Siena, Italy


The city wall, the sign of an ancient military might.


I didn’t even know Siena existed before my Couchsurfing host in Florence recommended it. It turned out to be my favourite of the three in the area I visited (Florence, Pisa, Siena). It’s not as packed, and I did like the buildings better.


It was literally built on a hill so visitors had to keep walking up and down. But it’s not too bad. It’s also got loads of rings to chain people to.


From Florence, it’s exceedingly easy to get there by train. The fact that it’s quite cheap was a big plus.


Whilst everywhere you go, you see something, it’s remarkably easy to navigate (with the exception of the synagogue, which was sorta a blink-and-you-miss-it type of thing). Their dear tourism office has multiple guides on offer, suggesting to you where you should go based on the time you have.


The urban area stretched beyond the old city walls, although they weren’t anything to brag about.


This was a curious spot. I rather liked this church, and I thought it looked best when I was right there with it; but this was the best place to take a photo of it.


See? Not very impressive from this angle.


There’s a sportswear shop that claims to have the best view of the city. The view was fine, but the windows weren’t that big and weren’t that clear so it wasn’t worth going…


The church, supposed to be the main tourist attraction.


It was relaxing just chilling in there.

Pisa, Italy


Question to The Queen of Pop Madonna: If “Italians do it better”, why is the tower not straight?


Obligatory photo.


The most iconic landmark in the town of Pisa – the leaning tower. There’s no evidence that Galileo was up there dropping balls.


But Pisa wasn’t just the tower. Or just the square. I took a bus (£2) straight to the square, then I walked back, passing through the entire town.


Although of course the tower was wonderful. And souvenirs were 1 Euro a piece.


There’s a river, which seems to be some sort of a staple for an Italian town.


One difficulty was taking a selfie that would show the “leaning” of the leaning tower.


The most interesting structure outside of the square. It’s basically empty inside but it’s an odd-looking church next to the river.


The Medici family liked this.


Another big square.


The whole square as you walk in.

Florence, Italy


It was 40 degrees!


Florence, a historic capital of Italy, the ancient centre of their art and culture.

It’s a pretty city, and uniquely Italian, but I didn’t find it that interesting. I guess I’m more of a landmark kinda guy and there just isn’t any apart from David in Florence.


His idea on how to conduct princely business influenced Shakespeare quite a bit.


Another thing that’s affected by enjoyment was that some street vendor hit me with a painting.

I was walking around and asked how much the paintings cost. Then I said I’d think about it and walked away. That guy kept following me, and at one point I asked him to please stop following me, then he hit me with the painting!

So I guess what I experienced in Argentina might’ve come from Italian culture. 😛


Fake David with his micropenis.


The best view of the city is on a hill on the other side of the river.


I also tried the steak. Sorry but I didn’t find it anything special…


New York, USA


Grammy award, Academy award winner, member of the Order of the British Empire, ADELE performed there just a while back.


New York City is generally seen as one of the best cities in the world, and indeed countless cities, including my hometown, were modeled after it.


The stock exchange that influences the world.


The Presidential Palace.


And it’s true that many impactful events happened in the Big Apple, what’s with it being a historical capital and the site of Stonewall.


But it wasn’t exactly unique or impressive. In a way, perhaps it’s a victim of its own success – if Hong Kong did not model after it with the skyscrapers, for example, maybe the skyline would’ve looked more impressive to me.


The twin towers’ ruins.


Chinese tourists loved the bull.


Getting on the subway just to visit one of Queen Elizabeth “Lana Del Rey”‘s realms – the Coney Island. It was closed though.


Time Square.


I kept missing the closing time so I didn’t go to the statue, but one could get on the free ferry to observe it from a distance. It’s very small.


Brooklyn Bridge.


The museum.


One of the most important residences in the world, The Queen of Pop Madonna’s apartment. At the time, the Daily Fail was creating the controversy of the yellow line here asking people not to park there, as if Madge did it herself.

Vienna, Austria


Vienna, the capital of a landlocked WWI-starting empire, birthplace of Mozart, resting place of the second and final Emperor of México.


It’s not a bad place to be, but honestly quite average. If you have been to Prague, Paris, and Athens, there’s no point visiting Vienna but for seeing some Vienna people.


The golden hall has absolutely nothing to do with Mozart, as I was told buying a Mozart bust from a souvenir shop opposite to it.


The streets/roads were all quite narrow so it was difficult to take good photos of buildings.


It’s easy to navigate – you just basically go from one point to another, unless you want to go somewhere farther away from the city centre.


Basically like the Radcliffe Camera, except it didn’t feel magnificent with all the buildings around it.


One good thing was that there were a handful of palaces and they were real palaces, not like the tiny ones in Peterhof or the fake ones in Mexico.


Vienna really wants you to know Mozart was born there.


This was a hall where Mozart performed when he was a child. It’s a very small hall and didn’t look old or anything, but I guess what could he expect when he was a little child?


There were some musical performances, singing, and dancing. The internet will tell you it’s a tourist trap, and in a way it is, since you may be expecting something grand. But then that’s just wrong anyway. Mozart wasn’t that famous when he was a young child.

The performances were all right. Just make sure you do bargain.


Opposite to it is this palace.


It was quite hot but there were some water fountains (huge queues).


One of the two places I thought was worth going – the imperial crypt.

There were numerous important historical figures, including this giant one for Her Imperial Majesty Empress Maria Theresa, The Holy Roman Empress, The Queen of Bohemia, The Queen of Hungary, The Queen of Croatia, The Queen of Germany, The Archduchess of Austria etc.


What I was really looking forward to was this, His Imperial Majesty The Emperor Maximilian I of Mexico, Archduke of Austria. Apparently, many Mexicans wanted an emperor. 


One of the only four with offerings. His Imperial Majesty Emperor Franz Joseph was the one who declared war on Serbia after gaining support from Germany, and thus started the First World War.


The church near where I stayed. Near here was Dr Freud’s museum, another place that’s worth visiting. I’m not a fan of Freud, but it was informative.

Long queue in the morning.


The parliament complex was wonderful, but difficult to take a good photo of.


A university building.

Naucalpan, Estado de México (Mexico City Metropolitan Area)


The Los Remedios church in Naucalpan de Juárez. The Mother of God, St Mary The Virgin, was obviously aiding the Catholic Spaniards when they fought against the natives, and she was at the time known as the virgin of Los Remedios.

Nevertheless, after Mexico has gained its independence, the only living saint switched side and supported the Mexicans instead. Legend has it the statue of the Los Remedios virgin was then moved to the ground of this church. It’s a nice basilica.


Another one of State of Mexico’s second-largest city’s main attraction, the Los Arcos water transport system. It’s no longer in use but it’s basically a smaller version of the one in Queretaro. It’s easier to take a good photo of it too.

This reasonably big city within the Mexico City metropolitan area has been home for the past several years due to its proximity to my place of work. It’s mostly a residential city,  and not a touristy place. Big-name architects did construct a handful of iconic structures in the city, including the Satélite Towers, the town’s symbol. In the native language, “Naucalpan” means “four neighbourhoods”, and it officially has “de Juárez” attached to its name, in honour of the nation’s favourite president.


The beginning and the end of the aqueduct. It hasn’t got much around it.


Rumour has it that Cortés hid out in the city when he and his gang were forced out of Tenochtitlan, now Mexico City, by the indigenous people.



The city from the top of Cerro de Moctezuma, an archaeological site with nothing.

Peloponnese (Corinth Canal, Epidaurus, Náfplio, Mycenae)


On this day tour, we went on a very, very packed trip to several places on the island/peninsula (depends on if you think the canal has made it an island), with the most famous theatre (entrance pictured above) in the world being the main attraction.


But we actually spent the most amount of time here. An acropolis and a grave.


The doorway to a fortified ancient city.


And the royal grave.


A close-up of the bricks on the sides.


The theatre, known for its acoustics! They’re still using it for Greek theatre performances but since it’s so far from Athens, it’d start in the afternoon and get back at 2am.

Lots of people clapping on stage. Not really that great, but you can certainly see why actors wore masks.


The seats.


There were other structures on top of the theatre, but we weren’t given any time to explore any of them…


Since we weren’t given much time to see the other sites, and we weren’t even told they existed (we had to pass through all of them regardless), it was quite a rush walking through the museum and the other parts. Two people were late for 15 minutes and the guide was extremely upset.


In a similar fashion, we parked very far from the castles and spent maybe 5 minutes there.


The canal was nice, and even though we were there for merely 10 minutes, that was more than enough.


We were finally taken to a shop. You would not expect something like this to a 100-Euro day trip.


Delphi, Greece


Another day, another day trip.


At the peak of the oracle of Delphi. Stadium of an ancient games equal to the Olympics. Unrelated to the oracle.


The market at the entrance of the oracle. There used to be statues. 


Delphi was the centre of the world according to the Greeks. Here at the oracle, there was a female prophet who would tell visitors about their future/answer questions from them using vague language that could mean anything.

She was the most powerful woman in the classical world and was originally a role filled by virgins. But one guy tried to rape one of the oracles and so the position was from that point on occupied by older women.


The theatre. Obviously people need to cleanse their soul as a part of the process.


The treasury. The only building remained somewhat intact.


Greek Islands (Hydra, Poros, Aegina)


The tower on Poros. It’s the attraction of this very small island. A short walk from the port.


Hydra as it welcomed me.

One of Greece’s major attractions is the Aegean Sea and its islands. There are many options – some farer from the capital (some even very close to Turkey), some around them. If you want to get to a far one, such as the most famous one, you will need more than a day trip.


I climbed up one of the hills to look at Hydra. It wasn’t very big.


To get to these three islands (and they are the obvious options due to their proximity to Athens), you can either go for a “cruise” tour (pictured) or take speed boats yourself.

You should definitely go on your own. The “cruise” tours are not worth it.

First of all, it wasn’t really a cruise. I’ve been on many cruises, that wasn’t one. It’s got almost nothing but a boutique (that not only had a very limited selection, but only for women) and some cafeterias.

Secondly, it’s incredibly boring. The only time there was entertainment on the “cruise” was on our way back to Athens. Other times, people were just trying to sleep on the sofas. The Wi-Fi didn’t work (and they were aware of it) and there’s no substitute to that.

Thirdly, it practically included nothing. No tours were included on this – you either had to pay extra to join the excursions, or you could walk around on your own. On Aegina, that would be impossible. No drinks were included. You couldn’t even drink free tap water. No snacks or refreshments, of course.

Finally, the included lunch was crap. The buffet had an extremely limited selection with merely two main dishes to choose from – chicken, which was all right; along with extraordinarily poor fish. The kind of white fish that tasted exactly like they were stuck together with glue. Oh, and no drinks.

So the “cruise” “tour” was actually just transport with lunch. Why would you pay for it?


The main attraction was Aegean, the so-called “first capital of modern Greece”. Its claim was about as legit as claiming Kowloon, Hong Kong was a “historic capital of China” due to a Song Emperor allegedly fleeing to Kowloon.

I’m not asking you not to go, I’m just saying you should not expect anything more than the above. There’s one archaeological site, which was nice. You would have to get transport or a tour to get there.


The other main attraction was this Byzantine-style church, which was actually built relatively recently.


The one in Athens was apparently modelled after this.


Hydra was the other highlight. It was a nice island and you can walk around looking at the buildings.


And the sea.


You can’t swim there though. To swim, you need to pay extra and go on a swimming excursion.


Athens, Greece


Greece, the birthplace of European civilization. The beginning of the sciences, the arts, philosophy, and democracy.

Do you know where the idea of using an owl to represent a teacher came from? Athens. The owl was a symbol of the Goddess Athena, who represented wisdom.


First thing first, the Acropolis.

It towered over the entire city centre and so all one needed to do was to walk up the hill. You wouldn’t need to climb to one of the other hills for a photo like this (indeed that’d be a bit too far), as the best spot was actually very close to the entrance to it (halfway up the hill), with a massive group of rocks acting as a platform for the perfect picture.

This was pictured from another angle though.


This was taken from the giant pile of rocks.


Zeus’s temple from afar.


The other side was under construction.


A Greek-style theatre, one of the two near the Acropolis.


A functioning theatre – I believe this was of a more Roman style, as there was a wall blocking the view.


One of the more complete structures in the Acropolis.


On the left, it’s female statues acting as pillars.


The back of one of the most recognizable buildings in the world.


A clearer view of the girls.


There was no theatre in town (one would have to go for an afternoon trip that ends at 2am or something), so I settled for an opera. It’s not on every day so you’d have to go check. It’s possible to just go before 9pm and buy a ticket. Maybe not the best seats. Free seating based on zones.

Awfully hot.


It was a pretty terrible experience actually. I couldn’t really figure out what they were doing in the story, up there the people were very small, there’s no English subtitles (it’s all in Greek), it’s very hot, the seats were very uncomfortable, and the speakers didn’t always work…Very often the singing just got cut off.

I left after two hours during the intermission.


In Athens, you can either choose to buy the tickets separately, or you can buy a combo that includes seven sites (you can visit each of them once), all but one in the downtown within walkable distance.

This was a big marketplace back then. It now houses several things including this museum. It’s got plenty of busts.


Climbing up the hill, you see this.


After walking for around 15 minutes, you get to the supreme god’s temple.


Or rather, what’s left of it…


View from another hill.


Hadrian’s Library as you walk up to the Acropolis. This closed at 3pm.


The first stadium of modern Olympics. Skip if you don’t have the time or the will to get there.


The observatory on one of the nearby hills.




Tower of the Winds. The Radcliffe Observatory tower in Green Templeton College Oxford was modelled after this.

Not very tall or elaborated, but then it’s Roman.


If you aren’t getting the combo, it may not be worth going at all, especially when you can see the whole thing from outside the gates.


Hadrian’s Library. I don’t get why it’s closed so early when everything else was 5pm or 8pm.


The hill opposite to the Acropolis.


I took an Uber from the centre to what’s left of Plato’s Academy.


It’s literally mostly just grass and honestly I wasn’t sure what I was looking at. They didn’t even have signs.


I think only one of these things might have been a part of The Academy, but I couldn’t figure out which one was it.

It’s free entry so I guess that’s OK.


Aristotle’s school was a bit better maintained. It’s included in the combo.


But this was basically it.


The Byzantine Museum, a nice building next to the above. Entry not included for this one.


Socrates’s prison. Free entry. You can just walk around the hill below the Acropolis and see things like this. There are no signs though so you’d need to know where you’re going based on the map on the main path outside.