Sarajevo’s Romeo & Juliet: the heartbreaking story of Bosko and Admira

“Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that.

Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.”

– Martin Luther King

This summer I have done a backpacking tour with my family through several Balkan countries. Sarajevo was one of many destinations and a city that has stolen my heart.

We had already heard several heartbreaking stories about the Balkan Wars, but the story of Bosko and Admira, also called “Sarajevo’s Romeo and Juliet” hit home full force. Around the same time when I was making plans for a future with my husband, they were making plans for their future too. They wanted to escape the besieged city of Sarajevo but that went very, very wrong.

Read on to find out more about this brave young couple and what all of us can learn from their love story.

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A snowy sunny summer day: a day trip to Wallis, crossing the Nufenen Pass and climbing the Sparrhorn

“Each fresh peak ascended teaches something.”

– Sir Martin Conway

Hi everyone. Great to see you again!

I am back in Switzerland, back on the blog and happy to share an outdoor activity with you this week.

On the first day of my summer break, early in July, when the weather was hot and sunny and the snow had not melted completely yet (see the above photo), we spontaneously went to Wallis for a day. Wallis is the home of the Matterhorn and the Aletsch Glacier and lots and lots of beautiful nature. How blessed can one be, having that more or less around the corner.

Yeah, that was something that kept my brain busy these past few weeks. I think that many of us are often so focussed on travelling to far away places that you sometimes forget the beauties that are around your own corner, the ones that you can enjoy on a (spontaneous) day trip.

That’s easily done in Switzerland of course, but not only there! Take this blogpost as an opportunity to enjoy a virtual trip to Wallis and as an incentive to plan a fabulous day trip around your corner!

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Lieske in the Louvre: tips how NOT to get lost in the Louvre and how to make most of the museum

“The Louvre is the book in which we learn to read”.

– Paul Cezanne

Why go to the Louvre? Good question!

According to the Smithsonian* it is one of the top 28 places in the world you need to go to before you die. I also read that the Mona Lisa has got the “honour” of being the number 1 on a list of the most “disappointing attractions” in Europe. Mmm, dilemma. To visit or not to visit…?

Since I have seen and really liked some of those disappointing attractions and since Lisa and I share more or less the same name, I felt I had to see her for real at least once in my life.

Not a really original idea, since 30.000 people a day (yes, you read that correctly: 30.000!) do the same and though not all of them are called Lisa or Lieske, they all want to see Lisa! Oh oh, and mini me had to make sure to see her too…

Interested in some solid tips for the museum and the story of my visit (which includes armpits and pop concert-like scenes)? Well…keep on reading!

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Why positive anchoring is good for you and why I am a fan of Vans.

Shoes: Vans, Trousers: Jacqueline Young, Top: H&M, Jacket: Tally Weijl (this season)

“Love anchors the soul”

I’m a huge fan of Vans. Not because they are very comfortable and go well with many of my outfits, but because I always wear them when I am on holidays. You can imagine that I’m already in a good mood by just putting them on. They function like an anchor for me (and this is not a sailing term!).

Anchoring is something we all use in our lives, simply because there is too much information for our brain to process.  In order to deal with that huge amount of information we delete, distort and generalise information, such that it suits us and our vision on the world.

Anchoring falls into that last category, generalisation. It means that when you see, hear, feel, smell or taste something that you have previously linked to certain actions or feelings, you react on that specific signal instantly. Take stopping for a red traffic light for instance. You see a red light and you instantly stop. Imagine you would think every time you drive your car: “Hey, that traffic light is red, what shall I do?” There is a direct link between seeing the light and your action. In the case of my Vans, I feel happy the moment I put them on, since I have worn them on so many happy occasions. There is a direct link between putting on my Vans and my good mood.

You can make use of this function of the brain in your communication. Teachers often do so and also for non-teachers it is very useful. Read on to find out why and how.

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10 things NOT to do in Paris

Dress (new) & Bag: H&M, Vest: Esprit, Shoes: Vans, Sunnies: Vögele Shoes 

“A walk about Paris will provide lessons in history, beauty, and in the point of Life.”

– Thomas Jefferson

After a romantic city break to Venice with my husband a few weeks back, I spent the Whitsun weekend in Paris with one of my female friends from Holland. Paris being a city we both love and located somewhere between our homes, we thought it the perfect place for a girls’ weekend away. Apart from talking and laughing a lot, we did quite some sightseeing too.

I have decided not to list the standard sights for you, but to tell you what not to do in Paris, offering great alternatives as well of course.

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Blogpost 100! Missed some of these 100? Here is an inspiring top 5 for you!

Skirt: Esprit, Top: Tally Weijl, Bag: H&M, Sunnies: Vögele (all previous seasons)

“Time and reflection change the sight little by little ’till we come to understand.”

– Paul Cezanne

Time flies as we all know. My statistics have shown me that today’s blogpost is number 100! Hard to believe that I have written 100 blogposts in 2 years. It was a good reason to look through some old ones and I love seeing how my blog has developed during this period and also how creative yet consistent I have been.

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3 life lessons learned while learning to sail

“Twenty years from now, you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than those you did. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from safe harbor. Catch the wind in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.”

-Mark Twain

You know from previous blog posts that I often encourage you, my dear readers, and myself to step out of our comfort zones. Since I walk my talk, I did step out of my own comfort zone during my May break. I went sailing!

Trust me, setting foot on a sailing boat in order to really sail it is way out of my comfort zone. I have the highest respect for the sea (we have recently witnessed its full force on Fuerteventura) and am in awe with the power of the wind.

And you know what the funny thing is? It was a most relaxing holiday. My husband and I spent one week of sailing in the Dutch province of Zeeland, enjoying its natural beauty, the clear waters, small islands and surprise visits of seals and seagulls. Nature was kind to me (moderate windforce), my husband patient with me (an excellent sail instructor) and I had the best of times.

I learned so much in one week and those learnings go far beyond learning to sail and steer a boat…

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What got me flabbergasted in Venice…six sweet surprises

Bright red fake leather jacket: Tally Wijel (new). More photos of this outfit here

“Our brightest blazes of gladness are commonly kindled by unexpected sparks.”- Samuel Johnson

All good things come in threes, so after a romantic red “Lieske’s Looks” blogpost and a list of 10 thing I would NOT do in Venice, the third one of the Venice series: What got me flabbergasted in Venice…six surprises.

Having grown up in The Netherland with its many cities full of canals, you’d think I would know what to expect from a city surrounded by water. I thought so too. I was wrong.

Read on to find out what really surprised me in Venice!

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Wearing blue and rose flowers to the exhibition “The young Picasso: blue and rose periods”

Dress & Jeans Jacket: Yes or No, Bag: H&M, Scarf: a gift

“I am always doing that which I can not do, in order that I may learn how to do it.”
Pablo Picasso

A few weeks back I visited the exhibition “The young Picasso: blue and rose periods” at the Beyeler museum in Basel. The exhibition wasn’t  only about blue and rose paintings, but showed very well how Picasso, by embracing and applying new techniques, developed his own style. His credo of always doing that which I can not do, in order that I may learn how to do it has worked out well for him and has even led to a new art movement: cubism.

As Easter is a symbol of a new beginning, I’d thought it apt to publish a blogpost about new beginnings and trying out new things this Easter weekend, taking Picasso as a starting point.

Enjoy this cultural spring blogpost full of fresh ideas and flowery photos!

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