The Beauty of San Sebastián at Sunset

The Beauty of San Sebastián at Sunset

San Sebastián- Basque Country’s most beautiful city, is never more stunning than at sunset, especially from the summit of Monte Igueldo. From there you can soak in the views of San Sebastián, which contain beach and sky and mountains.

Though I know I’m an amateur photographer at best, I think theses are some of the best photos I’ve ever taken, which is in no small part due to San Sebastián inherent natural beauty.

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Overall it was a beautiful and nearly spiritual way to spend our last few hours in San Sebastián.

Which picture of San Sebastián is your favorite?

Istanbul by Instagram

Istanbul by Instagram

I won’t lie- I kind of love Instagram. And I definitely loved Istanbul. So why not feature a post that combines the two?

Here are my favorite shots from my recent trip to Istanbul, a complicated, exotic and stunning city I got to know over a too-short span of five days.

Simit.

Istanbul Instagram

A simit is essentially a Turkish bagel: dense, crunchy and coated with sesame seeds. Simit very quickly turned into my go-to snack because they’re filling, delicious, dirt-cheap and sold on every street corner.

 

Spices.

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Turkey is overflowing with spices- from smoky, dark red sumac to pül biberi, or spicy red pepper flakes. I brought back tons to gift to friends as well as add to my own personal stash.

(Side-note- I’m kind of obsessed with spices.)

 

Dried fruits and nuts.

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The food.

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Turkish food and Turkish hospitality are equally amazing- did I mention how much lamb I had in Istanbul? I tasted everything from lamb loin to lamb chops to lamb heart (which, by the way, is so flavorful and tender).

All I can say is it would be very hard to be a vegetarian in Turkey.

 

Turkish coffee.

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Turkish coffee in four words is uber-thick, bitter, grainy and strangely addictive.

 

The Blue Mosque.

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Unlike the Hagia Sofia, the Blue Mosque is still a working mosque, meaning we took off our shoes and women covered their hair.

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I loved the cobalt blue paint paired with the intricate gold script.

 

The Hagia Sofia.

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Though I thought the Blue Mosque was absolutely magnificent, it pales in comparison to the ethereally beautiful Hagia Sofia.

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I could’ve taken a thousand pictures of the Hagia Sofia- it was truly magnificent.

So, which Istanbul Instagram did you like best?  And let’s connect on Instagram! My account is naturally @AshleyAbroad.

Snow? In Paris? A Photo Series

Snow? In Paris? A Photo Series

So one unremarkable night in January, something happened that so many had told me I would never see:

It snowed in Paris.

Paris in the Snow

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And Lonely Planet would kill me, but… it was magical.

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I also witnessed my first Parisian déménagement, which I had no idea was such a process. I guess how else would you get all of those heavy Baroque candelabras and Cruella DeVille dial phones out of your apartment?

Paris is the Snow

Paris in the Snow

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But the most important thing I discovered on that snowy day was actually something I rediscovered – the beauty of Paris. Living here can jade you to the city’s uniquely Parisian charms: the art deco métro signs, the oh-so-French mansard roofs, the strangely appealing beige monochrome of the city. At times I even get sick of the baguettes. (And how is that even possible?)

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The snow went as fast as it came, and serves as a metaphor for my experience here- I only have five months left in France, and I plan to cherish them as much as possible. Because they’ll be gone before I know it.

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Have you ever seen it snow in Paris?

Windows from Around the World

Windows from Around the World

If I’m going to write about doors, then why not windows? I interpreted window as anything you look through, and this collection is from Europe, North and South America. It’s fun to guess where each photo comes from… chances are it will be very easy for you!

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Hint – scroll over the photos to see where they were taken.

Centre Pompidou. Paris, France

Train to Soller. Mallorca, Spain

Alhambra Palace. Grenada, Spain

La Seu Cathedral. Palma de Mallorca, Spain

Santiago de Compostela, Spain

Iglesia de Castro. Castro, Chile

Place des Vosges. Paris, France

Château de Versailles. Versailles, France

Paris, France

Musée Rodin

Finland

Tallinn, Estonia

Stockholm, Sweden

Finland

Antigua, Antigua and Barbuda

New Orleans, United States

St. Andrews, Scotland

Dublin, Ireland

A lot of the photos tell beautiful and tragic stories:

The second photo in the series is from a journey on a wooden, antique train I took in Mallorca, Spain. I love how the photo conveys a sense of wonder and peace while the world is passing by so quickly. A little bit like life, I guess.

The photo from Tallinn, Estonia tells a much more somber tale; the windows were filled with cement blocks when Soviet victims were tortured in the basement.

Which one is your favorite?

If you enjoyed this post please consider sharing it! As always, I also love hearing what you have to say through the comments below. And sorry for the huge lapse in posts, I just got back from Cologne, Germany, where I had the most amazing weekend. There will be lots of Deutschland posts coming up!

Paris in the Rain: A Photo Essay in the City of Lights

Paris in the Rain: A Photo Essay in the City of Lights

Happy Friday everyone! So now that I’ve shown you what I do on a day-to-day basis, I want to show you what I do on my day off.

On my days off I can generally be found wandering Paris in the rain.

Paris in the rain – yes, an undoubtedly cliché photo subject, but certainly a charming one. And let me say, it rains a lot in Paris. Whenever I see the sun I throw on my riding boots and run outside – it’s not a common occurrence in these parts!

Paris in the Rain

Le Marais

Paris in the Rain

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Paris in the Rain

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Paris in the Rain

Paris in the Rain

Paris in the Rain

Paris in the Rain Note to other photographers – when I lower the shutter speed enough for the subject to be blurry like the man on the bicycle, it way over-exposes the entire image. How do you avoid that?

Anyway, if you are ever in Paris, make sure to wander the city by yourself. Whether you spot the yamaka-wearing children getting out of school at the Le Marais synagogue or the tourists toting their bright umbrellas there’s always something interesting around the corner in Paris.

Have you ever wandered Paris in the rain?

And if you aren’t sick of me yet then check out my Atlas Sliced interview with Alexa Hart! In the video I talk a lot about how to become an au pair while swishing my hair like Justin Bieber and giggling.

Doors from Around the World

Doors from Around the World

It turns out that over the years I have amassed a sizable photo collection of doors, who knew! The doors are surprisingly very interesting and really reflect the countries in which I took them.

The post would be more aptly titled “anything you walk through”, considering the collection also includes lots of archways and gates. I cobbled this post together after I made the photo series Street Art from Around the World.

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Hint – scroll over the photos to see which city and country in which they were taken.

 

Tallinn, Estonia

Edinburgh, Scotland

Edinburgh, Scotland

Merrion Square. Dublin, Ireland

Merrion Square. Dublin, Ireland

Palma de Mallorca, Spain

Palma de Mallorca, Spain

Palma de Mallorca, Spain

Colonia, Uruguay

Colonia, Uruguay

Père Lachaise Cemetery. Paris, France

Vives, France

Place des Vosges. Paris, France

Moroccan Restaurant. Paris, France

Dublin, Ireland

Dún Aonghasa. Aran Islands, Ireland

Dingle, Ireland

St. Andrews, Scotland

St. Andrews, Scotland

Brussels, Belgium

Alhambra Palace. Grenada, Spain

Alhambra. Grenada, Spain

A few favorites -

I love the photo of my friend Hali with her shock of blond hair in front of the dark wooden door in Scotland. I took this photo in Edinburgh just before we decided to summit the very wind-whipped and gorse-covered Arthur’s Seat.

Another favorite is of the French family I nanny for exiting the Hostalet de Vives, a traditional Catalan restaurant on the French-Spanish border. We were all smiles after enjoying a delicious meal of meatballs and green olives in gravy.

Which one is your favorite?

If you enjoyed this post please consider sharing it! Through the scroll-bar on the left you will see ways to share via Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and StumbleUpon. I also love hearing what you have to say through the comments below.