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Saturday, September 29, 2007
Hot Spots in New Zealand
If you are the kind of mountin wonderer that has a think for peaks and climbing, New Zealand is the place for you.You can enjoy breath-taking views on top of Mount Eden or One Tree Hill in Auckland, you can try out Mount Victoria in Wellington, or climb on the top of the Port Hills in Christchurch. Flagstaff Hill in Dunedin also has its rewards for adventure and outdoor loving travelers.

To stand out from the crowd of mountin lovers and take a wild ride on the extreme side, you can the more difficult to access areas of the country such as the summits of Mount Iron in Wanaka or Mount Hikurangi on East Cape. But you don't have to climb and put a lot of effort into seeing amazing things, as the weird boulders at Moeraki on the Otago Coast and the outrageous Pancake Rocks at Punakaiki are also available for less keen on physical challanges ones of us.

Should you like to combine outdoors experienes with art, New Zeeland is the place to go. Start with a kayak trip to the rock carvings at Mine Bay in Taupo or simply wander aimlessly on the streets of Katikati, to get a taste o the town's history through its intricate murals.

All these can be achieved by planning your trip in winter and spring (December to March), around the three major cities of New Zealand: Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch. And if you want to also book your stay, feel free to check out the hotels in Auckland, the hotels in Wellington and the hotels in Cristchurch. You have pleanty of relevant choices and if you are an impulsive tourist, choose one of the last minute deals.

Brought by Cheaperthanhotels NZ

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posted by Alina @ 6:25 AM   3 comments
Thursday, September 27, 2007
Music Concerts Around Europe
I am a fool for music concerts. The feeling live music spreads inside of me is so much better than any other type of "cozy listening to music at home" variation can do. So how to get tickets? Well, I usually wait for the concerts to be somehow promoted and then buy them, mostly online. But there is a problem. The bads I love the most rarely come to Romania, and I have to look into cities nearby where they might be on tour. Same happens with my favorite sport, Formula 1. For the next few years it won't happen in Romania. That is why an offer for Concert tickets or Sport tickets on a foreign site might be a good idea.


Checking the Viagogo site, I could see that Maroon 5 is touring around Europe in November and December. As Brabanthallen's-Hertogenbosch, Antwerpen and Fredericksberg are already booked, my real choices are Nottingham, London, Birmingham, Manchester, Newcastle, Brighton, Munich and Dusseldorf. I guess Munich or Dusseldorf are the the best options I have right now. Especially since there's plenty of time to make plans, buy the tickets and convince others to come with me.

There are dozens of bands on tour and getting a ticket is quite easy. So anyone planning to join me for Maroon 5? Or do you have a different concert to suggest?

Brought by Viagogo.

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posted by Alina @ 8:55 AM   4 comments
Tuesday, September 25, 2007
This Morning's Blonde Moment
My car is new. A year and one month means new. Therefore nothing can go wrong with it. Therefore I only check to see it's still where I left her, then get in and go. Simple! This my friends is how I used to think. Cause everything changed this morning.

We, as in I, D and Silviana, got in the car and left for work. But the car was making a terrible noise. Still, I continued to valiantly drive it for half a kilometer. Then D stuck his head out the window and said: "Ok, pull over, you've got a flat tire!" So I pulled over. And got all I needed to change it. My father did show me once how to do it. But! I wasn't really paying attention AND I lack the necessary force to do it.

So thank God D was with me and did most of the work...No I have a flat tire to fix! Which I will, while I pray the others don't have the same fate before I fix this one!

Of course you can imagine I will now check every detail of my car before getting in and starting the engine :D


posted by Alina @ 11:26 AM   5 comments
Sunday, September 23, 2007
Planning Trips Around the World
There are cities I've visited and have fond memories of: Istanbul, Rome, Prague, Budapest, Amsterdam, Alkmaar, Hoorn, Munich, Iasi, Cluj and the list could go on and on. There are cities, such as Barcelona, that I am about to see. And others that I hope to see sometime in the future: New York, Dubai, Casablanca, Rio de Janeiro, London, Dublin, Ciudad the Mexico and the list is even longer.

I am the type of wonderer whose perfect year consists of about three getaways across the border and a few more withing the country. So this year has been a pretty good one, overall, started in Istanbul, then continued in Athens and Amsterdam and with plans for Spain. I also like to plan my own trip and I usually run away from agencies because I don't like depending on other people, especially when there's a bunch of them. So I prefer online hotel bookings, Easy to Book being one of the sites I keep an eye on before any such trip.

My last three trips were built around online bookings for a few nights and in most cases everything went smoothly. I choose not to think about my mishaps from Bulgaria that much anymore.

But there is a reason such trips mean so much to me. Traveling to new, unexplored places is what makes me feel happy and free. It gives me the feeling I actually enjoy everything life has to offers. On some great occasions I also get to meet people from my online life and that's a quite big bonus. The reason for online booking kind of comes with the package: it gives me freedom of movement: my choices, my timing, around the clock.

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posted by Alina @ 9:52 PM   0 comments
Friday, September 21, 2007
Gizmo for MySpace Fans
As there are many MySpace users out there, judging by the large number of invites I've received lately, I imagine some of them are also fans of MySpace quizzes, surveys and polls as a means of making their page more interactive and yes, more attractive to new readers.

Should you be one of these, Quibblo has everything you need to create and use the quizzes you've had in mind for your readers. And if you'd like to see what you can actually get, here's a quick example:
Brought by Quibblo, MySpace Quizzes

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posted by Alina @ 9:47 AM   0 comments
Thursday, September 20, 2007
Talk about Bad Luck!
About 40 Romanians thought it would be nice to see Italy and this time of year seemed to fit them perfectly. So they were enjoying themselves in a little place called Lide de Jeselo, somewhere near Venice, when...

...someone stole their bus! With some luggage, papers, and other such things. All this was of course meant to ruin their trip. How did the Italian police react? Well, at first they did nothing! Simply because they expected this whole thing to be a bad joke...

And I thought that only the law stated "innocent until proven guilty"! Nope, the police do so too. First they stick around, waiting for a solution to come up out of the blue and only then they decide to take some sort of action. One has to wonder: if they run across a dead body, do they wait for two days to see if the dead person stands up laughing?

See the shorter and unbiased piece of news here.

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posted by Alina @ 5:49 PM   0 comments
Wednesday, September 19, 2007
Nowhere to go but up
We all have our darker moments when we feel alone, left out, under appreciated, mistreated, misunderstood, and generally bad. What we'd like to do is hide away until we feel better or until something good just makes everything look bright and sunny. Most of the times, this is impossible. We have to get ourselves together and fast. And leave the hiding away and contemplating our wounds for later on.

So here's what I do at such times:
  • go see a friend and listen to his stories for a while
  • tell a short version of what's going on
  • call my mom
  • make a special play list of songs that calm me down
  • stop for a second and think a bit of those with real and bigger problems
  • allow my generally optimistic self to take over and drive
  • enlarge the importance of other aspects of my life
  • get something tasty for lunch
  • buy myself something nice if I have enough time
News like this one beats everything on the list. Congrats Sim!

What do you do in such cases? What sets you back on track?

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posted by Alina @ 1:32 PM   8 comments
Radiohead - Creep
When you were here before
Couldn't look you in the eye
You're just like an angel
Your skin makes me cry
You float like a feather
In a beautiful world
I wish I was special
You're so fucking special
But I 'm a creep
I 'm a weirdo
What the hell am I doing here?
I don't belong here

I don't care if it hurts
I want to have control
I want a perfect body
I want a perfect soul
I want you to notice
When I'm not around
You're so fucking special
I wish I was special

But I'm a creep
I'm a weirdo
What the hell am I doing here?
I don't belong here

She's running out again
She's running out
She run, run, run run

Whatever makes you happy
Whatever you want
You're so fucking special
I wish I was special
But I'm a creep
I'm a weirdo
What the hell am I doing here?
I don't belong here
I don't belong here.

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posted by Alina @ 1:20 PM   5 comments
Tuesday, September 18, 2007
A Promise Worth Making
Whenever I need food for thought, I visit Liz. Her blog has great ideas, great conversation and great challenges. So there isn't any reason not to stop by. But I have to confess it is hard to keep reading and commenting on all the blogs I love, to keep tracking incoming links and to also discover new bloggers and their blogs. Why? Because I get caught up in daily nonsense :)

Given this situation, the promise Liz is now passing along seems to be worth making:

Joe’s Promise

  • I will be sure to comment on other Blogs if I can add to the conversation.
  • I will respond to comments on my own Blog.
  • I will acknowledge any links to my Blog with a comment on the linker’s Blog.
  • I will continue to link to other Blogs that are pertinent to a posts content.
  • I will once again be a part of the Blogging Community.
  • That is my promise to the Community as a whole, in part, and individually.

If you feel you are losing some of the interaction that is an integral part of Blogging, you may want to join me in this Promise to the Community.

What do you think? Is this a promise YOU consider worth making?

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posted by Alina @ 5:04 PM   3 comments
How to Have a Better Home
Operating on the market of Home improvements for over 40 years, Anglian is, according to their site, one of the most recommended home improvement companies. What they offer to change and improve for your house is your windows, your doors, your roof, your driveway or to go ahead and build conservatories (which are my favorite from their offer).

They promote a policy that I find hard to believe, as we live in a world aimed at making more money. Anglian states they take one customer at a time. The result they expect is complete satisfaction, as such a policy gives them time to get to know the customer and understand what he/she really wants. Such a policy is, in my opinion, bound to turn a company popular, as I strongly believe home improvements do not mean having a better house, but also having a more personal one, home opposed to just a house.

Anglian has special offers to encourage recommending friends by featuring special discounts in such cases. What I would have loved to see though is an easy-access list of customer testimonials. I think such a list would back up their statements and convince a lot of people to give them a call.


posted by Alina @ 8:17 AM   0 comments
Friday, September 14, 2007
Today Is the Big Day
The headline of this post is a message I got on Yahoo from Sim. What does it mean? It means she is giving birth to her son Alex today. Sim, I wish you the easiest child birth ever. As to Alex, WELCOME TO THE WORLD!!!

posted by Alina @ 1:02 PM   3 comments
UK Web Design
If you're in the UK and would like to hire a web design studio, Acopic has a neat range of expertise to impress you with. But what I liked most about them is their office. They work in a tower dating back to 1300. That's quite a standard for exotic headquarters!

They feature a complete set of design services and as an extra, they provide customers with their own content management system helping their customers to better administer their online presence. I don't know about you, but I'm still stuck at their headquarters.

Brought by Acopic web design studio.

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posted by Alina @ 10:18 AM   2 comments
Wednesday, September 12, 2007
Del Tango...
I don't remember how I got to this blog. It's name, Del Tango, El Amor y Otros Demonios instantly caught me. And its topic and content made me stay and read a few posts. It has reminded me of the tango, of my burning wish to also learn it.

What else it has brought me? Out of nowhere, a comment left on the new WOBM directing me to a place where I could learn. And I've also went through the links on this blog and ran into Pablo Veron's site again. The opera Carmen, directed by Sally Potter and starring Pablo Veron. This is something I'd kill to see!

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posted by Alina @ 5:14 PM   4 comments
Tuesday, September 11, 2007
Blog to Win
Romanian bloggers will soon test their strength in a nicely promoted blogging contest. I've taken a look at the prizes and they look pretty good to me. Especially since they all include a domain name and hosting. Also, a few of the local celebrities are sponsors of this contest.

I won't take part in this contest. The topics are quite interesting, I must admit, but I really lack the needed time. It would have been an interesting experience to see how the voting and comments to submitted posts go. I will keep an eye on it though. I am curious if it will turn into a popularity contest (as it has the potential) or if the actual quality of the posts will matter.

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posted by Alina @ 6:15 PM   0 comments
Monday, September 10, 2007
Where Have You Been This Summer?
When you come back from your vacation, the first thing you do is get used to the idea that you'll go back to work/school and that does take some willpower and time. But when that's completed, you exchange vacation thoughts/photos/ideas with your friends. I have the impression most of those I know have chosen different countries for their vacations.

Chris Wife went with her boyfriend to Turkey.
Chief and his beautiful wife went to Turkey and Greece.
I went to the Netherlands and Bulgaria.
Alex had his share of Amsterdam at a certain point.
Zu went to Bulgaria and is planning another trip abroad.
Another colleague from work is going to Tunisia.

Is this a common trend or just a coincidence? Where have you spent your vacation? Please, do share, I am quite curious.


posted by Alina @ 3:55 PM   3 comments
How to Fight Laziness: A Car Vaccum?
How often do you clean your car? When I bought mine, I used to pamper Little Mushroom with monthly clean-ups. Inside and outside, the whole royal treatment. They they started to become quite rare, slightly inexistent. Why? No time, no car wash nearby.

Anyway, I like to think that if I had a car vacuum, things would change. As I would only have the issue of lacking time to consider. The fact that I don't know where exactly to take my car would not count anymore. Besides, it would really stimulate helpful and concerned people (my mom, D, anyone who complains about the mess inside), to grab it and do something. Nice approach, don't you think?

Brought by Car Guy Garage

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posted by Alina @ 2:35 PM   0 comments
Thursday, September 06, 2007
Asia-dedicated Travel Blog
Blogasian is a quite new travel blog, rich with a wide range of information from Asia hotel news to tourist trips and funny and informative tops. It hasn't even turned three months, yet it's regularly updated and has a pretty good Alexa rank.

All posts are tourism oriented, describing cities, attraction and destinations from countries such as China, Australia, India, Thailand and many more. Once you start reading, you only want to get to know more. Blogasian introduces you to the fantastic, the popular and the weird traits of all these countries. Mixing the destinations with the appropriate Asia hotel news is a nice touch, given that it makes it easier for a reader to be convinced to plan a vacation after reading an interesting post.

My personal reading recommendations include a post on what to do after having the bad luck of being trapped on an island, the introduction to strange cultural habits from China, and of course the guide through Taj Mahal. The photo accompanying this last recommended post is simply beautiful! Take a look and decide for yourselves if the blog is worth reading.

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posted by Alina @ 10:25 AM   5 comments
Wednesday, September 05, 2007
Puzzled about Yahoo
We all know that the Yahoo mail service is sometimes a very good friend of spammers and that lots of email that are clearly spam reach our Inboxes. But I guess that is the price one has to pay for "free" services. As you all know, there's really no free lunch.

But what amazes me, something like me wondering if they actually ever stop to think about their image, is that I receive a certain email both in my Inbox and my Bulk folder. I mean come on people! If it's only my Inbox, maybe I am naive enough to actually think it's an honest mistake. Hey, there is no such thing as a perfect antispam protection. But when you pull a trick like that EVERYONE knows you know the email is spam and couldn't care less.

If Yahoo was the only service on the market, I'd seriously understand it. But in the current conditions...My advice is: Yahoo, learn how to say, while smiling, that Gmail will soon kick your buttom!

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posted by Alina @ 5:04 PM   2 comments
Winter Vacation in Spain
Some of you might know by now that I am planning to spend my winter holiday in Spain. First of all, because I've never been there and always wanted to. Second of all, because I can't wait to see Sim and Bruno again and their new baby. And as they live in Barcelona, this is my first and most important destinations.
This implied of course some research on hotels in Barcelona and my decision is almost made. Or maybe it would be better to say Hoteles in Barcelona to practice the little Spanish I know. When I am done with seeing places such as the Palau Reial Mayor, the Chapel of Santa Ágata, and the City History Museum, and provided I still have some time, I might consider seeing some other cities. The city I am hoping to see is Madrid. It fascinated me for a long time, since I was a little girl and I never got to actually see it. And as I have already located some interesting hotels in Madrid is shouldn't be so hard to have something planned on the spot.

It would be great to also visit its museums (Museo Nacional del Prado, Museo Arqueologico Nacional, Museo Sorolla), its monuments (Palacio Real de Madrid, Puente de Toledo, Monasterio de El Escorial) and everything else making Madrid such a popular tourist attraction. Meet you guys there :)

Photos from

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posted by Alina @ 1:34 PM   2 comments
Tuesday, September 04, 2007
My Take on Bulgarian Seaside Resorts
Much advertised and apparently highly appreciated, Bulgarian Seaside Resorts attract more and more tourists each summer. The use extremely low prices, all inclusive packages, clean beaches and of course, advertising. So I booked a 3 days stay at the Detelina Hotel, somewhere near the Golden Sands resort.

First of all, I have to tell you that it is not quite clear for me where Golden Sands starts and where it ends. If it's 16 km north from Varna or just about 8, if it is in the Chaika region or not or if the Bulgarians will ever learn how to help tourists with directions on their complicated roads.

Yes, the three stars hotel was cheap: 40 Euros per night for two persons. Yes, it has a great pool. Yes, the food is cheap and pretty good (lunch for two persons - about 10 Euros). Yes the photos of the rooms look great on the site. However, as far as I know, a 3 stars room should have a bath tub, or at least a shower cabin, not water dropping directly on the bathroom floor!
Also, apparently they clean your room daily. All cool, except that they don't really change towels. For us at least they did not replace them for 3 days. Moreover, the restaurant was closed at 9 pm. Although a clear schedule is never displayed. But what I liked more has to be the Internet facilities. And I quote from
Wireless internet is available in public areas only and costs EUR 1.00 per hour .

Really? When I asked, they showed me one computer only that guests could use. One at a time of course...Also, they don't say that if you stay on the side facing the seaside, you also have a nice light ball on your balcony that goes on and on the whole night. I guess how the hotel looks like is more important than the guests' need to sleep.
On the plus side, the beach is pretty clean, there are lots of restaurants with quite varied menus, the food and local beer are really tasty and they make tasty cocktails. Also, services are quite cheap. And better at other restaurants I've been to in the resort, when compared to the Detelina restaurant. On our last day, we actually had to wait to pay our check as the nice waitress was busy photographing another guest and then speaking to her friends.

Do not look for banks to withdraw money from. You can go to local exchange offices and withdraw Leva (local currency). Their commission is 7%. Huge! And do not expect to be able to pay by card! That too much for them. Luckily for us, we paid for the hotel through a agent. He was very nice and we could pay by card!

My two cents? Better than Romania but way behind Turkey and Greece!

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posted by Alina @ 11:52 AM   5 comments
I Love NY City
One of the wonder cities of the US, New York is, for some, the highest in rank urban tourist attractions of the country. If it's not the sky scrapers that call you there, it must be the fashion and shopping sensation, or in some more particular circumstances (which is mine and my friends Cristina's), the desire to march on the street of New York as Luis de Funes and his subordinates did in the famous comedy movie Le Gendarme a New York.

If you leave on a different continent, such a trip may sound out of the ordinary, but it will surely cost a lot. So why not saving some money for visiting and shopping by looking for cheap hotels to book your stay at? You have plenty of New York hotels to choose from. Try some recommendations, search by number of stars and make sure to specify your arrival and departure dates correctly. You can also review the displayed list of hotels from New York and compare them by location or advertised price.

Should you like to recommend the Hotel Club online reservations to friends or business partners who do not speak English, there are 13 other languages available, including French, German, Italian, Japanese and Chinese. Now that you know where to book your stay, you can go on and plan the rest of your vacation details.

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posted by Alina @ 10:24 AM   0 comments
About Me

Name: Alina
Home: Bucharest, Bucharest, Romania
About Me: "This is my church. This is where I heal my hurts". It's also where I feel free and my preferred means of expression.
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