Monday, August 25, 2014


If I was to sum up Istanbul, I'd say: old Mosques, stray cats and amazing lentil soup. Although, it's not the first thing I noticed in Istanbul. The first thing I noticed was it's love for tulips; they were pretty much everywhere in March.

Area we stayed: Sultanahmet.
This was the older part of town and I was so glad we stayed on this side of Istanbul. It was close to many places like: The Blue Mosque, Grand Bazzar, Basilica Cistern, Hippodrome of Constantinople and the Topkapi Palace.

DAY 1:
We walked to the Grand Bazzar and looked around for a long time, getting lost in is passages filled with amazing jewellery, lanterns, pottery and textiles. I can't tell you the name of where we had lunch, it was just a small shop and we ate a typical kebab. ha!
Along the way, we enjoyed a freshly squeezed pomegranate juice, delish!
We had a look inside the Basilica Cistern and found Medusas head, made a wish and went to walk by The Blue Mosque.

DAY 2:
We went back to check out the Blue Mosque after we visited the Topkapi Palace. There was a huge line in front of the palace but, like all good tourists, we waited in line and it was such a delight to see!  The gardens that surround the palace have so many stray dogs, lying under the trees. I noticed many stray animals in Istanbul. The Blue Mosque was something that I was really looking forward to, I had already seen so many images of it online. It was really beautiful inside, something that a camera just can't capture.
That night, we went to go shopping on ─░stiklal Caddesi (on the newer side of Istanbul) and found a great place for dinner around there too.

DAY 3:
This was maybe the nicest day we had in Istanbul, weather wise. So, we took the opportunity to travel  to the Asian side of Istanbul. It was so nice to travel on the ferry and relax. We just took a walk around and headed back on the ferry toward the Spice Market. This was another highlight I was looking forward to but, after visiting the Grand Bazzar earlier, I felt a little underwhelmed at the Spice Market. Although, I did recognise parts around there that were shot during The Amazing Race!

We had an ice cream and caught a tram back toward Sultanahmet and found a rooftop bar to relax at.
That night, we decided to go out for a Turkish bath, it was definitely an experience. The one we went to was clean, the people were nice but, I wish they scrubbed me more. I'm really glad that I went to experience a traditional turkish bath. The only awkward part is being topless but, once you get over that, it's fine. Also, it was really nice to go with a friend, I think I would have felt awkward if I went alone. Plus, this one was a little bit difficult to find but, I assure you, it's there!

DAY 4:
This was our last day Istanbul and it was a whirlwind. We went back to The Grand Bazzar and bought last minute gifts for friends and family. Adrian and I were on the lookout for a post office, which was pretty hard to find! We ended up running into a hotel and asking them if they could direct us, luckily it was about 3 minutes away. Even though we had been searching for 20 minutes or longer.
FYI the post office in the Grand Bazzar is no longer there, we learnt that the hard way. If you're looking out for post boxes, they are yellow and post offices have PTT written on them. It's also just best to ask someone.
We then went back to our accommodation to dry off as it had been raining.We settled in to have some lunch. At this stage, I was addicted to Lentil soup from a kebab shop down the road. If you're ever around Sultanahmet, this is THE BEST place to eat, it's cheap, friendly and the lentil soup is like no other!

Adrian, his mum and myself decided we wanted to see the whirling dervishes and there was a show starting near by. After watching this, I honestly felt like my entire experience in Istanbul was complete. I think any whirling dervish place would be great, so I've just provided this link. While heading back to our accommodation, we walked through the Hippodrome for the last time. I snapped the second last image, capturing the stars in the sky, I think it looks so beautiful.

Home James. 
This last image we took as we were landing back into Melbourne. I'm heading off to Europe again on Wednesday. Our first stop is Barcelona, so if you have any tips, please leave me a comment!

-Olivia. xx


Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Shirt: H&M similar from Asos here |  Jacket: Ladakh on sale at The Iconic  |  Jeans: Asos |  Sandals: Birkenstock from The Iconic  |  Necklace: Lovisa


I’ve styled my new do with a rebellious look, plus it’s only fitting since the dye I used was called Raspberry Rebel. My nearly all black outfit might have something to do with Melbourne getting the better of me, but it really sets off my new hair. You can see more cool hair on the Style Studio page.
I bought the Birkenstocks and jacket from The Iconic. I’ve seen so many bloggers and street style photos online of people wearing Birkenstocks and I’ve fallen in love – not to mention they’re pretty comfy! I’m usually a 38 in shoes but website said to order a size smaller and I’m glad I did, they fit like a glove. Plus, a nice leather jacket can do no wrong; I’m looking forward to teaming this jacket up with a cute dress later (maybe even in winter since it’s been so mild!)
I hope I’ve inspired you to get creative with your look – I feel like a different person with this awesome hair!

Hope you’re all doing well!
-Olivia. xx


Monday, August 11, 2014


My parents and older sister left Poland while it was still a communist country and fled to Germany as asylum seekers and received refugee status. They applied to live in Canada and Australia, but it was Australia that took them in first. After the interview they had in Koln, a woman from the Australian consulate pinned a Kangaroo onto my sister's jumper when they left. Mum knew then that they had a good chance of starting a new life in Australia when that happened. My Mum said that after they had received and accepted their offer from Australia as political refugees, Canada had accepted them too (It's always interesting for me to think how different my life would have been if Mum and Dad lived in Canada). 
My parents and older sister came to Melbourne in February 1983 and Mum said that she had a cold and it was really hot when they got outside. Plus, it was a shock because they had just left a wintery Europe behind! Mum told me that she didn't like it and she wanted to go back. They lived in a migrant hostel and Dad soon found work and now we can fast forward 31 years and we are all still living in Melbourne today. I can't imagine what it would be like for my parents to leave their brothers and sisters behind and not really know when they could go back to see them again. Especially since you need to start a new life from scratch. My parents are troopers and I think they raised all of us to be troopers too - thanks Mum and Dad! 

Coming back to Gdansk (I was there when I was 6) was really exciting since I wasn't really old enough to remember everything and most of my memories come from the home movies Dad took and the conversations I've had with my twin sister about it. I hadn't seen my Grandpa or Aunties for 19 years and it was a whirlwind of emotions and happiness. Living in Australia and only having my parents around, I've never known how it feels to have aunties and cousins. I just never got to experience that type of family dynamic. When I went to Poland, I realised how huge my family is!

When we arrived in Gdansk, my cousin Nico picked us up from the airport and helped us settle in. 
On the first day, we went to an awesome lookout tower and then went to see the Dom do gory nogami, that just means the upside down house. I didn't think I would learn anything there, but I did. There was a whole section of the place that told the story of Polish people being sent to Siberia which I didn't know much about. After that, we headed to a bar mleczny which is now popular for university students, because the food is good and cheap. It was really good; just like home food and I had missed it! After that Adrian and I hung out and walked around the city and then caught up with Nico again for a night time view of Gdansk. 

The second day we went to the Molo in Sopot, which is the pier in a place called Sopot (not far from Gdansk). We had some Gofry there and walked around, then rushed back to meet my aunty where she took us from there. I went to see my Grandma's grave and that was pretty emotional. I remember when she died and my Mum went back to Poland when she was sick. It was a really sad day, I really loved her so much and I wished that she was around to see me again. My aunty then took me to my other aunties house where they overfed me soup and cakes and we talked and talked. I felt so comfortable around them, like I had known them for my whole life. I guess that's the beauty of family. 

The third day was a catch up day with my aunty again and she took me to the Galeria in Gdansk to have a look at some stores and buy some gifts. Later that night, Adrian and I had our six year anniversary dinner at a close by restaurant called Velevetka. We were staying on Organa, just near the Dulgi Targ which is the main street in Gdansk's old town (Air BNB place in Gdansk). After dinner, we met up with Nico and his fianc├ę for a drink.  I also got to hangout with my cousins children, (I think that makes me a cousin once removed, thanks google!), see my cousins, aunts and uncles. It was fantastic although pretty short! 

The next day we flew out to Turkey. 

I still have that leg of my trip to share with you on my blog. In a couple of weeks I'm going away again for my twin sisters wedding in Spain! I'll be visiting the UK and Poland again so, stay tuned for more family photos and personal sharing! haha

These are all my Mum's sisters (except one who lives in Germany) and their husbands. Then the kids and my Grandpa!

-Olivia. xx