A Little Treasure Called Laos

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Probably the most common question I got after my trip was ”well what was your favorite place?” And answering that is just as impossible as it sounds. Instead I replied that the place I would first go again to would be Laos. Because I felt I saw a tiny glimpse of something absolutely amazing and largely undiscovered by many.

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Shots Of San Francisco

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There are many ways to describe this amazing city but for me it was one long time dream come true. Ever since when I first saw pictures of the Golden Gate and shimmering sea yeeears and years ago I remember thinking that I just have to see that some day. And when lots of people when talking about California say they want to see LA and Hollywood and all that jazz, I was never truly interested. I somehow knew I’d like San Francisco, that it would be my kind of place. And it was.

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The New York Experience

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There are places you wish to go to someday and then there are places you know that you need to go to. New York for me was one of the latter. I feel like I don’t want to write too much about it to not to spoil the whole thing but on the other hand I could spend an entire day just talking about it. I could also list every single place I saw but that wouldn’t really help. Guide books are also going to tell you a bunch of other things: Times Square isn’t nice at all but you should still go there once, go to the Empire State Building in the morning and yes, MoMA is a very nice museum and walking across the Brooklyn Bridge is something you should do. Now that I have that over with I can write about why I personally fell in love with the city as much as I did.

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I Graduated!

 

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Wow. I’ve been trying to think of things to say for a while but I just cannot quite get it right. I feel that some days in life are maybe a bit too big, or too unusual should I say, for words. That maybe they aren’t supposed to be talked about but maybe to remembered and lived through. I think I’m going to write a more reflective post about these past three years and what they gave me later this summer but now I just want to say a few words and of course shamelessly post some pictures of well, mostly me 🙂

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100 Memories Of Capri

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You know what? Never ever has choosing pictures to a post been this hard and I always pick my pictures with care. When every shot you take seems like the most beautiful postcard it’s not just wonderful but also emotionally very tiring to go through the hundreds of pictures and then try to pick the best ones out of already most gorgeous pictures. My heart bled for every pretty picture that didn’t make it here but at least it gives me the permission to keep throwbacking this trip for ages in. Sorry not sorry 😉

It’s said that Capri is “the most beautiful island in the world” and I honestly cannot say it’s wrong. Even though I’m this young I’ve been lucky to have travelled to so many incredibly beautiful places but this was one that absolutely took my breath away. I would like to come up with some other adjective than beautiful but that’s just what describes Capri best. The amount of beauty is so overwhelming and gives you the wonderful feeling like you’re being embraced by all that loveliness and glamor. Everywhere you look you feel like giving a long sigh. I do not wonder for a second why so many Hollywood stars, artists or just ordinary people want to come here for a vacation, to get married, celebrate something or just to experience its famous beauty.

I should mention here something about Italy and me. I don’t know how it started but my family has always got this thing for Italy, it’s been sort of our number one vacation destination during my childhood and I’ve loved it since the first trip there. I counted that this is probably my seventh time there: I’ve been to the northern lakes like Garda many times and then in Tuscany and twice in Rome which not surprisingly is probably my favorite city in Europe. So if I started writing about Italy and why it’s so dear to me this post would be the length of a novel so I’ll make a whole other post about that sometime.

Since Capri for me was such a special and impressive place, this time I decided to make a bit different travel story. Some places are just too beautiful for words, so why then say so much? Although I have already written more than I intended… I have carefully chosen 100 pictures (a few from Sorrento and Pompeii so that title isn’t 100% accurate) that for me captured a tiny piece of Capri’s captivating charm. It’s like a photo diary and I try to keep the stories short in the captions. This time I do believe that pictures tell more than I ever could and I hope that these little pieces of sunshine, laughter, salty sea, joy and excitement make you feel a breeze of that Mediterranean wind, taste the rich, chocolatey taste of Italian gelato and take you on that crazy taxi drive on the serpentine roads up towards heaven.

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There are two big villages, Capri and Anacapri and this is the view from Capri to Marina Grande, the big harbor, where we stayed.

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In Capri they use a lot of pattern ceramic tiles to decor for example benches and stairs.
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This is from Giardini di Augusto which is an old gorgeous garden with stunning views.

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The Gossip Club
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A sun dial which they used in the Roman time.

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We walked a lot since one of the things we wanted to do was to hike, so these following are from a gorgeous route that went by the coast and is said to be one of the prettiest coastline routes in the world.

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Lunch with a view.

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Capri village
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Via Marina Grande, a zigzag road from the harbor up to Capri village.

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The view from our hotel’s roof terrace where we had breakfast was so amazing.
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And in case you’re wondering, that mountain that you can see in some of the pictures, is Vesuvius and at its feet there’s Naples.

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Marina Grande

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We took a chair lift up to the highest point of Capri, Monte Solaro, and it was so much fun, except for my mom who’s afraid of heights and kept her eyes closed the entire time.

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No one can argue with this view.

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Torta Caprese, a famous Caprese cake with chocolate and pieces of almonds. SO GOOD. And they even make ice cream that’s flavored like that and it’s even better.
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Then we decided to walk down. That was the day when my sisters pedemeter showed 14 km which wouldn’t be bad if half of it wouldn’t be stairs. At least 750 up…

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… and 950 down. My walking the next day looked very interesting. My feet have never been that sore so it was the best and worst leg day ever.
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The route went just by the mountainside. Overall the height differences in Capri are unbelievable so there inevitably is lots of climbing and descending. Unless you use just these cute little mini buses which when passing each other go so close to each other that you can actually touch the other bus from the window. I tried.

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One of the attractions there is Villa San Michele which was owned by Axel Munthe who was this Swedish doctor, writer and physician and lived in Capri for many years. The Villa and the garden are stunning and located really on the edge so the views, again, are gorgeous.

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It would be quite nice to have a terrace like this.

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I walked past this square in Anacapri for probably five times and each time there was this same cat, almost in the same place.
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The view of Capri village and Vesuvius. It looks really like a postcard.
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Cats for sale.

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Then we took a ferry and made a day trip to the coast, Sorrento.
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… and took a local train to Pompeii, which is a place I’ve been dreaming of visiting since I first learned about it. And it really has got this extraordinary feeling in it. The ruins of the city are so well still visible that you can actually imagine the city and people walking on its streets.

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These are of course the most impressive and famous part of Pompeii, the plaster casts made of the “holes” that people who were buried inside the lava made. It’s so moving and also terrifying to really see the last positions and expressions of the people who knew they would die now. There quite in the middle were even two kids, apparently with their mom. And behind them this person who appears to be sitting and praying.

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And I made a friend! There were these ruin dogs that are just running free in the ruins.
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Back in the beautiful Sorrento.
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There was this cat and her kitten who were just chilling on this sort of roof and they were there in the morning when we arrived and in the evening when we left they had moved like two meters. The ultimate cat life.

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I could make a whole other post only about Italian ice cream since it might really be one of my favourite things on this planet. I don’t think it should be called ice cream because it’s not you know, hard, like our normal ice cream is. It’s like frozen mousse of some sort and if it says it’s strawberry flavor, it really tastes 100% strawberry and if it’s chocolate, then it’s like eating chocolate but in ice cream form. Oh I miss it already.

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Back in Capri for the last couple days.
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I though this idea of an outside gym was so fun.

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Then we, again, walked up to visit Villa Jovis, or the ruins of it, and along the way there were so many absolutely stunning gardens and houses and it was so nice and quiet.
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And a cute little family-run bar with the best orange juice.

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So this is a place were the Roman empire was run for the couple first centuries AD. It’s so high that the wind was crazy and the views even better.

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You could actually see were the rooms, chapels etc. had been and that was so cool.

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Rosemary, one of my favorite herbs.

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Love,

Julia xxx

Photographs August-September 2015

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I really love photographing, I’ve loved it for a long while. It’s a whole different thing if I’m good at it but I enjoy it tremendously and that’s the point. But it’s just a fact that I don’t really happen to photograph much in my everyday life, when really “nothing” is happening besides school and all that fun stuff.  So, in my first term of the year I took an extra art course (!!!, I’m otherwise not an art-person) which was photography and I wanted to share some of the results. I don’t know if I learned that many new things about photography but at least it made me go out with a camera more and maybe helped to see more beautiful and precious things in that everyday life that we so often forget to appreciate. We had different tasks like portraits, shadows, perspective etc. but I don’t categorize those here. Still, I do think they have one thing in common, I think they have this very autumn-like feeling in them, like something’s ending. Like I wrote in that August post a while back. And it’s true, something is ending, so all I could do was to make it as pretty as I could. Hopefully I succeeded in some way.

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And now I live again

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Hello you all!

So my holiday has started which means it’s officially summer here in Finland, yay! Even though I wouldn’t mind if it was a bit warmer. Still, even if it’s a bit cold but I can see the sun, it’s like I’m a different person. I’m like those animals that sleep in the winter, now I have waken up. This really just proves that the Finnish climate is not suitable for me, I do think my soul is from elsewhere.

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