Twisted paths

Tenerife.

I could write a sentence or two about how these twisted steps and roads we took at Tenerife, and which later on Corsica almost made me forget I am not a ten-year-old with a quickly-to-be-upset stomach, is a metaphor for life, really. But I don’t feel like it, to be honest.

Especially, after hearing these are probably the last photos I’m publishing under the Daily Post’s Weekly Photo Challenge. I’ll miss it, as many others, because they so often made me see my photos and hence memories from a different angle, made sure I didn’t miss out on tiny treasures, hidden deep in my library, learning to share those moments and go out for the search of the new – not just my own, but those of other participants, some I might not discover otherwise. So long, then, it was a good one, and now, I feel like we all have to grow up as bloggers and find our own ways to keep up with it. I think we’re up for it.

For WPC: Twisted.

Advertisements

The over-flowing magic

Palombaggia, Corsica.

It was quite ridiculous how little I read during the week on Corsica, not even 150 pages (flights, however short, included)! I mean, I usually even read more during my work weeks. And I managed to finish two books during my stay on Tenerife. How could I reach my bottom record ever? I know why. Mostly, I didn’t feel like doing anything else than just watch, listen, taste the sea, the perfect turquoise sea, or just stand in it for long periods of time, cooling me while the sun was painting my skin to a perfect tan and the wind was opening up my stuffed Parisian nostrils (no, it’ll take more than just a couple of posts for me to get over the air pollution, the contrast I experienced on my return)… The sea is something that hits you most when you arrive on the beach for the first time or take the first curvy ride on its roads overseeing the coast, its clarity, its truly amazing colours that can’t be translated into a photo.

So, I realized again and again, like so many probably during this week’s challenge, the healing power of water, that special magic of the sea and its waves, the waves that had already enchanted me two weeks before on the sandy beaches of Tenerife.

For WPC: Liquid.

Tenerife (Sur).

In the search of it

Bonifacio, Corsica.

For WPC: Place in the World.

Several years ago, the choice for this post would have been so easy, some Seine riverside photo or other, Pont Neuf, or a random Parisian street. Today, though, my place in the world seems to be transforming constantly. Home is a feeling, not a place, anyway. Not that I don’t feel like belonging to my favorite city anymore, I still very much do, I still adore its streets and its banks as much as always, I still get the sweet aching sting in my chest every time I leave it. Yet, the older(?) I get, the more I feel like the stuffy city air, the absence of true green colour, the noise, are getting to me … and the more I feel at home at the Southern part of France. The more I appreciate that special easy charm, worn out and lively, the clearing wind rushing through. And the closeness of salty air, hitting your stuffed nostrils, those narrow paths among the bushes and the flowers, with such stunning views on the majesty of the world you have to actually catch your breath again.

In the words of my friend, on our last day on this magnificent island, a country of its own, really : ”What are we waiting for?” – to change our homes into a place where we can breathe and walk freely, where there is everything you need to build your own little paradise.

Would I last here, though, wouldn’t I miss the other side? Maybe, there is never just one place where we belong, there always have to be more, complementing each other in their contrasts.

The poetics of the streets

Montpellier.

I rarely search for art in the streets. But, I guess that’s because I never have to. The best moments, those pleasant surprises, happen when you don’t look or expect much, anyway. I sincerely didn’t in Montpellier. Still, I found the best kind, I found poetry beneath my footsteps… Oh so poetic in itself, combining random wandering with my other favourite art. Reminded me of how the first time I fell for street art, that altered, rebelled life of a simple wall, was in France, although London followed soon after and the city that later won the game for now was on the other side of the globe. (I truly miss you, Valparaiso. I never quite got the pieces of my heart I had lost there back. No worries, I’m already thinking of coming back to lose some more.)

Doesn’t just mentioning South, either of France or of America, automatically bring a smile on our faces, regardless of pretty images and lovely words on its charming narrow streets? Maybe, it’s only this long winter and timid spring… Yet, truth be told, we’re going to escape there in the summer, too, let’s just admit it and hope it’s coming soon…

For WPC: Smile.

More of this please

Abbey Bookshop, librairie canadienne.

This week, I was a lucky girl. All of those woulda, coulda, shoulda wishes I usually have, bustling through the work week, became a part of its reality.

(That first photo was actually taken by my mom during their last visit, but I think she won’t blame me. At least, it represents I’d rather be spending time with my family part, too.)

I’d rather be exploring some bookstore’s shelves… Well, on Tuesday, after my best friend had already given up on me for the day, having taken care of the second coffee, even stronger than the first, yet still seeing my eyes numbly looking around, we crossed a bookstore. Somehow, my tired eyes saw a book title, stopped my legs and directed my body towards the pile of 2€ offers. I ended up buying four of them, those badass French classics I now am able to read in their own language (hopefully haha), and soon I was hopping like a happy bunny on some weird psychedelic drugs. She just laughed ”Guees you didn’t need coffee, but books. Should have known!”

I’d rather be roaming the streets of Paris… Every time I get too caught up with the everyday life, I tend to forget they are right there for me. It always makes me be grateful for visitors, they remind us to re-explore what we are already supposed to know. Like the Latin Quarter. I mean you could used to be sure to find me there at any given day, now it seems it’s been months… Oh well I guess my own neighbourhood ain’t that bad neither.

I’d rather be taking a train to the South… Winter made me say that a lot. On Monday, I actually did. And the weather goddesses were with me this time! More on it later. Still, don’t you just love the Montpellier’s train station!

For WPC: I’d rather be…

In and out, close and far

Paris Plage.

Maybe, what I miss most about summer is not just street walks whose existence is barely touched in the cold, but sitting down on a bench or a sidewalk and observe or read, for as long as you like, warm air embracing you and sun rays caressing you through the branches. Melting into your own world in the middle of the city’s sea of people. Reading outside is somehow not the same as in that enclosing space of your own room, although I’m not sure why I prefer parks to my sofa. Maybe, appreciating the inner and the outer world is inter-connected.

No matter the season though, I realized I have a growing affinity for anonymous city readers, which are nowadays mostly my fellow metro passengers. That summer day, it was this girl meters away from me, but somehow close in her attentive leaning posture. I was wondering what she was reading, while I was sadly finishing Anaïs Nin’s early diary… Oh that fever of living.

For WPC: A Face in the Crowd.

The other charms

It’s probably quite an easy job to be a tour guide in my town, even if you get lost, your followers won’t notice, still admiring the Parisian streets, thinking that’s what you were supposed to show them anyway … Yet, the trick is to expand beyond the monuments, grand, time-consuming and in the end not so living, to show the little jewels that make the Parisian charm.

I won’t go far, just a street away from my home in the 11th arrondissement, where I’m used to avoiding children who are running, catching one another, playing football on a quiet road or screaming in the tiny park, greeting a dog or two with a smile, gladly listening to birds singing in all the seasons. And admiring these trees’ silhouettes sometimes in sunshine, mostly against the greyness of the sky, sometimes in the glowing lights. The ordinary beauty on my usual route I can be grateful for a second or two, before hopping into the metro and race towards work. This week’s unexpected weather (even if it was forecasted, I didn’t believe it – ”it’ll be just a few snowflakes, as usual, and it never lasts anyway…” – ha.) added a few charming tones to it. A couple of embarrassing falls, too, to be completely honest.

And below is a small park, Square Louis XVI to be precise, down Boulevard Hausmann, a street away from where I work and spend many breaks during the more warm months, catch some rays, drink a smoothie and read a few pages (yes, it’s on my best reading spots in Paris list). Now, it’s just pretty to observe from the other side of the fences.

For WPC.

Keep still and look on.

Gaspé, Québec.

When we are about to leave a certain place, eyes open up in a different way, thoughts swirl around all the good and the bad, the memories packed up in the back, and then a silence falls, silence that sometimes expresses gratitude, sometimes sadness, usually both, a joy of getting to know something, of getting to know another piece of yourself, maybe a slight regret of overlooking something, a silence with which we say goodbye and till next time. In the next moment, we already look ahead, our next stop is waiting.

For WPC.

Forever opening into a story

La Rochelle.

I can understand people’s obsession with doors we see in all those blog posts collecting the wonder of how people enclose themselves in cities and towns and even small villages. I always fall for the weathered, a proper-doorknob-and-doorbell-missing ones, old and hardly magnificent. Their stories touch me through those small cracks where the Atlantic wind whistles its way in, the shades and the lines written on them by the winter rain and harsh sun. Then, someone even dares to draw their own!

And there was that one on a tower in the middle of a village in Atacama, low and narrow in between the wall’s scars, like a niche entrance into a secret you might never get if you try too much, yet I hope I did. I sensed a treasure, but … ah nevermind.

For WPC.

And what if sometimes it is on the outside?

Tadoussac, Québec.

They say the sense of tranquility comes from within, but there were places I saw during my travels that immediately calmed me down, no matter the internal agitation. They demanded absolute admiring attention and silenced or distanced themselves, hence me, from my personal battles. And I’m sure it’s not just about putting things in perspective.

This charming little place had many, yet this solitary bench in the middle of a walking path among the trees and the bushes presents a symbol of sorts for them all. It made my current anxiety a bit more serene somehow just by looking at it on a screen. Because we all need occasional reminders.

Oh the places that mercilessly take a piece of our soul. Though sometimes, I wonder… maybe they add some to it.

For WPC.

Those peaked days

A part of my summer wanderings in Paris, pretending to be a tourist when I stopped being one 3 years ago (if one ever does, as every ex-pat here doubts…), was this lovely Montmartre museum. More than with the exhibition itself, although I very much enjoyed it, it got me with its little garden, little in the French sense, too – that word they so often add to express loveliness and affection. All one needs: the flowery greenness and bend trees, a cute café, and then a surprising, but not really, sneaky peek of the Montmartre cliché.

The day peaked somewhat numerously with one wonder after another that day…

For WPC.

Rudimental

Croatian beaches are not all ideal white sand ones. Maybe, that is why my ideal beach isn’t the white sand one. I even prefer the bare rocks to the pebbles, their more significant earthly presence splashed by the waves and heated by the sun, the wind from the North or the one coming from the South, whistling through. All elements combined in one laid-back moment, observing, or in the other when you try to cruise among the sharp edges to get to the deeper sea, forget the swimmer’s efficiency and spread your fingers to really feel the water’s embrace, all around the curves. Get out and let the breeze and the sun’s fire dry you up drop by drop.

Island Krk.

For WPC.

The feel of sand

Plage de Deauville, Normandie.

Dipping your feet into the hot grainy sand and then into the refreshing ever flowing ocean, let the strong wind mess up your hair and the deceivingly smooth sun redden your skin, why not feel every drop of its moisture. You’re touching summer.

For WPC.

 

The delightful child-like curiosity

It might be a weird one, my response to the ”satisfaction” prompt. Yet, there was nothing like that delightful child-like curiosity about the flora and the fauna while I was exploring Québec last month. Hiking through the woods or siting on the rocky coast and observing the many individual expressions of this magnificent region, or better just the world, period. Nothing quite came close to this kind of exploring and wondering, so much that satisfactory seems to be an understatement, enriching it truly was. Bending down and trying to capture the colours and the shapes, smelling, touching, still respecting, pure looking became my religion for a day. Not caring about the names of the plants, because why would they matter, when the essence is right in front of you?! It’s not even about their new-ness or unfamiliar-ness, no, it’s just you opening your eyes for a minute, you all of a sudden, for no particular reason, lifting your head from a book and becoming obsessed by the algae bouquet few meters below you, you seeing the squirrels arguing and not being sure how to respond, hearing birds fly by in fright because you accidentally scared them and feeling a sense of remorse. Following the path, turning the corner and finding more and more of those wonders, so evident and so simple, so close and so reachable, your soul expands with every scene, every sensation your senses catch for a moment. Finally, I understood the excitement outside of the city-life buzz.

All of these taken in or near-by Tadoussac, although the feeling itself wasn’t limited to that place!

For WPC.

The (un)usual weekend

Don’t get me wrong. Concerts and festivals are like breathing, or like a drug to me – if I don’t get a regular fix, I might as well be dead. Still, I almost never take photos, I’ve never really understood why. Being too crazily excited in the moment and safely guarding it later in my mind was the usual way. This weekend was different, though. Maybe I needed it too much: that proof I still have so much life in me, so much to live still, independently of anyone. Maybe it was all the hits I heard live. Wasting My Young Years, The Seed, Another Love, Summertime Sadness, Papillon, Wonderwall, Where Is My Mind, Californication … Overdose in the best sense. Their quality might be below average, but for me the sentimental value counts more than that 😉 Anyway, here it is to the first best weekend of the year (the season is just getting started).

Lollapalooza Paris. 22.-23.7.

For WPC.

The colours of the beach

It was the perfect day. Doing a spontaneous train trip with my best friend to Normandy, exploring the cheese markets and flirting with the vendors, then just hanging out on the ridiculously wide sunny beach, after refreshing our toes in the Atlantic. Ice cream was there, and this colourful summer essentials that made me wonder what kind of collage view they form from the above. No doubt how we ended it – with cocktails!

For WPC.

This, too, will pass.

La Forêt Magique, Percé, Quebec.

A thick fog greeted me in the morning and all through the walk in the midst of the magical forest, as they call a little part of a hill, leading to the most superb view of Percé and its rock and the island across. Nothing of this supposed postcard view had been seen yet, instead of it there was only the consistent humidity, yet that somehow added charms to the trees’ landscape. I’m glad I passed it when there was something truly mystical about it. A couple of hours later the sun pierced through, and inch by inch the mist lifted, slowly unraveling the coast, until the horizon was open for new adventures.

The day that started so badly and ended so magnificently reminded me how transient things during traveling are. Not because you move, but because life always does, I guess. And now, I’m off to succumbing to jet-lag, it’s tomorrow I’ll try to put my impressions of a few weeks Quebec journey sort of together. My mind is already drifting in its own fog now…

For WPC.

Be careful there!

Isn’t it funny how sometimes we get the biggest warnings for the things, cities, sites we enjoy the most in the end?

That was the case for Valparaiso, Chile. So many people warned me about this city I fell in love with at the first sight. Be careful at the bus station when you get there, thieves all over. Don’t go out at night alone… or at all. If I were you, I’d avoid the port area. Just in general, it’s a dodgy town, so you know. Even the free-tour guide told us ”we are entering a less safe area” while we were walking the street above.

Plus, at the spot in the photo, there was a big gas explosion years ago, ruining a lovely street. Oh well… I loved it anyways, the building’s skeleton gave it a sort of robust look, but some soul, too, which comes with every plot. It seemed like it’s a story, truly belonging to this city where everything seems on shaky grounds.

Luckily, I only had positive experiences, even walking around after sunset didn’t cause me any trouble, although I was never alone. All the kind words before my arrival had succeeded in making me a bit cautious, yet I felt at ease after the first few minutes. I adored just roaming around and exploring every possible street and it ended up being my favourite part of the Chile journey… At least excluding Atacama, that one is a real competitor!

For WPC.

A train ride

Wanderlust sometimes shows in less grand moments than we usually expect, yet it’s exactly there that it perhaps has that special feeling of being completely integrated into your soul. No denying it. Your eyes of wonder and zest.

A month ago, I took a train to cross my own home country and there was something extraordinary about it, because I hadn’t done it for so long, having moved out and all. My own restlessness was somehow eased and pleased. The journey had an aura, a glow, only enhanced by the observation that the train I boarded had a metal plaque hang at the beginning of the coupé ”made in 1971”. I had to smile and internally laugh, though by the looks of the train I wasn’t at all surprised by the information. Then, I found it funny how things had changed, the little warning, saying ”Don’t lean out of the window”, written in four different languages, still no English (Slovenian, German, French and Italian instead). The best of it all, of course, were the views, those views I’m sure my co-patriots ignore daily, not me though. All the green, booming into the first spring showings, and the river, fiercely cutting into the valley.

It was the simplest of journeys, and among the most memorable ones. It made me realize it is wanderlust who opens up your eyes even for the most common sceneries.

For WPC.

With love for Earth

Being a city girl, my everyday notion of nature usually ends with cats climbing roofs, trees along the avenues, luscious parks or at best occasional trips to the country/seaside. City jungle is just as much part of the planet as the ancient labyrinths, booming with life, yet to really know what Earth fully represents you have to go in the middle of somewhere where kilometres and miles and acres of land lack human built settlements. Personally, it was in Atacama, Chile, where I felt the Earth’s history without the anthropocentric elements. The story of the rocks, maybe. And now, I sense a constant need in my feet to be in touch with the actual ground, minus the asphalt. I might have woken up from a subtle daydream.

For WPC.

The dense thick air in-between

Lyon, France.

In the density of city streets the air thickens between the walls of too-close-by houses, walls that cannot breathe in and out the toxic particles like green leaves do. Then, there is the constant palpitations, beats spreading out of so many hearts, beats quickening in the rush hours, so many beats of hearts in love, joyous, worried, passionate, stressed. Bodies swaying from and to each other. Life lived in so many forms, with so many stories, souls echoing and dreams whispering. Conversations started, arguments highlighted, singing offered in the middle of restaurants, humming kept for private bedrooms, broken glasses and drilling messes. Every moment a scene is watched and a comment listened to.

In winter, it is dense in the foggy, low and heavy vapour that fills and numbs my nostrils, in summer instead density seems to evaporate from my own skin in the heavy heat, drying out my mouth.

Thank goddess, there are moments in-between when the air lifts and life is heaped.

For WPC.

On the top of a hill

Playing with perspective in that moment on the top of a hill, looking at the view from the family ”weekend” house (as we called it in Slovenian) so familiar, yet somehow fresh. Something so ordinary during my childhood appearing different in the eyes of the girl watching it. Being atop sometimes means looking back… in the good sense of the phrase.

For WPC.

The simplest wish

Sometimes, I feel spring wakes up our soul with its desires and dreams, gets us going joyfully again in that relaxed atmosphere of insouciance. It’s the sun, yes. Then, it’s the flowers too. The simplest ones shyfully popping out of the ground, white, yellow, purple. Reminding us life can be simple as well, perhaps. Taking a walk in a local little forest with my grandma I only have one wish. For more of these moments, chatting and laughing, sharing the enjoyment of beauty with the people closest to me.

For WPC.

The (One-way) Streets Taken

Bordeaux, France.

During a walk through the many charming Bordeaux streets, after a much-needed coffee in a warm local café, right next to the beautiful Porte Cailhau, itself reminiscent of town’s history, it was still this one-way street that took me by surprise somehow and captivated me the most, by taking me way back sometime undefined. Ergo, black and white was obliged.

For WPC.

I intend to … gracefully.

Live tall, in all due respect to others and yourself.
At Institut Culturel Bernard Magrez, Bordeaux.

Learning to be graceful is a complex and ambiguous task, nevertheless probably not an impossible one. It doesn’t have rules, yet I believe the to-do list I found at the entrance to Institut Culturel Bernard Magrez in Bordeaux, is a part of its vague guidelines. Living tall, in all due respect to others and yourself. Not as learnt by heart and repeated daily, but as encouraging the gracefulness that is already somewhere there inside, whispering we’re quite alright where and how we are.

For WPC.

The nature’s patient anticipation

From the seed to the flower, from the fruit to the fallen leaves, the roots and the empty branches…

I’d waited long for this one. Giverny, France.

From the seed to the flower, from the fruit to the fallen leaves, the roots and the empty branches, there is always this anticipating the next form of life in nature, ever so patient in its expectancy. Because they are necessities? Maybe that is why it’s calming, soothing, seeing the cycle and recognizing it for it.

For WPC.

New horizons are in the view

There’s nothing saying new horizons better than superb views, especially those including water or the higher bird-like eye. It inevitably and instantly puts you in the meditative mood. In Puerto Varas, South of Chile, I found it very enlightening to watch the same lake from so many different perspectives. Diverse viewpoints on its coastline, the towns and villages with that strangely Germanic charm… And then the ones from the top of the special kind of mountains, the occasionally erupting ones. All so equally beautiful, from up above to down below, and vice versa. Looking back now, on the adventure of the year, as sad as I can be it was the only long one, I can see how holding on to one single perspective is impoverishing and how sometimes opening your eyes to multiplicity of things in front of us is complementary to the search of the actual new. Maybe that is why I’ve always felt dedicated to that quest without ever really making it my resolution.

For WPC.

When you don’t remember to relax, take it easy.

The cut between the summer holidays and working autumn that has now transformed into a chilling winter seems more brutal than the one during school years when the classes and the tests began.

The cut between the summer holidays and working autumn that has now transformed into a chilling winter seems more brutal than the one during school years when the classes and the tests began. Or is it just a lack of relying memory? Now, the time when I relax is the time when I rest, catch a moment to breathe, lie down and watch a movie. It’s getting harder to read with this rebellious short concentration, to write is a miracle rarely fully realized.

In summer, though, I actually took a whole day to get away and walk the anxiety out, meditate at a distant grassy spot, I could take my shoes off and splash the sea water around me, I was reading a complicated essay collection that got my brain cells going.

I’m glad I took a photo of those moments. They just reminded me to make a plan and escape the unbearable hardness of the morning commute I somehow became a part of. Work itself is not the problem, its omnipresence and overwhelming-ness is. Its insistance on consuming all of your energy and efforts, so that your personality and joyful passions are slowly vanishing into nothing. Wake yourself.

Etretat, Normandy, France.

For WPC.

The locals’ joie de vivre is at the riverside

It is here I always feel most at home, exactly where I’m supposed to be.
And what I admire is how the touristy and the local intermingle on the banks.

I don’t know if it was because I had already considered the riverside as the loveliest place in my hometown that I fell so much in love with it in Paris. Or was it the contrary, did I first discover the city’s charm here and then opened my eyes for the one in Ljubljana? Either way, both are among my favourite places on Earth. It is here I always feel most at home, exactly where I’m supposed to be.

And what I admire is how the touristy and the local intermingle on the banks. Overflown with foreign visitors, but still just as much appreciated by the Parisians themselves in the moments of their joie de vivre of bistros’ lunches, drinks at the cafés, regular stops at the  bookshops or the bouquinistes, enjoying bottles of wine on the benches, listening to guitar players in the distance. Of course, you can find the scene and the feeling in other quarters, too, yet nothing can compare to les quais de la Seine.

locseine

For WPC.

The subtle power of the simple H2O

Water is healing. Petrohué River, Los Lagos, Chile.

Water is healing, water embracing you in a lake, your swimming fingers caressed by a gentle sea wave, splashing drops of a river on your skin, the cleansing rain or a refreshing glass of the liquid of life, a cup of the simple hot beverage. Everything seems less dramatically unbearable thanks to its subtle power. Or sometimes, just watching H2O in one of its forms does it, despise the annoying big flies all around you.

Petrohué River, Los Lagos, Chile.

periv

For WPC.

Nostalgia seems to define these trees.

The view or the smell of pine tress brings back so many things. The feel of summer alone, then the favourite summers of my childhood on the many islands of our neighboring country.

Island Krk, Croatia.

The view or the smell of pine tress brings back so many things. The feel of summer alone, then the favourite summers of my childhood on the many islands of our neighboring country. My grandma’s delicious cooking, my grandpa’s occasional adventuring, my parents’ temporary epicureanism, the sharing and the pricking with my sister, the plays we had with my cousin in a plastic boat, my other cousin as a a-few-months-old baby, the jokes and the anecdotes and the card plays, the staggering difference between the shades of tan, the brownish back and whitish belly, because of my constant reading on the beach.

The insouciance, the ease, the absence of permanent questioning. The quest for my own piece of land anywhere in the South, where they will reign with the olives and the herbs, where come rain or come shine it will be my home.

For WPC.

Life is a quest

I saw this girl on her inspirational quest every day on my way out of the hostel and into the streets of Barrio Bellavista, Santiago de Chile, exploring as she seems to…

I saw this girl on her inspirational quest every day on my way out of the hostel and into the streets of Barrio Bellavista, Santiago de Chile, exploring as she seems to, wondering where life would take me. The beauty and the solitude of it, but most of all, the worth of trying, tasting that life isn’t just stationary or given. It can be an adventure you have to be willing to take.

questsdc

For WPC. (Better late than never.)

On the edge of a cliff

I’ve always had a special relation to cliffs and edges of any sort – fascination and vertigo entwined, in the most curious of minds. Of parts of my mind at least.

I’ve always had a special relation to cliffs and edges of any sort – fascination and vertigo entwined, in the most curious of minds. Of parts of my mind at least. Everything defined in that mixture of adventure and fear. However, I soon realized they are innocent in themselves, it was me who saw that limit of theirs as something full of options which transforms into charm. They are what I find as the most beautiful type of seaside.

This summer I enjoyed the ones in Étretat, Normandy, France. A day that has stayed my favourite of all the one-day trips. That meditation spot where I took off the shoes after a longish walk, rested my legs and only watched, looked, listened. It was so calm and joyful that the edge lost its edginess.

For WPC.

The tree’s a frame

I don’t think much when it comes to framing my pictures while roaming around. If it’s not the actual walls of the streets’ houses, it has to be the empty branches or the green leaves of trees.

I don’t think much when it comes to framing my pictures while roaming around. If it’s not the actual walls of the streets’ houses, it has to be the empty branches or the green leaves of trees. I use them so often in cities that they almost always make up for some of my favourite photos, of my Paris as well. They easily add something substantial to the chosen view as they did on the Santa Lucia hill in Santiago de Chile or on Cerro Carcel in Valparaiso.

But for this challenge, I chose the natural framing in a natural scene. As so often in my life, I spent the seaside part of my vacation this year in Croatia, Island Krk. It might get touristy and awfully crowdy in August, but when you take the paths along the coast, some parts sizzling in the sun with the dusty grass and poor olive branches, among coarse rocks and latent fear of snakes, others in the comfortable shadow of pine or other trees, they can lead you to some pretty amazing little bays. The whole walk is worth it, if not for the view, for the moment when you dive into the refreshing sea, getting off all the sweat, produced on the way.

For WPC.

Fun found its place on walls

I keep coming back to Valparaiso in these challenge-inspired posts and now, it is becoming clear why. It is the city where I had most fun, for sure.

I keep coming back to Valparaiso in these challenge-inspired posts and now, it is becoming clear why. It is the city where I had most fun, for sure. Good, not just decent coffee (finally!), yummy empanadas in various flavours, smoothing ice-cream during hill climbs, bumpy rides with a local bus and shaky funiculars, walk after a walk after a walk, great company, late night outings tasting pisco sours, the seaside sun, the atmosphere, the culture and last but not least all the art. Fun finds its place everywhere here, yes, but most of all on walls.

funvalpo6

My hostel’s door and the wall on the opposite side:

A wall making fun of the neighbouring capital Santiago’s lifestyle or simply, the morning commute:

funvalpo8

 

And soooooo many others.

For WPC.

The morning (view) of the year

There are certain first cups of coffee you never forget.

There are certain first cups of coffee you never forget. My second day in San Pedro de Atacama, second trip starting at the Red Stones, but first breakfast in the area, after an early morning rise and road trip, climbing the altitude numbers and then stopping here amidst the cold wind.

Bread with avocados, cookies, instant coffee and the view.

For WPC.

The narrow paths of Valparaiso

Whether a stairway or an alley, I found that in Valparaiso, it is the narrow ones that steal most of its charm.

Whether a stairway or an alley, I found that in Valparaiso, it is the narrow ones that steal most of its charm. The colours of the painted walls just burst out of their shadows, don’t you think?

Narrow streets are always those I love photograph the most in cities, as I admire how their focus concentrates your view as well.

For WPC.

Sometimes, cherry on top is an actual top.

One of the best journeys I’ve ever had closing with yet another breathtaking panorama.

I was getting ready to leave Chile in only a couple of days and this trip was one of my last adventures of the actual last week. One of the best journeys I’ve ever had closing with yet another breathtaking panorama. In my thoughts I was already saying goodbye, imagining myself on the then cold streets of Paris and in warm hugs of beloved friends. Still, on this volcano top, Osorno, first of my life, I was acutely present, feeling an overwhelming gratitude and joy, against the cold wind in my messy hair. Travel is a privilege. Breathe it in while it lasts. Embrace the views and the lonely walks on dusty and rocky paths. Appreciate those moments when everything you need is simply clear and there and it seems that everything that may come next is just another wonderful contribution to the already magnificent picture.

Volcano Osorno.
Volcano Osorno.

For WPC.

 

Details grow with age.

In every detailed wrinkle the rose wears proudly and beautifully she can see there are lessons and experiences that never die inside of us.

Sometimes, a girl buys herself a rose after a certain celebration, hangs it upside down beside the window and leaves it there to dry for a month or two. Then, she puts it in a vase with another which she got as a gift, as a permanent reminder on her shelf, the first standing effortlessly, the second invariably reposing. In every detailed wrinkle the rose wears proudly and beautifully she can see there are lessons and experiences that never die inside of us. (For WPC.)

rose2Do you really wanna know,
About these lines on my face?
Well, each and every one is testament to
All the mistakes I’ve had to make
To find courage

– Villagers, Courage

 

 

Look up

When a tour guide says ”This isn’t on the list of things to show you, but I find it special enough”, what else is there to say?

When a tour guide says ”This isn’t on the list of things to show you, but I find it special enough”, what else is there to say? You follow and then you just look up and see the beauty of it yourself. (For WPC.)

Rainbow valley, Atacama, Chile.

look up