Posts Tagged With: beach

A bright day in Brighton

Hello!

I figured I should use the few hours I have this evening to write about my trip to Brighton before the impressions get layered over with uni experiences.

Friday and Saturday evening, I had the au pairs over for movies and pizza – we ordered from Domino’s for the first time! Pizza, cider, a good movie, that’s all you need for a good evening. I went to bed at 4am on Friday and 1am on Saturday, which normally wouldn’t be a problem, but unfortunately, the alarm went off at 6.30am due to the Brighton trip.

Geez, I was so tired I was basically sleepwalking to the meeting point at Baker Street. I wasn’t the only one who had some problems with getting up early on a Sunday, so we mostly slept on the way to Brighton on the coach (it took about two hours).

When we arrived, all tiredness was forgotten for the sun was shining and the sea provided a lovely breeze tousling our hair. We walked along the pier for a couple of minutes and then decided to have lunch in one of the parks nearby. There was a motorbike festival of some sorts, so the place was completely crowded with machines and leather-clad people. We kept looking out for a motorbike we would like to have for ourselves and discussed the different colouring (since none of us have any real knowledge of the technical stuff).

After lunch we went to the Royal Pavilion – it just looks so graciously grand! We didn’t go in, however. It seemed a bit pricey to do so. So instead we took a look at the shopping/pub street and then strolled back to the pier along the beach. There is a small amusement park on Brighton Pier with a few rollercoasters, merry-go-rounds and that sort of thing. Obviously, we went for the rollercoaster with the looping! It was fun, but rather short and bumpy. Still, worth it!

Some people in my group got hungry again after that, so we went in search of a restaurant where we spent the last hour of our stay. We sat outside of course, relishing the sun burning down on us. (I actually got sunburn on my nose, as always…)

At around 4.30pm we got back on our coaches to return to London. This time, it took almost three hours! I fell asleep again for there wasn’t much else to do. Back at Baker Street I took the bus (weekend closure on the Northern line, yay!), so I was home at half past eight. Since I had to get up rather early today again, I went to bed almost straight away.

In summary, I really enjoyed the trip to Brighton. It wasn’t guided, so I probably didn’t see much of the city itself, but being at the sea was nice and the weather just perfect. Actually, it hasn’t rained a single drop since I arrived in London. I’m completely amazed! Brighton is a lovely city and the Brighton Pier is one of the main attractions. Apparently, people go there to eat fish&chips. Since I don’t eat anything from the sea, I didn’t try it, but a few of the students did, I think. If you get the chance to go there, you should do it. There are trains and buses going directly from London.

Here are some pictures:

DSC02019 DSC02021 DSC02028 DSC02031 DSC02041 DSC02061 DSC02065 DSC02067 DSC02072

Well, so that’s basically what I wanted to tell you. Today started the first week of introduction to my course. But I’ll write about that at the end of the week, I guess.

Stay happy and healthy until then! Cheers!

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Celebrar, trabajar y relajar

Saludos! Qué tal? Aquí todo está bien. Tengo mucho trabajo y cada día es diferente que el próxima. Perdon que no he escrito mucho, pero las noches normalmente relajo y no tengo la paciencia para escribir. Pues, ahora si!

Ok, I’m not gonna say “Oh, it’s so hot” because that is getting old. Yes, it’s summer and yes, it is hot and sometimes miserably so, but I’m getting used to the temperatures. For the first time, I’m sleeping without a blanket; otherwise I wouldn’t sleep at all. But that’s perfectly fine.

The internship is going very well, I get new and different and interesting stuff to do every day. Today, I went with a colleague to interview someone at a restaurant. Yesterday, I was working through a very long excel sheet. The day before, I prepared letters and did some translating. So as you see, there is plenty to do and the people there appreciate my help. I really hope this will result in a nice certificate that I can use in future applications.

Last weekend, I went out with my roommate and another friend of hers to a bar that is quite famous around her, god knows why. As usual, we got there early by Spanish standards and ended up at the street festival that was taking place close by. There were bands, a lot of weird people, beer vendors and dogs. The music was ok, but in the beginning it was rather slow and well, not fit for dancing and merriment. At around 11pm, the bar finally opened and we got a table. The bar is called Bar Marsella, though most people just say “the absinth bar” – because that’s what you drink there, generally. The girls ordered some and I did try, but oh no, absinth is not for me. It smells like anis or something like that, but it doesn’t taste all that nice.

We spent over an hour in there, watching as the people milled in. It was almost unbearably loud in the end; the room was full of Spanish and other people shouting at each other to understand. The bar itself is the ugliest place I’ve ever seen, by the way. Apparently, it is part of the charm that nobody ever cleans around there and the old chandeliers are dusty beyond belief. The bar itself with the beverages is clean, so it is actually because they believe people like this. The bar is about 200 years old, and they try to keep the “old looks”. Well. Mum, if you’re ever in the area, keep away from the dusty place! It’s worse than my room back home ever will be.

When the bar got too crowded, we went back to the street festival. It being past midnight, there was finally some dancing and partying going on. We didn’t join in but rather watched at the weird people. There were some with dreads, coloured hair and clothing that should be illegal to wear matched like that. One guy had plastic film wrapped around his head – I have no clue what that could possibly be for. Maybe he lost a bet. The never-ceasing beer vendors (Cerveza! Beer! One Euro!) tried to sell us some, but we refused. Instead, we watched the police looking for their hiding spaces, where they kept all the six-packs. They got a few, but the vendors apparently have endless supplies.

I was glad to be with my roommate, for I wouldn’t have liked to go home alone. The area isn’t the best and it cannot hurt to walk around in pairs. The other girl left on bike, but since she’s been living here a bit longer, I guess she knows her way. We were back home by 2 am and I was contemplating cooking something – I hadn’t had dinner, I must have forgotten… But I ended up going to bed without anything. I wasn’t extremely hungry; it was more the feeling of “You should eat”.

Saturday (we went out Friday, by the way) my roommate and I went to the flea market together. She liked it, I guess and we spent an hour walking around. I ended up buying a skirt, though we weren’t able to negotiate the price. I got it for 10€, which I think is still a good price. There were a lot of books and she tried to find something easy but interesting to read, but we couldn’t find anything that sparked her interest. So we went home almost empty handed.

Afterwards, we headed out to the beach. We met up with a bunch of other people, some of them I have mentioned in earlier posts, some were new. I was still a bit tired from the night before, so I mainly slept and read my novel, I didn’t feel like interacting with people that much. It was hot, but there was a nice breeze going and I enjoyed it. Unfortunately, I fell asleep a tad too long and thus my arms had been exposed to the sun a bit too much. It’s nothing serious, but I have nice sunburns with a weird pattern on both my arms. This time I had worn a headscarf, so for once my scalp was NOT sunburnt. Yay!

The rest of Saturday and Sunday was lazy. Sunday, I spent the whole day in the living room, since both the others were gone for the day. I worked on some dance choreography and enjoyed sitting on a proper table instead of my bead where my back hurts like hell after a while. I spent some time on the balcony as well, but it was too warm outside. I tried to get some fresh air in my room by opening the window and the door and keeping the fan on all day. Do you think that actually did anything? No. Nothing. It was just as hot as ever in the evening. Even though I hadn’t been in there, no light was on and no laptop heating the room. Still 29°C (at least that’s what my little gadget tells me). So now I simply have the fan on whenever I’m home and try to survive in the nights without it. I’ll have a new appreciation for air-conditioning and German summers, when I’m through with this!

Ok, I think this is enough for now. I will now prepare some dinner (for I didn’t have any yesterday – again!) and enjoy the evening. I hope YOU enjoy your evening as well, wherever you may be right now. Write to you soon!

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Feliz San Juan!

Buenas días!

Ouf, qué fin de semana. San Juan es una fiesta loca aquí en Barcelona. Un poco como Año Nuevo en Alemania, pero sin la seriedad y la tranquilidad. Toda la gente simplemente baila y celebra en la calle y a la playa con fuegos artificiales – toda la noche.

So you can imagine there was a lot going on the past few days. Friday my flat mate and I went to another friend of hers that lives close by. We had planned to have dinner at her place and go partying later. However, we settled in and passed the time just chatting away. We had pizza and sangria and international company. J.’s room mate is Spanish and there was another French guy as well, so we all talked English. It almost felt like being back in London. The plans of going out were overthrown later because my flat mate and I didn’t quite feel like going out and it was almost midnight anyway. Normally, that’s when the Spanish people start going out, but I’m not used to that and I have always preferred a nice evening at home with friends to going to a club. So in the end we went home shortly after midnight with the promise of going out again the next day.

Saturday morning I strolled around the flea market again. I bought some more fabric, I really hope that costume I’m working on will look great. I can’t believe the prices here. This flea market is one of the few things I love about being here. Another would be peach jam. The Spanish know how great that tastes and I can choose from various brands for about one Euro. UK, LEARN FROM THAT!

Saturday evening I met J. and a colleague of hers from Poland in the city. We tried to have dinner in a supposedly awesome place – it was packed with people, you had to eat standing while customers squeezed by. And the food wasn’t good, either. I had a bocadillo con queso y jamón. It was ok, but nothing special but more what you can get in a small kiosk somewhere on the way. I don’t recommend this place to anyone – unless you like feeling like packed sardines in a can. The place is called Can Paixano, by the way.

Afterwards we had a drink in a small bar somewhere, I wouldn’t find my way back there I guess. We were supposed to meet up with a group of couchsurfers on the beach later, so we had to kill some time. For those of you who don’t know couchsurfing, it is basically a platform where you can find a couch to sleep on if you are in a city for a weekend or something like that. They also organize events for the tourists they host and such was the event we were going to. We sat on the beach for a while before they gathered but it was quite nice in the evening, watching the sun go down…

The group of couchsurfers was very international, I met french guys, a turkish girl, people from Asia and South Amerika and so on. We had music and beer a plenty, so the atmosphere was good. I was cold, though. I hadn’t brought a jacket, just a thin bolero and that wasn’t quite enough for a chilly evening on the beach. One of the organizers gave us – J. and me – his jacket so we could get warm. It was after 1 am when we left the beach together. It is always safer to travel in pairs and since we live only one metro stop apart, it made sense. The Polish girl stayed longer, I think.

Sunday started nice and slow. I had to prepare for the night, after all. So I just watched a movie or two and relaxed. My flat mate had a friend over from Germany, so they were out on sightseeing tour. At around 6.30 I headed out to celebrate San Juan. I met J. and the Polish girl I. in the city. There was a barbecue at some friend’s flat where I could join them. The people seemed nice enough but I stayed with the few I knew, mostly. It was raining a bit – YES RAIN! IN BARCELONA! – so we had to wait for it to stop before moving to the terrace on the roof. I liked the view, even though you couldn’t see the sea or anything, it was still nice to see Barcelona from above. We stayed there almost until midnight before we decided we wanted to see what’s going on in the city. So the four of us, I., J., J.’s room mate and me headed out to the beach. Seriously, the Spanish people are crazy. There were cannon shots everywhere, my poor ears endured some torture the past days. There is gente everywhere and you have to be extra careful with your belongings.

We strolled along the beach until we found the place where my falt mate had gone to. She was invited to a business event of some sort and when we arrived there we could join them. It was again on the roof of a house directly next to the beach. The view was spectacular! That’s how I like Barcelona. The lights, the sea, the people – great. The party itself wasn’t so awesome, it was more like chilling around, drinking and listening to music. But it was nice in it’s own way. The other’s of my group headed out again after a while but I stayed. I felt no special urge to go into the sea in the dead of the night to celebrate some weird custom. My flat mate, her friend and I stayed at that roof party until after 4.30 am. I was dead tired when we finally left. I had been standing for almost 9 hours by then, since both parties didn’t have many seating areas. It was 5.30 when I finally fell into bed, sleeping blissfully for the first time. I had found my ear plugs and sleepmask, so I didn’t hear anything to wake me nor could the light penetrate my sleep.

I happily slept until 1.30 pm the next day. It was a public holiday anyways, so I stayed in bed for the day, doing nothing much. I had planned to write this post yesterday, but I felt soooo lazy! Unfortunately, because of the lazyness, I didn’t sleep well last night, so now I am tired again. Today I work I yawned constantly and couldn’t concentrate on much. I still got work done, but it was slower than usual. I had my first business phone call with someone outside the company, and I was totally unprepared. Considering that I thing I managed it quite well. I won’t tell you what it was about, but the outcome is important to the company, so phew!

Now I will relax for evening, after having bought 12 litres of water – hopefully I won’t need to buy water anytime soon again, it’s freaking heavy. With that, I’ll leave you. See ya!

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Vamos a la Playa!

Perdona el retraso. No tenía internet desde ayer, pero ahora todo se ha resuelto. Pues, aquí mi post:

Buenas tardes! La primera semana fue muy interesante y ahora mir segundo fin de semana termina. Tenemos 28 grados hoy! Que calor! Durante la semana, no hize mucho porque tenía que aclimarme al nuevo ritmo de vida. Pero el fin de semana he hecho algunas cosas interesantes.

The first week of my internship went well, I really like it there. I didn’t do much in the evenings, mainly watching series and reading on the balcony. Yesterday, on Saturday, I went to the flea market just around the corner. It is bigger than any I’ve seen before. It was loud and full of people, but I loved it. I got some fabric and stuff for a costume I’m working on, but I could have bought so much more. Clothes, Shoes, electric stuff, antiques, whatever you want. It is incredibly cheap, too. Most of the fabric cost no more than 3€/m, which is almost nothing. Some vendors sold a shirt for one euro, but I didn’t buy anything of that. I’m a little bit suspicious about the quality and such. I guess I’ll go there at least one more time during my time, just to see everything that is to see.

In the evening, I went out with my flat mate and her sister, who was here for the weekend. We saw those famous man towers, where people stand on each other’s shoulders, you know? It is a tradition here, they do it all the time. We had dinner in a bar that had Pintxos, another local thing. Those are tidbits and you can eat as many as you like – in the end they count the spikes on your plate and you pay for the number you’ve eaten. I had three, one with a sausage, another with mushroom mash or something and one with goat cheese. They are really tasty! We walked quite a bit before and after dinner, so we were all tired when we got home.

Today I finally managed to sleep in (on Saturday I had been awake before nine, horror!) and had a leisurely morning with my ebook reader and breakfast. At 1.30, I met with my flat mate and another German girl from her Spanish course at the beach. Yay, my first time in ages being on the beach! It is a man-made beach, so there are no shells and the like, but I don’t mind. We had a nice spot somewhere in the middle between sea and promenade. We lasted not even an hour before I went off to buy a parasol, because I know my skin and how fast it reacts to the sun. I got one for only 12€, which I think is a fair price. It’s light and easy to transport and I didn’t have to worry about extensive sunburn or sunstroke. We were joined by a co-worker of that other German girl and an American they had met a couple of days before – so we talked mainly English, to be polite. The girls went into the sea as well, but there were warnings of jelly fish and I’m not fond of swimming in the sea (any more – as a child I was very eager, I believe). We stayed about four hours in total, and then we headed out to find some food. We settled down in a tapas bar in Barceloneta and enjoyed a light meal. No pasta this time! It was only my flat mate, her friend and me, though. The other two had stayed on the beach.

Well, I just got home from that and now, after a shower I’m happy and clean again. I have slight sunburn on my right shoulder, I guess there’s always a spot you miss, but for four hours in the sun – or under the parasol, I guess that’s not too bad. I’m still hoping I might develop a shy tan, so I don’t look completely foreign. Right now, with my white skin and blonde hair, it is extremely obvious I’m not Spanish. It’s not really bothering me, but there is an ad that is stuck in my head and every time I compare myself to others, I’m reminded of it. I saw it back in my hometown before I went off to Barcelona. It is a poster that shows an unbaked pretzel and the slogan says “Nur gebräunt ist lecker” (Only tan is tasty). It is obviously an ad for a tanning studio, but I think it’s not very nice. Well, anyways. I just hope I’ll get some colour during my stay.

For some reason, the internet is not working right now. I am writing this in word and I hope I can upload it soon. I have no idea what’s wrong, but we are working on it. If it is not better in an hour, then you’ll get this post tomorrow or so, sorry about that.

Oh yeah, there are some things that are weird around here that I will have a hard time adjusting to. Apart from the flat and surroundings being loud, my room is getting stuffier all the time. I have a window, but there is no fresh air getting in because it is looking out to a small patio. All the kitchens are on that wall as well, so when somebody cooks I cannot open the window at all because of the smell. I have no clue how that will work when it gets really hot, but I guess we’ll have fans and the like. I am still afraid of the metro exits – there are those door thingies that open when you walk through. Normally they stay open when many people go through, but occasionally they try to close on you and I am afraid of that. I hope I’ll get over that at some point. The metro is a topic in itself. Everybody is paranoid because things get stolen every day. So far, I have never witnessed it, but I won’t take risks. I always clutch my bag and don’t take out my phone – somebody could just snatch it from my hand, since there are no security bells on it (yes, my bell system HAS a reason!) I will do my best not to lose anything on the metro.

Compared to the tube, the metro is extremely uncomfortable. The people are noisy and smelly and move too much. In London, you get in and stay where you are. You politely keep your mouth shut and if you have a child with you, you keep them quiet as well. I really like this apathetic atmosphere and the metro is anything but. Last week I had a group of kids in my wagon and their teachers were cheering them on, clapping and singing with them. I was close to killing. Seriously, show some respect! Everybody is shoving and talking and moving, eugh. The metro is also designed differently. The tube is designed to hold many people, with the seats along the sides and places to hold on everywhere. In the metro, they have sometimes those four seats, two facing each other. There is no way that you can hold on to something in between, so that space is not used much. I could go on and on, but the essence is – I’m homesick for London. And yes, I know that is part of the culture shock and I am now in the phase of everything is awful. I’ll get over it. Though I guess I’ll never get used to the streets smelling of piss. I really hate that.

Now I have rambled on enough. Please don’t think I’m miserable over here, I’m not. I still enjoy being in Spain and I like my work. It just takes some getting used to. Talk to you soon!

 

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