Utrecht & The Hague

Here are some impressions and recommendation from my trip to the Netherlands last week:

What to see in Utrecht
Inner City

You can walk through the main part of the inner city by foot in only a couple of hours. The city is quite small, but incredibly beautiful! We walked through the streets during the afternoon, then got a hot chocolate at the restaurant PK (one of the best hot chocolates I’ve ever tasted) & in the evening we walked through the streets by night. Utrecht is so lovely with the canals & the fairy lights. It’s much calmer than Amsterdam and less tourist-y!

Luc

The luc. is a cute restaurant which we ate lunch in. I tried the lentil toast and my friend Anna had the smashed avocado toast (see picture above). It was really delicious and the meals were so creative! I wish I could have tried the french toast as well!

The Dome of Utrecht

Tip: Go go and look inside the dome – the entry is free.

Honestly, I feel like the best way to explore Utrecht is just by walking around. It is quite easy to find one’s way there and it’s beautiful no matter where you go!

What to see in The Hague
Binnenhof

The building is just so beautiful and it’s a really nice location to take pictures at!

Peace Palace

It’s a big palace in the middle of The Hague. Outside, there is a little tree on which people have hung little letters. On the letters they say what they wish for in the world in various languages – such a nice idea! Go and look at it if you are there.

The Pier

The Hague is located right next to the ocean & is also known for it’s pier. When we were there, there was so much going on there – I haven’t felt that much energy in so long, this place felt so alive! We also took a ride on the ferris wheel, which was veeery scary  at first (especially since I am super afraid of heights haha). But I am glad that we did the ride, you have such a nice view from up there!

I hope I could inspire some of you with this post. Have you ever been to the Netherlands? If so, what was your favourite thing to do there?

Love, Chris

Came with nothing, left with everything

Halifax has taught me a lot. The past four months here have shown me who I am as a person, what I want in life and what I want to be like. I finally found the missing puzzle piece that I needed to feel complete again – and it feels so good. I honestly haven’t felt that content with myself since summer 2016. I finally found myself again.

I will never forget this place, nor the people I have met in Halifax. I will always keep the memories in my heart. All the movie nights, the parties, the evenings downtown, the study sessions at library, the classes at gym.

It was a whole life lived in just four months. As sad as I am to leave everything here, I know that the end of this chapter has come and it’s time to move on. I am already excited for the next chapter and what’s about to happen the next few months.

Life is so crazy. And full of surprises.

Let’s see what happens next..

Love, Christine

 

4 things to do in Cape Breton

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Over the thanksgiving weekend, I was invited to my friend Brittany’s home in Cape Breton. We did many things and saw a lot of Canada’s nature on this trip, which is why I wanted to share four of my favourite things to do there:

1. Drive along the Cabot Trail

The Cabot Trail is a drive along the north of the island. The views along this drive are unquestionably mesmorizing, the scenery is just incredible. It felt like a mixture of Ireland and France combined. On one side, you can see the cliffs and the ocean, on the other, there are endless woods painted in green, orange and bright red colours.

Moreover, the small villages you drive through are so lovely. My favourite place was Chéticamp, where you can eat at the restaurant Le Gabriel. Also, don’t miss out on the Gypsum Mines. They turned those mines into lakes, which look incredible as you can see on one of the pictures below.

100 per cent worth driving along.

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2. Do the Ceilidh Coastal Trail

Another beautiful trail you can drive along! Again, the scenery is just amazing. I feel so free when I see green hills and the ocean. It always reminds me of the trip I did to Ireland four years ago.

When you drive along this trail, you should definitely check out Christie’s Look-Off, I believe that’s where I took my pictures.

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3. Go to a square dance

I guess this one is pretty typical for people who live in Cape Breton. On our stay, we went to not only one but two square dances (my first ones ever), and it was so much fun! Just believe me and try it out, you won’t regret it.

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4. Eat pancakes at the Shining Waters Bakery

This bakery in Mabou (btw one of the cutest places I have ever been to) has the best breakfast pancakes EVER. I am very picky when it comes to food, but this little restaurant did not disappoint me. The portions are huge, and the price is really okay. Also try their porridge bread! It may not be on the menu, just ask for it – it tastes amazing!

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Whether you try the trails/restaurants that I have recommended or you experience the island on your own, one thing is for sure: Cape Breton is definitely worth visiting! The small villages, as well as the nature are incredibly beautiful & I will certainly come back one day.

Love, Christine

Peggy’s Cove

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It’s already been one whole month since I live here in Canada. The time is flying by so fast, it’s unbelievable. Even though I miss my friends, the life here feels so normal now & I don’t feel homesick at all. This experience has actually shown me that I am more grown-up and independent than I ever would have thought, and that I am ready to move away from Austria (as soon as I get my Bachelor haha).

I feel as if I have already learned so so much here – especially about myself and what I really want in life. Moreover, I finally have the time here to actually work on myself and the person I want to be, which I am really grateful for.

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All the memories and experiences I made here have taught me something, and I am looking forward to experiencing even more and going on new adventures here! … Like the little roadtrip we took to Peggy’s Cove last weekend.

Peggy’s Cove was lovely. The houses looked so cute, and walking around the big rocks by the lighthouse was incredible. The view from there was mesmorizing – dozens of rocks, the Atlantic ocean … I could sit there all day and just watch the waves as they crash into the waterfront!

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After some time, the sun even came out which made the whole place brighten up. This place was exactly what I imagined when I thought of Halifax when choosing my destination for the exchange semester – and I don’t regret it at all! I will never forget this day and this little adventure with our international group here.

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What are your thought on an exchange semester & moving to another country? I’d be really interested to know!

Also, I hope you enjoyed this post & my pictures!

Love, Christine

First Week Abroad

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My first week at Mount Saint Vincent University in Halifax is officially done! It seems crazy when I think about all of the things that have happened in the past ten days I have been here. It was the first time flying alone, the first time on a different continent, the first time I used a washing machine by myself, the first time at Walmart, and so on.. There has been so much going on – so many new places, people, surroundings.. which is why I thought it was a good idea to write some of it down!

But let’s start at the beginning: All in all, it took me about 19 hours to get from Vienna to the airport Halifax. I had to transit two times (one time in Frankfurt and then again in Toronto), which I was very anxious of in the beginning, since I had never flown alone before! However, everything turned out fine in the end, I met super nice people and managed to carry my heavy luggage without any problems. I finally arrived at 12:34 a.m. in Halifax, where a woman who works at the university kindly picked me up.

The Mount (my university here) didn’t only pick us up, they also had so many events planned for us in the so-called orientation week. It was amazing! Even though it was stressful at some points (every day was loaded with activities), the events were so much fun. For instance, there was an inflatable parcour, a casino night, a show with the mentalist Wayne Hoffman, a ‚Glow Tight & Bright‘-party, etc.

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As you can see in the pictures above, we went bowling one evening where we even got to meet the university’s mascot Mounty. I was pretty bad at the game itself, but I enjoyed meeting the other international students from China, Nepal, France, Sweden, Spain, Mexico, India, Great Britain, Ghana, etc. The exchange students here are from all over the world, it’s incredible!

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This is the pond which is directly in front of the house I live in, it is such a lovely place! I am staying in one of the ‚Birches‘. Each one has room for 20 students to live in.

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Above, you can see the view from the campus. The university is up on a hill and next to the ocean, which is why we have an amazing view from up here! There are even deer living on campus & they don’t shy away from us humans, it is amazing.

 

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We have also already explored downtown Halifax! We have seen the Spring Garden and we were at the waterfront, which was so so nice. I have instantly fallen in love with this place, it is so lively but at the same time quiet and peaceful. Just being able to be by the sea at all times is amazing, I am so grateful for this!

Also, Canadians seem to be the nicest people ever! Everyone here is so welcoming and wants to help you all of the time.

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We also took the ferry to the city next to Halifax, Dartmouth. You can see Halifax and the bridge that connects both cities from there.

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The thought of living and studying here for the next 3 months just seems so crazy to me, I still can’t believe it! I am incredibly thankful that I have this opportunity and I will try to make as much of it as I can!

If you study abroad or have studied abroad, message me on Instagram or comment here! I love to hear stories of other people about their experiences and travel adventures.

See you soon!

Love, Christine

Austrian Adventure

Last weekend, some of my friends from university and me went on a roadtrip to Wolfgangsee in Salzburg, here in Austria. Sadly, it was quite cold so we didn’t get to swim – I brought two pairs of bikinis with me because I was so excited to finally enjoy my summer holidays, so I was kind of disappointed haha.

However, we did see some beautiful places in Salzburg as well as in Upper Austria. Today, I want to share my favourite pictures of the trip + a recommendation for every place we visited.

Strobl, Wolfgangsee

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What to do: Take a walk on Bürglstein! It’s a circular walk around the Wolfgangsee lake. We didn’t walk the whole path, but it still was a cool experience to see the lake from different angles.

Gmunden, Traunsee

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What to do: Visit Schloss Ort! It is a small castle at the Traunsee lake which offers beautiful spots to take pictures.

Hallstatt, Lake Hallstatt

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What to do: If you are visiting Hallstatt by car, park at the ‚Freizeitzentrum Hallstatt‘ (leisure centre). We were there on a saturday afternoon & there were still some parking spots left. Plus you don’t have to pay for the parking spot, which is great. However, you have to walk about 20 min to get to Hallstatt.

Linz

What to do: I really loved walking through Linz, the inner-city architecture is very beautiful. However, there was one particular highlight for me: The ice cream parlour Eisdieler. They have amazing ice cream flavours like ‚Süßer Stoff‘ which consists of Nutella & Gugelhupf ice cream – so delicious! Some of the flavours are also vegan, which is great. The price is quite expensive though: One scoop costs about 2 €.

I really enjoyed this weekend trip. You can see so much of the country if you travel by car. Plus, it’s cheaper than taking the train/flying and you can be flexible & decide spontaneously where you want to go next. Moreover, long drives can be a lot of fun if you have good music & wonderful people by your side (even if you are the driver like I was). This definitely wasn’t my last roadtrip.

Do you know other great places to visit here in Austria/near Vienna? If you have any recommendations, feel free to comment below or message me on Instagram!

Love, Christine

Life’s a lesson

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7 things I have learned this year

…when you lay down in the grass & look up to the sky, you feel so unbelievably weightless and free, the world seems infinite and nothing can bother you or disturb this moment

…it doesn’t matter how long I lay in bed and watch movies – I can solely release myself from my anxieties when I face them

…that you should always say „yes“ to a spontaneous adventure

…whenever you have to make a difficult decision, deep down you know how you will decide right away – even if you can’t admit it

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…you should always stay true to yourself and pursue your dreams, even if everyone else says that you are too naïve and unrealistic

…it’s better to take a walk in the rain and risk to get wet instead of sitting at home all day

…& that you should spend all your savings for a trip you’ve always wanted to take but never had the guts to do it

I feel as if I have learned how to truly live in the last couple of months. 2017 is the first year I actually did what I wanted to do, without caring what other people expect of me. And it’s the first time I feel 100% happy and worriless.

I hope that everyone who reads this feels the same way! 🙂

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PS: Don’t know why we are posing like this hahaha

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