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Sunday, 11 March 2018

Perfect tranquility - the Isle of Wight

I am very lucky to live in South West England. South West England is a beautiful coastal region that has amazing places to visit and boasts incredible attractions. Wiltshire county is gorgeous - green, lush, rich in culture and history, home to Stonehenge and the tallest cathedral in the UK - Salisbury Cathedral. Dorset has great seaside and lovely, sandy beaches. I love Bournemouth and Boscombe. However, in summer time Bornemouth beaches are extremely crowded. Therefore, if you like tranqulity, you should head for the Isle of Wight. The Isle of Wight is one of my favourite seaside destinations in the UK. Beaches in the Isle of Wight are so peaceful and relaxing...they are perfect for introverts!

Wiltshire is full of amazing places - stylish museums, elegant buldings and beautiful gardens. This picture shows Wilton House - an old English country house near Salisbury. 

If you ever come to Wiltshire, visiting Stonehenge is a must. Stonehenge is a very mysterious place, you should definitely immerse yourself in its mystery.

Back to the subject now. As I mentioned earlier, I would definitely recommend the Isle of Wight for peace and natural beauty seekers. If you decide to escape to the Isle of Wight, you will need to get there on ferry. I went to the Isle of Wight last year. I booked a ferry journey from Southampton to East Cowes. Red Funnel company provides cheap and comfortable Isle of Wight Ferry travel for both foot passengers and vehicles. 

... boarding begins!

...sailing away :-)

The Isle of Wight is a relatively small, diamond-shaped island. It has a diverse and beautiful scenery and is perfect for walkers. The island has lots of footpaths that will lead you through green farmland, stunning cliffs and charming, dreamy villages. 

Dramatic cliffs and stunning views of the Frewshwater Bay. 

Charming, dreamy thatched cottage church in Freshwater Bay is like a fairy tale cottage. You must not overlook this lovely little church. St Agnes Church in Freshwater is the only thatched church on the Isle of Wight. The church is located along the Freshwater Bay to Alum Bay. I discovered this little gem by accident while walking along numerous footpaths in Freshwater and Freshwater Bay.  

If you are an avid cyclist The Isle of Wight is perfect for you. The island is ideal for bike excursions. It has 500 miles of cycle paths through amazing landscapes. 

Dramatic scenery in Alum Bay. Tall grass, breathtaking cliffs and balmy breeze. There is a famous Needles Park out there. With stunning landscapes and a spectacular chairlift past various coloured sand cliffs, the Neddles Park is definitely worth a visit. 

Amazing caves in Freshwater Bay and Freshwater.

The rocks and cliffs in Freshwater Bay and Freshwater (small villages in the north of the Isle of Wight) are breathtakingly beautiful. There is an air of wilderness about them. Can you spot me in the picture? 

The Isle of Wight is full of surprises. When I was exploring Freshwater Bay village, immersing myself in its unspoilt wilderness and secluded landscapes I stumbled upon Dimbola! Funny name isn't it? If you are fan of museums, galleries, photography and Victorian era, Dimbola might be a place for you. Dimbola is a museum and a gallery dedicated to life and work of a Victorian photographer - Julia Cameron. Located so close to the cliffs, overlooking the sea, Dimbola must have been a very unspiring place to live and work. Apart from featuring Julia Cameron's photography, Dimbola now also showcases contemporary exhibitions from photographers around the world.

Julia Cameron took up photography at the relatively late age of 48, when she was given a camera as a present. The bulk of her photographs fit into two categories: closely framed portraits and illustrative allegories based on religious and literary works. In the allegorical works in particular, her artistic influence was clearly Pre-Raphealite,with far-away looks, limp poses, and soft lighting(Rosenblum, Naomi. A History of Women Photographers. Third ed. New York: Abbeville Press Publishers, 2010. p. 52.)

When I visited The Isle of Wight last year, I wanted to go to as many places as possible. I wanted to explore the north and the south, the east and the west of this adorable island. Unfortunately I did not manage to fulfil my goal. I did explore the west of the island (Freshwater Bay, Freshwater, Allum Bay, Yarmouth) and a little bit the east part of the island. I would love to go the south of the island this year and visit Ventnor. 

Last place I would like to write about in this post is Shanklin Town and and the Old Village of Shanklin. Shanklin Old Village is another charming and fairy-tale like place full of thatched cottages, lovely gift shops and cute tea rooms. The beaches in Shanklin are golden, soft and sandy. There are lots of fantastic parks and gardens around the town and the village. 

The place I enjoyed a lot was the Shanklin Chine. The Shanklin Chine is a gorge with rare, exotic plants and a mesmerizing waterfall which is beautifully illuminated at night time. After activity packed day in Shanklin Old Village (shopping, swimming, walking and absorbing sunshine) I spent my evening in the magical Shanklin Chine. 

Take a peek at the pictures. I know that the pictures are not best quality but it was getting late and I was in a hurry because the place was about to close down. 

Thank you for reading my post!

Wednesday, 26 April 2017

My brief trip to the National Portrait Gallery in London

The National Portrait Gallery

I did not visit the National Gallery this time because I just knew I would spent the entire day there again. I have been to The National Gallery several times and decided to devote my time to exploring the National Portrait Gallery instead. I arrived in London at midday and I was short on time. Besides, the main reason why I decided to go to London on that day was to see ballet performance at Sadler's Wells Theatre. I have been a massive fan of Pina Baush's hugely dramatic works and her minimalistic yet deeply intense choreography for a while now and as soon as I found out that English National Ballet scheduled to perform Pina Baush's masterpiece The Rite of Spring I booked the ticket and set off to London! English National Ballet was only the second company in the world beyond Tanztheater Wuppertal to perform The Rite of Spring. Baush's masterpiece was a part of the triple bill that also included William Forsythe's In the Middle, Somewhat Elevated and Adagio Hammerklavier by Hans van Manen.

Pina Baush's The Rite of Spring
Photo Ulli Weis 

The video above captivates the essence of Baush's works intensity, passion and raw beauty - the qualities I truly enjoy. 

My evening was reserved for ballet, my afternoon for the National Portrait Gallery.