Monday, April 27, 2009

My destinations

I am a bit of a day dreamer so as I stay at my office, from time to time my eyes turn towards the window and as I gaze at the distant, almost shadowy mountains, I think of destinations, old and new, nearby or quite far. Almost all the time I'm planning a trip. Right now I have plans for Jablonec, in a few weeks and Bratislava and Hanover when time will permit it. And then I have trips in between, unplanned,but a good surprise, like the one to Strasbourg a few weeks ago.

So where have my day dreams taken me, so far? This is just a list, by no means an exhaustive one, of places I've visited or I'd like to visit.

Countries I've visited: France, United Kingdom, Belgium, The Netherlands, The Czech Republic, Slovakia, Austria, Switzerland.

Countries I'd like to visit: Spain, Portugal, Marocco, Egypt, Turkey, Japan, Iceland, Sweeden, New Zeeland, Russia, Seychelles, United Arab Emirates, Jordan, Cuba, Canada. (basically the rest of the known world, but these are just the ones that made the short list).

My philosophy on travel is not to make just a collection of places seen, make a scratch on a wall with my name, I want to get the feeling of the place, get to know the people, feel like more than a tourist. That's why I don't like guided tours, they just take you around, the time to take a picture, tell you an anecdote, but never let you actually breathe in the perfume of the place at your own pace. Which is was I need the most.

And so, I am going to take my own personal tour guide, which is a guide book and my intuition for discovering interesting things and I'll be on my way, towards new adventures.

Stay tunned, pictures to follow to this post.

Monday, April 20, 2009

A walk around the neighbourhood

Yesterday I decided to get out of the house. I wanted to go either to Liberec or to Jablonec. I had a bit of a hard time deciding which to visit first so I decided not to decide for now but to take a walk around my little town. I'll leave the big visit for another weekend. The two towns are connected via a tram and thus are accessible. There's interesting architecture and there's a jewllery museum in Jablonec. So I'll have plenty to see.

For now, I'll share with you some photos from the small town I live in. I really like the houses in the region and gardening is like a national sport around here and everyone has splendid gardens. But I feel weird taking pictures of people's houses. And so I cheat and I take pictures of streets instead. I can capture the house in context this way.

It was just a short walk through the town but the sun was up and it was a really nice spring day so I enjoyed it. People were out riding their bikes, playing with kids, doing chores around the house. Picture perfect suburbia. For a moment I wanted to live on one of those streets, in one of the houses with a beautiful garden and blooming trees.

Not many comments to make, I'll take more photos these days, when I hope I'll discover more (yesterday I had to get back a bit quicker than expected).

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Happy Easter

Happy Easter from the Czech Republic for all the Orthodox Christians out there. I colored some eggs, got in the spirit of the holiday with some Romanian cuisine (and French wine). And tomorrow I plan to take a trip to a nearby town.

I wish you all, wherever you may be, far from your loved ones or (hopefully) in their arms, to have peaceful and sunny holidays.

Hristos a Inviat!

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Wherever the road may lead you

I've been working for two weeks now, I'm already starting to feel tired. It's not yet very challenging but we're getting there.

I thought I should show you my road to work. Every morning I walk about 20 minutes to work and another 20 from there to my house, unless I make a detour in the town for some groceries.

This is where I start my journey. I open this door and I face the outside world.

I had to cross a dangerous street every day but I discovered a shortcut behind the house. This creek passes nearby.

The town is quite well kept, with beautiful houses and gardens, people here seem to have a passion for gardening. I'll try to take pictured of the houses I like best, like this one.

A big part of my walk takes me along a road outside of the town.

And the road goes on... It's usually quite busy, bikers, trucks, cars and me, walking along.

And here we are, our stop for the next 9 hours or so:

At the end of the day, I can go home, or take another road, into town. This is the road I took to get from the train station to the plant, on my very first day. I don't really need to go into town anymore, I discovered that there is a bus stop and a grocery store behind my house, so I don't even need to move that much.

And finally, home. Or at least, my home away from home. A nice place to rest after a hard day's work.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Having a destination is just the begining

I just came back from work. It's been almost a year since my last job so it's a bit hard to get used to the schedule, especially since I didn't keep straight hours then. The Master's was a bit like a job but also a big party/family so although I did work a lot during these last six months, it didn't seem that hard or that bad, at times it was even fun.

My moment of glory was definitely the conference we organized, for which I did a lot of work but also in which I actively participated. (Yeah, I am bragging). It was a turning point I think, for all of us, it could have destroyed us as a group or make us closer, fortunately I feel that we only gained from it. It was an interesting experience, lots of lessons learned, hopefully we will apply them as well. It's something to be proud of, all of us.

And now we are spread all over Europe for our Internships.

I am working in the automotive industry, crunching numbers. For now, it's been boring, I don't yet know what I am supposed to do, I just got my missions and they are challenging, so I won't get to be bored for long. I'm not yet sure if this is a subject of interest to me on the long run, but it could jump start me for something greater.

This is just the beginning, six months are behind me, yet six more are in front of me. Have to make the best of it.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

In my secret garden

As I type these words I'm sitting by the side of a small pond in the garden of the beautiful house where I have a flat. A nice one, a bachelorette pad, all equipped with all a girl could ever wish for, kitchen (I'm an independent woman, I cook, you know), huge bathroom with a nice shower to soak in for ages. Big, comfy bed, wardrobe to put all my clothes in. I feel like a princess.

But how did I get here you might ask me. Well, darlings, this is a long story. First, I got on the bus, as you all know, at 5.30 a.m, one Tuesday morning in Bucharest, at the end of March. And got off the following day, with a little delay at the boarder crossing, in Prague. And the journey had yet to begin. I had money to exchange, a heavy luggage to carry and a train to catch.

Finding a good exchange rate in Prague can prove to be tricky. You have to check for charges, because even if the rate could be good, there might be a charge applied (a percentage) , so be ware and be aware, especially try to find the exchange rate in advance. I prepared myself for a walk around Prague, carrying heavy luggage up and down the stairs, when, all of a sudden, in the Florenc bus stop, I find, much to my surprise, a good exchange rate. I take advantage of the opportunity and I head towards the nearby subway station.

The subway in Prague is a very good means to get around the city. You don't do a lot of sight seeing, but there are good connections between the lines and with other means of transport (trams run very well as well) and the fares are quite cheap.

I took the tube just for one stop, to the main railway station, Hlavní Nádraží, a busy, busy place and where you can have difficulties buying a ticket. I took the train to Bakov nad Jizerou and then, the adventure continues, carrying a suitcase through the town, then through the field to a factory in the middle of nowhere. Where I started work, or rather met my colleagues and my new workplace for the next six months.

And then I got to this wonderful place that is my appartement? No. First I went for a few days in a penzion or guest house, 14€ per night, clean, but not a place to live in for 6 months. And with a little help I found my house, completely furnished and having all I need.

For my friends and family, photos are on flickr, for those of you who got an invite and didn't answear, to bad. And for the rest, well, my little hobbit hole is in a crimson house, with big windows and a tilled roof, one floor and a big attick, a big covered porch and a huge japanese garden. And my appartments overlook the lawn and a small pond with edges made of black painted wood recovered from railroad tracks ( an element of decor that ornates the flowerbeds on the slope of a hill).

As for my work here, I'll tell you next time. I'm going to make myself a tea and sit on the porch.
Materialele disponibile pe acest blog sunt publicate sub licenţă Atribuire-Necomercial-Fără Opere Derivate 3.0 România Creative Commons.