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May 22, 2017

Belgium - Found yellow flower fields in Arlonia

First of all, I am obsessed with this yellowish/mustardy colour this season and I bought a lot of stuff on this colour. Plus I had some more stuff from past years, so now my wardrobe is filled with this colour, which is not yellow and it's not mustard, it's something in between. I'm sure it has a proper name, I am just too lazy to look on the Internet for it. So I didn't match my outfit with the flower field, as I said on Instagram, I just have a lot of items on this colour.

That being said, I am known to stop the car in the middle of the road just to take a photo, well actually I ask my husband to stop the car since I don't have a drives's licence yet, but yes I would do that.

Third, I don't know how to call the flowers, either. In Romania we call them "rapiță" and I used to call them rapeseed in English, until someone pointed out that they are called rape, what an ugly name for a flower! So I will continue to call them rapeseed. It is a plant used to make oil, which I've heard it's good for something, but in this area they use them to make paint. The fields appear in this area around the month of May and I like their smell :)












I took the pictures with my phone (I have to get used to carry my camera again with me), on our way to grocery shopping. Luna was also present, but for some reason she didn't like the flowers so she did not stay still for a single picture. I have a nice GIF with her, but I am too stupid to upload GIF's to blogger.

You can find it though on my fb. page: Dichisuri.ro.
Raluca

May 19, 2017

A new symbol for Luxembourg?

Following my recent trip to the Nederlands and Amsterdam, I've tracked this sign through Luxembourg and I wanted to show it to you, because it can possibly (hopefully) become one of this old town symbols.

Now it sits in Park Pescatore and from what I could see it was already a public's favourite as I queued to take a picture with it on a rainy day. Still after a lot of Internet digging I found out that it will not stay there for a long time, but it will travel to Moselle region and than to the place where Tour de France, will pass through Luxembourg.

The sign is 14 meters long and it is part of the new campaign to brand or re-brand Luxembourg. Basically this country is struggling to go from "We want to remain what we are" a slogan they used after WWII to "Let's make it happen". A sum of questions rose to my mind about the campaign and the slogan, but this post is about the sign, which I love. I would have thought that as wealthy as they are (or they appear to be), they would leave the sign in Luxembourg and make another one to travel the country, but... We are talking about a town who send the real Gelle Fra to Shanghai for an exhibition, so there is not much to ask for... 





So there you have it. I am glad I got to take pictures of it, I hope you will do, too. If you have the nerves to look for more information on the sign or the campaign here are some sources:

Nation Branding Results in New Signature and Tools to Promote Luxembourg

New logo & promo for Luxembourg

“LET’S MAKE IT HAPPEN”: CLOSENER




Hope you enjoyed this article. If you did check my fb. page: Dichisuri.ro.
Raluca

May 15, 2017

Nederlands - Costume Museum in Amsterdam

If I wanted to visit one museum in Amsterdam, this was the museum. I've researched it a long time before our trip to Holland and I knew that when the occasion came I will visit it.

Don't get me wrong, this was my fifth or even sixth trip to Amsterdam so at this point I've visited all the major museums, starting with Van Gogh, but I have to say that I like this small museums better. And on top of that they are very easy to find since most of them are on Herengracht street.

The national or folk costumes of Romania are one of my passions, I collect them, I wear them and I am proud of having them, so I try to find or to visit other ethnographic museums or even costume museums everywhere I go. I wrote about them on my blog, but some posts are in Romanian, The Ethnographic museum in my hometown, Iasi, Village museum in Bucharest, The Ethnographic Museum in Krakow, Poland, The Ethnographic Museum in Warsaw, Poland, The Ethnographic Museum in Split, Croatia, The Ethnographic Museum in Ljubljana, Slovenia, and Roscheider Hof Konz, an ethnographic/village museum in Germany. I know I've visited more, there is one even in Luxembourg, but it probably didn't make it to the blog.

Going back to our topic, the Costume museum in Amsterdam is a small museum, only 7 rooms, on three levels. Be careful though, the staircases are so steep, that I almost fell at least one time.

As I understood, the museum started when three or four costume collectors teamed up and decided to show their collections to the public. The house of the museum was donated and as I said it is in a central location in Amsterdam. The ticket is 10 euro and during the summer season the opening hours are from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m..

What I liked at the museum was, besides the collection, the photo booth where you can dress in those costumes and take a picture. You can do that without visiting the museum, so next time that is on my bucket list :) This time my husband was visiting another museum as he is more into technical stuff and taking a picture by myself was no fun. But if you are interested, a single picture is 15 euro and a family picture is 35 euro, for two adults and two children.

When I visited the museum, I found a woman who was doing her PhD in folk costumes of Holland and we visited the museum together. It was such a pleasure, that I didn't need the audio guide or any other form of guidance, as she told me a lot of stories and helped me to place the costumes and explained some elements that did not make sense to me. I even visited the bathroom, because on the website it said that it still has the Delft ceramic toilet.

The seven rooms of the museum represent seven regions and one could find the stories that go with the costumes displayed. I like that, because all Romanian blouses have stories to tell and I found a connection between them and the Dutch costumes. Different from the Romanian costumes though, the Dutch ones always have something to cover the head and also I found a lot of printed or painted fabrics as opposed to embroidered ones in Romania.

Overall it is nice to notice how the history and trade influenced the costumes, how they still have some practical parts (they are large to be comfortable when riding a bike) and how some communities still maintain the habit of wearing the costumes. So if you are passionate about costumes, as I am, I definitely recommend you to visit this museum. Here are some pictures.
These were not installed by jealous husbands as I initially thought. They actually go close to the forehead, similar to the ones in the cover picture of the museum's fb. page.









This is from some sort of material that we put on tables, some sort of rubberised fabric.

Similar to the Romanian costumes, I've noticed that they pay a little more importance to the top part of the costume, the bottom is sometimes black and undercoated. They also have some aprons in front, similar to Romanians, it's just that in the case of the Dutch costumes they seemed to me to be more functional, as opposed to Romanian ones which are more decorative. Also the length of the apron is different, the Dutch ones are larger going almost fully around the women's body, the Romanian ones are just pieces of cloth in front and sometimes in the back of a woman.  The same as with Romanian costumes, the richer and influential the person was, the more decorated the costume. 

It was a pity that I visited the museum on our last day in Nederlands and I didn't had enough time to grasp everything. I will surely go back to the museum.

If you liked this article or if you are interested in folk costumes, drop me a line on my Facebook page is Dichisuri.ro.

Raluca

May 11, 2017

Nederlands - Bags and Purses Museum in Amsterdam

I didn't plan to visit this museum, but as we parked the car almost in front of it I said is some sort of a sign and I've entered. I love Amsterdam, love it, but I hate it's parkings or lack of parking spaces or how expensive they are once you find a spot. I think I've been to Amsterdam five or more times and every time we had parking problems. So to anticipate them I researched from home some public parkings near the Flower Market, but one was closed although the website didn't announce that and the other one was no where to be found. Plus, in the area there are some one way streets and even my app updated when we left for Amsterdam didn't knew them. So we basically drove around the area and when we found a spot on the street we parked. And we parked right in front of the museum.
They say they have the largest collection of bags and I am inclined to believe that. The museum is in an old house and the collection is displayed on three levels. It starts with very old purses and ends with fashion purses from our days and they even have some purses worn by celebrities, such as Madonna or Elizabeth Taylor. Overall it is a museum worth visiting if you like museums or you like fashion and bags.

The price is more on the expensive side, 12 euro, but what is cheap in Amsterdam? I will leave here some photos from the museum, the ones that I really liked.
















I loved all the purses in the museum, but my heart belongs to this one, which was not even displayed in the museum, but on a hallway near the tearoom. They said it is from Russia and now I am looking for an identical one on etsy or ebay. So if you find something similar, give me a sign. 
I am not into fashion, but when I've heard that this year the rattan purses are in fashion, I've dusted my old purse which I bought on a flee-market in Arlon. Although it was very cheap, in my mind it belongs in a museum :)
My Facebook page is Dichisuri.ro.
Raluca

May 8, 2017

On how I was educated by my neighbour's cats

As a disclaimer I have to point out that this is the first time I live in a house. It's not an apartment in a house, it's a whole house. Don't hate me, I live in Arlon :)

That being said, when we moved to this area and chose a house, I pretty much imagined my life being the same as the one in an apartment, just a lot bigger. I learned that we had to trim the garden, which I don't like to this day. I've learned that all that space has to be filled somehow and I think that in the past 5 years I am a pro at this, helped of course by Action, Hema and other stores like that. I've learned that we can theoretically plant our own fruits and vegetables, so last year we had a blast watching the cherry tomatoes grow. But most importantly, I've learned not to leave food outside.

Living most of my life on the upper floors, I never bothered with leaving food on the balcony. A pot of soup to cool, some groceries, this kind of stuff. Here we have our recycling bins on the balcony and although I don't leave actual food outside, I occasionally put a can of finished tuna on the recycling bin. Bad mistake, because my neighbour's cats enjoy digging through the bin, finding the can and playing with it, I imagine. And because they are well raised cats, the next day they bring food back.

The same happens when we feed them, or when they enter the house and eat Luna's food. And so, I've lost the track of how many mice we had to pick from the alley. Nasty, right?

So I may not know much about living in a house, but I know this; don't leave food outside, not even an empty can o tuna :)

My Facebook page is Dichisuri.ro.

Raluca

May 4, 2017

Nederlands - All I know about tulip season in Holland

Tulip season is here!!!!

If you've read my latest post, I was talking about how I prepare for the long weekend of May 1st which I plan to spend in Holland watching, photographing, enjoying the tulip fields. It's the third year I'm doing this, so I'm what you can call a veteran of this activity. 
When to watch the tulip fields?

Tulip season starts mid April and ends mid May, but it all depends on the weather. I've read somewhere that if the winter is heavy the tulip season can start early May, but keep reading, as I will tell you how to find if the tulips are blooming when you plan to go, but just as a marker, mid April to mid May. I usually go around May 1st as it is an international holiday and we don't go to work. 
When to prepare for the tulip fields?

It all starts around February when I search for accommodation. If you ever went to Holland especially during the tulip season, but if you ever went to Holland, you may know that it is an expensive country. What I call, expensive? More than 80 euro per night. Close to tulip season you are lucky to find a room with 80 euro, as they usually go at around 200 even 300 a night, euros that is. I don't need to tell you that by room I understand a bed and a toilet. I've passed the age when sharing a toilet was ok, but if you are young, maybe you can look for hostels or even trailers or tents.

So if you don't have a room, you already missed this tulip season, but being Luxembourg I guess that you could make it a day trip. I usually book rooms on booking.com and sometimes on airbnb.com

The first year I wanted to go to Nederlands for May 1st, I started looking for rooms in April and already the cheapest room in Amsterdam was 1200 euro per night near the airport. I don't know what's with this country, but I've learned my lesson, I've stayed in Luxembourg that year and now I know. Being Nederlands, which is not that big especially near the tulip fields and Amsterdam area, I choose to book a room in a B&B, 40 minutes away form the tulip fields, but in a rural area, because I love rural Holland.
What are the tulip fields?

I've just realised that, I'm talking about the tulip fields, but didn't say what they are. They are exactly fields planted with tulips, like in Luxembourg you could see now a lot of rapeseed, in Holland they have tulips. So if you are looking for tips about the famous Keukenhof garden, this is not the place. 

The fields are between Leiden and Haarlem, two towns about an hour away from Amsterdam. The first year I had only that information so we drove to Leiden and then we took the road thru the towns and stopped wherever we saw a tulip field and we did see a lot. Now there is a website where you can see in real time where are the fields, with streets and everything. 
The website is this, and I like that people can upload pictures of the fields and you can see from your desk what to expect. I took a screen shot of the website exactly as I am writing this text so you can see that at this time there are a lot of bloomed fields. If you click on a flower on the website you can see how the field looks now. That is important because most of the farmers are growing tulips for their bulbs, so if you go on a period when they harvest the tulips you might have the unpleasant surprise to find the tulips, but not the flowers, as the farmers chop off the blooms to make strong bulbs.
What to pack?

This is more of a reminder for me. I am documenting now the fashion vloggers, so I might be tempted to dress for pictures, so heels, dress, stockings, the whole shebang. Well, don't! The fields are not meant to be visited, so you will not find paths with asphalt where to do a shooting. The first year I wore my new converse snickers and ruined them. The tulips are planted in a mix of straw and sand which I couldn't get of my shoes as much as I've tried. 

So comfortable clothes, comfortable but ordinary shoes and a camera with a full battery or enough space on your phone. Internet, as big as it is gives you advice as to how to photograph tulips, here, here and here

But from experience I tell you that no matter what you pack, no matter how many pictures you take, enjoy the experience, let the adventure take you, nothing compares to that. 

If you do see the tulips this season, please drop a line. Here you find my gallery with pictures from this season in Holland. My Facebook page is Dichisuri.ro.

Raluca

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