Finding my roots in Israel

Israel-camel-palmtrees
A trip eternally postponed. I recall my father repeatedly expressing his desire to go on a trip to Israel to visit his aunt since I was a small kid. And I confess, for some years, I wasn’t exactly thrilled to visit a country that appears on the press as being almost constantly on war. Also, being a teenager, you don’t listen much to your parents or you just want to do the opposite of what they tell you.

Anyway, long story short, after many years of indecision we finally packed our bags and left for 9-day trip to Israel last August, a month before my father’s aunt turned 100 years old.

For some reason I knew this wasn’t going to be an ordinary trip, but I didn’t expect I would feel the connection I felt. It’s called the Holy Land for some reason, there is a special energy at the place.

YALLA! KEEP READING!

Best Pictures of Sakura Trees in Japan

I had planned it for a long time, but always found excuses to delay it. Once I’m fully recovered and don’t have to worry about where and what to eat, I told myself. However things do not work this way, but rather the opposite.

Once you dare to do the things that truly motivate you, once you’ve bought your tickets to Tokyo for a 3 week Japan trip on your own, once you arrive there and realize how great and free you’re feeling, how easy it is to connect and meet inspiring people, how plans and opportunities arise, then it’s when you actually don’t care about recovering because there are no limitations to enjoying life as it is.

You forget any struggle and focus on how amazing your life can be and all the beautiful places you get to discover and keep in your memories… and camera.

But enough about me. If you’ve landed here, I guess it’s because you like Japan and the cherry blossom trees right? Let’s get down to business then.

The first time I saw a Cherry Blossoms in Japan was in Kurashiki near Okayama. I highly recommend visiting this historic town, and wander around the Bikan neighborhood alongside well-preserved wooden old houses. Sakura season might be the busiest period, but it’s also the most beautiful time to go.

sakura in japan kurashiki

It’s quite an unrivalled setting for wedding pictures, and so you will probably spot newly weds in traditional wedding costumes sailing along the Takahashi river. You can also say hi to the swan while admiring the sakura.

sakura in japan kurashiki

Next stop in my way up back to Tokyo was Kyoto. Until then I had seen the first cherry blossoms of the year, but was a bit afraid I had planned my trip too early and wouldn’t be able to fully admire the Sakura.

However, as I took my first steps down Kiyamachi Dori, I found myself surrounded by delicate white sleek flowers sprouting from numerous cherry trees. I understood then all the frenzy and even obsession Japanese people have towards their beloved sakura.

sakura in japan kyoto

MORE BEAUTIFUL SAKURA THIS WAY

Paris for the recurring traveler – Day 1

I’ve been to la Ville de l’Amour a few times, visited different areas, seen the main attractions as well as not so well known neighborhoods, but maybe not enough time to just live the city and make it my own.

Taking advantage of my sister’s hospitality I went back in the beginnings of November for 5 days. And it made such a difference! Maybe it was the sun that accompanied me during most of my journey, maybe it was a more open and carefree mindset or maybe it just was that – and please forgive my cheesiness-  Paris is probably the most beautiful city in the world. Period.

So, if like me, you’ve visited the capital of France more than once, let me share with you some of the routes I took wandering around the city. We’ll start with the fancy 5ème arrondissement, on the left side of the Seine.

Day 1- 5ème: Jardin des plantes, Mosquée de Paris, Rue Mouffetard, Saint-Étienne-du-Mont

Jardin des plantes  Panthéon

So this time I decided to visit the Jardin des Plantes by Gare d’Austerlitz metro station encouraged by a friend.

Continue reading!

Decalogue to overcome the pressure of the blank page

pressure of the blank page

1- No matter how hard I try, any good idea in my mind will never sound half as good once written down (and it just happened again while writing this rule)

2- Any deep reflection that I wish to capture in writing will automatically become anodyne and shallow once re-reading the text

3- There will always be someone who will know how to express in a much graceful and talented way whatever thought or feeling I have towards a work of art

4- No matter how good my English might be, the fact that it’s not my mother tongue will always determine the final result

5- Done is better than perfect: the longer it takes me to write again, the harder it will become

6- I don’t need to prove anything by writing on this blog, this is just for me. My only command is to be honest and collect beauty in all sorts of expression

7- Always remember how good it feels to reread some of my previous posts and realize I took the time and energy to accomplish them

8- This blog is like a good old friend. It doesn’t matter if we lost contact for a while, it’s a place I can always come back to

9- There has been a few moments in life when I’ve felt truly connected, let’s spread the news

10- I’m the only one who can make this happen

The Heart of la Sagrada Familia

Although I never intended this blog to be a tourist guide of Barcelona, I believe that a post about La Sagrada Familia had to happen some day or another.

I was raised and still live literally 1 minute away from the famous temple, which means dealing with hordes of tourists taking pictures at it every day. (People sometimes ask me if I’m not tired of it, but  actually it’s not that bad if you walk a few blocks away, and I get great views while walking around my neighborhood).

I’m pretty sure you’ve seen images of the most famous Gaudi construction from the outside, so let’s take a look at the heart of it:

sagrada familia entrance

If you’ve bought your tickets in advance (highly advisable), you’ll enter by the Nativity’s Façade designed by Gaudi to serve as an example of style for the rest of the temple. I find it quite peculiar, at least different from other catholic temples.

La Sagrada Familia
Once on the inside, the style is completely different. A high and spacious nave surrounded by columns. I must admit I was impressed by its beauty when I first entered the building after its renovation in 2010 (and understood the ticket price). The light shines through the stained-glass windows coloring the walls. It gives an overall feeling of peace and admiration, certainly what a religious temple aims to produce.

Now let’s see some other pictures from the interior, hope they make you wanna visit the building if you still haven’t done so!

interior of la sagrada familia

The main nave and the stained-glass windows

The altar of la Sagrada Familia

The altar

ceiling of la sagrada familia

The 45 metres tall ceiling

heart of la sagrada familia

Colored stained-glass windows

the organ of la sagrada familia

The impressive organ

What do you think? Worth paying a visit?