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Saturday, April 5, 2014

On the run...



~ A brief update ~

I'm a hightailing it through Europe -- vagabonding, scattadoodling, rumapoodling through the world at varying speeds, absorbing everything I can so I can try and make a bit more sense of this here life. Ventured around England, Wales, Scotland the past few months and now Ireland. Headed to Paris on Tuesday and then in the direction of the winds from there. 

I've made some incredible friends along the way, have learned a bit more about the world and even more about myself, and have more blisters on my feet than hairs on my head (and am thankful for every one). Climbed some mountainous hills, wandered through lake valleys, biked on islands, and have seen the most spectacular cliffs. I'm grateful for every day I wake up on this side of the ocean. 

 If you want to follow me these next few months, I try to update my Instagram more regularly —@marieeeka— so feel free to follow me there.

Prost, 
M





Monday, March 3, 2014

'What are men compared to rocks and mountains...'

The beautiful lands of Derbyshire, home to Mr Darcy and Pemberly. 






The Perception of Silence


The sound of the tree falling was heard by the birds, whose songs were heard by the bears, 
whose growls were heard by the winter wolves, whose howls were heard by the moon.

And the sound was eerily silent,
but the echo, incredibly loud. 



Monday, February 17, 2014

Bonjour Blokes! [London, Pt 4]


'
I reside in Camden currently. It's a lively area with lots of characters and interesting people. It's a bit of a tourist attraction, but the real heart of the area is the winding backstreets, the late night street music and the gypsy canals. 

Camden Market is the facade, Camden Town is home. 




Sunday, February 16, 2014

Holla Blokes! [London, Pt 3]

Our adventure started as everything does in the UK, with rain. Lots and lots of rain. So much rain, that we bought another rain jacket in town before setting off. We took the bus to Seaford which is on the southern coast of England. We hiked through town with the general direction of the sea as our compass. 

The pictures don't really capture it that well, but the southern cliffs are quite tall. And although they're called Seven Sisters, there are definitely more sisters to climb. Some were nice and mild, others quite steep. It was definitely the rainiest, windiest day I've ever experienced and sometimes the wind would burst so hard, you were literally pushed up the hill. Literally. If the wind had been coming off-shore, we would've been pushed right off those cliffs to sea-salty death. 

However, just as we neared the end of our hike, the sun peaked it's head around the clouds and cut us some slack. I don't know that I've seen a more spectacular sight. Double rainbows, white chalky cliffs and the raging sea. 

We actually had to take quite a rather long detour because I didn't think about the implication of a river going across the way we needed to get. For some stupid reason, I assumed a bridge would be in place. But there wasn't. And so we had to go 3 miles our of our way, at turtle speeds through mud and puddles. So, by the time the sun came out, it was on its way into the horizon for the evening and we still had miles left to go. It didn't seem very smart to walk along the cliffs in the darkness so we hightailed it across fields, hopping fences and braving the barbed wire. We crossed by pastures of sheep and cows... the animals would look at us curiously as we passed by, but for the most part ignored us. 

Part 2 of my poor planning, we finally made it to the road leading into Eastbourne where our return train was taking out from, but unlike the small town we expected (like Seaford), it was a rather massive and expansive city. We were soaked to the bone, hungry and exhausted at this point. It was pitch black and there was nothing but lights ahead for miles. We had no idea where the train station was and so we hitched hiked. I was rather nervous about doing so, but I stuck out my thumb as good as any. As expected most people passed us by, but just when all hope was to be lost, a well-traveled engineer took pity on us and gave us a spot in the back of his car. He took us directly to the train stations while regaling us with tales of his own hitch-hiking experiences and favorite travel destinations. In return, we probably left a great deal of mud and animal crap in the back of his car. So sorry for that! 

We made it home alive. Tired and muddy but alive. It was one of the most spectacular hikes I've ever done and I highly recommend it if you find yourself in the south of England.  








Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Howdy Blokes! [London, Pt 2]

Howdy Blokes!

I've been in the UK for almost a month now. It's a most delicious place with delightful people, beautiful scenery and good beer. I've made it my mission to do something fun and new every single day and so far I have succeeded. I've giggled more than my fair share, eaten the most delicious cheeses and pastries, and drooled over the countryside. I'm on my way to level 2 expert tube rider.

I've explored much of west and north London, dabbled in the east end, have run across most of Camden (where I live!), and have done 5 terrific markets so far (Camden [my favorite], Borough [best food!], Portabello [cute-ness overload], Old Spitalfields [hip and happening] and Covent Gardens [great performers!]).

I did a running bootcamp in Hyde Park, a pub crawl in Whitehall, hiked the Seven Sisters (from Seaford to Eastbourne), got lost in Kentish Town, went touristy at the sight of Big Ben, and have mastered the currency (so many bloody coins!). Attempted some 'yoga meditation' (false advertising -- it was basically an attempt to convert us to some type of religion), did swing and jazz dance classes, ate some delicious vegan food on Oxford Street, attended the Philaharmonia Orchestra performance of some of the worst contemporary classical "music" I have ever heard (with perhaps the most moving lecture I've ever heard  from an Oxford professor), did the London Art Fair, and hiked across Crowborough (with stops at the last home of Arthur Conan Doyle [author of Sherlock Holmes -- *I definitely fan-girled it up at Baker Street] and witnessed the view that inspired the author of Winnie the Pooh). Also, I traipsed across fields and farms, failed at cuddling with the sheep, and hitch hiked (my first time... you guys are probably so unimpressed, but I'm high-fiving myself right now).

Let's not forget the inhabitants -- these people are fantastic. I've met so many really interesting people from all over the world -- Hong Kong, Bulgaria, Brazil, Kenya, Belgium, France, Poland, Japan, Canada, etc. To be honest, I think I've probably met more international people than British people, and sometimes I think I hear more French than I do English.  I live in a cute house with a family from South Africa who are splendidly cosmopolitan, always out-and-about and full of useful tips and tricks from which bus to take to what queues to stand in for for theatre tickets and what latest exhibits are a must see [*skip Paul Klee, do see Isabella Blow]. The 2 other lodgers are very nice a Brit bird (english for girl) who's dating a professional hockey player (unfortunately, it's not ice hockey) and an Argentinian film-maker/cook-extraordinaire.

Everybody's got a story, everybody's got some new insight into life and I'm doing my best to put it all together -- to figure out who I am and what I want from this here earth. I've consider my travels akin to dating; I'm looking for my soulmate city and though I don't think London is 'the one,' it's going to be a wonderful whirl-wind fling that will probably leave me brokenhearted when I leave.

I'll stop the rambling now and leave you with this: "Bob's your uncle"

Cheerio,

MK