travel update 08/02/16

It’s official, I’m the worst blogger ever. So rather than waiting to perfect posts about each place we’ve visited, I’m going to start a weekly update. This first one might be a bit all over the place.

The journey… so far

Melbourne (Australia) > Singapore > Hong Kong > London (UK) > Faro (Portugal) > Lagos (Portugal) > Paris (France) > Hesdin (France) > Bruges (Belgium) > Ghent (Belgium) > Brussels (Belgium) > Antwerp (Belgium) > Rotterdam (Netherlands) > Amsterdam (Netherlands) > Utrecht (Netherlands)

Highlights

Bruges has been, without a doubt, our favourite location so far. We even extended our stay. I imagine that it would lose some of its charm in peak season, simply due to the big crowds and long lines. But our winter visit involved neither of those things and yet Bruges was still perfectly charming – this town does not need sunshine to be appealing. If anything, walking along the cobbled streets arm-in-arm in boots and coats, and enjoying a Belgian beer in a cosy pub/bar seemed the perfect way to enjoy Bruges.

Our bike ride from Bruges (Belgium) to Sluis (Netherlands) was another highlight. The scenery is stunning and there are a few quaint towns to stop at along the way. Definitely recommend it for anyone visiting Bruges.

Paris lived up to the hype of my first visit and continued to impress. There is so much to see and do. You can visit every amazing museum or spend each afternoon in a different Parisian garden with a fresh baguette and cheese. We enjoyed a bit of both. Oh, and we went ice skating on the Eiffel Tower… yeah, that was pretty awesome.

Brussels was pleasantly surprising and it was oddly comforting to see glass skyscrapers. (Yep, think I am definitely a city girl.) We were lucky enough to be there during Brussels’ Colours, which basically involved street performers, a concert, some strange Belgian dancing (that everyone around us seemed to know) and a lot of yelling “Bruxelles! Bruxelles!”. We loved it.

Throughout the trip we are varying our accommodation – a mix of hotels, hostels, airbnbs and farm/homestays. We had our best hostel experience in Rotterdam. It wasn’t the best place if you wanted to go to sleep before 2am, but we met some fantastic people and we are now keen sjoelen players. Oh and we saw some old windmills (Kinderdijk), very cool.

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Last but not least, our first and only (so far) workaway experience, which is basically a farm/homestay where you work for a few hours a day in return for food and accommodation. We want to experience more than the usual tourist traps and this is a good way to do that.

We stayed with the lovely Donna and Nik in St Georges (near Hesdin) in Pas-de-Calais, France for a week. The work was pretty different for me, since I’ve never really done any physical labour. But I learnt how to use a jigsaw, circular saw and angle grinder, and now know much more about roof tiling (in the old French style). Even more remarkable though, I actually bonded with cats. I had to take a heap of antihistamines to be around them, but I actually found a soft spot for cats… crazy. Anyways, Nik and Donna were great and we are planning to visit them again in the summer.

And now…

We have just arrived in Utrecht, our last stop in the Netherlands, and then we head to Germany.

At the moment we’re still planning to travel for another two months, but we might skip some of mainland Europe so that we can tour Ireland and the UK.

Missing you guys

Dani

 

borough market

I would love to use this blog as a way of keeping you all up-to-date with our travels, but I don’t think it’ll be very up-to-date afterall. I have no good excuses, I am just terribly slack. Instead, just think of it as an electronic, impersonal postcard that may take weeks or months to reach you (sounds great, right?).

Anyways, I will try to post some pics from our European escapades soon, but for now, here are some of my favourite snaps from London’s Borough Market.

  Raclette

If you love food you will love Borough Market. Everything tastes (and smells) so good. It is a feast for all the senses. It will definitely be a regular destination for me once I’m settled in London.

Camera: Olympus OMD EM5

Lens: Olympus M.Zuiko 45mm f1.8

Edits: VSCO (on iPad)

 

the beginning of something beautiful

It has happened! I am in London, and yes, I am planning to live here. But not just yet. Firstly, I need to travel Europe and enjoy unemployment.

This blog is predominantly about photographs, but I will also be sharing tidbits about my travels and adventures. So I hope you enjoy it.

So far, we have managed to explore London a little (we know we’ve only just scratched the surface) and we’ve briefly visited Portugal. I think it’s safe to say that we are both pretty happy with our decision and can see ourselves living here.

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But tomorrow we are off to Paris to start our big European adventures. I’m hoping we’ll be gone for a few months, but we’re playing it by ear. So until next time… au revoir!

derby day

Footy is over, office small talk is dwindling, hayfever has been debilitating Melbournians for weeks and we’ve already thought about putting our coats at the back of the closet (twice)… it’s Spring Racing Carnival time!

Boys dust off their suits and girls keep the local milliners, fashion designers and hairdressers (oh and spray tanners) in business. And we all get swept up in a mass of fascinator and filly-fueled wonder.

When it comes to fashion, Derby Day is all about black and white. So I thought I’d dabble with a little black and white photography too.

Despite initial concerns about the weather (waking up to thunderstorms prior to a day outside does not generally fill a person with happiness), it turned out to be a near-perfect day.

Races

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winners

collage

cornflower

Camera: Olympus OMD EM5

Lens: Olympus M.Zuiko 45mm f1.8

Edits: Lightroom

royal melbourne show

The Royal Melbourne Show always brings back fond childhood memories, well… I mostly remember eating corn, but I loved it. And even though I no longer care for showbags, I still find myself heading to the show year after year.

This time I took my faithful Olympus camera and observed everyone else creating their own Melbourne Show memories.

Couple at the show

Sky high ride

Clowns at the show

Ferris wheel

Royal Show

Camera: Olympus OMD EM5

Lens: Olympus 14-42mm f3.5-5.6 

Edits: Lightroom / Snapseed

fireworks

Taking the following photos made me so unbelievably happy. Firstly, I love fireworks. There is something about them that brings back a child-like giddiness in me.

Secondly, I love photography. It gets me out and about. I am learning to see things in new ways and am constantly trying to improve.

I’d taken photos of fireworks a few times in the past and they were ok, but far from being postcard worthy. So I was keen to keep trying and get a better shot. And I am proud to say… these are my best fireworks photos yet!

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Taken at Docklands for the Winter Festival, which is (unfortunately) finished for the year.

Camera: Olympus OMD EM5

Lens: Olympus 14-42mm f3.5-5.6 

Edits: Lightroom