Highlights of Strasbourg

Despite having only a couple of days time to see places around Strasbourg, we really made the most of it. The first thing we did when we arrived in Strasbourg was explore the city centre and relax before our big day in the European Parliament. Much to our delight, the renowned French department store Printemps had been renovated only some days before our trip, and it was looking fabulous! Another thing that got us jumping to the ceiling were the ticket prices in public transport. Where I live, one single ticket from place A to place B costs over 3 euros. In Strasbourg a 24h ticket for three people cost under five euros. Good job!

A restaurant I would heartily recommend is Brasserie Max which is situated literally right in the centre of Strasbourg. Max looked quite posh from the outside (and was also extremely stylish from the inside) so we really had to think whether three underage youngsters could go have lunch in it. However, after asking for a table politely in French, they were pleased to serve us. The food itself, the service and the interior decoration were all absolutely stunning. I ordered the traditional Tarte Flambée which was basically like a thin pizza made of onions, ham and crème fraîche. As a cherry on the top, it was served on a wooden tray, which made a nice change to the normal plates.

Of course the peaceful cathedral Notre Dame de Strasbourg was a must-see. We decided to climb up the tower and it sure was windy up there! After all this, we also had a little time for shopping, more eating and Petite France. Unfortunately no good photos of Petite France were taken because we went there by night and it was too dark to take nice photos.

I must say that people in the Alsace region didn't talk too much English so it became crucial to know French. A friend of mine said that he wasn't getting served at an ice-cream stand because they didn't understand or want to speak in English. He started speaking in German and voilà, he got his ice-cream in no time. German, French and a mixture of those two, Alsatian are all widely spoken in the region. On the contrary, when I was ordering my food politely in French, the waiter insisted on talking English. Funny Alsatian guys. Their language is what makes it unique compared to Paris, for example.

We found a miniature version of Strasbourg!


This Tropical Island in France

I know this is the third time I am writing about this island but I still have lots of photos. You might remember Fort Royal CLICK and Paradise Island CLICK which both tell about this island too. Oh, how I would love to go back!

I actually got a bit sentimental when we were in our boat sailing to this island. It was another warm Sunday and none of us were in a hurry. My hair was fluttering in the wind, I was surrounded by a bunch of good friends and we listened to some great music. I couldn't help but let the tears roll down my cheeks. I guess someone else was happy too as I saw an old lady dancing on the deck to the rhythm of our music.
Apparently grasshoppers can be BIG in France

This is enough from this one island, don't you think? Haha, seriously. Just look at the poor amount of text in this post! Time to leave it behind now. There are already 48 of you followers on GFC, thank you all


The City of Movie Stars

Hello from Cannes! This city is best-known for its annual film festival which attracts celebrities from all over the world. The photos above are where the festival is held, but of course the place looks a bit different after decorating it with red carpets and other glamorous stuff.
We visited Cannes very quickly which I thought was a shame. I was really looking forward to exploring all the cute streets and going through second hand shops (perhaps to discover some used luxury handbags, who knows) On that day it rained and thundered for the first time in France. Some of us seemed to be quite scared as we zigzagged our way in the mountains by bus.

We did have some time for shopping! I think Cannes was the city where I actually did most of my purchases during the language course. The streets had a really nice feel and atmosphere in them. Didn't really stand out of the other Riviera cities, but it was still beautiful. Here is some video material from Cannes, too! CLICK


Not-So-Safe Rides in Luna Park, Fréjus

All the talk about Luna Park in Fréjus on the internet was true. It wasn't a glorious amusement park with a great number of safe rides. My friends and I had a good time there, although we all agreed on one thing: the whole place was a total rip off and the rides were lacking safety.

Olympic City was probably the only ride that felt secure, haha! It surprised us by strawberry-smelling gas and its canopy which appeared right above our heads during the ride. By the way, You can check out the video of Luna Park over here. Now let's go on to the more ferocious rides.

Loop Zone has to be one most awful rides on which I've ever been. I was screaming like the last day for the whole time. It really goes 360 degrees and even stops for a while when upside down! Magic Mountain would have been alright if our necks had not been banging against the seats all the time... Especially while being upside down, the ride felt very insecure. UFO Speed was something I did not try myself. My friends tried it, however, and they weren't that excited about it. People stand inside small cabins while the ride spins in an upright position. My friends told me you had to hold on to the barriers extremely tight if you  didn't want to be flung back and forth. Ouch.

Last but not least is paintball! I was in two minds whether to play or not but I decided to watch the Italian's game instead. The suits and masks and everything looked fun! As a conclusion, I'd say Luna Park is really expensive seeing what it offers. One ride cost 2-5 euros. Luckily there are some discount vouchers for the rides that you can easily find from different kinds of shops and restaurants nearby. Better luck next time, I suppose! This summer I'm going to Linnanmäki amusement park in Helsinki as I haven't visited it for some years.


5 Things To Do in Monaco-Ville

That's me, my little brother and my step sister!

Our first stop was at a palace were the changing of the guard took place at 11:55. The Prince's Palace is right on top of the mountain and was built in the 12th century so it's pretty old. What makes it a bit peculiar, however, is its design. While others were building glorious baroque and renaissance castles, this one in Monaco was built in a much more simple way. That's me, my little brother and my step sister in the last photo!

After seeing the palace it was time to wander the streets of the old town. There are tons of ice-cream stalls where you can get heavenly Italian ice-cream. We went dining in a restaurant whose name I unfortunately can't recall. So helpful, eh... But it was wonderful! The menu included a starter salad, the main course and a desert. I then decided to have a salad niçoise, spaghetti bolognese and a chocolate mousse. All this charged me only 18 euros even though we were moving in an area packed with tourists!

The Roman Catholic Sainte-Dévote Chapel was an extempore attraction. We had no plans to visit it, mainly because none of us had never heard of it. The chapel turned out to be a very beautiful, peaceful and silent one. Of course places like this are always quiet, but this one had absolutely no people although it was midday. We lit a couple of candles as you do in these places.

I just had to post lots of photos of fish! They look so nice and colourful... some even scary. Anyway, it was very interesting to follow the sealife and see so many different species of fish. This place is The Oceanographic Museum of Monaco. I say this attraction is really a must-see in Monaco as it is one of a kind. One has not been to Monaco without seeing its cute fish!

Last but not least the exotic gardens are worth a visit. I can only say that this park is very aesthetic, very well-kept and peaceful. As it overlooks the sea, the view is terrific (if you don't mind the seagulls) and will give you a little break in between all the sightseeing. I already mentioned this garden in an earlier post click! I hope you people got inspired to see a lot more in Monaco, as it's not only about Monte Carlo Casino, Grand Prix and luxury yachts - even though they are pretty fine as well!