While this blog began as a way for my to document my European travels and my photography, I have decided that it should be about so much more than that because (although it sounds lame) I am about so much more than that. While I often have trouble understanding what it is that I want in life, there is one thing I know for certain - Nothing makes me feel more alive than spontaneous travel; going to somewhere I have never been before and exploring, finding beautiful places and taking beautiful photos. While I like to take spontaneous adventures and travel to new places, I also like to incorporate spontaneity into every aspect of my life. But...
Prague! First I would like to say what an absolutely amazing city this is; from the moment I arrived I was in love with the architecture, the views and the unique landscapes. I began my time in Prague at the Prague Castle which, unbelievably, is understood to have been built in 880. The details of the Caslte and the surrounding buildings is literally unexplainable, it must been seen to be understood. As with any picture that is taken it doesn't show how beautiful it is in real life, but through my pictures I hope you gain an understanding of just how beautiful this city is. One of the highlights of my time there was my visit to the Astronomical Clock (which is pictured to the right) - the view from the top was simply amazing and the city looks equally amazing from above. The side streets are filled with beautiful cafes and endless amounts of shops - to get a taste of the traditional food I would recommend a visit to the markets to pick up some fresh, local food. Overall, Prague is a must-see European city.
The latest city for my collection of visual guides is the one and only Paris - Paris is such a beautiful city filled with incredibly detailed buildings and a jaw dropping scene at every turn. Paris is a beautiful and charismatic city that is just outstanding when it comes to architecture. The highlight for me during my time in Paris was the Eiffel Tower - for years I had been looking forward to seeing the tower and when I finally got there it literally took my breath away.
The following day I took the journey to the top and it was breath-taking [even if there were more clouds than I would have desired], I highly recommend taking the stairs as far as you can, it really adds to the experience and you can stop along the way to take as many photographs as you would like. This is only a segment of the beauty that can be found in this unique city.
The other day I took a one day trip to Heidelberg, Germany which is around 80 km from Frankfurt which is the city to which I live closest. The travel from Frankfurt is very affordable at 6 euro each way. Upon arriving in Heidelberg I could suddenly see the beauty of the city.
During my day in Heidelberg I visited the Heidelberg University museum (the oldest university in Germany which opened in 1386) followed by the adjoining student prison which closed at the beginning of WWI but has been left in the original condition. I also made a trip to the top of the hill to experience the ruins of the castle ruins which were partly destroyed by fires caused from lightning strikes. I spent the afternoon looking through the Kurpfalzisches Museum and walking along the continuous market place. Heidelberg is a beautiful, busy city with an incredible atmosphere and beautiful sights.
I have spent the past couple of days on a spontaneous trip to Nuremberg. Nuremberg is the second largest city in Bavaria (after Munich) and it is distinguished by it's medieval architecture and the high involvement the city had during WWII with the Nazi Party Rally Grounds being located around 4km from the 'Aldstadt' (the city centre within the walls). Nuremberg is situated around 275 from Frankfurt and it is accessible by trains and buses.
I used the first day I had in Nuremberg to explore all of the highlights of the inner city. This included a visit to the Kaiserberg Castle, the Hauptmarkt, Albrecht Durer's house, a walk along the city wall, a visit to the Fasching parade, a walk along the 'Way of Human Rights', a visit to the exhibition at the Nazi Party Rally Grounds and admiring all the churches including Frauenkirche (a 14th century Gothic church) and also St Sebaldus, St Lawrence's and St Elizabeth's to name a few.
Over the weekend I took a raw and solo trip to the centre of Frankfurt. While I have been to Frankfurt numerous times before I haven't really explored in this way before. I didn't make any plans, I didn't have a list of places I wanted to see, I just took the train there and walked around and explored the city with no knowledge of what I was going to do. Frankfurt is the closest city to where I live in following my trip I now have different eyes on it. Most people here of Frankfurt and set it aside because it is location of the European Central Bank. But, aside from the unique skyline this city also offers many picturesque aspects and many sights that are a must to see when in Frankfurt. The following pictures include only a fraction of the beauty that can be found in the lively and charismatic city of Frankfurt am Main.
Homesickness is a strong sensation that I really didn't think would affect me this much but it is slowly creeping more and more into my life everyday - it makes you feel a sense of pain in places of your heart you didn't know functioned. I must say now that this is not because I am not having a good time - I am having a great time and my family have been amazing to me. I appreciate the oppurtunities I get everyday and I often sit and think about how lucky and priveledged that I am. Not many people get these oppurtunities. First, to have foreign family but secondly to be able to go and live with them in a new and exciting country.
Foreign. I think that is the main reason for this homesickness that I am feeling. I am so far out of my usual comfort zone that I feel out in the open but obviously that is not a bad thing. Where I was, sitting in my comfort zone, I wasn't really going anywhere. Everyday of my life appeared to be the same except ofcourse for the times when I made an effort to do something exciting.
"Sometimes in order to discover who you really are you must release your hold on everything you have ever known and try something inexplicably different | Kate McLennan"
Today is the 30th of December so that means that tomorrow is the last day of 2015 - what an adventure this year has been! At the start of this year I would never imagined where I would be today; that is the beauty of life, it never goes how you imagined that it would. It is important to set goals and have plans for the year but it is also equally important to be content if things don't turn out how you originally planned.
Some photographs from my two hour adventure through Hanau, Germany - VISUAL GUIDE TO COME SOON.