Nice la Belle

17One of the things I really enjoyed most while staying in France was to explore the surrounding area with no strict plans. I had a book and other stuff filled with suggestions and information, though mostly strolled around the city and didn’t mind missing out a “must-see” places.
1Nice was a charming little town that we spent the first couple of days. Nice calm beach was only 5-10 min walk from our accommodation. People were jogging, reading, fishing, taking photos, chill-axing. Little shops, cafes, bakeries and restaurants are abundant on promenade, great for tasting local specialties. Relaxed vibes are definitely there in this town.
2I discovered French love reading paper books. Old book stores are easily found every where, which is nice. It is a shame we all are so getting used to mobile phones, tablets and PCs these days. I’d love to buy a couple of books next time when I can read French a bit better ๐Ÿ™‚
3French teacher and other travelers said coffee is not real good in France. Guess what? The first espresso that I tried in Nice was delicious! Right balance of bitter, sour and sweet flavour plus a thick crema is heavenly. You will love if if you are a black coffee drinker.
4I had a few different version of Nicoise salads while staying in Nice, but this one is the best. Fresh tuna diced and marinated in e.v.o.o, sprinkled with beautiful fleur de sel, served with simple green salad and enjoyed with vin blanc. Perfect lunch!
5On the second day, visiting the farmer’s market in Nice was a good fun. It would have been nice to pick up some goodies for my kitchen though I don’t think Australian customs will be happy about that. Sun-dried tomatoes, different variety of olives, mushrooms, salts, fresh fruits and vegetables, cheese, flowers, lavender – you name it, they got it! After a quick trip to the markets in the morning, we had to rush back to the train station heading to Avignon.

Photography in Europe

Here are more photos I want to share with you from my Europe trip.
europe6europe9My favorite part of travelling is taking strolls through an old ancient town with cute little lane ways and endless amazing views..sometimes I cannot find any words to describe such beauty. I also love going to churches and cathedrals although I’m not religious. The sound of bells from church draws my attention and I’m already locating myself to where it comes from. The fine art paintings, sculptures and architecture in there are so inspiring and admiring.europe12europe10Isn’t that amazing how the images bring me all the vivid memories as if I’m right there and can feel the warmth from the sunshine, hear street musicians and smell beautiful coffee from local cafes. Travel does that to us. Something magical! europe8IMG_1308Enjoy every moment of your journey through life. Embrace the uncertainty of what tomorrow will bring. Try to squeeze in little holidays in your life. It doesn’t matter how far you go, how long or with whom. Don’t worry about phone calls, emails, Facebook, etc. Enjoy the moments. Stillness. Quietness. Focus on yourself. Make it happen ๐Ÿ™‚europe7europe11


Finland878After another overnight cruise from Sweden, the last Nordic country I visited was Finland. Strangely, when I started this Europe trip in Denmark, I had to wear layers of clothes and a thick winter coat. It quickly changed to a nice warm Spring weather in 10 days and I had to wear jeans and t-shirts in Helsinki. I couldn’t resist myself taking a photo of this fashionable guy who was reading a book and enjoying tourists’ attention in the park. I saw so many fashionistas that I couldn’t take my eyes off. City itself was also very vibrant being on Sunday. Families, couples and friends having a relaxing picnic on the water front, lots of sunshine, local markets, yummy smell from the paella and chowder places, window-shopping through boutiques.. I went to some sight-seeing places before I flew back to Korea that evening – Uspenski cathedral, Sibelius monument, Esplanade park and Rock church. So that’s it. Four countries in ten days. Maybe not long enough, but it was good enough for me to feel their culture, understand history, experience local produce, learn to respect nature and most importantly, let my hair down. Love traveling.


After an overnight cruise from Denmark, I arrived in Oslo, Norway. Then we drove to Bergen to stay at a little vintage hotel up on the mountains. The view from my room was stunning! Lots of snow and cold air, I couldn’t believe we were in Spring. Since they were just coming out of winter and were located up on the mountains, it was hard to find any fresh foods except chopped lettuce salad. They also had a variety of interesting canned fish like mackerel, tuna, salmon, fish roe and fish pate. I had seeds and dried fruit on natural yogurt, and tried some of the mackerel in tomato sauce with cottage cheese and salad, which was quite nice.
Trip to Norway was all about the fjords, mountains and glaciers, traces of the ice age. I was amazed by the fact that it takes centuries to accumulate snow and eventually form the dense ice. It is such a shame though they are melting slowly because of climate change. It made me respect nature more after looking at the glaciers. Haha how am I going to miss salmon in Norway? Ocean-farmed salmon is famous world-wide, bred in the cold clean fjords. I was happy trying all varieties – smoked, steamed, grilled and raw. To me, raw salmon sashimi was the best, two thumbs up! Fresh and melting in the mouth. Beautiful nature, fresh food, friendly Norwegians.. I cannot wait to go back.


While I was in South Korea in May and July, I decided to go to Northern Europe for 10 days. Denmark, Norway, Sweden and Finland in 10 days! Yes, it was only enough to visit famous sight-seeing places though I thoroughly enjoyed every moment of it. Denmark was the first Nordic country of my journey. It takes about 11-12 hours direct flight from Korea to Copenhagen. Time difference? Europe is 8 hours behind, which means you get a massive jet lag. Worse for me cause I just cannot get over it for a couple of weeks, which means once I kind of get used to the time zone, I actually have to go back to Korea and struggle again. I tried to eat healthy and stay hydrated, plus a bit of nap on a bus. My breakfast was mostly oats, natural yogurt, fresh fruits and black coffee. Sometimes a slice of pumpernickle or rye bread if I feel like one. I also had trail mix and home-made power balls in my bag for healthy snacks. Well.. I tried but my diet wasn’t perfect while traveling when I couldn’t resist trying local food and wine. It is okay as long as you keep 80% healthy and indulge yourself the rest. Nothing wrong with that ๐Ÿ™‚
I had a beautiful lunch at one of the oldest hotels in Denmark called Skovshoved hotel, about 30 minutes drive from the city. There was a heavy shower on the way to the restaurant, then beautifully cleared up when we arrived. A stunning reflection of blue sky on the rain puddle, cool crisp air, green herb garden at the back of the restaurant, fresh food from local produce. It was perfect.
Denmark3The cycling culture in Denmark is pretty impressive. Apparently, about 80-90% of Danish who live in the city rides a bike, which meansย less pollution, traffic jams or car accidents. I couldn’t imagine to see this wealthy country has more bikes than cars on their way to work in the morning. People look so attractive and fashionable on them plus the city looks cleaner, healthier and more lively. Yes, Copenhagen is the city of bicycles. I think it would be a safe option for tourists, too, to hire a bike and have a look around the city. Maybe next time, when I get a hang of riding a bike ๐Ÿ™‚