One year after NYC

Before leaving our ‘home’ in the caribbean in may 2013, boyfriend and I decided to go to New York City and take it easy before going on a new adventure. These are just a few of many photographs. If there is one thing I have learned in the city: Oh my, it is photogenic!

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In any other place on earth, what would I have done on a cloudy afternoon? A good book and some good food. So in the city of extremes.. I took my boyfriend to one of the largest public libraries in the world and try some real New York bagels! I like to see as many famous places as possible when I am visiting somewhere new, without looking too much like a tourist. The Nikon camera doesn’t work in my favor!

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One of the most precious memories of the city I have of the Brooklyn bridge. I have always wanted to go see it, as I have seen it on the tellie so many times.. But I couldn’t have imagined the beauty of the lines and colors that make this bridge so unique.
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As you can see on the picture above, the One World Trade Center or  “Freedom Tower” as I’ve got to know it, was still in full construction. This tower and an other building, forming together the 1WTC, are build next to the September 11 Memorial.
DSC_0434It is so fun to take the subway to the city center and enjoy some good people-watching!
This view on the skyline and it’s Empire State Building is taken from the top of Rockefeller Center, seeing the sun set on the city is a have-to.

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One belongs to New York instantly, one belongs to it as much in five minutes as in five years.
-Tom Wolfe

From your blog-ster:
Thank you for reading another one of my posts. Soon CoralynxBlog will be moving to a new domain and change it’s identity. Soon this blog will be named Free Carnation.

 

 

Granny’s Great Adventure, part I

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May 9th 2014, the day my grandmother (or ‘oma’ in dutch) stept foot in an airplane for the very first time in her life. She turned eighty earlier this year and my mom decided to treat her on a once-in-a-lifetime-experience. For oma anyway.

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Oma dedicated her life raising her eight children and taking care of her husband. Life has been hard I can imagine for this incredible lady. My mother felt it was time for her to take a well-deserved vacation in the south of France. At my place!

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So I was happy to pick them up at the airport (where I took these photo’s) and show oma where I live for the first time. She had never been in any of the places I have lived, because I always live abroad. Oma had a great time discovering all the new things in her trip, like the architecture, the scenery and the culture.

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We took a “train” ride through the old city center of Montpellier. There was a dutch voice on the tape for oma so she learned about the history of the city.

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The sun disappeared behind a thick cluster of clouds that afternoon. Which was a pity because we were showing oma where my boy works, on the beach.

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Relaxing on our balcony on the end of the day :)

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On day two we took oma to a place called Saint Jean du Gard, where there is this old train station and these old trains that took us through the beautiful mountains..

oma 15 oma 14 oma 21 oma 24Oh, and there was this stand with funny straw-hats! ;) All excited I took oma to the hat stand to try on a few, it was great fun!oma 16

Stay tuned for part 2!

Mariska

Anguilla, caribbean paradise

Hey you guys! For this week’s the travel diaries I am sharing a bunch of very sun kissed photographs I took in the Caribbean, where I lived for about two years. Let’s daydream about the summer holidays!

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In october 2011 me and F moved to the French-Dutch island Saint Martin, a little piece of paradise. When my parents came to spend their holidays we took a day-trip to another tropical island only a twenty-five minutes ferry ride away: Anguilla.

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In the morning we left Saint Martin’s Anse Marcel bay to go to the ferry docks in Marigot, the island’s capital. Saint Martin is a very diverse island where you can find as many deserted beaches as traffic jams. Time to leave paradox-island for a day to come to peace in Anguilla. 

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Anguilla is a British Overseas Territory, that means that when we rented a car upon arrival we had to drive on the left side of the road, something to get used to! 

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We discovered this little secluded beach by accident, isn’t it just like in the movies? White sand, turquoise water, palm trees growing vertically over the beach, a soft ocean breeze and then there’s the smell of fried chicken and baby back ribs on the barbecue! 

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These hammocks were the cherry on top! Snoozing after lunch -and- waking up in this scenery..

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Rendez-vous bay was actually the first beach we had come across on Anguilla. It seems like an endless coastline decorated with sand and blue.

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Wouldn’t you want to live here?

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And then there was Limestone bay. Perfect for some sunbathing and having fun in the waves. 

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Like, leave a comment and stay tuned for part II !

Mariska.

 


 

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An adventurous meal

After spending a week in crowded Bangkok, boyfriend and I took a train from Hualamphong Station to stop in several cities and villages on our way to the south. This turned out to be the best decision ever. We discovered places we have never heard of, not knowing if there would be any place for us to sleep.

October 24th 2010. Prachuap Khiri Khan, Thailand.
This morning we left Hua-Hin, a beach-side town popular with those living in Bangkok for weekend getaways. Seeing the Gulf of Thailand for the first time I was a bit disappointed that it wasn’t the turquoise water I had seen on the television watching documentaries about tourism in Thailand. But Hua Hin had this tranquil feel about it. Wide sandy beaches, where we had walked at sunset, a nice ocean breeze.. Nothing to complain about.
Again we took a train heading south. Ninety kilometers (56 miles) in three hours cost us forty Baht per person ($1,20). Riding a train in Thailand is an experience itself. Every five minutes a nice lady or gentleman will walk through the railcar with drinks, snacks or hot meals. Rice and sauces, all separately stored in little plastic bags, are kept warm in coolers and served in palm leaves.

Sunset at Hua Hin beach

 

Prachuap Khiri Khan is a fishing port with magnificent curving bays and steep mountaintops. We are here in the off-season but I don’t think there are ever many tourists here. I haven’t seen any hotels or restaurants and bars for that matter. We have found one Guesthouse, a beautiful traditional Thai home with big rooms and wooden floors and a lovely hostess: Maggie.
Because there are almost no tourists here, the rooms are very cheap. We want to stay for at least a few days here to save up some money for the more expensive places. We are traveling on a very tight budget so we can stay in Asia as long as possible. That is why we don’t eat in restaurants or sleep in hotels. We stay in so called Guesthouses where locals rent out their spare rooms and we eat from food carts in the streets.

Maggie’s neighbor has a food cart in her garden with enough patio-furniture so all of her friends and family can eat there in exchange for a few Baht. She made a roof of corrugated iron and plastic, there is no menu, just the products she could find that morning at the local market. The woman has only one burner and one wok, wherein she prepares all foods.
We, and all others, seem to be welcomed as if we are family. It was hard to communicate because in this town no-one speaks English but after a few minutes of monkey-language we got her to understand our wishes for dinner: Thai chicken curry!
In Bangkok I had savored this tasty dish, spicy but just enough, and loved it. Of course in Bangkok they are used to having foreigners tasting their specialties and mellow the curry down a bit. In Prachuap, they don’t.
It took the neighbor only two minutes to make our bowls of curry with rice and serve our diet cokes. So we began the adventure that is called -Thai cuisine-. After one one bite I noticed that this wasn’t the yellow curry, or even the green version that is a bit spicier but this was the Red Curry that makes many Thai recipes “Thai Spicy”. After bite three our cokes were no longer. At bite four we asked for a pitcher of ice-water.

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Boyfriend is so spice-intolerent that he doesn’t even eat mustard, so you can imagine what a nightmare this was for him. His face turned red, his eyes all moist.. The ladies at the table next to us seemed to enjoy his discomfort. They started laughing and yelling stuff in what was to us, gibberish. We apologized to the neighbor and payed for two other plates: Omelets on white rice.

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le Pont du Gard

Pont du gard
The impressive ‘Gard Bridge’ is about 50 kilometers (30 miles) long and was build by the Romans to transport water from a fresh water spring in Uzès to the city Nîmes.

pontdugard 01pontdugard08The river you can see in the picture above is the “Gard”, it originates in Cévennes and mouths into the “Rhône” river.

pontdugard 04 pontdugard 03On the left bank of the rivers you can spot three enormous olive trees with a great history. They have been planted in the year 908 in Spain, in 1985 the three olive trees have been moved to continue their story with a view on the Pont du Gard.

pontdugard 07 pontdugard 061985 is also the year that the bridge has been added to UNESCO’s list of World Heritage Sites.

pontdugard 09Before visiting I never noticed it was on our 5€ bills all along!

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