I’m going to Scotland!

Next month I’ll be flying to Scotland for the very first time. It has been a dream of mine to visit Glasgow ever since I watched this movie and fell in love with its quiet, gloomy landscape. And now that I have a friend living there, it just seemed to be the perfect opportunity to finally make that dream come true! I’ll be staying in Glasgow for the most part, but I couldn’t possibly skip Edinburgh, so that’s high on the list. I’d love to have the chance to visit the Highlands, so hopefully I’ll be able to make that happen as well. I couldn’t be more excited and I’m counting down the days.

Have you ever been to Scotland? Do you have any tips? I’d love to hear!

Photo by Ian Woodhead

Flowers, so many flowers!

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Last spring I had the chance to visit the magical place that is known as the Garden of Europe, that is home to more than seven million tulips, with over 79 acres of bright colors and fragrance, one of the world’s largest flower gardens: the beautiful Keukenhof garden, situated in Lisse, Netherlands.

It really is an endless, peaceful, colorful sea of all kinds of flowers, surrounded by canals, a playground, a fun little maze, a windmill and restaurants. We got there early in the morning and spent the day walking around, taking in the atmosphere. It’s a stunning, calming place and it was a perfect day for walking around. We had lunch at one of the restaurants where the food was really good and surprisingly, not too expensive! The garden is open for just two months each spring, so if feels like a little treasure (one that you share with a bunch of other tourists, but isn’t it like that everywhere these days?). I can’t believe it’s almost been a year! Time does fly by…

So here are few pictures out of the thousands I took, if you’d like to see 🙂

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Nijmegen, Netherlands

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Before moving to Germany I had never heard of Nijmegen, the oldest city in the Netherlands. But as it turns out, I happen to live a mere 30 minute drive away from the Dutch border, and about 45 minutes away from Nijmegen. And that’s pretty neat.

The city is 2,000 years old but it has a youth and vibrant atmosphere. There’s about 20,000 students who attend the Radboud University in Nijemegen, who keep the city young and exciting. There are bikes everywhere, and in the summer everyone’s out riding their bikes until very late at night, and it’s quite nice to see that. Nijmegen also has plenty of cool little local shops, lots of cafes and bars, a lot of art, a lot of clothing stores. It’s a great mix of old and new, historic and modern and it feels like a true hidden gem. I often take the bus there to just walk around, soak up the atmosphere, sit on a park bench and read. If you ever find yourself around this corner of the world, you should put Nijmegen on your list of places to visit.

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Bring it on 2018

It’s the last day of the year! And what a year it’s been. I’ve learned some important lessons and lived through life changing experiences. I’m ending 2017 on an optimistic note. I’m feeling hopeful, positive and happy. It’s gonna be a quiet New Year’s Eve for me but it’s been a loud year, and I can use the time to be introspective and thoughtful. I want to take it all in. There’s so much to be thankful for. There’s so much left to accomplish. So much to do, so little time! I’m waiting on changes, and I know they’re coming.

Happy New Year’s Eve everybody! Here are some pictures of my Londoner Christmas. It was quite lovely:)

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Frankfurt for a day

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A few months ago I had the opportunity to go to Frankfurt for a day. To be honest I didn’t know much about the city then, nor do I know much about it now, except that it is the country’s financial hub and home to several banks and corporate headquarters. I’m sure my overly stereotyped idea of Frankfurt is fairly inaccurate and narrow; I know the city also has a lot to offer in terms of culture, education and tourism; which means I need to go back and experience all of that. But for now I guess what I can say is that Frankfurt is  a pleasant little surprise! I was there by myself and spent the entirety of my day walking around, exploring my surroundings and like every city in Germany, once I found the Altstadt, everything started to flow and the city came to life.

Sometimes it just feels incredibly unbelievable to be walking around a city that’s so ancient, that has seen and lived so much history. A place that has been destroyed by war, survived it and built itself up again. It’s like you’re walking inside a history book. I feel very privileged in moments like these. I feel fortunate for living in a relatively more peaceful period in world history and to have the opportunity to travel and see things with my own eyes.

I walked by so many small bookstores, cute little stores and restaurants, and they always catch my attention. But I guess in the end what really won me over was the famous Frankfurt Cathedral and the delightful Römerberg – the perfect German postcard.

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A weekend in Hannover

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I got to visit a friend in Hannover over the weekend and it was a cozy, comfy, relaxing and great couple of days! We spent most of the time eating, watching movies, talking, laughing and getting terribly excited upon experiencing the first snowfall of the year – which, by the way, made the entire city look magical. Their Christmas Market is an absolute winter wonderland and I felt like a little kid walking around. I had ramen for the first time in ages, and that was certainly a highlight for me, because ramen is my favorite winter comfort food and there’s nothing like sitting in a cozy restaurant eating a big hot bowl of deliciousness and watch the snow falling outside.

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Postcards

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This past month I got not one, but two postcards in the mail! It’s such a wonderful surprise to have a postcard sent to you from miles and miles away from someone you love. Someone who’s off living adventures in faraway lands. You hold their handwritten words and thoughts in your hands. A simple way to make someone feel special and strengthen the bond between friends.

My sister in New Zealand, a friend in Russia. Places I haven’t been, people I dearly miss.