Saturday, 29 August 2015

From Dracula to Emirates Palaces

     It's been a very interesting month, with lots of new impressions.
     It is a well known fact that the country where you live is actually the one you've visited the least. That's why I decided to visit the Romanian site which attracts the most foreign tourists- "Dracula's (Bran) Castle". When I got there, I had the feeling that I'm somewhere abroad, all the people around were speaking all kind of languages but Romanian. It was very funny- feeling a stranger in my own country :))
     The thing I liked the most about the castle was its location, which granted lots of fantastic views. The so called "Torture Room" was also interesting, though it left me with a strange feeling of insecurity...
Bran Castle

     A "little" change of scenery followed. I have arrived to Abu Dhabi a few days later, checked in at a luxury hotel and tried to adapt to the 30 degrees temperature difference. The adaptation process is still on go, while 6 rounds of the tournament have already passed. The last game I played was a marathon one, with 150 moves- it finished at about 11.45 pm and frankly, I was so exhausted and disappointed that the fact that I missed dinner did not matter at all (though, poor arbiters...).

6th round marathon game vs GM Aleksandr Rakhmanov
     It is my first time in UAE and I am overwhelmed by such a different culture. I have met very friendly people, I have met some who wouldn't shake hands with a woman, I have seen strict dress codes and emancipated women as well...  The buildings here are from the "hallucination" category, I've never seen such luxury in my life... Fantastic Malls rising from the middle of the desert is just a usual thing here... Anyhow, it seems to be a very different and a not so easy to fit in culture, especially for Europeans, even though  there's a fantastic mix of nations here.

    All in all, I am grateful for this new experience and I hope for some good chess for the last 3 rounds!

    xoxo from Abu Dhabi ;)


  1. Where can we watch your games live?
    Best of luck in the last 3 rounds!

  2. Thank you! Here is a link for the official site, where you can watch the games:

  3. Thanks! I am watching your game right now, I also play the Italian!

  4. Wear a turtle neck with a layer of kevlar (c) will feel more secure next time you visit that Romanian castle! Best wishes.

  5. Love your Blog Irina! What a cool place Castle Dracula would be to hold a tournament!