srprs.me! Part 2

After the roadtrip on the island we went to the city-wall on top of the hill to see the sunset. (Since Ibiza city is on the east-side of the island, you can’t really see the sunset though, but still.) Casell and Chris bought some beer, and Paul and I shared a wine. That was not a super good plan though, since I hadn’t eaten that much that day and I was super tired so after one glass of wine I got tipsy already. But hey, at least I had fun! I really enjoyed sitting there, talking with my new friends and looking at the view.

After that I had the best fish ever.

The next day we were going on an adventure. Paul knew a secret beach and he wanted to show us. The idea was to go early because Carla had to leave that day. But after a long conversation with Paul the night before (everyone else in our dorm was already sleeping – and snoring – when we went to sleep), we were the first to wake up… After a reaaally slow morning (drinking some fresh juice and buying some postcards – I could’ve stayed in bed for like three more hours but okay), we finally went to the beach. Paul did tell us we had to climb a bit. I just didn’t really expect he meant that literally. And it was definitely more than ‘a bit’. But I was really enjoying the climb and I took the time to get to the other side. The beach wasn’t that beautiful though, at least not as beautiful as the beach we saw the day before. But the experience was amazing!

When we got back in the hostel I had some me-time. I was exhausted after a short night and the climbing adventure so I needed some sleep. After that me and my camera went for a walk in the city. It was good to just wander around on my own for a while and explore the city. I wanted to get lost but since I’d already seen half of the city whilst in the bus on my way to the hostel, that didn’t really happen. The city is so beautiful and peaceful,  I felt really safe, even though I was all by myself.

After that I had the best paella ever.

I’ve learned so much from this experience. I cán handle things on my own. Even though some things didn’t go as planned or didn’t go as smooth as I had hoped for (like when you get out at the wrong busstop and have to walk with your luggage for a really long time), I still can survive. The fact that I didn’t know where I were going to, made that I could not look up anything about the city or island. At first I found that really frustrating, but when in the hostel I found out it made me flexible: because I hadn’t planned anything, I could just join the plans of others and enjoy the view and the experience. If you don’t plan anything, nothing can go wrong, right? I hope I can go on this kind of trips more often: just book a flight and a nice hostel and meet some amazing people.

I want to end this blog with a big shout out to all the lovely people I’ve met. Because without them it would not be as much fun as it was with them. So, dear Paul, Casell, Stefi, Carla, Chris, Josh and Micky: thank you. It was a pleasure to meet you, hasta pronto!

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srprs.me! Part 1

Last week I had my SRPRS.me-travel I told you about in this post! The week before I were going to leave, I got to know the weather (so I thought I knew what to pack for my city trip – little did I know). My parents brought me to the airport because I’d like to have some company when I was going to find out what my destination would be. So after one and a half week staring at my ‘secret envelope’ I could FINALLY open it. And there it was: Ibiza. I think I was in shock at first because, well, I didn’t see that one coming. Not. At. All. Because of the weather forecast I was thinking about Barcelona or Nice, not Ibiza. So this was definitely a surprise! A reaaally good surprise!

And then it started… I’ve been on my own in an airplane before so that didn’t scare me, but the part that I had to get from the airport to my hostel all by myself did kinda scare me. On the hostels website I read which bus I should take and that I should get out after the big McDonalds roundabout. So I kept searching for the McDonalds but did not see any big yellow M. After a while I had this feeling something wasn’t right. And indeed. Turned out the very first stop in Ibiza Town was the stop I had to get out and the bus was already on it’s way back to the airport once I figured out. So I just jumped out of the bus at the next stop and had to walk for 30 minutes. Thank God for Google Maps.

After I had found the hostel, a new adventure started: getting to know people. Since this was the first time I stayed in a hostel, this was a really big step for me. Like, do you have to walk up to people and just say ‘hey, I’m Eva, what are you doing?’, I don’t think so. But when I was making my bed, an American girl came in and she asked me if I wanted to join her and her friend for a drink in the city. Well, that was easy! And when we got back, the dorm was full of people (mainly guys) (drunk guys). A few of them had the plan to go to another island the next day and they tried to convince me to come with them. I was surprised by how easy it was to make new friends and go on adventure!

So on Tuesday we went to the island, Formentera. We rented a car and had a little roadtrip. I enjoyed spending time with these people and it was amazing just looking out of the window and seeing the nature around us. Funny story: when we wanted to rent a car, they asked for a credit card. Since no-one wanted to leave theirs behind, Paul gave his travel card. The man behind the desk didn’t notice so he wrote the numbers down, and after that he wrote ‘mister Prepaid Travel Card‘ as name. We had a lot of fun about that.

The island was beautiful. We went to an incredibly beautiful beach where we had a picknick and had a swim. Well, they had a swim, I didn’t. Why not me? Well, I just didn’t pack a bikini since I expected to go on a citytrip and not somewhere near a beach. So I just enjoyed the sun and talked to Paul and went for a walk with Casell. (Too bad we decided to walk on bare feet whilst there were a lot of rocks. My feet didn’t like me that much at that time, haha!)

It was a lovely day on the island and I’ve done so many other things after that, but since this blogpost is starting to get really long (and since I really have to get to homework right now), I’m going to tell you about the rest of my trip another time! Hope you enjoyed reading 🙂

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My first solo-trip!

 

Last Thursday I had my very first solotrip! I decided to go to De Keukenhof (a botanical garden somewhere in the Netherlands). I left at 7.45 AM from home, hoping that it would be less busy in the morning (which was true). After the train I had to catch a bus, but didn’t know where the bus was… So I asked a lady at the ticket office: “Oh my God, don’t you see all those people over there waiting? I don’t think they are waiting for a plane, right?” – but we were at Schiphol Airport. So many people everywhere. This was a big reminder of why I don’t like Dutch people hahaha. But I just smiled and said: “Thanks for helping me, have a lovely day.”

I arrived around 9.30 AM. It was quite busy but no-one around me was/seemed Dutch, which was pretty nice: I had the feeling no-one would be bothering me and that I could to whatever I wanted. Luckily I had taken a lot of tea (it was sooo cold that day), a new playlist on Spotify and my camera. I took pictures for four and a half hours straight until I ran out of battery and I was so cold that the tea wasn’t able to warm me up. I am pretty happy with the pictures I made! The best of them are with this post! This reminded me of how much I love taking pictures. I want to go on these kind of trips with my camera, because I was SO relaxed after this day….

If you’d ever want to go to the Keukenhof: don’t go during weekends or during the Dutch holidays. Because then it’s supposed to be extremely crowded. And don’t forget your camera! Because this place is SO photo-genetic!

Time for a change

What to do when your boyfriend breaks up with you because of your lack of self-confidence and self-love? I don’t know, but I have to because that’s my current situation. I tried crying, but I found out that that didn’t really help (although I felt kind of relieved after a two-hour-long-crying-session). After getting myself to the fitness center for the first time in for ever and REALLY like it, I figured it is time for a change. I have to show myself that a life without a boyfriend can be totally awesome! And that I’ll learn to love myself.

Thank God for my friends and for my family. They helped me through the first two weeks. But now I want to get back on my feet again. And show myself that I am awesome. So I made a plan. I want to go on trips on my own, since I always do things together and never go somewhere on my own. Those trips can go from ‘going to the theatre/cinema’ to ‘visit a random city in the Netherlands’. But to give myself a kick start, I am going on a city trip. On my own. I am terrified. And excited. But terrified.

For so long I want to book a trip with SRPRS.me. This is a Dutch organisation that books you a trip to an unknown destination. Well, for me it is an unknown destination. The organisation will know where I go. At the airport I will hear where I go. So the next three weeks will be REALLY HARD because I have no idea at all where I will go to on my own. But it will be awesome and I will get to know myself a little better (I hope). Fingers crossed that everything will turn out the way I hope.

I’m going to blog about all my adventures. All my solo-trips and this SRPRS.me-travel. I’ll keep you posted!

London, again…

Last summer I lived in London for two months. And how I missed the city! So DSC_0316Daphne (another au pair) and I decided to go there again last Februari! It was amazing to see the city again. It felt like a different city this time, because we didn’t have to take care of kids ánd it was winter instead of summer. (Which meant that the sunset was waaaay earlier than we were used to and we walked mostly through the dark streets, which I loved.)

We arrived Friday evening. The first we saw when we came out of the underground station was the Big Ben and houses of parliament. What a view. And we both had the feeling Peter Pan was somewhere around because of the famous picture of him and Wendy and the boys standing on the clock-thingies of the Big Ben.

As I already showed you in this blog, I totally love Hampstead Heath so I decided to show Daphne on Saturday morning. After that, we spent our afternoon in the Theatre Café (my second home) and we went to the musicals (since I didn’t see any last summer – ahum – I saw 12 musicals last summer). Phantom of the Opera was amazing and the best thing was that Celinde Schoenmaker, a Dutch actress which I really like, played the lead.

On sunday we were stuck in traffic on our way to the free walking tour through Shoreditch. We were 30 minutes late but we were able to find our guide and join the group. The tour was very informative and I’d recommend it if you’re interested in streetart! The guide was very enthousiastic and even though my toes were frozen after the two-hour walk, I enjoyed it a lot. After that we went to the Sky Garden since we didn’t visit that last summer. Daphne is reaaally scared of hights so the first few minutes she was terrified but after that even she enjoyed the view. If you ever go to the Sky Garden, go during sunset! The view was so pretty!

On our last day we just visited our most favorite spots: south bank, Theatre Café (again) and Camden Food Market. At 13.00 it was time to go to the airport… We saw so many things in just three days, and not just the regular ‘hot spots’. London isn’t as big as you’d think once you know your way around!

When the sun sets in Rome…

Last year I went to Rome (November 2015). And even though my phone got stolen in the tram the second I arrived (don’t EVER put your phone in the pocket of your jacket when you’re in a crowded tram…), I had an amazing time. My friend Stella lived there – she is Dutch but she went to Rome to study abroad for a year. This gave me the opportunity for an extremely cheap city trip: couldn’t turn that opportunity down, could I?

When in Rome, we found a new hobby: having photoshoots! Especially during sunset we loved to take pictures of each other. So she showed me two extremely beautiful spots to visit during sunset! The first one was near Piazza del Popolo: beautiful view (including the St.Peters Cathedral!)

After a long day of walking and photoshoots (The Colloseum is SUCH a great place for pictures!), we ended the day at Il Giardino Degli Aranci. The view was amazing, but the sun didn’t set behind the St.Peters Cathedral as it did on the first place, so that was little bummer. But still: the view was great and the atmosphere was so magical! There were a lot of birds flying above the city (as you can see in the pictures). The viewing point was in a very small and cute garden, which I’d love to go back to during summertime to have a picknick!

 

 

 

What to do in Amsterdam when it rains?

I have a confession to make. I live in the Netherlands but I’ve never really visited Amsterdam. Yes – I’ve been there once or twice to go to a theatre or TV-studio, but I’ve never seen VondelparkKalverstraat and a lot other very touristic places. That’s why Nina, a good friend, decided to take me to Amsterdam last saturday, so we could see all the touristy-places.

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As you can see: Nina had it all planned out for us. But then it became Saturday and the weather was AWEFUL. It wasn’t just raining, no it was storming: wind, cold, rain, wind, rain, cold… I’ll say it again: it was aweful. So we had to change most of our plan, met three hours later and only went to the museum: Nemo. (Which is a museum for kids, to be honest, but it was kind of cool and there were a lot of tourists in there to! They seemed to enjoy it!) And Nemo is very close to the Central Station, so that was why we chose to go there.

After a bunch of tests, new information about puberty and sex, a lot of crazy pictures and painful ears (seriously, I forgot that kids could be so loud…), we found out that it is possible to get on the roof of the museum, and there was this amazing view. (But since we didn’t have our coats and it was very cold outside, we couldn’t really enjoy it.) Oh btw: the thirth and fourth level in Nemo are interesting if you’re older than 10: there’s a lot of social stuff (and a lot of really funny information about puberty and sex and stuff), so make sure to see those levels if you’d like to visit.

After Nemo (where we spent 3 hours), Nina took me to the library next to Nemo and at the fifth level we had an amazing view! (But since it was a library and people were studying, we could not go all touristy and take a lot of pictures.. so we just took one picture and left…)

So, conclusion: even with terrible weather Amsterdam has got enough to offer to keep yourself busy. Nemo is pretty nice (even if you’re older than 10) and at least there’s a pretty view. I enjoyed it!

 

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Hampstead Heath: Photo Gallery

Last summer I lived in London for two months. This gave me the opportunity to see more than just the London Eye, Big Ben and Camden Lock foodmarket. One of my most favourite places was this place in Hampstead Heath. After a long day (we walked all the way from Abbey Road to Primrose Hill to Camden Market – we were soo tired after that allready), we decided to go see this cute and amazing Secret Garden! This place gave us so much energy! (You can see that in the pictures!) So next time you’re in London: go there (I guarantee you’ll make some great pictures)! This place is amazing!

Mamma Mia, another blog again!

“Dus, wat zullen we gaan doen..?” Daphne kijkt me vragend aan. Het is zaterdag middag en we staan op Covent Garden. We hebben nog vier uur totdat we in het theater moeten zijn, maar hebben geen idee wat we kunnen doen. Ik vind het vreemd om toe te geven, maar ik heb de binnenstad van Londen nu al zo vaak bezocht, dat ik inmiddels vrijwel alles al gezien heb. Ik kan dus volgens mij wel met recht zeggen dat ik de binnenstad van Londen wel zo’n beetje op mijn duimpje ken! En Daphne dus ook. Uiteindelijk zijn we dus maar naar het Theatercafé geweest (waar ik al zo vaak was geweest vanwege de geweldige atmosfeer, de leuke musicalliedjes en het gezellige barpersoneel dat mijn stempelkaartje vol was en ik een gratis drankje mocht, jippie!), waar we gezellig twee uur hebben gezeten. Fijn dat Daphne daar ook wel zin in had. Ik moet zeggen, na een week lang sightseeing, rondlopen en gids spelen had ik wel behoefte aan een middagje rust. De familie was namelijk op vakantie, dus deze blog wordt deel twee uit de ‘wat een au pair doet als ze geen kids heeft om op te passen’: enjoy!

De afgelopen week heb ik mijn kennis van Londen op de valreep nog even mogen uitbreiden én mogen demonstreren. De familie was namelijk op vakantie dus ik had bezoek, dus kon ik samen met hun nog wat dingetjes van mijn ‘bucket list’ doen. Met Thijs (woeehh, hij is gewoon een tweede keer op bezoek geweest, hoe lief! Echt heeel erg leuk!!) ben ik onder andere naar een antiekmarktje in Islington geweest, heb ik gegeten in een heel erg tof Marokkaans ingericht restaurantje en we hebben de oudste botanische tuinen ter wereld bezocht voor een picknick met wijn in de zon. Met Stella heb ik gegeten in een pub (zo’n echte Engelse Pie die ik vroeger altijd afschuwelijk smerig vond wanneer mama ze maakte, maar het schijnt nu dus best wel lekker te zijn) inclusief een halve liter applecider, we zijn naar één van de mooiste plekjes van Londen geweest (zie foto’s) en we hebben ons schuldig gemaakt aan (volgens mij) één van de ergste toeristen-acties die hier mogelijk zijn. We hebben namelijk breed lachend en met onmenselijk grote stappen een zebrapad overgestoken terwijl een vreemde jongen zijn leven waagde om er een foto van te maken. Jawel: we zijn op Abbey Road geweest. En ik heb me zelden zo ongemakkelijk gevoeld terwijl ik een zebrapad overstak… Maar goed, het is stiekem toch wel heel erg leuk om er een foto van te hebben nu ik er toch zo dicht in de buurt zit.

Het leuke aan Londen vind ik dat er altijd wel dingen te doen zijn. Toen ik Thijs een van de leukste plekjes van Londen wilde laten zien, bleek daar een gratis festival gaande te zijn waar we van live muziek en de zon konden genieten. En toen ik met Stella in Westminster de toerist aan het uithangen was, bleek er een gratis concert in de tuinen van Westminster Abbey te zijn, en mochten we dus ook gratis door een deel van de kerk lopen. Heel gaaf!

Daarnaast heb ik deze week ook (eindelijk) een afternoon tea gehad – dit is eigenlijk wat we in Nederland een high tea noemen. De eerste was op woensdag met Stella (jaja, Stella kreeg de échte ‘London experience’, inclusief een musical, foto’s met Engelse agenten en avondeten in de tube – om half elf ‘s avonds) en het was echt hemels! En het restaurantje was ook echt superleuk (zie foto’s). Het was zelfs zo goed bevallen dat ik er op zondag nog eens naartoe ben gegaan met Manon en Daphne (twee andere au pairs). Dit was mijn laatste vrije dag, dus op deze manier kon ik toch wel op Britse manier afscheid nemen.

Tussen het bezoek van Thijs en Stella had ik één dagje ‘leeg’, waarbij Nina gezellig is komen logeren en we vervolgens samen met Daphne de dag erna hebben gepicknickt in Kensington Gardens. Gezellig! We hebben wel met onze mond vol tanden gestaan toen we naar de WC wilden maar dat niet mocht omdat we ‘te oud’ waren en geen kinderen hadden, terwijl kinderen dan weer niet zonder supervisor mochten (waar zijn je hostkids als je ze nodig hebt??). Dan maar plassen in het Hilton!

Eén van de hoogtepunten van mijn week (correctie, van de afgelopen twee máánden!!) was zaterdagavond. Daphne en ik hadden last minute tickets weten te bemachtigen voor MAMMA MIA! De musical die ik, sinds ik hem op DVD heb, minstens één keer per maand kijk. De musicalfilm die ik kan dromen, kan meepraten, kan meezíngen. Maar eerlijk gezegd was de live-versie nog beter! De grappen waren beter getimed, de band was onverbeterbaar en de vibe in de zaal was fantastisch. Helaas kon ik niet naast Daphne zitten. Ik zat in plaats daarvan naast wat vrouwen van rond de veertig die me verbaasd aankeken toen ze me in mijn eentje in het theater zagen zitten: ‘hoezo kent zij Abba, dat is toch van vóór haar tijd?’ – heb ik er eentje horen fluisteren. Ehm, NEE! Ik kan je zeggen: ik heb zo hard van de musical genoten dat ik vrijwel de hele avond tranen in mijn ogen heb gehad. En op het einde, toen ze nog met alle acteurs Waterloo, Dancing Queen en Mamma Mia zongen, ben ik snel naar Daphne gesneakt om toch nog even samen heel hard mee te kunnen zingen en te genieten. Het was een van de best bestede 40Pond ooit.

Nu is de allerlaatste week begonnen. Ik hoef nog maar drie dagen op de jongens te passen en vrijdag vlieg ik weer naar huis. De tijd is omgevlogen. Ik wil wel naar huis maar ik wil anderzijds ook nog lang niet naar huis. Maar tijdens het schrijven van dit blog heb ik wel ingezien dat ik álles uit Londen heb kunnen halen dat er voor mij inzat. Dat inzicht maakt het wel wat gemakkelijker om straks te vertrekken. Nu eerst nog even een paar dagen van de jongens genieten en wasjes draaien zodat ik niet met een koffer vol vieze kleren thuiskom.

Liefs (voor de laatste keer uit Londen, gok ik),

Eveline

PS. voor meer foto’s kan ik je doorverwijzen naar het blog dat ik tijdens mijn verblijf in Londen heb bijgehouden (ik heb alles op een later moment pas toegevoegd aan WordPress). Klik HIER om doorgelinkt te worden.