4 days in Athens

It’s almost time to leave Stuttgart, so I enjoyed a week and a half of holidays we had in the middle of our classes to go to Greece for a few days as a couple. On the agenda: 4 days in Athens and 8 days in Crete! I will very soon write an article about my stay in this Greek island but spoiler : I enjoyed it SO MUCH.

But for now, let’s focus on Athens, capital and biggest city of Greece, with more than 650,000 inhabitants (outside urban areas). Athens is a perfect city if you like to walk and to stroll through streets and gardens, but also if you are more interested in museums and historical and archeological monuments. After spending 4 days in Athens, I’ve prepared an itinerary for you not to miss anything about this city that has so much to offer! 

View from the Areopagus hill

Day 1

My plane only landed in the early afternoon so the first day wasn’t full but I had still start to explore the city a little bit! It’s really easy to reach the city center from the airport, either by bus (for 6 euros) or metro (10 euros), and it will take you about an hour. On site, the metro-bus-tramway transport ticket costs 4 euros for one day. The transport network is really well developed and allows you to go wherever you want in the city.

We’ve decided to stay in an Airbnb to live as much as possible close to the inhabitants and to cook after going to the market. Many accommodations exist at very reasonable prices so I really recommend this solution if you’re planning to stay a few days in Athens! Our Airbnb was located in the Attiki district, a popular but charming district. We enjoyed the late afternoon to walk around and get lost in the streets. Interesting fact about Athens : a lot of street (specially the main streets and avenues) are bordered by trees so that the sidewalks are in the shade, which is not a problem when it’s 31 degrees without wind! 

In the course of the streets, we discovered Saint-Panteleimon’s church and what I can tell you is that Greeks are very good at building churches! We also took a walk in Pedion Areos Park, one of the largest public parks in the city. A breath of fresh air in the middle of the city! We then returned to our Airbnb to rest in order to start the first real day of our stay.

Day 2

We started this day with a must-see in Athens: the Monastiraki Square and its market where you can find fruit stands at very competitive prices. 1kg of strawberries at 1.20 euros, unbeatable for such tasty strawberries! We then walked to reach the first archeological monument on our way: the Ancient Agora of Athens. The site is very large and impressive, and its museum is also interesting if you want to observe some statues and ancient objects found on the site.

THE great deal of this stay was a pass at 30 euros (or free for students) which allowed us to visit the Ancient Agora of Athens, the Roman Agora, Kerameikos site, Lykeion site, Hadrien’s Library, the temple of Zeus and the Acropolis. We strongly recommend you to take this pass sold each of these sites to be able to see them all at a lower cost, since the Acropolis alone already costs 20 euros and each other site about 4 euros. This will also save you having to wait in line each time to buy your ticket.

After the Ancient Agora, we went to Hadrien’s Library nearby. Feel free to walk the streets so alive and full of history when you go from one site to another, you won’t regret it! All sites are generally located in the hyper-center of Athens, so you can do everything by walking. Therefore we walked to the Kerameikos district (literally “ceramic” in English), the former potter’s district. Don’t forget you cap/hat and you sunscreen, as the sun is very strong and the archeological sites are not shaded!

Kerameikos site

At the end of the afternoon, we finally headed for THE most visited site in Athens: the Acropolis. If you can, go to the Acropolis from the opening at 8am to avoid heat and tourists, or at the end of the afternoon to avoid tourist groups like those on cruises, who usually do the tours early in the morning. But overall, there are still people there. The Acropolis is clearly worth the visit and we didn’t regret visiting it because this place is full of history and really impressive. The view is also breathtaking, and you will be able to appreciate the size of the city that you may not necessarily suspect. It takes about 1 hour to visit the Acropolis. We’ve decided not to do the Acropolis Museum, but count 10 euros in full price if you want to do it.

The Parthenon

Another highlight of Athens is the Pláka district, located below the Acropolis. It is the oldest district of the city, which has now become THE place to go out in the evening, have dinner and take a drink. Once again, take a stroll through the streets, get lost, and discover the small district of Anafiótika, a district in a district, with white houses and small alleys similar to the landscapes of the Greek islands. Don’t forget to look at the walls around you, you could see street art works that are worth it! Pláka is certainly my favorite district of Athens (not very original I know), and I recommend it a thousand times!

Day 3

For this third day, we started by visiting the National Gardens of Athens. A breath of fresh air in the middle of town, and it feels great ! I still recommend you to do this visit in the afternoon when it’s hot. We then went to the archeological site of Lykeion. It’s not a site that I recommend because there is nothing particurarly interesting or even impressive to discover. The site is located quite far from the others so don’t waste your time going there, are simply walk through the streets around.

A site that I recommend a thousand times on the contrary: the Panathenaic Stadium, which hosted the first modern Olympic Games. This place is clearly worth the visit, but I advise you to go in the morning so as not to die of heat. We were very surprised  by the size and height of the stadium. Count 4 euros to access it, but believe me, you won’t be disappointed, and you will even be able to visit the stadium museum with an exhibition of poster of the Olympic Games since their creation.

Not far from the Stadium is the temple of Zeus and Hadrian’s gate, two other monuments and archeological sites. We then visited the last site of our pass : the Roman Agora.

Another must in Athens is to go for a drink on a rooftop to admire the city at night in a lively setting, often away from tourists. We tried the 360 Rooftop and we really liked it!

Day 4

We started our last day in Athens by walking around the Exárcheia district, known for its very civic atmosphere where the inhabitants have been managing many things themselves since the crisis. The district is also presented as the cradle of anarchism in Greece and is full of tags and street art works.

The overwhelming heat typical of Athens (35 degrees but felt much higher) finally got the better of us and we decided to take refuge in the Archeological Museum of Athens. I had read on several blogs that it was the most complete museum in the city in terms of archeology, and I can only tell you that this is true! It takes about 2 hours to visit the museum without necessarily stopping at all the works, but plan more if you are a big fan of archeology. Admission is 10 euros or free for students.

With this heat, and since we had done everything we wanted in 3 days, we went home to rest before going out for our last evening and do the last must-see of the city: climb the Areopagus hill and admire the sunset and the city at night. Athens is just as beautiful by day and by night, and I hardly recommend you to take some time to walk through its streets after dark.

What and where to eat in Athens?

In bulk, I give some Greek specialties that you MUST try during your stay: souvlaki (meat on skewers), gyros (kebab meat), grilled feta cheese, ice cream in general (they are big ice cream lovers), espresso or cappuccino Freddo (ice coffee to fall on the ground and so cheap), pitta and koulouri (a sesame covered bread that they eat a lot like here in Germany we eat pretzels). 

I also share with you my favorite places in Athens:

  • Rozalia: a typical restaurant in the Exárcheua district, in a shaded and charming setting.
  • Quick Pitta: the first restaurant we tested in the city center, to be tested if you want to taste several Greek specialties in “small” quantities.
  • Yard Restaurant: located near the Acropolis Museum, this restaurant is pretty touristic but remains very good.
  • 360 Rooftop Café/Bar: a charming and vegetal rooftop to drink a cocktail or a glass of wine with a view on the Acropolis. You can also eat there if you want.
  • Monastiraki Square’s market to buy a lot of fruits and vegetables.

You should also know that the purchasing power is much lower than in some other European countries such as France or Germany, you therefore will be able to eat well for less than 10 euros per person.

If you would like more addresses and the entire list of the places I’ve quoted here, click on this link to access to our Google map that allowed us to find our way during our stay.

Some tips:

  • If you can, visit Athens between October and May, and avoid the hottest months or you won’t fully enjoy your stay.
  • Don’t forget your hat/cap and you sunscreen if you want to avoid sunburns and sunstroke.
  • Take an Airbnb accommodation or an apartment for rent so you can buy your vegetables in the various markets in the city and cook them, there is nothing better!
  • If you are a student, think about taking you student card because a lot of monuments and museums are free for you, which is not insignificant.
  • Take out your walking shoes because Athens in a city in relief and many sites like the Acropolis are more easily accessible with good shoes.
  • Visit as many sites as possible in the morning to avoid tourists but also to avoid heat. Every day, we would end up coming home around 4pm to get in the cool before going out again around 7pm.

I think 3 days are largely necessary to visit Athens if you want to do the main monuments and sites as well as walk a little in the streets of the touristic districts or more popular ones. I had heard that Athens is a city known to be either adored or hated, which I can understand because it remains a very populated city, sometimes dirty in some areas, pretty polluted and made for archeology and history lovers. But despite all this, what I will remember about Athens is the people I found adorable, the mixture of urban planning and archeology, the diversity of cultures, its popular districts that live outside tourism, and of course its history!

See you soon!

-Angelina

The courses at Hochschule der Medien

Half of our stay here in Stuttgart University Hochschule der Medien is behind us, therefore is now time to talk to you about the courses and the school and, you know, maybe to convince you to come study here during your Erasmus semester !

A large number of programs called minors are offered by the University. For those who are scared by the German language, don’t worry, all the programs are taught in English ! You can find all the programs here, but to give you a little foretaste, be aware that you can specialize yourself in advertising, videos, management, design or journalism !

For my part, I chose the “Media Creation and Managament” minor, where I’m studying, among others, marketing, entrepreneurship and management. We also had to choose between TV and radio class, and I personally chose the TV. In this class, we have to realize a small and entertaining 5 minutes movie, without any theme constraints ! This allow us to work on our creativity and our skills in audiovisual. On the radio side, students have to host two shows per week, including a show dedicated to Erasmus students called “Lost in Germany”.

A few courses are delivered through workshops combining participatory courses and practical applications. In my minor, we were able to attend to two workshops on entrepreneurship and on management in time of change. These two workshops were really interesting and we could imagine a real company that we then presented to real entrepreneurs and field specialists.

This minors system has a lot of benefits :

  • It allows you to progress in English.
  • The groups of Erasmus students in every minor are kind of small, around 8 persons, so it’s easy to build friendships.
  • The workload is relatively low, so as the number of hours of courses (I personally have 10 hours per week). Therefore it gives you the time to travel, to make friends, to create memories and even to work on some personal projects.

In addition to the classes, the University Hochschule der Medien offers a lot of extracurricular activities such as dance, swimming, yoga, DIY workshops and even skydiving ! Furthermore, a film screening takes place every Wednesday evening in the University’s cinema (yes, there’s a cinema), and it is pretty much always in English ! This year, we saw the movies “Hidden Figures”, “The Greatest Showman” or “I, Tonya” for example.

Finally, the student association “Erasmus Student Network Stuttgart” is really engaged and active (you can find their Instagram account and their Facebook page here) ! For example, we already told you about our two integration weeks (the video is right here if you haven’t seen it yet), but their investment doesn’t stop here ! They had organized for example several hikes through the city or in the countryside around, parties on campus, barbecues to celebrate the end of workshops, and a lot of other events for the weeks to come.

With all these information, I hope that I convinced you to come here to realize you Erasmus semester in the University Hochschule der Medien in Stuttgart !

See you soon !

-Angelina

Copenhagen

4 days in Copenhagen #cityguide

In mid-April I left to discover with Maud, the Danish capital : Copenhagen. Built on two islands, this colourful city known on social networks thanks to its famous port and its little mermaid has clearly won me over. Here is the program we had prepared and all my advice so that you can prepare your stay as well as possible. You will find at the end of the article a Google map with all our places of passage.

Day 1 : Botanical Garden / Little Mermaid / Port Nihavn
The first day we started by visiting the Copenhagen Botanical Garden (free). A very well maintained park with a small hill crossed by a stream. There is a building (paying access) with indoor plants but we have decided not to visit it. After about thirty minutes in the park we left for Kastellet: a star-shaped fort.
Just next door is a district of yellow houses, they are reserved for sailors. We went for a walk around and inside this fort so I strongly recommend it… It is in Churchill Park where you can see the famous little mermaid (representation of Hans Christian Anderson’s eponymous tale). Leaving in April offered us a nice surprise: cherry blossoms. Next to the Langeline fountain, you can see pretty cherry trees paths.

Then we went to eat a typical Danish dish. I had slices of caramelized pork, cucumber and red cabbage. Maud took chicken cut in sauce and bacon. Our two dishes were served with two slices of seed bread.
We continued our discovery through the Nihavn port. It is often thanks to him that we know Copenhagen, a very touristic place but really to see! Many bars border its shore, but with exorbitant prices (the Coke is at 8 euros).

We continued our walk with the Amalienborg Palace (neo-classical style) in front of the marble church (a magnificent blue dome, entrance is free) in the middle of the square is the equestrian statue of King Frederick V. You can see every day the changing of the guard at 12pm. We then went to see the facade of Christiansborg Castle (which is now the Danish Parliament) is located on the island of Stotsholmen, to visit the interior the entrance is charged (150 kr).

Day 2 : Superkilen / Norrebro / Vestebro
We started the day in Superkilen Park, it is divided into three areas. The first is “Red Square” because its soil is simply red/pink/orange. You can pause on large white and red swings. The second space is paved with white linear lines. The third area is a green area with small hills. In this district, the signs are international to reinforce the multicultural aspect of this district. These three zones were created by the Superflex group of artists.
On the way there we crossed a cemetery. In Copenhagen cemeteries are also parks and it is quite normal to land or play near graves. The atmosphere is really that of a park, I advise you to go and see one on one of your paths.

We then walked around Norrebro and Vesterbo, there’s not really anything in particular to see, I just advise you to walk around and sit down for a drink.

We ended the day by meeting two Danes in a typical bar: the Bobshytte. The Danish bars are very small, I felt like I was going back in time. There were jutboxes, board games, and a particularity of Denmark: you have the right to smoke inside the bar (if it is less than 40m2). In Europe, it is the only country with Austria that allows smoking in a public place.

Superkilen Park


Day 3 : Copenhagen Tower / Library / Christiania
We started the day by going up to the tower of Copenhagen (about 3.50 euros per person) to get a high view of the city. There are several points of view on the city, it is the one we were recommended and we were not disappointed. It’s amazing how dense the city seems to us when we have the impression that it is very airy when we walk around it. Around this tower are the big chain stores that we had not yet seen (long live globalization). We went to a thrift store called Episode.


The Danes recommended a restaurant called Rio Bravo to eat the national dish: baked potatoes with grilled pork slices and a white parsley sauce. The price is 18 euros and it is at will, we advise you to go there for lunch because we guarantee that we came out while driving (aha).

We then visited the Royal Library in Copenhagen, also known as the “black diamond” because of its material: black granite. There is a contrast between the very modern front on the canal (where you will find the entrance) and the rear, which has kept its original facade in the middle of a pretty park. Once inside, climb the escalators to admire the inside.

Exploring Christiania: an alternative neighborhood that I really loved. It was founded by a group of squatters, unemployed people and hippies, self-proclaimed “Free City of Christiania”. It was self-managed from 1971 to 2013 and has its own flag. Atypical, you may say. Today managed by the Copenhagen woman, it has kept its identity: wooden houses with decorations specific to each house. In the middle of Christiania is a pretty lake with shores where we can easily land. Photographs are prohibited in this area because there are still sales of so-called soft drugs (hashish…). Be careful, however, smoking in this area is tolerated but not legal.

4th day : Tivoli Park and attractions
In three days we had finished visiting the beautiful city of Copenhagen, so we decided to go and see the Tivoli park, famous for its beauty. Inside you will find lots of rides. You can only take the Park Pass which costs about 15 euros or take the Park + Unlimited Attractions Pass for about 50 euros. This is the one we chose, we stayed from 11am to about 6pm. Note that it is possible to pay attraction per attraction, if you only want to make one or two it will be more economical for you.
The park and attractions are open from 11am to 10pm from April to September. We had bought sandwiches in the morning outside the park to make it more economical.

Overall the city is quite expensive, but we often bought our meals in aldis and coffees at 7eleven in order to reduce costs as much as possible. There are parks in all the neighbourhoods so it is very pleasant to eat and rest in the sun.

Accommodation in Copenhagen :
We had booked 5 nights in the hostel. “Sleep in Heaven”, one of the best hostels we have ever built. The common areas were very warm, very clean and ergonomic. They have a breakfast at 6.50 euros that we didn’t take but we tasted their cinamonrolls and they are really the best we are eaten) and the rooms of 10 are on two floors and very well arranged. We have booked with booking (each time this site really offers us the best offers). The price was 19 euros per night and per person.

Transport in Copenhagen:
Transport is very expensive so we simply did everything on foot. Sometimes it can be a little long but with good weather it is really nice to be able to observe the city and to go along nice paths (housing the docks and for example very pleasant). Copenhagen is a very well equipped city for bicycles, if you have the budget I advise you to rent bicycles by the day.

From the airport to the city centre:
There is a metro that costs about 5 euros per person per journey.

The 5 best Instagram spots in Copenhagen : a desire for photography

  • The famous Nihavn port
  • The yellow houses near Kastellet
  • Cherry blossoms next to the Langeline fountain (beware of the season)
  • Superkilen Park
  • Tivoli Park

Link to the Google Map, you must open it once and then you will find it in your burger menu “your addresses” then click on “maps”

See you soon, Jade.

Santiago and its wonders

Holà chicos,


You have already had the right to some articles about our life in Santiago, but we haven’t told you about the city and the wonders it hides.
I will therefore be in charge of sharing with you my beautiful discoveries. And, of course, I’m not going to spare you my great culinary skills. But let’s start quietly, shall we?

PARKS


Did you know that there are more than ten parks in Santiago? Well, I admit that there are some more or less grown-ups, but all of them are very popular with Chileans, whether at lunchtime or to breathe after a busy day at work.
My favorite is Bicentenario Park. It is a few minutes from my house, and as soon as I discovered it I enjoyed running there from time to time. There are even pink flamingos!!!!! (see picture)


But it’s not the biggest one I’ve ever walked. Last weekend I went hiking with two friends to one of the many parks on the Andes mountain range, called Quebrada de Macul. Well, I can tell you it was going well. The landscape is magnificent, I found an air of South of France, the crickets and olive trees were missing and I swear to you that we were there.


The last one I will talk about is the Metropolitan Park of Santiago, in which you can climb the Cerro San Cristobal. A Cerro is a hill on the top of which there is a religious building. I have been there several times already, because you can see the whole city of Santiago and a beautiful sunset (you even have the right to a picture of me with it. And yes, you should be lucky!)

The Sunset and me
The view and me

FOOD

Let’s get down to business now.


So, for those who don’t know me, I am a great epicurean and cook, so I am happy to find the addresses not to be missed in each city I visit.


Like all major capitals, Santiago does not lack restaurants from all over the world. Indian, Peruvian, American, Italian, Mexican, and even French! And I must admit that I have already tested many of them. Between Burgers, Pizza, Buddha Bowl, Sushi…we always find our happiness. Speaking of sushi, a little aside, here one of their specialties is fried sushi. Yes yes yes you read well. Here is a small picture to give you an idea. They are sushi as you know them, but they add a frying pan around them and fry them, so you can only eat them with chicken or vegetarian.

on the left you can discover these famous fried sushi. Here they are with peppers and fresh cheese.


Let’s go to the burgers. Here, there is something for every taste and every diet. There are some that are more gourmet than others, such as one in which a fried flowing cheese is added. Then, others more healthy, like the vegetarian burger from Bravo 195 (which became my HQ, see photo) with a red bean steak, sheep’s cheese, tomatoes, avocado, and a nice fried egg to top it all off! A real delight! Not to mention the great homemade fries to accompany it.

Vegetarian Burger signature Bravo 951


On the pizza side too, I found something to make my little thing happy. As a fan of Neapolitan pizza, I was surprised to find a good number of addresses that make it. I’ve already done almost everything! Here is one of my favorite pizzeria, both by the place and by their pizza (see picture Omerta).

Then to finish, I was pleasantly surprised ( yes i’m often surprised in life) to find a multitude of healthy and vegetarian/vegan addresses where you can enjoy wonderful bowl, good big avocado bread, hummus….. in short you understood the idea…


On this friends I leave you, I haven’t finished exploring everything yet! But I’ll be back soon for new adventures!


See you soon!


Anaé

News from Santiago !

Hola muchachos !

I promised to come back very soon to give you some news so here I am again.

I have been living in the most beautiful country in the world for a month and a half now and although the sun is gradually leaving us to join you, I am really happy.

Everything is still going as well as ever and I have two very good news: the first is that I have enrolled in dance. I’ve been doing classical dance for 15 years, so I might as well tell you that I was starting to miss it. I have found a very (very) good school near my home and take classes every Thursday and Friday morning.

The second is that I also take guitar lessons! By the way, this is Camilo, my friend and guitar teacher.

Apart from that, I obviously continue to discover the city and especially the Chilean gastronomy alongside Mary, who always teaches me to cook… Last realization: Donuts! I’ll give you a picture, you have the right to be jealous, they were delicious!

I have to admit that from this point of view, it looks like a cliché of an Erasmus student, but don’t get me wrong, I work too! Last week I carried out my very first exams.

How can you get tired of the view of the Andes Cordillera from the Arcos Institute?

At the Arcos Institute we work on many projects. The most important of them is undoubtedly the event Management and Production’s one : with a friend we will organize (for real!) a celebration for the French community in Chile, which will take place just before my departure, at the end of June. All this without any budget, as you can imagine, we are racking our brains to find solutions.

My photography classes are still as exciting as ever and I even have the chance to work in the laboratory with Marion to learn how to make photograms and develop photos!

I also take music culture classes that allow me to learn more about the history and functioning of music. To be honest, I don’t understand everything because it’s very technical but it’s a really very interesting classes, which I enjoy going to.

Here is the latest news, now you know everything!

To avoid leaving you too violently, I leave you with the breathtaking view we have in the evening from the apartment…

Hasta pronto,

Zoé



Stockholm

Stockholm

After our first roadtrip to Amsterdam, Jade and I decided to visit Stockholm. A look back at our 4-day trip to the Swedish capital, a travel full of discoveries!

Day 1 : Wednesday

It is 7:30 pm, and we finally arrive in Stockholm after our long journey. Hungry, we start our stay with a Swedish specialty restaurant Uffe & Lottas. In many restaurants in Sweden, you are served homemade bread and typical Swedish crackers with a kind of cream cheese. Perfect to keep you waiting! We chose a shrimp risotto and tuna steak with onions and raspberries. It was a treat! We were seduced by the charm of this restaurant and the warm welcome of the owner. It feels like home! A short digestive walk to the town hall to finish the evening. We were amazed by the magnificent night view of Stockholm and its lights and by the beautiful architecture of the City Hall building.

Day 2 : Thursday

After spending our first night at the hostel, we leave early, cameras fully charged, to discover Stockholm. We started with a 1h15 bus tour that allowed us to get an overview of the city and its different districts. Then, we walked around the historic center of the city: Gamla Stan. A charming district with its small streets and beautiful buildings. If you visit this district, we advise you to see Stockholm’s smallest street, Mårten Trotzigs gränd, Stortorget Square, the Royal Palace with the daily shift at 12:15, and Storkyrkan Cathedral.

We couldn’t visit Sweden without eating herring! So we took a break for a snack at Nystekt Stromming, a food truck where we could taste fried herring that was very good! It’s simple, well cooked and cheap (about 8€)

Then, direction the island of Södermalm to visit the museum of photography Fotografiska. We loved the modernity of the museum’s exhibitions. Don’t forget to go and see the panoramic view from the museum’s café, and taste their kanelbullar, a small brioche from the traditional Fika.

To end this day in style, we were able to watch a magnificent sunset on Skinnarviksberget Hill. After dinner at the hostel, we experienced the Stockholm icebar. With a temperature of -5 degrees, everything in this bar is made of ice, even the cocktail glasses! Don’t worry, we’ll equip you with a big poncho and gloves to keep you warm 😉

Day 3 : Friday

To enjoy the good weather we had that day, we went for a boat trip to the Stockholm archipelago. The tour of the archipelago lasts between 2.5 and 3 hours, just enough to enjoy the beautiful Stockholm archipelago. On board, a guide presents the particularities of the archipelago, making this visit a pleasant and informative excursion. We loved the charm of the typical Swedish red and white houses.

Then, we visited Skansen, an open-air museum on the island of Djugarden. It is a real immersion in Swedish homes from the Middle Ages to the last century. There are also craftsmen’s workshops and a zoo with northern animals. A real step back in time! After a short break Fika in a typical coffee shop on the island of Djugarden, we visited the Museum of Spirits, very original!

Day 4 : Saturday

We couldn’t come to Stockholm without visiting the city’s most famous museum, the Vasa Museet. Located on the island of Djugarden, the Vasa is the only 17th century vessel in the world to have been preserved and 95% of the parts are original. You can therefore admire the wreck of the ship, which has been underwater for more than 300 years. A museum to visit, original and very well made.

For lunch, we went to Meatballs for the People restaurant to taste their famous meatballs. You know, the ones you have in Ikea? But much better;)! They offer different dishes based on meatballs of different meats, including elk!

After a stroll in Södermalm, a district with small designer shops, head for Skyview. The skyview is a large ball that rises up to 130 metres high: a panoramic view of Stockholm and its surroundings is guaranteed! To finish the afternoon, we went to see the Stockholm library, famous for its circular architecture.

Stockholm is known for its metro stations, comparable to art galleries. We spent a total of 2 hours in the subway seeing the stations, all more surprising and colourful. That’s a different thing from the Parisian subway!

Our tips !

Our hostel

We stayed in Hostel City Centre Youth Hostel. It is rather well located (15 minutes walk from the center), well organized and very clean! It is a very good value for money since for 26€ per night you also have breakfast included. Nothing to say about the hostel, we strongly recommend it!

Transportation

Transport being expensive in Stockholm, we did everything on foot, except the last day we bought a ticket for the day. So we took the opportunity to do the activities that were far away (Meatballs for the people, sky view, bookstore) and of course the metro stations on the same day.
To come to Stockholm, we had found cheap plane tickets with Ryanair (54€ round trip) but it turned out not to be such a good deal. Indeed, Ryanair is located in airports in Brussels and Stockholm very far from the centre. We were therefore obliged to take a shuttle (add 50€). Moreover, you have to pay with Ryanair to have a cabin baggage… So be careful with the call prices that some airlines can offer, which in the end are rather expensive!

Stockholm pass

A must have! Indeed, for the equivalent of 97€ for 3 days, the Stockholm pass gives you access to more than 60 activities. All the activities we did were included in this pass, which we made a good return on.

How to pay ?

Please note that although Sweden is in Europe, payments are made in Swedish kroner and not in euros. Jade and I chose to pay everything by credit card and not withdraw cash. If you can, try to pay with a single card so that you don’t have to pay several times the taxes, which for us were about 2%.

See you soon ! Maud and Jade

Munich, the colored city

In our desire to discover more about the german territory, we went to Munich ! As the capital of the famous Bavarian region, Munich has an important historical heritage. Known as one of the “most pleasant cities in the world”, we explain why we confirm this statement:

When you arrived in the centre of Munich, you couldn’t miss Marienplatz and its new city hall (Neues Rathaus), as majestic as it was imposing. There is also the Column of St Mary, built as a symbol of the end of the Swedish occupation during the Thirty Years’ War. Marienplatz is surrounded by several churches and cathedrals, including the Cathedral of Our Lady (Frauenkirche) or more commonly known as “the little onions” for its shape, the Church of St Peter (Peterskirche) and the Church of the Theatins (Theatinerkirche). Go for lunch and you’ll get a nice melody!

Continuing our adventure around Marienplatz, we came across the Viktualienmarket. A market of local products, where you can taste local specialities on site. Indeed, a restaurant area has been created in the middle of the square to enjoy Bavarian dishes. And if, like us, you make a mistake on the wrong day and go there when the market is closed, you can always admire the beauty of the square where it is located and find an open restaurant stand.


Munich is a city rich in monuments but also museums and art galleries of all kinds! While strolling around Karlsplatz, Konigsplatz and even Odeonsplatz, you can admire the beautiful architecture of these colourful buildings. We have chosen not to venture inside all the museums to fully enjoy these three sunny days strolling the streets and admiring the architecture. But if you stay longer than us, we recommend it!

You can’t miss the Englischer Garten when you come to Munich! Called Munich’s “green lung”, it is one of the largest landscape gardens in the world (it is larger than Central Park and Hyde Park!). And we can definitely confirm its immensity! Spring having made its arrival, we were able to enjoy pretty colors. We started at the south entrance of the garden to pass in front of the Hofgarten, the Greek tower (Monopteros) and then the Chinese tower, where we stopped for ice cream. We also went along the Eisbach River, where it is possible to surf! We then ended the day at the shores of Lake Kleinhesseloher, to admire a beautiful sunset.

Biergarten: garden or terrace of a restaurant where you can taste your own food, or buy it in food stands, as long as you order a drink.

What we remember the most about Munich is the feeling of being in a very airy city where life is good. The streets are so wide, flowery and colourful that you never feel like you’re suffocating. And yet Munich is a very big city! Transport is also easy to understand and serves the entire city well. We loved this little weekend so much that we wanted to extend it! Here is a list of our favorite photo spots so that you can discover the beauty of Munich with us:

  • The districts of Schwabing and Maxvorstadt: a bobo atmosphere and colourful houses are waiting for you.
  • Friedensengel: the monument is beautiful but look around, you might find pretty fields of blue flowers there!
  • Law Central Library: we unfortunately missed the opening hours, but check out Pinterest, it’s worth a visit!
  • Munich Reinsurance Company: You never thought an insurance company would have such a beautiful building.
  • Marienplatz: perfect for low angle pictures.

And of course, we don’t leave you without sharing with you our great tips for an economical stay:

  • The 3-day transport pass at 16.80 euros will save you a lot of money and you can walk around the city centre and its surroundings.
  • With Flixbus, we found a 20 euro round trip from Stuttgart to Munich and back! Don’t forget to look, there are many good tips on Flixbus.
  • We found the youth hostel a&o Hostel München Laim which offered the night at 19 euros in a mixed room. Good plan only 20 minutes from the center by subway!
  • On the restaurant side, we recommend Steinheil 16 for cheap German food. The plate was very copious (we even left with a doggy bag…) and we only paid 10 euros. You can also eat local for an economical budget on the Viktualienmarket.

ATTENTION: In Munich, everything is closed on Sundays. We were surprised by this, so try to plan all your activities for the other days and maybe prefer Englischer Garten on Sundays!

-Angeline

A day in Heidelberg

Only 1h30 by train separates Stuttgart and Heidelberg, the fifth city most populated in the Land of Bade-Wurtemberg and considered as the romantic capitale of Germany. So without a second thought, there we are in a train with about thirty Erasmus student from all over the world, ready for an intense day in this city full of surprises ! Little extra : from Stuttgart, the round trip costs only 9 euros !

Known as one of the rare German cities that have been spared from second world war’s bombing, Heidelberg kept an ancient and typical German architecture, with its buildings full of colors and its tight streets. Here, every structure is different from the others and there is a lot of things to be overwhelmed by !

The city has many squares where markets take place each week, between bar’s terraces, border by some monuments like the town hall, the Jesuit church or the St-Spirit church, all of this in a very picturesque style that can leaves you speechless. 

In the middle of the street Hauptstrasse, we came across an ancient bookstore absolutely magnificient called “Antiquariat Hatry” ! Between literature classic, researches about all the possible topics, theater plays and encyclopedias, this place overflows with books in different languages as German, French, English, Japanese or even Mandarin. A paradise for books lovers, like me !

Heidelberg is famous to be a great student city in Germany. Indeed, here one in three inhabitants is a student ! Bars and little restaurants are therefore very numerous. It even exists a student’s prison (the Karzer), that was once used to lock up students who didn’t respect the rules of the school ! Another funny “fact”, you can discover, at the bend of a street, a shop specialized in absinthe that offers a very impressive collection of this alcohol.

The University (the Ruprecht-Karls-Universität) and the library are also some very renowned places worldwide. Great names as the theorist Hannah Arendt, the Nobel Peace prize Auguste Beernaert or the Nobel Chemistry prize Richard Kuhn studied in this University, the oldest in all Germany.

Despite the cold weather and the wind, we decided to climb the 350 or so steps to get to the castle, located on the Königstuhl mountain. With its Renaissance style architecture, this building was formerly a fortified castle before it was partially destroyed. The most impressive leftover is the broken tower. The castle also gives a beautiful view on the entire city and on the Neckar, but also some enormous gardens to walk through. For 4 euros, you can also get inside the castle.

Back to this walk, we stopped to drink a coffee and eat a piece of cake in a tea salon famous to Heidelberg’s students for the love stories that started here. In Germany, the snack is usually about eating a piece of a cake, and if someone offers you some in this place, that means that he/she declares his/her love to you !

10 km, 350 steps, one cappuccino and a piece of cake later, here we are in the train again, with stars in our eyes and the desire for all of us to come back during summer, because Heidelberg is a city you can visit again and again without getting rid of it.

A little recap of the main places to visit in Heidelberg ?

  • The Heidelberg’s castle (Heidelberg Schloss in German).
  • The Hauptstrasse street to do some shopping in little and great shops.
  • The “Antiquariat Hatry” bookshop.
  • The Alte Brücke bridge, its great medieval door and its famous good-luck monkey Brückenaffe.
  • The Ruprecht-Karls-Universität.
  • The great library (Universitäts Bibliothek).
  • Karzer (student’s prison, full of graffiti).
  • St-Spirit church.
  • Marktplatz (market’s square).
  • Peterskirche.

See you soon for an other trip ! 

-Angelina

Well arrived in Santiago!

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I have been in Chile for more than two weeks now, so I have a lot to tell you!

On March 1st I took a plane from Roissy Charles de Gaulle and as I like to simplify my life I went through Sao Paulo and Buenos Aires. Easy for a first flight! On the other hand, my arrival at Santiago airport was a little more complicated: I was stuck at Customs for almost an hour and my brand-new suitcase arrived completely broken… After making a complaint in “franglespagnol”, I was finally able to leave the airport with my bag and my two suitcases, I let you imagine.

Fortunately, I was very warmly welcomed by Cristian and Mary, the couple sharing their apartment with me and Marion. I honestly think we couldn’t have met nicer people!  They were able to reassure me and even accompanied me shopping and buying a metro card and a SIM card.

From the very beginning, they took it very seriously to make me discover the city, its history and the Chilean way of life.

I realized that the rhythm of Chilean life corresponds for many to mine: staggered mealtimes, late wake-up and bedtime… I think I am Chilean girl! And contrary to what I thought, my Spanish level is not so bad.

In addition, while my student life was all about eating pasta, I am learning to cook with Mary.

As far as classes are concerned, in Chile the start of the school takes place on 18 March, which corresponds to the end of the summer here. I went to the Arcos Institute to choose the classes that I wanted to attend and to my great surprise, there again the Chilean rhythm is very present. To give you an idea, here is my schedule:

  • Monday: 4:15 pm – 10 pm
  • Tuesday: 2pm – 10.30pm
  • Wednesday: no class
  • Thursday: 7pm – 10pm
  • Friday: no class!

I chose to follow classes in event management and production, sound systems, photography and communication. All this by being able to sleep in the morning and working in the evening, it suits me perfectly!

As the school year has started today, I will come back to you very soon to give you news of my Chilean adventure.

Hasta pronto!

Zoé