15.09.14 – day 112 [hungary-croatia]
It was quite a journey today; what was supposed to be a simple trip from Budapest to Zagreb, turned into this long drawn out adventure of transfers and changes. Departing at 6.05am we left on time and I was starting this trip skeptical based on the sketchy two-car train that was supposed to be taking us 4+ hours. Luckily upon arrival to the train I met a 22 yr old from England who was just in Croatia for 3 weeks. It was lucky to have company on this ride because what was supposed to be a simple voyage turned long and tiresome. The tracks seem to be out ahead, so it was a constant change between train to bus to train to bus to train… and more. It felt as though we were on a school field trip and the conductors were our chaperons. It was quite an interesting day. The ticket itself was a hand written ticket; full of what I saw as table scratch and unreadable but to others was my way out of the Schengen Countries into a new state of travel. This by far is a great and interesting start to my new chapter of travel and lessons. Time to open up and absorb what crazy shenanigans the world has to offer.
14.09.14 – day 111 [budapest, hungary]
Today marks the end of book one of my trilogy of travel. It is my last day in what is known as the Schengen Countries and what the western culture that I come to know and live with. From here on out, will be new rules, new cultures and new ways. I needed this time in Budapest to really close this chapter of my travels and to really absorb all my changes, lessons and experiences. It has been quite a journey thus far: I have slept on streets, weaseled my way from country to country, rode a bike for 545 km on a whim, found myself in countries I was never expecting, and most important I was discovering and learning about myself.
Budapest was a roller coaster within itself, but great personal strides. I have grabbed a hold of the concept of saying see you later, I have learned to fall back on myself and stand up and do what I want. I have faced fears of the bed bugs, and I have committed to letting go and getting a piercing. Regardless of whether I liked Budapest or not, the time I had here was worth every second and every forint.
10.09.14 – day 107 [budapest, hungary]
two words…bed bugs. – my biggest fear has just been faced
Today it felt like a vacation…no where to go, no stress, no rush (at City Park, Budapest)
08.09.14 – day 105 [budapest, hungary]
This city possesses so much potential and so much creativity but there seems to be a cloud, a fog over the locals that just grays out the excitement and liveliness. Hungary appears to be not the easiest of places to live: pay is often low, hours are long and the difference between what is right and wrong seems to be slightly corrupted in favor of making money than being able to put ones foot down. I have made a great friend here in Budapest, and what he tells me about the true reality of Hungary can be summed up in ‘its shit’ – that’s a big pill to swallow. To think many look at their country and only want to flee is rather eye opening for me. Here I am traveling the world because I was abled to be in the situation to do so, but many of those in other places of the world can barely have the ability to quit a job and find a new one: they must put up with the reoccurring ‘shit’ that the system puts on them. I look at Budapest with just as much dichotomy as there is in the name. Buda and Pest are the two sides to the river, but the city itself seems to have two sides as well. The polished and well run social and public sector and the ‘shit’ of the private run, private owned reality. Houses seem to be crumbling, workers appear to be frustrated, the youth dreams about leaving, but the parliament, the public squares, the extravagance of the water features seems to be a blinder to the tourism about the reality of those that live there.
I was never one for a two faced situation – but I question is Buda and Pest just as conflicted as public and private?
05.09.14 – day 102 [hungary, budapest]
The three day city: some cities you need to baste in and take your time and really absorb the culture and the environment, others you should just pass through, see the sights, enjoy the culture and roll through. Budapest to me is the latter. It is a wonderful short-term destination; the sights are beautiful, the monuments are grand and mesmerizing. The baths are relaxing but highly touristic – loud English echoing the halls and the saunas. I found if staying here longer and going beyond enjoying the ruin pubs, the raw culture and nightlife, the polished public squares and ability to drink and hangout in public, this place can turn dark and cold.
I find when I travel to see myself as a guest rather than a tourist. I have no additional rights than those that are local; I have no need for blinders to hide from what life is behind the song and dance. I am here to see the city for what the city is for. And for tourists it’s a quick stop of fun and relaxation and then on to a new destination. Even at the end of day three I begin to see the cracks that a blinded tourist will miss. Witnessing the yearly district trash day was a sight I have never seen: piles of trash – construction materials, housewares, clothing and rubbish was flooded the district and gypsys flooded the street scavenging for supplies and materials. All while right next door in the West End shopping mall life was carrying on as another day with luxury shopping and spending. It was such and eye opening contrast.
03.09.14 - day 100
Today marks 100days of traveling: from the ALC, to Berlin to Amsterdam to Budapest - I have grown and changed so much. Each picture resembles a moment in time where something in me has changed for the better or for the worst. But when one spends so much time looking within and understanding who they are one grows and becomes stronger. It has been a crazy start so far, I have grown and learned more about my habits and personality than I ever thought I would and sometimes I wish things were different, but overall I can’t believe its been 100 days. With in this time I have begun to open up and challenge myself. So lets all wait and see where the road takes me over the next 256 days that I have left. It is time to let go and really put myself out there and be more outgoing and adventurous than I think I can.
02.09.14 - day 99 [budapest, hungary]
I sat here for hours - observing, watching, documenting the patterns and the movements of all those walking through and taking a moment to sit, talk, watch, live. The public spaces here are phenomenally designed, modern and integrated with multi interactive elements, allowing for occupants to create and interact with their own comforts and groupings. Perfect for individuals and groups alike. - looking forward to seeing more!
01.09.14 - day 98 [venice, italy]
Beyond the bond between water and city this city is layered with a mystery that no other city I have seen possesses. Something about the layout of streets, squares and bridges – a constant maze just slows down the life and the pace of how people get around town and beyond that how they live. The small world charm and lack of anything mainstream or commercial results in this networking of neighbors, families and traits. Here there are no big box stores: you rely on the goods from others and their connections to get you what you need and to give what you have to them – as if a modern day barter system.
31.08.14 - day 97 [venice, italy]
day two of the Architecture Biennale di Venezia
what keeps me looking ahead and remembering what’s behind
(at Venice, Italy)
30.08.14 - day 96 [venice, italy]
Latvia is a society of post war modernism, rapid growth and development - with little research and knowledge in what modernism means and what impact it has on its users, occupants, designers and builders. By exposing their history with unanswered questions, you leave this pavilion full of knowledge, connection and inspiration. Opening your mind to the idea of modernism.
Unlike any other pavilion who simply answered the events question, Latvia answered the question with more questions - what is modernism? What is behind all these facades?
For me it was what I needed. The insight, the beauty. the blunt creativity.
30.08.14 - day 96 [venice, italy]
The Architecture Biennale di Venezia was rather different this year, as a research-based Exhibition: the theme was not enforced, but suggested of Absorbing Modernity 1914-2014. This direction was generally accepted in which you could see how each country chose to define their modernity over a century.
I found the broad topic with the underlying theme of Fundamentals (by rem koolhaas) to be too generic or basic for true development to come from. Out of all the pavilions and exhibitions I would only say that a handful actually stood out to me with a clear creative concept and execution: Latvia, Croatia, Israel, Korea and a few others. It was rare that there was a balance between fact/education and simple clear depiction of concept that is both attentive and graphic. The Latvian Pavilion used their text and their need for research to create a moving event that sparks a new point to move forward rather than the typical reflection over a past of 100 years. This looking forward by learning from the past is what I was hoping to see more of, but sadly I found many countries creativity lackluster and purely expelling chronological information.
As for the Monditalia – I found a lack of connection for myself within the Italian exhibition – I do not easily relate to movies and therefore this juxtaposition was wasted on my focus and want for architectural or conceptual inspiration. Some of the instillations were well focused and had great concepts behind them, while others were just bland facts and unmoving displays of information.
Lastly the exhibition by Koolhaas himself was an interesting depiction of the dissection of architecture and the details that are drawn for the past century. Sadly for me this development was what I see in architecture every day, both concepts and facts where what I study and what I see. So I was left unmoved and uninspired. However, the one depiction of balcony’s depicting the course of history was quite a vivid and excellent perspective. To see how the balcony can symbolize rebellion, protest as well as power and conformity was a great transformation and truly eye opening. Just think of the past and how balconies were always used to proclaim a message.
30.08.14 - day 96 [venice, italy]
Where else do you get to see a gondola race. I even got goose bumps