Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Paris in a bombshell

 I was told by one of my fellow French classmates, that Paris will be like a 'dream', because everything is so perfect. She couldn't be more right. Mind you, this is a bit of a long post.
The most magical view from Trocadero. It's what I've seen on movies and it became a reality!
Paris exceeded my expectations. I loved the vibe, and saw some of the most extravagant, beautiful with exquisite attention to detail architecture. It's hard to think that a post office could look so pretty.

Saturday, November 23, 2013

The manicured Switzerland

Switzerland is a pretty country. And I mean 'well-manicured'. Everything is perfect, I would say. But it comes with a hefty price..Everything is expensive in Switzerland! Even the Lindt chocolate is cheaper in Australia than getting it there.
I think the detail of the Lion monument is incredible.

Pretty white swans!
I loved the hospitality I got from Swiss people. Ever since I visited Germany, I've have an affinity for visiting alp-countries;I genuinely feel welcomed by German & Swiss people, and they are most certainly the most efficient, innovative and polite people (my dad goes on about German technology lol). Plus, did you know that the Vatican city employs Swiss guards? Then, you have Swiss watches, knives, cheese. Pioneers I would say!
I've also noticed, that out of all the European countries (besides England), that I have visited, Germany, Switzerland and Austria have a lot of the native speakers that can also speak English. Or at least that's what my own experience has been. So the language barrier isn't really a problem.
The parents! And if you peer your eyes over to the right, there is not a trace of litter to be found on the footpath.
It is super, super clean there. Don't get me wrong Italy, as much as I love your scenery, a lot of places were pretty dirty. And also, you feel relatively quite safe, and not so wary about all the gypsies luring around.

We saw a yodelling performance, which was very cool! We also had a nice dinner, starting off with some cheese fondue... Unfortunately, I'm not sure where I put the pictures so as of now, I don't have them :( but yodelling is definitely something you should see while you're in Switzerland.

One thing I have to mention about the food courts in Europe; they are pretty darn awesome, comparatively to Aus WHICH IS JUST KFC CRAP. Seriously, they have nice dining halls with decent, quality food, that isn't too expensive.
Delicious cafeteria food 
I also had this Berliner donut; it was very very delicious. I'm a huge fan of jam donuts.

We went around a small market, when it was market day, displaying some of the finest produce of cheese! As much as I love cheese, I don't know whether I'd eat all of those...

While you're in Switzerland, it's a must to visit a watch shop. The Swiss are renowned for their watches, and there is a huge variety of watches to choose from. We went to the Butcherie shop and there were flocks of Chinese people buying some of the most expensive watches. THEY EVEN HIRE SWISS PEOPLE WHO CAN SPEAK MANDARIN OR CHINESE SALES ASSISTANTS. WHAT. Anyway, it's not really a surprise since all the luxury brands know what kind of market they're targeting.
*faints when you see the price*

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

5 things that are gonna get me through

Today is Melbourne Cup, and I'm taking advantage of the holiday to cram in as much work as possible!

I have seven exams to complete in a timespan of four days, in two weeks time! I've been doing some exam prep by carefully planning out an exam revision schedule... But sometimes, it's a little hard for me (just like any other teenager) to be motivated to get through exams. So, here are some things I do...

1. Remind myself that it'll be over soon. I'll have a one week break after exams (before I commence another week of a head-start program for year 11 and then holla I'M OUT OF SCHOOL!). I'm thinking about reading a book everyday, and also making cheesy pull apart bread.. Oh, and did you notice? IT'S NOVEMBER AND NEXT MONTH IS CHRISTMAS!
I have this stuck on the wall at my study desk, for me to see every time!
2. My weekend run. I believe that it's important to have some exercise, even if you're incredibly busy. Apparently, exercise can make you 'smarter'! I doubt it really makes you 'smarter', but I do think it increases productivity, and it's a good thing to do if you're stressed. I always feel a lot more productive after I've had a sweaty run or a quick powerwalk.
3. Classical music. I got this idea and a whole playlist from my second sister, YM because she did this for uni exams (and may even still do it today for her actuarial exams?). While I love jamming out to John Mayer & Taylor Swift, I'll join in too much if I'm trying to study. Then, before you know it; the words will be ringing in my ears when I'm doing my biology final.

My favourite? Bring out Tchaikovsky please.
4. Greek yoghurt: my power fuel! I'm trying to avoid all the nasty foods, unlike last semester's exams. I literally went through a whole bag of fun size twix (in less than an hour) and cookies that my eldest sister brought home.
5. Write during my breaks! I'm still going to continue to write about my Europe trip, and I've also been brainstorming a lot of ideas for articles I could contribute for the Huffington Post. One will be about girls' rights, as I recently hosted a Girl rising screening at my school. I actually forgot to post this, but a few months ago, I wrote an article about what I think of child beauty pageants.

How do you manage stress?

Monday, November 4, 2013

Innsbruck for the zweiten time (second time)

After a few days in Italy, we were changing scenery to the alps, travelling from Italy, to Austria and eventually to Switzerland. More on Switzerland on the next post!
 We passed through a lovely small Italian town, with a view of the Dolomites.

Then we also passed through one of the smallest countries in the world, Liechtenstein!
Anyway, it was my second time visiting Innsbruck. I had done so, from my 2010 trip. Disappointing though, there was no sight of snow in the alps! They must've had a really hot summer... In 2010, there was still quite a bit of snow which makes really lovely scenery.
We were only in Innsbruck for a night, so we just did some shopping!
We went to the Swarovski shop. It was unrecognisable, because they had completely renovated it. They've gone from the glitz and glam to something more simple; minimalist. Honestly? Not impressive. Back in '10, I was completely blown away by all the displays (think walls lined with crystals). I probably should've taken a photo to compare with when I visited the shop in 2010...

We tried sachertorte (I've wanted to try it my whole life) which was very delicious, I'll be hunting for a recipe sometime. If you have any recipes, please tell me! We also had some warm apple strudel with Movenpick vanilla ice cream at our hotel.. It doesn't get any better than that!