Three Days In Luxembourg City

Three Days In Luxembourg City | Sea of Atlas

Luxembourg, one of Europe’s smallest and richest countries, does not typically top the list of travelers’ wish lists. But with a three-day bank holiday weekend to spare and impossibly cheap fares for direct flights from London’s City Airport (which is, for us, London’s most conveniently located airport), we set our sights on the grand duchy’s eponymous capital city. We stayed at the Hotel Parc Beaux Arts in Luxembourg City’s Ville Haute, the fortified town core that offers grand views of the lower-lying areas of the city and the surrounding forests.

Three Days In Luxembourg City | Sea of Atlas
Three Days In Luxembourg City | Sea of Atlas
Three Days In Luxembourg City | Sea of Atlas

After a quick lunch to recharge we oriented ourselves with a visit to the Bock, the rocky formation upon which the city’s fortification were built. The views from here are fantastic, with the stately buildings of the Old City behind, the diminutive River Alzette sparkling below, and, fortunately in our case, wide, blue, sunny skies above! We took a route down toward the Grund—the low-lying area to the southeast of the old city surrounded on most sides by the weaving river. From here the view up back toward Ville Haute is picturesque, especially with the river to reflect it. We took a seat for a moment in the large square on the north side to appreciate the architecture and enjoy the nice weather. After strolling through the area some more we grabbed the convenient elevator by the Rue Münster bridge (make sure to take in the view as you cross!) back up to the old city.

Three Days In Luxembourg City | Sea of Atlas
Three Days In Luxembourg City | Sea of Atlas
Three Days In Luxembourg City | Sea of Atlas

We emerged from the elevator in Saint-Esprit square at the south of the old city and slowly made our way back toward the hotel, wandering the small streets at will. Notre-Dame Cathedral is one of the city’s top sights and well worth a visit with its beautiful stained glass and mix of architectural styles from the 17th through the 20th centuries. We also stumbled on a smaller and more humble church—Paroisse Protestante Francophone—where we took a seat with no one else in our company. We continued on to Place Guillaume II and Place d'Armes, the two big squares in the center of the Ville Haute, in the latter of which we grabbed orange and vanilla and coffee gelato from Eiscafe Veneziano. The sky quickly darkened at this point and we got back to our hotel just in time to watch from a giant thunderstorm envelop the city from the safety of our room. The storm did not deter the hundreds of runners that participated in that evening's “night marathon.” We fought through the crowds for dinner at Onesto (gnocchi for Rico and spaghetti carbonara for Britt) and then hung out by the Bock for the rest of the night.

Three Days In Luxembourg City | Sea of Atlas
Three Days In Luxembourg City | Sea of Atlas
Three Days In Luxembourg City | Sea of Atlas

Our second day started with a day trip to Trier, Germany which we’ll showcase in an upcoming blog post! We got back to Luxembourg in the evening when we made the hindsight-is-20-20 decision to have cake for dinner at the famous Chocolate House. Rico had the carrot cake with hazelnut caramel hot chocolate and Britt had a brownie with 60% cocoa hot chocolate. With heavy stomachs we slogged over to Place d'Armes where we were surprised with a live concert in the square! We ended the night yet again by the Bock, talking about life while overlooking the Grund.

Three Days In Luxembourg City | Sea of Atlas
Three Days In Luxembourg City | Sea of Atlas
Three Days In Luxembourg City | Sea of Atlas

Our last day brought consistent heavy rainfall but we brightened it up with some pastries from Kaempff-Kohler for breakfast. We took our time in the morning, enjoying some lazy time around the hotel before making our way outside where we wandered around the Grund again. We searched high and low (quite literally, both in the Grund and Ville Haute) for a souvenir, but to no avail as most shops were closed Mondays. We split bruschetta and a salami pizza at Delirio Culinario for lunch and then, just as the rain really started picking up, walked around trying to find the bus back to the airport. With soaked clothes and backpacks we finally found the bus and soon thereafter hopped on our flight back to London. While Luxembourg City isn’t a typical tourist spot, we really enjoyed our time there and would recommend it to anyone that has a few days to spare in the area.

Makers for Makers: Michal Friese

Image by Kevin Klein

Image by Kevin Klein

Based in Germany, Michal Friese creates eye catching work with an undeniable passion. I've enjoyed following Michal's artistic journey for awhile now and she continues to surprise and amaze me with her moon creations. It was an honor to get to finally interview her for our Makers for Makers series. Learning more about her process and views shows that there is so much more depth to her work than meets the eye. I love that Michal is down right honest with her creating. She allows herself to play and find inspiration in unique ways. Interviewing her helped me understand more about myself as an artist and I hope that it does the same for all of you who are on your own artist soul search. The world can joggle us around but our art can help us express and communicate that in our own ways. A huge thanks to Michal for allowing this interview to happen and for opening up her own artistic soul to us. Be sure to have a read below and take in all the goodness she has to offer. Enjoy!


Tell us about you as an artist. 

Hi! Well, I LOVE experimenting. That’s why I can’t stick with one medium only but have to do a bunch of other things on the side. Besides my main act painting I like playing music, doing macrame, dyeing natural fabric, the list goes on and keeps me full of inspiration. It all works with each other to create a big picture, not against each other. But it also means that sometimes I don’t paint a single thing for weeks at a time and then when I feel the right „level“ of inspiration it hits me and I paint hundreds of pictures in a week. 

Image by Kevin Klein

Image by Kevin Klein

 What made you bring this dream to reality?

It’s actually kinda funny, because I studied translation and interpretation at Uni and got my BA, but already knew half way through that the fact that I was spending more time doing art than homework would eventually lead to me not working as an interpreter or translator. And that is what happened. So when I moved back to my hometown I started this little art adventure of mine. :) 

Image by Kevin Klein

Image by Kevin Klein

What are the core beliefs behind your art?

Art is an expression of how the artist sees the world and it’s almost like a funnel to me: lots of beauty goes into my head (from other art or creation or people or writing or whatever comes my way) and my version of it all mixed together and scrambled around comes out. That is one reason why I think you can tell so much about a person by their art. And art connects people and souls and that is one of the best aspects. 

What was your biggest obstacle when starting out?

Bureaucracy. I knew what I wanted to do but things like taxes and paperwork have a way of paralyzing me. Anyone with me on that one? 

Image by Kevin Klein

Image by Kevin Klein

Do you have any makers you admired that have inspired you?

I have been hugely inspired by interior designers. It is actually my #1 go to source for inspiration in magazines or online. And Austin Kleon (@austinkleon) he wrote a book called Steal Like an Artist and I highly recommend it to anyone, creative person or not. One artist whose color schemes and patterns always inspire me is RAJOVILLA (@rajovilla on Instagram). You’ll see why ;) There are plenty of others, a lot of which you can find by looking through who I follow on IG. 

What does your typical day as a Maker look like?

Typical…. to be honest that is not existent in my world. The only routine I keep is getting up (kinda) early and drinking a cup of strong coffee with milk while I read my Bible in the morning. From then on there’s no knowing what happens. But I can say there’s lot’s of bike riding, nature admiring, day jobs working, friends visiting, painting, new art forms exploring, involved. And laundry and teeth brushing. 

Image by Kevin Klein

Image by Kevin Klein

What do you love most about being a Maker?

The Freedom I get to create what I like and sell it and the joy it brings to people who connect with it. Honestly there is nothing better than when people tell me that my art speaks to them in some way! So exciting, because I too experience that with other people’s art and I know exactly what they mean. And to be the one creating that in a person! Wow! I am in awe every time! 

What advice do you have for Makers just starting out?

Just do it! Seriously! There will always be ups and downs and difficulties and such, but you won’t experience the highs and joys unless you get started! 


Michal Friese

website   |   instagram

**All images courtesy of Kevin Klein**

Cheers to Twenty-Six

Cheers to Twenty-Six | Sea of Atlas

Tomorrow is my 26th birthday. I've never written about my birthday on the blog before but as a sit in a hotel room in Berlin, I can't help but to feel the need to reflect on the past year—heck, the past 26 years.

Maybe this is crazy to say or maybe even an obvious statement but life is so precious. And that is one reason I have strayed away from ever reflecting about my personal life—the real inner workings of my brain—on the blog. Not because it is something I want to keep to myself but because I've never been sure how to put it into words—my life and how I've changed, grown (not in height...though I'm convinced I grew an inch recently), and found my way over the years. But I think its time, on the eve of my 26th birthday (did that sound too dramatic?), to chat a little bit about it.

Getting older is something that used to really bother me. Don't get me wrong, I LOVE my birthday (ask anyone close to me...its more like a birthday month). I just didn't like the idea of years slipping away and moving further away from the ease of childhood. What I didn't realize were those fears had nothing to do with actually getting older but more about making sure I was living the life I wanted to live. Maybe saying I was scared to let go of childhood sounds well...strange but I always knew deep down that I didn't belong in the typically defined adult world. I wasn't meant to go to a 9-5 job. I wasn't meant to roll through the stages of settling in, buying a house, having children right away, and so on. There is absolutely nothing wrong with doing any of those things. Like my girl Amy Poehler says "good for you, not for me." 

I think most creatives can relate to wanting to carve your own unique path. And, I was lucky enough to have parents who encouraged this and to then find someone that supported my wild ways (yeah, I'm talking about my main man Ricardo). So here I am, just about 26 and looking back on all the curves, bumps, and smooth parts along the road that have got me to where I am today and I can honestly say I am happy. The happiest I have ever been. Just true and pure happiness running right through me.

People like to tell me I'm lucky but I don't think it has anything to do with luck. I've worked hard and kept my determination in order to get myself where I am today. When I couldn't land a job out of college, I hopped around in-house freelance gigs to help build my skills. When I wasn't creatively satisfied just being a graphic designer any longer, I started my own company to reflect what my creative soul was after and built it from the ground up. When my husband and I decided we wanted to live abroad and travel through Europe, we found a way to get sponsored and move to London. Whenever we felt unhappy, we pushed ourselves to define what happiness was for us to work hard towards it.

So, here is what I've learned through all of that. I've learned that its important to set goals for yourself and its okay if they change while you are working for them. That things take time to build, work, and evolve to be where you want them to be deep down. Hard work and determination are two of the key components to success and conquering our goals. What you want (most likely) will not just fall into your hands. You must continue to push yourself even when things seem too hard or too much. And lastly, I've found that I am stronger and more capable than I have ever thought.

While there are some major points throughout my youth and teenage years that shaped who I am today, I feel like my life really started when I got out of college and moved to Boston with Rico. Relocating to Boston was scary to me. Laugh all you want (I'll join you) but I had never lived in a city before. I was nervous to take the T by myself and to leave our cozy neighborhood. But once I did it. I felt empowered. There were points that you would have found me commuting to work using two trains and a bus (I know...skillz). Living in Boston helped me realize what I was personally capable of doing. Now living in London, Boston seems harmless and easy. London is, after all, basically a billion times larger than Boston. Living in both these cities though made me tough, they've made me step outside my comfort zone constantly, push my limits, and most importantly they have shown me a larger picture of the world.

Cities and traveling really make you realize how small you really are. And maybe that sounds sad but that is something key to grasp (especially in todays world) in order for us to understand each others differences. This is one of the greatest lessons I have learned in my 26 years of life—that I am small. That there are much larger and greater things in the world. So be kind to others, love with all your heart, explore new places, define your own meaning of happiness and success because whats important is we all be our true best selves so that as a whole, we can bring more peace to this wild world.

 

Cheers to 26!