Monday, 30 September 2013

Brighton Rocks!

Jamie and I took a day-trip to Brighton to get away from the city for a day. Although Jamie was extremely hungover and it cost about double the amount we thought it would to get there by train we had such an amazing day. Brighton is so beautiful even at this time of year! It was relatively warm at the seaside and there's lots to do. We spent most of our day around The North Laine area, dipping in and out of vintage and relic shops and other cute independent stores including Bert's Homestore (where I wanted to buy everything)! The North Laine area has an abundance of art shops and galleries and the grid of skinny lanes that make up the area is heavy in commissioned graffiti. It's really pretty. 
Jamie took pretty much all of the pictures because I was too lazy to take my camera out of my bag.

Art Gallery
Quaint streets 
Gypsy vibes
Exploring is serious. Ya get me?
Leather work
Park at the Royal Pavilion 
Jamie's new ride
We took a walk down to the stoney beach onlooking Brighton Pier and messed about at the shore for a while. Not really in the mood to get involved in the rides on the Pier we decided to soak up the warm sea breeze and enjoy the view. There was a group of people swimming and although I wanted to get a bit crazy and dive in myself, I reasoned that if I couldn't handle the water that had let itself into my boot and gave me a soggy sock, I probably shouldn't drench myself. There's always next time.
Nearly at the Seaside!

Jamie and I

Wind in my hair
... and in my eyes
I love this photo Jamie took
Dangerously close
I got water in my boot! 



September swimming
On our way back to the train station we stopped off at Bodega, a tiny spanish tapas bar on Church Street, for dinner. The food was delicious and the wine came in 125ml glasses only so I managed my alcohol pretty nicely for a change. Jamie had vowed after a morning of the worst hanging he'd done since we moved to London that he was off the drink. That didn't last for long.

Ensalada de Queso de Cabra
Patatas bravas and Ensalada
Tortilla de Patatas
Afterwards we dragged our tired asses to the train station to sleep all the way back to London Victoria, crawled to Barons Court and into our cosy attic. The shade of lipstick I wore that day was called 'Perfect Day' and it couldn't have been more apt!

Sunday, 22 September 2013

Dolphin Watching in Muscat, Oman

I had the absolute pleasure of winning a trip to Oman with my friend Rachel. Rachel spent a year at the same school as myself and even though I was the person to show her about the school on the first day, we've never had a chance to get to know each other until our recent trips together. I love how life works in such awesomely mysterious ways sometimes. We loved our manager on this trip too so the three of us had a lovely boat trip spotting dolphins after an evening of poolside drinks. 

The beautiful rocky coast.
We really wanted to go on this more authentic boat but hey...
...we were happy to be at sea!
Our favourite Italian boss.
It didn't take long for the Dolphins to come out to play!
The dolphins surrounded us the whole time!
We're on a boat!

Wednesday, 18 September 2013

South Korean Shenanigans

After two trips to South Korea, I have lots of photos and stories from days spent exploring Incheon and Seoul (and many a Korean Karaoke joint). I've summarised some of my experiences in pictures because otherwise this was one long post! I still have a wealth of exploring to do in both Seoul and Incheon and I hope I get back there very soon - especially to go shopping.

My Digs.

In Incheon, an area made entirely from reclaimed land, the Koreans had created their own Central Park (modelled on the famous Central Park, NY)

The Central Park view from my room in Incheon. 

The Incheon aesthetic is so vast. Growing by the minute, people can't move in fast enough to mirror it's square-metre growth it seems. 

The Tube.

There is no doubt that the tube is more high tech than anything on offer in Europe. Tube stations have touch-screen kiosks where you can search for tourist attractions around different tube stops and even watch movie trailers while you wait. Awesome! I'm thinking about sending a letter to Boris to campaign for some London tube upgrades that actually enhance the user experience!
This couple look like they stepped out of a vignette in 'Paris Je T'aime'
Kool Kiosks
A crouching lady selling fans. A girl can never have too many oriental fans.
Squatters paradise.
The little train at the bottom of the screen indicates the tubes arrival. When it reaches the station a fanfare plays throughout the station, giving everyone waiting a rushing sense of accomplishment. Seriously!

Gyeongbokgung Palace.

Feeling oriental!
Impeccable palace detail.

Ladies in Korea have sunbrellas!
Palace guards.

The Demilitarised Zone.

I went for a tour of The Demilitarised Zone (DMZ) while on my first trip. The DMZ is the stretch of land between the North and the South border. The trip was pretty comprehensive and while we had to endure a weird film about the DMZ as a nature reserve (narrated by the most ridiculous blockbuster accent), we had the chance to visit the inactive Dorasan train station connecting the North and South and observe (through binoculars) both the Northern and Southern flags over the 4km-wide DMZ terrain. 
I learned about the Northern plan of attack on the South whereby tunnels were constructed from different northern locations and lead towards the southern capital, Seoul. It is said that by the time southern intelligence discovered the tunnels and identified them instruments in a plan of attack, the north had painted the tunnels with coal and claimed that these constructs were nothing but inactive coal mines. I'd like to know who came up with that brainwave of an excuse.
We had the pleasure of venturing down the 3rd of 6 inflitration tunnels that have since been barricaded. Amazing! If you're going to SK anytime soon, make sure you make a point of doing a tour!

The closest my camera got the to border. Binocular observation only from here, lads.
Dorasan train station hopes to one day connect the North and South.
Army friends.
An empty Dorasan train station.
The walk down the 3rd Infiltration tunnel.
The first of many barricades in the tunnel.

Other Seoul Observations.

BRB. Gone to the Casino.
The Sisters.
Sweet pizza tastes good!
Amazing traditional clothes shops.
View from our table at a cute bar in Seoul.