reminiscing: versailles

After watching Farewell, My Queen at the French Film Festival the other day, I’ve had all things French and Versailles-related on the mind. The very next day I watched Sofia Coppola’s Marie Antoinette, whose frothy cinematography was a stark contrast to the perceived realness of Farewell, My Queen. Then I started going through photos from my trip to Europe in 2011 (I can’t believe it’s been nearly two years – it feels like yesterday). I realised that at the time I only shared a snippet of the photos I took at Versailles. So here are a few more photos from my day there to give you a case of wanderlust or cause you to reminisce about your own past travels.

 

travel photos: bits’n’pieces




These are just a few photos that didn’t really fit into any other posts. This will probably be the last of the travel posts – or until I get my last roll of Diana film developed, anyway. After Berlin it was back to London for a few more days before heading home. The extra time in London was spent catching a few more sights that I missed the first time round as well as doubling up on old favourites such as the Camden Markets and the V&A Museum. Although, when I got back home I realised I had missed something monumental (to me, anyway), and that was a trip to Liberty! Cue facepalm. The first photo is actually of a little courtyard in the grounds of Windsor Castle. Isn’t it adorable? I want to call it home!

travel photos: berlin







After a short stay in Prague, it was off to Berlin where I had planned to stay with a friend. After a bit of miscommunication, phones running out of credit, and a rude introduction to the U-Bahn  – we met at what I later learnt was one of the more notoriously dangerous stations – we made it back to her apartment in one piece. Unfortunately she was leaving for the weekend and wouldn’t be able to guide us around Berlin, but she left a more than comprehensive insider’s guide to the city (read: a jam-packed A4 piece of paper covered in barely legible notes). So when I wasn’t off visiting famous monuments such as the East Side Gallery, Brandenburg Gate, and the Reichstag; I was living like a local in Neukölln. Unfortunately I didn’t get many photos of the ‘local’ stuff because I felt like a bit of a dork whipping out my camera while everyone was going about their day-to-day business. There were a lot of missed photo opportunities but I’m not too fussed – you can’t capture every moment. Below are a few places to check out if you’re ever in Berlin. These were the ones I actually remembered. There were a lot of other places that I forgot to take note of. Like the slightly derelict garden that was home to a double decker bus and cafe. Or the bar I went to on a Monday night with the cool decor and cheap beers. Travelling fail, I know.

Noewkolln Flea Markets which are on the third Sunday of each month. We timed that one pretty well. If I actually had room in my backpack I would have gone crazy buying stuff.
Hamy Cafe for amazing and cheap Vietnamese food and fresh fruit smoothies. The daily offers are always under 5€ and they are big serves too.
White Trash Fast Food for finger licking good (and slightly greasy) food. They also make a mean vodka and freshly squeezed lemonade. And vodka and freshly squeezed orange juice. And really strong Old Fashioneds. They even played Edward Scissor Hands on the TV at the bar! I really liked this place, in case you couldn’t already tell.
– Cinema Cafe and the adjacent alleyway (Rosenthaler Straße 39). Make sure to follow the alleyway to the very end and go up the graffiti’d staircase where you’ll find a cool bookshop. Very underground. Very Berlin. Although much to the chagrin of my friend, who is a Berlin local, even this is now apparently too touristy. I found that comment a bit ironic considering the circumstances. The shopping in this district is pretty good too.

I seriously could have spent weeks and weeks exploring Berlin. What was initially going to be a three night stay ended up lasting nearly a week. That’s how much I loved this place!

travel photos: prague






After Paris, our trio dwindled down to a duo. My friend Rach and I were basically winging our way through the next week and a half in Europe. With many rough itineraries in mind, we decided on Prague being the next point of call. We only stayed for two nights but it was still enough time to enjoy this picturesque town. This is also the point where I became slightly camera fatigued – as such, there’s only going to be one post about Prague. Like many European cities, the city centre is split into an Old and New Town. The Old Town is full of wonderful old buildings and monuments such as the Astronomical Clock Tower (insert joke here about it being one of the most overrated attractions in Europe), Tyn Church, and the Charles Bridge. The old town is also full of winding alleyways just waiting to be explored. The larger-than-life pistols were one such discovery. They were part of a young artist exhibition which I thought typified the juxtaposition of old and new in Prague. You  might be wondering why I chose to include a photo of a sandwich but that meal saved my life. Orange juice and a toasted sandwich – my kind of comfort food. Prague was the perfect place to relax and unwind after the previously jam-packed weeks of travelling. Next up? Berlin!

travel photos: père lachaise cemetery






A Sunday afternoon stroll through a cemetery? It might seem a bit morbid to some, but when you’re in Paris and it’s one of the most beautiful cemeteries in the world, why not? Especially since it was just down the road from where we were staying. Père Lachaise Cemetery is the resting place to more famous and influential people than you can poke a stick at (but please don’t poke sticks at them because they’re dead and that’s disrespectful and if zombies really do exist then your brains will be the first thing on the menu). The most notable residents at this cemetery include Oscar Wilde, Edith Piaf, and Jim Morrison. Oscar Wilde’s tomb was relatively easy to find, but Jimbo’s proved to be a bit harder (we were navigating sans map and with a less than photographic memory of the bulletin board). In the end we had to stalk some old guy wearing a Doors t-shirt. Other people had the same idea – I wouldn’t be surprised if this guy basically spent his weekends leading stray visitors to Jim Morrison’s grave. I wouldn’t classify this as a ‘must see’ attraction, but it’s an interesting outing nonetheless.