Through The Lens: Bruges Impressions #1

Bruges (Flemish: Brugge; German: Brügge) is a beautiful city in Belgium near the dutch border. Its historic city centre is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and this beautiful city is home to almost 120K people. This post is more about the pictures, which is why I decided to choose the title „Through The Lens“. My friend and I only spend two hours in Bruges but we loved wandering through the beautiful streets and enjoyed the architecture of the buildings.

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The Markt (the market square)

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Belfry of Bruges on Market Square (The highest building in Bruges!)

Ending this post with „Thanks for reading“ is not really appropriate I guess – therefore: Thanks for having a look at my Bruges-Photographs, I hope you enjoyed them!
xx, Sophie

Cliff Edge – Fraser Island 2017

I can’t believe it’s been already two years since I went to Fraser Island and did a Four Wheel Drive Tour exploring the island with other travellers.
We’ve seen so many great things around the island, bathed in so called „Champagne Pools“, did some skin care in a Tea Tree Oil lake and hiked up a hill and stood at a cliff’s edge. Standing there on top of the rock, I was so grateful for all the things I had seen on my journey so far.
My trip to South East Asia and Australia was my first, for me „real“ travel experience. The first time I did my own thing, went to the places I wanted to see.

I fell in love with Fraser Island because to me it seemed like at least 80% of the island was „untouched“ and in general it was „well preserved“ even though it is a tourist attraction. However, I haven’t seen any people besides my own travel group and some other travel groups at the Champagne Pool.
If you have a look at the following pictures, you will see that there is not a single body in these pictures, besides a sting ray swimming in the sea.
I loved Fraser Island and I am deeply grateful for this amazing experience!

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A sting ray swimming in the clear water of the pacific ocean. We’ve even seen a shark swimming around!

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Thanks for reading.
Sophie

Exploring Lisboa, three days in Portugal’s capital #3

Blogpost contains unsponsored ads (Airlines, Hostels, Restaurants etc.). These are all my personal recommendations based on my experience in Lisbon, Portugal. I don’t get paid for mentioning any of these places.

Hey there, if you haven’t read the first article about my Lisbon trip click here, and I will link you the second one here. Enjoy reading!

Day three in Lisbon. The rain was pouring. However, nothing could spoil my mood- I had great plans for the day. I borrowed an umbrella from the hostel, which was unfortunately broken. It folded over my head made me look like a weird version of Darth Vader, I really had to laugh at myself walking down the Rua de Século. I bought a new umbrella in the next best shop I could find and was then well prepared for the day.

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LX Factory – urban style, artsy and definitely worth a trip

The LX Factory is an old factory site that was resurrected and is now home to many cool stores, cafés and start ups. It is located under the Ponte 25 de Abril bridge and halfway between Lisbon’s city center and Belém (is that English?) .
In order to drive to the LX Factory, I went do the Cais do Sodré station and took the Bus 15E to the station Calvário. From Calvário, it is just a short walk until you will arrive at the former factory site.

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There was a temporary art exhibition at the LX Factory, where local artists sold prints of their works under the name of Merc’Art 2019 Art is a Human Right – it was great!

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I fell in love with the industrial style and all the little shops, cafés and ateliers. They even have the „First Floor Ethical Market“ every Saturday and Sunday from 11am to 8pm which focuses on conscious consumption and shows artistic productions. Unfortunately, I went there on a Tuesday, but it’s definitely on my bucket list if I come back.

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I found a little store called Organii where I bought a solid conditioner and I am already excited to try it. Still on my way to a more sustainable lifestyle, I am always looking for Zero Waste options to try when it comes to hair and body products.
Another store which I really liked, was the Bairro Arte store, definitely the place to go if you are looking for artsy souvenirs or if you are into crazy decor.

 

Around noon I found myself in a small café called chef Nino which offers lots of juices, great breakfast options and soups. I had the soup of the day and the juice of the day, which was both delicious. The café is super cozy and I had a chat with the waitress who recommended a bookstore down the street to me. I wonder how crowded this place must be in summer but there were just a handful of tourists when I went there a month ago.

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Enjoyed my ginger-carrot-soup and a pineapple-and-something- juice.

The bookstore, which the kind lady recommended to me, is called Ler Devagar and to be honest, I thought it’s a bookstore but I assume it’s so much more. They have a cute café installed in there and also host music installations, performances, poetry and more. This place is simply amazing, they offer every kind of books you can dream of. Good for me that I was only travelling with my small Fjällräven backpack, otherwise I would have brought home tons of books.

Once again, the downside of travelling by yourself is that you have to get creative when it comes to taking pictures of yourself. I really needed a #seriousbookwormface picture of myself, standing on one of those fancy ladders. I therefore placed my phone on the stairs and took a picture with self-timer and hurt myself while I was trying to hopp on the ladder as fast as I could. People around me looked kind of confused…I know…I could have asked someone to take a picture of me…next time!

 

Belém

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I decided not to take a bus to Belém and walked instead, in order to see more places. I discovered a parking lot with the perfect view on the Ponte 25 de Abril, a suspension bridge connecting Lisbon with the city of Almada on the left side of the Tejo, which is by the way, the longest river on the Iberian Peninsula. In the background: the statue of Cristo Rei in Almada.

To be honest, I was a little bit disappointed in Bélem which is the district of Lisbon which is famous for its museums, different sights like the Jerónimos Monastery, an UNESCO World Heritage Site (which is actually very beautiful!) and the Belém Palace, which is today the official residence of the President of Portugal.

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From the Monastery, it is a one kilometer walk to the Torre de Belém, which is one of the most known symbols of Lisbon. It was really impressive to see the waves hitting the strong walls of the tower.

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Time Out Market

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I had taken the Bus 15E from the station Mosteiro dos Jerónimos back to Cais do Sodré and decided it was time to have dinner. I went to the Time Out Market again and had a super delicious Pad Thai which actually tasted like the original one in Thailand. I then met a guy from the US and we decided to check out some bars in the Bairro Alto, a district in Lisbon that is famous for its night life.

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Night Life in the Barrio alto

If you go on a night out in Lisbon (and even during the day), be prepared to be offered drugs and substances by men on the street. It only happened to me once, but as far as I know, a „No thanks“ and then continuing to walk usually works and will get you out of the situation pretty quickly.
However, there are so many nice bars offering good, and in comparison to Germany, cheap cocktails and drinks.

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I think our favourite bar was the A Cultura do Hambúrguer, since its interior design is simply amazing and the drinks are delicious and kind of „outlandish“. Someone definitely got creative there. The barkeeper was a young woman from Brasil who told us that she worked in Ireland for one or two years and recently came to Portugal. I found it simply amazing how she just decided to leave her country and her continent to work in Ireland which is, to my mind, completely different to South America and then moved again to Portugal. You go girl!

Anyway, I hope you enjoyed the this article of the Lisbon series.
Stay tuned for more travel content!

xx, Sophie

Quick Update: Camp and New York City

Hello everybody,

I hope you are enjoying your summer at the moment and that the weather is good. In Long Island the weather great, even though it gets quite humid here and we sometimes have a 100 degrees Fahrenheit (38 degrees Celsius) which is a lot when you are running around the whole day and do activities with the kids.

My third week in the United States has just begun (this blogpost will probably be published a bit later) and it is great so far. We had orientation for one week and the campers arrived the second week. We are a small camp in comparison to other camps in the United States, some of them have up to 7000 campers each summer. During orientation we prepared everything for the campers, for example we planned activities, games and different sessions, but we also had First Aid and CPR lessons. Additionally, we talked a lot about child behaviour and how to cope with difficulty situations, trust me – there will be difficult situations. It might depend in what kind of camp you are, just be prepared.

However, I can already tell that working with kids is an amazingly rewarding experience. One moment you think you are too strict and then suddenly they hug you, or draw you something and tell you that you are their favourite councellor. At the moment I feel like I am in a bubble because I don’t really feel like I am on earth right now. I am somewhere else, a save place that only exists to create great summer memories. It is amazing.

Yes, I am also exhausted sometimes. Coping with difficulties is sometimes really hard and sometimes I worry that I am not good enough for this job. But this is fortunately not often the case and when it happens I try to turn my thoughts on standby and focus on the kids, I am responsible and I want them to have a great time. Camp is about the campers, they are the most important piece in this great puzzle and it’s amazing to see how they change during that time. Kids who are bullied in school suddenly smile and laugh a lot. Introverted children suddenly become the loudest. It is a great community and I get up every morning with a smile on my face and am excited for the new day.

However, we also have off weekends when one sessions ends and the other is about to begin. On those weekends people go visit other places, which we did on our first day off. We took a train to Penn Station in the middle of Manhattan and spend our day in NYC. I know it sounds so stupid but it felt like coming home. There is no city like New York City. People from all around the world walk on these streets, it is always busy and overwhelming. This day we ran around a lot and visited some tourist attractions and even went to a thrift store in Soho. It was great! We don’t really have nice thrift stores in my town but the ones I visited in Amsterdam, London and NYC were amazing! Our day off was nice 😊

However, something happened: my camera broke. After six years of picture taking, something in the body is not working, and nobody can tell me what it is. I will have to wait till I’m home and figure something out for my time in the states. It’s sad but it can happen. We will see…

Nevertheless, I hope you enjoy my NYC iPhone pictures 😊

Have a good week!

Sophie

Red and Jack the Ripper in London, UK

One of my favourite things to do when I am travelling is going for a walk and exploring all the different streets and places.
I have to admit that I only support guided tours to a certain extent, since you are not able to explore the city on your own.

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Jamie Oliver’s Diner! I wish I had the opportunity to eat out there!

But last year we took part in a Jack the Ripper Tour and it was amazing!
Our guide was very impressive, since he had a vast knowledge about history. Additionally, he used to be an actor.

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This record store was just amazing!

Anyway, I really enjoyed the tour. We were able to see so many different and partly hidden streets, which made the tour a great experience.

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The famous red busses.

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Having wandered around, I discovered many interesting places, stores and pubs. I wish I were able to visit them all! My best discovery was a grunge/indie/alternative/vintage record store! I almost bought Nirvana’s „In Utero“ recorded on vinyl.
But I did not and I still regret it!

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Telephone box twins.

When I am thinking about London, the first colour which comes to my mind is red.
Red busses, red telephone boxes, red mail boxes, red signs.
I like red, red is impressive and classy!

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The streets. 

I hope you enjoyed this kind of „uninformative“ blogpost.
Stay tuned and have a wonderful and hopefully sunny week!

Sophie

 

Pin it and don’t forget it!
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London Street Photography

I am obsessed with black and white Street Photography. And London is such a great place to take this kind of photographs.
Many photographers like to take pictures of empty streets and places, which is definitely a nice aesthetic. However, people bring life into boring photographs.

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I love taking pictures of people working or hurrying. This may sound a little bit weird, but to my mind, candid shots are the prettiest, because they show the human being as it truly is.

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These two men reminded me of the famous picture of the workers having their break, perched on the beam of a skyscraper in Manhattan.

Let’s talk about camera settings. My favourite way to take street photographs is using my  50mm aperture  lens, which is particularly powerful.
When photography was originally invented, there was no zoom and you had to move, in order to get the right perspective. And this is the interesting part about photography. Using a lens with fixed focal length, you are experiencing parts of the original way to take pictures. You have to figure out how you can capture a busy street for example, moving very quickly in order to take a great shot! You need to be active, not wandering around passively, using your tele-zoom.

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This is an every day situation. People in the subway station, grabbing their sunglasses, waiting, staring into my camera.

After having taken some pictures in the streets, I am using Lightroom and Photoshop to achieve the perfect „look“. My favourite settings are the saturation-, contrast- and lightness settings. Black and white street photographs are so magical, since you have to colour them in your mind.

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I love this setting. All the different elements make me ponder a story for this photo- but I can barely imagine one.
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No caption needed, I just love subway stations.

I really hope you enjoyed reading this post and hopefully you liked my London Street Photographs.
Have a wonderful week!

Xx, Sophie