Archive | travel

Istanbul in redscale

I have shared my love for Istanbul many times (well, twice) before. Today I found out that later this year I will be lucky enough to visit it for the second time. Although this visit is for academic reasons and no Istanbul trip will ever be as special as Elcin’s wedding, I am extremely excited to have the opportunity of visiting such a fascinating city again. These photos were taken with lomography redscale film.

Istanbul Istanbul Istanbul Istanbul Istanbul Istanbul Istanbul Istanbul Istanbul Istanbul

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“Summer” in the north

gijón, spain

gijón, spain

gijón, spain

gijón, spain

gijón, spain

gijón, spain

gijón, spain

gijón, spain

I really didn’t expect these photos to come up when I went to collect a couple of rolls earlier today. They’re from a solitary trip to Gijón for my first ever conference last year. Although it doesn’t look like it, they were taken in June, and I brought home a cold that lasted the first weeks of the summer. The north coast of Spain is definitely worth a visit if you’re into good food and pretty green landscapes.

 

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Istanbul in black and white

 

When I went to Istanbul last year to have one of the best times of my life, one of the things that shocked me the most about that wonderful city is how different each area looks. Istanbul doesn’t look like a city, but like a dozen cities thrown together. I really hope I can go back soon. istanbul black and white

istanbul black and white

istanbul black and white

istanbul black and white

istanbul black and white

 

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Autumn wonderland

waterfall and autumn leaves at monasterio de piedra

waterfall and autumn leaves at monasterio de piedra

waterfall and autumn leaves at monasterio de piedra

 

 

When you have lived somewhere for a long time you often forget that there are beautiful spots right around the corner. Monasterio de Piedra,  a beautiful natural park full of waterfalls, is a great stop if you’re driving from Madrid to Zaragoza or Barcelona. These photos were taken a year ago, but hopefully I’ll be visiting again next weekend, it’s my reward if I manage to finish a paper before then.

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Istanbul

Last year I travelled to Istanbul for my friend Elcin’s wedding, the first crew wedding. Although more than seven years have passed since we lived in Munich, I’m still close to my Erasmus friends but, living in five different countries, we don’t get to hang out as much as we’d like to (which would be all the time), and when we do it’s usually in twos or threes. During this trip to Istanbul, we kept repeating “oh my God, this is the best day of my life!” And although I suppose we would have had an amazing holiday in Hull too, the fact that that Istanbul is a totally fascinating city that feels like a million different cities in one totally helped. I can’t wait to go back.

 

Istanbul cotton candy seller

 

Istanbul sports shopfront

Interesting marketing strategy

Istanbul architecture

Istanbul architecture

Istanbul architecture

 

Istanbul street scene 

 

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Amazing Bookshops Around the World: Flow Organic Bookshop (Hong Kong)

Flow Organic Bookshop
40 Lyndhurst Terrace
Central
Hong Kong
Flow is a little gem in the heart of Hong Kong. It is a crowded used bookshop located at the top of a narrow staircase just off the Soho escalator. Used books of every shape and size literally overflow from the tiny shop. Packed in boxes and bags around the entrance, the books represent hundreds of readers who have come and gone through transient Hong Kong.
The novels are loosely organized alphabetically on towering shelves in the middle of the shop, and the non-ficiton titles line the walls according to subject. There is a small selection of DVDs and a large collection of travel guides and language books. There are too many books for the shelves to hold, so they are stacked at the ends of the aisles and in every nook and cranny. The inventory contains English titles from Jane Austen to Jodie Picoult to Jeffrey Archer.
Flow is the perfect place to look for an affordable beach read or to discover hidden treasures. It can be difficult to find a specific book amidst the jumble of titles, but it is a great place to browse on a rainy afternoon. You never know what you might discover.
Words and photos by Shannon Young
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Amazing Bookshops Around the World: Joot Books (Amsterdam)

Joot Books, Just Out Of Time (Amsterdam)
Hartenstraat 15 1016 BZ
Amsterdam
The Netherlands
Phone: +31(0)20-6881783

Joot Books (Amsterdam)
Amsterdam has a lot of nice bookshops. I was slightly overwhelmed and couldn’t stop hyperventilating and fantasising about how big this section was going to be after my trip. Joot Books was one of the most interesting bookshops I’ve come across in a long time. Located in an area known as “De 9 Straatjes” (the nine streets), famous for its small independent shops and cafés, Joot Books fits in perfectly with the spirit of its location, offering something that is definitely special and sets the shop apart from the generic bookshops that can be found all over the place.
Joot Books (Amsterdam)
Spread across three floors, the bookstore specialises in art books, both old and new, with a special focus on modernist and post-war art. As I stepped in, fooled by the small façade, I was surprised by the actual size of the shop and the comprehensive selection it hosts. As well as books, Just Out Of Time Books carry original art prints by post-war artists.
Joot Books (Amsterdam)
Those who fail to be seduced by art (or can’t carry heavy art books back home in their suitcases in fear that Ryanair will charge them a small fortune) will surely find something of interest in the basement, where Joot carry books on an ample selection of topics such as history, literary theory and philosophy, as well as a well-stocked fiction section with books both in English and Dutch.
Joot Books (Amsterdam)
I might be slightly biased because I got a discount on a Hanif Kureishi novel after I explained what the Amazing Bookshops Around the World section was about, but Joot Books fulfils all the criteria that make a bookshop amazing. You can see for yourself by checking out their catalogue on their website.
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Amazing bookshops around the world: Voltaire and Rousseau (Glasgow)

Voltaire & Rousseau

12 Otago Lane
Glasgow, Lanarkshire G12 8PB
United Kingdom
Open Mon-Sat 10am-6pm

Voltaire & Rousseau is everything that a great second-hand bookshop should be. Silent, dishevelled and rammed to the rafters with great books. It has been quietly sitting in Otago Lane for over 30 years, becoming a mecca for Glasgow’s students and intellectuals. It’s not a big place but every inch is chock full of something. What I love most about it is that there’s no real sense of hierarchy. It gives the impression that no book is too unfashionable, too old or too shabby. New books mingle with old. Hardbacks and paperbacks come together, pamphlets are fair game. If the spine is broken or the dust jacket’s ripped that’s fine, no one stands on ceremony here. It feels like more a tribute to the printed word than a business.

As you enter there’s an ante-room filled with the discards of serious book sorting efforts. You can often hit paydirt here. Wonderful vintage books that even charity shops won’t touch, Penguin paperbacks, Faber plays, Haynes car manuals, 1970s textbooks, and spectacular children’s books from the 1950s are piled high, sprinkled with general odds and ends like pamphlets, maps and even a pile of disembodied dust jackets.
Inside, the shop is a delicious muddle of books. Shelves line the walls and run in a spine up the middle. They tidied up once, for an appearance in Channel 4 comedy The Book Group but usually the books spill off the shelves in all directions. Browsing is encouraged by the sheer logistics of getting anywhere. To move at all it is necessary to shuffle along the tight alley of visible carpet. At the back on a hairpin bend, the way is obstructed by some cat food and a cat bowl. The cats are as much a part of the shop as the books and can often be seen sleeping in drawers or other cosy places.
Round the corner, a ladder has sat still for too long and had some books shoved on it, blocking the way. Progress down this aisle is particularly tricky as what’s on the shelves is obscured by the waist high pile of overspill. Occasionally the silence is disturbed by the gentle plomph of a book-related landslip. Like a game of Jenga, pick up the wrong one and the whole thing collapses. This only adds to the wonderful experience; the sense that there’s something amazing but out of reach beneath the surface.

Post originally published on Nothing to See here, an online guide to unknown gems in the UK. 
 
Watercolours by the talented Wil Freeborn, who has a flickr stream well worth visiting.
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Amazing bookshops around the world: White Cat Book Co. (Saskatoon, Canada)

White Cat Book Co. (Saskatoon, Canada)
129-B 2nd Ave N, Saskatoon, SK S7K 2A9
Twitter: @WhiteCatBooks

The bookstore looks like nothing special to the regular onlooker, but to a lover of books, it looks like a haven. To a visitor with no love for literacy, it looks like an overwhelming messy pile. To a lover of reading, it looks like an opportunity, an escape, a fantasy, and new found relationships with characters and authors. After browsing the bookshelves, I felt like I was home, and my visit ended too quick.

I loved the white ceramic cats, it was a perfect fitting for the name of the store, The White Cat Book Co. The owner didn’t mind I was snapping constant photos, and eavesdropping on a conversation between him and a woman asking for a job. He said he didn’t need the help, it was just him and a business partner. He had worked there for years, but when the owner was selling it, he offered it to him. He bought it, after selling his house. If that’s not commitment, I don’t know what is. I’ve never sold anything but a Marc Jacobs bag on ebay and it wasn’t for a bookstore.

The White Cat Book Co.
The White Cat Book Co.
The White Cat Book Co.
The White Cat Book Co.
The White Cat Book Co.
The White Cat Book Co.
The White Cat Book Co.

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Amazing bookshops around the world: The Book Exchange (Amsterdam)

The Book Exchange (Amsterdam)
Kloveniersburgwal 58,
1012 CX Amsterdam,
Netherlands
Website
Like their page on facebook

 

The Book Exchange (Amsterdam)
The Book Exchange is the only independent bookshop I found in Amsterdam with books exclusively in the English language. And my top tip when it comes to Amsterdam bookshops. Sure, you could go to Waterstones or the American Book Centre instead, but who would want to go into a chain bookstore that could perfectly be in any High Street in England or America when you can explore a charming second hand bookshop full of personality instead?
The Book Exchange has been in business in the heart of Amsterdam for over 30 years, amassing quite the collection of used books about every single genre that you can imagine. I have to say their selection of fiction is pretty impressive.
The Book Exchange (Amsterdam)
Not only is it a fun bookshop to browse through, it is also cheap (especially when compared to the big chains). If that isn’t enough to make you want to visit, I’ll give you another reason. Do you know those books you have collecting dust on your bookshelves? Yes, the ones you read years ago and have no intention of ever re-reading, the ones you bought to look cool while seen reading them in public places, and the ones you bought because someone you had a massive crush on told you to. Well, if they are in good condition (and I assume they are because, as a lover of books, you treat them the way they deserve) you can take them to The Book Exchange and sell them or, EVEN BETTER, exchange them for other books. Now, if that doesn’t have you looking at flights to Amsterdam, I don’t know what will.
Books > Drugs and hookers
The Book Exchange (Amsterdam)
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