Horseback riding with Santiago Exchange

Last Saturday, I went for the second time horse riding. I booked it through an organisation which is made for students that live in Santiago and want to go to parties, do trips, and/or activities. It is called Santiago Exchange.

The trip started at 15:45, so I took the Uber and ended in the middle of nowhere surrounded by real cowboys. I must say, I liked the horse riding in Colombia more than the one I did that day. Mostly, because I changed of horse and also the second one was not really listening and following my orders. However, the view which it gave me, over Santiago, was amazing. It was the first time that I was seeing the whole city with the mountains included in the back. So beautiful, although it would have been even more without the pollution cloud. But that is the thing which you, unfortunately, get with it, when you live in Santiago.

It was quite nice to go with Santiago Exchange. Although, it is ran by students, everything was structured and alright. Besides, since I was quite lonely, it was nice to see new faces and speak to new people. Not that I made new friends, but it was a lovely day.

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Visit Valparaiso and Viña del Mar – a colourful experience

A weekend getaway from Santiago with my Swedish roommate Julie. We chose to visit Valparaiso and Viña del Mar. We had heard that Valparaiso was beautiful and that the walls would be full of graffiti. Viña del Mar, on the other hand, is great for the beach!

Colourful Valparaiso

We left Santiago on Saturday at around ten in the morning by bus. It took us one and a half hours to arrive in Valparaiso. Valparaiso is a harbour city and lots of neighbourhoods are located on the hills, which are called “Cerro” in Spanish.  The Airbnb we booked was also on a hill and it took us some stairs to get there, but it was great! Cute and clean, and in the middle between all the graffiti. Because that is mostly for what Valparaiso is famous for, its graffiti. However, I would more call it art, because it is not just something, it is extremely beautiful.

Furthermore, I will not have a lot to talk about, besides the fact that Valparaiso is poorer than Santiago, which can be mainly seen on the streets in the centre because of the homeless people and dogs. We liked it more to stay up in the hills and wander around over there.

Because all the sightseeing is on the hills, we walked 15 kilometres on the first day; Uphill, downhill, uphill, downhill. Not to forget to mention the sweat… We had loads of full and because in the end, it is actually only walking around and taking pictures, there was a lot of time to get to know each other and talk about our lives. Since Julia and I live together in one house, we still mainly saw each other in the morning during breakfast and talked a bit about our days. There wasn’t really time for sensational conversations, because I needed to go to work and Julia to school. Therefore, it was even nicer to really get to know her better. She is a beautiful girl with a great personality!

To the beach in Viña del Mar

On Sunday morning, when we finally had our breakfast after searching for 45 minutes for a restaurant that was open, we searched for the bus to go to Vina del Mar. We took the local bus and, although it was very cheap (420 pesos = 0.50 cent), we did not really know where to get off after we had been sitting for around twenty minutes. The bus driver only stopped when the other passengers told him to stop. So, when we arrived somewhere where was “live”, we told him to stop and eventually, we made a good choice because we were there.

It felt as if I have never left the beach in Hoek van Holland. I was so happy and glad that Julia and I decided to go to the beach because after I had come home from Colombia, I did not feel very good and when I am at the beach, as you maybe know, I can always empty my head. Julia also has the connection with the sea and the beach, so after we had been walking around for thirty minutes and had taken some pictures, we decided to sit down on the beach and just look at it and be quiet. The weather was by the way amazing and pretty warm, around twenty-four degrees. Lots of Chilean people were having the same idea as us. They only took their food, drink, and towels with them.

We ended our beach day at a delicious Italian restaurant. I ate a great vegetarian Cannoli and we watched a football match between the two rivals of Chile. Both getaways from Santiago were nice! I cannot decide which one I would love more. To visit Valparaiso and Viña del Mar is for sure a recommendation!

We gave a citytrip to Copenhagen as a present

A citytrip to Copenhagen as a 60th birthday present for our father. We had planned to fly on Tuesday morning at 9:45 on the first of May, yeah you read that well “had planned”. Our flight got canceled at Schiphol while boarding and the only flight which we were able to catch together was the flight from Wednesday evening nine o’clock. Therefore, in the end, we decided to go by car, because otherwise, we would have lost too much time because we were only there until Friday.

Finally in Copenhagen

After 9,5 hours of driving, we finally arrived in Copenhagen. We slept in the Ascot hotel, which is in the middle of the center and therefore it is easy to walk around in the city. We had so much luck with the great weather those days.

On Wednesday morning we had a private bike tour with Baja Bikes. This was the third time we booked the bike tour with Baja Bikes, every time the tour was very interesting and the guides were so nice! This tour was also around three hours, and although it did not feel like that, we saw a lot of different parts of the city. The name of our tour guide was Jesse, he has been living in Copenhagen for already over years and could, therefore, give us some really nice inside information and funny facts. The rest of the day we went for some shopping and walked a bit more around in the city.

Theme park Tivoli in the middle of Copenhagen

The thing we for sure liked the most about the trip was Tivoli. For the people who do not know what Tivoli is, I will explain it.

So, Tivoli is a theme park in the middle of Copenhagen. Yes, in the middle of the city.. and the reason for that is because the theme park was there much earlier than the city itself. Tivoli is the second oldest theme park in the world, established in 1843. However, this is not the only reason why the theme park is so attractive because there is one attraction which is even the oldest attraction in the world. Every new round, there is a “driver” coming with us managing the speed and the curves. Every time, we were amazed and started thinking about how it would be to have a job like this. The opinions will probably differ, but we loved to go into that attraction. Without those men, it would not be possible anymore.

During the evening, after sunset, all the lights in the park went on and everything became kind of romantic. You would not expect it, but the park is still a bit big. They even have China Town!

Conclusion, when you are going to Copenhagen, visit Tivoli. You will train your abs by laughing out loud, just like we did.

Daddy is happy

As you know, was this trip all for daddy. Therefore, I asked him a couple of times; “Do you like it?” “Are you happy?” and then he always answered: “If my kids are happy and enjoying, I am happy too. Oh, I love this man.

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A European road trip crossing three countries

Well, this was a little spontaneous, a little exhausting, a little different, but on the other hand, very much appreciated, exciting and wanted. Let’s hit the road for this European road trip!

So yeah, summer was arriving and I had not planned anything yet. As most of you know, have I been sick from the beginning of this year and therefore, was my mind somewhere else. However, a good Mexican friend, Renato, is living in Spain at the moment and after not being able to see each other for four years, we were eager to try to figure something out and meet. Renato is another friend from EF by the way. To even make it better, some other EF friends were free and wanted to join. Then the question was; what are we going to do?

Hoek van Holland – Rouen

It all started in Rouen, France, where Julie lives. Julie and I had not seen each other for two years by the way. I drove to Rouen myself in around five hours and when I arrived she had made my favourite cinnamon buns, but this time vegan ones. I had never ate them in this way, but well oh well I love them.

When you don’t see your friends very often, it makes it special that when you are together just doing something is already nice, because you are together and being able to spend that time together. The normal daily things are the things that we enjoy doing the most. So, yeah what did we do? We played games, cooked, watched Netflix, relaxed, went to the gym, met her friends, and went for an afternoon sight seeing in Rouen. A typical Normandy city. I really loved the buildings.

Rouen – Versailles – Rouen

Then a few days later was honestly the day we were both most looking forward to. The reunion with Renato after four years. He flew to Paris, but since we did not think that Paris would be a good idea during this time, we decided to still make something of our day and went to Versailles. People ask us many times how that always is; these reunions, and actually don’t we ever think about it like that. It just happens naturally. We were together for nine months, 24/7. Of course, we have changed, we all do and yes, with some people we aren’t so close anymore, but for us, it just always stayed the same, as beautiful as it was at that time.

Now Versailles, a place I never really had on my “bucket list”, but for sure didn’t mind to visit. My parents had already been there and were very enthusiastic about it and so became I. The information didn’t really stayed in the mind, because of the too many impressions, but we had a lovely day together and it was insane to imagine that people lived like that many many years ago.

Yes, masks very necessary in closed places. Even sometimes on the street when we felt it was too crowded, we started to wear masks. Something that was totally different to the regulations from the Netherlands.

The next day, we stayed at Julie’s grandmothers house who has a swimming pool. We played games again, I slept since I still needed to rest several times a day, and we ate lovely. Like all the other days in France, because yeah those baguettes jummiee. I also love it that I was able to experience the French culture from much closer now. We have been going on holiday to France for already many years, but (of course) it is different when you start “living” with French people. A difference in sense of food is, for example, that they have many times dessert after dinner. Whereas, in the Netherlands, we have like a cookie or chocolate around 20:30 when we have our coffee or cup of tea. After dinner I was always too full to have dessert, whereas, in France they say: “Dessert doesn’t go to the stomach. Dessert goes to your heart.” Well, I had to get used to that ha-ha. Oh and I also tried Raclette. For my other fellow cheese lovers overhere, you gotta try that once in your life.

Rouen – Hoek van Holland

After six fantastic days in France it was time to go back home and the best part of it all was that Julie and Renato came with me. We went with two cars and again, within around five hours we arrived. It was only until almost lunch break when I got hungry and started to eat the first part of baguette while driving. Then when we did stop for lunch Julie asked whether I wasn’t hungry and I told her I already ate a big part of my baguette. Her face expression drastically changed. Apparently, it is prohibited in France to eat and drink while driving ha-ha. I had no idea.

We arrived at the end of the afternoon and we were all a little tired. We stayed at home for dinner, talked with my parents, and went to the beach house after. Again, we continued playing Qwixx, our favorite game or maybe I should say, my favorite game of the trip. It was only a little cold and windy… ha-ha.

The next day, we had breakfast at my favourite breakfast place; Pelé Surf Shack and we played Qwixx again. After that, we relaxed in the sun at the beachhouse and spend the afternoon/evening in Rotterdam. I gave them stroopwafels, poffertjes, and we ordered some Dutch beer and a typical “borrelplank”. Lots of fun, again!

The following day was the day I think they most looked forward to, Amsterdam! They both had never been there and to make it an efficient day, we started with a canal boat tour. After that, we went for a walk around the city, had lunch at the Vegan Junk Food bar (gosh, I was surprised by how delicious the food was), and finished our day at the Rijksmuseum. Gladly, Amsterdam wasn’t so busy and didn’t we need to wear our masks. Oh and of course, they ate stroopwafels again. The special ones from Van Wonderen. Loved it so much to see them enjoying themselves.

The other days were relaxing and did we hang out on the beach. I also had to work two mornings, but since the weather was great it was alright for them to stay together at the beachhouse. And yeah, I cannot say enough how much I loved showing them around and let them experience our way of doing things.

Hoek van Holland – Munich

Moving on to the next destination of our European road trip. Monday five in the morning we started driving from Hoek van Holland to Munich with one car, Julie’s. Fully packed. No space left, but it fit and we were on the road. I was sleeping at the back to the rest and Julie and Renato were changing for driver. Eight hours ahead to Munich. Although, while Renato was driving something happened.

Our police experience

Julie woke me up and told me to look ahead. The first thing I saw was a car with a blue siren on it and a text that said: “Folgen” and we Dutch people all know what that means.. ha-ha. So I told them it means ” Follow”. I asked Renato if he thought that he drove too fast but he didn’t think so. Our hearts started to beat faster, especially theirs, after I told them my parents always taught me not to just stop somewhere for “police” since there is also fake police. Gladly, that wasn’t the case and they went to a big parking place with restaurant.

So, me explaining with my good German that I understood that it looked a little weird; a full packed French car with a Mexican driver driving from the Netherlands to Munich with a French and Dutch girl. Yes, kind of suspicious. Still we all had to give our papers and later on Renato had to go with the two police men to their car. Julie and I were trying to stay calm and laugh the stress away, when from one moment to another Renato had to do a drug test. He had red eyes, which for Renato is normal because of the air differences, however, for the police men it was a reason to let him do the test. Everything was alright, obviously, and we could continue. Still, it took some time for our hearts to calm down. Buttt! We could continue our European road trip. 🙂

Number four of the group

Now it’s time to include Carmen. I guess I don’t really have to introduce her though ha-ha. Since I have been to Munich already several times and Carmen doesn’t live in the city centre, I only joined them in either the morning or morning and evening, so that I could rest/sleep the afternoon and recharge my energy. This picture below is from the first night (yes yes, sleepy heads), but wanted to show you the beers they had. Yeah, the big German beers ha-ha, Renato couldn’t stop laughing and talking about how big and heavy they were. Oh and you see Qwixx there on the left, my buddy was joining us for the whole road trip ha-ha.

We stayed in Munich for around three and a half days. I joined them for walks around the city, we visited the BMW museum, and we went to a Beer garden in the Englischer Garten. One day at the end of the afternoon I woke up and they brought Kaiserschmarrn with them for me. The best friends!

Munich – Lyon

The last destination of our European road trip. Our last reunion of the road trip, because we were heading to Matthiays. Another friend who Carmen and I hadn’t seen for four years. Carmen’s friend Sophie went with us from Munich, so that Carmen wouldn’t need to drive home alone those seven/eight hours. The weather in Lyon was very different to the weather in Munich, by the way. Munich was on some days fifteen degrees and when we arrived in Lyon is was forty degrees. For me, all fine, since I love it and it reminds me of a holiday feeling, but others, were having a harder time getting their sweat away.

Although, I was only in Lyon for around two days, I have many pictures. So, this part is even going to be more pictures than text. I do also think that pictures already show a lot, especially since explaining our relationship is indescribable. Last thing, I find Lyon a very underrated city. It is so beautiful from it’s streets to buildings, churches, restaurants and shops. It has everything. So, if you want to go on a city trip, Lyon is definitely worth to visit.

Lyon – Amsterdam

Saturday at four in the afternoon they brought me to the airport of Lyon. After sixteen days on the road, it was time for me to go home. My European road trip had finished. I cannot say enough how grateful I am to have them in my life, to experience all cultures with them and see them enjoying. It makes me utterly happy. In good and in bad times, you are in my heart. And as we always say (me still with tears): See you soon.

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The countryside of Santiago – away from five million people

Although the trip to Salar de Uyuni was quite the getaway, the countryside of Santiago was quiet enough as well. Sometimes you just need to go away. You need away to recharge your battery, to find back your perspective on life. You need to get away in order to come back and see what you have. Well, the countryside of Santiago helped me a lot!

Cajón del Maipo with Belén

So, Cajón del Maipo. The countryside of Santiago. Translated as the “Box between the mountains” and a beautiful getaway place from Santiago. After I arrived home from Bogota at around three in the night, I would meet Belén at her house around twelve in the afternoon. After I unpacked and packed my bag for four days, I took the Uber to Belén. We would go first take the metro and then the bus before her dad picked us up at a town and we would then further go to the village they live in called; El Ingenio. In total, it is around one and a half hour to arrive.

Belén her parents have their holiday house in El Ingenio for already many many years. They were the first ones in the village. The house is literally amazing and feels as if you are in Austria because of the style (all wooden). Besides that, the view which they have is so wonderful.

I am now wondering if I have ever introduced Belén to you? Because I actually do not think that I did.. “oh-oh impolite Isa”. So, Belén and I know each other from England. Since I am here in Chile, we have met a few times and we really get along. No expectations or anything, just all very relaxing. So, yeah that was this long weekend too. We slept, ate, read, talked and relaxed a lot. We played Catan with the neighbours (Daniel and his girlfriend Claudia) and went to a place called Embalse El Yeso (I will tell you later about that).

A funny thing to know is that their neighbours are like family. They share lunch and dinner together very spontaneous and just come by without telling like it is the most normal thing to do. I like that, so relax and no worries at all.

Rayuela con Terremoto

We also played a game called Rayuela and drunk Terremoto with it. Terremoto means earthquake in English and it is a mix of alcohol (sort of white wine), pineapple ice cream and a very sweet/sugar full sirup. Nope, I did not like it, but I liked the game Rayuela and according to the locals I was quite good for the first time playing it. You throw an iron oval “thing” from 7 metres, as close as possible to the white line in the middle. You have two changes and play with a partner against two others. Easy as it is; the couple with their “iron oval things” as closest to the white line in the middle, win points. The ones who have as first ten points win! Belén and I ended up in the finals but lost, because they were very good with lots of experience (just old men actually, oopsie… haha)

Another thing I told you what we did was eating. During the afternoon, they eat big, but for me, that is like big. Besides that, I stopped eating meat but every lunch there was meat. I liked it and thought why not, I just try it another time and see how my body reacts, was a bad idea people, a bad idea…

Embalse El Yeso

On Saturday morning the weather allowed us to go to Embalse El Yeso. We woke up at eight and left around 9:30. The last week it had snowed, therefore the top of the mountains were white. They called me “the lucky woman”.

The road was quite bumpy because of the stones and in the end, it was even closed. We needed to walk the last bit. Welcome to the real countryside of Santiago. No problem for me, I was happy about stretching my legs again after a while haha.

Clear water

We arrived at the Laguna made pictures, played a bit in the snow and Daniel who has lots of knowledge about all this place explained to me about the water system.

All the water that comes from the Andes mountains goes into a big tube to Santiago. There is only like that one important thing. If you would try the water over there, it is insanely clean. In Santiago, as I also experience it really is not! By the way, I do not drink water from the tap in Santiago. A few times per week I walk on the street as a clumsy person. Too many water bottles to carry in my hand and let one drop once in a while.

Another thing about water. Belén told me that I should wash my hair while I am there. So, I did and really, the first eight hours I could not stop talking about the fact that my hair was so extremely soft and shiny. Now my hair was just naturally perfect. All thanks to the water!

A day trip to Cinque Terre

We started the day trip to Cinque Terre with a bus ride for around two hours, ended up at La Spezia. From there we took the train to Manarola. The weather was amazing with a high temperature so we were lucky, especially because they said it had been pouring rain the day before. To give you some extra information, Cinque Terre means 5 villages in English (Monterosso, Vernazza, Corniglia, Manarola and Riomaggiore). We only visited four of them and left Corniglia behind.

Vernazza

We also did a hike. So instead of taking the train you can also hike. You hike from Manarola to Vernazza. The hike was around 4,4 km and we finished it in one hour and fifteen minutes. Since it was so warm, the sweat was definitely around and also since we were off-road we had to pay good attention to where we walked. When we wanted to enjoy the view, we stopped and just looked at the beautiful landscape. When we arrived in Vernazza, we all really craved for an ice-cream. It was the best we ever had. I don’t know if it because we had such a heavy hike or just because it was the best ha-ha.

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Climbing the Pucon vulcano right before Christmas

This was my last trip of my time in Chile. I was climbing the Pucon vulcano. It was the last place I wanted to see before I would leave Chile, because I don’t think I will ever come back to this country again.

It all started Friday evening. I took the night bus from Santiago Terminal to Pucón, a small city in the south of Chile. The bus departure was 22:05, but as you can probably already guess, it took a little bit longer for the bus to arrive. I had never been in that neighborhood or either at the terminal before and get shocked by the immense amount of people. I had forgotten about the fact that it was almost Christmas and people would go away for Christmas to visit their families. It only looked like they were all moving out of their movies. All the stuff they will them, it was insane.

The reason why I wanted to go to Pucón was only one actually; climbing the Vulcan Villarrica. Jesse and the others already climbed it, however during winter, still they told me to be prepared, because it was the worst thing they had ever done in life. I would lie if I would say that I wasn’t scared.

The day, finally climbing the Pucon vulcano

On Sunday was the day. At 6:30 I had to be at the agency and would we pick up our clothes and change ourselves. It really wasn’t the most fashionable outfit, but that made it sort of funny. It belonged to the experience.

Jesse and the others already told me that you are able to choose whether you want to take the chairlift, that saves up an hour of walking or not, in the beginning. They advised me to do it, of course you have to pay for it, but I didn’t know how heavy the other hours were going to be, so I rather took the chairlift. The tour guides called us clever, because of our group (total 15 people), only four people took the chairlift.

From the moment we got out of the chairlift, we had to walk in the snow. Climbing the Pucon vulcano really started now. We walked in a line to make sure that it was save. It was all quite steep, but the tempo of the guide was very slow. So slow that my heart rate did not go up and I sometimes even got a little bored, to be honest. However, the view was amazing and breathtaking. Once we arrived at the top, we had lunch which was sometimes a bit difficult to eat. We always had to wear our gas masks because of the smoke from the Vulcan.

I loved to go down. Climbing the Pucon vulcano was still amazing, but going down was the best moment of the day. We slegde all the way down, because it would have been to dangerous, also for the muscles. I felt like a child and got so excited, and sometimes went a bit faster than I should. You should have seen my happy face!

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A road trip from Edinburgh to St. Andrews

Although we started our trip in the Ijmuiden, which is in the North of the Netherlands, where we took the boot to New Castle, we were already all very excited. Especially, my father and brother because we would end this trip in St. Andrews, heaven for golfers as they call it. The boat was comfortable and we were ready for our road trip from Edinburgh to St. Andrews.

First Edinburgh

Before we were heading off to heaven, we first went to Edinburgh for 2 days. We slept at Hilton Carlton, which is located in the city centre. Therefore, we did not have to use the car because we could walk everything.

Edinburgh is a city which none of us had ever been yet. The days were very cold, we were walking from Nero to Starbucks to Patisserie Valerie (the restaurant where they have my favourite cinnamon roll). However, we also walked around in the city and it was beautiful but different than I expected. Honestly, the buildings were all very grey and sober which gave me a kind of sad impression.

Because whiskey is the most famous product in Scotland, we went to the whiskey museum. This was such an amazing experience. It was like we were in an attraction because we were sitting in a little car made for two persons, which took us around and then there was a man on a screen talking to us, explaining all the history about whiskey. Even though you may come to Edinburgh with little kids, this museum is the greatest!

The road trip from Edinburgh to heaven for golfers.

After those two days in Edinburgh, the men got impatient and were totally really to go to St. Andrews. It was not the first time for them because once in a while they go there with some friends for a long weekend. So, yes, when we were there. Of course, they needed to play golf. Besides that, we were sleeping in the Hazelbank Hotel and our room had the best view I had ever had. The rooms were perfect and the staff was so nice and generious.

The reason why St. Andrews is such heaven for golfers is because this is where it all started. St. Andrews has all the history of golf and besides that,  there is another special fact. There are a lot of golf courses, where The Old Course is the most famous one, which is also the most expensive and difficult one. Those golf courses are all blended together and lay just beside the coastline. A lot of jokes got made that they had to pay attention not to change of golf course.

The girls into the Highlands

Because the men were most of the time playing golf, we, as the female side of the family needed to plan something else because waiting for them was not the thing we wanted to do those days. Going into the Highlands had always been something which my mom and I wanted to do. Because St. Andrews is not that far from the Highlands, which is an extemely big area, we hired a private driver who drove us all around. We were away for the whole day and although we were mainly looking through the windows, the views were amazing. We even went to Loch Ness, the mysterious lake where people many years ago thought to see a special animal in the water.

By the way, besides playing golf and buying golf stuff in all the golf shops, St. Andrews is also a “little” famous for their University. So, if you ever want to study abroad and are a fan of golf, you know where to go because this place is a bit of heaven. Plus a road trip from Edinburgh to St.Andrews is for sure a good idea then!

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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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