広島県: More from Hiroshima pref.

2605-bloomOh darn! It’s been a whole year since I packed my bags and went on my best trip ever for three months. Where has the time gone!?

I told you in the last blog that I went to my Japanese family in Hiroshima. My Japanese mom and dad went road trippin’ with me for a few days — just casually sightseeing and having a relaxing weekend as both of them work hard during the week.

This day we went to their farmhouse (see the pictures from last time here) and to pick up grandma from the airport — later we would watch a women’s team volleyball qualification rounds for the Olympics on the telly. It was all just very chilled out. Near Hiroshima airport is a beautiful Japanese garden which had a sort of little-fishies-expo (?!) that was unbelievable satisfying. So this blog will be a bit of a jumble of pictures from that relaxing day.

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Iwakuni: another day, another daytrip

Iwakuni view
After leaving Kochi, I was back on the road to the main island. Shikoku was done and dusted (sort-of, I still want to explore more) — and I went to my Japanese family in Hiroshima. It was so lovely to be welcomed back into their home and feel a bit homey. I’d missed that a bit.

Last time I was in Hiroshima, I was there for a week and I explored the whole city. This time I had only 3 days in Hiroshima, and it was the weekend, so me and my Japanese mom and dad went road trippin’ for a few days! Today I’m looking back to the scorching hot day in Iwakuni!

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高知市 : Kochi

kochi - botanical garden
Kochi is a place very, very close to my heart without me really realising this until I got around to type up this post. Kochi was the place where I realised I was at peace with myself and my own reality. I realised that however hard life would feel like — like it had, or like it would be — I could find solace in the fact that I have myself to get through it.

Of course, I became increasingly aware of the importance of my relationship with God, my
family and my friends in my life. Because I wouldn’t want to be able to do it all without them. But it was great to feel that, in that moment, I was my own best friend.

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The Best Day Trip: Shōdoshima [ 小豆島 ]

lush 2

Okay, okay… let’s get something straight here. My time in Japan was somewhat like a series of ‘best-day-trips’ one day after another. But Shōdoshima will always be a special place. It was a beautiful day and I was in great company, that’s always going to make things instantly better. Let me show you why I want to go back and explore more!

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The Rain in Takamatsu

takamatsu ritsurin

I went to Takamatsu during the start of Golden Week. It was so good, because my friends’ family was going to an island near Takamatsu and invited me for a day. But just before that, I really got to enjoy exploring Takamatsu on a rainy afternoon/night. The highlight? Ritsurin Garden was total bliss.

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A Morning in Nara

Nara Deer Souvenir

Oh goodness, it seems like a lifetime ago when I had this morning in Nara. I think Nara is a heavily photographed place, you don’t really have to have gone there to know what it looks like. That doesn’t mean that I didn’t want to go and it certainly does not mean that I didn’t enjoy every minute of my little excursion.

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Exploring Kyoto

kyoto dream petals

Arriving in Kyoto was a very happy time for me. Until then I only had happy memories of Kyoto – and I still do. Somehow Kyoto feels a bit homey to me. It was actually fun to see foreigners again in Japan (Getting used to Japanese culture and customs – as opposed to western-style – I sometimes really don’t like seeing many (foreign) tourists as I feel they spoil the atmosphere a bit). But this time it made me feel better. And of course, meeting up with my best friend in Japan was a good prospect.

In Kyoto I really took my time to see everything that I wanted to see, for as long as I wanted to do it. In Kyoto I got aware of really how much in my own company I was. Your messages on this post really, really cheered me up. They helped me to realise a lot of things – and feel better about them too. I think one of the things that I really took from my stay in Kyoto: don’t beat yourself up so much – and do what you love. I don’t know if I really needed this time in Kyoto for me to realise this, but I’m really glad I did and got to live through that while being there.

This post is just a big mash up from my favourite things I encountered during my 9 days in Kyoto. I’ve decided to make real-life big photo albums. And now I feel like I’ve got a little more freedom with these blogs as I’m not really putting things in that much chronological order. Though, still my plan is to be done with sharing pictures of this trip before the end of the year. (!!!)

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Day 85: the last day

Leave the sun behind me and watch the clouds
As they sadly pass me by
And I’m in perpetual motion
And the world below doesn’t matter much to me

Tomorrow I’ll be flying back home again. Leaving my hotel early morning and arriving in Amsterdam around midnight Japan-time. It’s so weird to close off this adventure. To end it… and to start something new. I was hoping I could have something profound to say, now that I’m on my last day… but alas, I’ll let the music speak.

On Aichi Prefecture and the volunteering experience (pt. 2)

tokoname festival

Okay! I arrived in Tokyo today, to have my final week of my trip. So what better to get back to the events of early April to Mid-April: enjoying the countryside of Aichi Pref.! This time more about the fun stuff I got around to do when I wasn’t doing any volunteer-work.

I was pretty happy to hear that the family at which I stayed offered me their bicycle for my own use. So whenever I felt like exploring or going to the post office I could just go. Riding a bicycle in Japanese countryside though, it feels right out of any anime I used to watch when I was a kid. Then I was also lucky enough to be right around festival season. Every spring there is this sort of festival with huuuuge, high carts made of wood and loads of pretty fabric. And although I still don’t quite know what this festival is called – or what exactly it is for (my hosts were just about as good at English as I was at Japanese…it didn’t work so much haha). But it was so nice, as my host family took me to Tokoname on the weekend, and later in the week we went on foot to the festival in our own town.

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Day 67

go for broke

“Go for broke. Always try and do too much. Dispense with safety nets. Take a deep breath before you begin talking. Aim for the stars. Keep grinning. Be bloody-minded. Argue with the world. And never forget that writing is as close as we get to keeping a hold on the thousand and one things–childhood, certainties, cities, doubts, dreams, instants, phrases, parents, loves–that go on slipping , like sand, through our fingers.”

―Salman Rushdie

Day 54: a little tune and a good start

day something

The past weekend was one well spend in Hiroshima. I have currently arrived in Fukuoka and I’m back to solo-traveling and all its fun anxieties. I’m feeling up to it though…I’ve had a great start this morning in Miyajima. Tomorrow is going to be a fun day! The coming two weeks are spend in multiple places in Kyushu, Hagi and the wonderful Islands of Teshima and Naoshima. Super-duper looking forward to everything. I know it’ll be over before I know it – so I’m enjoying this grand adventure to the fullest! It already feels like summer in Japan, but I won’t let any heat tear down my spirits – I’ll have some kakigori instead. ;)

My back-in-time posts will resume shortly – I promise! x

On Aichi Prefecture and the volunteering experience (pt. 1)

123 aichi

I figured these posts are more or less solely a visual diary of my trip. So I am sort of compiling monster posts, with the main purpose of getting my sentiments and memories on the internet so that when later I can look back and ‘ooh’ en ‘ahh’ over everything I’ve been doing way back when. It’s not really the style of blogging I am happy with right now… but still, I really want to get this out there. I admit it, I’m struggling a bit with blogging again. But then again, I’m struggling with life and responsibilities now too so what do I really expect from myself right now?

Annnnnyway, let’s get crackin’! After my weekend in Tokyo (March 31st until April 4th) I went for my first Workaway experience in a really small town in Aichi Pref. And this was, in fact, quite the experience. One might say I suffer a bit of social anxiety at times, so staying at home with a family and basically living of off them while in return I voluntarily do some gardening or cleaning for 5 hours a day, 5 days a week was a valuable experience. But thinking about it now, I was very lucky to have been having that family as my first ‘host-family’ ever.

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A Weekend in Tokyo

sakura midtown roppongi

I decided to just start from the beginning. I mean, there’s already so much going on… but before I am forgetting my sentiments and feelings. Here’s the start of my trip, well you know… the weekend after my arrival in Japan at the beginning of April. In on of my previous posts I talk about arriving in Japan, and about seeing sakura. But I actually had a whole weekend in Tokyo before heading of to Aichi Pref. and the rest of my travels. So let’s get on with it already!! I could have probably fit this weekend in a few separate posts, but hey… let’s just make it a photo-heavy one.

Whatever you say, Tokyo will stay one of my favourite places in the world. Sure, I am really at home in the Kichijoji and Mitaka area. But I really love the crazy bits of districts like Shibuya, Shinjuku and Akihabara too! This weekend I’ve been mostly exploring Omotesando and Roppongi with my friend Fumi or just chilling out with my Tokyo-family in various places…

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Day 29: being 1/3 into the trip


Hello! I’m in Osaka! Yesterday I left Kyoto, where I’ve stayed for almost 2 weeks and really got to explore the area and get used to travel alone. I’m on one-third of my trip now. There are 2 more months before I leave this place and get to go to my home country and start living a life there again. Kyoto was so nice – as was Nara (a little day trip a few days ago). And now that I’m in Osaka having my own airbnb apartment I finally get to realise how unbelievably tired I am. And man, I feel knackered!

I am allowing myself a little break here in Osaka. Last time I visited I think I saw the highlights of the city. This time I will just enjoy the food, visit Mt. Koyasan for a little day trip and relax a lot at my airbnb during all the ‘spare-time’ I get. Next week (starting Sunday) is going to be a week full of travel. And I am slowly getting an aversion for my backpack. I know that I really can’t complain, I will be visiting lots of nice places… but being such a homebody and being so far away from home for such a long time has left me a little homesick. Sometimes I am really wondering why I am doing this again. So I am really allowing myself a little break here in Osaka. I’ll be fully restored and pumped to visit Himeji, Takamatsu, Shodoshima and Matsuyama next week!!

Have a good day and until soon~!


Day 16: Regarding Sakura


Oh my dear reader, one of the reasons I am in Japan now is actually solely because of the cherry blossom. I figured that if I were to go to Japan for 3 months, I might as well see the sakura phenomenon the country is so famous about. I say phenomenon as yes, it’s not just a bunch of trees. Sakura, or the viewing of it (hanami), is a big deal here. The fleeting moment that sakura covers Japan is usually around the start of April. The start of April also is when the new schoolyear/workyear/whatever-you-call-it-start-of-the-year begins. Nearly every school has cherry-blossom/sakura on its grounds. It seems that the Japanese have many, many memories with sakura.

The ‘mere’ life of the cherry blossom stands for new beginnings. For the fleeting moments of life. For hope.

I figured this out through a couple of my Japanese friends. I love that somehow the sakura is in the collective memory of all these individuals. And that it will always signify something to them, and probably not even the same to any one of them, but similar feelings or sentiments will arise within all those people. And then there’s the big hanami phenomenon where people storm the parks and go for a picnic and have a little party beneath the trees. I think it’s truly wonderful.

I absolutely love this. For me, the sakura will also signify a new start. Hopeful as I may be, I would like to think this trip to be the start of something wonderful.

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Day 13: An Update


Oh golly, I said I would update you more regularly – didn’t I? The first 4 days of my trip I spend in Tokyo, which were dreamlike and awesome. Jetlag was killing me, but my daytime-adventures were fantastic. This is by no means quality blogging – here’s a quickie of the first two days. Let’s go- let’s go~!


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A View To Kill | Japan Series Part XIII

ld hiroshima

Hurrah!! It’s the last instalment of my previous trip to Japan during autumn 2014, it’s been too long. I really don’t know how the time in between got by so fast. Am I really that much of a ‘lazy blogger’!? I think I should get my priorities straight next time. YES, NEXT TIME! (dun dun dunnnnn!)

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The Atomic Bomb | Japan Series Part XII

hpmm 01

During my last trip to Japan I actually only had 2 main goals, visit the Yasukuni Shrine + Yushukan and to visit the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Site + Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum. Both made deep impressions on me, but I think the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum definitely did make the deepest impression.

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More Hiroshima | Japan Series Part XI

hiroshima shukkeien leaf

Yes! The final bunch of my pictures from Japan is coming up! I put in a few days of my week in Hiroshima together here. As my sister got to travel to Fukuoka and then returned home, I stayed on in Hiroshima for a week. This was because, well… half of the research for my thesis took place in Hiroshima. I kind of had to be there for that. Which, in all fairness had to be done, because I had been having some wonderful days off. So these are all short trips within Hiroshima – on days that I was also working on my research.

For those interested, I will be doing a separate post on the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park (and the Museum in particular). As this was where my research took place.

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Kure | Japan Series Part X


I promise, I’m almost through with these posts, haha. – On this day we went for a road-trip to Kure and just a lovely ride through the countryside. My Japanese family has a little family home in the countryside where they raise crops and have a little bamboo grove. Things you can only dream of when you walk around in the big cities in Japan. It was so nice to have a change of scenery – even though Hiroshima is quite green and nature-y with all it’s rivers and mountains. It was time for a breather in between all my thesis research. A well deserved break, because even though I thought it was wonderful; the days I spend in the archives of the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park were quite exhausting (and maybe even traumatizing to see, hear and read all the bad things that people had to go through at the time of the atomic bomb). But that’s for another post, here’s to the happy!! Let’s go!

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Vilnius: a surprise trip

split vilnius 2

My best travelbuddy/friend and I decided over the summer that we should go somewhere again. I haven’t really been sticking to my resolutions, so a little break wouldn’t do any harm. This time we embraced the truly unknown and got our asses over to Vilnius, Lithuania.

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Miyajima pt. 2 | Japan Series Part IX


Oh yes, it’s been awhile since last I shared my Japan pictures. It’s been almost whole year now since my trip and I’m still not ready. So maybe I’ll (finally) hurry a bit more??

Last time I shared some of the stories of my trip, I took you along to Miyajima. And because of the many many pictures that day, we’re still there. The wonderful island full of momiji manju, deer, the start fall foliage and loads of wabi-sabi feels. Let’s go!

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Miyajima pt. 1 | Japan Series Part VIII

1 miyajima

Yes, yes – it has come to that point where you start parts within parts of the trip documentation. On my day trip to Miyajima I’ve made a couple of hundreds of pictures. And oh goody, am I excited for this! The trip to Miyajima was a great, great outing. Not only for the Momiji manju – the stunning beauty of the island is really something I’d recommend anyone to see when you’re ever near Hiroshima.

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A Day Off | Japan Series Part VII

hiroshima 1

Now, after I’ve taken some time off from blogging again and regained my senses after the whole shabang of graduating and finishing years of academic studies I decided to get a move on with the documentation of my trip to Japan from last year dammit. That sentence was too long, I’m sorry. Ok, let’s go!

After my short break in Kyoto, I headed to Hiroshima. Here’s where the second part of my research took place and where I met Fumi’s family (some the sweetest people ever!!!). Lots happening in Hiroshima, while my Japanese is rather poor and their English isn’t so good either, I think we got along really well. But more on that later! Now is just a tiny update of this rather uneventful, but very lovely day.

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An afternoon in Kyoto | Japan Series part VI

kyoto sign

After taking my first solo ride on the Shinkansen in Tokyo, I arrived in Kyoto around midday. It was hot and even though I’d thoroughly studied the map and the place my hotel should be – I was a bit lost. Rolling my slightly too large and maybe already too heavy suitcase over the pavement after asking a lovely lady at the information desk of the station, I found the hotel within minutes. Since I was staying for only one night I opted for cheap and near the station. I’ve been discovering Kyoto 10 years ago with my family, so now I decided I’d only come here to see my long time friend who’ve I met through the internet. This little break in Kyoto also meant the first half of my trip was almost done (yeah that’s right, months later I’m still not processing even half of my pictures!)

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Last Days in Tokyo | Japan Series Part V

Fumi and Charlotte posing in front of the cutest shop!

Hiya guys! How are you all? I’ve decided to put last days in Tokyo into one post. Apart from my research I did do quite a bit of shopping and catching up and not so much of sightseeing so I decided to make this just a bit of a short and sweet photo blog of the few things I took pictures of before jumping on the Shinkansen to Kyoto and Hiroshima.

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An Introduction to the Yasukuni Issue | Japan Series Part IV

I’ve been meaning to post this one for forever, but, you know, time can be such a weird thing right? It goes by too fast, and before you know it you’re milking you’re Japan trip on your blog like it’s an Olympic Sport. I’m sorry for that, if it bothers you. I just don’t quite know where to get my time from to keep all this interesting and document it correctly for my own future reference. Because that’s basically what this is… And I really didn’t enjoy making this one post actually. So uh, this might not be what you like to see here, but here it is, part one of my in depth thesis subject summary: the Yasukuni Issue.

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Ladurée at dusk: a short trip to Paris

Ladurée at dusk

As part of my resolution for this year (to ‘take a break’ and get out of my daily routine) I got myself two days in Paris a few weekends ago. Initially the plan was produced after a friend of mine shared a picture from tumblr – very casually – about a Studio Ghibli expo in the city of love. Little did she know that I was dead serious when I replied “when do we go?”.

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3 days in Copenhagen

cph nyhavn

It’s been a few weeks now, that I went to visit my friend in Copenhagen and bought more Danish Design stuff than I could afford. Now I’m a week into my internship, and even though the place is lovely; beginnings are hard. As part of my ‘take a break’ resolution I packed my bags and visited Scandinavia for the first time, to go to Copenhagen. And my goodness, ’twas an awfully nice adventure. I’m so ready for more of those kind of trips this year, even though my bank account is frighteningly empty at the moment. But as they say, travel is the only thing you buy that makes you richer… and I definitely agree.

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Ueno, Ameyoko & Ginza | Japan series part III

3 - street people

It’s this day in Tokyo with Charlotte, Ruben and Fumi that I miss. Looking through these pictures I remembered how absolutely brilliant the day was – and how exhausted I was when I got back ‘home’ onto the Chuo Line after we dropped Ruben off at the shinkansen back to Osaka. I can hardly say that I had one favourite day in Japan (because simply I think the days in Japan were kind of the best days of the year, if not life so far), but if I could…this one would rank very, very high.

It’s probably the fact that I was with three people that I really (like really) like to hang out with. It’s also probably the fact that we were in Tokyo all day, exploring neighbourhoods and… well it’s also probably the fact that we ate so much good stuff that day. However sad partings can be, it is amazing to be able to look back at such a brilliant day. Nothing can compare to that.

I can by no means do this day justice by just pictures and a bit of chit-chat. But for now, I guess this will do to keep the memory alive. There are far too many pictures of this day to share, and I’ve tried to limit but still I’ve got so many for you after the jump.

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Enoshima & Sukiyaki | Japan series part II

2 - enoshima 8

I’m sorry I’m taking such a long time in between posts. Thesis-times seem like mad-times – happy times though (I won’t complain!). Let’s get cracking. This is the first weekend of the trip, and with me and my siblings reunited we got up to do a lot of sight-seeing and other Tokyo shenanigans. – This post is about Saturday (and me getting back into writing and editing, sigh).


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Jetlag & Ghibli | Japan series part I

1 - kichijoji walk


As one of you said in a comment to my most recent post, good things come to those who wait. And heck, I’ve waited a long time to go back to this wonderful country and visit my friends and family. That’s the thing with travelling, you’ll ‘miss’ home – but when your travel destination feels like home, your head and heart get a bit confused.

I’ve been putting off posting pictures from Japan for as long as possible since editing them made me feel a bit sad. But slowly and steadily I’m beginning to get back into the swing of things. Or well, my head/heart is. As I obviously still have my life and obligations here, so it’s not like I can lie in bed all day, drowning in misery. So, onto better things! Onto happy times! I’m here with my first batch of pictures from Japan and I’m here to enjoy looking back at the sweet memories – and I hope you will enjoy seeing these too. Thank you for your continuing support guys! x

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I’ve been thinking quite a bit, on how I should start again after returning home from my absolutely phenomenal trip to Japan. That may even be an understatement. To be totally honest with you. I cried a little when I left Hiroshima on Friday. And I cried quite a bit more when I got home. Quite frankly, I miss Japan.


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MIA (announcement)


Hi friends! Yes, I’m still alive. But yeah, now I’m kind of leaving you hanging for a few weeks. I’ll be in Tokyo and Hiroshima for the larger part of my trip. Mind you, it’s all for research purposes, but you betcha I’m catching up with friends and family (and going crazy with the kaitenzushi). – Of course I used my little anti-stress travel list, and after a bit of a freak-out on the passport validity front: all is well now. Or at least, for now… I think I’ll be able to think properly again once I’ve set foot on Japanese ground. ;)

Be good, keep safe, and until soon!

A little Mosel Trip, pt. 2


Finally, more snaps from Germany! We visited Beilstein, Loreley and Düsseldorf. Though very little pictures from Düsseldorf I’m afraid. We first went into the little Japantown-area and got stuck there with our hunt for food (in which we succeeded greatly if I may say so). And after checking out the city centre we decided to call it a day and get stuck in traffic for more than half the way home. With some serious karaoke sessions on song like Mr. Roboto and Fantastic Baby our day was complete.

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A little Mosel Trip, pt. 1


A little time ago I jumped into a car with my friend to see the Mosel river. And it was stunning. Our four day trip involved seeing Koblenz, Düsseldorf and all kinds of little German towns and castles along the riverbanks. Nothing too fancy, just really relaxing, nostalgic and pretty. The first two days we visited Koblenz, ventured around in our own ‘neighbourhood’ and went to see Burg Eltz. Oh man, I got all psyched to watch Kiki’s Delivery Service again!

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On y va: Londres! – Part III

And there we are, the last bits and bobs of my London trip. Midterms are all done and my papers are handed in! On y va!

Day 4 of the trip consisted of visiting Greenwich during the day, and going to a very peculiar place at night. I’ve got no photos of that but I’ll try to fully explain.

We took a boat, from near the Parliament to Greenwich’s Cutty Sark. An interesting trip along the Thames. After arriving in Greenwich we got a little spare time to fix ourselves some lunch and take a quick look around before going up. The Greenwich Market had some great food stalls where I got my ‘tempura bento’. For some it might look a bit crappy but daaaaaamn, stuff was good!!

At dinner we got around to go to Jamie’s Italian. The burger in my first London post was from here. I couldn’t help myself to go for some signature pasta and a bit of greens on the side with homemade lemonade. SO GOOD.

The place we visited at night was the Dennis Severs’ House. A very peculiar on 18 Folgate St. Peculiar though, because I can’t find a better word to describe it. The place gave me the chills in a good way. Let’s not beat around the bush: Dennis Severs’ House is a place where in the 20th century this guy called Dennis Severs came from America to live in the Britain he loved from the British novels he read: the 18th and 19th century Britain. He stripped the house from electricity and everything modern and well… I’m not telling you all he then did because there’s Wikipedia for those interested (and I’m lazy like that). But I will tell you that when you visit, you enter this house were people from these past centuries ‘just left’. You actually get to go two centuries back in time and you feel like you just missed the people who live there. There’s really no electricity or central heating, it’s all candles and fireplaces. There’s food, fresh flowers and urine in the little pot beside the bed. You smell and see everything (maybe more than you want). I’d say you feel like an intruder, that’s how I felt.

Day 5 was reserved for visiting the Horniman Museum and Gardens and going back home around 1pm. You should know, I will never ever take the bus to London again from Amsterdam, or the other way around.

I guess you can see I was a bit tired on the last day. This concludes my London trip for now… I have loads of pictures left still, but I don’t feel like going on about this trip. Have a good Sunday!

On y va: Londres! – Part II

Second part of my London trip. I’ve been putting all my mind and energy to studying and jotting down stuff for my papers which are due Monday. But here I am, procrastinating, I had no peace until I showed you guys some of the things I saw over at the British Museum, National Portrait Gallery, Harrods and during the rest of my stay on day 3 in London.

All of these and the coming few pictures are over at the British Museum. While I’ve been to London before, I never have gotten around visiting this huge and immensely popular place. We had a very interesting talk about the results of the visitor research inside the British Museum. Very unusual findings that changed my view a bit of the museums in London, in a positive way.

After the talk we got some time to check out the museum on our own. A classmate/dear friend and I decided to check out the ‘most important’ things on the ground floor and then just work our way from the top floor (Japan section) to downstairs again. Unfortunately the Korea section was closed, but led to an interesting little paper in the lift.

I thought it was so polite of the museum that they put the information up in Korean, but it made me think too… this might have started a whole thing in my head, it’s possible that I might have been putting too much thought in this.

The one with the pills might confuse you, but if you’re ever near the British Museum and you don’t know this yet I suggest you go check it out. It’s not gorgeous, but it’s kind of brilliant: from Cradle to Grave. It’s a very, very long display with all the pills/medicine a person takes (is possible to take?) in their lifetime. I thought it was brilliant, definitely worth a look!

National Portrait Gallery is a strange place to be, when you’re not British. I actually thought I knew some of the famous people over there, but there’s really not a chance I knew over 10 percent of everyone displayed there. Probably has to do that there was way too much stuff with the Tudors going on and I couldn’t find Jane Austen who supposedly is presented too. Our group tried a bit of the ‘Campaign for Drawing’, we were assigned to not look at the paper and just at the object we were meant to be drawing. I suggest you guys try it sometime, it changes your perspective a bit.

Harrods was already getting ready for Christmas again, it reminded me a bit of last year. And as my little tradition seems to go: my visit to the Harrods Food Halls and Ladurée weren’t out of the question. Of course I got myself two cupcakes this time… and a lovely box of macarons. I know I keep telling how I would like Ladurée to come to Amsterdam… but it would definitely make me fat and homeless. Yikes! Their stuff is so expensive TT_TT

More next time, have great weekend folks!

On y va: Londres! – Part I

London, dear London. I figured blog-titles look so much more sleek and intellectual when written in French. Here’s where I tell you how much I enjoyed yet another trip to London. To be honest I’ve not been feeling too happy about my pictures, but maybe that the lazy inside me talking since I told myself every day last week to go on blogging. It’s a bit of a mismatch of pictures, part two will be prettier, I promise!

London has been incredibly good to me, yet this past week (since arriving back home that is) I’ve been incredibly tired. Maybe that’s a good sign… I’ve been doing quite a lot when I was gone. During my stay in London I’ve also been doubting where I should do my internship next year… oh decisions, decisions!

We’ve visited several places during the week, after arriving on Monday around 3 pm we rushed and got ready to leave for a little walk around the city towards Tate Modern, one of my favourites in London. Last time I visited I got to see the Yayoi Kusama exhibit, this time I saw a few Rothko’s which I liked quite a bit more than in the books I use for studying. Later that night a few friends and I hit a pub for some fish and chips plus some beer… how could we not?

We’ve walked around for a bit after that, and then I got myself a Cadbury cream egg (Halloween edition, obviously). – Oh, on a side note… the hostel we were staying at was pretty horrid so if you’re planning on a good and cheap-ish stay in London, don’t go to Driscoll’s House on New Kent Road!

On Tuesday we got to do our city tour, a little assignment we had to prepare before hand (it’s a studytrip after all). Later that day we visited the Kensington Palace, which had a gorgeous exhibition on Victoria.

Later that day we got our asses over to a shopping spree around Oxford Street. Dinner at Kimchee was one of the best ideas I had that week. After hearing Shini from Park & Cube about it on her blog and instagram I couldn’t help myself. You may or may not already know about my love for Japanese cuisine, Korean cuisine is currently growing on me as well. Although the amount of spiciness should still be limited quite a bit… Choosing the bulgogi hotpot was my second best idea… although everything at the table looked and smelled scrumptious.

Alrighty, more next time folks. Have a good weekend!

See you in a bit!

Coming week I’ll be in London for the last studytrip with uni (after Paris and Berlin) and I’m proper excited! I thought I’d post up a bit of London I shot in my last visits (here and here, ah and this little snippet) that I didn’t get around to show earlier.

These pictures remind me of so many joyous moments, I don’t quite know why I’ve never shared them before. But onto my new trip! I’ll be visiting lots of museums and places I haven’t been fortunate enough to enter before. And of course I will scour (not only) Oxford Street for Muji, Uniqlo, HMV and other shops we don’t have over here in Holland. I will also definitely revisit the Harrods Food Halls together with Ladurée.

Today I’m off to finally see Don Jon, excitement! Until soon, folks! Be well, stay safe!

If you’re curious to my adventures in Paris or Berlin, please click the links below!
Paris: part 1, part 2, part 3. Berlin: just this post.

On y va: Anvers!

This past week was the last week of my summer holidays. It was the first time I had absolutely no plans at all concerning going away on a trip. Doing what I’ve been doing all summer (working?) without setting foot in a foreign country was a bit sad to me.

So I was over the moon when my dear friend and travelbuddy which whom I conquered the mainland of Europe last year, and with whom I got to explore Brussels with agreed to explore Antwerp with me on this exceptionally bright summer day.

While I’m still thinking of something witty to say, I will tell you about our day. The goals we had weren’t very ambitious so we happily strolled around and did it all: stop by Ladurée for macarons, sightsee the city a bit and see the Schelde river, get some moules frites, eat a waffle, drink a Belgian beer and… catch up. My friend and I hadn’t seen each other since the beginning of the year when she left to study in France.

We found the most wonderful bookshop called Othello which had wonderful, witty books on life, a corner with delirious good cookbooks, fancy postcards and all the children’s books I hoped to read when I was a kid (and still hope to get my hands on now). The interior of the bookstore was amazing, featuring neat Tintin books, black and red lamps, large long tables with books and a very friendly cashier with cool hair. – I agree buying books online is way less a hassle and sometimes cheaper, but bookstores like this always hold special place in my heart.

Why, you ask? Why I went to Antwerp all of a sudden? Well, that’s easy. I’ve never been, I had a free day, and the train ticket was only 7,80 euros (= cheap). I think the pictures tell more than enough, we had a wonderful time and ate, once again, way more than necessary. But that’s ok, because really… look at it.

Excuse the excessive amount of pictures, I figured if I didn’t post them now I probably won’t get around it later when uni starts and I won’t look at them so much anymore.

Japan, back in the days

As with my previous post I’m getting old pictures from back in the days on the blog. A few years ago, in the years 2009/2010 I took a gap year and got my ass of to Japan for the second time in my life. It was amazing, of course, but I won’t be going there anymore in the summer because, well… the scorching heat. (Or maybe I will, because well… Japan is pretty sweeeet).

Like I said before, my photography skills weren’t terribly good back in the days. And most of these pictures were taken with a Sony Cybershot (I can’t believe how I thought carrying a DSLR around in Japan would be ‘a hassle’, I mean really, how stupid can one be?!)

The view from tall buildings always amazes me, but in Japan everything I see there seems to be a reference popping into my head from my childhood or other crazy things. Like the small buildings next to the train station, they make me think of a katamari, hehe. The department stores in Japan seem like a brilliant concept to me. Everything can be bought there, even melons for 4200 yen (that is around 42 euros, or it was back in 2010) but even though… I find that quite outrageous. As the cake is around 8946 yen, yes… try to find out how much USD that is!

I went to Tokyo visiting family, and later on I got to visit Kobe and Osaka. I loved it, travelling the Shinkansen seeing the Japanese landscape going past. Osaka was a food-heaven, home of deliriously good takoyaki. Funny how food always seems to stick, and everything else sort of slips my mind. — I do remember Osaka castle though, and the heat when I got on top of it.

No but come on, can you blame me for remembering that food?

New York City, man!

Summertime. Always the time for me when I get a little time on my hands in which I do things that take way too much time. That’s when I found these pictures from back in late 2009 when I was still blogging on another blog and promised to upload my photos someday. It has taken a while, almost 4 years to be exact, but that day has finally come. I would love to go back.

My photography skills have changed, and so have I. The only pictures I could find of my trip though were buildings and food, so not so much has changed really on the themes of my travel photography. Hehe.

During our stay we went to the MoMA (there was a Tim Burton exhibit yay), to Central Park, Top of the Rock, Magnolia Bakery, a musical on Broadway and so much more. I loved every inch of the city, and I wish I took loads more pictures. But it was winter and cold and I was still a little kid who was to shy to pull out her camera. Stupid, stupid me.

During my absence I’ve also been looking at my Japan pictures from 2010 too, but those are kind of horribly bad. Still, maybe it can help reminising and trying to figure out where to fix myself an internship next year? – Right now I’m busy either working or doing something utterly useless. It’s been a blast.

Travelling East: Berlin 2013

Herro, I’m back from bedazzling Berlin! Oh, what a marvellous city, I fell in love all over again. Last year (see here) it was my first stop during my inter-railing trip, and it was my first time Berlin. This year, I finally got the chance to understand the city so much better. It’s the home of my heritage theories professor, and of lots and lots of history. I got the chance to see a lot behind-the-scenes stuff, it was hard to capture through my camera’s lens because of the layered history of all the places I visited. But here’s my attempt, it’s a bit photo heavy.. but I’m happy to explain a thing or two for you.

If you follow my on instagram, you probably have seen some things already. Either way, photos are in chronological order, I’ve seen Berlin on bike, been to Potsdam, to the Jüdisches Museum, the Stasi Archiv, the Kultur Forum, prepared and given a tour in the Altes museum (won the shared 1st place of all the tours on the Museum Insel with my group, whoo) and finished friday morning with pie and darjeeling tea at KaDeWe. It was amazeballs.

We arrived in Berlin around 1 or 2 in the afternoon, and got the chance to fix our own lunch before heading to the bike rental. Our hostel was placed near Alexanderplatz, in a pretty cute neighbourhood with lots of fancy shops and small restaurants and café’s.

We got a tour on bike through pretty much the whole of Berlin, which was pretty ok. But better for those who actually like being on a bike for almost 4 hours. We’ve seen a lot, and got explained some things about places throughout Berlin, but I think the guide of our group wasn’t having his day. So other groups got a lot more out of their biketour. Lucky them. — Checkpoint Charlie was included in the tour, but really… I think I hate that place so much. It’s really made for ignorant tourists who just want a little culture in between their party-holiday, even the historical context of how that place looks right now doesn’t seem right. It’s almost a plastic piece of history, just made real simple and maybe even stupid?

But I’ve got to say, there are still a lot of interesting places to see in Berlin where history is beautifully displayed. Some places where the wall is featured, next to an information centre. Or a house where the bullet holes of World War II are still intact. Very, very intriguing.

The second day I went to visit Potsdam with my group. Unfortunately, the weather was a disaster and I didn’t bring an umbrella. My law professor lend me his extra, so it was all pretty ok. It was interesting to see Potsdam and the park full of Palaces of the former royal family Hohenzollerns. Cecilienhof was the place where the Potsdam Agreement was signed between the UK, USA and USSR. — I thought the Sanssouci palace was the most impressive of all (picture above), but we got there after closing time which was a shame.

This third day was brilliant, even though my feet were hurting like hell I loved visiting the Jüdishes Museum and the Stasi Archiv. The Jüdisches Museum is situated in a strange but, in my opinion, beautiful modern building (outside pictures). It’s not very handy, but I love the spaces and the atmosphere.

The Stasi Archiv was situated in the Stasi Complex, if you look here you can see how huge the complex is. We got a presentation by two of the employees and a little tour around the building. To hear the real facts about the history of the Stasi and how it operated way back when, but also to get a glimpse how people deal with all the facts of the people who were victims of the Stasi was very… cool actually. The whole atmosphere around the building was still very secretive, even though they are trying not to.

Day four, this was the day I won something for the first time in my life. At the Kultur Forum we got more insight about the new Stadtschloss that is being built, and in the afternoon all we did was race around the Museum Insel trying to give a good tour or be a good follower of someone’s tour. Until 5 pm it stayed sunny, but when we got leave for drinks with the whole group as a sort of ending, it started pouring. A bit sad, but the drinks were still good.

If this last picture made you think of Gatsby, you won the toaster! KaDeWe has wonderful shop windows, and this was one of them. I can’t wait to see The Great Gatsby coming week. KaDeWe was wonderful, I got my Lindt Sauerkirsh-Chili Chocolate as I wished.

A Holly Jolly Christmasweekend

Finally, some real Christmas spirit on this little blog of mine. While I was in London I have mainly been shopping, eating and watching things. When I say things, I mean people (especially seeing them iceskating was fun, or watching them while visiting the V&A) and I mean Christmas decorations. Think houses, trees, ornaments… everything.

It was great to get into that merry and bright atmosphere. Aaaaand, this week it has been snowing in Amsterdam! How lucky can I get? It won’t hold on to next week, but I really am dreaming of a white Christmas now.

Harrods really had the best (and worst) Christmas decorations. Some of them were so awful and kitsch. But so great to look at anyway. And the whole atmosphere at Harrods was great too, as always: loads of foods, stationary and Christmas decorations. Ah, and the Laduree for my macaron craving. It would be heaven (and hell for my bankaccount) if Laduree opened a shop in Holland.

Also, I think the advertising in the London underground is brilliant. It’s all music, film, theatre and… the occasional wellness of medicine stuff. Wayyyyy better then the dull posters they have put up in Amsterdam. – But happy stuff: the Christmas market at Hyde Park! They had mulled wine, nutcrackers and lots of stuff you don’t need. It was marvellous.

They had a very Rock ‘n Roll Christmas at Carnaby street. And the view from the window from the attic-like room we had at our supercheap hotel was quite nice. We could see lots of rooftops and see a lovely sunrise.

And below: Sherlock at Bakerstreet, teatime at Harrods and macarons in Hyde Park (yes, were I had a the lovely encounter with the lively squirrels. All was brilliant. And I would love to go back. Maybe I should make this a sort of tradition, you know, visiting places at the beginning of December. Maybe I should go to Paris next year. Or Stockholm or Moscow if I’ve got any money. Well I can dream right?

Yesterday evening I’ve seen Anna Karenina in the theatres and it was stunning. But more on that later. Have a lovely weekend!

Squirrel Girl

Hiiiiiiii~! It’s been such a wonderfully, epic, Christmassy and awesome weekend. I’ve been visiting the world of wonderful named London. And now I am seriously broke. But that’s ok. This little fella is one of the best things of this weekend. But to be honest, the last couple of days were actually a kind of unification of my favourite things ever.

On Friday afternoon, after getting cupcakes and macarons teehee, we went to Hyde Park and there it happened. THEY. ATE. OUT. OF. MY. HAND. (I fed them nuts, not macarons) And that’s not all, one has also jumped upon my right leg when I was trying to take a photo of another one. – You know those ‘crazy bird ladies’ in films, who are always feeding the birds in parks? Well it felt kind of like that. But I was happy. And it were squirrels instead of birds. And there were only two or three near me. And they didn’t piss or shit on me. Which was nice.

I will try and get pictures up soon and share all the radness of the Christmas markets and shopping-sprees! I hope you’ve been well. Until soon!