Archive for the 'Hostels' Category

Beautiful Blues

DSC_0017

DSC_0036

DSC_0589

DSC_0579

DSC_0013

DSC_0025

DSC_0026

DSC_0031

DSC_0046

DSC_0063

DSC_0078

DSC_0090

DSC_0102

DSC_0115

DSC_0124

DSC_0126

Marrakesh to Essouaira

DSC_0394

DSC_0448

DSC_0456

DSC_0470

DSC_0472

DSC_0491

DSC_0487

DSC_0500

DSC_0516

DSC_0528

The Desert

dsc_0374

dsc_0368

After our sleepless night on the bus the surreal quality of the desert was only intensified.  We freshened up and sat drinking tea, playing more Rummy, and taking it all in.

dsc_0379

Then it was time to ride our camels into the desert.  I had a lot of trouble getting my turban on but, my Sister it turns out was quite the pro.

dsc_0387

1worldsarongs_2051_125201106

dsc_0455

That night we ate tagine and listened to the guides play drums and sing.  After the other guests went to bed we wondered out into the dunes to lay on the sand, watch the occasional night traveler (when the moon is full or close to full they go in the night to avoid the wind and heat of the day), and tell/translate jokes using our common knowledge of a little French, Spanish, and Italian mixed with English.

dsc_0419

Our tent complete with candle surrounded by rugs and sticks.

dsc_0445

Our guide Ibrahim posing proudly with one of the camels, he was explaining to us how important it is to respect and be kind to them which was nice to hear.

dsc_0437

dsc_0474

In every photo I have of this camel he looks like he’s flashing his best smile, really he’s chewing his cud but we’ll pretend.

dsc_0480

The photo just doesn’t do it justice.  I’m not a big fan of super hot climates and sandy beaches (more of a mountains and lakes kind of girl) but I was blown away by how wonderful I felt there.  It was disorienting in a really calming way.

dsc_0501

The next day we didn’t really have anything planned, and since we didn’t have a car (like most of the Spaniards there) we just tried to be comfortable with just relaxing.  We played a lot of cards, read, drank a lot of mint tea, and while my Sister napped I had a little conversation with my camera.

dsc_0514

dsc_0515

dsc_0516

dsc_0536

Scarab and camomile from a walk in the dunes.

As it turns out most of the action happens in the evening, after enjoying another wonderful dinner these men of the Nowa tribe of Sudan came to play.  After a while the staff joined in and then everyone was on their feet.  After dancing and jumping for hours Sister and I cartwheeled out to our tent, grabbed a blanket and enjoyed a gorgeous view of the stars. We might have slept out there if our star gazing hadn’t been interupted by some of the staff guys who kept asking if they could visit us in America.  When I look back on it I’m sure I’ll omit the cheesey lines and just remember the view but, if you’re going to visit don’t expect all peace and quiet- even in the desert.

dsc_0558

dsc_0581

dsc_0583

Fire pit outside our tents.

dsc_0605

Sand in my bed.

dsc_0524

Hooray desert! Thanks for the wonderful visit!

From the Future

I come to you from my hostel in Amsterdam, 5 flights and almost a month since my last post and with more things to write about than I can process right now.

So, I urge you to be patient and come back soon (week or three).  Thanks for reading!

bad411d67d4fed33b9abfa16d397ebc6579b317e_m

The whole story of my new home

I’ve found an apartment that I really love.

dsc_0168

At first I looked for studios and one bedroom apartments, they were still cheaper than any rent I’d seen anywhere decent to live in New York and lately I’ve really been craving my own place.  A kitchen that I want to sit and sip coffee in, a hallway with artwork, and a bathroom that is not relatable to a dorm bathroom in any way.

Then I realized I’m moving to a new city where I don’t speak the language and don’t know anyone and I kind of freaked out.  The appointment I had with a realtor about an apartment that required a year lease and proof of income from the last six months, it didn’t help.  Plus most of the places just came with a bed or in some cases just a mattress, and sometimes a desk. So I started looking at the rooms/sublets page of Craigslist and after a week of not so great appointments I was about to buy a plane ticket back to the states.

It was raining and I had taken the wrong train and the directions I could’ve sworn I’d put in my day planner were missing.  How did I get here? What the fuck am I doing here? Argh. I missed my friends and knowing what street signs said and overhearing conversations.

So after six appointments that ranged from really nice to quite scary looking I ended up at what would be my final meeting.  It was in Prenzlaur Berg, lots of coffee shops, cozy restaurants, and a park.  The building was 17/18 and the bamboo plant near the door leaned a bit as if it was waiting to see who was coming out.  When K answered the door I realized how funny I must look.  I was soaked with flakes of snow and my glasses were so fogged I could barely see.  He offered me a cappucino. He was much older than I’d thought and in the hallway I noticed a bunch of kids drawings proudly displayed.

dsc_0003

view of the kitchen from the window

dsc_0187

kitchen from the other side

dsc_0198

living room

K is American; he moved here about 9 years ago and has 2 kids, Lucy (pronounced Lootzy) and Leon and his girl friend N runs a company that rents rooms and apartments to students and travelers.  The kids are here with him every other week.  I would be taking the room across from the bathroom towards the front of the house, currently Ross was living there, another American who’s doing his masters here in German History. He was set to move to another place at the end of February, I would stay in K’s room until then, and K who was going to Italy in two days with N would be gone for a week anyways.

When I told my Sister and my friends, I kind of sort of didn’t mention the kids.

dsc_0200

book shelf in the living room

So I’m 24, I consider myself an independent lady, I’ve lived away from home in a number of places and situations.  When I imagined my life in Berlin, it was very chic and sophisticated, going to the great parties and dating and being in the know about all those things I’m supposed to be in the know about.  I’d throw dinner parties and have minimalist art work on my walls and start wearing heels more often.  I’ve met the realization that I’m not this person many times, and I honestly don’t even want to be that person.  I like my disheveled collection of post cards and my to do lists and big unflattering sweaters.  And even though it is a bit difficult for me to admit to myself and my independent friends: I really like the idea of living in a home that reminds me that there are things bigger than my take on the world.

dsc_0005my room (for now) the one I will be in is bigger and white.  I’ll post photos at a later date

For right now, that is seeing kids (although not being responsible for their care) and living with someone who will ask me how my day was and being reminded that not only am I not only a hot 20 something artist but that the rest of the world isn’t either.

So there you have it, my new home, feel free to send me letters and postcards!  (just email me and I’ll be happy to give you my address).

Then I went to Berlin

dsc_0433

Although a bit sleepy from the train, I was really excited and so blown away by the Berlin Hbf station that I had to document the occasion.

dsc_0429

With map and camera in hand I headed to my hostel, the Back Packer in the Mitte (or center) area of town.

dsc_04531

dsc_04601

After getting my bed (which was 20 Euro for a bed in a room of 4 beds), my locker, and a bit organized I was out on the town for a look around.

dsc_0468

dsc_04721

dsc_0475

For dinner I went to a great little Russian place called Gorki Park that I found in my guidebook, boasting great eats for cheap.  I got onion, mushroom, and spinach perogies with a yogurt scauce and a Russian beer which was pretty tasty.

dsc_0478

Then I was off for a drink at the Oscar Wilde Pub a self proclaimed hub of ex-pats and English speakers, which on a Sunday night was pretty empty, however I was able to chat a bit with the bartender and he said on Saturdays there’s a lot of Americans that now live in Berlin.

dsc_04831

After my first half of a day in Berlin I was feeling pretty confident and didn’t consult my map before heading back to the hostel so I ended up taking a long slightly round about way back.  It was actually quite a lovely stroll and I found these lit up trees.


Categories