Some places I’ve visited have inspired me with lots of posts (I’m looking at you Reykjavik and Berlin) and then there are the places I’ve been I could barely give you a few words on. They aren’t necessarily the worst places I’ve visited, it’s just that they never had the chance.
I stayed for four nights in Nice – but didn’t see anything of the city, as I was just there to sleep, wake up and then get on a train to Cannes where I hoped to spot Bill Murray, Edward Norton and check which dress Diane Kruger would be donning for the day. Apparently Nice is known for its beautiful beaches, pretty landscapes and IG worthy viewing points. All I can tell you is that there was the idyllic terrace at the hostel, a supermarket that sold instant noodles and the train station was charming.
Krakow was another of those places that was just a base – this time for Auschwitz. In this case I arrived at the hostel after a long train ride from Linz, I was too tired to explore the Old Town, visit the Schindler’s Factory Museum or walk the Royal Way. The visit to Auschwitz was such so emotional that afterwards I couldn’t just go out and play happy tourist.
During my semester abroad in Jyväskylä, Finland I visited the nearby city of Tampere a few times. I can tell you the cinema on the main square has good popcorn, I can tell you I enjoyed hot chocolate in a place just off the main square and that Tampere Dream Hostel has the dreamiest bed. But I can’t tell you anything about the The Moomin Museum OR Tampere Lenin Museum because I went to the city during a bank holiday – when they were both closed 🙁
Have you been somewhere exciting, but not really?
After being closed for a two-year refurbishment The Hayward Gallery is back in action and is showcasing the work of innovative South Korean artist Lee Bul – so it’s monster-like bodies, futuristic cyborgs and mirror mazes galore.
When it comes to modern art it’s the installations that do it for me, you know the one when you’re not sure if it’s a renovation or modern art. Bul’s work is definitely the latter and her work will whisk you away to different worlds filled with giant foil Zeppelins and immerse you in funhouse-style mirror mazes. That said, the exhibits sitting in large, bright open white gallery spaces didn’t match the tone and would have worked better in a darker environment with some moody music (BRB:majoring in art history, becoming a curator and making this happen – watch this (art) space!). One thing I really enjoyed was the storyboards showing the artist’s ideas developing, plus even little mini prototypes of the sculptures, was just refreshing to have the pieces explained visually as opposed to just the little text boxes.
Lee Bul: Crashing runs until 19 August 2018 and tickets start at £13. Also note the infinite mirror room that’s used in the promo material is beautiful, but be aware only the people are allowed in at a time and the place cramped.
Depending on how long you spend in the gift shop the visit will not take you longer than an hour. You might want to leave the ever-crowded Southbank area ASAP, but while you are nearby why not escape to The Queen Elizabeth Hall Room Garden – a hidden gem and a quiet getaway with a bar, riverside views and a green garden to explore, or eat something at the Southbank Centre Food Market – we’re talking tasty smells, tons of food on offer and a friendly atmosphere.