CHINESE DESIGNERS. Back in December, when I was in Beijing for a field trip with my university (note to self: finally edit and publish pictures from that trip!), we visited the 789 Art Zone to soak in some contemporary as well as traditional Chinese art and culture. The complex is huge, so unfortunately, we didn’t nearly have enough time to see all the galleries, shops, and performance spaces the decommissioned military factory buildings house. But I did have time to buy this gorgeous coat by the emerging Shanghainese designer DLYANG, which I found in this beautiful store decorated with white-painted branches. I love everything about this coat: the shape, the unconventional structure, the leather details and definitely the black/grey colour combination. It’s so versatile to wear – almost like two coats in one. If you’re visiting the 789 district, make sure to pop by this gem which is tucked away in one of the charming alleys.
MY HOMETOWN. I state it outright: Dresden is the most beautiful city in Germany. And if you haven’t been there yet – GO! It is only a two hour drive South of Berlin and makes for a wonderful day trip if you are visiting Berlin. Whenever I go back to visit friends and family, I fall in love with the city’s stunning baroque and rococo architecture over and over again. You can probably see from the pictures the overwhelming and stunning grandness of the old city center.
CHRISTMAS RECAP. I still have a few photos to show from Christmas, which we spent in my hometown Dresden. I usually make sure to visit at least two Christmas markets; the rather traditional (and commercial) ‘Striezelmarkt’, which dates back to year 1434 and is therefore one of the oldest Christmas markets in Germany, and the medieval market. The Striezelmarkt usually has two Finnish stands offering glögi and other Finnish delicacies, to which I turn in case of a very bad ‘I miss Finland’ situation. But actually, I prefer the medieval market because of its cosy atmosphere and the lack of pushy tourists.
HELSINKI RETREAT. This is just a quick update, because I’m in the midst of revision for my last exam tomorrow. Wish me luck! Can’t wait to get back to social life and spend much needed quality time with friends. Of course, plans for tomorrow are made already: going out with a couple of friends to celebrate me surviving uni madness (aka the end of this semester) with food, drinks, and dancing. So bare with me for now, I’m gonna publish a proper outfit post later this week.
PEAK LEVEL. This is the last post about the trip to Athens. I promise! And it’s gonna be short and sweet. For everyone who isn’t that familiar with the sight: the Athenian Acropolis and its monuments belong to the UNESCO World Heritage and it dates back to the 5th century BC. It was a bit surreal, but so impressive to walk on the ground of this ancient complex, which is a universal symbol of thought and the arts. Thanks to the great weather the view from up there was pretty perfect. I would have loved to stay for sunset, but at 5pm sharp we were harshly interrupted in our “oohhs” and “aahhhs” and were shoved outside by yelling ladies who apparently serve as security guards. And believe me, you didn’t want to mess with them.
THE ASCENT TO THE ACROPOLIS. I still have a couple of posts about my trip to Athens in my luggage for you. Hopefully you aren’t too bored with it yet. Anyway, since our first try to visit the Acropolis failed miserably, we had to climb up the hill again the next day. We didn’t really mind though. Walking through the streets of Athens is so exciting, because behind every street corner you see something new and interesting. Ancient architecture in contrast to modern buildings, walls and walls of graffiti, colourful flower displays… and the list could easily go on. I wish we would have had more time to explore the city and especially some districts outside the very center. Well, you gotta leave something for the next visit.
THE BEACHES OF ATHENS. We couldn’t have possibly left Greece without having been to the sea. I don’t know about you, but I for my part need some element of water in the city I live in, whether it’s the sea, a river or a lake. While I can’t really say that the city beaches of Athens are a traveller’s paradise, it is still wonderful to sit on the rocks and enjoy the sunset. And that is exactly what we did.
CAFÉ DELIGHT. While sightseeing in Athens we found our way to a charming café called Pure Bliss. It’s conveniently located in the centre of the city and makes for a perfect place to recharge on a busy day. The interior is really lovely, full of vibrant colours and interesting furniture pieces. They don’t have too many vegetarian options, but I can recommend the vegetarian burger and especially their homemade lemonade. So if you’re visiting Athens make sure to stop by.
SUNSET FUN. I have yet to tell you so much about our Athens weekend getaway. On Saturday my boyfriend and I celebrated our one year anniversary. We wanted the entire day to be very relaxing without any stressful planning and the focus being on spending quality time together. After sleeping late we headed out to the city for lunch and strolled through the streets of Athens up the hill to visit the ancient Acropolis. Unfortunately, it had closed much earlier than we thought and so we enjoyed the sunset on the nearby rocks instead. And oh how beautiful it was! The sun stained the entire city with a stunning golden light – it was breathtakingly beautiful. Afterwards, while getting changed for dinner at the hotel room we took a moment to celebrate the occasion with some champagne and chocolate. Perfect aperitif for an even more perfect night if you ask me. I’m gonna tell you more about the restaurant in a separate post, though.
WEEKEND GETAWAY. Athens is amazing! It really is. At least from what I’ve seen and experienced during our first two days here. After leaving rainy London behind early Friday morning it was so pleasant to sit on our hotel’s terrace four hours later and enjoy the sun like it was summer. We actually had to move to another table, because the heat was almost unbearable. But first things first. I should probably introduce you to the hotel we’re staying at. We picked New Hotel as its concept sounded very interesting and the interior shown on the hotel’s webpages seemed special. And it does not disappoint. Entering the lobby we were greeted with a warm welcome by the staff and were handed refreshments. While checking in, I couldn’t take my eyes off the interior and I felt like being part of one big art installation thanks to designers Fernando and Humberto Campana. The interior is custom-made and it features remnants of the former Olympic Palace Hotel. So far we truly enjoyed our stay here.