Istanbul is a paradise for photographers, for musicians, for idealists, for foodies – and probably for you too. I had the pleasure of spending three very full and exciting days there last week with a friend from my old uni, and as it happened, we got a great feel for what it’s like being local there, and what fears and struggles life brings about in Turkey at the moment.
For a great New Year’s Eve party, take snow, mountains, sparklers and good people. I had the loveliest and most laid-back start to 2016 in the middle of the Norwegian nowhere. We (one of my best friends and her old high-school gang, that is) cooked, walked, read, drank and talked in a little hut near Bergen. Back in Berlin, that little bubble of countryside idyll of course burst pretty quickly – but that’s life. I was on the phone to my friend yesterday, ranting on about the burst of several bubbles, when she told me about this new habit she got into: Writing down three things she’s grateful for per day.
What’s the perfect summer day? It could be white sandy beaches, huge palm trees, turquoise waves… just like that ancient Windows desktop background image. Or maybe perfect is something you can’t plan, something a little absurd, something so unexpected and out of the ordinary that you struggle to believe it really happened the morning after. And maybe sometimes perfect is the most ordinary of all things. Anyway. Perfect is this, perfect are these guys and perfect are the waves we jumped into a few weeks ago.
Something very weird is going on right now. And my eyes are a little watery whilst writing this, but I feel like I’ve come home. Whoosh. That may be down to the fact that I’ve moved into my own flat, but most probably it’s for all the people around me who are just there in all the highs and lows, and I’m endlessly grateful (soppy post to follow!) for that. Home. So that’s a little weird. My heart starts beating when I open the lock and enter, somehow settling down (well, at least for a year or two) feels oh so radical. My passport will still always be at the ready though… and it has been over the last three months. Here’s what I got up to.
These two beautiful lovebirds are my friends Greta and Robin from London (and Germany and the Netherlands). We spent a stunning Sunday morning shooting on Primrose Hill, marveled at the washed out looking skyline, sipped coffee in Kentish Town and generally had a good laugh in between all of that. I think they got a little stressed when I kept yelling things like “C’mon, do that kiss again! No! The other one!”, “Guys! Stop! Where’s the passion?” but really there was a lot of passion. Love is one picturesque thing.
When I hit Antalya, Turkey earlier this year, I expected a lot (think sandy beach, sun, palm trees), but the vibrant street life caught me off guard completely – in the best possible way.
It’s the kinda place where people go for all-inclusive beach holidays and end up not seeing anything but the hotel bar and maybe the pool, but oh my, there’s so much more to Antalya. Like the historic centre Kaleiçi with its stunning Ottoman houses, ancient ruins and the old harbour waiting at the end of it.
Back in November I was hanging out at the Martinhal Resort in Sagres, Portugal. I had no idea the Algarve would be so stunning in winter. The sensation of taking beach walks a couple of weeks before Christmas and spotting the occasional ray of sunlight probably never wears off – at least for Europeans. Katja, her adorable baby boy Atlas and I checked it out for a story for Travelettes and oh dear, did these five days charge our empty batteries.
Berlin‘s Mauerpark amazes me. Although it has long turned into a giant tourist hub on Sundays (and the flea market there admittedly is pretty cool), the space is still among the most chilled ways to spend a Sunday afternoon in autumn. After getting a beautiful scarf that’s really more like a hippie blanket and therefore very suited for the nightmare of a winter here, we grabbed a beer or two and watched the cool kids do karaoke and play music. When it slowly dawned the whole crowd started to party and that was one of those moments where spending a weekend in your own city was better than any spa retreat.
Coming back to Europe after Beirut sent me through the worst post-trip melancholy I’ve ever had, but luckily my friends in Frankfurt called in a beautiful breakfast in a light-flooded and quiet café. Lots of salami always does the job of cheering me up (weirdo) and so does the laughter of these two lovelies. See ya soon, Lebanon!
Lesecafé // Diesterwegstraße 7 // 60594 Frankfurt // Germany