Archive for the 'Camwhoring' Category

sunday snapshots

With above zero temperatures this Sunday, we decided to explore a little bit of the city, particularly the development area of harbour district Bjørvika. On the way there, we stopped by the Opera House.

If you’ll remember, the Norwegian Opera House won the 2009 Mies van Der Rohe Award (European Union Prize for Contemporary Architecture). There’s an ongoing exhibit at the National Museum of the 48 finalists for the award, so if you’re in Oslo do check it out. The exhibit runs until April 11, 2010.

One of the founding buildings at the Barcode project in Bjørvika is the PriceWaterhouseCoopers building. I spotted this huge steel pillar with etched anthuriums so I had to pose next to it.

The Bjørvika redevelopment area is right next to the old town, which has been a subject of debate among city developers and constituents but I don’t wanna go there. So after a quick survey of all the construction projects in Bjørvika, we swung by the old town. Look at all those graffiti. Not pretty!

We saw a graveyard of  road signs on the way home. Now where do the lost ones go?

And looking back, we saw an Oslo on the rise. I like how I’ve captured that bridge in construction and the newly opened Holmenkollen ski jump tower in the background. The steel and glass Radisson Blu hotel dwarfs the dome and spire of the Oslo Cathedral. That’s old and new for you.

Happy Sunday!

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postcards from milan

View of the Alps

Approaching Milan, the majestic Alps appears outside my window.

Duomo at Night

I first saw the Duomo and its iconic spires at dusk. The intricacies of the facade was a sight to behold. The night quickly fell over the city, and the Duomo turned gold.

Galleria Vittorio Emanuelle II

From one house of worship to another, the Galleria Vittorio Emanuelle II next door is a church for worldly desires.

Via Monte Napoleone

My second day in Milan started with a stroll along Via Montenapoleone. The most revered street on the city’s “Golden Square”, the brands housed here can blind you – from Prada, Gucci and Louis Vuitton, to Ferragamo, Valentino and Versace.

Balenciaga

Off Via Montenapoleone on a street named Via Santo Spirito lies the Balenciaga store. The interior is amazing and going through the racks of clothes and displays of its famous leather goods is an experience on its own.

Via Santo Spirito Irongate

On the same street we found this beautiful iron-gated building, such a perfect backdrop for a photograph. Shot a la The Sartorialist by my friend Maureen.

Via Santo Spirito Doors

Opposite is the Palazzo Bagatti Valsecchi with its gorgeous heavy doors. It now houses one of the finest museum homes in Europe.

Fiat Planters

These Fiat Planters along Via Montenapoleone are awesome. These are fiber glass versions of the Fiat 500 C model. A “green” car? Definitely.

Armani Manzoni

The Armani flagship store on Via Manzoni is a multi-concept store that covers an entire block and offers the requisite Armani clothing along with chocolates, food, books, and homeware and furnishings.

Galleria Vittorio Emanuelle II

Hungry past lunch-time, we headed to the Galleria Vittorio Emanuelle II where I saw in brilliant detail its beautiful arcades and glass dome. We settled for the restaurant across the Gucci Cafe. I had asparagus risotto with scallops.

Galleria Vittorio Emanuelle II Arcade

The obligatory Galleria Vittorio Emanuelle II shot.

Galleria Vittorio Emanuelle II Prada

In front of the Prada store. I got myself a souvenir from here. The paper bag carries the Fratteli Prada (Prada Brothers) label.

Galleria Vittorio Emanuelle II Louis Vuitton

And the Louis Vuitton store. Surprisingly, I did not enter here. A mistake?

Galleria Vittorio Emanuelle II Windows

Amazing details on the interior facade.

Autumn in Milan

Stepping out of the Galleria, we viewed the world famous La Scala from this patch of autumn leaves.

Piazza del Duomo Maureen Mark

Maureen and I decided to go back to the Duomo, where I was to take the lift to the rooftop.

Duomo View

8 euros and a short lift ride after, I was treated to views of the city from above.

Duomo Gargoyles

The Gothic cathedral took 500 years to build and is often described as one of the greatest churches in the world.

Duomo Roof Mark

The cathedral is adorned with over 3,400 statues.

Duomo Spires

And 135 spires.

Duomo Details

Everywhere you look is simply breathtaking.

Duomo Piazza del Duomo

The view of Piazza del Duomo and the Galleria Vittorio Emanuelle II.

Duomo Roof Sunset

The best time of the day to go up the roof is towards dusk, as the setting sun romances both spires and spectators.

Corso Como Outlet

I visited the Corso Como outlet on Via Tazzoli on my third day. Tucked within a discreet building, last-season goods from the world’s most exclusive men’s and women’s fashion brands are sold here. This day they had discounts on Balenciaga, Burberry Prorsum, Pierre Hardy and Prada, in addition to the already reduced rates on men’s fashion, accessories and shoes. I got something here, too. The nearby 10 Corso Como store, on the other hand, is a class on its own complete with a bookstore and a cafe.

Navigli

For dinner, we headed to the Navigli District that is famous for its canals.

Officina 12

I had the rich Osso Bucco meal at Officina 12, a great looking place that serves classic and regional dishes. There is also a bar that looks happening.

Dedic Anno

Porta Ticinese with ionic columns and bearing the words Dedic. Anno. 1815.

Grom Gelato

To end this trip, a gelato was in order. We headed to Grom where I had the creamiest and smoothest Pistachio ice cream I’ve had in my life. Ever. It was so good.

Moon over Milan

Milan is as beautiful after dark as it is in daytime. And on my last night, the moon was peeking from behind the clouds. Casting its light to this wide-eyed wanderer. Buona notte Milano.

a greek holiday: postcards from athens

August 3, 2009

Our sightseeing tour of Athens started even before we’ve reached our hotel. Opting for a taxi to take us from the Airport to the city center, we landed a friendly and eager taxi driver who pointed us to some attractions and stopped by the roadside for me to be able to take photos – the 2004 Olympic stadium from a distance, the Olympic stadium for the first modern Olympic games in 1896 on street level and the Presidential Palace where I took a snapshot of a Presidential guard. He gave us our first brochures/guides of the city, which made me wonder whether this was a government initiative where the first points-of-contacts for tourists such as taxi drivers are allies in promoting tourism. Very efficient indeed.

It was a thrill seeing the sacred rock of Acropolis and the Parthenon that loom above everything and everyone for the first time. I’ve seen pictures a million times before but you wouldn’t really recognize the immense grandeur of the iconic landmark until you look up from your whizzing taxi. It’s there, eternally casting its glory.

Not too long after, we found ourselves on Syntagma (Parliament) Square where our hotel is centrally located. With an early evening arrival and a rather long flight with connections via Dusseldorf, we decided to just sleep after checking in. Later on that evening, we wandered around Plaka or the city’s old town looking for food. It’s a busy district brimming with tourists, restaurants and shops. Too bad I didn’t get to explore much of it during our short two-night stay in Athens.

On the way to Athens

The President's Guard

1896 Olympics Stadium

Syntagma Building

August 4, 2009

With only one full day in Athens, we decided to prioritize a visit to the Parthenon. Leaving the hotel at around 11 am, quite late actually as per the suggestion of our taxi driver earlier, we got to the slopes of Acropolis on foot by way of Plaka passing through the Roman Agora – a marketplace during Ancient Athens. After paying the admission fees, we slowly climbed and realized why it was advised that we go early in the day. The heat is sweltering and by the time we reached the spot where many people are converged in a queue, we were sweating a lot. We needed to wait for about 45 minutes shoulder-to-shoulder in line before we finally entered the grounds of the Acropolis. Silently, the Parthenon greets us at once in all its glory. Known as the most perfect building built by the world’s most advanced civilization, the Parthenon was the temple dedicated to the goddess Athena which was built in the 2nd half of 5th century B.C. It’s amazing how it has stood the test of time and how it recalls to mind that despite the city’s modernization after the 2004 Olympics, Athens is very much rooted to its ancient past living to the present.

Also on site is the Erechtheion where the famous Caryatids – six figures of maidens – have been in place since 450 B.C. Well, they are actually only replicas as the real deal is located in the New Acropolis Museum where one of the Caryatids is missing. She’s in the British Museum in London.

The hilltop location of the Parthenon is also an awesome vantage point to view the city of Athens, a truly huge metropolis!

Plaka Church Rooftop

Plaka Church Mosaic Art

Plaka on the way to Acropolis

Roman Agora of Athens

At the Roman Agora with a view of the Parthenon

Slopes of AcropolisWith the city in the background

People in line to the Parthenon

Mark at the Parthenon

Mark and Knut at the Parthenon

Parthenon

Parthenon Detail

The Erechtheion

The Caryatids

Leaving the Parthenon

One final look

Afterwards, we cooled down at the newly-opened Acropolis museum with its impressive collection of archaeological finds from the site and slopes of the Acropolis. Rising from excavations of an ancient settlement which was discovered during construction, the modern building is an architectural wonder by itself.

The New Acropolis Museum

The New Acropolis Museum

Having spent most of the day in the area, we decided to go downtown, walking past the triumphal Hadrian’s Arch and the ruins of the Temple of Olympian Zeus where only 15 Corinthian columns remain.

Hadrian's Arch

Ruins of the Temple of Olympian Zeus

After this point, Knut went back to the hotel while I headed to the high fashion street of Voukourestiou and bought some nice things from Louis Vuitton. Later that night, we dined at Kolonaki before retiring to our beds for our trip to the Cycladic island of Mykonos the following day.

And that’s another story altogether.

fun 17th of may with friends

The day after Alexander Rybak’s victory at the Eurovision Song Contest, Norway had another reason to celebrate as it was the country’s National Day, which is celebrated every 17th of May. 

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That Sunday was filled with sunshine, a farcry from last year’s wet one. Oslo was decked with the Norwegian colors of red, white and blue. The epicenter of celebration was along Karl Johan – the postcard pretty children’s parade led all the way to the Royal Palace where the royal family was waiting. Thousands of people came out in droves dressed in their best traditional costumes called bunad

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Fellow blogger Yed was still in town so he and his brother Emerson could experience this day of pride among Norwegians. Knut stayed at home to recuperate from the preparations and party the night before. We first met up with Neil and Arild. A few strides later we met with Mark, his visiting Filipino parents, and his partner. Then we moved on to the National Theater where we met up with Lucien and Enrico. From there, we decided to leave the city center and took Yed and Emerson to the Vigeland Sculpture Park, Norway’s most visited attraction. 

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Afterwards, Yed, Emerson and I went down to Aker Brygge where we would then take the Oslo Fjord Cruise from. I haven’t taken this 2-hour cruise around the islands of the Oslo Fjord before so it was a welcome respite. Thanks for the treat, Yed! 

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After docking, we proceeded to Tjuvholmen, the upscale quay-side development beside Aker Brygge to meet up with Vanessa and her family. We had dinner at Meat Market, took pictures by the docked yachts and enjoyed the breeze rolling in from the sea before driving to the Opera House and called it a day.

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It sure was an amazing 17th of May celebration spent with friends. Thanks guys!!!

matthew williamson for H&M part deux

I spoke too soon, gents. I decided to drop by H&M again and tried on the navy blazer. I had it on for some time and slowly, it grew on me. It was fun choosing which one to pick as the printed piping is unique to each blazer. On a side note, it’s unbelievable how the floral scarf is absolutely sold out in all four stores I’ve visited!

Here’s my shot at doing a modeling pic.

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Feeling jumpy in the blazer paired with the Matthew Williamson for H&M shirt, Cheap Monday jeans, and  D&G buckle belt (probably I should have had something like Joe’s Balenciaga Belt to complement the buttons).

Happy happy, fun fun.

some swedish saturday

Yesterday, Knut, two of our friends and I participated in a socio-economic phenomenon among Norwegians – driving into Sweden for cheaper consumer goods, wine and liquors. With an upcoming party, we took this chance to stock up and do some sightseeing as well in the city of Karlstad situated 107 miles southwest of Oslo.

Along the way, we rested at a camping site by a lake for some light lunch. We walked through some woods where trademark Swedish red cottages stood still, coming into a tranquil scenery where clear silent waters mirror mountains and trees. 

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Karlstad is reputed to be one of the sunniest towns in Sweden and the city symbol is a happy sun. True enough, the entire Saturday was sun-kissed which was perfect for walking around town and enjoying some great food at an outdoor restaurant. There was some sort of festival going on in Karlstad this weekend. The main town square where the Peace Monument and Parliament could be found was brimming with booths selling wares from different countries. We bought three kinds of cheddar cheese and lemon curd from the British booth. Walking along one of the main avenues, I got flanked by these little girls in troll costumes. Boy they were dirty! Haha!

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On our way back to Oslo, we took a detour and stopped by Sweden’s biggest lake called Vänern. They say that the lake is so big you can’t see the other end of it, and it apparently  measures around 10 times bigger than Norway’s biggest lake. We stumbled upon three guys having barbeque and beer and here’s a papparazzi shot – well they seem to have noticed me taking their picture. Hahaha!

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That was a nice weekend trip, yes.

easter at ekeberg

I’ve been on holiday since Monday and been spending the Easter break in the city, at home, doing nothing. Knut and I decided to walk up to the Ekeberg Restaurant this afternoon and settled for some coffee and pastries after taking in views of Oslo from above the city. 

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Taken midway the winding uphill path, Oslo is a work in progress.

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The Opera House and the city.

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The inner eastern city district, my part of town.

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Office building Havnelageret in the foreground, the City Hall’s twin blocks to the left and the Royal Palace in the background.

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A ship cruising its way in to Oslo.

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At the terrace of Ekeberg Restaurant, affording fantastic views of the city and the islands on the Oslo fjord.

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Expensive coffee and pastries. Boo!

HAPPY EASTER EVERYONE!


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