Friday, January 22, 2016

Ouddorp Part I: Winding down at the sea

There is nothing quite like the sea, a wide sandy beach and some wind in your face to wind down after a few hectic weeks....the vast emptiness of the beach in late December, the clouds chasing the sky above us while wandering on the shore for hours on end, only stopping at one of the pier restaurants for a charming cup of coffee or hot chocolate. 

The days flew by, we lost track of time in our routine of beach walks, sleeping and eating. The only constants were raisin bread rolls (rozijn bollen) for breakfast and a "krachtig bier vol von smaak" in the afternoon. Good times!

On the road: Antwerp

On the  way to our holiday house in Ouddorp, Netherlands, we stopped half way in Antwerp for a stroll around town, sampling some Belgian food staples like French fries and Belgian waffles. We were spoiled with sunshine, I don't know how, but the weather was really supportive of all my traveling ambitions in 2015. On our stroll we passed the windows of Dries van Noten's boutique, getting a glimpse of the fashion capital that Antwerp is. Obviously, I had to spend some of my Christmas money on some new pieces....thanks, Martin, for the patience ;-)

Antwerp is well wort a visit with the Rubenshuis, the Museum Aan Stroom, the diamond quarter and the beautiful architecture (have a look at the train station, one can easily picture how the steaming trains used to arrive here). 

Unfortunately, I was still quite tired after the weekend shift at the hospital over Christmas so we didn't stay too long and continued our way towards Ouddorp. However, we'll be back....

Thursday, January 7, 2016

Paris de nouveau: Coups de Coeur

A stroll around Paris at its very best: Ile de la cité, Café de Flore where at their time Satre and Camus used to have their coffee (the very reason why a simple coffee was 4,90 € I bet), Jardin de Luxembourg, an interesting exhibition in St Germain de Prés, brunch at le Pavillon au Cana, Parc de Buttes Chaumont and for me for the very first time, shopping madness at Galérie Lafayette in its christmas decor.

Last but not least, in line with "la ville de lumière", the Eiffel tower at sunset. Au revoir, Paris, à la prochaine fois. 

Paris de nouveau: Montmatre

Another amazing weekend trip where, again, I was spoiled with fabulous weather, the best company and amazing food and wine.
I took the TGV on a thursday evening after work to arrive at Gare de l`Est by 9 pm and reached Axelle and Pierre's apartment just in time for a typical French dinner, complete with a cheese plate and tarte aux framboises, my absolute favorite. I immediately knew why I love France and the French so much. The next morning, I eventually met la petite Louise and we went on a stroll along the canals. Axelle and me had some coffee in the sun while Louise watched us attentively.
It has been two years since I've seen her the last time on her wedding day, so I am extra happy that I got to see her and her beautiful daughter now in Paris. It feels kind of special to witness those big milestones in her life, I cannot believe that it was almost five years ago that we have been roommates in Cours Xavier Arnozan in Bordeaux. Naturally, there was a lot to catch up on.

Around lunch time I took off to Montmartre in beautiful sunshine, waiting for my other amazing friend from Bordeaux, Amélie, to arrive. While waiting, I was amazed by the beautiful afternoon light on Montmatre so I might have taken a few too many pictures. So if you'd like to see....