Friday, October 17, 2014

Iceland Pt. 1

french toast for lunch at heathrow before flying out of london, the cute facts about iceland that icelandair have all over the planes, the warm and welcoming common room at my hostel and the really friendly, helpful staff, making friends with a girl on my first afternoon and walking up to the perlan building for a view of the city and then heading into town with her and seeing a rainbow at hallgrimskirkja church, hot chocolate and a gigantic, life-changing cookie sandwich from cafe babalu, not needing a map because it’s so easy to find your way around rekyjavik, the beautiful architecture of harpa concert hall, cute, brightly-painted houses and interesting street art all through the city, super delicious, fresh veggie/vegan food from glo, making friends over dinner in the hostel and going to a super weird art show that involved abstract philosophical monologues and some really interesting accordion music, sticking around to chat and realising there were nine people in the room and only one was a local, skyr – a yoghurt-like whey product that i wish i could get back home, water taken from underground rivers fresh out of the tap, going to a beatles themed bar with some friends from the hostel and watching a local band cover neil young, lou reed and the beatles and making friends with locals in another bar, going up the tower of hallgrimskirkja church for a view of reykjavik, watching the parade for iceland’s gay pride celebrations, the great tour operators who fill the long drives with facts about life in iceland, the history of the landscape and snippets of the icelandic sagas, the golden circle including the fantastic geysir, gullfoss waterfall and thingvellir national park where you can see the rift between the american and eurasian tectonic plates.

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Versailles & London

wandering through the beautiful grounds of the chateau de versailles including l’orangerie, le petit and grand trianons and le domaine de marie antoinette, laying in the grass under a tree reading steinbeck and the smell of lavender all through the grand trianon, the queen’s chamber and the galerie des glaces (hall of mirrors) in the palace, dessert from angelina before heading home.

there is never any ending to paris and the memory of each person who has lived in it differs from that of any other.
we always returned to it no matter who we were nor how it was changed nor with what difficulties nor with what ease
it could be reached. it was always worth it and we received a return for whatever we brought to it.

hemingway; a moveable feast

booking the wrong check in date for my hostel but somehow getting to stay the first two nights in a double bed on my own instead of my regular dorm room bunk, making friends and meeting some lovely bloggers at the lily & anna picnic, buying underwear with molecules and little stars and planets and lots of frilly socks from primark, drinking a butterbeer at the warner bros harry potter studio tour, catching up with the lovely zoe who i last saw when i was in london in 2010, getting ~street style snapped~ on carnaby st, having a bit of a moment when the guy at the british museum cafe asked how much milk i’d like in my tea because for the first time in months someone cared that i got my tea the way i like it, buying books and records at camden markets, wandering through the national gallery and national portrait gallery, a friend from back home announcing a surprise gig in london while i was there, hanging with him and his friend while they found backline to borrow a couple of hours before the show, seeing him absolutely kill it and hearing his music and feeling like i was at a gig at home because it was so wonderful and familiar, getting back to the hostel at 5am and realising i’d left my key in the room, but by a divine miracle someone was awake and let me in through the back, and then i managed to open the fire escape door from the outside to get to my side of the building and into bed, sitting front row on the top deck of a london bus, buying hogwarts and beastie boys t-shirts from primark, catching up with a friend from my egypt tour group, having the best time at the michael jackson thriller musical, running into a friend from sydney at portobello road markets without even knowing he was in the country, the museum of broken relationships at the southbank centre’s festival of love, buying records from spitalfields markets, the utterly fantastic tate modern museum, finally visiting big ben and buckingham palace on my second last day in london, going to a back to the future themed secret cinema screening with my friend from back home, seeing thousands of people dressed up like it was 1955 with a whole town set up and cars driving around and actors playing out scenes from the movie and lots of delicious food and everyone dancing and then sitting on astroturf to watch the movie, having far too much fun to take more photos.

Tuesday, September 09, 2014

Paris Pt. 2

sitting in cafes and writing in my journal in le marais and saint-germain-des-pres, watching the fireworks over the eiffel tower on bastille day, wandering through the beautiful musee d’orsay listening to dizzy gillespie, vintage shopping in montmartre and le marais and buying from the kilo shops who sell their clothes by weight, visiting shakespeare and company again and again, the city lights sticker on the shelf of the beat section, the smell of the lavender in the window of the library, the old piano upstatirs, the creaky door to the poetry section and all the little notes left and collected, visiting two apartments that hemingway used to live in in the latin quarter and having lunch in the square between them, wandering down rue mouffetard, the fragonard perfume museum, visiting the fantastic galerie de paleontologie and les grandes serres in the jardin des plantes, a wonderful day at disneyland going on all the rollercoasters and eating mickey mouse shaped madelines, the beautiful palais garnier opera house, buying a cinnamon & apple candle and four types of tea and cooking soup in my little apartment, watching the eiffel tower glittering at night time, getting lost in the louvre listening to lead belly, kissing sartre’s grave in montparnasse cemetery, sitting in the sun and reading by st martin’s canal with everyone on their lunch break.

"such was the paris of our youth, the days when we were very poor and very happy"