luni, 9 octombrie 2017

Preparing for your PMP exam

If you are now preparing for the PMP exam, I would like to share with you some  tips & tricks for a better exam experience or address any concerns. 

How the exam goes
There are 200 questions in 4 hours, out of which 25 are not rated. Yet you do not know which ones are not rated so this does not matter. The passing score is around 60% so you need to get 110-120 questions right.

How are the questions
The first 100-120 questions are average / normal / simple. If you have studied, you should get them right. They are straight questions from the text book. Eg. in what knowledge area / process group you are, what to do in a basic situation, how to initiate / close. There is only one obvious right answer.
The next 50 questions start to get complex. They have more than one right / wrong answer and you need to choose the best one, you should make sure you realize first in what phase you are before choosing the answer, make sure you apply the correct formula.
30 -35 questions are difficult / strange where you are not sure what they are asking. These are the long text questions with a lot of wording.
Only 2 questions I couldn’t tell what they wanted from me, what were they referring to.

On most questions with your current project management experience, you should be able to choose the correct answer.
All questions can be related from the PMBOK. If one concept is not in the PMBOK than it probably is not on the exam.
The formulas are not the complicated ones, in general they refer to the EVM (the simple ones). I had twice the communications channels formula. Otherwise I had about 20 math questions.
I had only one network diagram and about 3-4 simple follow-up questions after it.
There were not too many questions asking what are the Inputs, Outputs, what comes next, what is the tool for some process (the memory type question), but rather logical and common sense questions.

How to learn
Learning from the PMBOK is almost impossible.
Rita is a very good book. Go through all of it, do all the exercises from the first time, but to not scribble on the book, rather do the exercises on a piece of paper. Also do the end chapter questions every time. It is the best way to memorize what you learn.
The hardest topics are chapters 3 and 4. Try not to over stress with them from the beginning, rather go through the core knowledge areas and get back to these at the end. They will make much more sense when you have did everything else once.
The procurement chapter is very vast in Rita. For this one, maybe it is faster to learn from the PMBOK.

How to prepare
The saying goes that you need to have 1000 practice questions before going to the exam. You have 400 in Rita, 200 free questions on I could share with you 200 more if you drop me an email. You can find more over here:
Start with Rita and These are 600+ questions = 12 hours of your life. Be careful some online questions are idiotic and can confuse you more than clarify.
Try to go through Rita at least twice. The saying goes that you should do it 3 times, but twice if you already have PM experience should be enough to pass the exam.

How is the exam in Bucharest
In the Romanian-American university basement. You are not allowed with any personal belongings in the test room. They provide you with pen / papers / calculator. You have a small locker room to store your phone / wallet. You are searched like in the airport, do not worry about this.
The room is very quiet. There are 30 computers but only 2-3 people taking various other test. There are sound proof headphones available. There is someone checking up on you every 10 minutes.
When you sit on the computer you start a 15 minutes simulation, after that the exam starts automatically.
I have used the first 15-20 minutes for memory dump (from minute 3 of the simulation). I have written down all processes and knowledge areas and formulas. This helps you in the tricky questions to make sure you are not tricked.
There is a jogging rhythm of 50 questions per hour. But the latter questions become more difficult so keep up, just short breaks if you need, it is easier in the beginning so try not to waste too much time. I had 15 minutes left in the end for checkup and I found out that I missed a question.
When you close the test, there is a small survey and then your result is displayed: Congratulations you have passed!

Break a leg!


sâmbătă, 25 iunie 2016

The United Kingdom of England and Wales without London

The hole world woke up with a black swan on the morning of the 24th of June, released by the egoistic personal political ambitions of David Cameron.

People with limited to null economic and (geo)political understanding were allowed and asked to decide the fate and dream of a continent. 
What if Churchill had held a referendum to make peace with Hitler? Or what if people decide to vote on having fire services, since 99% never had a fire, so why waste money on it ? Rhetorical..

Financial Times updateed it's estimate, that in the first 24 hours, 2 trillions were lost in markets around the world.
Another estimate is that the British economy lost 350 billion in the first day, more than everything they contributed to the EU in the past decades.
France and UK have switched positions in world economies for the first time.
The United Kingdom could break apart in the next 2 years, with another referendum in Scotland and N. Ireland that had voted 60% for the EU.
The possibility that the Brexit could cause another world wide recession is more likely than ever and could make the Lehman brothers a child-play.
With so vast losses companies will go bankrupt and the only jobs created and not lost will be in passport controls.

70 years of peace, prosperity, unification and integration have now ended. 
..and Trump called this a great thing.

luni, 7 decembrie 2015

PMP questions type and difficulty

Preparing for the PMP exam is a challenge that integrates many aspects.

If you are preparing for taking the PMP exam, at this moment you probably are aware that there are 200 question units in 4 hours and that 25 of them are not graded (yet this is totally irrelevant since you do not know which ones are not graded).

There is a heuristic rule that you should take at least 1000 sample questions before going to the exam. I actually believe that I have used in training around 1200 - 1400 different unique questions and some of them up to 3 times over. Surfing through an enormous online variety of question for this exam, I have inadvertently encountered questions raging from very good to very bad, targeted on the PMBOK or completely irrelevant to the exam.

So to share my experience and knowledge regarding the exam and preparation for it, I would like to recommend you the following regarding what to expect:
  • If it is not in the PMBOK 99% you won't see it in the exam. I find this very important since scrolling the web for more questions you would at some point find unrelated questions (yes  journey to Abilene or words / minutes processed, I am referring  to you).
  • About 100-120 questions were normal questions, you would expect anyone trained for the PMP to know as a basic.
  • About 50 questions were average difficulty, where you have to find out what exactly is happening in the situation described. Again if you have sound training, these should not be a problem.
  • Lastly about 30-40 questions are really difficult. These are those questions that you need to find out what the context is about, choose best answer from all 4 correct, or the least wrong answer. This is also important to be aware of when you prepare for the exam. I have seen some sample tests where all 200 questions were difficult or even much more difficult than you would encounter (negative float on the Critical Path for example). Your score in this kind of tests is also marginal relevant to what you would perform on the real exam. 
I think the key to evaluate yourself is to score that 75-80% in a full 200 QU test that mixes all knowledge areas and has varied difficulty questions.

You can find over 400 question units in Rita if you own the book. There are 200 more free questions in and I have found 175 more free questions from Oliver Lehman. 

Best of luck!

vineri, 19 septembrie 2014

Scotland: Edinburgh

One year to this day, a morning train from King's Cross was taking me to Edinburgh for my last trip in UK. After getting off in the majestic rail station in the very heart of the city of Edinburgh I was shocked by two things. First the medieval beauty of everything around, secondly by the large number of people with with kilts, pipes, flags and blue painted faces.
No, I was not in Avatar, Scotland just proclaimed the referendum to break away from the United Kingdom. At first I could not understand why anybody would really seriously consider this.

The answer comes when you visit the Castle of Edinburgh. Built on top of a small volcanic mountain it offers great views of the surroundings and a very interesting historical visit. The castle stood - got destroyed, rebuilt, destroyed again and rebuilt again, witness for centuries of war between Brits and Scots. So going to a secessionist referendum no longer looked so surprising to me.

Visiting Scotland's capital
If you have the possibility to take a weekend to Edinburgh, than please do so. This is one of the best places I have seen in all my time in UK. The city is extremely beautiful, the people were all very friendly and eager to help me out when I was confusing Holyrood Road with Holyrood Park Road on the map, which of course were 20 minutes apart one another.
You must visit here the castle, walk around the train station and cross the bridge by foot (you will realize what bridge I am talking about the moment you get there), stroll the gardens below the castle and if you are in for a hike also climb Arthur's seat - another short volcanic mountain that gives you side view of the city.
There are a lot of very nice traditional shops in the city center where you can buy a lot of exquisite stuff.
For a delicious treat, make it to one of the pubs on George St and get a full pack of ribs with a pint of Scottish ale.

How to get to Edinburgh and how much does it cost?
I have used, and I recommend, the site Here you can buy a combo and it is really worth it. A return trip by train had cost me 50+65 GBP. The trains leave from King's Cross every hour, but you really need to book in advance otherwise it is extremely expensive. The same site sold me a room in a very nice and tidy hotel (Mason house) for another 65 GBP and 2 days travel card in Edinburgh for 3 GBP each. It is worth mentioning that the same hotel was charging 100+ GBP at the reception desk and a minimum of two nights booking. So that site got me a really good deal. Also the hotel breakfast was one of the best I've had.

For visiting the castle you will need 16 GBP, I do not recommend the audio guide as the toured guide is one of the best I've ever had the pleasure to assist.
Everything else is generally a bit less expensive than London, but make sure to enjoy everything as if it was the only time you visit Edinburgh!

My funny adventure
It started to get dark and I was exhausted after my 5 hours train ride, climbing Arthur's Seat, walking through the town center to cover as much as possible so I decided to take one last bus ride to the near by end of the line (according to my map). And so I did, and after 15-20 minutes in the bus it looked no way near the end and the bus was almost deserted. I realized that I took the bus in the other direction (left side driving can still confuse you even after 3 months). I asked a passenger if there are any other buses going back (have not seen one for 10 minutes) and he answered me that this was the last bus going to port! I got down and was trying to figure out where I was on the map. It was dark, cold raining and I had my rain hood all the way over my eyes. A couple crossed nearby and I asked them for directions, not realizing how I was looking. I am glad they did not run away and that they pointed me to the nearest bus route that was still running.
In London night buses ride all night long as you'd imagine. Well in the tiny city with little action on a Saturday night, night buses run only 2 more hours than normal ones. So you'd imagine how happy I was after running for 15 minutes to the city center to catch what was probably the last night bus that took me to my hotel. (yes I did run)

duminică, 15 iunie 2014

CAPM - what, why, how ?

At the end of May 2014 I've taken and passed the PMI exam of CAPM. For this achievement I've only self studied, so if you are looking for some tips and tricks here you go!

  • CAPM - what?
There are 2 main Project Management organizations that offer PM related certifications (and probably dozen of minor ones). One of them is Project Management Institute ( and the other one is Prince2 ( PMI offers a framework that is industry agnostic, while Prince2 offers a methodology that is related to IT mostly. 
PMI provides two level of certifications. The first level is Certified Associate in Project Management and the final one is Project Management Professional. Both certification are based solely on Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK Guide 5th edition).

  • CAPM - why?
Earning either of the two certificates involves a set of screening requirements and passing a high complexity exam.

  • For CAPM you need 1500 hours of project experience OR 23 hours of training. The exam consists of 150 questions in 3 hours. (15 questions are not rated, but you do not know which ones, so it does not matter anyway)
  • For PMP you need 4500 hours of project management experience AND 32 hours of training. The exam consists of 200 questions in 4 hours. (here 25 questions are not rated with the same observation as above).
The training programs are rather expensive (between 200 and 900 Euros) and I wanted to self study anyway, therefor I have decided to take the first exam first as a safe approach and I am now preparing for the PMP exam to follow.
OK but why? Well the certificate is very important for employment but most important is that you really learn how to handle a project, any project. Anything in this world that has a definitive beginning and an end with a defined set of results is a project. You will be able to handle your projects better, more efficient, less stressful and with better results. 

  • CAPM - how?
I recommend you join for 1 year. This costs 139$ and for this money you get your own digital version of the latest PMBOK Guide and discounts for taking the exam. For CAPM the discount is from 300$ down to 225$ so if you have to take the exam twice, or intend to take both exams within these 12 months, than the deal is great and you actually end up saving some money.
With your very own PMBOK Guide now starts the hard part. If you had no training, you will find it rather difficult, boring and maybe a bit too complex. Don't give up, it will get better! Get to the end of it once, the second pass will be much easier and the 3rd one is going to be a piece of cake. 
There are scores of materials on Youtube, preparation websites and others, but about this I will tell you in a future post. 
Finally when you have finished training and you evaluate that you are prepared, you come back to the PMI website to fill your exam application, pay the fee and schedule the exam. The exam is hosted by the Prometric company ( in exam specialized test centers across the world. In Bucharest there were 5 test centers when I have taken this exam.

More about PMI certifications over here:

If you have any comments or find any of the information not accurate please leave me a message.

miercuri, 26 februarie 2014

Lumea in 2030 de Dr. Michio Kaku

Mi-a fost recomandat clip-ul de mai jos. Desi l-am inceput cu scepticism pot sa spun ca este cel mai bun documentar pe care l-am vazut vreodata.

joi, 30 ianuarie 2014

Un avion degeaba

Mi se pare irelevant ce metoda de triangulare au folosit pentru a cauta epava avionului prabusit in munti. Mi se pare putin important daca echipele de salvare au ajuns in 5 ore si nu in 4 (daca ajungeau in 4 ore, se gaseau cei care sa intrebe de ce nu in 3, si tot asa), la fel de putin important este ca primul sosit acolo era un padurar care cunostea muntele si nu un pompier trimis de la sute de Km departare, pe un munte, noaptea pe ceata. 

Ce gasesc eu interesant este de ce a avut loc acea cursa in primul rand? Ma gandesc ca un bilet dus-intors Bucuresti-Cluj nu trebuie sa coste mai mult de 100 de Euro, mai ales pentru o institutie care cumpara mii de bilete de avion pe an. Cu cat oare a platit statul Roman cursa aceea? De ce zboara un avion preistoric (oare se mai fabrica elici) vechi de 37 de ani si la ce costuri. Cate mii de euro au fost decontati pentru acea cursa, de o institutie publica, cand la privat ar fi costat doar cateva sute de euro? 
Imi pare rau de viata pierduta a asistentei medicale. Dar ea nu trebuia sa moara! Pentru ca nu trebuia sa plece o asistenta tocmai de la Bucuresti. In Cluj nu sunt asistente?
Recunosc ca nu stiu cat de complicata este operatia de prelevare de organe. Insa ma intreb daca nici un spital din Cluj nu poate sa faca o prelevare de organe, atunci poate ca ministrul sanatatii, impreuna cu directorii spitalului municipal din Cluj, trebuiau sa isi dea demisia si poate nu ministrul de interne. 

Ma gandesc daca raspunsul la toate aceste intrebari nu este, pentru ca institutii si functionari publici, sa toace bani publici degeaba, cu singura consecinta ca mai devreme sau mai tarziu, cineva ajunge sa moara din neglijenta criminala.

miercuri, 22 ianuarie 2014

12 Years a Slave

Filmul 12 Years a Slave este o drama tulburatoare ecranizand o perioada neagra din istoria umanitatii. 

Solomon, un negru liber din New York, cu cateva decenii inainte de abolirea sclaviei, este inselat, rapit si vandut in sclavie. Ajunge rand pe rand, pe mai multe plantatii din sud, unde intalneste stapani de tot felul. 

Drama si atrocitatile sclaviei sunt fie cunoscute, fie intuite de multi, insa acum sunt concentrate si condensate pe parcusul a doua ore si 10 minute de violenta, nedreptate si cruzime. Insa putin altceva se mai poate vedea. Sau poate cruzimea te desensibilizeaza inca de la inceput.

Ce lipsesc celor 12 ani de sclavie pentru a merita permiul Oscar, sunt momentele memorabile. Nu stiu cu ce imi voi aminti acest film, decat pentru violenta. Am simtit o rezonanta emotionala mult mai puternica la The Butler si evident la Cloud Atlas (alt film centrat pe tema omului care il inrobeste pe om, dar povestit independent de era si generatie). 

Filmul a castigat deja Globul de Aur la categoria cel mai bun film si este nominalizat la mai multe categorii la Oscar. Este un film foarte bun, insa nu vad cu ce iese in evidenta fata de alte filme tematice si la fel de violente: Amistad, Django Unchained. Sau mult mai putin axate pe violenta: The great debaters, Lincoln, The butler

Nota mea: 10 pentru recrearea fidela a tragediei, insa Oscar pentru cel mai bun film, nu din punctul meu de vedere.

joi, 12 septembrie 2013

Avem o tara - cum o jefuim? II

Continui postarea anterioara pentru a dezbate un subiect local dar cu impact economic iar pentru unii cu o importanta politica enorma.

Un jaf mai mic, aprope neinsemnat este eutanasierea cainilor salbatici (un caine fara stapan care nu asculta de nimeni si umbla liber pe strada este salbatic). Primaria capitalei a desemnat azi prin licitatie pretul de capturare a unui caine: 219 lei.
Sa facem un mic exercitiu: amortizarea la un logan carosat 4000 de lei. Un sofer si un muncitor necalificat 2500 de lei impreuna, 4500 de lei brutul. 1000 de lei cheltuieli cu carburanti si inca 1000 de lei alte cheltuieli. Sa tragem linie si sa zicem 10.000 de lei cheltuieli pe luna.
Sa zicem ca echipa asta prinde 200 de caini unici (nu pe aceeasi de 2-3-10 ori) intr-o luna. Asta inseamna ca SRL-ul va incasa peste 40.000 de lei. Buna afacere, nu? Dar daca prind inca 200 in aceeasi luna sau pe aceeasi de 3 ori ?
Din punctul meu de vedere cainii salbatici nu au ce cauta pe strada. In primul rand trebuiesc adunati absolut toti cainii care umbla fara un stapan pe strada. La fel ca orice alte animale salbatice (ursi, pisici, sobolani, iar daca eram in Australia sau in Asia coioti si varani).
Lasati dragostea falsa de caine. Vrei sa iubesti un caine, iubeste-l la tine acasa; sau gaseste alti 10 iubitori si platiti luna de luna o curte langa Bucuresti sa ii tina. Cand te prea slavesti ca ai cumparat din banii tai carnati sa le dai la catei, ai idee din ce e facut carnatul ala? Iti spun eu, in nici un caz din frunze. Tu, cu banii tai, ai omorat un animal pentru a-l da de mancare la altul.
Dupa ce au fost adunati, cine doreste sa ii ingrijeasca pe socoteala proprie este foarte bine venit sa o faca. Altfel cu toata parerea de rau, un caine nedorit trebuie eutanasiat cu blandete.
Pentru o anumita persoana, cainii vagabonzi poate reprezenta tema de la campania prezidentiala de anul viitor. Venind dupa 6 ani independenti in care nu are nici un proiect propriu important, iar autostrada suspendata este tot suspendata, tragedia din parcul Tei este speranta independentului pentru fotoliul de la Cotroceni. Asta a fost singurul scop al referendumului de 5 milioane de lei care trebuia sa aibe loc peste o luna. Principalul contra candidat, Antonescu, s-a prins repede de miscare si i-a retezat-o din fasa, trecat in 2 zile prin parlament o lege care sa ii faca acestuia inutil referendumul.

Tot razboiul este pentru alegerile din 2014. Iar ce vedem acum nu este decat o avanpremiera. Vizionare placuta!

Avem o tara - cum o jefuim? I

Luna septembrie se pare ca ne va aduce cele mai mare jaf pe care l-a marcat Romania de la vanzarea platformei continentale, inainte de a fi castigata la proces, incoace. Cand a fost vandut BCR-ul pe 3 miliarde de Euro si banii s-au evaporat, e nimica toata.
La Rosia Montana este vorba despre bani, bani si iar bani. Suma ingropata sub acele 4 dealuri se invarte la peste 20 de miliarde de Euro. Nu e vorba numai de aur si argint ci si de o foarte mare cantitate de metale rare si scumpe (acestea nu sunt supuse redeventei aceleia simbolice de 8%).
Persoane politice din prima linie a acestui razboi au multe de castigat sau de pierdut. Unul inca se vede presedintele tarii, si probabil ca in chiar aceste ore isi re-negoiceaza pozitia de candidat al PSD in schimbul retragerii obiectiilor din parlament la legea exploatarii de la Rosia Montana. Ceilalti au si ei enorm de mult de castigat personal probabil.
Ca sa va faceti idee, daca suma despre care vorbim este de 20 de miliarde de Euro, asta inseamna 2 milioane de Euro pe cap de protestatar, cat au fost in piata, in momentul maxim. Va dati seama ca aceasta suma va inlatura orice obstacol. Daca nu acum, luna viitoare, anul viitor, deceniul viitor. Sistemul va invinge infrange.

Nu am nici un dubiu, ca la Rosia Montana, la un moment dat va incepe exploatarea. Din pacate cine viseaza la patrimoniu Unesco este naiv sau a fumat ce o fi fumat si Remus Cernea. Planeta asta nu poate sa traiasca toata din turism. Cineva trebuie sa si produca ceva. Fie ca e vorba de materii prime sau produse finite.

Din punctul meu de vedere, exploatarea de la Rosia Montana trebuie facuta de Romania pentru Romania. La fel cum angajam firme sa ne construiasca autostrazi, tot asa trebuie sa angajam o firma sa faca mina aia, dar Romania sa fie unicul beneficiar, iar Romania sa stabileasca normele de mediu si metoda de extractie. Este evident ca RMGC are tot interesul sa obtina profit maxim prin metoda cea mai simpla. Probabil ca exista si alte metode mai costisitoare dar care sa nu foloseasca cianuri.

Later edit: a aparut azi zvonul ca aici e vorba si de o uriasa manipulare a pretului actiunilor, si ca balbaiala guvernului, poate sa fi fost premeditata. Pentru asta va recomand filmul Promised land.

miercuri, 28 august 2013


Ma voi referi in aceasta postare, la ce este probabil sa devina evenimentul anului.

In primul rand, orice forma de dictatura este o porcarie fara margini pe lumea asta, din punctul meu de vedere. Iar democratia o fi ea cea mai proasta forma de guvernare, insa nu mai proasta decat toate celelalte forme de guvernare incercate pana atunci (Winston Churchill).
Daca dictatura ar fi motivul inlaturarii lui Bashar Al-Assad, atunci foarte bine. Insa o dictatura la fel de mare este si in Arabia Saudita, daca la asta ne gandim, insa Sauditii vand petrol cui trebuie, in cantitatea care trebuie si la pretul care trebuie. Deci dictatorii, pardon, ce prostie scriu, sheik-ii din Arabia Saudita, in frunte cu regele si printii lor, sunt mari priteteni.
Revenind la Siria, cei care deplang acum cu lacrimi (de crocodil) pe cei 1300 de morti din atacul chimic de saptamana trecuta, dar care se pregatesc sa faca justitie in lume, se gandesc la fel de sincer si de dezinteresat de acesti 1300 ca de cei cateva sute de mii de civili ucisi in Irak in timpul eliberarii de arme de distrugere in masa, tiranie, tortura, haos si petrol.
Daca Bashar Al-Assad a comandat atacul chimic, sau chiar o grupare dementa dintre rebeli si-au facut asta lor insis, trebuie dovedit clar si este nevoie de rezultatul anchetei ONU (care a dovedit ca a fost impartiala in trecut, cand au spus ca in Irak nu sunt nici un fel de arme nucleare, iar de arme de distrugere in masa nu au dovezi suficiente). Cine crede ca nimeni nu si-ar fi facut asta singuri, nu trebuie decat sa ne gandim la Hitler care a incediat parlamentul pentru a da vina pe altii si pune mana pe putere (pardon, elibera patria am vrut sa zic). Asta ca sa nu va recomand filmele Farenheit 911 sau V for Vendeta.
Siria nu numai ca este vecina cu Irakul, Libanul si Turcia, dar mai este gard in gard si cu Iran si Israel. Astfel ca interesele in butoiul cu pulbere al orientului sunt enorme de toate partile si nu ma refer doar la petrol.
Interventia intr-un razboi civil nu inseamna decat ca alegi partea cuiva. Poate ca aceasta alegere trebuia facuta mai de mult. Insa tot ce spun eu, este ca atacul chimic este doar un motiv pentru prostime, iar motivele celor care vor arunca bombe de sute de milioane de dolari acolo sunt cu totul si cu totul altele.
Urmaresc stirile de la BBC chiar acum si admir profesionalismul si impartialitatea cu care trateaza subiectul (nu vreau sa ma gandesc ce e pe canalele romanesti). In timp ce se perindeaza diversi oficiali militari sau politici care spun ca au dovezi fara echivoc (unquestionable), moderatorii ii intreaba de fiecare data care sunt dovezile efectiv (intrebare ramasa fara raspuns evident).
Va recomand si urmatoarele 2 articole de la o persoana care mie imi place foarte mult cum scrie:

Later edit:
Se pare ca numai Rusiei i-au fost oferite 15 miliarde de dolari pentru a permite acest razboi, deci castigul speculat trebuie sa fie minim dublu din cucerirea Siriei.

vineri, 16 august 2013

Londra: British Museum

Dupa ce am vizitat principalele muzee din Londra, pot sa spun, ca merita inceput cu British Museum. Un numar impresionant de exponate, organizat pe subiecte istorice sau tematice - Egiptul antic, Parthenon-ul reconstruit, colectie de ceasuri sau numismatica pana la iluminism, sunt doar cateva exemple din bogatia culturala adunata in doua secole din toate colturile lumii.
Muzeul, deschis la jumatatea secolului XVIII, este primul muzeu din lume si gratuit pentru toti. Este o colectie nepretuita de istorie si cultura de pe tot globul. Iar un audio ghid, bine pus la punct va poate conduce prin epoci sau teme interesant alese.
Aici poate fi gasita si celebra piatra Rosetta, fiind cel mai pretuit artefact din acest muzeu extraordinar. Piatra Rosetta a fost cheia dezlegarii hieroglifelor, deoarece afiseaza acelasi text in 3 limbi. Hieroglife si Demotica, ambele limbi disparute ale egiptului antic - 3000 BC, si Greaca Veche, care inca este cunoscuta. Studiind aceasta piatra s-a descoperit ca hieroglifele nu sunt pictograme ce reprezinta cuvinte, ci litere sau sunete scurte ce formeaza cuvinte.
Vizitarea este gratuita, desi toti vizitatorii sunt invitati la intrare sa doneze 5 lire. Audio ghidul insa se inchiriaza contra sumei de 5 lire si este nevoie de un act de identitate pentru garantie. Se ajunge pe jos in 5 minute de pe Oxford Circus.

sâmbătă, 3 august 2013

Londra: dupa 28 de zile

Cine citeste titlul acestei postari si se gandeste la zombi si supravietuitori prin catacombele Londrei, inseamna ca a vazut cel mai bun film cu zombi, realizat de unul dintre cei mai cunoscuti regizori britanici, Dany Boyle.
Inchid aceasta paranteza si voi continua sa scriu despre experienta in Londra dupa 28 de zile. Ca turist, este foarte clar ca este unul dintre orasele must see. Am tot postat si voi continua sa postez despre atat de multe lucruri de vazut si facut aici. 
Ca expat (chiar daca experienta va fi limitata ca durata), nu stiu daca ar trebui sa fie prima optiune. Ce castigi din punct de vedere al usurintei in comunicare si a unei bariere culturale foarte mici, comparativ cu Berlin sau Paris de exemplu, pierzi cam pe toate celelalte aspecte. Locuintele aici sunt extrem de scumpe, chiar si in suburbiile foarte departate ce sunt accesibile doar cu trenul. Atat de scumpe, incat locuintele pentru localnici sunt construite de guvern. Un dormitor de 7mp, altul de 9mp, o baie de alti 6 mp si un living room de 16mp cu o bucatarioara de maximum 8 mp, in zona 2, este ultra lux pentru Londra. Ce in Bucuresti ar fi un bloc confort 3, aici este un bloc decent. Ca sa ajungi aproape catre orice zona de birouri, ai de luat cel mai probabil un tren si una - doua linii de metrou.
Salariul mediu anual brut este de 25.000 de lire (un angajat la TFL indiferent de pozitie are acest equal pay). Poate parea mult la prima vedere, in special cand preturile in supermarket sunt aproape identice cu ce gasesti intr-un supermarket din Romania. Insa un apartament cu un dormitor micut in zona 5 sau mai departe te costa lunar incepand cu 1000 de lire. Mai dai 200 de lire pe travelcard, si brusc salariul decent s-a evaporat.
Referitor tot la preturi, la Pound Land, gasesti multe lucruri mult mai ieftin ca in Romania. Insa datorita salariilor ce incep in cele mai multe cazuri de la 18.000 pe an, toate serviciile sunt mult mai scumpe. Un tuns costa tot 15, doar ca lire, nu lei.

Londra: little Venice

Revolutia industriala a creat in Anglia o necesitate imensa de a transporta cantitati de materii prime XIX si produse la o scara mult mai mare decat se facuse vreodata pana atunci. In prima parte a secolului 19, transportul pe barje era singura solutie. Astfel ca in decurs de cateva decenii a fost creata o retea de peste 1000 de Km de canale care au permis barjelor sa ajunga in toate colturile tarii. Insa aparitia cailor ferate si transportului cu trenul au pus rapid in umbra barjele, iar vasta retea de canale a fost abandonata complet in secolul XX.

In anii de dupa razboi, unele canale au fost restaurate in scop de agrement. Astfel ca poti trece in drumul tau pe langa multe astfel de canale. Sunt foarte frumoase, pline de barje, pe care unii Britanici locuiesc sau le folosesc doar in scop de agrement.
Cel mai mare si accesibil canal, din punct de vedere turistic, este Regent's Canal. Incepe din Regent's Park si se intinde pe kilometri in sir in ambele directii. Poti sa te plimbi fie prin interiorul gradinii zoologice sau in cealalta directie pana la little Venice. O sa aveti parte de o experienta unica in Europa chiar daca foarte indepartat similara cu Venetia.

sâmbătă, 27 iulie 2013

Londra: St. Paul's Cathedral

Tot ma invart in jurul cozii si nu stiu cu ce sa incep o noua postare. Asa ca din numeroasele obiective din Londra, pana la urma voi incepe cu St. Paul's Cathedral. Nu inseamna deloc ca ar fi cel mai important obiectiv, din atat de multe cate sunt aici, insa din alt motiv il pun primul, pentru ca poti sa impusti 2 iepuri dintr-o lovitura.
St. Paul's este in centrul zonei turistice si cu mare insemnatate istorica a londrei. In cadrul vizitei poti sa urci sa explorezi si etajele superioare. Whispering Gallery, Stone Gallery care are deschidere exterioara si in final Golden Gallery. Aceasta din urma aflata la 85 de metri deasupra solului iti ofera o vedere superba, centrala, asupra intregii Londre.
Chiar daca nu se compara cu Shard Observation Deck, poate inlocui cu mare succes London Eye. Iar biletul aici costa doar 16 lire, fata de 30, plus ca vizitezi toata catedrala.
St. Paul's este unul din cele mai mari domuri din Europa. Masiv si impunator prin marime, nu are o bogatie interioara ostentativa ci au preferat sa foloseasca solutiile mai economice pentru decoratiuni, pentru a contrasta cu papalitatea.
Intamplator am participat si la slujba lor de pranz. Diferentele fata de cele Ortodoxe sunt foarte mari, ceremonia fiind asemanatoare cu un dialog intre auditoriu si preot, iar la final toti sunt invitati sa primeasca paine, vin si binecuvantarea preotului (dat mana). Mi s-a parut interesant, mai ales ca ii trata pe turisti (usor identificabili dupa audioghidul atarnat de gat) la fel ca pe enoriasii lor.
Catedrala a existat in acelasi loc de peste 1400 de ani, fiind reconstruita in intregime de cateva ori, ultima data dupa Great Fire of London (1666).
Audioghidul te va purta printr-un tur complet garnisit cu istorie si traditie, prin etapele si evenimentele marcante din viata Catedralei.

Revenind la Golden Galery, trebuie sa fiti pregatiti sa urcati peste 500 de trepte, iar ultima parte a traseului este extrem de ingusta si claustrofobica, insa tot efortul merita deplin.
Avand in vedere ca iti poate oferi o vedere extraordinara asupra Londrei si o vizita incarcata de cultura si traditie, St. Paul's ar trebui sa fie primul obiectiv pe lista de vizitat in Londra.

sâmbătă, 20 iulie 2013

Londra: Borough Market

Dimineata am pornit vioi catre St. Paul's Cathedral. Insa statia de metrou locala fusese inchisa datorita campionatului de Cricket dintre Anglia si Australia. Da. Aici statiile de metrou pot fi inchise pe loc fara preaviz, anuntul se face pe loc. De exemplu daca esti in metrou, poti fi anuntat ca metroul nu opreste in Westminster datorita unei alarme de incendiu. Sau ca datorita unui macaz defect metroul nu mai merge decat pana la statia x. Asta se poate intampla in orice moment, si trebuie sa fii mereu pe faza. Cand se intampla asta, poti sa folosesti orice ruta alternativa fara sa platesti alta calatorie.

In fine, sa fie ei sanatosi cu campionatul lor de Cricket, am luat autobuzul pana in centru, am vazut St Paul's Catherdal, despre care vroiam initial sa va povestesc, insa dupa aceasta vizita am ajuns in Borough Market.
Ei bine aici am gasit mancare buna si abundenta si la pret bun pentru prima data. Dupa doua saptamani de mancat toate ciudateniile din lume, am dat de friptura de porc facuta la rotisor si servita evident ca sandvici, dar asta nu mai conta. Piata seamana sa zicem cu un targ. Se vand atat lucruri pentru acasa cat si foarte multe lucruri servite pe loc. Ai o gama extrem de variata atat de produse cat si de culturi. Scoici proaspat desfacute, paella, tocanita de ciuperci, de rata, porc rotisat, branza la gratar, tot felul de salamuri, dulciuri turcesti, dulciuri europene, sucuri de tot felul si multe, multe altele. Chiar daca ei nu se omoara cu igiena, din ce am observat, nu va ganditi la duhoarea de peste din Obor ci la miros placut de mancare proaspata. Piata oricum functioneaza doar joi, vineri si sambata, in regim de targ, deci nu ar avea cand sa se altereze alimentele. 
Ca sa va faceti o oarecare idee: un sandvici cu friptura de porc 6,5 lire, un suc din fructe stoarse acolo 2.5 lire, dulciuri intre 1 si 5 lire.
Daca esti de mai mult timp in Londra, si te-ai saturat de mancarurile lor reci, sandviciuri sau fish and chips, atunci trebuie sa treci prin Borough Market (tube: London Bridge).

PS: dupa ce in ultimele 2 saptamani aici a fost stage 3 heat alert (peste 28 de grade la pranz), azi vremea a fost pentru mine ca de toamna (19 grade, vant si inorat). Continua insa cea mai mare seceta din ultimii 250 de ani -  nu a plouat in iulie.