The Charm Abandoned Places

Abandoned Ottmanic Train Trailer, Saudia Arabia Desert.

I have something for abandoned places. There is something both eerie and striking about them they truly charm me. Whether it’s a train cemetery in Bolivia or an Art Deco subway station underneath New York City, each location is a snapshot of history frozen in time. Take a tour of these mesmerizing sites around the world—stark reminders of what used to be, yes, but with beauty seeping through the broken glass and dust.

Valle dei Mulini (Valley of the Mills), Sorrento, Italy

Such places bring me into a silent and forgotten world, into places that was once lively and crowded. I’ve always wondered whether if any of the places we use now will be that charming when they’re left abandoned 1000 years from now. I think countries that has such beautiful abandoned buildings must maintain them and protect them.

Power Station, Belgium

The whistling of the wind penetrating into broken windows and doors, the sounds from surrounding nature are just magical for me at least.  I would not hesitate to roam the world if I had time, searching for abandoned sites, sanctuaries where time seems to have stopped after humans have evacuated them. Here I post captivating and melancholic images of abandoned places from all around the world.

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Japan’s Wisteria Flower Tunnel Is Like Walking Through A Rainbow

 

This isn’t a Monet painting—it’s a photograph.
It shows a flower tunnel at The Kawachi Fuji Gardens, a private garden on rural Kyushu Island in southern Japan. The garden is open to the public for only a few months a year.

 

 

The garden includes 20 different species of wisteria plants, but the wisteria tunnel is the garden’s prime spot. The pastel passageway looks like something straight out of a fairytale when the flowers are in bloom—all you need are roaming unicorns to complete the picture.

 

 

In the Buddhist religion, wisteria is a symbol of prayer. The Chinese flower is a member of the pea family and is known for its climbing vines and winding branches. The plants can climb as high as 65 feet above ground and can spread 32 feet laterally, according to University of Florida’s Center for Aquatic and Invasive Plants. The flowers bloom in lavender, violet, pink and white.

 

 

Visit in late April or early May to experience the full magic of the tunnel. Try to go during the “Fuji Matsuri” (“Wisteria Festival”) when the tunnel is in full bloom.

These houses can survive natural disasters

 

Japan Dome House, a modular home manufacturer, has been making and selling its styrofoam dome houses for over fifteen years, but since the April 2016 Kumamoto earthquakes, there has been a surge of interest in the company’s products.

Some readers may do a double take, as the material used for these homes is indeed styrofoam.

Polystyrene (more commonly known as styrofoam) is widely used for everything from cups and food containers to packaging material. Polystyrene is a petroleum-based product made from the styrene monomer, which is classified as a possible human carcinogen by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and by the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC).

 

Some countries and municipalities around the world (including Taiwan and Portland, Oregon and Orange County, California in the U.S.) have also banned the use of polystyrene foam.

Nevertheless, the future of earthquake-resistant home building in Japan may very well come in the shape of domed houses built from this material.

Aso Farm Land
On April 16, 2016, a magnitude 7.0 main shock struck the city of Kumamoto in Kyushu Prefecture (following a foreshock two days earlier). The two earthquakes killed at least 49 people and injured some 3,000 others.

Many structures in Kumamoto and Oita Prefectures collapsed and caught fire, and more than 44,000 people were evacuated from their homes due to the disaster. Thousands of evacuees are still living in temporary housing.

However, among the structures that were not damaged was a small village of 480 houses at the Aso Farm Land resort, a health-themed national park built on a somma volcano, in Kyushu. Visitors to Aso Farm Land can enjoy numerous open-air hot springs and stay overnight in differently-themed accommodations.

The “Village Zone” of Aso Farm Land consists of 480 closely-packed dome-shaped houses made of a next-generation form of polystyrene foam. When the Kumamoto earthquake struck, none of these dome houses were damaged. This has has lead to a surge of interest in the technology behind their construction.

Fourth-Generation Building Material
Japan Dome House, based in Kaga City, Ishikawa Prefecture, claims that it has developed a fourth generation building material (following wood, iron, and concrete); and that its dome house has a number of characteristics that makes it superior to conventional materials and house shapes.

Using proprietary technology, it has developed an expanded polystyrene (EPS) product that is much stronger and more compact than the foam that is used for shipping material and food containers.

 

The company believes that its dome houses have a number of benefits. These include:

Ultra-Short Building Time

A dome house can be assembled in about a week by three or people, using modular dome pieces that weigh only about 80-kg (176 pounds).

Ultra-Low Cost
The company says that the total construction cost of a basic dome house is between ¥7 million and ¥8 million ($68,700 and $78,500) for a house with a floor space of about 36-sqm (387-sqft) and a ceiling height of 3 meters (9.8 feet).

Highly Earthquake Resistant
Because of its dome shape, the lack of a need for posts and beams in construction, and its extremely light weight the dome house is highly earthquake resistant.

Ultra-Thermal Insulating

Expanded polystyrene also has very high thermal insulating properties. This combined with the dome shape (which allows air to circulate by convection and prevents it from accumulating in corners) makes the dome house highly energy-saving.

Highly Durable
Polystyrene also does not rust or rot and is not subject to termite infestation. After assembly, the walls of the Dome House are also coated with fire retardant making the houses fireproof.

The dome shape of the house also makes it resistant to high winds.

Antioxidant Building Construction
The company also claims that its houses are healthy to live in because an anti-oxidant solution is kneaded into the polystyrene foam building material. Formaldehyde is also not used in the construction process which means that Japan Dome Houses do not suffer from “sick-house” syndrome.

Certification
The Dome House and the company’s specially developed polystyrene foam have also been certified by the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Tourism and Industry as being compliant with national building codes.

Customizable Dome Houses
Japan Dome House has developed a number of modular parts for its dome houses, which makes them highly customizable.

The company says its dome houses are used around Japan not only as residences but also as small hotels, steam rooms, temples and churches, child care centers and educational facilities and even karaoke bars. Because they can be quickly assembled there is also growing interest in using them as temporary housing for evacuees from natural disasters.

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Perfection: Greek Hotel Made For Families with Little Travelers

Based on my personal experience traveling with kids is 10x harder Than traveling with adults. The kids nends special places that satisfy their desires and needs ! On the other hand though, I experienced  more that traveling with kids has become much easier (such a contradiction I know) but it all depends on the destination. It does take a bit more effort on the parent’s part but hotels have become much more accommodating and even have suites dedicated to traveling en-famille. You don’t have to forgo your love of travel just because you’ve added a couple additional travelers to your family. The Ekies All Senses Resort, a member of the Design Hotels collective, understands this sentiment and has created a Greek oasis for families on vacation with little travelers.

Located on the paradisiacal coastline of Halkidiki, Greece, the Ekies All Senses Resort owned by Alexandra Efstathiadou features 10 eco-luxury suites that encourage children to run free and explore, all the while encouraging adults to do the same. The newer Pine and Evergreen suites designed by Athens-based architectural firm Agarch+ seem to blend into the lush, rustic landscape of fauna and flora. The materials and decor incorporated into the suites, like the hand-laid herringbone stone flooring, are a nod to traditional Greek artisanship alongside modern furnishings, like pieces by Philippe Starck and Achille Castiglioni.

The suites come equipped with cozy loungers, hammocks and private soaking pools. And Alexandra’s mother’s family co-own Coco Mat, a company that produces natural sleep products, bed linens, towels, and furniture, all of which are used throughout the hotel.

Blue accent walls and tiles reflect the waters of the Aegean shores just mere steps away from the property. Illustrations and typography showcasing Greek poet Aesop’s fables adorn the walls of certain suites. There are 69 rooms and suites in total, each with their own pool, sea or garden view and each are unique in terms of color and decorations.

 

Alexandra shares her vision for the property:

” I wanted to display Greek culture but in a modern way. I wanted to create a new way for people to look at the country. It is a place filled with love. In other words, it’s the perfect place to spend with your family and little ones.”

What: The Ekies All Senses Resort
Where: Sithonia, Halkidiki, Vourvourou, 63078
How much:  Rates for the Pine suites start from $264 USD, rates for the Evergreen Suite start from $522 USD.
Highlights: This Greek hotel has all the modern amenities you need to stay more than comfortable while on vacation (we’re going to assume that it won’t be that hard on a beautiful property like this) but is a true escape into paradise with the lush landscaping, scenic views (Mount Itamos is just a drive away) and Greek-influenced interiors.
Design draw: Agarch+ chose materials and decor that give a nod to Greek craftsmanship while also maintaining a contemporary aesthetic with modern furniture and fixtures.

Book it: Visit the Ekies All Senses Resort

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Via Design Milk.

Photography: Getting Lost with Øystein Aspelund

Øystein Aspelund is a norwegian photographer who is interested in the relations between men and their environment. His splendid series have already been featured several times on different blogs. Today, he comes back with a wonderful series entitled Getting Lost which he describes as “a maze of random places”. The mysterious and remote atmosphere of the pictures takes us to a personal initiatory journey. Is there any better way to get lost ? I always try to explore cities gems by getting lost there always ..

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VW New Californian hippies Microbus is Back & Will Hit the Road in 2022



The Microbus is Back

On August 19, Volkswagen announced at the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance in California that its electric microbus, the I.D. BUZZ concept car, will go into production. The new microbus will debut in dealerships throughout China, Europe, and North America in 2022, after the compact four-door version arrives.


“After the presentations at the global motor shows in Detroit and Geneva, we received a large number of letters and emails from customers who said, ‘please build this car’,” Volkswagen CEO Dr. Herbert Diess said at the event. Diess explained to attendees that the location of the announcement was deliberately chosen: “The Microbus has long been part of the California lifestyle. Now we’re bringing it back by reinventing it as an electric vehicle.”

New Tech, Classic Style

The production model I.D. BUZZ will feature all of the benefits of electric drive components, including a long wheelbase and lots of interior space. According to a CNET reviewer who drove the bus, its doors open and close automatically, like Tesla’s Model X, and with a 0-60 acceleration in under 5 seconds, it has the speed to match other electric vehicles— not that anyone driving one will be in much of a rush. The battery pack has a range of around 270 miles, on par with the Model X and the Chevy Bolt, and more than the Tesla’s Model S. The nearly flat front of the classic VW microbus will be retained, because the batteries will be mounted in the floor of the vehicle, just as they are in the concept version shown in Detroit in April.

The I.D. BUZZ is designed for multiple purpose: as a passenger vehicle, but also to carry freight just as the classic T2 did. “Along with a minibus version, we’ll also be offering an I.D. BUZZ CARGO variant for zero-emissions delivery of goods,” Volkswagen’s CEO of Commercial Vehicles, Dr. Eckhard Scholz said at the event. “With Level 3 autonomous capability, this is an ideal concept for an electric van, particularly for delivering packages and goods to the inner cities.”


The iconic VW microbus has a long history in America. It began production in 1950, and by the late 1960s had become a symbol of the hippie counterculture, with enough space to transport groups to rallies, concerts, and anyplace else. This new version of the classic retains a lot of this classic style and nostalgia, with maximum space utilization and recognizable elements of the beloved microbus style. The I.D. BUZZ will also incorporate various design ideas from the concept car, including interactive connectivity, multi-variable seating, and highly automated driving. It’s the hippie’s choice for the electric car revolution.

A Psychedelic and Cartoons Painted Building in Germany


If you go in Braunschweig, Germany, you will probably discover Happy Rizzi, the playful structure created by late pop art american artist James Rizzi in collaboration with architect Konrad Kloster. The different facades are drawn with colorful and psychedelic cartoons very characteristic of the artist’s style. Such a structure strongly contrasts with the authentic surroundings and offers a very joyful and surreal dimension to the town.

 

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The Beautiful Tree of Italy: Alberbello

Alberobello (Italian: means literally “beautiful tree”) is a small town and comune of the metropolitan city of Bari, Apulia, southern Italy. It has about 10,700 inhabitants and is famous for its unique trullo buildings. The trulli of Alberobello have been designated as a UNESCO World Heritage site since 1996.

Alberobello was first mentioned in the early 16th century when the first 40 families were granted land to farm in the area. The abundance of calcareous sedimentary material in the area lead to the building of houses with dry stone without the use of mortar. These houses were the first trulli which contributed to the expansion of the settlement. Building the houses of dry stone was a requirement of Count Giangirolamo II as in this way it was avoidable to pay taxes on them. (Source)

There are so many hidden jewels in Italy much more than what is marketed, I personally discovered many charming towns and destinations by chance when doing road trips. Alberobello was one of these findings. located on the heel of the shoe (Italy map), It is 5 hours drive from Rome by car probably 3 hours from Naples.

 

The town is small, most of its old houses are renovated and turned into hotels or tourists markets. Only couple of houses are left untouched to preserve the town history.

Alberobello and its surroundings is definitely a relaxing/sightseeing place, after sunset there is nothing much to do other than dinner and for me specially in that town was enough as their cuisine was amazing. While before sunset your day should be packed with activities according to your taste. The hotels there are pretty much the same in terms of exterior/interior design. If I was asked to recommend one it would be Il Gabellota Resort .

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Utilizing My Business Trip To Las Vegas Via Los Angeles !

 

 

Although its a business trip our company allowed us to have extra 4 days before the convention we intend to attend.

So I decided to spend these 4 days in Los Angeles rather than Vegas, I will be staying in The Line Hotel which I will post a review about upon my arrival. As for Vegas I will be packed in the conferences and meetings. I won’t be able to enjoy my time. The last time I’ve been to LA was in 2011. I tried to research about new things to see/do, I am not into touristic places. All I am looking for is lounges, brunch places or any place with cool vibes. Here is what came into my mind. I am also posting them to remember the plan !

 

I would love if you added recommendations in the comments or via email : author@kalopsia.me

 

Brunches:

1ESTRELLA

Estrella is located at 8800 Sunset Blvd. in West Hollywood, (310) 652-6613. Brunch is available on Saturdays and Sundays from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

 

 

2. L’AMI

L’Ami is located 246 26th St., Santa Monica, (310) 310-8064. Brunch is available on Saturdays and Sundays from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

 

3. E.P. & L.P.


E.P. & L.P. is located at 603 N. La Cienega Blvd., West Hollywood, (310) 855-9955. Brunch is available Saturdays and Sundays from 12 p.m. to 3 p.m.

 

Places to REVISIT:

 

1. The Brentwood Country Mart

 

 

 

2. Malibu Country Mart

 

 

3. Venice Beach

 

 

Lounges:

1. CATCH

 

8715 Melrose Ave
Los Angeles, CA 90069

 

 

2. Ivory on Sunset

 

8440 W Sunset Blvd
West Hollywood, CA 90069
(323) 848-6000

 

Finally I must post about the hotel I am going to stay at then in another post compare it to the pictures I found online.

The Hotel name is THE LINE HOTEL located in 3515 Wilshire Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90010 .

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