A Travellerspoint blog

April 2012

Eurovision In Concert

German Adventures - Amsterdam


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Hi everyone!

So these last two weeks have been rather busy, as usual!

Welcome Night

Welcome Night

Last week we had the Welcome Night, which was a party organised for international students, where I got to meet up with many of those who I had not seen since last semester, as well as some of the new people who have just arrived. Then this weekend I travelled to the Netherlands to visit Roel and Johan. On Friday I took the 6 hour/4 train trip to Helmond, passing through some of the West German cities like Osnabrück, Essen & Düsseldorf. On Saturday we, along with 2 more of Roel's friends drove to Amsterdam, where we walked around the city seeing all the sights, as well as having a few drinks - including one café where the waiter had the most peculiar English accent (despite being Dutch he sounded like a true Londoner!).

Donny Montell

Donny Montell


Jedward

Jedward

In the evening we went to Eurovision In Concert, where 23 of this year's acts were singing at a pre-party before the main event in May. The event was a sell out, with over 1,300 people in the audience seeing the singers from Latvia, Turkey, Spain, Hungary, Austria, Ireland (Jedward again - What the hell???) and the Netherlands amongst others, with San Marino being a particular highlight. (The video I took is here.) Who needs Baku now?!

Pastora Soler

Pastora Soler


Compact Disco

Compact Disco

After the show finished, there was an after party at a club round the corner, and we had free entry with our tickets. As we were walking there, I met Pastora from Spain and Trackshittaz from Austria (with whom I managed to get a photo). Some of the more 'party people' singers also went to the club, and we saw Trackshittaz again.

Trackshittaz

Trackshittaz

We then left Amsterdam at 4am, and got home about half 5, which meant we were all absolutely shattered! And so the next day was rather lazy, taking Johan to the airport, whilst me and Roel went to the cinema - my first time outside the UK (Dutchies just have subtitles). On Monday I left back for Bremen, again a 6hour/4 train affair though Dutch cities like 's-Hertogenbosch and Arnhem, where I got to see dykes!

This week has been the first with my German lessons, and they have not been going too badly. The lecturer seems to think I am one of the best in the class (she clearly hasn't seen my grammar), and I had a nice chat with her about why Geography is such a great subject to study. Yesterday I did my first lot of online shopping here, which wasn't as hard as I had feared due to it being all in German. Last night we had a little party in the dungeon with the Swedish and some others which was really nice, whilst tonight we are having the first Party House party of the semester!

Viel Spaß! Kevin.

Tips

Posted by kmmk17 17:00 Archived in Netherlands Tagged city friends concert party erasmus eurovision Comments (0)

Back In Bremen

German Adventures - Bremen


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Getting back from Edinburgh after a 1 hour delay on Friday night, I had just a few days before going back to Germany for the next few months, so I said my goodbyes to many people once again, as well as booking my weekend return from 6th-9th July, when the Olympic Flame is due to pass through Dunstable.

On Tuesday I had my haircut for the last time before leaving, and so I decided to have it done very short, so that it was not too long before I would have it cut once again (last time resorted in Halina from Ukraine having to cut it for me). However it really is too short, and since then I have donned a cap, which will stay in place until it grows to an acceptable length! At lunchtime on Wednesday I was dropped in Luton by my Dad, and I waited for a coach to take me to Stansted Airport. From there I was due to leave at 7:15 for an hours flight to Bremen, however due to the weather, there was a half hour delay, and by the time I arrived in Bremen it was almost 10pm local time, so by the time I got back to the house it was already half 10, and I was shattered! However I did meet 4 of my new housemates that night. Junko from Japan, who lives in the room next door to me; Teresa and Lorena from Spain on the floor below, who I knew from last semester too; and Bettina from Malta who lives on the ground floor.

On Thursday morning I had my first class, and so I was still pretty tired all day. This was with the same people I had class with last semester, and so I got to meet up with them again. Having three hours before my next class I went shopping for food, as I only had emergency supplies kept from January. When I got back I met Robin from Sweden, who lives in the basement of the house. In the afternoon I went to my next class, "Bremen & The World", which is about Bremen's place in history. This class is specially arranged for exchange students, and many of them I had known from last semester. However one of those I did meet is the final housemate this semester, Camilla from Sweden, who also lives down in the dungeons of The Party House, with Robin.

Family Meal

Family Meal

On Friday I went shopping, as I needed some new hangers for my room, a belt for my jeans (I stupidly left mine at home), and also my new German book for my course which starts in two weeks time. In the evening everyone in the house (except for Junko, who had already made plans) went for a 'family meal' in the city. This was the first chance to socialise with everyone else since we had all arrived, and we were joined by Robin's girlfriend who was visiting for the weekend. The Spanish girls then went straight to a friends house before going to La Viva (the main nightclub on Fridays) whilst the rest of us went back to the house. However, just missing the tram, we decided to walk back rather than wait 25 minutes for the next one. And so on the walk back I told the housemates all about where we live - some of which they probably rather I hadn't!

And so that is the story up to now!

On Tuesday we have the Welcome Party, where I shall meet up with many of those from last semester who have stayed, and also many new people! Whilst next Friday I will get the train to Eindhoven, Netherlands for the weekend, as on Saturday night I am going to Eurovision In Concert in Amsterdam with Roel and Johan, where we will enjoy such delights as Valentina Monetta and Anri Jokhadze. (Youtube them at your peril!)

Posted by kmmk17 17:00 Archived in Germany Tagged city friends erasmus Comments (0)

Edinburgh

overcast 8 °C
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After getting back from Kyiv on Monday 26th March, I had a days rest, before seeing some of you again on the Wednesday where we had the barbecue and night in the Forum. I then stayed for two more days and going to the Forum once more, before leaving Hatfield until September. Spending the weekend celebrating my Dad's 50th birthday, on the Monday I went with my mum and my sister by plane to Edinburgh.

On Britannia

On Britannia

This trip was much more relaxed than my usual trips (yes, I actually had some hours to relax each day!). We stayed right in the centre of Edinburgh, just a minute's walk from the high street - Princes Street. On the day we arrived, we just walked around the shopping centre that was only a 5 minute walk. Whilst on the second day we went to Britannia, the Queen's former royal yacht, that is now open as a museum. This took about half an hour on the bus to reach the Port, but was well worth seeing.

Edinburgh Pandas

Edinburgh Pandas

The next day we went to Edinburgh Zoo, mainly to see the Pandas, but also the Koalas and other interesting animals. Luckily the Pandas were on show (we had been warned that as the day we had chosen to visit was within the female Panda's yearly 36 hours of fertility, we may not get to see them at all). This was rather interesting as these Pandas were rather active, and seeing a youthful Panda walk round its cage was a rare experience.

Holyrood

Holyrood

On the final full day in the city, we waked around the city - hoping that the weather would be kind to us (we had already experienced high and low temperatures, sun, wind, rain, hail and snow in the short time we had been there), and luckily it was - thin jacket weather with sun! Starting off from the hotel we walked to Holyrood, and saw the Queen's Scottish residence, and we got to go inside the Scottish Parliament.

Edinburgh Castle

Edinburgh Castle

After this, we walked up the Royal Mile, seeing many of the historical buildings of the city, before reaching Edinburgh Castle - however at £14.50 per person, we decided that it was not worth paying to get in, as we had already got inside the begging of the Castle already, and so we left and walked down to Princes Street. We then decided to visit Calton Hill - just 2 minutes from the hotel, where we got great views looking over the city and port, and from where we could see the Forth Rail Bridge.

Bagpipes

Bagpipes

On our final day in the city, before going to the airport, we decided to visit the National Museum of Scotland, where we saw the stuffed body of Dolly the Sheep, Bernie Ecclestone's F1 car, the Tomb of Mary, Queen of Scots and half of the Lewis Chessmen. As this was Good Friday the museum was pretty busy, and my tolerance for children has still not recovered!

Posted by kmmk17 17:00 Archived in United Kingdom Tagged scotland zoo city royal Comments (0)