Month: July 2017

Prague / Praha

Prague is such a beautiful place with the loveliest buildings. It is home to the largest castle complex in all of Europe, Prague Castle. Some of the prettiest views can be seen from there! Although my time in Prague was brief, it was oh so lovely. What a charming place.

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Nabeela x

 

 

 

Sunday Sipping / The Silo

I recently popped into the beautiful new hotel and the V&A Waterfront, The Silo, for Sunday tea with family.  The juxtaposition of the  fresh, modern art and luxurious interiors within the old grain elevator walls make for an incredible space. Naturally, I fell in love. We went to the Willaston Bar, a lovely space with amazing views, good coffee and delicious cakes. If you’re looking for a cool new spot to do coffee dates, this is your place!

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Nabeela x

{The first photo was taken by Iman Cassiem. The rest were taken by me.}

 

 

Salzburg

Ah, Salzburg. I’ve watched the Sound of Music a few times too many when I was little (every week for a few months), so you can imagine my excitement to be in the very place it was made! The beautiful gardens with rolling lawns was a treat to visit (especially since a scene from The Sound of Music was shot there). As I’ve played the piano for most of my life, I thoroughly enjoyed the Mozart Geburtshaus, (Mozart’s birth house) which is now a wonderful museum. We only spent a few hours in Salzburg, but I enjoyed every second!

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Mozart Geburtshaus

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Nabeela x

 

Munich / München

Munich is incredible. Its such a beautiful city with the loveliest buildings. We explored by bike, as one does in Germany. Its incredible how many cyclists there are! As a lover of riding my bike, I had such a blast! Anyhow, here are my snaps! (I don’t have too many snaps as my phone wasn’t on me for most of the tour. Again, I tried to absorb things through my eyes and not only my lens).

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Marienplatz

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The Home of FC Bayern Munich

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Venice / Venezia

I’ve always dreamed of going to Venice. I’ve seen people riding gondolas in the canals in movies and photos, and never thought I’d be lucky enough to visit this beautiful place.

Venice is made up of 120 small islands, and there are around 400 bridges going over the canals! The buildings are exceptionally beautiful, and the little restaurants and cafes on the water have such a lovely charm. Venice is just as beautiful as the photos. Its one of those places where you have to control yourself or else you’ll just take photos of everything.

A water taxi or gondola is a must. You can’t go to Venice and not go on the water! We also explored quite a bit on foot, then crossed the Rialto Bridge and explored the other side. Its such a beautiful place. It definitely stole a chunk of my heart too! I dream of going back some day.

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A typical Venetian water taxi

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Rialto Bridge

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A stunning art installation

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Campanile di San Marco

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Doge’s Palace

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Nabeela x

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Florence / Firenze

Florence has a sort of slow, laid-back atmosphere, that contrasts the business that is Rome. Florence is simply lovely. We only spent one day there, so I don’t have too many photos, but this lovely place left its mark on my heart. The little market square selling every delightful leather product you could think of and the warming atmosphere are incredible. The streets have such a calm, quiet feel in the evenings and its the kind of place that you can’t help but fall in love with…

The Duomo in Florence blew me away. The intricacy of the marble detailing is just mind-boggling, and as a person who dapples in the arts, I felt a deep appreciation of the craftsmanship and time that was required to create something quite so exquisite. None of the detail on the facade is painted – it is all inset in marble.

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The Florence Catherdral (Duomo di Firenze)

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The remarkable Statue of David, at the Galleria dell’Accademia

Throughout my trip, I tried to not let taking photos dictate my every move. I took quick snaps of things I saw that inspired me, but I wanted to see and embed my travels into my memory, rather than my memory card…

Nabeela x

Rome / Roma

When in Rome, gelato is abundant and traffic rules are non-existent. You feel as if you’ve stepped into a parallel dimension where laid-back life, and hustle and bustle harmoniously co-exist . Romans are charismatic and love their city.  I have never been to a city that values aesthetic appeal so much. The old buildings all painted in a cohesive colour palette make for a visual paradise. It feels like walking on a rather massive, exceptionally beautiful movie set.  To say that Rome is beautiful would be an understatement. 

The weather was really hot when we were in Rome, and it was such a pleasure to escape what has been a rather harsh winter in Cape Town. 

Italian gelato is amazing. On just about every corner, you will find a gelateria – some are high-end, and others are little family shops – each with their own unique charm. I thoroughly enjoyed every spoonful! 

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Quirinal Palace

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The Pantheon
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Details of the Pantheon

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Cafe Granita from one of the oldest cafes in Rome. Not my usual choice, but delicious nonetheless.
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Details in the Vatican City

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Trevi Fountain

I think its safe to say that Rome is a cultural and historical masterpiece.

Nabeela x

Home

After traveling around Europe for the past twelve days, I am home. It was the best way I could possibly have spent my first two weeks as a sixteen year-old.

Traveling has woken up a part of me that I knew existed, but haven’t been very familiar with. It makes me hungry for adventure, and makes me want to do and see as much as possible. My heart is full of wanderlust, my head is full of inspiration and ideas and my gallery is full of photos. Being home feels a little strange, I’ll admit. But coming home is part of the journey.

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This trip was very different for me. It was the first time that I flew without my parents, and I learnt a lot due to the fact that there were so many things I had to do for myself. Even although it was a school trip and we had two teachers with us, we checked in ourselves, managed our own money, and were responsible for ourselves. I learnt a lot about the places I visited, but I learnt even more about traveling and myself in general, and how different things are in other countries.

I certainly am hungrier than ever for adventure and travel. I think its safe to say that the travel bug has bitten!

Over the next little while, I’ll be sharing some words and photos of the places I visited over here.

“I haven’t been everywhere, but it’s on my list.” – Susan Sontag

Nabeela x

 

What’s The Origin? / Ethical Fashion

I walk into a mall. I spot a sale on at one of my favourite stores. I rush in, my heart racing at the thought of a new shiny garment in my hands. My hands frantically rush through the sale racks. Is there nothing in my size? Its only R100! I have to take something home! Ah, finally! I spot a grey tee-shirt in a size XS. That’s something I’ll wear, right? I have another three or so at home, so I know I wear things like this. I rush to the checkout point. Stick my debit card in the machine and pay for my purchase. I get a shiny new carrier to add to my collection at home. Brrt. Brrt. The verification of purchase has come through from my bank. I get home and fling the fourth grey tee-shirt in a size XS into my wardrobe that is so full that I can’t even get to the stuff at the bottom. But, it’s okay, right? I feel good. Well, I felt good. The euphoria lasted all of ten seconds. Instant gratification. It’s worth it right? 

Does any of this sound familiar to you? It certainly sounds familiar to me. However, that’s not me anymore.

Over the past year or so, I’ve been doing more and more research into fast fashion and the implications thereof. A disclaimer before I start: I certainly don’t sport a wardrobe comprised only of ethical brands. There’s more to an ethical closet than just that.

The fashion industry has grown exponentially in my lifetime alone. There are constantly new retail stores popping up with brightly-coloured signage, luring you in, trying to get you to spend your money and in return, you’ll get another piece of low-quality clothing that you don’t need or want.

But there’s more to the clothes you wear than just the shiny, polished rack they hang on in the store before you buy it. There’s a lot more. Have you ever thought about where they come from? The hands that touched the cloth you wear on your skin? The hands that slaved away to sew up the garments that hang on the rails of high-end stores? Are those hands happy? Do those people earn enough to live? Workers in sweatshops of some of the most highly coveted brands in the world are slaving away daily, with minimal breaks, if any, to produce the clothing we purchase, without giving it second thought. To give an example, since 2010, 8000 workers in an H&M sweatshop have collapsed from malnutrition, and the heat inside the factories, to name a few.* Most of these workers were earning less than minimum wage.

Due to the meteoric growth of the fashion industry, major brands can’t keep up with demand, without compromising on quality and ethics. Now, if you’re anything like me, the whole situation makes me feel terribly guilty, very helpless, and a bit stuck. What do I wear? Ethical brands can cost a small fortune (understandably so; they pay their workers decently), and being a teenager, with an unstable body shape, I’m constantly outgrowing clothes, and can’t be spending too much.

We end up having to buy fast fashion for lack of anything else. Understanding that there is a backstory to the clothes you wear is a good place to start. Educate yourself. Do research to see which brands have the most healthy factories and pay their employees above minimum wage and shop there instead. First prize would be to shop ethical brands, but that can be costly, and is unattainable for many. Be practical, and be educated.

One way I try to be more conscious is by doing a price comparison before I buy an item of clothing. I check how much it costs at a fast fashion retail store, and how much it costs at a local, ethical brand. If the latter is the same, or less (sometimes it is!), I choose to buy the ethical brand.

By educating yourself about fast fashion and the industry, you can make smarter choices, and end up with a little more peace of mind. There are some great resources that have amazing articles and resources. One of them is Fashion Revolution, an incredible organization that is changing the way we see fashion.

Its a process and a journey. It takes time, and it takes reading and learning. Don’t be afraid to ask. If you’re curious about the working conditions of the employees of a factory making the clothes you wear, ask! I tweet brands all the time!

“Fast fashion isn’t free. Someone somewhere, is paying.” – Lucy Siegle 

Nabeela x

{*Source: The Sun } 

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