Saturday, January 31, 2015

How I think about Bratislava

During our stay in Vienna, we stumbled upon a day called 'monday', the day on which every museum is closed! I don't really understand why this is still a thing nowadays. Anyways, we started thinking about what we could do on this 'museumless monday', and my boyfriend came up with the perfect idea; check out Bratislava!

We already saw a little brochure in the touristcenters which said that it's just one hour by train to Bratislava from Vienna's main station and that it only costs €16,- per person for a return ticket! It was so easy to get these tickets, so that's what we did! We went to Bratislava on monday!

I never really considered going to Bratislava until that moment, so I didn't have a clue of what to expect. So, in retrospect, what are my thoughts about Bratislava?

First of all, I thought it was a cute city, quite small in my opinion, but with many picturesque streets and alleys. I loved walking through them. 

Also, there are so many beautiful churches. I especially loved the 'Blue Church'. It looked like a big gingerbread house covered in icing.

However, in contrast to it's cute and picturesque aspects, there's also a lot of decay to be seen. I've never seen so many overgrown, empty buildings which looked like they were abandoned years ago. It's so sad to see! 

We spend a few hours in Bratislava and I almost immediately noticed the vast amount of ATM machines there. In just a couple of square metres, I could count 4 to 5 machines, in the Netherlands you actually have to look for these things. So I thought this was weird, but it got clear to me quite soon after that. We stopped at three places to eat something (yes, we ate a lot the last couple of days, and luckily it's very cheap eating in Bratislava), and in none of these places we were able to pay by card... Also in the UFO tower for the panorama platform we couldn't pay by card. So, I guess paying with plastic just isn't a thing (yet) in Bratislava, and you need to have cash on you any time!

So, these were my thoughts on Bratislava! I really liked the city, but it was also very small and very quickly I had the idea that I'd seen it all. Ofcourse, because it was monday (grrr) museums were closed and I didn't get a chance to visit those. Maybe I should go back again someday to do that, but I I don't think I'd spend a few days here. 

Have you every been to Bratislava? If so, what are your thoughts in this city? If not, whould like to visit it sometime?

Friday, January 30, 2015

What I did in Vienna (A little photo diary)

At the end of November, I posted a blog about me wanting to go to Vienna. That very same day, my boyfriend and I booked a flight and a hotel! Then a couple of days ago I listed 10 things I wanted to do, and now I'm back home I can look back on what I actually did. 

The first thing on my list was to eat at Café Sacher for the original Sacher Torte. And I did! Whoo! Well, to tell you the truth, I ate Sacher torte every single day in Vienna.. Oops! Now I have to burn all those calories off, but it was definitely worth it! Hihi!

Next on my list was to visit Schloss Schönbrunn. What a gorgeous building that was!

Next I wanted to see the quirky apartmentbuilding 'Hundertwasserhaus', designed by the artist Friedensreich Hundertwasser himself!

A little bit similar to Schloss Schönbrunn, I also wanted to see the Belvedere Palace. In this palace you can observe many many paintings, including the famous painting 'The Kiss' made by Klimt.

Apart from the enormous buildings of Schloss Schönbrunn and the Belvedere, I couldn't wait to see the impressive building of the St. Stephens Cathedral.

And lastly, I wanted to be amazed by the National Library! And boy was I amazed! What a beautiful library! I especially like the ceiling. 

Unfortunately I couldn't do everything on my list. I didn't get to see the Wien Museum, or the State Opera (it was closed because there was an opera scheduled for the days we were there). And I didn't even shop! Not even a tiny little bit! I think we'll do these things the next time we go to Vienna in the future, because I think we'll return someday! I loved the city, it's beauty and it's cultures and there's a lot to see still.

Thursday, January 29, 2015

Hotspot | Candy Freaks // Amsterdam

As some of you may know, I'm a complete candy addict! I love everything sweet and sour and I'll just eat and eat until I get nauseous. Not too sure if that's a good thing... 

So, a little while ago, I walked past this cute little shop called 'Candy Freaks'. I've walked past it several times before, but I never had the time to actually take a look. But, this time I did have the time so I decided to step in. 

My inner candy lover performed a little dance when I saw all those beatiful colors and candies. But what is so special about this shop? I could just go to the supermarket and buy some sweets there. Well, this candy shop does not only sell regular or 'classic' candy (as they call it), but they also sell organic and natural candy. If you're someone who has certain allergies or lives the vegan lifestyle but still want to enjoy candy and its sweetness, this is the place to be! 

They offer sugar-free, gelatin-free, gluten-free and dairy-free candies, but also vegetarian and vegan-friendly candy. 

I bought myself some 'classic' candy, but the shop assistent also let us taste some organic candy. We got to try gelatin-free gummy bears which didn't contain any artificial foodflavourings. They were all flavoured with actual fruit! It was delicious!

We also got to taste organic candy which looked like the 'peach candy' from Haribo, but this one also was gelatin free and was free of any artificial foodflavours and colorings. 

Except for candy, they also sell delicious Belgian waffles! So if you're in the neighborhood, come and check it out!

Adress: Nieuwe Hoogstraat 4A, Amsterdam

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Today I'll be in Vienna!

Schloss Belvedere Wien
The moment is finally here! I'm going to see Vienna in all its glory for the coming 5 days! ...and eat a lot of sachertorte!

Sadly, it also means that I won't be posting any blogs during my stay. I decided to take a little break from my computer (me being fed up with school is a major contributing factor in this decision..Haha!). 

But don't be sad, I'll be uploading pictures frequently on my instragram account, so if you like, go and check it out! 

I will post new blogs as soon as possible after I come back!

See you soon!! Bye xo

Friday, January 23, 2015

What I got to see of the world so far

So, a little while back, I downloaded the app 'Been' on my smartphone. It's an app where you can check how much you have seen of the world! So I selected every country I visited in my life.. and to tell you the truth it's a little disappointing. In my memory, it feels like I have seen way more than the 6% the 'Been' app tells me I've seen of the world. But when I think about it, it's just because I've visited a few countries multiple times (4x Austria, 2x Japan and I've visited Germany many many times since my parents lived close to the border). 

So what did I see of the world? 

Well... until now, nothing of Africa, Australia and North- and South-America unfortunately. But I'm going to NYC this summer so that will change! :)

According to the app, I've seen 22% of Europe:
- Austria
- Belgium
- Czech Republic
- England
- Finland
- Germany
- Ireland
- Italy
- Luxembourg
- Norway
- Switzerland
- The Netherlands (ofcourse!!)
- The Vatican

And I've seen 6% of Asia
- Japan
- Laos
- Thailand

In the future I hope I'll get the opportunity to see Australia, New Zealand, China and Canada. I think they are beautiful countries with amazing nature! For this year, I already made a little bucket list of what I want to see. 

You can download the app from the appstore and check it out for yourself. 
How much of the world have you seen until now? I'd love to read about it in the comments below!

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Hotspot | Pakhuis // Leiden

Close to the Humanities Faculty of Leiden University you'll find restaurant Pakhuis. This restaurant has a industrial vintage look, but still feels super cosy and warm. And in the summer you can eat in the garden at the back of the restaurant.

foto's van Pakhuis in Leiden - 7
It offers a wide range of international dishes for prices that even students can afford! Hallelujah! I had a carpaccio as a starter, steak as the main course and a very delicious Tiramisu in the end... for just €25,-!!

I forgot to take any pictures (oops!), but believe me, it was yummy in my tummy!! 

If you don't want to spend a lot of money but still want to enjoy great food, this is definitely a place to check out!

Adress: Doelensteeg 8, Leiden

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

10 Things I want to do in Vienna

In a few days time, I'm finally going to Vienna! I've heard so many incredible stories about Vienna, so finally I can see for myself. Here's a list of a few things I want to see and do in Vienna.

  1. Eat at Café Sacher for the original Sacher-torte!

  2. Visit Schloss Schönbrunn

  3. Experience Vienna's past at 'Time Travel Vienna'.

  4. Observe The Hundertwasserhaus.

  5. Visit the Wien Museum.

  6. Get my breath taken by the Belvedere Palace.

  7. Do a guided tour at the Vienna State Opera

  8. Be amazed by St. Stephens Cathedral.

  9. Improve my knowledge at the Austrian National Library.

  10. And ofcourse! As a girl, I want to go shopping for a bit at Donau Zentrum

I can't wait to share my experiences with you! I promise I'll take a ton of pictures and show them as soon as possible!
For now, you can check out this video about Vienna and its beauty!

Have you ever been to Vienna? If so, what did you like best? 
I'd like to read about in the comments below! 
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Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Hotspot | Petterson // Leiden

Remember the gorgeous view on the boats on the Galgewater from my photo impression of Leiden? Well, you can have just that when you decide to take a bite at Petterson. A uniquely shaped, floating restaurant.

This restaurant is super light because every wall is made of glass. A great place to view the boats and the great variety of people walking by.

I went there to get some breakfast to get a good start of the day. I had a lot of studying ahead of me. It was delicious guys! And super healthy! 3 crackers with strawberry jam, salmon and cheese, an egg and some vegetables. Yummy! This breakfast includes a cup of coffee or tea, and I chose a nice fresh mint tea. This all costed me only €11,50. 

The service was also great! We were greeted as soon as we came through the door and we could give our orders very quickly. 

Go and check it out guys! They are opened everyday from 9 am until 9 pm.

Adress: Prinsessekade 5L, Leiden

Sunday, January 18, 2015

Personal | The pros and cons of living in anti-squatting houses

Ever since I moved out of my parents house to study in Leiden, I've lived in 'anti-squatting houses'. Four years later, I still live in this type of house and as a student it was a great opportunity for me!


  • It's dirtcheap.
    This is maybe the biggest pro about living the anti-squatting way of life; these houses are super cheap since they're scheduled to be demolished in the future because they don't meet the current building requirements any longer. To prevent houses from staying vacant up until that time, the owner lets people rent the houses for absurdly low prices.

  • You have your own house.
    As a student I didn't have to live in a filthy dormitory. The idea of living there scared me so much, so the cheap living spaces you get by living in anti-squatting houses was perfect. I could live to my own standards. No drama with roommates!

  • It's an adventure!
    You get to live in the weirdest places! Former schools, offices and even prisons are no exceptions. My first place was an office with a huge transit warehouse attached to it!


  • A lot of moving around
    Whenever you sign up to live in anti-squatting houses, you have to be aware of the fact that you can be thrown out any day. Like I said, these houses are often scheduled for demolishment or some other project, and if the owner thinks the time is there to start the proces, you have to move. In four years, I have moved two times already and at this moment I am looking for a new place again.

  • Don't expect beautiful houses
    Now I don't say that there aren't any great houses to live in, but most of the houses are old and often partly deteriorated. In 'I don't like my house..' you can read the frustration I had in when I moved into my current house. My first house didn't even have insulation so it was friggin' cold in the winter and super hot in the summer. But unlike many students I had a living space of 60 m2. Which is a lot compared to Leiden's average student rooms.

My first two houses have been demolished already, and my current house won't exist any more in a few months. So let's go on to the next house!! 

More info about the anti-squatting way of life in the Netherlands? Check these websites.

Do you live the 'anti-squatting' way of life, or have you done this in the past? If so, what are your experiences? 
If not, would you be up to living like this? I'd love to read about it down below!

Hotspot | 149 Bites & Drinks // Leiden

When you're in Leiden, you should definitely check out 149 Bites & Drinks! This restaurant has an industrial look, it's like you're eating in a former factory. But a cosy factory I can say! It was a new experience for me.

They have some great food you can enjoy during lunch or dinner and the staff is super friendly. You can find them at the Breestraat 149, hence the name '149 Bites & Drinks (I didn't check whether they actually have 149 dishes and beverages, you can count for yourself if you want..Haha!)

foto's van 149 Bites and Drinks in Leiden - 1
You can enjoy food from all over the world, French, Thai, Japanese, Italian etc, so I can guarantee you that there is something for everyone. When I visited 149 Bites & Drinks I had Japanese gyoza and quail and as desert I had different types of cheeses. It was delicious! 

And they have some great cocktails! Trust me! 

Adress: Breestraat 149, Leiden

Saturday, January 17, 2015

Personal | My little hometown

Even though I really like living in the city, there is nothing better than visiting my parents in my hometown Eibergen. It's so quiet here. No tourists, no million bicycles and no stressed people. 

Eibergen is located in the Eastern part of the Netherlands, close to the border of Germany. Which meant that monthly trips to Germany for some cheap groceryshopping were very common in our household (HAHA!)

Eibergen has a lot of nature. Perfect to take a walk, cycle or go jogging. And.. to be honest, I never took advantage of this, which is a shame! I guess the saying; 'You don't know what you've got, until it's gone' goes perfect with this situation. Ah well..

Friday, January 16, 2015

Personal | 'Wind back' Wednesday: A day at the Efteling

A little while ago, I found some really nice pictures of the Efteling which we visited in January 2013. Yess 2013.. almost 2 years ago... Anyways, I think the pictures are great and they are still worth sharing with you guys. 
Even though the temperatures plummeted to Northpole levels that day, this visit to the Efteling was my favorite one so far! The snow made the park so magical and winter wonderland-ish!  

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Hotspot | Chocolate bar Quetzal // Antwerp

Whenever you're in Antwerp, or Belgium in general, you must eat chocolate! And so I did, at Quetzal!

Near the 'Cathedral of Our Lady' in Antwerp you can find Quetzal, a Chocolate Bar where you can order anything made of chocolate. Milkshakes, brownies, chocolate milk, cacao shots.. you name it, they have it! I can't really remember what I ordered at the time, but when looking at my quirky face you can tell it was good! And I can assure you, it was good, because.. well it had chocolate! And marshmallows I believe Haha!

You can find Quetzal not only in Antwerp, but also in Gent and in Leuven. It's opened every day of the week, so no rush, but go and check it out some day! 

Have you every visited Quetzal before in one of the three cities? If so, what did you order? I'd love to read about it in the comments!

And remember guys! "There's more to life than chocolate, but not right now!"