House of Cards

Joschka Mueller, Switzerland

Does the main character of a movie always habe to behave morally? A movie or a series is usually produced to make money and big numbers of viewers. In action films, thrillers, science fiction etc. the protagonist is normally a hero. In all other kinds of movies, we have a person who’s polite or at least seemed to be liked by the people.

Well Frank and Claire Underwood are definitely not representing for these stereotypes. They’re cheaters, betrayers and on there way to power so that nothing stands in-between.

The series starts with a statement of Frank (Kevin Spacey) who’s talking to the audience while killing a dog in its last breath. He claims that we should differ between necessary and unnecessary pain. His attitude carries through the entire series. Whatever crosses his path, he will take either advantage of it or pushes it ruthlessly aside. We ascribe Claire (Robin Wright) the same attributes as Frank. She is as tough as he is which makes the series on the one hand even more strange, but also interesting. They appear like a team on their way to reach the top of the hierarchy of the US government.

However, their way is full of milestones and problems in all kinds of ways. They are even involved as murderers and commit crimes. The public and the press is mostly a big opponent for them.

I really liked this series because it is completely different to all other kinds of movies. It’s addicting and you get into it.

What To Do in Hanover, Germany

Henriette Viemann , Germany

Even though it might not be be the first or most popular city that comes to your mind when you think of Germany, the city Hanover is definitely worth a visit and has a lot to offer.

In this article I’m going to  tell you why exactly you should plan a visit there and fun things to do during your stay.

First, we are going to start with a little bit of geography and history. Hanover is the located in the northern part of Germany and is the capital city of the German state of Lower Saxony. It has around 530,000 inhabitants, with that it is the thirteenth largest city in the country. The city was founded a long way back, in medieval times on the east bank of the river Leine, which flows right through the city and offers a lot of water sports activities for locals, as well as for tourists. Becoming a rather large town during the 13th century, Hanover received it’s town status  in 1241, mainly due to it’s position at a natural crossroad where a lot of trade took place during that time. Many churches were built in the 14th century, such as the city wall with three gates one can still see remains of them both today. Unfortunately, as an important railroad and production centre, Hanover was a major target for strategic bombing during World War 2, leaving big parts of the city largely destroyed. However, a lot of things were rebuilt and even though big parts were destroyed you can  still see a lot of old and historic buildings in the old town, which is definitely worth taking a walk through.

But what else are interesting activities one can do in the city ?

One of the first things you should do to get a great overview  of  the city is to visit the New Town Hall, located in the middle of the city.  It was opened in 1913, after it had been under construction for nearly 12 years. The building’s dome, where the observation platform is located, is 97.73m high. With it’s arched course following the shape of the dome , the dome’s lift is unique in Europe. From the observation platform you have a great view over the whole city and can see a lot of other famous sights from there.

Image

 

Another attraction that one shouldn’t miss while visiting Hanover is the Herrenhausen Gardens.  In total, they consist of four seperate, rather large gardens, called the Great Garden, the Berggarten, the Georgengarten and the Welfengarten. The Great Garden has been one of the most popular and distinguished baroque formal gardens of Europe, ever since it’s opening in 1640, when the castle was built. During the same time , the Berggarten was  transformed from a simple vegetable garden that was used for cooking in the castle, into a large botanical garden with it’s own attractions.  The other two gardens, the Welfengarten and the Georgengarden have been constructed in the style of historic English gardens and are considered popular recreation areas for the residents and inhabitants of Hanover. The history of the gardens spans over several centuries, and they have always been a big attraction in  the city and remain  popular to this day.

Image result for herrenhausen garten hannover

Your bucket list also shouldn’t miss the Maschsee, an artificial lake situated south of the city centre of the city, just like the New Town Hall, which is in walking distance. Being 78 hectares large, it is the largest body of water in Lower Saxony’s capital. Just like the earlier mentioned Herrenhauser Gardens, the lake is a popular and well known recreation area for inhabitants and tourists and also serves as a venue for a big variety of water sports all through the season. Here, you can rent a boat for a pretty good price to just enjoy time on the water or you can go around on good bike paths on a bicycle or on inline skaters. Or you can just take a relaxing walk around the lake, which will probably take you around  40-50 minutes.

Image result for maschsee hannover

Last, but not least, I want to talk about something that you might not find that special, because a lot of cities have a zoo , but Hanover’s is actually special for many reasons. The Zoo is located right in the city centre, so it is very easy to get there, by public transportation, by bike, or by car.  The zoo was established on 4 May 1865, and comprises an area of 22 hectares. It contains about 3,414 animals in 237 species, which are cared for by more than 400 employees. There are seven differently themed areas or lands, from Canada’s Yukon Bay, populated by seals and polar bears, to the Indian Jungle Palace with its tigers, leopards and sacred grey langur monkeys, and the Australian Outback of kangaroos and emus. While visiting the zoo, you will be able to not only see a lot of interesting and exotic animals, but also do other activities, like going through a labyrinth, jump on a trampoline, or go to a big playground. Either way, you are going to have a great experience at one of the world’s most famous zoos.

Image result for zoo hannover

Personally I would say that even though Hanover has way more exciting things to show you, these are my personal favourites, since they are a lot of fun for everyone, regardless of what age you are. Generally speaking, the city of Hanover is definitely worth a visit and has a lot of activities to offer.

 

 

My Weekend in SF

Luna, Belgium

Day 1

I arrived on Thursday morning at 10 am in the financial district. I reunited with my best friend from Belgium and it was kind of an emotional moment. To catch up and start slowly, we ate brunch in a Starbucks, which was really nice and chill. After dropping my stuff at her house, we went straight into the center of the city where we walked around a little bit and in the evening we went to the cinema and saw The Nutcracker and the Four Realms. We came back home quite early because we needed to have a lot of energy for the next day which was Black Friday!

image1.jpeg

Day 2

Black Friday was a really hectic, but super fun, day. We woke up at 5 am so we could start our shopping at 6 am. Our first stop was Urban Outfitters where we found matching Champion sweaters for a really good price. After that, came Sephora where we spent 75$ for an initial value of 240$ ! Then came Westfield which is one of the biggest malls in San Francisco. We went a little crazy and got really good deals at Pacsun, Hollister and Footlocker ! Forever 21 was also a success and overall we managed our time and money really well. We stuck to our plan and it was one of the most successful shopping-sprees. At 7 pm there was the tree-lightning on Union Square which was like a winter wonderland…

image3.jpeg

Day 3

We decided that Saturday would be tourist-day! First thing we did when we woke up was take a little walk in the neighborhood because it was really vintage-looking and quiet. After that we visited famous places like : The Painted Ladies, Golden Gate Bridge, Ghirardelli Square, Fishermans Wharf. That took the whole day and in the evening we went back to Union Square and did a really festive activity : ice skating! This was the most magical moment of the whole trip and the whole place really looked like a winter wonderland. After that we went up to Macy’s rooftop because that is where the Cheesecake Factory is located. We ate the most delicious cheesecake, one was tiramisu-flavored and the other one was raspberry-lemon. We called it a day and went back home for a good night sleep.

image2.jpeg

Day 4

For our last day together, we really wanted to enjoy each other’s company so we just did what made us happy. In the morning we went to the Golden Gate Park  where we had coffee. We saw amazing buildings and the weather was great, too. For lunch we tried a typical Frisco-dish which was soup in a bread-bowl. Because we are both vegetarians we ordered a tomato soup and it was delicious! The best place to eat this is on Fishermans Wharf at the pier and it is called Boudin Bakery. For desert we tasted a holiday doughnut from Krispy Kreme Doughnut and it was the best doughnut I have ever had … This day passed by quite quickly and it was now time for me to come back to Santa Barbara.

image4.jpeg

It was really hard to say goodbye again, but I had the best time with my favorite person in this world. Even though I miss her like crazy I know we will see each other again soon!.Thank you, Lou !

The Perfect Thanksgiving in San Francisco (on a budget)

Luna, Belgium

Thanksgiving is a public holiday celebrated on the fourth Thursday of November in the United States. It has been celebrated as a federal holiday every year since 1863, when, during the American Civil War, President Abraham Lincoln proclaimed a national day of “Thanksgiving and Praise to our beneficent Father who dwelleth in the Heavens,” to be celebrated on the last Thursday in November. Together with Christmas and the New Year, Thanksgiving is a part of the broader fall/winter holiday season in the U.S. This year I’m going to celebrate Thanksgiving in San Francisco, so let’s see what activities I could do during this little trip!

WEDNESDAY 11/21/2018

Arriving on Wednesday evening, the best thing to do first is to check into the Airbnb : cheaper option than a hotel. A nice and free evening activity  in San Francisco is walking to the Golden Gate Bridge and see it completely lit up with a beautiful sunset. Enjoy the breathtaking view with a nice hot chocolate or coffee to take away from Philz Coffee!

Image result for golden gate bridge

THURSDAY 11/22/2018

Thanksgiving is already here! To make the most out of this celebration you need to make sure to wake up a little early. This way you can enjoy the city when it’s calm and empty. In the morning you can visit the Japanese Tea Garden which is a really peaceful environment. For lunch, enjoy a nice picnic in the park in front of the Painted Ladies. In the afternoon a nice and not too pricey activity is the cinema ! This year, Disney made a movie based on the Nutcracker story and this certainly is a must see during the wintertime. If you’re not into musicals you can always go see another movie in the winter sphere. Ice skating is also something on your To Do list especially in front of the Macy’s Christmas tree, it’s a magical sphere.

Image result for ice skating sfo

FRIDAY 11/23/2018

BLACK FRIDAY! This is a day you want to wake up super early to be in front of the stores cause this happens only once a year. Black Friday is an informal name for the day following Thanks Giving in the unites states, which has been regarded as the beginning of the country’s Christmas shopping season since 1952. Essentially, it’s a huge event where all the stores open early, close really late and  have a lot of sales and deals. If you don’t feel like being in a really crowded mall they also have plenty of deals and sales on their websites. There have been some scary stories in the past from people fighting about products and especially electronics but I still think it’s something you need to experience when you’re in the USA.

Image result for black friday

In San Francisco the best places to go shopping are:

  • Union Square
  • Union Street
  • Market Street
  • Stonestown Galleria
  • Pier 39
  • Embarcadero Center
  • Ghirardelli Square

SATURDAY 11/24/2018

Take a day off! Try to make this day as chill and cozy as possible. Wayfare Tavern is one of the cutest restaurants that is really going to put you in the winter sphere. It has a beautiful fireplace and delicious winter food. You can also just enjoy the city and visit the most popular places like the Alcatraz prison, the Coit Tower, Fisherman’s Wharf and travel around the city with the cable cars.

Image result for wayfare sfhttps://sf.eater.com/maps/san-francisco-restaurants-with-fireplaces

SUNDAY 11/25/2018

Every Sunday morning at 10am, you can catch the two-hour Champagne and Mimosa cruise around the SF Bay. This relaxing ride offers amazing views of the SF Bay including the Golden Gate Bridge, Alcatraz Island and Sausalito. You will also ride past the Palace of Fine Arts, Angel Island and Fort Point National Historic Site.

Farmer’s Markets are an important start to Sunday in San Francisco. Each week, you will find several throughout the city. Here are the details on the largest and most popular (all are year around unless noted):

  • Heart of the City in the UN Plaza in Civic Center: 7 am to 5 pm
  • Divisadero’s Farmer’s Market on Grove at Divisadero: 10 am to 2 pm
  • Fort Mason Center Farmer’s Market: 9:30 am to 1:30 pm
  • Inner Sunset Farmer’s Market in the parking lot between 8th and 9th Avenue south of Irving Street: 9 am to 1 pm
  • Glen Park in the parking lot of the Glen Park BART Station: 10 am to 2 pm; Late March though late November

If you love live music, then you are in luck! Every Sunday night, you will find at least four of five live shows in San Francisco. Larger shows are at venues such as The Warfield, The Fillmore and The Bill Graham Civic Auditorium. However, you will also find smaller shows at The Independent, Slim’s and The Great American Music Hall.

Image result for live music sf november

If you are planning on living this experience, which I highly recommend, enjoy it as much as you can whit your love ones. And be thankful !

Soccer Culture

By Simon Kjellgren, Sweden

For Americans, soccer is just something you drive your daughter to. A world cup they always think they’ll win despite just being no.28 on the FIFA world ranking. For the rest of the world, it’s more than a sport, it’s a lifestyle. We live and breath soccer, some fans even kill and die for their club. The club is our god, the fans of that club is our family and the stadium is our home, our church. Soccer is a religion, a religion with thousands of gods. The leader of all those gods? Sadly FIFA. I’ll explain later.

tifo2Borussia Dortmund TIFO

The fans are the most important thing a club can have. It sounds cheesy I know, but there’s a reason fans are called “the 12th player”. They provide atmosphere around the stadium; they provide electric chants that energize the players. Most importantly, they provide TIFOs. A TIFO is a synchronized display before the game starts, with banners, flags and songs that the team march in to.

Top 5 Places to Visit in Portugal

Carlota Pedro Pinto, Portugal

Did you say you needed a vacation?

With the increasing amount of stress in our routines throughout the years, the word getaway is becoming more popular in our society. Everybody is always looking for an opportunity to turn off all the noise and go on a  little vacation.

And that’s when Portugal comes along….

Being one of the best getaway destinations right now, I’m gonna give you an inside scoop of some of the best places to visit while in Portugal!

1.Elevador de Santa Justa (Lisbon) – For one of the best views in Lisbon head to one of the most beautiful monuments right in the city’s heart. Towering above the whole city you can get  a breath taking view at any time of the day.

Risultati immagini per elevador de santa justa

 

2.Ponte de D. Luis I (Porto) – The panoramic views of the outlying city and the mouth of the river are truly memorable. One of the best spots to get to know Porto better.

Risultati immagini per ponte d luis porto

 

3.Ponta da Piedade ( Algarve) – The Ponta da Piedade makes for an amazing half day excursion from Lagos, and hiring a fishing boat to explore the cliffs is a life time experience!

Risultati immagini per ponta da piedade portugal

 

4. Pasteis de Belem ( Lisbon) – Pastel de Belem is a Portuguese cake, so it’s mandatory to at least have one when you come to the city ! Pasteis de Belem is the name of the world famous bakery that opened in 1833. It’s still open today and there’s always a long line to get in because of it’s amazing reputation, so be sure to get there early!

Image result for pasteis de belem

 

5. Sintra – Remarkable cultural landscape this historic town is worth a day of your trip! In this amazing town you will find many monuments and breathtaking sights that will blow your mind away, which is totally worth an amazing tour through the streets of Sintra!

Image result for sintra

As a native I’ve been always in love with Lisbon, being my hometown i have a special connection with the city. There’s many places that  I love to visit on my daily basis but walking through the streets of Lisbon will always be my favorite thing to do!!

Image result for streets of lisbon

10 Rupi Kaur Poems That Will Put You In Your Feelings For Sure

This post is written and published by: Jelle Schutte, the Netherlands

Hi reader,
This blog post is gonna be about 10 of Rupi Kaur her best poems. First of all I will tell you a little bit more about the author of these two wonderful books full of poems.

Rupi Kaur
Rupi Kaur is a #1 New York Times bestselling author and illustrator of two collections of poetry. She started drawing at the age of five when her mother handed her a paintbrush and said—draw your heart out. Rupi views her life as an exploration of that artistic journey. After completing her degree in rhetoric studies she published her first collection of poems milk and honey in 2014. The internationally acclaimed collection sold well over a million copies gracing the New York times bestsellers list every week for over a year. It has since been translated into over thirty languages. Her long-awaited second collection ‘the sun and her flowers’ was published in 2017.

 #1

what is stronger
than the human heart
which shatters over and over
and still lives

#2

don’t mistake
salt for sugar
if he wants to
be with you
he will
it’s that simple

#3

how is it so easy for you
to be kind to people  
he asked

milk and honey dripped
from my lips as i answered

cause people have not
been kind to me

#4

we are all born
so beautiful

the greatest tragedy is
being convinced we are not

#5

sometimes
the apology
never comes
when it is wanted
and when it comes
it is neither wanted
nor needed

you are too late


#6
i am water

soft enough
to offer life
tough enough
to drown it away

#7

the next time he
points out the
hair on your legs is
growing back remind
that boy your body
is not his home
he is a guest
warn him to
never outstep
his welcome again


#8

i don’t know what living a balanced life feels like
when i am sad
i don’t cry, i pour
when i am happy
i don’t smile, i beam
when i am angry
i don’t yell, i burn
the good thing about
feeling in extremes
is when i love
i give them wings
but perhaps
that isn’t
such a good thing
cause they always
tend to leave and
you should see me
when my heart is broken
i don’t grieve
i shatter 

#9

did you think i was a city
big enough for a weekend getaway
i am the town surrounding it
the one you’ve never heard of
but always pass through
the are no neon lights here
no skyscrapers or statues
but there is thunder
for i make bridges tremble
i am not street meat i am homemade jam
thick enough to cut the sweetest thing your lips will touch
i am not police sirens i am the crackle in a fireplace
i’d burn you and you wouldn’t take take your eyes off me
cause i’d look so beautiful doing it you’d blush
i am not a hotel room. i am home.
i am not the whiskey you want
i am the water you need
don’t come here with expectations
and try to make a vacation out of me

#10

the way they
leave
tells you
everything

answers

WhatsApp Image 2018-08-07 at 2.12.07 PM.jpeg

sources:

information and image of Rupi Kaur
http://www.rupikaur.com

header image
http://www.atouchofstarlight.com/2017/11/15/book-review-discussion-sun-flowers-rupi-kaur-controversy/

A New “Lifestyle”



Federica Capuzzoni, Italy

The Zen philosophy is more than a simple religion, it is a life style near Buddhism. The “Zen” is a philosophy of life that helps the individual to find happiness and serenity, and it helps to remove a negative thoughts and stressful things. To understand, and to catch the real meaning of this religion, it is not necessary to become a real follower of it, but it is only necessary to open our hearts and live with broad minds.

The most important teachings of Zen are:

  1. the JOY IS NOW: Often people concentrate more about their past actions or think about a future instead to live in the moment but, it’s wrong. We need to learn to live every moment of our lives and to appreciate every thing. For the Zen’s philosophy the individual’s joy depends only on himself and how he lives in the world. So how can we be happy ? We need to remove negative thinking. We should’t get swayed by external factors and also every human has the conditions to be happy.bbb
  2.  LIVE WITH A BROAD MIND: Living with serenity without any stress means living with a broad mind. We need to always stay ready for the changes that happen in our lives, because if you have a narrow mind this prevents you from understanding what is happening in your life. If we want to see life from another view, you must forget the rules that the society requires of us. To understand better what is meaning we can use this quotes:

“In the sky there is no difference between east or west, but the people create this difference in their minds and after they start to think that it is real.”

3.     PAIN IS UNAVOIDABLE, SUFFERING IS OPTIONAL: People can only be hurt by what they decide to give importance to, so that means that is possible to avoid the suffering in vain; in fact, if you decide to emotionally break away, you can see the problem from another point of view. This teaching takes time and diligence, but it is  important for your life.ddddd

Simplicity in the Buddhist lifestyle is essential. Simplicity as way of life focuses attention on the really important thing. How can you practice simplicity?

First, you must examine your life to see what stressful habits clutter your life. Are you running around too much? Are you trying to do too many things at once? Once you ask yourself these types of questions and make an inventory of habits, then you can change to simplify your life. Simplicity is the way of life that helps us put more attention on what is happening in our lives every day, and helps us to search all the positive things that are happening every day.

After this you must realize that you have choices. Every person is the writer of his/her own life. You are 100 percent unique in your own special way. You have the right to spend your life doing the things you love to do, and experiencing things that bring you massive joy.You-have-a-choice

 

The trick is to enjoy your life. Don’t waste away your days, waiting for better ones ahead. You must give the possibility of every day to be the best day of your life.

Marjorie Pay Hinckley

When the day is finished and you are in your bed, close your eyes and think about the whole day and search all the “happy moments” and reflect about all the good things that  happened. It helps you to appreciate your life more! 

Let’s Ride the Wave!

assorted colors of surfboard

Yuki Mizumoto Japan

In the year 2020, Tokyo, I see a new official Olympic event. What is this? Surfing! I’m so happy because I can see many professional surfers in Chiba, Japan. I love surfing, but I don’t know the history and details of surfing. Do you know where the origin of surfing is? Surfing was born in Huntington Beach, California so this is the best place for beginning and enjoying surfing. There are a lot of surfers are surfing at Huntington Beach.

Processed with VSCOcam with e2 preset
Processed with VSCOcam with e2 preset

Surfing is pretty profound because it’s going to change depending on which surfboard you choose. This sport uses three different board length. These are longboard, funboard and shortboard.

Longboard

A longboard is 9 to 14 feet (2.7 to 4.3 met). If you choose this board, you can walk on the board while riding the wave. This board has strong buoyancy. Therefore, you’re able to ride even small waves easily so you don’t have to check weather charts and wave conditions. Even though there aren’t big waves, you can enjoy surfing almost everyday. However, when hurricanes and thunderclouds are coming, don’t go into a sea, please.

RinconDo you know Rincon? This place is a very famous and holy place for surfing so if you begin surfing, you should go there.

Funboard

A funboard is 6 to 8 feet (1.8 to 2.4 met). This is the best choice for beginning surfers. A funboard is thick and wide like a longboard so it will catch the waves easily. This has  a wide nose like a longboard so you can stay afloat on the wave face, balance easier, and  do longer rides. This board works exceptionally well in small and middle waves.

Shortboard

A shortboard might be classified as anything under around 6 feet 6 inches. That is about 2 metres, however the definition is not specific. Whatever the board size, the meaning of shortboard is a board someone chooses for high performance surfing in small to medium waves.  In addition, a shortboard has a pointed nose, a rounded or squarish tail, and typically with three skegs (fins), but sometimes with two ,or as many as 5, since the late 1960s, when Gordon Clark found the optimum formulation of urethane foam. I think if you begin surfing, you should choose a thick board because a thick surfboard has better buoyancy than  a thin surfboard.shortboard

Surf Brand

A lot of surf brands exist in the world. Surf brands sell clothes, shoes, watches, surfboards and wetsuits. These are very stylish and cute!! So if you go to a surf shop, you should see clothes and other things. Quicksilver, Hurley and Volcom are representative surf brands. On other hand, Vans, Patagonia and Stussy are surf brands, too. So many famous companies have surf lines.surfbrand

Therefore, surfing is a complex and cool sport. I’m in Santa Barbara, California. My favorite surf point in Santa Barbara is Campus Point. Anyway, I want to surf at Huntington Beach, but surf points are around the world. I think most of surf points are so beautiful! So, if I have money and time, I want to go on a surf trip!! For sure. Let’s ride the wave and go trip to beautiful place!!!

 

Soccer Is More Than a Game

Collin Blunier, Switzerland

One of the most popular sports is soccer,  which is the most controversial sport in the world. There are headliners about professional soccer players  salary, their influence and their lack of sportsmanship.

Soccer is more than just a sport or a game, it brings people together, it makes friends and last, but not least, it is healthy.

If you play soccer you have to concentrate every single second. You have to be present to win, but sometimes you also need a little bit of luck. Everybody in the TV or in the stadium is watching you. The half of them hope that you will miss the goal, the other half hope that they can cheer.

One of the most important things are the supporters. They are every age, from 10 up to 90! They support the team with songs if they need it, they stay behind them if they have a bad game.

Two of the most popular players these days are Lionel Messi, Barcelona,  and Cristiano Ronaldo, Real Madrid. They are not just players, they also make a lot of social supports. They support foundations or they have their own one.

Famous players do a lot for the soccer. They promote it, help children if they are in need and they show us if you are focus in something, you can get/be it.

Soccer is global and helps people to cross cultural barriers. It is allowing you to share your love with it and makes fans throughout the world. It doesn’t matter if you are American, Swiss, Japan or Australian, you will find people with the same interest in soccer.

Image result for soccer emotional goal      Image result for soccer fans brasilian