jeudi 26 décembre 2013

A weird&late merry christmas.

Hurray Christmas is over. We're officially done with Christmas this year. Life can go on, things get back to normal let's forget about all that christmas-y mood that I just cannot bring myself to like.

If you like Christmas and celebrate it, I hope you had a nice one.
If like me you don't, I hope it wasn't too bad or that you had a cosy nice and pleasant day doing whatever it is that you enjoy doing.

My Christmas wasn't good, let's just stick to that. It wasn't horrible but definitely not good. A few people managed to make it slightly better, and now that's it's over, I'm feeling free and relieved.

I didn't celebrate it anyway, none of my parents even put up a tree and clearly the Christmas mood was nowhere to be found. The 24th went by quickly and quietly, me being exhausted because of stress and running. And on the 25th, my sister and I decided to go biking, which didn't look at first like a great idea because the weather was terrible, but eventually turned out to be a great iniative.

My hometown is located in the south of France and I live something like 20minutes away from the sea, walking time. I used to be able to see the blue waves from my biology classroom in highschool and I remember my father teaching me how to swim when I was fairly young, then going everysummer with friends to the beach, climbing rocks and little cliffs to then jump into the sea.

Living in Paris is amazing and I don't regret leaving the south of France at all , no, not even a little, but the sea... I always end up missing it. And on this sad Christmas day, being with my sister witnessing the huge waves crushing on the rock, strangely enough put my mind at peace.

I'll be honest, it's not easy nor nice, having a bad Christmas and not being able to enjoy this time of the year with your family, and it's been rough on me this year. I cried a lot, and I'm still feeling a bit under the shock of everything, but little things can make a big difference. Such as this afternoon spent biking and admiring the sea, coming back and forth, never giving up. 

Now, I'm not bitter and I hope that you got to enjoy this Christmas and spend it with people who were happy to celebrate it with you. If not, I hope that whatever you did, it was a good day, just like any other day, because clearly, we're making too much of a big deal out of Christmas. It's just Jesus' birthday after all! 

dimanche 15 décembre 2013

When time stands still.


Travelling. This word itself implies a movement. Going from point A to point B. At least. And indeed you do move. You take the plane, the train, a boat, the bus, drive, or sit at the backseat, you bike, you walk, sometimes you run in order to take one of the previously mentionned transport.
But there many times when you don't move at all. Be it by choice or not.
And no guide book will tell you about those moments when time stands still, either because hours seem way too long, or because these are moments of bliss when time doesn't matter anymore.
I actually love those moments of waiting or just enjoying doing nothing at all, a lot. Sometimes I need a bit of time, I need to be back home to be able to enjoy them but I always end up by growing an amused affection for them.

Among the times where I delibaretely chose to stop moving, are a lot of italian places. Piazzale Michelangelo is one of them. Located at the very top of a hill, overlooking Florence, this place by day or night always makes me want to sit and call it a day.
Burano is also one of them. Venice makes everything slow, your feelings, hearbeat, mind and plunges you into a whimsical almost magical mood. Burano just stops time for me. Everytime the boat comes near its shore I feel excited, happy and once I land a foot on the little paved streets I never want to leave.

Fighting the heat in Burano.

A park in Rome.
And Rome... Perhaps because of the unbearable heat, the crowd that one couldn't seem to escape, the perpetual noises everywhere, or perhaps because I was really not enjoying my time there that much, every chance to just sit was welcome.

The view from McDonalds in Omotesando, Tokyo.

Japan was a tiring trip, a very condensed and emotionaly exhausting one and I can name a few times when we just sat and pretended being busy eating when in fact we were just resting. I even remember my friend falling asleep in McDonalds in the middle of the day.

Waiting for the train to take us to Kamakura. Rarely has waiting for a train been that nice. Japan I miss you.

This summer was my first both as a host and a guest on couchsurfing, and I cannot wait for next summer and meet amazing people again! My friend and I were hosted in Bratislava by an amazing, sweet and really cool couple who made our time there just really nice. And I remember this delicious little café, where we talked about religions, politics, arts and travelling without any notion of time. 

In the Gum. Moscow.

If there's one city I've been to that made me feel tired and not wanting to move at all anymore, this has to be Moscow. The places where we hid, trying to convince ourselves it was ok to be doing nothing were many. Starbuks, Dunkin Donuts, The Gum, monasteries, and the Red Square. I won't lie, Moscow is a bit difficult to love, it takes efforts and a bit of sweat. My friends found it hard to wake up every morning, and I had to wake them up, reminding them we would soon be back to Paris. But during the day, the city being what it is, we just needed some peaceful time. And the best was sitting on the ground of the RedSquare at night, looking at the red builings all lit up. At that time only, Moscow was lovely and very easy to love.

My sister in Prague

Is McDonalds a shelter for travellers? With a bit of shame, I'll have to say yes. In Prague we had an amazing time but it was cold and days were very short. The morning we arrived at 4AM, we fell asleep in the commonroom/tvroom of the youthhostel and then proceeded to find somewhere to eat, and warm up before exploring the city. We indulged a bit on food and on time for this breakfast..

A 2day long wait in Lviv that made us look like zombies.

I never talk about that one destination, but I did go to Sweden, to Stockholm to be precise. And the reason why I never  talk about it is because I simply didn't like it at all. Nor the city, nor the people, nor what we did there, and that implied a lot of waiting in the cold with very little sleep and a lot of stress. I also remember paying an awful lot for vegetarian lasagna in that restaurant, that were not even good. Yes Sweden you aint seeing me again anytime soon!

To be fair I'm not sure where that was exactly. But I am about 80%positive it was in Kiev, waiting for the flight that would take me back to Paris, after my first experience in travelling and many cities and concert venues(remember that time I travelled through Europe following a band?) I don't remember much but I clearly remember how much I stank and how tired I was to waiting that time!

Let me know about your experiences, about the places and times you've spent waiting. And waiting for what?

mercredi 4 décembre 2013

Eltz Burg.

so tiny

I love churches. cathedrals. basilicas. buddhist temples. shinto temples. mosques.And many other religious buildings. You already know that.

And you could think my love for achitecture ends here. Well... no.
I also love castles. A lot. 
I actually love them to the point of walking 10kms in the forest, in the rain, with very little sleep and an empty stomach, not to forget the very cold temperatures.
But when I look at those pictures of Eltz Burg and the forest it hides in, it's all just worth it. I actually don't remember being that cold, and didn't mind the rain at all. I did almost lose my shoe once or twice because of how muddy it was but I remember more than anything else, how beautiful it was, how peaceful it was, and how happy and serene I felt. 

The castle isn't easy to find. Nor online nor in real life. I don't even know how I ended up reading about it. maybe during these long wikipediasessions about anything&everything. And very surprinsingly, because it is beautiful it wasn't that touristy either. We barely met a few people, all german. 
We had to take the train from Cologne, change at Koblenz to Moselkern and from there, walk to the castle itself. If you don't know german it might seem a bit intidimating, but there are signs along the way to guide you!

This lovely house is the train station in Moselkern.

The beaut"!

The sis.

There are definitely many amazing castles in Germany, but this one is especially impressive, because of its location. It truly feels remote, like you're completely cut from the outside world and it actually feels GOOD. Definitely a place I'd like to see in summer, it must be beautiful as well. Only motivates more to pick up my germanstudies and to travel to Bayern for my birthday next month. 

As usual, thank you for reading&I hope you enjoyed the pictures!I was honestly so excited while taking them, so impatient to share them with you!