13th September 2015No Comments

Postcards From Bremen

I am looking through old photos and postcards from my after graduation travel adventures. They began with my half day visit in Bremen in June 2014. I would like to share them here, so this is going to be one of the first post from the postcard series.

The town centre of Bremen is very medieval. I particularly liked Schnoorviertel, a district full of little colorful houses. It’s very fairy taily as if the whole neighbourhood was built for pixies. It has this overly sugary feel of childhood and makes me remember pestering my parents for yet another candy floss.

23rd July 2015No Comments

Summer Voyage

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My week-long holiday in Poland and Slovakia was miraculous. It seems like it lasted eternity and is eternity behind me. Time has stretched in a strange way and was passing lazily and slowly. I have not witnessed such vast amounts of time on my hands ever since my travels a year ago. I feared that this time is going to fly so fast that before I realize, it is going to be over and I will have to go back to work without even having a chance to take a breath and relax. There is something in changing places, waking up in different bed everyday, an imbalance of space and time, that incredibly stretches the time. I enjoyed that lazy, filled with sun trip with my favorite travel companion Ivan.bootsdisposablecamera12

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I wish I could show you in photographs how much magic did these days introduce to my life, yet all I have are hazy, low quality photos from Boots disposable camera, so in terms of photography, there is a bit of lomography here. It was refreshing to challenge myself using only a simplest camera possible without any control over photos with only one chance to capture the moment as it is without corrections and readjustments. The photography has felt much more like in the 90s, when my parents would urge me to take photos in front of monuments and touristic attractions with myself standing still in front which I obviously found terribly unattractive. They were giving me shit for all the diversity I tried to introduce while taking photos of random objects such as bottles and trees. All that experiments did not work out exactly the way I wanted - in my mind I had an image of a beautiful bokeh and lack of any technical knowledge and no one to explain why it doesn't work the way I want. These days I am coming back to them with a full awareness of what did not work out in my childish attempts to capture the moments and no parental limitations to my vision.

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Daylight was for the Wawel castle, magic of the Krakow town square, walks around my hometown and conversations. After showing around the key tourist attractions that make Krakow, we enjoyed a cold beer on a bench between the buildings of a student village. Something that would have been a casual part of my reality if I decided to stay in Poland.

It felt like childhood to taste home cooked meals prepared by my mum, eating entire huge metal bowl of strawberries, cherries, raspberries, blueberries and all the other summer fruits. Days were hot and sweaty, everyone regardless of financial status, no matter if they were wearing posh clothing or hippie rags, was wet with sweat squinting their eyes to the sun. Once again I could enjoy myself jumping to a fountain fully clothed without facing judgements and enjoy the fun of the summer days. The cold walls of my old high school, all of the 10 pubs of Tarnow market square, Strzelecki Park, all these things will never cease to remind me of some best years of my youth.

During the visit we received amazing news of our friend getting a scholarship for a Masters degree, could there be a better reason to celebrate? Nights were for dancing with the flames and enjoying the grace of Kazimierz. I was back to being a teenage girl enjoying the fun of colorful shots, with friends. Locally brewed beers, sliwowica, wisniowka and orzechowka (plum, cherry and hazelnut vodkas) were landing on our table one after another as we enjoyed walks around vibranty illuminated streets surrounding Plac Nowy in the heat of the night.

Next day gave us inspiring conversation with a long forgotten friend, refreshment of inspiration and refuel of smiles.

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We drove next to the forests, mountains and lakes on local roads following the meanders of river to the town of Poprad in Slovakia. We travelled to Trencin with a train admiring the greatness of Tatra mountains with the tops still covered with snow and entertained ourselves with interslavic conversations.

The festival was three nights of dancing and abracadabra, alcohol drank by youth like magic potions. Flashing lights and hypnosis was a perfect way to forget yourself. I was never more aware of the fact that the tent was filled up with the ticking bombs. Tick, tick, ticking in the rhythm of heartbeats. All of us dancing to these beats had the buttons hidden somewhere that pressing each of them would blow us all out. Emotions would explode in thousand pieces in the sky and entire crowd would become one. The live music at the concerts gave the crowds insane energy that surely we could have caused an earthquake somewhere while dancing to Bjork's 'Human Behaviour'.

The magnetic force in the air reached its peak during performance of my beloved Cocorosie in the middle of the last night. Blessed with music I was drifting somewhere in another universe.

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We arrived at festival site at the sunset and left two days later at the sunrise. Taxi, train, plane, bus, underground, tired and nostalgic we came back to the normal life. Filled with memories of happiness, colourful tents, laid back bohemian clothing, love and friendship I cannot wait until Bazant Pohoda Festival 2016 to reunite with my dearest friends.

22nd June 20154 Comments

Never Forget Norway – Part1

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I have somewhat a traveler's soul. I am constantly tormented by the wanderlust and love for photography only makes my daydreams more frequent and vivid. Luckily for me, I have had a chance to visit a few wonderful places on this earth and I am not intending to stop there. It is almost impossible to represent and capture the beauty of the world in a photograph but I would like to share some of my memories here with you in a cycle on travel.

In the midst of the heat of last summer I visited Oslo completely by chance. It has been my first and only visit to Norway so far but I have fallen in love with its landscapes from the first sight, when the plane was flying in circles above the forests and calm lakes reflecting the cloudless sky.

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I arrived with the last flight at night, half an hour before midnight, but the summer sky was still warm and bright. Within four hours I observed how the sun sets and rises breathing in the warm salty air infused with the smell of pine trees.

From the airport to the bus, to the train, to the town, I arrived in Oslo still at dawn when the coffee shops were still shut and the city was lazily grasping last minutes of sleep before waking up to the morning light. I fetched tickets and maps and wandered around Karl Johan's Gata in search of the coffee shops for my first kaffepause.

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At 7 a.m. Oslo is still sleepy, it is hard to find freshly brewed coffee before 9 a.m. and my sleep deprivation was finally kicking in. Feeling the chill breeze from the fountain I took a short nap, on a bench like a hobo, in a little park in front of Nationaltheatret.

When the bells rang at 9 a.m. I was refreshed and excited. I visited an incredible majestic piece of functional architecture - Oslo City Hall. The building is very raw in its style, yet you can still find there subtly ornamented with astronomical clock on the northern tower and wooden reliefs representing scenes from Nordic mythology.

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Rathus (how Norwegians call they're city hall) each year is a host of the Nobel Prize ceremony, which takes place in the main hall illuminated by the sun and with walls covered with enormous paintings by Henrik Sørensen picturing struggles of the Norwegian nation during the Second World War and their pursuit of independence.

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After visiting Oslo City Hall I purchased my Oslo Pass, which I would recommend to any lonesome traveller who decides to visit this beautiful city on their own and not only! Oslo pass gives you a free access or considerable discounts on entrance fees to pretty much all the galleries and museums in the city in the price of the ticket. It also includes a travelcard for all types of public transport. In notoriously expensive Norway buying a tourist pass really helps you save money and gives you an instant access to a large number of  sites worth exploring.

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Along with my Oslo Pass in the Tourist Information point I also came across a cute little map by USE-IT and it was my best friend during entire stay. USE-IT maps are created with advice of locals , humorous and designed for young people on low budget.

It was still morning and long before my anticipated check-in time at the hostel so with the backpack and with my new hip map and the Oslo Pass I went to explore the city.

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I strolled around Akersshusstranda and admired boats and giant ships waiting for their turn to sail across the Baltic Sea. My next destination was Akerhus Castle.

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After visiting Akershus Castle I paid a visit to the National Gallery where I have seen the works of famous artists, among others the expressionist Edvard Munch, author of the famous 'Scream'. However, it was not Scream that made the biggest impression on me, perhaps because I have seen it so many times already. I absolutely adored his 'Madonna' and I was stunned by 'The Kiss', presenting similar theme to my favorite painting of the same title by Gustav Klimt, representing the same scene, yet Munch painting is darker, more mysterious and ethereal, where the faces of the lovers are smudged and form one body.

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I left the National Gallery emotionally loaded with new views and experiences and tired of the unforgiving heat after the bell rang three in the afternoon with the sense of relief I headed to my hostel. I dropped the backpack from my tired shoulders and refreshed myself with a shower. During that little break I recovered my energy for more adventures, which I am going to describe in another post. This one turned out so unexpectedly long! I hope you still made it until the end. I could never stop reminiscing my journeys. There are still a lot of memories and images to share about this wonderful Nordic capital.

By The Bay

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