One of The Witcher’s locations

Have you guys seen the first season of The Witcher already? As someone who hasn’t read the books or played the games it took me a while to get into it, but by the end of the season I was already hooked. A big part of the series was filmed in Central and Eastern Europe. On the one hand to honor the fact that the books come from Poland and on the other hand it’s convenient because there are so, so many castles in Europe. One of the castles that the show uses as a filming location I recognised to be the Kreuzenstein Castle near Vienna, which I have been to!

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2019 started slow and then accelerated until I was begging for it to stop. In March I flew to Edinburgh for the second time. This time I also visited Glasgow and took a day trip through the Scottish Highlands to Loch Ness to see the monster. In May I visited Valencia, where I went to a Harry Potter Exhibition. In June I took the chance to travel around Austria and escape the heat in the mountains. In July I went to Bratislava, Budapest and Prague in the span of two weeks to meet friends. In August I was in my home city of Sofia where I celebrated my 30th birthday with my friends. The next week I also celebrated in Vienna with my other friends. In September I had my first trip ever to France when I went to lie on the beach in Cannes to feel like a movie star underneath the palm trees.

In October I began working in a new position at work which came with new challenges and new routines. I am still unsure if this position is right for me, because it’s much more dynamic and involves a lot more direct contact with clients, which is not my favourite, but I will use it as an opportunity to develop my abilities and grow. Besides, the time for change had come and I don’t miss what I left behind.

Around that time my boyfriend got bad news concerning his mother, so we flew to Germany so I could meet her. Even though we’ve been together for six years I’d never met her. We were procrastinating, thinking we have more time, until we realized we had no more time. So I met her in the hospital for the first and final time on a weekend in October.

In November we flew to Berlin again, so my boyfriend could be with his friends for his birthday. In December we flew to Berlin yet again and took a train north to the Baltic sea where my boyfriend’s mother was laid to rest at the bottom of the sea, because she wanted to keep traveling for ever.

In December we took the bus to Wroclaw in Poland where I waved this year goodbye and stumbled into the next one. We’ll see what it has prepared for me…


This post has been inspired by the Tuesday Photo Challenge.

The Museum of Broken Relationships

I read about the Museum of Broken Relationships before I travelled to Zagreb. Once there, I knew this was one of the places I wanted to visit, as it had grabbed my attention with its unusual premise. It began with two artists who broke up and met to give each other their belongings back. But then they had the idea to put those items in a museum as a tribute to their failed relationship. Over the years their museum grew with thousands of people sending their stories along with mementos from their broken relationships.

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No, Laxenburg isn’t how I misspell Luxembourg. It’s a place, close to Vienna with a castle, a park and a lake that I’ve been to a couple of times, but only in the summer, so I thought it must be wonderful in autumn. I was right, of course. Laxenburg is a great place for a walk on a sunny Saturday and a convenient day trip from Vienna. The bus ride takes only half an hour from the main station. In the park, you can rent a boat or just walk around with your legs. The castle itself is rather small and on an island that could be reached through a bridge or a very short “ferry” ride (it’s a platform on underwater rails). You could also take a guided tour around the castle if you like and although I haven’t done it, I can tell you that you don’t need to go in to have a good day. I recommend strolling around the park or sitting on a bench by the lake, looking at the people passing by with their tiny dogs.

The statues of Budapest

Budapest has a lot of statues. Perhaps its most famous monument is the group of shoes on the bank of the Danube, honouring the Jews who had to take off their shoes before they were shot and fell into the river. But there are many other, far less heartbreaking statues sprinkled around the city. Like this fat policeman, whose belly you should rub for good luck.

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Frankfurt (Oder)

I am in my boyfriend’s home town with him during a beautiful autumn weekend, with the leaves a shade of yellow and orange that I haven’t seen in Vienna yet, and the reason for me being there isn’t a happy one, but it’s important, and through my eyes he sees his city anew, he travels back in time with a fresh perspective, revisiting old memories which jump out at him from each street, each park bench and each bar, while I feel like an observer, like a messenger from his future, coming to take him away and to tell him that the road ahead awaits, full of adventure and pain and so much more. We are at the edge of Germany, we cross a bridge and we are in Poland with no border control, no one to look at our id and no one to stop us, we buy some beers, go look at a Wikipedia statue next to a sleeping homeless man and we cross the bridge back into Germany, me laughing about how this is the shortest time I’ve spend in a country and him telling me how he used to go out drinking, casually leaving the country for a few hours and I think what kind of an idyllic world is this, my parents would never have allowed me to pop in a different country like that, at that age, but then again, I didn’t have a different country half an hour away from my home, so we walk some more and talk about life and death and borders. And time. And what time can do to a place. And what a place can do to a person. And what a person can do with their time.


Ah, tourists. Aren’t they the worse? They walk slowly, drive up the prices, gather in front of beautiful buildings like pigeons around a piece of bread. They form long lines and are somehow always confused about which direction they are going. You always wait patiently in line to take a picture of something and just when your turn is coming up a kid runs out and starts posing for a hundred photos. Then it forgets it’s being photographed and starts jumping around so that no one can take a picture without this kid on it for the next twenty minutes. The worst thing about being a tourist is other tourists.
But in the end you know you can’t blame them. Especially not when you are one of them.

For the Tuesday Photo Challenge.