Tuesday, July 22, 2014

A Day in Strasbourg - Part II

In part one of my Strasbourg post you saw some pictures of this small but beautiful city and I told you what I would consider a must-see. Now here are some things you should do and should enjoy in Strasbourg:

M U S T - D O :
Yes, look at your city map to see all the places you want to go to...you'll notice, that you will soon check them off your list...and then just start walking around these streets...get lost and get charmed by the places there. I walked several times along the river from Palais Rohan up to the heart of Petite France. It was so peaceful, like a whole week of vacation wrapped in a day. Repeat the same by night-time, the city is particularly attractive by night as well.

Batorama - City Tour by Boat. Also next to the Palais Rohan you find the boats with a curved glass ceiling - perfect for city tours, even on rainy days. Take the long tour, the one for 5 minutes, because this is how you will be sure to visit the Quartier Européen as well.

M U S T - E A T :
  • Tarte flambee or Flammkuchen
  • Choucrute, the Alsatian sauerkraut.
  • Foie gras
  • French breakfast
  • Kougelhopf.
Also try a local beer or a local wine.

If these are not enough reasons to visit Strasbourg,...then I don't know what is! :) 

Monday, July 21, 2014

A Day in Strasbourg - Part I

After almost two years of having this city on my "To-Visit-List", I have finally made it to little Strasbourg in Alsace. It was a day-trip, I reached there on a Saturday noon and stayed until Sunday noon. First day with rain, but absolutely worth visiting, even in such a weather.

M U S T - S E E :
The Cathedral. It is a really astonishing building, not  just by its size, but by the feeling you are overwhelmed with when entering it. The stained glass windows inside are so beautiful, and the warmth from all the lit candles embraces you whereas the hugeness of the cathedral makes you feel so small, so insignificant in this world,..and still...such small people built this greatness. There is without a doubt something or someone powerful watching over and helping us.

La Petite France. Probably the most photographed area of Strasbourg - these houses are very beautiful. I was particularly delighted by the contrast which exists in many: old and traditional on the outside and new and modern, some even funky, on the inside.
I think I walked by 3-4 times, at different times of the day, on Saturday, in rain, and in the evening without the rain.And the next morning with sun....even if it is so small, this neighborhood changes its charm according to the weather and time of the day. Worth seeing and taking lots of pictures. And a nice place to just sit, look at the water, relax, and let the time stand still for a second.

The "Quartier Européen".  With the European Council and the European Parliament. Of course, it's a plus if you have someone to show you around. Otherwise, just do a boat-tour through it.

I leave you now with some of the pictures I took and will be back with more details in a second post.

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

The Glamour of Italian Fashion at London's V&A Museum

Every time I go to London, I plan to visit/see something new (not a problem in this city, which has so much to offer), and/or to meet friends I seldom see.

This is why about a week before I travel, I start looking up websites from various museums, to see what new temporary exhibitions they are offering. I always check Victoria and Albert museum's site, because most of their exhibitions are linked to luxury and fashion, and so is  "The Glamour of Italian Fashion" exhibition, open till the 27th of July 2014.

I had the opportunity to see it in July and I can only recommend it for those interested in history, craftsmanship, luxury, tailoring, the "Made in Italy" label, some well-known fashion designers or some clothes/shoes/jewelry worn by celebrities. The exhibition is a bit of time-travel and while going through it, you can compare some of the couture to our modern days.

It also leaves room for interpreting the future of Italian fashion, so a must-see for everyone in the industry (but also for those who understand that fashion is part of the past, the present and the future and who understand that history and our daily life influence both the glamour and the functionality of clothes).

Enjoy your visit at the V&A Glamour of Italian Fashion exhibition.

(Picture source: http://www.vam.ac.uk/__data/assets/image/0005/238415/italian_fashion_header_1b.jpg)

Monday, July 7, 2014

ISRAEL - I now understand the Berlin Wall

...or at least, I have also experienced that feeling of controlled separation in a country, controlled by check points and guns, walls artificially built up to separate people from people, barbed wire and young (very young) soldiers holding guns (while some were still talking on their phones with pink and blingy covers).

A world of so much contrast, something totally new for me.

In my student semester in Berlin I lived in a student home in the Eastern part of the city, next to the East Side Gallery, a remaining of what used to be the Berlin Wall, the witness of history. It was interesting and of historic value, but it never had the same impact as driving along a wall which still retained its function, like the one in Israel, close to Jerusalem. It didn't give me the same feeling mixture of fear combined with immense sadness and constant question: WHY? Why does it have to be like this.

Then I remembered a the photographic and social project called "Face 2 Face" by French artist JR in Israel and realized the boldness of it: take a look at this video and think....we are not that different...there are more things we have in common than things which set us apart. So why put barriers between us? And why point at each-other with guns when we can just smile and make the world a better place...together.

(picture source: http://www.jr-art.net/sites/default/files/styles/large/public/photos/0.jpg)

Monday, June 9, 2014

The Red Thread Blessing

"You aren't wealthy until you have something money can't buy."-Garth Brooks
On my way to the Western Wall, yesterday, in Jerusalem, I saw a lot of people offering red threads. I approached a man, who seemed to be the only one who was not pushy to "sell" me this thread, and asked about its significance. He calmly answered it's a blessing, and asked about my name, wrapped it around my left wrist (I later read, that the right side/hand is considered the spiritually receiving side), held his hands abovey head and blessed me. Even if I belong to another religion, the moment felt amazingly right, the simplicity and his calmness gave me a feeling of inner peace...and I smiled. I later read, that this thread is supposed to protect against the evil eye (funny enough, in Romania red is considered as well to protect against the evil eye), and that the initial coloring was given by a simple worm, so simple that it would symbolize humility. And I feel it does. This is one of the many experiences I will never forget from Jerusalem!

Sunday, June 8, 2014

A Lot of New Experiences

My dear readers,
A lot of new experiences I am taking in at the moment in beautiful Israel.
With only one phone, limited time to visit new places and so much to "digest" and process, I can only post little from this fascinating adventure of mine, but will surely post more once I get back.
I've been only here for 2 days now, but it feels like 4 or 5.
Tel Aviv, the desert, camels, the Dead Sea, Beduin style Eating, the Wall between the people of this country, military,...all is just something I need to tell you more in detail.
Soon, on the blog :)

Thursday, June 5, 2014


selfie (definition from Oxford Dictionaries)

Pronounciation: ˈsɛlfi

noun (plural selfies)

informal A photograph that one has taken of oneself, typically one taken with a smartphone or webcam and uploaded to a social media website

I see this "word" everywhere. On the web, on T-shirts, as the name of a movie etc....
And then I ask myself: has our society been reduced to (usually) bad pictures of ourselves? Why is there no "us" anymore? Why don't we  live more in the community rather than in the individuality? Have we lost our ability of being part of something? Do we really have to stand out? And act so narcissistic about it?

I still grab my normal camera (not that of the phone) and try to capture the beauty of the moments and the people around me. If I go to visit a new place, I try to take the time and breathe it all in, to keep the memory alive, to capture the smell and the flavour, I don't just take out my phone and snap a picture of myself next to x, y, z... Because,...I do know how I look like. I see myself every day in the mirror. And so do my friends. And I know how they look as well. But, even if you realize it now or not, the smell and the flavours stay in the normal pictures, not in the selfies. I will always know how I felt when I saw the Atlantic Ocean one day last year, how the sun was shining and the waves were hitting against the cliffs. I will always relive that moment when I see the pictures I took that day. But I will never know how I felt and what day it was, when I look at a selfie.

Keep your true memories real!
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