donderdag 6 december 2007

back in belgië

just to let you all know, cause people constantly ask me: I'll be back in België on the 16th of December, probably at about 6 pm and I will be until the first week of January. I'm thinking about going back the 5th of so, it will depend on how much progress I made during the holidays on my essays and exam. I have a deadline on the 10th and the 16th, as well as an exam on the 16th. The very good news is, is that I don't have to leave the flat until the 26th! so emilie and sara and me are thinking about taking a little trip to ... Scotland perhaps? we'll see. anyway, I'll back be on Sunday, next week... *sigh* just to point out once more what I will be missing (amongst all the social features around here):

a random sunset in aber...

dinsdag 4 december 2007

manchester trip 24-25-26/12

hellow everybody!

how are you guys holding up these days? I know, you must be thinking: it's been a while, what has she been up to? well, the picture might give you a hint...

on 24-25-26 December, Sara (a german friend who became on of my closest friends here) and me visited Manchester. those who know me extremely well, know I've always wanted to go there, just because I once read this awesome review saying 'Manchester is like London, just smaller and trendier'. so curious little me was eager to find out!

I must say: Manchester is charming, cool and cosy. it is not even nearly as big as London (du-hu) but that makes it very easy to get around and not get lost - always an advantage.
we stayed in a youth hostel, Hilton Chambers (yeah how does that sound :)?!) which was very nice, modern and clean, right in the center of town. we can recommend it to everyone. unfortunately we both couldn't stop ourselves from going out in Aber on friday so after walking around for 6 hours on Saturday (mostly just wandering and watching all the beautiful buildings (we did make it to go in to Urbis, a very cool exhibition space and the beautiful cathedral) - shopping - christmas marketing) after a sleepy train ride there, we were completely beat! we just made it to a nice italian restaurant with great pizza's, but after that we crashed in the amazingly comfortable couches in the TV lounge of the hostel, right in front of ... can u guess? a TV :)! I repeat myself, but still: I'm a TV student! I love TV and I'm not afraid to admit it! so a cosy night in front of the TV watching 'Strictly come dancing' sounded fabulous! we were kinda intimidated when all of a sudden 9 guys (it was a 'mixed' hostel!) were surrounding us; you see, we weren't being very attentive until the obvious hit us in the face! I was afraid I had to change the channel, but they didn't mind or were too afraid to admit it and take away my 'Strictly come dancing'! anyway, we talked to some australians (weird people those ausies) and eventually went to bed really early, we couldn't take it anymore!
the next day we were determined to see the rest of the city. we left the hostel at 9.30 and returned at 20.00. again, as tired as can be, no wonder! first we took the metrolink to the Lowry museum. Lowry is a famous Manchester painter who was introduced to us be a very interesting short film. his paintings are different but we found them both worth seeing, with certain favourites of our own. we crossed the bridge to the imperial war museum. we didn't visit the actual museum but the building is worth the walk. designed by Liebeskind, it is a very special something with a magnificent view. we then got back and visited the Manchester Art Gallery. as you can see on the pictures, we had some serious fun there. the British museums are very good in attracting children or young people by their interactive facilities. sara and I both felt we had to test all those stuff, and we had fun doing it (the viking is the best pic taking from this adventurous tour)! we had a wonderful lunch there and decided that after all this culture, we were entitled to some... oh yeah: SHOPPING!
like other British cities (Cardiff, Birmingham and now Manchester) the shopping facilities there were pretty awesome. loads of shops, a huge shopping mall, all a girl's best friend! a christmas present here, a nice sweater/dress-whatever-you-call-it there, it could be called a success. the christmas markets were very busy, but nevertheless very cosy and you know I love christmas and all the things involved, such as ... gluhwein! we had our first this year and it was very tasty. we decided to shop at the christmas market for our dinner since we are both big french cheese fans and saw a booth with the most smelly cheeses! it was gonna be a delicious and very cheap dinner! but after taking the smelly cheese home, we had to do something else very christmassy! ICE SKATING :)! we had been passing it for 10 times, and we had to join all those screaming people! after 4 minutes of uneasy skating, we got in to it, and I am proud to say that neither of us fell for 45 minutes! and that's when we left the track, so we didn't fall at all! how about that! screaming and falling people all over the place, but never us!
the dinner was of course very nice, and after again an exhausting but amazing day, we sat back in the sofas and relaxed - at least after the ausie girl who talked the entire time left!
we had a good night sleep again with a mystery guy with funny shoes in our 6 bed mixed dorm, and left the next morning very happy and impressed by Manchester. it's like London, just a smaller and very cool!

special thanks to Sara, the pretzel-eating-funny-hat-wearing-always-up-for-crazy-pictures travel mate! xxx

manchester pics

hmmmm, pretzels on the christmas market on albert square in Manchester

big big santa in front of the town hall
st. ann church
some jewel in the middle of town
they even got a manchester eye!
aren't we funny :p?!

printworks and odeon
urbis (oerbis? ürbis?) ...
a social place
with advertisement exhibitions: Wayne just showed up there!
and sara became a midget - or the marker became a giant marker
the stella's were present
and the playstation caught sara's attention (I think it had more to do with the comfy couch!)
sara and her drunk friends at the hacienda exhibition (let's not mention the bottle she's holding just contains water, but sparkling water it is!)
gracious sara

pure gold
cathedral again, and somewhere you can spot my white foot
cathedral again
autumn colours
and beautiful windows
and singing men!
and again, beautiful light, white ...
or red ...
or all together
manchester by night

debenhams allowed us to use this hat to prove that sara would win the prize of most beautiful hat on waregemse koerse! thank you for the cooperation
the Lowry museum
the Lowry again
and again
the imperial war museum, as you can see... a beautiful creation of Liebeskind

a very peculiar interior design

midget sara again! noooo, just kidding: huge building! the Manchester art gallery
a lot of peacock feathers (hope our little cardiff friends never visit this place)
old versus new
aren't we creative and smart (and not childish at all!)
check out our art work: a giraffe
that's more like it actually...
viking sara
inside st. ann's church
manchester by night
a big big lit santa
more manchester by night
christmas lightings!
ice skating...
without ...
either of us...
train ride home
no comment
spooky sara
wales as we know it: beautiful green landscapes with ... lots of ... SHEEP