23.2.14

Impulsive day trip to Ghent, Belgium

I could say Ghent is my second hometown in Belgium. I moved here when I was 16 years old to study fine arts in high school, which was a great idea. I enjoyed it so much that when I was 18, I decided to attend a college there, not just because I loved the subject of the courses but also because of this perfect location. So now, every single time I go back, to meet up with friends or just to visit the city, I get all this nostalgic memories :-)

The pictures I'm showing you now are from an impulsive 'let's do something fun on a monday' - trip. Great for Mondays, but I guess Tuesdays are even better (since a lot of my favorite coffee places and shops were closed…). Well… At least it's a good reason to go back soon!

Ha, little iPhone panorama shot ;-) tourist style!

16.2.14

About living in Paris

Let's talk about one of my favorite cities that I have visited so far. One of my favorites for a lot of bizarre reasons, which does not include the Eiffel tower. I can remember the first time I went there. I was about 12 years old and was visiting the city of romance, fashion and so much more, with my parents… The first thing that came on my mind back then was: one day, I will live here! And so I did.

About 8 years later, I got the opportunity to study abroad. First choice, Paris! After some negotiations with my teachers I applied for a spot in a school called Ecole Estienne and got in :-) I got to spend 3 months in Paris, attending a school specialized in graphic arts. As you can see, I was very happy about it!!

These pictures are some snapshots of my 3 amazing months, living the life of a Parisienne or at least doing my very best to be a real one. It was an amazing experience to explore the city, practice my French, expand my knowledge of arts (free entry in almost all museums with my art-student card!) and maybe the best thing: find the best croissant on the planet. I believe Paris is the perfect location to do all of this!

So you might be thinking, a nice arty city, great croissants and the French language, is that the perfect recipe to create a great city? Well, I'd say yes but the answer is no. I think what makes this city so great to me has to do with some other factors. What do I love the most about it? I think the streets. They are all beautiful and if you are lucky, you get lost in them and discover these amazing little towns in the big city. Or you bump into the Seine again and suddenly this big labyrinth makes sense again. Same with the big metro network, carrying a map with you can be helpful but is not necessary. If you bump into a metro, you'll find your way back.

It's also about the atmosphere. It's kind of mysterious and to me, it makes me feel like I'm walking in some sort of movie. Which I like a lot. And then there are the little shops, bars, restaurants, flee- and veggie markets, parks,… You might be in a big city with big streets and buildings but all these little cosy places make it feel very livable. Although I'm not sure if I'd like to live there - as in for a long long time - if you know what I mean. It's just bizarre, and I still can't figure it out completely. I reckon, that's what makes this place so great. This city will always have its secrets.

Oh yeah, I got so overwhelmed and excited about this all that I decided to created an illustrated travel guide about Paris for my graduation project in school. It took me a couple of months and definitely a lot of sweat (some tears and blood were involved as well). I was just so proud of the result! Actually, I still am, almost 2 years later. I'm working on publishing an English version of this little guide so the next time you go to explore Paris, you will know where to go! But for now, I'll be sharing some of my favorite spots in Paris soon and I'll write some more about this little travel guide as well. Hopefully you get as excited about it as I am! :-)

Writing this just woke up my travel bug and makes me want to go back badly. I'm just wondering, have you ever been to Paris? And if the answer is yes, what are your favorite spots, bars, shops…? Any recommendations?

This house… One of Le Corbusiers masterpieces I'd dare to say. YES PLEASE!!! Saving money to buy this beauty one day is one of the new missions of my life :-) Okay, it's never gonna happen but a couple of dreams have never hurt anyone right?! Some little statues in the Rodin Museum… I just love them!

5.2.14

A WINTER'S DAY IN ANTWERP, BELGIUM

An afternoon well spent in Antwerp on a sunny winter's day in January. We made a lovely walk from the parking at the Schelde, where you can park for free by the way!! (the address is Gerlachekaai, in Antwerp) all the way to the MAS museum. We made some stops at a couple of well known places like the tunnel for pedestrians that runs under the Schelde and the city center. But also at one my favorite furniture shops: Espoo & Espoo B├╝tik and we had some delicious gourmet burgers to reward ourselves for all the walking ;-). But especially the architecture of the MAS museum was the highlight of this little trip. Very spectacular design and an amazing view from the rooftop. Definitely worth a visit!