Venice

Thinking of visiting Venice I imagined myself wandering across romantic bridges, endless canals and quiet patio’s. In one hand my camera, in the other a fresh and locally produced gelato, that would take me an hour to eat. A romantic image, that might not entirely have looked like that when I had visited Venice before.

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A hike around the cliffs of Howth, Ireland

My second day in Dublin was reserved for a hike around the cliffs of Howth, a small town at its north, only 30 minutes away by bus. I was told it had some spectacular views and boy is that true! There are several hiking paths, one lower then the other and it took me a while to find out which one led to Howth centre (I got out of the bus a few stops after the center and wanted to walk back.) My first attempt zigzagged down and ended up on a narrow semi-professional stairway against the cliff, straight down to a small beach.  Thrill seeker as I am, I took it. A little word of advise; if you ever do such thing, don’t try to film it cause you’ll end up focussing on the screen, stumbling and nearly killing yourself. (Maybe at some point I’ll upload that video, I must say it’s pretty hilarious…) I sat down for a while on a big rock at the beach, had lunch and thought about my life so far. I couldn’t imagine being more happy then at that exact moment, all alone, staring at the ocean with the wind in my hair and no one to telling me what to do. I love traveling alone and at this point in my life I really needed it.

After a while I did find the right trail and walked my way north to the dock and centre of Howth where I had a hot chocolate and walked around for a while. The town itself is pretty cute but quit touristic in the weekends and during the holidays. I took the train instead of the bus back to Dublin, which was about the same price but way faster. I would however advise you to take the bus at least one time because of the pretty views on the road it takes, you’ll enjoy it!

Howth hike, ireland - agirlfromholland.com

Howth beach - agirlfromholland.com View Full Post

A rainy day in Dublin

Last week I spent two days in Dublin. The plan was to visit a friend in Belfast but since the flight was way cheaper to Dublin I couldn’t miss the chance to also explore this city. The sister in-law of a friend of my mum (yep!) offered me her guest room so I was all settled. (More low budget then that is hardly possible, wherever you live, drop me an email cause I’d probably want to stay at your place haha!)

My first impression of Dublin was that it was actually quit boring. My host (Helga, a trendwatcher) didn’t quit get why I wanted to see Dublin, which got me thinking… Why did I wanted to see Dublin? The fact that fall had arrived and the weather was grey and rainy didn’t help either… Dublin has no big feature like an Eiffel tower or Big Ben. It’s just Dublin. It has its medieval looking streets and alleys, its small center where you really don’t need to take public transport to go from one place to another, it has some churches and well… there’s the Temple bar, which is the so called area as well as the bar itself. Don’t get me wrong, Dublin’s city center is kind of cute, but it won’t take you more then a day to see it. Perhaps the best thing to do if you’re on a citytrip is to dive in one of the bars at night, in the Temple bar area! I do realize that in fact I only had one day to spend here, the second one was reserved for a trip to Howth (more about that in another post.) So maybe I simply didn’t give Dublin a fair chance, what do you think?

The Temple bar area in Dublin, Ireland - agirlfromholland.com View Full Post

Exploring London: The vibrant streets of Shoreditch

I spend my last day in London in Shoreditch, with a friend of the friend I was staying with. She’s a graphic designer like me and since it was London design festival the Shoreditch triangle (as it’s often called because of the triangle shape on the map,) seemed like the perfect spot for us to hang out. Actually, in my opinion the nicest shops are either on the border of that triangle or in Redchurch street, which is around the corner of underground station Shoreditch Highstreet. This street is full of creative concepts, like Monologue, a contemporary conceptstore with an exclusive collection of curated items for the home or handpicked fashion accessories. I spotted a lot of Dutch labels and brands, awesome! (You should know, us Dutchies are quit the designers…)  A bit futher down the road is Labor and wait, full of timeless, functional products for everyday life.

redchurch street in Shoreditch, London - agirlfromholland.com

monologue conceptstore, London - agirlfromholland.com

Monologue, 93 Redchurch street. 

Labor and wait, Shoreditch, London - agirlfromholland.com

Labor and wait, 85 Redchurch street.

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Exploring London: Islington + Borough market

The stylish north London neighborhood Islington once started as an overcrowded suburb but has throughout the years transformed into a high-class neighborhood with fancy diners and designshops. Apparently this is the place where celebrities and socialites hang out (not that I’ve seen them ofcourse…) The best way to reach it is by underground, to station ‘Highbury and Islington’ or ‘Angel’. I chose the first one and walked my way down Upper street, with the Angel underground station at the very end. From there I took the underground to London Bridge station to end my day at Borough market, unfortunately most shops over there close around 16.00 so that was a bit of a disappointment.

Islington, London

Islington.

In Islington I got the same feeling as when I was in Copenhagen: Why can’t houses back in Holland not all be painted like this?! I feel like I live in a boring country, (besides the fact that it’s flat as hell,) the way we paint our homes mostly ends by picking a safe colour for the window frames and doors, too bad. Where in Copenhagen most of the colors had a bit of brown in it to give them a slightly dirty look, here in London I spotted a lot of pastels, with the one above as the absolute no. 1 on the list of how my future home should look like! Ohhh… so pretty!

vineyard Islington, London

The vineyard at 179 Upper street is an all occasions venue, offering great foods, drinks and experiences. It’s possible to rent a space for birthdays, weddings, etc. But they also offer lunch and dinner at any day of the week so hop in for a bite at their cosy terrace!

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