Sunday, October 28, 2007

Cellphone Bus Ticket

Walking on the streets of Bonn, I've noticed a poster, advertising for the Handy-Ticket concept. So what is it about? You can buy your buss/tram ticket by sending a SMS to a special phone number of Deutsche Bahn, and they charge you accordingly. Afterwards, you receive a ticket via MMS or SMS, at the normal price.

This is a rather old concept for Bonn, but it would be cool if we also had it in some big cities in Romania. We have enough mobile phone subscribers :-D

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Activ and Late Night Alumni

The song above is one of my favourite songs from Activ. Apparently, they also have some good "inspiration". :)
P.S.: Watch the video from Activ till the end if you don't know it. The ending is quite sad.

Friday, October 05, 2007

Free time

Finally, I have some free time to write on my weblog. So, I'll write some impressions about my last road trip through the Balkans.

We traveled in a group of three, with my sister and my girlfriend, Bianca. The road through Serbia and Macedonia, then Greece was great. There is a good motorway once you get close to Belgrade, and from there on, you could go without stopping till your destination in Greece. Border crossings are also quite easy. For example, when we entered Greece, they only asked where we were from. We said we were from, Romania, and then they let us go, without even checking the passes :D

On the road, we first slept in Skopje, Macedonia. We didn't really have the time to stay more and visit the city, but the company of Viktor and Anca, the two AIESECers who hosted us for one night was definitely more fun than a night walk through an unknown city. We all had a cold Skopsko (local beer) before going to bed, and next morning we were back on our way, after thanking Anca for her hospitality.

Going back on the motorway, the road was simply magnificent: beautiful scenery, green mountains, deep valleys, high blue river crossings and lots of illuminated tunnels. By the evening, we were in Igoumenitsa port, Greece. Getting here on time for the ferryboat, was the reason we didn't stay longer in Macedonia, a country that I personally got to admire by the end of this trip. So, by the evening of the second day, we were finding ourselves crossing
the Ionian sea, on our way to Corfu. The atmosphere was simply beautiful: the pale sun shining at dusk, light breeze of the sea blowing on our faces, and beautiful and simple scenery.

In Corfu, more precisely Kavos town, we had a very convenient pre reserved apartment, around fifty meters from the Agios Petros beach. The villa was surrounded by beautiful gardens with pineapple and lemon trees, and nice flowers. The owners, an old Greek couple living on the island, came and gave us the room, without even checking our IDs or asking for any money.
I found very funny the way the old lady was hardly trying to speak English. Many times we tried to tell that we transferred part of the money to her son, Sakis. And she would always lighten her face with proudness: "Yes! My son! Sakis... he is doctor" :-> Then, most of our conversation resumed to her asking us: "everything OK?", and us responding: "yes! ok :D" while using intense body language to strenghten our words.

The rest of the days, we were just relaxing by the beach, sleeping on a floating wooden thing covered with carpets far away in the sea, snorkeling, exploring the island by ATVs in search for paradise beaches, playing table tennis, taking island cruises, enjoying traditional Greek cuisine, or bungee-jumping. In the evening we would often choose a bar to stay. Some of the bars there had live entertainers like stage hypnotists or magicians, and also lots of the people used to spend their evening watching Friends or stand up comedy on plasma TVs in these bars. There were also lots of weird parties going on, with weird costumes. We weren't too curious or crazy for those things. :)

On our way back, we stopped again Macedonia, in a city called Ohrid. It is a big blue lake, separating Albania from Macedonia, surrounded by mountains, and hosting a beautiful old city center, with narrow streets, old byzantine churches, an antique theater, and an old fortress on top of the city. We were also surprised there by the hospitality of the people. And if I were to detail more: a German speaking taxi driver stopped us in the middle of the street, at 3 AM, to help us with finding a place to sleep. Above that, everybody seemed to open a lot to us when we told them we were from Romania. That's weird, if we said we were from Romania in Spain or Italy, the effect would be a bit different.

As a conclusion, we had lots of fun, and I would be happy to do a same trip again in the future.

Here are some photos from Greece:
... and some from Macedonia: