Bon Biní, Welkom, Bienvenido, Welcome, Benvenuto, Wilkommen!
I'm Elton, 30, from the island of Curaçao (Southern Caribbean) where I was born, raised and currently living. I come from a local neighbourhood just west of Otrobanda in Willemstad and I do not come from a wealthy family like some people may think! I speak Papiamentu, Dutch, English, Spanish and regular Italian.
Although I love my country and I consider myself a truly Kurasoleño (or "yu Kòrsou" like we call Curaçaoans in Papiamentu) who appreciates the island, its people and culture, travel and get to know the world has always been my dream since I was a small kid and I'm enjoying the fact that I'm able to so nowadays! It only made me appreciate my country even more than I did before, since I always compare Curaçao to other countries I go to.
I'll keep travelling as long as my wallet and my health allow me to do so. Travelling is such a great experience, difficult to properly express it in words. All the many different cultures you get to know, the customs and ways of life, different food, big cities, small towns, parties, local celebrations, history, landscapes and others things we don't have or that are different in Curaçao; and all the friends that I've made during my trips. I have contacts in many parts of the world today and that's very valuable! Because of travelling I also learned a new language (Italian), which is the 5th language I learned to speak and I'm still learning...and I know some very basic German too which helps sometimes.
On this blog I'll keep family members, friends and acquaintances informed about my trips. At the moment, starting July 2013, I'm doing a long work & travel trip around the world, for an yet unknown period of time. Enjoy it and comments will be appreciated!
I started writing this blog in July 2007. Trips that I've made before July 2007, which I didn't write a blog about, includes visits to various parts of the Netherlands while I was living there, and also:
- London, Manchester, Blackpool and Lake District in the UNITED KINGDOM;
- Paris, Metz and Le Morvan area in FRANCE;
- Prague, CZECH REPUBLIC;
- Vienna, AUSTRIA;
- New York, USA;
- Brugge, Gent and the Ardennes in BELGIUM;
- Frankfurt, Düsseldorf and Köln in GERMANY;
- Istanbul, TURKEY;
- Tenerife (Canary Islands), SPAIN;
The reason why I write in English, is because there are several friends/acquaintances subscribed to this blog and they speak different languages. Therefore it's easier to write in English....just use Google Translate if you want to translate ;-)
December 8th 2013
Dobrý deň (Good day), Like the title of this blog says, I made an unplanned visit to Bratislava, capital of Slovakia. The plan was to go straight to Poland after Budapest but then I thought "why not stop briefly in Bratislava first"? Slovakia used to form one single country together with Czech Republic, called "Czechoslovakia" between the end of World War II and 1993. The train from Budapest to Bratislava took about 2,5 hours. Bratislava is also Slovakia's largest city with about half a million people and lies on the shores of the Danube River. Vienna, Austria's capital, is just about 40km from Bratislava but I've been there already in 2006 and didn't want to go again. Bratislava is not a big city which is good because I didn't have much time to stay here...just two ... read more
December 3rd 2013
Welcome in "Magyarország"! That's Hungary in Hungarian, which I found to be an extremely complicated language. I spent 4 days in Budapest, Hungary's capital. Two before flying to Tel Aviv and two after. The city is quite popular among tourists in general and I was really looking forward to go and experience the city myself. I really liked the city and consider it as one of the nicest European capitals I've been to (so far no other capital beats the beauty of Prague in my opinion). Budapest is beautiful, especially by night it looks stunning! I took a train from Zagreb to Budapest, which took about 6 hours. On the way to Budapest I was typing on my netbook a lot while enjoying the landscape outside, which was mostly flat. The train passed along the Lake ... read more
November 29th 2013
Salam aley kom!! Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan is the official name of Israel's eastern neighbour country. In 1994 both countries signed a peace-treaty, therefore it's possible for people to cross the border from one of the three crossing points. Jordan uses the Jordanian Dinar as its currency, which has almost the same value as the Euro (1 JD = EUR 1,03 these days). The head of state is King Abdullah II. From Nazareth I took a bus towards the bordercrossing called "Sheikh Hussein". Nobody told me we'd change buses at the border. I left my big backpack on the bus when we got off in front of the Jordanian migration building and then I needed to go through a security check in another building. When I finished I couldn't find the bus! I got a bit ... read more
November 18th 2013
Shalom! This is the second and last blog about my visit to Israel. Jesuralem is the capital of Israel, but not recognized as such by the United Nations. It's the largest city in the country with approx. 700.000 people. Jerusalem is considered a holy city by Christians, Jews and Muslims and is the most visited city in Israel. It felt to me like an open-air museum with so much history, so much to see. Of course it all depends on what you want to see. The population of (ultra-) Orthodox Jews here is very big and is something you'll notice as soon as you arrive. Most sites are within the walls of the old city, which is divided into an Armenian quarter, Christian quarter, Jewish quarter and Muslim quarter. The Jewish quarter was destroyed in the ... read more
November 14th 2013
Shalom! Well, I made it to "Medīnat Yisrā'el", the official Hebrew name for the "State of Israel". The country was another of my top-3 countries I really wanted to visit. I wanted to see and experience the capital, which is a holy place to three different religions, visit and float on the Dead Sea which is unique in the world and I also wanted to visit because I'm a Christian. I have to say that my visit to Israel doesn't automatically mean that I agree with every decision and measurements of the Israeli government in general!!! I don't like politics at all and I'm not going to discuss about any political and ethnic issues of the region. I have a friend in Israel, Gidi, who I wanted to visit too and I haven't seen him anymore ... read more
November 10th 2013
Good day people! Bosnia & Herzegovina is an almost landlocked country, with just 20km of coast around a city called Neum. I guess most people would immediately think about the war when they hear the name Bosnia & Herzegovina. Most people probably don't know much more about the place (some even think there is still a war, lol). During the Yugoslav War between 1992 and 1996, Bosnia & Herzegovina was the country that suffered the most. Serbs wanted to take control of the whole country and large parts of Croatia to annex it to Serbia, which would become the "Big Serbia". During my visit I spoke to three or four different people about the war, mostly younger people because the older generation doesn't speak English. It was interesting to hear from different people how they and ... read more
November 3rd 2013
"Crna Gora" means "Black Mountain" and is the Montenegrin name of Montenegro. Montenegro is a small country with about 600.000 people between Serbia, Croatia and Albania. The country separated from Serbia in 2006 and became an independent country. In Montenegro they use the Euro as national currency, although they're not part of the European Union (yet). The country is trying hard to promote itself abroad as a tourist destination and they have a goal to convert to country into a destination for upper-class tourists. A lot of Russians visit Montenegro since they don't need a visa to visit. From Dubrovnik I decided to take a daytrip to this country, which wasn't planned, and I don't regret the choice I made. The border-crossing took about 30-45 minutes to get into Montenegro (less when going back to Croatia) ... read more
October 27th 2013
Dobar dan! This blog contains the second part of my visit to Croatia. While I was in Split, we also visited Trogir, a small but beautiful city located less than half an hour west of Split which is also a UNESCO World Heritage site. The Kamerlengo fort offers spectacular views over the city. It’s a beautiful town to visit as a short half-day trip from Split. After Split I continued towards the capital, Zagreb. My friends in Zagreb, Viktor and Melita who I also met in Rovinj in 2007, arranged a car for me. Viktor works at a rental car and many companies needed to relocate their cars from Dalmatia back to Zagreb. I had to go to Split airport to take one car to Zagreb airport which are about 370km away from each other. I ... read more
October 17th 2013
Dobar dan! On my last day in Puglia I went to Bari, where I had to take a ferry to Croatia. Unfortunately there was no time to visit the city itself, which has a beautiful historic town according to Giuseppe. It was the second time I visited Croatia, after I visited the Istra peninsula and Plitvice National Park in 2007. I must say that for me Croatia is, so far, one of the most beautiful countries in Europe! Croatia became independent in 1991 after the break-up of Yugoslavia which consisted also of the current Slovenia, Montenegro, Bosnia & Herzegovina, Kosovo, Macedonia and Serbia. Croatia still remains the second wealthiest of all the former Yugoslavian countries, behind Slovenia. Since earlier this year, Croatia is part of the European Union but still uses the Kuna as its currency ... read more
October 7th 2013
Buongiorno tutti, After Estonia I flew back to Milan where I stayed 2 nights at my friend's place. I also went to Cremona for a day, where I met with an acquaintance of mine. She is half Curaçaoan and half Italian, cousin of a colleague in Curaçao and she is completely in love with the island and wants to go live there with her husband. I also met her mom, who is from Curaçao and living in Italy since early 70's. I flew with Ryanair from Bergamo (near Milan) to Brindisi for just 65 EUR! I did not visit Brindisi itself, since it’s just a harbour city and has nothing particular. This region in southern Italy is called Puglia (Apulia in English), it’s the "heel" of the boots, Italy's form. My friend Giuseppe picked me up ... read more