the groom has to ask the brides hand from the father of the bride. This entire ceremony is accompanied with musicians, dance, sweets and loads of strong brandy.

After the proposal has been done, the bride comes out and meets the groom and they walk together to the church to have the religious ceremony. At the church the have to go through an entire religious ceremony, habits and than they are finally declared husband and wife.

It is time for the party to begin. Everyone goes to the wedding reception and they enjoy their time with great food, wine and a mix Hungarian and Romanian folk music.

After the wedding day, the close family members are invited back to both the brides and grooms house for more food, wine and good time.

A wedding like in the stories, an entire week of celebration and fun. Eventually the new married couple goes on their honeymoon.

Cristina & Csabi, I wish you many blessings and happiness!

 

The wedding preparation

Have you seen The Big Fat Greek Wedding? Well, this story it’s kind of like that.

Woke up on the sound of a Hungarian folk music coming from outside. The family members, all the relatives, they are all here.  It has began!

First thing first, we have to set up the tent for the wedding reception. We are on a mission!

There is one thing you need to understand regards this wedding reception. This won’t be the main wedding reception where all the guests will gather, no, no, no…. The bride lives 150km away from the grooms home town and the main reception will be there. So why not one big wedding reception in the main hall you might ask, why a second one? The Big Fat Greek Wedding, remember? Except that this is not a Greek wedding, but two other cultures come together, you might find it similar, but still very different and they both have to keep their side of the traditions. I will cover more of this in my second blog post and YouTube video.

Mission one! Set up the tent for the pre-wedding reception at the grooms end. We all hop onto the tractor, went after this massive tent, put it all on the tractor, take it home and slowly set it up.

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Mission two! The decorations!

Part of the tradition is that we have to decorate the gates with green branches which I believe symbolizes new beginnings and prosperity for the new married couple. Somewhere on the arch made of branches we also put a sign welcoming the guests. The signs says: “Isten Hozott Kedves Vendeg” (Welcome dear guests! It is more spiritual than that, but I am not sure if you can literally translate it.) You will also find kids blowing up the balloons and hanging it all over the place and colorful crepe paper too.

Mission three! Prepare the food!

If you will ever end up vising Eastern Europe, you will see that all Eastern European cultures and traditions are all around food, loads of food! You can’t even imagine. Well, back in the days most of the people at the country side had a small farm, raising pigs, chickens, cows, sheep and so on, you got the idea. At the wedding preparation and usually around a big holiday, they use to butcher the pig or cow so they have plenty of food for the wedding or holiday. Some do this even today, who ever have a small farm home, but you will find that a lot of the people these days work in the city in an office or factory, so it doesn’t happen quite that often and they buy the ingredients or pay for the menu at a restaurant.  Well, this is not entirely our case! People still keep some of the traditions and bring a chicken or two, or eggs flour as a gift for the wedding.

Although we don’t have that big of a farm, we still raise chickens, actually that’s all we have these days and bought everything else, because the food has to be home made. That’s the proper way!

“Sarmale”, these are rolled cabbage stuffed with rice and pork meat, this is a must have! Mashed potatoes with pork and chicken, as if you can’t have a wedding without them. Meat balls, schnitzel, sweet bread, many many kind of sweets, loads of wine, beer, palinca(brandy) it all has to be on the table. When we are talking about that much food, you will find twice as much cook’s and even more recipes.

While the cook’s gossip and prepare the food, the man takes care of the wine and palinca which brings us to mission four.

Mission four! Have loads of fun!

The music is loud, everyone can hear the Hungarian folk music, everyone tastes the wine and they just can’t seem to be able to move on, but stop at wine tasting and singing old folk songs.

My next article will be about the wedding day, it will be loads of fun. In the meantime, I hope you enjoy this short video about the wedding preparation for my brothers wedding.

It’s good to be home

This year I make 10 years since I am not living with my parents and 5 years since I live in the UK.

In 2007 I left my home town and relocated to Oradea, about 130km from home to attend University. I have studied and worked there for more than 4 years after which I moved back home for a short period of time and than relocated to UK.

I  visit my family every year for about 10 days. It’s not much, but having only 23 days holiday a year, I try to go a little bit home and in the rest to travel.

This year I decided to go home twice, for my brothers wedding and for Christmas. I haven’t been home for Christmas for the past 3 years and I promised my parents that this year I will spend the holidays with them.

Yes, so this is my home town, a small village known as Aghires (in romanian) or Egrespatak (hungarian). It is based in Transylvania, in the North Vest of Romania.

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It’s a small green gem at the base of the Meses Mountains, my beautiful home town.

I lived most of my childhood in this place and I never really appreciated it as much as I should have. I have traveled and lived in quite a few places, but there is no other place like home. It is good to be home again!

I hope during these few day’s I will be able to show you a little bit about our wedding traditions and show you around.

Here is my vlog about my first day home after one and a half years.

Climbing Ben Nevis – Scotland (1345 m)

arrived to BNCoventry – Ben Nevis, the journey that was ahead of me – 420 miles (675km) which might not sound that much, but when you are doing this road by coach it can take some time to get there. I believe it took 13 hours to get to Glasgow and from there another 2-3 hours to Fort William. Then from Fort William I walked to the camping site for about another hour. All together the journey from home to Ben Nevis was longer than my journey to Thailand.

Walking from Fort William to Ben Nevis was painful, because it was raining quite significantly. I had my massive backpack and a smaller one, so this 1 hour walk was tearing me apart. I did made it eventually, I arrived around 2-3pm, by the time I got to the base the rain stopped too, lucky enough to build up my tent and unpack.

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Once I finished my tent, changed into some dry cloths and I had to make some coffee because I looked like a walking zombie. I needed something warm, a bit of an energy and a good rest for the following day. MVI_3254.00_02_05_03.Still004

Despite the bad weather on the first day, I did go out to look around, explore the local shops and pubs. I had a drink, something to eat and finished my day with a good sleep. You know it is very interesting that it gets dark really late in Scotland. I think It was 11:30 and there was still some light outside. Only after 12am got completely dark and as early as 3:30 am I was able to see the mountain in front of me. A lot of the mountaineers left the camping site about 4am, because by the time I started going up the mountain, many already came down.

I woke up about 7 am, had my coffe, packed my gear and dry cloths into a waterproof bag and about 8 am I started my ascend.

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Every step I made towards the top I had to stop and I wasn’t because I was tired, but because of the beautiful landscapes. Every step up revealed something unique and amazing in the bottom.

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Half way through and kept discovering more cool places. I arrived to this amazing waterfall where I took a quick break and had  chocolate bar to keep me going. One thing I always get wrong is having enough water with me, this time I had only 1.5l of water with me for a 5h journey. I had no issues, but I did feel thirst a couple of times and didn’t have enough water. Luckily had some fruits with me too and it worked for the time being.

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The last half an hour to the summit was the most difficult one. By this time I was soaked wet, cold and exhausted. I was keep going and going, but still couldn’t see the summit. The path wasn’t visible at all anymore, it was raining, snowing and my body was saying, I can cant do this anymore. Keep going, you have to do this. This is all I was telling to myself.

I met a few people on the way which encouraged me to keep going further and also to stay on the track. At 1345 m I was still able to see some patches of snow and from time to time a few snowflakes coming down with the rain.

After 2h30min probably a bit more, I would say 2h45min I arrived to the summit, cause I left camping site about quarter to 8 am. I was so happy I made it. Touched the summit and quickly changed into my dry cloths. This wasn’t too pleasant. I mean only getting my wet cloths off was a challenge on its own and then bear the cold until I changed.

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The ruins on the summit are remaining from the Ben Nevis Observatory opened on the 17th October 1883, collecting meteorological data for 20 years on a continuous hourly basis. Now, there is an emergency shelter on top of the observatory making this the highest point on the mountain. In these 20 years the record they gathered are saying that there are only 20% chances of clear weather on top of Ben Nevis and 80% of the 20 years spent on the summit was raining and snowing. Consider yourself lucky if you had good weather on the summit.

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Climbing Ben Nevis was difficult, but rewarding in the same time. I am happy I have done it. I hope I will be able to do Scaffle Pike too one day and than I will have the 3 peaks conquered from UK.

Here is the video from my Ben Nevis Hike – On the top of UK. Enjoy, and of course don’t forget to subscribe and like my video.

12 hours layover in Amsterdam

What can you do on a 12 hour layover in Amsterdam?

We have arrived to Amsterdam airport after 12 hours of flight from Bangkok and we still head a lot ahead of us till our next flight back to Birmingham, United Kingdom. The city is alive all day and all night long, so there is a lot to do on a layover. We arrived around 7pm, so most of the museums and that sort of places were closed, but on the other hand the nightlife just started.

We took a train from the Airport to Amsterdam city center from where we walked next to the canals and got something to eat.

20785915_653727101501565_4482555370374849676_o The city can have quite spicy prices. I believe for a burgher and a coffee I payed around  25, well it is expensive when you are coming from Thailand. However, it was worth it, really really good food, with a nice view just next to the canals.

Right after we had dinner, the sun started to set and slowly became darker, the light turned on and Amsterdam transformed into an even more beautiful place. It also became really crowded as people started gathering for the Red Light District.

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Time flew fast, after walking around the Red Light district, canals, pubs and terraces it was already 2-3 am and we slowly went back to the airport to have some rest.

 

Amsterdam is definitely a place I would love to go back to and explore it more, perhaps some day in the future I will plan something to visit The Netherlands, but for now back to earl gray tea and the rainy weather.