Bonjour Paris

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I swear I have no idea how it’s been over a month since the last entry! Time flies when all you do is work and uni work and studying and more work (and trying to figure out summer plans).

I apologise. I’ll try to do better but June will still be an incredibly busy month for me uni wise. Summer plans are in the making and it’s looking to be a great and exciting summer.

But for now, let me tell you about how I got up at 3.30 this morning to catch a flight to Paris with my parents and grandparents.

I’ve been to Paris twice before and I only had good memories and experiences. So far it’s been great this time as well. The weather could have been a tad better (rain, rain and more rain) but overall it could also have been a lot worse.Paris is always charming. The boulevards, the passages, the food and drinks and the general atmosphere. I often forget just how much I enjoy being in this city.We’ve rented a quaint apartment. It’s three storeys but still kind of small. The window in my room leads to a rooftop terrace and I couldn’t be more in love. It’s kinda perfect. We’re getting breakfast from the Boulangerie across the street, bought some essential food items and enjoy our evenings sipping wine and cidre on the terrace (even more so once the weather is a tad better).It’s the perfect break from all the uni stress the past few days and I cannot wait for tomorrow to explore more.Bonjour, Paris.Processed with VSCOcam with a6 preset IMG_6400Processed with VSCOcam with f3 preset
/ Hot chocolate literally came as melted chocolate with hot milk extra. Best one yet.
/ “Trapped” at a café waiting (in vain) for the rain to stop. After having the most expensive cappuccino yet (6,60€!) we caved and invested in some umbrellas.
/ View from our rooftop terrace. So charming.You can follow me along and see more pictures on my Instagram account.

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Oh, Prague


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A trip to Prague has been months in the planning and always got postponed. I was busy with University. Christmas madness was taking up all my time. The weather in February just really isn’t all that great. I guess you can see where this is heading…

A couple of weeks ago I sat down with a friend over breakfast, switched on our laptops and started getting down to business. Within half an hour we had our bus tickets booked and found a great hostel for two nights situated smack in the city centre.
That wasn’t so hard now, was it?

A four-hour bus drive (return tickets) and two nights in this great hostel (breakfast included!) added up to less than 100€ per person. Isn’t Europe great? Don’t you just love it?

A four-hour bus drive takes you in a completely different city, with different customs, traditions, language and history. I’m prone to taking it for granted but isn’t it the most mind-blowing thing?
In the case of Prague I found myself constantly comparing it to Vienna. And to a certain extent the cities really are incredibly similar as they have shared quite some time in the same empire. The local food was very similar to dishes that we consider “local” here as well as the food I ate in Budapest – again, a reminder of how long and interwoven the history of these countries are.

Prague itself is a stunning place. I cannot say this often enough. The old town has been virtually left undestroyed by war of the communist era, houses are not run down but beautifully restored and preserved and people speak – at least that was my impression – sufficient to really good English. I also realised that I love listening to Czech.

The weather has been great the weeks leading up to our three-day stay in Prague but the second we were on the bus it was cold, rainy, windy and all around awful. (Our first stop was to a local H&M to buy a thicker sweater, I kid you not! Don’t let the pictures that follow fool you, it really was awfully cold!)

Three days in Prague were a good amount of time to spend there. Though, we were already struggling to find things to do on our last day it was still nice not having to stress about all the sights we still had to see and be able to leisurely walk from café to café all day.

Here some observations I made during those three days:

Petrin hill is great for spring (and probably also summer) walks.

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Going up to the clock tower really isn’t strenuous at all (no steps and even an elevator !) and the view over the city is spectacular!

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I’m not sure if this is due to my complete lack of orientation or if the Czech street signs are out to get me but I constantly got lost. I swear. We got lost all the time. I love it because it often gives you the chance to discover places you otherwise wouldn’t but after three days of walking huge detours my feet started protesting.

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Czech love their beer.

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Café Savoy is a Viennese-style café and the savoy cake is absolutely mouth-watering.

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Prague has a multitude of cafés and restaurants. From french bistro’s to typically czech pubs, it’s all there and you definitely won’t go hungry in Prague.

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You don’t necessarily need to buy tickets to get a good impression of Prague Castle. Most of the sights are open for the public and you only need the ticket if you want to go to the back of the church or further in the chapel. In fact, had we known this before, we probably wouldn’t have bought the tickets.
The change of the guards at 12pm is a more elaborate spectacle with modern fanfare and quite a tourist attraction. We watched around half of it and then snuck away to buy the tickets because we thought we’d be able to avoid a long queue. We were right and it was a great decision!

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Prague has a jewish part of town which used to be the jewish ghetto. Today you can visit these synagogues as well as the old jewish cemetery. Some of the synagogues are a memorial for the jews killed during the holocaust and very beautifully renovated.

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In the middle of the Old Town Square was a huge Easter Market with a lot of traditional as well as international snacks. Get a “Trdelnik”, it’s super tasty (again, this is also something they sell in Hungary!).

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Prague is definitely one of the most stunning and maybe even underrated cities I’ve been to, so far. It’s been a lot of fun, until next time, I’m sure.
These pictures can all also be found on my Instagram. I constantly post on there, it’s an obsession. So come say hi?

Lately

I haven’t had one of these in a while again so here we go.

Life is pretty amazing right now. Uni-wise I’ve accomplished all I wanted last semester and this semester is off to a very enthusiastic start as well.
I’m taking a French class, which, for the first time in a long while, I seem to enjoy immensely. I’m still discovering new cafés and restaurants in Vienna every day and the weather has been warm and perfectly spring-appropriate the past two weeks.
There are summer plans in the making and while nothing is concrete yet, all of the possibilities excite me so much, I cannot even tell you.

Starting tomorrow I will also be a regular contributor over at The Blogwander. It’s a lovely network for like-minded young women who chase dreams and adventures, who dare to do what others have told them they could not, and who make mistakes and learn along the way. Just like me. I could not be happier for the warm welcome I have received so far and cannot wait to get started over there!

The past few weeks have been filled with tears (which happens when your pony decides to unhinge a door with his bridle), laughter, some drinks, good food, impromptu dance sessions through my room (Ray LaMontagne has been on repeat for weeks now!) and long walks through the forests and meadows around my town. Seasonal food is growing in the woods and we’re reveling in all the ways it can be used. The good life.

It’s been an incredible start in the new year so far and more exciting things are to come (Prague! Paris!).

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As always, you can follow my adventures on Instagram. Come and say hi. I really am incredibly chatty ;-)

Istanbul

“If one had but a single glance to give the world, one should gaze on Istanbul.”
Alphonse de Lamartine

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Over the past few days one question kept popping into my head: “Why is it so hard for me to write about my short trip to Istanbul?”
I guess the answer to this is easier than I thought; because it was just that: a short trip.

I’ve tried writing about this countless times and I have a couple of unfinished drafts saved. I had some ideas on how to approach this trip but in the end I found that nothing felt right.
I might go back to those posts later but for now, here’s a short glimpse into two days in Istanbul (not Constantinople).

While I’ve been able to see most of the major sights and get a great first impression of the cities atmosphere, I feel like I couldn’t quite get the essence of this city.
Did we try to do too much in a short time? Maybe. However, we also managed to sit for a while and drink tea while overlooking the Bosphorus. We ate mussels with rice from a street vendor, we had baklava and a lot of other typically turkish, or eastern european dishes. It’s been an absolute pleasure and I cannot recommend Istanbul for a city trip enough.
It’s a pleasant and fascinating mix of Asian chaos and European structure.
We’ve been ripped off, but we’ve also experienced immense kindness by the locals. We ate great traditional food as well as things we didn’t quite enjoy. We sipped on tea, coffee and freshly pressed juice. We sat in the sun and we got rained on. It’s amazing how much you can do, how much can happen in just two short days!

One of the main things that stood out for me on this trip was that I entered it with an incredibly open attitude towards food. I said “YES!” to everything.
This lead to so many fun situations – and while some of the things might not have been something I’d have ordered at home, or even in Istanbul had I gone there with a different mentality, I ended up enjoying it a lot. Sometimes because it was truly spectacular but sometimes just because the act of trying something new, of tasting something different was just so much fun!
I have yet to find the time to sort through the pictures I took with my Canon, until then, I’ll leave these here.
If you follow me on Instagram you’ve seen them all before, I apologise.

(I also apologise in advance for my tile obsession. Istanbul’s tile game is strong and I cannot get enough of them!)

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The Packing Game

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As much as I preach that people don’t need much while traveling, I can’t seem to be able to follow my own advice.
I think it’s time to confess that I’m a notorious over-packer. I don’t intend to be, I swear. I try to explain it away by saying “I like to be prepared!” or “I just don’t want to be cold!” (Really, I don’t!) but in some way I still always end up with more clothes, shoes and toiletries than I really need.

I’m in Istanbul until Sunday and I really am trying to pack as little as possible.
However, even for pyjamas I’ve packed a pair of pants, a short-sleeved and a long-sleeved shirt. This might be dumb, the T-shirt might be more than enough. But then I think back to that hotel in London. It was April and quite warm during the day but at night I was freezing and slowly running out of layers to wear. So the long-sleeved shirt has to stay. I guess you can see where this is going.

I feel like I’m getting better at packing each time I do it and I still end up with at least one or two shirts I never even touched. How’s that even possible?

In the end, my mum always told me that there are only three things you ever really need:  your phone, your passport and money.
If you have these things you can get everything else if you need to. This is a rule I’ve lived by ever since I started traveling on my own.