Tuesday, 24 July 2012

{Latitude Attitude}

LATITUDE 2012!! A mesmerising affair. We (myself and blonde pal Meg) headed off into deepest darkest Suffolk to camp out and see some of our favourite artists. There was plenty of merriment along the way thanks to Captain Morgan and the forest raves. Not even the rain and mud pits could wash away our sunny moods.

The Faraway Forest

Superhero Yoga

Lana Del Rey

A pretty British affair

We received many a charming comment on our homemade garlands

Bon Iver's hauntingly beautiful set 
Elbow's disco ball 
The dancing at the Hurly Burly cafe
Fro-Yo mmmmm..

Edward Sharpe was a crazy bundle of fun, and we got to sing and dance to the anthem 'Home' which brought back a lot of memories. The relationship between Alex Ebert and Jade Castrinos is a joy to behold, and you can tell even if no longer lovers there is plenty of adoration between these two. Lana Del Rey defied all previous stereotypes of being a poor live act, as she strutted onto stage, cigarette in hand and pout in place. Ben Howard stole the hearts of every girl (and probably guy) in one swift move as he shyly but (oh-so-adorabley) played us 'Only Love' and 'Old Pine.'

Edward Sharpe 
The absolute highlight was definitely being right at the front for Bon Iver. I'm not even ashamed to say I shed a few tears when they struck their first few notes. Justin Vernon is a man who quite literally breathes music. Of course, we knew this already from his incredible albums, but the live version just cements it in your soul. Singing along to 'Skinny Love' and 'Blood Bank' was unreal.

Happy faces in the crowd for Bon Iver

Sleepy mornings watching silent movies in the film tent

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Friday, 20 July 2012

{Bella Bologna}

As the final sojourn of my year abroad I took a trip to Bologna in Italy to visit a great friend from 1st semester - Gianlorenzo. We always had the wildest nights out, and I prepared myself for a weekend partying as I stepped off the plane in beautiful and sunny Bologna.

View from Gianlorenzo's apartment

One of the 'secret' windows of Bologna
This was on the way to a party on my first night, after a long lunch of fresh mozzarella, cured ham and delicious fruit and vegetables. Everything done super-chilled, as is Italy's style. At the party we ate gigantic pizzas and garlic bread, and I met copious gorgeous Italians. If I could be more like any nationality, it would be the Italians without a doubt. I even managed to communicate with those who don't speak English (a lot of hand motions and swear words).  The most pressing issue seemed to be the difference between BITCH and BEACH, which I cleared up for them. We ended the night with MORE pizza at a cafĂ© which was open at 3 and nothing like the late-night food that England serves up to us! Fresh, and delicious!

Giacamo's Garden

7am return from a 6pm bbq
On the second night we took a train out to the hills of Bologna and had a BBQ at a friend's house. We ate incredible food, stayed up late drinking and lay back and watched the stars roll in. The sky is so clear and unpolluted out there, making for majestic sights. It's evenings like this that I thank god I did my year abroad.

Riots in Bologna

Neptune's Fountain

Gianlorenzo and I

The last fleeting image as I said goodnight to Bologna and my year abroad.

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Tuesday, 17 July 2012

{Let's Ride Bikes}

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Tuesday, 10 July 2012

{Southbound Train}

Travel is my passion, and travelling by train is the DON of this pursuit. No nasty airport queues, no petrol stops, and no seasickness. You can't beat the views either.. as I've shown you below. Travelling by night train is by far one of my favourite ways to spend a night; being gently rocked to sleep in your little bed/cubby hole with a soothing soundtrack in your ears. Saying that, there is something to be said for the strange bunch of morning after revellers + business men on the first train in the morning. I did this after attending the Lyon festival of lights last winter, and felt a poignant feeling of calm falling asleep on new friends before parting for the warmth of our own beds.

So far my most notable journeys have been:

 Barcelona --> Paris - my cousins and I had the frankly ingenious idea of hitting up the Market of la Boqueria for midnight supplies beforehand. We munched our little picnic of fresh fruit salads, Barcelona bread and delectable cheese + sausage.. and went to sleep full and content. 

Prague ---> Zurich - my first ever overnight train experience, and a surreal feeling of setting up the bunk beds with two Italian and two American strangers. We drank tea and ate biscuits with a bunch of Swiss boys while watching the sun come up over the Swiss mountains. Surreal moments, and why I love to travel.

Colorado --> Chicago - my longest journey; and the reclining leather chair felt like feather pillows after a week camping and rafting through the Colorado and Utah mountains. Groggily waking up to outstanding views of the Mississippi river or American mountains was the best kind of wake up call. 

Limoges --> Souillac - an old favourite, I've probably done this route a dozen times - delivering us at my best friend's family home on the Dordogne. Ever year this becomes more nostalgic, while the return journey home is tinged with a little bit more sadness as the years go on and the friends become more dear. There is nothing quite like stepping off the train in Souillac into the heat, sounds and smells of the summer evening. The knowledge that we are going to laugh, canoe, swim and cook for two weeks straight wraps us up in its familiar blanket.  If I could bottle that feeling I think I'd be a millionaire. 

Essential Travel Companions...

Notable views from my window...

The gloriously green North Italian countryside
Somewhere between Colorado and Chicago 

Snowy Summer Mountains in the US


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