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The island of eternal spring.

21 Nov

I finally sorted all the pictures from my vacation. And that not even a week after I came home. If you could see me now you’d know how a proud and happy face looks like. A tap on my shoulder and on we go. There are so many pictures and I always find it hard to choose. So many great memories. I tried to group them and make collages instead of posting every single photo full. My boyfriend and I had the most relaxing and still interesting holiday since we go on holiday together. The main reason for that was the warm and sunny weather. (We seem to always have bad luck with the weather when on holiday. I blame my boyfriend.) Due to the sea and the high mountain (the highest volcano is over 3.700 m high) you can always find a sunny spot on the island – even if that means that you have to drive up to 2.500 m sometimes.

coast-around-garachico-tenerife

I had such a great time on Tenerife (did I mention that already?). A friend told me after the vacation that Tenerife is called the “island of eternal spring”. I was actually really surprised how many flowers bloomed. While I was there, I called it the “island where the houseplants are still free”. I saw so many plants that I only know as potted and domestic versions. Even the poinsettia. It’s actually a real big bush (did you know that?). I was smitten with the versatile landscape overall.

Tenerife-flowers-in-November

Black and white beaches around the islands, forests on the hills and mountains in the middle and the almost desert-like plateau around the volcano Teide.

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The pine woods are famous for its misty fog which is quite mystical and gorgeous if you ask me.

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Most of the times we spent half of the day at the beach. My boyfriend went surfing while I was reading a book or wandering around. Due to strong currents and bigger waves swimming was forbidden most of the time. I like the sea from afar (or on a plate) the most anyway.

el-soccoro-beach-sunrise-tenerife

The other half of the day we explored the island, went hiking, visited little villages and not much bigger cities, went up on the volcano (after waiting for 2 hours in line to get on the cable car), ate and ate some more.

pico-del-teide-tenerife

You probably won’t believe me now that I really don’t like hiking. I sure write a lot of blogposts about it for not liking it at all. This is true. Maybe because I tend to forget how exhausting and steep a hike can be on the way up. When I start I’m always quite enthusiastic and over-excited. “Look at that flower!” “Did you see the view now that we walked for 10 m?” “Wow, a butterfly!” and then my mood goes downhill from there (downhill, get it?!). With every further step my happiness decreases until I start complaining: “Everybody who falls behind will be left behind.” “Don’t worry that’s not a steam engine following you, that’s just me.” “Behind that curve is the end of it, right?!” And the further we get down, the happier I become again. Maybe the thin air is just not for me.

Mountain-hiking-tenerife-November

The food was actually quite cheap – for European standards and so we indulged as much as we could. We had breakfast at home, ate out once a day and cooked at the house we rented via Airbnb once a day as well. From the pictures I took it looks like we mostly had desserts and coffee. Well it’s an essential part. At least for me.

Food-Tenerife

We stayed at a house in Punta Brava which is a part of Puerto De La Cruz. We walked almost every night into the city where the people gathered on the street to drink and eat and play music. We ate almost every day chestnuts. I didn’t know that Tenerife is famous for it’s roasted chestnuts. They do have a special technique though using a old beer barrel, a chimney out of a metal pipe and a clay pot. And I must say: I’ve never eaten such delicious roasted chestnuts!

chestnuts-puerto-de-la-cruz-tenerife.jpg

On the way back home we walked by the beach Playa Jardin and had the most amazing view on Punta Brava.

punta-brave-at-night-tenerife

One of the days we went to visit the capital Santa Cruz. It’s a really nice little city and definitely worth a visit. You saw me already at the museum (which we didn’t visit because the weather was too nice to stay inside) here.

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However La Laguna is even nicer. It’s actually a World Heritage site and has a long history. You can explore the city by foot and walk into most of the historic buildings for free.

La-Laguna-Tenerife

Overall I can only recommend Tenerife in November. It’s still warm and sunny and without the thousand of tourists that crowd the beaches and sights in summer.

overview-puerto-de-la-cruz-tenerife

Now. Carry on!

Signature shirt.

9 Nov

This is a project that I did at home but I didn’t take outfit pictures while at home – on purpose. When you go on holiday there’s no better time to take pictures and it’s a shame that I couldn’t take more projects with me to photograph. This also explains why I wear shorts in November. Please excuse the messy hair. You know: the sea, the wind, the freedom. I’m not really sorry. I don’t have a hairstyle on my best days.
I took this photos in front of the Art Museum in Santa Cruz, Tenerife. I didn’t visit it yet but I’m intending to do so on a rainy day. I heard that next week will be more unstable – weatherwise. Until then I enjoy the beaches and sun.

signature-shirt-SH-detail-chest

I created this project as some kind of counter-project to all those shirts that I have with logos of all kind of brands. A few years back I stopped buying shirts with just the logo on it. I’m not a walking ad for their company. Even if I like the brand. When somebody asks me where my shirt is from, I’m happy to tell it but does my shirt has to shove it in everybody’s face?! I don’t think so. That’s why I created my own signature shirt. (Pun totally intended. I’m this hilarious.)

signature-shirt-supplies

All you need is:
– a rope (in any colour you like, I like blue)
– a shirt (obviously with no logo)
– a scissor
– thread, needle
– pins
– chalk

Draft your signature on the shirt with the chalk and pin it tight with (a lot of) needles.

signature-shirt-pinned

Now sew it on. I did it by hand but if you’re more savvy with a sewing machine feel free to save yourself some time.

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As long as nobody looks on the back of the shirt mine looks like some pretty neat sewing.

signature-shirt-sewn

This is actually how I write my name when it has to go fast, like for parcels that I receive or to give my ok on documents (at work). Normally I sign like this: Sarah H. I know that I just typed it but that’s almost as my signature looks like. I do get a lot of stupid comments when somebody sees my signature but it’s actually quite hard to copy (as some of those funny people tried) and I don’t know why you should not be able to read a signature.

signature-shirt-DIY-idea

If you’re signature is longer I can imagine that it looks also great if it goes all over your chest.

signature-shirt-sewing-DIY

Remember this clutch I made. I think it’s one of my best projects so far. I carry it with me so many times. It’s been also to Amsterdam with me (if you look closely you can see it hanging on my bike in one of the pictures) and now Tenerife. It’s actually quite practical with the handles that keep it in place while you carry it folded but you can also extend it’s volume and carry it like a normal bag. If you’re looking for a clutch that’s pretty and useful. I don’t think it gets better than this one.

signature-shirt-las-artes

Now. Carry on!

Put on your hiking boots.

21 Oct

It’s my 100th blogpost. Can you believe that? Last week I celebrated the blogs birthday and today it’s the 100th blogpost. When I set up this virtual space a year ago, I thought that it would be great if I had 53 blogposts live. It’s almost double. I’m very proud of that. I think I’m in a good place now with around 2 blogposts a week and a full time job and still enough time for friends, family and my boyfriend. I really don’t take the support I get not only from you but the people around me for granted. This is very special. It takes a lot of organization but I’m glad I can do everything.

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It’s great for example that I have time to go hiking with my friends, boyfriend and my sister once in a while. As I mentioned before I don’t like hiking very much. It’s exhausting and can be boring. My boyfriend loves hiking. Therefore he looks for routes that could be interesting for me. With something to do, something special to see or with an incredible scenery. That’s how we discovered the white water trail in Mariensee in Lower Austria.

Mariensee_hiking2

The first time we went there was last year and at the end of the trail is a waterfall. There we left the trail back then and went up the hill and that is when we found ourselves in the middle of a field of chanterelles. We love this little mushrooms but didn’t have any bag with us. So we took off our shirts and collected as many as we could carry. Later down the trail we found some porcini mushrooms that just grew along the trail. We promised ourselves to come back with a big backpack the next year. And this is what we did in August.

We came home with over one kg of mushrooms. Although October is quite late to search for more, we wanted to go again with some friends and my sister this weekend. We didn’t found any eatable mushroom (that we trusted enough to take home) but the trail is quite beautiful anyway and so it was more of a hiking trip.

Mariensee_hiking

It was one of those beautiful Indian summer days that makes you fall in love with the autumn season and nature. Sometimes living in the city makes me miss the changes nature goes through over the year. Although Vienna is a very green city, it’s just not the same as if you indulge in nature all around you.

The light in the woods was so great in the afternoon.

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I was always behind everybody taking pictures. That’s why most of the pictures show them from behind. A beautiful rear can also endear. Or so.

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Now. Carry on!

I Amsterdam.

20 Aug

As you might have read on Facebook: I was in Amsterdam. Four days of bliss. I wanted to visit this city for years now. It’s always been a big dream of mine and now that I’ve been I have to say I wasn’t disappointed. (What can easily happen since I waited for years and idealizing something doesn’t make it easier.)

Amsterdam_skyline

We were also quite lucky with the weather though: we arrived on Wednesday night and it rained only Thursday morning a little and in the night from Saturday to Sunday. The weather was so polite that it stopped raining on Sunday as soon as we wanted to leave the apartment. Very considerate. Much like the dutch people. You just stand there lost and they approach you and ask if they can help. So unbelievable polite. Especially if you live in a city where it’s considered “funny” when people (especially waiters) are rude.

I bought this book a few weeks ago (you might spotted it here already). I really do want to visit more cities over weekend trips. It’s a great read and I almost did everything they suggested, unfortunately it’s a bit unhandy to take with you. I took pictures of the pages but ended up using Stay.com to navigate around the city. It’s a really fantastic app and I can only recommend it for every city trip. You can download the map of a city to use offline and it suggests you great places. You can even create your own personal guide beforehand.

What also struck me was not only the beautiful canals that I totally adore but also how green the city is. The grow flowers and plants in the most unlikely places.

Green_Amsterdam

Even if they don’t have real plants, they take fake flowers.

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And the food. Don’t get me started. So good. Luckily I was riding a bike with all the appeltaart, scones and ice-cream I ate. At one point my boyfriend asked me if I’m not going to eat anything healthy anymore. Not if I can avoid it. Just kidding. I just eat what I want.

On the first day we discovered the Centrum of Amsterdam by foot. We probably walked around 20 km and in the evening we went to NSDM at Amsterdam-Noord. You can reach this area by ferry (what’s for free!). The old industrial harbour is turned into a fun entertainment area without loosing the rustic charm. If you take the right ferry and don’t get lost you can walk there from the Eye Cinematic Museum in about 20 mins. It took us 1 1/2 hours and I already got very hangry (it was late and I’ve been walking all day). Luckily I found some blackberries along the way or I might have just died of hunger. It was really close. When we finally reached IJ Kantine they could have served me everything and I would have happily eaten it. But they didn’t they served me amazing food and with the sunset over the harbour it was a perfect ending for a great day.

IJKantine

The next day we finally rented bikes (Star bikes are the cheapest if you stay for a weekend) and rode them along the bay up north to Broek in Waterland. It’s a very picturesque little village and we have been told that this is the original Holland. This is the oldest land that has been conquered from the sea. Did you know that the canals and windmills serve the only purpose to keep the land dry and the sea away? Most of the Netherlands lie beneath sea level so they are in constant struggle to keep their land. If you stay for more than 2 days I really recommend going up north.

Broek_in_Waterland

On Saturday we started the day with visiting the Noordermarkt. It’s a great combination of food and flea market. If I only had no luggage restriction on the plane… probably better for my budget that I did. (Also the many design  and clothing stores as well as the interior design shops made it hard for me. But I was strong. So proud of myself. This was a tough one.) We ate lunch at Baut, a pop-up restaurant that will close in 2014. Go over while you still have the chance.

Baut

Also visit the Centrum at night once. It’s so romantic and magical to see the lights reflect in the Graachten and the big windows illuminated (great for interior design stalker enthusiasts like me).

Amsterdam_sunset

On Sunday we ate breakfast at Vinnie’s Deli. It’s a shame that we found this place only on our last day. Such a hipster café that I felt right at home. Really try the homemade granola when you’re there.

VinniesDeli

We only visited one museum: the Tropenmuseum. It’s really worth if you want to learn more about the areas of the world that the dutch colonized. Do calculate 3 hours though. We got already tired after 1 1/2 hours and saw only the top floor.

If ever anybody would ask me if I want to work (for them) in Amsterdam, I would say “yes” right away. That’s how much I liked the city. I’ll definitely come back. One day. Have you ever been to Amsterdam? Or do you plan to go? If you need more tips, write me an e-mail. This post only covers a minimum of what I saw and did.

Let me end with an image of the view from where we stayed. I miss it already.

Amsterdam_harbor_sunset

Now. Carry on!

Hitting the road.

11 Jun

As promised a few pictures from my vacation. I know, I know. It’s now over a week that I’ve been back but I took so many pictures! Sighting them took a while. Also because every time I go through them, I remember the day and experiences we had (yes, of course, my boyfriend was with me) and I have the urge to talk about it. “Remember this day, when I found the home of an hobbit?!”

May_vacation_hobbits

But first things first. As I already told you, we wanted to stay in Austria and venture around Nothern Italy. Unfortunately the weather forced us to leave Austria on the second day and kept us driving around from Lake Garda to Lake Como, from South of Tyrolia to Venezia. I saw so much that I have the feeling I was gone for a month instead of 2 weeks. One of the best vacations!

When friends ask about our vacation, I joke that we had holidays like retirees: Visiting cities, enjoying museums and hiking on mountains. Except my boyfriend did some mountainbiking. So maybe I’m just the senior. Well, who cares. I enjoyed myself. Very much. Also because we did not camp in a tent. We did that the years before and it’s fine for a week but after that I get the “camping blues”. That’s at least what I call it. I just tend to get grumpy and angry because I like a real bed and a clean bathroom.

So this castle would not be the perfect home for me. Although this could be the perfect reading nook.

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The view over Malcesine at Lake Garda. Because it was not the main season, there were not too many tourists. I have been told that at this castle there is a wedding every day in main season. If you haven’t noticed, the little white tent is where the groom is waiting for the bride. I watched her walking in from the tower of the castle.

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One late afternoon when we went to Lazise at Lake Garda where we went just for a walk before dinner, the light was so perfect that I had to take pictures.

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May_vacation_Lazise

I’m actually not that into hiking. I blame my parents who dragged me on every mountain that was in driving distance from their home. I hate that it is so exhausting and boring on the way up. My boyfriend loves hiking and to trick me into joining him, he always looks for ways to keep my mind busy like a wild water experience trail or searching for mushrooms or a castle is the destination. Fine with me as long as I have the feeling it’s not only a drag…

All the following pictures are taking in Austria. I really took them myself. I have to admit though that they look like as they are from tourist ads. Really cheesy.

May_vacation_Gosau May_vacation_Abtenau May_vacation_Hallstatt May_vacation_loser

Me. Hiking. This is not my happy face.

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See how happy I am that I reached the top?! Funny story: the mountain from which I took the following image with the view over Lake Garda is called Monte Baldo and because it was not wholly covered in snow during the Ice Ages, you can still find flowers that only exist here. They are extinct everywhere else.

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This is the view over Bellagio.

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The photo below is from South Tyrol. It gives a good impression what the weather was like. I took 3 bikinis with me and I ended up wearing none. Since I get bored sunbathing it was ok with me. The best days were when we were at the botanical garden where I made the Daisy wreath and another day in Bellagio at Lake Como when we discovered the town center. The weather was very unstable and it rained at least once in 24 h. But with the car we were quite flexible and we just drove where the weather was good and asked around to get a room.

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Did I already mention how beautiful it was?! I really loved Venezia. If you’ve never been to this city, you seriously have to go. It’s as incredible as everybody tells you.

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Isn’t it crazy if you think about that the whole city is built on piles?! I can’t really wrapped my head around this fact.

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This is really only a itzy bitzy teeny weeny selection. If you have time one day, maybe you should come by, drink some tea with me and see more. Just give me a heads up first, so I can prepare a cake.

Now. Carry on!

At the pottery market.

16 May

Last Thursday –  as I already told you in my last post – I visited my parents for a long weekend (Thursday was a public holiday, I love the May. Best month of the year). They live close the Swiss and German border. My boyfriend and I traveled there on Wednesday night (6 h train ride!) in order to spent already the whole Thursday at my parents house. And my dad had a plan. He likes plans but mostly keeps them to himself. He’s normally more like “Get up! We’re going somewhere!” “Where?” “You’ll see. Pack a picknick.” Those were our holidays. Daytrips with the car. And it made me very spontaneous.

I loved those day trips. We got all in the car and drove off and at night we come back. With tired feet and a lot of memories in our heads. Even now, when I get into a car, I’m all excited. I love road trips. Give me a car and a road and I’m a happy-go-lucky girl.

PotteryMarket_wall

This time my dad shared the destination: a pottery market in Dießen at the Ammersee, Germany. This is close to Munich and a 2 h drive from my parents house. We already left quite late – at 11 am and it was a sunny and warm day. We expected a lot of people to be there (the market’s quite famous) – and boy were we right! To boost our mood and strength, we had some cake and coffee at the local monastery. The cake there gets baked by the local woman. I had a huge piece of Black Forest Cake.

I just want to show you a view impressions of the market. I can tell you this beforehand: it was fantastic! I can’t recommend it enough! The potters have to apply for a spot and there are only limited spaces. I know a very talented potter who tried for years.

The talented people come from Austria, Switzerland, Germany, France, Great Britain etc. It’s a huge show of craftmanship and talent and I did not only buy stuff but left with a lot of inspiration and ideas. One day I will have my own kiln…

PotteryMarket_plants PotteryMarket_Heads PotteryMarket_fish

My boyfriend bought one of these fishes for his dad as a birthday present. You can also hang them on the wall.

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I didn’t buy this cup, but I liked it so much. I was so overwhelmed with options.PotteryMarket_Container

This is actually a clay tin. Very artistic, right? I didn’t buy this one either. Of course, I had to buy some things but those are for another blog post…

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I didn’t buy this either. I regret it. Silly me. Next year maybe?

Naturally I had to take a picture of this cute fox bowl. You know how I love foxes

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These cute cups are now in the possession of my lovely sister. Cute, right?

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And this all took place at the beautiful Ammersee. You could feast on fresh fish sandwiches and buy smoked fish from local fisherman. Idyllic, right?

PotteryMarket_Ammersee

Don’t worry, I did not forget about part 2 of my 2-post-project. I just had difficulties shooting pictures. The post will come eventually. Good things come to those who wait…

Now. Carry on!

Lago di Como.

7 Mar

If you are a fan on Facebook, you already know: I was in Italy. Work-related. The upside was that I would have never been able to stay at this beautiful villa if I’d traveled privately.

lake como villa villa_blevio

Unfortunately the weather was perfect for all those days except for Tuesday. And you know what?  I was working all weekend but on Tuesday. The sun has to make up for it! I’m still a bit cross with her.

Since it’s beginning of March the nature still slept a little. Nevertheless it was so beautiful. I could actually see the lake from my bedroom window – even when lying in bed. I miss it so much already!

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On my free day I went over to the other side of the lake – where the rich and famous live and explored Cernobbio. There wasn’t much to see. Definitely to early for touristy wandering around the city.

sign_cernobbio lake_como_cernobbio Cernobbio_architecture

I just want to share with you some pictures I took to let you see the beautiful mood and atmosphere that I encountered there. Makes me longing for my holidays…

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Now. Carry on!

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