bay of fires [australia #10]

before leaving tasmania’s eastern coast, we had to make one more stop.

the bay of fires is a region of white beaches, blue water and orange-hued granite.
this unusual name was given to the area by captain tobias furneaux, in 1773, when he noticed numerous fires along the coast. this led him to believe that the country was densely populated, which wasn’t the case. and it still isn’t.

the bay of fires is situated in the northeastern tip of tasmania. since there are no cities in the area, you may enjoy its pristine beauty.

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i have never seen anything like it before.

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destination vienna 2015

destination vienna 2015 (or destination wien 2015) is the name the exhibition in kunsthalle wien, one of the leading contemporary museums in vienna. the exhibition itself gives the landscape of contemporary art in vienna, presenting selected contributions from artists of different generations, working in various methods and differing in their use of media.

i have visited kunsthalle wien a couple of days ago and i am so glad i did so, since the exhibition ended just yesterday. i got to see many interesting works of the viennese contemporary artists and i will share with you my favorites:

— marina faust, stacks
the idea of the exhibition is to show that the overlay of see-through images does not necessarily offer transparency. rather, the underlying layers become visible. they are like shadows of the above image.

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— sonia leimer, neues land / nowaja semlja / new land
the work of sonia leimer combines historical footage of the nuclear-powered icebreaker lenin in action, as well as the excerpts from soviet propaganda footage of the space program. the video is projected onto an oversized envelope.

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— christian mayer, putting in time
this series presents original photographs taken from american newspaper archives dealing with the burying of time capsules.

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— karin pliem, concursus naturale I / concursus naturale II
the aim of these paintings is to bring together creatures from diverse parts and ecosystems worldwide: flora from the tropics, alpine valleys or the botanical gardens encounter sea animals or transgenic plants cured in the laboratory.

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— hanna putz, 07min02, 2015 / 15min47, 2015 / 12min21, 2015
the exhibited photographs show people waiting, which produces a concise image of passing time. the images’ titles give us a hint of the waiting time frame.

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–ana hoffner, transferred memories – embodied documents, 2014
the work transferred memories – embodied documents shows a conversation of two woman, who describe images of violence and horror in the north-west region of bosnia and herzegovina – prijedor, trnopolje and tomašica, while these images remain invisible.

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— —

note:

in the video, women also talk about the day when citizens of prijedor were forced to mark their houses with white flags or sheets and to wear a white armband if they were to leave their houses, in order to distinct themselves. it was 31st may 1992.

31st may is known as the white armband day – by wearing the white armband we are showing solidarity with victims of prijedor, and also with all of those who were targeted for their race, ethnicity or political beliefs.

— —

fuorisalone 2015 – my farewell with milan

just like my first outing in vienna was in truly viennese style (summer night concert), my farewell with milan was also in style: salone del mobile / or milan design week, where i used to go almost every year. i wrote about it also on my blog (in 2013 and in 2014). usually i would visit the exhibitions within the city, such as zona tortona, ventura lambrate or brera design distinct. in the recent years the “fuorisalone” (meaning: the exhibitions outside of the exhibition fair) became even more popular, so that the entire city was actually a part of it.

on saturday we decided to go to the zona tortona, one of the first “fuorisalone” districts in milan. on the way there we passed through the navigli district, which was as cute & lively as always.

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in the zona tortona itself, there were plenty interesting designs.. i was more curious than usual, since i was looking for an inspiration for our apartment..

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of course, it is always useful to know what countries are the largest.. especially, if you want to visit them by bike – for example, the fancy one in the following picture :)

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trees & green in general were well combined with the exhibition..

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they managed to revitalize even some of the old buildings in the area.. with mirrors! of course, we played with them a bit..

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tomorrow we decided to go next door, to cascina cuccagna – one of my very favorite places in milan. initially we planned on going to ventura lambrate, but we had a lot of packing to do, since i was leaving the day after.

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this venue had the best thing of them all – the lovely terrace, where everyone could just lie around (& sunbathe even!). the lazy bags were of special kind, of course.. biodegradable and what not.

then we made friends with two little girls! they both told me what their favorite colors are, who their best friends are, etc. we had so much fun with them!

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only couple of weeks ago, the following photo was published on cascina cuccagna’s facebook page. i liked it a lot, and when i zoomed it to see it in detail, i saw familiar faces! it’s us! and our little friends!

do you see us? we’re practically in the middle of the photo.

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it is such a beautiful photo! it captures the essence of that lovely day!

freycinet national park [australia #9]

as soon as we landed in, we hopped into the car and started our road trip.

we drove in the north-east direction, towards the freycinet national park, which occupies most of the freycinet peninsula and looks out to the tasman sea. this national park is also home of one of the world’s most beautiful beach – wineglass bay, as well as dramatic pink granite peaks, secluded bays and rich wildlife.

while driving towards the freycinet peninsula, we were stopping quite often – sometimes it was simply to take pictures of a beautiful scenery, but also to have a lunch. fortunately, just like in the other parts of australia, there are lots of barbecue spots in tassie.. they are free to use and since the electricity switches off every 10 minutes or so, you don’t need to worry about forgetting to switch it off.. you only need to clean it up afterwards and, of course, to get your supplies – we opted for kangaroo steaks & salmon.. okay, we had some vegetables too..

finally, in the late afternoon we arrived to the freycinet national park. we got the camping spot, set up our tent & then went for a walk along the beach. even though it was quite windy, we stayed there for a long time. these sights were keeping us forget the cold.

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tomorrow morning we decided to go for one of 60 great short walks in tasmania, namely: wineglass bay and hazards beach circuit.

oh, but before starting our hike, we had to say hello to our little friend: the wallaby! it was one of many wallabies we encountered in tasmania, but the only one we took a picture of. they were usually too quick for us.

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and then we set off..

before getting to the wineglass beach itself, we discovered plenty of little bays, whose waters were even bluer in person and whose white sand was actually made of decomposed shells..

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as you may have noticed, even the sky tends to be more beautiful in tasmania..

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after a walk along the wineglass bay, we started climbing towards the wineglass bay lookout, to get the proper view of it.

and here it is.. unfortunately, by the time we got to he lookout, the weather had already changed (apparently, there is a saying in tasmania “if it’s raining, come back in five minutes” – that’s how frequent the weather changes are).

nevertheless, the view was still spectacular, don’t you think?

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even though this was our first stop in tasmania, we immediately understood that this is truly the island of wonders..

to be continued..

sommernachtskonzert / summer night concert

vienna welcomed me pretty well, i would say.

last night we went to a summer night concert (or, in german sommernachtskonzert) – an event organized on a yearly basis, in the gardens of schönbrunn palace and hosted by the vienna philharmonic. with this open-air concert in schönbrunn, the vienna philharmonic wishes to provide all viennese, as well as visitors to the city, with a special musical experience in the beautiful setting of schönbrunn palace and its lovely gardens. and as i heard, the repertoire is different each year.

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this year’s summer night concert featured compositions by northern european composers (such as christian sinding, carl nielsen, etc) whose works are today nearly forgotten, but during their lifetime were very popular and successful.

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“music is magic. what happens in the moment when music is played? people pause, they stand still and no words are needed”  were the opening words of the twelfth summer night concert. and that’s what we did. we stood and enjoyed the great performance in the rather chilly spring night.

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ps. my photos weren’t of high quality, so i took these photos from the kurier’s website.

tasmania – explore the possibilities [australia #8]

“how beautiful is the whole region, for form, and grouping, and opulence, and freshness of foliage, and variety of color, and grace and shapeliness of the hills, the capes, the promontories; and then, the splendor of the sunlight, the dim rich distances, the charm of the winter glimpses!”

such were the comments in mark twain’s travel diary when he visited tasmania in the 1890s. even though my visit happened 120 years later, i would have written something of that sort.

tasmania.. the smallest and remotest of all australia’s states was a highlight of our trip down under. even now, when we talk about it, the words simply fail us.

during our week-long journey across tasmania, we got to see its pristine beauty.. in the following posts i will get into details of our road-trip, but here’s a sneak peek into it.

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it is true what they say, tasmania really gets to you.

the book of my lives / my new life

several months ago i read a book which stuck with me until now, and one i think i would be remembering (& referencing) for a long time.. i waited for the right moment to write about this book on my blog, as part of my little book club. it is aleksandar hemon’s memoir “the book of my lives”. critics praised hemon’s writing style, often comparing him to vladimir nabokov, both for their style and the fact that they both started writing in a foreign language rather late in their lives.

since i am no book critic, i will not focus on such particularities; i liked hemon’s work for other reasons. in this post i will focus on three of them and, finally, reflect further on the last one.

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i liked what he wrote about sarajevo, bosnia & the way people used to be before the war started. he describes sarajevo as “the world capital of gossip”, says that people of sarajevo “hated pretentiousness; it was a form of self-hatred” and later confirms what we all know.. that “there’s no word for “privacy” in bosnian”.

aleksandar hemon managed to describe the outbreak of the war as well, even to us – bosnians. as i wrote several times already, i was only seven years old when the war started and i didn’t manage to comprehend the cause of the war and what would be its outcome. years after the war had ended i understood that nobody could tell as much. as hemon wrote “i have spent time trying to comprehend how everything i had known and loved came violently apart..”. as a person who found himself abroad at the beginning of the war, he was maybe in a better position to see where we were going and where the war would lead us:  “if my mind and my city were the same thing then i was losing my mind.” finally, he wrote: “it was all over. the world had arrived and now we were all waiting to see who would live, who would kill, and who would die”. the outbreak of the war in bosnia was a defining moment in hemon’s life. just like many bosnians, he had to start a new episode: “on may 1, I didn’t fly home. on may 2, the roads out of the city were blocked; the last train (with my parents on it) departed; the longest siege in modern history began. in chicago, i submitted my application for political asylum. the rest is the rest of my life.”

my favorite part of the book was hemon’s return to sarajevo for the first time after the war had ended. or even better, his return to chicago afterwards. he wrote something which defines my feelings towards home: “when i came back from my first visit to sarajevo, in the spring of 1997, the chicago i came back to belonged to me. returning from home, i returned home.”

on 20th april i began my new life.

after seven years living in milan, i moved to vienna. meaning: a new city, a new language and a new life.

i had moved a few times already, for the first time when i was fifteen – i left the town i grew up in and moved to sarajevo. four years later, after i had finished high-school, i went to malaysia where i stayed for another four years. even though moving to malaysia might seem like more of a change, i would say that leaving home when i was fifteen was a defining moment in my life. it meant the change of lifestyle. it meant that i would no longer live with my parents, that i would have more freedom, but it also meant that i would be on my own. after graduation, i moved again. this time closer to home, to italy. unlike with the previous episodes, i didn’t have any idea how long the new episode would last, since it did not involve school or uni. as it turned out, it was the longest one – i had been living in italy for seven years before i decided it was time for me to move on.

so, here i am. at the beginning of a new life. i have to say that all my lives taught me what i had to learn, and all of them were very interesting, exciting and sometimes exhausting. each of my lives brought me a new hometown, a new language and many interesting people to meet.

however, my new life will be slightly different from my previous ones. i will have support – my husband, the reason i am here.

the otways [australia #7]

the great otway national park, also called the otways, is a national park located in the region of victoria, along the great ocean road. the national park is known for its diverse range of landscapes and vegetation types.

the otways was one of the stop-overs on our great ocean road trip. initially we weren’t planning on stopping, but the scenery was too beautiful to be missed.

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following the small path, we arrived to the tip of the cape otway, where we visited the cape otway lighthouse – one of australia’s iconic lighthouses. while visiting the lighthouse, a tour guide told us it was the second lighthouse established on the australian mainland and the one with the longest continuous operation (from 1848 to 1994).

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during our tour we also learned that during winter and spring, the lighthouse can serve as a point for whale watching, as migrating whales swim very close to shores. since we were paying a visit to the lighthouse in december (it didn’t seem like summer, though!), we missed the whales. however, the view from the lighthouse was still pretty spectacular.

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the scenery, the lighthouse & the view were truly magnificent – but what really defined our visit to the otways is a close encounter with one of australia’s icons -> koalas!

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we spotted a group of people along the road we were taking and then, wondering why there were so many people there, looked towards eucalyptus trees.. and there they were.. sitting on the tree and proudly posing to the excited tourists!

the great ocean road [australia #6]

after the first couple of days spent in melbourne, it was the time for a road trip – towards west. of course, i am talking about the famous great ocean road.

the great ocean road is a stretch of road along the south-eastern coast of australia and the essential part of the state of victoria. it was built by returned soldiers between 1919 and 1932 and dedicated to soldiers killed during world war I and it is the world’s largest war memorial. this 243 kilometers long road hides several prominent landmarks of australia, such as the twelve apostles, loch ard gorge and london arch, but also passing through the great otway national park (which will be the subject of a separate post).

our trip lasted for three days, during which we saw a lot of stunning views, went camping, fought very strong wind and, of course, took a loot of pictures!

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several things stuck us immediately: the wild beauty of australia (which we would experience even further in tasmania), the shape of the southern coast of australia and the cleanliness of air and water which may only be encountered in wild and remote places (and in australia, there are plenty of such places).

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we encountered a lot of people during this road-trip and even more animals! unfortunately a lot of them were lying dead on the side of the road, even though the warning signs were quite everywhere. but it was quite interesting how free these animals were. the first night we were staying at the rather shady camp, somewhere close to apollo bay. that camp left a lot to be desired, but it gave us quite an experience.. in the morning, our first sight was this:

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the second day was completely dedicated to otway (my next post!), but on the third day & after a long drive, we have finally arrived to the twelve apostles.
even though there are only seven of them left now (the last “apostle” collapsed only in 2012.), they are quite a sight! only when seeing these formations, one understands the true power of the southern ocean. oh, it was very windy (and crowded!), but we were so happy to see the twelve apostles soaked in sunlight.

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only a few minutes drive from the twelve apostles is another important sight of the great ocean road – loch ard gorge, named after a shipwreck of a sailing ship called loch ard, which departed from london on 1 march 1878 and was about to arrive to melbourne after nearly three months. only two people survived..

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our last stop on the great ocean road was london arch, formerly known as london bridge, because of its similarity to the actual london bridge – until 15 january 1990, when the middle part of the “bridge” collapsed out of a sudden. two tourists were left on the part which remained (and is now knon as london arch) and were eventually rescued by helicopter. the failure of the second arch is foreseen in the near future, so i guess we were quite lucky to take this picture!

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on the third day we headed back to melbourne. it was quite a long drive, which gave us plenty of time to discuss what we saw on our trip. aside from the above-mentioned sights, we were both amazed by the ever changing weather and strong wind, which followed us since the beginning of our trip. we loved seeing all those friendly people (even if the great ocean road is much more touristy than we have imagined). but the most amazing feelings we got from this trip is the force of the mighty ocean, which changed the scenery of this region. and which keeps on changing it every day.

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i hope we’ll have the chance to visit the great ocean road once again. and i hope to find it altered. for the better, of course.

royal exhibition building and carlton gardens, no.1131 [australia #5]

the royal exhibition building and the surrounding carlton gardens were designed and built for the 1880 and 1888 international exhibitions. in 2004 they were inscribed to unesco heritage sites’ list, as the representative of the largest events staged in colonial australia, which helped to introduce the world to australian industry and technology. the royal exhibition building is one of the very few remaining buildings from XIX century world exhibitions.

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the royal exhibition building is constructed of brick and timber, steel and slate and it combines elements from the byzantine, romanesque, lombardic and italian renaissance styles. like the majority of exhibition buildings from that period, its aim was to present material and moral progress through displays of industry from all nations.

the building itself is in the northern part of melbourne, away form the CBD and crowded city spaces. it is also close to brunswick street and fitzroy – former student quarters, now up & coming neighborhoods. while we were in the area, we took a walk and checked out numerous cafés & bars, artisans’ workshops and alternative fashion shops. in this neighborhood you can see melbourne in its true colors.

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while i was admiring the building itself, i couldn’t help thinking how the focus of the world’s interest changed with respect to the XIX century and especially in the last decades. the focus of the world’s exhibitions at that time was mainly achievements related to the industrialization, along with art, science and education.

this year, almost 150 years after the melbourne international exhibition, universal exposition (expo 2015) will be hosted by milan, the city i have been living in for seven years. expo 2015 will be held under the theme “feeding the planet, energy for life”. even though i will not be living in milan during the expo, i plan on visiting it. aside from wanting to see what’s new out there, i would like to explore the link between technology, innovation, culture, traditions and creativity with food and diet. i can say for sure that i would be wondering how these events used to look like in the past, when the focus was totally different. and of course, i will be asking myself what what will be the focus of future world exhibitions.