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Favourite restaurants/clubs in Barcelona

One of my favourite cities in Europe. It has everything; the beach, great food, clubs, culture, and good weather. Why should we ask for more, when we can have it all? In this blog you will find me favourite restaurants/clubs in Barcelona.

First something else

We slept with in the Antibes Hotel, which I would definitely recommend. The breakfast was super, the location was perfect and because the reception is 24hours open, we would not have to be stressed when coming back from the nightclub in the middle of the night.

So, yeah. As you can probably guess, we went for clubbing and going to bars quite often. If we did not go out, we met at one of the rooms and had some nice deep conversations about life. At the beginning of the week, I only knew a few other people well, therefore I found it so nice to get to know them better and found out that we had such a good connection.

I do not want to give you the impression that we only went for clubbing and drank beers because honestly, we had to wake up between and 7 and 8 every day to meet with the teachers for an activity, which was quite difficult for not morning persons because we went mainly went to bed around three, four o’clock. We did some activities like a tour through the Port of Barcelona, the Gothic Quarter, El Born, and the neighbourhood around the Sagrada Familia.

My favourite restaurants/clubs in Barcelona

Not that I have seen everything or ate at such many places, because I always tend to go back to the places where I loved the food and where I know I will have an amazing night. So, because of my several city trips to Barcelona, I have created a list of my favourite restaurants and bars/clubs.

  1. Brunch and Cake – For the Instagram foodies > Breakfast, Lunch

2. Flax and Kale –  Vegetarian Restaurant > Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

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3. Rossini – Italian Restaurant > Lunch, Dinner

4. Carpe Diem – Indian Restaurant & Nightclub > Dinner

5. Bacoa – Hamburger Restaurant > Lunch, Dinner

6. Wonderbar – Popular local bar > Free entree, all mix drinks 8 euro

7. Sutton –  Nightclub > Normally 15 entree

8. Shoko – Nightclub > On guestlist via Facebook free entree, otherwise 10 euro

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Konstanz – an unexpected breathtaking place in Germany

Konstanz in Baden-Wurttemberg. I had never heard of both, but well, this place appeared to be an unexpected breaktaking place. Baden-Württemberg is a state on the West-South side of Germany, divided into Baden and Württemberg (obviously haha). By the way, they call themselves, the sunny side of Germany. You can guess, my expectations were high as a “sun lover”.

Konstanz as one of my favourite cities

During those four days, we visited each day another city. However, two of them are by far my favourite; Meersburg and Konstanz. They lay both along the Lake of Constance, called Bodensee in German,  which just gives such a relaxing and breathtaking view. Meersburg is very small and quiet compared to Konstanz. It is also more traditional and perfect if you want to calm down from the rush of life, because yes that is how it really felt to be there. Besides walking around, souvenir shopping, and staring at the Lake,  there was not a lot to do in Meersburg. That did not make the city less nice, it already has so much flair, that it does not need more.

On the other hand, there is Konstanz. Konstanz is a University city. The whole city is made for the students, with lots of commercial shops, bars/nightclubs, restaurants, parks, and cycling roads. The city is so alive, that you are too busy the whole day with doing all kind of different things. Totally the opposite of what Meersburg can give you, but that is also what I like about those places. If you want silence and calmness, you go to Meersburg, but if you want life, you go to Konstanz. The perfect balance!

Besides that, when we arrived in Konstanz on Saturday there was a boat festival already going on since Friday. A woman told us that it is one of the most famous events in Konstanz, where there are boat competitions, games for children and young adults, a fair with attractions, and lots of food/drink trucks. Another detail, they were right with their “sunny side of Germany”, because all those four days were around 30 degrees with a blue sky. Yes, happy me “working” with my face in the sun, travelling around.

Outdoor activities and nature in Baden-Wurttemberg

For the ones, who read my blogs or follow me on Instagram, probably know that I have been to Germany again, only now for another press trip. If you have not read the other blog about Baden-Wurttemberg yet, you can read it here. The trip this time was more focused on outdoor activities and therefore all the destinations were around the Black Forest. This time the group was also smaller. We were in total with six, four media, the driver, and me. A good amount in order to get to know each other.

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Fifty shades of green

We landed at Stuttgart Airport and our private driver drove for around one hour before we arrived at the hotel, Hotel Hofgut Hohenkarpfen. From the moment we drove away from Stuttgart, I have seen more different colours of green than I have ever seen before. Even the other days, it was really impressive. With this, I also mean that we were all days spending our time in nature and did outdoor activities, but I will tell about that later. By the way, the hotel which I just mentioned above is literally amazing. It is on a hill, therefore, gives you a breathtaking view. When we had dinner, they made a show of all the dishes and it also even tasted very well! Yes, it is a place for the higher class of society, so if you do not want to spend fifteen euro’s on a carpaccio as a starter, then do not go there. For us, everything was paid, so no worries.

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The second hotel we slept in, is called the Donau Blick. There is a train station behind the hotel and the noise can be quite irritating. The staff is so extremely friendly, the rooms are very nice and during breakfast, there are so many choices that I had no idea what to eat.

The outdoor activities

As the same as the last press trip, we did not really know each other yet. During the activities, we had lots of time to catch up and get to know each other. However, there was also enough time for myself.  Because this trip was more active and outdoor (as I have told you), we did three main activities in total, where the focus was on. We went for a walk of 7km through the Black Forest, did a 20km mountain bike trip, and canoed for 7km on the Danube (Donau). We had so much luck with the weather, because all four days, were sunny with a perfect and acceptable degree for active activities.  Lots of people from the group even brought their professional walking shoes with them. However, because I do not have them yet (need to buy them for South-Africa and Chile) I walked with my running shoes, which was actually also fine.

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Schloss Sigmaringen

Sorry for the woman who really did her best to tell me all about the history of the castle, the traditions, and the family members… but when I started to write, I actually do not know more than that the prince still lives in a part of the castle with his family and that the other part is for public. Oh yeah, and that the castle is like really really old. When we went on the balcony we were not allowed to lean against the stones to have a look how high we were, because they do not know whether it is still safe. So yes, it is that old.

It is just that the castle is so extremely beautiful (and insane big) that I have to share this with you.

And yes, I did a little dance in this ball room. I could hold myself. It’s sort of a dream you know…

Time to think, think, and think after the outdoor activities

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During some activities and some parts of others, there were not spoken a lot. It almost felt like nature told us the shut up and enjoy the silence. The ones who know me very well, also know that I like to learn. Learn about life, about people, but especially about myself. I like to read books like: You do you from Sarah Knight. Being around with nature all day, every day sets you in a kind of zen mode. Even though I was there for work and needed to arrange different things, I also really had time to think.

What am I thinking of then? Mainly about whether I am making the right decisions in life. If I am spending time with the people who give me energy and whether I am still able to catch up with everything I am doing.

I had a good conversation with a woman from the group until late midnight and she told me a quote which I personally like very much: We don`t do stress. We do umbrellas, whatever the weather. Now, you can brainstorm yourself what she means with this.

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An Italian roadtrip from Florence to Sorrento

Let’s start with the Italian roadtrip from Florence to Sorrento! Florence, Rome, Naples, Sorrento, The Amalfi Coast. The Italian roadtrip is around three weeks and we will try to life all the Italian experiences and most that we can.

Starting our roadtrip in Florence

We were in Florence for four whole days. It was the place of our start of the roadtrip from Florence to Sorrento. For Tuesday we already had fixed plans because we booked a Vespa Tour for 4 hours with a lunch included. When we arrived on Sunday we were very tired and laid in bed the whole day until it was time for dinner. Our first ‘real’ pasta and oh gosh, it was delicious. Not even my favourite Italian restaurants from the Netherlands can beat up to this.

During this Italian roadtrip one of my biggest dreams came true.

On Monday, I showed Julie the city by walking around and explaining what Florence is famous for. Because I had visited most of the churches already last year with Renato I let Julie made the decision. She did not mind not going inside, so we just relaxed and went for some shopping before we were going back to the hotel to change ourselves and get ready for dinner. We ate at Zoe, which has a kind of tapas buffet that changes every time. You can eat how much you want for just 10 euro with the drinks included. It was delicious!

Tuesday was the day, finally, I was able to fulfill one of my biggest dreams!! A Vespa tour through Tuscany. Almost fulfilling.. because I still do not have my driving license yet I was not allowed to ride the Vespa, I was the passenger, which to be honest was not bad at all. I was able to make lots of pictures and videos while Julie was riding. It was definitely one of the best days of my life, I was a very happy person. Julie had never ridden a Vespa before but she did pretty well, we really enjoyed and laughed a lot. The lunch we had was amazing, especially the view. Unfortunately, there were lots of tiger musquitos and Julie got bitten 43 times (yes, she counted them).

When we arrived back in Florence, we did not expect that we would be so tired. We just went back to the hotel, took a shower and relaxed a bit. This evening we ate at Da Garibardi. The pizza’s there are a m a z  i n g !

From Florence to Rome

Thursday morning we checked out and went to the train station, our train was leaving around 11 and we were ready to go to Rome! It was 1,5 hour I think, but the time past so fast. I was watching a movie and Julie read her book. When we arrived in Rome, we first needed to walk half an hour to the hotel. We stayed at Orange Inn, however, I would not recommend you this hotel. I will tell you later why…

So, Rome! We loved it, every bit of it. Rome has so much flair. I went to Rome when I was around 12 years old with my parents, brother, and sister, and surprisingly I still really could remind some things. When Julie and I had arranged everything for the room, Tina called us that she was almost at the hotel, a friend from Germany who I also met in England, Julie and I went downstairs and there she was. Seeing her again after 2 years felt so great. Honestly, it did not really feel like that and that is what friendship is all about for me. It does not matter for how long you have not spoken to someone or seen someone, while you are back together again, it feels and is the same like it always was, it is good enough.

Now we were with the three of us and it was extremely hot in Rome, we thought it was clever to have a plan for every day because we were staying in Rome for also four whole days. On Thursday, we did not do much because before we were ready to do something it was already almost time for dinner. This time we went to Focacceria Pugi which is famous for their focaccia’s, obviously. There were so big that we were not able to finish them, but it was all worth it.

Bike tour through Rome

On Friday we had already planned something very cool. I had booked an E-bike tour for the three of us with Roman Guy. The tour lasted for 4 hours and because we were the only one who booked a tour with Roman Guy, we had a free private tour. The tour guide was a woman who had lived already in Rome for more than 7 years and showed us all the ins and outs of Rome. It was more than amazing and I really would recommend you the company.

Saturday was kind of an unexpected hectic day. Tina and I went to visit the Sint Pieters in the morning, which was beautiful!

From Rome to Naples

It was Monday morning when Tina and I took the Flixbus to Naples. Our first thought of Naples was dirty and poor. I booked an Airbnb for us in Naples and everything of the arrangement went fine. The apartment was close to the metro station and the main street, with a bakery and a restaurant. Before we went to Florence and Rome we did some research for those cities, but with Naples, we did not really know what to do. So, when we arrived there, we just walked around to have a look how the city “works”. We found a theatre, booked a tour and I am honestly still impressed. It was so beautiful! The rest of the day we just walked around, trying to find some hotspots… but it was kind of hard.

Because Naples was not really what we expected, we went to Pompeii for a day. Although the warmth was becoming too much for us sometimes, it was very impressive. We needed to stand in line for around half an hour, however, when we came in, it was so quiet and calm. This made the place even more peaceful.

Gladly that Tina and I had a lot of fun together because Naples was a once in a lifetime thing. We could have left it out of the roadtrip from Florence to Sorrento.

From Naples to Sorrento

Thursday morning, we took the boat from Naples to Sorrento. The owner of the Airbnb was so kind to pick us up at the harbour. Carmen’s arrival was at 6 o’clock in the evening and she arranged a taxi to drive her to Sorrento from Naples Airport because otherwise, it would have taken too long. She arrived at 8 o’clock, Tina and I made sure that dinner was ready so that we could eat directly. There was no perfect timing because from our terras we had an amazing view over the sea and every night we saw the dawn. I could not be happier than sitting there enjoying the view with two good friends.

Because Sorrento is mainly surrounded by rocks, there are not a lot of sandy beaches. There are mainly beach clubs with beds, where you have to pay for, on a platform. Here beneath some hotspots we went to:

  • Antico Bagno Di Seiano
  • Spiaggia La Marinella
  • Bagni Salvatore
  • Bagni Regina Giovanna

It was so nice to finally lay down for a day after travelling around for 2 weeks. I love to go for a swim and because it was also very warm in Sorrento, I did not have to worry about taking one. After laying down for 15 minutes, there was always one of us who said, girls, someone coming with me into the water?

Tour through Amalfi and Capri

We booked an Amalfi Drive, passed Salerno, Positano, another small town (I forgot the name…) and Ravello, it was breathtaking. It was so romantic and everything was so nice, we even did a small boat trip along the coast.

The day was so perfect that I do not know what to write.

In addition, to Capri, we went by boat. When we arrived in Capri, around 12:00, we decided to go on another boat tour which took us arrived the whole island in 1,5 hour. After the boat tour, we went for some shopping and walked around, because we were a bit tired we just relaxed and took the boat back at 17:35.

The last part of our roadtrip from Florence to Sorrento

The other days, we went to a sandy beach and to a place where there were only rocks. I think I am going to call it the rocky beach to make it a bit easier. We went to the rocky beach on our last day and it was one of the most beautiful places I have ever been. The view was amazing and the water was so clear and clean. Besides that, it reminded me so much of my childhood when I was trying to get into the water from the rocks. We all finished our books that day, the one happier than the other, but we had a great day. We ended the holiday with a dinner in the centre of Sorrento, because Wednesday we were going home.

I am still overwhelmed by the Italian nature, culture and its inhabitants. This roadtrip from Florence to Sorrento was amazing. I would recommend it to everybody.

Good bye my love.
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Christmas in Lapland – the most magical celebration

Finally, we could go celebrating Christmas in Lapland. We had been arranging all the tours for the last couple of months, so now, we were ready to go. Celebrating Christmas in Lapland for the first time with “real” snow !!

Where were we?

We had a cottage in Levi, a small, cute, village, 30 minutes by car from Kittilä, and arranged everything (yes, everything) via the travel agency Buro ScanBritt. Because Levi is above the pole circle, it is very very cold and only light between 12 and 2 o’clock in the afternoon.

Most of the days it was -15 degrees. One day it was 0 degrees. I was impressed by how fast it had changed. I asked my dad how this could have happened and he said; “This my darling, this is global warming.”

When we were on the bus from the Airport (Kittilä) to Levi, it felt like we were in another world. It was so amazing. Everything was white and there was actually no one on the roads. I directly felt at peace. After we collected our keys, we walked to the cottage and oh gosh, I was directly in love.

The different tours

The next day we had to wake up a bit early because the first tour was planned and of course, we could not come too late. Gladly, the office of the company with who we arranged all the tours with was on the other side of the road. Oh, and by the way, it is kind of rare to have a car here, almost everyone has a snow scooter. So, instead of a path for bike riders, they have a path for snow scooters. That same day we also used them!

  • Snow Scooter trip to Reindeers
  • Sledge with huskies
  • Walking tour through the woods
  • Snow Scooter trip to the Ice Hotel

How can you take pictures?

The first tour was the snow scooter trip to Reindeers. Although my sister and I could not ride because we do not have our driving license yet, we were having so much fun. While my brother was riding I tried to take pictures and videos because the view was amazing. I only forgot that it is impossible to hold my phone with gloves on and after 10 seconds without the gloves, my fingers were already hurting from the cold. I really tried because I was dedicated to take pictures, but they were too much hurting. Still, I cannot realise how beautiful it was over there. We were in the middle of nowhere and for a second or 5 I hoped that we could get lost and never found back anymore

During the evenings we normally went into the village for dinner or for a drink, because sometimes we also just ate at home. Everything is quite expensive there, once my dad ordered a Coke and later when he had paid and I looked at the bill the Coke was 8 euro… We were having fun and that was the most important thing according to my parents. After that, we always watched a Christmas film. I think I have seen all of them already for maybe 6 times, but to me, it does not matter. I love Christmas films.

On the days we did not have a tour, we just went for walks, relaxed, and enjoyed the beautiful nature around here. Really, everyone should go here once in their life. I can just keep telling you how amazing it is.

Are you ready for the next tour?

Today we sledged with Huskies! I am not a huge fan of dogs, in general, I am not a fan of animals at all. So, in the beginning, I was a bit scared, also because the dogs were shouting the whole time to each other. I was on a sledge together with my brother. One of the two needed to ride the sledge and my brother went first.

What do you wear with -19?

This day, was the coldest day, it was -19 degrees. You are probably wondering now what I was wearing. I was wearing 2 pairs of thick socks and 1 pair of normal socks. I had my own ski pants and jacket. Under my jacket, I was wearing a thick sweater and 2 special t-shirts against the cold. Overall of this, I was wearing the red-black onesie you can see the pictures. Last but not least, the shoes from the company, 2 pairs of gloves, and my own coif. Even though I was wearing all of this, I let some tears on the sledge because everything was so hurting. I couldn’t properly move anymore because my toes and fingers were too frozen and my blood stimulating has stopped. Gladly, I could enjoy it a bit more after because on the half of the tour we had to change rider, now it was my turn. You needed to control the sledge with a kind of break and when we were going up a hill you needed to step to help the dogs a bit. All those movements kept me a bit warm.

After the tour, we went to the farm where we little Huskies were. We were allowed to hold and cuddle with them for a while. I really like it, which means a lot right, when you are not a fan of animals…

Christmas in Lapland

When it was Christmas (for real now), we all dressed up and went to a restaurant for a special dinner. We almost ran to the restaurant because it was kind of cold with a dress outside. The food was delicious and we really enjoyed the time together. After we came home, we opened the presents. This year there was only one rule; the presents couldn’t be too big because otherwise, they would not have fit in the suitcases. It was the perfect night in our little winter wonderland.

Here some more pictures from this trip. Before we went on this trip my parents told me that this was probably gonna be a “once in a lifetime thing”, but after it, I am not sure. If we all try to ruin the global less, I can maybe one day show my kids how beautiful it is over there. Oh yes, and they are also able to see the elves (I am serious, there were elves in the village giving sweets to children). This Christmas in Lapland was a dream come true. This place is so magical. Almost impossible to decribe the feeling.

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EF friends made in my first week at EF Eastbourne

It is great that when you come to a place on your own, you can be surprised by how quickly you make friends. Especially, when everyone comes alone. This blog is about my first week. My first EF friends.

It is Friday afternoon now and my first school week is over. I will give a short summary of everything I have done so far. On Monday I had the introduction day. We went to Seven Sisters and Beachy Head, all was the weather crap, it was very very nice. I have already met so many new people from all over the world. You cannot imagine, really. Germans, Italians, French, Spanish, Asians, Latino’s, they are all here.

Oh wait, I think I forgot to tell you why I have chosen to go to Eastbourne. So, first of all, I am a beach girl, which ends up living in a city on the coast. Kind of obvious, right? The second thing which I found important was that I wanted to go to a small school. People told me that the school in Eastbourne doesn’t have lots of students and makes you feel like you are all a family, precisely what I was looking for. I didn’t need more to convince me. Eastbourne it was.

Now back to my week. My schedule for this week was pretty good actually. I had class every day, but not the whole day. It was either or the morning or the afternoon. The lessons are Grammar, Speaking, Listening, Vocabulary, and ILAB (computer lesson). Because I am doing the Intensive Course, you can also sign yourself up for electives. I have chosen Banking&Finance, Leadership&Management, and Business English. In almost every class I am with different people, in the beginning, I was sometimes confused but now I am used to it, I like it. In this way, I am getting to know more and more people.

Until today, I have cooked every day for myself. Paula is most of the time going out for dinner with a German friend of her, called Amanda. During the evenings, I haven’t done much yet, it was raining every time…welcome to England!  Tomorrow I am going to search whether I can rent a bike somewhere because the tennis park is a bit too far to walk. Oh and looking at the weather doesn’t make any sense here, because the weather changes every 10 minutes.

Until now, I have spent most of the time with 3 girls. Julie and Anouchka from France and Carmen from Germany. My first EF friends. We are not in the same classes because my level of English is a bit higher than theirs, but when we have our breaks or are finished with school we are meeting each other.

Rainy days in Eastbourne
From the left to the right; Julie, Carmen, Isabelle, Anouchka
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EF Eastbourne – My first impression of the residence

Today was finally “the” day. The moment when I could enter my room where I will stay for the upcoming 9 months. The residence of EF Eastbourne on St. Leonard Road. It looked clean, modern, and quite beautiful actually. When I came in Paula, no not my mom, but my Spanish roommate, was already there. She has already stayed with EF for a month and will leave next week. I am curious who from then on will be my roommate.

From Friday I am already in Eastbourne, together with my parents, brother and sister. We wandered around the city together, searched for a tennis park and different gyms, went to Beachy Head, and of course, we ate fish & chips. They left at one o’clock in the afternoon. So, from now on, it is my turn.

After I unpacked all my stuff, which almost took me 2 hours, I went into the centre to do some grocery shopping. Sainsbury’s is in the shopping centre, which is a walk of 5 minutes. There are even a Starbucks, Marc&Spencer, and a Primark in the shopping centre. I am kind of surprised because I didn’t know that Eastbourne was such a liveable city.

Tonight around 8 o’clock all the new students from the residence from EF Eastbourne will get a tour around the city and after that, we will go for a drink. Tomorrow morning I have to be in school at 8, all the 120 new students will have an introduction day. Tuesday, the real lessons will start. Oh, and by the way, school is like 3 minutes away from the residence.

I already love it here!

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Study as an exchange student in Florence, Italy

“We find studying very important here in Italy” is what the vice president of the University said on our introduction day, which is already almost three weeks ago. I must say, a lot of things have happened. For me as an exchange student in Florence , unusual things…

First of all, unfortunately, we don’t have so many classes with Italian students. Most of the classes that I have are with a high percentage of Erasmus students, what, by the way, not every teacher likes.

My first week as an exchange student in Florence

This week has been the first week of the three where I am hopefully sure of what courses I am going to follow as an exchange student in Florence. The last two weeks there have been a lot of changes in my schedule. This was because I decided that a course was not interesting or that, on the other hand, the teacher or coordinator just decided that they were not going to provide this course anymore for this semester which was very much by our surprise that they are able to do that…

Some courses that I follow are Master courses, which is very much by my surprise, too, when looking at the level of the course, but I will come to that later. First, I really want to tell you something else.

The campus in Florence

So, the campus of the university is called: Novoli and has different buildings (D15, D6, D4 etc.). There are different types of classrooms, ones for 40 students others for 80 students. However, since our first class, we have experienced something quite unusual as I would call it. I will give an example; A lesson starts at 16:15, whereas the lesson before finishes at 16:00. So, I go from one building to the other, open the door of the classroom and the whole room is full. No seats anymore. Yes, you read that right. No seats. So, what happens then or either you go and sit on the ground or you keep standing for the upcoming one and a half hour (or sometimes four hours) or you try to find a chair in another room and just place it somewhere in the classroom. I actually should have taken pictures of this, because really, it looked hilarious. The first time, when this happened I had class with my Dutch friends and to be honest, we were shocked. There was even an Italian girl coming in a little late and said: “No worries, I am used to sit on the ground during class”. You should have seen our faces at that moment…

Level of education and available subjects

To come back to the level of the (Master) courses, I will start with telling you what I have chosen. As most of you probably know do I study International Business and Management Studies in the Netherlands. I am not able to choose my courses freely, which I find unfortunate, which if I would have been, I had chosen ones that I would find more interesting. For now, if nothing changes again are this the courses that I will follow further:

  • Topics in Marketing and Management
  • Destination Management (My favorite)
  • International Trade
  • Topics in Human Resources (non-attending)
  • Public Economics and International Cooperation

What you need to know about attendence

At the university students can decide themselves if they want to attend a course or not. This may sound a little weird to you now, but I will explain that. So, there are attending and non-attending students. You have to decide which one you want to be per course. As you can see, do I follow one non-attending course. The teacher just decided not to give class anymore and, therefore, only non-attending was left. Besides the difference of attending (you have to be present 70% or 80%) the course or not, do the exams also differ.

Exams as an exchange student in Florence

The exams for the attending students are, in my case, research reports (of ONLY 15 pages together with five other students) + 30 minutes presentation or a written exam about powerpoint slides. Whereas, on the other hand, for the non-attending students, it is always a written exam from literature/books.

You know what also does get my attention is the fact that when we do have Italian students in the lesson, that they are most of the time, the ones who are typing everything on their laptop, asking the questions, etc. I am the one who is more distracted by looking out of the window. Drawing stars on my notebook or, like now, finishing my blog during class (oepsie…). Maybe an excuse, maybe not.. I am so not used to sit in a big classroom and just listen for one and a half hour. This is not exaggerating, because sometimes it is even four hours without almost any interaction. I sort of get bored.

Studying

Yes, the time is there. In three weeks and one day (So, I fly home the 21of December), I will be going home which means several things. One, we are enjoying everything more and more, and two that the exams are around the corner. I have five exams in three days (13th December, 16th & 17th December). When I fail an exam, what hopefully will not happen, but of course, can happen, I can resit it in January. I am most likely going back from the 13th of January to the 17th, also to arrange the last things with the re-enrolment of the university. However, during those days are also two resits, incase I need to do them.

The subjects I have chosen differ very much from difficulty. Some are very easy, a lot of papers, but easy, and others are a lot and more difficult. Because of this, my friends and I spend a lot of hours in the library at school. Although the library has many seats, it is already full around ten o’clock in the morning. Yes, a great motivation to wake up early and be there at around nine. Sometimes, staying in the library to study has more value than going to the lesson, so that is then also, what happens often.

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After a day of studying and I usually went for a lesson at the gym and after met my friends. On the picture beneath we were at the Christmas market at Santa Croce in the city centre. Doing this sorts of outdoor activities besides studying, wasn’t always possible. In the months October en November it was raining so much. Really I have never seen so much rain in my life. Not that it was cold though (15 to 17 degrees), still sometimes I got soaked three times a day.

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The best lunch and wine in Greve in Chianti

Last week one of my friends, who I met here, Frederique and I decided that we would like to rent a car and explore Tuscany a little more. A lunch and wine in Greve in Chianti seemed like a good idea to us. We decided to do this with Car2go, a car sharing company of Smarts. After driving for a while, we thought it would be nice to just stop at a random place and have breakfast. It was so calm and peaceful. A great start of the day!

After we finished our breakfast, we continued and ended up at Montefioralle, a (very) small town where no souvenirs shop can be found. As many of you know, have I been collecting magnets for already a long time. I told Fre that we shouldn’t forget that I buy them. In the end, none of the villages where we went to had a souvenir shop. I guess, this says already enough of how “not” touristic it all was.

Lunch in Montefioralle

After a little walk through Montefioralle, we found a hidden restaurant, Il Guerrino, with a beautiful view over the wine yards.

Wine at the Vignamaggio Villa

Since I was the driver that day, which I liked very much, and Fre mainly took charge of the music in the car. We enjoyed it so much to talk, sing along with the songs (or you could also call it screaming ha-ha), and look out of the windows. At last, we went to a wine farm, Vignamaggio Villa. Besides that they produce their own wines, they also have hotel rooms and organize events, like weddings. Yes, here you can have your real Tuscan wedding! Maybe, in the end, I do want to get married one day…

The lunch and wine in Greve in Chianti was amazing and of course, we couldn’t leave without buying a bottle. Oh, and the mosquitos couldn’t leave us both, too. Only because I’m a little allergic, I ended up with huge circles on my both legs which wasn’t very convenient since I walk so much everyday (average of 13km a day).

My favorite hotspots around Florence

My first visitor arrived! One of the best friends since we are young, Claire. We did a day trip through Tuscany from Florence. We packed our bags, rent a car, bought two cappucino´s and bread for on the way. We were so excited! The other days, we took many walks and chewed a lot on food. Eventually, we went to all my favorite hotspots around Florence! 🙂 Happy woman.

Claire and Ies on the road to Greve in Chianti

On Saturday we rent a car with car2go and drove to Greve in Chianti to start of with one my favorite hotspots around Florence It was a beautiful day, the sun was shining and the sky was blue with just some little clouds. And yeah, we had a lot of fun and really enjoyed the day. Below some pictures and explanations about what we did.

  • Monteriggioni

This cutie little town is definitely one I will go back to. The city is between a wall and to have a better view of the surroundings you can walk on the wall all around the city. We had some coffee there, me my first cappuccino in Italy, only after ten (I am sorry), but I liked it.

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  • Montefioralle

If you paid a little attention in my last blog, you know that it was not my first time here. Montefioralle is a little town where l also went with Fre the last time. This is an example of a town where no souvenir shop can be found, but where we did find that amazing restaurant Il Guerrino on the hill with a view over the wine yards. Of course, I showed Claire and did we enjoy an amazing and again, delicious lunch. I had gnocchi for the first time in my life. It never really attracted me because of the way it looks but by eating this gnocchi pesto I learned that the way something looks can be different than the way it tastes (sort of cliché, I know). Oh, it was so goooood.

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At this castle, we did a wine tour. The landscape around the castle was beautiful and it took us a while before we arrived there. It was only one road if I could call it a proper road because it was more like an unpaved road with little rocks. Yes, we were a little scared of a flat tire, in the end, everything was alright, gladly!

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Because we just like fooood

Before Claire came to Florence I already tried some different restaurants, so that when she would come, I would know where to take her. We usually had breakfast at my place or otherwise bought something along the way in the supermarket. For lunch and dinner we went to the restaurants.

The first picture is from Obicá, the mozzarella bar. We both had a delicious Buffola and shared the rest.

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Indeed, loves goes through the stomach. Below the delicious heart pizza’s from Napoli 1955 

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At last, Trattoria Zà Zà. We went there for dinner the first time and lunch the second. Even though, I made a reservation for dinner we needed to wait half an hour before we could have a table. No worries, because while we waited we could enjoy the Italian chaos that was happening over there.

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Yes, I know, we can just continue eating here. Everything looks delicious and is delicious. There is no way you can go around that. Between the meals, we liked to play some cards and asked each other questions. Because we thought that even after knowing each other for so long, there would still be some things that we wouldn’t know about each other. It was great to have some time together and embrace our friendship.

Oh yes, last thing. We also went out on Saturday night. Slept for three hours and as diehards enjoyed, walked around in the city (walked 25km that day), came back home at 21:00 and were obviously very tired afterwards, but with a satisfied feeling. I still look back at this weekend with a big smile, because great and hilarious memories were made!

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