From Xi’An to Shanghai to Hong Kong

I woke up super early on my last day in Xi’An which was a Friday, and I had to be super fit, because it should be a day where I would be in 5 different cities on ONE DAY!!! How is that possible, you might ask. Read on to find out.

It takes around half an hour to 45 minutes to the airport, and during the ride, my taxi driver kept on talking to me. He was the same age as me as I found out, but he could only speak chinese. I understood most of it, until he tried asking me if I had a son. That was weird :’D At first I wasn’t sure if I understood him correctly, but it turned out that I did. Next thing, he wanted to talk about money and how much money german people were earning. It was an interesting cab ride, but I was glad when I reached the airport. I really liked the Xi’An airport. It’s not that big, but everything is easy to find and it has all the important shops you need before a flight.

I arrived in Shanghai at around noon, and then had quite some time until my train ride back to Yuyao, where my boss picked me up. 

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This was the cutest kid on the train from Shanghai to Yuyao. He kept on distracting me with his toys and his cuteness :’D His sister joined him later on as well. 

Here is why he picked me up. Shortly before my trip, I was told that I still had to go to Hong Kong for one last time because my visa had to be renewed for only a few days. So I had to look for a hostel last minute and buy a bus ticket to Ningbo Airport. If they had told me earlier, I could have just made them book a flight from Xi’An to Hong Kong, or at least, from Shanghai to Hong Kong. But I had already bought my train ticket ages ago.

Well, it was still manageable. I put all the important stuff in my backpack and left my suitcase with my boss. In the late afternoon, I made it to the bus and in the early evening, I was already at Ningbo airport for the 4th time now. So the next post will be another Hong-Kong-in-less-than-24-hours post.

I spent another night at that amazing hostel from last time which was also very central. This time, I met a Korean girl from London who was a fashion buyer but wanted to start a career as a fashion designer in Asia, so she started to check out the market in Hong Kong. She admitted that it was a tough job but it was her dream.

This is one of the most amazing things about Hong Kong. You can meet all different types of people from all around the world here. I have already met a Canadian who was a malay, indian, and chinese mix, I met two german girls, I met a Thai girl who I am still in contact with today, and this time I met this Korean girl from London.

After talking to her, I went to bed and fell asleep with the thoughts for the next day’s plans in my mind.

For the next post, you can look forward to more Hong Kong related stuff, but it’s also gonna be the last post about that gorgeous city.

So for me, I was in 5 cities on that day: Xi’An, Shanghai, Yuyao, Ningbo, and Hong Kong. That was a record for me.
What about you guys? What was the highest amount of citites you have travelled through/visited on one day?

Let me know and stay tuned.

Thanks for reading and travelling with me.

Merveille

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Taipei Travels Part 2: Locals, Views, and Food Craze

On my previous blog post you could read about my difficult arrival in Taipei.

On the second post you will finally see the first impressions I got from Taipei which were pretty awesome and fun.

First, a small introduction. As you might know, Taipei is the capitol city of Taiwan, a small island south from China. Hundreds of years ago, citizens from Fujian Province in China settled to this small island. They just hopped on a boat and sailed off. In the last decades, Taiwan was also influenced by the Japanese occupation that happened when Japan tried to take over China and Taiwan, so you will meet many Japanese locals and tourists, and the language is spoken by quite a lot of people as well.
Nowadays, Taiwan is famous for its laid-back lifestyle, its fast trains, and milk-tea culture.

So here are in 7 steps of how to discover Taipei on your first day:

1. Play with squirrels: 

My hostel was very close to the National Taiwan Museum, and it had a huge park I had to pass to go to the metro station. When I passed that park on my first day on the search to the metro station, I came across a man who was feeding the pigeons. As I followed him and his animals I also met some squirrels who were fearlessly approaching me. When I was trying to stroke them, they would quickly run away though. I took some snaps of them. I might upload those short video snippets here as well.

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2. Use the metro:  

Taiwan is famous for its trains and its flexible metro, so you have to use it as often as you can. Plus, it is super cheap, one ride is less than 1€, a dream for a european budget traveller.

3 Visit a cute cafe: 

Coffee Culture is a big thing in Taipei. It is actually known as THE coffee city of Asia, and with so many choices, I had to visit one. Mine was the Rilakkuma Cafe I saw on the internet, and I knew I had to find this place, or I’d kill myself. Anyway, it was really hard finding this. I was walking around for a VERY long time, so guys, if you wanna find a specific cafe or location, make sure you have the right directions or a local sim card with mobile data on it. I didn’t have either, so I was trying to connect to some random wifi on the go and it was a huge pain the ass.

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But I eventually found it, after what seemed like hours of searching and wandering around the place. It is in some hidden side street with a lot more cafes and little restaurants. I entered, was seated and fell in love with the menu. I decided to take a chocolate cupcake and a coffee latte. Both of them tasted amazing and looked very cute *o*

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What I ordered
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What I could have ordered
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The toilet mirror

For all of you who don’t know what Rilakkuma is, it is a japanese cartoon character, similar to Hello Kitty, actually it is from the same brand and designer if I am not mistaken. But it is not a cat, though. It is a brown bear and it is so much cuter than Hello Kitty. Kuma means bear in Japanese, and Rilak means, very easy, relax. So it is a lazy, relaxing bear :’D

4. See the changing of the guards: 

I decided to go to the Dr. Sun-Yatsen Memorial Hall for this which also had a small park inside. I think the Chiang Kai Shek Mausoleum also has a changing of the guards, if I am not mistaking.

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Unfortunately, I missed the beginning of the guard changing, but I saw how the old guards walked away and the new ones took over their places. It was really impressive and calming to observe their mechanical movements.

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5. Meet the locals:

While I was walking around the grounds of the memorial hall, I saw a lot of groups exercising, dancing, and doing taiqi. It was quite interesting because none of them cared that I was watching and filming them. They just continued doing whatever it was.

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Something very funny happened then. I was filming 2 men doing taiqi and there were also 2 women waiting for their exercise. While I was taking pictures, one of the women approached me and started chatting with me. She wanted to know where I came from and when I said Germany, she was thrilled to hear it. She wanted to exchange Line contacts so that I could meet her daughter. We then talked and talked and she offered to invite me for a coffee after her taiqi lesson.

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So after her and her sister’s taiqi lesson was over, we went to a coffee shop, together with the taiqi teacher and some tea, coffee and cake. It was a lot of fun talking to these people, and they also recommended me many things. The sisters also invited me for dinner the next day which was such a nice gesture.

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The best croissants of my life! No exaggerations

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The most beautiful cake

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6. Go up Taipei 101 in the evening:

This sight was on the top of my Taipei To-Do List, so I had to do this on the first day. It was a bit hard to get up all the escalators in the mall up to the top. I don’t know if there was an elevator or not, but I just saw the escalator and used it.

At the ticket counter, I purchased my ticket and had to wait in line for the elevator to go up to the observatory platform. The elevator was pretty fast. My ears popped, but the ceiling was amazing! It was getting lit up and changing colours. So that was pretty impressive.

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When I arrived at the top, finally, I had a view over Taipei at night, or should I say in the dark, because it wasn’t really night, but evening. Anyway, the view was pretty nice. Not as overwhelming as the one in Shanghai, though, but still awesome, and worth taking pictures of. Convince yourselves:

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The view looks super blurry because the windows were a bit dirty from the rain that was going on the whole day :/

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The view from the park downstairs from Taipei 101

7. Go to one of the Night Markets:

I saw some videos and pictures of the night markets of Taipei and of course I had to go to one. I wanted to go to the Shilin market because I heard that they have lots of amazing sweets and desserts.

At first, I was busy with buying lots of merchandise stuff like pokemon plushies, Disney stuff, and studio ghibli socks :D When I finally realized how hungry I was, I ventured out to look for some food. The place was packed though. I could barely move around, and eating and walking is something I am really bad at, so I’d prefer standing in a corner to eat.

I ate Hong Kong Waffles, Sweet Potato balls with peanut powder, roulade filled with spring onions (there were way too many spring onions inside, it burned my mouth), some kind of vegetable pastry cake, some berry juice, and as dessert, I had matcha crepe with ice-cream on top, and it was AMAZING!

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Roulade with spring onions on the grill
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The vegetable pastry cake. I also got to choose some toppings
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There was a temple as well
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And the glorious matcha crepe with an Oreo and ice cream on top <3

 

The Shilin Night Market was also the last stop on my first day in Taipei. I had too much food and spent quite a lot of money on merchandise stuff, although I could have spent more as well :D I had to be careful with my luggage though.

Anway, I hope you enjoyed this post.

Let me know in the comments if you have ever been to Taipei and if there is anything you loved that I didn’t mention.

I’m back

You guys must be wondering where I have been all this time. Well, I was in China for 10 months, as you could see from my last blog post.

Although I arrived at the beginning of April, there was a lot going on, so I couln’t update this blog.

You can’t imagine how many blog posts I have planned already. Everything that happened in China, all those travel posts and more. I will be blogging in a new style now, I decided. I want to make my posts a bit shorter and just keep the most important parts inside. I hope you will like it.

I am so excited to be back here in this community, and I will try to focus more on travel posts from now on.

See you soon!

Barcelona Travel Plans

I might have mentioned that I will be going to Barcelona in March for 3 days to visit my friend there who does her Erasmus. My sister is also going to join. Or should I rather say that she organized the trip :D

Before I will be too occupied with my Bachelor thesis in a few weeks, I wanted to make a travel list with sights and places I want to visit there. Let’s start:

Disclaimer! These pictures are not mine. They all have been found on google.

1. Park Güell & Casa Museu Gaudi:

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This park was designed by Gaudi and it looks like gingerbread world to me *o* with the beautiful rooftops. I think I will take a lot of pictures here. I can already see it coming.

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And this is going to be my future house. I mean, it is pink and it is hidden behind a ton of palm trees. If we can visit the house, I would really like to go in.

2. Sagrada Familia

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This was also designed by Antoni Gaudi, and in fact it isn’t finished yet o.O It has been under construction for 100s of years. So overwhelming.

3. Mercat de la Boqueria (Food Market)

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This is one of the sights I am soooo excited about. It is all about food. Cheap food. A lot of food. A lot of cheap food. I have to be there *o*

4. Las Ramblas und Placa Catalunya

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These places seem to be like the center of Barcelona, so I guess we will definitely get around this place somehow. It connects the promenade with the harbour. I think here might be some nice restaurants to eat at. Can’t wait :)

5. Fairy Bar (El Bosc de les Fades)

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I wanna go there soooooo soooo bad!!! I have seen this bar in a german youtuber’s vlog and it looks like a dream. Perfect for me. The adress is: Museo de Cera, Passatge de la Banca, 5, 08002 Barcelona,Museo de Cera, Passatge de la Banca, 5.

6. Font Magica and Montjuic

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This is also going to be one of the sights I will take hundreds and hundreds of pictures, probably even videos. I heard that it looks amazing on new year’s eve. This fountain is in Montjuic which is a mountain. I also want to see the mountain, but I won’t climb up there. I am not a mountain person I guess :D There is also a castle up there I think, but I looked at the pictures on google, and they don’t look like they were worth seeing, so I guess we could skip that part. Hey, btw: it is a rhyme: fountain and mountain :D

7. Casa Batllo

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This building looks amazing!!! I am already in love with this *o* This is also in the Placa de Catalunya, so I definitely have to go there now!

8. Camp Nou

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Our hotel will be at Camp Nou, so we will probably have a look at the stadium as well. I wonder if we can also go in as tourists just to look at the empty stadium. I don’t think that I will go to a match there, because I heard it is expensive as f*ck. And my sister and friend are not the biggest football fans. Still, I would like to see the biggest stadium in Europe.

9. Parc de la Ciutadella & Arc de Triomf

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OOOOO EMMMMM GEEEE!!!! This looks like a dream! Seriously, this is how I would imgine paradise! I wanna go there NOW!

It is near the train station Barcelona-Franca. I guess it is in the french-influenced part of Barcelona, since there is also a small Arc de Triomf.

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10. Tibidabo

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I guess this is like the observation hill or something like that. You can also go up there by cable car and there is also an amusement park, but I am not sure if we will go there. But it really would be nice to have a view over Barcelona from there.

These are the 10 main points I want to check out in Barcelona. I am quite excited already, and can’t wait for March any longer.

What about you guys? Have you already been to Barcelona? Do you have any secret suggestion for me, a non-touristy place I should definitely see?

Thanks for reading guys!

Die Vorstellungen eines kleinen Mädchens/Pictured by a little girl

Ich hatte immer dieses Bild von Deutschland. Es war nicht dieses typische Bild der sauerkraut-essenden, Lederhosen-tragenden, ernstschauenden Deutschen. Es war viel eher ein modernes Bild. Es war das Bild eines Landes, das sich durch neuere Technologien kennzeichnete. Das sich durch symmetrische Bauten, durch saubere Oberflächen, meistens aus Glas kennzeichnete. Ich befand mich gerade am Flughafen. Ich war noch klein, vielleicht 6 oder 7 Jahre alt. Meine Eltern waren auch dabei. Ich mochte es mit dem Flugzeug zu verreisen. Man bekam immer sein eigenes Essen und ganz viel Spielzeug mit dem man sich 3 Stunden lang beschäftigen konnte. Ich mochte dieses Handpuzzle, das man verschieben musste. Und den Lufthansa-Plüschvogel fand ich auch toll. Aber am liebsten malte ich im Lufthansa-Malbuch. Ich musste mich immer selber beschäftigen, weil meine Schwester während dem Flug immer schlafen wollte. Sie war fast 2 Jahre jünger als ich. Ich jedoch wollte nie schlafen. Entweder wollte ich mich mit den Flugzeug-spielsachen beschäftigen oder aus dem Fenster schauen. Immer wollte ich an der Fensterseite sitzen. Meistens saß meine Mutter mit uns zusammen und mein Vater musste alleine irgendwo anders hocken. Aber manchmal saß ich auch mal mit meinem Vater und meine Mutter mit meiner Schwester. Mein vater zeigte mir dann am Fenster über welches Land wir gerade flogen. Ich glaubte ihm damals natürlich. Jedoch muss ich heute darüber lächeln und zweifle daran, ob er es wirklich gewusst hatte. Jedenfalls befanden wir uns am Flughafen. Fast der ganze Flughafen bestand aus Fenstern. Man konnte somit die dunkle Nacht draußen sehen. Doch es war gar nicht gruslig. Ich fühlte mich sogar sehr wohl, weil der Flughafen so hell beleuchtet und riesig groß war. Nachts verreisten nicht mehr so viele Leute, deswegen war der Flughafen nicht so überfüllt. Wie es schien, mussten wir etwas lange warten, da mein Vater sich immer Kaffee holen ging. Dabei merkte ich diesen blonden Mann. Er hatte leuchtend-blaue Augen, war groß und schlank und war schick angezogen. Er sah reich und auch etwas älter aus – wegen den leichten Falten um seine Augen. Ich dachte, so sehen bestimmt die Piloten von Lufthansa aus. schick, blond, reich: deutsch. Ich schaute den Mann an und stellte mir vor, er wäre mein Ehemann. Er holte sich ebenfalls Kaffee. Mein Vater stand hinter ihm. Gleich würde mein Vater meinen zukünftigen Ehemann sehen. Ich musste lächeln bei so einem Gedanken. Natürlich war das alles nur ein lustiger Gedanke. Aber ich denke es wäre bestimmt nicht schlecht in Zukunft so einen Mann zu haben. Nachdem der Mann Milch in seinen Kaffee getan hatte, entfernte er sich langsam vom Kaffeeautomaten. Dieser Kaffeeautomat war ebenso wie der Flughafen und der blonde Mann das typische Bild von Deutschland, das ich im Kopf hatte. Der Mann saß nur ein paar Sitze von uns entfernt. Ich schaute ihn wieder kurz an und blickte nun auf meine Eltern. Sie hatten beide dunkles Haar und dunkle Augen. Meine Schwester genauso. Ich hatte auch dunkle Augen, aber meine Haare waren komischerweise sehr hell. Ich hatte noch nie zuvor gefragt warum das so war, aber es fiel mir eigentlich auch erst jetzt ein. Ich lächelte nun zufrieden. Ich hatte wahrscheinlich eine Gemeinsamkeit mit dem Mann. Wir hatten beide hellere Haare. Ich fasste nun an mein langes Haar, nahm eine Strähne in die Hand und schaute es an. Ich wollte in Zukunft auf jeden Fall schön und klug werden. So könnte ich vielleicht eines Tages einen schönen, Piloten heiraten, der oft an so einem Ort wie dem Flughafen war. Ja, das wäre bestimmt toll…

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I always had this picture of Germany. It was not this typical pictures of the sourcrout-eating, leather-trousers-wearing, seriously-looking Germans. It was rather a modern picture. It was the picture of a country, that is marked by  new technologies. One that is marked by symmetrical architecture, by clean  surfaces, mostly out of glass. Right now, I was at the airport. I was still young, 6 or 7 years old. My parenst were also with me. I liked travelling by plane. You always got your own meal, and lots of toys, which you could deal with for 3 hours. I liked that drag-puzzle. And the Lufthansa – plush-bird was also great. But the Lufthansa – drawing-book I liked best. I always had to occupy myself on my own, because my sister always wanted to sleep during the flight. She is almost 2 years younger than me. Me, however, never wanted to sleep. I either wanted to play with the airplane-toys, or to look out of the windows. I always wanted to sit at the window. Most of the time my mother sat together with me and my sister, and my father had to sit somewhere else on his own. But someties, I was sitting with my father, and my mother was sitting with my sister. My father then showed me which country we were flying over. Back then, I believed him of course. However, I have to smile about that today und actually doubt if he really knew it. Well, we were now, as I said before, at the airport. Almost the whole airport was built of windows. Therefore you could see the dark night outside. But it was not scary at all. I even felt very comfortable, because the airport was so well lighted and hugely big. During the night there were not so many people travelling, that’s why the airport was not so filled. It seemed like we had to wait long, since my father always got himself some coffee. Thereby I noticed that blond man. He had bright blue eyes, was big and slender and well-dressed. He looked like he was rich and a little bit older – because of his few wrinkles around his blue eyes. I thought that pilots from Lufthansa have to look like this for sure. Chic, blonde, rich: German. I looked at the man again, and imagined that he was my husband. He was also getting some coffee. My father was now standing behind him. Soon my father would meet my future husband. I had to laugh at this thought. Of course, all this was just a funny thought. But I think it would definitely not bet bad to have a man like him in the future. After the man put milk in his coffee, he distanced himself away from the coffee dispenser. This coffee dispenser was, just like the airport and the blonde man, the typical picture of Germany I had in mind. The man was only sitting a few seats away from us. I shortly had a glance at him again and looked at my parents now. Both of them had dark hair and dark eyes. My sister, too. I also had dark eyes, but my hair was strangely very light. I have never before asked why this was like that, but I actually noticed it just now. I smiled contently. Probably I had a mutuality with that man. We both had light hair. I now touched my long hair, took a streak of hair in my hand and looked at it. In future, I definitely wanted to be beautiful and smart. By this, I could maybe someday marry such a beautiful pilot who often has to be present at a place like the airport. Yes, that would certainly be great…