European Discovery!!

InnisbrookHey guys, how are you all? Today I wanted to share with you guys tons of pictures of my trip across Europe. I took a trip with Contiki tours which is an organized tour for individuals between the ages of eighteen or thirty-five. The trip was really spectacular. I went from London to Amsterdam, Rhine Valley, Munich, Innisbrook, Hopfgarten, Venice, Rome, Florence, Paris and back to London again… ALL IN TEN DAYS. Really this was one of the most life changing trips I’ve ever taken. I really didn’t take any pictures in London because I’ve been to the city so many times but here are some highlights from my trip.

My favourite city of the entire trip is definitely Venice with Florence being a close second. I just love how the cities are so warm and exciting. Venice was a dream, really. And we really didn’t get to spend enough time in Florence because we were literally there for less than a day and then quickly hopped back onto the coach bus for France. Rome had been one of my most looked-forward-to destinations but in general the city didn’t live up to the dreamy expectations I had had in my Latin and ancient history studies. The highlight of Amsterdam was the Anne Frank Museum and later in Germany, we took a detour into a concentration camp in Dachau which was a really eye-opening and humbling visit for me. Innisbrook and Hopfgarten were the coziest and sleepiest towns I’d ever been in. We were literally whispering on the streets because of how tight-knit the community was. My favourite part of Rhine Valley was the wine tasting because their white wines and ice wine was just absolutely A-MA-ZING.

On the bus >v<France though was probably one of the most hectic days for me. The night we arrived in Paris, we headed to the Eiffel Tower, went all the way to the top, checked off my bucket list and then ran down EVERY SINGLE STEP back to the coach bus cause we thought we wouldn’t make it in time hahaha. The next morning, my travel buddies and I woke up extra early to get into the city by seven. Since the Metro is so convenient, we got into the Notre Dame on Easter Sunday which was really wonderful. Next stop, I headed to the Louvre while my friends headed shopping. Then over to Angelina’s for some delicious brunch and (famous) hot chocolate of course. Finally, we walked down the Champs-Elysees and hiked up to the Arc de Triomphe. The entire trip ended with a fabulous night at Moulin Rouge with singing, dancing, good food and good wine. All in all, it was an absolutely magical and fantastic trip. If you guys get the chance you should definitely take a tour with Contiki cause it’s a great way to meet new and diverse people from all over the world.

These are just some of my main highlights from the memories on my trip. Hopefully in the next week or so I can skim through my travel video clips and put together one or two vlogs to share on my channel. Till then, I hope you guys enjoy some of these pictures =)

Amsterdam in the Netherlands, Munich in Germany, Innisbrook and Hopfgarten Austria…

Venice, Rome and Florence in Italy…

Paris, France…

– Cloudy

What are you pondering today?

Advertisements

Dorian Gray (2009) Movie Rant

dorian_gray_poster_2Hey guys, I decided to write a review on the 2009 version of Dorian Gray that I recently watched with one of my Latin buddies. It a few years old and I desperately wanted to see it in theatres but just never ended up finding a friend to go with and then schoolwork got in the way and you know how it is in high school, things just go in one ear and out the other, so the Dorian Gray movie slowly faded into one of the “should have gones” in my cinema history.

“Some things are precious because they don’t last.” – Basil

If you’re familiar with the story or have read Oscar Wilde’s original novel first published in 1890, you’ll know that the ending of the movie is slightly altered, probably for dramatic purposes. However, the sentiments of the story and its wide ranging themes themes are all prominently presented through rich and symbolic cinematography. Basically, the story follows a young man named Dorian Gray who’s returned to his late grandfather’s estate to inherit what’s left of it. He makes friends with a man named Henry Wotton who introduces him into the social gatherings of the upper class and whom encourages Dorian to fully embrace his emotions, temptations and live a life of pleasure. When the artist Basil Hallward paints a portrait of Dorian, the young aristocrat is astonished at the youth and beauty in the portrait. Wotton remarks that the man in the portrait will last while the man outside the picture will wither and die someday. Dorian offers that he might “nail my soul to the devil’s altar” in an exchange for eternal youth. Slowly but surely, Gray begins to life a life of mere pleasure and with his soul trapped in the painting, he revives from each and every indulgent ordeal untouched and unscathed while the Dorian in the picture begins to deteriorate and rot. Years later, Dorian has come to realize that everything comes at a sacrifice and he’ll need to pay his dues one day…

dorian-gray-ben-barnes-face-a-son-portraitMain Cast…

Ben Barnes as Dorian Gray

Colin Firth as Lord Henry Wotton

Rebecca Hall as Emily Wotton

Ben Chaplin as Basil Hallward

Rachel Hurd-Wood as Sibyl Vane

Johnny Harris as James “Jim” Vane

It’s really hard to place other characters as part of the main cast aside from Barnes and Firth who appear from beginning to end. The art direction is absolutely gorgeous and reflects the gothic Victorian atmosphere of Wilde’s original novel. I loved seeing the story retold as a whole, but I could do without a lot of the portrayals of the hedonist sexual activities that Dorian engages in as he descends deeper and deeper into, well, hell.

dorian-gray-ben-barnes-9288484-600-400

I realized I kept fangirling over Ben Barnes as a celebrity, rather than Ben Barnes as Dorian Gray. He does make an extraordinary dashing Victorian Englishman however I found it really hard to detach his image from his role as Prince Caspian. I really wanted to see more evocative acting especially during Dorian’s most morally conflicting moments. As a fan of Ben Barnes, he wasn’t hard to look at throughout the film since he doesn’t age nor does he injure or scar from any of his wild nights but I would have liked to see more internal moral struggle versus all the kinky stuff he does in search for pleasure.

dorian-gray-pics-hd-ben-barnes-8952211-1365-2048Colin Firth was particularly interesting in his role as Henry Wotton. He really made me hate him when he was pressuring the young and innocent Dorian into opium dens and lavish parties. At the same time, Wotton’s transition from social party animal to hedonist poser living vicariously through Dorian to level-headed doting father in his later years really impressed me. Firth’s versatile acting makes his character one of the most intriguing figures of the movie.

I hope you guys enjoyed this review, just on a surface level of enjoyment, it was a nice interlude from my usual anime series and the Chinese dramas that I’m use to. I normally don’t watch movies a lot because I like getting to know characters through an extended period of episodes and events rather than have their entire life told to me in the span of about two hours. As a result, I’m not usually up to date with the whole movie scene and what’s trending in cinemas and box offices.

– Cloudy

What are you pondering today?

Legend of the Condor Heroes 1983 Part 1 Review

Part 1 – Iron Blood of the Loyal Hearts Hi guys, I hope all your septembers are going well. Whether you’re starting school or going back to school, I can relate. Today I’ve decided to upload the first of a … Continue reading