Mongolia: National Museum of Mongolia & Khorkhog

DSC06992

National Museum of Mongolia

Our guide suggested we visit the National Museum of Mongolia during our trip to Ulaanbaatar. This museum is responsible for preserving Mongolian cultural heritage as well as defining the guidelines for museums in the rest of the country. The museum has a wide scope of history, beginning in prehistory up into the present. The biggest highlights for me were the section on Mongolian traditional dress and the 1990 Mongolian Revolution.

Continue reading

Irkutsk, Siberia, Russia

fullsizeoutput_111

Church of Our Lady of Kazan

If you plan on taking the Trans-Siberian or Trans-Mongolian Express and plan to stop in Siberia, Irkutsk is the city most recommended. Irkutsk is full of history and is just an hour away from Lake Baikal. It’s also nicknamed the “Paris of Siberia”.

Continue reading

Moscow: Garage

fullsizeoutput_14f5

The Garage Screen

Because we didn’t have so much time in Moscow before our train departed, we were only able to visit one museum. After doing a bit of research, Garage was my #1 choice.

Continue reading

Moscow: Red October

fullsizeoutput_270d

View of Red October

Lonely Planet describes Red October best:

This defiant island of Russian modernity and Europeanness is a vibrant arts centre filled with cool bars, restaurants and galleries. With an aptly revolutionary name, the former Red October chocolate factory looks straight into the Kremlin’s eyes – a vivid reminder that Russia is not all about totalitarian control and persecution.

Continue reading

Moscow: Red Square and Grand-Café Dr. Zhivago

fullsizeoutput_1f98

St. Basil’s Cathedral

Of course you cannot visit Moscow without visiting Red Square. I was especially excited to see St. Basil’s Cathedral in person! Long, long ago when my family first had internet my icon was the St. Basil’s Cathedral. I didn’t know then that it was in Russia, but I was drawn to the tulip shaped domes and bright colors! If you’re visiting Red Square, I definitely recommend you have lunch or dinner at Grand-Café Dr. Zhivago for a Soviet-style meal.

Continue reading

Moscow: Old and New Arbat

fullsizeoutput_1278

New Arbat Avenue

There are 2 Arbats in Moscow – the Old and the New. By far the Old Arbat is much more beautiful, but just for comparison’s sake I wanted to see both! Plus White Rabbit is located in the neighborhood, so we took the New Arbat to lunch, and left taking the Old Arbat.

Continue reading

Danny and Matt visit Antwerp!

fullsizeoutput_12e5

Koen, Matt and Danny in front of the Frites Atelier

After many years of saying they’ll come visit, Danny and Matt finally made it to Antwerp! I made it mission to share all things Belgian, so we at a lot of delicious frietjes, drank Belgian beer, and wandered around the beautiful city!

Continue reading

Animalia Amsterdam

fullsizeoutput_12e6

Dam Square

Koen and I were invited to the Animalia Amsterdam photo exhibition opening in Amsterdam. For over a year, Isabella Rozendaal photographed the pets of Amsterdam and they’re now on display in the Amsterdam City Archives from July 14th to September 3rd. Isabella is the sister-in-law of my best friend Christina and I’ve loved all the photos she’s posted on Facebook and Instagram, so Koen and I were excited to see the prints in person! We also bought her book!

Continue reading

Barcelona: Park Güell

fullsizeoutput_23b

Koen in Park Güell

If you Google Barcelona, you will definitely find your search results are filled with photos of Park Güell. You can’t really think of Barcelona without the architect Antoni Gaudí coming to mind. His distinctive style of Catalan Modernism is so unique and magical. So colorful and whimsical!

Continue reading

Barcelona: Centric Cafe and the Magic Fountain

DSC03983

Walking downtown

After graduation, we headed back to the apartment to shower and nap before heading back out into town. Never could and will get used to 35 degree heat, so better to be back in the airconditioned apartment during the hottest part!

We went for a walk along La Rambla, having dinner at Cèntric Raval – feasting on cocktails and tapas! It’s only about 10 minutes away from the busy street, but as you leave Las Ramblas and head toward the café you enter a more residential area and get away a bit from the rest of the tourists.

Continue reading