English Vacation

“The world is big and I want to have a good look at it before t gets dark.” John Muir

If you think about England, things like rain or bad food maybe pop up in your head. Well, I spent two weeks on the coast of Cornwall with almost no rain and delicious food every day.

I totally fell in love with England, even though I only saw a little part of it. I’ve only visited London, but I really liked already. Now I had the chance to see more of England’s nature and smaller towns that aren’t the most well-known but definitely worth a visit. Next to nature and cities, the English people were a blessing and just really nice and polite.

I travelled with my family and we rented a car in Bristol to drive down the coast. We stayed in three different cities starting with Newquay. It’s a total surfers paradise and that’s also how the shops and cafes were like, modern and especially good for young people. It was filled tourists which maybe was a little too much, but I guess I can’t say much because in the end I’m a tourist too.

I’ve never surfed before, but I wanted to try it since forever. I had a lesson of two hours which gave me a nosebleed, a big smile and sore muscles. And I’m definitely going to stand on a board soon again.

Our next stay was in Penzance, which is was a little bigger and less touristy than Newquay. Only 15 minutes driving will bring you to St.Michaels Mount, which is an island that you can walk to, during low tides, and you need to take a boat to, during high tides. For the second time we chose to go to Truro, mainly because I wanted to do a little shopping trip, but we ended up spending a lot of time in an old teahouse for high tea. Another day we looked at the Minack Theatre, that’sa theatre built in a cliff where you not only have the view on plays, but also over the ocean. Unfortunately, we couldn’t get tickets anymore for the remaining days.

Our last stop was Falmouth and it was by far my favorite place to stay at. It’s a proper city, maybe not the biggest one but filled with really cool spots. One thing that surprised me a lot but also made me so happy, was that in this little city there were second hand shops on every corner. Especially, because they were really nice ones, that had their one feeling. From this city we also made a trip to the Lost Gardens of Heligan, which is probably more for families but still it’s pretty amazing to see a jungle landscape in the middle of cloudy England.

Once and for all, I loved my time there and I’m looking forward to the next time I can visit. I was extremely surprised of all the unique stores, coffeeshops or restaurants that were in every town, but especially Falmouth was filled with them. I wish I had eternal space for home and decorating pieces, but at least I could take a lot of impressions and pictures with me.

La Dolce Vita in Italy

Going on vacation is probably most people’s favorite thing to do. But it’s an adventure itself when you pack your bags for a vacation with your best friends.

With a train and some unlucky train confusion we arrived in the little village Pella in Italy after around six hours. We were eight girls, in a house with three levels that had the rooms inside but the stairways and corridors outside. Our bedroom was a mess, our bathrooms were filled with make-up and we had mountains of food in the kitchen waiting to become our day and midnight snacks. This could be the nightmare for every mother but for us it was the recipe for one week of perfect Italian vacation.

Most of the time we had, we spent on two small boats and floaties in the middle of the lake. Almost catching a sunburn, blasting out loud music that varied from Spanish to English or our personal singing-favorite: Swiss…

On our second day we went up to the church that is literally on the edge of a cliff, which is called “Madonna del Sasso”. To get up there you need to take a train, that looks like a real-life toy-train and barely fits through the little Italian streets. The view from there was absolutely stunning and you could see the whole lake.

The following day we decided to take a boat tour to the other end of Lago d’Orta to see the weekly market of Omegna. Omegna is small and there are parts of it that almost reminded me of pictures from Venice or Amsterdam, but it’s definitely not a huge city. Italian markets are always really nice to stroll through and look at all the little pieces. My favorite part is always the food, which is really authentic! I ended up only buying a foot bracelet and some food for my family.

On our way back to Pella we stopped in Orta, which as my parents would say, is like Italy in the fifties which pretty much sums it up. There are no big stores but little jewelry boutiques and tourist shops.

Italy is always a treat. No matter if you end up in a big city, the beach or like us, a little village at a lake. We had the best week, not just traveling but spending time together. Especially after not seeing most of us for a whole year there’s a lot to catch up with. And something I got to experience was, that even if we didn’t see each other for so long the friendship stayed the same. We definitely didn’t live Italy wrong, because we tried the ice cream, the pizza, the pasta and the wine.

All in all Pella made us feel a little less swiss and a little bit more Italian and I am definitely not mad about it. Ciao and the next destination is England, stay tuned!

Stuck in the Airport

16 hours inside Charlotte Airport, North Carolina

Impatiently waiting for the airplane to get faster, until the point where we will take off. But this moment is not going to happen in the next hour. The pilot sends out a message: we are over one hour behind because of a storm over the East Coast. Well, that day we didn’t make it on our second flight from North Carolina to Norfolk. The planned way home from Orlando to Norfolk took us in the end 13 hours longer than expected.

We were stuck. In an airport. Over night. What an adventure, is what I would answer. If something goes wrong you should make the best out of it. And that’s what me and my hostsister did: dancing Zumba in front of a Mexican restaurant, going up and down the escalator, drink some coke, drink coffee, more coke… caffeine kept us awake. After stocking up on snacks that the airplane gave out to the guests that stayed overnight we wanted to talk to people. A lot of other passengers had to stay there so we thought we use this chance for Storytime.

We talked to two fishermen from North Carolina, that showed us pictures from all their trips all around the different waters in America. We told them about our exchange year, about where we went, where we want to go and where we are from. One of them was a little older and he told us about stories of his trips in Europe and how much he liked it.

1 a.m., we met a pilot. He joined our conversation with the others. We kept on asking him questions about flying and how he deals with the responsibility of it. He told us how everyone blames the airplane cancelations on him, even though it’s because of storms or technical difficulties. It only took him one year to become a pilot, and wouldn’t it be with all the responsibilty behind it I would definitely consider this job.

No matter what time it was, we were awake and we were never alone. Someone is always working, cleaning, building or preparing.

This was the perfect ending of my trip to Orlando. It showed me that sometimes things don’t work like you planned them, but it can be the challenge you were waiting for. After those 16 hours without sleep and inside the Charlotte Airport, the only thing I wanted to do was to finally leave it. But I will never regret not going inside a hotel, because once in life you just have to sleep in an airport.

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the bed for the night

Exploring Hawaii

It all started with a sunrise in Norfolk, flying over cities, deserts and the endless ocean. Like a little child on Christmas, looking through the airplane window. And as I saw the first parts of Hawaii I wanted to scream and tell everyone to look. Excitement fills me and I can’t believe my eyes, I made it to a place I would normally only dream of. Can this be reality? (thoughts on the fight)

For one week I stayed in Honolulu, Hawaii’s capital and met a ton of new people, that are all in their exchange year in America. Hawaii is incredible and because I haven’t been to a tropical place before, I was gazing at everything when I first walked down Waikiki Beach and enjoyed the sunset. Next to making a lot of new friends, I had the chance to see one of my best friends from Switzerland after half a year, which meant there was a million things to talk about and believe me the moment when you speak your native language again is wonderful and you don’t want to stop.

The first proper day we went around the island of Oahu and made small stops all over the place. We started at the Iolani Palace, which is the only palace in America. Then we continued to visit the Dole Pineapple plantations, where they have the best ice cream I tasted before, that literally melts in your mouth. After drinking out of coconuts and eating on Turtle Bay Beach, tanning in the sun and taking pictures underneath palm trees, we visited the Northshore Beaches. The Northshore Beaches are extremely famous for all the surfers, that try to catch the high waves. In the moment of seeing the magic of riding on the water, I was sure that I need to learn this sport.

The next day started in the early morning and we visited the monument of Pearl Harbor. This visit was silent, as we were walking through the remaining ships of 1941. Before going on the old ship of the USS Arizona we watched a documentary, explaining carefully the whole tragedy. The monument was kept really light and as you had a look over the wrecks you saw colorful fish swimming through the clear water. The most surprising thing was though the remaining oil stains in the water, shimmering and floating the same way as right after the attack.

This blogpost only covers the first two days of my Hawaiian adventure and I hope you will have a look on all the following posts documenting this week.

 

 

Cold Trip into Warm Colors

Cold days, saved by a fire, a blanket and endless hot chocolate. Doesn’t that sound like a dream?

Escaping the school and boring daily life, we went to a trip in the north-western part of Virginia, directly into the woods (near Charlottesville, VA).

No service, nothing around us, except millions of trees in the in the warmest colors.

I totally fell in love with our wooden cabin, where we stayed for the weekend with some friends of our hostfamily, which also had two exchange students from Germany.

What especially stole my heart was the conservatory, which led directly into the balcony, where you’re standing in a sea of trees and only listen to the different sounds of life in the forest. It was amazing and I couldn’t have been more thankful to be there. The atmosphere out there left me speechless and me and my hostsister couldn’t believe that we were staying here for the next two days. And what we often say it was “totally american…”.

To experience the beautiful landscape around us we hiked Saturday and Sunday. Personally, I preferred our second hike, where we went to the Humpback Rocks. After only one mile of walking up we found ourselves in front of a stunning view over the colorful tree’s of Virginia.

I have never seen a view like this and can fully recommend a visit up there, and we chose the exact right time for it. The cold and fresh air is perfect to walk but also made us look forward to snuggle up in front of our fireplace back in the cabin. And how should we take a camping trip without S’mores?

S’mores, a sweet dream to eat:

S’mores are the easiest classic camping snack, made out of two crackers, chocolate and a marshmallow.

To do S’mores you just have to…

  • prepare a marshamallow over the fire
  • put it on a cracker with a little piece of chocolate
  • and put second cracker on top of everything
  • done!

on our first hike

 

A weekend in Washington DC

In the heart of America.

Thanks to my hostfamily I had the chance to visit another big city of the US and experience the lovely atmosphere of Washington DC. The city is around 3 hours away of my house and after this little roadtrip we started the sightseeing.

So to give you a little overview, there is the so called mall in Washington, now you might think of a shopping mall, but actually it is an area next to a park. In this area there are so many museums and they are all so different, there’s an art museum, a natural history one, the museum of American history and so on. On one end there is the immense Washington Monument, which is in the form of a white obelisk, at the other end there is the Capitol, which is a huge white house but it’s not the White House, it’s where the laws get discussed and built.

And now the actual White House. When we went to see the home of the president, I was a little bit disappointed. We found it because there was a big group of people in front of a barrier, trying to get the best selfie with a house, far away. After giving our best to take a photo, we got kicked out of our spot. A crazy experience as the police sends everyone away and we spot several snipers on a building next to this area looking out for danger. Apparently, the president or another important person, was flying in with his helicopter, because of that everyone had to leave.

I really wanted to go inside the White House, but that’s only possible if you ask your embassy 2-3 months before the visit, so we were too late. And from the outside it’s not that special, I definitey preferred the Capitol. And can we take a moment to realize that “casablanca” sounds so much better than “the White House”, so thanks to my spanish hostsister for introducing me into some spansish vocabulary.

We visited also three museums, which two of them are in the mall area and one of them was a little bit outside, but definitely recommended!

And that was the Holocaust Museum, it’s very dark and cold but it documents the whole tragedy of world war II and it made me want to read a lot more about the victims in this time, and finishing the diary of Anne Frank. The other to museums were first the Museum of American History, which I didn’t like too much, and it was kind of dry, and second the National Museum of the American Indian, which I liked more and I thought we should visit it, because it’s a big part of America’s culture and I don’t know a lot about it.

Washington is full of parks and memorials, and I totally fell in love with the park around the Lincoln Memorial. There is a big reflection pool, acting as a mirror for the Washington Monument and a wonderful park around it.

Because we only were there for one weekend, we couldn’t take a lot of time to just be in the city and enjoy an afternoon in the park, which to be honest is my favorite thing to do. Just sitting in maybe a coffeeshop or on a bench, writing some cards and taking your time.

 

Hot Days in New York II

These streets will make you feel brand new, the lights will inspire you

Hey everyone!

The third day in the big city I preferred the most. We started at the 9/11 Memorial and the guide told us an amazing story of the Sphere, that’s a golden globe sculpture from the artist Fritz Koenig. This sculpture was standing in the middle of the two Twin Towers. After the attack it had a big hole in it and they put it underground, they asked the artist to fix it but he refused, he said that he will fix it when there’s peace all over the world. But the artist died this February, and I think it’s a mirror to the time we live in now, because he died in a world full of terrorism, leaving his sculpture as a survivor and in a way no one will ever forget the brutality behind.

After this sad jump in history we went down the Wall Street and on a boat, that drove us around the coast, around the Statue of Liberty and under the Brooklyn Bridge. But we saw the Brooklyn Bridge from a different angle later, because we walked over the whole bridge. Sadly we couldn’t walk around Brooklyn’s quarters, which I really liked from my previous trip, because we had to go to Coney Island.

Coney Island is an amusement park at the beach of New York, we had some spare time and so we went on two big roller coasters. One of them was the Cyclone, it’s been built in 1927 and we definitely saw the years on it as we flashed by. We walked down the beach and the pier, while watching a group of Jamaican musicians dancing to their music.

After eating traditional, huge Pizza in Brooklyn we went on the Rockefeller Center with a view over Manhattan’s Skyline and what really like, the view of the Empire State building. Unfortunately we missed the sunset, but it’s still stunning and extremely beautiful. All the lights shine in their whole glory and let us be speechless.

I’m really sorry, but my camera had some wrong settings so all the pictures from the memorial are totally blurry. But I hope you still got an idea of my trip in New York and enjoyed those blogposts.

Hot Days in New York I

Being in New York is like falling in love over and over again.

Hey everyone!

So, there’s an update, I’m in America! On my way to Virginia Beach I spent three days in the city that never sleeps, New York. I’ve been to New York last fall with my family for one week, but I couldn’t get enough and when I realized that I will be in the city for a second time I was so thrilled about it.

After our flight to Newark we went to our hotel, which is extremely near the airport and when you were swimming in the pool you could see the airplanes starting off. Because of the long flight, we were able to just relax and realizing that we are in New York.

The next day started with a workshop from ISE, which is the organization in the US that takes over the job of our organization in Switzerland. They talked with us about our exchange year and let us dream about this adventure. But no one could wait for the big city lights and crowded streets of New York.

So after the workshop the trip started with a walk in Central Park, the guide showed us around and the “Gossip Girl” fan in me could gaze at the spots Blair Waldorf lived her glorious life. Then we went to Washington Square Park, where we ate lunch and watched the different street artists perform.

To experience the different cultures in New York we went to China Town and Little Italy and we could walk around with our Bubble Tea, spotting the noodle shops and pizza places, having China and Italy next to each other only separated with one street.

What I personally like very much about the city is that they try to have variety with lots of parks and for example also an extraordinary park, the Highline, which is a park that’s built on an old railway where you’ll see the New Yorkers having their coffee talks with friends. What I really enjoyed was Chelsea Market, everything is in an industrial building and there are shops and cafés, but sadly we couldn’t stay there for a long time and I think it would be amazing to go back there and stroll around the shops.

After dinner we went on Times Square to take photos and visit some shops, but to be honest it’s not my favorite place, it’s very impressing but there are so many people and I think there are better places to eat and shop in New York, but never the less I’d really like to be there at New Years Eve one day to experience the magic around this enormous tradition.

There will be a second part of my journey in New York on my blog tomorrow, to tell you everything about the last day.

My trip to Greece

Hi everyone!

Salty hair, calm waves and jellyfish paranoia were my life the past two weeks.

As a family trip we went to Haniotis, which is a village in Thessaloniki, Greece. This village is a paradise for tourists, but you’ll immediately forget about the cheesy shops and restaurants when you dive into the clear water.

We used our holiday to relax and to enjoy the last weeks before I will make my way to the United States. So we spent our time at the beach, tanning and swimming, with laughter and silence, through sand and the sea.

I love the feeling, when you put your head under water, total silence. The sun light which breaks in the water and leaves amazing patterns on the ground. And the moment after you’ll come up, your eyes filled with salt, but it was worth it. The first looks around and you have to press your eyes together, the sun is shining directly into your eyes. Then you start to realize the voices around you, you taste the salt, you smell the sea and you dive back in, total silence.

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My days were filled with books, I finally had the time to get back into reading so here are my holiday books, the protagonists that went with me to Greece.

  • The Little Bookshop Of Lonely Hearts by Annie Darling

It’s a story that finds itself in a little Bookshop in London, so called “Bookends” and Posy Morland, whose life changes as Lavinia, the owner of the Bookshop, passes away. And there begins a new chapter of Bookends and the background of always finding a happy ever after.

Deutsche Ausgabe: Der kleine Laden der einsamen Herzen

  • True Love At The Lonely Hearts Bookshop by Annie Darling

The second part of the book series, focuses on Posy’s good friend, Verity Love. She calls herself an introvert and with getting away from dating she tries to have a fake boyfriend. It’s the relationship between to strangers, starting to become friends, but an impossible love that interrupts and won’t stay silent.

Deutsche Ausgabe: noch nicht erhältlich

  • Love X Style X Life by Garance Doré

Garance Doré is illustrator, photographer, author and blogger. In her book she compares the world of a Parisian and of a New Yorker, giving us an idea how you live in those metropoles. The reader can be a part of this whole industry of fashion and lifestyles. She shows us the work behind her career and makes you dream about a life like hers. It’s filled with lessons for the life we live in and the unspoken rules of our society.

Deutsche Ausgabe: gleicher Titel

  • Paris for One by Jojo Moyes

This is a very short novel of Jojo Moyes. It’s about a weekend trip of Nell and her boyfriend, but it takes a turn when he doesn’t appear at the train station, and the adventure of exploring Paris all by herself starts. The book is full of impressions of Paris and you can picture the cafés and little streets. And between the chaos someone changes her trip and saves her from being alone in the city of love.

Deutsche Ausgabe: Nachts an der Seine

  • The Year I Met You by Cecelia Ahern

Jasmin is an ambtious business woman suddenly gets fired. With one year where she isn’t allowed to work she starts thinking about her overprotective site to her sister with down syndrome, about her relationship with her father and about her neighbour. Full of hate she observes her neighbour and their paths cross every now and then. The way the author wrote the book you can live in Jasmin’s thoughts and you’ll find yourself trying to solve her struggles and order her feelings.

Deutsche Ausgabe: Das Jahr, in dem ich dich traf

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