Lina Hamer

Tell us a little something about yourself (and photography work)!

My name is Lina, I’m 24 years old. I recently graduated as a pedagogue and I’m currently working as a freelance coordinator in the Dutch asylum seekers center in Utrecht. With creativity as a main subject we try to connect with the children and young adults who live there. It’s a very rewarding job where my love for the children living in the ‘AZC’ and my creativity come together.

Last year I've spent a lot of my time creating, filming and editing a short documentary called Niemandsland. It holds a strong message told by little children who have been living in the AZC for years. I’m convinced that visual media is a good way to create awareness of the situation.

Beside my job I’m a big fan of yoga. My father has been teaching yoga for as long as I can remember and I’m practicing regularly for a while now. I can recommend it to everyone, it really is a little gift for your mind and body!

I live together with my boyfriend Luka in a cozy apartment in the center of Utrecht. Luka is a professional musician and plays the drums in DeWolff and Akula Rhythm Band. He recently graduated from the conservatory of Amsterdam, so we’re both free as a bird! Luka and I are high school lovers. This year we’re celebrating our 8th year anniversary already. Time flies!

What about your photography?

Luka and I love to make little trips together whenever we can. Once on the road we always bring our analog camera with us. It’s a good habit to capture our adventures on analog film. It has a lot more personal value than just a picture on your phone. The combination of the beautiful analog quality, its imperfections (dust, scratches, odd colors) and your memories about the place really make it something magical. Also, it’s always a surprise when you get your pictures developed and you forgot about all the places you've visited. I like to share some of these moments on my Instagram page so people can have a small peek into our lives. You can follow me at lina.bellini.

Can you tell us something about the trip you’ve made this summer? 

Luka and I decided to travel through Europe in September. We didn’t really have a plan or a route, but we wanted to get out and spend the whole month on the road. We were lucky to borrow the coolest campervan you can imagine from my dad. It’s an old Mercedes-Benz ambulance with a wooden floor, a stove pipe (it actually works!) a little kitchen and a nice twin size bed. Traveling in this camper meant we could go everywhere we wanted. It’s a true joy having a little house on wheels like that.

We visited Luka’s family in the most Southern part of Germany, where we drove through old fairylike forests. We slept in their cozy guesthouse with a view over the misty mountains. Although it was very cold and rainy we had a great night. The next day we set out on our journey from Germany through Austria to Northern Italy, where we spent a couple of days at lake Caldonazzo. I used to live here for a while when I was 18 years old and spend some beautiful months working as an au pair for two Italian children.

After that we went southbound, to the most southern part of lake Garda (Limone). For two nights we traded our camper in for a very special Airbnb. It was a small castle in a town called Lonato. Imagine high ceilings with impressive frescos, Italian opera music echoing through the marble hallways and every morning a lovely fresh breakfast. But soon enough we really missed our ‘little’ campervan, even though we truly enjoyed the giant bathtub in that bathroom of our dreams…

After this moment of luxury we were headed to the coast of Liguria to a pittoresque town called Sestri Levante. We had a camping spot with an impressive mountain view on one side, and a perfect sea view on the other. During sundown, the mountains would turn to a beautiful orange color and you could hear wild hogs wandering through the forest around you. What a joy it was spending the evenings eating delicious self-made pasta and drinking Italian red wine while surrounded by all this nature!

The town of Sestri Levante is really a sight to see. We discovered a lot of Wes Anderson style houses in bright colors. It was a lot of fun driving the bicycle along the coast and to stop to make some analog pictures. On the 12th of September we celebrated my 24th birthday and we decided to take the train to the Cinque Terre area. The train ride itself was a joy, riding along the coastline seeing huge waves smashing against the rocks. We found that the area was quite packed with tourists, so we didn’t plan to stay there for a long time. But luck was on our side: we got on a winding path leading to the second of the five villages. Normally these paths are packed with tourists, but because of the strong wind, danger of slipping and landslides you had to access the paths at your own risk. We decided to just walk through it and it turned out to be one of the most beautiful hiking routes we've ever did. We were so lucky the paths were almost desolated, which really contributed to the beautiful sights. We made it to the next village after roughly two hours, had a good lunch and took the train back to our beloved campervan.

During the last week we drove along the coast in the direction of France. We spent a couple of days at the cote d’Azur. We were lucky enough to have our camper parked directly at the beach. So we woke up with the sound of the waves and the seagulls. Unfortunately our van started to have some troubles and on the day we decided to drive northbound it just wouldn’t start!
It was impossible to get it fixed right there so it had to be towed all the way back to the Netherlands. With a superfast modern car, we finished our trip and drove back home in about two days.

How did people respond to the bike? 

Especially the Italian people were fond of our bicycles. I think the name Veloretti and the design was very appealing to them! When Angelo from the Airbnb in Lonato saw our bikes and our analog camera he was desperate to take some pictures. “Mama Mia, this is beautiful!” he said. He did a small photoshoot with the bike in his patio. Unfortunately the pictures were all a bit overexposed haha!

What was the best place you guys visited? 

While driving through Italy we drove through the Western Dolomites and visited Lago di Carezza. It’s an emerald green mountain lake at 1500m height. It’s incredible how strong our campervan was. It drove through the mountains without any hesitation! However, we had a long line of cars riding behind us who couldn’t get past us on the narrow roads.

Once we arrived at the lake it was truly amazing. The sight was like you were looking at a postcard which is just too perfect to be true. According to legends there is a mermaid living in the lake, dressed in the beautiful colors of the rainbow. Hence it’s called rainbow lake.

How does your Veloretti bike fit your personality?

I chose the Caféracer in Havana blue because it looks so classy. It has a nice retro look and yet it is a very contemporary design. It’s swift and light like a feather, so it’s easy to take with you on trips. You can even carry it up your stairs if you want to. It is a perfect bike when you live in the city!



Lina rides a singlespeed Caferacer in Havana Blue, you can shop this colorful beauty here!