Jenny's Blog


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BCN’17: intro

Hey hey! This is just a short update to begin a longer set of posts it.  IMG_3917Just to clear up what I’ve been up to: I am currently in Barcelona, since a month. I am doing a language course, will definitely leave a feedback and tell everything about the school when I am done, which is gonna be in another month. Two months in Barcelona: what else can one dream of? When I finished my last course of Italian (except university classes), I was sure I was done with language schools for the summer. But last year in Cuba I almost accidentally started to learn Spanish. This brought me to the desire to learn another language, and I am quite into Spanish I admit. Even though nothing will ever replace Italian for me.

Anyways, I am here since a month; leaving Austria for the holidays this summer was the hardest ever, because, a little sneak-peak into my private life, I am now very happy and complete there. But comfort should never stop one from exploring further! I see no electricity in my Bcn apartment since 4 days as another great adventure. And, of course, am extremely grateful to my local friends with hot showers and sockets. Spain is a tricky one, yes. Jon Snow knew nothing yet when I was complaining about trains being cancelled due to a strike in Italy 3 years ago – that was a kindergarten of what mess can be. Love it.

First three weeks of my stay here I wasn’t exactly in Barcelona. My family and friends were staying in Sitges – the place we absolutely fell for last year. We tend to never come back to the same vacation destination, but that was an exception which worked out again. I was staying for the weekends at beloved Melía and coming to Sitges more or less every day during the week when I have courses to have breathtaking meals (yes, I find it ok to apply that adjective to food), endless night talks and to play tennis with dad. Will write a separate note about it, because Sitges is a place to be.

Barcelona was not boring for a single hour either! The fun is just to come, as Jamila arrived 2 days ago and we are expecting more and more people to join us 😉 When I arrived, Jane and Rustam were in Barcelona, which couldn’t be better timing! Food, cava, Rustam’s head spinning from our girly talks as Katya was joining us. Flex pride worldwide!

 

I even finished my thesis last week, now it’s official! Never thought I’d be able to work that fast and productive while being on summer vacation. A great relief!

When everyone left, I flew to Berlin for couple days to unite with my schoolmates there and have some crazy Berlin-style nights and mornings. A separate post is going to be devoted to that for sure. Sooner or later. Not easy to find time in Bcn. Becomes especially challenging when your apartment doesn’t provide electricity.

Now we gotta finish our Spanish homework and the plan for the following weekend which is promising to be amazing. Yuuhuuu!


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Favorite Summer Tradition

…for me is, of course, annual trips to Italy! This post is a throwback to the Italian trip of the summer 2017. Processed with VSCO with hb2 presetBack in the days I would spend whole summers mostly in Italy, only leaving for 2-4 weeks for somewhere else. The main reason, other than unconditional love for Italy, would be to practice the language. But now I speak decent Italian and from last summer on have been trying to broaden horizons and travel outside my favorite country more, as well as start learning some other language. Spanish was chosen to be the next one, as you remember from my 2016 summer trip to Cuba and Mexico.

Nevertheless, a trip to Italy is a must-do for me every summer as well as every winter, as Italy is not only the best way to spend hot days for me, but the most desired snowboarding destination, too. What a country!

My summer vacation this year started exactly like the one last year, by the way: we made a road-trip to Milan and then hit couple more places, including a lake. Trip with the girls last year was awesome, so why not do it again, we thought? We were different team this time, but it was just as great! I am so happy I bring all my friends to Milan and to my most beloved city of Italy – Florence. Last year I went there with my Australian friend, but this time we managed to include Florence in the road trip plan right away.

Four days in my favorite country to begin with – what can be a better kick off for the summer?! It’s gonna be a great one, I know! This time I don’t want to heap this post up with must-eat’s, as everything is a must-eat for me in Italy. So, let’s skip my usual approach to travel notes which always includes tips for restaurants, bars and view decks, and I will just leave couple pics here to remember how great this trip was. There is no need to prove that everything is worth tasting and seeing there 😉

Last year’s memories of the times when I studied at Bocconi together with breakfasts at my beloved eat me & go; nights at Aperol terrace dancing like crazy above Duomo Square and parking for free as if we were always locals there

Next stop – my one and only Florence. The voice announcing trains on the station still gives me shivers of the memories from those times when I used to come to that station anxious and happy; narrow streets every single one of which I still remember as if I had spent my childhood there; favorite bar La Petite where it all started 3 years ago; leather market and the “don’t let him take you to the big shop, it’s a forbidden experience!” from Sex&The City; risotto ai porcini and the view on Duomo cupola in the sun dawn.

I was the happiest there, in Florence. I am happy now, too. Just differently happy. More mature or more cynically happy, which is by no chance a measure of less happiness; just the difference. The time when I was happy in Florence was most likely the last one, when I was happy as a child. Now I am actually happy for the first time since then, since that other “happy”. Now it’s a grown-up happy. The concentration of the word happy in this paragraph must exceed the use of this term in my whole blog.

Away from redundant revelations: our final stop on the way back to Austria was at Garda lake. Last year we went to Como, and our horrifying experience with running out of gas on a mountain road was the most stressful memory until we ran out of gas on a highway on the way to Croatia recently :-/ Life doesn’t teach us much, I know! But the lake was nevertheless so beautiful that this time we decided we absolutely need views like that again. We chose Garda because had only been there in spring time before. It is absolutely amazing in summer, too! 

I claimed I wouldn’t give any advice now, but just one, please: go somewhere around Salò when visiting Garda: no tourists, perfectly quiet and beautiful. Felt like the air itself has its sound there. Loved it!

This year I was driving back with the gang, too. Last time I stayed in Milan due to the start of my studies there, and this year I was initially planning to stay in Italy until my flight to Spain. But at the very last moment things twisted around and I went back with the girls which was a good decision: the views on the drive back are breathtaking!

After our nice Italian days I came back to Vienna, which I never do in summer. I guess I am starting to feel completely at home there, if I actually want to be there even during my time off. Spending 5 additional days with my boyfriend before leaving for longer holidays felt very good. Now I am already away again, for this summer I moved to Barcelona. But about that – later 😉

Have great summer holidays, everyone!

Beso


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twentyfour

IMG_0826I turned 24 last week. And this is a little big thank you to everyone who was involved in my spontaneous Birthday celebration.

First of all, thanks to my amazing coolest ever parents! For everything. For those twenty four sometimes really tough for them years, for all of my birthday celebrations my whole life and for this one as well, which traditionally ended up with a trip!

My day actually started two days in advance, when the girls got us all “for dinner” which turned out to be the only chance they had to give me my present when we are together.

The restaurant Mama Liu and Sons was chosen for that, I had already been there but years ago, on a date. It is, like any place with soups and noodles, not a first-date-place haha, but it is worth trying; take the coconut-seafood-hotpot!

And…I received a trip to Croatia all together with my girls! The best things you can give me are food and trips, everyone had already figured that out I am sure. So excited, can’t describe! Thank you!

Another two days were just a never ending marathon of randomly switching between our favorite places, and everywhere I got cakes and champagne. If you follow me on Instagram and watch the stories, you know how absolutely happy I was that days/nights ❤ Really, guys, it’s probably just a bottle from your bar fro you, but means a lot to me!

Already saw my burgers cake, right? This is just as good as the hot chocolate churros lollipop I later got from chuchu. The story how the girls were gonna break into my house with their own keys and the cake and how I left home and they would have to chase me around town with it will always be my favorite! Alongside with how at 4 in the morning we realized that our gate was closing in 2 hrs and we hadn’t even packed. Oh well!

We DID make it to the airport, thanks to the cumulative effort of several people. But I would really just love to see us that morning and the following day that we spent in Brussels!

What surprised me the most other than our productive day of sightseeing and beertasting after 40hrs of no sleep is that when we made it to Lisbon that night (having been late for the flight, lost our luggage and running faster than ever), we still had energy to go out again! That was really one hell of a Birthday and keeping receiving presents and glasses, I feel like it’s still lasting 😉 Thanks again and again to everyone so much!

Travel stories about tough times jet-setting while being tipsy follow!


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Happy Holidays!

Merry Christmas, folks!%d1%81%d0%bd%d0%b8%d0%bc%d0%be%d0%ba-%d1%8d%d0%ba%d1%80%d0%b0%d0%bd%d0%b0-2016-12-24-%d0%b2-13-38-02Even being a total Grinch, I still am happy the vacation is finally here. Now I am passing Innsbruck on my way to Ischgl to meet my family for proper Xmas dinner. This has been tricky for me as yesterday night I suddenly found myself in the hospital which had never happened to me before. But thanks for those doctors who work in holidays time and to my friend who immediately picked me up when found out I was in crisis and drove me to the emergency room and then today in the morning to the train station – with your help I overcame little trouble and will make it to the Alps to meet the New Year there alongside with starting this snowboarding season.

Before everyone left for Christmas break, we had a little home party with my girls, champagne showers, presents and homemade dinner. This year it was at my place, so me and Jamila prepared all the food that came out amazing. The guests loved different kinds of homemade bakery with cheese, spinach, eggplants and much more, but the star of the evening was definitely traditional for any New Year celebration in my motherland Olivier salad (salad à la russe? whatever it’s called here).

Thank you all for amazing mood and the real celebration! I am really happy we have this annual tradition with any of my friends with who we happen to be in the same country before around New Year’s Eve.

Our good-bye-see-you-next-year dinner took place at Chuchu after we had finished all the Christmas party leftovers at my place. They have a new menu there now, check it out! 6705c134-5310-4f56-8295-d4064bd2ce00

The last day before leaving for vacation I spent in Budapest meeting my friend Vlad who I hadn’t seen since AC/DC concert in May. I love our endless talks about life and every time we meet, doesn’t matter if in Morocco, Hong Kong or around Europe – it’s always fun! And seeing friends around Christmas time is always nice!

Now I am about to approach Landeck where I have to get off, so let me again wish you all and your families amazing winter holidays, Merry Christmas  and a Happy New Year!


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HAV-CDG

Exciting summer holidays at the Caribbean were over, and me and Pandi had to head back to Europe. Flying over Bahamas was extremely beautiful, and that’s the only thing I remember. My last night in Havana was SO much fun that I happily slept for 9 hours on my flight back.

While booking a ticket my best route possibility was Moscow-Paris-Havana-Paris-Moscow, but as I don’t need to go to Russia until next year and would anyways have to book a separate ticket to get back to Vienna, I thought why not spend several days in Paris?  I immediately offered my easygoing friends to join me there and celebrate our reunion after 3 months apart under the Eiffel Tower. Of course, they said yes! I landed in Paris, the morning was extremely sunny, I let the airline staff know I wasn’t going to complete my route to the final destination, grabbed my tons of luggage (yes, I travel with a longboard and with Panda, for example) and headed to the city centre getting more and more excited to meet the girls later.

I hadn’t been to Paris in a long time and seeing it again was very emotional. But even more emotions I got from being back to civilization. It was such a shock. I was walking down the street and no one was trying to hook me up. The streets were clean. There were roadsigns and no bicitaxi hit me while I made it from Lafayette to Louvre. I sat down to grab a coffee and they gave me napkins. They had cheese and – attention – WIFI!!!! It sounds very funny I am sure, but all those little moments were confusing me constantly. It really took some tome to adapt. I wasn’t sure how to talk to people, how public transportation works, how to cross the street and so on. Must have looked extremely stupid. I am not saying anything bad about Cuba, it’s outstanding in its authenticity. But the difference with the first world countries is very recognizable and hits you once you had spent longer time away from civilization.

In the evening the best shock waited for me – WINE. I hadn’t tasted wine for more than a month by that time. And I am a wine lover with all my heart. But what can be better than some Sauvignon Blanc? Sauvignon Blanc with my best drinking Sauvignon Blanc buddies.

Sonia reserved Chez André to celebrate my homecoming. French service was shit as always, but the food! Just imagine my face when I smelled snails, foie gras and tartars with fresh baked baguette approaching our table.

Night out was lovely, too. It was still so warm, last summer nights in Paris – what could be better?

Paris à tout prix!!!

Next two days were just sweet. Girls were making fun of my cultural shock, we were drinking cold wine sitting in the sun and eating the best things ever! Paris, I love you!

Last time in Paris I only got to walk a bit around Montmartre before going to Moulin Rouge, but as it was raining and everyone was wearing high heels, I didn’t see much of it. So, this time it was really cool to have a long walk around it, drink cold refreshing drinks and eat hot crepes with cheese at the same time. What a cute quiet place, I’d totally live there if I had to be in Paris and didn’t have to make it to the city center every day.img_8673img_8666

Paris, how are you just so lovely?!

Talking more about food, I don’t know hidden places in Paris and usually just went for the famous recommendations like Le Fouquet and so on. I also really like the rooftop of Galeries Lafayette, and we also discovered another cute breakfast place, Le Café du Centre. The street where you can find it, Rue Montorgueil, is full of very cozy places with delicious brunch sets.

Once I am older, have my own family or whatsoever (career and dog would go, too), I would really love to have a tradition of going to Paris for a weekend once a year in May or September. And, of course, drink rosé under the Eiffel Tower!

Processed with VSCO with m5 presetCheers!

After 3 days in Paris it was the time to get back to Vienna. Felt weird after 3 months away. Very mixed feelings I had. I am really glad that the girls were with me. And France was just perfect as a buffer while coming back to clean and organized Austria from messy passionate Cuba. Paris is something in between somehow. I still did have some more cultural shock when heard German and went out in Vienna for the first time, but I am sure a weekend in Paris made it smoother.

Time to fly back!

On this happy vibe my amazing summer vacation in 6 countries on three continents was over. It changed a lot in my further life, too. Now, writing this after 3 months, I can evaluate even better what that summer meant to me. All the cultures I got to see, everything I got to learn and all the people I got to meet – they will now forever be a part of my experience.

And Paris, thank you again! Nice conclusion! Processed with VSCO with m5 presetimg_8912


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Roadtrip: Vienna-Dresden-Berlin-Prague

Happy winter everyone! As I am done with my exams now and am not yet on vacation in the mountains, let’s try to catch up with the missing posts (Hong Kong, Spain, Paris, Cuba and Mexico – good luck to me!). I used to be much more responsible with maintaining the blog, but adult life is slowly getting me, too. Said somebody who just woke up after Sunday funday  – so, hopefully, the change will take many years and never be completed.

At the end of October we had a long weekend and immediately decided to take advantage of it and leave Vienna for several days. Last time we were more people as we planned our roadtrip, but now even being just two it still turned out amazing!2First of all, traveling in the direction of Germany is simply cheaper, than to Italy. You pay less or nothing at all for the roads, same goes for parking (only Prague is an exception, being there with a car is a challenge!). And, on the other hand, Berlin can be so tricky with being granted an access to some places, so being less people can actually serve as a benefit. Anyways, here we start!

We left Vienna around 6 in the morning to be sure we avoid any possible traffic at the city exit. 170km to our first stop – Třeboň, a nice small city in Czech Republic with bright gingerbread houses and an outstanding view on the lake. Before reaching the place we only had to stop once at the boarder to buy a vignette for Czech roads which was around 10 euros for a week, so we used the same one on our way back.

Třeboň turned out to be indeed cute. It’s that kind of a place where all the yards are open to walk through them watching rabbits and chickens; there are no people in the streets and you can’t have a coffee to go early in the morning, only sit down and enjoy the moment.

After breakfast at Třeboň we had almost 300km to Dresden. Which would have gone perfectly fine if the highway wasn’t just closed at some point. Just closed. With no warning signs before, nothing. No info was on the satellite either as out GPS couldn’t rebuilt a route after we had to drive around. This is the moment when you realize that paying more for Italian roads, but having electronic boards with any kind of info so that a complete idiot can drive through the whole country with no navigation at all, might be worth it. We lost hours and kilometers circling around abandoned villages trying to make it back to the highway, not knowing after what distance it was gonna be open again. Tricky, very tricky.

We made it to Dresden quite fast after got out of the trap, though. And still have got no speeding tickets. Just for you information 😉

What a beautiful city!!! I was astonished. It started pouring but it didn’t even matter once we saw the old town. img_1078Processed with VSCO with a6 presetProcessed with VSCO with p5 presetProcessed with VSCO with a6 presetWe spent only about 3 hrs in Dresden, but I absolutely fell in love! Running out of fuel, as always, we circled around all parts of the city looking for gas station, so we saw pretty much the whole landscape from the car. But walking in the historic centre was very impressive, too. Even more shocked I was when mom told me that it had been completely destroyed and then rebuild after the WWII. Not being a huge fan of traveling around Germany, I definitely recommend Dresden as a destination to visit. Gonna come back myself for sure!

The last part of the driving, Dresden-Berlin, ca. 200km, went smooth. We were already getting tired after having lost so much time in the trap on Czech roads, but we made it to the hotel until midnight. Driving through the whole Berlin was actually the longest part. But the whole thing itself is quite doable with 2 drivers.

Long sleep to enjoy Berlin the next days! img_1158I am going to write a separate post about Berlin itself (earlier than in 2018, I promise!), so let this one be just the roadtrip part and Prague. I have been there so many times already and have written so much, so I’ll keep it short.

Talking about Berlin again, it was crazy! The only thing is – 3 days wasn’t enough. We definitely need more and more to explore this controversial place. I honestly didn’t even expect that I would like Berlin at all! So we didn’t intend to plan more days there, and that was a big mistake. Wherever you decide to visit it, take a week. Especially if you are into underground culture – you are going to dissolve in Berlin’s moody atmosphere.

On the way back we didn’t have to drive the whole destination to Vienna as we were stopping in Prague for the next 3 days, so we were quite relaxed about the trip and decided to drive at night to simply get more of Berlin before saying goodbye. After dinner we got in the car, put some cool music on and in a relaxed way took off. I was driving the whole way to Dresden which was not hard at all even with no daylight. Fast German highways, brav0! I still didn’t get why you don’t have to pay for the roads of such quality when even shitty Czech ones damn charge you. Same goes for parking – it was free almost everywhere in Berlin, even in the city centre. We don’t know the system and I might provide some incorrect info now, but we personally ended up paying only for the hotel parking lot, even though we used the car a lot to get around the city.

So, back to the scary experience of having to drive through the Czech Republic: after Dresden we switched and Jamila was to make it to Prague. The distance was even shorter than the one I had to overcome, but then we got in the same goddamn trap again! At some point, after having made 300 circles following the arrows, I just saw the sign saying we were on our way back to Dresden. The only thing that helped us to get out of there was that we knew already what was going on. Imagine yourself driving in the middle of the night with no streetlights whatsoever, no signs, no info boards and absolutely no people around. And then you are just lost and your navigator keeps bringing you to the same damn point after which the highway is closed but it doesn’t have a clue about that. I think we would have just stopped somewhere, slept in the car and waited until the sun is up to try to navigate ourselves somehow… I have no words about Czech roads and level of not-giving-a-shit: after 4 days there still was no sign in advance warning about roadworks. Somehow Jamila made it while I was freaking out in one of the abandoned villages with scary lights in one window. I am scared of darkness, and that was Halloween night. So, my friend deserves a medal. She just took a completely different route through another cities, but making a circle instead of trying to drive directly to Prague really made more sense. I even had dreams after that night that I was just endlessly driving around that devil loop.

It didn’t get much better in Prague because the parking situation is horrible there. You just can’t park anywhere if you are not a resident. There are tiny spots for non-residents which you have to know about because you don’t just run into them on occasion. But the trick is, you can only stay there for 6 hrs. So every 6 hrs you have to go back to buy a new parking ticket. And then there is another Czech style thing; parkomats keep accepting money only for 2-3 hrs and then they spit a ticket out at you without letting you insert more coins. Lovely, huh? So, the whole time in Prague we either were returning to the car every couple hours buying a new ticket or risked being fined (the fine is not that high there, so sometimes you just stop caring, and we actually didn’t receive a single one).

But I still love Prague, no matter what! This is somehow like the Italian charm of nothing ever working. We were very lucky with the weather catching the last warm sun rays before winter came.

We called our roadtrip a bartrip, actually. One of the reasons to go to Berlin was to experience its amazing bar culture. So we continued in Prague. Following friends’ recommendations, we went to Black Angel’s and Bugsy’s bar. It’s forbidden to take pics in the first one, which I already like because Vienna’s best places have such policies as well. But it’s very intimate, exclusive and just good taste. If you want more loud fun, though, then Bugsy’s is perfect! I tried the most unusual cocktail ever there: it looked like regular pistachio ice cream, but was so intense with alcohol, too! The finger food was good as well. So, 5+ goes to both.

Some other places in Prague apart from shops and regular sightseeing were Café-Café, Bake Shop (the best quiche I have ever tried! Even Viennese Le Bol or Hidden Kitchen hardly compete!) and John Lennon graffiti wall. It can’t compare to the Berlin kinds of graffiti art, of course. But the walk there is lovely and around it there is a lot of action, street musicians playing Lennon’s songs, and just the neighborhood where you find it itself is very cute.

We also went to O’Che’s for my friends performance. They are just so good, you know that if you follow my Instagram. So many talented people I know happen to live in Prague🙀. That’s the main reason I love to visit Prague – my school friends and their friend I have known for a while already since I usually crash on their couches. They have such a community there, that we never had in Vienna. And they all are always very pleasant to visit again and again, drink with for the whole night and then go eat the best ever street quesadilla not even noticing they forgot to put meat in mine, so happy we were that night.

Another must-do in Prague for me is Marks&Spencer food. It is just so good! We don’t have it back home, so we loaded the car full of food, said goodbye to my Prague friends that even came to see us in the morning when we were leaving; grabbed the best of a kind (after Joseph Brot’s one with poppy seeds) cheesecake at Café-Café and took off back to Vienna.

Driving from Prague is very easy and not stressful at all. We took the route through Brno and in 3 hrs were already stuck in traffic jam to enter Vienna. That was the barroadtrip. Well done! Looking forward for the next one, planned already!

Coming back was great, too, as we arrived just on time to meet our love Elisabeth, who made our next 10 days just as much fun as any roadtrip ❤img_2079