Wandering

Markets and streetlife in Saigon

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was chatting with my friend S. on Skype this morning.
We started talking about our upcoming, long-waited, almost totally planned, supa-dupah trip (no spoilers), while mumbling to myself “just a few more weeks, a bunch of days, so many seconds.. I can do it”.
Though April is almost at its end, weather here is disappointing.
Rainy. Cold. Just sad. To whoever believes that Italy is sunny and warm all year long. AH. AH. AH. No. Nope nope nope. Reconsider, guys.

Thus, holidays are definitely on my mind, all the time. As my friend A. says, the only way to deal with an ended holiday is to have another one to look forward to. Check ūüėČ

So we were chatting about everything we are going to visit in a while and planning all the stuff we still have to do before leaving (I am the anxious one, must confess that); then we changed subject slowly and slipped back to Vietnam. We started recalling single, framed, sweet moments of those days. We got nostalgic right away and I started listing all the unforgettable little things made us smile or even shocked us for a second.

Like..

…waking up in the morning due to all that traffic noise (mopets honking all day long. ALL. DAY. LONG.)

DSC_0173.JPGThese lovely ladies smiled the second they spotted me taking this picture. Most people travel on mopets (and transport any kind of stuff)

…people shocked at our request for bread in the morning. No soup. No eggs. Just bread, butter, coffee and some fresh fruit.
“No eggs?? You mean, no no? No soups?!”
“Yes, bread only..”
“No meat? No fish? Is everything all right?”

Ben Thanh Market 9

Ben Thanh Market 10Ben Thanh Market, Saigon

…a sweet old lady who helped us crossing a 4 -lane¬†road safely after ages of us trying¬†not to be hit.
… young people stopping by just to have a quick chat, ask where we we from and wish us a good time.
..street food everywhere. And I mean everywhere, everytime.
…huge and crowded markets filled with tons of stuff. With a temple inside, if necessary.

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DSC_0352Oh yes, I definitely have a thing for market and everyday life pictures.

DSC_0072Ben Thanh Market 11Ben Thanh Market 5Ben Thanh Market - dintorni 1

DSC_0384Probably the hardest part is spotting the wire to fixDSC_0448I so love their traditional folk costumes and those hatsDSC_0106DSC_0054Pictures of nature always call me down. And I love these colours

Sunburnt in Helsinki

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Sounds quite unbelievable, doesn’t it?
I spent just one day, less than 10 hours up there. Nonetheless, the day was so bright, the sky cloudless and the temperature confortably warm.. not only was I overdressed (so had to carry a jacket + jumper + scarf all day long in my bag), but also got sunburnt.

Plus, since I was visiting Esti and decided the day before to catch the ferry and take a look at Finland as well, I was clueless regarding anything to do and visit in Helsinki.

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Usually I’m super organized and plan everything ahead; before leaving I already have everything figured out: the day after buying the plane ticket I start booking hotels, reading the guide, checking anything on internet and so on. By the time I arrive at my destination, I can give a good piece of advise about restaurants, museums, stuff to do.
So, this was so not like me.

But don’t you like to relax a bit when on holidays and face the unexpected? I do too, that’s why I’m so organized all the time: this gives me the chance to be confident enough about important things like where to eat and where to sleep, so I have time and energy to enjoy the little things during my days off and face everything that comes on my way.

I know it may sound a contradiction, but works for me.

Helsinki, then. Kinda expensive (had to have lunch at a fast food to save a bit and still couldn’t believe the prices), this I must say.
I loved, though, the atmosphere. Let’s say it gave positive vibes and I considered for a few hours to move there. The language, though. I don’t think I could learn it, even though literally everybody speaks English.

Now that I’ve gone through all the pictures I got how much I’ve missed of the city. My bad.

The Cathedral
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The Central Station
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The Kaisaniemi Botanic Garden
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A stroll along the lake Baltici 813
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Berlin, nochmals

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Yeah, I know. I should probably stop posting pictures of the same 3 places and start sharing something else.
But I really can’t help it.
Today I was checking the last folds I created in my laptop and, obviously, Berlin was one of the them. (All my previous posts about Berlin here).
As usual I spent my birthday wandering around that city but this time, it was definitely over the top. One of my best birthdays ever.
There was seven of us, no wait! 8. 4 of us flying from Venice, 2 from London, 2 currently living in Berlin. It was one of the best get together ever. No matter the chill, the rain, the stomache that beat me up badly one day. One night we stayed up until 5 a.m. playing cards (ok, fancy cheecky cards I may or may not have received as Christmas present after 2 months…this I won’t say) and laughing. I can’t even express how much I feel blessed right now for having those people in my life.

Though it was meant to be a relaxing holiday, we still didn’t want to miss the chance to visit something new or see again something we loved (typical of me).

This is the Sch√∂nhauser Allee Jewish Cemetery. You really don’t wanna miss it next time you are in town.
The visit only takes an hour or so, if you wanna walk around and have a look at the old tombstones and take a couple of pictures.
It’s definitely worthy your time; I love how after a minutes you walk its paths on its lenght, you can’t spot the entrance if look back. The silence, the colour of trees perfectly combining with the stones and, most of all, the history of this place.

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This the huge Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe (yes, I’m into Jewish culture a lot)

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The Trabant, symbol of the city especially during the division era

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Vivid colours can be spotted everywhereDSC_0145.JPG

and if you look for a simple for of art and happiness, you won’t be disappointedDSC_0270.JPG

Hanoi, Vietnam

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My last post dates back to February. My bad.
Well at least I have a lot to say, after months of absence..

February. Those days I was booking and getting ready for the farthest I have ever been.
My first time in Asia. My second one outside my comfort zone aka Europe.
About time.

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copyright for this picture: my friend Sara. It was the only one in this post not shot by me.

When I came back everybody asked “How was it?”. All the time.
First thing first: Hot. Extremely hot. And humid. Far more than I could ever expect and I currently live amid water. We were sweating more than our t-shirts and shorts could bear.
We were literally dripping. Every second we spent outside. But it was worthy.

Here is beautiful Hanoi.

Streetfood is basically the only food for themdsc_0515A lovely young ladydsc_0630The Hanoi Social Clubdsc_0563A barber shop (can you spot me?)dsc_0519 A moment of relax: coconut milk coffee (addictive!)csc_0011The smith streetdsc_1071dsc_0932

Amsterdam

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After months of planning, booking and waiting, finally December has come.
I honestly couldn’t have waited any longer.
A Florence and the Machine concert combined with a trip in a wonderful city was all I could think of lately.
Since August, 10th (the day we decided we would leave and attend the show), we booked the flights, a flat, bought the concert tickets, collect info regarding places to see and museum we wanted to visit.

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Those days arrived and passed in a blink of an eye. All I have left is happiness, deep inside, worn and dirty shoes and tons of pictures.
I can still hear Florence’s voice in my head and feel her arm on my finger.
I still get emotional when talking about this 4-day trip.

I have recently got a Nikon D3300 as birthday + Christmas present and I couldn’t be any happier. I am honestly unable to express how good that camera is. I’m still a newbie, but I’m trying to learn as much as possible by practicing almost every spare day.

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Get creative! Street Art around Europe

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When around visiting a new city, I happen to focus on smaller things than monuments and historical buildings: I appreciate them as well, clearly, but I love to remember everyday-life details: a bakery, a school, how people tend to live their city. A few years ago I start focusing on street art; I noticed it tends to be similar everywhere; colours and languages may change, but it usually refers to solid problems that country faces everyday or, totally the contrary, tries to escape any reality; it’s extremely creative, smart and geniuously assembled. It can be just a couple of letters added on a wall or a huge drawing on a bridge. Is it art? Is it vandalism? I am no competent judge.
This is Paris, France

Stree Art in Paris Stree Art in Paris Stree Art in Paris Stree Art in Paris Stree Art in ParisStree Art in Paris Stree Art in Paris Stree Art in Paris

Let’s move to Cracow, Poland

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Here comes Nantes, France

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Calabria, wilderness and beaches

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Pff, raining again and all I can do is thinking about is the holiday I spent deep South a couple of weeks ago.

Last year I published a post a lot of people liked and commented. Totally unexpected. I mean, I love South of Italy and in particular the area my dad is from, but I never thought¬†I would get all those positive feedback. I am just a girl who posts pictures of her travels and stuff she loves to bake, I don’t get any money out of this blog and honestly I love to spend time and “efforts” without getting anything back. This is part of the fun. I already have a job, I want my spare time to be used on priceless stuff like baking, hanging out with people I love and enjoying books, nature, good music, movies, walking around my beloved city and, obviously, travelling.

Receiving all those thumbs up made me pretty happy: Italy is not only a bunch of beautiful and chaotic places. Though packed with problems (huge ones most of the time), my country is worthy a long and accurate visit. Many, actually. I see tourists coming to Venice just for a couple of hours or a day, thinking Venice is just Rialto Bridge and Saint Mark’s square. I know, the city could be expensive and not everybody has time (or feel like) to properly visit it, but as Roald Dahl said¬†“those who don’t believe in magic will never find it”; same for Venice: wandering aimlessly at night is magical and so charming (plus, nobody’s around). Take the time to give a look at all that surrounds you and give the city a chance.

As you seen, I¬†take pride in my cultural heritage and all the history leaking out of buildings, monuments and even landscapes. Though our social and political situation is tragicly leading the country to a non-return death point, I still love living here. We’ll see what the future has in store.

Calabria is my second home. Though my grandparents are long gone, I still have some cousins there and I feel I belong to that place too.
Calabria is a problematic area. Local mob controls the local population in an invisible yet perceivable cobweb. Normal services like hospitals and public offices are not efficient at all, money gets wasted and bribes are a rule. It breaks my heart to see how those places are totally ignored by political leaders and kept uncared. I can only imagine how the locals would feel about this.
I love how wild and deserted those places can be, but I am aware of the many issues the population has to face daily.

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