Saturday, October 31, 2015

TRAVEL | amsterdam

If this trip has taught me anything so far, it is to always travel slow. It still astounds me how little I saw on my previous trip to Europe. Mostly I remember jumping from hostel to hostel every two to three nights, losing whole days on buses, and packing (OH, GOD THE PACKING). In hindsight I might as well not have come at all! Too much time was wasted on planning the most minuscule detail, to make sure I "make the most" of my short stays. And for what? I ended up rushing from place to place, and never even having time for a short coffee break. Traveling that way was exhausting, and I got sick a lot during those two months, but worst of all I ended up missing on so so much.

But then again, I suppose, this is the trip that's supposed to make up for everything :)

Amsterdam was among one of the cities I told myself I had to return to. { Last time } I was there for three nights and made a rookie mistake of joining a awful pub crawl my second night. Long story short, I stayed out way too late and ended up sleeping in until 1pm the next morning, effectively losing a whole day because I was so tired.

This time I made a conscious decision to avoid the bar scene--which, actually isn't say much at all since I don't really like drinking anyways--and the first thing to do is to check into a different hostel. While The Flying Pig is highly recommended by travellers, party hostels aren't really my thing. Instead, I booked a week at { Ecomama } at Waterlooplien, and it was hands down, one of the best hostels I've ever stayed at. I even felt the need to review them of tripadvisor afterwards, something I don't do very often because I'm so damn lazy..ha

My hostel was conveniently located by the metro and a few tram lines so I was able to explore Amsterdam with ease. No more bikes for me this time because 1) I didn't want to deal with risking my life 2) it is a nightmare trying to find a bike for a person of my height (did you know that the Dutch are among some of the tallest people in the world???! I'm only 5 feet, I'm a tiny person!) and finally, 3) no bikes means more time for photos.

I'm currently writing this post from Stockholm. It hit -1 degrees this morning and I can't leave the hostel without a layer of uniqlo heat tech and goose down vest. Looking back at all these photos is making me miss all the sunny days in Amsterdam. 

Taken on a grassy slope opposite Stedelijk Museum in Museumplien. It was a great place to sketch in the sun, and obviously an even better place to take a nap with friends. I also distinctly remember the smell of weed wafting my way when I was there. C'est la vie

Amsterdam's coffee scene (I'm talking about the normal kind!) is among one of my favorites. All the cafes I visited served great coffee and had a wonderful laid back atmosphere. Most places also served a delicious selection of pastries and cakes. I developed a mild obsession with banana bread in Amsterdam that has been carrying on throughout the rest of the trip. I have yet to find some here in Sweden, but I guess I can live with having a { kanelbulle } every morning instead.

On another note, I'm really pleased with how the photos from this trip is turning out. I've been talking about starting a zine photo series for the past 6 months and I'm really looking forward to how it's all going to turn out in the end! I need to start messing about on inDesign again, I haven't touched it in months and I'm rusty.

Time to get to work.

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

INSPIRATION | atelier hildo krop

Every year during the second weekend of September the city of Amsterdam hosts a event celebrating the monumental buildings in the city. This means opening up houses, palaces, and studios that aren't usually accessible to the public and hosting talks and tours that celebrate the history of the Netherlands.

Just like the Fringe Festival in Edinburgh, I always seem to be the last person to know about all these events--maybe I need to do more research before I visit I city. Thankfully my roommate turned friend, Shirley told me all about it and we managed to fit in one tour of Hildo Krop's atelier before she left that afternoon.

{ Hildo Krop } is among one of the most well known artists in the Netherlands. He is most notable of his work as Amsterdam's city sculptor. It's impossible to visit the city without running into some of his work.

Today, the space is occupied by artist, Mieke Kleinendorst. All of Krops works have been cleared out long ago, save for a piece he literally carved into the walls of his studio. But it didn't really matter to me whether it was Kleinendorst or Krops studio. It has always been a dream of mine to visit a artist's workspace, no matter whom it may belong to. It was just so inspirational to actually see an artist in their own environment.

I'm definitely filing this under "studio goals"

& thank you Shirley for letting me borrow your fuji

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

TRAVEL | bristol

Bristol is and will continue to be one of my favourite cities. There is just so much about it to like about it including, but not limited to, it's gorgeous parks, great food (head to St. Nicholas Market for the best selection), breathtaking views, and buzzing nightlife.

Furthermore, I learned a lot of new things about myself I hadn't known before. Including the fact that I might actually be more of a morning person than I thought, or that I do like being outdoors, and exercising--or better yet, exercising outdoors! Back at home you'd never catch me suggesting to do any of those things. Waking up work out? Are you kidding?? (My friends can vouch for that, just ask them)

But in Bristol my daily schedule began to look something like this: wake up early, head to breakfast, go for a long walk, light lunch, jogging in the afternoon, hang out at Brandon hill until sunset, dinner/hangout with hostel friends.

Rinse, lather, repeat. Being healthy never felt so good :)

My hostel in Bristol also made a world of difference. After a smaller party hostel in Bath, it was a bit of a relief to move to somewhere bit more spacious. I met a couple colourful characters during my stay including a lady who claimed she was a prophet. When we first met she told me a story of a time she predicted her neighbour's pregnancy, which allegedly came true. After that story I decided not to ask her to read my fortune lest it turn out to be something I didn't want to know haha.

Another guest was a 96 year old woman that, according to the hostel regulars, owns a huge lavender farm in Portugal and she would show up in Bristol every few months and stay for a few days and then heads back to run her farm. Every time I saw her she was always having a chat with someone new--I wish I had a chance to meet her as well, imagine the stories she would tell!

I also find that scouting for shooting locations from a television series or movie is one of the best ways to see a city. Skins was and still is one of my absolute favourite shows to date, and the whole series was set right here in Bristol. It was really easy to google a list of shooting locations and use it as a basis for my exploring. And while I'm on the subject of google--thank god for google maps (& GPS tracking) or else I never would have been able to find most of these places.

And of course let's not forget good ol' fashioned recommendations via word of mouth. Stokes Croft (pictured below) was recommended by a friend (Hi Kei!) who's currently studying in Bristol. This was a whole new neighbourhood I hadn't explored before and would have completely missed it if he hadn't pointed it out. Personally, I had never been biggest fan of street art, but I am learning to appreciate it. And I did see some early Banksy pieces in Stokes Croft, which is pretty darn cool, especially since, at the time of my visit, talk of Banksy's newly opened exhibition, Dismaland, virtually broke the internet. 

Friday, October 9, 2015

TRAVEL | bath

My stay at Bath was brief but memorable. I had planned to visit the city for the longest time but had missed the chance to do so the last time in Europe. As Bath is a fairly small city, I felt as if I had already completed tour of the city's major sites in a day, which left a lot of time for just wandering the streets for hours on end. My favorite activity.

Visiting the Roman Baths was also a great experience. What made the tour go from good to great was that Bill Bryson, a personal hero of mine, provided some narration on the free audio guide. If you haven't read his books documenting his travels around Europe/UK then please pick one up at your local bookstore! He's hilarious.

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Sunday, October 4, 2015

PLACES | british museum

When musuem spaces are just as beautiful as the artifacts it holds