East Side Gallery Berlin

This weekend, I'm taking you to the wall that once separated east and west Germany during the Cold War -- the infamous Berlin Wall which is better known nowadays as East Side Gallery. If you love street art like me, you're in for a treat. But first, let me tell you a little bit about the said wall.

You will find this international memorial of freedom by the river Spree. This part of the Berlin Wall is 1 316 meters long and is located in the heart of Berlin along Mühlenstraße (muu-len-shtra-se). There's about 105 murals but I only have almost a dozen photos to show you today (sorry). So here we go.

P.S. That's me and my friend Fiona. :) I hope you enjoyed this little entry. There'll be more weekend adventures coming soon so please come visit my blog again next time. Tschüss ♥

Summer's Last Hurrah part 2 - Naples

An Italian once told me that the gangster part of Italy is Napoli (better known as Naples in English). Last weekend, I had less than 12 hours to see out for myself. So what to do in Naples for such a short period of time?

Eat

Italians love to eat and in Napoli, there's no shortage of good food. Napoli is where pizza margherita (a.k.a. pizza napoletana) originated. So it was only mandatory that we try them out. I was lucky to get to try them not just from one but three of the most popular pizzerias in Napoli.

Pizzeria dal Presidente -  On the wall is a picture of Bill Clinton visiting this pizzeria. No wait, the wall's filled with photos of local and international celebrities on the wall at this pizzeria.

Gino Sorbillo - There's a queue to get into this pizzeria and for good reason. If you want to eat pizza from the chef who trained Italian and Australian Masterchef contestants, you're in the right place. Their pizza margherita bufala costs less than 10 euros and they serve really good red wine. What more can you ask for? P.S. Dolce & Gabbana love their pizza. Perhaps Sorbillo was their inspiration for their pizza dress? :D

Da Michele - If you want to eat where Julia Roberts had pizza in her movie Eat Pray Love, you've just got to go to L'Antica Pizzeria da Michele. You can get a really good margherita bufala with double the dose of mozarella for only 4,50 euros. Yummers! I unfortunately have no photo because three pizzerias later, you'll soon realize they all look the same. Haha.

If I were to rank my favorites, I'd say Sorbillo > Michele > Dal Presidente. :)

Anyway, there's also plenty other things to eat aside from pizza. Proof.

But my favorite is this deli in the middle of Via Dei Tribunali called Salumeria Rafele o'Lattaro. There are only four small tables in this deli and they'll ask you to just come back if there are no tables available. But if you are down for some wine, cheese, and antipasti, it's definitely worth the wait. My personal favorites are their salami, prosciutto crudo di parma, and of course, pecorino cheese.

Do

Aside from the food, there'd been two things I enjoyed doing during this short trip -- taking photos of store fronts and street art. :)

See

I think part of Naples' charm is there are so many things to look at. I like to people watch like a complete weirdo that I am. Bonus, if you're a street photographer, you'd probably have a swell time here because it's just bustling with activities.

Shop

And if all else fails, shop.

I hope you enjoyed my not so little entry about Napoli. If you made it this far, grazie mille! I hope you'll stick around until my next adventure. Now where should this tiny Asian travel to next? Feel free to leave me a suggestion on the comments section. 'Til next time! :)

Summer's Last Hurrah part 1 - Amalfi Coast

The weather in Amsterdam is beginning to suck and the temperature is beginning to drop. So what's a girl to do? Escape the gloominess and head over to somewhere warmer. I hope you're ready for this jelly because this is going to be one long ass post. Haha.

Positano

Our long weekend began in Positano, a cliffside village along Italy's beautiful Amalfi Coast. We went for a nice walk to get some breakfast and then we headed to the beach afterwards.

Laurito

We headed over for a late lunch at a small town called Laurito. Here we met two couples vacationing from Australia. We pretty much tagged along with them until late in the evening. We even snagged a free boat ride back to Positano (yay!) where we had some drinks and watched the sunset in a very posh-looking villa called Villa Treville.

Furore

Our initial plan was to head early to the island of Capri. But because of the crazy, giant waves, all ferry rides leaving from Positano were cancelled. So instead of going to Capri, we went to Furore to see its famous fjord (which is basically a small crack in the rocks, an ancient gorge that was a hidden place for the bandits in the past). But before we go check the Fiordo di Furore, this is a treat to all foodies out there. This is what you get if you decide to buy breakfast early in the morning from shops.

So going back to Furore...

Fiordo di Furore is like a natural port, where it is only possible to arrive by the sea side. The place is surmounted by a natural rock arch that perfectly completes the charm of this place.

Praiano

Underwhelmed by the fjord, we decided to go to Praiano for a quick lunch and a little bit of exploration. We didn't manage to go to the beach because there'd been so many tourists, most buses were full. We had to get to Sorrento after all.

Sorrento

Since there are no boats going to Capri from Praiano or Positano, we went to the tip of the boot which is Sorrento. From there, we caught a ferry to the island of Capri. I didn't take many pictures because the ride wasn't fun. I have terrible motion sickness and needless to say, was quite miserable in the ferry.

IMG_4705.JPG

Capri

Ah, the birthplace of the Caprese salad, the lovely island of Capri. Too bad it was raining quite a lot, we didn't get to see much of it. But for what it's worth, we ate like a king (as we did for the most part of the trip). We of course had a caprese salad (the mozarella di bufala is to die for), some grilled octopus, and I had a shrimp lemon risotto.

Sadly, the weather was so gloomy and it seemed like the rain wasn't going to stop, so we decided to head straight to Napoli. Not all ferries were running that day and to avoid the possibility of getting stuck in the island, we took the soonest ferry to Naples. But that story's for another day. :)

I hope you enjoyed my entry for today. All photos were taken using my iPhone because unfortunately, I lost the battery of my Sony NEX 5N (huhu). Nonetheless, I had fun shooting with my handy dandy iPhone. It was very convenient. Please watch out for my next entry because it's dedicated to the rough and tough city of Naples.

P.S. I'm also on Instagram (@tinyasiantravels). Please follow my adventures there as well (if you haven't already). Thanks and 'til next time! ♥

Urban Photo Race Amsterdam

12 hours, 4 checkpoints, 6 themes, 18 photos, 1 city

My legs feel like lead but I'm so happy to have completed the feat in 10 hours. I thought I would finish sooner but what the heck, the themes were quite challenging! I was struggling with two themes and halfway through the race, I thought about giving up but I powered through it and now I can proudly say that I have completed the race.

Here are some of the things that I have learned:

  1. It's hard to do street photography if you're scared of getting close and approaching people. I am afraid to approach strangers to take their photo because I am either scared of offending others or getting rejected.
  2. There are so many techniques and the only way to learn them is through practice. I wish I had tricks up my sleeve like using reflections or mirrors or using shadows.
  3. It's hard to shoot in black and white. How do you convey warmth or color when you're shooting in B&W? I think it's very challenging but it does push one's limits and creativity!

I was so intimidated by the other participants because they brought in professional cameras and I, an enthusiast, was holding a tiny, mirrorless camera. Nonetheless, I thoroughly enjoyed the photo race! It was an awesome experience because I learned so much about myself, my camera, and street photography. So without further ado, I would like to share with you some of my entries a.k.a. my favorite shots from today. :)

Ik ben 90 jaar oud. This sweet, old man happily agreed to have his photo taken. He told me that he's 90 years old. :)

Ik ben 90 jaar oud. This sweet, old man happily agreed to have his photo taken. He told me that he's 90 years old. :)

This is such a noisy photo taken from Amsterdam Centraal. I love that from this crowd, there's one guy who's looking straight at my camera.

This is such a noisy photo taken from Amsterdam Centraal. I love that from this crowd, there's one guy who's looking straight at my camera.

A pair of turban-wearing gentlemen enjoying their moment in the sun.

A pair of turban-wearing gentlemen enjoying their moment in the sun.

In the Philippines, we call this HHWW -- holding hands while walking. :)

In the Philippines, we call this HHWW -- holding hands while walking. :)

Of course, a photo shoot in Amsterdam won't be complete without the notorious bicycle shots.

Of course, a photo shoot in Amsterdam won't be complete without the notorious bicycle shots.

We've been extremely lucky with the weather this weekend so I took full advantage of taking photos of people enjoying the sun.

We've been extremely lucky with the weather this weekend so I took full advantage of taking photos of people enjoying the sun.

Which one is your favorite? I hope you enjoyed this entry and I wish everyone a nice weekend. Til next time. Doei!

The Weekend Currently vol. 3

LISTENING

I would usually start this series with something I am reading lately but I find myself having no time to read nowadays. I am very preoccupied with many different things that reading isn't just something I can indulge in. But I've been listening to podcasts and did binge-listen to S-town. I've listened to it twice because it's so good. If you haven't, well I hate to tell you this but you're missing out.

If you like well-produced, wonderfully-told, captivating stories, then this podcast is for you. Bonus, they made some really good background music to go with the show. This is the new gold standard of podcasting for sure.

Now if we talk about music, well, I am obsessed with Jens Lekman's newest album. I was at his show in Utrecht this week and it was nothing short of amazing. I swayed all night to new and old songs I've loved longer than any of my boyfriends. Haha. I wish I could join him and his all-female, white sneakers wearing band. I will happily jump, whistle, clap, and sing as his back up.

"Yours truly, #JensLekman." #nofilter 'cause he doesn't need it! #concert #Utrecht #TivoliVredenburg

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WANTING

My friend Karen introduced me to a revolutionary brand called The Ordinary Skincare. This brand is particularly interesting because they 1) the products are incredibly affordable and 2) they tell their consumers what are the main active ingredients are in their products instead of telling what it does to the skin. If you're a skincare geek, you'd probably appreciate it. This led me to want to follow the Korean 10-step skincare routine. You know you're aging when you start worrying about getting wrinkles and crow's feet. My personal hygiene routine is already tedious and adding these extra steps will definitely prolong them even further but I think that's a small price to pay if you want to keep looking young, right?

LEARNING

Who's learning French again? C'est moi! Surprisingly, I remembered a lot of things out of my 10-year hiatus! I was "auditioning" teachers this weekend and one teacher said that my pronunciation is better than he expected. *clap*clap* But yeah, I definitely need to improve my vocabulary and start practicing how to conjugate common verbs.

CLICKING

I find myself on YouTube and Instagram quite a lot lately, trying to learn more about Instagram. I'm trying to up my Instagram game because I'm hoping to use it to launch my business.

Meanwhile, I've been doing another form of clicking lately. So I've decided to come out of my cave (lol) and be social for a change. I joined a couple of local Meetups in Amsterdam and I've been to two photowalks. First was a cherry blossom photo afternoon and another was a street photography walk. Here's my favorite shot.

Frohe Ostern! Happy #Easter! #cherryblossoms #sakura #nofilter

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THINKING

This is again related to what I've been clicking on lately. My mind is reeling with ideas on what strategy I should take to increase my following and improve my engagement in Instagram. I think my current feed is crowded and busy. I want to change that and somehow create a smooth flow from one image to another and have a consistent theme.

WISHING

King's Day is just 'round the corner and the most I could wish for is that we have some good weather so I can head out and take gazillions of photos. Last year, it was freezing and rainy so I stayed in. I am wishing that that won't be the case this year.

NEEDING

A holiday -- seriously, folks. It's been a couple of months since I have gone somewhere (last trip, I was in the US). I am so stressed at work and feel that I should somehow take a break but on the other hand, I have to prioritize saving up moolah for when I move to a new apartment in summer. Le sigh. I got my eye on a trip to Morocco in fall, though. I am definitely looking forward to that. :)

COOKING

I've been cooking almost every day for the last six weeks thanks to HelloFresh. :) If you managed to read this post 'til the very end, I have a surprise for you. I am giving three free boxes of HelloFresh (woot woot)! So there will be three lucky people who could get. How to win? Simply follow me on Instagram and leave a comment below. I will contact the lucky winners on Friday, April 28. Good luck! (P.S. Coupon codes are only applicable in the Netherlands.)