Longyearbyen – the world’s northernmost city

Any travel to the Norwegian archipelago of Svalbard almost inevitably starts and ends in the biggest city on the islands – Longyearbyen, or “Longyear City”.

Founded just a hundred years ago and having lived through the transformation from a bunch of miners’ barracks to a center of Arctic research and tourism, it has always been a refuge for explorers, rebels, and dreamers, the city of cold weather and warm hearts.

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For the visitor to Zurich

Going to Zurich and searching for some advice? Mine is very simple: do not come to Zurich 🙂

Seriously, visit Switzerland for its mountains, meadows with grazing cows, for mighty waterfalls and lakes still like a mirror. Cities like Geneva or Zurich are well-suited for a business trip or a layover before / in between the flights but not for a full-fledged vacation experience. Read on to learn how to spend a few hours in Zurich in between more interesting destinations.

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Fjord roadtrip in Norway

I always treat my travel seriously: a couple of months before I start reading travel guides and blogs, compile lists, book activities. The travel to Norway was, of course, well planned too, but the purpose of planning was different: this time I had to make a list of things to NOT see.

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Lugano: to the other side from the mountains

Lugano is the biggest city in the “Italian” part of Switzerland, canton of Ticino. Located on the eponymous lake and surrounded by picturesque forested mountains, it offers the most typical impressions of nature and culture of this region of the country.

I have to say, travelling across Italian Switzerland is quite a strange experience. It is almost impossible to tell Lugano from cities of Northern Italy. Everything is the same: food, vegetation, building styles… Pretty much everything, except for prices. Looking at them, you are reminded that it is still Switzerland… So why pay more if Milan is only one and a half hours away by train? Let’s try to find out.

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Hiroshima and Miyajima island

A visit to Miyajima island near Hiroshima was recommended to me by a friend. Without that we would probably not even consider and totally miss this place which turned out to be a decent match even to Mt Fuji. So now I am fulfilling my duty of passing the recommendation on =)

We did Miyajima (and Hiroshima) as a day trip during your stay in Kyoto. Travel took away a big chunk of the day so we had to skip some interesting things =( If I knew more about Miyajima beforehand I would make sure we have a less restrictive travel plan…

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Visiting Kyoto temples

No one really knows how many temples are exactly in Kyoto, but most estimates lie between 1600 and 2000. Even a very strict sample of the biggest and the most famous counts a few dozen, so it is quite difficult (and pointless) to try visiting all of them within one trip.

So here’s my list. Each temple here has its own specialty which differs it from the others. I ranked them by my subjective impressions after visit =)

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First time in Japan: a city of the future?

This post is sponsored by the disgusting and nasty weather of Tokyo which was the reason we had to skip one of the city’s parks and set ourselves to the artificial island of Odaiba because there we could stay indoors most of the time.

The island was created in the 19th century for defense purposes but had barely been in use until 90s when the government suddenly decided to turn it into the new touristic and cultural center. Thanks to the engineering driven city design the district looks quite futuristic, or at least matches what they thought about the future in 90s.

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First time in Japan: old and new Tokyo

Traditions and history dive-ins are not really Tokyo things, and it is better known for the chaos of a huge city, neon lights, and crazy youth culture. Those seeking old characteristic Japanese architecture should set their way to ancient Kyoto or at least pay its little sister Kamakura a short visit from the capital.

Nevertheless, even though Tokyo does not have that many and that diverse temples as Kyoto does, you can still get in touch with its ancient culture right in the center of the city, just next to the most bizarre districts and entertainments Tokyo has to offer.

Today we will try to maximize the diversity of impressions that you can get in Tokyo in a single day. This program implies a lot of walking, but you can shorten some distances by taking subway.

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