Hamburg photo diary - Altstadt & Neustadt

Being home is good but now and then there's just a need to leave again for a little while. Right in between projects I made this trip to Hamburg. A little escape that gave me a lot of new energy!

I've been wanting to visit Hamburg for quite a while now. I heard stories that it is a smaller version of Berlin, and since Berlin was love at first sight, I really had to check it out. I have the impression it's not a super popular city trip destination (my friends said: WHY on earth would you go to Hamburg?!) but if you didn't know: it's Germany's second biggest city and it's supposed to be the home of the hamburger right?! Reasons enough to go I'd say! And for your interest, it was a great trip! Wouldn't be sharing it otherwise :-)

The first set of pictures were taken in the city center. Next to an awful lot of shops (a real shopping paradise it is) the center is filled with beautiful old buildings, a lot of water ways that come with a lot of bridges and a big amount of cute little cafes. A small squatter neighborhood, called Gängeviertel, caught my eye immediately. In this neighborhood, lots of artists live and work. It's a little creative spot in the chique and luxurious city center of Hamburg. It was a little bit love at first sight as well!


Guide to Sydney - Keeping FIT !

I was writing about running last week and immediately realized how nice it was to go out running in Australia. 

After months of traveling I was carrying on a couple of kilos more and I am not talking about my luggage. I just love trying new food... I moved to Bondi Beach and had the impression everyone was doing sports except for me. Young mothers were doing yoga and exercises in the park, the water was full of surfers and swimmers, in the training area muscly people were training like crazy, everyone was walking on the esplanade and it looked like every single person in Sydney was running next to the beach. Time for some action.

There's no better place to start working out than Sydney! It's full of beaches and parks and the weather is great, even in winter (I'm european, everything above 15 degrees feels like summer to me). Here are my favorite places to have a little work out. 

01 Bondi Beach

Barefoot running on the beach. Best feeling ever! One lap is about 1k so it's easy to count. A little dive in the ocean afterwards to cool down and the workout is complete!

02 Royal Botanical gardens

Running in a beautiful park with views on the Opera House. Great sets of stairs at the Opera House itself for the harder work and a breezy wind from the water to cool you down. The only challenge is to run around the groups of tourists but you get used to it!

03 Walkway Bondi to Coogee

This is probably the best of all. Not the easiest: it's super hilly with a lot of stairs going up going down, and if you have a bad timing it's super busy. BUT it is the most rewarding, definitely the prettiest and nothing's wrong with a little challenge now and then. There's so many great panoramic views over the ocean and I even saw dolphins and whales while running! There's water taps on the way which can help you out in the aussie heat! I usually ran in between 5-10k but if you run all the way to Coogee and back, it's about 14k!

04 Centennial park

A very big park, so there's a lot of options. One thing is sure, you won't be the only one running here! The fellow runners are everywhere and to me, that's just the best motivation to keep going. The park is located in between the city center and Bondi Beach. Easy access, easy running!

05 ParkRun

On various locations they organise Parkruns. Every Saturday, you can go run 5k against the clock. It's fun, it's for free and organized by volunteers. I joined them once in Wellington, New Zealand, where I ran probably the worst time ever haha :-) but at least I enjoyed it!

Find out more at www.parkrun.com.au

Time to cool a bit down. For those who are not that keen on swimming in the ocean because they're afraid of jelly fish and sharks (ehm or is that just me?) Sydney has the best swimming pools I've ever seen!

01 Bondi Icebergs

1 Notts Ave, Bondi

A swimming pool in the ocean. Best thing I ever saw really. When the waves are high, they even come into the swimming pool! Just gets a bit cold in winter, I saw people swimming in wetsuits so I guess that can be a solution!

02 Andrew (Boy) Charlton Pool

1 Mrs Macquaries Rd, Sydney

Those Aussies... Full of great ideas: another swimming pool in the water... You can never have enough, right?! Since it's more into the harbor of Sydney instead of the ocean, the surrounding water is a lot quieter so no waves in this pool.

03 Prince Alfred Park Pool

105 Chalmers St, Surry Hills

A recently build pool in the city center of Sydney which might be easier to reach for a quick swim. It's located in the middle of a park with the buildings of the CBD popping out at the horizon. Have seen worse settings to put a swimming pool!


Street Art in Belgium - the Concrete Canvas Tour

Street art is one of the things that makes a city unique. Street Art Belgium just released a small map with a tour through Ghent (Belgium) to view artworks from local and international artists. Since I love street art, I decided to check it all out myself. I didn't do the whole tour because I was walking and in total it's about 15k but did a fair bit. My absolute favorite? Roa! An artist, originally from Ghent but has been working all around the world!

I love this original approach to visit / discover a city and would highly recommend it! The walk / bicycle ride takes you to beautiful places in the city. So while you're watching all the beautiful artworks you actually get to see a different part of Ghent that is definitely worth a visit too! You can get your own copy of the map for free at the local tourist information point in Ghent!


Running in this PRETTY place!

It's been about 6 weeks since I fractured my toe. It was a sad story and it looks like it's finally over. This called for some action (finalllyyyyy - so tired of not moving haha). So today I decided to start running again! My mom recommended a new location to go for a run in the neighborhood so I went to check it out. When I came home I just couldn't help myself but to bike back to take these pictures because WOW this place is incredible! Especially with the dramatic weather. Believe it or not, all the pictures were taken today!

Sometimes it's weird that I still get impressed with places so close to home after living there for years and traveling around the world! :-) Anyways, for those that want to go there (which I highly recommend) the park is close to the city of Leuven (Belgium) and it's called Abdij van 't Park (Abbey of the Park haha :-) ).

Oh, I also bought a yoga mat today. Let's get sporty again! :-)


Wandering around Ghent...

Drinking coffee on a Friday afternoon in Ghent. Wandering around the little streets of the 'Patershol'. Enjoying the rays of sunshine coming through the clouds now and then... That pretty much sums up today! Oh, how good does it feel to be back there :-) (and how pretty is this city?!)

Have a nice weekend everyone!!