[THAILAND] oo2.Island Lovin’

Headed for Thailand’s Koh Samui with my favourite travel pals in exactly 3 days’!! ❤
So stoked about scuba-diving, and living the island life in my friends’ resort. Also can’t wait to start partying at the local hotspots on Chaweng Beach.

Koh Samet Thailand

On our last trip to Koh Samet, another offshore party island in the Gulf of Thailand, we spent our afternoons snorkelling, swimming, speed-boating, tanning, scuba-diving, Thai-massaging, getting our asses bruised from bumpy rides on the island lorry and eating the freshest seafood the island has to offer.

Though we won’t be in time for Koh Samui’s famous full-moon parties, my local Thai friends insist that the island’s year round nightlife is insane. I’ll believe when I see it!

xoxo,
Viktoria Jean

Schloss Leopoldskron, Salzburg

Swans at Schloss Leopoldskron

A glimpse of the rococo villa from the bank across, while surrounded by a gorgeous bevy of swans. Contrary to popular belief, the Schloss Leopoldskron palace was never used as the Von Trapp villa in Robert Wise’s Sound of Music!

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Leopoldskron Palace is privately owned and not accessible to the general public, unless you’re a registered resident of the castle accommodations.

Schloss Leopoldskron River Palace
We were in Salzburg mid-September while temperature hasn’t descended to an insane low, though dark clouds and rain weren’t merciful enough to spare us.

Swans Schloss Leopoldskron
One of 3 scenes filmed here was of Julie Andrews and the children falling into the Leopoldskroner Weiher. I remember that so well now!

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Sound of Music Tour
Our larger-than-life, don’t-seem-like-she’s-been-doing-this-everyday-for-twenty-years tour guide.

Swans at Schloss Leopoldskron

Schloss Leopoldskron Swans riverside

Schloss Leopoldskron Salzburg

Schloss Leopoldskron Salzburg
Friends who were excited at meeting swans who aren’t people-shy.

Schloss Leopoldskron
Leopoldskronstraße 56-58
5020 Salzburg

xoxo,
Viktoria Jean

London Lovin’: Covent Garden

What exactly is in Jamie Oliver’s Secret Basement?
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Found this green door whilst exploring the outskirts of Covent Garden!!
When the celebrity chef bought an old bank building in Manchester, his workers uncovered old Joy Division and New Order master tapes, as well as a million dollars worth of treasures (including gold, jewelry and a gun) in the basement!!

I had a helluva good time uncovering the hidden treasures of Covent Garden on 2 separate occasions:
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The first was Jubilee Market at Covent Garden! Was sourcing out the vintage craft stores and cafès. The perimeter is also surrounded by pretty cafès and patisseries such as Patisserie Valerie and Ladureè, as well as a myriad of indie cafès.
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Within Jubilee Market, a dizzying selection of accessories, cosmetics and items of fashion were dazzlingly on sale, flea-market style.
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The second occasion involved the outskirts of Covent Garden, covering The Lyceum Theatre, Neal Street’s Dr Martens, and further out! Was on the hunt for Dr Martens’ designer store, obviously.
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Found: Charles Dickens Coffee House!
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After this shot was taken, the man in the brown shirt kinda tried all means and ways to communicate while I was hurrying away. Kudos to him, he could say ‘HELLO’ in about Mandarin, Korean, Japanese, English and Italian.

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There’s just too much to do!! No matter how many times I’m gonna return to London it’s never gonna get old. I love this district.

London Lovin’: Ladurée

London Lovin’ – Parisian sweet treats in the heart of Britain!
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In 2011, The French patisserie’s first stand alone London tea salon opened at Covent Garden
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Where? The Market Covent Garden
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Did you know…Ladurée was the first pâtisserie to color the macaroons, and sandwich them together with ganache or buttercream filling!!
How can anyone resist these pastel wheels of happiness?
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Beside macaroons, Ladurée’s extensive dessert menu offers a dizzying myriad of treats that will make you go wild.
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At Ladurée, Covent Garden, you get to bask in the sun and soak in some heat as the winter months gradual move in.
Can you believe it was 6 °C when we touched down in London yesterday morning?
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Embedded in the Covent Garden shopping district, surrounded by a tourists’ market, chain of food joints and restaurants as well as pubs and bars, it’s really convenient to pop by for a sugared quickie.

And a quick look at its interior:
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More cushy couches upstairs…
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This is why, Ladurée is the epitome of sweet treats to go with your afternoon tea.
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3 Obvious Reasons to Visit Maldives

1. Sun, Sand, Sea
As we approach winter months, basking on the beach has never been more appealing.
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2. Maldives is Instagram-Worthy
P.S. Do not judge my failed jumpshots please.
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3. Snorkeling and other water activities are practically free on most island resorts.
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Some resorts even provide the equipment and instructors to guide newbies along.

Having extremely fair skin makes me prone to sunburns.
Nothing can stop me from enjoying the outdoors on Kurumba Island, though.
I slapped on more sunblock and chugged skin vitamins.
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Fun Fact: Maldives consists of 1,192 coral islands spread over roughly 90,000 square kilometres, making this one of the world’s most dispersed countries.
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Also, inhaling salty sea breeze and getting sand stuck in your Havaianas is the best way to clear your head of a lot of things.
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Fun fact: Maldives is the smallest Asian country in both population and land area. Also the planet’s lowest country, with an average ground level of 1.5 metres (4 ft 11 in) above sea level, forecasts of inundation is a great concern.
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Waking up to nature’s beauty is enough reasons to make your way here for a golden getaway, don’t you think?
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Writing Prompt: Mint

Describe the taste of mint, without using the words blue, green, cool or fresh.
No, you can’t use “minty” either. — Sarah Selecky

You place it gently at the tip of your tongue, slowly wrapping it in a fold, delivering it into the moist cave between your lips as you clench your teeth shut. You close your eyes to savor the first burst of sharp flavor and here comes your first thought – it tastes like the sea on the cusp of summer’s noon.
Its circular body is flipped through and through, crashing against the banks of your teeth like a pebble in restless tides, chipping away each time it hits the shores. Alongside the summer heat, it glows with a force. It is a piece of invitation – come to the sea where it is cold, and I will melt the heat away.

At its peak, it throbs with torridity, fighting with a fervor to be scorchingly cold.

At the close of the day it is chipped to its core, releasing feeble spurt of tangy tremor as the setting sun retreats.
Its purpose dutifully served, it fades to nothingness.

xoxo viktoriajean

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Travel-diary: Salzach River, Salzburg Austria

Along Makartsteg, a bridge over the Salzach River:  photo DSCN3326.jpg
It is the ‘Pont Neuf’ of Salzburg’s city centre, where lovers lock down physical embodiments that signify the fidelity of their love.
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Makartsteg Bridge was named after the 19th century Historicist painter Hans Makart, born and raised in Salzburg, who became famous as a painter of the Viennese Historicism.

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Salzach River is 225 kilometres (140 mi) in length. Salzach, the name, is derived from the German word Salz, meaning “salt”. Until the 19th century, shipping of salt down Salzach was a crucial part of local economy.
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With Salzburg being a university town, the bridge was dominated by lots of students in the afternoon, chilling with their picnic lunches and beers. What a life! Makes me wanna go back to being an undergraduate all over again.

Perth – May’13

Aye aye captain,
mission accomplished over the South Atlantic Ocean.
Agent Yujin reporting,
Over and out!
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Out in the city of Perth aiming my camera at random
and snapping the most mundane shots
while sourcing out cafes in the area.
A very mind-clearing journey on foot, I have to say.
Australia has got some hidden beauty in every street.
Continue reading “Perth – May’13”

[THAILAND] oo1. ISLAND AND THE CITY (Bangkok – Ko Samet)

The minute our home-bound aircraft took off, I missed Bangkok already.
Even with my infected tummy hurting so badly from seafood poisoning,
the land of a thousand smiles can’t shake me off.
Thailand, I will be back!!

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The amount of insane things we did on this trip was kept to a minimal
We capped it at scuba-diving, really.
Continue reading “[THAILAND] oo1. ISLAND AND THE CITY (Bangkok – Ko Samet)”

151. the fault in our stars

 

“I believe the universe wants to be noticed. I think the universe is improbably biased toward the consciousness, that it rewards intelligence in part because the universe enjoys its elegance being observed. And who am I, living in the middle of history, to tell the universe that it-or my observation of it-is temporary?”

“There will come a time when all of us are dead. All of us.
There will come a time when there are no human beings remaining to remember that anyone ever existed or that our species ever did anything.
There will be no one left to remember Aristotle or Cleopatra, let alone you. Everything that we did and built and wrote and thought and discovered will be forgotten and all of this will have been for naught.
Maybe that time is coming soon and maybe it is millions of years away, but even if we survive the collapse of our sun, we will not survive forever.
There was time before organisms experienced consciousness, and there will be time after.
And if the inevitability of human oblivion worries you, I encourage you to ignore it. God knows that’s what everyone else does.”

 

“There are infinite numbers between 0 and 1.
There’s .1 and .12 and .112 and an infinite collection of others. Of course, there is a bigger infinite set of numbers between 0 and 2, or between 0 and a million. Some infinities are bigger than other infinities.
A writer we used to like taught us that. There are days, many of them, when I resent the size of my unbounded set. I want more numbers than I’m likely to get, and God, I want more numbers for Augustus Waters than he got.
But, Gus, my love, I cannot tell you how thankful I am for our little infinity. I wouldn’t trade it for the world. You gave me a forever within the numbered days, and I’m grateful.”

 

“Sometimes, you read a book and it fills you with this weird evangelical zeal, and you become convinced that the shattered world will never be put back together unless and until all living humans read the book.”

“Without pain, how could we know joy?’ This is an old argument in the field of thinking about suffering and its stupidity and lack of sophistication could be plumbed for centuries but suffice it to say that the existence of broccoli does not, in any way, affect the taste of chocolate.”

“You don’t get to choose if you get hurt in this world…but you do have some say in who hurts you. I like my choices.”

“The pleasure of remembering had been taken from me, because there was no longer anyone to remember with. It felt like losing your co-rememberer meant losing the memory itself, as if the things we’d done were less real and important than they had been hours before.”

“I’m a grenade and at some point I’m going to blow up and I would like to minimize the casualties, okay?”

“But it is the nature of stars to cross, and never was Shakespeare more wrong than when he has Cassius note, ‘The fault, dear Brutus, is not in our stars / But in ourselves.”

147. before I fall

“I’ve never really thought about it before, but it’s a miracle how many kinds of light there are in the world, how many skies: the pale brightness of spring, when it feels like the whole world’s blushing; the lush, bright boldness of a July noon; purple storm skies and a green queasiness just before lightning strikes and crazy multicolored sunsets that look like someone’s acid trip.”

 

“It amazes me how easy it is for things to change, how easy it is to start off down the same road you always take and wind up somewhere new. Just one false step, one pause, one detour, and you end up with new friends or a bad reputation or a boyfriend or a breakup. It’s never occurred to me before; I’ve never been able to see it. And it makes me feel, weirdly, like maybe all of these different possibilities exist at the same time, like each moment we live has a thousand other moments layered underneath it that look different.”

“In my dream I know I am falling. But there is no up or down, no walls or sides or ceilings, just the sensation of cold and darkness everywhere. I am so scared I could scream. But when I open my mouth, nothing happens. And I wonder if you fall forever and never touch down, is it really still falling? I think I will fall forever.”

 

“Maybe you can afford to wait. Maybe for you there’s a tomorrow. Maybe for you there’s one thousand tomorrows, or three thousand, or ten, so much time you can bathe in it, roll around it, let it slide like coins through you fingers. So much time you can waste it.
But for some of us there’s only today. And the truth is, you never really know.”

 

“I guess that’s what saying good-bye is always like–like jumping off an edge. The worst part is making the choice to do it. Once you’re in the air, there’s nothing you can do but let go.”

“The last laugh, the last cup of coffee, the last sunset, the last time you jump through a sprinkler, or eat an ice-cream cone, or stick your tongue out to catch a snowflake. You just don’t know.”

“I shiver, thinking how easy it is to be totally wrong about people-to see one tiny part of them and confuse it for the whole, to see the cause and think it’s the effect or vice versa”

– Lauren Oliver