Posts Categorized: Europe

Europe + Life + travel / Tuesday, 23 Apr 2013

Roussillon, France

I’m getting through my pictures from last year’s trip to Provence slowly but surely. A couple of weeks ago I talked about Gordes, and just 10 km away the landscape dramatically transforms into iron-rich soil and you come across Roussillon. It’s such a noticeable change in the appearance of the red cliffs and consequently, the colors of the town. Whereas Gordes feels blindingly white because of the limestone, Roussillon feels much more Mediterranean. Like a clay pot. The houses are saturated in bright, earthy colors. It’s a bit less formidable and a bit more reachable. Mom and I walked the town and discovered, like many other towns in Provence, the haphazard arrangement of the town plan, which is conducive to lots of nooks and crannies and, thus, lots of fun unexpected doors and windows. It’s a door-lover’s paradise! 

Colors of sorbet, non? 
I loved the iron-work detailing throughout the town. These metalsmiths had a good time.

 Watermelon house? Please and thank you.

 The view.

 Isn’t this a fantastic covering for a balcony? I note it here so that someone can use the idea for their own backyard.

 And we left at sunset. Sigh.

I dream about this place. Where do you dream about? 
More pictures from Provence: Gordes, our entry,  the town we stayed in Apt, walking around Apt

Architecture + Europe + Life + travel / Wednesday, 10 Apr 2013

Provence–Gordes

I’ve been lucky to see what I consider some of the most beautiful places in the world. However, rarely has a place made such an impression as Provence. I’ve been having dreams about it. It’s a place that I would love to return to again and again and again. Which means that I need to get rich and buy a villa there, bien sur. When my mom came to visit me in Copenhagen in September we took a side trip (after MUCH drama including missing our flight–my fault–and thinking we could compensate by driving–nope!) to the south of France. I’ve talked about parts of the trip herehere, and here. Gordes was one of the most beautiful towns we visited. It felt more like a museum town in that it was quite pristine and glowing as the town is built of limestone. I wouldn’t say that you need to stay here if you’re visiting unless you use your holidays to lounge, swim, and walk around. My mom and I just loved soaking in all the architecture and as she said, her favorite part was looking at all the building materials. Nerd alert! But, alas, it WAS the best part. Look at the lovely shades of shutter colors! I mean, come on! 
Some of the photos might seem a bit repetitive, but it’s because the details were so lovely. There are complicated details in the ironwork on the windows and handrails. Some I just took pictures of because I wanted to remember details for my future villa. You know.

I must also mention the kindness of the people. The French in the South of France are kind, warm, and open. That, combined with the sun was the perfect escape from cold Denmark. 

I love what this person did. The town attracts loads of tourists and I’m sure they made braids on their doors to keep peeping toms like me out of their house.

A functioning water fountain! Yes, I stopped on the side of the road to quickly get this shot.
Leading into the town of Gordes is the Lavender Museum or Le Musee de la Lavande. Provence is the lavender capital and sadly we missed it all by a month or two. BIG SAD FACE. So we had to hit the lavender museum. I’d say it’s worth it if you like factory tours and such, like Mama and me. It shows the processes of how they make it and the history. We found it quite fascinating. At the end they lead you to a boutique where you can find all sorts of lavender products including an ointment that helps alleviate aches and pains. Sign me up! 
And, of course, it wouldn’t be a trip without pictures of doors and windows. 

 Majestic, non?

 Complete with bistro lights. Sigh.

 Here are the iron-work details. See what I mean?!

 Oh, and just a laundry rack. Covered with IVY!

 Too much for me.

 Swimming anyone?

 Have you ever been to Provence? What were your favorite places? In other words, where should I buy my villa?

Europe + Life + travel / Monday, 1 Apr 2013

The Sound of Music tour

Preface: April Fool’s day is possibly my favorite holiday. But I’ve got nothin this year. FAIL! No need to read with caution.
Melinda came to visit me in Copenhagen in August (only 8 months ago. I’m way on top of life) and she asked, “where do you want to go while I’m there?” I had only one suggestion: THE SOUND OF MUSIC TOUR in Austria. Melinda knows Vienna (here’s the Vienna review) quite well and hadn’t been to Salzburg, so she, too, was all about it. Of course, we knew we had to wear outfits appropriate for the tour, but I didn’t have time to make outfits from cut-out curtains so I had to make due with a floral skirt. Melinda had found this divine yellow two-piece ensemble at FN92, a vintage shop in Copenhagen, that reads “mixed pickles” so, obviously, that was a given.
I grew up on The Sound of Music and I suspect a lot of you did too. I mean, did you imagine yourself running through fields singing “The hills are alive” or putting on puppet shows yodeling? I bet so. In other words, this was a dream come true.

Fun fact: my uncle was originally cast in the film role of Frederick, the oldest boy. Sadly, they found a boy at the lats minute who had a real British accent. Blast you authenticity! 
I had been dead set on doing the Sound of Music bus tour, but after reading the Yelp reviews, we weren’t so certain anymore. They were so across the board. We  looked into the walking tour with The Sound of Trudy, but she was all sold out for the day we were there. We decided to gamble on the bus situation and ended up on Panorama bus tour, the original. The tours are frequent and down to a science. I forget the name of our tour guide, but you can tell had had done led the tour millions of time joked after calculated joke. But I LOVED it. I ate it up. The bus takes you to the two houses that are used as the front and back facades, the gazebo of 16 going on 17, the chapel where Maria and the Captain are married, past the Red Bull headquarters (highlight!), and winding through the Alps with great views of the lake and flower-boxed houses (remember this post?). Oh, and a gladiola farm. HEAVEN (minus the Red Bull, that’s all the April Fool’s jokes you’ll get today from me).

Was it worth it, you ask? Definitely. Would I recommend it? YUP! Again, the reviews on Yelp were so mixed up that I can imagine a bad tour guide could happen, but who cares?! You’re in Salzburg with the Von Trapps? You’ll get caught up. Oh, and did I mention at the end of the tour while you’re cruising back to Salzburg, the guide puts on the soundtrack and you sing. I mean, I sang, I couldn’t really hear anyone else. But the girl from China came up afterwards and congratulated me on my voice. All I could say was, “I know it quite well”. This was only a day trip from Vienna, a lovely 3 hour train ride, and if I were to go back I might spend the night and do more Mozart stuff, because I also love him.

The End. 

Europe + Life + travel / Tuesday, 13 Nov 2012

Two days in Austria

My travel posts are SO behind. I’m still catching up from August! At least it gives me the opportunity to remember what the sun felt like so long ago. *sigh*. My dear friend Melinda* hopped over to Copenhagen to spend her birthday with us and we were so so honored. She decided we also needed to hop countries and knowing that I’ve been dreaming up Austria for a long time now, we decided what better time?! Mostly, it was for the Sound of Music tour in Salzburg, but more on that later. For now, it’s Vienna. House Trip was kind enough to sponsor our stay while we were there and we had a terrific experience with them. It’s a site where you can rent out your apartment/house while you are away. We selected an all-white apartment along a canal next to the Kunsthaus Museum. A kind lady met us there to give us our keys and show us around.
I loved the view of the courtyard and looking onto the colorful tiled building in the back. And are you looking at that herringbone flooring? So lovely! Melinda knows Vienna pretty well so she took me around to some of her favorite spots. In particular she was excited to see the Klimt murals at the Kunsthistorisches Museum because for the first time they provided stairs up to the ceiling so you could take a close look. 

Melinda took me to this wonderful confectioners, Demel (careful, music on their site!), where we loaded up on beautiful illustrated chocolate bars and of course a stop at their outside ice cream bar. Adorable right?

We passed by the Vienna Secession building. You know, I find it so odd how a bunch of artists at the turn of the century had so much money that they could build such a lovely building. Anyone know the history of it and how they could do that? That just doesn’t seem to happen these days.

When I travel to destinations that I’ve been dreaming about for ages I seem to forget that once upon a time they were not crawling with tourists. But crawling with tourists they are (see above).

Our stay in Vienna was sponsored by HouseTrip, but all content and opinions are my own. Thanks House Trip!

*Melinda’s dress is a good story. She found it here in Copenhagen at a delightful vintage dress shop, F.N.92. The pattern says “mixed pickles”. I don’t know what that means, but I love it. While she was shopping she thought she recognized Eva Mendes, but dismissed the idea because she was wearing flats and clearly Eva Mendes doesn’t wear practical sight-seeing shoes. Well, turns out she does! It WAS Eva Mendes. 

Europe + Life + Provence + travel / Monday, 29 Oct 2012

Walking around Apt

Oh, I’m not nearly done talking about our trip to Provence last month. The thing about Provence is that most everything is picturesque so you can’t help but walk around with a camera to your eye. Now, I stopped dead in my tracks when I came across this little square in the village we were staying at in Apt. I felt like I was suddenly transported into a de Chirico painting. You know what I mean?

Love doorknobs in the center of the door.
And you know, grapevines over your door. Just in case you need to make some wine really fast.

More pics from the trip here.