January 18, 2019

Luxembourg - The 10 years challenge on Instagram

From time to time on social media these challenges take place, such the ice bucket challenge, no makeup challenge and so on. Usually I consider them a little childish, but this one I've liked and as a result took part in it.

Somehow throwing buckets of iced water on my head didn't seem like a sane thing to do at that time, I don't wear so much makeup so every day is a no makeup day for me and maybe I took part in other challenges, but I simply don't remember.

Essentially what is this challenge? Well, you take a trip down memory lane or down your social media feed and find a picture from 10 years ago, stick a more recent one next to it and then you publish it on social media with the #10yearschallenge.

For me this was a little more emotional, because a lot has changed in ten years, we moved, we started different career paths, we travelled a lot, we improved ourselves, we are more close to each other now, more like a team, we faced small tragedies, we lost some loved ones along the way, so ten years is a lot. I tend to say we and not me, because I haven't done anything by myself, well I've finished a masters, I've learned two new languages, I've discovered my passion for Romanian blouses, I've challenged myself to get out of my comfort zone and organised events, including public speaking and exhibitions, I was a teacher, I did a lot by myself, but I'm not alone in this one. I am fortunate enough to have a supporting husband, who said yes to anything I propose and together we made everything happen.

2009 for me was a turning point, we decided to move to Ireland, and I don't know if it was a consequence of that decision, but we travelled a lot within Romania and outside it. I remember making the decision to go to Istanbul on a Monday and on Friday evening we were there and what a good decision that was as Istanbul is still one of my favourite cities ever. So the picture I've choose from 2009 is from Istanbul, close to Galata Tower.

I remember that in 2009 I did not like to be in the pictures. I had that stupid idea that I had to photograph buildings and places and not me in front of buildings. Well it is stupid, because now you can find tons of pictures of buildings, but no picture that encapsulates your memories. So I've decided that if I want to photograph buildings I would do that, if I feel like taking a selfie I will do it, if I feel like posing so my husband could take a picture of me, I will also do that. No one should judge anyone's decisions. Also in 2009 I smiled more on pictures, I have somehow to relearn that.

I found out that I am constant in my clothing, in the 2009 picture I'm wearing an embroidered linen blouse with jeans and a cross-body bag, I think four or five years ago I've discovered the cotton trousers (chinos) so in the more recent picture I'm wearing almost the same combo, but I do still wear boot-cut jeans. I also like to have a splash of colour, so in both pictures that was a red bag (well dark pink in the 2019 one). I still don't think about red as one of my favourite colours, but I guess it is.

Speaking of colours, I'm pretty sure that in 2009 orange was my favourite colour, and it still is, but in 2011, maybe because of the move to the coastal city Dublin, maybe because of the weather, I started to favour more navy. So my wardrobe is filled with navy items, a lot of stripes and navy and ochre combinations. I still prefer natural fibres, though and last year I've discovered hemp and I love it.

Well, I think that was it, my 10 years challenge. I do encourage you to look through your pictures this weekend and reflect on what has happened in the past 10 years and if you feel like it post a picture on Instagram and tag me in the comments. I would love to flip through your pictures and read your experiences. My Instagram feed is in the right part of your screens if you read this post on a desktop, if not you can find me by searching @mademoiselle.ralu on Instagram.

Have a lovely weekend!

January 14, 2019

Netherlands - Leiden - Ethnography Museum

If you happen to be by the seaside and hit a rainy day, or you want to visit just one museum in Leiden, visit Volkenkunde Museum!
You don't even have to be passionate about ethnography like I am, the museum is so interesting and fun, that I am sure you are going to like it.

First thing, don't be discouraged by the entrance fee. Like many things in Nederlands the price of the museum is somewhat expensive, 14 euros, but well worth it. The museum is alive and tells a story, it isn't just a dead collection of objects. Although the collection today contains objects from Africa, China, Indonesia, Japan, Korea, Latin America, North America, Oceania, and Asia. I mean, if you haven't planned your trips in those areas, it would not hurt to just visit the museum. Who knows, maybe it gives you new trip ideas.

When I visited the museum, bear in mind that this post spent more than six months in the making, there was a temporary exhibition of jewellery and it was amazing. I'm not much of a jewellery gal, but I'm always fascinated by the ethnic pieces as they are not only beautiful, they usually bear a meaning.
And of course a visit at an ethnographic museum would not be complete for me if I don't examine the textiles. And in this small museum, I wasn't disappointed.

All in all a nice and colourful way to spent a rainy day at the seaside and learn some useful stuff along the way. The museum has a coffee place and a shop and one interesting feature, although I don't know if is a temporary or a permanent feature, they had workshops in making your own necklaces, but the method was unique. You had to operate a machine which would pop an egg with all the materials. You had thread and some beads on the working tables, but essentially with the materials in the egg you had to create your unique necklace. The results were interesting. I remember two ladies with identical or very similar materials created two unique and personalised peaces, very different one from another.

That being said, I hope you loved reading this post as much as I loved putting it together! Also, if you fancy keeping in contact with me, drop a line at on Facebook.

January 7, 2019

Belgium - Durbuy - First trip of 2019

First trip of 2019 was a short one to the "Smallest Town in the World" which it happens to be in Belgium very close to Luxembourg. Its name is Durbuy and to me it is a lovely town no matter which season you happen to visit. Its stone houses, cobbled streets and of course the castle make Durbuy some sort of a small fairytale town.

We went to Durbuy on January, 5th because I've read on the Internet that it still had its Christmas Market and this time the Internet was right. You see, we had almost two weeks of holiday between Christmas and New Year and all we did was eat, sleep, binge on Netflix and take short walks. I really, really wanted a trip day.

We didn't do much, as there isn't much to do in Durbuy anyway, but it was a nice change of scenery. Enjoy the photos:

I hope you loved reading this post as much as I loved putting it together! Also, if you fancy keeping in contact with me, drop a line at on Facebook.