Travelogue : 2016 in Review

Sunday, December 25, 2016



First of all, I'm ecstatic having just finished a new look for this blog. Making sure to modify things here and there was absolutely time-consuming (phew). It finally has a full-width photo page (which I really like), editorial look layout, a proper about page, and a newsletter button which you can find on the sidebar. Such a right timing to accompany my mandatory yearly travelogue post: Travelogue 2014, Travelogue 2015

2016 has been a year full of both good and bad surprises, but the biggest lessons of the year are definitely to accept things as it is and learn that we cannot control everything. It's been great with all the travels, challenges, new friends, and opportunities. I'm truly thankful and look forward to another new journey next year.

For this year's travelogue, I'm using The Moon Lists project as a reference to write down some memories during the trip in a particular place. I'll highlight each of the places with a few keywords of interest. Making it easier for me to remember things and a more pleasant way for you to read my stories.

As the author said, "I have found it interestingly difficult to remember what has happened in the near past; consider the idea a sort of checking in with how time is spent, recalled, reflected on."

Travelogue hint: Switzerland, France, the Netherlands, (my extended birthday trip to) the Czech Republic, and Sukabumi.
Enjoy this last post of the year and hope you have a wonderful time with family and loved ones!

Switzerland

nature: It's always winter on this other side of the world and also marked my first time seeing snow in real life. Due to terrible weather upon our arrival at Mt. Titlis, I threw away my imagination of recreating eternal sunshine of the spotless mind scene playing snow angle in the perfect snow world.

time alone: For some people, the idea of spending long hours inside a moving vehicle is horrible, but not for me. I had the best time watching small houses on a hill, cows, and sheep surrounded by an ever changing colors of the beautiful landscape while listening to Fleet Foxes.

encounter: I met a Korean lady wearing a bright red raincoat in the midst of sunny day asking for her photo to be taken. I thought she was alone there, then I asked her to turn around so I can take a picture of her back overlooking Mt. Titlis. 



France

encounter: I spent one beautiful evening walking around Le Marais with a photographer friend, Tiphaine Caro. We had met before when she was visiting Jakarta and I showed her around Petak 9 and Pasar Baroe. Although life in Paris ends around 7PM, she took us to La Cidrerie du Marais and had a very delicious crepe. That being said, it's a traditional food that her grandmother usually cooked. She showed us around a small garden and some off the beaten track alleys. It's wonderful how the universe works!

surprise: On our way back to the hotel from Le Marais, we took the taxi since there were 4 of us and it's already late at night. Our hotel was a bit far away from the city, and after around 1.5 hours the driver got us lost until we arrived at the front gate of Disneyland Paris. We ended up paying 90 for a ride back home, it was memorable!

a night out: Although for a short time stay in Montpellier, we visited the city square to see the famous statue of Comedie and was being entertained with some of the finest street performers and dancers. To sum things up, we explored the night market where they currently held a wine and music festival and went back to our hotel by foot. It was such a very lively night.




The Netherlands

time with a friend: it was right before my birthday when a close friend of mine came to visit me in Amsterdam from London during her time studying there. Somehow it still feels unreal recalling the memories that we actually explore the city together. On my birthday, we visited Rijksmuseum and was truly amazed seeing the collection of paintings, not to mention Raden Saleh portrait was also there (proud).

encounter: I had a pleasant conversation with a shopkeeper at the ABC bookstore who share the same interest in photography. What makes it even more interesting was around that time, a rumor of Steven McCurry photos being photoshopped is everywhere. I was surprised that he has no idea about it, so we flipped through pages of an enormous McCurry photo book and discussed it. After giving me many photo book recommendations, in the end, I went out from the store with their last copy of Immediate Family & Hold Still by Sally Mann.




Czech Republic

I parted with my family for an extended birthday trip with another friend of mine. I actually never thought I'd visit Prague, let alone exploring Europe for almost 3 weeks in the first place. And before the terms "bucket list" exists, I still remember clearly writing down Prague on top of my dream destination after reading my first novel in elementary school. It was as beautiful as what I've imagined.

night out: Upon our arrival in Prague around almost midnight, we tried our luck on finding a restaurant for dinner (with no luck obviously) and ended up strolling around Charles Bridge. It was freezing cold but magical nonetheless, I really enjoy seeing different kind of saint statue surrounded the bridge, not to mention beautiful lights from the castle.

surprise: On our second day we did pretty much a packed schedule started by visiting the Old Town, seeing contemporary artworks at DOX, exploring the district, and an evening walk at Letna Park where you could see the whole 4 bridges in Prague from above a hill. My friend stumbled upon a vegetarian restaurant named Lehká Hlava, and we quickly made our way there for dinner. Since we hadn't made any reservation, the restaurant was fully booked. Luckily a very nice lady gave us a seat in a room where the ceilings were covered with distinguished stars. It was all dreamy and we really enjoyed the food.

day out: On the third day, we took a 2-hour bus ride to Cesky Krumlov for a day trip. It was less crowded and much quieter than Prague (which I really LOVE) and glad we made the decision! Cesky is a small village surrounded with amazing pastel colored walls, great Czech food, river, and a more laid-back way of living. We visited the castle, walked up to the best viewpoint, spent a lovely time strolling around the park, and ended our day by visiting a Museum Fotoatelier Siedel.

creative act: On our last day in the Czech Republic, we visited a photo exhibition @ House of Photography at Prague City Gallery. Together with the gallery committee, we joined forces in a fun activity re-creating printed photo works from the artists using gold and glitter pen as well as making some collages.

encounter: From our evening flight at Schipol to Prague, we were sitting in the same row with this easily annoyed woman who complained a LOT until we gave her a nickname as "Ms Grumpy" (which most likely is a psychiatrist based on a book that she left behind on the plane). It was definitely a bit shocking that 4 days later we're on the same flight again with her going back to the Netherlands, luckily this time in a different row. If not, I couldn't really imagine ending such a wonderful trip with a serial killer type woman :p






Sukabumi

It's basically a quite spontaneous long weekend trip that we think we really deserved to take. It was a short yet memorable road trip with such great company since I actually almost forgot when was the last time I laughed that much within 3 days.

nature: There's a long line of beaches, forest, and paddy fields which you can easily find in throughout your way in Sawarna.

encounter:  I was being reminded to count my blessings when the lovely Eti, Nilam, and Heru approached us while we just arrived at the beach. It was a public holiday, and they get up early for work, gathering used plastic bottles for their parents to sell later on the evening. We parted our ways to explore the other side of the beach and was surprised to find out they were also walking behind us. Our car got stuck, and I spent the next hour watching them play with twig and coconut. Making the best out of what they have, I literally sat down and was mesmerized with the actual meaning of happiness to them.

creative act: My obsession towards Ukulele has grown so much these past few weeks, and I absolutely didn't forget to bring the uke with me. The most memorable part was when together with my colleagues, we spent our morning time (and during the road trip) jamming to Somewhere Over The Rainbow & Skinny Love. Every trip deserves a good music and friends, indeed!

time with a friend: We often take our office mate for granted knowing the fact that we spend so much time with them without actually knowing themselves personally. Taking this trip has once again reminded me that I (still) strongly believe that the most important time with your colleague is the ones that being spent outside of the office. I get to know each of them deeper, even better-making memories to be cherished for a long time.




Where to go next?


I'll spend the very few last days of 2016 (hopefully switching off :p) on a remote island in the Moluccas with my cousins and their family. I'm excited for this final trip of the year, it's been quite a while since the last time I soaked up the sun while swimming in the open water. 

As for the year coming to and end, I dearly hope you have a good time reflecting on what has happened throughout the year and got out as a more inspired person ready to sail into another journey in 2017.

2016, it's been real!
I checked two items off my "bucket list": visiting Prague & watch a music festival overseas. Cheers to many more adventures ahead! 


Warm wishes,


Fransisca Angela
25 December 2016


2 comments:

  1. such a nice journal for your adventure. I want to go explore Czech now.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you Niken! You should go someday, it is beautiful!

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