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Wednesday, 30 April 2014

Easter Decorations In Iasi

Dear friends,

As you know, I am home for the Easter on a extended vacation of almost 3 weeks :) so I had the time to roam around town and check out the Easter decorations in Iasi. This post is to show you them and also ask you what you think about them. I believe the idea of having them was nice and it is lovely they are so colorful and the fact that they used a lot of fresh flowers uncut, but rather in their pots. The sad side is the fact how they truly look... I sincerely think the little bunny rabbits are horrific and that they can cause nightmares if you stare at them too much...
Just look at the pictures above... the look on their eyes, the gout that they have, the weirdly shaped bellies that look like they had too much beer or that they are pregnant... and not to mention the unlikely color: green, blue, yellow and purple rabbits?! For real now?!
I don't know whose idea was this but I heard a lot of money went into them from the local budget and I don't think they are so lovely... so attractive... though I do see a lot of people taking pictures in front of them - probably in order to update their Facebook profile, but who would truly want that?!
At least the flowers are fresh and colorful and there are huge pots of it and from what I can see they lasted a very long time and still they are bound to last even more, so kudos for that! ;)
The Orthodox Cathedral can be seen after the huge bouquet :)
Stefan Cel Mare Street and it's huge ornament
The ornaments made me somehow think of Alice in Wonderland and of the Mad Hatter. I do not know if this is the idea behind the arrangements around town but for me it looked like that, with all the bunny rabbits and especially in the Copou area where you can also see some cups of tea and teapots. What do you think? Do you think it resembles to that?
Could that be Alice/Mad Hatter?!
There are a couple of huge eggs along the Stefan Cel Mare street with different things painted on them - like bunny rabbits, the Trei Ierarhi, the Orthodox Cathedral and many other... They do not look THAT bad but still... for that amount of money they could have done better! I just Googled it and guess what? The ornaments cost was of 35.000 euro!

The Mad Hatter: There is a place. Like no place on Earth. A land full of wonder, mystery, and danger! Some say to survive it: You need to be as mad as a hatter.
[picks up his hat]
The Mad Hatter: Which luckily I am.

“But I don’t want to go among mad people," Alice remarked.
"Oh, you can’t help that," said the Cat: "we’re all mad here. I’m mad. You’re mad."
"How do you know I’m mad?" said Alice.
"You must be," said the Cat, or you wouldn’t have come here.”
Lewis Carroll, Alice in Wonderland
So what do you think? Do you think these were worth the 35.000 euro? Do you think the bunnies and the teapots and the cups of tea and the weird characters resemble Alice in Wonderland? Or do you think I am mean and overreacting - and that these ornaments are the finest you have seen? I would love to hear your opinion :) 

Yours truly,
The LadyBug that loves Alice In Wonderland :)
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Tuesday, 29 April 2014

Sweet And Quiet Bonn

Dear friends,

Here we are, back with stories from our trip this February-March to my dear sweet friend Dana. Our 5th day in Germany was not in Koln but we spend the most of it in Bonn. It was the lovely 1st of March and we boarded late in the morning the fast train from Koln to Bonn (as we wanted to have a long nap and how sweet it was!). Now fear not! the trip takes no more than 20 minutes and Bonn is truly a lovely and sweet and quiet place that you fall in love with at first sight. My adorable husband already fell for it ;)
Bonn was the capital of the Federal Republic of Germany (previously, West Germany) and lies on the river Rhine some 20 km south of Cologne. The city remains a popular choice for large-scale exhibitions and conferences. Bonn is best known culturally as the birthplace of Ludwig van Beethoven. Its population is 315,000.
You should consider a trip to Bonn if you like atmospheric smaller cities with many students and a rich culture. Admirers call it Italy's most northern city because of its street culture with many cafes and beer gardens in the summer. It is also a good base for day trips to Cologne, Düsseldorf, the romantic Rhine and the Eifel region.
The city centre itself is not very big and you are able to reach the different attractions there by foot.
Bonn has an excellent bus, night bus, tram and subway system operated by the local Stadtwerke Bonn. There are ticket offices and vending machines at major stations, offering single tickets, multiple tickets and both 24-hour and weekly passes. The tickets are valid on local trains, Stadtbahn (underground), tram, buses and night buses. It is also a good city to explore by bike. Rental bikes are available at the train station from Deutsche Bahn at platform 1 or from the Radstation behind the train station.
The Bonn Minster (German: Das Bonner Münster) is a Roman Catholic church in Bonn. It is one of Germany's oldest churches, having been built between the 11th and 13th centuries. At one point the church served as the cathedral for the Archbishopric of Cologne. However, the Minster is now a Papal basilica.
The Beethoven Monument is a large bronze statue of Ludwig van Beethoven that stands on the Münsterplatz in Bonn, Beethoven's birthplace. It was unveiled on 12 August 1845, in honour of the 75th anniversary of the composer's birth
Here I am, with my friend Beethoven :)
Sculptures depicting the heads of Saints Cassius & Florentius in front of the Bonn Minster.
Originally the Minster was the collegiate church of Saints Cassius and Florentius, who were Roman legionaries of the legendary all-Christian Theban Legion. The legion's garrison, according to legend, was in the Egyptian town of Thebes. Roman Emperor Maximianus Herculius ordered the legion to march to Gaul and assist in subduing rebels from Burgundy. At some point during their march, the legion refused to follow the emperor's orders either to kill fellow Christians or to worship Maximianus Herculius as a god. As a result, a large number of legionaries were martyred in Agaunum, now named Saint Maurice-en-Valais after Saint Maurice. According to legend, Saints Cassius and Florentius, who were under the command of Saint Gereon, were beheaded for their religious beliefs at the present location of the Bonn Minster.
Now in case you did not know... Haribo is a German confectionery company, founded in 1920 by Johannes ("Hans") Riegel, Sr. Haribo is headquartered in Bonn and the name is an acronym for Hans Riegel, Bonn.
Haribo made the first gummy candy in 1922 when Hans Riegel, Sr. made the first Gummibärchen (little gummy bears). After Hans Riegel, Sr. died during World War II, his son, also named Hans Riegel, took over the company. Haribo expanded its operations, taking over many local confectionery manufacturers in countries all over the world.
We were happy to go inside the main shop in Bonn and choose sweets from this amazing heavenly sweet (tooth) place :) Haribo's German catch phrase is Haribo macht Kinder froh – und Erwachsene ebenso ("Haribo makes children happy – and adults as well"), and in English-speaking countries, it uses the slogan "Kids and grown-ups love it so – the happy world of Haribo".
Adorable husband with Haribo Sweets :)
The city tour Dana had prepared got us through the main square, HARIBO Shop, University Area, The Federal Ministry Of Affairs, the Bonn White House & we topped the day up with a museum that destroyed my fav museum list by popping in unexpectantly!  :) But more on that next week at the next #TravelTuesday but fret not, in the meanwhile you can check one of the below posts I did previously on our trip to Koln:
  • What Would You Visit In Koln - thoughts upon what one could see in Koln, ideeas at the beginning of the journey
  • Germany, Ich Liebe Dich - Koln/Cologne & Bonn through BB pictures + 2 dear pictures that my best friend Dana took :) - a short intro to our trip in Germany
  • The Flight Travel Bug - or how I love to fly and I am glad my husband choose Lufthansa for our trip to Koln/Cologne 
  • Krakow-Cologne. How do I get there? - on how we managed to get from Poland to Germany: flight + ICE Train, and a little extra on the side: chinese food for dinner :) 
  • A Dark And Gloomy Cathedral - a very extensive post on the awesomeness of the Cologne/Koln Cathedral. I fell in love with her at the first sight!
  • You Love Me. Real Or Not Real? - the wonderful Hohenzollern Bridge with its love locks, right next to the Koln Cathedral was a wonderful stop :) 
  • A Walk Along The Rhein - a short stroll from the Hohenzollern Bridge to the Chocolate Museum, close to the  Severinsbrucke.  
  • 3D Golf - Now That's Something New! - a little bit of our 3D party + a short detour at  Metzgerei & Salon Schmitz 
  • Sweet And Quiet Bonn - more about our travels in Germany and the wonderful little town called Bonn, where the yumyum Haribo gummy bears come from :)
Yours truly,
A LadyBug That Loves Bonn
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Monday, 28 April 2014

StreetArt And Other Odd Things - Iasi

Dear friends,

As you very well know by now, I love StreetArt and I love new and artistic things that appear around me. I have not been to Iasi for almost a year now so I figured out I should bring with me a few images of the new art trends here in Iasi, but also a few funny things as well... Stay put and relax and let me glue a smile upon your lovely faces :)
This little angel-monster with a wicked tooth was next to the Arts School and it caught my eye. I think it has a pen in his hand and it looks like he wants to stab you but then you look to his eyes and you can see he means no harm :) He made me think of the movie Ghost Busters ;)))
Further on there is a lovely place where children can play and mums can sit in the coffee shop open in the same house. It is called "Tara Minunilor"aka Wonderland :)
From the outside it looks like such a happy place, filled with light and color :) I believe that if I would have a child I would try it at least once - to give it a shot - and if I would like it I would go again. You rarely find children proof coffee shops where both mums and kids can have peace and fun.
Just look at that window with the colorful umbrella :)
In Iasi you can easily bump into this cute/sweet/colorful car especially in the city center. It looks as if chocolate melted on it with whipped cream & cherry on top added. It belongs to Tuffli, a lovely sweets shop that does amazing cheesecakes and macaroons ;)
Next to the University, in Copou, I bumped into this small van that sells food (fast-food) to the youngsters of the nation - now it was closed as it was Easter break.
We also bumped into a few signs on the windows of some shops :) The one above stated *Closed on the days of 19,20, 21 April, which means Saturday, Sunday and Monday* - you cannot get more explanations than that!
And this one said *Soon, a new activity* and the shop was empty - there used to be a small book shop there, but you could not see any sign of what new activity they speak of...
Last but not least the lady with the spotted helmet that looks like a LadyBug :) Now tell me what you think of Street Art - are you tempted to run around town and catch a few glimpses of people expressing their mind or are you against painted walls? And have you ever spotted a weird sign around town? I would love to hear your stories ;)

Yours truly,
A LadyBug In Love With StreetArt
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Sunday, 27 April 2014

Small Stories From Iasi

Dear friends,

I know I have not been showing you a lot of pictures until now from my trip home, for Easter, but I have been waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay over my head with paperwork/bureaucracy and meeting family and friends. Not to mention Easter celebration altogether. But fear not! Today is the day in which I will show you a little bit about my hometown - a little bit about Iasi. I will be abusing a bit of Wikipedia for exact info, but I am doing this for your benefit in case you ever drop by this lovely city.
Palas Mall
Palas is an urban complex situated in the Civic Center of Iasi, right next to the Palace of Culture. The project was developed in a combined partnership public-private by Iulius Group and The Local Council of Iasi. It has an area of approximately 270.000 square meters and it cost around 265 million euros, being until now the biggest investment of its domain outside Bucharest.
The Palas Mall assemble consists of:
  • Commercial center - around 54.200 square meters - Example of shops: Cărturești, H&M, Massimo Dutti, New Look, Tommy Hilfiger, Camaieu, LC Waikiki, Douglas, Humanic, Hervis Sports, L'Occitane, Subway, Gregory’s, Zara, Bershka, Stradivarius, Pull&Bear, Oysho, Hervis Sports, C&A, Sephora, Stefanel, Ecco, Motivi, Intersport, Levi’s, Colin’s, KFC Drive Thru, Librarium, etc.. You can also find there places to spend your free time, a food-court and a Auchan hypermarket
  • Palas Shopping Street - 6.300 square meters - commercial area stationed outside
  • Park - 50.000 square meters
  • Hotel;
  • Office Buildings - United Business Center (28.000 mp);
  • Underground parking lot - capacity of 2500 places to park;
  • Apartments;
  • Summer Theater.
Here you can see a view of the Palace of Culture taken from the Palas Park. Usually it is quite alive and kicking but the rain that was pouring for almost 3 days had everyone inside where it was dry and warm. But it is a lovely place in the summer and in the winter there was an ice-skating ring ;)
Hotel Unirea is one of the 2 oldest hotels here in Iasi - along with Grand Hotel Traian. It is located in the Union Square and it is very much preferred for parties/weddings. The hotel has 13 floors but the 13th is actually a birds-eye-view restaurant that is brilliantly positioned. With full windows you can have a 360 degrees view over Iasi. It is brilliant for dinners and watching the sun set :)
Back in 1882, Gustave Eiffel, the "master of engineering", was finishing the last details of an architectural masterpiece. Not in Paris or Vienna, nor Saigon or the United States, but here in Iasi, on Romanian land, one of centers that gathered the knowledge and forces of the whole country. Two years before Gustave Eiffel became famous for the Statue of Liberty, the American symbol, and seven years before erecting the Eiffel Tower in Paris, the master from Cote d’Or gave birth to a neoclassical masterpiece here in Iasi, Unirii Square: TRAÍAN Grand Hotel

The Union Statue
The Stefan Cel Mare Street
National Theater - Iasi
Trei Ierarhi - A unique monument of its kind, a repository of the cultural and spiritual life of Moldavia, the Monastery of the Three Holy Hierarchs is located in the old centre of Iasi, on Stefan cel Mare si Sfant Boulevard, formerly known as the Princely Street.
The "Trisfetite" Church, built during Prince Vasile Lupu’s reign (1637 -1639), was intended to be a royal burial ground; it reflects the founder’s aspiration to the Byzantine world as it combines traditional structures and shapes with precious materials and a sumptuous decoration. Metropolitan Varlaam consecrated this holy place on the 6th of May 1639, and two years later Saint Paraskeve’s relics were moved here. The monastery accommodated a printing house and the "Schola Basiliana", the future Princely Academy. In 1970 the monastery was closed and the only religious services to be officiated were the celebration of the feast day of the Three Hierarchs (30th January) and the Union Day on 24th of January. Following the 1989 events, the monastery was reopened at the initiative of His Beatitude Daniel, Metropolitan of Moldavia and Bukovina.
The monument is renowned for its embroidery in stone (most of it preserved in its original form) that decorate the outer walls. Thirty different carved stone decoration bands cover the entire outside walls of the church from the base to the top of the steeples; they are inspired from the national old wood carvings and embroideries blended with Asian and Western elements. An impressive threefold twisted cord – a symbol of the Holy Trinity – makes the architectural complex of the church absolutely perfect.
The church is under the patronage of The Three Holy Hierarchs (St. Basil the Great, St. Gregory the Theologian and St. John Chrysostom); they are celebrated on the 30th of January.
Here in the picture above you can see the first school established in Iasi -The Gheorghe Asachi School Number 1. Gheorghe Asachi was the one who started the schools/teaching in Romanian language in Moldavia and he is the one that started the written press in Romanian language.
Going further on from Union Square/Piata Unirii further on through the Stefan Cel Mare Street you will be able to see Trei Ierarhi and The Gheorghe Asachi School Nb. 1 but the grand prize will be at the end of the street where you will have the lovely Palace of Culture :)
The Palace of Culture (Romanian: Palatul Culturii) served as Administrative Palace and then Palace of Justice until 1955, when its destination was changed again, being assigned to the four museums nowadays united under the name of Moldova National Museum Complex. Also, the building houses the Cultural Heritage Conservation-Restoration Centre, the main branch of the Gheorghe Asachi Iași County Library and hosts various exhibitions and other events. The Palace of Culture is listed in the National Register of Historic Monuments.
The construction, started in 1906, was partly built on the old ruins of the mediaeval Royal Court of Moldavia (1434), and partly on top of the foundations of the former neoclassical style palace, dated to the time of Prince Alexandru Moruzi (1806), rebuilt by Prince Mihail Sturdza and dismantled in 1904. It was from this latter building that the Palace inherited the legend of the 365 rooms, as many as the days within one year.
The Romanian architect I.D. Berindei was assigned to plan the building and he designed it in flamboyant neo-Gothic style. During World War I, the construction halted due to the limitation of resources. The monument was inaugurated on 11 October 1925 by King Ferdinand of Romania. The Palace has 298 large rooms with a total area of over 36,000 m2 (390,000 sq ft), 92 windows in the front part of the building and another 36 inside the building. Decoratively, the central hall shows a figurative mosaic including various representations of a gothic bestiary, concentrically arranged: two-headed eagles, dragons, griffons, lions. The hall is superposed by a glass ceiling room, where initially a greenhouse was arranged. Currently is under reconstruction but it is worth looking at even from the outside ;)

** I made this post out of love for the city I was born in and where part of my heart resides. It ain't no Paris or London or Barcelona but it is worth a day or two. I recommend it with all my heart and if you ever get there, I would be more than happy to grant you tips and tricks ;) **

Yours truly,
A LadyBug That Hopes One Day You Will Visit Iasi :)
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