Inspiration
Travellizy team
27 May 2020 / 3 minutes to read
Cultural Florence: Renaissance Art Travel
Florence is imbued with a creative atmosphere, since such famous masters as Michelangelo, Botticelli, Leonardo da Vinci and many others created their masterpieces here. In a new article, Travellizy invites you to go on an art walk and immerse yourself in the world of art and architecture of the Renaissance.   Hiking route in Florence Let's start our route from Piazza del Duomo, the historical center of Florence. In the heart of the square, you can see the unsurpassed Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore, as well as other significant architectural monuments, so Piazza del Duomo is one of the most visited and recognizable squares in the world. The Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore is Florence's main attraction. Its octagonal red dome and marble facade can be seen from different corners and distant regions, and if you want to see the city from a height, we recommend that you climb the Giotto's Bell Tower, the most beautiful bell tower in Italy. The next point is Piazza della Signoria, which was the center of political life during the Florentine Republic. The main building is the Palazzo Vecchio, where the government of the republic used to meet previously, and nowadays, this is the town hall building. Piazza della Signoria can also be called an open-air museum with a huge number of works by Donatello, Michelangelo, Giamboloni and other masters. A whole exposition of Renaissance sculptures is located in the Loggia dei Lanzi, where anyone can visit, but, unfortunately, almost all of the monuments in Piazza della Signoria are copies.   Uffizi Gallery and Vasari Corridor in Florence Near the Palazzo Vecchio, there is the Uffizi Gallery, one of the most famous museums with a unique collection of works of art, which was designed by Giorgio Vasari in 1560 for Cosimo I Medici from the famous dynasty of Florentine rulers. Some of the collections can be viewed online. You can also take a virtual walk through some of the halls through Google Art & Culture.  Let's go from the Uffizi Gallery across the medieval arched bridge called Ponte Vecchio. It is very different from other pedestrian bridges, because there are not only souvenir shops and jewelry stores, but also apartments with residents. Also, you should pay attention to another feature of the bridge - there is a special passage above called the Vasari Corridor, through which Cosimo I de' Medici could pass from the Palazzo Vecchio to the Palazzo Pitti. On the other side of the Arno River, you can see the Palazzo Pitti and Boboli Gardens. The royal Palazzo Pitti used to serve previously as the residence of the grand dukes and kings, and now, it is a museum complex with a huge collection of original works of art. The palace was built in the 15th century, but the interior was arranged a little later, so in the 140 rooms, that are open for visitors, you can see the interiors of the 17th and 18th centuries. Boboli Gardens are located right behind the Palazzo Pitti and are considered to be a garden sculpture museum and one of the best park complexes of the Renaissance. A 30-minute walk from the Palazzo Pitti is Piazzale Michelangelo, the most panoramic point of the city, which offers stunning views of the whole of Florence. Following our route, you will also walk past the fortification walls of Florence along Via di Belvedere and stroll through the Rose Garden on Via Guiseppe Poggi.   What to try in Florence After such a walk, you must definitely treat yourself to a hearty dinner and try the famous Florentine steak (bistecca alla fiorentina). This grilled beef steak is considered to be a real masterpiece of Tuscan cuisine, but be careful, not everyone can handle a huge portion, which can reach up to 1.5 kg! You can also read our article “Florence: what is important to know before visiting Santa Maria del Fiore and the Uffizi Gallery”.
Tips
Travellizy team
5 May 2020 / 5 minutes to read
Where Harry Potter fans can go in London
In today's world, there are probably no such people who would never have heard of the young wizard Harry Potter. He became one of the most famous book characters: each book became a bestseller, and films were surprisingly huge at the box office. Travellizy Team offers a closer look at London spots from films about the Boy Who Lived.   London Zoo Reptile House This is exactly the place where Harry first understood snake speech and let a huge python out of the terrarium. The world's largest collection of reptiles is here. The zoo itself was opened in 1828, and in addition to snakes and lizards, you can see about 750 species of animals, most of which are rare. Especially large animals are not here, but there are tigers, lions, butterflies, lemurs, penguins, storks and a huge number of other animals. In order to bypass the zoo completely, it will take at least 3 hours. The London Zoo is located in the heart of London, not far from the Regent's Park. You can take the subway and get off at the Regent’s Park or Camden Town stations and get to the zoo in 15 minutes.   Leadenhall Market In the movie "Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone", this particular market was shown as Diagon Alley. And they chose it deservedly, as Leadenhall is the most beautiful Victorian market with a glass roof. It is even called the pearl of the capital of Foggy Albion, because tourists and locals love it so much. One of the pavilions, or rather, 42 Bull's Head Passage, became a prototype of the facade of the Leaky Cauldron pub. The market is still working, and if you want to enjoy shopping and look at the beautiful interior at the same time, be sure to drop by Leadenhall. You can get on the subway to the Monument Station, and from there - just take a walk to the market.   Australia High Commission At first glance, a memory pops up in your head of Harry and Hagrid entering the Gringotts Wizarding Bank, because it was the Australian House that served as the prototype for the goblin bank. The embassy building itself was opened in 1918 during the reign of George V. It is interesting that most of the building materials for the embassy were brought from Australia. You can enter inside only on official business, but the exterior of the building is also mesmerizing. The best view of the embassy opens from the crossroads of Strand and Aldwych streets.    King's Cross Station Platform 9¾ really exists. In 2012, the station was reconstructed and added an attraction for fans of Potter. Fans wanted to get on the Platform so much that they specially equipped a photo zone: they installed a trolley with suitcases and an owl cage, half mounted on the wall. You may try on any faculty's scarf or even Harry's glasses. But despite the fact that Harry had to go through the wall between 9 and 10 platforms, in life, the cart is in another place - between Platforms 4 and 5. It is simply to explain: at the real King's Cross Station, there is no wall between Platforms 9 and 10, just railway tracks. Near the train station, there is King’s Cross St. Pancras subway station.   St. Pancras Railway Station The facade of St. Pancras Railway Station, which is located near King's Cross Station, also appeared on the screens. In "Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets", Harry and Ron, being late for the train to Hogwarts, fly there in Mr. Weasley's car. The car rises into the sky just against the background of this station. The station is one of the best British neo-Gothic buildings, so it is not surprising that the filmmakers decided to use it at least for the background. You can reach St. Pancras by subway, getting off at the station of the same name.    Lambeth Bridge The Lambeth Bridge appeared in the films more than once. The most memorable scene was the moment in "Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban", where the Knight Bus deftly got smaller and drove between two other buses. For filming, they had to block the bridge for 8 nights. The bridge can be viewed even without a car, it has a pedestrian walkway. Make sure to walk along it, because you may look at the Thames not every day from the bridge, which is already about a hundred years old. It can be reached on foot from Lambeth North or St James Park subway stations.   Millennium Bridge In "Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince", death eaters destroy the Millennium Bridge, and its debris fall beautifully into the Thames. In fact, this footbridge is safe and sound. It was built in 2000 in honor of the new millennium, but was closed after only 2 days. Either because of the strong wind, or because of the huge number of people, the bridge began to wobble from side to side, and it was closed for reconstruction for several months. Now, the bridge can withstand about 2,000 people or 5,000 tons. The bridge can be reached by subway to Blackfriars or Mansion House stations.    Piccadilly Circus When the inseparable trinity in “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows” escapes from the wedding from death eaters, they transgress to Piccadilly Circus, where they are almost hit by a bus. Harry, Ron and Hermione appeared near Shaftesbury Avenue and hid in the arch of London Trocadero. Piccadilly Circus is one of the main attractions of London. Fans of shopping and entertainment should definitely visit it, as they will find everything they want here. The square can be reached on foot from Piccadilly Street, Shaftesbury Avenue or Regent Street, or by subway to Piccadilly Circus station.   Warner Bros. Studios London The final point is the place where all the Harry Potter films were made. The studio is located in Watford, a suburb of London. Here you can touch the filming props, see the large layout of Hogwarts, which was used for panoramic filming and visit the amusement park dedicated to the world of wizards. There is also a cafe with themed dishes that are not served anywhere else. Many events of the Harry Potter world took place in London, so do not be surprised at the number of places associated with the beloved universe of millions of people. If you are an avid lover of the world of witchcraft and wizardry, then start planning your trip with Travellizy right now!
Inspiration
Travellizy team
5 May 2020 / 5 minutes to read
A Walk on the Bottom of the Ocean: King Tides in California
The coastal states of the western United States are California, Oregon and Washington. Each of them has many landmarks, which attract millions of tourists. Majestic landscapes, water sports or hiking along the coast: the choice of leisure is huge and diverse. But there is a rare natural phenomenon that will surprise you while traveling: the royal tide! Today’s Travellizy story is about how you can walk along the bottom of the ocean in California without a diving suit and without even getting your feet wet.   What are king tides? The term “king tides” in the USA is used to describe the highest tides of the ocean. The tides are caused by the gravitational forces of the moon and the sun: the moon's gravity is about two times stronger than that of the sun. An increase in gravity occurs regularly in the Western Hemisphere of the Earth, and the difference in wave height is not very large. But three or four times a year, extremely high tides and, accordingly, low tides occur. Powerful waves go beyond their usual natural boundaries. On such days, you can see how the ocean retreats from the usual coastlines, clearing the territory. The seabed is exposed and inquisitive locals and tourists flock to the beaches to take a walk and take impressive selfies during sunset.   Planning is important! To enjoy a rare natural phenomenon, you need to plan your visit time in advance and explore the place, where you want to take a walk. It’s convenient to use the official website. Closer to January and February, the website will show news about where and when you can join the observations, accurate information about which beaches receive guests and when peak extreme high tides occur. Depending on this, you can plan the day, taking into account parking.   Where to go The ocean recedes from the coast unevenly, depending on the topography of the bottom. Therefore, before deciding about the place, it is better to double-check the recommendations of park employees or reviews over the Internet. If you visit the Bay Area in January-February, then the coast of the resort town of Capitola (Santa Cruz County) or Alameda, a small town east of San Francisco, will be an excellent choice. A visit to any of these places can be combined with visits to other attractions.    Capitola Capitola is a charming town located on the coast of Santa Cruz County. There is the city of Monterey a few miles from here, and we wrote about it in another our article.  Calculate the time to arrive on the Capitola coast at 3-4 o'clock in the afternoon. After lunch in a good restaurant, patisserie or visiting a craft pub, you will be pleased to walk along the promenade without rushing. Capitola offers guests beautiful landscapes and cozy streets. During the royal tides, when the water recedes from the coast, you can walk several kilometers along the coastline along the bottom of the ocean. It is especially clearly visible how high the ocean is at ordinary times when examining steep cliffs. The maximum tide height in Capitol reaches more than two meters! At normal times in the evening, strong waves make it impossible to get close to the stones.   Precautionary measures Although a walk along the bottom of the ocean is like a normal promenade along the beach, still be on your guard: wet stones are very slippery. During the walk, it is recommended to wear comfortable closed shoes with a stable sole. If you have children, explain them in advance the danger of running and jumping over wet rocks. There are also sharp seashells everywhere that can easily cut your feet. It is necessary to return to a safe place in advance, so as not to be at the mercy of the tides. The exact cycle times can be found on the web pages of local parks. Attentive travelers will certainly notice small narrow caves at the base of the cliffs. Investigating them personally is not recommended: rocks are constantly destroyed by waves, they can collapse. In order to minimize risks, rangers monitor the state of observation platforms very carefully. But time and the elements take over, and part of the embankment has collapsed in Capitola recently. Traces of this incident can be seen in the photo:   Alameda: a magical view of San Francisco If during king tides you are visiting San Francisco, make sure to seize the opportunity and go to the opposite side of the bay. On the picturesque beaches of the town of Alameda, you will fully enjoy a walk along the beach and make wonderful shots with a view of San Francisco. All the parking places may be taken, because many locals come here for evening walks. Small sections of the beach are fenced off from people: small birds with the unusual name "snowy plover" feed on them. These small dexterous birds feed on tiny crustaceans and mollusks. To allow small but dexterous hunters to feast on their catch, the rangers set up barriers. For families with children, watching flocks of birds will be especially interesting: Pixar has recently released a short cartoon about a similar bird. A touching sweet story about a savvy chick has won millions of fans around the world as well as the Oscar. Having familiarized yourself with the cartoon before a walk, you can look at the life of seaside birds nearby.   Ecosystem protection and preserving During the walk, do not forget that you are visiting the inhabitants of the ocean. Under your feet, you may see inconspicuous but living creatures. Try not to step on them, so as to preserve them and not disturb their peace. Thanks to the king tides, scientists and oceanologists better understand ocean ecology and track the impact of people on marine life. Scientists ask those who post photos on social networks to use the hashtag #KingTides. Thanks to this, an excellent database is being accumulated, which will help plan actions of special environmental and scientific services. We wish Travellizy readers a pleasant walk along the ocean bottom! We will be happy to see your photos with the hashtag #KingTides!
Routes
Travellizy team
4 May 2020 / 5 minutes to read
Bruges: medieval romance of Belgian’s gingerbread town
Everyone who is already familiar with this city will definitely agree that Bruges is not just a city, Bruges is a state of mind. Moreover, it does not matter with whom and how you will come here. Traveling alone, with family or with friends - in any of these cases you will definitely think that the company for this trip is perfectly matched. Do you know the secret? Your partner is Bruges itself. It is not without reason that the world-famous film “In Bruges” enjoys such popularity. An incredible atmosphere reigns in this city. Simply walking along medieval gingerbread houses, river canals with snow-white swans are a very exciting experience, and you may even sing odes to delicious Belgian waffles. Bruges is perfect for walking, and all its attractions are concentrated within walking distance to each other. So, put on your comfortable shoes and go along the most magical Belgian streets and squares. Travellizy is pleased to share with you the itinerary for the best sights of Bruges.   What to see in Bruges Our walk starts from Burg Square, which means “fortress”. On the south side of the square, there is the Gothic City Hall building. ● City Hall (Stadhuis van Brugge) was built in 1421. The city government of Bruges is located here, the building also works part-time as the local registry office. Tourists can get inside, however the entrance is paid. Entrance fee is 6 euros. ● Basilica of the Holy Blood (Heilig-Bloedbasiliek) is a Roman Catholic church, which was built in 1157. The basilica consists of two parts: the upper and lower. The lower church is built in the Romanesque style, and the upper in the Gothic. The entrance to the building is located in the eastern corner of Burg Square and you can go inside the church absolutely free. ● Market Square (Grote Markt) has been existed since the 10th century. The main attraction of the square is the Belfry of Bruges. On Wednesdays, a market operates on the square. From here, carriages can take you on an excursion. If you want to feel like a prince or a princess, then make sure you try to use this type of transport. The cost of such an excursion is 40 euros, the duration of the walk is 40-45 minutes. ● Belfry of Bruges (Belfort) is one of the most beautiful towers of Flanders. Its height is 83 meters, it is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The base of the tower was erected back in 1240, and the upper part of the octagonal bell tower was completed only two centuries later. The tower has 47 bells located at the level of the upper observation deck. These bells ring their unique melody every hour. You can climb to the observation deck by breaking 366 steps. The cost of admission to the site is 8 euros. ● Cathedral of Christ the Savior (Cathedrale Saint Sauveur) is an old cathedral dating from the 12th century. It is considered to be the main city temple. There is a museum at the cathedral, where paintings by Flemish painters are exhibited. Entrance to the temple is free, the entrance fee to the museum is 4 euros. ● Church of Our Lady (Onze-Lieve-Vrouwekerk) is a Catholic church in the Gothic style, which was built in the XII-XIII centuries. The height of the bell tower is 122 meters. It can be seen from almost anywhere in the city. Entrance to the church is free, however, if you want to go to the altar and look at the interesting interior, you need to buy a ticket for 4 euros. ● The Memlingmuseum is located in the majestic medieval building of the former hospital of St. John with walls extending directly into the waters of the city canal. It is one of the oldest hospitals in Europe. Its chapel is occupied by the Hans Memling Museum. Almost all the paintings are kept here from the moment of their creation, namely from the 15th century. The cost of admission to the museum is 8 euros. ● The Gruuthusemuseum is the most versatile museum in the city. The museum's collection was set up in 1865 at the initiative of the archaeological community of Bruges. In 1955, the museum's collection went into the ownership of the city. There are sculptures made of wood, marble and ivory, wooden furniture of the XVI-XVIII centuries, ceramics, kitchen utensils and tapestries. The cost of admission to the museum is 10 euros. ● Arentshuis is a lace-making museum that the city is famous for. On the second floor of the Arentshuis hosts an exhibition of engravings by Frank Brangwyn, an English painter of the 20th century, who was a native of Bruges. Entrance ticket price is 8 euros. If the museum does not interest you, make sure to visit the beautiful picturesque garden with sculptures, it is located next to the Arentshuis. ● The Groeningemuseum is the richest storage of paintings in Belgium. The magnificent works of Bosch, Rogier van der Weyden, Memling, Van Eyck can delight both an inexperienced amateur and a competent connoisseur. The cost of admission to the museum is 10 euros. Please note, if you plan to visit the Arentshuis and the Groeningemuseum, there is the opportunity to purchase one ticket for these two museums. Such a ticket will cost you 12 euros. After the museum, turn right, walk along the canal and turn left into Donkey's Gate. The passage will lead you back to Burg Square, where we started our walk.   Boat trip in Bruges Bruges is a city of canals, it is also called Northern Venice. We highly recommend that you go on the most romantic boat excursion along the canals of Bruges. There are several departure points of such boats in the city, including moorings near the Ghent-Terneuzen Canal in the southeastern part of the city, near the building of the Church of Our Lady and the Town Hall, and the Belfort Tower. Any departure point from the central part of the city can be reached on foot in about 10-15 minutes. The duration of a boat trip is an average of 30-40 minutes. The cost of the tour is 8-10 euros per person.   What to taste in Bruges Another important point on the route is, of course, goodies called Belgian waffles. You definitely can’t miss the cafes and waffle trucks, as this sweet vanilla aroma literally envelops every street of Bruges. Airy waffles with a thin crisp but soft just melt in your mouth. A signature dessert is offered with any filling: it is decorated with towers of whipped cream and strawberries, or watered with salted caramel, milk chocolate, or beloved Nutella. The cost of this festive meal is 4-10 euros, depending on the filling you have chosen. Bruges attracts, captivates and immerses you in its unique color, forcing to keep the experienced emotions of happiness in your heart. Having visited Bruges, you will stay in love with it forever!
Inspiration
Travellizy team
1 May 2020 / 3 minutes to read
Israel. Old Jaffa in the Rain
4.5 million tourists visited Israel in 2019. Most of them visited Tel Aviv. And visiting this city without walking around the old Jaffa means not to visit Tel Aviv at all. You can only imagine how many people come here on a normal day! Therefore, Travellizy suggests choosing one of rainy Fridays for a walk. It's warm outside. It will periodically start raining and also may stop unexpectedly, scaring away tourists and especially locals, who feel about this weather the same way Europeans feel about spring snowfall. Do not be upset that museums, restaurants and the flea market will be closed, as you will definitely come back here, but it will be another Jaffa, other impressions.   What to see in Jaffa Jaffa is one of the oldest cities in the world, located at the crossroads of ancient trade routes. Just think about the fact that this port was already known in the 15th century BC. Later, ships with pilgrims headed to Jerusalem moored here. It was in Jaffa that Tel Aviv began. And nowadays, this is just a district of this city. We get to the old city through Yossi Carmel Square or as it is also called Clock Square. The whole history of Israel with Roman columns, the palace of the Ottoman Empire and the first public clock, in honor of which the square received one of its names, is in this square. Keep left, climb a small hill and you will find yourself in the Abrasha Park, so named in honor of one of the creators and builders of the Jewish state. It was he who decided to set up a park on the site of this wasteland. Now there are observation platforms, a sundial in the form of zodiac signs, wishing bridge, amphitheater and lots of greenery. Go down and you will get into the artists quarter. This is a quarter with narrow streets (which also bear the names of the zodiac signs) of a typical eastern city, where it is easy to get lost. Do not deny yourself this pleasure! Get lost, find yourself, come to a dead end twined with flowers, look out the windows and go into the courtyards under the blossoming orange trees, hide from the rain in the arches and small workshops of local artists. These lanes are full of details, which you are unlikely to notice, if you find yourself here in a crowd of tourists.   St. Peter's Church in Jaffa You will definitely see the dome of the Catholic Cathedral. Do not be surprised. This is St. Peter's Church. Also, do not be surprised to run into the door of the Greek monastery or the mailbox of the Pope or the Islamic mosque. And in general, do not be surprised at all, because the apostle Peter had a vision in this place. This house of Simon the Tanner still stands here, but you can’t get inside. There is also an old lighthouse here. Despite the fact that it has not been working for almost 60 years, it looks like new and still serves as a navigation reference for fishermen in the daytime. Having reached the promenade, you can observe a beautiful panorama of modern Tel Aviv and its skyscrapers, standing on the very shore. On the way, you can warm up with coffee or hot chocolate in a randomly open street cafe. By the way, it is exactly opposite this cafe that you will see rocks sticking out of the water, to which, according to legend, Andromeda was chained, while she was waiting for the beautiful Perseus to save her. You need to eat, because a six-kilometer walk awaits you, and it will be saturated with sea air along beautiful deserted beaches, right up to the old port of Tel Aviv. But you will pass this way yourself, without our escort.   Useful links:   Website of Old Jaffa. Language: Hebrew, English    Theatres in Jaffa:      - Jaffa Theater;    - Hasimta Theater;    - Gesher Theater;   NaLaga`At Art Center 
Tips
Travellizy team
24 April 2020 / 7 minutes to read
The City of Uncle Ho: what to see in Vietnamese Ho Chi Minh City
The city of Saigon used to be the capital of South Vietnam, nowadays, Ho Chi Minh City can be called the cultural and youth center of the country. It doesn't have such old districts and buildings as in Hanoi, but life is in full swing. Ho Chi Minh City will be of interest to fans of trendy clubs and hipster cafes, fans of skyscrapers and sky-bars. However, in terms of attractions, there is also something to see here, Travellizy Team can assure you.   Notre-Dame Cathedral Basilica of Saigon Notre Dame Cathedral is an excellent example of French colonial architecture in the center of Ho Chi Minh City. It is no less beautiful inside than outside, and tourists and locals love taking pictures against it. Entrance to the cathedral is free, but you must be decently dressed. Notre Dame is also a very convenient starting point for exploring the city center. To the right of the cathedral, you can see is the central post office, designed by the project of Eiffel himself. Wedding photoshoots are often arranged nearby or students are photographed for their graduation album, and inside, you will find not only a huge portrait of Uncle Ho, as Ho Chi Minh is called here, but also a huge number of magnets, postcards, painted plates and other souvenirs for tourists. Near the post office, there is a small pedestrian street, which is also a book fair. If you want to see what Vietnam reads, look through the local editions of Harry Potter or Japanese manga, sit in a book cafe, then you should definitely come here. Live music is often played at the fair and various festivals are held here. Take a walk from the cathedral and the post office a couple of blocks away to the southeast, and you will find yourself in another favorite place for guests and residents of the city, on Ho Chi Minh Square.   Heart of Ho Chi Minh City - Ho Chi Minh Square The square begins with the city council building built in the colonial style and continues to the embankment of the Saigon River, after which the city was named. It’s nice just to walk here, you can sit on a bench and watch the entertaining youth, you can take a selfie against the backdrop of the Ho Chi Minh monument, or you can eat as much as you want. The buildings around the square are cafes and restaurants for every taste and budget, and one of them is even one of the main attractions for gastro-tourists. This is a house, all floors of which are reserved for coffee houses, cafes, pizzerias and sushi bars. You can easily recognize it; it stands out from the rest of the buildings in the square. On weekends and holidays, Ho Chi Minh Square turns into a venue for festivals and concerts, where local and foreign groups play as well as cosplay shows and competitions are held.   Cultural program in Saigon Opera If you prefer opera arias to street concerts and festival madness, then you should definitely visit the city opera. It is located on a neighboring street with Ho Chi Minh Square and is built in the same European style as many buildings in the center of Saigon. Performances, ballets and concerts are given at the opera every evening, often foreign stars and groups perform.   Aerial view from Bitexco Tower The observation deck of the Bitexco Financial Tower offers a gorgeous view of the center of Ho Chi Minh City. Of course, there is a restaurant with a bar, so you can’t just admire the city, but also have a drink or dinner. A ticket can be bought on the ground floor of the tower or via the Internet, it costs 8.5 euros. Until 2018, the Bitexco Tower was the tallest building in the city, but then the construction of the Landmark 81 skyscraper was completed, and the sparks fell on it, as well as the title of the 10th tallest building in Asia. A sparkling skyscraper stands in the middle of a brand new elite area, where you can easily imagine yourself somewhere in the business center of New York or Dubai. Of course, it also has a restaurant on one of the upper floors and a viewing platform.   Vietnamese Shopping in Ben Thanh Market If you want to buy souvenirs at low prices, purchase a T-shirt with the inscription "Good morning, Vietnam" or a traditional hat, then you should go to Ben Thanh Market. There are no designer clothes here, but it offers a unique atmosphere of the Vietnamese bazaar, and with skillful bargaining, you can make shopping very economically. There are several popular cafes in the vicinity of the market, including the famous Bep Me In. There is a street food market near Ben Thanh Market, but this is more like an attraction for tourists, than real Vietnamese street food. Everything is several times overpriced here, so if you want to really get involved in the richest culture of street food, it is better to take a ban from a lady in a street cart, and not at the market. Fans of luxury shopping centers will also find something to do in the Ben Thanh area, several fashionable malls rise near the market. And a 5-minute walk is Backpackers Street, full of backpackers with a bunch of cheap hostels, bars and cafes for young people and a very active nightlife.   Partisan Past in Cu Chi Tunnels After a protracted guerrilla war in Vietnam, there were many places that recall the difficult and heroic past of the people. One of them is located several tens of kilometers north of Ho Chi Minh City. Cu Chi Tunnels is a large and very interesting open-air museum. You can watch here a film about the partisans, guides will explain, how partisans dug their tunnels, and demonstrate the work of terrible homemade traps. If you wish, you can shoot from real weapons at the shooting range and even crawl a hundred meters along the same underground passages, and you will be fed modest food, which the rebels ate, at the end of the tour. You can get to the Cu Chi Tunnels with an organized tour, on a suburban bus or rented transport.   Museums and theaters Ho Chi Minh City will be very interesting to those who are interested in the recent history of Vietnam, in particular the history of the Vietnam War. True, a number of such places are not for the faint of heart. The War Remnants Museum was formerly called the Exhibition House for Crimes of War and Aggression, but then the name was changed to the neutral one. Inside, you can see not only weapons, shells and military equipment, but also photos of Vietnamese victims of chemicals used in the war, including the infamous Agent Orange. The Palace of Independence is a less gloomy, but very interesting museum. It was here that a document was signed on the unification of the northern and southern parts of the country, before that the government was sitting here, and nowadays, all the rooms of the Palace are open for tourists. You can see not only the halls for receiving ambassadors or the First Lady’s office, but also go down to the basement, see military maps, radio equipment used to transfer commands to the troops, and much more. Entrance to the Palace costs only 1 euro. Golden Dragon, a theater on the water, invites guests to get acquainted with the traditional Vietnamese puppet show. Scenes cannot boast of a complex plot, and dolls look the same as centuries ago, but this gives the performance a special charm and helps to understand the culture of the country better.   Temples and pagodas There are not so many religious attractions in Ho Chi Minh City, the former government of South Vietnam did not really like the ministers of religion, but you can find a couple of interesting places. Vin Ngyem, the largest pagoda of the city, was built in the Japanese style. Connoisseurs of Chinese traditional temple architecture should visit the Jade Emperor Pagoda. Adherents of Buddhism will like the Tien Hau Temple, and the Tang Dinh Church will surprise even experienced travelers with its bright pink color.   City features Ho Chi Minh City is a large but very convenient city for life and tourism with a well-designed infrastructure. You can navigate it on city buses, the routes and timetables of which can be viewed in the Moovit application. If you do not want to get attached to the bus schedule, you can rent a moped, the most popular mode of transport in Vietnam. But keep in mind that traffic in Saigon-Ho Chi Minh City is not for beginners. There are a lot of coffee houses in Ho Chi Minh City, but you will not find food in them. Coffee houses are for coffee, cafes are for food. And do not miss the chance to try local street food such as rich pho soup, crispy baguettes stuffed with ban mi and Vietnamese famous spring rolls from rice paper. Many cafes in Saigon are located in the entrances of residential buildings. Sometimes you need to climb a couple of floors, walk past ordinary apartments, nod to the locals, who often leave the doors open. Do not be embarrassed, these are just the features of local establishments. If you want to stretch your legs and not dodge the flow of mopeds, then go to the embankment of the Saigon River. You can walk along it for hours, and along the way, you can admire the numerous small shrines or take away coffee from local coffee shops. Ho Chi Minh City is a city where you do not want to run from a sight to a sight, but just live. Drink the strongest local coffee, open a new cafe for yourself every day and nod warmly to the bronze Ho Chi Minh passing through the square of the same name.
Inspiration
Travellizy team
23 April 2020 / 5 minutes to read
Strasbourg: the most beautiful city in the French province of Alsace
Do you dream of visiting a small picturesque town with cozy streets and bright houses decorated with flowers and toys? Walking carefree along the river canals, spontaneously turning from lane to lane, enjoying the delicious aromas of fresh pastries from cafes and bakeries... Travellizy Team can take a long time to describe perfect leisure for travelers, who were fortunate enough to visit the fabulous French city called Strasbourg. However, once in this city, you immediately remember how in childhood you looked at the pages of colorful fairy tales and thought that the city from the picture was an invention created by the artist’s imagination. Now, this city is in front of you. It turns out to be quite real. Its charm is not a bit exaggerated, it is saturated with history, and its squares are decorated with amazing half-timbered houses and temples built in the XII century.   Where is Strasbourg located? Strasbourg is located on the border with Germany, hence the German name of the city. Alsace has long been a bone of contention between the two states. Only after the end of the First World War, Alsace finally came under French rule. The influence of German architectural traditions on Strasbourg is obvious, but they are abundantly flavored with French charm. The city has a special color.   Top sights in Strasbourg Together with Travellizy, we offer you to immerse into the unique world of Alsatian antiquity and follow the route of the most interesting sights of Strasbourg: ● Petite France is one of the main attractions of Strasbourg. It is this picturesque and romantic quarter that can be seen on postcards and souvenirs of the city. Petite France is located on the Grand Isle (Grand Ile), separated by canals from other parts of Strasbourg. The incredible color of this area captivates from the first minutes of walking along the Ile River canal, which reflects the facades of half-timbered houses. Lanes, cafes, balconies, everything is decorated with fragrant colorful flowers. Choose a cafe overlooking the canal and enjoy the beauty around! ● Place Kléber is the place where all the main celebrations and events of the city are held. The square is located in the historic center of Strasbourg. In the middle, a monument is erected in honor of General Kleber, the native of Strasbourg. ● Place Gutenberg was named after Johannes Gutenberg, the world-famous inventor of the printing press. The monument to this ingenious typographer adorns the square. Place Gutenberg is one of the favorite places not only for tourists, but also for local residents. There are many excellent cafes, restaurants and shops. Flea markets are often placed around the monument. ● Maison Kammerzell is an architectural monument of the 15th century, one of the most picturesque representatives of late German Gothic. The facade of this half-timbered house consists of 75 windows with figured framing. They depict zodiac signs, mythological characters, scenes from the Bible, as well as images of human feelings. On the first and second floors of the building, there is an excellent restaurant, and on the upper floors, there is a small hotel with nine bedrooms. ● Cathédrale Notre Dame de Strasbourg is a visiting card of the city. The height of this Catholic Cathedral is 142 meters. Until the nineteenth century, it was considered the tallest building in the world. Thanks to its spire, the cathedral is visible from anywhere in the city. If you enter Notre Dame, inside the cathedral, you will see ancient astronomical clocks, they show not only time, but also month, year, zodiac sign, as well as the location of the planets. Entrance to the cathedral is free. We also recommend you to go up to the observation deck of the cathedral, which offers stunning views of Strasbourg. The ticket price for the observation deck is 8 euros. ● Palais Rohan was built in the XVIII century. This three-sided building stands on the banks of the Ile River. The university was in the palace from 1872 to 1892, and it became the residence of the municipal museums of Strasbourg in 1898. The palace houses three museums now: the Archaeological Museum, the Museum of Fine Arts and the Museum of Decorative Arts. Opening hours of the museums: Wed-Mon: from 10.00 to 18.00; closed on Tuesdays. Entrance fee: 7 euros (one museum). You can visit the museums for free on the first Sunday of each month. ● Place de la République is located on the border between the historical and the new part of the city. The square is surrounded by five buildings with historical monuments. These are the Parliament of Alsace-Lorraine (now the National Theater of Strasbourg), the Palace of the Emperor (now the Palais du Rhin), which is a mixture of different architectural styles, the National and University Library, the Grand Est and Lower Rhine Prefecture, and also the tax center Hôtel des impôts. We advise you to visit this square, as it is located in the heart of the German Quarter. And this is, if not the only, then certainly one of the last remaining examples of amazing German architecture. Other examples, unfortunately, were destroyed during the Second World War. In addition to these attractions, we definitely recommend a walk along the canals on the river bus. You must admit that this is a rather romantic and memorable way of exploring the incredible Strasbourg. A boat tour is a great opportunity to see all the sights of the city from a new angle. The cost of such a trip will be 10 euros. Strasbourg is multifaceted: for someone, it will be enough just to get to know it for one or two days, and someone will see its diversity of parks and museums and want to stay here longer. The only thing that absolutely all travelers will bring along when leaving this city is an unforgettable delight and vivid emotions, as well as full confidence that that fabulous magical city from a children's book definitely exists, and it could easily be called Strasbourg.
Places
Travellizy team
21 April 2020 / 6 minutes to read
Small but interesting: what to see in Armenia
Armenia is a small mountainous country that can be driven around by car easily in a couple of days. But why rush? Travellizy Team checked: so many interesting things are hidden in the Armenian mountains - from crystal clear lakes to ancient temples, from ancient fortresses to masterpieces of modern art. All this is abundantly seasoned with local residents' hospitality, delicious national cuisine and original color.   Pink Tuff City: Yerevan Yerevan is one of those cities where you need to know places to visit. If you just wander aimlessly around it, then it may seem tasteless and banal. But it is worth visiting a number of locations and attractions, and your opinion about the capital of Armenia may radically change. One of the most interesting places in the city, where it’s easy to spend a couple of hours, is the Cascade architectural park, conceived as a monument to the 50th anniversary of Soviet rule. Nowadays, it is a center of modern art, where you can see many original works of both Armenian and foreign masters. You can buy souvenirs at the Vernissage flea market, and from there, you can easily reach Republic Square, the very center of Yerevan. But it is best to come to the main square of Armenia in the evening, then coolness comes down on the city, and the fountains begin their light and music show. Would you like to taste the famous Armenian cognacs? Visit Noy and Ararat brandy factories. Are you interested in history? Do you want to know more about the Armenian Genocide? Then you should visit the Tsitsernakaberd Memorial Complex. Do you like to take photos of mosques? The Blue Mosque is waiting for you. And do not forget to get some nourishment, eat Armenian national dishes in between breaks such as rich khash soup, kufteh meatballs or dolma (stuffed cabbage rolls). You can drink all this with strong coffee, tea or the famous pomegranate wine.   Two main temples: Garni and Geghard Garni Temple was built in the 1st century AD and was dedicated to the goddess Demeter. After 16 centuries, it was destroyed by an earthquake, but the temple was rebuilt in 1976, collecting massive stone blocks together. The construction resembles the Greek Parthenon, but Garni itself is not as interesting as its surroundings. Firstly, the hill, on which the temple stands, offers a beautiful view of the surrounding mountains and gorges. Secondly, a walking route starts from Garni, which goes between an unusual kind of rocks with stone pillars of regular hexagonal shape and along the banks of a mountain river. Walking along this route, you can eat plenty of ripe cherries, drink it with cold spring water and take impressive photos of the ancient temple on the hill. Entrance to Garni costs about 3 euros, and walking along the mountain trails is free. Geghard is another iconic and super-popular monastery among tourists in the vicinity of Yerevan. Half of it is a creation of human hands, the other half is a natural formation. Having passed through the gates in the massive fortress walls and several darkened halls, you will find yourself in the caves, where hermit monks used to live.  In some rooms, space is illuminated not only by candles, but also by the sun's rays, which break through thin holes in the rock. It looks very impressive. If you walk along the goat paths around Geghard, you can get to the mountain river that seems to be playing in the sun. Locals and tourists like to relax here from the heat of the day, and thrill seekers can go over the nearest boulder, take off their outer clothing and plunge into the icy water. Going to Geghard, bring your swimming trunks and towel, just in case.   The best view of Ararat: Khor Virap Khor Virap Monastery is a symbol of Armenia, the place from which the Christianization of the country began. A capital used to be here, but nowadays, people come here for the most impressive view of the biblical Mount Ararat. According to legend, St. Gregory the Illuminator was imprisoned in the well in the courtyard of the monastery, who converted the Armenians to Christianity. And behind the monastery walls there are excavations of that very ancient capital, the city of Artashat. If you hear cheerful music and loud screams during the inspection of Khor Virap, then this is most likely an Armenian wedding. Locals are very fond of organizing festivities on a hill overlooking the Turkish border. If you have time and energy, you can drive another 80 kilometers from Khor Virap to the south, to Noravank Monastery. The road to it is a separate cause for delight, it goes through the iron-ore red rocks, so it seems that you are on Mars.   The one and only: Lake Sevan Lake Sevan is the second symbol of the country and a favorite resort for Armenians and visitors. Along the coast of a huge reservoir, there are beaches, hotels, bars and, of course, fish markets. You can taste smoked Sevan ishkhan or boiled crayfish right here in the market. And you can stay in one of the coastal hotels for a couple of days and enjoy swimming, sunbathing and eating fresh fish. In Sevan, you can not only idly sunbathe on the beach, there will also be activities for outdoor enthusiasts. The paths of the national park, which has the same name with the lake, offer breathtaking views, and the most avid extreme sports enthusiasts can even climb the Ajaak volcano. Lovers of antiquities should visit the vicinity of the city of Gavar, there is a cemetery of the famous Armenian cross-stones (khachkars). And the most popular place on Lake Sevan is the Sevan Peninsula with the Sevanavank Monastery. If you climb the hill with the stone church before sunrise or sunset, you will see an unforgettable sight.   Wings of Tatev: Tatev Monastery The world's longest passenger cable car leads to the Tatev Monastery. A path of almost 6 kilometers will take about 10 minutes, and while riding it, you will have time to gasp with admiration more than once, looking at the landscapes floating below. A round-trip ticket will cost you 9.5 euros. By the way, under the cable car, there is an interesting bridge over the gorge, which is called the Devil's Bridge. There are mineral springs right underneath it, where you can take a dip. The Tatev Monastery itself is a complex of several buildings surrounded by walls. Like many monasteries of that period, it served as a fortification, so the stone walls look very impressive.   Cave towns: Old Goris and Khndzoresk Considering that the basis of the Armenian landscape is steep mountains, it is not surprising that the country has a lot of cave monasteries and even entire towns. Why build something if you can use the caverns and tunnels already created by nature? There is a large-scale cave town near Goris, which is 250 kilometers south of Yerevan. Literally all the surrounding rocks blacken with holes of different sizes, and people used to live here not in ancient times, but only 50 years ago. And even now, some caves are used by local residents, but already as non-residential warehouses. The second large cave town is called Khndzoresk. It is smaller than the caves in the vicinity of Goris, but a suspension bridge leads to it, from which it is as much as 60 meters to the ground.   Not only about skiing: Tsaghkadzor and Dilijan Tsaghkadzor is a popular ski resort 30 kilometers away from Sevan, but people come here not only to ski down a snowy slope for a spin. The fact is that it is also a popular holiday destination among representatives of the Armenian intelligentsia - artists, poets, writers. And many of them don't mind a long conversation with fragrant cognac. “Sunny Dilijan” is familiar to many people from the film “Mimino”. But here you can not only touch the bronze Frunzik Mkrtchan's nose, but also have a good rest in balneological and mountain resorts. Armenia, like its inhabitants, is a very hospitable, generous and interesting country. Lovers of strong cognacs and adherents of a healthy lifestyle, lovers of antiquities and admirers of modern art will definitely like it. And, who knows, maybe it is in the mountains of Armenia that you will find something very special for yourself that you have not found yet in other countries.
Tips
Travellizy Team
19 April 2020 / 6 minutes to read
The City of the Winds: what to see in Baku
Azerbaijan is a crossroads of cultures, a colorful carpet of Muslim traditions and Soviet heritage, ancient customs and new trends. And the city of Baku, the capital of the country, is the quintessence of this diversity. Medieval narrow streets and high-tech skyscrapers, hipster cafes and cozy tearooms - this city has everything you need to have a great time and bring vivid impressions and a bunch of wow photos from your vacation. Travellizy Team leaves on an unusual journey through the capital of Azerbaijan.   Fortress in the city: Icherisheher It is best to start your acquaintance with Baku from its historical center called Icherisheher. Behind the massive fortress wall, you will find narrow streets between stone houses, numerous souvenir shops, cafes and tearooms. You can walk along Icherisheher for a long time and tastefully at the same time. Take a picture of fluffy Azerbaijani cats, there are no fewer of them than in Istanbul, admire the mosques, some of which are more than half a century old, bargain for a hammered tray or handmade carpet. Inside the area, you can find many interesting things and even a couple of attractions from the UNESCO list. In the area of Icherisheher, the Maiden’s Tower, which is the oldest building in Baku, is located. Its story is quite typical: an evil shah, an unfortunate bride, a tragic suicide. But in fact, this is just a legend, the tower might just as easily be a lighthouse or an observatory, its purpose has not yet been clarified. In any case, it looks impressive. Entrance to the tower costs 5 euros, there are various expositions and exhibitions inside. The second landmark building of the district is the Palace of the Shirvanshahs. Inside the complex, there is a museum now, the entrance costs 8 euros. Also in Icherisheher, Nikulin’s character shouted the famous “Damn it!”, and Ichthyander walked with Gutiyeres. It was in this part of Baku that cult Soviet films such as The Diamond Arm and The Amphibian Man were shot.   The best place for walking in Baku: Primorsky Boulevard If you like space and salty breezes more than red-hot stone streets, then you will definitely like Primorsky Boulevard. The embankment with a length of 25 kilometers is a favorite place for walking for city guests and local residents, and from any point on it, you can clearly see the tall flagpole with the flag of Azerbaijan. Walking along Primorsky Boulevard is best after sunset, then it is not as hot as during the day, the lights of the buildings and fountains turn on, and in the distance, you can watch Flame Towers, the visiting card of Baku, lighting up. In the evening, you can listen to street musicians on the boulevard, ride a Ferris wheel, buy ice cream and see how modern Azerbaijan lives. In addition to Primorsky Boulevard, there are two more excellent places for walking in Baku. This are the pedestrian Nizami Street, where a huge number of cafes are concentrated for every taste and wallet, and Fountains Square. The last location will surprise you not only with original fountains, but also with benches of an unusual shape.   All About Carpets: Azerbaijan National Carpet Museum There are a lot of carpets in Baku. They are sold in souvenir shops, dried on balconies and depicted in paintings, are covered on the floor in many cafes. But the main Carpet is at the end of Primorsky Boulevard. The Carpet Museum is made in the form of a huge roll, but inside... Inside, you can learn everything about carpets including the fact that the patterns are whole stories on the fabric, and the fact that there are special carpets for donkeys, and much more. Small carpets, huge carpets, antique carpets, new carpets, they all have their own history. By the way, about history, you should take an audio guide in the museum, as all inscriptions are in Azerbaijani. Also, you can see how carpets are weaved manually and get acquainted with other exhibits such as national clothes, ceramic dishes, weapons and jewelry. Entrance costs 3.6 euros, with an audio guide, it's 5.5.   Eastern gondoliers in Baku: Little Venice There is a piece of Venice on Primorsky Boulevard - a shady park with canals filled with turquoise water, through which decorated bridges are thrown. Having paid 3 euros for 20 minutes, you can ride on these canals on a narrow-nosed gondola.  Little Venice is a great option for a relaxing holiday and a break between walking along the Primorsky Boulevard and the streets adjacent to it. If by vacation you mean a plentiful meal and acquaintance with local cuisine, then you will find the most famous restaurant in Baku called Shirvanshah Museum Restaurant. The unique design of its halls, where there used to be baths, will make lunch or dinner truly royal.   Aerial view: Nagorny Park in Baku The Nagorny Park in the center of Baku is known not only for its green alleys and excellent views of the city, which opens from the observation platforms. It is near this park, where Flame Towers, three skyscrapers symbolizing the greatness of modern Azerbaijan, are located. Climbing the upper terraces of Nagorny Park is a separate adventure. You can do this on foot, having overcome many stairs, or on the funicular that leaves from the station on Shovket Alekperova Street every 15 minutes. Climbing with the funicular will cost you only 0.45 euros, but you will have to stand in line on the weekend or in the evening. There are almost always a lot of people who want to climb into the park, but the capacity of the cabin is limited. Flame Towers that are perfectly visible from anywhere in the city are not just office buildings and a hotel. When the sun goes down, the sparkling windows of the skyscrapers turn into screens on which an impressive show is projected. On the walls of skyscrapers, you can see huge flames, the flag of Azerbaijan and other animated images. Another skyscraper located near the Nagorny Park is a 175-meter TV Tower. If you want to look at Flame Towers from top down, and not upward, go up to its top floor and have coffee in the revolving Telequlle restaurant. The second most popular and oldest park in Baku, the Philharmonic Garden, is located in the Sabail district. There are no special attractions in it, it's just nice to walk around the garden.   The future is here: Heydar Aliyev Cultural Center Each building, designed by Zaha Hadid, is a true masterpiece of modern architecture that you can’t confuse with anything else. The building of the Heydar Aliyev Cultural Center, in the silhouette of which there is not a single right angle, stands out from other buildings in Baku. The center is interesting not only outside but also inside. Here you will find an exhibition of Azerbaijani national musical instruments, Baku Puppet Theatre, Tsereteli Museum, an automobile exhibition and much more. Seasonal expositions replace each other every couple of months and are no less interesting than permanent ones. Entrance to the center costs 8.6 euros, plus you will have to pay extra 5.7 euros for visiting the car exhibition. Is Heydar Aliyev Center alone not enough for the cultural program in Baku? Then visit the Museum of Modern Art on Yusif Safarov Street. It has world classics such as Picasso, Chagall, Dali, and masterpieces of local artists and sculptors.   Warm waters of the Caspian: Baku beaches If there is time and desire, then from Baku, you can get to comfortable beaches on the shores of the Caspian Sea in half an hour. There are many of them near the city, you can get there by minibus, so take your swimwear and a towel and go sunbathing and swimming. The closest to Baku are the beaches of Shikhovo with a water park and bars. If you are with children, it is worth going to the beaches of Pirsagi, there is a smooth descent into the water and there are no waves. If you want active leisure, then go to the beaches of Mardakan or Zagulba. The latter are famous for VIP zones, chic restaurants on the beach and noisy parties in bars. The capital of Azerbaijan has everything that the tourist’s soul wants - colorful streets and wide boulevards, skyscrapers and museums, mosques and palaces. Baku is clearly worthy of close acquaintance, and this acquaintance can be the beginning of a good friendship.
Tips
Travellizy team
16 April 2020 / 7 minutes to read
What to see in Turkey outside hotels
The former center of the Ottoman Empire is associated today mainly with resort towns such as Antalya and Alanya, five-star hotels with an all-inclusive system and a relaxing vacation at sea. But once you go beyond the hotel complex, you will see miracles worthy of tales of "One Thousand and One Night". There are cave towns and mountain tracks, modern metropolitan areas and ancient ruins in Turkey. Travellizy Team is confident: this country is clearly worth getting to know it better, even if for the sake of this you have to abandon the buffet.   Capital rhythm of Ankara Ankara is not as popular as Istanbul, and some do not even know that it is the capital of modern Turkey. But still, there are a couple of interesting places in Ankara. If you are interested in the history of Turkey, then you should definitely visit Anitkabir, or the mausoleum of Atatürk. The first president of the country is buried in the majestic building, and the change of guards in front of the mausoleum is a very interesting and original show. Are you interested in a more ancient history? Then you need to get to the Hisar Fortress. On the way to it, you can buy various souvenirs and take a walk along the streets of the old center, and from the walls of the fortress itself, you can see the best view of the Turkish capital. Are you more interested in mosques, not fortresses? You will find Kocatepe, the largest mosque in Ankara, whose gilded domes rise above the city. There are also many parks, good shopping centers and interesting museums. 2-3 days will be enough to get acquainted with the Turkish capital, and after that you can go inland. The Contrasts Of Istanbul: What To See In The City On The Bosphorus Hot-air balloons over the caves in Cappadocia You will not find the town or village called Cappadocia on the map, because this is not the name of the settlement, but the area in central Turkey to the north-east of the city of Nevsehir. Cappadocia is the country's second most popular tourist destination after Istanbul, and the landscapes of these lands will be remembered forever. The landscapes of Cappadocia are small white cliffs and narrow gorges between them, countless caves and mountain temples. In order to properly see the unusual landscape, you should go flying in a hot-air balloon. However, if you see dozens of balloons flying over the Martian-like landscapes, this will be very impressive from the ground. Get up early for the best views and shots, as the cliffs of Cappadocia are stunningly beautiful at dawn. While balloons soar above the cliffs, there are a lot of interesting things beneath them. In Cappadocia, there are as many as 6 underground towns, and about 20 thousand people lived in Derinkuyu, the largest of them. You can wander through the cave labyrinths all day, or you can even spend the night there. Many hotels in Cappadocia are also located in caves. Knocking On Heaven's Door: A Journey Around Cappadocia Volcanic soup along the Lycian Way The Lycian Way is considered to be one of the best hiking trails in the world among the hikers. In order to walk along it, special training and equipment are not necessary; comfortable shoes, a tourist backpack and tents with a sleeping bag will be enough in the warm season. And you can even do without a tent, small villages are scattered along the path, in which there are cozy hotels for travelers. The full route through the Lycian Way is about 500 kilometers and about a month on the road (depending on your rhythm and physical fitness). But if you don’t have a month at your disposal, then it’s okay, as there are routes for a week or two. Walking through the territory of the ancient kingdom of Lycia, you can admire the mountain peaks and a 20-km beach, go through the canyon and see the ruins of the castle. Those who walk along the trail with a tent and a bowler will have a truly unique opportunity - to cook camp porridge over a fire that flows out directly of the ground. Turkey from the Aegean Sea: how to plan a trip on a yacht Having tea while overlooking the fjords of Karadeniz The landscapes that will open in front of you in the Karadeniz region, in the north-east of Turkey, are not associated with this country. Walking around tea plantations and looking at the fjords in the Chorokh valley, you can imagine yourself somewhere in Norway. In Karadeniz, there is the highest dam of Turkey called Deriner, and there are picturesque monasteries on the banks of the Chorokh River. What is noteworthy, they are Georgian, because Chorokh carries its waters from Turkey to Batumi, where it flows into the Black Sea. Another attraction of the region is Kackar Mountains National Park. This is a real paradise for lovers of mountain hikes, you will see here waterfalls as well as lakes and glaciers. Old stone bridges over mountain rivers await lovers of spectacular insta-photos, while numerous family cafes await fans of hearty Turkish cuisine. In the Aladaglar National Park, which is also on the territory of Karadeniz, you can get to know Kapuzbasi waterfalls closer. This is a group of seven waterfalls, which effectively flow from sheer cliffs. And, if you come to the national park in winter, then you will find an unforgettable sight - waterfalls made of ice.   Noah's Ark parking place: Ararat The biblical Mount Ararat belongs to two countries simultaneously - Armenia and Turkey. From the Armenian side, you can admire it only from afar, but from the Turkish side, you can make a full-fledged ascent. The main attractions of the national park on the slope of Ararat are glacial caves, in one of which, according to legend, the icy remains of Noah’s Ark still remain. Even at the foot of Ararat, there are interesting stone monasteries, and melting glaciers nourish the numerous green valleys that bloom very beautifully in spring.   Snow-white terraces of Pamukkale Pamukkale is a real miracle of nature. From afar, it may seem that these are glaciers, but in fact, the white steps, reminiscent of the rice terraces of Asia, are limestone, salt and calcium. Each terrace is also a small natural pool, the water from which flows to the platforms below, forming a stunningly beautiful cascade. The waters of Pamukkale are mineral, which means healing. Near the terraces, there are many pools, baths and hospitals, where you can perfectly improve your health, relax your body and soul. And the most popular pool is called the Cleopatra Basin, and the water in it is warm all year round. The most convenient way to get to Pamukkale is from the city of Marmaris, on the coast of the Aegean Sea. The way will take about 2 hours.   City of myths: Ephesus Once upon a time, the majestic Temple of Artemis, one of the Seven Wonders of the World, stood in Ephesus. Nowadays, there is only one column left from the temple, and even it was collected from the fragments excavated by archaeologists, but even without it there is something to see in ancient Ephesus. The Celsus Library (not to be confused with Celsius) was the second largest library of the ancient world, after Alexandria. In the III century AD, it burned down, but the impressive facade with columns and sculptures has perfectly preserved. Not far from the library, there is the Great Amphitheater, and here, without any second places, it is the largest open-air theater in the world. At one time, it accommodated up to 25 thousand spectators, and gladiators fought in the arena and actors performed. On the outskirts of Ephesus, there is Mount Bulyubyul with a modest stone house at the top. It is in this house, according to legend, the Virgin Mary spent her last years. Near the house, there is a spring, whose water is considered healing, and a wall of desires, where you can attach a patch with a request. In the vicinity of Ephesus, you can take a walk in the coniferous forest or even swim in the Aegean. Good comfortable beaches are in Kusadasi, the nearest major city. If you need not only ancient ruins, but also developed tourist infrastructure, then you can stay there or in the city of Selchuk. Ephesus itself is located 50 kilometers south of Izmir.   The birthplace of water cats: Van Lake Van is located near the border of Turkey with Iran. This is the largest salt lake in the world, whose water is saturated not only with mineral salts, but also with soda. It is surrounded by beautiful mountains, and in the city of Van, there are many salt, mineral and mud baths. The shore of Van has few beaches, but there are many excellent and almost deserted beaches on numerous islands, which can be reached by ferry or a rented boat. But the main attraction of the lake is the Van cats. Where else will you see cats, happily jumping into the water, swimming in it and catching fresh fish for lunch? By the way, you can also try fish from Van in one of the cafes in the city of the same name. Turkey is not only Istanbul and hotel rest. It is also rich in history, diverse nature, hospitable people and delicious cuisine. The country is clearly worth a visit not only as part of a last-minute offer, and only then will it be revealed to you in all its diversity.