Saturday, 31 May 2014

ISTANBUL: Gezi Park Anniversary

31. May 2014. It is the Gezi Park anniversary and what a coincidence that I am in Istanbul, booked for the ICC to work as a presenter for Novartis. In the morning of the 31. May, Taksim square was empty and seemed very peaceful, but the later it got, the more police men came around the area and looked out for people who might cause trouble. 

A strange feeling I have to stay, walking down the streets and having those images of last year in my head. It made me feel uncomfortable and I did not want to feel like that, because I know that this city does not deserve it. It is too magical and beautiful to be feared of.

Some police men even just dressed up as normal passengers, some made themselves visible in their yellow vestes. My hotel was very close to Taksim, which made it impossible for me to get to my hotel after I finished work. I spent all evening with my friends, far away from this area and towards midnight, I called my hotel to ask if it is fine to come back. When I got the ok, we took a 'Dolmus' (small bus) and got to Taksim. We just saw one police firing some tear gas, but there was not much to see at all. It was much less than what had happened last year.

Let's talk about something nice, Turkish food. This is how I started my day, with a nice Borek, filled with Spinach and a Turkish black tea. Lovely!

This is one of the most delicious foods I have ever had, Çiğ Köfte. You can either get it with or without meat. I had it this one in a hidden place, Çiğ Köfteci Ali Usta in Eminönü.

Or this one here, named Çöp Şiş with Pilav and lovely grilled veggies. 

This is a dessert I have never tried before, Su Muhallebi. Very nice actually, although I do prefer a chocolate dessert!

Monday, 5 May 2014

LONDON: Enjoying The Beauty Of Nature

Bank holiday calling. Why not just getting away from all the busy city life in London and disappearing into the heaven of nature?
That's exactly what I decided to do. Destination: Royal Botanic Gardens.

Palm House with loads of beautiful plants inside.
I could not believe my eyes when I got there. Wikipedia told me already that it is the "world's largest collection of living plants", with 30,000 different kinds of plants across "121 hectares".

Fascinating and also a bit scary (for those of you, who are scared of heights!) this treetop walk:

Massive lily pads.
I felt like being somewhere totally different. Far, far away from smoky London. It is such a great place for relaxing and spending some time discovering all sorts of different plants.

 This here is one of my favourites: The carnivorous plant. Watch out your finger ;) !

Wednesday, 12 March 2014

LONDON: The View From The Shard

If you were ever wondering how London looks from up high, go to the Shard, the tallest building in the EU, at 306 meters! We first went to the bar on level 31 to have one of those lovely cocktails they offer, if you like it spicy, then get the spicy one and enjoy the mixture of delicious flavors on your tongue! Just awesome!
And then the more exciting bit, we went to level 72, and this is the view from there:

Next we went for some Chinese food in the Hutong restaurant. I could not believe how nice the inner architecture was in this place. Completely dark with a nice Chinese flair, I felt like I was in China. The food was definitely some of the best I've had too! A must-visit!

Tuesday, 11 March 2014

LONDON: Spending The Day With Sharks And Penguins

If you want to explore all the different types of animals and plants under water, you should go to The Sea Life London Aquarium, near the London Eye.

Rays - fascinating animals, which can hide easily under the sand.
Cute seahorses.
Penguins - unfortunately none of them tried to jump into the water.
Loads of different types of sharks!

Saturday, 28 December 2013

SOELL: Mountains Are Calling!

Me and my brother decided to go for some ski on the mountain Söll in Austria. Here are some pictures, which show the beauty of this area.

Generally, when you are hungry, you do not have much choice of restaurants on the mountains. A very classic Austrian dish is Hendl (Austrian for chicken) and chips for example.

Saturday, 7 December 2013

SION: Up To The Mountains

I only had one day in Sion, but it was still enough to get an idea of this very pretty area. Sion is the Swiss canton of Valais and offers so much outdoor activity, so that I could not resist and went for a run and for some hiking up to the Sion castle.

What a gorgeous view from up here!

Thursday, 21 November 2013

MANCHESTER: The City Where Rockstars Are Born

Some big stars such as Oasis, Take That, The Smiths and The Bee Gees are from Manchester, the sixth largest city in the UK. A good reason to come over here and check out the atmosphere. Get an impression of this beautiful city with the following pictures:

I spoke to a few locals and I really managed to understand them, even though I was struggling now and again. One of the first questions here seem to be, which football team do you support: Manchester United or Manchester City? Well, I am not really into football. Could we please talk about something else? ;)

The first time I came here was for the BBC's "Blue Peter New Presenter" casting. They only invited 30 people to their studio, that's why I was well excited to be there! Still cannot believe that I was chosen from 20,000 applicants and as the only foreigner.

The BBC is based in Salford and you can only get there by tram. My first experience was that they are not very reliable. Sometimes they just stop or do not come on time, how they are supposed to!

What I also liked about Manchester is that they have so many great vintage shops! I got this lovely fur jacket from there. Love it!

Friday, 15 November 2013


Finally I also made it to Scotland! That is probably the most far up North on the globe, I have ever been in my life! And yes, it is beautiful up here.

So much nature, people are so open and the accent is very funny. Some Scott's I spoke to, I could not understand at all!

We did some hillwalking up to the Arthur's Seat, it was a nice workout to get up there, but as soon as we arrived on the hill, it was really hard to keep up with the wind, see here:

And yes, I also tried the traditional Scottish dish, Haggis, which is a savoury pudding, made of sheep's heart, liver and lungs. Sounds pretty awful, but is not too bad, as it is nicely spiced with pepper.
The night out in Scotland was insane! Most pubs closed at 11pm and everyone was just rushing down their drinks. I haven't seen so many drunk people so early on the streets as in Scotland, not matter which gender!

Friday, 11 October 2013

LONDON: Feeling A Bit Royal

I guess everyone in the world knows about the stunning Ritz hotel in London. I just wanted to realize one of my dreams, which was to have a proper English afternoon tea in a very very posh environment!

The Ritz hotel is just perfect for this. The pictures will tell you why.

Probably the best scones I have ever had in my life!

Such a beautiful architecture!

Thursday, 26 September 2013

Munich: Prost!

Germany's most biggest beer festival (and probably the world's largest fair), the Oktoberfest is great fun, as you meet loads of people from around the world. You sing, dance and drink together with strangers, but in that moment no one seems to care, everyone just wants to have a great time!
The event goes on for 16 days and the second weekend is usually an Italian weekend, as most Italians come over to Munich for the Oktoberfest.
Trust me, Germans can figure this out, as Italians generally get drunk very quickly.
Here are the lyrics for the most played song on the Oktoberfest, "Ein Prosit".

Tuesday, 10 September 2013

GREECE: Atatürk Museum

Having spent six days in a quiet place like Afytos, I felt like going back to a vibrant city, the closest was Thessaloniki. It's a very pretty city with a few sights, like the white tower, the Hagia Sophia church and more importantly the Atatürk Museum.

The first president of Turkey, Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, was born in today's Thessaloniki and there is a museum documenting his life.

Having seen Mustafa Kemal Atatürk in Madame Tussauds, I find that the one here looks more real than the one in London. They also told me that the production of this figure was more expensive with better use of material.

Me and the legend!
Isn't he handsome? ;)