Friday, December 31, 2010

Happy Sylvester!

Today's the last day of year 2010, ready to start a new decade?

2010 for me was quite a good year, started as unemployed living with ny parents, finished with temporary contract in Berlin, almost living on my own (flatshare is not completely living alone but well, this will be for the coming year). An internship in Cologne, a job in Dublin and now this job here, I'm starting to be a real working girl! :D Well, of course the year was not all happiness and stressless, but that's life. ^^

Of 2011, I expect more travels, more job and maybe a miracle which would put an end to this (too) long period of single status (it's not forbidden to dream, is it? :D )

And to you I wish you all that you want, and have fun tonight!

==Greetings from Berlin==

Thursday, December 23, 2010

What a trip!

So yesterday was my trip to France where I'll spend Christmas with my family. My flight from Berlin to Saarbrücken (smallest German airport on the border with France) was scheduled at 8:30am, arriving at 10:10am. Boarding time: 8:20, at 8:00 I was waiting by the gate, still no delay announced, great.... I texted my sister who was picking me up in Saarbrücken that all was ok.
8:20, they announce a 10-20 min delay, then 30min. After boarding, they announced we'll leave with over 1h delay. I wasn't worried, with the snow I expected delay.
Around 11am, the captain announced we were about to land in Saarbrücken, we started going down, and suddenly we went up again. Hum, doesn't sound good... I was already picturing me telling my sis we landed in Zweibrücken or in Luxemburg, and well the captain told us the clouds were too thick, he had no visibility at all, he would try again soon and if that doesn't work we'll be redirected to another airport.... so everybody in the plane whispered the same name: Zweibrücken.

A little bit later, he did announce we woulod try to land in Zweibrücken, we will turn around 1h to see if the sky gets clearer, and that after that we'll still have 1h fuel remaining. And after 1h it was still impossible to land in Zwei so we headed to Luxemburg. They did well since we landed at 1pm and got on the bus to Saarbrücken airport at 2pm and arrived at destination at 3:30pm, which makes a total of 5 and a half hours delay, quite nice! ^^ But well, I guess it's better to land on Luxemburg's runway that in Saarbrücken's terminal! :D

And I arrived in Metz at 5pm, went to Metz Xmas Market, quite disappointing. But nice dinner with friends, time with family, that has no price! :)

==Greetings from Metz, France==

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Berlin's Christmas Markets: Schloss Charlottenburg

So here's my last article on Berlin Xmas markets, I didn't do them all  I guess.
Today was the one by Castle Charlottenburg, my first reaction when getting off the bus was: wow! It's indeed a wonderful place. It's worth seeing just for the lights play on the castle's front.

Then, the markte itself is very pretty, there's  a stage where a chor is singing, some unique handcrafts booths, one of "birds house" I really liked.

There was also a Raclette seller, you know that chesse I can't resist, well guess what? I didn't resist!! ^^ It's so delicious!

It was a nice walk, despite the hords of people, but I couldn't expect otherwise, it's last advent Sunday.


==Greetings from Berlin==

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Berlin's Christmas Markets: Postdamer Platz

Today after a journey to hell (I went  to a big shopping mall in the center of Berlin on a Saturday afternoon one week before Christmas) I went to Postdamer Platz Christmas Market.

Well, it is nothing extraordinary, they could make something better out of it, but there's so soul, no atmosphere. The plus is the sledge slope, but then the booths are almost like everywhere else.

And like everywhere, they sell those gingerbread hearts with written on it "Ich liebe dich" (I love u" or "du bist mein Schatz" (you're my sweetheart), craps like that, and I got the idea that just for fun I could buy myself one with written on "ich liebe dich", because I love myself! ^^ Untill, I saw this one:

No need of translation I guess, if I wouldn't have been alone I would have hung it around my neck, but well alone that's not fun that's stupid. It's now hanging at my wall, I'm thinking of eating it when I won't be single anymore, best before is august 2012, got some time. :D

==Greetings from Berlin==

Friday, December 17, 2010

Berlin's Christmas Markets: Opernpalais (Staatsoper)

So here's #3 of my series! ^^ Tonight, I went to the Xmas Market of Opernpalais, a trendy restaurant next to the National Opera (Opernplais = Opera's Palace; Staatsoper = National Opera).
I kinda struggled to get there, on internet when I looked up for the way, it told me to get 3 buses, but I arrived for the 1st change, I saw that the last bus of the 2nd line I was supposed to get came around 6pm... and it was already 7:30pm. Well, I found another to get there.

The place is very pretty, especially the illuminated buildings all around. One of the alley has " a star sky" small electrical lamps on a large net, with lights yellow and green on the building, it was very nice. It a cery charming market, nice night walk around.

The bad point for me: too many food booths, too many booths only with gloves/scarves/hats and few unique booths, many of them can be found on other markets.

But it's cute and it's woth seeing at least for the background.


==Greetings from Berlin==

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Berlin's Christmas Markets: Gendarmenmarkt

Go to a Berlin's Chritmas Market and you'll feel like in Wonderland! Tonight I went to the one on Gendarmenmarkt (see here for more infos of this famous berliner square), I went to that place on the free tour I took while in Berlin for the job interview, at that time they were setting it up, and the guide told us it was the nicest of all Xmas markets in Berlin.
It is indeed wonderful, but the background is not foreign to that feeling, and it's also very touristic, it was so crowded tonight!
The market is kinda divided into 2 parts, the outter one is free and for the inner one you have to pay 1€.
Here, you have lots of handcraft, some are exhibiting indoor, and I actually fall for a lovely pair of earings in plexiglas, red and black with blue reflections.
In the inner part, there's also a stage with a chor singing Christmas song, so it was very nice to walk around in such an athmosphere, plus tonight's it's heavy snowing (and I do love snow). There was also a show of some circus art, a girl dressed as an angel going up and down a kind of big bed sheet (sorry can't find the English word) gracefully, check out the videos below! ;) It was very nice.

I also saw a stand where they were selling raclette dishes (raclette is a swiss /savoy cheese I worship), it was fucking expensive but couldn't resist, and it was so yummy! It was sad I was alone cause that walk through thisb market was really pleasant, it could have been a magical moment, I was alrady, though alone, in awe but well, you know, it's always nice to share such experiences with someone.

When I went out of the inner part, I saw a stand of French salami! ^^ I also live this stuff! The girl asked me in German if I wanted to taste, so I answered in French, and so we've started talking, and actually the guy owning the place is from a smaller city close to my hometown, yes the world is smaller than we think, I often meet French people abroad (we are everywhere ^^) but almost never from my area, mainly from Paris or other huge cities. Well, we had a nice talk, I got a discount on my donkey salami, it was a nice encounter.

So, well, the guide was right, Gendarmenmarkt's Christmas Market IS wonderfull! Let's see next days what Berlin got in store for me, I keep being surprised every day.


==Greetings from snowy Berlin==

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Berlin's Christmas Markets: Alexander Platz & Roten Rathaus

This week is my X-Mas Markets week. Almost every evening I'll go to one of numerous "Weihnachtsmarkt" of Berlin. I love Christmas Markets, coming from a region at the border with Germany it's also part of my local tradition, and I just can't help it, I love it, especially once snow has felt down, and of course best part is at night time because of the lights.

So this evening I went to Alexander Platz, in the center of the city, the one just by the train station is cute, mainly food but also nice handcrafts. You got an outdoor icering and you can play also a kind of curling (or petanque on ice since you got no broom and can't step on the ice). A little further is a giant shopping mall, and behind it is a little fun fair, with the snow, the smells, the music and the lights it was very nice to walk around, I was a child again, sparkles in my eyes.

Then, kinda half way between Berliner Dom (Berlin's Cathedral) and Alex Platz station, you can find the Roten Rathaus (red townhall), and there is a very charming Xmas market, with a big wheel I'll try to ride this week end by daytime (best for the view it might offer). There's a bigger ice rink, by a beautiful statue, the decoration are also very cute. Well, it was really a charming walk, deep in Christmas Spirit, but better than words are photos.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Early Austrian Christmas

Yesterday night was my company's Christmas party, a great evening. At seven, we all left the office, a bus was waiting for us to drive us all to the restaurant.  When we arrived by the restaurant, I was surprised by the name "No Kangaroo", not getting the point at first, we were welcomed with some Glühwein (hot wine with spices) before getting inside.
Then, I realised it was an Austrian restaurant and thus got the name... seems some people tend to mix up Austria and Australia....

The food was wonderful, it made me think in a way to food from Alsace. It also was for me the opportunity to get to know some of my collegues, shnapps is a good ice-breaker! Especially that almost all are surprise to know I drink schnapps but no beer or wine.

Then we went outside for some Austrian games. First was a sawing competition, they got a big log, 2 at each end, 1st to finish win. But the 2nd team, the sexy boss broke one of the saws... so the competition went on but on the timing. After, it was cow milking... yeah cow milking in the streets of Berlin, but the cow was fake.

It was really fun, the athmosphere in the office is very cool, I really start to liking it here.

===Greetings from Berlin===

Sunday, December 5, 2010

A nice snowy Sunday

Today was a lovely day. I joined 2 CouchSurfing meetings. CouchSurfing is a website for travellers, we help, meet and host each other, great stuff, best way to travel and meet locals and get off the beaten track.
So I first headed to Saroti Hoffe Hotel for a brunch... and what a brunch! For 9€ you got a big buffet, with everything you could imagine for a brunck and even more: cold, hot, sweet, sour, and the must: a chocolate fountain!!! Yummy... with marshmallows, biscuits, orange... The attendees were international, so I got to speak French, German, English (but mostly English).
Then, I headed off to Rixdorf, Neukölln (Neukölln is a district of Berlin) for a Christmas Market. We were 5: 2 Germans, 1 Austrian, 1 Irish speaking fluent German and me... so I could pratice German. We had a very nice time, the Market was quite pretty, then we stopped in a bar to get warm before getting back on the Market after dark for the lights before going to yet another bar.
Berlin is really enjoyable city, I think I'll like it here.


==Greetings from Berlin==

Friday, December 3, 2010

Berlin walls

Berlin might be the city with the more graffitis I ever seen. Most of times, it's ugly writing, all dripping, giving a dirtiness feeling, and the district where I'm working is loaded with graffitis. But some times it's more artistic, then you like it or you don't but that's far better  than those awful & disgusting senseless words.
Here are my firrst discoveries:

==Greetings from Berlin==


On Wednesday evening I went to visit a room in a neighboorhood close to where I am working, I liked the place and the flatmates were cool. Yesterday morning, just after paying for the week at the hotel, I got an SMS (sent the day before and resent 1 hour before... great) telling me I've been chosen! :D I moved in yesterday, so I'm living with a Berlin girl, a Spanish guy... and a French guy. The big plus is that there's a shopping mall just across the street! ^^

==Greetings from Berlin==