E: Just got back from HK!

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Saying the last few weeks have consisted of regular ups and downs wouldn’t quite cover it. The last few weeks have been a heavy, energy depleting and demanding test of who I think I am a person and more spiritual bullshit continued…  within this recent time period I have undergone the hardest examination weeks of my life, (thanks again to Singapore’s education system for the joy that was), witnessed some of the most beautiful landscapes I will ever have the privilege of seeing and shamelessly devoured platefuls of dirt cheap, heavenly, world class foods.

Does the stress I endured during university time equal the enjoyment from travelling afterwards? I think I can just fold that page corner and add it to my binder of all of life’s complications that I cannot, will not and will never be able to solve. Hopefully however in the near future, just like what my hopeless memory has retained of my first year of studying in York, my mind will be vacant of everything but the pictures left behind and the simply the best memories. The only problem being as time stands is, I’m doubtful as to whether I can handle another semester in this strange bubble of a campus.

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What to say now about Hong Kong? The alpha+ city which first introduced the world to the concept of east meets west? The city is a loud, vertical, Cantonese speaking mess stuck in the 80’s, that makes it a rather fun mess too. The old housing blocks have aged beautifully into these captivating towers of unevenly shaded decaying paint jobs.

The contrast between the clean business towers and the slums, homes of everyday ‘rats’ caught in this city race cannot be see in any more clarity in the places I’ve been than in Hong Kong. The bustling night markets live up to everything they appear to be in photos and videos I witnessed as a child and the skyline with its gorgeous mountainous backdrop deserves every number 1 position it continues to earn in numerous rankings within prestigious publications.

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For a Londoner who now lives in Singapore unfortunately there isn’t much new to experience as Hong Kong. To me HK feels like a mashup of  Paris, London, New York and Singapore. Every corner I turned I couldn’t escape the Chanel, Marks and Sparks, Louis Vuitton, Pret a Manger, Apple Store, McDonalds, Starbucks and I could go on. So although not an en-lighting new place for me a pleasant weekend of interesting remotely familiar sights instead. If you’ve never been to the cities listed above Hong Kong is a great place to explore, for me, for now however the weekend was enough. Met up with some friends while I was there and really enjoyed some company and good food, Hong Kong has left me with little questions about the space unfortunately. If I ever visit again I’ll try to look at the place with a fresh pair of eyes.

Keep your eyes peeled on this space, I have a ridiculous amount of posting to catch up on. I’ll schedule the posts  for the next few weeks, sorry I haven’t been posting directly which would probably have been the best thing to do but as you can probably imagine I’ve been a bit caught up in living it haha! New posts soon!
IMG_2241Towers

IMG_2438Weather was miserable the whole time I was there!
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IMG_2331Rooftops

IMG_2413The Nunnery and gardens, my favourite place in HK

IMG_2398The view from the front door of my hostel building

IMG_2443Kasper, Gustav, Sharon, Joacim and Me. I will never forget the street karaoke in the rain!

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2013-14 Limassol, Europe’s Trendiest Town

The upcoming and nearly completed projects around my hometown Limassol are really taking shape. I keep seeing all these photographs of how my town has transformed. I must admit not all developments are for the improvement of the city. Two hideous twin towers named the ‘Olympic Residence’ are generically designed with no inspiration taken from the historic architecture of the town. In a couple of years time when this design phase passes they will be nothing more than an eyesore. The development’s I’ve chosen to showcase in this post are the ones which I think will enhance the city. These developments I picked are also the ones very close to completion.

The image above shows the plaza area of the old port renovation. As you can see they have made use of the stone used in traditional village housing as well as combining it with some modern lighting. The wood used as hand rails keeps the colour scheme neutral.

The photos in this post are not mine, mostly found on the forum ‘Skyscraper City’ and the website ‘Lemessos Blog’

The Limassol Marina took some time to get used to. It’s a bold concept, my concerns were it would be separated from the main town, would be very elitist and not accessible to the public. The design was nice yet the houses were a little lacking in creative design. However the idea of a small beach is welcome as there isn’t really a nice small cove to hide from the world in Limassol and as long as it’s not private I will be happy. There will be a small shopping area with a few cafes but frankly I think Limassol has enough Cafe’s so I don’t really see the need. If incorporated with the seaside promenade it will be a nice addition to the town.

A new Limassol Museum? Just what is needed the old one is starting to get a bit too old and in need of renovation. However the plans for the new museum look striking and I think the space would really support any historical artifacts and displays of history.

The development above is named ‘residence 51’ Very modern, yet if you look closer you can see the design has taken inspiration from the old town, the sliding shutters have some resemblance to the shutters in the Venetian style homes in the old town, and they look breathtaking.

Museum of Theater? Not really sure what they will display in it but I love the use of space, stone and concrete, it forms a great exhibition space and I look forward to visiting this summer.

Limassol Molos, probably Limassol’s landmark. I do like the redesign, slightly angry at the fact there will be less of the park and more parking. I am also angry there is another Cafe, I love coffee as much as the next guy but the quality of food and drink coming out of most of the current beach cafes really are not worth replicating.  I was also hoping for a little more glass and statement lighting. Sad again for the deconstruction of one of the fountain squares, I thought it had so much character. I am also angry about the fact they have reduced the number of Palm trees and have not cleaned the trunks yet. I’m sure I’ll get round to liking the redesign eventually it’s just from the plans I think a better job could have been done. I am looking forward to the ‘pond’.

Garillis park I couldn’t get an image for however this is probably my most anticipated development, a canal in the city with a linear park. Will really liven up the neglected neighborhoods.

Doors restaurant and lounge bar, thank you so much for keeping the old architecture and using it as art. Not sure what your food is like but I like the feel of the place.

Repaving of the old town, brilliant could do with a little more greenery but I should probably stop complaining. People can put pots of shrubs out themselves.

The Castle restaurant regeneration is great, the lighting is cool and blends the modern and old brilliantly. After all I think that’s what Limassol is all about.

Rental bikes, great now I can get home faster and avoid the heat. Now all that’s left is to build some shade for the cycle lane so my skin doesn’t burn and crumple into soot.

Concrete blocks over water? Let’s hope it looks better in real life.

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