MERRY CHRISTMAS

christmas cards via au pays des merveilles

Merry Christmas!  After spreading so much Christmas inspiration, I figured it was about time I showed you what I came up with myself this year. Above you see the Christmas cards I sent to my family this year.  I made them with some materials I still had lying around (blank cards, paper and cardboard scraps, alphabet stamps (from Muji), silver dot stickers and white and silver markers).  Really easy and cheap, but I like the result.

gift wrapping via au pays des merveilles

This is what my christmas gifts look like this year.  I used wrapping paper and an envelope from Hema, baker twine, black and white prints of my waterscape photos and labels made with Hema’s embosser (can you tell I’m a fan of the shop?)  I also changed the regular white cord on the envelope for baker twine to make it match the other presents better.

gift wrapping via au pays des merveillesall photos by me

… and a little collage to show you what my presents have looked like in the past.  (You might have seen some of these already on the blog or on the facebook page.)  Anyway, glad to see not only my gift wrapping skills but also my photography skills have improved!

Anyway, to spread even more Christmas cheer and to say thank you for reading this blog, I’m handing out a little present to one of you!  Check back tomorrow to find out more about what and how… now go and enjoy Christmas!

Follow me on bloglovinfacebookpinterest, flickr and tumblr.

WEEKEND

weekend via au pays des merveillesphoto by Ann Vincent // maxidress: forever21 – hair accessory: h&m – purse: vintage – necklace: made by my mother

Here’s an impression of how I spent last weekend, although this gorgeous room in DEstudio was quickly filled with a lot more people, dancing around and having a good time in their most beautiful evening wear.  This was the first time I attended one of the Leave Us At Dawn parties, but definitely not the last.  Have a great weekend!

Follow me on bloglovinfacebookpinterest, flickr and tumblr.

COLD MORNING

cold mornings via au pays des merveillesphotos by me

This is what I wake up to when it’s cold but sunny outside…  My new home is slowly looking more and more like a home (you already got a sneak peek at the bottom of this post), I promise I’ll give a little tour when it’s somewhat finished!  (Who am I kidding, an interior is never finished, right?)

Follow me on bloglovinfacebookpinterest, flickr and tumblr.

ELVIS

collage by au pays des merveilles

collage by me (magazine scraps, washi tape from Hema and calligraphy pen from Muji)

All the pretty collages I collected on my pinterest, turned out to be pretty inspiring.  (I’ll devote a pretty things post to my favorites soon.)  So what would you do when you’d find a great photo of Elvis in a magazine?  Thought so too.

Follow me on bloglovinfacebookpinterest, flickr and tumblr.

KRACHTVOER

krachtvoer via au pays des merveilles

A few weeks ago, the girls behind Alle Dagen Honger organized a food festival named ‘Krachtvoer’ at DEstudio in Antwerp.  This two day festival consisted of documentaries, lectures, tastings, diners, workshops and expositions, all related to food.  Unfortunately I couldn’t make it to any documentaries or readings (I find it very interesting (and scary at the same time) to hear more about the food industry, it’s ecological impact is what convinced me to become a vegetarian) but I did manage to make a quick stop at the food market and the expositions.  The food was of course delicious and the location and decorations were stunning, as was the exposition with works of Alle Dagen Honger’s own illustrator Mayken Craenen  and others.  For a more elaborate impression of the festival, I added the aftermovie at the bottom, made by my flatmate Mathijs Vleugels.

This was only the first edition of Krachtvoer, so keep an eye out on the Alle Dagen Honger blog (also in english here) if you want to stay up to date on future editions of Krachtvoer or if you’re interested in the food industry as a whole.

Read More

SHORTCUT MOOD #001

shortcut mood 001 via au pays des merveilles

1 – 2 – 34 – 5 – 6 – 7 – 8  (I can’t find the sources of all photos, if you do know them, please tell me!)
quote – Banana Yoshimoto, Goodbye Tsugumi

The same colors keep popping up on my tumblr.  Time to collect all this icy colored goodness on SHORTCUT and present it to you here on a silver platter.  I’m thinking this should become a regular thing, so I can have some fun with lay-out and typography, two of my big loves that don’t get enough room to play on this blog.  We’ll see where this goes.  What do you think?

Follow me on bloglovinfacebookpinterest, flickr and tumblr.

KAFFEE WELTEVREE

kaffee weltevree via au pays des merveilles

A new academic year means a new Existenz team and new Existenz cafés.  Since I don’t live in Leuven anymore, these cafés are the perfect excuse to go back and catch up with old friends.  (I even wished I could fly back for an evening of Existenz festivities when I was living in Lisbon.)  This year’s opening event was called Kaffee Weltevree and took place in the courtyard of our beloved castle (the home of Leuven’s architecture department).  The combination of the fairy tale like surroundings, the live music, the friends I hadn’t seen in a while and the obligatory beers resulted in a great evening.  I’ve called this city home for five and a half years and nights like this remind me why.

(You can find Existenz on facebook here to stay up to date with their activities.)

Read More

LIBRE OBJET

diy furniture via au pays des merveilles

As I mentioned in this week’s pretty things post, me and my friends participated in the workshop ‘Libre objet’ in Brussels organized by Mathieu Gabiot.  The first day was spent discussing copyright and open source design (a form of co-creation, where design information is shared publically and the final product is designed and built by the users) , followed by thinking about Mathieu’s design ‘Bouctje’ (a small book rack, pictured above) and how we could transform it into our own design.  The second day was spent on constructing our own version of the Bouctje, resulting in everything from a version with an added side table, a rocking chair our a double version.  Soon, you will be able to download drawings and instructions on how to construct our designs.  Of course I will let you know when these come online, but for now you can click below and try to figure it out from this extensive photo report!

Read More

PARISIAN HOUSEWARMING

parisian housewarming via au pays des merveilles

My friend, who I was visiting in Paris, just moved into his new apartment a few days before I arrived.  That called for a house warming, and the boys planned this very nicely in the middle of my visit.  Here’s a little impression of what the coffee table looked like the morning after and how the apartment transformed from before the party until the morning after.  Luckily those boys know how to clean…

parisian housewarming via au pays des merveilles

all photos by me (except for top right)

Follow me on bloglovinfacebookpinterest, flickr and tumblr.

PARIS

Paris via au pays des merveilles

After spending one week in Portugal, I took the plane straight from Lisbon to Paris.  Living in Belgium, we don’t often get the chance to fly to Paris, and I have to say landing in Paris around 11 PM has resulted in the most beautiful view I’ve ever had from a plane window.  No photos unfortunately, as I wasn’t seated by the window, but I still enjoyed the view a lot.  That being said: here’s a little impression of how I spent my days in Paris.  I was visiting a friend who lives there now, and he took me to all his favorite places.  We chilled by the Seine, had drinks at an amazing african bar slash vintage shop slash museum called Le Comptoir Général (80 quai de Jemappes) and explored Deyrolle, a wonderful taxidermy store (46 rue du Bac).  And those photos from the Louvre, you ask?  Those were taken when my friend was at work and I met up with Marijke, who you might know from the fantastic blog called Goesting.  Good times!

paris via au pays des merveille

paris via au pays des merveille

paris via au pays des merveille

paris via au pays des merveille

paris via au pays des merveille

paris via au pays des merveille

paris via au pays des merveille

all photos by me

Follow me on bloglovinfacebookpinterest, flickr and tumblr.

LIFE IN BELGIUM

via au pays des merveilles

Here’s an analog diary of what I’ve been up to these last months, from the first ‘terrasje’ of the year (drinks outside on a terrace), to a Float Fall concert in bilbo for record store day (listen here), to M-idzomer festival in Museum M, the stairs of Leuven’s central library where I have been studying the past weeks, to a rooftop barbecue in Antwerp literally hours after I got back from Paris (best welcome back to Belgium!), to everyday sights in Leuven (like the plant filled windows that I pass almost daily, another confetti smiley that I discovered only now thanks to a friend and the castle of Arenberg where our design studios are located) and one last view at Museum M, when I went to see my photos for the first time with my sister.  I might have complained a lot about missing Lisbon and being back in same-old Belgium, but looking back, this doesn’t look so bad now does it?  All thanks to my wonderful friends who make Belgium feel just a little bit warmer…

drinks and bikes in leuven, via au pays des merveilles

Afbeelding (3)

Afbeelding (5)

 m-idzomer in leuven, via au pays des merveilles

m-idzomer in leuven, via au pays des merveilles

central library stairs in leaven,via au pays des merveilles

rooftop barbecue in antwerp, via au pays des merveilles

leuven street view, via au pays des merveilles

a view in antwerp, a confetti smiley and the top of the castle in leuven, via au pays des merveilles

museum m in leuven, via au pays des merveilles

all photos by me

Follow me on bloglovinfacebookpinterest, flickr and tumblr.

BACK IN LISBON

lisboa via au pays des merveilles

all photos taken with a diana f+ by me

My week in Lisbon was spent catching up with old friends while having lunch at a roof terrace, eating ice cream in the park and chilling and dancing at out jazz.  I enjoyed well known places that I missed and discovered new ones that popped up or even just by looking at the city with new eyes and paying more attention while wandering around.  I made a trip to the beautiful beach of Palmela to get some rest from the tourist flooded city and complained about the heat (40 degrees, yes) a lot.  As you can imagine, it was great to be back in the city that feels like my second home.  This wasn’t my last return for sure! (For those of you who are new to the blog, I lived in Lisbon for 5 months thanks to the erasmus program.  You can find my blogposts on my amazing time in Portugal here.)

Follow me on bloglovinfacebookpinterest, flickr and tumblr.

M

IMG_9093

Some of you might know that during the past academic year, I was chosen to represent my faculty (engineering sciences at the university of Leuven) as an artist in residence.  Together with the other ‘faculty stars’ (each in their own discipline), I got to attend workshops and had the chance to display some of my photos in the halls of the university. However, the cherry on the cake is our current exhibition: me and the four other photographers have our work up on the walls of museum M!   I’d love to hear what you think, so if you’re in the neighborhood, stop by to take a look at our photos in the entrance hall (that means it’s for free, so no excuses!) and check out the museum too, the rest of the collection ain’t that bad either.  (Our photos will be displayed until August 11, so you’ve got a week and a half!)

Now that I have your attention:  I’m also looking for an affordable room in a fun house in Antwerp as I’m leaving Leuven behind in September (or even at the end of August if I find something sooner).  If you’ve got some tips, shoot me an email!

Here’s a bonus photo of me looking very proud in front of my photos:

IMG_9094

Follow me on bloglovinfacebookpinterest, flickr and tumblr.

ART APPRECIATORS

art appreciators via au pays des merveilles

Ever since I came across this post by Miss Moss, I’ve been wanting to do a similar post devoted to art appreciators, but with my own photos.  These past few years I’ve done quite a few city trips, and there’s always at least one museum visit involved.  There photos have been taken in museums all over Europe: Belgium, Denmark, Lisbon, Germany and Austria.  You’ve seen most of these before, but I loved going through all my old travel photos and selecting these, brings back great memories and makes me anxious to visit some new museums!

art appreciators via au pays des merveilles

art appreciators via au pays des merveilles

art appreciators via au pays des merveilles

art appreciators via au pays des merveilles

art appreciators via au pays des merveilles

art appreciators via au pays des merveilles

art appreciators via au pays des merveilles

art appreciators via au pays des merveilles

art appreciators via au pays des merveilles

art appreciators via au pays des merveilles

art appreciators via au pays des merveilles

art appreciators via au pays des merveilles

art appreciators via au pays des merveilles

art appreciators via au pays des merveilles

art appreciators via au pays des merveilles

art appreciators via au pays des merveilles

all photos by me

Follow me on bloglovinfacebookpinterest, flickr and tumblr.

WATERSCAPES

au pays des merveilles

Most of these photos, you have already seen in different blogposts, but I wanted to gather all of them together and share them in one post.  While in Portugal, I became fascinated with the river and the ocean and how the water always looks so different in every photo, how much strength the waves could have, beating down on you while you are trying to keep standing up in the  breakers, the water pulling on pushing on your legs and the sand swallowing your feet a little bit more with every passing wave.  Living so close to the ocean and always having a view at the river Tejo around the corner, really changed how the city felt.  I miss having such openness and immensity so close.

au pays des merveilles

au pays des merveilles

au pays des merveilles

au pays des merveilles

au pays des merveilles

au pays des merveilles

au pays des merveilles

au pays des merveilles

all photos by me

Follow me on bloglovinfacebookpinterest, flickr and tumblr.

LIFE BACK IN BELGIUM

au pays des merveilles

Unfortunately, it’s that time of the year again: the exams are coming up, so us students are locked up behind our books and not allowed to think about anything else, like… let’s say blogging.  Which means it’s probably going to be (even more) quiet here in the next few weeks, especially since these are the last photos I saved up to share with you.  Today I’m sharing a little bit of randomness: my favourite boots on the grass during that first day of spring back in march, some impressions of Antwerp during a school trip (luckily on one of those other rare spring days), the view on Leuven from the top of this year‘s Existenz location and Portico Quartet in the AB, one of the few concerts I’ve done since I got back (I’m saving up to go back to Lisbon!) but definitely one worth remembering.  There were very few tickets sold, resulting in a very intimate concert in the AB club covered in twinkling lights and a little talk with the super friendly band afterwards.  I’m ending this with ‘Ruins’ by Portico Quartet, because even though I loved how intimate the concert was, they deserve a much bigger audience!

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jQH0GPL33uc&h=37]

antwerp via au pays des merveilles

leuven via au pays des merveilles

portico quartet via au pays des merveilles

portico quartet via au pays des merveilles

portico quartet via au pays des merveilles

all photos by me

Follow me on bloglovinfacebookpinterest, flickr and tumblr.

EXISTENZ MAXIMUM 2013

existenz maximum via au pays des merveilles

If you’ve been following my blog for a while, you know my love for Existenz, the organization of first master students of architecture in Leuven, who make it their goal for the year to turn an abandoned building into a playground for everyone who loves art and architecture (and an occasional drink and dance), and this for only one week.  As every year, this year’s edition was a blast.  The location, the old bottling plant of Stella Artois, was breath-takingly beautiful (that light!) and I think the photos show it well, which explains the photo overload after the jump. (In case you can’t tell: I got myself a new camera (canon eos 650d) and I’m thrilled with its results!) 

Read More

IMPRESSIONS OF HOME

via au pays des merveillescover of a magazine to celebrate the anniversaries of the Sint-Lukas schools of fine art, flyer for Doclisboa (documentary film festival in Lisbon) and a flyer for an exhibition by Kristof Luyckx and Tim Enthoven at the Alley gallery in Hasselt

After spending 5 months in Lisbon, I came back to the same room in Leuven.  Almost every wall in this room used to be covered with photo frames, postcards, posters and everything else that reminded me of beautiful memories.  Since I’m only living here for a few more months, I didn’t feel like spending hours putting everything back up (and taking all of it back down afterwards…), but the empty version of what had been my home for the past years, only reminded me of how much I missed Lisbon.  So I moved some furniture around and put up some different stuff, making it feel like I was living in a new place.  And it worked!

via au pays des merveilles

scratch world map I got for my birthday from friends (available at Urban Outfitters)  and a deer head from Tiger bought in Lisbon
photos of the ocean and the Tejo above my bed (I promise I will do a post about those later!)

via au pays des merveillespineapple postcard for the exhibition New York is an Island by Lucas Knipscher

via au pays des merveillesorigami bird I got from a guitar playing stranger I met at miradouro da Santa Catarina in Lisbon (a viewpoint seen before here and here)

via au pays des merveillesthrifted saucer, pretty rock from Morocco found by a friend, cd’s from bonobo, portico quartet, james blake, balthazar and the black keys (all new since I got back, oops, but I recommend all of them), graphic novel ‘Binnenskamers’ by Tim Enthoven (birthday gift from my sister), ‘It’s not how good you are, it’s how good you want to be‘ by Paul Arden (recommended!)

via au pays des merveillesDIY lamp, reminding me of our amazing Existenz week

photos by me

Follow me on bloglovinfacebookpinterest, flickr and tumblr.

ITHAKA

ithaka via au pays des merveilles

Last year I was very impressed by Ithaka (a yearly exhibition of visual arts organized by students), so this year I had to check it out again.  Unfortunately I was a little bit disappointed, (maybe because of the location that wasn’t nearly as impressive as the one from last year?) but these balloons filled with colored pigment by Laurens Mariën kind of made up for it.

ithaka via au pays des merveilles

ithaka via au pays des merveillesphotos by me

Follow me on bloglovinfacebookpinterest, flickr and tumblr.

SAUDADE

igreja do carmo, lisbon via au pays des merveillesSadly, these are the last photos of Lisbon I have left to share with you… The only post, reminding of my 5 month Erasmus in this wonderful city, that I have yet to prepare for you, is an overview of all the amazing places I have discovered there.  The emails I’ve been getting from you, tell me that this would be very helpful!  (Although I’m still happy to share my thoughts and tips via email with you, so don’t be shy.)  Anyway, these photos are from the time the lovely people from Existenz (I used to be one of them, 2 years ago) spent in Lisbon, while travelling through Portugal.  I sacrificed one precious day of my last 2 weeks in this city to show them around (with the help of a friend who has some tour guide experience) and take them to my favorite places in the city.  Here you see glimpses of Igreja do Carmo (or at least it’s floor), Alfama and the breathtaking view from Miradouro da Senhora do Monte.

Read More

FRAGMENTS_ costa da caparica

costa da caparica via au pays des merveilles

My friend’s last day in Portugal (sadly he had to go back to Belgium too, but I was smart enough to book my flight one week later) was spent doing what he loved the most: surfing at costa da caparica.  It was the first time I went to this surfer’s beach (quite the trip as well with all the public transport problems we had) and it was really calm that day.  Not the best day for surfing (which I can’t, unless you give me a board with a sail and some wind), but the view was beau-ti-ful.  I still can’t get over how beautiful and fascinating the ocean is, and I wish I’d live closer to the sea here in Belgium.  (Although it probably takes as long to get from Lisbon to the ocean as from my side of Belgium to the coast due to the slow trains in Lisbon, but it felt different, it felt like you were constantly aware of how close it was.)

Read More

THE OTHER SIDE

the other side of the rio Tejo via au pays des merveilles

Twice I ventured to the other side of the rio Tejo, this time for a friends’ goodbye party.  Naturally this went together with a picnic in one of the old ruins, accompanied by lots of live music (both on real and improvised instruments found along the road), cheap wine, a gorgeous view on Lisbon and a breathtaking sunset over the Tejo.  How I miss my beautiful city and my beautiful friends.

Read More

PORTO

porto via au pays des merveilles

Our road trip ended in Porto.  I visited this city before, but this time the weather was a bit of a letdown, despite having had the most amazing weather during the rest of the trip.  But no harm done, we managed to get inside casa da musica (which wasn’t possible the first time I was there) and visited the museum and park of Serralves.  And of course the next morning, when we had to go home to return the car, the weather was wonderful again!

porto via au pays des merveilles

porto via au pays des merveilles

porto via au pays des merveilles

porto via au pays des merveilles

roadtrip via au pays des merveilles

porto via au pays des merveillesall photos by me

Follow me on bloglovinfacebookpinterest, flickr and tumblr.

COIMBRA

coimbra via au pays des merveilles

After visiting Peniche and Fatima, our road trip took us to the beautiful city of Coimbra, where we were joined by another friend, completing our travel company.  We were offered a place to stay and a tour around the city by a friend who I knew from his erasmus in Belgium.  He showed us their stunning faculty of architecture (located in an old hospital), casa da escrita (a writer’s retreat where I wouldn’t mind spending my days studying, the design by Joao Mendes Ribeiro is definitely worth checking out) and the beautiful little streets and views that Coimbra has to offer.  It wasn’t my first visit (the first time I went to Porto, I also made a stop here to meet up with my friends) and I don’t think it will be my last!  This town holds one of the oldest universities in Europe and with all the students wearing their typical black capes, it easily feels like you are on the set of a Harry Potter movie.  If that is not a reason to visit, I don’t know what is!

coimbra via au pays des merveilles

coimbra via au pays des merveilles

coimbra via au pays des merveilles

coimbra via au pays des merveilles

coimbra via au pays des merveilles

coimbra via au pays des merveilles

coimbra via au pays des merveilles

coimbra via au pays des merveilles

coimbra via au pays des merveilles

coimbra via au pays des merveilles

coimbra via au pays des merveilles

coimbra via au pays des merveilles

coimbra via au pays des merveilles

coimbra via au pays des merveilles
all photos by me

Follow me on bloglovinfacebookpinterest, flickr and tumblr.

FATIMA

au pays des merveilles

After having a picnic on the beach in Peniche, our road trip contined to Fátima, a pilgrimage town where people come to ask for health.  Next to burning the traditional candles, you can buy all kinds of body parts in wax (hands, hearts, breasts, lungs, you name it) and let them melt in the bonfire next to the candles.  We only stopped here for a short time, to take a look at the church and the shops with religious souvenirs, and then we continued our trip.  Next up: Coimbra!

au pays des merveilles

au pays des merveilles

au pays des merveilles

all photos by me

Follow me on bloglovinfacebookpinterest, flickr and tumblr.

PENICHE

au pays des merveilles

As I’ve told you before, during my last weeks in Portugal, I made a short road trip to Porto with a few friends.  The first stop we made was Peniche, a small town known for its beaches and surfers.  No surfing for us though, we were just here to have lunch, which was more complicated than expected thanks to me being a vegetarian. (Not so common in Portugal, unfortunately.) Despite the helpful portuguese lady, we didn’t find a place to eat, but it all turned out for the best!  we ended up having a picnic on the beach, accompanied by a smart dog who waited patiently for us to finish our lunch and toss him our leftovers.  A little bit later, we were back on the road and off to Fatima.  Stay tuned for the rest of the trip!

au pays des merveilles

au pays des merveilles

au pays des merveilles

au pays des merveilles

au pays des merveilles

all photos by me

Follow me on bloglovinfacebookpinterest, flickr and tumblr.

STREET ART IN LISBON

au pays des merveilles

I have already dedicated two posts (here and here) to street art in Lisbon, and here is yet another one.  Lisbon is just filled with it!  In the next photos you see the famous graffiti on avenida almirante reis, by  Lucy MclauchlanSAM3, and BLU,  work by  Alexandre Farto (aka Vhils) (also featured in this post), urban knitting and one of the many noses (take a good look at the photo!) that were at one moment everywhere in Lisbon.

Read More

OLA LISBOA

au pays des merveilles

Here’s a little collection of random photos I’ve taken during my stay in Lisbon: in here you see some photos I took in Alfama and Mouraria, when I joined a friend who is a tour guide on one of his walking tours, there’s also some photos of the view from the miradouro da santa catarina, one of my favorite places in the city, and from when I was on my way to LX factory with some friends and we stopped at the miradouro next to the national museum of ancient art, where you often find old people playing cards and from where you have a view at the port.  You’ll see photos of my own discoveries in Lisbon, when I was wandering the streets while looking for an apartment.  On one photo you see my friend taking a rest from feira da ladra, and on another my friends buying ginginja from a lady who makes it herself and sells it from her living room window.   There’s also a photo of my friends getting pastries at the illegal bakery (that’s right! If you know where to go, you can find delicious pastries at 4 in the morning!) and a photo of the nightly view you have from the roof (a perfect spot to chill out at night) of the oasis backpacker’s hostel, my second home here in Lisbon.  (I feel like I need to dedicate a post to that place, if anyone is looking for a hostel in Lisbon, that’s definitely where you should go.)

As you can imagine, there’s a lot of photos after the break, but if you’re interested, here you can find all my posts about Lisbon.

Read More

STREET ART IN LISBON

au pays des merveilles

When I visited Lisbon last year, I dedicated a post to all the wonderful street art I came across, and this year I’m doing the same.  I’ve gathered quite a lot of photos over the past few months, so take a look after the break!

Read More

SAUDADE

au pays des merveilles

I’m spending this week at home with my parents and sister, to celebrate christmas with my family, catch up with my friends and do some studying (unfortunately).  Being away from Lisbon, even if only for a few days, I already miss it!  That’s going to be though when I have to get home in february to finish my semester in Belgium…  Anyway, like I already told you many times, I still have tons of photos to show you of my favorite city.  I thought I’d start with these analog photos, taken with an old nikon reflex camera that my grandparents gave me before I left.  This black and white film was actually still in there from when they used it!  You’ve already seen some of the photos I took with it in my post about the manifestations, but here’s the rest of them.  The quality is not that good since I didn’t have a scanner in Lisbon (I took photos of the photos – inception!), but I still like them very much.

au pays des merveilles

au pays des merveilles

au pays des merveilles

au pays des merveilles

au pays des merveilles

au pays des merveilles

au pays des merveilles

au pays des merveilles

all photos by me

Follow me on bloglovinfacebookpinterest, flickr and tumblr.

GREVE GERAL

I’m not sure how much the ‘greve geral’ in Portugal, Spain, Greece and Italy has been in the news in other countries, but here it was difficult to avoid last wednesday, especially since I live around the corner of the parliament.  I went there in the afternoon to take a look at what was going on and take some photos but after an hour of what I felt was a ‘decent’ demonstration, I went home.  Apparently that’s when the crowd started throwing rocks at the police, which in the end led to the police attacking the crowd.  Fast forward to a few hours later: I was working in my apartment, when all of a sudden I hear – besides the normal shouting and whistling that usually accompanies these demonstrations – strange noises.  I step outside on my balcony, and see people pushing over the glass bank on the corner of my street and setting fire to the trash.  At one point I was surrounded by three fires, at every exit of my street around my house, and people were trying to set fire to the trash in front of my door as well.  At that point, I have to admit, I got a little bit scared.  Luckily, only moments later the police showed up and all the hotheads ran away while the fire department extinguished the fire.  I gathered some courage and went for a walk with some friends to see the damage done.

That was one interesting day, I can tell you!  Anyway, click continue reading if you want to see more photos – and I promise, there’s A LOT of photos!  (By the way: there’s three analog photos included in this post, they are from a few weeks ago, during another demonstration, but I thought they fitted the general atmosphere in this post, so I included them anyway.)

Read More

PERFECT DAYS

I’m having such wonderful times here.  Enjoying outjazz on friday nights with amazing jazz bands, looking out over the river Tejo at the miradouro de Santa Catarina, close to the hostel where I stayed for almost two weeks and met so many lovely people, and close to my new home, that I’m so happy with.  Dancing to the great music at outjazz on sunday’s, meeting even more lovely people.  Life in Lisbon couldn’t be any better.

Read More

GETTING SETTLED

 

After almost two weeks, I’ve finally found the perfect room and I couldn’t be any happier.  It could use a bit more of a personal touch, but I’ve got 5 more months to work on that.  In the meantime, how do you like my view?   Now that my life here is slowly getting a bit more structure, the blog should get some more attention too.  So stay tuned!

Follow me on bloglovinfacebook, flickr and tumblr.

SEE YOU IN LISBON!

While you’re reading this, I’m on a plane to Lisbon.  Finally!  Oh, and in case the collage didn’t give it away just yet: today is also the day I turn 23!  Oh happy day.  I’ve created a more personal blog to keep everyone up to date with my portuguese adventures, if you’re interested, shoot me an email!  And I’ve scheduled a things that make me smile post later today, so don’t forget to check back!  See you soon!

Follow me on bloglovinfacebook, flickr and tumblr.

SUMMER IN THE CITY

Actually these photos were taken a long time ago, when the Belgian summer showed it’s face a little earlier than expected (and disappeared for way too long after that!)  Leuven can look so good when the sun shines!


all photos by me

Follow me on bloglovinfacebook, flickr and tumblr.

 

HAUTE CUISINE

Remember the polyester lamps shaped like trees and human figures at the existenz location?  They’re designed by haute cuisine, two designers from Leuven.  During kunstroute (an event where several visual artists in Leuven open their workplace for the public), I visited the loft where haute cuisine’s showroom and workplace is located, and of course I took a few photos.

all photos by me

Follow me on bloglovinfacebook, flickr and tumblr.

ITHAKA

Last week, I showed you the beautiful gardens of the Carthusian monastery, and today it’s time for the inside of this abandoned building and the artwork displayed at the festival.  I don’t remember the artists, but if you’re interested, you can take a look at the ithaka website.

all photos by me
Follow me on bloglovinfacebook, flickr and tumblr.

ITHAKA

Last week, I visited Ithaka, a visual arts festival in an abandonned building in Leuven, organized by students.  This year, Ithaka celebrated its 20th anniversary and occupied the old carthusian monastery.  When I arrived at the monastery, I was mind blown by the fact that such a beautiful location existed in Leuven and I wasn’t aware of it at all.  So today, I have a few photos of the gorgeous garden for you, and next week I’ll flood you with lots of photos of the inside and the displayed art.  (More information about ithaka and the monastery here.)

all photos by me
Follow me on bloglovinfacebook, flickr and tumblr.

WE ARE NEVER GOING TO BE AS YOUNG AS WE ARE TONIGHT

Yesterday I showed you how amazing the Existenz Maximum location looked this year, today I’ll give you an impression of what happened there at night…  There was a lot of dancing, making new friends (preferably with tiger socks), dressing up to do the lindy hop, cosmic leggings and surprised people gazing out the window at the construction workers who started destroying the other part of the building while we hadn’t made it to our beds yet.  What a week!

Read More

EXISTENZ MAXIMUM 2012

Remember this?  Like every year, the Existenz Maximum week took place in an abandoned building in Leuven, this time the old management buildings of Stella were the place to be.  Unlike last year, I’m no part of the Existenz team anymore, which meant I could fully enjoy all of it!  Of course I never let an opportunity pass by to take photograph or two, so here’s a first small (hmm) selection!

Read More

MOROCCO: Ouarzazate & Ait Ben Haddou

Our last but one (that’s right, only one post about Morocoo left!) led us to Ait Ben Haddou, a fortified berber city, and Ouarzazate, also known as the ‘Moroccan Hollywood’, since it is the set for films like the gladiator.  To get there, we had to take 5 hour drive by bus through the mountains (where it was freezing!), which made me so car sick (and I’m usually pretty immune), but luckily the amazing views made up for that.

all photos by me

Follow me on bloglovin, flickr and tumblr.

MOROCCO: Ourika & Imlil

On one of our trips outside Marrakech, we visited the Ourika valley and Imlil, a small village in the mountains.  This trip totally convinced me of the Morocco’s beauty.  How insane are those mountains?  On our way over there, we stopped at a traditional berber home and got the chance to take a look inside.  Imlil is a must-see by the way, we climbed all the way up to the mountains to see the water falls, and on our way up, we crossed all these small restaurants which looked so cosy and colorful.  There were so many restaurants, I’m assuming this place must be packed with tourists during the summer, but when we were there it was luckily quite calm.

all photos by me

Follow me on bloglovin, flickr and tumblr.

MOROCCO: Essaouira

When we were in Morocco, we made a little trip to Essaouira, a town by the seaside.  On our way over there, we stopped at a place where women made argan oil according to old traditions. (photo 1 and 2) They explained the process to us and we could try both the culinary oil (tastes so good with a piece of bread) and the cosmetic oil (of which I took a little bottle home, it’s supposed to work miracles for your hair and skin).  When we were in Essaouira, we enjoyed the view over the sea, ate fresh fish (including sea urchin!) and enjoyed the only beer we found on our entire trip, in a café which was nothing more then a roof and a view over the sea, and where they only served beer and coke.

all photos by me

Follow me on bloglovin, flickr and tumblr.

MOROCCO: sights of Marrakesh

In my second post about my Moroccan trip, I’m showing you photos of our more touristic outings in Marrakesh.  We saw several palaces (wish I remembered which one’s, but the names are so hard and there were so many… oops!) and the divine Jardin Majorelle (recognizable by the gorgeous blue building), once restored by Yves Saint Laurent and Pierre Bergé. That gorgeous blue color alone is enough reason for me to consider going back to Morocco!

all photos by me

Follow me on bloglovin, flickr and tumblr.