OLYA'S PASSIONS

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Month: August, 2012

13 Things that made my summer unforgettable

My summer passed as a lightning strike through my life, so fast, so intensely, so tumultuous. I was afraid of this summer, as I’m afraid of storms. Even though, I always kept in mind that “after the rain is sun”. More than that, now my life became a real rainbow. I would like to share with you 13 memorable events about my summer!

1. This summer, Katya, a dear friend of mine got married. It was one of the best weddings I’ve ever been. I am very happy for you guys, wish you to love each other all your life, as you do now.

My friend's wedding

Hold her in your arms forever!

2. This summer I poured my lungs with salt air at Salina salt mine, that reaches a depth of 208 meters. It was a great salt therapy. Still it was pretty cold down there, 12 degrees all around the year. So, the winter cap and the sweatshirt were very useful 🙂

Salina Salt Mine, Romania

3. This summer I climbed to the top of a mountain, for the first time in my life. It was a crazy idea, I thank my friend for this challenge. It took us 8 hours to reach the top. Sincerely, I wasn’t prepared for this kind of effort, I should admit it was huge. I thought I would give up half way, but no, I resisted till the end. I knew I’m strong- willed, but this adventure exceeded my expectation about myself. By the way, there are bears in the Bucegi Mountains in Romania. “WARNING- BEARS” notice didn’t scare me as much as the mounds of bear shits we’ve seen in the woods. Hopefully we didn’t meet any bear, but we had all the chances 😀

Bucegi Mountains, Romania

I was freezing up there

4. This summer I spent almost 2 months in Italy and tried to communicate with locals as much as I could. Now I feel confident about my Italian and speak it fluently together with the gestures Italians do.

Gesticulating as Italians

Gesticulating as Italians

5. This summer I got to know Modigliani, Toulouse-Lautrec, Klee and got more close to Picasso. I found an old collection of Art books, it made me so curious that I didn’t give up until I finished reading all the books. These painters had different life paths, but all of them are so fascinating.

Picasso sculptures

Museum of Picasso, in a castle that used to be the artist’s studio, during his stay in Antibes, France

6. This summer “I’ve killed the materialistic beast” that lived inside of me. For me, Milan is far from the meaning “fashion capital”. I consciously ignored all the seasons sales and didn’t buy anything except the things I really needed. I stopped measuring my happiness through things I own. Happiness is about the world within us.

Duomo di Milano

Milano by night

7. This summer I visited Rome. It was a great city break together with my travel soul mate. More about my trip to Rome you can read here and here.

Breakfast in Rome

“When you’re in Rome, do as the Romans do”

8. This summer I attended an opera performance at La Scala, the world renowned opera house in Milan. It was a magnificent experience.

Teatro alla Scala

Waiting for “Don Pascuale” to get into the scene

9. This summer I had the best birthday ever. A weekend in the Alps with my family is more than I could wish for my 24th anniversary! About the surprises for my birthday I wrote here and here.

The Alps mountains, near Asiago

Having fun in the Alps

10. This summer I had a divine journey in the South of France. A lot of thanks to my angel from Antibes.

French Riviera

Côte d’Azur, mon amour!

11. This summer I experienced how does it feel to miss somebody.

Vatican wall

Unlock my soul

12. This summer I saved Sisi, a little dog, that I found alone and scared in the middle of the street. I tried to find “her family “ in the neighborhoods, but there was nobody. I was afraid she can get hit by a car, so I took her home, hoping to find any announcement about the dog’s loss. I couldn’t keep it over the night, but found her a great place to stay. At the second day, “the adoptive mother” took Sisi to the veterinary, hopefully she had a microchip and we found her mistress, an old wheel chaired lady. She was so happy to have Sisi back. I enjoyed Sisi’s company, I am going to have a dog someday, surely, a bigger one

Sisi in the arms of my mother

Meet Sisi, the lost and found puppy 🙂

13. The most enthusiastic thing about this summer is that I started a big adventure called Erasmus experience. I’ve just arrived in Poland one week ago, but I’ve managed to do so many things already. I’ve met a lot of people and some of them are really special. I do believe that “people make the place”, from this point of view Wroclaw is just amazing. The good news is that I’ll have plenty of time to discover it. The city is very colorful. Colors give a kind of “aura” to this place. You just go outside and you can easily feel Wroclaw’s vibe and energy. At the same time, the city is peaceful, clean and very green, at least during the summer. Needless to say, Wroclaw is situated in “the heart of Europe”, very close to Prague, Berlin, Vienna and other places worth sightseeing. I’m thrilled that I’m going to visit these places very soon.

Rynek, the main square in Wroclaw

My colorful Wroclaw!

What was special about your summer?

P.S.

This is one of my favorite songs from the times I used to be a DJ at a radio station. Enjoy!

My home is where my heart is

I have a dream. I wish to be home, a home full of life, freshness, light and warmth, a home with big tall wide opened windows, just to let all the sun come in.

Sometimes I feel like I’ve lost the sense of “home”. This is a strange feeling and I’m not comfortable with it at all. It makes me feel a kind of guilty because I have a wonderful family, that I adore, and is always waiting for me to comeback to the house where we grew up, to the house that used to be “our home”.

A friend of mine made me discover a talented girl with a kind voice called Ingrid Michaelson with her song “Are we there yet?”, apparently I’m not the only one “in trouble” with this kind of thoughts. “…home is where heart is”, this is what she says, as many times I listen to her song, as much I start to believe in this idea.

And here comes up the next question “where is my heart?” The answer I found yesterday on a picture posted on Facebook by a friend of mine. It says “If you want to know where your heart is look where your mind goes when it wanders”. It didn’t take me a lot of time to say to myself that I really think a lot about my family and friends, and a piece of my heart is always with them. No matter where am I, or where are they.

If you want to know where your heart is, look where your mind goes when it wanders"

Photo of Anna Zhmurko

So, it means my home is where my beloved are.

Dear friends, keep your beloved ones close to you and be happy!

Nice la Belle

Bonjour, mes amis! It’s been a while without a single post on the blog. France left me no time for writing, but gave me a lot of inspiration instead. I’ve taken a lot of pictures during my holiday on Côte d’Azur.  I would like to show you some stunning panoramic views of Nice coastline, caught up from 90 meters height. The place that gives you some of the most spectacular views in the world is “Colline du Chateau”. On the top of the hill used to be a castle, but nowadays there are just ruins that are making the history, some archeological works are still running. It is worth climbing up the stairs for the great views over the city, over the Mediterranean Sea and also over the port. Up there is a waterfall called “Baie des Anges”. I really liked the park located on the top, a peaceful space for families and for tourists as well, with a playground for kids, a sports field and simple, clean places for lying on the grass in shadow, under the trees.

The symbol of the city is “Promenade des Anglais”, the central street in Nice. You can rent a bike right in the street and ride it along the beach. I didn’t have time for this, but next time when I’ll visit Nice I am going to ride one of those blue bicycles. In this season the city is overcrowded, so the “promenade” through the old city was quite short.

I visited Nice for the first time two years ago. By that time I was working as a columnist for the cultural magazine “15 minute” from my country- Moldova. I was responsible for the travel category, so I used to share my holiday experiences with my readers. The articles I wrote are in Romanian language, more impressions about Nice you can find here.

Panoramic view over Nice

Panoramic view over Nice

With my beautiful mom

With my beautiful mom

Seize the day in Antibes

Antibes

This is the best summer of my entire life. I always believed that “the best thing”, no matter what, is about to come in the future. I was so wrong. During the last year I have learnt a very important lesson- to enjoy the things that are happening now, in the present, considering every experience a valuable one. So, the best is happening today.

The last year brought a wind of change in my life. I changed my way of thinking and my life priorities, quitted my job, moved to another country, enrolled in a master program and became a full time student, after a long period of hard working. I did many other little changes, that taken together reframed my whole life. All these “metamorphoses” taught me to appreciate the moment, now and here. Nothing is going to repeat and be the same, although you are a time traveler, as the protagonist of the book I`m reading now, “The time traveler`s wife”, by Audrey Niffenegger. I`ll tell you about this great book in another post.

So, you may ask, why is it the best summer? Just because this summer is almost a three-months long holiday, like it used to be in my childhood. I have plenty of time to read, to discover new things, to take care about my thoughts, to clear up my mind and listen to my heart.

I almost forgot, this summer I have the possibility to travel a lot, as I always dreamed. Now I`m in Antibes, a beloved place on Côte d’Azur. I`ve been here several times, but every time I find it different. Still it reveals the same state of freedom and inner calm. Antibes impressed me by its narrow and cosy streets, peaceful shore, people`s colorful lifestyle. This particular journey is a special one, because I spend it together with my mother.

Enjoy your summer, my friends, and be happy day by day!