Trying to reach Omu Peak (Bucegi Mountains)

On the 1st of June this year we set on a little adventure towards what would end up to be my first proper hiking trip. The plan was to reach one of the highest peaks in Romania and the highest peak in the Bucegi Mountains – Omu Peak which is 2505 meters high. There are multiple routes to get there but my boyfriend thought we’d go via a longer but safer route through Malaiesti valley. Even via Malaiesti you have 2 routes to choose from – there’s a summer route, longer but easier if the snows have melted, and the shorter but more hardcore route via the ‘Horns’.
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Moonfleet by J. Meade Falkner

First published in 1898, ‘Moonfleet’ tells the story of 15-year-old John Trenchard, an orphan boy who sets on an adventure to discover the hidden treasure of the notorious Blackbeard. The book is set on the south coast of Dorset, in the small village of Moonfleet, in 18th century England.  We find out from the very first page where the village takes its name from as John describes

“When I was a child I thought that this place was called Moonfleet, because on a still night, whether in summer, or in winter frosts, the moon shone very brightly on the lagoon; but learned afterwards that ‘twas but short for ‘Mohune-fleet’, from the Mohunes, a great family who were once lords of all these parts ”.

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Emotional little journey to Birmingham and Stratford-upon-Avon

It’s been exactly on year since I was lucky enough to attend probably one of the coolest music festivals out there – Amplifest, which takes places in the beautiful city of Porto. I got to enjoy so many live performances in just 2 days and one of the highlights of the festival for me was definitely seeing Anna von Hausswolff’s concert. I was blown away by her last year and when she announced that she’d be playing a full pipe organ show at Supersonic festival in Birmingham this year, I just had to go. I got the tickets months before the event and I can’t tell you how excited I was about it.
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Spring break in the Bucegi Mountains

For spring break this year, my boyfriend and I decided to go on a mini road trip to visit the place where he grew up: Busteni and its surroundings.
Busteni is a beautiful small town located at the foothills of the Bucegi Mountains, in the North of Prahova County, Romania. The town is 900m above sea level and its name literally means ‘tree logs’ in Romanian.
Even if it’s small, Busteni is quite a popular place with the tourists as from here you can easily go for hikes, rock climbing, mountain biking and it’s the easiest way to reach the plateau on top of the Bucegi Mountains through the Busteni-Babele cable car.
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Kappa by Ryunosuke Akutagawa

“Kappa was born out of my disgust with many things, especially with myself” – Ryunosuke Akutagawa

In Japanese folklore, the kappa is a water sprite described as being the size of a small child, yellow-green in colour, with a sharply-pointed beak and with fish scales instead of skin. They are mischievous creatures that are said to kidnap and eat children and in some stories even rape women.
Akutagawa was very interested in mythical creatures during his life, including the kappa. He started drawing sketches of them around the time his first son was born in 1920. 7 years later, the same year he committed suicide, he wrote the novella Kappa.

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The Tower of London

I first visited London in April 2011 and I have to admit, I didn’t enjoy it too much. I had come to the UK for a concert, which I eventually missed and went straight to Oxford to stay with my friend Daria. While I was there, we only went to London once for a one day trip (which happened to coincide with the Royal Wedding of Prince William). I remember us walking from Big Ben to Tower Bridge and the castle catching my attention, but we didn’t have time to go inside then (you won’t have time for a lot of things if you’ll be in London for just one day to be honest).
I returned to London 4 years later also for a concert which I didn’t miss this time around (and it was such a mind-blowing experience seeing Godspeed You! Black Emperor perform at the Roundhouse that year). I got to spend more time there with this occasion, but we didn’t even consider visiting the castle. And even after moving here, I realized I never did consider visiting it. It was probably due to the fact that it’s such a popular place with the tourists that made me not want to go there.
Luckily, when my parents came to visit me here we went there together. And I simply loved it! I loved it so much that I had to go there again a week later when my boyfriend came to see me.Read More »

The medieval town of Rye

Cobbled streets, very old and beautiful houses, smugglers, ghost stories and a lot of history – these are some of the things that we found in the small town called Rye.

Rye is located on the south coast of England, in East Sussex, and was once almost completely surrounded by water. In time, the sea retreated and nowadays the town is located several kilometers inland, separated from the sea by a marsh. This natural phenomenon has had a huge impact on the town’s history. From a thriving fishing and trading port, Rye was suddenly left without its main source of income. Read More »

Silence by Shusaku Endo

“Behind the depressing silence of the sea, the silence of God …. the feeling that while men raise their voices in anguish God remains with folded arms, silent.” 

In the mid-1630s, in the regions of Shimabara and Amakusa of Japan, over taxation, famine and religious persecution of the local Christians led to the Shimabara Rebellion, an uprising which involved mostly Christian peasants. After the rebellion was defeated in 1638, 37 000 rebels were beheaded and Christianity was banned in Japan. The shogunate suspected the European Catholics to have been involved in this rebellion and trading with Portugal ended at that point.

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