village hopping...

Whenever we visit a new city on tour I am so used to wake up early in the mornings and try to use obsessively every free hour of my day in spite of our busy performing schedule. I hate to loose precious time sleeping in even if I am dead tired. You can always rest when you are back... I am afraid I am keeping the same habits when I am on vacation, too. I love to choose a base city and plan detailed day trips in close proximity to try to see as much as possible of the region I am in. Waking up early every morning and coming back before sunset for a good dinner and bar hopping in the city you are staying...

sibiel, may 2010

First day trip I want to talk about is the little village Sibiel. I know that there are a lot of beautiful places and cities to visit when you are on a trip to Transylvania but if you are interested in history of art and especially in icons you have to visit Sibiel and The Zosim Oancea Museum of Icons on Glass. It is a lovely village only 20km far away from Sibiu. The quickest and easiest way to commute there is probably hire a taxi from Sibiu. Train station is pretty far away and bus service schedules are not reliable. The museum has a collection of 600 one of a kind icons collected from all over the region covering the walls of the museum. You can spend hours in that small house. The paintings are unbelievable and somehow it doesn't feel like you are in a museum. You always have a feeling like visiting a house of one of the villagers smiling and waving at you on the streets. People are approaching really nice and they are happy to see you. I also would suggest not to leave the village without having lunch in one of the small restaurants in the village.

portnahaven, november 2009

My second recommendation is from Scotland. It was the last day of my visit on Islay and after I finished all my distillery visits I ended up in Portnahaven just by coincidence. I wasn't ready to leave the island I felt in love with, still had a little bit time to spend and wanted to see the north side of the island. It was late afternoon and the sun was already on it's way down to horizon. To be honest I wasn't expecting to see something that beautiful. The village happened to be one of the most magical places I have ever been. The lighthouse on the Isle of Orsay, the church, all the houses surrounding the harbor, waves pounding the cliffs... Everything around me was looking like a post card. I spent all my afternoon walking around, watching the horizon, taking pictures and chatting with locals till the last bus leaves. It is absolutely a breathtaking place. Portnahaven definitely deserves to be visited when you are on Islay. I have to admit after my visit from time to time I am still checking online rental properties in Portnahaven. Just for fun...

kalkan, july 2009
Last place I want to mention is all the way from Turkey where I am born and raised. For years Kalkan and especially Kalamar Bay has been my favorite holiday destination. It is usually neglected by tourists visiting south of Turkey because of it's more popular and bigger neighbors Kas and Fethiye. Kalkan is a beautiful small fishing village in between them with excellent sea food restaurants, local shops, bars and cafes. Kalamar Bay is literally five min away by car from Kalkan and is one of the most beautiful hidden bays of the Mediterranean coast of Turkey. It is a perfect spot to arrive in the morning to spend all your day by swimming and snorkeling. If you want to spend a night or two at Kalamar Bay I strongly recommend Kalamar Hotel. It has the perfect location with a beach in front with a modest restaurant, friendly staff and very moderate prices. You should definitely include Kalkan for a day to your itinerary when you are visiting south coast of Turkey.

kalkan, august 2006