Getting Up Earlier.

Finally! It’s November, my favourite month: the falling leaves, that morning chill, the glorious sunshine. This is the first time I actually remember not going to school or working this time of the year so I can just chill and enjoy all its delights, which includes not having to get up early. Still, one day I was required to do just that and saw this…

Chaussée de Gand (Molenbeek) in wondrous morning light.

Tomorrow I’m leaving for Hungary for almost a whole month, which marks the start of a completely new era in my life. More on that later. :)

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A Summer Walk in Downtown Brussels.

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Here I am again after a whole month of non-posting, but I’m telling you…life has been treating me to so many unexpected occurences that I can barely keep up. Now we are counting down the last two weeks before we welcome another wonderful human being into this world and I couldn’t be more excited! But back to our post.

These photos were taken during a more or less 6-km walk from the Kokelberg basilica, all the way to the Canals and from there to the Stock Exchange in the city centre.

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The Brussels Canal is a really fun place! I love walking around there.

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We even got to see some profound street performance, but as my grandma used to say, “it was way too profound for us to appreciate”. I love her.

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The Atomium in June.

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The best news lately: I have a new camera for which I had been saving up for some time. And even better: it comes with a beautiful new wide(r)-angle zoom lens. Absolutely lovely. I bought them about a month ago but given that the Road has gotten a bit rocky lately I didn’t even take them out for a try. Well before last weekend, that is. My brother Geri is here and we thought it was an absolute must to check out the Atomium again with in lovely summer lights. I can’t wait to shoot more but 35 weeks into pregnancy it’s getting a bit difficult (understand: nearly impossible) to walk longer than a kilometer without getting all my belly muscles contracted. Shooting will have to wait. =)

I have also noticed that I’m writing in rather short sentences. Weird.

My biggest adventure yet starts in a few weeks!

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Galyatető Lookout Tower Panorama.

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I took these photos during my visit in Hungary the beginning of May. This is actually the magnificent view from top of the newly refurbished Galyateto Lookout Tower,prize-winning architectual piece. I remember when it used to be much more old-fashioned with its volcanic rock stones, which was also pretty cool in my opinion. But this is absolutely super cool! I will totally sleep in this hiker’s shelter once. Galyateto is the second highest peak in Hungary, already featured on the blog here. It’s a scene of many childhood adventures including trying to learn the art of skiing, which failed miserably. I’m more into sleigh-riding.

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I can’t believe it’s already June! For the first time in my life I’d need a lot of time to figure things out before making a life-changing decision and time is something I really don’t have. In a mere two months I’m becoming a mom, which is a completely awesome, humbling, unbelievably miraculous but at the same time frightening event. I think nobody ever feels ready. I just want to do everything right.

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Taormina

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Taormina, the Pearl of Sicily, prettily winding old streets sacrificed on the altar of mass tourism, with crazily expensive shops that simple mortals like you and me cannot afford, all posh, where film stars go and yet so real and so dear to me. It was my second time there. This time we had fewer tourists milling around, it was about to rain and the town showed me another of its faces. A more genuine one.

As you can see I don’t have the best material. As my camera is dying I can’t really choose based on the subject but the varying  happenstance of quality. Most inconvenient but buying a new camera is totally on my to-do list.

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A Daily Dose of Sunshine.

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Some additional material from my trip to Messina. These photos were taken while driving North from downtown Messina to the North, the tip of the Island. On the opposite side, in the distance you can see the sunbathed shores of Calabria.

This is primarily a travel blog but it’s also very personal and in that aspect I will share here that at the moment I’m going through the most difficult time of my life and it’s emotionally debilitating. Not only do I have to deal with a broken heart but also the immense and at the same time sweet responsibility of soon becoming a mother and in addition this will entail changes and decisions that will uproot my life from the very foundations, i.e. which country I live in and my career, so basically everything. On top of that for the moment I should concentrate on work as well, at which I’m failing miserably.

That feeling when all your dreams lay in ruin, none of your projects for life are valid anymore, you see no solutions and you have absolutely no idea which road to take. This shouldn’t be so bad after all: it only means you are totally free! Yet it scares you out of your wits.

Anyways, better days are ahead. I like to remind myself of this inspirational motto: Today starts the rest of your life. This, my dearest readers, is certainly not so bad. =)

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I still have one last post from Sicily then off we go to Hungary!

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Messina Being Sullen and Wonderful and All.

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It’s been a while…

I have been totally not in the mood to post anything here but this morning I woke up with a distinct and very pronounced feeling to create something. This is what came out of it whether that’s good or bad… only time will tell.

Messina, Sicily. A truly beautiful city: unkempt but gorgeous and with so much potential. I was there right in the middle of April, which gave me the opportunity to experience the place in one of its less summery-touristic-beach-going aspects. I loved it. Still, being someone born in a land-locked country and considering my undying love for the sea, whenever I see a relatively large surface of water I have this incredible urge to plunge in. Now you can’t do that in April, not even in Sicily, especially in a weather like this. Result: standing so close to the sea and not swimming in it was something just short of torture for me. I tried practising some self-discipline though and after the initial shock I think I managed to keep this sensation at bay and focus on architecture and food. Ah, the latter is definitely an easy fix.

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These photos were taken during our evening stroll along the corso close to the harbour. This weather…there is something about these dark skies, this impending storm, the wind, the electricity in the air and the sullen sea barely held in check. Like something is just about to explode. This is one of the things that really makes me feel alive. It’s such a profound sentiment and I am certainly missing the talent to describe it.

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A bit later things calmed down a little and we even got to see some Sunshine.

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Brussels Floralia.

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The Brussels Floralia is a yearly one-month long event held in the Groot-Bijgaarden Castle grounds just outside Brussels, otherwise a private property. It’s basically our (mere mortals’) chance to take a peek at what’s inside the walls and I have to tell you that I had been dying to do just that for a very long time. Perfect. :) What I like about this event is that it’s not about cheesy flower arrangements but thousands and thousands of flowers are planted all over the place in a way that follows the hooks and bends in the numerous paths and green patches. I hope these photos will at least partly represent how rich and natural it is. It felt like walking in a magical forest. The entry fee is 12 euros but it’s so worth it! The garden also hosts a sort of flower market, where you can buy cheesy flower arrangements for scandalous prices just for good measure. Flowers and seeds are also on sale but sadly I don’t have a garden to plant them into. Behind the castle they installed large tents and sell hamburgers and fries to the weary visitor. It was absolutely marvellous to walk around the place and I can only recommend it to anyone in need of fresh air.

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The Karreveld Castle Farm.

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One last post from my walk the other day. There is a hidden gem amongst unbelievably ugly typical big city buildings in the middle of Koekelberg, Brussels. As the park’s elevation is lower than the streets around it you can’t really see what’s in there without taking the time to visit it. I would pass there every day with the bus that takes me to work and keep wondering what it could be. I only saw the rooftops, which already showed something promising. It’s apparently called a farm, which status could be justified by the few dozen geese and various birds around the place. Other than that it’s a lovely castle with a shallow lake fit for romantic boa rides. Actually, if I was responsible for this public lot I would totally make the boating part possible. It would be such a hit! We also have gorgeous magnolia and cherry trees in the castle grounds to my utmost delight.

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Next weekend we are leaving for Sicily! I have been told that it’s practically already summer over there so I’ll be airing my snow white legs finally free from the confines of winter clothing. You’ll hear from me afterwards. :)

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