3 Aug 2014

The Pleasures of Travelling

Pinned to the wall behind my desk is a map of the world where I have marked every place that I have visited on this planet. Looking at it, it’s quite an impressive collection, but there’s one problem: I have no or little memory of visiting some of the locations, especially the exotic ones, as I was just too little at the time. I for sure had a great time there on holiday, but I can’t help but feel like I’ve cheated. When I first started “creating” my map I wasn’t even sure whether to put a pin to those countries but now when I look at them, they are a motivation for me to make sure that, one day, I will go and experience them properly.

Today, I got to put a new pin on my map. I got back on Thursday from a ten-day Ireland trip with three friends and I still feel enthusiastic thinking about how amazing these ten days were. First of all, I had great company. Just going through the pictures to pick the one for this post makes me all warm and fuzzy inside because I hold those three crazy ladies so dear to my heart.
Secondly, can we just talk about what a beautiful country Ireland is? I mean, we only saw a small part of it but on more than one occasion did we come across things that made us wonder if this could be real.

Trinity College
We then took a train to Galway and again, stayed there for two nights. What I liked most about Galway were the street performers, some of the musicians seemed really talented and I have never seen such amazing balloon animals! Just saying…
Then the adventure began and we went to collect our bikes, which would be our means of transport for the next five days. Our trip took us from Galway to Cong, to Letterfrack, to Ougherard and back to Galway with a day trip to the island Inishbofin. If you ever find yourself in this region, I highly recommend taking the ferry to Inishbofin. It’s a calm, quiet place and we even saw dolphins on both ways while on the ferry!
Back in Galway we returned the bikes and went back to Dublin for the last day and to catch our flight.
I can’t really put into words how much I loved these ten days so I’m just going to leave you with some pictures and hope that I will be more coherent in the next post. Enjoy the rest of your Sunday.


Cliffs of Moher

Lough Corrib


Kylemore Abbey

21 Jul 2014

Gurtenfestival 2014

I’m writing this post sitting at our big dining table and eating pasta straight out of the pot. Things you can do while home alone. In the corner I can see my bag, all ready for an early start tomorrow off to Ireland. But before I’m going to embark on this new adventure I wanted to write a quick post about the festival I attended last weekend, the one that I already mentioned in my Summer Bucket List post. So let’s get crackin’!

My friend Sarah and I are quite the beginners when it comes to on-site festival camping as we both chose other places to stay over night last year. I stayed at a friend’s house close to the festival and Sarah was camping down by the river. So basically, we had no idea when to get there and what to expect. When we arrived at the valley station on Thursday morning for the little train that brings everyone up the hill there already was a queue, everyone was cheerful as the sun was shining and people were already drinking wine out of plastic cups. You know, you have to empty the glass bottle before you get in…so down with the stuff! Because we were still quite early we had to walk all the way back to the end of the camping site. Note to self: don’t come to early. But at least it wasn’t as noisy during the night. Pros and cons, always pros and cons to everything.

We set up our tent, went back down the hill to buy some lunch in the supermarket and made our way back up to sit in the sun for the rest of the afternoon and wait for the first gigs to start. Biffy Clyro were playing that night which I was very excited about, as I’ve wanted to see them for quite some time now. They were absolutely smashing it and I was singing at the top of my lungs through the whole gig (something I did several times during the four days of festival and which made me sound like a 60-year old chain-smoker in no time)
The rest of the first night was filled with lots of laughing, acting silly, some dancing and getting back to our tent as the sun was starting to rise.

Not the sunrise but the sunset was pretty stunning as well.

That has to be one of the most beautiful views you get at a festival!

 A little more than two hours later we were up again. Damn you, morning sun! Tent + hot summer days = not your friend when you’re trying to sleep. We escaped the heat and moved our sleeping quarter under a tree to doze a little longer. I can’t handle not sleeping enough and I later fell asleep during while we were sitting on the grass listening to a band. We watched the Irish band Kodaline and headed straight to The Kooks on the main stage, only to realise that singing and dancing (even just standing) during two gigs in row is pretty exhausting.

Saturday started with a nice breakfast and some time off the festival site to relay a little. And oh boy, it was a good decision! We later needed all our energy for what was my absolute favourite moment of the whole festival: Franz Ferdinand’s gig. 

 See, I have this list at home where I write down bands that I really really want to see live. Franz Ferdinand have been on this list for a couple of years now and I never managed to go and see them. I was looking for a clip from their performance but wasn’t lucky so here’s one from this year’s T in the Park, just so you get an idea of how much fun it was. 

It was not just fun and in general absolutely amazing but also a great work out at the same time! Jumping up and down for 1.5 hours straight can get you quite sweaty as it turns out. After some more music, Nutella crepes and some mood swings from both, Sarah and me, we decided to head home at around 3 in the morning. There was a rainstorm coming and because we are nice weather camper, we spend the night in the comfort of our own dry beds. Very good decision!

The next day started with rain, so it was time for wellington boots and raincoats. We saw a band called Kensington and later Jake Bugg, who is one of my favourites, and during his gig the sun came out again! Still, we were just to knackered and there wasn’t much on the program that day to excite us so we made our way back down, home to dry off, unpack and go to sleep. Mostly for the last one.

Although there were some ups and downs, we had a great time and will definitely go again next year. Maybe I can practice managing some days with little sleep without turning into grumpy cat until then!

Thanks for reading! I will be in Ireland for the next 10 days but you can expect new post at the beginning of August. Have a lovely time.

15 Jul 2014

Making Memories

What’s your favourite memory?
If you asked me that question, I would probably tell you about that time I was in Prague with three friends and we got completely soaked on the way back to our hostel. We had been out until the early hours of the morning and when we finally decided to go home, it was raining so heavily that the streets got flooded. We stood under the roof of the entrance for a short moment, considering our options. Then, we took off our shoes and started running. As we were making our way through the old part of Prague towards our hostel (that was luckily not too far away) we were laughing so much it was hard to breathe, trying not to slip on the wet stones and splashing each other with even more water. It really didn’t make a difference at that point.

It might not look like an extraordinary special moment to anyone else, but to me it’s just priceless and my three partners-in-crime seem to feel the same. Just the other day one of my friends said that it was one of her favourite memories – the reason why I had the idea to write this post.

What makes a moment so special that you would put it in a box if you only could, seal the lid so that nothing escapes and just every now and again take a little look and relive it as if it was happening all over again? 

John Lennon memorial wall, Prague 2013

 You are constantly making new memories but only a few of them get stuck in your brain, possibly forever. I’m sure that my friends and I will still be thinking about that particular night in Prague in many years to come, but first, it’s time to make some more memories.

My bedroom is currently cluttered with clothes, sunglasses, a sleeping bag, a straw hat and other things that I should be packing, as I am getting ready for some new adventures. Fingers crossed that there will be at least one moment to add to the list of favourite memories.

5 Jul 2014

My Summer Bucket List

It’s summer and I can’t say that I’ve made the most of it so far. As always, I have loads of ideas (nothing exciting, just your general summer stuff. Most of it involves food) but so far I just haven’t managed to drag myself up (from the sofa/bed?) and actually do something.
In my head, making a list of all the things I want to do in the next two months and put it on the Internet sounded like a good idea. So here we go:

Summer Brunch 
 I see fresh berries, milkshakes, waffles and definitely a nice little summer drink. I have saved endless recipes and ideas on Bloglovin’ and can’t wait to get a few friends around a table for a lazy morning filled with nice food.
How good do these Mango & Apple Daiquiris from Top with Cinnamon look?

  Enjoy Camping
 I don’t like camping. But I’m going to the Gurten Festival in less than two weeks and for the first year I’ll be camping on site. I can already see a lot of advantages of having a bed right next to the festival (like not having to get up that bloody hill every day) but at the same time, my comfort-loving self has its doubts. But I want to enjoy the whole thing as much as possible and just try and be relaxed about it. I will let you know how that goes. 

Make a road trip playlist  
I’m going to Ireland with three of my best friends at the end of July. We haven’t made any concrete plans but we are definitely going to rent a car in order to be able to explore on our own. So I thought it would be a nice idea to put a little playlist together to listen to in the car. I already have some songs in my head that I know will HAVE to be on it (there’s definitely going to be a little bit George Ezra, Saint Raymond, Mighty Oaks…) Let me know if you have any suggestions!

Swim in the river  
From where I live it takes about five minutes to get to the river. If you take 10 minutes you get to a point where you can enjoy a good half hour just chilling (literally) and letting yourself flow down the stream. When you get out, it’s again just five minutes to my doorstep. So what’s my excuse for not taking a plunge on every single warm evening? There’s no excuse. Honestly, I should be ashamed for not making the most of the location. I’ll try harder, I promise.

Make ice cream  
Last summer we bought an ice cream machine and used it once. ONCE! It’s a crime, I know. But now I already have all the ingredients and will start the ice cream making tomorrow. Matcha frozen yogurt anyone?

Go stargazing  
Not much to say about that one. Get a blanket, maybe a small snack and drink and go for it. Counting shooting stars is not optional.

(Go on a beach holiday)  
This one is still very vague but I haven’t been on a proper beach holiday for a while and at some point during spring this idea just came into my head and has been stuck there ever since. I really hope it’s going to happen at the start of September when the Mediterranean Sea is nice and warm and the prices are relatively low. Plus, I will need a new motivation to go work during August, as it’s a lot easier to get the hours done when you have something to save up for.

I will let you know how I get on with these. What are your plans for the summer?

21 Jun 2014

Going home and my trip to Cornwall

It has been two weeks since I went on a train journey (the one described here) and took myself to Cornwall and back for a weekend.
The weather was beautiful, I ate my weigh in cream tea, got woken up by seagulls in the morning and just spent a nice few days with some of the loveliest people I have met in my life.

At the Royal Cornwall County Show - So many cream teas!
Beach at St. Agnes

Very cute Café on the way to the Beach

Following that trip, I finished my internship, went to a parliamentary panel discussion where I sat next to a proper journalist from The Guardian (I felt a little out of place. But the food was great.), went shopping with the money I had left, moved out of my room in the student residence, watched the England vs. Italy match in the Shutterbug Café, then got a cold while waiting for the night bus.
The next day, I boarded the plan and flew to Berne, where my family was already waiting for me. I’ve been home for two weeks now and I can honestly say that I am absolutely happy to be back.
Now don’t get me wrong, it’s not like I hated it the whole time and was just miserable 24/7. London itself is still my favourite city and I’m sure it won’t be long until I will back for a city trip, but having escaped my not-too-interesting office job and getting my social life back does feel pretty amazing. However, I already miss all the unique little cafés, restaurants and other places you can find everywhere in London. I guess you just can’t have everything, right?

Dessert for Breakfast

I want all bills to come in a book like that. It's the small things that make a difference.

Reggie the Veggie at The Breakfast Club in Soho

It's coffee in a jam jar. How can you not get excited about that?

Delicious Raspberry Lemonade and a hazlenut-chocolate thing (what a precise description Anna, well done!) at Le Pain Quotidien

 That’s it for now. I hope you’ve all had a wonderful weekend!

12 Jun 2014

Thoughts while on a train

The past weekend, I got on a train to visit a family that I met three years ago in their new home in Cornwall. Starting from Paddington Station, the journey took me 4 hours and 45 minutes. That gives you a lot of time to think. So I started writing down random thoughts that popped into my head and this is how this post came to happen. 
Let's get started!
The English countryside is really flat.
Until suddenly, it isn’t.
That halloumi bagel from the train station was actually delicious.
So many canals. I think I want a boat.
Looks like Harry Potter could have lived here.
Why is there an imprint of a giant white horse on that hill?
This looks exactly like the setting for all those romantic movies (that then was a recurring theme)
Where’s the sea? I want to see the sea. Oh, that’s a rhyme.
I want to be i a car and drive these beautiful country roads. I don’t have a car. I can’t drive.
I should go on train journeys more often. Looks like I actually could be productive on a train.
Only three more hours.
I’m more than halfway through this magazine and have read every single article. I never do that. Also, why do the headlines on the front page always have to say something that makes you want to hide what you’re reading from your fellow passengers?
I wonder if the person sitting behind me can see what I’m typing. Probably not. I hope not.
Didn’t finish the magazine.
Is this the sea? Where am I? I need a map.
It’s the sea. It’s beautiful.
Passing people sitting by the sea, eating fish & chips. I want to join them. I’ll have chips & chips, please.
Two more hours.
Stared out of the window fort he good part of an hour.
Seeing people meet their friends or family at the train station is simply heart-warming.
I wonder what the air outside smells like right now.
Now it’s raining. And it got dark.
20 minutes left.
Announcement over speakers: „in case you haven’t noticed, it has started raining quite heavily. Coats are advised.“
Soon I’ll be one of those people with someone waiting for me at the station, looking for me as I get off the train.

13 May 2014

Just a little bit of life

I want to apologise in advance as I have a feeling that this post is just going to be me waffling about some nonsense instead of giving you an interesting story to read. Believe me, I’d love nothing more than to tell you about all the adventures I get up to on a daily basis and the exciting places I visit but unfortunately that’s all top secret (aka not existent). 
So all I can do is bring you some day-to-day adventures and little stories about what’s been happening in my life lately.

That sky! Starting off with this picture that I snapped today from my window. It actually looked like that. No editing, I swear!

Fire alarms. I talked about fire alarms before but it just appears as if I have some bad luck with fire alarms. Firstly, there was the one I already talked about. Yep, that time when I was only dressed in a towel standing in my bath room when that thing went off. The second one started on Monday morning last week. At 3 a.m. I was thrilled, as you can imagine. Now, here’s the thing: that fire alarm is not just an annoying noise somewhere in the background. It is the loudest alarm I have ever heard; you’d think it wants to announce an apocalypse or something. So, in the early hours of that morning I almost fell out of my bed but still somehow managed to put on a coat, shoes and grab my keys. Needless to say, it stopped the minute I stepped out of my door.
Two days later I got to the office where I do my internship and as soon as I had walked through the door I heard a noise. You guessed it, another fire alarm. Apparently it had been going for the whole night and there was no one who knew how to switch it off. As a result we sat there for three hours, trying to do our work until some guy showed up who knew how to fix the problem.
Then last night was the fourth alarm. People in this building should really go on a raw-food diet and stay away from ovens and hobs.

Thinking about all the fire alarms that have been happening to me in the last few weeks I remembered that one time when I accidently set off one in a night train. It was on a school trip and we were on our way back from Berlin. In the morning I went to the little bathrooms that they have with just a tap and a mirror in it to brush my teeth, do my hair and what not. Trying out the new spray deodorant that I had bought I quickly had to realise that it produced a LOT of fumes. Like A LOT!! And then the whole train got woken up. And what did I do? Did I step out and tell the conductor that it had been me? Nope, of course not. I hid the deodorant and joined everyone in the corridor, speculating who had started the alarm. Until this day only one person from that train knows that it had been me.

My neighbour. Since we are already on the topic of disturbances, let me tell you something about the girl living opposite me. She likes Whitney Houston. She likes Brittney Spears. She likes singing (or rather shouting) at the top of her voice. She likes to do that at 4 in the morning. And that, I can tell you, is something I don’t like

Cottage cheese. Why exactly do I mention cottage cheese in my blog post, you might wonder? The truth is, I absolutely love cottage cheese. Or so I thought.  But guess what, turns out Swiss cottage cheese and English cottage cheese don’t taste the same at all.
Now I feel like I have to question my love for cottage cheese. Has our whole relationship been a lie? Which one is real? And which one is just the better/worse version of the other. I don’t even know what to believe anymore. What a disappointment.  

No live changing adventures for now as you can see. I hope you’re not too annoyed with me just rambling about random things. But I guess that for me, it’s better than not writing at all. Who knows, maybe someday there will something interesting. So just keep on reading.

And lastly, a card I bought the other day that made me chuckle. Hopefully you, too.

25 Apr 2014

Two sorts of friends

Having friends is, in my opinion, on the list of the most valuable things you can have in life. Having friends means endlessly discussing what you think is a problem when it’s really just you making a big deal about something. It means talking nonsense for hours on end, apologising for talking nonsense, and then happily talking some more nonsense. It means having insider jokes. It means an endless amount of postcards.
It means having a movie night and discussing the highly important question of sweet and salty popcorn. It means having a Disney-themed dinner party.
It means sharing secrets (your own and other people’s. Even though you “promised to never tell anyone”. But they are your friends so it’s ok to discuss other people’s secrets with them.) It means hugs, laughs, memories, plans for the future.

source: http://etsy.me/QG5O1c

Some friends you have known for years. They have known you through all your weird phases, band obsessions, crushes, school troubles and just general decision making. You might not have always been super close, maybe one of you left the path of your friendship for a while and walked with different people but you never really lost sight of each other.
Some friendships form later in life, but they can be just as precious and after just a short while you feel like you have known this person for ages.

Of course, not every friendship is the same and sometimes you come across people who make you question if they care about you as much as you care about them.
They never text or call back. As soon as they find someone else to hang out with, they will just abandon you. They only call you when they need you because they know you will always make time for them and listen to their problems. They will make promises and not keep them.
But for some reason you will always welcome them with open arms if they decide to take a step back into your life, no matter how many times you tell yourself that you should just let them go.

I’m lucky to have more friends from the first kind and they really are the best, I honestly don’t know what I would do without them. There’s a different connection to every single one of them and while we might not talk every day, we surely know that there is always someone around. There are some of the second sort (three to be precise) but I’m trying to just accept is the way it is because there really is no point in being upset.

Now go and give your best friend(s) a hug if you can. And if not, text them, call them, write them a letter. You don’t have to go deep with all your feelings and tell them in detail how much they mean to you. Just a little note, a random smiley face or whatever happened in your life today.
And please do me a favour: don’t be a friend of the second sort.

9 Apr 2014

The Fire Alarm

Yesterday, the fire alarm went off in the building I’m currently living in. 
I would love to say that I was fully clothed and ready to leave the building and definitely not dressed in only a towel after just stepping out from the shower. But then I would also love to tell you that I didn’t eat a packet of biscuits for dinner because I hadn't gone shopping and there was nothing to eat apart from chocolate and biscuits. But sometimes things just don’t go how you want them to. And sometimes you find yourself in a bathroom with wet hair and no clothes on while there’s a fire alarm disturbing everyone’s Tuesday evening.

After grabbing some clothes and my phone (I wonder what that says about me) 
I peered out to the corridor to find two of my housemates having a discussion whether to leave the building or stay inside. I joined in and when the alarm was still going after about five minutes we decided to make our way to the fire escape which is conveniently located right next to my door. We stepped out, admired the brightly lit skyline of London for a brief moment and finally joint the people who had gathered in front of the building. 
Right in that moment the alarm stopped and everyone went back inside, back to what they were doing before the rude disturbance. A turn out there never was a real fire. 
Apparently a girl had burnt something in the kitchen. At least she tried.

 Apart from that incident I have had a pretty good week so far. My internship is starting to become less boring (not exactly interesting but at least I don’t feel like repeatedly banging my head on the table anymore because I’m so bored. That’s what I like to call progress), my heating is working again and I got invited to Tacos in one of the kitchens on another floor. 
Also, I’m currently wearing baby blue nail polish. I mean c’mon, that must be a good thing.

Step by step I am adjusting to this new situation that made me feel so helpless in the beginning. But now, after less than three weeks, I already know that I will look back in the end and be a teeny tiny bit proud of myself, for not throwing the towel and going back to what I’m used to.

And totally unrelated, here is something that makes me smile every morning. In a lot of tube stations around London are these boards and the quote written on it changes daily. It’s just a small thing but as we all know, those are often the most valuable.

Bye for now

30 Mar 2014

Borough Market

Yesterday, London reminded me once more why I fell in love with it in the first place. After feeling a bit down in the morning, I decided to pick myself up and visit the Borough Market. And believe me when I tell you, it was probably one of the best ideas I've had in a while.

The place was packed with people but still managed to maintain a really relaxed atmosphere that made you want to wander around for hours. People were chatting with the vendors, taking pictures and sipping prosecco or Pimm's from fancy plastic cups.
The variety of products on offer was endless, from fresh fruit and vegetables to fish to cake to pasta...you get the picture. 

 I always find it hard to pick something when there are so many possibilities but after walking through the whole market for abou three times I went for an olive-cheese bread stick from the Bread Ahead Bakery
Good choice. Really good choice! The woman standing next to me got the same thing and I overheard her telling the vender that she usually didn't eat bread but just couldn't resit one of those bread sticks. So they must be pretty damn special.

Next stop was the juice bar. I had spotted lots of people with juices in all different colours before and thought that I'd join them. Although there was quite a long queue everyone got served quickly and I decided on a beet root, apple and ginger juice. I'm sure the popularity of the juice bar is supported by the fact that it is "in" at the moment to process everything from kale to pears into a liquid but besides that, their juices are just really good. And they make you feel like you've done something good for your body. Double win.

Before leaving this beautiful place I grabbed a brownie from The Flour Station (brownie after juice - that's called a balanced diet). I nibbled the first few pieces while walking around the quarter but was determined to get a shot of it before devouring the whole thing. (I originally planned on taking the brownie home for dessert later that day but things like that are never going to work with me. I should know by now)

I'm going to leave you with this picture of The Shard and you have to promise me to visit the Borough Market if you ever find yourself in London. 
Bye for now