Monday, 26 November 2012

A side trip to Hannover and Cologne

I got back yesterday and have spent today making a new video which updates you pretty much from the last video in Perpignan.

There's a lot of food, partying and not a lot of sleep so be warned!

Anyway, a written update:

Hannover, Germany.

We went shopping and spent way too much money in Primark. We saw a few historical buildings of Hannover, some places where Jacque had once worked. We watched Wanderlust (loved it!), we cooked Snitzel and kartoffelbrei with Cleo, Jacque's friend. We returned to Primark so Jacque could buy her New Years Eve dress and then went Ice Skating! Then after spending several hours girling-it up with make-overs and junk-food, we went to sleep and the next day I took the train to meet Anna in Cologne. I had a wonderful time and it was great to see Jacque after almost a year but feel as if we'd never left each others sides!

Cologne, Germany.

The first evening we reminisced about International Camp 2011 and 2012 but Anna had school the next morning so I slept in until Kadn and her returned to wake me up, Anna went back to school and Kadn and I went to town to find Kadn a birthday party outfit.
After school, Anna, Jenny and I went to get coffee before heading to Kadn's 18th birthday party. I had a Snickers Latte with less coffee then normal and loved it.

Kadn's party went on until about 6 am and then we slept over at hers. The next day Anna and I cuddled up in bed after long hot showers and drank organic tea and watched Türkisch für Anfänger (Also loved it!) until Susie (IC12) and Sophia (IC11) came over and then we went to get another coffee but in a different place. I had a Mandle latte. Not as good as the Snickers but still yum.

After the coffee, Anna, Susie and Sophia went back to Anna's and I stayed to meet Kadn and Vicky to go to a club. (Kadn's first club since turning 18). We got there at around 11 pm but it didn't really get started until 1 am so we danced away to Dubstep until around 5.30am before heading home. I managed to find Anna's house again in the very early morning light but unfortunately the front door key didn't work so I had to call her to let me in, woops. She went back to bed and I snuck in to sleep next to Susie.

Sophia and Susie

On my last day there, Anna's singing teacher came over for a big three-course meal and we ate ourselves well and truly fat. Starter was a creamy soup followed by some salad and then Rouladen with duplings and the sweetest juiciest Rotkohl that I've ever tasted. There was also Spinach Lasagna to have but I was already too full to try it :(
Lastly, we had a super sweet orange cake which surprised me because I don't usually like fruit cakes, but it was lush.

Then before we knew it Anna and I had to go to the train station and I was back on the train from Cologne to Amsterdam. Time to say goodbye yet again...

The train was a little delayed but I got back in good time to meet my mother, come home to a shoe filled with presents and read the last chapter of my book. (A song of Ice and Fire, book 3, part 1). Then I filled my parent's their shoes and went to sleep.

Today I've spent organising some more of my interrail trip and I've now even got a plan for New Years and the first half of January. After Christmas, I'm going to fly to Dublin to stay in Carlow with Anna, Kadn and Tess at Colm's house for New Years and then I'm flying to England to see Abigail, Hedvika, my Nan, to go to the Duke of Edinburgh Gold Ceremony at the Palace in London with my dad and then to visit Becky at UEA before flying back to Amsterdam.
Then I have about two weeks of sorting out University things and planning my trip to the USA before I'm spending Carnival in Cologne with Anna again (planning to dress as Daenerys Targaryen).

After that, I'm not sure what's going to happen but I'm hopefully going to spend April and May in Italy.

That's all for now,
Lucy xxo

P.S. I'm no longer going to Morocco as they changed a lot of their details and just made it awkward for me so I'm going toIreland and England instead : D

Thursday, 15 November 2012

Travel Advice!

Hey y'all, I'm in Amsterdam now and am almost recovered from my illness.. still got some sniffles but they get less every day :-D a big yay for mumma's home-made cooking and catching up with episodes of Merlin with my dad!

(Yes I managed to wheel two suitcases and a big heavy rucksack all the way from Schlangenbad to Amsterdam, I am stronger than I thought! Unfortunately  mum has seriously bruised herself when she rolled the red one over her small toe in Amsterdam - Sorry mum!)

In the past couple of days I have been planning planning planning researching researching researching researching planning planning planning... and well the results aren't very solid yet but I think its getting there. (I've done so much planning and researching that my suitcases are still sitting here untouched and the only thing really taken out is my toothbrush and toothpaste)

But look how pretty my bedroom view is!

So if you are travelling yourself, planning a small trip or a longer one like me. Here's some things to watch out for:

SHOP AROUND! Especially when at Amsterdam Centraal station where you can get the SAME train ticket from the Inland Counter for 54 euros but if you go ONE COUNTER TO THE LEFT, you can get the SAME ticket at the the International Counter for 25 euros and if you go ONLINE you can get it for 21 euros - but only if you have the right passport or ID as British Passports aren't valid.

But we found a way to use a different credit card to pay to the one you could use as ID which you HAVE to show to the train-conductor when they ask for your ticket. (This is 100% for Germany, I don't know about using trains in other countries... that's coming later)

Now I find out in the next 3 days whether I'll be spending January and February in Morocco, then once I find out that, I can see if going to Kenya afterwards is a possibility.. I've found a voluntary Environmental Documentary opportunity which sounds amazing, but I need to get some more details on that before I commit! (Could be a big scam for all I know at the moment). After Africa, I am currently deciding which part of Italy to visit and to work in a hostel or a hotel and riding school or a Peace Garden... all these opportunities I have found on - you pay a 22 euro registration fee, which lasts for 2 years and then you can search for Hosts all across the world who are willing to house you and feed you if you help them out on their farm/hostel/just with the family/their renovation/etc. The only complaints I read before paying the fee's was that some people didn't get any replies. However, I registered two days ago and have already found more than 5 opportunities that I am interested in and where I have gotten replies. Yes I have messaged more than 5 hosts but at least half have replied so it's worth it in my mind! Plus a few, such as Kenya, messaged me.

The other thing I am currently looking at for December is to get an interrail train card which allows me to travel on 10 days within 22 days all over Europe with the train lines.( )
I'm just waiting on some plans to finalise and then I'll buy the ticket and probably be off in the last few days of November.

Before that I am going to Hannover on Monday 19th November to visit Jaqueline (I met her at IC11 and we spent New Years 2011-2012 together in England) and then to go to Cologne from Thursday 22nd to Sunday 25th with Anna (who I also met at IC11 but spoke more at IC12) - which includes Kadn's 18th Birthday party on the 23rd (Kadn is also from Camp).

SO yes, things are picking up again but I'll have to wait for Morocco's answer to really finalise the rest of my plans!

Travelling by train through Germany

Of course, I'll try and keep my blog updated at all times,

Friday, 9 November 2012

Poor ol' Germany

So I log onto this morning and see that there's a new music video on my subscriptions so I casually click it and this comes up:

Now this is about the 10th time this has happened and I'm starting to get annoyed about it. (I've had to mentally save them all in 'watch in another country') When I was in the Netherlands or France there were never any messages like this, neither in Turkey! Why is Germany so restricted? I really wouldn't have thought that.

Anyway, in other news, I've said Goodbye to the Kindergarten and on Monday I will be going back to Amsterdam to start a-new. I have absolutely no solid plans so that's what I'll be doing in Amsterdam.

Today at 5pm I have a Skype interview with an organisation in Morocco, so wish me luck! From what I've read, it looks like a mixture between International Camp and Turkey... so kind of perfection!

At the weekend, Marion's (My German aunt) mother is turning 90 so we are all heading down there with cakes and etc. as even the major of her town is popping over, how sweet!

Until Monday, I need to figure out how to pack all my things into manageable items as I arrived here by car and will be leaving by train from Mainz Hbf to Cologne, then change from Cologne to Amsterdam Centraal... and I'm doing it on my own so there will be some serious need to have adopted by mum's mad packing skills :)

Feeling better,
       Lucy xxo

Wednesday, 7 November 2012

Camp America Fail

San Francisco, California, USA

As some of you probably know, I've been trying to apply to Camp America for quiet some time now. I'd made my first payment, gotten past the interview and even payed for my CRB check and answered the new 'Campower' questions...

Camp America allows you to pick to work either as a Councillor or as a Campower member. The Councillors work directly with the children throughout their Camp America experience while the Campower work behind the scenes; cleaning, cooking etc.

I'd applied to be a Campower member, you and your interviewer decide this during the interview and when you get back from the interview there are new questions for you to answer linked more directly with either Councillor positions or Campower positions.

Unfortunately, yesterday I found out that you can only be a Campower member if you are a full time student, so even though I have a place at Chester University from September 2013 and even have a student card from them, I do not apply for the Campower visa. (sad face)

Since I really don't want to be a Councillor (personally I think I've worked enough with children for someone who doesn't even want to work with them in their future career) they've kindly deleted my account and I will have a full refund within 5 to 10 workings days.

So yes, just a warning to anyone ever wishing to apply, if you want to work in Campower, you need to be a student first. As far as being a Councillor, there is no such requirement that I know of.

Man am I glad I didn't fly to England ONLY for my Camp America interview! Anyway, now I have the whole summer free again and might possibly go to International Camp 2013 and/or Poland and/or maybe I'll find something new to do in America. I still want to visit, that's for sure!

As always, I'll keep you updated.

As for what's occurring here in Germany, I've spend the last two days in bed as I almost fainted in the woods on Tuesday morning (we go to explore the woods with the Kindergarten children every so often) and so am currently recovering under a blanket with a cat-shaped hot water bottle lying on me. ;)

I had lunch today with my Grandparents and applied to possibly go to Morocco in December/January... we shall see what comes of that! If it does go forward I guess I'll have to explore Germany another time and I wont be able to attend the Gold Duke of Edinburgh Award Ceremony on January 15th or visit Becky and Abigail afterwards but this is Morocco we are speaking about! :-D Besides, I can always visit them when I get back.

So yes, it's been pretty up and down here in Germany, I don't particularly enjoy my job here, in fact I've gotten quiet depressed about it several times but maybe with something like Morocco to look forward to, it'll get better. I'm not sure. Either that, or I'll leave even earlier than November 30th and re-inspire myself in Amsterdam and dedicate a whole week to planning what comes next! Since I'm pretty much back to square one now that I have no fixed plans ahead!

So my advice to you if you are travelling yourself, make sure you ask enough questions about what you will be doing in each place to visit so that you don't get disappointed or trapped in something you quiet hate. Plan, ask questions and most of all, ask yourself, would you REALLY be happy doing that for so long? Or are you just being optimistic?

Chin up,

Thursday, 1 November 2012

The French Invasion, London

Overall I had a really amazing time in London, it was such great fun seeing so many faces that usually only appear for me at Camp. Unfortunately I managed to spend almost £200 (mainly on travel to and from the airport, a 7 day underground and bus travel card and food). But I still think it was worth it :)
Here is my time in London in Pictures:

The toilet paper and post it notes invasion,

The Confetti invasion

So yeah, pretty epic. I had the Camp America interview on the Monday, I think that went pretty well. I'm through to the next stage where I have a chance to update and improve my profile, answer a new after-interview questionnaire and then its put online for all the American Recruiters to see! Once that occurs I can get hired from then until May... I'm hoping for sooner rather than later so that there's more time to organise the rest of my year!

I am exceptionally tired,