Thursday, February 15, 2018

Class of Brazil - 4th Lesson: I am what I am...

...and what I am needs no excuses - the beginning of Gloria Gaynor's evergreen is the perfect intro to this post, which deals with my perspective on the Carnival in Rio, an extremely gay event - gay in every sense of the word.

Carnival in Rio de Janeiro: bye:myself - Renata Green - byemyselftravels
Bar on the Copacabana beach

Sunday, February 11, 2018

Class of Brazil - 3rd Lesson: It is a Hellish Path to a Heavenly Place

They say that the way to hell is paved with good intentions. Well, I don't know about that, but I know that a hellish trip can take you to a heavenly place.

Tunga - Inhotim in Brazil: bye:myself - Renata Green - byemyselftravels
View across one of the beautiful lakes at the "Galeria True Rouge" where on of the strongest works by Brazilian artist Tunga is exhibited. Tunga's work was one of the first purchases for Inhotim.

Tunga - Inhotim in Brazil: bye:myself - Renata Green - byemyselftravels
This is what's inside: "True Rouge" looks like an assembly of giant hearts - and not the Valentine-kind of hearts.

Thursday, February 8, 2018

Class of Brazil - 2nd Lesson: Danger Seems Closer from Afar

At the beginning of this post stands a confession: the confession that the closer the departure date for Brazil got, the more I got nervous; by the day before my departure I was a wreck.

Copacabana Rio de Janeiro - bye:myself - Renata Green - byemyselftravels
A gentleman selling Cangas, typical Brazilian beach scarves, on the beach of Ipanema.

I wonder how many people miss out on great travel opportunities only because danger looks bigger, closer and more probable from afar. Maybe God is tricking us that way so that not every destination derogates to a horrific spring break feast.

Tuesday, February 6, 2018

Class of Brazil - 1st Lesson: We Have it Good

Since I came to Rio de Janeiro two days ago, it's been cloudy and rainy. It's still a great, beautiful and very impressive city, though, even in the rain. However, I must admit that the purpose of my stay makes it easy for me to cope with any kind of weather, since I'm not on a regular vacation.

bye:myself - Renata Green - byemyselftravels: Gustavo Prado called "Caminho Inverso"
This is what 'Bildungsurlaub' also stands for: Getting inspired by seeing things from a new perspective!
Here at Rio's Jardim Botanico, an beautiful, serene oasis not far from the beach of Ipanema.
There is not only an eclectic mix of untamed nature growing next to manicured lawns and flowerbeds, decorated with old, weathered statues and fountains. There is also an exhibition of modern art taking place.
My favorite piece is an installation by Gustavo Prado called "Caminho Inverso"/"Reversed Path". It consists of about thirty mirrors facing the top of the palm tree alley which shows you the plants from many, many....different perspectives!

Let me finally explain why I came to Brazil and what I'm doing here:

Sunday, January 28, 2018

HAMBURG - gateway to the world

Hamburg, Germany's second largest city, prides itself to be the "most beautiful city in the world". While this of course is just a highly exaggerated catch phrase, it actually is alluring with views that make you yearn for undiscovered shores - Germans call it 'Fernweh' (loosely 'aching for distance') - lots of maritim charm and its historic openness to the world.

River Elbe (Photo: © Andreas Vallbracht / www.mediaserver.hamburg.de)
Along the river Elbe all the way to the Northern Sea...who wouldn't get the travel bug with this view?
(Photo: © Andreas Vallbracht / www.mediaserver.hamburg.de)

Hence the other slogan - "gateway to the world" - takes it already much closer to its real assetts.
Whereby the city ows this description rather to the fact that Hamburg is Europe's second largest industrial port and has connected it with the rest of the world over centuries.

Saturday, January 20, 2018

THE LANGUAGE LEARNING TRILOGY - I don't claim to be an A-student....

I'm looking so much forward going to Brazil next month: Two weeks Portuguese at a school in Rio de Janeiro including living like a teenage exchange student with a family.

bye:myself - Renata Green - byemyselftravels: GNAM Roma - Sala delle Colonne / Alfredo Pirri: Passi
Learning abroad means not exclusively increasing command of a language; it allows you to learn and grow and look at
things from a different perspective.
Here during my first language course in Rome on a visit to the GNAM - Galleria Nazionale d'Arte Moderna:
Standing on "Passi" by Alfredo Pirri, consisting of a huge broken mirror on the floor
 of the Sala delle Colonne, the entrance hall.

On this occasion I'd like to look back at my previous language classes that took place in Italy and Turkey - and share some precious, fun and a bit quirky stories with you:

bye:myself - Renata Green - byemyselftravels: Language Learning Trilogy: Rome
Part One: ROME
bye:myself - Renata Green - byemyselftravels: Language Learning Trilogy: Izmir
Part Two: IZMIR
bye:myself - Renata Green - byemyselftravels: Language Learning Trilogy: Milan
Part Three: MILAN












Saturday, January 13, 2018

24 hours in...Vienna

On my last flight to Vienna, I was surprised how many passengers were on their way to farther destinations, i.e. in Austria's capital only on a layover. Therefore, after having already publish an extended article on my stay, I put together my best tips in this "24 hours in..."-post.

Majestic Vienna: At the Imperial Apartments of the "Albertina"

As usual, it's meant as an itinerary for just a layover or a short stop on a road-trip through Europe: Austria has eight(!) neighboring countries*!


If you have more time to enjoy Vienna, don't miss my recent post!


Saturday, January 6, 2018

THAILAND

I wasn't crazy about going to Thailand. I knew that it has been an average holiday destination for everybody who wanted to stew on a beach.
Especially the disgusting sex tourism to some Thai destination made the country repulsive.


byemyselftravels
Wat Arun, one of Bangkok's most important temple complexes on the west bank of River Chao Phraya.

But man, was I wrong! It obviously only depends strongly which route you travel and where you're going. I fell in deep, lasting love with Thailand.

Sunday, December 31, 2017

VIENNA - a visit by streetcar

Austria's capital Vienna is one of the European cities full of history, stories and myths.

View from the Museum Leopold
Isn't that a beautiful picture?
God and some very talented architects made it: It's the view from a window at the Museum Leopold at the Museum's Quarter.

Whether it is the Congress of Vienna where after the napoleonic wars Europe's layout and further history were determined, Empress Sisi and her tragic story or the gilded years around the turn of the century when Vienna - next to Berlin and Paris - was the center of the artistic and intellectual avant-garde.

Saturday, December 23, 2017

CAMBODIA

"...now you can go where people are one
Now you can go where they get things done
What you need my son:
Is a holiday in Cambodia
Where people dress in black
A holiday in Cambodia
Where you'll kiss ass or crack..."

This is an excerpt from the song "Holiday in Cambodia" by the US band "The Dead Kennedys". Being a punk band, the lyrics are ment to grate on you in their very cynical way; and as a matter of fact, Cambodia has always been synonym of murder and destruction and by no means a holiday destination; apart from Angkor, Asia's most important sanctuary, that has been a World Heritage Cultural site since 1992.

Dancers Angkor Wat
While Angkor Wat was always an admired historical and cultural site, the rest of the country was considered a grave yard filled with the victims of Pol Pot's Khmer Rouge. Four years that pushed the country back into the Stone Age.

Only when my friend Philippe told me about his plans of travelling to Cambodia, I took into consideration that it might be an interesting destination and a country worth exploring. I decided following his example.

Saturday, December 16, 2017

24 hours in...Bangkok

After my stopover in Bangkok on the way back from my travels through Cambodia, I'm now ready to share my best tips in this brand-new "24 hours in..."-post. As usual, it's ment for just a layover or a very short break on a trip through Thailand.

Wat Phra Keo Bangkok
Bangkok's most important sight Wat Phra Keo, part of the Royal Palace, is a must-see - whether rain or shine.

Of course in 24 hours you'll see just a fraction of all the attractions this bustling mega-city has to offer. So if you're staying longer or want to try out more, check out the Bangkok-section in my Thailand-post.

Wednesday, December 6, 2017

CAMBODIAN DIARY - 8th CHAPTER - Conclusion in Siem Reap

So this is the final chapter of my Cambodian Diary and I intended to call it 'Climax in Siem Reap' since I expected this stop to be this journey's highlight - and because I was counting on the sexual connotation to rocket me up the search engines.

Angkor Wat
The world famous reflection can be captured as well at 7 a. m.

But as a matter of fact, Siem Reap was not this trip's most memorable part; and even Angkor was only one of the highlights. But that's definitely a personal story. Here's a roundup of four days in Cambodia's tourist hot spot.

Saturday, December 2, 2017

CAMBODIAN DIARY - 7th CHAPTER - Couth on Thansur Bokor

It's almost spooky: In my last post I've complained about too many options, too little time - and today I got stuck since noon at a wonderful place in a luxurious hotel room with oodles of time to get a lot of pleasurable things done.

Wat Sampov Pram - golden Buddha
The golden Buddha at Wat Sampov Pram. One of the many sights we were not able to see on the first day in the mist.

Wednesday, November 29, 2017

Monday, November 27, 2017

CAMBODIAN DIARY - 5th CHAPTER - Connecting in Kep

Guess what: I managed to escape the fresh hell of Alcatraz aka Koh Rong Samloem.

Crab Market Kep
One of the numberless fish hawkers on the famous Crab Market in Kep.

And since then it's all coming up R...enata.

Sunday, November 26, 2017

CAMBODIAN DIARY - 4th CHAPTER - Complete Chaos in Koh Rong Samloem

There are these really perfect days in Edenic locations that are perfect for me as a traveller, but are challenging me as a blogger - there is simply not much to write about. 'Pretty' is quickly described...and then there is not much left but enjoying and cherishing the moment.

As you can see, I began the day - and the boat trip full of optimism.

Today, my friends, was quite the opposite: extremely challanging for the traveller in me and a great gift for the blogger.

Friday, November 24, 2017

CAMBODIAN DIARY - 3rd CHAPTER - Calmness in Koh Rong

A makeshift beach bar in the middle of nowhere.

Koh Rong Sok San Beach
You might not see it on this picture, but this chair just has my name on it....

You don't have a clue how beautiful nowhere can be!

Wednesday, November 22, 2017

CAMBODIAN DIARY - 2nd CHAPTER - Confusion in Sihanoukville

After today I think I should change my blog's name: Even after four days in Cambodia, I haven't said that loudly "bye" to myself. And the ongoing mishaps really keep on testing me big time.

Yes, don't frown. Mind you, it's a journey, not a vacation.

I want my life - and my travels, too - planned and organized just as booked.
My life - and my trip - don't seem to know...or they just don't care.

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

CAMBODIAN DIARY - 1st CHAPTER - Commotion in Phnom Penh

The first day or two at a place I've never been to before are always like having fallen into Alice's rabbit hole: Pleasantly real and amazingly surreal at the same time. There are no rabbits with watches crossing my way, but many people - and all of them belong here and all of them know where they are heading to....but me. And I can rub my eyes as often as I please - I am here in this unreal reality.

Phnom Penh Cambodia
Although a picture of a fancy Wat might be more promotionally effective, this picture shows Phnom Penh's charm to me.

Saturday, November 11, 2017

FRANKFURT - city of stark contrasts

For decades Frankfurt had a very bad reputation - especially in the rest of Germany: ill famed for sex and crime in contrast to cold, charmless facades of skyscrapers housing scrupulous banks overtowering a sinister sex and crime scene at the adjacent Bahnhofsviertel, the neighborhood around the main station.

Frankfurt Skyline - bye:myself
This is Frankfurt....
(ⓒ #visitfrankfurt, Photo: Holger Ullmann)
Römerberg - bye:myself
....and this is Frankfurt, too.
(ⓒ #visitfrankfurt, Photo: Holger Ullmann)

Therefore the first and for you travellers most important contrast I'd like to point out is the one between Frankfurt's bad reputation and the reality.