Almost half a year has already passed since my roadtrip in Europe last summer. I was recently looking through some old film from my trip and it reminded me of all the wonderful places that I visited mostly by coincidence along the way. From a small independent store where I sheltered from the rain to tucked away cafés and churches on top of hills - I found so much beauty in these cities and the people that I met.
Aalborg was a little Danish city that I visited on my way home from France. It was the home of brick buildings, a flourishing art scene, and one of my personal favorites: Tøjstory, a second hand shop for those who enjoys luxury. It is a tiny store where you can purchase unique designer pieces at the same time as protecting the environment. You can even donate your own clothes directly to the shop and receive a 40% discount on your next purchase.
My stay was colored by heavy clouds and showers of rain, followed by moments of calm and sun rays. But with that being said, I would never have found this charming café if it weren't for some rain and a failed attempt at using google maps. It was pouring down as I entered a little retro-inspired store owned by the most precious lady. We chatted for a while and she explained to me how to get back to the city centre. Later that same day, as I was searching for a place to eat, someone suddenly tapped me on my shoulder. There she was again, the lady from the store, with her moss green bicycle and rosy cheeks. She had stopped on her way home from work to tell me where in the city they had the best hot cocoa. And I must tell you that Penny Lane truly exceeded my expectations. Not only did they have some killer hot chocolate, but their salad and vegan brownie tasted like heaven. Thank you to the lady that introduced me to this place and for all the kindness.
Visiting Amsterdam was always a part of the plan but I discovered just the sweetest café in the city by coincidence. On my way to the hummus house I walked past this gem and I had to check it out. Inside, there hung lamps in all shapes and sizes from the ceiling and vintage bikinis was hanging on a sting in one of the windows. The colors was so vibrant that you could almost taste them; burnt orange, teal, deep carmine and amber. The food was even better, from the creamy apple pie to bread with a thick layer of hummus topped with aubergine and tomatoes.
Rumors Vintage was another favorite. So many treasures are hidden within these walls; silky slips, floral brocade and flares with embroideries. Ripped out pages from vintage flower illustration books was taped on the walls that were not covered in vintage scarves and sneakers. I definitely need to go back there some day.
My last morning in France was spent driving up a hill, looking for the perfect view, which I eventually found. On my quest I saw parts of the old city which was so elegant and humble at the same time. Each one of the old houses were so so beautiful, with their painted wooden shutters and potted flowers. After wandering around for a while, I hung my film camera around my neck and climbed on top of a fence to look out over the city.
Thank you Lyon, for your orange rooftops, the light breeze, astonishing architecture and for having me.
Basilique Notre Dame de Fourviere:
During my little adventure in the vieux-ville I remembered that there was supposed to be a church on the top of a hill somewhere, so we drove around for a while looking for it. From my car window, I spotted an old lady carrying a basket filled with a ton of flowers (mostly looked like they were hand picked) and shortly after our eyes met, she started waving and was clearly trying to tell us something. We pulled the car over to hear what she had to say. I think she was Polish herself and thought we were from Poland as well but my French is no good and my Polish is even worse, so I can't say anything for sure. Once we arrived at the church, we were greeted by overwhelming beauty. Inside the church, I saw the lady, I had been talking to earlier, arranging her flowers in different vases. We smiled to each other and I could see that she was clearly taking pride in her work. There is something so nice about these universal signes, like simply smiling, that can unite people that don't even speak the same language.