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View of the ghost town of Mystras after a rainy day

View of the ghost town of Mystras after a…

The ghost town of Mystras, abandoned almost 2 centuries ago, ...

Camping in a cave in Mani region, Greece

Camping in a cave in Mani region, Greece

We have been in Peloponnesos in Greece for the last for weeks...

Meteora independent photo tour and hiking map: be your own guide

Meteora independent photo tour and hiking…

Meteora is an amazing place for photo addicted, where to take o...

Parthenon at night, Athens

Parthenon at night, Athens

One of the characteristics that stroke me the most in Athens,...

Visiting Meteora in Greece, orthodox monasteries and incredible rock formations: our experience and advice

Visiting Meteora in Greece, orthodox mona…

If the Eden Valley existed, it had to be in Meteora: this is ...

Digital Nomads in the Greek island of Evia

Digital Nomads in the Greek island of Evi…

It has been almost 2 weeks now that we are housesitting in th...

Housesitting in the Greek island of Evia …

We are house-sitting in the Greek Island of Evia with limited c...

Veliko Tarnovo: a medieval town in Bulgaria famous for its light show

Veliko Tarnovo: a medieval town in Bulgar…

Veliko Tarnovo (Велико Търново in Bulgarian) is a medieval to...

Beautiful view of Kardzhali Reservoir, Bulgaria

Beautiful view of Kardzhali Reservoir, Bu…

  Four days ago we went hiking in the area of Kardzhali, ...

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Meteora independent photo tour and hiking map: be your own guide Meteora is an amazing place for photo addicted, where to take outstanding pictures even with little technical skills, since the place is providing most of the magic. Before planning your independent photo tour and start hiking in Meteora, you should know the basics of the area: if you haven't done it already, we suggest you to first read our article... Read more
Visiting Meteora in Greece, orthodox monasteries and incredible rock formations: our experience and advice If the Eden Valley existed, it had to be in Meteora: this is what we though while visiting this supernatural mix of natural landscape and human-made constructions. Meteora is not only a unique witness of monastic life and art in Greece, but also an incredible place to mesmerize at amazing views, green valleys and steep rock formations that will... Read more
Veliko Tarnovo: a medieval town in Bulgaria famous for its light show Veliko Tarnovo (Велико Търново in Bulgarian) is a medieval town in the center-north of Bulgaria, former capital of the Second Bulgarian Empire and one of the most visited cities of the country. In particular it gets flooded with tourist for the yearly celebration taking place on the 22nd of March, famous for its 3d and light show.The center of... Read more
Close encounter with rhinoceros, crocodiles and a sloth bear in Chitwan National Park, Nepal  Chitwan National Park in Nepal, was no doubts one of my most intense experiences while travelling, not only for its amazing nature and fauna but also for the memory of the adrenaline running in my body after a rhinoceros was chasing us.It was one of my first destinations in Nepal right after visiting Lumbini, the birth place of Gautama... Read more
Visit to an underground amusement park built inside an old salt mine: Salina Turda in Romania  Salita Turda is an old salt mine with a unique atmosphere given by the underground amusement park housed in its majestic chambers. It is located in Romania, a 40 minutes ride from Cluj-Napoca, the second biggest Romanian city and former Transylvania Capital. It became nowadays a touristic destination known to locals, but not to international visitors. History of Salina Turda... Read more
Window views in Norway: nature in the backyard  While traveling in Norway last year, we were impressed by the amazing views and luxurious nature that Norwegian people could enjoy daily. And the best part was that they weren't moving from home, but just by sitting in the comfort and warmth of their houses, they could stare outside at the magnificence of Mother Nature. During these moments I... Read more

Sticky Articles

Casino Constanta – The history of a masterpiece of Art Nouveau suspended on the frozen Black Sea

Casino Constanta – The history of a maste…

At the beginning of February, current year, we went to Consta...

954 days, 34 000 km and 23 countries in 46 photos: my amazing travel around Europe, without flying

954 days, 34 000 km and 23 countries in 4…

This is the story of my 954 days amazing travel around Europe w...

Let's go hiking: Cinque Terre and its rural side

Let's go hiking: Cinque Terre and its rur…

If you arrived here by chance, you might want to start with t...

Hiking to Les Calanques: Marseille 's hidden fjords

Hiking to Les Calanques: Marseille 's hid…

From last year visit in Marseille, what we keep the most in o...

Last Photostories

Free accommodation: 15 Strange places where I slept for free without a tent While travelling on a budget sometimes things can go wrong or different than expected, ending up sleeping somewhere unusual at night. Others times it might be just... Read more
My experience of Kumbh Mela in India between Hindu religion and traditions in Haridwar This year took place in Allahabad, India, the Maha Kumbh Mela, the biggest religious gathering of the world attracting tens of Millions of Hindu pilgrims each time.... Read more
20 Incredible jobs I saw in India: life seen from another point of view If you think you have a boring office job, sitting full time behind a desk, 40 hours a week, and you are willing to spice up your... Read more
A freezing experience at the Ice hotel in Jukkasjärvi, Sweden Every Year in Jukkasjärvi, Swedish Lapland not far from Kiruna, is build an ice hotel that can accommodate more than 100 people, made completely of ice, the... Read more

Last from the Blog

Apr
12
2014
Housesitting in the Greek island of Evia with no internet
We are house-sitting in the Greek Island of Evia with limited connectivity. Now we are in the closer village 30 min away just quickly checking our emails. We have some amazing photos from Meteora that...

Casino Constanta – The history of a masterpiece of Art Nouveau suspended on the frozen Black Sea

Exterior view of the Casino in winter 2012 with the frozen Black SeaExterior view of the Casino in winter 2012 with the frozen Black Sea

The frozen Black Sea creates incredible sculptures on the promenadeThe frozen Black Sea creates incredible sculptures on the promenadeAt the beginning of February, current year, we went to Constanta (Romania) hoping to catch the last days of the frozen Black Sea, before the positive temperatures were going to melt everything. This weather transition happened on our way, leaving Bucharest from -15 degrees in the morning, arriving in Constanta just 226 km away to a mild plus 2. It wasn’t just the weather that was welcoming us, we were also pretty lucky on the road, because we hitchhiked a good car with an experienced driver that took us through Ground floor entranceGround floor entrancea snow storm on the highway. After more than half the distance, the highway was closed, and 90% of the cars followed the near exit. Luckily our driver decided to continue to drive the rest of the distance, and to stop only if police cars would stand in his way. Soon enough we were safe and sound in Constanta, looking back and being grateful of not being stuck in the freezing snow, waiting for authorities to manage the situation or better weather to come (second option I guess it’s faster in Romania).

The next day the entire promenade on the Black Sea shore was melting fast. The sea was still white as far as the eye can see, but the frozen waves that we were expecting, were missing from the picture. What did fit in this glacial atmosphere was the old Casino - now open to the public to see it in decay. To visit, you must wear a helmet, available at the entrace.

Theatre HallTheatre HallCasino Constanta is an historic monument built in Art Nouveau style between 1904 -1910, to meet the needs of the Black Sea tourists in the period so called La belle Époque: well dressed gentleman reading the newspaper early in the morning, enchanting ladies walking on the promenade, the sound of military music filling the atmosphere on sunset, inviting people to “dance” their impeccable evening outfits. The man who conceived this challenging project, very modern at that time, was Daniel Renard a young Romanian architect of Swiss origin. The building exceeds in rich decorations inspired by the vegetal and marine worlds: waves, climbing plants, beautiful flowers and fantastic shell windows, make you believe that you are in an undersea palace, where Poseidon is waiting to greet Flower details in the Theatre HallFlower details in the Theatre Hallyou on his throne, behind the curtain of the majestic theatre stage from the main room. The Casino is challenging your imagination step by step, with every ornament, every broken mirror, and every crack in the wall producing an emotional rollercoaster outlined by the magnificent view of the sea. What used to be the main social and cultural attraction of the city in the past today is lying in despair, completely neglected like a true old man celebrating alone his 100th anniversary.

But this is not the The "Mirror" Room that looks like a wood storageThe "Mirror" Room that looks like a wood storageonly version of the old Casino: during World War II, the building was transformed in hospital, and during the communist regime was a restaurant where, weddings, baptisms and communist events were organized. Little by little his fame started to fade.
In 2000th the casino is taken under the care of the Municipality of Constanta. In 2007 the municipality signs a concession contract on 49 years with the Israeli company Queen Co Leisure International (QLI), in exchange of 140.000 € annualy. QLI states publicly that they will invest 15 millions € in renovation transforming the casino in an international entertainment center, the biggest in Romania. Damaged cornerDamaged cornerChandelier Chandelier The optimistic company forecasted that the investment was going to be recovered in 5 years. Another 4 years passes and still nothing happens. The municipality ends the contract and starts searching for a buyer. Soon enough this decision starts a public scandal, where the Ministry of Regional Development and Tourism (MRDT) promises to take over the problem. The old Casino is going to be restored completely with funds from the MRDT’s budget. The new dates are placing the beginning of the renovation work in maximum one year after the Casino is officially under MRDT administration, and another 2 years to finish the work. So far the first deadline for starting the project is going to be August-September 2012.


Casino Constanta will always be a symbol of its city, a reference point for every tourist, a pearl on the Black Sea shore: let’s hope the story of the Old Casino is “to be continued”…

Gigantic shell window in the Theatre HallGigantic shell window in the Theatre Hall

Otilia LefterOtilia Lefter
By far becoming a nomad was the best decision of my life, and living the present has been my main priority ever since. I quit my job and previous life to travel hitchhiking, and take everyday opportunities as they come. Now my offices are nature, roads and communities, and my job is enjoying life through travel, adventure, dance, art and spirituality. Have I taken the wrong decision?

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Meteora independent photo tour and hiking map: be your own guide Meteora independent photo tour and hiking map: be your own guide
Visiting Meteora in Greece, orthodox monasteries and incredible rock formations: our experience and advice Visiting Meteora in Greece, orthodox monasteries and incredible rock formations: our experience and advice
Veliko Tarnovo: a medieval town in Bulgaria famous for its light show Veliko Tarnovo: a medieval town in Bulgaria famous for its light show
Visit to an underground amusement park built inside an old salt mine: Salina Turda in Romania Visit to an underground amusement park built inside an old salt mine: Salina Turda in Romania
Oti e Davide Long AvatarWe believe in a different world, where everybody can contribute as much as he can. If you want to help us to cover our expenses, consider making a small donation. Thank you, Davide & Oti

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