Never Have I Ever

A fun game to play among your friends/family/acquaintances… A fun way to get to know people in a deeper way.

Never have I ever…

been to Armenia before.

… taken part on a 7-day intense training course on

… discussed the

… discovered how easy it is to fall into extremist ideas.

… adorned a notebook in such a beautiful way.

… had some of the most delicious meals paired with the most delicious lavash.

… hitchhiked in Dilijan’s town just for the sake of not having to walk back to the hotel.

… frozen my ass off in Lake Sevan (while trying to take some beautiful photos).

… scrounged a beautiful tea mug.

… played Never Have I Ever with people from Portugal, Italy, Germany, Poland, Ukraine, Georgia and Armenia.


I have done them all!

Advertisements

Tierra soleada

Who knew that in Muş I would have the chance to come across such amazing hermanos?

Wheel Málaga

Málaga came to be without much thinking. Onward flight booked and off I went to Andalucía! As soon as I stepped out of the turboprop aircraft I was immediately slammed in the face by the scorching July sun.

The two-month hiatus came to and end. António, who had deceived me into thinking that I would be journeying alone to the centre of Málaga, was waiting for me at the arrivals hall. Portunhol soon became the default language in which my thoughts were formed and dialogues articulated. ¡Hola! ¿Qué tal?

The days were spent drinking cañas, nibbling on late evening tapas and sunbathing whenever the opportunity arose. Wandering around the city, climbing up Castillo de Gibralfaro for some panoramic views and venturing into the Museo Picasso (a must! Málaga was the artist’s birthplace) completed my Andalucían foray.

Guapoooos

Spanish sing-along!

Arriba,
Aabajo,
Al centro,
Y adentro!

El que no apoya no folla,
El que no recorre no se corre,
Y por la virgen de Guadalupe, que si no follo, que me la chupen!

This post wouldn’t be complete without mentioning Inma! Inma is the cute Andalucían girl who made this Spanish incursion possible. She opened the doors of her shared apartment (on a very peculiar neighbourhood, I should add) with Elisa and Jésica to me and António. She was incredibly caring and attentive and made sure my stay was as memorable as possible. Indeed, I didn’t need much to feel at home. I actually got some cute motherly vibes from her side.

Te echo de menos, chica!

AHHAAAAAAAAA

Eesti, once again! More than two years had passed since I set foot in the land of the double-vowels-in-every-word. Unlike last time though, this trip meant business more than leisure. After all, the two-day stay in Tartu was planned around the organisation of a Youth Exchange (thanks Erasmus+!) due to happen in the later days of September.

The venue, known as AHHAA (read it like Eureka!) Science Centre, is the biggest place of its kind in the Baltic region. Being big can only mean so much, if that doesn’t equate having a good experience… At AHHAA one can easily spend a full day experimenting and learning from all kinds of sources, whether it is chemistry, physics, astronomy, biology, environment, you name it! So in this case big definitely means awesome!

Buzzwords aside, you do end up learning through the joy of discovery and the hands-on approach that places like this one offer. In many cases, unfortunately, this is the exact opposite of what people get from their school education.

So together with my fellow colleagues from Estonian, Czech Republic, Italy, Hungary (and Brazil!), I got to immerse myself in the science centre as well as ironing out all the Youth Exchange details, like scheduling, activity leaders and other bureaucracies.

I was definitely impressed with the commitment and enthusiasm of everyone involved! I’ll be damned if this doesn’t turn out to be a magnificent project!

Tartu, see you in September!


AHHAA Science Centre

/website
/facebook

Teşekkürler

Turkey! A huge country that spans across two continents, connecting the East and the West.

There are so many places to visit that a week or two weeks or a month wouldn’t suffice.

There is Istambul, Ankara (its capital!), Antalya, İzmir, Cappadocia… Turkey is packed with remarkable destinations. Yet my first incursion into Turkey bypassed all those places. Muş came to be. With roughly 80 thousand inhabitants, it is a place lost in the Kurdish region, 1500 km away from Istanbul.

Muş felt like it ran at two different speeds. On one hand it boasted modern buildings all around, wide avenues filled with shops and shoppers, one large university campus… Yet it still didn’t feel modern, per say. On the other hand, women selling foodstuffs and kids offering their shoe polish services right on the streets was a common sight. As soon as you stepped off the commercial area, things were quite different: endless roads under never-ending construction, stray dogs barking, trash scattered everywhere, run-down facades… It had it all.

Something that really took me by surprise was the way men presented themselves. And I don’t exactly mean the way they look but more on their behaviour. They strolled down the streets arm in arm with their male friends. Wasn’t expecting that, to be honest. Body language is indeed a fascinating subject.

You’ll for sure drink plenty of tea (and coffee!) among friends, sitting (almost squatting actually) in cute little chairs paired with cute little tables at one of the many cafés. Besides all the social life, coming to Muş had the purpose of becoming multipliers for preventing addiction. Addiction from what? Drugs, alcohol, smoking… We had debates, talks and got an insight on various policies that countries use to tackle these issues.

Overlooking Turkey

Got the chance of meeting really clever and downright interesting people. It would take a lifetime to put into words all that we lived among those 7 days together.

Mountain Dinner

Ankara

Pip’s

When your soulmate abducts you from your daily life and takes you on a journey into the middle of the Atlantic. A birthday present hard to beat.

Destination: Terceira.

Eu Terceira

The Azorean archipelago might just be my favourite spot in Portugal. Nine islands of unparalleled beauty and where humans have found a way to be in a symbiotic relation with nature, without disrupting it.

We had a car and 4 days to make the best of our time in Terceira island. Nothing much had been planned ahead (it was a surprise getaway for me, after all…) so we decided things as we explored it.

Personal recommendations

  • Algar do Carvão: right in the epicentre of the island we can find a 2000 year-old nature-made hole that you can explore up to 100 meteres deep; careful not to set an eruption!
  • Miradouro da Serra do Cume: great for those inspirational Instagram photos.
  • Serra de Santa Bárbara: you can’t get any higher in Terceira than this; make sure you bring a coat with you, it might surprise you on how windy it is.
  • Piscinas Naturais de Biscoitos: if you fancy a swim without putting yourself at risk, this is a great place. Plus, the dark volcanic rocks give it a great atmosphere.
  • Alto da Memória: the tropical garden that leads you to it is a great place to unwind; climb up to one of the best views of Angra.
  • Monte Brasil: no, you haven’t reached South America just yet; right next to the city of Angra do Heroísmo you can find this green site: perfect for a hike or a picnic under the trees;
  • Caneta: if you want to try some local delicacies, this is it; go for the Alcatra dos Açores (if you are a meat kind-of-person), the most local dish you can have on Terceira island.
  • Pip’s: surprisingly, one of the best memories I will have of this stay in Terceira is having breakfast in our cute little cottage while sipping on some tasty apple juice from a local brand named Pip’s. It felt surprisingly refreshing, even for someone (me) who is not very keen on apple juice. Highly recommended!

Greeeeeeeeeen

Every day we were certain of two things: feasting our eyes on all the green and blue we could take in and resting our souls in a beautiful and secluded place called Pico da Vigia.

A simple, yet incredibly thoughtful house on the foothills of Serra de Santa Bárbara, overlooking the Atlantic, was our home. The green door led to an oasis of tranquillity, where you could find both modern and antique furtinute that gave the space a unique atmosphere. No detail was left undone.

In the morning the ritual included opening the window shutters to take inside the house all the green and blue it could. And then picking up a small woonden basket with fresh bread to prepare our breakfast…

2 // 9

Pico da Vigia