Bordeaux Summer Wine

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We’ve met in the first year at university. It was October 2005 and we’ve just moved to Bucharest. Alexandra was colleagues with Alina, while Oana and I were in the same group for a short while. We became friends instantly and spent most of the next four years together—Alina and I basically lived in the girls’ lovely apartment in Piata Spaniei. Years have passed, we’ve relocated around the world, and, shockingly, we recently realized we’ve not been in the same place the four of us in seven years (!!!). We took matter into our own hands and organized a get together weekend in Bordeaux.

It was a trip that almost didn’t happen. Alexandra and I were supposed to come by train from Paris Friday evening, but after waiting for three hours at Paris Montparnasse we were told that all trains to and from Bordeaux have been cancelled for the day (due to a technical glitch). Luckily, traffic resumed in the morning and we managed to arrive at our destination at 11am on Saturday. To make matters worse, Oana’s flight got cancelled, too, so she also arrived late. Alina was the only one who got there on time, but her flight back to Geneva had a 3.5h delay.

All bad luck aside, fortune did strike once we got to Bordeaux and the sun shone bright for the entire duration of our stay (contradicting the rather scary weather forecast, which announced thunderstorms). This helped us really enjoy Bordeaux. We did a bit of sightseeing—Place de la Bourse with its Miroir d’eau (Water Mirror) is the most iconic touristic place (see pic #8 and #9). We ate a looot—beef steak and French bread are the ultimate diet breakers, believe me—l’Entrecote and La Tupina being some good restaurant suggestions. And, of course, we drank wine. Red wine. Just pick whatever. You can’t go wrong with anything local.

Although it was a short reunion (cut even shorter by all the traveling inconveniences), it was so great to spend time with my fabulous girls. Although we’ve not seen each other, the four of us, in seven years, it did feel like time stood still. It’s felt like we’ve met yesterday.

Friendship never dies, Fabulous People! Remember, #WeAreFabulous

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Photos: © Sorin Istrate

#WhenInMexico: Take Me to Church

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On our return to Mexico City, we wanted to wander some more through city and discover its hidden (or not so hidden) treasures. Doing a quick research, I found out that one of the most famous places near by is the Basilica of Our Lady of Guadalupe. Impressive in its appearance, this is also the most visited Catholic pilgrimage site in the world, and the third most-visited sacred location.

Situated about an hour drive from where we lived in the city center, the site is a great example of how old and new combine to suit the needs of our ever-changing society. While the old basilica is the epitome of how a glamorous, traditional church should look like, the new basilica is totally unexpected. Resembling more an amphitheatre, the inside is ginormous. Although open, airy, and ultra high-tech, this did not really feel churchy to me—maybe I’m old-fashioned, I don’t know.

Governed by the emblematic figure of Virgen de Guadalupe, Mexico is one of the most Catholic countries in the world, with about 82.7% of the population being Catholics. Our trip could not be complete without a visit to the centre of it all.

I guess this wraps up our #AmorAlaMexicana adventure! I look forward to welcoming you onboard another #globetrotting experience. In the meantime, go visit the world, Fabulous People! Remember, #WeAreFabulous

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Photos: © Sorin Istrate

#WhenInMexico: The Tulum Oasis

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On the last day of the second leg of our Mexican adventure we headed to Tulum, a small seaside establishment famous for its Maya heritage. While doing some research on the place, I found out that Tulum was actually one of the last cities built and inhabited by the Maya. It was at its height between the 13th and 15th centuries and managed to survive about 70 years after the Spanish began occupying Mexico. Old World diseases brought by the Spanish settlers appear to have resulted in very high fatalities, disrupting the society and eventually causing the city to be abandoned. Nevertheless, the site is amongst the best-preserved, making it a popular attraction for tourists all over the world.

After visiting the ruins—which are impressive mostly because of their closeness to the sea and the amazing view—we went to the beach. The Tulum beach is wilder, rawer than the one in Cancun or Playa del Carmen. It doesn’t seem so commercial, it’s more deserted, more natural if you want. On one side this provides a more genuine experience, while on the other it deprives you of all the facilities of a resort or a fancy beach club. Nevertheless, we chose to focus on the positives.

Upon entering the beach, we were greeted with a once in a lifetime offer to go on a boat ride and do snorkeling for the unbelievable price of 250 MXN per person (which would convert into about 13 EUR). While I had major difficulties adjusting my breathing through my mouth (and not the nose), the snorkeling proved to be a fun activity. We swam with the exotic fishes of the Caribbean atop coral reefs.

There’s one more part to this amazing trip as we’re going back to Mexico City for another two days. Stay tuned, Fabulous People, #AmorAlaMexicana continues! Remember, #WeAreFabulous

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Photos: © Sorin Istrate

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