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.

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

Firsts steps in Stuttgart !

With our suitcases weighting about 4 times our own weight and a train delay of about 1 hour, we finally arrived in Stuttgart on Friday 1st March ! We have been immediately welcomed by our buddys and took to our living places. For me, I settle in the student residency Filderbahnplatz, where pretty much all the international students live. A real community felling is in this place, we have been immediately integrated to the group. Here, the key words are: whatever you do, whenever you go, you will never be alone. A good way to feel at home and surrounded by amazing people.

And now begins the exploration of Stuttgart! Stuttgart is a very large German city, and very well serviced by transports. The city centre is surrounded by hills so you can see the city from different levels, that’s wonderful ! The most important monuments of Stuttgart are in the city centre. Schlossplatz for example is the main place in town, where all the things are happening. We can also find the New Castle there, the old king’s house.

Around Shlossplatz, there is the Old Castle but also the magnificent opera. You even have the chance to see a beautiful lake in front of it, where we met ducks !

Unfortunately, Stuttgart has been very hit during World War II. That is why the old monuments are rare in town, some even had to be rebuilt. But when we wander in the streets, we can find richness in the architecture.

Then, we took our first steps into our school for the next 5 months : Hochschule der Medien. We have been welcomed by the teaching and international teams, but also by the students and the ESN : Exchange Student Network. An association built by students who organised a lot of events for our 2 first weeks in Stuttgart ! We have one week of discoveries and meetings left, then the serious stuffs (lessons) are going to start.

  • Angeline

Anvers / Antwerpen

Back to our first Belgian getaway in Antwerp, located in the Flemish region.

We took advantage of this wonderful sunshine to discover Antwerp, the second most populated city in Belgium.

As we arrived by train, our first visit was to Antwerp train station. Recently modernized with 3-storey trains, it has kept all its charm with its magnificent architecture and superb dome housing the entrance hall. It’s a must-see in Antwerp!

We then stroll along Meir Street, the most important shopping street in Belgium. With international brands, this street is not very exotic but it is ideal for a shopping trip.

We then stopped at the exotic market. You can find local products, or Turkish and Moroccan products. We couldn’t resist and we took the opportunity to buy something to have a picnic and enjoy the sun. An underground pedestrian tunnel allowed us to reach the opposite shore. There is a very nice view of Antwerp, as well as an ideal park to rest, eat and stroll in the sun. For the return trip, we took a free ferry that shuttles between the two shores. We recommend it!

The historic center of Antwerp, with its architecture and small streets, is really beautiful. We then went to the ann de Stroom museum to enjoy the panoramic view of the city and the port that rooftop offers. And it’s also free!

We finished in the afternoon walking through the streets of this beautiful city of Antwerp. So it is a charming city that we advise you to see! Small tips, thanks to the GoPass offered by SNCB, the trip cost us only 10€60 round trip, we strongly recommend it. Back in picture with a short video, enjoy!

Jade & Maud

Discovering Brussels: our integration week

After a week of transition in Bordeaux to prepare our trip, we finally arrived on Belgian, with some difficulties (see below), for five days of integration in this beautiful capital.

To make us discover emblematic places of Brussels in 5 days, that was the challenge of our school, the IHECS.
We started our integration week on Monday morning with the discovery of other Erasmus students from all over the world: Peru, United States, Norway, Denmark, Germany, Russia,… A beautiful cultural diversity! We were also informed about transport, where to hangout, administrative papers and insurance. In the afternoon we walked around Brussels with a Belgian guide who gave us the best addresses in the city.

After this visit, in the rain, wind and hail, we went to warm up with hot chocolate at Laurent Gerbaud’s house. According to the guide, the best hot chocolate in Brussels, we validate!

During this week we had three courses to understand a little more about the country in which we do our Erasmus : a course on Europe, a course on Belgian political life (very complicated…) and a course on the Belgian media.

For our second day, we had the opportunity to visit the Belgian Radio-Television of the French Community (RTBF). Finding out what’s behind the TV sets was really amazing!

We also visited the Belgian Parliament where we had the privilege of sitting in the seats of deputies and senators.


We couldn’t visit Brussels without going to a chocolate factory! We were able to observe (and also taste) how chocolate is made at Concept Chocolat.

Finally, the visit to the Magritte Museum was a wonderful discovery! A guide was able to transmit to us her passion for this Belgian surrealist painter, explaining to us his way of working and thinking.

In addition to chocolate, Belgium is also famous for its French fries! We were invited by the IHECS to Roy D’espagne, a real Belgian institution with a view of the Grand-Place, to taste some good “French Fries”.

On Friday afternoon we were able to discover our schedule. We now have two weeks to test and definitively choose our courses for our erasmus. To finish these 5 days of integration, IHECS made us discover Viavia café, a café with a crazy charm (and good beers), very good address to note!

This integration week was an excellent introduction to our life in Brussels, already rich in encounters and discoveries.
Just find here our integration week in pictures.

Have a nice week !

Maud & Jade

What to do in Bordeaux ?

Bordeaux. Also known as the beautiful asleep or the little Paris, the city of Bordeaux is overflowing with things to see and to do ! Keep reading and begin a tour of this tiny piece of paradise !

Where is Bordeaux ?

Located 2h30 by train from the capital, Bordeaux is situated in the South-West of France, the place where people say “chocolatine”. The city is cut in two parts by the Garonne, that’s why we talk about Right Bank and Left Bank. The closest cities are Arcachon, Angoulême, Royan, Périgueux and Agen, places to visit if you came here !

The 5 most beautiful locations ?

It’s difficult to quote only five location but we are going to try !

-Place de la Bourse and the Miroir d’eau : We don’t present this mythical sight worldwild anymore, but this is not a tourist trap at all ! During summer to cool off and talk next to the fountain and during winter to admire the light’s reflections on the Miroir d’eau, the Place de la Bourse is different each season.

-Darwin ecosystem : If you like street art, to drink and to eat good things, but mainly to listen to good music, this is THE place to be. From reassigned barracks to colored walls by dozen of artists, Darwin is one of the most iconic street location in Bordeaux.

-The Cathedral of Saint Andrew : Biggest cult monument of the city located square Pey-Berland, the Cathedral Saint Andrew is a pearl of the beautiful asleep. Its architecture is iconic, from the outside to the inside, through the cloister.

-Place de la Comédie : Gathering the Grand Théâtre of Bordeaux and the prestigious restaurants of Gordon Ramsay and Philippe Etchebest, this square is even more beautiful at night. The Opera Houses’ illuminations and the one from the builgings around make it a privileged sport for night walks.

-The botanical garden : Lovers of nature or aspirant to calm, the botanical garden of Bordeaux, located Right Bank, is a true heaven of peace. Every year, the garden blooms according to a theme, to impress you even more.

I allow myself to add one more because this is kind of hard : the stone bridge (or “Pont de pierre” in French). Emblem of the city, it’s impossible to came in Bordeaux without admire the stone bridge, by day and by night !

What about culture ?

Bordeaux is a privileged place for museums : the city has no less than 15 of them ! Whether you like Renaissance’s art, history of Humanity, architecture, wine or contemporary art, each museum has its own specificity.

Performing arts also have big space for the city. The iconic auditorium of Rocher de Palmer has seen hundreds of artists since its opening and continue to surprise ! With the Arkea Arena’s recent construction, French and international artists now come in Bordeaux to play for 11,000 people, just for our pleasure. For the most intimated people, you can also find your happiness at the Femina Theater, at the Rock School Babrey or in the movie theater Utopia.

Some others iconic cultural locations are also to mention, as the Cité du Vin, unique site based in wine and leisure time in the world. The submarine base or BETASOM offers innovated exhibitions in a cultural center with a unique industrial architecture. The many doors are still symbols of the city, in memory of the past. Porte Cailhau, Porte of Bourgogne, Porte of Aquitaine, they are required passages.

What’s for evening outings ?

The beautiful asleep is not as asleep as we can think ! Whether you are more interested by cultural trips, to have dinner in a great restaurant and to go to bars and clubs, that’s not something that missed here.

For the restaurants, dare to get lost in the small streets of the city and let you surprise by gastronomy from the Gironde but also from elsewhere.

Place de la Victoire and its surrounding streets are your best friends if you want to go out in bars with different styles and various entertainments. To continue the evening, the city counts dozens of clubs, including the iconic IBoat, ship/club with emblematic theme nights.

I could have written a lot more about this beautiful city that is Bordeaux, but let’s stop here for today !

Have a beautiful day/evening,

-Angelina