Anika Abroad: Switzerland Edition

Guten Morgen/Hallo/Bonjour!

 

I am officially loving Europe 🙂 I actually wrote this blog post last week on the train from Lausanne (Switzerland) to Paris, but did not take my laptop on my travels so unfortunately could not post!

 

My flight from Sydney to Zurich was smooth, and I ended up getting the whole row to myself, meaning a solid sleep. I even visited the butterfly garden in Singapore airport, which made for a very cool stopover.

 

The first few days: Zurich, catching up with family and daily swims in the river

 

My Uncle was there to collect me from the airport in Zurich, and we made our way to his home to have some coffee. After settling down into my room, we headed out in to the city. The architecture is amazing. We went for a swim in the local river in the afternoon, which definitely seems like the hip thing to do in Zurich (and it’s perfect for the 30-degree weather).

 

IMG_7007
The river

The next day, we visited a Quar-Tierhoff (a local farm) where my Uncle helps out occasionally. It’s about 10 minutes from the city and there are goats, horses and rabbits. We also visited the Zurich museum which has some really cool interactive exhibits, and a great boutique shop. Again, we went for a swim in the river in the afternoon. The river is a wonderful place to people watch.

 

La Montagnes – St Luc, Vals D’Annivers

 

After becoming acquainted with Zurich, we headed off to St. Luc – an incredible village in the Swiss alps. It is a French speaking area, unlike Zurich where they speak Swiss German. Boy oh boy, is it beautiful – the mountains and the hotels and houses.

DSC_0312
View from the hotel

From the village, you can catch the fernicular up to start one of many spectacular walks in the mountains. On Saturday, we caught the fernicular and made our way to Hotel Weisshorn which was built in 1882 and sits at 2337m. The mountains are filled with pretty alpine flowers, and you can often hear the sounds of the cows and their bells. It was basically like walking in a postcard. The scenery is absolutely breathtaking.

P1240629
Taking in the scenery
DSC_0429
Swiss alps
DSC_0395
A postcard (not really)

On Sunday, we took the chairlift from Chandolin and walked the Chenegouga trail, which featured 4 beautiful lakes nestled in the mountains. The backdrop, is of course, many more mountains. As I said, it’s honestly spectacular. I also went for a swim in Lac Noir (2501m), much to the surprise of the other walkers. The water was too nice not to, and it wasn’t even that cold!

 

P1240683
Swimming in Lac Noir

 

We also saw a real life marmot, in the field between Illsee (2360m) and Waschsee (2419m). I have decided that these are like kiwi in New Zealand. I think they are pretty rare to see, but you can sometimes hear them if you listen close. I whipped out my camera just in time, and managed to take a few photos! Woo-hoo.

DSC_0634
Hello my marmot friend

Other noteworthy points:

  • The food has been amazing. Our breakfasts were buffet-style, with a selection of fresh breads, eggs, cereals, fresh fruit and meats and cheese. It’s safe to say, I went to town. Also on Sunday night, I had a really good meal ft duck, mashed potato (so gooood) and vegetables.

 

Some more photos:

DSC_0439
Hotel Weisshorn (as mentioned earlier)
DSC_0381
Alpine chicken?!

 

Anyway, that’s enough from me. For more photos, check out my Instagram or Facebook 🙂

 

Up next on the blog: Paris, a castle and the South of France.

 

 

Affectionately Yours,

Anika X

 

Advertisements

Ciao, Canberra

* Sorry to be MIA these past few weeks – I’ve been in a whirlwind of farewell events, stuffing my face full of Canberra’s finest foods and putting off packing til last minute *

By the time you read this, I’ll be over on the other side of the world in Switzerland!

Despite being organised with my packing list, when it came to actually packing the clothes in the bag and making sure everything was in the one place… let’s just say I work well under pressure. Sometimes.

Hot tip for travel: do not wait until the morning of to pack your check-in. You’ll be very rushed and highly stressed. I didn’t even put the lock I bought especially for the trip on my bag.

But alas, I made it to my bus and successfully made my way through customs (after the forced disposal of my toothpaste and a rush to empty my drink bottle – whoops). My mamma and my sister came to see me off at Jolimont, which was lovely.

I’ll be honest, I am very excited… but it’s definitely one of those ‘mixed emotion’ type adventures in life. I am sad to be leaving all the wonderful people in my life who made my last few weeks in Canberra unforgettable. It’s safe to say, there have already been some tears, and I’m sure there will be more. But that’s okay… it’s an adventure of a lifetime, right? A learning process. All that jazz.

Anyway, I am about to board a plane (guys, it’s a double decker PLANE – I didn’t even know that was a thing) so I should probably sign off… I also get in-flight meals too. How lavish.

Ciao, for now!

 

Affectionately Yours,

Anika x

 

PERSONAL // 21 days until Europe

I am guessing you just read the title of this post. Now that I’ve actually posted this, it’s only 20 days… but I digress. You read it right, less than 3 weeks until I fly to Europe.

I have already watched two of my friends pack a bunch of their favourite clothes, their essential toiletries and the usual medications (panadol, travel sickness etc) into one backpack and catch their flights overseas to enjoy the European summer.

Soon, another few of my friends will undertake the same ritual of packing all their favourites into one bag and taking off to explore the other side of the world. But not before I must!

So, I’m really going to Europe. On exchange. I’ll be living overseas for 6 months.

With regard to the administrative side of exchange, I’m pretty set. I have filled out the relevant forms. I’ve applied for my Italian visa. My passport is up to date. I have my accommodation sorted.

Now comes the dreaded task – packing clothes to last me 6 months in Europe. Don’t get me wrong, I absolutely love clothes. However with this love, comes a love for shopping… and over the years, I have accumulated a large collection of fabulous/wild/wonderful pieces. This is why it is so difficult to pack.

Packing for Europe

There is so much I want to take, but obviously I only have one bag… and who knows, there may be clothes I want to buy over there. So, I’ve been doing a little research. I have found a few good sites with comprehensive packing lists (aka this great list and this one for long term travel and finally this one which probably has a little more than I’d like to take but is still useful).

My friend also recently linked me this great article written by Zoe Foster Blake (does anyone else have a #girlcrush on her?!). I 100% agree with finding your own style and immersing yourself in the country you are going to. I guess I’ll just have to paw through the Lonely Planet Guide to Italy that I picked up at the library… poor me (just kidding, of course!).

You must be wondering, what is she going to pack?! I’m not entirely sure yet, and it’s a work in progress, but here is a rough draft of my packing list at the moment:

Anika’s ‘what I think I’ll bring to wear for 6 months in Europe’ list

Clothes

  • Three t-shirts (a white, a grey and a khaki green)
  • Two shirts (a white linen shirt and an embroidered floral shirt-dress)
  • Two long-sleeved tops (for the colder months)
  • Three dresses (one for going out and two casual)
  • A skirt (I have realised I don’t tend to wear many skirts, but maybe it’ll change once I’m over in Europe!)
  • Two pairs of shorts (1 x denim and 1 x fun)
  • Two pairs of pants (my linen pants and my funky Âľ flowy pants I bought in Japan)
  • Two pairs of jeans (1 x black, 1 x blue)
  • Work-out gear (tights and an exercise top)
  • A comfy outfit (leggings and a jumper)
  • A jumper or two (1 x good-lookin’ one and 1 x comfy/warm one???)
  • My beloved puffer jacket
  • The relevant underwear (of course)

Accessories

  • A funky pair of earrings
  • A scarf

Shoes

  • My sneakers (my Nike free runs)
  • A pair of low-heeled black boots
  • My black Birkenstocks (the standard Arizona style – they are soo comfy)
  • Thongs (wouldn’t be an Aussie if I didn’t bring my thongs)
  • (Maybe a pair of summer sandals? What do you all think?)

 

Let me know if I have missed anything or whether you think there is anything you would add… although I’m sure I’ll add to it as the days pass and I remember more 🙂

 

I hope you all have a great week.

 

Affectionately Yours,

Anika x

EXPLORE // Hidden Gems in Fyshwick

Fyshwick. An industrial suburb filled with car dealers and sex shops. Not many people would brag about going to Fyshwick, but today I am going to shock you (not really) and explain why you should venture there.

After a few road trips (including a visit to Bowral which you can read about here), my car was in need of a little TLC. I called up Mario at 5A Mechanical who I highly recommend, and booked the ol’ car in for a service.

With a few hours to kill, I decided to call a friend and explore the hidden gems in Fyshwick with her. As it was lunchtime, we decided to drop in to our old stomping ground – Flute Bakery.

1. Flute Bakery

In college, Flute Bakery was one of my favourite spots to go during lunch breaks. They do incredible pies, great sandwiches and the most amazing macaroons. I ordered a small coffee ($3.50) and E and I shared a beef and red wine pie ($6.00) and a chicken sandwich ($7.50). It was delicious!

 

I also purchased a loaf of multigrain sourdough bread for $6.00! It’s not pictured, but I’m sure you can imagine how good it tastes. I will definitely be enjoying my morning toast these next few days.

 

2. Material Pleasures

Across the road from Flute is Material Pleasures, which we could not resist browsing following our lunch. They buy and sell second-hand designer clothes, and you can often snatch yourself a bargain… Best of all, you’re supporting sustainable fashion and the environment!

After trying on some dresses and skirts, and admiring the Max Mara pants, I found this Ralph Lauren jumper. It was in the male section (no shame) but it was super comfy and is 100% lambs wool. I checked the price and it was $30.00! I couldn’t say no – I’m a sucker for knits.

FullSizeRender-20.jpg
A knit to keep me red hot in Winter

Side note: I am yet to do a post on sustainable/ethical fashion, but at the start of the year I decided that I would limit my spending (partially because I bought too many clothes last year and partially because I realised how unsustainable the clothing industry is – shoutout to Gary and sustainable marketing).

 

3. Canty’s Bookshop 

After our fill of textures and satisfied tastebuds, we went to Canty’s Bookshop. It is a marvellous second-hand bookshop, filled with numerous titles.

Now that it is holidays (woo!), I have much more time to relax… and one of my favourite ways to relax is reading. As I mentioned in THOUGHTS // Week 12: The Importance of Self-Care, I already have Haruki Murakami’s new book ‘Men Without Women’ on my reading list. However, with the range at Canty’s Bookshop, I was unable to leave empty handed.

 

I bought the following titles:

  1. Siddhartha by Herman Hesse;
  2. Love in the Time of Cholera by Gabriel García Márquez; and
  3. The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho.

They have been on my ‘wanted to buy’ list for a while, so I was happy to get my hands on them. They were also super cheap, the most expensive being $6.50. In total, the three books were cheaper than my new Murakami book.

FullSizeRender-21.jpg
My new (old) books!

Nonetheless I am always on the hunt for new titles, so if you have any recommendations for my holiday reading, shoot me a comment! Or let me know if you have read any of the above and whether you enjoyed them.

All in all, I hope I’ve inspired you to venture out to Fyshwick and explore the fine eats, arts and goings on.

 

Affectionately Yours,

Anika x

 

PERSONAL // Life Update

I like consistency, and so I decided that I would do a new blog post each week around 7am, Wednesday. This week, I have not done so. Not because I forgot, not because I didn’t want to, but because life got in the way and my attention has been focused elsewhere. You’ll learn why soon.

Anyway, for this week, I’ve decided to write a short and bittersweet life update:

The good news

  • On a positive note, I finished exams on Monday! You may have seen this on my Instagram or I may have excitedly told you. This means semester 1 of 2017 is complete, and I only have 1 1/2 years of study left – eeek… and one of those semesters will be spent in Milan. How time flies…
  • On another positive note, I am officially an ANU Global Programs storyteller which means I will submit my stories/adventures/misadventures to Global Programs and they might feature on the blog. I was gifted a T-shirt and a selfie stick – very exciting.
IMG_5540.JPG
Sunrise on the morning of 5 June 2017.

But with good, comes bad… so here it is.

The not-so-good news

  • One of the most inspirational women in my life passed away. She would have been 95 on Monday 5 June 2017. My Great Aunt (“Auntie Anne”) was born in Germany and escaped just before World War II. She lived in Australia and carved out a life for herself, making many wonderful friends along the way. She loved going for walks on the beach every day, alongside a furry companion (the last was Billie, a spotty cattle dog who absolutely adored Auntie Anne). I loved her with all my heart and unfortunately, I never got to say goodbye. I guess that happens in life. You never know when something might happen, or when your last goodbye might be. It’s one of the reasons that I always like to let the people in my life know how much I love and appreciate them. Live each day like it’s your last, I say.
FullSizeRender.jpg
A photo of Telstra Tower at sunset on the same day (5 June 2017).

So, that’s where I’m at.

It is now 40 days until I head to Europe, so I suppose I should start organising visas and think about what to pack (and if we’re being honest here, where I even want to go).

Speaking of which, if anyone has any recommendations for what to pack when travelling for long periods (esp when you’re due to be living in a fashion capital !!!), please leave a comment!

Well, that is all for this week. Back to watching Netflix and bumming out on the couch because I’ve finished exams and have no study to do – oooohhh yeah.

 

Affectionately Yours,

Anika x