domingo, 26 de abril de 2009

My 24th happy happy birthday!

April 25 was my 24th anniversary (god I'm getting old). This post makes the photo-report of what happened. It was a party hosted by 4 people, but a lot more helped with everything. These 4 guys are the hosts. Nuno (April 25), Vanesa (April 24), Alfredo (April 27) and Cristina (April 22). Saturday was a good day to make the party that lasted till morning for some :)

Everybody took meat and beers, and some brought gifts! :D

It's a party so I actually I'm not explaining everything, so just check the pictures. :)
I don't have a lot of pictures, so It's not gonna be big. But be sure it was great.

About 30 liters of sangria? I'm not sure but more than 20 I think.

Me + Katrina = :)
Me + Katrina + Raphael = :S


Paula Paula... You're so crazy!

The sun glasses of the other one! They were ok! :D By the way, I felt good after this! Really great afternoon.

Already preparing for the night...

Somebody wants to hit somebody!

And very nice companies the whole night. :)

For the last picture, I'm just gonna put the best picture of the day, and one of the best pictures of my erasmus so far. It's a world! No, it's an Universe (joke not for all :P)

One more thing:
This was a birthday to never forget! When I say never is never! :) Some events will be in my memory forever!


terça-feira, 21 de abril de 2009

Łódź is not so ugly after all

I went to the park the other day, with a very good company... Actually it's a nice park. Very quite place, and with families wondering there, and sit by the small lake. Very good. Just a few pictures for you. :)

And for those who remember... the 8th dorm on the left.

Spring allows this. :)

terça-feira, 14 de abril de 2009

Easter in Wrocław - Best City of Poland

Last weekend thanks to Raphael, we went to Wroclaw (aparentely here some friends of mine from Aveiro were partyi.... hrum... studying all the time during last year). :D
Raphael sent a Couchsurf request and we were not accepted, we were INVITED to experience Polish Easter traditional time with a Polish Family. Immediatelly we got so excited and decided we would have to go.
Day 1
So we packed our stuff and Friday morning we were on the move. Here's the route, 234 kms to be made in about 4:15m. BORING!!!!

After about 5 hours here we are at our "home sweet home" for the next 4 days. :)

Meet Monika and Luiza - Both our hosts. :) in a very peaceful neighborhood...

not so peacefull after having Raphael around. xD

And we went to the city.

Some small flea market was there when we arrived...

And of course "this guy" can't miss anything... not in Poland he can't! xD

By the way we bought it. :)

The city center, Wroclaw Town Hall (Ratusz)

The whole CS team. :)

For next pictures and along the rest of the post, you'll be seeing some small statues, which are the Dwarfs. I'll try to explain more or less what they are, and how they started to appear around the city. There are about 70.

One such protest group, Pomarańczowa Alternatywa (the Orange Alternative), was founded in Wroclaw in the eighties by a man called Waldemar Fydrych. Initially, during the period of martial law (1981 to 1983), his protests took the form of graffiti depicting orange dwarfs, simple but by all accounts expressive drawings. As the decade went on, the organization grew, and protests were held in the form of happenings rooted in absurdity, word-play, nonsense and child-like behavior. The orange color and dwarf motifs continued to be important elements, and although these were not the only concepts the group used, they proved the most memorable.
The dwarf statues in Wroclaw commemorate the Orange Alternative as an important part of the fabric of the city’s history and culture.
Original text: Here.

They became so popular with the years, that all companies and stores, wanted their own dwarfs, so one can say that the dwarfs are aquiring a status more comercial, than the original ideals. Either way, dwarf hunting is always great. :D
For the record, we found 41... well, Raphael has a good eye for little men! :P
We dare you to do better!

In this picture there's a curiosity. Open it and try to find out what. I'll tell you what's "wrong" about it bellow.

So, either you found out or not, or didn't even care. So what's different in this block? If you haven't noticed, the top left corner window is painted. According to Luiza, this building was partially destroyed during the war. When it was being rebuild, somehow it was impossible to restore that window, so they decided to paint it. By the way, if you haven't find it, don't worry, Luiza told us that most of her surfers never saw it even after her telling them. :)

More little fellows

At some point we found this guy with the beard. He is a city embassador in Couchsurf . I'm not gonna explain what's an embassador, you find out. :P
In these pictures he and his friend were being interviewed by some random guy (A TVI lá do sítio diria eu) about ninjas... so we where told. This guy, Pirmo, was cause of a great meeting later this night... later in the post. :)

The little guys are everywhere as you can see. :)

And it's so easy to make clowny faces around them... they are just begging for that... and since we are young and stupid (ok, not our hosts, just me and Raph) we do so. :)

In this picture they put two dwarfs in the same street candle. I think it's the only case in the whole city.

The next one is the original dwarf statue, Papa Krasnal (Papa Dwarf).
I was just trying to look like the guy, and let's be honest, I'm not so different.

Some other ones, in different figures... at right hand side, one eating Pierogi.

Here is the University building. Right next to it, there's this statue... Monika told us, that it symbolizes what will happen to a student if he doesn't study, and instead he gambles and sleeps all day... he will end up naked. Monika, if I'm lieing it's on you!! :P
Just another note, the sword he's holding, has been stolen quite often. I guess the beer is a bit strong and they like to feel as the puss in boots.

Chocolate in portuguese and polish.

And I think this is my favourite dwarf... the pizza hut one... He's a lot like me after cleaning Luiza's dishes... eheheh

And some other bigger dwarfs... Monika, one is not suposed to see your body!! :P

This is the GOD of the city hall!!

It was getting dark, so we went to a pub to drink some beer... Luiza, hunny beer is kinda funny. You can see that from my face. eheh

After a few this is how we ended up.

Earlier I told you about Pirmo, the embassador. So, while going back home we met again by chance, and there was Nicholas (by the way, he studyed in Lodz a few years ago, so you might recognize him, and now he's working in Wroclaw, and became a city embassador like Pirmo, and Luiza) also. The guy on the right side on the first photo. They were with a big group of people, and we decided to join them in Nicholas' flat. There were, 1 Portuguese (who?), 2 french, 3 mexicans, 1 finish, 2 american, 4 polish, 2 turkish and 1 italian here in the living room. It was a pleasent night... I ended up singing "Oh Laurindinha" and that was the most unpleasent thing. xD I think I'm gonna learn some poetry to recite instead of singing portuguese songs. Christ. There's a video of that, but I'll save you the trouble to ear such thing. :P
By the way, Monika and Luiza couldn't be there because they went to paint eggs. In Poland , as Easter tradition, people paint the eggs Friday, to bring in a basket Saturday to church to get them blessed. Then in Sunday the same eggs are eaten by the whole family. I feel bad, because I didn't paint eggs (I was to occupied meeting new people) and I dind't cook them (I don't know what a RRRRELL whas I doing)... only ate them... well, as Luiza told me... I'm the best cleaner!

Going back home, we had time for a another little guy. :)

Back home ends the first day in Wroclaw. Amazing day. :)

Day 2
Saturday we went back to the city, just me and Raph... The girls went to the church to bless the eggs. Let me tell you... throughout all city people were carrying baskets with painted eggs. This is taken very siriously here in Poland. :)

Back to the city center.

Bazylika sw. Elzbiety a great view of the city.

A lot of people having sunbaths... So why not me. :)


And again the same thing... it's a pitty I was in Poland. :D This time counts but not as another country I know. :(

Katrina told me to go to Panorama Racławicka and we went... but unfortunatly it was closed. :(

And after that, finally a deserved lunch... I must tell you... if you ever go to this city, go to this Restaurant and ask the cheese soupe. Amazing. The name of the restaurant is Chatka, and the address is: Odrezanska street number 6.

And after that we were so full we had to take a rest. :D

This one is nice... This couple overheard us talking something about history, and asked us if we wanted to listen to some facts. "Well, we don't know polish, but let's take it." :D After 15 minutes saying yes, "AHHHHHH" and agreeing with them, we were told that we had a very nice polish (OMG!) and we got to know a new interesting fact. The city is crossed by a river, Odra. Ages ago, people made a foss to soround the city and protect it. This can be seen on a regular map of the city.

There was a fairy taking place in the city, so we decided to take a ride on the fairy's wheel. Nice ride. :) Nice views.

One more happy little guy.

Meanwhile, it was dark already, and we went back home... We helped "watching" cooking. :D
Raphael was a little amazed... :)
By the way, this is the day we threw food at each other... but no pictures or videos here will be made public. eheh

And the second day was over... Time to bed now. :)

Day 3
Sunday... Sunday was a great day... This was the day with all the family. Which, along with the great invitation text from Luiza, was what made us really go there. Parents, sisters, grandparents, cousins, friends, I don't know who else, and of course... the portuguese and french guys... Everybody tried to talk to us, tranlations were made by the girls when necessary of course. I wish I had a picture with the whole group. Whell, I guess next Easter we'll have to be there again to take that picture. :)

And after a while, a got surprised... If you're portuguese, you'll understande the next picture. :)

After lunch, and not cleaning the dishes, the girls took us to a great great great afternoon! Bike tour! OMG it was so fun!

CS bike team! :D

The new Technical University of Wroclaw. Nice building.

Hala Ludowa

The Japanese garden. Beautiful garden, specially to make to clown figures again. :D

Check the image on the left... think it's fake? :D

Out of the garden...
This church is interesting. Luiza just help me with the history so let's go again into more details. :) It seems I messed some things up... so I'm going to correct myself and give you some more details, now that Luiza helped me. :)
This church name is kościół Św. Jana Nepomucena (church of Saint Jan Napomucen) . It was not originally built here. It was made in Stare Koźle, southeast to Wroclaw. And it was brought to this place in 1913.
A few years ago, a few paintings were stolen from National Museum, and were hidden here for 2 ou 3 years. One of the robbers was cought and told where these paintings were. Some of the others robbers were only cought about 10 years later of the robbery! So I think now the story is a bit more correct. :) Thanks again Luiza.

These two buildings hide party party party.. Here is where all Erasmus from the University live. I heard all nights there have great parties... I mean... everybody studies a lot!

This building is where Luiza had first few years of lectures and labs. In her first year of university she was inside and the building suffered an explosion. The three top floors, burned out and all people were evacuated. It must have been scary. :) But the students were downstairs drinking beer and glad about not having classes... mean people!!! xD
By the way, the sculpture, represents the carbon athom.

I like this picture. Analyse the details... :D

33 bike kms later, we're back home, and ready to refill energies. :D

Starting to see the water balloons... :D Next day would be the fight day!

Some home made licor... very good... very tasty... very sweet.:)

And after this... bed time... third day over. :(
Day 4
Next day was all spent in the house. This was the day... "Wet Monday". Which means that everybody tries to wet everybody else. Somebody told me that they saw, people wainting for the tram to open the doors and throw water inside! EHEHE
And here was our fight. :D

The expert. :D

Everybody was completelly wet! Like the Monday!

After the fight, the deserved resting time. :) Sunbath... I'm darker already! :D

Comments? :D

The night came... and time spent talking to the family ended up in this...

I tried it... and it's OMG string!!! :D

And fourth day ended... :(

Day 5

The last day came. The goodbye day... or... the see you later day.

Lunch out with the girls...

And back again on the train station... See you later!!! :)
Krakow 23 and 24 of May! See you there!!!!

Because of all this, I'm able to say this was the best East ever for me! The best hospitality people, the funniest, the best cook, the best music lover, the best family! What to say? Can't Think you enough. :)
A few months ago, before my CS experience started, a friend of mine told me: "One of these days, you'll be found in a bathtub without kidnees and other organs." So let me tell him... if that would happen right now, it would worth it for all the CS experiences I've had. And let the next experiences come! CS forever! :D

PS: I'm not earning any money from CS. :D eheh

CS has one huge bad thing about it... We always have to say goodbye. But it has on even bigger good thing... We have always a reasong to come back!

I'll let you with the picture of the trip. :)