Outdoor activities in Santa Barbara

By Sophie Habermann (Germany)

A lot of tourists are travelling to Santa Barbara each year. One reason for travelling to this city is the variability of activities, especially outdoor activities, that Santa Barbara offers to their tourists.

kayaking Sophie Habermanna 1  kayaking Sophie Habermann 2

Kayaking is a very popular outdoor activity in many places. If you’re in Santa Barbara you’ve got the opportunity to do different kayaking courses\routes. On the one hand, you can do coastal kayaking at the Santa Barbara Harbor. Coastal kayaking includes a relaxing introduction to the exciting sport of sea kayaking and afterwards a two hours paddling adventure around the Santa Barbara shoreline. The paddling distance of this tour is about 1-2 miles and it costs $55 per person. Coastal kayaking is the perfect half day activity for the whole family. On the other hand you can do Channel Islands Kayaking, the most popular Channel Island National Park tour. It’s a 2-3 hour trip with a paddling distance of 2.5-3 miles. By doing Channel Islands Kayaking you’re going to explore the sea caves around Scorpion anchorage on Santa Cruz Island, where some of the most beautiful sea caves of the world can be found. The costs of this this trip are $149 per adult and $139 per child (12 and under).

Other popular water sports in Santa Barbara are surfing and stand up paddling. Stand up paddling is the fastest growing ocean sport that allows guests to experience incredible views of the city, mountains and ocean while enjoying a great total body workout. In Santa Barbara it’s possible to take stand up paddle lessons, a two hour session of instruction and practice for $89 per person.

If you’re not interested in stand up paddling you can take surfing lessons instead. Surfing lessons are a simple introduction for a first time surfer or someone who has tried surfing a few times and needs some pointers. Santa Barbara Adventure Company’s surf lessons offer students a great foundation to this exciting sport with knowledgeable instructors.

 

In addition to water activities, Santa Barbara offers different outdoor activities. Biking tours in Santa Barbara are very popular. For example, the wine country tour is a moderate biking tour for $159 per person. The distance is about 10-15 miles and it takes you into the heart of Santa Barbara’s wine country, home to several very popular California vintners. Another popular biking tour is the Mountains to shore tour for $119 per person. This bike ride is great for all skill levels. The start of the tour is high in the mountains and while heading downhill you’ll be stopping to enjoy some of the area’s most loved locations, including the Santa Barbara Mission. The end of this biking tour is at a local Santa Barbara beach. The biking tours are not just about biking. If you want to enjoy the beauty of Santa Barbara you can do the Seaside Biking Tour for $119 per person. This tour, with a distance of 15 miles, is designed to show the beauty of coastal Santa Barbara. The guides will be guiding you along the way, stopping at points of interest for photo opportunities and talking about natural history.

Another outdoor sport in Santa Barbara is rock climbing. Santa Barbara offers you the opportunity to choose between basic and intermediate climbing. Basic climbing is a thorough introduction to rock craft with emphasis on safety and fun. Intermediate Climbing will cost $169 per person and you’ll be climbing basic and challenging routes.

If you’re in Santa Barbara you have got way more activities like horseback riding, snorkeling, etc.. The opportunities for outdoor activities in Santa Barbara are limitless, just give them a try.

Writing this article inspired my to do some of these outdoor activities. Next week I’m going to do surfing and maybe kayaking.

Food Vs Fashion

by Caterina Ciabatti

Foods and fashion are two different realities that collaborate every day.

lobster dress

Pioneer of the fashion inspired by food is the stylist Elsa Schiaparelli, who presented the “lobster dress” in the summer of the 1937. This was a very simple white evening dress with a big red lobster printed on by Salvador Dali. From this moment foods becomes a fabulous inspiration for the fashion’s world.

The biggest designers of the fashion industry always take their inspiration from food.

One of the most important is the genius Jeremy Scott, who realized, for his debut with Moschino’s griffe, an incredible collection based on the McDonald’s icon. It’s a big provocation for the fashion system that he called “Fast Fashion-Fast Food”.

Instead very sweat is the Manish Arora’s collection, which was inspired by cupcakes. Manish AroraShe prints many delicious cakes on her dresses and the result is very funny and ironic. The Queen of pop music, Katy Perry, wears her creations.

Dolce e Gabbana

Also Dolce&Gabbana are inspired by the nature of Sicily, with particular attention to lemons. That’s the symbol of Sicily, and all of us know how very important it is for these two extraordinary stylists.

Not only the biggest designers of the fashion world are impressed by food, also every one of us is influence by it.

Gretchen Roehrs 1

Especially on the web, people love fashion and food. So we can find some special blogs like the one of Gretchen Roehrs. She creates special prints using fruits and vegetables, and the result is very funny and original.

Gretchen Roehrs 2On the other side, normal people start using their smartphone to take fantastic photos of their meals.

Every one of us, every days, eats that’s for sure! But sometimes it’s more important to order beautiful dishes than good one. That’s because we have to post it.

Food must be more colorful than healthy;

So we have to order fabulous dishes, with many colors and the most different form and presentations.

eat is cool

TODAY EATING IS COOL!

Butterfly Beach

Pia Brandt, Germany

A delightful quarter-mile-long beach sits right at the foot of the Biltmore Hotel and Coral Casino. There is plenty of room to relax and enjoy the sun and surf or to take a walk in either direction at low tides along the Butterfly Beach.

This maybe Santa Barbara’s most elegant beach. The long sea wall is topped by imposing cliffs and tall palms blow back and forth in the breeze. You can lay down in the fine sand and enjoy the sun and the lovely smell of the ocean.

A half mile of open beach leads towards East Beach. There are a series of cliffs along the way, rocky outcrops where you can find a more private place. At low tides you can find a lot of seashells, some of them are really special and look gorgeous.

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But you have to be careful because, if the tide comes up, you have to go back to the beach. If the water is too high, you can’t go back and it’s possible you can become surrounded by water within minutes. But, at lower tides, you can also go all the way down to the volleyball courts or the Cabrillo Bath House, which has a very nice outdoor cafe.

Another positive aspect is that people are allowed to bring their dogs with them to Butterfly Beach.

Butterfly-Beach-Montecito-BryceFeb2016-5-965x700

If you are interested in sports and you like to go jogging, Butterfly Beach is also perfect because the sand is not too soft to walk or run on so it is really enjoyable to go jogging on the sand. The view over the ocean is wonderful so you can call it jogging with a view. Butterfly Beach offers many possibilities to have a great day.

All in all I can say that Butterfly Beach is my favorite beach because I can calm down  completely while I lay down in the sand and can “recharge” my energy for the next day.  I also love the ocean. The sound of the waves and the salty smell is gorgeous. When you are in Santa Barbara you should go and visit Butterfly Beach. When you visit it once you may never want to leave it again.

 

 

Muay Thai – A New Way of Lifestyle

Aleksandra Bosancic, Switzerland

boxxx

Deciding to start taking Muay Thai lessons was the best thing I have done so far when it comes to free time activities. That’s why I want to tell you more about this sport in particular and share my own experiences with you.

About

Muay Thai is a combat sport of Thailand, which is also called Thai boxing. There are always two opponents who have to face each other in a ring. A referee is also present. The equipment consists of boxing gloves, trunks and supporters to protect their groin. Mouth shields are also allowed. Contestants wear neither shoes nor shirts. Only ankle caps are permitted.box

The opponents fight against each other until either the fight is over, or one of them manages to knock out the other one.

The process of a fight is the following: There are five rounds and each of them lasts for three minutes. In between, the fighters have a rest for two minutes. At this time they are supposed to recover and seek advice from their coach. The jury is taking notes during the whole fight and distributes points for good hits round for round. So every round has its winner.  After those five rounds, the one with more rounds won, wins the whole fight.

You can also win the fight if you knock out your opponent. There are different kinds of knocking somebody out. First, there is a knockout if your rival cannot get up, thus he cannot continue fighting. Also, the rival can give in, even if he could go on.

Training

As I mentioned before, taking up Muay Thai was a very good decision. Not only one can really exert oneself, but also one learns a lot of different things simultaneously.

First of all, one has to get used to the technique. It is not that easy, because coordination is demanded. Working with one’s legs, arms or basically with the whole body at the same time is very challenging, at least at the beginning it can cause trouble. That’s why training is the most important thing for the ones doing competitions.

It is also a mental challenge. During a fight one should watch the opponent’s steps and his or her technique in order to win the fight, because one can take advantage of the situation if one already knows what one’s opponent will do, before he actually does it. It is also a question of motivation. A person cannot just give in unless he or she is really at his or her end, at least one is expected to give one’s best even if the person is already hurt.boxx

East Side Gallery Berlin Finally a Sign of Freedom? ______________________________________________

By Lisa Winkler, Germany

The Second World War, a disgusting man, who destroyed the whole respect and reputation of Germany, a mass of destructions, broken families and an unbelievable number of victims. All those things happened to Germany since 1939, the start of the Second World War. Now there is the East Side Gallery, which is a remnant of the Berlin Wall.


 

east side

Founding Firstly, the East Side Gallery is founded from February to September in 1990 and is opened all day long. Furthermore, an organization was established to fight for the preservation of the wall.

Location First of all, the largest Open Air Gallery of the world is located in Berlin Friedrichshain and is about 1300 meters (almost one mile) long next to the river Spree. The wall supposed to be a boundary between East Berlin and West Berlin after dividing the city in two parts as the Germans capitulated.

Meaning “Many small people who in many small places do many small things that can alter the face of the world”, the chancellor Merkel of Germany said once about the East Side Gallery. About 106 masterpieces of 118 artists from over 21 different countries all over the world are drowning on it as a sign of pleasure and gladness because of the fall of the Wall in 1989. Even the end of the Cold War between two sides, the euphoria about freedom in whole Germany, the end of oppression and espionage and the hope of all human in Germany for a better world are signs that are represented on this Wall. It is the only authentic monument till today, which appears for the reunion of Germany. All in all, the East Side Gallery stands for personal destinies, wishes and dreams and over 3 million people are going to visit it every year.

Personal Opinion In my opinion the East Side Gallery is a phenomenal opportunity for artists to be creative connected with processing the history of Germany with its ups and downs. Walking through the wall evokes a fantastic atmosphere of feeling the Berlin air and past. It is important for human to deal with the effects of the Second World War and the wall is representing all of these topics. But not only historical themes are painted on the Wall, also a lot of earth saving or current political themes are criticized and discussed there.

Braveness for Imperfection

Nina Brietzke, Germany

“To be brave enough to show your weakness”- this quote is seen very controversial and is interpreted differently by people. The opinions of “showing your weakness” are often negative, because it is incomplete and something is missing.                                                     I mean, nobody likes a blank between their teeth or a blank in the fence.  Is this adage nothing else as a succession of words? Or should we focus on this proverb more often, especially in our private life? Should we take this as advice in a world full of ideals and prejudices?

Nina 1

“Mom, I can’t study for this test, I’ll show my “braveness for imperfection” tomorrow. This sentence comes in mind first, when people think of the topic of imperfection, but it means so much more than just a lazy excuse. It means to be brave enough to try something new or to be brave enough to be yourself, which isn’t easy the whole time. It can also mean to accept the imperfection and purpose to be different from the others. Now one should already see the wideness of this topic and the most exciting thing is that every person in this world gets confronted with this- even if they don’t want to. After a short survey of some of my friends I found out, that this “blank” is mostly seen  positive.

Nina 2

A “blank” in your personality is such a normal thing and is even necessary, because of the uniqueness. These things only make us interesting- and they’re right. So this “blank” stands for the uniqueness or just for the imperfection. To be different from all the others is interpreted as a positive aspect.

But if you look on this extensively you will know that this isn’t very easy. Especially school kids can be very harsh to other kids. The girl that colored her hair blue and cut it short is the one the others are laughing at and that because she is different. To open your character to others and show your interests requests much braveness. It’s sad that young people in particular are getting influenced by the fear of being different or being imperfect. But they should risk this fear to develop their own personality and not just a copy. To be bNina 3rave enough to show your weakness could also mean to find out your sense of life without knowing about it before and just being open to what the future will offer you. These experiences can be the reason of growing up to an independent person and they also form our character so we become who we are – perfect with our own imperfections. So the “blank” can be so much more than the translation of imperfection or wasted time.

Everyone aims for Perfection  

Whether at work or in your private life: everything around you seems to be perfect. Often women are under so much pressure, because the environment expects them to be dressed to the nines, take care of their children and cook all the time after they cleaned the house. Moreover they have to be in a good mood all the time and when the man comes home from work they are expected to take time for him, because he had “such an exhausting day”. At the same time most of these women forget about themselves. These women should definitely free their selves of some expectations of environment and take care about how they see themselves.

Set Priorities

Showing the courage to be imperfect- in this case it means to set focus on the things, which are really important and also to be brave enough to say “no” to certain things, which are unimportant. First you have to ask yourself, if it’s important for you how much friends you have on Facebook! Or is it more important for you to be seen as a perfect person?! No it’s NOT! It does not make anybody happy or even better.Nina 4

The braveness of imperfection- one’s can look on it from different perspectives. You can either see this positive or you could be biased negative, but all in all every one of us has to show their “perfect imperfections” in certain situations of life. The truth about that is that we can legitimate our own mistakes through the “blank” or just accept them but we can’t claim that the “braveness for imperfection” will be easy all the time.

If you liked this and are interested in the topic click the link below.

Thanks 🙂 https://youtu.be/GXoZLPSw8U8

Game of Thrones: A Milestone For TV Shows

By Yasemin Ongun, Turkey

Game of Thrones title card.jpg

Game of Thrones is an American fantasy TV show which started on April 17, 2011. It was based on George R. R. Martin’s fantasy book series A Song of Ice and Fire. The shows running time is around 50 to 69 minutes per episode, which seems a bit long but, while you’re watching the episode, time just passes by. They also don’t have a specific location for filming. The episodes were filmed in places such as Iceland, Malta, Morocco, Canada, Croatia, Spain and the United Kingdom. At the beginning of every episode the theme music composed by Ramin Djawadi and named “Main Title” plays, and even from the theme music, you can understand how exciting the episode will be. In my opinion, a TV show should have attractive theme music so that the viewers start enjoying the show from the second they start watching it. Game of Thrones gives us this opportunity.

Weapons in the series

The show created a stir because of its unique visual effects and quality of the production, but it also attracted criticism for its many scenes includes nudity and violence. Power and violence are the main themes of Game of Thrones, and even the number of weapons used in the episodes proves that. The critics say that the show involves too much female nudity and sexual violence (especially against women). It is true that the series mainly focused on these scenes during the first seasons, but it seems like the producers paid attention to the critics and lowered the number of these scenes. In 6th and 7th seasons, instead of nudity, they mainly focused on the war going on between the houses and the developments that have been made.

The cast of the show is also very impressive. Each actress and actor fit very well to their characters and their excellent skills of expressing the characters emotions are unbelievable. Each of them has diverse techniques and with these actors, the show becomes even more enjoyable. To find such an outstanding cast must have been challenging for the casting directors, you might think. But it actually wasn’t that difficult. Most of the auditions were on point the directors say. There were some casting changes during or after the auditions, but no matter what, the current cast is splendid. To start describing some of the characters, I will start from my,-and probably most of  fandom’s favorite character, Tyrion Lannister. Peter Dinklage is playing the role of Tyrian known as “the dwarf”, who has been leading the principal cast since Season 2. Next is Daenerys Targaryen who is also known as The Unburnt, Mother of Dragons, Khaleesi of the Great Grass Sea, Queen of the Andals the Rhoynar and the First Men, Queen of Meereen and Breaker of Chains, and this role is played by to Emilia Clarke. Then there’s the Stark family, Sansa Stark, being played by Sophie Turner, Arya Stark by Maisie Williams, Bran Stark by Isaac Hempstead-Wright, and their illegitimate brother Jon Snow, the King of the North is played by Kit Harrington. The rest of the Lannister family are Cersei and Jaime Lannister who are being played by Lena Headey and Nikolaj Coster-Waldau.

Tyrion Lannister-Peter Dinklage.jpgImage result for daenerys targaryenJon Snow-Kit Harington.jpgSophieTurnerasSansaStark.jpgArya Stark-Maisie Williams.jpgBran Stark - Isaac Hempstead-Wright.jpegCersei Lannister-Lena Headey.jpgJaime Lannister-Nikolaj Coster-Waldau.jpg

Sources write that an average Game of Thrones episode costs $6 million to make, which is two or three times more than any other TV show costs if compared. For example, each Breaking Bad episode costs nearly $3 million and each Big Bang Theory episode costs $2 million. As the seasons continued, the quality of the scenes increased which caused the cost to go up. For Season 6, each episode costs about $10 million, which shows the effort they put in while filming the show. Game of Thrones is known for its visuals and styling. Every episode has different themes, and with the new themes, new costumes come. The inspiration for the costumes comes from lots of different sources.  All clothing used is aged for two weeks so it appears realistic.

The show, Game of Thrones, has a huge fan base. In 2012, Vulture.com ranked the series’ fans as the most devoted in popular culture. The passion they have is extremely unbelievable, but no matter what, they continue to show their love for the show in every way possible. The devotion is even too much for the crew, but the fans can’t help it. The determination each of them creates a stronger fandom than ever. They never give up on supporting them, mostly on social media. When a new season starts, Game of Thrones pictures, memes, critics show up on everywhere. All of them work very passionately until the end of that season. And even when the season ends, they still keep on working. They have blogs that they share pictures of the crew on their every step or blogs that write about their lives, or even blogs that write fictional stories about them. You can spot a Game of Thrones fan everywhere you go. It is impossible to not to see one when you go out on the street.

If you haven’t watched Game of Thrones yet, it’s a bit late, but you can still view it. You haven’t lived fully if you never had a TV show that you’ve been watching so passionately. I’ll put the trailer of the first season, and after watching it, the choice is yours.

Mental Health

By: Justine van Hees.
From: The Netherlands.
It’s 2017 and I think that the world is handling mental health very incorrectly. To begin with, there are way too many people struggling with mental health issues that are afraid to admit it, for example depression. People will tell a depressed person to just be happy.
And maybe they are right; maybe the person just had a little mood swing. But if you are truly depressed, you can’t and won’t be “just happy.” It goes way deeper than that.
What you see in the picture is exactly what happens 80% of the time. People don’t know any better, but that is exactly why people won’t talk about it. Then the person gets deeper and deeper into a negative cycle, not just with depression, but with so many other mental issues. Not talking about it and just keeping it to oneself is the one thing the person shouldn’t do.
 
 
And then you are probably wondering “what is the solution?”
I think that there is not a perfect solution. I just think that people need to take this subject way more seriously! For example, take the taboo for these issues away.
A person with mental illness is NOT weird if he or she is dealing with any of these things. He CAN reach out to people, if they would just realize how serious mental illness can be.
 
 
 
There are many mental health clinics that a person can go to, that psychologists and doctors will recommend, but my opinion on that is that the clinics often won’t help. Being in a clinic 24/7 with other angry/ depressed and anxious … people. You will notice the their bad moods; see what they are going through and maybe some very hard moments for them. For example, someone that loses his temper and starts being aggressive really won’t help him to feel better! You’re basically in a home with people who have serious problems and therapists aren’t allowed to touch you because that’s the law. I think that isn’t the key to happiness.  (In some situations it might be the only option left, but I’m talking in general.)
 
People should be surrounded by love, inspiration and motivational support. Maybe go to another country to discover the world, get inspired, meet new people with other beliefs and get a new point of view on life.
I also noticed that people often think that there’s something physically wrong, but that isn’t always the case. It’s the opposite in my opinion. I believe that people have been through a lot when they deal with mental issues. Maybe a bad childhood, a terrible disease, lack of self confidence, and many reasons more. Don’t let anyone tell you that there’s something wrong with you, because there isn’t.

Things to do in Los Angeles

By Larissa Riegel Germany

What can you do in Los Angeles? What are the best places to visit? How can you have an amazing weekend there?

First of all Los Angeles is a really big city, so there are a lot of things to do. There are many interesting museums, some really good restaurants, many sight seeing spots, some nice beaches and of course a lot of good shopping areas. There are also different sides of the city. It depends on you and what  you want to do. For example you could visit Beverly Hills, go shopping on Rodeo drive and after that you could go to an expensive Restaurant on a Rooftop. On the other hand you could  visit the Universal studios, where you will have a lot of fun and experience action, then go to Hollywood and visit a movie museum and after that eat at In and Out and just enjoy a classic, cheap but also very good burger. That’s one thing I really love about Los Angeles. There is something for everyone, every age and every interest.

There are some general sight seeing spots that are a must to visit when in LA. You have to go and see the Hollywood sign. There are different ways of doing that: if you want to get really close to it, I would recommend you to do a hike. It takes some time but its definitely worth it. There is a really nice hike in Runyon Canyon. If you are too lazy or do not have enough time I would recommend you to visit Griffith Observatory. It’s a planetarium and from there you have an awesome view of the Hollywood sign, but also over the city. You can also go there in the evening . Its really beautiful to see the city with the lights on in the night.

Then you should visit one of the beaches: Venice Beach is pretty cool. There is also a skate park and the “Muscle Beach” where all the bodybuilders are practicing. Another cool Beach is close to the Santa Monica Pier. Its great to walk around the Pier and the Promenade is beautiful. There is also the “Pacific Park” where is a little roller coaster and a big wheel. There are a lot of good restaurants too and a good shopping mile near the Pier.

If you want to go shopping and to spent a lot of money and buy something expensive. You have to go to Rodeo Drive which is a famous Street in Beverly Hills. If you are looking for shops like H&M, Victoria’s Secret, Levis and so on.. I would recommend you the Santa Monica shopping area. But there are many shopping malls in La which are pretty good too.

If you want to eat at an excellent restaurant. You have to go to Downtown La where you can have dinner on Rooftop Restaurants where you have an amazing vie w over the city. But there are good Restaurants everywhere and some really nice Cafes too. For example Earth Café is a really nice place to have a good and healthy breakfast. They serve fresh food which is so delicious.

Another cool place to go is Hollywood. You can walk around and see the walk of Fame and some Theaters. There are some interesting museums and of curse some great shows too. And maybe you even get to see a celebrity!;)