8/19/2014

The Istria Diaries

 With the weather being the way it is of late, wait, scratch that, the whole summer long, I have forgotten what a proper summer in Slovenia feels like. There is no more blistering heat, no more slinky summer dresses, no more balmy summer evenings, it’s just rain, wind and clouds.

The funny thing is that up North, the weather is better than ever. Sunny and summery. And down South, the weather is rainy and rotten. It’s like the whole world is upside down, I don’t understand. Do you have any idea how many slinky summer dresses I have in my closet that are just dying to be worn and don’t get out because it’s too cold outside? It’s not fair!

This weekend, I took a mini break from work, thinking I’m going to have a glorious three day vacay in Istria, instead the weather Gods played a trick on me, and decided to mess it up by first sending a strong gust of wind to unsuspecting swimmers (that would be me) who climbed quickly out of water and rested on the rocks, goose bumps covering my whole body. I then spent the rest of the day wrapped in a beach towel, shivering from the cold, wishing I had brought a sweater to the beach.

 The next day, the weather Gods decided they were bored and played even more tricks on us bathing suit-clad lesser mortals and sent the rain. I spent the entire Saturday indoors reading a book with a thick sweater on, while my friend was quietly snoring in the corner of the room. Yay, we were on holiday!

In the evening, the rain finally subsided and we heard through the grapevine that there is a concert in town. We quickly got dressed and went out. The concert was magical with all the floating lanterns, it was beautiful, fabulous… it was also really really cold! 15 degrees plus wind. People were wearing parkas, while my friend and I were freezing our tails off in light summer sweaters. Unbelievable!
Luckily, the next day was pure sunny bonanza, the weather was perfect, the temperatures were just right, I finally got a little bit of tan and the water was fantastic! The water was so pleasantly warm and lovely, I just couldn’t get enough of swimming. Is there anything better than floating in crystal clear water? I swear I could feel my troubles just melting away with each stroke. It was well worth the long wait! Gorgeous!
 And – I made a new friend? Isn’t it cute?:)
Note to myself: Next time, bring an even thicker sweater and bring it to the beach, that way, the weather is bound to be sunny and hot.

Love,

Teja xoxo

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8/13/2014

Shopping and Eating in Dublin

Hey guys, this post is about one of my favorite activities when I go abroad which are shopping and eating. I have to admit that I avoided most of the mainstream fashion labels, such as H&M, Zara, Topshop, etc. because we have them in Slovenia and also because I am getting fed up with them and was ready to discover something new and fresh, preferably local.

I discovered 9 Crow Street completely by accident as I was passing by the shop windows. Looking back, I think I was drawn by the pretty pastel colors. Upon entering I fell in love with the eclectic interior design, it’s sort of a mish-mash of old and new which is also reflected by the goods: they are part vintage, part brand new. Speaking of which, you should check out the 9 CrowStreet’s label Pretty Owls Drink Tea, it is a kind of homage to unicorns and mermaids. I mean who doesn’t like unicorns? Or mermaids?
The label and shop's owner 

Cath Kidston
This is actually an English label selling bags, clothes, wallpaper, and stationery with a vintagey vibe. And since I am a total sucker for anything with prints, my feet just spontaneously turned into the shop’s direction. Everything, and I mean everything when I say everything, was in prints. It was cute but I think that you can get a bit of a stimuli overload since everything is so colorful and… printed, your eyes don’t get a minute’s rest. I’d still recommend it because it’s so English.
This was one of my favorite galleries in Dublin, selling only art by Irish artists. I really liked the venue, it’s airy, full of light and everything is cleverly displayed, using up almost all available wall space. The art comprises mostly of really amusing colorful prints (see my Instagram account), brooches, postcards and eclectic jewelry. The price range is very customer friendly, so I immediately treated myself to a cool vintage printJ A must-see!
This is another really nice vintage shop, one of the many in Dublin that I would recommend. When you enter, you should totally check out the boho-chic jewelry behind the glass case, it’s more expensive but soooo pretty!
The ground floor is filled with really eclectic jewelry, among which are many steam punk pieces that, I admit, could never pull off wearing. The basement is a true vintage treasure chest. All you need is a bit of patience to dig out your little vintage treasure.

Leo Burdock – Traditional Fish and Chips
This is truly the best Chipper in Dublin, and also the oldest one. I was served by an older gentleman, (was he Mr Burdock?), who was one of the coolest people I have ever met. I don’t know why, but I immediately liked him. He took his time with the Fish and Chips, but he served it to me with that old school style. Like a boss. The fish tasted amazing!
Peacockgreen Heavenly Cakes and Pastries
I have to admit that I didn’t go in because the circumstances were such that I really really did not have the time, but judging by the clever display of cakes and the number of clients, it should be goodJ
Umi Falafel
I instagrammed about the Umi Falafel and I will say it again: it really is the best falafel I have had. Well worth the 15-Minute wait because it was full of customers. I think one falafel costs around 5 euros, which is twice as much as in Ljubljana, but it’s also twice as goodJ

8/11/2014

The Cork Diaries: Part 2 a.k.a. In Ireland Drugs Go Cheap

After the trip to the Cliffs, I noticed that my already a bit sore throat got much worse. I could barely swallow food, and I had a bit of a pain in my ears as well, no doubt due to the eternally windy Irish weather that I as a Southie was not used to.

So I went to the nearest pharmacy and got myself these kick-ass throat pills with ‘’anesthetic to quickly numb the throat pain and antibiotic to help fight throat infection’’ end quote. I took one and lo – not only I didn’t feel any pain in my throat after less than a minute, but my tongue felt a little… heavy. Turns out the pills had enough numbing agent to numb a small pony! This would definitely not be sold as an over-the-counter drug in Slovenia. Also, I could not believe that I had to pay only 3.45 euros for 24 throat lozenges. It was a friggin bargain! I wish I had bought more!

That’s when I got an ingenious idea. Since the meds are so cheap in Ireland, I was going to get a bunch of them and take them home, it shouldn’t be a problem, since both Ireland and Slovenia are in the EU. So I got two packets of these things called Lemsip, which is an equivalent of the Slovene Lekadol - turns out they were 30% cheaper! Then, when my cold turned for a bit worse, I also got myself 1000 mg Vitamin C pills, again, not available in Slovenia, as the Vitamin C pills in Slovenia have the sissy dosage of 200 mg of Vitamin C! So, it was definitely a good purchaseJ

The only thing that I really really missed while having a cold in Ireland, was a steamy hot shower. Turns out that up North, they don’t really take showers with hot water up from 38 degrees Celsius like we do in the South. I was bitterly disappointed since having a nice hot shower would be a perfect thing after the cold Atlantic wind almost blowing me off the Cliffs. Instead, I ended up having shower with the temperature of the water at pathetic 28 degrees, maybe even less, almost wishing I had brought a sweater to the shower. I mean, what the hell, paddies, can’t you take a decent shower with boiling hot water, like we do in the South? I know it would be tough at first, but it would harden your spirit. I dare you, descendants of bad-ass Vikings and Celts!

Putting the topic of drugs aside – I met two really interesting Slovene guys while in Cork, which is a miracle by itself since Slovenia is so small, there’s only two millions of us. Anyway, they guys were jugglers, actual jugglers, and the members of the International Jugglers Association (yes, there is such a thing). They were so sweet and even tried to teach me how to juggle (the operative word being ‘tried’). We ended up hanging out, having lunch at O’Flynn’s Gourmet Sausages – they were pretty good, I have to say. It was really interesting from the observers’ point of view to see how the guys were making money as street artists, how they chose a venue, approached the people, working their charm on them. I learned a lotJ
(My sausage sandwich:))
After saying goodbye to them, I went shopping and treated myself to a bit of retail therapy, I bought this incredible lip balm and a gorgeous moisturizing hand cream from the label called Lanolips. I swear, this thing is the best for dry skin! I am so pleased with it.

I also discovered a cute little boutique called Brocade& Lime where I found the cutest replica dresses in 1950s style with the most amazing prints, like lollipops and ice-cream and tiny ships, OMG were they beautiful! If you’re a vintage enthusiast and you’re in Cork, go to Brocade & Lime!


 Also, one of my favorite places to shop in Cork was actually the English Market. I really like grocery shopping:)
A few more photos from the streets of Cork:

Hope you enjoyed this post,

Love,

Teja xoxo

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8/07/2014

The Cliffs of Moher Diaries

If you ever decide to travel to Ireland, this is the place to visit. From my entire Ireland holiday, the Cliffs of Moher were my personal favorite.
Since the bus and train connections in Ireland aren’t that grand (notice me using the local lingo?:)), I think the most elegant way for a tourist would be to go to the local tourist office and book a day tour. I chose the Paddywagon Tours and the cost per person was 35 euros. Since my hostel was also sponsoring (or being sponsored by ?) the tour, it came cheaper, only 27 euros, which was a bargain! So, my advice would be to ask at your hostel if you get a discountJ
Our guide, Gavin, warned us beforehand that there are no rails or fences and that theCliffs of Moher are the cheapest way to get a divorce, since it is only one push away (I have always appreciated the British-slash-Irish dry humor).
(Ever wondered what's at the bottom of the cliffs? Ta-daaah!)

Watching the tourists, I have noticed many faux-passes in the way they were dressed or the way they were acting, so I’ve comprised a hopefully helpful to do list:

So, if you’re visiting the Cliffs of Moher, this is what you should do:

-leave the skimpy skirts and tops and home and dress warmly with a windbreaker on top. A really strong cold wind is blowing from the Atlantic and let’s face it, you’re not a polar bear. Or Irish. Or an Irish polar bear.
-leave the flip-flops at home. There are rocks and stones that become really slippery when it’s raining (which is basically all the time in Ireland). Wear appropriate (waterproof) shoes. (If you’re reading this thinking, well that’s common sense. Well, my experience has shown that common sense ain’t common enough - quite a few people were in flip flops climbing on rocks – and slipping on rocks).
-wear a scarf around your neck to keep your throat warm. You’ll thank me once you get there.

-wear a sweat-proof T-shirt under your sweater. Why? There’s a lot of climbing going on there and you will sweat. Once you stop and pose for the latest selfie, the wet cotton T-shirt under your sweater will feel cold against your back and you can catch a cold later on. A sweat-proof T-shirt will absorb the sweat and won’t feel cold against your skin. I really recommend it.

-have an extra piece of clothing, such as an extra sweater or extra T-shirt in your backpack ready to change.

-do not go to the Cliffs if you have a fear of heights. Seriously. I’ve noticed a couple of people freaking out and running inland towards safety. If you have a fear of heights, why would you walk along the edge of the 218-meter-high cliffs that have no rail? In my opinion, that’s just asking for it!


Hope you enjoyed this post,

Love,

Teja xoxo

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