Spring Break 2017: Part 1

24 March

Finally ended the anticipation-filled wait and shone the sun of our traveling day! Exactly the day after finals end — what exactly could resemble a happiness like that, where you are going to your absolute FAVORITE place on Earth right after your last final exam?!

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Turkey. Heaven. Home. A place of comfort and familiarity for us. A vacation spot whose almost every mall, park, restaurant, touristic mosque, and street we’ve been to, but whose spontaneousness and exhilaration is always as alive as its traffic.

One reason we’re obsessed with Turkey is because of the stunning, sometimes-unpredictable weather. There are always clouds in the sky! There’s always rays of sun radiating warmth even when the breeze is as cold and shocking as the refrigerator section in a grocery store.

This place has become a second home to us and I think we’ll be visiting more than once a year every year for the next ten years. Yepp, that’s how much we’re in love!

Plus, I think traveling to the same familiar places every year as a family is much easier, safer, and more practical. There’s even more freedom as members of the family have the option to stay home/at the hotel if they don’t feel like going out — which does a great deal of lessening the annoyance and tension of seeing each other and being together 24/7!

25 March

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The best shopping trips are always those when we’re on vacation and everyone’s in a good mood and everything feels new and exciting.

Turkey is especially a good spot for high-end designer shopping. There’s one mall called Zorlo Center that has one area fully dedicated to big brand stores. Glass surrounds the spacious passageway of stores, which is also half OUTDOOR!, and the scenery of it is absolutely stunning. You’re shopping in a place where the light is almost fully from the sun. You can see the sky and the clouds as you feel yourself in a fancy movie walking with shopping bags hanging from your wrists. You don’t feel caged in a mall where you don’t know if the sun is still up or if you’re even still in the same day! That’s my favorite. This mall is totally recommended.

26 March

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Here, we were in Yalova visiting family. The sky was immaculately white and engulfed by clouds. The wind was cool and breezy. Our noses were red. Our lips were almost dry. This may sound depressing to some, but that is one definition of utter happiness for us.

People seemed content. Some of them were walking and chatting in groups, some were coming in and out of stores, some were standing at those Turkish little food trollies, lovers had their arms around each other to keep warm, mothers pushed trollies while fathers held their kids as they all talked and laughed together. We lived this marvelous scene and felt so at home with this society, as we understood their language and knew allot about their culture. Sometimes we would even unintentionally laugh if we heard someone saying a joke, and they would look at us strangely as to why we were suddenly laughing and how did we understand what they were laughing about. Most of them are friendly, though. We end up chatting, usually.

27 March

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28 March

This was the day of our departure from our beloved İstanbul. The next destination was Bilbao, a city in Spain. And here commences the exploration part of this short vacation.

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From İstanbul, we took a plane to Amsterdam and then from the stunning Amsterdam to Bilbao. We didn’t get to discover Amsterdam, unfortunately. However, the airport itself was so nice and spacious and was enough to fill us with those wonderful sensations of traveling to a foreign place. The people working there were nice and the airport had some really nice stores and cafés (which were too tempting, but we had a plane to catch!). And so we get onto our next plane to Bilbao.

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29 March

We arrived late at night and so the streets were very empty and calm, making the city feel safe and serene. Strangely enough, while we were trying to find the hotel, my eyes found themselves focused on the grounds, noticing how clean the sidewalks looked… They were really cleeaann!IMG_4296IMG_3764IMG_4295IMG_3803

Agreeably to our assumption, the city really did seem safe in the morning as well. We woke up early and had breakfast in the hotel café, then decided to go on a stroll around the area and find ourselves a Starbucks.

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Later into the day, the idea of exploring what was near our area sounded exciting. So we got in the car and drove for about an hour until we arrived at this nice place in the most perfect time, as the sunset looked like it was shinning light directly from Heaven! Look at those colors! They kept changing like a moving painting on a vast, ceaseless canvas. It felt so close, as if it was encompassing our souls, yet it was so enormous that no matter how close you wanted to get to it, the more it’ll show of itself to you.

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30 March

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On our second morning in Bilbao, we had planned to go to a museum that was right opposite to our hotel (which we were also suggested to visit by the flight attendant on the plane to the city).
It’s called The Guggenheim Museum — a museum of modern and contemporary art. There were many astonishing pieces that I wished I could photograph, but photos were not allowed to be taken, unfortunately. So instead, I decided to just stand and look at them. In the moment. No thoughts about stopping the moment or photographing for memories, just stare and feel. It was a beautiful experience.

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this was the only picture i took in the museum—this spot was not in the areas of the galleries themselves, so i thought it was fine to photograph it.

Later, we went for a walk around the city and these pictures were taken:

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We ended up having sushi for dinner and then going straight to bed, for a long drive to another city awaited us in the morning…

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Second Sun: Seefeld

Saturday, 16 July 2016, Seefeld

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After a great day spent walking in nature and breathing that fresh air, we slept a deep, dreamless sleep and woke up with a sun so bright that another walk through even further woods was needed!

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At about noon, we walked through this little town that we’d initially thought we’d already seen all its parts and hidden paths, but discovered that there was allot that we hadn’t experienced yet! The path resembled a calm little forest that was super tranquil and inviting. We walked and laughed our way till the path constructed between the trees lead us out to the road. I was secretly relieved because there was one thing that was causing me IMMENSE distress in that dreamy scene… It was those long, fat, brown, moist-looking creatures (some type of ant???) on the ground… So I was grateful to finally be able to walk without the crippling anxiety of stepping on something..

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Everything’s from Zara // Bag: Gucci
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Everything’s from Zara // Bag: Michael Kors

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After that relaxed, reviving walk through the fascinating nature, we got in the car and drove to Innsbruck, a city that’s about 30 minutes down from Seefeld.

Even though it’s a city and therefore more loud and crowded, there’s something about it that still gives you that sense of calmness of the countryside. Perhaps it’s the nature, the surrounding of mountains, the nice weather…

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There’s also great architecture and historic buildings which we very much admire and appreciate about Europe. We especially love how the features of a busy city life are perfectly combined with the simplicity and peacefulness of the countryside life. It makes us seriously consider moving up there and renting a little house together sometime in our lives..

Location:
Seefeld and Innsbruck in Tyrol, Austria.

First Sun: Seefeld

Friday, 15 July 2016

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This was the first morning we woke up in Seefeld (whom we had been terribly missing, ’cause it had been a whole year since we’d last been there!). It was a bit cold; a pleasant breeze we’re used to in the summer in these kinds of places high up between the mountains.

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I vividly recall the mesmerising feeling we were both filled with as soon as we woke up in that same hotel and went out to the balcony. It was like coming back to a special home.. A sweet memory.. An old friend.. A familiar sensation..

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Jacket & Top: Zara // Culottes: Riva
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Dress, Trousers, Shoes: Zara // Coat: Mango

We were ecstatic to dress up and go for a walk with our siblings and take nice photos. You’d laugh if you saw us! Throwing the blankets away and jumping off the bed and opening up our suitcases like maniacs.. It was epic!

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The pleasant de-ja-vu started striking as our feet stepped on that familiar European concrete stone; little squares shaped almost like a half circle after another half circle.

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We walked though a narrow walking path surrounded by lush green grass and trees and the occasional houses/hotels, with a wide view of mountains that had some snow high on the tips left from the snowy winter. We’ve only been to Europe in the summers, never in the winter, and that snow really rose a desire within us to visit this marvellous part of the Earth in the cold months! (soooooooonnnn hopefully!)

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Location:
Seefeld in Tyrol, Austria, Europe.

The Waterfall

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These magical sights were experienced last summer when we went to Austria for vacation. We go to Europe every year; specifically a town called Seefeld in Tyrol. It’s far off and in the countryside where the place is cherished for its peaceful tranquility and quite, uncrowded, secluded environment. It’s unbelievably heavenly; you wake up every morning to either the sounds of pleasant rain or the harmonious chirping of birds. Absolutely magical. You feel yourself like a whole other human. You feel light and fresh and new every single day, and you just can’t get enough! We stay there for about a month every summer and we never get bored of going back for years in a row! It’s become like a second home to us now.

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This day was especially wonderful. It was the last day of July and we’d spent half of the day in the car. We drove for hours, trusting Dad’s promise that the destination will be well worth the long ride. And, oh Lord, was it worth it! Hell yes it was!

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Just looking at this waterfall filled me with inspiration that I felt I could write a whole book AND a sequel! The aura, the breath were just that pure and whole. Words can’t describe the way this fascinating waterfall filled our souls with sensations we’ve never felt before..

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Here we found an inn near the waterfall and decided to go in for late lunch. It started raining heavily and the sounds of rain as we were inside the restaurant cabin sounded so sweet that we couldn’t stay in anymore! We had to get out and feel the rain! (you may be wondering why on earth are we so crazy over rain when most people dislike it, well.. we’re Arab. rain is a form of heaven on earth for us.)

Outfit Details:
Clothes are from Zara
Blue Bag: Fendi
Pink Bag: Dolce&Gabanna

Location:
Neustift im Stubaital, Austria, Europe.