Lately: Escape to Barcelona
Hola a tots! That’s Catalan by the way, not misspelled Castillian Spanish. I just realised I posted my most recent LATELY update exactly 2.5 months ago. Couldn’t be a better time to post another one, hehe (oops). I’ve been working a lot, but thankfully I will have a lot more time for other stuff the next few months. I did get to go on some great excursions lately, particularly a quick visit to Barcelona city!
I didn’t really tell anyone and decided (very last minute) to book a flight to Barcelona. I managed to book amazingly cheap tickets to Reus airport and then took the bus and train from Reus to Barcelona. It felt delightful to escape to Barcelona and just walk around in the sunshine and do whatever the bleep I wanted to do. I visited Park Guëll, the Sagrada Familia, Montjuïc and the Olympic Park, the Gothic Quarter, and much more. I only had two full days to see all I wanted to see, so I couldn’t really feel my feet at the end, but that’s exactly what I wanted to do.
Thankfully, I’m not all too sad about being back in the Netherlands, especially since it’s finally springtime! Summer is definitely my favourite season, but there’s nothing like spring. I always come back to life whenever winter ends. I don’t think I’ll be able to live in the the Netherlands my whole life, I need way more sunshine to function like a proper human being. Maybe I’ll just have to travel back and forth between hemispheres so I never have to go through winter again (life goal). Except when I want to go skiing or something.
Visiting Leiden & Amsterdam Rijksmuseum
A bit earlier in the year, I made a quick stop in Leiden and visited the Sieboldhuis to see their exhibition about Mount Fuji. I also attended a lecture about the current state of artificial intelligence. I’ve been really interested in bioethics and machine ethics lately. On my way back to the train station, I saw this cute little pink house and snapped an Instagram. My photo was featured on this Instagram account, where they explain the story behind the little pink house. I also went to see the “Catwalk” exhibition at the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam with my mother, sister, and my sister’s friend. I decided to try on this subtle little number, what do you think? A bit too understated, perhaps.
Breda Mural Project
Recently, I started spotting all these amazing murals around town. I spotted this one in central Breda. It’s part of a collaborative project by the Gemeente Breda (municipality) and Blind Walls Gallery. They invite international top artists to update the city with murals that tell the past, present, and future stories of Breda. This mural by Super-A, Rutger Termohlen, and Collin van der Sluijs was inspired by the disturbing history of the location. It used to be a 16th-century graveyard for plague victims. This gave the graveyard a dark reputation, so it was mainly used to bury the poor, children, soldiers, and suicide victims. The rat symbolises the spread of the plague. The dancing children refer to the song ‘Ring around the Rosie’, which tells the story of black sores on people’s bodies as a sign of the plague. The project started in 2015 and will continue to grow in the next few years. Inventive initiatives like these make me genuinely excited about Breda’s future! I’m planning to bring my DSLR camera and do a full tour of the city murals soon.
The Dutch Sahara: Loonse en Drunense Duinen
The Loonse en Drunense Duinen is the closest National Park to Breda, but I had never visited the place before. Maybe I did when I was a very young grasshopper, but that doesn’t count (I’ve changed too much). The park is known for its shifting sand dunes and is jokingly called the “Sahara of Brabant”. If you try hard enough, it can actually feel like being in the desert (on a horse with no name). Is anyone actually reading this, or are you just looking at pictures? That’s cool too. If you are reading this, please comment ‘cameltoe’ below. Anyway, the park was on my to-do list for ages, yet I always found somewhere else to go. On a crisp and sunny winter’s day, I finally undertook the harrowing 45 km journey to the other side of the vast province of Noord-Brabant.
This feels like such a long time ago! Already weeks ago, I was out exploring Zeeland with my parents and sister. I’ve basically only ever visited this province when my sister still studied in Middelburg. I’m not going to lie about it, Zeeland isn’t exactly my favourite region on the planet. Nevertheless, I felt like we stumbled across a hidden gem when we stopped at Zoutelande Beach. There were honestly some of the most beautiful dunes I’ve ever seen. My apologies to Zeeland, you’re not all bad! I’m definitely going to go back sometime during summer.
That’s it for now. I hope you enjoyed reading about my exhilarating lifestyle. This was quite a lengthy one! I’ll post another LATELY as soon as anything interesting happens. I promise it won’t take me 2.5 months this time.