Why do you need to go boating outside of Amsterdam! Boat trip in Vinkeveen

Amsterdam is stunning and one of the most vibrant cities I have ever visited (and lived in) and its scenery canals make it very attractive for boat trips. However, if you are not visiting it for first time, and you do not want to do that the touristic way, think twice before wasting a sunny, warm weekend on a boat in Amsterdam AGAIN.

Our tip: rent a boat in Vinkeveen 😉

Where is Vinkeveen?

Vinkeveen is only half an hour away of Amsterdam, 25 km distance.

Why Vinkeveen?

Here is why you will have great experience there:

1. A boat trip in the nature

As much as I love Amsterdam, there is nothing like a relaxing boat ride in the nature. You will not hear crowd talking around you, and your eyes will be relaxed of the city view when instead you will be seeing lakes, a lot of water, peaceful beach houses, listening your own music (which you bring with you).

2. Prices in Amsterdam vs outside of Amsterdam

We all know that Amsterdam can be a bit pricey. The prices for a boat are not an exception. If you decide to rent a boat in Amsterdam, the prices are between 40 and 60 EUR per hour (deposit of 150 Eur as well) and the prices we found in Vinkeveen 18 Eur per hour for a boat suitable for 6 people, but we rented it for 4.

3. Busy water roads

You definitely need to be careful in Amsterdam! It is busy all year around, but when it comes to a sunny day… oh guys! Do not look right, left, up, or down. Look only straight and focus on avoiding crashes in another boat.

In Vinkeveen, you have lakes like a labyrinth, and you have plenty of space not to crash in anything 😉 At the beginning of the ride, they will give you a map with all the lakes, so you can choose the road you like. And trust me there is enough space for everyone.

4. Picnic in the nature

When we went in Vinkeveen, we could stop on every small green island, and pull out the picnic blankets.

5. Much more privacy

If it is a sunny and warm day, then you would probably want to try to get some tan. And if you try boating in Amsterdam, you probably know that between you in the boat and the people sitting in cafeterias and restaurant, or simply walking around the city, there are just few meters distance. You would not feel that comfortable when putting your sun cream and laying in bikini, while nearly everyone around you is eating and drinking on the canals, fully dressed up.

Well in Vinkeveen, the whole vibe is as of a beach place, everyone around you is doing the same or (windsurfing). And you simply feel like you are on a beach vacation.

It is entirely different type of experience than in Amsterdam. You can ride in much more peaceful, green, full of islands and lakes place, surrounded by beach houses. You choose your music, uninterrupted of the music of the boats near you, celebrating bachelorette parties. You can lay down, get your white wine and food, make picnic on the boat or on the islands.

For everyone who would love to have fully relaxing day, and everyone who already tried boating in Amsterdam, and does not want to do it the touristic way, go to Vinkeveen, you can book it via: Jachthaven Motel Borger (this is not sponsored post) spend half day there and let me know if you enjoyed it as much as we did.

Thanks for visiting,

xxx

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4 things you can do in Sofia like a local

I will share with you how my last visit back home went and what are the places I chose to visit. This trip started in Sofia, so today I will tell you what I did back home for a couple of days in Sofia!

For the people who have never visited Sofia – guys those places are obviously not that touristic (at least not the most famous sightseeings) and you definitely need to include them in your trip list. And for the people who are from Sofia – let me know whether you visited those places and which are your favorite activities in the city.

Some information for my city:
With its 7 millennia, Sofia is one of the oldest cities in Europe, that will surprise you with stunning views of the famous ski mountain Vitosha.

Surrounded by parks and great nature, Sofia offers modern boutiques and shopping centres, ancient ruins at every corner, wide open squares, one of the best museums in eastern Europe and truly hectic nightlife that won`t let you be bored.

What can you do in Sofia as a local, going back home?

1. Morning coffee at Vitosha Boulevard.
That is one of the main boulevards in Sofia, and it offers a great view of Vitosha mountain one side and the other of the city centre.

I walk usually from Serdika metro station all the way to the National Palace of Culture (NDK). It is like 10-15 minutes walk if you do not stop at any store. It is full of bars, stores, cafes, restaurants. You will enjoy the fact that it`s pedestrian street, tree-lined with an amazing atmosphere. Having a coffee at Vitosha Boulevard is peaceful but still in one of the most lively parts of the city.

2. Having lunch at `The View`
It is a place where you will find gorgeous view of Vitosha mountain in front of your nose and city center view on the other side. This place has an amazing terrace and going around it, you will find a view of the different parts of Sofia. I feel like we are so lucky to have Vitosha mountain right next to the city which allows you to have an escape in nature for literally few minutes drive. At The View, you will have the opportunity to enjoy the sun on the terrace, have a nice meal, and make amazing pictures. I recommend you to go there for lunch, or dinner (especially if it is a romantic date). You will spend a lot of time in taking pictures (even not being a blogger) but it is all worth it. I loved it, and I am so much looking forward for the next time I go back home and visit it.

3. Having Dinner at `Tavan`
I heard so much about this place, that I had to visit it once I am back home. That is another restaurant with great view and terrace. Firstly, we arrived there, and we were heading directly to the terrace, however, the stuff stopped us because it was getting cold outside. We were already at the place, so we decided to stay inside. We did not have dinner there, however if you decide to go, I strongly recommend it for a dinner!

The view is great, and the food is good as well, however, I consider it a bit overpriced. The atmosphere is more classy, and you will need to dress up a bit. I had a dessert and a drink, and since I am a sweet tooth person and I always try desserts at a different place, I can say that the essence of that dessert was a bit too much and it was not as great as it looked like. My friend had a very nice salad with calamari and arugula, and I can fully recommend it to you.

4. Taking my time in the city for pictures.
If I have time (and usually I do not), l like to walk around and take pictures of the city on a sunny day. Sofia is beautiful and can offer so many different and amazing views. Here are some of the places I went to:

This is what I did in my couple of days in my home – Sofia. You can include it in your list, in case you visit Sofia, as a local 😉

Thank you for visiting,
till next week!

8 things for budget friendly trip to Nice, France

Warning! South of France is not famous for cheap resorts and budget-friendly places. However, you can definitely organize a budget trip to Nice without compromising the quality of your vacation.

1. Flight tickets & accommodation

My flight tickets cost 66 EUR from Amsterdam and the accommodation 120 EUR per person, double room via Booking.com. This made my trip already on a budget! Reasonable flight tickets are up to 120-150 EUR to Nice. And of course, avoid the peak season (July – August) when it is very expensive to fly there and also very crowded. The airport is very accessible to the city, only 6 km away, 6 EUR bus ticket.

Important to mention: usually my flights with Transavia go smoothly. However this time, my return flight (Nice-Amsterdam) got canceled due to strikes and I ended up paying 207 EUR for a new flight. If you want to avoid this situation, maybe you should consider having a travel insurance.

2. Visit Villa Massena.

I always like to visit house museums in different countries which gives me a great idea of the wealthy life of the locals back in centuries. This one is more of a museum than a house. Mostly you will be able to see the amazing paintings of Nice, uniforms, swords, jewels, and photographs, enough to keep you interested for an hour or more.

If you have a student card – the entrance is 6 EUR, otherwise, it is 10 EUR. The good thing is that you enter many other museums with this ticket in the next 24 hours.

3. Visit MAMAC museum

As it was rainy, we decided to make use of the ticket we already bought. I must say that MAMAC museum is not for everyone – It is a modern museum and I must admit that many times I needed a description of the exponents I was looking at. I almost got a fine for touching a blue square filled in with some kind of sand. Well, at the end I got out of it, but bottom line – do not touch anything there 🙂


Something you don`t want to miss in MAMAC museum is the amazing city view on the rooftop terrace!

Since you can use the same ticket for other museums, I recommend also visiting the Archaeological Museum. It will give you great insights of the city.

4. Visit Cours Saleya Market in the Old Town

Nice has many markets, but this one is the most popular. The prices for food there are very reasonable. My advice to you is to focus on different types of authentic French quiche and Mediterranean fresh fish. They have many sandwiches, and baked stuff, however as a person who is very picky to sandwiches, I would say – focus on the quiche! Try also their figs. You can buy around 10 for 3 EUR and they are really delicious.

Other stuff you can have a look on the market are soups, flowers, antiques, collectibles and fascinating French bric-a-brac.

5. Visit The Nice Chateau/Castle Hill

There is no castle there, but a hill that can give you a lifetime memorable view. There are ancient ruins that are the only left signs from the conquered castle a long time ago. If you want a breathtaking view from Nice – here is the place.

6. Beach time

You can visit the beach in Nice, however, take care because it is a very rocky beach. You will need special shoes and mat. If you are like me and you love the sandy beaches – then take the train, 2 stops away in direction Monaco and you will find a beautiful sandy beach. The train will cost only 3,50 return ticket.

7. Try the street food from the old town

I tried the restaurants, I tried bars but yet my favorite was the street food at the end of the old town. What I tried was stuffed vegetables with minced meat and cheese, fried sardines in a dough, quiche with spinach. In the restaurants, I tried mussels, two different types of pasta and gnocchi with Gorgonzola, grilled veggies, and chicken.

8. Take the train around the city

If you are tired walking, the little train will give you great views around the old town of Nice. It may be is touristic but it will save you time and orientate you in the old town. The ride is 45 min, and it cost 10 EUR. Furthermore, you can make amazing photos on the way, since it is not moving that fast anyway.

What I did not like?

Nice is famous for its ice cream. Honestly, the queue for ice cream was 20 min long and there were so many different types of ice cream, that I became 100 times hungrier. However, I tasted 3 types and my friend`s one. I did not like any of them so much that I will recommend it to anyone, or I will pay again for that. To be fair, I am very picky on ice cream. My all-time favorite ice cream is Raffy (that I can find in Bulgaria) and one Italian brand (tried in Venice, at the train station) but I can`t recall the name now.

That was my Nice story 🙂 Let me know if you visited Nice and whether my tips were helpful. Follow these tips and you will have enough things to do for 3 days in Nice.

Thank you for visiting,
till next time 🙂

6 reasons why I choose to spend my money on traveling, not on things

We all have so many bills to pay: rent, phone, health insurance, gym, and the list goes on. After you pay all of these bills, where do you invest the rest of your money? Would you choose expensive clothes or jewelry than a long weekend in France?

The excitement of buying new things is there only at first. After a very short time, it`s gone and you consider those things old already and you want to buy more. The shopping therapy will not be enough to keep you excited, relaxed or to make your self-esteem levels higher for the whole month unless you are buying all the time.

Here is why I choose to invest my money in traveling, not in buying stuff:

Relax. Vacations are not always relaxing as most of us are familiar. The saying “I need a vacation from this vacation” is totally applicable for many of my holidays. However, what I mean here is that your mind relaxes from the routine. You can`t reach this feeling with buying new stuff (not for a long time). Beautiful views, nature and new cities clear your mind of all the pressure, it takes you out of the rut.

Keep your self-esteem up. It is quite important for us to feel good and confident about ourselves. Usually, our self-esteem is built on positive experience with ourselves. Traveling to new places, learning new facts about new cultures, meeting new people will broaden our horizon. This whole new experience will boost your self-esteem as you learn new things that enrich your mind and because you gain a positive experience with yourselve.

Gets you excited. I like to say that my favorite emails are flight confirmations. When I make a reservation for an accommodation, I feel like a little kid going to Disneyland! I can’t help it, I just get this amazing high when I get on a plane (I know that can sound a little weird, but it is true). I need something to look for and hold on to while dealing with annoying daily problems. Honestly, how often would you say: it so difficult now, I feel so overwhelmed, have so many tasks at work, but it would be all good… once I buy this sweater at the end of the month 🙂

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On the other hand, traveling brings you to meet a lot of people. Most of them are tourists like you that are coming to enjoy, laugh, have fun and just relax. You know those people that are just happy? You can meet many of them traveling. Be around to those people, hung out with them, exchange your contacts. Interacting with happy people on high energy levels, bring your energy levels up as well.
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These memories last lifetime. It is undeniable fact! We do make memories that brighten our lives in a difficult moment, that can cheer us up and when we grow old, we would not sit and wonder: what if. We are truly rich with what we have in our minds and no one can steal from us those experiences.

While I was in the States, I was trying to save up some money during the summer, but one part was always spent by default for my trips. I probably spent like ½ or ⅓ on that, and while I saw some people working all the summer and going home straight after they finish, I felt proud that I spent this money on travelling, especially now that I can hardly remember how much I earn, what I spent and what I did with the rest…

You see, at this moment, years later – memories is all that matters.

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Makes you an interesting person (turns you into a storyteller. How much of a boring story will be, if we do not travel and we speak only about the things we buy? Your trips can always be an opening topic or an interesting point you want to add.

You can try different cuisine. Some people will say that it is easy to try different cuisines even in your own country. However, you know… when the products are not local when it is not done exactly the correct way when the spices are even slightly different – it is just not the same! Let`s face it – you have to try the local thai food, the local spanish food, french, bulgarian – then you can truly enjoy it and say what your impression is.

For me traveling is very important part of my life. I believe we have to practice the hobbies that we love. My two favourite hobbies, that makes me happy are: traveling and writing. Not practicing them will make me lose my spirit and fall down. I believe that practicing what we love, brings our vibration high, makes us happy and full of love, put a smile on our faces. Be one of those people, who walks on the streets with a silly smile, consumed of the plans for their next trip. And I am pretty sure this smile won’t be there because of the plans to buy a new sweater.

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Thank you for visiting,
Till the next time