Sunday, October 30, 2016

Markets of the world

Don’t you love a good local market?

I love them! I love the colours and the vibes. They are always so interesting.

I could write them but I think photos are better. The photos below are some of the ones in Milan, Switzerland and Sydney. Enjoy.
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A market in Milan
A market in Milan 




Yum, olives. (Neuchatel Markets)

Crystallised fruit (Neuchatel market)- nice
so many mushrooms (Neuchatel market)
(Neuchatel market)


  






Look at that bread (Neuchatel Markets)
     

so beautiful (Neuchatel Markets)
check out the size of those pumpkins (Neuchatel Markets)


(Neuchatel Markets)

Apples at Flemington Markets in Sydney

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Going back to where I came from

A long time ago I lived in the UK. It was my country, it was my home. 

Come back to visit made me so happy but also a little sad. Everything looked so familiar but different. I was different.

I've always loved London, we used to go there as kids to museums, galleries and just to explore a little. This was my plan when I decided to visit the UK during this trip. 


But I also wanted to visit all the people I knew when I was living in England. So I hit the ground running, as I got off the Eurostar from Paris I got to meet an old friend from way, way back before checking into my hotel.

The next few days I got to spend at some great museums such as the Victoria and Albert, The British Museum and National Gallery which were all fantastic. But by the end of my stay in London, I came down with a slight case of tourism fatigue. Not because I wasn't loving my holiday or I didn't appreciate the opportunity to travel but life on the road was wearing me down that tiny little bit and my brain was bursting at the seams with memories, stories and images of the fantastic place that they call Europe. Packing it all in seems like a great idea in the planning stage but sometimes the energy levels don't always keep up on execution of that plan. 

But luckily, the last few days of my trip were dedicated to seeing people and I just got to chill. People that I lived with when I was 21 to people who have known me for longer that I can remember and people that I meet in other far-flung places such as India and Malaysia.

This month's holiday has been amazing. I've eaten too much and sometimes drunk a little more than I would in everyday life but the it has been just incredible. The art galleries, museums and architecture has been just mind-blowing and has left a massive imprint on my brain and just made me just so unbelievably happy.  The nature and the views in Switzerland were also just so beautiful and so was the opportunity to hang with mum and dad plus their extended family. All of this just made me happy to be alive.



Sunday, October 23, 2016

Don’t go there. Live there!



“Don’t go there. Live there” is the tag line for the accommodation website AirBnB. The vibe of AirBnB is living like a local and on first impressions I thought this idea was incredibly cheesy.

There was me thinking that the whole thing would be like a business transaction and I would choose a place (in a good location and had good reviews), pay the fees, then stay there and that would be all but it ended up being so much than that.

It turned out to be kind of like the advert.

My Milan AirBnB was this unassuming apartment not far from the centre of the city. It was pretty and owned by a graphic designer who also made scarfs.
We often drank coffee and once shared a meal while chatting about travelling, art and politics. It was nice to have a conversation with someone at the end of a day spent sightseeing on my own.


The Paris AirBnB was probably most memorable. It was this apartment/art gallery in the 6th arrondissement and was perfect in so many ways. It was the apartment of my dreams and exactly like the one I would want to live in if I lived in Paris.



But what made is such a nice place to stay were the hosts. They were so lovely.

When I first arrived, they went out and got wine, olives and cheese. We chatted in a mixture of French and English while sipping wine and enjoying a simple meal. It was so nice and instantly made me feel at home and like I was more than just a tourist.   

Each morning we would eat croissant and drink strong coffee while planning our days. One night they had friends over so we drank more wine and ate more cheese. They were friendly as well as welcoming and it was great to chat over food, wine, etc. Having just come from Switzerland, I was able to provide the chocolate which was cool.



It might be just luck that these places were good and maybe next time my experiences might be like business transaction but I am glad to have met these people and live like a local even if it was just for a few days.


    

Sunday, October 16, 2016

Paris, je t'aime

When I was 18 I had a serious crush. I had somehow fallen in love with Paris even though I had never been there. The cafes that lined the grand Boulevards, the beautiful people and the art seemed to be incredibly romantic. My dream was to work in some art gallery on the left bank and live the whole stereotypical lifestyle: a size zero and dressed in black, sipping espresso while hanging off some hot guy, etc.

Well, that never happened!

But this week was the closest that I got to the dream. I was able to spend a blissful few days in the Paris of my dreams. A cool apartment in St Germain Des Pres was my home (which his also happened to be also Art Gallery) and I got to run around the city as if it was my own.

For 4 days, I visited the city's most amazing art collections, drank coffee and wine like a local. I walked and I walked soaking everything up while feeling extremely happy and blessed.


The Pompidou Centre was quirky and cool while the Palace of Tokyo was down right strange. The space was empty expect from people. As we walked the empty, people would walk alongside you while having random conversations. It was a little strange. The Louvre was amazing, the art is beyond beautiful and just so captivating. I could have spent days there just wondering around and taking it all in.




All too soon it was time to move on. I really do love Paris as it has the complete package - it is beautiful, smart, quirky and intelligent and very arty. Plus, the cafes and the art are fantastic! While I might not be lucky enough to live in Paris, I love spending a few days there and it will always be there for a perfect holiday but in between I'll have many great memories.


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