We’ll always have Paris

After a long exhausting trip, changing two buses, an airplane, and then another two buses I finally reached the capital of France, Paris. My boyfriend was already waiting for me there, as he arrived that day earlier with a train. It was great seeing him, especially in Paris – the acclaimed city of love. And for me, it was the city of love that week, but not for being famous for it.

Now, where to start? It’s hard to describe Paris as it is. The atmosphere is special, it is huge, but not hectic, with it’s grand boulevards, distinctive buildings and winding streets. You always have something to see, just walking around leads to some kind of impressive building or square. Just like that, a majestic palace/church/town hall pops up in front of you like it is the most common thing in the world. The first day we took the wrong direction and ended up in Montmarte. The white-domed Basilica of Sacré Cœur. Later on we went to see the Eiffel Tower. The tower is something, you really get a special feeling when you see it in person.

Basilica of Sacré-Cœur

Basilica of Sacré-Cœur

 

Notre Dame is miraculous. I was very looking forward to seeing it.  The high walls, ribbed ceiling, rose windows and fine details – it is a text-book example of everything I love about Gothic architecture. The flying buttresses are amazing. As you can see, I wasn’t disappointed at all.

 

Notre-Dame de Paris

Notre-Dame de Paris

Pont de l'Archevêché

Pont de l’Archevêché

 

Our schedule was flexible so we walked around a lot. The city is packed with beautiful, cultivated parks that just invite you to sit and enjoy the moment. Parisians are very relaxed, the stereotypes are true to some level; they love to wine and dine and they can’t (won’t) speak a word of English. Luckily Tobi can speak French, hence we didn’t have problems communicating/getting around. The cafes are very charming, mostly situated on the edge of the buildings, so you practically sit on the streets. And the city is very friendly to students, especially to EU students, offering discounts and free entry in many museums.

Undoubtedly the thing that impressed me most is the Palace of Versailles. I was immediately struck by the size of the Versailles gardens. The complex is HUGE. We spent a whole afternoon there and still didn’t manage to see even 30% of it.  The beautifully arranged parts with groups of fountains and sculptures depicting myths and stories confirmed my initial impression that it is an masterpiece. The weather was perfect, not too hot and sunny.  After walking around for several hours we found a couple of comfortable chairs and relaxed reading a book. Days wouldn’t suffice to see the whole landscape. The interior of the palace is, as well, very beautiful. One cannot help but be impressed by the embellished, luxurious decor of the walls and furniture. And the fact that it is a reminder and evidence of world-changing events gives the experience of being there exceptional depth.

 

The gate of Versaille

The gate of Versailles

Versailles, queens bedchamber

Versailles, queens bedchamber

 

Louvre was great, but very exhausting 😀 the collection is really big and by the time we got trough the departments, we were tired and starving. According to Wikipedia it contains more than 380,000 objects! Now that’s something.

 

The two of us in front of Louvre

The two of us in front of Louvre

Louvre

Louvre

Moulin Rouge

Moulin Rouge

 

We visited the Père Lachaise Cemetery, République, the Opera National de Paris, Ile St.-Louis, Moulin Rouge and much much more.
I wasn’t completely sure what to think of the city before arriving and was afraid to be disappointed because of all the fuss. But Paris pleasantly surprised me. It was a beautiful week in a beautiful city.

Lots of love,

Martina

 

Now some

The Internship

They say promises are made to be broken. And I broke mine because I promised to write more often, and all of a sudden it’s been four months since I last wrote. The days have gotten cold and gloomy and it seems to me like autumn skipped this year, which is a shame because it’s my favorite season. In the last post I wrote about my quest to find an internship – and since then I have gotten one! I’m working for a German travel agency. I’m doing a lot of Social Networking and trip maintenance. It’s fun, and I’m very satisfied. I spend eight hours a day on my laptop, my actual average even when I’m not working, what is very concerning. I have been working for the last three months and my boss is very nice and uncomplicated. I really enjoy the opportunity and can totally see myself doing it in the future + some other perks that come with the job, such as traveling :))

In the meantime Tobi came to visit me in Zagreb, I celebrated my birthday and spent the whole January in Germany.

In Zagreb

In Zagreb

Birthday party

Birthday party

My Christmas present - the owl is handmade by him :)

My Christmas present – the owl is handmade by him 🙂

The next few weeks are going to be a challenge, as I have to manage my internship and exams at the university. So lets see how that turns out.
My little girl is getting bigger, and much to my delight – blonder. As soon as the exams are over I’m going to visit.

Another thing we have in common: she's such a sleepyhead!

Another thing we have in common: she’s such a sleepyhead!

Lots of love,

Martina

Homeland

Life was stressful lately. I applied for an internship in Germany but unfortunately didn’t get it so I had to move back to Croatia. I will continue to study here in Zagreb for now and then see which steps to take next. I’m definitely planning on moving to Germany again for a masters degree. But for now I’m here again and it will take a while till I get fully accustomed to living in Zagreb again.

I don’t have many courses in this Semester so I’m looking for a internship at the moment which is, as it turns out, a pretty hard task. No company will take you if you don’t have any previous experiences – but how the heck can I get experienced if nobody will take me to begin with. It’s frustrating, but my hopes are high!

On the other side, it’s wonderful to be around family and friends again! My niece has grown big, she changed in the last nine months, which is very typical for a baby her age. She’s a real buttercup and very smart too!

Buttercup
I first visited my hometown and now I’m back in Zagreb. It’s great to see all the people again, I’ve missed them very much.

Homegirls

Goingout1

Goingout2

Endria

Martinaold little me

I miss the one special person I left behind. We’re skypeing and texting pretty much all the time, but the distance is still there. I can’t wait for him to come!

skype

I promise to write more often!

Lots of love,

Martina

Mediterranean Homesick Alien

I recently grabbed a Yankee Candle in Karstadt; it smelled like sand, sun, and coconut fragranced sun screen. Basically, it smelled like home in the summer and it hit me like a bullet. It’s been a while I am very homesick at the moment.  I remembered a quote from Downton Abbey that was very convenient at the moment:

“If you’re feeling homesick, there’s no shame in it.” “No.” “It means you come from a happy home. There’s plenty of people here who would envy that.

And I am so very grateful for having a happy home and wonderful friends who fulfill my life. Haven’t seen them since December and I think this is the longest it has ever been that we’re apart.
When I came home I dag into my photo archive and found a few good oldies. I don’t want my blog to be Intagram-like but there aren’t many words I have to add to this. So, here’s a picture-post.

FamilyWith my sister at our granny’s old house.

SisKarla birthday

Marien

My little niece

My besties 🙂

friends

Opatija

Goran

Summer

Summer:Endria and me

Beach

St. Martin's

iPhone 028

My little man!

My man!

I can’t wait to see you all!

Lots of love,

Martina

Life is a festival

I got way to many complaints about neglecting the blog, especially from a very persistent friend (she’ll recognize herself). Life in general is great, but more about that in another post, this one is about Southside – a festival I went to.

It was the first time I went on a festival where I camped, which is a whole lot different from going home after the concerts are done. We had the whole package: tents, sleeping bags, mattresses, gas canisters, everything you need for camping. I had luck the others were well equipped, because it was my first camping experience and I don’t have any camping equipment in Germany.

The days were pretty much the same; getting up, drinking beer and playing unconventional flunkyball. It was raining the whole nights trough, but the days were okay especially during the concerts. The only thing that was irritating was the constant cold and moist. But after a couple of beers it got better.

I managed to sprain my ankle the second day. Didn’t surprise me at all considering my tendency to get easily injured. The concerts weren’t that fun with an aching leg but it was good. I saw Gaslight Anthem and The Smashing Pumpkins. Both were great, but what I didn’t like about the Smashing Pumpkins is the lack of interaction with the audience.

This is how a typical morning looked like. Getting up at 9ish and grabbing a beer right afterwards:

Mornings

The best Flunkyball game ever:

Flunkyball

Marius and his three punishment beers:

Marius

Playing with a gas canister:

Tobi

The best party photographer ever:

Tibo

The second day was The Hives,  The National and Rammstein day. Words can’t describe how much I enjoyed The Nationals concert. It was perfect, they didn’t disappoint, not even a little.

The National

Dave&Tobi

IMG_5281

Tobies 120% 😀

120%

The third day continued the row. I finally saw The Arctic Monkeys live. Ska-p and Of Monsters and Men as well, but The Arctic Monkeys were the highlight. I only have an empty stage pic, I was so excited later that I forgot to take pictures. And they played Mardy Bum, oh man!!

Arctic Monkeys

I had an awesome time and it’s hard to describe the experience with words. It was quite exhausting but more than worth it. Can’t wait for my next festival.

Lots of love,

Martina

Once upon a time in Bavaria

I had guests! As I’ve already mentioned I’m very fond of guests, and these two are very special to me.
I met Goran and Anamarija on Friday morning at the Munich Central train station and we immediately headed to Dachau.

Dachau Entrance

They are laughing because my camera didn’t work properly so we made a queue on the entrance until I managed to make the photo. The weather was ironically good. To enjoy the sunshine in such a place and to think about how it all looked like decades ago gives you shivers. The Dachau concentration camp was the first of the Nazi concentration camps opened in Germany. It is located near the medieval town of Dachau, about 16 km northwest of Munich and it took us about half an hour to get there. We traveled with the Bayern Ticket – it’s a special offer from the German Railway which entitles you to one day of travel in Bavaria on all local trains and all transport association services. It’s a very affordable and good way of traveling, we got trough the whole city with the ticket and later returned to Augsburg with it.

IMG_9415

Dachau monument

Dachau

Our next stop was the BMW museum. Very cool, but of course I didn’t found it to be as cool as they did:

BMW museum

Then the Allianz Arena:

Allianz

Bayern Shop and Mario Mandžukić; so proud to be Croatian 😀

Bayern shop

…and then the English Garden:

English Garden

The day was tough for the two of them considering that they didn’t catch much sleep the night before. But it was great and we managed to see everything we intended although I was skeptical at the beginning.

On Saturday we visited the Neuschwanstein Castle. I can’t find the appropriate words to describe the castle. I’ve been wanting to go there ever since I saw it in some encyclopedia when I was a child. And it didn’t disappoint a little bit. It’s magnificent in every sense of the word. It’s a real-life fairy tale, enough said that it served as a model for the Sleeping Beauty’s Castle of Disneyland.

The Swan Lake:

Swan lake

Castle with them

CastleGirl scoutWe weren’t allowed to take photos of the inside of the Castle, but here’s a sneak peek:

Inside

Inside2

The Castle is an architectural masterpiece. To put it as plain as possible – it’s just wow!

The same night we went out and despite of a few difficulties had a great time. The whole weekend was a blast. I had so much fun with my Schatzis 🙂 and I’m looking forward to the next visit.

Lots of love,

Martina

Winter, Winter, Winter, Winter… and Spring

The blog has been totally neglected due to the fact that the new semester has started and that I’ve been in Munich working. Since I came from Berlin there’s been nothing very new except for the week in Munich. I worked at BAUMA – a huge building/construction trade fair. It was fun but very exhausting. I would get up at 7AM and get back home at 9PM, and in the meantime I would walk about 11km which is quite a lot for my sedentary lifestyle. I’m still trying to recover from all the ache my body was in.

After the first work day. Later on I even went up one of those cranes in a metal basket.

BAUMA

Being a hostess:

Heels vs Vans

The week was rough but it paid off.  It was cool, the atmosphere was very good and I met a lot of young people, even two girls from Augsburg with whom I keep in touch now.

Spring has finally showed its face. After being caged in for nearly half a year I finally enjoy getting out and not freezing. The semester started last week and of course that I don’t have any desire to sit in classes while the sun is shining. More reports and group working. I can’t get used to group work and they really are pushing it here. I like to do my own assignments when I want it and without any pressure. But eh, what one must do isn’t that hard.

I have been going to the Bierstube regularly lately, which isn’t good news for my liver.

The picture Robert has been anticipating for quite a while now, you can sleep peacefully – I even published the one you liked the most 😀

Robert and Tobi

And another Bierstube visit, the dynamic duo:

Batduo

Leaving me waiting on a hangover day can end up only like this:

Hangover chips

Playing Assassin’s Creed with Oliver:

Assassin's Creed

I’m expecting guests tomorrow and am very excited they are coming. I’ll keep you posted.

Lots of love,

Martina

Blind booking or how I randomly ended up in Berlin

I was in my favorite city! And fell in love all over again.

We were supposed to go to Paris but I kind of messed up with the tickets so we decided to blind book a ticket. The procedure is easy, and if you’re up for that kind of stuff, very fun! We chose the ‘Western Metropolis’ category and got Berlin! I was so very satisfied with that option. A chance to visit my favourite city.

The trip began with me going to Karlsruhe and staying there for two days. Afterwards we flew from Stuttgart to Berlin.

The first thing we did when we landed in Berlin was drinking a coffee at Starbucks. And the guy who was working there asked me if I was hungry and gave me two pieces of Marble cake for the price of one! Just because. I took it as Berlins way of saying – welcome back!

Marble Cake

Berlin was freaking cold! There is no nice way of saying it but we were freezing our asses off. On the first day we managed to go trough the city center and see all the important sights. And it was the only day the shops were open so we went a little shopping on the way.

In front of the Reichstag:

Reichstag

Berliner Dom, a magnificent cathedral in the city. The last time i didn’t go in, but I made up for it on this occasion.

Berliner Dom

A moment of enlightenment – listening to J.S. Bach in a  renaissance environment.

J.S. Bach

A Berliner lunch. Currywurst in McDonalds. Only in Germany 😀

Currywurst

The remains of the Wall:

The Remains

The Wall

My favourite monument, Brandenburger Tor:

Brandenburger Tor

At the Holocaust memorial, funny I didn’t even shed a tear, I think my heart has finally got used to not react so much. After all those books and movies and sobbing it was time. My sister has started to mock me and says that I only read books about Jews in basements. Which is not true, but my WWII fascinations/curiosity phase really was intense and long lasting.

Holocaust memorial

The city is just as I left it. I didn’t overstate with my talk about it. I simply adore it. On one side, I love the German language, the tradition, the architecture and the fact that it is overflown with various historical elements.  On the other it is a nest of young, urban people, there are so many new cafes and places that have a special alternative vibe to them, the subcultures are unconstrained and people are very liberal and open-minded. It’s the perfect mix of the traditional and urban, using the right amount of both to make it the perfect city for me. A friend of mine said that she would describe me exactly as I described Berlin. Maybe that’s the reason we make such a good match.

Lots of love,

Martina

On being alone and ill

Yes it sucks. I’m quite used to being alone and I must say that I enjoy it very much. But the one time it is absolutely no fun at all is when I’m sick. I go from independent wonder woman to big baby in one minute. I have a very sensitive stomach and when there is any kind of bug going around it is most definitely likely that I am going to be the one who catches it. This time it was another kind of a bug called drinking excessively. I know – I got what I deserved. But it was not only the alcohol that made me sick because it caught me one day after. And it was no fun at all. I was seriously worried I am going to dehydrate. It is harsh to be alone and have nobody else to take care of you in those moments. I felt like Samantha from SATC haha, I recently watched an episode where she was alone and sick. What a comparison 😀 but I managed to get trough it. So now it’s bed time with classic remedies: tea and zwieback.

I guess all things come with a price. I just don’t know if it was worth the price. We’ll see. I was patient till now and the good thing came, so I’ll just have to do with being patient a little bit more.

This was enough of fussing about and phrasing for one post. I have to go and find some tickets for Paris, otherwise Zrinka will put me to the sword.

Lots of love,

Martina