by Sofia Gilioli, Italy & Samuele Savio, Italy
by Alissa Bumbacher from Switzerland
Bangalore is called the electronic capital of India and it’s the third largest city in India.
In 2019, I was there for two weeks in a school exchange in Bangalore.
We flew about 13 hours with a stop in Oman. After the flight, an employee form the school picked us up at the airport. The drive to Bangalore was a whole new experience. The streets were full and everything was very loud and hectic.
The school’s called NIFT (National Institute of Fashion Technology) and it’s a very nice school.
Almost all of the walls were painted. During the week, we had lessons in the school. Sometimes we went on excursions with the school. For example, we toured a shirt factory. The other students were all very friendly and we spent a lot of time with them.
We learned a lot about the culture and the handcrafts of India. We learned how to dye farbics with natrual colors and also how to carve wood. It was really interesting to getting know new cultures.
The last week, the other students from the school taught us a traditional dance.
Luckiyl for me, it’s really easy to find good food, and the Indians love vegetarian food. So we tested a lot of Indian food.
It was a really great experience. Everything in India is so colourful, but India has a lot of people, and unfortunately also many homeless and poor people. That wasn’t so nice to look at. I definitely want to go India again, maybe to another city.
By Takumi Osawa, From Japan
I’m going to recommend Japanese food and drink. There are many kinds of Japanese food. I chose the three dishes. You should try to eat and drink it, when you come to Japan.
Ramen is very popular in Japan. When you eat ramen in winter, it will make your body warm. Most Japanese people like ramen.
In Japan, there are so many ramen restaurants so that it shouldn’t be very hard to find a ramen you like. In other words, you can try so many types of ramen.
But I think it’s very hard to find a ramen which suits your taste, so I’m going to give you special information. I really recommend “miso-ramen.” “Miso-ramen” is the most popular of many kinds of ramen in Japan. Of course, “Miso-ramen” is my favorite ramen. If you can’t decide which kinds of ramen to eat, you should try to eat “miso- ramen.”
I know you’ve already known “sushi”. “Sushi” is also very popular food in Japan. I can say that Sushi is traditional Japanese food. Sushi has a history of over 1,300 years.
There are many sushi restaurants in all of the world so that you can try to eat sushi easily. I think many people have eaten sushi ever. But original Japanese sushi is different from sushi you’ve eaten it outside of Japan. I can’t explain how different its taste is. But If you try to eat sushi in Japan, you can recognize the difference between original Japanese sushi and sushi you’ve eaten ever.
I’m going to give you special information. I recommend drinking Japanese-sake with sushi. The combination between Japanese-sake and sushi is very good. If you are more than 20 years old, you should try it. But Japanese-sake is very strong alcohol, so be careful not to drink too much.
If you have a chance to come to Japan, you should try to eat sushi and enjoy original Japanese sushi.
Third, Japanese tea.
Japanese tea is a very healthy drink. It helps for your health. Japanese tea is called “ocha” by Japanese people. I want you to remember “ocha” and want to you use “ocha” when you visit Japan.
Japanese tea is loved by most of Japanese people. Japanese tea goes well with many Japanese food. I recommend drinking Japanese tea with sushi. The combination between Japanese sushi and Japanese tea is very good.
There are two types of Japanese tea. One is cold Japanese tea, another is hot Japanese tea. Both of them is very good teste. You should drink cold Japanese tea in hot season. It makes your body cooler. Also, you should drink hot Japanese tea in cold season. It makes your body warm.
You can get a Japanese tea easily at supermarket, convenience store or vending machine in Japan. You should get a Japanese tea when you visit Japan. Enjoy drinking Japanese tea.
November 16, 2020
A2 / B1 English Communication M / W
by Solène, Belgium
“Discovery consists of looking at the same thing as everyone else and thinking something different.” Albert Szent Gyorgi
Discovering the world and living in the country are a good way to learn about how the country and the people are, but travelling (sometimes alone) is also important in the discovery of the world.
Visiting another country is good for our personal growth because some countries are very different from our home countries, so we can see the differences about the other population from ours and we can reflect about ourselves, who we are and what we have. We can also be glad about our chances to be in the other country because it’s not possible for everyone. Sometimes, when we’re thinking about this, we realize that our happiness is made by ourselves and not by the others.
Doing the traditional activities and celebrations in the country is very enriching. Like here, in America, the famous tradition after Halloween and Christmas eve is Thanksgiving. It’s very popular and important in the USA, so it’s good to be here and share the cultures. The most important think, in Thanksgiving, is to be thankful for what we have and who we are.
Travelling alone is also a good way to make new friends and be more confident in ourselves. It pushes us to be independent and to fend for ourselves. And being alone can be the moment to think about what we want for our future.
Enjoy every moment on your life! You are free to be who you want. Be thankful for what you have. And the most important, you deserve to be happy!
Alberte Lynge, Denmark.
I love to travel. I have traveled quite a bit already and I want to travel even more. I know that a lot of people like to travel as well. When I travel, I often think of the question, why do we travel? What’s the reason for us to get out of the environment we’re used to and where we feel safe?
I found a whole bunch of answers to this question. Of course, it’s a question to which there is no right or wrong answer, but I found 5 reasons that I think are the best.
#1. We travel to learn.
Whether it’s learning a new language or learning about a country’s history, traveling allows us to learn so many different things. We get to learn about the diverse cultures and ways of living. We learn about how our lives are intertwined and how we can impact one another.
#2. To escape.
Traveling gives us a momentary break from our daily routines and everyday lives. It provides us with adventure and excitement. When we travel and experience a new space or environment, we’re intrigued by all the new and different things that surrounds us. We forget about our jobs, our classes, and all our other responsibilities.
#3. To discover.
This goes hand in hand with the previous point, but traveling allow us to discover, whether it’s an interesting location or a new favorite dish. We travel to not only see more of the world and the people in it, but to also discover more about ourselves in the process.
Through the challenges that we face and the experiences that we gain, we discover our strengths, our limitations, and our potential while traveling.
#4. To make new friends.
When you travel, you meet people of diverse backgrounds and experiences and every single one of them has the potential to play an important role in your life, whether that is a new best friend or your soul mate, who knows.
#5. To experience.
Last but not least. We travel to experience all that we can and all that the world has to offer. We can experience the local culture by eating delicacies and dishes that are unique to the country or a certain region.
We can experience what it’s like to communicate solely through gestures when we don’t know how to speak a language. We might even realize how life in a foreign country is not that much different from our own back home.
Experiences help bring meaning to our lives. They both shape and define us.
These were the reasons I found the best and most relatable. If you have a different answer to why we travel or a point of view then please write it in the comments.
Naomie Gauchat, Switzerland
I lived In San Francisco for almost 4 months so I had the time to discover a lot of things. San Francisco is home with a little bit of everything. Whether you’re a first time visitor or a long-time local, you can find a lot of different activities to do.
1. The Golden Gate Bridge
First of all you should go to the Golden Gate Bridge. Once called “the bridge that couldn’t be built,” today it is one of the seven wonders of the modern world. You can cross the bridge by walking, by biking, by bus or by car. I recommend this trip during the sunset; it is beautiful !
2. Fisherman’s Wharf
The second place where you must go is Fisherman’s Wharf. Fisherman’s is a neighbourhood and popular tourist attraction in SF. It roughly encompasses the northern waterfront area of San Francisco. It is there that you can find the different boats to go to Alcatraz and also the famous Pier 39 with the sea lions.
3. The Coit Tower
The Coit Tower is an inevitable thing to do. It is a 64 meters tower in the Telegraph Hill neighbourhood, offering panoramic views over the city and the bay. The tower, in the city’s Pioneer Park, was built between 1932 and 1933. It is a little bit expensive; 9$ to go up by elevator but it’s worth it!
Alcatraz Island is located in San Francisco Bay, 2 kilometres offshore from San Francisco. It is the second most popular tourist attraction in SF. The small island was developed with facilities for a lighthouse, a military fortification, a military prison, and a federal prison from 1934 until 1963. This last facility is why Alcatraz is famous nowadays. The departure is from Fisherman’s Wharf and you will arrive 30 minutes later on the Island. During this tour, you can get audio guides and discover the entire story of Alcatraz.
5. Castro District
In this neighbourhood, along the streets, you will find brightly colored rainbow banners fluttering from lamp posts. This place is the historic centre of the LGBT community reflects. It’s a lively neighbourhood. I recommend this district to go out with your friends, even if you are not part of this community. There are some different clubs and bars so you will have a good time there !
Naomie Gauchat, Switzerland
Next year, I will return in Santa Barbara with my family to show them the most beautiful place that I have never seen; The Franceschi Park. This park was once the home of famed botanist F. Franceschi. I discovered this place with my SPIN class ”I LOVE SB”. The purpose of this class was to discover the city, and it worked.
The park is located above the city. By car, it is only ten minutes from Downtown or one hour by walking. The location is pretty easy to find. There are direction signs along the way so you can not get lost. It has a panoramic view of the city and it provides a tranquil horticultural resource. A lot of people go there to relax themselves, do sports, walking their dog or just enjoy the view. In addition to the view of the city, you also have an ocean view. On sunny days, you can easily distinguish the different islands, like : Santa Cruz Island, Santa Rosa Island, San Miguel Island and Anacapa Island. Those four islands are quite far from the waterfront, more than 3 hours by boat.
Further into the park, you can observe a house. It was the house of M. Franco Franceschi. This house was used for botanical study and plant cultivation. This one became a botanical nursery for their experiments in plant propagation. Between 1894 and 1913, Franceschi imported over 900 species. He planted an enormous variety of native and non-native trees, like oak, camphor, cinnamon, avocado, banana, candlenut, and many species of citrus and palms. Many kinds of seeds were also grown on this area. Finally, through Franceschi’s efforts, almost 200 new plant species were introduced to California.
Unfortunately, F. Franceschi died in 1924 and M. Freeman inherited the house as well as the property. He was a huge fan of Franceschi’s work. Through his efforts, the property was enlarged and the house remodeled in a Mediterranean style. Freeman donated it to the city of Santa Barbara. That is why now everybody can go there. But the problem is that the city of Santa Barbara did not do the necessary renovations and maintenance and the house has fallen apart. For that reason the city of Santa Barbara decided two weeks ago to demolish the house and to rebuild something else.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Maria Bouman, The Netherlands
You cannot visit California without a visit to the City of Angels: Los Angeles. Famous for the movie studios, Hollywood and The Walk of Fame, but there is so much more to see in this spectacular city, even when you are only visiting for three days! So start planning your trip to LA right now, because I will reveal to you the best sightseeing places, restaurants and, of course, the most wonderful shops.
Visit The Farmers Market
I started my trip with a visit to the famous Farmer’s Market. This is a great experience to try different kinds of foods from several cultures. From Italian pastas to Japanese sushi, The Farmers Market has it all. Around Christmas is the perfect time for a visit because of the special atmosphere and exuberant decoration. There are also many Christmas festivities going on, like live music and Dickensian carolers. The market is not only a great place to eat, but also to shop. All the big names like ZARA, Barney’s, Coach and many more have a shop in this area. So the perfect location for food, shops and fun!
Forget the Universal Studios and go to the Warner Bros Studios
Los Angeles is without doubt the capital of the movie industry. All the big movie companies are located here, like Universal, Warner Bros and Paramount. For all the movie lovers this is the perfect opportunity to visit one of their studios, but the big question is which one to visit? I chose the Warner Bros Studios. They offer different kinds of tours, like a general tour, classic tour, deluxe tour and even a horror tour. I decided to go for the classic tour because I am a big fan off the old movies. This tour is focused on the Golden Age of Hollywood from the early 1900s to 1960s. If you are not a huge fan of the old movies, than a better option is the general tour. The tour I took was 3.5 hours and it was an amazing experience. They showed us the movie locations of Casablanca, Rebel Without a Cause and many more! What is special about this tour is the fact that they really give you an inside look behind the studio. They showed us the depot with all the equipment they used in the Warner Brothers’ movies. In total the tour took around 3.5 hours so a good option would be to combine the tour with another day activity.
The Hollywood Walk of Fame
You cannot visit Los Angeles without a visit to the Hollywood Walk of Fame. At this place you can find the real stars. In total there are 2,600 stars, from The Beatles to Johnny Depp, along 15 blocks of Hollywood Boulevard and three blocks of Fine Street. I went to this place in the evening, but I highly recommend going during the day. You have a much better view of the street and a lot is going on, like street performances and you can even take a picture with a real snake!
Griffith Observatory Park, The Best of Both Views
Looking for the best view of the whole city? Go to the Griffith Observatory Park where you will find a breathtaking view on the City and the Hollywood Sign! There are two options to go. The first one is to go by car and park your car at the Griffith Observatory parking place. This is the easiest way but I would definitely recommend to go here by hiking. It’s active and by this way you discover so much more. There a dozens of way to get to the park, from beginner to advanced level. I was not prepared for a challenging hike so I decided to go for the East Griffith Observatory Trail. This hike took only 30 minutes, so perfect when you have more plans for the day. For this hike you can park your car to the intersection of Vermont and Vista de Valle / Commonwealth Canyon road and walk west on Vista de Valle. Go further and you see the picnic table, this is the start of the hike. This route is easy-to-follow and not that difficult. During this trip you will pass by many point where you have a magnificent view over the city of Los Angeles. After 30 minutes you will arrive at the Observatory, which offers you art deco architecture, the views on the Hollywood Sign and the Statue Memorial to James Dean. This was just one short and easy way to go. For an overview of all the different hikes go to http://www.modernhiker.com. Enjoy your hike!
A True Shopping Paradise
Los Angeles is by far the best place to shop in California. It offers a variety of high end brands, vintage stores, upcoming designers, big department stores and cozy boutiques. I started my shop session at Melrose Avenue. First stop was the legendary retailer Fred Segal. Well known for the perfect jeans. Visit also Gregory’s for great service and exclusive, high quality Italian shoes. I found here the perfect pair of over-knees suede boots. Go further on Melrose Avenue and you will find big names like Paul Smith, Balenciaga. Looking for something more affordable? Go to Wasteland consignment store. This vintage walhalla offers a big range of clothes for men and women. I ended my shopping adventure with a visit to most famous shopping street off Los Angeles: Rodeo Drive. Every legendary designer has his own brand store, from Chanel to Hermes. Shopping in this street is only possible with a big wallet, but even only for the window shopping it is a great experience.
The oldest part of Los Angeles, Olvera Street
Done with the glitter and glamour of Hollywood and looking for something completely different? Go to Olvera street, the oldest part of downtown Los Angeles. This street is known as the birthplace of the city. It is famous for the Mexican heritage and it is part of the El Pueblo de Los Angeles Historical Monument. The street will give you the experience to be part of the old Mexico through the authentic architecture, restaurants, markets, traditional music and folklore shops. Go to this place during the day because in the night most shops and markets are closed. I would also recommend to check out their webpage with information about upcoming events http://www.olvera-street.com.
Santa Monica, The Pearl of The California Lifestyle
Before heading back home I made a little stop in the beach town Santa Monica. Famous for the beaches, 300 days of sunshine and the amazing sunset. Santa Monica is also well-known as a walkable and bike-friendly town. So park you car at the beach and explore the rest of the town by bike of with your walking shoes. Make sure to visit the Santa Monica Pier with a variety of shops, restaurants and carnival attractions. From the pier you walk straight into downtown Santa Monica in only 10 minutes! Around 2.00 P.M. it was time to go back home via highway 1. It was an amazing trip which I would never forget!
Where to stay?
Los Angeles offered a wide range of accommodations types. From cheap hostels to luxury hotels. I decided to stay at the Banana Bungalow Hostel in West-Hollywood because I made the trip on my own. A hostel is a great tool to meet new people because there are a lot of individual travelers. I would highly recommend the Banana Bungalow Hostel due the great location, free breakfast and drinks during the night.
Adele Fadier, France
Does the idea of a California road trip makes you dream? From Santa Barbara to Monterey you will discover all the best spots of the Pacific Coast, driving on Highway 1.
The California Coast is one of the most scenic coastal drives in the world. By this way you can discover all the California’s amazing natural life. Obviously, when you drive alongside the ocean you are going to see incredible places and views. That’s the upside of a road trip-you can stop everywhere you want. So, now I will show you the most famous spots of this Highway 1.
After leaving Santa Barbara, your first official stop will be in San Simeon. In fact, this city located on California’s Central Coast offers drivers many reasons to stop and stay a while. San Simeon is home to 17,000 different animals, offering many opportunities to commune with wildlife and especially the elephant seals. Thousands of these sea mammals can be viewed sun bathing on a sandy beach or having a jolly good time in the water. The second famous place to visit in San Simeon is the Hearst Castle. It’s a National Historic Landmark which was a residence for newspaper magnate William Randolph Hearst between 1919 and 1947. Actually many people come to visit this castle because of its amazing Roman architecture.
Then, you can continue on the road until you reach Sand Dollar Beach, which is the largest unbroken stretch of sand in Big Sur and is considered to be one of the best surfing spots in Big Sur. Visitors said Sand Dollar Beach is a beautiful and relaxing spot to lay out or have a picnic. The beach is open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and it costs $10 to park your car, but another thing that is important to know is that swimming at Sand Dollar Beach is considered dangerous – so be careful.
22.1 miles later you will arrive to Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park. A main feature of the park is McWay Falls, which drops over a cliff of 80 feet (24 meters) into the Pacific Ocean. In the same area you will find the Henry Miller Memorial Library, a nonprofit arts center, bookstore, and performance venue, championing the late writer, artist, and Big Sur resident Henry Miller and other creative individuals living in or near Big Sur. But that’s not all, in this place you can also find the Pfeiffer Big Sur State Park and the Pfeiffer Beach. This state park is massive with several hiking trails, picnic grounds and watering holes where you can see picnickers swimming with joy. About the Pfeiffer Beach, I strongly recommend coming in just before sunrise so that you can have the beach all to yourself. Moreover, it’s an amazing place to take pictures of the sunset or sunrise thanks to the impressive rocks situated in front of the beach.
In the same area, there is Partington Cove which is a beautiful hike to take in Big Sur. As you make your way through a tunnel, you will start to see the beginning of one of the most beautiful coves you will ever see – the water is so clear you can see the kelp and what seems to be the ocean floor below.
A few kilometers further you can find Point Sur Lighthouse. That’s the only complete light station open to the public in California and it offers you an amazing view of the Pacific Ocean.
Then, you can continue your road until one of the most famous spot of the Big Sur, the Bixby Creek Bridge. It’s also one of the most photographed bridges in California due to its aesthetic design. It’s like a gate away to Big Sur.
Now we arrive at the last area of this road trip, Monterey County, but don’t worry there are still many beautiful places to discover.
First, Garrapata State Park, an unknown Big Sur jewel – it’s a treasure to those who have discovered it. Garrapata State Park’s unpopulated hiking trails provide access to both the beautiful Big Sur coastline and the breathtaking Santa Lucia Mountains. So, you can’t miss it!
After this, you can go to Point Lobos State Natural Reserve. This place is outstanding for sightseeing, photography, painting, nature study, picnicking, scuba diving, and jogging. The offshore area forms one of the richest underwater habitats in the world popular with divers. Wildlife includes seals, sea lions, sea otters and migrating gray whales. In this reserve you ought to go to China Cove and Gibson Beach, two amazing places to enjoy the view and the wildlife.
Then, we will arrive at the penultimate city of this road trip called Carmel-by-the-Sea. Carmel is known for its natural scenery and rich artistic history. Here you can visit all the pretty streets of the city and the famous Mission San Carlos Borromeo de Carmelo.
Finally, we will arrive at Monterey, the last place of this road trip. This is one of the most beautiful coastal cities of California. It was originally the state capital of California but today it is best known for its beautiful coastline, its world-class aquarium and from the many John Steinbeck novels set there.
As a conclusion, Big Sur will offer you an amazing road trip to discover the California central coast trough the Highway 1. Do not hesitate to stop whenever you want to enjoy the view or the atmosphere of a place. Let appreciate the nature and the wildlife without human intervention. So enjoy it, but be respectful of all the places you will visit. Another important thing to know is that you have to work on your itinerary before you go. Sometimes, some parts of the Highway can be closed for any reasons, so it’s better to be informed in time.
You can find below a video of a road trip in Big Sur with some places to sleep and to eat.
Enjoy your trip!