Trip to the spectacular Rila Monastery in Bulgaria 保加利亚有着非凡壁画的里拉修道院

If there’s one thing you can visit in Balkan peninsula, visit Rila Monastery in Bulgaria. Personally, I’m neither a church nor monastery person. I barely visit any monasteries but I do love colorful architectures, like Rila Monastery. After having seen it while researching where to go in Bulgaria, I decided immediately that I had to go there. It has not only the colorful exteriors but more importantly its spectacular paintings. The mural paintings inside are incredibly fresh and well maintained, and everything inside is eye-catching. I had never seen paintings with such rich colors. Bulgaria is a mountainous country and green mountains plus blue sky creates a spectacular setting for this beautifully-maintained monastery.

To get there it wasn’t that easy, I got up very early in Thessaloniki in Greece that morning, in order to take a morning train around 6:40 am to Sofia. But instead of going directly to Sofia, I stopped in a city called Blagoevgrad. It was funny because when I went to buy the ticket, the ticket lady couldn’t believe I’m going to Blagoevgrad… She insisted to get me a ticket to Belgrade instead until I showed her in the map. In Blagoevgrad, with my body language, I got some help from local kids to find the bus station. From there I took a bus to Rila town at 12 pm. It took around 30 minutes.

The driver is very nice and helpful. After everyone got off at Rila town center, he drove me further to get me closer to another mini bus that goes in the direction of the monastery. Thanks to him I was still able to catch it. The bus left at around 12:40 and takes around 30 min to get to the monastery. It was a wonderful drive through forest and canyon. I really enjoyed it.

如果你只能选东南欧巴尔干半岛的一个地方,一定要去保加利亚的里拉修道院。我不信教,也很少去教堂和修道院里面参观。但是当时我做保加利亚旅行计划的时候,看到里拉修道院就觉得一定要加入行程。我很喜欢色彩明艳的建筑,里拉修道院外观有着各种鲜活的色彩。但是除了美丽的外观,其实它最有名的倒是内部的多彩壁画。跟许多历史悠久的修道院里褪色的差不多的壁画相比,这里的壁画真是保存的太完整了,鲜艳到好像是昨天刚刚画上去的。壁画非常丰富惊艳,看的我目不暇接,虽然其实我对这些东正教的故事完全不知。里拉修道院在山间,保加利亚是一个多山的国家,蓝天和背后的雪山,组成了修道院最美的背景。

其实当天去看里拉修道院倒也是经历一番波折,首先我在希腊北部城市塞萨洛尼基起了个大早,为了赶上早上6点40分左右去索菲亚的火车。但是我不直接去索菲亚, 而是打算在修道院附近的一个叫Blagoevgrad的大学城下车。我买火车票的时候也是很纠结,买票的女士不相信我要去Blagoevgrad,一直以为我要去塞尔维亚的贝尔格莱德知道最好我直接在地图上点给她看。在Blagoevgrad,我利用强大的手语得到了当地小朋友的帮助找到了汽车站,我需要在12点左右搭大巴去里拉市。

大巴司机人特别好,虽然也听不懂我只看得懂我手机上的修道院图片,他告诉我没有直达车但还是示意我上车。在里拉市,所有人都下车了,司机继续把我送到一个小巴停靠的地方,告诉我搭这小巴去修道院。多亏他我才赶上了这小巴,保加利亚公车车次真不多呢,真是幸运。于是小巴在山间绿树中行驶了大概半小时,沿途的风景真是好。 Continue reading Trip to the spectacular Rila Monastery in Bulgaria 保加利亚有着非凡壁画的里拉修道院

[Incredible India] #3 – Travel with me to Kerala backwaters [不可思议的印度] 在喀拉拉邦的回水泛舟体验

Do you remember the trip to Varanasi the other day? This time I will take you to Kerala’s backwaters. If you think Varanasi is too crazy for you, then Kerala would be a great destination. Kerala is an Indian state in South India on the Malabar Coast, to the South of Goa. Kerala seems to me like it could belong in Southeast Asia, instead of the India we used to hear.

For many travelers, Kerala backwaters is the most serene and relaxing experience ever. Backwaters in Kerala is a network of 1500 km of canals both man-made and natural. Every year during the monsoon season, the paddy fields with lagoon, lake and rivers extends to the sea, meanwhile the high water in the river rushes into the sea as well. You can never tell if the water is from the sea of from the river because they all merge and join together, at the same time, they are all separating. I really enjoyed the ride along the deep green stagnant water.

还记得几天前我写了一篇关于瓦拉纳西的旅行吗?今天我们去南印度的喀拉拉邦体验回水泛舟吧。如果你觉得瓦拉纳西真是个太疯狂不能接受的地方,那么你一定会喜欢喀拉拉邦。喀拉拉邦地处南印度的阿拉伯海岸,在果阿的南部。对我来说,喀拉拉更像是东南亚的某个海边,而并非我们熟知的那个印度。

对于很多旅行者来说,喀拉拉的回水泛舟是最能舒缓放松心灵的经历。为什么叫回水呢?因为科钦附近的河流很多与海岸线平行,宽窄不一的水道,河水与海水彼此相望。而每年季风季节到来时,海水灌入河内,同时河水暴涨也会奔海而去注入海里。河水和海水汇为一体,再也分不清谁是谁。在此中泛舟,吹吹海风,很是惬意。 Continue reading [Incredible India] #3 – Travel with me to Kerala backwaters [不可思议的印度] 在喀拉拉邦的回水泛舟体验

Morocco’s crazy market – Jemaa el-Fnaa, day and night 摩洛哥的一千零一夜。

Today I bring you to one of the coolest market in the world – Jemaa el-Fnaa in Marrakech. It’s one of the craziest places in the world. There’re lots going on, vendors, food stall holders, entertainers, monkeys, story tellers, dancers. I somehow got the illusion that some kinds of Arabian 1001 night stories are going to happen here.

德吉玛在摩洛哥的马拉喀什市。德吉玛是个很有意思是的广场,尤其在晚上,当一个个夜市摊开始营业以后。这是我见过最疯狂的市场。非常喧嚣热闹数不清的夜市摊,招揽你进去的小贩,还有一些耍猴耍蛇的艺人,讲故事算命的半仙,舞者,加上烧烤摊的烟雾弥漫……顿时有一种幻觉,好像身在一千零一个的故事而每个角落仿佛下一秒都会有故事发生。

Continue reading Morocco’s crazy market – Jemaa el-Fnaa, day and night 摩洛哥的一千零一夜。

Impressive blue Jardin Majorelle in Marrakech, Morocco. 摩洛哥的蓝色花园。 FridayBlue – Colorchallenge

I bring you today to Jardin Majorelle, a beautiful garden with an impressive shade of blue. The garden is a bit outside the busy center of Marrakech. It’s like a oasis in the pink city of Marrakech. Here you can see so many different colors, all of high saturation. Especially this delightful shade of blue, which makes me feel tranquil immediately. Designer YSL bought this garden and after he passed away it is now open to public. They said this kind blue is YSL blue, I love the color even though I’m not that familiar with YSL’s fashion.

今天我要带你们去看看摩洛哥马拉喀什市的马若雷勒花园。花园的主色调是一种很美丽的蓝色调。花园坐落在市郊,离马拉喀什喧嚣的市中心有一段距离。她就像是绿洲一样的存在,对于马拉喀什这座离沙漠不远的粉红城市。相比马拉喀什粉灰的色调, 马若雷勒花园则是大胆运用各种饱和度很高的颜色,我最喜欢的还是花园的主色调蓝色。设计师YSL曾经买下了这个花园作为私家花园,他过世以后这个花园开始向公共开放。据说这种蓝色是YSL先生喜欢运用的蓝色,我对时尚不那么理解,但是真的单纯觉得这个蓝色很美。

Continue reading Impressive blue Jardin Majorelle in Marrakech, Morocco. 摩洛哥的蓝色花园。 FridayBlue – Colorchallenge