Europe - Another name for Nostalgia

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April 14th 2010
Published: April 14th 2010
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We flew in on the red-eye from Almaty to Riga, and as the sun came up over the Russian Steppe I gazed out of the window onto parts of the world that hadn’t previously existed even in my imagination. We’d planned months before to cross Kazakhstan to Russia to Europe, overland. But time had caught up with us. China will do that to you. I had one overriding wish driving into Riga on that overcast morning on the airport bus, and it appeared it had been granted. Europe in all its autumnal glory, that beautiful bittersweet season marking the end of summer and nature’s retreat; its glorious decay merging poetically with some of the abandoned buildings of a now increasingly distant Soviet past.

The past is something we carry around with us, just waiting, it seems, for that moment it can enlighten the present. And as we explored that first city on the first morning of that short Baltic States sampler, I could literally hear the leaves of memory rustling in the corridors of my mind. I grew up in Europe, where the history comes from. Though to be more accurate, where my history comes from; I was born in London, over a thousand miles from here, and in Europe that’s about as far as it gets. Yet like an internal rumour, my former lives lived in Europe make these Baltic countries seem familiar in myriad ways. A dusty box of old memories, locked away in an attic. Yet like déjà vu it’s easy to mistake memory for imagination; they become intertwined the one feeding the other.

Europe has enough on the menu to satisfy the hunger of the most ravenous wanderlust, yet I’ve always preferred those little restaurants without menus. But the truth is these days it is Europe that is exotic, Europe that is the Other. And oh how she stands bold and proud; familiar yet increasingly distant, unexplored, changing and unknown. On the last of our fortnight in Baltic Europe, in Tallinn, I wandered the streets of that unknown vaguely familiar town at night, in the rain, the lights glistening off the cobblestones. It was one of the pleasantest travel sensations I can recall. Absence makes the heart grow fonder but after a little less than two months back visiting family it was time once again for us to go for another little in the knowledge that nostalgia is everything it used to be.


Additional photos below
Photos: 23, Displayed: 23


Chiesa di Sant-AnnaChiesa di Sant-Anna
Chiesa di Sant-Anna

Vilnius, Lithuania

Hill of crosses, Lithuania



Vilnius, Lithuania

Bird HouseBird House
Bird House

Riga, Latvia

Wilno KatedraWilno Katedra
Wilno Katedra


14th April 2010

Just turn those crosses upside down, and the photos could decorate the Heavy Metal clubs I go to and our appartment too, if my boyfriend chooses the decor. :) Amazing photography, in my inexpert opinion at least. Creepy, but in a good way.
14th April 2010

Creepy Context
We had SIX inches of snow yesterday, and in case Mother Nature hasn't noticed, IT's APRIL. So I was snowed in with Photoshop. The mood may even be reflected in some of those photos. If your boyfriend ever gets any choices in your household; you can have those photographs, just give me a shout;-)
14th April 2010

''If your boyfriend ever gets any choices in your household'' Hey, he uses the internet. I dont want him reading stuff that will give him ideas. Just kidding! The toss a coin method we use to decide which of us gets our way is working just fine. I am looking out for a coin which is the same on both sides though. :)
15th April 2010

Great pano
Jason, Tallinn is such a fantastic city, I loved it. I also have a very similar shot of the castle, but unfortunately not a panorama as I didnt discover the whole panorama thing until way later on my trip. What a shame and thanks for putting in the effort. But what is with the pixelation in the corner? Did you shoot it at a lower resolution and were forced to stretch it? Ben
15th April 2010

I actually added those pixels myself on Photoshop in a filter called "poster edges". Some of the other pictures have also been tweaked this way, and pulled that way, using various Photoshop toys. I'm actually pretty new to Photoshop, so am currently just playing around with it, and trying things out.
9th December 2010

hauntingly beautiful photographs!

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