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One day in wonderful Vienna

Usually one day isn’t enough to experience a city, but it’s definitely more than enough to get a feeling of it and determine whether you like it or not. And also, when that one day turns out to be an amazing day – it doesn’t really matter that it was a short visit.

I flew from Romania to Vienna in Austria because I soon need to be in Prague in Czech Republic soon in order to meet my mom and my best friend. Before Prague, I also want to visit Slovakia and the capital there, Bratislava, which is just 30 minutes from Vienna but as there are no direct flights from Bucharest in Romania to Bratislava in Slovakia, Vienna was a good stop. A lot of countries and cities in a few sentences there!

First I met up with a good guy I traveled with in South-America for a few weeks. After a stroll in the city we went to watch the final round of the Spanish Football league, La Liga. Really nice to meet him to talk both memories and future. Football was a big, actually by far the biggest, passion in my life growing up. Real Madrid has been “my” team since 2002, when the Brazilian Ronaldo joined the team. Back then it was a team full of superstars like Ronaldo, Zidane, Figo, Beckham, Raul, Roberto Carlos and the list goes on. 15 years later it’s still full of superstars, still my team and my passion for them is even stronger – and ironic I guess – a new Ronaldo is my role model and also the flagship of the team; Cristiano Ronaldo. So part of the reason my 24 hours in Vienna were so good was thanks to that Real Madrid won the La Liga, in the very final round of the season.

But hey, wait a second – did  you say Ronaldo is your role model?! I guess a lot of people react on this – and at the same time I can understand you a little bit, that would be judging a book by it’s cover. Yes, he has A LOT of feelings and he is anything but afraid of showing them. When he is winning and happy, he smiles from ear to ear. When, luckily not often last years, it’s not going his way you could perhaps say he looks a little cocky, arrogant, diva and acts a little childish sometimes. But he is  just a person with a lot of emotions and even that is very untypical in Scandinavia – there is nothing wrong with that. So, to the things I admire him for. On the pitch he is, in my opinion, the best player in the world at the moment – and maybe through all times. But the real admiration is actually off the pitch in two different ways. He is extremely dedicated to his profession and sacrifices everything (but family) for his success. And also, like many other professional athletes he is not very greedy. He is the sports person through all time that have contributed most to charity – and yes – with Scandinavian looser mentality some people might think that it’s no problem for him – he can afford it. And yes, he can. But other players and people can too. Take for instance Lionel Messi which everyone thinks is such a good guy, he opens up bank accounts in Panama in order to skip the taxes. Luckily enough he got caught doing it! So I would say Ronaldo is a player that is misunderstood in many ways and just because he is good and he knows it, a lot of people don’t like him. And people saying he is a diva taking off his shirt to flex his pretty decent upper body; those people are probably just jealous.

So how was Vienna? To keep it short it’s very beautiful with nice buildings, green open parks and cosy streets pretty much everywhere. A true blessing for the eye even though I didn’t visit many restaurants the few I went to were both very good and cheap. It’s said to be one of the cities in the world with the happiest people and I can believe that. Even though I just spent one day – it made me happy.

 

Roaming in Romania

If a 20 year old reads this headline, he/she would probably think: “Oh wow, is he in Romania sitting on his phone all the time?!”. The word roaming nowadays mostly means when you use the mobile data abroad. However, there is another meaning of it equivalent with wandering around. Since I’m in the European Union now and it’s a lot cheaper to use the phone again, you could say I did both here.

Europe wasn’t on the list at all for this big trip. Even though it’s probably the best continent to live on, it also find it the most boring and least adventurous compared to America, Asia, Oceanic and Africa. I mean, the nature isn’t as dramatic, it’s pretty homogeneous and the culture isn’t as strong as in other parts of the world. Don’t misunderstand me; there are many nice and unique places. The Dolomites in Italy or the coast of Croatia are two of my favorites, but it’s simply not as exotic and thrilling and when it’s so close to home it simply feels a little more boring. Nevertheless, I’m here and will do a Eurotrip for around 3 weeks and I must admit it feels great. It’s clean, civilized, you can get good food and high standards.

Romania is probably one of those countries people don’t know very much about – but still judge. I believe the people unfortunately have a bad reputation, but it’s often a big mistake. There are two groups of people in Romania: the Romanians, totally normal people and then we have the other one; the Romani’s – or better known as gypsies. These are perhaps a little lawless and don’t want to be a part of the normal society, but they are only about 3-4 % of the population in Romania – so most people are totally normal and friendly people.

You could say there were two reasons I chose to go to Romania. The Transylvanian mountains were one. I really wanted to do some hiking again which I did and it was nice, but far from the most scenic mountains I’ve been in. The good thing going hiking midweek and off-season is that you pretty much have the mountains to yourself. The other reason I went here was because a guy I met in Laos about 3 months ago. You obviously meet a lot of people when traveling, and even though most people are good people – that doesn’t mean you connect well with everyone. However, this guy and I shared many of the same interests and views of life. Travel, adventure, healthy lifestyle and investing. Many times when you meet people and spend a few days together, you maybe exchange Facebook but that’s it – so I must say it’s really fun to actually meet up several months later. It’s also a huge benefit to have local friends since they can take you to the hidden gems, sweet spots and what’s important for me: the best gyms. Romania was a nice visit with a great mix of nature, small cosy cities and some big city life in Bucharest. Bucharest perhaps wasn’t very charming, but it’s very cheap and offers good food and nightlife (for those who like that). I more preferred the smaller towns in Transylvania and the East-Block countries often have these open squares full with restaurants and coffee shops where it’s perfect to kill some time in the sun.

Speaking of meeting people; my next stop will be Vienna in Austria. I’m looking forward to it since it will probably be the most sophisticated, cleanest and place with highest standard I’ve been in a long time. Also, I’m meeting up with not just one but two people I’ve met on my travels. Later on my Eurotrip I’ll catch up with even more people and have friends and family visiting me from home, and I can’t wait to see them! 🙂