Amsterdam – The Netherlands
Amsterdam is the city of dreams wandering along the canals and through the Royal Palace, Rijksmuseum, and Van Gogh Museum would be an amazing jumpstart to your trip. Amsterdam is for the freespirited persons on the planet earth, everyone is in their own world. The Schiphol Airport is about 20 minutes away from downtown Amsterdam. It is advisable to visit in april may so that you can visit the keukenof which is famous for its tulips season. If you dig into flowers like the way I do you will never want to come back. Amsterdammers are deservedly proud of their city and the gorgeous centre. Whatever it is you are looking for it can be found here, in a laid-back atmosphere that is exclusive to this monumental metropolis.
Amsterdam is also a city of tolerance and diversity. It has all the advantages of a big city: culture, nightlife, international restaurants, good transport – but is quiet, and largely thanks to its canals, has a little road traffic. In Amsterdam your destination is never far away, but get a bike for most authentic experience.
Plitvice lakes are recognized as an astonishing natural monument for the benefit and enjoyment of the people now and for the generations to come. Today, 60 years after its establishment, Plitvice Park continues to provide inspiration for visitors becoming nowadays one of Croatia’s biggest attractions. Thousands of people from all over the world visit the Park during summer. They come to find peace and relaxation just to experience something different as a getaway from the city.
The beauty of the National Park lies in its sixteen lakes, inter-connected by a series of waterfalls, and set in deep woodland populated by deer, bears, wolves, boars and rare bird species. The National Park covers a total area of 300 square kilometres, whilst the lakes join together over a distance of eight kilometres.
There’s also quite an altitude difference – the highest point is at 1,280m, the lowest at 380m – although the total height difference between the lakes themselves is only 135m. (Veliki Slap, the largest waterfall, is 70m tall.)
In the northwest corner of Thessaly, the wide bed of the Pinios River emerges from the mighty canyons of the Eastern Pindus Mountains that plummet abruptly onto the Thassalian plain. Here, in the shadow of the mountains and just beyond the town of Kalampaka, massive gray colored pinnacles rise towards the sky. It is a strange but breathtaking landscape that has been sculpted by wind and water over thousands of years. These smooth, vertical rocks have become a favorite destination for rock climbers who are, perhaps, the only ones today who can truly appreciate the feat of the 9th century hermits who first climbed them to settle in the caves and fissures of the rocks. On Sundays, they clambered down from their cells to celebrate mass in Doupiani and as their numbers increased, the Theotokos of Doupiani was established as the first semi-organized community during the 11th century.
Spectacularly perched atop rocky pinnacles in Thessaly, the Meteora monasteries are among the most striking sights in Greece. The name Meteora is Greek for “suspended in the air,” which perfectly describes these six remarkable Greek Orthodox monasteries. The sandstone peaks were first inhabited by Byzantine hermits in the 11th century, who clambered up the rocks to be alone with God. The present monasteries were built in the 14th and 15th centuries during a time of instability and revival of the hermit ideal; the first was Great Meteoron (c.1340) and there were 24 monasteries by 1500. They flourished until the 17th century but only six survive today; four of these still host monastic communities.
The nearest major town is Kalambaka (from the Turkish word for “pinnacle”), at the base of the Meteora, which has accommodation for overnight visitors as well as some medieval churches. Neighboring Kastraki has some accommodation as well. Alternatively, a guided day tour from Athens is a popular and easy way to visit. To visit all six in one day without joining a tour, begin with Ayiou Nikolaou Anapavsa, Varlaam and Great Meteoron before 1pm, break for lunch while the monasteries are closed, then see Roussanou, Ayias Triadhos and Ayiou Stefanou in the afternoon. A strict dress code is enforced: all shoulders must be covered, men must wear long trousers and women must wear long skirts.