Category Archives: Travel Diary

A Week In The Czech Republic #2

Snow 1While it’s storming outside today, I finally sit down to scroll through the many photos I shot in March when we were in the Czech Republic. I realise how lucky we were with this fresh blanket of snow and how happy it made us. We went on a long walk through small country roads and made our way into a beautiful forest. It was so calming and I wish I could teleport back to the moment where we stood on the top of a small mountain overlooking lots of white tree tops.

Snow 2Snow 3Snow 5Snow 8Snow 11Snow 9Snow 4Snow 13Snow 14

 

A Week In The Czech Republic #1

Czech Republic 1

At the end of February we went on a week trip to the Czech Republic with our family. We stayed in a house at the brink of a small village called Žacléř. The village lies in the North of the Czech Republic within walking distance from the border with Poland. I have been to the Czech Republic several times visiting Prague, Brno and the beautiful castle Karlštejn among other things. The bigger cities are looking stunning with their characteristic architecture, but outside of the cities you come across many abandoned buildings and houses. However a lot of these buildings are in a bad state and could use an overhaul. The houses are in all different colors- some are yellow, others are green or blue. It gives off a somewhat moody atmosphere, which I really seem to like these days. We arrived on a grey Saturday afternoon and went for a little walk. It hadn’t snowed much yet when we arrived (although the ski pistes were open). A little further up the road from where we were staying we found a little bit more snow which made me so happy. It was already more snow than we’ve had seen in the last three years in the Netherlands.

Czech Republic 2

Czech Republic 4Czech Republic 3

We went to bed early that evening, everyone tired from the 10 hour trip of that day. We woke up early and I looked out of the window to feel my heart pounding; I was looking at a beautiful white winter wonderland! I decided to make a quick cup of coffee and to drink it outside, something I really enjoy doing whenever it’s snowing. I loved to finally hear the snow crackle under my snowboots again. Later that day we hired snowboards and ski’s to go down to the piste for the first time.

Czech Republic 5Processed with VSCOcam with a6 preset

A Trip To Antwerp

Two months ago we went on a trip to Antwerp. We took a train to Rotterdam and another one from Rotterdam straight to Antwerp Central Station- which was chosen by Mashable Magazine as the most beautiful train station of the world. And it sure was beautiful!centraal-station antwerpen

Grote markt

These ‘famous’ houses are standing on the Grote Markt, the town square. The Grote Markt is situated in the old quarter of the city. The small and narrow streets in the old quarter are the best place to escape the tourists and perfect to get lost in.

streets of antwerpstreets of Antwerp 2

Antwerp offers a lot of good coffee places, cafe’s and restaurants. Our first stop for coffee was at Broer Bretel. They have a vintage interior with a great atmosphere and also super friendly baristas. The weather was great so we sipped our cappuccino’s (with yummy cookies) outside while enjoying some soft, but warm sunlight.

coffee at broer bretelfloristAfter our coffee we wandered the streets again and came across the beautiful florist shop above. Antwerp is a really green city and there are so many florists in the city center. This one looked so perfect, covered by all the green. We did some minor shopping and went to HAY, which has a very pretty entrance (and looked way better than the one in Amsterdam).

HAY entrance AntwerpWe enjoyed a delicious lunch at Buchbar. I had the best hummus on toast and Rene had a gazpacho soup. They serve some good coffee as well!

Buchbar interiorlunch buchbardoorportrait antwerpgreen cityWe wandered through the city for the rest of the day and ended up very hungry at De Burgerij for dinner. They serve some really good burgers, I surely recommend their falafel burger!

We only stayed for a day this time which was way too short but we’ll go back soon, especially since it’s so close by (less than 3 hours travel).

Some of my favorite places to visit in Antwerp:

– Broer Bretel (coffee)
– HAY (interior/design shop)
– Buchbar (breakfast/lunch + coffee)
– De Burgerij (great burgers, try the falafel!)
– Kapitein Zeppos (Belgian beers, dinner)
– Caffènation (c0ffee)
– Coffee & Vinyl (very nice recordshop)
– MAS, Museum aan de Stroom (interesting museum with a rooftop which provides a great view over the city)

Goodbye December, Hello January

I wish you all a happy new year! I can’t believe how fast 2014 went by. I have no special resolutions for this year but I look forward to take my career as a freelance illustrator to a new level. 2014 has been a great year for me. I started my freelance career and it made me beyond happy to finally do something in my life that I truly loved. Work didn’t seem like work anymore but more like a daily hobby in which I could express my creativity. I can’t wait to start working on new idea’s and concepts this week!

January just started but the days are already getting longer again. Yesterday it was getting dark around 17.15 pm instead of 16.30 pm just two weeks ago. Can’t wait for spring! Hope it will come early again this year. December was a great month filled with a trip to Berlin and a lot of celebrations. Here are some of my favorite moments in photo’s:tischendorf

tischendorf 2

One of my favorite places in Berlin is Tischendorf. It is a great spot to spend a morning/afternoon enjoying a cups of coffee and cake. The interior of Tischendorf is completely vintage and therefore feels like a cozy livingroom. We enjoyed a big piece of carrotcake which is a must try!

airbnb BerlinWe rented a lovely Airbnb appartment in Prenzlauer Berg, my favorite neighbourhood in Berlin. Our host, Lisa, was very nice and left us some great recommendations. Her appartment had a great interior and we fell in love with her table. I love wood so much!

prenzlauer berg 2prenzlauer bergvw berlinRosenthaler strasse

Berlin is just a great city. We’ve been to so many cute coffee places and stores while walking around in the city. I could definitely see myself living there one day.

the barn

We had coffee at the Barn and took a bag of Christmas beans home. Great coffee!five elephant

An other favorite place to have coffee in Berlin is Five Elephant, they have some awesome maps on the wall! We also bought a bag of beans to take home with us.

michelberger hotel brandenburger toron the table 1

When we got back home we enjoyed the beans we brought with us. Hoping to go back to Berlin somewhere in spring/summer.

christmas chemexChristmas came and it were some busy but great days. We took it slow until New Year’s Eve and drank a lot of coffee. I got a chemex for my birthday and we enjoy it so much.

Denmark part 2; Aarhus

While it feels like Autumn has arrived over here in the Netherlands, I’m thinking back to the summer days in Denmark. Here are some snaps from when we visited the beautiful Aarhus.

SONY DSCSONY DSCSONY DSC

I love scandinavian architecture, all the houses look so pretty! I wish we had more red, blue and yellow houses back home. SONY DSCSONY DSC

In the Latinerkvarteret area we walked across these pretty little houses. I’ve never seen so many hollyhocks in one street before!SONY DSCLa CabraLa cabra 2

We had some coffee at this place called La Cabra. Many thanks to my Danish instagram friends for helping me find this place.
SONY DSCSONY DSCAfter walking around in Aarhus all day we went to the harbor of Aarhus, called Marselisborg Lystbådehavn (so much love for the Danish language). There were so many boats in the harbor from all over Europe.

 

An Exhibition by Ai Weiwei

It’s been a while since I wrote something here but I just didn’t get around to writing much these days. When we were in London we went to the Lisson Gallery and saw a great exhibition by a Chinese artist called Ai Weiwei. The exhibition had a great impact on me and it was one of the best I’ve ever seen.

Ai Weiwei was born in 1957 in Beijing where he lives and works. He positions himself in and out of his Beijing studio as a cultural arbiter. Compelled by a sense of social conscience, his artistic practice extends across many roles, from filmmaker and photographer, to writer, publisher, curator and architect. As an heir to Marcel Duchamp and Andy Warhol, yet digging deep into Chinese heritage, he moves freely between a variety of formal languages, reflecting on contemporary geopolitics. He is one of the leading cultural figures of his generation and consistently displays great courage in placing himself at risk to affect social change through his art. He serves as an example for legitimate social criticism and free expression both in China and internationally. His rebelliousness left Ai under house arrest in Beijing three years ago.

This solo exhibition was named Forever and is about Ai’s life as it was before and currently is in Beijing. 

SONY DSCSONY DSCAi’s groupings of stainless-steel bikes refer to the famous ‘Forever’ brand of bicycles that have been mass-manufactured in Shanghai since 1940. The use of pushbikes on Beijing streets are now steadily dying out, to be replaced by smog-emitting cars on clogged highways and six-lane ring roads. These bikes are part of an ongoing series. The Forever exhibition was made in memory of Yang Jia, a man from Beijing  executed in Shanghai in 2008. Mr. Yang had been arrested in 2007 for driving an unlicensed bicycle, after which he made allegations of police brutality. He was subsequently charged with the revenge killing of six officers. But his closed trial caused a sensation and many in China’s internet community defended Mr. Yang and celebrated him as a hero who had rebelled against police corruption. A story that made quite the impression on me.
SONY DSCSONY DSCSONY DSCSONY DSCSONY DSC

SONY DSC

These armchairs are marble replicas of the armchair that Ai’s father used to sit in. I love the structure and the folds they have. At first I even thought for a second that they were inflatables.

SONY DSCThis ghostly, carved-marble gas mask relates to the perpetual pollution experienced in the Chinese capital city.

SONY DSCSONY DSCThis serie of photo’s consists out of Ai sticking up the his middle finger at a range of famous places and buildings like Tiananmen Square, the Eiffel Tower and the White House. It really shows the rebellious side of Ai and the way he uses art to make statements about political matters.

Denmark part 1; Hejlsminde

We’ve only spend a week in Denmark but it was the perfect trip to get rid of any stress, anxiety and worries we’ve had in the last couple of weeks. Rene started a new job yesterday and I’m full of inspiration to start working again on new designs.

We decided to go camping in Denmark (we go camping every summer) and our first stop was a small village by the name of Hejlsminde. It is located in South Jutland and lies at one of the many bays of the Little Belt. My parents stayed here in a summer house last May and described it as an oase of calmness. And that it was for sure! The campsite is located on a small hill from where you have a nice view at the bay. We were blessed with sunny days and warm evenings. I got to swim in the sea, went for an evening walk every day  and we barbecued in front of our tent.

karin sunset

SONY DSC

Hejlsminde – If you look closely, you can see our campsite on the left side of the hill
SONY DSCSONY DSC

What better way to explore nature than going for evening walks when the lowering sun is making everything look golden?
SONY DSCSONY DSCSONY DSCSONY DSCSONY DSC

Going on a trip to Denmark

We’re leaving to spend a week in Denmark. Rene is switching jobs so that leaves us with some extra weeks of vacation (yay!) Follow me on Instagram for some recent updates. See you soon!

Denmark

 

 

A day in Shoreditch

Shoreditch is a neighbourhood in London which you could describe in a few words; urban, industrial buildings, street art, a great selection of hip shops, restaurants and coffee shops. You’ll get the idea. We wandered through the streets of Shoreditch for a whole day when we were in London admiring the graffiti and fell in love with all the pretty shops. SONY DSCSONY DSCSONY DSCWe discovered this place called The Albion. It’s a cafe and small shop and their interior looks wonderful! They offer a great selection of food and drinks so a must visit.

SONY DSCQuite near the Albion we found a shop called Labour And WaitThey sell a great collection of simple and clean designed home ware products.aesopAnother recommendation is the Aesop shop in Shoreditch. They have amazing skin care products and their store has such a lovely interior.SONY DSCSONY DSCSONY DSCSONY DSCSince Shoreditch is quite old there are a lot of beautiful historical buildings and houses everywhere. I could totally see myself living in this area!SONY DSCSONY DSCSONY DSCYou can find a lot of graffiti in Shoreditch made by great artists (like Banksy).

SONY DSCSONY DSCSONY DSC

Some sightseeing in London

It’s already been two weeks since we left to enjoy London for a week. We had such a fun time in this metropole and drank so many good flat whites, enjoyed a whole bunch of museums and gallery’s and drank beers in typical English pubs. I sorted out the tons of photo’s this weekend and I’m totally ready to share them with you guys! You’re looking at the first post of the series which covers the sightseeing we did. We didn’t do this much since we love to discover the ‘undiscovered’ and less touristy things when we go on a citytrip. However you can not say you’ve been to London without seeing things like the Big Ben (also known as the Elizabeth Tower), the Tower Bridge, the Eye of London and Westminster Abbey. My favorite sight however was the St. Pauls Cathedral which really impressed me. When you’re walking away from the Eye of London towards the Tower Bridge it’s not hard to spot the beautiful dome of St. Pauls.

SONY DSC

The Eye of London. We’ve seen it with some really dark skies hanging above it and some nice blue skies. I prefer the blue and it is quite the eye catcher if you’re strolling along the Thames.SONY DSCbig benThe Big Ben / Elizabeth Tower is something I wanted to see for quite some years. Love the colors and details it has, mass tourism walking if you’re walking towards it though!

SONY DSCLovely shot of one of the two towers of Westminster Abbey. We walked away from the crowd and found ourselves wandering to some quiet lovely streets behind Westminster Abbey to take this shot. I recommend the little streets behind it because the houses are so cute here!SONY DSCSONY DSCSONY DSC

A less touristy sight is St. Pancras, an international station in the heart of London. We looked this up at home before going and decided we had to see it because we both fell in love with the roof. And it sure was spectacular! SONY DSCThere are a lot of nice bridges to cross along the Thames. This was taken at the Golden Jubilee Bridge.

10520487_867951286566273_270073531_nLovely St. Paul’s Cathedral. SONY DSCSONY DSCThe Tower of London and its protecting lions.

SONY DSC

Me and Rene at the Tower Bridge taken by a very nice Asian tourist

Upcoming posts about London include a day in Shoreditch and a coffee guide to London’s finest flat whites.