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East London’s Columbia Road Flower Market

September 20, 2014 by  

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On the weekends, flowers come to life in London. Every Sunday on a narrow street in East London the Columbia Road Flower Market bursts into bright vivid colors. Flowers of every fragrance and colour line the road, enticing shoppers in with their soft leaves, bright colours and great prices. The flower market cracks open at 8am, but the nifty shopper will wait until nearer to the 3 pm’ish losing time for the real bargains: a bunch of luxury roses for a fiver, herbs and plants for tuppence. Columbia Road Flower Market Behind the waves of colourful petals vintagy shops and tasty cafés adorn the street, perfect for nipping into for a mid-shop cuppa. I’ve spent many a happy Sunday strolling through this pretty market when I’ve been stuck for things to do in London. Here is the Columbia Road Flower Market, in pictures. Columbia Road Flower Market Columbia Road Flower Market Flowers at Columbia Road Market Columbia Road Flower Market Columbia Road Flower Market       Columbia Road Flower Market   Columbia Road Flower Market For more information on the market visit www.columbiaroad.info


Coffee Culture is Alive & Well in Paris

September 20, 2014 by  

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coffee beans   City of lights, city of art, city of literature, city of love. Paris has been called all these things, and for good reason. But city of coffee? Well, it’s complicated. Certainly, coffee culture is very much alive in the city. There are cafés in Paris on practically every street corner, each with its own cluster of Parisians shotting espresso at the bar or lounging about on the terrace, people watching over a café long. There is something ritualistic about the drinking of coffee in Paris. But sadly, more often than not, that coffee is gritty, burnt or bitter. Yet over the past few years, a new wave of coffee roasters and cafés has been cropping up in Paris. With a focus on high-quality beans, artisanal brewing practises and design-oriented, welcoming surrounds, these spaces are taking Parisian café culture and infusing it with their own ritual: the making and serving of simple, good coffee. Coutume Cafe Photo courtesy of Coutume Cafe

Coutume

When a Melbourne-trained Parisian and a Paris-based Melbournian get together, the result is beautiful Franco-Australian hybrid, Coutume. One of the first Paris cafés to kick off…

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India: The Himalayas of Mystical Kashmir

September 20, 2014 by  

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This is a superb vantage point. I stand here and look around. All I can see is several cragged peaks, of huge snowy mountains, lined one after the other. A placid lake lies at their feet. Clouds move in and out, sometimes just hanging around half way through to their height, in suspended animation. Snow smattered across the gradient of adjoining mountains melts, then solidifies again to form saucer like silvery platforms of ice between them. Had this been a larger mountain system, this would have been a glacier. There’s little I can hear, no animals, no birds at this height. I open my eyes. I stand facing the Mumbai skyline. The blaring horns of vehicles and massive drum beats of a festival celebration regain focus. All this while, I have been here, closing my eyes, trying to recede into a picture of the Himalayas that I’ve witnessed so often. I run away from Mumbai almost once every year to these mountains. Only recently did I realise that they aren’t just a place high in the northern altitudes where I seek to hide. They’re somewhere around, high and north yes, but closer, in my head. I seek refuge in them…

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Culture, History & Architecture: The Doors of Amsterdam

September 20, 2014 by  

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Over the summer, I visited Amsterdam and I was struck by the beautiful architecture of this city that lives well with water. My hometown of New Orleans could learn a great deal from the Dutch. This post covers the many interesting doors found on the homes and businesses that line the canals. Here is a collection. IMG_3426  IMG_0874  IMG_2637  IMG_3463  IMG_3231  IMG_3165  IMG_3016  IMG_2970  IMG_2954  IMG_2921  IMG_2917  IMG_1496  IMG_1354  IMG_1336  IMG_1048  IMG_1039  IMG_0892  IMG_3014  IMG_3425  IMG_2987  


Culture, Heritage & Historical Sites of Sarajevo Bosnia

September 19, 2014 by  

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I recently returned from Sarajevo, Bosnia and while it wasn’t the first time I have been there, this time since I went with my hubby and in-laws, all of whom haven’t been back to their motherland in 14 years! Needless to say, this time around was less about visiting museums and historical sites and more about meeting and visiting extended family members and friends.  Who knew I was now related to about half of Sarajevo?! L1010124 I’ve spoken before about trying to learn the language, and while I’d say my understanding rate is still pretty low, I have certainly mastered the art of hellos and goodbyes, which we’ll consider a small success! A visit to a Bosnian household is quite a treat.  While in America the custom may be (at least in my house), “can I get you anything to drink?”, and when the person responds “no, thanks”, to just leave it at that, this absolutely doesn’t fly in Bosnian hoods (which are referred to as “mahalas”.)  Every time we’d visit a house, we were served a huge spread of traditional Bosnian coffee, juice, sparkling and still water, and sweet and savory treats.…

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Culture, History & Beyond in St. Petersburg Russia

September 19, 2014 by  

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Russia expert Lindsay Comer shares her knowledge of the country with advice and recommendations on how best to immerse yourself in local culture in Russia and go beyond the guidebook through this fascinating destination. 1. For those wanting to have a unique St. Petersburg experience, bear in mind many people only visit the city center of St. Petersburg and miss seeing some of the more unattractive but interesting places. I have an obsession with old Soviet block style housing (called Khrushchyovkas). If you take the metro out a few stops, you will be surrounded by what feels like a very different city. There are usually local markets and vendors not far from the metro stops. For photographers, the dilapidated buildings are eye candy. The best places to find Khrushchyovkas, I would say, are usually at the last stops of any metro line — such as Komandantskiy Prospekt or Prospekt Veteranov. Also, I recommend visiting some of the lovely parks and going for a walk in nature — something very special and important to Russians. My favorite park is Yelagin Island, not far from the metro stops of Krestovskiy Ostrov or Staraya Derevnya on the purple line. If you are a bit more adventurous and…

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A Chat with London Urban Artist Hannah Adamaszek

September 18, 2014 by  

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This is a chat with London-based artist Hannah Adamaszek. It’s been awhile since I’ve done any artist features and I hope to do many more in the near future. Hannah reached out to me on social media and I’m so glad that she did. Hannah works with a variety of mediums and her work is as bohemian as they come. See below for a full interview below.

Hannah, how did you find your way into the art world?

I’m an urban artist currently based in London, UK but have lived in Austria, Switzerland and Australia in the past. I studied art at university in the UK about 8 years ago, and fell out of love with some of the contemporary art scene, so swapped painting for travelling and skiing for about 4 years. I first got into art and painting when I was very young. My Dad was a painter, and a huge influence on my work today. I always had a love for drawing from an early age, I remember entering competitions at primary school and it was a real passion then. Then I started studying at College, I did the foundation course which was a brilliant way for me…

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León Nicaragua For History, Culture, Sunsets & Volcanoes

September 18, 2014 by  

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Cathedral in León. Photo curtesy of Javier Losa and Flikr   When I decided to meet up with a friend of mine for a week-long trip to Nicaragua, I was set to experience what I thought was the best of what the country had to offer: adrenaline pumping treks up and down volcanoes. I was ready for a trip teeming with non-stop action; however, somewhere along the way the pace got slowed down and I also got a look at the country’s human side. With only a week to spend in the entire country, my main goal of the trip was to learn how to volcanoboard, a new extreme sport where riders take a toboggan down the silty slopes of a volcano, reaching speeds of 50 mph (80 kph). As with any great adventure, though, my trip was filled with unexpected twists and turns, adding a whole new level of adventure and discovery to the journey.

My Nicaraguan Arrival

I could hardly believe my eyes when I finally arrived to the airport in Nicaragua’s capital, Managua. Here, I was quickly greeted with a big welcome sign and a happy reunion from my friend. Eager as…

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