Category Archives: Travel

Thank you Baden Baden

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for your revigorating spa at Caracalla Therme. It made me remember a soviet time childhood motto: Ветер, солнце и вода наши лучшие друзья* 🙂 overwise served with a very present sense of German order and structure. Helpful in particular when an all-smiles octogenarian crosses the nude-clothed areas as if at home 🙂 under the priceless looks of ladies of his age 🙂

a first experience of swimming under the rain. “Swimming” in my case case is more of a “comme le fer a repasser” (an ironing machine) 🙂 as Mme Francois, my neighbour-patissiere, puts it.

my muscles fever and a reminder that i have them and they need regular exercise,

a very nice Alte Laterne hotel team. They made us feel at home.

a special dinner at Garibaldi Restaurant with many authentic Italian flavours. 

an excellent Russian speaking guide at the Faberge Museum. It was our first encounter with Faberge and the 1,5 cm Easter egg with a rabbit inside was most impressive. As were the first and last Easter eggs made by Faberge for the Russian crown. The Museum has also a small but impressive collection of gold jewelry from all over the world and a lovely small garden with the sculpture of a gigantic rabbit. 

very pleasant evening walks along the “Lichtentaler Allee” and the little cascades of the Oos stream, with a busy ducks traffic. 

a show of old-meets-new with the 19th century railway station transformed into a concert hall.
your many and diverse children playgrounds. A must in our case. 

Only an hour by bus from Strasbourg – thanks FlixBus- Baden Baden gained a spot on my list of places to comeback to for a shot of relaxation and recovery.

* wind, Sun and water are our best friends.

Thank you Tbilisi for

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the usual barbariski candies. Getting one became a sort of reward from dear Gia. I was almost preoccupied that i would not get one this time.
an in-depth discussion with his simple and uncorrupted mind, which adds even more to the understanding that people come from Earth and politicians come from another vereeeeeery distant planet. Regardless of the country, by me.

for challenging my confirmation biases on projects, reforms, stakeholders management and related. I now know even more that i know nothing. I think i might need a pair of alter socks 🙂 i know now where i can get them.

for newly acquired partners and a replanted desire for a mutually beneficial collaboration to last with them and dear long standing partners.

yet another first – my first toast at a Georgian dinner. I was assured i did not break any customs. It must have been the gorgeous wine and food at Citadel Narikala.

a dinner with eyes on a magnificent view of Tbilisi and back to a 4th century wall. That’s what i call a Back-up.

the best, as usual, hosts at MGK hotel, where i return with a feeling of a warm home.

a delayed flight – i’ll put it on the account of you not wanting me to go- which turned into unexpected time spent in Warsaw, my student time city. So, thank you! Also for a supply of Ptasie Mleczko by E.Wedel, which adds to the bag of Georgian goodies, that i bring home.

Roses

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Orangerie Park in Strasbourg is home to many wonderful plants and flowers. Its greenhouses supply flowers for the entire city of Strasbourg. My kid told me about it. Her class had a day trip at Orangerie, organised by her wonderful teacher. 

The roses round is one of my favourite places in Orangerie. It’s a meditation spot with generous colours, perfumes and tactile experiences. The roses petals velvety touch is a wonderful feeling for fingers otherwise in contact with key boards and touch-screens. 

You can hear roses play. Why else would they give them names of composers: Chopin or Tchaikovski. You get to walk among royalty: Sissi, Josephine, Prince de Monaco, Princess of Walles and laugh with Louis de Funes. Enjoy them all!

Thank you Tartu

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UNESCO city of literature, second biggest town in Estonia, the city of 100000 students, “city of good folks” for:

the most wonderful hosts at the Supreme Court of Estonia and Tartu county court who opened their doors and hearts for us,

the fantastic hospitality and very informative city tour by Christina  to splendit places in Tartu:

– Tartu University which has the pics of all its professors greeting students and visitors and where the rehearsal of the “Gaudeamus Igitur” was underway right when we entered the building,

– St John Cathedral with its unique statutes which survived the bombings,

– Toy Museum and its reminder “Tempus est ludendi”,


– St Antonius courtyard where good music is played

– Architecture which accomodates harmoneously many styles, including soviet signs,

– the leaning building of the Art Museum, which makes the Pisa Tower look straight by comparision

a fun and very enjoyable Babel type dinner – Estonian, Georgian, Russian, German, English spoken by all and at the same time – with exquisite cuisine by the chef at Holm restaurant. The great food and wine revealed Estonians talent of toasting to match the  Georgians talent at toasting,

splendid surrounding fields,

your lively early morning flowers market,

the humour of street artists,

for yet another reminder not to take my self too seriously – in Estonia even the Chief Justice gets a caricature when sworn in office.

Thank you Tbilisi for

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a rejuvenating late night rain with proper thunder and lighting. I missed that Southern weather attitude,

something i did not miss, but i accept it: the earth tremor and the ‘ah-ha’ moment it brought,

the smile of the most beautiful lady baker as her gorgeous hands work the dough. She reminded me of my grandmother,

my perfect morning espresso at Entree served by the lovliest barista,

my first cigar. No need to worry. It was the traditional bakery with nuts,

my first peach this year,

eternal wisdom by modern days Gia, served with the traditional candy: “embrace the spoils of civilisation but do not forget your roots and why you are here, on earth”, 

the “meeting” with founding fathers, watchful over today’s parlamentarians presided over by a chairwomen. I can hear the founding mothers, who remained in the shadow back then, cheering up in the sky now (do not ask me how i know),

most devoted and hard-working projects partners, 

seeing my good colleague Nino back to work and recovering well,

stellar team members, who work hard and also know the value of fun at work,

the guard who kept my ipad, which i forgot by the window on the hall of the Parliament, 

teaching me what “არა” means. There were quite a number of “no” heard that day in the parliament,

the colors street flowers vendors bring,

an introduction to Georgian Zaza Svanidze shoes – amazing design combined with the quality feet deserve. Check his website or fbook page, 

lovely lunch at Amo Rame,

a history lecture by the most talkative taxi driver who used to work with Red Cross all over the world. The lecture was a “bonus” for having made him wait for me under a no-parking sign 🙂

kindest MGK hotel owners who made me feel at home, with traditional breakfast to my taste and a room with a view i’ll be looking for upon my return

and many more blessings, to be continued.

 

Visiting Cyprus in Strasbourg

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For a month in May, one can discover Cyprus in Strasbourg. Co-organised by the Council of Europe Staff Association and the Cyprus Office of Tourism, the visit is a fun journey through the streets of Strasbourg delivered in a 2-in-1 format: you get to discover the architectural heritage of Strasbourg and the culture of Cyprus.

You can make it either with a guided group lead by 2 lovely  students from Cyprus studying in Strasbourg or at your own pace, with a smartphone. The  journey includes 14 photographs presented on panels in the windows of shops partners on a route from Central Railway Station to Place Kléber, through the most important sites and monuments of Strasbourg. To go from one stage to another of the exhibition, you just download the QR codes on the panels and follow the guide. It offers to citizens of Strasbourg and the visitors of the city a free itinerary, accessible 7/7.

Thanks, Cyprus Office of Tourism, we enjoyed it very much!