A visit to Dajti Mountain Peak
We visited the Dajti Mountain Peak (in Tirana Albania). We took the local bus to Dajti Ekspres Lower station and from there we went with the cable car up to the peak. Up there you can do lots of activities like horse riding, hiking or just chill at the beautiful restaurant. So join us in the cable car!
The gondolas travel with a speed up to 6 m/s and maintain a distance of 300 metres between each other running approximately every 80 seconds. When all the gondolas are in use, the maximum capacity of passengers is 248 persons. The ride with the cable car takes approximately 15 minutes to arrive at the upper station.
Going there | Ticket price for the cable car
We took the Porcelan bus which is blue and departs from the tower clock (Sahati) in the centre of Tirana near Skenderbeg square. This bus is probably your best option as it goes direct and stops near the Bunk'art museum. From there it's only a short uphill walk to the cable car station.
The cable car costs 8 Euro up and down for one person.
Rozafa Castle, also known as the Shkodër Castle is located near the city of Shkodër, in northwestern Albania. It rises imposingly on a rocky hill, 130 metres (430 ft) above sea level, surrounded by the Buna and Drin rivers.
30 minutes walking
Since we stayed at the Camping Legjenda just 30 minutes walking distance from the castle we took a nice walk up the hill to the Rozafa Castle. We passed nice houses with lush gardens full of different kinds of fruits. There were also a couple of souvenir shops on our way where we could buy snacks, drinks and souvenirs.
The legend of the Rozafa Castle
Once upon a time, there were three brothers married to three beautiful wives who lived in what now is northern Albania. The three brothers worked very hard, to build a castle to protect their town, but every time they finished the work, the castle’s walls would fall down.
One day, they met an old man who told them that there was only one way to keep the castle walls from tumbling down: a sacrifice. The sacrifice consisted of burying one of the wives in the wall of the castle, particularly, the first wife to bring lunch to her husband the next day.
The two older brothers, once at home, explained the situation to their wives, while the youngest brother said nothing to his wife. The day after, the three brothers waited anxiously for lunchtime. The wives of the older brothers didn’t come with lunch, but Rozafa, the wife of the youngest brother, came with her box full of delicacies.
Rozafa’s husband explained to her that she had to be sacrificed and buried in the walls of the castle in order for the castle to be finished. She accepted her fate, but under one condition: the brothers would leave a hole for her right breast so her newborn son could feed, another hole for her right hand to caress him and a third hole for her right foot to move his cradle. The castle never collapsed.
How to get there
The castle is 3.5km south of the city centre. Grab a bicycle (many of the hotels rent them out) and enjoy the ride down here. If cycling is too energetic, take one of the municipal buses that stop near the turn-off to the castle. Or a taxi to the entrance costs 2-3 Euros from the city centre. If you are staying at Camping Legjenda like we did it's just 30 minutes walking distance from there.
This is the Swedes favourite
Hard boiled egg on a slice of bread and kaviar on top is a Swedish favourite for breakfast. For me, as long as I remember I grew up with this combo. And yes, I love this type of sandwich together with a cup of coffee for breakfast. But the question is, for someone who never tasted kaviar before, will they like it?
Will they like it? See their reaction!
I decided to put my friends for the ultimate test. Of course they had eaten toast with egg before but never together with Swedish kaviar. Here I let them try it with "Rågrut", which is crisp bread, another Swedish delicacy. Well, lets see their reaction!
Old Town, the original city centre of Stockholm
Old Town (Gamla Stan) in Stockholm is by many considered as the true city centre of Stockholm and dates from the 13th century but most buildings are from the 1700s and 1800s.
Stortorget is the main square and all the big attractions lead off it, including the Royal Palace (Kungliga Slottet) and The Royal Chapel (Storkyrkan).
Around 3,000 people live in the Old Town and it is packed with cafés, restaurants, tourist shops, studios, galleries and museums.
A day in Bangkok
Bangkok is a dazzling city which has so much to offer both day and night. So here are some snapshots of an amazing day in Bangkok.
This day I practiced what you can call street photographing. All images are from Cebu city around Climaco street and in the area of Colon street.
Mambukal Resort, a perfect daytrip for the whole family
Once upon a time, a hill station was established in the area in 1923, through a provincial administrative order, to serve as a weekend getaway for the officials of the Negros Occidental provincial government and its guests. Now many years later it has became a tourist attraction mainly known for its Sulfur pools with a public sulfur pool, the Japanese-constructed rotenburo and the Ishiwata Bath. But there are also waterfalls, picnic spots, butterfly garden which attracts the visitors.
Mambukal is home to several rare bat species for example the endemic giant golden-crowned flying fox and the Philippine tube-nosed fruit bat can be seen in the area. These, along with other resident bat species, are estimated to number between 7,500 to 8,000.
From Bacolod, take the bus from Mambucal Bus Terminal 40 PHP person. The trip takes 45 to 60 minutes. The last stop is the Mambukal resort so no worries there. Entrance fee is 50 PHP per adult. There is a foodcourt with several restaurants. So no worries there either if you are hungry and thirsty. The food is fully recommendable. Some of the attractions cost additional, for example the sulfur pools. 50-100 PHP per person. You can hike to the waterfalls and swim and if you are really lucky you might see some of the mythical creatures of the forest as well. When you are done the bus is waiting for you. They are going every 10 minutes (or so, you are in the Philippines after all) back to Bacolod.
Onuk island, the last frontier of the Philippines?
If you are like me, constantly searching for the pristine, unexploited and off the beaten track, then this can be something for you. But beware, it’s a little bit tricky to find your way out to Onuk island and there is no infrastructure for tourists whatsoever. But that’s part of the adventure right?
And hey! Don’t miss to watch the video clip at end!
How about the safety?
The short answer is yes, it’s safe to go to Onuk island. But consider the long answer as well. Remember before you travel to Balabac it’s always good to listen around regarding the concerns below since things can change.
There have been Malaria outbreaks in the mountainous Mainland Balabac but for now it’s considered safe to be out in the Balabac archipelago. But bring mosquito repellants because there will be tons mosquitos hunting for your blood after sunset.
A minor concern are the saltwater crocodiles but they are only present in the Mainland Balabac. Which means out in the archipelago it’s safe from crocodiles.
The weather can be unpredictable. The dry seasons of April and May are the best times to visit the Balabac archipelago since the sea is perfectly calm on most days during these months. You may also visit Balabac during the months of December to February where it is fairly good. However, these months can the waves be particularly rough on the beaches.
But hey! Balabac islands are located in the Sulu sea. Hmm wasn’t that the place where the Philippine army battle bandits? Yes, that’s right. But that’s on the other side of the Sulu sea at Jolo. There are no bandits in the Balabac archipelago.
Facts about how to get to Onuk island
Be sure to bring your snorkeling gears and you can enjoy the crystal clear water under the surface as well. There were some coral reef surrounding the island. Sorry to say much of the coral was already dead. But beautiful sea turtles were grazing sea grass from the sea floor but ever how hard I tried I couldn’t catch up with them. There were some amazing giant clams which were easier to spot since they didn’t swim away from me.
The final thought
If you are too comfy this trip is nothing for you. But if you are more adventurous and don’t mind to put in a bit effort to experience the beauty of Mother Nature I can recommend to explore this part of Palawan. It’s totally worth it all days in the week! Other post which is related to Palawan click here
Sizzling Republic, a savior in the night
Let’s say, that you for some reason end up late at the bus terminal in Rio Tuba (southern Palawan). Not many tourists go there in the first place... but anyway on top of that you are hungry, craving for some real food after a long tiresome ride in the bus. Then you will soon discover there will not be so many options for you. But if you extend your search by 5 minutes walking distance from the bus terminal you will likely find the Sizzling Republic Restaurant. Surprisingly enough they are open 24 hours and at Friday and Saturday they have live music... and that’s not all they even have a separate menu just for their cocktails!
The main attractions here at Sizzling Republic were of course their sizzlers. It’s what they claim to do, right? But they also had a varieties of breakfasts and other western and Filipino dishes. The menus below show just a sample of what the Sizzling Republic had to offer.
What is a “Sizzler” you may ask? It’s a common dish here in the Philippines and can be something like a open-roasted, grilled or shallow fried pieces of meat, chicken, fish or vegetables and it usually comes with rice, served on a metal or stone hot plate, kept on a wooden base.
Squid and shrimp sizzling
We tried the squid and shrimp sizzling. I liked that they included a large chili fruit. I had it sliced in small pieces and mixed it to get the right level of spiciness. The taste was really good.
If you ever come to Rio Tuba I can definitely recommend the Sizzling Republic Restaurant. Generous open hours actually 24 hours daily, really good food, wide variety of dishes, nice staff, Friday and Saturday come with live music... what else can you wish for?
Linaw Pearl, a restaurant with view
Linaw’s restaurant, I’ve been here a couple of times two years ago and thought it was time to catch up again with good food and the amazing view you get for free here.
A variety of dishes
They have wide variety of everything to choose from. European, Asian and Filipino dishes with every kinds of meat and even crocodile for the brave ones. They have also a small selection of vegetarian dishes. When I get this kind of menu in front of me I tend to have a hard time to choose among all the delicacies. The menus down below is just a sample of what they offer.
After some decision agony I decided to go for Tuna Sashimi and Tuna Provençal. Yes I like tuna. But to my disappointment they were out of tuna. That’s ok. But then again I had to go through the decision process but after some reading back and forth I finally opted for prawns with creamy tomato sauce. Instead of an appetizer which I thought of first I chose a dessert instead, Supreme Crepes. That would make my tastebuds very happy!
Linaw Pearl Restaurant is a part of Linaw Beach Resort which probably is a nice resort to stay at. I never stayed there though. The location of the restaurant is beautiful. To have your dinner there is like to have the front seat for an amazing sunset. The food was delicious and service excellent. Everything from the CR to the surroundings was nice and clean. One note about the surroundings though. Just very close behind the Linaw Beach Resort is currently a construction site where a new hotel is coming. It will be a large and high building which will not melt in in the beautiful environment like the Linaw Beach Resort do. Development is good but over exploitation is not. Just saying.