Sunset at the Beach

The winter months are starting to set in here in The Netherlands, and you can feel the bite of the wind in the mornings and evenings a lot more. On the plus side, the Christmas lights and decorations are being set up all over the city!

With the start of the winter season, I’ve been missing the beautiful beach a lot, especially the summer sunsets. These photos were taken just a couple of months ago, in a completely different season. Now the same beach has been transformed into a grey and freezing landscape, far too windy to visit except for the shortest walk.

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I’ve been in wonder of shells since I was a little girl and would visit the beach in Sri Lanka; that clearly still hasn’t changed! I love the beautiful shells you can always find on the quiet beaches here, no matter which season.

Have a wonderful week!

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Fireworks Explosion

It has been far too long since I last blogged, and I’ve really missed it! The last couple of months have been a real turning point in my life – I officially graduated with my Bachelor’s degree in Law, and started an amazing new job! Life has changed a lot and gotten a lot busier since two months ago, but I’m very glad to have been given a wonderful opportunity to stay in The Netherlands and continue to live here and enjoy this beautiful country.

To kickstart my return to regular blogging of my adventures here, I thought I would share a lovely throwback to mid-August, when the International Fireworks Festival was held at Scheveningen, our favourite beach in The Hague. This festival brings together various countries to compete with their best fireworks displays, and lasts for a couple of weekends every year. I was able to visit the displays of China against France, and what a beautiful, glowing, explosive experience that was on a warm summer evening!

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Have a wonderful week everyone!

Rocca Calascio

While travelling in Italy, I visited the home region of one of my closest friends – Abruzzo. In this stunning mountainous area of the country, we visited the ‘Rocca Calascio’, a fortress located on top of a mountain.

Aside from the fortress, there is a lovely little village situated just underneath, with homes, restaurants, and tiny shops housed within. The view from the top of the mountain was well worth hiking upwards for – you could see for miles and miles around the region. Though we experienced a bit of rain and cold at first, the weather soon cleared up afterwards and the sun shone while making our descent, allowing for all kinds of photos to be taken in different elemental states.

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I really loved this part of the trip – it was very atypical of what tourists normally do in Italy, which is one of the best parts of travelling around with natives of a country.

Have a wonderful week!

Streets of Roma

After successfully finishing my final year at university a few weeks ago, I finally visited one of my dream locations – Italy! I’d been wanting to visit since as long as I can remember, and the country was everything I had imagined – and so much more. I spent the last week with some wonderful ladies, and had an amazing time exploring three very different areas of the country – the mountains neighbouring a little village, the seaside town of Pescara, and – most importantly – Rome!

I was at a loss on where to even start blogging about this trip, considering the amazing locations I was lucky enough to see and the hundreds of photos taken. But I decided to start with Rome, the most beautiful capital city I have ever seen. Rome itself could take up a hundred different posts, but I thought to share some gorgeous photos of the streets and some of my favourite looks at the city, aside from the magnificent sights of the Colosseum, the Vatican, and so on.

IMG_7448IMG_7482IMG_7483IMG_7507IMG_7478IMG_7444IMG_7474IMG_7475IMG_7868IMG_7872IMG_7896Visiting this city brought me a wonderful sense of satisfaction – I still can’t quite believe I spent two wonderful days there. The streets, the skies, the warmth, and the food culminated in an experience right out of a dream. I can’t wait to go back and see it again, and explore Roma’s beautiful hidden areas which remain unseen.

Have a wonderful week!

Dusk in Amsterdam

It’s a strange feeling to be done with university, and not have to worry about assignments and exams anymore. This week, I went to Amsterdam for dinner with some friends, and even though the afternoon was very cloudy and grey, when the sun started to set, the skies cleared up and led to some beautiful dusk photos of Amsterdam’s stunning bridges and canals.

Capturing these photos while enjoying time with my friends will always represent a special time for me – at the end of my degree, it is a time of change for me, where I am graduating and saying goodbye to a lot of special people as everyone returns home or travels elsewhere in the world. It is the end of one phase, but the beginning of the next part of my life, though I’m not sure what it might bring just yet for all of us!

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In response to this week’s Photo Challenge: Delta.

Have a wonderful week!

The Japanese Garden

After more than a month, I’m back to blogging – finally! Finishing my thesis over the last month was a tough process, but it’s finally done and I’m very happy to be back to going out and exploring this beautiful country during these warm months.

During a little thesis break last month, me and some friends went to visit the beautiful ‘Japanse Tuin’ (Japanese Garden), located in the heart of Clingendael. This beautiful little paradise is only open for eight weeks every year from April to June, and again during the autumn period for a few days in October. The plants and flowers in the garden are very rare and fragile, which is why it has to be closed off to the public for the rest of the year.

The garden is stunning during the spring opening, with all the spring blooms out in full force. It was perfect for me to take some great focus shots of all sorts of beautiful flowers and winding paths inside the garden. We visited on a warm but cloudy day, which finally ended up with a full storm breaking loose right in the middle of our visit. Despite the rain, looking out at the garden from our little shelter under the small temple structure in the garden was breathtaking.

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The above picture shows the start of a slight drizzle, but the next one shows the scene about a minute later – in the middle of the heaviest rain shower in weeks!

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I visited the garden once more on its closing day, with the hope of getting some more pictures in a sunnier environment. However, despite the lovely sun shining that day, the garden had already lost most of its best blooms. It was still very beautiful and serene, especially with less people visiting, but the garden is definitely best visited during its flowering season in May.

Have a wonderful week everyone!

Visiting Rotterdam

On King’s Day last week, I paid a short visit to the nearby city of Rotterdam while the sun was shining. It had been a while since I’d visited another city, and the wanderlust impulse was calling. Since it had been raining just that morning, the clouds and sky over this big and very commercial city were quite beautiful.

Rotterdam is not usually one of my go-to spots, as it is quite lacking in the ‘nature’ department. However, it is a great city for shopping, eating, and walking around. The shopping areas of the city are far larger than in The Hague, and filled with a lot more boutique stores, in addition to the more famous fashion chains.

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A little further away from the city centre is the well-known ‘Erasmusbrug’, or Erasmus Bridge, which connects the north and south parts of the city together. A towering construction, it has quite the view over the port city of Rotterdam. These are some photos I took around this time last year, with slightly greyer skies.

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