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Posted in: Home / Archives for May 2007

A perfect day in Aix-en-Provence

That the famous painter Paul Cezanne was born in Aix-en-Provence can’t be a coincidence. If I could paint I’d probably also feel the urge to immortalise all the beautiful things in Aix on a painting. But instead of paintings I’ve got like a million pictures from my stay in Aix. I’ve got pictures from the colorful market place, the fountains, the night clubs and the small cafe where I used to sit for hours.

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Salamanca: my Spanish course in the Golden City

Salamanca was exactly how I imagined it would be – and I immediately understood why they call it ‘The Golden City’

As the bus got nearer and nearer, I could see the sandstone buildings on the horizon glowing like gold when the sun shone on them.  What a sight!  In fact I was so impressed I had forgotten all about the rain clouds that had been following me all the way from Madrid.

Getting to Salamanca was actually really easy.  I had flown to Madrid and took a taxi from the airport to the bus station (Estacion de conde la casal, Auto Res).   From there I took a coach directly to Salamanca, which only cost about 24 Euros and took a little under 3 hours. Simple!

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What I love about Switzerland…

Are you interested in a course in Montreux, French Switzerland, near the Lake Geneva?

I have been to French Switzerland a number of times, as I have cousins and my beloved goddaughter there. I think it’s a very nice region, with beautiful landscape. I always envy my cousins for living so close to ski resorts. I also love having a walk by Lake Geneva. When I first went there, although it was sunny, the clouds were hiding the mountains, so it looked like the sea. But when I came back, I could see the mountains behind, and it’s such a unique view – I can’t remember seeing it anywhere else! Wherever you are in Switzerland, you feel very far away from pollution, noise, poverty and crime. It sounds like a cliché, and I’m not saying that Switzerland is completely free of those things, but that’s the impression I have every time I return there.

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A public holiday in Florence!

Breathtaking. It’s the only way to describe the Duomo. Actually, that’s a lie, as you could also use awesome, ornate and gargantuan!

I arrived in Florence by train one evening, and as the city seemed fairly compact (on my map at least!), I decided to walk to my accommodation, passing the city’s most famous attraction en route.

From the station, Piazza del Duomo is reached by walking along a central shopping street, busy with shoppers and traffic. As the road curved slightly, I caught my first glimpse of the Duomo. I couldn’t believe how enormous it was! It was a little late, and after weighing up the situation, I ignored the excited tourist within me and made my way to the apartment. I’d make sure I was well rested for the next day.

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Costa Rica: saludos de la playa!

Hola amigos!

After a weekend in La Fortuna close to Volcan Arenal, the third most active volcano in the world, I’ve now moved on to Playa Flamingo on the northwestern coast of Costa Rica. The weather here is really hot and the climate isn’t as humid as it was in Monteverde.

I guess it’ll take some time before I get adjusted to the new school. I just liked the school in Monteverde so much. But the fellow students here are also very great and I even have some friends from Monteverde here. I also like my new teacher and my new host family a lot.

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Ecuador: where to go and what not to miss!

I stayed in Ecuador for two and a half weeks, and it was the most interesting and exciting holiday I ever had! Although the country is quite small, when compared to other South American countries, it offers you the full range of South American landscapes: the Pacific coast, the Andes, and the jungle. And all of them are just a bus ride away from each other!

If you are considering a Spanish course in Ecuador and want to stay in a really vibrant city, then go to Quito! For the first couple of days you might feel a bit lost in this busy city, but don’t worry, you will love it! The colonial architecture in the historic part of Quito is just beautiful, and there are incredible views of the volcanoes which stand all around the city.

There are also so many places around Quito that are well worth seeing. For example, not far from Quito is Otavalo with its famous indigenous art and handcraft market. There you can buy beautiful traditional Indian clothes, jewelry and much much more. If you love strolling around markets as much as I do, you absolutely must go there. Not far from Otavalo is Cotacachi, known as the “leather town”, where you can buy all kind of leather handcrafts.

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In Malaga and having the best time!!

Well, I’m studying in Malaga and having the best time!

I’m living in an amazing apartment with the best view ever over the sea. I’m sharing the apartment three girls, one from Holland, one from Norway and one from Sweden. They are all so sweet and my room mate the Norwegian is so funny. We spend most nights up talking or killing mosquitos, which she is getting scarily good at! Heehee!!

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Going on a course in Alicante? Read this first!!

city_2Vamos al Barrio esta noche?!

Do you want to learn Spanish and meet a lot of people from all over the world? Then you have to take a Spanish course in Alicante! The city is full of international students and it’s very easy to get to know to them, and not only in your language school. You only have to go out in the Barrio!

Of course there are many “barrios” but when you talk of THE Barrio then everybody knows what you mean. Although Alicante has about 320,000 inhabitants, it seems smaller because in the Barrio you always meet people you know.

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Time flies in Costa Roca!

Hola mis amigos!

It’s a week since my last post and lots of things has happened since last time. My Spanish is improving all the time and the teachers are really great here at the school in Monteverde.

I can really recommend this school to everybody who is interested in studying Spanish. Next week I will continue on to the school in Playa Flamingo. I can’t tell you how excited I’m about getting to do my homework on the lovely beach over there! 🙂

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Eating out in Paris? Here’s a few tips from a local…

Need some tips on where to eat out during your language course in Paris? Well, Paris is just like London: there is a wide choice, with restaurants from all over the world. That’s quite normal for a capital city! But just let me tell you about what makes Paris special!

I just spent the weekend there, and it’s starting to be the season for sitting outside a terrace café. I love to go there in the morning, and have a crepe (French pancake) for breakfast. This is typically French (Breton to be accurate), but French usually love it, especially me! If you want to try it, there is no need to look very far, because Paris is full of terrace cafés, whether near the Eiffel Tower, Montmartre, or the Champs Elysées! The advantage of the morning is that there are not too many people, there is traffic but it’s not too noisy, and if there is bright sunshine, then it really is a must-do! They usually stay open and busy quite late, for anyone wishing a nice cold drink after seeing Paris by night.

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