December 30, 2013

The End.

London, 28 November 2013
It was 11pm. We came across this lovely Italian restaurant near Her Majesty's Theater on the way back to our hostel after watching The Phantom of The Opera. You had spaghetti bolognaise and I had aglio e olio. Afterwards, we spent all of Thursday night walking from Haymarket to London Bridge, talking about our lives. That night you wore a black dress, your mom's vintage coat, put a pair of ankle boots, and also a beanie. While I wore a houndstooth dress with black faux fur coat, a pair of pale brown bow heels, and for the final touch I grab the large red brimmed hat that I've never dared wear outside of my flat. I feel delicate and like we were on the set of a Happy-Go-Lucky movie as Poppy and Zoe. After we had walked almost an hour, I finally gave up wearing heels and walked barefoot until we arrived at the hostel. I don't care about what other people think. I was beyond happy and never regret my decision walking around London at midnight. Especially when we crossed the River Thames on the Jubilee Bridge and saw the Big Ben from the bridge. I never realised this city was so beautiful at night.  

P.S: I am really sorry that I couldn't accompany you to Hogwarts.

Poole, 29 November 2013
I was deeply touched by your kindness when you accompanied me to say goodbye to the place I had lived for a year - although you know the bus would take 45 minutes and it's freezing outside. We found this little coffee shop when we passed some of the pretty cafes along the old part of this town. Inside, everything is homely and unpretentious. We sat for hours having hot chocolate conversations, flicking from unfinished love story to real friendship. Questions of perspective and principle had become such difficult things to answer. Sometimes we agree, sometimes we argue about each other's opinion. Apart from that, I know that neither of us ever wanted to stop the conversation until the time called us to leave. You said, my greatest weakness is being too nice to other people. I can't say whether it's right or wrong. The only thing I know is that I am a flawed human being, a far more flawed human being than you realise. 

"Life will only get better", you said. And I do believe it.  

Bournemouth, 30 November 2013
Do you remember this? You were pointing out a particular star when we let our eyes wander upward into a clear starry night sky. I enjoyed seeing them for the first time in a long while. You said to me that it always looks brighter than the other nearby stars. I just nodded and was secretly amazed at your attention to these little things. We then walked down to the beach and waited for others to come. We gazed up at the mesmerizing night sky and you talked again about that star. It was still there. I turned my camera on and pointed it to the sky. But you said it's useless. The stars were just too far away so that my camera wouldn't be able to catch them. Although I couldn't see those beautiful stars on this photograph, I could spot this tiny white dot. Can you see it? No. It's not just the star you told me earlier, but also this is how I see you. Apart from your dark sides, I know that there is still a good little boy in you. 

You asked for one more hour, and so did I. 

December 28, 2013

Hello Mr.Potter!

Like a lot of you, I had grown up with Harry Potter, from having it read to me at school to crying when finishing the last book. It holds a very special place in my heart. As do the films, I was overexcited when it first came out. I joined a long queue at the cinema because I couldn't wait any longer to watch it. Since then, I keep crossing my fingers that someday I could see them beyond the books and screens. And it has finally come true! I visited the Harry Potter studio tour in Leavesden with my family, and it was everything that I had hoped for and more. I finally got to explore the great hall and more with my little brother and sister who are die hard fans of Harry Potter. Without no doubt, I can say that we were probably more excited than the children that surrounded us! I don’t want to give too much away, but our day involved peering into the potions classroom, doing a spot of ironing at The Burrow, snooping around Dumbledore’s office, eyeing up all the major props, sets, costumes, and peering though the windows of shops in Diagon Alley. If you haven’t been yet, I couldn’t recommend it enough. It's absolutely worth the price!

The cupboard under the stairs

Luna Lovegood's fancy dresses 

Ron Weasley's bed

The giant swinging clock pendulum

Dumbledore's office

Sirius's prison number

Potions classroom

Dolores Umbridge's office

The famous Butterbeer! It tastes really really good!

The Knight Bus

A highlight for me was to enter the Diagon Alley!

The super ama-yzing Hogwarts

December 27, 2013

Cerita Dibalik Cerita

Satu hal yang paling saya kangenin selama di Inggris adalah pergi 'berpetualang' bersama teman - teman saya. Kalau di Indonesia sih ada beberapa teman saya yang bisa diajak camping atau backpacking. Tetapi semenjak pindah ke Inggris, saya belum menemukan teman - teman yang bisa diajak melakukan kegiatan seperti itu. Terakhir kali saya berpetualang disini adalah saat saya bersepeda dari Bournemouth ke salah satu daerah bernama New Forest dengan teman saya, Novi. Sampai akhirnya bulan September kemarin, saya pindah dan tinggal bersama keempat housemate baru saya. Awalnya sih enggak ada rencana buat road trip, sampai akhirnya saya bilang bahwa saya pengen banget ke satu tempat di Inggris bagian utara, bernama Lake District. Dan karena teman - teman saya pada setuju untuk pergi kesana juga, akhirnya jadilah kami putuskan untuk road trip kesana.

Kalau boleh jujur sih, awalnya saya agak takut untuk melakukan perjalanan ini. Maklum, kebiasaan solo traveling dan belajar dari beberapa pengalaman sebelumnya ketika saya melakukan trip bersama teman - teman yang belum saya terlalu kenal cukup membuat saya agak "was-was" untuk traveling bersama - sama. Kemungkinannya cuma dua, hubungan saya dan mereka akan semakin dekat atau justru malah semakin menjauh. Sebelumnya saya udah pernah melakukan road trip bersama orang - orang yang belum saya kenal, dan ternyata hasilnya cukup mengecewakan. Makanya, kali ini saya berusaha untuk tidak berekspektasi terlalu tinggi supaya nantinya enggak akan merasa kecewa dengan bagaimanapun road trip ini akan berjalan nantinya. Walaupun saya yakin trip ini berjalan menyenangkan karena kali ini saya melakukannya bersama teman - teman dekat saya yang sudah saling kenal "kebiasaan" satu sama lain.

Si jago merah yang menemani road trip kami ke Lake District
(courtesy of Nadia)

Saya dan para housemates saya; Dini, Nadia, Omri dan Prethish (courtesy of Dini)

Perjalanan menuju Little and Great Langdale (courtesy of Dini)

Salah satu sudut di Hawkshead Village

Jalan menuju Windermere (courtesy of Dini)

Dan... ternyata ketakutan saya ini cukup tepat pada awal perjalanan kami. Dimulai dengan pada bangun kesiangan yang berujung berangkat ngaret sekitar dua jam dari rencana awal. Lalu, sempat terjadi sedikit keriweuhan saat mau mengambil mobil rental. Puncaknya sih saat kami dalam perjalanan ke Lake District dan sempat berhenti di salah satu tempat bernama Cotswolds. Disana ada kali ya hampir satu jam keliling - keliling hanya untuk mencari tempat makan yang pada akhirnya enggak ketemu, ditambah sempat nyasar dan hujan pula! T______T . Lalu akhirnya karena enggak ketemu juga, kami memutuskan untuk melanjutkan perjalanan ke Stratford Upon Avon yang enggak jauh dari Cotswolds. Disini suasananya sempat makin enggak enak karena kami juga enggak bisa puas jalan - jalan keliling kota karena (lagi - lagi) masalah menentukan tempat makan (yang belum ketemu juga), dan bahkan sempat berpencar sendiri - sendiri. Tetapi untungnya "permasalahan" road trip kami hanya sampai di hari pertama aja, karena hari - hari berikutnya road trip ini berjalan lancar dan menyenangkan. Yeeiiyy!

Makan siang di local pub, Inn Patrons Pub

Semacam Stonehenge versi kecil, Castlerigg Stone Circle  (courtesy of Dini)

Kalau daritadi saya terkesan mengeluh dengan road trip ini, saya harus bilang bahwa road trip ini merupakan road trip terbaik yang pernah saya lakukan di Inggris. Sejauh ini udah tiga kali saya melakukan road trip, dan menurut saya ini yang paling seru! Saya beruntung bisa road trip dengan teman - teman yang menyenangkan ke tempat yang saya inginkan. Banyak keseruan yang saya rasakan ketika road trip bareng housemates saya ini. Mulai dari hari pertama ketika kami harus mengejar waktu buat sampai di hostel tempat kami menginap yang enggak bisa menerima tamu setelah jam 11 malam. Di saat kami mengejar waktu, sempat-sempatnya kami hampir nyungsep ke danau karena waktu itu udah malam dan gelap, sedangkan GPS yang kami gunakan saat itu menununjukkan jalan alternatif yang enggak bisa ditempuh karena harus melewati danau dan saat itu jembatannya udah ditutup pada malam hari. Yang bikin serunya juga adalah rute yang kami ambil hampir selalu berkelok - kelok dan pemandangan alamnya yang sangat indah! Perjalanan kami ditutup dengan foto berkali - kali untuk dapat foto lompat bersama dengan background kota Kendal, yang walaupun udah retake tiga kali, tetap berakhir gagal! hahaha. Terima kasih teman - teman atas road trip yang sangat menyenangkan ini!   :")

Gretna Green, perbatasan antara Inggris dan Skotlandia. Tempat dimana sering diadakan pernikahan bagi orang - orang yang susah untuk menikah di Inggris (kasarnya sih tempat ini sebagai tempat pernikahan buat yang "kawin lari")

Pelangi di sore hari (courtesy of Dini) 

Ala - ala boy band 

Destinasi terakhir: Kendal Castle (courtesy of Nadia)

Udah diulang sampai empat kali, tetep aja enggak ada yang bener haha

December 24, 2013

My First England Road Trip

I really wanted to go on a road trip since the first time I moved to England. It's not because I can say I've done it when people ask, but simply because I've loved road trips since I was a kid. I remember my parents often took me on road trips to some places in Indonesia. It feels like a lot more adventurous, and indeed, you can explore more off-the-beaten-track places. It came as no surprise, then, that I was jumping around like a crazy chicken when my housemates agree to go on a road trip together in last October. With autumn officially set off and limited time left of the sun, the great outdoors needs to be fully seized and enjoyed before it is too late. So, here we come, mother nature!

55 Southcote Presents Lake District from nazura gulfira on Vimeo.

I love planning trips, but the thing is, I can't drive. It's obvious then that I was the only one preparing for the trip, and at the same time, who didn't drive during the trip! ha! I chose Lake District, a scenic area of Northern England consisting numerous landscapes, lakes and beautiful villages. After collecting all the information about Lake District, I finally come up with the plan that we are leaving from Bournemouth to Hawkshead (the place where we spent our first night), and stopping by Stonehenge and Stratford Upon Avon on the way down there. Within the Lake District area, we went to Penrith, Ambleside, Grasmere Village, Great and Little Langdale, Conniston, Keswick, Windermere and Kendal.

If you're a fan of forests and mountains like myself, you would definitely love this place! The lakes and the mountains are amazing. I've seen them numerous times but they still take my breath away. If you ever get a chance to drive up through the mountains do so, you may come across sheep grazing on the side of the road or just having a stroll across to the other side. Although some roads are narrow and steep, and can be quite an experience to drive on (I honestly don't know anything about it, but my friends told me so). But in the end, its all well worth it when you open out into the amazing sights of the lakes and the mountains. Oh, and one more thing! Lake District is also well known for the place where Beatrix Potter dreamed up her characters, the Peter Rabbit and friends. Seeing lots of souvenirs and pictures of Peter Rabbit made me feel nostalgic for my childhood :")