Friday, 2 November 2012

Inter-railing Europe Summer 2012

After a long interlude of more than 5 months I am returning to share with you with my thoughts, views, and updates on daily life. Caught up amidst the deadlines of last year, the bustle of the long summer and the start of a new academic year, the past five months have been exciting and I can wait to start by sharing photos of my two week inter-railing trip across Eastern Europe!

We travelled from Istanbul > Sofia > (via Belgrade) to Budapest > Vienna > Hvar > Split 

This is where we started out journey, flying into Istanbul Airport on the 24th of August. We stayed for 2 nights at the Old City Esma Hostel. 
 I found Istanbul to be a magical, vibrant city full of glorious architecture (which I was soaking up and sketching!). Our lovely hostel owner, planned out our days so that we would manage to see as much as possible; the beautiful mosques, Cemberlitas Hamam (amazing turkish baths), boat trip on Bosphorus and ofcourse the Grand Bazaar.

 Inside the beautiful Suleymaniye Mosque

Amongst the fountains in the gardens between the Hagia Sophia and the Blue Mosque

 Suleymaniye Mosque

 The Hagia Sophia

Istanbul Sirkeci Train Station 

Lamps at the Grand Bazaar 

Jo and I taking in the beauty of our surroundings

 Estelle reading our action packed day plan

SOFIA, Bulgaria
Taking a 4 hour coach from Istanbul to its Border at Kapikuli, we boarded a 6 hour overnight train to Sofia, arriving there on the morning of the 26th of August.
Sofia, was a city that I didn't really know much about before I visited. However, I had always been intrigued, partially because my sister shares the name and the greek meaning of the word being 'Wisdom', I figured it must be a pretty cool place. We stayed for only a night at the Crosspoint Hostel in  what was a quiet, leafy neighbourhood with a beautiful church a few feet away.  Sofia seemed to be unique, being the only European Capital with its own mountain and the only one named after a church.  We spent our limited time wandering the deserted streets ( it seemed that most of its residents flee to Bulgaria's Black Sea coast in summer time),  visiting its famous churches and monuments, attempting to get up the Mountain Vitosha ( and failing), and in the evening visiting an amazing, wooden, candlelit local pub which did not use any electricity! 

 Ash exploring the streets of Sofia

 The neighbourhood that our hostel was in

 Sofia's National Art Gallery

 Estelle admiring the the art

Alexander Nevsky Cathedral 

 Alexander Nevsky Cathedral 

Walking along the main squares, with the Vitosha Mountain in the background

Budapest is one of the most beautiful cities I have ever seen. The life and culture there is exciting and our days were packed with trying to see as much of the city as we could in a few days. Some of the highlights were the amazing baths ( we went to the Szechenyi ones in Pest), visiting the Fisherman's Bastion, dancing on a roof club called Corvinteto, listening to live Hungarian music in a beautiful outdoor restaurant and spending ages walking through as many districts as we could!
We stayed at the Backpackers Hostel in Budapest, which is one of the nicest places we had stayed; hammocks and pillows in the garden! 

 Sightseeing: the mixture of modern and olden architecture in Budapest made it an excitingly beautiful city to walk around
 Sitting on a pillar on Heroes Square
 Hereos Square:  built in 1896 to celebrate 1000 years of Hungarian history, with the Archangel Gabriel at the top of the pillar
Our hostel was in the leafy suburbs across the river in Buda, near to the Castle district. Heres Estelle, Jo and Ash on one of our morning tram rides into Pest. 
VIENNA, Austria
Our trip to Vienna was very short, as we decided last minute to go on our way to Croatia, as we still had one more travel space on our Inter-rail ticket. We dumped our bags at lockers in the train station and spent 5 hours roaming the streets of Vienna. It was noticeably colder there, and it was the first time I had put on both my jeans and jumpers!
 Beautiful Architecture of Vienna
Excitement of being in Vienna for just a few hours! 
Horses from the famous Spanish Riding School
HVAR, Croatia
We arrived into Hvar's sunny neoclassical harbour after a two 8 hour train journeys, across Austria, Slovenia and most of Croatia! It was one of dazzlingly beautiful Islands we had ever seen, filled with the smell of of Lavender from its famous fields. We spent the last few days of our trip wandering the maze of cobbled streets, drinking coffee in the square, swimming on a nudist mini island, renting boats, eating dinner and watching the sun go down from the rooftop of our hostel, buying jewellery from the markets and drinking cocktails in the evenings.

View from the rooftop of our Hostel

Renting a taxi boat to the mini islands  
 Hvar's harbour

 Ash excited to be renting our own boat!

Swimming in the bluest of waters on a nudist beach

The Cathedral of St. Stephen on the eastern side of the main square

Split, Croatia
Our last stop on the map was the city of Split, from which we got our flight back to England. Spending only one night and half a day there, we managed to fit in one last beach trip and we spent the evening visiting Diocletian's Palace which was bustling with entertainers and musicians. 

 A very shallow beach!

 The last picture that was taken on my camera before it ran out of battery: Jo, Estelle and I, exploring the waters

Friday, 1 June 2012

Final Project of the Year

The concept of my design project of the La Perle bakery focuses around the idea of repetitive wooden panels as a rhythm and language that defines the space inside the structure. They lead you on a journey through the building, revealing and hiding certain areas, and therefore creating a sense of mystery and intrigue. When a view is partially blocked, it fascinates the viewer and encourages them to take a closer look. This is especially evident when one is sitting in the café, the gaps between the panels reveal the chefs hard at work in the bakery; this lets the customer interact with the location in which their food is made.  The heavy solid wooden panels are placed directly along the street footpath, guiding the customer along and into the café. As well as being part of the structure, they also extend to make shelves for storage and tables for seating making them multifunctional and dynamic. These timber boards also let a lot of light into the building, at the same time casting beautiful, regular shaped shadows, which make the cafe, bakery and living quarters an exciting place to be.
This is the sheet that went into my portfolio detailing the final project of the year. 

Developed Film Photos, Hello Summer

Sorry about my long absence! I was just preparing coursework for the final hand in of the year and now I have finished first year! Its a really exciting feeling, and I have a really long summer ahead of me. The past 10 days or so have been absolutely lovely, with the temperature soaring high into the twenties which is amazing for England. Being in Sheffield student accommodation without actually having to do work feels like being on a mini holiday abroad, drinking in the day time and partying with friends in the evening, which is great as everyone is still in such close proximity of each other. Since having this free time, I have managed to develop my first film that I used with the Olympus Trip 35 camera. I have also learnt my lesson about using the flash, it IS necessary even if the day is incredibly sunny, as unfortunately I learnt the hard way when a lot of them came out very dark and unusable. I thought I would share some of my favourites with you here though :)


Monday, 23 April 2012

Snap Snap

My latest purchase from Ebay arrived a few days ago! I've been looking for a replacement film camera for ages, since my last one broke ( something along the lines of me trying to pull out the film when it wasn't finished because it wouldn't take the photos, so I damaged it even more ). I scoured the web and tumblr for inspiration, and came across the wonderful OLYMPUS TRIP 35! It's a 35mm camera, first introduced in 1967; its name is a reference to the fact that it was created as a compact camera for people to take on holiday with them. It is known for taking well exposed, sharp pictures so I am excited to see how it will take to my out of date film. Also, because the camera has a selenium light meter, it means that it requires no batteries. However, to take a good quality picture with this camera, an external flash needs to be used unless you are in good daylight or shining a lamp on the object. Therefore, when I was searching through Ebay, I was looking for ones that already came with a flash, so perhaps I actually paid more than I should have for the camera (£17+ £5 P&P). Nevertheless, I have taken a few photographs already and I am excited to carry on using it and to see how the film turns out! I'll keep you updated :)

Tuesday, 17 April 2012

'Tap at my window, maybe I might let you in'

I came across this New York townhouse on Tumblr and I fell in love; I think this is the sort of house I would love to live in when I'm older.

Monday, 16 April 2012

Denim Wishlist

Somehow my love for denim has been revived. It's interesting that since I actually no longer wear jeans, (Topshop Super Skinny Leigh Jeans aren't exactly proper proper denim), I've become more intriguied by other forms of denim; jackets, shirts, gillets, shorts, etc.  And I don't mean all those new trends of different pastel colours, I mean the real blue stuff.. If only these items could magically appear in my wardrobe... 

all images found on Tumblr

Weekend away!

Since I'm in the middle of my easter holidays from university, I decided to make a few trips across the country to see two of a my friends. First up on friday afternoon, I boarded a train to Birmingham from London Euston to see my friend Becky. I had an amazing time catching up with her and we also went out to the famous Birmingham Gatecrasher club with her friend Michelle. 

On the saturday I took a train from Birmingham to Rugby to see my friend Estelle; here are some pictures from the grand tour that she gave me of her hometown :)

all images taken on my Canon 450d slr, and edited.