What’s up, guys? It’s been a while since I wrote a ‘personal’ post… by personal, I mean a travel update. My last one was Paris? Maybe? I don’t know. But I’ve done a lot since then!
So I’ve just recently gotten back from a trip that started in Paris (second time this year), went on to Amsterdam, Rotterdam, Leiden, back to Amsterdam, and then back to my home city of Bristol, England. Phew! It was a little crazy but it was INSANELY fun!
I can’t tell you all the details because 1. there’s too many, and 2. I like to keep the more personal parts to myself… but here’s a (v short) update!
So, basically this trip was booked for Brains’ birthday. Now, if you don’t know Brains, she’s my ‘assistant’; she helps me book my travels, keeps me organised, holds my stuff when I’m photographing etc when we’re travelling (some of you will have met her I think!). She’s also my best mate, and most of the time when I travel or go to events, it’s with her.
She also acts as a kind of bodyguard (haha). You don’t wanna mess with Brains, and being a solo female traveller can sometimes get you into sticky situations (like when some dude randomly grabbed her in the Red Light District in Amsterdam – I was just thinking, “Ha! That’ll be the last thing you’ll ever do!!”)
Anyway, Brains is my best accomplice and an absolute badass, and it’s her birthday at the start of October so we thought we’d go away for some adventure 😉
Starting in… Paris!
So, we started in Paris (which she didn’t know about). I wanted to take her to the Nuit Blanche festival, which is a free arts event that Paris hold every year. Everything in Paris stays open from 7pm to 7am the next day (including the Metro and everything) so you can go see free events all night.
Anyway, all the events we wanted to go to had queues that were crazy long, so we ended up going on a really long walk through central Paris. And as we were walking we met two guys who told us there was a party under the Eiffel Tower – electronic music. “Grab some beers!” they shouted at us as they walked away .
So that we did. Grabbed some beers and headed to the Eiffel Tower where we danced to some cool tunes and all shouted, “YAYYYYY!” when the tower started glittering on the hour.
There was also some art under the tower, that you had to view from the first floor… except we had to wait an hour and we didn’t want to waste an hour of our time in Paris waiting in a queue. So we ended up heading back to Montmartre (where we stayed in the best hostel, Le Village – nicest people ever and really great views of the Sacre Cœur and Montmartre in general!) and chilling out there.
Anyway the next day was Brain’s actual birthday so I took her for her favourite dessert and met up with a street artist friend, which was fun. Chatting over coffee in French is one of my fave pastimes 😉
It was cool cause I’ve been a fan of an artist called Jordane Saget for a while now and I got the chance to see him work whilst I was there, which was cool.
After that, on to Amsterdam! We took the train (and border control did NOT like us for some reason. They properly searched us. Then we nearly missed the train. Then we got on but nearly got stuck in Brussels. WHYYYYY!? Do we look like criminals?… Don’t answer that.)
Once we got to Amsterdam the REAL fun happened 😉
Amsterdam is so beautiful and has so much creativity – so many different types of art, amazing buildings and not to mention incredible views and pretty canals…
We walked around for ages seeing everything (spotted thousands of slaps, some Gregos masks, Invaders and various other pieces), took a boat ride, ate our body weight in chips and saw loads of half naked ladies (Red Light District of course).
But the really cool part was accidentally stumbling across the GO Gallery (we hadn’t actually planned to go to any galleries). GO is affiliated with Amsterdam Street Art, and in there two guys gave us directions to NSDM Werf, a place in Amsterdam that’s amazing for street art and graffiti (you have to get a ferry across the water).
As the boat came in, from seeing the upside down submarine with graffiti on it to the buildings covered in art… well, we knew we were going to love it.
I loved it so much, in fact, that I got hit by a moped because I wasn’t watching what I was doing, instead looking at a mural of Anne Frank (!) I had bruised legs but it was pretty funny 😛
We met some cool people there doing some graff on the walls; we explored the area, we got annoyed because we didn’t bring any Poscas or spraypaint, and we took loooooads of photos. Then we promised ourselves we’d be back 😉
In Rotterdam we ended up following the signs to a skatepark (guaranteed graffiti hotspot) but stopped for a coffee on the way in this cool-looking cafe… after asking the guys behind the counter where we could find street art, one of them wrote us some directions to a good place… except we had no idea how to use the Metro and ended up walking over an hour to get there…
Totally worth it! Saw Lastplak’s work space on the way (Lastplak are an awesome street artist collective and I absolutely love their stuff – all the cute little characters!), so it was cool to see where they were based, even if unfortunately nobody was in 🙁
Eventually we ended up at the Ferro Dome, which, up until this point in my life, has to be one of my absolute favourite urban locations… and just locations in general.
I’ve always been really into urban exploration – broken down buildings and derelict houses and stuff, and loved breaking in and looking around when I was younger… which is how I got into street art & graff, because I kept finding cool pieces in these broken down buildings.
Anyway, the guys who look after the place were awesome and although most of it was shut off for a performance that night, they still let us in and wander around. We were in there for over an hour exploring, messing around, taking photos, trying not to fall down massive holes…
We were there for a while… and we’ll be going back soon because we didn’t have enough time!!
Also now we have a load of new friends to go visit, as well as invites to new countries… so looks like the travel list just got longer 😉
I have hundreds more pics but it takes forever to edit and upload them all soooo maybe I’ll do another post with a few more – but don’t hold me to it!
Love COSMO x
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