Photos: Munich

After visiting Austria, I headed over to Munich, Germany.  I caught a cold during this part of my trip, so I didn’t take as many photos as I had hoped. One day I wandered around the Englischer Garten dazed out of my mind and layed in the park watching people playing with their dogs until I had the energy to walk around again! :P haha. If I wasn’t staying in a 6-person room in a hostel, I probably wouldn’t have felt the urge to leave and would have slept for most of the day. I’m glad I pushed myself to explore the city while I was there. I didn’t want to miss out on any part of my trip!

The highlight of my time in Munich was when I came across this tunnel full of graffiti. I stopped in my tracks and was like OMG for a few minutes (Although that could’ve been due to the cold medication, LOL). Flying Förtress had work at both entrances to the tunnel.

Then inside the tunnel in the most prominent spot was Daim… my favourite graffiti artist of all time! Seeing his work in person the most amazing experience cause I’ve been a fan of him since I was a teenager. <3

 

Overall I have to say I wasen’t too impressed with Munich. I was sick when I was there, so I’m sure that affected my lack of enthusiasm, but it felt to me like a generic city without many interesting things to see. I did just leave beautiful Salzburg, so maybe my expectations for seeing beautiful old architecture was set too high.

Photos: Salzburg

My travels also took me to Salzburg, Austria for a couple days. Salzburg is a very small and peaceful city. The buildings are all very beautiful, and the view from Hohensalzburg Castle was outstanding! But, I felt like the youngest person there as there were so many senior groups there at the time.

Salzburg is also Mozart’s birthtown so I had to visit the museum, which is in the house he grew up in. Many things were on display like his musical instruments, his hand written symphonies and even locks of his hair! My favourite things in the museum were the love letters written to his wife:

“Adieu — my love — my only one. Do catch them in the air — those 2999 1/2 little kisses from me which are flying about, waiting for someone to snap them up.”
~ Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart to his wife Constanze 

Wow… talk about amazing! He was quite the catch! Haha.

This was the first time I’ve traveled alone. I didn’t know what to expect, but everything turned out great. I navigated Italian/Austrian bus/train connections on my own (almost missed my bus out of Venice!), and I stayed in a dorm room in a hostel to force myself out of my comfort zone by socializing with complete strangers. I thoroughly enjoyed my time discovering the city at my own pace. I would totally travel by myself again!

Photos: Venice

Venice is the most beautiful and unique city I’ve ever been to.  It feels like a medieval city mostly because of the Venetian Gothic style architecture and it’s 100% pedestrian only; boats operate like buses/taxis.  The city planning has no rhyme or reason… streets go every which way with dead ends all over the place. I got lost all the time!  The tourist merch was quite classy compared to the other cities I visited — Murano glass, theatre masks and leather gloves.  My only criticism is that the city was so filled with tourists that it felt a bit like a theme park.  I don’t know if I saw any true Venetians in their daily life (not that I’d know what they’d look like anyways, but I’d imagine super classy!).  In the evening most of the windows were black which suggested to me that people generally don’t live in the city (maybe because it’s too expensive, or because of ‘acqua alta’; the intense flooding that happens in the winter). Other than that it was incredible and I would love to go back!

While I was in Venice I visited my friend Peeta who has a studio in Mestre, which is on the mainland across from Venice.  His studio is located in old military fort that is surrounded by a moat (!).  The military is long gone and the buildings are either falling apart or used for art studios, restaurants (serving the most amazing food… the beef, OMG!) and café’s.  It was such a treat seeing Peeta’s studio where he creates his canvasses and sculptures.  The space is very industrial and smells of paint, which reminds me of my Dad’s old workplace. :)

The sculpture below is titled ‘Courage’ and is planned to be painted…

Peeta + I drove out to Bassano Del Grappa in Northern Italy to see an art exhibit.  BDG is a very old and small town located near the Alps.  It was so gorgeous and picturesque… going there felt like I was visiting the real Italy after seeing touristy Venice.  For lunch Peeta + I shared the most amazing local meat and cheese plate I’ve ever had (after scooping out the moth that flew right into the soft cheese – haha)! BTW, Italy prefers round-abouts over stop lights, so be prepared to know EXACTLY where you’re going, or you’ll be making a lot of last minute decisions!

The “Urban Hero” sculpture carved from wood was my favourite piece in the exhibit. <3

I totally recommend visiting a city or town that’s off the beaten path… it might not be in the guide book but you just might be pleasantly surprised!

Photos: Amsterdam

Amsterdam is an amazing city, very relaxed and beautiful with all the canals. Somethings I noticed was an over-abundance of shoe stores, people walk/bike everywhere (hardly any cars compared to other major cities), and I didn’t need to speak a single word of Dutch to get by. I don’t know if that’s a good thing (English-speaking tourists are then super lazy), or if it’s a bad thing (I miss out on the chance to learn a few Dutch phrases). I guess it’s a bad thing because I still don’t know how to say: hello, thank-you, please, and goodbye (but I do know ‘Geen Doorgang’ and ‘Toepassing’ from the signs in the airport, haha). If you have a chance to visit, try the Stroopwafels, the frites with curry mayo, and the smoked goat cheese. Deeeelicious!

Photos: Candid Shots From The Underground

I commute to work everyday on London’s Underground, (which I’ve learned is over 100 years old!). There are so many interesting people on the tube so I started taking photos of them. Okay, I feel like a total creeper taking candid pics of people, BUT I find them to be the most interesting subject matter out there because you never know what you’re going to get! Everyone has their own story — they’re all coming and going from different locations and share time on the tube with complete strangers for an average of (I would guess) 1.5hrs a day. On average there are over 75,000 commuters a day, and its amazingly clean considering there are NO garbage bins anywhere on London Underground property! I generally tend to avoid taking pics of people because I feel awkward putting them on the spot (I guess I imagine myself being photographed + feel nervous). But taking candid pics with the iPhone is so easy as it’s not obvious at all, so everyone remains in natural poses. One thing I’ve found very interesting is that people tend to build up a bubble around themselves to stay within their own personal space. They do so by playing games on their phone, listening to music, reading the newspaper, or reading someone else’s newspaper. I like when friends sit together as they create a ‘bubble’ together. Everyday I look forward to new photo ops on my way to + from work. :)

Photos: Flat Track Roller Derby

A few pics from the Terminal City Rollergirls All Stars VS Jet City Rollergirls Party Mix bout on December 17th, 2010. The final score was TCRG 136 – JCRG 69. Watch a video of the bout here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1eu2yQopucc

Trixi Trippin Chix gets through the pack.

Barra Couga blocks a player from JCRG.

Risquee Bisnatch was an unstoppable Jammer in this bout.

Amazombie is knocked over but quickly gets back up again.

Pics from the Co-Ed Open Scrimmage (Black vs White) bout on December 21st, 2010. Players were from TCRG, Vancouver Murder, Mainland Misfits, Fresh Meat + more!

Widow Maker, Last Rites, Noah Backtalk, Rye n’ Coke and Rusty Bearings, were just some of the Vancouver Murder players in this game.

Andi Struction tears up the track as Lead Jammer.